Part 4 out of 6
his jovial way. "This will be a journey."
THE SCENE SHIFTS.
Having returned the rugs to the Callisto, they applied the
maximum power of the batteries to rising, closed all openings
when the barometer registered thirty, and moved off into space.
When Several thousand miles above the pole, they diverted part of
the power to attracting the nearest moon that was in the plane of
Jupiter's equator, and by the time their upward motion had ceased
were moving well in its direction. Their rapid motion aided the
work of resisting gravity, since their car had in fact become a
small moon, revolving, like those of Uranus or that of Neptune,
in an orbit varying greatly from the plane of the ecliptic. As
they flew south at a height ranging from two thousand to three
thousand miles, the planet revolved before them, and they had a
chance of obtaining a thorough view. There were but a few
scattered islands on the side of the Northern hemisphere opposite
to that over which they had reached the pole, and in the varying
colours of the water, which they attributed to temperature or to
some substance in solution, they recognized what they had always
heard described on earth as the bands of Jupiter, encircling the
planet with great belts, the colour varying with the latitude.
At about latitude forty-five these bands were purple, farther
south light olive green, and at the equator a brown orange.
Shortly after they swung across the equator the ocean again
became purple, and at the same time a well-defined and very
brilliant white spot came into view. Its brightness showed
slight variations in intensity, though its general shape remained
unchanged. It had another peculiarity, in that it possessed a
fairly rapid motion of its own, as it moved eastward across the
surface of the ocean. It exhibited all the phenomena of the
storm they had watched in crossing Secretary Deepwaters Bay, but
covered a larger area, and was far more violent. Their glasses
showed them vast sheets of spray driven along at tremendous
speed, while the surface was milky white.
"This," said Bearwarden, picking up a book, "solves to my mind
the mystery of the white spot described by the English writer
Chambers, in 1889, as follows:
"'During the last few years a brilliant white spot has been
visible on the equatorial border of the great southern belt. A
curious fact in connection with this spot is, that it moves with
a velocity of some two hundred and sixty miles per hour greater
than the red spot. Denning obtained one hundred and sixty-nine
observations of this bright marking during the years 1880-1883,
and determined the period as nine hours, fifty minutes, eight and
seven tenths seconds (five and a half minutes less than that of
the red spot). Although the latter is now somewhat faint, the
white spot gives promise of remaining visible for many years.
During the year 1886 a large number of observations of Jupiter
were made at the Dearborn Observatory, Chicago, U. S., by Prof.
G. W. Hough, using the eighteen-and-a-half-inch refractor of the
observatory. Inasmuch as these observations are not only of high
intrinsic interest, but are in conflict, to some extent, with
previous records, a somewhat full abstract of them will be
useful: The object of general interest was the great red spot.
The outline, shape, and size of this remarkable object has
remained without material change from the year 1879, when it was
first observed here, until the present time. According to our
observations, during the whole of this period it has shown a
sharp and well-defined outline, and at no time has it coalesced
or been joined to any belt in its proximity, as has been alleged
by some observers. During the year 1885 the middle of the spot
was very much paler in colour than the margins, causing it to
appear as an elliptical ring. The ring form has continued up to
the present time. While the outline of the spot has remained
very constant, the colour has changed materially from year to
year. During the past three years (1884- '86) it has at times
been very faint, so as barely to be visible. The persistence of
this object for so many years leads me to infer that the formerly
accepted theory, that the phenomena seen on the surface of the
planet are atmospheric, is no longer tenable. The statement so
often made in text-books, that in the course of a few days or
months the whole aspect of the planet may be changed, is
obviously erroneous. The oval white spots on the southern
hemisphere of the planet, nine degrees south of the equator, have
been systematically observed at every opposition during the past
eight years. They are generally found in groups of three or
more, but are rather difficult to observe. The rotation period
deduced from them is nearly the same as from the great red spot.
These spots usually have a slow drift in longitude of about five
seconds daily in the direction of the planet's rotation, when
referred to the great red spot; corresponding to a rotation
period of twenty seconds less than the latter.'
"This shows," continued Bearwarden, "that as long ago as towards
the close of the nineteenth century the old idea that we saw
nothing but the clouds in Jupiter's atmosphere was beginning to
change; and also how closely the two English writers and Prof.
Hough were studying the subject, though their views did not
entirely agree. A white spot is merely a storm-centre passing
round and round the planet, the wind running a little ahead of
the surface, which accounts for its rapid rotation compared with
the red spot, which is a fixture. A critic may say we have no
such winds on earth; to which I reply, that winds on a planet of
Jupiter's size, with its rate of rotation--though it is
480,000,000 miles from the sun and the internal heat is so near
the surface--and with land and water arranged as they are, may
and indeed must be very different from those prevailing on earth,
the conditions producing and affecting them being so changed.
Though the storm-centre moves two hundred and sixty miles an
hour, the wind need not blow at that rate."
Later they saw several smaller spots drifting eastward, but
concluded that any seaworthy ship might pass safely through them,
for, though they were hurricanes of great violence, the waves
"There would be less danger," said Bearwarden, "of shipping seas
here than there is on earth; the principal risk to travellers
would be that of being blown from the deck. On account of the
air's weight in connection with its velocity, this would
necessitate some precaution."
The next object of interest was the great red spot. It proved,
as Cortlandt had predicted, to be a continent, with at that time
no special colour, though they easily recognized it by comparing
its outlines with those of the spot in the map. Its length, as
they already knew, was twenty-seven thousand miles, and its
breadth about eight thousand miles, so that it contained more
square miles than the entire surface of the earth, land and water
"It is clear," said Cortlandt, "that at some season of Jupiter's
long year a change takes place that affects the colour of the
leaves--some drought or prolonged norther; for it is obvious that
that is the simplest explanation. In like manner we may expect
that at some times more white spots will move across the ocean
than at others."
"On account of the size of these continents and oceans," said
Bearwarden, "it is easy to believe that many climatic conditions
may prevail here that can scarcely exist on earth. But what a
magnificent world to develop, with its great rivers, lakes, and
mountains showing at even this distance, and what natural
resources must be lying there dormant, awaiting our call! This
constantly recurs to my mind. The subjugation and thorough
opening up of this red spot continent will probably supply more
interesting problems than straightening the axis of the earth."
"At our next visit," replied Ayrault, "when we have established
regular interplanetary lines of travel, we may have an
opportunity to examine it more closely." Then they again
attracted the nearest moon beyond which they had swung, increased
the repulsion on Jupiter, and soared away towards Saturn.
"We have a striking illustration of Jupiter's enormous mass,"
said Cortlandt, as the apparent diameter of the mighty planet
rapidly decreased, "in the fact that notwithstanding its numerous
moons, it still rotates so rapidly. We know that the earth's
days were formerly but half or a quarter as long as now, having
lasted but six or eight hours. The explanation of the elongation
is simple: the earth rotates in about twenty-four hours, while
the moon encircles it but once in nearly twenty- eight days, so
that our satellite is continually drawing the oceans backward
against its motion. These tidal brakes acting through the
friction of the water on the bottom, its unequal pressure, and
the impact of the waves on the shore, are continually retarding
its rotation, so that the day is a fraction of a second longer
now than it was in the time of Caesar. This same action is of
course taking place in Jupiter and the great planets, in this
case there being five moons at work. Our moon, we know, rotates
on its axis but once while it revolves about the earth, this
being no doubt due to its own comparative smallness and the great
attraction of the earth, which must have produced tremendous
tides before the lunar oceans disappeared from its surface."
In crossing the orbits of the satellites, they passed near
Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon.
"This," said Cortlandt, "was discovered by Galileo in
1610. It is three thousand four hundred and eighty miles
in diameter, while our moon is but two thousand one
hundred and sixty, revolves at a distance of six hundred
and seventy-eight thousand three hundred miles from
Jupiter, completes its revolution in seven days and four
hours, and has a specific gravity of 1.87."
In passing, they observed that Ganymede possessed an atmosphere,
and continents and oceans of large area.
"Here," said Bearwarden, "we have a body with a diameter about
five hundred miles greater than the planet Mercury. Its size,
light specific gravity, atmosphere, and oceans seem to indicate
that it is less advanced than that planet, yet you think Jupiter
has had a longer separate existence than the planets nearer the
"Undoubtedly," said Cortlandt. "Jupiter was condensed while in
the solar-system nebula, and began its individual existence and
its evolutionary career long before Mercury was formed. The
matter now in Ganymede, however, doubtless remained part of the
Jupiter-system nebula till after Mercury's creation, and, being
part of so great a mass, did not cool very rapidly. I should say
that this satellite has about the same relation to Jupiter that
Jupiter has to the sun, and is therefore younger in point of time
as well as of development than the most distant Callisto, and
older, at all events in years, than Europa and Io, both of which
are nearer. This supposition is corroborated by the fact that
Europa, the smallest of these four, is also the densest, having a
specific gravity of 2.14, its smallness having enabled it to
overtake Ganymede in development, notwithstanding the latter's
start. In the face of the evidence before us we must believe
this, or else that, perhaps, as in the case of the asteroid
Hilda, something like a collision has rejuvenated it. This might
account for its size, and for the Nautical Almanac's statement
that there is a 'small and variable' inclination to its orbit,
while Io and Europa revolve exactly in the plane of Jupiter's
They had about as long a journey before them as they had already
made in going from the earth to Jupiter. The great planet soon
appeared as a huge crescent, since it was between them and the
sun; its moons became as fifth- and sixth-magnitude stars, and in
the evening of the next day Jupiter's disk became invisible to
the unaided eye. Since there were no way stations, in the shape
of planets or asteroids, between Jupiter and Saturn, they kept
the maximum repulsion on Jupiter as long as possible, and moved
at tremendous speed. Saturn was somewhat in advance of Jupiter
in its orbit, so that their course from the earth had been along
two sides of a triangle with an obtuse angle between. During the
next four terrestrial days they sighted several small comets, but
spent most of their time writing out their Jovian experiences.
During the sixth day Saturn's rings, although not as much tilted
as they would be later in the planet's season, presented a most
superb sight, while they spun in the sun's rays. Soon after this
the eight moons became visible, and, while slightly reducing the
Callisto's speed, they crossed the orbits of Iapetus, Hyperion,
and Titan, when they knew they were but seven hundred and fifty
thousand miles from Saturn.
