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´╗┐Title: Life in a Thousand Worlds
Author: Harris, William Shuler, 1865-
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life in a Thousand Worlds" ***

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LIFE IN A THOUSAND WORLDS

by

REV. W. S. HARRIS.

Author of _Mr. World and Miss Church-Member_, _Modern Fables and
Parables_, _Sermons by the Devil_, etc., etc.

Illustrated

Published by
The Minter Company,
Harrisburg, Pa.

1905



[Illustration: REV. W. S. HARRIS]



             TO

         MY MOTHER

WHO FOR MY GOOD COUNTED NONE OF
  HER SACRIFICES TOO GREAT AND
    WHO IS NOW RECEIVING HER
    REWARD IN THE CELESTIAL
      LIFE THIS VOLUME IS
          LOVINGLY

         DEDICATED.



[Illustration: Decorative element]



Illustrations.


 1. Portrait of the Author
 2. Gazing at the Starry Firmament
 3. A City on the Moon
 4. How a "Trust" Monopolizes Rain and Light on Mars
 5. The Largest Telescope in the Universe
 6. An Air Ship on Saturn
 7. Living in Fire on a Fixed Star
 8. Fishing for Land Animals
 9. Monopolizing Liquid Air on Airess
10. Floating Cities of Plasden
11. A Captive on a Planet of Duhbe
12. The Millennial Dawn
13. Low-life Warfare on Scum
14. Battle Between "Flying Devils" in the Air
15. "Trusts" in the Diamond World
16. Tunnel Through Holen's Center
17. A Scene of Rejoicing in Brief
18. Beautiful Plume and Her Wings
19. A Glimpse of Heaven



Contents.


 1. Are There More Worlds Than One?
 2. A Visit to the Moon
 3. A Visit to Mars
 4. A Glimpse of Jupiter
 5. Beautiful Saturn
 6. The Nearest Fixed Star
 7. The Water World Visited
 8. Tor-tu
 9. A Problem in Political Economy
10. Floating Cities
11. A World of Ideal Cities
12. A World Enjoying Its Millennium
13. A World of High Medical Knowledge
14. A World of Low Life
15. A World of Highest Invention
16. A Singular Planet
17. The Diamond World
18. Triumphant Feat of Orion
19. The Mute World
20. Brief
21. The Life on Wings
22. Heaven



Synopsis of Contents.


CHAPTER I.

Are There More Worlds Than One?

Why are countless worlds swinging in the endless regions of space?
The author believes that thousands are inhabited by intelligent
beings.


CHAPTER II.

A Visit to the Moon.

Description of a novel city of over 60,000 Moonites. The
inhabitants of the Moon are described as dwarfs having no noses
because they live by eating solid air. Their odd houses,
expressive paintings, strange religion, wonderful history, novel
government, happy home life, etc., interestingly described.


CHAPTER III.

A Visit to Mars.

Marsites described as giants needing four arms. The ultimate
results of capitalistic oppression graphically portrayed by a
curtain system. The description of the Marsite curtain system
embodies a tremendous thrust at monopolistic trusts, and should be
read by Americans by the millions. The author captured by Marsmen.
Illustration.


CHAPTER IV.

A Glimpse of Jupiter.

Jupiterites described as colossal giants averaging twenty-five
feet in height. Their language a marvel of simplicity far
surpassing the English language. What Jupiterites can see with
their powerful magnifying lenses. The author looked, through their
largest telescope and saw ships sailing in New York City harbor.
Illustration.


CHAPTER V.

Beautiful Saturn.

Physical features. Woman the ruling genius. Excursions in
airships. Illustration. Marvelous language-music. Churches on
Saturn far better than those on Earth.


CHAPTER VI.

The Nearest Fixed Star.

The inhabitants of Alpha Centaurus live as comfortably in fire as
Earthites live in air or fishes in water. One of their aerial fire
carriages described. Illustration.


CHAPTER VII.

The Water World Visited.

On Stazza the people live in water about as fishes do on Earth.
Their homes and cities under water described. Fishing for land
animals. Illustration. Some of their inventions far surpass those
of our own world.


CHAPTER VIII.

Tortu.

A far more beautiful world than ours. The moral life of Tortu the
cleanest found in any world, and interesting reasons given.


CHAPTER XI

A Problem in Political Economy.

On Airess the inhabitants live on liquid air, and hence have
neither noses nor lungs. Monopolists control liquid air on Airess
as petroleum is controlled on Earth. Illustration. Method of
breaking up the power of monopolies. This chapter is worth reading
by millions of American men and women.


CHAPTER X.

Floating Cities.

Palaces and large cities built on water. Illustration. A number of
wonderful inventions described. Far surpass our world in reform
movements.


CHAPTER XI.

A World of Ideal Cities.

Inhabitants described. Author made captive. Rich and poor. Ideal
cities, how governed.


CHAPTER XII.

A World Enjoying Its Millennium.

How the Millennium was ushered in. The conditions under which
millennial life is enjoyed.


CHAPTER XIII.

A World of High Medical Knowledge.

On Dorelyn four billions of inhabitants all enjoy perfect health.
The government controls the whole field of medical science just as
we do the post office department. No patent medicine on Dorelyn.
Many new ideas picked up in medicine and surgery.


CHAPTER XIV.

A World of Low Life.

On Scum exist the lowest conditions of life found in any stellar
world. "Notched Rod" language explained. Lizard like human forms.
No Scumite knows who is his father or mother. A big Scumite battle
witnessed. Illustration.


CHAPTER XV.

A World of Highest Invention.

A fertilizer invented making possible the raising of six crops in
one of our years. A Tube Line for passenger and freight traffic.
Wonderful storage batteries. A telephone that not only carries
sound, but transmits the gestures and faces of the speakers.
Thought photography.


CHAPTER XVI.

A Singular Planet.

On Zik decisive battles between nations are not fought by armies
on land or navies on the sea, but by flying war ships called
Flying Devils sailing in the air. A battle witnessed.
Illustration. A practical way of settling the strife between
capital and labor. The art of maintaining youthful vigor in old
ago.


CHAPTER XVII.

The Diamond World.

On the brightest planets of the universe diamonds are as plenty as
soil is on our Earth, but soil is as scarce and valuable as
diamonds are in our world. The heart-rending oppression of the
"Soil Trust" in the Diamond World portrayed. Illustration. The
insatiable greed of "Trusts" follows the poor people into their
sepulchers.


CHAPTER XVIII.

Triumphant Feat of Orion.

Description of a tunnel through the center of Holen, a globe 500
miles in diameter. Illustration of passenger car used. Its
operation explained.


CHAPTER XIX.

The Mute World.

Muteites have no audible language. They converse by pure thought
transmission, and no one can conceal evil thoughts. When a Muteite
criminal is brought before a Court of Justice the doors of his
soul are unlocked so that all past thought-images, photographed on
the sensitive living plates of his mind, are thrown open to view.
No hypocrisy, no conventional lying.


CHAPTER XX.

Brief.

The world of Brief sustains the shortest lived human beings of our
universe. What we in our world crowd into seventy or eighty years
of life the Briefites crowd into the narrow compass of about four
years of our time. Journalism, footwear, raiment, transportation,
public highways, business, religious life, etc., portrayed under
such mad-rush environments.


CHAPTER XXI.

The Life on Wings.

The inhabitants of Swift are charmingly beautiful, and many of
them can be seen gracefully moving on wings through the air. A
charming conversation with Plume, the most beautiful woman in the
universe. Illustration.


CHAPTER XXII.

Heaven.

Its greatness, permanency, inhabitants, degrees, seven typos of
intelligences, unity, employments, transportation, sexual
affinities, structural aspects, etc., uniquely portrayed.



PREFACE.


Any person having a reasonable education will admit that there are many
planetary worlds besides the one on which we live. But whether or not
they are inhabited is an open question with most people. We had been in
doubt on this point for many years, but now we are settled in our
conviction that human life exists in many different worlds of space. We
can give no proof of this except that we have just returned from the
greatest journey we ever took. We went from world to world over long
distances of space as easily as one could go from place to place on the
surface of our earth. _This was a journey of the soul_, for surely flesh
and bone could not have traveled such amazing distances. At times we
were lost to this world, being entirely absorbed in the glimpses of
other worlds that were flashing upon our view in happy succession.

It can been seen without saying that this book contains no more than a
fragment of the things we saw and heard--the fragment that is most
easily understood by human creatures born under the rules and
regulations of this little dark world of ours.

There are, in certain other worlds, such wide extremes of bodily
formation and mental capacities, that a picture of them in word or art
would only be unbearable and in some instances decidedly revolting, just
because we are trained here to one set of standards and chained to one
surface of world conditions. It will be different in the after-death
life to those who are wise enough to be pure and good in this world.

To make the book as practical as possible we have given a picture of
some worlds where human life is inferior to ours, and of others where it
is vastly superior,--saying nothing of the millennial life which we
found in far off space.

Comparisons are made throughout the book between the life, habits, and
customs of other worlds and our own. In picturing the low life of
certain worlds we are led to see what a highly favored and greatly
civilized people we are, and in describing the human achievements of
certain other worlds we are led to see how short a distance we have
traveled in the path of human glory and civilization.

We have also endeavored to set forth in this humble volume the common
relation of all rational creatures of all worlds to one Infinite
Creator. We do not question the truth of this fact, and those who ask
for proof must wait to find it.

We hope that this book will be inspiring to every thoughtful mind who
loves to learn more and more of the great system of intelligent life of
which the human creatures of this world form one link in the chain. If
the reading of this volume should open to your mind numberless
suggestions and compel you to ask a host of questions, perhaps you will
do as we have done,--spend a long time in training your wings to be
swift enough to take the journey yourself. If you will not do this, you
must patiently wait until the clods of clay are shaken off, so that your
free spirit may go out to live the life more vast in other worlds.

We pray that the highest kind of good may result from the truths here
advanced. If this shall be accomplished, we shall have our best reward
for having given this book to the printing press.

Truly yours,

THE AUTHOR.

December, 1904.



INTRODUCTION.


It may seem like great exaggeration to say that this is one of the most
interesting and profitable books that has been placed upon the American
book market for many years. _It follows no old rut; it has found a new
path_, and the reader is permitted to walk in regions which he never saw
and of which he never read before. It is indeed a triumph of literary
genius to give a picture of intelligent life in other worlds upon a
scientific and philosophical basis. Other writers have attempted to give
a description of conditions on the Moon, Mars, or some other single
planet, but no one has succeeded in picturing the mysteries of life in a
number of star worlds with such a fascination as is here found.

Some one may say that the book is only a work of imagination, but we
challenge any one to produce a book that gives more timely thrusts at
the evils of our present day life. By showing how the people of other
worlds have fallen into their sad conditions the author sounds a note of
warning to the people of this world, and by giving a glimpse of the
manner in which other worlds have reached their great triumphs, he gives
to the people of our world a spur to loftier ideals, to greater
inventions, and to a purer life.

The publisher of this volume is proud to put upon the market a book of
such high value and dignity. It is quite unusual for the subscription
book market to see such a princely book come into its midst. Here we
have ten dollars worth of _new ideas_, packed into cream form, all for
one dollar, and we positively assert that nothing like it can be found
anywhere in literature. _Great books have no companions._

The illustrations are from the masterly hands of an artist of special
merit for this class of work. He happily places himself into the midst
of other worlds in order to draw the beautiful pictures that illustrate
and adorn this volume. The illustrations are well worth careful
examination and when studied in connection with the reading matter they
are seen in their greatest beauty and value. _The Publishers_

[Illustration: Looking Towards a Thousand Worlds.]



CHAPTER I.

Are There More Worlds Than One?


Our world is large enough to excite our interest and invite our study
until we close our eyes in death. Yet there are countless other orbs
scattered through the solar system and throughout the vast stretches of
the starry heavens. Some of these worlds are smaller than ours, but the
majority of them are hundreds or thousands of times larger.

Looking away from our solar system, we find that each star is a sun, in
most instances the center of a group of worlds. So, for the lack of a
better phrase, we shall say that there are millions of solar systems
distributed through limitless space, each one serving its part in the
great universal plan.

For what purpose are all these immense worlds shining and swinging in
the depths of immensity? Could it be possible that they are nothing more
than vast pieces of dead machinery, barren of all vegetable growth and
intelligent life, whereon desolation and solitude forever prevail?

Our own Earth is inhabited by a large variety of living forms ranging
from the microscopic bacteria and animalcula to the glorious form of man
with all his superior endowments. The air, earth and water are teeming
with their billions of sensitive creatures; even a breath of air, a drop
of water, or a leaf on a tree often contains a miniature world of living
forms.

Amidst all this confusing animation around us, is it not absurd to
suppose that other worlds, larger or smaller than our own, are barren of
all life, and that from them no songs of thanksgiving ever arise to the
Maker and Ruler of all things?

Such a supposition not only gives us a strange view of the character and
attributes of God, but is at once repulsive to our instincts; anyone
wishing to accept it may do so, but as for me and for a large company of
my kind, we prefer to give a larger meaning to creation and a higher
glory to the Creator.

Let no one doubt that the universe is full of intelligent life, in
myriad types of existence and infinite stages of development. Physically
speaking, one cannot imagine the countless variety of ways in which
flesh and bone may congregate around the human brain to make a sentient
and intelligent creature.

Confined as we are to our little dark world, we know by sight of only
one way in which the brain conveys its messages and serves its ends,
namely, through a body of one hundred pounds or more of flesh and bone,
formed erect, and capable of rendering service upon a moment's notice.
Therefore some of us are conceited enough to believe that we are the
most perfect and beautiful beings of the universe, the highest
expression of creative art, and that all other creatures in a million
orbs take a secondary place.

True enough, we occupy an honored position in the scale of creation, but
while the people of many worlds are beneath us, yet there are many more
planets whereon human genius has surpassed us, and we must be modest
enough to take our rightful place in the drama of the worlds.

"How many planets, how many suns, how many milky ways are there?" you
ask in one breath. Speaking alone of our own universe, of which the
Milky Way is the backbone, I estimate that if we multiply the number of
stars by forty-nine, we shall have the approximate number of worlds that
are large enough to be classed with the family of inhabited planets.

In our immediate universe there are at least one hundred million stars,
a number of which have over five hundred worlds revolving around them;
others have only six or ten. The average, as above stated, is estimated
at forty-nine. Then, also, far out in the depths of space, there are
nebulous spots visible only through the most searching lenses. These are
new systems of milky ways or new universes, so immensely distant that
our most powerful telescopes cannot even resolve them into stars.

There are inhabited worlds so far from us that, if one could travel the
distance around our Earth in one second, he could proceed in one
direction, at this rate of speed, for twenty million years and yet see
far ahead of him the flickering lights of numberless other inviting
suns and worlds.

We cannot possibly grasp an idea of such infinite distances, neither can
we form any adequate conception of the long, long stretches between star
and star, which is the same as saying, between solar system and solar
system. In our Milky Way the stars seem to be crushed together into a
whitish jelly, but the awful truth looms up before us with all sublimity
that, although these stars seem to lie one upon another, they are
millions and trillions of miles apart.

In regard to our own solar system much speculation is rife as to the
existence of human creatures on the several larger planets. Theories of
all kinds have been advanced; some speculative or absurd, others so
plausible as to give rise to interesting questions, such as
communicating with Mars, and perhaps of taking a journey to the Moon.
These suggestions, while fanciful, awaken our interest and excite our
curiosity. Can any one predict the excitement that would prevail in our
world if a human creature from some other planet were suddenly to set
foot upon our soil? We would fling a thousand questions at him to learn
something of the strange realm from which he came.

And how great would be our amazement if we were to have the exalted
privilege of journeying to other worlds, seeing the types of human
creatures living there, and witnessing a thousand other things too
strange and wonderful to mention?

I invite you to listen as I tell a condensed story of a number of worlds
which I have visited, all within the boundary line of our own universe.
I cannot even tell a tithe of what I saw and heard, but must content
myself with giving a passing view of a thousand worlds, some of which
are situated in a very distant corner of our universe.

Well you may ask: "How could you travel from world to world and see the
various forms of human life, and then remain alive to tell a part of the
marvelous tale?"

If it is a mystery to you, it is also a mystery to me. I cannot describe
the pinions that carried me, nor tell whence came the strength that
moved my wings, any more than I can explain by what process I was
preserved alive in worlds of fire, in worlds of ice, and in worlds
without air. But the sight of all these things was as real to me as the
dreams of the night, and it must be admitted that dreams are often as
realistic as the acts of our wakeful moments.

For many years I looked outward toward the starry firmament, and at
times a deep yearning possessed me to speed away to converse with the
inhabitants of other spheres.

This hope I cherished so strongly that my thoughts completely
overpowered me, and ere I knew it I was living at the mercy of
indescribable emotions. All this continued during many revolutions of
the Earth on its axis. I felt as Columbus must have felt when he was
moving over strange waters. Then occurred the most notable event of my
life. In the twinkling of an eye I was caught away from the Earth and,
without any effort of my own, I was darting through space faster than a
sunbeam.



CHAPTER II.

A Visit to the Moon.


I was not prepared for the quick transit to our satellite, nor for the
views thrust upon me so suddenly. Before I could well collect my
thoughts I found myself in the immediate vicinity of the Moon and,
strange as it may seem, I was conscious of my surroundings and knew that
I had power to transport myself instantly to any place I might wish to
go.

To see the Moon face to face gives a charming satisfaction which can
never be realized two hundred and forty thousand miles away. I was
conscious of my privilege and was determined to take all possible
advantage of it.

Now how differently everything appeared from the views I had snatched
through the telescope while yet on the Earth. I could not see the "Man
in the Moon," whose grinning face had so often looked down upon me, but
from my first point of observation everything looked as if life had
never existed there and, consequently, I was about to conclude that no
human beings inhabit the Moon. This theory soon vanished, for after I
had traveled over a hundred miles I came to a thriving center of
population, the largest city on the sphere, inhabited by more than sixty
thousand rational beings.

These creatures resemble us most strongly in their mental capacities,
though their bodies are out of harmony with ours, having three eyes and
no nose. The third eye is situated in the center of the forehead, and
the other two more toward the sides of the head.

Life is not sustained by breathing a gaseous air as we do, so that the
sense of smell is performed by the protruded upper lip. At the voluntary
effort to catch scent the upper lip noticeably rolls upward into a
partial scroll.

I was anxious to learn how the life of these Moonites is sustained
without breathing and, to my astonishment, I learned that they eat solid
air at intervals of about six hours. This is not taken in connection
with the regular food, but is eaten alone and carried into a separate
stomach wherein it is disintegrated by the chemical action of the
stomachic acids. The gases thus formed serve the same purpose as the air
we breathe into our lungs.

According to the conjectures of some earthly astronomers I was expecting
to see a race of immense giants. On the contrary, I found that these
Moonites grow to only about one-fourth our height, but possess fully
three-fourths as much circumference of body. Notwithstanding that they
are so short and rotund, they are healthy and exceedingly quick in all
their bodily movements.

No doubt I shall be chided for saying that these Moon-inhabitants are a
handsome people, but I was enabled to judge them by a universal standard
of beauty, and I looked upon them as a product of the same infinite
Creator who fashioned our mortal bodies with such marvelous adaptation
of means to end.

One thing is sure, were a person from the Moon to set foot upon our
planet, he would estimate us to be as far out of harmony with his
standards of beauty as we should consider him to be out of harmony with
ours.

As might be expected, these people are very peculiar in their habits.
There is a small percentage of the population who are bright stars
intellectually, while others are extremely indolent. When a person wins
a record for laziness, it is said of him: "He is too lazy to eat his
air."

The large city to which I had come was indeed a novel sight. Its
buildings average in height one-third of ours, although they occupy
nearly as much ground space. They are composed almost totally of
non-combustible materials.

The window panes are not made of a brittle substance like glass, but
resemble mica, except that they are more tough and durable. These
Moonites are wiser than we in roofing their houses. They have discovered
a mineral composition which in its plastic state is daubed over the
roof. This, upon hardening, is proof against all conditions of weather
and never needs replacing.

There are many striking features in their architecture. In general, it
may be said that they are quite far advanced in constructive ability.
Some of their larger buildings look like soldiers' forts, others
resemble immense bee hives, while still others appear like odd-shaped
synagogues.

We are their superiors in almost every line, especially in our knowledge
and use of electricity and photography, and also in our manufacturing
and scientific skill. However, they have decidedly surpassed us in
imitative and creative art.

Their paintings express so accurately the emotions of the heart that I
found myself in tears as I saw their masterpieces. For a time I forgot
that I was on the Moon, so lost was I in elevated reflections all
suggested by their art creations. How I wished that I could have taken
some of these specimens with me!

From the Moon our Earth looks like a large wagon-wheel hanging in the
heavens. It is amusing to learn of the various opinions and
superstitions that are held regarding this wagon-wheel world. Some of
the Moonites declare that it is a huge lantern, hung solely for their
benefit, and scoff at the idea that it might be a world inhabited by
civilized beings. More intelligent Moonites venture the theory that
human life could exist on the great wagon-wheel, but declare that this
is quite improbable, as the whole planet is enveloped by some thick,
smoky substance in which they believe it would be impossible for human
life to exist. Some look upon the Earth as the mother of the Moon, and
regard the Sun as the father. This sex idea runs through most of their
heathen religion, and there are more who worship the Earth and the Sun
than there are who worship the God who created these heavenly bodies.

I prolonged my investigations without becoming visible, taking note of
numberless facts of interest which will ever be a source of pleasure and
value to me. At length, however, I concluded to take advantage of a
privilege and power I possessed and, becoming visible, I entered a quiet
room in the presence of a very distinguished man. He was by far the most
highly educated person on the Moon.

I was more surprised than he, for I expected that he would be greatly
agitated at my unaccountable appearance. Imagine my surprise when he sat
motionless, gazing firmly into my face which to him was out of harmony
with all ideas of correct form.

I was the first to speak, and although he had manifested outwardly such
self possession, I soon learned that it was a mere show of stoicism in
the presence of one whom he thought to be a spirit. In an incredibly
short time we were on easy speaking terms and I was gaining the object
of my visit.

Among the many things of interest that I learned from this famous
character were facts concerning the history of the Moon. According to
the information he gave me, I figured that human life had existed on the
Moon thousands of years before its appearance on the Earth.
Scientifically I could not account for this on any other ground than
that the Moon, being a much smaller orb, cooled off sufficiently to
sustain life on its surface long before any form of life could exist on
our Earth.

The Moonities of the old era were a prosperous and progressive people,
far outshining their successors who now occupy the sphere. After making
history for several thousand years, the human race had grown to one
hundred million in numbers, and civilization had reached a surprising
degree of perfection.

In those long-ago ages the Moon was a much more fertile garden than now.
Luxury and refinement were enjoyed by the favored sons of that period,
and no one dreamed of the horrible fate that was to sweep practically
the whole race into the regions of death. My intelligent informer used
excessive language in trying to picture the unequaled catastrophe that
put an end to the old era.

My interest was unbounded, and with awed breath I continued listening as
he described the cause of this great and terrible cataclysm.

"It all occurred about five thousand years ago," he said. "The Moon was
shaken by subterraneous rumblings, followed by fiery ejections, covering
a period of nearly one and one-half wagon-wheel revolutions. Whole
cities were ruined, fertile valleys covered and human life was almost
annihilated."

I knew what my informant meant by "one and one-half wagon-wheel
revolutions." This would be a period of about forty days and nights of
earthly time. Do you wonder that my mind flew back to the forty days and
nights of rain that destroyed, at one time, on our Earth, the whole
human family, except the few who were saved in the ark?

"What are the evidences of this horrible world-ending?" I asked.

"They are on every hand. Have you not yet seen the vast craters, the
mountains of barren cinder, the stumps of immense pillars, partly
excavated? All this, and very much more, silently unfolds a tale of
horror that can be faintly pictured only by the imagination. Think of a
holocaust so terrible that one hundred million human creatures are
thereby swept into death in the narrow compass of forty days! The
records that have been brought down to us by the few survivors indicate
the continual wails of horror rending the sky while the volcanic
disturbances continued. Thousands and millions ran from place to place
to find shelter from the storm of fire. At one place the surface would
open and at another the lava would run. Fate, with a merciless hand,
was dragging each one into one or another of the inevitable pits."

"How many were saved?" I asked with deepening interest.

"Parts of only eight families aggregating nineteen human beings."

"And how many people are on the Moon now?"

"Almost forty million."

"How do you account for this slow growth?" I asked after I had explained
that on our globe a much larger number of inhabitants sprang from a
smaller number than nineteen in a shorter period of time.

This allusion cost me much explanation, and, after I had selfishly
brushed his rising questions aside, I learned that large companies of
the Moonites had been swept into death by frequent volcanic outbursts
all along the line of the centuries.

No one can estimate my interest as I continued the conversation. But
finally I decided to stroll through certain parts of the city and,
thinking it advisable to give no notice of my departure, I suddenly
vanished from his sight. However, before leaving the room, I observed
that my bewildered auditor conjectured for a long time and reached his
former conclusion that he had been in touch with an apparition.

Again I resumed my visible form and walked along one of the principal
streets of the city. What novel sights greeted my eyes on every side!
One cannot well imagine what excitement I aroused. Citizens who first
saw me lifted their flabby arms in terror and ran to the city Bizen, a
place where every inhabitant, under oath, is obliged to carry special
news before communicating it elsewhere.

[Illustration: Visiting a City on the Moon.]

In a very short time the city Plins, or in our language, city
authorities, were coming toward me in their costly vehicles. They were
preceded, however, by what we would call a body guard. Imagine their
surprise to hear me shout at the top of my voice, which sounded to them
as thunder would to us: "You need not fear, I will do you no harm!"

My voice had a magical effect on the assembling host of pigmies. They
looked at me with as much curiosity as I looked at them. I stepped over
their heads but was careful not to trample on the children who scampered
at my approach. If one could ship a car load of these children to the
Earth, they would make excellent dolls, for they range in size from only
six to ten inches. Finally, I sat on the roof of one of their lower
buildings to watch the gathering of the multitudes and study their
curious countenances.

Some of the more educated, seeing that I was peacefully inclined,
ventured close to my knees and then looked the more intently into my
face, all of which was agreeable, as it enabled me to get a still closer
view of their faces.

I saw that the whole city was turning out, and I wondered how the alarm
could have been given so speedily. Upon inquiry, a fine artist at my
side tremblingly explained that the Bizen wires had been touched for
block six. This meant that every house in the city had received notice
of an unusual occurrence in that section. I resolved to learn more of
this system and how it was operated without the aid of electricity.

Now I was besieged by a pressing host. At once I commenced to speak in
Moon dialect. I told them whence I came, pointing to the large
wagon-wheel that hung in their heavens. After a short discourse, I
invited questions.

One of their leaders stepped nearer to me and acted as the spokesman of
the crowd. His language and voice were of excellent quality and although
visibly agitated, he bore himself with commendable dignity. Let me here
translate our conversation into English.

"How came you here?" asked he.

"That I cannot explain."

"Did you walk or run?"

"I did neither."

Surrendering this line of inquiry, he went on to ask the following
questions:

"Are there more creatures than you where you came from?"

"Large cities full of them."

"Are they smaller than you?"

"Their average height equals mine."

"It must be a ponderous world of immense giants beyond the
comprehension of any inhabitant of our whole globe."

"But just as I appear large to you, you appear unnaturally small to me,"
I calmly added.

"How came that lump in the middle of your face?"

I knew the questioner referred to my nose. I took a good wholesome
laugh, and the large concourse of people watched my wrinkling face with
strange delight. The Moonites express all their emotions by exclamations
and almost infinite variations of the lower lip in conjunction with
their three eyes.

I told the spokesman that the lump on my face was called "nose," using
our pronunciation, and that it grew there by nature and not by accident.
I also informed him that each person in our world had such a nose, at
which much merriment ensued. Lips twitched and quivered, as their eyes
blinked and rolled. It seemed to me like a hideous way to laugh, but no
doubt my nose seemed just as hideous to them.

Then I explained all about our dense atmosphere, the part that air
played in our life, and what a fine convenience the nose is during
eating and speaking. Of course all this was unintelligible to them.

I then busied myself in ascertaining the secret of their signal system.
I learned, much to my surprise, that with scarcely any knowledge of
electricity the Moonites had long ago discovered a means of
communication which is somewhat similar to our wireless telegraphy. From
central stations messages are transmitted to sensitive metal rods set up
on each house-top, somewhat like the lightning rods that decorate
house-tops on my own Earth. I also learned that a very thin atmosphere
is prevalent on the Moon, and that this rare medium is more suited to
their wireless telegraphy than our heavier atmosphere would be with its
different composition.

I soon learned that great excitement was prevailing throughout the
adjacent villages. Wireless telegraphy carried the news, and from all
directions throngs were pressing toward the city. Furthermore I saw that
the noted personage with whom I had spent a quiet season was now making
his way toward me. Not wishing to hold further conversation with him,
and desiring to escape the ever-rising tide of curious questioners, I
once more became invisible and proceeded to study the physical phenomena
of the Moon.

