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Not one out of ten escapes this social fault 


ends halitosis 

Let These Thvin 
Inventions Hand You a 

Double Income s $6 a«i $8 *&! 


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More them Two Million Copies Required to Supply the Monthly Demand for Clayton Magazines, 

VOL, III, No. 1 


JULY, 19» 


Painted in Water-colors from m Scene m "Earth, the Marauder." 


for Eighty Vertical Miles Carpenter and Bond Blasted Their Way-Only to Be 
Trapped by the Extraordinary Monsters of the Heaviside Layer. 


Out of Her Orbit Sped the Teeming Earth— A Marauding Plamei Baud <m Starry 
Conquest. (Beginning a Three- part NoveL) 


A Giant Amber Block at Last Gives Up Its Living, Ravenous Prey. 


From Some Far Reach of Leagueless Space Came a Great Pillar of Flame to Lay Waste 
mud Terrorise the Earth. (A Novelet.) 


The Authentic Account of Why Cosmic Man Damned an Outlaw World to Be, For- 
ever, a Leper of Spaie. 


Sadly, Sternly, the Old Professor Reveals to His Brilliant Pupil the Greater Path to 



More and More South Americans Are Stricken with the Horrible "Murder Madness" 
That Lies in the Master's Fearful Poison. And Bell Is Their One Last Hope as 
He Fights to Stem the Swiftly Rising Tide of a Continents Utter Enslavement, 
(Part Three of a Four-part Novel.) 


A Meeting Place for Readers of Astounding Stories. 








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VARIETY is the Spice of Life and for 
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The nwimee of Fire-Hovel* Monthly authors rood like a galaxy 
of the leading popular author* of the oar — Walter Marquiaa, 
F. V. W. Maaoa. Ckariaa Saxby. V.ctor femaaaau. W. C+rey 
Wooderly. WUbcrt WadJaigh. Pahiow. Katharine Mai- 
calf Roof and Alice M. WUliaaaaoo. 

On Sole mi ell Nmweetand* the Third 
Wedneedey of Emch Month 

Twenty-Five Centt the Copy 




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tplundtd knit: 

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k til Wi far I 

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■far fcaafc amaatr at aaaar. Jaa? «W 

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■afa carry aa» 

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fOU5T ••* STBI 



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Beyond the Heaviside Layer 

«r c«-f. S. P. JT«a 

McQU ABRIE. the City Edftar. « aay iimiim ■ 

looked Mp a» I catered k*a copectai frtead of ] 

o«, y+m k>o> kiaa at aeli m. 

"Bood." at aktd. 'do r«« •**". *• 111 f>e 7011 tar 
know Jim Carpenter r A haft he op to aa#r I asked 

-1 know kiaa cUfktJy." I repWd cm- "He • gou»f to try to paack • hale mi 

Uoo.1t 'I beet the kcaeititfe 

aact km areeral Uyar." 

year* a«o when *. >M . , a, t^. 'How can any. 

kc improved tkt aar. 

Htiley rocktt My voice daod 

■totor. I can't chum a very extent.. < ajajo ta atlcace. Trat enoofh. tat 
aconatatamr with him.' idto of tryiaf to anoke a |inaaaioi 

"I thought yoo knew koa welL It m koic i* a acid of magnetic force vat 
a •arpriae to aac to kad tkat there absurd, but eren aa 1 ayakt I 1 — 11 



bered that Job Carpenter had never 
to the opinion almost unaai- 
held by oar scientists m to the 
one aaturr of the beavttidc layer 

"It may be imriomihll." replied Mc- 
Quarrie dryly, "but you are not bircd 
by thia paper as a scientific consultant. 
For some re— on. Cod alone know* why. 
the owner thinks that yon are a re- 
porter Get down there and try to prove 
be ia right by digging up a few facts 
about Carper -mr» Wire your 

stuff ia and Peavey will write it up 
Ob thai one occasion, please try to con- 
ceal your erudition and send ia your 
story ia simple wards of one syllable 
wbich uneducated men like Peavey aad 
me can comprehend. That'* all " 

HE turned again to his desk aad 
I left the room At one time I 
would hare come from such aa Inter- 
view with my face burning, but Mc- 
Quarrie* vitriol thd off r - iter 

off a duck* back He d.dnt realty 
mean half of what be said, aad be knew 
as well as I did that hi* crack about my 
holding my job with the Clarion as a 
matter of pall waa grossly an mat. It 
it true that I knew Trimble, the owner 
of the Clarion, fairly well but I got 
my job without any aid from bias. Mc- 
Quarrie himself hired me and I held 
my job btcaaai he hadn't fired me. de- 
spite the caustic nmaih* which he ad- 
»*td to me I had made the mastike 
when I first get on the paper of li it tag 
hf cQuarrie know that I was a graduate 
electrical cgir.eer from Leland I 

and he bad held it against me 
from that day on I don't know whether 
hi rrallv htM M fno-t'-y 
or not. hot what 1 have wt 

i sample of has usual 

toward me. 

Ia point of fact I had gr- 
anted the estent of my 
with Jim Carpenter. I had been in Le- 
land at the same time that be was aad 
had known ham quite well When I 
gi a dn au d. which was two year* 
he did. I worked for about a year inpSis 

1 , ' a * -) » v i* « BH mmassaal maaaffM ' * fc * 

it which had made the Had- 
ley rochet motor ja practicability came 
from first hand knowledge aad not 
from an interview. That was several 
years before but I knew that be never 
forgot an acquaintance, let alone a 
friend, and while I had left ham to 
take up other work < 
been pleasant, and I 
with real pleasure to seetaaj 1 

JIM CARPENTER, the stormy petrel 
of modern science t The eternal 
iconoclast : the perpetual opponent ' He 
was probably as deeply versed ia the 
theory of electricity and physical chem- 
istry as any man alive, but it pleased 
to pose as a "practical" 

nest to nothing of theory 
despised the little be did 
H»a great delight was to esf 
ly smash the most beautifully 
structed theories which were 
and taught ia the colleges and'mn- 
versitie* of the world, and when be 
couldn't smash them by ezseriancatal 
evidence, to attack them from the stand 
point of pail— palril reasoning and to 
twist around the data on which they 
were built aad make it prove, oe seem 
to prove, the exact opposite of what 
waa generally accepted 

No one auntisatd hi* ability When 
the ill-fated Had ley had first con- 
structed the rocket motor wbich bears 
•at it was Jim Carpenter who 
made it practical Hadley bad-tried to 
disintegrate lead in order to get his 
back thrust from the atomic energy 
■ with it contained and proved by ap- 
parently unimpeachable met beauties 
the only substance which 
be used. Jim Carpenter had 
through the pages of the - 
meal jsurnili and had turned out a 
of Hadley* invention 
aaaintegTated aluminum. The 
m performance 
that, while Hadley'* original 
would not develop enough power to 
"If from the ground. Carpenter's 
modification produced twenty ti 
the hors e p ow er per pound of \ 


It «* de of the poamo* of Me i 
•t waa iowd tehM 

hope for the or cup— I lOftioc fraaa 

• ra*ti**i aa iW* that k could hardly 
be detected, the velocity of return 
it the aaoon. it *m Jim C ar p ente r gradually accelerated: aad throe yeara 
who ridiculed the idea of the ■ ■■■ ■f t ararr Hadley** death, the By«r was and- 
br**g aacccaafid. He ptaBtait the denly rctcaaed froaa the force which 
I aod weird idea that the path to held it. and it phi*gn< to the earth, to 

he ridactd hy the fore* of to fail %a 
is a a twiaaad. paufoJ aaaaa of 

the iroa awcl porta 

oa anted upon hy the icltatlna of ah* 
he hoped would he aa epoch amah- world and a thoory waa buih an of a 

way which he had hoped. Hie ahip earth through which aoch>n C of a mug- 

tank e*T r aaaar/ ranag h . ki ia g p an n ed —tic n** u r * coaid pea* That theery ro- 

with fwar rochet aaatora workiar ea ceioed ahnant wa r t a r aal i rn i f i u Jwa 

Carpenter** principle, aad root to a C a r p o a tar alow* of the mora ■laawea at 

bright of abowt wfty wile*, gal aaag men of l ea r ning refuaiag •» •*-* «*• 

velocity rapidly. At that patet Me validity of it He gravery ataaad it aa 

velocity eoddenJy began to drop. hia belief that oo aaag a rt ic held ■ hrt ii, 

tioo with the earth aod he reported hia pooed of aoaae bautd of high 

drmcuxty Carpenter adriaed bwJ» 

hot HaoVy 

while he could, hot HadVy awat to the p 1 1 1 aa n of a body 

•lower became hia It i a t r i a mf aa the ratio of the 

after he had pcacti o ttd of the daatanc* to which < 

ten Wirt iae* tW wjbataoee which bin- hMo H. 
dered hia*. hat ahfp etnek fee*. Inateod There waa a worn r at of 

of osiaf hia hew anten and trymg to priae when he anai u acif hia radical 

back oat, he had aaaved the** to the idea, and the* a bar** of jewiea kaagb- 

rear, and with the ceaabtned force of ter a boc k the scientific pre** Carp an or 

haa fowr motor* he hod penetrated for waa in hia glory. For inarki he wmgod 

number two aafle* There he i n aa nrt y a Metre c ent r al my i* the aci ent ih e 

tried to 1orce Ma motor* to drive Ma* j a t na h and when he fa* tod to wM 

on until M* fuel waa eahaueted. cowverta by that e m bed. M 

-m& lived for over a year in Ma that be wanl d prove it by 

space tyer. bat all of bit effort* did not way bate apace through the brrnuoe 

ftrrvc to nwteriaDy change hta poeitioa. Uyrr. a thing which wonld be f i n a l ly 

H' bad tried, of count, to go otrt waneoejblc w«rt it a field of force. He 

through hi* air lock* and ra pl a rt apac e , had lapaed in«* aileace for two yr&r* 

hot M* etreagth. even although aided and M* cart note to the Anecmed 

by powerf ul lever*, could not open the Pre** to the effect that he waa now 

outrr door* of the lock* againet the ready to de*Bon*trate hia eitirr— — t 

force which waa balding them aba*, waa the hrat intiaaation the world had 

Carrful obeenretione were ta ntin aaaa received of hi* p ew gica a. 


I DREW expense money from the 
cashier and boarded the Lark for 
Los Arjtin Whta I arrived I west 
to a hotel and at once called Carpenter 
on tbc telephone. 

"Jim Carpenter speaking." cast hi* 
voice presently. 

"Good evening. Mr Carper ter." I re- 
Bond of the San Fran- 
cisco Claxion." 

I would be athamed to repeat tbc 
language which caeoc over that tele- 
phone. I was informed that all reporter* 
were pest* and that I was a doubly ob- 
noxious specimen and that were I with- 
in reach I would be promptly asaauhad 
and that reporters would be received at 
nut* the neat morning and no earlier 
or later 

"Just a minute. Mr Carpenter.' I 
cried aa he neared the end of his pero- 
ration and was. I fancied. 
up the receiver 'Don't 
me > I was at Leland with you t 
to work in your laboratory in the 
atomic disintegration section-" 

"What's your mbxT he 

'Bond. Mr Carpenter " 

'Oh. First Mortgage' Certainly ^ 
member yon. Mighty glad to I 
voice. How are you*" 

"Fine, thank you. Mr Carper- 
would not have ventured to call you 
bad I not known you. I didn't mean to 
impose and III be glad to see yon is 
the morning at nine." % 

"Not by a long shot." be cried. "Yoall 
come up rifbt away, 
staying *~ 

"At the El Rey " 
.1. check out 
here There's lots of 
at the plant and.! 
you. I want 
report of tnii - < 
should be able to an 1 look for 

yon in an ho. 

"I don't want to impost — " I began. 
bat he interrupted. 

"Nonsense, glad to have you I needed 
■— urmr like yon badly and you have 
come }ust in the nick of tune III ea- 
pect yon in an hour." 

inly I re- 

Where arc yon 

right up 
for yon here 
be glad to have 
one intelligent 

THE receiver clicked and I 
ened to follow his 
ringside seat waa just what I 
ing for It took my taxi a little over 
an hour to get to the Carpenter labora- 
tory and I chuckled when I thou g h t of 
how McQusrric s face would look when 
be saw my expense account. P r esent ly 
we reached the edge of the grounds 
which surrounded the Carpenter labo- 
ratory and were stopped at the high 
! remembered so well 

"Arc yon tare youll get in. baddy*" 
asked my driver. 

"Certainly." I replied. "What mad* 
you ask*" ^ 

~T»e brought three chaps out "nera^ 
to-day and none of them got in." he an- 
swered with s grin. "I'm glad you're so 
sure, but 111 just wait around until you 
arc inside before I drive away." 

I laughed and advanced to the gate- 
Tun, the old guard, was still there, and 
he remembered and welcomed me. 

"Me ordhers wux I* let yet rotght in. 
•or." he said aa be greeted me "Jist 
lave ye'er bag here and Oill have at 
sint roight up." 

I dropped nry bag and trudged up the 
well remembered path to the 
tory. It had been enlarged 
since I saw it last and. late though the 
hour waa. there waa a bustle in the sir 
and I could see a nu m ber of men work- 
ing in the building From an a: - 
the rear, which was lighted by wage 
flood lights, came the staccato tattoo 
of a rirctrr I walked up to the front 
of the laboratory and entered. I knew 
tbc way to Carpenter's omcc and I went 
directly there and knot • 

Mortgager* cried Jim 
Carpenter a* I entr -sponae to 

1 "I'm glad to sec you. Firaai 
the bruskneas of nry first greeting to 
you over tbc telephone, but the press 
have been deviling me all day. t*tty 
•nan Jack of them trying to steal a 
march on the rest I am going to/n pta 

• - 
and give them all aa tonal rbaarc to 
look things over before I torn the car. 
a at noon Aa toon as we have a 

flow even after the 

coil at ia tor and 

off. far I believe that 

the laaaod ia abas* 

at mobili aa prtrok 

omjcllcy Shootd 

it close, however, it 

would take only a 

oaaplc of boon to « 

»pea it again to ai- 

low the space flyer to retard 

"What space »y«r I Irwiadld 


"The one we arc g 

sing to be on. Firat 

Mortgage." he repl 

jed witk a alight 


Httle chat. Ill ahow 70a over the 

AFTER half aa hour's chat be roae. 
'Coax aloof. First Mortgage" 
he said, "we'll go out and look the place 
over and 111 capiat* everything If my 
ideas work out. you'll hare ao chance 
to go over it to-morrow, ao I warn foa 
to ace it now." 

I had 00 chance to aak him what he ch u ck le, 
aaeant by thia remark, for he walked 

rapidly from the laboratory and I per- M \ X 7 Er * cried, aghaat. 

force followed him. He led the way to V V "Certainly. We. Too and L 

the patch of Itf hied grannd behind the Too didn't think I waa going to send 

where the riveting ■■rhini yon alone, did yaw?" 

beating oot its man nt on not "I dtdn't know that a n y an a waa go- 

cacapbooy and paused by the first of a iag." 9 

series of huge reflectors, which were ar- "Of coarse, fiomoonc has to go: 

ranged ia a circle. otherwiae. how comld I prove ary point t 

'Here it the start of the thing," he I 

said. "There are two hundred and fifty and yet 

of these reflectors arranged in a circle seeing nothing, would not believe. 

few haadred yards ia diameter. Each First Mortgage, when those area 

of them is on opened parabola of such net ling n aiarrsw. yon and I will be 

■net ad that their beams will cover an in a Hadley sp ate ahip up at the bottom 

area ten yard* in diameter at fifty miles of the layer, and aa soon as the rand baa 

above the earth If my calculation* arc been op ene d, two of the Lamps win est 

correct they should penetrate through ofl to allow na through. Then the bat- 

the layer at an average speed of fifteen tery will hold the road open while we 

miles per hour per unit, and by two pom one into apace and retara." 

o'clock to-morrow afternoon, the rand "awpeose we aseet with rladlcy's 

to apace should be open." later I demanded. 

'What it your power?" I asked. "We won't. Even if I am 

'Nothing but a concentration of in- which ia very onliiily — we won't 

fra red rays The beaviaide layer, aa with any such fate. We have two stem 

you doubtless know, is a liquid and. I mo t ors and font bow asotari. Aa soon 

thank, an organic liquid If I am right aa we meet with the slightest resistance 

in that thought, the infra-red will cut to our forward progress we will atop 

through it like a knife through cheese " and have twice the p o n tr pins gr a vit y 

"If it it a liquid, bow will you pre- to send na earthwards. There is no dan- 
vent it from flowing back into the hole get connected with the trip ." 
yon have opened I" I asked. the same—' I began. 

"When the e nr re n t ia first tamed on. "All the same, you're going." he re- 
each reflector will bear on the same plied. "Man alive, think of the rhanre 
point. Notice that they are mot ta bl e , to make a world scoop for your paper I 
They are arranged so that they move No other pecs* aaan has the slightest 
together At soon as the first hair 1 < :ng of my plan and oven if they 
bored through, they will move by clock- had. there isn't another space flyer in 
work, extending the opening antil each the world that I know of If you don't 
par upward and the bole want to go. Ill give some one else the 

■ur hundred yards ia diameter I chance, bat I prefer you. for you 

am positive that there will be no rapid something of my wo? ■ 



I THOUGHT rapidly for a 
The chance int • 
ooc that half the prm men in San 
FnaoKO would have given their ahiru 
to get. I had had my doubts of the ac- 
curacy of Jim Carpenter'* reasoning 
while I was away froeo him. but there 
was no resisting the dynamic personali- 
ty of the man when in his presence. 

"You win. - I said with a laugh "Your 
threat of offering scene of my hated 
I a chance settled - 

'Good boy r he exclaimed. p o un ds' eg 
me on the hack. "I knew you'd come. 
I had intended to take one el my as- 
sistants with me. but ** soon as I knew 
you were here I decided that you were 
the mar. There really ought to be a 
presa representative along. Come with 
me and 111 show you our flyer." 

The flyer proved to be of the same 
general type a* had been used by Had- 
ley It was equipped with sis rocket 
motors, four discharging to the bow 
and two to the stern. Any one of them. 
Carper.ter said, was ample for motive 
power, equilibrium was maintained by 
mean* of a heavy gyroscope which 
would prevent any turning of the axis 
of its rotation. The entire flyer shell 
could be revolved about the uu so that 
oblique motion with our bow and stern 
motors was readily possible. Direct 
movement was provided for by 
valves which would divert a portion of 
the discharge of cither a bow or 
motor out through side vents in any di- 
rection. The motive power, of course, 
was /uranh d by the atomic disinte^r i- 
of powdeted aluminum. The whole 
riot, eacept for the portion of the 
roo^and floor, wtuch was taken 
up by vitnolcnc windows, was bt 

AT nine the next morning the , 
to the enclosure were thrown 
open and the representatives of the 
press admitted Jim Carpenter m o u nte d 
a platform and cxglaintd briefly what 
he proposed to do and then bro. 
crowd up into small croups and sent 
them over the works with guides When 

all had been taken ar o und they were re- 
assembled and Carpenter T—Mn i rrfH to 
them his intention of going up in a 
space flyer and prove, by going through 
the heaviside layer, that he had actually 
destroyed a portion of it. There was an 
immediate clamor of applications' to go 
with htm He laughingly a n n ou nce d 
that ooc reporter was all that be could 
stand on the ship and that he was tak- 
ing one of his former as acetates with 
htm. I could tell by the envious looks 
with which I was favored that any 
popularity I had ever had ailing my 
associates was gone forever. There was 
little time to think of such things, how- 
ever, for the hour for our departure 
was approaching, and the photograph- 
ers were rlasnoring for pictures of us 
and the flyer. 

We sahafled them at last, and I en- 
tered the flyer after Carpenter We 
sealed the car up, started the air con- 
ditioner, and were ready for departure. 

"Scared. Peter asked Carpenter, his 
hand on the starting lever. 

I gulped a little as I looked at ham. 
He was perfectly calm to a rmnsl in- 
spection, but I knew him well enough 
to interpret the small spots of red 
which appeared on his high cheek bones' 
and the glitter in his eye. He nary not 
have been as frightened as I was box 

n er vo u s I ."be mere fact that be 

. called me "Pete" instead of his mill 
"First Mortgage" showed that he was 
feeling pretty serious. 

"Not exactly scared.** I replied, "but 
rather uneasy, so to speak " 


HE Uurhed 
"Cheer up. old man! 
i goes wrong, we won't 
Sit down and get comfortable 
thing will start with a jerk" 

Ha pulled the starting le-vet forward 
sudd en ly and I felt as though an in- 
tolerable weight were pressed against 
me. glueing me to my seat The feeling 
lasted only for a moment, for he quick- 
ly eased up on the motor, and in a few 
moments I felt quite normal 



"How fast are we going T I ashed. 

"Only two hundred mile* an hour." 
he replied. "We will reach the layer 
oa plenty of time at this rate and I 
don't want to >a» into It You can get 

I rose, moved over to the observation 
glass in the floor, and looked down. We 
were already five or ten mile* above the 
earth and were asn ruling rapidly I 
could Mill detect the treat circle of re- 
with which our way was to be 

How can you tell where these heat 
are wbfcn they are turned on?" 
I ashed, "Inf rs-red ray* arc not visible. 
and we will soon be out of sight of the 
reflectors." * 

"I forgot to mention that I acn having 
a assail portion of visible red ray* 
sained with the infra-red so that we can 
•pot them. I have a 
here working on aay 
length, so that I can direct 
front here as well as from the 
-*n fact, better If you're cold, turn 
on the hcj 

THE friction of the flyer against 
the air had so far made up far the 
decreasing temperature of the air sur- 
rounding us. bat a glance at the outside 
thermometer warned me that bis sug- 
gestion was s wise one. I turned a 
valve which diverted a small portion of 
our e thaost through a beating coil in 
the flyer. It was hard to rcalire that I 
was actually in a rocket space ship, the 
second one to be flown and that, with 
the exception of the ill-fated Hadley. 
fanner from the earth than any man 
had been before. There was no sensa- 
tion of movement in that hermatically 
sealed flyer, and. after the first few mo- 
ments, the steady drone of the rocket 
motor failed to register on my senses. 
I was surprised to see that there wan 
no trail of detritus behind us. 

"You can see our trail at night." re- 
plied C a rp enter when I asked him 
about it. "^ot in daylight, there is noth- 
ing to see The slight luminosity of the 
gaases is hidden by the sun's rays. We 

may be able to see it when we get out 
in space beyond the layer, but I don't 
know. We nave arrived at the bottom 
of the layer now. I believe. At any rate. 
we are losing velocity." 

I MOVED over to the 
board and looked. Our 
dr oppe d to one htinilfni am 
an hour and wan steadily fairing off- 
Carpenter pulled the control lever and, 
re duce d our power. Gradually the Bjtr 
came to a stop and hong poised in 
space. He shut off the power an in- 
stant and at once our indicator * ho ■ t d 
that we were failing, although v er y 
slowly. He promptly reapplied the 
power, and by careful adj 
hrasjfbi us again to a 

"Ready to go." be 
at his watch, "and just on 
Take a glass and watch the en 
am going to have the 

I took the binoculars he Indicated 
and turned them toward the ground 
while be gave a few crisp orders into 
hi* telephon e . Presently from the 
gr o u n d bene ath us burst out a circle of 
red dot* from which long 1 
up into the heavens. The 
verged as they mounted until at a point 
slightly below us. and a half-mile away 
they became one solid beam of red. One 
peculiarity I noticed was that, while 
they were plainly visible near the 
grwid. they faded out. and it wan net 
until they were a few miles below us 
that they again became apparent. I fol- 
lowed their path upward into the 

"Look here. Jimf" I cried as I did so. 
"Something '• happening f~ 

He sprang to my aide and glanced at 
the beam. 

"Hurrah I" he shouted, pounding ma 
on the back "I was right! Look! And 
the fools called it a magnetic field f" 

Upward the beam was boring its way. 
but it was almost concealed by a rain 
of fine particles of black which were 
falling ax our. 

"Its ever more spectacular than I had 
hoped." be chortled. "I had expected to 



re duce the layer to such fluidity that 
we could penetrate it or even to vapor- 
ii( it. but we are actually destroying it ! 
That stuff it soot and ia proof, if proof 
be needed, that the layer ia an organic 

HE turned to hit telephone and 
communicated the moment oua 
new* to the earth and then rejoined me 
at the window. For tea minutes we 
watched and a alight diminution of the 
black cloud became apparent. 

"They're through the layer." ea- 
ctiimt d Carpenter. "Now watch, and 
you'll aee something. I'm going to atari 
spreading the beam.' 

He turned again to hi* telephone, and 
presently the beam began to widen and 
spread out. A* it did to the dark cloud 
became more denae than it had been 
before. The earth below as was hidden 
and we could aee the red only aa a dim 
murky glow through the falling soot- 
Carpenter inquired of the laboratory 
and found that we were completely in- 
visible to the ground, half the heavens 
being hidden by the black pall For an 
hour the beam worked f» wit toward 

The bole i* about four hundred 
7 a * da in diameter right now.' said Car- 
penter a* he turned from the telephone. 
"I have told them to stop the m ov emen t 
of the reflector*, and aa aoon a* the air 
little, well start through" 

It took another hour for the toot to 
clear enough that we could plainly de- 
tect the ring of red light before us. 
Carpenter gave some orders to the 
gro u nd, and a gap thirty yards wide 
opened in the wall before us Toward 
this cap the flyer moved slowly under 
the side thrust of the diverted motor 
discharge. The temperature rose rapid- 
ly aa we reared the wall of red light 
before us Nearer we drew until the 
light was on both sides of us Another 
few feet and the flyer shot forward 

I jerk that threw me spra- 
o t the floor. Carpenter fell too. but he 
maintained his hold on the controls and 
tore at them desperately to check us 

I SCRAMBLED to my feet and 
t watched. The red wall waa alarm- 
ingly close. Nearer we drove and then 
came another jerk which threw me 
•prawhng again. The wall uutau i In 
another m om en t we were standing still, 
with the red all around us at a •hrrff' 
of about two hundred yards. 

"We had a narrow escape from beans; 
cremated." said Carpenter with a shaky 
laugh. "I knew that, our speed would 
increase as soon aa we got dear of the 
layer but it » ■■**■ , as* by surprise rust 
the same. I had no idea how great the 
holding elect of the stufl was. Well. 
First Mortgage, the road to apace ia 
open foe us May I invite you to be my 
guest on a little week-end jaunt to the 

"No thinks. Jim.' I said with a wry 
smile. "I think a little trip to the edge 
of the layer will quite satisfy ase." 

'Quitter.' be laughed. "Well, say 
good-by to familiar things Here we 

He turned to the cootrola of the flyer, 
and presently we were moving again, 
this time directly away from the earth. 
There waa no jerk at starting thia I 
merely a feeling aa though the 
were pressing against my feet, a great 
deal like the feeling a person gets whan 
they rise rapidly in m express elevator 
The indicator i hss ud that we were 
traveling only sixty miles an hour. For 
half an hour we continued snonotonouo- 
ly on our way with nothing to divert 
us. Carpenter yawned. 

"Now that it'* all over. I feel let 
down and sleepy." he a n n o un ced "We 
are well b ey ond the c\int to which 
tiadlcy penetrated and so far we have 
met with no resistance We are proba- 
bly nearly at the outer edge of the 
layer. I think 111 shoot up a few miles 
more and then call it a day and go 
home We arc about eighty miles from 
the earth now ■ 

I LOOKED down, but could see 
nothing below us but the dense 
cloud of black soot resulting from the 
destruction of the bcaviside layer. Like 


Carpenter. I felt sleepy, and I 
pressed a ynm m I turned again to the; 

"Look here. Jimf" I cried sudd enl y. 
"What 'a that?" 

He moved ia a leisurely manner to 
n>y ude aad looked oat. Aa be did so 
I felt hia hand tighten oa my (boulder 
with a desperate grip. Down the wall 
of red which surrounded oa was com- 
nung an object of aotae kind. The thing 
fully seventy-five yards long and 
aa wide at its main, portion, while 
loof irregular streama extended for a 
wind ml yards on each side of it. There 
s eemed to be doxena of them. 

"What-is it. Jim?" I asked in a roice 
which sounded hick and aanatural to 

"I don't know." be muttered, half to 
me and half to himself "Good Lord, 
there's another of themT 

He pointed. Not far from the first of 
the things came another, cren Larger 
than the first. They were snoring slug- 
gishly along the red light, sitming to 
Cow rather than to crawl I had a hor- 
rible feeling that they were alive and 
m a li gnant. Carpenter stepped back to 
the c oa ti a k i of the fryer and s t op pe d 
we bung in 
. The things were i 
level with us. but their sluggish I 
aaent was dosnmiid toward the earth. 
In color, they were a brilliant crimson. 
deepening into purple near the center. 
Just aa the first of them came opposite 
us it paused, and slowly a portion of 
the mass extended itself from the main 
bulk: aad then, like doors opening, 
four huge eyes, each of them twenty 
feet in diameter, opened and stared at 

"It's alive. Jim." I quavered. I hardly 
knew my own voice as I spoke. 

J I M stepped hack to the controls with 
a white face, aad slowly we moved 
closer to the mass. As we approached 
I thought that I could detect a fleeting 
pastas* of expression in those hog* 
eyes. Then they disappeared aad only 
a huge crimson aad purple blob lay be- 

fore us. Jim moved the controls again 
and the flyer came to a stop. 

the mass. Suddenly there waa a jerk 
to the ship which threw us both to the 
floor. It started upward at express train 
■peed. Jim staggered to bis feet, 
gr asp ed the control* and started all 
four bow motors at full capacity, hut 
even this enormous force hod not the 
slightest effect in dswiahsxsng our 

"Well, the thing's got us. whatever it 
is. - said Jim as be pulled his con from 
to neutral, abutting off all power. Now 
that the danger had assumed a t 
form, he appeared as cool and < 
as ever, to my surprise. I found that I 
had recovered control of my 
and of my voice I 
the shoulder which Jfa 
.was aching badly, and I rubbed it ab- 

"What is it, Jtmr I asked for the 
third timc. 

"I doat know." be replied. "It is 
some horrible inhabitant of apace, 
something unknown to us on earth. 
Pram its appearance and actions. I 
think it moat be a huge 
animal of the type of the earthly 
eba. If an awaits ia that large here, 
what moot an elephant look like ? How- 
ever. I expect that well learn more 
about the matter later because it's tak- 
ing us with h. wb ti n u it's going " 

SUDDENLY the flyer became dark 
inside. J looked at the nearest 
wiadow. bu/I could not even detect ia 
outline, i/eached for the light switch. 
but a sodden change in direction threw 
me agamot the walL There waa an in- 
stant of intense bent in the flyer. 

"We have passed the beaviside layer " 
said Jim. "The brute has changed direc- 
tion, and we felt that beat when be took 
us through the infra-red walL" 

I reached again for the light switch, 
but before I could find it our motion 
ceased aad aa instant later the flyer waa 
filled with glaring sunlight. We both 
turned to the 



Wc lay oa a glitrening plain of bluish 
hue which stretched without a break as 
far at we could see. Not a thing broke 
the monotony of oar vision Wc turned 
to the opposite window. How can I de- 
scribe the tight which act our horrified 
gare > On the plain before na lay a huge 
purple monstrosity of gargantuan di- 
mrnriooa- The thing was a shapeless 
mass. only the four huge eyes **"^ 1 "g 
out regarding as balefulljr. The mas* 
was continually changing its outline 
and, as wc watched, a long str e a m er 
eat ended itself from the body toward 
as. Otct and around the flyer the feeler 
went, while green and red colors played 
over first one and then another of the 
huge eyes before as. The feeler wrapped 
itself around the flyer and we were 
lifted into the air toward those horrible 
eyes. Wc had almost reached them 
when the thing d r opped as. We fell to 
the plain with a crash. We sta gger ed 
to our feet again and looked oat. Our 
captor was battling for its life 

ITS attacker was a smaller thing of a 
brilliant green hue. striped and 
mottled with blue and yellow. While 
ear captor was almost formless, the 
newcomer had a very definite shape. It 
resembled a cross between a bird and a 
li/ard. its shape resembling a bird, as 
did tiny rudimentary wings and a long 
beak, while the scary covering and the 
fact that it had four kg* instead of 
two bore out the idea that it might be 
a lizard Its huge birdlike beak was 
armed with three rows of long sharp 
teeth with which it was tearing at our 
captor. The purple amoeba was holding 
its assailant with a dozen of its thrown 
out feeler* which were wrapped about 
the body and legs of .the green horror. 
The whole battle was* conducted in ab- 
solute silence. 

"Now** our chance. JimT I cried 
"Get away from here while that dragon 
has the amoeba busy T 

He jumped to the control levers of 
the flyer and polled the starting switch 
well forward The shock of the sudden 
•tart burled me to the floor, but from 

where I fell I was able to watch the 
battle on the plain below ua It raged 
with uninterrupted fury and I fch cer- 
tain of our escape when, with s shock 
which hurled both Jim and me to the 
ceihng. the flyer stopped Wc fell back 
to the floor and I reflected that it was 
well for us that the interior of the flyer 
was so well padded Had it not been. 
our bone* would have been broken a 
dotcn time* by the shocks to which wc 
had been subjected 

"What nowr I asked as I painfully 
struggled to my feet. 

"Another of those purple a mo eb a*." 
replied Jim from the vantage point of 
a window. "He's looking as over as if 
be were trying to decide whether we 
are edible or not." 

I JOINED him at the window. The 
thing which had us was a replica of 
the monster wc had left below as «o- 
aged ir. battle with the green ihaguu 
cfa had attacked it The same in- 
definite and ever changing outline was 
evident, as well as the fear bag* eyes. 
The thing regarded us foe a moment 
and slowly moved us op against its bulk 
until we touched it. Deeper and deeper 
into the mass of the body wc penetrated 
until we were in a deep cavern with the 
light forning to as only from the en- 
trance. I watched the entrance and hor- 
ror possessed my soul. 

"The hole's closing. JimT I gasped. 
"The thing is swallowing osf" 

"I expected that." be replied grimly. 
"The am oeb a has no mouth, yea knew. 
Nourishment it passed into the body 
through the trio, which close* behind 
it We are a modern version of Jonah 
and the whale. First Mortgage." 

"Well. Jonah -got out." I ventured. 

"Well try to." be replied. "When 
that critter swallowed us. be got some- 
thing that will prove pretty indigesti- 
ble Let's try to give him a stomach 
ache. I don't suppose that a machine- 
gun will affect him. but we'll try it." 

"I didn't know that you bad any 
gunt on board." 

"Oh yes. I've got two 



Well turn one of than loose, bat I 
don't expect much effect from it." 

HE moved over to oce of the guns 
and threw off the corer which 
had hidden it from my gaxe. He fed 
in a belt of — — «■■■*»« "»« and palled hi* 
trigger. For half a minute he held it 
down, and two hundred and fifty cali- 
ber thirty bullets tore their way into 
space. There was no evidence of move- 
ment oa the part of our boat. 

"Just as I thought." remarked Jim as 
be threw aside the empty belt and 
covered ths gun again. "The thing has 
no nervous organization to speak of 
and probably never felt that. Well 
have to rig up a disintegrating ray 
for him." 

"What r I gasped. ' 

"A disintegrating ray," be replied. 
"Ob yea, I know bow to make the 
fabulous 'death ray* that yoa journal- 
ists arc always raring about. I have 
never a nnounc ed my discovery, for war 
is horrible enough without it. but I 
have generated it and used it in ray 
work a number of times. Did it never 
occur to you that the rocket motor is 
built on s disintegrating ray principle I" 

'Of course it is. Jim. I never thought 
of it in that light before, but it most 
be. How can you use it ? The discharge 
from the motors is a harmless strea m 
of energy particles." 

"Instead of turning the ray into 
powdered aluminum and breaking it 
down, what is to prevent me from turn- 
ing it against the body of our captor 
and blasting my way oat?" 

"I don't know." 

"Well, nothing is. Ill have to modi- 
fy one of the motors s little, but it's 
not a bard job. Get some wrenches from 
the tool box and well start." 

AN hour of hard work enabled as 
to disconnect one of the reserve 
bow motors and. after the modifications 
Jim had mentioned, turn the ray oat 
through the port through which the 
products of disintegration were meant 
to go. When we bad bolted it in place 

with an improvised coupling, Jim 
opened the vitriolcne screen which bead 
in oar air and and turned to his control 

"Here goes," be said 

He pulled the lever tc full power and 
with a roar which almost deafened as 
in the small flyer, the ray leaped out 
to do its deadly week. I watched 
through a port beside the motor. There 
was a flash of intense light for an in- 
stant and then the motor died away in 
silence. A path to freedom lay open 
before us. Jim started one of the stern 
m o t or s and slowly we forced oar way 
through the hole.torn in the living 
mass. When we were almost at the sur- 
face, be threw in full power and wc 
shot free from the amoeba and into the 
open. Again we were stopped in midair 
and drawn back toward the huge balk. 
The eyes looked at as and we were 
turned around. As the ray swung into 
a position to point directly toward one 
of the eves. Jim palled the controlling 
lever. With the flash of light which en- 
sued, the eve and a portion of the scw- 
roundiag tissue disappeared. The amo- 
eba writhed and changed shape rapidly. 
while flashes of brilliant crimson played 
over the r em a inin g eyes. Again the ray 
was brought into play and another of 
the eyes disappeared. This was evident- 
ly enough for our captor, for it sud- 
denly released as and instantly wc 
started to falL Jim caught the control 
levers and turned on oar power in time 
to halt us only a few feet above the 
plain toward which we were falling. 
We were close to the point whence we 
had started op and we could sec that 
the battle below as was still raging. 

THE green dragon was partially en- 
gulfed by the amoeba, but it still 
relentlessly tore off huge chunks and 
devoured them. The amoeba was great- 
ly reduced in bulk but it still fought 
gamely. Even as we approached the 
dragon was evidently satiated, for it 
slowly withdrew from the purple bulk 
and back away. Long feelers shot oat 
from the amoeba's bulk toward the 



dragon but they were bitvn off before 
they could grasp their prey. 

"i^i» get awsy from here. Jim." I 
cried tut 1 spoke too Ute. Even as tike 
wordt It ft my mouth the green dragon 
saw u* and raised itself in the air. and 
with gaping jaws launched itself at ui 
It took Jim only a moment to shoo* 
the flyer up into apace, and the charge 
.patted harmlessly beneath us The 
dijfcon checked its headway and turned 
again toward us 

"Use the machine-can. Peter cried 
Jim. "I've got to run tbc-ship." 

I threw the cover off the gun and fed 
in a fresh belt of ammunition As the 
gTecn monster dashed toward us I 
.ly aligned the gun and pulled the 
trigger My aim waa good and at leaat 
fifty of the bullets plowed through the 
approaching bulk before Jim dropped 
the sh«x> and allowed it to pee* above 
ua Ag\tn the dragon turned and 
charged, and again I met it with a hail 
of bullets. They had no apparent effect 
and Jim dropped the ship again and let 
the huge bulk shoot by above ua. Twice 
more the dragon rushed but the Inst 
rush waa less violent than had been the 
•fcrst three 

"The bullets are affecting him. Pete r 
cried Jim aa he shot the flyer upward. 
"Give him another dose!" 

I hastily fed in another belt, but ft 
was not needed The dragon rushed the 
fifth time, but before it reached M 
velocity fell off and it passed harmless- 
ly below us and fell on a long curve 
to the plain below. It (ell near the 
purple amoeba which it hid battled 
and a long feeler shot out and grasped 
it Straight into the purple mass it was 
drawn, aid vanished' into the huge 

Jim started one of the stern motors. 
In a few seconds we were far from the 

Hive you any idea of which direc- 
tion to go *~ he asked I shook my head 
Hue you a radio beacon *~ I asked 

He withered me wjih a g!j 

-We're beyond the beavinde I I 
he reminded me. 

FOR a mome n t I was stunned. 
"We can't be very far from the 
bole." be said consolingly as he fum- 
bled with the controls- "But before we 
try to find it. we had better disconnect 
one of the stern motors and rig it aa a 
■ftagrpting ray so that we will have 
one bearing in each direction. We may 
meet more denirens of space who like 
our looks, and we haven't much ammu- 
nition left ~ 

We landed on the plain and in an 
hour bad a second disintegrating ray 
ready foe action. Thus armed, we rose 
from the blue plain and started at ran- 
dom An our way. For ten minutes we 
went forward Then Jim stopped the 
flyer and turned back. We had gone on- 
ly a short distancqawhen I called to 
him to stop 

"What is itr he demanded as he 
brought the flyer to a stands- 

"There's another creature ahead of 
•a." I rrphed. "A red one." 

-Red'" be asked excitedly aa he 
joined me. About a mile ahead of us a 
huge mass hung in the air. It resembled 
the amoeba which had attacked us. ex- 
cept that the newcomer was rtd As 
we watched, it moved toward us. As it 
did so its color changed to purple 

"Hurrah P cried Jim "Don't you re- 
member. Pete, that the one which cap- 
tured ua and took us out of the hole 
was red while in the bole and then 
turned purple ' That thing* just came 
out of the holeT 

Then why can't we see the red 
beam?" I demanded 

"Because there's no air or anything 
to reflect it." be replied. "We can't see 
it until we are right ■ 

I devoutly hoped that he was right 
as be headed the ship toward the wut- 

■ . ■ -• • Ai *' ■; ; r j;hfd tbt 

amoeba came rapidly to meet us and 
a long feeler shot out As it did so there 
wan a flash of intense light ahead of us 
as Jim turned loose the ray. and the 
feeler disappeared. Another and »ikt 
other met the same fate Then Jim 
rotated the ship slightly and let out 
the full force of the ray toward the 



mmui. A huge boU «m torn la It. 
and as wt approached with our ray 
blaring, the *~~ >t> « slowly retreated 
■ad mu path «m open before us. A|im 
there was aa limn of intense beat aa 
we pasitil through the red wall, aad we 
were again In the bole which Jim's 
1mm bed blasted through the layer. 
Below u» Kill lay the fog which bad 
obscured tbe esrtb when we bad starter) 
oa our upwsrd trip. 

A feeler cssas 
slowly sad feebly oat s few feel to- 
ward us aad then s t oapsd We dropped 
tbe ship s few feet bat tbe s a t een s did 
aot follow. Jba glanced at tbe alti- 

DOWN toward tbe 
we dropped. We bad 
thirty mile* before we saw oa tbe aide 
of tbe bole one of tbe huge amoeba 
which were so thick above. 

-We aught stop aad pick that fellow 
off." said Jinx -bat. aa the whole. I 
think well experiment with 

He drove the ship nearer aad 
it on its uu. holding it in position by 
one of tbe auxiliary discharges. A dash 
came from our forward ray aad a por- 
tion of tbe am oe b a disappeared. A long 
arm moved out toward us. but it moved 
slowly and sluggishly instead of with 
tbe hjbtninj like swiftness which bad 
characterised tbe movements of tbe 
others. Jimmy easily eluded it aad 
dr op pe d the ship a few yards. Tbe 
creature pursued it. but it moved slow- 
ly. Par a mile we kept our ilistsata 
ahead of it. but we bad to c o n s tan tly 
decrease our speed to keep from lesving 
it behind. Soon we were almost at a 
standstill, aad Jim reversed our direc- 

-Just aa I t boagbt." be < 
"We are about forty-five miles 
tbe earth aad already tbe air la aa i 
that tbe thing cannot move lower. They 
are fashioned for existence In tbe re- 
air they arc helpless. There is 
i of oae ever reaching tbe aar- 
face of tbe earth without years of grad- 
ual acclimation, and even if it did. it 
weald be practically immobile la a 
few years tbe layer will Be 
to plug the bole I hadbatacb 
so. Ill build s coup^of space flyers 
equipped with disintegrating rays aa 
son aa we get down aad station tbeaa 
alongside the bole to wipe out any of 
that space vermin which tries to come 
througb Lett go borne. We've pat ia 
a good day's work." 

Hundred* of tbe purple a moeb a have 
been destroyed by the guarding ships 
during tbe past fire years. Tbe bolt ia 
ailing ia as Jim predicted, aad ia an- 
other tea years tbe earth will be aa 
securely walled ia aa it ever was. But 
in the mean tiase. no oae knows what 
■armalid horrors apace holds, and tbe 
world will never rent entirely easy un- 
til the slow process of time agair heals 
the broken protective layer 

Everyone It Invited 
To "Come Over in 


** : 

Earth, the Marauder 


By Arthur J. Burks I 

FOREWORD it, order to nod nr» land umom wkith 

rxflSl'ITF the lott that lor centuries torn ought Ine. bet seasons mod be 

U the Setter of Lilt hod been the come notary, unbearably toU sad 

mtnu nnn of cbtldtea oi town, the dreary: and the eery I set ©/ her koowl- 

■ 1 was dying. She wos dying be- edge oi the Secret oi Lite, tm which 

cww th* warmth mem mumbeted 

oi the sum was 

lodiog: bet oust, 
with the oblttera 
tioo oi the a tt mm m 

their ages by tern- 
tunes instead ol 
by years. - .% 
hot undoing 

- - 

r»r »aen art d#«* mat die. they 
maltiahed heyand all counting, beyond 
all poaaibtlity ol securing permanent 
abiding placet. One mi, in the days 
iki rae #j/»» wu young, tad maa 
U*td at heat re the age at three tear* 
fait amd ten, could bare, girea time 
aad opportunity, populated a nation 
Haw. when men heed far eeatt 
eternally youthful, theit living de- 
scendants tarn lata incalculable w» 
beta * 

Taw earth — strange paradoi — waa 
dying be+ante it had learned the Se<re% 
at Life. Twenty centutiet helare. the 
last war at aggteaatam had heen taught. 
tm aider that mm arret -populated matron 
- -W room in which ■ Vow 

. atat nation, ape* ' 

gate amd there were ma 

aae tea, 
lenda ta 


IN his mmotatarj atop the high*** 
peak in the venerable Himalayas, 
lived Sarka. conceded by the 
world to be* its greatest scientist, 
despite his youth His grandfather. 
who had is t ch ad the passing of eigh- 
teen uwiiu . had discovered the Se- 
cret of till and. thoughtlessly, ia the 
light of later development*, broadcast 
hit discovery to the world The genius 
of this man. who was also called Sarka. 
had been pass rii on to his son. St 
ecoad. a« . J by Mas ia e • 


degree to Sarka ike Third . . called 
cljr Sarka for the purpose* ol tkia 

Had Sarka lived in the day* before 
tke discovery of the Secret of Life 
people of that day would have judged 
kiaa a yoamg man of twenty Hi» real 
age wm four cent i. 

Behind him a* he tat moodily (taring 
at the gigantic Revolving Beryl stood 
of moat striking appearance 

a woman 

If er name waa Jaska. and according to 
idea* of the Day* Before the Dis- 
covery, the teemed a trifle younger 
than Sarka Her hand, unadorned by 
jewelry of any kind, rested an Sarka't 
shoulder aa bit studied the Revolving 
Beryl, while her eyes, whose lathe*. 
matching her rare*) hair, were likc'the 
wing* df tiny blackbird*, noted afresh 
the wonder ol Uu* man. 

"What i* to be done f~ she aaked him 
at Last, and her voice wm like mussc 
there in the room where science per- 
formed ita miracles for Sara* 

WKAR1I.Y Sarka turned to facr 
kcr. and she waa struck anew. 
a* she had been down tke ymt since 
she had known this aaan. every lime 
their glances met. at the mighty c 
of hi* brow, which rendered insignifi- 
cant hi* mouth, his delicate nose of the 
twitching nostril* the well-deep eye* 
of him 

"Something must be done 
gloomily, "and that soon* For. unlrae 
the children of men are provided with 
tome manner of territorial eipansion. 
they will destroy one another, only the 
strongest will survive, anefwr shall re- 
turn to the day* when th- ov- 

-jwrd from the primeval slirr 
"You arc working on something >T 
she asked softly 

For a moment be did not anenrr 
While the waited. Jaska peered into 
the depth* of the Revolving Beryl, 
which retrrsented the earth It was 
fifty feet in diameter, and in it* curved 
'ace and entrancing depths waa aair- 
»o» •rlopmeni of 

teleview, all the earth and the doing* 
of its people. Bat Jaska scarcely saw 
the fleeting image*, the men locked in 
conflict for the right to Irve. the 
screaming, terror-stricken w o m en This 
waa now a century-old story, and the 
civilisation of Earth had almost 
reached the breaking point. 

No. she scarcely saw the things in 
the Beryl, for she had read the hint of 
a vast, a w e some secret in the eye* of 
Sarka and wandered if he dared 
tell her 

' he 
of two things I 

"T F the people knew. 
X "they would do one 
They would tear me Ic 
and hurl the parts of an 
apace foreVet— or they would 
that I move before I am re 
canoe a catastrophe which c owl d 
be rectified, and this grand old Earth 
of our* would be dead, indeed f* 

"And this secret of yoorsr*" Jaska 
now spoke in tke sign language which 
only these two. knew, for there were 
billion* of other Revolving Beryl* In 
the world, and word* could be heard by 
universal radio by any who cared to 
listen And always, they knew, the 
legion* of enemies of Sarka kept their 
ears open for word* of Sarka which 
could be twisted around to hi* un do 

"I should not tell even, you." he an- 
swered, his finger* working swiftly in 
their secret, silent language, which all 
tke world could see. hot which only 
these two u nd erw ood "For if my en- 
emies knew that yon possessed the in- 
formation, there is nothing they would 
stop at to snake you tell." 

"But I would not tea Sarka." she 
said softly "You know th. 

He patted her hand*, and the ghost 
of a smile touched hi* lip* 

"No." he *aid. "you would nc- 
Some day soon — and it must he soon if 
the children of men are not to destroy 
themselves. I will tell you! It it I 
cret that lie* heavily on my heart. If 
I should make a nw*t»»- 

- petual dark. 



the children of 

■Ma reduced to aotb- 

A LITTLE (asp from Jack*, for it 
*M rUin that this thing Sa/ka 
hinted at a as far cad away beyond any- 
tiunf he had hitherto dooa an d Sarka 
had already performed miracle* beyond 
any that kad ever been dooc by hi* pre- 

"Wh« my grandfather." 
Sarka moodily, 'perfected, in this aelf- 
wi Laboratory, the maihiatty by 
which the water* of the ocean* could 
he diaiaue (rated, our mimii* called 
him mad. and fought their way up 
the** asaimtain slop e s to d estr oy him I 
With the pock M his door*, he did aa 
he had told them he would do. Though 
they hurried swiftly into the great val- 
ley* to colomrc then*— urbere ocean* 
were like ravening 
my grandfather no 
thatl ft Our people ha»e alway* fought 
against progress, hart aiway* been dts- 
, vraging of its advocate*! When the 
first tar ha discovered the Secret they 
would hare destroyed htm? though he 

"If oalr the Secret -pted 

Jaek*. "could be returned to him who 
discovered III That would solve our 
piubliaa. for men then would die and 
be buried, leaving their place* for 

Arain that weary smile on the MM 

Take back the Secret which is 
known to-day to every son and daugh- 
ter of woman t Impossible I Mot; near- 
ly im p ossible than the attainment of 
my most ambitions dream r~ 

"And that dream*" spoke J ask* with 
spat ding finger* 

] hnssj wondered about you." said 
- • i softly, while those eyes of his 
U*sd deeply into her* "We have been 
Um beat of friend*, the best of com- 
rades: but there art times when it 
coasts to me that I do ant know you en- 
And I have many enemies r 

Text mean " gasped the woman, for 
(h* rn>-n.»: I to etti g if t . c«.-' ^n 

"you think it inirili that I— 
I— might be one of yam? ts amirs, in se- 
cret r 

-Jaaka. I do not know; hat in this 
matter in my mind 1 trant no one I 
am afraid even that people will read 
thoughts, though I have 
to aa concentrate upon then* 
that not the ahghteat hint of them shall 
go forth tclcpatkically to say enemies I 
I do ant aaind death for arysslf; hat 
our people sous* be mvedl It is hide- 
ous to think that w* have been green 
Ins Secret of Life, only to pariah hi 
the end because of it I I am sorry. 
Jaaka. but I can tell no one f" 

Jaaka. and af the moat beaatifal 
and intelligent of Earths beaatifal and 
intelligent iismia. scanned not to he 
listening to Sarka at ail. and 
kad finished, she shrugged her 
der* slightly and prepared to leave. 

HE followed her to the i 
Dome, built solidly into the side 
of his laboratory, and watched her aa 
she slipped swiftly lata the whits, 
skin-tight clocking— anar 
and hack with the Red Lily of 
House of Cleric His eyes still 
deeply moody 

He helped her don the 
metal helmet in whose skull psa was 
set the Ant i -Gravitational Ovoid— in- 
vented by Sarka the 8 lean d. aaed nam 
of necessity by every human creature— 
and strode with her to the Outer Ear*, 
s door of po n de r o u s metal saaVtiently 
strong to se rv ant the inner warmth 
of the laboratory getting ant, or the 
biting cold of the heights to enter, and 
studied her still as she buckled about 
her hips her own personal Sarks-Belt. 
which automatically mrssirl her. 
through contact with her tight cloth- 
Lag, with the warmth and balanced 
pressure of the laboratory, which 
would remain constant as long aa she 
ware it 

•> a nod and a brief smile, she 
stepped to the metal door and ran ink id 
through it Sarka turned rlooaniry 
back to his l a bor a t yy . * ■*" A, *ns; into 


the depth* of U>« Revolving Beryl and 
ad;u»tir.r, the enlarging dmu which 
brought tack, lift »ne. the in&mtesmal 
individuals mirrored in the Beryl, he 
watched her go— a trim white figure 
which flashed across the void.' from 
Mountain -top to her valley borne, tike 
a very white projectile froen another 
world Very white, aad very precious, 

When the waa bone, and had waved 
to him that the had arrived safely, he 
forgot her for a time, and allowed bia 
rye* to atudy the inner working* of 
thi* vaat. crowded world whoa* on- 
ruahing fate wat ao filling hi* brain 
with doubt, with fear — and something 
of horror I 

The Pi+pie ol the Him 

MOODILY Sarka stared into the 
depth* of the Beryl, which rep- 
resented the Earth, and in which he 
could *ee everything that earth ling* 
did after visually enlarging them, 
through u»e of a microscope that could 
be adjusted, with relation to the Beryl, 
to bring out in detail any section of 
the world he wished to study Hi* face 
waa utterly sad The people- at last 
truly p osse s sed the Earth— all of it 
that waa. even with the aid of every 
e known to science, habitable. 

