* • • • •
ÜOßYRIGHT, 1898. BY GARRETT P SERVIE
[Continued from last week.]
tbe meantime some of tbe skulkers
WBose flight 1 bave referred to began to
teturu, chapfallen, but rejoicing iu the
disappearance of tbe danger. Several of
them, I am ashamed to say, bad been
army officers. Yet possibly some excuse
could be made for tbe terror by which
they had been overcome. No man has a
r fght to hold his fellow beings to
Count for tbe line of conduct they may
■pursue under circumstances which are
^fivonly entirely unexampled in their
■j^ferieuce, but almost beyond tbe power
^^Be imagination to picture.
Bj^Bralyzing terror had evidently seized
with tbe sudden comprehension of
|^B unprecedented singularity af their
libation. Millions of miles away from
earth, confronted on an asteroid by
|^ese diabolical monsters from a mal
r efloient planet, who were on tbe point
of destroying them with a strange tor
ment of death, perhaps it was really
more than human nature, deprived of
the support of human surroundings,
could have been expected to bear.
Those who, as already described, had
xnn with so great a speed that they were
^projected, all unwilling, into space, ris
HM in elliptical orbits from tbe surface
XHUie planet, describing great curves in
night bo denominated its sky, and
HP coming back again to tbe little
jdûbe on another side, were so filled
iimMtbe wonders of their remarkable
I '^^Brr that they had almost forgot
I ^^Hterror which bad inspired it.
I^^^^fewus nothing surprising iu what
a^BBurred to them the moment one
I^Bdered the laws of gravitation cm
^^Hsteroid, but their stories aroused
I^^Bteuse interest among all who lis
3 ^Bd Kelvin was particularly inter
and while Mr. Edison was has
1 Wc rose to an immense height.
is, toning preparations to quit tbe asteroid
fe.aud resume our voyage to Mars Lord
SpKelvin aud a number of other scientific
feinen instituted a series of remarkable
■ It was one of tbe most laughable
Btbings imaginable to see Lord Kelvin,
^•dressed iu bis airtight suit, making
% tremendous jumps into empty space. It
■I reminded me forcibly of what Lord
KJvclvin, then plain William Thompson,
* fci,d Professor Blackburn hud done when
ending a summer vacation at the sea
|e while they were undergraduates
iCanibridge university. They bad !
11 their time, to the surprise of
Vpn, iu spinning rounded stones
^BTbeach, their object being to ob
jBSf'practical solution of the mathe
JBfttical problem of "precession."
^lately Lord Kelvin was imi
Id*,,dozen others. With what
pf dHwiglit eff ort they projected
■■prltraiglit upward, rising to
Iptof 400 feet or more, and then
y settling back again to the sur
)f the asteroid. The time of rise
'all combined was between three
this little planet the acceleration
Mravity or the velocity acquired by a
Jfetng body in one second was only
H-fiftbs of an inch. A body required
^nntire minute to fall a distance of
^fe 120 feet. Consequently it was
^^Llike gradual settling than falling.
^^Bfenes of these men of science, ris
Bi sinking iu this manner, ap
B like so many gigantic mario
,^»ebbing up und down iu a pneu
Bug try that," said Mr. Edison,
^Kch interested in the experiments.
•J^Bcif ns jumped together. At first
j^Kat swiftness, but gradually los
w^B], we rose loan immense height
S^Bfrom tbe ground. When we
^^Khed tbe utmost limit of our
seemed to come to rest for a
and then began slowly, but
derated velocity, to sink back
the planet. It was not only a
hnt a delicious sensation, and
tiot orders which were issued
pectrio ships should be imme
Mipared for departure our en
^y might have remained for
3 period enjoying this new
jletio exercise In a world
tatiea bad becoffifl so bum -
ble that it could be trifled with.
While the final preparations for de
parture were being made Lord Kelvin
instituted other experiments that were
no less unique iu their results. The ex
perience of those who had taken unpre
meditated flights iu elliptical orbits
when they bad run from the vicinity of
the Martians suggested the throwing of
solid objects iu various directions from
the surface of the planet in order to de
termine the distance that they would go
and the curves they would describe iu
For these experiments there was noth
ing more convenient or abundant than
chunks of gold from the Martians' mine.
These, accordingly, were burled in
various directions and with every de
gree of velocity. A little calculation
had shown that an initial velocity of 30
feet per second imparted to one of these
chunks, moving at right angles to the
radius of the asteroid, would, if the re
sistance of an almost inappreciable at
mosphere were neglected, suffice to
turn the piece of gold into a little satel
lite that would describe an orbit around
tbe asteroid and continue to do so for
ever, or at least until the slight atmos
pheric resistance should eventually
bring it down to the surface.
But a less velocity than 30 feet pet
second would cause the golden missile
to fly only part way around, while a
greater velocity would give it au ellip
tical instead of a circular orbit, and iu
this ellipse it would continue to revolve
Bicuud ibe asteroid in the character ol
If the direction of the original im
pulse were at more than a right angle
to tbe radius of the asteroid, then the
flying body would pass out to a greater
or less distance iu space iu an elliptical
orbit, eventually coming back again and
falling upon tbe asteroid, but not at tbe
same spot from which it had departed.
