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The herald. [microfilm reel] (Los Angeles [Calif.]) 1893-1900, April 03, 1898, Image 21

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85042461/1898-04-03/ed-1/seq-21/

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(Copyright, IS9S. by Garrett P. Bervlss.J
... . .
Tho Inventive genius of Thomas A. Edi
son makes possible an attack of the eurtn
upon Mais. This Is done to prevent a sec
ond Invasion of tho Martians, who are
trying to relieve their ovcrpopululcd
plunot; the first having failed through the
breaking out of disease and not human ef
fort. Edison Invents v practical electrical
air ship, and an engine of destruction
called the '■Disintegrator." which will
lause the constituent particles of any ou
ject at which it may bo directed to so
vibrate thut the object will be Immediate
ly and completely dispersed. A large Heel
Bf air ships armed with disintegrators and
manned by two thousand men, among
whom are many famous scientists, sets
out. Tho fleet arrived übove tho hind ol
Hellas, on Murs, nnd finds v host of air
ships on the watch. Tho Martians, who
are of giant stature, human in tor in
cut of repulsive aspect, cover tneir
planot with a thick cloud of smoke,
which thu visitors pierce with tnen
disintegrators. Tho Martians launch
their thunderbolts, and do much damage
to the Edison lleot, which llnally drops
beneath the smoke curtuln and engages
the enemy, ln their ships, In close com
bat. Tho destruction is awful, both on
land and ln tho air, and the ships from
the earth withdraw but sixty in number.
Ihe next move ls a strategic plan pro
posed by Colonel Smith, an army officer.
The majority ot the ships arc concen
trated at a certain point where the at
tention of Martians is held, while a few
are sent to the other side of the planet to
effect a landing, and if possible obtain
come much needed provisions for the
Beet. Colonel Smith's ship descends near
A large building. The Colonel and the
narrator, approaching, hear strains of
beautiful music Issuing from it. Enter
ing, they arc amazed to find a young girl
—a human being—playing on a strange In-
Itrument for tho amusement of several
Martians. The latter are quickly dis
patched with disintegrators, and the girl
is taken back to thu main squadron, to
gether with large quantities of com
pressed food that are found in the build
ing. Although none can understand the
girl, lt is perceived that her language is
of human origin. The whole squadron re
pairs to tho farther moon of Murs. Dci
mos, in order to give the linguists of the
party time to acquire the girl's speech,
for Mr. Edison believes that she can give
them Information that will lend to v suc
cessful routing of the enemy. After three
Weeks spent on Delmos, out of sight of
Mars, the linguists are able to understand
Alna's story. Her ancestors were brought
from the eartli ln a previous Invasion of
the earth by the Martians about 9.000
years ago. From the girl's remarkable
narrative It would appear thnt the Mar
tians had visited Egypt and bad built
the Pyramids and the Sphinx. Aina's
forefathers were carried back to Mars,
and they and their descendants bad been
kept in slavery until, with the exception
of Alna. they were all massacred on the
arrlvnl of the fleet from the earth. Alna
discloses a way by which the Martians
can be drowned out. This is to break
open the mighty sea gates that hold back
the water—used at another season for ir
rigating purposes—formed by the melting
of tho snows around the South pole. The
fleet leaves Delmos for Mars, keeping al
ways in the shadow of the planet. The
invaders arrive, without being detected,
above the power house thut controls the
mechanism of the gates. It ls Strongly
guarded by an electrical net work and
other devices that it would mean death
to tamper with, but the narrator. Mr.
Edison, Colonel Smith and Sidney Phil
lips, of whom these just two have become
rivals for the hand of Alna. and the girl
herself, descend safely from one of the
ships and make their way, disintegrators
ln hand, toward the power bouse.
We had one very great advantage.
The Martians had evidently placed so
much confidence In the electric net
work which surrounded the power
house that they never dreamed of ene
mies' being able to penetrate It—at
least without giving warning of their
But the hole which we had blown in
had been made noiselessly, and Mr.
Edison believed, since no enemies had
appeared, that our operations had not
been betrayed by any automatic sig
nal to watchers inside the building.
