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Title: Doctor Jones' Picnic
Author: Chapman, S. E. (Samuel E.)
Language: English
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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.

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DOCTOR JONES' PICNIC

BY

S.E. CHAPMAN, M.D.


SAN FRANCISCO

THE WHITAKER & RAY CO.

PUBLISHERS



Copyrighted 1898, by

S.E. CHAPMAN, M.D.

All Rights Reserved



PREFACE.


I must confess that I offer this romance to the reading public with no
little trepidation. I am fully aware of having transcended the ordinary
rules and paths of legitimate romance, and that I have presumed to
broach fearlessly the deep things of God. The scope of the work is
infinitely beyond the remotest thought of the writer when he began this
labor; but as it grew, deepened and broadened upon his hands from day to
day, like Noah's dove he could find no rest for the sole of his foot,
and found it impossible to stop short of the Millennium.

The author is ready to substantiate the marvelous cures performed by Dr.
Jones, for they are cases from practice. One of the objects of this work
is to stimulate scientific investigation of the law of cure which guided
the worthy Doctor in his selection of the remedy in a given case.

As to whether Silver Cloud and her achievements be possible or not, I am
not specially concerned. And whether there are air currents in the
"upper deep," as described within these pages, is a matter of little or
no consequence. We are desirous of being fair and magnanimous, and will
let the burden of proof rest upon the "other fellow."

When we come to the consideration of the means by which the grand finale
was brought about, then I stand by my colors, and claim to have
delineated the only way "out of the woods" for the suffering world. And,
further, the denouement is but the inevitable result of the adoption of
Golden Ruleism by the world.

No thinking man can fail to see that there is something fearfully and
radically wrong in this world of ours. The few are getting too much, and
the millions are getting far too little. The cry of the poor fills the
earth, and many are the plans that have been devised for the relief of
the innumerable sufferers; but there is an essential defect in each of
them, nor is there relief to be obtained short of the power of Almighty
God. This is fully comprehended in what we have been pleased to call
Golden Ruleism, in the 2nd and 3d volumes.

Many students and writers upon the signs of the times take an extremely
pessimistic view of the situation, and believe that we shall witness
"blood to the horses' bridles." No one can deny that things are
desperately bad, and that something must be done soon to relieve the
strain or the very worst may be apprehended; yet the author prefers to
see things through optimistic eyes, and believes that God will raise up
a Moses, (or Doctor Jones, if you please,) who will lead us to a higher
and better state than this world has yet ever known. The old adage 'It
is always darkest just before dawn,' is beautifully applicable to the
present state of the world. So I take courage and launch my book out
upon the tempestuous sea of humanity, trusting that it may be welcomed
as the harbinger of a better and happier era. I am sure that it bears to
the world the olive branch of peace.

As is usual with prefaces, this one is anticipatory and can only be
appreciated after one has perused the book. So I make the request of the
reader that he re-read it after having become acquainted with the scheme
and scope of the work.

This volume is to be immediately followed by volumes two and three,
which complete the set.

S.E. CHAPMAN, M.D.

Napa, Cal., Dec. 13th, 1897.



INDEX.

                                                             PAGE.

Chapter I.  "Figures don't lie."                                1

"  II.   Two men resolve to go picnicking.                      7

"  III.  Mrs. Jones offers some objections.                    10

"  IV.  Mrs. Jones dictates terms.                             14

"  V.    The Government joins the picnickers.                  18

"  VI.   Off on a shoreless sea.                               22

"  VII.  A Gunpowder tea party.                                25

"  VIII. Relating how the beautiful picnic progressed.         32

"  IX.   In the heart of Labrador.                             38

"  X.    A message from the skies.                             49

"  XI.   Is the world growing better?                          54

"  XII.  Greenland's Icy Mountains and the Russian Bear.       63

"  XIII.  Beauty and the Beast.                                75

"  XIV.   Doctor Jones commits treason.                        83

"  XV.    A model teacher and an ideal student.                94

"  XVI.   The Count steps over the line.                      100

"  XVII.  Farewell to Beauty and the Beast.                   108

"  XVIII. Woman locates the North Pole.                       118

"  XIX.   The planting of the Flagstaff.                      125

"  XX.    Battle of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain.    135

"  XXI.   Things material and spiritual.                      143

"  XXII.  Familiar scenes and faces.                          151

"  XXIII. The world at the feet of Doctor Jones.              164

"  XXIV. Ho! for the SOUTH POLE!                              175



DOCTOR JONES' PICNIC.



CHAPTER I.

"Figures Don't Lie."


The North Pole! That spot upon earth so environed with trackless fields
of unbroken snow and mountains of ice; with an atmosphere so cold that
none but the bravest and hardiest of mankind can breathe it and live.
And yet these apparently insuperable obstacles have but stimulated men
to do and dare all things, so that they might but reach that _ultima
thule_. In vain have our utilitarians cried, "Qui bono?" God has planted
within man the spirit of lordship and domination; and, true to that
spirit, he will never rest until Nature shall have yielded up to him her
last secret, and his restless foot shall have trodden the wildest and
farthest spot of earth. Then, and not till then, will he stand crowned
"Lord of Creation."

In this faithful history of the discovery and exact location of the
North Pole, it is not necessary to bring before the reader in historical
review the many illustrious names and grand heroisms of former explorers
of Arctic regions. They did marvelous deeds, beyond the comprehension of
those who did not actually participate in them. They sacrificed
thousands of noble lives, and undoubtedly did all that could be done
with the means at their command. Ah! there we have struck the keynote.
The means at their command were inadequate, and nothing but failure and
disaster could result from their best laid plans and efforts.

Dr. Jonathan Jones sat in his office in the populous, thriving city of
R----, situated in one of our western states. He occupied an easy chair,
heels upon a low, flat-topped writing desk, newspaper in hand, reading
an account of the failure of Dr. Nansen to reach the North Pole. That
renowned and hardy explorer proposed reaching the spot by floating on an
ice floe. We are all familiar with the fact that he did actually get to
within about three hundred miles of the coveted spot, but was obliged to
turn back for want of dogs and sledges.

Dr. Jones laid the paper down with a groan. "Will they never learn?" he
apostrophizingly cried to a bust of Hahnemann that rested upon a bracket
in a corner of the room. "They can never get there on any such lines. I
believe it to be a perfectly feasible scheme, if worked out on simple
scientific principles. If I had capital, I would try it."

He sat with the points of his extended fingers touching each its mate of
the opposite hand, and mused for several moments. Suddenly he seized a
pencil, and rapidly jotted down figures, lines, and characters that
meant nothing to any mortal but himself.

"Figures don't lie!" he shouted to aforesaid bust. "That depends,
Doctor, on whether they are legitimately used or not. Sometimes they are
made to represent the vilest untruth," said a voice behind him. The
Doctor wheeled about and encountered the genial countenance of Mr. A.L.
Denison.

"Hullo! Denison. Just the man I wanted to see. Sit down."

"What's up now, Doctor? Anyone hurt or seriously sick?" inquired
Denison, as he occupied a chair.

For answer the Doctor read aloud the account of Dr. Nansen's failure to
reach the North Pole, and then said: "I do not wonder that he failed. No
one will succeed upon any such lines or plans."

"Well, Doctor, you don't suppose that anyone will ever get there and
back alive, do you?"

"Whether they will or not, I do not know; but that it is a perfectly
feasible and rational undertaking, under proper conditions, I as firmly
believe as I do that I am alive," and he brought his fist down upon the
desk by way of emphasis with a whack that made the various loose
articles in the little office rattle. Even the bust upon the bracket
moved about uneasily, whether by way of approbation or not, this
truthful chronicle ventures no opinion. Denison looked at the flushed
face and glittering eyes of the Doctor, moved uneasily in his chair,
and said: "What's up, Doctor? I never knew you to drink. Getting off?"
tapping his _os frontis_ with his forefinger significantly.

"Denison," replied the Doctor, unheeding the innuendoes of his friend,
"I tell you that I have a plan for going to, and returning from, the
North Pole with perfect safety, absolute certainty, and a degree of
comfort that will reduce the whole expedition to the level of a glorious
picnic." Denison indulged in a long, low whistle.

"Draw it a little milder, Doctor. Go to and return from the North Pole
with perfect safety, certainty, comfort, and pleasure! What do you mean?
I never heard of anything so preposterous in my life!"

"Hitch up to the desk here, and I will soon tell you what I mean," cried
the Doctor. Denison complied, and the Doctor, seizing a pencil, drew
upon a leaf of the scratch book, with a few vigorous strokes, a sketch
of a globe, thus:

[Illustration]

"There," said he, as he gave a few finishing touches. "There you have
the idea."

"Well, go on."

"This sketch represents a mammoth globe of aluminum, two hundred feet in
diameter, as you will notice.

"I see," assented Denison.

"We have, then, a great hollow globe, consisting, as I said before, of
aluminum. I have chosen that material for two obvious reasons; lightness
and strength. The globe is simply to be floated by heating the
atmosphere within it."

"What will you heat it with, and how long do you suppose it will be
before your globe returns to the earth?" asked Denison.

"Your questions are quite practical, and I am ready to answer them.
There are to be three skins or coverings to our globe, with a foot of
space (or air blanket, if you please) between them. This affords us two
air chambers that materially prevent the radiation of heat. Once heated,
a very little fuel will keep the interior of our great air-ship at the
desired temperature. You see, at the inferior or lower part of the ship,
a square apartment attached, plentifully supplied with windows. That
represents the living and store rooms. The living rooms are to be
comfortably furnished, and no reason can be alleged why we should not
enjoy in them absolute comfort. In our store-rooms, we will carry one
year's supply of food. And in tanks of sufficient size, petroleum (or
whatever combustible we conclude to be most suitable) for heating and
cooking purposes. See?"

"I see," said Denison.

"You will observe that so conservative of heat is this arrangement that
every particle of caloric created in the living rooms, or cabin below,
helps by that much to float the great globe. All the warmth from cooking
and heating; the heat and smoke from our pipes and cigars; yea, even the
animal heat which radiates from our bodies, all subserve the one great
purpose and function--keeping up the temperature and buoyant effort of
the globe. Do you begin to catch on?" fairly shouted the enthusiastic
Doctor.

"Well, it looks very well so far," returned Denison slowly. "But, my
dear sir, I foresee one difficulty that in your enthusiasm you seem to
have overlooked. You can never guide or steer this immense ship. It must
go with the wind, and you are just as likely to go to the South Pole as
to the North, and very unlikely to go to either. You must excuse me,
but this last is certainly an insuperable obstacle to your making
anything practicable of your idea."

"I admit at once that this great body could not be steered, nor in any
degree guided by any apparatus that we could devise," assented the
Doctor. "But that we should be obliged to float aimlessly, hither and
thither, altogether the creatures of chance, I do not for a moment
admit. The equator, receiving as it does, the vertical rays of the sun,
is by far the hottest portion of the earth. The atmosphere at that
quarter, being constantly superheated and correspondingly rarified,
ascends into the vault above. This creates a semi-vacuum below, and the
cooler atmospheres north and south of the equator rush in and fill the
aforesaid vacuum. Pouring in from opposite directions with an impetus
that often amounts to hurricanes, they boil up as they meet, miles into
the firmament above. They then set off in two strong currents toward
either Pole. What is the natural inference? The navigators of our
air-ship have the power to raise and lower at pleasure. Obviously, there
is but one thing for sensible men to do: Let her rise until we strike a
northerly current, if necessary, and remain in it so long as it is
favorable; when it changes, rise or lower until another favorable
current is found, etc. Do you happen to think of any more 'insuperable'
obstacles, my dear sir?"

"Well, I must say that while I am not convinced of the practicability of
your scheme, still you meet my objections in a way that is quite
surprising, and which shows that you have given the matter much thought;
yet I am not sure that you will not run upon difficulties that will make
it altogether impossible. For instance, there is the cost of so vast an
undertaking. It would cost hundreds of thousands, at the least
calculation."

"Now, Denison, you have struck the only real difficulty that I can think
of. I really have no idea of who will furnish the money. I had not
thought even of asking anyone to do so."

Patients came in at this juncture, and Denison took his departure. A few
days later, however, he returned, and when the Doctor was at leisure,
opened the conversation by asking if anything had developed with regard
to the air-ship building.

"O, ho!" cried Dr. Jones, "you are getting into my way of thinking on
that subject, are you?"

"Well, to tell you the truth, I have thought of it considerably since I
saw you. I would like, at least, to see it tried."

"There is but one way to do: If you get interested sufficiently to wish
to take hold, we will see if we cannot stir up our friends and form a
stock company. Or, failing in that, we might have a working model built,
and I think we could induce the Government to take hold of the matter."

Denison called frequently during the following month, and it was evident
that he was fast becoming imbued with the Doctor's ideas and
enthusiasm.



CHAPTER II.

Two Men Resolve to Go Picnicking.


One afternoon, the Doctor being at leisure, he and Denison talked long
and earnestly of their never-failing theme, the aluminum globe. Denison
finally said:

"You know, Doctor, that I never go into anything without due
consideration. I have studied this matter over carefully, and am willing
to chance it with you. We have been acquainted a great many years, and I
never knew you to make any bad breaks. I have nothing else to do at
present, and have a few thousands that I am willing to risk in this
business. If I lose it I shall let it go for experience and blame no one
but myself."

"Denison, you know very well that I would not lead you into anything
that would do you an injury, financially or otherwise, for anything in
the world. I had not thought, indeed, of asking you to take any part or
stock in this scheme. I believe in it with all my soul, but had not
allowed myself to seriously think of promoting or investing in it. You
had better think of it for a while longer."

"As I told you," returned Denison, "I have given it very serious thought
for several weeks. I have every confidence in the world in you, and my
mind is thoroughly made up now that I wish to go with you into this
enterprise. You know that since my wife died I have done little or
nothing. I have no family to occupy my mind, and this is the first time
since her death that I have felt any interest in anything. It took
something extraordinary, like your scheme, to wake me up. So here I am,
Doctor, yours for the North Pole!"

"Well, old friend, you are a man of the right spirit," said Dr. Jones,
taking him by the hand, "and I am willing to do with you what we can to
get the Government interested in this matter. What shall be our first
move?"

"How can you leave your business or get any time to do anything in this
undertaking?" asked Denison.

"I will tell you: I have been right here, at the old stand, for
twenty-odd years. In all that time I have never taken a vacation of any
sort. I have for years been intending to do so, but something always
prevented. Now I have an opportunity to put a good man into my place,
and I feel the necessity of taking a rest of a year or so. This looks
like just the chance for me. So you may consider that question settled.
Now, what shall be our first move?"

"Since we are each determined to take hold of this venture, Doctor, I
suppose that the first thing will be to get an architect to figure on
the thing, and give us necessary figures and data. And I have just the
man--Will Marsh, office on Main Street. He is an extraordinary fellow, a
real genius, and a gentleman in every sense of the word. Let's see him
right away. I'm catching your spirit of enthusiasm, Doctor, and what
does a man amount to without enthusiasm in this age of the world?"

"Well, of course, the enthusiast is numbered with the cranks," replied
Dr. Jones. "But, Denison, the cranks are the only men who accomplish
anything of note in this world. I have really great respect for cranks,
if they only are honest and not too abusive. So we may as well
anticipate the dear public, and enroll ourselves among the cranks."

"All right," returned Denison, "'Sail on!' as Joaquin Miller has
Columbus say to the faint-hearted sailing master. 'The North Pole or
bust!' is my motto now."

"That's right, that's right," grinned the Doctor, amused to see the
enthusiasm he had aroused in his friend. "And now let's to business. I
am ready to go with you and see the architect."

So together they walked to the office of that gentleman. They found him
in and at leisure, and they immediately opened their business to him.
The Doctor took the lead, Denison occasionally offering a suggestion.
Mr. Marsh proved to be a good listener, jotting down the items as they
were given him, and they made excellent progress. Evidently Dr. Jones
had studied the subject very thoroughly, for he gave measurements and
specifications with a readiness and accuracy that were surprising.

"And now, Mr. Marsh, there are doubtless some important points that have
not occurred to me, and which you will discover. What we want at
present is an approximate estimate of the cost, carrying and floating
capacity of our globe. I think you have the idea as nearly as we can
give it, and please let us know all about it as soon as possible," said
Dr. Jones as they were about to depart.

"I will do so, sir," replied the architect, "but you understand that
your project is so extraordinary--if I may be allowed to say so--that it
will require several days before I can give you any definite
information. I must go to the city and ascertain the prices of material,
etc."

"We understand that, Mr. Marsh; only please do not neglect to attend to
it immediately."

With this parting injunction they bade him good-day and departed, each
to his home.



CHAPTER III.

Mrs. Jones Offers Some Objections.


But Dr. Jones met great opposition in a quarter that was not so easily
disposed of. He had a wife. Mrs. Jones was a very intelligent and lovely
woman, younger by some fifteen years than the Doctor. She must be
consulted. He broached the subject very cautiously, now and then
expatiating upon the extreme ease and comfort with which the trip to the
North Pole might be made. He bought histories of the many Arctic
explorations, and read them aloud to her. At first she listened
indifferently, not dreaming for a moment that the Doctor was burning
with a desire to become an Arctic explorer. Day after day he enlarged
and dilated upon his plan. Denison often dropped in of an evening, and
the conversation invariably drifted into the old topic, the aluminum
globe and the trip to the North Pole.

One evening the architect, Mr. Marsh, with a large paper roll in his
hand, came with Denison to the Doctor's residence. After the usual
greetings the Doctor said, "Mrs. Jones, I think we will take possession
of the dining-room, as we wish to use the table. Come in with us, for I
am sure that you are greatly interested in the business we have on hand
to-night."

Mrs. Jones good-naturedly complied, and sat engaged with some knitting,
while the roll brought by the architect was spread upon the table, and
weights laid upon its corners. The two schemers gave a cry of delight as
a truly magnificent sketch of the globe unfolded before their eyes.
Floating in the firmament, thousands of feet above the earth, with a
panoramic view of forests, lakes, rivers, mountains and hill elevations,
fruitful valleys thickly dotted with towns, villages, farms, little
specks that represented houses, green fields, etc., fading away into
indistinctness in the far distances of the horizon, all done with such
patient and faithful regard for detail and artistic appreciation of
color and perspective, that Mrs. Jones joined in the chorus of
expressions of unqualified admiration. It was done in water colors, and
the enraptured Doctor seized one end of it and cried: "Take hold of one
end, Denison, and help me hold it up against the wall. There, Maggie!
Denison! Did you ever see anything so absolutely beautiful?"

They declared that they never had. The artist, meantime, stood with
flushed cheek, his arms folded across his breast, modest and quiet.

"Get tacks and a hammer, Maggie, and we'll fasten it to the wall; then
we can all sit and enjoy this glorious panorama."

The painting was quickly tacked up in a position for inspection, and all
sat admiringly before it.

"By the way, Mr. Marsh, you must have done something in the line of
aeronautism, or you never could have made that painting," observed the
Doctor.

"No, Doctor, I have never made any balloon ascensions, but I have
climbed many mountains, both in Europe and America, and have made
numerous sketches from vast elevations. I have simply drawn upon these
for my material, and in this painting you have a blending of several of
them. Of course, I have taxed my imagination to some extent. The central
object, the globe, air-ship, or whatever you may be pleased to call it,
is your own conception, or my conception of your idea."

"Well, I am more than pleased with your work. Your execution has so far
transcended my idea that I take no credit at all in this instance. But
now we must never rest until we have materialized this splendid
conception."

So they sat admiring and chatting over the painting some little time.

"Well, Marsh, have you anything more to show us to-night?" asked
Denison.

"Yes," he replied, "I have some figures and data that I received from
the city a day or two since."

Drawing their chairs about the table, Mr. Marsh read from a small
memorandum-book estimate prices of materials, amount and weight of same,
cost of labor, and finally what he deemed to be the approximate cost of
the globe complete, furnished and equipped for a one year's voyage.

"I have some suggestions to offer, Doctor. You spoke of having three
skins or envelopes of aluminum, with air chambers between them that
would prevent the radiation of heat. Now, I think that we can do better
than that, though without doubt your idea is practical and would answer
the purpose; yet I have a plan to offer that will dispense with one
envelope, and will more effectually conserve heat. Zinc is the best
nonconductor of heat that I know of. One thin layer of this metal within
a few inches of the external covering of aluminum will serve you a much
better purpose and will greatly reduce the cost of construction."

This suggestion met with the immediate approval of the Doctor and
Denison. They talked and planned until quite a late hour. After the
departure of the two men Mrs. Jones said:

"Are you seriously thinking of going into this wild scheme, Doctor?"

"Well, Maggie, what do you think of it? Don't you see how perfectly
feasible and beautiful it is?"

"Why, so far as I know, it may do well enough. But how can you do
anything with it, and what good would it do you if you could?"

"My dear Maggie! How can you ask such a question! Think of the glory of
accomplishing that which has defeated some of the best and bravest men
that the world has ever produced. And think of the importance this
accomplishment might be to science. Is the undying fame that would
attach to such a deed to be lightly esteemed? Oh, my dear wife! you know
how steadily and conscientiously I have labored all these years. More
than a quarter of a century have I devoted to the care of the sick, with
scarcely a moment's recreation. The time has come when I feel that I
must take a vacation. Further than this, I feel that I can do the world
greater service with my idea of reaching the North Pole, besides
settling a question as to the possibility of aerial navigation for long
distances. How can I better spend a year or so than in the promotion of
this idea? Be a good, brave little wife, as you always have been, and
don't oppose me in this thing upon which my heart is set."

"And who is to sail this great balloon, or air-ship?"

"Well, as the Dutch captain said when the harbor inspector asked 'Who is
the captain of this ship?' 'I ish de feller!'"

With these words he assumed a melodramatic attitude. But Mrs. Jones was
not to be won by any facetiae, and walked up to him, placing her hands
upon his shoulders, said: "Do you think for one moment that I will ever
consent to your going off on so fearfully perilous an expedition as
this? How I should feel to see you sail off into the blue sky, with an
almost absolute certainty of never seeing you again! I should go insane.
What would my days and nights be, even though you went and returned in
all the safety you anticipate? I should go insane in less than a week
with anxiety. Do as you please so far as promoting the construction of
the globe is concerned, but never will I consent to your going in it."

"Maggie, Maggie, don't be so foolish. I do not intend going until I have
perfectly satisfied you that I am not more safe in our home than I
should be in our great ship."

"All right!" she cried. "You are not to go, then, until I freely
consent."

"O, hold on!" he answered. "Don't construe me so ungenerously. I only
said that I would first convince you of my safety."

"That you can never do, and you may as well give it up. It cannot be a
safe undertaking. It makes me faint to even think of it. Just imagine
yourself in that cabin now," pointing to Marsh's painting that still
hung upon the wall.

"I wish to heaven I was," growled the Doctor.

"I just won't hear another word of it!" and she flounced out of the room
to bed.



CHAPTER IV.

Mrs. Jones Dictates Terms.


Several months have passed since the meeting recorded in our last
chapter. The enthusiasm of the three men (for Marsh was now a member of
the company) increased as the days went by. A considerable amount of
canvassing had been done among the moneyed men of the community, but
with no success. No one could be found who was willing to risk any
considerable amount of wealth in an enterprise whose outcome was so
problematical. Fame is all well enough, but there is very little
sentiment about capital.

After many consultations by the three, it was agreed that nothing
further could be done at home, and the next move would be a trip to
Washington. The idea of building a model was abandoned, as the beautiful
drawings and paintings of the architect completely obviated its
necessity.

The Doctor had said but little to Mrs. Jones upon the subject that lay
nearest his heart since the time recorded in our last chapter. Though he
went about his professional duties as usual, yet that astute little lady
thoroughly understood that he was far from laying aside this great
ambition of his life. And she also realized that a crisis was
approaching when quick, sharp work must be done, and she had determined
what she should do.

The Doctor, meantime, furtively watched day by day the lovely face of
his wife. But he might as well have spent the same time studying the
face of the Sphynx. He could not decide whether she was acting a part
most beautifully, or had dropped the matter as settled. It cost her a
great struggle to keep from smiling as she looked into his troubled
eyes, and at times would be obliged to put her handkerchief to her mouth
to keep back the smiles that dimpled about its corners. She knew that
the crisis was at hand, and so persevered in her part; and, better than
all, she knew that she should come off victor.

All things were ripe for the assault upon the Government board of
science.

"Meet at my house to-night, gentlemen," said the Doctor. "My
arrangements are all made, and I could start to-morrow morning if my
wife would consent. I feel more concerned about getting her acquiescence
than I do about getting the Government interested. I really fear that
she is like Sambo's mule: 'When he so quiet an' still like, yo' look
out! He templatin' trouble den, shuah!' There's something up, and I must
have it out with her to-night; and I want you to stand in and say all
you can to help me out. We must convince her that there is not nearly so
much danger in our globe as there is aboard a train of cars or a
steamship."

So that evening in the dining-room, and upon the same table, Marsh
spread the drawings and specifications that represented the smallest
detail connected with the construction of the globe. Mrs. Jones entered
into the conversation, made suggestions as to the furnishing of food,
bedding, furniture, etc., until the three men winked and grinned slyly
at one another, delighted to see the interest she displayed.

"Now, Maggie, I am sure that you cannot see any element of danger in
this trip," said the Doctor, fixing his eyes upon her very anxiously. To
his surprise and delight she unhesitatingly said:

"No, I do not see why it should be at all dangerous."

"That's my brave little wife!" shouted Dr. Jones, catching her in his
arms and kissing her upon both cheeks. "What an old lunkhead I have been
all this time! Why, Maggie, do you know that I have been terribly
worried lest you should prove foolish and obstinate and would do all you
could to prevent my going?"

"I knew it all the time," she replied.

"Just listen to the demure little sinner! Knew that I was worrying all
this time and never let me see that she understood me at all! What a
little hypocrite you are! But I forgive you, since you are so
reasonable."

"But my dear hubby, do not jump at conclusions. There is a condition
connected with my consent."

"And it is granted now, my dear. What is it?"

"Oh, it is a real easy one!"

"I am sure of that, dear Maggie, for you are the most reasonable woman
alive. Isn't she, gentlemen?"

Of course the conspirators loudly assented.

"That is very nice of you, gentlemen," said she, bowing gracefully to
them, "but I know about how much allowance to make for 'soft soap' in
this case."

"But what is the condition, Maggie?" asked Dr. Jones.

"I go with you."

"To Washington? Certainly you shall, honey."

"I go with you in the globe, to the North Pole, or any other place the
wind may blow us."

"You--what!"

"I have said it."

The Doctor dropped into a chair with a groan. "I knew it! I knew she
meant mischief all the time."

"But my dear woman," cried he, jumping from his chair again, "don't you
see the utter impossibility of your going on so hard and perilous a
voyage? You could never endure it in the world."

"Hardships and perils, indeed!" said she mischievously. "Haven't you
said over and over in my presence that this was simply a beautiful
picnic trip and perfectly safe?"

"Well--er--er," stammered the Doctor, "but, Maggie, it would be no place
for a woman, you know."

"I beg your pardon, sir, but I do not know anything of the kind. Do you
suppose that I have sat here all these months listening to you men talk
of this scheme without becoming a convert to your theories? No, Doctor,
I am as enthusiastic as any of you in this matter. The North Pole fever
is like the measles, very contagious, and I have a severe attack of it.
Now you have all agreed that I am the most reasonable woman living, and
you cannot accuse me of being unreasonable simply because I wish to go
with you on this safe, comfortable and perfectly beautiful picnic
excursion."

This turn of affairs was so complete a surprise to the three men that
they sat silent with consternation for a few moments.

"Come to think of it, gentlemen, I am pleased for one that Mrs. Jones
wishes to accompany us. Why should she not?" said Marsh.

Mrs. Jones beamed upon him so warmly that he blushed to his ears.

"One vote for me," she gayly exclaimed. "Now, Mr. Denison, on the score
of old friendship, I claim your franchise."

"And you have it, my dear madam," cried Denison. "Yours for the North
Pole, Mrs. Jones."

She gave a hand to each of her coadjutors, and turning to Dr. Jones,
said: "Don't you see what a splendid lobbyist I am, Doctor? You will
need me when you get to Washington."

The Doctor's face was a study. At length he said: "Woman is the most
unaccountable creature in the universe. I expected to-night to have made
the plea of my life, and I declare for it, if she hasn't turned the
tables completely upon me, and actually stands there imploring to go
with us, instead of going into hysterics and making no end of
opposition. Well, honey," putting his arm about her waist, "I took you
for better or worse, but I did not expect to take you to the North Pole.
I yield to the inevitable, gentlemen. Allow me to introduce you to No.
4, North Pole Aluminum Globe Co."



CHAPTER V.

The Government Joins the Picnickers.


Not many days later found our friends comfortably located in a hotel in
the national capital. The Doctor was quite well acquainted with the
representative from his congressional district, and was supplied with
letters of introduction from influential parties to members of both
houses. By a judicious use of these, they managed to obtain a hearing
before the scientific and geographical departments of the Smithsonian
Institute. So thoroughly had Dr. Jones and Mr. Marsh mastered the
details of the subject that they immediately made a favorable impression
upon that learned body. After some weeks spent in investigation, they
unanimously voted in favor of the project, and recommended that Congress
grant appropriations for that purpose.

After a certain amount of lobbying (in which, I am glad to say, No. 4's
services were not required), an amount in accordance with the
architect's estimates was passed by both houses, and duly signed by the
President. Nothing could exceed the joy and satisfaction of the four
friends. They now hurried to their homes and made arrangements for
permanently moving to Washington. A few weeks later, we find them
settled in a pleasant home in the capital, "a busy lot of happy cranks,"
as Mrs. Jones expressed it.

The building contract was awarded a Washington company, whose foundries
and shops are located upon the Potomac, adjacent to the city. The work
is being done under the general supervision of Marsh and the three
friends. It is not long before the vast scaffolding that is built up as
the long, slender, silver-like ribs of the aluminum framework are put in
place, begins to attract the attention of the surrounding populace. And
well it might, for as the beautiful globe began to assume shape,
certainly nothing so colossal of the kind had ever been seen before
upon earth. And as one stepped inside the mighty ball and looked up
through the vast network of aluminum rods and braces that ran in every
conceivable direction, looking like silken threads in the great
distances above, the feeling inspired was one of awe and unbounded
admiration.

The work was pushed forward with all possible expedition. The summer
passed rapidly away. As winter drew near, a vast roof was built over the
globe, and all was securely shut in from the inclemencies of that
inhospitable season. All winter the hundreds of hammers, busily riveted
the sheets of aluminum and zinc into place, and by spring the globe, the
splendid creation that had existed in the brain of Dr. Jones, was an
actuality. Language is inadequate to describe the sensations of the
little company of promoters. They said but little, but would often stand
in a group, gaze upon it, then into each other's eyes, and smile and wag
their delighted heads.

The newspapers were not slow, meantime, in keeping the public informed
of all that could be learned of the unique enterprise. Reporters
besieged the projectors, in season and out. Our friends freely gave them
all possible information, and no little interest was excited all over
our great land. People came from every quarter of the Union, many from
Europe to see the mighty, glistening sphere. The crowds were so vast
that work was impeded, and it became necessary to restrict admission. A
nominal entrance fee was charged, but that only seemed to stimulate the
eager sightseers. So the public were, of necessity, finally entirely
excluded.

Then the roof of the building was removed, and the whole structure
gradually, except so much of it as was absolutely necessary to maintain
the globe in position.

The cabin was attached to the bottom of the globe, forty feet square,
with ten feet between the floor and ceiling. It was divided off into
several bedrooms, sitting and dining-rooms, kitchen, smoking-room,
store-rooms, oil tanks, etc. In the center was a room, fifteen feet
square, that was called the engine-room. Everything that could be
thought of that could add to comfort had been supplied, always with
reference to compactness and weight. Not an ounce of superfluous weight
would the architect allow. He had calculated very carefully and knew to
a pound, almost, just what his great ship would carry, and how much
fuel would keep her afloat a certain number of hours. But the thing that
aroused the admiration of the public was the aluminum shaft that passed
from the floor of the cabin straight up through the center of the globe,
and extended on above it full ninety feet. And from this dizzy height,
floated "Old Glory," constructed of fine wire of that same beautiful,
evershining metal, aluminum. Round and round this splendid shaft, up
through the globe, wound a delicate stairway. From its top stair, one
stepped out into a small observatory, well supplied with windows upon
its four sides. The stairway was protected from the hot air of the
interior of the globe by a zinc coating, so that the mast and stairway
really passed up through the center of a zinc tube standing on end, and
about six feet in diameter.

Already it is an inspiring sight to stand in the observatory, situated
exactly upon the top of the sphere, and look away into the surrounding
country, up and down the Potomac, and over the lovely capital city. But
what will it be when suspended in the air, thousands of feet above terra
firma?

"Do you feel no fear, Maggie?" asked the Doctor, as they stood with
Marsh and Denison and looked from this great height.

"Not the slightest tremor," she replied, and she looked so brightly and
bravely into their faces that Denison said: "I really believe, Doctor,
that she will prove to be the best sailor of the lot."

"I wish we had a female companion for you, Maggie. I have a great mind
to advertise for one," said Dr. Jones.

"I beg you to do no such thing. She will be sure to be finical,
cowardly, or disagreeable in some way. And then such a host of all sorts
of creatures as would reply to your advertisement. We shall do very well
without her," replied Mrs. Jones.

"But I am sure it would be much pleasanter for you, Maggie. Don't you
know of a female acquaintance that you would like to have accompany
you?" persisted Dr. Jones.

"Well, let me think. If Mattie Bronson could go, it would afford me the
greatest pleasure."

"The very thing!" declared the Doctor in his usual emphatic way. "Mattie
is a lovely, brave, all-around nice girl. Let it be Mattie, by all
means."

Denison and Marsh expressed their entire satisfaction with this
arrangement.

"I will write her immediately to come and visit us, and then I am sure
that we can prevail upon her to go with us," said Mrs. Jones.

They then descended the long, slender stairway, and returned to their
home.



CHAPTER VI.

Off on a Shoreless Sea.


About the middle of April appeared the following in one of the leading
papers:

"Last night our citizens, and a tremendous overflow of visitors were
treated to the most magnificent sight their eyes ever beheld. The great
aluminum globe, about which all the world has been agog for so long,
arose and stood for three hours above the city, some two hundred and
fifty feet. The whole mighty sphere was ablaze with myriads of electric
lights, from the ball of the tapering flagstaff to the beautiful cabin
below. As it hung suspended above the city, connected with the earth by
but a slender aluminum chain that looked like a thread of silver
piercing the skies, a great hush fell upon the hundreds of thousands of
gazers below. All Nature seemed auspicious to the occasion. Scarcely a
zephyr was stirring, and the stars shone brightly down upon the scene
from cloudless skies. One hundred people, consisting of the President
and cabinet, senators, congressmen, editors, scientific and literary men
and women, were the favored party who occupied the gigantic ship.

"Suddenly there fell upon the ears of the waiting multitude the glorious
soprano voice of Mrs. Jones. So far above, yet so thrillingly sweet and
distinct, one could scarcely refrain from imagining that the Pearly
Gates had opened, and we were listening to the voice of one of the
Redeemed. But that illusion was soon dispelled, and we recognized the
familiar strains of "Star Spangled Banner." And when the whole hundred
voices swelled the splendid chorus, a great shout arose from the
multitude like the sound of many waters, beginning directly beneath the
globe, and spreading away in every direction like billows from a great
rock, dropped into the center of a quiet lake.

"And so, under the direction of Professor Marsh, brother of the
architect of the globe, a beautiful and appropriate musical program was
rendered, lasting nearly an hour.

