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

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Intermere" ***

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Transcriber's Note:

  Italic text is denoted by _underscores_.
  Punctuation and possible typographical errors have been changed.
  Archaic and variable spelling have been preserved.
  The Table of Contents has been added by the transcriber.



CONTENTS

                                                                   Page

  CHAPTER I
  The tourist lost in mid-ocean is mysteriously introduced
  into Intermere, and meets the first citizen and other chief
  officials.                                                         10

  CHAPTER II
  Xamas, the first citizen, explains the polity and principles
  governing the Commonwealth and promoting the interests of all
  the people of Intermere.                                           30

  CHAPTER III
  Maros places Anderton in communication with his mother, and
  dissipates his superstitious ideas and otherwise enlightens him
  as to the possibilities of science.                                54

  CHAPTER IV
  A trip by air and land and water through the provinces, cities,
  hamlets and gardens, with matchless beauty and enjoyment on
  every hand.                                                        73

  CHAPTER V
  The philosophy of life, and the faculty of its enjoyment as
  personified in the persons and vocations of the entertainers.      95

  CHAPTER VI
  The secret of Intermere partially revealed to Anderton, and
  when he least expects it he is restored to his home and kindred,
  much to his regret.                                               119

  CHAPTER VII
  Le envoi.                                                         148



[Illustration]



  INTERMERE.

  _BY
  WILLIAM
  ALEXANDER
  TAYLOR,_

  COLUMBUS, OHIO.

  1901 - - - 1902

  THE XX. CENTURY PUB. CO.



  COPYRIGHT BY
  WM. A. TAYLOR,
  1901.



 THIS IS THE STRANGE AND REMARKABLE STORY, IN SUBSTANCE, AND LARGELY IN
 DETAIL, AS NARRATED BY GILES HENRY ANDERTON, JOURNALIST AND AMERICAN
 TOURIST.



I.

 THE TOURIST LOST IN MID-OCEAN IS MYSTERIOUSLY INTRODUCED INTO
 INTERMERE, AND MEETS THE FIRST CITIZEN AND OTHER CHIEF OFFICIALS.



I.

THE MISTLETOE.


The Mistletoe, staunch, trim and buoyant, steamed across the equator
under the glare of a midday sun from a fleckless sky, and began to
ascend toward the antarctic circle.

Three days later we came in sight of a great bank of fog or mist, which
stood like a gray wall of stone across the entire horizon, plunged into
it and the sun disappeared--disappeared forever to all except one of
the gay and careless crew and passengers.

For days, as was shown by the ship's chronometers, we steamed slowly on
our course, surrounded by an inky midnight, instinct with an oppressive
and fearsome calm. As we approached the fortieth parallel of south
latitude a remarkable change set in. The deathly calm was suddenly
broken by the rush of mighty and boisterous winds, sweeping now from
one point of the compass, and then suddenly veering to another,
churning up the waters and spinning the Mistletoe round and round like
a top.

In the midst of the terror and confusion, heightened by the unheeded
commands of the officers, a glittering sheeny bolt, like a coruscating
column of steel, dropped straight from the zenith, striking the
gyrating Mistletoe amidships.

There was a deafening report, the air was filled with serpentine lines
of flame, followed simultaneously by the dull explosion of the boilers,
the hissing of escaping steam, the groaning of cordage and machinery,
the lurching of the vessel as the water poured in apparently from a
score of openings, a shuddering vibration of all its parts, and then,
amid cries and prayers and imprecations, the wrecked vessel shot like
a plummet to the bottom.

I felt myself being dragged down to the immeasurable watery depths,
confused with roaring sounds and oppressed with terrors indescribable
and horrible. The descent seemed miles and miles. Then I felt myself
slowly rising toward the surface, followed by legions of submarine
monsters of grotesque shapes and terrifying aspects.

With accelerated motion I approached the surface and, shooting like a
cork above the now calm sea, fortunately fell upon a piece of floating
wreckage. Looking upward as I lay upon it, I saw the blue sky and
the brilliant stars far overhead. The fierce winds and inky darkness
and blackness of the night were disappearing beyond the northeastern
horizon.