Consequently, we had every reason
to think that we now stood within the
line of defence, in which they reposed
the greatest confidence, without their
having the least suspicion of our
Aina assured us that on the occasion
of her former visit to the power house
there had been but two sentinels at the
entrance. At the inner end of a long
passage leading to the interior, she
said, there were two more. Besides
these there were three or four Martian
engineers watching the machinery in
the interior of tho building. A'number
of ait ships were supposed to be on
guard around the structure, but prob
ably their vigilance had been relaxed,
because not long ago the Martians
sent an expedition against Ceres which
had been so successful that the power
of that planet to make an attack upon
Mars had for the present been de
Supposing us to have been annihila
ted in the recent battle among the
clouds, they would have no fear or
cause for vigilance on our account.
The entrance to the great structure
was low —at least when measured by
the stature of the Martians. Evidently
the intention was that only one person
at a time should find room to pass
through it.
Drawing cautiously near, we dis
cerned the outlines of two gigantic
forms standing in the darkness, one on
either side of the door. Colonel Smith
whispered to me:
"If you will take the fellow on the
right, I will attend to the other one."
Adjusting our aim as carefully as
was possible in the gloom. Colonel
Smith and I simultaneously discharged
our disintegrators, sweeping them rap-
idly up and down in the manner which
become familiar to us when en
(itttvorlng to destroy one of the'gigan
tic Martians with a single stroke. And
so successful were we that the two
sentinels disappeared 03 if they had
been ghosts of the night.
Instantly we all hurried forward and
entered the door. Before us extended
a long straight passage, brightly il
luminated by a number of electric can
dles. Its polished sides gleamed with
blood-red reflections, and the gallery
terminated, at a distance of two or
three hundred feet, with an opening
Into a large chamber beyond, on the
farther side of which we could see part
Df a gigantic and complicated mass of
Garrett P.Serviss
Making as little noise as possible, we
pushed ahead along the passage, but
when we had arrived within a distance
of a dozen paces from the Inner end,
we stopped, and Colonel Smith, getting
down upon his knees, crept forward
until he had reached the inner end of
tho pussage. There he peered cautious
ly around the edge Into the chamber,
and, turning his head a moment later,
beckoned us to come forward. We
crept to his side, and, looking out into
the vast apartment, could perceive no
What had become of the sentinels
supposed to stand at the Inner end of
the passage, we could not imagine. At
any rate, they were not ut their
The chamber was an Immense square
room at least a hundred feet in height
and 400 feet on a side, and almost fill
ing the wall opposite t- us was an in
tricate display of wheels, levers, rods
and polished plates. This we had no
doubt was one end of the great engine
which opened and shut the great gates
that could dam an ocean.
"There Is no one in sight," said Col
onel Smith.
"Then we must act quickly," said
Mr. Edison,
"Where," he said, turning to Aina,
"is the handle by turning which you
saw the Martian close the gates?"
Aina looked about in bewilderment.
The mechanism before us was so com
plicated that even an expert mechani
cian would have been excusable for
finding himself unable to understand
it. There were scores of knobs and
bandies, all glistening ln the electric
light, any one of which, as far as the
uninstructed could tell, might have
been the master key that controlled
the whole complex apparatus.
"Quick," said Mr. Edison, "where is
The girl in her confusion ran this
way and that, gazing hopelessly upon
the machinery, but evidently utterly
unable to help us.
To remain here inactive was not
merely to invite destruction for our
selves, but was sure to bring certain
failure upon the purpose of the expe
dition. All of us began instantly to
look about ln search of the proper ban
die, seizing every crank and wheel in
sight and striving to turn it.
"Stop that!" shouted Mr. Edison,
"you may set the whole thing wrong.
Don't touch anything until we have
found the right lever."
But to find thnt seemed to most of
us now utterly beyond the power of
It was at this critical moment that
the wonderful depth and reach of Mr.
Edison's mechanical genius displayed
itself. He stepped back, ran his eye
quickly over the whole immense mass
of wheels, handles, bolts, bars and lev
ers, paused for an instant, as if making
up hlB mind,. then said decidedly,
"There it is," and stepping quickly
forward, selected a small wheel amid a
dozen others, nil furnished at the clr-
eumference with handles like those of
a pilot's wheel, and, giving it a quick
wrench, turned it half way around.