"We venture the assertion that no performance was ever rendered to so
great an audience, and certainly not to one more appreciative. And we
predict that there will be a great demand for liniments and plasters for
some weeks to come. For standing two hours or more with the back of
one's head resting upon the cervical portion of one's spinal column, and
screaming at the top of one's lungs a good portion of the time, with
eyes unblinkingly and unwinkingly set upon the inconceivably splendid
globe, all this we assert to be highly conducive to stiff neck and sore
throat. And it is a question whether many of that innumerable, entranced
audience will be able to keep their hearts and minds upon things
terrestrial for a considerable time to come. From the bottom of our
hearts, we commiserate every member of the race who missed the sights
and sounds of last evening.

"All arrangements are now completed, and day after to-morrow, weather
favorable, Dr. Jones and party expect to sail at the hour of noon, away
for the North Pole. Nothing has been omitted that could insure the
success of the expedition, and we feel confident of all that could be
hoped for, or desired by the enterprising Doctor and friends."

The hour set for sailing had arrived. The day was beautiful, and a
moderate breeze was blowing toward northwest. With proud, happy hearts
the party of navigators stood upon the balcony that ran about the four
sides of the cabin. This balcony was one of the chief embellishments and
conveniences of the cabin. It was five feet wide, and extended, as
before said, about the four sides of the cabin. A balustrade four feet
high was built along its outer edge. A more exhilarating promenade could
not be conceived, and right well did our friends enjoy it during the
notable voyage which we are about to record.

The party consisted of Professor J.Q. Gray, the scientific
representative of the Smithsonian Institute; Miss Mattie Bronson;
Professor Fred Marsh; our four friends with whom the reader is
acquainted; and last, but not least, so far as bodily comforts were
concerned, Ah Sing, the cook.

As the globe arose slowly to the length of its cable, five hundred feet,
it seemed to the little company upon the balcony as if the universe had
assembled to see them off. On the streets, public squares, housetops,
decks of all ships upon the river, were crowds on crowds of people;
people anywhere, everywhere; far as the eye could reach was one vast,
countless host. What wonder that the heart of the Doctor swelled and
quickened as he looked upon the ocean of upturned faces below, and
realized that from his fertile brain had sprung the mighty object of all
this attention. How it pulled and surged at its silver-like cable, as if
it were a thing of life, and desired to be away toward its destination,
the North Pole!

The hour of noon was announced by hundreds of bells and whistles. The
Doctor waved a flag over the balustrade, the anchor was cut loose from
its fastenings, and away bounded the colossal sphere toward the ethereal
blue. Upward and still up it arose to the height of three thousand feet,
trending slowly toward the northwest.

The voices of the multitude sounded like the roar of the sea, and as it
grew fainter and fainter, the stout-hearted little party realized that
they were effectually cut off from the world--off on a limitless sea,
alone with God.



CHAPTER VII.

A Gunpowder Tea-party.


Nothing could be completer nor daintier than the cabin and its
furnishings, divisions, and subdivisions. The rooms of necessity were
small, but sufficiently large for convenience and comfort. A choice
selection of best authors had been added by the Doctor. Mr. Will Marsh,
the architect, had not forgotten a painting, sketching, and
photographing outfit. Professor Fred Marsh had brought a good supply of
vocal and instrumental music, and a small aluminum organ of exquisite
tone and splendid volume. Professor Gray, as a matter of course, was
abundantly supplied with books, charts, instruments, etc. The ladies did
not forget to bring knitting, crochet, and sewing work with them. "For
we cannot be continually craning our necks out of our little nest,
sightseeing," said Mrs. Jones.

"And then I suppose that we shall be above the clouds a good share of
the time, with nothing but a fog bank to look at," added Mattie.

Dr. Jones carried a plentiful supply of drugs and instruments. "I have
not given up practice," said he. "There is no telling how many patients
I may encounter outside of our little crowd, before we return."

But we cannot stop to enumerate all the conveniences and appurtenances
of the wonderful sky-ship, now hastening toward its destination. More of
that later on.

Washington and its crowds of excited people were fast disappearing in
the distance. To say that no fear was experienced upon the part of any
of the company would not be strictly true. The ladies were pale and
silent, and stood with their arms about each other. Very little was said
by any one, for the sensation of skimming through the air at the rate of
more than twenty miles an hour at this elevation was too novel and
thrilling to admit of conversation. All experienced more or less of
vertigo and nausea, but the Doctor promptly controlled these
disagreeable symptoms with medicines from his case. All stood at their
post for something near an hour, Sing excepted. He was rattling about
among his pots, pans, and kettles as unconcernedly as if in the best
appointed kitchen in Washington. Finally a general conversation was
entered into as the first qualms of fear and sickness began to wear off.

"I am delighted with the performance of our ship," said Will. (We shall
take the liberty of using the given names of the two brothers hereafter,
Will and Fred.)

"Yes," returned the Doctor, "how easily and smoothly we are going. When
one looks inside, it is hard to realize that we are flying at the rate
of nearly thirty miles an hour through the air, three thousand feet
above the earth."

"And notice how steadily we are moving. Not a tremor nor movement of any
sort appreciable. How decidedly superior to car or steamboat traveling.
Here we have no jar, noise, nor dust," continued Will.

"Nor any kind of danger of shipwreck or collision," added Professor
Gray.

"Well, I'm sure that we are a peculiarly favored lot of travelers," said
Fred, turning to the organ and playing "Away with Melancholy," with
great spirit.

"How does the temperature in the globe keep up?" asked the Professor of
Will.

"I am astonished, Professor," he replied, "it has scarcely varied a
degree since starting, now two hours, and we are burning no fuel at all
at present."

"That is truly wonderful," answered the Professor. "At this rate we are
not likely to run out of fuel."

"No," said Will, "we are safe on that score."

The Doctor and Will now ascended to the observatory. Professor Gray and
Denison sat beside the ladies upon the balcony. Each was studying the
topography of the country with the aid of their field glasses.

"See the people everywhere and all waving their handkerchiefs at us,"
exclaimed Mattie.

"How distinctly we can see their white upturned faces, and how they do
shout," remarked Mrs. Jones.

"I can see photographers catching snap shots at us," said Denison.

"I dare say that the telegraph and telephone wires are being kept busy
over us," said Fred, who had just joined the group.

"Not a doubt of it," answered the Professor, "not only in America, but
all over Christendom."

Dr. Jones and Will now returned from their aerie, the observatory.

"Whew!" exclaimed the Doctor; "if that isn't exercise for you!"

"What is the temperature now?" asked the Professor.

"One hundred and thirty degrees," replied Will. "It has cooled off a few
degrees."

"Yes, we have descended to the twenty-five hundred foot level," remarked
the Professor, after consulting the barometer.

"She will skim along many hours before we need to fire up," returned
Will.

"And how is the view from the observatory?" inquired Denison of the
Doctor.

"That is the sight of a lifetime," cried Dr. Jones. "Language is utterly
inadequate to describe it. With the vast, unobstructed view on all
sides, far as the eye can reach, the great glistening rotund sides of
the globe rolling away from beneath your feet, giving one a sensation as
if about to slide off into the awful chasm below, I assure you that it
is something fearful. But I cast my eye up the shining mast and saw the
stars and stripes floating there so calmly and serenely, and I
remembered our glorious mission, and instantly I felt the Everlasting
Arms about me. I realized as never before in my life, the utter
littleness of man, and the almightiness of God. Here, floating thousands
of feet above the earth, we can rest just as implicitly on His promises
as we ever did in our lives."

These words were said by the Doctor with so much earnestness and
solemnity that a hush fell upon the company for a few moments. Then Mrs.
Jones sat at the organ and began singing in a low, sweet voice, Kelso
Carter's splendid hymn:

   "Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
   Through eternal ages let his praises ring;
   Glory in the highest, I can shout and sing,
   Standing on the promises of God."

Every one of the seven were trained vocalists, and, very happily for the
pleasure of the company, the four parts were so nicely balanced that
their voices blended in sweetest harmony. The Doctor and Will and
Denison sang bass; Fred and Professor Gray tenor, Mattie alto, and Mrs.
Jones soprano. Mattie possessed an exceedingly rich contralto, while
Mrs. Jones' soprano was strong, sweet, and clear as a bird's. They all
joined in the chorus, and when the hymn was finished, Ah Sing, who stood
in the doorway with his white cap and apron on, encored loudly.

"Velly good. Me heap likee," was his verdict.

"It takes the 'Children of the Skies' to sing that hymn!" cried Denison.

"Hear! Hear!" said Mrs. Jones, clapping her hands. "Isn't that poetic
and appropriate? The Children of the Skies! That was an inspiration on
your part, Mr. Denison."

Several more pieces were sung, and the newness of their position began
to wear off toward evening. After this the rooms were assigned to each
by the Doctor, who was by common consent, recognized as captain of the
ship. Himself and wife occupied the largest of the sleeping apartments,
a beautiful bedroom, twelve feet square. How pure, sweet, and clean they
all were! The ceilings, walls, floors, and furniture, all of that
marvelous metal, aluminum. Rugs laid about as required were the only
covering upon the floors. At six o'clock, Sing announced dinner. As they
repaired to the dining-room and sat in the dainty aluminum chairs about
the aluminum table, set with a complete service of the same metal, they
could not repress their expressions of delight. They sat with bowed
heads while Dr. Jones invoked the Divine blessing upon the food of which
they were about to partake, and asked His special protection and care
during the unknown perils before them. As the meal progressed, they grew
quite talkative and merry.

"This is high living in more senses than one," remarked Fred as he
finished a plate of soup.

"Yes," returned Mrs. Jones, "we have picked up a jewel of a cook."

"How are you getting along, girls?" cried the genial Doctor, from the
lower end of the table where he sat carving the meat.

"Just splendidly, Doctor," replied Mattie, gaily. "Your picnic is
turning out to be a grander success than you ever could have dreamed
of."

"I don't know," he returned as his eye swept about the room and out of
the window. "I had my ideas up pretty high, but I must admit that this
rather exceeds my highest flights of imagination."

"My ideal of pleasure, so far as eating goes, used to be that of sitting
in a Pullman dining-car, flying at the rate of forty miles an hour or
more. I have spent an hour at such a table more than once, looking out
of the great windows as I ate, and thought I knew all about it. But ah!
I had never dined with the 'Children of the Skies,'" said Will.

And so they pleasantly chatted through the meal. Mrs. Jones, who sat at
the other end of the table, poured the tea.

"It may be imagination, but everything seems to taste better than common
aboard this ship," said Professor Gray. "Now, this tea is remarkably
fragrant and delicious. It is a beverage that I do not as a rule care
much for. What particular variety of tea is it?"

"It is the very best quality of Ceylon. I have forbidden the use of any
other kind by my patients. The Ceylon tea possesses little or no tannic
acid, and is not nearly so deleterious to weak stomachs as other
varieties. Speaking of teas, I suppose that you have all heard of one
brand of tea called 'Gunpowder.' I could tell you a very good story
about Gunpowder tea if you wish to hear it."

A general desire being expressed to hear it, the Doctor began:

"My maternal grandfather left New York state and moved to the vicinity
of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1830. Cleveland at that time was a small,
unimportant lakeport and my grandfather was offered his choice between a
tract of land upon what is now the most beautiful residence street in
the world, Euclid Avenue, and a piece at what was called Brighton,
several miles farther from town. It speaks but little for the old
gentleman's foresight, but he chose the latter, and so remained a
comparatively poor man all his life, instead of becoming a millionaire.
But, by dint of hard work, grandfather prospered as well as his
neighbors, and was content. In course of time, a hired man became a
necessary fixture upon the farm, and for many years Pete Wiggs, an
honest, hardworking German, was grandfather's right-hand man. But Pete,
jewel of a farmhand though he was, possessed one serious flaw: he
_would_ have a periodical spree. But, so considerate was he, that he
always chose a time for his sprees when 'Dere really vos notting else to
do, Uncle Ezra,' as he assured my grandfather by way of extenuation. So
it became an understood arrangement that Pete was to be allowed, and
expected to have, a 'blowout' every spring and fall. One spring day, the
crops being all in, Pete began making arrangements for one of his
semi-annuals. 'Now, Pete,' said my grandmother, 'before you get drunk, I
want you to be sure and not forget to buy me a pound of the new tea I
have heard of. They call it 'Gunpowder tea.' Now attend to this for me
before you get to drinking.

'All right, Aunt Lois, so I vill,' replied Pete.

Four or five days later, Pete returned as usual, semi-intoxicated, and
looking very much the worse for wear.

'Give me dish, Aunt Loish, and I gif you dot Gunpowder dee. Paper proke
in mine bocket.'

So out of his coat pocket he began to fish great handfuls of tea leaves,
and a fine, black, granular substance. Grandmother looked at the strange
mixture critically, and concluded that the reason the tea was so called
was because part of it so much resembled gunpowder. So she thanked the
thoughtful Dutchman most kindly, and set it away carefully. A few
evenings later she invited a number of her neighbors, old cronies, to
drink Gunpowder tea with her. None of them had ever seen the new variety
of tea, and all were there, expecting a very great treat indeed.

It was soon poured out and upon the table. Grandmother noticed that its
color was black as ink, and she felt a thrill of anxiety run down her
spinal column as she poured it into the cups. Aunt Joanna, my
grandmother's sister, was the oracle of the settlement on social
matters, and by tacit consent, all awaited until she had first tasted
the new beverage. Each felt that a great event was at hand, and the fate
of Gunpowder tea was about to be settled, once and forever, in that
settlement. So Aunt Joanna, fully alive to a sense of her position and
responsibility, with great deliberation took a generous sip of the
candidate for social favor. Her eyes filled with tears; she coughed
furiously behind her handkerchief, and a spasm of disgust and nausea
went to her very toes. Then she sat straight, grim, and silent as
death. Each of the other old ladies went through about the same motions.
And now grandmother, who had been puttering about, waiting upon her
guests, noticed that something was wrong.

'Well, Joan, how do you like Gunpowder tea?'

'Taste it, Lois,' was all Aunt Joan would condescend to reply. She
complied, taking quite a generous swallow.

'Oh! my stars!' she fairly screamed, 'What horrible stuff is this?
Waugh!'

'Why, that is Gunpowder tea, Lois,' said Aunt Joan with grim sarcasm.
'Beautiful, isn't it?'

'There is some awful mistake about this,' said grandmother. 'I'll see
that drunken Pete about it.'

Pete was called in. Grandmother brought the box of tea out before him
and said: 'Pete, what is the matter with this tea? It has nearly
poisoned us all to death. What is this black stuff mixed up with the
tea?'

The Dutchman looked at it stupidly for a moment, then his mouth expanded
from ear to ear, and he roared with laughter. 'Dunder und blixen, Aunt
Loish, but dot vos a goot choke on you. Dot vos Gunpowder dee mitout any
mishtake,' and again he howled with laughter.

"The long and short of the matter was, that Pete had bought a pound of
tea and a pound of gunpowder, and had put the two packages into the same
pocket before getting drunk. During his drunken brawling and fighting
the papers had become broken, with the result related."

The evening was balmy and beautiful, and they promenaded about the
balcony until the shades of night had set in. The twinkling lights of
the towns and farmhouses began to appear. They were passing over the
mountainous region of southeastern Pennsylvania, and the globe had
ascended to the four thousand foot level. The wind had shifted to nearly
due west.

"Where are we now, Doctor?" asked Mattie.

"We are crossing the southern portion of Pennsylvania. We are traveling
nearly due west. I shall seek a more northerly current to-morrow morning
if this wind does not become more favorable by that time."

They finally tired of walking and sat conversing until nearly ten
o'clock, when, by general consent, they retired, except Will, who
remained up to keep a lookout, and to watch the barometer and
thermometer.



CHAPTER VIII.

Relating how the Beautiful Picnic Progressed.


Shortly before six o'clock all arose. The Doctor and his wife, at her
earnest solicitation, ascended to the observatory to witness the
sunrise. Mattie had manifested symptoms of vertigo that morning on first
looking out, and decided not to go up with them. The exertion of
climbing that long flight of stairs flushed the lovely face of Mrs.
Jones, and her cheeks were like twin roses when they reached the
observatory. Once there, she was glad to sit and rest. The Doctor opened
the windows and then sat beside her. Mrs. Jones sat quiet and dumb,
hands clasped, looking out upon the most glorious scene her eyes had
ever beheld. The sun was just peeping above the horizon. The painting of
the clouds; the variegated face of the earth; the pure, balmy
atmosphere; the great globe beneath their feet; the exquisitely graceful
shaft that pierced the vault nearly one hundred feet above their heads,
bearing our beautiful symbol of liberty; all these, combined with the
inspiration that always attends looking out upon the works of God from
great elevations, thrilled the souls of the two spectators as they had
never been before in their lives. Thus they sat in silence drinking in
the beauties of the morning for nearly a quarter of an hour. Approaching
steps upon the stairway broke the spell, and the Professor and Fred
stepped into the observatory. As they looked out upon the transcendent
loveliness of the scene, the Professor raised his hands above his head
and cried: "'What is man, that Thou art mindful of him, or the son of
man that Thou visitest him? Thou hast made him little lower than the
angels, and crowned him with glory and honor.' You told us yesterday
that you never felt so little as when you looked out from this
magnificent aerie; but I declare to you, Doctor, that I feel now that
God has made man a wonderful being. As we go thus sailing through these
roseate skies in this most splendid creation that ever came from the
hands of man, I feel like crying with old Elisha, 'My father! My father!
The chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof.'"

They sat a few minutes and then descended to the cabin. Mattie, Will,
and Denison were upon the balcony, speculating as to what city they were
rapidly approaching. Dr. Jones looked at it through his glasses, and
said: "That is Columbus, the capital city of Ohio. Those great stone
buildings you see there, inclosed by high stone walls, constitute the
state prison. It contains at present, I believe, nearly three thousand
convicts."

"The poor things!" said Mattie. "Just think of the contrast between
sailing so smoothly and easily as we are doing, away above the world
with all its cares and sorrows, and being incarcerated within those
gloomy walls, many of them for life. I am sure that if they could become
'Children of the Skies,' they would all reform in a short time."

"No, no, Mattie," replied the Doctor, "God did infinitely more than that
for man. He placed him in the garden of Eden, and he transgressed the
only restrictive law laid upon him. And he became so vile that the Lord
was compelled to drown them like so many rats. Beautiful and inspiring
though our present circumstances and surroundings are, yet they could
never change the hearts of the majority of those miserable men."

Breakfast was now announced by Sing. The bracing atmosphere of this
upper region seemed to be very appetizing, for they all ate heartily.

The ship was acting splendidly, continuing at nearly the same level of
the day before, and but little fuel had been burned during the night.
The wind had shifted to the south, and they were sailing twenty miles an
hour, due north. The Doctor rubbed his hands gleefully. "We're getting
there now, ladies and gentlemen, we're getting there finely. Nothing
could be better."

The sweet, happy valleys of Ohio were so exceedingly beautiful; the
little towns appeared so pure and lovely to the voyagers; and the people
were out in such crowds, cheering them so lustily, that our friends
could do little else than sit through the day and watch them through
their glasses. And numerous were the dispatches they wrote and cast
from the balcony. They could see the people rushing eagerly for them, as
they reached the earth.

"I wish we had a morning paper," sighed Fred. "I do not doubt that we
receive some mention in it."

"That is about the only thing I have missed so far," said the Professor.
"But we can well afford to forego that luxury for what we are now
enjoying."

"And I really do wish we could attend church Sunday mornings," said
Mattie.

"Oh! we will have a church service," replied Denison. "I notice that the
Doctor has brought with him a book of sermons and a Bible. Then we have
an organ, and the best choir I ever heard. The Doctor or Professor can
act as parson; and, to make the thing realistic and homelike, I will
pass the contribution box."

"I will see that he uses a bell punch," cried Fred. This suggestion was
immediately rejected as unworthy of one of the Children of the Skies.

The Professor sat consulting a map. "We are heading straight for
Cleveland," he remarked.

"I am really glad of that," said Dr. Jones. "That is my old native town,
and I have not seen it for many years. The population has doubled
several times since I left it, immediately after the war."

An hour or so later, as he stood upon the balcony, the Doctor suddenly
shouted, "There's Cleveland! And that town this side of it is Berea, the
great stone quarry place. Do you see on the north side of the town those
brick and stone buildings in a campus? That is Baldwin University, where
I attended school several years. You didn't dream, dear old girl," said
he, tenderly and apostrophizingly to said institution of learning, "that
you would ever turn out such a sky traveler as I am, did you?"

All the glasses were turned upon the University. "We shall pass directly
over it," said Fred.

"They have sighted us!" cried the Doctor excitedly. "See the students
pouring out of the buildings! Let's give them some messages." This they
did in a liberal shower.

They had lowered to the five hundred foot level, so that a good view
might be taken of the beautiful metropolis of Ohio--Cleveland. They were
just about passing over it.

"What a splendid city it has grown to be," said Professor Gray.

"Yes, indeed," replied Dr. Jones. "That portion of the city," continued
he, pointing with his finger, "was formerly called Brooklyn Center. I
was born a mile or so from there. Yes!" he cried, looking earnestly
through his glass, "I am quite sure that I can see the old two-story
farmhouse where I was born. It is, sure as shooting! There is
grandfather's farm where the 'Gunpowder tea' party was held that I told
you of. And off here are the Heights, or South Cleveland. In 1862, when
I joined the army, that was Camp Cleveland. It was then covered with
rough wooden barracks, but now you see that it is densely built up with
houses. My regiment, the 124th O.V.I. was in camp there three months
before we went south."

"You must have been a very small soldier at that time," said Mattie.

"Yes," he replied, "I was but fifteen years old at that time. I didn't
do much good or harm, for I was but a snare drummer the first two years
of my soldiering, and the last year I was detailed as mounted orderly at
brigade headquarters. But just see the people! Give them some messages!
We shall be out of 'Yankee Doodle' land very soon."

So the half million (more or less) of Clevelanders were treated to a
shower of greetings.

"If I had thought sooner, I would have dropped anchor here and given my
old townies a handshake," said the Doctor.

"Too late now, Doctor. We have passed the principal portion of the city,
and will be above Lake Erie in two or three minutes."

"Yes, yes, I see," sighed the Doctor. "But we may see you again.
Good-bye, Cleveland."

The blue water of Lake Erie was now rolling beneath them. Steamers and
sail vessels thickly dotted the face of the beautiful lake; for the
traffic and travel upon these great inland seas are exceedingly large.
The Canadian shores were visible, and when Sing announced dinner, the
splendid domain of Her Majesty Victoria, Ontario, lay widespread before
them. It was hard to realize that they were not still in their own
land, so much like it did the peaceful towns, villages, and farms
appear.

After dinner, the five men, in the little smoking-room, lighted their
pipes and cigars, and entered into a general chat.

"If this wind holds, we shall be in the Arctics in two or three days,"
said Will.

"I suppose that we shall then be obliged to get out our furs," replied
Fred.

"No," returned the architect. "These walls are double as well as the
floor, with air chambers between, and I can turn hot air into them at
pleasure. The windows and doors are all double, also, and Jack Frost can
never penetrate this cabin."

"What a contrast between this luxurious sail through the sky, and the
buffetings upon sea and land, the hunger, cold, and oftentimes death,
suffered by former Arctic explorers," said the Professor. "And, Doctor,"
he continued, "if we make a successful trip, the matter of aerial
navigation will have been settled. What a power this ship would have
been in the late war of the Rebellion."

"The war would have been very quickly terminated if our globe had been
in existence at that time," returned Dr. Jones. "We could have sailed
above the reach of their best guns and dropped bombs upon them that
would have destroyed their forts, gunboats, and armies at will. But I am
glad things were as they were. We fought a fair fight to the finish, and
settled forever the question of human slavery in America. Had the first
few battles of the war been won by the North, the South might have laid
down their arms, and have been permitted to retain their institution of
slavery. When Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation, I remember
that even we soldiers in the field received the news with a sort of
shock, and thought our President over-bold. We had not thought of that
extreme measure as a result of the war. We were simply out to preserve
the Union."

"And right well you did it, Doctor," said Denison. "I have always
noticed in reading the history of that war, that in the latter part of
it you fought with much greater skill and judgment than you did in the
first year or two."

"That is quite true, and nothing more than what might have been
expected," replied Dr. Jones. "It is marvelous what we accomplished with
an absolutely empty treasury, no credit, no standing army to speak of,
and our little navy scattered to the four ends of the earth. The vast,
splendidly drilled armies which we brought into existence as if by
magic, were the wonder of the world. We had everything to learn, both
North and South, in the matter of logistics. Long lines of
communications had to be kept open, and such splendid raiders as John
Morgan, Forest, Mosby, etc., were not slow to break them frequently, so
that I remember going to bed supperless many times after a hard day's
march, because our rations had been captured and burned. Our wagon
trains were something immense, while the big Bell tents were in use; but
after what were called by the boys 'pup tents,' or 'dog tents,' were
introduced, the wagon trains were cut down at least three-fourths. For
the pup tents we carried upon our backs, and so dispensed with the great
Bell tents that were hauled in wagons. Our trains had been so large and
cumbersome that military movements were inconceivably slow, and the war
could never have been fought to a successful issue by the North on those
lines."

"I suppose, Doctor, that you were in some of the great battles?" asked
Fred.

"Yes, I was in the battles of Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, through the
Atlantic campaign; then under General Geo. H. Thomas we marched back
into Tennessee, fought a desperate battle at Franklin, and a few weeks
later annihilated the army at Nashville. While we were doing this,
Sherman was making his renowned march to the sea. But I'll spin you some
of my experiences before we get back home. Let's join the ladies."

"I should never tire hearing your war stories," said Fred.

"Yes; and you would be the first one to go to sleep if I should tell you
of the battle of Chickamauga or Missionary Ridge."

This Fred stoutly denied. "All right," said the Doctor. "I'll test you
one of these evenings."

"The sooner the better," replied Fred. "And now let's have some music."

They sang several anthems and choruses, and all retired at an early
hour, except Denison, who stood watch.



CHAPTER IX.

In the Heart of Labrador.


The central room of the cabin was called the 'engine room.' It was
fifteen feet square, with a hole three feet in diameter in one corner,
now securely covered. It was used for lowering or hoisting objects
through while the globe was at anchor. An aluminum frame or cage,
attached to a windlass by a chain of the same material, was used for
this purpose. A powerful coil steel spring operated the windlass. In
each of the other corners of the room were anchors of aluminum, also
attached to windlasses and worked by steel springs. There was a dynamo
that afforded abundance of light for the ship. This, too, was run by
spring power. The rooms of the cabin were brilliantly lighted, and the
spiral stairway, from the foot of the mast which stood upon the center
of the floor of the engine-room, was illuminated by several lights, up
to the observatory itself. At the top, or ball of the mast, was a light
of thirty-two hundred candle power. Altogether, the ship must have been
at night an object of terrific splendor to the observer below.

Will was the originator of the steel-springs motor idea, and he daily
attended to winding them with great faithfulness and pride. And it was a
most invaluable adjunct to the comfort and success of the expedition, as
will be seen before the end of this history is reached.

At daylight, on the following morning, all were up and looking out upon
wild Canadian forests. Here and there were small towns and settlements,
but they realized that they were fast hastening beyond the pale of
civilization. The wind had moved during the night into the southwest,
and the Professor informed them that they were sailing at the rate of
more than thirty miles an hour.

"If this wind will only continue, we shall not be long reaching our
destination," said the Doctor. "While I am enjoying the trip splendidly,
yet I am anxious to reach the Pole as soon as possible. After that we
will start on a general sightseeing tour. But until I have planted our
aluminum shaft exactly upon the north end of the earth's axis,
sightseeing is but incidental and secondary."

All day they skimmed like a frigate bird across the face of Canada, at
an altitude of about two thousand feet. All were delighted with the
behavior of the ship. Her capacity for floating and retaining heat far
exceeded their most sanguine expectations.

It was interesting to watch the fast changing appearance of the country,
and they could note that the timber was rapidly growing smaller.
Clearings and settlements became more and more rare, and as the day
closed they were looking upon primitive, unbroken forests, known only to
hunters, both white and red.

Another night passed without incident. The wind held all night in the
same quarter. On the following morning the beautiful ship was enveloped
in a dense fog. "We are in the midst of a great cloud," said Professor
Gray.

"I think we will rise a few hundred feet and see if we can get out of
it," replied Dr. Jones.

The temperature within the globe was raised a few degrees, and the ship
rapidly rose to twenty-five hundred feet altitude. This carried them
high above the clouds, and it was with new and strange sensations that
our aerial navigators looked down upon the dense cloud that obscured the
face of the earth from their view. The sun, meantime, was shining with
what seemed to them greatly increased splendor in this super-cloud
region.

"Well, girls," cried the Doctor, "I am for some exercise. Who will mount
with me to the observatory?"

They each assented, and a few moments later were sitting in that
elevated place, very warm and breathless from the unwonted exercise of
the long climb. This was Mattie's first visit to the observatory, and
her eyes dilated with terror as she looked over the rolling sides of the
massive globe.

"O, Doctor, Doctor! isn't this perfectly awful! Think of what the very
slightest mistake or mishap would do. We should go flying down through
those clouds, and be dashed to pieces in those uninhabited Canadian
forests. And I suppose that our friends would never hear of us again.

"Tut, tut, Mattie. Cheer up, little girl," said the doctor, very
soothingly, and patting her head with his steady, strong hand. "No
mishap is possible. We cannot explode, collapse, burn, collide, nor
capsize. No enterprise ever entered upon by man possessed so much of
interest and importance, and was attended by so little of the element of
danger. You were never safer in your life than you are at this moment.
Think of it! Here we are above the clouds, the world with all its care
and heartaches shut out, basking in this glorious sunlight, sailing on
in this clear, bracing, microbeless atmosphere. The clouds beneath our
feet, the sun above our heads, and God's empyrean all about us. What can
be more inspiring and grand? How does the chorus of that old hymn run?

   'Let us look above the clouds,
     Above the clouds, above the clouds;
   Up above the stormy clouds
     To fairer worlds on high.'"

The Doctor sang this simple chorus in his great sonorous voice that rang
out over the clouds like a bugle blast.

"Well, I declare Doctor, you will not let me get into a real good
fright," cried Mattie, smiling through eyes filled with tears.

"No, indeed, I will not, Mattie. The only fear I have now is that we may
keep breakfast waiting. Let's descend."

The forenoon passed away very uneventfully. About the middle of the
afternoon they were treated to a splendid spectacle. A terrific thunder
storm raged beneath them; and as they looked below into the inky depths
of the thunder clouds, pierced and riven by jagged lightnings, followed
by deafening bellowings and crashings of thunder, and then cast their
eyes up to the sun shining in full-orbed splendor over all, they
realized as never before the presence and majesty of Omnipotence.

At four o'clock, P.M. the storm clouds cleared away, and the bleak,
uninviting face of Labrador was plainly visible. The ship had settled to
an altitude of fifteen hundred feet, and was moving northeasterly at the
rate of thirty miles an hour.

"Isn't that a settlement I see ahead a few miles?" asked Will.

The Doctor and Professor Gray decided that it must be a fort or trading
post. The ship, meantime, was lowering quite rapidly, and was but eight
hundred feet above the earth.

"I have a mind to drop anchor at that fort for the night," said Dr.
Jones. "Some fresh meat, especially game and fish, would not be at all
bad to take. What do you all say?"

A general desire was expressed to do so.

They could see that the inhabitants of the place were greatly excited,
and were running to and fro. The globe was lowered to within three
hundred feet of the earth. As they neared the spot, two of the anchors
were dropped, and soon caught in the birch tree tops. The ship strained
tremendously at the cables for a moment or two, and then rode easily at
anchorage, three hundred feet above the buildings.

"Fort ahoy!" shouted the Doctor.

"Ahoy!" replied a hoarse voice.

"What fort is this?"

"This is not a fort, but Constance House."

"Well, we are a party bound for the North Pole, and we wish to buy some
provisions."

"All right. Come down, and we will do the best we can for you. But I
think you have scared everybody on the place about to death."

The spring power was turned on, and the windlasses drew the globe to
within one hundred feet of the earth. Then the Doctor and Denison
descended in the cage. They met a splendidly built, large man, dressed
in a semi-arctic suit of woolens and furs. The two voyagers introduced
themselves, explained their business, and they were received very
cordially by this man, John Barton, the proprietor and owner of
Constance House. He invited the whole company to descend and make
themselves at home as long as they desired to remain. So two by two they
descended, Sing also joining the group below. The anchors were lashed to
the trunks of the trees to prevent accidents from sudden gusts of wind.

They found Constance House to be a large one-story stone building, which
served for both residence and storeroom. One-half of it was devoted to
the storage of provisions, clothing, and such other goods as are
required by hunters and trappers. These Mr. Barton exchanged for furs
with said hunters and trappers. Hunting, trapping, and fishing
constituted the sole business of the simple-minded inhabitants. Here
they are born, live, die contentedly, knowing little of and caring
nothing about the great world which the most of us are so anxious to
possess.

Barton's family consisted of a wife, two strapping sons, who were
hunters and trappers, and a daughter. The daughter's name was Jennie,
aged eighteen. She was a strong, healthy, beautiful girl. Nothing could
exceed the loveliness of her skin, the whiteness of her even teeth, or
the graceful shapeliness of her form. Mrs. Jones and Mattie were
immediately drawn to her. She met their advances freely and frankly,
though her manners showed at once that she was not accustomed to such
society. But she was so unaffectedly sweet and pure that the two ladies
loved her all the better for her unsophistication. Mrs. Barton was an
invalid, and they did not see her that evening.

After a bountiful supper the whole party drew up to a vast fireplace. In
it roared a huge fire, for the night was very cold and frosty. For a
time the air-ship and the object of their voyage was discussed. The
admiration of Barton and the inhabitants of Constance House for the
globe was unbounded. The wind had lulled away to a very gentle breeze,
and the superlatively splendid globe hung above them so majestically,
and glistened so beautifully in the moonlight, that it is not wonderful
that these people, who saw and knew so little of the outside world,
should be struck dumb with wonder and astonishment as they looked upon
it.

"I must say," said Barton, "that I never experienced such sensations in
my life as I did when your ship hove in sight. I have been mate of some
good ships in my time, and have traveled over a good portion of the
earth. I have seen many strange sights on land and sea, but this beats
them all by so much that I shall never mention them again. And you are
going to make the North Pole beyond a peradventure. Nothing could
please me so well as to make one of your party. But my poor, poor wife!"
He dropped his face into his hands, and tears trickled down upon his
massive grey beard. The two sons and Jennie also participated in their
father's grief.

"What is the matter with your wife?" asked Mrs. Jones, very gently.
"Perhaps Dr. Jones might do something for her."

"No, no, madam; her case is a hopeless one. I took her down to Montreal
last year, and the best medical men there were consulted. They could do
absolutely nothing for her, and I have brought her home to die. I wanted
to stay there with her, where she could have more of the comforts of
life, but she preferred to come back to Constance House."

"While I know nothing of the nature of your wife's disease, yet I will
say that I have cured many cases of so-called incurables. It is not that
I know more of the nature of disease than the average physician, but I
use drugs that they know nothing of, will not investigate, look at, nor
even touch with the longest of tongs," said Dr. Jones.

"But, Doctor, my wife's case is cancer. They showed me the latest and
best authorities, and they invariably gave what they called an
'unfavorable prognosis.' You would not undertake to say that this
fearful disease is curable, would you?" cried Barton, very earnestly.

The Doctor saw that he had a very intelligent and well-informed man to
deal with. He had conceived a liking for the grand old man, and desired,
with all his good and kindly heart, to help this noble family in its
distress and isolation from the civilized world. So he said slowly and
impressively:

"Mr. Barton, I came to you this afternoon like a messenger from the
skies. The way in which I came, and the ship in which I sailed, ought to
entitle my word to some weight with you. Now I am going to say this: I
have cured cancers, and believe that a large percentage of them are
curable. I would like to see your wife, and if I can do anything for
her, I shall be glad to do it."

