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CONQUEST OF MARS [Copyright, IS9S. by Garrett P. Servlss.] SYNOPSIS. The Inventive genius of Thomas A. Edi son makes possible an attack of the earth upon Mars. This ls done to prevent a sec ond invasion of the Martians, who are tning to relieve their overpopulated planet; the lirst having tailed through the breaking out of disease and not human ef fort. Edison Invents a practical electrical tiir ship, and an engine of destruction called the ••Disintegrator,'' which will cause the constituent particles of any ob ject at which It may be directed tp so vibrate that the object will be Immediate ly und completely dispersed. A large licet of airships armed with disintegrators and manned by two thousand nun. among whom are many famous scientists, sets out. While several million miles from Mars the expedition comes upon a party ot Martians upon a small heavenly body one of the asteroids. The Martians arc of giant stature, human In form, but ot Somewhat repulsive aspect. The asteroid Is of solid gold, and to get the precious metal is doubtless the reason of the Mar tians' presence. Another party from Mats arrives in one of their aerial cars, and an encounter follows, in which, how ever, the superior efficiency of the disinte grator over the enemy's engines of war is :ibly proven, and the fleet leaves for Mats after all the Martians have been killed, except one. who is taken prisoner. But victory has not been won until sev eral Ships have been destroyed, and many men killed. During the journey much progress is made by the linguists of the party In acquiring the language of the captured Martian. When the squadron arrives In the sky of Mars, evidences of high civilization are seen throughout the land and speculation is rife among the visitors from the earth as to what lies before them. XIV. The thing that gave us the most un easiness was the fact that we (lid not yet know what powers the Martians might have in reserve. It was but nat ural to suppose that here, on their own ground, they would possess means of defence even more effective than the offensive engines they had employed in attacking enemies so many millions of miles from home. It was Important that we should waste no time, and it was equally im portant that we should select the most vulnerable point for attack. It was self- evident, therefore, that our first duty would be to reconnoitre the sur face of the planet and determine its weakest point. Thus far we had remained suspended at so great a height above the planet that we had hardly entered into the perceptible limits of its atmosphere, and there was no evidence that we had been seen by th"? inhabitants of Mars; but before starting on our voyage of exploration it was determined to drop down closer to the surface in order that we might the more certainly iden tify the localities over which we passed. When we had arrived within a dis tance of three miles from the surface of Mars, we suddenly perceived ap proaching from the eastward a large airship, which was navigating the Mar tian atmosphere at a height of perhaps half a mile above the ground. This airship moved rapidly on to a point nearly beneath us, when it sud denly paused, and made signals. In a short time we found ourselves sur rounded by at least twenty similar aerostats approaching swiftly from different sides. It was a great mystery to us where so many airships had been concealed previous to their sudden appearance in answer to the signals. But the mystery was quickly solved when we saw detaching itself from the surface of the planet beneath us. where, while it remained immovable, Its color had blended with that of the soil so as to render it invisible, anchor of the mysterious ships. In a short time the atmosphere a mile or two below us, and to a distance of perhaps twenty milest around in every direction, was alive with airships of various sizes, and some of most ex traordinary forms, exchanging signals, rushing to and fro, and all finally con centrating beneath the place where our squadron was suspended. We had poked the hornet's nest with a vengeance! As yet there had been no sting, but we might quickly expect to feel it if We did not get out of range. Accordingly instructions were flashed throughout the squadron to instantly reverse polarities and rise as swiftly as possible to a great height. It was evident that this manoeuvre would save us from danger if it were quickly effected, because the airships of the Martians were simply airships anil nothing more. They could only float in the atmosphere, and had no means of rising above it, or of naviga ting empty space. To have turned our disintegrators upon them, and to have begun a battle then and there, would have been folly. They outnumbered us, overwhelm ingly, the majority of them were yet at a considerable distance and we could not have done battle, even with our entire squadron acting together, with more than one quarter of them simul taneously. We must first get some idea of the planet's means of defence before we ventured to assail it. Having risen rapidly to a height of twenty-five