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Title: An Anglo-American Alliance - A Serio-Comic Romance and Forecast of the Future
Author: Casparian, Gregory
Language: English
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                       AN ANGLO-AMERICAN ALLIANCE

                         A Serio-Comic Romance
                                  and
                         Forecast of the Future


                                   BY
                           GREGORY CASPARIAN

                Illustrated and Published by the Author



                           Mayflower Presses
                         Floral Park, New York
                                  1906



                           Copyrighted, 1906,
                                   by
                           GREGORY CASPARIAN

                          All Rights Reserved



TABLE OF CONTENTS


    CHAPTER                                                 PAGE

           Foreword                                       vii-ix
    I      The Young Ladies' Seminary                         11
    II     The Initiation                                     20
    III    The Moonlight Soirée                               28
    IV     Historical Events of the 20th Century              38
    V      The Fistic Duel                                    63
    VI     Historical Events of the 20th Century (Concluded)  71
    VII    The Regatta                                        88
    VIII   Dr. Hyder Ben Raaba                                96
    IX     A Ray of Hope                                     103
    X      The Transformation                                110
    XI     Lord Cunningham, Viceroy of India                 116
    XII    Adventures of Abou Shimshek, the Astronomer
           of Ispahan                                        120
    XIII   Spencer Hamilton                                  136
           Postscript                                        143



FOREWORD


In presenting this volume to the public it is not the intention of
the author to offer it as a literary masterpiece, but, in his adopted
language--conscious of his limitation--merely to give expression to
his thoughts on certain problems of life that have always seemed to
him of particular significance.

At present there appears to be a general bombastic clamor among
certain nations who, decrying others as barbarous, claim to have
reached the highest pinnacle of civilization. Yet a glance at the
existing conditions in those self-lauded governments will reveal
rampant corruption among their leaders who, for their own selfish
ends, retard legislations which are absolutely imperative for the
general welfare. It is not necessary to mention other ways in which
the people are being daily betrayed, for this is sufficient to render
any thinking person despondent and pessimistic.

The causes of the decadence of nations are not the laws which
have been enacted, but the flagrant violation of these very laws,
actuated by greed, avarice and commercialism which are generated in
the individual in power. The only remedy for this state is either a
leader of intrepid courage or the awakening of the people themselves
and their demanding reforms by public mandate.

The true meaning of civilization is Universal Brotherhood, and in
this sense, the leading lights in every stratum of life, whether in
Government or in Commerce, in Religion or in Science, stand arraigned
and indicted before the tribunal of conscience for retarding this
laudable spirit of Brotherhood.

Why do not Captains of Industry and Commerce, instead of throttling
each other, by a unanimous effort, promulgate laws on a reciprocal
basis among themselves?

Why do not Scientists, instead of confining their efforts to individual
endeavors, combine their forces so as to enhance the chance of
accomplishing greater results in research and exploration?

Why do not Spiritual Shepherds, instead of preaching intolerance and
fanaticism, bring their flocks together in harmony? An Oriental scholar
in the Congress of Religions, at the Columbian Fair, declared that
"the flocks are willing to pasture together, but it is the shepherds
who are keeping them apart."

And in fine, why do not the Nations, each claiming the highest forms
of civilization, instead of disseminating national, sectional and race
hatred, form an alliance, which will advance the cause of Universal
Brotherhood, and brighten the hope of bringing enduring peace to the
world at large?

In this golden era, with its vast numbers of diplomats,
statesmen, theologians, scientists, and its countless fraternal
organizations,--each preaching, fraternity, love and charity,--what
evil spirit or genii prevents them from forming a union between
two of the foremost and best forms of Governments,--America and
Britain--perfect types in their entity, having similar laws, language
and aspirations?

Who will be the Savior, through whose agency this happy cross
fertilization, inoculation or union shall be achieved? It was the above
thoughts, and the idea of an alliance between COLUMBIA and BRITANNIA,
that suggested in all seriousness the following frivolously allegorical
narrative,--a potpourri of weird fancy, satire and imagination, a
mosaic of the sublime and the ridiculous, on themes worthy of a master.

Yet if some reader should find, even in this fantastic guise, an
occasional thought worthy of arousing him to nobler efforts, the
author will consider himself well rewarded.

In regard to his prophecies for the future, he is willing to be called
a consummate prevaricator should his desire for the betterment of
mankind or the unity of nations take place much sooner than he has
predicted, or the calamities fail to materialize or prove to be much
lighter than he has foreseen.


    G. C.

    Floral Park, N. Y.



CHAPTER I

THE YOUNG LADIES' SEMINARY


It is 1960, Anno Domini. The Earth, notwithstanding many dire
predictions of charlatans and religious fanatics, and in spite of
numerous cataclysms, conflagrations and political upheavals, was
rotating serenely on its axis.

The Diana Young Ladies' Seminary, situated upon the picturesque
hills of Cornwall on the Hudson, is a few miles north of the West
Point Military Academy. The seminary buildings, having formerly been
the palatial homestead of a multi-millionaire, about half a century
previously had been bequeathed to the State of New York, with ample
endowments for its maintenance and development. It had long since
become one of the finest institutions of learning of its kind, not
only of America, but of the whole civilized world.

The donor of this magnificent seat of knowledge for young ladies was a
man of "polarity," of positive and negative action and reaction. He
was in fact a typical incarnation and embodiment of a dualism,
immortalized by the fertile fancy of Robert Louis Stevenson, in his
story of "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." While on the one hand he had an
apparently irresistible and monomaniacal cunning in robbing his fellow
men by monopolizing all the necessities of life, crushing with hellish
unscrupulousness all competition in every channel of industry, and
strewing his wake with industrial wrecks,--on the other hand he busied
himself with the erection of hospitals and churches, and in endowing
colleges with a princely liberality, commensurate to his other nature.

Emerson, the philosopher, says "The whole universe is so, and so every
one of its parts," that "an inevitable dualism bisects nature," each
thing being a half and suggesting its complement. As the mammoth
Californian redwood tree, which with its towering height looks
overpoweringly stupendous when compared with the tiny otaheite
orange or dwarf Japanese plant, so was the difference in power
of acquisitiveness and possibilities of dispensation between this
colossus compared with ordinary mortals.

The real motive of his charity could not be divined; whether it
was because, pricked by a guilty conscience, he used this means as
a palliative for his sins, or whether he was entirely oblivious of
wrong-doing and was prompted only by a frank desire for doing good,
was never determined. But at any rate after his death it was found
that he had donated his palaces, with munificent endowment funds,
to establish this educational institution for females. Moreover,
it is not my intention to write a biography of this dual monster of
money-maniac and philanthropist, for his deeds are written on the
graves and sorrowing hearts of his victims, as well as in the grateful
remembrance and esteem of his beneficiaries.

Besides, we are told that God works good even through the agency of
the devil, and if he really had been a satellite of Satan, the great
usefulness and wide influence for good of the Seminary demonstrated
the veracity of the above statement.

The Diana Seminary had proven its right to its high place in the public
esteem. Its fame had reached every corner of the earth. Young women,
not only from America but from every clime and nation, flocked thither
seeking to perfect themselves in such branches of education as are the
necessary requirements of the fair sex to fit them to reign supreme
in any capacity, from teaching in a country school to presiding on
regal thrones and guiding the destinies of Nations.

The Diana Seminary had become particularly famous for the especial
branches of a curriculum which rendered the young ladies magnificently
lovely in form, chic in habilaments, brilliant and vivacious in
conversation, serene and dignified in carriage, sweet and optimistic
in nature, pure in sentiments, and in addition conferred upon them all
the necessary qualifications of accomplished housewives, virtues all
of which are inherent in American women and susceptible of highest
development.

The graduates of this Seminary were always eagerly sought in marriage,
not only by the deserving young men living near the college, but
also by the nobility and even the royalty of Europe. The demands of
the latter class were indeed so great as to alarm the fond parents
across the ocean for the future happiness of their daughters, and they
were thus compelled to send their beloved ones to this Institution in
order to acquire that polish which their American sisters had proven
so desirable.

Amongst the many English maidens who were there matriculated was
beautiful Aurora Cunningham, the only daughter of the Secretary of
Foreign affairs of Great Britain.

It is unnecessary to dwell upon the beauty and charms of Aurora. It
is true that she could not be compared with the Goddesses of ancient
Greece, nor did she resemble the bewitching sylvan nymphs depicted
by the brush and pen of masters of art. She was a mortal; suffice
it to say, that she was a graceful girl of exquisitely moulded form,
of medium height, with luxuriant golden tresses, which, shimmering in
the sunlight, justified her baptismal name. Her large, dreamy blue
eyes mirrored the purity of her soul, and the dimples on her cheeks
were so deep and alluring that all who looked upon them felt their
compelling charm.

She was, in a word, a typical English maiden. Highly accomplished,
and though dainty in demeanor, nevertheless she was not one of those
frail, ailing butterflies who exist and thrive only in artificial
atmosphere. Having been reared with greatest care, by means of a
complete course of calisthenics and out-of-door sports, with all her
refined mien she was a hardy and healthy specimen of feminine beauty as
well as a leader in all the strenuous pastimes of the Diana Seminary.

She was called the "sunshine" of the Seminary, and none other merited
the appellation so well. Consequently she was idolized by the rest of
the students and was much sought after by the gallant young men in the
vicinity. After the manner of girl students who are given to violent
friendships, Aurora was devoted to her room-mate in the person of a
charming American girl named Margaret MacDonald, the daughter of a
Western Senator.

Margaret was entirely the opposite of Aurora,--her very antithesis. She
was somewhat taller, with sparkling black eyes and raven hair, of
imposing dignity and carriage, but withal the equal of Aurora in
the matter of natural gifts and accomplishments. She had, moreover,
a captivating frivolity and aggressiveness which almost bordered
on masculinity.

Perhaps it was this complete diversity of temperament and of type
that engendered an intense affinity between the girls. For although
diametrically differing even in their exposition of ideas, they were
drawn to each other with a mysterious sympathy which attracted the
attention of outsiders and furnished ample excuse for comment. Directly
after their first meeting they had become inseparable companions
and confidants.

As the time passed this strange attachment grew so marked and its
manifestations so alarmingly flagrant that they themselves became
aware of its dangerous consequences. They realized that if they gave
free license to indiscreet emotional demonstrations in the class
room or in public, not only would their actions not be tolerated
by the College faculty and cause their expulsion from the Seminary,
but they would also be subjected to unendurable ostracism by the rest
of the students. But still worse was the confronting fact that they
would undoubtedly become the topic of unpleasant notoriety through
the publicity given by the sensational press. They had therefore the
good judgment to pledge themselves to control their emotions in the
presence of the class, and to exercise wide-awake circumspection in
their behavior in public and towards the opposite sex.

It is needless to say that by the happy faculty of diplomacy,
inherent in them, they succeeded with consummate delicacy and skill
in maintaining their natural poise and normal attitude throughout
the seminary course.

Like the magnetic pole the Diana Seminary had become the center of
attraction for the adjacent youths, especially the Academy boys,
who on all gala occasions were welcome guests at the Seminary.

The experiment of co-education had long since been proven a failure. By
the well known law of electricity, that bodies similarly electrified
repel each other, and bodies oppositely electrified attract, it
seems that the constant familiarity and co-mingling of the two sexes
in co-educational institutions at the romantic age of puberty had
a somewhat similar effect and breeded contempt, blunting that keen
fondness for each other which seems natural, and so was not surprising
that in such institutions both sexes, when leaving college, separated
more like enemies than friends and lovers.

The isolation of the sexes naturally created an intensity of affection
and a desire for association, and when the two periodically came in
contact caused that rapturous thrill of hearts and nascent unification
of souls. This undoubtedly was the plausible explanation, at least
one of the reasons, why the Seminary girls were always in demand and
were participants of so many happy unions.

The only exception to the rule were Aurora and Margaret who, although
in every way agreeable to the aspirants for their hearts and hands,
refrained from making an alliance throughout their college course. It
was piteously amusing, however, to see those gallant swains from the
Academy heading for the Seminary whenever opportunity presented. Their
hearts were filled with intense ardor and their lips and pubescent
moustaches were pregnant with the microbes of Eros,--in a high state
of fermentation--blurting out with tense anxiety the momentous query,
"Wilt thou be mine?" to Aurora or Margaret, only to return vanquished
by the cold decisive negative.



CHAPTER II

THE INITIATION


There was no cause for ennui at the Diana Seminary. Notwithstanding
the serious course of study, there was ample jollity. The tedium
of their leisure hours was beguiled with all kinds of recreations
according to the seasons of the year.

There were the various Seminary teams in basket ball, fencing, golfing,
calisthenics and amateur theatricals. The girls also indulged in
excursions to the exhibitions of the Academy boys, on their gala
days of mimic warfare in the campus, as well as to their contests
on the diamond or gridiron at foot ball. This latter sport having
reached in those days the top notch of perfection, it furnished the
fair spectators thrills of excitement when the contestants in their
improved steel helmets and cuirass, with pronged leggings and spiked
shoes looked like veritable knights of the chivalric ages. It gave
an additional source of lingering pleasure and admiration at such
contests when half a dozen ambulances were required to cart away the
gladiators in hors du combat.

Besides all the above recreations, the Seminary girls had also their
various secret organizations which furnished ample work for winter
months. One of the most notable of these fraternities was called the
D. N. A., signifying "Daughters of the New Alliance."

A brief description of the sacred rites of this unique fraternity,
on an interesting initiation, may not here be amiss. It took place
during the incumbency of the two principal organizers and charter
members--Aurora and Margaret,--the latter occupying at the time the
most exalted position of Reverend High Priestess and the former that
of Supreme Guide. The initiation in question was remarkable for the
singular coincidence that the applicants for membership were discovered
to be of half a dozen nationalities--French, German, Scotch, Irish,
Italian and Hebrew,--and this unusual circumstance lent the occasion
widespread sensation among the other members and made the session
most memorable.

A peep in the temple revealed a bewildering spectacle, an "Adamless
Eden" of loveliness as it were. Margaret MacDonald, enveloped in
gorgeously embroidered Grecian robes, enthroned on an elevated dais,
a golden sceptre in hand, and a brilliant diadem on her shapely head,
presented an imposing figure as High Priestess, while Aurora in a
tight fitting cuirass of variegated spangles, holding a trident,
performed her official duties. Other functionaries attired in chaste
Grecian costumes occupied their respective positions.