I tried to concentrate my scattered thoughts and piece out the awful
catastrophe that had befallen the ship and my companions, but the
effort was too great a strain and I ceased to think--perhaps I ceased
to exist.

       *       *       *       *       *

I seemed to be passing through a vague twilight of sentient existence.
Thought was rudimentary with me, if, indeed, there were any thoughts.
They were mere sensations, perhaps, or impressions imperfectly shaped,
but I remember them now as being so delightful, that I prayed, in
a feeble way, that I might never be awakened from them. And then
gradually the senses of sight, hearing, and full physical and mental
existence returned to me.

At length I was able to determine that I lay on something like a
hammock on the deck of a smoothly gliding vessel. Turning my head first
to the right and then to the left, I imagined that I was indeed in
Paradise, only the reality before me was so infinitely more beautiful
than the most vivid poetic descriptions I had ever read of the longed
for heaven of endless peace and happiness. But this could not be the
Paradise of the disembodied souls, for I realized I was there in all my
physical personal being.

I was sailing through a smooth, shimmering sea, thickly studded with
matchlessly beautiful islands. They lay in charming profusion and
picturesque irregularity of contour on the right and the left, each a
distinct type of beauty and perfection. I could make out houses and
gardens and farms and people on each of them.

Looking to the right I saw what appeared to be a mainland with majestic
and softly modulated mountains and broad valleys, running from the
distance down to the sands of the seashore. Above the mountains shone
the unobscured sun, but not the burning orb I had known of old in the
lower latitudes. It kissed me with a tenderness that was entrancing,
filling my weakened frame with new life.

The breezes toyed with my tangled and unkempt locks, fanned my brow
and whispered such things to me as did the zephyrs when I stood upon
the threshold of guileless boyhood.

Finally I was able to frame a consecutive thought, in the interrogative
form, and it was this:

"Where am I? Is this the Heaven my mother taught me to seek?"

I had as yet seen no one aboard the ship, or whatever it was, although
I had heard the hum of what seemed to be conversation from some point
beyond the line of vision. Again I silently repeated my mental question.

As if in response to my unuttered query, a being, or a man, of striking
and pleasing appearance came to my side and laying his hand softly
on my forehead, addressed me in a tongue at once familiar but wholly
unknown, as paradoxical as that may sound.

I remained silent and he again addressed me.

I did not feel disconcerted or awed by his appearance and said: "I
speak French and German imperfectly; English with some fluency."

His rejoinder was in English: "You speak English, but are not an
Englishman except by partial descent. You are an American. Not a native
of the eastern portion of the continent, but from west of the range of
mountains which separate the Atlantic seaboard from the great central
valley of the continent. You are from the tributary Ohio valley, and
are, therefore, better fitted to comprehend what you will be permitted
to see and hear, than the average habitant of the eastern seashore,
especially of its great cities."

You can possibly imagine, in a faint way, my unbounded surprise to be
thus addressed by one who was more than a stranger to me.

"You asked yourself two questions. I will answer the first: You are in
Intermere."

"And where is Intermere?"

"It lies at your feet and expands on every hand about you. Let that
suffice.

"No, this is not the Heaven to which your mother taught you to aspire.
It is a part of your own planet, inhabited by beings sprung from the
same parent stock as yourself, but differing from all other nations
and peoples; a people who are many steps nearer to the higher and
better life, and is, by comparison, the Paradise or Eden that masks the
gateway of the true Heaven, in a sphere beyond in the great Universe."

He motioned to some one, and two persons appeared with refreshments.

"Partake," he said, "and renew your exhausted physical and mental
powers."

The proffered refreshments and cordials seemed to be the acme of the
gustatorial dreams of my former life: the suggestion of other things,
yet unlike them. After I had partaken, a new life thrilled every nerve
and fibre of my physical being and pulsated through every mental
faculty.

I arose from my recumbent position and was conducted forward upon the
softly carpeted deck and presented to a score of others who received me
with every token of marked respect, unkempt and bedraggled as I was.
They were men of unusual physique, a composite of the highest types of
the human race I had ever seen or read of. Each possessed a distinctive
mien and personality, as individuals, yet presenting a harmonious
whole, taken collectively.