or thirty miles, so that we could feel confident that our ships had vanished at least from the naked eye view of our enemies bi neath, a brief consultation was held. It was ii BOlved to take our position in the twillcrht space separating day find night, and then hover over the planet at that point, allowing it to turn beneath us, so that as we looked down, we should see in succession the entire circuit of tho globe of Mars while it rolied under our eyes. In tburs remaining suspended over the planet on the line of daybreak, so to Bpeak, we believed that we should be peculiarly safe from detection by the eyes of the inhabitants. Even astrono mers are not likely to be wide awake lust at the peep of dawn. Almost all Garrett P.Serviss of the Inhabitants, we confidently be lieved, would still be sound asleep upon that part of the planet passing directly beneath us, and those who were awake would not be likely to watch for unex pected appearances in the sky. Besides, our height was so great that notwithstanding tho numbers of the squadron, we could not easily be seen from the surface of the planet, and if seen at all, we might be mistaken for high-Hying birds. Here we remained then through an entire rotation of Mars, which is but little over twenty-four hours. We saw pass beneath us the curious, half-drowned continent known to as tronomers as the Region of Deucalion, then another sea, or gulf, until we were floating, at a height of perhaps five miles above a great continental land, at least three thousand miles broad from east to west, and which I Imme diately recognized as that to which astronomers had given the various names of "Aeria," "Edom," "Arabia," and "Eden." We could see at a distance some of these great red regions, and perceive the curious network of canals by which they were intersected. The magnificence of the panorama surpassed belief. From the earth about a dozen of the principal canals crossing the continent beneath us had been per ceived, but we saw hundreds, nay, thousands of them! It was a double system, intended both both for irrigation and for protec tion, and far more marvelous in its completeness than the boldest specula tive minds among our astronomers had ever dared to imagine. "Ha! that's what I always said," ex claimed a veteran from one of our great observatories. "Mars is red be cause its soil and Its vegetation are red." And certainly appearances Indicated that he was right. Hut what trees! And what grass! And what flowers! Our telescopes showed that even the smaller trees must be 200 or 300 feet in height and there were forests of giants, whose average height was evidently at least 1,000 feet. "That's all right," exclaimed the en thusiast I have just quoted. "I knew it would be so. - lie trees are big, for the same reason that the men are, be cause the planet ls small and they can grow big without becoming too heavy !to stand." Flashing in the sun on all sides were the roofs of metallic buildings, which were evidently the only kind of edifices that Mars possessed. At any rate, if stone or wood were employed In their construction, both were completely cov ered with metallic plates. In succession as they passed from night into day beneath our feet came the land of Chryse, the great continent of Tharsis, the curious region of inter secting canals which puzzled astrono mers on the earth had named the "fior- I dian Knot," the continental lands of | Memnonia, Amazonia and Aeolia, the mysterious centre where hundreds of vast canals came together from every direction, called the Triviun Charontls; the vast circle of Elysium, a thousand miles across, and completely surround ed by a broad green canal the contin ent of Libya, which, as I remembered, had been half covered by a tremendous inundation, whose effects were visible from the earth in the year ISSO. and finally the long, dark sea of the Syrtls Major, lying directly south of the land of Helms. i The excitement and interest which Fwe all experienced were so great that not one of us took a wink of sleep dur ing the entire twenty-four Hours of our ! marvelous watch. There are one or two things of special | interest amid the multitude of wonder j ful observations that we made which I | must mention here on account of their connection with the important events ; that followed soon after. Just west of the land of Chryse we I saw the smaller land of Ophlr, in the j midst of which is a singular spot j called the Juventae Pons, and this : Fountain of Youth, as our astronomers, by a sort of prophetic inspiration, had named it, proved later to be one of the most incredible marvels on the planet Mars. Further to the west, and north from the great continent of Tharsis, we be held the immense oval-shaped land of Thaumasia containing in its centre the celebrated "Lake of the Sun," a circu lar body of water not less than GOO miles in diameter, with dozens of great canals running away from it like the spokes of a wheel in every direction, thus connecting it with the ocean which surrounds it on the south and east, and with the still larger canals that encircle it toward the north and west. This