divendres, 27 de febrer de 2015

EM NOME DO ESPIRITO SANTO E DA SUA SANTA BANCA QUE COM SEUS DONS ESTÁ CONTINUAMENTE REGANDO O PARAÍSO Terreal da lua Igreja xMili- ~" =^'tante: nam fendo dos melores o da profecia, com oqual, des o rincipio do mundo fundou nos homes • conhecimento do verdadeiro Deos, õmunicandolhes innumeraueis feereos léus: em que continuado fempre, nã. iltara te o derradeiro periodo do mundoE pofto que nam fejam as de Bandarra proíeçias de te, pois nam fam Canónicas: nam deixara de ler grandiíTima temeridade, nam as crer, ou negalas: confideradas bem todas as razões pêra auerem procedido do Elpirito lanâo, ainda que lem nenhCia autoridade. Sobre o qual logeyto, por me nam alargar, nam allegarei que as leguintes. Extã muytas profecias antigas & modernas de muytos e vários lantos, & peílbas pias de diueríos tempos & naçoens, guardadas & veneradas per nofíos ante paílados como taes:A terceira inda que pareça muy fraca, nam tem pequena força: pois nam as en- tendendo ô vulgo, nem as tendo por pro feçias: & nam fendo ellas iograes nem de chocarrice, as conferuou & efpalhou leni- pre. E perdendofe muy tas outras obras de poetas, que pollo feu eftilo & gofto da matéria eram mais populares & de mais dura: as de Bandarra todouia fe conferua- ram. Poronde o Senhor que as fallou por hú piqueno, as quis também por pequenos conferualas, nam obstantes os inconvenientes por serem palavras suas

Paraphrase et concordancia de algvas prophecias de Bandarra, capateiro de Trancoso 

  Após isto mostra como em geral todos
os Notayros &. Tabeliioens, (nos quaes
entende os demais oficiaes de penna)
Ecclesiasticos & seculares, nam cuidam
que em roubar as partes reservando porem sempre os bons. O que fazia em comú dos de Portugal, & dos outros Reynos
da Chrirtandade :levando este mesmo
espirito em. todo restante do prologo.
Sequele.
Também foi algu * BURNhir * bornir
Quaesquer laços de lanares:
Bacharéis, procuradores
A hy vay o prosoguir.
E quando lhes vam pedir
Conso'lho os demandôes

que também
Kibebrunhirou bornir quaesquer laço?
de lauores :reprendedo logo os letrados
Legiftas & Canoniftas de feus viçios
ordinários,como de fazere durar os proceíTos,
& da pouca confciençia & charidade
delles, lendo tudo. cubica no aconfelhar
das partes. fequefe:
Ha de fer bem assentada
A obra dos chapins largos:
A linhagem dos fidalgos

Por dinheiro he trocada.
Vejo tanta misturada
Sem aver Chefre que mande:
Como quereis que a cura ande
Se a ferida esta danada:
Proseguindo contra a deprauaçam dos
cuftumes, promete bem feyta &duravel
reformaçam delles com castigo

Paraphrafe & concordância 
Pois os borziguis fe nam fazem senam de cordouões, 
porque os aponta, 
como fe fe fizeram doutra coufa ? 
A causa(a meu fraco iuizo) he,
 que pello louvor dos cordoúes pêra carçal, 
entende algú segredo : ou feja todo o povo
judaico conuertido de todo coracam a 
Christo, que sera no fim do mundo : no 
qual obrara entam o Efpirito Santo maravilhes : 

(1603)

