OCR Interpretation

The herald. [microfilm reel] (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1893-1900, February 13, 1898, Image 22

Image and text provided by University of California, Riverside; Riverside, CA

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042461/1898-02-13/ed-1/seq-22/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

(Copyright, IS9B, by Garrett P. Serviss.]
After an invasion of the earth by the
Martians, In which their march of de
struction is stopped, not by human effort,
but by the breaking out of pestilences
among them, the few survivors return to
Mars in one of their travelling cars.
Despair falls upon the world again when
astronomers announce that there are In
dications on Mars of preparations for a
new attack. This despair is short lived,
however, for It soon becomes known that
Thomas A. Edison has Invented a prac
tical air ship propelled by electricity, and
a wonderful engine ol destruction, which
he calls the ••Disintegrator '' that will
cause the constituent particles of any ob
ject, at which It may be directed, to so
vibrate that the object will be instantly
resolved into its molecules and complete
ly dispersed. With these two inventions
it Is believed that a second attack of the
Martians can he successfully resisted.
But there is a universal demand that the
inhabitants of this world shall assume the
offensive and proceed against the Mar
tians. The rulers of all the nations as
semble at Washington, to discuss the
campaign, and raise a fund to prosecute
the war with Mars.
The day appointed for the assembling
of the nations in Washington opened
bright and beautiful. Arrangements
had lieen made for the reception of the
distinguished guests at the Capitol. No
time was to be wasted, and, having as
sembled in the Senate Chamber, the
business that had called them together
was to be immediately begun. The
scene on Pennsylvania avenue when
the procession of dignitaries and royal
ties passed up toward the Capitol, was
one never to be forgotten. Bands
were playing, magnlfloent equipages
flashed in the morning sunlight, the
flags of every nation on the earth flut
tered in the breeze. Queen Victoria,
with the Prince of Wales escorting her,
and riding in an open carriage, was
greeted with roars of cheers; the Em
peror William, following in another
carriage with Empress Victoria at his
side, condescended to bow and smile
in response to the greetings of a free
people. Each of the other monarchs
was received in a similar manner.
The crowd apparently hardly knew
at first how to receive the Sultan of
Turkey, but the universal pood feeling
■was in his favor, and finally rounds of
hand clapping and cheers greeted his
progress ailong the splendid avenue.
A happy idea had apparently oc
curred to the Emperor of China and
the Mikado of Japan, for, attended by
their intermingled suites, they rode to
gether in a single carriage. This ob
ject-lesson in the unity of internation
al feeling Immensely pleased the
The scene in the Senate Chamber |
stirred everyone profoundly. That it
•was brilliant and magnificent goes
without saying, hut there was a se
riousness, an intense feeling of ex
pectancy, pervading both those who
looked on and those who were to do
the work for which these magnates of
the earth had assembled, which pro
duced an ineradicable impression. The
President of the I'nited States, of
course, presided.
No time was wasted in preliminar
ies. The PreslxPfßat made a brief
"We have come "Jigether." be said,
"to consider a question that equally
Interests the whole earth. I need not
remind you that unexpectedly and
without provocation on our part the
people—the monsters, I should rather
say—of Mars recently came down
upon the earth, attacked us in our
homes and spread desolation around
■them. Having the advantage of ages
of evolution, which for us are yet in
the future, they brought with them
engines of death and of destruction,
against which wo found it impossible
to contend. It is within the memory
of every one in reach of my voice that
1t was through the entirely unexpected
succor which Providence sent us that
we were suddenly and effectually freed
from the invaders. By our own efforts
we could have done nothing.
"But, as you all know, the first feel
ing of relief which followed the death
of our foes was quickly succeeded by
the fearful news which came to us
from the observatories that the Mar
tians were undoubtedly preparing for a
second invasion of our planet. Against
this we should have had no recourse
and no hope but for the genius of one
of my countrymen, who, as you are all
aware, has perfected means which may
enable us not only to withstand the at
tack of those awful enemies, but to
meet them, and, let us hope, to con
quer them on their own ground,
"Mr. Kdison la here to explain to
you what those means are. But we
have also another object, Whether we
eend a fleet of interplanetary ships to
imwl« Mars or whether we simply
confine our attention to works of de
fence, in either case it will be neces
sary to raise a very large sum of
money. None of us has yet recovered
from the effects of the recent invasion.