"I thank you, Dr. Jones, with all my heart. Come right in with me," and
Barton led the way to his wife's room. Half an hour later the Doctor
came from the sick room, went out, jumped into the cage and mounted to
the globe. He returned in a few moments and said: "I have here medicine,
Mr. Barton, that is certain to do your wife a great amount of good. And
I am quite positive that it will work a perfect cure. Her symptoms point
so unmistakably and pronouncedly to a certain remedy that I feel safe in
assuring you of immediate relief. I shall be much surprised if you do
not see less pain, burning, restlessness, thirst--in short, a decidedly
better night than she has known for months."

Constance House was not prepared with sleeping accommodations for so
large a company of visitors, and at ten o'clock they mounted to the ship
for the night. At seven o'clock on the following morning they all
descended again and partook of the substantial breakfast prepared for
them by Jennie, with the help of a half-breed Indian girl.

The surprise and delight of the family was immeasurable at the
palliative effects of Dr. Jones' medicine. Mrs. Barton had rested quite
comfortably nearly all night, a thing that she had not done in many
months. Barton grasped the Doctor's hand when he first appeared in the
morning, and could not speak for emotion.

"That is all right, Mr. Barton; just what I expected."

"Doctor, you have inspired me with a degree of hope that I never
expected to know again. Do you really think you can cure her?"

"Mr. Barton, I will just reiterate what I said to you last night: I have
seen some astonishing cures done by the remedy indicated by the
symptoms, and in what we call a 'high potency.' I cannot stop to explain
all this to you, but you can rest assured that it is the only help or
hope for your wife. Anxious though I am to be off toward our
destination, yet I am going to stop over and study your wife's symptoms
more closely, and leave you medicines with written directions as to
their use."

The joy of the Barton family was unbounded at this announcement of the
benevolent Doctor.

After breakfast, Denison, Fred, and Will decided to accompany the Barton
boys up the river that flowed near Constance House, visiting their
traps.

"What game do you have in this country?" asked Denison.

"We have reindeer, bear, wolves, foxes, hare, marten, otter, and in the
spring and summer we have an abundance of geese, ducks, etc.," replied
Joe, the elder of the boys. Sam was the younger of the brothers, and
they were aged twenty-three and twenty-one years respectively. The
voyagers were surprised at the correctness of their speech and other
indications of education.

"Our mother is an educated woman, and has taken great pains with our
education," said Sam in reply to a remark of Denison upon the subject.
"And she has done as much for father. Our long winter nights we always
spend in reading, music, and sometimes in such games as chess,
backgammon, drafts, etc. Mother is a most splendid mathematician. She is
also quite a linguist. But I am afraid that mother's days of teaching
are over in this world. Dr. Jones is exceedingly kind, but do you really
think that he has any hopes of curing her?" And the two sons looked
anxiously into Denison's face as they awaited his reply.

"Well," replied Denison slowly, as if carefully weighing his words, "I
have known Dr. Jones more than twenty years very intimately, and I tell
you candidly that you may rely implicitly upon his word. He is a
physician of remarkable skill, and to my positive knowledge has cured
several cases of cancer that had been, like your mother's, given up as
incurable. So I should hope a great deal if he gives you encouragement."

"God is good, and has heard our prayers," said Sam.

While this party spent the day until the middle of the afternoon
paddling from trap to trap, capturing three otters, and catching several
dozen beautiful trout and black bass, the Doctor and the Professor
ascended with Mr. Barton to the ship. As he passed through the elegant
rooms of the cabin, and saw the wonderful degree of comfort, and even
luxury, that our voyagers were enjoying, he cried out, like the Queen of
Sheba, "The half was never told!" And the wonderful metal of which
everything was composed where practicable--aluminum--excited his special
interest.

"Without this metal you could never have made the trip," he declared.
But when he had mounted the spiral stairway, and was standing in the
observatory, for some time he was speechless. As his eye ran up the
shining mast, then off over the glistening sides of the globe to the
earth, three hundred feet below, then away over the trackless wastes of
Labrador, he finally exclaimed, "This, gentlemen, is too wonderful for
me. I cannot give expression to my feelings. If you had told me that you
were visitors from Venus or Mars, I should be obliged to believe you."

And so they sat and discussed for an hour or more the object of the
expedition, and the probability of success. All agreed that, so far as
human thought and judgment could foresee, failure was hardly possible.
They descended to the cabin. The aluminum mast especially attracted the
attention of the old sailor.

"And you intend erecting this magnificent spar at the North Pole!" he
exclaimed, all his sailor instincts thoroughly aroused. "How do you
intend to manage that business, Doctor?"

"We shall be governed in that matter entirely by circumstances," replied
Dr. Jones. "I do not know what we may find there, and so cannot say
exactly what we may have to do. But I shall consider the trip a partial
failure if I do not leave this stately shaft, exactly to the quarter of
an inch, standing at the North Pole, with that aluminum flag flying at
its peak, there to float till time shall be no more."

"Well, Doctor, I am a thoroughbred British subject, and can't help
wishing that it was the Union Jack that you were going to leave there;
but you deserve all the honor of the occasion, and I am glad to bid you
Godspeed," said Barton heartily.

"Thank you," replied Dr. Jones, "now let us go down and see further
about your wife's case. I must be off to-morrow morning, bright and
early."

The Doctor and Barton repaired to the sick chamber. After nearly an hour
they left the house, walked down to the river bank, and talked long and
earnestly concerning the treatment of Mrs. Barton.

"I will tell you just what I am doing for your wife, and the grounds I
have for hope. I think, under the circumstances, that an exposé of the
rationale of my treatment is due you, for two reasons, first, because I
desire to give you a reason for the hope that is within me, and so make
you as happy and comfortable as possible by filling you up with a
lively faith; secondly, because I delight in instructing intelligent
people in what I conceive to be the only rational and scientific system
of medicine known to man.

"In this pocket-case book, you will observe that I have taken Mrs.
Barton's symptoms very carefully and minutely:

"1. A fearful and apprehensive state of mind. She cannot tolerate being
left alone.

"2. Intolerable thirst for cold water. Drinks often, and but a sip or
two at a time.

"3. The pains are very sharp, lancinating, and burning.

"4. She is always worse at night, from twelve o'clock until two or
three, A.M. The pains then are intolerable, and burning like red-hot
iron, so that you are obliged to hold her in your arms to prevent her
doing herself injury.

"5. Great restlessness.

"6. Skin yellow, or straw-colored, dry and wrinkled.

"7. Very emaciated and weak.

"There are quite a number of other symptoms of less importance, but all
are found under but one drug in all the earth, and that drug is arsenic.
Do not be alarmed at the name, for the doses I give are absolutely
immaterial and can do no harm. But they do possess a curative power that
is truly miraculous and past the comprehension of man. What gives me
greater hope and confidence in your wife's case is the fact that she has
never been under the surgeon's knife. Operations for cancer not only do
no good whatever, but they reduce the patient's chances of cure, so that
after the second or third one the case is rendered absolutely incurable.
And another thing greatly in her favor is that she has taken but little
medicine, and so I have been able to get a clear picture of the case.
And I must strictly forbid the use of any drugs whatever, internally or
externally, except what I give you."

"But, Doctor, the terrible odor!" said Barton, "Must I not use the
disinfectant as I have been doing?"

"No; nothing but washing with warm castile soap-suds, two or three times
daily. The odor will all disappear within a few days."

"Well, that is astonishing! And is arsenic the remedy for all cases of
cancer?"

"Not by any manner of means. That is the great mistake of the medical
world in all ages. They are continually on the lookout for specifics,
or medicines that cure all cases of any given disease, irrespective of
symptoms. Every case must be taken upon its individual merits, and
differentiated upon symptomatology alone. And a drug must be prescribed
that is indicated by the symptoms. Anything more or less than this is
unscientific, and a contrariety to one of God's most beautiful and
universal laws--'Similia similibus curanter,'--'Like cures like.' That
is to say, arsenic is the remedy for your wife, because, when taken in
material doses, it always produces symptoms identical with those
manifested in her case. Hence I meet them with immaterial doses of that
drug. Had her symptoms been different, then I should have been obliged
to seek and find, if possible, a drug capable of causing this different
set of symptoms, whatever they might have been. Now this rule of law
holds good throughout all the field of medicine, except that which is
purely surgical. Do you catch the idea?"

"I do, Doctor, I do; and I declare that it looks very reasonable as you
put it. I like the theory, and if it always holds good in practice, then
it is certainly one of the most beneficent of God's laws."

"Thousands of times, Barton, in an active practice of more than
twenty-five years, I have tested this law; and I tell you, as an honest
man, and one who expects to answer for the deeds done in the body at the
bar of God, that it never failed me once. I have failed many times
because I could not read aright the symptoms of the case; or when it was
an incurable affair, rendered so by drugs and surgery," said Dr. Jones
with great earnestness. "But come, I have given you quite a medical
lecture. Let's look up the girls and see what they are about."



CHAPTER X.

A Messenger from the Skies.


Mrs. Jones and Mattie had found Jennie to be a lovely, intelligent, and
more than ordinarily educated girl. While unused to society, yet there
was an honest straightforwardness about her that was very charming. The
two ladies became easily intimately acquainted with her. Her whole soul
was devoted to her mother, and the hope that Dr. Jones had inspired
shone from her eyes. She became quite cheerful and merry. And the effect
upon the poor invalid was not less visible. She insisted upon sitting in
her easy chair by the fireplace, and joined in the conversation.

Sing, meantime, had installed himself as the presiding genius of the
kitchen, and he and the half-breed Indian girl were getting along
famously together.

"How long have you lived in this place, Mrs. Barton?" asked Mrs. Jones.

"Twenty-three years," replied she.

"Well, have you not found it a very monotonous existence?"

"I did at first; but as my children were born, my mind and heart were so
taken up by them that time did not hang heavily upon our hands. I really
believe that we are much happier than the majority of people in the
towns and cities."

"O, if mother can but get well, it seems to me that I shall never be
discontented again in Constance House!" exclaimed Jennie, her eyes
filling with tears.

"My poor girl does long sometimes to see the great world," said Mrs.
Barton, stroking the head of Jennie, who was sitting upon a stool at her
feet. "Well, my dear girl, I believe that God, in his infinite mercy,
has sent us help directly from the skies; for I must say that last
night, as I lay the first time for many weary months free from pain and
awful burning and restlessness, that I thanked God as I had never done
before; and my faith went out to Him so that I felt a great peace settle
upon me. He has blessed the means being used. I shall recover, my
darling girl."

Jennie, in a paroxysm of joy, threw herself at her mother's feet, and
buried her face in her lap, weeping as she had never done in her life.
At this juncture the Doctor, Professor Gray, and Mr. Barton entered the
room.

"Tut, tut," said the Doctor, seeing the tears streaming down the faces
of the four women, "what sort of business is this? You ought to all be
laughing instead of crying. There is nothing to cry about, I assure
you."

"Doctor," said Mrs. Barton, extending her hand to him, "you do not
understand. We are rejoicing, and this is just our poor woman's way of
doing it."

"I see, I see," said the jovial Doctor. "Well, now wipe away your tears,
and give God all glory. He has sent me, a poor weak mortal, simply as a
messenger to administer that which will save you from a loathsome
disease and death. All glory be unto Him."

He then began singing softly and reverently, the others joining:

   "God moves in a mysterious way
   His wonders to perform,
   He plants his footsteps in the sea,
   And rides upon the storm.

   Deep in unfathomable mines
   Of never failing skill,
   He treasures up his bright designs.
   And works his sovereign will.

   Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
   The clouds ye so much dread
   Are big with mercy, and shall break
   In blessings on your head."

"And now, Mrs. Barton, you must come out and see the chariot in which
the Lord sent us," cried Dr. Jones gayly.

The poor invalid stood in the door and looked up at the great globe that
shimmered and glistened like burnished silver in the rays of the
setting sun. How proudly and serenely it rode above their heads as if
conscious of its own unparalleled beauty, and its blessed mission in
this present instance. She gazed upon it a few moments in speechless
rapture, her poor emaciated hands clasped upon her breast.

"This is too marvelous for me," she cried. "What am I that God should
send deliverance to me in so glorious and majestic a ship of the skies!
I am lost in wonder and praise. Glory be to His holy name forever and
forever."

"Amen!" responded the listeners fervently.

The canoe party returned at four o'clock, P.M. All were tired and ready
to sit about the generous fire; for evening was at hand, and the air was
already sharp and frosty.

"And how did it happen, Mr. Barton, that you came to settle away up in
this barren wilderness?" asked Professor Gray.

"I do not know that I know myself," returned Mr. Barton. "I was taken
sick at a boarding-house in Montreal, and was sent to a hospital. I was
at that time master of the bark Twilight, a Liverpool craft. Mrs. Barton
was then a beautiful girl--don't blush so, Mrs. Barton. Jennie there is
a perfect reproduction of you as I first saw you, and I should not be
ashamed of our Jennie anywhere on earth. Well, as I was saying, Mrs.
Barton, named at that time Miss Constance Schmidt, the daughter of a
Moravian missionary, visited the hospital frequently as an angel of
mercy. So far as I was concerned it was a case of love at first sight.
She nursed me back to health; and, with the usual ingratitude of man, I
married her for her pains. I then gave up the sea after a trip or two,
and settled in Montreal. But I could not get used to, nor like the
conventionalities of city life. So I made a trip into these wilds. I saw
an opportunity to do a good business in furs; and so, with wife's
consent, we settled on this spot. I built this house, which I named in
honor of my wife--Constance. I have done fairly well financially, and I
am sure that we have been quite happy and contented. Until Mrs. Barton's
illness, I was without a care or worry in the world."

"But don't you find the winters very long and terribly cold?" asked
Fred.

"On the contrary, we enjoy our winters very much. To be sure, the
thermometer runs from thirty to fifty degrees below zero; but if the
wind does not blow, we suffer very little from it."

"What do you do to pass the time?" asked Will.

"The boys, when the weather is favorable, trap and hunt. I am getting a
little too old and heavy for much of that; so I attend to the chores
about the place, trade goods for furs to the hunters and Esquimaux. Our
evenings are passed in reading, one often reading aloud to the rest of
us. And we have a great deal of music. Joe plays the violin, Sam the
flute, and Jennie the guitar or dulcimer."

"By the way," cried Fred, "Let's have a musical soiree to-night. What do
you all say?"

This proposition was enthusiastically received.

"Come, Will, let's run up and get the organ. Will you go up?" addressing
Joe and Sam.

"Go up, my sons, and see this Alladin's palace," said Mr. Barton. "You
will never see its like again."

In half an hour they returned. The young Bartons were wildly
enthusiastic in their praises of the globe.

"Jennie, you must not fail to see the wonderful air-ship," cried Joe.
Mattie, Jennie, Will and Fred visited the globe, returning just in time
for a splendid supper prepared by the skillful Celestial, Sing. All that
the larders of both Constance House and the globe afforded had been
drawn upon, and it is doubtful if in all inhospitable Labrador a more
elaborate and bountiful table was ever spread.

The Doctor, at Mr. Barton's request, asked the Divine blessing, and all
fell to and ate with an appetite that is known only to those of clear
consciences and sound digestive organs. Having done justice to the
really splendid meal, they repaired to the sitting room. The beautiful
aluminum organ graced the center of the apartment, and the musicians
gathered about it. Fred was surprised and delighted to find that the
young Bartons were all really accomplished musicians, and their
instruments blended in sweetest harmony. So they played a number of
orchestral pieces that were received with great applause by the
audience. Then solos, duets, trios, quartettes, choruses, etc., were
sung, and it is not probable that the Barton family ever spent so
delightful an evening in their lives. And let us just contemplate the
scene for a moment. How happy, joyous, and innocent they were, just as
God intended his children to be. Two days before, this lovely family had
been in the depths of despair, day by day watching a beloved wife and
mother dying by inches of a painful, lingering, loathsome disease. Not a
sound of music had been heard in the house for many days. The violin,
guitar, and dulcimer had lain utterly neglected and unstrung. Now a
change has occurred that must have delighted the angels of God. Through
the unselfishness, skill, and noble-heartedness of one man, has come so
unexpectedly, as if dropped from the very skies, in the heart of one of
the most inhospitable portions of the earth, sweet hope and deliverance.
What wonder that their hearts are light and merry? One thought only mars
their pleasure: to-morrow morning the Children of the Skies will sail
away in their glorious sky-ship, probably never to return.

At ten o'clock the company broke up, the ship company ascending, as
before to their staterooms. Barton would not hear to anything else than
that they should descend in the morning for the last time. How sad these
earthly partings are. It will not be so in that better land.



CHAPTER XI.

Is the World Growing Better?


Before daylight on the following morning they descended to breakfast.
Mrs. Barton had enjoyed a comfortable night, and Dr. Jones expressed
himself as delighted with her condition.

"You have everything to hope for," he said to the family. "I leave you
this medicine, with written directions for its use. Do not repeat the
dose I have given her so long as improvement continues. When it ceases
you will do as directed in my written instructions."

The hour of departure had arrived. Farewells had all been said, and the
company had ascended except the Doctor and his wife.

"I cannot say what I wish to you," said Barton, taking each of them by
the hand. "I simply look upon you as messengers from God, and I want to
give you something more substantial than thanks." He placed a buckskin
sack of gold in the hand of Dr. Jones.

"Oh! no, Mr. Barton, my good friend," said the Doctor, handing it back;
"I won't take a cent. You are ten thousand times welcome to anything I
have done. I feel myself richly remunerated in the satisfaction of
leaving you all happy."

"Take it, Mrs. Jones, as a present from me," said Barton, and he pressed
it into her hand. "You will really hurt me if you do not accept it."

"Then I will do so, Mr. Barton. Good-bye," and away they shot up to the
cabin. At a given signal Joe and Sam cast the anchors off, they whizzed
up to the engine-room, and the mighty ball bounded skyward like a bird
in the clear, frosty morning air. A very brisk wind was blowing from
nearly due south, and the voyagers were delighted with the progress they
made that day toward their destination.

All day they sped at more than forty miles an hour over the vast
elevated plains that were but barren wastes, growing every hour drearier
and more desolate.

"Of all the misnomers on earth, the name given this country ranks
first," said Professor Gray.

"What is the meaning of the word 'Labrador,' Professor?" asked Denison.

"The literal meaning of the word is 'cultivable land.' As to its
appropriateness, you can judge for yourselves. I do not know who
bestowed upon it this misfit of a name, but it must have been a hardy
explorer, who did it in a fit of spleen and wretchedness."

"The Barton family seems to be comfortable and happy in poor old
Labrador," said Mrs. Jones.

"Yes, but my dear madame, they do not live by cultivating the land,"
returned the Professor. "The seasons are too variable, and the changes
of temperature are far too sudden to permit raising of crops of any
kind."

"Mr. Barton told me that they did raise a little garden stuff, such as
onions, lettuce, and radishes; but potatoes, corn, etc., invariably are
nipped by frost, and never mature," said Denison.

The Professor, a few moments before noon, ascended to the observatory
with sextant and chronometer, and determined the latitude and longitude
of "Silver Cloud," as Mrs. Jones had named the aluminum ship. He made
the entry in his logbook.

"There is our exact position now, Doctor," and he placed the point of a
pencil on the map of Labrador.

"In forty-eight hours we will be within the Arctics at this rate of
speed," cried Dr. Jones, rubbing his hands with delight.

The face of the country was so uninteresting and monotonous, covered
more or less with snow, that the voyagers became tired of looking at it,
and turned their attention to various pursuits within the cabin.
Becoming tired of music, they read, played games, conversed, etc.

The Doctor and Professor were each expert chess players, and their games
were long and closely contested. Victory perched about as often upon the
banner of one as the other.

Fred worked daily upon a composition which he entitled "The North Pole
March," and declared that the music should be played by himself, while
the rest of the company marched around the aluminum flagstaff, after its
erection at the summit of the earth, the North Pole. The two ladies were
greatly interested in Fred's composition, and hummed and sang it with
him, offering suggestions here and there that were of more or less
benefit to him.

Denison and Will spent their time attending to the springs, watching the
thermometers and barometer. This, however, occupied but little of their
leisure, and they played many games of checkers and backgammon. Will
took an occasional snapshot with his camera when he saw anything of
interest. He had taken some excellent photographs of Silver Cloud and
company, which he had left with the Barton family. Who can doubt that
they were an unfailing source of delight and tender remembrance to this
intelligent and interesting family, as they sat about their great
fireplace during the long winter nights. And the artist had taken some
sketches of Constance House and inhabitants, which he had brought with
him. He had converted one of the spare bedrooms into a studio, and spent
an hour or two daily upon a portrait in oil of Jennie Barton. The fact
of the matter is, the unadorned beauty and grace of the lovely Jennie
had touched his artistic taste beyond anything that he had ever
experienced in his life. And away deep in his heart, almost unknown to
himself, was a determination to spend a summer season at Constance
House, as soon after their return from the Pole as possible.

Silver Cloud all this time was hastening with the speed of a carrier
pigeon, nearly due north. Dr. Jones and Professor Gray could not repress
their satisfaction each day as their observations showed them to be
moving straight as an arrow toward the object of their journey. The
altitude they maintained was very little more or less than three
thousand feet, and the wind continued from the south at the rate of
twenty or thirty miles per hour. The outside temperature was balmy and
bracing during the day, so that the balcony afforded them a splendid
promenade, where they spent hours daily, exercising in walking round and
round the spacious cabin, and studying the topography of the country.
Frequent trips were also made to the observatory, and sitting there with
the windows open was very inspiring, as well as comfortable. To thus
sit in so elevated a place with the windows wide open, while in a state
of perspiration, the result of climbing the long stairway, would seem to
have been the height of imprudence. But we must remember that such a
thing as a breeze or draft of air was never felt on board the Silver
Cloud while in motion. The great ship went exactly with the wind, and at
precisely the same rate of speed. So, whether the wind blew one or a
hundred miles an hour, it was always a dead calm aboard the Silver
Cloud.

"This is the ideal place for all catarrhal and pulmonary cases,"
declared Dr. Jones. "I shall always prescribe a trip in Silver Cloud for
this class of patients hereafter."

"I fully believe in its efficacy," said Professor Gray. "But I fear that
it will be too expensive a prescription for many of your poor patients."

"That's the trouble, that's the trouble," assented the Doctor, shaking
his head sadly. "Millions are yearly dying that might be saved by this
and other means on the same line. But the blindness and selfishness of
mankind is so absolute and infernal that but little philanthropic work
of this sort can be done. There are some noble exceptions, or we should
have suffered the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah long since."

"But, Doctor, you believe that the world is getting better, do you not?"
asked Will.

"In what way?"

"Well, in every way. No one can doubt that in the arts and sciences more
has been done in the past fifty years than in all the previous history
of the world."

"Granted," assented the Doctor.

"All right. Then let us look at the social, moral, and spiritual sides
of the question. Socially, certainly, no period of history can compare
with the present. We are educating our children, feeding and clothing
them better than they ever were before in the world."

"I really think we are," again assented Dr. Jones.

"Well, then," cried Will, glowing with triumph, thinking that he was
fairly smoking the little Doctor out, "what can you say for _your_ side
of the question? Was there ever a time when life and property were so
protected as now? And were there ever so many Bibles and tracts and
other religious matter published and disseminated as at the present
time? Missionaries are going by thousands all over the earth, and the
gospel will soon have been preached to all nations."

"That's so, that's so," concurred the Doctor again.

"Come, come, Doctor; defend your side of the question," cried Fred.

"I did not know that I had committed myself to either side," returned
he. "But I will say this much: While I am not pessimistic as to the
outcome of this struggle going on between God's and Satan's forces in
the world, yet we should not overlook the fact that the devil is
fearfully active in these times. While I have admitted all that Will has
said, yet there is another side to the question. Let me call your
attention to the fact that there never was a time when there was so much
rum and tobacco used in the world as to-day. The amount consumed per
capita is increasing tremendously. Remember that with every missionary
there are sent in the same ship from seventy-five to one hundred gallons
of intoxicants, and tobacco galore. Never has this world seen so vast
preparation for war. The people of all Europe are groaning beneath the
taxation imposed upon them for the support of vast armies and navies. At
no time has money been piled up in the hands of the few as at the
present. Hundreds of millions in many instances are held by a single
individual. By no sort of philosophy can he be entitled to it, and by no
system can he come into possession of it without robbing thousands of
his fellowmen. And as to inventions: surely no man delights more in the
splendid achievements of our age in this direction than I do. But I
declare to you that I believe labor-saving machinery to be a mighty
curse to mankind, because the laborer is being driven closer and closer
to the wall by the innumerable inventions that are driving him out of
every field of labor. The great money kings are taking advantage of
every such invention, and what the end is to be I do not dare predict.
Ignatius Donnely's fearful picture in his work, Caeser's Column, I hope
and believe to be terribly overdrawn. And, as I said before, I am not
pessimistic as to the final outcome; but let us beware of crying 'Peace!
peace! when there is no peace!' The fact is, gentlemen, I cannot help
thinking that St. James referred to these very times, when he said in
the fifth chapter of his epistle: "Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl
for the miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted and
your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is cankered; and the
rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as
it were fire. Ye have heaped up treasure together for the last days.
Behold, the hire of the laborers who have reaped down your fields, which
is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them who have
reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabbaoth." See James,
5-4. I cannot, in the light of these prophecies, see that the world is
growing essentially better rapidly, if at all."

"But, Doctor," said Will, "you cannot deny that the children of these
times are incomparably better clothed, have more and better books, live
in more comfortable homes, and are enjoying privileges never known to
children of former generations."

"While I must assent to what you have said, yet all these advantages are
not unmixed blessings. In my experience as a physician, I have seen very
many precious lives go out, simply because they could not endure the
high pressure system of our modern educators. I feel so strongly upon
this subject that I would prefer that a child of mine should live and
die absolutely illiterate, than that he should sacrifice one particle of
health for any conceivable amount of mere book-learning. I once had an
uncle who was a man of wonderful learning. He was a collegian, a master
of half a dozen or more languages, and for all this he paid the price of
his good health. All his life, he suffered the pangs of an outraged
stomach and nervous system. He could never make any use of his
splendidly cultivated brain, and was a miserable, unhappy burden to
himself and friends to the end of his life. His end was sad, tinged with
the element of ridiculousness. He was sitting in a field one day,
resting during a short walk, when a great vicious hog attacked him,
tossed him about, rooted him here and there, and would have certainly
killed him outright if his cries had not brought assistance. He never
recovered from the effects of the injuries received on that occasion.
Suppose poor old uncle could at that time have traded all his dead and
modern languages for a pair of good stout legs, would it not have been a
grand bargain for him?"

"But could not your uncle have been more judicious and systematic in the
prosecution of his studies, and have done the same amount of work
without detriment to his health?" asked Professor Gray.

"I do not doubt that he might. But our schools are run nowadays upon, as
I said before, a high-pressure system. Too many children are packed into
imperfectly ventilated schoolrooms, and the poor teachers are miserably
overtaxed. But the schools are graded, everything cut and dried, the
curriculum made by state or county board; and, like the tyrant's
bedstead, those too long must be cut off, and those too short must be
stretched. All must fit the bedstead. That great story-teller, Charles
Dickens, tells the story exactly in his picture of Dr. Blimmer's system
of teaching. That poor babe, Paul Dombey, might as well have been fed to
an insatiable ogre as to have been placed in the hands of that pompous
idiot. And our country is full of little Paul Dombeys, blossoming for
eternity. How much better to have let the poor little fellow play in the
sands upon the beach with his sister Florence and old Glubb. But the
precocious innocent must be murdered by this same senseless system,
because of the inordinate vanity of a foolish father, and the stupidity
of his teacher. In vain have I warned hundreds of parents, when I saw
their children thus being hurried to premature graves. But they are so
proud of the precocious darlings that they seldom heed until it is too
late. Faugh! the whole business makes me sick."

"Well, Doctor, admitting all you say, what do you suggest as the remedy?
I have known many statesmen who could see and point out the evils,
present or imminent, of society or state, with great sagacity and
accuracy, but when it came to prescribing the remedy, were utterly
impracticable," said Professor Gray.

"That is right, Professor Gray. It is very little benefit to a sick man
to tell him that he is sick, or even to make for him a scientific
diagnosis, if it be not supplemented by the remedy. I have remedial
measures to suggest. In the first place, I would build schoolhouses upon
strictly scientific principles; a certain number of cubic yards of pure
air should be allowed each scholar, and the most perfect system of
ventilation should always be used. Further, by way of homely
illustration, I should treat the children upon the same principles that
we do our horses. Some horses are calculated for heavy draught business,
others for light draught, roadsters, racers, etc. I need not mention the
folly of attempting to drive these animals out of their respective
classes. Now children differ as essentially in their mental capacities
and requirements as do horses physically. You can by no possible means
make a mathematician of a scholar who is deficient in the organ of
calculation. It is a manifest injustice to hitch such a one beside
another who is a perfect racer in the mathematical field. It is not fair
to either of them. I claim that each child should be treated upon his
individual merits, and in accordance with the natural gifts that God has
bestowed upon him. The graded school system is in direct opposition to
this idea, and is wholly wrong and unscientific."

"Well, as to the curriculum, Doctor," said Will, "suppose you were
called upon to abridge the list of studies in our public schools, where
would you begin and end? Isn't it a pity in this age of the world, to
shut off from the children any one of the branches of science or
learning?"

"Indeed, that would be a great pity, and far be it from me to do
anything of the kind. I would not abridge the curriculum for any child;
it should simply be taught that for which it has a capacity. A teacher
who is not capable of so discriminating and anticipating the wants of
each pupil, is not a teacher in the best sense of the word, any more
than a man is a horse trainer who cannot differentiate between a heavy
draught-horse and a light roadster. I might say considerable as to
methods of teaching, but I presume that you have heard enough for once."

"Yes, but we have not settled the question as to whether the world is
getting better or not," returned Will. "I am willing to admit that our
school system is defective. But what do you say as to the safety of life
and property at this time, compared with any other age of the world?"

"Really, now, I wish an intelligent Armenian were here to answer that
question."

"But that is not fair, Doctor. The Armenians are in the hands of the
Turks and we know that they are capable of any conceivable inhumanity.
I supposed that we were discussing the world so far as civilized. I
really think that it is a clear case of 'begging the question,' when you
introduce the Armenian case into the discussion."

"Do you, indeed! And let me inquire, my dear boy, who is responsible for
this wholesale slaughter of a people whose only crime is that of being
nominal Christians? Five or six centuries ago the combined governments
of Europe would have made common cause against the infamous Turk for
much less than the murder of a Christian nation. But to-day there is so
much less of manhood in Europe than there was in the days of chivalry,
that the civilized world is sitting calmly by and permitting this
unspeakable crime to go on at the sweet will of the bloody-handed Turk.
And do you not think that God will hold the nations of Europe to a
strict account for this villainy that marks the closing decade of the
nineteenth century as the blackest page in human history? God will
surely avenge Armenia, and woe to Europe when He treads the wine-press
of His wrath!"

As Will offered no reply, the discussion closed.



CHAPTER XII.

Greenland's Icy Mountains and the Russian Bear.


Upon the morning of the third day from Constance House the wind shifted
almost due west. Silver Cloud was in latitude 65 deg., longitude 70 deg.
13 min., and they were driving rapidly toward Greenland.

"We are still two or three points north of east in our course, and will
let her drive as she goes for the present," said Dr. Jones. "And you
wouldn't mind seeing Greenland's icy mountains, about which you have
sung so many years, would you, girls?"

"O let us see Greenland, by all means, Doctor!" cried Mattie.

"What noted travelers we will be when we get back to Washington," and he
placed an arm about each of their waists and galloped them up and down
the little sitting room several times.

"I do believe that you grow to be more of a boy every year of your
life," panted Mrs. Jones, as she smoothed her rumpled hair.

"You are quite right, Maggie; and what is worse, I do not expect to ever
improve a bit on that line. Give me the heart of a boy while I live. And
now, Professor, I am ready to give you revenge for that last game or two
of chess that went to my credit."

While these two were oblivious to the world in a very closely contested
game, Mrs. Jones sat knitting while Mattie read aloud to her from a late
magazine. Denison and Fred were pacing the balcony for their
"constitutional." Will was working on his oil painting of Jennie Barton,
and so beautifully had he succeeded in bringing out the lovely features,
and trusting, fearless spirit that beamed from a pair of dark blue eyes,
that all the company, even to Sing, expressed their unqualified
admiration.

"Me sabe," said the acute Mongolian. "Ah! Will heap likee Miss Jennie."

The artist blushed, and they all laughed uproariously at his confusion,
and Sing went chuckling to the kitchen.

The following morning Silver Cloud had nearly crossed Davis Strait, and
the bold headlands of the western coast of Greenland were in plain view.
They crossed the western boundary line of that land of perpetual winter,
just a few miles north of the Arctic Circle.

"Hurrah!" shouted Dr. Jones. "In the Arctics at last!"

The wind held still a little north of due east, and Silver Cloud rode at
an elevation of between 3,500 and 4,000 feet. The surface of Greenland
was cold, dreary, and uninviting to a degree. Vast tracts of ice and
snow stretched in every direction, far as the eye could see. Away in the
interior a range of mountains broke the monotony of the landscape.
Toward morning a violent snowstorm gathered below them and hid the face
of Greenland from view until next morning. Silver Cloud, meantime, was
sent up to nearly 5,000 feet altitude, so that they might not collide
with any mountain peak during the night.

"Upon my word," said Professor Gray, as he stood on the balcony the
following morning, and looked out over the white and ghastly picture of
desolation, "I thought Labrador the most inappropriately named country
upon the earth, but think of calling this picture of all that is
inhospitable and forbidding--Greenland!"

By noon they were crossing swiftly the ridge that runs the length of
Greenland, so far as is known. Silver Cloud swept within three hundred
feet of one lofty peak, covered with eternal ice and snow. Then on and
on, swift as an eagle, over the high plateaux and steppes of Eastern
Greenland. Early the following morning they arose to find the Arctic
Ocean beneath, and Greenland disappearing in the misty horizon behind
them. The wind bore a point or so more easterly, and Dr. Jones was
tempted to seek a more favorable current. He descended to the 2,000 foot
level, but experienced no perceptible change.

"Well, we'll stick to my original plan. Anything north of due east or
west is good enough for us," said he.

But he grew restless as they hour after hour steadily continued upon
nearly the same latitudinal line, and descended to 1,000 feet
elevation. There was some change for the better at that altitude for
many hours. One thing that specially pleased them was the wonderful
sensitiveness of the globe to the slightest variation of the temperature
within its interior. The Doctor's plan of using hot air alone as the
floating power had been modified to the extent of dividing one-half of
the globe's interior into several compartments by thin sheets of
aluminum, and these were filled with hydrogen gas. The gas fell but
little short of the power necessary to float the ship, so that a slight
elevation of the temperature in the air chamber above that of the
external atmosphere was sufficient to float the vessel. When it was
desirable to descend, a trap being opened in the upper and lower parts
of the air chamber caused the hot air to rush out and the cold air in,
and the descent could be made rapidly or slowly, at the will of the
commander. By virtue of the zinc lining of the air chamber the
temperature would remain at a given point for many hours without the
consumption of a particle of fuel.

