Part 7 out of 8
noight, aisy like, whin I come t' Toddy's place. I orders a dhrink
"'Whist, Pat,' says he, 'ye don't want whuskey; 'twill make ye
dhrunk. Why don't ye take somethin' green, like th' Irish?'
"'Green," says I. ''Tis a foine colour. I dinna fear anything thot
comes fra' a bottle. Pass'er oot!'
"An' thot he did. 'Twas 'creme de menthay' on th' bottle. 'An','
says he, ''Twon't make ye dhrunk.' But he was a liar, beggin' yer
"For by an' by Oi see his head a growin' larger an' larger, until
Oi couldn't see annything but a few loights on th' cailing, an' a
few people on th' edges, loike. An' afther thot Oi wint oot, an'
walked till Oi come to a hill. An' there was a moon, an' a ould
hoose standin' still, which th' moon was not. So Oi stood still to
watch it, but bein' tired an' weary an' not havin' got rid o' me
sea-legs, Oi sat me doon on th' steps av th' hoose for a bit av a
rest, an' t' watch th' moon, thinkin' mebbe she'd stand still by
"Well, sor, Oi hadn't been there more'n three 'r four minits, whin
th' door opened, an' oot steps a little ould lady, aboot th'
littlest an' ouldest Oi iver see in 'Frisco.
"'Good avenin', Mother Machree,' says Oi, touchin' me hat.
"'Mother Machree!' says she, an' gives me a sharp look. Also she
sniffs. 'Ye poor man,' says she. 'Ye'll catch yer death o' cold,
out here. Ye better coom in an' lie on me sofy.'
"Now, sor, how was Oi to ken, bein' a sailor an' ingorant? She was
only a ould lady, an' withered. How was Oi to ken thot she was th'
ould Witch o' Endor?"
Watson's memory was at work on what he knew of the house at
Chatterton Place, especially regarding its occupants at the
beginning of the Blind Spot mystery. The Bar's old remark caught
"The Witch of Endor?"
"Aye; thot she were. Whin Oi woke up, there was nary a hoose at
all, nor th' ould lady, nor Toddy Maloney's, nor 'Frisco. 'Twas a
strange place I was, sor; a church loike St. Peter's, only bigger,
th' same bein' harrd to belaive. An' th' columns looked loike
waterspoots, an' th' sky above was full av clouds, the same bein'
jest aboot ready to break into hell an' tempest. But ye've been
there yerself, sor.
"Well, here was a man beside me, dressed in a kilt. An' he spakes
a strange language, although Oi could undershtand; and' he says,
"'My lord,' was what he says.
"'My lord!' says Oi. 'Oi dinna ken what ye mane at all, at all.'
"'Are ye not a Bar?' says he.
"'Thot Oi am not!' says Oi, spakin' good English, so's to be sure
he'd understand. 'Oi'm Pat MacPherson.'
"But he couldn' ken. Thin we left th' temple an' wint out into the
street. An' a great crowd of people came aroun' an' began
shoutin'. By an' by we wint into anither buildin'.
"'For why sh'd iverybody look at me whin we crossed th' street
jest noo?' I asked.
"'Tis y'r clothes,' says he.
"Now, Oi don't enjoy pooblicity, sor; wherefore th' wily Scotch in
me told me what to do, an' th' Irish part of me did it. I stood
him on his head, an' took his clothes off an' put them on meself.
An' then no one noticed me. Thot is, until Oi took me hat off."
"You mean, that shako?"
"Yis; th' blaemd heavy thing--'tis made o' blue feathers. Well,
whin it got so hot it made me scalp sweat, Oi took it off; an'
then they called me--'My lord' an' 'your worship,' jest loike Oi
were a king.
"'Pray God,' says Oi, 'that me head dinna get bald.'
"Well, sor, Oi had a toime that was fit for th' Irish. Oi did
iverything 'cept git drunk; there was nothin' to git drunk with.
But afther a while I ran across anither, wit' jest as red hair as
I had. He was a foine man, av coorse, an' all surrounded by blue
guards. He took me into a room himself an' begin askin' questions.
"An' I lied, sor. Av coorse, 'twas lucky thot Oi had me Scotch
larnin' an' caution to guide me; but whin Oi spoke, Oi wisely let
th' Irishman do all th' talkin'. An' th' great Bar liked me.
"'Verily,' says he, most solemnly, 'thou art of th' royal Bars!'
An' he made me a high officer, he did."
"Was he the Bar Senestro?" asked Watson.
"Nay; 'twas a far better man--Senestro's brother, that died not
long after. When Oi saw th' Senestro, Oi had sinse enough to kape
me mouth shut. An' now Oi'm a high Bar--next to th' Senestro
hisself! What's more, sor, there's no one alive kens th' truth but
yerself an' th' ould doctor."
It was a queer story, but in the light of all that had gone
before, wonderfully convincing. Watson began to see light breaking
through the darkness. "Now there are two," the old lady at 288
Chatterton Place had said to Jerome, when the detective came
looking for the vanished professor. Had she referred to Holcomb
and MacPherson? Two had gone through the Blind Spot, and two had
come out--the Rhamda Avec and the Nervina. "Now there are two,"
she had said.
"Tell me a little more about Holcomb, Pat!"
"'Tis a short story. Oi can't tell ye much, owin' to orders from
the old gent hisself. He came shortly after th' death of the first
Bar, Senestro's brother. Seems there was some rumpus aboot th' old
Rhamda Avec, which same Oi always kept away from--him as was goin'
to prove th' spirits! Annyhow, we was guardin' th' temple awaitin'
th' spook as was promised. An' thot's how we got th' ould doc.
"But th' Rhamdas niver saw him. Th' Senestro double-crossed 'em,
an' slipped th' doctor oop to th' Palace av Light."
"The Palace of--what?"
"The Palace av light, sor. Tis th' home av th' Jarados. 'twas held
always holy by th' Thomahlians; no man dared go within miles av
it; since the Jarados was here, t'ousands of years ago, no one at
all has been inside av it.
"But the Senestro knew that th' doctor was th' real Jarados, at
least he t'ought so; an' he wasna afraid o' him. He's na coward,
th' Senestro. He put th' doctor in th' Jarados' home! Only th'
Prophecy worries him at all."
At last Watson was touching firm ground. Things were beginning to
link up--the Senestro, the professor, the Prophecy of the Jarados.
"Well, sor, we Bars have kept th' ould doctor prisoner there iver
since he come, wit' none save me to give him a wee bit word av
comfort. But it dinna hurt th' old gent. Whin he finds all them
balls an' rainbows an' eddicated secrets, he forgets iverything
else; he's contint wit 'his discovery. 'Tis th' wise head th'
doctor has; an' Oi make no doobt he's th' real Jarados."
The red-haired man went on to say that the professor knew of
Chick's coming from the beginning. He immediately called in
MacPherson and gave him some orders, or rather directions, which
the Irishman could not understand. He knew only that he was to go
to the Temple of the Leaf and there touch certain objects in a
certain way; also, he was to arrange to get near Chick, and give
him a word of cheer.
"But it dinna work as he said it, sor; he had expected to catch
th' Senestro. Instead, 'twas th' dog got th' Bar. A foine pup,
sor; she saved yer loife."
"Where's the dog now?"
"She's on th' Spot av Life, sor. She willna leave it. Tis a
strange thing to see how she clings to it. Th' Rhamdas only come
near enough to feed her."
Thus Chick learned that, as soon as he got well, he and MacPherson
were to seek the doctor, and help him to get away with the secrets
he had found, the truths behind the mystery of the Spot.
"An' 'tis a glorious fight there'll be, lad. Th' Senestro's a game
wan; he'll not give up, an' he'll not let go th' doctor till he
This was not unwelcome news to Chick. A battle was to his liking.
It reminded him of the automatic pistol which he still had in his
pocket--the gun he had not thought to use in his desperate
struggle with the Bar Senestro.
"Pat," said he, with a sudden inspriation, "when you came through,
did you have a firearm?"
MacPherson reached into his pocket and silently produced a thirty-
two calibre pistol, of another make than Chick's but using the
same ammunition. From another pocket he drew out a package
carefully bound with thread. He unrolled the contents. It was an
old clay pipe!
"Oi came through," he stated plaintively, "wit' two guns; an' nary
a bit av powder for ayther!"
Chick smiled. He searched his own pockets. First he handed over
his extra magazine full of cartridges, and then a full package of
"Wirra, wirra!" shouted MacPherson. "Faith, an' there's powder for
both!" His hands shook as he hurried to cram the old pipe full of
tobacco. The cartridges could wait. He struck a light and gave a
deep sigh of content as he began to puff.
THE HOME OF THE JARADOS
Chick had been grievously hurt in the contest with the Senestro,
but thanks to the Rhamdas he came round rapidly. It was a matter
of less than a week.