Lake of th- Pun came to play a great part in our subsequent adven tures. It was evident to us from the beginning that it was the chief centre of population on the planet. Having completed the circuit of the Martian globe, we were moved by the same feeling that every discoverer of new lands experiences, and immediate ly returned to our original place above the land of Hellas, because since that was the first part of Mars that wo had seen, we felt a greater degree of fami liarity with it than with any other portion of the planet, and there, in a certain sense, we felt "at home." But, its it proved, our enemies were on the watch for us there. We ought, of course, to have been a little more cautious in approaching the place where they first caught Fight of us, since we might have known that they would remain on the watch near that spot. We saw their ships assembling once more far down In the atmosphere be neath us, and we thought we could de tect evidences of somethlne unusual going; on upon the surface ot the planet. Suddenly from the ships, and from various points on the ground beneath, there rose high in the .-lr, and carried by invisible currents in every direction, immense volumes of black smoke, or vapor, which blotted out ot sight everything below them! South, north, west and east, the cur tain of blackness rapidly spread, until the whole face of the planet as far as our eyes could reach, and the nir ships thronging under us, were all concealed from sight! Mars had played the game of the cuttlefish, which when pursued by its enemies, darkens the water behind it by a sudden outgush of inky fluid, and thus escapes the eye of its foe. XV. After the first pause of surprise the squadron quickly backed away into the sky, rising rapidly, because, from one of the swirling eddies beneath us the smoke began suddenly to pile itself up In an enormous aerial mountain, whose peaks shot higher and higher, with ap parently increasing velocity, until they seemed about to engulf us with their tumbling ebon masses. Unaware what the nature of this mysterious smoke might be, and fear ing it was something more than a shield for the planet and might be de structive to life, we fled before it, as before the onward sweep of a pesti lence. Directly underneath the flagship, one of the aspiring smoke peaks grew with most portentous swiftness, and, not withstanding all our efforts, in a little while it had enveloped us. Several of us were standing on the deck of the electrical ship. We were almost stilled by the smoke, and were compelled to lake refuge within the car, where, until the electric lights had been turned on, darkness so black that it oppressed the strained eyeballs, prevailed. Hut in this brief experience, terrify ing though it was, we had learned one thing. The smoke would kill by stran gulation, but evidently there was noth ing especially poisonous in its nature. "This spoils our plans," said the commander. "There is no use of re maining here for the present; let us see how far this thing extends." At lirst we rose straight away to a height of 200 or 300 miles, thus passing entirely beyond the sensible limits of the atmosphere, and far above the highest point that the smoke could reach. From this commanding point of view our line of sight extended to an im mense distance over the surface of Alars in all directions. Everywhere the same appearance; the whole planet was evidently covered with smoke. ->. complete telegraphic system evi dently connected all the strategic points upon Mars, so that, at a signal from the central station the wonderful curtain could be instantaneously drawn over the entire lace of the planet. In order to make certain that no part of Mars remained uncovered, we dropped down again nearer to the up per level of the smoke clouds, and then completely circumnavigated the planet. It wits thought possible that on the night side no smoke would be found and that it would be practicable for us to make a descent there. Cut when we had arrived on that side of Mars which was turned away from the sun, we no longer saw be neath us, as we had done on our pre vious visit to the night hemisphere of the planet, brilliant group.') and clus ters of electric lights beneath us. All was dark. "Apparently wo can do nothing here." said Mr. Edison. "Let uo return to the daylight r.ido." When we hud arrived near the point where wo had been when the wonderful phenomenon fll'Ut made Its appearance, we paused, and then, at the suggestion jjOS ANGELES HERALD i SUNDAY MOWING, MARCH 13, 1896. of one of the chemists, dropped close to the surface of the smoke curtain which had now settled down into com parative quiescence, in order that we might examine it a little more crit ically. The flagship was driven into the smoke cloud so deeply that for a min ute we were again enveloped in night. A quantity of the smoke was entrapped in a glass Jar. Rising again into the sunlight, the chemists began an examination of the constitution of the smoke. They were unable to determine its precise charac acter, but they found that its density was astonishingly slight. This ac counted