I now saw that everything bore evidence to the fearful havoc of volcanic
eruptions that had laid waste so large a portion of the Moon's surface.
The people live in the remaining fertile belts and patches of land which
are fortunately scattered in rich profusion over the greater portion of
the surface, reminding one of productive oases in the deserts of our
world.

Here and there, in stately museums, are stored the relics of the old
glorious civilization. At a few of these places I tarried to study the
achievements of a people who flourished five thousand years ago, at a
time when the civilization of our world was yet young. What an interest
lay wrapped up in the time-worn relics! Naturally I thought of Pompeii
as I was viewing the antique treasures that had been brought to light
from their old graves of ashes, cinder and lava. In some of these
specimens I saw glimpses of inventions that have never been reproduced
on the Moon and never known on our Earth.

Onward I moved to take my last views of the Moon. For ragged and jagged
cliffs of almost total barrenness, and yawning chasms lined with
intolerable precipices, the Moon outrivals the Earth. I took a passing
glimpse of the famous crater-mountains, called by our astronomers
Copernicus and Theophilus, the former situated in the eastern and the
latter in the western hemisphere of the Moon. The largest openings of
our Earth dwindle into insignificance compared with such stupendous
marvels of natural scenery.

Many similar places I visited, but I spent my last hours on the Moon in
the presence of that gigantic chasm called Newton, where I was thrilled
with feelings of sublimity as never before. Outstretched lay the immense
opening, nearly one hundred and fifty miles long and about seventy miles
broad. It was fearful to gaze into it, for my eye stretched downward
mile after mile until it reached the blackness of darkness. It
frequently happens that a Moonite accidentally falls into this monster
Newtonian chasm. Nothing more is ever seen or heard of him.

I shuddered as I peered into this gigantic opening whose gaping mouth
could swallow Pike's Peak so that its highest point would be many
thousands of feet below the surface. We have nothing on our Earth that
can compare with this terribly imposing sight, and as I was studying the
expansive waste I could more readily understand how large numbers of
human beings could be destroyed by such fabulous quantities of boiling
lava as were capable of being thrown from this pit. There is no doubt
that the lava and ashes hurled from this crater alone would send a
withering blast of death-dealing for many hundreds of miles around.

If you have never been privileged to look upon this ponderous chasm face
to face, improve your first opportunity to get a glimpse of it through
as powerful a telescope as possible.



CHAPTER III.

A Visit to Mars.


I need not describe the manner of my flight. It is enough to say that,
to my delight, I reached our neighbor planet called Mars, and at once
proceeded to study its physical features and its human life.

Everything was vastly different from what I had been long accustomed to
see and to imagine, and I felt quite assured that I was living in a
dream. But I knew of no way to convince myself as to my bearings, so I
concluded to make the best use of my time and opportunities, and leave
questionings to the future.

As a physical world Mars bears a most striking resemblance to our Earth.
The length of its year is six hundred and eighty-seven of our days, and
the length of its day is twenty-four hours and thirty-seven minutes. Its
diameter is about one-half that of the Earth and its distance from the
Sun is 142,000,000 miles. Even from our own world we can discern
through a good telescope the changing colors of the planet, due to the
recurring seasons, each one of which is almost twice the length of ours.

There is relatively much less water on Mars than is found on our Earth,
and gravity on its surface is only thirty-eight per cent. of terrestrial
gravity. Imagine, then, how light everything must be. This may account
somewhat for the physical proportions of its inhabitants, for they are
over twice our size, and in appearance resemble us but little. They have
four arms, two extra ones extending from a point just above the knees.
The two lower arms act as servants to the two higher. Thus are the four
used at one time in harmony.

Mars is an older world than ours, and although it receives only one-half
as much heat from the sun yet it is almost of the same temperature,
owing to a peculiar condition of the atmosphere which we would call
"heat retentivity."

Some scientists and philosophers will at once say that such atmospheric
conditions are contrary to reason and natural law, but they must be
informed that on Mars there are chemical elements and affinities not
known in our world. It requires but little change in the elementary
construction of the atmosphere to render it capable of strong
heat-retaining properties.

Standing on the surface of this planet, my attention was easily
attracted by the two frisky moons called Deimos and Phobos, at the small
distance of 14,600 and 12,500 miles respectively. These two moons are
constantly flying around the planet, one in about thirty hours and the
other in seven and one-half hours.

The astronomers of Mars have discovered unmistakable signs of human life
on the farthest of these two moons. They are hoping to be able some day
to cover the intervening distance and for the first time see their old
neighbors face to face.

Before I had traveled over one-half the surface of this planet I was
thoroughly convinced that it was a rough, jagged world without lofty
mountain ranges or peaks. The many long and narrow fertile valleys, much
resembling the canons of our own Earth, absorbed my mind with more than
passing interest. Looking carefully into one of these canon depressions,
I saw a class of human beings in a low state of civilization;
nevertheless, they were expert in agriculture and seemed to labor
contentedly with a dull, plodding vigor beyond all reason.

According to appearances there seemed to be no social relation or
connection between the inhabitants of one valley and those of another.
At first I was greatly puzzled at these peculiar conditions.

Next I gave my attention to the highlands or wide barren ridges between
the valleys. On these elevations I saw a highly civilized race of people
living in great splendor. They enjoyed the privilege of traveling from
one highland to another and of exchanging courtesies. Their interests
were common, and their joys and sorrows were mutual.

At once I became interested in these extremes of life as exhibited in
the valleys and on the highlands, and resolved that I would find the
cause for these differences.

The authentic history of these Marsmen runs back through thousands of
years. I learned with interest the wonderful past life on this world.

There was once a time when people all mingled together and cultivated
the valleys. Each one by doing his part made it lighter for all. But
after many years a few schemers combined and by their inventive genius
succeeded in erecting vast sliding curtains over the valleys. These
curtains were supported from the tops of the ridges on each side and, by
their manipulation, the operators could keep the sunlight from any
particular part of the valley.

Then these shrewd Marsmen exacted tribute from the valley-toilers,
saying to them: "Give us a fifth part of your products, and we will give
you sunlight."

So the toilers gave them tribute willingly, knowing that they could not
live without sunlight. Then it came to pass that these toilers were
burdened by reason of their taxes and they prayed to the rich that they
might have sunlight at a lower price, but the rich replied:

"We cannot give you sunlight for less because it costs us much to keep
in repair our immense curtain systems across the valley." So the poor
toilers labored more and slept less, while the few rich on the
elevations built unto themselves more spacious homes and lived in
greater luxury all their days.

In process of time some of the shrewdest highlanders devised an
attachment to the curtain system by which the rainfall could also be
distributed at the will of the operators. Then the rich Marsmen on the
elevations said to the toilers: "Give us one-fifth more of your
products, and we will give you your share of the rainfall."

The poor laborers had no alternative; so they labored still more
diligently to pay their taxes for light and rain, and the burden became
so heavy that they could no longer bear it. So they sent up a petition
praying for sunlight and rain for a one-fifth instead of a two-fifths
tribute. The rich refused to listen to this prayer, whereat the toilers
refused to comply with these intolerable demands.

Then did the rich magnates of the elevations draw their curtains to
keep both sunshine and rain from the valley. The laborers consumed all
they had until, in desperation, they asked again for sunlight and rain,
but the rich refused to give either unless the toilers would promise to
give a two-fifths tribute; to do this the toilers at length agreed. Then
the curtains were withdrawn, the sunlight once more kissed the valley,
the rain again fell upon the fields, and some of the poor, ignorant
people devoutly thanked their God for these gifts.

[Illustration: Monopolizing Light and Rain on Mars.]

It occurred later that one of the many toilers, whom his Creator had
endowed with unusual wisdom, became the leader of the masses in
struggling for their rights. He traveled the whole length of the valley
and advocated that the people should unite, march to the summit of the
hill, destroy the fastenings that held these curtains and, as the
coverings would fall, destroy them with fire. This leader declared that
they were entitled to sunlight and rain without paying tribute to man.
Gradually the workers were won to his views. The rich, seeing that their
investments were threatened, hired a few brilliant orators and sent
them to the people to persuade them not to give heed to a man of one
idea. These orators argued that it would be a great crime to destroy the
property of others, and that their only way of securing happiness was to
toil on with patience and keep looking for brighter days. The people
listened to the specious sophistries and thus pushed aside their
redeemer, putting off forever the day of their deliverance.

Similar troubles continued to arise in the valley, but the rich always
succeeded in quieting the people before they rose to determined action.

Then the rich decided to put an end to these agitations among the
toilers. Accordingly they cut off all communication from valley to
valley, either by epistle or person, and refused longer to permit any
poor toiler, or his children, to pursue any study whatever. By this
method, in the course of a few hundred years, the valley dwellers lapsed
into ignorant slaves, not knowing, except by tradition, that there were
other people in other parts of Mars. Thus the rich continued to
flourish on all the highlands, for they had extended this same policy
until the toilers of the whole planet were practically galley slaves,
each consigned to his own narrow canon.

After witnessing the wide extent of this slavery system, I appeared in
visible form to a rich dignitary on one of the most refined highlands.

He was alone and, upon raising his eyes and seeing me before him, he was
greatly amazed. To see a little man with a hairy face and with the kind
of clothing I wore, was all too odd for him to take in at once. He acted
as if I were some unheard-of animal, but when I addressed him in his own
tongue and manifested a becomingly meek disposition, he accepted me as a
deformed creature afflicted with a mild form of lunacy. Then he
proceeded to examine my clothing and especially my knees, trying to
solve by what freak of nature I was cursed since I had no lower arms
such as he had. My small face, smooth forehead, and the short straight
hair on my head aroused in him no little wonder and merriment, so that,
all in all, I was the oddest freak he had ever seen. He soon showed by
his manner how thankful he was that gracious nature had formed him so
much more kindly than me.

His questions soon poured out upon me and I answered as briefly and
intelligently as I could. He pressed me so hard as to the place of my
birth that I finally informed him that I came from another world,
whereat he was assured of my insanity and proceeded to fasten me by
force until he might summon certain of his friends. Knowing that all the
people of Mars could do me no ultimate harm and wishing to see what
might be their intentions, I offered very feeble resistance to his
course.

In a very short time there was grouped around me a curious set of
people, all of whom seemed to me so horribly ugly that I felt well
satisfied that I had been born on the Earth. Among the company were some
eminent scholars who did no more than peer at one another and walk about
me, while they were waiting for some learned professors to arrive from a
distance. A long, tedious period ensued ere the company of judges or
examiners were gathered from several adjoining highlands.

They took me into a large room where followed an indescribable
examination during which I purposely remained silent.

The button and button holes of my clothing attracted as much attention
as my unnaturally shaped head. My collar and necktie were conundrums.
Not one of the learned scholars was able to advance a theory as to the
probable use of such a stiff piece under my head. I could not conceal my
smiles as I heard the flying theories as to the use of my cuffs. One
specialist decided that inasmuch as I had only two arms, I wore these to
make them appear larger. This was accepted as the most plausible
explanation.

Several times they urged me to speak. The man to whom I had first
appeared had told them that I was expert in their language. But I would
not utter a word, being anxious to learn all I could by listening to
their conjectures.

Some of my examiners were sure I belonged to a species of their animal
creation, who, in some unaccountable manner, had received the gift of
intelligence. But this opinion did not gain ground, as no one could
account for the manner of my clothing and especially for my pocket knife
and other accompaniments. No one believed that I came from another
world, and yet no one could see how or where I had originated on Mars.

Finally one of the company struck upon a popular theory. He argued that
I belonged to a tribe of creatures that had developed far away in one of
their almost unending forests, and that I was the first of my kind that
had ever ventured so far from home.

"But how did he learn our language?" queried one.

"Any intelligent creature would by nature alone come to our language,"
was the conceited explanation of another.

Another gave a better theory which was at length accepted. He said that
no doubt I belonged to a company that had emigrated long, long ago from
one of the valleys.

After all their pains I satisfied their ruling desire by speaking. They
knew not what to say as I gave them a general description of the world
from which I came.

Purposely I used their most cultured forms of expression. At once I rose
to a high level in their estimation and they gradually accepted my words
as true. With absorbing interest they listened to every syllable and,
when I paused, their questions fell upon me in wild profusion. On my
account the schools were abandoned, all the leading teachers of five
elevations became my astonished auditors, and after every period of
sleep I was confronted by still other classes of specialists, some from
more distant elevations.

Finally, feigning ignorance, I asked where they obtained their
sustenance, as I had not seen one field in cultivation. They told me the
whole history of the toilers in the valley as already recounted, and how
the curtain magnates received their tributes which were sufficient to
feed all the people of the elevations.

"What right," I asked, "has any one to form a monopoly on sunlight or
rain which are free bounties from above?"

"There can be nothing wrong about that," came the positive answer. "Any
man who was wise enough to think of such a splendid system of
valley-covers surely deserves all the benefit that can be secured from
it."

"How did you succeed in getting the people to submit to such a system?"

"It all came by force. At first they were unwilling enough, but we
withdrew their education and kept them isolated. With ignorance you can
conquer any people. Now they are our perfect servants, and in a short
time we need not use the curtains any more. A few masters can control
the whole valley. All we need to give them will be enough to eat, and
the remainder of their products we can send to the elevations."

I was struck with horror at this revolting scheme, and expressed myself
in strong terms. I thought of the conditions of our world and felt
thankful that it had not gone so far that the laboring classes were
galley slaves to the rich; and I breathed my prayer that it might never
be so.

My investigations on this planet were long extended. The educated
people gave me many new ideas, although they are ignorant of many
advantages which we enjoy. Their means of transportation are miserable
compared with ours, and when I was explaining to the Marsmen our methods
of travel they were surprised beyond measure. However their knowledge of
nature and forms of animal life is far superior to ours. There I solved
some of the complex questions of Biology which had long puzzled my mind
during my stay on the Earth.

In their religion they worship the Source of Life, and look upon the Sun
as the place to which the spirit goes at death. In brief, the Sun is
their Heaven. They believe that the Sun's heat will be no barrier to the
spirit's complete happiness when liberated from the body. Phonetically
pronounced, they call the Sun Then-ka.

I was indeed surprised at the simplicity of their devotions to their
unseen God. Even the untutored toilers of the valleys talk to the Source
of Life and are constantly looking forward to the time when their hard
lot will be over that they may enter the Then-ka life. I could not help
but think that their chances of Heaven were better than those of the
highland caste; but I will not judge lest I might err. Who can
understand the universal plans of Jehovah?

Before I left the Marsmen I informed them that certain enthusiasts of my
world had been signaling to them for some time, and urged them to
improve their astronomical apparatus so that they might be able to
discern these signals and reply to them.

On account of my thoughtlessness I made an error, for I failed, while I
was yet on Mars, to arrange a code of signals; hence I fear that there
will be considerable experimenting before we can hope to establish
communication with our neighbor world.



CHAPTER IV.

A Glimpse of Jupiter.


The next world I visited was Jupiter, the greatest orb in the solar
system, almost fourteen hundred times as large as our Earth. I found it
whirling on its axis so rapidly that it makes an entire revolution in
about ten hours of our time.

This voluminous sphere is in great contrast to both the Moon and Mars.
Its physical constituency resembles a liquid more than a solid, and it
is quite hot but not luminous. It has cooled sufficiently to admit human
forms, although certain parts of the giant planet are void of all life,
owing to the more intense heat in those sections.

The atmosphere is charged with thick clouds, never at rest and
continually forming into immense scrolls close to the surface of the
planet.

The human life of Jupiter is found in certain belts where the crust of
the planet has been hardened for several thousand years. The people have
risen from rude, primitive conditions to a state of splendid
civilization. In size they are colossal giants, averaging twenty-five
feet in height. Their two powerful arms extend from what we would call
the hips, and no one would imagine with what facility these giants use
them. After extended observation, I was almost tempted to wonder why our
arms were placed so high on the body. These Jupiterites are more
handsome than the people on the Moon or Mars, and their faces shine with
a superior intelligence. Instead of hair on the head, they have
something unknown to our world, quite similar in appearance to wool.

Their two eyes blaze like balls of fire, making one of the giants appear
like a fiersome though not repulsive monster. The most unusual feature
about the face is the peculiarity of the chin and forehead. Each is
covered with convolutions of an insensible, rubber-like membrane.

The people of Jupiter excel in mechanical skill. They build houses, but
not by long, tedious days of painstaking labor. Such things as plaster
and paint are unknown. A Jupiterite can purchase, from one of the
mammoth structural factories, house sides, house ends, house floors or
partitions, after any general design he wishes, and have them trimmed in
any style his fancy suggests. The materials used are non-combustible and
water-proof, and will wear indefinitely.

These houses can be put together in a few days and the trimmings
adjusted in less than two weeks, unless the structure is very elaborate.
Nearly all of their house furniture is also non-combustible, and no one
has ever conceived the idea of forming a fire insurance company, simply
because there is no need for one.

As the people are so much larger than we, so are all things relatively
larger than we see them in our world. Wagons and carriages and cars
appear as if they were made for mastodons.

I saw one of their largest bridges spanning a molten lake. Aside of it
the East River bridge would be a dwarf, either in height or length. It
is certainly thrilling to step into a world where all things are so
gigantic. At times a feeling of insignificance crept over me, but I took
courage when I thought that a man's greatness consists in his mental
powers and not in his physical bulk, for it is true that the fifty
ounces of brain in the skull of a Newton have accomplished more marvels
than the ten pounds of brain-matter found in the most cultured
Jupiterite.

We must give the people of Jupiter credit for exercising a large amount
of common sense. In many ways they are more practical than we, and this
is quite as noticeable in their language as in any other respect. They
have one simple language for the whole globe and in its use they are all
agreed. Their vocabulary is small because they have not yet branched out
into the infinite varieties of manufacture and invention.

Their words have a marvelous correspondence with the thought or the
action expressed, the manner of emphasizing syllables going a great
distance toward expressing the shade of emotion desired.

I admired especially one thing on this bulky planet. They have but one
authority for language. Hence there is no Century, Webster, Worcester or
Standard, each rivaling the others for supremacy, to confuse the honest
student with diverse spellings and pronunciations.

The words of the language of Jupiter are all embodied in one unique
dictionary which is revised at intervals by a board of official
educators; to this board all suggestions for inserting new words and
changing the classification of old ones must be given for their
consideration.

This dictionary is printed by the government, and a copy of it is
furnished free to all public places and to each private family. When a
revision is made, a copy of all the changes is furnished to each
dictionary holder. The authority of this dictionary is final, and no one
is permitted to publish a conflicting work.

The Jupiterites have displayed their highest genius in their
astronomical advancements. They know all about the Solar System, and
have made discoveries inside of Neptune's orbit which our astronomers
have never observed. I was thrilled with delight when I saw their
telescopes with the marvelous lenses that opened the locked doors of the
Milky Way. No wonder the astronomers of Jupiter have a more
comprehensive view of the universe than we have. Their lenses are so
powerful that they have seen the outlines of our rugged mountains, and
have discovered on our world unmistakable signs of human life. During my
visit thither the experts were working on a much larger lens, and it is
claimed that when this is finished human forms can be discerned on the
Earth and can be seen with more accuracy on Mars.

The five moons that revolve around Jupiter have been studied with marked
interest. Two of these moons have displayed definite signs of human
life. It is promised also that the coming lens will unlock the doors of
the several moons and permit the astronomers of Jupiter to pry into the
secrets of their celestial neighbors.

During the past one thousand years, the Jupiterites have made
numberless attempts to establish communication between these moons and
their planet, but all their efforts have failed. Either the Moonites are
too stupid, or the Jupiterites are not expert enough in throwing out
signals or in building air ships.

For no one thing more than another did I envy the astronomers of Jupiter
than for their marvelous magnifying lenses. I knew that if we had such
lenses, or the material to make them, we could watch with ease the
inhabitants of the Moon or of Mars, and we could study the intelligent
life on Mercury and Venus, to say nothing of the great advantages we
should have in observing comets and all the numberless starry systems
scattered throughout illimitable space.

The religious life of Jupiter proved to be intensely interesting to me.
They have a sacred book which corresponds to our Bible, and it has
always remained in its original form because there is but one language.

Since I left my own world I had not felt so kindred a touch in spirit as
when I invisibly entered one of their great temples of worship, as we
might call it. No vocal music was there, but the mute beckoning of
several thousand arms, as if to implore the favor of the great Inzoork
or Creator, was impressively eloquent to me.

I was thrilled with joy as I learned more of their religion. I found
that their love and service were akin to those of our planet, and that
these same bonds unite them one to another. My conceptions were
enlarging as I saw the family of God enlarging, and I felt that although
I was unlike them in the physical, yet I was their brother in spirit,
and that we all have one Father.

Religious liberty was enjoyed until a few centuries ago when certain
restrictions were formulated. It was seen that some, in exercising their
liberty, proved to be a curse to the state, and consequently a sharp
battle ensued against the liberal element.

The Church won the conflict and now the profession of atheism is not
allowed. If it can be shown that any sane person takes such a position,
he is given a certain period to recant. If recantation is not
forthcoming, he is placed in the public work-house until he
acknowledges the existence of Deity. Atheists are scarce under this
severe ruling.

You may well know how I was startled to see such summary action taken in
regard to unbelievers. At first I prided myself that I belonged to a
world of free thought and free speech, but when I saw the magnetic
effect of these Jupiter regulations I was in doubt as to the superiority
of our religious and irreligious liberties.

The soil of Jupiter yields abundantly. The animals are all large and of
species unknown to us. They have animals that resemble our elephant and
ox; these they use for food. Common birds, as large as geese or turkeys,
flourish in the extensive forests and furnish about one-third of the
food for the giants.

The vegetation is after the order of our world, except that the curse of
weeds and thistles is only one-fourth as great. But the people of
Jupiter have learned more than we of the use of these weeds, and certain
of them are cultivated to a wide extent.

I spent a long time on the planet. I saw the fiery lakes that are fed by
subterraneous streams of lava, and the geysers of blue flame darting
their immense tongues high in the air.

As near as fifty miles to these fiery centers can be seen gardens of
vegetation and fields under cultivation. I yielded at last to a desire
that prompted me to make a personal appearance. So I stopped on a
thoroughfare and occupied a rustic seat at the roadside. I was dressed
in my earthly costume, and sat composedly awaiting developments.

The first living creature that observed my presence was a passing
quadruped. It was larger than a wild goat, and was a small specimen
after its kind. For want of a better name I will call it a "dog."

As soon as I was spied by this animal he set up a hideous howl and ran
at full speed. Knowing my own homeliness, I had all charity for the
animal and did not censure him for being so terribly frightened at my
appearance.

Soon a full grown giant came along. He chanced to be a learned professor
out for an evening walk, as we would say. He seemed to be in deep
meditation and did not notice me until he was near my side. Then he
stood breathless, while a feeling of fear and surprise evidently
possessed him. I sat motionless, looking up into his eyes, and saw the
convolutions on his forehead and chin quivering quite perceptibly. He
evidently judged me to be some undeveloped species of Mon-go-din, an
animal of Jupiter bearing faint resemblance to our man-ape. To my
surprise, he suddenly grasped me and tightly held me fast in his
gigantic arms. I made no effort to free myself.

His surprise was only intensified at my resignation. He expected a
struggle, but I neither made an outcry nor resisted capture. Like an
infant I lay in his arms, while he passed quick glances all over me. He
was baffled beyond all measure, and hurried away toward the great
college near by. Upon reaching the museum department, I was placed in a
strong cage and the doors were doubly secured.

My captor ran from my presence and, in a few moments, returned with two
other professors. They peered into the cage in painful astonishment,
while I contented myself by taking my watch apart and occasionally
glancing at my select audience.

Then commenced the jibbering consultation, all of which I well
understood. My captor related the full circumstances in connection with
his walk in the grove and the manner in which he captured me. He dwelt
particularly on the indifference I manifested in all his dealings with
me.

"It is a baby Mon-go-din," suggested the one professor, while the other
advanced the theory that I was an abnormal child of some Jupiterite.

My watch excited their curiosity. One reached his hand cautiously
through the bars and evinced by his actions what he wanted. I looked up
into his eyes and spoke my first words.

"Patience, please, till I put the watch together, and you shall have
it."

Not only did his arms fly away from the cage, but his whole body fell
prostrate to the floor, whether from fright or surprise, I knew not. His
two companions were also in a sorry plight. I pretended not to notice
their consternation, and kept myself busy in placing the parts of my
watch together.

After a while I was addressed by a trembling questioner: "Where is your
home, my child?" I did not lift my eyes, but completed my little
self-appointed task, and at once raised the watch in fulfillment of my
promise.

The timid professor ventured to accept it and, as he received it from my
hand, he again asked: "Where is your home?"

"Farther away than the circumference of your world," I distinctly
answered.

At this time the three agreed that I was an insane child, born out of
time, and that I satisfied my propensities by gathering to myself such
idiotic things as my watch and garments, including my hat and shoes.

A quiet consultation followed, after which one of the professors retired
from the room and soon returned with certain morsels of food. Upon
handing them to me, I at once remarked: "Keep these morsels for
yourself; I have better food to eat, of which you know nothing."

The other two professors had by this time observed that my watch was a
marvelous piece of mechanism beyond their most delicate accomplishments,
and they announced the fact to their other companion who again looked at
me in breathless surprise. "Where did you get this Fot-sil?" (or
plaything), he queried in one breath.

"Farther away than the circumference of your world," was my evasive and,
to them, unsatisfactory reply.

"Won't you tell us, child, how far away that is?" asked another with
subdued impatience.

"Millions of miles." (Of course I spoke in terms of their linear
measurements).

"How many millions?"

"Sometimes five hundred and sometimes six hundred millions."

Without giving them a chance for asking me another question I offered to
let them see my home if they would permit me to use the most powerful
telescope in their observatory.

My listeners were indeed amazed and were about to pour upon me a volley
of interrogations. I assured them that I would answer no more questions
until I knew whether my request would be granted.

This necessitated a consultation with the chief astronomer who, upon
learning of my peculiar request and of my unnatural formation, hastened
to the museum to see the monstrosity.

I knew from what I had previously learned that this gentleman was the
greatest living astronomer on Jupiter. He peered at me in the cage and
was dumfounded. He exchanged a few sentences with the professor and
again turned to me:

"At what time do you want the telescope?" he asked.

"Immediately."

"You shall have it, just to satisfy our curiosity," he said as he
hastened from the room.

I heard the professor caution him strictly to tell no one of my
presence, so as to avoid a rush from the student ranks.

In less than an hour I stood at the side of the largest telescope in our
Solar System, watching the deepening shadows of night as they fell upon
Jupiter.

[Illustration: Viewing Our Earth from Jupiter.]

I spent another hour examining the ponderous machinery that was
required to swing this mammoth instrument and to adjust it when scanning
the heavens.

By this time my four companions were convinced that I was not an idiot,
and I could see by their strange manner that they were regarding me as a
spirit.

I gave my directions to the astronomer, and beheld the cylinder,
two-hundred feet in length and twenty feet in diameter, swing around
until it pointed toward a little flickering light that shone like a
distant star.

I looked into the eye-piece, managed to get the tube pointed accurately,
and then requested the astronomer to focus the lenses so as to bear upon
the planetary light in range.

He knew at once the planet I had singled out. He called it Zo-ide. After
the focusing was completed, I looked and, behold, I could readily
discern many of the physical features of my own world.

"That is my homeland," I cried triumphantly. "I live on Zo-ide, or
Earth, as we call it."

Of course my listeners were incredulous, but I proceeded to explain to
them as I looked through the telescope:

"That dark ridge to the left is called 'the Rocky and Andes Mountain
Systems'. The shining belt on the central portion is the 'Mississippi
River'. The rough ridge to the right is 'the Allegheny System' of
mountains." Then I indicated the location of our larger cities. As I
pointed to New York, I saw a mere speck moving. I was convinced that it
was one of our large steamships, and as I so explained the astronomer
looked at me with absorbing interest.

He informed me that he had often seen the moving of the spots, and
thought they were some cloud formations peculiar to our world. But I
insisted on the steamship explanation and proceeded to describe an ocean
liner, for these Jupiterites are not familiar with oceans of cold water
on which float numerous craft.

I was then a royal guest, and passed a most felicitous night with these
four celebrities. We talked of the more powerful telescope that the
government of Jupiter was manufacturing, and of the still greater views
it promised to reveal.

Then I informed them of our system of science. They were astonished at
the great civilization extant on Zo-ide, or our Earth.

I told them that a subtile power lay dormant in the atoms and molecules
of matter, which could be released and utilized, and that we in our
world called it "electricity."

During the night I learned that the convolutions on the chin and
forehead of a Jupiterite served the purpose of a new sense. By the aid
of these convolutions any person of Jupiter can tell in daylight or
darkness the nature of any surrounding substance, whether it be hard or
soft, combustible or non-combustible, good for food or not. I confess
that I was unable to grasp the idea intelligently. So the people on the
Moon had the same difficulty in understanding the use of my nose.