Things were coming to a climax; Chick needed no lynx's eye to see
that the die had been cast between the Bars and the Rhamdas. Soon
the Senestro must make a bold move, or else release the professor.
Chick had not long to wait. It came one evening. Once again he
found himself in the June Bug, accompanied by the Geos, the Jan
Lucar, and--the little Aradna herself. Their departure was swift
This time Watson was not worried over height, or any other
sensation of flight. The doctor's safety alone was of moment. He
said to the Rhamda:
"Are we alone? Where is the Bar MacPherson?"
"He is somewhere near; we are not alone, my lord. Several other
machines are flying nearby also; they carry many of the Rhamdas
and the crimson guard of the queen. The MacPherson will arrive
first. We are going straight to the Palace of Light, my lord."
"Are we to storm the place?" thinking of the fight MacPherson had
"Yes, my lord. Many shall die; but it cannot be helped. We must
free the Jarados, although we commit sacrilege."
"That depends, my lord. We know not just what may be done." He
gave no explanation.
They had climbed to a tremendous height. The indicator showed that
they were bearing east. The darkness was modified only by the
faint glow from that star-dusted sky. Looking down, Chick could
see nothing whatever. His companions kept silence; only the
Aradna, sitting forward by the side of Jan Lucar showed any
perturbation. They climbed higher and higher still, until it
seemed that they must leave the Thomahlia altogether. Always the
course was eastward. At last the Jan said to the Geos:
"We are now over the Region of Carbon, sir. Shall I risk the
light? His lordship might like to see."
"Follow your own judgment."
"Oh," exclaimed the Aradna; "do it by all means! There is nothing
so wonderful as that!"
The Jan touched a small lever. Instantly a shaft of light cut down
through the blackness. Far, far below it ended in a patch on the
ground. Watson eagerly followed its movements as it searched from
side to side, seeking he knew not what. And then--
There was a flash of inverted lightning, a flame of white fire, a
blinding, stabbing scintillation of a million coruscations. Watson
clapped a hand to his eyes, to cut off the sight. It was stunning.
"What is it?" he cried.
"Carbon," answered the Geos, calmly.
"Carbon! You mean--diamond?"
"Yes, my lord. So it interests you? I did not know. Later you
shall see it under more favourable conditions." Then, to the Jan:
Once again they were in darkness. For some minutes silence was
again the rule. Watson watched the red dot moving across the
indicator, noting its approach to a three cornered figure on one
edge. Suddenly there appeared another dot; then another, and
another. Some came from below, others from above; presently there
were a score moving in close formation.
"They are all here," said the Jan to the Geos.
The other nodded, and explained to Chick: "It's the Rhamdas and
the Crimson guards. The MacPherson is just ahead. We shall arrive
in three minutes."
And after a pause he stated that the ensuing combat would mark the
first spilling of blood between the Bars and the Rhamdas. At a
pinch the Senestro might even kill the Jarados, to gain his ends.
"His wish is his only law, my lord."
The red dots began to descend toward the three-cornered figure.
One minute passed, and another; then one more, and the June Bug
With scarcely a sound the Lucar brought the craft to a full stop.
In a moment he was assisting the Aradna to alight. As for the
Geos, he took from the machine two objects, which he held out to
the Aradna and to Chick.
"Put these on. The rest of us fight as we are."
They were cloaks, made of a soft, light, malleable glass, or
something like it. Watson asked what they were for.
"For a purpose known only to the Jarados, my lord. There are only
two of these robes. With them he left directions which indicated
plainly they are for your lordship and the Aradna."
Wondering, Chick helped the Aradna don her garment and then
slipped into his own. Nevertheless, he pinned more faith in the
automatic in his pocket. He did not make use of the hood which was
intended to cover his head.
"Pardon me," spoke the queen. She reached over and extended the
hood till it protected his skull. "Please wear it that way, for my
sake. Nothing must happen to you now!"
Chick obeyed with only an inward demur. What puzzled him most was
the isolation. Seemingly they were quite alone; there was nothing,
no one, to oppose them.
But he had merely taken something for granted. He, being from the
earth, had assumed that strife meant noise. It was only when the
Aradna caught him by the arm, and whispered for him to listen,
that he understood.
It was like a breeze, that sound. To be more precise, it was like
the heavy passage of breath, almost uninterrupted, coming from all
about them. And presently Chick caught a queer odour.
"What is it?" he breathed in the Aradna's ear.
"It is death," she answered. "Cannot you hear them--the deherers?"
She did not explain; but Watson knew that he was in the midst of a
battle which was fought with noiseless and terribly efficient
weapons--so efficient that there were no wounded to give voice to
pain. Before he could ask a question a familiar voice sounded out
of the darkness at his side.
"Where is the Geos?"
"Here, Bar MacPherson," answered the Rhamda.
"Good! It is well you came, sir. We were discovered a few minutes
ago; already we have lost many men. Just give us the lights, so
that we can get at them! It is a waste of men, with the advantage
all on their side."
Then, lapsing into English for Chick's benefit: "'Tis welcome ye
are! Ivery mon helps, how."
"What are these sounds? You say they are fighting?"
"'Tis the deherers ye hear, lad. They fight with silent guns.
Don't let 'em hit ye, or ye'll be a pink pool in the twinklin' of
yer eyelid. 'Tis no joke.
"Are they more powerful than firearms?"
"I dinna say, lad. But they're th' devil's own weapon for
Chick did not answer--he had heard a low command from the Geos.
Next instant the space before them was illuminated by clear white
light, in the form of a circle--bright as day. In the centre
shimmered an object like a mist of blue flame, a nimbus of
dazzling, actinic lightning. There was no sign of man or life, no
suggestion of sound--nothing but the nimbus, and the brilliant
space about it. The whole phenomenon measured perhaps three
hundred feet across.
They were in darkness. Chick took a step forward, but he was held
back by MacPherson.
"Nay, lad; would ye be dyin' so soon? 'Tis fearful quick. See--"
He did not finish. A red line of soldiers had rushed straight out
of the blackness into the circle of light. It seemed that they
were charging the nimbus. They were stooping now, discharging
their queer weapons; about three hundred of them--an inspiring
sight. They charged in determined silence.
Then--Watson blinked. The line disappeared; the thing was like a
miracle. It took time for Chick to realise that he was looking
upon the "pink death" MacPherson had warned him against--the work
of the deherers, whatever the word meant. For where had been a
column of gallant guards there was now only a broad stream of pink
liquid trickling over the ground. It was annihilation itself--too
quick to be horrible--inexorable and instantaneous. Chick
involuntarily placed himself in front of the Aradna.
"The blue thing in the middle," observed the Irishman, coolly, "is
th' Palace av Light; 'tis held by th' Senestro jest now. An' all
we got to do is get th' ould doc out." "But I see no building!"
"'Tis there jest the same. Ye'll see it whin th' doctor gits time
off his rainbows. 'Tis absent-minded he gets when he's on a
problem, which same is mostly always, sor. We stay roight here
till he gets ready to drop on th' Senestro."
Watson waited. He knew enough now to cling to the shadow, there
with MacPherson, the Geos, and the Aradna. In the centre of the
great light-circle the nimbus of blue stood out like a vibrating
haze, while all about, in the darkness, could be heard the weird
sound made by the passage of life.
"When will the Jarados act?" inquired the Geos of the Irishman.
But he got no reply. MacPherson spoke to Watson: "Get yer gun
ready, lad; get yer gun ready! Look--'tis th' ould boy himself,
now! I wonder what the Senestro thinks of that?"
For the nimbus had suddenly dissolved, and in its place there
appeared one of the quaintest, yet most beautiful buildings that
Watson had ever seen. It was a three-cornered structure, low-set,
and of unspeakably dazzling magnificence; a building carved and
chiselled from solid carbon. Chick momentarily forgot the doctor.
In front of it stood a line of Blue Guards, headed by the
Senestro. Their confusion showed that something altogether
unexpected had happened. They were ducking here and there,
seemingly bewildered by the sudden vanishing of that protecting
blue dazzle. The Senestro was trying to restore order; and in a
moment he succeeded. He led the way toward a low, triangular
platform, at the entrance--a single white door--to the palace.
Pat MacPherson's automatic flashed and barked. Next instant Watson
was in action. The Bar next to the Senestro staggered, then
collapsed against his chieftain. Another rolled against his feet,
causing him to stumble; an act that probably saved his life, for
the platform in a second was covered with writhing, bleeding,
The Senestro managed to reach the doorway. MacPherson cursed.
"Come on!" he yelled to Watson. "Well git him alive!" Watson
remembered little of that rush. There stood the great Bar at the
doorway, surrounded by his dying and panic-stricken men. The cloak
given Chick by the Geos impeded his progress; with a quick
movement he threw it off and ran unprotected alongside the
Irishman. The Blue guards saw them coming; they levelled their
weapons. But before they could discharge them they met the same
fate as had the Reds. A tremor in the air, and they were gone,
leaving only a pink pool on the ground.