for the rapidity with which it had risen, and the great height which it had attained in the comparatively light atmosphere of Mars. "It Is evident," said one of the chem ists, "that this smoke does not extend down to the surface of the planet. Just how deep the smoke curtain is we can only determine by experiment, but it would not be surprising if the thickness of this great blanket which Mars has thrown around itself, should prove to be a quarter or half a mile." "Anyhow," said one of the United States army officers, "they have dodged out of sight, and I don't see why we should not dodge In and get at them. If there is clear air under the smoke, as you think, why couldn't the ships dart down through the curtain and come to a close tackle with the Mar tians?" "It would not do at all," said the commander. "We might simply run ourselves Into an ambush. No, we must stay outside, and If possible fight them from hero." "They can't keep this thing up for- One Close to the Flagship Changed Color, Withered, and Collapsed ever," said the officer. "Perhaps the smoke Will clear off after a while, an;/ then we will have a chance." "Not much hope of that, 1 am afraid," said the chemist who had originally spoken. "This smoke could remain floating in the atmosphere for weeks, and the only wonder to me Is how they ever expect to get rid of it, when they think their enemies have gone and they want some sunshine again." "All that is mere speculation," said Mr. Edison; "let us get at something practical. We must do one of two things: either attack them shielded as they are or wait until the smoke has cleared away. The only other alterna tive, that of plunging blindly down through the curtain, is at present nqj to be thought of." "I am afraid we couldn't stand a very long siege ourselves," suddenly remarked the chief commissary of the expedition, who was one of the mem bers of the flagship's company. "What do you mean by that?" asked Mr. Edison, sharply turning to him. "Well, sir, you see," said the commis sary, stammering, "our provisions wouldn't hold out." "Wouldn't hold out?" exclaimed Mr. Edison, in astonishment, "why,we have compressed and prepared provi sions enough to last this squadron for three years." "We had, sir, when we left the earth." said the commissary, in appar ent distress, "but I am sorry to say that something has happened." "Something has happened?" Explain yourself!" "I don't krow what It ls, but on in specting some of the compressed stores, a short time ago, I found that a large number of them were de stroyed, whether through leakage of air, or what, I om unable to say. I sent to inquire as to the condition of the stores in the other ships in the squad ron and I found that a similar condi tion of things prevailed there." "The fact Is," continued the com missary, "we have only provisions enough. In proper condition, for about ten days' consumption." "After that we shall have to forage on the country, then," said the army officer. "Why did you not report this be fore?" demanded Mr. Edison. "Because, sir," was the reply, "the discovery was not made until after we arrived close to Mars, and slnco then there has been so much excitement that I have hardly had time to make an investigation and find out what the precise condition of affairs ls; besides, I thought we should land upon the planet and then we would be able to renew our supplies." I closely watched Mr. Edison's ex pression In order to see how this most alarming news would affect him. Al though he fully comprehended Its fear ful significance, he did not lose his self command. "Well, well." he salrl, "then It will be come necessary for us to act quickly. Evidently we cannot wait for the smoke to clear off, even if there were any hope of its clearing-. It is very lucky that we have ten days' supply left. A great deal can be done in ten days." A few hours after this the command er called me aside, and said: "I have thought it all out. I am going to reconstruct some of our disin tegrators so as to increase their range and their power. Then I am going to have some of the astronomers of the expedition locate for me the moat vul nerable points upon the planet, where the population is densest and a hard blow would have the most effect, and lam going to pound away at them, through the smoke and roc whether we cannot draw them out of their shell." With his expert assistants Mr. Edi son set to work at once to transform a number of the disintegrators into still more formidable engines of the same description. One of these new weapons having been distributed to each of the members of the squadron, the next problem was to decide where to strike. When we first examined the surface of the planet It will be remembered that we had regarded the Lake of the Sun and its environs as being the very focus of the planet. While it might also be a strong point of defence, yet an effective blow struck there would go to the enemy's heart and be more likely to bring the Martians promptly to terms than anything else. The first thing, then, was to locate the Lake of the Sun on the smoke-hid den surface of the planet beneath