Before morning dawned I informed my appreciative quartette that I would
see them no more, that I had paused at Jupiter station long enough, and
that I must be off on my vast excursion trip.

They earnestly entreated me to remain so that the college students and
representative persons could get a glimpse of me; but I refused all
their entreaties. When they found that I had power to leave them
instantly, they besought me to remain for a few last words.

"Shall we not see you again?" affectingly asked the astronomer.

I told them that I expected to spend eternity in the kingdom of our God
who made all the stars and worlds, and holds each in its respective
place. "If you are pure in heart to Him," I continued, "there can be no
doubt but that we shall see one another again in that happy celestial
center where our eyes will be our telescopes, where our pure hearts will
assent to the Fatherhood of God, and where our souls will be quickened
at the universal fountain of Love."



CHAPTER V.

Beautiful Saturn.


A delightfully busy world next met my gaze. Saturn, supreme in love,
with its mysterious rings and its eight moons, now held my attention and
won my admiration.

This world is almost as large as Jupiter, and its soil is more fertile.
The inhabitants resemble us in physical appearance, except that they are
twice our size.

Like Jupiter, it is enveloped in thick semi-liquid clouds which are
never at rest. This changing atmosphere causes continual friction of
particles, and this serves to produce sufficient heat to counteract the
frigid blasts that would otherwise freeze out the whole planet. These
atmospheric conditions attracted my attention to a great degree. I
estimated as best I could, and ascertained that Saturn receives as much
heat from this peculiar atmosphere as our Earth receives from the Sun.

As I found it on Jupiter, so I found it here. The human eye is so
constructed that it seems to have more than an X-ray power, for it can
look through this atmosphere as readily as we can peer through ours.

The air of Saturn, being so thick, contains much natural nourishment,
and the inhabitants are sustained largely by breathing. This reminded me
of the manner in which our fish flourish in the waters of our globe.

Marvelous indeed are the possibilities of life. I now had before me new
problems to solve, for natural laws have but a limited expression in our
own world. Here science puts on new garments, but they are all cut in
harmony with universal laws.

Woman is the ruling genius of this planet. Being untrammeled for a few
thousand years, she has attained a higher glory than her sex has reached
in any world of our Solar System.

As you scan the honor rolls of Saturn, reading the list of the eminent
leaders in science, art and philosophy, you will readily observe that
woman has forged to the front. She also sits upon the principal thrones
of temporal power.

Woman's beauty on Saturn is surpassing. It reaches a higher degree of
perfection than any of the myriad types of beauty on this enchanting
world. When I first opened my eyes on these scenes, I imagined that I
had reached Heaven, but, to my chagrin, I soon found the black marks of
sin that stain the whole planet.

The illustrious inventors of Saturn, living and dead, make a long list,
which is headed by the name of Veorda, a woman of marvelous intellect.
She looked into the mysteries of nature with a shrewd, wizard eye, but,
unfortunately, lost her life early in a bold experiment with explosives.
However, before she reached her much-lamented end, she had won enough
honor to outshine all inventors in the whole history of Saturn.

She was the sole inventor of all explosives, and she had learned how to
operate them without making any noise or smoke. This proved a valuable
aid to factories and quarries, and particularly in the handling of fire
arms, of which Saturn has a very strange collection.

Before Veorda was born the flying machine had been invented and used.
But aerial travel was soon abandoned owing to some terrible accidents
that had occurred. During the earlier part of her career Veorda labored
assiduously until she overcame a few difficulties and thereby perfected
the flying machine.

[Illustration: An Air Ship on Saturn.]

It was a day of international rejoicing when her perfected machine
sailed over the governments of Saturn. The invention stood every test
and at once air traffic was resumed and maintained. When this woman died
the governments erected to her memory the finest and costliest monument
that now stands on the whole world of Saturn. Of course, I went to see
it. As I stood studying the poetry of the pillars, I looked overhead and
saw one of the immense aerial ships carrying a pleasure party to a
distant point. I cannot describe my feelings as I lingered in the
presence of the sleeping dust and saw the imperishable influence of her
thoughts still working for her, in a carnal sense, "a more exceeding
and eternal weight of glory."

Yet with all this homage paid to Veorda, I cannot believe that she is
more illustrious than the present living wizard of our world, the
notable Edison.

Veorda lived and died a devoted worshipper of "The Great Influence," or
God, and it is delightful to think that we shall associate with such
great minds in our eternal abode in that Broader Life where the pure of
all spheres gather. Will I do wrong if I quote that sublime beatitude,
making it applicable to all worlds? "Blessed are the pure in heart, for
they shall see God."

The written language of Saturn resembles the Chinese character language,
only it is much more smooth and more complete.

The Shakespeare of that planet is a woman called Ziek-dod who has been
dead twelve hundred years. Her writings have been quoted and esteemed as
masterpieces all through these ages. Her style is singular, resembling
the proverbs of Solomon, with a little more ornament in the language.

As to the subject matter, her epigrammatic sentences are grouped and
classified with an accuracy that is both pleasing and popular. At
intervals the reader is treated with a sprinkling of alliterative
sentences.

Ziek-dod shines as an eternal star among the great names of her world.
Like Veorda, she was pure-hearted and possessed fine moral and spiritual
qualities. She passed out into that Broader Life where language is
sweeter and thoughts are more holy.

In music I noticed the most radical departures. The popular home
instrument is larger than our organ and has nearly one hundred keys
arranged somewhat like the keyboard of a typewriter.

These keys and their combinations are capable of rendering sounds to
correspond with every syllable found in their words. A proper
familiarity with these sounds is a part of every child's training on
Saturn.

When one plays on this instrument every sound struck on the keys
represents a certain vowel-consonant sound. Thus the listener hears the
sounds more distinctly than we hear the words of a phonograph.

Under such conditions a musician is capable of interpreting his exact
feelings when manipulating the keys. He talks to his listeners with
organ sounds. The great poet musicians can breathe out their
inspirations in rapturous melodies. On special occasions famous
musicians are employed to render original selections. Addresses and
lectures are also given in this manner with very pleasing results.

The Saturnites know nothing of the Telephone, Telegraph, or Phonograph.
But for carrying messages they have a signal system by which
intelligence is flashed from one point to another with great rapidity.

Saturn has eight moons and is surrounded with the rings which have made
it famous from the time the planet was first seen through the telescope.
These rings and moons are inhabited by a type of human beings altogether
different from those that live on the planet, and are distinctly visible
to the dwellers of Saturn by means of powerful telescopes.

The human beings on the rings are not able to watch their neighbors in
space, having no instruments to carry their vision beyond the
boundaries of their own peculiar abodes.

The most picturesque sight of all the Solar System is seen as you stand
on Saturn, and watch the rings and the eight moons chasing one another
in the heavens above you.

The inhabitants of this beautiful world believe that the soul of each
God-adorer at death passes out into the spirit life on the rings where
it will continue in a blissful existence until the final judgment.

The religious life of Saturn is officially controlled by men. There are
many creeds, each with its own devoted followers. The leading church of
this world was not organized until seven thousand years after religious
life took a distinctive form. Then a man named Trique, who was a shrewd
student of the times, after a careful study of the weaknesses found in
existing religious bodies, and after amassing enormous wealth in
business, founded a new church on a neat, practical business plan which
may thus be briefly described in terms and figures of our own language.

Trique had a fortune of two hundred millions which, by investment,
netted him twenty millions annually. These net earnings he used to
establish his new denomination. He commenced operations simultaneously
at the capitol of each of the four governments of Saturn, and at each
place built two magnificent churches, costing one million dollars
apiece. It took over three years of our time to build these eight
churches. Before one year had expired he had started fifty other
churches in the centers of Saturn's population. These churches averaged
in cost three hundred thousand dollars each. Thus the plan continued,
ever starting new structures until all Saturn was decorated with the
churches of Trique, even village edifices costing from ten to
twenty-five thousand dollars. So much for the mere outward part of the
church which anybody might create if he had recourse to such enormous
wealth.

Before Trique commenced any one of his buildings, he canvassed the whole
community for charter members of his church. These were composed of two
classes, spiritual and connected. This canvassing was done by the
finest scholars that Trique could employ. Each one was supposed to be
the pastor of the community he canvassed. The conditions of the charter
membership were easy to meet. All that was required for connected
membership was a good moral life and a lip confession of the faith.

On account of the superior advantages offered by the Trique church it
grew steadily from the beginning. I will here append a few
characteristics of the organization:

1. The church takes care of all its members during sickness, furnishing
a physician and all necessary medicines free of charge. The church owns
drug stores and graduates its own physicians.

2. The church has its own salaried undertakers, and defrays all funeral
expenses.

3. The church supplies a moral and spiritual education to all the
children of its members. This school does a work similar to our
Sunday-school, only it is held daily and is under a trained corps of
paid teachers.

For all these advantages each member is required to give to the church
one-eleventh of his earnings and to attend the services of the church
and co-operate with the pastor in the advancement of all spiritual work.

The church keeps a perpetual record of the attendance and the work done
by each member.

It required a man of large business capacity to launch such a church
with its radically new principles. But Trique's immense wealth was a
powerful force when utilized in this manner. He made every church a
strong business center commanding the respect of the whole community.
Discipline was rigidly enforced. No member cared to be expelled from
such a church. It meant a going out from under a warm cover at the
approach of winter.

Fortunately, Trique was a clean, spiritual man and strongly urged a
spiritual ministry and membership.

It can be seen why this church grew so rapidly. In fifty years it became
so powerful that it could control, if it wished, the legislation in
nearly all the sections of the planet.

I have given but a brief picture of this ruling church. It must suffice.
I may add that one must not imagine the church services and forms in
Saturn to be like our worship. All things are so different that it would
take much space and time to describe them.

For beauty of natural scenery, Saturn surpasses all the Solar System.
Its air is of a different composition from ours, and its sky puts on
various tints as the day passes, which is a little over ten hours of our
time, but it takes nearly thirty of our years to make one on Saturn.

The immense mountain ranges present a picture of unusual beauty. The
leaves of trees are rich in velvety varieties and the undergrowth
appears as if trimmed by skilled hands. This is a desirable place to
live. But I learned that the inhabitants of Saturn do not appreciate all
this wealth of beauty, in its atmosphere or on its earth, a whit more
than the people of our world appreciate the sin cursed scenery which
greets their eyes.



CHAPTER VI.

The Nearest Fixed Star.


All that was required on my part was a mere act of the mind, and I went
where I wished. I visited Uranus and Neptune, after which I stretched my
swift wings for the great flight, away from our Solar System, over
billions of miles of space. I alighted on the burning star nearest to
our Earth. This star is called, by our astronomers, Alpha Centaurus, and
it is said to be 20,000,000,000,000 miles away. This star is much
greater than our Sun and is the center of a system of worlds larger and
more numerous than those that compose our Solar System.

You cannot imagine my surprise when I reached Alpha Centaurus and found
that it was inhabited by a class of human creatures who were created to
live and flourish in fire. Their customs and habits are so strange that
I am not capable of giving an intelligent description of them. I know
that it is inconceivable to us how life can be developed and sustained
in the midst of a burning sun, and I found that these beings in turn
could not conceive how life can exist in a cold world like ours.

These creatures have no digestive organs. They live, in part, on the
chemical action produced by fire breathing. The hotter the fire, the
more easily is life sustained. If they were to get away from the heat,
this chemical action would cease and therefore death would be as certain
to them as being enveloped in fire would spell death to us.

In our eyes, their bodies are misshapen, composed of elements most of
which are not found in our world. There are many cold places, or sun
spots, on Alpha Centaurus, but these are shunned by the people as death
traps. However, the centers of population gather on the more solid
sections, most of which lie around the sun spots.

You could scarcely believe your eyes were you to look upon the durable
works of architecture built by these strangely shaped mortals.

Still more wonderful are the seas of boiling fire which are sometimes
comparatively quiet, and then again, in all madness, their majestic
flames shoot upward thousands of miles.

When the sea is quiet, life is oppressive in the centers of population
just as it is in our world when the air is still and the summer sun is
pouring down upon us. Breathing is easier and life is quickened when the
molten sea boils furiously. These terrible heat blasts are most
exhilarating and refreshing to the inhabitants living near enough to
receive the benefit of them.

You may imagine that these people of Alpha Centaurus are idlers, being
fed by the ceaseless heat waves that beat upon them. Such a conception
is totally false, for I saw that industry was plainly evident, and labor
had its reward in securing the necessaries and luxuries of life.

These life-sustaining foods are composed of elements which can be
appropriated into muscle and bone (if you will permit me to use these
terms), and are obtained by reuniting and re-combining spent forces.
This explanation is somewhat mystical, but I can do no better in
describing the food production and assimilation in a pure fire-world
like this one on which I had arrived.

To imagine and believe that fertility can be possible in a seething
world-furnace, is too far beyond our philosophy to be conceivable. Alpha
Centaurus is so large a sun that although it has a population ten times
greater than our globe, yet its surface is sparsely settled.

The oceans of fire occupy the greater part of the surface of this
wonderful sphere. In these great red-hot seas live the monsters of the
deep, as well as a motley variety of other species, veritable
salamanders, some grotesquely hideous, others surpassingly beautiful in
form and hue.

On this sphere man is extraordinarily intelligent. He is almost totally
ignorant of anything akin to astronomy, although some of the greater
scholars have ventured the theory that there might be other worlds
containing human life, providing there be fire enough to sustain them.

In some other particulars, these star-creatures have made astonishing
progress. They believe that the time is coming when the fires of their
world will be blown out and all life become extinct. This they would
call, in our language, the coming Judgment when every human being that
ever lived will receive his just recompense of reward.

With interest I studied the manner of government, and the admirable
system of education which is the secret of their progress.

I made a special effort to ascertain whence this sun receives its
continued supply of fuel. The question had often perplexed my mind when
I gazed toward our Sun from the shores of our world. None of the
theories advanced by our scientists and astronomers fully satisfied my
mind. And now I looked and studied in vain. Although the awful burnings
had been in progress for thousands of years, I could see no fuel that
was added to the flames. Hence I was driven to believe that Alpha
Centaurus was on fire and was gradually being consumed; this must be
true of all the stars that bedeck the canopy of Heaven.

The inconstancy of this star's surface is the greatest menace to its
inhabitants. At times the solid crusts break in the contracting of the
surface. All this makes terrible havoc, but the new generations take
fresh courage and pluckily restore the fallen habitations.

One of the luxuries enjoyed by these fire beings at certain times is to
get where the chemical action of heat is at a low ebb. That has a
similar effect upon them as calming our nerves has upon us.

One of the great inventions consists in an instrument that neutralizes
this chemical action of heat even where it is most intense. It is a
common sight to see creatures basking under one of these instruments in
a somewhat comatose state. The inventor of this instrument is worshiped
almost as a god.

One of the most startling inventions of all is a machine that
counteracts gravity. This, to my mind, is the greatest invention I had
yet seen, and, strange to say, these fire creatures know nothing about
means of propulsion except by hand power. If you were able to stand on
the seething furnace of Alpha Centaurus, you would see these machines
rise far into the shooting fire and beyond, as far as occupants can go
without freezing to death. Then at a reverse of the lever you would see
the mysterious car descend.

These star residents have enjoyed this invention so long that they no
longer appreciate its marvels. You ask me if I tried to get the secret.
I saw the whole apparatus and the more I studied it, the more I was
convinced that its storage battery contained heat energy. So I concluded
to solve the mystery. I learned that there was a certain element found
only in combination. When this element is set loose by chemical process,
it will rise at once toward a large planet that revolves around this
sun. This planet draws that particular element with six times more force
than it is held by Alpha Centaurus. The brilliant chemists, when they
first made this discovery, separated enough of this element to carry a
man upward from the sun's surface. Later on they made a counter
discovery of equal value.

They found a substance that would destroy this attraction if it was
placed between the element and the planet. The discovery enabled a
person to rise as high as he wished and then, by swinging the plate in
position, the aerial carriage would either stand still or descend
according to the wish of the operator.

What a boon it would be to our world if we had such an element for which
Jupiter or the Sun would have so much fondness! Then with our superior
knowledge of propulsion we could forever settle the perplexing problem
of aerial navigation.

These exceptional people, living in such terrible fire, wear pieces of
garments made of the finest texture. The hair-like threads are composed
of metallic substances far more enduring than gold or platinum.

Of all the unthinkable things on this star none are so extreme as the
manner in which these people hold conversation. They have no organs to
produce vocal sounds.

[Illustration: Fire Life on a Fixed Star.]

They convey their ideas one to another by a vibration of the
conversation flaps. Either the air waves, or substantial emissions,
excite the sensitive face of the listener so that the thought
intended can be accurately received.

Having a strong curiosity, I remained and studied this fire life. It
opened to me new channels of thought and illustrated more emphatically
than ever that all things are possible with Him who created the universe
and upholds it by the word of His power.

Finally, I left this strange abode and proceeded to visit some of the
eighteen worlds that revolve around Alpha Centaurus.



CHAPTER VII.

The Water World Visited.


As I lingered in the region of the constellation of Centaurus I was more
and more profoundly impressed with the magnitude and variety of created
worlds.

Among the eighteen planets that revolve around Alpha Centaurus, only six
are inhabited. One of these is a sinless world, or a world whereon sin
never inaugurated its blighting reign; but I will say nothing of this
orb as I did not have the choice opportunity of visiting it aright. I
saw its beauty only through a glass darkly.

I then fixed my mind on Polaris, commonly called the North Star. In
journeying thither from Centaurus I passed thousands of Solar Systems
scattered in space all around me. As I was thus darting through
immensity I glanced toward our own Solar System and could see nothing
but a flickering star which was our Sun. Not the faintest sign could I
see of our world or of Jupiter.

A strange feeling passed over me when I began to realize how far I was
from home. I sped onward until I reached the North Star. It is a burning
sun, but not inhabited.

Polaris is the center of a magnificent system. If a certain few of its
worlds could be seen through a telescope, they would be picturesque in
the extreme, somewhat resembling our beautiful Saturn. Moons play like
frisky lambs around some of its worlds, and many comets dance through
the length of the whole system in richer confusion than we have ever
beheld in the range of our telescopic vision.

Counting the worlds of larger size only, there are nearly one hundred
that fly through their orbits around Polaris, some with amazing
velocity. Within the bounds of this solar system I spent considerable
time.

The third world I visited I will call Stazza. It is two hundred millions
of miles from Polaris and is four hundred and fifty times as large as
our world.

I was amazed at the new turn of life-manifestation that I found there.
To me it was unusually interesting because its temperature is quite
similar to ours; but the order of life is reversed so completely that
the human beings inhabit the water, and the long narrow strips of earth
are infested with numerous species of land animals. It may seem
incredible that the depths of the ocean should be the seat of
intelligence rivaling our own.

The human creatures of Stazza average a trifle larger in size than we,
but they travel horizontally in water like a large fish. The limbs
support the body in rest, and in traveling are used like the hind legs
of a frog, only more gracefully. The arms closely resemble ours and have
an infinite variety of uses. In addition, there are four fin-like arms
that fold into the body when at rest, but are spread for service when
traveling. In all it must be admitted that these Stazza people are
capable of traveling more rapidly, and covering longer distances with
much less fatigue than are we. They can also carry greater burdens with
more ease. They wear no garments except one or two small pieces made of
a tough species of sea grass.

Five-sixths of Stazza are covered with water and its depth at a few
points is very great. Throughout all the water regions there are many
kinds of animal life, more than can be found in our oceans. Thousands of
human lives have been lost in conflict with the fiercer kinds of these
water animals, with which the people of Stazza entered upon a war of
extermination over one thousand years ago, and while intelligence is
slowly winning the battle, yet the warfare is likely to continue many
centuries to come, owing to the fact that these hostile fish occupy the
soundless depths even as deep as four or five hundred miles according to
our measurement. Horned fish rising from these depths are a horrible
menace to excursion parties or caravans, as well as to settlers on what
we would call the frontier.

The homes of Stazza are made of metallic substances. There are a few
minerals very plentiful, resembling brass, and it is a common sight to
see polished buildings fantastic in their arrangement, shining through
the pellucid water like gold.

The cities are built on gentle inclines in the deeper waters and
present a picturesque scene. They look more like a cluster of giant
fairy abodes than like New York or London. Nothing in all the world of
Stazza resembles a product of our manufacture more than the fine
screening that protects every human dwelling from an invasion of small
water animals. It reminded me of the mosquito netting as a safe-guard
against flies and other insects in our world. But the mosquito baffles
our genius, for he seems to be able to get through as small an opening
as air can. Likewise, the pestiferous water animals seem to invade the
homes of Stazza, notwithstanding all efforts at prevention.

The cities have no continuous streets or lanes. The principal travel is
in the water over the city. The main entrance to the home is on the
housetop. In the center of large buildings there is a shaft running up
and down, through which the people go with greater ease than we can
climb or descend our stairways. It must not be forgotten that water to
them is the same as air to us, and in their domestic life the people
are annoyed by cloudy and muddy currents of water just as we are by
clouds of dust in the air, on the streets, or in our homes.

The wear and tear caused by the chemical action of water on houses and
furniture is not as great as the injury in our world caused by the
chemical action of air, heat and moisture.

The educational systems of Stazza are quite as perfect for that world as
our own systems are for ours. They have an alphabet, covering their
needs in language, consisting of a series of strokes, curves and angles,
somewhat resembling our shorthand systems. This language is identical in
print or script, and is superior to our method of expresssing thought by
handwriting.

The experts of Stazza have learned the art of slicing metallic blocks
into sheets of any desired thickness. These sheets serve the same
purpose for them as paper does for us, and are furnished at an
insignificant cost of labor. We have the very elements in our Earth to
produce these metallic blocks if we knew the combination, which might be
easily found if we had as much need for them as the people of this
water world.

The metallic blocks are used for a great variety of purposes. There are
some high class artists who have immortalized themselves by their
master-pieces, one of which I saw on a five-cornered metallic sheet
measuring about eight feet in diameter.

Perhaps the most surprising feature of the educational advancement of
these water spirits is their knowledge of astronomy. To them, under the
water, the stars have always looked beautiful, and from an early date in
their history a study of them has engaged the attention of their
scholars. No one could tell the style of their telescopes if he should
go to guessing for a week. Let me give you a brief description of one.

They build a metallic pipe about ten feet in diameter and from a point
some two hundred feet below the surface of the water. The pipe is built
until it extends a few feet above water. Inside of this pipe is a series
of transparent ovals of various sizes. These ovals are so arranged that
the upper one throws its light to the lower one, down through the
immense cylinder. Around each oval is built a series of fin protectors,
which is the only part about the telescope I could not fully understand.
They seemed to counteract the refraction of the water, and yet the water
must be in the pipe to obtain proper results.

Imagine an astronomer at the base of this huge metallic structure,
having at his finger's ends a dozen wire strings intricately connected
with the oval system, and by the proper use of which he can increase or
decrease the magnifying power of the ponderous telescope. The highest
magnifying power of a telescope of this size is so great that the Milky
Way is penetrated and its solar systems revealed. What an accomplishment
it would be if a telescope of this magnitude could be mounted, a thing
that these creatures never attempted to do. But they have built
telescopes of various inclinations, all stationary. You can form an idea
of the patience and endurance of these people when you learn that it
required over fifty years of our time for them to perfect one of these
large instruments.

Give human brains to any animal under water or over water, and it will
grasp for larger views of its Creator and of the things He made. These
people are thoroughly convinced that intelligent life can be found in
any world where there is enough water to sustain it.

In the waters of Stazza there are many under-currents similar to our
Gulf Stream. These are used by the inhabitants for transportation. They
construct little hammock cars so that when they are filled with human
freight they float in the water. A simple device which we might call a
fin propeller is used to force the car in one direction or another as
necessity may require. It is possible to enter one of these
under-streams and thus travel over two thousand miles; then, by rowing
only five miles, enter the return current and move homeward. A car of
special design is furnished by each community in which each bridal pair
spends the Wedlock Ride, or the Honey-Moon, as we would call it.

[Illustration: Fishing for Land Animals on a Planet of the Pole Star.]

There is nothing more interesting about this race of beings than the
manner in which they pluck land fruit and catch land animals, and yet
when you compare this with our world, it is the same to them as fishing
is to us.

In all my inter-stellar journeys perhaps there was nothing so amusing to
me as to see a company of these water creatures fishing for land
animals. They would creep up near shore and throw out their wire lines
with various kinds of bait, according to what they wished to catch. Then
followed the inevitable waiting until some innocent Jullep or Petzel
would grasp the tempting morsel on the hook. A skillful jerk fastened
the victim, and instead of pulling him in the water, the fisherman held
his breath and rushed out of the water to get his prize. This has been
found to be a safer method than trying to pull the prize into the water.

These water dwellers relish certain land animals more than we do fish.

Of course the land strips are not inhabited by human beings, but
vegetation is abundant, similar to that found in our tropical regions.
Many kinds of fruit, growing on the land, are sought after by the
masters of the water. In the season when certain fruits are ripe whole
expeditions go out to gather them. But how can they live away from the
great body of water while plucking these fruits? Let me tell you how
they manage it. They have what we would call water-wagons, very wide and
short, and equipped with buckets. At the rear of one of these strangely
shaped carriages stand four or six men abreast immersing their heads in
the water of the wagon for a fresh breath as often as necessity
requires. Thus they are enabled to travel over land to any desired
locality, always being careful to keep near enough the water to cover
any emergency.

When they arrive at the fruit each man takes his bucket of water and
proceeds to work. He plucks fruit or berries for about thirty seconds
and then ducks his head into his bucket of water for a fresh breath.
Then he proceeds as before. When the water is no longer fit for
breathing, he carries his fruit and water bucket to the wagon. Here he
unloads his fruit and refills his bucket from the wagon, proceeding as
before. At intervals the wagon must be refilled with water. During a day
a few men can gather a large quantity of fruit in this manner, and it
can be preserved for over four seasons.

On Stazza there has been developed a fine variety of water flowers, and
no gardens are more beautiful than those that can be seen there. The
higher classes of these people live a very refined life and have their
homes surrounded with an endless variety of water grasses and flowers.
You would scarcely believe your eyes if you could direct your gaze to a
few of these homes.

In their religious life these Stazzans are eminently devoted. They have
no bunch of creeds from which to take their choice, but follow the
teachings of "The Great Interpreter," a man who once lived and reigned
amongst them and who wrote his laws in what we would call, by
interpretation, "The Book of Gold." The leaves of this book are made
from an element costly and rare, more precious to them than gold is to
us. From this book all their sacred books are copied. The civil powers
also accept this book as their authority, and enforce its teachings.

Sin there, as here, is the withering blast of the planet, the destroyer
of the harvest fields of purity and truth. An invisible spirit of evil
holds his force in disciplined command, and the man who wishes to have a
pure heart on Stazza must reach it through conflicts long and sharp. The
path to moral and spiritual purity is quite the same throughout the
whole universe.



CHAPTER VIII.

Tor-tu.


After I had finished my interesting tour of Stazza I visited in quick
succession a score or more of worlds that also revolve around Polaris at
varying distances. I found the majority of these planets barren of all
life, owing principally to their molten condition.

Some unthinkable types of human existence are occupying the worlds that
can be inhabited. I marveled aloud as I viewed a few more links of the
endless chain of intelligent creation. On one of these worlds, which I
have christened Tor-tu, I found human beings that resemble us more than
any others in the entire solar bounds of Polaris.

Tor-tu dashes along in its unceasing course at a distance of eight
hundred millions of miles from Polaris. It is much larger than our
world, and is accompanied by three moons and a set of rings which
faintly suggested our picturesque Saturn.

The poles of Tor-tu are inclined at an angle of thirty-three degrees to
the plane of its orbit. This accounts for its temperature being quite
similar to ours, although its year is eight times longer.

When I first reached this world I was impressed with its wealth of
natural scenery. Flowers of charming texture and color grew abundantly
over the wide expanses. The cultivated gardens contained specimens of
unusual beauty, surpassing the finest products of our Earth.

When I examined the leaves of the many kinds of trees, I found none
similar to the foliage of our planet, except in one or two fruit-bearing
trees. The sky, instead of appearing blue, wears a greenish tinge, and
the birds are robed in a variety of colors that would put to naught our
arching rainbows.

In fine, it must be admitted that Tor-tu is a much more beautiful world
than ours. I saw colors there that we could not produce because we have
not the proper elements.

This delightful world is densely populated. Its history is much older
than ours. Sin is firmly rooted in the whole planet and its curse is
just as blighting and withering as it is in our world, although it is
fought more successfully and overcome more effectually in the home and
in the nation.

I observed that the ecclesiastical system is similar to ours, and there
is a great profusion of creeds. To my surprise I noted, in my long
journey, that such a variety did not interfere with true progress, but
was compatible with the purest kind of life and the highest order of
civilization. The people are deeply devoted to their unseen God, and
their sacrifices are astonishing. Their places of worship are the finest
structures of the world. They believe it to be wrong to construct any
building greater in beauty and value than the temples of God. Their
music would sound quite weird to us, although it is sweet harmony to the
people of Tor-tu.