The surface of the Earth waa one 
vast building, like a hive, and to each 
human being waa allotted by law a 
tain abiding place. But men no longer 
died, unkas they desired to do so. and 
then only when the Spokesmen ad the 
Gen* saw fit to grant permission, and 
•here soon would be no place for the 
newborn to live Even now that point 
Had practically been reached through- 
out the world, ar.d in the greater por- 
tion it had been reached, and passed 
and men knew that while men did not 
die. they could be killed' 

The vast building, towering abovt 
what had one - of the 

earth. It ■ mifraswnf <>f *» ' 

the c < - - ■ -op. 

to fit the contour of the earth, and its* 
roof, constructed of materia** raped 
from the earth's core, waa ao designed 
aa to catch and concentrate the yearly 
■tore feeble rays of the sun. so that its 
life-giving warmth might continue to 
be the boon of living pec; 

IT had been found as Earth cooled 
that life was possible to a depth of 
eight miles below the one-time surface 
so that the one huge building extended^ 
below the surface to tht* great depth. 
«n divided and re-divided to i 
for men. their * 
progeny. But even so. space waa ban- 
ned Neighboring families outgrew 
their surrounding*, overflowed into the 
habitation* of their neighbors — and 
every family waa at r etn a s a nl wnr 
againat ita neighbors. 

Men did not die. but they could hs> 
(lain and there waa scarcely s 
above or below, in all the ' 
which had not planned 
murder, time* and tunc*— or w hich had 
not left iu own blood in the dwelling 
places of neighbors 

No Law could cope with this intoler- 
able situation, for men. down the ages. 
had changed in their essential char- 
acteristic* but little — and recognised 
one law only in their cstremtty. that of 

So. there waa murder rampant, and 
mother* who wept for children, hus- 
bands, fathers or mothers, who wo u l d 
never return to their homes 

"My grandfather.' whispered Sarka. 
his eyes peering deeply into a certain 
area beyond that assigned by law to the 
House of Cleric, where men of two 
neighboring families were locked in 
■aortal, silent conflict, 'should not have 
frustrated the mad scheme of V* i»' It 
■ slaughter, wholesale and terrible, 
but it would have draw led the souls of 
the survivors!" 

MENTALLY Sarka was looking 
hock now to that red day when 

•rr.< to Sarka the 


First with hit proposal which at the 
ueae had seemed so hid wm Sarka re- 
mctnbcred that interval ia all its de- 
tail*, for be bad heard it many time*. 

-Saxta." Dsli* had Mid ia hi* high- 
pitched voter, staring at Sarka th« 
First out of rcd-risnseid. fiery ryes, 
"unless something ia door the world 
will ruah on to aclf -destruction! Men 
will tUy ooe aaotherf Father* wiU kill 
their sone. a4 aoaa their father*, if 
something ia not doaet For always 
there ia aaarryiaf aad giviag ia mer- 
riaf c. aad each family ia reaching oat 
ia all directions, seeking merely space 
ia which to live Formerly there were 
wars which automatically took thought 
of the overplus of men; but to-day the 
world it at peace, a* men regard the 
term and every man's hand is agaiaat 
his neighbor) There will be no more 
wars, whea there should bet There ia 
but one alternative f" 

"Aad thatr Sarka the First had 
queried suspiciously 

The segregation of the attest! The 
destruction, swiftly, painlessly, of all 
the others! Aad when the su r vivor s 
have again re-populated the earth to 
overflow™*,—** repetition of the same 
corrective! Men will die. yea. by mil- 
lions, but those who axe left will be a 
stronger, sturdier race, and by thia 
process of elimination, century by cen- 
tury, men will evolve aad become to- 
per -men T 

"And this plan of yourer"" 

FOR a moment D*li* had paused., 
breathing heavily, as though al- 
most afraid to continue. Then, while 
Sarka the First had listened ta frc 
terror. Dalit had csplained hi* ghsi 
*< lit sat. 

: ' it were not for the mo-mtaia * and 
the valleys." said I - > «r.d the world 
were perfectly round aad smooth of 
surface, that surface would be covered 
by watrr to the depth of ooe mile' It 
that not correct f The Earth, rotating 
on itt 11 « about the sun st the 

rate of something like nineteen a*. 
per seco.-.d. to perfectly baUr 


tbeir beds! Bat. Sarka. mark arts well I 
If we could, together, devise a way ta 
•halt thia rotation for aa ■■-,■ as a few 
seconds, what would happen F~ 

"What would happen K iisiatod Sar- 
ka the First, dropping his awa voice ta 
a husky, frightened whisper 'Why. 
the oceans weald he hurled out of their 
beds, aad a wall of water a caul* high 

aad the world, bear- 
ing everything before it I It would tap- 
root aad destroy buildings, s w ee p the 
rocky covering of the earth free ad 
•oil ; and hiaaaaify. caught oa the earth 
below the highceT level of the world's 
gr e ate s t tidal wave, isuld he en- 
gulfed f" 

"Exactryr Delia had said with a 
grin. "Exactly I Only— the people we 
to s ur vive could be warned, aad 
could either be aloft whea the 
tidal wave swept the face of the earth. 
or could be safely out of reach ef the 
waters oa the sides of the high sat 
mountain* r 

SAREA THE FIRST, wanly saaU- 
iag, catching his breath at last, 
now that he realised the 
sibtlity of this saw 
seJnrlri ta humor the f an cie s of e 
whom he had believed net 

"Why not," he began, -lake 
from men the Secret of Life, at 
they will die. as formerly, whea the 
rid was young r 

"When all the woe Id know* the Se- 
cret, when even children leant it he- 
fore they are capable of walking T~ de* 
aasarlrfi Dalit sarcastically. "You 
could only remove knowledge ef the 
Secret from the brains of earn by re- 
moving those brains themselves! Your 
thought is more terrible even than 
aeiac. because it leada to this 
able conclusion r 

'But supposing for a saoaaeat your 

ssy whom, of sll the earth's 
should be saved, whom sacrificed V 

>uld be gtven 



than that which I m proposing *~ 
Dalit had snarled. Those worthy of 
being saved would save themselves! 
Those who would perish would not be 
worth saving ! At I I it ines- 

capable at the law of the sumval of 
the fittest, which has been an axioen of 
life since men first crawled out of the 
slime sad asked each other questions a* 
they caught their first c limps' - 

md pondered the reasons for 


'But where, then, was there any 
point in my giving to people the Secret 
of Lifer 

"Had you paused to think.' snapped 
Dslit. 'you would never have done so* 
Your hist for power, and for fame, de- 
stroyed your foresight r 

** A ND it it not. Dabs.' replied 

t\. Sarka the First, softly, 'for 
this, really, that you have come to me? 
To berate me? To throw at 
■sad schemes impossible of sec 
merit > I have always known you for 
an enemy. Dalit, because you are envi- 
oua of what I have accomplished, what 
you sense that I will accomplish as 
tune pisses r 

"I do not love you. Sarka *~ retorted 
Dalit frankly "I despise you' Hate 
you! But I need the aid of that keen 
beam of yours' You see. hate you 
though I may. I do you honor still I 
have sonw »hing up here.' tapping the 
dome of his brow, only less lofty than 
that of Sarka. "which you Lack You 
wocnething I have not. never can 
attain! But together we are c ample- 
men tt. each of the other, and to the 
two of us this scheme is possible f" 

'I am very busy. Dalit. Sarka the 
First had replied coldly ~I must ash 
\ou to leave me' What you propose is 
impossible unthtnkat 

"So." retorted Dalis, "you think sne 
mad* You think me incapable of per 
g this plan about whose details 
you have not even yet been informed! 
You would show me the door as though 
you were * king, and I 
kings a no 

earth millenniums ago f /Then listen to 
me. Sarka! I know bfw to do thia 
thing about which I have told you 1 
can halt, for a brief moment only, the 
whirl of the earth about its axis. And 
by so doing I can flood the earth with 
the waters of the oceans! If you ■ 
not listen to me. I shall do it myself I 
You shall have two days in which to 
give me an answer, for I admit that I 
need you. who would balance me. make 
sure I made no fatal mistakes' But if 
you do not, I will act . . . along the linen 
I have hinted r 

APPARENTLY aa unconcerned aa 
though he had not just listened 
to s scheme foe almost total depopula- 
tion of the world, the destruction of 
millions upon millions of lives. Sarka 
the First had dismissed Paha who 
had straightway used all his otters to 
arouse the world of science against the 
first Sarka. 

when the two days of grace 
given by Dalit had passed, there were 
no oceans for Sarka the First had 
been planning for a century against the 
time when the earth must of necessity 
be over -populated, and had worked and 
slaved in his laboratory against the 
contingency which had developed. 

He had smiled, though there waa a 
trace of fear on his face after Dalit had 
left, foe kit scheme had been worked 
out— not to destroy, but to save! 

And from this same laboratory in 
which Sarka now sat and pondered en 
the nest step in man's expansion. Sarka 
the First had. in fear and trembling at 
first, hut with hit 
by leaps and 

Untold millions and billion . 
of rays, whose any portion of which, 
coming in contact with water, immedt- 
vepsrsted its hydrogen and sir- 
t< grating its mo! 
were hurled forth from their store- 
houses beneath the laboratory, acres 
(mm of the mighty oceans of 

And when nsrn saw the miracle 




the kum had been, and began to build 


THAT had been centuries 
•corn of centuries 

Now ell the earth, all the livable 
port of the earth, above its surface — 
and below it to the depths of miles 
was filled with people, like bees in a 
Mounter hive, like ants of antvquny in 
their warrencd hills. Aad there 
bo place now that they could go 

So they fougkt airing then 
for the ng ht to live 

'But say grandfather was right r 
Sarks almost acri si 1 if it. speaking 
aloud in the silence of his laboratory 
"My grandfather was right! Dalit was 
wrong! S c ien ce should he \bc sc ience 
of Life, not of Death I Yet whither 
afaall we go! Where now shall we had 
places fee our people who arc dairy 
being bora 1a myriads, to Ire*, and laws 
and is ariah r 

But there was no answer. Only the 
hiimmisg of the perpetually 
Beryl, which showed to the 
of tarha that the people of baa beloved 
l acta were rushing onward to 

leaked basely, bitterly cold i 

Without the Serkn-Bclts. people 
who ventured forth from their hives 
■wild instantly freese to the coneas- 
af tanrtilt in those winds and 
For the people ad Earth had 
buih thetr aaonatcr habitation toward 
the stars until they reached up tato the 
afcttasi af perpetual cold 

Only under that gWnmtng roof was 
there warmth. Many of the men. and 
women, and children who had lost in 
the now century-old hght for survival 
had merely been tossed 
bivaa. A saialias. swift 
each death, ta s world ao highly 
talised that each grown pi 
into has niche naturaDy and easily, was 
s distinct loss, not math, perh a p s, bat 
enough for the loss to he f eh. 

his eyes far a aas- 
9 shut one s has- 
as has mind he could visual- 
bach to the Revolving 
I in which he kept in umlaut 
with aU parts af the world at 

of the 

-If only I could ht 
J asks f" he ssaaned. If only my cour- 
age were as greet as that of which I 
stand in need! For if I fail, even Dslsv 
had he succeeded with that scheme of 
bit in grandfather's time, would be lass 
s monster, less a criminal f" 

f|S* Spadesmen or* the Cess 

FOR a long moment Sarks looked 
brooding It out across the world 
bey sail the ssetalued glass which 
formed the curving dome of hia labora- 
tory roof. There was little that could 
be seen, for always the mighty, cold 
winds, ruffed with flurries of snow and 
particles of ice. swept over thit arti- 
ficial roof of the world Here and there 
huge portions of the area within the 
range of kia normal vision were awept 
clear and clean of snow and let 

this laboratory which had 
fan c y centuries in the perfecting In 
the dwelling place of each of Ox 
Spohessnen wss a single light, colored 
like one of the lights on Sarks 's takse. 
To speak with any one of the Spokes- 
men Sarks had but to dun the pray 
trly colored light by covering it with 
the palm of his hand The light in 
the home of the thus signalled Spokes- 
end the -Spokesman 


■ ■■!< knui that Sarka dctirc J to con- 
verve with him. 

Sarka noted the blue light, and shud- 
dered For if be coveted it with bit 
palm it would summon Dalit, a great 
sciential, but aa erratic one. at S 
the First bad ao clearly shown. 

Sar ka turned again to the BeryL The 
area of which Dalit wat Spokesman 
wav. roughly tpeaking. that part of 
what bad once been the Pacific Ocean. 
aorta of a line drawn caat and wett 
through the southernmost of the Hi 
a Itlindt. northw a rd to the Pole. 
Tbe home of Dalit was in the heart of 
what bad once beet) aa it land hittoriana 
I < -ned bad been called Oabu. now a 
mountain peak Mill retaining a hint of 
tbe pre-Diteovery name: Ohi 

THE total number of tbe Spc . 
men. the oldett of earth's inhabi- 
tants, waa twelve, aad tbe remainder of 
tbe Earth not under the tutelary r 
of Dalia waa divided up among tbe 
other eleven Spokramcn Cleric, for 
caaaplc. father of Jatka. waa Spokes- 
man of that area which men bad once 

v | ■ the vast valleys of the- 
once Indian Ocean and the Med • 

while the youngest of the 
in a manner terving hit 
apprenticeship, waa tutelary bead of 
the vast plateau once called Air 
name of this man was Cerd. 
tt least." thought Sarka. think- 
ing of each Spokesman in turn aad 
Bach in hit mind, "will be 
wonder about tbe others. 
and especially Dalia He has always 
Tbea. with the air of a man who has 
ma iset hit - 

ticolar Rubicon if 

rot and passed along the 


' i 



u sat down t 


h> f * * 



waited. A 


f lightt hit 

two v 

very gentle, almost reverent. For 
those two lights were signals to Sarka 
tbe First aad Sarka the Second, hia 
grandfather and hia father I 

IT waa Dalia, the irascible, the fiery 
t empere d, the erratic, who futt 
made answer 

-Yet! What it it nowr 

Sarka smiled a trifle grimly as ha 
spoke a single word. 


Tbe voice of Dalit, which Sarka bad 
good cause to remember, had soundc I 
aa loudly in tbe laboratory aa 
Dalia bad been p e cacat there in 
for men had learned to communicate by 
voice almost without tbe aid of radio 
and its appurtenances though t b « prin- 
ciple upon which tbe first cruue begin- 
_t of radio wrte fathioncd still ap- 
plied Each man'a dwelling place was 
both a "sendet- and a 'receiver.' aad 
men cc. and be ulkrd to no 

matter where they lived — individuals 
,-tthicaI!y summoned at desire of 
an yon e wishing verbal contact 

'Cerd ta beret" came tbe voice of 
that Spokesman 

To him also Sarka tpokc one ward. 

-wan r 

-I am here. Sarka T came a musical 
voice. "Aad Jaska is with me. liatea 

That would be Cleric loyal friend, 
(■aster acicatitt. but al way t shy of eon- 
tact with people, though swift to an- 
ger and sclf-forgctfulness when 
knew himself right and waa opposed. 
Sarka darted a look back at the Revc 
ing Beryl, adjusted swiftly 4hc Beryl- 

roscope. and saailcd into the fa 
of Jitkaar.d • - ha looked enourh 

it tbev might have been brc • - 
and Though Cleric had l- 

born ten rs before his daugV 

They smiled bach at him. 

Hed the Beryl -microscope 
aad stared for a second at ' 

Beryl, aad marked the aa- 

tagonim D. lit was at ro paint to i 

smen reported. 


r. from the Aoirnui, Dora* 
from the valley* •' the vawahed At- 
lantic; Bolcr from that pan of tb« 
Artie Circle not included in the wedge 
which the Gene of Delia throat north- 
ward to the Pole : Vardee ; Prull : Yota : 
AaJ j Vance and Himc Each from hi* 
appointed area, each from the omcial 
ol hie Ccna. the 
to tfcosc people V 
edged the tutelage of a Sf 
Each Spoke*—* n. therefore, waa the 

and chi l dr e n. And over the Spokes- 
men, and not t h c na w lt ti Spokesmen, 
were three scientist*: The Sarkaa, 
Pirat. Second mn<1 Third 

When all twelve of the 
had reported and been bidden by 
to wait, a smile touched the face of 
Sarha foe aa instant a 
vsscaa, so nearly alike they i 
been the voice of a tingle person, re- 
poctno tncansetves- 
"I am here, sonl What U itr* 
Oddly enottfh. Sarka't father and 
•grandfather reported with exactly the 
■ami wards. Sarha smiled at a 
skal thought of bis own. It had 
mom time since the three scientist Sar- 
kaa had been together, and dcepitc the 
vast differences in their ages they 
anight hare been triplets I 

THE report* were in and the Spoke- 
men were watting: but for almost 
a aainstc Sarka waited still Then be 
s pa ke swiftly those words for which 
there could be no recall 

"Cent lessen, the time ia come when 
we must go to warf 

For a long moment after be had 
apoken there, wat no answer Then it 
came, in the jeering laughter of the 
antigm ivtic Dalit 

"War! Againttwhom' The Sarkaa 
are always dreaming T 

"And Dslis." continued Sarka. 'thall 
be one of the leader* of Eartblinga in 
this war which I am about to propose f 
You doubtless recall a proposal you 
once made to Sarka I I Ynur 

proposal to halt foe a few momenta the 

ed the earth shoot ite 

Dafaa. -wtnpl 

headlong whirl 

axis, thus to ! 

Immediately r 

And Sarka ■ ta p p ed. He had forgot- 
ten, in the ear i tem* m of his urge to 
captain his plana, that the naillione of 
pe ople who gave omcial allegiance to 
Delia had never been informed of the 
kideeua arapasal ha had mode, back 
there centuries ago, aa a corrective for 
a world rapidly approaching over pop- 
ulation Had hit people known, never 
again would the voi ce of Delia be beard 
in life. The 
Sarkaa: but no 
stood the protest of Balis: ksnortd h. 

-Delis.- be went on, more softly, 'af- 
ter I have explained what I wish ts do. 
ywa will come to ass I 
captain to me exactly I 
daaag a/hat pan peoposed to say grand- 
father— fee yoatr knowledge will be 

-I ant it 
father stole fre 
Idea that would have aaade aae forever 
famous, without Ida granlna also 
stealing the fruit ad say brains K 

"Your brains.' said Sarka sharply, 
-belong to yeesr people. What I plan 
i* for their I ituraasan But rt 
war. war which assy mat a 
centuries, in which Uvea of 
t h o use n da assy be 

drowned out by the 
eound that came out of the Revolving 
Beryl, that perfected device which waa 
the ultimate in the evolution of tcle- 
visioa and vibrstion-traaefcrcncc Sar- 
kt t heart sank, far he knew the mean- 
ing- of that sound. So did the Spokes- 

"You see*" came the reaping voice 
of Delia "You hear ' Look into your 
Beryl! See the clenched fista of the 
earths myriads being shaken at you I 
Listen to the protest* of the millions 
who hear your every word I Sec what 
Earthling* think of the prospect of 


Far a meant nt Saraa spoke directly 
to the people 

tit silent and listen! It will be 
wsr. yes. but not such • skulking, hide- 
»wi war as ye waft among yours* 

i place to live I You. fathers, are 
guilty of slaying your tons! You. 
sons, of slaying ycur fathers! Merely 
by throating them forth from the k ■ 
it to the Outer Cold) This wax I pro- 
pose shall be a war that shall match 
TMt manhood, if ye indeed be men I 
Listen to me. and I will- find for you 
new lands to conquer, new homes for 
your holding, if ye can take thetnT 

where." interrupted the s-» 
tic voice of Dalis. "arc these new lands 
of which you speak? Inside the Earth? 
Already our hives reach into the Earth 
a distance of eight miles Where I 

"For shame. Delis P snapped Sarka. 
• i you a scientist I Every bit of 
babitau'r land on this globe is some 
tana's dwelling place! Spokesmen of 
the Gens of Earth, look out your win- 
dows! Look out and upward and 
read Dalit' answer in the starsP 

FOR a full minute there 
throughout the earth, and I 
saw that the Spokesmen were doing hit 
bidding He himself looked out. out 
through the swirling storm which tore 
at lbs crest of the Himalayas, a dark 
and forbidding Outside, in the starred 
dome of ywfaicb rode the pale orbed 
noon! / 

'It iJ obvious.. son." came the vote* 

of SafVa um what you mean. 

how accomplish 

'Fifteen ccW-iries ago. my father's 

:t.~ cried Sarka. "Dalis to!d you 

■ he cosstsstd the power to halt for 

a moment the headlong whirl of 

» about tl He 

then — and no man. what- 
ever be may think of Dalis as a ■ 
■ known r • If. fif< 

:^g the wh 
why can we not. 


this for years upon end, had spoken 
over and over to himself the words ha 
was now using, rehearsing his proposed 
argument to the Spokesmen of the 
Gens. Sarka found himself for s mo- 
ment almost afraid to continue and 
speak them. 

"I understand. Sarka f" came the e«- 

1 voice of Gerd. youngest of the 

Spokesmen. "And I follow wherever 

you think it best to lead! You 

you mean. . 

. :tly!" Sarka managed at 

"If the Earth can be stayed on its aais, 

it can be diverted from its orbit rn- 

y! I know, for I have found the 

manner of its doing, though I need th« 

genius of Dalis to check my work and 

my calculations! We have no new 

land on this Earth to conquer: but the 

Universe is filled with countless other 

worlds' What say ye. Spokesmen of 

the Gens' What say y*. Gens of 

Earth r 

But for the time of a thousand heart* 
beats neither the Spokesmen or the 
Gens made answer to Sarka. and all the 
world fell utterly silent, absorbing this 
unbelievable thing of which Sarka had 

OVER the metaliied roof of the 
world the snows and storms, the 
winds and the wraiths of the long daad 
moaned and screamed aa with an icy 
voice of abysmal warr 

And for the time of those thousand 
heartbeats, the world was pausing to 

When realization came, the snsail 
would come from the Spokesmen and 
from the Gens: and here in the Sarka 
laboratory, his Rubicon crossed at last, 
sat larfa £ through the Bervl- 

aaicrosccpe into the depths of the Re- 
volving Beryl. His face was dead 
-s narrowed. 

The first voice which canst startled 

-It is mad Sarka! Mad! Mad! But 
I am with you. always P 

It was tl f Jaaks daughter 


TV lUnaJimgi tttkr Rtmdf 

•*T TOO. am with voaf- 

X voice of Gerd. 
. "Spokm like a child T snapped 
Dali* "Por 70a arc as much a child 
M thia third of lb* 
Tke scheme 1* mad. 
Jaaka ultimate*! TV 
propon e d, in which I ■ 
the grandfather of thai 
times and t 
practicable r 

the Dal 


even than 
I once 
cheated by 

feasible and 

Sarka the Fir**, interrupting Dab*. 
"that poa pact the Burner up to poor 
Gerav O arise ami noble Daiia. acta m 
which ache** they would endorse if 
given the choice in the matter a nd 
were pour scheme Mill possible f~ 

This quickly silenced the vrtupcra- 
t»a of Daiia. bwt ia po wise pcitentad 
bia continuance as a rather loud aa*ag- 
oruat of the plan. 

"How." be aiaaanilrd. "can poo re- 
turn the Earth to it* orbs*. ewpn giaaa- 
ing vou are able as tab* thaa initial 
step? How keep life 00 the Earth dar- 
ing ita Sight on thia rainbow-rhaainaj 
voyage poa propose *~ 

"An these thing* have bona takes 
Into consideration. O Delia f retorted 
Sarka. "All of my ai hi 11 ia practica- 
ble, as I thank poa will agree when I 
have told poa ita detail* What thank 
too of the plan. Kisser ' - And you, 
Durte? Boler» Vardec> Prull > Yota? 
A*I> Vance' Hia*r 

When the Spokesmen had answered, 
some of them bcaitanttp. for the people 
all this time had remained silent a nd 
none of the Spokesmen could be sure 
bow his own Gens would feel in the 
matter — it'dcvcloped that erven of the 
Spokesmen were for the acheaae. if it 
should prove to be possible 

' If this ia the voice of the majority 
of the Gens." snapped Daiia. "given 
thaa by their Spokesmen, then I rote 
with the majority' I shall call upon 
pan immediate)* Sarka for a 

I AM glad.- mid Sarka aoftry. "that 
the majority of the Spokesmen 

e with me Especially ana I glad that 
at and Cleric vote with me. Por 
the other* I have only this to say I 
have thought this matter over for al- 
most a century, and I know that the 
tiane has come when we must act. to 
•arc our s e lv es from s* I f -dce tr nc t ioa 
Had pea net decided with aae. I should 
have acted alone P 

"Year anapped Doha. "Haw/r 

"I have, here in ary laboratory." re- 
plied Sarka. "the power w benb y to ac- 
compliab the acheaac of which I have 
told pout Had all the Gens defied me. 
I wo u ld have nevertheless sent the 
Earth ovtwsxd on ita voyage, bringing 
it within reach of the denim*, first of 
the hfooo, aaconii of Mara and 
people of little courage would 
been compelled to fight to asvc 

"You would have forced us into 
war?" came the cfuaveriag voice of 
Prull. the first Spokesmen aside fr 
Dslie to take active part ia th 
aion "Then why. if poa had tJ 
ia the beginning to enforce pour will 
upon us. confer with oa at all T 

Sarka thrilled with aatiafaction. far 
thia Q u estion gave him the excuse he 
sought. He bad been wondering and 
a r , a imin g bow to compel the Spoke, 
aaen of the Gena t* obey hie will 

"I wanted yoar opinions." be mid 
ah only "Bat I also wish you ta know 
that I have the power to go on, whether 
poa wieh it or not — sasf you ssn obey 

HOW would the twelve Gena uke 
thia ultimatum of Sarka? Por 
breathless moments after be bad spoken 
be waited, and the Spokesmen with 
bias. Then came the voice of Cleric. 
addressing his people, ret leaving the 
contact! open so that Sarka and the 
other Spokesmen might hear 

"What say you. O Gens of Cleric >" 

he cried, bia voice an exultant, clarion- 

iag paean of rejoicinr "Do we follow 

■M who prom-sea in life araJa* 


Do wt follow this man who pr o mis e* 
us that once again we shall dwell in 
plenty, without the blood of relative* 
and neighbors on our hands? Answer 
this man, O Gens — for I say unto you 
that wheresoever he leads I would fol- 
low hunT 

Silence for a heartbeat. Then a aaar- 
souring- like the sound of the waves 
of the long-vanished seas sounded in 
the laboratory, wherein all things were 
seen, all sounds were beard. A mossier 
»oice. loud and savage, from the Gets* 
of Cleric 

"We follow Cleric wherever he 
leads'' Finally the words became -in- 
telligible. "It matters not to us whom 
Clenc follows, so long as we may fol- 
low Clen: 

"Well spoken. O Gens of Cleric P 
snapped Sarka when the l u uia s u ring 
died down to a whisper, then faded out 
entirely. "Deck yourselves »n the 
white garments of Cleric! Fmblaron 
upon your backs and breast the Red 
Lalv of his House! Prepare for war! 
.These *rt your orders: the details I 
leave to Cleric V 

There came the voice of Dalia. 

"Give your orders to my Gens di- 
rect. O Sarka r rasped Dalis. "For I 
leave this very moment to come to 
fwm P 

"Thank you." said Sarka. a great 
wave of exaltation sweeping over ban*. 
He had expected Dalis to be the last 
and most difficult to manage Then to 
the Gens of Dalis. as the blue light on 
the table in the laboratory showed 
Sarka that Dalis was already winging 
roward him: "Deck yourselves in the 
tfl garments of Dalis! Wear M 
your insignia the yellow star of bis 

. ve. and prepare for war ! V 
new and modern Ray Directors! Re- 
furbish your rotting machines of de- 
struction! Make ready, and rr. 

For the Gens of Dalis will be 

- of all the Gens to tec 

- against the Dwellers Outside! 

at time comes I shall tell you 

where you shall dwell— if you win the 

THE humming of myriad voices in- 
side the laboratory was now al- 
most co n tinu ous, but ever the words of 
Sarka »ent out to the Spokesmen and 
to the Gens, though, save in the case of 
Cleric and of Dalis. he did not speak 
to the Gens direct, because he did not 
wish in one iota to usurp the authority 
of the Spokesmen themselves. 

But when less than an hoar had 
passed, be realised that the first step . 
had been successfully taken, and that 
from now on the success or failure of 
the scheme rested in his own haada. 
Perspiration bedewed his forehead, and 
for a second he prayed "* 

"God of our fathers! Grant that we 
be not mistaken! Grant that we be 
right in what we plan! Grant that suc- 
cess attend our arms! Grant that this 
scheme of mine lead us not to catas- 
trophe — for if this should develop, 
only I am guilty, and only I should be 
punished T 


As ooc voice the Spokesmen of the 

Gens spoke the word, and Sarka beard 

He had forgotten for the moment 

that the Spokesmen still could hear 

That it all." be said huskily. "Pre- 
pare your Gens, each of you. foe such 
battle as ever, our histories never have 
recorded! For we go against foemen 
strength we do not know, whose 
of life we do not know, and we 
not fail! Make haste with your 
preparations! Your time is short! And 
Spokesmen, counsel your Ger.s that 
they put at once all pergonal dif- 
ferences, all family quarrels, all quar- 
rels with their neighbors! That each 
adult individual, each unmarried 
woman, and such married woman as 
have all their children grown, and who 
no longer need them, prepare to go 
forth to battle t From this laboratory, 
within a brief space. Dalis and the Sar- 
kas will give you further word!"" 

THEN be dimmed .the lights, and 
severed contact with the Spokes- 

I - o lights he 



did not dun. at tbe moment, and to two 
men be spoke softly. 

*My father and my father" t father I 
Come to me at once! For there shall 
be need of tbe combined genius of tbc 
Sarka* if my scheme it to »ucceed!~ 

From both Sarkaa, aa though tbey 
bad febearaed tbc words against this 
need of tbctn. caeac answer: 

"Aye. son. we comer 

Fuxn tbat moment on until Dal is and 
tbc Sarkaa were ready to take tbc moat 
momentous step ever taken in tbc his- 
tory of tbc world, tbc hmnaaing within 
tbc laboratory did not cease For tbc 
people, tbe millions and billions of 
people of tbc hires, were busy, eagerly 
and feverishly busy, preparing 
■is— mil, new engines of 
»f *■*— the tunc when there should be 
of them. And for perhaps the 
in centuries, tbc people were 

aa fax at to 


For not even tbc passage of a 
iturica, or a tbowaan 
caatstrics, could fksah from the warm 
hearts of men the lore of conflict f 

Sarka smiled wanly, his fsce eery 
pale He had spoken, his people were 
busy with preparations, and now there 
could be no turning back. The world, 
when be spoke tbc word, would rash 
outward to glorious conflict— or to de- 
struction I 

A burxcr sounded near the Eait 
Dome. Sarka raced to give the 'En- 
ter" Signal— and Dalit, be of tbc hawk-' 
eyes, the sharp nose and sharper 
tongue, entered the presence of tbc 
man who, in a twinkling, had mode 
himself matter of tbc world. 

-Well." be said harshly. "I am here I 
What do you wish of sac?" 

-We Sarka*. - said Sarka easily. Snab 
to assure ourselves that you will do 
nothing to obstruct our plans! Dalit. 
of tbc Cent of Dalit, you are prisoner 
of tbc Sarkaa until you here passed 
your wordP 

"That I will, ne-rer do!' said Dalis 
calmly. "I hare passed my word to go 
forward with you: but I meant, and 
you knew I mear.t. to go forw ar d only 


The bnttjil •/ Dtlit 

AND until the arrival of the other 
two Sarka*. Dalis said nothing. 
His faced flushed an angry red as 
Sarka tbe First received tbe "Enter" 
Signal and stepped into tbc laboratory 
which bad once been his which he bad 
delivered into the capable hands of 
Sarka the Second, in order to and new 
channel! for hit genius, as a worker for 
the betterment of the world's people. 
This he had found am organisation, so 
that tbe people wor ked and la b ored, 
despite their ptranaal auarrel*. la 
closer h aj sao tiy than they ever had be- 
fore. But now Sarka the Third had 
called, and the two Sarkaa re 
rled at his ancient 
looked to be the Image of Sarka 
the Third and not one whrt older, 
though one had preceded tbc other into 
the world by many centuries. 

"Still tbe pleasant, congenial Dalis. 
1 see r smiled Sarka the Fir**. 

TTOR the moment H seemed that 
X 1 Dalis would die there of has seeth- 
ing anger: but he a n s w ere d no word 

for all of a*min«te. Then ■ 

This mad grandson of yours has 
made me a pr is on er , until such time as 
I concur in sll his planar 

"If be says pou »rt a prisoner, that 
you areT snapped /be elder Sarka an- 
grily "Son, wha/ is thi* thing you 

"For almost ' s century.** replied 
Sarka. "I have been planning thi*. I 
father told me that Dalit 
be was able to hah for a 
mome n t tbc headlong flight of the 
Earth in ita orbit, tbat Dalit did not 
lie or bluff! In your day. even, that 
was p ossible, and I continued with the 
knotty problem until I deduced the 
manner of its doing f. too. can halt 
the Earth's rotation, or throw it out of 
hs orbit! Ilcok your 



drprodetrtly of you. knowing you 
would oercr reveal your secret to a 
Sarka. and amp hard it until I can not 
ceily halt the Earth in ita orbit, but 
throw it out of ita orbit entirely?" 

For a moment Sarka atudicd the an- 
gry f*ce of Da ha, and bia own waa 
▼cry thoughtful. 

"Dalis." he aaid at Last, "I with you 
were not our enemy I For you arc a 
genius, and the world ha* need of all 
the knowledge of such genius aa it pos- 
sesses. Why do you oppose us V 

"Because." snarled Dalis, "I guessed 
something of your plan that I do not 
like! I do not like the Sarkas. never 
have: but neither have the Sarkas any 
love for me! When you spoke to us 
all. I knew that somehow you bad dis- 
covered the secret! You spoke, when 
you delivered your ultimatum, of at- 
tacking the Moon, and after it Mars I 
You also granted to my Gens what 
would have seemed a great honor — to 
anyone who did not fathom the tricky 
scheming of the Sarkas I — that of be- 
ing the first into the fray! If we axe 
to be first, and the Moon is to be the 
first a: tacked, then you plan to relirte 
the world forever of me. your arch- 
enemy, by exiling me and all my Gens 
upon the Moon! A dead world, cov-" 
cred with ashes, whose people dwell in 
dank caverns, like gnomes of the un- 


**OTAYT snapped Sarka. "But I 
vj granted you a greater honor even 
than that. Dalis! I planned on your 
Gens, led by you. making a successful 
conquest of the Moon — because only 
such a genius as Dalis could force from 
this dead world a living for his G- 
Becausc you are the wisest of .the 
Spokesmen. I planned for you the 
greatest tasa?! Because I need you 
I do not slay you!" 

"I thank you.** bowing low. with the 
deepest sarcasm, "but you honor me 
too much! And tell rne. pray, if it is 
not true that you plan for the Sarkas 

• choice of the best and Ml 
worlds of the Universe »~ 

Sarka did not answer for a second, 
while his sensitive nostrils quivered 
with fury. The Sarkas had not no- 
ticed, but Jaska, daughter of Cleric, 
bad admitted herself through the Exit 
Dome, in a way known only to Sarka 
and to herself, aa she had entered many 
times before so aa not to disturb Sarka 
at his labors She now stood silently 
there, divesting herself of her Belt and 
outer clothing, beneath which was the 
golden toga worn by all the wom en of 
the earth. Dalis. however, had seen 
her. and his eyes narrowed craftily as 
be. awaited the answer of Sarka. 

"Dalis." said Sarka softly, "it is not J 
for you to question me. but to obey 
me! I have not undertaken this step 
without mastering all its detail*, and I 
refuse to allow you to swerve me in a 
single one of them from my plan.* 

T~^W»J-IS straightened, standing stiff- 
X-^ly at savage attention, and met 
the angry eyes of Sarka without flinch- 
ing. There wss no fear in Dalis. as all 
the world knew. But be waa a schemer. 
and selfish. 

"After all." be said. "I have known 
Sarkas to make promises they could 
not keep! How do I know, bow does 
the world know, that you can do what 
you say you can dor** 

"If." said Sarka. "I close all contact 
of this laboratory with the world out- 
side, so that none may bear what I 
say save we four, and I then whisper 
here the secret you never told. Dalis, 
when my fathers father refused to 
help you— will you then believe'" 

The face of Dalis went suddenly 
white, but be nodded, his eyes burning 
redly. Jaska moved closer to the men. 
who stood near the table of the vari- 
colored lights 

"You needed my father 's father." 
said Sarka softly, "because the secret 
of your scheme rested here in this lab- 
oratory, which is the highest point in 
the world! You pretended to need him 
in your scheme : but you did not need 
my father 's father, though you did 
need his laboratory, and some of the 


facts of science that bt discovered. So 
you came to him with your scheme, 
discovered that be believed, though be 
denied it. your scheme was possible — 
because be refused to aid you in itt 
Then, as an excuse to re-enter tbis lab- 
oratory, you told him you would re- 
turn within two days! Now. shall I tell 
you your secret?" 

THE lips of Dalis were moving 
soundlessly. His right hand 
started to rise, a* though be would 
make it signal the negative be was un- 
able for a moment to speak. But even 
as be stood there, swaying slightly on 
his feet. Sarka dashed ta_ihe lights on 
the table, disconnecting them one by 
one: to the Revolving Beryl, which 
then ceased to revolve for the first time 
in centuri es w h irled when be had fin- 
ished, and stepped to the very center 
of the room. 

"Now." be whispered, "your secret. 

Still the hand upraised, still Dalis 
tried to speak, and could not. 

Sarka spoke, in a horse, almost terri- 
fied whisper, four words: 

The Beryl! The Ovoid* I" 

Gasps of surprise from the other two 
Sarka*. whose eyes for a second flashed 
to the huge Beryl, which now was (till. 
silent— and blind. Dawning coraprc- 
tension was evident in their faces. 

The success of the Revolving 
Beryl." whispered Sarka. "which sees 
all that transpires in this world, de- 
pends on one fact : that its revolving is 
proportionately timed to infinite exact- 
ness with the revolution of the Earth 
about its axis! This Beryl is the lias* 
ter Beryl of the Earth, which was why 
Dalis needed this Beryl, and could use 
no other! 

"OUPPOSE that for a period of two 
fc3 days, uniformly progressive, thi* 
Beryl were forced to revolve in sharp 
jerks at an increasing rate of speed I 
With all connections in place, and all 
the world's Beryls attuned to the speed 
of this one — what would happen? 

What would happen if a single Gem 
were marshalled in warlike array atop 
the area of the Gens, and kept up a 
steady, rhythmic inarch for a period 
of hours?" 

"In a few hours." whispered Sarka 
the First, "the roof of the Gens area 
would begin to vibrate, to vibrate 
throughout all the arcs, and even into 
all surrounding Gens areas — and in 
time the roof would collapse 1" 

"Exactly r said Sarka. breathing 
heavily. "This Bsryl. when attuned 
to all other Beryls in the world, would 
have this vibratory effect, not only on 
a certain ares of the world — but upon 
the entire world! Force the speed of 
the Beryls to the uttermost limit, and 
you sway the world to your will! As 
a marching horde would sway the roof 
of a vast section of the world if the 
horde's commander willed! 

"But that is not enough I The world 
would tremble, but nothing more ! The 
Earth'* store of Ovidum. which is Anti- 
Gravitational, and used in minute Quan- 
tities in our Anti-Gravitational Ovoid*, 
is evenly distributed throughout the 
world. By vibration of the Beryls I 
can control it. scatter it or gather it 
all together wherever I will I By shift- 
ing through vibration this Anti-Gravi- 
tational material. I can disrupt, make 
uneven, or nullify the pull of gravity 
on the Earth r 

That would do it." said Dalis. find- 
ing his voice at last: "but how would 
you control the course the Earth would 
take, thus thrown out of its orbit?" 

That, my dear Dalis. is for the mo- 
ment my secret T" 

"Bat is it?" Dalis suddenly shouted. 

BEFORE the three Sarfcas could re- 
cover from their surprise at the 
man's sudden vehemence, be made a 
swift, terrifying move. He leaped away 
from them to stand beside Jaska. 
daughter of Clerk. 

"Sarka." be shrieked. "I know you 
love thi* woman I Note thi* little tube 
I bold sgainst her side. With it I can 
cause ber to vanish for all time, merely 


by a slight pressure of the (ajm! 
And that will I do. unless you immc- 
diatelv open all cor.tacrs with the world 
and remain tilrnt while I tell toe peo- 
ple of Earth bow you would betray 
■ - 

The three Sarkas were petrjf.e 
inunmeni and bortor. for they recog- 
nued the slender tube in the b- 
Dali»*a* a Ray Director, the world's 
nginc of dr and 

knew that it would do exactly a* Dalit 
bad «aid it would. 

Automatically, because they were 
brave men. they bad stepped a trifle 
closer to Jaska and Dili* Feneration 
poured from their cheeks as they I 
at this rebel. But their fears were for 
who now spoke for the Erst time 

"Let him do as he wills." she said 

M for the good of the 

world t do toot fear to die! Refuse 

him. Sarka. aVd know that I go into 

Death's Darkness loving you always. 

■ llsg that you will stico 
the end. in spite of the opposition of 
men like Da'. 

A MAN of unexpected actions, this 
Daliv for while the attentions of 
the Sarkas were on the little tables*! 
he had staged, his eyes had dar- 
the Beryl, to the control which Sarka 
bad touched to still its revolving Now 
he sprang awav fro-n Jaska. was free 
of her and the Sarkas before any could 
move to intercept him. 

He das'.ed to the Beryl Insta- 
swept into motion, while Dalis wjjjrjcd 
to face the Sarkas and from hi* lips 
came a hurst of triumphant laughter. 
( '.ar.d was jon the Beryl Control. 

the other still held the Ray Director 
FooW Duped 
like children! And now it is Dalis who 
is master of the world' Move closer 
to me. and I will turn mv Ray Director 
upon this Ber\! which you have so 
'osned me is master of all 
the Beryls ancVaJ all Ovidum deposits' 
Be glad tftat L*rJo rot torn it upon 
you : bat fttr you I have a kinder, more 
honorable fate' I now am 

will direct the destiny of the world I 
But I will never leave it. because I sus- 
pect that it is the most, pleasant of ail 
the worlds f I will, however, choose 
foe the Sarkas a world that shall be 
the drt ill the Universe!"" 

it whirled as soft laughter 

came from Jaska. daughter of Cleric 

Strange, lilting laughter. They turned 

•.me to sec her vanish through the 

I Dome : but for a long moment her 

a jeering laughter seemed to sound in 

the laboratory she had left and, to 

nadgr by her laughter, had betrayed! 

For D*:^ arch-traitor, echoed her 



The Btrjlt in Tun* 

~T~>r MEMBER said Dabs. — ib« 
AX. Beryl began to revolve and its 

to normal, 'that you must coo cor in 
whatever I say to the people of the 
Earth— for if you do not. I swear that 
1 will destroy this Master Beryl! Then 
what happens to your scheme, Sarka 
the Third ' You see. there is no change 
- e plans.' save one : I am the master. 
not your 

* was not a madmsn. for the 
world conceded him place in its list of 
geniuses next below the three Sarkas. 
h was high honor indeed: but 
Dalis pos s e sse d in abundance that most 
universal of all human emotions— jeal- 
ousy For centuries be had been nura- 
jng the Sarkas always in 
the niches just above him. yet never 
being able to attain to their eminence. 

He had outwitted them. It might ba 
for a moment only, but while his mas- 
•ed he would drink deeply of 
personal satisfaction. Now. however. 
- was no gloating fas his face., for 
he .realized, as Sarka bad realised, the 
fasflr ry of the whole situation. 

If a mistake were made, the world 
would flange to des tructi on or go 
cooling forever in a headlong race 



"I keep lb* Rajr Director hidden." 
be whispered, while the r a m inu ring of 
the Master Beryl mounted a* it earned 
•peed again, "but know you. Sarka*. 
that it* murtle point* at the Matter 
Beryl. slwaysP 


OW the form* of Earth were ap- 
pearing on the Beryl Men in 
count less horde* were maneuvering in 
myriad*. Jegiflns and armies, across the 
face of the globe. There was no march- 
ing, but an effort lev. awift as light al- 
moat. aerial maneuvering. For each 
human being poos eased the tigbt-fltting 
me tallied cloth, with the gleaming hel- 
met in whose skull-pan wa» the Anti- 
Gravitational Ovoid, which was the 
"outside - garment of earthling* With 
the Ovoid sitting exactly against the 
skull man had but to will himself in 
any direction, at any livable height, 
and the action took place In the 
way. one man. to wham other* in an 
organization gave allegiance by ap- 
pointment, could will all hi* under- 
ling* into whatever formation be de- 

As beautiful and effortless as the 
flight of those birds which had van- 
ished from the earth centuries before. 

"Remember. Dalis." said Sarka. "that 
while the speed of the Earth in it* 
orbit i» between eighteen and nineteen 
miles per second, once thrown out of 
its orbit, and forced to follow a straight 
or nearly straight line, the speed may 
be many times that— or much ^tssf" 

The simplest facts of scier 
snarled Dalis. "were known to me a 
thousand years before you were born I 
Now I shall tell the Spokesmen of'tbe 
Gens, and be sure that yea second what 

r u r r 

He paused. Tren. raising his voice 
imp r ess ively, he spoke 

"O Spokesmen of the Gens. O Gens 
of Earth, hark ye to the words of Dalis 
and of Sarka! The time has come to 
try the experiment of which Sarka told 
you. and which I. Dalis. of the Gens of 
Dat.t have found good, and hereby cer- 
tify* See that all your Beryls 

mathematically tuned to catch every 
sound, every vibration, every picture, 
from thia Beryl of Sarka. henceforth 
to be known aa the Master Beryl I 

a VTO matter what happens, no mat- 
IN trr what changes take place in 
the temperature of your hornet, no mat- 
ter what storms may come, touch not 
your Beryls until instructed from this 
laboratory! Tunc your Beryl*, then 
leas* then*, and hasten faster with your 
for war! Each Sp • 
of a Gens will at once Instruct the 
of his Gen* that all partitions 
between families shall immediately be 
removed, outward from a common cen- 
ter in each case, until one hundred 
families occupy a single dwelling place. 
Materiala from destroyed partitions 
shall be carefully hoarded, and the 
and bigger area* shall 
places for the 
families which will occupy each given 
arra ' 

'Pacing a crisis aa we are. no thought 
can be given to privacy, and n ei ghborly 
quarrels must be forgotten! This move 
is accessary because no single dwell- 
ing plscc is Urge enough to be used aa 
a place of maneuver— and from now 
on. until the command to given, maneu- 
vers must not be held Outside! For 
hark ye. O Spokesmen. O Gens of 
Earth, we arc about to start 
voyage into outer space! 
call in your maneuvering my r ia ds! 
You have five minutes!" 

la five minutes not a flying man could 
be seen in all the cold, stormy outside. 

your Beryls and remove par- 
titions, taking care that in reducing 
partition* you so estimate your stresses 
and strains that the roof of the world 
be not endangered by weight that , 
unsupported, or improperly supported ! 

"Food Cons er ve rs. redouble your 
production and rush your transports- 
,fioo of Food Capsules! 

"Mother of men. take over the labors 
of your sons sad your has ban as I Siw' 
-thearts of men. join the 


myriads in maneuver*, for jrou. too. 
our require knowledge of fighting P 

IN (pile of himself, an calculation of 
admiration escaped the lip* of 
Sarka Hearing it. Dalis turned to him. 
and a flush of pleasure tinged bit 
I at Sarka shaped one word with 
his lip*: 

■ -. client P 

Then, after a pause. Sarka spoke di- 
rectly to the Gen*, of Earth. 

Take heed of the word* of I 
for they are also the weeds of the 

Then an caprtssion of surpirsc 
flashed aero** the face of Sarka a* 
Dalia" finger* began to move in a swift 
•on of pantom im e— for the sign man- 
ual he used was the secret manual of 
ind Sarka' His heart cold with- 
in him at this new proof of her be- 
trayal. Sarka nevertheless noted the 
words which dropped *ilently off the 
finger* of this enemy of the Sa 

"You are wi»< to resist no further! 
Together we cat do much, and if you 
give your word 50*. to oppoae me. we 
J3» work together: but I will be the 

_ "But, if we grant you the mattery. 
will yo\ heed our advice if it is good P 

"I will, but I alone will be the judge 
of it* worth r 

Then we work together henceforth 
Let us begin! In the time required to 
move from here to the Moon, our peo- 
ple will have ample op p o r t uni ty to per- 
fect themv -xneuveraf Are you 
ready. O my father, and father** 
father T 

"Ready r they said together. 

BUT for a moment Da lis hesitated 
Tour word P he snapped. look- 
ing at each Sarka in turn, and each in 
his turn nodded They had give- 
word, but -not their love, to Dalia 
Dalit bowed low to Sarka the Youngest. 
who darted to the onyx base in which 
revolved the Matter Beryl, and preset d 
a small lever of metalired jade. %/ 
slot on the southern side of the base 

of onyx. The humming sound within 
the Beryl became perceptibly loude r , 
and aa the minutes passed, and Inrka 
stood, arms folded, watching the re- 
volving Beryl, it continued to increase. 
Here was the crisis, and aa they 
watched it* sure, certain approach, they 
forgot their enmities. Dalit and the 
Sarka*. and watched the whirling 
Beryl Minute by minute it* humming 
rased The figure* still were plain 
to be seen within the Beryl, but ■ 
becoming blurred of outline Parti- 
tions had been removed all ovcr-the 
earth, increasing the site of roams a 
hundredfold, reducing their sti— ltiii 1 a 
hundredfold The Gent of Earth, by 
hundred- families, were maneuvering 
under the Heads of Hundreds The 
depths of the Master" Beryl, therefore. 
wjt a mare of flying men. with their 
eitremities slightly blurred, and 
coming more so a* the Master Beryl 
increased its speed. 

HERE now was shown the value of 
the organization fostered by 
Sarka the First— for in all the world 
there was no single Beryl out of rune 
with the Master Beryl : and at the Mas- 
ter Beryl increased the speed of its re- 
volving, so increased st the same time 
the speed of all the other, Beryls. Min- 
ute by minute the humm i n g of the Mas- 
ter, and with it the others increased 
in volume. 

"Father P spoke Sarka To the Ob- 
servatory, behind the Beryl, please to 
watch the stars, and from them to note 
direction we take when the com- 
bined vibrations of the Beryls have af- 
fected the quiescence of Earth's de- 
posit* of Ovidusn and. through 
shifting, disturbed the flight of the 
Earth in its orbit P 

With a brief nod Sarka 1 father hur- 
ried around the Master Beryl to 
tiny Observatory beyond, from which, 
through the Micro-Telescopes, those 
who "knew^ould read the se cr e ts of the 
planets, the stars— the Universe Sarka 
watched him go. wondering if Dalia 
might not forbid him But Dalit mere- 


ly watched bun go and Mid n o th i n g. 

NOW thjt the time of Change wm 
upon the world. D*h* n 
hit rrtponsibility. It w*« little wonder 
that be began to be for the first time a 
little bit titt 

"Note. Dah» f" snapped Sarka. and 
Dalia atarted nervoualy m hi* name wat 
tpoken 'Feel the trembling of the 
laboratory. ju»t m the aamc trembling 
• all the other building* ia the 
world ia which Beryl* arc located At 
the minute* pas* the trembling will go 
deeper and deeper, and by to-morrow 
the first tremor* will be reaching into 
the Esrsh to »cveral mile* below the 
last habitable Inner Level! And 

"Then."" repeated Sarka tersely. "say 
father will know by hi* study of the 
star* in which new direction we art 
traveling! For within twenty-four 
hour* the Earth will hare started on it* 
voyage of conquest T 

*Ia there no way. Sarka." queried 
Dalia. "by which we can control the di- 
rection of out" Right!" 

"There it a war. O wise and gallant 
Dalit t But wnce you do not know it. 
whs) bow is master?** 

Dalit' face became at pale as cbs'k. 
aad Sarka smiled a little as he watched 
him Then, wondering what new re- 
solve stirred the depth* of this master 
egotist of the earth, be watched emo- 
tions ftath to and fro across the face of 
Dalia. watched the color return to hit 
check* The cold of death gripped at 
his heart when Dalit spoke 

"I do not fear death. O wite and gal- 
lant Sarka f~ he mocked "For I have 
lived fully and well, and for saaay. 
many centuries' You knew that I do 
r t fear to tlay people of the Earth, 
for did I not propose to your fatf- 
fatber that a flood would be beneficial 
to unfit esmhlingt » Hear, thee' Keep 
your secret, and I shall allow the Earth 
to go outward into space, out of con- 
trol, in whatever direction y will If 
any other worlds happen to lie in our 

DA L I S shrugged indifferently. 
turning his hack on Sarka. to ponr 
again into the depths of the M as ter 
Beryl, whose voice had risen to a vas- 
ter murmur, ■ h os t pictures were be- 
coming m om en t by moment snore 
b lurr ed a* time Aed irrevocably into 
eterr _ 

Sarka the First took advantage of his 
opportunity, and leaped at the back of 
Dalit, handt extended to fasten 
in the throat of hit ancient 
Dalit whirled, with a burst of Uugkaar, 
and the morale of hit Ray Director 
covered the person of the First Sarka. 
In a flash the spot where Sarka the 
First had been was vacant, and there 
wm no single sign to show that he had 
ever Mood there ' 

Silence then in the la b or ato ry, save 
for the mounting murmur of the Maattar 
Beryl I 



Outer 5nece 

E only proved a\ belief I 

entertained for centuries f 
led Delis. That all the anal* 
Sarka* are fools— and the females for 
I tbcmr 

Sarka Mid nothing, but jertkia hat 
breast a deep hatred wm forming for 
Dalia He had disliked him before, and 
had been amused by him: but in the 
busy life of Sarka there had been no 
time for hatred of anyone. Busy peo- 
ple had no time for hatreds. 

