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The herald. [microfilm reel] (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1893-1900, March 06, 1898, Image 22

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t Copyrlght, IS9R. by Oarrctt I>. BerviSS.]
The Martians have attempted to con
quer the earth in order to relieve thaw
overpopulated planet. The invasion falls
through the breaking out of disease, and
not humn.n cffiirt. Fearing a second at
tack, Thomas A. Edison devises a scheme
of resistance. He Invents a practical
electrical air ship und an engine ol de
struction called the "Disintegrator,
which will cause the constituent particles
of any object at which it may be direct
ed to bo vibrate thut the object will lie
Immediately nnd completely dispersed.
With these means at Its command, the
earth decides to assume the offensive and
proceed against .Mars. At the end of six
months a licet of one hundred air ships,
with Mr. Edison in command, armed with
three thousand disintegrators. and
manned by two thousand men, among
whom are many famous scientists, sets
out. Provision has been made for every
emergency that can be thought of: such
us working and communicating in at
mospheres different from our own; sig
naling, etc. After leaving the moon,
where a Short stay is made for explora
tion and repairs, the licet is drawn into
the train of a comet, and is only saved
from precipitation into the sun by com
ing within tlie earth's attractive force.
Another start is made, and when still
several million miles from Mors the ex
pedition comes upon a party of Martians
upon v small heavenly body—one of
the asteroids. Tin' Martians are of giant
stature, human in form, but of somewhat
repulsive aspect. They manage to de
stroy several ot the ships and their crews
before their engine of war can be exter
minated with a disintegrator. The .Mar
tians are all killed except one, wlio Is
taken prisoner. Several id' the ships land
on the little planet, which is found to he
Of solid gold. To gel the precious metal
Is doubtless the reason of the .Martians'
presence. Before the asteroid, which is
five miles In diameter, can be explored,
one of the watching ships reports that
the Martians are coming.
The nlnrm was spread instantly
among those upon the planet and
through the remainder of the Meet.
One of the men from tho returning
electrical ship dropped down upon tbe
asteroid and gave ;i more detailed ac
count of what they had seen.
His ship hud been the one which had
gone to the greatest distance in the
direction of Mara. While cruising there,
with all eyes intent, they hud suddenly
perceived n glittering object moving
from tho direction of the ruddy planet,
nnd manifestly approaching them. A
little inspection with the telescope had
shown that it was one of the projectile
cars used by tho Martians.
Our ship hud ventured so far from
the asteroid that for a moment it
seemed doubtful whether it would be
able to return in time to give warning,
because the electrical influence of the
asteroid was comparatively slight.
Fortunately after a time they got
under way with sufficient velocity to
bring them back to us before tho ap
proaching Martians could overtake
Indeed, looking out behind the elec
trical ship which had brought us the
warning, wo immediately saw the pro
jectile of the Martians approaching,
The ships of the squadron whoso
crews bad not landed upon the planet
were signaled to prepare for action,
while those who wen' upon the asteroid
made ready for battle there. A num
ber of disintegrators were trained
upon the approaching Martians, but
Mr. Edison gave strict orders that no
attempt should be made to discharge
the vibratory force nt random.
"Having, as I am convinced, no
means of producing or controlling elec
trical attraction and repulsion, they
cannot stop themselves, but must come
down upon the asteroid. Having got
here they could never get away again,
except as we know the survivors got
away from Hie earth, by propelling
their projectile against gravitation
with the aid o.' an c plosive."
The Martians hud apparently just
Caught sight of us. They evinced signs
of astonishment, and Beemed at a loss
exactly what to do. We could see pro
jecting from tip' tore part of their car
ut least two of the polished knobs,
whose fearful use and power We well
We stood at a distance of perhaps
three hundred feet from the point :
where they touched the asteroid. In
stantly a dozen of the giants jumped
from tile car and gazed about [or a
moment with a look of Intense surprise.
At lirst it was doubtful whether they
meant to at lack us at all.
We Stood iii mir guard, several car
rying disintegrators in our bands,
while a score more of those terrible en
gines were turned upon the Martians
from the electrical ships which hovered
Suddenly he who seemed to be the
leader of tlie Martians began to speak
to them iii pantomime, using his lin
gers after the manm r in which they
are used for conversation by deaf and
dumb i pie.