In the proscenium the applicants, attired in their respective national
costumes, followed the assistant guide to the gate of the temple when,
on pressing a button, an extremely melodious chant surged through the
atmosphere. This called the attention of the Supreme Guide to the fact
that there were applicants for membership. The Supreme Guide in the
same manner then made the announcement to the high priestess, and the
latter commanded them to be admitted to the temple. At the clanking
of the cymbals and the sounding of the fanfares as if by magic the
gate was ajar, revealing to the eyes of the new disciples a dazzling
scene of harmoniously blended loveliness. They filed in and arranged
themselves in the shape of a crescent at the lower end of the temple.

In the centre of the room, on an alabaster table, they could discern
a glass receptacle in which, squirming and wriggling, were a quantity
of angle worms; on another similar table close by they could see a
golden cage, wherein half a dozen tiny rodents were playing tag. In
one corner a fierce, pugnacious billy-goat was butting with vicious
vigor against one of the Grecian columns of the temple.

When the sound of the fanfares subsided the High Priestess, rising
suddenly and striking three times on the marble floor with her magic
sceptre, commanded silence, and in a sweet voice spoke thus:

"Supreme Guide of the order of D. N. A. what bringest thou to this
sanctuary?"

The guide answered in pathetic tones: "Thou High Priestess of the
order of D. N. A., I bring thee greeting. I bring thee also jewels
rare, for thy shrine; gems, not still life or crystals petrified,
but forms divine, animate with heaving breasts, with radiant brows,
and sparkling eyes that volumes speak, that even Cupid, dazed, would
soon forget his ancient Psyche fair, and yet unable be whom amongst
these for himself to take."

"Have they signified their willingness to be tested for courage
and fortitude?"

"They have."

"Are they ready to travel through the tortuous path of the
inquisition?"

"They are."

"Then prithee, take them to the ante-chamber that their eyes may be
blindfolded and the robes of chastity may be thrown over them. Then
bring them thither through the tortuous path of the inquisition to
my presence."

Accordingly they were taken to the ante-room and while being prepared
for the journey they were given plain intimation that they were to make
a repast of the angle worms and fondly handle the young rodents, while
direct hints of riding the bellicose goat were thrown out, as though
this were the least of the test to which they were to be subjected.

Preparation for their return to the Temple being completed, their
readiness was again communicated as before and to the solemn but
inspiring Andante of Faust they began to wind through a path of
serpentine evolutions. On their journey many strange and threatening
voices came to their ears, some cursing their undertaking and
advising them to return before too late, some whispering that they
were about to step into an abyss or to encounter dire disaster. But by
the guidance and occasional prod by the trident of timid and erratic
disciples they proceeded onward with cautious steps. When almost at
the end of their journey, however, there was a sharp cry from one of
the applicants which caused the procession to halt.

Lady Rosa Redmont Davitt, the daughter of an Irish noble,--a comely
girl, with laughing eyes, full of wit and humor and with a strong
combative instinct, withal very popular at the seminary--gave vent
to her distress in a piquant but pleasing accent:

"Ouch! Your Riverence," said she, "It is not that I moind to ride the
wild billy goat, or am afraid to swallow the serpints, but divil a
bit I can shtand this pinching of my goide, your Riverince; my back
is almost bhlack and bhlue."

"It is well that thou hast spoken," said the Priestess; "it was
because of thy untractable erratic steps and non-susceptibility to
the promptings of thy guide that thou hast suffered, for according
to the ratio of the loyalty and sensitiveness to her touch, thy
sufferings will come to an end. Follow thou, then, fair maid, with
keen perception to the subtle touch of thy guide. Supreme Guide of
the order of D. N. A. let the procession proceed."

The march having been resumed and finished, they stood thus blindfolded
before the High Priestess in order to be tested for courage and
fortitude. Each applicant was led by the guide before her, who, for
fortitude, administered the angle worm, and for courage trailed the
mouse over their limbs. It is perhaps unnecessary to mention that
macaroni was substituted for the angle worm and that an artificial
mouse served as a lively rodent.

When these sacred and solemn rites were performed the applicants were
taken through numerous evolutions of a march to the centre of the
room, in front of a table, whereon rested in the folds of American
and British colors the Constitution and By-laws of the Order. There
the oath of Allegiance was administered and at a thunderous outburst
of music, the bandages were cut asunder and the applicants found
themselves in the glow of a diffused light. Standing in the middle of
the room, surrounded by rows of graceful girls arrayed in immaculate
Grecian costumes, were all the other members of the Order. While the
High Priestess, majestically waving her sceptred arm, proclaimed them
tried and true members of D. N. A.

The ceremonies were concluded by the singing of the National Anthems.



CHAPTER III

THE MOONLIGHT SOIRÉE


Margaret was reclining on a divan in her luxurious study, perusing a
letter. The room was redolent with the perfume of June roses, and the
warm rays of the afternoon sun, filtering through the stained glass
windows--now and then obscured by the swaying leaves and branches of
the trees--were flitting across her lovely form as if playing hide
and seek.

Suddenly the door burst open and Aurora, somewhat flushed, holding
in her hand a note, entered the room, exclaiming excitedly:

"Horrible! Margie, horrible! I do not know what to do! It will be
extremely h'embawassing aw, don't you know."

"What is it Aurora, is that Jewsky after you again?" [1] asked Margaret
with a rougish smile, glancing toward her chum.

"I do not think he is a 'Ebrew, my dear, his signature aw, is some
foreign sounding name. Carlos Do-Do-Do-Don Seville."

"Well, I don't care what he is. The dodo is an extinct bird you
know. He looks like a Jewsky anyway. The idea, pray what has he to
say?" questioned Margaret, contracting her eyebrows to a frown.

"He writes that he will grace aw, our moonlight reception with 'is
presence. Horrid, Margie, horrid! I hate him!"

"Fiddlesticks! Rats!" retorted Margaret. "It is up to us then. If he
bobs up tomorrow night at the show, there will be something doing. That
Dago is positively the limit. He is perfectly horrid. If I see him
ogling me once that night, I'll 'cut the chains of my tongue loose'
at him, the wretch!"

"Aw, really, how brave you are Margie!" replied Aurora, looking
admiringly at her classmate. "You will not desert me? By the way,"
went on Aurora, gradually recovering her composure, "I just met Norma
Southworth coming from the modiste with her graduation gown. It was
such a bonnie gown, aw, so lurid and so sweet, don't you know."

"I bet you hers won't cut any ice with my togs, when they arrive
tomorrow. Aurora, you and I will make a jim-dandy pair on graduation
day. I am curious, however, to get a glimpse of her dream of a gown,
but before we start, my dear, let us once more go over the details
of tomorrow night's event."

"It makes me somewhat nervous to think about it. I wish truly it was
all h'over, Margie."

"So do I, Aurora. I am afraid we'll make a beastly flunk at the show,
aren't you?"

"Bah Jove, it will be awfully dweddful, Margie, to make a failure,
after so many months of preparation. I hope we will come h'out all
right," said Aurora with thoughtful anxiety.

After they finished their examination of the program, both started
out to inspect Norma's gown, intending from thence to go to the final
rehearsal. While crossing the Grand Court of the Seminary they spied
Professor Cielo Allenson coming toward them on his motor-cycle.

"There comes the dear 'Old Guard'" said Aurora. "Isn't 'e a dear,
aw, isn't 'e sweet?"

"To be sure Aurora, I am head over heels in love with his lilacs;
aren't they elegant?" was the ready rejoinder of Margaret.

"Eh, what! aw, really, 'ow often must I caution you not to use such
h'expressions," said Aurora, reproachfully. "'E may 'ear you, Margie,
'e may 'ear you."

"There, ring off, sweet child, you better pick up your 'h's' and get
a gait on, or else we'll be late for practice," laughed Margaret.

"Oh, how do you do?" piped both girls.

The professor, slackening his pace, greeted them courteously: "I
presume you ladies are well prepared for the ordeal of tomorrow night?"

"Quite so, Professor; we are looking forward with extreme pleasure to
meeting our gallant adversaries under your charge," answered Margaret.

"H'in fact, we are now going to our final rehearsal," added Aurora.

"Well, I wish you success, ladies; I must be off myself, to give the
boys at the Academy my last instructions; so goodby."

"Good afternoon, Professor; goodby."



The June graduation day of 1960 at the Seminary was not far distant,
falling on the second week of the month. The recitations had been
discontinued and the only sessions that were held by the professors
were chiefly for purposes of review.

The students meanwhile beguiled their time by indulging in frequent
class receptions, which were given by the various grades and societies,
each vieing with others to excel all previous functions in originality,
splendor and novelty. That to be given by the senior class, to which
Aurora and Margaret belonged, was near at hand. Long before the date
agreed upon, the senior class had agreed to make it an out-of-door
affair eclipsing all previous efforts in brilliancy of conception
and prodigality of arrangements.

It was to be a "Soirée Artistique!" a Tableau Vivant
Extravaganza! followed by a moonlight dance and reception. Their guests
of honor were to be no less than embryo generals from the West Point
Military Academy! Truly it was a magnificent conception and it was
chiefly due to the indefatigable efforts of Aurora and Margaret that it
culminated in a stupendous success with the night of the open air Fête.

The spacious, velvety lawn was profusely and fittingly decorated. From
column to column festoons of June roses and evergreens crossed and
entwined in bewildering array. The colossal statue of Diana with her
hounds--the patron Saint of the Seminary--and the alternate gold and
silver peristyles leading to the wondrously designed parterre, were
enveloped in a mass of phosphorescent glow from the radium globules.

The statuettes and fountains were bejewelled by innumerable actinium
bulbs. Ensconced in the branches of the trees and bushes the electrical
nightingales gave forth their continuous warbles of subdued sweetness,
while from poles especially erected for the occasion electric globes
in kaleidoscopic hues diffused the ambient atmosphere with their
spirituelle glow. The moon, like an overseer, hung high in the canopy
of space, casting its silvery light over the radiant scene.

The graceful figures of the maidens in their fantastic winged costumes
of Celestial Amazons, and the grotesque forms of the boys, attired in
Indian outfits, glittering with beads and feathers--"chaperoned" by the
venerable Professor Cielo Allenson--each tribe in turn illustrating
their weird national customs, in war or peace, in mirth or sorrow,
filled the select spectators with throes of thrilling excitement. What
hitherto had seemed only ordinary, mundane surroundings was changed
into a realistic happy-hunting-ground or savage fairyland, a vision
of alternate celestial or barbaric splendor, the grandeur of which
is beyond the power of human ability to describe.

The secret of unparalleled excellence of the disguises of the boys was
due to the fact that at the end of the Freshmen year at the Military
Academy, when they were preparing for the celebration of their academic
year, the Sophomores had kidnapped the whole Freshmen Class, and by a
pre-arranged plan, experts having been hired, had tatooed them all over
their faces as Indians on the warpath, thus leaving a lasting souvenir
of class antagonism! Being disfigured for life, they had made the
best of their misfortune by appearing in the role of Indian warriors,
delighted that for once this misfortune had proven an advantage.

There was nothing to mar this auspicious occasion except that, near
its close, a trivial wordy demonstration took place between Professor
Cielo Allenson and an intruder named Carlos Don Seville.

Still, even the most pleasant and successful events have their
aftermath and this affair left several of them. When Aurora and
Margaret entered their rooms heaped with triumphant compliments for
their consummate skill in planning this grand farewell fête they were
sad, sad through an impulsive intuition.

Hardly had they crossed the threshold of their room when they fell
into each other's arms, sobbing bitterly from the bottom of their
hearts. Each instinctively knew why the other wept. The final class
reception had a deep significance to them, as it meant that graduation
day was near at hand. In the natural course of events each would now
go her way to a distant home. It meant separation!

Separation! It was impossible for them calmly to accept the full
significance of that word in their infatuation for each other. Some
time elapsed before either gained sufficient composure to speak. Each
attempt resulted in a collapse and a paroxysm of hysterical weeping.

Margaret, as if dazed with the frenzy of that strange passion, clung
to Aurora, exclaiming hysterically: "How can it be, Aurora? It cannot
be. It cannot be! Better death than separation!"

By the gentle, soothing words of Aurora, however, they gradually
recovered their composure, but were not fully pacified until that
very night they made a solemn compact, bound by an inviolable oath,
not to make any alliance with any suitor whatever and to remain united
to each other in souls until death should them part.

It was that night also that in the height of their fatuous ardor of
love Aurora wrote an impromptu poem of fealty, entitled "Wilt Thou
Remember Thy Vow?" It revealed the intensity of their emotions,
their utter subjugation and mutual abandonment of will and desire
each to the other and its dire revenge in the end, if their solemn
vow was betrayed.

Like the poem, the music which was composed by Margaret, was also an
inspiration. It interpreted the poem in a sad, sublimely pathetic
strain, yet at times in bold and threatening torrents of color and
passion. The very spirit of the words and the oath, that would be
their guiding star throughout their lives, surged through it. In all
respects it was a masterpiece of symphonic creation.



CHAPTER IV

HISTORICAL EVENTS OF THE 20TH CENTURY


The senior class of the Diana Seminary were assembled in the
auditorium, listening in a trance of respectful attention to Professor
Cielo Allenson. He had just begun his review of the historical events
of the 20th Century, now and then giving his individual comments upon
the subjects presented.



1900

An Era of False Prosperity

With the beginning of the 20th Century was inaugurated an era of false
prosperity. The Census Bureau at that time furnishes statistics and
comments upon the wonderfully perceptible decrease of the criminal
classes, called foot-pads, sneak thieves and highwaymen, which
was attributed chiefly to the existing national prosperity. It
overlooks the fact, however, that a new species of miscreants,
comparatively more dangerous, had begun to thrive like mushrooms in
prolific numbers,--that of so-called commercial brigands or financial
buccaneers who, under fascinating and attractive names, such as mining
syndicates with their fabulous deposits of gold, offering bucketfuls
of shares for a dime; banking and building loan associations, with
palatial homes thrown in gratis to every subscriber; promoters of
illusionary inventions, seeking shareholders, which would make them
millionaires in the twinkling of an eye.

