OCR Interpretation

The herald. [microfilm reel] (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1893-1900, February 27, 1898, Image 22

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

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042461/1898-02-27/ed-1/seq-22/

What is OCR?

Thumbnail for

[Copyright, lm. by Garrett P. Serviss.]
The Martians have attempted to con
quer the" earth in order to relieve their
overpopulattd planet. The first invasion
having failed, through disease and not
human effort, it is believed that a second
will be made. Thomas A. Edison puts Inn
inventive genius to the task of devising
methods of resistance. When he an
nounces that he has been successful, a
universal cry arises thai this world Shall
assume the offensive and proceed against
the Martians. The nations of the earth
subscribe a vast sum to prosecute the
war. and Mr. Edison is made director.
Work is at once begun upon Mr. Edison s
inventions. These consist of a practical
electrical air ship, and a wonderful en
gine of destruction called the "Disinte
grator," which will cause the constituent
particles of any object at which it may
be directed to so vibrate that the object
will be immediately and completely dis
persed. At the end of six months a fleet
of one hundred air idiips. armed with
three thousand disintegrators and
manned by two thousand men. amonK
whom are many famous scientists, sets
out. Provision has been made for every
emergence that can be thought of: such
as working and communicating in at
mospheres different from our own: sig
nalling, etc. A stop is made at the moon,
wr forty-, ight hours arc spent in re
pairing and exploring. Shortly alter hav
ing the moon the Beet is drawn into the
train of a comet, and it is only saved
from precipitation into the sun by coming
within the earth's attractive force. A
tresh start is made, with the expectation
•f reaching Mars in about forty days.
Nothing occurred for many days to
interrupt our journey. We became ac
customed to our strange surroundings
and many entertainments were provi
ded to while away the time. The as
tronomers in the expedition found
plenty of occupation in studying the
aspects of the stars and the other
heavenly bodies from their new point of
At the expiration of about thirty
five days we had drawn so near to
Mars that, with our telescopes, which,
though small, were of immense power,
we could discern upon its surface
features and details which no one had
been able to glimpse from.the earth.
But something was in store that we
had not expected. We were to meet
the Martians before arriving at the
World they dwelt in.
Among the stars which shone in that
quarter of the heavens where Mara
appeared as the master orb, there was
one, lying directly in our path, which,
to our astonishment, as we continued
on, altered from the aspect of a star,
underwent a gradual magnification,
and soon presented itself in the form
of a little planet.
"It is an asteroid," raid somebody.
"Yes. evidently; but how does it
come insiele the orbit of Mars?"
"Oh, there are several asteroids."
said one of the astronomers, "which
travel Inside the orbit of Mars, along
a part of their course, and, for aught
we can tell, there may be many which
have not yet been caught sight of from
the earth, 'hat are nearer to the sun
than Mars is."
As we drew nearer the mysterious
little planet revealed itself to us as a
perfectly formed globe not more than
five miles in eliameter.
"What is that upon it?" asked Eord
Kelvin, (squinting intently at the little
world through his glass. "As I live it
inoveti! M
"Yes, yes!" exclaimed several others,
"there are inhabitants upon it, but
what Tiants!"
"Don't you see?" exclaimed an ex
cite,! savant. "They are the Mar
The startling truth burst upon the
minds of all. Here upon this little
planetoid were several of the' gigan
tic Inhabitants of the we,rid that we
were going to attack. There was more'
than me man in the flagship who
recognised them well, nnel whe, shud
der, ci at the recogition, Instinctively
recalling the recent terrible experience
of the earth.
Was this an outpost of the warlike
Around these monstrous enemies we
saw several of their engines of war.
Some of these appeared to have been
Wrecked, but at least one, as far us we
could see, was still in a proper condi
tion for use.
How had these creatures got
The electrical ships were Immediately
instructed by signal lei slow down, an
operation that was easily effected
through the electrical repulsion of the
The nearer we got. the more terrify
ing was tin- appearance of the gigantic
creature;: who were riding upon the
little world before us like: castaway
sailors upon a block of ice. Like men,
and yet not Ilk" men, combining the
human and the le ast in their appear
ance. It required a steady nerve to look
at them.