The earth is poor to-day compared
■with its condition a few years ago; yet
•we cannot allow our poverty to stand
In the way.. The money, the means,
must be had. It will be part of our
business here to raise a gigantic war
fund by the aid of which we can con
struct the equipments and machinery
that we shall require. This, I think, is
all I need to say. Bet us proceed to
"Where is Mr. Edison?" cried a
"Will Mr. Edison r>l"-istep for
ward?" said the President.
There was a stir in the assembly,
and the iron-gray head ot the great in
ventor -was seen moving through the
crowd. In (his (hand he carried one of
bis marvellous disintegrators. He was
requested to explain and illustrate its
"I think," said one of the deputies,
"that a simple exhibition of the pow
ers of the instrument, without a tech-
nical explanation of its method of
working, will suffice for our purpose."
This suggestion was immediately ap
proved. In response to it, Mr. Edison
by a few simple experiments, showed
how he could quickly and certainly
shatter into its constituent atoms any
object upon which the vibratory force
of the disintegrator should be direct
ed. In this manner he caused an ink
stand to disappear under the very nose
of the Emperor William without a
spot of ink being scattered upon his
sacred person, but evidently the odor
of the disunited atoms was not agree
able to the nostrils of the Kaiser.
Mr. Edison also explained in general
terms the principle on which the in
strument worked. He was greeted
with round after round of applause,
and the spirit of the assembly rose
Next, the workings of the electrical
ship were explained and it was an
nounced that after the meeting had
adjourned an exhibition of the flying
powers of the ship would be given in
the open air.
These experiments, together with the
accompanying explanations, added to
what had already been disseminate!
through the public press, were quite
sufficient to convince all the represen
tatives who had assembled in Wash
ington that the problem of how to con
quer the Martians had been solved.
The means were plainly at hand. It
only remained to apply them. For this
purpose, as the President had pointed
out. it would be necessary to raise a
very large sum of money.
"How much will be needed?" asked
one of the English representatives.
"At least ten thousand millions of
dollars." replied the President.
"It would be safer." said a senator
from the Pacific coast, "to, make it
twenty-five thousand millions."
'i suggest," said the King of Italy,
"that the nations be called in alphabet
ical order and that the representatives
of each name a sum which it is ready
and able to contribute."
"I shall not follow the alphabet
strictly," said the President, "but
shall begin with the larger nations
first. Perhaps, under the circumstances,
[it is proper that the United States
should lead the way. Mr. Secretary,"
he continued, turning to the Secretary
of the Treasury, "how much can we
"At least a thousand millions," re
plied the Secretary of the Treasury.
A roar of applause that shook the
room burst from the assembly. Even
some of the monarohs threw up their
The President then proceeded to call
the other nations, beginning with
Austria-Hungary and ending with
Zanzibar, whose Pultan. Hamoud bin
Mahomed, had come to the congress in
the escort of Queen Victoria. Each
contributed lil>erally.
Germany, coming in alphabetical or
der just before Great Britain, bad
named, through the Chancellor, the
sum of $r,00.000,000, lvut when the First
Lord of the British Treasury, not wish
ing to lje behind the I'nited State.',
named double that sum as the contri
bution of the British Empire, the Em
peror William looked displeased. He
spoke a word in the ear of the Chan
cellor, who immediately raised his
"We w ill give a thousand million dol
lars," said the Chancellor.
Queen Victoria seemed surprised,
though not displeased. The First Lord
of the Treasury met her eye, and then,
rising in his place, said:
"Make it fifteen hundred million for
Great Britain."
Emperor William consulted again
with his Chancellor, but evidently con
cluded not to raise his bid.
But at any rate, the fund had bene
fitted to the amount of a thousand mil
lions by this little outburst of imperial
The greatest surprise of all, however,
came when the King of Siam was called
| upon for his contribution. He had not
been given a foremost place in the con
gress, but when the name of his coun
| try was pronounced he rose from his
chair, dressed in a gorgeous specimen |
'•of the peculiar attire of his country,;
then slowly pushed his way to the
front, stepped up to the President's!
desk and deposited on it a small box |
"This is our contribution," he said, in j
broken English.