At that instant a startling shout fell
upon our ears. There was a thunder
ous clatter behind us, and, turning, we
saw three gigantic Martians rushing
"Sweep them! Sweep them!" cried
Colonel Smith, as he brought his dis
integrator to bear. Mr. Phillips and I
instantly followed his example, and
thus we swept the Martians into eter
nity, while Mr. Edison coolly continued
his manipulations of the wheel.
The effect of what he was doing be
came apparent in less than half a min
ute. A shiver ran through the mass of
machinery and shook the entire build
"Look! look!" cried Sidney Phillips,
who had stepped a little apart from the
We all ran to this side, and found
ourselves in front of a great window
which opened through the side of the
house, giving a view of what lay in
front of it. There, gleaming in the
electric lights, we saw the Syrtis Ma
jor, its waters washing high against
the walls of the vast power house. Run
ning directly oi>t from the shore, there
was an immense metallic gate at least
400 yards in length and rising 300 feet
above the present level of the water.
This great gate was slowly swinging
upon an invisible hinge in such a man
ner that in a few minutes it would evi
dently stand across the current of the
Syrtis Major at right angles.
Beyond was a second gate, which was
moving in the same manner. Further
on was a third gate, and then another,
and another, as far as the eye could
reach, evidently extending in an un
broken series completely across the
great strait.
As the gates, with accelerated motion
when the current caught them, clanged
together, we beheld a spectacle that
almost stopped the beating of our
The great Syrtis seemed to gather it
self for a moment, and then it leaped
upon the obstruction and hurried its
waters into one vast foaming geyser
that seemed to shoot a thousand feet
But the metal gates withstood the
shock, though buried from our sight in
the seething white mass, and the baf
fled waters instantly swirled round In
ten thousand gigantic eddies, rising to
the level of our window and beginning
to inundate the power house before we
fairly comprehended our peri).
"We have done the work," said Mr.
Edison, smiling grimly. "Now we had
better get. out of this before the flood
bursts upon us."
The warning came none too soon. It
was necessary to act upon it at once if
we would have our lives. Even before
we could reach the entrance to the long
.passage through which we had come
Into the great engine room, the water
had risen half way to our knees. Col
onel Smith, catching Aina under his
arm, led the way. The roar of the mad
dened torrent behind deafened us.
As we ran through the passage, the
water followed us, with a wicked
swishing sound, and In five seconds it
was above our knees, in ten seconds up
to our waists.
The great danger now was that we
should be swept from our feet, and once
down ln that torrent there would have
been little chance of our ever getting
our heads above its level. Supporting
ourselves as best we could with the aid
of the walls, we partly ran and Were
partly swept along, until we reached
the outer end of the passage and
emerged Into the open air, the lloud
swirling about our shoulders.
Here there was an opportunity to
clutch some of the ornamental work
surrounding the doorway, and thus we
managed to stay our mad progress,
and gradually to work out of the cur
rent until we found that the water,
having now an abundance of room to
spread, had fallen again as low as our
But suddenly we heard the thunder
of the banks, tumbling behind us, ami
to the right and left, and the savage
growl of the released water as it sprang
through the bleaches.
To my dying day, I think, I shall not
forget the sight of a great fluid column
that burst through the dike at the edge
of the grove of trees and, by the tre
mendous impetus of Its rush, seemed
turned into a solid thing.
Like an enormous ram, it plowed the
soil to a depth of twenty feet, uproot
ing acres of the immense trees like
stubble turned over by the plowshare,
The uproar was so awful that for an
instant the coolest of us lost his Belt
control. Yet we knew we bad not the
fraction of a second to waste. The
breaking of the banks had caused the
water again rapidly to rise about us.
In a little while it was once more as
high as our waists.
In the excitement and confusion,
deafened by the noise and blinded by
the Hying foam, we were in danger of
becoming separated in the flood. We
no longer knew certainly in whut direc
tion was the tree by whose aid we had
descended from the electrical ship. We
pushed first one way und then another,
staggering through the rushing waters
in search of it. Finally we succeeded
in locating it, and with all our strength
hurried toward it.
