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A Journey in Other Worlds by J. J. Astor

Part 3 out of 6

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"Our Will-o'-the-wisp is prettier by night than by day," said
Bearwarden. "I suggest that we investigate this further."

"How?" asked Cortlandt.

"By destroying its life," replied Bearwarden. "Give it one
barrel from your gun, doctor, and see if it can then defy
gravitation."

Accordingly Cortlandt took careful aim at the object, about
twenty-yards away, and fired. The main portion of the jellyfish,
with the snake still in its embrace, sailed away, but many pounds
of jelly fell to the ground. Most of this remained where it had
fallen, but a few of the larger pieces showed a faint luminosity
and rose again.

"You cannot kill that which is simply a mass of protoplasm," said
Cortlandt. "Doubtless each of those pieces will form a new
organism. This proves that there are ramifications and
developments of life which we never dreamed of."

CHAPTER VII.

AN UNSEEN HUNTER.

They calculated that they had come ten or twelve miles from the
place at which they built the raft, while the damp salt breeze
blowing from the south showed them they were near the ocean.
Concluding that large bodies of water must be very much alike on
all planets, they decided to make for a range of hills due north
and a few miles off, and to complete the circuit of the square in
returning to the Callisto. The soft wet sand was covered with
huge and curious tracks, doubtless made by creatures that had
come to the stream during the night to drink, and they noticed
with satisfaction as they set out that the fresher ones led off
in the direction in which they were going. For practice, they
blew off the heads of the boa-constrictors as they hung from the
trees, and of the other huge snakes that moved along the ground,
with explosive bullets, in every thicket through which they
passed, knowing that the game, never having been shot at, would
not take fright at the noise. Sometimes they came upon great
masses of snakes, intertwined and coiled like worms; in these
cases Cortlandt brought his gun into play, raking them with
duck-shot to his heart's content. "As the function of these
reptiles," he explained, "is to form a soil on which higher life
may grow, we may as well help along their metamorphosis by
artificial means." They were impressed by the tremendous
cannon-like reports of their firearms, which they perceived at
once resulted from the great density of the Jovian atmosphere.
And this was also a considerable aid to them in making muscular
exertion, for it had just the reverse effect of rarefied mountain
air, and they seldom had to expand their lungs fully in order to
breathe.

The ground continued to be marked with very large footprints.
Often the impressions were those of a biped like some huge bird,
except that occasionally the creature had put down one or both
forefeet, and a thick tail had evidently dragged nearly all the
time it walked erect. Presently, coming to something they had
taken for a large flat rock, they were surprised to see it move.
It was about twelve feet wide by eighteen feet long, while its
shell seemed at least a foot thick, and it was of course the
largest turtle they had ever seen.

"Twenty-four people could dine at a table of this size with
ease," said Bearwarden, "while it would make soup for a regiment.
I wonder if it belongs to the snapping or diamond-backed
species."

At this juncture the monster again moved.

"As it is heading in our direction," resumed Bearwarden, "I vote
we strike for a free pass," and, taking a run, he sprang with his
spiked boots upon the turtle's shell and clambered upon the flat
top, which was about six feet from the ground. He was quickly
followed by Ayrault, who was not much ahead of Cortlandt, for,
notwithstanding his fifty years, the professor was very spry.
The tortoise was almost the exact counterpart of the Glyptodon
asper that formerly existed on earth, and shambled along at a
jerky gait, about half as fast again as they could walk, and
while it continued to go in their direction they were greatly
pleased. They soon found that by dropping the butts of their
rifles sharply and simultaneously on either side, just back of
the head, they could direct their course, by making their steed
swerve away from the stamping.

"It is strange," said Ayrault, "that, with the
exception of the mastodon and this tortoise, we have seen
none of the monsters that seem to appear at the close of
Carboniferous periods, although the ground is covered
with their tracks."

"Probably we did not reach the grounds at the right time of day,"
replied Bearwarden. "The large game doubtless stays in the woods
and jungles till night."

"I fancy," said Cortlandt, "we shall find representatives of all
the species that once lived upon the earth. In the case of the
singing flowers and the Jack-o'-lantern jelly-fish, we have, in
addition, seen developments the existence of which no scientist
has ever before even suspected."

Occasionally the tortoise stopped, whereupon they poked it from
behind with their knives. It was a vicious-looking brute, and
had a huge horny beak, with which it bit off young trees that
stood in its way as though they had been blades of grass. They
were passing through a valley about half a mile wide, bordered on
each side by woods, when Bearwarden suddenly exclaimed, "Here we
have it!" and, looking forward, they unexpectedly saw a head rise
and remain poised about fifteen feet from the ground. It was a
dinosaur, and belonged to the scaled or armoured species. In a
few moments another head appeared, and towered several feet above
the first. The head was obviously reptilian, but had a beak
similar to that of their tortoise. The hind legs were developed
like those of a kangaroo, while the small rudimentary forepaws,
which could be used as hands or for going quadruped-fashion, now
hung down. The strong thick tail was evidently of great use to
them when standing erect, by forming a sort of tripod.

"How I wish we could take a pair of those creatures with us when
we return to the earth!" said Cortlandt.

"They would be trump cards," replied Bearwarden, "in a zoological
garden or a dime museum, and would take the wind out of the sails
of all the other freaks."

As they lay flat on the turtle's back, the monsters gazed at them
unconcernedly, munching the palm-tree fruit so loudly that they
could be heard a long distance.

"Having nothing to fear from a tortoise," resumed Cortlandt,
"they may allow us to stalk them. We are in their eyes like
hippocentaurs, except that we are part of a tortoise instead of
part of a horse, or else they take us for a parasite or fibrous
growth on the shell."

"They would not have much to fear from us as we really are,"
replied Bearwarden, "were it not for our explosive bullets."

"I am surprised," said Ayrault, "that graminivorous animals
should be so heavily armed as these, since there can be no great
struggle in obtaining their food."

"From the looks of their jaws," replied Cortlandt, "I should say
they are omnivorous, and would doubtless prefer meat to what they
are eating now. Something seems to have gone wrong with the
animal creation hereabouts to-day."

Their war-horse clanked along like a badly rusted machine,
approaching the dinosaurs obliquely. When only about fifty yards
intervened, as the hunters were preparing to aim, their attention
was diverted by a tremendous commotion in the woods on their left
and somewhat ahead. With the crunching of dead branches and
swaying of the trees, a drove of monsters made a hasty exit and
sped across the open valley. Some showed only the tops of their
backs above the long grass, while others shambled and leaped with
their heads nearly thirty feet above the ground. The dinosaurs
instantly dropped on all-fours and joined in the flight, though
at about half-minute intervals they rose on their hind legs and
for a few seconds ran erect. The drove passed about half a mile
before the travellers, and made straight for the woods opposite;
but hardly had the monsters been out of sight two minutes when
they reappeared, even more precipitately than before, and fled up
the valley in the same direction as the tortoise.

"The animals here," said Bearwarden, "behave as though they were
going to catch a train; only our friend beneath us seems superior
to haste."

"I would give a good deal to know," said Cortlandt, "what is
pursuing those giants, and whether it is identical or similar to
the mutilator of the mastodon. Nothing but abject terror could
make them run like that."

"I have a well-formed idea," said Bearwarden, "that a hunt is
going on, with no doubt two parties, one in the woods on either
side, and that the hunters may be on a scale commensurate with
that of their victims."

"If the excitement is caused by men," replied Cortlandt, "our
exploration may turn out to be a far more difficult undertaking
than we anticipated. But why, if there are men in those woods,
do they not show themselves?--for they could certainly keep pace
with the game more easily in the open than among the trees."

"Because," replied Bearwarden, "the men in the woods are
doubtless the beaters, whose duty it is to drive the game into
and up the valley, at the end of which the killing will be done."

"We may have a chance to see it," said Ayrault, "or to take a
hand, for we are travelling straight in that direction, and shall
be able to give a good account ourselves if our rights are
challenged."

"Why," asked Cortlandt, "if the hunting parties that have been in
our vicinity were only beaters, should they have mutilated the
mastodon in such it way that he could not walk? And how were
they able to take themselves off so quickly--for man in his
natural state has never been a fast mover? I repeat, it will
upset my theories if we find men."

It was obvious to them that tortoises were not much troubled by
the apparently general foe, for the specimen in which they were
just then interested continued his course entirely unconcerned.
Soon, however, he seemed to feel fatigue, for he drew his feet
and head within his shell, which he tightly closed, and after
that no poking or prodding had the desired effect.

"I suspect we must depend on shank's mares for a time," said
Bearwarden, cheerfully, as they scrambled down.

"We can now see," said Cortlandt, "why our friend was so
unconcerned, since he has but to draw himself within himself to
become invulnerable to anything short of a stroke of lightning;
for no bird could have power enough to raise and drop him from a
great height upon rocks, as the eagles do on earth."

"I suspect, if anxious for turtle soup," said Bearwarden, "we
must attach a lightning--rod, and wait for a thunderstorm to
electrocute him."

CHAPTER VIII.

SPORTSMEN'S REVERIES.

Feeling grateful to the huge tortoise for the good service he had
rendered, they shot a number of the great snakes that were
gliding about on the ground, and placed them where he would find
them on awaiting. They then picked their way carefully towards
stretches on which the grass was shortest. When they had gone
about two miles, and had already reached higher ground, they came
to a ridge of rock running at right angles to their course. This
they climbed, and on looking over the edge of the crest beheld a
sight that made their hearts stand still. A monster, somewhat
resembling an alligator, except that the back was arched, was
waddling about perhaps seventy- five yards from them. It was
sixty feet long, and to the top of its scales was at least
twenty-five feet high. It was constantly moving, and the
travellers noticed with some dismay that its motion was far more
rapid than they would have supposed it could be.

"It is also a dinosaur," said the professor, watching it sharply,
"and very closely resembles the Stegosaurus ungulatus restored in
the museums. The question is, What shall we do with the living
specimen, now that we have it?"

"Our chairman," said Ayrault, "must find a way to kill it, so
that we may examine it closely."

"The trouble is," said Bearwarden, "our bullets will explode
before they penetrate the scales. In the absence of any way of
making a passage for an explosive ball by means of a solid one,
we must strike a vital spot. His scales being no harder than the
trunk of a tree, we can wound him terribly by touching him
anywhere; but there is no object in doing this unless we can kill
him, especially as there is no deep stream, such as would have
delayed the mastodon in reaching us, to protect us here. We must
spread out so as to divert his attention from one to another."