The home life of Tor-tu is most beautiful. The moral life of the home
and of the nations is the cleanest of any world in the whole system of
Polaris. Naturally I investigated to learn the secret of this happy
condition. Then I found to my joy that the relation between parents and
children is very noteworthy. The fine respect manifested by the latter
for the former evoked the blush of shame as I thought of the prevailing
conditions in my own world.

You may think it absurd when I describe a certain system that was a
stepping stone to such splendid results. Were this peculiar system to be
named, we should likely call it: "The Human Seal System."

Each person born into the world of Tor-tu is officially sealed or
tattooed on the forehead and on the arm. It is done by the township
book-keeper, whose duty it is to keep a correct record of all births,
devoting a new ledger page to each infant.

This seal is a life-long mark, and must not be interfered with under any
circumstances. In case the stamp is disturbed by accident, the person
must report to the township book-keeper either in person or by proxy,
and the stamp must be replaced on some conspicuous part of the head.

There are eighteen governments of Tor-tu that united on this scheme. It
is so arranged that no two persons of all these millions have identical
marks. Each government has its seal of different designs from all the
others.

Circles, ellipses and rectangles, with various modifications, compose
the eighteen forms in use. The most powerful of the eighteen governments
has for its seal the following design, which I have filled out as
completely as I could, using our own figures instead of their numerals
which would, of course, be unintelligible to us.

[Illustration: Tor-tu seal]

This is the actual size of the design as it appears on the forehead.

13 represents the number of the state.

21 represents the number of the county.

10 represents the number of the township.

12 represents the color of the person.

352, in the center, represents the individual's number.

This same mark is the individual's signature for life. It cannot be
changed, although the person is allowed to have a metallic or rubber cut
of his own design, provided he writes the individual number by hand, for
any one else doing this would be a forger.

The township clerk is also the collector of the public funds. To him
each person born in that township is compelled to render an annual
report of his residence, occupation, and certain other facts relating to
his life in general.

If any minor or adult commits a criminal act upon which the civil court
has passed, this finding is recorded in the township record on the
individual's page and, when the criminal has served his sentence, this
fact is also recorded. This is a severe law for the criminal, but it is
a great stimulus to a law-abiding career.

It is also customary for public courts to confer on worthy persons
special marks of honor for extraordinary deeds or acts. A record of such
rendering is also kept.

In presenting annual reports to the clerk each father reports for his
minor children. This puts the father on a rightful plane of dignity
before his children, and the parent who makes a wise use of these
provisions can and does reach far better results than can otherwise be
done.

No child can run away from home without falling into much more trouble
then he imagined he had before. At once his seal number is sent to all
the countries and into every sub-division. Any one aiding or abetting
such a person is severely punished. When the runaway is captured, the
system of reprimand is of such a nature that the minor will be glad to
remain under the directions of his parents until his maturity.

If it can be shown that a parent or guardian uses inhuman methods of
punishing children, the act is criminal and is dealt with accordingly.

There are no tramps parading periodically over the countries of Tor-tu.

There is an international law that each township must care for its own
paupers. Every man's forehead seal tells his birthplace and there is no
escaping from it.

When a person is suspected of crime in a foreign land, the foreign
officials can tell not only where the individual was born, but they can
also obtain an official record of his life by applying officially to the
clerk and paying a nominal fee.

Any stranger making a serious effort to cover his forehead is looked
upon with suspicion. It is a current phrase of honor among the
Tor-tuites: "I am not ashamed to show my forehead."

A few hundred years after this "Human Seal Law" went into operation, no
one, except the criminally inclined, would think of returning to the old
reckless way, although the system was scorned and ridiculed by many
Tor-tuites for about fifty years after its advent.

In considering the character of an individual, the courts and the people
place tremendous stress upon the township record. Each son and daughter
early learns the value of a stainless page and strives to keep his
record clean.

The township, through the state, gives to each child at maturity a civil
inheritance, provided his record meets the requirements of the law.

All these customs and regulations are powerful incentives to the youth
to lead a good moral life and naturally tend to a respectful demeanor of
children toward their parents.

This world is not only notable for its moral atmosphere, but for the
remarkable progress its inhabitants have made in political economy.

They know a few things about laws, but not enough to make them so
complicated that no one can understand their meaning. In law, the poor
man usually has the same chance as the rich. Money has no weight in the
Tor-tu scale of justice. The facts in the case are the only things that
have weight, although bribery is possible and is sometimes practiced.

The laws of Tor-tu relating to deeds and titles are the most simple and
yet the most effective that have yet come to my attention.

All the land in each county of Tor-tu is divided into lots, and each lot
is numbered on an immense diagram at the county seat. This diagram is a
miniature relief outline of the county with each lot and plot in the
county designated, and, according to our measurements, it averages
almost eighteen by twenty-four feet, varying according to the size of
the county.

When you buy land you buy from the county only. If you wish to purchase
a lot or plot from another party who is willing to sell, the two parties
concerned go to the chief real estate agent who is an official of the
county and has charge of the county diagram. The former owner or
title-holder, upon establishing his identity, releases to the county his
claims and surrenders his title on condition that he receives the sum
agreed upon between the two parties.

The county agent then issues a new title to the new purchaser. It is a
simple common-sense document completely describing the new owner, his
relatives and his station. Thus each purchaser has his own title from
the county and it is guaranteed. Under this admirably simple system
disputes as to titles are rare and can scarcely occur; but if any should
arise, the county takes the defense and bears all expense of litigation.

No counter claim is even heard after a title is five years old. Thus it
is impossible to resurrect an old buried claim and rob an innocent owner
who purchased and paid for his ground in good faith.

In transferring real estate no lawyers are required. Several persons,
however, must witness the execution of the deed.

The county publishes a journal, monthly, stating the owner of each lot
or plot number in the county. This is furnished free to each land owner.

All credit to Tor-tu for these common-sense regulations! Our laws
covering this field are heathenish compared with the statutes of this
far distant world. There no man loses his real estate by the awakening
of a sleeping title, and if this could happen he would be fully
reimbursed by the county.

In our world some titles are as clear as mud. Often we pay a large sum
to have the records examined and even then a purchaser has no assurance
of non-interference. Here it is even possible to buy a lot, build a
home, and five or fifty years afterward have it sold by some one who
proves a prior claim on the land. No such foolishness, or child-play in
the guise of legal dignity, is countenanced in Tor-tu.

The whole civil system of this sphere is superior to ours. A person who
violates the law is not treated to free boarding and lodging in a well
heated and lighted building, as is quite prevalent in our world, but is
compelled to enter profitable labor under strict surveillance. Any
prisoner becoming rebellious and refusing to work is dealt with
severely. If he is still insubordinate, he is placed on the revolving
wheel of death until his stubborn will is broken, or he falls fatigued
into the jaws of steel.

This convict labor does not compete with the regular ranks of honest
toil. The main work of criminals is farming, and the products of these
farms support not only the criminals, but their families as well. What
is produced beyond that is sold at market price and the proceeds are
applied to current expenses of the county.

In our world the honest man must pay to support the dishonest; the
law-abiding must care for the law breaker. How much longer this will
continue no one has prophesied.

The manner of choosing officials in Tor-tu is both new and surprising.
All the officers, from the highest to lowest, are chosen by lot instead
of by popular ballot or hereditary claim. They who are thus elected
remain in office during competency and good behavior.

1. Their record must be stainless during the preceding ten years.

2. They must have been graduated from the law department of the public
schools.

3. They must be at least thirty-one years old.

For the highest officials the conditions are more rigid.

The teachers in all public schools are selected in the same manner from
among the number who apply, and who have been graduated in rank high
enough for the school in question.

At first this lot system seemed very foolish to me indeed, bordering
upon absurdity, but the more I studied its simplicity and observed its
results, the more I became impressed with its good sense and
efficiency. There are no political parties fomenting discord in a
country under a spoils system; no upheavals every few years and
hilarious campaigns; and no idiotic caricatures of public officials to
work unbridled mischief in the hearts of the most dangerous citizens.



CHAPTER IX.

A Problem in Political Economy.


After I had left the world of Tor-tu I still lingered in the heavens
around the planet and examined a few of its moons. While enjoying this
pleasing diversion, I learned that not far away, less than one billion
miles, there was a world without an atmosphere. This peculiar condition
was not new to me, for I had seen, during my never-to-be-forgotten
journey, many worlds without gaseous air.

I would not have gone thither had it not been for an unaccountable
desire impelling me. Obedient to my impulse, I soon found myself on this
odd planet which I have named Airess.

I at once observed that the people are formed without nose or lungs. The
nose is substituted by an opening into which liquid air is received and
through which it passes to a bodily reservoir of two lobes in the
vicinity of the heart. When I saw how these people were obliged to fill
their living vessels with this air-supplying liquid, I at once thought
of the manner in which we in our world fill our lamps with oil to
furnish light and heat.

Now it is true that nature supplies this liquid air in reasonable
abundance, and no doubt all the people would have been happy until now
had it not been for the unjust scheming of a few unprincipled men.

The strange story of the air problem on this distant world is so similar
to the food problem of ours that I have time to describe it briefly.

There were certain men in Airess, shrewd above their fellows, who
secretly combined to secure a controlling interest in all the land
producing liquid air.

In course of time these shrewd schemers, who are known as monopolists,
gathered this liquid air into large tanks and warehouses, and put an
exorbitant price upon it. The business flourished greatly because
everybody was daily in need of liquid air.

The many sources of air-supply were guarded and men were employed to
carry the liquid from the raw springs to the private tanks of the
monopolists. Not long after this, when the monopolists saw that they
controlled all the liquid air of the country, they had rigid laws passed
forbidding the importation of air from any other country. Then when all
preliminaries were arranged, the magnates raised the price of their
commodity.

The burden fell most heavily on the persons of limited means, for some
were compelled to give half of their earnings for air.

The monopolists grew richer and richer, while the poor became still
poorer, until a cry went up for cheaper living. Then the
generous-hearted magnates decided to build new and larger storehouses,
thus giving employment to the large army of impoverished workmen. Thus
did the poor feel very grateful for the privilege of earning enough to
satisfy their hungry stomachs.

With the larger storehouses now in operation the magnates were enabled
to conduct this air business on a scale more economical, and so it
resulted that the profits of their business were constantly increasing.

Many who were unable to work became sorely distressed insomuch that
some died raving for liquid air. Others were more fortunate and were
helped by charitably inclined citizens. When a few poor comrades clubbed
together and contributed out of their mites, then the magnates sold air,
but if the sufferers had no money, they could have no air.

A growing discontent possessed the people. They appealed to the
legislative bodies, but the magnates had grown so immensely wealthy that
they controlled all the law-making assemblies and gave the members air
free of charge, an act of kindness indeed.

So the law turned a deaf ear to the cries of the people and many riots
followed. But these were all quelled by the standing army which was also
supplied with free air for the good service they were capable of
rendering to the monopolists.

The multitude of laboring people could do as they chose, that is, work
like slaves and live, or refuse to tolerate the monopoly and die.

[Illustration: Monopolizing Liquid Air on Airess.]

Many were the pitiful scenes witnessed in all parts of the land. Men,
women and children gathered around one or another of the large tanks
brimming full of the life sustaining liquid. It was heart-breaking to
see children with half-opened mouths dying for air. Of course none of
the magnates were within hearing or seeing distance. The tanks were in
charge of underlings who were bound to give no air except for the
exorbitant market price.

This state of affairs continued for many generations, nor did relief
come until one named Agitator went forth strongly set in his
convictions. He was a natural-born orator, a lover of justice, one who
believed in the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man.

As long as he went about speaking and praying, the monopolists gave no
heed. But when he began organizing the masses into sworn legions, then
did the magnates bestir themselves, seeing danger in the gathering
clouds of humanity.

"What shall we do?" cried they one to another.

"Bribe Agitator," suggested one.

"A happy hit," cried they all.

One was chosen to do the work. A description of the meeting and
conversation of these two great leaders is a choice bit of literature of
the world of Airess. I will translate it as nearly as possible into
English.

Magnate and his companion met Agitator three hours after sun-rise.
Neither one had ever seen the other before, and naturally Agitator did
not suspect the purpose for which Magnate had come.

"We are here," said Magnate, "to place into your hands one million
dollars to be used for the education of poor children. We have
confidence in your judgment and integrity, and if you will accept the
money on our conditions, we will gladly arrange all papers and place the
money at your disposal."

"A magnanimous offer indeed. But what are the conditions," hurriedly
asked the blushing Agitator.

"The conditions are easy to meet.

"1. You are to train and appoint sub-teachers and give your influence to
the building up of these schools.

"2. You are to spend your time in this noble work and receive as salary
ten thousand dollars annually.

"3. Of course you will be glad to put your whole heart and time into
this enterprise and encourage all workmen to show their appreciation of
this generous movement in behalf of the oppressed."

"But what would become of my other great work?" asked Agitator, as a
well-defined interrogation point covered his face.

"This new enterprise will solve the whole question. Is it not true that
ignorance is the cause of nearly all the discontent in the world? If you
scatter the clouds of ignorance, with them the darkness of nearly all
our woes will fly, and you will stand at the head of a new race,
educated, refined, and capable of understanding and securing their
rights ten-fold more surely and more intelligently than now."

Agitator was a man of quick mind. He was, however, almost caught in the
fine network spun around him. He bowed his head a moment in quietness.

"There is a tinge of truth in your words," admitted Agitator. "If I can
avoid it however," he continued, "the people now living will not suffer
for a whole generation in hope of imaginary relief. Your scheme is a
worthy one, but you must seek elsewhere for a leader. I have sworn in my
soul to bend my every effort to break the strong arm of the Monopoly."

Magnate was a cool man, and held his dignity in a pleasing manner. He
carelessly changed his attitude and spoke with decision "If you will not
lead this educational enterprise, the whole offer will be withdrawn and
it will be advertised to the world that the leader of the poor people
has refused the most magnificent offer of the age for the uplifting of
the masses."

"Ah," quickly replied Agitator, "if the offer be sincere, why should it
go by default on my simple refusal to be turned from my present course?
Let some other one, better qualified than I, attend to the management of
this noble cause."

Magnate advanced a step and with emphatic gesture gave his ultimatum:

"You are the recognized leader of the masses, the idol of all the poor
and of the so-called oppressed. In you the very persons whom we hope to
benefit have unbounded confidence, and naturally you are the only man
who can make wisest and most efficient use of this large sum of money.
We have no other choice and I ask you once more, for the sake of
suffering humanity, to accept the leadership of this worthy cause which
will do more for the people than all other reform movements combined.
You can make no mistake in accepting our offer. This is the only right
thing for you to do."

Agitator took no time to study his reply. His words were born on the
occasion for the occasion. He spoke with marked power in his voice and
fiery electricity in his eye:

"I have made my final decision. I am married to my reform movement and
seek no divorce. I want all people to have free air as they have free
sunlight. I am determined that neither favor nor force, neither Magnate
nor money, shall swerve me from my course. The people of my time shall
see their liberty, or I shall see my death!"

This reply of Agitator is most memorable. It is quoted more than the
famous words of Patrick Henry of our world: "Give me liberty, or give me
death!"

Agitator pushed his cause with remarkable skill. Soon his movements
reached such proportions that great men courted his favor. The masses
clung to him with truest loyalty. He took full advantage of the
situation and gained control of the legislative bodies.

Then followed the great enactment. All the air of the world was declared
to be free, and any one attempting to buy or sell this natural and
indispensable product was guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fines
and heavy bonds.

The celebration of this victory was extreme. The most wonderful
jubilations were held at the air tanks. Famous speeches were made and
the tanks were sold by permission of their owners. One enthusiastic
person bought a tank, declared that he would sell it in small pieces for
relics, and use the proceeds for educating poor children. The scene that
followed beggars description. Everybody knew that this was a cut at
Magnate, and the buying of relics was carried on in an unprecedented
manner. The amount of money netted by this sale was so large that
several schools were erected and an endowment provided for their
maintenance.

All this happened long ago on the world of Airess. But the memory of
these unusual times will never die. They have an annual day of
celebration much resembling, in its festivities, our Fourth of July.

The most peculiar human condition of Airess, according to my view, is
the manner in which these people sleep. They do not lie down and
gradually drift into unconsciousness, but they lie motionless and still
retain full consciousness. The rest comes from the quietness of the
bodily members. It is not even possible for these creatures to become
mentally insensible to their surroundings, except by an accident or
through medical treatment.

I was most impressed, however, as I learned of the powerful eyesight
which these people enjoy. Their eyes are indeed little telescopes,
capable of examining heavenly bodies with as much accuracy as we are
enabled to do with the aid of magnifying glasses.

Then comes the surprising statement that these same people have never
invented anything similar to a spy glass or a telescope. Imagine how far
they could peer into the depth of space if their own gifted eyesight
were augmented by good magnifying glasses.

I spent a little longer time on Airess than on some other planets
because I found that I could more easily understand the philosophy of
their attainments.

The last moments of my stay were spent in the largest structure of this
whole world, the central building of education. From this structure
endless lines of power and influence are maintained all through the
territorial divisions of Airess.

I studied this unusual plan of education and viewed with delight the
ponderous portion of this imposing edifice. At last I bid farewell to
all these mute instructors and, looking skyward, fixed my mind on the
shores of another world.



CHAPTER X.

Floating Cities.


Almost everyone is familiar with Ursa Major, or the Great Dipper, that
lies in such bold relief in the region of the northern heavens, and that
apparently revolves around Polaris, the North Star.

The nearer of the two stars that help to form this famous Dipper and
that point toward Polaris, is called Dubhe by our astronomers. This star
and its interesting solar system next claimed my attention.

From Earth I had often looked with admiring wonder at the starry
firmament, and during many an evening I had drawn the imaginary lines
from star to star outlining the Great Dipper, commencing with the end of
the handle and finishing with the star just named at the outer edge, or
rim.

As I came near to Dubhe, I scanned the surrounding skies and was
surprised to find that the whole semblance of my dipper was lost.
Instead of lying in a plane, these stars were widely separated, so far
that a billion miles gives no fair hint of the distance.

Many new stars, previously invisible, now shone in great glory so that
the whole celestial field presented new aspects. Far away I looked
toward our Sun; it sparkled like a tiny star, and none of the planets of
our Solar System were visible.

I paused not at Dubhe, but sped onward to one of the busy worlds that
revolve around it, which I shall call Plasden. This is two hundred times
as large as our world, and "slin" covers seven-eighths of its surface.
Slin is a liquid much resembling water and serves practically the same
purpose.

Plasden is truly a wonderful water world. Its inhabitants are not
confined to the under-water life like those found in Stazza, neither are
they strictly compelled to remain in the atmosphere, although that is
their normal condition. The Plasdenites can sustain life under water,
but only with discomfort. They have three times as many ribs as we
possess, and between them are openings into which air or water enters
for life sustentation. These flabby ribs slowly rise and fall
continuously and involuntarily.

I would describe the upper portion of their bodies, but they would seem
so contrary to our ideas of beauty that I will pass on by saying that to
my eye, now trained in the larger school of interstellar harmonies,
these Plasdenites are lovely and lovable human creatures. They have
reached a high state of civilization and, being gifted with the spirit
life, they are still forging ahead toward perfection, unconsciously
competing with their fellow spirits in millions of worlds.

Plasden is an old planet. Human beings have lived thereon for thirty
thousand years, and consequently, ages ago, the land area became so
densely populated that there was not enough room to accommodate the
increasing millions. This perplexing problem was solved in a very
peculiar manner by an experiment on the part of a wealthy Plasdenite,
who, seven thousand years ago, took advantage of the extremely light
mineral products of this world and built for himself a floating mansion
which covered about ten acres according to our measurements.

This fairy palace was floated on the great oceans from one continent to
another, propelled by the wind and controlled by a series of motors.

After a few years he returned to his native shore and conceived the idea
of building around his palace a water village. All foundations were made
of strong aluminum-like substance mixed with molten granite which, upon
hardening, formed a compound of marvelous lightness and durability. With
painstaking care and unceasing energy the water village was transformed
from a fanciful dream into a tangible reality, and in process of time
one section after another was added until a veritable city floated on
the bosom of the deep.

But this is only a brief description of a marvelous accomplishment. I
did not pause to mention the factories and mills that were attached to
this city, nor have I told you that in less than one thousand years
after this first water city was finished, there were floating, on the
oceans of Plasden, no less than two hundred cities of various sizes,
each a manufacturing center devoted to one or more lines of industry.

The majority of these cities moved in harmony in a world-wide course,
requiring about one year or four hundred of our days to complete a
single circuit. As was their prototype, so they were propelled by a
series of motors and a splendid sail system. At times the wind did the
greater part of the work, and again the full force of the motors was
required.

Let me ask you to get on board one of these cities, and take one year's
journey in a few minutes.

For instance, take one of the vehicle cities, composed of one hundred
factory buildings and three thousand dwellings, all built of
non-combustible materials.

The city is now in the harbor of a great port, and all the merchantmen
who live nearest to this port have been informed that the vehicle city
would arrive about midweek and remain four days. What a busy time
follows after the floating city is fastened to its moorings! Inhabitants
go on solid ground to do their trading. Dealers make large purchases and
place extensive orders.

It should be stated that the mail and telegraph systems between the
continents and all these floating cities are well nigh perfect. Fast
lines of mail steamers follow one another around the same course pursued
by these floating cities, and passengers can go to or from any of these
moving abodes to any part of any continent whenever they wish; so that
if a dealer wishes a vehicle of special design, he can send his order by
mail to any one of the six vehicle cities and have it completed by the
time the floating city arrives at his port. If the community receiving
the order cannot complete the work in time, the order is sent with one
of the mail steamers to the next vehicle city in line.

The massive city starts its journey and in one day it floats to the
coaling stations. Here it takes on board an ample supply of fuel and
proceeds along the regular course, making no stops until it reaches the
mineral station where it takes a new supply of the various kinds of
metals necessary for manufacturing and for all other purposes.

Then perchance it passes a city or two that is lying in dock for trade
purposes. The next stop will be at one of the several tropical stations
where a fresh supply of fruits is purchased and a number of vehicles
sold or delivered.

After this the city passes several apparel cities moored to an immense
dock, taking on board large bales of a cotton-like substance used in
making texture.

So continues the interesting journey along a safe route mapped out
centuries before. Storms arise, of course, but what harm can they do
except to send the ponderous waves dashing against the bulwarks of the
city and rock it gently, all of which becomes so familiar that no one
thinks of these things as serious barriers to the floating-city life.

Perhaps in one tour of four hundred days thirty stops are made. You may
wonder how these huge floats are stopped and started. This is
accomplished by a series of border propellors which can be put into
service at any time if speed is desired or contrary winds are
encountered.

These cities have done much to civilize the darker races of Plasden. The
manufacturing floats, coming into contact with the shores of all lands,
naturally have an uplifting influence on its peoples, some of whom go on
board to learn trades.

The latest novelty of Plasden is a music city owned by one man and built
most beautifully. Its size is comparatively small and it is equipped
with motors of double power enabling it to proceed with considerable
speed as compared with the cumbersome, heavier floats. This city is
built for business as well as for pleasure.

These Plasdenites enjoy an invention in the form of a machine that
renders music when acted upon by air, and, at certain times, also by
water. It is inspiring to listen to these Siren strains as the music
city passes another floating abode.

Excursion parties go on this music city and remain at one or another of
its famous hotels as long as they wish.

[Illustration: A Floating Palace and a Floating City.]

The most refined feature of this water life is seen in the floating
mansions, of which there are many thousands. These are built in such a
manner that the wildest storms of the ocean can do no more than set the
mansion a rocking, for the structures that venture far away from
shore are very large, and surrounded by many acres of attachments.

It is delightful to live in one of these water mansions, go to any
chosen harbor, remain as long as desired and, taking your choice of
countries, dwell among the icebergs or in the tropical regions. People
of delicate health can shift to any climate and change location as often
as desired. This style of retired life is now the most popular of all in
this peculiar world of Plasden.

The educated people are a very bright class; they have made great
progress in manufacturing. This implies a long list of notable
inventions in every branch of industry. It is strange that these
brilliant inventors never paid attention to air travel. However, they
have perfected submarine navigation to a nicety that would be teasing to
the infant efforts that we have thus far made.

The people of this far away orb have greatly surpassed us in controlling
and utilizing the three distinct forces which are quite similar to
electricity, and these are the wizard forces that furnish the power used
to drive the motors and engines, not only of the floating cities, but
also of the fixed abodes.

By a comparative study I ascertained that we have over six thousand
inventions for which they have no parallel, and Plasden has nearly
twenty thousand to which we have nothing similar. What an inspiring
study all these facts furnished! But my space forbids enlargement. I
believe, however, that if our world remains a few thousand years more,
we will have learned more secrets than the experts of Plasden know
to-day, although they have had a start of many thousand years over us.

There are very few worlds where the devotional spirit has reached a
higher level than in Plasden. The truths of the Creator are preached and
practised with a far more pleasing result than is prevalent on Earth.

Satan has found his way to this planet and has organized his forces into
sworn legions against whom the armies of righteousness are waging
relentless warfare.

The main secret of Plasden's high morality is found in the fact that
the civil governments insist on moral laws and a careful observance of
them. One blushes with shame at the looseness and laxity with which the
greater municipalities of our Earth are governed, and all this under the
shadow of our schools and church spires.

Centuries ago the good people of Plasden learned how to co-operate when
they desired to win in a struggle against iniquity. I would give my
life-blood if I could transport this secret in such a way as to make it
effective on the Earth.

In our world we have before us a most humiliating spectacle. If an
effort is made to extirpate some form of sin that has taken audacious
root in the soil of our moral life, one reform element or denomination
fights with the other until the hoe is so broken that there is nothing
left wherewith to dig out the miserable roots of the obnoxious weed.
Thus do we spend our energies opposing one another instead of fighting
the Devil.

O, for the Plasden power of unity, before which any species of
corruption can be crushed out that is opposed by the forces of
righteousness!

We have succeeded, to a bitter extreme, in getting the church and state
separated from each other so far that the latter scarcely ever gets a
glimpse of the former, and we stand by priding ourselves in the absolute
divorce. Then we have also succeeded in getting the different creeds
separated by chasms so wide that it is impossible to make a combined
attack against a common foe. However, these separations between sects
are gradually disappearing, and over the lessening gaps the hands of a
more Christian fellowship are being extended.

The Devil, wiser in his generation than the children of light, long ago
united his trained forces in defense of his iniquitous schemes, and thus
he is permitted for a season to sit on the throne of power and wield his
black wand over the civil realm, thereby licensing iniquity, protecting
vice, and spreading his dark designs over the commonwealths of the
world.

We look forward to the time when the moral and spiritual forces of our
world will reach the Plasden unity. May this be accomplished without
struggling along for another century!



CHAPTER XI.

A World of Ideal Cities.


After I had finished my brief stay at Plasden, I again rose high in air
and looked over the oceans with their floating cities. This was one of
the most charming views I ever had of any world.

I paid a passing visit to a few worlds where human life had never risen
to a great height of civilization, nor can I forget the lessons I there
learned of the power of sin. All this one can clearly see who visits the
three worlds lying next in order to Plasden, but I will forbear the sad
and sickening recital of the depth to which a world is carried by sin
when once it gains a haughty ascendency.

The next orb that attracted my attention also lay in the solar system of
Dubhe, and very much resembles our own world in both size and climate.
The people, who are not half our stature, are so differently formed that
I could scarcely believe my own senses.

A description of them would appear only ludicrous, so I shall content
myself with saying that they are refined in their manners and highly
educated in all branches of human knowledge, which does not imply that
their studies are identical with ours.

I was surprised at the splendid arrangement of their cities and the
sensible laws governing them. One can scarcely believe that we are
guilty of so much lost labor in the management of our cities, in our own
way of living, and in providing for our families, until he sets his eyes
on a city of another world that has notably distanced us in this
respect.

These people, though small of stature, are endowed with powerful
muscular systems and, through their intelligence, they have become
masters of the seas and of the land, for the forests give away and
savage tribes fall back before the onward march of the God-directed
conqueror, man.

I then appeared in visible form and walked into one of the largest
cities on this world. I had not passed one-fourth of the way toward the
city's center before I was surrounded by a curious crowd which so
blocked my path that I could make no further progress. You may imagine
their surprise to see a giant, as I appeared to them, with a strangely
shaped head and with a soft, flabby skin, for they at first regarded my
clothing as my skin.

No one could conjecture what sort of an animal I was. I remained mute
and watched the rising tide of excitement. Before anyone could venture
to touch me, I saw a band of officers in double-quick march hastening
toward me with their curiously shaped weapons unfolded.

I stood motionless as the soldiers surrounded me. As soon as the circle
was formed the leader of the squad stepped toward me with a show of
bravery, but I saw that he secretly trembled. It was his oath-bound duty
in such a case to lay hands on me and, if necessary, use force to take
me to the central office.