Of course, we did not know what he
was saying, but his meaning became
perfectly evident a moment later. In
stead of turning their destructive en
pines upon us. they advanoed on a
run, with the evident purpose of mak
ing us prisoners or crushing us by
main force.
The soft whirr of the disintegrator
ln tho hands of Mr. Edison standing
Dear me came to my ears through the
telephonic wire. He quickly swept the
concentrating mirror a little up and
down, nnd instantly the foremost Mar
tian vanished! Pari of some metallic
dress that he wore fell upon the ground
where be bail stood, its vibratory rate
not having been Included In the range
Imparted to the disintegrator.
His followers paused for a moment, i
amased, stared about as if looking for
their leader, and then hurried back
to their projectile and disappeared
within it.
"Now we've pot business on our
hnnds," snid Mr. Edison. "Look out
for yourselves."
As he spoke I saw the death-dealing
Garett P.Serviss
knob of tho war engine contained In
the car of tb! Martians moving
around toward us. In another instant
it would have launched Its destroying
Before that could occur, however,
It had hern dissipated into space by
a vibratory stream from a disinte
But we were not to get the victory
quite so easily. There was another of
the war engines ln the car and before
we could concentrate our fire upon it,
its awful flash shot forth, and a dozen
of our comrades perished before our
"Quick! Quick!" shouted Mr. Edi
son to one of his electrical experts
standing near. "There is something
the matter with this disintegrator, and
I cannot make it work. Aim at the
knob, and don't miss it."
Hut tho aim was - -t well taken, and
the vibratory force fell upon a portion
Of the car at a considerable distance
from the knob, making a great
breach, but leaving the engine un
Through tho broach we saw the Mar
tians inside making desperate efforts
to train their engine upon us, for after
their first disastrous stroke we had
rapidly shifted our position. Swiftly
tho polished knob, which gleamed like
an evil eye moved round to swoop
over us. Instinctively) though incau
tiously, wo had collected In a group.
A single discharge would sweep lis
all Into eternity.
"Will no one fire upon them?" ex
claimed Mr. Edison, struggling with
the disintegrator in his hands, which
still refused to work.
At this fearful moment T glanced
around upon our company, nnd was as
tonished at the spectacle. Tn the pres
ence of tho danger many of thorn had
lost nil self-command. The expert
electrician, whoso poor nlm had had
such disastrous results, held in his
band nn instrument which was In per
fect condition, yet with mouth agape
ho stood trembling like a captured
The means of safety wore In our
hands, nnd yet through a combination
of 111 luck nnd paralyzing terror we
seemed unable to use them.
In a second more it would be all over
with us.
The suspense In reality lasted only
during the twinkling of an eye, though
It seemed ages long.
Unable to endure it I sharply struck
tho shoulder of the paralyzed electri
cian. To have attempted to seize the
disintegrator from his hands would
have been a fatal waste of time. Luck
ily the blow either roused him from his
stupor or caused an instinctive move
ment of his band that set the little en
gine in operation.
I am sure ho took no aim, but prov
identially tho vibratory force fell upon
tho desired point and the knob disap
Wo were saved!
Instantly half a dozen rushed toward
tho cars of the Martians. We bit
terly repented their haste; they did
not live to repent.
Unknown to us the Martians carried
band engines capable of launching
bolts of death of the same character
us those which emanated from tbe
knobs of their larger machines. With
these they fired, so tn speak, through
the breach in their car, and four of
BUr men w ho wore rushing upon them
foil in heaps of cinders.
The destruction of the threatening
knob had instantaneously relieved the
pressure upon the terror-stricken
nerves of our company, and they had
til regained their composure and self
:ommand. But this now and unexpect
ed disaster, following so close upon tbe
fear which had recently overpowered
them, produced a second panic, the
iffect of which was not to stiffen them
11 their tracks as before, but to send
[hem scurrying in every direction in
learch of hiding places.
And now a most curious effect nf
he smallness nf the planet we were on
logan to play a conspicuous part in our
idventures. Standing on a globe only
lye miles in diameter was like being
m the summit nf a mountain whose
ides Bloped rapidly off in every direc
:lon, disappearing ln tho black sky on
ill sides, as if it were some stupendous
ieak rising out of an unfathomable
In consequence of the quick rounding
iff of the sides of this globe, the line
if the horizon we- dose at hand, and
ty running a distance nf less than ;,'io
aids tho fugitives disappeared down
ho sides of the asteroid.
