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a flame, and the world is exposed to meet more th;m one in its course. Tins is, moreover, what has nearly happened on several memorable occasions. In 1832 the announcement of the passage ol a comet threw the inhabitants of our planet into con sternation. According to the calculations of astron omy, the hairy star must necessarily cut across the orbit of ' the earth on October 20 before midnight. But the night passed without incident, and day broke with the sun shining over a happy world. ' Astronomy had erred; the earth was eighty million kilometers" (lift y million miles) distant from that point of its orbit that the comet would nec essarily pass, and the sgh traveling at a speed of twenty-nine kilometei (eighteen miles) a second, it passed the danger point only the November 30 following, that is, more than a month after ward. However, one sees that an encounter of this na ture is not impossible. What would indeed hap pen should a comet dash against the earth? The consequences of such an event might be varied, insignificant or terrible. All would depend on the nature of the comet and on the direction of the im pact. If its body was mas;ive or made up of solid bodies, the effect of such a bombardment may be imagined rather than described. But this kind of catastrophe is not to be appre hended. The almost invariable observation of the comets, the photographs taken thereof, and the analysis of their rays, appear t«> indicate that they do not contain, even at their center, masses of mat ter sufficiently dense to endanger the existence of our planet. They appear to be in reality composed of gaseous atmosphere, wherein spectrum analysis has more than once detected the presence of carbon. In this case the encounter with a comet would hardly be mure favorable t<> us. This poisonous gas might absorb the oxygen of our atmosphere, meaning a speedy death by asphyxiation and blood poisoning; for the carbonates of hydrogen, carbonic acid, and carbonic oxide seem to pre d< 'initiate in a certain number <>f ci imets. Hut these st:irs must differ from one another to as great a degree as the suns and the eartiis. There may be, for ex ample, comets whereof azotic protoxide is the principal component. Should such a body graze the earth, man kind would soon be ren- WOMEN AS WARRIORS TRADITIONS of women soldiers are many; historical records are few. Led by various impulses t<> share the fate oi loved ones, to experience romantic adventure, or to give expression to patriotism women have encountered all of war's hardships and dangers Hut death either on the field or in the military hospital, or the false names under which they served, generally have kept the identities of these adventurous spirits from the historian. The career of Helena Smolko, called the "Amazon of the Cossacks." who was recently under treatment in a hospital at Mukden, is the latest to claim the world's attention She went under the name of Michael Nicholaievitch. The daughter of a Vlad ivostok merchant, Helena learned tin- Manchurian language from her nurse, and in her father's shop picked up ("him se. She lived much outdoors, and rode horses and practised rifle-shooting. At eighteen as interpreter she was attached to the frontier troops. As nurse she accompanied the Russian contingent in the allied expedition to Peking. When the Russo-Japanese War broke out. she went to the front as an interpreter, and proved her courage. She has just been made a ward of the Czar. " Frank Thompson's " Experience A WOMAN who kept her sex disguised through ■**■ years of campaigning with the Union army, and whose real name was not learned by her comrades till a score of years later, was known as Frank Thompson, in the Second Michigan Infantry. She Carried messages through shot and shell at Fredcr icksburgasan orderly for General I'oe. One day the gallant orderly was missing. Then day after day went by. and nothing was seen or heard of her. There was only one conclusion: desertion. The woman explained lateral Flint, Michigan, that while the regiment was in Kentucky she had con tracted an illness that she knew would result in her be ing taken to a hospital. She applied for leave of absence, and it was refused ; so she left without per mission, going to OberUn, Ohio. She wrote a book called " Nurse and Spy," and used the proceeds for the benefit of sick and wounded soldiers. She was married later to a Mr. Seel ye. Years after the con flict ended she obtained a pension and was admitted to the Grand Army of the Republic She died in 1 898. A picturesque figure of the Civil War was Loreta Velasquez, a Cuban maid, who left her native land and joined the Southern forces. She began her career by marrying a Northern officer, whom she persuaded to go over to the Confederate side. " Lieu- SUNDAY MAGAZINE FOR APRIL 8. 190* dered insensible, and would gradually sink to sleep, never more to wake. Just the <ame would happen in the case of a comet whose atmosphere was prin cipally constituted of ether or chloroform. Or going a step beyond, suppose our earth was enveloped by a comet that absorbed the nitrogen of our atmosphere. Every breathing creature w< >uld experience an agreeable feeling of comfort, which would gradually develop into such a state of exalta tion and physical and mental activity that they would doubtless dance themselves to death in frantic revels of joy — a sort of millenium dream come true. If we admit that a comet does not contain in itself any element poisonous to the inhabitants of the earth, and that its core does not contain solid masses of - sufficient volume to destroy our planet, such an impact would nevertheless have terrible consequences, by reason of the transformation of moving force to heat. Let us supi>ose that a comet composed of a train of uranolites was to come directly in front of us. The momentum of the impact would result from the combined speeds of the comet and of the earth, that is to say, at the rate of about seventy-two thou sand meters a second. The resulting vibration would be so violent that the temperature of our globe would immediately increase by several thou sands of degrees. An enormous fire