"I am anxious to ascertain," said Cortlandt, "whether the
composition of yonder rings is similar to that of the comet
through which we passed. I am sure they shine with more than
"We have been in the habit," said Ayrault, "of associating heat
with light, but it is obvious there is something far more subtle
about cometary light and that of Saturn's rings, both of which
seem to have their birth in the intense cold of interplanetary
Passing close to Mimas, Saturn's nearest moon, they supplemented
its attraction, after swinging by, by their own strong pull,
bringing their speed down to dead slow as they entered the
outside ring. At distances often of half a mile they found
meteoric masses, sometimes lumps the size of a house, often no
larger than apples, while small particles like grains of sand
moved between them. There were two motions. The ring revolved
about Saturn, and the particles vibrated among themselves,
evidently kept apart by a mutual repulsion, which seemed both to
increase and decrease faster than gravitation; for on approaching
one another they were more strongly repelled than attracted, but
when they separated the repulsion decreased faster than the
attraction, so that after a time divergence ceased, and they
remained at fixed distances.
The Callisto soon became imbued with motion also, but nothing
ever struck it. When any large mass came unusually near, both it
and their car emitted light, and they rapidly separated. The
sunlight was not as strong here as it had been when they entered
the comet, and as they penetrated farther they were better able
to observe the omnipresent luminosity. They were somewhat
puzzled by the approach of certain light-centres, which seemed to
contain nothing but this concentrated brightness. Occasionally
one of these centres would glow very brightly near them, and
simultaneously recede. At such times the Callisto also glowed,
and itself recoiled slightly. At first the travellers could not
account for this, but finally they concluded that the centres
must be meteoric masses consisting entirely of gases, possessing
weight though invisible.
"We have again to face," said Cortlandt, "that singular law that
till recently we did not suppose existed on earth. All kinds of
suppositions have been advanced in explanation of these rings.
Some writers have their thickness, looked at from the thin edge,
as four hundred miles, some one hundred, and some but forty. One
astronomer of the nineteenth century, a man of considerable
eminence, was convinced that they consisted of sheets of liquid.
Now, it should be obvious that no liquid could maintain itself
here for a minute, for it would either fall upon the planet as a
crushing hail, or, if dependent for its shape on its own
tenacity, it would break if formed of the toughest steel, on
account of the tremendous weight. Any number of theories have
been advanced by any number of men, but in weight we have the
rub. No one has ever shown how these innumerable fragments
maintain themselves at a height of but a few thousand miles above
Saturn, withstanding the giant's gravitation-pull. Their rate of
revolution, though rapid, does not seem fast enough to sustain
them. Neither have I ever seen it explained why the small
fragments do not fall upon the large ones, though many
astronomers have pictured the composition of these rings as we
find they exist. Nor do we know why the molecules of a gas are
driven farther apart by heat, while their activity is also
increased, though if this activity were revolution about one
another to develop the centrifugal, it would not need to be as
strong then as when they are cold and nearer together. There may
be explanations, but I have found none in any of the literature I
have read. It seems to me that all this leads to but one
conclusion, viz.: apergy is the constant and visible companion of
gravitation, on these great planets Jupiter and Saturn, perhaps
on account of some peculiar influence they possess, and also in
comets, in the case of large masses, while on earth it appears
naturally only among molecules--those of gases and every other
"I should go a step further," said Bearwarden, "and say our earth
has the peculiarity, since it does not possess the influence
necessary to generate naturally a great or even considerable
development of apergy. The electricity of thunderstorms,
northern lights, and other forces seems to be produced freely,
but as regards apergy our planet's natural productiveness appears
to be small."
The omnipresent luminosity continued, but the glow was scarcely
bright enough to be perceived from the earth.
"I believe, however," said Bearwarden, referring to this, "that
whenever a satellite passes near these fragments, preferably when
it enters the planet's shadow, since that will remove its own
light, it will create such activity among them as to make the
luminosity visible to the large telescopes or gelatine plates on
"Now," said Ayrault, "that we have evolved enough theories to
keep astronomers busy for some time, if they attempt to discuss
them, I suggest that we alight and leave the abstract for the
Whereupon they passed through the inner ring and rapidly sank to
Landing on a place about ten degrees north of the equator, so
that they might obtain a good view of the great rings--since ON
the line only the thin edge would be visible--they opened a
port-hole with the same caution they had exercised on Jupiter.
Again there was a rush of air, showing that the pressure without
was greater than that within; but on this occasion the barometer
stopped at thirty-eight, from which they calculated that the
pressure was nineteen pounds to the square inch on their bodies,
instead of fifteen as at sea-level on earth. This difference was
so slight that they scarcely felt it. They also discarded the
apergetic outfits that had been so useful on Jupiter, as
unnecessary here. The air was an icy blast, and though they
quickly closed the opening, the interior of the Callisto was
"We shall want our winter clothes," said Bearwarden; "it might be
more comfortable for us exactly on the equator, though the scene
at night will be far finer here, if we can stand the climate.
Doubtless it will also be warmer soon, for the sun has but just
"I suspect this is merely one of the cold waves that rush towards
the equator at this season, which corresponds to about the 10th
of our September," replied Cortlandt. "The poles of Saturn must
be intensely cold during its long winter of fourteen and three
quarter years, for, the axis being inclined twenty-seven degrees
from the perpendicular of its orbit, the pole turned from the sun
is more shut off from its heat than ours, and in addition to this
the mean distance--more than eight hundred and eighty million
miles--is very great. Since the chemical composition of the air
we have inhaled has not troubled our lungs, it is fair to suppose
we shall have no difficulty in breathing."
Having dressed themselves more warmly, and seen by a thermometer
they had placed outside that the temperature was thirty-eight
degrees Fahrenheit, which had seemed very cold compared with the
warmth inside the Callisto, they again opened the port-hole, this
time leaving it open longer. What they had felt before was
evidently merely a sudden gust, for the air was now comparatively
Finding that the doctor's prediction as to the suitability of the
air to their lungs was correct, they ventured out, closing the
door as they went.
Expecting, as on Jupiter, to find principally vertebrates of the
reptile and bird order, they carried guns and cartridges loaded
with buckshot and No. 1, trusting for solid-ball projectiles to
their revolvers, which they shoved into their belts. They also
took test- tubes for experiments on the Saturnian bacilli.
Hanging a bucket under the pipe leading from the roof, to catch
any rain that might fall--for they remembered the scarcity of
drinking-water on Jupiter--they set out in a southwesterly
Walking along, they noticed on all sides tall lilies immaculately
pure in their whiteness, and mushrooms and toadstools nearly a
foot high, the former having a delicious flavour and extreme
freshness, as though only an hour old. They had seen no animal
life, or even sign of it, and were wondering at its dearth, when
suddenly two large white birds rose directly in front of them.
Like thought, Bearwarden and Ayrault had their guns up, snapping
the thumb-pieces over "safe" and pulling the triggers almost
simultaneously. Bearwarden, having double buckshot, killed his
bird at the first fire; but Ayrault, having only No. 1, had to
give his the second barrel, almost all damage in both cases being
in the head. On coming close to their victims they found them to
measure twelve feet from tip to tip, and to have a tremendous
thickness of feathers and down.
"From the looks of these beauties," said Bearwarden, "I should
say they probably inhabited a pretty cold place."
"They are doubtless northern birds," said Cortlandt, "that have
just come south. It is easy to believe that the depth to which
the temperature may fall in the upper air of this planet must be
As they turned from the cranes, to which species the birds seemed
to belong, they became mute with astonishment. Every mushroom
had disappeared, but the toadstools still remained.
"Is it possible we did not see them?" gasped Ayrault.
"We must inadvertently have walked some distance since we saw
them," said Cortlandt.
"They were what I looked forward to for lunch," exclaimed
They were greatly perplexed. The mushrooms were all about them
when they shot the birds, which still lay where they had fallen.
"We must be very absent-minded," said the doctor, "or perchance
our brains are affected by the air. We must analyze it to see if
it contains our own proportion of oxygen and nitrogen. There was
a good deal of carbonic-acid gas on Jupiter, but that would
hardly confuse our senses. The strange thing is, that we all
seem to have been impressed the same way."
Concluding that they must have been mistaken, they continued on
All about they heard a curious humming, as that of bees, or like
the murmuring of prayers in a resonant cathedral. Thinking it
was the wind in the great trees that grew singly around them,
they paid no attention to it until, emerging on an open plain and
finding that the sound continued, they stopped.
"Now," said Bearwarden, "this is more curious than anything we
found on Jupiter. Here we have an incessant and rather pleasant
sound, with no visible cause."
"It may possibly be some peculiarity of the grass," replied
Cortlandt, "though, should it continue when we reach sandy or
bare soil, I shall believe we need a dose of quinine."
"I FEEL perfectly well," said Ayrault; "how is it with you?"
Each finding that he was in a normal state, they proceeded,
determined, if possible, to discover the source from which the
sounds came. Suddenly Bearwarden raised his gun to bring down a
long-beaked hawk; but the bird flew off, and he did not shoot.
"Plague the luck!" said he; "I went blind just as I was about to
pull. A haze seemed to cover both barrels, and completely
screened the bird."
"The Callisto will soon be hidden by those trees," said
Cortlandt. "I think we had better take our bearings, for, if our
crack shot is going to miss like that, we may want canned
Accordingly, he got out his sextant, took the altitude of the
sun, got cross-bearings and a few angles, and began to make a
rough calculation. For several minutes he worked industriously,
used the rubber at the end of his pencil, tried again, and then
scratched out. "That humming confuses me so that I cannot work
correctly," said he, "while the most irrelevant things enter my
mind in spite of me, and mix up my figures."
"I found the same thing," said Bearwarden, "but said nothing, for
fear I should not be believed. In addition to going blind, for a
moment I almost forgot what I was trying to do."
Changing their course slightly, they went towards a range of
hills, in the hope of finding rocky or sandy soil, in order to
test the sounds, and ascertain if they would cease or vary.