Senestro alone remained untouched. He was about to open the white
door; for a second he posed, defiant and handsome. Then the great
Bar ducked swiftly and almost with the same motion dodged into the
building. Chick and Pat were right after him.
Inside was darkness. Chick ran head on against the side wall;
turning, he bumped into another. The sudden transition from
brilliance to blackness was overwhelming. He stopped and felt
about carefully--momentarily blind. What if the Senestro found him
He called MacPherson's name. There was no reply. He tried to feel
his way along, finding the wall irregular, jagged, sharp cornered.
But the way must lead somewhere. He reached a turn in the passage;
it was still too dark for him to see anything. He proceeded more
cautiously, wondering at those craggy walls. And then--
Chick slapped his hands to his eyes. It was as if he had been shot
into the core of the sun--the obsidian darkness flashed into
light--a light beyond all enduring. Chick staggered, and cried in
pain. And yet, reason told him just what it was, just what had
happened. It was the carbon; he was in the heart of the diamond;
the Senestro had led him on and on, and then--had flashed some
intense light upon the vast jewel. Watson knew the terrible
helplessness of the blind. His end had come!
And so it seemed. Next instant someone came up to him--someone he
could hear if he could not see. It was the Senestro.
"Hail, Sir Phantom! Pardon my abrupt manner of welcome. I suppose
you have come for the Jarados?" And he laughed, a laugh full of
mockery and triumph. "Perhaps you think I intend to kill you?"
Watson said no word. He had been outwitted. He awaited the end.
But the Senestro saw fit to say, with an irony that told how sure
"However, I am opposed to killing in cold blood. Open your eyes,
Sir Phantom! I will give you time--a fair chance. What do you
say--shall we match weapon against weapon?"
Watson slowly opened his eyes. The blinding light had dimmed to a
soft glow. They were in a sort of gallery whose length was
uncertain; between him and the outlet, about ten feet away, stood
the confident, ever-smiling Bar.
"You or I," said he, jauntily. "Are you ready to try it? I have
given you a fair chance!"
He raised his dagger-like weapon, as though aiming it. At the same
instant Chick pulled the trigger from the hip, snap aim.
The gun was empty.
Another second, and Watson would have been like those spots of
colour on the ground outside. He breathed a prayer to his Maker.
The Senestro's weapon was in line with his throat.
But it was not to be. There came a flash and a stunning report;
the deherer clattered against the wall, and the Senestro clutched
a stinging hand. He was staring in surprise at something behind
Chick--something that made him turn and dart out of sight.
Right behind him stood the familiar form of the Jan Lucar; and a
few feet beyond, a figure from which came a clear, cool,
"I would have killed that fellow, Chick, but he's too damned
handsome. I'm going to save him for a specimen."
Watson peered closer. He gave a gasp, half of amazement, half of
delight. For the words were in English, and the voice--
It was Harry Wendel.
DR. HOLCOMB'S STORY
If there was the least doubt in Chick's mind that this was really
Harry, it was dispelled by the sight of the person who the next
moment stepped up to his side. It was none other than the Nervina.
"Harry Wendel!" gasped Watson. It was too good to be true!
"Surest thing you know, Chick. It's me, alive and kicking!" as
they grabbed one another.
"How did you get here?"
"Search me! Ask the lady; I'm just a creature of circumstance. I
merely act; she does all the thinking."
The Nervina smiled and nodded. Her eyes were just as wonderful as
Chick remembered them, full of elusiveness, of the moonbeam's
light, of witchery past understanding.
"Yes," she affirmed. "You see, Mr. Watson, it is the will of the
Prophet. Harry is of the Chosen. We have come for the great Dr.
Holcomb--for the Jarados!"
And she led the way. Watson followed in silent wonder; behind him
came the Geos and the rest, quiet and reverent. The soft glow
still held, so that they seemed to be walking through the walls of
cold fire. At the end of the passage they came to a door.
The Nervina touched three unmarked spots on the walls. The door
opened. The queen stood aside, and motioned for Chick and Harry to
It was a long room, pear-shaped, and fitted up like the most
elaborate sort of laboratory. And at the far end, seated in the
midst of a strange array of crystals, retorts and unfamiliar
apparatus, was a man whom the two instantly recognised.
It was the missing professor, looking just as they remembered him
from the days when they sat in his class in Berkeley. There was
the same trim figure, the same healthy cheeks, pleasant eyes and
close-cropped white beard. Always there had been something
imperturbable about the doctor--he had that poise and equanimity
which is ever the balance of sound judgment. Neither Chick nor
Harry expected any rush of emotion, and they were not
Holcomb rose to his feet, revealing on the table before him a
queer, dancing light which he had been studying. He touched
something; the light vanished, and simultaneously there came an
unnameable change in the appearance of certain of those puzzling
crystals. The doctor stepped forward, hand extended, smiling;
surely he did not look or act like a prisoner.
"Well, well," spoke he; "at last! Chick Watson and Harry Wendel!
You're very welcome. Was it a long journey?"
His eyes twinkled in the old way. He didn't wait for their
replies. He went on:
"Have we solved the Blind Spot? It seems that my pupils never
desert me. Let me ask: have you solved the Blind Spot?"
"We've solved nothing, professor. What we have come for is, first,
yourself; and second, for the secrets you have found. It is for us
to ask--what is the Blind Spot?"
The professor shook his head.
"You were always a poor guesser, Mr. Wendel. Perhaps Chick, now--"
"Put me down as unprepared," answered Chick. "I'm like Harry--I
want to know!"
"Perhaps there are a lot of us in the same fix," laughed Holcomb.
"We, who know more than any men who ever lived, want to know still
more! It may be, after all, that we know very little; even though
we have solved the problem." His eyes twinkled again,
"Tell us, then!" from Harry, on impulse as always. "What is the
But Holcomb shook his head. "Not just now, Harry; we have
company." The Geos and the Jan had entered. "Besides, I am not
quite ready. There remain several tangles to be unravelled."
As he shook hands with the Geos, he spoke in the Thomahlian
tongue. "You are more than welcome."
The Rhamda bent low in reverence and awe. His voice was hushed. He
"Art thou the Jarados, my lord?"
"Aye," stated the doctor. "I am he; I am the Jarados!"
It was a stagger for both young men. Neither could reconcile the
great professor of his schooldays with this strange, philosophic
prophet of the occult Thomahlians. What was the connection? What
was the fate that was leading, urging, compelling it all?
"Professor, you will pardon our eagerness. Both Harry and I have
had adventures, without understanding what it was all about. Can't
you explain? Where are we? And--why?" And then:
"Your lecture on the Blind Spot! You promised it to us--can you
deliver it now?"
The professor smiled his acknowledgement.
"Part of it," he said; "enough to answer your questions to some
extent. Had I stayed in Berkeley I could have delivered it all,
but"--and he laughed--"I know a whole lot more, now; and,
paradoxically, I know far less! First let me speak to the Geos."
He learned that the struggle outside had terminated successfully
for the Rhamda and his men. All was quiet. The Senestro had made
his escape in safety back to the Mahovisal. The doctor ordered
that he was not to be molested.
The Geos and the others left the room, escorting the Aradna, who
was too exhausted for further experiences. There remained with the
doctor, Chick, Harry, and the Nervina.
"I will reduce that lecture to synopsis form," began the
professor. "I shall tell you all that I know, up to this moment.
First, however, let me show you something."
He indicated the table from which he had risen. Chief among the
objects on its top were fragments of minerals, some familiar, some
strange. Above and on all sides were the crystal globes or, at
least, what Chick named as such--erected upon as many tripods. One
of these the professor moved toward the table.
Simultaneously a tiny dot appeared on a small metal plate in the
centre of the table. At first almost invisible, it grew, after a
minute or so, to a definite bit of matter.
The professor moved the tripod away. Nearby crystals, inside of
which some dull lights had leaped into momentary being, subsided
into quiescence. And the three observers looked again and again at
the solid fragment of material that had grown before their eyes on
Something had been made out of nothing!
The doctor picked it up and held it unconcernedly in his fingers.
"Can anybody tell me," asked he, "what this is?"
There was no answer. The professor tossed the thing back on the
table. It gave forth a sharp, metallic sound.
"You are looking at ether," spoke he. "It is the ether itself--
nothing else. You call it matter; others would call it iron; but
those are merely names. I call it ether in motion--materialised
"Like everything else in the universe it answers to a law. It has
its reason--there is no such thing as chance. Do you follow? That
fragment is simply a principle, allowed to manifest itself through
a natural law!
"Try to follow me. All is out of the ether--all! Variety in matter
is simply a question of varying degrees of electronic activity,
depending upon a number of ratios. Life itself, as well as
materiality and force, comes out of the all-pervading ether.
"This object here," touching the crystal, "is merely a conductor.
It picks up the ether and sends it through a set degree of
vibrational activity. Result? It makes iron!