After some consultation it was decided that Cortlandt, who had
only a shot-gun, should remain where they were, while Bearwarden
and Ayrault moved some distance to the right and left. At a
signal from Cortlandt, who was to attract the monster's
attention, the wings were to advance simultaneously. These
arrangements they carried out to the letter. When Bearwarden and
Ayrault had gone about twenty-five yards on either side, the
doctor imitated the peculiar grunting sound of an alligator, at
which the colossal monster turned and faced him, while Bearwarden
and Ayrault moved to the attack. The plan of this was good, for,
with his attention fixed on three objects, the dinosaur seemed
confused, and though Bearwarden and Ayrault had good angles from
which to shoot, there was no possibility of their hitting each
other. They therefore advanced steadily with their rifles half
up. Though their own danger increased with each step, in the
event of their missing, the chance of their shooting wild
decreased, the idea being to reach the brain through the eye.
Cortlandt's part had also its risks, for, being entirely
defenceless with his shot-gun against the large creature, whose
attention it was his duty to attract, he staked all on the
marksmanship of his friends. Not considering this, however, he
stood his ground, having the thumb-piece on his Winchester
magazine shoved up and ready to make a noisy diversion if
necessary in behalf of either wing. Having aroused the monster's
curiosity, Cortlandt sprang up, waving his arms and his gun. The
dinosaur lowered his head as if to charge, thereby bringing it to
a level with the rifles, either of which could have given it the
fatal shot. But as their fingers pressed the triggers the
reptile soared up thirty feet in the air. Ayrault pulled for his
first sight, shooting through the lower jaw, and shivering that
member, while Bearwarden changed his aim and sighted straight for
the heart. In an instant the monster was down again, just
missing Ayrault's head as he stepped back, and Bearwarden's rifle
poured a stream of explosive balls against its side, rending and
blowing away the heavy scales. Having drawn the dinosaur's
attention to himself, he retreated, while Ayrault renewed the
attack. Cortlandt, seeing that the original plan had miscarried,
poured showers of small shot against the huge beast's face.
Finally, one of Ayrault's balls exploded in the brain, and all
was over.

"We have killed it at last," said Bearwarden "but the first
attack, though artistic, had not the brilliant results we
expected. These creatures' mode of fighting is doubtless
somewhat similar to that of the kangaroo, which it is said puts
its forepaws gently, almost lovingly, on a man's shoulders, and
then disembowels him by the rapid movement of a hind leg. But we
shall get used to their method, and can do better next time."

They then reloaded their weapons and, while Cortlandt examined
their victim from a naturalist's point of view, Bearwarden and
Ayrault secured the heart, which they thought would be the most
edible part, the operation being rendered possible by the amount
of armour the explosive balls had stripped off.

"To-morrow," said Bearwarden, "we must make it a point to get
some well-fed birds; for I can roast, broil, or fricassee them to
a turn. Life is too short to live on this meat in such a
sportsman's paradise. In any case there can be no end of
mastodons, mammoths, woolly rhinoceroses, moa birds, and all such
shooting."

As the sun was already near the horizon, they chose a dry, sandy
place, to secure as much immunity as possible from nocturnal
visits, and, after procuring a supply of water from a pool,
proceeded to arrange their camp for the night. They first laid
out the protection- wires, setting them while the sun still
shone. Next they built a fire and prepared their evening meal.
While they ate it, twilight became night, and the fire-flies,
twinkling in legions in the neighbouring valley, seemed like the
lamps of a great city.

"Their lights," said Bearwarden, pointing to them, "are not as
fine as the jelly-fish Will-o'-the wisps were last night, but
they are not so dangerous. No gymnotus or electric eel that I
have ever seen compared with them, and I am convinced that any
one of us they might have touched would have been in kingdom
come."

The balmy air soothed the travellers' brows as they reclined
against mounds of sand, while the flowers in the valley sent up
their dying notes. One by one the moons arose, till four--among
them the Lilliputian, discovered by Prof. Barnard in 1893--were
in the sky, flooding the landscape with their silvery light, and
something in the surroundings touched a sympathetic cord in the
men.

"Oh that I were young again," said Cortlandt, "and had life
before me! I should like to remain here and grow up with this
planet, in which we already perceive the next New World. The
beauties of earth are barren compared with the scenes we have
here."

"You remember," replied Bearwarden, "how Cicero defends old age
in his De Senectute, and shows that while it has almost
everything that youth has, it has also a sense of calm and many
things besides."

"Yes," answered Cortlandt, "but, while plausible, it does not
convince. The pleasures of age are largely negative, the old
being happy when free from pain."

"Since the highest joy of life," said Ayrault, "is coming to know
our Creator, I should say the old, being further advanced, would
be the happier of the two. I should never regard this material
life as greatly to be prized for itself. You remember the old
song:
"'O Youth! When we come to consider
The pain, the toil, and the strife,
The happiest man of all is
The one who has finished his life.'


"I suspect," continued Ayrault, "that the man who reaches even
the lowest plane in paradise will find far more beautiful visions
than any we have here."

As they had but little rest the night before, they were all
tired. The warm breeze swayed the long dry grass, causing it to
give out a soft rustle; all birds except the flitting bats were
asleep among the tall ferns or on the great trees that spread
their branches towards heaven. There was nothing to recall a
picture of the huge monsters they had seen that day, or of the
still more to be dreaded terror these had borne witness to. Thus
night closes the activities of the day, and in its serene
grandeur the soul has time to think. While they thought,
however, drowsiness overcame them, and in a little while all were
asleep.

The double line of protection-wires encircled them like a silent
guard, while the methodical ticking of the alarm-clock that was
to wake them at the approach of danger, and register the hour of
interruption, formed a curious contrast to the irregular cries of
the night-hawks in the distance. Time and again some huge
iguanodon or a hipsohopus would pass, shaking the ground with its
tread; but so implicit was the travellers' trust in the vigilance
of their mechanical and tireless watch, that they slept on as
calmly and unconcernedly as though they had been in their beds at
home, while the tick was as constant and regular as a sentry's
march. The wires of course did not protect them from creatures
having wings, and they ran some risk of a visitation from the
blood-sucking bats. The far-away volcanoes occasionally sent up
sheets of flame, which in the distance were like summer
lightning; the torrents of lava and crashes that had sounded so
thunderous when near, were now like the murmur of the ocean's ebb
tide, lulling the terrestrials to deeper sleep. The pale moons
were at intervals momentarily obscured by the rushing clouds in
the upper air, only to reappear soon afterwards as serene as
before. All Nature seemed at rest.

Shortly before dawn there was an unusually heavy step. A moment
later the ever-vigilant batteries poured forth their current, and
the clang of the alarm-bell made the still night ring. In an
instant the three men were awake, each resting on one knee, with
their backs towards the centre and their polished barrels raised.
It was not long before they perceived the intruder by the
moonlight. A huge monster of the Triceratops prorsus species had
entered the camp. It was shaped something like an elephant, but
had ten or twelve times the bulk, being over forty feet in
length, not including the long, thick tail. The head carried two
huge horns on the forehead and one on the nose.

"A plague on my shot-gun!" said Cortlandt. "Had I known how much
of this kind of game we should see, I too should have brought a
rifle."

The monster was entangled in the wires, and in another second
would have stepped on the batteries that were still causing the
bell to ring.

"Aim for the heart," said Bearwarden to Ayrault. "When you show
me his ribs, I will follow you in the hole."

Ayrault instantly fired for a point just back of the left
foreleg. The explosion had the same effect as on the mastodon,
removing a half-barrel of hide, etc; and the next second
Bearwarden sent a bullet less than an inch from where Ayrault's
had stopped. Before the colossus could turn, each had caused
several explosions in close proximity to the first. The creature
was of course terribly wounded, and several ribs were cracked,
but no ball had gone through. With a roar it made straight for
the woods, and with surprising agility, running fully as fast as
an elephant. Bearwarden and Ayrault kept up a rapid fire at the
left hind leg, and soon completely disabled it. The dinosaur,
however, supported itself with its huge tail, and continued to
make good time. Knowing they could not give it a fatal wound at
the intervening distance, in the uncertain light, they stopped
firing and set out in pursuit. Cortlandt paused to stop the bell
that still rang, and then put his best foot foremost in regaining
his friends. For half a mile they hurried along, until, seeing
by the quantity of blood on the ground that they were in no
danger of losing the game, they determined to save their
strength. The trail entered the woods by a narrow ravine, passed
through what proved to be but a belt of timber, and then turned
north to the right. Presently in the semi-darkness they saw the
monster's head against the sky. He was browsing among the trees,
tearing off the young branches, and the hunters succeeded in
getting within seventy-five yards before being discovered. Just
as he began to run, the two rifles again fired, this time at the
right hind leg, which they succeeded in hamstringing. After that
the Triceratops prorsus was at their mercy, and they quickly put
an end to its suffering.

"The sun is about to rise," said Bearwarden; "in a few minutes we
shall have enough light."

They cut out a dozen thick slices of tenderloin steak, and soon
were broiling and eating a substantial breakfast.

"There are not as many spectators to watch us eat here," said
Cortlandt, "as in the woods. I suggest that, after returning to
camp for our blankets and things, we steer for the Callisto, via
this Triceratops, to see what creatures have been attracted by
the body."

On finishing their meal they returned to the place at which they
had passed the night. Having straightened the protection-wires,
which had become twisted, and arranged their impedimenta, they
set out, and were soon once more beside their latest victim.

CHAPTER IX.

THE HONEY OF DEATH.

At first nothing seemed to have been disturbed, when they
suddenly perceived that both forelegs were missing. On further
examination they found that the ponderous tail, seven feet in
diameter, was cut through in two places, the thicker portion
having disappeared, and that the heavy bones in this extremity of
the vertebral column had been severed like straws. The cut
surfaces were but little cooler than the interior of the body,
showing how recently the mutilation had been effected.

"By all the gods!" exclaimed Bearwarden, "it is easy to see the
method in this; the hunters have again cut off only those parts
that could be easily rolled. These Jovian fellows must have
weapons compared with which the old scythe chariots would be but
toys, with which they amputate the legs of their victims. We
must see to it that their scimitars do not come too near to us,
and I venture to hope that in our bullets they will find their
match. What say you, doctor?"

"I see no depression such as such heavy bodies would necessarily
have made had they been rolled along the ground, neither does it
seem to me that these curious tracks in the sand are those of
men."

The loose earth looked as if the cross-ties of some railroad had
been removed, the space formerly occupied having been but partly
filled, and these depressions were across the probable direction
of motion.

"Whatever was capable of chasing mastodons and carrying such
weights," said Ayrault, "will, I suspect, have little to fear
from us. Probably nothing short of light artillery would leave
much effect."

"I dare say," replied Bearwarden, "we had better give the unknown
quantity a wide berth, though I would give a year's salary to see
what it is like. The absence of other tracks shows that his
confreres leave 'Scissor- jaw' alone."