The slight attraction of the planet,
md their consequent almost entire
ack of weight, enabled the men to run
vith. immense speed. The result, as I
übsequently learned, was that after
hey had disappeared from our view
hey quitted the planet entirely, the
orce being Bi'fflcient to partially free
hem from its gravitation, sn that they
ailed out into space, whirling help
sssly end over end, until the elliptical
rbits In which they travelled event
lally brought them back again to
he planet on the side nearly opposite
0 that from which they had departed.
But several of us, with Mr. Edison,
tood fast, watching for an opportun
ty to get the -Martians within range
f the disintegrators. Luckily we were
nabled, by shifting our position a
Ittle to the left, to got out of the
Ine of sight nf our enemies concealed
n the car.
I But help came from a quarter which
was unexpected to us. although it
i should not have been so. Several of the
I electric ships had been hovering above
us during the fight, their command
ers being apparently uncertain how
to act —fearful, perhaps, of injur
ing us in the attempt to smite the
But now the situation apparently
lightened for them. They saw that we
were at an immense disadvantage,
and several of them immediately turned
their batteries upon the car of the
They riddled it far more quickly and
effectively than we could have done.
Every stroke of the vibratory emana
tion made a gap In tho side of the car,
and we could perceive from the com
motion within that our enembs were
being rapidly massacred in their for
So overwhelming was the force and
the advantage of tbe ships that In a
little while It was all over. Mr. Edi
son signaled thorn to step liring be
cause it was plain that all resistance
had censed and probably not one of
tho Martians remained alive.
We now approached the car, which
had been transpierced in every direc
tion, and whose remaining portion!
were glowing with heat in consequence
of the spreading of the atomic vibra
tions. Immediately we discovered that
all our anticipations were correct
nnd that all of our enemies had per
All this time the shackled Martian
had lain on his back whore we had left
him bound. What his feelings must
have been may be imagined. At times,
I caught a glimpse of his eyes, wildly
rolling and exhibiting, when ho saw
that the victory was in our hands,
the first Indication of fear and ter
ror shaking his soul that had yet ap
"That fellow Is afraid at lust." I said
to Mr. Edison. "But if I am not mis
taken this fear of his may be the
beginning of a new discovery for us."
"How so?" asked Mr. Edison.
"In this way. When once he fears
our power, and perceives that there
would be no hope of contending against
us, even if ho wore r.t liberty, he will
respect us. This change In his mental
attitude may tend to make him com
municative. I do not see why we should
despair of learning his language from
him and having done that, he will
With Very Slight Effort They Projected Themselves Straight Upward.
| servo as our guide and interpreter
and will be of incalculable advantagi
to us when we have arrived at Mars.'
"Capital! Capital!" said Mr. Edison
I "Wo must concentrate the linguistic
genius of our company upon that prob
lent at once."
In the meantime some of the skulk
ers, whose flight I have referred to
began to return, chapfallen, but re
joking in the disappearance of tip
Those who, ns already described, hnr
run with so groat a speed that thej
were projected, all unwilling, inti
'space, rising In elliptical orbits fron
the surface of the planet, describing
' great curves in what might bo denom-
I Inated its sky, and then coming bacli
again to tho little globe on anothei
side, wore so tilled with the wonden
of their remarkable adventure thai
they had almost forgotten the terroi
which had Inspired it.
There was nothing surprising ir
what had occurred to them the moment
one considered the laws of gravitatlor
on the asteroid, but their stories
aroused an intense interest among al
who listened to them.
Lord Kelvin was particularly Inter
ested, and while Mr. Edison was has
tening preparations to quit the asteroid
and resume our voyage to Mars, Lord
Kelvin and a number of other scienti
fic men instituted a series of remark
able experiments.
It was one of tho most laughable
things imaginable to see Lord Kelvin,
dressed in his air-tight suit, making
tremendous jumps into empty space.
Immediately Lord Kelvin was imita
ted by a dozen others. With what
seemed very slight effort they project
ed themselves straight upward, rising
to a height of four hundred feet or
more, and then slowly settling back
again to the surface of the asteroid.