"If you wish you may go back to our twentieth century for a
parallel--by which I mean, electricity. It is gathered crudely;
but the time will come when it will be picked up out of the air in
precisely the same manner that men pick hydrocarbons out of
petroleum, or as I sift the desired quality of ether through that
"This, I am convinced, is one of the fundamental secrets of the
Blind Spot. Is there any question?"
Wendel managed to put one.
"You said, 'back in the twentieth century.' Is it a question of
time displacement, sir?"
"Suppose we forgo that point at present. You will note, however,
that the Thomahlian world is certainly far in advance of our own."
"Professor," asked Watson, "is it the occult?"
"Ah," brightening; "now we are getting back to the old point.
However, what is the occult?" He paused; then--"Did it ever occur
to you, that the occult might prove to be the real world, proving
that life we have known to be merely a shadow?"
Silence greeted this. The professor went on:
"Let me ask you: Are you living in a real world now, or an unreal
one?" There was no response. "It is, of course, a reality; just as
truly as if you were in San Francisco. So," very distinctly,
"perhaps it is merely a question of viewpoint, as to which is the
"Just what we want to know," from Harry.
"And that," tossing up his hands, "is exactly what I cannot tell
you. I have found out many things, but I cannot be sure. I left
certainty in Berkeley.
"Today I feel that there is some great fate, some unknown force
that defies analysis, defies all attempts at resolution--a force
that is driving me through the role of the Jarados. We are all a
part of the Prophecy!
"We must wait for the last day for our answer. That Prophecy must
and will be fulfilled. And on that day we shall have the key to
the Blind Spot--we shall know the where of the occult."
He took a sip from a tumbler of the familiar green fluid.
"Now that I have told you this much, I am going back to the
beginning. I, too, have had adventures.
"How did I come to discover the Blind Spot?
"It was about one year prior to my last lecture at the university.
At the time I had been doing much psychic-research work, all of
which you know. And out of it I had adduced some peculiar
theories. For example:
"Undoubtedly there is such a thing as a spirit world. If all the
mediums but one were dishonest, and that one produced the results
that couldn't be explained away by psychology, then we must admit
the existence of another world.
"But reason tells us that there is nothing but reality; that if
there were a spirit world it must be just as real, just as
substantial as our own. Moreover--somewhere, somehow, here must be
a definite point of contact!
"That was approximately my theory. Of course I had no idea how
close I had come to a great truth. To some extent it was pure
"Then, one day Budge Kennedy brought me the blue stone. He told me
its history, and he maintained that it was lighter than air, which
of course I disbelieved until I took it out of the ring and saw
"I went at once to the house at 288 Chatterton Place. There I
found an old lady who had lived in the house for some time. I
asked to see the cellar where the stone had been unearthed.
Understand, I had no idea of the great discovery I was about to
make; I merely wanted to see. And I found something almost as
impossible as the blue stone itself-a green one, heavier than any
known mineral, answering to no known classification but of an
entirely new element. It was no larger than a pea, but of
"Coming upstairs I found the old lady a bit perturbed. I had told
her my name; she had recognised me as well.
"'Come with me,' she said.
"With that she opened a door. She was very old and very uncertain;
yet she was scarcely afraid.
"'In there," she said, and pointed through the door.
"I entered an ordinary room, furnished as a parlour. There was a
sofa, a table, a few chairs; little else.
"'What do you mean?' I asked.
"'The man! What man?"
"'Oh!' she exclaimed, 'he came here one night when the moon was
shining. He sat down on the doorstep. He was just the kind of a
lad that's in need of a mother. So I asked him to lie on the sofa.
He was tired, you see, and--I once had a son of my own.'
"She stopped, and it was a moment before she continued. I could
feel the pressure of her hand on my arm, pitiful, beseeching.
"'So I took him in there. In there; see? On that sofa. I saw it!
They took him! Oh, sir; it was terrible!'
"She was weird, uncanny, strangely interesting.
"'He just lay down there. I was standing by the door when--they
took him! I couldn't understand, sir. I saw the blue light; and
the moon--it was gone. And then--' She looked up at me again and
whispered: 'And then I heard a bell--a very beautiful bell--a
church bell, sir? But you know, don't you? You are the great Dr.
Holcomb. That's why you went into the cellar, wasn't it? Because
"Her manner as much as her story, impressed me. I said:
"'I must give this room a careful examination. Would you be good
enough to leave me to myself?'
"She closed the door after her. I had the green stone in my hand;
it was very heavy, and I placed it on one of the chairs. The blue
stone I still held. At the moment I hadn't the least notion of
what was about to happen; it was all accident, from beginning to
"All of a sudden the room disappeared! That is, the side wall; I
was not looking at the dingy old wallpaper, but out through and
into an immense building, dim, vast and immeasurable.
"Directly in front of me was a white substance like a stone of
snow. Upon this substance was seated a man, about my own age, as
nearly as I could make out. He looked up just as I noted him.
"Our recognition was mutual. Immediately he made a sign with one
hand. And at once I took a step forward; I thought he had
motioned. It was all so real and natural. Though his features were
dim he could not have been more than ten feet distant. But, at
that very instant, when I made that one step, the whole thing
"I was still in the room at Chatterton Place!
"That's what started it all. Had this occurred to any one else in
the world I should have labelled it an unaccountable illusion. But
it had happened to me.
"I had my theory; between the spiritual and the material there
must be a point of contact. And--I had found it! I had discovered
the road to the Indies, to the Occult, to all that other men call
unknowable. And I called it--
"The Blind Spot."
Thus had the professor got into actual touch with the occult--by
sheer accident. Up to that time it had been only a hypothesis; now
it was a fact. Next step was to open up direct communication.
"That was difficult. To begin with, I worked to repeat the
phenomena I had seen, getting some haphazard results from the
start. My purpose throughout was to exchange intelligent comment
with the individual I had beheld on that snow-stone within the
Spot; and in the end I succeeded.
"He gave me fairly explicit warning as to when the Blind Spot
should open, not only to the eye, but in its entirety, as it had
done for the young man of whom the old lady had told me. We agreed
through signs that he would come through first.
"Understand, up to the instant of his actual arrival, I didn't
know just what he was like. I had to be content with his sign-
talk, by which he assured me he was a real man, material, of life
and the living.
"I made my announcement. You know most of what followed. The
Rhamda came to Berkeley; together we returned to Chatterton Place,
for it was imperative that we hold the Spot open or at least
maintain the phenomenon at such a point that we could reopen it at
will. Both of us were guessing.
"Neither of us knew, at the time, just how long the Rhamda could
endure our atmosphere. He had risked his life to come through; it
was no more than fair that I should accede to his caution and
insure him a safe return to his own world.
"But things went wrong. It was ignorance as much as accident. At
Chatterton Place I was caught in the Blind Spot, and without a
particle of preparation was tossed into the Thomahlia.
"When I came through, the Nervina went out. Thus I found myself in
this strange place with no one to guide me. And unfortunately, or
rather, fortunately, I fell into the hands of the Bar Senestro.
"Now, for all that he is a sceptic, the Senestro is a brave man;
and like many another unbeliever, he has a sense of humour. My
coming had been promised by Avec; so he knew that somehow I was a
part of the Prophecy--the prophecy which, for reasons of his own,
he did not want fulfilled.
"So he isolated me here in the house of the Jarados. A bold sort
of humor, I call it--to defy the Prophecy in the very spot where
it was written!
"But it was fortunate. I was in the house of the old prophet, with
its stores of wisdom, secrets, raw elements and means for applying
the laws of nature. All that I hitherto had only guessed at, I now
had at my disposal: libraries, laboratories, everything. I was a
recluse with no interruptions and perfect facility for study.
"First of all I went into their philosophy. Then into their
science, and afterwards into their history. Whereupon I made a
rather startling discovery.
"Apparently I AM THE JARADOS.
"For my coming had been foretold almost to the hour. As I went on
with the research I found many other points that seemed familiar.
Plainly there was something that had led me into the Spot; and
most certainly it was not mere chance. I became convinced that not
merely my own destiny, but a higher, a transcendental fate was at
"In the course of time I became certain of this. Meanwhile I
mastered most of the secrets of this palace--the wisdom of the
ancient Jarados. Though a prisoner, I was the happiest of men--
which I still remain. The Bars kept close watch over me,
constantly changing their guard. And it was on one of those
occasions that I found MacPherson.
"Well, after MacPherson's coming I was pretty much my own master.
I induced the Senestro to allow MacPherson to remain as a constant
bodyguard. But I never told Pat what was what, except that some
day we should extricate ourselves.
"You may wonder why I did not open the Spot.
"There were several reasons: First, in the nature of the
phenomenon it must be opened only on the earth side, except on
rare occasions when certain conditions are peculiarly favourable.
That's why the Rhamda Avec could not do it alone; I know now that
I should have imparted to him certain technicalities. I possessed
two of the keys then; now, I know there are three.