dilluns, 23 de febrer de 2015

OMNILINGUAL To translate writings, you need a key to the code—and if the last writer of Martian died forty thousand years before the first writer of Earth was born ... how could the Martian be translated...? BY H. BEAM PIPER Martha Dane paused, looking up at the purple-tinged copper sky. The wind had shifted since noon, while she had been inside, and the dust storm that was sweeping the high deserts to the east was now blowing out over Syrtis. The sun, magnified by the haze, was a gorgeous magenta ball, as large as the sun of Terra, at which she could look directly. Tonight, some of that dust would come sifting down from the upper atmosphere to add another film to what had been burying the city for the last fifty thousand years. The red loess lay over everything, covering the streets and the open spaces of park and plaza, hiding the small houses that had been crushed and pressed flat under it and the rubble that had come down from the tall buildings when roofs had caved in and walls had toppled outward. Here, where she stood, the ancient streets were a hundred to a hundred and fifty feet below the surface; the breach they had made in the wall of the building behind her had opened into the sixth story. She could look down on the cluster of prefabricated huts and sheds, on the brush-grown flat that had been the waterfront when this place had been a seaport on the ocean that was now Syrtis Depression; already, the bright metal was thinly coated with red dust. She thought, again, of what clearing this city would mean, in terms of time and labor, of people and supplies and equipment brought across fifty million miles of space. They'd have to use machinery; there was no other way it could be done. Bulldozers and power shovels and draglines; they were fast, but they were rough and indiscriminate. She remembered the digs around Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, in the Indus Valley, and the careful, patient native laborers—the painstaking foremen, the pickmen and spademen, the long files of basketmen carrying away the earth. Slow and primitive as the civilization whose ruins they were uncovering, yes, but she could count on the fingers of one hand the times[Pg 10] one of her pickmen had damaged a valuable object in the ground. If it hadn't been for the underpaid and uncomplaining native laborer, archaeology would still be back where Wincklemann had found it. But on Mars there was no native labor; the last Martian had died five hundred centuries ago. Something started banging like a machine gun, four or five hundred yards to her left. A solenoid jack-hammer; Tony Lattimer must have decided which building he wanted to break into next. She became conscious, then, of the awkward weight of her equipment, and began redistributing it, shifting the straps of her oxy-tank pack, slinging the camera from one shoulder and the board and drafting tools from the other, gathering the notebooks and sketchbooks under her left arm. She started walking down the road, over hillocks of buried rubble, around snags of wall jutting up out of the loess, past buildings still standing, some of them already breached and explored, and across the brush-grown flat to the huts. There were ten people in the main office room of Hut One when she entered. As soon as she had disposed of her oxygen equipment, she lit a cigarette, her first since noon, then looked from one to another of them. Old Selim von Ohlmhorst, the Turco-German, one of her two fellow archaeologists, sitting at the end of the long table against the farther wall, smoking his big curved pipe and going through a looseleaf notebook. The girl ordnance officer, Sachiko Koremitsu, between two droplights at the other end of the table, her head bent over her work. Colonel Hubert Penrose, the Space Force CO, and Captain Field, the intelligence officer, listening to the report of one of the airdyne pilots, returned from his afternoon survey flight. A couple of girl lieutenants from Signals, going over the script of the evening telecast, to be transmitted to the Cyrano, on orbit five thousand miles off planet and relayed from thence to Terra via Lunar. Sid Chamberlain, the Trans-Space News Service man, was with them. Like Selim and herself, he was a civilian; he was advertising the fact with a white shirt and a sleeveless blue sweater. And Major Lindemann, the engineer officer, and one of his assistants, arguing over some plans on a drafting board. She hoped, drawing a pint of hot water to wash her hands and sponge off her face, that they were doing something about the pipeline. She started to carry the notebooks and sketchbooks over to where Selim von Ohlmhorst was sitting, and then, as she always did, she turned aside and stopped to watch Sachiko. The Japanese girl was restoring what had been a book, fifty thousand years ago; her eyes were masked by a binocular loup, the black headband invisible against her glossy black hair, and she was picking delicately at the crumbled page[Pg 11] with a hair-fine wire set in a handle of copper tubing. Finally, loosening a particle as tiny as a snowflake, she grasped it with tweezers, placed it on the sheet of transparent plastic on which she was reconstructing the page, and set it with a mist of fixative from a little spraygun. It was a sheer joy to watch her; every movement was as graceful and precise as though done to music after being rehearsed a hundred times. "Hello, Martha. It isn't cocktail-time yet, is it?" The girl at the table spoke without raising her head, almost without moving her lips, as though she were afraid that the slightest breath would disturb the flaky stuff in front of her. "No, it's only fifteen-thirty. I finished my work, over there. I didn't find any more books, if that's good news for you." Sachiko took off the loup and leaned back in her chair, her palms cupped over her eyes. "No, I like doing this. I call it micro-jigsaw puzzles. This book, here, really is a mess. Selim found it lying open, with some heavy stuff on top of it; the pages were simply crushed." She hesitated briefly. "If only it would mean something, after I did it." There could be a faintly critical overtone to that. As she replied, Martha realized that she was being defensive. "It will, some day. Look how long it took to read Egyptian hieroglyphics, even after they had the Rosetta Stone." Sachiko smiled. "Yes. I know. But they did have the Rosetta Stone." "And we don't. There is no Rosetta Stone, not anywhere on Mars. A whole race, a whole species, died while the first Crò-Magnon cave-artist was daubing pictures of reindeer and bison, and across fifty thousand years and fifty million miles there was no bridge of understanding. "We'll find one. There must be something, somewhere, that will give us the meaning of a few words, and we'll use them to pry meaning out of more words, and so on. We may not live to learn this language, but we'll make a start, and some day somebody will." Sachiko took her hands from her eyes, being careful not to look toward the unshaded light, and smiled again. This time Martha was sure that it was not the Japanese smile of politeness, but the universally human smile of friendship. "I hope so, Martha: really I do. It would be wonderful for you to be the first to do it, and it would be wonderful for all of us to be able to read what these people wrote. It would really bring this dead city to life again." The smile faded slowly. "But it seems so hopeless." "You haven't found any more pictures?" Sachiko shook her head. Not that it would have meant much if she had. They had found hundreds of pictures with captions; they had[Pg 12] never been able to establish a positive relationship between any pictured object and any printed word. Neither of them said anything more, and after a moment Sachiko replaced the loup and bent her head forward over the book. Selim von Ohlmhorst looked up from his notebook, taking his pipe out of his mouth. "Everything finished, over there?" he asked, releasing a puff of smoke. "Such as it was." She laid the notebooks and sketches on the table. "Captain Gicquel's started airsealing the building from the fifth floor down, with an entrance on the sixth; he'll start putting in oxygen generators as soon as that's done. I have everything cleared up where he'll be working." Colonel Penrose looked up quickly, as though making a mental note to attend to something later. Then he returned his attention to the pilot, who was pointing something out on a map. Von Ohlmhorst nodded. "There wasn't much to it, at that," he agreed. "Do you know which building Tony has decided to enter next?" "The tall one with the conical thing like a candle extinguisher on top, I think. I heard him drilling for the blasting shots over that way." "Well, I hope it turns out to be one that was occupied up to the end." The last one hadn't. It had been stripped of its contents and fittings, a piece of this and a bit of that, haphazardly, apparently over a long period of time, until it had been almost gutted. For centuries, as it had died, this city had been consuming itself by a process of auto-cannibalism. She said something to that effect. "Yes. We always find that—except, of course, at places like Pompeii. Have you seen any of the other Roman cities in Italy?" he asked. "Minturnae, for instance? First the inhabitants tore down this to repair that, and then, after they had vacated the city, other people came along and tore down what was left, and burned the stones for lime, or crushed them to mend roads, till there was nothing left but the foundation traces. That's where we are fortunate; this is one of the places where the Martian race perished, and there were no barbarians to come later and destroy what they had left." He puffed slowly at his pipe. "Some of these days, Martha, we are going to break into one of these buildings and find that it was one in which the last of these people died. Then we will learn the story of the end of this civilization." And if we learn to read their language, we'll learn the whole story, not just the obituary. She hesitated, not putting the thought into words. "We'll find that, sometime, Selim," she said, then looked at her watch. "I'm going to get some more work done on my lists, before dinner."[Pg 13] For an instant, the old man's face stiffened in disapproval; he started to say something, thought better of it, and put his pipe back into his mouth. The brief wrinkling around his mouth and the twitch of his white mustache had been enough, however; she knew what he was thinking. She was wasting time and effort, he believed; time and effort belonging not to herself but to the expedition. He could be right, too, she realized. But he had to be wrong; there had to be a way to do it. She turned from him silently and went to her own packing-case seat, at the middle of the table. Photographs, and photostats of restored pages of books, and transcripts of inscriptions, were piled in front of her, and the notebooks in which she was compiling her lists. She sat down, lighting a fresh cigarette, and reached over to a stack of unexamined material, taking off the top sheet. It was a photostat of what looked like the title page and contents of some sort of a periodical. She remembered it; she had found it herself, two days before, in a closet in the basement of the building she had just finished examining. She sat for a moment, looking at it. It was readable, in the sense that she had set up a purely arbitrary but consistently pronounceable system of phonetic values for the letters. The long vertical symbols were vowels. There were only ten of them; not too many, allowing separate characters for long and short sounds. There were twenty of the short horizontal letters, which meant that sounds like -ng or -ch or -sh were single letters. The odds were millions to one against her system being anything like the original sound of the language, but she had listed several thousand Martian words, and she could pronounce all of them. And that was as far as it went. She could pronounce between three and four thousand Martian words, and she couldn't assign a meaning to one of them. Selim von Ohlmhorst believed that she never would. So did Tony Lattimer, and he was a great deal less reticent about saying so. So, she was sure, did Sachiko Koremitsu. There were times, now and then, when she began to be afraid that they were right. The letters on the page in front of her began squirming and dancing, slender vowels with fat little consonants. They did that, now, every night in her dreams. And there were other dreams, in which she read them as easily as English; waking, she would try desperately and vainly to remember. She blinked, and looked away from the photostatted page; when she looked back, the letters were behaving themselves again. There were three words at the top of the page, over-and-underlined, which seemed to be the Martian method of capitalization. Mastharnorvod Tadavas Sornhulva. She pronounced them mentally, leafing through her notebooks to see if she had encountered them before,[Pg 14] and in what contexts. All three were listed. In addition, masthar was a fairly common word, and so was norvod, and so was nor, but -vod was a suffix and nothing but a suffix. Davas, was a word, too, and ta- was a common prefix; sorn and hulva were both common words. This language, she had long ago decided, must be something like German; when the Martians had needed a new word, they had just pasted a couple of existing words together. It would probably turn out to be a grammatical horror. Well, they had published magazines, and one of them had been called Mastharnorvod Tadavas Sornhulva. She wondered if it had been something like the Quarterly Archaeological Review, or something more on the order of Sexy Stories. A smaller line, under the title, was plainly the issue number and date; enough things had been found numbered in series to enable her to identify the numerals and determine that a decimal system of numeration had been used. This was the one thousand and seven hundred and fifty-fourth issue, for Doma, 14837; then Doma must be the name of one of the Martian months. The word had turned up several times before. She found herself puffing furiously on her cigarette as she leafed through notebooks and piles of already examined material. Sachiko was speaking to somebody, and a chair scraped at the end of the table. She raised her head, to see a big man with red hair and a red face, in Space Force green, with the single star of a major on his shoulder, sitting down. Ivan Fitzgerald, the medic. He was lifting weights from a book similar to the one the girl ordnance officer was restoring. "Haven't had time, lately," he was saying, in reply to Sachiko's question. "The Finchley girl's still down with whatever it is she has, and it's something I haven't been able to diagnose yet. And I've been checking on bacteria cultures, and in what spare time I have, I've been dissecting specimens for Bill Chandler. Bill's finally found a mammal. Looks like a lizard, and it's only four inches long, but it's a real warm-blooded, gamogenetic, placental, viviparous mammal. Burrows, and seems to live on what pass for insects here." "Is there enough oxygen for anything like that?" Sachiko was asking. "Seems to be, close to the ground." Fitzgerald got the headband of his loup adjusted, and pulled it down over his eyes. "He found this thing in a ravine down on the sea bottom—Ha, this page seems to be intact; now, if I can get it out all in one piece—" He went on talking inaudibly to himself, lifting the page a little at a time and sliding one of the transparent plastic sheets under it, working with minute delicacy. Not the delicacy of the Japanese girl's small hands, moving like the paws of a[Pg 15] cat washing her face, but like a steam-hammer cracking a peanut. Field archaeology requires a certain delicacy of touch, too, but Martha watched the pair of them with envious admiration. Then she turned back to her own work, finishing the table of contents. The next page was the beginning of the first article listed; many of the words were unfamiliar. She had the impression that this must be some kind of scientific or technical journal; that could be because such publications made up the bulk of her own periodical reading. She doubted if it were fiction; the paragraphs had a solid, factual look. At length, Ivan Fitzgerald gave a short, explosive grunt. "Ha! Got it!" She looked up. He had detached the page and was cementing another plastic sheet onto it. "Any pictures?" she asked. "None on this side. Wait a moment." He turned the sheet. "None on this side, either." He sprayed another sheet of plastic to sandwich the page, then picked up his pipe and relighted it. "I get fun out of this, and it's good practice for my hands, so don't think I'm complaining," he said, "but, Martha, do you honestly think anybody's ever going to get anything out of this?" Sachiko held up a scrap of the silicone plastic the Martians had used for paper with her tweezers. It was almost an inch square. "Look; three whole words on this piece," she crowed. "Ivan, you took the easy book." Fitzgerald wasn't being sidetracked. "This stuff's absolutely meaningless," he continued. "It had a meaning fifty thousand years ago, when it was written, but it has none at all now." She shook her head. "Meaning isn't something that evaporates with time," she argued. "It has just as much meaning now as it ever had. We just haven't learned how to decipher it." "That seems like a pretty pointless distinction," Selim von Ohlmhorst joined the conversation. "There no longer exists a means of deciphering it." "We'll find one." She was speaking, she realized, more in self-encouragement than in controversy. "How? From pictures and captions? We've found captioned pictures, and what have they given us? A caption is intended to explain the picture, not the picture to explain the caption. Suppose some alien to our culture found a picture of a man with a white beard and mustache sawing a billet from a log. He would think the caption meant, 'Man Sawing Wood.' How would he know that it was really 'Wilhelm II in Exile at Doorn?'" Sachiko had taken off her loup and was lighting a cigarette. "I can think of pictures intended to explain their captions," she said. "These picture language-books, the sort we use in the Service—little[Pg 16] line drawings, with a word or phrase under them." "Well, of course, if we found something like that," von Ohlmhorst began. "Michael Ventris found something like that, back in the Fifties," Hubert Penrose's voice broke in from directly behind her. She turned her head. The colonel was standing by the archaeologists' table; Captain Field and the airdyne pilot had gone out. "He found a lot of Greek inventories of military stores," Penrose continued. "They were in Cretan Linear B script, and at the head of each list was a little picture, a sword or a helmet or a cooking tripod or a chariot wheel. That's what gave him the key to the script." "Colonel's getting to be quite an archaeologist," Fitzgerald commented. "We're all learning each others' specialties, on this expedition." "I heard about that long before this expedition was even contemplated." Penrose was tapping a cigarette on his gold case. "I heard about that back before the Thirty Days' War, at Intelligence School, when I was a lieutenant. As a feat of cryptanalysis, not an archaeological discovery." "Yes, cryptanalysis," von Ohlmhorst pounced. "The reading of a known language in an unknown form of writing. Ventris' lists were in the known language, Greek. Neither he nor anybody else ever read a word of the Cretan language until the finding of the Greek-Cretan bilingual in 1963, because only with a bilingual text, one language already known, can an unknown ancient language be learned. And what hope, I ask you, have we of finding anything like that here? Martha, you've been working on these Martian texts ever since we landed here—for the last six months. Tell me, have you found a single word to which you can positively assign a meaning?" "Yes, I think I have one." She was trying hard not to sound too exultant. "Doma. It's the name of one of the months of the Martian calendar." "Where did you find that?" von Ohlmhorst asked. "And how did you establish—?" "Here." She picked up the photostat and handed it along the table to him. "I'd call this the title page of a magazine." He was silent for a moment, looking at it. "Yes. I would say so, too. Have you any of the rest of it?" "I'm working on the first page of the first article, listed there. Wait till I see; yes, here's all I found, together, here." She told him where she had gotten it. "I just gathered it up, at the time, and gave it to Geoffrey and Rosita to photostat; this is the first I've really examined it." The old man got to his feet, brushing tobacco ashes from the front of his jacket, and came to where she was sitting, laying the title page on the table and leafing[Pg 17] quickly through the stack of photostats. "Yes, and here is the second article, on page eight, and here's the next one." He finished the pile of photostats. "A couple of pages missing at the end of the last article. This is remarkable; surprising that a thing like a magazine would have survived so long." "Well, this silicone stuff the Martians used for paper is pretty durable," Hubert Penrose said. "There doesn't seem to have been any water or any other fluid in it originally, so it wouldn't dry out with time." "Oh, it's not remarkable that the material would have survived. We've found a good many books and papers in excellent condition. But only a really vital culture, an organized culture, will publish magazines, and this civilization had been dying for hundreds of years before the end. It might have been a thousand years before the time they died out completely that such activities as publishing ended." "Well, look where I found it; in a closet in a cellar. Tossed in there and forgotten, and then ignored[Pg 18] when they were stripping the building. Things like that happen." Penrose had picked up the title page and was looking at it. "I don't think there's any doubt about this being a magazine, at all." He looked again at the title, his lips moving silently. "Mastharnorvod Tadavas Sornhulva. Wonder what it means. But you're right about the date—Doma seems to be the name of a month. Yes, you have a word, Dr. Dane." Sid Chamberlain, seeing that something unusual was going on, had come over from the table at which he was working. After examining the title page and some of the inside pages, he began whispering into the stenophone he had taken from his belt. "Don't try to blow this up to anything big, Sid," she cautioned. "All we have is the name of a month, and Lord only knows how long it'll be till we even find out which month it was." "Well, it's a start, isn't it?" Penrose argued. "Grotefend only had the word for 'king' when he started reading Persian cuneiform." "But I don't have the word for month; just the name of a month. Everybody knew the names of the Persian kings, long before Grotefend." "That's not the story," Chamberlain said. "What the public back on Terra will be interested in is finding out that the Martians published magazines, just like we do. Something familiar; make the Martians seem more real. More human." Three men had come in, and were removing their masks and helmets and oxy-tanks, and peeling out of their quilted coveralls. Two were Space Force lieutenants; the third was a youngish civilian with close-cropped blond hair, in a checked woolen shirt. Tony Lattimer and his helpers. "Don't tell me Martha finally got something out of that stuff?" he asked, approaching the table. He might have been commenting on the antics of the village half-wit, from his tone. "Yes; the name of one of the Martian months." Hubert Penrose went on to explain, showing the photostat. Tony Lattimer took it, glanced at it, and dropped it on the table. "Sounds plausible, of course, but just an assumption. That word may not be the name of a month, at all—could mean 'published' or 'authorized' or 'copyrighted' or anything like that. Fact is, I don't think it's more than a wild guess that that thing's anything like a periodical." He dismissed the subject and turned to Penrose. "I picked out the next building to enter; that tall one with the conical thing on top. It ought to be in pretty good shape inside; the conical top wouldn't allow dust to accumulate, and from the outside nothing seems to be caved in or crushed. Ground level's higher than the other one, about the seventh[Pg 19] floor. I found a good place and drilled for the shots; tomorrow I'll blast a hole in it, and if you can spare some people to help, we can start exploring it right away." "Yes, of course, Dr. Lattimer. I can spare about a dozen, and I suppose you can find a few civilian volunteers," Penrose told him. "What will you need in the way of equipment?" "Oh, about six demolition-packets; they can all be shot together. And the usual thing in the way of lights, and breaking and digging tools, and climbing equipment in case we run into broken or doubtful stairways. We'll divide into two parties. Nothing ought to be entered for the first time without a qualified archaeologist along. Three parties, if Martha can tear herself away from this catalogue of systematized incomprehensibilities she's making long enough to do some real work." She felt her chest tighten and her face become stiff. She was pressing her lips together to lock in a furious retort when Hubert Penrose answered for her. "Dr. Dane's been doing as much work, and as important work, as you have," he said brusquely. "More important work, I'd be inclined to say." Von Ohlmhorst was visibly distressed; he glanced once toward Sid Chamberlain, then looked hastily away from him. Afraid of a story of dissension among archaeologists getting out. "Working out a system of pronunciation by which the Martian language could be transliterated was a most important contribution," he said. "And Martha did that almost unassisted." "Unassisted by Dr. Lattimer, anyway," Penrose added. "Captain Field and Lieutenant Koremitsu did some work, and I helped out a little, but nine-tenths of it she did herself." "Purely arbitrary," Lattimer disdained. "Why, we don't even know that the Martians could make the same kind of vocal sounds we do." "Oh, yes, we do," Ivan Fitzgerald contradicted, safe on his own ground. "I haven't seen any actual Martian skulls—these people seem to have been very tidy about disposing of their dead—but from statues and busts and pictures I've seen. I'd say that their vocal organs were identical with our own." "Well, grant that. And grant that it's going to be impressive to rattle off the names of Martian notables whose statues we find, and that if we're ever able to attribute any placenames, they'll sound a lot better than this horse-doctors' Latin the old astronomers splashed all over the map of Mars," Lattimer said. "What I object to is her wasting time on this stuff, of which nobody will ever be able to read a word if she fiddles around with those lists till there's another hundred feet of loess on this city, when there's so much real work to be done and we're as shorthanded as we are."[Pg 20] That was the first time that had come out in just so many words. She was glad Lattimer had said it and not Selim von Ohlmhorst. "What you mean," she retorted, "is that it doesn't have the publicity value that digging up statues has." For an instant, she could see that the shot had scored. Then Lattimer, with a side glance at Chamberlain, answered: "What I mean is that you're trying to find something that any archaeologist, yourself included, should know doesn't exist. I don't object to your gambling your professional reputation and making a laughing stock of yourself; what I object to is that the blunders of one archaeologist discredit the whole subject in the eyes of the public." That seemed to be what worried Lattimer most. She was framing a reply when the communication-outlet whistled shrilly, and then squawked: "Cocktail time! One hour to dinner; cocktails in the library, Hut Four!" The library, which was also lounge, recreation room, and general gathering-place, was already crowded; most of the crowd was at the long table topped with sheets of glasslike plastic that had been wall panels out of one of the ruined buildings. She poured herself what passed, here, for a martini, and carried it over to where Selim von Ohlmhorst was sitting alone. For a while, they talked about the building they had just finished exploring, then drifted into reminiscences of their work on Terra—von Ohlmhorst's in Asia Minor, with the Hittite Empire, and hers in Pakistan, excavating the cities of the Harappa Civilization. They finished their drinks—the ingredients were plentiful; alcohol and flavoring extracts synthesized from Martian vegetation—and von Ohlmhorst took the two glasses to the table for refills. "You know, Martha," he said, when he returned, "Tony was right about one thing. You are gambling your professional standing and reputation. It's against all archaeological experience that a language so completely dead as this one could be deciphered. There was a continuity between all the other ancient languages—by knowing Greek, Champollion learned to read Egyptian; by knowing Egyptian, Hittite was learned. That's why you and your colleagues have never been able to translate the Harappa hieroglyphics; no such continuity exists there. If you insist that this utterly dead language can be read, your reputation will suffer for it." "I heard Colonel Penrose say, once, that an officer who's afraid to risk his military reputation seldom makes much of a reputation. It's the same with us. If we really want to find things out, we have to risk making mistakes. And I'm a lot more interested in finding things out than I am in my reputation." She glanced across the room, to where Tony Lattimer was sitting[Pg 21] with Gloria Standish, talking earnestly, while Gloria sipped one of the counterfeit martinis and listened. Gloria was the leading contender for the title of Miss Mars, 1996, if you liked big bosomy blondes, but Tony would have been just as attentive to her if she'd looked like the Wicked Witch in "The Wizard of Oz." because Gloria was the Pan-Federation Telecast System commentator with the expedition. "I know you are," the old Turco-German was saying. "That's why, when they asked me to name another archaeologist for this expedition, I named you." He hadn't named Tony Lattimer; Lattimer had been pushed onto the expedition by his university. There'd been a lot of high-level string-pulling to that; she wished she knew the whole story. She'd managed to keep clear of universities and university politics; all her digs had been sponsored by non-academic foundations or art museums. "You have an excellent standing: much better than my own, at your age. That's why it disturbs me to see you jeopardizing it by this insistence that the Martian language can be translated. I can't, really, see how you can hope to succeed." She shrugged and drank some more of her cocktail, then lit another cigarette. It was getting tiresome to try to verbalize something she only felt. "Neither do I, now, but I will. Maybe I'll find something like the picture-books Sachiko was talking about. A child's primer, maybe; surely they had things like that. And if I don't. I'll find something else. We've only been here six months. I can wait the rest of my life, if I have to, but I'll do it sometime." "I can't wait so long," von Ohlmhorst said. "The rest of my life will only be a few years, and when the Schiaparelli orbits in, I'll be going back to Terra on the Cyrano." "I wish you wouldn't. This is a whole new world of archaeology. Literally." "Yes." He finished the cocktail and looked at his pipe as though wondering whether to re-light it so soon before dinner, then put it in his pocket. "A whole new world—but I've grown old, and it isn't for me. I've spent my life studying the Hittites. I can speak the Hittite language, though maybe King Muwatallis wouldn't be able to understand my modern Turkish accent. But the things I'd have to learn here—chemistry, physics, engineering, how to run analytic tests on steel girders and beryllo-silver alloys and plastics and silicones. I'm more at home with a civilization that rode in chariots and fought with swords and was just learning how to work iron. Mars is for young people. This expedition is a cadre of leadership—not only the Space Force people, who'll be the commanders of the main expedition, but us scientists, too. And I'm just an old cavalry general who can't learn to command tanks and[Pg 22] aircraft. You'll have time to learn about Mars. I won't." His reputation as the dean of Hittitologists was solid and secure, too, she added mentally. Then she felt ashamed of the thought. He wasn't to be classed with Tony Lattimer. "All I came for was to get the work started," he was continuing. "The Federation Government felt that an old hand should do that. Well, it's started, now; you and Tony and whoever come out on the Schiaparelli must carry it on. You said it, yourself; you have a whole new world. This is only one city, of the last Martian civilization. Behind this, you have the Late Upland Culture, and the Canal Builders, and all the civilizations and races and empires before them, clear back to the Martian Stone Age." He hesitated for a moment. "You have no idea what all you have to learn, Martha. This isn't the time to start specializing too narrowly." They all got out of the truck and stretched their legs and looked up the road to the tall building with the queer conical cap askew on its top. The four little figures that had been busy against its wall climbed into the jeep and started back slowly, the smallest of them, Sachiko Koremitsu, paying out an electric cable behind. When it pulled up beside the truck, they climbed out; Sachiko attached the free end of the cable to a nuclear-electric battery. At once, dirty gray smoke and orange dust puffed out from the wall of the building, and, a second later, the multiple explosion banged. She and Tony Lattimer and Major Lindemann climbed onto the truck, leaving the jeep stand by the road. When they reached the building, a satisfyingly wide breach had been blown in the wall. Lattimer had placed his shots between two of the windows; they were both blown out along with the wall between, and lay unbroken on the ground. Martha remembered the first building they had entered. A Space Force officer had picked up a stone and thrown it at one of the windows, thinking that would be all they'd need to do. It had bounced back. He had drawn his pistol—they'd all carried guns, then, on the principle that what they didn't know about Mars might easily hurt them—and fired four shots. The bullets had ricocheted, screaming thinly; there were four coppery smears of jacket-metal on the window, and a little surface spalling. Somebody tried a rifle; the 4000-f.s. bullet had cracked the glasslike pane without penetrating. An oxyacetylene torch had taken an hour to cut the window out; the lab crew, aboard the ship, were still trying to find out just what the stuff was. Tony Lattimer had gone forward and was sweeping his flashlight back and forth, swearing petulantly, his voice harshened and amplified by his helmet-speaker. "I thought I was blasting into a[Pg 23] hallway; this lets us into a room. Careful; there's about a two-foot drop to the floor, and a lot of rubble from the blast just inside." He stepped down through the breach; the others began dragging equipment out of the trucks—shovels and picks and crowbars and sledges, portable floodlights, cameras, sketching materials, an extension ladder, even Alpinists' ropes and crampons and pickaxes. Hubert Penrose was shouldering something that looked like a surrealist machine gun but which was really a nuclear-electric jack-hammer. Martha selected one of the spike-shod mountaineer's ice axes, with which she could dig or chop or poke or pry or help herself over rough footing. The windows, grimed and crusted with fifty millennia of dust, filtered in a dim twilight; even the breach in the wall, in the morning shade, lighted only a small patch of floor. Somebody snapped on a floodlight, aiming it at the ceiling. The big room was empty and bare; dust lay thick on the floor and reddened the once-white walls. It could have been a large office, but there was nothing left in it to indicate its use. "This one's been stripped up to the seventh floor!" Lattimer exclaimed. "Street level'll be cleaned out, completely." "Do for living quarters and shops, then," Lindemann said. "Added to the others, this'll take care of everybody on the Schiaparelli." "Seem to have been a lot of electric or electronic apparatus over along this wall," one of the Space Force officers commented. "Ten or twelve electric outlets." He brushed the dusty wall with his glove, then scraped on the floor with his foot. "I can see where things were pried loose." The door, one of the double sliding things the Martians had used, was closed. Selim von Ohlmhorst tried it, but it was stuck fast. The metal latch-parts had frozen together, molecule bonding itself to molecule, since the door had last been closed. Hubert Penrose came over with the jack-hammer, fitting a spear-point chisel into place. He set the chisel in the joint between the doors, braced the hammer against his hip, and squeezed the trigger-switch. The hammer banged briefly like the weapon it resembled, and the doors popped a few inches apart, then stuck. Enough dust had worked into the recesses into which it was supposed to slide to block it on both sides. That was old stuff; they ran into that every time they had to force a door, and they were prepared for it. Somebody went outside and brought in a power-jack and finally one of the doors inched back to the door jamb. That was enough to get the lights and equipment through: they all passed from the room to the hallway beyond. About half the other doors were open; each had a number and a single word, Darfhulva, over it.[Pg 24] One of the civilian volunteers, a woman professor of natural ecology from Penn State University, was looking up and down the hall. "You know," she said, "I feel at home here. I think this was a college of some sort, and these were classrooms. That word, up there; that was the subject taught, or the department. And those electronic devices, all where the class would face them; audio-visual teaching aids." "A twenty-five-story university?" Lattimer scoffed. "Why, a building like this would handle thirty thousand students." "Maybe there were that many.[Pg 25] This was a big city, in its prime," Martha said, moved chiefly by a desire to oppose Lattimer. "Yes, but think of the snafu in the halls, every time they changed classes. It'd take half an hour to get everybody back and forth from one floor to another." He turned to von Ohlmhorst. "I'm going up above this floor. This place has been looted clean up to here, but there's a chance there may be something above," he said. "I'll stay on this floor, at present," the Turco-German replied. "There will be much coming and going, and dragging things in and out. We should get this completely examined and recorded first. Then Major Lindemann's people can do their worst, here." "Well, if nobody else wants it, I'll take the downstairs," Martha said. "I'll go along with you," Hubert Penrose told her. "If the lower floors have no archaeological value, we'll turn them into living quarters. I like this building: it'll give everybody room to keep out from under everybody else's feet." He looked down the hall. "We ought to find escalators at the middle." The hallway, too, was thick underfoot with dust. Most of the open rooms were empty, but a few contained furniture, including small seat-desks. The original proponent of the university theory pointed these out as just what might be found in classrooms. There were escalators, up and down, on either side of the hall, and more on the intersecting passage to the right. "That's how they handled the students, between classes," Martha commented. "And I'll bet there are more ahead, there." They came to a stop where the hallway ended at a great square central hall. There were elevators, there, on two of the sides, and four escalators, still usable as stairways. But it was the walls, and the paintings on them, that brought them up short and staring. They were clouded with dirt—she was trying to imagine what they must have looked like originally, and at the same time estimating the labor that would be involved in cleaning them—but they were still distinguishable, as was the word, Darfhulva, in golden letters above each of the four sides. It was a moment before she realized, from the murals, that she had at last found a meaningful Martian word. They were a vast historical panorama, clockwise around the room. A group of skin-clad savages squatting around a fire. Hunters with bows and spears, carrying a carcass of an animal slightly like a pig. Nomads riding long-legged, graceful mounts like hornless deer. Peasants sowing and reaping; mud-walled hut villages, and cities; processions of priests and warriors; battles with swords and bows, and with cannon and muskets; galleys, and ships with sails, and ships without visible means of propulsion, and aircraft.