The cover was lifted and there dart
ed shimmering in the half gloom of the
Chamber, a hurst of iridescence from
the box.
"My friends of the Western world,"
eontinueil the King of Siam. "Wlll be
interested in seeing this gem. Only
once before has the eye of a European
been blessed with a sight of it. Your
books will tell you that in the seven
teenth century a traveller, Tavernier.
saw in India an unmatched diamond
] which afterward disappeared like a
| meteor, and was thought to have been
', lost from the earth. You all know the
i name of thait diamond and its history.
It is the fireat Mogul, and it lies before
' you. How It came into my possession
I shall not explain. At any rate, it is
honestly mine, and I freely contribute
it here to aid in protecting my native
planet against those enemies who ap
pear determined to destroy it."
When the excitement which the ap
pearance of this long-lost treasure,
that had been the subject of so many
romances and of such long and fruit
less search, had subsided, the President
continued calling the list, until he had
completed it.
Upon taking the Bum of the cou
trlbutions (the Great Mogul was reck
oned at three millions) it was found to
be still one thousand million short of
the required amount.
The Secretary of the Treasury was
instantly on his feet.
j "Mr. President." he said, "I think we
ran stand that addition. Let it be
j added to tho contribution of the United
j Sfri tea of America,."
When the cheers that greeted the
' conclusion of this business were over,
I the President announced that the next
' affair of the congress was to select a
director who should have entire charge
of the preparations for the war. It
was the universal sentiment that HO
7nain could be so well suited for this
post as Mr. Kdison himself. He was
accordingly selected by the unanimous
and enthusiastic choice of the great
"How long a time do you require to
put everything in readiness?" asked
the President.
"Give me carte blanche," replied Mr.
Kdison, "and I believe I can have a
hundred electric ships and three thou
sand disintegrators ready within six
A tremendous cheer greeted this an
"Your powers are unlimited." said the
President: "draw on the fund for as
much money as you need." Whereupon
the Treasurer of the I'nited States was
made the disbursing officer Of the funJ.
and the meeting adjourned.
The promised exhibition of the elec
trical ship took place the next day.
Knormous multitudes witnessed the ex
periment, and there was a struggle for
places in the car. Even Queen Victoria,
accompanied by the Prince of Wales,
ventured to take a ride in it. and they
enjoyed it SO much that Mr. Kdison
prolonged the Journey as far as Boston
and the Bunker Hill monument.
After the exhibition was finished, and
amid the fresh outburst of enthusiasm
that followed, it was suggested that a
proper way to wind up the congress
and give suitable expression to the
festive mood which now possessed
mankind would bo to have a grand
ball. This suggestion met with
immediate and universal approval.
But for so gigantic an affair it wa*,
of course, necessary to make speciil
preparations. A convenient place was
selected on the Virginia side of the
I Potomac; a space of ten acres was':
' carefully leveled and covered with a 1
I polished floor, rows of columns one 1
, hundred feet apart were run across it
in every direction, and these were dec- <
oraited with electric lights, displaying i
every color of the spectrum. i
Above this immense space, rising In j
the centre to a height of more than a i
thousand feet, was anchored a vast j
number of balloons, all aglow withj'
■ lights, and forming a tremendous
i dome, in which brilliant lamps wer?
arranged in such a manner as to ex
hibit, in an endless succession of com- .
lunations, all the national colors, en
-1 signs and insignia of the various eoun- |
: tries represented at the congress. Biaz- I
I ing eagles, lions, unicorns, dragons and ,
' other imaginary creatures that the
different nations had chosen for their
symbols appeared to hover high above
the dancers, shedding a brilliant light
upon the scene.
Circles of magnificent thrones were
! placed upon the floor in convenient 10-
I cations for seeing. A .thousand bands
of music played, and tens of thousands
of couples, gayly dressed and flashing,
j with gems, whirled together upon the
polished floor.