"And I have learned that each of these is a sinister thing.
"The blue stone, for instance, is life, and it is male. Rather a
sweeping and ambiguous statement; but you will comprehend it in
the end. Were a man to wear it it would kill him, in time; but a
woman can wear it with impunity.
"Perhaps you will appreciate that statement better if you note
what I have just done through the medium of that crystal. The blue
gem is an inductor of the ether; in a sense, it is one of the
anchors of the Spot of Life, or the Blind Spot--whatever we want
to call it--the Spot of Contact.
"The other two particles--the red and the green one--are
respectively the Soul and the Material. Or, let us say, the
etheric embryos of these essentials.
"The three stones constitute an eternal trinity.
"As for the substance of the Spot itself, that I cannot tell, just
yet. But I do know that the whole truth will come out clear in the
fulfilment of the Prophecy. I am convinced that it has translated
Watson, and now Harry Wendel and the Nervina."
"Can you control it?" asked Chick.
"To a limited extent. I have been able to watch you ever since
your coming. You did not know about Harry, but I saw him come--in
the arms of the Nervina."
The Nervina nodded.
"It is so. I knew the Senestro. I was afraid that Harry would fall
into his hands. I had previously endeavoured to have him give the
jewel to Charlotte Fenton. I didn't trust the great Bar--"
Harry interrupted, "Only because of her distrust of the Senestro
did she decide to come through the Blind Spot with me. She knew
what to do. As soon as we got here, she bundled me off, privately
nursed me back to health if not strength, and when the time came
rushed me up here at the last second to be in at the finish."
Watson thought of the dog, Queen. She also had come through just
in time to save his life. Did Harry know anything about her? When
Wendel had related what he knew, Chick commented:
"It's almighty strange, Harry. Everything works out to fit in
exactly with that confounded Prophecy. Perhaps that accounts for
your affinity for the Nervina; it is something beyond your
control, or hers. We'll have to wait and see."
There was not long to wait. The days passed. The palace was full
of Rhamdas, summoned by Dr. Holcomb, who, as the Jarados himself,
was now issuing orders concerning the great day, the last of the
sixteen days, now very close at hand; the day which the Rhamdas
constantly alluded to as "the Day of Judgment."
The Senestro went unmolested. Returning to the Mahovisal, he
worked now to further the truths of the Prophecy.
Still the millions continued to descend upon the Mahovisal. Coming
from the furthermost parts of the Thomahlia, the pilgrims'
aircraft kept the air above the city constantly alive. There were
days such as no man had ever known. Even the Rhamdas, trained to
composure, gave evidence of the strain. The atmosphere was tense,
charged with expectancy and hope. A whole world was coming to what
it conceived as its judgment, and its end. And--the Spot of Life
was the Blind Spot!
At last the doctor summoned the two young men. It was night, and
the June Bug was waiting. This time the Geos himself was at the
"We are going to the Mahovisal," spoke the doctor--"to the Temple
of the Bell and Leaf. There is still something I must know before
the Judgment." He was speaking English. "If we can bring the
Prophecy to pass just so far, and no farther, we shall be able to
extricate ourselves nicely. Anyway, I think we shall not return to
the Palace of Light."
He held a black leather case in his hand. He touched it with a
"If this little case and its contents get through the Blind Spot
it will advance civilisation--our civilisation--about a thousand-
fold. So remember: Whatever happens to me, be sure and remember
this case! It must go through the Spot!"
He said no more, but took his seat beside the Geos. The young men
took the rear seats. In a short time they had crossed the great
range of mountains and were hovering over the Mahovisal.
There was no sound. Though the city was packed with untold
millions, the tension was such that scarcely a murmur came out of
the metropolis. The air was magnetic, charged, strained close to
the breaking point; above all, the reverence for the Last Day, and
the hope, rising, accumulating, to the final supreme moment.
For the Sixteenth Day was now only forty-eight hours removed.
Both Chick and Harry realised that their lives were at stake; the
doctor had made that clear. In the last minute, in the final
crisis, they must crowd their way through the Blind Spot. Only the
professor knew how it was to be done.
At the temple they found the Nervina and the Aradna waiting. The
Jan Lucar was with them. The Geos had secured entrance by a side
door. From it they could look out, themselves unobserved, over the
entire building and upon the Spot of Life. The place was packed--
thousands upon thousands of people, standing in silent awe and
worship, one and all gazing toward the all-important Spot. There
was no sound save the whisper of multitudinous breathing.
Said Harry to Chick:
"I see Queen up there!"
Harry circled the group, and bounded up the great stairs. In a
moment he was patting his dog's head. She looked up and wagged her
tail to show her pleasure. But she was not effusive. Somehow she
wasn't just like his old shepherd. She glanced at him, and then
out at the concourse below, and lolled her tongue expectantly.
Then she settled back into her place and resumed watch--exactly as
any of her kind would have held guard over a band of sheep.
The dog was serious. Afterward, Wendel said he had a dim notion
that she was no longer a dog at all, but a mere instrument in the
hand of Fate.
"What's the matter, old girl?" he asked. "Don't you like 'em?"
For answer she gave a low whine. She looked up again, and out into
the throng; she repeated the whine, with a little whimper at the
Harry returned to the others. Nothing was said of what he had
done. At once the Geos led the group through a small, half-hidden
door, beyond which was a narrow, winding stairway of chocolate-
coloured stone. The Geos halted.
"Dost wish the building emptied, O Jarados?"
"I do. When we come back from under the Spot of Life, we should
have the place to ourselves."
Accompanied by the two queens the Rhamda returned to the main body
of the temple. Dr. Holcomb, Harry and Chick were left to
The professor took out a notebook. In it was traced a map, or
chart, together with several notations.
"The three of us," said he, "are going to take a look at the under
side of the Blind Spot. This stairway leads into a secret chamber
inside the foundations of the great stair; and according to this
data I found in the palace, together with some calculations of my
own, we ought to find some of the secrets of the Spot."
He led the way up the steps. At the top of the flight they came to
a blank, blue wall. There was no sign of a door, but in the front
of the wall stood a low platform, in the centre of which was set a
strange, red stone. The professor consulted his chart, then opened
his black case. From it he took another stone, red like the other,
but not so intense. This he touched to the first, and waited.
Inside a minute a light sprang up from the contact. Immediately
Harry and Chick beheld something they had not seen on the wall--a
knob, or button. The doctor pulled sharply on it. Instantly a door
opened in the wall.
They passed into another room. It was not a large place--about
thirty feet across, perhaps, stone-walled and with a low ceiling.
From all sides a soft, intrinsic glow was given off. There were no
But in the centre of the ceiling, occupying almost all the space
overhead, a snow-white substance hung as if suspended. Were it not
for its colour and its size, it might have been likened to an
immense, horizontal grindstone hung in mid-air, with apparently
nothing to hold it there. Around its side they could make out a
narrow gap between it and the ceiling. And directly along its
lower edge was a series of small, fiery jewels inset, and of the
order and colour of the sign of the Jarados--red, blue and green,
The professor produced an electric torch and held it up to show
that the gap between the stone and the ceiling was unbroken at any
point. Then he counted the jewels on the lower edge. Chick made
out twenty-four. Three were missing from their sockets--all told,
then, there should have been twenty-seven.
The doctor noted the positions of the three empty sockets and,
drawing a tapeline from his pocket, proceeded to measure the
distances from each of the three--they were widely separated round
the circle--from each other. Then he turned to Chick and Harry.
"Do you know where we are?"
"Under the Spot of Life," it was easy to answer.
"You are in San Francisco!"
"Not in--in--" Chick hesitated.
"Yes. Exactly. This is 288 Chatterton Place--the house of the
Blind Spot." He paused for them to digest this. Then, "Harry--did
you say Hobart Fenton was with you on that last night?"
"Hobart and his sister, Charlotte. I remember their coming at the
last minute. They were too late, sir."
The professor nodded.
"Well, Harry, the chances are that Hobart is not more than twenty
feet away at the present moment. Charlotte may be sitting right
there"--pointing to a spot at Harry's side--"this very instant.
And there may be many others.
"No doubt they are working hard to solve the mystery.
Unfortunately the best they can do is to guess. We hold the key.
That is--I should correct that statement--we hold the knowledge,
and they hold the keys."
"The keys?" Harry wanted to know more.
The professor pointed to the three empty sockets in the great
white stone above their heads. "These three missing stones are the
keys. Until they are reset we cannot control the Spot. I had found
two of them before I came through. I take it that both of you
remember the blue one?"
"I think," agreed Chick, "that neither of us is ever likely to
forget it! Eh, Harry?"
The professor smiled. He was holding the light up to the snow-
stone, at a spot that would have been the point of intersection
had lines been drawn from the three missing gems, and the
resulting triangle centred. He held his hand up to the substance.
It was slightly rough at that point, as though it had been frozen.
Then he ran his fingers across the surrounding surface.