[Pg 26] Changing costumes and weapons and machines and styles of architecture. A richly fertile landscape, gradually merging into barren deserts and bushlands—the time of the great planet-wide drought. The Canal Builders—men with machines recognizable as steam-shovels and derricks, digging and quarrying and driving across the empty plains with aqueducts. More cities—seaports on the shrinking oceans; dwindling, half-deserted cities; an abandoned city, with four tiny humanoid figures and a thing like a combat-car in the middle of a brush-grown plaza, they and their vehicle dwarfed by the huge lifeless buildings around them. She had not the least doubt; Darfhulva was History. "Wonderful!" von Ohlmhorst was saying. "The entire history of this race. Why, if the painter depicted appropriate costumes and weapons and machines for each period, and got the architecture right, we can break the history of this planet into eras and periods and civilizations." "You can assume they're authentic. The faculty of this university would insist on authenticity in the Darfhulva—History—Department," she said. "Yes! Darfhulva—History! And your magazine was a journal of Sornhulva!" Penrose exclaimed. "You have a word, Martha!" It took her an instant to realize that he had called her by her first name, and not Dr. Dane. She wasn't sure if that weren't a bigger triumph than learning a word of the Martian language. Or a more auspicious start. "Alone, I suppose that hulva means something like science or knowledge, or study; combined, it would be equivalent to our 'ology. And darf would mean something like past, or old times, or human events, or chronicles." "That gives you three words, Martha!" Sachiko jubilated. "You did it." "Let's don't go too fast," Lattimer said, for once not derisively. "I'll admit that darfhulva is the Martian word for history as a subject of study; I'll admit that hulva is the general word and darf modifies it and tells us which subject is meant. But as for assigning specific meanings, we can't do that because we don't know just how the Martians thought, scientifically or otherwise." He stopped short, startled by the blue-white light that blazed as Sid Chamberlain's Kliegettes went on. When the whirring of the camera stopped, it was Chamberlain who was speaking: "This is the biggest thing yet; the whole history of Mars, stone age to the end, all on four walls. I'm taking this with the fast shutter, but we'll telecast it in slow motion, from the beginning to the end. Tony, I want you to do the voice for it—running commentary, interpretation of each scene as it's shown. Would you do that?" Would he do that! Martha thought. If he had a tail, he'd be wagging it at the very thought.[Pg 27] "Well, there ought to be more murals on the other floors," she said. "Who wants to come downstairs with us?" Sachiko did; immediately. Ivan Fitzgerald volunteered. Sid decided to go upstairs with Tony Lattimer, and Gloria Standish decided to go upstairs, too. Most of the party would remain on the seventh floor, to help Selim von Ohlmhorst get it finished. After poking tentatively at the escalator with the spike of her ice axe, Martha led the way downward. The sixth floor was Darfhulva, too; military and technological history, from the character of the murals. They looked around the central hall, and went down to the fifth; it was like the floors above except that the big quadrangle was stacked with dusty furniture and boxes. Ivan Fitzgerald, who was carrying the floodlight, swung it slowly around. Here the murals were of heroic-sized Martians, so human in appearance as to seem members of her own race, each holding some object—a book, or a test tube, or some bit of scientific apparatus, and behind them were scenes of laboratories and factories, flame and smoke, lightning-flashes. The word at the top of each of the four walls was one with which she was already familiar—Sornhulva. "Hey, Martha; there's that word," Ivan Fitzgerald exclaimed. "The one in the title of your magazine." He looked at the paintings. "Chemistry, or physics." "Both." Hubert Penrose considered. "I don't think the Martians made any sharp distinction between them. See, the old fellow with the scraggly whiskers must be the inventor of the spectroscope; he has one in his hands, and he has a rainbow behind him. And the woman in the blue smock, beside him, worked in organic chemistry; see the diagrams of long-chain molecules behind her. What word would convey the idea of chemistry and physics taken as one subject?" "Sornhulva," Sachiko suggested. "If hulva's something like science, "sorn" must mean matter, or substance, or physical object. You were right, all along, Martha. A civilization like this would certainly leave something like this, that would be self-explanatory." "This'll wipe a little more of that superior grin off Tony Lattimer's face," Fitzgerald was saying, as they went down the motionless escalator to the floor below. "Tony wants to be a big shot. When you want to be a big shot, you can't bear the possibility of anybody else being a bigger big shot, and whoever makes a start on reading this language will be the biggest big shot archaeology ever saw." That was true. She hadn't thought of it, in that way, before, and now she tried not to think about it. She didn't want to be a big shot. She wanted to be able to read the Mar[Pg 28]tian language, and find things out about the Martians. Two escalators down, they came out on a mezzanine around a wide central hall on the street level, the floor forty feet below them and the ceiling thirty feet above. Their lights picked out object after object below—a huge group of sculptured figures in the middle; some kind of a motor vehicle jacked up on trestles for repairs; things that looked like machine-guns and auto-cannon; long tables, tops littered with a dust-covered miscellany; machinery; boxes and crates and containers. They made their way down and walked among the clutter, missing a hundred things for every one they saw, until they found an escalator to the basement. There were three basements, one under another, until at last they stood at the bottom of the last escalator, on a bare concrete floor, swinging the portable floodlight over stacks of boxes and barrels and drums, and heaps of powdery dust. The boxes were plastic—nobody had ever found anything made of wood in the city—and the barrels and drums were of metal or glass or some glasslike substance. They were outwardly intact. The powdery heaps might have been anything organic, or anything containing fluid. Down here, where wind and dust could not reach, evaporation had been the only force of destruction after the minute life that caused putrefaction had vanished. They found refrigeration rooms, too, and using Martha's ice axe and the pistollike vibratool Sachiko carried on her belt, they pounded and pried one open, to find dessicated piles of what had been vegetables, and leathery chunks of meat. Samples of that stuff, rocketed up to the ship, would give a reliable estimate, by radio-carbon dating, of how long ago this building had been occupied. The refrigeration unit, radically different from anything their own culture had produced, had been electrically powered. Sachiko and Penrose, poking into it, found the switches still on; the machine had only ceased to function when the power-source, whatever that had been, had failed. The middle basement had also been used, at least toward the end, for storage; it was cut in half by a partition pierced by but one door. They took half an hour to force this, and were on the point of sending above for heavy equipment when it yielded enough for them to squeeze through. Fitzgerald, in the lead with the light, stopped short, looked around, and then gave a groan that came through his helmet-speaker like a foghorn. "Oh, no! No!" "What's the matter, Ivan?" Sachiko, entering behind him, asked anxiously. He stepped aside. "Look at it, Sachi! Are we going to have to do all that?" Martha crowded through behind her friend and looked around, then[Pg 29] stood motionless, dizzy with excitement. Books. Case on case of books, half an acre of cases, fifteen feet to the ceiling. Fitzgerald, and Penrose, who had pushed in behind her, were talking in rapid excitement; she only heard the sound of their voices, not their words. This must be the main stacks of the university library—the entire literature of the vanished race of Mars. In the center, down an aisle between the cases, she could see the hollow square of the librarians' desk, and stairs and a dumb-waiter to the floor above. She realized that she was walking forward, with the others, toward this. Sachiko was saying: "I'm the lightest; let me go first." She must be talking about the spidery metal stairs. "I'd say they were safe," Penrose answered. "The trouble we've had with doors around here shows that the metal hasn't deteriorated." In the end, the Japanese girl led the way, more catlike than ever in her caution. The stairs were quite sound, in spite of their fragile appearance, and they all followed her. The floor above was a duplicate of the room they had entered, and seemed to contain about as many books. Rather than waste time forcing the door here, they returned to the middle basement and came up by the escalator down which they had originally descended. The upper basement contained kitchens—electric stoves, some with pots and pans still on them—and a big room that must have been, originally, the students' dining room, though when last used it had been a workshop. As they expected, the library reading room was on the street-level floor, directly above the stacks. It seemed to have been converted into a sort of common living room for the building's last occupants. An adjoining auditorium had been made into a chemical works; there were vats and distillation apparatus, and a metal fractionating tower that extended through a hole knocked in the ceiling seventy feet above. A good deal of plastic furniture of the sort they had been finding everywhere in the city was stacked about, some of it broken up, apparently for reprocessing. The other rooms on the street floor seemed also to have been devoted to manufacturing and repair work; a considerable industry, along a number of lines, must have been carried on here for a long time after the university had ceased to function as such. On the second floor, they found a museum; many of the exhibits remained, tantalizingly half-visible in grimed glass cases. There had been administrative offices there, too. The doors of most of them were closed, and they did not waste time trying to force them, but those that were open had been turned into living quarters. They made notes, and rough floor plans, to guide them in future more thorough examination; it was almost noon before they had worked their way back to the seventh floor.[Pg 30] Selim von Ohlmhorst was in a room on the north side of the building, sketching the position of things before examining them and collecting them for removal. He had the floor checkerboarded with a grid of chalked lines, each numbered. "We have everything on this floor photographed," he said. "I have three gangs—all the floodlights I have—sketching and making measurements. At the rate we're going, with time out for lunch, we'll be finished by the middle of the afternoon." "You've been working fast. Evidently you aren't being high-church about a 'qualified archaeologist' entering rooms first," Penrose commented. "Ach, childishness!" the old man exclaimed impatiently. "These officers of yours aren't fools. All of them have been to Intelligence School and Criminal Investigation School. Some of the most careful amateur archaeologists I ever knew were retired soldiers or policemen. But there isn't much work to be done. Most of the rooms are either empty or like this one—a few bits of furniture and broken trash and scraps of paper. Did you find anything down on the lower floors?" "Well, yes," Penrose said, a hint of mirth in his voice. "What would you say, Martha?" She started to tell Selim. The others, unable to restrain their excitement, broke in with interruptions. Von Ohlmhorst was staring in incredulous amazement. "But this floor was looted almost clean, and the buildings we've entered before were all looted from the street level up," he said, at length. "The people who looted this one lived here," Penrose replied. "They had electric power to the last; we found refrigerators full of food, and stoves with the dinner still on them. They must have used the elevators to haul things down from the upper floor. The whole first floor was converted into workshops and laboratories. I think that this place must have been something like a monastery in the Dark Ages in Europe, or what such a monastery would have been like if the Dark Ages had followed the fall of a highly developed scientific civilization. For one thing, we found a lot of machine guns and light auto-cannon on the street level, and all the doors were barricaded. The people here were trying to keep a civilization running after the rest of the planet had gone back to barbarism; I suppose they'd have to fight off raids by the barbarians now and then." "You're not going to insist on making this building into expedition quarters, I hope, colonel?" von Ohlmhorst asked anxiously. "Oh, no! This place is an archaeological treasure-house. More than that; from what I saw, our technicians can learn a lot, here. But you'd better get this floor cleaned up as soon as you can, though. I'll have the subsurface part, from the sixth floor down, airsealed. Then we'll[Pg 31] put in oxygen generators and power units, and get a couple of elevators into service. For the floors above, we can use temporary airsealing floor by floor, and portable equipment; when we have things atmosphered and lighted and heated, you and Martha and Tony Lattimer can go to work systematically and in comfort, and I'll give you all the help I can spare from the other work. This is one of the biggest things we've found yet." Tony Lattimer and his companions came down to the seventh floor a little later. "I don't get this, at all," he began, as soon as he joined them. "This building wasn't stripped the way the others were. Always, the procedure seems to have been to strip from the bottom up, but they seem to have stripped the top floors first, here. All but the very top. I found out what that conical thing is, by the way. It's a wind-rotor, and under it there's an electric generator. This building generated its own power." "What sort of condition are the generators in?" Penrose asked. "Well, everything's full of dust that blew in under the rotor, of course, but it looks to be in pretty good shape. Hey, I'll bet that's it! They had power, so they used the elevators to haul stuff down. That's just what they did. Some of the floors above here don't seem to have been touched, though." He paused momentarily; back of his oxy-mask, he seemed to be grinning. "I don't know that I ought to mention this in front of Martha, but two floors above—we hit a room—it must have been the reference library for one of the departments—that had close to five hundred books in it." The noise that interrupted him, like the squawking of a Brobdingnagian parrot, was only Ivan Fitzgerald laughing through his helmet-speaker. Lunch at the huts was a hasty meal, with a gabble of full-mouthed and excited talking. Hubert Penrose and his chief subordinates snatched their food in a huddled consultation at one end of the table; in the afternoon, work was suspended on everything else and the fifty-odd men and women of the expedition concentrated their efforts on the University. By the middle of the afternoon, the seventh floor had been completely examined, photographed and sketched, and the murals in the square central hall covered with protective tarpaulins, and Laurent Gicquel and his airsealing crew had moved in and were at work. It had been decided to seal the central hall at the entrances. It took the French-Canadian engineer most of the afternoon to find all the ventilation-ducts and plug them. An elevator-shaft on the north side was found reaching clear to the twenty-fifth floor; this would give access to the top of the building; another shaft, from the center, would take care of the floors below. Nobody seemed willing to trust the ancient elevators, themselves; it was the next evening before a couple of[Pg 32] cars and the necessary machinery could be fabricated in the machine shops aboard the ship and sent down by landing-rocket. By that time, the airsealing was finished, the nuclear-electric energy-converters were in place, and the oxygen generators set up. Martha was in the lower basement, an hour or so before lunch the day after, when a couple of Space Force officers came out of the elevator, bringing extra lights with them. She was still using oxygen-equipment; it was a moment before she realized that the newcomers had no masks, and that one of them was smoking. She took off her own helmet-speaker, throat-mike and mask and unslung her tank-pack, breathing cautiously. The air was chilly, and musty-acrid with the odor of antiquity—the first Martian odor she had smelled—but when she lit a cigarette, the lighter flamed clear and steady and the tobacco caught and burned evenly. The archaeologists, many of the other civilian scientists, a few of the Space Force officers and the two news-correspondents, Sid Chamberlain and Gloria Standish, moved in that evening, setting up cots in vacant rooms. They installed electric stoves and a refrigerator in the old Library Reading Room, and put in a bar and lunch counter. For a few days, the place was full of noise and activity, then, gradually, the Space Force people and all but a few of the civilians returned to their own work. There was still the business of airsealing the more habitable of the buildings already explored, and fitting them up in readiness for the arrival, in a year and a half, of the[Pg 33] five hundred members of the main expedition. There was work to be done enlarging the landing field for the ship's rocket craft, and building new chemical-fuel tanks. There was the work of getting the city's ancient reservoirs cleared of silt before the next spring thaw brought more water down the underground aqueducts everybody called canals in mistranslation of Schiaparelli's Italian word, though this was proving considerably easier than anticipated. The ancient Canal-Builders must have anticipated a time when their descendants would no longer be capable of maintenance work, and had prepared against it. By the day after the University had been made completely habitable, the actual work there was being done by Selim, Tony Lattimer and herself, with half a dozen Space Force officers, mostly girls, and four or five civilians, helping. They worked up from the bottom, dividing the floor-surfaces into numbered squares, measuring and listing and sketching and photographing. They packaged samples of organic matter and sent them up to the ship for Carbon-14 dating and analysis; they opened cans and jars and bottles, and found that everything fluid in them had evaporated, through the porosity of glass and metal and plastic if there were no other way. Wherever they looked, they found evidence of activity suddenly suspended and never resumed. A vise with a bar of metal in it, half cut through and the hacksaw beside it. Pots and pans with hardened remains of food in them; a leathery cut of meat on a table, with the knife ready at hand. Toilet articles on washstands; unmade beds, the bedding ready to crumble at a touch but still retaining the impress of the sleeper's body; papers and writing materials on desks, as though the writer had gotten up, meaning to return and finish in a fifty-thousand-year-ago moment. It worried her. Irrationally, she began to feel that the Martians had never left this place; that they were still around her, watching disapprovingly every time she picked up something they had laid down. They haunted her dreams, now, instead of their enigmatic writing. At first, everybody who had moved into the University had taken a separate room, happy to escape the crowding and lack of privacy of the huts. After a few nights, she was glad when Gloria Standish moved in with her, and accepted the newswoman's excuse that she felt lonely without somebody to talk to before falling asleep. Sachiko Koremitsu joined them the next evening, and before going to bed, the girl officer cleaned and oiled her pistol, remarking that she was afraid some rust may have gotten into it. The others felt it, too. Selim von Ohlmhorst developed the habit of turning quickly and looking behind him, as though trying to surprise somebody or something that was stalking him. Tony Lattimer, having[Pg 34] a drink at the bar that had been improvised from the librarian's desk in the Reading Room, set down his glass and swore. "You know what this place is? It's an archaeological Marie Celeste!" he declared. "It was occupied right up to the end—we've all seen the shifts these people used to keep a civilization going here—but what was the end? What happened to them? Where did they go?" "You didn't expect them to be waiting out front, with a red carpet and a big banner, Welcome Terrans, did you, Tony?" Gloria Standish asked. "No, of course not; they've all been dead for fifty thousand years. But if they were the last of the Martians, why haven't we found their bones, at least? Who buried them, after they were dead?" He looked at the glass, a bubble-thin goblet, found, with hundreds of others like it, in a closet above, as though debating with himself whether to have another drink. Then he voted in the affirmative and reached for the cocktail pitcher. "And every door on the old ground level is either barred or barricaded from the inside. How did they get out? And why did they leave?" The next day, at lunch, Sachiko Koremitsu had the answer to the second question. Four or five electrical engineers had come down by rocket from the ship, and she had been spending the morning with them, in oxy-masks, at the top of the building. "Tony, I thought you said those generators were in good shape," she began, catching sight of Lattimer. "They aren't. They're in the most unholy mess I ever saw. What happened, up there, was that the supports of the wind-rotor gave way, and weight snapped the main shaft, and smashed everything under it." "Well, after fifty thousand years, you can expect something like that," Lattimer retorted. "When an archaeologist says something's in good shape, he doesn't necessarily mean it'll start as soon as you shove a switch in." "You didn't notice that it happened when the power was on, did you," one of the engineers asked, nettled at Lattimer's tone. "Well, it was. Everything's burned out or shorted or fused together; I saw one busbar eight inches across melted clean in two. It's a pity we didn't find things in good shape, even archaeologically speaking. I saw a lot of interesting things, things in advance of what we're using now. But it'll take a couple of years to get everything sorted out and figure what it looked like originally." "Did it look as though anybody'd made any attempt to fix it?" Martha asked. Sachiko shook her head. "They must have taken one look at it and given up. I don't believe there would have been any possible way to repair anything." "Well, that explains why they left.[Pg 35] They needed electricity for lighting, and heating, and all their industrial equipment was electrical. They had a good life, here, with power; without it, this place wouldn't have been habitable." "Then why did they barricade everything from the inside, and how did they get out?" Lattimer wanted to know. "To keep other people from breaking in and looting. Last man out probably barred the last door and slid down a rope from upstairs," von Ohlmhorst suggested. "This Houdini-trick doesn't worry me too much. We'll find out eventually." "Yes, about the time Martha starts reading Martian," Lattimer scoffed. "That may be just when we'll find out," von Ohlmhorst replied seriously. "It wouldn't surprise me if they left something in writing when they evacuated this place." "Are you really beginning to treat this pipe dream of hers as a serious possibility, Selim?" Lattimer demanded. "I know, it would be a wonderful thing, but wonderful things don't happen just because they're wonderful. Only because they're possible, and this isn't. Let me quote that distinguished Hittitologist, Johannes Friedrich: 'Nothing can be translated out of nothing.' Or that later but not less distinguished Hittitologist, Selim von Ohlmhorst: 'Where are you going to get your bilingual?'" "Friedrich lived to see the Hittite language deciphered and read," von Ohlmhorst reminded him. "Yes, when they found Hittite-Assyrian bilinguals." Lattimer measured a spoonful of coffee-powder into his cup and added hot water. "Martha, you ought to know, better than anybody, how little chance you have. You've been working for years in the Indus Valley; how many words of Harappa have you or anybody else ever been able to read?" "We never found a university, with a half-million-volume library, at Harappa or Mohenjo-Daro." "And, the first day we entered this building, we established meanings for several words," Selim von Ohlmhorst added. "And you've never found another meaningful word since," Lattimer added. "And you're only sure of general meaning, not specific meaning of word-elements, and you have a dozen different interpretations for each word." "We made a start," von Ohlmhorst maintained. "We have Grotefend's word for 'king.' But I'm going to be able to read some of those books, over there, if it takes me the rest of my life here. It probably will, anyhow." "You mean you've changed your mind about going home on the Cyrano?" Martha asked. "You'll stay on here?" The old man nodded. "I can't leave this. There's too much to discover. The old dog will have to learn a lot of new tricks, but this is where my work will be, from now on." Lattimer was shocked. "You're[Pg 36] nuts!" he cried. "You mean you're going to throw away everything you've accomplished in Hittitology and start all over again here on Mars? Martha, if you've talked him into this crazy decision, you're a criminal!" "Nobody talked me into anything," von Ohlmhorst said roughly. "And as for throwing away what I've accomplished in Hittitology, I don't know what the devil you're talking about. Everything I know about the Hittite Empire is published and available to anybody. Hittitology's like Egyptology; it's stopped being research and archaeology and become scholarship and history. And I'm not a scholar or a historian; I'm a pick-and-shovel field archaeologist—a highly skilled and specialized grave-robber and junk-picker—and there's more pick-and-shovel work on this planet than I could do in a hundred lifetimes. This is something new; I was a fool to think I could turn my back on it and go back to scribbling footnotes about Hittite kings." "You could have anything you wanted, in Hittitology. There are a dozen universities that'd sooner have you than a winning football team. But no! You have to be the top man in Martiology, too. You can't leave that for anybody else—" Lattimer shoved his chair back and got to his feet, leaving the table with an oath that was almost a sob of exasperation. Maybe his feelings were too much for him. Maybe he realized, as Martha did, what he had betrayed. She sat, avoiding the eyes of the others, looking at the ceiling, as embarrassed as though Lattimer had flung something dirty on the table in front of them. Tony Lattimer had, desperately, wanted Selim to go home on the Cyrano. Martiology was a new field; if Selim entered it, he would bring with him the reputation he had already built in Hittitology, automatically stepping into the leading role that Lattimer had coveted for himself. Ivan Fitzgerald's words echoed back to her—when you want to be a big shot, you can't bear the possibility of anybody else being a bigger big shot. His derision of her own efforts became comprehensible, too. It wasn't that he was convinced that she would never learn to read the Martian language. He had been afraid that she would. Ivan Fitzgerald finally isolated the germ that had caused the Finchley girl's undiagnosed illness. Shortly afterward, the malady turned into a mild fever, from which she recovered. Nobody else seemed to have caught it. Fitzgerald was still trying to find out how the germ had been transmitted. They found a globe of Mars, made when the city had been a seaport. They located the city, and learned that its name had been Kukan—or something with a similar vowel-consonant ratio. Immediately, Sid Chamberlain and Gloria Standish began giving their telecasts a Kukan dateline, and Hubert Penrose used[Pg 37] the name in his official reports. They also found a Martian calendar; the year had been divided into ten more or less equal months, and one of them had been Doma. Another month was Nor, and that was a part of the name of the scientific journal Martha had found. Bill Chandler, the zoologist, had been going deeper and deeper into the old sea bottom of Syrtis. Four hundred miles from Kukan, and at fifteen thousand feet lower altitude, he shot a bird. At least, it was a something with wings and what were almost but not quite feathers, though it was more reptilian than avian in general characteristics. He and Ivan Fitzgerald skinned and mounted it, and then dissected the carcass almost tissue by tissue. About seven-eighths of its body capacity was lungs; it certainly breathed air containing at least half enough oxygen to support human life, or five times as much as the air around Kukan. That took the center of interest away from archaeology, and started a new burst of activity. All the expedition's aircraft—four jetticopters and three wingless airdyne reconnaissance fighters—were thrown into intensified exploration of the lower sea bottoms, and the bio-science boys and girls were wild with excitement and making new discoveries on each flight. The University was left to Selim and Martha and Tony Lattimer, the latter keeping to himself while she and the old Turco-German worked together. The civilian specialists in other fields, and the Space Force people who had been holding tape lines and making sketches and snapping cameras, were all flying to lower Syrtis to find out how much oxygen there was and what kind of life it supported. Sometimes Sachiko dropped in; most of the time she was busy helping Ivan Fitzgerald dissect specimens. They had four or five species of what might loosely be called birds, and something that could easily be classed as a reptile, and a carnivorous mammal the size of a cat with birdlike claws, and a herbivore almost identical with the piglike thing in the big Darfhulva mural, and another like a gazelle with a single horn in the middle of its forehead. The high point came when one party, at thirty thousand feet below the level of Kukan, found breathable air. One of them had a mild attack of sorroche and had to be flown back for treatment in a hurry, but the others showed no ill effects. The daily newscasts from Terra showed a corresponding shift in interest at home. The discovery of the University had focused attention on the dead past of Mars; now the public was interested in Mars as a possible home for humanity. It was Tony Lattimer who brought archaeology back into the activities of the expedition and the news at home. Martha and Selim were working in the museum on the second floor, scrubbing the grime from the glass cases, noting contents, and grease-penciling numbers; Lattimer and a[Pg 38] couple of Space Force officers were going through what had been the administrative offices on the other side. It was one of these, a young second lieutenant, who came hurrying in from the mezzanine, almost bursting with excitement. "Hey, Martha! Dr. von Ohlmhorst!" he was shouting. "Where are you? Tony's found the Martians!" Selim dropped his rag back in the bucket; she laid her clipboard on top of the case beside her. "Where?" they asked together. "Over on the north side." The lieutenant took hold of himself and spoke more deliberately. "Little room, back of one of the old faculty offices—conference room. It was locked from the inside, and we had to burn it down with a torch. That's where they are. Eighteen of them, around a long table—" Gloria Standish, who had dropped in for lunch, was on the mezzanine, fairly screaming into a radiophone extension: " ... Dozen and a half of them! Well, of course they're dead. What a question! They look like skeletons covered with leather. No, I do not know what they died of. Well, forget it; I don't care if Bill Chandler's found a three-headed hippopotamus. Sid, don't you get it? We've found the Martians!" She slammed the phone back on its hook, rushing away ahead of them. Martha remembered the closed door; on the first survey, they hadn't attempted opening it. Now it was burned away at both sides and lay, still hot along the edges, on the floor of the big office room in front. A floodlight was on in the room inside, and Lattimer was going around looking at things while a Space Force officer stood by the door. The center of the room was filled by a long table; in armchairs around it sat the eighteen men and women who had occupied the room for the last fifty millennia. There were bottles and glasses on the table in front of them, and, had she seen them in a dimmer light, she would have thought that they were merely dozing over their drinks. One had a knee hooked over his chair-arm and was curled in foetuslike sleep. Another had fallen forward onto the table, arms extended, the emerald set of a ring twinkling dully on one finger. Skeletons covered with leather, Gloria Standish had called them, and so they were—faces like skulls, arms and legs like sticks, the flesh shrunken onto the bones under it. "Isn't this something!" Lattimer was exulting. "Mass suicide, that's what it was. Notice what's in the corners?" Braziers, made of perforated two-gallon-odd metal cans, the white walls smudged with smoke above them. Von Ohlmhorst had noticed them at once, and was poking into one of them with his flashlight. "Yes; charcoal. I noticed a quantity of it around a couple of hand-[Pg 39]forges in the shop on the first floor. That's why you had so much trouble breaking in; they'd sealed the room on the inside." He straightened and went around the room, until he found a ventilator, and peered into it. "Stuffed with rags. They must have been all that were left, here. Their power was gone, and they were old and tired, and all around them their world was dying. So they just came in here and lit the charcoal, and sat drinking together till they all fell asleep. Well, we know what became of them, now, anyhow." Sid and Gloria made the most of it. The Terran public wanted to hear about Martians, and if live Martians couldn't be found, a room full of dead ones was the next best thing. Maybe an even better thing; it had been only sixty-odd years since the Orson Welles invasion-scare. Tony Lattimer, the discoverer, was beginning to cash in on his attentions to Gloria and his ingratiation with Sid; he was always either making voice-and-image talks for telecast or listening to the news from the home planet. Without question, he had become, overnight, the most widely known archaeologist in history. "Not that I'm interested in all this, for myself," he disclaimed, after listening to the telecast from Terra two days after his discovery. "But this is going to be a big thing for Martian archaeology. Bring it to the public attention; dramatize it. Selim, can you remember when Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter found the tomb of Tutankhamen?" "In 1923? I was two years old, then," von Ohlmhorst chuckled. "I really don't know how much that publicity ever did for Egyptology. Oh, the museums did devote more space to Egyptian exhibits, and after a museum department head gets a few extra showcases, you know how hard it is to make him give them up. And, for a while, it was easier to get financial support for new excavations. But I don't know how much good all this public excitement really does, in the long run." "Well, I think one of us should go back on the Cyrano, when the Schiaparelli orbits in," Lattimer said. "I'd hoped it would be you; your voice would carry the most weight. But I think it's important that one of us go back, to present the story of our work, and what we have accomplished and what we hope to accomplish, to the public and to the universities and the learned societies, and to the Federation Government. There will be a great deal of work that will have to be done. We must not allow the other scientific fields and the so-called practical interests to monopolize public and academic support. So, I believe I shall go back at least for a while, and see what I can do—" Lectures. The organization of a Society of Martian Archaeology, with Anthony Lattimer, Ph.D., the logical candidate for the chair. Degrees, honors; the deference of the learned, and the adulation of the[Pg 40] lay public. Positions, with impressive titles and salaries. Sweet are the uses of publicity. She crushed out her cigarette and got to her feet. "Well, I still have the final lists of what we found in Halvhulva—Biology—department to check over. I'm starting on Sornhulva tomorrow, and I want that stuff in shape for expert evaluation." That was the sort of thing Tony Lattimer wanted to get away from, the detail-work and the drudgery. Let the infantry do the slogging through the mud; the brass-hats got the medals. She was halfway through the fifth floor, a week later, and was having midday lunch in the reading room on the first floor when Hubert Penrose came over and sat down beside her, asking her what she was doing. She told him. "I wonder if you could find me a couple of men, for an hour or so," she added. "I'm stopped by a couple of jammed doors at the central hall. Lecture room and library, if the layout of that floor's anything like the ones below it." "Yes. I'm a pretty fair door-buster, myself." He looked around the room. "There's Jeff Miles; he isn't doing much of anything. And we'll put Sid Chamberlain to work, for a change, too. The four of us ought to get your doors open." He called to Chamberlain, who was carrying his tray over to the dish washer. "Oh, Sid; you doing anything for the next hour or so?" "I was going up to the fourth floor, to see what Tony's doing." "Forget it. Tony's bagged his season limit of Martians. I'm going to help Martha bust in a couple of doors; we'll probably find a whole cemetery full of Martians." Chamberlain shrugged. "Why not. A jammed door can have anything back of it, and I know what Tony's doing—just routine stuff." Jeff Miles, the Space Force captain, came over, accompanied by one of the lab-crew from the ship who had come down on the rocket the day before. "This ought to be up your alley, Mort," he was saying to his companion. "Chemistry and physics department. Want to come along?" The lab man, Mort Tranter, was willing. Seeing the sights was what he'd come down from the ship for. She finished her coffee and cigarette, and they went out into the hall together, gathered equipment and rode the elevator to the fifth floor. The lecture hall door was the nearest; they attacked it first. With proper equipment and help, it was no problem and in ten minutes they had it open wide enough to squeeze through with the floodlights. The room inside was quite empty, and, like most of the rooms behind closed doors, comparatively free from dust. The students, it appeared, had sat with their backs to the door, facing a low platform, but their seats and the lecturer's table and equipment had been removed. The two side walls bore inscriptions: on the[Pg 41] right, a pattern of concentric circles which she recognized as a diagram of atomic structure, and on the left a complicated table of numbers and words, in two columns. Tranter was pointing at the diagram on the right. "They got as far as the Bohr atom, anyhow," he said. "Well, not quite. They knew about electron shells, but they have the nucleus pictured as a solid mass. No indication of proton-and-neutron structure. I'll bet, when you come to translate their scientific books, you'll find that they taught that the atom was the ultimate and indivisible particle. That explains why you people never found any evidence that the Martians used nuclear energy." "That's a uranium atom," Captain Miles mentioned. "It is?" Sid Chamberlain asked, excitedly. "Then they did know about atomic energy. Just because we haven't found any pictures of A-bomb mushrooms doesn't mean—" She turned to look at the other wall. Sid's signal reactions were setting away from him again; uranium meant nuclear power to him, and the two words were interchangeable. As she studied the arrangement of[Pg 42] the numbers and words, she could hear Tranter saying: "Nuts, Sid. We knew about uranium a long time before anybody found out what could be done with it. Uranium was discovered on Terra in 1789, by Klaproth." There was something familiar about the table on the left wall. She tried to remember what she had been taught in school about physics, and what she had picked up by accident afterward. The second column was a continuation of the first: there were forty-six items in each, each item numbered consecutively— "Probably used uranium because it's the largest of the natural atoms," Penrose was saying. "The fact that there's nothing beyond it there shows that they hadn't created any of the transuranics. A student could go to that thing and point out the outer electron of any of the ninety-two elements." Ninety-two! That was it; there were ninety-two items in the table on the left wall! Hydrogen was Number One, she knew; One, Sarfaldsorn. Helium was Two; that was Tirfaldsorn. She couldn't remember which element came next, but in Martian it was Sarfalddavas. Sorn must mean matter, or substance, then. And davas; she was trying to think of what it could be. She turned quickly to the others, catching hold of Hubert Penrose's arm with one hand and waving her clipboard with the other. "Look at this thing, over here," she was clamoring excitedly. "Tell me what you think it is. Could it be a table of the elements?" They all turned to look. Mort Tranter stared at it for a moment. "Could be. If I only knew what those squiggles meant—" That was right; he'd spent his time aboard the ship. "If you could read the numbers, would that help?" she asked, beginning to set down the Arabic digits and their Martian equivalents. "It's decimal system, the same as we use." "Sure. If that's a table of elements, all I'd need would be the numbers. Thanks," he added as she tore off the sheet and gave it to him. Penrose knew the numbers, and was ahead of him. "Ninety-two items, numbered consecutively. The first number would be the atomic number. Then a single word, the name of the element. Then the atomic weight—" She began reading off the names of the elements. "I know hydrogen and helium; what's tirfalddavas, the third one?"