"You should be torn to pieces for 
that. Dalit r wm all be Mid "We 
needed my father's father ia our ef- 
forts! But the lo«* to the world of 
per-genius cannot be balanced by- 
slaying another— so you axe Mfe!"* 

'What he could do. I can dof* 
snapped Dalia 

Sarka turned away from him. tearing 
himself beside the table of the vari- 
colored lights, and his heart wm heavy 
at lead in hit breast He blamed Jeska 
for snack of this.' and hit heart was 
burdened, despite her treachery, by the 
fact that he loved her. always ■Paid 


love her Love was the one p osats s ion 
which made craturm of lift desirable 
to men of the Earth. Foe men could 
spend tartaric* in seeking a true mate, 
knowing that there were other cen- 
: in which to enjoy her. 
Woman wit man's greatest boon, his 
excuse for living, as was man excuse 
for woman. Through the centuries, 
when humankind remained forever 
young, the joy in each other of those 
truly mated grew aa their knowledge 

AND now Jaska had failed Sarka. 
when for half a century they had 
loved each other • Why had she done 
■ t ' He had given her no reason to do 
so Had there been some other reason?' 
Why had she laughed, and left them, 
after the betrayal of the Master Beryl 
into the hands of Da! i 

"Before God. - whispered Sar. 
believe that you. jaska. were playing 
a game to dupe Dalis. as he played a 
game to dupe u*t\ 

Down in his heart be was not sore. 
But somehow, just to whisper to him- 
self his faith in jaska. gave it back to 
him in tome measure, and by to much 
lightened the weight upon his heart. 
For now bis responsibilities were 
I than they had ever been before. 
and be had need of all his faculties. 

"Shell come back, or some h ow coo- 
ate with me. and captain every- 
thing." he told himself. But I 
fused to ponder on bow Dalit the be- 
trayer bad g.rned prmrnion of the 
secret sign manual be bad believed 
known only to Jaska and himself. 
That. too. might be explained satisfac- 
torily, for Dalis wat cunning. 

From the side of the laboratory op- 
posite the Revolving Beryl came a soft 
g sound, like the striking of a 
musical bell. Sarka rose wearily, strode 
wall, where a narrow aperture 
opened, in which rested Food C apsu l e s 
sufficient for one meal foe three men. 
He smiled wryly. They knew then, the 
Food Conserve- •- *h as 

they were, tha* -noo 

sent food for three menl 
All the world knew, perhaps, y*t n* 
single person bad raited voice in pro- 
tea*— or if any had. the mounting cmsr- 
sour of the Beryls had drowned it out. 

"QARKAT spoke Dalis suddenly. 

O 'At what time do you estimate 
that the flight of the Earth in its orbit 
will be materially affected *~ 

'It is being affected thia mo ment. 
Dalit, shifting the Ovidum store f" said 
Sarka shortly. "Within twelve hours 
we will be in readiaeoa to atari our 
Journey T 

Remaining absolutely 
within the domed laboratory 
now possible to feel the ever to alight 
< mot ion, not only of the laboratory, but 
of the mountain crest upon which it 
retted Not so much a to-and-fro 

Just as the slightest sound flies out- 
ward through apace endlessly, and the 
slightest vibration movri outward un- 
til the end of time and of space. Sarka 
knew that the vibration set sp by the 
Beryls, alight though it was. wat al- 
ready being felt at the Poles of the 
Earth Not enough to be noticed there, 
but cxittant. just the same 

"In twelve hours the world will be 
fighting against this combined vibra- 
tion and Anti -Gravitational Force we 
are starting, and second by secsad ac- 

■ plained to D. 
-fighting to remain on its path - 
about the Sun! But we will win against 
tad with t»cb new vibration, each 
succeeding one being more strongly 
felt, we will force the Earth that much 
more against the pull which holds 11 in 
its or 

The laboratory was trembling The 
mountain beneath it was trrmbl 
Both in accordance with scientific de- 
sign There was no element of chance 
- for the mountain moved, and the 
laboratory on its crest moved, as sci- 
ence willed It wss now difficult for 
Sarka to remain still where be tat. for 
the trembling was exciting his heart 
•■g the blood to rash 


to hi* check*. making him feverish. 
He rose to hi* feet and begin facing 
the floor. 

He strode to the >*de lever, moved it 
ahead a fraction of a fraction of an 
inch, and perceptibly the murntuiing 
of the Beryl increased, a* did the trem- 
bling of the laboratory and of the 


■ . r i M 

TWELVE noun Uter 
Sarka ahouted a tingle 


The laboratory waa twinging 
in a tort of circle is, a way that made 
one dixxy if one remained ttill for the 
mtreat tecood Sarka. glancing out 
into the Outside, acroaa which blew the 
•tormt of the height*, and noting that 
no crack* appeared in the surface of 
the world'* vaet roof, knew that thi* 
swaying motion had been transmitted 
evenly to all the Earth, and that, to far 
at. least, hi* cslculationa had been cor- 

But Dalis was in a cold sweat of 
fear, and deathly tick. The motion of 
the laboratory, like the inside of a 
whirling top. made him ill. though 
Sarka could tell that he fought against 
it with all hi* great will 

Sarka strode to hiss, looked hiss in 
the eye* for a moment. Dslia looks*! 
back, glaring drfisnre 

"Are you afraid. Dalit?" he shouted, 
to be beard above the screaming of the 
Master Beryl. 

I am not afraid.' croaked Dahs 
'Has the time arrived P 

Sarka paused, a* though for dramatic 
effect, and raised hi* right hand high, 
while hi* left hand dropped to the 
metaliied >ade lever. There still was 
room in the slot in the onys base for 
the lever to move forward ever so little 

-TI7E have reached the exact 
VV place." cried Sarka. "where the 
Earth can, by pressure upon this lever, 
be contiaaed on in its orbit— or forced 
oat of it— out into tpaccf Which shall 
It be. Dalu' If I move the lever for- 

ward we start our voyage, and may not 
be able to returaf" 

For s moment the nostrils of Dsiis 
quivered a* though with fear. Hi* face 
waa white with hi* illness; but out of 
hi* eye* peered the fanatic self-con- 
fidence of the man. 

"Push it forward. O Sari T he man- 

Sarka. smiling slightly, pushed the 
lever to it* uttermost limit, still with 
hi* right arm upraised. For full five 
minute* he stood thus, and then. . . . 

"NowT he shouted, bringing down 
his arm. "We have begun our >ourney 
Into space ! Come, let us look Outside, 
and await the trot report* from ary 
father P 

The two men. forgetting again for 
a moment the fact of their enmity. 
•erode to the southern wall of the 
laboratory and looked out across the 
roof of the world. 

"You will note, Dslia." said Sarka 
conversationally, "that in a matter of 
hours, the roaring of the Ethnic winds 
will possess everything I We will have 
passed into the infinite reaches of 
Outer Space, where, if I may make so 
bold aa to say to. it were better if Dalis. 
self -named master of the world. 
whither he was going, T 

Mood Mi along Prtptrt 

"T Tii time." said Sarka softly, "that 
X we who have urged the world to 
forget its quarrel* should forget our 
own. What difference who ia master, 
so long as success attend our efforts P 
Then tell me your secret of con- 
trol of our flight P snapped Dslia. 

Before Sarka could answer, however. 
Sarka the Second entered' the labora- 
tory area before the Matter Beryl Ht 
looked s Question at hit son. and Sarka 
knew that hit father was asking what 
had become of Sarka the First. He 
shrugged hi* shoulders, sad nodded his 
bead toward Dalis Sarka the Seconal 
gave no more sign of perturbation than 
had his son, but deep within his eye* 


were u(iul tut t of fury which I - 
lutKt of penance on the part of Da lis 
would mi cttK Ball - mUk It 
the Pint gone. Dalit rout* live 

"We axe beaded." said Sarka t father 
softly, "in the genera! direction cf the 
Moon* If we could travel tow«*d it 
in a straight line, we would reach it. 
if we kept our pace of about eighteen 
miles per second, in approximator 
four hours I But since we arc out of 
control. I fear we will ;.*»» it too far 
away for our fighters to fly across the 
intervening space' Or we may be 
drawn against it. to planetary collision, 
which of course means annihilation 
We are traveling noticeably Untt than 
while in the earth's orbit I am able 
to see something of the preparation of 
Moon-men to receive usf" 

DALIS turned to Sarka. and the 
perspiration bedewed his fore- 
head la order to ma • ad mis- 
sion successful, he must know tart I I 
secret of ror.trol Had he been in 
Sarka's place, he would have kept his 
secret, no matter what happened, and 
he believed in bis heart that Sarka 
would do the same. It never occurred 
to him that Sarka. no matter who the 
master, would divulge his secret in or- 
der to save humanity from destntctioo. 
have approximately four hours. 
Dalit'" Sarka prompted the betrayer. 
"I need at least on hour for my' Do you. knowing as you 
do that I have planned all this out. 
know exactly what course oar voyage 
should take, still insist on holding the 
reins yourself?" 

rree. for this time, to las* 
your advice, as I promised you!" 

"Then let me suggest that you do 
some of the work which I had planned 
should be done by my fathers father! 
■ time jhv the world's Induction 
Conduitt'be placed in operation, in or- 
der that our people be sup p li ed with 
equable temperature from the Earth's 
Core, ss our temperature changes due 
to oar position with relation to the sua I 
Stand back and give me the controls!" 

FOR a moment Dalit stared at the 
Sarkas. Would they setae 
power the moment he moved away from 
the Beryl Control? In their places be 
knew be would have done it In their 
I be knew he would never have 
submerged self in the good of the peo- 
Hut. somewhat diffidently, he 
moved away Sarka the Second re- 
turned to the Observatory, behind the 
Beryl, while Sarka stopped before the 
table where the lights were 

After a moment of thought -conversa- 
tion with Sarka the Second in the Ob- 
ry. he dimmed the light which 
connected his laboratory with the head 
quartert of KUwr in the Americas 

"Klaser." be barked, "for the period 
of one second cut the speed of every 
Beryl within your Gens to half its 
present tpeed' 

"I obey. O Sarka r come the vote* 
of DM 

"Have we changed direction'" Sarka 
mentally questioned his father 

"Slightly, but we »rt curving away. 
instead of toward the Moon! Try 
again f" 

Sarka dimmed the light of C 
who instantly made answer 

"I am here. Sarka " 

"Stop the Beryls of your Gens for 
two seconds, but be prepared to speed 
them up immediately afterward, if or- 
dered, to the speed at which they are 
now revolving ! Klaser. bold the speed 
of your Beryls as they aref" 

"I obey. O Sarka !" came the mustcsJ 
tones of Cleric 

-ar. O Sarka r replied K later 

"Now. my father." queried Sarka 
again, tclepathicalry. "what direction 
do we tra ■ 

"We are heading in a direction which 
will caute us to psas the Moor 
distance of approximately fifty thou- 
tar.d milet'" 

"From which point our fighters can 
reach the Moon in exactly two hours, 
after they have passed through our at- 
cried Sarka eiulta- 


rue. son!" replied Sarka the Sec- 



and, mentally. ~I wf(r«i you hold 
our count steady a* It far 

THE notion of the earth now - 
a* that of a steadily falling body, 
and the shifting of the Oviducn Mote 
(tuitd by vibrstiooa act up by the 
Beryls bad set tbc Earth oa it* court* 
toward tb« Moon. Sarka now (arc in- 
structions to Kisser and to Cleric to 
return tbc speed of thcS? Beryl* to that 
which tbey bad attained at tbc s rtnc n tr t t 
tbc /ourney of tbc Earth bad beg un 
the* bringing then once more into bar* 
■way with tbc Master Beryl and ren- 
dering the Ovidum tea' 

Dalit re-entered tbe laboratory from 
the Wall Tube near tbc Dome 
by which be bad passed down to the 
low***. Inner Level, aad ttared suopi- 
cioutly at tbc two Sarka*. He fo und 
tbcm half-amihng tbeir satisfactioa. 

" Wc pans tbc Moon within fifty thoo- 
tand mile«r exulted Sarka. "A Sight 
of two bourt for tbc Cent which at- 
tacks tbe Moon I Do you refute. O 
Dalit, to tend your Gen* against tbc 

"Why not tend tbc Gens of Cerd T 
dtsainilnl Dalit. "He it tbc youngest 
of tbc Spokesmen, aad what better test 
it there for bin than this?" 

"It it because be rt to young that 
wc do not with to tend him. - replied 
Sarka coldly. Tbc colonisation of tbc 
Moon by Eartblinga require* tbc guid- 
ing genius of a Spokesman who ha* tbc 
experience of a Dalit— or a Sarka. case 
you would now be dead I** 

Then let it be a Sarka P barked 

"Wbo. then, will control tbc further 
flight of tbe Earth r" 

'You I Let your father lead ay Ccn* 
against tbc Moonr 

'What will your Cca* t*y. O Dali*> 
That tbeir revered Spokesman feared 
to lead tbcm ia person P 

"Enough of thit squabbling." snapped 
Sarka tbe Second "Do you not real- 
ise that within a matter of hour*, soanr 
Cca* avast be aent into battle? Coca* 
sot to tbe Observatory, where yoa 

will be given tomctbing beside 
bung with wkuch to oeatay 

LEAVING tbe earth on it* lonely 
flight through space, tbc three 
men burned to tbc Observatory, where 
tbey seated themselves before tbe eve- 
ptcccs of tbc Micro-Telescope*, whose 
outer circle* bad been aimed at tbc 

For • tno—inl tbe tare* stared 
breatbleasly at tbe turf ace of thus dead* 
of tbe Earth. They noted bee 
valley*, her craters which a 1 1 ass* il bot- 
tomless, and taw that cvea a* tbey 
watched, valley* and crater* became 
tbarprr of outline, proving that tbey 
were approaching the Mooa at a tre- 
sa ra do u * speed. It 
though tbey were 
collision, though Sarka tbc 
said that tbey would pasa tbe Mooa at 
a distance of fifty thousand axle*. 

"Yoa will note activity at tbe very 
rim* of- the craters P said tbe Elder 
Sarka easily. "Tbe craters arc man- 
made, not volcanic a* tame socaUats 
believe, and are shaped to converge tbe 
ray* of tbe sun. as our roof it created] 
for the same purpose Bat note the 
•y at the rim* of the craters T 

CLOSER tbe men peered. sCadying- 
the rim* a* instructed by Sarka 
tht Second A!! tU,.' thro— ar.4 ss 
tbey watched, activity became ■npaiiai 
oa tbe inner slope* of the craters- 
winged creatures teemed to be flying 
They looked like tiny oblate tahrrpHs. 
and tbey were ia swift action, darting ■ 
"to and fro like bees which havr 
disturbed ia their hives 

Those spheres art of metal." said 
Sarka tbe Second, "and they are tbe 
fighting Aircart of tbc Moon-caenf" 

Neither Dslit nor Sarka ■itaiil this 
statement, foe they knew it to b' 
It became apparent that tbe movement 
of the A i rears was not a movement of 
chance, but at skillfully ordered as any 
raawriivrri which bad. during the last 
few boars, been csecuted by any of the 


Gens of Earth. That they were of 
metal became apparent when, through 
the Micro-Telescope*, the watchers 
caught the glint of the mm on the sur- 
of the a 

Sarka did a sssifl mental calculation, 
announced the result. 

"Those Aircart avenge so-nethmg 
like four hundred feet 
are doubtless n r.ghting Moon- 


iht." said Dalis. who also 
bod been rety thing. 

"out our Rar directors will disintegrate 
the Air cars as easily as my Ray Direc- 
tor distintegratcd Sarka the F 

THE remaining Sarkas received 
statement in silence, foe Dalis' 
choice of a comparison bad been an un- 
happy one. to say the l in t 

I am wondering.*' said I 
you. my father, and you Dalis. have 
the peculiar appendages of the 

• w them some minutes ago. 
tttatf moodily, "and I am almost 
I to guess their use! If they are 
I fear they a-' 'he Moon- 

men bare been expecting this attack of 
jt years and years, and have been 
mg for it! If they have known, 
and have been pre; 

. a race of super-Beings indeed 
—for we have known but little of their 

-What, then." said Dalis. "do you 
the purpose of those appen- 
dices »" 

Tbosc appendagci. cilia. nagella. 
call them whatever you wish. *tt man- 
made tentacles, created fee the purpose 
of seirir.g crushing and d< 
then dt» 

Foe .a full two minutes the three men 
tat there, and horrible doubts flooded 

r oe the conctusk 
, t-vious The Gens of Earth would go 
into action frying, not as organizations. 
laaidc an Atrear. but as individuals, in 

In order to do the utmost damar. 

sra, they must approach/ within a 
reasonable distance — and the Licturc of 
those mighty tenaclcs. hurled like 
leashed lightning bolts into the 
of the attackers, folding In individ 
by score* and hundreds, crushing them 
and dropping them contemptuously. 
was horrible in the extreme to contem- 

IT was difficult to estimate the pos- 
sible speed of the Aircars of the 
Moon-men. at least at this distance. 
Besides, perhaps not a single ooe of 
them was traveling at top speed, be- 
cause of the fact of their crowded 

> thought passed through the 
minds of the three men. 

"But well know. - said Sarka dully. 
"when they get into action. For if I 
am not mistaken, those Aircars are be- 
ing mastered on the rims of those crs- 
await orders, not to resist our 
attack, but to launch their own attack 
before we are ready! Dalis. are you 
going to allow your Gens to go into 
action against these Outsiders, without 
piratson of your personal leader- 
ship *~ 

The nostrils of Dalis were 
with the intensity of his emotion H.$ 
vast egotism told him that be. I 
could successfully combat these Ail 
cars of the Moon-men. and be wished 
with a. I bis heart to issue the orders M 
hit Gens. But. vain aa be was. be did 
not even wish to have the appearance 
cf acceding to the original plan of 
Sarka! Sarka bad planned for Dalit to 
attack the dwellers of the Moo- . 

had refused Now. when this 
challenge of the Aircars was a dire*' 
challenge to kit genius as s potential 
warlord o' - J he wished to a- ■ 

cept the challenge, be was torn two 

Should he go ahead, under the com- 
mon leadership of the Sarkat' Or 
should be still refuse battle — and per- 
haps see some lesser Spokesman go 
forth to win glory and imperishable re- 
nown to himself* 



A THOUGHT BMUf«. • command 
almost. impinged on th« brains of 
th« tbrre • 

"I wish to speak with you aloud P 
The mrtuft was from Ja«fca! 

Th« three men rose and darted into 
the room of the Master BeryL They 
had do sooner entered than the clear 
voice of Jaska sounded in the labora- 

'Sarka. I am no traitor I I am Jaska. 
who loves- you! I am in the head- 
quarters of Dalis at Obi. and the Gens 
of Dalis has indicated its allegiance to 
me. having been informed by me that 
it it the wish of Dalis. whose presence 
is needed at the place of the Master 
Beryl! Command us. O Sarka. foe we 
are ready to attack P 

There the voice ended, while the two 
Sarka* turned again to face Dalit 

Sarka now was glad that Dalit knew 
the secret sign manual, and his finger* 
worked swiftly a* he spoke to the 

"Will you. then. Dalis, allow your 
Gems to be led to glory by a woman? 
A woman, moreover, who has duped 

"The woman it a foolP said DaJis 
"She will lead the Gens to destruc- 
tion f" 

-Who. then, will be blamed if she 
docs? Your Gens believe she it their 
new Spokesman at your with? If they 
are told otherwise, they will think that 
Dalis himself it afraid to lead them!" 

"We shall see" said Dalis. "if I 
could win honor by leading my Gens 
. ».-><'-! attack against the 
Moon-men. ho*% much greater will be 
my glory if Jaska attack* it repulsed 
— and I go in to turn defeat into vic- 
tory I" 

Thus spake the colossal sclnshncaa 
of Dalis. who took no thought of the 
possible, nay. certain, loss of counties* 
because of his obstinancy. 

*I suggest." he said, "that you in- 

your beloved Jaska to make 

ready: for if I am not mistaken, when 

we return to the Observatory we will 

discover that the Aircart of the Moon- 


men have left their craters and are rac- 
ing outward from the Moon t* meet 
ut' Or perhaps yea would lend say 
Gens, to safeguard Jaska P 


The Attack or* (he Yeliew Sun 

HY should , I safeguard 
Jaska?" asked Sarka quietly. 
'She it a true daughter of Cleric! If 
Cleric does not fear for her t* be 
-spokesman of a Gens, why should I ' 
He it her father If she wins, the more 
glory will be hers! If she loses, she 
will at least have tried P 

'Meaning.- snarled Dalts, "that 1 
have refused even to tryP 

Sarka shrugged eapreaaively, and 
the three stepped once more into the 
Observatory, took their places before 
the Micro-Telescopes. For a moment 
they could not see the outline of the 
Moon, for during their brief so j ourn 
in the laboratory the Moon soemed to 
have disintegrated, frying into count- 
less spheroidal pieces. 

"You see*" said Dalis The Moon- 
men do not wait for us! They attar • 

It was all too true that the Airran 
which had been mustered at the rims 
of the Moon>~craters had been hurled 
outward into space, outward toward 
the on-rushing Earth, and the myriad 
number! of them for a time shut out 
all view of the surface of the Moon. 

'GodP spoke Sarka. and it was like 
a prayer Hit cheeks were pale a* 
death, for in a mom en t he would speak 
the word which would send the Gens 
of Dalis. under the leadership of Jatka. 
out against these formidable Aircart 
of the Moon-men. and the appea ran ce 
of the on-rushing cars wat terrifying 
That their flying radius, outward, was 
a great one. wat manifest by the fact 
that the Earth would not for another 
hour reach its closest estimated point 
with the Moon. 

SARKA. exchanging glances with 
his father rose and stepped again 
into the laboratory Even as he ejt- 


tared the room of the Master Beryl. 
Jaska s broken signal came through. 
I in ready. Saikar cane ber aoft 
vibrant with confidence. "The 
Gtnt ia ready, and the Gens believes 
in mef* 

For a moment Sarka hesitated before 
. the plunge Then he spoke the 

Jaska. and my tore goes with 

As the Earth approached closer to 
the Moon, the revolving of the Beryls 
K>d been decreased, so that the motion 
of the Matter Beryl was almost nor- 
mal— normal being that speed with 
which it revolved when it wat neces- 
sary to use it visual contact with the 
people of the Earth 

Out of the area of the Gens of Dalis 
darted the green • •• -huh were 
the frying people of Dili t' Sarka. star- 
ing in among the—., focussing the 
Beryl-microscope, soc-bt for some way 
of identifying jaska who led them. A 
thrill coursed through him when* he 
made ber out. unnvitakably— dressed 
still in the tight white clothing of ber 
cwn Ger.s. with the Red Lily of the 
bowse of Cleric on her breast and on 
her back! The daughter of Cleric was 
£ the Gent of 'o combat. 

under ber own colors and her father's 

SARKA raced back to the Obi 
tory. seated himself again to 
watch the attack, which must of - 
sity be joined within a matter a lm ost 
of minutes Those myriads of A - 
flying outward from the Moon, had 
seemed Im but up until bow 

be had never > Gens mus- 

tered at one ISBM Hat whole 
thrilled wi'h the awesome grandeur of 
. ;-eetacle. it seemed t v 

'■ the Gens of 
i to answer the master 
of the G 

Millions upon millions of people. 

.- off the iev roof of that part of 

the Earth Iving between Ohi and the 

North Pole, from the heart of what 

once been part of the Pacific 


So many of them were there that 
they were free of the Earth, 
outward at two thousand miles 
an boor, it was im possible to see the 
Moon or those formidable Aircars— 
and still out of the heart of the area 
of the Gens of Dalis. came other myri- 
ads, each flight waiting only for the 
preceding flight to clear ' 

The green, tight fitting clothing of 
the Gens of Dalis. each individual 
-g the yellow star of the Spokes- 
man of the Gens! A marvelous, awe- 
inapinr.g sight I 

And this was but a single arcs, and 
the earth was divided into twelve such 
areas, some smaller, none larger, which 
showed Sarka for the first time a hint 
Si •-- Bmtgbty rr_iT. ;cwrr i- i f.£h'.-g 
woman-power which be controlled. 
However, ooec free of the Earth, con- 
duct of the fight would be in the hands 
of the Spokesman— Jaska. acting for 

SARKA turned to Dalis. his eyes 

Tjoes it not thrill you. O Dalit r he 
d eman d e d. "Do you not wish now that 
you bad gone out with your people as 
their lead- 

They follow Jaska like sheep." be 
stated with a snort. "But wait! My 
Gens seem invincible, became it bulks 
be tween us and (he Aircars of the 
Moon- Dwellers' Wait, see bow the 
eoet 1 The Gens may yet have 
need of D* • 

Sarka studied those outgoing 

- -e dwindling away to 

I with vast speed, for through the 

cordons and cordons of them be could 

now see the Aircars mote plainly It 

was still possible, when one looked 

through the Micro-Telescopes, to see 

m figure of Jaska. leaH 

Shf wj« ir. the vanguard of the 

I leading her people on- 

M though she had been born to 

command— utterly fearless. 

I I «n small enough.'' whss- 



pcred Sarka, "to doubt 700 ( I 
told you that I doubted you I Forgive 
at. Jaaka f Forgive me f~ 

And Mill, as Level after Lrrtl gave 
up its myriads, tbe Gens of Dalit shot 
forth from the Com area, and winged 
j way. following the lead of J asks. 
Millions of people, armed with Ray 
Directors and Atom Disintegrators. 
How tiny the individuals seemed, 
against the mighty hulk of those Air- 
cars of the Moon! 

Bat Saxka did not fear, save for the 
safety of Jaaka. as he waa reahring 
anew that he bad scarcely s a i i s si ml the 
surface of the — n laighi of the Earth. 


OW. seen through the myriads of 
the Dalis Gens, be could see 
again the onrushing Aircars. and his 
heart misgave him for a moment as be 
tell, by estimation, that at least a 
families were outlined against 
{■dividual car. which moment by 
grew larger 

testacies were now much in 
evidence, rising aad falling under and 
around the racing Aircars like ser- 
pents, or dragging ropes: but s eem i n g 
like living things in the sentient man- 
ner of their moving— eager to come in 
contact with the first ej the earthlings, 
aad to wrap those tentacles about them, 
crush them, hurl them into space. 

Sarka went back into the laboratory 
only long enough to attune the Beryls 
of the Earth to a point where the Earth 
would 1 1 swain almost stationary, com- 
paratively speaking.' taking a curving 
course about the surface of the Moon, 
as it had for countless millions of 
vears coursed sbout tbe Sua. 

back to the Observatory, to see 

it the battle Through the 
Micro-Telescopes the first meeting was 
plain to be seen. The Gens of Dubs 
adlong to meet the Aircars. 
of them rnatiH headlong to 
their destruction 

Sarka noted a group of perhaps a 
hundred people break forth from the 
vanguard of the attackers, and mount 
to a safe height above tbe Aircars 

against which the Gens were burling 
themselves. A sigh of relief escaped 
him. and be wished there were sense 
way in which he could learn the indi- 
vidual identities of the ninety and nine 
who had taken Jaaka forcibly out of 
danger! For her white clothing, aad 
her Red Lily of Cleric were plainly 
visible and recognisable I The men of 
tbe Gens of Dalis might permit the 
leadership of a woman, but they would 
not permit her to be needlessly en- 

SARKA turned to Dalis. and noted 
that the face. of the master egotist 
waa pale and drawn, his nostrils cjuiv- 
ering with emotion, as he watched his 
Gens go into battle, and a feeling of 
satisfaction coursed through Sarka 
like a little white flame Dalis was 
pr o u d of his Gens, and now was wish- 
ing that be. and not Jaaka. wars lead- 
ing them onward. 

"I would wager something," whis- 
pered Sarka to himself, "that Dalis will 
not be able to stand HI That before 
battle has been joined for ten minutes. 
he will have gone out to take over the 
leadership of the Gens! Jaaka must 
have guessed that, too! Wise, clever 

Witb a fearless massing of forces, 
the people of the yellow stars joined 
battle with the Aircars! The manner'' 
of men who new the Aircars was still 
unknown to the people of Earth 

Bat in a trice they would know 

In a matter of minutes Earth would 
realise the horror of what faced the 
Gens of Dalis. whom Jaska led ! 

For with the srarliag oat of their 
Aircars. the Moon-me n had given but 
tbe merest hint of their pondero u s, de- 

Testacies 0/ Terror 

DALIS had always been a stormy 
petrel, but as be sat before his 
Micro- Telescope, watchmr his Gens go 
into battle against the Moon-men, not 



even Sarka the Second guested the 
depth of infamy of which Dalit was 

Dalit had given a hint, but Sarka 
had. in his sadden realization of the 
fact that Jatka really loved him. and 
was no traitor, forgotten that hint. 
How had Dalit learned the tecre* 
-nanual of Jatka and Sarka? Therein 
lay the h. 

Dalit, in comm on with all other 
Earth s scientists, possessed the > 
to think deeply, yet to to mask his 
thoughts that no one else could grasp 
them telepathically — and it was well 
for the peace of mi-.d of the Sarkas 
that they could not read the black 
thought of the man. or look into the 
future, even so far at a do/en ft 

The Cent of the yellow stars moved 
into contact with the Aircars of the 
Moon. Earth and Moon were gripped 
in the horror of war. the war between 
worlds, where no quarter might be 
asked or given, because fought between 
alien peoples who did not so much as 
comprehend each other's languages, or 
even their signals 

The people of the Cent farme d 
about the Aircars like myriad swarms 
of angry bees, but it was only to Dalis 
that this simile came, for only ! 
of these three, had ever seen a swarm 
of bees. 

SWEEPING in closelv. the O-t 

» In 
:ors a 

from their r 
irka Belts their Ray 
- Atoen-Ditintegra- 
the blighting rays of 
gleaming, ice-colored 
of the aerial mVti- 
But even at the Gens brought their 
instruments of destruction into play. 
the mighty tentacles of the first hun- 
' bran had £0» into action. Down 
they .* Ml 'o catch at the I 

bodies of the pigmylike individuals of 
the Gens, and hundreds of Eart 
were caught in those tentacles in the 
mom en t of conf • 
Sarka studied the reaction of the 

the expressions of unutterable agony 
on their faces, could see their checks 
torn black with — what? There was no 
way of knowing: but all sorts of 
guesses were possible. Those tenta- 
cles, from their action upon the hu- 
man beings which they encompassed, 
might be charged with electricity. For 
the people they captured turned black, 
then shriveled slowly and were re- 
leased by the tentacles. . 

They fell sluggishly away, through 
the great space which yet separate 1 
the Earth and the Moon But the 
people who fell, fell aimlessly, going 
- bar toward the Earth or the Moon. 
like black feathers in a vagrant brccre 

"Great God. do you see. father?" 
cried Sarka. "The— whatever it it— 
that turns our people into cinders and 
drops them, has no effect on the Anti- 
Gravitational Ovoidt in the tkull-pana 
of the helmet*, and without mental di- 
rection, the Ovoida neither rise nor 
fall, but wander aimlessly! 

"See' As the fight continues, those 
who ttill live, as they dart here and 
there through the battle area, will be 
confronted continually by the black- 
ened faces and shriveled figures of 
their departed friends, relatives and 
neighbors, and will sec at first hand 
what will happen to themselves if the 
are caught by the tentacles T 

FROM the tips of Dalis came one 
tingle burst of laughter, filled with 
bitterness. No other word came from 
hit lips, no other sign. He merely sat 
and stared, and masked bis bell-black 
thoughts so that neither of the Sa 
might read them. But in the fertile 
mind of Dalit a plan was being born—' 
a plan that, be knew, bad always been 
growing back in hit mental depths, 
somewhere, down the centuries, t 
frit he had become an enemy of the 
Sarkas. The Sarkas ruled tbe Earth. 
M I 

But be would spring his surprise 
when be believed the time right, for 
Dalis possessed a faculty which neither 
of '*■• Sar' i —pie 



of it being bit inrrsssmwrhenoilh knowl- 
edge of the secret code of moving fin- 
gers used by Sarka and Jaska. 

The Cess of Dalit drew back in con- 
sternation at thu wholesale taking oS 
of tbc first line of attack Oat of that 
first line. comprising perhaps a thou- 
sand families, scarcely a hundred had 
escaped the groping* of those mighty 
-aclrs of the Aircars — and tbc 
black, shriveled things which had been 
men floated all about the Aircars which 
had destroyed them, warnings to those 
who followed them into the fray. 
Those who had somehow escjped the 
wrath of the tentacles in the first en- 
gagement fled back into the heart of 
the next line of sky-skirsniabcrs. ft*i 
and horror in their faces 

Here, answering to the will of Jaska. 
a mile or so above the heart of the con- 
flict, they reformed with their people, 
and p rep ar ed again to attack But bow 
to attack these formidable Aircars suc- 

THAT was the question. Ray Di- 
rectors bad been turned against 
them, bat s om e t h in g was decidedly 
wrong. The first car to feel the blast 
of even one of those Ray Directors 
should have vanished, become as noth- 
ing, as had the body of Sarka the First 
before the Ray Director of Dalit 

But apparently nothing bad hap- 
pened. Wot' 

Grimly Dalis and the two remaining 
Sarkas pondered the problem, wonder- 
ing at the same time what Jaska would 
•ow do. how reform her Gens, how 
send it again to »n attack that seemed 
hopele s s- 

There they go againf" whispered 

The first two myriads of tbc Gens of 
Dalis bad now crowded together until 
they formed a veritable cloud which 
masked, for a moment, the Aircars of 
the Moon. Then, as out person, an- 
swering to the will of Jaska. they 
- e ss t pi in to the attack again. 

But as they ap pro ach ed the Aircars. 
they divided four ways— up. down, to 

right and to left, and smashed into the 
Aircars from four directions at once. 
Jaska. knowing that countless lives 
mast be lost to destroy these ssoostcrs 
of the Moon, was trying to down thesn 
by mam attack, hoping that, while the 
inner groups gave their hVvcs. those 
who followed after them would get in 
close enough to use their Ray Directors 
and Atom Disintegrators. 

"She is wasting lives to no avail f* 
cned Dalis. There is a way to beat 
these people P 

~It is really your responsibility. O 
DalisT snapped Sarka. -Why do you 
not go out and lead your Gens? If 
you know, why remain here aod watch 
the destruction of all the people of 
your Gent*"" 

Ton know why our Ray Directors 
and Atom Disintegrators do not work, 
or work but poorly? Because our 
fighters are within the gravitational 
pull of the Moon, instead of the Earth, 
and machines which work perfectly on 
Earth arc thrown out of 
under the influence of the Mooor 

Then." cried Sarka. "we i 
in close enough to our people. 


WITHOUT waiting to ssy an- 
other word, for thousands of 
men were dying each breath s p ace. 
Sarka raced into the laboratory and 
gave the signal to race up the speed of 
the Beryls, to attune them with the in- 
creasing speed of the Master Beryl, 
whose jade lever now waa set at the 
halfway mark in the onyx sloe 

When be returned to the Observa- 
tory. Dalis was gone, and Sarka the 
Second sat alone. 

"I knew be would go." said Sarka. 
"for be cannot endure to see snsmiini 
else take credit for winning this first 
victory — if it is eves psssiblc to win 
I knew that, vain though he | 
Dalis is yet a manf" 

"I am not so sure of that, soar re- 
plied the Elder Sarka "Tor I have 
known him longer than you have I 
There's something else in that In - 
of his which takes no thought of the 


death of people of hi* Gen s or for the 
betterment of the other people of the 
Earth t I wonder. 

But even a* be tpoke. Dahs was 
away, flying free and fast toward the 
scene of battle In a few minutes his 
will would be felt by his Gens, and 
Jaska- could return again. Sarka 
sought for her. She was still safe, high 
above the battle. Thousands and thou- 
sands of those shriveled things now 
floated in the space about the cars, 
above them, below them, everywk- 
But the Gens of Dalis bad at last 
caused some trouble to the Aircars of 
the Moon. 

A hundred of them, like stricken 
birds, were falling dow n w a rd toward 
the Moon, great holes torn in d 
•idea. But as they fell, their tentacles. 
;cd here and there like 
snakes in their death-throes, carried 
with them their full capacity in people 
of the Gens of Dj 


'ITH dsl partial destruction of 
the Aircars which were falling. 
the force that actuated the death-deal- 
ing of those tentacles seemed to have 
gone out of them. For the people now 
held in the grip of the mighty tenta- 
cles were still alive ! Their sqnirmings 
could be plainly seen, and their cries 
could have been beard, had it not been 
that the noise of battle drowned out all 
other sounds 

A hundred Aircars falling, and the 
men and fighting women of the Gens 
of Dalis. with n«.<r courage in them 
now they realized that the Aircar- 
not entirely invincible. i«nc n t d the at- 
tack with savage vigor. 

Taking no thought of the death 
which must surely come to than, they 
circled and p r es sed the Aircars: and 
when th*_ tentacles caught at some of 
them, others climbed to the very body 
of the Arrears, over the shriveling 
bodies of the dying, and turned 
Ray Directors and Atom Disintegrators 
Tgif— 1 the gray sides of the m o nster s. 

Even before Dalis had reached the 
vanguard of hi* Gens another hundred 

Aircars were falling, each with its ten- 
tacles wrapped tightly about such of 
the earthlings as they could grasp. 
Falling . . . falling . . . still living, 
plunging down. 

Now Dalis had reached the scene of 
the fray, and was assuming command. 

As he did so a single white-robed 
figure, life-sire when seen through the 
Micro-Telescopes, darted out of the 
fray and headed at top speed for the 
dwelling place of Sarka Jaska. re- 
lieved, was returning borne I 

But though Jaska flew at top speed. 
she did not seem to grow larger, or 
draw nearer to the Earth I -» 

OUT of the ruck of the defenders 
of the Moon, a single Aircar. 
whose gleaming gray side was marked 
with queer crimson splashes, broke 
free to pursue Jaska! 

She fled at top speed, yet the Aircar 
was gaining, proof that the Moon had 
developed speed greater than Earth 
had attained 

"But why." Queried Sarka, "does she 
draw no nearer?" 

'Great God!" ejaculated Sarka the 
Second, after a brief examination of 
certain chart ograph* beside hi* Micro- 
Telescope "We are moving away from 
the Moon! Something is forcing as 
■swjyl The people of the Moon have 
something whose nature we do not 
know, capable of forcing them away 
from us— while they pull our people 
toward them! You sec? If they 
nulled us toward them, we could over- 
throw them, foe we outnumber then* 
perhaps thousands to one: but if thcy^ 
force themselves away faster than the 
Gens of Dali* if defeated can follow 
as they can destroy, or capture, the 
Gens at their leisure f" 

SUDDENLY, out of the Earth, past 
the all-seeing eyes of the Micro- 
Telescopes, swept a new myriad Men 
*hite. wearing the Red Lily of the 
House of .Cleric! Cleric was sending 
out men to rescue Jaska from the Air- 
car which pursued her! Bjt would 


Jatka or these who went forth to fetch In the mind of Sarka the 

her erer be Able again to attain landing there still loomed a bclliah doubt that 

place upon the Earth! would not down. 

It looked doubtful. The men of Cleric were surrounding 

Eren aa Saxka aaked himself this J ask* now. protecting her with their 

question fresh Air car* shot from the lires against the tentacles of that loos 

runs of Moon craters, rushing outward Aircar splashed with cri m son an d all 

to add their weight in the battle were flying a losing race with the 

against the Gen* of Dalit. The Gen* Earth, which waa still being forced 

of Dalit waa doomed I outward front the Moon I 


An Exciting Inierplmnetmrj Story 

By R. F. Starxl 


Pari Tteo of the Thrilling \orrl 

By Arthur J. Burks 


< \orelet Concerning an 

Amazing trrtal Metropolis 

Bv II. Thompson Rich 


The ( onclunon of thm 
Gripping ' onlinued Sotel 

Bv Murray I^einster 

\ikI Others! 

•-* $ *ar**-. 

From An Amber Block 

By Tom Curry 



y*t to — — — — ■^— ^~ 

tout. j wcaur. '* the 

«l<J«r of the ■ 
"I jib »r.chr.e<J to t<*.jc*e it miO 

... .. 

-• of blic '. 

■ ■ ■ ■ fire 

- the 

'.ibcntoric* of the 

Natural H >tory. 


— —. ^—*- 


i about. 

n rtcoo- 

■ioicj a tbo_iA.-.d thicji 
ncccMary to the > 

_a> of low talking, accompanied 
tv tbc int(>iUi tapping of chi«rt« oa 



stone, came to their ear*, though they 
took no heed of this, since they worked 
here day after day. and it was but the 
usual sound of the paleontologist*' La- 

M arable threw back his blc.-.d bead. 
He glanced again toward the dark 
haired, blue eyed young woman, but 
when be caught ber ere. be looked 
away and spoke to ber father. Profes- 
sor Young. 

"I think that big one will turn out to 
- largest single piece of amber 
ever mined.'* be said. "There were 
many difficulties in getting it oat. for 
tfcr workmen seemed afraid of it. did 
not want to handle it for some silly 
reason or other." 

was an expert in his line, but 
young Marable had charge of these 
particular fossil blocks, the amber be- 
iag pure because it was mixed with lig- 
nite. The particular block which held 
•.crest of the three was a huge 
yellow brown mass of irregular shape. 
Vaguely, through the outer shell of im- 
pure amber, could be seen the heart of 
ink. The chunk weighed many tons, 
and its crate had just been removed by 
some workmen and was being taken 
away, piece by piece. 

The three gaied at the immense mass, 
which filled the greater part of one end 
of the laboratory and towered almost 
to the skylights. It was a small moun- 
:ocnpared to the sire of the room, 
and in this case the mountain had come 
to man. 

"Miss Betty. I think we had better 
begin by drawing a r-owgh sketch of 
the block." said Mara. 

Betty Young, daughter of the cura- 
tor, nodded. She was working as as- 
4 -it and secretary to Marable. 

"Well — what do you think of them?" 

The voice behind them caused them 
to turn, and they looked into the face 
of Andrew LerBcr. the millionaire pa- 
leontologist, whose wealth and interest 
in the museum had made it possible for 
the institution to scquire the amber. 

LEFFLER. a keen, quick moving 
little man. whose chin was deco- 
rated with a white Van Dyke beard. 
waa very proud of the new acquisition. 

"Everybody is talking about the big 
one." be continued, putting his band on 
Marable's shoulder. "Orliag is coming 
to see. and many others. As I told you. 
the workmen who handled it feared the 
big one. There were rumors about some 
unknown devil which lay hidden in the 
inklike substance, caught there iitf the 
proverbial fly in the amber. Well, let 
us hope there Is something good in 
there, something that will make worth 
while all our effort." 

Leaser wandered away, to speak to 
others who inspected the amber blocks 

"Superstition is curious, isn't it?" 
said Marable. "How can anyone think 
that a fossil creature, penned in such a 
cell for thousands and thousands of 
years, could do any harm T 

Professor Young shrugged. "It is 
just aa you say. Superstition is not 
reasonable. These amber blocks were 
mined in the Manchurian lignite de- 
posits by Chinese coolies under Japa- 
nese m asters. They believe anything, 
the coolies. I remember working once 
with s crew of tbemjbat thought — " 

The professor stopped suddenly, for 
his daughter had uttered a little cry of 
alarm. He felt her band upon his arm. 
and turned toward ber. 

"What is it. dear?" he asked. 

She was pointing toward the biggest 
amber block, and ber eyes were wide 
open and showed she had seen some- 
thing, or imagined that she bad seen 
something, that frightened ber. 

the direction of her finger. He 
saw that she was staring at the black 
heart of the amber block : but when be 
looked be could sec nothing but the 
vague, irregular outline of the inky 

"What is it. dear?" asked Young 

"I— I thought I saw it looking out, 
eyes that stared at us—" 



The girl broke oS. laughed shortly, 
and added. "I suppose it wit Mr Lef- 
flcr's talking. There's nothing there 
now." • 

' "Probably the Mar.churian devil 
•hows itself only to you.** said her 
father jokingly. "Well, be careful, 
dear. If it takes a notion to jump oat 
at you. call me and 111 exorcise it for 

Betty b!ushed and laughed . 
She looked at Marable. expecting to 
see a. smile of derision on the young 
man's face, but his cxpresaion was 

The light from above was din- 
ing: outside sounded the roar of home- 
going traffic. 

"Well, we must go borV." said Pro- 
fessor Young. "There's a lyrd and in- 
teresting day ahead of us tD-mbrrow, 
and I want to read Orlmg's new work 
on matrices before we tr-.gin chipping 
at the amber." 

Young turted £n bis heel and strode 
toward the lacker at the end of the 
room where he kept his coat and hat. 
Betty, about to follow him. was awar? 
of a band on her arm. and she turned 
to find Marable ttaring at ! 

"I saw them, fco." he whispered. 
"Could it have been just imagination? 
Was ft some refraction of the light?" 

Till I — I don't know." 

she re; a low voice "I 

thought I saw two terrible eyes £ 
at me from tht rt Bat when 

father at me. I was ashamed.of 

myself and thought it was ;•- 

"The center . 
Marat will fin ' - iooo 

enough, when we get started " 

"Anyway, you mutt be careful, and 
so mutt father.*/ declared the f . 

She looked at the block again, at it 
towered there above thcrr. as though 
she expected it to open and the mon- 
ster of the coolie* ition leap 

"Come along. Betty." called her 

She realized then that Marable was 
holding her hand. She pulled away 
and went to join her father. 

It was slow work, chipping away the 
matrix. Only a bit at a time. could be 
cut into, for they came upon many in- 
sects imbedded in the amber. These 
small creatures proved intensely inter- 
-g to the paleontologists, for some 
were new to science and had to be care- 
fully preserved for study later on. 

Marable and. her father labored aTl 
day. Betty, aiding them, was obvious- 
ly nervous. She kept begging her 
father to take care, and finally, when 
itopped work and asked her what 
ailed her. she could not tell him 

"Be careful." she said, again and 

HER father realired that she was 
afraid of the amber block, and he 
poked fun at her ceaselessly. Marable 
said nothing. 

"Its getting much softer, now the 
outside shell is pierced." said Young. 
■ the day. 
"Yes" said Marable. pausing in his 
work of chipping away a portion of 
matrix. "Soon we will strike the bean. 
and then we will find out whether we 
are right about it being liquid We 
must make ' some p.-cparations for 
catching it. if it proves to be so " 

The hrht was fading. Outside it 

wit cold, but the laboratories were well 

heated by steam. Close by where they 

worked was a radiator, so that they had 

kept warm all day. 

Most of the workers in the room 

to leave Young 

Marable. loath to leave such inter- 

at down their chisels 

rougbout the day various 

tors had interrupted them 

to inspect the immense amber block. 

and bear the hittcry t • 

All day. Betty Young had stared fas- 
si the inky center 
"I tl M have been imagina- 

e whispered to Marable. when 
Young had gone to don his coat anc* 
bat "I saw nothing to-day." 



"Nor did I." confessed Marable. "But 
I tboug hi 1 heard dull scrapings inside 
the block. My br*in tell* me I'm an 
imaginative fool, that nothing could be 
alive inside there, bet just the same. I 
keep thinking about those eyes we 
thought we saw. It shows bow (ax the 
imagination will take one" 

'It's getting dark. Betty." said hex 
father. "Better not stay here in the 
shadows or the devil will get you. I. 
wonder if it will be Chinese or up-to- i 
date American I" 

THE girl laughed, said good night 
to Marsh]*, sad followed her 
father from the laboratory. As they 
crossed the threshold a stout, red-faced 
man in a gray uniform, a watchman's 
clock banging at hit tide, raited bit hat 
and smiled at the young woman ahd 
bcr father. 

"Hello. Roooey." cried Betty. 

"How d'ye do. Miss Young I Stayin* 
lite this e-»eninT* 

"No. we're tearing now. Rooney. 
Good night." 

~G* night. Miss Young. Sleep 

"Thanks. Roooey." 

The old night watchman was a jolly 
fellow, and everybody liked him. He 
wat very fond of Betty, and the young 
women always passed a pleasant word 
with him. 

Rooney entered the room where the 
amber blocks were. The girl walked 
with her father down the long corridor. 
She beard Marable's step behind them. 

"Wait for me a moment, father." she 
said. a 

She went back, smiling at M arable as 

she passed him. and entered the door. 

-ruined in the portal and called to 

Rooney. who was down the laboratory. 

He came hurrying to her side at her 
nervous bail 

"What is it. ma'am f asked Roooey. 

"You'll be careful, won't you. Roo- 
ney V she asked In a low vc 

"Oh. yes. ma'am. I'm always careful. 
Nobody can get in to harm anything 
while Rooney's about." 

"I don't mean that. I want you to be 
careful yourself, when you're in this 
room to-night." 

"Why. miss, what is there to be wary 
of? Nothin' but some funny lookia' 
stones, far at I can sec " 

THE young 
rassed by her own impalpable 
fears, and she took leave of Roooey 
and rejoined her father, determined to 
overcome them and dismiss them from 
her mind. 

All the way home and during their 
evening meal and afterwards. Profes- 
sor Young poked fun at Betty. She 
took it good-naturedly, aad laughed to 
tee her father in such fine humor. Pro- 
fessor Young was a widower, and Betty 
wsa housekeeper in their fiat; though a 
maid did the cooking for them aad 
cleaned the rooms, the young woman 
planned the meals and saw to it that 
everything was homelike for them. 

After a pleasant evening together, 
reading, and discussing the new addi- 
tions to the collection, they west to 

Betty Young slept fitfully. She was 
harassed by dreams, dreams of bug* 
eyes that came closer and closer to her. 
that at last seemed to engulf her. 

She awakened finally fr 
started up in her bed. The son 1 
but the clock on the bureau said it 
only seven o'clock, too early to aria* 
for the day's work But then the sound 
of the telephone bell ringing in the hall 
caused ber to get up and don her slip- 
pert and dressing gown and hurry out 
into the living room. 

BEFORE the reached the phone, 
however, she heard bcr father's 
voice antwering. 

"Hello. . . . Yes. speaking. Good 
morning Smythe." 

Sorytbe was the janitor of the mu- 
seum. Betty, standing behind ber 
father, wondered what he could want 
that be should phone so early in the 
morning. Her father's neat words sent 
a thrill of fright through* her heart. 


"My Cod! I— I un't behe-.- 
eried Yourfg "It he dead?" 

There wit a j juw . Betty caught the 
sound of the excited Smytbc's too«s 
through the receiver 

"Who— who it it>~ the wfaitfcrcd. 
clasping her parent's »rm 

"III be tight down, yes." 

Young bung up. turned to hi* daugh- 
ter was ud. hejmry lined 
with *hadow* of sorrow. 

"Dear, there'* been a tragedy at the 
muaeurn during the night Poor Roo- 
nejr ha* been murdered — at least so 
they believe — and Scnythc. who found 
htm. want* me to come down and tee if 
anything ha* be«rn stolen I moat go at 
The body i* in our laboratory." 

"Rooney? Ah. poor fellow * 
"The girl wept a little, but braced ber- 
•elf to aaaitt her father 

"I'm going with you," the said. 

"No. no You'd better remain here: 
you can come along later." viid Voung. 
"I don't like to have you tee such 
tight*, dear It wouldn't be good for 

"111 be all right. I promise yon I 


Sbe intiited arU he wa* forced to let 
her accompany men to the mnm— 
1^»ey hailed a cab and were aoon at the 
door. The elevator took them to the 
tU|J Hsu*, and swiftly they pawed along 
the corridor* and came to the portal 
which led into the room* where the am- 
ber block* were 

SM.YTIIE greeted them, a worried 
look on hit teamed fate "I»rvent 
ce. Professor." he *aid 
-ig nodded, truthed past 
and i the laboratory. In the 

morning light the amber blocks had 
on a reddi*h tinge Now. they 
seemed to oppress the young woman, 
who bad bravtly remaincJ at her 
father'* tide a* he walked quickly to 
the base of the biggest block. 

A vac** *) U P < 1*7 * n tD * shadows be- 
tween the wall and the largest amber 
mas* Professor Young bent ever the 
body of Rooney. and felt the pulse. 

"He's been dead some time." be said. 

She nodded, stricken to the heart by 

thit terrible end of her old friend Roc- 

There s nothing we can do for him. 
now." went on ber father soberly "It 
looks as though be bad been set upon 
and stabbed time after time by r 
sailant or assailants, whoever they 
were " 

"How — how pale he is." said Betty. 
"Poor Rooney was so jolly and red- 
faced, but hit *kin it like chalk ~ 

"And he's shrunken, too. It seems 
there's no blood left in hit veins." said 
her father. 

M ARABLE, who had been called 
also, came in then and aided in 
the examination He said good morn- 
ing to Betty and ber father, and then 
went to bend o*tt Rooney 's body. 

"See the look of abject terror on his 
face." Betty heard hfaxablc say to ber 
father as the two examined the co rp s e . 
"He must have been very much afraid 
of wrfoevcr killed him." 