Xamas, as I afterward learned to know him, when I saw him presiding as
First Citizen over this wonderful people, said to his fellows:

"This is Giles Henry Anderton, a citizen of the interior of the great
Republic of North America. I have fathomed him and know that he is
worthy our respect and considerate treatment. He has dreamed longingly
of the things whereof we know, and which he has never even recognized
as a possibility. It will be our mission to show him the grand
possibilities of human life before we restore him to his kindred and
friends.

"Not understanding that Nature had lain all treasures worth possessing
in lavish profusion at his feet in his own land, and guided by merely
commercial instincts, he sought for paltry gold in distant lands and
seas, and, escaping the vortex of death, has been placed in our hands
for some great purpose. He will be addressed in the English tongue
until it is determined whether he is to be admitted to ours."

This was spoken in a language absolutely unknown to me, and not a word
of which I was capable of framing, and yet I understood it as fully as
though spoken in English. So great was my amazement that he should know
my nativity, my name, my hopes, my ambitions and my purposes, I could
scarcely reply to the salutations extended to me.

"Do not be surprised," said Xamas, reading my inmost thoughts, "at what
I say, nor need you ask how I became possessed of your history. All
that will be made plain to you hereafter."

Turning to one who stood near, he said: "Conduct Mr. Anderton to my
apartments and see that he has proper 'tendance and is supplied with
suitable clothing."

With that I was conducted below to a charming suite of apartments lying
amidships, bathed, was massaged and shaven by an attendant, as lofty
of mien as Xamas himself, and furnished with clothing suitable to the
company with which I was to mingle, not more unlike the workmanship
of my American tailor than his would be unlike the handiwork of his
French, English or German fellow-craftsmen, and yet so unlike all of
them as to fit perfectly into the ensemble of the habiliments of my new
friends.

The ship, or Merocar, as I subsequently learned was its general
designation, was a marvellous affair, unlike any water craft I had
ever seen. Its length was fully one hundred and fifty feet, and its
greatest breadth thirty, gently sloping both to stem and stern, where
it rounded in perfect curves. The upper, or proper deck, extended over
all. The lower deck was a succession of suites and apartments, richly
but artistically furnished, opening from either side into a wide and
roomy aisle. All the work was so light, both the woods, and the metals,
that it seemed fragile and unsafe, but its great strength was shown by
the fact that none of its parts yielded to the weight or pressure upon
it.

There was not a mast, a spar nor a sail on board. The light and richly
wrought hammocks swung on lithe and polished frames, apparently
intended to sustain the weight of fifty pounds, yet capable of
sustaining five or ten times as much. They were unprotected by
awnings. Sunlight rather than shade was apparently the desideratum.

In some unaccountable way the long and lithe Merocar was propelled
at any desired rate of speed, and was turned, as on a pivot, at the
will of the man who acted as captain, pilot and engineer. There was
no steam, no furnace belching black volumes of smoke, no whore of
machinery, no strain or creaking as the craft shot, sometimes swiftly,
sometimes slowly, through the rippling water. Even motion was not
perceptible to the physical senses.

The captain-pilot-engineer did not tug at a wheel in his railed-in
apartment, elevated a few feet above the center of the upper deck. He
placed his hand upon the table before him and it shot forward with
incredible speed; he touched another point and it stood still, without
jar or vibration. A movement of the hand, and the prow of the Merocar
swept gracefully from north to east in less than its length, to pass
between two beautiful islets or round some sharp promontory. Hundreds
of other Merocars, differing in size and form, were visible.

How they were propelled was so incomprehensible to me that I attributed
it to supernatural agencies. I learned that it was a simpler process
than the utilization of oars, or sails, or steam, which the progenitors
of these mariners had abandoned before the days of Tyre and Sidon and
Memphis and Thebes.

Rejoining the company, I endeavored to carry on a conversation with
them, but I fear I made little headway, so deeply was I absorbed in the
wonderful panorama that lay before me.

Raising my eyes from the shimmering, island-studded and beauty-bestrewn
sea to the blue above, I uttered an ejaculation of surprise at what I
beheld. There I saw "the airy navies" of which Tennyson had written
under the spell of an inspiration which must have been wafted from
this unknown land, but marred by the hostile environments of his own.