The time of rise and fall coniblned wa
between three and four minutes.
On this little planet the acceleration
of gravity or the velocity acquired by
a falling body in one second was only
four-fifths of an Inch. A body required
an entire minute to fall a distance of
only 120 feet. Consequently, it was
more like gradual settling than falling.
The figures of these men of science,
rising nnd sinking in this manner, ap
peared like so many gigantic marion
ettes bobbing up and down in a pneu
matic bottle.
"Let us try that," said Mr. F.dlson,
very much Interested in the experi
Both of us jumped together. At
first, with great swiftness, but grad
ually losing speed, we rose to an im
mense height straight from the ground.
When we had reached tho utmost lim
it of our flight we seemed to come to
rest for a moment, and then began
slowly, but with accelerated velocity,
to sink back again to the planet. It
was not only a peculiar but n delicious
sensation, and but for strict orders
which were issued that the electric
ships should be Immediately prepared
for departure our entire company
might have remained for an indefinite
period enjoying this new kind of ath
letic exercise ln a world where gravita
tion had become so humble that it
could be trilled with.
While the final preparations for de
parture were being made. Lord Kelvin
instituted other experiments that were
no less unique in their results. The ex
perience of those who had taken un-
premeditated flights In elliptical orbits
when they had run from the vicinity
of the Martians, suggested the throw
ing of solid objects in various direc
tions from the surface of the planet In
order to determine the distance that
they would go nnd the curves they
would describe in returning.
For these experiments there was
nothing more convenient or abundant
than chunks of gold from the Martians'
mine. These, accordingly, were hurled
in various directions, and with every
degree of velocity. A little calculation
had shown that an initial velocity of
thirty feet per second imparted to one
Of these chunks, moving at right angles
to the radius of the asteroid, would, if
1 tho resistance of an almost inappre
! l iable atmosphere were neglected, suf-
I lice to turn the piece of gold into a lit
tle satellite that would describe an or
i bit around the asteroid, and continue
Ito do so forever, or at least until the
slight atmospheric resistance should
i eventually bring it down to the sur
Hut a less velocity than thirty feet
i per second would cause tho golden mis-
S sile to fly only part way around, while
' a greater velocity would give it an
; elliptical Instead of a circular orbit,
1 and in this ellipse it would continue to
j revolve around tho asteroid in the
character of a satellite.
If the direction of the original Im
pulse were at more than a right angle
to the radius of the asteroid, then the
flying body would pass nut tn a greater
or less distance in space in an elliptical
I orbit, eventually coming back again
| nnd falling upnn the asteroid, but
1 not al the same spot from which it had
Bo many tnnk part In these singular
; experiments, which assumed rather the
appearance of outdoor sports than of
| scientific demonstrations, that in a
| short time we had provided the as-
I terold with a very large number nf llt
, tie moons, or satellites, of gold, which
revolved around it in orbits nf various
'. degrees of elllpticity, taking, on the
average, about three-quarters of an
l hnur to complete a circuit. Since, on
J completing a revolution they must
! necessarily pass through the point
from which they started, they kept us
constantly on the gui vivo tn avoid
being knocked over by them as they
| swept around In their orbits.
Finally the signal was given for nil
tn embark, and with great regret the
savants quitted their scientific games
and prepared to return to the electric
Just on the moment of departure, the
fact was announced by one who had
been making a little calculation on a
bit of paper, that the velocity with
which a body must be thrown ln order
to escape forever from the attraction
of the asteroid, and to pass on to an
Infinite distance In any direction, was
only about forty-two feet in a sec
Manifestly It would be quite easy to
impart such a speed as that to the
chunks of gold that we held in our
"Hurrah!" exclaimed one. "Let's
send some of this back to the earth."
"Where la tho earth?" asked another.
Being appealed to, several astron
omers turned their eyes in the direc
tion of tho sun, where the black firma
ment was ablaze with stars, nnd In a
moment recognized the earth-star
shining there, with the moon attending
close at hand.
"There," said one, "is the earth.
Can you throw straight enough to
hit it?"
•'We'll try," was the reply, and im
mediately several threw huge golden
nuggets In the direction of our far
away world, endeavorlnft to Impart to
them at least the required velocity of
forty-two feet In a second, which
would Insure their passing beyond the
attraction of the asteroid, and if there
should be no disturbance on the way,
and if the aim were accurate, their
eventual arrival upon the earth.