They beat him up frightfully," said 
Young There must have been several 
of the assassins: it would take snore 
than one man to do such damage " 

Tea His ribs are crushed in — sec. 
this gash. Professor, would be enough 
to cause death without any of the other 

Betty Young could not' take her eyes 
from the ghastly sight. She steeled 
herself to bear it. and prayed for 
strength that she should not faint and 
ntt father trouble. She could see 
the two men examining a large blis- 
tered area under the corpse's arrr , 
the center of which was a tharp ver- 
tical tlit which had without doubt 
punctured the artery near the surface 
of the axilla. Perhaps it bad r 
to the heart 

"Bloodless." exclaimed Marable. no- 
ticing the same thing as her father had 
spoken of. "It it a* if the blood bad 
been pumped out of hi* bodyT 

"Ye*. I Hpnk it has drained out ~ 

There is not much of a pool here 



be He*, though." »ald Maysblc. 
fa a lew voice. "Sec. there are only 
ipMchri about, from various cuts hit 

"Maybe be waa dragged here frooa 
another room," aaid Young "'When 
the other* coco*, we will soon know if 
an ft b tag it missing 1 1 seems that am 
desperate eaoagb to commit such a 
murder would not leave without try- 
ing to get what they came after. Un- 
it**, of courte. the killing of Roooey 
frightened then* away before they 
could get their booty." 

SMYTHE approached the (roup, 
with a physician in tow. The Ut- 
ter confirmed the facta whic h M a rable 
Young had found: that Kooaey 
bad been killed by the deep gaah near 
the heart and that bom of the bleed 
wit drained from the body. 

"They teem like the *laabe* front as 
eitrrtncly *harp and Urge rarer." aaid 
the medical man. 

Other* were coming in to look at 
Roooey. and the muaeum waa burring 
with activity at various curator*, 
alarmed about the **fcty of their valu- 
able collection*, feverishly taanincd 
their charge*. 

' Ht punched bit clock in here at two 
said Sroythe "I seen that. It's 
the U*t time he'll ever do hi* doty, 
poor feller " 

"Curious odor." **id the doctor, 
sniffing "It *mells like mask, bat 
is fetid I suppo*e it 1 * some chemicaJ 
you ■ 

"knot iced that, too." said Profeseer 
Young "I don't recognirc it. myself ~ 

Marablr. who had been looking at the 
floor between the great block of 
and the body, uttered an escl 
which caused the two men to look up 

"There are wavy line* leading 
•round beck of the block." said Ma- 
rablr. in answer* to their q u e sti o n* . 

The young man disappeared behind 
the Mock, and then he called to them 
eacitedly to .join him Betty Young 
p r eas e d closer, and finally slipped neat 
the corpse and stood by bcr father. 

BEFORE bcr. the saw a Urge pool 
of black liquid. It had been hid- 
den by the corner of the block, so that 
they had not noticed it. so busy were 
they looking at Rooncy. 

And there waa a great cavity in the 

'heart of the amber block. Pieces of 

the yellow brown mess Uy about, aa 

though they had fallen off and allowed 

the inky substance to escape. 

"It's hardened or dried out in the 
air." said Young. 

It looks like black Ucqucr." said 

The musky smell waa stronger hoe. 
The great amber block teemed to stifle 
them with its sue 

"Our chipping and hammering sad 
the beat of the radiator causing it to 
expand most have forced out the Sepia. 
or wbatrvrr it is." said Young. There 
waa a disappointed note in bis voice. 
*l had hoped that inside the liquid we 
would discover a fossil of value.' ha 
went on. 

M arable looked at Betty Yoosuj, 
They stared at one another for soma 
seconds, snd both knew that the sseaa 
thought had occurred, to the other. The 
frightful eye * h a d they then been bet 
figment* of the imagination? 

Marable began looking around care- 
fully, here and there Betty realised 
what be was doing, and she was fright- 
ened She went to his side. "Oh. he 
cartful." she whispered 

"The giant block has been moved a 
little." be replied, looking into her 
pretty face "Have you noticed that K 

Now that she was told to look, she 
could *ee the eitresnely heavy ember 
block waa no longer in the posit ic 
had been in Mark* on the floor ehuw i if 
where it had been dragged or shifted 
from it* original resting pUce 

BETTY YOUNG gasped What 
force could be so powerful that it 
could even budge so many tons? A der- 
■ bad been used, and rollers pUced 
under the block when men had moved 

Reason tried to assert itself "It— it 



have exploded. That would cause 
it to shift." she said faintly 

Marable shrugged Hit examination 
was interrupted by tb« arrival of tbe 
Bumtm't chemist, tent for by Young 
The chemist took a sample of th« black 
for analysts Reports were torn- 
'.torn all over tbc nam urn, differ- 
ent departments declaring, one after 
another, that nothing bad been dis- 
turbed or stolen from their sections. 

Betty Young went again to Karaite's 
side. She followed tbe direction of bis 
eyes, and saw long, clawlike marks on 
the floor, radiating from tbc set . j 

'Doctor Marable." she said, 'please 

don't— don't look any longer Leave 

this terrible place for tbe day. anyway. 

until we see what happens in tbe next 

.-four hours' < 

He smiled and shook 
must make a search.' he replied 'My 
brain calls me a fool. bu> ;ust tbe same. 
I'm worried " 

'Do you rraK . 

He nodded, divining her thought. 
The girl shivered She felt terror 
mounting to herjheart. and tbc matter- 
of-fact attitudes of tbc others in the 
great laboratory did not allay her fears. 

Roomy s body was removed The 
place was cleaned up by workmen, and 
Marable s search— if that was what his 
const j | about tbc laboratory 

could be called— ceased for a ttnv 
chemist's report came in The black 
i i some sort of animal secre- 
tion, melonotic r ro'.ably 

I the fact that they had 

learned so many facts about 
■ had not so|« 
Who had murdered Rooo e y. 
and »r.r' Ard where had his blood 
gone t - - - rooms could be 

four: . igle 

'If you won't do ■ else. 

please carry a £un" legged Betty of 

home, r . lunch, if bell 

go He's so slubber 

got to watch him and 
stay beside htm.' 

-Very welt" replied Marable 'ITi 
get a revolver Not that I think it 
would be of much use. if I did find—" 
He broke off. aad shrugged his broad 
s h oulders 

Letter came storming into tbe room. 
-What's this I hear*" he cried, ap- 
proaching Marable. 'A watchman 
killed in the night » Carelessness, man. 
carelessness? The authorities here are 
absurd t They hold priceless treasures 
and allow thieves to eater and wreak 
their will You. Marable. what's all 
this mean *~ 

Lefflcr was angry. Marable looked 
into hi* red face coolly 'We do the 
km, Mr Leffller." be said 'It 
ikely that anyone would wish to 
steal such a thing as that block of ass- 
He waved toward the giant < 
LefBer made a gesture of 

st me many thousands of dot- 
:>e cried. 

v time for lunch. Professor." said 

iblc bowed to LefBer and left the 
millionaire spattering away, inspecting 
tbc various specimens he had eontrib- 

The one o'clock gong had struck, aasd 
sll the workers and investigator- 

C in paleontologies! laboratories 
for a bite to < 

MARABLE with Betty, went out 
last LefBer was over in one 
comer of the room, hidden from their 
sight by a comer of an amber block. 
They could hear LefBer still or 
complaints about ' tbe carelessness of 
the br -on of the 

• le smiled at Betty 

'Poor Roonev. he said 'Betty. I 

feel mote or less responi I way.' 

"No - How could 

■ssth a thing'' 
Marable shook his head. "Those 
you know. I should have 
precautions But I had no idea it could 
burst f roen its prison so " 

For the first time Marable had defi- 



aitery mentioned hit idea of what bad 
occurred The firl bad understood it 
all along, from their broken conversa- 
tioo tad from the look in tbc young 
scientist °t eye* 

Sbc aif bed deeply. 'You will jet a 
revolver before you search further *" 
abe said "I'm c oin C to Saaytbe baa 
one. and I know bell lend it to roe " 

~I will." be promised "You" know. 
Leffier baa tbc lame idea we have. I 
think- That* wby be keep* talking 
about it being our fault. I believe be 
hit aeen something, too Hit talk about 
tbc den! inaidc tbc block waa half in 
camrat. I suppose be put it down to 
imagination, or perhaps be did not 
think tbia foaatl to be dangerous.** 

Tbcy went oat together, and walked 
toward tbc restaurant they frequented. 
Her father waa there, lunching with 
err of tbc superintendent* of the mo- 
acorn He amilcd and waved to Betty. 
rjrwN, of courae. waa diacianfaag 
tbc killing of Rooncy. 

AFTER an hour, during which tbc 
two young people apoke -little. 
Marablc and Betty Young left tbc res- 
taarmnt and atarted back toward tbc 
assise uui Her father waa atill at hia 

They walked up the driveway en- 
trance, and then M arable uttered an ei- 
clamatioa. "Something'* wrong. - be 

There waa a small crowd of people 
collected on the step*. Tbc outer 
doors, instead of being open m usual, 
were closed and guard* stood r~ 

Marablc and Betty were admitted. 
after they bad pushed their way to tbc 

'Museum *» closed to the public, sir.** 
replied a guard to Mar able'* question. 

-Wbyr asked Mar* 

"Some thin '• happened up in the pa- 
IcontologKal laboratories." ant- 
tbc guard. "Dunoo just* what, but or- 
der* come to clear the room* and not 
vbody in but member* of tbc 
•taff. *ir.~ 

Marablc hurried forward Betty waa 
at hit heels "Please get yourself a 
gun. - she said, clutching hia arm and 
holding him back 

"All right. 1*11 borrow on* froaa a 
guard. " 

He returned to the front doors, and 
came back, alipping a large pistol into 
hia aide pocket 

"I want you to wait here.' he aaid 

'No I'm going with you." 

'Pleaae.' be said "At your superior. 
I order you to remain down stain 

Tbc girl shrugged She allowed him 
to climb the *tair* to tbc first floor, and 
then she burned back in search of 

SMYTHE obtained a gun for her. 
and aa she did not wish to wait 
for the alow elevator, abe ran up tbc 
steps. Seaythe could not tell bet defi- 
nitely what bad occurred in the upper 
laboratory that bad caused the mu*eutn 
to be closed for the day. 

Her heart beating swiftly. Betty 
Young hurried up the second flight of 

I 10 the third floor A 
whom the girl recognired aa a 
laborer in the pa Icon to logical re 
came running down, passing her . 
flight, a look of abject terror on his 

"What i* itr sbc cned 

He waa so frightened be could not 
talk logically. There was a black fog 
— I saw a red snake with legs— " 

She waited for no more A pang of 
fear for the safety of Marablc shot 
through her heart, and she forced her- 
self on to the top Boor 

Up there was a bare, faintly black, 
wbich filled the corridors. At Betty 
Young drew closer to tbc door of tbc 
paleontologies! labor a tories, the mitt 
grew more opaq u e. It was as though a 
sooty fog permeated the air. and the 
girl could sec it waa pouring from tbc 
door of the laboratory in heavy coils 
And her nostril* caught tbc strange 
odor of fetid musk. 

Sbc vii greatly frightened; but aba 
gripped the gun and pushed on. 


THEN to btr tin came the »■< 
of a KKin. Use terrible tcrtia of 
• mortally ■ imhusiiI man Intunctivt- 
I jr the knew it «u not Marable. but the 
feared for the young professor, and 
with an answering cry the rushed into 
the smoky re of the outer la- 

.Iter*- the tailed 

But crH'r.tlr he did no* bear her. 
for bo reply came Or wn it that 
something had happened to •• 

She pauaed on tbc threshold of the 
big room where were tbc amber blocks. 

About the vast floor space stood the 
n umer o u s masses of stone and amber, 
some covered with immense canvas 
ah reed i which made them look like 
(heal hillocks in the dimness Betty 
Young stood, gasping in fright, clutch- 
ing tbc pistol in her hand, trying to 
catch the sounds of men in that cham- 
ber of horror. 

She beard, thcr.. a faint whimpering, 
and then nc.aes which she identified in 
her mind aa something bring dragged 
along the marble flooring A muffled 
scream, weak, reached her ears, and aa 
she took a step forward, silence came. 

She listened longer, but now the ana* 
light coming through the window to 
make murky patches in. the opaque 
black fog was her chief sensation. 

-Walter r she called 

"Co back. Betty, go U 

The mist seemed to muffle *o> - 
well as obscure tht vision She ad- 
vanced farthe into the laboratory 
ing to locate Marablt Bravely the girl 
pushed toward the biggest amber block. 
I here that al kMnctivcly 

that she would find the source of daa- 

Her ,_ »fc' 
most at her elbow, and the young man 
groar - I came upo- 

it over something on the floor. 

SIU. • 
arm Now she could see the out- 
line of Leffler's body at her feet The 

■ jp on 

the grour 

Rooney Ilia feet, moving aa though 
by reflcs action, patted the floor from 
time to time, making a curioua clicking 
sound aa the buttons of his gray spate 
■track the marble. 

it wn obvious, even in the 
murky light, that Lefier waa dead, that 
be had been sucked dry of blood. 

Betty Young screamed She could 
not help it The black fog choked her 
and she gasped for breath. Leaving 
Marable. she ran toward the windows 
to throw them open. 

The first one she tried waa heavy, 
and she smashed the glass with the butt 
of the gun She broke several panes in 
two of the windows, and the mist rolled 
out from the laboratory. 

Sbe started to return to the side of 
Marable He uttered a sudden shout, 
and she hurried back to where she had 
left him. st —filing over Leffler's body. 
recoiling at this touch of death 

Ma/able »aa not there, but she could 
hear him nearby. 

Cool air waa ruahing in from the 
lows, and gradually the fog waa 
disappearing Betty Young saw Ma- 
rablt now. standing nearby, staring at 
the bulk of an amber block which was 
still covered by its canvas shroud. 
Though not as targe aa the prire ti- 
hibtt. this block of amber waa large and 
filled many yards of space 
. "Betty, please go outside and call 
some of the men.*' begged Marable 

M look at her. and she 

- itcinated stare Following 

the direction of his gare. the girl saw 

a whitp of smoky mist was curling 

up from under the edge of the ca 


I ered Betty. 

M ARABLE had a knife which he 
4 up from a bench, and 

• he began quietly to cut the 

• se of the Meek, keeping sev- 

I spot where 
the fog showed frees beneath the 

»h : ) J 1 

Marable eut_ rwiftly and cmcirntlv. 
though the cloth waa heavy and be - • 


forced to climb up several feet oa the 
block to make hia work effective The 
girl watched, fascinated with horror 
and curiosity 

To their ear* came a quill socking 
aouad. and once a vague te a tac k form 
shunt d from the bottoea of the canvas. 

At U»t M arable aeircd the edge of 
the cut be hod made and. with a violent 
heave, cent the caavas flap fyiaf over 
the hie Nock W 

Betty Young ocrcataed At Um ohc 
had a tight of the terrible creature 
which her imagination had painted ta 
loathing aad horror. A flash of bril- 
liant scarlet, dabbed with block 
patches, was her impression ot the 
A head flat aad reptilian, loaf* 
with movable nostril* aad aa- 
tcaaac at the end. framed two eyes 
which were familiar enough to her. for 
they were the orha which hod stared 
froea the iaeadc of the amber block She 
hod dreamed of tbeoe eye*. 

But the reptile moved like a flaab of 
red light, though the knew ita bulk waa 
groat; it t; rayed forth black mitt from 
the appendage* at the end of ita noae. 
aad the crumpling of caavaa reached 
her cars aa the beast endeavored to con- 
self oa the opposite aide of the 

M ARABLE bod run to the other 
tide of the mass. The air. rush 
lag in from the window*, had cleared 
the mitt, in spite of the new clouds the 
cr e otur e had emitted, and Betty could 
tee for some feet in either direction 

She walked, -with stiff, froren muo- 
clcs. around to join Marable. At the 
came near to him. she saw bun jerking 
off the entire canvas cover of the block 
to eapose the horrible reptile to the 
light of day. 

And now the two stood staring at the 
awful tight. The creoture had latt 
itself' into the crevices and irregular 
surfaces of the block, but it was too 
Urge to hide in anything bat a stag* 
space They saw before them its great 
bright red skin blotched with 

aad fell with the 
breathing of the reptile Ita loaf, 
powerful tail, tapering off froea the 
loathsome body, waa curled oroaad the 
bottom of the block. 

That'a where it's been hidden, un- 
der the shroud. We're beca within a 
few feet of it every lausaeat we've been 
at work.' said Marable. has voice dry.* 
There were many hsdiag place* for it. 
but it chose the best. It came out only 
when there waa coeaporativc quiet, ta 
get its food 

-We— w« most mil it." staaamercd 
the girl 

But she could not move- She waa 
looping at the immense, cruel, lidleos 
eyes, which balefully held her a* a ser- 
pent paralyse* a bud. The tabular nos- 
tnls and antennae see m ed to be teimag 
at them, waving to and fro N 

"See the white expanse of coeaeo. 
how large it it." whispered Marable. 
"The pupils are nothing but black » ■» 
now." The interest escited by that liv- 
ing fossil waa almost enough to stifle 
the dread of the creature in the snaa. 

But tb« girl sow the huge flat head 
aad the crinkled tissue of the frilled 
with its sucker disks 

SUDDENLY, froea the central per 
tion of the sucker-cup mouth is- 
sued a long, straight red faag. 

The two drew bock as the Irving fos- 
sil raised a short clawed leg 

"It has the thick body of aa immense 
python and the clawed leg* of a dino- 
uii wild Marable. speaking as though 
he were delivering a lecture. The sight, 
without doubt, fascinated him aa a sci- 
entist He almost forgot the danger 

"On it's horrible." whispered the 

She clung to his ana. He went on 
talking It is some sort of terrestrial 

To the girl, it seemed that the living 
fossil was endless in length Coil after 
coil showed aa the ripple* passed along 
its body and the straight faag threat- 
ened them with destruction 

"See it it armored." said Marable. 



"Betty, no one bat ever had such an 
eipener.ce at thia. seen tuch j sight, 
and lived to tell of it It mutt be rav- 
eaoua with hunger, shut up in itt amber 
cell inside the black fluid I— " 

A tbarp. whittling hit* interrupted 
bit tpeech. The reptile was puffing 
-tiling, and aa it grew in bulk 
with the intake of the air. ita enamel- 
like scale* wood out like bosses on the 
great body It apat forth a cloud of 
black, oily mitt, and Marable came to 
himself at Latt 

Hr raited hit revolver and fixed at 
the creature , tending ahot after abot 
from the heavy revolver into the bead. 

BETTY YOUNG acreamed aa the 
reptile reared up and made a 
mov eme nt toward them Marable and 
the girl retreated twiftlv. aa the beaat 
tbitmp t A to the floor with a thud and 
atartrd at them. ^ with a 

queer, crawling nvoverr 

It waa between them and the door. 
Betty tbrutt her gun into Marable** 
hfiti. for hit own wat empty and be 
had burled it at the mo 

"Hurry! Run for your life!' ordered 

Marable. placing himtelf between 

Betty and the reptile 

She would not lam him till be 

rd to one tide, going dangerously 

close to the t' < ■ £ into ita 

h of the flowing body 

red and pursued him. 

•1 aafe for the moment. 

but tcparatrd f'om Marable 

on the smooth mar: 
could not get an effxient grip with itt 
clawlike arms It 
gait, and for a time the ma-. 

Young, looking about for a 
weapon, calling for help at the top of 

I (latt (ate on the wall S 
un ashed the glatt with tht 
hammer, and took out the • 

Shot after shot M High 

rv at MaraHc in 
atop the rr 

u» Vn 

•he brute 



•track vicioualy at aim time and again 
The creature had been emitting cloud 
after cloud of black fog. and the atmos- 
phere, in apite of the open windows, 
wat dim in itt vicinity. Vaguely Betty 
beard abouti from the far hall, but all 
abe could do was to call out in return 
and run toward the horror. 

MARABLE. out of breath, bad 
climbed to the top of an amber 
block. Betty, close by. saw the reptile 
rear its bulk up into the air. until it 
wat high enough to ttrike the man. 

Before it could send forth ita death- 
dealing fang to pin Marable to the 
block, however. Betty Young brought 
the aa down on ita back with all her 

There waa a aickening thud aa the 
sharp weapon sunk deep into the fleshy 
back She at ruck again,- and the I - 
ture fell in folds, like a collapsing 
It Utbed back at her. but she 
leaped clear at it tlashed in agony. 
thrashing about so that the whole room 
teemed to rock ' 

Marable came scrambling down the 
aide of the block to help her He *u 
breathing bard, and abe turned toward 
bun. as Betty looked away, a portion 
of the scarlet tail bit her in the body 
and she fell, striking her bead oa the 

Marable reached down, tened the ax. 
and in a desperate freruy hacked it the 
reptile "■ awful head He leaped in and 
a terrier, tink^ig the aa deep 
« and bead of the be 
He gave the impression of slashing at 
heavy rubber, and Betty Young, trying 
to drag herself away from that dan- 
gerout bodv beard hi* whittling 

Tbry were almost hidden from 
another now in the mitt which 
fret Ik thil ^ » - >ttri!t 

gO dowr 

the re . • -- 1 a gla>-< 

with ita tody When the p©» 



fellow did not rise, the girl 
thought* it wma all OTf r Tb< sir really 
became black to her. she fainted and 

lay Mill 

WHKN Betty Young opened her 
eyes, the air had cleared great- 
ly, and the could see the familiar out- 
!.ne* of the c-aleontological laboratory 
and the bulk* of the amber blocks Her 
father was holding her bead in hit lap. 
and sraa bathing by temple*'* with 
"Barling.' be mid, "arc you badly 


"No." the murmured faintly. Tm— 
I'm all right. But— but Walter— did 
it— " 

• all right." said her father. The 
reptile waa dying, and could do him no 
damage We finished it off." 

Then, htarablc. covered with blood. 
which he was trying to wipe from his 
hands and clothes, came and smiled 
down at her. 

"Well." said Professor Young, "you 
two hare mutilated a marvelou* and 
uniouc specimen between you. 

There were several men ei sen i n iog 
something ne ar by. Turning her eyes 
in their direction. Betty saw they were 
viewing the remains of the reptile 

M ARABLE helped her to her feet, 
and stood with one arm about 
her Professor Orling. the famous spe- 
cialist on fossil ret'. '« mm », 
and the others listened. 
'I think we will find it to be some 
of%iiming link between the dino- 
saurs and mososaurs It is surely un- 
able that such a creature should 
be found alive, but perhaps it can he 
ned It it related to the an- 
4-is and sra* able to live in or out 
•f the water Now. we have many in- 
ta of reptiles such aa lixard* and 
toads penned up in solid rock but sur- 
viving foe hundred* of year* Evident- 
I grew reptile went through the 

moke sort of experience. I would say 
that there has been some great up- 
heaval of nature, that the reptile 
caught in its prison of amber 
and thoosand* of year* ago Through 
hibernation and perhaps a preservative 
drug it emitted in the black Atria, thi* 
creature has been able to survive it* 
long imprisonment. Naturally, when 
it was released by the cutting awsy of 
part of the amber which prnnti. it in, 
it burst its cell, ravenous with h u ng er . 
The fanglike tooth we see was its main 
wea p on of attach, and it set upon 
the unfortunate wstchman. After 
knocking him unconscious, its sucker- 
like fringe glued the month near the 
heart while the fang shot into the ar- 
teries and drew forth the body fluids. 
There is a great deal to he done with 
thi* valuable find, gentlemen. I would 
•uggett that — " 

M ARABLE grunted. "Oh. bell." 
hc murmured in Betty Young's 
ear To the devil with paleontology. 
Betty You saved my life Come out 
and let's get married I love you" 

The girl smiled op into hi* eye*. The 
scientists close by were listening fas- 
cinavrtSTy to Orling* words, and had 
no time to watch the two young people, 
for they stared at the reptile'* body aa 
the great man went from section to 
section, lecturing upon one point sfter 

""You've forgotten paleontology for 
a moment, thank goodness," mid Bettf 
-In glad- 
Betty dear Thi* terrible ei- 
penencc has shaken me. and I rcalued 
bow much I love you when I saw you 
in danger What an awful few min- 
utes? If I had to live them ottt again. 
I don't think I could face them." 

"Never mind." she murmured. "We 
are safe. Walter* After all. it* not 
every woman who i* helped by a living 
.fossil to make the man she loves rcaluc 
he loves hcrf* 


— _^ 6 •-•*'*-» 

: iv: 

• ^.v- 

rw tr-a 

mU km #•»»», *~Jt 

.-.»..•. •# . .— ,- I t -n< 

The Terror of Air-Level Six 

fly //arf Vi'ncrn/ 

IT wit i i»tl!ffin{ evening in m i d 
August, during that unprece- 
dented beat w««e which broke 
Weather Bureau record* in 2011 
York City had »immered under a 
Bf sun foe more than three week*, 
and all who ■ 

the I ; o'» 

of less* - 

But I 
one of tbo-u 
fartMUtca who could not Wave on ac- 
count of C urgency of 
business - and. there 
nothing *'•* to * 1 °- «' M dogcedly at 
my work 
aad body bow toon fc jndcr 

.the strain. To-night, as I boarded 
the pneumatic tube. 1 dropped into the 
nearest seat and could not even com- 
mon the energy to open my newspaper. 
Foe some minutes I sat a* in a dare. 
if merely that the journey was 
over, and that I 
was on my own 
porch out 
in Rutherford 

t> ml Uafwaiaa* >>n < 
•I ft*o« Ml Ut VMS* 
UW t^tk 

After awbi:- 
fttirredand lookeeT 
around. Seeing none of my acquain- 
tances in the car. I finally opened the 
newspaper and was considerably 
startled by the screaming headlines 
that confronted me from its usually 




Disaster Like First in Air-Lcvcl 


No wonder toe newsboy* had been 
crying an extra on Broadway! I had 
fives no beed to the import of their 
shoutings, but this was real news and 
well worthy of an extra edition. Since 
the mysterious loss of the SP-C1. only 
four days previously, the facilities of 
the several air transportation systems 
were seriously handicapped on account 
of the shaken confidence of the general 
public- It wit not surprising that 
there was widespread reluctance at 
trusting human lives and valuable mer- 
chandise to the mercies of the inex- 
plicable power which bad apparently 
wiped out of existence the SP-el. to- 
gether with its twenty-eight passen- 
gers and the consignment of one-half 
million dollars in (old. And now the 
IS bad gone the way of the other I 

Details were meager. Both ships 
had failed to reply to the regular ten- 
minute radio calls from headquarters 
and had not since been seen or beard 
from. In both' cases the last call had 
been answered when the ship was pro- 
ceeding at full speed on its regular 
course in air-level six. The SF-61 last 
reported from a position over Mora in 
New Mexico, and four days of inten- 
sive search by thousands of planes had 
failed to locate ship or passengers To- 
day, in the early hours of the morning, 
the NY-It reported over Colorado 
Springs, on the northern route, and 
then, like the SF-61. dropped out of 
insofar as any a ttempts at 



fiwwifilixt with or locating her 
« ere concerned. She. too. carried a 
heavy ffl*ttgT****T ' » * of specie, though 
only eleven passengers bad risked the 
westward journey. 

SOMEONE had dropped into a seat 
at my side, and I looked up from 
my reading to meet the solemn eyes of 
Hartley Jones, a young friend whom I 
had not seen for sever*] 

-Why. hello. Hart," I 
"Glad to see yoo* old man. Where in 
Sam Hill have you been keeping your- 
self r 

~GUd to see you. too. Jack.' he 
tur n ed warmly. -Been spending 
of my time out at the hangar.* 

"On. that's right. You fellows built 
a new one at Newark Airport, didn't 

"Yeah. Cot a great outfit there now. 
too. Why don't yoo drop around and 
see us one of these days?" 

1 will. Hart, and I want you to 
take me up some time. You know I 
have never been in one of these new 
ships of yours. But what do you think 
of this mess?" I pointed to the black 

He grinned joyously and nipped back 
the lapel of his coat, displaying a nick- 
eled badge. 'George and I are start- 
ing out to-oigbt to look around a lit- 
tle.' he gloated. 'Just been appointed 
deputy air commissioners: and we got 
a couple of guns on our newest plane. 
Air Traific Bureau thinks there's dirty 
work afoot. Twelve-motored planes 
don't disappear without leaving a trace. 
Anyhow, we've got a job, and we're go- 
ing to try and find out what's wrong. 
How'd you like to come along f' 

What'" I replied. "You know darn 
well I'm too busy. Besides. I'd be no 
good to you. Just extra load, and not 
pay load at that. And then. I'm broke 

HARTLEY JONES gnnned in his 
engaging way. "You'd be food 
company." he parried: "and. what's 
more, I think the trip would do you a 
lot of good. You look all shot to 

"Forget it.' I laughed 'It's just the 
beat. And III have to leave you here. 
Hirt Drop in and see us. will you? 
The wife was asking for you only yes- 

"Jack, dear.' my wife greeted me at 
the door of my m od est suburban home. 
'Mr. Preston just called, and he watts 
you to call him right back.' 


"Oh. Lord." I groined, "can't I for- 
I", tbc office (or one evening?" Pres- 
ton ru manager of tbc for 
which I worked. 

Nevertheless, though our two fine 
youngster* were clamoring for their 
dinner. I made the telephone call at 

"Makely." came the voice of the bow, 
when the connection was completed "I 
want you to take the night plane for 
to lift to a*k you. but it mast 
be done. Townley is sick ar.d some one 
baa to take those Canadian Ex bonds 
o-t to Farnswortb. You're the only one 
to do it, and after you get there, you 
can start on that vacation you need. 
Take a month if you wish " 

The thought of Hartley Jones' offer 
stashed through my mind. ~But have 
you read of tbc loss of the NY isr I 
asked Preston. 

-I have. Maker/. There'll be another 
hundred a avaata m your cheek, too. to 
make up for the worry of your family. 
But the government is sending thirty 
Secret Service men along on thr SF-22. 
which leaves to-night. In addition, 
there will be a convoy of seven fight- 
ing planes, so there is not likely to be 
s repetition of tbc previous dissstc 

That hundred a month sounded 
mighty good, for expenses bad been 
mounting Upidly of late. 'All right. 
Mr Preyon." I agreed. "I will be at 
the airp/rt bcforc.midnight. But bow 
shout uVr bar 

"IlKdrtvc around after di 
deliver thctr. \ And than** for 

your willingness. Makcly. You'll not 

MY wife bad 
from my words, she knew what 
to expect. Her face wit I U 

hook. and any heart sank at her 

Then there came the ring of tbc 

telephone and. for some reason, my 

pulse raced as I sweat to tbc hall to an- 

n it Hartley Jones' cheerful voice 

greeted me and be was positively glee- 

ful when I told him of my projected 

"Hooray r he shouted. "But you'll 
not take the SF-22. You'll take the trip 
with me a* I wanted. I tell you what : 
You be out at Newark Airport at 
eleven-thirty, but come to my hangar 
instead of to that of tbc transportation 
company. Well leave at the same time 
ss the regular liner, and well get your 
old bonds to Frisco, regardless of what 
might happen to the big ship. Also we 
might learn something mighty interest- 

I irgued with him. but to no avail. 
And the more I argued, the greater ap- 
peal was presented by his proposition. 
Finally there was nothing to do but 

PRESTON arrived with the bonds 
shortly after the children were 
tucked in their beds I did not tell 
him of my change in plans. He did 
not stay long, and I could sec that he 
was uncomfortable under the accusing 
eyes of Marie, for all hit own confi- 
dence in the safety of the trip in the 
closely-guarded tl 

At precisely eleven-thirty I reached 
the great steel and glass hangar where 
Hart Jones and George Bochm carried 
on 'their experiments with super-mod- 
ern types of aircraft Hart Jones had 
inherited more than two million do!- 
tad wit in a fair way to spend it 
all on bis favorite bobby, though those 
who knew him best" vowed that be 
would make many times that amount 
.« royiltics on his ever-growing 
aim- ~«blc inventions. 

Tbc immense door* were open, and I 
gared for the first time into the hangar 
whose spacious interior provided stor- 
age and manufacturing facilities for a 
or more planes of tjsrt Jones* 
\ curiously constructed ex- 
ample of his handiwork stood directly 
before me. and several mechanics were 
engaged in making it ready for flight. 
My friend advanced from their midst 
to meet me. s broad smile on bis grease 
cared countenance. 



"Greetings. Jack." be said, taking my 
•mall bag froca my hand*. "Right on 
time. I see And I can't tell you bow 
glad I am that yon arc coming with 
ut Sou George" 

'WelL I didn't expect to," I admit- 
ted: "but there it no need of telling 
you that I had far rather be in your 
ship than in the big one." 

GEORGE BO EH ft. the urn jolly 
chap I had several times met is 
Hart's company, but fatter than ever, 
crawled from beneath the shiny metal 
body of the plane and scrambled to bis 
feet at my side. 

"Going in for a bit of adventuring. 
Mr Makcly?" be asked, wiping bis 
hand with a piece of cotton waste be- 
fore extending it 

"Yes," I replied, as I aqueered his 
chubby fingers. "Can't stick in the mud 
all my life. George. And I wouldn't 
want to be in better company for my 
first attempt either ." 

"Nor we." he returned, a mischievous 
twinkle in his eyes. 'Rather hare a 
greenhorn on the Pioneer than some 
government agent, who'd be butting in 
and trying to run everything. Think 
you'll be scared?* 

'Probably." I admitted: "but I guess 
I can stand it " 

'Hear the latest news broadcast *~ in- 
terrupted Hart Jones. 

"No What was it r I asked. 

"There has been a report from out 
near Cripple Crack," said Hart solemn- 
ly, 'that a pillar of fire was observed 
in the mountains shortly after the time 
the NY-IS last reported. The time and 
the location coincide with her prob- 
able position and the report was con- 
firmed by no less than three of the na- 
tives of that locality. Of course the 
statements arc probably extravagant. 
but they claim this pillar of fire ex- 
tended for miles into the heavens and 
was accompanied by a tremendous roar- 
ing sound that ceased abruptly as the 
light of ihf tiantt disappeared/ leaving 
nothing but blackness and awe-inspir- 
ing sijxncc behind." 

Am V 

**T OT of bunhr grunted George. 

JL-/ who was vigorously scrubbing 
the back of his neck. 

"Sounds like a fairy tale." I 

"Nevertheless, there may be 
thing in it. In fact, there must be. 
Three of these mountaineers ob s er v e d 
practically the same pheno s ncotxi from 
quite widely separated points, though 
one of them said there were three pil- 
lars of fire and that these looked more 
like the beams of powerful search- 
lights. All agreed on the terrific roar. 
And, after all. these two liners did dis- 
appear. There mast be something 
quite out of the ordinary about the 
way in which they were captured or 
destroyed, and this occurrence may 
well be supposed to have a bearing on 
the matter." 

"Possibly they were destroyed by 
some freak electrical storm." I sug- 

"Where then are the wrecked ves- 
sels?" asked Hart. "No, Jack, electrical 
storms do not destroy huge air liners 
and then suck them out into space be- 
yond our vision. These two ships are 
no longer on the surface of the earth. 
else they would have been long since 
located. The magnetic direction find- 
ers of the transportation people have 
covered every inch of the United 
States, as well as Mexico and Canada." 

'Of course they might have been 
carried halfway around the world by a 
wind of unprecedented velocity." I 
comme n ced a silly argument in favor of 
the theory that the elements had ac- 
counted for the two vessels, but was in- 
terrupted by the mounting roar of 
great engines throbbing overhead. 

"Hurry up there. George f" shouted 
Hart. "It's the SF-22 coming in. We 
have to be ready for the take-off in five 
minutes P 

HE hastened to take George's place 
at the washbowl and all was ac- 
tivity within the confines of our 
hangar. George and I left the office 
and went out to the landing field, which 



wu now brilliant with the glare of 
floodlight*. The Pioneer bad been 
trundled into the open and Mood ready 
for the Sight. Not a hundred feet 
abort the field, the huge Mirer moth 
that was the SF-22 swept by in a wide 
circle that would bring her into the 
wind. The roar of her engines died as 
she swung out of the circle of light 
the surrounding darkness. 

The crowds which bad gathered to 
witness her landing burred with ex- 
cited comment and speculation Her 
nose brought slightly up. she dropped 
to a perfect three-point landing, the 
brakes screeching a* she was brought 
to a standstill at the hanger of the 
transportation company 

"Come on now. you fellows.** came 
the roicc of Hart Jones from the 
hangar entrance, "there's no time to 
lose. The Pioneer f.ltcs off imn 
ately after the big fellow." 

We hum:.' to the waiting ship. 
which seemed like a tiny toy when 
compared with the giant SF-22. I bad 
observed very little of the construction 
of the Pioneer, but I could now see that 
she was quite different in design from 
the ordinary plane. A monoplane she 
but the wing structure was ab- 
illy short and of great thickness. 
there were a number of tubes pro- 
jecting from the leading edge that garc 
the appearance of a battery of stnall 
cannon. The body, like all planes de- 
signed for trave] in air-level six. was 
cigar-shaped, and had hermetically 
scaled ports ar.d entrance manholes. A 
chaster of the cannon-shaped tubes en* 
dosed the tail just back of the fins and 
rudder and. behind the wing structure 
atop the curved upper surface of the 
body, there was a sphere of gleaming 
metal that was probably three feet in 

BEFORE I could formulate ques- 
tions regarding the unusual fea- 
tures of the design, we were within the 
Pioneer' t cabin and Hart Jones was en- 
I in clamping the entrance man- 
bole cover to its rubber seat. A throb- 

bing roar that penetrated our double 
hall attracted my attention and. look- 
ing t hr o ugh a nearby porthole. I saw 
that the convoy of army planes had 
taken off and was circling over the SF- 
22 in anticipation of her start. Trim. 
speedy fighting ships these were, with 
heavy caliber machine-guns in turrets 
fore and ait aad normally manned by 
crews of twelve each. The under sur- 
faces of their bodies glistened smooth 
aad sleek in the light from t-»e field, 
for the landing gears had been drawn 
within and the openings sealed by the 
close-fitted armor plate that protected 
these ordinarily vulnerable portions 
when in flight. 

The SF-22 was ready to take off aad 
the crowds were drawing back into the 
obsc rood the huge circle of 

blinding light. One after another her 
twelve engines sputtered into life, and 
poRderoasJy she moved over the field, 
gathering speed aa the staccato barking 
of the exhausts gradually blended into 
a smooth though deafening purr. The 
tail of the great vessel came up. then 
the wheels, and she was off into the 

HART JONES sat at a bewildering 
arT*y of instruments that cov- 
ered almost the entire forward parti- 
tion of the cabin. He pressed a but- 
ton and the starting motor whined for 
a mom en t. Then the single ersrine of 
the Pioneer coughed and roared. Slow- 
ly we taxied in the direction taken by 
the SF-22, whose lights were now ran- 
-g in the darkness. I saw George 
open a ralre oa the wall and Hart 
stretched the fingers of his left hand 
to what appeared to be the keyboard 
of a typewriter set into the instrument 
board. He pressed several of the keys 
and pulled back his stick. There sua. 
a whistling scream from, astern and I 
wis thrown bach in my seat with pain- 
ful force With that, the motor roared 
into full speed aad we had left the air- 
port far behind. 

'What on earth r" I gasped. 

"Rochet propulsion." laughed Hart. 



1 should have warned you. Those 
tubes you saw outside at the tail and 
alone the leading edge of the wings. 
Only used three of them, but that was 
sufficient for the take-off." 

'But I thought this rocket business 
was -not feasible on account of the 
wastage of fuel due to its low effi- 
ciency." I objected. 

"We should worry about foci.' uid 

I looked about me and saw that 
there was very little space for the stor- 
age of this essential commodity 
-Whyr 1 inquired. "What fuel do 
you user" 

"Make our own." be replied shortly. 
He was busy at the moment, maneuver- 
ing the Pioneer into a position abore 
and behind the SF-22 and her convoy 

"You make your own fuel enroute?" 
I asked in astonishment. 

"Yes- That sphere jrou saw on top- 
It is the collecting end of an electrical 
system for extracting nitrogen and 
other elements from the air. Th 
traction goes on constantly while we 
are in the atmosphere and my fuel it an 
extremely powerful explosive of which 
nitrates are the base The supply is 
replenished continuously, so we have 
no fear of running short e-ren in the 
tr level* " 

GEORGE had crawled through a 
small opening into some inacces- 
sible region in the stem of the vessel. 
I pondered over what Hart had just 
told me. still keeping my eyes glued to 
the port, through which could be seen 
the facet we were following. The alti- 
meter registered thirty-five thousand 
We were entering air-level six — 
the stratosphere ! Below us the tropo- 
sphere, divided into five levels, each of 
seven thousand feet, teemed with the 
life of the air. The regular lanes were 
filled with traffic the lights of the 
thousand i of freight and 
craft moving in orderly pro- 
cession along their prescribed routes. 

Up here in the sixth level, which was 
entirely for high-speed traffic of com- 

mercial and gove rnm ent vessels making 
transcontinental or tran so cea nic voy- 
ages, we were the only adventurers la 
sight — we and the co n voyed liner we 
were following. The speed indicator 
showed six hundred miles an hour, and 
the tiny spot of light that traveled over 
the chart to indicate our position 
showed that we were nearing Buffalo 
Glancing through one of the lower 
ports. I saw the lights of the city shin- 
ing dimly through a light mist that 
fringed the shore of Lake Eric and ex- 
tended no t in w a rd along the Niagara. 
Then we were out orrr the lake, and 
the luminous hare waa slipping rapidly ■» 
behind. I looked ahead and saw that 
the distance to the SF-Z2 and her con- 
voy had somewhat increased. We were 
a mile behind and some two thomind 
feet above them. Evidently Hart was 
figuring on keeping at a safe "distance 
for observation of anything that might 

OUR motor was running smoothly 
and the angle of the propellor 
blades bad been altered to take care of 
the change in air density from the 
lower altitudes. It flashed across my 
mind that this was an ideal location for 
an attack, if such waa to be made on 
the SF-22. 

Then, far ahcad-M saw a beam of 
light stab througa the darkness and 
strike the tossing/ surface of the lake. 
Another and another followed, and I 
could see that the SF-22 and her con- 
voy were s ur ro u nded by these unearth- 
ly rays. They converged from high 
above to outline a brilliant circle where 
they met on the surface of the waters, 
and. in the midat of the cone formed 
by the beams, the liner and its seven 
tiny followers could be seen to falter* 
and huddle more closely together. 

It all happened in the twinkling of 
*n eye— so quickly, in fact, that Hart 
and I had not the time to exchange re- 
marks over the strange occurrence. For 
a m ome n t the eight vessels hovered, 
baited suddenly by this inexplicable 
force from out the heavens. Then 


there rose from the apex of the in- 
verted cone of light a blinding column 
of blue-white radiance that poured tky- 
ward an instant and was gone. To our 
ear* came a terrific roaring that could 
be likened to nothing we had beard on 
earth. The Pioneer was towed and 
buffeted as by a cyclone, and George 
came tumbling from the opening be 
had entered, hi* round face grown sol- 
emn. Then came eery silence, for the 
Pioneer's motor had gone dead. Ahead 
was utter darkness. The liner 
and her convoy had completely van- 
ished and the Pioneer was slipping into 
a spin! 

"\I7HATS up?" asked George of 
VV Hart, who was tugging fran- 
tically at the controls 

The liner has gone the way of the 
first two." he replied: "and the yam 
about the pillar of fire was not so far 
wrong after all." 

"You saw the same thing?" asked* 
George incredulously. 

"Yes. and- so did Jack. There came 
some beams of light from the sky: 
then the pillar of fire and the roaring 
you heard, after which the vessels were 
gone and our electrical system para- 

"Holy smoker ejaculated George. 
"What to do nowr* 

As be spoke, the Pioneer came out 
of the spin, and we were able to resume 
our positions i.i the seats None of us 
was strapped in. and we had been cling- 
ing to whatever was handiest to keep 
from being tossed about in the cabin. 
Hart wiped his forehead and growled 
out an oath. The instrument board was 
still illuminated, for its tiny lamps 
b current from the 
storage Lattery. But the main lights 
of the cabin and the ignition system re- 
fused to function. We were gliding 
now. but losing altitude rapidly, hav- 
ing already dropped to the lower limits 
of level I 

"Can't you use the rocket tubes?" I 
inquired hesitatingly. 

Tbey are fired in the same manner 

aa the motor." replied Hart: "but we 
might try an emergency connection 
from the storage battery, which is or- 
dinarily used only in starting and for 
the panel lights." 

GEORGE was already fussing with 
the connections in a small junc- 
tion box. from which be had removed 
the cover. Meanwhile, the black wa- 
ters of Lake Erie were rushing upward 
to meet us. and the needle of the alti- 
meter registered twelve thousand feet. 

"Here's the trouble P shouted George, 
triumphantly holding up a small ob- 
ject be had removed from the junction 
box. 'Ignition fuse is blown." 

"Pr^ably by some radiations from 
the cine of light and the column that 
destroyed the liner. Lucky we were 
no closer." sverr Hart's muttered com- 
me- ' 

George produced a spare fuse and in- 
serted it in its proper place. The cabin 
lights glowed instantly and the motor 
started at once 

♦ "WelL I'm going up after the gene- 
rators of this mysterious force that is 
destroying our cross-country ships and 
killing our people." asserted Hart 
The rays came from high above, but 
the Pioneer can go as high as anything 
that ever flew — higher.' 

He snapped a switch and a beam of 
light that rivalled the so-called pillar 
of fire bored far into the night, dim- 
ming the stars by its brilliance. Again 
his fingers strayed to the rows of white 
keys and the rocket tubes shrieked in 
response to his pressure. This time I 
was prepared for the shock of acccle- 
an. but the action was maintained 
for several seconds and I found the 
pressure against my back growing pain- 
ful. Then it was relieved, and I 
glanced at the altimeter. Its needle 
bad reached the end of the scale, which 
was graduated to eighty thousand feet ' 

"Good Lord!" 1 exclaimed. "Do you 
mean to tell me that we arc more than 
-fen miles in the air?" 

"Nearly thirty." replied Hart, point- 
ing to another dial which I had not 


Ktn. Tbit ooc m graduated in miles 
•bore tea level, and its needle wavered 
between tbe twenty-rune and thirty 
mark I 

AGAIN Hart pressed the rocket 
button*, and we shot atill higher 
into the heaven*. Thirty, forty, fifty 
miles registered the meter, and still 
we climbed. 

"Great Scott !" blurted a voice I knew 
was my own. though I had no con- 
sciousness of willing the speech. "At 
this rate well reach the mooof 

"We could, if we wished." was Hart's 
astounding replyT^lc»)d I wish you 
wouldn't say too much' about it when 
»e return. We have oxygen to breathe 
and an air-tight vessel to retain it 
With the fuel we are using, we could 
easily do it. provided a sufficient sup- 
ply were available. However, the Pio- 
neer does not have large enough stor- 
age tanks as yet. and. of course, we 
cannot now replenish our supply with 
sufficient rapidity, for the atmosphere 
has become very rare indeed — where 
we are. My ultimate object, though, in 
building the Pioneer, was to co nstr uct 
a vessel that is capable of a trip to the 

"You think you could reach a great 
rnragh velocity to escape the gravita- 
tional pull of the earth?" I asked, mar- 
veling more and more at the temerity 
and resourcefulness of my science- 
minded friend. 

"Absolutely." be replied. "Tbe speed 
required is less than seven miles a 
second, and I have calculated that the 
Pioneer can do no leas than twenty." 

Mentally I multiplied by sixty. 
I could hardly credit the result. Twelve 
hundred miles a minute! 

"But. bow about the acceleration**" I 
ventured. "Could the human body 
stand up under the strain?" 

"That is the one problem remaining." 
be replied: "and I am now working on 
a method of ncutraliring it. From the 
latest results of our experiments. 
George and I are certain of Its feasi- 

THE Pioneer was now losing alti- 
tude once more, and Hart played 
the beam of the searchlight in all direc- 
tions a% we descended. He and George 
watched through one of the floor porta 
and I followed suit. We were falling, 
unhampered by air resistance, and our 
bodies were practically weightless with 
reference to the Pioneer. It was a 
strange sensation: there was the feel- 
ing of exhilaration one experiences 
when inhaling the first whiff of nitrous 
oxide in the dentist's chair — a feeling 
of absolute detachment and care-free 
confidence in the ultimate result of our 
precipitous descent. 

I found considerable of ■amusement 
in pushing myself from side to side of 
the cabin with a mere touch of a finger. 
There was no up nor down, and some- 
times it seemed to me that we were 
drifting sideways, sometimes that we 
fell upward rather than downward. 
Hart and George were unconcerned. 
Evidently they were Quite accustomed 
to the sensations. They beat' their 
every energy toward discovering what 
bad caused the disaster to the SF-22 
and its convoy. 

For several hours we cruised about 
on the strangest search ever made in 
the air. Alternately shooting skyward 
to unconscionable altitude* and drop- 
ping to levels five and six to replenish 
our fuel supply, we covered the greater 
portion of tbe United States before the 
night was over. But the powerful 
searchlight of the Pioneer failed to dis- 
close anything that might be remotely 
connected with the disappearance of 
the SF-22 

For me it was a never-to-be-forgot- 
ten experience. Lightning dashes from 
coast to coast which required but a few 
minutes of time circling many miles 
above New York or Washington or Sa- 
vannah in broad daylight with the sun 
low on tbe up-curved horiron; then 
shooting westward into the darkness 
and skirting tbe Pacific coast less than 
fifteen minutes later, but with four 
hours' actual time difference. Space 
and time were almost one. 


HART had not provided the Pio- 
neer with j radio or television 
transmitter, bet there was an excellent 
receiver, and. through its agency we 
learned that the world was in a veri- 
table uproar over the latest visitation 
of the mysterious terror of the sixth 
air level All commercial traffic" in 
levels four, five and six was ordered 
discontinued, and the government air 
control stations were flashing long 
messages in code, the import of which 
could but be guessed. Vision flashes 
showed immense gatherings at the 
large airports t lbs public squares 

of the great cities. wUerc the general 
populace become more and more ex- 
cited and terrified by the awful possi- 
bilities pictured by various pro mi n en t 

The of all foreign 
p ow ers made haste to disclaim respon- 
sibility for tne air attacks or for any 
attempt at malting war on the United 
States. News broadcasts failed to men- 
tion Hart Jones or the Piooeet. since 
the missi o n had been kept secret. The 
phen o men on of the rays and the roar- 
ing column of light had been observed 
from many points on this occasion and 
there was no longer any doubt as to the 
nature of the terror as visible to the 
.eye. though theories as to the action 
and source of the rays conflicted great- 
ly and formed the basis oi much : 

Eventually the advancing dawn 
reached San Francisco, and with its 
advent Hart decided to make a landing 
in that city so that my bonds could be 

JONKS v>ii apparently a very well 
mystified and discodfaged rnanT 
"Jack." be said, "it seems to me that 
this thing is but the beginning of some" 
tremendous campaign that is being 
waged against our country by a 
and powerful enemy And I feel that 
our work in connection with the un- 
- g of the mystery and over com- 
ing the enemy or enemies is but begun. 
cinch that the thing is organucd 

by human minds and is not any sort of 
a freak of the elements. Our work u 
cut out for us. all right, and I wish you 
would stick to George and me through 
the mess. Will your** 

re." I agreed, readily enough. 
"After these bonds are delivered I am 
free for a month." • 

~Ha'. Ha r cackled George, without 
mirth. "A month t We're doggoncd 
I we get to the bottom of this in 
a )< 

"Nonsense!" snapped Hart, who was 
considerably upset by the failure to 
locate the source of the/ disastrous 
rays. "There is nothing supernatural 
abc i -id anything that can be 

explained on a scientific basis can be 
run to earth in short order. These rays 
are man-made and. as such, can be ac- 
counted tot by man. Our greatest 
scientists n>u»t be put* to work on the 
p roba te s at once — in fact, they have 
quite probably been called in by the 
g ov er nment already." 

HE was ma n e u vering the Pioneer 
to a landing on the broad field of 
the San Francisco airport. Hundreds 
of idle planes of all sires lined the 
field, and. unmindful of the carliness 
"bf-^the hour, a great crowd was col- 
lected in expectation of sensational re- 
ports from the occupants of arriving 
ships. The tmnsnil construction of the 
Ptooeer attracted considerable atten- 
tion and it was with difficulty that the 
police kept back the crowd when she 

-d to a stop near the office of the 
local government supervisor. We hus- 
tle : n greeted by that 
official with open arms. 

Glory beT be exclaimed "Hart 
Jones and the Ptooeer Every airport 

the land has been on the lookout 
for you all night It was feared you 
bad been lost with the SF-22 and the 
ethers Code messages to the super- 
districts advised of your 
mis s ion , though it has been kept out of 
the general news, as has the message 

"Message from the enemyf" gasped 



Hut. George tad I. echoing the words 
like parrots. 

A demand that the United 
States surrender, and a threat to de- 
scend into the lower levels if the de- 
mand is not coenphed with yi twenty- 
four hours P 

-Who is this enemy?" asked Hart, 
"and where?" 

"Who they axe is not known.' re- 
plied the official {rarely; "and as to 
the location, the Wax Department is 
puxxled. Direction finders throughout 
the country took readings on the pom- 
tion of their radio transmitter and 
these readings differed widely in re- 

But the tanstnssai of 
that the messages originate 
out in space, probably between fifty 
and one bundxed thmtsiirl miles fron> 
our earth " 

"Great gunsP Hart glanced at 
George and me. where we stood with 
stupidly hanging >aws. 'And what does 
the government want of me now T 

~You arc considered to be the one 
man who might be able to cope with 
the problem, and axe ordered to report 
to the Secretary of Wax. in person, im- 

HART was electrified into instant 
activity. -Here." be said in a 
voice of authority that commanded the 
omt ill's attention and respect, "see 
that this package of bonds is delivered 
at once to the addressee and that- the 
addresser is sdvised of its safe arrival. 
- off at once" 
Suiting action to the words, he throat 
my packet into the hands of the aston- 
ished supervisor. Then, turning sharp- 
ly on his bccL be flung back. -Advise 
the Secretary of Wax that I shall re- 
port to him in person in less 

As we stepped through the entrance 
of the Piooerr. be shot a final look at 
the omcial and laughed heartily at his 
sudden accession of energy. We had 
not the slightest doubt that Hart's or- 
ders would be immediately and effi- 
Uy carried out. 

IN precisely forty-five iiiinasiafVs 
stood Wfoee the desk of L a a faJc s 
Simler. then Secretary of Wi/ in 

"You are Mr. Hartley Jones?" in- 
quired the stcm-visaged little man. 