The Queen of England led the dance, |
on the arm of the President of the >
; United States.
I The Prince of Wales led forth the
| fair daughter of the President, univer-
I sally admired as the most beautiful
woman upon the great ball room floor.
The Emperor William, in his military
dress, danced with the beauteous Prin
cess Masaco, the daughter of the
'Mikado, who wore for the occasion the
: ancient costume of the women of her
country, sparkling with jewels, and
glowing with quaint combinations of
color like a gorgeous butterfly.
The Chinese Emperor, with his pig
tail Hying high as he spun, danced with
the Empress of Russia.
The King of Siam essayed a waltz
with Queen Ranavalona of Madagas
car, while the Sultan of Turkey basked
in the smiles of a Chicago heiress to a I
hundred millions.
The Czar chose for his partner a I
dark-eyed beauty from Peru, but King
Malietoa of Samoa was suspicious of
civilised charmers, and avoiding all
i their allurements, expressed his Joy j
I and gave vent to his enthusiasm in a'
! pas seul. In this he was quickly Joined
' by a hand of Sioux Indian chiefs, whose
j whoops* and yells so startled the leader
of a German band on their part of the
lloor that he dropped his baton and,
followed by the musicians, took to his
The scene from the outside was even
more Imposing than that which greeted
the eye within the brilliantly lighted
enclosure. Far away In the night, rls-
Ing high among the stars, the vast
I dome of illuminated balloons seemed
juke some supernatural creation, too
jrrand and glorious to have been con-
I structed by the inhabitants of the
j earth.
All around it, and from some of the
| balloons themselves, rose jets and
■ fountains ot fire, ceaselessly playing,
and blotting out the constellations of
the heavens by their splendor.
The dance was followed by a grand
banquet, at which the Prince of Wales
proposed a toast to Mr. Kdison.
"It gives me much pleasure." he said,
"to offer, in the name of the nations of
the Old World this tribute of our ad
miration for, and our confidence in, the
genius of the New World. Perhaps on
such an occasion as this, where all
racial differences nnd prejudices ought
to be, and are, buried and forgotten, I
should not recall anything that might
revive them: yet I cannot refrain from
expressing my happiness in knowing
that the champion who is to achieve
the salvation-of the earth has come
forth from the bosom of the Anglo-
Saxon race."
Several of the great potentates looked
grave upon hearing the Prince of
Wales's words, and the Czar and the
Kaiser exchanged glances; but there
was no interruption to the cheers that
followed. Mr. Kdison. whose modesty
and dislike to display and to speech
making were well-known, simply said:
"I think we have got the machine
that can whip them. But we ought not
to be wasting any time. Probably they
are not dancing on Mars, but are get
ting ready to make us dance."
These words instantly turned the cur
rent of feeling in the vast assembly.
There was no longer any disposition to
expend time in vain boastings and re
joicings. Everywhere the cry now be
came: "Let us make haste! Let us get
ready at once! Who knows but the
Martians have already embarked, and
are now on their way to destroy us?"
Under the impulse of this new feeling,
which, it must be admitted, was very
largely inspired by terror, the vast
ball-room was quickly deserted. The
lights were suddenly put out in the
grout dome of balloons, for some one
had whispered:
"Suppose they should see that from
We Were Off.
Mars? Would they not guess what we
were about, and redouble their prepa- i
rations, to finish us?" t
T'pon the suggestion of the President
of the I'nited States, an executive com
mittee, representing all the principal
nations, was appointed, and without de
lay a meeting of this committee was
assembled at the White House. Mr.
Edison was summoned before it, and
was asked to sketch briefly a plan upon
which he proposed to work.
I ne.-d n"t enter into the details of
what was done at this meeting. Let it
suffice to say that when it broke up, in
the small hours of the morning, it had
leen unanimously resolved that as
many thousands of men as Mr. Edison
might require should be immediately
placed at his disposal; that as far a»
possible all the great manufacturing
establishments of the country should be
; instantly transformed Into factories
; where electrical ships and disintegra
tors could be built, and upon the sug
gestion of Professor Sylvanus P.