So many took part iu these singular
experiments, which assumed rather the
appearance of outdoor sports than of
scientific demonstrations, that in a short
time we had provided the asteroid with
a very large number of little moons or
satellites of gold, which revolved around
it in orbits of various degrees of ellip
ticity, taking on the average about
three-quarters of an hour to complete a
circuit. Since, on completing a revolu
tion, they must necessarily pass through
the point from which they started, they
kept us constantly on the qui vive to
avoid being knocked over by them ns
they swept around in their orbits.
Finally the signal was given for all
to embark, and with great regret the
savants quitted their scientific games
and prepared to return to the electrio
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 in order
to escape forever from the attraction of
the asteroid and to pass on to an infi
nite distance in any direction was only
about 42 feet iu a second.
Manifestly it would bo 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 tbe earth."
"Where is the earth?" asked another.
Being appealed to, several astrono
mers turned their eyes iu the direction
of the sun, where the black firmament
was ablaze with stars, and in a moment
recognized the earth star shining there
with the moon attending close at hand.
"There," said one, "is the earth.
Can yon throw straight enough to hit
. 0 , * r h %vas ^ le re Ply> aad im
niedlatel y several threw huge golden
ull KK6 ts ' u the direction of our far away
world, endeavoring to impart to them
at least the required velocity of 42 feet
in a second which would insure their
passing beyond the attraction of the
asteroid and, if there should be no dis
turbance on tbe way aud if the aim
were accurate, their eventual arrival
upon the earth.
"Hero's for yon, old earth," said one
of the throwers. "Good luck and more
gold to you I"
If these precious missiles ever reach
ed the earth, we knew that they would
pluuge into the atmosphere like meteors
and that probably the heat developed by
their passage would melt and dissipate
them iu golden vapors before they could
touch the ground.
Yet there was a chance that some of
them—if the aim wore true—might sur
vive the fiery passage through the at
mosphere aud fall upon the surface of
our planet, where perhaps they would
afterward be picked up by a prospector
aud lead him to believe that he had
struck a now bonanza.
But until we returned to the earth it
would be impossible for ns to tell what
had become of the golden gifts which
we had launched into space for
"All aboard 1" was the signal, and,
the squadron having assembled under
the lead of the flagship, we started again
This time, as it proved, there was to
be no further interruption, and when
next we paused it was iu the presence
of the world inhabited by our enemies
and facing their frowning batteries.
We did not find it so easy to start
from the asteroid as it bad been to start
from the earth—that is to say, we could
jjot so readily generate a very high ve
In consequence of the comparatively
small size of the asteroid its electrio iu
fluence was very much less than that of
the earth, and notwithstanding the ap
pliances which we possessed for intensi
fying the electrical effect it was not
possible to produce a sufficient repulsion
to start us off for Mars with anything
like the impulse which we had received
from 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 seem
ed possible that wo should attain even
so great a speed as that. It was far more
than we could have expected, and even
Mr. Edison was surprised as well ns I
greatly gratified when ho found that we
were moving with the velocity that I
We were still about 6,000,000 miles
from Mars, so that, traveling three
miles iu a second, we should require at
Jeast 23 days to reach the immediate
neighborhood of the planet.
Meanwhile we hud plenty of occu
pation to make the time pass quickly.
Our prisoner was transported along with
us, and wo now began our attempts to
ascertain what bis language was, and
if possible to master it ourselves.
Before quitting the asteroid we had
found that it was necessary for him to
swatlow emo of his "air pills," as Pro
fessor Moissau called them, at least
three times iu the course of every 24
hours. One of us supplied him regular
ly, uud I thought I could detect evi
dences of a certain degree of gratitude
in his expression. This was encourag
ing, because it gave additional promise
of the possibility of our being able to
communicate with him in some more
effective way than by mere signs. But
ouce inside the car, where we had a
supply of air kept at the ordinary pres
sure experienced on tbe earth, he could
breathe like the rest of us.
The best linguists iu tbe expedition,
as Mr. Edison had suggested, were now
assembled in tbe flagship, where the
prisoner was, and they set to work to
devise some means of ascertaining the
manner iu which he was accustomed to
express big thoughts. We had not heard
him speak, because until we carried him
into our car there was no atmosphere
capable of conveying any sounds he
might attempt to uAter.
It seemed a fair assumption that the
language of the Martians would be sci
entific in its structure. We had so much
evidence of the practical bent of their
minds and of the immense progress
which they had made iu tbe direction
of the scientific conquest of nature that
it was not to be supposed their medium
of communication "with one another
would be lacking in clearness, or would
possess any of the puzzling and unneces
sary ambiguities that characterized the
languages spoken on the earth.
" We shall not find them making lies
and shes of stones, sticks and other in
animate objects," said one of the Amer
ican linguists. "They must certainly
have got rid of all that nonsense long
"Ah," said a French professor from
the Sorbonne, one of the makers of the
never to be finished dictionary, "it will
be like the language of my country,
transparent, similar to the diamond
and sparkling as is the fountain."