If these precious missiles ever
reached the earth we knew that they
would plunge Into the atmosphere like
meteors and that probably the heat de
veloped by their passage would melt
and dissipate them in golden vapors
before they could touch the ground.
Yet, there was a chance that some of
them—lf the aim wci•-> true—might sur
vive the fiery passage through the at
mosphere and fall upon the surface of
our planet where, perhaps, they would
afterward be picked up by a prospec
tor and load him to believe that he had
struck a new bonanza.
"All aboard!" was the signal, and
the squadron having assembled under
the lend of the flag ship, we started
again for Mars.
This time, ns it proved, there wns to
be no further interruption, and when
next we paused it was in the presence
nf tho wnrld inhabited by nur ene
mies, and facing their frowning bat
In consequence of the comparatively
small size nf tho asternid, its electric
Influence was very much less than that
nf the earth, and notwithstanding the
appliances which we possessed for In
tensifying the electrical effect, it was
not possible to produce a sufficient re
pulsion to start us off for Mars with
anything like the impulse which we
had received frnm the earth on our
original departure.
The utmost velocity that we could
generate did not exceed three miles in
a second, and to get this required our
utmost efforts. In fact, it had not
scorned possible that we should attain
eve n sn great a speed as that. It was
far mnre thnn we could have expected,
and even Mr. Edison was surprised, as
well ns greatly gratified,when he found
that we were moving with the velocity
that I have named.
We were still about 6,000,000 miles
from Mars, so that, traveling three
miles in a second, we should require at
bast twenty-three days to reach the
Immediate neighborhood of the
Meanwhile we had a plenty of occu
pation In make the time pass quickly.
Our prisoner was transported along
With us, and we now began our at
tempts to ascertain what his language
was. and, if possible, to master it our
Before quitting the nsteroid we had
found that it was necessary for him to
swallow one of his "air pills," as Prof.
Molssan called them, at least three
times in the course of every twenty
four hours. One of us supplied him
.regularly, and I thought I could detect
evidences of a certain degree of grati
tude in his expression. This was en
couraging, because it gave additional
promise of the poss.Dllity of our being
able to communicate with him fh some
more effective way than by mere signs.
But once inside the car, where he had
a supply of air kept at the ordinary
pressure experienced on the earth, he
could breathe like the rest of us.
The best linguists of the expedition,
as Mr. Edison had suggested, were now
assembled ln the flag ship, where the
prisoner was, and they set to work to
devise some means of ascertaining the
manner in which he was accustomed
to express his thought. We had not
heard him speak, because until we car
ried him Into our car there was no at
mosphere capable of conveying any
sounds he might attempt to utter.
It seemed a fair assumption that the
languuge of the Martians would be
scientific in Its structure. We had so
much evidence of the practical bent of
their minds, and of the immense pro
gress which they had made in the di
rection of the scientific conquest of
nature, that it was not to be supposed
their medium of communication with
one another would be lacking in clear
ness, or would possess any of the puz
zling or unnecessary ambiguities that
characterized the languages spoken on
the earth.
"I think," said a German enthusiast,
"that It will be universal language,
the Volapuk of Mars, spoken by all the
inhabitants of that planet."
"But all these speculations," broke
in Mr. Edison, "do not help you much.
Why not begin in a practical manner
by finding out what the Martian calls
himself, for instance."
This seemed a good suggestion, and
accordingly several of the bystanders
began an expressive pantomime, in
tended to indicate to the giant, who
was following all their motions with
his eyes, that they wished to know by
what name he called himself. Point
ing their fingers to their own breasts
they repeated one after the other, the
word "man."
If our prist :ier had been a stupid
savage, of course any such attempt as
this to make him understand would
have been idle. But it must be remem
bered that we were dealing with a
personage who had presumably In
herited from hundreds of generations
the results of a civilization, and an In
tellectual advance, measured by the
constant progress of millions of years.
Accordingly we were not very much
astonished, when, after a few repeti
tions of the experiment, the Martian
one of whose arms had been partly re
leased from its bonds in order to give
him a little freedom of motion—lmita
ted the action of his interrogators by
pressing his finger over his heart.