I offered no resistance and went, as I was directed, till I stood in the
odd looking room where all offenders of their law are taken for a
hearing.

[Illustration: Planet of Dubhe.]

The news of my appearance and arrest had by this time spread to all
parts of the city and a motley crowd were gathering, but only a small
portion of the people were able to gain entrance into the building where
I had been taken.

The high officials and educators, hearing of the wonderful giant at the
city hall, hastened thither with all speed. Then I saw an interesting
spectacle. As these higher classes of people arrived, the lower classes
were compelled to leave. The room being full, no laborer was allowed to
remain if a person of nobility wished to occupy his seat. This peculiar
custom or law applies to all public places and assemblies.

In a short time all the lower classes were compelled to leave the hall
to make room for the unprecedented rush of nobility. Nothing so tempted
me to speak as when I saw this partial rule in operation.

During all this gathering the officers stood in a circle around me and
held their weapons ready for instant service. Not hearing what I was or
what I might do, they were ordered to maintain this strict attitude.

Every eye was fastened on me. Some of the nobility were pale with fear;
others were busy inquiring whence I came and where I had been captured.

At length the chief official made a gutteral sound. This must have been
a call for order and the signal for the opening of the court, for at
once the wild confusion gave way to order as much as could be expected
under the circumstances.

The brief formalities of opening the court were ridiculous to me. This
being done, all official attention was given to me. I saw that
everything was under the charge of this presiding official. He first
ordered that I should be bound and, accordingly, my hands and feet were
tied. Then a very heavy chain-like rope was fastened to my body and I
was tied to the criminal's post.

The officers were then released and retired to their special part of the
room.

The chief then stepped toward me and peered into my face with a puzzled
look of great anxiety. I returned his glances calmly, but uttered not a
word.

There was a breathless suspense as the chief lifted up his hands,
touched my face, and felt my mustache and whiskers. The hair was perhaps
the strangest feature of my whole head, since there is nothing on their
human or animal species that resembles hair.

The chief then called for a certain professor who was an expert in
zoology. This intelligent man quickly came to my side and, at the
request of the chief, commenced to examine me carefully.

My manner of breathing confused him most of all. He watched my chest
rising and falling and my sides increasing and decreasing with every
breath, until he was mystified beyond all power of explanation.

When the dignitaries saw that I could be touched with safety, numerous
messages were flying to the chief, each one asking for the privilege of
a closer inspection of me.

The presiding officer was cool-headed and firmly followed his own cause.
He waited until the professor had finished his examination and was
prepared to report, whereupon he announced to the bewildered audience
that heed should now be given to the conclusion of the zoologist.

The professor mounted a throne-like elevation from which all expert
opinion is submitted. A painful silence ensued as this learned man
proceeded with his report.

Of course I pretended that I could not understand their language and
that I was oblivious to all these occurrences, but you may be assured
that I was careful not to miss a word that fell from the lips of this
noted specialist who conducted himself with a dignity both pleasing and
fascinating.

"I pronounce this creature an enigma," commenced the professor as he
pointed his bony finger toward me, "and declare him to be the strangest
problem of my life. How, and whence, and why he came to us are all alike
shrouded in impenetrable mystery."

"This perplexing specimen is totally different from any species of our
animal creation. He resembles a man more closely than any beast.
However, he cannot belong to any family of our world for he is possessed
with bodily functions unknown to us. His clothes are not the result of
any natural growth, and are far beyond our finest manufacture. Each
piece of his apparel gives positive evidence that it was made with
hands more skillful than ours."

"The most pleasing part of this perplexity is the face, which bears
indisputable marks of intelligence. It would be eminently satisfying to
us if we could communicate with him and receive some light on this
living marvel."

He quickly stepped from the throne and the chief then invited four
philosophers to examine me conjointly. They hurriedly responded to the
invitation, for they were delighted at the honor and privilege conferred
upon them.

What a peculiar experience followed! Four men touched my hands and
ankles, my arms and limbs, and more particularly every piece of my
apparel. Accidentally one found my purse, but could not open it. As he
was faithfully pursuing his task, I felt that the time had come for me
to speak.

"Twist at the two knobs," I said in their vernacular.

If lightning had struck into that room, it would not have caused more
consternation. The four philosophers fell to the floor, the chief was
terrified, the audience looked on in abject terror, while the officers
rushed from their post with drawn weapons. All this occurred instantly,
and I realized that my words never before had such an effect. In a
moment the chief was at my side and, looking into my face, exclaimed:

"Who are you and why have you remained silent?"

"I am a human being," I replied.

"From what part of our world?"

"I was not born on this world."

"On what world then?" he further asked with increasing surprise.

"On a world called Earth that revolves around a star called Sun." As I
was answering these questions many wild sensations were sweeping over
the hearts of the assembled nobility.

"How came you to our world?" continued the chief with abated breath.

"On wings invisible."

"For what purpose came you hither?"

"To see your manner of life."

"Will you stay with us forever?"

"I cannot."

"Have you come to harm us?"

"Not in the least."

The chief in a high state of excitement ordered that I should be
unbound.

I smiled and said that I would spare them that trouble. I snapped the
bands with such ease that a new fear possessed all of those around me.

I then gave them positive assurance that I would harm no one and urged
that all should be silent as I wished to speak a few words to them.

Never before had I a more attentive audience. I addressed them in a
natural manner, informing them that I desired to become familiar with a
few of their forms and customs of life. I then proceeded to give them a
description of the world whence I had come. My audience became
enthusiastic and I decided to cease speaking.

The chief, although greatly agitated, still kept his hand on the
throttle of the occasion. He waved the surging crowd back, demanded
order and at once sent his arrowed questions at me again.

"Are you not a god?" cried he.

"I am only human."

"How could you have such power as to reach our world?"

"That I cannot explain."

"How many people live on your world?"

"One and one-half billion," I answered.

"Are they all pure-minded?"

I answered that I was pained to inform them that many of our inhabitants
are wicked.

My listeners were still incredulous as to my identity. They were
positive that I was a visiting spirit on a mission of evil or good, and
they urged that I should disclose the purpose of my commission.

I re-affirmed my past utterances and, turning to the chief more
directly, I informed him that he would see me no more. Then, without
pausing another moment, I vanished. As I went, I looked backward to see
the mystified countenances of all who were in the room, and then
proceeded to visit the surrounding city to examine the system under
which it is governed.

I found that the bulk of the trade is controlled by the city, one class
of goods being kept at one place in suitable store houses. The city owns
a full line of vehicles resembling our automobiles. These are very
spacious. Each one is supplied with certain lines of merchandise and
passes over an unalterable rail route at its own fixed period.

Thus all parts of the city are reached with the necessaries of life.
Those who prefer can go to the trade centers, but no special orders are
delivered except by the regular cars and at the regular time.

For instance, one can go to the trade centers for meats and vegetables,
and purchase what he wishes or give his order. At the time corresponding
to six o'clock of our time in the morning the meat and vegetable cars
start on their respective routes, while the trade centers are open for
personal callers. Marketing goes on at the market center while the cars
are selling throughout the city. At nine o'clock the delivery cars leave
the trade centers.

Similar to the manner of our world, each home is numbered in such a way
that no two houses have the same designation. By this arrangement the
delivery of goods is facilitated.

Everything in this busy metropolis goes like clock work, and everybody
knows the schedule, which is simple enough to be understood almost at a
glance.

All the trade centers lie along the freight and passenger railroad. This
saves a tremendous amount of labor, for the goods are all transferred
directly from the cars to the store-houses.

There is no Fire Department, for there is no need of one. It appears
that only a few worlds in the universe use inflammable materials for
structural purposes, and we are one of them.

There is a Finance Department and a Law Department, although I cannot
give space for their description.

The Sanitary and Police Departments are under systems absolutely
different from any that are known in our world. Their sanitary methods
are no more effective than ours, perhaps less so. But the Police
Department is greatly superior. This is largely due to the fact that
this city has a department gloriously ahead of any city in which I have
ever lived. This department is called the Moral Department. It is
managed by twenty-one men and women, one-third of whom are selected
annually from a list of nominees.

Each church, meeting certain requirements, is entitled to make one
nomination. The seven of these nominees receiving the largest number of
votes are elected for three years.

This Moral Department is no mincing and begging institution. It has, at
its disposal, the entire military battery. No mayor holds a whip handle
over it. I must confess I was happy as I witnessed the blessed effect of
this Moral Department. All evil is not extirpated, neither is all
lawlessness overcome, but there is no brazen iniquity, no public
immorality and heartless brutality such as is seen on every hand in one
of our larger municipalities.



CHAPTER XII.

A World Enjoying Its Millennium.


What expansive views of creation were afforded me in my universal
journey! I saw all conceivable types of human life, many of which I
alone could never have conceived.

With a happy soul I alighted on another world in the solar system of
Dubhe where sin had been banished, and the believers, or children of
God, were passing through a period of time which we would call the
Millennium.

A wide contrast was now presented to my view. I had seen world after
world in the tribulation of sin. Now I had come to one under the sway of
righteousness, and I wish that I had power to describe what I saw and
experienced.

I suddenly thought of the Queen of Sheba, who, upon seeing the greatness
of Solomon's wisdom, exclaimed, "Behold, the half was not told me." I
had often imagined what the condition of our world would be when it
smiles under the light of the Millennium, but I minimized the glory that
is yet to come to us, judging by what I saw on this delightfully
charming planet. I have no assurance, however, that the coming
Millennium of our world will be altogether similar to the one I saw.

This glorious Millennium was ushered in about six hundred years ago, and
I readily learned the general particulars of its commencement. The world
had been very wicked prior to the dawn of this new age. The majority of
the people disregarded all spiritual truths, causing the darkness of sin
to hang like a heavy pall over the nations of this planet.

There were earnest devotees who lived in the light and love of God, and
who preached and pleaded with the thoughtless and the indifferent.
Notwithstanding all the efforts put forth on the part of the righteous,
the generations of this distant world became more and more wicked until
the Millennial dawn.

In the fullness of time the Millennium was ushered in by the appearance
of the chief angel who came with several hundred thousand attending
spirits. At the approach of these celestial regiments the atmosphere far
above the planet was darkened by ominous clouds through which the
approaching legions shone with unearthly brightness. All this occurred
in the twinkling of an eye, even before the busy millions could look
upward. Then the chief angel and his magnificent host circled in the
air, singing the resurrection song, which was augmented by ten thousand
trumpeters, while the forked and sheet lightnings flashed in unison with
the imposing waves of music, and heavy thunders contributed the bass
intonations.

The celestial choir continued during one revolution of the planet. The
vast throng sang in the air as the planet revolved on its axis. As each
section of the globe came beneath the long extended line of melodious
angels, the marvelous change took place for that section. The sleeping
saints came forth from their graves and, with the living saints, were
caught up into the air. This continued until this most eventful day was
finished.

The scenes that occurred with the ungodly during this awful day beggar
all description, so much so that I shall not attempt to describe the
remorseful wails of horror that rent the air, only to be drowned by the
ever-singing choir. It was the day of triumph for the saints, and their
ears were not disturbed by the cries of terror, nor were their hearts
distracted by the opening of the earth to receive the wicked.

As the saints were caught up, the wicked fell into pits and have not
been seen since. The flames that issued from the rending globe set
everything on fire. Who can select language sufficiently graphic to
portray such a lurid dissolution of a planet, and the gathering of the
faithful, quick and dead?

Thus was this large world purified by fire while the saints were
gloriously enraptured. After the fury of this burning was passed, the
great Creator of the universe made a new world whereon righteousness
dwelled.

The saints became the possessors and rulers of this whole sphere, living
in joy and peace unprecedented. It has been the happiest six hundred
years since the beginning of this planet. How long this period will
continue no one seems to know, and but few are conjecturing, for each
soul is completely happy and congenially employed.

The time will come, however, when this blissful period will be at an
end, only to give way to a state of existence infinitely greater and
more glorious, which in our language would be called Heaven.

[Illustration: Beginning of the Millennium.]

I will briefly describe a few characteristics of this Millennial life as
I saw it and as it is now existing.

1. The saints are living in spiritual bodies. They are not cumbered with
a fleshy body, and are capable of traveling through the air at a speed
far beyond that attained by the swiftest winged creature of any world in
the whole universe.

Their spiritual bodies are highly organized and sensitive to a fine
degree. At will they are capable of rendering themselves visible or
invisible, as we comprehend these terms.

As the perfectly formed flower, blushing in its wealth of color, is
called beautiful, so we would designate these symmetrical
spirit-creatures, moving in the glory of their higher endowment and
shaded with the living tints of Heaven.

2. These inhabitants know nothing of fatigue. Their strength of body and
vitality of mind are unabating. What a contrast between the creatures of
our Earth and those of the Millennial world on whom the passing of
centuries has no ill effect.

3. There is nothing on this purified world to generate disease; hence
these favored people never suffer any pain of body or of mind. The long
line of sin-shadows has all vanished from this redeemed planet, and the
atmosphere is all aglow with the mellowed light of peace and love.

4. Jealousy and all kindred feelings are unknown. These roots were all
destroyed by the fire at the beginning of the Millennium. No one can
imagine how enrapturing life is in the absence of stings of malice and
thorns of envy.

5. The social and spiritual relationships are all harmoniously blended.
No one feels himself beneath or above another, and no one feels
embarrassed in the presence of a superior human intelligence.

6. Thus it follows that the fellowship is inexpressibly sweet. You can
only imagine the dignity and glory one must feel as he mingles with the
righteous dead of all ages, and gathers from them a glimpse of the
trials and triumphs of ten thousand years under the old reign.

7. Some of the spirits are employed in dressing and keeping the gardens
in which grow the luxurious food on which redeemed creatures subsist:
not cereals, fruits, or nuts, but the kind that creates the most
heavenly sensations as it wastes away in perfume at the will of the
user. The nearest imitation of this food ever known on earth was eaten
by Christ's spirit when Mary broke the alabaster box of ointment on his
head.

8. Some spirits of this Millennial life seemed to be more rapturously
happy than the others. I learned that they had passed through the
darkness of continual disappointments or suffered under the mis-mating
of matrimonial union. Others fought through the fires of persecution and
torture, and still others passed through martyrdom for their Master's
sake. All of these patiently endured all hardships leading down to the
end of their mortal days.

9. The affinity between sexes is clearly marked. No love but pure love
burns on the altar of any soul, and any one who wishes may stop to
kindle the fires or warm himself thereat. There is no bodily contact, no
decay, no weakening. This love is enrapturing, uplifting, ever drawing
the lover and the loved nearer to the fountain.

In language most intelligible to us, I would say that the intercourse
between sexes is one of refined telepathy, soul-connection by thought
transmission, a thousand-fold more charming than the low plane of
intercourse in the flesh life, with none of its attendant weakening
results. This strange felicity is as indescribable as it is glorious.
Each nature seeks its real complement, and enjoys the most absolute
liberty, for there is not a single barrier to prevent it, as no one
desires to do wrong.

This most inviting life had its charms for me, but I well knew that I
could not tarry. I lingered at a thousand fountains to catch the
life-giving spray and studied, as far as I possibly could, the faces of
these favored creatures.

The whole vegetable world is a long extended floral garden. Where
formerly deserts lay waste and wild, now the blooming roses and
expansive lawns can be seen. Is it possible to picture to your mind's
eye a line of lofty mountains whose sides are dressed in living colors
and trimmed with rare flowers? If you cannot paint this picture, then
you must not endeavor to form the faintest conception of the natural
features of this Millennial world.

Being still filled with the lingering memories of this happy sphere, and
looking forward to the coming golden age of our own world, I read with
pleasure a few stanzas contemplating Christ's second coming.

    "A SONG OF HIS COMING."

    See the virgins at midnight yearning,
      To behold the face of the Groom.
    Their lamps are all trimmed and burning,
      As they peer through the misty gloom.

    "He will come," is the shout of voices,
      Which have sung in a thousand ways;
    For the heart of the saint rejoices,
      At the thought of the coming days.

    When the war of creeds will be over,
      And our King descends from above,
    Only they shall witness His crowning,
      Who have lived in the light of love.

    Then the Christ shall reign in his glory
      On the throne of his sovereign might:
    And the theme of Redemption's story
      Will be sung with perfect delight.

    And our minds will dazzle with brightness,
      As our thoughts forever aspire,
    For a mantle of perfect whiteness,
      Shall cover the youth and the sire;

    Then we know that none will be jealous,
      And no one will envy our lot.
    For against the one who is zealous,
      Not a soul will contrive or plot.

    And our actions will chime in pleasure,
      All refined from malice and sting.
    We shall all reach the perfect measure,
      In the reign of this conquering King.

    We will have everything we can use,
      In those beautiful realms of light;
    There the people will do as they choose,
      For each one will choose to do right.

    We will sail through the seas of beauty,
      And return to the shores we please;
    Far away from the callings of duty,
      In the shade of undying trees.

    All the riches of Christ will be ours,
      'Tis a wealth without guilt or pain.
    There will be no 'Contention of Powers',
      Nor the marks of official stain.

    As I look from this earthly station,
      I exclaim again and again--
    O what an eternal vacation!
      Come quickly, Lord Jesus, Amen.



CHAPTER XIII.

A World of High Medical Knowledge.


I spent a long and profitable season in the vicinity of the Great
Dipper, witnessing the almost infinite variations of human life as found
from world to world, and looking upon the wild wastes of the many
planets that are not inhabited.

Finally I again spread my swift wings, reached the beautiful star
Arcturus and noticed among the worlds that revolve around it a few that
are sinless. I was tempted to pause at one or another of these
exceptional stations, but I knew that I could not tarry until I had
reached the far distant constellation of Scorpio.

In this wide flight I traveled a distance so great that I will not weary
the mind with mentioning the trillions of miles. Now I was in the direct
path of the Milky Way and my imagination staggered as I saw the
endlessness of stars and solar systems, as far out beyond me as my
assisted eyes could reach.

The star at which I arrived is one of the largest suns that blaze in the
depths of immensity. It is so wonderfully great that if twelve hundred
million worlds as large as ours were all crushed into one great ball, it
would not make one sphere as immense as this star or sun, around which
revolve about five hundred worlds or planets, many of which are greater
than our Jupiter. With abounding interest I visited all the inhabited
worlds of this vast system. How long it took I have no way of knowing. I
did not count time by hours or heart throbs, for I was so wrapt in my
observations that all else was as nothing to me.

Some of these worlds sustain a low order of human creatures, while on
others there are races that have reached a high degree in the scale of
advancement. Of these five hundred worlds nearly one-half are barren of
all life, and of those that are inhabited some twenty are sinless worlds
and thirty are now passing through an intermediate period between the
probationary life and the final judgment, a period toward which we are
anxiously looking and which we designate as the Millennium.

Of all this ponderous solar system there is one world that excels all
the others in its medical attainments, and of this one first I will give
a flying notice.

I have named this world Dore-lyn. It is fifty times as large as our
Earth and of greater specific gravity.

Its human creatures are delightfully formed and are in ruddy health and
refined happiness. In shape these Dore-lynites differ somewhat from us,
but long before I had reached this planet I learned something of the
universal standards of symmetry and ascertained that creatures could be
beautiful without resembling us whatever.

Here I found four billions of people and there is room for twenty
billions more. So if you are in ill health, and have run the round of
our medical fraternity without success, I would advise you to go to
Dore-lyn, if you know how to reach it.

These Dore-lynites are almost three times our size and they are subject
to most of our ills and many more. From an early date the head
government of this world paid particular attention to hygiene, keeping
all medical work under its own care.

The government controls the whole field of medical science just as we do
the post-office department.

There are no conflicting schools of medicines such as Allopathic,
Homeopathic, Hydropathic, Eclectic and Osteopathic. The government gives
handsome rewards to any one who furnishes a new discovery or gives
additional light. Everything is duly tested and proved to be a success
by a corps of experts before it is given to the practicing fraternity.
The government holds certain rights in experimenting that no physician
or medical school would think of having in our world. The government
medical schools of Dore-lyn are marvels indeed. Nothing is spared that
money or talent can furnish. The full graduates of these schools are
only "the survival of the fittest." Others take a secondary degree and
can act as assistants or retire from the list. The government has a
series of institutions that do a work similar to our hospitals and have
a corps of full graduates supplying the stations. This entire system is
so arranged that every family or individual receives all necessary
treatment free.

The cost of carrying on this vast system is one of the items of national
expense. I will now mention some of the medical achievements of these
Dore-lynites.

When a physician suspects that the blood is poisoned he at once proceeds
to a chemical analysis, and if certain kinds of poison are found, the
blood is filtered by the use of a fine instrument. A blood vessel is
exposed and cut, and the two ends fastened to the delicate filter. Thus
the blood is cleansed by passing through this instrument. Those
acquainted with the manner in which the blood circulates can readily see
how all the blood of the body can be reached in a short time. This
method is very successful in the treatment of all bites of poisonous
insects and reptiles, and all types of hydrophobia, which are ten-fold
more numerous in Dore-lyn than in our world.

There are no patent medicines in Dore-lyn. The few medicines they have
are manufactured only by government authority and everybody receives the
purest that can be compounded, no distinction being made between rich
and poor. One thousand years ago the medical aspects of Dore-lyn were
similar to those which are seen in our world to-day. People were
compelled to take all manner of poisons and opiates even from skilled
hands. But in Dore-lyn those days of darkness and misery are past and
the people enjoy the benefit of a medical skill one thousand years ahead
of us. They look back to the practice of the old physicians with
ludicrous feelings just as we do when reading the prescriptions that
were used in the first century of our dispensation.

We call your attention to some of the antiquated remedies of our world
as related by Geike and copied from a medical journal of our own
country. Following is a list:

"Ashes of wolf's skull, stag's horn, the heads of mice, the eyes of
crabs, owl's brains, liver of frogs, viper's fat, grasshoppers, bats,
etc., these supplied the alkalis which were prescribed. Physicians were
accustomed to order doses of the gall of wild swine. It is presumed the
tame hog was not sufficiently efficacious. There were other choice
prescriptions such as horse's foam, woman's milk, laying a serpent on
the afflicted part, urine of cows, bear fat, still recommended as a hair
restorative, juice of boiled buck horn, etc. For colic, powdered horse's
teeth, dung of swine, asses' kidneys, mice excretion made into a
plaster, and other equally vile and unsavory compounds. Colds in the
head were cured by kissing the nose of a mule. For sore throat, snail
slime was a favorite prescription, and mouse flesh was considered
excellent for disease of the lungs. Boiled snails and powdered bats were
prescribed for intestinal disorders."

When we read such a list of remedies we can scarcely believe that they
were ever popular, but according to the history of Dore-lyn the time
will come when many of our present medicines will be out of date, and
only mentioned in the old medical works.

The people of Dore-lyn have suffered in past ages innumerable woes on
account of intemperance. Alcohol is unknown to them, but they have had a
two-thousand year's battle against three liquids that affect them as
opium affects us. Strange to say that these terrible liquids were the
bases of many of their medicines just like the anodyne medicines of our
present day. Thus in Dore-lyn the old kinds of medicines created many
drunkards. Since the dawn of the brighter age, a strict law prevails
regarding the use of all narcotics in medicines. Then came gradually
into use the many methods of treating disease without medicine, except
the materials used to sustain life regularly.

Being interested in these things, I examined more closely into their
past medical history, and saw more clearly the present folly of a
certain part of our medicinal practice. How we are struggling with
alcohol, especially as found in so many of our patent medicines, and how
helpless we are in trying to abolish the sale of these medicines by
reason of our unbounded liberty! In our world, a man may concoct any
alcoholic medicine and sell it without liquor license, for people
become verily mad for the bottled stuff. Our nation may some day become
wise enough to keep its own hand on the business that is determining the
health and happiness of millions of its inhabitants.

But let me cease this digression and get back once more to Dore-lyn.

One of the most noted medical achievements on this world consists in the
manner of rendering a person unconscious of pain. The anatomy of a
Dore-lynite is, in general, the same as our anatomy. Their bones are
arranged a little differently and the sections of the backbone have a
quite different formation. When a surgeon of that world wishes to
perform an operation and therefore render the patient unconscious, he
presses the tough cartilagenous part of a section of the backbone with a
screw device fastened to the body of the patient. This simple act
renders the spinal cord insensitive, which condition may be maintained
for hours without injuring the patient. Of course any point above the
screw device is sensitive, and for this reason it is more difficult to
render a person unconscious in the parts about the head.

Many ages ago the world of microbes was laid bare, but not before these
people were masters of the microscope or an instrument serving the same
purposes, although formed on a partly different principle.

These Dore-lynites have brought to light the numerous varieties of
parasite broods that cause fermentations and diseases, both infectious
and otherwise.

A diseased body is looked upon as being in possession of a certain brood
of microbes which are destroyed either by the blood filter or the
"Vaccine bath, or injection." (I know no better name by which to call
it.) A few diseases are treated by doses of medicines given in a manner
similar to the prescription system of our country.

The "Food Treatment" is also very popular in Dore-lyn. This is merely a
hygienic selection of foods given to people of declining health, instead
of having them swallow ten or twenty dollars' worth of strong medicines.

Abnormal appetites crave for a class of foods injurious to the system.
In Dore-lyn they have discovered a novel method of turning the diseased
appetite from its cravings toward the things needed by the system.

In performing operations, the experts of Dore-lyn have reached a
marvelous degree of perfection. They have learned to make a false eye so
that one can see with it. It took three and one-half thousand years of
continual experimenting on this delicate creation before it was
pronounced satisfactory.

The false eye is not of flesh but one of manufacture. It is placed in
sensitive connection with the optic nerve, on which images are thrown by
the delicate mechanism of the false eye. The sight thus obtained is
almost one-half as distinct as that which is enjoyed by the normal eye.

These medical wizards also make artificial ears which are about as
satisfactory as the natural ears. In certain lines of surgery we are
equal to these Dore-lynites, but we cannot register with them in the
whole category of surgical achievements. They have simply distanced us
by five hundred years. That is, I believe that in five hundred years we
can reach the fields of glory which they now occupy.

Think of laying bare a human lung and treating it with a special
preparation for extreme cases of lung diseases, and also treating it
with a "baking" for department cases of a disease similar to pneumonia.
Perhaps the most wonderful class of operations is performed on the heart
and the brain.

The heart is laid bare under a sheet of thermal rays. Fatty tissues are
removed and other obstructions eradicated during the regular heart
beats.

The government grants certain privileges of experimenting on her lowest
class of criminals, and it is well nigh incredible what has been
accomplished by cerebrum operations.

Certain murderers of vile propensities have been so changed by an
operation on the cerebrum that they have no power of recalling their
past life and are incapable of uttering an oath. And what is more
strange, they are intent on leading an upright life and being intensely
religious withal.

I am compelled to crowd a world of glorious life into a few paragraphs,
but I hope that I have given such as will be for our good.



CHAPTER XIV.

A World of Low Life.


When one witnesses an exhibition he must, of necessity, look upon the
poorer parts of it. This was my experience in my universal journey, for
on some worlds which I visited I found that human civilization was at a
low ebb. One of the most notable of this class is the world next beyond
Dore-lyn.

This sphere is one thousand times as large as ours, and the beastly
creatures that inhabit it are four times our size.

The toilers in the deep valleys of Mars are favorably intelligent
compared with these specimens of humanity. For convenience, I will call
this world Scum. Its people are so constituted that their two arms can
be used as legs; so it is quite common to see these Scumites travel over
their planet like the more graceful of our quadrupeds. Their walking,
however, is principally after our fashion, and they can change about at
pleasure. Either way of travel seems as natural as the other. When they
walk on two limbs, the body is erect, presenting a stature of such
gigantic proportions as to over-awe a representative of our world.

According to the universal standards of symmetry, these giants have an
animal beauty that is anything but handsome, and they also lack those
facial expressions of higher intelligence that come only through
generations of cultured thinking. Their health is quite perfect and they
live to a great age.

These Scumites have a language singularly their own. It is so totally
different from any of our conceptions of speech that I can scarcely find
words to describe it.

The medium of conversation is the Notched Rod. It is about twelve feet
long with various kinds of notches cut along the two sides. Such a stick
is possessed by every Scumite who expects to hold extended or
descriptive conversations. It is usually held by a skin strung around
the neck. While one of these persons is talking, two or three of his
fingers pass from notch to notch along the rod. These indentures of the
rod represent, in their language, certain kinds of sounds and are used
to assist the vocal organs in expressing the more intricate combinations
of ideas. Naturally, the listener watches the fingers more than the
mouth.

It is amusing to see a Scumite busily engaged in delivering a speech to
a few of his fellow creatures. It would remind you of a person playing a
fife or violin without producing any sound.

The children of Scum learn this rod language just the same as our
children at first learn to speak our language by observation and
practice.

The face of a Scumite does not resemble a human face of our planet. The
mouth and jaws are at right angles to ours and this arrangement seems to
be just as convenient to these Scumites as the formation of our mouth is
to us. The nose lies above the mouth, but is relatively much higher, its
point coming between the two eyes which are situated more toward the
sides of the head.