The Doctor and Will together had devised a most ingenious method of
heating the hot-air chamber instantly. By the use of a small air pump
hundreds of atmospheres could be compressed into a very strong aluminum
chest or cylinder. Beneath this cylinder were a number of burners that
heated the compressed air several hundred degrees. As we said before,
when they desired to descend, an upper and lower trap were opened, the
hot air rushed out above and the cold air in below, causing the globe to
descend with great rapidity. This descent could be arrested at any level
by closing the trap, and a certain amount of the air let off from the
hot-air chest, and any temperature desired could be attained at once.
All this could be done at an expense of oil that was ridiculously and
incredibly small. While they could by no means steer or guide this ship,
yet, if the Doctor's theory of air currents should prove to be
scientifically correct, then they were by no means entirely at the mercy
of any and every adverse gale. And, at the worst, when a favorable
current could not be found, they could descend to the earth and anchor
until a fair wind prevailed. One thing further should be explained. When
it became desirable to ascend suddenly or rapidly, the hot-air chest
was thrown completely open, and the vast chamber was instantly filled
with air at any temperature required. When this operation was from any
cause necessary, the upper trap was closed and all the lower apertures
opened. The hot air from the chest immediately mounted to the upper end
of the air chamber, and forced the excess of cold atmosphere out through
these lower traps. The effect upon the globe was marvelous. It would
bound skyward like a rocket. By a series of experiments Will had
ascertained just the amount of pressure per square inch and the
temperature that was necessary to send the ship to a given altitude. The
rate of ascent was under perfect control by letting off the hot air
slowly or rapidly.

"What a mighty engine for good or evil in the world this ship would be,
if it could be guided or steered," remarked Professor Gray.

"I doubt if that can ever be done," replied Will. "The surface presented
to the current of atmosphere is too great to allow any sort of device to
operate satisfactorily."

"The Government is making experiments with what is called the aeroplane,
and the indications are that it is the coming method of aerial
navigation. But the degree of comfort that we are enjoying can never be
an attendant of that plan. I shall never cease to wonder at the speed
with which we are traveling over these Arctic regions in perfect
comfort. I never felt better in my life, and I have grown to feel as
safe as I ever did in my home in Washington," said Professor Gray.

They occasionally saw whales spouting, and it was exceedingly
interesting to watch the great icebergs that floated here and there over
the face of the deep. Some of them towered like crystal mountains,
hundreds of feet into the air.

"Just think how incomprehensibly great these masses of ice are,"
observed Professor Gray. "It is estimated that but one-eighth of the
berg protrudes above the surface. Now look at that monster! Not less
than eighteen or twenty miles long, and from five to six hundred feet
high, making it in the neighborhood of a mile in thickness. Ah! see that
big fellow turning over! Did you ever see anything so grand! I don't
wonder that navigating these seas is next to impossible."

They were all standing upon the balcony when they beheld this startling
scene.

For two whole days the beautiful ship continued steadily upon nearly the
same course. The Professor pointed out their position upon the map at
latitude 70 deg. 35 min., and longitude 50 deg. 20 min., East Greenwich.
At this point they encountered a terrible gale from the north. The
Doctor raised higher and higher, until they reached an altitude of ten
thousand feet. Still they flew at amazing speed toward the south. He
ascended to fifteen thousand, then twenty thousand feet elevation, but
on they went into the heart of Russia. Will went up into the globe and
hurriedly returned.

"You must lower, Doctor! The strain upon the rods is tremendous! The
outside atmospheric resistance is so slight at this elevation that we
shall certainly explode if you ascend any higher."

"Then we will descend and anchor at the first favorable spot, and there
await a south wind. There seems to be a great demand for air at the
equator just now. Well, let them have it," said he grimly, "but we are
sure to get a regurgitation in our direction before many days. So down
we go to study Russian habits and customs."

The upper and lower traps were opened in the air chamber, and they
rapidly descended to within five or six hundred feet of the earth. They
could plainly see that the foliage was being thrashed with great
violence by the gale.

"How shall we manage to safely anchor in this awful wind, Doctor?" asked
Will anxiously.

"Do you see that high range of hills just ahead?"

"Yes."

"Well, they run east and west. We will drop immediately upon the other
side of them. There it must be comparatively calm. But sharp is the
word! We are there now!"

Downward dropped the great ship behind the sheltering crest of the
hills, and she, in a moment or two, was skimming quite easily along,
just above the treetops. In what appeared to be a great park, the anchor
was dropped into the top of a tree. It held securely, and Will and
Denison descended in the cage and made a very strong aluminum cable
fast about the trunk of the tree. After all was made secure, Dr. Jones
and Professor Gray also descended. The little company then began looking
around for signs of life.

"I see a large stone building down this avenue," cried Will.

"The Professor and I will prospect the place, while you two had better
remain here until our return," said the Doctor.

Accordingly they set off at a lively pace toward the building. As they
approached it they looked in vain for signs of human life. They found it
to be a massive ancient castle, standing in the midst of an extensive
grove or park. They were somewhat awed by the deathlike silence that
pervaded the place. They, however, stepped up to a massive oaken door,
and Dr. Jones seized the ponderous iron knocker and struck several
vigorous blows. They waited two or three minutes, but could hear no
sounds within.

"We have struck an enchanted castle, and I must see if I cannot awake
the Sleeping Beauty within," said Dr. Jones, and he was about to apply
the knocker again, when a deep bass voice from a window above addressed
them in a language with which they were unfamiliar.

"We cannot speak your language. Do you speak English?" asked Dr. Jones.

"Are you men, angels, or devils, and what do you want," returned the
voice in fairly good English.

The Doctor hastened to give the desired information, and told who they
were, etc., concisely as possible.

"What is that fearful and wonderful silver ball or globe in which you
dropped from the skies among us?"

After further explanations the bars were removed, and the massive door
swung slowly open. There stood before them a large, black-bearded man,
holding by the collars two large Russian hounds. The brutes growled and
showed their horrid fangs in a way that made the visitors cringe and
draw back.

"Please restrain your dogs, sir, for our mission is a perfectly peaceful
one," said Dr. Jones; and he smiled so blandly that the man seemed to
dismiss his apprehensions. He gave a signal which summoned two men, to
whom he consigned the dogs, and they were led away. He now invited them
to enter, and gave them seats in an adjoining room.

"Gentlemen, I am Count Icanovich, and this is my castle. I welcome you
to its hospitalities. You must excuse the reception we gave you, for I
must confess that I have never been so startled in my life as when I saw
your extraordinary ship come swooping down upon us a few moments ago.
Half my people are in fits, or hidden away in all sorts of holes and
corners."

"I am exceedingly sorry, Count, to have come so abruptly and informally
among you, but I assure you that we are here very much against our own
wishes. We are bound for the North Pole, but this terrible gale from the
north necessitated our anchoring for the present. But since fate has
cast us among you, I am very happy to make the acquaintance of Count
Icanovich. I am Dr. Jones of Washington City, United States, and this is
Professor Gray, of Smithsonian Institute, same city."

The Count shook hands with them very cordially, and asked, "How many are
there of your party?" Upon being told, he immediately desired that they
all be brought to the castle.

"We see but little of the world in this place," said he, "and we hail
this break in the humdrum monotony of our life with extreme pleasure."

The two gentlemen returned appropriate acknowledgments of the Count's
kindness, and arose to return to the globe for the company.

"Will you accompany us to the ship?" asked Dr. Jones.

"I thank you, but I am a victim of sciatic rheumatism, and can do but
little walking," returned the Count. "I hope, however, before you leave
us, to be able to inspect your wonderful air-ship."

"Is your sciatica of long standing?" inquired Dr. Jones, all the
instincts of a good physician being aroused at the presence of
suffering; and running over in his mind a list of remedies from force of
long habit.

"About three years. I contracted it from getting wet when warm. I am
incurable, and must grin and bear to the end."

"Do you feel better quiet, or when moving about?"

"Oh! I must move about. I usually put in hours at night hobbling up and
down my room."

"The bed feels so hard that you cannot find an easy spot to lie on. You
are always worse before storms. After sitting a little while you stiffen
up, feeling much better after moving about. The tendons of your legs
have a drawing sensation, and feel as if too short. There is more or
less of numbness and paralysis, and a wooden sort of feeling of the leg
when walking. You also have lightning-like shocks of pain through the
limb, now and then. Your attacks come on every few weeks, and it is the
left limb that is affected. You can be cured."

The doctor rattled these symptoms off with great volubility. The Count
looked at him with open-eyed wonder. The professor was not less
astonished at the positiveness with which Dr. Jones thus detailed the
Count's symptoms without any previous knowledge of the case.

"Whether you be angel or devil, I do not know; but certain it is that
you have told my symptoms better than I could have done myself. But you
make a bold assertion when you say that I can be cured. Do you know,
man, that I have had the best advice in Europe, and have spent a fortune
seeking relief?"

"Are you taking medicine now, sir?"

"No. I have thrown physic to the dogs, and may God have mercy on the
dogs. I am thoroughly disgusted with physic and physicians. And why
should I not be? Several years since, I saw my wife die of pulmonary
consumption. And now my only child lies in a chamber above, well
advanced in the same terrible, wholly incurable disease. As if this were
not enough, I myself am suffering the pangs of h--l with a lingering,
incurable complaint. Why shouldn't I detest the whole lying, infernal
business?" he roared, striking the floor savagely with his cane.

"Sure enough, sure enough," said the Doctor soothingly and
sympathetically. "I do not blame you in the least. But we will see if
something cannot be done for you, Count. I believe in my soul that I can
cure you, and that right speedily. Let us now hasten back, for our
people will be alarmed at our long absence."

They found them indeed wondering and anxious. All immediately descended
and repaired to the castle. The Count met them at the door, and, after
a formal introduction to each, led them to a large, quite modernly
furnished drawing-room.

"Now," said the Count, "please make yourselves at home. I intend that
you shall be my guests while you remain in this vicinity. You will be
shown to your rooms in a few moments. You will please excuse me now, and
I will see you at dinner, which will be at six o'clock."

He was about leaving the room, limping painfully, when Dr. Jones stepped
up to him, and, pulling a small vial from his vest pocket, said: "Put
out your tongue, Count; I wish to give you a dose of medicine that will
cure your sciatica."

The Count looked at him suspiciously a moment, then sat down as
requested, and put out his tongue. Dr. Jones shook a grain or two of
powder upon it.

"You will suffer less to-night than you have done in a long time. It is
very possible that this one dose will cure you perfectly and
permanently."

"I tell you frankly, sir, that I have not a particle of faith in your
minute, tasteless dose affecting me in the slightest," said the Count
with a half angry glare in his deep-set black eyes.

"I do not care a fig for your faith, sir," replied Dr. Jones in his
independent American manner. "Happily for you, this is not a Christian
Science cure that I am performing. You have the indicated remedy in your
circulation now; and with all due respect, believe what you please."

The company of friends were looking on anxiously, fearing that the
Doctor was too brusque with the nobleman. But that individual smiled,
and really seemed quite pleased and amused at Dr. Jones' positive,
straightforward way of doing business.

"Evidently _you_ are not deficient in the element of faith, Doctor, and
I can but wish that your faith may not be in vain in this instance."

After the Count had withdrawn, Professor Gray said: "Dr. Jones, I do not
at all understand how you could tell the Count his symptoms as you did,
without any previous knowledge of the case. Does sciatic rheumatism
always present just the same picture, or set of symptoms, that you
should be able to so rapidly and correctly tell his purely subjective
sensations?"

"Not by any means, Professor. A scientific prescription, like a stool,
must have at least three legs to stand upon. You will remember that the
Count had already told me that moving about, especially at night,
mitigated his pains; that he contracted his ailment from getting wet;
and I noticed that he favored the left leg in walking. These were the
three legs for my stool, or prescription. I felt positive that the
remedy indicated was Rhus Toxicodendron. So I merely mentioned the
leading characteristics of that drug, and I was not mistaken. You see,
then, that I did nothing marvelous nor supernatural. Now, any one of
many other drugs might have been indicated if the symptoms had been
different from what they were. The symptoms of the disease must always
be the same as those that the indicated drug is capable of producing in
crude doses. Rhus tox. will cure the Count because, in every case of
poisoning by that drug, there will be produced the symptoms found in his
case. Like cures like. This is a universal law of God. I feel quite sure
that the Count will experience great benefit from the one dose I have
given him."

"I shall watch this case with the greatest interest," said the
Professor. "You will make a convert of me to your system if you perform
a cure of so obstinate and painful a disease with an infinitesimal dose
of medicine."

"All right, my dear sir. I always feel confident of a cure when the
symptoms are clear cut as in this instance."

A general conversation was now entered into for a few moments, when
servants entered and signaled them to follow, and each was conducted to
a comfortable apartment. They shortly after assembled again in the
drawing-room and awaited the announcement of dinner. Fred opened the
piano, and he and the ladies sang a trio. They were glad when a servant
appeared and signaled them to follow him to the dining-room. The Count
was the only Russian present who could speak English. So he watched
carefully and interpreted the wants of his guests to the servants, and
but very little trouble was experienced. They found the cooking very
palatable, and their mode of living aboard Silver Cloud in the frosty
atmosphere of the Arctic region had sharpened their appetites
enormously.

The Count talked with them about their journey, and was much interested
in the graphic accounts given by the different members of the party of
their experiences. Will explained the plan and construction of the
globe. The Count was a good listener, and seemed deeply impressed with
all that was said upon the subject.

"It seems to me incredible that you were so short a time ago in
Washington City, U.S., and are now sitting at my dining table in the
heart of Russia. And think of the circuitous route by which you came!
Still I am prepared to believe anything when I look at yonder wonderful
silver globe, and remember how you dropped among us from the skies as
you did to-day."

After dinner Will and Denison borrowed a lantern and went to see that
Silver Cloud was all right for the night. The wind swayed the monster
ball back and forward gently, and there seemed to be no great strain
upon the cables.

"I think we had better get out the other two cables," said Will. "I do
not feel quite safe. A heavy gust might tear it away, and that would be
a calamity indeed."

So he ascended to the engine-room and passed the cable ends to Denison,
who made them securely fast to adjoining trees.

A very enjoyable evening was spent in the great drawing-room. Of course
music constituted the chief source of pleasure. Fred brought his anthem
and glee books from the cabin of Silver Cloud, and the old walls of the
castle certainly seldom, if ever, rang with such music as was discoursed
there that night. The domestics had so far recovered from their fright
that they now crowded the adjoining hall to hear the singing. So
ravishing was the harmony to their semi-barbaric ears that, conjoined
with the marvelous manner of their coming among them, these poor
creatures were ready to fall down and worship them as heavenly
visitants. The Count himself seemed to enjoy the music exceedingly, and
encored long and loudly. When they separated for the night, he shook
hands cordially with each, and said:

"My good friends, I cannot sufficiently thank you for the pleasure you
have afforded me this evening. You may be sure that my invalid daughter
has enjoyed your delightful music. She desired that the door be opened
so that she has heard it all. She was an accomplished vocal and
instrumental musician before her illness. Perhaps she may feel well
enough to see you in the drawing-room to-morrow evening."

Turning then to Dr. Jones, he said: "Well, Doctor, whether it be your
medicine or music that has charmed away my pains, I do not know; but it
is certain that I have not been so free from suffering for a long time.
I bid you all a very good night."

After a consultation it was thought best that two should sleep aboard
Silver Cloud every night so long as the party remained with the Count.
So Will and Denison took upon themselves this duty, and immediately
repaired to the cabin for the night.



CHAPTER XIII.

Beauty and the Beast.


On the following morning all were up early, and enjoyed a long walk
before breakfast in the park. They did not see the Count until breakfast
time. He was in a very pleasant mood, and, after inquiring how they had
rested, turning to Dr. Jones he said:

"I have always made a point of rendering credit to whom credit is due. I
slept eight consecutive hours last night, solidly and dreamlessly as the
dead. I have had no such rest for years, and this morning, but for the
stiffness of my limb, should be tempted to challenge you for a
foot-race. If this be the effect of your medicine, you are the most
wonderful healer I ever met."

"I am truly happy to hear that you feel so well this morning, Count
Icanovich. But remember that you do not believe at all in my
infinitesimal dose, and should not prematurely render me credit. Your
present improvement may be but a simple coincidence," and the Doctor's
eyes twinkled mischievously.

"That is right," said the Count good-naturedly; "I deserve your
sarcasm."

"Now," interposed Mrs. Jones, "I do not think that the Count deserves
any reproach or sarcasm at all. Here we come among you, total strangers;
and Dr. Jones, before we have been here two hours, in his usual
insinuating manner, gets you to swallow a dose of medicine for what you
have good reason to consider an incurable complaint. I think it quite
unreasonable to expect you to have the slightest faith in his one little
dose."

"Thank you, Mrs. Jones," said the Count, bowing to her gravely; "but you
will allow me to ask," and he set his great black eyes upon her very
earnestly, "do you think that the Doctor can cure me?"

"Do I think so!" cried she, flushing with pride and enthusiasm, "my good
sir, _he has done so already_!"

The Count looked at her in astonishment for a moment, then dropped his
knife and fork upon the table, threw his head back and roared with
laughter. It was so hearty and contagious that all joined it in spite of
themselves.

"Excuse me, friends," said he, wiping the tears from his eyes, "but I
have not laughed so for years. And this lady's vindication of your
skill, Dr. Jones, inspires me with greater confidence than anything else
could have possibly done. All I have to say, madam, is that I accept
your diagnosis of cure, and shall throw crutches and canes aside."

After breakfast the Count said: "I have a stable full of horses which
are at your service. I should esteem it a favor if you would use them as
your own. There are many sights of interest about here. A few miles away
is the town of P----, a nice little city of about five thousand. No
doubt you would like to make some purchases. I will accompany you any
time and act as interpreter."

They thanked him, but concluded not to visit town that day. He then led
Dr. Jones into his private room and said:

"Doctor, I am desirous that you should see my daughter. I fear that you
can do little more than palliate her condition, but even that would be
very much for us. She is a great sufferer, and I shall be extremely
grateful for anything you can do for her."

The Doctor immediately signified his readiness to see her whenever it
pleased the Count.

"That north wind is still howling, and I am only too happy to be of
service to your daughter, or any of God's suffering children while I am
with you. Keep me busy as you like, Count. My greatest delight is to
cure the sick, and the world is my field since I started on this trip
for the Pole."

The Count touched a bell, and a female servant entered. He gave her some
orders in Russian.

She returned in a few moments and spoke to him.

"My daughter is ready to receive us. Will you go up to her now, sir?"

"This is my daughter Feodora, Doctor Jones," said the Count as they
entered her room. A tall, graceful young lady of twenty arose from a
couch upon which she had been lying, and extended a thin feverish hand
to the Doctor. She spoke to him in beautiful English, and Dr. Jones
expressed surprise in his face so that the Count said:

"I spent several years in London, and Feodora became very proficient in
the language there."

They were all seated, and, after a few casual remarks, Dr. Jones
requested Feodora to relate to him the history of her illness, and as
she did so, he carefully noted her symptoms in his case-book. He
interrupted her as little as possible, preferring to take down the
history in her own language. After she had finished he made a physical
examination of her chest. First, he carefully percussed both lungs; that
is, laid the fingers of the left hand upon the chest and tapped them
lightly with the finger ends of the right hand, thus producing a more or
less resonant or hollow sound. He could thus detect any consolidated
tissue that might be in the lung, or abnormal resonance where there
chanced to be a cavity. He then, with a stethoscope, ausculated the
lungs, or listened to the respiratory sounds. He noted the temperature;
rate and other qualities of the pulse; looked at the tongue and sputa.
Having now a complete picture of the case or what he termed the
"totality of the symptoms," he said:

"I must consult my library a few moments. I will be back within an
hour."

He hastened to the cage, ascended to the cabin, and in a few moments was
oblivious to everything but the salvation of this precious young life.
He transcribed from his case-book to a sheet of paper the most
prominent, unusual, and persistent symptoms. They were:

1. Weeps much, and cannot bear to be left alone. Fears she will die.

2. Great difficulty in breathing; worse from exertion and after
coughing.

3. Dry, teasing cough, more or less day and night. In paroxysms from
tickling in the throat, with tenacious mucus, which she cannot raise,
and must be swallowed. Sputa sometimes consists of pus, mixed with
blood.

4. Lower third of the right lung particularly affected. She cannot lie
upon the right side on account of sharp, stitching pains through the
lung. Sometimes the sharp pains extend through the left lung, with
violent palpitation of the heart.

5. All these symptoms, cough, pains, etc., are invariably worse at three
o'clock, A.M., and continue one or two hours.

6. Very profuse night sweats, etc.

There were other concomitant symptoms that we will not stop to
enumerate. Dr. Jones prepared a powder from a vial labeled Kali
Carbonicum (cm), and descended and hastened to the castle. His heart was
jubilant within him, for he knew that he should save this lovely girl.
He fairly burst into her chamber, glowing with the pleasure he thus felt
in bearing the gospel of healing.

"Praise God!" he fervently ejaculated, "I have found your remedy. Take
this please." She opened her mouth and he shook from a tiny vial a dose
of a white granular powder, just as he did the night before with her
father.

"Now, I want you to cheer right up, and dismiss all thought of dying
from your mind. I expect that within a very few days you will experience
great relief. These sharp stitching pains will almost immediately
disappear, I am sure."

And so he talked to her for a little time so brightly and cheerfully
that the poor invalid seemed to catch his enthusiastic, hopeful spirit,
and smiled and chatted in a way that lifted the Count to the very skies.

"Whether there be any efficacy in your powders or not, Doctor Jones,
there is certainly wonderful potency in your sanguine manner of giving
them."

"Now, to-night," continued the Doctor, acknowledging the Count's
compliment with a smile and nod, "I desire to see you in the
drawing-room. You must have pleasant, cheerful company. No more tears
and sighing in this dismal room. Throw open the curtains and blinds, let
God's sunshine and fresh air in. Take no medicine except what I give
you. I must bring my wife and Mattie to see you, and you and they must
romp all over this country in a few days--providing a favorable wind
does not set in. For I must hie away to the North Pole at the earliest
practicable moment."

"Please bring your ladies up soon, Doctor. I desire very much to know
them, and I am sure that company does me good. I am afraid to be alone
a moment. It has been too quiet in this great castle with no one to talk
with but the servants. Do send for them immediately, please."

A few moments later they appeared and were introduced to Feodora. They
were shortly upon very good terms, for each of them was exceedingly well
bred and possessed of purest womanly instincts.

"I heard your beautiful singing last night, and how I did wish to join
your company. And do you know that yesterday I had been suffering
terribly with stitching pains in my side, and I was so tired and
miserable that I asked God to help me or take me home. Just then your
great silver ship sailed across my window so that I could see it as I
lay upon my couch, and do you know that I believed, for a time, that God
had sent his chariot for me. I did not seem the least frightened, though
I could hear the screams of the servants in different parts of the
house, and my nurse had crawled under the bed. I just closed my eyes and
awaited the summons. I confess that I felt really disappointed when they
told me the truth of the matter. But now, do you know," grasping the
good little Doctor's hand, "that I believe this to be God's messenger,
and through him I am to be restored to health again."

"The Lord grant it," said Dr. Jones. "But now we must leave you a few
hours. You have had quite enough excitement for once. I expect to see
you in the drawing-room to-night."

So they withdrew, leaving her smiling and happy. Count Icanovich joined
the Doctor a few moments later and asked him to sit with him in his
private office.

"You will understand, Doctor, that I am exceedingly anxious to know your
opinion of my daughter's condition. You have inspired us with a degree
of hope that we have not known for a long time. Indeed, Hope spread her
wings and left this castle long since, and it has been little better
than a charnel-house until your appearance. Now I ask you to tell me
candidly whether you entertain any hope of my Feodora's ultimate
recovery. You may lay your heart open to me, for I should receive her as
one raised from the dead if you save her. Do not, as you love your own
soul, attempt to deceive me."

"Count Icanovich," answered Dr. Jones, "I am hardly prepared to give you
a definite answer. I certainly see great reason to hope all that could
be expected or desired. A certain remedy is so positively and clearly
indicated in her case that I shall be greatly disappointed if the most
distressing of her symptoms do not immediately disappear. After that, so
much depends upon the hygienic and dietic management that I do not feel
justified in making an absolutely favorable prognosis."

"What if she were under your immediate supervision for a certain length
of time?"

"I should, under such circumstances, feel quite sure of restoring her to
perfect health."

"Then, Doctor, if money be any object to you, you shall have your own
price for remaining until you pronounce her well."

"I am extremely sorry, Count, but that cannot be. My Government has
built yonder aluminum air-ship at enormous expense at my express desire
and instigation, with the understanding that I sail with it to the North
Pole. My obligation is to do so with all possible dispatch. I will leave
medicine and explicit directions, so that in all probability you will do
just as well as if I remained."

The nobleman said no more upon the subject, and they joined the company
in the drawing-room. Will, Fred, and Denison repaired to the stables,
selected saddle-horses and rode to the town. There they were objects of
great interest to the inhabitants. The news of the great silver
globe--for they all believed it to be of silver, and the strangers to be
fabulously rich--with its load of voyagers that came so suddenly and
mysteriously among them the day before, had spread rapidly. The
superstitious people were half inclined to regard them as celestial
visitors, and looked upon them with awe and wonder.

The Doctor and the Professor, with the ladies, took a long walk through
the park. They met many of the natives, who were coming from every
direction to see the marvelous silver ship.

"I declare," said Mrs. Jones, "that I can hardly realize that all this
can be true. I have to pinch myself sometimes to see if I am not
enjoying a long beautiful dream."

"It is romantic to the last degree," replied Professor Gray.

"The wind still holds in the north," remarked Dr. Jones, scanning the
skies and treetops. "I see that it has veered a few points to the west.
We will surely get a favorable wind before many days."

"Isn't it a pity that you cannot stay with that lovely girl until she is
out of danger?" sighed Mrs. Jones.

"Yes, it grieves me exceedingly to be obliged to leave her, but I have
no option in the matter. If that globe were my private property, I would
not leave her until she was out of danger. But, under the circumstances,
I cannot do so. After all," said he, brightening up with the thought,
"she will probably do as well without me."

"She is the loveliest creature I ever saw," said Mattie. "How gentle,
beautiful, and patient she is. Much as I desire to visit the North Pole,
still I would gladly remain here six months or a year if it would do her
any good."

The day passed away without incident. After dinner all met in the
drawing-room, and the invalid girl occupied an easy chair among them.
She extended her hand to Dr. Jones with a grateful smile, and said:

"Doctor, I have not passed so comfortable a day for a very long time. I
shall get well. Your medicine has done wonders for me already. You are,
no doubt, in great haste to reach your destination, but you must not
leave me until I am better. If you do, I shall die."

"O, no! my dear Miss Feodora, you will not die. I shall leave you
medicines that will help you through nicely."

This the Doctor said with all the assurance and cheerfulness he could
command. But she instinctively detected a slight shade of anxiety or
uncertainty in his tone. The physician must be a consummate actor who
can deceive a patient whose perceptions are preternaturally acute as
were Feodora's. He saw that he had not deceived her, and cried:

"Do not let us think of that subject to-night. This unfavorable wind may
last many days, and I promise to see you better before I go."

She smiled sweetly and gratefully as he gave her this promise, and
abandoned herself to the enjoyment of the music, conversation, etc., of
the evening. Instrumental and vocal music constituted the principal
source of amusement, and the audience awarded unstinted praise and
applause. The singers were in the best possible form, not one of them
complaining of cold or hoarseness, as is customary. Nothing could exceed
the sweetness and richness of Mrs. Jones' voice. It seemed to fill the
gloomy halls and rooms of the castle to its farthest confines. And
Mattie's contralto beautifully and nobly seconded the soprano. The tenor
and bass could scarcely have been better, and altogether it was a
concert worthy of the praise of that, or any other, audience.

"You will never know what a change your coming has made in our home,"
said Feodora to Mrs. Jones and Mattie as they sat beside her. "Before
your coming, all was so still and dark, and scarcely a sound could be
heard in the rooms or halls all day. Now see the servants sitting and
standing about the halls, chatting and laughing as if nothing had ever
been wrong in the house. And look at papa talking and laughing as if he
were not the saddest man on earth only two days ago. As for myself, I am
simply astonished beyond measure. I have really forgotten for a time
this evening that I am not perfectly well. O, what a beautiful,
beautiful change! And it is perfectly heavenly to have a respite from
pain, even if it be but temporary."

The two ladies, one sitting upon either side, smiled their sympathy and
happiness, and pressed her poor emaciated hands between their own cool,
soft, plump ones in a way that went directly to her heart.

"Let us help you up stairs," said Mrs. Jones, "for I am sure that you
must be getting tired."

She assented, bade the company good-night, and retired with the two
ladies.

"Now you must let us do everything we can for you while we are here,"
said Mrs. Jones. "You know that we are to see you better before we go
away, and I have so much confidence in Dr. Jones' system of medicine
that I am positive of your recovery."

Leaving her then to the nurse, they retired for the night.



CHAPTER XIV.

Doctor Jones Commits Treason.


As they met at the breakfast table next morning, they found the Count
joyous and jubilant. Feodora had spent a comparatively comfortable
night. At the regular hour, 3 o'clock, A.M., the stitching pains and
cough recurred, but were so much less than usual, and lasted so much
shorter a time that she was radiant with joy, and thanked Dr. Jones so
sweetly that the good man was obliged to hem and cough and wipe his nose
and eyes, and complain of a slight cold which he had contracted. As for
the nobleman himself, he declared that he was the happiest and soundest
of all the Czar's subjects.

"I cannot understand this matter, Doctor," said he. "I have absolutely
exhausted the medical science of Europe without the slightest benefit.
Here you come from the United States, a new country, and supposed to be
very much behind in all matters of science and letters, yet you have
done for me and my daughter, as if by magic, what the accumulated
science and knowledge of Europe have not been able to do at all. Is your
science a mystic or esoteric affair, and are you the only one in
possession of the secret?"

"No, indeed, Count Icanovich. So far from my system being esoteric or
exclusively my own, I have for many years taught and exemplified to the
best of my ability the law by which I am governed in the selection of
the remedy. And there are a noble few in my country who are like
children sitting in the market, crying, 'We have mourned unto you and ye
would not mourn; we have piped unto you and ye would not dance.' By
every possible means we have endeavored to induce the dominant school of
medicine to investigate our claims, but they simply deride and laugh us
to scorn."

"But surely, Doctor, they cannot deny the evidence of their own senses!
If you cure that which they cannot, they certainly must heed you.
Anything else is unthinkable," exclaimed the Count.

"My dear sir, human nature is past finding out in its capacity for
stupidity and foolishness. God gives every man the power to choose good
or evil, and no amount of evidence can dispossess him of this elective
franchise. Hence he is the arbiter of his own fate. Abraham said to
Dives concerning his brethren, 'If they believe not Moses and the
prophets, neither will they believe, though one arose from the dead.'
Jesus Christ healed the sick, raised the dead, restored the lame, the
halt, the blind, in the presence of priests, lawyers, and doctors, the
scientists of those days; and they put him to death in precisely the
same spirit that they expatriated Samuel Hahnemann for discovering and
promulgating the only law of cure in God's universe. Human nature has
not changed a particle since the days of Adam and Eve, and it never will
be any more nor less than what it is now, except as it is regenerated
through the Atonement."

"This is marvelously strange," said the Count musingly. "I do not
remember to have heard of your system more than a few times in my life,
and then but as something ridiculous or foolish. Cannot something be
done to bring it before the public?"

"So far as I know, Count Icanovich, there is not a school in Europe
where the tenets of our system are taught. The dominant school of
medicine has used its power, and legislation effectually bars us out in
every European country. Only in America have we colleges, and even there
whatever privileges we enjoy are the results of deadly and
uncompromising warfare. So you will understand the difficulties under
which we labor."

"It seems, then, that it is simply a matter of ignorance with the laity
that your system has not become universally adopted," interposed
Professor Gray. "And the 'Regular School,' as they style themselves, is
exceedingly active in keeping them thus ignorant."

"That is the state of affairs exactly," cried Dr. Jones. "To illustrate
the fact that we have a law of cure, while the so-called Regulars have
nothing like it, a certain physician, a number of years ago, sent out
twenty letters, ten to prominent men of each school. He sent to each the
ordinary price of a prescription, and represented himself as a patient.
He detailed precisely the same symptoms to each. Now, if medicine is
worthy of being called a science, why should there not have been an
answer, and but one answer, as to the remedy indicated in this case?"

"So I have said a thousand times," exclaimed the Count, excitedly. "And
I can foretell the denouement so far as the Regular school is concerned:
You received as many prescriptions that were totally unlike as there
were men of that school who prescribed for you."

"Right, you are, my lord!" shouted the Doctor. "But eight of them
responded. No two of their prescriptions at all resembled each other,
and the aggregate number of drugs prescribed by them was somewhere near
seventy, if I remember correctly. If all these drugs had been put into a
jug, the compound would have been a mass of incompatibles that would
have poisoned any miserable wretch who was fool enough to take it."

"But how did the men of your school do, Doctor?" asked Professor Gray.
"Did they do any better?"

"Did they!" again shouted Dr. Jones, swelling and flushing with pride.
"Every one of them prescribed Lycopodium Pollen, which was the indicated
remedy."

"How many physicians of your school are there in America?" asked the
Count.

"Something like twelve thousand, I believe."

"And would each of them have prescribed the remedy you mentioned?"

"All worthy of the name would have done so."

"And are not all worthy?"

"I am forced to say no! not by a great many. Like every other
representative system of truth, our greatest source of danger is from
within. No chain is stronger than its weakest link, as has been said
many times. The world judges us by our weaklings. Every good thing has
its hordes of counterfeits."

"Well," said the Count, "I am deeply interested in this matter. I must
hear more of it, Doctor."

"And I also am desirous of information upon this all important subject,"
added Professor Gray.

The wind had veered around to the west-nor-west. It had materially
abated in violence, but was still unfavorable for our navigators. And,
in truth, the Doctor was not nearly so anxious to depart at this time as
was Professor Gray. The good Doctor's mind was divided between a desire
to be off for the Arctics, and a professional interest in, and friendly
solicitude for, the beautiful Feodora. Nothing could exceed the delight
with which he noted the manifest curative power of the dose which he had
given her. And he had pledged his word that he would not leave her until
material improvement was apparent. So it was with a considerable degree
of resignation that he saw the wind continue northerly.

The matter stood about thus between him and Professor Gray: While Dr.
Jones was really commander of the expedition, yet the Professor
represented the Government's interests, and he kept a strict record of
every day's occurrences. These must be subjected to the inspection of
the proper authorities upon their return to Washington. The fact that
Dr. Jones had interested himself in a sick girl in the heart of Russia,
even though she was the only child of a Count who stood high with the
Emperor of all the Russias, could not excuse him to his Government for
holding in abeyance the mighty interests of the expedition upon which it
had projected him.

For two more days the northerly winds prevailed. Then came the
hoped-for, yet dreaded, change. At six o'clock in the morning, the
Professor rapped upon Dr. Jones' chamber door.

"Come, Doctor," he cried. "Ho! for the North Pole. A glorious breeze
from due South."

The Doctor joined him in a few moments, and they walked into the park.
The aluminum flag fluttered straight toward the north. The Doctor
expressed his delight, but there tugged at his heart the thought of
leaving the poor girl who clung to him for her life. But he did not dare
to mention this fact to Professor Gray. He knew that no merely
sentimental grounds would have any weight with that gentleman, and that
he (the Professor) would hold him strictly accountable to the Government
for any unnecessary delay.

So, with a sigh, he announced to his party that they would sail as soon
after breakfast as possible. The Count looked very much distressed, but
said not a word. After breakfast the Doctor and Count repaired to
Feodora's room. She had rested beautifully all night, and received them
with a glad, smiling welcome. But when Dr. Jones announced that he must
sail within two or three hours, her face became exceedingly sorrowful,
and she said to him so gently and simply that it touched the hearts of
the men more than tears could have ever done:

"And do you know what goes with you in your beautiful Silver Cloud?"

"I do not know that I do. What do you mean?"

"My life."

This unexpected reply caused the Doctor a terrible shock.

"O no! my dear young lady, you are doing splendidly. Just carry out my
written instructions and you will do as well without me as you would
with me."