"I am. Mr. Secretary, and these sxs 
my friends and co-workers. George 
Boehm and John Makcly." 

The' Secretary acknowledged the in- 
troduction gravely, then plunged into 
the heart of the matter at hand with the 
quick energy for which he was famed. 

"It may or may not be a scrtous sit- 
uation." he said, "but certainly it has 
thus fax been quite alarming. la any 
event, we have taken the matter out of 
the hands of the Air Traffic 
We axe prepared to defy the i 
of the enemy, whoever he may be. Bat 
we want your help. Mr. Jones. Every 
ship of the Air Navy will be in the 
upper levels within the prescribed 
twenty-four hours, and we will en- 
deavor to stave off their attacks until 
such time ** you can fit the Pi sn e er for 
a tourney to their 

"How can your 
scls. capable of hurling a high explo- 
sive shell no more than fifty miles, fight 
, off an enemy that is thousands of miles 
distant f asked Hart, 

It is believed by the research engi- 
neers of the government that, though 
headquarters may be located at a 
great distance, the raiders drop to s 
comparatively low altitude at the time 
of. one of their attacks, returning im- 
mediately thereafter to their 

Hart Jones sfe 
engineers may be correct." he stated; 
~\*i\ bow on earth can you expect a lit- 
tle vessel like the Pioneer to battle an 
enemy who is possessed of these ter- 
ribly destructive weapons and who has 
sufficient confidence in his own invul- 
nerability to declare wax on the great- 
est country on earth P 

his voice to a confidential tone, 
asd his keen gray eyes flsshrrl excite- 
st as be unfolded the details of the 



discoveries and plans of the War De- 
partment. We three listened in undis- 
guised anutaent to a tale of tbc un- 
tcsaiag labor* of oar Secret S 
agents in foreign countries, of elabo- 
rate experiments with deadly weapons 
and the chemicals of war fa 

We beard of marvelous new rays that 
could be projected for many miles and 
■ whole armies at a tingle blast; 
rays that would, in less time than that 
"i to tcII*of tbc feat, reduce to 
a mass of fused metal the greatest hrst- 
line battleships of the old days of 
ocean warfare. We beard of prepara- 
tions for defensive warfare throughout 
tili/ed world, preparedness that 
insured so terrible and bnal a war that 
it was literally impossible for a great 
world conflagration to agV<n break out. 
We lcarqjd that the present mysterious 
signs of a coming war could not pos- 
sibly havr geinnatcd in any country 
on earth, else \bcy would have been 
known of long in advance, due to the 
network of the Secret Service system. 
This war. so unexpectedly thrust upon 
us. was undoubtedly a war of planets I 

the messages 
hi English, were they not*" 

"They were." continued Secretary 
Simler. 'and that puaaled our experts 
in the beginning. But. it may well be 
that our enemy from out the skies has 
hod spies imnsig us for many years and 
could thus bav* learned, our languages 
and radio code*. In any event, we are 
to meet destructive ray* with others 
equally destructive, and you. Hartley 
Jones, are the man "who can make our 
effectiveness certain' 

Yet. How long a time will be re- 
quired in fitting out the Pioaett for 
le space Ayr 

material as fast as I shall require it." 

'Excellent.' said the Secretary, 
have the men there in a few 
hours and will obtain whatever you 
need, regardless of cost, for immediate 
delivery. Incidentally, there will be 
several sot- data sa well, who will su- 
pervise the installation of two types of 
ray generators and their pro. 
mechanisms on the Pioneer. Ye 
need them la- « 

~I don't doubt we shall.' stdd Hart. 
"And now. with your partus** ton. «re 
shall leave for the hangar. I'm ready 
to start work." 

"Capital P ^Secretary Simler pressed 
every one of a row of buttons set in 
his desk lop. We were dismissed 

taid I. when we reached the 
outside, "he has given you quite a sob, 

'You sai<< something." be replied 
"But. if this threat from tbc 
prove* as real and as calamitous M I 
think it will, we all have our work cut 
out for us." 

"Do you really believe this enemy 
come* from another planet.*" asked 
George as we entered the Pioneer for 
tbc trip home. 

"Where else c*n they be from?" 
countered Hart 'But. really it soaks*) 
no difference to us now. We have to 
go after them in earnest. Don't want 
to quit, do you, George*" 

"Wha-a-atr shouted George, as he 

I savagely at the main switch of 

tbc Ptooetr "You know me better 

than that. Hart Did I ever let you 

down in anything 

d the smiling Hart. 

"you never did. ble\* your heart. But 

Jack here is another matter He has a 

I lata look after. That 


HART JONES pondered the mat- 
ter and I could see that h 
overjoyed at the prospect of gi 
into the »: About one 

week.' he - providing you can 

send a force of fifty expert mechanics 
to my hangar at once and supply all 

Me words, for I 
knew that he meant what be 
I saw the jus- 
tice in bis rem- 

'But. Hart. I faltered. I J like to 
be in on this tl 
~1 know you would, old man. i 



ly al- 

think it's out of the question, for tbc 
present at least. You cad help with the 
reconstruction of the Ptootvr. how- 
ever ~ 

And meekly I accepted bit dictum, 
though with *e<retly conflicting emo- 
tion*. Little did I tr -he tune 
that Hart knew far note than be pee 
traded and that he 
tempted to salve his 
this manner. 

I was very anxious to return to my 
family, and, as I sped hom e w a rd in a 
sh after the Pioortt landed at her 
own hair. ax. my mind was filled with 
doubts and fears. Secretary Staler had 
been very brief in hit talk, but his 
every word carried borne the (rarity of 
the situation. What if these invaders 
i the war to the surface? Sup- 
pers* they seared the countryside and 
the cities and suburbs with rays of hor- 
rible nature that would shrivel and 
blast all that lay in their path? My 
heart chilled at the thought and it was 
a distinct relief when I gated on my 
little home and saw that it was safe — 
so far. I paid the driver with a m uch 
too large Bank note and dashed up my 
own front steps two at a time. 

A few hours later I tore myself away 
and returned to the hangar, where the 
Pioneer now reposed is a scaffolded 
cradle. The sight which met my eyes 
was astonishing in the estreme. foe the 
hangar had been transformed into a 
huge workshop with seemingly hun- 
dred* of men already at work It was 
a scene of furious activity, and. to my 
utter amarement. 1 'obse r ved that the 
Pioneer was already in in adv a n ce d 
stage of d u assemb ly. 

I HAD no difficulty in locating Hart 
Jones, for he - rig from 

lathe to workbench to boring tr. 
rjjng his orders with the sureness and 
-n of a born leader of men. He 
welcomed me in his most brisk manner 
and immediately assigned sse to a por- 
t-on of the work in the chemical labo- 
ratory— something I was at least partly 
fitted for. , 

We labored far into the night, what 
a siren called us to rest and food. This 
was to be a night and day job, and not 
a man of those on duty gave thought 
to tbc intense nervous and physical 
strain. Sixty-five of us I learned there 
were, though it had seemed there were 
arrrrjj times that number. 

During the rest period. Hart 
switched on the large television and 
sound mechanism of the public news 
broadcasts. Great excitement prevailed 
throughout tbc United State*, for there 
had been a leak and the news had goo* 
regarding the message from the 
There was — idisprisd panic 
and disorder and the government wss 
besieged with demand* for authentic 
The twenty-four hours of gtac* 
rly expired 

Finally the public was told of what 
actually was happening. Our entire 
fleet of one thousand air cruisers waa 
in air-level six. waiting for the enemy. 
America was going to fight in earnest T~ 

FLASHES of our air cruisers as 
construction and in action came 
over the screen: voice-vision records 
of the popular officers of the fleet fol- 
lowed in quick succession. Then i 
the blow— the first of the strange 
Two vessels of the air fleet had 
destroyed by the triple rays and pil- 
lar of fire! Fifty ciuiaua rushing to 
the scene had been unable to find any 
traces of the source of the deadly rays. 
And. this time, there was an alarming 
added clement. The pillar of fire had 
risen from a point near Gadsd e n is 
Alabama and. in its wake, there spread 
a sulphurous, smoldering fire that crept 
along tbc ground and de s t r oy e d all in 
it* path. Farms, factories, and even 
the -steel rails of the railroads were 
consume d and burned into the grosssd 
a* if by the breath of some trc 
blast furnace. Hundreds of 
of the section perished, and it was re- 
ported that the fumes from the strange 
I were drifting in the direction of 
Birmingham, terrifyingly visible in 
bhst green clouds of searing vapor. 



With the first am of the disaster 
* wave of fear that (plead over 
the country with the rapidity of the 
ether thai carried the new*. 

Then came stern determination. This 
enemy dwi be swept from the 
Gathering* in public places lolsn 
leered en masse for whatever service 
the government might ash of them! 
The entire world was in an uproar, and 
from Great Britain France. Germany 
and Russia, came immediate offers of 
■ M I sif fteeu to assist in fighting off 
toe Terror. 

less than an hour there were near- 


X ly five thoiisinrl crliscrs in air- 
sti. patioliog its (entire depth 
from thirty-five thousand to one hun- 
dred thousand fret altitude 

We resumed work in the hangar, but 
the news service was kept in operation 
as far as the amplifiers were concerned, 
though the television screen was) 
switched off oh account of the likeli- 
hood of its distracting the work 

Again came the report of a major 
disaster, this time over Butte in Mon- 
tana Four American vessels and one 
British were the victims in level I 
And the city o/ Butte was in flames; 
blue, horrible flame* that literally ' 
melted the city into the ground Again 
there was no trace of the invad- 

How puny were the efforts of the 
five thousand air cruisers! Marvels of 
- .ng am* mechanical skill, these 
vessels were Deadly a* were the weap- 
ons they carried — weapons so terrible 
that war on earth was considered im- 
possible since their development — they 
■ bclple** against *n enemy who 
could not be located Though our ves- 
were capable of boring high into 
the stratosphere, the enemy worked 

"Holy smoker gasped Hart Jones, 
who had stopped at my side. "What a 
contract I have on my hands f" 

Hooked in the direction of the 
partly dismantled Pioneer, and I 
could see by the fixedness of his staM 

that he was thinking of her msigsifi- 
«ant sire in comparison with the job 
she was to undert . • 

Above the din of the machines in the 
hangar rang the startled voice of a 
.news announcer. Panic -stricken he 
s eemed , and we stopped to listen An- 
other blow of the terror of the skies — 
and now dose by! Over Westchester 
Count*/ in New York State there was a 
repetition of the previous attacks, 
-wo of the cruisers had vanished 
me: but several towns, including 
Larchmont and Scarsdalc. were pooh* 
of molten fire I 

• at heart. I thought of my little 
home in Rutherford and of, the dear 

t contained. I thought of tele- 
phoning, but. what was the use ? There 
was no warding off of this terrible 
thing that bad so suddenly come to 
our portion of the world. It was the 
blowing of the last trumpet, the way 
things looked. 
The announcer had calmed himself. 

• ice droned tonclcssry now. as 
was the custom. Another raid, on the 

H Border now. We were stupe- 
bed by the rapidity of the enemy's at- 
then electrified once more by 
the most as t ounding news of all. 
Alexandria, in Egypt, was the base of 
a pillar of fire! Fully half of the city 
was wiped out. and the remainder in a 
mortal funk, terrorized and riotous. 
The United States was not alone in the 

The foreign fleets which reinforced 

our own were ordered home immedi- 

But to what avail? The world 

IN the morning, after nine fearful at* 
tacks during the night, there cam* 
another message from the enemy and, 
- d in five language* and 
addresaed to the entire world: 

'People of Earth." it read, 'this is 
our final warning. One chance has 
been given and you have proved stub- 
Lorn Consider well that your ci- 
tion he not entirely destroyed, and an- 
swer *i the expiration of fort> 



toon, using our transmitting fre- 
qmnry Our band is to b« withheld 
for that period only. when, unless our 
demands are met. all of your large 
cities and towns will be destroyed, 
-rms for peace are that we be per- 
mitted to land without resistance on 
your part ; that you surrender farm and 
forest lands, cities and towns, able 
bodied men of twenty to forty, se- 
lected w ome n of seventeen to thirty. 
and tribute in the form of Such sup- 
and precious metals as we may 
specify, all to the extent of forty per 
cent of your resources. No compromise 
will be accepted." 

That was alL It was during a KM 
period at the Jones hangar and I 
brought Hart and George to my 
for breakfast. We sat at the 
when the news instrument brought the 
Marie was pouring the coffee, 
two small boys. Jim and Jack, 
had gone to the playroom, from whence 
their joyous voices could be beard. We 
four were struck dumb at the an- 
■ounttiDtm. and Marie looked at me 
with to awful an expression of dread 
that my coffee turned bitter in my 
mouth. Marie was just twenty-eight ! 

"What beasts r cried Hart. 'Allow 
them to land without resistance? I 
should say not ! Rather we should fight 
them off until all of us perish." 

HE had risen from his chair in his 
anger. Now be sat down sodden 
ly and shook a forefinger in my face 

"Say r be exploded. "You can't tell 
me that some master mind of our, own 
world is not back of thisT 

'I'm not telling you.' I replied, star- 
tled at the fierce fire that flashed from 

'I know. I'm just trying to think 
a lood and I'm liable to say anything. 
But this sort of business is the work of 
bumans as sure as you're born. Still I 
believe that what punier »-»>» :» true. 
I can't bersifre that any country on 
earth is back of the thing. It most be 
an attack from beings of another 
planet, but I think they have as a 

leader a man who is of our own earth" 
Marie's eyes opened wide at this. 
"But bow could that be?" she asked. 
"Surely no one from our earth has 
made the trip to one of the other plasv 

~It may be that someone hat 
plied Hart 'Do you remember Pro- 
fessor Oradel? Remember, about ten 
years ago. I think it was. when he sad 
s half doaca or more of extremely 
:al scientists built a rocket they 
claimed would reach the moon? They 
were ridiculed sad hissed and rele- 
gated to the position of half-baked, 
crazy inventors. But Oradel had a 
large private fortune, aad he and his 
crowd built themselves a workshop sad 
laboratory in a secluded region in the 
Ozark* Here they labored and cxperi- 
and eventually the rocket ship 
astructcd. No person wss in 
I confidence, but when the machine 
was completed the*/ issued a statement 
to the press to the effect that they were 
ready for the voyage to the moon, aad 
that, when they returned, a reckoning 
with the world was to be made for its 
disbelief and total lack of sympathy. 
Again the press subjected Oradel to a 
series of scathing denunciations, aad 
the scientific publications refused to 
take cognizance of bis claims in any 
way. shape or form. 

** / TMIEN. one night, a gTeat rocket 
JL roared into the heavens, leaving 
a terror-stricken countryside in the 
wake of its brilliantly visible tail Sev- 
eral observatories whose telescopes 
picked up and followed the trail of the 
contraption reported that it described 
a huge parabola, mounting high into 
the stratosphere and falling back to 
earth where it was lost in the depths 
of the Pacific Ocean. There the thing 
ended aad it was soon forgotten. But 
I believe that this rocket ship of Ora- 
cle! s reached Mars or Venus sad that 
the pcot plsaal they 

reached have been prevailed upon aad 
prepared to war upon the world." 
"That would explain tax 



edge of our languages and code*." 

ventured "and vsould likewise k( 
for the fact thu the first of our ships 
to be attacked were those I 
large shipment* of currency. Though. 
if these were destroyed by the fire col- 
urns. I can not see what food the 
money would do them" 

"Don't believe the first three were 
destroyed." grunted Hart "You'l 
member that in those cases the pillars 
or whatever you want to call 
them, were of a cold light, 
now they are viciously hoe and leave 
behind them the terrible destructive 
fires that spread and spread and seem- 
ingly never arc extinguished No. I 
at the force used is something 
of the nature of an atom disrupting 
triad of beams and that the** set up 
the column as a veritable tornado, a 
whirling column «■*'. roaring wind rush- 

. skyward with tremendous vek 
The first sliips. I believe, were carried 
into the startosphere and captured in- 
tact by the enemy. 

-ce the declaration of war the na- 
' of the column has altered The 
1 skrr^ hrimi instead of meeting at or 
near the surface of the earth, now join 
high in the heavens and the column 
strikes d o w n w ar d instead of expending 
itt force upward An added ener, 
i which produces the terribly de- 
- force below. And now 
*tt able to locate fragments of the 
ships oestroytd above, whereas r • 
ously there were no traces." 

"♦ROUNDS reasoru 

v3 Ceoege "But why have 
not landed and waged their - 

without ■ if that is what 

they now intend to do*" 

"A natural questior. Ceoege 
have a bunch that the space flier or 
fliers of the enemy are conserving fuel 
by remaining beyond gravity You 
know, in space flying, the gn 

•jres of energy are in leaving or 
landing on a body and. once landed, 
they might not have sumcient fuel for 
a getaway They know we arc not ex- 

actly helpless, once they axe in our 
midst, and are taking this means of re- 
ducing us to the point of complete sub- 
ject i on before risking their precious 
selves among us." 
The telephone startled us by its in- 
HM ring It wai a call from the 
hangar for Hart. The news broadcast 
announcer was in the midst of a long 
dissertation regarding the discovery 
only this morning that there were cer- 
tain »p^*ttnt discrepancies in the 
tnts of the tides and unwonted 
perturbations of the moon's orbit 
There flashed on the screen a view of 
the great observatory at Mount Wil- 
son, and Professor Laugh lm of that in- 

-ion ttepped into the fc 
of the scene to take up the 
so mechanically repeated -by the 

"Must leave for the hangar u " 
declared Han. returning 'from the teie- 
-nler and his staff are there 
are wanted immediately " 
Oh Jack!" Marie begged with her 

"Cot to be done. Hone 
•ponded, "and. believe me. I am going 
to do what little I can to help Sup- 
pose we surrendered V 

I SHUDDERED anew at the very 
thought, and took hurried leave of 
ray family. Hart and Ceoege awaiting 
me in the hall Had I known what was 
to transpire before the end of the war. 
I am certain I would have been in 
■ suc h less) of a hurry 

jshed to the hangar, where Sec- 
Simler mi his party awaited us 
m the office Rather. I should say. they 
i for Hart Jones. 
"Mr Jones." said the Secretary of 
e introductions were 
up to you to get the Pioneer 
in shape to go out after these terrible 
res before the forty-eight hours 
have i We have replied to their 

ultimatum and have told them we will 
have our answe r ready within the ap- 
pointed time, hut it is already agreed 
betwee n the nations of the World AV- 



that our reply it to be gig*''** 
Better far that we submit toV&e utter 
asatiatlieii of our civilisation than 
•free to their terms." 

"I behrre I can do it. Mr. Secretary." 
was Hart Jones' simple comment "At 
least I will try. But you must let ate 
hare an experienced astronomi r at 
ooce with whom to consult-" 

I bare a theory, 
enough of a student of 
tw myself to work it out" 
"You shall hare the best man ia the 
Air Naval Observatory at once." Sec- 
retary Staler chewed his cigar savage- 
And anything else you Might 

There is nothing t\v H*n 

turned from the great men -who re- 
garded hisa solemnly, some with ex- 
ptrssiaa* of hope, others with plain 
distrust written large on their count*- 

THEY left in silence and we re- 
taraed to our work with reaewed 
vigor. Within aa hour there arrived 
by fast plane aa uadersired. t> 
tpcctaclcd man who preseated himself 
as Professor Linguis t from the govero- 
saeat obse r v a tory He was immediate- 
ly taken into the omce by Hart aad the 
two remained there behind closed 
doors for the best part of four hours. 

Meanwhile the hangar hummed with 
activity as usual We in the chemical 
laboratory were engaged in compound- 
ing the high explosive used as fuel ia 
the Pior ■ <t being 

pec seed to its absolute limit arv 
■tared ia long steel cylinders in the 
form of a liquid of eatremely low tem- 
perature These cylinders were 
i pact tr_r.tfc ried to a special steel vault 
where the temperature was kept at a 
lew-enough paint to prevent expansion 
and consequent loss of the explcn 
not to speak of the danger of destroy- 
ing the entire lot of us in its escape 

The generating apparatus of the 
Pioneer was to be dispensed with for 
this trip, since it was of ao value oat- 

aide the atmosphere where there was 
no air from which to extract the ele- 
ments necessary for the production of 
the explosive. Instead, the entire sup- 
ply of fuel for the trip was to be car- 
ried aboard the vessel in the cylinders 
we were engaged in filling Hart had 
calculated that there was just sufficient 
room to store fuel for a trip of about 
two hundred thousand miles from the 
earth and a safe -return. We hoped this 
■paid be enough 

ON the scaffolding around the Pio- 
neer there were now so many 
workers that it seemed they must foe- 
be ia one another • way. But the 
-as progressing with extreme 
rapidly Already there projected 
from her blunt nose a slender rod of 
ahtatng metal which was the projector 
of one of the d etracti ve rays whoa* 
g en erato r and auxiliaries were being 
inauilill under the supervision of the 
g ov er nment experts. The force i ad 
been tr eb led aad was now working ia 
shifts of two hours each, the pace be- 
ing so exhausting that highest effi- 
ciency was obtained by using these 
short periods. 

Additional rocket rubes were being 
installed, aad the steel framework of a 
bulge now show i d oa the hull this 
bulge being aa additional fuel storage 
compartment that would provide a 
-.t additional resist awe* aad conse- 
quently lower speed in the lower 
levels, ha* weald peeve little I 
ia level six aad aeae at all in 

When Hart emerged from his omce 
he appeared to be very tired, indeed. 
but his face bore aa expression of tri- 
axaph that could net be mistaken. He 
aad this little scientist from Washing- 
tea had evidently arrived at some mo- 
rrgarding the 

"Jack." be said, when he reached cay 
beach during his first round of the 
hangar, "celestial mechanics is a won- 
derful thing I had a hunch, aad this 
chap hat peeved it correct 



with hi* mathematics. Our friend the 
enemy is out there in tp*ie at a point 
where hu own mas* and velocity arc 
exactly counteracted by those of the 
earth and its satellite, the moon He 
is ;u*» floating around in Ipace. dome 
no work whatsoever to maintain his 
own position He has temporarily as- 
waned the role of a second I 
us and is revolving around us at a defi- 
nite period that was calculated by 
Lindquist The gravitational pull of 
the moon keeps him from falling to the 
earth and that of the earth kctps him 
from a ppro a ching the moon. The re- 
sultant of the set of forces is what de- 
termines his orbit and the di stur bance 
in the normal balance is what ban been 
obse r ved by the astronomers who re- 
ported changes in the tides and in the 
s orbit 

"•nil !'..»•» figures prove 
£3 that the vessel oe fleet of the 
enemy must be of tr emen dous sue to 
produce such discrepancies. in£ 
mally small though they might seem 
We have a big fellow with whom to 
deal, but we know where to had 

"How can be work from a fixed posi- 
tion to make his attacks on the e. 
such widely separated points >~ I asked, 
ml a fixed position in the first 
ancf besides the earth rotates 
once in twenty-four hours, while the 
moon travels ...ound the earth once in 
about twenty-eight days. But even so. 
the widespread destruction could not 
t< accounted for He must send out 
scouting parties or something of that 
That it one of the things ■ 
- n when we get out the 
have some hi 

I the Pioneer be ready I 
aaked lertly I *>as to go. 

"Sh- -h the exception of the 

-i neutr- I m 

having scene heavily-cushioned and 

supports made that will. 1 be- 

- us ftom ir.;_rv Ar ' I 

we can stand the discomfort for 


"Yes." I agreed, "in such a 
I. for one. am willing to go through 
anything to help keep this overwhelm- 
ing disaster from our good old world ■ 

"Jack." be whispered, 'we must f re- 
•Ve've got toP 

Then he was gone, and I watched 
him for a mo m e n t as be dashed head- 
long from one task to another. He was 
a whirlwind of energy once more. 

FORTYTHREE hours and twenty 
minutes had fi assert since the re- 
ceipt of the enemy's ultimatum. The 
last bolt was being tightened in the re- 
modeled Pioottr. and Secretary Sun- 
ler and his stag were on hand to wit- 
ness the take-off of the vessel on which 
the hopes of the world were pinned. 
The news of our attempt had been 
spread by cable and printed news only, 
for there was fear that the enemy 
might be able to pick up the broad- 
casts of the news service and thus be 
able to anticipate us. As usual, there 
were many scoffers, but the concensus 
of opinion was in favor of the project. 
At any rate, what better expedient was 
there to offer ? 

The huge airport, now unused on ac- 
count of the complete cessation of air 
traffic was closed to the public But 
there was quite a crowd to witness the 
' off. the visitors from Washington. 
the official* of the field, and the two 
hsindi > d workers who had enabled us 
to make ready for the adventure in 
time There were four to enter the 
Piooe+r Hart. George. Professor 
Lindquist. and myself. And when the 
entrance manhole was bolted home be- 
hind us. the watchers stood in silence, 
waiting for the roar of the Pionrrr i 
motor As the starter took bold. Hart 
waved his hand at one of the ports and 
every man of those two hundred and 
some watchers stood at attention and 
saluted as if he were a born soldier and 
I a born commander-in-chief. 


taxied heavily across the 
field, for the Pioneer was much 
overloaded for a quick take-off She 


and bounced foe a quarter -mile 
before taking 'to the air and then 
climbed very slowly, indeed, for ^sev- 
eral minute*- Our apeed wma a acaat 
two hundred mile* an hour when we 
swung out-over New York and beaded 
for the Atlantic. And then Hart made 
first use of the rocket tubes, not dar- 
ing to discharge the hot gases below 
while over populated land at so low an 
•-i<ir He touched one button, main- 
taining the pressure for but a fraction 
si a second. The ocean slipped more 
rapidly away from beneath our feet 
and he touched the button once more 
Our speed was now nearly seven hun- 
dred miles aa hoar and we made haste 
to buckle ourselves into the padded. 
hammocklikc contrivances which had 
been substituted for the former scats. 
In a very few minutes we entered level 
and the motor was cut of entirely. 
A blast from a number of the tail 
rockets drove me into my supporting 
li manor k so heavily that I found diffi- 
culty in breathing, and could scarce- 
ly move a muscle to change position. 
The rate of acceleration was ternffic. 
I am still unable to mull 1st awl 

how Hart was manipulate the 
controls. For myscri. I could not even 
turn my head from its position in the 
and I felt as if I were being 
by ihwmsnds sf tons of pres- 
Then. the pressure was somewhat 
relieved and I glanced to the instru- 
ments We were more than a thou- 
sand miles from our starting point and 
the speed indicator read seven thou- 
sand miles an hour. We were 
ing at the rate of nearly two c. 
»' - i' 

ANOTHER blast from the roc 
this one of interminable length. 
I must have lost tomriniainrsa For 
I neat took note of things I 
fo u nd that we had been out for nearly 
two hours and that the tre men dous 
pressure of acceleration was relieved. 
I moved my head caprrirawmilry aad 
found that my senses were normal. 
though there waa a strange and alarm- 

ing sensation of being wrong side up. 
Then I r emem be r ed that I had esperi- 
cnce^J the same thing when we first 
searched the upper levels of the atmos- 
phere for the origin of the destructive 
rays of the enemy. 

But this was different I I gaied 
through a nearby port and saw that the 
say was entirely black, the stars shin- 
ing magnificently brilliant against 
their velvet background. Streamers of 
brilliant sunlight from the floor poets 
struck across the cabin and patterned 
the ceiling. Looking between my feet 
I saw the sun aa a flaming orb with 
streamers of incandescence that spread 
in every direction with such blinding 
luminosity that I could not bear the 
sight for more than a few seconds. Off 
to what I was pleased to think of at 
our left side, there waa a huge globe 
that I quickly atS3e out aa our own 
earth. Eerily green it shone, and. 
though a considerable portion of the 
surface was obscured by patches of 
white that I rtcognued aa clouds. I 
could dearly make out the continents 
of the eastern hemisphere. It was a 
marvcloua sight and I lost several min- 
utes in awed contemplation of the won- 
der Then I heard Han laugh. 

'Just coming out of it. Jack*" be 

I ST A RED at him foolishly. It had 
seemed to me that I was alone in 
this vast universe, and the sound of 
his voice startled me. 'Guess I'm act 
fully out of it yet." I said. "Where 
are we?". 

"Oh. about sisty thousand miles 
out," he replied carelessly: "and we 
are traveling at our masimum speed- 
that iv the maii mum we need for this 
- voyage." 

lit voyager I gasped. And then 
I looked at George and the professor 
aad saw that they. too. were grinning 
at my discomfiture I laughed crarify. 
I sup pos e , for they all sobered at once. 
Traveling through space at more 
than forty th o usand miles aa hoar, it 
seemed that we were stationary. Move- 


carat was row eajy — too earr. m fact, 
for wt were practically weightier* Tb< 
professor wii having * time of it 
manipulating a pencil and a pad of pa- 
per on which he had a hum of mall 
-re absolutely nx 
r.jt Mr «ii calculating and 
plotting our 'J^^N. •• without him. 
d jnever havcNcacbcd the ©b- 

.Time p a we d rapidly, for th« wonders 
49 'he naecd universe were k never- 
of fascination Occa- 
sionally a •eric* of rocket charges mm 
fired to keep our direction and ve- 
locity, but these were tifjat. and the 
ration so insignificant that we 
were put to no discomfort whatever 
I waa necessary that we keep our 
buckled, for. in the wen 
condition, even the (lightest increase 
or decrease in spee-J or change in di- 
rection was sufficient to throw us the 
length of the cabin, from which pain- 
ful bruises might be received 

THE sup por ts to which we were 
strapped and which sated us Iron 
being crushed by the acceleration and 
deceleration, were similar to baas- 
mocks, being hooked to the floor and 
.- of the cabin rather than sus- 
pended horizontally in the conven- 
tional manner. This was for the rea- 
son that the energy of the racket 
expanded fore and aft. except for 
-g. and the forces acre therefore 
along the hocitontal axis of the ves- 
sel The support* were clastic and the 
padding deep and soft. Being swiveled 
at top and bottom, they could • 
around so that deceleration as well as 

-ration was reli' • 
reason the controls had been altered so 
that the flexible support in which Mart 

spended could rotate abou- 
pedestal, thus allowing for their 
tion by the pilot • en acccle- 

or decelerating How he could 
control the muscles of his arms and 
hunts under the extreme conditions is 
a) • v to me. ho-» - 

George agiees with me in this We 

found ourselves to be utterly belters*. 
My next impression of the trip is 
that of swinging rapidly around and 
finding myself facing the rear wall of 
the cabin. Then the tremendous pres- 
sure once more at a burst from the for- 
ward tubes We had commenced de- 
celeration. For me there were alter- 
nate periods of full and semi-con- 
sciousness and. to this day. I can re- 
member no more than the high spots of 
that historical expedition. 

THEN we were free to move one* 
more, and I turned to face the in- 
strument board* Our relative velocity 
had become practically xcro: that is. we 
were traveling through space at about 
the samefipced and in the same direc- 
tion as the earth. The professor and 
Hart were consulting a pencil chart 
and rxcited'y looking first through the 
forward ports and then into the sc i - 
of the periscope. 

"This is trV approximate location." 
averred the professor. 

"But they are not here," replied 

George and I peered in all directions 
and could see nothing excepting the 
marvels of the universe we had been 
-in j The mwoa now seemed very 
close and its craters and so-called seas 
' at plainly visible as in a four- 
inch telescope on earth But we saw 
nothing of the enemy. 

The earth was a huge hall still, but 
much smaller than when I had first ob- 
served it from the heavens The s 
coro n a the flaming strea me r s which 
the professor declared extended as 
much as five million miles into spa 

partly hidden behind the run of 
- h and the effect was blinding 
A thin crescent of brilliant light 
marked the rim of our planet and the 
rest •hadow. but a shadow that 

was lighted awesomely in cold green 
Bected light from her satellite 

"I hat suddenly shouted the 

professor "We are all in very nearly 
the same line with reference to the sun. 
and the enemy is b e twee n the blaring 



body and ourselves. Wc must shift 
ear position, move into the shadow of 
the earth. We hire missed our calcu- 
lation by a few hundred miles, that it 

All I I thought These astronomers, 
so accustomed to dealing in tremen- 
dous distances that must be measured 
in light-years, thought nothing of an 
error of several hundred miles. But I 
sup pose it was really an inconsiderable 
amount, at that. 

At any rate, we shifted position and 
looked around a bit more. We saw 
nothing at first. Then Hart consulted 
the chronometer 

"Time is up r he shouted. 

ON the instant there was a flash of 
dulling green light from a point 
not a hundred mile* from our position, 
a flash that was followed by a streak- 
ing pencil of the same light shooting 
earthward with terrific velocity. 
Breathlessly wc followed its length. 
saw it burst like a bomb and hurl three 
green balls from itself which sped at 
equally spaced angles to form a perfect 
triangle. They hovered a mome n t at 
about two thoiMinrl miles above the 
surface of the earth, according to the 
professor, who was using the telescope 
at the time, and shot thdLr deadly rays 
toward our world. We were too 
to prevent the renewal of bostil.- 

Anothcr and another streak of green 

light followed and wc knew that great 

.•havoc was being wrought back borne. 

But these served to locate the enemy's 

position definitely and wc immediately 

set about to draw* nearer We »rre 

still somewhat on the dark side of the 

object, which bad prevented our seeing 

Now «c swung about so that it was 

e. And. what a strange 

ap(- -'.tented, out here 

■pace I 

Fully fifteen miles in diametc 

ioughnut. a great ring of 

£ with a center-opening that was 

at least eighty per cent of its iimiiwi 

diameter. There it hovered, sending 

out those deadly missies in a continu- 

ous stream toward our poor world- As 
we approached the weird space flier, 
wc saw that a number of objects floated 
about within the great circle of its* 
inner circumference. The NY-It. the 
SF-61 and the SF-22. without doubt I 
The theory of Hart's was correct in 
every detail. 

WE were still at about ten mile* 
distance from the great ring 
and the streaking light pencils were 
speeding earthward at the rate of one 
a minute now. There was no time to 
lose. Already there waa more destruc- 
tion on its way than had been previous- 
ly wrought — several times over. 

Hart was sighting along a tiny tube 
that projected into the forward parti- 
tion and he maneuvered the Pioneer 
until she waa nose on to the great ring. 
He pulled a switch and there came a 
purring that was entirely new. A row 
of huge vacuum tube* along the wall 
lighted to vivid brilliancy and a throb- 
bing vibration filled the artificial air 
of the cabin. 

He pulled a small lever at the side 
of the tube and the vessel rocked to 
the energy that waa released from 
those vacuum tubes. The thin rod 
which had been installed at the Pio- 
neer's nose burst into brilliant flame — 
orange tinted luminescence that grew 
to a sphere of probably ten feet in 
diameter. Then there was a heavy 
shock and the ball of fire left its posi- 
tion and. with inconceivable velocity. 
sprang straight for the side of the 
great ring. It was a fair hit and. 
when the weird missile found its mark. 

•nply vanished—swallowed up in 
the metal walls of the mons ter vessel. 

a moment we thought nothing was 
to result. Then we burst into shouts 
of joy. for a great section of the ring 
fused into nothingness and waa gone I 

. a quarter of the circumference 
of the ring bad disappeared into the 

-m of space Truly, the govern- 
ments of Earth had developed some 
le weapons of their own I 
Wc watched, br e a t hl es s, 


THE green light pencil* no longer 
meaked their paths of death in 
the direction of our world, which now 
seemed to remote The great ring with 
the vacant apace in it* run wabbled un- 
certainly for a moment as though some 
terrific upheaval from within was tear- 
ing it asunder. Then it lurched direct- 
ly for the Pionttt. We had been ob- 

But Hart was equal to the occasion 
and be shot the Pioneer in the direc- 
tion of the earth with such acceleration 
that we all were flattened into our tup- 
ports with the same old violence. Then, 
with equal violence, we decelerated 
Tbe ring was following so closely that 
it actually rushed many hundreds of 
miles past us before it was brought to 
From it thet- ne of the 

light pencils, and the Pioneer was 
rocked as by a heavy gale when it 
rushed past on it,* h>:m!rts way into 
infinity The enemy had missed 

Meanwhile. Hart was operating an- 
other mechanism that wjs new to the 
Pioneer and*again he sjghtcd along the 
tiny tube. This tiny there was no 
sound -o barf of fire without, 

no visible "ray. Bet. when he had 
pressed the release of this second en- 
ergy, the ring seemed to shrivel and 
; ped by a giant's hand. 
It reeled and spun. Then, no longer 
inns balance of forces, it comm en ced its 
long drop earthward 

Hit job finished and finished well. 
Hart Jones collapsed 

FOLLOWING his more than three 
days and four nights of super- 
human endeavor, it seemed strange to 
see Hart slumped white and still over 
the control pedestal He who bad en- 
ergy far in excess of that of any of 
the rest of us had worn himself out. 
Having bad no rest or sleep in nt*tlj 
a hundred hoars, the body that ho used 
so wonderful a spirit simply refused to 
carry on Tenderly we stretched htm 
on the cabin floor, the Pieoerr drifting 
in space the while. The professor, who 
was likewise something of a physician. 

listened to his heart, drew back his 
eyelids, and pronounced him in no dan* 
ger whatever 

We slapped his wrists, sprinkled his 
face and neck with cold water from the 
drinking supply, and were soon re- 
warded by his return to consciousness. 
He smiled weakly and fell sound 
asleep. No war in the universe could 
have wakened him then, so we lifted 
him to his feet — rather I should say. 
we guided hit practically floating body 
— and strapped him in George's ham- 
mock, preparing for the homeward 
joumcr Though dangling from the 
straps m a position that would be ver- 
tical were we on earth, he slept like a 
baby. George took the control* 
Hart's place and the professor and I 
returned to our accustomed supports. 

The return trip was considerably 
slower, as George did not wish to push 
the Pioneer to its limit as had been 
necessary when coming out to meet the 
enemy, nor was he able to keep control 
of the ship against a too-rapid accele- 
ration Consequently, the rate of ac- 
celeration was much lower and we 
were not nearly as uncomfortable as on 
the outgoing trip Thus, nearly ten 
hours were required for the return. 
And Hart slept through it all. 

IN order to make best use of the 
small amount of fuel still in the 
cylinders. George circled the earth five 
times before we entered the upper 
limits of the atmosphere, the circles 
becoming of smaller diameter at each 
revolution and the speed of the ship 
proportionately reduced. An occa- 
sional discharge from one of the for* 
ward rocket tubes assisted materially 
the deceleration, yet. when we 
slipped into level five, our speed was 
so great that the temperature of the 
cabin rose alarmingly, due to the fric- 
tion of the air against the hull of the 
vessel. It was necessary to use the last 
remaining ounce of fuel to reduce the 
velocity to a safe value. A long glide 
to earth was then our only means of 
landing and. since we were over the 


I of Mexico at the time. we had no 
recourse other than landing in the 
A Texas. « 

Passing over Galveston in level 
three, we found that the Humble oil 
fields and a (Teat section of the" sur- 
rounding country had been the center 
of one of the enemy bombardments. 
AU was blackness and ruin for many 
mile* betwe en this point and Houston. 
At Houston Airport we landed, un- 
heralded but welcome 

The lower levels were once more 
filled with traffic and one of the 
southern route transcontinental liners 
had just made its stop at this point. 
The arrival of the Pioneer was thus 
witn e ss e d by an unusual! 7 large crowd, 
and. when the news was spread to the 
city, their numbers increased with all 
the rapidity made possible by the vari- 
ous means of transportation from the 

So it was that Hart Jones, after we 
finally succeeded in awakening him 
and getting htm to his feet, was hailed 
by a veritable multitude as the great- 
est hero of all time. The demonstra- 
tions become so enthusiastic that po- 
lice reserves, hastily summoned from 
the city, .'■err helpless in their at- 
tempts to keep the crowd in order. 

IT was with greatest difficulty that 
'Hart was finally extricated from 
the clutches of the mob and conveyed 
to the new Rice Hotel in Houston, 
where it was necessary to obtain med- 
ical attention for him immediately He 
was in no condition at the time to re- 
t the richly dc*crvcw*plau'iits of 
the multitude, and. truth to tell, we 
other* from the Pioneer were in much 
the same shape. 

To me that night will always be the 
most terrible of nightmares. My first 
thought was of my family and. when I 
had been assigned to a room. I immedi- 
ately asked the switchboard operator 
for a long-distance connection to my 
home in Rutherford. There was com- 
plete silence for a minute and I jangled 
the book impatiently, my bead throb- 

bing with a thousand a,cbes and pains. 
Then, to my surprise, the voice of the 
hotel manager greeted me. 

-Mr Makely." he said softly, and I 
thought there was a peculiar ring in 
his voice. "I think you had better not 
try to get Rutherford this evening. We 
arc sending the house physician to 
your room at once and— there are or- 
ders from Washington, you know — 
you are to think of nothing at the pres- 
ent but sleep and a long rest." 

-Why— why— ■ I stammered, "cant 
you see ? I must communicate with my 
family. They must know of my return. 
I must know if they're safe and well." 

'I'm sorry, sir.' apologized the man- 
ager "Government order*, you know." 
And he hung up. 

— Something in that soft voice brought 
to me an inkling of the truth. An icy 
hand gripped my heart as I beard a 
knock at the door. With palsied fin- 
ger* I turned the key and admitted the 
professor and a kindly-faced elderly 
gentleman with a small black bag. One 
look at the professor told me the truth. 
I seircd his two arms in a grip that 
made him wince 

"Tell me! Tell mef" I demanded. 
"Has anything happened to my fam- 
ily r 

"Jack." said the professor slowly, 
"while we were out there watching 
Hart destroy the enemy vessel. Ruther- 
ford was destroyed r 

IT must be that I frightened him by 
my answering stare, for be backed 
away from me in apparent fear. I no- 
ticed that the doctor was summaging 
in his bag. I know I did not speak. 
did not cry out. for my tongue dove to 
the* roof of my mouth It seemed I 
must go mad. The professor still 
backed away from me: then, wiry 1 
athlete that he was. be sprang directly 
for my knees in a beautiful football 
tackle I remember that point clearly 
and bow I admired his agility at the 
time. I remember the glint of a small 
i n stru m en t in the doctor's haad. Then 



Eight days Later, they tell me it was, 
I returned to painful consciousness in 
a hospital bed. But let me skip the 
agony of mind I experienced then. 
Suffice it to say that, when I was able. 
I set forth for Washington Hart 
Jones was there and be had sent for 
me. But I took little interest in the 
going: did not even bother to speculate 
** to the reason for his surrs i mrM I 
had devoured the news during my con- 
valescence and now. more than two 
weeks after the destruction of the Ter- 
ror. I knew the extent of the damage 
wrought upon our earth by those dead- 
ly green light pencils we had seen is- 
suing from the huge ring up there in 
the skies. The horror of it all was 
fresh in my mind, but my own private 
horror overshadowed all. 

I WAS glad that Hart had been so 
signally honored by the World 
Peace Board, that he was now the most 
famous and popular man in the entire 
world. He deserved it all and more. 
But what cared I — I who had done 
least of all to help in his great work — 
that the Terror bad been found where 
it buried itself in the sand of the Sa- 
hara when falling to earth? What 
cared I that the discoveries made in 
the excavating of the huge metal ring 
ucre of inestimable value to science? 

It gave me .passing satisfaction to 
note that all of Hart Jones' theories 
were borne out by the discoveries; that 
Oradrl and his minions were respon- 
sible for this terrible war: that the 
planet they aligned against us was 
Venus and that more than a hundred 
thousand of the Vcnerians had been 
carried in that weird engine of destruc- 
tion which had been brought down by 

It was interesting to read of the fall 
of that huge ring: bow it was heated 
to incandescence when it entered our 
■fmsfincrc *' •°* a tremendous ve- 
locity : of the tidal waves of cone 
billows in the sand that led to its dis- 
covery by Egyptian Government 
planes. The broadcast descriptions and 

the television views of the stunted and 
twisted Venetians whose bodies were 
recovered from the partly consumed 
wreckage were interesting. But it all 
left me cold. I had no further interest 
in life. That the world had escape J 
an overwhelming disaster was clear. 
and it gave me a certain pleasure. But 
for me it might as well have been com- 
pletely destroyed. 

Nevertheless. I went to Washington. 
I felt somehow that I owed it to Hart 
Jones, the greatest world hero since 
Lindbergh. I would at least listen to 
what be had to say. 

A FAST plane carried me. a plane 
chartered by the g o v ernm ent. To 
me it seemed that it crawled, though it 
was a sixth-level ship, and made the 
trip in record time. Why I was ks> 
patient to reach Washington I do not 
know, for I was absolutely disinter- 
ested in anything that might occur 
there. It was merely that my nerves 
were on edge. I suppose, and every- 
thing^ annoyed me. 

Hart met me at the airport and 
greeted me like a long-lost brother He 
talked incessantly and jump ed from 
one subject to the other with the obvi- 
ous intention of trying to get my mind 
off my troubles until we reached his 
office in the Air Traffic building. 

On his door there was the legend. 
"Director of Research.' and. when we 
had entered. I observed that the of- 
fice was furnished with all the luxury 
that suited his* new position. I dropped 
into a deeply upholstered chair at the 
side of bis mahogany desk. and. for the 
space of several minutes. Hart re- 
garded me with concern, speaking not 
a word. 

"Jack, old man. - be finally ventured. 
**I can't talk to you of this thing. But 
it makes me feel very badly to sec vou 
take it so bard. There ue many things 
yea have to live for. old top. and it it 
to talk about these that I sent for you.** 

"You mean work?** I asked. 

' Vr» That is the best thing for us 
all. in any emergency or under any 



cirranMtanccs whatever Preston wants 
jrott back for ooc thing, aad be au- 
thorised me to tell you that the job 
of office manager it waiting for you at 
double your former salary." - 

MY eyes misted at this.. Preston 
was a food old scoot! But I 
could never bear it to return to the old 
surroundings, even in the city. "No. 
Hart." I said. 'I'd rather be away from 
New York and from that part of the 
country. Associations, you know." 

"I understand." be replied, "and that 
is just what I had hoped you would 
decide. Because I hare a job for you 
in the Air Service A good one, too. 

"You know there is much reconstruc- 
tion work to be done on earth More 
than forty cities and towns hare been 
wiped out of existence and these tanas. 
be rebuilt. That will occupy the minds 
and energies of thousands who have 
been bereaved as you hare. But. in the 
Air Service, we bare a program that I 
believe will be more to your liking. 
The log of the Terror, in Oradel's 
handwriting, was found intact, as were 
a number of manuscripts pertaining to 
plans of the Venerians. 

"These misshapen creatures were 
quite evidently educated by Oradcl to 
a hatred of our world. We have 
reason to believe that other attacks 
may follow, for they were obviouslyjn- 
tending to migrate here in millions. 
And. according to records found 
aboard the Terror, they are of advanced 
scientific accocnplishment.*" We may 
expect them to construct other vessels 
similar to the Terror and to come here 
again. We most be prepared to fight 
them off. to carry the war to their own 
planet if necessary. My work is to or- 
ganise a world fleet of space ships for 
this purpose, and I'd like you to help 
me in this. The work will take you all 
over the world sad will keep you too 
busy to think about — things." 

It was just like Hart, aad I thanked 
him wordlessly, but from the bottom of 
my heart. Yes. I would accept his 
generous offer. Though I was no engi- 

neer. I had a knowledge of scientific 
subjects a httle above the average, and 
I could follow instructions. By George, 
it was the very thing I Suddenly I 
grew enthusiastic 

THERE was the sound of voices in 
the outer office, aad Hart's secre- 
tary entered to announce the arrival of 
George Boehm aad - Professor Lind- 
quist. This was great ! 

Chubby George, red-faced aad smil- 
ing as ever, embraced me with one 
short arm and pounded me on the back 
with his other fist in his joviaJ. joking 
manner. It was good to have friends 
like these I The professor held forth 
his hand timidly. He was thinking of 
that tackle and the half-Nelson be bad 
used on me while the doctor slipped 
that needle into my arm back there in 

"Don't remove your glasses. Pro- 
fessor." I laughed; I'm not going to 
hit you. That was a swell tackle of 
years, and you did me a big service 
down there in the Rice HoteL" A" 

He beam e d with pleasure aad g-w pptd 
my hand— mightily, for soch / little 
fellow. George was whispering to 
Hart, and I could see that they were 
greatly excited orrer something. 

"Jack." said Hart, when the pro- 
fessor and f finished talking things 
ortr. "George here wants yoo to take 
:tle trip over to Philly with him. 
He has something there he wants to 
show yoo." 

I looked from one to the other for 
signs of a hoax. These two. under nor- 
mal ci rcu m sta nces, were always up to 
something. But what I saw in their 
expressions convinced me that I had 
better go. aad s o m ehow, there rose in 
my breast a forlorn hope. 

"All right." I agreed. "Let's gof" . 

ONCE more we four took off to- 
gether, this time in a speedy lit- 
tle first-level cabin plane of Hart's de- 
sign, piloted by the irrepressible 
George. I was brimming with cjocs- 
tions. but George kept op soch a 



ning fire of small talk that I was un- 
able to jet in a tingle word through- 
out the abort trip to the Quaker City. 
It was quite evident that something 
was in the wind. 

I -tread of landing at the airport. 
George swung across the city and 
dropped to the roof landing space of a 
large building which I recognized as 
the Germantown Hospital. We had no 
sooner landed when I was rushed from 
the plane to the penthouse over the 
elevator shafts. We were soon on the 
main floor and George went immedi- 
ately to the desk at the receiving of- 
fice. where he engaged in earnest con- . 
venation with the nurse in charge. 

"What are you doing— committing 
me?" I asked, half joking only. For. 
from the mysterious expression of my 
friends* faces. I was not sure what to 
expt • 

"No." laughed 15 "George 

learned of the existence of a patient 
here who may turn out to be a very 
good friend of yours." 

I turned this over in my mind, which 
did not yet function quite normally. A 
friend? Why. I had very few that 
could really be termed good friends 
outside of those that accompanied me. 
It could mean but one thing. Possibly 
one of my children or even my dear 
wife — might have escaped somehow. I 
followed in a dare as a white-capped 
and gowned nurse led us along the cor- 
ridor and into a ward where there were 
dorens of high, white beds. 

SOME of the patients were swathed 
in bandages; some sat up in their 
beds, reading or just staring: others 
lay inert and pale. The reek of iodo- 
form prevaded the large room. 

We stopped at the bedside of one of 
the staring patients, a young woman 
who looked unseeingly at our party. 
Great heavens, it -was Mar. 

A physician stood at the other side 
of her bed. finger on her pulse. The 
others drew back as I approached her 
side, raised her free hand to my lips 
and spoke to her. 

"Marie, dear." I asked gently, forc- 
ing the lump from my throat as best I 
could, "don't you know me? It's Jack. 

The fixed stare of the great blue eyes 
shifted in my direction. It seemed that 
they looked through and past me into 
some terrible realm where only horror 
held sway. She drew her hand from 
my grasp and passed it before those 
staring. unnaturaWgcs. There was an 
audible gulp from George. But the 
doctor smiled encouragement to me I 
tried once more. 

"Marie." I said, "where are Jim and 
Jackie r 

THE hand fluttered to her lap. 
where it lay. blue-veined and piti- 
fully thin. * The stare focussed on me. 
seemed to concentrate. Then the fibxt 
was gone from the eyes and she saw — 
she knew me ! 

"Ob. Jack!' she wailed. "I have been 
away. Don't you know where they 

My heart nearly stopped at this, but 

I sat on the edge of the bed and took 

her in my arms, looking at the doctor 

for approval. He nodded his head 

, brightly and beckoned to the nurse'. 

"Bring the children." I. beard him 

My cup was full. But I must be calm 
for Marie's sake. She had closed her 
eyes now and great tears coursed down 
her waxen cheeks. Her body shook 
with sobs. 

"She'll recover?" I asked the doctor. 

"You bet. Just an aggravated case 
of amnesia. Hasn't eaten. Didn't even 
know her children. Cured now. but 
shell need a few weeks to build up." 
He snapped shut the lid of his wj- 

Those succinct sentences were the 
finest I had ever heard 

Marie clung to me like an infant to 
its mother. Her sobs gradually ceased 
and she looked into my eyes. Little 
Jim and Jack had come in and were 
clamoring for recognition. 

"Oh. Jack." Marie whispered. "I'm so 



She relinquished me mad turned ber 
attention to toe children. I saw that 
dot friends had left aad that an order!/ 
was placing screens about us. So 111 
dose the screen on the remainder of 
this most happy reunion. 

IT was several days before I had the 
complete story. Being lonesome 
during' my absence when we were pre- 
paring for the voyage into space, and 
not knowing just when I would return. 
Marie had packed a grip and taken the 
train for Philadelphia, deciding to 
spend a few days with ber Aunt Mar- 
garet. or at least to remain there with 
the children until I' returned. 

She had boarded the train at Man- 
hattan Transfer at about the time we 
reached the location of the Terror and 
the train was just pulling out of the 
station when there came the first of 
the new attacks of the enemy. She 
thought that the pillar of fire rose from 
the approximate location of Ruther- 
ford, but was not sure until they 
reached Newark, when the news was 
spread throughout the train by passen- 
gers who boarded it there. She wor-' 
ried and cried over the loss of our lit- 
tle home and had worked herself into a 
state of extreme nervousness and near- 
hysteria by the time they reached New 

Then, as the long train left New 
Brunswick, there waa another attack. 
this one on the town they had just left. 
The last two cars of the train were 
blown from the track by the initial 
concussion, and the remainder of the 
train brought to a grinding, jerking 
stop that threw the passengers into a 

Already hysterical. Marie was in no 
condition to bear up under the shock, 
and the loss of memory followed. Jack 
and Jim clung to ber. of course, and 
were taken to the German town Hos- 
pital with ber when the wreck victims 
were transferred to that point. She 
had no identification 00 ber person. 
and it was by sheerest lock that 
George, who was visiting a friend in 
the same hospital, chanced to see ber 
and thought be recognized her. 