would burst forth in the atmosphere, and would rapidly set the ground alight. Fore<t<, gardens, plants, buildings, towns, and villages all would burst into flame, like a bunch of dried herbs. The snow and ice of the poles, being instantaneously melted, would become reduced to vapor before even having regained the ocean. All fish would be cooked in the seas, lakes, and rivers, whose waters would at once begin to boil. Man and beast would fall asphyxiated before the flames could reach them, and would soon after be cremated. An inconceivably violent evap oration would launch into the atmosphere an enor mous quantity of water, which would fall in the form of a rain of boiling drops on the terrestrial furnace. By Edward G. Holden tenant Harry Buford," as she was known. I with energy and valor in the first battle of Bull Run. Afterward she became a spy, and by the wearing of male or female costume whenever it suited her purpose, gave valuable an! to the Con federacy. She finally went to California as a miner. "Emily," a Brooklyn girl whose real name never became public, disguised herself as a boy and the drum corps of a Michigan regiment, li Tennessee campaign under General Rosecran passed through several battles unhurt; but at Chiekamau.ua was struck by a Minie ball and died. Much military ability was shown by Pauline Cushman, an actress who became a spy. At one time she was raptured by the Confederates and sen tenced to be hanged, but was saved by the arrival of a Union force and the defeat of her captors. For her faithful service Genera] Garfield conferred upon her the rank of major. Probably no woman in the Civil War acted in so many different capacities as Bridget Divers, com monly called " Irish Biddy." As vwandiere, nurse, hospital steward, surgeon, and private soldier, she did excellent service. She was a good horsewoman, and in combat three horses were killed under her. After the war she crossed the plains and the Rocky Mountains in campaigns against the Indians. A 'Woman General A WOMAN who saw considerable hard service was •**■ Mrs Turchin, wife of General Turchin. In 1862, when he was ill. she directed the movements of his troops, while also serving as his nurse. In more than one battle she was under lire near her hus band's side, encouraging the troops, and look ing after the wounded. When her husband was court martialed, after the war. her skill and tact brought about his acquittal and his ultimate promotion to the rank of brigadier-general. Other women, like Sirs Kady Brownell, a skilful sharp-shooter and the color-bearer - ipany, and Ellen Goodridge, who, by her lover's side, ac companied a regiment through the war. serving as head of the officers' mess, have served their country in a more or loss warrior-like way. Among the women of Revolutionary times who adopted the soldier's life, the name of D- Sampson is most prominent She enlisted as a man in the Fourth Massachusetts Regiment Sh< in several skirmishes on '.he Hudson River as far south Electric phenomena whereof our rr.os*: • -rir !e stories can give us no conception would a numerous manifestations to the disorder r-- ■ tare. Blue flames, lightning, ai. 1 the yellow-gr--< •-<■>.^iet red flames of the differing gases would be b rung together and bursting from the terrestrial ft It would indeed be a marvelous firework < Finally, the water of the center of the g!>v < ing been transformed into steam by a toleral j ro longed ebullition, and finding no vent, v.-r r-: open the earth like a bomb, with a deafemi r. The ruins of the carbonized world, the Al] the Pyrenees, the Cordilleras, the remains of cities, all would be projected into space fo ■ digious height. All that had escape*! the r.r: be annihilated by this formidable explosion The final catastrophe might also happen the action of the comets, by a considerable i. rease of solar heat which could consume car planet and its inhabitants from a distance by reducing van ity to cinders by a sort of spontaneous combi A hypothesis worthy of note based on series ot spectroscopic observation has beer gested by Sir Norman Lockyer. li is affirm* •: : all celestial bodies are derived from meteorites. The nebulous ones should be considered as; of meteorites that nave collided, and thus t- ; _c their luminosity. These nebulous bodies condense afterward toward a center, however large may have been their ri mary dimensions, however irregular may hay< I t-n the primitive distribution of the cosmic va; ors that constitute them. New globes thus formed in the zones of condensation of this primordial nebulous may be thus conceived as constituting new w orlds. new solar systems, alike to our own in methc formation and development. And creation would thus be continued in as newly diversified and wholly unterrestrial manner; not that of M:irs. or SaturnJ OT the sun, but another, superior to that of the earth. superhuman, inexhaustible. These worlds would pass away in their turn. Others would succeed. ( >ther systems whose vast world would be peopled by 1 -ji-^s organized for a temperature that to us would meun the point of combustion, and whose senses vibrate to other radiations,' other chemical and physical conditions, would show them a future umverie under aspects absolutely in conceivable to our terrestrial as Harlem, and in one . ped detection Not ÜBI "i wintering at West tions against Indians. .. with young w 1 ■ Finally she w. Gannett of Sharon. Mass lite, her health was broken A consp* diers was Mary A::- The sixteenth child ••! Lord . into the cust Terrorized and degraded dressed 3S ".listed as .. ■ infantry. She drummed fail paign in Flanders. Shi dressed the wounds h< She died a irty. An Engl and inspector-gen 1 whose name ..r reason f tme known S sity dressed as Trailing Her Husband TN 1 745. in t: * enrolled a.- a sold who had joined the Britisl a time she deserted service as .1 marine, and She foughi recklessly, .md in .:• tamed twerv« unatd At last, learning that her cuted, she ret arm.': disguises, and after a career n to hve upon a pension. An equally advent stian I>a\i<. an Iri was v arri' Flanders fon < military d posed of net children, ai husband's with woman. ing her sol with I . return hundred and ci.