For over a month our friends had been on their way around Mars. Due to the great speed of the ship, they only needed to fly away at night; when they put on full force, they could easily catch up with the time they spent during the day descending and conducting scientific research.
The results they obtained from these surveys were highly controversial. Stone was happy, he had gradually enriched his collection with a lot of interesting things, and he had compiled various records of great importance to his science, which made the man grumpy by nature almost gracious.
Dillingham, on the other hand, who, in spite of great efforts, still searched in vain for the strange Beast, began to become as irritable as Stone before. had been, and it was now almost always he who gave rise to the word-fights which amused the Doctor to the same degree as they annoyed Hyde.
Hyde came down the stairs from the tower and with him a gust of wind that blew Stones papers to the other end of the parlor.
“I never think I’ve experienced Mage to Storm,” Hyde said as he closed the door behind him.
“Is there a danger of us blowing off course?” Burd asked.
“No, Doctor, there’s no danger of that. The screw is good enough, but we can probably expose ourselves to getting the rudder bent, ‘replied Hyde, as he sat down; “Well hopefully it holds.”
Little by little the storm subsided, and Hyde suggested that they be followed up to look at the rudder.
Luckily no damage had been done, and at Stone’s suggestion they went downstairs to inspect the area with the help of the searchlight.
They now walked half a dozen meters from the treetops in the forest that stretched beneath them.
“Light!” Hyde commanded, and the white stripe was thrown into the room, went around in a semicircle and then down.
The part of the forest which was illuminated consisted of the same kind of woody ferns as those which they had seen on arrival. The large, triangular leaves was lifted up to the Light by slender stalks and closed like an impenetrable roof to the forest floor.
The light gave the gray leaves a wonderful luster, as if it were a sea of silver lying beneath them.
But soon the picture changed. The ferns were replaced by palms, whose slender trunks rose like pillars in a fepal palace, brightly lit against the dark background, where the light did not reach.
The light was tossed here and there, showing each tree and each leaf with a clarity as if it were the clearest day.
Life in the forest began to move, soon it was a small animal that raised its head and missed with its eyes against the bright light, soon it was a reptile that in a hurry meandered its body under the shielding leaf slope, or they saw a gigantic, hairy spider, which from a branch threw itself into the air, while its web glistened and glittered in the light.
The ship slipped on, and the forest turned into low bushes and was eventually replaced by a swampy scrub with long, stiff blades of grass.
Then suddenly there was a roar from down there, it creaked and roared in the bushes near a small stream, and a mighty, laden, brown figure rose himself with apparent difficulty and disappeared in a clumsy but rather fast trot.
“No, look, look!” Cried Dillingham, “there it was again!”
“What do you mean?” Burd asked.
“The monster, the monster, the beast, we saw the day we came here!”
“Are you sure it’s the same thing?” Handerson asked.
“Do you think I’m wrong, will you get to know the animals?”
“Of course Handerson only meant if you were quite sure that it was the same specimen; it could be a cousin or an even closer relative, ‘Burd interjected with a smile in the conversation.
“You know very well what I meant, Doctor, and so does Handerson, but I must go down at once,” Dillingham grumbled.
“Down,” Hyde repeated, “will you jump down?”
“Jump, do you think I’m crazy?”
“Yes, because if you seriously think we can land here without colliding with the treetops, then you must be mad,” Hyde replied calmly.
And Dillingham had to wait nicely, no matter how reluctantly he wanted to.
The next day they managed to find a place, which was suitable for descent, and Dillingham got his desire to go hunting controlled, albeit without achieving anything but to get tired of death in his vain efforts to find the attracted animal.
Towards evening he returned to the Ship, dusty, warm, and just not in the most rosy mood, and Stone’s gracious inquiry as to where he had killed the Beast did not make it any better.