Lithium," Tranter said. "The atomic weights aren't run out past the decimal point. Hydrogen's one plus, if that double-hook dingus is a plus sign; Helium's four-plus, that's right. And lithium's given as seven, that isn't right. It's six-point nine-four-oh. Or is that thing a Martian minus sign?"
"Of course! Look! A plus sign is a hook, to hang things together;[Pg 43] a minus sign is a knife, to cut something off from something—see, the little loop is the handle and the long pointed loop is the blade. Stylized, of course, but that's what it is. And the fourth element, kiradavas; what's that?"
"Beryllium. Atomic weight given as nine-and-a-hook; actually it's nine-point-oh-two."
Sid Chamberlain had been disgruntled because he couldn't get a story about the Martians having developed atomic energy. It took him a few minutes to understand the newest development, but finally it dawned on him.
"Hey! You're reading that!" he cried. "You're reading Martian!"
"That's right," Penrose told him. "Just reading it right off. I don't get the two items after the atomic weight, though. They look like months of the Martian calendar. What ought they to be, Mort?"

Tranter hesitated. "Well, the next information after the atomic weight ought to be the period and group numbers. But those are words."
"What would the numbers be for the first one, hydrogen?"
"Period One, Group One. One electron shell, one electron in the outer shell," Tranter told her. "Helium's period one, too, but it has the outer—only—electron shell full, so it's in the group of inert elements."
"Trav, Trav. Trav's the first month of the year. And helium's Trav, Yenth; Yenth is the eighth month."
"The inert elements could be called Group Eight, yes. And the third element, lithium, is Period Two, Group One. That check?"
"It certainly does. Sanv, Trav; Sanv's the second month. What's the first element in Period Three?"
"Sodium. Number Eleven."
That's right; it's Krav, Trav. Why, the names of the months are simply numbers, one to ten, spelled out.
"Doma's the fifth month. That was your first Martian word, Martha," Penrose told her. "The word for five. And if davas is the word for metal, and sornhulva is chemistry and / or physics, I'll bet Tadavas Sornhulva is literally translated as: Of-Metal Matter-Knowledge. Metallurgy, in other words. I wonder what Mastharnorvod means." It surprised her that, after so long and with so much happening in the meantime, he could remember that. "Something like 'Journal,' or 'Review,' or maybe 'Quarterly.'"
"We'll work that out, too," she said confidently. After this, nothing seemed impossible. "Maybe we can find—" Then she stopped short. "You said 'Quarterly.' I think it was 'Monthly,' instead. It was dated for a specific month, the fifth one. And if nor is ten, Mastharnorvod could be 'Year-Tenth.' And I'll bet we'll find that masthar is the word for year." She looked at the table on the wall again. "Well, let's get all[Pg 44] these words down, with translations for as many as we can."
"Let's take a break for a minute," Penrose suggested, getting out his cigarettes. "And then, let's do this in comfort. Jeff, suppose you and Sid go across the hall and see what you find in the other room in the way of a desk or something like that, and a few chairs. There'll be a lot of work to do on this."
Sid Chamberlain had been squirming as though he were afflicted with ants, trying to contain himself. Now he let go with an excited jabber.
"This is really it! The it, not just it-of-the-week, like finding the reservoirs or those statues or this building, or even the animals and the dead Martians! Wait till Selim and Tony see this! Wait till Tony sees it; I want to see his face! And when I get this on telecast, all Terra's going to go nuts about it!" He turned to Captain Miles. "Jeff, suppose you take a look at that other door, while I find somebody to send to tell Selim and Tony. And Gloria; wait till she sees this—"
"Take it easy, Sid," Martha cautioned. "You'd better let me have a look at your script, before you go too far overboard on the telecast. This is just a beginning; it'll take years and years before we're able to read any of those books downstairs."
"It'll go faster than you think, Martha," Hubert Penrose told her. "We'll all work on it, and we'll teleprint material to Terra, and people there will work on it. We'll send them everything we can ... everything we work out, and copies of books, and copies of your word-lists—"
And there would be other tables—astronomical tables, tables in physics and mechanics, for instance—in which words and numbers were equivalent. The library stacks, below, would be full of them. Transliterate them into Roman alphabet spellings and Arabic numerals, and somewhere, somebody would spot each numerical significance, as Hubert Penrose and Mort Tranter and she had done with the table of elements. And pick out all the chemistry textbooks in the Library; new words would take on meaning from contexts in which the names of elements appeared. She'd have to start studying chemistry and physics, herself—

Sachiko Koremitsu peeped in through the door, then stepped inside.
"Is there anything I can do—?" she began. "What's happened? Something important?"
"Important?" Sid Chamberlain exploded. "Look at that, Sachi! We're reading it! Martha's found out how to read Martian!" He grabbed Captain Miles by the arm. "Come on, Jeff; let's go. I want to call the others—" He was still babbling as he hurried from the room.
Sachi looked at the inscription. "Is it true?" she asked, and then, before Martha could more than be[Pg 45]gin to explain, flung her arms around her. "Oh, it really is! You are reading it! I'm so happy!"
She had to start explaining again when Selim von Ohlmhorst entered. This time, she was able to finish.
"But, Martha, can you be really sure? You know, by now, that learning to read this language is as important to me as it is to you, but how can you be so sure that those words really mean things like hydrogen and helium and boron and oxygen? How do you know that their table of elements was anything like ours?"
Tranter and Penrose and Sachiko all looked at him in amazement.
"That isn't just the Martian table of elements; that's the table of elements. It's the only one there is." Mort Tranter almost exploded. "Look, hydrogen has one proton and one electron. If it had more of either, it wouldn't be hydrogen, it'd be something else. And the same with all the rest of the elements. And hydrogen on Mars is the same as hydrogen on Terra, or on Alpha Centauri, or in the next galaxy—"
"You just set up those numbers, in that order, and any first-year chemistry student could tell you what elements they represented." Penrose said. "Could if he expected to make a passing grade, that is."
The old man shook his head slowly, smiling. "I'm afraid I wouldn't make a passing grade. I didn't know, or at least didn't realize, that. One of the things I'm going to place an order for, to be brought on the Schiaparelli, will be a set of primers in chemistry and physics, of the sort intended for a bright child of ten or twelve. It seems that a Martiologist has to learn a lot of things the Hittites and the Assyrians never heard about."
Tony Lattimer, coming in, caught the last part of the explanation. He looked quickly at the walls and, having found out just what had happened, advanced and caught Martha by the hand.
"You really did it, Martha! You found your bilingual! I never believed that it would be possible; let me congratulate you!"
He probably expected that to erase all the jibes and sneers of the past. If he did, he could have it that way. His friendship would mean as little to her as his derision—except that his friends had to watch their backs and his knife. But he was going home on the Cyrano, to be a big shot. Or had this changed his mind for him again?
"This is something we can show the world, to justify any expenditure of time and money on Martian archaeological work. When I get back to Terra, I'll see that you're given full credit for this achievement—"
On Terra, her back and his knife would be out of her watchfulness.
"We won't need to wait that long," Hubert Penrose told him dryly. "I'm sending off an official report, tomorrow; you can be sure Dr. Dane will be given full credit, not only for this but for her previous work, which made it possible to exploit this discovery."
"And you might add, work done in spite of the doubts and discouragements of her colleagues," Selim von Ohlmhorst said. "To which I am ashamed to have to confess my own share."
"You said we had to find a bilingual," she said. "You were right, too.

There is no lie so totally convincing as something the other fellow already knows-for-sure is the truth. And no cover-story so convincing…WHAT THE LEFT HAND … WAS DOING By DARRELL T. LANGART The building itself was unprepossessive enough. It was an old-fashioned, six-floor, brick structure that had, over the years, served first as a private home, then as an apartment building, and finally as the headquarters for the organization it presently housed. It stood among others of its kind in a lower-middle-class district of Arlington, Virginia, within howitzer range of the capitol of the United States, and even closer to the Pentagon. The main door was five steps up from the sidewalk, and the steps were flanked by curving balustrades of ornamental ironwork. The entrance itself was closed by a double door with glass panes, beyond which could be seen a small foyer. On both doors, an identical message was blocked out in neat gold letters: The Society For Mystical and Metaphysical Research, Inc. It is possible that no more nearly perfect cover, no more misleading front for a secret organization ever existed in the history of man. It possessed two qualities which most other cover-up titles do not have. One, it was so obviously crackpot that no one paid any attention to it except crackpots, and, two, it was perfectly, literally true. Spencer Candron had seen the building so often that the functional beauty of the whole setup no longer impressed him as it had several years before. Just as a professional actor is not impressed by being allowed backstage, or as a multimillionaire considers expensive luxuries as commonplace, so Spencer Candron thought of nothing more than his own personal work as he climbed the five steps and pushed open the glass-paned doors. Perhaps, too, his matter-of-fact attitude was caused partially by the analogical resemblance between himself and the organization. Physically, Candron, too, was unprepossessing. He was a shade less than five eight, and his weight fluctuated between a hundred and forty and a hundred and forty-five, depending on the season and his state of mind. His face consisted of a well-formed snub nose, a pair of introspective gray eyes, a rather wide, thin-lipped mouth that tended to smile even when relaxed, a high, smooth forehead, and a firm cleft chin, plus the rest of the normal equipment that normally goes to make up a face. The skin was slightly tanned, but it was the tan of a man who goes to the beach on summer weekends, not that of an outdoorsman. His hands were strong and wide and rather large; the palms were uncalloused and the fingernails were clean and neatly trimmed. His hair was straight and light brown, with a pronounced widow's peak, and he wore it combed back and rather long to conceal the fact that a thin spot had appeared on the top rear of his scalp. His clothing was conservative and a little out of style, having been bought in 1981, and thus three years past being up-to-date. Physically, then, Spencer Candron, was a fine analog of the Society. He [11] looked unimportant. On the outside, he was just another average man whom no one would bother to look twice at. The analogy between himself and the S.M.M.R. was completed by the fact that his interior resources were vastly greater than anything that showed on the outside. The doors swung shut behind him, and he walked into the foyer, then turned left into the receptionist's office. The woman behind the desk smiled her eager smile and said, “Good morning, Mr. Candron!" Candron smiled back. He liked the woman, in spite of her semifanatic overeagerness, which made her every declarative sentence seem to end with an exclamation point. “Morning, Mrs. Jesser,” he said, pausing at the desk for a moment. “How have things been?” Mrs. Jesser was a stout matron in her early forties who would have been perfectly happy to work for the Society for nothing, as a hobby. That she was paid a reasonable salary made her job almost heaven for her. “Oh, just fine, Mr. Candron!” she said. “Just fine!” Then her voice lowered, and her face took on a serious, half conspiratorial expression. “Do you know what?” “No,” said Candron, imitating her manner. “What?” “We have a gentleman … he came in yesterday … a very nice man … and very intelligent, too. And, you know what?” Candron shook his head. “No,” he repeated. “What?” Mrs. Jesser's face took on the self-pleased look of one who has important inside knowledge to impart. “He has actual photographs … three-D, full-color photographs … of the control room of a flying saucer! And one of the Saucerites, too!" “Really?” Candron's expression was that of a man who was both impressed and interested. “What did Mr. Balfour say?” “Well—” Mrs. Jesser looked rather miffed. “I don't really know! But the gentleman is supposed to be back tomorrow! With some more pictures!” “Well,” said Candron. “Well. That's really fine. I hope he has something. Is Mr. Taggert in?” “Oh, yes, Mr. Candron! He said you should go on up!” She waved a plump hand toward the stairway. It made Mrs. Jesser happy to think that she was the sole controller of the only way, except for the fire escape, that anyone could get to the upper floors of the building. And as long as she thought that, among other things, she was useful to the Society. Someone had to handle the crackpots and lunatic-fringe fanatics that came to the Society, and one of their own kind could do the job better than anyone else. As long as Mrs. Jesser and Mr. Balfour were on duty, the Society's camouflage would remain intact. Spencer Candron gave Mrs. Jesser a friendly gesture with one hand and then headed up the stairs. He would rather not have bothered to take the stairway all the way up to the fifth floor, but Mrs. Jesser had sharp ears, [12] and she might wonder why his foot-steps were not heard all the way up. Nothing—but nothing—must ever be done to make Mrs. Jesser wonder about anything that went on here. The door to Brian Taggert's office was open when Candron finally reached the fifth floor. Taggert, of course, was not only expecting him, but had long been aware of his approach. Candron went in, closed the door, and said, “Hi, Brian,” to the dark-haired, dark-eyed, hawk-nosed man who was sprawled on the couch that stood against one corner of the room. There was a desk at the other rear corner, but Brian Taggert wasn't a desk man. He looked like a heavy-weight boxer, but he preferred relaxation to exercise. But he did take his feet from the couch and lift himself to a sitting position as Candron entered. And, at the same time, the one resemblance between Taggert and Candron manifested itself—a warm, truly human smile. “Spence,” he said warmly, “you look as though you were bored. Want a job?” “No,” said Candron, “but I'll take it. Who do I kill?” “Nobody, unless you absolutely have to,” said Taggert. Spencer Candron understood. The one thing that characterized the real members of The Society for Mystical and Metaphysical Research—not the "front” members, like Balfour and Mrs. Jesser, not the hundreds of "honorable” members who constituted the crackpot portion of the membership, but the real core of the group—the thing that characterized them could be summed up in one word: understanding. Without that one essential property, no human mind can be completely free. Unless a human mind is capable of understanding the only forces that can be pitted against it—the forces of other human minds—that mind cannot avail itself of the power that lies within it. Of course, it is elementary that such understanding must also apply to oneself. Understanding of self must come before understanding of others. Total understanding is not necessary—indeed, utter totality is very likely impossible to any human mind. But the greater the understanding, the freer the mind, and, at a point which might be called the “critical point,” certain abilities inherent in the individual human mind become controllable. A change, not only in quantity, but in quality, occurs. A cube of ice in a glass of water at zero degrees Celsius exhibits certain properties and performs certain actions at its surface. Some of the molecules drift away, to become one with the liquid. Other molecules from the liquid become attached to the crystalline ice. But, the ice cube remains essentially an entity. Over a period of time, it may change slowly, since dissolution takes place faster than crystallization at the corners of the cube. Eventually, the cube will become a sphere, or something very closely approximating it. But the [13] change is slow, and, once it reaches that state, the situation becomes static. But, if you add heat, more and more and more, the ice cube will change, not only its shape, but its state. What it was previously capable of doing only slightly and impermanently, it can now do completely. The critical point has been passed. Roughly—for the analog itself is rough—the same things occurs in the human mind. The psionic abilities of the human mind are, to a greater or lesser degree, there to begin with, just as an ice cube has the ability to melt if the proper conditions are met with. The analogy hardly extends beyond that. Unlike an ice cube, the human mind is capable of changing the forces outside it—as if the ice could seek out its own heat in order to melt. And, too, human minds vary in their inherent ability to absorb understanding. Some do so easily, others do so only in spotty areas, still others cannot reach the critical point before they break. And still others can never really understand at all. No one who had not reached his own critical point could become a “core” member of the S.M.M.R. It was not snobbery on their part; they understood other human beings too well to be snobbish. It was more as though a Society for Expert Mountain Climbers met each year on the peak of Mount Everest—anyone who can get up there to attend the meeting is automatically a member. Spencer Candron sat down in a nearby chair. “All right, so I refrain from doing any more damage than I have to. What's the objective?” Taggert put his palms on his muscular thighs and leaned forward. “James Ch’ien is still alive.” Candron had not been expecting the statement, but he felt no surprise. His mind merely adjusted to the new data. “He’s still in China, then,” he said. It was not a question, but a statement of a deduction. “The whole thing was a phony. The death, the body, the funeral. What about the executions?” “They were real,” Taggert said. “Here’s what happened as closely as we can tell: “Dr. Ch’ien was kidnaped on July 10th, the second day of the conference in Peiping, at some time between two and three in the morning. He was replaced by a double, whose name we don’t know. It’s unimportant, anyway. The double was as perfect as the Chinese surgeons could make him. He was probably not aware that he was slated to die; it is more likely that he was hypnotized and misled. At any rate, he took Ch’ien’s place on the rostrum to speak that afternoon. “The man who shot him, and the man who threw the flame bomb, were probably as equally deluded as to what they were doing as the double was. They did a perfect job, though. The impersonator was dead, and his skin was charred and blistered clear up to the chest—no fingerprints. [14] “The men were tried, convicted, and executed. The Chinese government sent us abject apologies. The double’s body was shipped back to the United States with full honors, but by the time it reached here, the eye-cone patterns had deteriorated to the point where they couldn’t be identified any more than the fingerprints could. And there were half a hundred reputable scientists of a dozen friendly nations who were eye-witnesses to the killing and who are all absolutely certain that it was James Ch’ien who died.” Candron nodded. “So, while the whole world was mourning the fact that one of Earth’s greatest physicists has died, he was being held captive in the most secret and secure prison that the Red Chinese government could put him in.” Taggert nodded. “And your job will be to get him out,” he said softly. Candron said nothing for a moment, as he thought the problem out. Taggert said nothing to interrupt him. Neither of them worried about being overheard or spied upon. Besides being equipped with hush devices and blanketing equipment, the building was guarded by Reeves and Donahue, whose combined senses of perception could pick up any activity for miles around which might be inimical to the Society. “How much backing do we get from the Federal Government?” Candron asked at last. “We can swing the cover-up afterwards all the way,” Taggert told him firmly. “We can arrange transportation back. That is, the Federal Government can. But getting over there and getting Ch’ien out of durance vile is strictly up to the Society. Senator Kerotski and Secretary Gonzales are giving us every opportunity they can, but there’s no use approaching the President until after we’ve proven our case.” Candron gestured his understanding. The President of the United States was a shrewd, able, just, and ethical human being—but he was not yet a member of the Society, and perhaps would never be. As a consequence it was still impossible to convince him that the S.M.M.R. knew what it was talking about—and that applied to nearly ninety per cent of the Federal and State officials of the nation. Only a very few knew that the Society was an ex officio branch of the government itself. Not until the rescue of James Ch’ien was an accomplished fact, not until there was physical, logical proof that the man was still alive would the government take official action. “What’s the outline?” Candron wanted to know. Taggert outlined the proposed course of action rapidly. When he was finished, Spencer Candron simply said, “All right. I can take care of my end of it.” He stood up. “I’ll see you, Brian.” Brian Taggert lay back down on the couch, propped up his feet, and [15] winked at Candron. “Watch and check, Spence. Morning came three hours later. The sun came up quietly, as if its sole purpose in life were to make a liar out of Kipling. The venerable old Chinese gentleman who strolled quietly down Dragon Street looked as though he were merely out for a placid walk for his morning constitutional. His clothing was that of a middle-class office worker, but his dignified manner, his wrinkled brown face, his calm brown eyes, and his white hair brought respectful looks from the other passers-by on the Street of the Dragon. Not even the thirty-five years of Communism, which had transformed agrarian China into an industrial and technological nation that ranked with the best, had destroyed the ancient Chinese respect for age. That respect was what Spencer Candron relied on to help him get his job done. Obvious wealth would have given him respect, too, as would the trappings of power; he could have posed as an Honorable Director or a People’s Advocate. But that would have brought unwelcome attention as well as respect. His disguise would never stand up under careful examination, and trying to pass himself off as an important citizen might bring on just such an examination. But an old man had both respect and anonymity. Candron had no difficulty in playing the part. he had known many elderly chinese, and he understood them well. even the emotional control of the oriental was simple to simulate; candron knew what “emotional control” really meant. You don’t control an automobile by throwing the transmission out of gear and letting the engine run wild. Suppressing an emotion is not controlling it, in the fullest sense. “Control” implies guidance and use. Peiping contained nearly three million people in the city itself, and another three million in the suburbs; there was little chance that the People’s Police would single out one venerable oldster to question, but Candron wanted an escape route just in case they did. He kept walking until he found the neighborhood he wanted, then he kept his eyes open for a small hotel. He didn’t want one that was too expensive, but, on the other hand, he didn’t want one so cheap that the help would be untrustworthy. He found one that suited his purpose, but he didn’t want to go in immediately. There was one more thing to do. He waited until the shops were open, and then went in search of second-hand luggage. He had enough money in his pockets to buy more brand-new expensive luggage than a man could carry, but he didn’t want luggage that looked either expensive or new. When he finally found what he wanted, he went in search of clothing, buying a piece at a time, here and there, in widely scattered shops. Some of it was new, some of it was secondhand, all of it fit both the body and the [18] personality of the old man he was supposed to be. Finally, he went to the hotel. The clerk was a chubby, blandly happy, youngish man who bowed his head as Candron approached. There was still the flavor of the old politeness in his speech, although the flowery beauty of half a century before had disappeared. “Good morning, venerable sir; may I be of some assistance?” Candron kept the old usages. “This old one would be greatly honored if your excellent hostelry could find a small corner for the rest of his unworthy body,” he said in excellent Cantonese. “It is possible, aged one, that this miserable hovel may provide some space, unsuited though it may be to your honored presence,” said the clerk, reverting as best he could to the language of a generation before. “For how many people would you require accommodations?” “For my humble self only,” Candron said. “It can, I think, be done,” said the clerk, giving him a pleasant smile. Then his face took on an expression of contrition. “I hope, venerable one, that you will not think this miserable creature too bold if he asks for your papers?” “Not at all,” said Candron, taking a billfold from his inside coat pocket. “Such is the law, and the law of the People of China is to be always respected.” He opened the billfold and spread the papers for the clerk’s inspection. They were all there—identification, travel papers, everything. The clerk looked them over and jotted down the numbers in the register book on the desk, then turned the book around. “Your chop, venerable one.” The “chop” was a small stamp bearing the ideograph which indicated the name Candron was using. Illiteracy still ran high in China because of the difficulty in memorizing the tens of thousands of ideographs which made up the written language, so each man carried a chop to imprint his name. Officially, China used the alphabet, spelling out the Chinese words phonetically—and, significantly, they had chosen the Latin alphabet of the Western nations rather than the Cyrillic of the Soviets. But old usages die hard. Candron imprinted the ideograph on the page, then, beside it, he wrote “Ying Lee” in Latin characters. The clerk’s respect for this old man went up a degree. He had expected to have to put down the Latin characters himself. “Our humble establishment is honored by your esteemed presence, Mr. Ying,” he said. “For how long will it be your pleasure to bestow this honor upon us?” “My poor business, unimportant though it is, will require it least one week; at the most, ten days.” Candron said, knowing full well that twenty-four hours would be his maximum, if everything went well. “It pains me to ask for money in advance from so honorable a gentleman [19] as yourself,” said the clerk, “but such are the rules. It will be seven and a half yuan per day, or fifty yuan per week.” Candron put five ten-yuan notes on the counter. Since the readjustment of the Chinese monetary system, the yuan had regained a great deal of its value.

Scenes From The Future’ 
 


The official story,” said Senator Kerotski, “is that an impostor had taken Dr. Ch’ien’s place before he ever left the United States—” He grinned. “At least, the substitution took place before the delegates reached China. So the ‘assassination’ was really no assassination at all. Ch’ien was kidnaped here, and a double put in his place in Peiping. That absolves both us and the Chinese Government of any complicity. We save face for [31] them, and they save face for us. Since he turned up here, in the States, it’s obvious that he couldn’t have been in China.” He chuckled, but there was no mirth in it. “So the cold war still continues. We know what they did, and—in a way—they know what we did. But not how we did it.”