When wo first saw them the ir ap
pearance was most forlorn, and their
attitudes indicated only despair and
desperatie.n. but as they caught sight
of us their malign power of intellect
instantly penetrated the mystery, and
they recognised us for what we
Their despair Immediately gave place
to re-awakened malevolence. On the
instant they were astir, with such
hrart-rhilling movements as those that
characterize a venomous serpent pre
paring to strike-.
Not imagining that they would be ln
a condition to make serious resistance,
we had been somewhat incautious in
appro: c h ing.
Suddenly there was a quicker move
ment than usual among the Mortians,
a swift adjustment of that one of their
engines e.f war which, as already
noticed, seemed to be practically unin
jured, and then there darted from it
Garrett P. Serviss
land alighted upon one of the foremost
| ships a dazzling lightning stroke a mile
!In length, at whose touch the metallic
! sides of the car curled and withered
j and, licked for a moment by what
] seemed lambent flames, collapsed into
a mere cinder.
For an instant not a word was
j spoken, so sudden and unexpected had
! been tho blow.
We knew that every soul in the
stricken car had perished.
' Ilaek.' Hack!" was the signal in
j stantaneously Hashed from the flag
ship, and reversing their polarities the
members of the squadron sprang away
from the little planet as rapidly as
the electrical impulse could drive
But before we were out of reach a
second naming tongue of death shot
from the fearful engine, and another of
our ships, with all its crew, was de
It was an inauspicious beginning for
us. Two of our electrical ships with
their entire crews, had been wiped out
of existence, and this appalling blow
had been dealt by a few of our enemies
floating on an asteroid.
The lirst thing to do was to avenge
the death of our comrades. The
question whether we were able to meet
these Martians and overcome them
might as well be settled right here
and now. They had proved what they
could do. Now it was our turn.
The squadron had been rapidly
withdrawn to a very considerable dis
tance from the asteroid. The range of
the mysterious artillery employed by
the Martians was unknown to us. We
did not even know the limit of the
effective range of our own disintegra
tors. If it should prove that the Mar
tians were able to deal their strokes at
a distance greater than any which we
could reach, then they would of course
have an insuperable advantage.
On the other hand, if it should turn
out that our range was greater than
theirs, the advantage would be on our
side. Or —which was perhaps most
probable—there might be practicallj
no difference in the effective range of
the engines.
Anyhow, we were going to find out
how the case stood and that without
Everything being in readiness, the
disintegrators all in working order,
and the men who were able to handle
them, most of whom were experienced
marksmen, chosen from among the
officers of the regular army of the
I'nited Plates and accustomed to the
straight shooting and the sure hits of
the west, standing at their posts, the
squadron again advanced.
In order to distract the attention of
the Martians, the electrical ships had
been distributed over a wide space.
Pome dropped straight down toward
the asteroid; others approached it by
flank attack, from this side and that.
The flagship moved straight In toward
the point where the first disaster oc
The approach of the ships was made
with great caution. Watching the Mar
tians with our telescopes we could
(dearly see that they were disconcerted
by the scattered order of our attack.
Even if all of their engines of war hud
been in proper condition for use. it
would have been impossible for them
to meet the simultaneous assault of
so many enemies dropping down upon
them from the sky.
Suddenly a repetition of the quick
movements by the Martians, which had
been the forerunner of the former coup,
was observed; again a blinding flash
burst from the war engine, and in
stantaneously a shiver ran through
the frame of the flag-ship: the air
within quivered with strange pulsa
tions and seemed suddenly to have as
sumed the temperature of a blast fur
We all gasped for breath. Our
throats and lungs seemed scorched in
the act of breathing. Some fell un
conscious upon the floor. The marks
men, carrying the disintegrators ready
for use. staggered, and one of them
dropped his instrument.
But we had not been destroyed like
our comrades before us. In a moment
the wave of heat passed: those who
had fallen recovered from their mo
mentary stupor and staggered to their
The electriral steersman stood hes
itating at his post.
"Move on," said Mr. Edison, sternly,
his features set with determination nnd
his eyes afire. "We are still beyond
their effective range. l.et us get
closer in order to make sure work
when we strike."
The ship moved on. One could hear
the heartbeats of its inmates. The
ither members of the squadron, think
ing for the moment that disaster had
ivertaken the flag-ship, had paused
md seemed to be meditating flight.
"Signal them to move on," said Mr.