Alchemists who, with their artful empyrics of legerdemain, transmuted
base metals into gold, and were willing to dispose of their precious
wares for pennies; Wall Street and race-track spiders posing as
benevolent philanthropists, scattering fortunes right and left to
every applicant, sapped the avaricious, sottish public of its dearly
bought earnings. Strange to say, despite many colossal exposures and
failures, as these adroit swindlers grew more subtle and audacious,
the more the gambling-crazed public rushed to their destruction.

The effect was appalling. In consequence of the depredations of these
pirates of industries, the reputable business and financial firms were
the greatest sufferers. Their legitimate transactions were paralyzed
to such a tremendous degree that they were compelled to devise ways
and means to counteract its evils. In 1908, after mature deliberation
at a general convention in Washington, it was decided to raise ample
funds and create a bureau under the auspices of the Federal Government
called the Bureau of Frauds and Swindles. The duties imposed upon
its officers were the ferreting out and prosecuting of the wild-cat
schemes and to warn the public against them.

The measure, being approved by the National Government, had the
desired effect of freeing to a great degree the financial world
from its parasites of industrial malefactors, and to some extent
established again the stability and integrity of honorable financiers,
in the meanwhile safeguarding foolish persons from being fleeced out
of their savings.



1902

The Cataclysm at Martinique

St. Pierre, Martinique, was destroyed by a volcanic eruption of Mount
Peleé, on the eighth day of May. In a few minutes more than thirty
thousand human beings were hurled into eternity.



1908

The Mormon Question

The anti-plural wives laws were enforced to the letter. Its emphatic
application to all members of the sect was brought about principally
by the Women's Clubs, whose persistent and overwhelming aggressiveness
played an important factor in the stamping out of this demoralizing and
materialistic religion. In this era of civilization the existence of
a religious organization of this character, like a cancerous growth,
was threatening to debase womanhood and lead the communities to
unbridled licentiousness.



1909

Capital and Labor

Every new movement, be it religious, political or economic, has its
birth like a volcano, and unionism was no exception to this rule. The
labor unions at first had their violent agitators who, possessing
greater physical than mental calibre, laid the crude foundation of
a force in an arbitrary manner that consequently had its gradual
evolution of development.

Their constant conflicts with capital were characterized by an
unreasonable amount of physical argument which resulted in more or
less disastrous denouements, but these very acts of lawlessness and
disturbances awakened a third party, the consumers in general, who
were equally affected by the disturbances between capital and labor
and brought about a realization of the true relative positions.

Labor certainly has its unalienable rights and was entitled to due
consideration and justice. However, like the negative and positive
poles of electricity, which are both essential in order that a circuit
of effective force be generated, capital and labor likewise had their
dual relative values of importance, without which there could be no
constancy of harmonious production.

By the gradual awakening of both capital and labor to their
true limitations, the questions involved began to assume a more
intelligent basis under the codes of arbitration. At the same time
the violent agitators of labor were succeeded in the trend of this
onward development by more intelligent organizers. These latter were
merged into accomplished, rational leaders and, through the efficient
medium of the ballot box, into national representatives. Consequently,
the more dignified, orderly and responsible labor became, the more
the workers became entitled to the benefits of their labor.

A Department of Capital and Labor which, so far, had been merely
probationary now became a permanent institution at the Capitol and
in every State of the Union as well.



1910

The Expense of Living

It is one of the strangest inconsistencies of social problems, that
although political economists and scholars have preached the doctrine,
that inventions and improved methods in mechanical lines contribute
to the blessings of mankind by cheapening the necessities of life,
yet in spite of their plausible declarations, the cost of living
year by year grew higher and higher, entailing untold suffering and
despair among the poorer classes.

The cause of this lamentable perversion was due to a certain clique
of unscrupulous progeny of Mammon, called trusts and corporations,
who, being blinded with an insatiable desire for pelf and lust, and
stupefied with a frenzied avarice, monopolized all the necessities
of life. The vast occidental domain of our country was of unlimited
resources and was capable of producing in abundance the products which
they "cornered." The modus operandi of their rapacious operations
were manifold. They limited the output of Nature's bounty in order to
keep them at prohibitive values, and at the same time deprived hosts
of sons of toil of earning their livelihood. They kept at their
inoperative mercy--by their abominable tactics of purchase--the
producer from receiving his just share, and they also mulcted the
helpless consumer by the unlimited inflation of their capital stock
and fictitious expenses until at length the burden of their avarice
became unendurable.

Although attempts have repeatedly been made by sincere executives of
the Nation, by the advocation of measures for curbing the rapacity
of these trusts, their endeavors met with failure on account of the
vague and flexible laws already in existence, and by the array of
sycophantic traitors in high circles who prevented any legislation
which was conducive to the tranquility and welfare of the masses. At
last, only after a series of sanguinary demonstrations by the people
which almost endangered the stability of the republic, they were
compelled to yield.

By the passage of clearly defined laws the career of their nefarious
system of spoliation was brought to an end. One of the most efficacious
laws passed was the creation of a body of competent men of supreme
power who appraised approximately the capitalization of these
concerns and licensed them as such under oath. The States in the
meantime assumed the power of fixing a maximum value for which their
commodities might be placed on the market. By the above legislations
the inflation of their capital and extortion from the consumer were
made securely impossible.



1911

Death of an Eminent Scholar

Professor Henry Richfield, a profound scholar, and the author of
"How to Get Rich"--a ponderous work in twelve octavo volumes--passed
away in an attic, in abject penury and squalor.



1912

The Annihilation of Mosquitoes

Although the mortality statistics in the United States for last year
reached the round number of two million persons from various diseases,
among them chiefly from consumption, pneumonia, typhoid fever and
epidemics of smallpox and diphtheria, a few sporadic cases of death
were recorded resulting from mosquito bites, which gave grave concern
to the medical fraternity.

The outcome of this alarm was the calling of a general conference
of bacteriological experts. The mosquito, that had hitherto enjoyed
unbridled freedom since the creation of his race, was now looked upon
as the arch enemy of mankind. A noted philanthropist, interested in oil
wells and having on hand a great bulk of unmarketable crude petroleum,
donated a large sum for research in order to discover ways and means
of curbing the ravages of these nefarious pests which threatened the
annihilation of the human race.

It was decided by the savants, that the distribution of crude petroleum
in stagnant pools and humid marshes, was the only effective method
for the extermination of mosquito life. The distribution of greenbacks
for their valuable services, (notwithstanding the fact that under the
microscope they were found to contain two hundred and fifty-seven
diseases and thirty-eight million microbes to the square inch),
were grabbed with unprecedented avidity by these same specialists.



1913

Child Labor

The dwarfing and crippling of the mental, moral and physical
growth of tender children, by the avaricious employers, and its
baleful consequence of peopling the community with moral and bodily
degenerates, devoid of the desirable elements of good citizenship,
had become so appallingly flagrant that a general sentiment of the
people was aroused in a mighty protest to the Federal authorities.

Thanks to the aggressive and strenuous legislative warfare of Labor
Unions in every State, aided by the persistent moral agitation of
Women's Clubs all over the country, child labor was entirely abolished
in many channels of industries, such as mills, factories, collieries
and plantations. In more gentle occupations the employment of minors,
was placed on a healthier and more humane basis than had ever before
been the case.



1914

The Great Radium Swindle

The fabulously high price of this metal had awakened the cupidity of
a coterie of adroit schemers who, had palmed off on unsuspecting men
of science, a rank substitute which cost only a trifle to manufacture.

After securing an enormous sum of money, the schemers had decamped
to parts unknown.

It was discovered that the spurious metal thus disposed was nothing
more than a highly compressed form of phosphorous.



1915

Death of an Eminent Physician

Dr. Wisehardt, the brilliant young physician and surgeon who discovered
the electro-magnetic germ-cells of life, and invented methods to
prolong life itself by the cultivation of these cells, died in the
27th year of his age from premature senility.



1916

A Tidal Wave

The most memorable event of this year was a gigantic tidal wave of
tremendous height, which swept over the lower coast of Florida. In
a few minutes it inundated and destroyed a vast area of the coast,
doing incalculable damage to shipping. It was estimated that nearly
fifteen thousand persons lost their lives in this cataclysm.



1917

War Between United States and Columbia

The stubborn attitude of the Central American Republic, Columbia,
towards the United States, by her menacing antagonism to the
construction of the interoceanic canal, gradually created a breach
of the peace that led ultimately to a forcible demonstration by the
United States, and precipitated the invasion by the latter of the
Republic of Panama.

Peace was re-established after a crushing defeat of the Columbians. The
famous waterway, the Republic of Panama, then became United States
territory, by annexation.



1918

The Women's Clubs

The Women's Clubs which, during their first inception, were the subject
of much ridicule, and the proceedings of their meetings a theme for
ribald jokes in the secular press, gradually developed into such
gigantic proportions that their influence became a powerful factor in
every public question of the day, and in fact so continues unabated
unto this day.

The last Federal statistics show more than two thousand Institutions
in the form of sanitariums, refuges, technical schools of practical
utility, entirely under the auspices of Club Women. The constitutions
of these laudable organizations "invariably stand for something which
is ennobling" and their achievements are monumental tributes to the
upward trend of womanhood.

There was, however, a crucial period in their affairs worth
mentioning. Some of these noble but over-zealous women of that period,
in their exuberant enthusiasm for woman's rights, forgetting the
limitations of their sex,--considered by the greatest thinkers of
the past ages to be the sphere of Home,--agitated a propaganda of
political equality or suffrage and, from time to time, created a
stir among their organizations until at last, in 1918, the National
Federation of Women's Clubs decided to hold a conclave in order to
decide the following momentous question: "Should Women Enter Politics?"

More than four thousand five hundred delegates from all over
the Union assembled at Madison Square Garden, in New York
City. Sympathizers of the suffragists with their eloquence tried to
railroad through a measure in their behalf, but equally able leaders
of the opposition--benefitted by the warning of Sages--succeeded in
counterbalancing the efforts of their fair antagonists.

After a heated symposium the question was put to a vote, which resulted
decisively in a victory for those who opposed the movement. It
was further voted, that they should confine all their energies to
civic, educational and humanitarian channels and things pertaining
to Home. This was a most happy and wise decision, for the world at
large needs mothers who will beget and nurse a Florence Nightingale,
a Clara Barton, a Washington or a Lincoln, rather than mothers who
would become a Jezebel, a Delilah or a Cleopatra.



1919

The Tornado

A cyclonic tornado of intense velocity and destructive force struck New
York City, demolishing in its path, in the shape of a semi-circle from
the Battery to Twenty-third Street, West, two hundred and seventy-five
buildings. Fortunately, the day being a holiday, the loss of life
was comparatively small.



1920

The Power of the Press

Through emancipation from its shackles of monarchic censorship and
subserviency to despotic masters, the upward rise of the Press to
usefulness and power was without a parallel--a power to which even
Napoleon Bonaparte was sensible when he said, "I fear three newspapers
more than a hundred thousand bayonets." But like everything else
in the universe, the Press also had its dual potentiality. Like a
two-edged sword, it could be wielded for good or evil. In the bands
of an unscrupulous politician it was a treacherous weapon, while in
the control of the righteous citizen a tremendous power for good.

Thus the Press for many decades, subsidized by the traitorous
capitalist and under the guise of a pious mask, catered to the evil
designs of the plutocracy until the gradual awakening of the people
through the independent press at last understood their hypocrisy.

The independent press, however, attained its highest degree of
efficiency by the establishment of the College of Journalism. Its
foundation slogan, publicity on all political and economic questions,
had created a force of trained journalists--a force "mightier than the
sword" and in a manner far more penetrating than the X-ray--pledged
to defend the rights of the citizens. By an educational propaganda it
taught the masses how to eradicate existing evils by the mere exercise
of their unalienable right, the ballot box. Indeed in a government
"of the people, for the people and by the people," resort to force or
revolution was absolutely unnecessary, while these two most effectual
weapons the world had ever seen, the voting power and the free press,
were at their command.



1921

Balloons and Airships

Strange to say, from the time of Archytas of Tarantum to Otto
Lilienthal, and from Montgolfier Bros. to Santos Dumont, Bell, Maxim
and Langley, very little or no progress had been made in practical
and safe aerial navigation.

Though all these inventors, whether cranks with a smattering of
mechanical knowledge, or veritable savants and scientists, efficient
in physics according to their own accounts, had studied the subject
of aerial flight from the fowls of the air, the failure of their
experiments showed that they were far from grasping the mysteries of
that subtle sagacity and subconsciousness of the birds, by which they
balanced themselves against the currents and velocity of the winds,
and by their intuitive sensitiveness, utilized to the fullest extent
their vast number of muscles and feathers with such marvelous subtlety.

Like the Italian alchemist in the middle ages, who had constructed the
wings of his flying machine with feathers gathered from a dunghill,
and who, when attempting to fly, had found himself dumped, by a strange
sympathetic affinity, on the very dunghill from which he had gathered
the feathers, the efforts likewise, of these illustrious experimenters
were crowned by successful failures, by a similar force of attraction,
their apparatus either alighting on the branches of trees, or diving
into the waters like ducks.

At the beginning of the 20th Century, the consensus of scientific
opinion had reached the conclusion, that the successful flying
machine of the future would be one, which would be heavier than air
and with either a very small balloon or none at all. The various forms
of balloons and flying craft, exhibited at the St. Louis exposition
became an incentive for renewed efforts by scientists to solve the
problem of aerial flight and continued with unremitting zest for
nearly a quarter of a century.

It was in the early part of 1919 that the science of aeronautics
was radically improved by the discovery of a process for hardening
and soldering of Aluminum, by which comparatively light but strong
framework and machinery were constructed, and thus gradually the
elimination of inflated balloons had become possible.



1922

The Flood in Mississippi Valley

In the spring of this year the Mississippi Valley was flooded and
submerged by terrible cloudbursts which, combined with melting of
snows on the mountains, and subsequent bursting of dams and levees,
devastated a vast area. According to records the lives lost in the
inundated districts reached the total of sixty thousand.



1923

Uniform Divorce Laws

The unprecedented increase of divorces all over the United States
and the attendant scandalous proceedings at the courts had reached
such a maximum, and its baneful influence on the public morals had
developed into such a point of danger that, a great awakening among
the clergy and lawmakers of the nation was the result. At a conclave of
representatives of the legal profession from every State in the Union,
was promulgated a uniform divorce law for the United States of America.



1924

The Zionist Movement or The Bursting of the Zion Bubble

The Zionist movement which for thirty years past gained more than
two million converts and within that period had collected more than
fifteen million dollars, was declared impracticable and illusionary!