Having ascended a few hundred feet, they sat down near some trees
to rest, the musical hum continuing meanwhile unchanged. The
ground was strewn with large coloured crystals, apparently
rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, about the size of hens' eggs,
and also large sheets of isinglass. Picking up one of the
latter, Ayrault examined it. Points of light and shade kept
forming on its surface, from which rings radiated like the
circles spreading in all directions from a place in still water
at which a pebble is thrown. He called his companions, and the
three examined it. The isinglass was about ten inches long by
eight across, and contained but few impurities. In addition to
the spreading rings, curious forms were continually taking shape
"This is more interesting," said Bearwarden, "than sounding
shells at the sea-shore. We must make a note of it as another
thing to study."
They then spread their handkerchiefs on a mound of earth, so as
to make a table, and began examining the gems.
"Does it not seem to you," asked Ayrault, a few minutes later,
addressing his companions, "as though we were not alone? I have
thought many times there was some one--or perhaps several
persons--here besides ourselves."
"The same idea has occurred to me," replied Cortlandt. "I was
convinced, a moment ago, that a shadow crossed the page on which
I was taking notes. Can it be there are objects about us we
cannot see? We know there are vibrations of both light and sound
that do not affect our senses. I wish we had brought the
magnetic eye; perchance that might tell us."
"Anything sufficiently dense to cast a shadow," said Ayrault,
"should be seen, since it would also be able to make an image on
our retinas. I believe any impressions we are receiving are
produced through our minds, as if some one were thinking very
intently about us, and that neither the magnetic eye nor a
sensitive plate could reveal anything."
They then returned to the study of the isinglass, which they were
able to split into extremely thin sheets. Suddenly a cloud
passed over the table, and almost immediately disappeared, and
then a sharpened pencil with which Ayrault had been writing began
to trace on a sheet of paper, in an even hand, and with a slight
"Stop!" said Bearwarden; "let us each for himself describe in
writing what he has seen."
In a moment they had done this, and then compared notes. In each
case the vision was the same. Then they looked at the writing
made by the invisible hand. "Absorpta est mors in Victoria," it
"Gentlemen, began Bearwarden, as if addressing a meeting, "this
cannot be coincidence; we are undoubtedly and unquestionably in
the presence of a spirit or of several spirits. That they
understand Latin, we see; and, from what they say, they may have
known death. Time may show whether they have been terrestrials
like ourselves. Though the conditions of life here might make us
delirious, it is scarcely possible that different temperaments
like ours should be affected in so precisely the same way;
besides, in this writing we have tangible proof."
"It is perfectly reasonable," said Ayrault, "to conclude it was a
spirit, if we may assume that spirits have the power to move the
pencil, which is a material object. Nobody doubts nowadays that
after death we live again; that being the case, we must admit
that we live somewhere. Space, as I take it, can be no obstacle
to a spirit; therefore, why suppose they remain on earth?"
"This is a wonderful place," said Cortlandt. "We have already
seen enough to convince us of the existence of many unknown laws.
I wish the spirit would reveal itself in some other way."
As he finished speaking, the rays of the distant and cold-looking
sun were split, and the colours of the spectrum danced upon the
linen cloth, as if obtained by a prism. In astonishment, they
rose and looked closely at the table, when suddenly a shadow that
no one recognized as his own appeared upon the cover. Tracing it
to its source, their eyes met those of an old man with a white
robe and beard and a look of great intelligence on his calm face.
They knew he had not been in the little grove thirty seconds
before, and as this was surrounded by open country there was no
place from which he could have come.
THE SPIRIT'S FIRST VISIT.
"Greetings and congratulations," he said. "Man has
steadfastly striven to rise, and we see the results in
"I have always believed in the existence of spirits," said
Cortlandt, "but never expected to see one with my natural eyes."
"And you never will, in its spiritual state," replied the shade,
"unless you supplement sight with reason. A spirit has merely
existence, entity, and will, and is entirely invisible to your
"How is it, then, that we see and hear you?" asked Cortlandt.
"Are you a man, or a spectre that is able to affect our senses?"
"I WAS a man," replied the spirit, "and I have given myself
visible and tangible form to warn you of danger. My colleagues
and I watched you when you left the cylinder and when you shot
the birds, and, seeing your doom in the air, have been trying to
communicate with you."
"What were the strange shadows and prismatic colours that kept
passing across our table?" asked Bearwarden.
"They were the obstructions and refractions of light caused by
spirits trying to take shape," replied the shade.
"Do you mind our asking you questions?" said Cortlandt.
"No," replied their visitor. "If I can, I will answer them."
"Then," said Cortlandt, "how is it that, of the several spirits
that tried to become embodied, we see but one, namely, you?"
"That," said the shade, "is because no natural law is broken. On
earth one man can learn a handicraft better in a few days than
another in a month, while some can solve with ease a mathematical
problem that others could never grasp. So it is here. Perhaps I
was in a favourable frame of mind on dying, for the so-called
supernatural always interested me on earth, or I had a natural
aptitude for these things; for soon after death I was able to
affect the senses of the friends I had left."
"Are we to understand, then," asked Cortlandt, "that the reason
more of our departed do not reappear to us is because they
"Precisely," replied the shade. "But though the percentage of
those that can return and reappear on earth is small, their
number is fairly large. History has many cases. We know that
the prophet Samuel raised the witch of Endor at the behest of
Saul; that Moses and Elias became visible in the transfiguration;
and that after his crucifixion and burial Christ returned to his
disciples, and was seen and heard by many others."
"How," asked Bearwarden deferentially, "do you occupy your time?"
"Time, replied the spirit, "has not the same significance to us
that it has to you. You know that while the earth rotates in
twenty-four hours, this planet takes but about ten; and the sun
turns on its own axis but once in a terrestrial month; while the
years of the planets vary from less than three months for Mercury
to Neptune's one hundred and sixty-four years. Being insensible
to heat and cold, darkness and light, we have no more changing
seasons, neither is there any night. When a man dies," he
continued with solemnity, "he comes at once into the enjoyment of
senses vastly keener than any be possessed before. Our eyes--if
such they can be called--are both microscopes and telescopes, the
change in focus being effected as instantaneously as thought,
enabling us to perceive the smallest microbe or disease-germ, and
to see the planets that revolve about the stars. The step of a
fly is to us as audible as the tramp of a regiment, while we hear
the mechanical and chemical action of a snake's poison on the
blood of any poor creature bitten, as plainly as the waves on the
shore. We also have a chemical and electrical sense, showing us
what effect different substances will have on one another, and
what changes to expect in the weather. The most complex and
subtle of our senses, however, is a sort of second sight that we
call intuition or prescience, which we are still studying to
perfect and understand. With our eyes closed it reveals to us
approaching astronomical and other bodies, or what is happening
on the other side of the planet, and enables us to view the
future as you do the past. The eyes of all but the highest
angels require some light, and can be dazzled by an excess; but
this attribute of divinity nothing can obscure, and it is the
sense that will first enable us to know God. By means of these
new and sharpened faculties, which, like children, we are
continually learning to use to better advantage, we constantly
increase our knowledge, and this is next to our greatest
"Is there any limit," asked Bearwarden, "to human progress on the
"Practically none," replied the spirit. "Progress depends
largely on your command of the forces of Nature. At present your
principal sources of power are food, fuel, electricity, the heat
of the interior of the earth, wind, and tide. From the first two
you cannot expect much more than now, but from the internal heat
everywhere available, tradewinds, and falling water, as at
Niagara, and from tides, you can obtain power almost without
limit. Were this all, however, your progress would be slow; but
the Eternal, realizing the shortness of your lives, has given you
power with which to rend the globe. You have the action of all
uncombined chemicals, atmospheric electricity, the excess or
froth of which you now see in thunderstorms, and the electricity
and magnetism of your own bodies. There is also molecular and
sympathetic vibration, by which Joshua not understandingly
levelled the walls of Jericho; and the power of your minds over
matter, but little more developed now than when I moved in the
flesh upon the earth. By lowering large quantities of
high-powered explosives to the deepest parts of the ocean bed,
and exploding them there, you can produce chasms through which
some water will be forced towards the heated interior by the
enormous pressure of its own weight. At a comparatively slight
depth it will be converted into steam and produce an earthquake.
This will so enlarge your chasm, that a great volume of water
will rush into the red-hot interior, which will cause a series of
such terrific eruptions that large islands will be upheaved. By
the reduction of the heat of that part of the interior there will
also be a shrinkage, which, in connection with the explosions,
will cause the earth's solid crust to be thrown up in folds till
whole continents appear. Some of the water displaced by the new
land will also, as a result of the cooling, be able permanently
to penetrate farther, thereby decreasing by that much the amount
of water in the oceans, so that the tide-level in your existing
seaports will be but slightly changed. By persevering in this
work, you will become so skilled that it will be possible to
evoke land of whatever kind you wish, at any place; and by having
high table-land at the equator, sloping off into low plains
towards north and south, and maintaining volcanoes in eruption at
the poles to throw out heat and start warm ocean currents, it
will be possible, in connection with the change you are now
making in the axis, to render the conditions of life so easy that
the earth will support a far larger number of souls.
"With the powers at your disposal you can also alter and improve
existing continents, and thereby still further increase the
number of the children of men. Perhaps with mild climate,
fertile soil, and decreased struggle for existence, man will
develop his spiritual side.
"Finally, you have apergy, one of the highest forces, for it puts
you almost on a plane with angels, and with it you have already
visited Jupiter and Saturn. It was impossible that man should
remain chained to the earth during the entire life of his race,
like an inferior animal or a mineral, lower even in freedom of
body than birds. Heretofore you have, as I have said, seen but
one side in many workings of Nature, as if you had discovered
either negative or positive electricity, but not both; for
gravitation and apergy are as inseparably combined in the rest of
the universe as those two, separated temporarily on earth that
the discovery of the utilization of one with the other might
serve as an incentive to your minds. You saw it in Nature on
Jupiter in the case of several creatures, suspecting it in the
boa-constrictor and Will-o'-the-wisp and jelly-fish, and have
standing illustrations of it in all tailed comets-- luminosity in
the case of large bodies being one manifestation--in the rings of
this planet, and in the molecular motion and porosity of all
gases, liquids, and solids on earth; since what else is it that
keeps the molecules apart, heat serving merely to increase its
power? God made man in his own image; does it not stand to
reason that he will allow him to continue to become more and more
like himself? Would he begrudge him the power to move mountains
through the intelligent application of Nature's laws, when he
himself said they might be moved by faith? So far you have been
content to use the mechanical power of water, its momentum or
dead weight merely; to attain a much higher civilization, you
must break it up chemically and use its constituent gases."