That was all of it. but to me it was 
more than enough. Prom the depths 
of d es pondency. I rose to the peaks of 
elation. It was true that we would 
have to establish a new home, but this, 
would be a joy as never before. Those 
I had given up as lost were restored to 
me and I was content. Hart would 
have to make some changes in the du- 
ties of that new job— the world travel 
was out of the picture. I had had my 
fill of adventure. 

Besides, the hot spell was over. 

■ HM>>aK<iMiiMl<aM. m mm mmmmt to • 
I —•— —mi*. *— m — < m m few. 1 . • mamt 

The Forgotten Planet ' 

By Seitnll Peade* Wright 

I HAVE been asked to record. terplanetary AUaAce and remain there, 
plainly and without prejudice, a a secret and rather dreadful bit of 
brief history of the Forgotten history, is no concern of mine. I am 
Planet. an old man. well past the century mark. 

That this rec- __^__^____^_^______^_ 1 and what disposal 

ord. when com- .^ ^ it made of my 

pleted. will be tZ^tT^l^lT^^xT^I CT.T. **. rk u ot lml < 

sealed in the ar- a w*~ w v« importance to me. 

chirrs of the In- ^^^^^_^^^^^____^^^_^^^^_ 1 grow weary of 


'If i a«J*Mf. CUu ia« ,mt. w* dtpmt m MM>" 

life and living, which it food. The 
(car of death waa lost when our scien- 
i showed us bow to live until we 
grew weary of life. But I am digress- 
ing an old man's failing 

The Forgotten Planet was not al- 
ways so nasrted The name that it esse* 
bore bad been, as every child knows, 
stricken from the records, actual and 

mental, of the Universe It is well that 
ml should not be r em e m be r ed. yVSk. 
in order that this history may be clear 
in the centuries to come, my record 
should go back to beginnings. 

So far as the Universe is concerned, 
the history of the Forgotten Planet 
begins with the visit of the first craft 
to span the space b e tw een tha 




rids: the crude. adventuresome 
E4tn. whose name, as well as the 
names of the nine Zcnians who manned 
her. occupy the highest places tn the 
roll of honor of the Universe 

Ame Baove. the commander and his- 
torian of the Edora. made but brief 
comment on his stop at the Forgotten 
Planet. I shall record it in fall: 

"We came to rest upon the sur- 
face of this, the fourth of the 
ptar!tts visited during the first trip 
of the Edora. eighteen spaces be- 
fore the height of the sun We 
found ourselves surrounded imme- 
diately by vast numbers of crea- 
tures very different from ourse 
and from their expressions and 
gestures. w\ gathered that they 
were both cwVioua and unfriendly 
' 'Careful analysis of the atmos- 
phere proved it to be sufficiently 

lar to our own to make it 
sibf* for us to again stretch 
legs outside the rather era 
quarters of the Edota. and tread 
the soil of still another wc- 

~No sooner had we emerged, 
however, than we were angrily be- 
set by the people of this unfriendly 
planet, and rather than do them 
-r. »e retired immediately, and 
concluded our brief observation* 

topography of this planet 
ir-to our own. save - 
no mountains, and the 
v colored almost with- 
out exception, and apparently quite 
lar,- The 

oval. he*, of these 

pec "••'£* 

■ • ■ 

- ) the nape of the neck 

ut sus- 

r>o"i the 
■amber and sire of the cities we 

i planet is evidently thick- 
ly populated 

"We left about sixteen spaces 

before the height of the son. and 

tow iron d towards the fifth and 

last planet before our return to 


TMIS report, quite naturally, i 
other explorers in space to 
There were so many friendly. 
eager worlds to visit, during jhe years 
that relations b et w een the planets ■ 
being established, that an unfriendly 
people were ignored. 

However, from time to time, as space- 
ships became perfected and more com- 
mon, parties from many of the more 
progressive planets did call. Each of 
them met with the same hostile recep- 
tion, and at last, shortly after the 
second War of the Planets, the victori- 
ous Alliance sent a fleet of the small 
but terrible Deuber Spheres, convoyed 
by four of the largest of the disinte- 
grator ray-ships, to subjugate the For- 
gotten Planet. 

Five great cities were destroyed, and 
the Control City, the scat of the gov- 
ernment, was menaced before the surly 
inhabitants conceded allegiance to the 
Parties of scientists, fabri- 

cators, and wo ihmtu were then landed, 
and a dictator was appointed. ' 

From all the worlds of the Alliance, 
instruments and equipment were 
brought to the Forgotten Planet. A 
great educational system was planned 
and executed, the benign and kindly 
i nfk s rnct of the Alliance made every 
effort to imp r o ve tncvconditions ex 
on the Forgotten Planet, and to 
th? fnendth.,. and allegiance of 
these pec; 

For two work went on. 

Two err - bloodshed, strife, hate 

and disturbance No where else wr- 
the known Umvcrtc was there ill feel- 
Tbe second awful War of the 
Planets had at last succeeded in tracb- 
ht les so n of peace 

Two centuries of effort — wasted ef- 
fort. It was near the end of the second 



century that my own story begins. 
CuMiiinili i at that time of the super- 
cx a natc Tamoa, a Special Patrol ahip 
of the Alliance, I was not at all aur- 
rritcd to receive order* from the Cen- 
tral Council to report at emergency 
•peed. Special Patrol work in those 
days, before the advent of the p r esent 
de-cen trained system, win 
of falacV. starts, hurried recalls, 
rgency orders. 

I glanced op at hiss 
that I was asked to 

I OBEYED at once In the Special 
Patrol service, there is no g ut ft i o n 
ing orders. The planet Earth, from 
which I sprain, is and always has been 
proud of the fact that from the very 
bcgia&Jag. her men have been picked 
to command the ships of the Special 
Patrol. No matter bow dangerous, how 
forlorn and hopeless the mission given 
to a commander of a Special Patrol 
ship, history has never recorded that 
any commander has ever hesitated. 
That is why our uniform of blue and 
commands the respect that it 
does even in this day and age of soften- 
ing and decadence, when men — but 
again an old man digresses. And per* 
baps rt is not for me. to judge. 

I pointed the blunt nose of the 
Tsmon at Zenia. seat of the Central 
Council, and in four hours. Earth time, 
the great craft swept over the gleasnina; 
city of the Central Council and settled 
swiftly to the court before the mighty, 
columned Hall of the Plar- 

Four pages of, the Council, in their 
white and scarlet livery, met me and 
conducted me instantly to a little 
room beftlnd the great council 

There were 'three men awaiting me 
there; three men whose faces, at that 
.time, were familiar to every person in 
the kno w n Univr- 

Kellen. the oldest of the three, and 
the sp o kesm an, rose as I entered the 
room. The others did likewise, as the 
pages closed the heavy doors behind 

"You are prompt, and that is good." 
thought Kcllen- **I welcome you. Re- 
move now thy i 

swiftly. Thia 

It will, of course, be understood that 
at that time we had but a bulky and 
instrument to enable us to con- 
I receive thought : s device coo- 
of a heavy band of metal, in 
imbedded the necessary uv 
and a t>ny atomic taup 
r. the whole being worn as a 
circlet or crown upon the bead. 

Wooderingly. I removed my menace, 
placed it upon the long, dark table 
atronnd which the three man 
standine and bowed. Each of 
three, m turn, lifted their 
circlets from their beads, and 

likewise upon the table before 


"WOU wonder.' 

X ing of course, in the soft and 
liquid universal language, which is. I 
■ns Vi a eand . still disseminated in our 
schools, as it should be. 1 shall ex- 
plain aa quickly and as briefly aa 

"We have called you here on a dan- 
gerous mission. A mission that will 
require tact and quickness of mind aa 
well aa br a very. We have selected 
you. have called you. because we arc 
agreed that you poss e ss the qualities 
required Is it not so?" He glanced 
at his two r o rnp a ni ons. and they nod- 
ded gravely, solemnly, without speak- 

"You are a young man. John Han- 
son," c o ntinue d Kcllen." but your rec- 
ord in your service is one of which 
i be proud. We trust you— with 
that * is so secret, so pee- 
that we mnat revert to speech 
in order to convey it: we dare not 
trust it, even in this protected and 
guarded place, to the menorc 's quicker 
but leas discreet communication." 

He psused for s moment, frowning 
thoughtfully as though dreading to 
begin. I waited silently, and at Last 
be spoke again. 



There is a world' — and be 
a name which I thai] not repeat, the 
■acne of the Forgotten Planet— -that 
i» a fettering tore upon the body of 
the Universe As you know, for two 
centime* we have tried to p*M on to 
these people an understanding of peace 
and friendship I believe that nothing 
has been left undone. The Council 
and the forces behind it have .done 
everything within their power And 

lie stopped again, and there » 
ression of .deepest pain written 
upon bis wise and kindly face The 
pause was for but an instant. 

hi i 

■ - ■ I 
Two 1 

be went on firm! . 
Our work has been un- 

■ an 
done. Two ' centuries of effort 
done. -They have risen ia revolt, they 
t have killed all those sent by the Alli- 
ance of which this Council is the gov- 
erning body and the mouthpiece, and 
they have sent us an ultimatum— a 
threat of warf" 

KKLI.f.N nodded his magnificest 
old bead gravely 
T do not wonder that you start.** be 
said heavily "War' It must not be 
It cannot be! And yet. war is what 
they threaten." 

"Bw I put in eagerly I wa» 

young and rash in those days "Who 
are they, to make war against a united 
"II our planet. Earth.** 

! Keller ?ly "You 

have a tiny winged insect you call bee 
Is it no* 

l tinv thing, of 


crush one to death 1 rsseen a thumb 

-, - 


linger on for dart, a painful and un- 
t thing 1 1 that not so r* 
"I see. sir ' I i 
a b as hed before the tolerant, kirftjfy 
dom of t> —-an They 

hope to ' - - - • but they 

■say bring much suffering to others." 
"Much suffering." nodded Keilen. 
still gentry smiling "And we arc de- 
termined that this thing shall not be. 
Not" — and his face gTew gray with a 
terrible and bitter resolve— "not if w* 
have to bring to bear upon that dark 
and unwilling world the disintegrating 
rays of every ship of the Alliance, so 
that the very shell of the planet shall 
disappear, and no life ever again shall 
move upon its surface 

"But this." and be seemed to shud- 
der at the thought, "u a terrible and 
a ruthless thing to even contemplate. 
We must first try -once again to point 
out to them the folly of their ways. 
It is with this mission that we would 
burden you. John Hanson." 

"TT is no burden, but an boner, sir." 

X I said quietly 

"Youth! Youth I** Kcllen chtded me 
gently. "Foolish, yet rather glorious. 
Let me tell you the rest, and then we 
shall ask for your reply again. 

"The news came to us by a small 
scout ship attached to that unhappy 
world It barely made the jourory to 
Jaron. the nearest planet, and crashed 
so badly, from lack of power, that all 
save one man were killed. 

'lie. luckily, tore off his menore. and 

insisted in speech that be be brought 

here He was obeyed, and. in a dying 

condition, was brought to this very 

chamber" Kcllen glanced swiftly. 

sadly, around the room, as though he 

could still visualize that scene. 

■y agent of the Alliance 

planet was set upon 

d. following the working out of 

some gigantic and perfectly esecuted 

- — all save the crew of this one tiny 

r...h was spared to act as 

a messenger. 

"Tell yotn great Council.* Was the 
message these t • I I that 

here is rebellion We do not want, 
nor your pea 

have learned now that upon other 
worlds than ours there are great riches. 
Tt all take If there is re- 


ve have a new aad a terrible 
death to deal A death that your great 
te*T— *— « will be helpless against; a 
horrible and irresistable death that will 
nuke desolate and devoid of intelligent 
life any world where we are forced to 
low the aeeda of ultimate disaater. 

■ 'We are not yet ready. If we were, 
we would not move, foe we prefer that 
your Council have tunc to think about 
what it surely to come If you doubt 
that we have the power to do what we 
-hrcateacd to do. scad one ahip. 
comrnaaded by a man whose word you 
nast, aad we will peeve to hun 
that these are no empty word*.' 


HAT. aa nearly aa I can remem- 
ber it." concluded Kellea. "is the 
The man who brought it died 

almost before he 

That it the message You are the 
man we have picked to accept their 
challenge. Remember, though, that 
there axe but the four of us in this 
There arc but four of ua who 
things. If you for any 
do not wish to accept this mis- 
there will be none to judge you. 
of all. any one of us. who know 
best of all the penis." 

"You say »-r I w 2 ,. « 

though my heart was pounding in my 
throat, and roaring in my ears, "that 
there would be none to judge me. 

"Sir. there would be myself. There 
could be no more merciless judge I 
am honored that I have been selected 
for this task, and I accept the respon- 
sibility willingly, gladly. When it it 
your wish that we should start T" 

The three presiding members of the 
Council glanced at each other, faintly 
smiling, as though they would sa . 
Kellea had said a short time before: 
-Youth! Youth r Yet I believe they 
were glad aad somewhat proud' that I 
had replied at I ■: 

"You may start." said Kcllen. "as 
soon as you can complete the acces- 
sary Reparation*. Detailed i 
noes will be given you Li- 
lle bowed to me. aad the othc: I 

likewise Then Kellea picked up his 
mtnort aad adjusted it. 
The iaterview w*» over 


glanced up fro 
"Jaron. i 

do you make itT I 
the observer He 
■ h.» mmYmmml 
Three degrees to port; 
elevation bet w een 6vc and si* degrees. 
Appeozimate only, of course, » 

"Good enough. Please ask Mr. 
Barry to bold to his present course. 
We shall not stop at Jaron." 

The observor glanced at me curi ous 
ly. but he was too well di scip lin ed to 
hesitate or aak 

"Yes. sir r he said crisply, aad spok* 
into the microphone beside him. 

None of us wore mtnort ■ whea aa 
duty, for several reason*. Oar iaatra- 
menta were not nearly as perfect at 
those in use to-day. and verbal orders 
were clearer sad carried more authority 
than mental instruction*. The delicate 
aad powerful clcctncaj aad atomic me- 
camamm of our ship interfered with 
the functioning of the meaore*. aad at 
that time the old habit of speech was 
far more hrmly c atrenc h ed . due to 
hereditary influence, than it it 

I nodded to the man. aad 
way to my own quarter* I wished) 
most heartily that I could talk over 
my plana with someone, but this had 
been expressly forbidden. 

"I realire that you trust your mcsT. 
aad more particularly your orhcer*." 
Kcllen had told me during the course 
of his parting conversation with me. 
"I trust them also— yet we mast re- 
member that the peace of mind of the 
■M is concerned. If new*, even 
a rumor, of this threatened diaaatcr 
s hould become known, it it i in j iisaihll 
to predict the ditturbsace it might 
crtj- • 

"Say nothing to anyone. It it your 
problem. You alone should leave the 
ship whea you land; you aloac shall 
hear or see the evidence they have to 
present, aad you aloac shall bring word 
of it to us. That it the wish of the 
Council " 


Then it it my wish." I bad said. 
and to it had been settled. 

AFT. in the crew's quarters, a goog 
sounded sharply: the signal (or 
changing watches, and the beginning 
of a sleep period I glanced at the re- 
mote control dials that glowed behind 
flats panel on one side of my 
room. Front the registered attraction 
of Jaron. at our present speed, we 
should be passing her within, accord- 
ing to Earth tune, about two hours. 
That meant that their outer patrols 
might be seeking oar business, and I 
touched Barry's attention butted, and 
spoke into the microphone beside my 

"Mr. Barry? I am turning in for a 
little sleep. Before you turn over the 
watch to Eitcl. will you see that the 
nose rays arc set for the Special Pa- 
trol code signal for th Wc 
shall be close to Jaron shortly." 

"Yet. ur! Any other ©rd- 

"No Keep her on ber present course. 
I shall take the watch from Mr. Eitel " 

Since there have been changes since 
those days, and will undoubtedly be 
others in the future, it might be well 
to make clear, in a document such as 
this, that at this period, all ships of the 
Special Patrol Service identified them- 
selves by means of invisible rays 
flashed m certain i« quinces, from the 
two nose, or forward, projectors These 
code signal t *ctt changed every enar. 
a period c : itrarily set by the 

Council: about eighteen days, as time 
is measured on the Earth, and divided 
into ten periods. »* at present, known 
Thtvr were further di- 
vided into cnaros. thus giving us a 

roughly to the months, 
days and hours of the Earth. 

I retired, but not to sic 
would not come. I kr. urte. 

that if curious outer patrol ships from 
Jaron did - ry would 

be able to detect our invisible ray code 
• and thus satisfy themselves that 

v rcre on the Cour 

There would be no difficulty on that 
score. But what I should do after 
landing upon the rebellious sphere. I 
had not the slightest idea. 

"O k »'■"»• indifferent to tboir 

JD threats." Kellen had counseled 
me. "but do everything within year 
power to make them sec the folly of 
their attitude Do not threaten them. 
for they arc a surly people, and you 
might precipitate matters Swallow 
your pride if you must : remember that 
tours is s gigantic rciponsibirity. and 
upon the information yon bring us may 
depend the salvation of millions. I ass 
convinced that they arc not — you have 
a word in your language that fits ex- 
actly. Not pretending . . . what is the 

"Bluffing*" I had supplied in Eng- 
lish, smiling. 

"Right? Bluffing It is a very de- 
scriptive word I am sure they are not 

I was sure of it also They knew the 
power of the Alliance: they had been 
made to feel it more than once. A 
bluff would have been a foolish thing, 
and these people were not fools. In 
some lines of research they were 
traordtnarily brilliant. 

But what could their new. terrible 
• r-oa be ? Rays we • . half 

a dozen rays of destruction'': the ter- 
rible dehydrating ray of the Deuba* 
Spheres, the disintegrating ray that 
dated back before Ame Baove and his 
first voyage into space, the concen- 
trated ultraviolet ray that struck men 
down in fiery tor ment . . . . No. it could 
hardly be a new ray that was their 
boasted w eap on. 

What, then? Electricity had even 
then been exhausted of its possibilities. 
Atomic energy had been released, bar* 
nessed. and directed Yet it would 
take fabulous time and expense to 
snake these machines of destruction do 
what they claimed they would do. 

Still pondering the problem. I did 
fall at Last into a fitful travesty of 



I WAS glad when the soft dimx of 
the bell aft ■— mini nl the next 
change of watch. Q raae. cleared the 
cobwebs from my brain with an icy 
abowcr. and made my way directly to 
the navigating room. 

'Everything tidy, air." aaid Eitel. my 
second officer, and a Zeniaa. He waa 
thin and very dark, like all Zcaiana. 
aad had the high, effeminate voice of 
that people. But be waa cool and 
m and had the "r*— J cerebra- 
tion of hi* kind y I trusted hua aa com- 
pletely aa I trusted Barry, my first of- 
ficer, who. like myself, was a native of 
Earth "Will you take overr 

"Yes. - I nodded, glancing at the twin 
charts beneath the ground glass toe of 
the control table. "Get what sleep you 
can the neat few cnaros. Presently I 
shall want every man on duty and at 

Me glanced at me curiously, aa the 
observer bad done, but saluted aad 
left with only a brief. "Ye*, sir!" I 
returned the salute and turned my at- 
tention again to the charts. 

The navigating room of an inter- 
planetary ship is without doubt unfa- 
miliar ground to most, so it might be 
well for me to say that such ships have, 
for the most part, twin charts, showing 
progress in two dimensions; to use 
land terms, lateral aad vertical. These 
charts are really no more than large 
sheets of ground glass, ruled ia both 
directions with fine black lines, repre- 
senting all relatively close heavenly 
bodies by green lights of varying 
The ship itself is represented by a red 
spark, and the whole is. of course, en- 
tirely automatic in action, the instru- 
ment, comprising the chart being op- 
crated by super-radio renexes. 

JARON. the charts showed me 
glance, was now far behind. Al- 
most directly above — it is necessary to 
resort to these unscientific terms to 
make my meaning clear — was the tiny 
rid Eton, home of the friendly but 
fall wiaged peo p le , the 
only ones in the known Universe. I 

waa there but once, and found thorn si- , 
most laughably like our i iiaw nn 
dragon-fiies on Earth ; dragon-cUcs that 
grow some seven feet long, and with 
gaury wings of amaaiag strength. 

Directly ahead, on both charts. 'waa 
a brilliantly glowing sphere of green 
—our destination. I made some rapid 
mental calculations, studying the few 
fine black lines between the red spark 
that was our shin, aad the nearest edge 
of the, great green sphere- I glanced 
at our speed indicator aad the attrac- 
tion meter. The little red slide that 
moved around the rim of the attraction 
meter waa squaaely at the top. showing 
that the attraction was from straight 
abend; the great black band was near- 
ly a third of the way around the face, 

We were very close; two hours 
would bring us into the atmospheric 
envelope. In less than two hours and 
a half, we would be in the Control Cm/ 
of what ia now called the Forgotten 
Planet I 

I glanced forward, through the thick 
glass partitions, into the operating 
room. Three men stood there, watch- 
ing intently : they too. were wondering 
why we visited the unfriendly world. 

The planet itself loomed up straight 
a great half -circle, its curved 
bright against the 
of space; the chord 
ragged aad blurred.* In two hours. 
I turned away and began a rest- 
less pacing. 

AN hour went by: an hour aad a 
half. I pressed the attention but- 
ton to the operating room, aad gave 
orders to reduce our speed by half. 
We were very close to the outer fringe 
of the atmo s p h er ic en v el op e , 
keeping my eye on the big i 
per a t ur e gauge, with its stubby red 
hand, I iimii it my nervous pacing. 

Slowly the thick red hand of the sur- 
face-temperature gauge began to move : 
slowly, aad then more rapidly, until 
the eyes could catch its creeping. 

Reduce to atmospheric speed.' I 
ordered curtly, aad glanced down 


through a twit port at one rod of the 
long navigating room. 

We were, at the moment, d 
above the twilight belt To my right. 
at I looked down. | could ace a portion 
of the glistening antarctic, tee cap. 
Here and there were the great flat 
Lakes, almost seas, of the planet 

Our geographic* of the Universe to- 
day do not show the topography of the 
Forgotten Planet: I might say. the 
fore, that the entire aphcre was Land 
area, with numerous great Lake* em- 
bedded in it* surface, together with 
■May broad, very crooked riven As 
Ame Baovc had reported, there were 
no mountains, and no high land. 

"Altitude constant." I ordered "Poet 
three degrees. Stand by for further 

The earth seemed to whirl slowly 
beneath us Great cities drifted astern. 
•Aid I compared the scene below me 
with the great maps I took from our 
chart-case The Control City should 
be just beyond the visible rim: well in 
the daylight area. 

"Port five degrees." I said, and 
pressed the attention button to Barry's 

"Mr Barry, please call all men to 
quarters, including the off-duty <v>tch. 
and then report to the navigating room. 
Mr. Kite! will be under my direct or- 
ders We shall descend within the 
next few minutes." 
ry well. » 

on button to 
» room. 
"Mr < ten of your 

- men and have them report at the 
forv- Await me. with the men. 

lace I shall be with >©- 
■ . 
descend . | 


I- on the r 
*.ni thai Barry had just 
the r .: room. 

"We will dr 
Court of the Control City. Mr Barry.' 

I said "I have a mission here I asa 
sorry, but these are the only instruc- 
tions I can leave you. 

"I do not know bow long 1 shall he 
gone from the ship, but if I do not 

m within three hours, depart with- 
out me. and report directly to Kellea 

he Council. To him. and no other.' 
Tell turn, verbally, what took place. 
Should there be any concerted action 
against the Ttmtoa. use your own judg- 

• *\ to the action to be taken, re- 
membering that the safety of the ship 
and its crew, and the report of the 
Council, arc infinitely more important 
than my personal welfare Is that 


"Yes. sir Too damned clear " 
I smiled and shook my bead 
"Don't worry." I said lightly. "Ill 
be back well within the appointed 


"I hope so. But there's something 
wrong as hell here. I'm talking now 
as man to man : not to my commanding 
officer I've been watching below, oast 
I have seen at least two spots where 
large nu mb ers of oar ships have been 
de s t r oye d. The remaining ships bear 
their own damned emblem where the 
crest of the Alliance should be— and 
was. What does it mean?" 

"It means." I said slowly, "that I 
shall have to rely upon every man and 
officer to forget himself and myself, 
and obey orders without hesitation and 
out flinching. The orders are not 
mine, but direct from the Council it- 
self." I held out my hand to him— 
an ancient E>rtb gesture of greeting. 
goodwill aatl farewell— and be shook 
it vigorously. 

"God go with you." he said softly. 

ar.d with a A of thanks I 

d and quickly left the re 

EITI his ten 

.. for me at the forward 
The men fell back a few m 
and came to attention: Eitcl 

iie ready, sir. What arc your 
orders T 



"You are to guard this opening. Un- 
der no cjrcisrnttaace* it anyone to en- 
. .e nyKlf. I shall be gone* not 
longer than three hour*, if 1 ant not 
back within that time. Mr. Barry has 
hi* orders. The exit will be scaled, 
•ad the Taason wUl depart inwrlutt- 
rjr. without xr* 

You will pardon me. bat 
I gather that your nuuioa it a danger- 
ous one May I not accompany your* 

I shook my bead. 

"I shall need you be 

"But. sir. they are very escitcd sad 
angry: I have been watching then 
from the observation ports. Aad there 
is a vast crowd of them around the 

~I had expected that. I thank you 
for your concern, but I must go alone. 
Those arc the orders. Will you unseal 
the exit T 

Hit Y v » rciik aad effi- 

cient, but there was a worried frown 
on his features as he unlocked and re- 
leased the switch that opened the exit. 

The huge plug of metal some ten 
feet in diameter, revolved swiftly aad 
noiselessly, backing slowly in its hac 
t* V"*' into the interior of the ship, 
gripped by the ponderous gimbals 
which^s the last threads disengaged. 
sussH the mighty disc to one side, like 
the door of some great safe 

"Remember your orders." I smiled, 
sad with a little gesture to convey aa 
assurance which I certainly did not 
feel. I strode through the circular 
opening out into the crowd. The heavy 
glass secondary door shot down be- 
hind me. and I was in the hands of the 
y. , 

remove his m 
a polite aad 

THE first thing I observed was that 
my menore. which I had picked up 
on my way to the exit, was not func- 
tioning Not a person in all thi 
multitude wore a monore: the five 
black-robed dignatarics who marched 
to meet me wore none. 

Nothing could have showed snore 

dearly that I was in for trouble To 

a visitor, as Kellen had done, to 

re first, was. of course. 
m 10 u i thing to do if 
oae wished to communicate by speech . 
to remove the menore before greeting 
• visitor wearing one. waa a tacit a4- 
mission of rsak enmity: s coafc 
that one's lliimglm were to be 

My first t— pr 1 — was to snatch off tay 
aad ding it in the 
ugly faces of the nearest of the 
five dignitaries: I remembered Kellen S 
»<rntng just in tune. Quietly. I re- 
moved the metal circlet aad tucked it 
■Oder my arm. bowing slightly to the 
committer of five as I cud so. 

"1 am Ja Ben." said the first of the 
five, with an evil grin. "You arc the 
representative of the Council that we 
commanded to appear?*" 

"I am John Hanson, commander of 
the ship Taasoa of the Special Patrol 
ServeteT I am here to represent the 
Central Council." I replied with dig- 

"As we commanded.' gi issu e d Ja 
Ben. "That is good Follow us and 
you shall have the evidence you were 
promised ~ 

Ja Ben led the way with two of As 
black-robed followers. The other two 
fell ir. behind me. A virtual prisoner. 
I marched between them, through the 
vast crowd that made way grudgingly 
to let us pas*. 

I HAVE seen the people of most of 
the planets of the knows Universe. 
Many of them, "to Earth not i sew, are 
odd But these people, so much like 
. us in assay respects, were strangely re- 

Their heads, as Ame Baove had re- 
corded, were not round like ours, but 
po ss e s s e d a high bony crest that ran 
from between their Lash less, browlessa 
eyes, down to the very nape of their 
necks. Their skin, even that cover- 
ing their hairless heads, was s dull 
and papery white, like parchment, aad 
their eyes were sbnorsnally small, aad 
nearly round A hateful, ugly people, 
perpetually scowling, snarling; their 


very voice* resembled more the growl 
of wild beam thin the speech of in- 
telligent beings / 

Ja Ben led the way straight to the 
low hut vast building of dun-colored 
•tone that I knew was the adap- 
tion building of the Control City. We 
marched up the broad, crowded steps, 
ittcring. jeering multi- 
building itself The 
stood aside to let 
us through and the crowd at last was 
left behind. 

A swift, cylindrical elevator shot as 
upward, into a great glass-walled Labo- 
ratory, built like a sort of penthouse oa 
the roof. Ja Ben walked quickly 
across the room towards a long, glass- 
topsad table: the other four close ! 
oa me silently but suggestively. f 

That is unnecessary.' I said quietly 
"See. I an unarmed and completely in 
your power. I *m r ambas- 

sador of the Central Council, not at i 

'Which is as well for you. - grinned 
Ja Ben. "What I have to show you. 
you can see quickly, and then def - 

From a great cabinet In one corner 
of the room be took a T*""««»g; cylinder 
of dark red metal, and held it op be- 
fore him. stroking its sleek sides with 
an affectionate bar. I 

"TJERE it is." be said, chuckling. 

JLjL "The secret of our power. In 
here, safely i ..prisoned now. but capa- 
ble of being released at our command. 
is death for every living thing upon 
any planet we choose to destroy.** He 
replaced the great cylinder in the cabi- 
net, and. picked up in its stead a tiny 
vial of the same metal, no larger than 
mv little finger, and not so long. 
"Here. - be said, turning again towards 
me. "is the means of proving oar 
power to you. Come closer*** 

With my bodyguard of four watch- 
ing every move. I approached. 

Ja Ben selected a large hollow hemi- 
sphere of crystal glass and placed it 
upon a smooth sheet of fiat glass. Nest 
be picked a few blossoms from a bowl 

that stood, incongruously enough, oa 
the tabic, aad threw them under the 

gJaM; i-r re 

Harrying to the other end of the 
room, be reached into a large fiat metal 
-d brought forth three small ra- 
ce animals, natives of that world. 
These be also tossed carelessly under 
the glass. 

--a." be grunted, and picked aa 
tbc tiny metal vial. 

One end of the vial unscrewed Me 
turned the cap gently, carefully, a 
- 1. anxious look upon his face. 
My four guards watched him breath- 
lessly, fearfully. 

THE cap came loose at last, disclos- 
ing the end of the tube, scaled 
with a grayish snbatince that looked 
Voy quickly Ja Ben rolled 
itdc cylinder under the glass 
hemisphere', and picked up a bc«*cr 
that had been bubbling gently on aa 
, : plate close by. Swiftly be 
poured the thick contents of the beaker 
around the base of the glass bell. The 
stuff hardened almost instantly/ form- 
ing an air-tight seal betwe en the glass 
hemisphere and the flat plate of glass 
upon which it rested. Then, with an 
evil, triumphant smile. Ja Ben looked 

~Flort." he repeated "Faatu. And 
destb. Watch! The little metal cyl- 
inder is plugged still, but in a moment 
that plug will disappear— simply a vo- 
latile solid, you understand. It is goy 
ing rapidly . . . rapidly ... it is al- 
most <one now! Watch. ... In an 
instant now . . . ahf 

I uw the gray substance that stopped 
tUe entrance of the little metal vial 
disappear.. The rodents ran around aad 
over it. trying to find a crevice by 
which tbey might escape. The flowers, 
bright and beautiful, lay untidly oa 
the bottom of the glass prison. 

Then, just as the last vestige of the 
gray plug vanished, an amaring, a ter- 
rible thing happened. At the mouth 
of the tiny metal vial a greenish cloud 


I call it a cloud, but it was 
not that. It ni vol id. and it spread 
to every direction, •coding out little 
needles that laahed about aad n 
(ether into a solid mas* while millions 
•( little needles reached out cwiftljr. 

One of these little needles touched a 
scurrying anunai. Inatantljr the tiny 
brute stiffened, and from hi* I 
body the greenish needle* spread swift- 
ly One of the flowers turned sudden- 
ly thick and pulpy with the soft green 
mass, then another, another of the ro- 
dents . . . God! 

In the space of two heart beats, the 
entire hemisphere was filled with the 
green mass, that still moved and 
writhed and seemed to press against 
the glass sides *» though the urge to 
expand was insistent, imperative. . . . 

-T I THAT is it?" I whispered, still 
VV staring at the thing. 

"Death.*" grunted Ja Ben. thrusting 
hit hateful face close to mine, hit tiny 
round eyes, with their Lashless lids 
glinting. "Death, my friend. Co and 
tell your great Council of this death 
that we have created for every planet 
that will not obey us. 

"We have gone back into the history 
of dealing death and have come back 
with a death such m* the Universe has 
never known* before I 

"Here it a rapacious, deadly fungus 
we have been two centuries in develop- 
ing. The spores co n ta in ed in that tiny 
metal tube would be invisible to the 
naked eye — and yet given but a little 
time to grow, with air and vegetation 
and flesh to feed upon, and even that 
small capsule would wipe out a world. 
And in the cabinet.' — he pointed grin- 
ning triumphantly — "we have, ready 
for instant use. enough of the spores 
of this deadly fungas to wipe out all 
the worlds of your great Allu 

"To wipe them out utterly r* be re- 
peated, hit voice shaking with a sort of 
frenry now. "Every living thing upon 
faces, wrapped in that thin, hun- 
gry green stuff you sec there 
that glass. All life wiped out; 

rsninhabi table so long as the Universe 
shall endure. And we— we shall be 
rulers, unquestioned, of that Universe. 
Tell your doddering Council thMT He 
leaned back against the table, panting 
with hate. 

"I shall tell them all I have seen: 
all you have said.** I nodded. 

"You believe we have the power to 
do all thisr 

"I do— Cod help me. and the Uni- 
verse." I said solemnly. 

THERE was no doubt in my mind. 
1 could see all too clearly bow 
well then- plan* had been laid; bow 
quickly this hellish growth would 
strangle all life, once its spores began 
to develop. 

The only possible chance was to get 
back to the Council and make my re- 
port, with all possible speed, so that 
every available armed ship of the uni- 
verse might concentrate here, aad wipe 
out these people before they had time 

"I know what you are thinking, my 
friend.** broke in Ja Ben mockingly. 
"You might as well have worn the 
menore! You would have the ships of 
the Alliance destroy us before we have 
time to act. We had foreseen that, and 
have provided for the possibility 

"At soon aa you leave here, luffl. 
provided with many tubes like the one 
just used for our little dem o n s t i ali oo, 
will be dispersed in every direction. 
We shall be ia constant communica- 
tion with those ships, and at the least 
sign of hostility, they will be ordered 
to depart and spread their death upon 
every world they can reach. Some of 
them you may be able to locate and 
eliminate : a number of them are cer- 
tain to elude capture ia infinite space— 
and if only one. one lone ship, should 
escape, the doom of the Alliance and 
millions upon millions of people will 
be pronounced. 

- <rn you. it will be better, much 
better, to bow to our wishes, and pay 
us the tribute we shall demand. Any 
attempt at resista nc e will precipitate 



certain disaster for your Council and 
all the world* the Council governs.' 

"At least, we would wipe you out 
first." I said hoarsely. 

"True." nodded Ja Ben. "ButJ the 
gcaact of our ships would be a ter- 
thing! You would not dare to 
take the char: 

I stood there, staring at him in a sort 
of dare What be had said was so 
true: terribly, damnably true. 

If only— 

THERE was but one chance I 
could see. and desperate as it was. 
I took it. Whirling the beary metal 
ring of my mer.orc in my hand. I 
. r-.g towards the table. 

If I could break the sealed glass 
hemisphere, and loose the fungus upon 
its creator*, deal to them the doom 
they had planned fe; the um»erse. then 
perhaps all might yet be well 

Ja Ben understood instantly what 
was in my mind He and his four 
aides leaped between me and the table. 
«heir tiny bound eyes blaring »itb an- 
ger. I strpek one of the four vicious- 
ly with tee menore". and with a gasp 
he fell jack and slumped to the floor. 

Before I cot^d break through the 
opening, however. Ja Ben struck me 
full in the face with his mighty flat; 
a blow that sent me. dared and reel- 
ing, into a corner of the room. I 
brought up with a crash against the 
cabinet there, k roped widly in an effort 
to steady myself, and fell to the floor. 
Almost before -I struck, all four of 
them were upon me. 

They hammered me viciously, shout- 
ed at me. cursed me in the universal 
tongue, but I paid no heed I pre- 
tended to be unconscious, but my bean 
was beating high with sudden, glori- 
ous hope, and in m> brain a trrr i I 
merciless plan was forming. 

When I had groped against the cabi- 
net in an effort to regain my balance, 
my ringers bad closed upon one of the 
little metal vials As I fell. I covered 
that hand with my body and hastily 
bid the tiny tube in a deejr pocket of 

my blue and silver Service uniform 

SLOWLY, after a few seconds. I 
opened my eyes and looked up at 
them, helplessly. 

"Co. nowT snarled Ja Ben. dragging 
me to my feet. "Go. and tell your 
Council we arc more than a match for 
you — and for them." He thrust me. 
reeling, towards his three assistants. 
Take him to his ship, and send aid 
fot Ife Ranee, here" He glanced at 
the still unconscious figure of the vic- 
tim of my menore. and then turned to 
me with a last warning. 

"Remember, one thing more, my 
friend: you have disintegrator ray 
equipment upon your ship. You have 
the little atomic bombs that won for 
the Alliance the Second War of the 
Planets. I know that. But if you 
make the slightest ctfort to use them, 
I shall ditpa'.ch « supply of the green 
death to our ship*, and they will de- 
part upon their mission* at once. You 
would take upon yourself a terrible 
responsibility by making the smallest 
hostile move. 

"Go. now — and when you return, 
bring with you members of your great 
Council who will have the power to 
bear our demands, and see that they 
are obeyed. And do not keep us wait- 
ing over long, foe we are an impatient 
race ~ He bowed, mockingly, and 
passed his left hand swiftly before his 
face, his people's sign of parting. 

I nodded, not trusting myself to 
speak, and. hemmed in by -my three 
black-robed conductors, was hun-ied 
down the elevator and back through 
the jeering mob to my ship. 

THE glass secondary 'door shot up 
to permit me to enter, and Eitel 
gripped my shoulder anxiously . his 
eyes smoldering angrily. 

"You're hurt, sir!" be said in his odd. 
high-pitched voice, staring into my 
bruised face. "What — " 

"It's nothing." I assured him. "Close 
the exit immediately; we depart at 



"Ye*. sir!" He closed the (witch, and 
the great threaded plug swung gently 
on it» gimbals and began to revolve. 
swiftly and silently. A little bell 
•oaoded sharply, and the great door 
ceased iu motion. Eitel locked the 
switch and returned ^the key to bt* 

"Good. All men are at their sta- 
tions?" I asked briskly. 

"Yea. sir! All except these ten. de- 
tailed to guard the exit." 

"flare them report to their regular 
stations. Isaac orders to the ray opera- 
tors that they arc to instantly, and 
without further orders, destroy any 
ship that may leave the surface of this 
planet. Have every atomic bomb crew 
ready for an instant and concentrated 
offensive directed at the Control City, 
bat command them not to act under any 
circumstances unless I give the order. 
Is that clear. Mr. Eiteir 
rs. sirr 

I nodded, and turned away, making 
my way Immediately to the navigating 

"Mr. Barry." I said quickly and 
gTavcly. "I believe that the fate of the 
kno w n Universe .depends upon us at 
this moment. We will a s c e nd verti- 
cally, at once— slowly — until we are 
just outside the envelope, maintaining 
only sufficient horizontal root ion to 
keep us directly over the Control City. 
Will you give the necessary orders?" 

"Immediately, sir!" He pressed the 
attention burton to the operating room 
and spoke swiftly into the microphone: 
before be completed the order I had 


E were already ascending when 
I reached the port forward 

atomic boms) station. The nun in 
charge, a Tssritn. saluted with auto- 
matic precision and awaited orders. 

"You have a bomb in readiness?" I 
asked, returning the u 
Those were ray orders. %■ I 
"Correct. Remove it. please." 
I waited impatiently while the crew 
removed the bomb from the releasing 

trap. It was withdrawn at lost ; a fish- 
shaped aSair. very much like the an- 
cient airplane bombs save that it was 
no larger than my two fists, placed one 
upon the other, and that it bad four 
silvery wires running along its side*, 
from rounded nose to pointed tail, held 
at a distance from the body by a series 
of insulating strut*. 

"Now." I said, "how quickly can you 
put another object in the trap, re-seal 
the opening, and release the object I" 

"While the Commander counts ten 
with reaso n a bl e speed." said the Zen- 
ian with pride. "We won first honors 
in the Special Patrol Service contests 
at the last Examination. the Command-, 
er may remember." 

"I do rememb er. That is why I se- 
lected you for this duty." 

With hands that trembled a little. I 
think. I drew forth the little vial of 
gleaming red metal, while the »>*— >^"g 
crew watched me curiously. 

"I shall unscrew the cap from this 
little vial." I explained, "and drop it 
immediately into the releasing trap. 
Re-seal the trap and release this ob- 
ject aa quickly as it is possible to do 
so. If you can better the time you 
made to win the honors at the Exam- 
ination — in Cod's name, do soT 

"Ye*. sir!" replied the Zenian. He 
gave brisk orders to his crew, and each 
of the three men sprang alertly into 

AS quickly a* I could. I turned off 
the cap of the little metal vial 
and dropped it into the trap. The 
heavy plug, a tiny duplicate of the exit 
door, clicked shut upon it and f—\ 
whining gently, into the opening. 
Something clicked sharply, and one of 
the crew dropped a bar into place. As 
it shot home, the Zenian in command 
of the crew pulled the release plunger. 

"Done. sirT be said proudly. 

I did not reply. My eye fixed upon 
the observation tube that was follow- 
ing the tiny missile to the ground. 

The Control City was directly below 
u*. I lost sight of the vial almost in- 



stantly. but tbe indicating crow-bain 
showed me exactly where th- 
would strike: at a point approximately 
half way between tbe edge of tbe city 
and tbe great squat pile of tbe admin- 
istrating building, with its gleaming 
glass penthouse — the laboratory in 
which, only a few minutes before. I bad 
witnessed the demonstration of the 
death which awaited the Universe. 

"Excellent r I exclaimed. "Smartly 
done. menP I turned and hurried to 
the navigating room, where tbe moat 
powerful of our television discs was lo- 

Tbe disc was not as perfect as those 
we bare to-day: it was hooded to keep 
out exterior light, which is not neces- 
sary with the later i nstru m en ts, and it 
was more unwieldy- However, it did 
its work, and did it well, in the bands 
of an experienced operator. 

With only a nod to Barry. I turned 
tbe range band to maximum, and 
brought it swiftly to bear upon that 
portion of tbe city in which the little 
vial had fallen. As I drew tbe focus- 
ing lever towards me. tbe scene leaped 
at me through tbe clear, glowing glass 

FROTH? Green, billowing froth 
that grew and boiled and spread 
unceasingly. In places it reached high 
into the air. and it moved with an 
eager, inner life that was somehow 
terrible and revolting. I moved the 
gc hand back, and the view seemed 
to drop away from me swiftly. 

I could sec the whole city now. All 
one side of it was covered with tbe 
spreading green stain that moved and 
Bowed so swiftly. Thousands of tiny 
black figures were running in the 
cts. crowding away from the awful 
danger that menaced them. 

The green, patch 4 spread more swift- 
ly always. When I had first seen it. 
the edges were advancing as rapidly 
as a man could run : now they were 
fairly racing, and tbe speed grew con- 

A ship, two of them, three of them. 

came darting from somewhere, towards 
the administration building, with its 
glass cupola. I held my breath as tbe 
deep, sudden bumming from tbe Tamos 
told me that our rays were busj. Would 

One of tbe enemy ships disappeared 
suddenly in a little cloud of dirty, 
heavy dust that settled swiftly. An- 
other . . . and the third. Three little 
streaks of dust, falling, falling. . . . 

A fourth ship, and a fifth came rush- 
ing up. their sides faintly glowing 
from the speed they bad made. The 
green flood, thick and insistent, was 
racing up and over tbe administration 
building now. It reached the roof, ran 
swiftly. . . . 

Tbe fourth ship shattered into dust. 
Tbe fifth settled swiftly — and then that 
ship alto disappeared, together with a 
corner of the building Then the thick 
green stuff flowed over tbe whole 
building and there was nothing to L* 
seen there but a mound of soft, flow- 
ing, gray-green stuff that rushed on 
now with the swiftness of the wind. 

I LOOKED up. into Barry's face. 
"You're ill V be said \uickly. 
"Is there anything I can do. sir?" 

"Yes." I said, forming the words with 
difficulty. "Give orders to ascend at 
emergency speed V 

For once my first officer hesitated. 
He glanced at the attraction meter and 
then turned to me again, wondering. 

"At this height, sir. emergency speed 
will mean dangerous beating of the 
surf see: perhaps—" 

"I want it white hot, Mr. Barry. She 
is built to stand it. Emergency speed, 
please — immediately !~ 

"Right, sir r be said briskly, and 
gave the order. 

I felt my weight increase as the or- 
der was obeyed : gradually the familiar. 
uncomfortable feeling left me. Si 
ly. Barry and I watched tbe big sur- 
face temperature gauge as it started to 
move. The beat inside became uncom- 
fortable, grew intense. The sweat 
poured from us. In the ope- 



room, .forward. I could tee the men 
casting quick, wondering glances up at 
u» through the heavy glaaa partition 
that lajr between. 

The thick, stubby red hand of the 
surface temperature gauge mo-red slow- 
ly bat steadily towards the heavy red 
line that marked the tempertaurc at 
which the outer shell of our boll would 
become incandescent. The band was 
within three or four degrees of that 
mark when I gave Barry the order to 
arrest our motion. 

When be bad given the order. I 
t ur n e d to him and motioned towards 
the television disc 

"Look." I said. 

HE looked, and when at last be 
tore bis face away from the hood, 
be seemed ten years older. 

"What is it?"be asked in a choked 
whisper. "Why — they're being wiped 
the whole of that world — " 

"True. And some of the seeds of 
that terrible death might have drifted 
upward, and found a lodging place 
upon the surface of our ship. That 
is wby I ordered the emergency speed 
while we were still within the atmo- 
spheric envelope. Barry. To burn away 
that contamination, if it existed. Now 
we are safe, unless — " 

I pressed the attention button fo the 
station of the chief of the ray opera- 

"Your report." I ordered. 

"Nine ships disintegrated, sir." he re- 
plied instantly. "Five before the city 
was destroyed*- four later." 

"You are certain that none escaped f 

"Positive, sir." 

"Very good." 

I turned to Barry, smiling. 

"Point her nose for Zcnia. Mr. 
Barry." I said. "As soon as it is fea- 
sible, r e sum e emergency speed. There 
are some very anxious gentlemen there 
awaiting our report, and I dare not 
convey it except in person." 

"Yes. sir!" said Barry crisply. 

THIS. then, is the history of the 
Forgotten Planet. On the charts 
of the Universe it appears as- an un- 
named world. No ship is permitted to 
pass close enough to it so that, its at- 
traction is greater than that of the 
nearest other mass. A permanent out- 
post of fixed-station ships, with bend- 
quarters upon Jar on. the closest world, 
is maintained by the Council. 

There are millions of people who 
might be greatly disturbed if they 
knew of this potential menace that 
lurks in the midst of our Universe, but 
they do not know. The wisdom of the 
Council made certain of that. 

But. in order thy,, in the ages to 
come there might be a record of this 
matter. I have beep asked to prepare 
this document for the scaled archives 
of the Alliance. ' It has been a pleasant 
task: I hare relived, for a little time, 
a part of my youth. 

The work is done. now. and that is 
well. I am an old man, and weary. 
Sometimes I wish I might live to see 
the wonders that the neat generation 
or so will witness, but my years arc 
heavy upon me. 

My work is done. 


Appears on Newsstands 

~JmJ I w w li km* ktrm tkt frtttt m m tkt writ." 

The Power and the Glory 

By Charles W. Diffin 

THERE were paper* on the 
dt»k. a litter of papers scrawled 
over, ui the careless writing of 
indifferent students, with the 
symbols of chemistry and long mathe- 
matical computations. The man at the 
desk pushed them t 

aside to rest his 
lean, lined face 
on one thin hand. 
The other arm. 
ending at the 
wrist, was on the 
desk before him. 

Students of a great university bad 
long since ceased to speculate about 
the missing band. The result of an ex- 
periment, they knew— a hand that was 
a mass of lifeless cells, amputated 


quickly that the living arm might be 
saved bu t that «ras some several years 
ago. ancient history to those who came 
and went through Professor Eddin- 
ger's class room. 

And now Professor Eddinger was 
we*ry — weary 
and old. be told 
himself — as be 
closed bis eyes to 
shut out the sight 
of the intermin- 
able papers and 
the stubby wrist that had ended for- 
ever his experiments and the delicate 
manipulations which only be could do. 
He reached slowly for a burring 
phone, but his eyes brightened at the 
voice that came to him. 




Tw got it— I've jot it r The words 
were almost incoherent. "TW 
A very. Professor — Avery I You most 
come at once. You will •bare in it: I 
owe it all to you . . . you will be the 
first to see ... I am sending a taxi for 

Professor Eddingcrs tired eyes crin- 
kled to a smile. Enthusiasm like this 
was rare among bis youngsters. But 
Avery — with the face of a poet, a 
dreamer's eyes and the mind of a scien- 
tist — good boy, Avery I — a long time 
since be bad seen him— bad him in bis 
own laboratory for two years. . . . 

"What's this all aboutr be ashed. 

"No— ooP said a voice; "I can't tell 
you — it .is too big — greater than the in- 
duction motor — greater than the elec- 
tric light — it is the greatest thing in 
the world The taxi should be there 
r - — >-- ■ - -** ^ BBI — 

A knock at the office door where a 
voice said. 'Car for Professor Eddin- 
ger." confirmed the excited words. 

"Ill come." said the Professor, 
"right away." 

HE pondered, as the car whirled 
him across the city, on what this 
greatest thing in the world might be. 
And be hoped with gentle skepticism 
that the enthusiasm was warranted. 
A young man opened the car door as 
thry stopped Hit face was flushed. 
Ed dinger noted, hair pushed back in 
disarray, bis shirt torn open at the 

"Wait here." be told the driver and 
took the Professor by the arm to hurry 
him into a dilapidated building. 

"Not much of a laboratory." be said; 
Twt well have better, you and I : well 
have better — " 

The room seemed bare with its mea- 
ger equipment, but it was neat.. as be- 
came the best student of Professor Ed- 
dinger. Rows of reagent bottles stood 
on the shelves, but the tables were a 
litter of misplaced i nstrume nts and 
broken glassyare where trembling 
hands bad fumbled in heedless excite- 

"Glad to see you again. Avery." The 
gentle voice of Professor Eddinger bad 
lost its tired tone. "It's been two years 
you've been working, I judge. Now 
what is this great discovery, boy? 
What have you found?" 

The younger man, in whose face the 
color came and went, and whose eyes 
were shining from dark hollows that 
marked long days and sleepless nights, 
still clung to the other's arm. 

"It's real," he said; "it's great! It 
means fortune and fame, and you're in 
on that. Professor. The old master," 
he said and clapped a band affection- 
ately upon a thin shoulder; "I owe it 
all to you. And now 1 have — I have 
learned No, you shall see for your- 
self. Wait—" 

HE crossed quickly to a table. On 
it was an apparatus; the eyes of 
the older man widened as he saw it. It 
was intricate — a mare of tubing. There 
was a glass bulb above — the generator 
of a cathode ray, obviously — and elec- 
tro-magnets below and on each side. 
Beneath was a crude sphere of heavy 
lead — a retort, it might be — and from 
this there passed two massive, insu- 
lated cables. The understanding eyes 
of the Professor followed them, one to 
a terminal on a great insulating block 
upon the Boor, the other to a similarly 
protected terminal of carbon some feet 
above it in the air. 

The trembling fingers of the young 
man made some few adjustments, then 
be left the instrument to take his place 
by an electric switch. "Stand back." 
be warned, and closed the switch. 

There was a gentle hissing from 
within glass tubes, the faint glow of 
a blue-green light. And that was all. 
until — with a crash like the ripping 
crackle of lightning, a white name 
arced between the terminals of the 
heavy cables. It hissed ceaselessly 
through the air where now the tang of 
ozone was apparent. The carbon blocks 
glowed with a brilliant incandescence 
when the name ceased with the motion 
of a band where Avery pulled a switch* 



Tbc man's vote* was quiet 
"You do not know. yet. what you have 

tut there was a tremendous po- 
tenttaJ there — an ampr age - can't mea- 
sure arith my luruted facilities.** lie 
waved a deprecating band about the 

rushed laboratory. "But you 
ruve seen — " His voice trembled and 
failed at the forming of tbc words. 

—The disintegration of the atom." 
said Professor Eddinger quietly, "and 
the release of power unlimited, 
you use thorium?" be inquired/ 

Tbc other look J at him 
ment. Then: "I should have kn own 
you would understand." he said hum- 

Ar.d jum know what it means" — 
again his voVe rote — "power without 
end to do the work .rid — great 

vessels driven a lifetime on a mere 
ounce of nutter— a revolution in trans- 
portation — in living He paused. 

"Tbc liberation of mankind." be added, 
and his voice wn reverent. Tt 
do tbc work of tbc world : it will makr 
a new heaven and a new earth! Oh. I 
have dreamed dreams." be exclaimed. 
"I have seen visions. And it has l>en 
given to me me* — to liberate 
from the curse < '*_r v ^ t **** . . . the 
of bis brow. ... 1 can't rcalirc it even 
yet. I — I am not worthy. 


'r* riived his eyes alowly^in the 
silence to gate in wond?ring 
astonishment at the older man. There 
was no answering light, no exaltation 
on the lined face. Only sadness in the 
tired eyes that looked at him and 
through him as if focused upon some- 
thing in a dim future— or past. 