Keeping a sharp lookout in all directions, they resumed their
march along the third side of the square which was to bring them
back to the Callisto. Their course was parallel to the stream,
and on comparatively high ground. Cortlandt's gun did good
service, bringing down between fifty and sixty birds that usually
allowed them to get as near as they pleased, and often seemed
unwilling to leave their branches. By the time they were ready
for luncheon they saw it would be dark in an hour. As the
rapidity of the planet's rotation did not give them a chance to
become tired, they concluded not to pitch their camp, but to
resume the march by moonlight, which would be easy in the high,
open country they were traversing.

While in quest of fire-wood, they came upon great heaps of bones,
mostly those of birds, and were attracted by the tall,
bell-shaped flowers growing luxuriantly in their midst. These
exhaled a most delicious perfume, and at the centre of each
flower was a viscous liquid, the colour of honey.

"If this tastes as well as it looks," said Bearwarden, "it will
come in well for dessert"; saying which he thrust his finger into
the recesses of the flower, intending to taste the essence.
Quietly, but like a flash, the flower closed, his hand being
nearly caught and badly scratched by the long, sharp thorns that
now appeared at the edges.

"Ha!" he exclaimed, "a sensitive and you may almost say a
man-eating plant. This doubtless has been the fate of these
birds, whose bones now lie bleaching at its feet after they have
nourished its lips with their lives. No doubt the plant has use
for them still, since their skeletons may serve to fertilize its
roots."

Wishing to investigate further, Bearwarden placed one of the
birds they had shot within the bell of another flower, which
immediately contracted with such force that they saw drops of
blood squeezed out. After some minutes the flower opened, as
beautiful as ever, and discharged an oblong ball compressed to
about the size of a hen's egg, though the bird that was placed
within it had been as large as a small duck. Towards evening
these flowers sent up their most beautiful song, to hear which
flocks of birds came from far and near, alighting on the trees,
and many were lured to death by the siren strains and the honey.

Before resuming their journey, the travellers paid a parting
visit to the bell-shaped lilies on their pyramids of bones. The
flowers were closed for the night, and the travellers saw by the
moonlight that the white mounds were simply alive with
diamond-headed snakes. These coiled themselves, flattened their
heads, and set up such a hissing on the explorers' approach that
they were glad to retire, and leave this curious contrast of
hideousness and beauty to the fire-flies and the moons. Marching
along in Indian file, the better to avoid treading on the
writhing serpents that strewed the ground, they kept on for about
two hours. They frequently passed huge heaps or mounds of bones,
evidently the remains of bears or other large animals. The
carnivorous plants growing at their centre were often like hollow
trees, and might easily have received the three travellers in one
embrace. But as before, the mounds were alive with serpents that
evidently made them their homes, and raised an angry hiss
whenever the men approached.

"The wonder to me," said Bearwarden, "is, that these snakes do
not protect the game, by keeping it from the life-devouring
plants. It may be that they do not show themselves by day or
when the victims are near, or that the quadrupeds on which these
plants live take a pleasure, like deer, in killing them by
jumping with all four feet upon their backs or in some other way,
and after that are entrapped by the flowers."

Shortly after midnight they rested for a half hour, but the dawn
found them trudging along steadily, though somewhat wearily, and
having about completed the third side of their square.
Accordingly, they soon made a right-angle turn to the left, and
had been picking their way over the rough ground for nearly two
hours, with the sun already high in the sky, when they noticed a
diminution of light. Glancing up, they saw that one of the moons
was passing across the sun, and that they were on the eve of a
total eclipse.

"Since all but the fifth moon," said Cortlandt, "revolve exactly
in the plane of Jupiter's equator, any inhabitants that settle
there will become accustomed to eclipses, for there must be one
of the sun, and also of the moons, at each revolution, or about
forty-five hundred in every Jovian year. The reason we have seen
none before is, because we are not exactly on the equator."

They had a glimpse of the coronal streamers as the last portion
of the sun was covered, and all the other phenomena that attend
an eclipse on earth. For a few minutes there was a total return
to night. The twinkling stars and other moons shone tranquilly
in the sky, and even the noise of the insects ceased. Presently
the edge of the sun that had been first obscured reappeared, and
then Nature went through the phenomenon of an accelerated dawn.
Without awaiting a full return of light, the travellers proceeded
on their way, and had gone something over a hundred yards when
Ayrault, who was marching second, suddenly grasped Bearwarden,
who was in front, and pointed to a jet-black mass straight ahead,
and about thirty yards from a pool of warm water, from which a
cloud of vapour arose. The top of the head was about seven feet
high, and the length of the body exceeded thirty feet. The six
legs looked as strong as steel cables, and were about a foot
through, while a huge, bony proboscis nine feet in length
preceded the body. This was carried horizontally between two and
three feet from the ground. Presently a large ground sloth came
to the pool to drink, lapping up the water at the sides that had
partly cooled. In an instant the black armored monster rushed
down the slope with the speed of a nineteenth-century locomotive,
and seemed about as formidable. The sloth turned in the
direction of the sound, and for a moment seemed paralyzed with
fear; it then started to run, but it was too late, for the next
second the enormously exaggerated ant--for such it was--overtook
it. The huge mandible shears that when closed had formed the
proboscis, snapped viciously, taking off the sloth's legs and
then cutting its body to slivers. The execution was finished in
a few seconds, and the ponderous insect carried back about half
the sloth to its hiding-place, where it leisurely devoured it.

"This reminds me," said Bearwarden, "of the old lady who never
completed her preparations for turning in without searching for
burglars under the bed. Finally she found one, and exclaimed in
delight, 'I've been looking for you fifty years, and at last you
are here!' The question is, now that we have found our burglar,
what shall we do with him?"

"I constantly regret not having a rifle," replied Cortlandt,
"though it is doubtful if even that would help us here."

"Let us sit down and wait," said Ayrault; "there may be an
opening soon."

Anon a woolly rhinoceros, resembling the Rhinoceros tichorhinus
that existed contemporaneously on earth with the mammoth, came to
drink the water that had partly cooled. It was itself a
formidable-looking beast, but in an instant the monster again
rushed from concealment with the same tremendous speed. The
rhinoceros turned in the direction of the sound, and, lowering
its head, faced the foe. The ant's shears, however, passed
beneath the horn, and, fastening upon the left foreleg, cut it
off with a loud snap.

"Now is our chance," exclaimed Cortlandt; "we may kill the brute
before he is through with the rhinoceros."

"Stop a bit, doctor," said Bearwarden. "We have a good record so
far; let us keep up our reputation for being sports. Wait till
he can attend to us."

The encounter was over in less than a minute, three of the
rhinoceros's legs being taken off, and the head almost severed
from the body. Taking up the legs in its mandibles, the
murderous creature was returning to its lair, when, with the cry
of "Now for the fray!" Bearwarden aimed beneath the body and
blew off one of the farther armoured legs, from the inside.
"Shoot off the legs on the same side," he counselled Ayrault,
while he himself kept up a rapid fire. Cortlandt tried to
disconcert the enemy by raining duck-shot on its scale- protected
eyes, while the two rifles tore off great masses of the horn that
covered the enormously powerful legs. The men separated as they
retreated, knowing that one slash of the great shears would cut
their three bodies in halves if they were caught together. The
monster had dropped the remains of the rhinoceros when attacked,
and made for the hunters at its top speed, which was somewhat
reduced by the loss of one leg. Before it came within cutting
distance, however, another on the same side was gone, Ayrault
having landed a bullet on a spot already stripped of armour.
After this the men had no difficulty in keeping out of its way,
though it still moved with some speed, snipping off young trees
in its path like grass. Finally, having blown the scales from
one eye, the travellers sent in a bullet that exploded in the
brain and ended its career.

"This has been by all odds the most exciting hunt we have had,"
said Ayrault, "both on account of the determined nature and great
speed of the attack, and the almost impossibility of finding a
vulnerable spot."

"Anything short of explosive bullets," added Bearwarden, "would
have been powerless against this beast, for the armour in many
places is nearly a foot thick."

"This is also the most extraordinary as well as most dangerous
creature with which we have, had to deal," said Cortlandt,
"because it is an enormously enlarged insect, with all the
inherent ferocity and strength. It is almost the exact
counterpart of an African soldier-ant magnified many hundred
thousand times. I wonder," he continued thoughtfully, "if our
latter-day insects may not be the deteriorated (in point of size)
descendants of the monsters of mythology and geology, for nothing
could be a more terrible or ferocious antagonist than many of our
well-known insects, if sufficiently enlarged. No animal now
alive has more than a small fraction of the strength, in
proportion to its size, of the minutest spider or flea. It may
be that through lack of food, difficulties imposed by changing
climate, and the necessity of burrowing in winter, or through
some other conditions changed from what they were accustomed to,
their size has been reduced, and that the fire-flies, huge as
they seemed, are a step in advance of this specimen in the march
of deterioration or involution, which will end by making them as
insignificant as those on earth. These ants have probably come
into the woods to lay their eggs, for, from the behaviour of the
animals we watched from the turtle, there must have been several;
or perhaps a war is in progress between those of a different
colour, as on earth, in which case the woods may be full of them.
Doubtless the reason the turtle seemed so unconcerned at the
general uneasiness of the animals was because he knew he could
make himself invulnerable to the marauder by simply closing his
shell, and we were unmolested because it did not occur to the ant
that any soft-shelled creatures could be on the turtle's back."

"I think," said Bearwarden, "it will be the part of wisdom to
return to the Callisto, and do the rest of our exploring on
Jupiter from a safe height; for, though we succeeded in disabling
this beauty, it was largely through luck, and had we not done so
we should probably have provided a bon bouche for our deceased
friend, instead of standing at his grave."

Accordingly they proceeded, and were delighted, a few minutes
later, to see the sunlight reflected from the projectile's
polished roof.

CHAPTER X.

CHANGING LANDSCAPES.

On reaching the Callisto, Ayrault worked the lock he had had
placed on the lower door, which, to avoid carrying a key, was
opened by a combination. The car's interior was exactly as they
had left it, and they were glad to be in it again.

"Now," said Bearwarden, "we can have a sound and
undisturbed sleep, which is what I want more than
anything else. No prowlers can trouble us here, and we
shall not need the protection-wires."

They then opened a window in each side--for the large glass
plates, admitting the sun when closed, made the Callisto rather
warm--and placed a stout wire netting within them to keep out
birds and bats, and then, though it was but little past noon, got
into their comfortable beds and slept nine hours at a stretch.
Their strong metal house was securely at rest, receiving the
sunlight and shedding the rain and dew as it might have done on
earth. No winds or storms, lightnings or floods, could trouble
it, while the multiformed monsters of antiquity and mythology
restored in life, with which the terrestrials had been thrown
into such close contact, roamed about its polished walls. Not
even the fiercest could affect them, and they would but see
themselves reflected in any vain assaults. The domed symmetrical
cylinder stood there as a monument to human ingenuity and skill,
and the travellers' last thought as they fell asleep was, "Man is
really lord of creation."