Thompson, the celebrated English elec
trical expert, seconded by Lord Kelvin,
,it was resolved that all the leading
I men of science in the world should
place their services at the disposal of
I Mr. Edison in any capacity in which.
'in his judgment, they might be useful
to him.
The members of this committee were
! disposed to congratulate one another
!on the good work which they had S"
| promptly accomplished, when at the
moment of their adjournment a tele
i graphic dispatch was handed to the
' President from Professor George E.
! Hale, the director of the great Yerkes
Observatory, in Wisconsin. The tele
gram read:
"Professor Barnard, watching Mars
to-night with the forty-inch telescope,
| saw a sudden outburst of reddish light,
which we think indicates that some
thing has been shot from the planet.
(Spectroscopic observations of this mov
i ing light indicated that it was coming
earth ward, while visible, at the rate of
(not less than one hundred miles a sec
■ ond."
Hardly had the excitement caused by
! the reading of this dispatch subsided,
when others of a similar import came
from the Lick Observatory in Pnlifor
[ nla; from the branch of the Harvard
'Observatory, at Arcquipa in Peru, and
from (he Royal Observatory nt Pots
; dam.
When Ihe telegram from this last
named place was read, the Emperor
[ William turned to his Chancellor and
I "1 want to so home. If I aim to die.
I prefer to leave my bones among those
of my Imperial ancestors, and not In
thin vulgar country, where no king has
ever ruled. I don't like this atmos
phere. It makes me feel limp."
And now, whipped on by the lash of
alternate hope and fear, the earth
sprang to its work of preparation.
It Is not necessary for me to de
scribe the manner ln which Mr. Edison
performed his tremendous task. He
was as good as his word, and within
six months from the first stroke of the
hammer, a hundred electrical Ships,
each provided with a full battery of
disintegrators, were floating in the air
above the harbor and the partially re
built ciity of New York.
It was a wonderful scene. The pol
ished sides of the huge floating cars
sparkled in the sunlight, and, as they
slowly rose and fell, and sw-ung this
way and that upon the tides of the air,
as If held by invisible cables, the bril
liant pennons streaming from their
peaks waved up and down like the
wings of an assemblage of gigantic
humming birds.
Not knowing whether the atmosphere
of Mars would prove suitable to be
breathed by inhabitants of the earth.
Mr. Edison had made provision, by
means of an abundance of glass-pro
tected openings, to permit the inmates
of the electrical ships to survey their
surroundings without quitting the in
terior. It was possible by properly se
lecting the rate of undulation, to pn- sa
the vibratory impulse from the disinte
grators through the glass windows of
a car. without damage to the glass it
self. The windows were so arranged
that the disintegrators could sweep
around the car on all sides, and could
also be directed above or below, as ne
cessity might dictate.
To overcome the destructive forces
employed by the Martians no satisfac
tory plan had yet been devised, because
there was no means to experiment with
them. The production of those forces
was still the Secret of our enemies, llut
Mr. Edison had no doubt that if we
could not resist their effects we might
ait least be able to avoid them by the
rapidity of our motions. As he pointed
out, the war machines which the Mar
tians had employed In their invasion
of the earth, were really very awkward
and unmanageable affairs. Mr. Edison's j
electrical ships, on the Other hand,
! wore marvels of speed and of man
-1 ageabiiity. They could dart* about,
I turn, reverse their course, rise, fall,
' with the quickness and ease of a fish
iin the water. Mr. Edison calculated
I that even if mysterious bolts should fall
! upon our ships, we could diminish their
■ power to oause injury by our rapid evo
We might be deceived in our expeo
. tatlons, and might have overestimated
! our powers, but at any rate we must
bake our chances and try.
I A multitude, exceeding even that
l which had assembled during the great
congress at Washington, now thronged
' New York and its neighborhood to wlt
! ness the mustering and the departure
iof the ships bound for Mars. Nothing
I further had been heard of the mysteri-
I ous phenomenon reported from the ob
servatories six months before, and
which at that time was believed to in-
I dictate the departure of another ex
jpedition from Mars for the invasion of
the earth. If 'he Martians had set out
to attack us they had evidently gone
astray, or, perhaps, it was some other
world that they were aiming at this
The expedition had, of course, pro
foundly stirred the interest of the scien
tific world, and representatives of
every branch of science, from all the
civilized nations, urged their claims to
places in the ships. Mr. Edison was
compelled, from lack of room, to re
fuse transportation to more than one
in a thousand of those who now, on the
I plea that they might be able to bring
back something of advantage to
science, wished to embark for Mars.