Then there came a noise as if the
globe of Mars had been split asunder,
and another great head of water hurled
itself down upon the soil before us, and,
without taking time to spread, bored a
vast cavity in the ground, and scooped
out the whole of the grove before our
eyes as easily as a gardener lifts a sod
with his spade.
Our last hope was gone. For a mo
ment the level of the water around us
sank again, as it poured into the im
mense excavation where the grove had
stood, but in an instant it was rein
forced from all sides and began once
more rapidly to rise.
Wo gave ourselves up for lost, and.
Indeed, there did not seem any possible
hope of salvation.
Even in this extremity I saw Colonel
At That instant the Immense Power House Gave Way.
Smith lifting the form of Aina, who
hurl fainted, above the surface of the
Surging water, while Sidney Phillips
stood by his side and aided him in sup
porting the unconscious girl.
"We stayed a little too long," was
the only sound I heard from Mr. Edi
The huge bulk of the power house
partially protected us against the force
of the current, and the water spun
around us in great eddies. These swept
us this way and that, but yet we man
aged to cling together, determined not
to be separated in death if we could
avoid it.
Suddenly a cry rang out directly
above our heads:
"Jump for your lives, and be quick!"
At the same instant the ends of sev
eral ropes splashed into the water.
We glanced upward, and there,
within three or four yards of our heads,
hung the electrical ship, which we had
left moored at the top of the tree.
Tom, the expert electrician from Mr.
Edison's shop, who had remained in
charge of the ship, had never once
dreamed of such a thing- as deserting
us. Tho moment he saw the water
bursting over the dam, and evidently
flooding the building which we had
entered, he cast off his moorings, as
we subsequently learned, and hovered
over the entrance to the power house,
getting as low down as possible and
keeping a sharp watch for us.
But most of the electric light in the
vicinity had been carried down by the
first, rush of the water, and in the
darkness he did not see us when we
emerged from the entrance. It was
only after the sweeping away of the
grove of trees had allowed a flood of
light to stream upon the scene from a
cluster of electric lumps on a distant
portion of the bank on the Syrtis that
had not yet given way that he caught
Bight of us.
Immediately he began to shout to at
tract our attention, but in the awful
uproar we could not hear him. Getting
together all the ropes that he could
lay his hands on, he steered the ship
to a point directly over us, and then
dropped down within a few yards of
the boiling flood.
Now as he hung over our heads, and
saw the water tip to our very necks
and still swiftly rising, he shouted
"Catch hold, for Cod's sake!"
The three men who were with him ln
tile BhiP seconded bis cries.
But by the time we had fairly
grasped the ropes, so rapidly was the
Hood rising, we were already afloat,
With the assistance of Tom and his
men we were rapidly drawn up, and
immediately Tom reversed the electric
polarity, and the ship began to rise.
At that same Instant, with a crash
that shivered the air, the immense
metallic power house gave way and
was swept tumbling, like a hill torn
loose from its base, over the very spot
uhero a moment before we had stood.
One second's hesitation on tho part of
Tom, and the electrical ship would bave
been battered into a shapeless wad of
metal by the careering mass,
When we had attained a considerable
height, so that we could Bee to a great
distance on either side, the spectacle
became even more fearful than it was
when we were close to the surface.
On all sides banks and dykes were go
ing down; trees were being uprooted;
buildings were tumbling: and the ocean
was achieving that victory over the
land which had long been its due, but
which the ingenuity of the inhabitants
of Mars had postponed for ages.
Far away we could see the front of
the advancing wave crested with foam
that sparkled in the electric lights, and
as it swept on it changed the entire
aspect of the planet—in front of it all
life, behind it all death.
Eastward our view extended across
the Syrtls Major toward the land of
Libya nnd the region of Isidis. On that
side also the dykes were giving way
under the tremendous pressure, and the
Hoods were rushing toward the sun
rise, which had just begun to streak
the eastern sky.