The following day at about noon they awoke, and had a bath in the
warm pool. They saw the armoured mass of the great ant evidently
undisturbed, while the bodies of its victims were already shining
skeletons, and raised a small cairn of stones in memory of the
struggle they had had there.

"We should name this place Kentucky," said Bearwarden, "for it is
indeed a dark and bloody ground," and, seeing the aptness of the
appellation, they entered it so on their charts. While Ayrault
got the batteries in shape for resuming work. Bearwarden
prepared a substantial breakfast. This consisted of oatmeal and
cream kept hermetically sealed in glass, a dish of roast grouse,
coffee, pilot bread, a bottle of Sauterne, and another of Rhine
wine.

"This is the last meal we shall take hereabouts," said their
cook, as they plied their knives and forks beneath the trees, "so
here is a toast to our adventures, and to all the game we have
killed." They drained their glasses in drinking this, after
which Bearwarden regaled them with the latest concert-hall song
which he had at his tongue's end.

About an hour before dark they re-entered their projectile, and,
as a mark of respect to their little ship, named the great branch
of the continent on which they had alighted Callisto Point. They
then got under way. The batteries had to develop almost their
maximum power to overcome Jupiter's attraction; but they were
equal to the task, and the Callisto was soon in the air.
Directing their apergy to the mountains towards the interior of
the continent, and applying repulsion to any ridge or hill over
which they passed, thereby easing the work of the batteries
engaged in supporting the Callisto, they were soon sweeping along
at seventy-five to one hundred miles an hour. By keeping the
projectile just strongly enough charged to neutralize
gravitation, they remained for the most part within two hundred
feet of the ground, seldom rising to an altitude of more than a
mile, and were therefore able to keep the windows at the sides
open and so obtain an unobstructed view. If, however, at any
time they felt oppressed by Jupiter's high barometric pressure,
and preferred the terrestrial conditions, they had but to rise
till the barometer fell to thirty. Then, if an object of
interest recalled them to sea-level, they could keep the
Callisto's inside pressure at what they found on the Jovian
mountains, by screwing up the windows. On account of the
distance of sixty-four thousand miles from Jupiter's equator to
the pole, they calculated that going at the speed of a hundred
miles an hour, night and day, it would take them twenty-five
terrestrial days to reach the pole even from latitude two degrees
at which they started. But they knew that, if pressed for time,
they could rise above the limits of the atmosphere, and move with
planetary speed; while, if they wished a still easier method of
pursuing their observation, they had but to remain poised between
the sun and Jupiter, beyond the latter's upper air, and
photograph or map it as it revolved before them.

By sunset they had gone a hundred miles. Wishing to push along,
they closed the windows, rose higher to avoid any mountain-tops
that might be invisible in the moonlight, and increased their
speed. The air made a gentle humming sound as they shot through
it, and towards morning they saw several bright points of light
in which they recognized, by the aid of their glasses, sheets of
flame and torrents of molten glowing lava, bursting at intervals
or pouring steadily from several volcanoes. From this they
concluded they were again near an ocean, since volcanoes need the
presence of a large body of water to provide steam for their
eruptions.

With the rising sun they found the scene of the day before
entirely changed. They were over the shore of a vast ocean that
extended to the left as far as they could see, for the range of
vision often exceeded the power of sight. The coast-line ran
almost due north and south, while the volcanoes that dotted it,
and that had been luminous during the night, now revealed their
nature only by lines of smoke and vapours. They were struck by
the boldness and abruptness of the scenery. The mountains and
cliffs had been but little cut down by water and frost action,
and seemed in the full vigour of their youth, which was what the
travellers had a right to expect on a globe that was still
cooling and shrinking, and consequently throwing up ridges in the
shape of mountains far more rapidly than a planet as matured and
quiescent as the earth. The absence of lakes also showed them
that there had been no Glacial period, in the latitudes they were
crossing, for a very long time.

"We can account for the absence of ice-action and scratches,"
said Cortlandt, "in one of two ways. Either the proximity of the
internal heat to the surface prevents water from freezing in all
latitudes, or Jupiter's axis has always been very nearly
perpendicular to its orbit, and consequently the thermometer has
never been much below thirty-two degrees Fahrenheit; for, at the
considerable distance we are now from the sun, it is easy to
conceive that, with the axis much inclined, there might be cold
weather, during the Northern hemisphere's winter, that would last
for about six of our years, even as near the equator as this.
The substantiation of an ice-cap at the pole will disprove the
first hypothesis; for what we took for ice before alighting may
have been but banks of cloud, since, having been in the plane of
the planet's equator at the time, we had naturally but a very
oblique view of the poles; while the absence of glacial scratches
shows, I take it, that though the axis may have been a good deal
more inclined than at present, it has not, at all events since
Jupiter's Palaeozoic period, been as much so as that of Uranus or
Venus. The land on Jupiter, corresponding to the Laurentian
Hills on earth, must even here have appeared at so remote a
period that the first surface it showed must long since have been
worn away, and therefore any impressions it received have also
been erased.

"Comparing this land with the photographs we took from space, I
should say it is the eastern of the two crescent-shaped
continents we found apparently facing each other. Their present
form I take to be only the skeleton outline of what they will be
at the next period of Jupiter's development. They will, I
predict, become more like half moons than crescents, though the
profile may be much indented by gulfs and bays, their superficial
area being greatly increased, and the intervening ocean
correspondingly narrowed. We know that North America had a very
different shape during the Cretaceous or even the Middle Tertiary
period from what it has now, and that the Gulf of Mexico extended
up the valley of the Mississippi as far as the Ohio, by the
presence of a great coral reef in the Ohio River near Cincinnati.
We know also that Florida and the Southeastern Atlantic States
are a very recent addition to the continent, while the pampas of
the Argentine Republic have, in a geological sense, but just been
upheaved from the sea, by the fact that the rivers are all on the
surface, not having had time to cut down their channels below the
surrounding country. By similar reasoning, we know that the
canon of the Colorado is a very old region, though the
precipitateness of its banks is due to the absence of rain, for a
local water-supply would cut back the banks, having most effect
where they were steepest, since at those points it would move
with the greatest speed. Thus the majestic canon owes its
existence to two things: the length of time the river has been at
work, and the fact that the water flowing through it comes from
another region where, of course, there is rain, and that it is
merely in transit, and so affects only the bed on which it moves.
Granting that this is the eastern of the two continents we
observed, it evidently corresponds more in shape to the Eastern
hemisphere on earth than to the New World, both of which are set
facing one another, since both drain towards the Atlantic Ocean.
But the analogy here holds also, for the past outlines of the
Eastern hemisphere differed radically from what they are now.
The Mediterranean Sea was formerly of far greater extent than we
see it to-day, and covered nearly the whole of northern Africa
and the old upheaved sea-bottom that we see in the Desert of
Sahara. Much of this great desert, as we know, has a
considerable elevation, though part of it is still below the
level of the Mediterranean.

"Perhaps a more striking proof of this than are the remains of
fishes and marine life that are found there, is the dearth of
natural harbours and indentations in Africa's northern coast,
while just opposite, in southern Europe, there are any number;
which shows that not enough time has elapsed since Africa's
upheaval for liquid or congealed water to produce them. Many of
Europe's best harbours, and Boston's, in our country, have been
dug out by slow ice-action in the oft-recurring Glacial periods.
The Black and Caspian Seas were larger than we now find them;
while the Adriatic extended much farther into the continent,
covering most of the country now in the valley of the Po. In
Europe the land has, of course, risen also, but so slowly that
the rivers have been able to keep their channels cut down; proof
of their ability to perform which feat we see when an ancient
river passes through a ridge of hills or mountains. The river
had doubtless been there long before the mountains began to rise,
but their elevation was so gradual that the rate of the river's
cutting down equalled or exceeded their coming up; proof of which
we have in the patent fact that the ancient river's course
remains unchanged, and is at right angles to the mountain chain.
From all of which we see that the Eastern hemisphere's crescent
hollow--of which, I take it, the Mediterranean, Black, and
Caspian Sea depressions are the remains--has been gradually
filled in, by the elevation of the sea's bottom, and the
extension of deltas from the detrital matter brought from the
high interior of the continents by the rivers, or by the combined
action of the two. Now, since the Gulf of Mexico has been
constantly growing smaller, and the Mediterranean is being
invaded by the land, I reason that similar causes will produce
like effects here, and give to each continent an area far greater
than our entire globe. The stormy ocean we behold in the west,
which corresponds to our Atlantic, though it is far more of a
mare clausum in the geographical sense, is also destined to
become a calm and placid inland sea. There are, of course,
modifications of and checks to the laws tending to increase the
land area. England was formerly joined to the continent, the
land connecting the two having been rather washed away by the
waves and great tides than by any sinking of the English
Channel's bottom, the whole of which is comparatively shallow.
Another case of this kind is seen in Cape Cod and the islands of
Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, all of which are washing away so
rapidly that they would probably disappear before the next
Glacial period, were we not engaged in preventing its recurrence.
These detached islands and sand-bars once formed one large
island, which at a still earlier time undoubtedly was joined to
the mainland. The sands forming the detached masses are in a
great processional march towards the equator, but it is the
result simply of winds and waves, there being no indication of
subsidence. Along the coast of New Jersey we see denudation and
sinking going on together, the well-known SUNKEN FOREST being an
instance of the latter. The border of the continent proper also
extends many miles under the ocean before reaching the edge of
the Atlantic basin. Volcanic eruptions sometimes demolish parts
of headlands and islands, though these recompense us in the
amount of material brought to the surface, and in the increased
distance they enable water to penetrate by relieving the interior
of part of its heat, for any land they may destroy."

CHAPTER XI.

A JOVIAN NIAGARA.

Four days later, after crossing a ridge of mountains that the
pressure on the aneroid barometer showed to be about thirty-two
thousand feet high, and a stretch of flat country a few miles in
width, they came to a great arm of the sea. It was about thirty
miles wide at its mouth, which was narrowed like the neck of a
bottle, and farther inland was over one hundred miles across, and
though their glasses, the clear air, and the planet's size
enabled them to see nearly five hundred miles, they could not
find its end. In the shallow water along its shores, and on
the islands rising but a few feet above the waves, they saw
all kinds of amphibians and sea-monsters. Many of these were
almost the exact reproduction in life of the giant plesiosaurs,
dinosaurs, and elasmosaurs, whose remains are preserved in the
museums on earth. The reptilian bodies of the elasmosaurs,
seventy-five feet in length, with the forked tongues, distended
jaws and fangs of a snake, were easily taken for the often
described but probably mythical sea- serpent, as partially coiled
they occasionally raised their heads twelve or fifteen feet.