The senator looked at the other two men who were with him on the fifth floor office of the Society for Mystical and Metaphysical Research. Taggert was relaxing on his couch, and Spencer Candron, just out of the hospital, looked rather pale as he sat in the big, soft chair that Taggert had provided.
The senator looked at Candron. “The thing I don’t understand is, why was it necessary to knock out Ch’ien? He’ll have a sore jaw for weeks. Why didn’t you just tell him who you were and what you were up to?”
Candron glanced at Taggert, but Taggert just grinned and nodded.
“We couldn’t allow that,” said Candron, looking at Senator Kerotski. “Dr. James Ch’ien has too much of a logical, scientific mind for that. We’d have ruined him if he’d seen me in action.”
The senator looked a little surprised. “Why? We’ve convinced other scientists that they were mistaken in their observations. Why not Ch’ien?”
“Ch’ien is too good a scientist,” Candron said. “He’s not the type who would refuse to believe something he saw simply because it didn’t agree with his theories. Ch’ien is one of those dangerous in-betweens. He’s too brilliant to be allowed to go to waste, and, at the same time, too rigid to change his manner of thinking. If he had seen me teleport or levitate, he wouldn’t reject it—he’d try to explain it. And that would have effectively ruined him.”
“Ruined him?” The senator looked a little puzzled.
Taggert raised his heavy head from the couch. “Sure, Leo,” he said to the senator. “Don’t you see? We need Ch’ien on this interstellar project. He absolutely must dope out the answer somehow, and no one else can do it as quickly.”
“With the previous information,” the senator said, “we would have been able to continue.”
“Yeah?” Taggert said, sitting up. “Has anyone been able to dope out Fermat’s Last Theorem without Fermat? No. So why ruin Ch’ien?”
“It would ruin him,” Candron broke in, before the senator could speak. “If he saw, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that levitation and teleportation were possible, he would have accepted his own senses as usable data on definite phenomena. But, limited as he is by his scientific outlook, he would have tried to evolve a scientific theory to explain what he saw. What else could a scientist do?”
Senator Kerotski nodded, and his nod said: “I see. He would have diverted his attention from the field of the interstellar drive to the field of psionics. And he would have wasted years trying to explain an inherently [32] nonlogical area of knowledge by logical means.”
“That’s right,” Candron said. “We would have set him off on a wild goose chase, trying to solve the problems of psionics by the scientific, the logical, method. We would have presented him with an unsolvable problem.”
Taggert patted his knees. “We would have given him a problem that he could not solve with the methodology at hand. It would be as though we had proved to an ancient Greek philosopher that the cube could be doubled, and then allowed him to waste his life trying to do it with a straight-edge and compass.”
“We know Ch’ien’s psychological pattern,” Candron continued. “He’s not capable of admitting that there is any other thought pattern than the logical. He would try to solve the problems of psionics by logical methods, and would waste the rest of his life trying to do the impossible.”
The senator stroked his chin. “That’s clear,” he said at last. “Well, it was worth a cracked jaw to save him. We’ve given him a perfectly logical explanation of his rescue and, simultaneously, we’ve put the Chinese government into absolute confusion. They have no idea of how you got out of there, Candron.”
“That’s not as important as saving Ch’ien,” Candron said.
“No,” the senator said quickly, “of course not. After all, the Secretary of Research needs Dr. Ch’ien—the man’s important.”
Spencer Candron smiled. “I agree. He’s practically indispensable—as much as a man can be.”
“He’s the Secretary’s right hand man,” said Taggert firmly.




  ‘BEAM OF TERROR’ by Roy Sheldon (HJ Campbell). LG Holmes no longer listed as Editor, but HJ Campbell still Technical Editor. Cover: DLW

'

(14) ‘AUTHENTIC SCIENCE FICTION no.14’ (15 Oct 51) ‘PLANET OF POWER (an ‘Old Growler’ story) by Jon J Deegan (Robert Sharp)

'Authentic SF no.17' & 'Authentic SF no.18'

(18) ‘AUTHENTIC SCIENCE FICTION no.18’ (15/2/52) ‘CHAOS IN MINIATURE’ by HJ Campbell – ‘when the House of Commons disappeared on April 1st 1988, most people thought it was a pretty poor way of celebrating All Fools Day’, Fanzine (‘UTOPIAN’), Books (Coblentz ‘Sunken World’, Wolheim ‘Flight into Space’).

'MARTIANS IN A FROZEN WORLD ...............STAR OF DEATH 

dissabte, 21 de febrer de 2015

RED SUN RISING The star Mira was unpredictably variable. Sometimes it was blazing, brilliant and hot. Other times it was oddly dim, cool, shedding little warmth on its many planets. Gresth Gkae, leader of the Mirans, was seeking a better star, one to which his "people" could migrate. That star had to be steady, reliable, with a good planetary system. And in his astronomical searching, he found Sol. With hundreds of ships, each larger than whole Terrestrial spaceports, and traveling faster than the speed of light, the Mirans set out to move in to Solar regions and take over. And on Earth there was nothing which would be capable of beating off this incredible armada—until Buck Kendall stumbled upon THE ULTIMATE WEAPON.Patrol Cruiser "IP-T 247" circling out toward Pluto on leisurely inspection tour to visit the outpost miners there, was in no hurry at all as she loafed along. Her six-man crew was taking it very easy, and easy meant two-man watches, and low speed, to watch for the instrument panel and attend ship into the bargain. She was about thirty million miles off Pluto, just beginning to get in touch with some of the larger mining stations out there, when Buck Kendall's turn at the controls came along. Buck Kendall was one of life's little jokes. When Nature made him, she was absentminded. Buck stood six feet two in his stocking feet, with his usual slight stoop in operation. When he forgot, and stood up straight, he loomed about two inches higher. He had the body and muscles of a dock navvy, which Nature started out to make. Then she forgot and added something of the same stuff she put in Sir Francis Drake. Maybe that made Old Nature nervous, and she started adding different things. At any rate, Kendall, as finally turned out, had a brain that put him in the first rank of scientists—when he felt like it—the general constitution of an ostrich and a flair for gambling.[6] The present position was due to such a gamble. An IP man, a friend of his, had made the mistake of betting him a thousand dollars he wouldn't get beyond a Captain's bars in the Patrol. Kendall had liked the idea anyway, and adding a bit of a bet to it made it irresistible. So, being a very particular kind of a fool, the glorious kind which old Nature turns out now and then, he left a five million dollar estate on Long Island, Terra, that same evening, and joined up in the Patrol. The Sir Francis Drake strain had immediately come forth—and Kendall was having the time of his life. In a six-man cruiser, his real work in the Interplanetary Patrol had started. He was still in it—but it was his command now, and a blue circle on his left sleeve gave his lieutenant's rank. Buck Kendall had immediately proceeded to enlist in his command the IP man who had made the mistaken bet, and Rad Cole was on duty with him now. Cole was the technician of the T-247. His rank as Technical Engineer was practically equivalent to Kendall's circle-rank, which made the two more comfortable together. Cole was listening carefully to the signals coming through from Pluto. "That," he decided, "sounds like Tad Nichols' fist. You can recognize that broken-down truck-horse trot of his on the key as far away as you can hear it." "Is that what it is?" sighed Buck. "I thought it was static mushing him at first. What's he like?" "Like all the other damn fools who come out two billion miles to scratch rock, as if there weren't enough already on the inner planets. He's got a rich platinum property. Sells ninety percent of his output to buy his power, and the other eleven percent for his clothes and food." "He must be an efficient miner," suggested Kendall, "to maintain 101% production like that." "No, but his bank account is. He's figured out that's the most economic level of production. If he produces less, he won't be able to pay for his heating power, and if he produces more, his operation power will burn up his bank account too fast." "Hmmm—sensible way to figure. A man after my own[7] heart. How does he plan to restock his bank account?" "By mining on Mercury. He does it regularly—sort of a commuter. Out here his power bills eat it up. On Mercury he goes in for potassium, and sells the power he collects in cooling his dome, of course. He's a good miner, and the old fool can make money down there." Like any really skilled operator, Cole had been sending Morse messages while he talked. Now he sat quiet waiting for the reply, glancing at the chronometer. "I take it he's not after money—just after fun," suggested Buck. "Oh, no. He's after money," replied Cole gravely. "You ask him—he's going to make his eternal fortune yet by striking a real bed of jovium, and then he'll retire." "Oh, one of that kind." "They all are," Cole laughed. "Eternal hope, and the rest of it." He listened a moment and went on. "But old Nichols is a first-grade engineer. He wouldn't be able to remake that bankroll every time if he wasn't. You'll see his Dome out there on Pluto—it's always the best on the planet. Tip-top shape. And he's a bit of an experimenter too. Ah—he's with us." Nichols' ragged signals were coming through—or pounding through. They were worse than usual, and at first Kendall and Cole couldn't make them out. Then finally they got them in bursts. The man was excited, and his bad key-work made it worse. "—Randing stopped. They got him I think. He said—th—ship as big—a—nsport. Said it wa—eaded my—ay. Neutrons—on instruments—he's coming over the horizon—it's huge—war ship I think—register—instru—neutrons—." Abruptly the signals were blanked out completely. Cole and Kendall sat frozen and stiff. Each looked at the other abruptly, then Kendall moved. From the receiver, he ripped out the recording coil, and instantly jammed it into the analyzer. He started it through once, then again, then again, at different tone settings, till he found a very shrill[8] whine that seemed to clear up most of Nichols' bad key-work. "T-247—T-247—Emergency. Emergency. Randing reports the—over his horizon. Huge—ip—reign manufacture. Almost spherical. Randing's stopped. They got him I think. He said the ship was as big as a transport. Said it was headed my way. Neutrons—ont—gister—instruments. I think—is h—he's coming over the horizon. It's huge, and a war ship I think—register—instruments—neutrons." Kendall's finger stabbed out at a button. Instantly the noise of the other men, wakened abruptly by the mild shocks, came from behind. Kendall swung to the controls, and Cole raced back to the engine room. The hundred-foot ship shot suddenly forward under the thrust of her tail ion-rockets. A blue-red cloud formed slowly behind her and expanded. Talbot appeared, and silently took her over from Kendall. "Stations, men," snapped Kendall. "Emergency call from a miner of Pluto reporting a large armed vessel which attacked them." Kendall swung back, and eased himself against the thrusting acceleration of the over-powered little ship, toward the engine room. Cole was bending over his apparatus, making careful check-ups, closing weapon-circuits. No window gave view of space here; on the left was the tiny tender's pocket, on the right, above and below the great water tanks that fed the ion-rockets, behind the rockets themselves. The tungsten metal walls were cold and gray under the ship lights; the hunched bulks of the apparatus crowded the tiny room. Gigantic racked accumulators huddled in the corners. Martin and Garnet swung into position in the fighting-tanks just ahead of the power rooms; Canning slid rapidly through the engine room, oozed through a tiny door, and took up his position in the stern-chamber, seated half-over the great ion-rocket sheath. "Ready in positions, Captain Kendall," called the war-pilot as the little green lights appeared on his board. "Test discharges on maximum," ordered Kendall. He turned to Cole. "You start the automatic key?" "Right, Captain."[9] "All shipshape?" "Right as can be. Accumulators at thirty-seven per cent, thanks to the loaf out here. They ought to pick up our signal back on Jupiter, he's nearest now. The station on Europa will get it." "Talbot—we are only to investigate if the ship is as reported. Have you seen any signs of her?" "No sir, and the signals are blank." "I'll work from here." Kendall took his position at the commanding control. Cole made way for him, and moved to the power board. One by one he tested the automatic doors, the pressure bulkheads. Kendall watched the instruments as one after another of the weapons were tested on momentary full discharge—titanic flames of five million volt protons. Then the ship thudded to the chatter of the Garnell rifles. Tensely the men watched the planet ahead, white, yet barely visible in the weak sunlight so far out. It was swimming slowly nearer as the tiny ship gathered speed. Kendall cast a glance over his detector-instruments. The radio network was undisturbed, the magnetic and electric fields recognized only the slight disturbances occasioned by the planet itself. There was nothing, noth— Five hundred miles away, a gigantic ship came into instantaneous being. Simultaneously, and instantaneously, the various detector systems howled their warnings. Kendall gasped as the thing appeared on his view screen, with the scale-lines below. The scale must be cock-eyed. They said the ship was fifteen hundred feet in diameter, and two thousand long! "Retreat," ordered Kendall, "at maximum acceleration." Talbot was already acting. The gyroscopes hummed in their castings, and the motors creaked. The T-247 spun on her axis, and abruptly the acceleration built up as the ion-rockets began to shudder. A faint smell of "heat" began to creep out of the converter. Immense "weight" built up, and pressed the men into their specially designed seats[10]— The gigantic ship across the way turned slowly, and seemed to stare at the T-247. Then it darted toward them at incredible speed till the poor little T-247 seemed to be standing still, as sailors say. The stranger was so gigantic now, the screens could not show all of him. "God, Buck—he's going to take us!" Simultaneously, the T-247 rolled, and from her broke every possible stream of destruction. The ion-rocket flames swirled abruptly toward her, the proton-guns whined their song of death in their housings, and the heavy pounding shudder of the Garnell guns racked the ship. Strangely, Kendall suddenly noticed, there was a stillness in the ship. The guns and the rays were still going—but the little human sounds seemed abruptly gone. "Talbot—Garnet—" Only silence answered him. Cole looked across at him in sudden white-faced amazement. "They're gone—" gasped Cole. Kendall stood paralyzed for thirty seconds. Then suddenly he seemed to come to life. "Neutrons! Neutrons—and water tanks! Old Nichols was right—" He turned to his friend. "Cole—the tender—quick." He darted a glance at the screen. The giant ship still lay alongside. A wash of ions was curling around her, splitting, and passing on. The pinprick explosions of the Garnell shells dotted space around her—but never on her. Cole was already racing for the tender lock. In an instant Kendall piled in after him. The tiny ship, scarcely ten feet long, was powered for flights of only two hours acceleration, and had oxygen for but twenty-four hours for six men, seventy-two hours for two men—maybe. The heavy door was slammed shut behind them, as Cole seated himself at the panel. He depressed a lever, and a sudden smooth push shot them away from the T-247. "DON'T!" called Kendall sharply as Cole reached for the ion-rocket control. "Douse those lights!" The ship was dark in dark space. The lighted hull of the T-247 drifted away from the little tender—further and further till the giant ship on the far side became visible.[11] "Not a light—not a sign of fields in operation." Kendall said, unconsciously speaking softly. "This thing is so tiny, that it may escape their observation in the fields of the T-247 and Pluto down there. It's our only hope." "What happened? How in the name of the planets did they kill those men without a sound, without a flash, and without even warning us, or injuring us?" "Neutrons—don't you see?" "Frankly, I don't. I'm no scientist—merely a technician. Neutrons aren't used in any process I've run across." "Well, remember they're uncharged, tiny things. Small as protons, but without electric field. The result is they pass right through an ordinary atom without being stopped unless they make a direct hit. Tungsten, while it has a beautifully high melting point, is mostly open space, and a neutron just sails right through it, or any heavy atom. Light atoms stop neutrons better—there's less open space in 'em. Hydrogen is best. Well—a man is made up mostly of light elements, and a man stops those neutrons—it isn't surprising it killed those other fellows invisibly, and without a sound." "You mean they bathed that ship in neutrons?" "Shot it full of 'em. Just like our proton guns, only sending neutrons." "Well, why weren't we killed too?" "'Water stops neutrons,' I said. Figure it out." "The rocket-water tanks—all around us! Great masses of water—" gasped Cole. "That saved us?" "Right. I wonder if they've spotted us."

The stranger ship was moving slowly in relation to the T-247. Suddenly the motion changed, the stranger spun—and a giant lock appeared in her side, opened. The T-247 began to move, floated more and more rapidly straight for the lock. Her various weapons had stopped operating now, the hoppers of the Garnell guns exhausted, the charge of the accumulators aboard the ship down so low the proton guns had died out.
"Lord—they're taking the whole ship!"
"Say—Cole, is that any ship you ever heard of before? I don't think that's just a pirate!"
"Not a pirate—what then?"
"How'd he get inside our detector screens so fast? Watch—he'll either leave, or come after us—" The T-247 had settled inside the lock now, and the great metal door closed after it. The whole patrol ship had been swallowed by a giant. Kendall was sketching swiftly on a notebook, watching the vast ship closely, putting down a record of its lines, and formation. He glanced up at it, and then down for a few more lines, and up at it—
The stranger ship abruptly dwindled. It dwindled with incredible speed, rushing off along the line of sight at an impossible velocity, and abruptly clicking out of sight, like an image on a movie-film that has been cut, and repaired after the scene that showed the final disappearance.
"Cole—Cole—did you get that? Did you see—do you understand what happened?" Kendall was excitedly shouting now.
"He missed us," Cole sighed. "It's a wonder—hanging out here in space, with the protector of the T-247's fields gone."
"No, no, you asteroid—that's not it. He went off faster than light itself!"
"Eh—what? Faster than light? That can't be done—"
"He did it, I know he did. That's how he got inside our screens. He came inside faster than the warning message could relay back the information. Didn't you see him accelerate to an impossible speed in an impossible time? Didn't you see how he just vanished as he exceeded the speed of light, and stopped reflecting it? That ship was no ship of this solar system!"
"Where did he come from then?"
"God only knows, but it's a long, long way off.

The IP-M-122 picked them up. The M-122 got out there two days later, in response to the calls the T-247 had sent out. As soon as she got within ten million miles of the little tender, she began getting Cole's signals, and within twelve hours had reached the tiny thing, located it, and picked it up.
Captain Jim Warren was in command, one of the old school commanders of the IP. He listened to Kendall's report, listened to Cole's tale—and radioed back a report of his own. Space pirates in a large ship had attacked the T-247, he said, and carried it away. He advised a close watch. On Pluto, his investigations disclosed nothing more than the fact that three mines had been raided, all platinum supplies taken, and the records and machinery removed.


The M-122 was a fifty-man patrol cruiser, and Warren felt sure he could handle the menace alone, and hung around for over two weeks looking for it. He saw nothing, and no further reports came of attack. Again and again, Kendall tried to convince him this ship he was hunting was no mere space pirate, and again and again Warren grunted, and went on his way. He would not send in any report Kendall made out, because to do so would add his endorsement to that report. He would not take Kendall back, though that was well within his authority.
In fact, it was a full month before Kendall again set foot on any of the Minor Planets, and then it was Mars, the base of the M-122. Kendall and Cole took passage[14] immediately on an IP supply ship, and landed in New York six days later. At once, Kendall headed for Commander McLaurin's office. Buck Kendall, lieutenant of the IP, found he would have to make regular application to see McLaurin through a dozen intermediate officers.
By this time, Kendall was savagely determined to see McLaurin himself, and see him in the least possible time. Cole, too, was beginning to believe in Kendall's assertion of the stranger ship's extra-systemic origin. As yet neither could understand the strange actions of the machine, its attack on the Pluto mines, and the capture and theft of a patrol ship.
"There is," said Kendall angrily, "just one way to see McLaurin and see him quick. And, by God, I'm going to. Will you resign with me, Cole? I'll see him within a week then, I'll bet."
For a minute, Cole hesitated. Then he shook hands with his friends. "Today!" And that day it was. They resigned, together. Immediately, Buck Kendall got the machinery in motion for an interview, working now from the outside, pulling the strings with the weight of a hundred million dollar fortune. Even the IP officers had to pay a bit of attention when Bernard Kendall, multi-millionaire began talking and demanding things. Within a week, Kendall did see McLaurin.
At that time, McLaurin was fifty-three years old, his crisp hair still black as space, with scarcely a touch of the gray that appears in his more recent photographs. He stood six feet tall, a broad-shouldered, powerful man, his face grave with lines of intelligence and character. There was also a permanent narrowing of the eyes, from years under the blazing sun of space. But most of all, while those years in space had narrowed and set his eyes, they had not narrowed and set his mind. An infinitely finer character than old Jim Warren, his experience in space had taught him always to expect the unexpected, to understand the incomprehensible as being part of the unknown and incalculable properties of space and the worlds that swam in it. Besides the fine technical education he had started with, he had acquired a liberal[15] education in mankind. When Buck Kendall, straight and powerful, came into his office with Cole, he recognized in him a character that would drive steadily and straight for its goal. Also, he recognized behind the millionaire that had succeeded in pulling wires enough to see him, the scientist who had had more than one paper published "in an amateur way."
"Dr. Bernard Kendall?" he asked, rising.
"Yes, sir. Late Buck Kendall, lieutenant of the IP. I quit and got Cole here to quit with me, so we could see you."
"Unusual tactics. I've had several men join up to get an interview with me." McLaurin smiled.
"Yes, I can imagine that, but we had to see you in a hurry. A hidebound old rapscallion by the name of Jim Warren picked us up out by Pluto, floating around in a six-man tender. We made some reports to him, but he wouldn't believe, and he wouldn't send them through—so we had to send ourselves through. Sir, this system is about to be attacked by some extra-systemic race. The IP-T-247 was so attacked, her crew killed off, and the ship itself carried away."
She was about thirty million miles off Pluto, just beginning to get in touch with some of the larger mining stations out there, when Buck Kendall's turn at the controls came along. Buck Kendall was one of life's little jokes. When Nature made him, she was absentminded. Buck stood six feet two in his stocking feet, with his usual slight stoop in operation. When he forgot, and stood up straight, he loomed about two inches higher. He had the body and muscles of a dock navvy, which Nature started out to make. Then she forgot and added something of the same stuff she put in Sir Francis Drake. Maybe that made Old Nature nervous, and she started adding different things. At any rate, Kendall, as finally turned out, had a brain that put him in the first rank of scientists—when he felt like it—the general constitution of an ostrich and a flair for gambling.[6]

"By mining on Mercury. He does it regularly—sort of a commuter. Out here his power bills eat it up. On Mercury he goes in for potassium, and sells the power he collects in cooling his dome, of course. He's a good miner, and the old fool can make money down there." Like any really skilled operator, Cole had been sending Morse messages while he talked. Now he sat quiet waiting for the reply, glancing at the chronometer.
"I take it he's not after money—just after fun," suggested Buck.
"Oh, no. He's after money," replied Cole gravely. "You ask him—he's going to make his eternal fortune yet by striking a real bed of jovium, and then he'll retire."
"Oh, one of that kind."
"They all are," Cole laughed. "Eternal hope, and the rest of it." He listened a moment and went on. "But old Nichols is a first-grade engineer. He wouldn't be able to remake that bankroll every time if he wasn't. You'll see his Dome out there on Pluto—it's always the best on the planet. Tip-top shape. And he's a bit of an experimenter too. Ah—he's with us."
Nichols' ragged signals were coming through—or pounding through. They were worse than usual, and at first Kendall and Cole couldn't make them out. Then finally they got them in bursts. The man was excited, and his bad key-work made it worse. "—Randing stopped. They got him I think. He said—th—ship as big—a—nsport. Said it wa—eaded my—ay. Neutrons—on instruments—he's coming over the horizon—it's huge—war ship I think—register—instru—neutrons—." Abruptly the signals were blanked out completely.

 One by one he tested the automatic doors, the pressure bulkheads. Kendall watched the instruments as one after another of the weapons were tested on momentary full discharge—titanic flames of five million volt protons. Then the ship thudded to the chatter of the Garnell rifles.