The signal was given, and the circle
if electrical ships closed in upon the
In the ni'-antime Mr. Edison had been
lonnlng his air-tight suit. Before we
•ould fully comprehend his intention,
rie had passed through the double
trapped door which gave access to
the exterior of the ear without per
nitting the loss of air nnd was stand
ing upon what served for tho deck of
the ship.
In his hand he carried a disintegra
tor. With a quick motion he sight
ed It.
As quickly as possible I sprang to his
side. I was just in time to note the
familiar blue gleam about the instru
ment, which Indicated that its terrific
iDercrles were at work. The whirring
I sound was absftnt. because here, ln
I open space, where there was no
I atmosphere there could be no
I sound.
My eyes were-fixed upon the Mar
tians' engine, which..had Just dealt ns
i a .staggering, but not fatal, blow, and I
particularly 1 noticed a polished knob
I projecting from it, which seemed to
have been the focus from which Its
destructive bolt emanated.
A moment later the knob disap
[ peared. The irresistible vibrations
j darted from the electrical disintegrator
I had fallen upon it and instantaneously
shattered It into atoms.
"That fixes them," said Mr. Edison,
turning to mc with a smile.
And Indeed it did fix them. Wo had
most effectually spiked their gun. It
would deal no more death blows.
The stroke that we had dealt was
taken by several of the electrical ships
as a signal for a common assault, and
we saw two of the Martians fall beside
the ruin of their engine, their heads
having been blown from their
"Signal them to stop* firing." com
manded Mr. Edison. "We have got
them down, and we are not going to
murder them with necessity.
"Besides," he added, "I want to cap
ture some of them nlive."
The signal was given as he had or
dered. The Hag-ship then alone
dropped slowly toward tile place on the
asteroid where the prostrate Martians i
were. i
As we got near them a terrible scene i
unfolded itself to our eyes. There had
evidently been not more than half a
dozen of tho monsters in the beginning.
Two of these were stretched headless '
upon the ground. Three others had <
suffered horrible injuries where the in- t
visible vibratory beams from the dis- <
integrators had grazed them, and they 1
could not long survive. One only re- l
mained apparently uninjured.
It Is Impossible for me to describe '
the appearance of this creature ln c
terms that would be readily understood. 1
Was he like a man? Yes and no. He 1
possessed many human characteristics, c
but they were exaggerated and mon
strous in scale and detail. His head s
was of enormous size, and his huge p o- i
jecting eyes gleamed with a strange 1
A Little Gaseous Globe Darted Into the Upturned Face of the Martian.
fire ol Intelligence. His fuoe was like
ii caricature, but tint one to make the
beholder laugh. Drawing himself up,
he towered to a height of at least fif
teen feet.
P.ut with all his horrid characteris
tics, and all his suggestion of beast and
monster, the Martian produced the Im
pression of being a person and not a
mere animal.
I have already referred to the enor
mous size of hi* head, and to the fact
that his countenance bore considerable
resemblance to that of a man. There
was something In this face that sent a
Shiver through the soul of the be
holder. One could feel in looking upon
it that here was intellect, Intelligence
developed to the highest degree, but
In the direction of evil instead of
The appearance of the Martian was
Indeed so threatening and repellant
that we paused at the height of fifty
feet above the ground, hesitating to
approach nearer. A grin of rage and
hate overspread his face. If he bad
been a man. I should say he shook his
fist at us. What he did was to express
in cv, n more telling pantomime his
hatred and defiance, nnd his determina
tion to grind us to shred*, if he could
once get us within his clutches.
Mr. Edison and I still stood upon the
deck of the ship, where several others
had gathered around us. The atmo
sphere of the little asteroid was so rare
that it practically amounted to noth
ing, and we could not possibly have
survived If we had not continued to
wear our air-tight suits. How the
Martians contrived to live here was a
mystery to us. It was another of
their secrets which we wen- yet to
Mr. rcdison retained his disintegrator
in his hand.
"Kill him." said some one. "Ho is too
horrible to live."
"If we do not kill him we shall never
be able to land upon the asteroid," said
"No," said Mr. Ec'lson. "I shall not !
'kill him. We have got other use f .'
--: him. Tom," he continued, turning to
| one of his assistants, whom he had
! brought from his laboratory, "bring
me the nnaestheticcr."