On the model of the celebrated corps
of literary and scientific men which Na
■ poleon carried with him in his invasion
'of Egypt, Mr. Edison selected a eom
i pany of the foremost astronomers,
'archaeologists, anthropologists, botan
| ists, bacteriologists, chemists, physio
j ists, mathematicians, mechanicians,
i meteorologists and experts in mining,
j metallurgy and every other branch of
I practical science, as well as artists and
j photographers, It was but reasonable
to believe that in another world, and
j a world so much older than the earth
as Mars was. these men would be able
|to gather materials in comparison with
which the discoveries made among the
ruins of ancient empires In Egypt and
' Babylonia would be insignificant in
'■ deed.
It was a wonderful undertaking and
a strange spectacle. There was a feel
ing of uncertainty which awed the vast
multitude whose eyes were upturned
to the ships. The expedition was not
large, considering- the glgantio charac
ter of the undertaking. Each of the
electrical ships carried shout twenty
men together with an aibundantt supply
of compressed provisions, compressed
air scientific apparatus and so on. In
all there were about 2.000 men. who
we're going to conquer, if they could,
another world!
But though few in numbers, they rep
resented the flower of the earth, the
culmination of the genius of the planet
The greatest leaders In science, both
theoretical and practical, were there.
It was the evolution of the earth
against the evolution of Mars. It was
a planet in the heydey of Its strength
matched against an aged and decrepit
world which, nevertheless. In conse
quence of its long ages of existence had
acquired an experience which made it
a most dangerous foe. On both sides
(here was desperation. The earth was
desperate because it foresaw destruc
tion unless it could first destroy Its
enemy. 'Mars was desperate because
nature was gradually depriving It of
the means of supporting life, and Its
teeming population was compelled to
swarm like the Inmates of an over
crowded hive of bees, and find new
hemes elsewhere. In this respect the
situation on Mars, as we were well
aware, resembled what had already
been known up>n the earth, where the
older nations overflowing with popu
lation had sought new lands In which
to settle, and for that purpose had
driven out the native inhabitants,
whenever those natives had proved un
able to resist Ihe Invasion.
No man could foresee the issue of
what we were about to undertake, but
the tremendous powers which the disin
tegrators had exhibited and the marvel
lous efficiency of the electrical ships
bred almost universal confidence that
we should be successful.
The car In which Mr. Edison travelled
was. of course, the flagship of the
squadron, and I had the good fortune
to be Included among lis inmates. Here,
beside* the several leading men of
science from our own country, were
Lord Kelvin. I>ird Raylelgh. Professor
Roentgen, Dr. Moissan—the man who
first made artificial diamonds—and sev
eral other* whose fame had encircled
the world. Bach of these men cherished
hopes) of wonderful discoveries, along
his line of Investigation, to be made
in Mars.
An elaborate system of signals had,
of course, to be devised for the control
of the squadron. These signals con
sisted of brilliant electric lights dis
played at night, nnd so controlled that
by their means long sentences and di
rections could be easily and quickly
The day signals consisted partly of
brightly colored pennons and flags,
which were to serve only when,
shadowed by clouds or other obstruc
tions, the full sunlight should not fall
upon the ships. This could naturally
only occur near the surface of thf> earth
or of another planet.
Once out of the shadow of the earth
we should have no more clouds and no
more night until we arrived at Mars.
In open space the sun would be contin
ually shining. It would be perpetual
day for us, except as, by artificial
means, we furnished ourselves with
darkness for the purpose of promoting
sleep. In this region of perpetual day.
then, the signals were also to be trans
mitted by flashes of light from mirrors
reflecting the rays of the sun.