"How," asked Bearwarden, "can this be done?"
"Force superheated steam," replied the spirit, "through an
intensely heated substance, as you now do in making
water-gas--preferably platinum heated by electricity--apply an
apergetic shock, and the oxygen and hydrogen will separate like
oil and water, the oxygen being so much the heavier. Lead them
in different directions as fast as the water is decomposed--since
otherwise they would reunite--and your supply of power will be
"Will you not stay and dine with us?" asked Ayrault. "While in
the flesh you must be subject to its laws, and must need food to
maintain your strength, like ourselves."
"It will give me great pleasure," replied the spirit, "to tarry
with you, and once more to taste earthly food, but most of all to
have the blessed joy of being of service to you. Here, all being
immaterial spirits, no physical injury can befall any of us; and
since no one wants anything that any one else can give, we have
no opportunity of doing anything for each other. You see we
neither eat nor sleep, neither can any of us again know physical
pain or death, nor can we comfort one another, for every one
knows the truth about himself and every one else, and we read one
another's thoughts as an open book."
"Do you," asked Bearwarden, "not eat at all?
"We absorb vitality in a sense," replied the spirit. "As the sun
combines certain substances into food for mortals, it also
produces molecular vibration and charges the air with magnetism
and electricity, which we absorb without effort. In fact, there
is a faint pleasure in the absorption of this strength, when, in
magnetic disturbances, there is an unusual amount of immortal
food. Should we try to resist it, there would eventually be a
greater pressure without than within, and we should assimilate
involuntarily. We are part of the intangible universe, and can
feel no hunger that is not instantly appeased, neither can we
ever more know thirst."
"Why," asked Cortlandt reverently, " did the angel with the sword
of flame drive Adam from the Tree of Life, since with his soul he
had received that which could never die?"
"That was part of the mercy of God," the shade replied; "for
immortality could be enjoyed but meagrely on earth, where natural
limitations are so abrupt. And know this, ye who are something
of chemists, that had Adam eaten of that substance called fruit,
he would have lived in the flesh to this day, and would have been
of all men the most unhappy."
"Will the Fountain of Youth ever be discovered?" asked Cortlandt.
"That substances exist," replied the spirit, "that render it
impossible for the germs of old age and decay to lodge in the
body, I know; in fact, it would be a break in the continuity and
balance of Nature did they not; but I believe their discovery
will be coincident with Christ's second visible advent on earth.
You are, however, only on the shore of the ocean of knowledge,
and, by continuing to advance in geometric ratio, will soon be
able to retain your mortal bodies till the average longevity
exceeds Methuselah's; but, except for more opportunities of doing
good, or setting a longer example to your fellows by your lives,
where would be the gain?
"I now see how what appeared to me while I lived on earth
insignificant incidents, were the acts of God, and that what I
thought injustice or misfortune was but evidence of his wisdom
and love; for we know that not a sparrow falleth without God, and
that the hairs of our heads are numbered. Every act of kindness
or unselfishness on my part, also, stands out like a golden
letter or a white stone, and gives me unspeakable comfort. At
the last judgment, and in eternity following, we shall have very
different but just as real bodies as those that we possessed in
the flesh. The dead at the last trump will rise clothed in them,
and at that time the souls in paradise will receive them also."
"I wonder," thought Ayrault, "on which hand we shall be placed in
that last day."
"The classification is now going on," said the spirit, answering
his thought, "and I know that in the final judgment each
individual will range himself automatically on his proper side."
"Do tell me," said Ayrault, "how you were able to answer my
"I see the vibrations of the grey matter of your brain as plainly
as the movements of your lips"; in fact, I see the thoughts in
the embryonic state taking shape."
When their meal was ready they sat down, Ayrault placing the
spirit on his right, with Cortlandt on his left, and having
Bearwarden opposite. On this occasion their chief had given them
a particularly good dinner, but the spirit took only a slice of
meat and a glass of claret.
"Won't you tell us the story of your life," said Ayrault to the
spirit, "and your experiences since your death? They would be of
tremendous interest to us."
"I was a bishop in one of the Atlantic States," replied the
spirit gravely, "and died shortly before the civil war. People
came from other cities to hear my sermons, and the biographical
writers have honoured my memory by saying that I was a great man.
I was contemporaneous with Daniel Webster and Henry Clay.
Shortly after I reached threescore and ten, according to earthly
years, I caught what I considered only a slight cold, for I had
always had good health, but it became pneumonia. My friends,
children, and grandchildren came to see me, and all seemed going
well, when, without warning, my physician told me I had but a few
hours to live. I could scarcely believe my ears; and though, as
a Churchman, I had ministered to others and had always tried to
lead a good life, I was greatly shocked. I suddenly remembered
all the things I had left undone and all the things I intended to
do, and the old saying, 'Hell is paved with good intentions,'
crossed my mind very forcibly. In less than an hour I saw the
physician was right; I grew weaker and my pulse fluttered, but my
mind remained clear. I prayed to my Creator with all my soul, 'O
spare me a little, that I may recover my strength, before I go
hence, and be no more seen.' As if for an answer, the thought
crossed my brain, 'Set thine house in order, for thou shalt not
live, but die.' I then called my children and made disposition
of such of my property and personal effects as were not covered
by my will. I also gave to each the advice that my experience
had shown me he or she needed. Then came another wave of remorse
and regret, and again an intense longing to pray; but along with
the thought of sins and neglected duties came also the memory of
the honest efforts I had made to obey my conscience, and these
were like rifts of sunshine during a storm. These thoughts, and
the blessed promises of religion I had so often preached in the
churches of my diocese, were an indescribable comfort, and saved
me from the depths of blank despair. Finally my breathing became
laboured, I had sharp spasms of pain, and my pulse almost
stopped. I felt that I was dying, and my sight grew dim. The
crisis and climax of life were at hand. 'Oh!' I thought, with
the philosophers and sages, 'is it to this end I lived? The
flower appears, briefly blooms amid troublous toil, and is gone;
my body returns to its primordial dust, and my works are buried
in oblivion. The paths of life and glory lead but to the grave.'
My soul was filled with conflicting thoughts, and for a moment
even my faith seemed at a low ebb. I could hear my children's
stifled sobs, and my darling wife shed silent tears. The thought
of parting from them gave me the bitterest wrench. With my
fleeting breath I gasped these words, 'That mercy I showed
others, that show thou me.' The darkened room grew darker, and
after that I died. In my sleep I seemed to dream. All about
were refined and heavenly flowers, while the most delightful
sounds and perfumes filled the air. Gradually the vision became
more distinct, and I experienced an indescribable feeling of
peace and repose. I passed through fields and scenes I had never
seen before, while every place was filled with an all-pervading
light. Sometimes I seemed to be miles in air; countless suns and
their planets shone, and dazzled my eyes, while no
bird-of-paradise was as happy or free as I. Gradually it came to
me that I was awake, and that it was no dream. Then I remembered
my last moments, and perceived that I had died. Death had
brought freedom, my work in the flesh was ended, I was indeed
"'O Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, where is thy victory?'
In my dying moments I had forgotten what I had so often
preached--'Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened
except it die.' In a moment my life lay before me like a valley
or an open page. All along its paths and waysides I saw the
little seeds of word and deed that I had sown extending and
bearing fruit forever for good or evil. I then saw things as
they were, and realized the faultiness of my former conclusions,
based as they had been on the incomplete knowledge obtained
through embryonic senses. I also saw the Divine purpose in life
as the design in a piece of tapestry, whereas before I had seen
but the wrong side. It is not till we have lost the life in the
flesh that we realize its dignity and value, for every hour gives
us opportunities of helping or elevating some human being-- it
may be ourselves--of doing something in His service.
"Now that time is past, the books are closed, and we can do
nothing further ourselves to alter our status for eternity,
however much we may wish to. It is on this account, and not
merely to save you from death, which in itself is nothing, that I
now tell you to run to the Callisto, seal the doors hermetically,
and come not forth till a sudden rush of air that you will see on
the trees has passed. A gust in which even birds drop dead, if
they are unable to escape, will be here when you reach safety.
Do not delay to take this food, and eat none of it when you
return, for it will be filled with poisonous germs."
"How can we find you? " asked Ayrault, grasping his hand. "You
must not leave us till we know how we can see you again."
"Think hard and steadfastly of me, you three," replied the
spirit, "if you want me, and I shall feel your thought"; saying
which, he vanished before their eyes, and the three friends ran
to the Callisto.
DOUBTS AND PHILOSOPHY.
On reaching it, they climbed the ladder leading to the
second-story opening, and entering through this, they closed the
door, screwing it tightly in place.
"Now," said Cortlandt, "we can see what changes, if any, this
wonderful gust will effect."
"He made no strictures on our senses, such as they are," said
Bearwarden, "but implied that evolution would be carried much
further in us, from which I suppose we may infer that it has not
yet gone far. I wish we had recorked those brandy peaches, for
now they will be filled with poisonous germs. I wonder if our
shady friend could not tell us of an antiseptic with which they
might be treated?"
"Those fellows," thought Ayrault, who had climbed to the dome,
from which he had an extended view, "would jeer at an angel,
while the deference they showed the spirit seems, as usual, to
have been merely superficial."
"Let us note," said Cortlandt, "that the spirit thermometer
outside has fallen several degrees since we entered, though, from
the time taken, I should not say that the sudden change would be
one of temperature."
Just then they saw a number of birds, which had been resting in a
clump of trees, take flight suddenly; but they fell to the ground
before they had risen far, and were dashed to pieces. In another
moment the trees began to bend and sway before the storm; and as
they gazed, the colour of the leaves turned from green and purple
to orange and red. The wind blew off many of these, and they
were carried along by the gusts, or fluttered to the ground,
which was soon strewed with them. It was a typical autumnal
scene. Presently the wind shifted, and this was followed by a
cold shower of rain.
"I think the worst is over," said Bearwarden. "The Sailor's
'When the rain's before the wind,
Halliards, sheets, and braces mind;
When the wind's before the rain,
Soon you can make sail again.'
Doubtless that will hold good here."
This proved to be correct; and, after a repetition of the
precautions they had taken on their arrival on the planet in
regard to the inhalability of the air, they again sallied forth.