"Man in his natural state," said Cortlandt, "would have but small
chance of surviving long among such neighbours. Buckland, I
think, once indulged in the jeu d'esprit of supposing an
ichthyosaur lecturing on the human skull. 'You will at once
perceive,' said the lecturer, 'that the skull before us belonged
to one of the lower order of animals. The teeth are very
insignificant, the power of the jaws trifling, and altogether it
seems wonderful how the creature could have procured food.'
Armed with modern weapons, and in this machine, we are, of
course, superior to the most powerful monster; but it is not
likely that, had man been so surrounded during the whole of his
evolution, he could have reached his present plane."

Notwithstanding the striking similarity of these creatures to
their terrestrial counterparts that existed on earth during its
corresponding period, there were some interesting modifications.
The organs of locomotion in the amphibians were more developed,
while the eyes of all were larger, the former being of course
necessitated by the power of gravity, and the latter by the
greater distance from the sun.

"The adaptability and economy of Nature," said Cortlandt, "have
always amazed me. In the total blackness of the Kentucky Mammoth
Cave, where eyes would be of no use to the fishes, our common
mother has given them none; while if there is any light, though
not as much as we are accustomed to, she may be depended upon to
rise to the occasion by increasing the size of the pupil and the
power of the eye. In the development of the ambulatory muscles
we again see her handiwork, probably brought about through the
'survival of the fittest.' The fishes and those wholly immersed
need no increase in power, for, though they weigh more than they
would on earth, the weight of the water they displace is
increased at the same rate also, and their buoyancy remains
unchanged. If the development of life here so closely follows
its lines on earth, with the exception of comparatively slight
modifications, which are exactly what, had we stopped to think,
we should have expected to find, may we not reasonably ask
whether she will not continue on these lines, and in time produce
beings like ourselves, but with more powerful muscles and eyes
capable of seeing clearly with less light? Reasoning by analogy,
we can come to no other conclusion, unless their advent is
anticipated by the arrival of ready-made colonists from the more
advanced earth, like ourselves. In that case man, by pursuing
the same destructive methods that he has pursued in regard to
many other species, may exterminate the intervening links, and so
arrest evolution."

Before leaving Deepwaters Bay they secured a pail of its water,
which they found, on examination, contained a far larger
percentage of salt and solid material than the oceans on earth,
while a thermometer that they immediately immersed in it soon
registered eighty-five degrees Fahrenheit; both of which
discoveries confirmed them in what they already knew, namely,
that Jupiter had advanced comparatively little from the condition
in which the water on the surface is hot, in which state the
earth once was.

They were soon beyond the estuary at which they had stopped to
study the forms of life and to make this test, and kept on due
north for several days, occasionally rising above the air. As
their familiarity with their surroundings increased, they made
notes of several things. The mountains covered far more
territory at their bases than the terrestrial mountains, and they
were in places very rugged and showed vast yawning chasms. They
were also wooded farther up their sides, and bore but little
snow; but so far the travellers had not found them much higher
than those on earth, the greatest altitude being the thirty-two
thousand feet south of Deepwaters Bay, and one other ridge that
was forty thousand; so that, compared with the size of the planet
and its continents, they seemed quite small, and the continents
themselves were comparatively level. They also noted that spray
was blown in vast sheets, till the ocean for miles was white as
milk. The wind often attained tornado strength, and the whole
surface of the water, about what seemed to be the storm centre,
frequently moved with rapidity in the form of foam. Yet,
notwithstanding this, the waves were never as large as those to
which they were accustomed on earth. This they accounted for
very easily by the fact that, while water weighed 2.55 times as
much as on earth, the pressure of air was but little more than
half as much again, and consequently its effect on all but the
very surface of the heavy liquid was comparatively slight.

"Gravity is a useful factor here," observed Cortlandt, as they
made a note of this; "for, in addition to giving immunity from
waves, it is most effective in checking the elevation of high
mountains or table-lands in the high latitudes, which we shall
doubtless find sufficiently cool, or even cold, while in tropical
regions, which might otherwise be too hot, it interferes with
them least, on account of being partly neutralized by the rapid
rotation with which all four of the major planets are blessed."

At sunrise the following morning they saw they were approaching
another great arm of the sea. It was over a thousand miles wide
at its mouth, and, had not the photographs showed the contrary,
they would have thought the Callisto had reached the northern end
of the continent. It extended into the land fifteen thousand
miles, and, on account of the shape of its mouth, they called it
Funnel Bay. Rising to a height, they flew across, and came to a
great table-land peninsula, with a chain of mountains on either
side. The southern range was something over, and the northern
something less than, five thousand feet in height, while the
table-land between sloped almost imperceptibly towards the
middle, in which, as they expected, they found a river compared
to which the Mississippi or the Amazon would be but a brook. In
honour of the President of the Terrestrial Axis Straightening
Company, they called this great projection, which averaged about
four thousand miles across by twelve thousand miles long,
Bearwarden Peninsula. They already noticed a change in climate;
the ferns and palms became fewer, and were succeeded by pines,
while the air was also a good deal cooler, which was easily
accounted for by their altitude--though even at that height it
was considerably denser than at sea- level on earth--and by the
fact that they were already near latitude thirty.

The exposed points on the plateau, as also the summits of the
first mountains they had seen before alighting, were devoid of
vegetation, scarcely so much as a blade of grass being visible.
Since they could not account for this by cold, they concluded
that the most probable explanation lay in the tremendous
hurricanes that, produced by the planet's rapid rotation,
frequently swept along its surface, like the earth's trade-winds,
but with far more violence. On reaching the northern coast of
the peninsula they increased their elevation and changed their
course to northeast, not caring to remain long over the great
body of water, which they named Cortlandt Bay. The thousands of
miles of foam fast flew beneath them, the first thing attracting
their attention being a change in the ocean's colour. In the
eastern shore of Cortlandt Bay they soon observed the mouth of a
river, ten miles across, from which this tinted water issued in a
flood. On account of its colour, which reminded them of a stream
they knew so well, they christened it the Harlem.

Believing that an expedition up its valley might reveal something
of interest, they began the ascent, remaining at an elevation of
a few hundred feet. For about three hundred miles they followed
this river, which had but few bends, while its sides became more
and more precipitous, till it flowed through a canon four and a
half miles across. Though they knew from the wide discoloration
of Cortlandt Bay that the volume of water discharged was
tremendous, the stream seldom moved at a rate of more than five
miles an hour, and for a time was free from rocks and rapids,
from which they concluded that it must be very deep. Half an
hour later they saw a cloud of steam or mist, which expanded, and
almost obscured the sky as they approached. Next they heard a
sound like distant thunder, which they took for the prolonged
eruption of some giant crater, though they had not expected to
find one so far towards the interior of the continent. Presently
it became one continuous roar, the echo in the canon, whose walls
were at this place over six hundred feet high, being simply
deafening, so that the near discharge of the heaviest artillery
would have been completely drowned.

"One would think the end of the world was approaching!" shouted
Cortlandt through his hands.

"Look!" Bearwarden roared back, "the wind is scattering the
mist."

As he spoke, the vapoury curtain was drawn aside, revealing a
waterfall of such vast proportions as to dwarf completely
anything they had ever seen or even imagined. A somewhat open
horseshoe lip, three and a half miles straight across and over
four miles following the line of the curve, discharged a sheet of
water forty feet thick at the edge into an abyss six hundred feet
below. Two islands on the brink divided this sheet of liquid
into three nearly equal parts, while myriads of rainbows hovered
in the clouds of spray. Two things especially struck the
observers: the water made but little curve or sweep on passing
over the edge, and then rushed down to the abyss at almost
lightning speed, shivering itself to infinitesimal particles on
striking any rock or projection at the side. Its behaviour was,
of course, due to its weight, and to the fact that on Jupiter
bodies fall 40.98 feet the first second, instead of sixteen feet,
as on earth, and at correspondingly increasing speed.

Finding that they were being rapidly dazed and stunned by the
noise, the travellers caused the Callisto to rise rapidly, and
were soon surveying the superb sight from a considerable
elevation. Their minds could grasp but slowly the full meaning
and titanic power of what they saw, and not even the vast falls
in their nearness could make their significance clear. Here was
a sheet of water three and a half miles wide, averaging forty
feet in depth, moving at a rapid rate towards a sheer fall of six
hundred feet. They felt, as they gazed at it, that the power of
that waterfall would turn backward every engine and dynamo on the
earth, and it seemed as if it might almost put out the fires of
the sun. Yet it was but an illustration of the action of the
solar orb exerted on a vast area of ocean, the vapour in the form
of rain being afterwards turned into these comparatively narrow
limits by the topography of the continent. Compared with this,
Niagara, with its descent of less than two hundred feet, and its
relatively small flow of water, would be but a rivulet, or at
best a rapid stream. Reluctantly leaving the fascinating
spectacle, they pursued their exploration along the river above
the falls. For the first few miles the surface of the water was
near that of the land; there were occasional rapids, but few
rocks, and the foaming torrent moved at great speed, the red
sandstone banks of the river being as polished as though they had
been waxed. After a while the obstructions disappeared, but the
water continued to rush and surge along at a speed of ten or
twelve miles an hour, so that it would be easily navigable only
for logs or objects moving in one direction. The surface of the
river was soon on an average fifty feet below the edge of the
banks, this depression being one result of the water's rapid
motion and weight, which facilitated the carving of its channel.

When they had followed up the river about sixty miles towards its
source they came upon what at first had the appearance of an
ocean. They knew, however, from its elevation, and the flood
coming from it, that the water must be fresh, as they soon found
it was. This lake was about three hundred miles wide, and
stretched from northeast to southwest. There was rolling land
with hills about its shores, and the foliage on the banks was a
beautiful shade of bluish purple instead of the terrestrial
ubiquitous green.

When near the great lake's upper end, they passed the mouth of a
river on their left side, which, from its volume, they concluded
must be the principal source, and therefore they determined to
trace it. They found it to be a most beautiful stream, averaging
two and a half miles in width, evidently very deep, and with a
full, steady current. After proceeding for several hours, they
found that the general placidity grew less, the smooth surface
occasionally became ruffled by projecting rocks and rapids, and
the banks rose till the voyagers again found themselves in a
ravine or canon.

During their sojourn on Jupiter they had had but little
experience with the tremendous winds that they knew, from reason
and observation, must rage in its atmosphere. They now heard
them whistling over their heads, and, notwithstanding the
protection afforded by the sides of the canon, occasionally
received a gust that made the Callisto swerve. They kept on
steadily, however, till sunset, at which time it became very dark
on account of the high banks, which rose as steeply as the
Palisades on the Hudson to a height of nearly a thousand feet.
Finding a small island near the eastern bank, they were glad to
secure the Callisto there for the night, below the reach of the
winds, which they, still heard singing loudly but with a musical
note in what seemed to them like the sky.

