Professors prove their theory

It had been three weeks since “Meteor” landed on Mars, and during that time people had been traveling from place to place on small day trips, on which occasion the doctor declared them nomads. Sometimes, however, they calmed down for a couple of days when the region offered something of special interest. The professor and Burd used the time for a closer study of the conditions, and Stone even sat up most of the night to make observations and calculate formulas.

The young girl made every effort to make daily life on the ship as pleasant as possible for the four gentlemen, but still Dillingham was bored with godliness. In the first days he had participated with life and soul in all the excursions in the hope of discovering new and interesting animal species that could give rise to an exciting Hunting; but as nothing still appeared in that direction, he was about to give up Ævred out of sheer boredom. He was least interested in science, and the two learned gentlemen were anything but amusing when, in the short time they spent with the others, they examined and discussed the harvest of the day. It was only when he was hunting that animals interested him; and with the exception of the strange animal they had seen the first day, and then the “dead animal,” they had only succeeded in locating butterflies and smaller reptiles, and they were not even suitable for exciting hunting adventures.

On the whole, it seemed that they had ended up on a rather desolate part of the globe; there were large forests, but with the exception of the above-mentioned small animals, there was no living thing. The professor admittedly thought time and time again that he had found traces of people; but they still did not appear, and the other gentlemen teased him with it. Dillingham in particular consoled himself in his futility by teasing and teasing his learned friend.

Stone had in his chamber on the ship a very small museum of objects which he thought could support his theory, e.g. a broken branch, which he thought must have been removed from his place by human hands, or plaster casts of footprints, which could well be thought to be derived from human-like creatures, though they certainly seemed to be provided with claws.

Three weeks after their arrival, Stone had arranged a small excursion, and with the gun over his shoulder, the four friends trotted off. Stone and Dillingham in the lead, The Doctor and Hyde in the back.

On the way the old strife flared up again, and against custom it was this time the calm, peaceful engineer who made the beginning.

“Yes, all this here is very peculiar and quite beautiful, but it makes absolutely no cultivated impression,” he said, “here nature has done everything, here is really no trace of the work of human hands.”

“It would then be sad for our dear Professor that he should be so cruelly disappointed, he had already looked forward to making acquaintance with a little Miss Mars,” teased the Doctor.

“Yes, from what I understand, our dear friend had hoped to be able to take the airway from here,” laughed Dillingham.

“I hold on to my Opinion,” snarled the Professor, “here are People.”

“In fact, it is true that we have not yet seen any human up here,” Dillingham replied.

Now the Professor became Serious.

“When you land with an airship in the middle of the Sahara, it is of no use for you to go around looking for London, which does exist, is not true, and because you do not encounter people here on the first stretch of road, you immediately shout that no one is here and that the whole globe is uninhabited. ”

“Well, yes, it can be, but …”

“As you can see,” Stone continued undisturbed, “we are well in the Martian atmosphere, and we have seen plants and insects higher than those we know on earth, so all conditions are in place for humans to live here. . Here is Air, Food, Water and a perfectly sufficient Development Time for the Breed. ”

“Tell me,” Hyde asked thoughtfully, “how do you really think of these beings or people?”

“Thinking of me!” Stone replied angrily, “I really do not give up thinking of something I have no idea about. Should it finally be, one can probably join the building of the lungs and digestive organs by taking the air and the nutrients present, respectively, into closer consideration – the sensory organs perhaps to distress as well; but the rest it is completely impossible to form an opinion about, and you will be able to realize … ‘

“It is well, dear Scientist,” moaned Dillingham, “do not waste us this beautiful Day with your explosive Theories.”

“Waste!” Stone shouted angrily , “oh, animal brutum , you ran around and shot animals, and yelled at Miss Gray, it suits you best, facts that you could reap the benefit of hearing about, it” wastes “your Time. But those gentlemen have teased me so often now that you now owe me a reparation, and you must listen to me tonight when I further develop the reasons for my assumption. Since you are still sitting and sleeping, Dillingham, you are not “wasting” your time listening, and I will only thank you for the appreciation of my work, which I can clearly feel you nurture for it. ”

This Outcome Dillingham answered only with an indifferent Smile, and the Controversy died down.

When they came home in the evening with no other result than a new kind of millipede, which the doctor had found, they sat down (Dillingham with a deep sigh) to listen to Stone’s lecture.

He was evidently in his Ace; with a solemn mine and deep rhyme he rose, and with his hands propped against the table he began his lecture:

“As we know, the whole organic world is descended from the so-called Protestants …!”

“How should we know?” Hyde interjected.

“If you do not know it, then it is of no use at all that I will explain to you about the first, inferior organisms, and I will explain myself extremely popularly. So: Animals and humans are still meeting a higher development, and here on Mars I have encountered plant and animal forms, which in a sense stand on a higher standpoint than the corresponding forms on Earth. And, what’s more, I have found fossil bones of a being who on earth would go directly ahead of primitive man.

I have found in sandstone, which was relatively older than that on earth with a similar composition, footprints of this being, and these two things together are an irrefutable proof that this primordial being has had more time to develop here than with us. This is not to say that it has developed in the same direction, but there is a probability of it.