Tensely the men watched the planet ahead, white, yet barely visible in the weak sunlight so far out. It was swimming slowly nearer as the tiny ship gathered speed.
Kendall cast a glance over his detector-instruments. The radio network was undisturbed, the magnetic and electric fields recognized only the slight disturbances occasioned by the planet itself. There was nothing, noth—
Five hundred miles away, a gigantic ship came into instantaneous being. Simultaneously, and instantaneously, the various detector systems howled their warnings. Kendall gasped as the thing appeared on his view screen, with the scale-lines below. The scale must be cock-eyed. They said the ship was fifteen hundred feet in diameter, and two thousand long!
"Retreat," ordered Kendall, "at maximum acceleration."
Talbot was already acting. The gyroscopes hummed in their castings, and the motors creaked. The T-247 spun on her axis, and abruptly the acceleration built up as the ion-rockets began to shudder. A faint smell of "heat" began to creep out of the converter. Immense "weight" built up, and pressed the men into their specially designed seats
"One of two things: an inventor of some other system trying out his latest toy, or an expedition sent out by a planetary government for exploration. I favor the latter for two reasons: that ship was big. No inventor would build a thing that size, requiring a crew of several hundred men to try out his invention. A government would build just about that if they wanted to send out an expedition. If it were an inventor, he'd be interested in meeting other people, to see what they had in the way of science, and probably he'd want to do it in a peaceable way. That fellow wasn't interested in peace, by any means. So I think it's a government ship, and an unfriendly government. They sent that ship out either for scientific research, for trade research and exploration, or for acquisitive exploration. If they were out for scientific research, they'd proceed as would the inventor, to establish friendly communication. If they were out for trade, the same would apply. If they were out for acquisitive exploration, they'd investigate the planets, the sun, the people, only to the extent of learning how best to overcome them. They'd want to get a sample of our people, and a sample of our weapons. They'd want samples of our machinery, our literature and our technology. That's exactly what that ship got.
"Somebody, somewhere out there in space, either doesn't like their home, or wants more home. They've been out looking for one. I'll bet they sent out hundreds of expeditions to thousands of nearby stars, gradually going further and further, seeking a planetary system. This is probably the one and only one they found. It's a good one too. It has planets at all temperatures, of all sizes. It is a fairly compact one, it has a stable sun that will last far longer than any race can hope to."
"Hmm—how can there be good and bad planetary systems?" asked McLaurin. "I'd never thought of that."
Kendall laughed. "Mighty easy. How'd you like to live on a planet of a Cepheid Variable? Pleasant situation, with the radiation flaring up and down. How'd you like to live on[19] a planet of Antares? That blasted sun is so big, to have a comfortable planet you'd have to be at least ten billion miles out. Then if you had an interplanetary commerce, you'd have to struggle with orbits tens of billions of miles across instead of mere millions. Further, you'd have a sun so blasted big, it would take an impossible amount of energy to lift the ship up from one planet to another. If your trip was, say, twenty billions of miles to the next planet, you'd be fighting a gravity as bad as the solar gravity at Earth here all the way—no decline with a little distance like that."
"H-m-m-m—quite true. Then I should say that Mira would take the prize. It's a red giant, and it's an irregular variable. The sunlight there would be as unstable as the weather in New England. It's almost as big as Antares, and it won't hold still. Now that would make a bad planetary system."
"It would!" Kendall laughed. But as we know—he laughed too soon, and he shouldn't have used the conditional. He should have said, "It does!"



Gresth Gkae, Commander of Expeditionary Force 93, of the Planet Sthor, was returning homeward with joyful mind. In the lock of his great ship, lay the T-247. In her cargo holds lay various items of machinery, mining supplies, foods, and records. And in her log books lay the records of many readings on the nine larger planets of a highly satisfactory planetary system.
Gresth Gkae had spent no less than three ultra-wearing years going from one sun to another in a definitely mapped out section of space. He had investigated only eleven stars in that time, eleven stars, progressively further from the titanic red-flaming sun he knew as "the" sun. He knew it as "the" sun, and had several other appellations for it. Mira was so-named by Earthmen because it was indeed a "wonder" star, in Latin, mirare means "to wonder." Irregularly, and for no apparent reason it would change its rate of radiation. So far as those inhabitants of Sthor and her sister world Asthor knew, there was no reason. It just did it. Perhaps with malicious intent to be annoying. If so, it was exceptionally successful. Sthor and Asthor experienced, periodically, a young ice age. When Mira decided to take a rest, Sthor and Asthor froze up, from the poles most of the way to the equators. Then Mira would stretch herself a little, move about restlessly and Sthor and Asthor would become uninhabitably hot, anywhere within twenty degrees of the equator.
Those Sthorian people had evolved in a way that made the conditions endurable for savage or uncivilized people,but when a scientific civilization with a well-ordered mode of existence tried to establish itself, Mira was all sorts of a nuisance.
Gresth Gkae was a peculiar individual to human ways of thinking. He stood some seven feet tall, on his strange, double-kneed legs and his four toed feet. His body was covered with little, short feather-like things that moved now with a volition of their own. They were moving very slowly and regularly. The space-ship was heated to a comfortable temperature, and the little fans were helping to cool Gresth Gkae. Had it been cold, every little feather would have lain down close against its neighbors, forming an admirable, wind-proof and cold-proof blanket.
Nature, on Sthor, had original ideas of arrangement too. Sthorians possessed two eyes—one directly above the other, in the center of their faces. The face was so long, and narrow, it resembled a blunt hatchet, with the two eyes on the edge. To counter-balance this vertical arrangement of the eyes, the nostrils had been separated some four inches, with one on each of the sloping cheeks. His ears were little pink-flesh cups on short, muscular stems. His mouth was narrow, and small, but armed with quite solid teeth adapted to his diet, a diet consisting of almost anything any creature had ever considered edible. Like most successful forms of intelligent life, Gresth Gkae was omnivorous. An intelligent form of life is necessarily adaptable, and adaptation meant being able to eat what was at hand.
One of his eyes, the upper one, was fully twice the size of the lower one. This was his telescopic eye. The lower, or microscopic eye was adapted to work for which a human being would have required a low power microscope, the upper eye possessed a more normal power of vision, plus considerable telescopic powers.
Gresth Gkae was using it now to look ahead in the blank of space to where gigantic Mira appeared. On his screens now, Mira appeared deep violet, for he was approaching at a speed greater than that of light, and even this projected light of Mira was badly distorted.
"
An attack on Luna was the first step. But that terrible, gigantic fort on Luna worried them. Yet while that fort existed, Earth ships were free to come and go, for Mirans could not afford to stand near. At a distance of twenty thousand miles, small Miran ships had felt the touch of those great UV beams.
Finally, a brief test-attack was made, with an entire fleet of one hundred ships. They drew almost into position, faster than light, faster than the signaling warnings could send their messages. In position, all those great ships strained and heaved at the mighty magnetic vortex that twisted at the field of the fort. Instantly, twelve of the fifteen-foot UV beams replied. And—two great UV beams of a size the Mirans had never seen before, beams from the two ships, "S Doradus" and "Cepheid."
The test-attack dissolved as suddenly as it had come. The Mirans returned to Jupiter, and to the outer planets where they had further established themselves. Most of the Solar system was theirs. But the Solarians still held the choicest planets—and kept the Mirans from using the mild-temperatured Mars.



EPILOGUE

The interstellar liner "Mirasol" settled gently to Sthor, having circled wide of Asthor, and from her hold a cargo of the heavy Jovian elements was discharged, while a mixed stream of Solarians and Mirans came from her passenger quarters.
A delegation of Mirans met the new Ambassador from Sol, Commander McLaurin, and conducted him joyfully to the Central Government Group. Beside the great buildings, a battered, scarred interstellar ship lay, her rear section a mass of great patches, rudely applied, and rudely made, mere cast metal plates.
Gresth Gkae welcomed Commander McLaurin to the Government Hall. "Your arrival today, Commander McLaurin, was most fortunate," he said in the interstellar language that had been developed, "for but yesterday Gresth Talak, my brother, arrived in his ship. Before we made that fortunate-unfortunate expedition against your system, we waited for him, and he did not come, so we knew his ship had, like others, been lost.
"He arrived only yesterday, some seventy hours ago, and explained how it had come about. He too found a solar system. But he was less fortunate than I, and while exploring this uninhabited system, far out still from the central sun, where there should have been no masses of matter, one of those rare things, a giant stony meteor that even a magnetic shield will not stop careened into the rear of his ship. Damaged badly, barely able to move, they settled to a planet. The atmosphere was breathable, the temperature mild. But while they could navigate planetary distances,[106] they could not return, so for nearly four and a half of your years they remained there, working, working to repair their ship.
"They have done it at last. And they have returned. And best of all, after a four-year stay there, they know all they need know about that system of eleven planets. It is compact as yours, with an ultra-light sun such as yours, and four of the planets are habitable. Together we can colonize that system! It is a system of stable heat and stable light. And it is small, yet large enough. And with the devices such as your new energy has permitted, we need never fear the stony meteors again." Gresth Gkae smiled happily. "

Where vanquished Soldans sleep each night.Giant battles have been fought in hell,Principalities rot in dust,The tombs of kings speak of the past When Incubi reigned with a rod.Unnumberéd bones adorn each dell Where Rulers lie there stands a bust;WHEN I AM GONE WHAT good is Fame when I am dead and gone, When in immarceseible regions My temple rots and soul doth storm and mourn As bones of mine adorn an early grave? Who'll hear and know that I worked hard and long, That twin sighs and tears storm 'd me by legions, My life, a sunless one—bleak and forlorn. No ray of light whilst I in thralldom slave? What good is Fame when I am dead and gone, When in fenowed abyss', stark and cold, I wend my solemn footsteps and atone, Whilst Fame my brow doth crown with its renown? Who'll know that heart and soul bled on and on, That storm-swept aches and woes were mine untold, My life a waste, from which there stole a moan, No Aureole whilst I in sorrow drown? What good is Fame when I am dead and gone. When far and wide my praise is heard and sung, And busts and marble-heads my deeds unfurl To multitudes that knew me not in flesh? Not when I'm gone care I for Renown's dawn, Now, whilst I labour at Fame's lowest rung, Let me reap dame Approval's brightest pearl And sip its olpe as I my battles thresh. Those that felt the wand of Muse— Queen Posy's shaft of subtle art— Soared to the distant heights of blue, Past onyx lees that Sunsets dyed, And put to Vellum Couplets' fuse, Sped same to Fate with timid heart, Then shed dim tears in Sorrow's pew, This work's respectfully inscribed. PREFACE To the readers of this poem an apology is needed for affixing thereto a praem. Some friends of mine have been plaguing me beyond the restrictive line of Patience for the true cause of conceiving the accompanying collection of words, balderdash or what you will, some even asseverating with the eruditeness of an Aristole that it was a nebulous idea, an embryonic form of thought hibernating within the cavities of my sinciput's inner apex, the remnants of that wild phantasmagoric dream of "vicious, vulpine labyrinths of hell," partly expounded in my "The Flight of a Soul." Now to satisfy everybody but my friends I throw my prejudices to the winds and confess, to wit: That I, with the buckler of Will, wooed Oblivion on September the sixth at exactly 5 P.M., having been up at my desk mauling and drubbing the English language with a vengeance for thirty-six consecutive hours, and that I awoke at 12.30 A.M. that selfsame night with the entire contents of the accompanying——? (have as yet not decided in what category the critics will consign this weird hypotyposis of the Supernal) jingling through my tired brain. I set to work at exactly 12.45 a.m. and wrote until our esteemed companions of the nocturnal hours ceased their unloved music (mosquitos), 5.05 a.m., hied myself back to bed and hypothecated as many winks as Dame Slumber saw fit to allot to me, who am at continued war with her silent wand. The same tactics were employed during the succeeding fifteen nights, wherein I penned eight thousand one hundred and sixteen (8116) lines. This is the truth, the whole and integral truth, and nothing but the unexpurgated truth, so help me Muse (she's blind as a bat) and Satan, of whom I've writ in such an unbecoming manner that, henceforth, I must perforce seek my future Elysian in other haunts than those of the above named Cosmopoietic's own, for fear that his uncoped wrath may blast me into an ape-faced minstrel or, like one red-haired varlet draped with the cognomen of "Nero," use my unbleached bones for illuminating the highway to his insidiate lair. To the readers this question may present itself, to wit: Why place Hell in the bowels of Betelguese? Why not the sun or moon? In the first instance the former sphere is eliminated as a possibility on account of its nature. Being a huge nucleous mass of aeriform fluid, nothing containing animal or vegetable life could possibly exist either on or within its bowels. The moon, too, is excluded for the same reason as is our earth, it having at one time been a part of the latter, broken off by one of the giant planets long before the pleioncene era. Betelguese being a celestial pariah, an outcast, the largest of all known comets or outlawed suns in the universe; and, further, so long as Hell has not been definitely placed, why not figure this hybrid planet as a possibility? Astronomers throughout the world remember the colossal outburst in the constellation Perseus that occurred on February 20, 1901, when one sun exploded, or two made collision with appalling force. It was observed through telescopes and could be seen with the naked eye in full daylight. Both suns were destroyed as suns—that is, they were turned into thin gas and vanished from sight of the largest telescope within less than a year. Had each sun been the centre of a system of eight worlds like our sun; and imagine each world, sixteen in all, to be inhabited with human beings; then they all perished in a short time after collision and died of what the astronomers call "fervent heat." Vega, far more larger than our sun, appears stationary. Our sun, with its family of moons and comets, is moving toward it at the fearful pace of fourteen miles per second. At its present rate of speed—and if Vega is really a "fixed" planet—then our sun would reach it in 320,000 years. However, it is a known certainty that the quantity of matter that is invisible is so much greater than the visible that the visible may be ignored. There may, too, be hundreds of millions of dark bodies, extinct constellations far larger than our own sun. Any one of these could approach our solar system and annihilate it with its impact for, in passing the orbit of the earth on their way around the sun, they attain a regular velocity of 26½ miles per second. If one of these dark comets should overtake the earth and strike it, the velocity of impact would be about eight miles per second; but if it should meet the earth in a head-on collision, the speed, when it struck, would be forty-five miles per second, a momentum beyond the power of the brain to fathom—indeed, man can not think of sixty miles per minute. Let a solid nucleous collide with the earth and imagination would reel at the result. The earth moves over 18½ miles every second, and this added to or subtracted from 26½ makes 45 or 8. If a comet should strike at right angles to the direction of the earth's motion the speed of collision would be 26½ miles. But 8, 26½ or even 15 would hurl destruction if large enough. A visible change is taking place in the giant sun Betelguese. Its nebulæ is slowly but surely disappearing. One hundred years hence it may be a dark planet, invisible to even the most powerful telescope. However, Hell will reign on, through eons and eons; and, if this sun, or any other, contains its kingdom, and mankind lives for another thousand years or more, those who should be so unfortunate as to miss the jagged heights to Paradise need not worry, for glozing imps will lead them to the fasthold of Typhon's weird home. Have no fear. September 22d, MCMVII

BETELGUESE
CARESSED by crystal dews and light
Beyond the realm of scale and fin,
Incarian Thought flits Fancy wings
To hazards where a crimson urn
Makes scarlet this eternal height
Of sunless suns and reigning sin,—
Flame-decked this plain of warring kings
Where poisoned fumes and beacons burn!
And thro' the hyoids, huge and red,
Past portals black and guidons bright
To onyx lees and opal sands,
The Cyclopean vaults of dwale,
And cavern'd shapes that Typhon bled,
Greet each wand'ring spectre's sight;
Where pixies dance on wind-blown strands,
Lurke gyte incubi in a hall.
Here, then, reigns gyving, batter'd Doom!
Where shadows vague and coffined light,
Spit broths from splinter'd wracks and domes.
Where viscid mists and vulpine cries
Rise from the moat of dungeoned gloom
And rasp the stationed walls of night
Until sequesteréd skulls and bones
Are made to hear the moaning sighs
That some mad Titan, rayed in gold,
Wrests from Damnation's siffling tomb.
And labyrinths of Horror's Home,
'Mid vapours green and aisles unsunned,
Provoke each cursing mattoid's fold
Until the night is changed to noon
By cowled magicians on a dome.
Then wizardry, strange, unsummed,
Reveals each varlet, Figgum's might:
A hemless rabble from the South
That some wild Trojan flayed and curs'd,
Skirr thro' the Cauldrons broken lane
And wing for implex strands and light.
There, where tapers flare on Hell's mouth
This clan damns each giant Soldan first.
And Medeas in this vast plain,
Who blink at yon dysodile lamps,
Slap thenars and each bifurcous
As javels drink from scyphus' bright.
Blood-curdling monsters on a rope
That sate upon the damn'd one's camps
As hell-winds gleam most glorious—
Each Vandal's music day or night!
Vain! vain! Each isle of hidden Hope!
Alas! Alas! Each olpe of Remorse!
Each vaulted soul and spiral thought,
Swirl in the throes of waters cold;
Where rivers with the venom crawls,
Croak bat-faced incubi till hoarse.
And succubi that Hecate taught,
Bedecked in byss and spangled gold,
Sing runes unto the dungeoned halls.
Then burning ghauts and crimsoned peaks,
Vomit each, green, abhorrent clouds;
The Temple's drum sounds tomb and death
To those that came for unsung trust.
And pyres that smoulderéd for three weeks.
Spit wenches' blood thro' addling crowds
And filch each leering vyper's breath,—
Vile japes that dam all struck with dust!
Erelong unholy fugitives roam
'Mid imbosk caves and moaning dales
To piercing screes of purple gloom,
Where gurgling sighs and rasping moans,—
Each bloody vampyre's home of loam
As life-tides drip to scarlet vales,—
Unshadowed haunts of darkling Doom!
Add terror to the rasping groans
That roaring surfs of rubic blood
Fling to each afrite's acrid crypt.
And mildewed skulls and ashen bones
That lie before each pillaréd mount,
Speak tidings of a leprous flood.
And where giants carcants flare and sit,
The battle-crests and surging foams
That toss each swoll'n Cauldron's Count
As pyramidal realms unsunned
Glare at the stricken, tamper'd souls,
Stark wenches seek blind seers of lust
And curse each monster's hairless head.
Where fungus-fagots gleam unstunned
As witches dig unfathomed holes
And bury Helms in powderéd dust,
Sleep mourners of the newly dead
Until rayed Aureoles bright, flare,
And sparkle like Asian stars.
Hyperaspists of templéd night,
And yawning caverns cold and bleak,
Forsake the crown of addling Care;
Whilst afrites in bright jeweled cars,
Lured by the phosphorescent light,
Scale an immarcescible peak.
When giant uncus' of the damn'd
Shake Palsy's wand of brooding Fear,
And Hecate spins her daughters round
The whirling halls of spastic gloom;
When afreets prance on blister'd sand
As blood-shot jazels deck each peer,
Each empire froths a raving hound
That storms each zone of purple doom.
And scarlet foam and hiss of oils,—
Abhorrent signs of yawning hell!
'Mid roaring winds and echoes loud
As beaches ring with Torture's hold,
Dim shapes writhe in a cauldron's coils
While canceréd ghouls sound Circe's bell;
Where hideous screes stem the crowd,
Faffling gawks gleam like burnished gold.

A gangrel imp that Satan flayed,

Shrieks deeds of sin that man-wrecks wrought
Ere gyving Death each culprit smote;
Where straggling moonbeams cleft a dome,
A Prince in splendor stands arrayed
And rants his spleen unto a ghaut,
Where mongrel whelps their sorrows wrote
In channels with a harlot's bone.

A kingdom vast with jasper light

Greet jejune souls within this shoal,
Where witches lure each helot's eye,
Each gyving hoodlum, seer and sage.
In blazing tankards gleams a sight
As o'er their heads giant rocks roll,
Of skinless nudes that gasp and die
As poisoned lizards vent their rage.
Then, vile squats blast the eerie air!
Glozing gnomes of pond'rous built,
Peer at plagues that goddard's hold;
Writhe vermin in each ghoul-king's olpe,—
Blind death within a secret lair!
A varlet who his wine hath spilt
As Scorpions smote him treblefold,
Is thrown into a stagnant sea
By Lordly Helm of bad repute,
Whose visage, curl'd in ughly mien,
Vext at each leper's font of spleen.
Invokes a hairless witch to scan
The shambling hordes that boon refute,
Who lifts her unguis, long and lean,
To curse each vyper's bloody dream,
Each mongrel and forsaken man.
Then quivers that cippus' hurl'd
As templéd vaults are splinter'd wide;
And fearful fancies cleave the night
When reeking gores pierce hollows black,
Smite vandals that in sleep are curl'd:
And naiads that the vapours hide
In shadows vague—Unholy light!
(Spectres to each soul on a wrack)
Dank caverns of each vaulted soul
With spiral thoughts of feveréd haste,
'Mid the throb of murderous life
In haunted zones of vandals gyte,
Squirm at the pulse of this blind shoal
Where blood-veinéd dreams and acrid waste
Cut thro' the senses like a knife
And bid Icarian Thought to sit
Below a bleak, untower'd home,
Where fagots that the skelp hath stunned—
Plunderers of unfathomed night!
Glare thro' black shadows vague with forms
Convulsed with cries that pierce each dome
As impeached gumps seek plains unsunned,
(Satellites to mounted Light!)
Teem in the wind-strewn crest of thorns
A phantom that a charnel urn
Spewed from its lap and canceréd fold,—
Trophies of grim Destiny's crypt!
A burning pyre, whose deadly breath
Stir sighs of men as cesspools burn
A harlot strewn with virgin gold
That some malignant, stol'n script,
Condemn'd to witches' fateful death,
Spells reigning doom to one and all.

Where jarbling gumps ride hydras green,

And utter sharp, a curdling curse,
And wingless zimbs that storm each dell,
Glare at each shatter'd dome and wall
That speak of prowling apes in dream,
Of dragons drawing Horror's hearse
When bloody lanes of soulless hell
Bathed monstrous this eternal land.

When Soldans clasp dank Vellum old,

And carcants shine like scarlet foam,
With hiss of snakes and burning oils
As dirges sway both imps and damn'd,
A beacon's light that cleft Doom's fold,
Peers at the Cyclopean home
Of furnace-heat and writhing coils
Of immewed depths as cyphers red
Proclaim each gyving monster's deed.
And woful runes rake this giant gloom,
Phantastic coals lurk in the dust,
Blind whelps lie in an onyx bed
And ponder words as thumb-screws bleed
(Unto the music of king Doom)
Each gangrel villains heart of lust

Beyond the halls of numberéd dead

Where lambent lights and crystal dews
Invoke the ghouls to guard each tomb
That vandals of the sobbing night,
When hell-winds stir the conqueréd dead,
And thunder shook the mourner's pews,
Giant cavalcades of marshalléd Doom
March thro' the phosphorescent light
Unto the headland of the West,
Where pageantries of warriors bold
Scyle crafty sins and purple lusts
Until the peaks and portals bright,
Where buried kings are tombed at rest,
Sweat odours dank with Torpor's cold;
Infernal pæons shake the busts
Of idols planted in the light.
And, ere immewed gyres froth black mists
Unto all ghauts and splinter'd domes
That cypher signs of dungeoned dell,
A turgid dawn arrays this vale,
Each dysodile scavenger sits
On a tomb and fondles gray bones;
An eyeless toad croaks from a well.
Then cosmic force forsakes each dale:
'Mis Cyclopean pulse of hell
Giant cauldrons vomit vapours green
And skirr thro' bristling lanes and halls:
Whilst beacons die and shrood each soul,
Dank tears drop on a fatal bell,
Wrought by a Titan's sombre queen,
Where graven vypers soop the walls
With blood from maidens scourged as toll.
Sentinel silence then holds gloom!
Vile squats curse roaring pools inflame,
A swarthy gump leers at the damn'd,
A sultry storm invades each realm.
Reared in incondite depths of doom
As shadows spell each sinner's name,
A Necromancer mounts a stand
That storms and sleet struck with their helm,
And smites the weird elements.

A cesspool stunn'd with offal's stench,

And ulexite—Each mattoid's curse!
Set in twin ridges black and red,
Obtest the foam-sprayed battlements
To count the blood-drops on a bench
That the coals of Tartarus nurse—
Disastrous, imbosked Torture's bed!
Make viscous this grim philster's hold.