"Ah!" he exclaimed. "I thought so! That helps considerably.
Chick--put your hand up here. What do you feel?"
"Rough," said Chick, feeling the intersection point. "Slightly so,
but cold and--and magnetic."
"Now feel here."
"Cool and magnetic, doctor; but smooth. What does it prove?"
"Let's see; do you understand the term 'electrolysis'? Good. Well,
there should be another clue--not similar, but supplementary, or
rather, complementary--on the earth side. Perhaps one of you found
it while you lived in that house." The professor eyed both men
anxiously. "Did either of you find a stain, or anything of that
sort, on the walls, ceiling, or floor of any room there?"
Both shook their heads.
"Well, there ought to be," frowned the doctor. "I am positive
that, should we return now, we could locate some such phenomenon.
From this side it is very easy to account for; it's simply the
disintegrating effect of the current, constantly impinging at the
point of contact or the intersection. Having acted on this side,
it must have left some mark on the other."
Watson was still running his hand over the snow-stone. Once
before, when he had stood barefooted in the contest with the
Senestro, he had noted its cold magnetism.
"What is this substance, professor?"
"That, I have not been able to discover. I would call it neutral
element, for want of a more exact term; something that touches
both aspects of the spectrum."
"Both aspects of the spectrum?"
"Yes; as nearly as the limitations of my vocabulary will permit.
If you recall, I showed you a simple experiment the other day in
the palace. By means of an inductor I drew out the iron principle
from the ether and built up the metal. Only it was not precisely
iron but its Thomahlian equivalent. Had you been on the earth side
you would have seen nothing at all, not even myself. I was on the
wrong aspect of the spectrum.
"Also, you see here the Jaradic colours--the crimson, green and
blue--the shades between, the iridescence and the shadows. Had you
been on the other side you wouldn't have seen one of them; they
are not precisely our own colours, but their equivalents on this
side of the Spot.
"In the final analysis, as I said before, it gets down to ether,
to speed and vibration--and still at last to the perceptive
limitations of our own earthly five senses. Just stop and consider
how limited we are! Only five senses--why, even insects have six.
Then consider that all matter, when we get to the bottom of it, is
differentiated and condensed ether, focused into various
mathematical arrangements, as numberless as the particles of the
universe. Of these our five senses pick out a very small
"This is one way to account for the Blind Spot. It may be merely
another phase of the spectrum--not simply the unexplored regions
of the infra-red or the ultra-violet, but a region co-existent
with what we normally apprehend, and making itself manifest
through apertures in what we, with our extremely limited sense-
grasp, think to be a continuous spectrum. I throw out the idea
mainly as a suggestion. It is not necessarily the true
"Let us go a bit farther. Remember, we are still upon the earth.
And that we are still in San Francisco, although all the while we
are also in the Mahovisal. This is 288 Chatterton Place, and at
the same time it is the Temple of the Bell. It might be a hundred
or a thousand other places just as well, too, if my hypothesis is
correct; which we shall see.
"Now, what does this mean? Simply this, gentlemen, that we five-
sensed people have failed to grasp the true meaning of the word
'Infinity.' We look out toward the stars, fancying that only in
unlimited space can we find the infinite. We little suspect we
ourselves are infinity! It is only our five senses that make us
"As soon as we grasp this the so-called spiritual realm becomes a
very substantial fact. We begin to apprehend the occult. Our five-
sensed world is merely a highly specialized phase of infinity.
Material or spiritual--it is all the same. That's why we look on
the Thomahlians as occult, and why they consider us in the same
"It is strictly a question of sense perception and limitations,
which can be covered by the word, 'viewpoint.' Viewpoint--that is
all it amounts to.
"There is no such thing as unreality; but there is most certainly
such a thing as relativity, and all life is real.
"Of course I knew nothing of this until the discovery of the Blind
Spot. It will, I think, prove to be one of the greatest events in
history. It will silence the sceptics, and form a bulwark for all
religion. And it will make us all appreciate our Creator the
The professor stopped. For some moments there was silence.
"What are we to do now?" asked Harry.
But the professor chose not to answer. With his tape he began
taking a fresh series of measurements, with reference to the empty
sockets and one particularly brilliant red gem, which seemed to be
"number one" in the circle. From time to time the doctor jotted
down the results and made short calculations. Presently he said:
"That ought to be enough. Now suppose we--"
At that instant something happened. Harry Wendel caught him by the
shoulder. He pointed to the suspended stone.
It was moving!
It was revolving, almost imperceptibly, like some vast wheel
turning on its axis. So slowly did it rotate, the motion would
have escaped attention were it not for the gems and their
Suddenly it came to a stop, short and quick, as though it had
dropped into a notch. And from above they heard the deep, solemn
clang of the temple bell.
"What is that?" asked Harry, startled. "Who moved the stone?"
"Can it be," flashed Chick, "that Hobart Fenton has found the
"That remains to be seen!" from the doctor. "Come--we must find
out what has happened!"
Within a minute they knew. As they came out of the private door on
the now emptied floor of the great temple, they saw the senior
queen, the Nervina, coming down the great stairway from the Spot
"What is it?" called Harry, apprehensively.
"The Aradna!" she replied. Her voice was curiously strained.
"Something happened, and--she has fallen through the Spot!"
OUT OF THE OCCULT
"HOW DID IT HAPPEN?"
"I scarcely know. We went up to play with the dog. It was
unwilling to leave the place, and Aradna teasingly tried to push
her off on to the steps. She succeeded, but--well, it was all over
that quick. The Aradna was gone!"
But the Spot had by this time lost a good deal of its terror.
Knowing what was on the other side, and who, made a great
difference. As the doctor said later in a private consultation
with Chick and Harry:
"It's not so bad. That is, if Hobart Fenton is at work there. I
think he is. Really, I only regret that we didn't know of this
beforehand; we could have sent a message through to him."
And the professor went on to explain what he meant. At the time he
spoke, it was twenty-four hours after the Aradna's going; another
twenty-four hours would see the evening of the Last Day--the
sixteenth of the sacred Days of Life--what the Rhamdas alluded to
as "the Day of Judgment." And the Mahovisal was a seething mass of
humanity, all bent upon seeing the fulfillment of their highest
"Bear in mind that if the Spot should not open at the last moment,
you and I are done for. We will be self-condemned 'False Ones';
our lives will not last one minute after midnight tomorrow night
if we fail to get through!
"That Prophecy means EVERYTHING to the Thomahlians. There was a
time when they accepted it on faith; now it is an intellectual
conviction with every last one of them. And one and all look
forward to a new and glorious life beyond the Spot--in the occult
"Now, the ticklish part of the job will be to open the Spot just
long enough to permit us to get through, yet prevent the whole
Prophecy from coming to pass. We've got to get through, together
with that black case of mine, and then shut the door in the face
of all Thomahlia!"
Nothing more was said on the subject until late the following
afternoon, as the doctor, Harry, and Chick sat down to a light
meal. They ate much as if nothing whatever was in the wind. From
where they sat, in one part of a wing of the temple, they could
look out into the crowded streets, in which were packed untold
numbers of pilgrims, all pressing towards the great square plaza
in front of the temple. No guards were to be seen; the solemnity
of the occasion was sufficient to keep order. But the terrific
potentiality of that semi-fanatical host did not cause the
doctor's voice to change one iota.
"There is no telling what may happen," he said. "For my own part I
shall not venture near the Spot of Life until just at the end. I
shall remain in the chamber underneath.
"But you two ought to show yourselves immediately after sundown.
Certain ancient writings indicate it. You, and the Nervina, will
have to mount the stair to the Spot, and remain in sight until
midnight--until the end.
"So we must be prepared for accidents." He took some papers from
his pocket, and selected two, and gave one to each of his pupils.
"Here are the details of what must be done. In case only one of us
gets through, it will be enough."
"But--how can these be of any use, on such short notice?" Harry
"Cudgel your brains a bit, gentlemen," he chided good-humouredly.
"You will soon see my drift. This is one of those occasions when
the psychic elements involved are such that, without doubt, it
were best if you reacted naturally to whatever may happen.
"Now you will note that I have made a drawing of the Blind Spot
region; also certain calculations which will explain themselves.
"Moreover, I have written out the combination to my laboratory
safe in my house in Berkeley. The green stone is there. Bertha
will help, as soon as she understands that it is my wish; no
explanation will be needed.
"You may leave the rest to me, young gentlemen. Act as through you
had no notion that I was down below the Spot. I shall be merely
experimenting a bit with that circle of jewels, to see if the
phenomena which affected the Aradna cannot be repeated. I fancy it
was not mere accident, but rather the working of a 'period.'"
He said no more about this, except to comment that he hoped to get
into direct communication with Hobart Fenton before midnight
should arrive. However, he did say, in an irrelevant sort of
"Oh, by the way--do either of you happen to recall which direction
the house at Chatterton Place faces?"
"North," replied Harry and Chick, almost in the same breath.