us. This was a problem that the astrono mers could readily solve. Fortunately, In the flagship itself there was one of these star-gazing gentlemen who had made a specialty of the study of Mars. The astronomer had records in his pocket which ena bled him, by a brief calculation, to say just when the Lake of the Sun would be beneath us. Having thus located the heart of our foe behind its shield of darkness, we prepared to strike. "I have ascertained," said Mr. Edi son, "the vibration period of the smoke, so that it will be easy for us to shatter it into Invisible atoms. You will see that every stroke of the disintegrators will open a hole through the black curtain. If their field of destruction could be mad? wide enough, we might In that manner clear away the entire covering of smoke, but all that we shall really be able to do will be to puncture it with holes, which will, perhaps, enable us to catch glimpses of the surface beneath. In that manner we may be able more effectually to concentrate our lire upon the most vulnerable points." Everything being prepared, and the entire squadron having assembled to watch the effect of the opening blow and be ready to follow it up, Mr. Edi son himself poised one of the new dis integrators, which was too large to b*> carried in the hand, and, following the direction indicated by the calculations of the astronomer, launched the vibra tory discharge Into the ocean of black ness beneath. XVI. Instantly there opened beneath us a huge well-shaped hole, from which the black clouds rolled violently back in every direction. Through this opening we saw the gleam of brilliant lights beneath. We had made a hit. "It is the Lake of the Sun!" shouted the astronomer who furnished the cal culation by means of which its position had been discovered. And, indeed, it was the Lake of the Sun. While the opening In the clouds made by the discharge was not wide, yet it sufficed to give ub a view of a portion of the curving shore of the lake, which was ablaze with electric lights. Whether our shot had done any dam age, beyond making the circular open ing in the cloud curtain, we could not tell, for almost Immediately the sur rounding black r.moke masses billowed in to fill up the hjla. But in the brief glimpse we hod caught sight of two or three large air ships hovering In space above that part of the Lake of the Sun and its border ing city which we had beheld. It seemed to me in the brief glance I had that one ship had been touched by the discharge and was wandering in an erratic manner, but the clouds closed In so rapidly that I could not be certain. It had been prearranged that the first discharge from the flagship should be a signal for the concentration of the fire of all the other ships upon the same spot. ■» A little hesitation, however, oc curred, and a halt a minute had elapsed before the disintegrators from the other members of the squadron were got into play. Then, suddenly we saw an Immense commotion in th* eload beneath us. It seemed to be beaten and hurled In every direction and punctured like 4 sieve with nearly a hundred circular holes. Through these gaps we could see clearly a large region ot the planet's surface, with many sir ships floating above It, and the blase of Innumerable electric lights illuminating It. The Martians had created an artificial day under the curtain. This time there was no question that the blow had been effective. Four or five of the air ships, partially destroyed, tumbled headlong toward the ground, while even from our great distance there was unmistakable evidence that fearful execution had been done among the crowded structures along the shore of the Lake. As each of our ships possessed but one of the new disintegrators, and since a minute or so was required to adjust them for a fresh discharge, we remained for a little while inactive af ter delivering the blow. Meanwhile the cloud curtain, though rent to shreda by the concentrated discharge of the disintegrators, quickly became a uniform black sheet again, hiding everything. We had Just had time to congratulate ourselves on the successful opening of our bombardment, and the disintegra tor of the flagship was poised for an other discharge, when suddenly out of the black expanse beneath, quivered immense electric beams, clear cut and straight as bars of steel, but das zling our eyes with unendurable bril liance. It was the reply of the Martians to our attack. Three or four of the electrical ships were seriously damaged, and one, close beside the flagship, changed color, withered and collapsed, with the same sickening phenomena that had made our hearts shudder when the first dis aster of this kind occurred during our brief battle over the asteroid. Another score of our comrades were gone, and yet we had hardly begun the fight. Glancing at the other ships, which had been injured, I saw that the damage to them was not so serious, although they were evidently "hors de combat" for the present. Our fighting blood was now boiling and we did not stop long to count our losses. "Into the Bmoke!" was the signal, antl tho ninety and more electro ships