They left their magazine shot-guns, taking instead the
double-barrelled kind, on account of the rapidity with which this
enabled them to fire the second barrel after the first, and threw
away the water that had collected in the bucket, out of respect
to the spirit's warning. They noticed a pungent odour, and
decided to remain on high ground, since they had observed that
the birds, in their effort to escape, had flown almost vertically
into the air. On reaching the grove in which they had seen the
storm, they found their table and everything on it exactly as
they had left it. Bearwarden threw out the brandy peaches on the
ground, exclaiming that it was a shame to lose such good
preserves, and they proceeded on their walk. They passed
hundreds of dead birds, and on reaching the edge of the toadstool
valley were not a little surprised to find that every toadstool
"I wonder," said the doctor, "if there can be any connection
between the phenomenon of the disappearance of those toadstools
and the death of the birds? We could easily discover it if they
had eaten them, or if in any other way the plants could have
entered their bodies; but I see no way in which that can have
Resolving to investigate carefully any other fungi they might
see, they resumed their march. The cold, distant-looking sun,
apparently about the size of an orange, was near the horizon.
Saturn's rotation on its axis occupying only ten hours and
fourteen minutes, being but a few minutes longer than Jupiter's,
they knew it would soon be night. Finding a place on a range of
hills sheltered by rocks and a clump of trees of the evergreen
species, they arranged themselves as comfortably as possible, ate
some of the sandwiches they had brought, lighted their pipes, and
watched the dying day. Here were no fire-flies to light the
darkening minutes, nor singing flowers to lull them to sleep with
their song but six of the eight moons, each at a different phase,
and with varied brightness, bathed the landscape in their pale,
cold rays; while far above them, like a huge rainbow, stretched
the great rings in effulgent sheets, reaching thousands of miles
into space, and flooded everything with their silvery light.
"How poor a place compared with this," they thought to
themselves, "is our world!" and Ayrault wished that his soul was
already free; while the dead leaves rustling in the gentle
breeze, and the nightwinds, sighing among the trees, seemed to
echo his thought. Far above their heads, and in the vastness of
space, the well-known stars and constellations, notwithstanding
the enormous distance they had now come, looked absolutely
unchanged, and seemed to them emblematic of tranquillity and
eternal repose. The days were changed by their shortness, and by
the apparent loss of power in the sun; and the nights, as if in
compensation, were magnificently illuminated by the numerous
moons and splendid rings, though neither rings nor satellites
shone with as strong a light as the terrestrial moon. But in
nothing outside of the solar system was there any change; and
could AEneas's Palinurus, or one of Philip of Macedon's
shepherds, be brought to life here, he would see exactly the same
stars in the same positions; and, did he not know of his own
death or of the lapse of time, he might suppose, so far as the
heavens were affected, that he had but fallen asleep, or had just
closed his eyes.
"I have always regretted," said Cortlandt, "that I was not born a
thousand years later."
"Were it not," added Ayrault, "that our earth is the vestibule to
space, and for the opportunities it opens, I should rather never
have lived, for life in itself is unsatisfying."
"You fellows are too indefinite and abstract for me," said
Bearwarden. "I like something tangible and concrete. The
utilitarianism of the twentieth century, by which I live,
paradoxical though it may seem, would be out of place in space,
unless we can colonize the other planets, and improve their
arrangements and axes."
Mixed with Ayrault's philosophical and metaphysical thoughts were
the memories of his sweetheart at Vassar, and he longed, more
than his companions, for the spirit's return, that he might ask
him if perchance he could tell him aught of her, and whether her
thoughts were then of him.
Finally, worn out by the fatigue and excitement of the day, they
set the protection-wires, more from force of habit than because
they feared molestation and, rolling themselves in their
blankets--for the night was cold--were soon fast asleep;
Ayrault's last thought having been of his fiancee, Cortlandt's of
the question he wished to ask the spirit, and Bearwarden's of the
progress of his Company in the work of straightening the
terrestrial axis. Thus they slept seven hundred and ninety
million miles beyond their earth's orbit, and more than eight
hundred million from the place where the earth was then. While
they lay unconscious, the clouds above them froze, and before
morning there was a fall of snow that covered the ground and them
as they lay upon it. Soon three white mounds were all that
marked their presence, and the cranes and eagles, rising from
their roosts in response to the coming day, looked unconcernedly
at all that was human that they had ever seen. Finally, wakened
by the resounding cries of these birds, Bearwarden and Cortlandt
arose, and meeting Ayrault, who had already risen, mistook the
snowy form before them for the spirit, and thinking the dead
bishop had revisited them, they were preparing to welcome him,
and to propound the questions they had formulated, when Ayrault's
familiar voice showed them their mistake.
"Seeing your white figures," said he, "rise apparently in
response to those loud calls, reminded me of what the spirit told
us of the last day, and of the awakening and resurrection of the
The scene was indeed weird. The east, already streaked with the
rays of the rising far-away sun, and the pale moons nearing the
horizon in the west, seemed connected by the huge bow of light.
The snow on the dark evergreens produced a contrast of colour,
while the other trees raised their almost bare and whitened
branches against the sky, as though in supplication to the
mysterious rings, which cast their light upon them and on the
ground. As they gazed, however, the rings became grey, the moons
disappeared, and another day began. Feeling sure the snow must
have cleared the air of any deleterious substances it contained
the day before, they descended into the neighbouring valley,
which, having a southerly exposure, was warm in comparison with
the hills. As they walked they disturbed a number of small
rodents, which quickly ran away and disappeared in their holes.
"Though we have seen none of the huge creatures here," said
Cortlandt, "that were so plentiful on Jupiter, these burrowers
belong to a distinctly higher scale than those we found there,
from which I take it we may infer that the evolution of the
animal kingdom has advanced further on this planet than on
Jupiter, which is just what we have a right to expect; for
Saturn, in addition to being the smaller and therefore more
matured of the two, has doubtless had a longer individual
existence, being the farther from the sun."
Notwithstanding the cold of the night, the flowers, especially
the lilies, were as beautiful as ever, which surprised them not a
little, until, on examining them closely, they found that the
stems and veins in the leaves were fluted, and therefore elastic,
so that, should the sap freeze, it could expand without bursting
the cells, thereby enabling the flowers to withstand a short
frost. They noticed that many of the curiously shaped birds they
saw at a distance from time to time were able to move with great
rapidity along the ground, and had about concluded that they must
have four legs, being similar to winged squirrels, when a long,
low quadruped, about twenty-five feet from nostrils to tail,
which they were endeavouring to stalk, suddenly spread two pairs
of wings, flapping the four at once, and then soared off at great
"I hope we can get one of those, or at least his photograph,"
"If they go in pairs," said Bearwarden, "we may find the
At that moment another great winged lizard, considerably larger
than the first, rose with a snort, not twenty yards on their
left. Cortlandt, who was a good shot with a gun at short range,
immediately raised his twelve-bore and fired both barrels at the
monster; but the double-B shots had no more disabling effect than
if they had been number eights. They, however, excited the
creature's ire; for, sweeping around quickly, it made straight
for Cortlandt, breathing at him when near, and almost
overpowering the three men with the malodorous, poisonous cloud
it exhaled. Instantly Bearwarden fired several revolver bullets
down its throat, while Ayrault pulled both barrels almost
simultaneously, with the muzzles but a few inches from its side.
In this case the initial velocity of the heavy buckshot was so
great, and they were still so close together, that they
penetrated the leathery hide, tearing a large hole. With a roar
the wounded monster beat a retreat, first almost prostrating them
with another blast of its awful breath.
"It would take a stronger light than we get here," said
Bearwarden, "to impress a negative through that haze. I think,"
he continued, "I know a trick that will do the business, if we
see any more of these dragons." Saying which, he withdrew the
cartridges from his gun, and with his hunting-knife cut the tough
paper shell nearly through between the wads separating the powder
from the shot, drawing his knife entirely around.
"Now," said he, "when I fire those, the entire forward end of the
cartridge will go out, keeping the fifteen buckshot together like
a slug, and with such penetration that it will go through a
two-inch plank. It is a trick I learned from hunters, and,
unless your guns are choke-bore, in which case it might burst the
barrel, I advise you to follow suit."
Finding they had brought straight-bored guns, they arranged their
cartridges similarly, and set out in the direction in which the
winged lizards or dragons had gone.
A PROVIDENTIAL INTERVENTION.
The valley narrowed as they advanced, the banks rising gently on
both sides. Both dragons had flown straight to a grove of tall,
spreading trees. On coming near to this, they noticed a faint
smell like that of the dragon, and also like the trace they found
in the air on leaving the Callisto the day before, after they had
sought safety within it. Soon it almost knocked them down.
"We must get to windward," said Cortlandt. "I already feel
faint, and believe those dragons could kill a man by breathing on
Accordingly, they skirted around the grove, and having made a
quarter circle--for they did not wish the dragons to wind
them--again drew nearer. Tree after tree was passed, and finally
they saw an open space twelve or fifteen acres in area at the
centre of the grove, when they were arrested by a curious sound
of munching. Peering among the trunks of the huge trees, they
advanced cautiously, but stopped aghast. In the opening were at
least a hundred dragons devouring the toadstools with which the
ground was covered. Many of them were thirty to forty feet long,
with huge and terribly long, sharp claws, and jaws armed with
gleaming batteries of teeth. Though they had evidently lungs,
and the claws and mouth of an animal, they reminded the observers
in many respects of insects enormously exaggerated, for their
wings, composed of a sort of transparent scale, were small, and
moved, as they had already seen, at far greater speed than those
of a bird. Their projecting eyes were also set rigidly in their
heads instead of turning, and consisted of a number of flat
surfaces or facets, like a fly's eye, so that they could see
backward and all around, each facet seeing anything the rays from
which came at right angles to its surface. This beautiful grove
was doubtless their feeding-ground, and, as such, was likely to
be visited by many more. Concluding it would be wise to let
their wounded game escape, the three men were about to retreat,
having found it difficult to breathe the air even at that
distance from the monsters, when the wounded dragon that they had
observed moving about in a very restless manner, and evidently
suffering a good deal from the effect of its wounds, espied them,
and, with a roar that made the echoes ring, started towards them
slowly along the ground, followed by the entire herd, the nearer
of which now also saw them. Seeing that their lives were in
danger, the hunters quickly regained the open, and then stretched
their legs against the wind. The dragons came through the trees
on the ground, and then, raising themselves by their wings, the
whole swarm, snorting, and darkening the air with their deadly
breath, made straight for the men, who by comparison looked like
Lilliputians. With the slug from his right barrel Bearwarden
ended the wounded dragon's career by shooting him through the
head, and with his left laid low the one following. Ayrault also
killed two huge monsters, and Cortlandt killed one and wounded
another. Their supply of prepared cartridges was then exhausted,
and they fell back on their revolvers and ineffective spreading
shot. Resolved to sell their lives dearly, they retreated,
keeping their backs to the wind, with the poisonous dragons in
front. But the breeze was very slight, and they were being
rapidly blinded and asphyxiated by the loathsome fumes, and
deafened by the hideous roaring and snapping of the dragons'
jaws. Realizing that they could not much longer reply to the
diabolical host with lead, they believed their last hour had
come, when the ground on which they were making their last stand
shook, there was a rending of rocks and a rush of imprisoned
steam that drowned even the dragons' roar, and they were
separated from them by a long fissure and a wall of smoke and
vapour. Struggling back from the edge of the chasm, they fell
upon the ground, and then for the first time fully realized that
the earthquake had saved them, for the dragons could not come
across the opening, and would not venture to fly through the
smoke and steam. When they recovered somewhat from the shock,
they cut a number of cartridges in the same way that they had
prepared those that had done them such good service, and kept one
barrel of each gun loaded with that kind.