The estimable originators of this sentimental movement, Herzl, Nordau,
Zangwill and others, although beyond the shadow of a doubt sincere and
well-meaning, through the intensity of their zeal for the amelioration
of their less fortunate brethren, were entirely blindfolded to the
intricacies of politics and the eventful history of the Jewish race,
from an ethnological and psychological point of view.

Some of these true yet misguided philanthropists had passed away
and other leaders, less impressed with the object of the society,
had taken their places. As the Jews are not a pioneer race, the
magnanimous scheme of the British government to place them upon a
tract of virgin soil at Uganda, in Central Africa, for the purpose of
colonization proved chaotic failure, on account of both sociological
and economic reasons.

The idea also of establishing a Jewish principality in Palestine,
under an absolutely despotic and semi-barbarous government--which
butchered her subjects ad libitum--was so ridiculous in the extreme,
that the questions had become the laughing stock at the political
sanctus sanctorums of various governments.

In 1923 a tremendous agitation was brought about by the leaders of
the opposition, and those in power of the movement were challenged to
public debate. The question grew to such proportions that it became
a subject for discussion in every orthodox and gentile pulpit In the
press, sociologists, ethnologists and anthropologists took part in
the ephemeral arena and analyzed every phase of the subject, relating
to the Hebrew race and the Zionist movement, laying bare every fact
without reserve.

It was stated by the opposition that though a stream of money had
been pouring in from every quarter of the globe year after year, for
the cause, no result as yet had been obtained, that great sums had
been spent in salaries of the officials and at the dilly-dallying,
corrupt courts of the Turkish Sultan.

A learned sociologist likened the Hebrews to a parasitic plant,
which derived its existence from the living sap of another. "An
Israelite" he declared, "can only exist favorably amongst civilized
centres of Christian and gentile communities; that whenever a colony
of Hebrews were isolated by themselves, they would inevitably and
gradually retrograde, impoverish and at last form a ghetto of misery
and squalor."

Another ethnologist of repute expounded the fact, that the Jews
were the life and essence of commercial activity and consequently
formed an integral part of a prosperous commonwealth. Sublimely
industrious, instinctively provident and economical by nature, the
Jews were persecuted because of their inherent virtues. He proved
by clever historical documents, that their expulsion from Babylon,
Egypt, Spain, Russia or wherever their rights were abrogated, were
the fundamental causes of the decadence of these countries from which
they were expelled.

Others accused the Hebrews of perverting the Golden Rule, of taking
advantage of others by their inborn instinct of commercial sagacity,
which well nigh approached unscrupulousness and that, being a mere
commercial people, their patriotism could well be challenged. Many
others advised, however, a propaganda of judicious assimilation of
the Israelite with the Christians, contending that the sum total
of their virtues and faults was the same as that of their Christian
brethren. Meanwhile they advised the Jews that "wherever they lived
they ought to make there, their Zions and temples."

After much heated argument and discussion which occupied several days,
they at last arrived at the conclusion that the Zionist movement
was chimerical! The balance of the funds amounting to many million
dollars were voted for the establishment of technical and commercial
schools for Israelites and for a fund to aid the judicious emigration
of the Jews from ill-favored and congested districts to more favorable
localities.



1925-26

The Anglo-American Alliance

The Anglo-American Alliance, by which these two foremost nations of
the earth were brought into a happy, fraternal union, and for the
achievement of which for nearly a quarter of a century there had been
a great effort, in this year had become an accomplished fact!

It was celebrated in a manner unprecedented in the annals of the
World's history. Having a profound and far reaching effect, it became
an ultimatum for other nations to keep the peace, and goaded them
toward the adoption of similar laws, in order to secure the same
reciprocal blessings of universal brotherhood.

Much credit was due to that eminent English statesman, now Lord
Cunningham, through whose tactful diplomacy this long-sought
commercial, social, offensive and defensive alliance became a
reality. "I am restrained," said the Professor, looking in the
direction of Aurora Cunningham, "to avoid eulogizing him as he justly
deserves, for obvious reasons."

At this sentence the students, under the impulse of a sudden
admiration, arose to their feet en masse, and, glancing smilingly at
Aurora, began rapturously to clap their hands.

This interruption of sympathetic appreciation was brought to a close,
by a ringing cry of the Seminary yell: "Dee, Dee, Ya, Ya, Na, Na,
Diana. Hurrah! Hurrah!! Hurrah!!!"

Aurora, blushing deeply, gracefully bowed her acknowledgement and in
due form the class was dismissed for the day.



CHAPTER V

THE FISTIC DUEL


The evening following the moonlight fête, a little after sunset when
the western sky, stained with a luminous golden hue, had spread
on verdant hills and valleys its radiance of languorous serenity,
two motor cyclists were speeding along on a secluded path that led
into the main highway, from the Diana Seminary to the West Point
Military Academy. The one in advance was wheeling in a leisurely
way, while the one behind exerted greater speed, as if in pursuit
of the other. He was gaining rapidly so that in a very few minutes
the foremost was overtaken, as they both reached a wooden bridge,
spanning a small body of water.

Both came suddenly to a stop and dismounted. They were Professor Cielo
Allenson and Carlos Don Seville. Don Seville, stung by the rebuke
which the Professor had administered to him the night previous at
the Seminary, had decided to take the cowardly course of waylaying
the instructor, in this lonely path, in order to avenge himself for
the righteous verbal punishment the latter had given him.

Carlos Don Seville was a degenerate scion of a once noble Spanish
family, who had settled in the United States and, like many such
offspring, was engaged in sowing his wild oats. Financially dependent
on a small income, he was always at his wit's end in order to secure
money with which to continue his reckless profligacy. Being inherently
foolish and improvident, he always had the illusion that some day
"something would turn up," and encouraged by this belief he had
recourse to gambling and speculation. As soon as he received his
dwindled allowance, he made himself a willing prey of card sharps
and get-rich-quick brigands.

Lately, however, he had conceived the idea of marrying an heiress,
and for that purpose he was hovering about Diana Seminary, annoying
the young ladies by his unsolicited attentions, or by brazen audacity
intruding unceremoniously upon their receptions. His snobbish mendacity
reached its climax when at the night of the moonlight soirée he
accosted Aurora and Margaret at the intermission of the dance, while
they were sauntering arm-in-arm along the parterre to a trysting nook.

Notwithstanding Margaret's bold declaration of the previous day, that
she wanted to give the "Jewsky" a piece of her mind, the feminine
temerity and reserve had taken possession of her. The minute they
saw him advance they took to their heels, and scampered back with
appealing gestures toward Professor Allenson who, divining at once
the situation, came gallantly to their rescue, giving Don Seville a
scathing reprimand and commanding him to depart, "unless he desired,"
announced the Professor, "to be skinned alive by the war dogs of the
Military Academy."

Don Seville, frightened and abashed, beat an inglorious retreat
and disappeared.

Professor Cielo Allenson, better known at the Military Academy as
the "Old Guard," was a venerable man past seventy. He had a highly
intellectual countenance and his silvery white hair and patriarchal
beard gave him a noble dignity which commanded respect. His strenuous
virility and inexhaustible energy was ever a lesson and a rebuke
to the many indolent youths who came in contact with him. He was a
philosopher of the first rank and an intense lover of nature. Imbued
with the deeper knowledge of the subtle workings of natural phenomena,
"he could not draw a line," he would say, "between the manifestations
of human, animal and vegetable kingdoms."

"Halt you d----d old cur! I demand no apology, but satisfaction,"
snarled Don Seville abruptly, his face livid with anger.

For a second the Professor was taken aback. But in that very second,
through his intuitive and resourceful mind flashed the fact that he
was "cornered." He was not a man easily frightened, for as a Major
of Volunteers during the Panama and Columbian trouble, and while in
his teens, he had led on his handful of men up the hills against the
ramparts of the enemy.

But a problem which required instantaneous solution was now presented
to him by Carlos Don Seville. It was a problem which neither diplomacy,
moral persuasion nor flight of oratory could solve. He realized in
that very second that the only way out of this difficulty was to take
the coward at his word. It was to be a fistic encounter to the finish.

"Apology, I have none to offer you sir, and am ready to give you such
satisfaction as you desire," replied the old man with a dignified
firmness.

A remarkable change had taken place in the person of Cielo
Allenson. That venerable and spirituelle individual had been
transformed in a twinkling of an eye, into a grim and determined
looking animal, and like an expert gladiator of the fistic arena,
he took the attitude of self-defense.

The "ring" constituted the platform of the wooden bridge, the side
rails of which served as the partial ropes. There were no seconds to
goad their favorites into action, no referee to decide the doubtful or
unlawful blows, no gong to mark the rounds, nor time-keeper to count
the defeated out of action. In the languorous glow of the twilight
their shadows, reflected in black silhouettes in the placid waters
below, were the only silent witnesses of this remarkable encounter.

The contest was constant and in the vernacular of pugilism, superbly
game, fast and furious! After the acceptance of the challenge there
was no parley between them, but by a sudden rush, Don Seville with his
right hand landed a hammering blow on the Professor's skull, which the
latter parried with his left with dexterous agility and thus saved a
crisis, for if left unchecked the blow would have reached his "solar
plexus." In rapid succession the fight continued, Don Seville taking
the aggressive and the Professor acting more in self-defense. However,
as often as opportunity presented, the latter put in a few well aimed
jabs, here and there, on the vital points of Don Seville's anatomy. At
the same time it was apparent that Don Seville was getting the best
of the contest. The venerable Professor unused to long continued
strain of the kind, began to experience difficulty in breathing,
and this did not escape Don Seville's observation. Shortly, however,
a remarkable change was visible; the Professor seemed to grow stronger
with each onslaught he made. He had gained his so-called "second wind"
thereby recouping his adroitness and elasticity.

With the consummate skill of a scientific boxer, several times
he feigned signs of weakness, by giving false openings, of which
his infuriated antagonist attempted to avail himself, thinking the
Professor to be on the verge of collapse, only to receive in return
several well directed right and left swings on the jaw. These staggered
Don Seville to his knees, but he was allowed to rise to his feet by
the generous tolerance of the Professor, and the consciousness of
this humility caused him to wage the attack with reckless fury. With
vulgar oaths he began to resort to foul tactics, trying to hit the
defender beyond the limits of decent pugilism.

Don Seville's endurance had now come to its end. His youth, dissipated
by debauchery, was undermined of its stability, and in spite of the
wide disparity of ages the old man had Don Seville absolutely in
his power. It was time, he thought, to terminate these proceedings,
so distasteful and undignified to him, but the only way he saw was,
to lay aside the tactics of self defense, and adopt those of a
punitive retaliation.

With keen alertness he watched for an opportunity and when Don
Seville, almost crazed with anger, rushed on him for a clinch, entirely
oblivious of the intention of the Professor, the latter gave a sudden
shift to his position by swinging his body away from his antagonist
Don Seville blindly followed him in his determination of a desperate
onslaught. It was then that the venerable Allenson shot out a driving
"right upper cut" to the jaw.

This was the finale! Don Seville staggered to the rails and toppling
over fell with a splash into the limpid waters below.

The Professor promptly jumped down the embankment and pulled out his
still unconscious adversary. If abandoned in that condition the young
man might have drowned in the shallow waters. The Professor began to
do all in his power to restore him to consciousness; just at that
time a farmhand on horseback appeared on the scene, and by his aid
the Academy ambulance was summoned and Don Seville was taken to the
military hospital.



CHAPTER VI

HISTORICAL EVENTS OF THE 20TH CENTURY

(CONCLUDED)


A subdued applause greeted the Professor the next day when he
entered the lecture room to conclude his review of events of the
20th Century. Many floral bouquets were tossed to him by his fair
admirers, who were augmented from the other classes, on account of
the full detail of his encounter with Don Seville having been spread
throughout the Seminary.

The Professor, despite some discoloration on his benign visage,
flushed crimson like a bashful child and bowed his acknowledgements,
as he began his discourse thus:



1927

Colonization of Central Africa

A system of general colonization on a large scale was, during this
year, undertaken by the British Government. By a new homestead law,
embodying liberal inducements, a vast army of colonists from all over
the British dominions were transported to Central Africa. Thousands
upon thousands of persons from the congested districts of London,
Glasgow, Liverpool and other large cities, were persuaded to leave
their limited surroundings and uncongenial atmosphere, and go to the
promising new land, teeming with boundless opportunities.

Almost the entire inhabitants of the isolated islands of the Shetlands
and Orkneys, who led an indolent life and eked a meagre existence by
fisheries, joined this grand trek to Central Africa. Many thousands
from the Canadian provinces and from the United States of America
joined this exodus, as did also thousands from the East Indies. The
thorough and admirable manner in which this laudable movement was
handled mitigated the hardships of transportation, and thus within
a few years more than five million, poor, homeless and indolent
people were given homesteads of their own, awakening them into energy
and thrift.

Within a decade the population of Central Africa reached the grand
total of 25,000,000 industrious, loyal citizens, forming a flourishing
dependency, enjoying home rule and liberty, under the protection of
British laws and arms.



1928

The Conflagration of the Atlantic Ocean

One of the most wonderful and at the same time awful conflagrations
of its kind on record in the history of the world, was that of the
apparent burning of the Atlantic Ocean, covering an area one hundred
and fifty miles wide. It started in the Gulf of Mexico and, like
a prairie fire, only a thousand times more furious, this floating
furnace consumed scores of vessels that came into its fiery path.

A few weeks previous to this awful holocaust, the petroleum wells in
Texas, New Mexico and Louisiana had run dry, on account of a severe
earthquake. It was argued by scientists that, by some subterranean
convulsions the oil well fissures had shifted their course, into the
waters of the gulf, and the vast accumulation of the inflammable fluid,
floating on the ocean, had been ignited, either by an electric spark
during a thunderstorm, or by some combustible being thrown from a
sailing craft.



1929

The Court of Labor

In this year was completed and dedicated the Court of Labor at
Washington. This was an imposing building, in which all the momentous
labor problems were discussed before a tribunal of disinterested
justices, through the able representatives of each faction, without
resorting to disastrous strikes, lockouts and disturbances of public
comfort.