"Dr. Jones, I appreciate your situation, and know that you have no right
to remain here for my sake, or anyone's else. I will not try to persuade
you to stay; but I know that when you have gone, Hope will have
accompanied you, and I shall certainly die."

"My God! My God! Dr. Jones, I cannot endure this," groaned the Count,
and great tears coursed down his cheeks.

"Let me talk with you a few moments privately," said the Doctor.

The Count led the way to his office, and when they were seated the
Doctor began:

"Count Icanovich, I cannot leave you, and yet you see my situation.
Professor Gray will not consent to an hour's unnecessary delay, and will
hold me in strictest account to my Government."

"Cannot he be brought to consent to remain a few weeks?" asked the Count
anxiously.

"Not all the gold in Russia would tempt him one moment," declared the
Doctor emphatically.

"But you must not go and take my darling's life with you!" cried the
Count desperately.

"Say 'shall not,' and you will hit it exactly," replied the little
Doctor, winking shrewdly at the Count.

"What do you mean?"

"Have you no special power or authority in this section?"

"I have very great power if I choose to use it. Do I understand you to
advise me to detain you by force?"

The Doctor grinned, gave a little Frenchy shrug of the shoulders, and
said: "It would be treason to my country to advise you to do so, sir;
but if you permit us to go, surely you cannot blame me for going. I very
much prefer to stay, but only absolute force can prevent my going."

"I understand you perfectly, Doctor, and you need say no more," replied
the Count, smiling grimly. "It had not occurred to me to treat my guests
with such discourtesy; but you Americans have an adage, I have
heard,--or is it English?--that a hint is as good as a kick. Well, you
needn't kick me--unless I let you go. Now go up to my daughter and cheer
her up with the news that you are forcibly detained, and will not sail
till she is cured."

Here the two men clasped hands, threw open their mouths to their widest
extent, and laughed long and--silently.

"But now run up to Feodora; she needs you badly, and I have some very
important business to attend to."

So the Doctor again ascended to Feodora's room. He found there his wife
and Mattie, all three in tears.

"Come, come, girls, wipe your eyes. Please leave me alone with Miss
Feodora a few minutes. I will join you down stairs directly."

"And now," said he, "cheer right up. We are not going to leave you until
your father consents. I have made the arrangement with him, but it must
not be known to anyone else. You understand, do you not?"

"I do, Doctor, I do," she cried; "and I promise to get well as soon as I
can, so as not to detain you any longer than necessary. I shall get
well! I shall get well!" and she pressed his hand to her lips in the
ecstacy of her joy.

"There, there," said he, a little sheepishly, withdrawing his hand, "go
to sleep now, and come down to the drawing-room this afternoon."

He had been in the drawing-room but a moment or so when the Professor
and Will rushed in, each very excited.

"Doctor!" cried Will, "what do you suppose the Count has done?"

"I don't know, I'm sure. What's the matter?"

"Well, by Jove, if he hasn't padlocked our cables, and very coolly
informed us that we cannot sail until he gives us permission!"

"What can he possibly mean!" exclaimed the Doctor in well-assumed
astonishment. "We must see about this matter. Where is he?"

"We left him at the globe," said the Professor. "I cannot comprehend the
meaning of this. Let us go at once and see him."

"Surely he must be joking you," said the Doctor, as they walked rapidly
toward Silver Cloud.

They found a group standing beneath the globe; and, as Will had said,
every anchor and cable was heavily padlocked. Dr. Jones stepped briskly
up to Count Icanovich and said with all the sharpness he could command:
"What is the meaning of this, Sir Count? Why have you padlocked these
cables?"

"Evidently I could have but one object; to prevent your casting them
off."

"But why? What right have you to do so?"

"Simply the right of might. But come," said he, looking over the
company, "let us talk this matter over together. Shall we return to the
castle?"

"Suppose we ascend to the cabin," said the Doctor. "There we can talk
without interruption."

So, two by two, they all ascended to the sittingroom of the cabin. The
Doctor and Count were the first to go up.

"I shall make a great demonstration of anger, and may talk pretty
sharply, Count, but you will know my meaning," said the former, as they
landed in the engine-room.

"I perfectly understand; act your part, Doctor."

When they were all seated in the sittingroom, the Doctor immediately
reiterated the question:

"What is the meaning of this high-handed proceeding, Count Icanovich?"

"It simply means that I cannot consent to let you go at present, Doctor
Jones."

"And do you really mean to detain us by force?"

"I do, if necessary."

"Will you kindly tell us your object, and by what authority you dare to
delay a United States' expedition? Do you not know that our Government
will demand heavy reprisals for this action upon your part?"

"Allow me to answer your first question. When you landed among us a few
days ago, you found us a despairing lot of invalids. We were simply
waiting death as the only possible escape from our pains and distress.
The change that you have brought about by your medical skill and
knowledge is known to you all, and I need not dwell upon it. Our hearts
are bursting with gratitude, and it pains me beyond measure to be thus
obliged to use coercion; but my daughter's interests--her life--compel
me to detain you. She declares that she cannot live if the Doctor leaves
her, and I cannot and will not permit her only chance of recovery to
thus fly away in the air. She is all I have on earth, and I swear that
you shall stay until she consents to let you go."

"But, Count Icanovich, do you not see how impossible it is for us to
remain?" asked Professor Gray.

"No; I only see how impossible it is for you to go."

"But look at the vast amount of money that our Government has intrusted
us with for an express purpose. Having accepted this trust, our first
and only duty is to that Government. And I tell you that whoever dares
to detain us will have a heavy account to settle with a great and
powerful nation."

"I perfectly appreciate all that, Professor Gray, and am ready to settle
any indemnity that may be demanded of me. I tell you, one and all, that
I count these things as but dross when compared with the life of my
Feodora. She shall not die if any high-handed outrage that I can commit
will prevent it. You have heard me."

The voyagers looked at one another in dismay. Here was a predicament
that no one could have foreseen.

"How long is this delay likely to last?" asked Will.

"Just as long as the interests of my daughter's health demand it,"
returned the Count.

The Doctor gave a hypocritical groan that would have made his fortune
upon the stage.

"How long will that be, Doctor?" asked Will.

"Three months, at least," was the reply.

The Professor duplicated the Doctor's groan with such emphasis that the
party could not repress their smiles, and the two conspirators did not
dare look at each other.

"Well, Professor, we'll have to accept the inevitable," said Dr. Jones.
"Let's go down again and continue our studies of Russian customs and
habits."

"Allow me to say, gentlemen, before we descend, that it is best that we
should have a thorough understanding. I desire to treat you as my
honored friends and guests, and to allow you every possible liberty and
pleasure while here. Pledge me your word that you will not attempt to
sail without my knowledge, or seek governmental interference, and all I
have is at your command."

"Before I accede to your proposition, I wish to put one question: If Dr.
Jones will consent to remain, will you permit the rest of the party to
depart with the ship?" asked the Professor.

"I shall be delighted if you can make any such arrangement," quickly
returned the Count.

"What do you say, Doctor?" cried Professor Gray, turning to him.

The Doctor pondered a moment or two, and then said:

"It is very great to be the discoverer of the North Pole, but it is very
much greater to save a human life. My wife and Mattie will remain with
me, but the rest of you may depart immediately if you wish."

"As for me," said Denison, promptly, "I shall stay with Dr. Jones."

Will and Fred looked at each other a moment, then Fred burst out:

"Let's stick together. The North Pole will be there just the same a few
months later, and I do not blame Count Icanovich for detaining the
Doctor under the circumstances. To use a beautiful Americanism, we may
as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. In one, in all."

"I stand with the majority," said Will.

"Well, gentlemen, I do not see but that I am in a hopeless minority, and
must accept the Count's terms," sighed the Professor. "But say, Doctor,
let me suggest one more idea before settling the matter definitely. Are
there not men in Russia who practice your system, and who could fill
your place satisfactorily in this case?"

"I presume there are, but I am unacquainted with them."

"But, gentlemen, my daughter will accept no substitute. I suggested the
same idea to her, but she would not listen to it. It is Dr. Jones or
nobody with her. There is no alternative. Dr. Jones must stay." This the
Count said so decisively that further argument was mutually dropped as
unavailing.

"Well, Sir Count, since fate is against our sailing until the recovery
of the fair Feodora, I only hope her return to perfect health may be
unprecedentedly rapid, and I hereby give you the required pledge." With
this the Professor extended his hand to the Count. The latter seized it
cordially, then shook hands with each of the rest of the company,
saying:

"I am so glad that this unpleasant matter has been so easily and
amicably adjusted. Let us go down now, and the only command that I put
upon you is that you use my castle as your own, and that you come and go
as you please."

They all thanked the noble Count, and the whole party set out for the
castle. When they reached the drawing-room the Professor dropped into a
chair and said: "I used to be of the opinion that the stories of the
enchanted castles, Sleeping Beauties and Beasts were all childish
fiction and romance. But, as the darky said, 'Heah we is.' We have the
castle, the Beauty, and the Beast. Though I must say of the Beast that
he is a very amiable old fellow, after all, and I would do just as he is
doing under the circumstances. This Beauty must be awakened, and Dr.
Jones is the Prince of Physicians who can do it."

"Thank you, Professor. And now, girls, take off your hats and cloaks,"
cried the Doctor. "We have concluded to stay with the Count a few
months."

They looked at him to see if he were not joking.

"What do you mean, Doctor?" asked his wife. "Did you say that we were to
stay here a few months?"

"Yes, my dear. The Count has persuaded me to remain until Feodora is so
far recovered that we can safely leave her."

"Well now, I will tell you the truth; I am really glad to hear it." Then
turning to the company, she proudly said: "This is just like him. I am
sure that he would not only give up the North Pole, but the whole earth
to save a human life."

"Come, come, sis," said the Doctor, blushing and confused, "you make me
feel silly. Scatter off, now, and make yourselves at home. We must make
the Count glad to get rid of us."



CHAPTER XV.

A Model Teacher and Ideal Student.


The days and weeks flew swiftly by. The fame of the great air-ship
spread far and wide, and thousands of visitors came to inspect it and
the wonderful voyagers. But what especially drew the people, and was
talked of more than all else, was the marvelous skill of Dr. Jones as a
healer. The beautiful Feodora improved from day to day, so that she
daily drove with her devoted and constant companions, Mrs. Jones and
Mattie. She began to eat heartily, gained flesh rapidly, and her cough
had nearly left her. Roses of health assumed the place of hectic flush,
and she was the talk and wonder of everyone who knew of her former
hopeless condition.

Many were the consultations held by Dr. Jones, with the grateful and
goodnatured Count for interpreter. Money and honors poured in upon him,
though he never made any sort of charge for advice or medicine. The
better class of patients invariably left upon the table one or more
pieces of gold.

"Maggie, do you know that I have no idea of what to do with all this
money? If it keeps on this way, I shall be obliged to found a college
and hospital when we get back to Washington. Wouldn't it be grand if I
could break down the prejudices and legal barriers in this great
country, and establish our school upon an even footing with the old
school?"

"The Count must have influence at court. I should think that he might be
of great help to you," suggested Mrs. Jones.

"That is a good thought, and I will have a talk with him upon the
subject at the first opportunity."

The Count, meantime, was closely watching the Doctor's methods and the
results. He was delighted to note that many chronic cases recovered
under the treatment; and acute diseases yielded as if by magic to his
all-powerful infinitesimal doses.

"This is something utterly incomprehensible," he said to the Doctor one
evening, as the friends sat with him in his office, smoking and talking.
"Your medicines are working wonders, and yet I cannot understand how it
is possible for so minute a particle as is contained in one of your
doses to act so potently and profoundly upon a great mass of blood,
flesh, and bones, like the human body. That it does so is beyond
question. I have watched you carefully, and am thoroughly converted to
your system."

"Wouldn't it be a glorious thing for Russia if this system of medicine
could have at least an opportunity of being heard, and of exemplifying
the fact that it is founded upon science, and that beside it there is no
other?" cried Dr. Jones.

"Suppose you had an opportunity, by what method would you prove this
system to be what you claim for it?" asked Professor Gray.

"By the only method that can satisfy the human mind--practical
experience and demonstration. Nothing else will do. Theory is all well
enough, but if it cannot stand the test of experiment it is of no sort
of use. There is not a crowned head nor potentate in Europe before whom
I would not gladly and fearlessly put my system to such test. Give me
but a clear cut case--one that has not been spoiled by massive dosage or
surgery, and I am willing that the system shall stand or fall by the
result."

"That is perfectly fair, and I know, Doctor, that you would succeed,"
said the Count. "And I will say, further, that I am at your service to
promulgate your system in Russia. I have influence at court, and I can
put it to no better use than to help you present the system of medicine
which you represent to those in a position to open our door to your
school."

"If you will do that, sir, I shall never regret our having been blown
out of our course into Russia. If I can thus be instrumental in the
salvation of countless thousands of God's suffering children, I shall
feel that I have not lived in vain, whether I ever reach the North Pole
or not. Do not think, Professor, that I have in any degree lost
interest in our original enterprise. But, meantime, I must do what I
can for humanity when opportunity occurs."

"You are doing that, Doctor, and I heartily sympathize with you in your
labors," answered the Professor. "I only insist that, when permitted by
the fair Feodora, we sail immediately for our destination."

"That we will, Professor, and I promise not to enter into any
arrangements that shall prevent our going as soon as possible," replied
Dr. Jones.

"Excuse me, gentlemen," interrupted the Count, "but I wish to ask the
Doctor for information. As you know, I have had a considerable amount of
experience with the regular school of medicine, and you also know that I
was thoroughly disgusted with it when you came so opportunely. I have
carefully observed your methods, Dr. Jones, and I notice this essential
difference between the two schools: The old school physicians are
exceedingly particular in their examinations and explorations. They seem
extremely worried about naming the disease and knowing the exact
condition of the diseased tissues, but they do not appear to be able to
manage the practical part of the business--cure. You, as a
representative of the other system, do not lay so much stress upon these
things, but do take cognizance of the symptoms in each case with
surprising particularity. And I notice that you appear to base your
prescription solely upon what you term the 'totality of symptoms.' How
nearly am I right?"

"Count, you have apprehended the exact condition of things. It is well
enough to know all we can of the state of the organ or organs that we
are treating; but suppose I spend hours examining a patient with all the
appliances known to medicine, and have determined to a certainty the
name of the disease with which my patient is afflicted, I am now no
nearer knowing the remedy indicated in this case than I was before I
made the examination. I must go back and take all the symptoms into
account, both subjective and objective before I can intelligently
prescribe."

"I do not see, then, that it makes any difference whether you know all
about the condition of the organs, or can name the disease or not," said
Will.

"Good boy, Will," smiled the Doctor. "You're learning fast. It is an
absolute fact that some of the best shots I ever made were where
neither I, nor any living man, could make what we term the
diagnosis--that is, name the disease. I will give you a case in point: A
good many years ago, when I was quite a young physician, there came into
my office a man who desired me to go with him and see a sick babe. I
found the most miserable looking three months' old child I had ever
seen. Nothing could exceed the emaciation and puniness of the little
creature, and the mother was carrying it about upon a pillow. For six
weeks it had cried night and day, almost incessantly, except when under
the influence of opiates. Five old school doctors had done what they
could, and at last had declared that it could not live. They had not
been able to establish the diagnosis, and so were at sea as to
treatment. I sat beside it and studied the case as closely as possible
for more than an hour. There was but one peculiarity or symptom upon
which to base a prescription. It was this: It would lie a few moments
apparently asleep, then it would give a start and begin to scream with
all its puny power. This would last one or two minutes, when it would as
suddenly fall asleep again. This, they assured me, was the way it had
performed all through its illness, except when opiated. 'Pains come and
go suddenly.' That was all I had to go on. I could not locate the pains,
nor by any possible means know what the cause of them was; but I did
know, thank God, what was of infinitely greater importance: I knew the
drug that had that particular symptom, and that was Belladonna. Into
half a tumblerful of water I dropped five or six drops of the two
hundredth dilution of that drug, and put a few drops of this medicated
water into the poor little thing's mouth."

Here the Doctor stopped, knocked the ashes from his pipe, arose and
started as if to leave the room.

"Hold on, Doctor," cried Fred; "I am very much interested in that baby.
How did it come out on your Belladonna solution?"

"O yes! I should have said that it immediately went to sleep, and did
not awaken for several hours. It never cried again, received no more
medicine, and in a few weeks would have made a model picture for a
patent baby food company. It only received the one little dose that I
gave it."

"I declare," said the Count, laughing heartily, "that it sounds absurd
beyond anything I ever heard in my life. Yet who has greater reason to
know it to be absolutely true than myself. Go on, Doctor; I am prepared
to believe anything you are pleased to tell us of your miraculous
system."

"Before I go I think I will spin you one more story," said the Doctor,
reseating himself. "This is what might be termed the reductio ad
absurdum of prescribing merely for the disease by name, irrespective of
symptomatology. I was called to see a poor Dutchman who was in the last
stage of pulmonary consumption. He had just been brought home from a
certain city, where he had been in a hospital for two or three months.

"Well, Hans," I said, "how did they use you at the hospital; they are
very scientific there, you know, and must have done great things for
you.'"

"O Doctor!" he groaned, "dondt speak aboudt dem fellers. Dey vos de
piggest lot of shackasses I efer saw."

"Why, Hans, I am surprised at you! What did they do that did not please
you?"

"Vell, I tells you. Ven I goes into dot hoshpital, dey oxamines mine
lungs. Den dey puts me into a pedt mit a pig card hanging ofer mine
hedt, und dere vos on dot card in pig letters, de vird, CONSUMPTION. I
tink dey puts dot card dere to encourage me ven I looks at him. Und in a
leedle pox py mine hedt, dey puts a pottle of medticine und say to me,
'You dakes a teaspoonful of dot efery dree hours.' So I do dot. It vos
awful stuff but I sticks to him aboudt dree veeks. Den I can no more
dake it. It makes me so seek to mine stummick dot I gan no more eat
anyting. So I say to de steward von morning, 'I gan no more dake dot
medticine. I must haf some oder kind.' Vell, sir, you should haf seen
dot feller look at me. He lifts up his hands und says, 'I shoost adtmire
you, Hans.' 'What for you adtmire me?' 'Pecause you vos de piggest
kicker dot efer comes into dis hoshpital. Now look at yourself. You vos
oxamined und put into de ped to which you pelong. Dere ish de card
hanging ofer your hedt vot tells vot vos der matter mit you. Und den
dere ish der medticine for consumption in de pottle py your hedt. Dot
medticine is Doctor Smith's favorite prescription for dot disease. Und
mit all dot you kicks. Vot more do you want?' 'Vell,' I say, 'I gan no
more dake dot medticine. It makes me awful seek.' 'Now, Hans, dondt be
so unreasonable. You pelongs to dot ped, und whoefer goes into dot ped
dakes dot medticine. Dondt you see?' 'But I dells you dot I gan no more
dake dot medticine. It vill kill me. If no oder medticine goes mit this
ped, put me in some oder ped dot has a tifferent pottle, I cares not
what it is.' But no, sir! dey keeps me in dot ped. So I spidts Doctor
Smith's tam stuff into de slop bowl, und comes home so quick as I gan."

"I could hardly credit Hans' story, and told it as a joke to an old
school physician who was familiar with the hospital where Hans had been.
To my surprise he did not seem to see any joke in it. 'Can it be
possible,' said I, 'that Hans told the truth?' 'Well,' said he, 'in all
but one particular I think that he did.' 'And what was that particular?'
I asked. 'The card above his head did not have on it, 'Consumption,' but
'Phthisis Pulmonalis.'"



CHAPTER XVI.

The Count Steps Over the Line.


The Silver Cloud's crew, if we may so term it, had busied themselves in
various ways, according to their several dispositions and bents of mind.
Dr. Jones was occupied more or less of the time with the invalids, who
came to him from far and wide. The most inveterate cases of chronic
diseases constituted the bulk of his practice, and the cures that he
made were truly marvelous. The patience and interest of the Count never
flagged a moment. He continued at his post and interpreted for the
Doctor with surprising fidelity. Dr. Jones was so pleased with him that
he explained to his noble student every case for which he proscribed,
told him the name of the drug and precisely why he gave it. Surely here
was a model teacher and an ideal student.

Let it not be inferred that our Doctor was infallible, nor that he
always cured.

"There are many cases that are incurable, Sir Count, and we must learn
to know them almost by intuition. The causes of failure are numerous,
but you will notice that they are always to be found in the physician or
patient; never in the law of cure. If I be not able to apprehend and
duly estimate the symptoms of a given case, I must, of necessity, fail
to cure. Or if the patient be unruly, stupid, or willful, he must pay
the penalty. Frequently, the case has been rendered incurable by massive
dosage or surgery. My system cures all that is curable when
intelligently applied. And you will notice that in some instances there
is an absolute dearth of symptoms. You also observe that I give them a
dose and tell them to return in a week or ten days. When they return
they often exhibit a splendid crop of symptoms, and I experience no
trouble then in finding the remedy. These cases usually have a history
of suppressed eruption. At some time in their lives the itch, or eczema,
or some other skin trouble has been driven into their system by
external medicaments in the form of ointments, washes, etc. Lifelong
ailments, over which the old school have no control, are the result. A
large percentage of chronic diseases are due to this cause alone."

And so, during their leisure hours, sitting in the Count's office, or
peripatetically as they walked together in the park, the enthusiastic
Doctor taught his willing and attentive pupil.

"Just see those two inseparables!" cried Feodora to Mrs. Jones and
Mattie, as they sat by the front reception-room window, looking out upon
the park. The Doctor and Count were promenading before the great
building, the former with head erect, hands extended before him,
lecturing upon his favorite theme. The towering figure of the Count
strode along beside him, hands clasped behind and head bent well
forward, listening attentively to every word.

"I do believe that my father will be so enthusiastic a convert to the
Doctor's system, that he will get books and medicines and practice upon
our poor people when you are gone," said Feodora.

"And he could not do a better thing," answered Mrs. Jones. "I have known
laymen who made very fine prescribers. The Count could do a vast amount
of good with a set of books and medicines."

"Then you can rest assured that he will do so," returned Feodora. "My
father is a very benevolent man naturally, but was fast becoming a
misanthrope when you came among us. I shall never cease thanking God for
the northern gale that blew you here."

"Nor shall I, dear Feodora," said Mrs. Jones, kissing her with great
affection. "And I really dread the time when we must leave you. But you
are improving so rapidly that we must go before many weeks."

"I am glad to get well, but I do feel sorry to think of your going. But
I do not give up ever seeing you again. You will go to the North Pole in
a short time, and then return home. You will write me from there, both
you and Mattie, and then my father and I will visit you and bring you
home with us. You must spend a winter with us in our capital city. It is
the most beautiful and gayest city in Europe in its season."

"And you shall spend a winter in Washington," returned Mrs. Jones.

"I have never seen anything so beautiful as Washington," said Mattie.

And so the friends chatted and cemented their acquaintance and
friendship day by day, planning for future enjoyment of each other's
society.

The Count and Feodora were greatly interested in their account of their
visit with the Barton family in Labrador.

"By the way," said Mattie, "let's go up to Will's studio and see his
painting of Jennie Barton."

Feodora readily assented. "I have been longing for some time to see the
interior of your beautiful cabin," she said.

They slowly walked to the cage and mounted to the cabin, a distance of
but fifty feet. They found Will at work upon a local landscape. He was
delighted to receive the ladies, especially Feodora. "This augurs well
for our sailing soon, Miss Feodora. And I cannot tell you how glad we
all are to see you recovering so rapidly."

"I told Feodora that you had made a fine painting of Jennie Barton. We
have told her all about our visit in Labrador, and she wishes to see
your painting of Jennie," said Mattie.

"I am only too proud to show it her," answered Will, and he removed a
cloth from the painting that rested upon an easel.

"What a sweet, lovely face!" exclaimed Feodora. "I have never seen
anything sweeter in my life."

Will hastened to assure her, though he flushed with pride, that it
lacked very much of doing the fair Jennie justice.

"There is something so good and pure in that face, that it rests one to
look at it," said the fair Russian.

"Would you accept it from me as a present?" asked Will.

"O Mr. Marsh! would you really part with it?"

"I shall feel greatly honored if you will accept it from me. I intend
painting another immediately. Whether I shall ever reach my ideal, I do
not know."

"I fear that you never will until you return to Constance House," said
Mattie slyly.

"Now Mattie, that is very unkind of you," cried Will with a well-assumed
severity.

Feodora thanked Will sincerely for his present, and declared that it
should be hung in her room where she might see it the first thing in the
morning and the last thing at night. "Surely nothing could be sweeter
and more interesting than the romance connected with this lovely
painting," said she.

Professor Gray, meantime, had not been idle all these weeks. He and
Denison had developed an affinity for each other, and spent many hours
together, the former teaching the latter much of the geology, botany,
etc., of the country round about. And with rod and gun they kept the
Count's table well supplied with game. They also did much riding, and
for many miles they became familiar objects to the inhabitants. The
Professor made copious notes of all he saw of interest, intending it as
subject matter for a future scientific work.

And Fred busied himself with his music. He had discovered among the
visitors at the castle a young Russian who spoke English tolerably well,
and who was more than an ordinary violinist. They immediately formed a
friendship, and daily sought each other's society. Fred became a great
favorite among the local talent, and many were the concerts they held in
the castle.

Surely, for prisoners in a foreign land, restrained from going about
their legitimate business, our friends were enjoying themselves
wonderfully. The Count and Feodora were never so happy as when doing
something calculated to enhance the comfort and pleasure of their
guests. The days flew so swiftly by that the time for their departure
was near at hand before they were aware of it. Feodora's recovery was
uninterrupted, and she had gained many pounds of flesh. All
apprehensions concerning her health had about disappeared. The Count
continued his medical studies and investigations with unabated zeal and
interest. The action of the infinitesimal dose was a knotty question. He
could not deny the fact that they exhibited marvelous power over
disease, but their immateriality staggered his faith at times, in spite
of all that he had seen and experienced. But there came a time when he
stepped over the line forever. He was "Born into the Kingdom," as the
Doctor expressed it.

There came a messenger at midnight one dark, stormy night, from a castle
several miles distant. A letter to the Count from a certain Russian
Prince, implored him to bring the American Doctor immediately to see his
wife. The Count awoke the Doctor and told him that he would accompany
him, if he would go; and he would esteem it a personal favor if he would
attend the call.

"Certainly, I will go," said Dr. Jones heartily, and he hastily prepared
himself for the journey.

The rain poured in torrents, and the heavy covered carriage in which
they rode lumbered uncomfortably over the rough country roads.

"You should introduce the horseless carriage into your country," said
the Doctor as he bounced about upon his seat. "You would then agitate
the subject of good roads."

At last they reached their destination, and were hurried to the bedside
of the suffering Princess. She was a woman of fifty-five, large and
fleshy, sitting bolt upright in the middle of the bed. Her distress was
terrible. The Doctor took the symptoms hurriedly as possible. They were:

Violent palpitation of the heart. The bed fairly shook with the action
of that organ.

Expectorating large quantities of frothy blood.

Breathing exceedingly labored; could not lie back in the least degree.

Stomach and bowels enormously distended with gas; so much so that she
could not lean forward at all.

Eructations of gas in large quantities, which gave no relief; the least
particle of food or drink excited these eructations.

A very profuse cold sweat that saturated her clothing and bed.

Great thirst, drinks little and often.

Lower extremities restless, could not keep them quiet.

Very nervous and despairing.

Here was a terrible case, and the little Doctor studied it with the
greatest possible care. He learned that the Princess had been an invalid
for many years. She had taken vast quantities of crude drugs, and the
time had come when her stomach rebelled and would tolerate no more
drugging. The great physicians of Europe had been consulted, without
permanent benefit. Her regular medical attendant, with his assistant,
was now present. Dr. Jones was introduced to them, and such courtesies
as were possible under the circumstances were extended by each. They
gave such information as possible through the Count, and declared that
the Princess must die within a few hours. They now stood powerless by,
very curious and observant of everything the Doctor did.

He had carefully written out the above symptoms, and now retired for a
few moments with the Count to an adjoining room. The two Russian
physicians were asked to join them, as a matter of professional
courtesy.

"This is a desperate affair," said the Count, "and I fear that your
infinitesimals will do her very little good."

"Don't be so sure, Sir Count. You may see something to-night that will
remove your last remnant of unbelief," returned the Doctor, as he turned
over the leaves of a materia medica that he had brought with him.

"There is undoubtedly organic disease of the heart, and other
complications that I have not time now to investigate. I have the
totality of symptoms before us, and I have found the remedy that covers
them precisely." He read to the Count each symptom, and showed how
exactly they were covered by the drug. Some degree of explanation of
this was made the native physicians, but it was evidently something new
to them which they did not at all comprehend.

"And now let us hasten to administer a dose of this drug."

They returned to the sick chamber. Dr. Jones from a small case vial
dropped a single minim into a teaspoon and wiped it off upon her tongue.
It seemed so simple and wholly inadequate a thing to do in this very
urgent affair, that the Count and the two medical men could not repress
their smiles.

But the Doctor said, "Wait and you shall see the glory of God."

Not more than three minutes later, the royal patient, who was sitting
perfectly erect, eyes closed, suddenly threw up her hands and cried out
in the Russian tongue, "My God! What have you given me? I'm drunk!" and
fell back upon her pillow as if shot. She almost immediately began
snoring as if sound asleep. The Prince, Count, and two physicians sprang
forward in great alarm, and were about to raise her to her former
sitting posture. But Doctor Jones said commandingly, "Let her alone! Do
not touch her!"

"But she is dying!" cried Count Icanovich.

"No, my dear Count, she is sleeping beautifully. To awaken her now would
be fatal. I wish all to leave the room but her nurse."

Several moments later the Doctor followed them to the parlor. The Count
was greatly agitated, and stepped up to him immediately as he entered.

"How is she now, Doctor?"

"Sleeping as peacefully as a child."

"And is it a natural, healthful sleep?"

"Perfectly so."

"Doctor, you have conquered my last prejudice. The modus operandi of the
action of your infinitesimals I shall never comprehend. But that they do
operate, immediately, powerfully, and beneficently, I can no longer
doubt. Now please let me see the vial from which you poured the
wonderful drop that you gave Her Highness."

The Doctor complied, and the Count held the tiny vial to the light and
read the label, "Cinchona Officinalis, 30x."

The Prince also took the vial into his hand, looked at it with
curiosity, and made a remark to the Count.

"His Highness suggests that this must be a poison of fearful power,"
said the Count to Dr. Jones.

"Please say to him that it is not a poison in any sense of the word. I
could swallow every drop of it with perfect impunity," replied Dr.
Jones.

Nothing could exceed the interest and curiosity of the two physicians.
They looked at the vial and asked questions almost without number. The
old familiar look of incredulity crept into their eyes when they came to
an understanding of the immateriality of the dose. They were familiar
with the dogma of "Similia similibus curanter," or "Like cures like,"
and repudiated it at once. But they said nothing of it to the Prince or
Count at this time. The Count again addressed Dr. Jones.

"His Highness is lost in wonder at the magical effect of your medicine,
and desires me to express his heartfelt gratitude and thanks."

The Prince, with tears in his eyes, took the Doctor's hand, and said
something to him in his own language.

"He says that he can never repay you for what you have done to-night,
and that you may command him for anything in his power," interpreted the
Count.

"Say to him that I am more than repaid for anything that I have done.
Let him give all the glory to God."

After ascertaining that the Princess still slept quietly, the Doctor and
Count retired for the remaining hours of the night.



CHAPTER XVII.

Farewell to Beauty and the Beast.


The royal patient slept soundly until eight o'clock the following
morning, or six consecutive hours. This was so entirely new and
different from anything she had experienced for a very long time, that
nothing could exceed her own and the astonishment of everyone who was
acquainted with the facts. Long and painful had been her nights,
sleepless and full of misery, unless under the influence of a narcotic.
And, as we said before, she had reached a point where her system would
endure no more of crude drugging. She always awoke unrefreshed and
miserable from these unnatural, forced sleeps. So when she awoke this
morning, refreshed and rested, her gratitude was boundless.

Dr. Jones received her grateful expressions with the simple, modest
dignity that is characteristic of the good and intelligent the world
over. He made now a critical examination of the heart, and found it
incurably affected. And there were complications of the digestive
organs, etc., that we need not stop to mention. He acquainted the Prince
with the conditions he had found, and showed him why she could not be
cured. But he assured his royal patron, that she might be kept
comfortable, and her life indefinitely prolonged by treating her case
symptomatically as occasion should require.

He remained at the castle several days. In two weeks the royal lady who
had been devoted to immediate death by that school of medicine which
arrogates unto itself the terms, "Liberal," "Regular," and "Scientific,"
walked in her garden!

The effect upon the Count was past our powers of description. "Doctor
Jones," he cried, "I am converted not only to your system, but to God! I
realized, as I witnessed the astounding power of the infinitesimal dose
in this remarkable case, the wisdom and goodness of our Heavenly
Father. And I now say to you, that I am devoted to your cause, and I
shall never rest until your school of medicine shall have free course
throughout all Russia. And you can rest assured that the Prince's
influence, conjoined with my own, will have sufficient weight at court
to break down all barriers and opposition to the propagandism of your
blessed system of medicine. This shall be my life work, and I only wish
that you were going to stay with me. But I will not urge that point, as
I know that you are pledged to prosecute your effort to reach the North
Pole. You will succeed in that enterprise, and the world will ring with
your praise. But far grander than all this is your simple, sublime faith
in God, and in the beautiful law by which you are guided in the
selection of the remedy in the treatment of the sick. I am a far better
man, physically, morally, and spiritually for having met you."

"If my visit to Russia shall effect the recognition of my school by your
Government, I shall forever thank God for sending me here. This is
probably the entering wedge that shall open Europe to us, and induce the
inquiry and investigation that we crave. Let our system stand or fall
upon its merits."

And so the friends conversed and laid their plans for the introduction
of the new medical system into Europe. The Prince also joined them in
their plans, and his enthusiasm quite equaled that of the Count. Among
other items, the two noble converts made arrangements to purchase a
complete stock of books and drugs. Dr. Jones daily taught them the art
of "taking a case," as he called it; or the examination of a patient and
writing down the symptoms.

The three months had expired and Feodora's condition was far above the
danger mark. She was beautiful, rosy, and blushing, romping about with
Mattie, like a great school-girl. So now the morning of their departure
was set. The news was heralded far and wide that the great air-ship
would sail upon a certain day if the wind were favorable.

The morning had arrived, the wind was blowing within a point or two of
north, and every preparation had been made for hoisting anchors. A vast
concourse of people had assembled to witness their departure. The many
friends of the voyagers were present in force, and they loaded them
with presents, many of them very costly. Dr. Jones' practice had been
lucrative beyond anything he had ever dreamed of. He found himself
suddenly made a wealthy man. The gratitude of the people was boundless;
and the simple-hearted man scarcely knew what to do with all the money
that poured in upon him. So he caused a considerable portion of it to be
distributed among the poor peasantry in the vicinity of the castle. He
felt a great sense of sorrow as he looked upon the many faces that he
had learned to love. But all was ready and he must away.

"I have spent some of the happiest hours of my life with yourself and
daughter, my dear Count, and truly hope to visit you again and enjoy
your hospitality. Good-bye, and God bless you all."

He had shaken hands with all those immediately about him, among whom
were the Prince and Princess, and stepped with Mrs. Jones into the cage.
It shot up to the engine-room, the anchors and cables were cast off, and
the splendid globe, so long bound in chains to the earth, arose
majestically into the blue vault above. Loud and mighty were the cheers
that followed them. Silver Cloud, as if impatient at the long delay in
Russia, rapidly ascended three thousand feet, and flew northward at
tremendous speed.

"Could deliverance have come to your house and mine more appropriately
than from the skies, and in yonder silver chariot?" asked the Count of
his two royal friends, while they stood watching the rapidly
disappearing Silver Cloud.