"Ah yes. Well, the temple faces south. Can you remember that?"
They thought they could. The rest of the meal was eaten without
any discussion. Just as they arose, however, the doctor observed:
"It may be that Hobart Fenton has got to come through. I wish I
knew more about his mentality; it's largely a question of psychic
influence--the combined, resultant force of the three material
gems, and the three degrees of psychic vibration as put forth by
him and you two. We shall see.
"Something happened today--the Geos told me about it--which may
link up Hobart very definitely. It was about one o'clock when one
of the temple pheasants began to behave very queerly up on the
great stair. It had been walking around on the snow-stone, and
flying a bit; then it started to hop down the steps.
"About sixteen steps down, Geos says the pheasant stopped and
began to flutter frantically, as though some unseen person were
holding it. Suddenly it vanished, and as suddenly reappeared
again. It flew off, unharmed. I can't quite account for it, but--
well, we'll see!"
He spoke no more, but led the way out into the entrance to the
wing. There they waited only a moment or two, before the Nervina
and her retinue arrived. Without delay a start was made for the
great black stairway.
The doctor alone remained behind.
There was a guard-lined lane through the crowd, allowing the
Nervina and the rest access to the foot of the steps. Reaching
that point she paused for a look around.
The sun had just gone down; the artificial lights of the temple
had not yet been turned on. Overhead, the great storm-cloud hung
portentously, even more ominous than in the brighter light. The
huge waterspout columns, the terrific size of the auditorium, were
none the less impressive for the incalculable horde that filled
every bit of floor space. At the front of the building the archway
gave a glimpse of the vastly greater throng waiting outside.
But all was quiet, with the silence of reverence and supreme
The long flight of stairs was lined on either side, from bottom to
top, with the Rhamdas. On the landing there stood only two of the
three chairs that Chick had seen on the previous occasion. The
green one had been brought down and placed in the centre of an
open spot just at the foot of the stairs.
In this chair sat the Bar Senestro. Deployed about him, at a
respectful distance, was a semi-circle of the Bars, many hundreds
in number. Behind the Bars, separating them from the crowds at
their backs, were grouped the crimson and blue guardsmen. Among
them, no doubt, were the Jan Lucar and the MacPherson, but Chick
could locate neither.
The Nervina, taking Harry's arm, ascended the steps. Chick
followed, with the Rhamda Geos at his side. At the top of the
flight the Nervina was escorted to one of the chairs, while Chick
placed the Geos in the other.
It left the two Californians on their feet, to move around to
whatever extent seemed commensurate with dignity. Chick drew Harry
"What do you suppose," said Chick, indicating the handsome,
confident figure in the chair at the base of the stairs--"what do
you suppose friend Senestro is thinking about?"
Harry frowned. "You know him better than I do. You don't think he
"Not on your life; not the Bar. He's merely adjusted his plans to
the new situation. He sees that the Prophecy is likely to be
fulfilled; so, he counts on being the first to get through, after
the Nervina. Then, whether the rest of the Thomahlia follows or
not--he calls himself the divinely appointed leader now, I
understand--he will get through and marry the two Queens anyhow!"
Perhaps it was because the crowd was so terrifically large. Or,
there may have been something in the destiny of things that would
not permit the chief actors to feel nervous. Certain it is that
neither of the two men experienced the least stage fright. Had
they been on display before a crowd one-tenth the size, anywhere
else, both would have been ill at ease. This was different--
No longer was there any circulation in the crowd. People remained
in their places now, just as they expected the end to find them.
Chick and Harry marvelled at their composure, strangely in
contrast with the ceaseless activities of the temple pheasants
darting everywhere overhead.
Suddenly Harry remarked:
"I've got an idea, Chick! It's this: How does the professor expect
to send a message to Hobart?" Chick could not guess.
But already Harry had taken his sheet of instructions from his
pocket, and was rolling it into a compact pellet. Then he went to
Queen, and with a ribbon borrowed from the Nervina, tied the
message tightly to the dog's collar.
"Hobart will be certain to see it," said he. "I wonder if the
doctor's figured it out yet?"
"He's playing with a tremendous force," observed Chick,
thoughtfully. He reached out and touched the snow-stone with his
foot, just as he had done before, and fancied that he could feel
that electric thrill even through the leather of his shoes.
"Still, it's worth any risk he may be taking down in that chamber.
If only he could send Queen through! Hobart--"
He never finished the sentence. He staggered, thrown off his
balance by reason of the fact that he had been resting the weight
of one foot on the stone and--it moved!
Moved--shifted about its axis, just as it had done forty-eight
hours previously, when the Aradna had dropped through.
And Chick had only a flash of a second for a glimpse of the
startled faces of Harry, the Nervina and the Geos, the huge
multitude below the stair, Queen on the other side, and the
fateful Prophecy on the walls above him, before--
A figure came into existence at his side. It was that of a
powerfully built man, on whose wrists were curious red circles.
And Chick shouted in a great voice:
And then came blackness.
THE LAST LEAF
Watson's story was now completed. During the entire recital his
auditors had spoken scarcely a word. It had been marvellous--
almost a revelation. With the possible exception of Sir Henry
Hodges, not one had expected that it would measure up to this. For
the whole thing backed up Holcomb's original proposition:
"The Occult is concrete."
Certainly, if what Watson had told them was true, then Infinity
had been squared by itself. Not only was there an infinity that we
might look up to through the stars, but there was another just as
great, co-existent, here upon the earth. The occult became not
only possible, but unlimited.
The next few minutes would prove whether or not he had told the
It was now close to midnight.
Jerome and General Hume had returned from Berkeley. Their quest
had been successful; Watson now had the missing green stone. A
number of soldiers were stationed about the house. Watson noted
these men when he had finished his account, and said:
"Good. We may need them, although I hope not. Fortunately the Spot
is small, and a few of us can hold it against a good many. What we
must do is to extricate our friends and close it. Afterward we may
have time for more leisurely investigation. But we must remember,
above all things, that black case of Professor Holcomb's! It holds
"Now I must ask you all to step out of this room. This library,
you know, is the Blind Spot."
He directed them to take positions along the balustrade of the
stairway, out in the hall--through the wide archway, where they
could have a clear view, yet be safe.
It was a curious test. With nothing but his mathematics and his
drawing to go by, Watson was about to set the three stones in
their invisible sockets. He spread the map out carefully, likewise
his calculations; they gave him, on this floor, the precise
positions that he charted on the earth of the cellar. A glance
toward the front of the house--north--then a little measuring,
three chalk-marks on the carpet, and he was ready for the final
He took the fateful ring and with a penknife pried up the prongs
that held the stone. As it popped out he caught it with one hand.
Then he looked at the row of wondering faces along the stair.
"I think it will work," he said. "But, remember--don't come near!
I shall get out as best I can myself; don't try to save me."
With that he held the jewel on the first of the three chalk-marks
on the circumference of the great circle. He held it tight against
the carpet and then let go. Up it flashed about one foot--and
There was no sound. Next Watson took the red stone. With it, the
process was inverted. Instead of holding it to the floor he raised
it as high as he could reach, directly above the second mark. Then
he let it drop.
It did not reach the floor. It fell a little more than halfway,
The third stone, the green one, was still remaining. Watson took
it to the third and final mark on the circle, taking care to keep
outside the circumference that marked the Spot. This mark was
directly in front of the archway. He turned to them.
"Watch carefully," he spoke. "I do not know what has transpired in
the temple during the past few hours. Be ready for ANYTHING. All
He dropped the stone.
With the same motion he dodged out into the hall.
Though there was no sound there was something that every one felt--a
sibilant undertone and cold vibration--a tense flash of magnetism.
Then the dot of blue--a string of incandescence; just as had been
The Blind Spot was opening.
Watson silently warned the others to remain where they were and
himself crowded back against the stair. And as he did so, someone
came noiselessly down the steps from the floor above, passed
unnoticed behind the watchers and thence across into the hall.
It was a slender, frail figure in white--the Aradna, walking like
one in the grip of a higher will. Before they could make a move
she had stepped into the Blind Spot, under the dot of blue, and
into a string of light. And then--she was gone.
It was as swift as a guess. It was inexorable and unseen; and
being unseen, close akin to terror. The group watched and waited,
scarcely breathing. What would happen next?
There came a sudden, jarring click--like the tapping of iron. And
The Spot opened to human sight.
The library at 288 Chatterton Place was gone. Instead, the people
on the stairs were gazing down from the Spot of Life, straight
into the colossal Temple of the Jarados.
It was as Chick had described it--immense--beyond conception.
Through the great doors and out into the plaza beyond was gathered
all Thomahlia, reverent, like those waiting for the crack of doom.
Above the horde, high on the opposite wall, stood out the monster
Clover Leaf of the Jarados; three-coloured--blazing like liquid
fire; it was ominous with real life.
At that moment the whole concourse rippled with commotion. Arms
were uplifted; one and all pointed towards the dais. They, too
were looking through the Spot. Then the multitude began to move.