He was determined to stay there until he tracked down the beast, and many persuasions were required on the part of his fellow travelers before they succeeded in making him realize that the beast was, after all reasonably long ago, over all. Mountains, and that the whole Expedition would suffer at a longer Stay. He then gave in, and the same evening the mooring was unloaded, and the ship rose again.
That night and all the following day it went at a steady pace over mighty forests. The weather was radiant all day, but towards evening it began to blow up, and by midnight the wind had grown into a hurricane-like storm, which made the stay on the platform anything but pleasant.
First Stone disappeared and then Miss Gray, and in the end there were no one but Dillingham and Hyde left. Dillingham really wanted the most to go down to Ethel; but like all sportsmen, he had a weakness for setting a record, and as long as Hyde remained standing, he would not go down either.
The storm howled at them and drove the clouds over their heads at wild speed.
It began to get foggy, a dense fog that made everything wet and felt like a fine drizzle.
“We have to get out of the fog,” Hyde shouted.
He tore open the door and shouted his order into the engine room. The ship rose rapidly and was soon above the fog and clouds.
“Full force!” It sounded from Hyde.
There was a jerk through the steel hire, the propeller spun around at breakneck speed, its hissing mingled with the howl of the storm, and trembled all over the hull of the ship of place. Dillingham clung to the Railing. It was impossible to hear anything through the roar of the storm, but when he accidentally glanced at Hyde, he could see in his mouth that he was saying something.
He fought his way to the barrel of the cannon, which protruded from the tower and which Hyde clung to.
“It’s a terrible weather!” Hyde howled.
“Yes, I have noticed that too,” roared Dillingham, “I am about to blow into the clouds every moment!”
“But why in the world do you not go down?”
“I’m waiting for you, what else do you have to order up here?”
“Exactly the same as you have,” laughed Hyde, “I do not think we have stood here as two schoolboys who will not give in to each other.”
They laughed and fought their way to the door, as if by united forces they had succeeded in squeezing up so much that they could escape. They had scarcely gotten through before the door slammed shut, and Dillingham rolled down the stairs, bumped against the door of the parlor, and kept his entrance in a most peculiar manner, giving Burd occasion to ask if he was playing a slide.
The storm raged all night, and it did not subside until the morning.
“Have we held course during the storm?” Was Stone’s first question.
“Yes,” replied Hyde, “it is a solid machine. We have kept the course fairly steady. ”
It turned out at the inspection that the ship had not suffered any damage.
But down on the “Earth” the storm had not taken gently. In several places, especially in the forests, great devastation had been inflicted.
“Perhaps many people have also been injured,” said Ethel.
»To Harm! People, “Stone grumbled,” now you must not be soft-spoken, Miss. Gray, we still have no reason to feel sorry for that fry down there. ”
“I should be glad if a few hundred of these monsters had come of age,” said Dillingham, bloodthirsty. He just wanted to add that it should be his pleasure on occasion to send some of them over to the other world, but when he met Ethel’s reproachful gaze, he wisely kept his opinion to himself.
As they sat in the parlor that evening, a distant roar sounded up to them.
“So,” exclaimed Dillingham, “shall we have Storm again?”
“No,” Stone replied shortly, “it is the Sea.”
This word “the sea” had a certain effect on all of them, it sounded so homely.
It cannot be denied that, in spite of all the interesting things they had experienced, they all felt homesick, not only for the place where each one lived, but for London, England, Europe, in short, for the whole globe.
Dillingham got up and involuntarily drew a sigh.
“Whoever was on an earthly sea and stood on the deck of a ship that cut through the waves,” he said, “and with Ethel by his side,” he added to his thoughts, sending the young lady a look that was almost as clear as words.
“They’ve probably homesick,” Stone laughed dryly, “but now let’s get on the platform.”
They all went up.
A magnificent round painting lay prevalent beneath them. The moon had risen and cast its white rays down over a mighty sea surface. The land they had just sailed across was already far behind them.