Every quarter of the heavens disclosed graceful barques sailing hither
and thither, passing and repassing each other, gathering in groups,
filled with people, many of them holding mute communications with
my companions, as though friend were talking with friend, without
utterance, sign or gesture.

"I am beyond the confines of earth," I said to Xamas. "This is a higher
and spiritual sphere, and I am not Giles Henry Anderton, but his
disembodied spirit."

"You are at fault. You are within the mundane sphere, but with a
people infinitely in advance of yours--a people who, by evolutionary
processes, have unlocked a large proportion of the secrets of Nature
and the Universe, and turned them to ennobling ends, not to selfish
purposes. These facts will come to you in time, and you will be
convinced.

"See," he continued, "the city is slowly coming into view across the
horizon."

My glance followed to the point indicated, and I saw a city of
ineffable magnificence, softly rising from the bosom of the deep, as
though obedient to the wand of a master magician.

Soon I could see that it swept around the broad semicircle of the bay,
many miles in extent and artistically perfect in contour, the land
rising gently from the strand into a grand and massive elevation, cut
into great squares and circles, and crowned with noble buildings, great
and small, in a style of architecture which embraced all the beauties
and none of the blemishes of European and American creations. It was
the full and perfect flower of the crude buds of other lands.

For a time my companions remained silent as I contemplated the
entrancing scene and drank in its beauties. Then Xamas interrupted me:

"Yesterday the allied armies of the Western Nations entered the capital
of China, and are now bivouacked in the Forbidden City, from which the
Empress, Emperor and Court have fled."

I shook my head incredulously:

"When I sailed from New York six months ago there was no thought of
war between any of the Western Nations and the Chinese Empire. Russia
may have invaded one of its provinces by way of reprisal. That is a
possibility."

"Great events focus and transpire within six months. What I tell you is
true. The hostile standards of England, Russia, Germany, France, Japan,
and your own Republic, which has departed from its wise traditions,
flout the Yellow Dragon in the precincts of his own citadel and temple.
Is not this true, Maros?" turning to one who looked the prophet and
seer.

"Aye, indeed, and the best loved of this man's kindred fell in the
assault. He will know if I am permitted to name him."

"Shall he be permitted?"

"Freely."

"Albert Marshall, a sergeant of Marines, your playmate and foster
brother, the next beloved of your mother, the son of her deceased
sister; your mother reared him as her own son, and she knows, as
yet, nothing of the disaster which has befallen you nor the loss of
her foster son. He was of your own age, and like you tall, athletic
and vigorous, with fair hair and complexion and blue eyes, the very
counterpart of yourself--a man fit for a higher destiny than butchery."

"O Albert! O unhappy, stricken mother!" I cried in agony.

"Revered sir, I believe your words. They are absolutely convincing.
Tell me how you came into possession of this strange information."

"In time; but be patient. Lament not for the dead; sorrow not for the
living. We must presently debark. Come to my garden tomorrow. It lies
within the shadow of the Temple of Thought, Memory and Hope. My home
is unpretentious, but you will be welcome. There is need that you
should come. Tomorrow your mother will be apprised of the death of your
kinsman; almost simultaneously will come rumors of your shipwreck. She
must be assured of your safety within twenty-four hours, if you hope to
meet her again."

"But how can I com----"

"Peace, patience; sufficient unto tomorrow is the labor and issue
thereof."

The Merocar gently ran into its slip, and we debarked, Xamas carrying
me to his home in a vehicle of strange design and mysterious power of
propulsion.



II.

 XAMAS, THE FIRST CITIZEN, EXPLAINS THE POLITY AND PRINCIPLES GOVERNING
 THE COMMONWEALTH AND PROMOTING THE INTERESTS OF ALL THE PEOPLE OF
 INTERMERE.



II.

THE FIRST CITIZEN.


I shall so far anticipate as to say that the city in which I found
myself was known as the Greater City, in contradistinction of the
Lesser City, lying at the opposite end of the inland sea or mere.