The continents that were being over
whelmed on the western side of the
Syrtls were Meroe, Aeria, Arabia, Eiiom
and Eden. •
The water beneath us continually
deepened. The current from the melt
ing snows around the southern pole
was at its strongest, and one could
hardly have believed that any obstruc
tion put in its path would have been
able to arrest it and turn it into these
two ail-swallowing deluges, sweeping
east and west. But, as we now per
ceived, the level of the land over a
large part of its surface was hundreds
of feet, below the ocean, so that the
latter, when once the barriers were
broken, lushed into depressions that
yawned to receive it.
The point where we had dealt our
blow was far removed from the great
capital of Mars, around the Lake of the
Sun, and we knew that we should have
to wait for the floods to reach that
point before the desired effect could be
produced. By the nearest way, the
water had at least 5,000 miles to travel.
We estimated that its speed where we
hung above it was as much as a hun
dred miles an hour. Even if that speed
were maintained, more than two days
and nights would be required for the
floods to reach the Lake of the Sun.
But as the water rushed on it would
break the banks of all the canals inter
secting the country, and these, being
also elevated above the surface, would
add the impetus of their escaping wa
ters to hasten the advance of the flood.
We calculated, therefore, that about
two duys would suffice to place the
planet at our mercy.
Half way from the Syrt'l3 Major to
the Lake of the Sun another great con
necting link between the Southern and
Northern ocean basins, called on our
maps of Mars the Indus, existed, and
through this channel we knew that an
other great current must be setting
from the south toward the north. The
flood that we bad started would reach
and break the banks of tho Indus with
in one day.
The Hood traveling in the other, dl
rcction, toward the east, would have
considerably farther to go before reach
ing tho neighborhood of the Lake of
the Sun. It, too, would involve hun
dreds of great canals as it advanced,
and would come plunging upon the
Lake of the Sun and its surrounding
forts and cities, probably about half v
day later than the arrival of the deluge
that traveled toward the west.
Now that we had let the awful de
stroyer loose we almost shrank from
the thought of the consequences which
we had produced. How many millions
Would perish as the result of our deed,
we could not even guess. Many of the
victims, as far as we knew, might be
entirely innocent of enmity toward us,
or of the evil which had been done to
our native planet. But this was a case
in which the good—if they existed—
must suffer with the bad on account of
the wicked deeds of the latter. ,
I have already remarked that the
continents of Mars were higher on their
northern and southern border* where
they faced the great oceans. These
natural barriers bore to the main mass
of the land somewhat the relation of
the edge of a shallow dish to its bot
tom. Their rise on the land side was
too gradual to give them the appear
ance of hills, but on the side toward
the sea they broke down in steep banks
and cliffs several hundred feet in
height. We guessed that it would be
in the direction of these elevations that
the inhabitants would flee, and those
who had timely warning' might thus be
able to escape in case the flood did not
—as it seemed possible it might in its
first mad rush—overtop the highest
elevation on Mars.
As day broke and the sun slowly
rose upon the dreadful scene beneath
us. we began to catch sight of some of
the fleeing inhabitants. We had shift
ed the position of the fleet toward the
south, and were now suspended above
the southeastern corner of Aeria. Here
a high bank of reddish lock confronted
the sea, whose waters ran lashing and
roaring along the bluffs to supply the
rapid draught produced by the empty
ing of the Syrtls Major. Along the
shore there was a narrow line of land,
hundreds of miles in length, but less
than a quarter of a mile broad, which
still rose slightly above the surface of
the water, and this land of refuge was
absolutely packed with the monstrous
inhabitants of the planet, who had lied
hither on the first warning that the wa
ter was coming.
In some places it was so crowded that
the late comers could not find standing
ground on dry land, but were continu
ally slipping back and falling into the
water. It was an awful sight to look
at them. It reminded me of pictures
that I had seen of the deluge in the
days of Noah, when the waters had
risen to the mountain tops, and men,
women and children were fighting for
a foothold upon the last dry spots that
the earth contained.
We were all moved by a desire to help
our enemies, for we were overwhelmed
With feelings of pity and remorse, but
to aid them was now utterly beyond
our power. The mighty floods were
out, and the end was in the hands of
Fortunately, we had little time for
these thoughts, because no sooner had
the day begun to dawn around us than
the airships of the Martians appeared.