Saffron Teocalli in the West,

Whose spiréd domes hold priceless stones,
And censers' fumes lull sighs and moans
As barriers dank, flee their fold,
Betrayed by crystals on a crest
That ride this kingdom's batter'd gnomes,
A fitful syrinx stills all groans
As chasms roar with devils' glee.
Then fancies greet each goblin's eye,
Each donga's depth and mount unsunned:
A quire's rune, in onyx dress,
And black-linkt harps with eyes that see
Each blood-set jazel in a sky,
Where heights eternal reign unstunned,
Pierce sylvan airs that wizards bless.
Come from sequesteréd shoals of hell
Blithe pixies and lithe naiads fair
That revel till the ev'ning skies
Grow lustrous as Arcadian noon.
Then witches in an implex dell,
With stranggling robes and burnished hair,
Flee thro' Autumnal shades and dyes,
While quickly from the sandaléd gloom,
That struggles at the pillaréd light,
Provoked by turbid drops of blood,
She gleams upon a tower'd home
That gyving hands, of crafty imps,
Reared for the Vandals of the night,
Where seething pores froth devils' flood,
And dusky shales leak scarlet foam,
Or lightly lifts her feet and skimps
Unto a rubic, boweréd vale,
To list unto a clanging bell
That spells these signs to startléd wrecks,—
Titan's satellites. Hell and Circe!
The end of her who sought a dale
Below a weird, dungeoned well,
That coffins sunken battle-decks
And a phantasmagoric hearse.

To muse in gorce's dank and bleak

'Mid shatter'd mounts that devil's split!
To mourn in plasmic Temple's fold
With gyving sod no King can shirk!
A spangléd pomp of Death's gray peak
Where owls and lizards blink and sit
As curdling cries of monsters cold
Pierce hollows deep until they irk,
Each surf-thrown afrite's eclipsed dome.
And cursing clans that felt the heat
That dwale obscured in shadows vague,
Clash thro' the broken forest boughs
Until each ronyon's stuck in loam.
There, then, bivouacs a unco Cheat,
Whose limbs were struck with pains of ague,
Who lifts his sightless eyes and sows
The seeds of Thaumaturgist's arts.
Then shakes his fist above all necks
(Whenas the dirges pierce the gloom)
And sheds his addling tears of woe.
Perturbéd at sights of flashing darts
That dragons hurl amongst soul-wrecks,
He smites a staff upon a tomb
Where phosphorescent torches glow,
And mouths his words at earless owls,
Past ribboned dusk and pillaréd woe,
Where sonless maids their sorrows heal,
And mixes purple mists with light,
Both moaning airs and cringing howls,
The swirling skelp that heavens show,
And changes this vast plane of weal,
This kingdom's tomb of rasping night
To elfin cheer as dances bloom,
And speeds his flight from Terror's urn,
Past jasper lanes where moonstones glow,
And turns his eyes at writhing Hell,
Upon the spectral haunts of Doom,
Where fiends in hissing Cesspoles burn
'Mid howls of pain from vassals flow
That rake each skull-blown vale and dell.

Where syrt sucks jargling javels mad,

And carcants cast a luring light
From mildewed screes and mounts that scyle
Veiled augueries of battling Hell,
A charnel shard assails the damn'd
Thro' vapours green and siffling night;
Monastic caverns rasp each isle;
A poisoned skink croaks from a well.
And mournfnl wraiths sob hard and loud,
A smotheréd sigh proclaims more woe,
The lounging imps grasp tomes of old
And rant therefrom each damn'd one's name.
And horrors, snarling at each crowd,
Assail each kingdom with its show:
A noctivagous dragon bold,
Hastes thro' the aisles of death and shame
And haunts the cajons of the dead.
There fungus-tapers gleam like gold
Before a ghoul-king's jeweled throne:
There, too, upon a Temple's arch,
Bivouacs a witch who scans the bed
Of buried kings and queens struck cold
And lifts her voice to splinter'd dome
To stem the brooding Djinnee march,
And with the dusk that meteors split,
She tries the figgum of her lust,
And throws her voice at portals dark,
Past burning pyres, where moaning airs
Call the help of Conjury's script;
And, ere cyphers burn in the dust
The names of new souls in this ark,
The ghosts of the dead prance in pairs.
This is the sphere of Dust and Tomb!
Where Trojans struck with palsied Death
As Satan smote each cavern's fold,
And whistling heat swirl'd Circe around
The coffined slabs of Aeæa's womb,
When kingdoms fought with rasping breath
As stellar domes grew black and cold,
Auric oriflammes storm'd the mount
As bristling lances smote giant hordes;
Then gorey devils fought with lust
As vulpine cries smote each jinn's ear,
Black Dragons swore beneath their breath
And murdered all rebellious Lords;
Strong hands that knew each axe's trust,
Escutcheons that all princes fear,
Hurl'd swift destruction and black death.
Where Titans storm'd a Monarch's throne,
There sleeps a Ruler carved in stone;
Where vultures guard a serpent's home,
A quarteréd warrior tells its tale.
Perturbéd at dews that drip from dome
As wattling apes their horrors groan,
The witch forsakes each glozing gnome,
Affrighted at this gurgling vale.

On crimson mounts where hydras peer—

Affronting devils in the gloom!
Unsypheréd regions wrapped in light
That hide dank vapours of each tomb,
Lurk throaty imps throughout the year
Who sing their runes as lepers soom;
Red-embered gnomes within this night
Where scarlet dyes bathe Torture's womb!
And Djinnee gasps add to the sight
That dragon-worms bred in this surge,
Build temples for queen Sorrow's home;
And pageantries of Typhon's bloom—
Immarcescible sklayres of night!
And shadows bleak, that sins do purge—
A show for Satan on this throne!
Invoke the Cauldron's spraying gloom
To newer deeds of hell-lashed lust;
Tho' dusky wizards rake the skies
(Eternal hounds that all beguile)
Unstable dreams lure Fancy fane
Below this star's unfathomed dust,
Where shatter'd domes list to the sighs
Of skinless wenches on an isle,
Where nymphs call her Christian name.
Where purple mists like poppies bloom—
Dank dulse within green rivers cold!
A flayed and sobbing maid doth lie;
Eternal curse of bedlam night
Speak of sepulchral haunts of Doom;
Unnumberéd skulls their woes have told
To studded domes and opaque sky
Beneath the Arching vales of light.
Alight with fires red and green
That show the coffers of each tomb,
Jarbling vandals rake the night-coals,
Shales and husks; and, ere reigning night
Provokes each harlot's fitful dream
To cleave the casements of king Doom
And reach the swoll'n, acrid shoals,
Where stationed Mounts are penciled white
That mark the maw of raging hell,
Till, eyes awake stare at each flame
Unsung and, on boulders that burn,
Peer at two lordly squats in dust
As wenches drink from poisoned well,
'Mid purple sins and naked shame
In Typhon's olpe and churning urn
Of stranded devils, souls and lust.

When earthly homes are tombed in dust,

And Life forsakes geotic shoals;
When midst the tombs of penetence,
When coffins damp, and slimmy clay,
Each Lordly Helm is tossed in trust
To spiral vaults from plasmic holes,
Convolving cyclones spin him hence
As agate torches light his way.
Unmutteréd sighs teem in the air
As structural stars pass him by,
And twisting clouds shape eerie forms
Until he reaches Satan's home.
Unholy visions curse and swear,
Gyte vypers lull each demon's sigh,
Giant Dragons whom no Remorse storms,
Shake fists at opals in a dome.
And Cesspools vext with odours strong
From stifling shard and putrid dung,
'Mid caverns large and Cauldrons deep,
Vile squats in teeming pewter burn;
And shrieking vypers wield a prong
Above a monster, quarter'd hung.
The Tasmanian Devils keep
The sod turn'd in a gyre's urn
That no lost soul can undulate:
Hence seers and sages, tossed in sin,
Rant rubics to each reigning king,
Each glowing pyre is fed with oil
By afreets reared on bottled hate;
Infernal tapers light this Inn
As poisoned vapours to us cling;
Re-embered beacons on this soil
Flare spastic shadows to each tomb.

In vain we sigh for fleeing grace

Within the pale of turbid dyes!
In vain we look for hope, sweet rest,
Within this crypt of whistling Doom!
When in monastic nights of haze
The battlements retard giant sighs;
When marshalléd mists from out the West
Cloak ramparts black with ughly light,
A rubic Soldan rakes each ghaut,
Each sleeping vandal, imp and soul.
No astral eyes laugh from these skies,
No nightingales sing in the night;
A dungeoned curse that villains wrought
Rasp each eternal vault and shoal.
Then one-eyed mongrels split the dyes
Of roaring winds and raging storms,
Dim shapes flee to the haunts of gore,—
Each Cyclopean Dragon's goal!
And groaning cries from maidens fair
Is heard by spectral, gangrel forms,—
The writhing thin is flayed some more!
Its secret sins,—Black deeds of Soul—
Is scourged as copper-burnished hair
Hangs from her alabaster head,
Both feet and arms are screwed till black—
A sign that Hell reigns on, unstunned.
Then incense swung by priestesses,
Salute the newly, plunder'd dead,
The bloody sight upon the wrack,
Where cringing groans once rose unsummed,
Is cover'd by the murderess.

Where restless hawks and chainless ghouls

Blink bleary orbs at dust and stone;
And glozing night-gnomes love the sight
That geysers toss upon their crest,
Feal afrites bathe in a pool
And wash each harlot's bloody bone.
Scorpions on serai's height
Peer at each forge's raging breast,
Whilst faffling gumps aud hairless seers
Stretch shanks and arms and yawn till hoarse,
And vapours green and beacons red,
Feared coming Dawn, and fled in haste;
The bulwarks that each hoodlum fears,
Sink in a cajon's livid course;
The winds and storms are silent, dead,
As barriers red bathe the waste.
What of the sight when Horrors swirl,
When oceans ring with Terror's roll?
What of the galley-decks and wrecks
That felt the force of angry Hell?
When kingdoms fought each warring Earl,
The incubi cursed each lost soul;
When vandals broke the idols' necks,
Giant battle-axes smote each dell.
And, then came there galvanic gloom!
An acrid oath and savage howl,
Hurl'd at an idol's austere ghoul
By grizzled rogue and mocking gnome,
Perturbéd as vandals shine and bloom
In robes of pearl and tazzled cowl,
Throw Hecate's spawn into a pool
Who stung them with a poisoned bone.
This wanton witch of evil fame,
Vamped with both hatred, murder, lust,
Speeds cycles of the Future's curse
And damns each goblin, skink and knave.
Then pyres and ghauts flare once again,
The halls are swept with burning dust,
Six Dragons bear the dead one's hearse
Unto the newly, opened grave.

Ere the quaking Dawn shakes its crown

To tower'd peaks and hyoids red
That hide blind fathoms of this sea,
An opal light arrays each plain;
Each naiad rumps on velvet down;
A bat-shapped Buzzard makes its bed;
A red-tongued Gecko storms each lee.
Then apes and adders writhe with pain
As Cauldrons vomit oils that burn;
'Mid churning storms of stinging sleet,
Vial haunts of gore spill their quest
And murder with unholy lust,
Wilst fagots, beacons, torches, turn
Hell's Pompeian shoals to heat;
And viscid mists rise in the West—
Dank treasures of Damnation's dust!
In search of silence, sleep and rest.

When in a vale we lie and dream

Of sanded beach and laughing skies,
When Fancy lifts her wings and soars
To agate strands and ocean's breast,
A gangrel soul begins to scream
Black tokens of prevailing sighs
As furnace-ovens sweat giant pores.
And other things perturb each crypt,
Each vulture's brood and figent owls:
A belching mountain in the South
Hurls boulders thro' the fearful night:
A demon-quire rants from script,
Led by staccato raspings, howls;
A meteor vaults a Cauldron's mouth;
A sombre maid doth long for light.
Bleak wintry winds engulf us all—
Hosannah! cry the fretful mobs;
White-heated storms assail all heads—
Triumphal pæons shake the air!
Unnumberéd gawks roam thro' each hall—
Where Typhon sits, a maiden sobs!
Conscience stabs our nightly beds,
Remorse leers daily at dame Care.

A Donga, deep with squirming gnats

And acrid coils,—a hole of Death!
And runnels thick with arid dung,
Flow past a Temple's swoll'n arch,
Where warring tribes of hungry cats
Fish for green lizards filched of breath;
A palace-dome where runes are sung
As Satan views his squadron's march,
Flare twin mineral lights of blue
That lure each legion foul of home.
Swarm Trojans right and left with sword;
Skirr gloppened worriers thro' the night;
Roar puteals that toads eschew;
Hiss brown snakes to each toothless gnome,
Affrighted at the raving horde
That crash thro' leprous filth and light—
Disastrous sights of men gone mad!
And pyramidal wall of rock
Are battle-grounds for waging lust:
A clashing lance spun vypers round
The gyrus rind where helots clad
Each Thaumaturgist in a frock,
The sign of which spake added trust
Unto each ghoul-king's able hound.
Crafty Lords of militant mien,
Led vanquished to the slaughter-pen;
Thumb-screws and bastinados work
Both Devils' pomp and Soldans' joy;
And tantrums coarse in cesspools teem
As women sob for dying men:
The wracks that djinnee fear and shirk,
Are Torture's friend—A Monster's toy!

The rayless styes that guard the bones

Of fall'n kings and grizzled hordes,
The mildewed screes that hold the skulls
Of shambling spectres, wraiths, and souls,
Now waft the spiréd, rasping tones
Of risen helots, princes, lords;
And all up-rising mists from hulls
That stranded on these jejune shoals,
Evaporate when amber lights
Cleave phantom-screens and huddles black.
(For this each pixie sings for cheer)
Arcadian sights then hold sway:
Each corporal gump loves the sights—
The hidden past (an endless track)
Reviews each garneréd Greek and year,
Each warrior bold and lassie gay.

Sanious lights beyond the height,

Imbosked dysodile vaults of dwale
As ulexite flare in the rocks
Where implex aisles lead to gyte doom,
Lure illaqueate Thought to flight,
And at a Cyon, chained in stall,
Whom mad Medeas shore of locks,
Chase Fancy's wings where hazards bloom.
Here herculean dwangs of gold,
Clasped in talons of Circe's son,
Pry portals of Teocalli as,
When hyoids blaze like sea-linkt skies,
Incondite imps seek grovels cold,
Unfathomed haunts that scyle each sun,
We see above the lees green grass
Where pixies laugh with dancing eyes,—
King Wonder's sight that holds each heart!
Above the rind of Ursa's wake,
Past shadows vague and sunless suns,
Giant visions of the cancelléd past
Rise from the void and play their part.
Demeter floats around a lake;
Where waters with a naiad runs,
Hector's shot by Archilles' dart;
Where Orestes stabs his mother,
Agamemnon sleeps on in cold;
Aegisthus robs a queen of all;
Andromache sobs tears of woe.
And Clytaemenestra's lover,
Like Menelous, is strong and bold:
Aeneas on a burning wall
Carries Anchises from the show.
Then vulgar scenes stare at each soul,
Hair-raising visions greet each eye;
Priam's son is dragged round ancient Troy,
Tied fast to a chariot's tail;
Andromeda's doomed as Death's toll;
Patroclus dies with a deep sigh.
Phyrrhus sacks Troy with a devilish joy;
Hecuba's nineteen sons now wail
As Mycenae and Tiryns are burn'd:
The Scaean Gate is storm'd by Peers!
Archæans and Phrygians bold
Have fought with Hatred's biting lust.
Telemachus whom the Fates have spurn'd
Finds Ulysses in twenty years;
Thessalian Soldans in gold,
Like Dædalus, slept on in dust
As Penlope winged for distant zones.
Then Syran airs held each ear:
Bright carvels glowed with rubic wine,
Giant cyphers flared each Lordling's name
Within the haunts of dungeoned domes,
Where jazels peer the eyes of Fear,
And owls with a scorpion dine—
Twin Monarch's play the dice's game.

When beacons urticate each eye,

Noctivagous ghouls haste to stroke
Each goblin shank of hoary sage.
Then pomp of gloom breaks into bloom,
The Temple's arch cracks as we sigh,
A clashing sound above that spoke
Bhnd wrath unto each Wizard's rage,
Revealed the chasm of stark Doom.
Unto the peaks and gables black,
Syrian airs like Orpheus
Lull sequesteréd afrites to sleep,
A witch smites her high biforous—
A symbol of king Typhon's wrack!
Where crystal lamps shine most glorious,
Twin legions lie in cajons bleak,—
Tokens of Hell invidious!
Then fades the burnished light on high;
Magicians stave their heads in dust,
The vermin feed on reeking bones,
Each gnome sobs to a green-horn'd toad.
And monarchs of this dungeoned sky
Untomb each son in sacred trust
As vypers sound their rasping tones,
Farewell the ancient Greek's abode!
Then spectres of the tower'd night,
(Vultures of the sun, moon and stars)
And bezzling parasites of dawn,
Haunt ichnolite of mourners cold;
Then purple sins bloom in the light
As vypers drive queens in bright cars;
Where dragons root the blistere'd lawn,
There reigns a curdling monster bold.
To scour these lanes of strobic gloom—
Infernal doom by mongrels' wrought!
To pace these aisles of whistling heat,
Eternal signs of souls gone wrong!
And when a skelp cleaves siffling doom,
And vapours scyle a greenish ghaut,
Rebellious vandals stamp their feet
As rulling Cyons wield hell's prong.
Then domes and walls sweat savage rage,
Each gangrel gnome is toss'd by fear,
The tombs provoke each inmate's keep
To curse the horrid atmosphere,
Where ghouls their battle-axes wage,
Froth devils' pomp throughout the year;
Where lizards o'er tath do creep,
Bivouacs a horney-fisted seer.

To groves of wind-swept ulmus' bear,

And siffling mists beyond a bell
That hide veiled shadows of a peak
Above the stationed domes of red,
Augueries of a marching pair,—
Twin demons of unconqueréd Hell!
Spell visions that the soffins leak
That felt the besom of the dead,
Just as the Twilight's scarlet urn
Is seen from heights unfathomed, strong.
There runnels of green waters cold,
Toss lepers from their murky breast;
There venom-oils and tapers burn
To light the way of souls gone wrong,—
Blood-stained each idol's crown of gold
Where battle-wrecks seek figent rest!

To the distant porphyry mount

Where agate torches shine most bright,
And syrinx's float music's charm
O'er the jargling herds of tombed,
A joggling javel begins to count,
With bleary eyes of grayish light,
The rubies on each idol's arm,
And whisper words unto the tombed.
Now to a churning gyre's pool
We haste to see a weird show,
Where Lordly Helms in vials squirm,
Each mongrel scoundrel's olpe of wine!
A Morgan gambles with a ghoul,
A Belmont writhes with sizzling woe,
A Rockefeller leads each worm,
Another's known as T. F. Ryan.
The browless whelp of oily fame
Is made to dig the burning soil,
The sheckles of a Pierpont king,
Secures no prestige in this Inn.
The gambling ghost whose middle name
Is "Fortune", spins within the swirl
Of waters cold and oceans' ring,
Condemned, forsaken for his sin.
On earth they plunder'd, robbed and stole
From month to month and year to year;
There Franchise-stealers cracked with leers
As Plebeians stung, groaned with might.
Now one and all damn'd on this shoal
Yuck addling brains and shriek with fear,
Now all shrink at Hell's laughing seers
As Remorse storms the ughly night.
Here Pat McCarrens filch no vote,
A Grady eats no mellow pea,
A Murphy owns no City Hall,
No Jeromes skew at dices' song.
On Vellum gray their sins are wrote
To murmurs of each sullen lee,
Racked with the wand of death and pall,
They blast their heads as souls gone wrong.
No presidential timber's found
Within these caverns, pools or dung;
No two-faced B's or bloated T's,
Lie to laymen, vassals, hordes.
Here politicians hear the sound
Of ballots that their hearts have wrung,
Of burning pyres and blister'd lees
That scorch these one-time kings and lords.
Here Conventions hold our eyes
As Dragons smite a gravel dome.
The kings of Finance, skinn'd and shorn,
Are list'ners in these halls of gloom.
Their deeds are read, they heave giant sighs,
Thumb-screws and wracks rake skin and bone,
In cajons bleak, each corpse forlorn,
Is sunk as trophies of king Doom.
No Depews sell their patron's love,
No faffling Platts guard treasures strong,
No Parkers, Roots,—The crafty things!
Betray a country's hope and trust.
No palm is brought them by a dove,
No minions shant their praise in song,
The poisoned zimbs add to the stings
Of conscience lost and raging lust.
Each one-time king of earthly fold
Is skinn'd alive then cooked in oil;
Some frazzled Astor dames and fools
Now eat their claws and chew a bone.
A monarch known as Leopold,
Writhes in a cavern's squeezing coil;
Here man-born helms are but the tools
Of Satan and each prowling gnome.
Their toes are screwed and eyes are bored,
Their ears are shorn and lips are split,
Each head is cracked, all tongues are cut,
By vypers red and bloody ghouls.
Affrighted as the dames are gored,
Each Sybarite his teeth doth grit,
The huddled pirates in a hut,
Shriek help unto the roaring pools.
And moaning airs their sorrows tell
That some unfathomed force hath bred.
Night-hawks rasp sins of women, men,
Who sold their honour, soul and name.
And tower'd screes that pierce giant hell
Are treasure-houses for the dead:
Each rich man writhes within a den,
Society dames proclaim their shame.
And offal, shard and putrid dung,
Is by affluent daughters born.
When in the ribboned mists above
A beacon flares and torches burn,
A Soldan from green earth is hung;
His heartless queen is cursed, forsworn,
Their souls house neither hope nor love
Within Damnation's burning urn.
Repress'd with hate and unspent rage
As charnel howls clash in each hall,
Each gyving hydra rends the air
With curses, hawps as rambling souls,
Lured by a grizzled warrior sage,
Storm moats before each bristling wall
And die as imps are bade to swear—
Infernal trophies of these shoals!
Immingled dreams their senses storm
As Westward shadows cloak each lee;
Where censers blaze they drag their limbs,
These cursed, forsaken whelps of hell!
Their ghastly sins on vellum's sworn,
Attested, sealed, they bend each knee!
Where devils rant blood-curdling hymns,
A raving wench drowns in a well.
Unto the coals of feveréd pyres
That glare like carcants red and white;
And glowing rubies in the dust
That lure each man-born skink and whelp,
The spastic cries and moaning sighs
Attest to Typhon's weird dight,—
And Satan's ichor of green lust,
Provokes the lashing heat and skelp.

Within the cathedral vaults of gloom,

The gorgeous pomp of the flayed,
In banded gold and marble flesh,
Speak of auguries to the damn'd,
Till, when censers' lights flare and bloom,
And shapes of men are laid arrayed
In gomes of steel, we tred the mesh
And grandeur of a conjured stand,
Where coral wreathes each hussy's brow,
Whose broken arms portray hell's lust,
Of whistling winzes, syrt and domes
That gleaming broths in anger wrought,
'Mid hiss of snakes and oils. So now,
When plunderéd tombs betray their trust,
And vandals screech at roving gnomes,
All raise a voice and curse each ghaut.

Beyond the ring and roll of hell—

And spiral lofts of quartz and gold—
We skirr upon the crutch of haste
And cleave the abyss, cold and bleak.
There jejune fossils lie to tell
Of pleiocene days' garneréd fold;
Gray bones that pierce this weird waste
Lie mounted on a torrid peak;
Principalities of the past,
Lie scatter'd in the mildewed dust;
Serai's built in ages gone,
Now crumble at a sound, a voice.
And Boulders that the Djinnee cast
As Vengeance swirl'd the heated dust,
Now rock as devils rasp a son,
And vampyres dance round and round.
And where a dim, unstudded dome
Leak odours strong and palsied light—
Twins of the Gloom! as some mad soul
Assails Typhon's battling walls,
A glowing fire of this home
Of deadly dews and poisoned night,
Bathes monstrous this untower'd shoal.
Convulsed with fear as aisles and halls
Roar like giant cauldrons mad for gore,
Icarian gumps and devils bold,
Assault each marshalléd mount and scree.
Then spectacles greet us again
Upon this shadowed, foreign shore:
A pond'rous dwang of virgin gold,
Is filched from altars that we see,
Just as the tomb-sweats pour like rain.
And distant ghauts where jazels burn,—
(A burning tomb where hissing oils
Drip on a flayed and bottled wench
That some abhorrent spawn of death
Filched from the wrack of Terror's urn
As stagnent breath unwinds its coils)
Spout uncoped shard unto a bench
Where sights of men-wrecks gasp for breath,
Whilst quickly from a bowelless whelp
Drop ghastly stones of scarlet hue
That brazen imps hurl thro' the air
At sobbing wraiths and furrowed souls,
Wrought by a fiend and conjured skelp
As men and women hold a pew
Within a turgid, acrid lair,—
Infernal aisles of yawning shoals!