It heaved and surged and rolled toward the centre. The guards were
pressed in upon the Bars, the Bars upon the Rhamda-lined stair.
There was no resisting that flood of humanity. On and up it came,
sweeping everything before it.
Directly in the foreground lay the snow-stone. On its centre stood
the dog Queen, crouching, waiting, bristling. By her side Harry
Wendel crouched on one knee, as if awaiting the signal. Behind
him, the Nervina, supporting the awakening Aradna. And in front of
all, the powerful bulk of Hobart Fenton, standing squarely at the
head of the stair, ready to grapple the first to reach the
But most important of all, there stood the doctor himself. He was
at the Nervina's side; in his hand, the case of priceless data. He
was gazing through the Spot and making a signal of some kind to
Watson, whereupon the latter leaped to the edge of the unseen
Something had gone wrong. The Spot was not fully open. Nothing but
sight could get through.
Yet there was no time for anything. Up the stairs came the Bars,
leading and being pressed forward by the horde. At their head
dashed the Bar Senestro, handsome as Alexander. Hobart stepped
forward to meet him, but the doctor stopped him with a word.
Only a few seconds elapsed between death and salvation. Again Dr.
Holcomb signed to Watson; not a sound came through. Watson
The dog Queen shot to her feet. Then the Senestro, out-distancing
all the rest and dodging Hobart, had leaped upon the dais.
Upon the wall across the temple the great Leaf of the Jarados
stood out like sinister fire. It pulsed and vibrated--alive. The
top petal--the blue one--suddenly broke into a seething wave of
Still Watson held back. He could not understand what Holcomb
Queen waited only until the Senestro set foot on the dais. She
crouched, then leaped.
It was done.
With a lightning shift of his nimble feet, the high-tempered Bar
kicked the shepherd in the side. Caught at full leap, she was
knocked completely over and fell upon the snow-stone.
It was the Sacrilege!
Even the Bars beyond the Senestro stopped in horror. The Four-
Footed One--sacred to the Jarados--it was she who had been
touched! Had the Senestro undone all on the Spot of Judgment, What
would be the end?
Fenton acted. He caught the Senestro before he could get his
balance and with a mighty heave hurled him over the side of the
stair. A second, and it was over.
Another second was the last. For the great Leaf of the Jarados had
The green and red stood still; but out of the blue came a dazzling
light, a powerful beam; so brilliant, it seemed solid. It shot
across the whole sweep of the temple and touched the Prophecy.
Over the golden scrolls it traced its marvellous colour, until it
came to the lines:
Beware ye of sacrilege! Lest I take from ye all that I
have given ye, and the day be postponed--beware ye of
For a moment the strange light stood still, so that the checked
millions might read. Then it turned upon the dais.
There it spread, and hovered over the group, until it seemed to
work them together--the Nervina to Harry, the Aradna to Hobart.
Not one of them knew what it was; they obeyed by impulse--it was
their destiny; the Chosen, and the queens.
The light stopped at the foot of Dr. Holcomb. Then the strangest
Out of the light--or rather, from where it bathed the snowstone--
came a man; a man much like Holcomb, bearded and short and kindly.
He was the real Jarados!
Unhesitatingly the professor stepped up beside him. Then followed
Hobart and the Aradna, Harry and the Nervina, and lastly, from the
crowd of Bars, MacPherson. The whole concourse in the temple
stopped in awe and terror.
Only for a second. Then the Jarados and all at his side--were
And upon the snow-stone there stood a sword of living flame.
It stood there for just a breath, exactly where the group had
And it was gone.
That was all.
No; not quite all. For when the Blind Spot closed that night at
288 Chatterton Place, there came once more the deep, solemn peal
of the Bell of the Jarados.
Were this account merely a work of fiction, it would harmonise
things so as to have no unaccountables in it. As it is, the
present writers will have to make this quite clear:
It is not known why the Rhamda Avec failed to show himself at the
crucial moment. Perhaps he could have changed everything. We can
only surmise; he has not been seen or heard from since.
Which also is true of Mr. Chick Watson. He disappeared immediately
after the closing of the Spot, saying that he was going to Bertha
Holcomb's home. No trace has been found of either to date.
Doubtless the reader has noted advertisement in the papers,
appealing to the authorities to report any one of Watson's
description applying for a marriage licence.
As for his two friends, Wendel and Fenton, together with the
Aradna and the Nervina, they and MacPherson and the doctor
absolutely vanished from all the knowledge, either of the
Thomahlia or the earth. The Jarados alone can tell of them.
Mme. Le Fabre, however, feels that she can explain the matter
satisfactorily. Abridged, her theory runs:
"There is but one way to explore the Occult. That way is to die.
"For all that we were so strongly impressed with the reality of
Mr. Watson, I am firmly convinced that he was simply a spirit;
that everything we saw was spirit manifestation.
"Dr. Holcomb and all the rest have simply gone on to another
plane. We shall never see them again. They are dead; no other
explanation will hold. They are spirits."
Giving this version to the public strictly for what it is worth,
the present writers feel it only right to submit the conclusions
reached by Dr. Malloy and concurred in by Drs. Higgins and Hansen,
also, with reservations, by Professor Herold and by Miss Clarke.
"To a certain extent, and up to a certain point, it is possible to
account for the astonishing case of the Blind Spot by means of
well-known psychological principles. Hallucinations will cover a
great deal of ground.
"But we feel that our personal experiences, in witnessing the
interior of the Thomahlia cannot be thus explained away. Our
accounts tally too exactly; and we are not subject to group
"To explain this we believe a new hypothesis is called for. We
submit that what we saw was not unreal. Assuming that a thing is
real or unreal, and can never be in a third state which is neither
one nor the other, then we should have to insist that what we saw
"We stand ready and prepared to accept any theory which will fit
all facts, not merely a portion."
Again refraining from any comment we pass on to the more
exhaustive opinion of Sir Henry Hodges. Inasmuch as this seems to
coincide very closely with the hypothesis of Professor Holcomb,
and as the reputation of Sir Henry is a thing of weight, we are
quoting him almost verbatim:
"There is a well-known experiment in chemistry, wherein equal
quantities of water and alcohol are mixed. Let us say, a pint of
each. Now, the resulting mixture ought to be a quart; but it is
not. It is somewhat less than a quart.
"Strange, indeed, to the novice, but a commonplace to every
student of the subject. It is strange only that, except for Dr.
Holcomb and this man Avec, science has overlooked the stupendous
significance and suggestion of this particular fact.
"Now, consider another well-known fact: No matter how you try you
cannot prevent gravity from acting. It will pull every object
down, regardless of how you try to screen it from the earth.
"Why? Because gravity penetrates all things. Again, why? Why
should gravity penetrate all things?
"The answer is, because gravity is a function of the ether. And
the ether is an imponderable substance, so impalpable that it
passes right through all solids as though they were not there.
"These are two highly suggestive points. They show us, first, that
two substances can exist within the space formerly thought to be
completely filled by one. Second, they show that ALL substances
are porous to the ether.
"Very well. Bear in mind that we know nothing whatever directly
about the ether; our knowledge is all indirect. Therefore--
"It may be that there is more than one ether!
"Conceive what this means. If there were another ether, how could
we become aware of it? Only through the medium of some such
phenomenon as the Blind Spot; not through ordinary channels. For
the ordinary channels are microscopes and test-tubes, every one of
which, when traced to the ultimate, is simply a concrete
expression of THE ONE ETHER WE KNOW!
"In the nature of the case our five senses could never apprehend a
"Yet, knowing what we do about the structure of the atom, of
electronic activity, of quantels, we must admit that there is a
huge, unoccupied space--that is, we can't see that it is occupied--
in and between the interstices of the atom.
"It is in the region, mingled and intertwined with the electrons
which make up the world we know so well, that--in my opinion--the
Thomahlian world exists. It is actually coexistent with our own.
It is here, and so are we. At this very instant, at any given
spot, there can be, and almost certainly is, more than one solid
object--two systems of materiality, two systems of life, two
systems of death. And if two, why, then, perhaps there are even
"Holcomb is right. We are Infinity. Only our five senses make us
Charlotte Fenton does not indulge in speculation. She seems to
bear up wonderfully well in the face of Harry Wendel's affinity
for the Nervina, and also in the face of her brother's
disappearance. And she philosophically states:
"When Columbus returned from his search for the East Indies, he
triumphantly announced that he had found what he sought.
"He was mistaken. He had found something else--America.
"It may be that we are all mistaken. It may be that something
entirely different from what any one has suspected has been found.
Time will tell. I am willing to wait."
To make it complete, it is felt that the following statement of
General Hume is not only essential, but convincing to the last
"My view regarding this mystery is simply this: I have eyes, and I
have seen. I don't know whether the actors were living or dead. I
am no scientist; I have no theory. I only know. And I will swear
to what I saw.