This was something entirely new to
nearly nil the members of the expedi-
I tlon. Mr. Edison., however, had con
! tided to me before he left the earth
• the fact that he had invented a little
j instrument by means of which a bubble
j strongly charged with a powerful nn
j aesthetic agent, could be driven to a
considerable distance into the face of
!an enemy, where, exploding without
I other damage, it would instantly put
{ him to sleep.
When Tom had placed the Instru
l ment in his hands, Mr. Edison ordered
! the electrical ship to forge slightly
| ahead and drop a little lower toward
I the Martian, who, with watchful eyes
and threatening gestures noted our ap
proach in the attitude of a wild beast
on the spring. Suddenly Mr. Edison
discharged from the instrument in his
hand n little gaseous globe, which glit
tered like a ball of tangled rainbows
In the sunshine, and darted with as
tonishing velocity straight Into the up
turned face of the Martian. It burst
as it touched and the monster fell
back senseless upon the ground.
"You have killed him:" exclaimed
"No," said Mr. Edison, "he is not
dead, only asleep. Now we shall drop
down and bind him tight before he can
When we came to bind our prisoner
with strong ropes we were more than
ever impressed with his gigantic stat- i
ure and strength. Evidently In single :
combat with equal weapons he would
have been a match for twenty of i
us. I
So powerful was the effect of the nn- [ i
aesthetic which Mr. Ellison had dis-I 1
charged Into his lace, that ho remained i
perfectly unconscious while we turned 1
him half over In order the more se
curely to bind his muscular limbs. <
In the meantime the other electrical 1
ships approached, and several of them ,
made a landing upon the asteroid, i
Everybody war eager to see this won- | l
derful little world, which, as 1 have ul
rcady remarked, was only live miles in
diameter. *
Several of us from the flag-ship
started out hastily to explore the min
iature planet. And now our attention
was recalled to an intensely interesting
phenomenon which had c ngaged our
thoughts nut only when we were upon
the moon, hut during our (light through
space. This was the almost entire ab
sence of weight.
In open space we were practically
without weight. Only the mass of the
electrical ear In which we were en
closed attracted us, and inside that
we could place ourselves In any posi
tion without falling. We could float
in the air. There was no up and no
down, no top and no bottom for us.
Stepping outside the car, it would have
l,e, n easy for us to spring away from
it and leave it forever.
One of the most startling experiences
that I have ever had was one day
when we were navigating space about
half way between the earth and Mars.
I had stepped outside the car with
Lord Kevlin, both of us, of course,
wearing our air-tight suits. We were
perfectly well aware what would be
the consequences of detaching ourselves
from the car as we moved along. We
should still retain tho forward motion
of the ear. and of course accompany
it In its flight. There would be no fall
ing one way or the other. The car
would have a tendency to draw us
back again by its attraction, but this
tendency would be very slight, and
practically inappreciable at a distance.
"I am going to step off," I suddenly
said to Lord Kelvin. "Of course I
shall keep right along with the car,
and step aboard again when I am
"Quite right on general principles,
young man," replied the great savant,
"but beware in what manner you step
off. Remember. If you give your body
an impulse sufficient to carry it away
'••out th° car to any considerable dis-
I tanro, you will be unable to get back
again, unless, we can catch you with
I a boathook or a tlshline. Out there In
| empty 1, space you will have'nothing to
i kick ngainst. nnd you will be unabre to
propel yourself ln the direction of the
car, and Its attraction is so feeble that
we should probably arrive at Mars be
fore it had drawn you back again."
All this was, of course, perfectly self
evident, yet I believe that but for the
warning word of Lord Kelvin I should
have been rash enough to step out In
to empty space, with sufficient force to
: have sepnrated myself hopelessly from
the electrical ship.
As it was, I took good care to retain
a hold upon a projecting portion of the
car. Occasionally cautiously releasing
my grip, I experienced for a few min
utes the delicious, indescribable pleas
ure of being a little planet swinging
through space, with nothing to hold
me up and nothing to interfere with
my motion.
Mr. Edison, happening to come upon
| the deck of the ship at this time, and
seeing what we were about, at once
; said:
"I must provide against this danger.
If I do not, there is a chance that we
shall arrive at Mars with the ships half
empty and the crews floating helpless
ly around us."
