used a young man, the following day in the little hamlet of Tafelberg, to whistle as he carefully read it over.
"I am glad that I am not the mad king of Lutha," he said as he paid the storekeeper for the gasoline he had just pur- chased and stepped into the gray roadster for whose greedy maw it was destined.
"Why, mein Herr?" asked the man.
"This notice practically gives immunity to whoever shoots down the king," replied the traveler. "Worse still, it gives such an account of the maniacal ferocity of the fugitive as to warrant anyone in shooting him on sight."
As the young man spoke the storekeeper had examined his face closely for the first time. A shrewd look came into the man's ordinarily stolid countenance. He leaned forward quite close to the other's ear.
"We of Lutha," he whispered, "love our 'mad king'--no reward could be offered that would tempt us to betray him. Even in self-protection we would not kill him, we of the mountains who remember him as a boy and loved his father and hi
An American from Nebraska is visiting his mother's homeland of Lutha, which borders Austria, Serbia, and the (Groucho) Marxist kingdom of Freedonia, when he is forced to rescue the first woman he encounters, who happens to be the princess betrothed to the reportedly insane king. The king has just escaped from his uncle, the evil regent who has been keeping him imprisoned and ruling in his stead. Did I mention that the American and the king are twins? They are. The principle export of Lutha appears to be coincidence--they certainly grow a lot of it there.
The action of the book is fine, it's just hard to accept all the impossible twists in the plot. The characters are pretty much two-dimensional--all good, all evil, complete cowards, noble subjects, etc.
It's the first Burroughs book I've read, and It doesn't make me want to pick up another.
If you want a king/twin story, read Twain's The Prince and the Pauper.
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