"We may thank Providence," said Bearwarden, "for that escape. I
hope we shall have no more such close calls."
With a parting glance at the chasm that had saved their lives,
and from which a cloud still arose, they turned slightly to the
right of their former course and climbed the gently rising bank.
When near the top, being tired of their exciting experiences,
they sat down to rest. The ground all about them was covered
with mushrooms, white on top and pink underneath.
"This is a wonderful place for fungi," said Ayrault. "Here,
doubtless, we shall be safe from the dragons, for they seemed to
prefer the toadstools." As he lay on the ground he watched one
particular mushroom that seemed to grow before his eyes.
Suddenly, as he looked, it vanished. Dumfounded at this
unmistakable manifestation of the phenomenon they thought they
had seen on landing, he called his companions, and, choosing
another mushroom, the three watched it closely. Presently,
without the least noise or commotion, that also disappeared,
leaving no trace, and the same fate befell a number of others.
At a certain point of their development they vanished as
completely as a bubble of air coming to the surface of water,
except that they caused no ripple, leaving merely a small
depression where they had stood.
"Well," said Bearwarden, "in all my travels I never have seen
anything like this. If I were at a sleight-of-hand performance,
and the prestidigitateur, after doing that, asked for my theory,
I should say, 'I give it up.' How is it with you, doctor?" he
asked, addressing Cortlandt.
"There must be an explanation," replied Cortlandt, "only we do
not know the natural law to which the phenomenon is subject,
having had no experience with it on earth. We know that all
substances can be converted into gases, and that all gases can be
reduced to liquids, and even solids, by the application of
pressure and cold. If there is any way by which the visible
substance of these fungi can be converted into its invisible
gases, as water into oxygen and hydrogen, what we have seen can
be logically explained. Perhaps, favoured by some affinity of
the atmosphere, its constituent parts are broken up and become
gases at this barometric pressure and temperature. We must ask
the spirit, if he visits us again."
"I wish he would," said Ayrault; "there are lots of things I
should like to ask him."
"Presidents of corporations and other chairmen," said Bearwarden,
"are not usually superstitious, and I, of course, take no stock
in the supernatural; but somehow I have a well-formed idea that
our friend the bishop, with the great power of his mind over
matter, had a hand in that earthquake. He seems to have an
exalted idea of our importance, and may be exerting himself to
make things pleasant."
At this point the sun sank below the horizon, and they found
themselves confronted with night.
"Dear, dear!" said Bearwarden, "and we haven't a crumb to eat.
I'll stand the drinks and the pipes," he continued, passing
around his ubiquitous flask and tobacco-pouch.
"If I played such pranks with my interior on earth," said
Cortlandt, helping himself to both, "as I do on this planet, it
would give me no end of trouble, but here I seem to have the
digestion of an ostrich."
So they sat and smoked for an hour, till the stars twinkled and
the rings shone in their glory.
"Well," said Ayrault, finally, "since we have nothing but
motions to lay on the table, I move we adjourn."
"The only motion I shall make," said Cortlandt, who was already
undressed, "will be that of getting into bed," saying which, he
rolled himself in his blanket and soon was fast asleep.
Having decided that, on account of the proximity of the dragons,
a man must in any event be on the watch, they did not set the
protection-wires. From the shortness of the nights, they divided
them into only two watches of from two hours to two and a half
each, so that, even when constant watch duty was necessary, each
man had one full night's sleep in three. On this occasion
Ayrault and Cortlandt were the watchers, Cortlandt having the
morning and Ayrault the evening watch. Many curious quadruped
birds, about the size of large bears, and similar in shape,
having bear-shaped heads, and several creatures that looked like
the dragons, flew about them in the moonlight; but neither
watcher fired a shot, as the creatures showed no desire to make
an attack. All these species seemed to belong to the owl or bat
tribe, for they roamed abroad at night.
When Ayrault's watch was ended, he roused Cortlandt, who took his
place, and feeling a desire for solitude and for a last long look
at the earth, he crossed the top of the ridge on the slope of
which they had camped, and lay down on the farther side. The
South wind in the upper air rushed along in the mighty whirl,
occasionally carrying filmy clouds across the faces of the moons;
but about Ayrault all was still, and he felt a quiet and serene
repose. He had every intention of remaining awake, and was
pondering on the steadfastness of the human heart and the
constancy of love, when his meditations began to wander, and,
with his last thoughts on Sylvia, he fell asleep. Not a branch
moved, nor did a leaf fall, yet before Ayrault's, sleeping eyes a
strange scene was enacted. A figure in white came near and stood
before him, and he recognized in it one Violet Slade, a very
attractive girl to whom he had been attentive in his college
days. She was at that time just eighteen, and people believed
that she loved him, but for some reason, he knew not why, he had
"I thought you had died," he said, as she gazed at him, "but you
are now looking better than ever."
"From the world's point of view I AM dead," she replied. "I died
and was buried. It is therefore permissible that I should show
you the truth. You never believed I loved you. I have wished
earnestly to see you, and to have you know that I did."
"I did you an injustice," Ayrault answered, perceiving all that
was in her heart. "Could mortals but see as spirits do, there
would be no misunderstandings."
"I am so glad to see you," she continued, "and to know you are
well. Had you not come here, we could probably not have met
until after your death; for I shall not be sufficiently advanced
to return to earth for a long time, though my greatest solace
while there was my religion, which is all that brought me here.
We, however, know that as our capacity for true happiness
increases we shall be happier, and that after the resurrection
there will be no more tears. Farewell," she whispered, while her
eyes were filled with love.
Ayrault's sleep was then undisturbed for some time, when suddenly
an angel, wreathed in light, appeared before him and spoke these
words: "He that walked with Adam and talked with Moses has sent
me to guard you while you sleep. No plague or fever, wild beast
or earthquake, can molest you, for you are equally protected from
the most powerful monster and the most insidious disease-germ.
'Blessed is the man whose offences are covered and whose sins are
forgiven.' Sleep on, therefore, and be refreshed, for the body
must have rest."
"A man may rest indeed," replied Ayrault, "when he has a guardian
angel. I had the most unbounded faith in your existence before I
saw you, and believe and know that you or others have often
shielded me from danger and saved my life. Why am I worthy of so
"'Whoso dwelleth under the defence of the Most High shall abide
under the shadow of the Almighty,'" answered the angel, and
thereupon he became invisible, a diffused light taking his place.
Shortly afterwards this paled and completely vanished.
"Not only am I in paradise," thought Ayrault; "I believe I am
also in the seventh heaven. Would I might hear such words
A group of lilies then appeared before the sleeper's eyes. In
the midst was one lily far larger than the rest, and of a
dazzling white. This spoke in a gentle voice, but with the tones
of a trombone:
"Thy thoughts and acts are a pleasure to me. Thou hast raised no
idols within thy heart, and thy faith is as incense before me.
Thy name is now in the Book of Life. Continue as thou hast
begun, and thou shalt live and reign forever."
Hereupon the earth shook, and Ayrault was awakened. Great
boulders were rolling and crashing down the slope about him,
while the dawn was already in the east.
"My mortal eyes and senses are keener here while I sleep than
when I wake," he thought, as he looked about him, "for spirits,
unable to affect me while waking, have made themselves felt in my
more sensitive state while I was asleep. Nevertheless, this is
none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.
"The boulders were still in motion when I opened my eyes," he
mused; "can it be that there is hereabouts such a flower as in my
dreams I seemed to see?" and looking beyond where his head had
lain, he beheld the identical lily surrounded by the group that
his closed eyes had already seen. Thereupon he uncovered his
head and departed quickly. Crossing the divide, he descended to
camp, where he found Cortlandt in deep thought.
"I cannot get over the dreams," said the doctor, "I had in the
first part of the night. Notwithstanding yesterday's excitement
and fatigue, my sleep was most disturbed, and I was visited by
visions of my wife, who died long ago. She warned me against
skepticism, and seemed much distressed at my present spiritual
"I," said Bearwarden, who had been out early, and had succeeded
in bringing in half a dozen birds, "was so disturbed I could not
sleep. It seemed to me as though half the men I have ever known
came and warned me against agnosticism and my materialistic
tendencies. They kept repeating, 'You are losing the reality for
"I am convinced," said Ayrault, "that they were not altogether
dreams, or, if dreams indeed, that they were superinduced by a
higher will. We know that angels have often appeared to men in
the past. May it not be that, as our appreciativeness increases,
these communications will recur?" Thereupon he related his own
"The thing that surprised me," said Cortlandt, as they finished
breakfast, "was the extraordinary realism of the scene. We must
see if our visions return on anything but an empty stomach."
A GREAT VOID AND A GREAT LONGING.