One of the most remarkable features of this Court of Arbitration was,
the colossal group erected between the two grand entrances to the
building. This was not a semi-nude female figure with bandaged eyes,
holding in her hand the conventional pair of scales, but a Herculean
figure of Uncle Sam with his starry hat and glorious chin whiskers,
having three faces, three eyes and three arms. Before him were a group
of three figures which represented respectively Capital, Consumer and
Labor. In each figure were his eyes wide open and alert, bent with
searching scrutiny upon the person in front, to whom he dispensed
the just share of each, from a huge cornucopia at his feet.



1930

Landlordism In America

One of the most scandalous evils which had crept gradually in the
United States, and eventually became a source of grave anxiety to the
government, was a system of Landlordism amongst the very rich. While
the general public were slumbering in blissful ignorance, this coterie
of avaricious syndicates and multi-millionaires had mysteriously
become possessors of vast tracts of lands, in every state of the
Union. Some of these holdings comprised hundreds and thousands of
square miles in extent.

Miles and miles of shore-fronts, immense areas of forests, whole
mountains and lakes, through the conniving, corrupt state and county
officials, had passed into the hands of private individuals who,
in return had become extremely arrogant in their treatment of the
public, by unreasonable restriction.

There seemed to be a mocking sarcasm in the fact when common people
sang the National Anthem "America," celebrating its hills and rills,
while at every turn of the road, at every shore-front, lake, hill and
valley, mountain and forests, the forbidding sign, "No Trespassing
Under Penalty," met their eyes, or the repulsive muzzle of the
Winchester was thrust into their faces by private watchmen.

This state of affairs had reached such desperate straits, that the
public suddenly awakened on the subject. It started first by the
protest of the rougher element in the mountain districts, who defied
the hired authorities with an organized force. The people committed
acts of violence and incendiarism it is true, but by their overt
acts they awakened the dormant public to realize the enormity of
this scandalous condition of deeding away to millionaires, without
the consent of the commonwealth, the common and inalienable heritage
of its citizens.

By a unanimous uprising and public mandate the Federal and State
authorities were compelled to condemn and confiscate these stolen
public lands. New laws were then enacted by which the acquiring of
extensive lands was limited, except for agricultural purposes.



1931

The Discovery of the North Pole

The North Pole, that mysterious geographical locality which for
centuries had baffled scientists and explorers, was located
and verified by the combined efforts of American and British
Governments. The expedition was on a gigantic scale, the force of the
explorers being in round numbers two thousand five hundred persons
who by a system of depots and rendez-vous for supplies, formed almost
a continuous chain.

All the latest devices in the form of dynamo-vans and motor-sleds,
with balloon attachments were employed in the undertaking. Strange
to say the casualties did not exceed more than ten per cent of
the expeditionary force. It was discovered, to the great surprise
of scientists, that the locality was nothing more than a plateau,
studded with cones of ice!



1932

Cure for Laziness

The discovery, by an American, of a germicide for indolence was
announced during this year, by which lethargic persons were regenerated
into acute activity. It was a concentrated double extract of
pitch-blend, containing the radio active element, and when applied to
certain parts of the body, it instantaneously transformed the feeling
of laziness and ennui, into one of hustling energy and alertness.

The negroes of the Southern States, the natives of tropical countries
and also officials in the police departments of large cities, were
the ones benefitted by this "golden medical discovery!"



1933

Capital Punishment

The abolishment of capital punishment in many States of the Union,
through the impulsive sentimentality of a minority, had given birth
to an old time evil, that of feudalism. It was well for people
preaching mercy for murderers, when somebody else was the victim,
but when the crime was perpetrated against one of their homes, their
feelings were entirely changed. The increase of vendetta was the
result, and it occurred with such a lamentable degree of frequency,
that the old uncontrovertible Mosaic law, blood for blood, and life
for life was re-established.



1934

Abolition of Hereditary Titles In England

The agitation for the abolition of hereditary titles in England caused
a crisis in the political and social world of Great Britain. The
degeneracy of hereditary nobles, their utter incapacity adequately
to fill the positions left by their illustrious ancestors, to the
detriment and retrogression of the British government, was the main
cause of bringing about this bloodless internecine revolution.

Despite the most strenuous opposition by the friends of the nobles,
a new law was added to the revised Magna Charta, by an overwhelming
public demand. With few exceptions, it nullified the existing titles,
and elevated to peerage only worthy citizens for life, on condition of
the good behavior of the incumbent. This excellent law brought fresh
and saving blood into the political and civic life of England. The
movement precipitated the abandonment of the House of Lords and created
in its stead a body called Senatorium, whose members were elected by
the tax-paying citizens.



1935

Blowing the Earth Into Fragments

The most remarkable sensation of this year was that of a German
scientist and statistician who, after a thorough investigation and
mathematical calculation, announced his conclusions, that it was in
the range of collective human power, that is, by the combined aid of
labor, time, money and high explosives, to rend the earth in twain,
or into fragments, and thus create new planets in space, producing new
climatic conditions, fauna and life, adaptable to their new positions
in the solar system.



1937

An American Penal Colony

The census of this year revealed an unprecedented number of evil-doers,
causing great anxiety to the Government. There were recorded ninety-two
thousand criminals in prisons and seventy-six thousand paupers in the
poor houses. This army of public charges cost the State authorities
more than thirty million dollars for their maintenance.

At last by the stress of popular agitation the government adopted
a policy of penal colonization. Selecting a desirable island in the
Philippines, the Federal authorities succeeded in transporting to the
island, within three years, and with half the cost of their maintenance
at home, one hundred thousand of these unfortunate malefactors.

Here, they were given every facility and aid, for acquiring and
building of homes, farms and factories, and within ten years, under
a wise military administration more than half of that number were
reclaimed, forming a prosperous and loyal community in the Eastern
Hemisphere.



1938

The Great Telescope

With the munificent contributions to a general fund, amounting to
two million dollars, by the English, American and French Governments,
the greatest telescope which the world has ever known was constructed
in Paris. Its lenses measured more than two meters in diameter which,
combined with a mammoth revolving camera obscura, brought the moon and
some of the planets within the range of visual observation, revealing
on Venus and Mars the existence of vegetation and moving objects.



1939

The Earth An Electric Motor

Emil Flammarion, the worthy grandson of the eminent French astronomer,
demonstrated by an extremely clever mechanical contrivance in Vacuo,
that the Earth was merely an electric Motor in space!



1940

The Trend of Religious Thought

Religious thought or spiritual belief is not an invention of
mortals. It is an inborn attribute of the human mind. While man was
in his savage or semi-barbarous stage, the ethical and spiritual
conceptions were correspondingly crude and religious warfare
predominated. With the advance of civilization its development
kept pace with it until at the dawn of the twentieth century it had
undergone, by natural evolution, a marked metamorphosis.

It gradually divested itself of its legendary mysticism, fantastic
dogmas and spectacular schisms, and all intelligent thinkers
promulgated a propaganda, not of external forms of worship, but those
uncontrovertible basic truths, which always will hold.

It is true that in an era of commercial materialism great masses
of people embraced agnosticism and ethical culture, rejecting that
supernatural conception of a first cause of which they claimed
their limited intellect had a vague idea and was deeper than the
hazy human comprehension, yet, the shallow Ingersolian philosophy of
attacking a force--which filled millions with hope and goaded them
to self-sacrifice, mercy and charity--without substituting something
better, was repudiated by the intelligent, and appealed only to the
abnormal and the foolish.

This tendency of materialism in religion continued unabated, until
the startling announcement of a German scientist--who claimed it was
within human power to rend the world in twain--also the marvelous
revelation through the mammoth telescope--by which was discovered
moving objects and vegetation in other planets--brought on an acute
crisis. A tremendous religious revival swept all over the world. It
expanded the mental horizon of human conceptions. The existence of
living organism in other spheres came within rational deductions. The
possible existence of beings far superior in intellect to ourselves,
came within the limit of legitimate theorizations, and the more men
began to grasp with the co-operation of science, the infinite vastness
of the universe, with its numberless millions of habitable worlds,
the probability of an intelligent force of vast creative power came
within the scope of human understanding.

The forceful passage in the Holy Writ "that God created man in his
own image" became more and more lucid. Consequently the pantheism of
the old Greeks were revived with more clearness, and the existence
of a personal God somewhere in this boundless universe appealed to
multitudes with new zest.

"Pray, Professor, what is your opinion of a first cause?" ventured
one of the students.

"There are so many mysterious forces," answered the Professor, "that
although we cannot see, yet we feel their power and are conscious of
their results. And as our mortal organism cannot conceive a thought
which is beyond its own limitations, the very idea of our thought of
a first cause falls within the range of human conceptions.

"When we gaze at an automobile, which is the creation of a creature,
we see a wonderful parallelism; its requirements to make it an active
energy, bears a strong analogy of its inventor, yet, an automobile
with all its requirements for power supplied, is a worthless mass,
unless operated and guided by its creator. Does not this vast universe
with all its wonderful manifestations suggest a creative force,
which governs it?"

"Albeit, it is not within my province nor in my power to penetrate the
veil" continued the Professor, looking up in pensive mood. "But as the
coral protoplasm begins its edifice from the calcerous mire in the dark
recesses of the ocean, upwards through the murky and semi-transparent
liquid, finally reaches the pelucid surface, kisses the wave and sees
the light, me-thinks likewise, the spiritual perceptions of mankind
which has grown from the depths of savagery and through the maze of
intolerance, dogmas and schisms, will go onward in its evolution and
perhaps our posterity will at last penetrate the mystic veil and see
the light,--God."



1941

The Birthday Anniversary of Noted Centenarians

"Lithia Bingham," "Young Dr. Bray" and "Sister Eddy" received the
homage and congratulations of millions of their admirers, on their
hundred and fiftieth birthday anniversary.

The remarkable longevity of this trio of Methuselahs was attributed,
in the case of the two first mentioned, to their own "cure all"
concoctions, and the last, to her scientific revelation of thinking
that, there is no such thing as pain or death!

"In closing this review of historical events," said the Professor
looking around the auditorium, "there are a few other important
happenings that bring us to the present decade.

"The remarkable decadence of Germany under a Socialistic regime,
a doctrine, that although theoretically seems to be so desirably
altruistic, convincing, and in poetry sounds so well, but in practise
has proved to be detrimental to a life of strenuous efforts, and
suicidal to individual ambitions--conditions which are eminently
essential to growing and prosperous communities.

"The consequent exodus of Teutons to other parts of the world that
promised freedom to independent action.

"The political union of Spain and Portugal.

"The re-conquest by France of Alsace Lorain.

"The puerile uprising by a section of Irish people against England
are still fresh in our memory--and to which most of you have been
eye-witnesses--are some of the events worthy of record."

Here the Professor, after a pause, changed his subject to future
possibilities and, presenting to the class in eloquent words a glowing,
optimistic picture of conditions for future generations, brought his
discussion to a close. When he stepped down from the rostrum he was
at once surrounded by the entire class and was tendered an impromptu
but agreeable reception.



CHAPTER VII

THE REGATTA


There was still one great event before the closing of the academic
year of the Diana Seminary Seniors, in which the class had taken
extraordinary interest. It was the first time in the history of
the Seminary that students were to take part in aquatic sports
against male contestants. The day for the great handicap regatta--a
four-oared affair--between the Senior class of the Seminary and the
Sophomore class of the West Point Military Academy followed directly
after graduation,--the class grade being the handicap allowed to the
Seminary girls.

Aurora and Margaret, after their avowal and covenant, were again
in normal condition, cheerful as of yore, and as they were the most
available pair for the aquatic contest, from the beginning they had
been chosen unanimously as the exponents of the class of 1960, and
they went into the execution of the sport with vim and enthusiasm.

As the event was a unique one, it had become the most lively topic
of conversation among the people, and long before it took place had
caused widespread interest in the country. Having been advertised
and exploited extensively in the daily press, it is needless to say
that an unusually large concourse of visitors had arrived by land
and water to witness the classic and unusual contest.

The course of the race was laid near Poughkeepsie and was in the
shape of a heart, that is, starting at a given point, side by side,
they raced about half a mile abreast, then one crew turning to port
and the other to starboard, diverging in a parabolic circle, passed
each other in the center within a short distance of the starting point,
and making counter-circles started on the home run, again abreast. (See
diagram, page 90.)

The personnel of the Seminary crew consisted of the following young
ladies: Aurora Cunningham, coxswain; Margaret MacDonald, stroke;
Horatia Seymour, number one; Eunice Ward, number two; and Norma
Southworth at the bow.

When the preliminary signal to make ready was given, both the crews
rowed gracefully to the starting ground and began to manoeuvre. At
the sharp report of the signal gun, the two shells shot past the line
almost abreast, amidst deafening acclamation from the spectators on
the shore and the shrill tooting and whistling of the sailing craft
of every description that had formed almost a compact circle around
the course.

The calm and pleasant weather had allowed the waters of the Hudson to
run as smooth as a looking-glass, except for the turbulence caused
by the ever restless pleasure boats thronged with sightseers,
each endeavoring to get a better vantage point of the impending
struggle. As the contest progressed, the interest of the watchers
began to increase. Thousands of field and marine glasses and lorgnettes
were leveled at the racers as they sped along the course.

The teams had now reached the point of divergence, and had begun to
recede from each other at every stroke on their parabolic circuit,
the boys turning to port and the girls to starboard. But alas! Hardly
had the Seminary shell advanced half a dozen strokes when, by some
unexpected and inexplicable accident, Margaret's feet slipped off the
foot guard and, in an instant, she was thrown into the waters of the
Hudson, the shell meanwhile gliding swiftly by.

Instantly the air was filled by a deafening cry of dismay from the
throats of thousands of eager spectators, coupled with piercing
whistles of the steamboats. What a moment of anguish for the Diana
Seminary girls! What a shocking sense of humiliation for the fair
contestants! To think that in an event so crucial for their honor
and standing, such an unforeseen disaster should overwhelm them!

But fate was with them. It was decreed that such a catastrophe
should happen in order to heighten the grandeur of their ultimate
victory. While the spectators were still paralyzed with the awful
situation before them, there was activity and heroism among the Diana
mermaids in the shell. The instant Aurora with her alert eyes saw
Margaret's mishap, she realized at once the situation and before
the shell had glided past, she leaned over and caught Margaret by
the hair. By the same impulsive and almost animal agility, Margaret
grasped Aurora's arm and in another moment, with less loss of time
than would seem possible, she was again in the shell. In a twinkling
of an eye the breathless girl had resumed her place at the oar as if
nothing had happened.