Evidently the people in them were
dazed by the disaster and uncertain
what to do. It is doubtful whether at
first they comprehended the fact that
we were the agents who had produced
the catacyism.
But as the morning advanced the air
ships came flocking in greater and
greater numbers from every direction,
many swooping down close to the flood
in order to rescue those who were
drowning. Hundreds gathered along
the slip of land which was crowded, as
I have described, with refugees, while
other hundreds rapidly assembled
about us, evidently preparing for an
We had learned in our previous con
tests with the airships of the Martians
that our electrical ships had a great
advantage over them, not merely in
rapidity and facility of movement, but
in the fact that our disintegrators
could sweep in every direction, while
it was only with much difficulty that
the Martian airships could discharge
their electrical strokes at an enemy
poised directly above their heads.
Accordingly, orders were instantly
flashed to all the squadron to rise ver
tically to an elevation so great that the
rarity of the atmosphere would prevent
the airships from attaining the same
This manoeuvre was executed so
quickly that the Martians were unable
to deal us a blow before we were poised
above them in such a position that they
could not easily reach us. Still they
did not mean to give up the conflict.
Presently we saw one of the largest
of their ships manoeuvring in a very
peculiar manner, the purpose of which
we did not at first comprehend. Its for
ward portion commenced slowly to rise,
until it pointed upward like the nose of
a fish approaching the surface of the
water. The moment it was in this po
sition, an electrical bolt was darted
from its prow, and one of our ships re
ceived a shock which, although it did
not prove fatal to the vessel Itself,
killed two or three men aboard it. dis
arranged its apparatus, and rendered
It for the time being useless.
"Ah, that's their trick, is it?" said
Mr. Edison. "We must look out for
that. Whenever you see one of the air
ships beginning to stick its nose up af
ter that fashion, blaze away at it."
An older to this effect was transmit
ted throughout the squadron. At the
same time several of the most power
ful disintegrators were directed upon
the ship which had executed the strat
egem and, reduced to a wreck, it
dropped, whirling like a broken kite
until it fell into the flood beneath.
Ktill the .Martians' ships came flock
ing in ever greater numbers from all
directions. They made desperate at
tempts to attain the level at which we
bung above them. This was impossible,
but many, getting an impetus by a
swift run in the denser portion of the
atmosphere beneath, succeeded in ris
ing so high that they could discharge
j their electric artillery with consider
able effect. Others, with more or less
success, repeated the manoeuvre of the
ship which had first attacked us, and
thus the battle became gradually more
general and more fierce, until, in the
course of an hour or two, our squadron
found itself engaged with probably a
thousand airships, which blazed with
incessant lightning strokes, and were
able, all too frequently, to do us seri
ous damage.
But on our part the battle was waged
with a cool determination and a con
sciousness of insuperable advantage
which boded ill for the enemy. Only
three or four of our sixty electrical
ships were seriously damaged, while
the work of the disintegrators upon
the crowded fleet that floated beneath
us was terrible to look upon.
Our strokes fell thick and fast on all
sides. It was like firing into a flock of
birds that could not get away. Not
withstanding all their efforts they were
practically at our mercy. Shattered in
to unrecognizable fragments, hundreds
of the airships continually dropped
from their great height to be swal
lowed up in the boiling waters.
Yet they were game to the last. They
made every effort to get at us, and in
their frenzy they seemed to discharge
their bolts without, much regard as to
whether friends or foes were injured.
Our eyes were nearly blinded by the
ceaseless glare beneath us, and the up
roar was indescribable.
At length, after the fearful contest
had lasted for at least three hours, It
became evident that the strength of
the enemy was rapidly weakening.
Nearly tbe whole of their immense
fleet of airships had been destroyed, or
so far damaged that they were barely
able to tloat. Just so long, however, as
they showed signs of resistance we
continued to pour our merciless fire up
on them, and the signal to cease was
not given until the airships which had
escaped serious damage began to llee
in every direction.
"Thank God, the thing is over," said
Mr. Edison. "We have got the victory
at last, but how we shall make use of
it is something that at present I do
not see."
"But will they not renew the at
tack?" asked some one.