Resuming their march, the travellers proceeded along the
circumference of a circle having a radius of about three miles,
with the Callisto in the centre. In crossing soft places they
observed foot-prints forming in the earth all around them. The
impressions were of all sizes, and ceased when they reached
rising or hard ground, only to reappear in the swamps, regulating
their speed by that of the travellers. The three men were greatly
surprised at this.
"You may observe," said Cortlandt, "that the surface of the
impression is depressed as you watch it, as though by a weight,
and you can see, and even hear, the water being squeezed out,
though whatever is doing it is entirely invisible. They must be
made by spirits sufficiently advanced to have weight, but not
advanced enough to make themselves visible."
Moved by a species of vandalism, Bearwarden raised his
twelve-bore, and fired an ordinary cartridge that he had not
prepared for the dragons, at the space directly over the nearest
forming prints. There was a brilliant display of prismatic
colours, as in a rainbow, and though the impressions already made
remained, no new ones were formed.
"Now you have done it!" said Cortlandt. "I hoped to be able to
investigate this further."
"We shall doubtless see other and perhaps more wonderful things,"
replied Bearwarden. "I must say this gives me an uncanny
When they had completed a little over half their circle, they
came upon another of the groves with which Saturn seemed to
abound, at the edge of which, in a side-hill, was a cave, the
entrance of which was composed of rocky masses that had
apparently fallen together, the floor being but little higher
than the surface outside. The arched roof of the vestibule was
rendered watertight by the soil that had formed upon it, which
again was overgrown by vines and bushes.
"This," said Bearwarden, "will be a good place to camp, for the
cave will protect us from dragons, unless they should take a
notion to breathe at us from the outside, and it will keep us dry
in case of rain. To-morrow we can start with this as a centre,
and make another circuit."
"We can explore Saturn on foot," said Cortlandt, "and far more
thoroughly than Jupiter, on account of its comparative freedom
from monsters. Not even the dragons can trouble us, unless we
meet them in large numbers."
Thereupon they set about getting fuel for their fire. Besides
collecting some of the dead wood that was lying all about, they
split up a number of resinous pine and fir trees with explosive
bullets from their revolvers, so that soon they not only had a
roaring fire, but filled the back part of the cave with logs to
dry, in case they should camp there again at some later day.
Neither Cortlandt nor Bearwarden felt much like sleeping, and so,
after finishing the birds the president had brought down that
morning, they persuaded Ayrault to sit up and smoke with them.
Wrapping themselves in their blankets--for there was a chill in
the air--they sat about the camp-fire they had built in the mouth
of the cave. Two moons that were at the full rose rapidly in the
clear, cold sky. On account of their distance from the sun, they
were less bright than the terrestrial moon, but they shone with a
marvellously pure pale light. The larger contained the exact
features of a man. There was the somewhat aquiline nose, a
clear-cut and expressive mouth, and large, handsome eyes, which
were shaded by well- marked eyebrows. The whole face was very
striking, but was a personification of the most intense grief.
The expression was indeed sadder than that of any face they had
ever seen. The other contained the profile of a surpassingly
beautiful young woman. The handsome eyes, shaded by lashes,
looked straight ahead. The nose was perfect, and the ear small,
while the hair was artistically arranged at the top and back of
the head. This moon also reflected a pure white ray. The former
appeared about once and a quarter, the latter but three quarters,
the size of the terrestrial moon, and the travellers immediately
recognized them by their sizes and relative positions as Tethys
and Dione, discovered by J. D. Cassini in March, 1684. The sad
face was turned slightly towards that of its companion, and it
looked as if some tale of the human heart, some romance, had been
engraved and preserved for all time on the features of these dead
bodies, as they silently swung in their orbits forever and anon
were side by side.
"In all the ages," said Cortlandt, "that these moons have
wandered with Saturn about the sun, and with the solar system in
its journey through space, they can never have gazed upon the
scene they now behold, for we may be convinced that no mortal man
has been here before."
"We may say," said Ayrault, "that they see in our bodies a type
of the source from which come all the spiritual beings that are
"If, as the writers of mythology supposed," replied Cortlandt,
"inanimate objects were endowed with senses, these moons would
doubtless be unable to perceive the spiritual beings here; for
the satellites, being material, should, to be consistent, have
only those senses possessed by ourselves, so that to them this
planet would ordinarily appear deserted."
"I shall be glad," said Bearwarden, gloomily, "when those moons
wane and are succeeded by their fellows, for one would give me an
attack of the blues, while the other would subject me to the
inconvenience of falling in love."
As he spoke, the upper branches of the trees in the grove began
to sway as a cold gust from the north sighed among them. "Lose
no more opportunities," it seemed to cry, "for life is short and
uncertain. Soon you will all be colder than I, and your future,
still as easily moulded as clay, will be set as Marpesian marble,
more fixed than the hardest rock."
"Paradise," said Cortlandt, "contains sights and sounds that
might, I should think, arouse sad reminiscences without the aid
of the waters of Lethe, unless the joy of its souls in their new
resources and the sense of forgiveness outweigh all else."
With a parting look at the refined, silvery moon, and its
sorrow-laden companion, they retired to the sheltering cave,
piled up the fire, and talked on for an hour.
"I do not see how it is," said Bearwarden, "that these moons,
considering their distance from the sun, and the consequently
small amount of light they receive, are so bright."
"A body's brightness in reflecting light," replied Cortlandt,
"depends as much on the colour and composition of its own surface
as on the amount it receives. It is conceivable that these
moons, if placed at the earth's distance from the sun, would be
far brighter than our moon, and that our familiar satellite, if
removed to Saturn, would seem very dim. We know how much more
brilliant a mountain in the sunlight is when clad in snow than
when its sides are bare. These moons evidently reflect a large
proportion of the light they receive."
When they came out shortly after midnight the girl's-face moon
had already set, leaving a dark and dreary void in the part of
the sky it had so ideally filled. The inexpressibly sad
satellite (on account of its shorter distance and more rapid rate
of revolution) was still above the horizon, and, being slightly
tilted, had a more melancholy, heart-broken look than before.
While they gazed sadly at the emptiness left by Dione, Cortlandt
saw Ayrault's expression change, and, not clearly perceiving its
cause, said, wishing to cheer him: "Never mind, Dick; to-morrow
night we shall see it again."
"Ah, prosaic reasoner," retorted Bearwarden, who saw that this,
like so many other things, had reminded Ayrault of Sylvia, "that
is but small consolation for having lost it now, though I suppose
our lot is not so hard as if we were never to see it again. In
that moon's face I find the realization of my fancied ideal
woman; while that sad one yonder seems as though some celestial
lover, in search of his fate, had become enamoured of her, and
tried in vain to win her, and the grief in his mind had impressed
itself on the then molten face of a satellite to be the monument
throughout eternity of love and a broken heart. If the spirits
and souls of the departed have any command of matter, why may not
their intensest thoughts engrave themselves on a moon that, when
dead and frozen, may reflect and shine as they did, while
immersed in the depths of space? At first Dione bored me; now I
should greatly like to see her again."
"History repeats itself," replied Cortlandt, "and the same phases
of life recur. It is we that are in a changed receptive mood.
The change that seems to be in them is in reality in us. Remain
as you are now, and Dione will give you the same pleasure
tomorrow that she gave to-day."
To Ayrault this meant more than the mere setting to rise again of
a heavenly body. The perfume of a flower, the sighing of the
wind, suggesting some harmony or song, a full or crescent moon,
recalled thoughts and associations of Sylvia. Everything seemed
to bring out memory, and he realized the utter inability of
absence to cure the heart of love. "If Sylvia should pass from
my life as that moon has left my vision," his thoughts continued,
"existence would be but sadness and memory would be its cause,
for the most beautiful sounds entail sorrow; the most beautiful
sights, intense pain. "Ah," he went on with a trace of
bitterness, while his friends fell asleep in the cave, "I might
better have remained in love with science; for whose studies
Nature, which is but a form of God, in the right spirit, is not
dependent for his joy or despair on the whims of a girl. She, of
course, sees many others, and, being only twenty, may forget me.
Must I content myself with philosophical rules and mathematical
formulae, when she, whose changefulness I may find greater than
the winds that sigh over me, now loves me no longer? O love,
which makes us miserable when we feel it, and more miserable
still when it is gone!"
He strung a number of copper wires at different degrees of
tension between two trees, and listened to the wind as it ranged
up and down on this improvised AEolian harp. It gradually ran
into a regular refrain, which became more and more like words.
Ayrault was puzzled, and then amazed. There could be no doubt
about it. "You should be happy," it kept repeating--"you should
be happy," in soft musical tones.
"I know I should," replied Ayrault, finally recognizing the voice
of Violet Slade in the song of the wind, "and I cannot understand
why I am not. Tell me, is this paradise, Violet, or is it not
The notes ranged up and down again, and he perceived that she was
causing the wind to blow as she desired--in other words, she was
making it play upon his harp.
"That depends on the individual," she replied. "It is rather
sheol, the place of departed spirits. Those whose consciences
made them happy on earth are in paradise here; while those good
enough to reach heaven at last, but in whom some dross remains,
are further refined in spirit, and to them it is purgatory.
Those who are in love can be happy in but one way while their
love lasts. What IS happiness, anyway?"
"It is the state in which desires are satisfied, my fair Violet,"
"Say, rather, the state in which desire coincides with duty,"
replied the song. "Self-sacrifice for others gives the truest
joy; being with the object of one's love, the next. You never
believed that I loved you. I dissembled well; but you will see
for yourself some day, as clearly as I see your love for another
"Yes," replied Ayrault, sadly, "I am in love. I have no reason
to believe there is cause for my unrest, and, considering every
thing, I should be happy as man can be; yet, mirabile dictu, I am
in--hades, in the very depths!"
"Your beloved is beyond my vision; your heart is all I can see.
Yet I am convinced she will not forget you. I am sure she loves
"I have always believed in homoeopathy to the extent of the
similia similibus curantur, Violet, and it is certain that where
nothing else will cure a man of love for one woman, his love for
another will. You can see how I love Sylvia, but you have never
seemed so sweet to me as to-day."