Then opening his mouth he gave ut
terance to a sound which shook the air
of the car like the hoarse roar of a
lion. He seemed himself surprised by
the noise he made, for he had not
been used to speak in so dense an at
Our ears were deafened and con
fused, and we recoiled in astonishment,
not to say, half in terror.
With an ugly grin distorting his face
as if he enjoyed our discomfiture, the
Martian repeated the motion and the
It was not articulate to our ears, and
not to be repeated by any combination
of letters.
"Faith." exclaimed a Dublin Univer
sity professor, "If that's what they call
themselves, how shall we ever trans
late their names when we come to
write the history of the conquest?"
"Whist, mon," replied a professor
from the University of Aberdeen, "let
us whip the gillravaging villains first,
and then we can describe them by any
intitulatlon that may suit our deespo
These efforts to learn the language of
Mars were renewed and repeated every
few hours, all the experience, learning
and genius of the squadron being con
centrated upon the work, and the re
sult was that ln the course of a few
days we had actually succeeded ln
learning a dozen or more of the Mar
tian's words md were able to make
him understand us when we pro
nounced them, as well as to under
stand him when our ears had become
accustomed to the growling of his
Finally, one dry the prisoner, who
seemed to be in an unusually cheerful
frame nf mind, indicated that he car
ried in his breast some object which
he wished us to see.
With our assistance he pulled out a
Actually, It was a book, not very un
like the books which we have upon the
earth, but printed, of course, In char
acters that were entirely strange and
unknown to us. Yet these characters
evidently gave expression to a highly
Intellectual language. All those who
were standing by at the moment ut
tered a shout of wonder and of delight
and the cry of "A book! a book!" ran
around the circle, and the good news
was even promptly communicated to
some of the neighboring electric ships
of the sqadron. Several other learned
men were summoned in haste from
them to examine our new treasure.
The Martian, whose good nature had
manifestly been growing day after
day, watched our inspection of his
book with evidences of great interest,
not unmingled with amusement. Final
ly he beckoned the holder of the book
to his side, and placing his broad fin
ger upon one of the huge letters—if
letters they were, for they more nearly
resembled the characters employed by
the Chinese printer—he uttered a sound
which we, of course, took to be a word,
but which was different from any we
had yet heard. Then he pointed to one
after another of us standing around.
"Ah," explained everybody, the truth
being apparent, "that is the word by
which the Martians designate us. They
have a name, then, for the inhabitants
of the earth."
"Or, perhaps, it is rather the name
for the earth itself," said one.
But this could not, of course, be at
once determined. Anyhow, the word,
whatever its precise meaning might
be, had now been added to our vocabu
lary, although as yet our organs of
speech proved unable to reproduce it
in a recognizable form.
This promising and unexpected dis
covery of the Martian's book lent add
ed enthusiasm to those who were en
gaged ln the work of trying to master
the language of our prisoner, and the
progress that they made in the course
of the next few days was truly aston
ishing. If the prisoner had beer, un
willing to aid them, of course, it would
have been impossible to proceed, but,
fortunately for us, he seemed more and
more to enter into the spirit of the
undertaking, and actually to enjoy It
himself. So bright and quick was his
understanding that he was even able
to indicate to us methods of mastering
his language that would otherwise,
probably, never have occurred to
our minds.
In fact, ln a very short time he had
turned teacher, and all these learned
men, pressing around htm with eager
attention had become his pupils.
I cannot undertake to say precisely
how much of the Martian language
had been acquired by the chief lin
guists of the expediUon before the
time when we arrived so near to Mara
that it became necessary for most of
us to abandon our studies In order to
make ready for the more serious busi
ness which now confronted us.
But, at any rate, the acquisition waa
so considerable as to allow of the ln-
terchange of ordinary ideas with our
prisoner and there was no longer any
doubt that he would be able to give ua
much Information when we landed on
his native planet.
At the end of twenty-three days, am
measured by terrestrial time, after our '
departure from the asteroid, we ar
rived in the sky of Mars.
For a long time the ruddy planet had
been growing larger and more formid
able, gradually turning from a huge
star Into a great red moon, and then
expanding more and more until it be
gan to shut out from sight the con
stellations behind it.