"It is incomprehensible to me." said Ayrault, as they sat at
dinner, "how the sun, at a distance of four hundred and
eighty-three million miles, can raise the amount of water we have
here passing us, and compared with which the discharge of the
greatest river on earth would be insignificant, to say nothing of
the stream we ascended before reaching this."

"We must remember," replied Cortlandt, "that many of the
conditions are different here from those that exist on earth. We
know that some of the streams are warm, and even hot, and that
the temperature of Deepwaters Bay, and doubtless that of the
ocean also, is considerably higher than ours. This would
facilitate evaporation. The density of the atmosphere and the
tremendous winds, of which I suspect we may see more later, must
also help the sun very much in its work of raising vapour. But
the most potent factor is undoubtedly the vast size of the basin
that these rivers drain."

"The great speed at which the atmospheric currents move," said
Bearwarden, "coupled with the comparative lowness of the mountain
chains and the slight obstruction they offer to their passage,
must distribute the rain very thoroughly, notwithstanding the
great unbroken area of the continents. There can be no such
state of things here as exists in the western part of South
America, where the Andes are so high that any east-bound clouds,
in crossing them, are shoved up so far into a cold region that
all moisture they may have brought from the Pacific is condensed
into rain, with which parts of the western slope are deluged,
while clouds from the Atlantic have come so far they have already
dispersed their moisture, in consequence of which the region just
east of the Andes gets little if any rain. It is bad for a
continent to have its high mountains near the ocean from which it
should get its rain, and good for it to have them set well back."

"I should not be surprised," said Cortlandt, "if we saw another
waterfall to-morrow, though not in the shape of rain. In the
hour before we stopped we began to see rapids and protruding
rocks. That means that we are coming to a part of the channel
that is comparatively new, since the older parts have had time to
wear smooth. I take it, then, that we are near the foot of a
retreating cascade, which we may hope soon to see. That is
exactly the order in which we found smooth water and rapids in
river No. 1, which we have named the Harlem."

After this, not being tired, they used the remaining dark hours
for recording their recent adventures.

CHAPTER XII.

HILLS AND VALLEYS.

With the first light they resumed their journey, and an hour
after setting out they sighted, as Cortlandt had predicted,
another cloud of vapour. The fall--for such it proved to be--was
more beautiful than the other, for, though the volume of water
was not so great, it fell at one leap, without a break, and at
the same tremendous speed, a distance of more than a thousand
feet. The canon rang with the echoes, while the spray flew in
sheets against the smooth, glistening, sandstone walls. Instead
of coming from a river, as the first fall had, this poured at
once from the rocky lip, about two miles across, of a lake that
was eleven hundred feet above the surging mass in the vale below.

"It is a thousand pities," said Bearwarden, "that this cataract
has got so near its source; for, at the rate these streams must
cut, this one in a few hundred years, unless something is done to
prevent it, will have worn back to the lake, and then good-bye to
the falls, which will become a series of rapids. Perhaps the
first effect will be merely to reduce by a few feet the height of
the falls, in which case they will remain in practically the same
place."

About the shores of this lake they saw rhinoceroses with long
thick wool, and herds of creatures that much resembled buffaloes.

"I do not see," said Bearwarden, "why the identical species
should not exist here that till recently, in a geological sense,
inhabited the earth. The climate and all other conditions are
practically the same on both planets, except a trifling
difference in weight, to which terrestrials would soon adapt
themselves. We know by spectroscopic analysis that hydrogen,
iron, magnesium, and all our best-known substances exist in the
sun, and even the stars, while the earth contains everything we
have found in meteorites. Then why make an exception of life,
instead of supposing that at corresponding periods of development
the same living forms inhabit all? It would be assuming the
eternal sterilization of the functions of Nature to suppose that
our earth is the only body that can produce them."

"The world of organic life is so much more complex," replied
Cortlandt, "than that of the crystal, that it requires great
continuity. So far we certainly have seen no men, or anything
like them, not even so much as a monkey, though I suppose,
according to your reasoning, Jupiter has not advanced far enough
to produce even that."

"Exactly," replied Bearwarden, "for it will require vast periods;
and, according to my belief, at least half the earth's time of
habitability had passed before man appeared. But we see Jupiter
is admirably suited for those who have been developed somewhere
else, and it would be an awful shame if we allowed it to lie
unimproved till it produces appreciative inhabitants of its own,
for we find more to admire in one half-hour than its entire
present population during its lifetime. Yet, how magnificent
this world is, and how superior in its natural state to ours!
The mountainous horns of these crescent-shaped continents protect
them and the ocean they enclose from the cold polar marine
currents, and in a measure from the icy winds; while the elevated
country on the horns near the equator might be a Garden of Eden,
or ideal resort. To be sure, the continents might support a
larger population, if more broken up, notwithstanding the
advantage resulting from the comparatively low mountains along
the coasts, and the useful winds. A greater subdivision of land
and water, more great islands connected by isthmuses, and more
mediterraneans joined by straits, would be a further advantage to
commerce; but with the sources of power at hand, the resistless
winds and water-power, much increased in effectiveness by their
weight, the great tides when several moons are on the same side,
or opposite the sun, internal heat near the surface, and abundant
coal-supply doubtless already formed and also near the surface,
such small alterations could be made very easily, and would serve
merely to prevent our becoming rusty.

"As Jupiter's distance from the sun varies from 506,563,000 miles
at aphelion to only 460,013,000 at perihelion, this difference,
in connection with even the slight inclination of the axis, must
make a slight change in seasons, but as the inclination is
practically nothing, almost the entire change results from the
difference in distance. This means that the rise or fall in
temperature is general on every degree of latitude, all being
warmed simultaneously, more or less, as the planet approaches or
departs from the sun. It means also that about the same
conditions that Secretary Deepwaters suggested as desirable for
the earth, prevail here, and that Jupiter represents, therefore,
about the acme of climate naturally provided. On account of its
rapid rotation and vast size, the winds have a tornado's
strength, but they are nothing at this distance from the sun to
what they would be if a planet with its present rate of rotation
and size were where Venus or even the earth is. In either of
these positions no land life with which we are acquainted could
live on the surface; for the slope of the atmospheric isobars--i.
e., the lines of equal barometric pressure that produce wind by
becoming tilted through unequal expansion, after which the air,
as it were, flows down-hill--would be too great. The ascending
currents about the equator would also, of course, be vastly
strengthened; so that we see a wise dispensation of Providence in
placing the large planets, which also rotate so rapidly, at a
great distance from the sun, which is the father of all winds,
rotation alone, however rapid, being unable to produce them."

They found this lake was about six times the size of Lake
Superior, and that several large and small streams ran into its
upper end. These had their sources in smaller lakes that were at
slightly higher elevations. Though the air was cool, the sun
shone brightly, while the ground was covered with flowers
resembling those of the northern climes on earth, of all shapes
and lines. Twice a day these sent up their song, and trees were
covered with buds, and the birds twittered gaily. The streams
murmured and bubbled, and all things reminded the travellers of
early morning in spring.

"If anything could reconcile me," said Bearwarden, "to exchange
my active utilitarian life for a rustic poetical existence, it
would be this place, for it is far more beautiful than anything I
have seen on earth. It needs but a Maud Muller and a few cows to
complete the picture, since Nature gives us a vision of eternal
peace and repose."

Somehow the mention of Maud Muller, and the delicate and refined
flowers, whose perfume he inhaled, brought up thoughts that were
never far below the surface in Ayrault's mind. "The place is
heavenly enough," said he, "to make one wish to live and remain
here forever, but to me it would be Hamlet with Hamlet left out."

"Ah! poor chap," said Cortlandt, "you are in love, but you are
not to be pitied, for though the thrusts at the heart are sharp,
they may be the sweetest that mortals know."

The following morning they reluctantly left the picturesque
shores of Lake Serenity, with their beautiful tints and foliage,
and resumed the journey, to explore a number of islands in the
ocean in the west, which were recorded on their negatives.
Ascending to rarefied air, they saw great chains of mountains,
which they imagined ran parallel to the coast, rising to
considerable altitudes in the east. The tops of all glistened
with a mantle of snow in the sunlight, while between the ridges
they saw darker and evidently fertile valleys. They passed,
moving northwest, over large and small lakes, all evidently part
of the same great system, and continued to sweep along for
several days with a beautiful panorama, as varying as a
kaleidoscope, spread beneath their eyes. They observed that the
character of the country gradually changed. The symmetrically
rounded mountains and hills began to show angles, while great
slabs of rock were split from the faces. The sides also became
less vertical, and there was an accumulation of detrital
fragments about their bases. These heaps of fractured stone had
in some cases begun to disintegrate and form soil, on which there
was a scant growth of vegetation; but the sides and summits,
whose jaggedness increased with their height, were absolutely
bare.

"Here," said Cortlandt, "we have unmistakable evidence of frost
and ice action. The next interesting question is, How recently
has denudation occurred? The absence of plant life at the
exposed places," he continued, as if lecturing to a class, "can
be accounted for here, as nearer the equator, by the violence of
the wind; but I greatly doubt whether water will now freeze in
this latitude at any season of the year, for, even should the
Northern hemisphere's very insignificant winter coincide with the
planet's aphelion, the necessary drop from the present
temperature would be too great to be at all probable. If, then,
it is granted that ice does not form here now, notwithstanding
the fact that it has done so, the most plausible conclusion is
that the inclination of Jupiter's axis is automatically changing,
as we know the earth's has often done. There being nothing
incompatible in this view with the evidence at hand, we can
safely assume it correct for the time being at least. When
farther south, you remember, we found no trace of ice action,
notwithstanding the comparative slowness with which we decided
that the ridges in the crust had been upheaved on account of the
resisting power of gravity, and, as I see now, also on account of
Jupiter's great mass, which must prevent its losing its heat
anything like as fast as the earth has, in which I think also we
have the explanation of the comparatively low elevation of the
mountains that we found we could not account for by the power of
gravitation alone.[2] From the fact that the exposed surface
farther south must be old, on account of the slow upheaval and
the slight wear to which it is exposed, about the only wearing
agent being the wind, which would be powerless to erase
ice-scratches, especially since, on account of gravity's power,
it cannot, like our desert winds, carry much sand--which, as we
know, has cut away the base of the Sphinx--I think it is logical
to conclude that, though Jupiter's axis is changing naturally as
the earth's has been, it has never varied as much as twenty-three
and a half degrees, and certainly to nothing like the extent to
which we see Venus and Uranus tilted to-day."

[2] It is well known that mountain chains are but ridges or
foldings in the crust upheaved as the interior cools and shrinks.
This is proved by reason and by experiments with viscous clay or
other material placed upon a sheet of stretched rubber, which is
afterwards allowed to contract, whereupon the analogues of
mountain ridges are thrown up.

