He had been a dator, or prince, until Issus had degraded him, so that his fitness for the high office bestowed was unquestioned.
The figure ahead was that of the black dator of the First Born, Thurid, whose undying enmity I had earned that time I laid him low with my bare hands in the courtyard of the Temple of Issus, and bound him with his own harness before the noble men and women who had but a moment before been extolling his prowess.
Then, with Woola following, I hastened across the open after the black dator.
Terrible as they were, they could not have commenced to approximate the horrible conditions which must have obtained before Tars Tarkas, the great green warrior, Xodar, the black dator, and I brought the light of truth to the outer world and stopped the mad rush of millions upon the voluntary pilgrimage to what they believed would end in a beautiful valley of peace and happiness and love.
"I tell you, Thern," the black dator was saying, "that I wish only vengeance upon John Carter, Prince of Helium.
"It shall be as you wish, Dator," replied Matai Shang; "nor is that all--power and riches shall be yours if you restore my daughter, Phaidor, to me, and place within my power Dejah Thoris, Princess of Helium.
"I have heard of the Temple of the Sun, Dator," replied Matai Shang, "but never have I heard that its prisoners could be released before the allotted year of their incarceration had elapsed.