The startling fact about this world is that at one time in its past
history fair intelligence reigned on a few parts of the planet. These
intelligent sections were working their way upward on the measureless
incline of progress and had won some distinctions in their sciences, as
well as their religious devotions. These bright spots on the surface of
this large orb were surrounded with large black patches of war-like
humanity and, between these two extremes, a warfare of subjection or
extermination raged without any hope or peace.

The educated Scumites had a few advantages in methods of war, but with
all this they were not able to withstand the vast hordes that swept down
upon them. Brute force won the battle and the accumulated light of four
thousand years flickered until it was no more.

It was a fatal day for Scum when its mad inhabitants blew out the last
of the candles that had promised to give them light.

When this sad and blighting victory was accomplished, these uncivilized
tribes rejoiced more hilariously than at one time our Indians rejoiced
when celebrating their victories in the wild scalp dances.

Thus the dark shadows fell on this huge world. The captured educated
classes made a heroic effort to continue their cultured manners and
religious life, but the prejudice against them and their ways was so
great that they were compelled to live in the lower strata or suffer the
pain of death. In process of time, the wild woods flourished where once
the temples of science and pure religion reared their imposing pillars.

What can we expect of such a race of people who have drifted from the
light of civilization for so long a period? As I looked at their customs
and their ways, I was reminded of a garden that has run wild. Here and
there I could see traces of the once thrifty life now almost choked out
by the overpowering crop of weeds.

Gradually the people became worse and worse. Sin played havoc and built
carnal fires around which these children of men gathered. Sensuality
became the ruling passion and, in less than five hundred years of our
time, the last family observance had died away and these creatures
wallowed in the quagmire of fleshly lusts, compared with which the brute
life of our world is highly respectable. "Free Love" was rampant and
human offspring was cared for by mothers, or at least by such as were
willing to assume the task. No one was supposed to know who was his
father.

I saw this sad and sickening spectacle against which my instincts
revolted with horror. It is true that if man is left totally unbridled,
he sinks to a depth which it would be impossible for any species of the
animal creation to reach.

As I continued looking on this low life with its horrors too numerous
and too dreadful to mention, my thoughts flew back to the world whence I
came, and to America where I was born, and I remembered of some who
advocated "Free Love." "Let their arms be withered," I cried, rather
than have such a thistle fasten itself in the soil of our social life.

Let the libertine of our world go to the world of Scum where he belongs,
or rise to the dignity of man whose image he bears.

[Illustration: Great Battle between Low Tribes on Scum.]

Compared with our world, the physical features of Scum are all
fashioned on a much larger scale, and the mountains, rivers and
vegetation are five times greater than ours; so are also the many
varieties of wild and domestic animals.

The inhabitants of Scum are divided into many warring tribes, and it is
fearful to see the conflicts that take place. During my brief stay I
witnessed one of the big battles between two of the stronger tribes. One
hundred and fifty thousand men went dashing into an enemy of greater
numbers. It was a foot ball melee on a vast scale. Weapons were all of
the hand-to-hand type, except the spear wagons which were indeed clumsy
weapons of war.

Nothing is known of surrender or a flag of truce, so the conflict raged
horribly to a bitter end until eighty thousand bruised victors
participated in the jubilant feast that followed. Over two hundred
thousand Scumites lay dead on the field and along the mountain ridges.
According to past history, another such great battle is not liable to
occur for another generation.

The past religion of these giants is not even on a par with idolatry.
There are many saints sleeping in their graves, bright remnants of the
time of the old civilization and religion.

Amidst all this present moral wreck of humanity, there are a few
indications that point to better times. The nobler people of Scum are
banding together with the avowed purpose of bringing back the light of
culture and refinement. But it will require several thousand years of
determined effort to climb to the height from whence their ancestors
were cruelly and thoughtlessly dragged.



CHAPTER XV.

A World of Highest Invention.


After my profitable stay in this immense solar system in the Milky Way,
I crossed the vast dome of the heavens and lighted on Sirius, the
brightest star in all the canopy of night. Here I found the fire life of
Alpha Centaurus repeated, but I did not pause to study the odd phases
presented to my view.

Onward I moved to survey the remarkable systems of worlds that revolve
around Sirius. It is a veritable medley of planets, large and small,
inhabited and barren, sinless, sinful and millennial. A little universe
packed in a nutshell, figuratively speaking.

The orb of this group that first held my attention is very notable
indeed. I have labeled it "High Invention," and it is still entitled to
that distinction. It revolves around Sirius at a distance of seven
million miles and is thirty-three times as large as our world, with
physical features and climate quite dissimilar.

Here, in this world of ours, we are proud of the wonderful genius
displayed by our inventors, and is not this conceit pardonable?

If this world should stand and inventive genius continue at its present
compound rate of progress, what may we expect to see a hundred or a
thousand years hence? Now imagine yourself looking down upon a world
where the highest inventive skill is found. Such was my privilege at
this time in the course of my universal journey.

This surprising world is inhabited by a persevering race of human
beings, among whom are a large number of illustrious characters who walk
in the light of ten thousand years of human achievements.

It need not be said that I was intensely interested in the study of this
phenomenal world which I will call Ploid. I went from one portion of the
planet to another, continually remaining invisible. After I had
witnessed the unequaled sights, I paused to complete my memoranda and
now, as I review my jottings, I am at a loss to know what few things I
should select to try to make intelligible to my fellow-men who live on
this infinitesimal speck which is our world. First, let me call
attention to:


THEIR TRIUMPHS IN THE VEGETABLE KINGDOM.

The people of Ploid have in their possession a remarkable line of
fertilizers, not in the form of ground bones, but acidulous juices.
These juices were improved for three thousand years until there was a
particular liquid suited to each separate class of vegetables.

As used at the present time, a certain amount of the growth-acid is
poured directly about the seed at the time of planting. This acid has a
magical effect upon the soil and it is possible, by repeated
fertilizing, to raise in two weeks a crop of zoftas, a vegetable similar
to our potatoes. For raising a crop in two weeks the fertilizer costs
one-half the value of the zoftas, and for maturing a crop in four weeks
the fertilizer costs about three-eighths of the value of the zoftas.

Thus it is possible to raise six of these crops in one of our years.
This law obtains throughout the whole vegetable creation. However, in
ordinary circumstances, the stimulating acid is used in very light
quantities. The people have learned by experience that vegetables have a
better flavor when they have been brought to maturity by the slower
processes.

These wonderful fertilizers are a blessed boon in the time of "crop
failures," for then the same crop can be grown anew from the seed and
hurried to maturity before the close of the season.

The curse of the vegetable worms has been reduced to a minimum on this
world of Ploid. The chemists have labored patiently for one thousand
years to produce a substance that will not destroy vegetable seed and at
the same time kill all forms of parasites. The results have been
gratifying, and with considerable pleasure I viewed a garden of the
various odd-shaped vegetables that are grown, without being repulsed at
the sight of such crawling specimens as tomato and cabbage worms.

The happiest result of this worm-killing substance is seen in the work
it accomplishes on fruit and nut trees. There is triple the variety of
nuts on Ploid, and they are used for food more generally than in our
world. There is no such an animal as a hog and no lard is used. The
substitute is found in four varieties of nut oil, the result of a sweet
and clean vegetable growth. Nuts are raised in great abundance, for they
also supply the base for a spread just as appetizing and more economical
than butter.


THEIR MODES OF TRAVEL.

The Ploidites have been traveling in the air for twenty-five hundred
years, but they cannot control their air-ships sufficiently in all kinds
of weather. The atmosphere of Ploid is relatively lighter than ours,
which has made aerial travel more difficult to perfect than it would be
in our world.

The main traffic, both passenger and freight, is carried on by the Tube
Line, a wonderful system perfected through thousands of years of
painstaking labor.

Two immense tubes, lying side by side, each ten feet in diameter, made
of a substance more durable than steel, form the road bed of this
lightning system of travel. The cigar-shaped cars have hard
rubber-wheels and fit over raised bars all around on the inside of the
immense Tube.

The motor power is called Sky-rallic, and is communicated throughout the
whole Tube Line by Brosis, a porous metal running in thin narrow bands.

This Tube Line runs without a curve from one division of the road to
another, except in rare cases where a bend is absolutely necessary. In a
mountainous region I noticed a stretch of Tube Line without a bend
running sixty miles, according to our measurement. On prairies, the
unbroken stretches are much longer.

The cars in this Tube Line travel with fearful rapidity. It requires two
or three miles to reach dashing speed, after which a run of fifty miles
is made in eight or ten minutes. No precaution need be taken by the
motorman as nothing can get into the tube and only one train is allowed
in a section at one time. Certain hours are given to passenger traffic
and others to freight traffic. An immense amount of freight can thus be
carried in one hour. It is possible to send a through freight car two
thousand miles in ten or twelve hours. Express cars are never connected
with passengers cars. They are run on their own schedule and sometimes
attached to freight cars.

This immense Tube Line was built by the government at great expense, but
it is proving very satisfactory. No storms or floods interfere. No
grade-crossings and no flying dust are known in this Tube Line which has
brought the ends of Ploid together. Think of a person crossing a vast
continent in a day, for the cars in this Tube Line run with frightful
speed across the long stretches of level. They make as high as a
three-hundred mile run in forty minutes, without stopping.

The signal and telegraph stations are fifty miles apart, sometimes more.
In these long runs the motorman stops only when a signal is turned
against him or if by accident he discerns a train in the Tube ahead of
him.

The Tube Line is lighted by oval transparencies, in size and shape
resembling an egg, soldered in specially prepared holes of the Tube.
The cars are not supplied with air from the tube. Fresh air is obtained
from the evaporation of a semi-solid.

On the top of this Tube Line there is a double railroad used for local
travel, both passenger and freight.


THEIR STORAGE BATTERIES.

Compared with our world, the fuel of Ploid is very scarce, but less is
required to supply the industries. Nearly all power is obtained from the
winds, running water and the sun's energy.

The winds are harnessed so that they blow not in vain. Almost every home
of ordinary intelligence owns one of the many kinds of storage batteries
used in this world. These batteries are usually located beneath the
lowest floor of the house, and they constitute the reservoir whence is
obtained the necessary power for lighting, heating and cooling the
apartments of the home.

People who live along streams of water utilize these streams for similar
purposes. It is now conceded in Ploid that the storage batteries of the
home can be supplied as economically and effectively by winds and the
sun's heat as by running streams; hence it is a common sight to see
residences throwing out the old water machinery and introducing the
latest design of wind-employers or sun-harnessers.

There are certain emergencies when the storage batteries fail to work or
when the power is exhausted; this happens when there is a very slight
wind for several days or a heavy drain of power. In such cases fuel is
used for heating and lighting.


PALACES OF PLOID.

The palaces of Ploid are dreams of beauty and convenience, outshining
and surpassing by far the finest mansions on the face of our globe. In
these abodes the sum total of glory and convenience converges, flowing
from almost numberless discoveries during the last one hundred years. In
round numbers, there have been five hundred thousand patents issued in
the United States in the nineteenth century, but the Ploidites excel us
by double that number for a similar territorial limit.


THE REWARD OF INVENTORS.

Patents are not issued in Ploid. The government gives liberal rewards to
each inventor or discoverer. The applicant appears personally before the
District Committee on Inventions. If this Committee considers the
invention worthy of a reward, the applicant is recommended to one of the
Central Committees at the seat of the government.

This Central Committee carefully considers the invention or discovery,
places on it an estimate as to its local or governmental value, and
fills out papers in accordance with its findings. This paper must be
signed by the Chief Inventor, and the applicant at once receives his
first installment which is continued, in some instances, during natural
life. In the case of some extraordinary invention, the immediate
relatives of the inventor are pensioned for five or ten years in his
honor.

Naturally, under this system, the government owns all inventions, and
reaps a heavy return from them, enough to pay all the installments to
the inventors and the officers employed to carry on this branch of the
government work.


SOME PARTICULAR INVENTIONS.

One of the most convenient inventions I saw on this planet of Ploid was
the carrying of a photograph or image along a wire. The people of Ploid
cannot only talk to one another many miles apart, but they can also see
each other while they are talking.

This wonderful attachment to their telephones, by which the human face
is also carried over the wire, was perfected over one thousand years
ago. I herewith give a few uses to which this invention is applied.

1. Office men have photograph wires connected with their homes, and they
can thus talk to and see any one of the family at their pleasure.

2. It can be so arranged that the wife in the home can, by touching a
little knob, see into her husband's office with which the wire is
connected, or the husband in the office can see into the room of the
house with which the connection is made. At either end of the wire, the
vision can be obstructed by drawing a curtain over the sensitive plate.

3. The foreman of an industrial work shop can see from his home the men
under his charge.

4. The superintendent of any large works can, at his will, peer into any
apartment he wishes from his head office. The advantages of this
arrangement can be easily seen.

5. A minister can see from his study the nature of his audience before
he leaves home.

6. Farmers can watch their cattle and their fruits without leaving the
house or barn, according to where the connections are made.

7. Persons can be in bed at night, and if they imagine they hear a
robber in any room they can first turn on the photograph current and
then the light flash. In this way one can look, without leaving his bed,
into each room of the house.

Having given a few illustrations of this marvelous invention, the reader
can readily see the variety of uses which it will serve.

Their latest discovery in light is a decided improvement over our
electric light. I know of no sensible name to give it, but the name that
comes nearest to describing it, according to our terms, would be
Phosphorous Light. It gives a mild but yet positive radiance, and
closely resembles diffused sunlight.


THE AGES OF PLOID.

One of the strangest theories of the whole universe I found on this
cultured world of Ploid. They divide time into three general periods of
ages:

1. Age of Fire.

2. Temperate Age.

3. Age of Ice.

The people teach that there was a race of human beings who inhabited
their world when it was yet in a molten state and that, as their earth
cooled off, the race became extinct.

This age, they claim, was followed by the Temperate Age, or the age in
which they are now living.

It is also claimed that, when their earth cools and the frigid blasts
freeze out the world, there will gradually commence the Age of Ice, or
the age in which human species will exist by reason of the earth's stiff
coldness.

I had no way of learning the truth or falsity of this theory.


THOUGHT PHOTOGRAPHY.

These Ploidites have distanced us in the study of the nervous system,
including the intricate problems of the cerebrum and cerebellum. They
have ascertained, by long ages of observation and experimenting, the
exact effect of every kind of impulse on the brain matter. The experts
are able to tell, at a post-mortem examination, what kinds of thinking
were most prevalent during the subject's life, just as easily as we can
judge the great or little use of the arm by an examination of its
muscles.

But more wonderful, a thousand fold, is their ability to follow the
course of thought in a living cerebrum after the brain has been made
visible by a light more potent than the X ray. After this exposure the
operator, with his wizard magnifying lens, watches the tiny tremulous
brain cells in their infinitesimal quivering, as they carry messages
from the soul to the world of sense and being.

The voluntary nerve action is distinguished from the involuntary, and
there is no escape from the conclusions formed by an expert observer.
The parts of the brain at work must of necessity determine the nature of
the thought, and amplified experiments have been made to prove the
correctness of these processes.

This scientific mind reading impressed me as the highest expression of
inventive skill that had come to my attention in any world of space, and
gave me new light on some of the old mysteries of mind and matter.

I tarried as long as possible on this instructive planet and have not
yet forgotten many of the valuable hints of inventions that can be
reproduced in my own world. Surely we are far enough away from Ploid to
escape any charge of infringement, should we proceed to patent some of
their inventions.



CHAPTER XVI.

A Singular Planet.


I visited the other seventy worlds that revolve around Sirius. Among
them is one of note, called Zik, which is forty-two hundred millions of
miles from its sun, and is slightly smaller than our world. It is
inhabited by a race of pigmies which I will call Zikites. Wonderful
indeed is the intelligence of these creatures, although their form is
out of symmetry according to our standards. I will therefore avoid a
description of their physical features, lest it might mar the picture of
their accomplishments.

The air of Zik is heavy and the sky is opal in its effects. The chemists
have thus far found in nature ninety elementary substances, and it is
partly due to this large variety that the Zikites have surpassed their
fellow men in thousands of worlds.

As you study the past events of this unusual planet, you are reminded
of our own history. On Zik there are heathen tribes and all grades of
conflicting civilized nations.

War has reddened this distant world for several thousand years, and as
yet there is no peace. Notwithstanding all this unceasing upheaval, the
tide of human progress has steadily risen. It does appear that the
highest light of intellect is generated like electric light through
sharp friction.

The Zikites have had their Men of War, vessels of mighty strength and
death-dealing in their action. But all such defense has been abandoned
over five hundred years ago, and it came about in a natural manner. One
of the many illustrious inventors perfected the submarine boat and the
flying-machine at about the same time. Their flying-machine might
appropriately be called in our language, the Flying Devil, for such it
is if you consider its destroying power. One of these ominous looking
machines is capable of destroying a whole navy as fast as it can move
high in the air from one vessel to another.

It can also tear to pieces an enemy's camp that lies in the open field.
All this is accomplished by dropping shells composed partly of some
elements not found in our world. These shells are made in such a way
that they explode as soon as they touch any substance, and the
concussion is much more terrible than is caused by our most powerful
explosives. Because no ship could hold together under such destructive
shells, the nations abandoned their navies and devoted their energy to
devising a safe camp for soldiers and to building these air-vessels with
additional improvements.

It was found that the only way to protect a camp was to cover it with a
water proof shed, so constructed that nine or ten inches of water would
remain on the roof. Then a wide shallow trench was dug around the shed
and kept filled with water. These shells will not explode if they fall
in that depth of water, but will explode in water of greater depth. You
can see at a glance how difficult it is to manage an army under these
circumstances. The only redeeming feature is that the enemy also is
compelled to resort to the same protection. An international law
forbids the destruction of homes in times of war.

[Illustration: The Battle of the "Flying Devils."]

Wars are of short duration. Usually the decisive conflict is fought in
the air, and is the most terrible of them all. Imagine two of these
Flying Devils approaching one another far above the surface of Zik. Each
vessel is set in action long before it is in range of the other in the
hope of firing the first effective shot. Each party of the conflict
knows that the air vessel first struck will be at an end forever, for it
will be blown to pieces and every life on board will be shattered into
shapeless masses, while the wreckage falls amidst the burning of the
combustibles. What a horrible ending of a short battle!

The wisest of the Zikites have proposed many plans to settle
international differences but, like us, they have failed to suggest any
plan that has proved to be practicable.

The largest nation of Zik has advanced far ahead of us on the labor
question, but this was not reached until the contest between capital and
labor had left its blood-marks through many centuries.

A brief description of the manner in which the industrial problem was
solved will not be out of place. I will waste no words n showing the
many points of difference between our customs and those of Zik.

After hundreds of years of painful struggling, the many laborers of this
largest nation completed a solid organization and thereby gained control
of the whole government. Then, in their zeal to legislate in favor of
the laboring classes, the ruling element stepped to the other extreme by
passing many unreasonable laws. Things passed along in this unsettled
condition until a certain few of the labor leaders, having become
wealthy themselves, yielded to a heavy bribe and amended the laws so as
to favor the wealthy minority. The magnates of capital shrewdly took
advantage of this traitorship and, in the following campaign, won the
national election.

The wealthy, now having the reins of power in their own hands, took the
initiative and called for a consultation between the heads of the
government and the chief leaders of labor.

This proved to be a wise political move and, as a result, a new system
of laws relating to all trades and occupations was enacted. The
following conditions still prevail:

1. A day's work consists of one-fourth less hours.

2. A minimum scale of wages is adopted for each trade. This scale is
based upon the price of certain staple articles, and within a certain
limit it rises or falls with the price of these necessities.

3. All regular citizens must be supplied with work if they desire it. If
they cannot get employment from some firm or corporation, the government
officials represented locally must supply it or its equivalent in money.
The government controls enough of the business to employ two-thirds of
the male population. This enables the government to take so great a
responsibility and bear it with satisfactory results.

4. Any man through negligence failing to support his family is put to
the government penitentiary service, and his family is thereafter
supported from the public treasury.

5. A widow or orphan is cared for by regular authorities. The by-laws
of this fifth article regulate the work of women.

6. No credit is allowed except on a government credit-slip signed by the
local representative of the state. If the bill is not paid by the one
making the debt, the amount of which is always stipulated, the
government will pay it and proceed to collect it in one of three ways.
The last resort is according to article four.

There are several other sections governing private ownership of
property, land and business. These new laws have had a very good effect.
The number of persons getting immensely wealthy gradually decreased, and
the average wealth of the laborers increased. The government has the
power at any time to form a trust or combination of any line of business
by paying liberally to those already engaged in it. This assists the
government in carrying its heavy financial burdens, and every family is
assured of support if the soil produces enough to feed the people.

And now if I knew how to describe elements that have no resemblance to
anything in our world, I would proceed to tell a story of interest to
chemists. These Zikites have formed gases and solids unknown to us, and
naturally they are capable of performing experiments more wonderful than
anything ever known in our world. When I saw their wizard-like
performances I thought that the marvelous feats of the Orient were being
performed on a scale more mysterious and magnificent.

To see a man play with red hot irons and dance in a seething furnace,
makes one believe that his eyes are deceiving him.

I saw a man draw the birds from heaven and dormant reptiles from the
soil, but ask me not to tell how. A few of these Zikites have discovered
some wonderful secrets of nature and will not disclose them except to
certain ones of their own lineage. One of these secrets is the art of
embalming the dead so perfectly that human features are retained forever
unless destroyed by fire or human effort. The embalming fluid contains
some of the elements not found in our world, but this is not the total
secret. The body must lie in an air-tight receptacle into which a
secret gas is pumped. The dead body, lying in this receptacle for two
hours, absorbs certain parts of the gas which enters the pores and
touches those parts of the dead body not reached by the injected fluid.
By this process no part of the body is subject to putrefaction and the
muscles all retain their rigidity, so that one hundred years after
burial the features are full, although discolored.

Not many of the common people are thus embalmed. But the bodies of
prominent men and women are thus treated at government expense and
unborn generations can look upon the full contour of their faces.

Another secret held by these experts is the art of maintaining youthful
vigor in old age. This is a very expensive method and the government
prohibits any one securing this treatment who has not won special honor
in one or another particular channel. One of the highest distinctions
bestowed upon any citizen of Zik is to grant him the "Angel's Honor,"
which entitles him to receive the Vigor Treatment during the balance of
his natural life. This one thing, more than any other, is the secret of
Zik having so long a list of illustrious characters. It is the ambition
of each boy or girl to make progress and some day win the "Angel's
Honor."

The religious life of these Zikites is unusually intense. Their language
is much more cumbersome than ours. They have a small book which contains
a list of great truths whose authors claim to have been influenced by
the All-Powerful, or the same as our God. This book has had a remarkable
history, and has moulded the life and character of millions. Every
person is left to his own notions in religion, and we see here the same
picture that confronts us on our own planet, the very good and the very
bad in the same house and neighborhood. They build but few churches, but
here and there a home of a believer is the center of a worshiping
company. On special occasions the worshipers rent or secure large public
buildings and have an enthusiastic time.

At many places their Bible speaks of a place where the departed go after
death, beyond the Zik life. These worshipers are linked to their God by
the same kind of love-chords that bind Christians to their Master in
our world.

You cannot imagine my interest and my joy as I learned that the Zikites
are looking forward to a period of time corresponding to our Millennium.
Their religious literature is full of references to this coming golden
age, and many poetical compositions point to it with rapturous melody of
language.



CHAPTER XVII.

The Diamond World.


When one reads of the size and population of our world he is thrilled
with the idea of its greatness. But when he travels over land and sea,
visiting the many points of interest, he is impressed four-fold with the
magnitude of the Earth and the vast numbers that populate it.

It is infinitely more so in regard to the many suns and planets that
compose the universe. I had read of the distances of space and of the
number of celestial bodies that are scattered throughout these
measureless expanses, and I was profoundly impressed with the vastness
of created things and the eternal revolutions of the countless spheres.
But when I took my continued flight away from the solar system of Sirius
and was privileged to get a passing glimpse of many other solar systems,
I was overawed a thousand-fold at the myriad motions of the myriad
worlds, each serving its little part through the passing cycles to
carry out the plan of the Infinite Mind.

My next pause was at the glorious constellation of Orion on the star
Rigel. This brilliant orb is not inhabited, but more than one-half of
the worlds revolving around it sustain human life.

After I had taken a passing glimpse of a few worlds belonging to this
system, I proceeded to visit another world that revolves around Rigel at
a distance of sixteen hundred million miles. It is a trifle larger than
our world and is inhabited by only about one-tenth as many people.

This is the brightest planet I had ever seen, for it dazzled and
sparkled like pearls of ice in the sun, and yet it gave forth no light
of its own.

I soon learned the secret of all this scintillation. I had come to a
world that seemed to be covered with diamonds and precious stones. The
mountains were barren of all vegetation and glistened with all the glory
of a hundred rainbows.

I presumed that I had come to immense beds of quartz, but the rare
brilliancy of the whole scene set me to work to ascertain the value of
these stones. To my astonishment, I found that the shining mountains and
valleys were filled with genuine diamonds and precious stones, some of
which are very rare according to our classification. I was dazed at the
sight, first because of its brilliancy and beauty, and next because of
the fabulous fortunes that were lying at my feet.

Then I transported myself to another part of the planet that I might get
a view of its living fields of vegetation. Alas, I again met the shining
of countless gems, set by nature in ledges of rock and massed in
confused heaps all around me.

"What a rich world!" I inwardly murmured. "How can people live on
diamonds?"

As I was thus musing I sped onward to one of the soil centers of this
world. Here I found a small city built of diamonds and choice stones of
which the people thought no more than we do of the stones brought down
from our quarries.

The soil was almost worshiped. Only the wealthiest could afford to have
it in their homes for the growth of flowers. Fortunately, the soil is
very productive and, by reason of its scarcity, it has received such
careful attention that all worthless weeds have been actually choked out
several thousand years ago.

Thus, the soil being so desirable and staple an article, it was eagerly
sought after by all who lived on this shining world. Yea, some
sacrificed their all that they might obtain a goodly portion of the
soil. This desire was so great that it became the ruling passion of many
people to accumulate soil all the days of their life, and many died of
grief because they could not succeed in satisfying their ambitions.

Now when the speculators saw that the soil was so indispensable and much
desired by the people, and that out of it were the issues of life, the
wealthier and more crafty of them said among themselves:

"Come, let us buy all the soil, we and our brethren in all the soil
centers, and let us call ourselves a Trust, signifying that we will
trust one another to the secrets of our enterprise."

And behold this saying seemed good in the eyes of these wise men, and
they labored diligently until, in the passing of a few years, they had
secured unto themselves full possession of all the soil of the Diamond
World.

And it was so in the course of time that these corporations held a great
meeting and they said:

"Barns we will build to store products of the soil, and behold we will
sell from these storehouses to our workmen for the labor that they may
render unto us."

This scheme was pleasing to all the capitalists and they rejoiced in the
bright prospect of the future. So they built great barns and thus laid
away the products of the soil. Then they appointed agents to sell
whatsoever the people wished.

And it came to pass, as the seasons came and went, that these
capitalists gave the laborers less for their toil, and charged them more
for food at the supply stations. Thus the conditions became so severe
that a man could work from the rising of the Sun to the setting thereof,
and they earn scarcely enough to keep his family alive.

After this manner the land owners grew more and more wealthy, built
unto themselves handsome little villages, and lived in happiness and
refinement. They also erected for themselves select schools and reserved
beautiful plots for their luxury and amusement.

Then did the members of this Trust, in order to protect themselves from
all possible trouble, pass a civil law forbidding any laborer to own an
inch of soil. Thus it was very easy to convict a man of theft if soil
could be found upon his person or premises.

Now, behold, there were many little spots of vegetation scattered here
and there over this whole world. But the agents of the Trust sent out
numerous expeditions to gather up all the loose earth that could be
found and carry it to the soil centers. This work was so completely done
that every nook and corner yielded its accumulated dust to enlarge the
gardens at the soil centers and thereby increase the riches of the
Trust.

Now, as time passed on, the children of the laborers were also employed
to assist in earning bread, and in the course of a few hundred years
the school houses in the district of the laborers were torn down, as it
was impossible for these children to receive an education, since they
must needs work for their sustenance.

After many ages the members of the Trust had become so hardened that
they no longer regarded the wishes of the laboring people, but pushed
everything to increase their own selfish gain, insomuch that they
succeeded in securing the passage of certain laws making the burdens of
the laborers still more heavy.

And now, when the capitalists saw that the people did not rebel, they
again counseled among themselves on this wise:

"Why should there be so much labor lost in continually quarrying new
sepulchers in our diamond ridges, and why should there be so much dust
lying idle in the old graves? Come, let us have a law that the dust in
all graves over one hundred years old shall be sold at auction, unless
the graves are redeemed by a certain amount of soil. Then these empty
tombs can be again filled with the dead of our servants and their
children. Thus let it be continued throughout coming generations
forever. Each year this auction shall be held to dispose of the dust
remaining in one-hundred-year-old sepulchers."