This body of water extends in an oval shape or form north and south,
its length being approximately four hundred miles, and its greatest
width at the latitudinal center two hundred miles, gradually narrowing
toward the opposite extremes, where it gently expands into rounded
bays, forming the extended water fronts of both cities.

The Greater City was clearly the original seat of the present
civilization, from which it extended southward along both shores until
it met at the southern apex and became the Lesser City. I was able,
however, to distinguish but little, if any, difference between the two.

The twelve hundred miles of shore line is studded with farms, gardens,
towns, villages, hamlets, private residences and public edifices,
extending over highland and plain, as far as I was permitted to see,
toward the outer boundaries, the location and character of which I can
not even conjecture.

Many rivers, limpid and sparkling, coming through level and spreading
valleys, and from almost every point, contribute their waters to the
mere.

The current of the mere is phenomenal--not violent, but distinctively
marked. Twice within every twenty-four hours it sweeps entirely
around the oval, affecting one-half of the mere as it moves. With the
early hours of the morning and evening it sweeps from north to south
throughout the eastern, and with noon and midnight through the western
half of the sea.

This current may be described as anti- or trans-tidal; that is, the
general water level falls or is lowered on the side where the current
runs, and rises correspondingly in the opposite half.

The effect is this: From 6 a. m. to 12 noon and from 6 p. m. to
midnight, throughout the eastern half, the tide runs in from those
rivers falling in from the east, and correspondingly rises and moves
inland in those falling in from the west, and then the current flows
north on the western side from 12 noon to 6 p. m. and from midnight to
6 a. m., so that for half the time the rivers on either side ebb or
flow into the sea, and for the other twelve hours rise and flow to the
interior, east or west as the case may be.

The effect of this is singular indeed, or it was to me. The rivers
appear to run inland from the sea a part of the time, and then run from
the landward into the sea for twelve hours, or an equal period, while
the sea itself appears to be a subdivided river forever flowing in an
elongated circle along the opposite shores.

The description of the Egyptian high priest, carefully guarded by his
successors for nine thousand years, then revealed to Solon, and by
Solon narrated to Plato, and by Plato transmitted to the modern world,
must have had its basis here. Is not this the Atlantis which enthralled
the Egyptian sage, philosopher and priest more than ten cycles ago?

To the Egyptian the ever-flowing rivers returned to their common source
through valleys and landscapes of ravishing beauty, renewing themselves
forever. They laved the feet of cities, irrigated the endless
succession of farms, gardens and residential demesnes, and mirrored the
mountains, clothed with perpetual verdure and crowned with the stately
monuments of genius, wisdom, art, civilization, learning and human
progress, a century of centuries agone.

       *       *       *       *       *

I have spoken of the singular vehicle in which, with Xamas, I left
the pier and ascended the gentle slope into the city. It might be
likened, faintly however, to the best types of our automobiles. But the
comparison would be much like that between the ox-cart and the landau.

It more resembled a double-seated chair set upon several small elastic
wheels, scarcely visible beneath the rich trappings which dropped
almost to the smooth street, as scrupulously clean as a ballroom floor.

Xamas pushed a tiny lever, almost hidden in the rich upholstery of the
arm-rest, and it moved swiftly and noiselessly forward without jar or
oscillation. A delicate and a deftly concealed spring guided it along
the graceful curves of the streets, or sent it at a right angle when
the streets crossed at tangents.

An adjustment lowered the speed to a strolling pace; another movement
gave a high speed, while the reversal of the lever brought us to a
standstill that I might silently admire some stately architectural pile
or revel in the contemplation of some lovely private home.

As we journeyed Xamas said: "Ask with all frankness such questions as
you desire. Wisdom is the child of patience, so be neither impatient,
if the answer is not immediate, or if it is at first incomprehensible.
It will be some time before your understanding can grasp all that you
see or all that you hear.

"Your people undertake the impossible feat of putting a gallon of grain
into a pint vase. Result: The vase is crushed and broken and the grain
is spilled and lost. The human mind is the vase; Knowledge is the
grain, from which Wisdom will germinate. The vase expands by a process
too subtle for your comprehension. To crowd it beyond its capacity
with the idea of expanding its receptiveness is a dangerous and fatal
folly. That is why mental dwarfs multiply and mental giants diminish in
proportion to the increase of your people. Two things are uppermost in
your mind:

"First, you believe you are in a supernatural sphere and surrounded by
a supernatural people. In this you are absolutely at fault. Accept this
assurance without reservation. You will tarry with us long enough to
fully comprehend that fact. You will see nothing during your stay that
can not be accounted for on natural and scientific grounds.