"I follow you," said Bearwarden, "and do not see how we could
arrive at anything else. From Jupiter's low specific gravity,
weighing but little more than an equal bulk of water, I should
say the interior must be very hot, or else is composed of light
material, for the crust's surface, or the part we see, is
evidently about as dense as what we have on earth. These things
have puzzled me a good deal, and I have been wondering if Jupiter
may not have been formed before the earth and the smaller
planets."

"The discrepancies between even the best authorities," replied
Cortlandt, "show that as yet but little has been discovered from
the earth concerning Jupiter's real condition. The two theories
that try to account for its genesis are the ring theory and the
nebulous. We know that the sun is constantly emitting vast
volumes of heat and light, and that, with the exception of the
heat resulting from the impact of falling meteors, it receives
none from outside, the principal source being the tremendous
friction and pressure between the cooling and shrinking strata
within the great mass of the sun itself. A seeming paradox
therefore comes in here, which must be considered: If the sun
were composed entirely of gas, it would for a time continue to
grow hotter; but the sun is incessantly radiating light and heat,
and consequently becoming smaller. Therefore the farther back we
go the hotter we find the sun, and also the larger, till, instead
of having a diameter of eight hundred and eighty thousand miles,
it filled the space now occupied by the entire solar system.
Here is where the two theories start. According to the first,
the revolving nebulous mass threw off a ring that became the
planet Neptune, afterwards another that contained the material
for Uranus, and so on, the lightest substance in the sun being
thrown off first, by which they accounted for the lightness of
the four great planets, and finally Mars, the earth, and the
small dense planets near the sun. The advocates of this theory
pointed to Saturn's rings as an illustration of the birth of a
planet, or, rather, in that case a satellite. According to this,
the major planets have had a far longer separate existence than
the minor, which would account for their being so advanced
notwithstanding their size. This theory may again come into
general acceptance, but for the present it has been discredited
by the nebulous. According to this second theory, at the time
the sun filled all the space inside of Neptune's, orbit, or
extended even farther, several centres of condensation were
formed within the nebulous, gaseous mass. The greatest centre
became the sun, and the others, large and small, the planets,
which--as a result of the spiral motion of the whole, such as is
now going on before our eyes in the great nebulae of fifty- one
M. Canuin venaticorum, and many others--began to revolve about
the greatest central body of gas. As the separate masses cooled,
they shrank, and their surfaces or extreme edges, which at first
were contiguous, began to recede, which recession is still going
on with some rapidity on the part of the sun, for we may be sure
its diameter diminishes as its density increases. According to
either theory, as I see it, the major planets, on account of
their distance from the central mass, have had longer separate
existences than the minor, and are therefore more advanced than
they would be had all been formed at the same time.

"This theory explains the practical uniformity in the chemical
composition of all members of this system by assuming that they
were all once a part of the same body, and you may say brothers
and sisters of the sun, instead of its offspring. It also makes
size the only factor determining temperature and density, but of
course modified by age, since otherwise Jupiter would have a far
less developed crust than that with which we find it. I have
always considered the period from the molten condition to that
with a crust as comparatively short, which stands to reason, for
radiation has then no check; and the period from the formation of
the crust, which acts as a blanket, to the death of a planet, as
very long. I have not found this view clearly set forth in any
of the books I have read, but it seems to me the simplest and
most natural explanation. Now, granted that the solar system was
once a nebula, on which I think every one will agree--the same
forces that changed it into a system of sun and planets must be
at work on fifty-one M. Canum venaticorum, Andromeda, and ninety-
nine M. Virginis, and must inevitably change them to suns, each
with doubtless a system of planets.

"If, then, the condition of a nebula or star depends simply on
its size, it is reasonable to suppose that Andromeda, Sirius, and
all the vast bodies we see, were created at the same time as our
system, which involves the necessity of one general and
simultaneous creation day. But as Sirius, with its diameter of
twelve million miles, must be larger than some of the nebulae
will be when equally condensed, we must suppose rather that
nebulae are forming and coming into the condition of bright and
dead stars, much as apples or pears on a fruit tree are
constantly growing and developing, so that the Mosaic description
of the creation would probably apply in point of time only to our
system, or perhaps to our globe, though the rest will doubtless
pass through precisely the same stages. This, I think, I will
publish, on our return, as the Cortlandt astronomical doctrine,
as the most rational I have seen devised, and one that I think we
may safely believe, until, perhaps, through increased knowledge,
it can be disproved."

After they crossed a line of hills that ran at right angles to
their course they found the country more rolling. All streams
and water-courses flowed in their direction, while their aneroid
showed them that they were gradually descending. When they were
moving along near the surface of the ground, a delicious and
refined perfume exhaled by the blue and white flowers, that had
been growing smaller as they journeyed northward, frequently
reached their nostrils. To Cortlandt and Bearwarden it was
merely the scent of a flower, but to Ayrault it recalled mental
pictures of Sylvia wearing violets and lilies that he had given
her. He knew that the greatest telescopes on earth could not
reveal the Callisto moving about in Jupiter's sunshine, as even a
point of light, at that distance, and, notwithstanding
Cortlandt's learning and Bearwarden's joviality, he felt at times
extremely lonely.

They swept along steadily for fifty hours, having bright sunny
days and beautifully moonlit nights. They passed over finely
rounded hills and valleys and well- watered plains. As they
approached the ocean and its level the temperature rose, and
there was more moisture in the air. The plants and flowers also
increased in size, again resembling somewhat the large species
they had seen near the equator.

"This would be the place to live," said Bearwarden, looking at
iron mountains, silver, copper, and lead formations, primeval
forests, rich prairies, and regions evidently underlaid with coal
and petroleum, not to mention huge beds of aluminum clay, and
other natural resources, that made his materialistic mouth water.
"It would be joy and delight to develop industries here, with no
snow avalanches to clog your railroads, or icy blizzards to
paralyze work, nor weather that blights you with sun-strokes and
fevers. On our return to the earth we must organize a company to
run regular interplanetary lines. We could start on this globe
all that is best on our own. Think what boundless possibilities
may be before the human race on this planet, which on account of
its vast size will be in its prime when our insignificant earth
is cold and dead and no longer capable of supporting life! Think
also of the indescribable blessing to the congested communities
of Europe and America, to find an unlimited outlet here! Mars is
already past its prime, and Venus scarcely habitable, but in
Jupiter we have a new promised land, compared with which our
earth is a pygmy, or but little more than microscopic."

"I see," said Ayrault, "that the possibilities here have no
limit; but I do not see how you can compare it to the promised
land, since, till we undertook this journey, no one had even
thought of Jupiter as a habitable place."

"I trace the Divine promise," replied Bearwarden, "in what you
described to us on earth as man's innate longing and desire to
rise, and in the fact that the Almighty has given the race
unbounded expansiveness in very limited space. This would look
to me as the return of man to the garden of Eden through
intellectual development, for here every man can sit under his
own vine and fig-tree."

"It seems to me," said Cortlandt, "that no paradise or heaven
described in anything but the Bible compares with this.
According to Virgil's description, the joys on the banks of his
river Lethe must have been most sad and dreary, the general
idleness and monotony apparently being broken only by wrestling
matches between the children, while the rest strolled about with
laurel wreaths or rested in the shade. The pilot Palinurus, who
had been drowned by falling overboard while asleep, but who
before that had presumably done his duty, did not seem especially
happy; while the harsh, resentful disposition evidently remained
unsoftened, for Dido became like a cliff of Marpesian marble when
AEneas asked to be forgiven, though he had doubtless considered
himself in duty bound to leave her, having been twice commanded
to do so by Mercury, the messenger of Jove. She, like the rest,
seems to have had no occupation, while the consciences of few
appear to have been sufficiently clear to enable them to enjoy
unbroken rest."

"The idleness in the spirit-land of all profane writers," added
Bearwarden, "has often surprised me too. Though I have always
recommended a certain amount of recreation for my staff--in fact,
more than I have generally had myself--an excess of it becomes a
bore. I think that all real progress comes through thorough
work. Why should we assume that progress ceases at death? I
believe in the verse that says, 'We learn here on earth those
things the knowledge of which is perfected in heaven.'"

"According to that," said Cortlandt, "you will some day be
setting the axis of heaven right, for in order to do work there
must be work to be done--a necessary corollary to which is that
heaven is still imperfect."

"No," said Bearwarden, bristling up at the way Cortlandt
sometimes received his speeches, "it means simply that its
development, though perfect so far as it goes, may not be
finished, and that we may be the means, as on earth, of helping
it along."

"The conditions constituting heaven," said Ayrault, "may be as
fixed as the laws of Nature, though the products of those
conditions might, it seems to me, still be forming and subject to
modification thereby. The reductio ad absurdu would of course
apply if we supposed the work of creation absolutely finished."

CHAPTER XIII.

NORTH-POLAR DISCOVERIES.

Two days later, on the western horizon, they beheld the ocean.
Many of the streams whose sources they had seen when they crossed
the divide from the lake basin, and whose courses they had
followed, were now rivers a mile wide, with the tide ebbing and
rising within them many hundreds of miles from their mouths.
When they reached the shore line they found the waves breaking,
as on earth, upon the sands, but with this difference: they had
before noted the smallness of the undulations compared with the
strength of the wind, the result of the water's weight. These
waves now reminded them of the behaviour of mercury, or of melted
lead when stirred on earth, by the rapidity with which the crests
dropped. Though the wind was blowing an on-shore gale, there was
but little combing, and when there was any it lasted but a
second. The one effort of the crests and waves seemed to be to
remain at rest, or, if stirred in spite of themselves, to
subside.

When over the surface of the ocean, the voyagers rose to a height
of thirty thousand metres, and after twenty- four hours'
travelling saw, at a distance of about two hundred miles, what
looked like another continent, but which they knew must be an
island. On finding themselves above it, they rose still higher
to obtain a view of its outlines and compare its shape with that
of the islands in the photographs they had had time to develop.
The length ran from southeast to northwest. Though crossed by
latitude forty, and notwithstanding Jupiter's distance from the
sun, the southern side had a very luxuriant vegetation that was
almost semi-tropical. This they accounted for by its total
immunity from cold, the density of the air at sea-level, and the
warm moist breezes it received from the tepid ocean. The climate
was about the same as that of the Riviera or of Florida in
winter, and there was, of course, no parching summer.

"This shows me," said Bearwarden, "that a country's climate
depends less on the amount of heat it receives from the sun than
on the amount it retains; proof of which we have in the tops of
the Himalayas perpetually covered with snow, and snow-capped
mountains on the very equator, where they get the most direct
rays, and where those rays have but little air to penetrate. It
shows that the presence of a substantial atmosphere is as
necessary a part of the calculation in practice as the sun
itself. I am inclined to think that, with the constant effect of
the internal heat on its oceans and atmosphere, Jupiter could get
along with a good deal less solar heat than it receives, in proof
of which I expect to find the poles themselves quite comfortable.
The reason the internal heat is so little taken into account on
earth is because, from the thickness of the crust, it cannot make
itself felt; for if the earth were as chilled through as ice, the
people on the surface would not feel the difference."