which still remained In condition for action Immediately shot downward. It was a wild plunge. We kept off the decks while rushing through the blinding smoke, but the instant we emerged below where we found our selves still a mile above the ground, we were out again ready to strike. I have simply a confused recollection of flashing lights beneath, and a great, dark arch of clouds above, out of which our ships seemed dropping on all sides, and then the fray burst upon and around us and no man could see or notice anything except by half-com prehended glances. Almost In an Instant It seemed a swarm of air ships surrounded us, while from what, for lack of a more de scriptive name, I shall call the forts about the Lake of the Sun, leaped tongues of electric fire, before which some of our ships were driven like bits of flaming paper in a high wind, gleam ing for a moment, then curling up and gone forever! It was an awful sight; but the bat tle fever was raging in us, and we, on our part, were not idle. Every man carried a disintegrator, and these hand instruments, together with those of heavier calibre on the ships, poured their resistless vibrations in every direction through the quiver ing air. The air ships of the Martians were destroyed by the score, but yet they flocked upon us thicker and faster. We dropped lower, and ouf blows fell upon the forts and upon the wide spread city bordering the Lake of the Sun. We almost entirely silenced the rite of one of the forts; but there were forty more in full action within reach of our eyes! Some of the metallic buildings were partly unroofed by the disintegrators and some had their walls riddled and fell with thundering crashes, whose sound rose to our ears above the hellish din of battle. I caught glimpses of giant forms struggling In the ruins and rushing wildly through the streets, but there was no time to see anything clearly. Our Aagshlp seemed charmed. A crowd of air ships hung upon us like a swarm of angry bees, and, at times, one could not see for the lightning strokes—yet we escaped destruction, while ourselves dealing death on every hand. It was a glorious tight, but It was not war; no, it was not war. We really had no more chance of ultimate suc cess amid that multitude of enemies than a prisoner running the gauntlet In a crowd ot savages has ot es cape. A conviction of the hopelessness of 'the contest Anally forced itself upon our minds, and the shattered squad ron, which had kept well together amid the storm of death was signaled to retreat. Shaking off their pursuers, as a hunt ed bear shakes off the dogs, sixty of the electrical ships rose up through the clouds where more than ninety had gone down! The Martians did not for an instant cease their Are, even when we were far beyond their reach. With furious per sistence they blazed away through the cloud curtains and the vivid splkea of lightning shuddered so swiftly on one another's track that they were like a flaming halo of electric lances around the frowning helmet of the War Planet. But after a while they stopped their terrific sparring and once more the immense globe assumed the appear ance of a vast hill of black smoke. Evidently the i.lartlanß believed they had linished us. At no time since the beginning of our adventure had it appeared to me as quite so hopeless, reckless and mad as it seemed at present. It was plain we could not endure this sort of thing. We must nnd some other means of assailing Mars or else give up the attempt. ' Our provisions could last only a few days longer. The supply would not carry us one-quarter of the way back to the earth, and we must therefore remain here and literally conquer or die. In this extremity a consultation of the principal officers was called upon the deck of the flagship. Here the suggestion was made that we should attempt to effect by strate gy what we had failed to do by force. An old army officer who had served In many wars against the cunning In dians of the West, Colonel Alonzo Jef ferson Smith, was the author of this suggestion. "Let us circumvent them," he said. "We can do It In this way. The chances •re that all of the available fighting force of the planet Mars Is now concen trated on this side and In the neigh borhood of the Lake of the Bun. "Possibly, by some kind of X-ray business, they can only see us dimly through the clouds, and If we get a lit tle farthor away they will not be able to see us at all. "Now, I suggest that a certain num ber of the electrical ships be with drawn from the squadron to a great distance, while the remainder star here; or. better still, approach to a point Juat beyond the reach of those streak of lightning and began a bom bardment of the clouds without paying any attention to whether the strokes reach through the clouds and do any damage or not. "This will induce the Martians to believe that we are determined to press our attack at this point "In the meantime, while these ships are raising a hulls baloo on this side of the planet, and drawing their Ure as much as possible, without running into any actual danger, let the others which have been selected for