Aware of the loss of distance by this untoward accident, which was,
in fact, more than four boats' length, but undismayed and as if
invigorated by her impromptu bath, in order to recover lost ground
Margaret set the pace at a higher speed and forged ahead with might and
main. When the throngs on land and water realized what had happened
the din of exultation and cheering was beyond description and this
did not abate until the race was finished. Overwrought by the sight
of this heroic exploit of the girls, men and women had become madly
hysterical. When the shells crossed each other at the half-mile
stake it was seen that the Seminary girls had recovered considerable
ground, leaving a margin of less than two boats' length. Encouraged
by the splendid showing made, and goaded to endeavor by the rapturous
applause of the populace, Margaret and the rest of the crew seemed to
gain new strength. And when Aurora with the megaphone gave the order
of thirty-six strokes a minute, they set the pace with marvelous vigor
and precision, causing consternation among their masculine antagonists.

On the completion of the second parabola of their circuit and when
coming on to the line for the homestretch, it was noticeable that
the Seminary shell was only a trifle behind.

The crucial moment had come.

They were now almost abreast on the homestretch. The intensity of
the exciting scene had for a moment cast a profound silence upon
the spectators. Every one was straining his eyes and neck to see
the momentous finish, only to break again into a bedlam of rapturous
shouting when the girls were seen to be in the lead. It was indeed
a sight never to be forgotten, when the Seminary shell shot past the
finish line a full boat's length ahead, and the girls were acclaimed
by the populace as victors.

The intensity of the joy of the throng, and the plight of their
utter abandon, can be conjectured when it was discovered afterwards
that eight hundred and ninety-one ladies' and two thousand three
hundred and seventy-nine gentlemen's head-gear were picked up in the
Hudson. The next day and through the week following, divers reaped a
good harvest by bringing up from the river's bed one thousand three
hundred and ninety-four field, marine and opera glasses, and two
hundred and seventy-five lorgnettes, besides innumerable parasols
and canes which the people in their abandon had thrown about.

This episode was the crowning glory of the Seminary and the beginning
of a new epoch in the history of this institution.



CHAPTER VIII

DR. HYDER BEN RAABA


Like a nebular comet in a far away constellation, so mysterious in
its orbit and composition, was Dr. Hyder Ben Raaba, who suddenly
made his appearance in the suburbs of the cosmopolitan city of
B---- on Long Island. He occupied the spacious mansion of a wealthy
merchant, who had abandoned it for a more comfortable lodge in the
Adirondacks. Surrounded by somewhat neglected clumps of pines and
shrubberies, the establishment was entirely isolated from the highway
and most suitable for a man like the Hindoo doctor, who seemed always
to desire seclusion.

In order to form an idea of his singular personality, a brief
description will perhaps enlighten the reader. He was tall, lank,
of swarthy complexion, endowed with a cyranesque proboscis and a
moustache which protruded like the tusks of a walrus. His eyebrows
resembled the moustache in miniature. His big greenish-yellow eyes,
with spacious white borders and cat-like pupils, were able to bring
to bear an intensely hypnotic gaze, which had an irresistible and
subjective power. As he was invariably attired in the picturesque
costume of his country, and from the fine texture of the silken turban
and embroidered robes, could easily be conjectured that he belonged
to a high caste and noble Hindoo family. He had a peculiar walk,
continually swerving from side to side as he moved, wriggling and
swinging his indispensable jessamine cane, which from its serpentine
convolutions looked as if it had been hardened while in convulsions.

The people of the neighborhood, although amused by his strange antics,
entertained great respect for him. To some, especially to young people,
he seemed a monstrosity. They had already nick-named him the "Crazy
Doctor." Vague rumors circulated among the gossip-loving residents
that he was a political refugee, who, finding his life in danger in
India, had fled from his native land. But no one doubted his ability
as a physician and surgeon, for in a short time he had founded a
reputation that commanded respect.

His cadaverous look, his strange hypnotic eye and mysteriously
eccentric movements, enhanced a hundredfold his reputation rather than
damaged it. Every one considered him a man of great learning, a wizard
in the science of healing and stood aghast exclaiming wonderingly,
"Whence cometh this mighty healing power?"

When Dr. Ben Raaba made his advent in B---- he was accompanied by a
robust, well-formed and intelligent-looking Levantine Jew servant,
Esau by name. This person minded his own business, and proved himself
to be a very discreet servant, never divulging his master's secrets to
any outsider. A few months after taking up their residence, however,
the place resembled a private menagerie. Scores of cats, dogs, of high
and low degree, pigs and goats of every size made their appearance.

Dr. Hyder, notwithstanding various opinions of others, was in reality
a mysterious and remarkable man; despite his thorough British education
and extensive travels in foreign lands, was a believer in the tenets of
a Hindoo sect called the Saktian Yogis, a believer of Mahadeva, whose
spouse of a dual nature--spiritual and material principles in one--has
three qualities: first, Dominion and Desire; second, Rectitude and
Wisdom, with power to control senses; and third, Violence and Passion.

The Doctor, moreover, was conversant with all the Hindoo mysticism
and sciences, astronomy and magic. He was capable of restraining
respiration, besides being a natural born hypnotist of great
power. Modern practical medicine and surgery were also among the
Doctor's accomplishments, as he had a seven year course in the National
University of Medicine of London.

His appearances in public began to diminish gradually after the various
animals were received there, as he was engrossed in his laboratory,
engaged in some experiment in vivisection! Indeed, in the dead of
night, weird and uncanny sounds often emanated from the inner recesses
of his laboratory. Sometimes a piteous mew, or the piercing caterwaul
of felines, or the whining of dogs. At other times, the plaintive
beating of a goat, the squeaking of a goose or the squeal of a pig
broke the silence of the night, while at intervals, now and then,
several owls on the roof gave vent to their weird hootings.

This state of affairs naturally gave an awful aspect to the place, and
kept the inquisitive villagers at a distance, while the mischievous
youngsters gave the place no trouble from trespassing. The only
incident which reached the public was told by a precocious youth who,
with grim determination, strived to unravel the mysteries of the place,
on a cloudy night had crawled into the garden, climbed a tree, and
hidden himself until later on, when the full moon appeared above the
horizon and cast its hazy light through the clouds. Then an uncanny
sight was unfurled before his eyes; there, sitting under the shadow of
a weeping willow tree, the Hindoo Doctor, apparently, was in the act
of hypnotizing a goat, with weird gestures and incantations. Unnerved
by this strange sight, the intruder, losing his grip and footing,
fell to the ground. The hooting of an owl and a fiendish howl from
the Doctor gave the youth a further impetus to scamper for life, over
shrubberies and picket fence, out of the domain of the Hindoo vampire!

Upon the youth's recital of his experience, the feeling of mystery and
fear increased among the unsophisticated people of the neighborhood
and they kept shy of the place. But the climax of their apprehension
was reached when, shortly after, the following curious sign adorned
the main gate to the house:


                          DR. HYDER BEN RAABA

                    VIVISECTIONIST AND RE-INCARNATOR


What was the meaning of these significant words on his shingle,
"Vivisectionist and Re-incarnator?" What was the mission of this
mysterious man? To what line of surgical science did this assortment
of animals contribute, whose piteous wails ever and anon emanated
from his laboratory? Up to that time a chain of wonderful discoveries
and marvelous achievements had been attained by profound savants in
surgical and pathological subjects: The creation of life germ cells:
The trepanning of skulls and the re-arrangement of the brains:
The grafting of skin, nose and ear: The infusion of new blood:
The pre-natal determination of sexes: The separation of mind from
the body, by subjecting persons in a cataleptic state by hypnotism:
And last but not least, the hibernation for an indefinite period of
living bodies by suspended animation.

These amazing triumphs, each more startling than the other, were the
records of past achievements.

Could there be anything more astounding?

Even so, Dr. Hyder Ben Raaba, who was conversant with all the above
mentioned exploits of experimenters, had conceived one of the boldest
and extraordinarily audacious of surgical feats, the successful
demonstration of which would startle the world and make men stand
aghast with wonder. In fact, by the display of his professional sign,
it was a foregone conclusion that he had succeeded in his experiments.

By the aid of science, occultism and wonderful magic, he had
transformed the sexes!



CHAPTER IX

A RAY OF HOPE


It was the day of departure of Aurora Cunningham for London,
England. Margaret had accompanied her in an automobile to the city
of B---- to see her off. Their parting had an unusual sadness as
they stood on the deck of the Dynamoship "Columbia"--a four-day ocean
greyhound. They seemed to be paralyzed at the barrenness of the future,
looking into each other's eyes as if trying to challenge sincerity
to their oath of allegiance.

It was extremely touching indeed, when they were compelled by the
officers of the ship to take their final leave, and as the Columbia
began to recede gradually from its moorings, her prow compassed to
the British Isles, Aurora's lithe figure could be seen at the stern of
the boat, throwing kisses and waving her handkerchief toward Margaret,
until the distance grew wider and farther and the figure fainter and
at last was lost to view.

Left alone on the shore, Margaret did her utmost to control her
emotions of parting from her beloved friend. With suppressed feelings
she mounted her automobile reluctantly, and bade the chauffeur proceed
to New York City, from whence, after a short repose, she intended to
take the train for her home in Wyoming.

She had hardly gone a mile or two out of the city of B---- when her
emotions had swelled beyond her capacity of control and she became
delirious in her seat in the auto. Some pedestrians by the way,
noticing that something unusual had happened to the fair occupant,
called the attention of the chauffeur to his charge. He brought the
machine to a standstill and the necessity of enlisting the services
of a doctor was at once apparent.

One of the bystanders suggested that the nearest available doctor was
the Hindoo surgeon, Dr. Hyder Ben Raaba, about a furlong farther down
the road, and thither the patient was wheeled with all possible haste,
and within a few minutes she was in the Doctor's reception room.

After a cursory examination Ben Raaba appeared somewhat puzzled. "She
is in a state of coma," he said, rubbing his forehead with his bony
fingers, "but I do not yet see any physical cause to induce that
condition. It seems to me," he added, "that every function of the
organs are in a perfectly normal state."

His face brightened at once, however, with a smile of victory. A happy
thought had come to his fertile mind. He had thought of the singular
methods practised by the diagnostician Avicene of Balk--the father of
occult Diagnosis--and the words of the Cashmerian poet came to his
memory, who nearly ten centuries previously had said: "The pulse of
the loving, beats higher, agitated only at the name of the beloved."

Taking thereupon her pulse into his hand, he began to question the
chauffeur, where she had gone, with whom, what was the other young
lady's name, etc. He knew that, although she was in a state of coma,
her senses of hearing and of understanding were performing their
regular functions. At the mention of the name of Aurora Cunningham
there was a remarkable change in Margaret; her pulse began to beat
double quick!

After repeating the experiment, and satisfying himself that the cause
was a matter pertaining the heart, in fact the girl's infatuation for
her departed friend, and that there was nothing in the Materia Medica
as an antidote, that the only restorative remedy that could be found
was in hypnotic occultism, he leaned over the prostrate figure before
him and whispered some words into her ear.

The correctness of his diagnosis became plainly evident. The patient,
with perfect tranquility, opened her eyes, and with a complacent
smile looked into the face of her restorer. After a few more magnetic
passes and words of encouragement from the Wizard, she had completely
recovered herself, to the amazement of the anxious group of persons
who had gathered there, curious to know the fate of the fair occupant
of the automobile. Within half an hour she again entered her auto
and proceeded on her way to the city.

The new and remarkable personality of Hyder Ben Raaba, however, left
an ineradicable impression upon her mind, so much as at times to divert
her thoughts from dwelling upon Aurora and concentrate upon the strange
visage of Hyder Ben Raaba. After a repose of a few days in New York,
having made all the preparations for the intended journey, she left
the metropolis and arrived in due time at her paternal home in Wyoming.

Hardly a month had elapsed after her return when there was another
crisis in her life. Her father was taken suddenly ill and died, and
she was left an heiress to a large fortune consisting principally of
lands, mines and cattle. Being without any relatives to guide her,
Margaret was compelled to settle matters for herself, and daily she
was confronted by hundreds of annoying details. These consisted of
many entangling affairs of her lamented father, who had left her
sole legatee, prospective aspirants who sought her hand in marriage,
her solemn and binding oath to Aurora, and, strange as it may seem,
the grotesquely hideous face of Ben Raaba began to flit before her
mind's eye, perplexing and haunting her incessantly.

One evening when she was thus absorbed in deep meditation, the postman
brought her a letter. It was mailed from B----. Excitedly she tore
open the envelope and from it fell the professional card of Dr. Hyder
Ben Raaba. The same weird and ominous words were printed under his
name: "The Vivisectionist and Re-incarnator"! On the other side were
scribbled a few lines, making inquiry about the state of her health.

The card, ah! the strange and significant words, vivisection and
re-incarnation began to assume a deep meaning. She placed the card
tremblingly upon the table and fell into a profound study. Her
quivering frame, the rise and fall of her heaving breast and the
change of color of her face alternatively from pallor to a feverish
flush, indicated that there was a revolution going on within her
immaculate bosom.

At last she seemed to come to some determination; tremblingly she
grasped a pen and wrote a letter to Ben Raaba, the contents of which
never became known to any but herself and the Hindoo doctor. Within
a fortnight she received an answer which seemed to satisfy her.

Within two months she had managed hastily to dispose of all her
personal property and real estate without any reserve, and then
she disappeared from her Western home and surroundings and was lost
forever to her former friends.



CHAPTER X

THE TRANSFORMATION


It was near the end of September. The seaside resorts on Long Island
were deserted by the gay health-seekers from the adjacent cities, and
the inhabitants of the villages along the South Shore, from Rockaway
to Montauk, had dwindled to their normal number of rural residents
except the city of B---- which, on account of its shipping interests,
still retained a lively activity.

The day was dismal and damp, foreboding a rainy spell. There were
scarcely any people on the streets and at dusk, when the Montauk
express stopped at the station of B----, there were only a few
passengers to alight.

One of them was a young woman attired in black, with a thick veil of
similar hue drawn over her face. She looked furtively up and down the
platform with painful anxiety, and espying an automobile a few rods
below the station, walked toward it hesitatingly, at the same time
pulling from her wrist-bag a crimson handkerchief. The chauffeur on
the machine seemed to understand the meaning of the signal, for at
once jumping down he advanced to meet the stranger.