T'ward cyphers bright and terrible,

Where Doom sits poised as Satan yawns,—
Each Vulture's home and arid shoal!
We hurl a curse and damn the hordes
That call each monster horrible.
Then craftily he moves his pawns
(Whenas a moan escapes each soul)
As bleary sons of noble lords
Sway twin censers' fumes in silence,
Until in myrtle groves we see
A blazing arch where agate eyes
Doth peer malignly from a crypt
Thro' turbid phials of violence,—
A scene of impish sorcery!
Where, in furbished chambers there lies—
As vypers write on evil script
The ghastly deeds that sinners wrought—
A glow-worm's fagot that arrays
Dim shapes of souls of men that were.
And cyphers nights of doomes to be,
Till flaring pyres and yon red ghaut—
So monstrous bright that some one prays—
And Vizy's carvel starts to stir,
Shape abhorrent signs on each lee.

Into the dusky coals we peer,

And musing at the luring flames,
We watch each isle of crystal green.
Anear the billows swirl with rage,
'Mid lashing waves that cope king Fear
To strands and sands where elfin games
Make rich each midnight's fleecy dream
That some Mad wand'ring, goblin sage,
Provoked from coffers of each brain,
Gleam in each tossing breast of foam,
Or shines from purple decks and domes
A ruddy carcant huge and large;
Or, when sea-linkt clouds, garbed in rain,
And behemoths sink to briny home,
A star that shines from foreign zones
Guide carvels old and Satan's barge
O'er blue profounds of the deep,
And gladden souls of men; yet, stunned,
Tho' trembling, to a roaring mouth,
A horn'd magician locked in death,
On whom two hectic harlots peep,
Sinks in abyssal depths unsummed,
Whilst him he fought hastes to the South,—
A hoary fiend of rasping breath!

And now we watch a maiden flee,

Past seas and ice-mounts oriflammed
With crystal diamonds red and bright,
Where Persephonê hath breathed a jem,
And frozen jazels that we see,
Alife with lusts of curst and damn'd,
Tho' windblown, thro' the moonless night,
She wanders with her anadem
On golden hair; nor doth she haste
When scarlet eyes peer thro' the snow,
But cavernéd mouths of grottoes black,
And storm-swept flight of dragons bold,
She passes as she treads the waste,
Off to the haunts of ghoullish show,
Where fires writhe and whispers track
Her wake unto the peaks of cold,
Above whose tower'd dome she sees
The tombs of father, mother, all;
Ay, now weeps she as the head-stones
Letter large, her unburied kin.
Now with her trembling arms and knees,
And back against the slimmy wall,
She vents her tears and choking moans,
A daughter cursed within this Inn.
And witches long for ease, so,
Erelong they peer at waters green
That pour in forges dank and cold,
Whence glare the eyes of Hell in lust
As Cyclops stem the pyre's glow,
'Mid haunts of sin and purple sheen
Of shales and husks of monsters told
As vultures to both scale and dust.
Then wing they for the western strands
Of boweréd vales and lulling dells,
Where silence holds the winds at bay,
And myrtles stir the sylvan air.
There tow'rs and the russet sands
Make fine the tunes of ringing bells
That echo to the skies of gray,
Where phosphorescent lanterns flare.
And twilights of the lofty aisles,
Thro' silver mists and streaks of blood,
Crucifixion looms cold and white;
Oaths of prurient blasphemy
Echo to the sequesteréd isles;
An ivory pyx that rides the flood
On which fantasms spin their light,
Curse each soul's eternal enemy.
Within a pool where writhing coils
Shape cyphers bold and gorey thought,—
Two shadowed sklayres of Doom and Set!
The foam-dreams of the newly dead
Ascend. To hazards that the oils
Eschewed, haste dryades that were taught
To dance. And, whilst all souls forget
The chasms deep and oriflammed,
The spastic lights of a green room,
Dim torches show the jeweled tombs
Wherein are hid the studded crowns
Of Eastern queens; or, when high-bred
Dames pick from Death's unbroken womb
The coral wreaths and poppy blooms,
Two priestesses in scarlet gowns
Curse loudly as the royal dead
Are strewn with palmy leaves and dyes.
And crimsons adders on the hulls,
Search for toadstools smeared with blood.
And livid lamps where vypers spoon,
As some bad harlot shrieks and cries
Her Nature's sins unto three skulls,
A shameless gnome bathes in hell's flood
The thighs he filched from a gray tomb.

Drawn by the whispers from the wind,

'Mid glories of the hollowed night,
To storm-swept vales and mounts we haste,
And, in monastic halls we see,
Above a greenish gyrus rind,
The flick'ring flames of a light,
Beneath whose subtle, shadowed waste
Squat men and women that would flee
The ghastly words from Vellum told,
Who pluck their eyes and pull their hair,—
Beneath their feet there writhes a worm!
As bludgeons smite a leering soul.
And when a wench that Satan sold
To some old seer, whose head is bare,
And oily snakes in cauldrons squirm,
All blast the sight and curse this shoal,—
Infernal land of Sin and Doom!
Eternal moans and sighs we hear;
A swarthy demon laughs with glee.
Then, thickly from a ghastly hole
The turbid dyes of blood doth bloom
From minxes bold, crouched with giant fear,
Provoke a sage who could not see,
With feelings for her impeached soul.

Low arches of a charnel house,

Above whose dome two demons sit,
That guard the lamps of fateful red,
Veiled whispers from a maiden's soul
Cleave skyward until they arrouse
A savage hound of hell with script
That holds her body's deeds. A-bed,
He peers thro' shades unto her shoal,
Then at his tome where sins are wrote
Of wifes that sold their names in lust,
Or men that worshipped naught but gold.
And, when stillness holds troubled sway,
A baneful imp that Conscience smote,
Rasps names of those bowed in the dust:
And, when thus their sins are foretold,
As kinsmen strike their beasts and pray,
A livid gasp permeates the air,
A curdling curse assails the night.
And squats, whose scarlet venom crawls
To lantern's-glow that tell the guilt
Of battling demons as they swear,
Malignly dumb below each light
That scyle the bloody walls and halls,
The life-ebb from a wench is spilt.
The phosphorescent fungus-lights
Are traitors' lamps that sorrows hide;
The foam-sprayed beaches that we see,
Are treasure-houses for the damn'd.
From year to year infernal nights
Rasp shoals a thousand furlongs wide;
In ev'ry zone, each distant lee,
Holds ghastly sights of burning sand.
The headlands that we reach by day,
About whose shore the dragons roam;
And mildewed vaults of gatheréd bone,
Where eyeless skulls and ape-shanks lie
As moaning winds reel to and sway
From gorey pools and tower'd dome,
A goggling wraith and shambling gnome
Doth forage for each fleeing sigh.

Now Sorrow that the Dooms crown'd King,

Flees from the mouth of pools inflame,
Whilst Lords in robes of scarlet hue,
Add to the damn'd, malignant show;
Pellicles that all eyes did sting
In Vengeance's law that none could tame,
Flees whence two lights of dreaming blue
Cleave dome-thrown shadows dress'd in woe.

A Thaumaturgist, cursed and damn'd,

Raps skulls from which a venom pours,
And shakes his fists where opals burn,
Whence figgum that his hands control
Is charged with life; and on the sand
Two witches sate their thirst in gores,
Flit Fancy's wings unto a urn,
(Within whose tomb there writhes a soul)
And with Courage that Dawn hath bred
In rivers, to whispers of the night,
As wracks are dyed a crimson red,
Feasts upon Doom's abhorrent shape,
That fires bright, toss to each bed,
And flees to realms where shadows light;
Whilst Thought, in horror of the dead,
Wings in mourning veils, dark as crepe,
And feasts on afterglow of Trust,
On cauldrons tossed to crafty Death
That froths dank pomp and guidons bright,
Unto a height, where falt'ring eyes.
Betrayed by crystals numb in dust,
Gasps at the sight with startled breath
As vapours green, war with the light,
Faint as the sunset's golden dyes.
All mounts of bone are tombs of weal,
Each scree, a temple of king Doom;
And runnels that the suns do shun,
Are pools where offal reeks most strong
And thro' the air giant wasps do reel;
On barriers bleak, reptiles soom;
A Vulture that no shard can stun
Gawks at the multitudes gone wrong.

Where waters with the venom crawls

To oriels, where banners float
Beside a dome-thrown surf of blood
T'ward letters large, that Hell hath wrought,
Worm-like vapours skirr thro' the halls
And reach a distant, lurid moat,
Where sighs and groans upon a flood
Ascend to heights of a grey ghaut—
Satellites to Destiny's crypt!
And Vespers that the Twilight brought—
More dooms that prayers nor sighs can break—
Leer at each thought to Fancy's flight;
And to the dais whereunder sit
A demon-quire that Circe taught,
Songs that echo to the isles in lake
And valley deep, ravage the night
Until Idols pall at the scene.
And stationed Mounts toward the West
Whose bones portray a ghastly lust;
And skulls that glare at the soulless night,
Point, weeping, where the foam-waves dream:
All battle-wrecks and imps haste forth
Unto the phosphorescent dust
And pyramidal shoals of light.

The poisons that the geysers spit

To apes, where Sin in splendor reigns;
And cavern'd shapes that shadows hide
Behind tapers, where snarling Doom
Glares at Set's tomb, where devils sit,
Make vague signs to the weird flames,
Flit spastic breath to regions wide
And shrood each shrunken soul with gloom.
Where glozing parasites hold sway,
Seek rivers dry reveal the bones
Of ages that the Cyclops slew:
Onyx thrones that the Titans storm'd
Lie in obfuscating decay;
Eyeless skulls that abhorrent gnomes
Wield in hands that reek with the dew
That solemn Death in tombs hath worm'd,
Stare at the scene as willows sigh:
And tapers of the Mount's crown'd witch
(Whenas each carcant fades from view)
Seek shadows that the tombs have cast
Upon the conjured, wind blown sky,
Where Syrian altar-lamps make rich
The palace-domes whereon the dew
Sits like a star and beams upon the vast,
Phantasmagoric glory of Death,
Of godly helms housed in a crypt.
And where a livid beacon flares—
(A rock that some giant storm hath split)
In mourning robes and rasping breath,
Before a grave where devils sit,
A Queen at whom a lizard stares,
Sobs her grief and woe that tears writ
Deep into the phorphyry mount:
This, then, is Deaths home, vale and Tomb!
Where Lancers, made equal with the dust
When revolt storm'd each kingdom's fold,
And clashing wars spun Hecate round
The pungent halls of spastic Doom;
When in each Nation fought king Lust
As siffling vapours gleamed like gold,
Ten legions whom the gods forsook
Wrought havoc on this Cauldron's shore:
Then Dragon-guidons led the march
As battle-axes smote vile Lords;
Stout hears that with king Vengeance shook,
Fought with valour's shield for more gore;
Assaults that rasped each Temple's arch,
Spake conquest o'er shambling hordes.
This tale on ghastly Vellum's writ,
More sypher'd woes the walls proclaim;
Where goblins fondle crumbling bones,
There lies a death-thrown monster cold.
Perturbéd at writings on yon script
As moaning airs gaunt Sorrows name,
Each ape attests in faffling tones—
Flight to the Dragons' haunted fold.
Affrighted at this fearful gaze
As coals blaze like twinkling jewels,
Night-hawks that croak at bat-faced owls
Gledge at each gnome that digged a bone
From some bleak pool, and pierce the haze
Where censers blaze. Unconqueréd ghouls
Who laugh and leer at demon howls,
Make signs unto the hell-lashed foam—
Japes that the damn'd fear in each knell!

Where jargling javels stab a toad,

And mutter swift, as vypers swear;
And spectres that the cauldrons wrought,
Glare at the storm-swept sins that tell
Of monsters that the night-winds rode
When bloody plumes stole to a lair
Beyond the confines of a ghaut.
And spacious halls where vagrants lie—
Vandals to the Dawn, Night and Dusk!
And vulpine labyrinths of hell
Where pirates of a star are thron'd
As dews cloak bones that pierce the sky,
Wowed witches with a gorce's lust
When vales list to a clanging bell
That some encharnel'd hybrid domed,
Sweats cesspools with the pall of fear,
Shrill sounds permeate the barren air,
Each shatter'd light before a well,
Ends its flame in short, spastic gasps.
And stars that burn but once a year,
(Veinéd Aureoles to altars where,
When sins are told unto each knell
As chanting runes are hushed with clasps
Of winds provoked by black-set night,
Peer at the caravans in prayer;
A dirge is sung by magicians;
Each Idol squints eyes at the show,
Whilst goblins curse the eerie sight.
And Betelguese, an evil lair
With infernal, warring legions,
Careens as stars shed tears of woe.

Arcadia, its pleasing name,

An Eden where the damn'd drink wine,
Where rich fêtes greet each varlet's eye,
Each gyving hound whom Fates have doomed:
Each scyphus veils a burning flame;
A blood-stone from each dome doth shine
On poisons that in goblets lie,
Bred by sorcerers, cursed and tombed.
Then Terrors, Horrors, reign supreme!
Each vial squat before the spread,
Leer at toads in goblets crossed,
Froth skinks within each feaster's glass,
Wine changed to blood, then acrid green.
A drunken villain who was bled
As drink his convulsed entrails tossed,
Writhes with the cramps upon the grass
And glares at the face of his god,
Whose wrinkled skin, in ghastly wrath,
Provoked at this son in revolt,
Rants his spleen to the slabs of Doom,
From whence gyte monsters with a rod,
That oft gave imps a bloody bath,
Hythe, and before their master halt;
And, then came unhung, battling gloom!
The dome cracked like a clashing star,
All lights were muffled in a shroud,
Wild winds that cought us in their fold,
Dashed wrecks unto a reeking zone.
In Thralldom's grasp we waged giant war,
The storms rasped at each cursing crowd,
From regions far there sprung a cold
That froze each hoodlum stuck in loam.
There, garbed in the wastes of a moat,
Gangrel witches scan the slime to curse
Beneath a dome and shatter'd light,
A sign that all are lost and doomed.
Toward jagged heights black oaths float,
To skies of jasper light, adverse
To Doom's rich fold, prayers reach thro' night
That some malignant monster tombed
In phantom-blankets stark and bold.
All mountain-chasms growl and roar;
Each ocean froths black waves of lust;
King Thunder rasps the trembling night;
Giant lightnings split their fevered hold;
Encharneled guilt hastes to this shore
As hydras squirm along the dust,
Affrighted at this Cauldron's sight.

For we are unsubstantial wrecks

Beyond the pale of scale and fin;
Adventurers tossed by king Time
In region 'neath supernal skies.
To dungeoned knells where venom specks
The robes of priestesses with sin,
And prowling apes get drunk with wine,
We turn each thought to coral eyes
That seas have blurred with coffined night,
And whisper deeds wrought in silence.
A quiver that the tomb-sweat bore
When walls were split with Typhon's ire;
And monstrous shapes that carved the light
As dragon-worms brought pestilence
To souls who grovel on this shore,
Proclaim each gyving djinnee sire.
And dryades whom the mists have struck
With ague—A Sceptre of Despair!
(Sklayres to the night, and suns unstunned)
Dank dulse, where templed vaults of man,
Coarse-grained, who gambled with king Luck,
'Mid pulse of life below the air,
Shake at the throb of this unsummed
Sphere, where haunted thoughts and dreams scan
Athward at a untower'd home.
Where vitals that the glow-worm lit—
Friends to the Doom! as sorrowed soul,
Repress'd with rage, knelt down and prayed,
Rise from the hollowed void a moan
As sins upon papyrus, writ
In vyper's blood—Jems in this shoal!
Confess'd by men whom friends have flayed,
Teem in the wind-swept, shatter'd strands—
Blind batter'd keels that know no rest
'Mid surge of moans that tombs have spilt.
Upon the air that Doom hath wrung,
Beyond the fields where numberless hands
Point to the headland of the West,
Lights and vague shadows spell no guilt
Unto the wraiths whom Torpor stung.
And all night-thoughts in this strange sphere,
Tred in the skirts of waters cold,
Of hell-winds that the beaches swirl
Dome-high within this shrunken realm;
And crested billows toss giant Fear
Unto each culprit's hidden fold:
The studded roof where flares a pearl,
The charnel vapours o'erwhelm.

In caverns where gyte jinnee lee—

Noctivagous lepers in the gloom—
Unhollowed regions wrapped in light
Where groans are drowned by revels coarse
(Seen by a gump throughout the year
Above the strife where horrors soom)
Lurk crafty gnomes who with the night
Rant oaths in voices cracked and hoarse:
Blood-thirsty jinn in essling caves,
Where rubic dyes tinge Torture's dome,
And vypers' whispers pierce the night
As ghouls—whose baneful eyes conspire
With the surge of hell's roaring waves—
Rear mounts of bone—Dame Sorrow's home!
As charnel scarn parades in light—
Unfathomed crafts rayed in wowed attire.
And dusky mists peer at the show,
Obtest the gloom to further deeds
Of haste, to Horror's added might;
Tho' twilight-witches spill their gloom,
(Betelguese's priestesses of woe)
Abhorrent gawks lure in the reeds
Where shatter'd lights wing sudden flight,
'Mid spun-waves kiss'd by poppy bloom.

Dank dulse, and rushing waters cold;

Eternal signs of shadowed night
Beyond the zephyr-haunted space
Of adequate lees 'neath the sky:
Unfathomed haunts of stark souls bold
That squat on waves of darkest dight,
Malignly mute as foam-waves race
To pyres where men in torture lie.
When thrones are levelled to the dust,
And glories fade in cauldrons tossed,
'Mid waters vaster than the night
In scarlet tombs that rasp grim Death,
Supernal selves, loosed from king Lust
As Dissolution bulwarks crossed,
Conviction of an undreamt might
Assail each mongrel afrite's breath.
Hushed gasps permeate the solemn air
As coral Twilight flaunts its sheen,
And vapours wreath phantastic forms
Till vaulted domes glow like the noon.
Vague dreams plague souls beyond repair,
Phantoms, black demons call their queen,
Skinks and owls whom no conscience storms
Make faces at the leprous moon.
And bleak dungeons dank with odours
Strong, within each encrusted gyre,
'Mid treasure-vaults digged by gray Age,
Affronting witches incense burn;
And howling ghouls gape thro' vapours,
Two siffling vampyres dance on fire,
Each mottled sage a conqueréd page
To him whose hate no Doom can turn,
No bat-faced gnome can stem the blaze:
Hence harlots, ghastly with giant sin,
Chant runes to him in strobic gloom
As figgum's plied before his throne.
Malignly mute, he peers thro' haze;
Infernal pæons shake each Inn,
Blue lights 'twixt opals burn and bloom
In deep-hued haunts of Typhon's home.

In vain we seek an isle of peace

Beyond the pale of siffling Doom!
'Mid stillness vaster than the tomb,
Made equal with the ghouls who lurk
On battlements where witches ease
Their minds as rubic censers fume,
A Fiend bubbles in ruddy bloom
As turgid dyes the night-dwales shirk.
No sunsets crimson this stainéd sea,
No Ev'ntides her plume unfolds;
An opaque light that Silence wrought.
Careens thro' space in quest of toll.
Then demons storm each sea and lee,
Abhorrent sights each Cauldron holds,
Dim shapes flit to the distant ghaut
Where Doom sits poised—Each monster's goal!
Erelong the air shakes with a roar—
Forebodings of souls on Death's dome!
Bright cyphers spell the new-damnéd name
In letters 'gainst a leprous home:
Oaths peel like the hammer of Thor—
The screaming thing is flayed to bone!
Its sins—an outraged Body's shame—
Laid bare as whipcords dye the foam,
Whereon nepheloid imps and night,
Soom on with tidings of a moan,
Of dews, and whisper'd groans and sighs.
And, as vague forms writhe in despair,
A native in phantastic dight
Stills Torture's hold in weazened tone,
Black incense lifts its wand and flies
To haunts where mattoids rave and swear.

Where figent gawks sken at a gnome,

Decked in byssin and beads of gold;
And glozing jinn on a scree's height,
That leer as geysers boil and flow,
Feazing imps on serai's dome,
Drink from olpes icy philters cold,
Whilst scarn assails the morning light—
And gumps haste to the Dawn's first show.
Then pyres don mystic sklayres agleam,
A faffling fool leads gawks thro' hall
Where fays, in stones of ancient art,
Dance as Scorpions shake with glee:
Infernal pomps spread tawny sheen,
Strange figgum, amid unholy pall,
Pierce Sorrows with its poisoned dart
Whence horrors shake their limbs and flee.
And scenes, profound in Aspect's hue,
Play havoc with eyes of each soul:
Crimson dales (vague tho' they be)
And swards rise from the lurid moat;
Knees bend in Adoration's pew,
Blithe songs of cheer, far and near, roll
Thro' the halls to ebony sea,
Above whose breast twin whispers float—
Tremendous signs of dooms to be!
And, ere falt'ring noon wings itself
To shadow peaks and portals bright
That scyle veiled augueries of Hell,
An agate light arrays this sea,
Each glabrous fay sports with an elf,
A one-eyed owl blinks at the light,
A green-horned toad croaks from a well.
Then pageantries fade in the gloom:
'Mid Cyclopean storms unstunned
Dank treasure-houses spill their quest
And march with thunder from far West;
Whilst lightning flashes skirr the noon,
Giant moans ascend from shoals unsunned,
The turf, Tartarus' coals of rest—
Helots to the haunts of Sin's crest—
Whereon jimp jinn ride to hell's mouth,
The silence stir with oaths of might;
Vile dragons roar at a zimb's sting;
A swarthy gump leers at the damn'd:
All soom to mountains of the South
Where sultry winds war with the light,
And zanies' voices rise to sing,
Hosannah to the idol's stand,
Where azure-censers' fumes enhance
The pomps, adverse to Sorrow's home.
Figent hydras squat on each throne,
Mute souls peer at the altar's flame
As phantom images do dance
In honour of this Hybrid's zone,
Bred in this gorce by some strange gnome,
Sib to him who plays Satan's game.

A Cesspool vext with leprous stench

And oils—A sign that spells a curse!
Visioned with Temples' diamonds bright
In domes as guide to those whose cry
Of fear, sprung from a wench's bench,
Lure all to this strange shore, adverse
To moonlit skies. By the ghaut's light,
(Ten-thousand furlongs wide and high)
The gaud, spun from sorcerers' art,
Reveals its part unto each soul—
Imperishable signs of groans
That time nor cyclones can eschew.
No lulling lanes point to a mart,
No tidings good their billows roll;
In fretful haunts where Sorrow moans,
Swarm souls in Penance's rasping pew:
Disastrous sights of Torture's dome!
Red-embered coals that burn their feet
And reeking pools, vile with odours,

Make monstrous this blood-crimson vale.
Where demon-lovers chew a bone
As men and women choak in heat,
And blood-veinéd sights writhe in vapours—
Eternal shadows in each gale!