"It is a sacrilege, my friend, to speak so to me now. You are
done with me forever. I am but a disembodied spirit, and escaped
hades by the grace of the Omnipotent, rather than by virtue of
any good I did on earth. So far as any elasticity is left in my
opportunities, I am dead as yon moon. You have still the gift
that but one can give. Within your animal body you hold an
immortal soul. It is pliable as wax; you can mould it by your
will. As you shape that soul, so will your future be. It is the
ark that can traverse the flood. Raise it, and it will raise
you. It is all there is in yourself. Preserve that gift, and
when you die you will, I hope, start on a plane many thousands of
years in advance of me. There should be no more comparison
between us than between a person with all his senses and one that
is deaf and blind. Though you are a layman, you should, with
your faith and frame of mind, soon be but little behind our
"I supposed after death a man had rest. Is he, then, a bishop
"The progress, as he told you, is largely on the old lines. As
he stirred men's hearts on earth, he will stir their souls in
heaven; and this is no irksome or unwelcome work."
"You say he WILL do this in heaven. Is he, then, not there yet?"
"He was not far from heaven on earth, yet technically none of us
can be in heaven till after the general resurrection. Then, as
we knew on earth, we shall receive bodies, though, as yet,
concerning their exact nature we know but little more than then.
We are all in sheol--the just in purgatory and paradise, the
unjust in hell."
"Since you are still in purgatory, are you unhappy?"
"No, our state is very happy. All physical pain is past, and can
never be felt again. We know that our evil desires are overcome,
and that their imprints are being gradually erased. I
occasionally shed an intangible tear, yet for most of those who
strove to obey their consciences, purgatory, when essential,
though occasionally giving us a bitter twinge, is a joy-producing
state. Not all the glories imaginable or unimaginable could make
us happy, were our consciences ill at ease. I have advanced
slowly, yet some things are given us at once. After I realized I
had irrevocably lost your love, though for a time I had hoped to
regain it, I became very restless; earth seemed a prison, and I
looked forward to death as my deliverer. I bore you no malice;
you had never especially tried to win me; the infatuation--that
of a girl of eighteen--had been all on my side. I lived five sad
and lonely years, although, as you know, I had much attention.
People thought me cold and heartless. How could I have a heart,
having failed to win yours, and mine being broken? Having lost
the only man I loved, I knew no one else could replace him, and I
was not the kind to marry for pique. People thought me handsome,
but I felt myself aged when you ceased to call. Perhaps when you
and she who holds all your love come to sheol, she may spare you
to me a little, for as a spirit my every thought is known; or
perhaps after the resurrection, when I, too, can leave this
planet, we shall all soar through space together, and we can
study the stars as of old."
"Your voice is a symphony, sweetest Violet, and I love to hear
your words. Ah, would you could once more return to earth, or
that I were an ethereal spirit, that we might commune face to
face! I would follow you from one end of Shadowland to the
other. Of what use is life to me, with distractions that draw my
thoughts to earth as gravitation drew my body? I wish I were a
"You are talking for effect, Dick--which is useless here, for I
see how utterly you are in love."
"I AM in love, Violet; and though, as I said, I have no reason to
doubt Sylvia's steadfastness and constancy, I am very unhappy. I
have always heard that time is a balsam that cures all ills, yet
I become more wretched every day."
"Do all you can to preserve that love, and it will bring you joy
all your life. Your happiness is my happiness. What distresses
you, distresses me."
The tones here grew fainter and seemed about to cease.
"Before you leave me," cried Ayrault, "tell me how and when I may
see or hear you again."
"While you remain on this planet, I shall be near; but beyond
Saturn I cannot go."
"Yet tell me, Violet, how I may see you? My love unattained, you
perceive, makes me wretched, while you always gave me calm and
peace. If I may not kiss the hand I almost asked might be mine,
let me have but a glance from your sweet eyes, which will comfort
me so much now."
"If you break the ice in the pool behind you, you shall see me
till the frame melts."
After this the silence was broken only by the sighing of the wind
in the trees. The pool had suddenly become covered with ice
several inches thick. Taking an axe, Ayrault hewed out a
parallelogram about three feet by four and set it on end against
the bank. The cold grey of morning was already colouring the
east, and in the growing light Ayrault beheld a vision of Violet
within the ice. The face was at about three fourths, and had a
contemplative air. The hair was arranged as he had formerly seen
it, and the thoughtful look was strongest in the beautiful grey
eyes, which were more serious than of yore. Ayrault stood
riveted to the spot and gazed. "I could have been happy with
her," he mused, and to think she is no more!"
As drops fell from the ice, tears rose to his eyes.
. . . . . . .
"What a pretty girl!" said Bearwarden to Cortlandt, as they came
upon it later in the day. "The face seems etched or imprinted by
some peculiar form of freezing far within the ice."
The next morning they again set out, and so tramped, hunted, and
investigated with varying success for ten Saturnian days. They
found that in the animal and plant forms of life Nature had
often, by some seeming accident, struck out in a course very
different from any on the earth. Many of the animals were bipeds
and tripeds, the latter arranged in tandem, the last leg being
evidently an enormously developed tail, by which the creature
propelled itself as with a spring. The quadrupeds had also
sometimes wings, and their bones were hollow, like those of
birds. Whether this great motive and lifting power was the
result of the planet's size and the power of gravitation, or
whether some creatures had in addition the power of developing a
degree of apergetic repulsion to offset it, as they suspected in
the case of the boa-constrictor that fell upon Cortlandt on
Jupiter, they could not absolutely ascertain. Life was far less
prolific on Saturn than on Jupiter, doubtless as a result of its
greater distance from the sun, and of its extremes of climate,
almost all organic life being driven to the latitudes near the
equator. There were, as on Jupiter, many variations from the
forms of life to which they were accustomed, and adaptations to
the conditions in which they found themselves; but, with the
exception of the strange manifestations of spirit life, they
found the workings of the fundamental laws the same. Often when
they woke at night the air was luminous, and they were convinced
that if they remained there long enough it would be easy to
devise some telegraphic code of light-flashes by which they could
communicate with the spirit world, and so get ideas from the host
of spirits that had already solved the problem of life and death,
but who were not as yet sufficiently developed to be able to
return to the earth. One day they stopped to investigate what
they had supposed to be an optical illusion. They observed that
leaves and other light substances floated several inches above
the surface of the water in the pools. On coming to the edge and
making tests, they found a light liquid, as invisible as air,
superimposed upon the water, with sufficient buoyancy to sustain
dry wood and also some forms of life. They also observed that
insects coming close to the surface and apparently inhaling it,
rapidly increased in size and weight, from which they concluded
it must throw off nitrogen, carbon, or some other nourishment in
the form of gas. The depth upon the water was unaffected by
rain, which passed through it, but depended rather on the
condition of the atmosphere, from which it was evidently
condensed. There seemed also to be a relation between the amount
of this liquid and the activity of the spirits. Finally, when
their ammunition showed signs of running low, they decided to
return to the Callisto, go in it to the other side of the planet,
and resume their investigations there. Accordingly, they set out
to retrace their steps, returning by a course a few miles to one
side of the way they had come, and making the cave their
objective point. Arriving there one evening about sunset, they
pitched their camp. The cave was sheltered and comfortable, and
they made preparation for passing the night.
"I shall be sorry," said Ayrault, as they sat near their fire,
"to leave this place without again seeing the bishop. He said we
could impress him anywhere, but it may be more difficult to do
that at the antipodes than here."
"It does seem," said Bearwarden, "as though we should be missing
it in not seeing him again, if that is possible. Nothing but a
poison-storm brought him the first time, and it is not certain
that even in such an emergency would he come again uncalled."
"I think," said Ayrault, "as none of the spirits here are
malevolent, they would warn us of danger if they could. The
bishop's spirit seems to have been the only one with sufficiently
developed power to reappear as a man. I therefore suggest that
to-morrow we try to make him feel our thought and bring him to
THE SPIRIT'S SECOND VISIT.
Accordingly, the next morning they concentrated their minds
simultaneously on the spirit, wishing with all their strength
that he should reappear.
"Whether he be far or near," said Ayrault, "he must feel that,
for we are using the entire force of our
Shadows began to form, and dancing prismatic colours appeared,
but as yet there was no sign of the deceased bishop, when
suddenly he took shape among them, his appearance and
disappearance being much like that of stereopticon views on the
sheet before a lantern. He held himself erect, and his
thoughtful, dignified face had the same calm expression it had
"We attracted your attention," said Ayrault, "in the way you said
we might, because we longed so to see you."
"Yes," added Bearwarden and Cortlandt, "we felt we MUST see you
"I am always at your service," replied the spirit, "and will
answer your questions. With regard to my visibility and
invisibility"--he continued, with a smile, "for I will not wait
for you to ask the explanation of what is in your minds--it is
very simple. A man's soul can never die; a manifestation of the
soul is the spirit; this has entity, consciousness, and will, and
these also live forever. As in the natural or material life, as
I shall call it, will affects the material first. Thus, a child
has power to move its hand or a material object, as a toy, before
it can become the medium in a psychological seance. So it is
here. Before becoming visible to your eyes, I, by my will, draw
certain material substances in the form of gases from the ground,
water, or air around me. These take any shape I wish--not
necessarily that of man, though it is more natural to appear as
we did on earth--and may absorb a portion of light, and so be
able to cast a shadow or break up the white rays into prismatic
colours, or they may be wholly invisible. By an effort of the
will, then, I combine and condense these gases--which consist
principally of oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and carbon--into
flesh, blood, water, or anything else. You have already learned
on earth that, by the application of heat, every solid and every
liquid substance, which is solid or liquid simply because of the
temperature at which you find it, can be expanded into gas or
gases; and that by cold and pressure every gas can be reduced to
a liquid or a solid. On earth the state of a substance, whether
solid, liquid, or gaseous, depends simply upon those two
conditions. Here neither thermal nor barometric changes are
required, for, by mastering the new natural laws that at death
become patent to our senses, we have all the necessary control.
It requires but an effort of my will to be almost instantly
clothed in human form, and but another effort to rearrange the
molecules in such a way as to make the envelope visible. Some
who have been dead longer, or had a greater natural aptitude than
I, have advanced further, and all are learning; but the
difference in the rate at which spirits acquire control of
previously unknown natural laws varies far more than among
individuals on earth.
"These forms of organic life do not disintegrate till after
death; here in the natural state they break down and dissolve
into their structural elements in full bloom, as was done by the
fungi. The poisonous element in the deadly gust, against which I