"The deliverance has not come to us alone, but to the suffering millions
of Russia, Count Icanovich. And all through the faithfulness and
earnestness of that modest, yet wonderful little man, Doctor Jones. But
as he said over and over again, 'Let us give God all the glory,'"
replied the Prince.

The company, meanwhile, though much regretting the parting with their
new found friends, yet were exhilarated with the idea that they were
again rapidly rushing toward the object of their expedition. Their
supplies of food, fuel, clothing, etc., had been fully replenished so
far as was necessary, and nothing should now prevent their reaching the
Pole at an exceedingly early date. This they were the more anxious to
do, as the season was getting well advanced, and they desired to be out
of the Arctic region before winter should set in. This was not a matter
of so much concern to them, however, as it had been to all previous
explorers of these frigid regions. The navigators of Silver Cloud had no
frozen seas nor icebergs to contend with, and could soar above all
clouds and storms. And the matter of temperature was of little
consequence to them; for, as Will had said, the cabin was so constructed
that frost could never penetrate its beautiful aluminum walls.

So they were jubilant and happy. Even Sing--whom, by the way, we have
shamefully neglected during the past three months--joined in the general
hilarity, and treated them to many Russian dishes that he had picked up
in the kitchen of the castle, where he had spent his time during their
stay there.

The wind continued all day from the south, so that by evening they
sighted the city of Archangel away to their left. All night they sped at
express train speed toward their destination. When they looked out in
the morning from the balcony, the northern coast of Russia was
indistinctly seen in the southern horizon, and they were again floating
over the floes and bergs of Arctic seas.

"We have crossed the 70th degree of latitude," said the Professor at
breakfast. "We are heading directly for Franz Joseph Land. We should
sight that island by noon at our present rate of speed."

All expressed themselves as delighted at the marvelous performance of
Silver Cloud, and Denison declared that he should never be contented to
settle down to slow going terrestrial life again.

"I move that we set out for the South Pole as soon as we get back to
Washington," said he.

"I second the motion!" cried Mattie.

"I don't know whether women have the elective franchise in this country
or not," laughingly replied Dr. Jones. "At all events, let's get back to
Washington before we plan any more expeditions. I do not doubt that the
South Pole will be our next objective point."

"Just imagine the American flag flying at the two poles of the earth!"
cried Professor Gray. "What could be more appropriate and grander! I
believe Denison's motion to be strictly in order. As to Mattie's
second, I am for female suffrage, here and everywhere upon earth.
Without it woman is but a slave, and can be but what her lord and
master, man, permits her to be."

"Hear! hear!" cried the ladies, clapping their hands.

"What an old Bluebeard of a husband you have, haven't you?" said the
Doctor to Mrs. Jones.

"Oh! you are fishing for compliments," she returned archly, "But I tell
you, sir, that I have my eye upon you. Did you all notice how the
Princess, Feodora, and a lot more of those Russian ladies cried over him
when we were parting from them?" and she shook her finger at him from
the lower end of the table, and tried so hard to look jealous and mad,
and made so dismal a failure of it, that they all laughed heartily.

And so they merrily chatted through the meal. The men then resorted to
the smoking-room, and when all had lighted their cigars or pipes, Fred
asked:

"Which of the battles of the war of the great Rebellion do you consider
to have been the hardest fought, Doctor Jones?"

"Chickamauga is conceded by the majority of our historians to have been
the most savagely contested of the great battles of the war. Something
near forty per cent of the men engaged were killed, wounded, or taken
prisoner."

"Were you in that battle, Doctor?"

"I was."

"I would be glad if you would tell us about it; that is, I mean, your
own personal experiences."

"Well," returned Dr. Jones, taking a look out of the window by which he
sat, "we are spinning along at a rattling gait toward Franz Joseph Land,
and I don't know that we can do any better than tell war stories to pass
away time.

"I believe I told you that I was fifteen years old when I enlisted. The
battle of Chickamauga occurred September 19, and 20, 1863, one year
after my enlistment, so that I was a lad of sixteen at the time of the
battle. You cannot presume that a boy would have seen much that would be
of historical value, where all was horrible roar of musketry, booming
of cannon, confusion, and blood-curdling yells of charging battalions.

"The morning of September 19, 1863, dawned upon us beautiful and bright.
I shall never forget that lovely morning. Throughout the rank and file
of our army there was a feeling that we were upon the eve of a great
battle; but we did not dream that the armies of Bragg and Longstreet had
combined, and we were opposing from fifty-five thousand to seventy-five
thousand men. But our confidence in our commander, General Rosecranz,
was so great that we would have fought them just the same if we had
known of the great odds against us.

"Heavy skirmishing began quite early in the morning along the picket
lines. This gradually swelled into the incessant roar of pitched battle.
At about nine o'clock we were ordered to the front at a double-quick. We
crossed a field, then into a wood where we met the fire of the enemy.
Being a musician I was counted a noncombatant, and my duties during
battle consisted in helping the wounded back to hastily extemporized
hospitals.

"So on we charged into the woods, already densely filled with smoke.
Then the bullets flew swiftly about us, and men began falling along the
line. I set to work helping the wounded to the rear. I had just been to
the hospital with a poor fellow from my company, and hastened back to
where I had last seen the regiment. They had made a flank movement to
the left, but I, supposing that they had advanced and were driving the
enemy like chaff before them, traveled straight on through the woods,
and out into an open field. What a sight was there! Dead and wounded
Confederates lay thickly strewn in every direction. I was really in what
had just been the Confederate lines, and was in imminent peril of being
shot or captured.

"Several of the wounded spoke to me, 'O Yank! for God's sake, give me a
drink of water,' I felt alarmed at my position, but I could not resist
the appeals of these poor fellows. So I gave water to many from the
canteens that I found scattered about the field. I spread blankets for
others who asked me; dragged some of them into the shade, for the sun
was very hot. And so I spent a considerable time among them, doing such
little offices as I could. For these services they were very grateful,
some of them calling down the blessings of heaven upon my head. I have
always been glad that I incurred this risk of life and liberty for these
dying men. But at last I felt that I dared not stop longer, and started
to retrace my steps to the woods, when I heard a terrible wailing and
moaning a few yards to my right. I rushed to the spot and saw a poor
Confederate boy, about my own age, at the foot of a great poplar tree,
in the midst of a brush heap, trying to spread his blanket. I did not at
first see what the cause of his terrible outcry was. 'What is the
matter, Johnnie?' I asked. He lifted his face to me, and I shall never
forget the awful sight! A bullet had shot away the anterior part of each
eye and the bridge of the nose, and in this sightless condition he was
trying in the midst of the brush heap to spread his blanket and lie down
to die! As he moved about upon his hands and knees the ends of the dry
twigs, stiff and merciless as so many wires, would jag his bleeding and
sightless eyeballs. I could not leave him in this condition, and so
helped him from the brush heap to a smooth, shady place, spread his
blanket for him, put a canteen of water by him, and then ran for the
Union lines, not a moment too soon.

"All day the battle raged with terrible fury until long after the shades
of night had fallen. Indeed, the heaviest musketry I ever heard occurred
some time after pitch darkness had completely enveloped us. My supper
that night was a very plain one. A piece of corn bread, or hoe cake,
that I had abstracted from the haversack of a dead Southerner, and a
canteen of cold water constituted that simple meal. I really felt a
sense of gratitude toward the poor Confederate, who had undoubtedly
baked the corn bread that morning, little thinking that it was destined
to be eaten by a miserable Yankee drummer boy. But such is the fate of
war.

"It had been very hot during the day, but the night was bitterly cold.
There was a heavy frost that night, and under a thick blanket upon the
bare ground, I slept by fitful snatches. Let me tell you, friends, that
the most terrible place upon earth is a battlefield at night. The groans
of the wounded men and horses are awful beyond anything I ever heard.
All night I could hear their heartrending cries, but in the pitch
darkness could do nothing to help them. How many times I thought of my
far away northern home during that awful night. Should I live through
the morrow? for the battle would certainly be resumed with the return of
daylight. Should I ever see mother, brothers and sisters, home and
friends again?"

Here the Doctor sang softly and slowly part of the pathetic old war
song:

   "Comrades brave around me lying,
     Filled with thoughts of home and God;
   For well they know that on the morrow
     Some must sleep beneath the sod."

The little party were deeply impressed, for the Doctor was a good story
teller, and was himself much affected at this point.

"The much longed for, yet dreaded, daylight dawned at last. It was
Sunday morning. For some reason hostilities were not immediately
resumed. The sun rose in beauty and splendor, warming our chilled bones
and blood in a way that was exceedingly grateful to us. For a little
time all was so quiet and still that it only lacked the sweet tones of
church bells, calling us to the house of God, to have made us forget
that we were enemies, and have induced us to rest from our fearful,
uncanny works for this holy Sabbath at least. But no! soon the battle
was on again with greater vigor, if possible, than ever. Before noon our
flanks were completely routed; and, but for that magnificent man, the
peer of any soldier of any nation or age, General George H. Thomas, it
is doubtful whether I should be here now, telling my little story. While
Rosecranz, whipped and beaten, fled to Chattanooga and telegraphed to
Washington that everything was lost, and the Cumberland army a thing of
the past, General Thomas, with a few thousand men, checked and held at
bay this great Southern army, flushed with victory though it was. How
the mighty host rolled and surged against this single army corps, but
could not break nor beat them back. While Crittenden's and McCook's
corps were completely routed and disorganized, Thomas with his 14th
corps thus stood the brunt of battle, and saved the Army of the
Cumberland from total annihilation. Well may we call him the Rock of
Chickamauga!

"My father was quartermaster-sergeant of the regiment and I saw him for
the first time during the battle on Sunday morning. We were trudging
along with the rout--for it could not be called _army_ that Sunday
afternoon--toward Chattanooga. We knew that we had sustained defeat, but
we did not realize how desperate the situation was. A brigadier-general
was passing us, when a private rushed up to him and asked, 'O General!
where is the 87th Indiana?"--I think that was the regiment he mentioned.
'There is no 87th Indiana. All is lost! Get to Chattanooga!' he
shouted, and galloped toward the city, unattended by any of his staff.

"'Did you hear that, John?' asked my father.

"'I did,' I replied.

"'Well, if you expect to ever see your mother again, you must do some
good traveling now.'

"As we had an intense desire to see her again we started down the road
at a good pace. We distinctly heard the Confederate cavalrymen crying,
'Stop, you blankety blanked Yankees!' But we felt that our business in
Chattanooga, demanded immediate attention, and we had no time to spare
them.

"Passing a certain place, I saw General Thomas standing upon the brow of
Snodgrass Hill, or Horseshoe Ridge, field glass in hand, intently
watching the movements of the troops. I distinctly remember his
full-bearded, leonine face, and little did we know that the fate of the
Cumberland Army, or possibly of the Nation, rested upon that single man
that terrible Sunday afternoon. What a mighty responsibility! But there
he stood, a tower of strength, the Rock of Chickamauga indeed! With but
a single line he repelled charge after charge of Longstreet's
consolidated ranks.

"And so we fought the most sanguinary battle of modern times, yet
utterly bootless so far as immediate results were concerned. One hundred
and thirty thousand men were engaged with a loss of nearly fifty
thousand, or a little less than forty per cent. This battle should never
have been fought. Rosecranz here lost his military prestige that he had
so splendidly won at Stone's River. Thomas alone achieved on this field
immortal glory, and was the one great hero of the occasion. The
Confederates claimed it as a victory, but they should daily thereafter
have asked a kind Providence to keep them from any more such victories.

"The next day Thomas followed us into Chattanooga, and Bragg and
Longstreet perched with their armies upon Lookout Mountain and
Missionary Ridge. From these elevations they watched us with Argus eyes.
Our supplies were completely cut off and we were soon reduced to the
point of star--But here, you fellows are getting tired, and so am I. I
will tell you about the siege of Chattanooga and battle of Missionary
Ridge some other time."



CHAPTER XVIII.

Woman Locates the North Pole.


Silver Cloud hastened on with the favoring gale from the balmy South. By
noon the coast of Franz Joseph Land could be seen. They were now near
the eightieth degree of latitude. During the afternoon they crossed that
land of eternal winter. Monotonous mountains, hills, and plains of
everlasting snow and ice wearied the eye, and caused a sense of
seasickness and vertigo if looked upon too long. The Doctor had treated
these symptoms in each as they occurred, and our friends had experienced
but little of the inconvenience due to this cause that is suffered by
most aeronauts. They had entirely lost their sense of insecurity and
fear, and nothing could be more comfortable and pleasant than were the
accommodations of the cabin of Silver Cloud, even in this exceedingly
high latitude. And oh! those walks about the balcony of Silver Cloud!
How invigorating and healthful! So vast were the proportions of the
globe that there was no swaying, shaking, nor trembling ever
perceptible. It was as if the splendid structure were a rock, and all
the world a swift flying panorama far beneath them. Very strange and
weird was the sight of the sun, traveling in one continuous circuit but
a few degrees above the horizon, never rising nor setting during six
months of the year. The atmosphere was particularly clear and frosty, so
that as they promenaded the balcony, or sat in the observatory, they
were obliged to don their beautiful sealskins, a complete outfit of
which Count Icanovich had presented to each member of the company.

All were exceedingly happy and jubilant. The wind continued very nearly
as before, and within twenty-four hours, nothing preventing, they would
stand at the coveted spot--the North Pole.

At dinner time Franz Joseph Land was far behind them, and they were
sailing over the dark blue waters of the Arctic Ocean, more or less
filled with great floes and icebergs, illustrating to the voyagers the
terrible perils and hardships through which Arctic explorers had passed,
and amidst which so many of them had died.

"What wonder," said the Professor, as he scanned the unnavigable seas
with his glass, "that man has thus far utterly failed in his attempts to
overcome these insuperable obstacles. Think of the cold, hunger, and
awful wretchedness these poor fellows have suffered. And Doctor, see! Is
not that a ship I see yonder? It is! It is!" cried the Professor
excitedly, pointing to an object sailing in a bit of open sea, her nose
pointing stubbornly toward the North.

"We can hail them," cried the Doctor.

The upper and lower traps of the air chamber were opened, and Silver
Cloud settled like a great roc toward the toiling little ship. They
passed nearly directly over it, and at an altitude of but 300 feet.

"Ship ahoy!" shouted the Doctor through a speaking trumpet.

"Ahoy!" came from the vessel.

"Where are you bound?"

"North Pole!"

"Sail due west twenty miles and you will find an open sea to the North.
All closed ahead. Good luck to you! Good-bye!"

"Aye, aye, sir! Good-bye!" came cheerily from the quarterdeck of the
little ship, and they had passed beyond hailing distance.

"Poor, brave fellows," sighed the Doctor.

"They have reached an amazingly high latitude," said the Professor.
"They have crossed the 83rd parallel, very nearly as high as Nansen got
with his expedition last year."

"I declare that I am sorry for them, and really dislike to take the
glory of the discovery from them. But we cannot stop now, and it is
utterly impossible for them to get there anyway."

"They would have soon been shut in, and probably forever as they were
heading," observed Will.

North and east, as they could distinctly see from their elevation of two
thousand feet, far as the eye could reach, all was one vast field of
huge piles of ice, exceedingly rough and broken, with here and there
towering spires that seemed to reach up toward the globe like grizzly
arms that would prevent them from penetrating the secrets of the north
that had been held for untold centuries.

As the Doctor had informed the captain of the ship, away to the west was
a certain amount of open sea, but it was of limited extent, and the
prospects of the poor fellows getting much farther looked more than
doubtful.

"And what is to become of them if they cannot get through?" asked Mrs.
Jones.

"I cannot tell," returned the Doctor, "but the chances are that they
will be crushed in the ice."

"O dear, what a fate!" cried Mrs. Jones. "Can we do nothing for them?"

"Nothing at all, my dear. They are beyond our reach, and it is not
likely that they would desert their ship if we could offer to take them
with us. Such men are not easily turned from their purpose."

"All we can do then is to pray that God will preserve them, and permit
them to return safely home," said the sympathetic little woman.

"And let us ask Him that this favoring gale may continue a few hours
longer," added Dr. Jones.

There was no thought of retiring as the usual hour for doing so arrived.
They all felt impressed with the thought that they were now looking upon
scenes never before seen by mortal eye, and that they were very near the
object of their journey. How their hearts warmed and palpitated with the
thought!

"We have crossed the 85th parallel," said the Professor, "and in six or
seven hours will reach the Pole at this rate."

"This is the Lord's doings, and it is marvelous in our eyes," quoted the
Doctor with great fervency.

Busy feet climbed and descended the spiral stairway many times that
night, but could see nothing but a frozen sea in every direction. The
wind blew from due south, and they were flying at tremendous speed
directly toward the Pole as if drawn there by a great magnet. The cold
was intense--the thermometer registering more than 60 deg. below zero.
But as we said before, no wind was ever felt aboard Silver Cloud, and it
has been ascertained that man can endure almost any degree of cold if
it be quiet and still.

At midnight they all sat down to a good substantial supper that had been
prepared by Sing. The aroma of the coffee filled the little dining-room,
and was grateful to the senses. How merry and happy they were! And they
ate and drank with appetites that were very complimentary to Sing's
cooking, and the faithful Mongolian was well pleased to see the food
thus disappearing.

"There is no place like the Arctics for getting hungry and giving food a
relish. I declare that I have not eaten so since a boy," exclaimed
Denison.

"I really eat until I am ashamed of myself," said Mattie.

"Well, it agrees with you, Mattie," replied Denison. "Just look at her
plump cheeks, and the beautiful roses upon them!"

"Indeed, I never saw you look so well as you do now," said Mrs. Jones,
looking at her admiringly.

"And I am glad that I can return the compliment," replied Mattie.

"I am of the opinion that a trip to the Arctics in Silver Cloud would
cure any case of dispepsia in the world," said Dr. Jones.

"What a wonderful stimulant coffee is," remarked the Professor, as he
sipped a cup of that beverage.

"I never realized that fact so much as when in the army," replied Dr.
Jones. "After a long day's march we would get into camp so tired that we
could scarcely move. We would start our camp-fires, and very soon after
you could hear a musical clink, clink, clinking in every direction. It
was the sound produced by the soldier boys, pounding their coffee fine
in their tin cups with the butt of their bayonets. And the effect of a
pint of that hot Government Java coffee was perfectly marvelous. It
would almost instantly take the aching and tired feeling from the
muscles, and we could have marched all night if necessary."

"I cannot realize that this is midnight," said Mattie, as they stood
upon the balcony, well wrapped in furs, looking over the vast fields of
ice and snow. "One would hardly know when to get up or go to bed in this
wonderful country."

The time rapidly passed; they reached the 86th, 87th, 88th, 89th degrees
of latitude, and the strain upon their nerves grew to be tremendous. The
Doctor and Professor could not rest anywhere but in the observatory,
glasses in hand. Each was pale with excitement.

"I believe that to be land ahead," said the Doctor, pointing to a high
elevation directly before them.

The Professor looked at it earnestly a few moments and replied:

"It is, Doctor, and we have settled the fact that the North Pole is
situated upon an island. The open sea at the Pole is a myth, as I always
believed it to be."

The rest of the party was notified of the fact that land was near at
hand, and that very shortly the North Pole would be reached. So they all
assembled upon the balcony, except Sing. That individual could not be
enthused upon so small a matter as the discovery of the North Pole; and
after washing the supper dishes and cleaning up the kitchen and
dining-room, retired as unconcernedly as if nothing unusual were at
hand.

Rapidly and unerringly as a dart flew the beautiful ship to the place of
all places upon earth to our exultant voyagers. Nearer and nearer grew
the elevation before them.

"We are within less than half an hour of the Pole," announced the
Professor in a low constrained voice.

"Glory be to God!" said Dr. Jones with great solemnity. "I never felt
His presence more than at this moment. To Him be all the praise."

"Amen!" responded every one of the little company.

They were now passing over the island. They could see that it was
several miles in diameter, and nearly circular in form. Almost exactly
in the center arose a conical hill or mountain, about one thousand feet
in altitude.

"Upon the summit of that mount I am of the opinion we will find the
North Pole," said Professor Gray.

"And we are heading directly for it!" cried Dr. Jones. "Just a few
moments more, dear friends, and we shall have reached our journey's end.
Now get ready to drop the anchor when Professor Gray gives the signal."

Silver Cloud was lowered as they neared the mount. They were just over
the summit at but fifty feet from the surface. The signal was given, the
anchors dropped. At first they dragged upon the frozen snow, but soon
the flukes caught in the crevices of the icy masses, and the great globe
was securely anchored at the North Pole!

They instantly prepared to descend in the cage. The cold was terrible,
so much so that they could not have endured it at all but for provisions
that Dr. Jones had made for this very event. Besides their splendid
silk-lined and padded sealskin suits, he had brought a large number of
Japanese fireboxes. The punks in these were lighted, and when all were
very hot they were wrapped in flannels and distributed about their
persons inside their sealskins. With this arrangement, Jack Frost's
chances of nipping their persons were very slim indeed.

The thermometer registered seventy degrees below zero. Having taken
every possible precaution, the Doctor and Professor descended. Their
feelings cannot be described as they stepped upon the solidly frozen
surface, and realized that they were the first human beings who had thus
stood upon the summit of the earth! After looking about a few moments,
Professor Gray said:

"We must settle the globe to the earth, and from the observatory I can
make observations that will locate the Pole exactly."

This was accordingly done. From the observatory with a sextant he made
an observation every six hours, making allowance for the declination of
the sun, meantime. This was an exceedingly delicate problem, but the
Professor was fully equal to it. At the end of twenty-four hours he and
the Doctor again donned their furs, stepped over the railing of the
balcony and walked out upon the snow. The rest of the party had amused
themselves while awaiting the Professor's observations by setting up
little mounds of ice, upon what they guessed to be the spot where the
learned Professor would declare the geographical pole to be. His mind,
meantime, was too engrossed with the momentous business in hand to pay
the least attention to their frivolities; and, utterly unmindful of the
fur-clad figures that stood scattered about, each by its respective ice
mound, he measured a certain number of lengths of a sharp pointed steel
rod which he carried in his hand, directly to Mrs. Jones, and with a
side swipe of his foot he swept aside her pile of ice lumps, raised the
steel rod in both hands and drove it down with all his force just where
the ice mound had stood, and cried with all his power in a fur-muffled
voice, "The North Pole!" And Mrs. Jones jumped up and down as nimbly as
her load of furs and fireboxes would permit, banged her great sealskin
mittens together, and cried, "Goody! Goody! I guessed it! I am the
discoverer of the North Pole! I always knew that a woman would be the
first one there!"



CHAPTER XIX.

The Planting of the Flagstaff.


The whole of the party now shouted--Sing always excepted. That
individual was strictly attending to his business in the kitchen during
the excitement. They ran--or waddled, for they moved with difficulty,
loaded as they were--to the spot where the two men and Mrs. Jones were
standing. They gathered in a circle about the steel rod that marked the
exact spot for which the boldest navigators and explorers have longed,
and striven, and died by thousands during many decades of the past.

The Doctor broke out in his sonorous voice, the rest immediately joining
him in the familiar doxology, "Old Hundred,"

   "Praise God from whom all blessings flow."

When they had finished, at a signal from the Doctor, they all kneeled
upon the icy pavement, and he offered up a fervent prayer of praise and
thanksgiving for the preservation of their lives, and for the wonderful
success that had attended their enterprise. Then in unison they repeated
the Lord's prayer.

And what could be more appropriate? The echoes first awakened in this
ultra-frigid region by the human voice were praises to God in song and
prayer. The ends of the earth had bowed the knee to the Father Almighty,
and it seemed to the little band to be the beginning of the good time
foretold, when the glory of God shall cover the earth as the waters do
the face of the deep.

"Now let us see what Sing has for breakfast, lunch, or whatever meal it
may be. I have been so interested in our work the last few hours that I
have paid no attention to time," said Dr. Jones.

A few moments later they were seated about their dining table, and no
happier company could be found in Christendom that day.

"Did anyone note the time that we arrived here?" asked Will.

"At 7 o'clock, 45 min., 20 sec., August 6, 19--, we located the North
Pole, and planted our steel rod as marker thereof," replied Professor
Gray.

"What is the next thing on the program, Doctor?" asked Denison.

"We will immediately set about planting our aluminum flagstaff. We are
liable to a terrible storm at any moment, and might be driven away
before we had accomplished that important ceremony. It would possibly be
months before we should encounter so favorable a gale again. Let us not
rest until we have finished all we came to do, then away for home."

"It is all very well to say 'Plant the flagstaff'; but how on earth can
we possibly set up a 300 foot metal pole at this extremity of the earth,
without derrick, blocks and tackles, or any machinery whatever?"
returned Denison.

"I'll show you a Yankee trick in a short time," cried Dr. Jones.

They hurried through the meal and prepared again to go out into the
terribly cold atmosphere. The fireboxes were again lighted and
distributed about their clothing as before. All then went out and
assembled again about the rod.

"I must get through this crust of ice and see what depth of snow there
is below," said the Doctor.

With the sharp-pointed steel rod he picked and worked several minutes,
but made very little progress in the flinty ice.

"Get a hammer, Denison," said he.

The tool being procured, they hammered upon the upper end of the rod,
and drilled as miners do in rock. After some time of this work the
Doctor said:

"This will never do. We have evidently a great thickness of ice to go
through, possibly more than we can ever penetrate. We can do no work in
these fur suits, and we should instantly freeze if we took them off. We
must settle the globe upon this spot, then we shall be within the cabin
and can throw off our coats and go to work. We have a big job on hand.
Let's pull the ship over at once."

The wind had subsided to a nearly dead calm, and it was remarkable how
all nature seemed to be auspicious to the occasion. She had been forced
to yield up her secrets, fast locked and frozen by the chill hand of
Jack Frost so many centuries, and now seemed disposed to surrender them
with a good grace. The globe was raised a few feet from the earth. Two
of the anchors were carried to the opposite side of the Pole, and Will
turned on the spring windlasses. Thus they easily drew the ship to the
desired spot, and it was slowly settled down so that the "manhole," as
they called the hole in the floor through which the cage operated, came
directly over the steel rod, the rod standing precisely in the center of
the manhole.

"Now, my hearties, furs off!" cried the energetic little Doctor. He
doffed his own suit hurriedly, pulled on a pair of woolen gloves in lieu
of the sealskin ones, pulled the steel rod out and laid it aside,
grasped an axe and began chopping into the ice with all his might. The
ice chips flew about the engine-room in a shower. He was soon obliged to
stop for breath. Will shoveled the loosened ice out, then seized the axe
and worked for a short time with the same spirit that animated the
Doctor. And so by turns they kept the axe and shovel flying, making very
rapid progress. They soon were too deep to use long-handled tools, and
resorted to mallet and chisel, and a short-handled hand axe. Slowly and
more slowly progressed the work as the shaft grew deeper. Finally the
head of the man in the shaft disappeared below the surface, being now
nearly seven feet deep.

"We shall have to devise some plan for hoisting before long," said Dr.
Jones.

"Can't we use the windlass?" suggested Denison.

"So we can!" cried the Doctor. "The steel springs forever! Will never
did a better thing than when he invented the spring power windlass. We
may have to go twenty-five or thirty feet. But we will hoist by hand for
awhile yet."

They had reached the depth of between eight and nine feet, when Will,
who was in the hole, shouted, "Hurrah! I've broken through!" and he
tossed up a handful of snow.

"Good boy!" cried the Doctor. "Now try with the rod and see if there be
another layer of ice within reach."

The rod, which was six feet long, was easily passed its full length into
the underlying snow.

"All right!" said Dr. Jones. "The flagstaff will settle sufficiently
deep to hold it there forever. Fire up, Will. I want to rise forty or
fifty feet above this hole."

This was accomplished in a very few minutes.

"Now let us get the foot of the mast precisely over that hole. I mean to
let it drop from this height, and its weight will sink it 25 or 30 feet
into the snow. That, with 9 feet of ice, will hold it for centuries. We
will fill the space in the ice shaft about the foot of the mast with the
ice chips that we have taken out, ram them down good and solid, then
pour water in. This will instantly freeze, and all the gales that ever
howled can never blow down the finest flagstaff that ever stood upon the
face of the earth."

The plumb-line was lowered and cables tautened here and slackened there
until the butt of the great mast stood precisely over the shaft. The
spiral stair had been so constructed that it nowhere touched the mast.
At its entrance into, and exit from the globe, heavy collars connected
the mast with the ship. These were removed, and a heavy trap door, upon
which the foot of the flagstaff rested, was its only support. A massive
bolt alone held the trap in place. Will and the Professor were by the
ice shaft, watching the plumb-line. At a signal, the Doctor struck the
bolt a heavy blow with a sledge, the trap fell, and the beautiful mast
shot like a flash of lightning down through the frosty atmosphere,
entered the ice hole precisely in the center, and sank to the depth of
35 feet into the snow, which, added to the 9 feet of ice, made a footing
of 44 feet for the towering flagstaff. The globe was again settled to
the foot of the mast, the ice chips filled in and rammed solidly, the
water poured about it, and their work was completed. The ingenuity
displayed by the Doctor upon this occasion showed him to be a born
leader of men, and the little band of associates so acknowledged to him
upon the spot. Dr. Jones shut off their effusive demonstrations as
quickly as possible. He did not appear to be possessed of any degree of
love of praise; on the contrary, it always embarrassed and made him
uncomfortable.

"And now let us eat again," said Dr. Jones. "We must get away from here
before we sleep."

So they sat down to a hearty dinner, all tired and very hungry. But the
coffee and smoking food immediately reinvigorated them, and they arose
from the table anxious to complete their work and be off for home.

"Shall we rest a few hours, or go on with our celebration, and
immediately sail for home--or wherever the wind may carry us?" asked Dr.
Jones.

"O, let us go on by all means! plenty of time for rest and sleep," was
the unanimous decision.

"All right," he replied. "That suits me perfectly. This good weather
will not last long. The Arctics are subject to fearful and sudden
storms, and we must be ready to go at any instant. Whatever we are to
do, let us do quickly."

"I think we should have a patriotic piece or two at the foot of the
mast, and then our North Pole March. I have had in my mind that it would
be fine to raise the globe up ten feet or so, and beneath it we will
have our concert."

"But how can we sing with our mouths all wrapped up in furs? We shall
instantly freeze if we expose our faces to the cold. See, the
thermometer now marks nearly 70 degrees below zero."

It was Mattie who put this poser.

"I will tell you the only thing we can do," said Will. "We have an
abundance of coal oil. We will set all the pots, pans, and kettles
aboard ship in a circle around the mast at a sufficient distance from it
for our purpose. We will fill these dishes with coal oil, set fire to
them, and within this charmed circle you may sing to your hearts'
content."

"Aye, aye, Will!" cried Dr. Jones. "You've struck it!"

The globe was adjusted, the vessels of oil set in place, the oil
instantly congealed, but Will had taken the precaution to place into
each vessel several wicks. He lighted these ends, and in a little while
the temperature in the circle rose very perceptibly. The organ was then
brought down and placed by the mast. They threw back their hoods and
sang America with deep solemnity and feeling. When they had finished,
Professor Gray said:

"I now propose that we have a speech from Doctor Jones. But first, three
cheers for the projector of this glorious enterprise and discoverer of
the North Pole. Hip, hip, hurrah!"

These cheers were given with all possible zest and enthusiasm.

"Friends and fellow citizens," began the Doctor, smiling good-naturedly
upon them, "I sincerely thank you for your expressions of good will. I
did not suppose that I was on the program for a speech. My heart is too
full for utterance when I contemplate the fact that we now actually
stand, safe, sound, and comfortable, at that spot so long sought by the
bravest men of all civilized lands. That the world will receive us with
open arms, and will heap honors and riches upon us, I do not for a
moment doubt. But all this will do us no good, on the contrary, much
harm, if we allow ourselves to become puffed up thereby, and cease to
give to God all the glory and honor. As for myself, I am only proud of
this achievement by so much as it shall prove a blessing to mankind. I
believe that true happiness is found alone in working for others.
Selfishness is the direct source of all the unhappiness upon earth, and
is the chief or only difference between a devil and an angel. But I see
that our fires are fast burning low, and I must hasten.

"So by right of discovery, I claim this island for our great republic,
the United States of America; and its name shall be, owing to its
position upon the top of the earth, Summit Island!"

This speech was received with great applause. Fred then struck up on the
organ the music of the North Pole March. The company began to circle
about the mast, keeping step to the inspiring notes and singing the four
parts. By the time this music was ended the fires were nearly burned
down and the temperature within the circle lowered rapidly. The vessels
were hastily gathered up and all entered the cabin.

As they were about to hoist the anchors, Professor Gray said:

"I am not perfectly satisfied as to the location of our pole being
exactly correct. And, to tell you the truth, it has been demonstrated
that the Pole is not a fixed, unchangeable spot, but really swings about
in a circle, varying from six to thirty feet in diameter, just as the
upper end of the stem of a spinning top does when it begins to run down
or lose its momentum. Now I am positive that our flagstaff stands
within this circle. But I would like, by another very satisfactory
experiment, to verify the one we have already made. It will require
another twenty-four hours."

"By all means, Professor," answered Dr. Jones, "do so. Let us do
everything possible to establish the fact that we are scientifically
correct in our location of the Pole. What would you have us do now?"

"I will explain what I intend doing, and then we will understand and we
can work intelligently together. I wish to photograph the stars directly
above our heads. If we were here during the winter season, when the sun
was below the horizon, we could see the stars distinctly with the
unassisted eye. But from March 21st to September 21st we cannot do that
because of continuous daylight. Now you are probably aware that looking
up from the bottom of a deep well or shaft in the daytime, the stars are
visible, even in the sunlight. And that is what I purpose doing."

"Well, and where is your shaft that you intend looking up through?"
inquired Dr. Jones.

The Professor significantly laid his hand upon the zinc tube which
enveloped the flagstaff. "O ho!" cried the Doctor, "why did not I think
of that?"

We should have explained before that the spiral stairs ran up between
two zinc tubes, the one six feet in diameter, and the other two feet in
diameter. The latter surrounded the mast, and after the globe should
rise from the flagstaff this tube would indeed be a shaft two hundred
feet in depth, or two hundred and ten feet, for it extended to the top
of the roof of the observatory.

Accordingly, the burners were lighted, the globe arose until the ball of
the mast was just below the level of the floor of the engine-room. Upon
looking through the tube after all light had been excluded from the
engine-room, a bright star could be seen shining down upon them with
resplendent brilliancy.

"Now, Will," cried Professor Gray, "I wish you could go up and lower a
plumb-line from the exact center of the top of the shaft. I want to see
if our tube stands perpendicularly. If it does, and the plumb-line
points straight through the center of it to yonder star, then we are at
the exact spot we seek."

The line was lowered, and after a little adjustment of the cables, the
lower end of the plumb-line passed through the exact center of the tube.
The Professor ran his eye up the line and smiled with satisfaction.

"Look at it, Doctor," he said.

"Well, that is wonderful!" cried Dr. Jones. "Look at it Fred, Denison.
The line runs precisely in alignment with the star."

"And now," said Professor Gray, after all had verified this last
statement, "let's not lose a moment's time. Get your camera out. We want
a twenty-four hours' exposure through our shaft, and photograph that
star. If we be exactly at the Pole, it will describe a perfect circle
upon the sensitive plate. If we are not so located, the line upon the
plate will form an ellipse."

The camera was set as suggested by the Professor, and then the party
retired for the night. We say "night," but the reader will constantly
bear in mind that this term is not used with reference to daylight or
darkness, simply to the clock, or time of day.