After several words were exchanged in subdued tones, he escorted the
veiled lady to the vehicle and in a few minutes they were speeding
down the road toward the Hindoo doctor's sanitarium. The woman,
of course, was Margaret MacDonald and the chauffeur none other than
the Levantine Jew, Esau, the Doctor's discreet servant. When they
arrived at Ben Raaba's domicile it was almost pitch dark, and not a
soul could be seen in the vicinity. At the ringing of the door-bell,
Ben Raaba himself appeared and sedately welcomed Margaret, conducting
her into the reception room.

Shortly after, when Esau had withdrawn, they were sitting tête-à-tête
at a table, perusing some mysterious documents to which at last,
Margaret, taking a pen, subscribed her signature.

The documents were nothing else than the legal contract, which Margaret
had signed, offering herself a willing subject to undergo a mental and
physical metamorphosis, and absolving Ben Raaba from any responsibility
if the experiment should prove unsuccessful or fatal!

After a fortnight of dietary preparation, Margaret was taken into
the Laboratory of the Wizard and immediately hypnotized by him into
a state of cataleptic coma.

An awful sensation crept over one upon looking around about this den
called the Laboratory. Glittering saws and scalpels were hung in rows
on the walls; lances, beakers and retorts were scattered on the tables
and on the floor, and a hundred and one other apparatus and bottles
could be seen upon the shelves.

A big cat-owl perched on a pedestal in one corner, and a black tom-cat
with intense green eyes, prowling about the room, gave to the scene
a cabalistic and weird aspect. Here among these uncanny surroundings
Dr. Hyder Ben Raaba isolated and busied himself with continuous
vigilance for many months in order to achieve an undertaking that
seemed miraculous and impossible.



Through the lapse of so many long and tedious months Dr. Hyder Ben
Raaba had come to the completion of his assiduous labors,--labors
which had almost exhausted his consummate skill in hypnotism, surgery
and magic.

After a final but scrupulously careful examination of the patient,
assuring himself that every muscle, nerve, gland and artery were in
their proper places, he paused a moment before the prostrate body. It
was a solemn and tragic moment. Signs of intense anxiety were visible
upon his otherwise imperturbable visage, betraying the fact that he
was in a crucial predicament.

What, if on awakening the patient, he found her a maniac irrevocably
bereft of reason? What, if his re-incarnated subject should prove to be
a hideous Frankenstein or a monstrosity devoid of finer senses? What,
if she should prove to be a man with effeminate mind and manners?

Such and a thousand other similar fears and misgivings were flashing in
that moment through his mind, but at last, confident of his ultimate
success, and undaunted with apprehensions, he assumed a determined
countenance and commenced to undo the hypnotic spell, in order to
restore his subject to life and energy.

With eyes dilated, eyebrows knit, and arms stretched--holding in one
hand a magic wand--this future Mephisto uttered some mysterious words
in sepulchral intonations, snapped his fingers three times, and presto!

The spell was broken!

The full magical effect of his audacious undertaking was evident, for
scarcely had the last syllable of those mysterious and incomprehensible
words left his shriveled lips, when a sudden tremor shook the frame
of Margaret and, with a subdued groan, indicative more of a sensation
of bliss than of pain, she opened her eyes.

A triumphant smile pervaded her countenance, as if awakening from
an Utopian dream. Dr. Ben Raaba, meanwhile perceiving the crowning
success of his work, and standing beside her, began to exclaim with
rapturous joy, "Metempsychosis! Metempsychosis!"

The patient at once became conscious that her bodily transformation
was complete, for it did not take her long to realize it as HE stood
there, a beautiful specimen of manhood!

This miraculous transformation brought to light another remarkable
mental discovery. It was discovered by the Doctor that all the
accomplishments, knowledge and mental attributes possessed by
Margaret, prior to her re-incarnation, had been intensified a
hundredfold in their entity into those of aggressive, daring and
strenuous masculinity.

Margaret, assuming forthwith a masculine name, remained a few months
under the care and tutelage of Ben Raaba, in order to acquire further
important knowledge in hypnotism, diplomacy, etc., that would be
of invaluable service in his future career, and it was not until
September, almost one year after the advent of the patient, that he
reluctantly bade good-bye to Hyder Ben Raaba, and was again lost in
the vortex of humanity.



CHAPTER XI

LORD CUNNINGHAM, VICEROY OF INDIA


Hardly had Margaret reached her home in Wyoming, when Aurora likewise
was welcomed by her people in England. Her father, whose brilliant
career upward from the ranks of the common people had astonished the
diplomats of the world, meanwhile had been raised to the highest rank
of peerage.

Being a born leader of such inexhaustible sagacity and acumen,
his promotion from one important position to another was not only
inevitable but necessary, and hardly a month had elapsed since Aurora's
return to London, before he was gazetted as Lord Cunningham, Viceroy
to India.

The situation at that time in India was quite a delicate one, on
account of the Thibetan boundary question with Russia. The latter
had raised her periodical spasm of aggression, in order to attain
certain political ends at home, and the departure of Lord Cunningham
was therefore hastened.

It was near the end of November when Lord Cunningham, his wife and
beautiful daughter were regally received in Bombay. Distinguished
looking in his six feet two inches of height, with a leonine
countenance, The Lord at once captivated the Indian rajahs, princes,
and also commanded the respect of the populace. His courteous manners,
forceful and firm proclamations and actual philanthropic undertakings
coupled with his propaganda of dispensing equal justice to all,
aroused at once the enthusiasm, patriotism and loyalty of every class,
and quieted the racial differences and political disquietude among
the people.

The Russian government, seeing this solid phalanx of unity and change
of sentiment of the Indian people, beat a hasty retreat under the
subterfuge of quelling an alleged disturbance on the borders of
Manchuria.

In order to give himself an opportunity for a general introduction,
Lord Cunningham decided to hold a reception and dance. It was planned
to follow the style of entertaining then in vogue, a combination of
literary and musical talent to be followed by a reception. Among the
many who had consented to contribute to the evening's entertainment,
and occupying the place of honor, was the celebrated savant Abou
Shimshek, the Astronomer of Ispahan, who had just returned from
an adventurous expedition to the Himalayas to investigate Nature's
wonders.

Lord Cunningham being aware of the presence of the celebrated
prodigies, the Dusky Quartette, who were on their itinerary to Bombay,
had sought and engaged their services for the occasion. An American
violin virtuoso, Spencer Hamilton, who had created a furore in Simla
a week previously at a fashionable society recital and was acclaimed
as an unequaled maestro of his instrument, had also promised to appear
during the entertainment and render a few selections on the violin.

On the night of the Soirée a great multitude of natives as well as
eminent European personages were present, in all the picturesque
splendor of the habilaments of their respective countries. There
were Maharajahs, dazzling with diamonds, accompanied by their retinue
blazing with silver and gold embroidered costumes, Ascetic Brahmins
and sombre looking Fakirs from the seats of learning of Hyderabad,
mysterious emissaries from the sacred city of Delhi, learned Sheiks
with flowing patriarchal beards from Arabia and Egypt, Magicians from
all over Persia, besides all fashionable folk from military posts
throughout the East Indian Empire.

Dashing and handsome officers vied with each other in their endeavor
to do homage to the beautiful Aurora, who was enthroned next to her
mother. After a prelude on the dulciphone, Abou Shimshek, amidst the
huzzah and clamor of the assemblage, with great dignity came forward,
and with uplifted arms, invoking the spirits of Hafiz and Firdozy to
endow him with eloquence, began the account of his thrilling adventure
as follows:



CHAPTER XII

ADVENTURES OF ABOU SHIMSHEK, THE ASTRONOMER OF ISPAHAN


"Up, on the Kinchinginga's lofty summit, where earth and heavens
meet, where myriads of crystalline, icy temples in their immaculate
and prismatic garbs here and there, and manywhere abound, temples,
in whose solid glacial niches saints perpetually hold communion with
Mahatma's Son.

"I said, I was upon the Kinchinginga's. Aye, for no other purpose
than on a mission sublime, to climb nearer to heaven in search of the
Creator's secrets profound and reveal them to the human race. Day after
day, thus, dauntless and resolute, I scaled craggy precipices. Through
mammoth caverns of desolate solitude I wended my way up to reach the
goal of my ambition, lured there by my faith.

"Night after night, thus, I gazed and scanned heaven's canopy, studded
with twinkling jewels. But alas! it seemed, farther and more remote
grew the space between me and the blue heaven, with no mortal kind to
cheer my solitude, except the wails of hungry jackals and the wild
groans of the Bengal tiger fierce, with myriads of phantom spirits,
darting here and there, in weird, fantastic forms; I could not tell
whether they were the creatures of some world unseen, or the ghosts of
Gothama and his saints keeping vigil over the faithful. But at last,
so dire and awful did grow my solitude that, overcome by fright and
fatigue, I retreated into a glacial cave beneath a lofty peak.

"I laid my head on a chilled stalagmite, the frozen floor to my
back, and my face and belly against what I thought to be the dome
of my cavern. But, by the sacred wart that grew on Gehangire's
nose, what reality! What a wonderful sight! A new world, revolving
through space--entirely different from ours as it had living souls and
vegetation in a far more advanced stage of development than ours,--was
revealed to my astonished eyes!

"The greatest efforts of men are brought to naught with the elements
controlled by Allah's command, or are so small in scale and scope as
to be beyond compare with His wondrous works. Through the greatest
telescope that man's ingenuity and skill can produce, astronomers
cannot agree whether the canals of Mars are single or double.

"Pshaw! Away with those numberless imposters who have deluded mankind
with their consummate lies! Some even claim to have traversed the
inter-etherial space by flying machines, whose construction was
revealed to them in a "sealed package" or found in boxes, buried in
tombs and mummies of days gone by! The marvelous medium through which
I saw this celestial panorama was nothing strange; the cavern into
which I so unconsciously was led was an observatory by nature made!

"Its dome was a mammoth telescope, composed of lenses of great
magnitude, various in size and shape. Lenses made of purest water,
distilled by the thundering clouds and filtered through heaven's
ether. Lenses congealed by the zephyrs that gently blow from Mount
Everest's snow-capped brow; lenses, annealed and polished through
centuries by the fiery orb that governs our earth, from its moorings
in wondrous space. Here, to my eye, was a telescope most complete. It
brought that strange planet so near as to make me inhale its very
atmosphere, touch its soil and waters with my outstretched arms. And
which, with your kind tolerance, I will briefly relate.

"The first element on this marvelous world, which my attention did
attract, was the wonderful hues of its firmament. There were no
"inter-luminous rays" of "rosy radiance" nor "amber isles" floating
over "golden seas" of sunsets, or similar trash, that our poets here
below have sung for ages gone, over and over again. But instead,
wonderfully colored panels of exquisite designs, the whole changing
as if by a dissolving slide, at every atmospheric vibration, into
still more beautiful patterns, a veritable Kaleidoscope!

"On consulting my astronomical calculations I found that this strange
phenomenon was caused by the peculiar inclination, and ascension of
this planet toward the sun! As I was scanning this sublime panorama,
with rapturous admiration, my attention was diverted to an expanse
of water. Its constantly foaming and sparkling nature induced me to
examine it more closely and, to my great surprise, upon analysis I
found it to be similar to delicious cream soda, with cakes of ice
floating on it, and the whole impregnated with phosphates--on account
of the immense guano deposits left by extinct birds, along its shores!

"But my surprise was still increased when, turning my eyes toward
land, I beheld numerous geysers and fountains, spouting up streams and
sprays of waters of various hues. I tasted them one by one and, to my
delight, I found some of them to be composed of seltzero-caffein, some
of bromo-cocain, some others containing an infusion of Cerebrine. But
one of the most peculiar fountains which I discovered was one that
had a zig-zag motion and luminous color.

"On partaking of a sip of it, I suddenly experienced a strange
sensation going through my body, exhilarating and rejuvenating my
whole system, eradicating all the dandruff from my scalp, purifying
my blood and dispelling at once that "tired feeling." I gave to this
fountain the name "Electrolinaris" on account of the large percentage
of "the electric fluid" it contained!

"The vegetation that grew on this marvelous planet, although
analogous to our terrestrial trees and herbs--having roots, trunks
and branches--was entirely of different order. These forms were
a combination of vegetable and animal kingdoms, because of their
construction and sensitiveness. I noticed, for example, trees
whose leaves changed color several times a day, some others which
emitted extraordinary sounds, while still others shrank and expanded
instantaneously.

"But their fruits were still more curious. Of course to satisfy
my natural curiosity, I picked and tasted many of them. They were
nothing but our manufactured confections. Still how delicious they
were! Here was a tree the folds of whose musical leaves shielded
delicious chocolates, there another tree whose branches dropped ripe
and luscious glace bon-bons of various flavors, while sugar-coated
violets and jasmines abounded promiscuously on perfuming bushes.

"During my inspection I came across a palm-like plant full of
innumerable shining objects which, on closer scrutiny, to my amazement
I found to be miniature incandescent radium lights of great brilliancy.

"As I proceeded with my investigations I saw another plant whose
branches were studded with brilliant scintillating globules. I
hastened to examine them and they were neither more nor less than
veritable crystals of diamonds. Now it is well known that the diamond
consists of pure carbon in crystalized form. This plant had simply the
power of absorbing pure carbon by its roots, and passing through its
wonderfully peculiar fibres exuded and condensed them on its branches
like gum-drops, where they were hardened by the action of its equally
strange atmosphere. I have on my person--as you will observe--a few
specimens which I picked at random.

"And now in reference to animals. Perhaps you will expect me to
describe to you strange megalotheruses of immense proportions, or
gigantic mammalian quadrupeds, mammoth flying dragons, serpents and
birds, but herein I must disappoint you. The truth is, although I
searched diligently for such paleozoic monsters, I came in contact
with none. Surprised as I was myself, it explained itself on my
discovering an amphitheatre-like enclosure wherein were stored, in
great numbers, the lifeless skeletons of unimaginable beasts which
had existed on this planet in centuries past. And as on our earth
the large animals are gradually becoming extinct on account of the
advance of civilization, with the exception of the Tammany Tiger,
the American Eagle and the British Lion, I came to the conclusion
that on this new sphere likewise, because of its far advanced stage
of civilization, they were already extinct.