"Don't you see?" asked tbc wonder- 
ing man "The freedom of mep— the 
liberation of a race No more r, 
no endless, grinding labor ~ ! 

r>j. wcrclooking inio-the future, 
a future of blinding li,- 
hr said, "instead of heart -breaking tod. 
a chance to grow menta'.ly. spiritually; 
• •• ■ - orld. a new life — " And 
again be asked: "Surely, you see?" 

"I see." said the other; "1 

Tbr new world." said Avery. "It- 
it darrlcs me ; it rings like music in 
my cars." 

"I see no new world." was the slow 

Tbc young face was plainly per- 
plexed- "Don't you believe?" be stam- 
mered "After you have seen . . I 
thought you would have the vision, 
would help me emancipate the world. 
save it — " Ilis voice failed. 

"Men have a way of crucifying their 
saviors." said tbc tired voice. 

Tbc inventor was suddenly indig- 
nant "You arc blind." he said harshly; 
"it is too big for you. And I would 
have bad you stand beside me in the 
great work. . . ,*\ shall announce it 
alone. . . . There will be laboratories—' 
eno r mou s ! and factories. My inven- 
tion will be perfected, simplified, com- 
pressed. A generator will b» made— - 
thousands of horsepower to do tbc 
work of a city, free thousands of men 
so small you can bold it in one 

Tbc sensitive face was proudly 
alight, proud and a trifle arrogant. The 
•ation of his coming power was 
strong upon him. 

"Yes." said Professor Eddingc'r 
one hand." And he raised his right 
arm that he might sec where the end 
of a sleeve was empty. 

"I am sorry." said the inventor ab- 
ruptly: "I didn't mean . . . but you will 
sc me now; there is so much to be 
done — ~ But tbc thin figure of Pro- 
fessor Eddingcr had crossed to the far 
table to examine the apparatus there. 
it." be said beneath his breath, 
^crude — but efficient r 

IN the silence a rat had appeared in 
tbc distant corner. The Professor 
nodded ** be saw it. Tbc animal 
stopped as tbc man's eyes came upon 
■hen sat squirrellike on one of the 
shelves as it ate a crumb of food. Some 
morsel from a hurried lunch of 
Avery's, the Professor reflected— poor 
Avery! Yes. there was much to be 



H' spoke as tooth to himself as to 
the man who was now beside him. "It 
- rt here." be said and peered down- 
ward toward the lead bulb. He placed 
a finger on the side of the metal. 
"About here. I should think \Urx 

you a drril? And a bit of quarti?" 

The inventor's eyes were purr led. 
but the assurance of his old instructor 
claimed ©bedier.c He produced a 
small drill and a fragment like broken 
glass. And be started visibly as the 
one hand worked a w k w a rdly to make 
s small bole in the side of the lead. 
But be withdrew bis own re-straining 
hand, and he watched in mystified si- 
lence while the quart* was fitted to 
make a tiny window and the thin fig- 
ure stooped to sigbt as if aiming the 
opening toward a far corner where a 
brown rat sat upright in earnest 
■tin i In i ii, of a dry crust. 

The Professor drew Avery«witb him 
as be retreated noiselessly from the in- 
strument. "Will you close the switch." 
he whispered. 

The young man hesitated, bewil- 
dered, at this unexpected demonstra- 
tion, and the Professor himself reached 
with his one hand for the black lever. 
Again the arc crashed into life, to hold 
for a brief instant until Professor Ed- 
dinger opened the switch. 

"Well." demanded Avery. What's 
all the show? Do you think you are 
teaching me anything about my own 
instrument V There was hurt pride 
and jealous resentment in his voice 

"See." said Professor Eddinger qui- 
etly. And his one thin hand pointed 
to a far shelf, where, in the shadow. 
was a huddle of brown fur and a bit 
of crust. It fell as they watched, and 
the "plop" of the soft body upon the 
floor sounded loud in the silent room. 

The law of co mp e ns ation.- ut.i 
Professor Eddinger.- Two sides to 
the medal! Darkness and light — good 
evil — life . . ■ and death V 

THE young man was stammering. 
"What do you mean? — a death ray 
evolved r And: "What of it?" be de- 

"what of it > What's that got 
to do with it*" 

'A death ray." the other agTeed. 
~n»u hive dreamed. Avery eye awast 
in order to create— but it is only s 
dream. You dreamed of life— a fuller 
life — for the world, but you would 
have given them, as you have just seen, 

The face of Avery was white ss 
was; his eyes glared savagely from 
dark hollows. 

"A ratP be protested. "You have 
killed a rat . . . and you say — j 
say — " He raised < 
to his lips to bold 
the unspeakable words. 

"A rat.' said the Professor — "or a 
man or * million 

"We will control it 

"AH men will have II 
the worst . . . and there is no defence." 

"It will free the world—" 

"It will destroy it " 

"NoT — and the white-faced man wss 
shouting now -you don't uitdi I ■>■■>! 
— you can't see — " 

The lean figure of the scientist 
straightened to its full height. His 
eyes met those of the younger maw, 
silent now before him. but Avery knew 
the eyes never saw him; they were 
looking far off. following the wings 
of thought In the stillness the man's 
word* came harsh and 

"Do you see the cities." he 
"crumbling to ruins under the cold 
stars? The fields? They arc rank with 
wild growth, tern and gullied by the 
waters; a desolate land where animala 
prowl. And the people— the people I — 
wandering bands, lower, aa the years 
drag on. than the beasts themselves: 
the children dying, forgotten, in the 
forgotten lands ; a people to whom the 
'progress of our civilisation ia one with 
the ages past, for whom there is again 
the slow, toiling road toward the lightr' 

"And somewhere, perhaps, a con- 
quering race, the most brutal and cal- 
lous of mankind, rioting in their sense 
of power and dragging themselves 
down to oblivion. . . ." 



HIS (tl( came slowly back to the 
room and tbc figure of the man 
Mill fighting (or hi* dream. 

Thrjr would not," Mid •'■ 
hoarsely; 'they'd use it (or food." 

Would they?" asked Professor Ed- 
dinger. He •poke simply a* oc 
wg simple facts. "I love my fellow 
men." hie utd. "and I killed them in 
thou* and* in the last war — I. and my 
science, and my poison gas." 

Tbc figure of Avery slumped aud- 
denly upon a chair : his face was buried 
in his hand*. "And 1 would have been." 
be groaned, "the greatest man in the 

"You shall br greater." said tbc Pro- 
fessor, 'though ordy we shall know it 
— you and I You will save tbc 

world — from itself ~ 

Tbc figure, bdwed and sunken in tbc 
made no\tw«t; the man wat 
heedless of the Xndly hand upon hi* 
'fcaouldxr. His voice, when he spoke, 
was that of one afar off. speaking out 
41 ■ 1-Vtat ronclirrs*. "You don't un- 
derstand." he said dully: "you can't — " 

But Professor Eddingcr. a cog in the 
wheels of a great educational machine, 
glanced at the watch on his wrist. 
Again bis thin shoulders were stooped, 
his voice tired- "My classes." he said. 
"I must be going . . ." 

IN tbc gathering dusk Professor Ed- 
dingcr locked carefully the door of 
his other He crossed beyond his desk 
and fumbled with bis one hand (or his 

There was a cabinet to be opened. 
sad be stared long in the dim light at 
the object be withdrew. He looked 
approvingly at the requisite workman 
ship of an instrument where a genera- 
tor of the cathode ray and an intri- 
cate marc of tubing surmounted elec- 
tro-magnets and a round lead bum. 
There were terminals for attaching 
heavy cables; it was a beautiful thing. 
His useless arm moved to bring an 
imaginary hand before the window of 
quart* in tbc lend sphere 

"Power." he whispered and repeated 
Avery's words: "power, to build a city 
—or destroy a civilization . . . and I 
bold it in one hand." 

He replaced the apparatus in tbc 
safety of its case. "The saviors of man- 
kind P be said, and bis tone was harsh 
and bitter. 

But a smilr. whimsical, kindly, crin- 
kled hi* tired eyes as he turned to his 
desk and its usual litter of ei 

•tion papers. 

"It is something. Avery." he whis- 
pered to that dit'ant man. "to belong 
in so distinguished a group," 

t STAR lll\l KM vims'- 

Bl CL.MU1I. the wvtstftss* Milk* taste trass tfc» earth is nwiiiii rssnhry 

v.*/ star wkKh casaad* sad laa tr s tt* at r jasjassanaanajsao smlea. ass Mrslrasin 

as those* M were tocatawac, at last has s asfhaates Ms casamtr St ahsssl 

l i i sx issi y . swats, ease* rhaa twtce east of the 
A eaeaaaary si uwi Uu csaKsvaasg the la «d*ht*as as the aawareat veted 

star, aat e rsveatel m the hah* W recess sis**- by tamrscosa asd fassrawas sf **» mrt k« 

usiai at me tic* Osi r rvstsry a t the Us. fr rcjawss a say . Beta Cephct scesss is sai 

syH^g atislrsai«."crss,n t — list hafrtsbTt'" 

MeadeaeaiaTs astcrssvtaswaa w«e* saw is is a s*s*asT< 

leas wcasht to the chaser that beta Ceswai tiriis ess— 

w toaciacuac asd cassaahaa; swee is every Vanaaie ***** are si bsiimsIh ssuiii ss 

love asd ss t fci tf sear* Taw w tack a i*r- ascrsswassrs htcaaa* the hsht (rssa thess 

rteW rat* sf saved frsst a strrvstriaj sweat yslnlii mat arty, sVarhw asd dyfcw 

sf vww that a asasars is h* assveag toward tbswgh (set were rislisialil at recast* m- 

ssd away frsca the earth at a irlKSj reach- trrvaW The rat* si the* iT'n-<TS has heca 

tales see ncmc si the star. Its ■ i t ia ti thea caa h* attar- 

Cish ii w a tiiuUc war m the Cos- awaed hy csaeraatamc m* actmal 

m C ish e ai. If w best vaasi* is the with the 

sky chelae Jsty s* Asgast. It* da- the 

si J» year*. Velocity si the* rs- 
sver three twits a ire sal, 




. -. i.W imp** *** *»* mmmm mm mmt 
J Smrn Wraar* ■ «■ n» H m* •#*•• ■**• W 

Murder Madness 

rAJrr tkkxz or a rcxm-rAjrr wovn. 
By Murray L*intt*r 

SEVEN United State* Secret Ser- 
vice men have diaappearcd in 
South America. Another it found — a 
•creaming homicidal maniac It it ru- 
mored that they art victim* of a dia- 
b o I i c a I poison 
which produce* 
"m urder m a d- 

of a poiaon which cause* its victims to 
experience a horrible writhing of Uk 
ban da. followed by, a tnadne** to do 
murder, two week* after it 11 taken 
The victim* get relief only with aa 
antidote supplied 

Charley Bell of 
the Trade" — a 
aecrei service ee- 
gartf ration which 
doe« not officially eaiat— discovers that 
• 'tn of alavcry ia flourish- 
ing in South America, headed by a my*. 
tirioia* man known only aa The Matter. 
Thi* alavcry ia accomplished by mean* 

through Ribiera. 
The Matter a 
Chief Deputy: 
but in the anti- 
dote there i* more 
of the poiaon. 
which again In 

two week* will take effect. And ao it 

ia that a per aon who once receives the 

poiaon ia forever enslaved 
Ribiera kidnaps Paula. Canalcja*. 

dastghter of a Brazilian cabinet mm- 


ASTOUNDING STORIES who. on becoming a victim, hat 
killed himself, preferring death to 
"murder madness ~ B«II rescues 1'iuU. 
and they flee from Ribirra in a plane. 
They find The Master's bidden jungle 
stronghold, and Bell destroy* it with 
a bomb attack from the air. A» h- • 
•rig away hit motor quit* Paula 
foe her life. and shortly after- 
Bell follow*, drifting straight 
towards bit enctnie* below. 


BEI.L was falling head-first 
3 the 'chute opened, and 
the jerk was terrific, the more 
to as be had counted not the 
customary drn. but fifteen before pull- 
ing out the Inn, -ry suddenly 
be seemed to be Heating down with an 
amaung gentlenc*. with the ruddy 
blossom of a par-ch At swaying against 
a background of lustroat start *ery far 
indeed over his bead Below him were 
masses of smoke and at least one huge 
dancing mas* of flame, where the 
storage tank for airplane gas bad cs- 
plodcd. It was unlikely in the estreme. 
he saw now. that anyone under that 

opy of smoke could look up to sec 
plane or parachute against the sky 
Clumsily enough, dangling as H 

. twitted about to look for P-> 
Sheer panic came to him be/ore be saw 
her a little above bun but a long dis- 
tance off 5Sc looked horribly alone 
■ lh the glare of the fires upon her 
parachute, and smoke that trailed away 

. darkness below her She was far- 

l from the names than Bell, too 
The light upon her was dimmer And 
Bell cursed* that be had • the 

M to ma. ' would <! 

her before he off himself. 

' /""p HE glow on the blossom of 
X above her faded out. The sky still 
ed behind, but a thick and acrid 

J Bell as he descended Still 
hopelessly, be 
crossed his feet and - 

Branches reached up and Lashed at 

Vines scraped against bis sides, 
lie was hurled against a tree trunk with 
■tanning force, and rebounded, and 
swung clear, and then dangled halfway 
between trarth and the jungle roof. It 
was minutes before baa head cleared, 
and then be felt at one* despairing and 
a fool. Dangling in his parachute har- 
ness when Paula needed him. 

The light in the sky behind him pen- 
etrated even the jungle growth aa a 
■ luminot - ■ ' sently be writhed 

to a position in which he could strike 
a match. A thick, matted mans of 
climbing Tines swung from the upper 
branches not a yard from hi* fingertips. 
Bell cursed again, frantically, and 
. hed at it wildly Presently his 
absurd kicking* set him to swaying. 
He redoubled ht* efforts and increased 
the arc in which be swung But it was 
a loug time before his fingers closed 
upon leases «hich came away in bis 
grasp, and longer still before be caught 
bold of a wrist -thick liana which oored 
sticky sap upon his hinds 

But he clung desperately, and pres- 
ently got hit whole weight on it He 
unsnapped the parachute and partly 
let himself down, partly slid, and ; 
ly tumbled to the solid earth below. 

He had barely reached it when, muf- 
fled and many times reechoed among 
the tree trunks, be beard two shots. 
He cursed, and sprang toward the 
sound, plunging headlong into under- 
brush that strove to tear the flesh from 
bis bones He fought madly, savagely, 

H heard two more shots. He 
fought the jungle in the dark- 
ness like a madman, ploughing insanely 
through masses of creej-ert that should 
have be 1 by a machete, and 

which would have been much more 
-d through by separating 
them, but which he strove to penetrate 
by sheer strength. 

And then be beard two shots- again. 
Bell stopped short and swore dis- 

What a fool I am*- he growled. 



"She's telling ax where she i». and I—" 
He drew one of tbe weapons that 
Ktrotd to bulge in tatty pocket of bit 
flying iuii and bred two shots in tbe 
air in reply. A iinglc one answered 

From tbat time Bell moved more 
sanely. The jungle is not designed. 
apparently, for men to travel in It it 
aaaurcdljr not intended for tbem to 
travel in by ntgbt. and especial!. 
not planned, by whoever planned it. for 
a man to penetrate without either 
machete or lights. 

As nearly as he could estimate it 
afterward, it took Bell over an hour to 
cover one mile in the blackness under 
the jungle roof. Once be blundered 
.into fire-ants They were somnolent in 
the darkness, but one hand stun,; 
in white-hot metal aa he went on And 
thorns tore at him. The Beery (lying 
suit protected him somewhat, but after 
the Erst hundred yards be blundered 
on almost blindly, with bit arms acrosa 
his face, stopping now and then to try 
to orient himself. Three times he 
bred in the air. and three times an an- 
swering shot came instantly, to guide 

AND then a voice called rn the 
blackness, and he ploughed to- 
ward it. and it called again, and again, 
and at last be struck a match with 
trembling hngert and saw her. dangling 
aa he had dangled, some fifteen feet 
from the ground. She smiled waver- 
ingly. with a little gasp of relief, and 
be beard something go slithering away, 
very furtively. 

She clung to bim desperately when 
be had gotten her down to solid earth 
But be was savage. 

"Those shots — though I'm glad you 
fired them— may have been a tip-off to 
the town. We've got to keep moving. 


Her breath was coming quickly. 

"They could trail us. Charles. By 
daylight we might not leave signs, but 
farcing our way through the nigh: 

'Right, as usual.'" admitted BelL 

"How about shells? Did you use all 
you had?" 

"Nearly. But I was afraid. Charles." 

Bell felt in his pockets. Half a boa. 
Perhaps twenty five sheila. With the 
town nearby and almost certainly hav- 
ing beard tbeir signals to each other. 
Black rage invaded Bell. They would 
be bunted for. of course. Dogs, per- 
haps, would trail them. And the thing 
would end when they were at bay. 
ringed about by The Master's slaves, 
with twenty-five shells only to espend. 

The dim little glow in the sky be- 
tween the jungle leaves kept up. It 
was bright, and slowly growing bright- 
er There was a sudden flickering and 
even the jungle grew light for an in- 
stant A few seconds later there waa a 
heavy concussion 

"Something else went up then." 
growled BelL It's some satisfaction, 
anyway, to know I did a lot of danv 

AND then, quite abruptly, three 
was an obscure murmuring 
sound. It grew stronger, and stronger 
still If Bell had been aloft, be would 
have seen the planes from The Master's 
hangars being rushed out of their shel- 
ters. One of the long row of buildings 
had caught. And the plateau of Cuy- 
aba is very, very far from civilisation. 
Tools, and even dynamos and engines, 
could be brought toilsomely to it. but 
tbe tank would be terrific Buildings 
would be made from materials on the 
spot, even the shelters for the planes. 
It would be much more practical to 
carry the parte for a saw mill and saw 
out the lumber on the apot than to at- 
tempt to freight roofing materials and 
the like to Cuyaba. So that the struc- 
tures Bell had seen in the wing lights' 
glow were of wood, and inflammable. 
The powerhouse that lighted the Land- 
ing field was ah-eady ablate. The 
•mailer shacks of tbe laborers perhaps 
would not be burnt down, but tbe elab- 
orate depot for cocnenunication by 
plane and wireless was' rapidly b- 
destroyed. The reserve of gasoline had 



gone up in moke almost at lb« begin- 
ning, and in spreading out ha^ extend- 
ed the disaster to nearly all the com* 
pact nerve-center of the whole con- 

Presently the droning none wji 
tutnultuous Enrjr plane in a condi- 
tion to fly was out on the landing held, 
now brightly lighted by the b 
building* all about. There was frantic, 
hectic activity everywhere. The seo- 
retariea of The Matter were rescuing 
what records they could, and growing 
cold with terror. In the confusion of 

ing conflagrations the stopping of the 
motor up aloft had p assed unnoticed 
In the headquarters of The Master 

was) panic An attack had been 
made upon The Master. A person who 
could not he on* of his slaves had found 

• .rfighold and attacked it terribly. 
And if one nan knew that location and 
dared then. . . 

TBI hold of The Master upon all 
his slaves was based on one fact 
•s corollary. The fa«.t was. that 
those who had been given his poison 
would go murder mad without its anti- 
dote. The corollary was that those who 
obeyed him would be given that anti- 
dote and be safe. True, the antidote 
was but a temporary one. and mised 
with it for administration was a fur- 
ther dosage of the poison itself H M 
the whole power of The Master was 
based on r belief that as long 

as they 'obeyed hiss abjectly there 
would be no failure of the antidote's 
supply. And Bell had given that be- 
lief a s add en and horrible shock. 
Orders came from one frig> 
man. who cursed much more from ter- 
ror than from rage Ribicra had ad- 
vised him To do ham justcc. f 
felt less fear than most Nephew to 
The Master, and destined successor to 
The Master's power. Ribicra dared not 
revolt, but at least be had little fear of 
punishment for incompetence It was 
his advice that set the many aircraft 
moors warming up. It was hit direc- 

tion that assorted out the brairrwork 
staff. And Ribiera himself curtly took 
control, indifferently a ba n do n ed the 
enslaved workers to the msdnrss that 
would come upon them, and took wing 
in the last of a stream of roaring things 
that swept upward above the smoke and 
flame and vanished in the sky. 

BELL and Paula were huddled in 
between the butt res* roots of a 
jungle giant, protected on three sides 
by the monster uprearings of solid 
wood, and Bell was absorbedly feeding 
a tiny smudge fire. The smoke was 
thick and choking, but it did keep off 
the plague, of insects which make 
jungle travel much less than the roman- 
tic adventure it is 5 ictured Bell 
heard the heavy, thunderous bur. 
from the town change timbre sudden- 
ly. A single note of it grew loud and 
soared overhead 

He stared up instinctively, but saw 
nothing but leaves and branches and 
many climbing things above him. dimly 
lighted by Jbe smoky little blare. The 
roaring overhead went on. and dimmed 
A second roaring came from the town 
and rose to a monstrous growling and 
diminished A third did rnd 

a fourth 

At stated, even intervals the planes 
at headquarters of The Matter took off 
from the landing field, ringed about 
blaring buildings, and plunged 
through the darkness is a straight line. 
The steadier droning from the town 
grew lighter as the jungles echoed for 
many miles with the sounds of aircraft 
motors overhead 

AT last a single plane rose upward 
and thundered over the jungle 
roof It went away, and away. 
The town was silent, then, and only a 
d dwindling ■tuisjsai canst 
from the line of aircraft headed souts. 
"They've deserted the town, by 
GodP said Bell, hts eye* gleaming. 
"Scared offf" 

"And — and w e —" said Paula, tiring 
at ' 



"You chi bet that every man who 
could crowd into a plane did ao." said 
Bell grimly. "Tboae that couldn't. M 
they hare any brain*, will be trying *• 
make it aoene o*Vcr way to where the • 
can subject themselves to one of Tt t 
Matter*! deputies and have a LttV 
longer tune of unity The poor dml* 
that are left — well — they'll be cama- 
radar, peons. Laborer*, without the in- 
telligence to know what they can do 
They'll wait patiently for their matter* 
to come hack. And presently their 
hand* will writhe. . . . And the town 
will be a hell ' 

"Then they won't be looking for us?" 

Bell considered. And M add en l y he 
laughed. y. 

"If the fire ha* burned out before 
dawn.** be aaid coldly. "I'll go looking 
for them. It'* going to be cold-blooded, 
and it'* going to be rather pitiful, I 
think, but thews nothing else to do. 
You try to get mm re**. You'll ne«d 

And for all the re** of the dark hour* 
he crouched in the tittle angle formed 
by the roota of the fore** giant, and 
kept ntfhickly smoking little hrc gome 
and listened to the noise* of the jungle 

IT waa more than a mile back to the 
town. It wa* nearer two. But it 
waa »**tly less difficult to force a way 
through the thick growth* by daylight. 
even though then it wa* not ca*y. With 
machete*, of course. Bell and I 
would have had no trouble, but their* 
had been left in the plane. Bell made 
a huge club and battered opening* by 
sheer strength where it was ne ce* * lt y. 
it reamed down his face before 
be had covered five hundred yard*, but 
then something occurred to him and 
he went more easily. If there were 
any of the intelligent class of The 
Master's subjects left in the l-ttle set- 
tlement, be wanted to allow time 
enough for them to start their flight. 
He wanted to find the place empty of 
all but Laborer*, who would be accus- 
tomed to obey any man who spoke arro- 

gantly aod in the manner of a diputy 
of The Master. Yet he dad not want m 
wait too long. Panic tprsnw 
the caasaraJa class a* swiftly as i 
more intelligent folk, and it is 
more blind and hysterical. 

It waa nearly eleven o'clock before 
they emerged upon a cleared field 
where brightly tlor—isg plants grew 
hugely. Bell regarded them grimly 

"These." he o b s er v e d, "will be TM 
Master • stock." 

Psula touched hi* arts. 

*T have heard." she said, and sbwd- 
dered. "that the men win? gather the 
plant* that go to make the poiian* of 
the lttdtot do n ot do not dare to sleep 
r*t*i the fresh-picked plants. They say 
that the odor ia dangerous, even the 
perfume of the bi-nnrss ~ 

"Very probably." said Bell "I wish 
I could destroy the damned things. 
But since we can't, why. well go 
around the edfc of the field. ** 

HE went upwind, skirting the edge 
of the planted thong*. A poth 
showed, winding over half-heartedly 
cleared ground. He followed it, with 
Paula dose behind him. Imok* still 
curled heavily upward from the heaps 
of ashes which he reached fin* of all. 
lie looked upon them with an unpleas- 
ant satisfaction. He had to pick hia 
way between still smoking hasps of 
em b ers to reach the but* shout which 
laborer* Hood hstlcssly. not working 
because not ordered to work, not yet 
frightened because not yet realizing 
fully th*/ catnmopht that had come 
upon them. 

He was moving toward them, delib- 
erately adopting *a air of suppressed 
race, when a voice called whmingly. 

%or! Senhorf - And then plead- 
ingly, in Portuguese. "I have new* for 
The Master! I have new* for The 
Bell jerked his head about. Bar* of 
thick wood, cemented into heavy tim- 
bers at top and bottom. A bvi.lding 
that was solid wall on three sides, and 
the fourth waa bars A white man in it. 



unshaven, haggard. ragged, filthy. And 
on the floor of the cage 

There had been another ucb cage on 
a Ititod* back toward Rio Bell had 
looked into it. and had shot the gib- 
bering Thine 'hat had been it* occo- 
M an act of pure mercy. But thia 
■an bad been through borrsrs and yet 

"Don't look." uid Bell sharply to 
Paula. He went cioac. 

The figure pressed against the bar*, 
whining And suddenly it stoppcj iu 

n C- 
"The devtir said the white man in 
the cage. "What in hell are you doing 
Best) Hat that bend caught you 

•*/~\M my Godr gasped Bell He 

\^S went white with a cold rage. 
He'd known thii man be I ore A Secret 
Service man— one of the seven who bad 
vanished "How't thia place opened? 
I'll let you out " 

'It may be dangerous." aaid the 
white man with a ghaatly grin "I'm 
one of The Master's little victims I've 
been trying to work a little game in 
hopes of getting within arm'a reach of 
him. How'd you get here ? Hat be got 
you too?" 

"I burned the damned town last 
night." snarled Bell, "and crashed up 
after it Where's that door?" 

He found it. a solid mass of planks 
with a log bar fitted in such a way that 
it could not possibly be opened from 
within He dragged it wide The 
white man came out. holding to hit 
self-control with an obvious effort. 

"I want to dance and sing became 

I'm out of there." be told Bell qucerly. 

"but I know you've done me no good. 

I've been fed The Master's little mcdi- 

<tn in that cage for weeks" 

Bell, quivering with rage, handed bwn 
a rev 

"I'm going to get some so; ; 
and stuff and try to make it to civiliza- 
tion." be said shortly. "If you want to 

"Hell, yes" said the white man drear- 

ily *I might as welt. Number One- 
Fourtecn waa here . . . He's The Mas- 
ter s little pet. now. Turned traitor. 
Report it. if you ever get out." 

"No." said Bell briefly. "He didn't 
turn." He told in a very few words of 
the finding of the body of a man who 
had fallen or been thrown from s plans 
into the jungle. 

THEY were moving toward the 
rows of still standing shacks, then, 
sod faces were beginning to turn to- 
ward them, and there waa a little stir 
of apathetic purrlcment at sight of the 
white man who had been set free 

That white man looked auddenly at 
a. and then at BelL 

"I've been turned into a beast." be 
•aid wryly. "Look here. Bell There 
were as many as- ten and fifteen of us 
in that cage at one tunc — men the depu- 
ties sent up for the p ur pos e . We were 
allowed to go mad. one and two at a 
tune, for the edification of the popu- 
lace, to keep the camaradaj scared. 
And those of us who weren't going mad 
>ust then used to have to band together 
and kill them. That cage has been the 
most awful bell on earth that any devil 
ever contrived They put three women 
in there once, with their hands already 
writhing . . . Ugh I . . . 

Bell's face waa cold and hard as if 
carved from marble. 

"I haven't lived through it," said the 
white man harshly, "by being soft. And 
got less than no time to live — 
sane, anyhow I was thinking of shoot-, 
ing you in the back, because the young 

He laughed as Bell's revolver mtutrle 

"I'm telling you," said the white man 
in ghastly merriment, "because I 
thought — I thought Onc-Fourteen had 
set me the example of ditching the 
Service for bis own life. But now it's 
different " 

HE pointed 
"There's a launch in that bouse, 
with one of these outboard motors It 



«m used to keep up t tmwm isair itioo 
with the boat gangs that sweat the 
heavy supplies up the river It'll float 
in three inches oi water, and you can 
pole it where the water'* too shallow 
to let the propeller turn. This rabble 
will mob you if ytju try to take it. be- 
cause itll have taken them just about 
this long to rcalirc that they're desert- 
ed They'll think you arc a deputy, at 
least, to hare dared release me. I a 
going to convince then* ol it, and use 
this gun to give you a start. I give 
you two hoars. It ought u»l* rniwsgh 
And then. . . ." 

Bell nodded. 

'I'm not Service." he said curtly, "but 
111 sec it's known." 

The white man laughed again. 

""Some sigh for the glories of this 
world, and some for a prophet's para- 
dise to come." he quoted derisively. 
-I thought I was hard. Bell, but I hnd 
I prefer to have my record clean in the 
Service — where nobody will ever see it 

than to take what pleasure I might 
snatch before I die. Queer, isn't it? 
Old Omar was wrong. Now watch me 
baasT, aUnging away the cash for credit 
of doubtful value, and all for the rum- 
ble of a distant drum— which will be 


THEY were surrounded by swarm- 
tng. faWc-ng, frightened cama/ad- 
as who implored the Senhor to tell 
them if be were a deputy of The Mas- 
ter, and if be were here to make sure 
nothing evil befell them. They worked 
for The Master, and they desired noth- 
ing save to labor all their lives for The 
Master, only— only — The Master would 
allow no evil to befall them? 

The white man waved his arms gran- 

The Senhor you behold." he pro- 
claimed in the barbarous Portugese of 
the hinterland of Braril. hat released 
me from the cage in which you saw 
me He it the deputy of The Master 
himself, and is enraged because the 
landing lights on the held were not 
burning, so that his airplane fell down 

into the jungle. He bears 
great value from me to The 
which will 'make me anally a sub-dep- 
uty of The Master. And I have a re- 
volver, as you see. with which I could 
kill him. but he dares not permit me to 
die. since I have given turn news for 
The Master. I shall wait here sad he 
will go and send back an airplane with 
the grace of The Master for me and far 
all of you." 

Bell snarled an assent, is) the arro- 
gant fashion of the deputies of The 
Master He waited furiously while the 
Service man argued eloquently and nav 
ently. He ungated ha revolver sug- 
gestively when a wave of panic swept 
over the swarming mob for no esptcisl 
reason. And then he watched grimly 
while the light little metal- hot toensd 
boat was carried to the water's edge sad 
loaded with food, and fuel, and 

^TJhe white man grinned queer ly at 
Bell as he extended hi* hand in a last 

■ 'I. who am about to die, salute 
your" be said mockingly "Isn't this 
a bell of a world. Bell ? I'm sure we 
could design a better one in some 
ways." t 

BELL felt s horrible, a ghastly 
shock. The hand that gripped 
his was writhing in his grasp. 

"Quite so." said the white man. "It 
started about five minutes ago In 
theory. I've shout forty-eight hours. 
Actually. I don't dare wait that long, if 
I'm to die Ijkc a white man. And a 
lingering vanity insists on that. I hope 
you get out. Bell . . . And if you want 
to do me a favor."— he grinned again, 
mirthlessly — "you might sec that The 
Master and as many of his deputies ss 
you can manage join me* in hell at the 
earliest possible m om en t. I shan't mind 
so much .if I ca*i watch them." « 

He put his hands quickly in his 
pockets as the little outboard motor 
caught and the launch went on down- 
river. He did not even look sftcr 



The last B«U u« of turn he tu swag . 
gcung back up the little billude above 
the river edit. surrounded by scared 
inhabitants of the workmen'* shacks. 
and nottni in a superior fashion at 
their fear*. 


IT took Bell just eight days to reach 
the Paraguay, and those eight days 
were J*kfV age-long nightmare of toil 
re than a little 
i beaded down- 
stream, of course^and with the current 
behind it. it made ghpd time. But the 
distances of Braril axe infinite, and the 
jungle* of Braril arc malevolent, and 
the route down the Rio Laurtnc,o was 
designed by the architect of hcIL 
Rtudtlrt lay in wait to destroy the lit- 
tle boat. Insects twirmed about to 
destroy its voyagerv And the jungle 
loomed above them, passively malig- 
nant, and waited for them to die 

And aa if physical sufferings were 
not enough. Bell saw Paula wilt and 
grow pale. All the way down the river 
they pasaed little clearing* at nearly 
equal distance*. And men came trem- 
bling out of the little house* upon 
those /arrodes and fawned upon the 
Sensor who was in the Launch that had 
come from up-river and so mast be in 
the service of The Master himself. 
The clearings and the tiny house* had 
been placed upon the river for the ser- 
v.ce of the terribly laboring boat gang* 
who brought the heavier supplies up 
the river to The Masters central depot. 
Men at these clearing* had been en- 
slaved and ordered to remain at their 
posts, serving all those upon the busi- 
ness of The Master. They fawned ab- 
jectly upon Bell, because be waa of ©J 
- 1 and so presumably was empow- 
ered, a* The Master bad empowered his 
more intelligent subjects, to eiact the 
most degraded of submission from all 
beneath him in the horrible conspiracy. 
Once, indeed. Bell was humbly im- 
plored by a panic stricken man to ad- 
-rer "the grace of The Master" to 

a moody and irritable child of twelve 
or so. 

~Sbe sees the red spots. Scabor It 
is the first sign And I have served 
The Master faithfully. . . ." 

AND Bell could do nothing. He 
went on savagely. And once he 
passed a gang of canaradas Laboring 
to get heavily loaded dugouts up a 
fiendish rauda/ They had ropes out 
and were hauling at them from the 
task, while some of their number were 
breast -deep m the rushing water, push- 
ing the dugouts against the stream. 

Tbey're headed for the plantation." 
said Bell grimly, "and they'll need the 
grace of The Master by the time they 
get there. And it's abandoned. But 
if I tell them. . . ." 

Men with no hope at all arc not to 
be trusted Not when they are mix- 
fture* of three or more races— white and 
black and red — and steeped in ignor- 
ance and superstition and. moreover. 
long subject to such master* »* these 
men had hid. Bell had to think of 

ye could have Landed and haughtily 
ordered them to float or even carry the 
light boat to the calmer water* below. 
They would have obeyed and cringed 
before him. But he shot the rapid* 
from above, with the little motor roar- 
ing past rocks and walls of jungle be- 
side the foaming water, at a speed that 
chilled his blood. 

PAULA said nothing. She was 
white and listless Bell, himself. 
waa being preyed upon by a bitter 
blend of horror and a deep-seated rage 
that consumed h-m like a fever He had 
fever itself, of course He was taking, 
and forcing Paula to take, five grain* 
of quinine a day. It had been included 
among hit »torc* a* a matter of course 
by those who had loaded his boat And 
with the fever working in his brain he 
found himself holding long, imaginary 
conversations, in which one part c: 
brain reproached the other part for 
having destroyed the plantation of The 



Master. The laborers upon that plan- 
titwo had been abandoned to the mur- 
der madness because of his deed. The 
caretakers of the tiny t tit ad* on the 
river bank were bow ignored. Bell felt 
himself a murderer because be had 
caused The Master's deputies to cast 
them off ta a callous indifference to 
their inevitable fate. 

He suffered the tortures of the 
damned, and grew morose and bitter, 
and could only escape that self torture 
by coddling his hatred of Ribiers and 
The Master. He imagined torments to 
be inflicted upon tbesn which would 
adequately repay them for their crit 
and racked his feverish bram for i 
ones of the appalling atrocities which 
can be committed upon the human body 
without destroying its capacity to 

It was not normal It was not sane 
But it hi led Beirs mind and somehow 
kept him from suicide during the hor- 
rible passage of the river. He hardly 
dared speak to Paula. There was a 
time when be counted the days since be 
had been a guest at Ribiera'i estate out- 
side of Rio. and frennedly persuaded 
himself that be saw red spots before bis 
eyes and soon would hare the murder 
madness come upon him. And then he 
thought of the supplies in Ribtera's 
plane, in which they had escaped from 
Rio. They had eaten that food. 

IT wai almost u nco nsc iously, then, 
that he saw the narrow water on 
which the launch Boated valiantly grow 
wider day by day. When at last it de- 
bouched suddenly into a vast stream 
whereon a clumsy steamer plied be- 
neath a self made cloud of smoke, he 
stared dully at it for minutes before 
be realized 

"Paula." be said suddenly, and lis- 
tened <n amarcment to his voice It 
was hoarse and harsh and croaking. 
"Paula, we've made it. This must be 
the Paraguay." 

£he roused herself and looked about 
like a person waking from a lethargic 
sleep. And then her lips quivered, and 

she tried to speak and could not. and 
tears fell silently from her eyes, and 
all at once she was sobbing bitterly. 

That sign of the terrific strain aha 
had been under served more than any- 
thing else to >olt Bell out of his abnor- 
mal state of awnd. He moved ovtt to 
her and clumsily put hia arm about her. 
and comforted her an best be could. 
And she sst sobbing with her bend os 
his shoulder, gasping in a form of 
hysterical relief, until the engine be- 
hind them sputtered, and coughed, and 

When Bell looked, the last drop of 
gasoline was gone. But the motor had 
served its purpose. It had nan man- 
fully on an almost infinitsswnel con- 
sumption of gasoline for eight days. It 
had not missed an explosion save when 
iu wiring was wetted by spray. And 

BELL hauled the engine inboard' 
and got out the oars from under 
the seats. He got the little boat out to 
mid-stream, and they floated down 
until a village of squalid hats sppenrcd 
on the eastern bank. He landed, there, 
and with much bargaining and a 
haughty demeanor disposed of the boat 
to the skipper of a nate/ao in exchange 
for paasage down-river aa far as Co- 
mmbs. The rate was outrageously 
high But be had little currency with 
him and dared go no farther on a vessel 
which carried a boat of The Master's 
ownership conspicuously towed behind. 

At Corumba be purchased clothes less 
obviously of or genres, both for himself 
and for Paula, and that same afternoon 
was able to arrange for their passage 
to Asuncion as deck passengers on a 
river steamer going downstream. 

It was as two peasants, then, that 
they rode in sweltering beat amid a 
swarming and odorous mass of fellow 
humanity downstream. But it was a cu- 
rious relief, in some way*. The people 
about them were gross and unwashed 
and stupid, but they were h "t« There 
was none of that diabolical feeling of 
terror all about. There 



-J. fear haunted faces upon the 
deck reserved for deck passengers and 
other cattle. The talk wu ungram- 
tnattcal and literal and of the earth. 
The women were stolid-faced and re- 
ed. But when the long" rows of 
hammocks were slung out in the open 
ajr. in the casual fashion of sleeping 
arrangements in the back-country of all 
South America, it was blessedly peace- 
ful to realise that the folk who snored 
so lustily were merely human: human 
animals, it might be. with no thought 
above their ttnchi and /ei/os on the 
morrow, but human. 

AND the second day they passed 
the old fort at* and went 
on. The passage into Paraguayan ter- 
ritory was signalued by an elaborate 
customs inspection, and three days 
later Asuncioa itself displayed its red- 
tiled roofs and adobe walls upon the 

Bell had felt some confidence in his 
ability to pass muster with his Spanish, 
though his Portuguese was limited, and 
it was a shock when the captain of the 
steamer summoned him to his cabin 
with a gesture, before the steamcx-~ 
docked Bell left Paula among the 
other deck/passengers and went with 
the peasants air of suspicious humility 
into the 'Captain's quarters. But the 
captain's pose of\r,randcur ranished at 
once when the door closed. 

"Senor." said the steamer captain 
humbly. "I hare not spoken to you be- 
fore I knew you would not wish I 
But, tell me. senor! Have you any news 
of what The Master plans?" 

Bell's eyes flickered, at the same time 
that a cold apprehension filled h 

"Why do you speak to me of The 
Master?" he demanded sharply. 

The steamer captain stammered. The 
man was plainly frightened at Bell's 
tone. Bell relaxed, bis flash of panic 
for Paula go- 

"I know." said the captain imploring- 
ly, "that the great /a/ercfa has been de- 
serted On my Last trip down, senor. I 
brought many of the high deputies who 

had been there. They warned me not 
to speak, senor. but I saw that you were 
not what you seemed, and I thought 
you might be going about to see who 
obeyed The Master's orders. . . ." 

BELL nodded. 
"That is my m i ssio n ." be said 
curtly. "Do not speak of it further — 
not even to the deputy in Asuncioa." 

The captain stammered asp 

"But I must see the Senor Francia." 
he said humbly. "I report to him after 
every trip, and if be thought tha* 
not report all that I learn . . ." 

"It is my order." snapped Bell an- 
grily. "If be reproaches you. say that 
one who has orders from The Master 
himself gave them to you. And do not 
speak of the destruction of the iutadi. 
I un searching especially for the man 
who caused it. And — wait ! I will take 
your name, and you shall give me— say 
— a thousand peso*. I bad need of 
money to bribe a fool I could not waste 
time on. up-country. It will be re- 
turned to you." 

And again the captain stammered, 
but Bell stared at ho haughtily, and 
he knelt abjectly before the ship's safe. 

ASUNCION, as everybody knows. 
is a city of sixty thousand people, 
and the capital of a republic which en- 
joyed the rule of a family of hereditary 
dictators for sixty years: which rule 
ended in a war wherein four-fifths of 
the population was wiped out. And 
since that beginning it has averaged 
eight revolutions to Mexico's three, has 
had the joy of knowing seven separate 
presidents in five years— none of them 
elected — and now boasts a population 
approximately two-thirds illegitimate 
and full of pride in its intellectual and 

Bell and Paula made their way along 
the cobbled streets away from the river, 
surrounded by other similarly peasant- 
seeming folk. Bell told her curtly 
what had happened with the steamer 

"It's the devil." be said coldly, "be- 



uuk this whole republic U under The 
Master'* tntrmh Except naoaf the 
(Kiunti we can count on nearly every- 
body being on the lookout for us. if 
they ao much a* suspect we're alive. 
And they may because I burned their 
damned /arenas. So, . . ." 

Pas la smiled at h-m. rather wanly. 

"What are you going to do, 

"Get a boat." said Bell curtly. "One 
with three or four men. if I can. If I 
can buy it with the skipper'* money. I 
will. But I can't take you to go bar- 
gaining. It would look suspicious." 

They had reached the central plaaa 
of the town. The market swarmed 
with brown skinned folk and seemed to 
overflow with fruits. A man was un- 
concernedly shoveling oranges out of a 
cart with a shovel, as if they had been 
so much coal. A market woman as un- 
concernedly dropped sonje of the same 
golden fruit within a small pen where 
a piglet awaited a purchaser. To the 
left, there were rows of unshaded stalls 
where the infinitely delicate handmade 
Paraguayan lace was exposed for sale. 

~I — think.** said Paula. "I think I will 
go in the cathedral. I will be very 
devout. Charles, and you will End me 
there when you return. I will be safe 
there, certainly." 

HE walked with her across the 
crowded plaia. He should have 
known that your peasant does not 
stride with bead up. but regarding the 
ground. That a man who works heavily 
droops his shoulders with weariness at 
the end of a day. And especially he 
should have realized that Paraguay is 
not. strictly speaking, a Latin-Ameri- 
can nation. It is Latin-Indian, in which 
the population graduates very definite- 
ly from a sub-stratum of nearly or 
: urc Indian race to an aristocracy 
of nearly or quite pure Spanish de- 
scent, and that the color of a man's skin 
nxes.his place in. society. Both Bell 
and Paula were too light of skin for 
the peasant's clothes they wore. They 
aroused curiosity at once. If it was not 

an active curiosity, it was nevertheless 
curiosity of a sort. 

But Belk.lcft her ia the shadowy, 
cool interior of the cathedral which 
seems so pitifully small to be the cen- 
ter of religion for a nation. He saw 
her move toward one of the little can- 
dle-lit niches in the wall and fall quit* 
simply on her knees there. 

And he moved off. to wander iimlrss 
ly down to the nver shore and star* 
about and presently begin a desultory 
conversation with sleepy boatmen. 

IT was three hours and more before 
he returned to the Cathedral, and 
Paula was talking to someone. More. 
talking to a woman in the moat discreet 
of maatilla'd church-going costume*. 
Paula saw him in the doorway, and 
uttered a little cry of relief. She came 
hurrying to him . 

'Charles! I have found a friend! 
Isabella Ybarra. We were schoolmates 
in the United States ahd she has just 
come back from Parts! So you see. 
she cannot — " 

"I see." said Bell very quietly. 

Paula was speaking swiftly and very 

"We went to school together. 
Charles. I trust her. You must trust 
her also. There is no danger, this time. 
Isabella has never even beard of The 
Master. So you see. . . ." 

"I see that you need someone you 
can trust." said Bell grimly. "/ found 
that the captain of the steamer had 
gone to The Master's deputy here. 
While I was talking to some boatmen 
a warning was given to look out for a 
man and woman, together, who may 
try to buy a boat. We're described. 
and only the fact that I was alone kept 
me from being suspected. Pol ce. sol- 
diers—everybody is .ooking out for us. 
Paraguay's under The Master's thumb 
more completely than any other nation 
on the continent." 

The figure to which Paula Kad been 
talking was moving slowly toward 
them. A smiling, brown-eyed face 
twinkled at them. 



"You must be Charles!"* said a warn 
and duckling voice. 'Paula has raved. 
Senor. Now I am going to take her 
off in my carriage. She it my maid. 
And you will follow the carriage on 
foot and I will bare the major-domo 
let you in the servants' entrance, and 
the three of us will conspire.** 

IT was incongruous to hear the En- 
glish of a girl's finishing school 
from the mantilla 'd young woman who 
beamed mischievously at him. She had 
the delighted air of one aiding a ro- 
mance. It was doubly incongruous 
because of the dark and shadowy 
Cathedral in which they were, and the 
raucous noises of the market in the 
plaxa without. Bell bad a sense of 
utter unreality as Isabellas good 
humored voice went on: 

"Do you remember, Paula, the time 
the French teacher *aught us in the 
pantry? I shall feel ju»t like that 

This is dangerous.** said Bell, stead- 
ily, "and it is very serious indeed." 

"Poobr said Isabella comfortably. 
"Paula, you didn't even know I was 
married I A w.bolc year and a half I 
And he's a darling, really. I'm the 
Senora Isabella Ybarra de Zuloaga. if 
you please! Bow gracefully!" She 
chuckled. "Jaime came all the way to 
Rio to meet me Last month. I'm wild 
about him. Paula. . . . But come on! 
Follow me humbly, like a nice little 
mestizo girl wh/» wants to be my maid. 
an*d I'll let you ride with the cocbero 
and. Charles shall follow behind uv" 

She swept out of the Cathedra 
the air of a grande dame suppressing a 
giggle, and Paula went humbly behind 

And Bell trudged through the dust 
and the blistering sun while the highly 
polished carriage jolted over cobble 
stones and the youthful Senora Isabella 
Ybarra de Zuloaga beamed blissfully 
at the universe which did not re* 
that she was a conspirator, and Paula 
sat modestly beside the brown skinned 

IT was not a long ride nor a long 
walk, though the sun was insuffer- 
able. The capital of Paraguay is not 
large. It is a sleepy, somnolent little 
town in which the most pretentious 
building was begun ** the Presidential 
Palace and wound us as the home of a 
bank. But there arc bullet marks on 
the facade of the aVuseo Nacioail. and 
there is still an empty pedestal here 
and there throughout the city where 
the heroes of last year's revolution, in 
broeue. have been pulled down and the 
heroes of thit year's uprising of the 
people have not yet been set up. Red 
tiled roofs give the city color, and the 
varying shades of its populace give it 
variety, and the fact that below the 
whiter class of inhabitants Guittni i* 
spoken instead of Spanish adds to the 
individuality of its effect. 

But the house into which the car- 
riage turned could have been built in 
Rio or Buenos Aires without comment 
on its architecture. It bad the outer 
bleakness of most private homes of 
South America, but if it was huge and 
its windows were barred, the patio into 
which Bell was ushered by a bewilder- 
ed and suspicious major-domo made up 
in color and in charm for all that the 
exterior lacked. 

A fountain played amid flowers, and 
macaws and parrots and myriad other 
caged birds hung in their cages about 
the colonnade around the court, and 
Bell found Paula being introduced to 
a pale young man in the stiff collar and 
unspeakably formal morning clothes of 
the South American who is of the 


"Jaime." said Isabella, beaming. "And 
this it Charles, whom Paula it to mar- 
ry ■ It is romantic! It is* fascinating! 
And I depend on you to give him 
clothes so that all our servants won't 
stare goggle-eyed at him. and I am 
going to take Paula off at once and 
dress her ! Tbey arc our guests ! And, 
Jaime, you must threaten all the ser- 
vants terribly so tbey will keep it very 
secret — that we have two. such terrible 
people with us." 




PAULA smiled at Bell, and be saw 
that the felt utterly safe and who!-' 
ly at peace. Something was hammering 
at Bell's brain, warning him. and be 
could not understand what it was. But 
be exchanged the decorous limp band- 
shake which is conventional sooth of 
Panama, and followed his unsmiling 
boat to rooms where a servant laid out 
a bewildering assortment of garments. 
They ware all rather formal, the sort 
of clothing that is held to be fitting for 
a man of position where Spanish i» the 
official if not the eommon tongue 

Hn host retired, without words, and 
Bell came out later to find him sipping 
moodily at a drink, waiting for him. 
He wiped his forehead. 

"Be seated. Senor." be said heavily, 
"until the ladies join us." 

He wiped his forehead again and 
watched somberly while Bell poured 
out a drink. 

"Isabella. ..." He seemed to find it 
difficult to speak. "She has told me a 
little, but there has been no time for 
more than a little: I do not wish to 
hare her tell me too much. She does 
not understand. She was educated in 
North America, where customs are dif- 
ferent. She demands that I assist you 
and the senorita — it is the senorita?" 

Bell stiffened. In all Spanish Amer- 
ica the conventions are strict. For a 
man and woman to travel together, even 
perforce and for a short distance, auto- 
matically damns the woman. 

"Go on." said Bell grimly. 

His host was very pale indeed. 

"She demands that" I assist you and 

the senorita to escape the police and 

the gov er nment. Provided that you do 

not tell me who you arc. I will attempt 

But— " 

"I wonder." said Bel) quietly, "if you 
have ever seen red spots dancing before 
your eyes. 

Hit host went utterly livid. 

ZULOAGA looked down at his 
hands, as if expecting unguessablc 
things of them. And then be shrugged, 
and said harshly: 

"I have. Senor. So you sec that Isa- 
bella, who does not know, is asking m« 
to risk, not only my life, but her 

Bell said nothing for a moment. Ho 
was a little pale. 

"And your honor?" be asked quietly. 

The pallor on the face of the Senor 
Jaime Zuloaga was horrible. He tried 
to speak, and could not. He stood up, 
and managed to say: 

"So much I will risk, because you 
have been my guest. Until to-morrow - 
morning you are safe, unless the Senor 
Francis has his spies within my own 
boose. I — I will attempt, even to pro- 
cure a boat. But— " 

Something made Bell turn. The 
major-domo was moving quickly out of 
sight. Like a flash Bell was upon him, 
and like a flash a knife came out. 

Bell's host gasped. The fact that his 
servant had spied was more than obvi- 
ous, and be had spoke treason against 
The Master. He leaned against tb« 
table, sick and trembling and mumbling 
of despair, while there were crashes in 
the room into which Bell had plunged, 
while bodies thrashed about on the 
floor, and while stertorous breathing 
grew less, and stopped. . . . 

Bell came back, b/eathing bard. The 
front of his coat was slashed open. 

"He's dead." be' said harshly. "He'd 
have reported what you said, so I killed 
him. . . . And now we've got to do 
something with his body." 

He helped in the horrible task, while 
his host grew more and more shaken. 
No other servants came near. And Bell 
could almost read the thoughts that 
went through Zuloaga's brain. One 
servant had spied, to report his treason. * 
And I that meant assassination for him- 
self. v «s the least of punishments, and 
for hi wife. . . ." 

But there would be no punishment if 
he went first to the deputy and said 
that Bell had killed the major-domo. 

Bell left the boose before dusk, des- 
perately determined to steal a craft of 
sort, return for Paula, and get 
y from Asuncion before dawn. 



He returned after an hour. In the 
morning a man would be found bound 
and fagged. «ritb five hundred pesos 
Muffed into hi* pocket*. Hi* boat 
would have vaniibed- 

But there was a commotion before 
the house where Paula waited fear- 
fully. A carriage stood there, with a 
company of mounted soldier* about it. 
Som e one was being put into it. As 
Bell broke into a run toward the house 
the carriage started up and the soldiers 
trotted after . • 

Paula was taken. 


THAT night Bell turned burglar. 
To attempt a rescue of Paula was 
- 1 jr out of the question. He was 
entirely aware that be would be expect- 
ed to do just such a thing, and that it » 
would be adequately guarded against. 
Therefore he. prepared for a much more 
desperate enterprise by burglarizing a 
bookstore in the particularly neat 
method in which members of The 
Trade are instructed. The method was 
invented by a member "of The Trade 
who was an ex-cabinet maker, and who 
perished disreputably. He killed a cer- 
tain courier of a certain foreign gov- 
ernment, thereby preventing a minor 
war and irritating two government* 
excessively, and was hanged. 

The method, of course, is simplicity 
itself. One removes the small nails 
which bold the molding of a door panel 
in place. The molding comes out. So 
docs the panel. One enters through 
the panel, commits one's burglary; and 
cocoes out. replacing the molding aad 
the nails with reasonable care. Depend- 
ing upon the care rith which the re- 
placing is done, ths means of j-ntrance 
is more or less undiscoverable. But it 
i* usually used when it is not intended 
that the burglary ever be discussed. 