I will therefore establish the theory that here are humanoid creatures who, in spite of that they have been another development, may well stand on one in their relation higher cultural level than we. ”

“Yes!” Dillingham admitted willingly; he had not had the opportunity to see Ethel once, as Stone had stared at him incessantly. »But Australnegre or other Halvaber may also have a high culture according to their conditions. ”

“They must be mad,” cried Stone, “firstly, Australians and half-monkeys have nothing in common with each other, and secondly …!”

“Yes, let it be good,” said Burd cheerfully, “we must swear that companies and balls of champagne and oysters are given here, but that we just did not join because we had landed in an unfortunate place.”

Dillingham lo. “Yes, just bring the proof, and we will believe you.”

They had no idea how close the Evidence was. –

The next morning everyone was up early. For a long time now, scientific excursions had been carried out under Stone’s leadership, but today it was a major hunting trip under Dillingham’s leadership. One would try to seek out one of the strange animals they had seen the first day they came here, and Dillingham was as sure that he had found traces of these animals as Stone was that he had seen traces Of people.

Dillingham, who was burning with zeal after killing such a costly game, took the lead with Stone, who could not get such an animal placed in his thoughts, neither among the mammals nor the reptiles.

Ethel had been allowed to go with her today, and she followed the four gentlemen so well that she did not slow them down in any way.

They had already covered a good stretch of road, and the forest began to be replaced by a rocky landscape. White-gray, porous tuff rocks protruded, and numerous springs sprang up. The soil was swampy and densely overgrown with a soft grass species.

“It must be here,” said Dillingham, and he seemed right. The grass had been trampled in several places, as if a large, heavy animal had passed through it towards a ravine which opened between two rocks.

“The traces are quite fresh,” Dillingham said after examining them more closely. “The animal must have gone into the forest between the rocks. We do our best to share before we start the Hunt. ”

He cunningly arranged for him and Ethel to follow each other. They went through the gorge, which soon widened and became a scrub-covered valley with scattered groups of tall palm trees.

The men proceeded cautiously through the thicket with the male cock taut, eagerly watching every little movement in the many creepers around them.

Ethel and Dillingham had risen on a small rocky surface between tall palm trees.

Dillingham had the gun ready when it suddenly occurred to him that he heard a loud rustle in the bush near by.

“Is that the beast?” Whispered Ethel, who had also heard the rustle.

“I do not think so,” replied Dillingham, “this rattle is too weak for such a Colossus.”

He put the gun to his cheek to be ready in each case, when Stone at once appeared on the scene from the place where the suspicious rustle sounded.

He had lost or forgotten the gun, and in its place he held in his hand a large piece of palm bark, which he eagerly looked through a magnifying glass.

Dillingham lowered Bøssen.

“Well, it’s none other than you, I thought it was a worse predator,” Dillingham exclaimed.

“No one but me,” Stone said offended, “do you know what I have here? Look.”

He stuck the palm bark almost straight up in the nose of Dillingham.

“Can you tell me what it is?”

“It’s a very ordinary piece of bark.”

“It certainly is; but can you see what’s sitting? Deep Marks of Claws or Nails, and where do you think I have seen similar Marks? – Me have seen them on a tree in Africa, where a whole colony of monkeys lived; – but these can not be derived from Monkeys, they are too large and wide. It must be people. ”

“Yes, let’s just see one of your people,” said Dillingham, “we will believe that proof, we are still waiting for it, this crucial proof of your claims.”

He had not noticed that during his little speech Stone had stared stiffly in a certain direction, while his expression went from astonishment to joy of victory. Now he stretched out a long, thin hand, and cried out in a voice trembling with excitement: “There, look there, Dillingham, who has the proof, alive.”

A disgusting head had appeared over the cliff edge, it was of a dirty brown color and completely shiny and bald. His eyes, which were disproportionately large and spherical, stared blankly and expressionlessly under the low, slanted forehead. The nose was flat and broad, and the mouth, provided with long, white teeth, went almost all the way up to the long, pointed ear.

In the next moment the whole figure stood on the very edge of the cliff. The body was long and skinny. Legs and arms looked like sticks. The fingers, which were disproportionately long and thin, resembled their broad flat nails about a reptile. But the most repulsive thing about this disgusting creature was the expression of malicious joy, which appeared in the empty eyes, while the mouth withdrew to a disgusting laugh.

The three people stood for a moment as petrified. Stone was the first to come to mind again.

“I was right,” he exclaimed, “my Theory is proved!”

He could say no more, the next moment the monster was over him and knocked him over.

Dillingham could not help him, he had enough to do himself. The Germans came swarming up over the edge of the cliff, and they came dumping with high slaps down from the palm tops all around.

There was no talk of actual resistance. Ethel was immediately dragged out of place, and soon after, the Professor and Dillingham suffered the same fate.

They were completely overwhelmed by the opponents, who slung their long, thin limbs around them and held them as if in a vise.

They had to find themselves being hauled over the cliff edge and dragged down into a large, dark cave.