"I do not think they can," was the
reply. "We have destroyed the very
flower of their fleet."
"And better than that," said Col
onel Smith, "we have destroyed their
elan; we have made them afraid.
Their discipline is gone."
But this was only the beginning of
our victory. The floods below were
achieving a still greater triumph, and
now that we had conquered the air
ships, we dropped within a few hundred
feet of the surface of the water and
then turned our faces westward in or
der to follow the advance of the deluge
and see whether, as we had hoped, it
would overwhelm our enemies in the
very centre of their power.
In a little while we had overtaken
the front wave, which was still devour
ing everything. We saw it bursting
the bunks of the canals, sweeping away
forests of gigantic trees, and swallow
ing cities and villages, leaving behind
nothing but a broad expanse of swirl
ing and eddying waters, which, in con
sequence of the prevailing red hue of
the vegetation and the soil, looked, as,
shuddering, we gazed down up it, like
an ocean of blood, ilecked with foam
and steaming with the escaping life of
the planet from whose veins it gushed.
As we skirted the southern borders
of the continent the same dreadful
scenes which we had beheld on the
coast of Aeria presented themselves.
Crowds of refugees thronged the high
border of the land and struggled with
one another for a foothold against the
continually rising Hood.
We saw, too. Hitting in every direc
tion, but rapidly fleeing before our ap
proach, many airships, evidently
crowded with Martians, but not armed
either for offence or defence. These,
of course, we did not disturb, for merci
less as our proceedings seemed even to
ourselves, we had no intention of mak
ing war upon the innocent, or upon
those who had no means to resist.
What we had done it had seemed to us
necessary to do, but henceforth we
were resolved to take no more lives if
it could be avoided.
Thus, during the remainder of that
day. all of the following night and all
of the next day, we continued upon
the heels of the advancing flood.
The second night we could perceive
ahead of us the electric lights cover
ing the land of Thaumasia, in the
midst of which lay the Lake of the
Sun. The flood would be upon It by
daybreak, and, assuming that the de
moralization produced by the news of
the coming of the waters, which we
were aware had hours before been
flashed to the capital of Mars, would
prevent the Martians from effectively
manning' their forts, we thought it safe
to hasten on with the flagship, and one
or two others, in advance of the water,
and to hover over the Lake of the Sun
in the darkness, in order that we might
watch the deluge perform its awful
work in the morning.
Thaumasia, as I have before re
marked, was a broad, oval land, about
1,800 miles across, having the Lake of
the Sun exactly in its centre. From
this lake, which was four or five hun
dred miles in diameter, and circular in
outline, many canals radiated, as
straight as the spokes of a wheel, in
every direction, and connected it with
the surrounding seas.
Like all the other Martian continents,
Thaumasia lay below the level of the
sea, except toward the south, where it
fronted the ocean.
Completely surrounding the lake was
a great ring of cities constituting the
capital of Mars. Here the genius of
the Martians had displayed itself to the
full. The surrounding- country was lr«
rlgated until it fairly bloomed with gi
gantic vegetation and flowers; the
canals were carefully regulated with
locks so that the supply of water was
under complete control; the display of
magnificent metallic buildings of all
kinds and sizes produced a most daz
zling effect, and the protection against
enemies afforded by tho innumerable
fortifications surrounding the ringed
city, and guarding the neighboring
lands, seemed complete.
Suspended at a height of perhaps two
miles from the surface, near the south
ern edge of the lake, we waited for the
oncoming flood. With the dawn of day
we began to perceive more clearly the
effect which the news of the drowning
of the planet had produced. It was evi
dent that many of the inhabitants ot
the cities had already fled. Airships
on which the fugitives hung as thick
as swarms of bees were seen, elevated
but a short distance above the ground,
and making their way rapidly toward
the south.
The Martians knew that their only
hope of escape lay in reaching the high
southern border of the land before the
Hoods were upon them. But they must
have known also that that narrow
beach would not suffice to contain one
in ten of those who sought refuge
there. The density of the population
around the Lake of the Sun seemed to
us incredible. Again our hearts sank
within us at the fearful destruction of
life for which we were responsible. Yet
we comforted ourselves with the re
flection that it was unavoidable. As
Colonel Smith put it:
"You couldn't trust these coyotes.