There was an absolute, dead calm during the following twenty-four hours
after Will had set the camera. Nature was so extraordinarily kind to Dr.
Jones during the time that we almost tremble for our reputation for
veracity as we record the last-mentioned fact. Any swaying of the globe
by the wind would have effectually prevented anything like a good
negative being made. But the globe remained in the exact position, the
atmosphere in the hot air chamber being kept up sufficiently so that a
steady strain was maintained upon the four cables. At the end of the
time mentioned the Professor examined the negative with a magnifying
glass, and pronounced the test perfectly satisfactory.

The globe was lowered down the mast for the last time. Denison and Will
ran out and loosened the anchors Slowly the ship then glided up the
beautiful mast. The flag, which had been wrapped about the small upper
end of the staff to prevent injury being done it while passing through
the tube, was shaken out at the moment it left the floor of the
engine-room. Its fastenings to the peak had been made doubly secure, and
it was tenderly manipulated through the final opening by loving hands.
The whole company involuntarily shouted at the inspiring sight. The
ship was lowered as it moved away, and the patriotic voyagers were
treated to a side view of the most beautiful, thrilling sight upon
earth--the American flag flying at the North Pole at the peak of the
loftiest flagstaff ever erected! Well might their hearts swell with
pride and their voices break forth in songs of triumph and praise. The
Star Spangled Banner! Emblem of Liberty! How exquisitely meet that it
should be thus planted forever at the summit of the earth, a terror to
tyrants, and a never-failing beacon of Light and Freedom to all people
of the world!

The Professor pointed out certain conformations of the mountain's
summit, and said: "This island is of volcanic formation, and this
mountain an extinct volcano. Yonder flagstaff stands upon the center of
a crater that has been filled with many centuries of ice and snow. At
some future time I hope to return prepared to penetrate this coat of
mail and determine, if possible, whether Summit Island has ever been the
habitat of any form of life, animal or vegetable."

Professor Gray had made such observations by the aid of instruments as
should be of interest to science. This he did while the others were
sinking the ice shaft, and during the time of the photographing of the
star.

They were straining their eyes from the observatory to catch the last
glimpse of "Old Glory," when a sudden storm gathered about the island,
and it was shut out from view. They involuntarily cast their eyes up to
its former place, and they realized that Silver Cloud had been
dismantled of her chief beauty and glory.

"This will never do," exclaimed Dr. Jones. "Silver Cloud is like a bird
of paradise with its tail feathers all plucked. We must replace that
pole and flag as soon as we return to Washington."

"It seems like a cruelty to leave them in such a fearful place," said
Mrs. Jones. "Think of the awful storms that will gather and howl around
them for ages."

"They will outlast them all, praise God!" replied the Doctor. "As a
'Government of the people, for the people, and by the people shall not
perish from the earth,' so shall our flag and staff defy all the Arctic
storms that ever blew."

Then they descended to the cabin.

"I think it is about time to see which way we are heading," said the
Professor. "We are pointing straight for Alaska, as nearly as I can
judge," he said a few moments later.

All retired but Dr. Jones. He said that he really preferred to sit and
rest awhile before going to bed. So he sat for several hours, looking
occasionally at the barometer, thermometer, etc. Toward morning he
called Denison to "take the helm," as he jocosely termed it.



CHAPTER XX.

Battle of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain.


Will had not neglected to take numerous photographs of Summit Island,
the flag and staff; and with his kodak he had stepped outside the circle
and taken a "shot" at them as they circled about the mast, protected
from cruel Jack Frost by a wall of fire, as they awakened the echoes in
these hyperborean regions in the lively strains of North Pole March.

He exhibited this photograph to them on the following day, and all were
delighted with it.

"Oh, I wish you would give me several of these, Mr. Marsh!" cried
Mattie. "I wish to give them to my friends."

"You shall have all you want of them, Mattie, upon just one condition,"
he answered.

"And what is that?"

"Don't call me Mr. Marsh again on this trip. No formalities should be
allowed among the Children of the Skies."

"Agreed, Mist--Will," replied Mattie, gaily. "You may put me down for
one dozen on those terms."

"Well, won't they be a sensation, when we show them in Washington?" said
Will, viewing the picture critically. "I really think I will make it the
subject of an oil painting."

"And I want that painting at any price, if you will ever sell it," cried
the Doctor.

"I will paint one for each of the company--except Sing. That apathetic
heathen would not care half so much for it as he would for a highly
colored chromo."

"Don't be so hard upon poor Sing. I am sure that he would be just
delighted with one of those paintings," said Mattie.

"Call him in and let's see. If there is a particle of the aesthetic
about him, I have failed thus far to see it," declared Will.

So Mattie called Sing from the kitchen. He looked so neat in his white
apron and cap that Will began to fear that he had slandered the poor
fellow. He was shown the photograph, and Mattie said:

"You sabe that picture, Sing?"

"Yes, me sabe."

"What is it?"

Sing grinned a moment as he looked slyly around upon, the company, and
answered:

"Allee samee makee foolee lound flagpole."

All roared with laughter.

"That is about what we did, and no mistake," said the Doctor, wiping his
eyes.

"Well, Sing," said Mattie, looking her very pleasantest at the wily
Mongolian, "I have called you in to prove that you heap likee pretty
things. Now, you would likee a pretty oil painting, big picture, allee
samee that?" pointing to the photograph.

Sing's face was a picture of indifference, and he said,

"Me no care."

"What! not care for beautiful oil painting?" cried Mattie, desperately,
seeing Will's eyes twinkling with fun and triumph. "Well, there is
something in the world that you think pretty, isn't there Sing?"

"O, yes!" promptly replied Sing, his face breaking out in smiles, "me
tinkee Miss Mattie heap pletty. Me heap likee Miss Mattie."

This open avowal of admiration was more than Mattie had bargained for,
and she blushed furiously. The whole party clapped their hands and
laughed, while Will fell upon the floor and rolled about in an ecstacy
of fun and laughter.

"Didn't I tell you, Mattie, that he was an incorrigible case?" cried
Will, as he assumed a sitting posture on the floor.

"And do you mean to say that Sing has no taste at all, simply because he
admires me?" said Mattie very severely.

"O, no! Mattie. I really admire Sing's taste, and acknowledge that I
have shamefully abused the poor fellow," said Will, rising to his feet.
"But the way he turned the tables on you and made you blush is the best
fun I have seen on the trip."

And so they indulged in light hearted conversation, music, reading,
painting, chess, etc., as they sped over the frozen seas, homeward
bound. Toward evening a strong north wind set in and the Professor
declared that they were heading straight for the mouth of the Mackenzie
River.

"In two or three days we shall be in the United States if this gale
continues," said the Professor. "We are traveling at tremendous
speed--nearly sixty miles an hour."

"I only hope that it continues, for I do not doubt that the friends have
long since given us up as dead," replied Dr. Jones. "We have been gone
now nearly four months, and have had no opportunity to communicate with
them since we left. What a glorious time it will be when we get back and
tell them how easily and comfortably we accomplished our object."

And so they enjoyed many an hour in anticipation of their reception by
friends who were mourning them as lost forever. And they were assured of
hearty expressions of admiration from a generous public. And the
Government would make proper acknowledgments.

"Doctor," said Fred in the evening after dinner, "I wish you would tell
us about the siege of Chattanooga, and Battle of Missionary Ridge and
Lookout Mountain."

"All right," returned the Doctor. "If agreeable to all, I don't mind
spinning a war yarn. Let me see; I left off at our entrance into
Chattanooga. Well, Bragg's army was sitting upon the surrounding hills
and mountains, watching us with eagle eyes. They cut off our lines of
communication and supplies, and we soon began to feel the pangs of
hunger. I saw stalwart men upon their hands and knees in the mud hunting
for grains of corn that had rattled from the army wagons into the road.
I saw horses in a battery adjoining my regiment gnaw nearly through
great oak trees in the torments of hunger. And when they were fed their
miserable pittance of corn, guards were necessary to keep the gaunt,
hungry men from stealing it from the perishing brutes.

"Desertions became exceedingly frequent; so much so that nearly every
roll-call noted one or more missing from each regiment. What with
sickness, deaths, and desertions, our ranks were becoming rapidly
decimated. A council of war was held. General Sheridan, commanding at
that time the 2nd division, 4th army corps, volunteered to make an
example of two captured deserters in one of his regiments. His offer was
accepted, and a morning or two later the whole army was notified to
witness the execution of these deserters. Such extremities had not been
resorted to for simply running away home (for they had not attempted to
desert to the enemy), and we could not believe that they would be shot.
But we did not know Phil Sheridan.

"Who could have dreamed on that morning that this trim little man, who
sat his horse like a centaur as he watched with critical eye the
carrying out of the horrible details of this double execution, was soon
to take rank among the greatest generals in the world's history?

"At the appointed time we gathered informally in a great mass in an open
plain south of the town. The brigade to which the doomed men belonged
was formed into the three sides of a hollow square, two ranks, open
order. Two graves were dug in the fourth side of the square, and there
the execution was to occur. Soon were heard the unearthly wailings of
Dead March in Saul, played by a brass band. Behind the band were two
coffins in a hearse, draped in black. Following these walked the
condemned men, surrounded by guards with fixed bayonets. The firing
party brought up the rear of the procession. They marched slowly around
the three sides of the square between the silent ranks, finally reaching
the graves and upon the edge of each was set its respective coffin. The
two men were marched up beside the coffins, and who can imagine their
feelings as they thus looked down into their deep, cold graves, where
they were to lie a few moments later, until the trump of God should
resurrect their dishonored dust to stand before his dread tribunal! One
would have thought that under these awful circumstances they surely
would have cried to God for mercy! One of them did; and kneeling near
his coffin the poor wretch received the last rites of the church of
Rome. But the other scornfully refused the consolations of religion in
any form, and cried out a few moments later, as he sat blindfolded upon
his coffin and heard the ominous clicking of the cocking of the muskets
that he knew were aimed at him, 'Boys, take me there!' Accompanying
these words he tore open the bosom of his shirt, exposed his bare
breast, and a moment later each fell upon his face to the ground--a
corpse! Thus ended the most tragical event I ever witnessed.

"And so the weary siege dragged on. We made a night descent upon the
enemy in boats. They were encamped upon the river a few miles below
Chattanooga, where they effectually cut off our communications with
Bridgeport. We attacked them in the blackness of a very dark night, and
completely routed them. This opened up communications with our base of
supplies, and our rations were greatly increased from that time on.

"On the morning of November 23d, a little before noon, the 3d division
of the 4th Army corps, the one to which I belonged, was ordered into the
open plain that lay between us and Missionary Ridge. Here we deployed
into line of battle. Sheridan's division followed and formed on our
right. The eleventh corps, commanded by General O.O. Howard, massed in
the rear. Then followed the 3d division of the 14th corps, General Baird
in command, while the 1st division of the same corps, under General
Johnston, stood at arms in the rear of the center in the intrenchments.

"From their aerie upon the surrounding hills the Confederates
complacently viewed the magnificent pageant, mistaking it for a grand
review. So secure were they in their apparently impregnable positions
that we carried Orchard Knob and captured nearly the whole picket line
before they realized that we were not dress parading. And so, under the
immediate eye of General Grant, who stood upon Fort Wood, a very
commanding position, from which he could see every man of us, we carried
two miles of the enemy's first line of defense. Probably a more
inspiring sight was never seen by mortal eye. Upon us were the eyes of a
whole city, many of our own comrades, and tens of thousands of brave and
vigilant enemies.

"So we rested upon Orchard Knob that night, having taken thus the
initiative in the great battle of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain.
That night was a busy one all along the lines of both armies. Mystic
signs were written upon the skies all night by the signal corps of each
army. Hooker upon the right was preparing to assault Lookout Mt. We of
the center spent the night strengthening our line of breastworks upon
Orchard Knob. Sherman, on the left, succeeded in crossing the Tennessee
River before morning in small boats with two divisions of his army, the
remaining two divisions crossing early in the day upon a hastily
constructed bridge.

"And the Confederates were equally active. All night long their signal
torches were working upon the mountain and hilltops. The Southern
commander, General Bragg, evidently considered Lookout Mountain
impregnable, and withdrew many troops from that point, concentrating
them upon his extreme right, in anticipation of Sherman's attack.

"Lookout was enveloped in dense fog the first part of the following day,
which enabled Hooker to dispose of his troops from that point as he
desired, preparatory for attack, with little or no opposition. At eleven
o'clock the fog began to lift, the attack commenced, and to us below was
unveiled one of the grandest, most soul-stirring exhibition of courage
and love of country ever witnessed! Thousands of blue-coated boys
pressed their way up the steep slopes of this mighty mountain, in spite
of the desperate resistance of a foe well worthy of their steel. Well
might we below raise a great shout of exultation and sympathy. The guns
of Wood and adjacent forts thundered out salvos of praise and
encouragement. On they went, step by step, until far into the night, and
achieved that victory that immortalized every man of them. The following
morning we beheld 'Old Glory' proudly waving from the great barren rock,
Point Lookout, and it seemed as if we should burst the very skies with
the shout that went up from thousands of loyal throats.

"While Hooker and his boys were thus making one of the most glorious
pages of history, Sherman had completed preparations for an assault upon
Bragg's right wing. Nearly all day on the 25th, the third day of the
battle, Sherman vainly endeavored to turn the enemy's right flank. They
were strongly entrenched, and hurled the Union forces down the slopes of
Missionary Ridge time after time, though the assaults were made with the
utmost courage and determination. Grant, Thomas, and Sheridan, from
Orchard Knob, watched these desperate efforts upon the part of Sherman.
He was sent all the reenforcements that could operate, and Baird's
division was returned because there was not room for them to
participate.

"All day long we of the center of this great battle line had stood at
arms, watching the grand spectacular movements of the two wings,
expecting momentarily to be ordered forward. The sun was getting well
down the western slope when we received the signal from Fort Wood to
charge the lower line of works at the foot of Missionary Ridge. This we
did easily, but the cross-fire from the second line midway up the Ridge
was so galling that the position was untenable. One of two things must
be done: retreat or carry the Ridge. The first alternative I do not
think occurred to anyone, for they leaped the breastworks, and in spite
of the enemy's utmost endeavors and natural obstructions, the second
line in a few moments was ours. But not a moment did they stop, and in
an incredibly short time the Ridge was carried, the captured artillery
wheeled about and was pouring shot and shell into the fleeing ranks of
the enemy!

"As the visitor now stands and contemplates the acclivities, and
considers what it meant to charge such a foe so well fortified, if he be
a Bible student, he will be reminded of the case of the Edomites. They
were the direct descendants of Esau, and inhabited Mount Seir. This
mount is an immense pile of rock in the southern part of Palestine. Here
the Edomites dug out their homes in the solid rock, and so fortified
themselves that they were the Gibraltar of ancient times. From these
mountain fastnesses they made predatory incursions upon their neighbors,
and for ages easily repelled all efforts at reprisal. And so they came
intolerably insolent, and feared neither God nor man. But one day
Jeremiah prophesied of them: 'Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and
the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the cleft of the rock,
and holdest the height of the hill! Though thou shouldst make thy nest
as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the
Lord.'

"He is but an indifferent reader of history who does not see the hand of
Almighty God displayed upon the side of Liberty and Union throughout all
this tremendous war. Even so great a man as W.E. Gladstone, the 'Grand
Old Man' of England, said that the eighteen millions of the North could
not subdue the eleven millions of the South. But he did not know that
the edict had gone forth from the court of Heaven that these who
arrogantly held the height of the hill must come down from thence. And
so we fought and won this grandest battle of the war--and perhaps of the
world."

Here the Doctor paused and looked around upon his audience. He had
worked himself into a fine glow as these splendid reminiscences passed
before his mind. To his horror he found his hearers fast asleep, except
the Professor, and his eyes were winking and blinking suspiciously.

"Well, if you are not an interested lot of fellows!" cried Dr. Jones.

Fred roused at this juncture and said:

"Go on, Doctor. That is the most thrilling story I ever heard."

"Do you really think so?" asked the Doctor very sarcastically.

"O yes! Doctor, I assure you that I heard every word of it."

"And what was I just talking about?"

"Um--ah--O yes, I remember. It was where the two deserters were sitting
on their coffins and were just about to be shot. I want to hear that
out," and Fred looked the picture of anxiety and interestedness.

"Do you, though!" snorted Dr. Jones. "If I served you right, I would
drop you through the manhole, just to wake you up."



CHAPTER XXI.

Things Material and Spiritual.


The wind continued all night as last noted, and Silver Cloud, without a
tremor or swaying motion of any kind, was scurrying across the barren
wastes of the Arctics at marvelous speed. At noon upon the second day
from the Pole, Professor Gray took an observation, and announced that
they then were at latitude 68 deg., 20 min., longitude 120 deg. 16 min.,
West Greenwich.

"We are about crossing the Arctic circle. We are just above the barren
grounds north of Great Bear Lake," said the Professor. "Shortly after
breakfast to-morrow morning we will cross the northern boundary of the
United States at our present speed."

"What great body of water is that I see ahead?" asked Denison a little
later.

"That is Great Bear Lake," replied Professor Gray. "See how the
vegetation begins to show up."

The weather was superb, and the lake lay calm and smooth beneath them as
a mirror. While they were tearing through the skies at express train
speed, their elevation being a little over 3,000 feet, they could
plainly see through their glasses that small birch trees and evergreens
upon the banks were nearly motionless.

"Now you see an illustration of my theory," cried the delighted Doctor.
"Here are we in a gale; below, scarcely a breath of air is stirring. It
did not work in Russia, and we were obliged to anchor. But I shall
regard that as a providential affair and shall stick to my theory. I
would not for anything have failed to plant the good seed which we left
there. Great good will come of it, and it may be the commencement of a
general recognition throughout all Europe of God's great law of cure. If
so, I shall count that as of infinitely greater importance than the
location of the North Pole."

The wind veered to the northwest toward evening, and a consultation of
the map showed that they were heading precisely as they wished to. On
the following morning, they crossed what the Professor informed them was
the Lake of the Woods.

"Before noon we shall be well into Northern Minnesota. We are peculiarly
favored upon this trip. It is very doubtful whether we would encounter
so many favorable gales in any number of future trips."

"We are not home yet, Professor, and we may have an opportunity to test
the Doctor's theory as to air currents," said Will.

Soon after breakfast a further change in the wind occurred, and they
found themselves going due east. They watched through their glasses the
foliage below, but could see no difference in the direction of the lower
atmospheric stratum.

"We will go as we look for a time," said the Doctor.

"What do I see yonder!" cried Denison. "A train of passenger cars, sure
as you live! That must be the Canadian Pacific."

"It is," replied Professor Gray. "And away to the south, you see Lake
Superior. We are passing along its northern coast."

"Don't those little settlements look beautiful!" said Mrs. Jones. "See
the little white church yonder with its tiny spire! It just seems to me
as if I should like to stop and attend service in that pretty little
church."

"See the people rushing out to look at us!" observed Dr. Jones. "Suppose
we lower to within a few hundred feet of them, and give them a good
sight at the ship."

Accordingly Silver Cloud settled rapidly as it neared the little town.
They crossed the village at a height of about 500 feet. They could see
that the people were terribly frightened. Some were lying upon the
ground as if dead; others were upon their knees with their hands
stretched toward the globe that glistened like a star in the sunlight.
Many were rushing screaming into their houses. A few could be seen
fleeing from town, afoot or horseback, at the top of their speed.

"Don't be alarmed, good people," shouted Dr. Jones. "We are only
aeronauts who have been to the North Pole. Good-bye!"

"I won't do that again," said he. "Some of those people may die from the
effects of this fright. But here we are again for home."

Silver Cloud had again mounted skyward and encountered a splendid breeze
from the north. A few moments later the blue, crystal waters of Lake
Superior were undulating beneath them.

"Just see the shipping!" ejaculated Denison. "I sailed to the upper end
of this great lake to Duluth, twenty-five years ago. Then but few
steamers came up so far, and not many sailing vessels except those in
the iron and copper trade. Now see them in every direction! I am
astonished at the amount of traffic on these lakes."

Only those who have been away from their native land, and especially if
their travels have extended over the barren wastes of the extreme north,
can fully appreciate the immortal Scott:

   "Breathes there a man with soul so dead
   Who never to himself hath said;
   'This is my own, my native land!'"

They traveled so rapidly over Upper Michigan that by evening they were
across the strait of Mackinaw. Then the wind lulled to a ten-mile breeze
and veered a point or two easterly. The great pine forests below were a
cheerful contrast to the illimitable fields of ice and snow and
uncultivable lands which they had so lately traversed. The farms and
villages grew thicker every hour and their twinkling lights were
pleasant sights to the voyagers as the night came on.

After dinner, all being tired from a long day of sightseeing, they
gathered in the little smoking-room for their usual evening chat. For
some reason, this time the conversation took a turn not unusual among
creatures who have to do with two worlds, the spiritual and material.

"I would like to ask you, Dr. Jones," said the Professor, "if you ever
encountered, or had any experience with what you were positive was
supernatural?"

"I have," answered the Doctor.

"Well, Doctor, I confess that I never saw or heard anything in my life
that could not be explained upon natural principles. It is not that I am
especially skeptical, but my life has been spent in the study of things
material, and the laws that govern them. So it may be that I have not
been in a state of mind to apprehend spiritual phenomena, as I might
otherwise have done. However that may be, I am very desirous of hearing
a relation of your experiences on that line."

"There is nothing, Professor Gray," replied Dr. Jones, "that I am more
positive of than that we are constantly surrounded by, and in actual
contact with, spiritual forces. And further, that if we were but in a
receptive condition, or were in the attitude toward God that we should
be, we might, like Elisha's servant, see the hosts of the Lord camping
upon the hills round about us. But my individual belief would be of no
value if not based upon experience.

"The first thing I ever saw that I recognized as purely spiritual in its
character was at the deathbed of a four year old boy. I was myself at
this time but twelve years old, but I received an impression that I can
never forget. I was standing at the foot of his little bed, his father
and mother and three or four brothers and sisters were ranged along the
sides and by his head. He was gasping in the last struggle with the grim
monster, when he suddenly threw his hands toward the ceiling and cried
out in a clear, strong voice, 'O papa! see there!' His little face that
had been so distorted with suffering lightened up with the glory of the
better world. His arms gradually sank to his side, and he was dead. But
that heavenly smile remained upon his face long after death. One may
explain away this glory-burst through the eyes of a dying child, calling
it hallucination of a fevered or diseased brain if they will, but to me
it was a revelation of spirit land.

"A few years ago I was permitted again to get a glimpse of the pearly
gates, and this time it was the hand of a sweet little girl who lifted
aside the veil for her sorrowing friends and myself. She was in the last
extremity with diphtheritic croup. Her face was bloated and blue-black
with suffocation. Her eyes were nearly bursting from their sockets,
glassy and staring; and her face, always so sweet and beautiful, was now
distorted so that her mother could not endure the sight, and cried in
her agony, 'My God! is this my little Bertha? I cannot believe it!'
Bertha, in her expiring effort for breath, had raised upon her knees in
bed, when suddenly, as in the other case, she raised her hands, her face
illumined with the 'light that is not seen upon sea or land,' and she
said in a strong, clear whisper--for her vocal cords were so involved in
the diphtheritic membranes that her voice was gone completely--'O mamma!
I see Jesus!' The ecstasy lasted a moment or so, and then I laid her
back upon the pillow--dead! Here again is an opportunity for the
agnostic to cavil and reject such evidence. But of one thing you may be
sure: If he derives as much pleasure from his unbelief as I do in
believing, then he is a very happy man.

"And now I will relate what to me was still more startling and wonderful
on the line of spiritual evidence or experience. I practiced medicine a
few years in the Sierra Mountains, California. I was called one
afternoon to see a patient in a mining camp some twelve or fifteen miles
away. I rode a faithful, sure-footed little mare, and chose a short cut
over a dangerous mountain trail. I had a deep cañon to cross, and was
coming down into it on my return, when night set in. It became so dark
that I could not see the trail, but fully trusted my little mare. I
dropped the reins upon her neck and let her choose her own way and gait.
We were on the most dangerous part of the trail, where it was not more
than twelve or fifteen inches wide, and upon my left hand was a black
chasm, some fifty or seventy-five feet deep. I was singing a hymn as
unconcernedly as I ever did in my life, when suddenly something said to
me, 'Get off that horse!' I did not stop to reason or ask questions, but
promptly threw myself off on the right side and stood a moment by the
animal, not knowing what the meaning could be. It was not an audible
voice that had spoken to me, yet it was none the less distinct and
unmistakable. I stood two or three minutes thus, waiting for further
developments. Then I stepped down in front of Mollie--as I called the
mare--into the trail, and started to lead her. I did not dare to get
into the saddle again, though I could not imagine what was coming next.
I had not proceeded ten feet, when I came to an exceedingly steep pitch
in the trail. I had gone down this pitch but a few feet when something
held me and I could go no farther. I nearly fell over the obstruction
which I felt holding my legs. I reached down and found a heavy wire
drawn very tightly across the trail, just above my knees. You will never
know the feelings I experienced at that moment. I saw in an instant that
my Heavenly Father had interposed and saved me from a violent death."

"What was that wire, and how came it there?" asked Fred.

"It was a telegraph wire. The pole on the opposite side of the cañon had
been washed from its footing, and was hanging by its full weight from
the wire, thus drawing it very taut across the trail."

"Could not this warning which you received be accounted for from a
psychological standpoint?" asked Professor Gray.

"I will answer your question by asking another: If we reject the
spiritual side of man's nature, then we have nothing left of him but the
material. Now I ask you as a physicist, what is there in the laws
governing matter that could in any degree account for the phenomenon
that I have just related?"

"Nothing," answered the Professor.

"That is right, Professor. And I prefer to recognize the hand of God in
this, and to believe that He exercises a special care over his children;
that not a hair falls from the head of one of his believing children
without the Father's notice. It is so much better to simply trust and
believe. Nothing is so detestable as the spirit of skepticism abroad in
the land to-day. The ministry itself is more or less permeated and
honeycombed with the abominations called 'Higher Criticism,'
'Evolution,' etc. They would have us believe that the Bible is filled
with interpolations, and that wicked men and devils, careless
translators or copyists have been allowed to destroy to a very great
extent the validity of that book. Now I simply take this stand: God has
created you and me, and has endowed us each with an immortal principle
which we call soul. He has placed us in this probationary state and has
set before us two ways: The straight and narrow way that leads to
Eternal Life, and the broad way that leads to Eternal Death. In order
that we may know His will and so be able to fulfill the conditions of
salvation, He has given us the Holy Bible. He is responsible for the
validity of that book, and we may defy all the smart Alecks and devils
in the universe to invalidate a single essential word of it. The gist of
the whole matter reduces to a simple syllogism.

"The major proposition is: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou
shalt be saved.

"The minor proposition: I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

"The conclusion: Therefore I am saved.

"This is my faith, and He is able to keep that which I have committed
unto Him, Bible and all, till that day. I have given you several
experiences that are not to be lightly explained away, nor scoffed aside
by skepticism. I could relate you another still more wonderful
experience, one on a par with Saul's conversion as he went to Damascus
to kill the saints. I refer to my own conversion. But I think that you
have had enough for once."

"Let me ask one question further, Doctor," said the Professor. "As we
have disposed of the psychological hypothesis in explanation of the
source of the impression that you received upon the trail, and which
without doubt saved your life, we must accept the spiritual. I wish to
ask, then, if it might not have been the spirit of a departed friend who
thus warned you?"

"No, sir!" replied the Doctor with great emphasis. "Departed spirits
have no such functions. On the other hand, we are told that 'He giveth
His angels charge concerning thee to keep thee in all thy ways. They
shall bear thee up in their hands lest at any time thou dash thy foot
against a stone.' And again: The angel of the Lord encampeth round about
them that fear Him, and delivereth them. Also: Are they not ministering
spirits sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation?
It means infinitely much to be the child of a King. Angels to bear us up
in their hands and to minister unto us if we will but comply with the
terms. So there is no need of spooks, wraiths, and ghosts of departed
men in our lives. God gives us all the light necessary. He lighteth
every man that cometh into the world."

"Well, Doctor, there is still another difficulty that I think you have
not met or settled. I have acquaintances that I know are sincere in
their belief that they receive communications from departed friends.
They are people who do not accept the Christian faith, and you have
established the fact, from a biblical standpoint, that He giveth his
angels charge over those who are Christians, or heirs of salvation. If,
then, the spiritualist receives communications from the spirit world,
and they come neither through angels nor departed friends, from whom do
they come?"

"The Devil!"

"What!"

"The Devil, or one of his legions of imps."

"Excuse me, Doctor, but how is one to know whether his communications be
from a good or evil spirit? How, for instance, do you know whether your
communication which warned you of the wire across the trail was from an
angel or devil?"

"That question is not worthy of you, Professor Gray. In all the history
of this poor, sin-cursed world, the Devil never did one kind act to a
human being. He never wiped away a tear of sorrow, or mitigated a
heartache or pain, nor ever will. Jesus settled that matter when the
Jews accused Him of casting out devils through the prince of devils,
Beelzebub. If Satan be divided against Satan, his kingdom cannot stand.
When Satan warns one servant of God of danger, and saves him from death
his kingdom will fall. But say, let's to bed. We must be out by daylight
in the morning."



CHAPTER XXII.

Familiar Scenes and Faces.


Silver Cloud was wafted by a gentle breeze to the center of Lower
Michigan. For two or three hours after sunrise there was nearly a dead
calm. Then a brisk breeze from due east arose, and they started for Lake
Michigan at a great speed.

"This will never do," said Dr. Jones. "We will go down and get fresh
supplies and the morning papers. There lies a good-looking town a few
miles west. We will anchor there. Stand by the anchor, boys."

In a few moments Silver Cloud, with her characteristic swiftness,
descended upon the town, and soon was safely anchored to several large
trees in the center of it. It proved to be the thrifty little town of
L----r, of between three and four thousand inhabitants. Silver Cloud was
drawn to within fifty or sixty feet of the earth, and the voyagers
rapidly descended in the cage to the main street.

That all the men, women, and children crowded to the vicinity of the
globe, and that our friends were the cynosure of thousands of wondering
eyes will be readily believed. And the glistening sphere that gently
oscillated in the breeze above the city excited the unbounded
astonishment and praise of all. Newspaper reporters gathered eagerly
about the party, and plied them with questions concerning their trip and
adventures. All, of course, were acquainted with the facts concerning
their sailing from Washington four months previously, and a few of them
had witnessed that notable event. The travelers were informed that they
had been mourned as lost for many weeks past, and Government was fitting
out a party to seek them as soon as possible. The general opinion was,
that the globe had collapsed or exploded, and that the foolhardy
explorers had all perished in the forests of Upper Canada. This was the
accepted theory, and nothing could exceed the severity with which the
editors of the papers politically opposed to the administration censured
it for the extravagance and all-round idiocy of the whole "Aluminum
Bubble Scheme," as they termed it. Dr. Jones was voted a lunatic, and
the balance of the party was commiserated in the "Ahs!" and "Dear me's!"
and "Poor things!" of the whole nation.

And we can well imagine that the telegraph wires were kept busy that day
all over the land. And the papers which in their previous issues had
inveighed so cuttingly and mercilessly against the Government and Dr.
Jones, and everybody in any way connected with the Aluminum Globe
Bubble, now came out in flaming double headings, under telegraphic
dispatches and in editorials, sounding the praises of Dr. Jones and
company in unbounded terms of commendation. They had always predicted
their speedy and triumphant return, so they had, etc.

Telegrams and phonograms poured in upon them until they were really
unable to attend to them. Very numerous were the offers of engagements
to Dr. Jones and Professor Gray for a course of lectures at liberal
prices.

"I was satisfied, Professor, that we should stir them up," said Dr.
Jones, perspiring and glowing with the excitement and hurry, "but I did
not look for this avalanche. I would rather be off into our native
element, the deep blue sky, than to be smothered in this fashion."

"Keep cool, Doctor," replied Professor Gray. "You may as well get used
to being lionized, for you will get no end of it at Washington."

"All right, Professor. I'll do the best I can, but I really do not enjoy
so much of it. Suppose we give the people a reception at the Opera
House."

"O good!" cried Mattie. "And let's give them a concert. We can render
them an hour of music that I am sure will please them very much."

"Good girl!" shouted Fred, who was always in for anything in the line of
music and innocent pleasure.

All instantly agreed, and the town and neighboring places were informed
of the fact of the intended reception that night. All necessary
preparations were made, and it is needless to say that the building was
packed to its utmost limits long before the appointed hour.

At eight o'clock the curtain raised, and our friends marched upon the
stage and sang in their best form an anthem of praise and thanksgiving
to God. All were in the pink of health, free from all carking cares and
vanities of life, and they sang as if inspired. Such singing had never
been heard by the audience; and this fact, added to the romance
connected with the occasion, carried the thousands of listeners
completely off their feet. The encore that went up at the conclusion of
the piece was tremendous beyond description. Nor would the excited
audience cease an instant until our friends had rendered another song.
Then Dr. Jones stepped forward, and raising his hand to invoke silence,
said:

"Your mayor will now address a few words to you."

The mayor, a typical aldermanic looking person, advanced to the front of
the stage and began a set speech after the stereotyped fashion. He was
thoroughly imbued with the idea that the navigators of the great
aluminum ship had premeditatedly visited their important city before
going on to Washington, and it was no matter of surprise to him that
they had done so. He thanked them, however, etc. He was discussing the
landing of the Pilgrim Fathers and was evidently wound up for an hour,
and the audience was beginning to move restlessly. A low murmur of
disapprobation ran through the house as the untimely, uninteresting
speech dragged its weary length, when a gallery god cried out: "Did you
bring that thing from the North Pole, Dr. Jones? Trot it off and give us
some more music." The audience received this shot with shouts of
laughter and approval, and they did not stop until the crestfallen mayor
backed off the stage.

An hour was then spent in solos, duets, quartettes, choruses, etc. Then
Dr. Jones made a speech of a few moments' length, in which he gave an
account of the leading incidents of their wonderful trip. He especially
dwelt upon the planting of the aluminum flagstaff at the North Pole, and
when he assured them that the flag of our Union, as they sat in that
comfortable opera-house, was flying at the peak of that superlatively
splendid shaft at the very apex of the earth, the emotions of the
assemblage could not be restrained, and they broke forth in thunders of
applause.

Their return to the ship was a triumphal procession. The streets were
packed with people who waited to see them ascend to their cabin.

Early the following morning the wind had shifted to the northwest, and
the anchors were hoisted immediately. How beautiful the little town and
surrounding country appeared to the aeronauts in the early morning light
from their one thousand feet elevation.

"I had no conception of the beauty of this world until I saw it from the
balcony of the Silver Cloud," observed Professor Gray.

"There is but one trouble in this beautiful world, and that is with its
inhabitants," replied Dr. Jones. "We should have the restoration of Eden
immediately if all men would but serve God and observe the Golden Rule.
Not another tear or sigh would ever be seen or heard again upon earth.
But O the pity of it! Man, willfully blind, goes stumbling on through
the short span of life, blighted and blighting everything about him with
unbelief. Full of misery and heartaches here, he goes into Eternity to
stand at the bar of God, naked and undone, and hears the fearful
sentence, 'Anathema Maranatha!' or 'Cursed and banished from God!' And
all this in the lovely world that lies spread out before us this morning
like the primitive Garden of the Lord, fresh as it came from His
bountiful hand. It fills my soul with sadness when I think of our
infinite foolishness. I do not wonder that Jesus wept over Jerusalem."

The whole company were assembled upon the balcony, and drew in long
inspirations of the balmy morning air.

"What a panorama!" cried Mrs. Jones. "I am forever spoilt for living a
terrestrial life again. We are Children of the Skies, and those low
vales are well enough for those who are contented therewith. But this is
our native element!" and she spread her hands toward the upper blue.
"Why, if I were to be confined to that humdrum existence again, I should
be like--like--"

"--a fish out of water," suggested Fred.

"Now that is real mean," pouted Mrs. Jones. "I was trying to give
expression to the inspiration excited by this lovely scene in the form
of poesy, but you have spoilt it all with your prosaic comparison."