We were approaching the southern
hemisphere of in about latitude
45 degrees south. It was near the time
of the vernal equinox in that hemis
phere of the planet, and under the
stimulating influence of the Spring
sun, rising higher and higher every
day, some such awakening of life and
activity upon its surface as occurs on
the earth under similar circumstancea
was evidently going on.
Around the South Pole were spread
Immense fields of snow and ice, gleam
ing with great brilliance. Cutting
deep Into the borders of these ice field*,
we could see broad channels of open
water, indicating tho rapid breaking ot
the grip of the frost.
Almost directly beneath us was a
broad oval region, light red in color,
to which terrestrial astronomers had
given the name of Hellas. Toward the
south, between Hellas and the borders
of the polar ice. was a great belt of
darkness that astronomers had always
been inclined to regard ns a sea. Look
ing toward the north, we could per
ceive the Immense red expanses of the
continents of Mars, with the long
curved line of the Syrtis Major, or
"The Hour Glass Sea," sweeping
through the midst of them toward the
north until it disappeared under the
Crossing and recrosslng the red con
tinents in every direction, were the
canals of Schiaparelll.
Plentifully sprinkled over the sur
face we could see brilliant points, some
of dazzling brightness, outshining the
daylight. There was also an astonish
ing variety in the colors of the broad
expanses beneath us. Activity, viva
city and beauty, such as we were ut
terly unprepared to behold, expressed
their presence on all sides.
There could be no longer any ques
tion that it was a world which, If not
absolutely teeming with Inhabitants,
like a gigantic ant-hill, at any rate
bore on every side the marks of their
presence and of their incredible un
dertakings and achievements.
Many of the gleaming points that we
saw upon the surface of the planet
were evidently reflections from the
polished roofs and domes of vast
metallic edifices. At certain places,
where a large number of canals met
and crossed, there were assemblages of
these brilliant reflections, indicating,
as we thought, the existence of towns
or cities.
Here and there clouds of smoke arose
and spread slowly through the atmo
sphere beneath us. Floating higher
above the surface of the planet were
clouds of vapor, assuming the fami
liar forms of stratus and cumulus
with which we were acquainted upon
the earth.
As we continued to study the phe
nomena that were gradually unfolded
beneath us, we thought that we could
detect In many places evidences of the
existence of strong fortifications. The
planet of war appeared to be prepared
for the attacks of enemies. Since, as
our own experience had shown, it
sometimes waged war with distant
planets, it was but natural that It
should be found prepared to resist foes
who might be disposed to revenge
themselves for injuries suffered at its
As had been expected, our prisoner
now proved to be of very great assist
ance to us. Apparently he took a cer
tain pride in exhibiting to strangers
from a distant world the beauties and
the wonders of his own planet.
We cnuld not understand by any
means all that he said, but we could
readily comprehend, from his gestures,
and from the manner ln which his fea
tures lighted up at the recognition of
familiar scenes and objects, what his
sentiments In regard to them were,
and, in a general way, what part they
played in the life of the planet.
He confirmed our opininn that cer
tain of the works which we saw be
neath us were fortifications, Intended
for the protection of the planet against
invaders from outer space. A cunning
and almost diabolical lnok came Into
his eyes as he pointed to one of these
strongholds, and then with a sweep of
his hand —for we had thought it safe
to release his bonds to such an extent
that he could partially use one of his
arms—indicated our squadron and
snapped his fingers with an expression
showing that in his opinion we should
have no chance against the prodigious
energies that would be launched
against us.
His confidence and his mocking looks
were not reassuring to us. He knew
what his planet was capable of, and
we did not. He had seen, on the as
teroid, the extent of our power, and
while its display served to Intimidate
him there, yet now that he and we to
gether were facing the world of his
birth, his fear had evidently fallen
from him, and he had the manner of
one who feels that the shield of an
all-powerful protector has been ex«
tended over him.
But it could not be long now before
we should ascertain, by the irrevocable
test of actual experience, whether tha
Martians possessed the power to unal
hllate us or not.
Yellow Light.
A yellow light has been obtained with"
incandescent gas burners by a German
Inventor at Krefeld. He alters ths
burners so that the gas is supplied at
a pressure of three and a half atmos
pheres. A single jet of ordinary size
then emits a light of more than 1,000
candle power, by which fine print may
be read at a distance of 150 feet from
the light

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