Mr. Edison's way of guarding against
the danger was by contriving a little
apparatus, modeled after that which
was the governing force of the elec
trical ships themselves, and which, be
ing enclosed in the airtight suits, en
abled their wearers to manipulate the
electrical charge upon them in such a
way that they could make excursions
from the cars into open space like
steam launches from a ship, going and
returning at their will.
These little machines being rapidly
manufactured, for Mr. Edison had a
miniature laboratory aboard, were dis
tributed about the squadron, and
henceforth we had the pleasure of pay
ing and receiving visits among the
various members of the fleet.
But to return from this digression to
our experience on the asteroid. The
latter being a body of some mass was,
of course, able to impart to us a meas
urable degree of weight. Being live
miles in diameter, on the assumption
that its mean density was the same
as that of the earth, the weight of
bodies on its surface should have borne
the same ratio to their weight upon the
earth that the radius of the asteroid
bore to the radius of the earth; In other
words, as 1 to l.fiOfl.
Having made this mental calculation,
I knew that my weight, being 150
pounds on the earth, should on this as
( terold be an ounce and a half.
Curious to see whether fact would
j bear out theory. I had myself weighed
with a spring balance. Mr. Edison,
! Lord Kelvin and the other distinguished
scientists stood by. watching the opera
tion with great Interest.
To our complete surprise, my weight,
! instead of coming out an ounce and a
\ half, as it should have done, on the
, supposition that the mean density of
the asteroid resembled that of the
earth—a very liberal supposition on the
side of the asteroid, by the way—ac
tually came out five ounces and a quar
ter! '
"What In the world* makes me so
heavy?" I asked.
"Yes, indeed, what an elephant you
have become," said Mr. Edison.
Lord Kelvin screwed his eyeglass In
his eye, and carefully Inspected the
"It's quite right," he said. "You do
indeed weigh five ounces and a quar
ter. Te,o much; altogether too much,"
he added. "You shouldn't do it, you
"Perhaps the fault, is in the aster
oid," suggested I'reifessor Sylvanus P.
i Thompson.
"Quite- see," exclaimed Lord Kelvin, a
I look of sudden comprehension e>ver
spreadlng his features. "No doubt it
is the internal constitution of the as
teroid that Is the cause of the anomaly.
We must le,f)k into that. Let me see.
This gentleman's weight Is three and
one-half times as great as it ought to
be. What element is there whose dens
ity exceeds the mean density of the
earth in about that nror"-Hon?"
"Gold," exclaimed one of the party.
For a moment we were startled be
yond expression. The truth had flashed
upon us.
This must be a golden planet—this
little asteroid. If it were not composed
internally of gold, It could never have
made me weigh three times more than
I ought to weigh.
"But where is the gold?" cried one.
"Covered up, of course," cried Lord
Kelvin. "Burled In star dust. This
asteroid could not have continued to
travel for millions of years through re
gions of space strewn with meteoric
particles without becoming covered
with the Inevitable dust and grime of
such a Journey. We must dig down,
and then doubtless we shall find the
This hint was instantly acted upon.
Something that would serve for a spade
was seized by one of the men, and ln
a few minutes a hole had been dug ln
the soil of the asteroid.
I shall never forget the sight, nor the
exclamations of wonder that broke
forth from all of us standing around,
when the yellow gleam of the precious
metal appeared under the "star dust."
Collected in huge masses It reflected
the light of the sun from its hiding
Evidently the planet was not a solid
ball of gold, formed like a bullet run
In a mold, but was composed of nuggets
of various sizes, which had come to
gether here under the influence of their
mutual gravitation, and formed a lit
tle metallic planet.
Judging by the test of weight which
had already tried, and which had led
to the discovery of the gold, the com
position of the asteroid must be the
same to its very centre.
In an assemblage of famous scientific
men such as this the discovery of
course immediately led to questions as
to the origin of this incredible phe
How did these masses of gold come
together? How did It chance that,
with the exception of the thin crust of
the asteroid, nearly all Its substance
was composed of the previous metal?
One asserted that it was quite impos
sible that there should bfe so much gold
at so grout a distance from the sun.