the pur pose, sail rapidly around to the other side of Mars and take them in the rear." It was not perfectly clear what Colo nel Smith Intended to do after the landing had been effected In the rear of the Martians, but still there seemed a good deal to be said for his sugges tion, and It would, at any rate, if car ried out, enable us to learn something about the condition of things on the planet, and perhaps furnish us with a hint as to how we could best pro ceed in the further prosecution of the siege. Accordingly It was resolved that about twenty ships should be told off for this movement, and Colonel Smith himself was placed In com mand. At my desire I accompanied the neWi commander In his flagship. Rising to a considerable elevation in order that there might be no risk of being seen, we began our flank move ment while the remaining ships in ac cordance with the understanding, dropped nearer the curtain 'of cloud and commenced a bombardment with the disintegrators, which caused a tre mendous commotion in the clouds, opening vast gaps in them, and occa sionally revealing a glimpse of the elec tric lights on the planet, although it was evident that the vibratory cur rents did not reach the ground. The Martians immediately replied to this renewed attack, and again the cloud covered globe bristled with lightning, which flashed so fiercely out of the blackness below that the stoutest hearts among us quailed, although we were situated well beyond the danger. But this sublime spectacle rapidly vanished from our eyes when, having attained a proper elevation, we began our course toward the opposite hemi sphere of the planet. We guided our flight by the stars, and from our knowledge of the rotation period of Mars, and the position which the principal points on its surface must occupy at certain hours, we were able to tell what part of the planet lay be neath us. Having completed our semi-circuit we found ourselves on the night side of Mars, and determined to lose no time in executing our coup. But it was deemed best that an exploration should first be made by a single elec trical ship, and Colonel Smith naturally wished to undertake the adventure with his own vessel. We dropped rapidly through the black cloud curtain, which proved to be at least half a mile in thickness, and then suddenly emerged, as If suspended at the apex of an enormous dome. arching above the surface of the planet a mile beneath us, which sparkled on all sides with innumerable lights. These lights were so numerous and so brilliant as to produce a faint imitation of daylight, even at our Immense height above the ground, and the dome ot cloud out of which we had emerged assumed a soft fawn color that pro duced an indescribably beautiful ef fect. For a moment we recoiled from our undertaking, and arrested the motion of the electric ship. For on closely examining the surface beneath us we found that there was a broad region, where comparatively few bright lights were to be seen. Prom my knowledge of the geography ot Mars, I knew that this was a part of the Land of Ausonia, situated a few hundred miles northeast ot Hellas* where we had first seen the planet. Evidently It was not so thickly popu lated as some of the other parts of Mafs, and its comparative darkness was an attraction to us. We determined to approach within a tew hundred feet of the ground with the electric ship, and then. In case no enemies appeared, to visit the soil Itself. "Perhaps we shall see or hear some thing that will be of use to üb." said Colonel Smith, "and for the purposes of this first reconnolssance it is better that we should be few in number. The other ships will await our return, and at any rate we shall not be gone long." As our car approached the ground we found ourselves near the tops ot some lofty trees. "This will do," srld Colonel Smith, to the electrical steersman. "Stay right here;" He and I then lowered ourselves into the branches of the trees, each carry ing a small disintegrator, and cau tiously clambered down to the ground. We believed we were the first of the descendants of Adam to set foot on the planet of Mars. TO BE CONTINUED. How to Light a Pipe. An old smoker gives the following rules to secure a "good smoke." He says: Keep pipe and stem as clean as possible, and the time to clean them ls Immediately after a smoke. Fill the bowl with your favorite brand and press down firmly, but don't strive to see how solid you can pack It. If you make it as solid as wood it will burn like wood and make a coal Are about as hot and ungrateful. Don't pull as though you had no more matches and feared It would "go out." Light a small spot directly on the center. Smoke slowly until it works its way gradually downward. If it undertakes to spread press it down again with thumb or finger. A half minute's care In starting Is all that le required. Now, smoke slowly. The little fire continues downward, delicately roasting the to bacco on the sides, and presently, when you cave this oft, there will come a revelation In soft, mellow smoke, so cool, so delicate, so soothing, that you 1 will never regret having read this.