These suggestions found favor in the eyes of the Trust who proceeded at
once to take the necessary steps to incorporate these regulations into
the laws of the commonwealth. The laborers stoutly opposed the adoption
of these partial measures, but they were powerless because the Trust
bribed enough of the legislators to carry their point.

All this happened many centuries ago, so that when I was there I saw the
full program of one of these spectral auctions and was chilled with
horror at the proceedings.

Every year this peculiar auction is held at each soil center. The
wealthy are able to redeem their sepulchers, but the poor, having no
soil, cannot satisfy the law; so the dust of their ancestors must be
sold. Laborers are sent out to open the one-hundred-year-old sepulchers
along the diamond ridges and carry the coffins to one place. Here they
are publicly opened and the bones and dust gathered into one
receptacle after which the weird auction begins. No one can compete with
the corporations and no one tries.

[Illustration: The Most Horrible Auction in Our Universe.]

The legal form of the auction is soon over and the half ton or ton of
dust is legally bought by the corporations whose officers order it to be
sprinkled over the gardens. It serves the same purpose as phosphate in
our fields. This awful process is repeated each year. The sepulchers,
emptied thus, are open for new burials. So you can see that with all the
gruesomeness of this whole business, there is an economic side to it,
and the people have come to view it all in a philosophical manner.

When this wretched custom was first inaugurated a bitter wail ascended
from the ranks of the laboring classes, for they well knew whose graves
would be opened. Never was there such a stir among the working classes
of people. They held mass meetings and grew loudly indignant until the
Trust became alarmed at the uprising.

Then did some of these rich sharpsters, who were best gifted in speech,
go out to meet their servants, addressing them thus:

"Let your hearts be at peace, my fellow creatures. This new law that we
have just passed is a boon to every toiler, for we seek to lighten your
burdens by utilizing the idle dust from the tombs. Hereafter we propose
to give, free of charge, a sepulcher to every toiler in which he may
take his rest for one hundred years. These graves shall be for you and
your children forever. Is it not a precious thought that one hundred
years after you are dead, your bodies shall again mingle with the soil
and, without voluntary effort or pain, help to support your kindred yet
unborn?

"If our present silly customs should prevail, the time will come when
half our soil will have been carried to the sepulchers, and therefore
your tasks would be more severe."

After this manner spake the glib-tongued fellows and, behold, their
speeches were as oil on the troubled waters. Under their sophistries the
laborers were content and peacefully went to their tasks again after
three months of unrest.

Then did the members of the corporations consult again and spake among
themselves in this fashion:

"For our protection let us gather, from the laborers, the youthful and
the strong, have them taught in tactics of war, and make it unlawful for
any to carry deadly weapons, except these trained men, whom we will call
our Soil Defenders, and if any of the laborers should ask: 'Wherefore
are we called to do this work?' we will say to them, 'For the defense of
the soil and the defense of our families are ye called, therefore quit
yourselves nobly.'

"And it shall come to pass that when the laborers commence a foolish
struggle for their own selfish gain, we can use these trained soldiers
to keep them in peace, and thus we need not spend so much of our breath
by way of persuasion."

Behold this thing seemed reasonable and seasonable in the eyes of the
Trust. They did according to these suggestions and gathered unto
themselves, in the name of the civil law, the strongest of the youth and
trained them in all the ways of war. Thus did these workmen lose all
their liberties by slow degrees, until they were no more troublesome,
but labored like slaves to get the wherewithal to live.

As I witnessed this sad picture resulting from the inhumanity of man to
man, I was at once reminded of what I had seen on Mars, and of the
struggle now pending in my own world. Once more I breathed a silent
prayer to the Ruler of all worlds in behalf of the crushed hands and
bleeding hearts that are bruised in order that certain men may make
their thousands in a day.

I studied the social life of the refined villagers and learned, with
much interest, that the word they use for soil, is used in the same
esteemed connection in which we use the word gold or diamond.

Preachers, teachers and orators make endless references to the soil.
Finally I approached, in a visible form, a few professors who were
engaged in a special discussion.

They were alarmed at my sudden appearance, not knowing whence I came nor
what sort of an animal I might be. I quickly calmed their troubled minds
by using language they easily understood, and explained that I was
neither a ghost nor a spirit, but a mere citizen of another world,
having, for a limited period, a free excursion ticket to a thousand
worlds, and that I chose their planet as one whereon to spend a fleeting
period.

Not having been accustomed to such visitants, they were at first
skeptical and thoroughly overawed at my presence.

I purposely became as familiar as possible and cautioned them to remain
in the selfsame room and spread no notice of my presence. To this
request they reluctantly consented.

After my nonplused auditors gained their senses somewhat they ventured
to reply to my coaxing questions; these finally led to the following
interrogations on their part:

"How large is your world?" came a question from one.

"Not quite so large as this one," I replied.

"Have you much soil there?"

"A million times more than you have here."

"What a wonderfully rich world! The people must be gloriously happy
with such fabulous wealth around them."

"The bulk of my fellow-men there are not happy," I sighed. "So many
spend their lives looking for diamonds and gold, the most of whom are
doomed to disappointment."

An incredulous smile crept over the faces of my newly-made friends, and
by it I read the doubt that was arising in their hearts as to the truth
of my utterance.

"My words are sincere," I insisted. "If you could take one bushel of
your diamonds to the world where I live, you could get more soil for
them than you have on your whole globe."

"That world is heaven," exclaimed a few of my hearers at once. "A world
of such abundant soil cannot be any other place." Then I learned that
their conception of Heaven is not a place of gold-paved streets, but a
place where soil is freely distributed even on the sides of the streets.

I continued speaking, telling them how diamonds were considered in our
world. These professors were astonished beyond measure at my
description, and each one seemed to crave for the knowledge to transport
a large consignment of their diamonds to our Earth and return with acres
of soil to the Diamond World.

I spent a felicitous period with these queer-shaped scholars of the
Diamond World. They prayed and begged that I should remain and appear
before the corporations. Their spirits drooped when I told them that if
I had any more time to spend visibly on their world I would prefer to
comfort the laborers and their suffering families who had been so long
deprived of the fair treatment they deserved.

My hearers became ashen with fear, now feeling doubly assured that I was
a forerunner of some terrible curse that was about to fall upon the
Trusts and corporations whom those professors were serving so
assiduously, without ever speaking a word of protest in favor of the
human slaves around them.

Once more I related my station. But I spoke in most convincing terms of
the eternal curse with which the Infinite would visit the guilty of all
worlds.

As I left them I saw that my last words brought no relief to their
faces and, after a long silence, they nervously discussed the whole
affair, not being able to account for the exceptional experience through
which they had just passed.

I visited, in a form invisible, the mansions of the rich and found that
the most choice ornaments on their parlor shelves consisted of vials of
soil or dirt, and in the homes of the most wealthy only I saw flowering
plants.

It chanced that I visited this world at the graduating period of the
greater schools. This gave me privilege to hear an oration on "The Soil
and the Diamond," a synopsis of which I will translate as correctly as I
can. It will be remembered that I must use terms and style suitable to
our language.

"O beautiful soil! Thou art but a type of thy maker invisible. Thou dost
give birth to countless forms and nursest them all from thy own bosom.
From the atom thou bringest the oak, and all its children fall back into
thy arms for succor. From thy own heart spring the infinite types of
vegetable beauty, all painted and frescoed by thy own exquisite
touches.

"O mysterious soil! Wrapped in thy bosom lie a thousand secrets which,
if I could but read, I might interpret and thus learn anew of my
Creator. Thou holdest the ashes of the millions slain, and the dust of
all our forefathers.

"O silent soil! How thou workest without the flying shuttle, or the hum
of the busy bees. Thou doest thy greatest deeds without the sounding of
a trumpet. Silently thy atoms take their places to serve in higher
forms. O teach me thy mute language that I may live and sacrifice for
others without my crying and my sighing.

"O humble soil! Thy elements, when formed into man, or fruit, or any
kind of food, return again without complaint when touched by death. May
I, like thee, take all my condescension in the spirit of humility.

"O modest soil! Thou are not gaudy like the diamond, sparkling and
dazzling in a brilliant show and living for nothing higher than display.
But thou dost lay aside thy feathery tips, leaving the sun of heaven do
the shining. Thou permittest water crystals to give the rainbow hues,
whilst thou in thy own modest way, continuest to yield sustenance for
man and bird and beast.

"O instructive soil! Wilt thou not, in thy own wise way, speak to the
thoughtless man who feels content to grovel with the miserable diamond,
who takes his lessons from the dead, dead rock, and feeds his soul upon
such flinty food. Open his ears to hear thy words of life and light, and
may he see in thee the brighter mirror reflecting the God of all."

This one oration condensed is a fair sample of the others. I listened to
the whole program and then proceeded once more to view the diamond
splendors before I left this world where I was well paid for my
tarrying.



CHAPTER XVIII.

Triumphant Feat of Orion.


As I continued ranging among the planets of the constellation of Orion,
I felt an indescribable desire to pause at a very small orb which
revolves around Saiph, a star of the third magnitude.

Here I found, to my surprise, a gem of a world which I will call Holen.
It is five hundred miles in diameter, and inhabited by a refined race of
human beings, radically different from us in physical contour, but
remarkably similar to us in their mental aspirations.

As a race they greatly excel us in mechanical engineering. Many
evidences of their skill might be given, but we will be content to give
a description of their monumental engineering feat.

Long ages ago Holen had cooled to the center, and it became the ruling
passion of her most intelligent inhabitants to communicate from one
side of the globe to the other through an opening of five hundred miles
almost directly through the center of their earth, or more accurately
speaking, through the center of gravity.

After forty-five hundred years of experimenting the marvelous feat was
accomplished.

Of all the worlds in the constellation of Orion, large or small, Holen
is the only one that has succeeded in this astounding feat, although it
has been and is being tried on more than a dozen worlds.

This wonderful opening through Holen's center of gravity is lined with
sections of ribbed metal which cost the governments fabulous sums. This
vast tube was finished thirteen hundred years ago according to our time.

Many lives were sacrificed in the hazardous work of tunneling. Were it
not for the ribbed metal which afforded protection with its shelving
flanges, the tube could never have been finished.

At the present time the tube is used for commercial purposes and for
passenger traffic. Air tight cars of special design are used, and only
one car is allowed in the tube at one time.

[Illustration: The Gravity-Car of Holen.]

You cannot imagine the frightful velocity of the ride, but the passenger
is not as conscious of this as you might think. The first fifty miles of
the descent is controlled by the exterior or surface engines. The speed
is gradually increased until it reaches that of the falling body. Then
the motorman releases the wizard car and the speed is steady and
terrible until the car dashes past the center of gravity, after which
the speed slackens at a regular rate. The car of its own momentum forces
its way far toward the opposite surface of their earth.

Just as the carriage comes to a stop, the engineer or motorman, as we
would call him, pulls his lever, thereby fastening the car to the ribbed
side of the tube. At once a signal is given and the long, thin but
strong rope descends to draw the carriage to the surface.

A perfect system of communication is established from one end of the
ponderous tube to the other. It frequently happens when an attempt is
made to fasten the car that the clamps fail to work and consequently the
carriage commences its second journey toward the center. Another effort
is made to hold the carriage when it again comes to a stop; but if this
is not successful, then comes the most peculiar experience of all. The
carriage of its own momentum continues dashing backward and forward
until it comes to rest at the center of gravity. Then the engineer, by
communicating with the surface, gets the longest stretch of rope and is
drawn two hundred and fifty miles to the surface.

This world has no atmosphere and life is not sustained by breathing,
neither by the process found on the Moon.

The inhabitants get their sustenance from the soil with which they must
be connected, directly or indirectly over one-half the time, or they
will suffer in a manner similar to us when we are suffocating.

From this faint glimpse of their life, it can be seen that the people of
Holen in their habits are totally incongruous to all our conceptions,
and if one of them were to make a visit to our world, everything he
would here see would appear just as ridiculous and unthinkable to him as
the things on their globe did to me.

As I surveyed this world, everything evidenced the fact that these
people are born engineers. Our Eiffel Tower and Ferris Wheel would be
mere playthings compared with the sky-scraping structures that adorn the
various parts of this little world. It appears that the international
mind runs in this one direction more than in any other, and while they
surpass us in this respect, they are inferior to us in the limitless
field of science and philosophy as well as in the variety of
manufacturing plants.

In their religion, the Holenites have developed to a high degree. They
have no sacred book akin to our Bible. Their whole authority comes from
the lips of the Divine Family, as we would term it. This family serves
for religion the same purpose as the Royal Family does for the civil
realm in some countries of our world. The Divine Family are genuinely
descended from their sacred ancestors who were, by a visible show of
omnipotent power, appointed and consecrated to the sacred work of
dispensing truth and officiating in all sacraments. The ordination of
all the ministers of Holen must be held by a member of this Divine
Family. By reason of this one source of authority, there is, therefore,
no confliction of creeds. The great battle of the Church is with the
several infidel organizations that give no heed to the genuine religion.

This Sacred Family received a code of laws which they have held from the
beginning and, strange to say, no one is allowed to copy these laws in
written or printed form. To do so is a type of blasphemy for which a
severe penalty is imposed. Some of the infidel organizations find
delight to print all or a part of these laws and scatter them secretly
among the people. Such documents fall with as much pain on the premises
of a believer as oaths do in our world on the ear of a delicately
trained soul.

If an infidel wishes to insult a godly pilgrim, he can do it no more
effectively than by secretly fastening to the believer's residence a
piece of material on which is inscribed one or more of these sacred
laws.

Every believer is required to commit to memory this code of laws by
hearing them from the lips of the minister. It is therefore necessary to
keep in constant touch with the church service so as to be a continual
hearer of these laws, a part of which is repeated every worship day.

The minister does not preach in the same sense that we understand
preaching. His work comes nearer filling the office of a priest under
the old Jewish church. There is much more form and ceremony than is
found in our system under the Mediator, Jesus Christ.

The civil law has absolutely nothing to say on the marriage question.
All this is held in the domain of the Church. In truth, the Divine
Family has always regulated this question. If the legality of a marriage
is called in question, all that the civil authorities try to determine
is whether the marriage ceremony was performed in accordance with the
laws of the Divine Family. If this point can be established, the
marriage is declared legal; if not, it is declared to be null and void.
This one subject of matrimony has caused more friction between the
Church and the infidels than all other issues combined. The infidels are
bitterly opposed to take their marriage vows before the minister, yet
this must be done to make their marriage legal. Divorce laws are
unknown, although, in rare cases, papers of separation are granted by
authority and under seal of the Divine Family.

The religious devotees of Holen look forward to a happier existence when
their mortal life is ended. Their ideas of this future life are quite
similar to our cherished ideas of Heaven.

In their moral life they have reached a higher plane than we. This is
due to the fact that the Divine Family wield an influence in the civil
realm that cannot be broken.



CHAPTER XIX.

The Mute World.


I proceeded on my journey until I had reached Alcyone in the famous
constellation of Taurus. On one of the planets revolving around Alcyone,
I found a distinctive class of human beings faintly resembling creatures
that I had seen in several other constellations, but of which I have, as
yet, made no special mention.

Among these people no audible language is used as a means of
communication. One might think that high civilization would be
impossible without such a vehicle of thought. But on this Mute world
humanity has pushed far along in the great interstellar race for
supremacy.

A description of the physical features of these Muteites would not only
seem absurd, but would be distorting. Can you imagine a beautiful person
without ears and void of vocal sound, having a head totally out of
shape compared with ours, and with a bodily framework ridiculously new
to us? Such would be a brief word sketch of these far-away mortals of
unusual intelligence.

These people hold all their conversation by pure thought transmission.
The sense-perception is almost infinitely keen, and gestures play no
part in emphasizing thought. It is amazing to see with what facility
these beings express their ideas one to another.

In our life one may conceal his thoughts from the most searching human
eye, but this cannot be done on Mute. As a consequence each one can read
the character of his comrades, and the normal citizen well knows what
necessary allowance to make for the impure thoughts that flit through
the mind of his neighbor.

I studied, with absorbing interest, the many phases of this mental
telepathy, or mind talking, between two or more persons even though
widely separated. Imagine how glorious it must be to have real
fellowship with a friend whose face you cannot see and whose hand you
cannot touch.

There are limitations to this delightsome way of talking. A person can
hold conversation with only one absent friend at a time and then only
when each one concentrates his thoughts on the other. What wireless
telegraphy is to our world, this mental conversation is to the world of
Mute, and it is possible that we may reach a higher degree of
proficiency in this direction after we become still better acquainted
with the laws of the human mind.

When I think of the many unaccountable heart-thrills that send their
emotions of joy and hatred into our passing life, I am somewhat
persuaded that we speak this tongueless language more than we imagine.
Some day we may learn the secrets that are now so heavily veiled and
thereby put to naught the glory of our present modes of communication.
Until then we will plod along with the telegraph, telephone, wireless
telegraphy and our ever-changing knowledge of telepathic intercourse.

I will give the philosophy of this perfect means of expressing thought
as clearly as I can.

As sound waves are created in our atmosphere by actual vibration, so
are thought waves created on Mute by mental activity focused in any one
point of the brain. Our way of expressing thought by audible words is
not conceivable to these people. If one of their inhabitants were to
visit our Earth, he would be at a loss to account for our movements of
mouth and gestures of body when we are in the act of conversation.

The social life of Mute is marked with many peculiarities. Males and
females seldom ever associate together, and social purity sends its
sweet influences over the whole planet.

A science which is similar to Phrenology plays an important part in all
the social customs of this sphere. It decides the marital destiny of
each person, and no two are recommended to join in wedlock until they
have been pronounced physical and mental mates by the official
psychologists.

On this interesting world I found the most summary punishment for
adulterers and fornicators. When these crimes are clearly proven, the
guilty parties are put to death after a lingering sentence. This is a
most terrible punishment, but it has proven that, although a few must
suffer this penalty, the general good of the whole population is thereby
much increased.

I was much amazed at the construction and possibilities of the human
mind when I observed the manner in which certain suspected criminals
were examined in order to prove or disprove the crime of which they were
charged. The doors of the soul were unlocked and the past
thought-images, with their mental impressions, were thrown open to view.
How can a Muteite deny the crime which is photographed on the sensitive
living plates of his own mind! This reproducing can be effected only by
a very special process and is never done against a person's will unless
ordered by civil authority.

When I saw, on this world of Mute, the possibility of uncovering the
past records of the mind, it at once suggested to me the possible nature
of the final Judgment of our world when each one will stand face to face
with the record of his own deeds, brought before him vividly under the
light of eternity. In such an event who would think of showing a bold
front to deny the accuracy of such a direct reproduction of himself in
the flesh!

Possibly the human mind may be likened to a phonograph into which we can
speak while the cylinder of thought revolves; at any time afterward
every syllable may be reproduced accurately.

Another striking feature of these mortals is their lack of hypocrisy.
Only a small degree of it is found among all the inhabitants of this
peculiar planet. No doubt hypocrisy would be greatly lessened in our own
social life if we could no longer hide our real thoughts. In Mute it is
very unsafe to practice deception, for as soon as the deceived one
appears personally he can readily conjecture, by the mental state of the
deceiver, the nature of the thought that had transpired.

Can you realize what a refreshing moral atmosphere exists in a world
where conventional lying is almost unknown? In our life the daily sin of
the millions is the white, or the blue lie. Think of how many we tell in
our regular routine of life! We generally give false excuses instead of
the real ones. We very seldom blame ourselves for errors, but rather
think diligently to study out a way to shift responsibility. Nearly the
whole brood of our apologies is hatched from the serpent's egg, and then
we ignorantly or hypocritically manifest surprise that our own offspring
should develop an inclination to deceive or misrepresent!

Here I saw, in wide contrast to our own social order, the results
springing from sincerity that has thrived through a long line of
generations. Such blessings are as a breath of Heaven, rare and
beautiful.

One might think, when considering this strange manner of conversation,
that it would be difficult for the people to express their ideas
clearly. It is just the opposite from this, for it is almost impossible
for them to express themselves vaguely. They talk from the headquarters
of one mind directly to the headquarters of another, instead of through
a medium of cumbersome words which in our life are so often
misunderstood. Thus we must admit that we have a ten-fold greater
struggle than they to be perspicuous in language.

I was charmed at this most superior mode of conversation and saw in it
a higher glimpse of the Heaven language than in any other type that had
yet met my observation in all the worlds of space.

The Muteites are rapid thinkers, and although they have no sense of
hearing, yet they are ultra-sensitive to substantial emissions of
vibrating bodies. According to all I could see, these people were not
hampered by this lack of senses. They live as conveniently in their
flesh life as we do, and in their mind or spirit life they are much more
refined than we are.

Their earth is so different from ours in chemical combinations that the
soil is almost transparent and in general has the appearance of glass.
Their homes are built mostly under surface, owing to the terrific
cyclonic storms that follow one another in very uncertain succession.

The average length of life is two hundred of our years. They reach their
maximum energy of mind at about one hundred years, and among the
brighter of the inhabitants can be found a glorious order of intellect.
Some of these mental celebrities outshine the brightest creatures of
all the solar systems of that region of the heavens.

After some hesitancy, I yielded to a desire to appear in a visible form
before an assembled company of Muteite philosophers who were gathered in
one of the under-surface halls of architectural beauty for consultation.

As I entered the vast hall in my natural manner I attracted unusual
attention. It was amusing to see how all eyes were fastened upon me as I
calmly walked toward the front of the audience. Here I had one of the
hardest tasks of all my journey, to converse in a soundless language. I
lacked faith at first to make the attempt, but this delay was but for a
moment, for I first fixed my mind upon what I wished to communicate, and
instantly a dozen or more Muteites signified that they were in sensitive
touch with my thought.

I will give a small portion of the mental telepathic conversation
between myself and my auditors, although I must relate it as if words
were actually spoken, or it would be totally unintelligible to the
people of my own likeness.

"Let no one be alarmed," I hurriedly addressed them, as a thousand
giant forms were trembling at my appearance. "My mission is one of
peace. I have come to help rather than harm," I continued.

"From what section of our world have you come?" came a hundred thought
flashes in wild confusion.

"I am not from your world, but from another," I answered with closed
mouth as best I could.

Then I learned an important feature of this mind language. A hundred or
more interrogations came flying at me in thick confusion. At once the
chairman or leader of the meeting gave restrictive orders which actually
prohibited my audience from further communication with me, although I
might address them. The chairman bid me commune with him and he
thereafter acted as the spokesman of the whole assembly. It was no more
difficult for these philosophers to keep their minds closed to me than
it is for us to keep our mouths closed in an excitable meeting or
debate.

The chairman, looking with increasing curiosity at my strangely shaped
face and head, interrogated me thus:

"Are you an angel of light, or one of darkness?"

"I am neither."

"What then can you be?"

"I am a created being from a far-off region of space. I was born on a
world which revolves around a star untold millions of miles distant."

"If you are not a spirit, how could you have traveled such incredible
distances?"

"That is yet a mystery to me," I admitted. "The power of my flight is
much like the mode of your communication, for each is alike mysterious
to me."

By this time the excitement was intense. No one attempted to grasp me or
even approach toward me. I saw by the perplexing mental atmosphere of
the chairman that he was being besieged by a host of questions and
suggestions; so I relieved the situation by continuing my words:

"No one need consider my appearance as an evil omen. I am not empowered
to curse or bless your world except by what may flow from my immediate
conversation with you."

In these sentences I thoughtlessly gestured with my arms; this set my
audience wild with mingled merriment and curiosity.

"Are all as small as you whence you came?" queried the chairman.

"They are all after my pattern with some variations."

"Pray, tell me, what are those gummy flabs at the sides of your head?"

"Those are my ears," I said with grinning face. "They grew there for a
purpose."

"And what can that purpose be?" further questioned the puzzled chairman.

"They are for the purpose of hearing," I quickly replied.

Then followed a curious scientific dialogue in which I endeavored to
explain the sense of hearing. From this I described the manner of
conversation in our world, and showed what an important part hearing
played. But all this was beyond the comprehension of my auditors.

After a lengthy and most interesting discussion upon the philosophy of
sound, the next point of interest centered on my mouth and vocal
organs. It was pleasing to consider these subjects because my listeners
were such eager questioners and surprised hearers. No wonder that they
were unable to grasp such a crude system of conversation as ours!

Then the chairman verily begged me to explain the mystery of my mission
and of my unprecedented itinerary. How could I have fully satisfied his
mind, even if I had endeavored to do so!

After all this came the most pleasing communion thus far of all my
journey. I learned much by the interchange of ideas. Nature's vast book
opened to me some new and charming pages.

Toward the close of my stay the affinity between us grew to a marked
degree. Although we were widely apart in physical aspect, yet we were
supping from the same bowl of affection and, with this happy turn, we
talked of our permanent companionship.

"But I cannot abide with you," I reluctantly answered.

"Ah, torment us not with such a thought," affectingly pressed the
chairman.

"I have other worlds to visit, and must hasten away. Touch me not," I
cried as the chairman unconsciously moved toward me in an urgent appeal.

"How soon shall we see you again?"

"No more forever, unless you see me in that widest expanse of life which
in our world we call Heaven. There the pure of all worlds will gather
and commingle in delightsome fellowship forever."

I was then urged beyond all etiquette to tarry a short period and visit
certain parts of their world. But I informed them that I had seen more
of their world than they imagined, and that the object of my visit had
been reached.



CHAPTER XX.

Brief.


One of the medium sized worlds that revolve around Alcyone sustains the
shortest lived human beings of our universe. It is seldom that any of
the creatures reach more than four years of age according to our
standards of time. They are nearly as large as we and relatively much
lighter in weight. All the periods of physical growth are
correspondingly decreased. Children walk four or five weeks after birth,
and are capable of receiving regular instruction at the age of five
months.

Strange as it may seem, this sphere, which for convenience we will call
Brief, revolves very slowly on its axis, so that our world makes fifteen
times as many revolutions as this planet.

It requires but little arithmetic to figure out that the people of Brief
do not see the sun rise very often. When it does appear in the morning
sky, all the public signals blow and the people appear in one or
another of their places of worship. This beautiful custom has been in
practice for over three thousand years. The worship is not sun worship,
but a genuine service of thanksgiving to Him who ruleth over the sun and
supplies it with fuel to burn. It appears that on all worlds everything
is regulated in accordance with the length of human life. On this world,
of Brief all vegetables mature in periods so short that one marvels when
he hears it. Think of cereals reaching maturity in seven or eight of our
days, or during one day of Brief. Early in the morning certain crops are
planted and are harvested at night. Two or more days are required for
maturing other crops. Actually the people of Brief raise their crops
with less labor than is required amongst us.

If you were permitted to look upon the public and private life of this
incredible world, your first sensation would be dizziness, not to
mention the weirdness of all sights that would confront you at every
turn. People would seem to be in a mad rush, and it would appear that
all business is done with insane rapidity.

Furrows of care and trouble begin to deepen on the faces of these
Briefites as they approach an age of what we would call three years, and
if by lease of strength they pass on toward an age of four years, it is
but an evidence of their exceptional vitality. It seems to be true that
the experiences of a long life of sixty or eighty years is crowded into
a narrow compass of four years by a miracle of spheres not comprehended
by finite minds.

No doubt a detailed description of this whirling and dashing life would
be of interest to us slow, deliberate creatures. But I can give only a
passing glimpse.


JOURNALISM.

Things happen in such quick succession that the news is hustled out at
all hours of the day and night; not on sheets of paper, but through
automatic news-receivers, machines somewhat akin to our telegraph
instruments.

The state supplies each home with an automatic news-receiver. Thus a
record is kept in each home of all messages received so that they can
be read at leisure. To speak in a manner more easily understood, I will
say that the news is telegraphed to each home as soon as possible after
the events transpire. But compared to our customs, the news is very
scarce. There being no competition, no time or space is required for
sensational trash. Thus, if nothing of importance occurs, nothing need
be transmitted. The official news-censors decide as to the relative
importance of occurrences. There need not be a certain amount of news
telegraphed each hour. The government verifies, as much as possible, all
reports before they are transmitted. There are indeed some advantages in
the government being in constant touch with each home under its care.
The advertising department pays nearly all expenses of this whole system
of journalism. Announcements for private gain are paid at a regular
rate. It costs more to advertise at certain periods than at other times,
all regulated by the customs of the people.

Under these regulations everybody receives the news, and only the
essential news, except advertisements which must come in batches at
certain intervals. Of course, people take their choice as to reading
advertisements.

[Illustration: Sunrise Signal in Brief.]


THEIR FOOTWEAR.

The soles of the feet of these Briefites are composed of a substance
most nearly resembling hoof material. They never think of covering the
feet under any change of climate. If one of the Briefites were to step
upon the shores of our rugged Earth and see the cotton or wool and
leather that lies around our feet, it would appear to him as the most
ridiculous thing imaginable, and no doubt his shapely feet of ivory cast
would be of more than passing interest to us.


THEIR RAIMENT.