Yet this perpetual day would be also,
In one sense, a perpetual night. There
would be no more blue sky for us, be
cause without our atmosphere the sun
light could not be diffused. Objects
would be illuminated only on the aide
toward the sun. Anything that screened
off the direct rays of sunlight would
produce absolute darkness behind it.
There would l>o no graduation of
shadow. The sky would be as blaok as
Ink on all sides.
While it was the Intention to remain
as much as possible within the cars,
yet since it was probable that neces
sity would arise for occasionally quit
ting the Interior of the electrical ships,
Mr. Edison hod provided for this emer
gency by Inventing an air-tight dress
constructed somewhat after the man
ner of a diver's suit, but of much
lighter material. Each ship was pro
vided with several of these suits, by
wearing which one could venture out
side the car even when it was beyond
the atmosphere of the earth.
Provisions had been made to meet
the terrible cold which we knew would
be encountered the moment we had
passed beyond the atmosphere—that
awful alwolute zero which men had
measured by anticipation, but never
yet experienced—by a simple system of
producing within the air-tight suits a
temperature sufficiently elevated to
counteract the effects of the frigidity
without. By means of long, flexible
tubes, air could be continually supplied
to the wearers of the suits, and by an
ingenious contrivance a store of com
pressed air sufficient to last for several
hours was provided for each suit, so
that in case of necessity the wearer
could throw off the tubes connecting
him with the air tanks in the car. An
other object which had been kept in
view in the preparation of these suits
was the possible exploration of an air
less planet, such as the moon.
Tho necessity of some contrivance by
means of which we should be enabled
to converse with one another when on
the outside of the cars in open space,
or when in an airless world, like the
moon, where there would be no medium
by which the waves of sound could be
conveyed as they are in the atmosphere
of the earth, had been foreseen by our
great Inventor, and he had not found It
difficult to contrive suitable devices
for meeting the emergency.
Inside the headpiece of each of the
electrical suits was the mouthpiece of
a telephone. This was connected with
a wire which, when not in use, could
be conveniently coiled upon the arm of
the wearer. Near the ears, similarly
connected with wires, were telephonic
When two persons wearing the air
tight dresses wished to converse with
one another it was only necessary for
them to connect themselves by the
wires, and conversation could then be
easily carried on.
Careful calculations of the precise
distance of Mars from the earth at the
time when the expedition was to start,
had been made by a large number of
experts in mathematical astronomy.
But It was not Mr. Edison's intention
\to go direct to Mars. With the exoep-
I «,ion of the first electrical ship, which
Ihe had completed, none had yet been
I tried In a long voyage. It was desir-
I able that the qualities of each of the
ships should be carefully tested, and
for this reason the leader of the ex
pedition determined that the moon
should be the first port of space at
which the squadron would call.
It chanced that the moon was so sit
uated at ithls timtt as to be nearly in
a line between the earth and Mara,
which latter was in opposition to the
sun, and consequently as favorably sit
uated as possible for the purposes ot
the voyage. What would be. then, for
nlneity-nlne of the hundred ships of the
squadron, a trial trip would at th»
same time be a step of a quarter of a
million of miles gained in the direction
of our Journey, and so no time would
be wasted.
The departure from the earth w as ar
ranged to occur precisely at midnight.
The moon near the full was hanging
high over head, and a marvellous spec
tacle was presented to the eyes of those
below as the great squadron of floating
ships, with their signal lights ablaze,
cast loose and began slowly to move
away on their adventurous and un
precedented expedition Into the great
unknown. A tremendous cheer, billow
ing up from the throats of millions of
excited men and women, seemed to rend
the curtain of the night, and made the
air-ships tremble with the atmospheric
vibrations that were set ln motion.
Instantly magnificent fireworks were
displayed in honor of our departure.
Rockets by hundreds of thousands shot
heavenward, and then burst in con
stellations of fiery drops. The sudden
illumination thus produced, overspread
ing hundreds of square miles of the
surface of the earth with a light almost
like that of day, must certainly have
been visible to the inhabitants of Mars,
if they were watching us at the time.
They might, or might not, correctly In
terpret Its significance; but, at any
rate, we did not care. We were off, and
were confident that we could meet our
enemy on his own ground before he
could attack us again.