"It Is v. general law," he said, "that
the planets increase in density toward
the sun. There is every reason to think
that the inner planets possess the
greater amount of dense elements,
while the outer ones are comparatively
But another referred to the old
theory that there was once in this part
of the solar system a planet which had
been burst in pieces by some myste
rious explosion, the fragments forming
what we know as the asteroids. In his
opinion this planet might have con
tained a large quantity of gold, and In
the course of ages the gold, having, in
consequence of its superior atomic
weight, not being so widely scattered
by the explosion as some of the other
elements of the planet, had collected
itself together In this body.
But I observed that Lord Kelvin and
the other more distinguished men of
science said almost nothing during
this discussion. The truly learned
man is the truly wise man. They
were not going to set up theories with
out sufficient facts to sustain them.
Gold is a thing which may make
Its appearance anywhere and at any
time without offering any excuses or
"Phew! Won't we be rich?" ex
claimed a voice.
"How are we going to dig it and get
it back to earth?" asked another.
"Carry it in your pockets," said
"Xo need of staking claims here,"
remarked another. "There is enough
for everybody."
Mr. Edison suddenly turned the cur
rent of talk.
"What do you suppose those Mar-
I tians were doing here?"
I "Perhaps, they were wrecked here."
"Not a bit of it," said Mr. Edison.
I "According to your own showing they
I could not have been wrecked here. This
1 planet hasn't gravitation enough to
| wreck them by a fall, and besides I
' have been looking at their machines
and I know there has been a fight."
"A fight?" exclaimed several, prick
ing up their ears.
"Yes," said Mr. Edison, "those ma
chines bear the marks of the lightning
of the Martians. They have been dis
abled, but they are made of some
' metal or some alloy of metals un
known to me. and consequently they
have withstood the destructive force
applied to them, as our electric ships
were unable to withstand it. It is per
fectly plain to me that they have been
disabled In a battle. The Martians
must have been fighting among them
"About the gold!" exclaimed one.
"Of course. What else was there to
fight about?"
At this instant one of our men came
running from a considerable distance,
waving his arms excitedly, hut unable
to give voice to his story, ln the In
appreciable atmosphere of the asteroid,
until he had come up and made tele
phonic connection with us.
"There is a lot of dead Martians over
there." he said. "They've been clean
ing one another nut."
"That's it," said Mr. Edison. "I knew
It when I saw the condition of those
"This must be the great gold mine of
Mnrs." said the president of the Aus
tralian mining company, opening both
his eyes and his mouth as he spoke.
"Yes, evidently that's It. Here's
where they come to get their wealth."
"And this," I said, "must be their
harvest time. You notice that this as
teroid, being several million miles
nearer to the sun than Mars Is, must
have an appreciably shorter period of
revolution. When It is In conjunction
with Mars, or nearly so, as It is at
present, the distance between the two
is not very great, whereas when it is
In the opposite part of its orbit they
are separated by an enormous gap of
space and the sun is between them.
"Manifestly in the latter case it
would be perilous, If not entirely Im
possible, for the Martians to visit the
golden asteroid, but when it is near
Mnrs, as It Is at present, and as it must
be periodically for several years at a
time, then Is their opportunity.
"With their projectile cars sent forth
with the aid of the mysterious ex
plosives which they possess, It is easy
for them, under such circumstances, to
make visits to the asteroid.
"Having obtained all the gold they
need, or all that they can carry, a com
paratively slight impulse given to their
car, the direction of which is carefully
calculated, will carry them back again
to Mars."
"If that's so." exclaimed a voice, "we
had better look out for ourselves! We
'have got Into a very hornet's nest I If
tnis is the place where the Martians
come to dig gold, and if this is tha
height of their season, as you say, they
are not likely to leave us here long un
"These fellows must have been
pirates that they had the fight with,"
said another.
"But what's become of the regulars,
"Gone back to Mars for help, prob
ably, and they'll be here again pretty
quick, I am afraid!"
Considerable alarm was caused by
this view of the case, and orders were
Bent to several of the electrical ships
to cruise out to a safe distance ln the
direction of Mars and keep a sharp
lookout for the approach of enemies.