It was the gentle swells of the waves against the shore that had produced the faint roar they had heard before. The forest stretched all the way to the wide, flat foreshore, and in some places the shallow water was completely overgrown with tall swamp trees.
“How beautiful here, though!” Exclaimed Ethel, turning to Dillingham.
“Wonderful,” he replied, his eyes dangling from her face. “It reminds me of a night on earth. I had the Guard on board down in the Indian Ocean. It was completely quiet, as now, the moon had just risen, and its rays played on the waves, where the cruiser lay at anchor between palm-covered coral islands. I was standing on the bridge and was … ‘
Here he was interrupted by Handerson: “Now have I watched it with. This brain also reminds me of an atmospheric evening down on earth. It was not exactly of Mood, I was drunk; but I also saw two moons at that time. ”
They all looked up at the firmament. Handerson was right, there really were two moons.
Speaking, fluke Horror and Fear he commanded in Aaget to connect
The bucket of the aisles, then he himself shouldered his radiant armor, ”
“It’s the Iliad, isn’t it?” Said Ethel.
“True,” replied Stone, “from there the moons have their name. They are called Phobos and Deimos – it means Horror and Fear. ”
“That Sea cannot be further salty,” Burd remarked, “since Forest grows all the way to the Coast.”
“Can we not see the opposite coast?” Hyde asked at once, the Iliad did not interest him, and he was afraid that the doctor’s remark would provoke Stone to give a long lecture on the influence of the amount of salt on plant life.
“Look there!” Burd exclaimed at once, “I truly believe they are burning Festbaal or bonfires in honor of us!” With these words he pointed out over the sea.
Far, far away, out in the edge of sight, a strong glow of light was seen, which spread fan-shaped upwards.
“Northern Lights!” Dillingham said importantly.
“Nonsense!” Replied Stone, “the Northern Lights can never take such a form. The Northern Lights are a Discharge of … «
“No, dear Professor, now we must shamefully enjoy the view and not hear learned lectures,” Burd interrupted him, “by the way, I give you the right that it cannot be the Northern Lights.”
“It looks quite like the glow of a big city,” Hyde said.
“Then there must be other beings here than those we have seen,” Burd replied.
“Who said otherwise, I’ve always been waiting for us to meet others,” Stone said.
“Shall we sail there?” Hyde asked.
“Of course,” Stone replied, “but we must be careful; we never know if they can hurt us. ”
Hyde disappeared into the tower, and a moment later there was full force on the machine.
The light ahead came closer and closer, they could finally see that it was coming from a Coast opposite the one they had recently left. –
Now they were quite close. Everyone leaned over the Railing and stared down.
They really came to a City.
Long rows of white squares, as large as the largest buildings on earth, stretched radiantly in all directions from a large, open space in the middle. It was all remotely reminiscent of a giant starfish with many thousands of arms. Some of them stretched out like long ribbons into the land, where they lost themselves in the line of sight.
On top of each square sat a large, luminous sphere, much like a large arc lamp, but it seemed to be luminescent, almost like a large sphere of luminous glass.
The ship was now just over the town, cruising around with small strokes. The moon, or rather the moons, cast their glow over the whole part of the globe that lay widespread beneath them.
Our friends could now really see the peculiar, beautiful buildings, many of which were provided with tall, slender towers, which had a balcony at the top. The whole building method testified to the residents’ advanced art.
White and pale pale green stones were used for the buildings, and the largest of the houses were adorned with a lavish but very distinctive splendor of color.
Eventually there was life in the city. Peace was vegetated for a restless bustle.
The ship, which lay like a steel-shining giant bird up there, seemed to frighten the inhabitants, or in any case arouse their curiosity. The inhabitants swarmed up on the flat roofs and on the small balconies that crowned the slender towers.
It abounded with masses of dark figures down in the narrow streets and in the large, round square in the middle. In several places variegated suits and shiny armor appeared from the dark current.