A Jovian week's explorations disclosed the fact that though the
island's general outlines were fairly regular, it had deep-water
harbours, great rivers, and land-locked gulfs and bays, some of
which penetrated many hundred miles into the interior. It also
showed that the island's length was about six thousand miles, and
its breadth about three thousand, and that it had therefore about
the superficial area of Asia. They found no trace of the great
monsters that had been so numerous on the mainland, though there
were plenty of smaller and gentle-looking creatures, among them
animals whose build was much like that of the prehistoric horse,
with undeveloped toes on each side of the hoof, which in the
modern terrestrial horse have disappeared, the hoof being in
reality but a rounded-off middle finger.

"It is wonderful," said Bearwarden, "how comparatively narrow
a body of water can keep different species entirely separate.
The island of Sumatra, for instance, is inhabited by marsupials
belonging to the distinct Australian type, in which the female,
as in the kangaroo, carries the slightly developed young in a
pouch; while the Malay peninsula, joined to the mainland, has all
the highly developed animals of Asia and the connected land of
the Eastern hemisphere, the narrow Malacca Strait being all that
has kept marsupials and mammals apart, though the separating
power has been increased by the rapid current setting through.
This has decreased the chance of creatures carried to sea on
drift-wood or uprooted trees getting safely over to such a degree
that apparently none have survived; for, had they done so, we may
be certain that the mammals, with the advantage their young have
over the marsupials, would soon have run them out, the marsupials
being the older and the less perfect form of life of the two."

Before leaving the beautiful sea-girt region beneath them,
Cortlandt proposed that it be named after their host, which
Bearwarden seconded, whereupon they entered it as Ayrault Island
on the charts. After this they rose to a great height, and flew
swiftly over three thousand miles of ocean till they came to
another island not quite as large as the first. It was four
thousand five hundred miles long by something less than three
thousand wide, and was therefore about the size of Africa. It
had several high ranges of mountains and a number of great rivers
and fine harbours, while murmuring, bubbling brooks flowed
through its forest glades. There were active volcanoes along the
northern coast, and the blue, crimson, and purple lines in the
luxuriant foliage were the most beautiful they had ever seen.

"I propose," said Bearwarden, "that we christen this Sylvialand."
This Cortlandt immediately seconded, and it was so entered on the
charts.

"These two islands," said Bearwarden, "may become the centres of
civilization. With flying machines and cables to carry
passengers and information, and ships of great displacement for
the interchange of commodities, there is no limit to their
possible development. The absence of large waves will also be
very favourable to sea-spiders, which will be able to run at
tremendous speeds. The constancy in the eruptions of the
volcanoes will offer a great field to Jovian inventors, who will
unquestionably be able to utilize their heat for the production
of steam or electricity, to say nothing of an inexhaustible
supply of valuable chemicals. They may contain the means of
producing some force entirely different from apergy, and as
superior to electricity as that is to steam. Our earthly
volcanoes have been put to slight account because of the long
intervals between eruptions."

After leaving Sylvialand they went westward to the eastern of the
two crescent continents. It was separated from the island by
about six thousand miles of ocean, and had less width than the
western, having about the proportions of a three-day crescent,
while the western had the shape of the moon when four or five
days old. They found the height of the mountains and plateaus
somewhat less than on the eastern continent, but no great
difference in other respects, except that, as they went towards
the pole, the vegetation became more like that of Scotland or a
north temperate region than any they had seen. On reaching
latitude fifty they again came out over the ocean to investigate
the speckled condition they had observed there. They found a
vast archipelago covering as great an area as the whole Pacific
Ocean. The islands varied from the size of Borneo and Madagascar
to that of Sicily and Corsica, while some contained but a few
square miles. The surface of the archipelago was about equally
divided between land and water.

"It would take good navigation or an elaborate system of
light-houses," said Bearwarden, "for a captain to find the
shortest course through these groups."

The islands were covered with shade trees much resembling those
on earth, and the leaves on many were turning yellow and red, for
this hemisphere's autumn had already begun.

"The Jovian trees," said Cortlandt, "can never cease to bear,
though the change of seasons is evidently able to turn their
colour, perhaps by merely ripening them. When a ripe leaf falls
off, its place is doubtless soon taken by a bud, for germination
and fructification go on side by side."

Before leaving, they decided to name this Twentieth Century
Archipelago, since so much of the knowledge appertaining to it
had been acquired in their own day. At latitude sixty the
northern arms of the two continents came within fifteen hundred
miles of each other. The eastern extension was split like the
tail of a fish, the great bay formed thereby being filled with
islands, which also extended about half of the distance across.
The western extremity shelved very gradually, the sand-bars
running out for miles just below the surface of the water.

After this the travellers flew northward at great speed in the
upper regions of the air, for they were anxious to hasten their
journey. They found nothing but unbroken sea, and not till they
reached latitude eighty-seven was there a sign of ice. They then
saw some small bergs and field ice, but in no great quantities.
As their outside thermometer, when just above the placid
water--for there were no waves here--registered twenty- one
degrees Fahrenheit, they accounted for this scarcity of ice by
the absence of land on which fresh water could freeze, and by the
fact that it was not cold enough to congeal the very salt
sea-water.

Finally they reached another archipelago a few hundred miles in
extent, the larger islands of which were covered with a sheet of
ice, at the edges of which small icebergs were being formed by
breaking off and slowly floating. Finding a small island on
which the coating was thin, they grounded the Callisto, and
stepped out for the first time in several days. The air was so
still that a small piece of paper released at a height of six
feet sank slowly and went as straight as the string of a
plumb-line. The sun was bisected by the line of the horizon, and
appeared to be moving about them in a circle, with only its upper
half visible. As Jupiter's northern hemisphere was passing
through its autumnal equinox, they concluded they had landed
exactly at the pole.

"Now to work on our experiment," said Cortlandt. "I wonder how we
may best get below the frozen surface?"

"We can explode a small quantity of dynamite," replied
Bearwarden, "after which the digging will be comparatively easy."

While Cortlandt and Bearwarden prepared the mine, Ayrault brought
out a pickaxe, two shovels, and the battery and wires with which
to ignite the explosive. They made their preparations within one
hundred feet of the Callisto, or much nearer than an equivalent
amount of gunpowder could have been discharged.

"This recalls an old laboratory experiment, or rather lecture,"
said Cortlandt, as they completed the arrangements, "for the
illustration is not as a rule carried out. Explode two pounds of
powder on an iron safe in a room with the windows closed, and the
windows will be blown out, while the safe remains uninjured.
Explode an equivalent amount of dynamite on top of the safe, and
it will be destroyed, while the glass panes are not even cracked.
This illustrates the difference in rapidity with which the
explosions take place. To the intensely rapid action of dynamite
the air affords as much resistance as a solid substance, while
the explosion of the powder is so slow that the air has time to
move away; hence the destruction of the windows in the first
case, and the safe in the second."

When they had moved beyond the danger line, Bearwarden, as the
party's practising engineer, pressed the button, and the
explosion did the rest. They found that the ground was frozen to
a depth of but little more than a foot, below which it became
perceptibly warm. Plying their shovels vigorously, they had soon
dug the hole so deep that its edges were above their heads. When
the floor was ten feet below the surrounding level the
thermometer registered sixty.

"This is scarcely a fair test," said Cortlandt, "since the heat
rises and is lost as fast as given off. Let us therefore close
the opening and see in what time it will melt a number of cubic
feet of ice."

Accordingly they climbed out, threw in about a cart-load of ice,
and covered the opening with two of the Callisto's thick rugs.
In half an hour all the ice had melted, and in another half hour
the water was hot.

"No arctic expedition need freeze to death here," said
Bearwarden, "since all a man would have to do would be to burrow
a few feet to be as warm as toast."

As the island on which they had landed was at one side of the
archipelago, but was itself at the exact pole, it followed that
the centre of the archipelago was not the part farthest north.
This in a measure accounted for the slight thickness of ice and
snow, for the isobaric lines would slope, and consequently what
wind there was would flow towards the interior of the
archipelago, whose surface was colder than the surrounding ocean.
The moist air, however, coming almost entirely from the south,
would lose most of its moisture by condensation in passing over
the ice-laden land, and so, like the clouds over the region east
of the Andes, would have but little left to let fall on this
extreme northern part. The blanketing effect of a great
thickness of snow would also cause, the lower strata of ice to
melt, by keeping in the heat constantly given off by the warm
planet.

"I think there can be no question," said Cortlandt, "that, as a
result of Jupiter's great flattening at the poles and the drawing
of the crust, which moves faster in Jupiter's rotation than any
other part, towards the equator, the crust must be particularly
thin here; for, were it as thin all over, there would be no space
for the coal-beds, which, judging from the purity of the
atmosphere, must be very extensive. Further, we can recall that
the water in the hot spring near which we alighted, which
evidently came from a far greater depth than we have here, was
not as hot as this. The conclusion is clear that elsewhere the
internal heat is not as near the surface as here."

"The more I see of Jupiter," exclaimed Bearwarden
enthusiastically, "the more charmed I become. It almost exactly
supplies what I have been conjuring up as my idea of a perfect
planet. Its compensations of high land near the equator, and low
with effective internal heat at the poles, are ideal. The gradual
slope of its continental elevations, on account of their extent,
will ease the work of operating railways, and the atmosphere's
density will be just the thing for our flying machines, while
Nature has supplied all sources of power so lavishly that no
undertaking will be too great. Though land as yet, to judge by
our photographs, occupies only about one eighth of the surface,
we know, from the experience of the other planets, that this is
bound to increase; so that, if the human race can perpetuate
itself on Jupiter long enough, it will undoubtedly have one
fourth or a larger proportion for occupation, though the land
already upheaved comprises fully forty times the area of our
entire globe, which, as we know, is still three-fourths water."

"Since we have reached what we might call the end of Jupiter, and
still have time, continued Ayrault, "let us proceed to Saturn,
where we may find even stranger things than here. I hoped we
could investigate the great red spot, but am convinced we have
seen the beginning of one in Twentieth Century Archipelago, and
what, under favourable conditions, will be recognized as such on
earth."

It was just six terrestrial weeks since they had set out, and
therefore February 2d on earth.

"It would be best, in any case, to start from Jupiter's equator,"
said Cortlandt, "for the straight line we should make from the
surface here would be at right angles to Saturn. We shall
probably, in spite of ourselves, swing a few degrees beyond the
line, and so can get a bird's-eye view of some portion of the
southern hemisphere."

"All aboard for Saturn!" cried Bearwarden enthusiastically, in

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