Meanwhile our prison, r awoke. He
turned his eyes upon those standing
about him, without any appearance of
fear, but rather with a look of con
tempt like that which Gulliver must
have felt for the Llllputlans who had
bound him under similar circum
There were both hatred and defiance
In his glance. He attempted to free
himself, and the ropes strained with
the tremendous pressure that he put
upon them, but he could not break
Satisfied that the Martian was safely
bound, we left him where he lay, and,
while awaiting news from the ships
which had been sent to reconnoitre,
continued the exploration of the little
At a point nenrly opposite to that
where we had landed we came upon the
mine which the Martians had been
working. They had removed the thin
coating of soil, laying bare the rich
stores of gold beneath, and large quan
tities of the latter had been removed.
Some of It was so solidly packed that
the strokes of the instruments by
which they had detached It were visible
like the streaks left by a knife cutting
There were many detached masses of
gold scattered about, and some of the
men, on picking them up, exclaimed
with astonishment at their lack of
weight, forgetting for a moment that
the same law which caused their own
bodies to weigh so little must neces
sarily affect everything else ln like de
A mass of gold that on the earth no
mnn would have been able to lift could
here be tossed about like a hollow rub
ber ball.
While we were examining the mine,
one of the men left to guard the Mar
tian came running to inform us that
the latter evidently wished to make
some communication. Mr. Edison and
others hurried to the side of the pris
oner. He still lay on his back, from
which position he was not able to move,
notwithstanding all his efforts. But by
the motion of his eyes, aided by a pan
tomime with his fingers, he made us
understand that there was something
in a metallic box fastened at his side
which he wished to reach.
With some difficulty we succeeded in
opening the box. and in It there ap
peared a number of bright red pellets,
as large as ordinary egg.
When the Martian saw these In our
hands he gave us to understand by the
motion of his lips that he wished to
swallow one of them. A pellet was ac
cordingly placed in his mouth, and he
Instantly and with great eagerness
swallowed it.
While trying to communicate his
wishes to us, the prisoner had seemed
to be In no little distress. He exhibited
spasmodic movements which led some
of the bystanders to think that he was
on the point of dying, but within a few
seconds after he had swallowed the pel
let he appeared to be completely re
stored. All evidences of distress van
ished, nnd a look of content came over
his ugly face.
"It must be a powerful medicine,"
said one of the bystanders. "I wonder
what it is."
"I will explain to you my notion."
said Professor Molssan, the great
French chemist. "I think It was a pill
of the air, which he has taken."
"What do you mean by that?"
"My meaning is," said Professor
Molssan. "that the Martian must have,
for that he may live, the nitrogen and
the oxygen. These he cannot obtain
here where there is not the atmosphere.
Therefore must he get them in some
other manner. This has he managed
to do by combining in these-pills tho
oxygen and the nitrogen in the propor
tions which make atmospheric air.
Doubtless upon Mars there are the very
great chemists. They have discovered
how this may be done. When the Mar
tian has swallowed his little pill, the
oxygen nnd the nitrogen are rendered
to his blood as if he had breathed them,
and so he can live with that air which
has been distributed to him with the
aid of his stomach In the place of his
If Monsieur Molssan's explanation
was not correct, at any rate it seemed
the only one that would fit the fects.be
fore us. Certainly the Martian could
not breathe where there was practical
ly on air, yet just as certainly after he
had swallowed his pill he seemed as
comfortable as any of us.
Suddenly, while we were gathered
around the prisoner, and interested In
this fresh evidence of the wonderful In
genuity of the Martians, and of their
control over the processes of nature,
one of the electrical ships that had
been sent off in the direction of Mars
was seen rapidly returning and dis
playing signals.
It reported that the Martians wers
Miniature Glaciers.
School teachers may find of value the
following methods, of German origin,
in making the movements of glaciers
clear to their pupils:
For ice substitute yellow pitch, the
surface layers of which, after exposure
to the air, will show about the same
degree of plasticity and brlttleness that
Ice has. Take a square tray which has
a slanting gutter; this gutter must first
be lined with a layer of very hot pitch
to prevent the mass from rolling down.
Then pour in the rest* of the pitch. As
it moves downward, cracks are mad*
from the edges toward the center at an
angle of forty-five degrees to the edges,
and Join the traverse fissures which
are produced ln the middle. Where
the tray widens, longitudinal crevlcef
are produced.
Another method differs from this onlj
in coating the surface of the pitch with
a layer .of white paint, so that the
cracks appear black on white, and are
more easily seen. It is claimed, also,
that the motion, which has the same
kinds of variation noticed in glaciers,
can be studied to advantage with the

xml | txt