Bell abstracted two books, wrapping 
paper and twine. He departed, using 
great care. He walked three miles out 
of town and to the banks of the Para- 
guay. There be carefully saturated the 

pages of both books in water, carefully 
keeping the bindings from being wet- 
ted. Then he tore one book to pieces, 
saving the leaves and inserting them 
between the leaves of the other book. 
Then, with a braril nut candle for il- 
lumination, he began to write. 

YOU tee. when two thoroughly 
wetted pieces of paper are placed 
one above the other with a hard surface 
such as the cover of another book under 
them, you can write upon the top one 
with a stick. The writing will show 
dark againtt the gray of the saturated 
paper. ^fe>u then rem ov e the top sheet 
and find the writing reproduced on the 
bottom sheet. And then you can dry 
the second sheet and find the marking 
vanished — until it is wetted again. It 
is. in fact, a method of water-marking 
paper. And it is the simplest of ail 
method* of invisible writing. 

Bell wrote grimly for hours. The 
book be had chosen was an old one. an 
ancient copy of one of Lope de Vega'* 
plays, and the pages were wrinkled and 
yellow from age alone. When, by 
dawn, the Last page was dried out. there 
wa* no sign that anything other than 
antiquity had affected the paper. And 
Bell wrapped it carefully, and ad- 
dressed it to an elderly senora of liter- 
ary tastes in San Juan. Porto Rico, and 
enclosed an affectionate. letter to his 
very dear aunt, and signed it with an 
entirely improbable name. 

It was mailed before sunrise, the 
necessary stamps having been filched 
from the burglarized bookstore and the 
price thereof being carefully inserted 
in the till. Bell had made a complete 
and painstaking report of every fact be 
bad himself come upon in the matter 
of The Master and his slaves, and ap- 
pended to it a copy of the report of the 
dead Secret Service operative Number 
One-Fourteen. He destroyed that after 
copying i ( -' And be concluded that he had been given dismissal by 
Jamison in Rio. he considered himself 
at liberty to take whatever step* be saw 
fit. And since the Scnhorina Paula 



Canalc;as had been kidnapped by 
agents of The Master, be intended to 
take step* which might possibly bring 
about her safety, but would almost cer- 
tainly cause his death. 

The report should at least be of assis- 
tance if the Trade set to work to com- 
bat The Master. Bell bad no informa- 
tion whatever about that still mysteri- 
ous and still more horrible person him- 
self. But what be knew about The 
Master's agents be sent to a lady in 
Porto Rico who has an astooishly large 
number of far ranging nephews. And 
then Bell got himself adequately 
shaved, bought a hearty breakfast, and, 
after one or two heartening drinks, was 
driven grandly to the residence of the 
Senor Francia. deputy of The Master 
for the republic of Paraguay. 

THE servants who admitted him 
gated blankly when be gave his 
rtmn*» A door was hastily closed be- 
hind him. He was ushered into an elab- 
orate reception room and. after an agi- 
tated pause, no less than six separate 
frock-coated/ persons appeared and 
pointed large revolvers at him while a 
seventh searched him exhaustively. 
Bell submitted amusedly. 

"And now." be said dryly. "I suppose 
the Senor Francis will receive me?" 

There was more agitation. The six 
men remained, with their weapons 
pointed at him The seventh departed, 
and Bell re-dressed himself in a lei- 
surely f ashi on. 

Ten minutes later a slender, dark 
skinned man with impeccably waxed 
moustach es entered, regarded Bell with 
an entirely impersonal interest, took 
one of the revolvers from one of the 
six frock-coated gentlemen, and seated 
himself comfortably. He waved his 
band and they filed uneasily from the 
room. So far. not cne word had been 

BELL retrieved his cigarette case 
and lighted up with every ap- 
pearance of ease. 
"I have come." be said casually, "to 

request that I be sent to The Master. I 
believe that be is anxious to meet me." 

The dark eyes scrutinized him coldly. 
Then Francia smiled. 

"Ptto si," be said negligently, "be is 
very anxious to see you. I suppose you 
know what fate awaits you?" 

Hit smile was amiable and apparent- 
ly quite friendly, but Bell shrugged. 

"I suppose." be said dryly, "be wants 
to converse with me. I bare been hit 
most successful opponent to date. I 

Francia smiled again. It was curious 
bow his smile, which at first seemed so 
genuine and so friendly, became un- 
speakably unpleasant on its repetition. 

"Yes." Francia seemed to debate 
some matter of no great importance. 
"You have been very annoying. Senor 
BelL The Senhor Ribtera asked that 
you be sent to him. It was bis inten- 
tion to execute you. privately. \\t de- 
scribed a rather — —»«*"g method to me. 
And I must confess that you have an- 
noyed me, likewise. Since the Cuyaba 
plantation was destroyed my subjects 
have been much upset. They have been 
frightened, and even stubborn. Only 
last week" — he smiled pleasantly, and 
the effect was horrible — "only last 
week I desired the society of a lady 
who is my subject. And her husband 
considered that, since the Ititod* was 
destroyed. The Master would be power- 
less to extend his grace before long, in 
any event. So be shot his wife and 
himself. It annoyed me enough to make 
me feel that it would be a pleasure to 
kill you." 


E raised the revolver meditative- 

"Well?" said BeU coldly. 

Francia lowered the weapon and 

"Oh. I shall not do it. I think The 
Matter would be displeased. You seem 
to have the type of courage be most 
desires in hit deputies. And it may yet 
be that I shall greet you as my fellow 
deputy or perhaps my fellow viceroy. 
So I shall send you to him. I would 



mx that jrou bare about aa even rhaiwe 
of dying very unpleasantly or of being 
a deputy. Therefore I offer you aach 
courtesies a* I may." 

Bell puffed a cloud of smoke toward 
the cciiinf . 

"I'm about out of cigarettes." be aaid 

"Tbey iball be supplied. And— er — 
if you would desire feminine- aociety. 
I w»l] bare aomc of my pretty •ob- 
ject*. . . ." 

"No," aaid Bell bluntly. "I would 
bke to apeak to the Scnborina Canalc- 
>aa. though" 

Fraacia chuckled.- 

"She left for Buenos Aires Last 
night. The Secbor Ribtera aeot a moat 
impatient message for her to be sent oa 
at once. I regretted if. but be bad The 
Master a authority. I thought hex 
charming, myself." 

The akin about Bella knuckle* was 
white. His hands had clenched sav- 

"In that event." he aaid coldly, "the 
. only other courtesy I woald aak i* that 
of following her aa soon, aa possible." 

Francis rose languidly. ^The revolver 
daaglnl by hia side, but hia grip upon 
it was firm. He smiled at Bell with the 
same effect of a horrible, ghastly geni- 

"Within the hour. Seoor." be said 
urbanely. "With the guard I shall 
place, over you it it no harm, I am sure, 
to observe that The Master is at bis 
retreat in Punt a Arenas. .You will go 
there to-morrow, as I go to-night." 

He moved toward the door, and 
smiled again, and added pleasantly: 

"The Scnborina was delivered to the 
Senhor Kibicra this morning." 

MATTERS moved swiftly after 
that. A servant brought ciga- 
rettes and a tray of liquors— which Bell 
did not touch. There waa the sound of 
m ov em ent, the scurrying, furtive haste 
which scons always to imply a desper- 
ate sort of fear. Bell waited in a ter- 
rible calmness, while rage h amme r e d at 
hia temples. 

Then the clattering of horses' hoofs 
outside. A carriage was being brought. 
f oi ditn came in and a man beckoned 
curtly. Bell stuffed his pockets with 
smokes and .followed Languidly. He 
waa realixing that there was little pre- 
tense of secrecy about the power of 
The Master's deputy here. Police sad 
soldiers. . . . But Paraguay, of all the 
nations of the southern continent, baa 
learned a certain calm realism aboot 
g ov ernm ental matters 

The man who has power is obeyed. 
The man who has not power is not 
obeyed. Titles are of little importance, 
though it is the cu stom for the man 
with the actual power eventually to as- 
sume the official rank of authority. 
Since the President in Asuncion waa 
no more than a figurehead who called 
anxiously upon the Scnor Fra 
every morning for instruction 
ccming the management of the 
Fraacia . indifferently ignored bass 
whenever he chose aad gave orders 
directly. There would be very Little 
surprise aad no disorder whatever 
when The Master proclaimed Paraguay 
a viceroyslty of his intended I 

THE carriage went smartly through 
the cobbled streets with a cavalry 
escort all about it. Aa officer sat oppo- 
site Bell with his hand on hia revolv er . 

"I am receiving at least the honors of 
royalty." Bell commented coldly to 
him. in Spanish. 

"Scnor." said the officer harshly, 
"this is the state in which the deputies 
of The Master were escorted." 

He watched Bell heavily, but with 
the desperate intentneas of a man who 
knows no excuses will be received if 
bis prisoner escapes. 

Out of the town to a ( flying field, 
where a muhi-cngtned plane was warm- 
ing up. It w *^pltr^rf the ships that 
had been at The Master's tatada of 
Cuyaba. one of the ships that bad fled * 
from the burning plantation. Bell 
ushered into it with a ceremonious < 
picion. Almost immediately be 
handcuffed to his seat. Two men took 



their place belwad htm. The big abip 
rolled forward., lifted, steadied, and 
after a tingle circling aet out to the 
aowthraet foe Buenos Aitti 

THE whole performance had been 
run off with the smoothly oiled 
precision of an iron discipline eser- 
ciaed upon men in the grip of. deadly 
fear J 

"One man. at least." refected Bell 
grimly, "ha* aome qualities that fit him 
■WHS Jam," 

And then, for hour alter hour, the 
big ship went steadily a uut hsast. It 
flew over Paraguayan territory for two 
hours, soaring high orer the Lago Ypoa 
and on orer the rwampy country that 
extend* to the Argentine border. It 
ignored that border and all custom* 
formalities It went on, through long 
hoar* of flight, while 
before it. It rose over tl 
and passed over the first railroad li 
the first real aign of crvilixation since 
starring Asuncion— at Mercedes, and 
reached the Uruguay ri»er where the 
Mirinjay joins it. It went roaring on 
down above the valley of the R»o Uru- 
guay for long and tedious hour* more. 
At about noon, ranch was produced. 
The two men who guarded Bell ate. 
Then, with drawn revolvers, they un- 
locked his handcuffs and offered him 

HE ate. of esactly those foods he 
had seen them eat. He submitted 
indifferently to the re-application of 
his fetter*. He ha</ reached a state 
which was curiously emotion less. If 
Paula had been turned over to Ribiera 
that morning, Paula waa dead. And 
just a* there ia a state of grief which 
Man*) the mind punt the realisation of 
its loss, so there is a condition of hatred 
which leada to an enormous calmness 
and an unnatural absence of any trem- 
or. Bell had reached that state The 
instinct of self-preservation had gone 
las Where a man normally thinks 
f unconsciously, of the protection 
of his body -from injury or pain. Bell 

to think fira*. and with lb* 

terrible clarity, of the irramwHsu 

of revenge 

He would accept The Master's term*. 

if The Master offered the**. He would 

become The Master's asm jt ft. accepting. 

He would act and apeak and think as a 
subject of The Master, until ! 
tunity cant. And then. . . . 

Hia absolute iT i in 
deceived moat men. It 
crived hat guard*. Tins* paused. The 
Rio de ia Plata 
low the roaring 
and the va*t expanse of 
which is Buenos Aires appeared far 
ahead in the gathering dusk. Little 
twinkling lights lilsnkad into being 
■pon the water and the earth tar i 
Then one of the two guard* 
Bell on the shoulder. 

tf ar." he said aharpry above the 
m o to r s' amM ia 1 roar, -we shall land. A 
car will 

There will be no 
That has been arranged far. Ynu can 
hare no hope of escape. I ask you if' 
you will go quietly into the car T 

"Why aotr asked Bell evenly. 1 
went to flense Frames* of my own ac 

THE guard leaned back. The city 
of Buenos Aires i 

glittered in all it* 
the broad At tai n* de Mayo 
cut tta way a* a straight slash of glit- 
tering light through the section of the 
city to eastward. By contrast, from 
above, the far-flung sub ur b* ai i ai< il 
dark and s om ber 

The big plane roared above the city. 
settling slowly: baa h a d steeply and 
circled upon its farther 
dipped down toward what 
absurdly small area, which i 
a pinkish glow on their descent. Thi? 
area spread out as the descent con- 
tinued, though, and was a wide and 
level field when the ship flattened out 
checked and rumbered tav-a atop. 



A glistening black car 
boBBia{ into place alongside 
before the clumsy aircraft ceased te 
roll. Its doer opened. Two men got 
out and waited. The hangars were 
two hundred yards away, and 
Bell saw the gLtter of weapons held 
inconspicuously but quite ready. 

He stepped out of the cabin of the* 
plane with a revolver murxle pressing 
into his spine. Other r t sals sf swuxxles 
pressed sharply into his sides a* be 
reached earth. 

Smiling faintly, be took four step*, 
cumbered up into the glistening black 
car. and settled down comfortably into 
the seat. The two men who had waited 
by the car followed hisn. The door 
closed, and Bell was in a padded silence 
that was acutely uncomfortable for a 
moment. A dome light glowed bright- 
ly, however, and he lighted nearly the 
last of the cigarettes fri 
with every appearance of 
the car started off with a larch. 

THE window* were blank. ThicV 
■•bolstered padding covered the 
space* where* should have 
teen, and there waa only the muffled 
vibration of the motor and the occa- 
sional curiously distinct noise of a 

"Just as a matter of curiosity."* said 
Bell mildly, "what is the excuse given 
on the flying held for this perform- 
ance » Or is the entire staff sub)ect to 
The Master r 

Two revolvers were bearing steadily 
upon him and the two men watched 
him with the unwavering attention of 
men whose lives depend upon their 

"You. Senor."" said one of them with 
ipreasion or a smile, "arc the 
corpse of a prominent politician who 
died yesterday at his country 

And then for half an 
the car drove swiftly. , 
drove swiftly forward again as if in 
traffic Then there were many lata* 
and then a slow and cautious traverse 
of a relatively few feet. It stopped. 

and then the engine vibration erased. 

"I advise you. Senor." said the asm* 
man who had spoken before, and in the 
same emotion lea* voice, "aot to have 
hope of escape in the moment of alight- 
ing We arc in an enclosed court and 
there arc two gates locked behind ua." 

Bell shrugged as there Was the clat- 
ter of a lock operating. The door 
swung wide. 

HE stepped down into a courtyard 
surrounded by nearly bare walls. 
It had once been the patio of a private 
home of some charm. Now. however, 
it was bleak and empty.- A few dis- 
couraged flower* grew weedily in esse 
corner. The glow of light in the sky 
overhead assured Bell that be was in 
the very heart of Buenos Aire*, bat 
only the most subdued of naa Mis 
spoke of the activity and the traffic ad 
the city, going on without. 

"This way." said the man with the 
capeesaionlcas voice. 

The other man followed. The chauf- 
feur of the car stood aside as if some 
formality required him neither to 
the motor or return to his seat 
Bell was dear of the courtyard 

Through a heavy timber door. Along 
a passageway with the odor of neglect. 
Up stairs which once had been impres- 
sive and ornamental. Into a room with- 
out window*. 

"You will have an interview with the 
Senorita Canale;as in five 
said the emotionless vo 

The door closed, while Bell fc 
every separate muscle in bis body 
draw taut. And while his brain at first 
was dared with incredulous relief, the* 
it went dark with a new and 'ghastly 

"They know yagae." he heard him- 
self saying coldly, "which make* any 
person obey any command. They may 
know other and more hellish ooei 

HE fought for self control, which 
meant the ability to conceal itiao 
"lately any form of shock that might 
That one was in store be 



•it certain. He paced grimly tbe 
length of the room and back sgsin. . . . 

Something ea tbc carpet caught hia 
eye A bit of string. He wared at it 
incredulously. Tbe cad wss tied into 
■ cur io us and an md.ndual knot. which 
looked like it aught be tbe pastime of a 
aailor. and which looked like it ought 
to be fairly easy to tic. But it waa one 
of those knots which wandering aaea 
sometimes tie absent mmdedly is tbe 
presence of stirring eveata It was the 
recognition-knot of tbc Trade, one of 
those signs by which men may knew 
in strange and peculiar sttn- 
And there were many other 
knots tied along tbc traili ng length of 
tbe string. It seemed as if 
vous and distraugbt prisoner in 
room might have toyed abstractedly 
with a bit of cord. 

Only. Bell drew it through has So- 
gers. Double knot, single knot, double 
knot. . . . They spelled out letters in 
tbe entirely simple Morse Code of tbe 
telegrapher, if one noticed. \ 


%aur old-time telegrapher uses sassy 
abbreviations. Your sho r t-wave fan 
Mostly they arc made by • 
of vowels in normal 
English words And when the recog- 
nition sign at the beginning was con- 
sidered, tbe apparently cryptic letters 
leaped into meaning. 

-RiBcRA GsNc ON PauLA HcRe 
SiT T.GbT Jamison.' 

When the door opened again and a 
terribly pale Paula was ushered is. Bell 
gave no sign of surprise. He simply 
took her in his arms and kissed her. 
holding her very, very close. 

word of comprehension, But h wss st 
least a relief to be 
alive and yet 
been ia error when he told Bell of 
Paula's delivery to the Brar.lian to be 
tnslsnd or killed as Ribicra found 
most amusing Or perhaps, of course. 
Prsacii had merely wanted to cause 
Bell all passible discomfort. 
It was clear, however, blessedly clear 
i"s pallor 

which was now redoubled 
was ia Tbc Master's toils 
Forgetting hia warning, she 
to ham desperately that he must try to 
before The Master's 
was administered to him. Out- 
he might do sums thing to rel 
'her. Here, a p rison er , he 

Bell soothed her. not daring 
to con f ess the plan he had farmed of a 
feigned osbmissisa in order to wreak 
revenge, or to offer encouragement be- 
cause of the sacssagc knotted ia the 
niece of string by Jamison. And be- 
cause of that caution she came to- look 
at ham with 4 queer doubt, and pres- 
ently with s terrible quiet grief 

Cnarlcs vou you have bee n poi- 
soned like the rentf 

THE feeling of watching eyes and 
Listening ears wss strong. Bell 
had a part to play, and the necessity 
for playing that part was the greater 
b ec a u s e now be waa forced to hop e 
He hesitated, torn betwe en the need to 
play hia r61e for the invisible eaves- 
droppers and the desire to spare Paula. 
Her hand closed convulsively upon 



PAUkA remained in the r« 
Bell for perhaps twenty 
.and Bell had the feeling of eyes, upon 
them and of ears listening to their 
every word In their first embrace, in 
fact, be murmured a warning ia her 
car and she gasp/d a little whispered 

~V-very well. Charles.** she said 
quietly, though her lips quivered "If 
— if you sre going to serve Tbc Master, 
I— I will serve him too. if be will let 
me stay always near you. But if be— 
will not. then I can always— die. . 

Bell groaned. And the door opened, 
silently, and there were men standing 
without. An emotionless voice said: 

"Senonta. tbc Scnor Ortu will inter- 
view the Scnor BclL" 



"I'm coming." Mid PiuU quietly 
She west, walking steadily. Two 
d(U(M thrsss ilu* from the 
(roup about the door and followed her. 
The other* waited for Bell And Bell 
clenched hi* hand* and squared fan 
shoulder* and marched grtmly with 

AGAIN long psssiges. descending 
to what muse, have been a good 
deal below the surface of the earth 
And then a mimivi door was opened, 
and light shone through, and Bell 
found himself standing on a ruf of the 
thickest possible p<le in a rooan of quite 
barbaric luxury, and facing a desk from 
which a young man wa* ruing to greet 
htm. This young .man was no older 
than Bell himself, and he greeted Bell 
in a manner in which mockery was en- 
y absent, but in which denance was 
peculiarly strong A bulky, round 
shouldered figure wrote labor i o us ly at 
a smaller desk to one side. 

"Secor Bell.' said the yoamf man bit- 
terly. "I do not ask you to shake hand* 
with rke. I am Julio Ortir. the son of 
-the nun you befriended upon the 

• -net Alnuriote Corner I am also, 
by the rnmmand of The Master, your 

Will you be scj 
Bell's eye* flickered The older Ortir 
had died by his own hand in the Erst 
stages of the murder madness The Mm- 

• poison produced He had <bed 
gladly and. in Be • tr» gallant - 
ly And yet his son. . . . But of course 
The Master's deputies made a point of 
ensuring whole families when it wa* 
at all possible It gare a stronger hold 
upon each m e r ut* t 

"I beg of you.' saifl young Ortir bit- 
terly, "to accept my mviutton I wish 
to offer you a mach mjiliii it friend' 
ship, which I expect you to refuse.' 

Bell sat down and crossed his knees. 
He tit a cigarette thoughtful y. think- 
ing swiftly 

I remember, and admired, your 
father." be said slowly "I think that 
any man who died as bravely as he did 
is to be ' 

THE younger Ortit had reseated 
himself as BeU tnt down, and now 
he fingered nervously, wretchedly, the 
objects on his desk. A penholder broke 
between hi* finger* and he flung it irri- 
tably into the wastebssket. 

"You understand." be said harshly. 
"the obligation* upon me I am the 
subject of The Master You will real- 
ize that if you de*.rr to escape. I can- 
not permit it. But you did my father a 
very great kindness. Much of it I was 
able to discover from persons on the 
boat. More, from the wireless operator 
who is also the subject of The Master 
You were not acting. Senor. a* a secret 
service operative in your a t te mpt to 
help' my father. You bore yourself a* 
a very honorable gentlesnan. I wish to 
thank you.' 

vi A Bell dryly, "that 
anyone would have done what I did" 

lie seetned to be quite at ease, but he 
was very tense indeed. The bulky. 
round shouldered figure at the other 
desk was writing busily with a very 
scratchy pen It was an abominable 
pen. Its sputtering was loot 
• to be noticeable under any cir 
stances, but Bell was unusually alert, 
just now. and suddenly he added still 
more drily: 

"Helping a man in trouble is emit* 
natural One always get* it back It's 
a sort of dealing with the f ut I 

ttere it a profit on every trade" 

He put the alight** rsnphasi* on the 
last word and waited, looking at young 
Orn/ but listening with all hi* soul to 
the scratching of the pen And that 
hams; sound ceased abruptly. The 
pen s e em e d to write smoothly all of an 
instant. Bell drew a deep breath of 

.1 the Trade, wh 
doubt, one should use the word Trade" 
in one's first remark to the other man. 
Then the other man will ask your trade. 
and you reply impossibly. It it then 
up to the other man to speak frankly, 
first But circimiHiix even 


Ortir had not noticed any by-play, of 
course. It would have been rath' 


•f he had. A pen that 
•cratch** a* that the nw d i» Mora* 
cade lor "B«ll. play up. J " i* joat 
anliiily enough to avoid ai 


fy. and ia a atanirhriJ 


RT1Z drummed upon th* deek. 
"Mow. Scoot, what can I do that 
will acre* you ? I cannot relea 
Tm know that. I aa> not the 

■ art bart to The 
the depouea art 
caJiad toUa 
boa* and to daacuav I hare merely 
keen or dee ad to carry oat the dep u ty 'a 
routine baton aatil he ret am*. H aw- 
ever. I will he obeyed in aay matter I 
cam. aad will, do anythiag that will 
make yoa awe* coanfortable or will 
■nit you. I torn a change ia ye ar ae- 
cr— mdinnna to pravtdiag yau with 
nr ai*in*i Tea obeerre.* he added 
with cauwiutc but trace*, that the baa- 
it of ary capacity to prore aay frirad 
ahip ia to offer my acrocc* aa a pander." 
Bell raxed at the tip of hie cigarette, 
letting hia cyca waader about the rooaa 
far aa inafaat. aad permitting them to 
rcat far the fraction af a eecaad upoa 
the round ahoaidered. writing farm by 
the aide wall. 

mildly "I aahed to be eeat to The 
Master. He attend* to ***** a* aa 
offer. I aad tret aad. Or he dad He 
may have changed hia eaiad. Bat I am 
car i mat Toar father tald *ae a certain 
thin( ,a *' •eeaned to indicate he did 
aot cajoy the atrace of The Maater. 
Your taae ia auice loyal, but anhtppy. 
Why do you *err* him? Aaidc. of 
courae. froa. the fact of hanag been 
paiaaai J by hia deputy." 

INTERNALLY. Bell waa J ~ g 
Jamiaoa frvrriahly If he waa to 
play up to Ortn. why didn't Jamiaoa 
give him *omc »ign of bow he wa* to 
do it/ Same tip 

-Herr Wiedkiad." aaid Ortir weanly. 
"perhap* you can rx plain." 

The rouad abouldered figure twang 
about and bowed, profoundly to Bell. 

~Der Senor Orti*," he earn guttural- 

c agar* 

elf. I haff 

nefer aaid it before. Bat he eerf* Der 
Maater bacaaa* he dcaaexre, aadt he 
will ceaae to serf Der Maater whea he 
hope*. Aad I— I atrf Der Maater be- 
caaac I hope, aadt I will 
ham whea I 

Ortia Inked 
■aairiaairy at the 
which regarded ban 
thick apectaclea. 

"It ia aot il ij. Herr Wied- 
kiad.- he raid etowly. "to-apeak af 
rraaiag to aerrc The Maater." 

"Idt a* aot caatomary to apeak af 
many a rrt ma r y thi n g* ." aaid th* r iaa d 
ahoaidered figure dryry. "Of oar re- 
ligioaa. far example. Of der ■ i ■ i ■ 
we lofe. Of oar geaerirarr* Of eari- 
oaa necrmiry biologir*! f uacti aae But 
at der areeence of 
u der enceay of Dee 
apeak freely, yoa aad I who atrf 
We know that maybe der dcaumca 
hecaaac they eajay it. But der *ab- 
i? Dey atrf riiraaai dey fear. 

afraid ia ia aa 

Saeeer or later he aa j 

tag kiriuii he get* ueed to 

Der Maater will haff aa ***** 

baa— or clac he ia going to etna fa 

because he will kill 

TO aa outaider th* *p*ctatii af th* 
three men ia their talk a*ald bar* 
been very odd indeed. Two men who 
•erred The Maater. and aa* who had 
beca hia oaly annoying lapiaiat. talk- 
ing of the aervice of The Maater aeite 
ly and without marked diaagree- 

Ortia attrrcd aad < 
on the desk. The 
figure put the t pa of it* fmger* to- 

"How did you know." demanded Or- 
tia auddenly. "that I aerrc tirraeei I 
ie» ? *ir | 

Bell watched keenly. He began to 
ace where the talk waa trending, and 
waited alertly for the moment for ham 



to speak. This wm a battlefield, this 
too luxurious room ia which young 
Ortit s eemed an alien Rhetoric was 
the weapon which now would serve the 


'Let us talk frankly ." said the placid 
German vo»cc- 'You andt I. Servo* Or- 
tia. bar" worked together You are not 
a defil like most oKthe deputies, and 
I do not regret hafing been sent here to 
help you. And I am not a scouadtrcl 
like moot of those who help the dep- 
uties, so rou haff liked me a little Let 
us talk frankly. I was trapped. I an 
a capable segretary I speak seferal 
languages I haff no particular ambi- 
tions or any loyalties I am useful So 
I was trapped. But you. Seoor Orm. 
you arc different." 

Orm suddenly smiled bitterly. 

"It is a in Braxil. if I recall 
the words. 'A caWs do dtmomo t it 
rradex.' The devil's tail is made of 
lace ' That is the story.* 

Bell said quietly: 

"No" . . 

Ortu stared at him. He was 
pale. And suddenly he laughed with- 
out any amusement whatever 

"True." said Orm He smiled in the 
same bitterness. "I had forgotten. I 
am a slave, and the Hrrr W Vdkind is 
a slave, and you. Seoor Bell, are the 
tama a j of our master. But I had for- 
gotten that we are gentlemen. In the 
service of The Master one does forget 
that there are gentlemen.'* 

HE laughed again and lighted a 
cigarette with hands that shook 
a little. 

"I loved a girl." he said in a cynical 
aanuscment 'It it peculiar that one 
should love any sionnii. srnerrs— or do 
yon. Seftor BelL find it natural' I 
loved this girl It pleased my father 
She was of a family fully equal to my 
■heir wealth, their position, their 
on* werr . bsL and h »••« 

a most suitable match. Most remark- 
able of all. I loved her as one common- 
ly loves only when no vacb considers- 
.-nosing to m 

so think how deeply, and how truly, 
and how ftrribly I loved her. . . ." 

Young Ot-m's pallor deepened as he 
snsiled at them. His eyes, so dark aa 
to be almost black, looked at them from 
a smiling mask of whiteness. 

"There was no flaw anywhere A 
rssnancc of the most romantic, say 
father very happy, her family moat 
satisfied and pleased, and I— I walked 
upon air. And then my father sud- 
denly departed for the United States, 
quite without warning. He left a 
mrasorandam for me, saying that it waa 
a matter of government, a secret sast- 
ter He would caplain upon his return. 
I did not worry. I haunted the house 
of any fiancee. The habits of her fam- 
ily are of the most liberal I saw her 
daily, almost hourly, and my infatua- 
tion grew. And suddenly I grew ir- 
n table and saw red spots before ary 

"Her father took me to task about 
say nervousness He led me kindly to 
• man of high position, who p o u r ad 
out for me a little potion. . . . And 
within an hour all my terrible unease 
had vanished. And then they told me 
of The Master, of the poison I had been 
given in the house of my fiancee her- 
self They informed me that if I 
served The Msstcr I would be provided 
with the antidote which would keep 
me sane I raged . And then the 
father of my fiancee told me that be 
and all his family served The Master. 
That the girl I loved, herself, owed him 
incc And while I would possi- 
bly have defied them and death itself. 
the thought of that girl not daring to 
I because of the poison in her 
I saw. then, that she' was in 
terror. I imagined the two of us com- 
forting each other beneath the shadow 
of the moat hor rib le c • 

ORTIZ was silent for what seemed 
to be a long time, smiling mirth- 
lessly at nothing When his lips 
parted, it was to laughi a horribly dis- 

cc- :*.-• ''.rt 

~I agreed," b* . Lastly asanas* 



"For th* ash* of say loved one. 
» tcm The Master that I 
comfort her. And plans for oar 
wedding, which had been often and in- 
explicably delayed, were *et in train at 
once And th« deputy of The ''Masts 
entertained w often. I plied him with 
drink. stn vusg to iearn all that I could. 
hopinf against hop* that there would 
be some way of befoolinf him and se- 
the antidote without the poison. 
And * last, whesi very drunken, ha 
I ast for nry intention of 
He advised aae tipstly to 
serve The Master scaloualy and receive 
promotion in his serrice. Then, he told 
me amusedly. I would not care for mar- 
riage. My nance* would be at say dis- 
posal without such formalities. 4s fact 
— while I stood rigid with horror — he 
•cm* a i ismihiiiI for her to attend him 
iaomediatajy. He commsnded as* %m go 
to as apartment in has dwelling. Aad 
soon within minutes, it 
girl I loved came ther* to ■ 
Bell did not move. That 
men* to interrupt. Orris's 
cynical mail* w s i ti sd and 
Hia voice waa harsh. 

waa at my disposal, as an act of 
friendship by the deputy of 
The Master. She confessed to me. 
■ i Using that ah* had beta at the dis- 
posal of the deputy himself. Of any 
other person be cared to divert or 
am as i. . . . Ohf D.'ssr 

Ortu stopped short and said, in 
forced rskmniaa 

"That also was the night that nry 
father died." 

SILENCE fell Bell sat very still 
The Teutonic figure spoke quietly 
after the clock had ticked for what 
s eemed an interminable period. 
"You dtdt know. then, that your 

ieatb was arranged?" 
Ortit turned stiffly to took st him. 
"He: 'a* placid voice, quaint- 

ly sympathetic "Look st the-w 
. A hand extended a thick envelope, 
vrtu took it. staring with wide, dis- 
tended eyes The round shouldered 

ty pudgy hands 
moved the thick spectacles. A 
gray eyebrow sulia off. A straggly 
beard wss i man 1 1 il- The other eye- 
brow . . . jssssson nodded brietry to 
Bell, and turned to wstcb Ortu 

And Ortu 
of the u j m I bub. Has 
shake violently. He 
the desk-top so that h 
to read. When he 

The real H<rr Wiedkind.' 
jasnases dryry. 'cam* op fr 
Arenas with 
Toe Master Ton 
Ortu, which The 

Also yon have 
mi the prestige of an 
able family 


Th* real Herr Wiedkind had 
gifts ta eradicating 

JAMISON sat down and 
knees enrefsdy. 
-1 looked you op because I knew The 
and killed yew father.- he 
msldry. "and I though* you'd 

I killed th* real Wiedkind ami took 
hia irbntinrslion paper*. He wss s sin- 
gularly unpin n at beast. His idea of 
eaaeswjw u^^sV asm m^^b m f*tn»riv ■■■ ■ 
of person, very m uch like say astki as, 
He wss ministry petting children, 
aad appeared rrrj benign. 1 am very. 
very glad that I killed htm." 

Ortu tore at hia collar, suddenly He 
seemed to be choking. 

"This— this aays. . . . It ss The Mas- 
ter's handwriting! I know it I And it 
says— " 

"It says." Jamison observed calmly, 
"that since your father hilled the pre- 
vious deputy in an attempt to save you 
from The Master's potaos, that you arc 



to be prepared for the work your father 
had been assigned Herr Wie-dkind u 

tpcctal order* about your- 
moral education In passing. I might 
•ay that your father *u sent to the 
United State* because it was known 
he'd killed the previous deputy He 
told Bell he'd done that killing And 
he was allowed to grow horribly ner- 
vous on his return He was permitted 
to see the red spots, because be was of- 
ficially— e-rca as far as you were con- 
cerned— «o suicide 

It was intended that his nervous- 
ness was to be noticed. And a plane 
tried to deliver a message to him. Your 
father thought the parcel contained the 
antidote to the poison' that was driving 
him mad Actually, it was very con- 
ventional prussic acid Your father 
would have drunk it and dropped dead, 
a suicide, after a comptCwaas period of 

BELL felt his cigarette burning his 
fingers He had sat rigid until 
the thing burned short He crushed 
out the coal, looking at Or- 

And Onix seemed to gasp for breath. 
But with an almost superhuman effort 
he calmed himself outwardly 

~I — think." he said with some diffi- 
culty, "that I should thank you. I do 
Jo not think that you told me all 
of this without some motive. I aban- 
don the seV^ice of The Master. But 
t it that you wish me to d*? You 
know, of course, that I can order both 
of you killed. 

Bell pot down the stab of hit oga- 

I very carefully. 
"The only thing > ou can do." he said 

< • 
Tn.- <~ On • ih i ghastly 
■mile "But I would like my death to 
perform some service The Master has 
M enemies save you two. and those of 
as who die oa becoming his enemies. 
I - 

ly. "to see that The Master dies him- 
self if you will have Bell and myself 

put in a plane with fuel to Paata Are- 
nas and a reasonable supply of 
I include the Sefionta Cav 
naleias as a ma/ter of course ■ 

ORTIZ looked from one to the 
other. And suddenly be smiled] 
once more It waa queer, that anile. It 
was not quite mirthless. 

Too were right, just bow," he ob- 
served calmly, "when aa the Herr 
Wiedkind you said that I would quit 
the service of The Master when I 
ceased to despair I begin to have 
hope*. You two men have done the im- 
possible You have fought The M ao 
trr. you have learned many of his se- 
*nd you have corrupted a ana t* 
treason when treason '«—»—»* suicide* 
Perhaps. Senores. you will continue to 
achieve the impassible, and aisiss in see 
The Mas- 
He stood up. and though deathly pale 
continued to smile 

"I suggest. Seaor. that you 
your complexion. And you. . 
Bell, you will be returned to your 
fiaement. I will make the necessarily 
elaborate arrangement* for my 

Bell rose He liked this yc 
He said quietly 

"You said just now you wouldn't ask 
me to shake hands. May I ask you ? . . ." 
He added almost apologetically aa Or- 
t ir s fingers closed upon his : "You see. 
when your father died I thought that 
I would be v€ty glad if I felt that I 
would die aa well But I think" — he 
smiled wryly — "I think ni have two 
example* to think of when' my times 

IN the morning a bulky, round shoul- 
dered figure entered the room in 
which Bell was confined 
"You will follow me." said a harsh 

Bell shrugged He was marched 

down long passageway* and many 

He came oat into the courtyard, 

the (listening black car with the 

blank windows waited. At an imperious 

gesture, he got in and sat dowr 



.. »J 

era with ol a rattle. He 
silently to Pasta. ' 

of the Hcrr Wiedkiad rcfardcd hiss 
with a faff talika eeTeet. There waa a 
loaf sanee Then ttat sound of foot- 
step*. Paula appeared, deathly pale. 
Stat waa ushered into ttat vehicle— and 
only Bella rwift f eature of a safer to 
tut lipa checked her cry of relief. 

Voices outside. Ttat jut rural Scmaiab 
of ttat Herr Wiedkiad. Ottatr. caao- 
booicaa roicaa npljhaf Ttat Hcrr 
Wiedkiad 1 1— fill hisiitj into the car 
and oat down, pwiarkg a bufe re- 
volver which bore steadily upon Bell. 
The door closed, and he aaadc a rwift 
feature ad caution. 

"Idt assy be." aaid ttat Ceraaanic 
voice harshly, "that you aad the 
Udty hsff mock to aay to each 
But idt can waft. Aad I wars you. aaafa 
Htrr. that at the first ■lausjint I shall 

BcH relaxed. Tbcre waa ttat |iiailaf 
of ttat aastor. Ttat car moved oft* Ob- 
aln— Ij there waa aaaat ■irriahawlr at- 
tachment iaaide the toaaaas which 
carried every word wtthia ttat locked 
vehicle to the cars of the two saea upoa 
ttat chauffeur's scat. Aa excellent idea 
for protection afsiast traactatry. BeU 
smiled, aad moved as that his lipa were 
a bare half-iack (roan Paula 'a taj%r 

"Try to warp, loudly. - he said ia the 
faintest of whispers. "Thia man ia a 

BUT Paula could ooljr stare at the 
bulky fifure aittinf opposite on- 
til he suddenly removed the spectacles. 
and smiled dryly, aad then reached in 
hit pockets and handed Bell two auto- 
matic pittolt, and extended a tiny but 
rery wicked weapon to Paula. He mo- 
tioned to her to conceal it 

Ja m is on — movinf to make the mini- 
mum of noise — handed Bell a sheet of 
stiff cardboard. It paaaed into Bella 



test off* by 

ia the i 

■coon we talked ia. Can't 

find oat 

who it waa or what alias 

he's tab 

en. We sssy be ridhsf fasts 

a trap aa 

Mr. Ortix has daancMared. 

Ha assy 

be dead. We cam only 

The car< 

as if ia city traf- 

ttat walla wtthia were aaddia so that 

faint ribrstiea 
aad than ttat 
spriaf. Theat 

la the lif bt of the farifbt 
Bell saw beads of | 
Janusou a face. He 
apeak, bat be forme* 

"He. tarainf wroafl Thia isn't the 
way to the ficldf" 

BelTa urwa clenched. He sane ant 
hit two autocaatica aad laahed at thsss 
carefully. Aad then, mock too ah art a 
time from the departure for ttat tyiaf 
acid to have been reach id, ttat car 
checked. It went over roufh cobble 
stones, sad Bell himself knew well that 
there had been no c obblad lo a d a ay be- 
tween the ftyiaf field aad hia prison. 
Aad then the car went up a sort of 
ramp, a fairly steep incline which by 
the feel of the motor was taken ia 
aad on for a abort distance more 
aSe car stopped aad the motor waa cat 

Key* rattled fat the lock outside The 
door opened. The blunt barrel of aa 
automatic piatol peered fas. 
( To he ceac/aded is tar aext ixaae ) 

« ^eflfc=> 




^JLAhetJng Pface for J^eaJers of" 
Astounding Stories 

A boat Re prints 

From time to tax* the Editor* dj As- 
tounding Stones receive letter*, like 
the two that follow, in which Reader* 
bee ua to ma reprint*, and now we feel 
it is tune to call attention to the very 
good reason* why we mutt refuse 

We admit, right off. t'.at *otnc splen- 
did Science Fiction stone* have been 
published in the past — but are thoae 
now being printed in any way inferior 
to them? Aren't even better ones be- 
ing written to-day? — since a whole civ- 
ilization now stir* with active interest 
science * — since three or five times 
a* many writers are now supplying us 
with stories to choose from 
science and s< terrific theory have 
reached to immeasurably much farther 
into the Realm of the Unknown Pos- 
sible ' 

The answer is an emphatic Yes We 
ail know it 


"A Trip to the Moon" — for 
— waa a good story, but shall wc keep 
reprinting it to-day. when recent rrvo- 
rationary theories of space time scream 
to modern authors for Science- Fiction 
In the last ten year* the 
»le aspect, the whole future of sci- 
ence has broad ene d ; we have seaaed an 
infinity ^bey and infinity; and who 
would beso'ba^modern a* to cling to 
the oft-told •tfcyieVoT'the older science 
and neglect tie thrilling reaches of 
the new!" v — S 

The Saturday Evening Poet— again. 

for instance — baa been pqbl taking good 

■hi. but who would hav* 

thetn reprint the old one* inatrad of 

keep giving us good new one*? 

Would it be fair to 99% of our Read- 
er* to force on them reprint novel* they 
have already read, or had a chance to 
read, to favor the 1% who hare missed 
them? Of course it wouldn't, and all 


•f ov Readers ia that 1% will gladly 

And how about our authors? Coo- aj a* mm >mnfil Vm*i bm toons- 
trary to the old-faehiooed opinion. *< » »! T» « ?* r " ^ " rh *. *j— M ^KJ2 
authors mm eat— and bow will they yTTj vTi?T*i 1^ i'T • *" 'if 7 ' - 
tat. aod lead respectable lire*, aod keep 
out of jail, if we keep reprinting their 
•id stories and taming down tbeix new 
ones? After all. eating ia very impor- 
tant ; those wbo wouldn't simply re- 
frain from eating would bare to get 
jobs aa meeatngrn. aod errand boys, 
etc a it h tbe result tbat much of oar 
fascinating modern Sci ence Fiction 
would never be written! 

It would be much cheaper far aa to 
bur oocc-uaed material It would great- « a cww Baawaans, It u (as safer as*. I 
ly reduce our task of carefully reading ***i *■* * y*** " , "' c *%rt| ** ?!** w *"' 
every story that cornea to our office. IB ^^ ^2* eatwBaswawaas ^ea^^ ••**"» 
hopes to boding a fine, new story, or • _Aaa asanas a we by Maim. Edgar Raw 
potentially good author. But it would ■■ 1 1 m * a. awl a an in a to day yon asijsft 
be very unwise, and very unfair, as you £ fientoawuaa! aaa"uw4 i a» aae aung wis 

ones bach of our policy of avoiding re- mceBarrwaahs a rnn ; alas J«aa 
prints. Enough nod 1— Tk» Editor. Wsr* t aVyswt to» IU. Tabu at, T. 

»Va»u Renrrat, TW S Ly- Jchorsr Se<my 

la yvar Apra twaa. la ta a cam- 

Torn KaM Skat vwj Mrt tnaaa| 
Hvw, taaf ■ ass W gasM of um "all 
-Fir aaa tabs are riarlau Wa- faa . 


Kail; Tto War a. the / 
H C WeOj. TV. Parsta aasaawa.* vr Jaw* ••* 
Purr; The C aa fa t al af atari." Sv Garrett 
P. terras; "Darkwaaa awj tVwa." an 
tat Otmi Oahviaa.' awi TV A 
awi "The Air-Trvat-— all fev George A3*s 

um Meteor ' Tke G*i w tk* Csssea All ay' «" 

"The htaa Was Maerern] Tuae." "TW FVa as. 


I a" large c* 
• reanrAae tl 

a fW*f»-lwloo Hiarw. V*» Hp- ►» >' '■' « »T lit re n 4 K. A Marks. Jr. 
de Ave, Brookrr*. N Y 

•M Tars Ave. A. W. Adaara. Car in . ar 
nw iiIiiii t— P. B Fuea. 40* Jeftrsoa 
Arm. B. Pvm. Ga. 

to (he Soulier Sit* 



M li h 
it leeks kki 
aot have ■ fc sBe t te wkat in A* i 
saw skeB kef By kt kh tkc pnee tini< M 
ti cast* it caa caver sac cava cipiaee, I 
woasd sorely kke te add eaotker aim rail ** 
aty coScvrjoe- Aes mi iby ko a la s' yoo wil 
do tka* for eke use of Soracc F icb ea U nn 
all aver taa coeatry — Satery Mack. !#>?• 
Mtfc tenet. Brooklyn. Nrw York 

The Science* n~ Bro*dctsu 


Far tW kcacsVt of tk« reader* of Aat 
ate twin wke k*e is New York, a dak 
kae aa a* Tke Suraittn kaa n te e U y area 
ferseed. In para m i m to p coaao t c mIiisbsI 
fi f tai kaj i sweat, aoeacc FVbaa laaa Bad 

tk e a rm aad prefe ct s m tke reeks of 
Tke erxaauaoea hi opea to all 
ottt altera yean of »«« who arc 
mi Soeevcc PWooa aad in reltooa t 
m add* of preeeat day aoracr Smk« rrra- 
Ur weekly antaji an arid. tk« ■ iwliraLs 
M awceasenry iso tnc is d te rnidrati of New 
York Oty aad noarry 

A cordial Bs m scjoa te jaia TW tiiieraan 
u kereky r needed te aB aatcrcwed Feriker 
aa t e n as n aa bit kc nktsssal ay a man to 
tar awdcrw'caed.— Alice G it ss rr . Ml Forest 
Actwee. New York. M 

parts aad ass eaccrty wcataac lor taw las 

of tkc aucajaar. I kke car assail star, 
HI*!, the sascuaar aagctker wtek 
st sain is 
Tar co 

ceasd as 

oa. H. 

How akasjt pehfcikiaa; tkc ssifsnat twice 
ark?— Ckarle* Barrett, US »prsa« *c. 

." "' • "'■ M ] Thinks. Anyhcrwl 

ajra |aj 


'Congrttulttions /or Both" 

is alack. 
karat a fnB-aat c p>c- 
ck story VYrase Is tkr Beet areat 
Tar otken heeeat aaooajh hb> 

Brtpads of ass Mooo" Vy Bay 
fa ■iiii 1. 1 Brat place ta tkr Marck sssa* of 
f m i aafsa , aaanra. It pitaj in to kc Ms 

TVs p ea c es of acker se ri es arc as f afloat: 
*. -Vaadale of tar Stars'; J. 
Master-; 4. "Casd Ue>": i 
Oceaa's Orptka." 

II yoa 
ta 1IH y 

• yoa art startsaa; to 
of aa ' 
Ta.. . 

of reeaw* free of at* 
pas* year aad I rnetly eojeyed 
t Aloe* enck Edf*r Kxr 

ear or sV*e years »fo I reed as a 

a pomoa of 
i ky Kay Caasasaacs. Now to tkr ; 

• is 

kefsree are Tarraate tke Caaaariar* aad 
-lake tkr Feertk Dwaraa ioa.- I. far act. 

tkit comas; year. 

MM S.- i . , a 

the Snu:i Site 

1 retcreed s ptcaua* 

All Readers arc extended a sincere 
and cordial invitation to "come over in 
The Readers' Comer'" aad join in 
oar monthly discussion of stories, 
authors, scientific principles aad prise,* 
•v— e-eerythina; that's of *«—■*— 
interest in connection with our 
Astounding Stories. 

Altboufh from time to tune the 
Editor may make a comm en t or so. this 
is a department primarily for Readers. 
and we want you to make full use 
Lakes, dislikes, criticisms, ex- 
planations, roses, brickbats, »u {.{<;»- 
tiooa everything's welcome' here : so 
-come ewer in The Readers* Ccr- 
and discuss it with ail.c 

—The Editor. 




Covlfaxxd with a dot Straight-Eight, the 
first boneless carnage always turn* op a good 
laugh. Bat for real mirth, for that ultra- 
M odern feeling, gaxe oo a pair of red rlimrlt. 
Men, man's underwear has come a long war. 
And the P. H. Manes Knitting Compa n y has 
helped posh it op a lot of hills and orcr many 
rough spots. 

Millions of men now wear Ham Under- 
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money will boy. They know that whatever 
the style, it is always cut foll-siaed to exact 
mi nun iinti. that it is made of soft, com- 
fortable materials, expertly finished, and that' 
it will wear as only s*ch fine underwear can. 

Get your favorite style for tamiarr now, 
and there's the same low-priced luxury for 
your boys. If your regular store can't show 
you the complete line, write to P. H. Hanes 
Knitting Company, Wtnstoo-Salca, N 





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E>a|l Hi H mmMijiMm mimmi 
taVaaMaaariaMkta n all i aa 1 1 pmrxmirmm ■»■ 

taa-i aj i laalaftilaaa ft ■» 

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tnwrfcrt. I III IlOMJMti. 

• • 



"Where are 
you xoing, 
my pretty 

—No -not a-milkinf 
She's m%ich more inappy 
than that — 


She'* on her way to 


Modcfh American Girli 

Carrying up-to-date »t>Ie» 

The lale»t "*saf»" 


The bc*t fiction of any 


fi* the 


F. O. TREMAINE. U.toe 

v..»«j» ■ York Clry 

«kxa *a» 


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^Amenc a s best fbyina Propositionlp V"' _>"-• 

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ie Paid ^93 

T. I — l — "- « — . W-. 


>■ i iwm c^—^»~»w a— i 



—t »^jt m XL* C » D — 
Huu I (at «» Mi * pm 

r^^-t Your NOSE / 

-A v — J rTZ."" »~. » > »w 1 tnu a«f •» ax 
^■^n 3K mi •*••■■- 



-a/y icay yoa /ooA at ill 

otccctcuxo — thrill* at x 
doaen apart* in one! A i 

that rapood* iniuntlj to nery 
^T^a — • oow Kitu3Q| down to* 
caftrway — oow inrwni m over & 
lowtnog oul — sow ju*t purring 
along a wndinJ^Hnr 

Aamr oW ol */ t*» Opca Xmd «** 
yom en HvlcrDitUHa. WVjt ■ «»• 
ca&oa yea 1 kn« bVm yeart AaJ Am 
trs*. tsan, aa4 int laa* oocaan eak 
tW t<*f HnWrPinfc— baacfc Coat 

a* bar. aaa" aaa n; ■ csir a pcaay or 
KM ;<t =_^ 

t» —iirvTC »•» 

Let *~r utmt M Hm lij P a W iaa 

D—frt drmpmt fu . A»k «k»»4 

a* fjj-AfTa^JUc^W 

^ Har ley- Davidson 


STOP Tobacco 

Anti-Tobacco League .'. .";:,; 

Pkaac tarmbam KtTawa Gaov*— VU 

[«t NIC. U,W»*~ 


Mr «e» "-P_**»» H— • O **■** »■"»• O >> rmm 


f. mi 

u s 


$1260 to 
$3400 TEAR 

Men — Women 
18 to 60 


/ HCill'll ■ » 

ssr / _ 



, .S j saa, M SS^ Bachstein't Fibre Limb 

We Will Pay Liberally 
For Your Spare Time Efforts 

cither in each or valuable arti c les el 
merchandise. Article* £i*-en (or ea 
few ■« two subscription*. Do yew 
want a reel, a tun. a knife, ■ na*b> 
liibt. a teat, books on outdoor life? 
Any or all of these are within your 
met without any cash outlay on 
your part. Just ft us some subscrip- 
tion* from amonf your friends anal 

. V v ~ '« I ur lr> iff It'% MM 

Msnafcr Subscription Dcpt., 


Htm fmk. H. Y. 

TV// ar srsW mrttclr yu wmld like 

and ter trill If 11 yam *•■> ■<■; !■«>-. 

tcriptiaat la trad. 

Ct.CMM **-. • 


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m fmm »nlhi «il . | l tl.x^-K 
U»»l. >li nlwt> Wtiiin . *< 
••«•»■■ r*a **4 Mewr r»» "»•» > ■> 

" ■ ■ ' l' '" l ' ' i 

TWMuasunrr comtantluim 

HI Pi Mill I i I til,,, C««,ii. 

■ ■■■■■■■■MM 





" >•«■<•* iu»ta>i co »•• 

.•ks i»«»*»it . 


obacco Habit 

/ (> .Banished 




-m it. ' 


II II «ll 1 I Ml I ■ I _ 

«— ■ i t i «. !■ i n *- 


A C 

in Aviation 



»«<l— f.Mli< i i i t — *>»— g—~l 



On >■ fc.u«.a. 

Play the Hawaiian Guitar 
like the Hawaiian*/ 

» =r 


C «tutn« 

How To Secure A 

I "■■« «« — j »- .-77— — - 1 L *V** < •"^■»— rw T^ Zl ■», «^— « mmi» ta *m »» 

I ■ - • « 1 »*-» '— *- 1*- **- •— «•-»-» 
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wmmm*mi~-m *■•- » ••• €■■ ■ m 

How Strong Are You? 


Lift 200 lb*, or more overhead with one arm; bend 
and break a horseshoe; tear two deck* of playing 
cards; bend spikes; chin yourself with one hand. 

^ - - K 

««a *» a fc. 

caa. Imt» 

• *• ««y W tam? I <aa aaa 

t wja SMk> nkti 

* - •t.i-kl (W ta* 

ninU Uesaw »f tWr fral 

aa4 li n lisil tWa lata tk* straacast 


■ .-».■. 


itei *•• ta 

a*4 - ■ -> m i 

ADactar Vk 




••"• »• •» •• 1X1I 

?,= ! 

■ »^r— «•»» ■••. >*» ■ *••» 




»m4 k» It* •*•»». MM. Inrtlnf 
titin i; taral m4« tfcat an *>iIms4 
• *nil> ; •• I art - «c x-r **» 

TWt'iM« iWl 




.• camrmc actum is m>ti%v 

s ' v .. CHIHAI UU041 

I b« . ,_ .,, . n. * f , .. t 

|"«l- i -|.,rk ..I 
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