This whole mass of living creatures wavered back and forth, and a faint sum reached the ship.
Everyone except Bill and Craddock, who looked after the machine, was gathered on deck.
“There is life in the anthill,” said Hyde, “an airship seems to be a rarity up here.”
“Yes, fortunately you have something in front of that people,” said Dillingham with self-esteem. He turned his back on Stone, so that he did not see the look the professor sent him at the word “man.”
“It’s not certain that it will be mere amusement when we look at them closely,” said Burd.
Stone for up like a Troll of a Box.
»Close Hold! we should not do that at all in the first place, ‘he shouted.
“What pleases?” Exclaimed Dillingham, “and why not if I may ask?”
“Why not!” Stone repeated contemptuously and with a shrug, as if to say, “What good is it to explain something to you?”
“Yes, I must really ask that, too,” said Hyde, “it would be very interesting to get there immediately.”
“Interesting!” Stone always had the habit of repeating what the others said, thereby expressing his contempt more strongly.
“Interesting! Yes, one should really believe that it was children who should have a new toy. ”
“Won’t you explain further,” Hyde said sharply.
The professor’s superiority disappeared for a moment, as if he himself felt he had gone too far; but he was soon himself again, and as he leaned back in his chair, he began his lecture:
“I have several reasons, gentlemen, to strongly discourage and prevent a descent, as long as we are utterly ignorant of what kind of beings we are dealing with. Admittedly, they are on a different cultural stage than our “friends” in the caves of the mountain; but from this we by no means dare to conclude that we will be received as dear Guests. This is my first ground of proof, and I think you must be right when you think about it. ”
“I will only remark,” said Burd, “that, as you yourself admit, there is a considerable and obvious difference between the peoples down there and then of the first Martian beings we met. In order to take an example for comparison, let us then assume that we, who are here, a few hundred years ago could have invented an airship, which was a completely unknown transport in the whole of the rest of the world, and that we undertook a Travel Around the World. When we then came on our way to the Land of Fire, I would also strongly advise against going down and mingling among these man-eating Germans; but it did not follow that I would be afraid to go down to Rome, for example, where we would hardly be shot down on the spot. ”
“But what do you think about being burned as a sorcerer? You may remember that in the last century not so few people were burned as witches, or what do you think about being imprisoned as mad or dangerous to society – I need not ask you to remember that there have been great scientists who are have been treated in that way by their ungrateful contemporaries. Incidentally, that comparison lags, but probably because I have another and just as important reason, and that is time, – remember, we have only a limited time for our investigations. And if we are to be recognized and believed on earth, we must have evidence, many evidence, and well I have gathered a great deal of material; but there is still much to accomplish, and we dare not spend more than a few days on this city. Suppose we were kindly received, but that they would not let us go again, or that they had the airship destroyed, – yes, we must take all cases into consideration, – what would you, gentlemen, like to spend the rest of Their days on Mars? ”
Here saw Dillingham on Frk. Gray with a look that should express that under certain circumstances he could imagine it.
“I do not mean, of course, that we should not make an effort to gain a little insight into this city and into the lives and movements of the inhabitants, but it must be done with great caution, and I therefore advise that we remove ourselves from here as soon as possible, seeks us a quiet and desolate place to moor the ship, and thereupon advises and lays down our plans. When we have had a night’s rest, we can always begin our explorations tomorrow, all according to the plans we have made. ”
“I think Stone is right,” Hyde said, getting up.
In the same, the Door was torn open, and Craddock came rushing in.
“A clutch has jumped on one engine,” he shouted, “the machine is stalling!”
A light, soft shock proved the truth of his words.
“It seems that Fate has sided with you, Professor,” said Burd.
Hyde crashed into the Engine Room, followed by Craddock.
The sharp noise of the propellers gradually took off and went over to a soft hum, while the ship gently and calmly descended and lay down to rest on one of the flat roofs.
Then the machine went completely to a standstill.