"I think," said a German enthusiast,
"that it will be a 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, intend
ed 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. Pointing their
fingers to their own breasts, they repeat
ed, one after the other, the word
If our prisoner had been a stupid sav
age, of course any such attempt as this
to make him understand would have
been idle. But it must be remembered
that we were dealing with a personage
who had presumably inherited from
hundreds of generations the results of a
civilization and an intellectual advance
measured by the constant progress of
millions of years.
Accordingly we were not very much
astonished when, after a few repetitions
of the experiment, tbe Martian—one of
whose arms had been partially released
from its bonds in order to give him a
little freedom of motion—imitated the
action of his interrogators by pressing
his finger over his heart.
Then, opening his mouth, he gave
utterance to a sound wjiich shook the
air of the car like tbe 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 atmosphere.
Our ears were deafened aud confused,
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 tbe motion aud the
It was not articulate to our ears, and
not to be represented by any combina
tion of letters.
"Faith, " exclaimed a Dublin univer
sity professor, "if that's what they call
themselves, how shall we ever translate
their names when we come to write the
history of the conquest?"
"Whist, mon," replied a professor
from tbe University of Aberdeen, "let
us whip tbe gillravaging villains first,
aud then we can describe them by any
intitulatiou that may suit our deesposi
,The beginning of our linguistic con
quest was certainly not promising, at
least if measured by our acquirement
of words, but from another point of
view it was very gratifying, inasmuch
as it was plain that the Martian under
stood what we were trying to do and
was, for the present at least, disposed to
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 result
was that in the course of a few days we
bad actually succeeded in learning a
dozen or more of the Martian's words
and were able to make him understand
ns when wo pronounced them, as well
as to understand him when our ears had
become accustomed to the growling of
r j e d 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 courso, 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 uttered
a shout of wonder and of delight, and
the cry of "A book! A bookl" ran
around the circle, and the good news
was even promptly communicated to
some of the neighboring electrio ships of
the squadron. Several other learned
men were summoned in baste 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 unrain
gled with amusement. Finally he beck
oned the holder of the book to his side,
and placing his broad finger 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 w'e had yet
neard. Then he pointed to one after
another of us standing around.
Finally one day the prisoner, who
seemed to be in an unusually cheerful
frame of mind, indicated that ho cnr
"An, " explained everybody, the truth
being apparent, "that is the word by
whicn the Martians designate as. 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 vocabulary,
although as yet our organs of speech
proved unable to reproduce it in a rec
This promising and unexpected dis
covery of the Martian's book lent added
enthusiasm to those who were engaged
in the work of trying to master the
language of our prisoner, and the prog
ress that they made in the course of the
next few days was truly astonishing. If
the prisoner had been unwilling to aid
Jhem, of course it would have been im
possible to proceed; but, fortunately
for us, he seemed more and more to en
ter 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, in a very short time he bad
turned teacher, and all these learned
men, pressing around him 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 linguists of
the expedition before the time w-hen
we arrived so near to Mars that it be
came necessary for most of us to aban
don our studies in order to make ready
for the more serious business which
now confronted us.
But at any rate the acquisition was
so considerable as to allow of the inter
change of ordinary ideas with our pris
oner, and there was no longer any doubt
that he would be able to give us much
information when we lauded on his na
At the end of 23 days, as measured by
terrestrial time, since our departure
from the asteroid we arrived in the sky
For a long time the ruddy planet had
been growing larger and more formida
ble, gradually turning from a huge star
into a greet red moon, and then ex
panding more and more until it began
to shut out from sight the constella
tions behind it. The curious markings
on its surface, which from the earth
can only be dimly glimpsed with a
powerful telescope, began to reveal
themselves clearly to our naked eyes.
I have related how even before we
hod reached the asteroid Mars began to
present a most imposing appearance as
we saw it with our telescopes. Now,
however, that it was close at hand, the
naked eye view of the planet was more
wonderful than anything we had been
able to see with telescopes when at a
We were approaching the southern
hemisphere of Mars in about latitude
45 degrees south. It was near tbe time
of the vernal equinox in that hemi
sphere of the planet, and under the
stimulating influence of tbe spring sun,
rising higher and higher every day,
some snob awakening of life and activ
ity upon its surface as occurs on the
earth under similar circumstances was
evidently going on.
Around the south pole were spread
immense fields of snow and ice, gleam
ing with great brilliance. Gntting deep
into the borders of these icefields, we
could see broad channels of open water,
indicating tbe rapid breaking of tbe
grip of the frost.
Almost directly beneath us was a
broad oval region, light red in color, to
which terrestrial astronomers had given
tbe name of Hellas. Toward tbe south,
between Hellas aud tbe borders of tbe
polar ice, was a great belt of darkness
that astronomers bad always been in
clined to regard as a sea. Looking to
ward the north, we could perceive the
immense rod expanses of the continents
of Mars, with tbe long curved line of
(Continued on Eighth Page.)
* * * **
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