Their raiment is altogether after new models. Neither the men, women,
nor children seem to seek this means for self-beautifying. They seem to
think that beauty of character has a radiance more to be desired than
the flash of opals or the luster of silks. Their garments partake of the
loose flowing order. For instance, a strong fabric of chosen shade is
fastened at the neck, hip, knee and ankle, and lies carelessly over the
parts between. The females never graduated to the corset degree, and
while they do not cut a scientific figure, yet they surely develop a
more ruddy waist after the model intended by the Designor of the body.


TRANSPORTATION.

The methods of traveling are so contrary to our conceptions and
practices that I almost forbear to attempt any description. Yet I was
entertained and instructed as I witnessed the moving of humanity along a
street of a busy city. Have you ever noticed how quarters of beef are
carried from a car to an elevator or refrigerator on steel rods
connected with wheels running in a groove or on a specially prepared
track? In a city of Brief, overhead tracks after such an order run along
all business streets and certain residence streets. Spare me a detailed
description of this peculiar traveling system. Suffice it to say that a
person, in lightning rapidity of motion, rushes from a store, springs
upon a passing seat and is hurled away by the power of an overhead
cable system. When an exchange of seats is necessary, it is all done so
easily and so quickly that you would wonder why we tolerate trolley
cars.

In traveling from city to city, a system is in use that I will call the
Toboggan Slide System, although the cars run on wheels. The car is
raised in a shaft about one hundred feet and then by gravity it dashes
two or more miles according to the lay of the land traversed. Then
another rise more or less than one hundred feet is experienced, and then
another wild dash. I have no words of praise for this system, although
the Briefites can cover considerable territory in an hour. They look
upon this gravity system as a wonderful achievement, for it has not been
in operation for more than three hundred years.

The power of steam has never been utilized. No genius of all this active
world of Brief ever conceived the idea that almost unlimited power lies
wrapped up in thin vapory water. But they have discovered what we would
call gaseous oil, and have learned to put it to work, so that it is the
main force employed in hoisting and all other purposes where power is
required.

Nothing like a traveling locomotive has ever been made, although I
learned that a bright wizard was experimenting and that he prophesied
great changes when his gas-propelled vehicle was perfected.

Think of how much value an ordinary citizen of our world would be to
these Briefites, if he could step upon their world and communicate with
them concerning the magic wonders of steam and the manner of
constructing stationary and movable engines, to say nothing of the
hidden wonders of electricity. Quadrupeds that take the place of our
horses are used for drayage, although nothing except the two-wheeled
class of vehicles was ever used until some eighty-seven years ago.


PUBLIC HIGHWAYS.

These interesting people excel us in their style and manner of
home-building, fencing and making public highways. We are heathenish in
our progress along the line of road making especially. In all my vast
journey among the worlds I found only a few, comparatively, whereon the
roads were inferior to ours.

In the world of Brief the state prescribes the manner of public highways
and each citizen must contribute his share to their creation and
maintenance.

These Briefites excel us in more than a score of ways. They are much
purer in morals, more refined in manner, more harmonious in government,
and unusually bright in mathematics. Very intricate and elaborate
problems are solved by these people of a few years. They are inferior to
us in a hundred ways. In the broad fields of manufacture and invention
they lag a long distance in the rear. This is principally due to their
lack of time.


RELIGIOUS LIFE.

The religious life of the people of Brief is, on an average, of a higher
type than is found in our world. Their belief in immortality has run
parallel with their existence as a people, and their devotion to their
Creator is marked with unusual fervor.

Their Redeemer is worshiped quite separately from God, and with
distinctive adorations. The name of their Redeemer, phonetically
rendered, is Kerm-Cher. The most faithful translation of this word into
our language would be God-affluence.

Kerm-Cher, or God-breath, appeared upon Brief full grown, and pronounced
his benediction on the race, declaring his origin, and the purpose of
his coming. Similar to Christ, he confirmed his identity by unanswerable
miracles.

Many, however, disbelieved in Kerm-Cher, and held to the old axiomatic
truths. Thus creeds were prevalent and they remain until now, only there
is much less variety than is found amongst us.

Kerm-Cher set up a new reign, and accepted a temporal throne for a
season. He finally announced that his ambassadorship would soon cease
and that his followers would lose the throne of civil power, that they
would be tested for a season in the valley of humiliation and by the
fires of terrible persecution, and that they who would endure unto the
end would be glorified.

These religious features are remarkably similar to the system under
which the Christian religion of our globe is fostered.



CHAPTER XXI.

The Life on Wings.


As I darted from world to world, I was not then fully conscious of the
vast stretches of space that I had covered. No mortal nor angel tongue
can even commence to describe the vastness of created things and the
trackless oceans of space in which the ponderous suns and planets
revolve.

According to the classification of our astronomers I next found myself
in the constellation of Perseus, and was again convinced of the weakness
of our most powerful telescopes, for I now saw thousands of immense
stars, hitherto invisible to me. Not one of these stars is within a
trillion miles of any other.

In this distant system of our universe I saw that the same plan of
creation obtained. Around a majority of the stars a group of various
sized worlds revolves. On many of these worlds human life abounds in
endless degrees of development and in a countless variety of
manifestations. I marveled anew as I saw the endlessness of the Infinite
Mind, supporting not only the conscious life of this whole
constellation, but also of all the constellations of our universe, and
of all the universes scattered at large throughout the unending depths
of space.

I paused at a star of variable magnitude in the Milky Way, but took only
a passing glance at the physical wonders of this great sun, compared
with which our own Sun is a mere pigmy. Onward I hastened to one of the
larger worlds of this solar system which, for my convenience, I will
call Swift.

Here new wonders opened wide to my view. Human beings, charmingly
beautiful, moved over the face of the planet or on wings through the air
at pleasure and with great ease. These creatures are about three-fourths
of our size, and are most gracefully formed. Their whole physical
appearance is more similar to a bird than to a human being of our Earth.
They are relatively much lighter than we, and are covered with nothing
akin to feathers.

If you were to see them standing in their erect posture and walking
with man-like dignity, you would at once feel that they are the lords of
the creation on their world, and so indeed they are.

These ethereal creatures have the loveliest eyes of any human beings I
ever beheld in any world. They sparkle with the brilliancy of a diamond
and move with the quickness of electricity. The head is small but
symmetrical and all physical proportions are most harmoniously adapted
even to a nicety that would be pleasing to the most refined tastes of
our world.

At first I could not understand how these people of Swift could travel
so conveniently in the air, for their wings are very small and the
exertion when flying is very limited. But the lightness of the body, the
heaviness of the air, and the unusual strength of the Swiftites, each
conduces its share to the fortunate result.

In my thoughtlessness I envied these gifted people and wished that when
I would return to my world, I could enjoy such privileges of flight. I
soon checked this rising covetousness, and again contentment flung over
me its white mantle.

The bodies of these Swiftites are covered by nature with a clean growth
of soft, silken hair. They change their garments with the seasons, but
at all times dress very sparingly and neatly. They are so easily clothed
that all their apparel occasions them no more trouble than the more
seasonable covering of the head gives to our women.

The average length of life is nearly four hundred years of our time.
There are very few worlds in space where the general health of its
inhabitants is as perfect as is found on this beautiful planet. There
are but few doctors because there is but little demand for them. Those
who are engaged are under government service, and all persons who are
unfortunate enough to become ill receive at least all medicine and
professional attention free.

We are quite an exceptional world in our medical system. In all my
journey I saw comparatively only a few worlds that have the private
system of medical treatment. Have we not noted the laboring husband
bending at his toil for eight or ten hours to pay the physician who
calls for a few minutes? In some cases this program is continued for
weeks, until the honest toiler finds himself confronted with a doctor's
bill and medicine bill to haunt him until the debt is either forgiven or
paid at great sacrifice.

On the world of Swift and in the vast majority of civilized worlds in
space, the community or government furnishes a salaried physician within
reasonable reach of every home. The doctors of Swift are not expected to
work night and day. They have shifts to divide the toil equally.

In architecture this distant planet excels us by far. I improved the
opportunity and went to witness a magnificent temple of worship which
has been in process of erection for over two hundred years. Any conceit
that I previously had on account of the large structures of my own world
quickly vanished at the sight of this imposing edifice. During my visit
the winged workers were laboring on the upper stories and I watched them
with great wonderment as they descended from the clouds to carry
materials to the higher stories. Can you imagine the picture of workmen
flying in all directions with tools, each one busily employed? It is
promised that the present generation of employees will live to see the
completion of this notable structure.

This vast building is the national religious center of the Swiftites.
Each government has such a central station, and from it all temples of
worship are controlled. Here the church and the state are yet married,
and the state maintains its religious departments with careful scrutiny.
The chief ambition of each government has always been to outshine the
others in the glory and magnificence of its central temple which, of
course, is fire proof and almost time proof.

One may wonder as he gazes upon this extensive structure why there are
seventy thousand sleeping rooms and dining halls built after such
extensive plans as to entertain, at one time, twenty-five thousand
guests. All this is to accommodate the vast throngs that take their
sacred pilgrimage once in a year under an arrangement by which one tenth
of the able-bodied go each thirty-nine days, which corresponds to our
month.

The most notable feature of this central temple is the main service
room, built at fabulous cost and capable of accommodating one hundred
thousand pilgrims at one time. The most costly sections of this one room
are guarded night and day by armed government soldiers.

The religion of these Swiftites is of a very pure kind. The ministers of
this national church are fully equipped before entering upon their
office. The training schools for ministers attracted my closest
attention. Fortunately, these people have no language complications as
we have, so that a prospective minister can spend some of his time
studying the Book of God's Revelation instead of spending a great
portion of his training period in learning the languages in which the
book had once been written.

A minister's training consists as much in voice culture and the many
branches of elocution as it does in acquiring a correct knowledge of
God. But in illustrative teaching Swift leads us by far. I was
profitably entertained in the main temple as I listened to one of the
famous orators discoursing to an audience of eighty thousand. Not only
did his canary-like voice penetrate to all parts of the large room, but
his objective illustrations clinched the truth remarkably well.

A series of special services is held at the close of each month. The
most wonderful of all these exercises, or renditions, is called "The
Mediator Service." This is one of the most spectacular and impressive
exercises outside of Heaven. Even the famous Passion Play of
Oberammergau (our world) with the less glorious exhibitions at Horitz
and Selzach, all dwindle into insignificance compared with "The Mediator
Service" on the world of Swift.

During my visit I witnessed the full program of this sublime rendition.
The music was inexpressibly grand as rendered by the vested Mediator
Choir. Naturally the Swiftites have sweet, bird-like voices. Can you
conceive the effect of a triple choir of these human warblers all
trained in perfect harmony and unison?

When you consider that nearly the whole population witnesses these
special exhibitions at least once a year, you can the better understand
why the spiritual condition of the people has reached a high very level.

I investigated the many interesting features of this inviting world and
found that in some respects we are inferior to these human bird
creatures, although in many other respects we are superior. Electricity
is known in their world, but they have not yet harnessed it; hence they
are ignorant of telegraphy and a long list of similar inventions which
we enjoy.

In agriculture the Swiftites are ahead of us. They raise their crops
with less labor relatively than we. All things considered it is easier
to live on Swift than here.

Knowing that my time was limited, I decided to secure some nuggets of
truth by a personal interview; so I concluded to appear to the wisest
person on the planet, who was a woman of wonderful mental acquirements.
In addition to her superior intellect she was also bewitchingly
beautiful.

I waited for the best opportunity and came near to her as she was about
to spread her wings for a morning flight from the beautiful summit
near her summer home. Not wishing to cause her undue alarm, I at first
spoke softly, remaining invisible and watching her rare eyes send their
glances toward the palmy trees around me, as her wings were relaxing
quietly at her side. She was positive of having heard a voice, and as
she still further scanned the immediate surroundings I saw that
perplexity was furrowing marks upon her face.

[Illustration: Beautiful Plume on the World of Swift.]

"Hast thou time to spend with a friend from another world?" I calmly
inquired as I was still unseen by her.

She was nervously agitated, but being of strong fibre she quickly
rallied with her answer, "Where art thou and who art thou?"

"I am on a peace mission from a far distant world," I quietly said as I
slowly became visible to my audience of one.

Naturally she was alarmed at my appearance, and consequently I drew
gradually farther and farther away until she gained more self-possession
and turned interestingly toward me.

"Ah! how can you be a spirit without wings?" were her first unexpected
words.

"But I am no spirit," I said assuringly.

"You cannot be otherwise," she insisted.

"Believe what you wish, we have no time for parley. I am delighted to
visit your world and I desire, if possible, to have some mysteries
solved. Can you help me?"

Plume, for that is the name I called her, was much unsettled. She
scanned my form with wild curiosity and I feared that she would at once
use her wings at their swiftest.

"Pray do not fly hence," I quickly urged. "I will never harm you, even
though we could converse together forever. Believe me true, and rest
your wings and heart in peace."

My words had some effect toward calming her mind and with more placid
features she still looked at me half shrinkingly.

"Are you not happy that you have wings with which fly?" I continued,
hoping to create a more natural familiarity.

"Happy? No more than for my feet, my ears, or my life," she answered in
a more composed manner. "You say that you are from another world. Where
can that be?" was her welcome query.

Then I pointed my finger in the direction of our world and remarked:

"If you could travel in that direction on swift wings day and night for
a few millions of years, you would still be far, far away from the world
where I live."

"And is that world inhabited by sensible creatures?"

"It is."

"But how could you have traversed so great a distance?"

"Never can I explain that mystery to you. Be content that I am here."

"Are you in the image of the other human creatures in that far away
world?"

"In general they are all fashioned as I am."

"No one having wings?" she added with surprise.

"Not one."

"How can that be true?"

"Because we were made without them."

"And have you no way of moving through the air at pleasure?"

"Not without artificial machinery."

"Artificial machinery?" she repeated. "What can you mean by that?"

Of course they have no word for balloon or flying machine, and I found
it difficult to describe the shape and explain the philosophy of these
things. I did the best I could in her language, and after I had finished
my description she for the first time smiled and said:

"That sort of a construction would be a fine thing for the indolents of
our world who, through misuse or lack of use of their wings, have no
more ability to fly."

This was interesting to me and I closely inquired as to the cause of
this loss of the wing power. Plume grew more and more familiar in her
address and in a long conversation told me of the many conditions that
make people unfit to fly. I deduce from our conversation a few of these
causes.

1. Simple neglect.

2. Gluttonous life.

3. Sensuality of a low and heavy life.

4. Pride. Some yield to a superstitious notion that it is honorable to
make but little display of themselves, and allow their wings to be bound
or partly clipped.

5. Certain kinds of sickness render the wing-chords inoperative.

I learned that altogether nearly one-half of the population are unable
to fly. How my mind flew back to our own life as I was learning of these
sad conditions. There is a sort of a life on wings in our world,
although the wings are invisible. But on account of the low, mean lives
so many are living, they never rise above the miasmic contagion of the
sin and self level. These unseen wings are either paralyzed or clipped.

Plume now actually stepped toward me. What a graceful tread. She was
indeed the most charming creature I had met outside of my own world. She
seated herself near me on the rustic bend of a tree unlike any in our
world and hurried her questions at me as if she realized that I would
not tarry long. At length she gratefully said:

"I am beginning to believe that you are really a son of another world,
or else I am reveling in a day dream."

"Happy am I that I can learn from you some of the truths after which I
am seeking," was my evasive reply. "Tell me, Plume, something about your
faith religiously."

"I worship the God who made all things and am hoping to live in the
wider life after my mortal days are ended."

"Do you expect to meet, in that wider life, representatives from other
worlds?"

"Ah! I have often thought that it might be so," she answered, as her
face brightened in poetic fervor, and her eyes sparkled with seraphic
luster.

"It shall all be so, and much more," I declared. "In that life you can
fly without wings and mingle with the pure from the unnumbered worlds of
space."

"What an incentive to a pure life," she quickly added.

"Talking of wings, do you object if I see more closely the cut and style
of your wings? I never saw before a human creature possessing a pair."

After a moment's hesitancy she raised her right arm and with it the one
wing unfolded. I ventured near enough to see the intricate network of
muscle and bone woven around the arm and filling the space between the
raised arm and the side of Plume's body. She was surprised at the
interest I manifested in the human wing. After this she offered to
furnish an able escort to conduct me to several points of interest.

All this I declined and informed my talented friend that I must hasten
away to another world.

"Let me go with you," she strongly insisted.

"Your wings are not of the right kind," I replied hurriedly.

"They are strong enough to bear us both," were her inviting words.

"But not beyond the atmosphere of this world," I explained.

I quietly arose, scanned once more the beautiful valley before me, and
indicated that I was about to wane into the invisible. Then did her
womanly nature assert its supremacy and she, for the first time, touched
my hand imploringly:

"Have I been dreaming, or do my eyes deceive me? How can all this be
true? Your hand is sensible to my touch. I implore you to remain until I
speak to you more about the sciences of your world."

In all my journey I never yielded to persuasion before. But somehow I
consented to spend a season longer of most charming fellowship, talking
of the elements in nature, their chemical affinities, and the laws of
matter and mind. Plume was unusually bright in the philosophies, and I
gathered from her many truths which had always before been hidden to me.

Finally I became rigid in my determination to leave, for I knew that I
could not stay.

"Grant me one request," she begged.

"Let me hear it."

"Promise me that you will return."

"Impossible, impossible!"

The parting that followed was indeed memorable. Without any further
notice I suddenly vanished, but still tarried invisibly in close
proximity.

Plume was now left in deep bewilderment, and I could not even
conjecture the details of her warring thoughts. Finally I saw that for
which I had tarried. Plume lifted her wings and flew skyward as
beautifully and gracefully as any bird of our earthly air.



CHAPTER XXII.

Heaven.


After my ambition to visit one thousand worlds had been realised, and I
was darting toward the confines of our own little Solar System,
instinctively I looked out once more over the vast stretches of space.
All around me, at amazing distances, loomed up the millions of spheres
which I had not visited by reason of my limited time. I felt like some
one who, after gaining his first thousand dollars, has a wild craving to
accumulate ten or one hundred thousand more.

Still I scanned the heavens while deeper longings pervaded my soul.
While in this mood the most unusual vision flashed upon my eyes.
Suddenly I forgot whither I was going and in wild astonishment I drank
in the first view of Heaven. Inwardly I marveled that I had not seen at
least a part of it before.

Heaven is fashioned on a transcendently large scale. It is not a single
sphere, but a universal chain of vast and luminous star-groups,
scattered harmoniously throughout the infinite regions of space, so that
a part of it lies suspended preciously near to our own Solar System.
Heaven is more real and substantial than the suns and planets of the
universe, although not one of its numberless parts can be detected by
the human eye, or discerned through a telescope. These luminous orbs
that constitute Heaven control the movements of the planets, suns and
systems which we call material. They are whiter than snow and shine with
a luster not dazzling, but restful to the eye capable of seeing them.

How this glimpse put to naught all my former crude conceptions of
Heaven, and if I found myself unable to describe the wonders of many a
dark world which I have visited, how much less could I portray the
vastly superior beauties of Heaven which are so far beyond the glory of
dark, rugged worlds that I felt an inexpressible desire to take up my
abode there at once and to remain forever.

Inwardly I shouted for joy as this new light illumined my face, and I
loathed to think of proceeding on my journey to any sin-cursed world of
the universe, for the ties of kinship, friendship, and earthship all
vanished at the sight of such resplendent spheres.


THE GREATNESS OF HEAVEN.

There is no language to be employed that can fitly describe the parts of
Heaven I saw, and I know that the greater glory was curtained from my
view. But the size of the lustrous orbs is not equaled by the large
material suns that blaze in the depth of immensity. Heaven's diamond
splendor extended as far as my unassisted eyes could reach, and
according to the way it appeared it must extend without limit.

It would require one hundred millions of years for a child of God to
take one excursion trip to the physical worlds of our universe. Then
there are millions of such universes, (I know of no better name to use)
each one occupying its own immense stretches of space. These universes
average about sixteen hundred millions of worlds each.

Heaven is infinitely greater than this whole material fabric, so that if
a spirit is inclined to travel, he will need all eternity to study the
works of God as displayed in the glorious abodes of Heaven and in the
changing aspects of created worlds.

Let us give a deeper meaning to the stanza of the poet by substituting
"million" for "thousand."

    When I've been there ten million years,
      Bright, shining as the sun,
    I've no less days to sing God's praise,
      Than when I first begun.

Compared with this life more vast, does it not appear that our own
insignificant existence on our tiny Earth is as the creeping of a mere
insect on the leaf of a giant oak?


PERMANENCY OF HEAVEN.

The only permanent or imperishable feature of our universe is the Heaven
part of it. The created or visible worlds are mere dark appendages of
the real spheres, and are serving their parts in bringing fruit to
their Maker.

Sin-cursed and sinless worlds are coming to an end continually, and as
rapidly are new ones flung out or old ones re-peopled to serve as garden
plots to bear fruit in the form of created intelligences who serve and
admire God through choice.

Heaven is indestructible. It has already been in existence since the
morning of time. In all my journey, no angel or mortal could tell me how
many cycles ago that was. But it must be said that Heaven does not
always present the same aspect. Mansions are built for the reception of
new arrivals, or for the vast delegations from millennial worlds.


THE INHABITANTS OF HEAVEN.

They come from all parts of the universe, from millions of spheres. The
righteous of any world, at death, are suddenly transported to that part
of Heaven lying nearest to their world. This is the Abraham's bosom
where the spirit is happy until it takes up its abode with its own
spiritualized body in a millennial reign, after which, by a decree of
the Final Judgment, it is given its credentials to the illimitable life
of all Heaven.

This is Paul's third heaven. Oh! what unlimited expansion! What
incomprehensible principles, to move at large in quest of universal
truths as seen in the seven types of Heaven's spiritual intelligences,
and in the unending manifestations of God's work and love as displayed
in all heaven and in all the peopled planets of space!

Not one of these blessed inhabitants ever grows old or suffers fatigue.
They are capable of moving with tireless energy from one part of
Heaven's vast domains to any other portion.


DEGREES OF HEAVEN.

In space there are many sinless worlds where human species are
propagated, not as the result of any sexual affinities, but in a manner
totally unintelligible to a finite mind. They who reach Heaven from such
a world cannot drink in the same kind of enjoyment as those who come up
out of great tribulations from the spheres of a sin-cursed world, and
who have struggled for mastery and forged their way to the sky through
armies of aliens.

But these creatures are perfectly contented, for they have no way of
realizing the glory resulting from the victory over the world, the flesh
and the Devil.

Then there are degrees of glory among those who come from a sin-cursed
world. Some have many treasures laid up in Heaven, while others centered
their affections too much upon the transitory things of time and sense.

There are also various orders or degrees of glory among the seven types
of intelligences of which Heaven's multitudes are composed. Some of
these may be suggested to your mind when you read more of this sevenfold
life.

[Illustration: A Glimpse of Blissful Life in Heaven.]


SEVEN TYPES OF INTELLIGENCES.

1. The first class of beings is composed of those whom we comprehend as
the Trinity, whose highest glory is expressed in the Mediatorial
personage who can be seen at will by any of Heaven's hosts from any
world.

2. The cherubim and seraphim, or the highest order of spirits, who
have always been pure and holy. They constitute the next rank of the
celestial host.

3. The third class is composed of the general host of angels who also
have been holy from eternity, and who serve as ambassadors to various
points of the limitless creation.

4. The spirits of those who have risen from sinful worlds by virtue of a
God-approved and God-appointed Mediator. To join the ranks of this class
we, who serve God, are hastening. This is no low order or caste in
Heaven, but they who belong to it vie with higher angels, and taste
sweetness beyond the capacity of those who, in other respects, are our
peers. The angels desire to look into the deep mystery of salvation's
plan.

5. The matured and maturing spirits of those who left sinful worlds
before God held them accountable for their deeds. To this class belong
our children who precede us into the final abode.

6. The spirits of those who have risen from sinless worlds to take
their infinitely higher degrees in this Heaven life.

7. The matured and maturing spirits of those who left the sinless worlds
before sense perception was duly developed. They form a distinct class
of spirits and have their distinctive marks.


UNITY OF HEAVEN.

Redemption's plan for each sinful world is somewhat similar to ours, so
that there is a oneness in the whole family of the redeemed. This is one
main factor that makes the bond of unity perfect and renders the
fellowship of the celestial hosts absolutely without a flaw.

True enough, each of the seven classes of intelligences is a mystery and
a glory to the others. But there is no friction, no jar. Each one is
perfect in himself and happy in spirit.

Although each one of the vast companies carries the distinctive impress
and the spiritual peculiarities of his own planet, yet they are all now
fashioned after the symmetry of the Heaven life, and no one bears a
single repellant feature, but rather each spiritual body is beautiful
to the eyes of all the others, and each one breathes the same atmosphere
of purity and converses in the self-same language of love.


A HOME-LIKE PLACE.

No feature of Heaven is more beautiful than its home-like atmosphere.
The soul is not chilled by the two-thousand-mile-cube cities, or by the
long, long stretches of Divine masonry. God is as a real father, and all
his subjects are as our blood-relations. We feel it, and the inspiration
of these truths takes a deep hold of Heaven's vast populace.


EMPLOYMENT.

Now and then large excursion parties visit various points of our own
universe and frequently span the incredible distances in order to study
the works and life of other universes.

Each soul is occupied in gratifying its own master passion, and lives in
the delightsome fellowship of the saints.


TRANSPORTATION.

There are no vehicles or cars of any kind. Actual wings are unknown
except as used by certain birds of Heaven. Spirits travel as rapidly as
desired by a mere submissive connection with the universal system of
power filaments, all of which center in God. More refined power than
electricity is transmitted over these substantial filaments to any point
of any world. The fleshly body is not sensitive to this spiritual power,
but the pure soul, when free from the body, is at once sensitive to
these chords of power and is carried swifter than a current of
electricity to Abraham's bosom, where it is entitled forever to a free
use of this perfect power without being subject to any kind of taxation.


SEXUAL AFFINITIES OF HEAVEN.

Contrary to some of my former ideas I saw that the inhabitants of Heaven
are not all of one sex. The male and female are clearly distinguishable,
and they bear relations one to another still more refined than was
manifest in the Millennial World.

The most holy affinity exists between the several types of
intelligences. Here the glorious fires of love burn never to reach a
climax. Lovers have been drinking from perennial fountains for a million
years, and their ecstacies are rising still. Pure love is as endless and
infinite as time and space, and its mystery is deep to these shining
throngs of Heaven who look into one another's faces with untrammeled
emotions. Think of falling in love with the inhabitants of other worlds
and of having the capacity and right to foster a thousand or more types
of affinity, each one differing from the others!

These relations are so highly refined and so gloriously developed that
one must not think of reducing them by comparison to the level of the
flesh life.


STRUCTURAL ASPECTS OF HEAVEN.

I would not attempt to describe the structural glory of Heaven, for I
know not where nor how to begin. Seemingly all things are transparent
even to the center of vast orbs. Magnificent cities apparently lie
suspended far under the indefinite surface of the orbs composing
Heaven, and free passage ways of phantastical design ramify throughout
all the glorious under-surface regions.

Architectural greatness here finds its unmatched examples. Seven-mile
diamond arches are common-places, and towers of two thousand miles in
height and one thousand miles in diameter, as the corner stone of a
city, are nothing unusual, although many cities are built on a smaller
plan. Nothing needs repairing, and nothing is mortgaged. The wealth of
unnumbered trillions is easily represented in one orb of Heaven's
empire.

I now saw a thousand-fold more clearly than ever before the absolute
folly of fixing our affections on the perishing things of the mortal
life in our dark and dusty world.

While my eyes were still feasting on the sublime picture before me I
began to realize that my privilege would be of short duration, as the
vision was fast waning. I looked intently until the last curtain fell,
and reluctantly I continued my journey toward my own little world. I now
felt that, if the whole Earth were my own property, I would gladly push
it all aside if I could be a mere door keeper in one of the heavenly
cities of my God.

And very often since that time I have cast my longing eyes skyward,
hoping to catch another glimpse of that fair scene.

    How I long for that restful picture,
      A vision of Heaven, once more;
    With its trillion orbs of beauty,
      And its wealth of endless store.

    There are saints from unnumbered planets,
      Where they lived in a million ways.
    Now they mingle in perfect glory,
      Through the length of eternal days.

    There the poor are wealthy forever,
      For the beggar sits down with the King.
    The man who never knew music
      Will vie with angels to sing.

    Here the hopeful student, progressing,
      After failing does often grieve;
    But in Heaven each lesson is perfect,
      No theory to blind or deceive.

    Here the runner, in breathless struggle,
      Sees the other in touch of the goal;
    But Heaven gives each one the laurel,
      To be crowned while the ages roll.

    There they have no light of a candle,
      For there are no shadows of night.
    There the flash of unnumbered opals
      Sparkles on in their wealth of light.

    In that home-like palace of Heaven,
      Where these myriad trillions are,
    There the Lord is the self-same Master,
      And Love is the self-same star.





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