"I could not, however, suppress my laughter on seeing in this
collection of monstrous wild beasts, two specimens of two-legged
mammalians or human beings. I speedily came to the conclusion that
they were either some of those blatant fools, who had ventured on
journeys to remote planets in their flying machines, or some of our
ultra-civilized English and American pioneers, gone on missions of
"grab" and "benevolent assimilation!"

"Anon, I come to the most interesting stage of my adventure, that of
seeing the most intelligent animals of this new planet, which it seemed
had full control over it, so that there remained no doubt in my mind
of their being the human race of this strange world. Consequently, I
watched them closely, and verily I found them to be far more advanced
in civilization and bodily construction than we, mankind. They were so
constructed that they had all the advantages which we are obliged to
supply ourselves by artificial means and devices. As I describe them,
you will, to a certain degree, form an idea of how they looked.

"They had only one eye on the top of their heads, a large globular
organ, however, having like the dragon fly a multiform lens. This
eye was shielded by an umbrella-shaped substance of a hard bony
nature. Thus protected they could see all round about them at the
same time, or whichever side they wanted, without inconveniencing
themselves by craning their necks.

"I thought it would have been a great blessing if we mortals here
possessed such optics. Think of the advantage while going about in a
crowded thoroughfare of a great city, to see where you are stepping,
to read the various newspaper bulletins, to watch the clock on the
spire, to recognize your friends in the surging throng and besides
all these to be able to dodge adroitly the numerous trolley cars and
automobiles at the same time!

"In place of the eyes, there were two large circles, covered by a
delicate membrane of great sensitiveness, which instead of sight was
used for speech, because they did not speak with their mouths and in
audible sounds, but with these two curious circles they carried on a
conversation in "silent eloquence," instantaneously transmitting their
thoughts to each other, a veritable telepathic medium, as it were!

"Their noses and mouths were likewise equally strange and entirely
different from ours in construction, although to all appearances they
had the same form and occupied similar places. For instance, they could
extend their nostrils at pleasure, shut air-tight or open at will, so
that at the mere suspicion of a bad odor they could instantly elongate
their proboscis to some point at which pure air and perfume abounded.

"The mouth was so constructed that they could expand and contract
it like a chameleon's, but about three or four yards, and in
such inconceivable velocity that its rapidity of action was beyond
calculation. Its usefulness was manifold, because they not only took
nutrition by it, but it was also a very formidable weapon of attack
and defense.

"They wore absolutely no clothing, consequently were annoyed by no
tailor-made suits, no bloomers, no furbelows, but nature itself had
provided with all that was desirable. Their skins were covered from
the neck to the shoulder with white swansdown, and from the shoulders
to the waist with a fine silky fur, resembling in color and texture
the best quality of seal-skins, while from the waist sprouted all
around the loveliest crop of hanging ostrich feathers. There was no
difference in male and female attire. As women nowadays are speaking
of equal rights, and are adopting masculine tendencies, I believe we
are on the right line of advancement to reach the same destination.

"Their manner of locomotion was another surprise to me as I watched
them darting deftly here and there. Upon examination of their lower
extremities, I found it to be simply locomotion by electricity. Under
their feet were several wheels of natural formation and whichever
direction they wanted to go, they set the locomotive current to any
degree of celerity. Think of it! Each person having his own automatic
rapid transit!

"As I became intensely interested in those strange beings, I felt
curious to know and study their social manners and discover whether
they experienced any emotions, sorrows or mirth. Consequently I
changed my observations to these particulars. In searching through
the gardens and flowery bowers that abounded in a certain locality,
it was not necessary for me to wait very long. My eyes rested upon
a comical spectacle, which left no doubt in my mind that it was a
case of amorous depredation. It was simply, as I judged, an act of
stealing kisses. Oh, the rascal! Here was a maiden sweet and fair,
overcome perhaps by fatigue, lying on the velvety grass of cobalt blue,
her head resting on a natural eiderdown-topped toadstool, and there,
a precocious youth, perched on a branch of a tree above, his elastic
mouth in close contact to that of the maiden, busily gathering, like
the hummingbird, the nectars of osculatory bliss, while his globular
eye kept watch round about for any unceremonious or hostile intruder!

"In vain I tried to imitate. Ah! I still feel the thrill. In fact,
I would not object to have a mouth so formed, even in this vain world
of ours. I believe there are flowers here also, ever in bloom, like
the fairy maiden above.

"In reference to the pleasures and enjoyments of these marvelous
beings, I was somewhat nonplussed to find that there were no theatres
or places of amusement. The fact was that in every respect they were
very, very practical.

"When they wanted to laugh, they simply went to certain valleys
in their locality where, on inhaling its atmosphere, they became
almost hysterical in their ecstasy of joy, giggling, ha-haing and
continuing in such hilarious laughter without stop until they were
thoroughly satisfied.

"I became curious to know the nature of this atmospheric element
which produced such merriment, and on careful analysis found the air
to be strongly impregnated with pure nitrous oxide or "laughing gas,"
an inferior quality of which was formerly used by our dentists.

"Likewise, when they felt a desire to cry, they went to another
neighborhood, where certain bushes abounded, bearing on their drooping
branches a profusion of "Job's Tears," the sight of which so affected
the visitors that they were at once transformed into veritable
Niobes--all tears. They wept, sighed and wailed until their longing
had subsided.

"Their solution of the habitation problem was, I think, that which
wise men on this earth have been trying to solve from the beginning
of creation. This Utopian planet contained no dwellings built by
mankind, consequently there were no taxes, no new land theories, no
internal revenue or protection embargoes. The planet itself produced
everything without the aid of its people and they enjoyed the fruit
of the soil equally.

"Whenever these creatures desired to rest, they retired to certain
localities, where millions of velvety couches grew like toadstools,
on which they reclined, while the vegetation around, with its narcotic
perfumes, lulled them quietly to sleep.

"The duration of their day, which was a continual twilight of
variegated designs, was according to my chronometer fifty hours long,
and they divided it into two equal parts, twenty-five hours of which
they slept in balmy dreamlands, while the other twenty-five they
indulged in all kinds of recreations and no work at all! Ah! as the
working hours of our laboring classes are decreasing day by day by
the glorious medium of Unionism, I am happy to predict that we are on
the right path of some day reaching that millennium of doing nothing,
so that we shall at last have twelve hours of sleep, and twelve hours
of recreation!

"When I saw all these wonderful things, I confess, I forgot my mission
sublime, and determined then and there to transport myself to that
celestial sphere. Consequently I approached one of them and appealed
for admission to that land of rest and perpetual bliss. Scarcely had I
spoken, when I felt the atmosphere about me become suffocating; there
was thunder and lightning and a sepulchral voice was heard to say:

"'No earthly domination here.'

"This dread injunction rendered me insensible and when consciousness
returned I found myself at the foot of the Kinchinginga's, amidst
the ruins of that wonderful telescope by nature made!"



CHAPTER XIII

SPENCER HAMILTON


Thunderous applause of appreciation greeted Abou Shimshek, at the
conclusion of his interesting recital, and bowing right and left his
acknowledgements, with beaming countenance he retired to his seat

An intermezzo of mellifluent music in the interim was followed by
the celebrated "Dusky Quartette." This aggregation consisted of the
following members: Madam Celeste D'oumbalooloo, a south African soprano
of heavenly sweetness, and a beauty of "hippopotamic gracefulness;"
Miss Guza Mulomba, the Kaffir prodigy, with a contralto voice of
tremulous colorature; Signor Bombasto Reales, of Kabaloogan, a Filipino
tenor of high pitch and clearness, and the basso, Signor Dido Abazuza,
a Maori celebrity of thunderous profundity.

Indeed, under the felicitous protection of British and American
sovereignty, these colonies had made such rapid advancement toward
civilization, that they had produced an abundance of men and women of
extraordinary talent and capacity in art and music, so as to eclipse
their confreres of Hungarian and Polish origin, in days gone by.

The portfolio of their operatic creations was a revelation. Especially
did an operetta, called "Phantasie Senegambienne" arouse the enthusiasm
of the audience to such a high pitch of spirituelle tension that at the
conclusion--regardless of the (color line)--there was a simultaneous
rush of both sexes to where the singers stood. A scene of indescribable
osculatory battle raged, the sound of the contact of those luscious
thick lips of the Dusky Quartette echoing and reverberating to the
utmost recesses of the spacious hall. It took quite a long time before
this charming labial fusillade of musical appreciation subsided.

After another soothing interlude, giving the assemblage a chance
to recover their composure, a clamorous applause brought forth the
American violinist, to make his first debut in Bombay. As he stepped
forward, Spencer Hamilton instantly made a deep impression upon the
audience. His masterful technique and wonderful skill of execution,
when he rendered a new composition of his own, called "The Niagara,"
aroused anew the enthusiasm of the throng and, under pressure of
vociferous acclamation, he was obliged to render another selection.

With the appearance of this splendid young specimen of manhood upon
the platform there was created in the bosom of Aurora a strange
psychological condition. Although surrounded with many gallant
officers and youths of noble lineage, she was perceptibly affected
by the sight of this handsome young American musician. At a glance
at the violinist there sprang in her heart afresh the memories of
her college days in America.

A sudden sense of sadness swept over her, and her infatuation for her
chum Margaret, and the recollection of their solemn vows, flashed
vividly through her perplexed brain, evoking several deep sighs
from the depths of her constant heart. Notwithstanding the cringing
advances of many officers of position and wealth, as well as scions
of nobles, she had fallen desperately in love with the stranger at
first sight. He seemed to her as an ideal, her affinity, but alas! she
remembered her vow! Aurora was in a very disturbed frame of mind when
Spencer Hamilton came forward for the encore.

Spencer Hamilton, the violin virtuoso had, in the meantime, another
mission to perform in connection with his appearance as a musical
artist. He was no other than Margaret MacDonald herself, metamorphosed
by Hyder Ben Raaba into the virile, manly fellow who had assumed the
name of Spencer Hamilton and, as a violinist, had come to lay siege
to the heart of Aurora.

With his furtive glances now and then he was reading the soul of
Aurora, now full of perplexing emotions. He could hardly control his
own emotions and began to render as an encore a tune which he expected
would create a tumult in the breast of Aurora Cunningham.

Putting forth all his energy so as to make it his best effort in
execution, he played to one alone.

At first Aurora thought that the tune had some vague resemblance to
a musical production which she had heard before, but could not tell
when and where. As it proceeded it gradually dawned upon her that,
somehow there was a connection between the thought of Margaret and
the music. She became more and more agitated and was quite certain
now that this soul-stirring melody was the creation of her dear,
beloved friend and confidant, Margaret MacDonald. Then she realized
that the words were her own.

"Oh, the oath!" she gasped, her brain in a delirium of
intoxication. Realizing fully that the melody was nothing else than
the very composition of Margaret, and that she had written the words
at the Diana Seminary on the very eventful night of the moonlight
reception, she was unable to conceive how it had become a public
property. Was Margaret after all a capricious traitor, a recalcitrant,
who had forsaken her solemn vow and desecrated their covenant?

These and other thoughts drove Aurora to the verge of collapse, and
as Spencer Hamilton concluded the piece with a finale of deep pathos
that reached the pinnacle of tragic intensity, there was commotion
around where Aurora was enthroned, for she had lost consciousness.

Thinking that the intense interest and excitement of the occasion had
caused her faintness, she was gently removed to her apartment and the
program of the evening's festivities was completed with a brilliant
reception and dance. Hamilton himself, however, was so affected that
he left the reception at once and returned to his hotel and there
tried to regain strength for the ordeal that he was planning to carry
out next day.

The following morning, at the proper time for calling in India, he
left his hostelry and directed his steps toward the Viceregal palace
on the pretense of making inquiry concerning the health of Aurora,
but ostensibly to reveal the mysterious metempsychosis of himself
and to reassert his undying love for her.

Having arrived at the gate he learned that Aurora had been restored
to her normal state of health and spirits. He consequently sent in
his card and a few minutes later was summoned to the drawing-room of
the palace where, after a second's waiting, Aurora Cunningham appeared
on the threshold, somewhat flushed and agitated.

Hamilton, on seeing Aurora, came forward and, extending his hand,
inquired most anxiously for her health, and intimated that it would
give him extreme pleasure to explain certain circumstances which
would lead to the gratification of her own unspoken desires.

"I know," he said, "that the encore at last night's musicale affected
you very powerfully. I could intuitively read from your perturbed
countenance that you had become aware of the authorship of the
same. Aurora, Aurora, I am Margaret MacDonald! I am your confidant at
the Diana Seminary, whom you loved, and am now metamorphosed into a man
by the miraculous powers of the vivisectionist and re-incarnator--Hyder
Ben Raaba. I have come to claim you as my own. Aurora, I love you!"

Aurora, bewildered at this remarkable and dramatic declaration and
revelation, too spellbound to speak even a word, uttered a piercing
shriek and fell into the open arms of Spencer Hamilton. At the sound
of this cry of distress, which echoed throughout the palace, footsteps
were heard approaching from every direction. Soldiers, foot-guards,
servants, and the Viceroy Cunningham himself with his guests, rushed
into the drawing-room and beheld this highly surprising tableau of
romantic love.

Explanations of very delicate and discreet nature were promptly
given to the Viceroy by the two lovers, and consent to their union
was presently forthcoming.



POSTSCRIPT


After a triumphal bridal tour through England and America, Aurora
and Spencer Hamilton settled in the Central African Commonwealth,
and by the strenuous qualities inherent in both they had become
popular and prominent in civic affairs. Fifteen years later, in 1976,
through sheer merit of a public life of usefulness and rectitude,
Hamilton was gazetted as Viceroy to the African Commonwealth.

The year 1976 was indeed an epoch-making period. It was the two
hundredth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, and at the
same time the semi-centennial of the happy Anglo-American Alliance. The
double jubilee of these two nations, comprising nearly one-half of
the world's population, was celebrated wherever the English tongue
was spoken, with commensurate grandeur, enthusiasm and eclat, such
as absolutely to eclipse all the Durbars, Volksfests and celebrations
in the history of the world.

And none the less, the composite but flourishing African Commonwealth,
under the wise regime of Spencer Hamilton, was ablaze with prosperous
pride in unison with England and America, for this grand and felicitous
dual occasion.



                               [THE END]



NOTE


[1] The slang in vogue half a century ago may be found now in standard
dictionaries. Its use was considered in good form by the elite of
that day.





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