And now, as we slowly rose higher, a
marvellous scene was disclosed. At
first the earth beneath us, buried as it
was in night, resembled the hollow of
a vast cup of ebony blackness, ln the
center of which, like the molten lava
run together at the bottom of a vol
canic crater, shone the light of the Il
luminations around New York. But
when we got beyond the atmosphere,
and the earth still continued to
recede below us, its aspect changed.
The cup-shaped appearance was
gone, and it began to round out
l>eneath our eyes in the form
of a vast globe—an enormous ball mys
teriously suspended under us, glimmer
ing over most of its surface with the
faint illumination of the moon, and
showing toward the eastern edge the
oncoming light of the rising sun.
When we were still further away,
having slightly varied our course sc
that the sun was once more entirely
hidden behind the centre of the earth,
we saw Its atmosphere completely il
luminated all around It with prismat
ic lights, like a gigantic rainbow ln the
form of a ring.
Another shift In our course rapidly
carried us out of the shadow of the
earth and Into the nil pervading sun
shine. Then the great planet beneath
us hung unspeakable in its beauty. The
outlines of several of the continents
were clearly discernible on its surface,
streaked arid spotted with the delicate
shades of varying color, and the sun
light flashed and glowed in long lanes
across the convex surface of the oceans.
Parallel with the Equator and along
the regions of the ever blowing trado
winds, were vast belts of clouds, gor
geous with crimson and purple as the
sunlight fell upon them. Immense ex
panses of snow and ice lay Mke a glit
tering garment upon both land and sea
around the North Pole.
As we gazed upon this magnificent
spectacle, our hearts bounded Within
us. This was our earth, —this was the
planet we were going to defend—our
home in the trackless wilderness of
space. And it seemed to us Indeed a
home for which we might gladly ex
pend our lost breath. A new deter
mination to conquer or die sprung up
in our hearts, and I saw Lord Kelvin,
after gazing at the beauteous scene
which the earth presented through his
eyeglass, turn albOUt and peer in the
direction In which we knew that Mars
lay, with a sudden frown that caused
the glass to lose Its grip and fall dang
ling from its string upon his breast
Even Mr. Edison seemed moved.
"I am glad I thought of the disinte
grator," he said. "I shouldn't like to
see that world down there laid waste
"And it won't be," said Professor Syl
vanus P. Thompson, gripping the han
dle of an electric machine; "not if we
can help it."
The Liberty Bell,
The Liberty Bell weighs 2.080 pounds,
stands about four feet high, and hew
the inscription:
proclaim' liberty
throughout the land unto all the in
habitants thereof.—Levit, xxv., 10.
By order of the Assembly of the
Province of Pennv'y for the State
House, in the City of Phila.. 1752.
The crack ln the bell, with which all
have been familiarized by means of
pictures, starts at the base and runs
upward toward the right hand.
The old bell from Ms lofty eyrie in
the belfry of Independence Hall in
Philadelphia has looked down on many
stirring scenes in the struggle for the
independence of the colonies. Before
the yawning Assure in its side silenced
forever its voice its tones were wont to
call together the citizens of the quaint
old Quaker town. Sonorously did it
"Proclaim liberty throughout all the
land unto all the inhabitants thereof"
that memorable day of July when the
Independence of the American colonies
was decided upon. Until its usefulness
was terminated by the crack now ob
servable It was rung on every occasion
ot great public Joy or sorrow.
The present crack was first observed
when the bell tolled July 8, 1835, in
meanory of Chief Justice Marshall, who
had died ln the city two days before,
and whose remains were then belmg
conveyed to the wharf to be sent out
of the city.
Breaking Monte Carlo,
Interesting accounts are published in
I,ondon of Immense winnings at Monte
Carlo in the. last fortnight by an Amer
ican gentleman whose name has not been
ascertained. He played without a sys
tem, going from one table to another,
staking at haphazard large sums and in
variably winning. His movements around
the room caused a flutter among the
croupiers, for many other players fol
lowed his luck, and the tables lost heav
Ho has not been seen at tho tables in
the last four days, so it is presumed that
he has left with winnings estimated al
between 1150,000 and tZoO.OM

xml | txt