The only thing to do was to drown
them out. i am sorry for them, but I
guess there will be as many left as will
be good for us, anyhow."
We had not long to wait for the flood.
As the dawn began to streak the east
we saw its awful crest moving out of
the darkness, bursting across the
canals and plowing its way in the di
rection of the crowded shores of the
Lake of the Sun. The supply of water
behind that great wave seemed inex
haustible. Five thousand miles it had
traveled, and yet its power was as
great as when it started from the Syrtis
We caught sight erf the oncoming wa
ter before it was visible to the Mar
tians beneath us. But while it was yet
many miles away, the roar of it reached
them, and then arose a chorus of ter
rific cries, the effect of which, coming
to our ears out of the half gloom of the
morning was most uncanny and hor
rible. Thousands upon thousands of
the Martians still remained here to be
come the victims of the deluge. Some,
perhaps, doubted the truth of the re
port that the banks were down and
the floods were out; others, for one rea
son or another, had been unable to get
away; others, like the inhabitants of
Pompeii, had lingered too long, or had
returned after beginning the flight, to
secure abandoned treasures, and now it
was too late to get away.
With a roar that shook the planet
the white wall rushed upon the great
city beneath our feet, and in an in
stant it had been engulfed. On went
the flood, swallowing up the Lake of
the Sun itself, and in a little while, as
far as our eyes could range, the land
of Thaumasia had been turned Into a,
raging sea.
A Case of a Man Who Could
Write Words and Was Unable
to Read Them,
Dr. James Hinshelwood, a very dis*
tinguished surgeon of Glasgow, Scot
land, describes some remarkable cases
of mental affliction in the London
"Lancet." One would think it almost
impossible for a man to get Into a state
of mind where he can write words and
recognize letters, but Is absolutely un
able to read either what he has writ
ten himself or any printed language
that may be put before him.
Dr. Hinshelwood says: "A man, aged
fifty-three years, on September 7, 1897,
came home from his business about
two o'clock in the afternoon saying
that he did not feel well and had to
give up work in the morning, as he
could not see to read or write. Shortly,
thereafter, whilst sitting on a chair, he
became giddy, fell to the ground, and
was unconscious, but only for a mo
ment. He soon felt all right again and
in the afternoon went out for a walk.
In the evening about seven o'clock,
without warning, he had a severe fit
with general, convulsive movements
and complete unconsciousness for about
an hour thereafter. He remained in a
dazed condition for about two days,
but gradually recovered and since then
had been able to go about. On the ad
vice of his medical adviser he had
kept away from business. On test
ing him with the distance types, com
posed of separate letters, he could read
the letters quite fluently, although his
visual acuity was not quite up to the
normal, being 6-8. On testing him with
the reading test typos composed of
words and sentences I found he could
not read them when made to rely upon
vision alone. If allowed to spell out
aloud each word letter by letter he
could read the words slowly and labori
ously, just as a child spells them out
when learning to read. When pre
vented from doing this he could not
read words at all. The only exceptione
were in the case of a few short fa
miliar words such as "the", "of", "to",
etc. These he sometimes picked out
with a certain amount of pride. On
asking him not to attempt any longer
reading the words but to read the let
ters only he read them off fluently line
after line. His difficulties In reading
words were precisely the same with
the largest as with the smallest test
types. On the other hand, he read the
letters of the smallest test types, Jaeger
No. 1, without difficulty with suitable
glasses. He had precisely the same
difficulty in reading written as In read
ing printed words. On testing him with
figures he could read them rapidly and
fluently, not only the individual figures,
but when combined Into complicated
groups of thousands, hundreds of thou
sands and millions, and e\. - fn the
form of very complex fractions. He
could write to dictation and copy cor
rectly, although he could not read
what he had written. The patient
was strongly urged to abstain ajjitirely
from business so as to secure af.polute
cerebral rest, and iodide of potassium
was recommended on the grounj k that
there might be some specific affection
of the cerebral vessels, although there
was no history or traces of past spec
ific disease."
Copyright, 1898, by Bacheller Syndicate.

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