"I am just too sorry for any use at all," returned Fred, looking
anything but regretful. "But, really now, Mrs. Jones, how could you
possibly express the idea better?"

"We are moving straight for Washington," said the Professor, consulting
a map in his hand, "and at this speed we shall not be far from it at
bedtime to-night."

"We can prepare ourselves for a grand reception," remarked Denison. "The
good people of L----r gave us an earnest of what we may expect."

"It is rather pleasant to be lionized, but we shall be obliged to draw
the lines somewhere," said Dr. Jones.

"We can always retreat to Silver Cloud when tired of being interviewed,
wined, and dined," interposed Will.

"Let's plant another flagstaff at the South Pole, Doctor," cried Mattie.
"I never feel so well as when afloat upon this boundless sea."

"Well done, Mattie," returned the Doctor, patting her on the head. "What
a bold little navigator you have grown to be! And boundless sea is quite
poetic, too. But as to starting immediately for the South Pole, I do not
think we can do so. Perhaps we may, however, and you can rest assured
that this sort of life suits me amazingly. I shall favor sailing for the
South Pole at the earliest practicable moment."

"One thing is certain, and that is, that if we are to be the first to
reach the South Pole, we cannot put the expedition off too long," said
Will. "Others will imitate us and get there before us if we give them
time. We must sail within a few weeks at farthest."

"That is true," assented Dr. Jones. "But let us see what Sing has for
breakfast."

So they entered the dining-room and ate with appetites known to but few
terrestrials. And why shouldn't they? Their sanitary environments were
perfect; their minds were free from all worldly cares. Ennui and
monotony were entirely unknown aboard Silver Cloud, because of the
constantly changing panorama of land and sea. There were no heartaches
nor burning envies among them, for all were pure-minded and lived as
God's children should live the world over. Why shouldn't they be plump
and pure and clean, inside and out? "We have all outgrown our clothes,"
as Dr. Jones expressed it.

It was a busy day aboard ship. The whole country was on the lookout for
them. The Doctor lowered to within five or six hundred feet of the
earth, and the cries of the multitudes that gathered in every town and
country corner continually rang in their ears.

"Detroit lies directly in our course. Do you see it yonder?" said
Professor Gray.

"O yes!" cried Mrs. Jones. "I am glad that we shall get a good view of
the beautiful city of Detroit. Away to the left is Lake St. Clair, isn't
it?"'

"Yes," answered the Professor, "and that is the Detroit River. There is
the city. Across upon the opposite side is the city of Windsor. Just see
the crowds of people! We are being well advertised by telegraph."

The squares, streets, and housetops of Detroit were black with people.
Such cheering was never heard in that city as when Silver Cloud
majestically passed over it. The guns of the fort below the city poured
out thundering salutes of welcome.

"The poor, dear people!" said Mrs. Jones. "I am so glad that we can give
them a few moment's pleasure."

"And yet we have done nothing marvelous," returned Dr. Jones. "We have
only made use of one of God's laws, and without any hardship or special
exertion, have been to the North Pole and back through the kindness of
Providence, who furnishes us with extraordinarily favoring gales. The
people, as well as ourselves, should give all the glory to God."

"You are too modest by far, Doctor," replied Professor Gray. "You may as
well prepare yourself for unstinted praise and honor. What you have done
is simple and easy enough now that it has been accomplished; but it is
the conception of the idea, and courage and faith that you have
exhibited, that the world will honor. It was precisely so with
Christopher Columbus. To cross the Atlantic was a comparatively easy
affair after he had led the way. You may as well prepare yourself to
stand in the niche beside the discoverer of America. You are in for it,
sir, and I am exceedingly pleased that you are. For I know that you are
worthy of these honors, and will not become spoilt and puffed up
thereby. Accept my heartfelt congratulations, Doctor Jones," and the two
shook hands cordially.

"And mine," said Denison, also shaking the Doctor's hand. So they all
expressed their spontaneous and sincere respect for the hero of the
expedition who had so evidently excited the praise and honor of the
entire civilized earth. The little man was deeply affected.

"I should be but an arrant humbug to affect to despise the honor that
the world seems disposed to bestow upon us. I say us, for I cannot and
will not take it all to myself. I may have been the originator of the
idea, but I could have done nothing without your co-operation, dear
friends. But this is very unprofitable conversation. Let's talk about
something else. There's my old duck pond, Lake Erie. Scores of times
have I sailed from one end of it to the other; and hundreds of times
have I bathed in its limpid waters. There is no spot on earth that I
love as I do beautiful, historic Lake Erie."

This was the grand and peculiar feature of Dr. Jones' character--an
utter disregard for his own aggrandizement and self-interest, and a
sincere desire to make everybody about him happy and comfortable. And,
underlying it all, was a sublime faith in Almighty God. These three
essentials make the great man: modesty, unselfishness, and faith in God.
Anyone is great who possesses them, and no one is great who lacks either
of them. If the reader has not gathered that Dr. Jones' character was a
most happy combination of these cardinal virtues, then we have in no
degree done him justice. And while he was kind and loving to all about
him, yet he was terribly severe with the incorrigibly mean and vicious.
If he had a great fault, it was in this particular. No one could be more
loving and tender with a penitent; but the stiff-necked and haughty, the
oppressors of the poor, were an abomination unto him.

"I used to fear that I was too savage when I came into contact with such
people," said he; "but one day, while reading the 15th Psalm, I received
a flood of light upon the subject. This psalm begins by asking: 'Lord,
who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?' In
enumerating the qualifications of such person, the psalmist says: 'He
that contemneth the evil man, but he honoreth them that fear the Lord,'
Now that word 'contemn,' for the first time, attracted my special
attention. I had read it scores of times, but had never realized how
strong a term was here used. No stronger is to be found in the language.
It means to despise, detest, spurn, etc. I was startled, but I was at
the same time glad. I could not help it, but I always did despise and
detest a man who would grind the face of the poor, or who would keep
back the wage of the laborer. Not that I would judge him, or take
vengeance upon him; and I must forgive him and receive him as my brother
when he repents. But until he does turn from the evil of his ways, and
does his best at making restitution, I can do a jolly good job at
'contemning' him."

The blue south shore of the lake soon became visible. A more entrancing
picture than that of Silver Cloud floating swiftly over the great lake,
so thickly dotted with steamers and sailing vessels, cannot be imagined.
The exhilaration of the occupants as they looked from their commanding
altitude upon this delightful scenery was extreme. Many adjectives are
used in describing the scenery and experiences connected with this
notable voyage, but language is far too feeble to do the subject full
justice.

The Doctor pointed out the various islands, lakeports, etc., with all of
which he was perfectly familiar. The wind became more westerly, and they
passed into Ohio away to the east of Cleveland.

"I would have been glad to have stopped a little while at Cleveland,"
said Dr. Jones, "but we must hasten on while the wind is favorable."

"Is it absolutely necessary that we take Silver Cloud to Washington?"
asked Denison. "Suppose the winds should be contrary for a considerable
time, could we not anchor, and Professor Gray, the ladies, and yourself
take the train for the Capital?"

"Yes, and we will do that if necessary. But I much prefer that we sail
there together. It would then look as if we could come and go as we
liked, and give some degree of color to my theory, that we can find any
current we wish by hunting for it."

"That is all right in America, but doesn't hold good in Russia, Doctor,"
said Will, laughingly.

"Never mind, sonny," good-humoredly replied the Doctor. "All rules have
their exceptions, and we happened to strike a full-grown, lusty one that
time. But I shall always be thankful that my rule failed for once. I
think more of the seed I sowed there than I do of our planting the
flagstaff at the North Pole."

The wind continued very brisk, a little north of west, and the ship was
heading considerably north of Washington.

"We are pointing straight as a gun barrel for New York City," said Will,
who was consulting a map.

"New York is considerably east of Washington," remarked the Doctor,
looking over the map with Will. "I will tell you what we will do. If the
wind continues as it now is we will go on to New York and await a
favorable wind. What do you all think of that proposition?"

"Nothing could be more appropriate, since we must anchor, than that it
should be at the metropolis of America," answered Professor Gray.

So it was agreed that they should make New York their next anchorage if
possible. Along in the afternoon they were near the center of
Pennsylvania and were approaching a large town. The people were
evidently looking for them, for immense crowds could be seen gathered in
many places.

"I think that I will send a telegram from here to the mayor of New York
that we will try and make that city to-night. At what time should we
arrive there at our present speed?" he inquired of Professor Gray.

The Professor consulted his watch and map a moment, and replied, "About
eight o'clock this evening, Doctor."

The telegram was written accordingly. Silver Cloud descended to within
four hundred feet of the earth, and when over the center of the city,
the Doctor leaned over the balustrade and shouted, "Will you please
forward this message for me?" As he said this he dropped the message,
wrapped about a silver half dollar. One of the thousands of willing
hands caught it, and a voice answered, "Aye, aye, Doctor Jones!"

"They all have your name, Doctor. You are the best known man in America
to-day. And I doubt if there is one in the world so much talked of as
you are," said Professor Gray.

"And that just shows how small a matter makes one famous. A few months
ago I was an humble, inconsequential country doctor. My greatest delight
and ambition at that time was to find the indicated remedy, and see the
sick recover. And I declare to you now, that while I enjoy this racing
through the skies, and the roar and acclamation of the multitudes, yet
all these are but secondary and insignificant to my mind, when compared
with that other great ambition of my life--the recognition by the
medical world of the fact that there is an immutable law of God for our
guidance in the selection of the remedy for the sick. And my daily
prayer now is that my Father will keep me humble, so that he can use me
to this end. For I tell you, friends," and the Doctor struck the table
near him a mighty blow with his fist by way of emphasis, "that God can
use no man who feels his own importance, and is inclined to take all the
glory to himself. He is simply a weak-minded bungler, who gets into the
way and frustrates whatever designs God might otherwise have worked
through him."

The Doctor was upon his favorite theme--the propagandism of the peculiar
system of medicine of which he was so faithful and successful a
practitioner--and they had left the city far behind them, when he again
paid attention to the rapidly changing scenery below. The wind had
increased to a strong gale, and they were crossing the full length of
Pennsylvania at astounding speed. They passed over the mountain ranges
of the eastern part of the state, with as little concern or thought as
if they had been level plain or water. So greatly had their speed
accelerated, that by six o'clock the smoke of the great city was
discernible immediately before them. The beautiful Hudson looked like a
silver ribbon trending away to the north. New York bay with its shipping
from all quarters of the earth, Liberty Lighting the World, the
suspension bridge, and the tall buildings of the city, were all
distinctly seen by the voyagers at a great distance. The booming of
cannon announced to our friends that they had been sighted by those upon
the lookout for them. A few moments later they had crossed the river
and were skimming over the housetops, looking for an anchorage.

"There is Central Park. We shall pass over the south end of it. That is
the place for us to drop anchor," said the Professor.

"All right, Professor. Stand by boys! Let them go!" cried the Doctor.

Down to the earth went two anchors. They almost immediately caught in
the strong limbs of the shade trees and Silver Cloud was again safely
anchored. It was well that this immense park had chanced to be their
stopping place, for the people were wild with excitement, and poured
into it like a mighty flood. The shout that went up was deafening as the
Doctor and Professor descended to the ground. The whole party came down,
two by two, the fastenings of the globe were made doubly secure, a posse
of policemen put in charge of it, and then they submitted themselves to
the committee of reception appointed by the mayor. Carriages awaited
them, and they were conveyed to a hotel as rapidly as the densely
crowded streets would permit. No conqueror ever received a more
tremendous ovation! Frequently the carriages were brought to a dead
standstill, and only the most strenuous efforts of scores of policemen
could make a passage for them. But finally their enthusiasm broke
through all barriers. The horses were taken from the vehicles, and
hundreds of friendly hands grasped the ropes attached to the ends of the
tongues, and then better progress was made. The Doctor bore his honors
with gentle dignity, taking off his hat, and bowing frequently to the
right and left to his excited and enthusiastic countrymen who thus
delighted to do him honor. If Mrs. Jones' eyes filled with tears of
pride and delight as she witnessed this outpouring of the hearts of the
people to the man whom she loved above anything upon earth, surely no
one will censure her for that. The travelers had met with some hearty
receptions, but never with anything like this. It was not the male
portion only who were demonstrative, but the ladies were equally active
in their expressions of appreciation. The carriages were literally
filled with rich bouquets of flowers that rained into them. And when
they could bring them to a standstill, the crush about the vehicles
almost threatened their destruction. They shook hands with as many as
climbed up within reach, not a few of whom were ladies.

"Upon my word, girls, I don't know but they will eat us up," said the
Doctor to his wife and Mattie, who sat beside him in the leading landau.

But all things earthly have an end, and the party finally landed at the
entrance of the hotel. Here the press was tremendous, and it was with
extreme difficulty that they at last reached the parlor, where the mayor
and many distinguished citizens awaited them.

"I fear you have had a rough passage through our streets," said the
mayor.

"I give you my word, sir, that we have been in more danger during the
last half hour than in all the balance of our voyage," replied Dr.
Jones.

"You have stirred the world, and turned it upside down, and you will
have to stand the consequences of your unprecedented popularity. It is
so refreshing to see a man do the impossible with the nonchalance and
ease that you have displayed that you must not complain if we nearly
kill you with the best intentions in the world. But I promise that we
will endeavor to make it as easy for you as possible, while with us."

"I have lived all my life in New York, but I am sure that I never saw
our city so excited as it is to-night," said another gentleman. "Just
listen to them! Come out upon the balcony and look at them."

As they stepped out and looked up and down Broadway, far as they could
see the great thoroughfare was filled with people. The voyagers were
instantly recognized, and such a roar as went up from that vast
multitude! It continued until the mayor stepped forward and raised his
hand to command silence.

"Speak to them a few words, Doctor, and send them home," said he.

The Doctor stepped forward and cried at the top of his powerful voice:

"Friends and fellow countrymen. Of course, I expected you would be glad
to see a party who travel in so splendid a chariot as the great aluminum
ship. And I take it for granted that you are all aware that Silver
Cloud, as we have named the globe, carried us to the North Pole and
back safely and pleasantly. And to-night, as we stand in the great
metropolis of the Western hemisphere, there flies from the most splendid
flagstaff upon earth, located precisely at the northern extremity of the
earth's axis, the Flag of our Union! (At this point, the patriotic
enthusiasm of the hearers could not be restrained, and for several
minutes the Doctor stood and awaited the subsidence of the cheering.)
But I have a proposition to make you. The Mayor desires that you all
retire now to your homes, and I promise you that to-morrow night we will
tell you all about our trip, and show you how we planted the flagstaff
at the North Pole. I bid you all good night."

"That was good, Doctor, and I think that now they will disperse quite
satisfied," said the mayor. "You are the city's guests, remember, and we
are extremely desirous of rendering you every possible honor and
pleasure. I do not doubt that you are all fatigued with so much
excitement and sightseeing as you have been through to-day, and we will
let you retire. Good-night."



CHAPTER XXIII.

The World at the Feet of Doctor Jones.


The following morning our friends were up be-times and were soon engaged
in the busiest day of their lives. The wind was still unfavorable for
their passage to Washington, and they abandoned themselves to the
numerous duties that pressed upon them, and hospitalities of the
friendly Gothamites. Messages almost innumerable and visitors by
thousands poured in upon them. Mrs. Jones, Mattie, and Denison acted as
secretaries for Dr. Jones, while Will and Fred performed the same office
for Professor Gray. Reporters by scores besieged them at all hours. The
Doctor disposed of these importunate visitors by appointing an hour when
he met them in a body in a private room, and there answered their
numerous questions. At three o'clock P.M. the mayor called, and through
a private exit the whole party was led to carriages, and shown a
considerable portion of the better part of the city. They drove to the
globe and found it surrounded by thousands of admirers. Silver Cloud
proudly floated above them, gently oscillating in the breeze, slightly
bowing to the right and left, as if complacently acknowledging the
admiration and praises of its visitors.

The carriages were driven as near as possible to the globe. Will and
Denison worked their way to the cage and ascended to the cabin. The vast
throng watched this proceeding with intense interest, and made the
welkin ring with their shouts as the two men safely entered the manhole.
They examined the thermometer, trimmed the burners that were necessary
to be kept alight, wound up the motor springs, and then descended with a
rapidity that caused the spectators to hold their breaths.

After several hours' driving, during which time the mayor pointed out
many objects of interest, they were driven to their hotel and left to
rest and prepare for the evening's entertainment. They had been
informed that the largest building in the city had been engaged, and the
whole party of Arctic explorers were earnestly requested to meet the
public that evening in said building. This they consented to do. There
was not the slightest snobbishness about Dr. Jones, or it certainly
would have manifested itself now when the world was at his feet. But the
little man was as kind and unaffectedly friendly now as ever in his
life. He was a close student of human nature too, and thoroughly
understood that they were fully capable of crying "Hosannah!" to-day,
and "Crucify him! crucify him!" to-morrow. Human nature is not different
from what it was thousands of years ago. It is no better and no worse.
Unregenerate man is out of harmony with his Maker; and being possessed
of a finite mind, he can never be right, do right, nor keep right until
he places himself unreservedly into God's hands.

   "Just as I am, without one plea,
     But that thy blood was shed for me,
   And that thou bidst me come to thee,
     O Lamb of God! I come."

"When I would do good, evil is ever present with me," was St. Paul's
experience. It is yours and it is mine, gentle reader. There is no
escape from it, except through the blood of Christ. Then shall we commit
all our ways unto Him, and shall never be moved. This is the one great
cause of man's inconstancy. He is constantly seeking after that which
shall satisfy the cravings of his never dying soul, but refuses the
light which God gives him. He sips from every cup of worldly pleasure,
and madly rushes after the sensation of the hour, be it good or bad. One
after the other, they pall upon his wearied senses, and he dashes them
from his lips in disgust. Happy alone is he who listens to that Voice,
'Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.'

That evening, before many thousands of people, our friends did what they
could to please them. They sang as they never had done in their lives.
It is unnecessary to say that their efforts were received with
tremendous rounds of encores by the delighted host. The music was
interspersed with appropriate speeches from the mayor and other civic
dignitaries. They all spoke in unlimited terms of praise of the man who
had conceived the idea of the aluminum globe, and who had had the
courage of his convictions. He had added undying glory to the land that
bore him, and now that land delighted to honor him by every means within
her power, etc.

The Doctor and Professor each spoke at some length, giving the history
of the expedition and the importance of it to the scientific world. The
Doctor told them of the planting of the aluminum flagstaff in terse,
graphic language, and concluded by saying:

"And now friends, we will conclude the evening's performance by giving
you an exact representation of how we marched about the flagstaff and
sang Professor Marsh's composition, 'The North Pole March.' You must
imagine the thermometer sixty or more degrees below zero in order to
appreciate the scene."

A fair representation of the foot of the flagstaff had been improvised,
and the stage was made to look like a field of snow and ice. In a circle
about the pole were set vessels of burning oil. Within this circle the
friends marched to the beautiful music that Fred played upon the
aluminum organ (for even that instrument had been brought by Denison and
Will from the globe, that the scene might lack nothing in realism.)

And so real was the scene as they marched in their sealskin suits--poor
Sing among them, though he could not sing--and so inspiring was the
music, that the vast assemblage sat still as death, every sense strained
to the highest tension, that they might not lose a movement nor note.
When they finished, the shout that went up was a tremendous lungburst
that was simply deafening. Men, women, and children jumped upon their
feet, waved their handkerchiefs, and screamed and shouted themselves
hoarse. Nor would they cease until the lights had all been turned low,
and they realized that the Children of the Skies would appear no more
that night. They had improved the opportunity while the multitude thus
encored to make their escape in their carriages to the hotel.

"I don't know, Doctor, but you will be responsible for many cases of
lunacy among our people," said the mayor. "I never saw them so utterly
carried away as they were with your company and the globe. All you have
to do is to take to the stage and you can bankrupt the nation."

After a quiet supper with a select party of notables of the city, our
friends were permitted to retire for the night.

"I am anxious to get on to Washington. This is very pleasant, but I much
prefer the cabin of Silver Cloud, with you, my dear friends, to all this
hustling, cramming, and jambing. The people are kind as they can be, and
are doing everything for our comfort and pleasure, but I never could
endure being crowded. Give me plenty of elbow room or give me death!"
cried Dr. Jones.

"Who would have thought that our march about the pole would make such a
sensation!" said Mrs. Jones. "Your North Pole March will make your
fortune, Fred. You should immediately copyright and publish it. You
could sell thousands of copies to-morrow."

"All right, Mrs. Jones; I will profit by your suggestion," answered
Fred, gayly. "Dear old Silver Cloud is making us all famous and rich.
Strike while the iron's hot;' 'Make hay while the sun shines;' etc. My
next attempt will be the Silver Cloud Waltz. This is the tide in my
affairs, and I must be thrifty enough to take it at its flood."

On the following morning after breakfast it was observed that the wind
was from the nor-nor-east, or nearly exactly toward their destination.

"Shall we sail to-day, or accept further hospitalities of New York?"
asked Dr. Jones of the company. The unanimous decision was that they
sail immediately.

The mayor was telephoned that they would sail within one or two hours,
the wind being favorable. A few moments later that gentleman appeared in
the parlor where they were sitting and said hastily:

"My dear Doctor, we cannot let you go to-day. We have a splendid program
laid out for you, and our people will be greatly disappointed if you do
not stop at least another day. Besides, great excursions by steamers
and rail are expected to-morrow. We cannot let you off for two or three
days yet."

"My dear sir, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to remain as
long as you desire. But my commands are peremptory from Washington to
report there at the earliest practicable moment. So I really have no
option in the matter, and must sail this very morning," replied Dr.
Jones.

"Such being the case, Doctor, I am too good a citizen to urge you to
disobey orders. We will say no more about it, but thank you for the
pleasure you have given us, and wish you 'Bon Voyage.'"

"You may do better than that, sir. We should be exceedingly pleased to
have you and your family accompany us to Washington. We can promise you
the sensation and pleasure of your lifetime," returned the Doctor.

"O do come, sir!" cried Mrs. Jones. "Bring your family and give them the
greatest treat this world affords."

"I will consult them, immediately. But I fear that they are poor
sailors, and can hardly be persuaded to venture a trip in an air-ship."

"I will see that they do not suffer from seasickness," said the Doctor.
"Prevail upon them to come if possible, for I know you will never regret
it. Now shall we remain here, or meet you at the globe?"

"Remain here, please, and I will return with all possible expedition."

A half hour later he returned with his wife and two daughters, the
latter being stylish, lovely girls of about Mattie's age. All three were
in a state of more or less nervousness and trepidation at the idea of a
sail through the sky, and yet they could not resist the desire to go.

"O Mrs. Jones! Miss Bronson! don't you feel awfully frightened away up
there, thousands of feet from the earth?" asked one of the girls.

"Not the least bit!" replied Mrs. Jones. "So far from that, will you
believe me, I feel better and fully as safe in the cabin of our Silver
Cloud, five thousand feet from the earth, as I do in this parlor."

"Do you hear that, mamma?" cried the elder girl. "And what an
appropriate, beautiful name--Silver Cloud. Well, I am determined to be
a good sailor, and enjoy this trip as I never did anything in my life."

"I will meet you within an hour at the ship," said the mayor. "I must
attend to some business before I can go," and he hurried away.

An hour later they were all standing upon the balcony of Silver Cloud,
excepting Will and Denison. They were standing by the spring motors to
hoist and stow the anchors.

The news had spread that the great globe was about to sail, and people
were rushing by thousands to witness its departure. The signal was
given, and Silver Cloud arose so majestically and beautifully above the
great city that the people roared like another Niagara at the
transcendently glorious spectacle! It rose to the height of eight
hundred feet, and moved rapidly toward the southwest. They maintained
this comparatively low altitude on account of their visitors manifesting
symptoms of extreme terror, especially the young ladies. But Mrs. Jones
and Mattie soothed and petted them, and assured them so positively of
their perfect safety that by degrees they became quiet, and in a short
time were enjoying the scenery, and watching through their glasses the
main objects of interest.

"Mrs. Jones." said the mayor's wife, "I do not wonder that you prefer
the cabin of this ship to the parlor of our grandest city hotel. This is
the most inspiring scene I ever witnessed, and one that I should never
grow tired of. How cool and pure this atmosphere is! I am sure that
nothing could add to the beauty of the scenery or your splendid ship."

"O madam! but you should have seen Silver Cloud before we robbed her of
her chief ornament, the flagstaff. That was her glory, as a fine head of
hair is a woman's," replied Dr. Jones, who had overheard the lady's
remark. "I shall never be satisfied until we have replaced it."

The ship, meantime, was hastening at a forty mile gait toward the
Capital. The trip was one long thrill of excitement and pleasure to the
visitors. The Doctor had settled all symptoms of nausea with his
well-selected remedies, and nothing more could be desired to add to
their pleasure and comfort.

At the hour of noon they sat down to lunch. They ate but little, the
excitement having more or less destroyed their appetites. But they sat a
considerable time at the table and talked animatedly upon various
topics; principally, though, of the ship and their voyage to and from
the Pole. The ladies could not sufficiently admire and praise the
beauty, cleanliness, and comfort of the cabin.

Fred was seated beside Grace, the younger of the sisters, and they were
discussing music. She praised his North Pole March in unstinted terms,
until he blushed to the ears with delight. She and her elder sister,
Rose, were musicians of a high order, and had graduated at the leading
musical conservatories of America. They had besides spent several years
in Europe in the pursuit of knowledge in that line. Fred asked Grace to
promenade the balcony with him. She immediately accepted the
proposition, and they were soon oblivious to the world in the discussion
of their favorite theme--music. No doubt the inspiring scene below and
all about them drew out all the finer sentiments of their beings. And
what could two handsome, heartwhole, sentimental young beings do but
fall----

   "Not over the balustrade!"
   O no! but into love!

The whole company now came out upon the balcony, and they slowly
promenaded about the four sides of the cabin. We cannot describe the
witchery and beauty of the fast-flying panorama below. Our pen falters,
and the picture must be left to the imagination of the reader.

The mayor was very familiar with the topography of the country, and
pointed out the various rivers, mountain ranges, cities, towns, etc.
About three o'clock the capitol buildings, Washington monument, and
other tall structures about the city hove in sight. They were
immediately seen, for the great guns in all the forts about the city
fired thundering salutes.

"They are loaded to the muzzle for us, Doctor," said Professor Gray.

"It appears so," he replied. "I only wish it was all over with."

"What park is that?" he asked a few moments later, pointing to one that
lay directly in their course. The Professor mentioned its name, and
thought it a very convenient place for anchorage. Accordingly, Silver
Cloud swooped down upon it with a velocity that fairly took away the
breath of the mayor and family. A few moments later, Silver Cloud was
safely anchored, after her voyage of many thousands of miles, at her
starting point. In a little less than four months they had made the most
extraordinary trip known in the world's history, that of Columbus not
excepted, and were now safely returned!

Two by two they descended to earth, and, as in New York, carriages
awaited them. Evidently preparations for their reception had been made
upon a colossal scale. The air was thundering and riven with the voices
of the innumerable hosts, brass bands on every hand in full blast, so
that it was impossible to hear a word said by the nearest neighbor.

The police, fire, and military forces were out in full strength. The
voyagers, mayor of New York and family, were seated in landaus, and with
ropes the girls of all the public schools, each dressed in pure white
and bearing in her hand an American flag, drew the vehicles through the
principal streets of the city. Each of the little maids wore upon her
bare head a chaplet of flowers, and the scene was one of indescribable
beauty. And as they walked they sang in sweetest harmony,

   "See, the conquering hero comes."

Dr. Jones was affected to tears at this sight, and could scarcely
contain himself. At last the procession stopped before the grand central
entrance of the capitol building. Upon the top steps they were met by
the President and his cabinet, many members of both houses, though
Congress was not in session at this season. Ministers and
plenipotentiaries from nearly every court in the world were also there.
Judges, statesmen, and journalists were in attendance by scores. Nothing
was left undone that could in any way add to the honor and glory of the
hero of the day. The modesty and unaffected dignity with which he
received it all, clothed him as with a garment, and was a marvel to even
those who knew him best.

But it would prove tedious to the reader if we were to relate in detail
all the speech-making and public receptions tendered our friends. The
Doctor and Professor before vast audiences told the story of their
journey, the planting of the pole, the scientific value of observations
made by Professor Gray, etc. The concert and North Pole March were
rendered several times.

In a week or so the furore began to subside, and the company were glad
to settle down to a comparatively quiet life in a large furnished house,
which the Doctor rented. Callers were coming and going continually
during several hours daily, and invitations to parties, dinners,
concerts, operas, etc., were very numerous. The mayor and family
returned to New York after spending a week with the friends. They
declared that they envied them their trip to the South Pole, and should
never be satisfied until they had enjoyed another sail in Silver Cloud.

The Doctor and Professor were kept very busy in consultation with
governmental officials and scientific men. The naval and military
departments were especially interested in the probabilities and
possibilities of the use of air-ships in warfare. An arrangement was
made to take a party of military men on a trip in Silver Cloud. A very
successful and brilliant voyage of several hundreds of miles to the
south and return was made, during which the Doctor actually encountered
an opportunity to exemplify his theory as to air currents. While they
were driving rapidly south at an altitude of but four or five hundred
feet, he rapidly rose several thousand feet and encountered a splendid
northerly current that carried them back to their starting point in a
way that pleased the little man wonderfully well. This was a great
triumph for the Doctor, and impressed the governmental party as of vast
importance, and added immensely to the effectiveness of the ship in the
art of war.

The Government made Will a very liberal offer to act as architect and
constructor of another ship similar to Silver Cloud, with such
improvements as experience had suggested to him. He accepted the offer,
and would enter upon his duties immediately after their return from the
South Pole. The Government had immediately acquiesced to their
proposition to seek the South Pole, and even urged that they get out as
soon as possible. The aluminum pole, a fac-simile of the one already
planted, was being constructed.

One day, a month after their return, Mrs. Jones and Mattie were summoned
to the parlor at an early hour for callers. They found there a large
elderly gentleman and two ladies.

"O Mattie!" cried the younger, "don't you know us?"

"Why! is it possible that you are our friends from Constance House? It
is, Maggie, it is! And this is Jennie Barton!"

"I declare that I was never so surprised and delighted in my life! Can
this be Mrs. Barton?" And then such kissing and handshaking.

"And how do you do, Mrs. Barton? I would not have known you. How you
have improved!" And Mrs. Jones scanned her face very critically. "Are
you entirely recovered?"

"She is so much better that we no longer consider her an invalid. But I
was desirous that the Doctor should see her again, and so we have come
down. We were in Montreal when I saw in a paper an account of your
return to Washington. That was the first we had heard of you since you
sailed from Constance House, and you can well believe that we were
exceedingly pleased to hear of your safe return. So we made up our minds
that we would run down and see you at once," said Mr. Barton.

After they had conversed a few moments and had inquired after Joe and
Sam, Mrs. Jones conducted them to two chambers, insisting that they must
be her guests while in the city.

The Doctor and other members of the party were delighted to met the
Bartons. Dr. Jones was well pleased with the progress that Mrs. Barton
had made. He considered her cure but a question of a short time, but
insisted, in order that no chances might be incurred, that she should
remain during the winter at Washington. He did not anticipate that they
would be gone more than thirty days on their South Pole expedition, and
certainly not more than two months. And so they arranged that they
should stay at least until the return of the expedition.

"And that settles it that we are to remain here until next summer, for
it is very late even now for us to return to Constance House. So I will
write the boys to that effect, and shall settle down to the study of
American politics," said John Barton.



CHAPTER XXIV.

Ho! for the South Pole!


Silver Cloud, meantime, had been returned to the place of her birth, the
great iron works upon the Potomac river. Another shapely three hundred
feet mast had been manufactured and erected. One morning about the
middle of September, the globe arose above the glittering mast and
slowly settled upon it. The fastenings were soon adjusted, the flag of
aluminum nailed to the peak, and Silver Cloud was herself again, ready
for another trip to the ends of the earth.

Will had made a number of additions and alterations, among which was an
increase in the size and strength of the coiled springs that were used
for hoisting purposes and running the dynamo. A powerful searchlight had
been added, and the electrical appliances greatly increased. Among other
things, he had a two horse power steam engine set up. This was to be
used for winding the springs. Good old John Barton was never happier in
his life than at this period. His interest in the globe was intense, and
he daily spent hours with Will at the iron works. He made several
valuable suggestions, and his hard common sense and experience were of
no little value to the architect.

"If I were not getting so far along in years, and mother was perfectly
well and willing, I should like nothing better than to go with you this
trip," said he to Dr. Jones. "But we will stay and keep house for you
until your return."

"And that will be but a very few weeks, I am quite sure," answered the
Doctor. "It is not likely that we shall be made prisoners three months
this trip. And that reminds me that I received a letter from Count
Icanovich this morning, Maggie, and it inclosed one from Feodora to
you."

The letters were hastily read. They were well, and Feodora had never
been better in her life. The Count had been studying and practicing the
new system of medicine, and, to his unbounded delight, had made some
center shots. His enthusiasm was steadily increasing, and he implored
the Doctor to return to Russia and co-operate with him in introducing
this God-given system into that vast empire. He assured him that they
had everything to hope for. The Princess was getting on quite
comfortably, and the fame of what Dr. Jones had done for her had become
national. Numerous physicians of note had called upon and written the
Prince and himself to ascertain the facts concerning the marvelous cures
that had been reported to them. The Prince and Princess sent their
sincere regards, etc. Feodora wrote in a lively strain to Mrs. Jones and
Mattie, and urged them to return to their castle for a good visit as
soon as possible. These letters were answered promptly, the Doctor
giving advice concerning a case or two that the Count had found
puzzling. He promised them a visit as soon after their return from the
South Pole as possible.

Two or three mornings later Washington was again packed with visitors to
witness the departure of Silver Cloud for the southern extremity of the
earth. Greater enthusiasm than before was expressed by everyone, for now
there were no skeptics, and everybody cheered with might and main.

As on the previous occasion, the hour of noon was selected for sailing.
This gave people from the surrounding country an opportunity to come in
and witness the magnificent scene. It was declared a holiday by general
consent, and it is no exaggeration to say that nearly the whole earth
was represented in the unnumbered hosts that filled the streets, covered
the housetops and surrounding hills, and every spot and place that
afforded any possibility of seeing the ascent of the globe.

The friends and acquaintances that the company collectively and
individually had formed were out in full force. Numerous and hearty were
the handshakings; "Good-bye," and "Bon Voyage," were heard on every
hand.

The globe was anchored at but fifty feet from the earth. The cage had
been enlarged so that the voyagers now ascended four at a time. This
they did a few minutes before noon. The organ was taken out upon the
balcony, and "God be with you till we meet again," was sung by our
friends. The three Bartons stood just below and opposite the choir,
tears of friendship and gratitude streaming down their faces. We will
state here (quite privately be it understood) that Will and Jennie had
come to an understanding that seemed to be very satisfactory to them,
and their leavetaking was more affectionate than is usual with mere
acquaintances, or even intimate friends. It is the old story. Cupid has
done his work again. Well, God bless them, and may a parson step in and
complete the love god's work very soon after Silver Cloud shall have
returned. And Fred visited Grace at the mayor's house in New York. There
may be trouble of the same sort brewing there.

But the bells and whistles have announced the hour for Bailing. The
anchors were tripped, and Silver Cloud arose with the majesty of the
Queen of Night, nearly perpendicularly above the city to the height of
three thousand feet; there, to the extreme satisfaction of Dr. Jones, a
brisk breeze from the northeast was encountered, and away sailed the
beautiful globe until the straining eyes of the multitude saw it as a
bright star-like point in the heavens, and then it disappeared--bound
for the SOUTH POLE.

THE END.





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