"Second, you are consumed with curiosity to know how I propel this
Medocar and make it obey my every wish, so to speak. The full
explanation of that I shall delegate to another, who will acquaint you
with our mechanisms and the principle that moves them.

"When you have patiently and intelligently listened to him you will
know that we have achieved what your wisest and deepest and least
appreciated thinkers have but vaguely dreamed of and hoped for during
long and intermittent periods. But here we are at my residence. Let us
enter and I will introduce you to my family and friends."

The Medocar halted with the last word in front of a two-storied,
many-gabled house with broad verandas, situated in the center of
spacious grounds, beautified with trees and shrubs and flowers and
bubbling fountains.

Ushering me into a spacious reception hall, he presented me to his wife
and children--grown-up sons and daughters--and then to a number of
men and women who had called to greet him, some on social affairs and
some on matters of public business, concluding with: "Mr. Anderton is
a castaway from the other side of the world, who is entitled to our
sympathy and care."

If my newly made acquaintances were curious as to my being, personality
and history, they had masterful control of their feelings. In all
things they treated me with the most refined courtesy and gentle
consideration. They did not embarrass me with expressions of pity or
consolatory suggestions.

They addressed me in my own language, made me feel that I was welcome
to their society. Each extended an invitation to me to visit them at
their homes, some of them in distant provinces, and these invitations
were gratefully accepted. There could be no mistaking the deep
sincerity they implied.

After an hour's pleasant conversation on many and varied subjects with
my host and his guests, Xamas led me to a suite of apartments intended
for my use, and said:

"Attendants will provide you with refreshments and ascertain your
every want. Rest and fully recuperate. Later in the day I shall explain
to you the polity of our Commonwealth, in which I perceive you are
deeply interested."

What a remarkable man! He seemed to read my inmost thoughts.

       *       *       *       *       *

As the sun was hanging like a softly beaming lamp above a cone-like
mountain beyond the western line of the Greater City, Xamas and I were
alone upon an open veranda, overgrown with clambering vines of many
kinds in full bloom, radiant with exquisite colors and shades. He
abruptly said to me:

"This Commonwealth is a pure democracy. Titles and offices confer no
merely meretricious distinctions. They temporarily impose additional
responsibilities, duties and burdens; the chief distinction of the
citizen is conferred by labor, for labor is honorable and praiseworthy
above all things else. The second is justice. When and where all men
labor and all men are just, there can be no wrong, no sin, no evil.
Where there is labor and not justice, the strong enjoy, the weak suffer
and endure, opulence flourishes for the few, pain and poverty afflict
the many. Where there is neither labor nor justice, where might makes
right, barbarism in its worst form curses the land.

"The ascent from the third condition to the first is a highway leading
through the second, where labor is oppressed and justice is a stranger,
until at last justice and labor join hands and produce a happy and a
great people. I touch only on the three cardinal points. The process of
ascent is slow and purely evolutionary--an evolution that constantly
conforms itself to ever-changing environments.

"Your own so-called Declaration of Independence, which so many of your
people do not care to comprehend, was drawn from the keystone of our
own national arch--Human Equality, the climax of human civilization
and happiness.

"Thousands of years before the feet of the more modern Europeans trode
the soil of your continent we had reached this point, and discovered
that we had but reached the initial period of our usefulness and higher
destiny.

"It required centuries to expel first the animal instincts, and then
the barbarian nature from our race, not by savage repression and
ruthless aggression and slaughter, but by the study and application of
the laws of Nature and the Universe, which at last ultimated in the
principle and entity of Brotherhood and the equality of all men--not
equality of stature, mental equipment or material endowment, but the
equality of common rights and common opportunities. Labor and Justice
maintain and preserve this equality and Brotherhood.

"Thousands of years before Magna Charta we had founded our
Commonwealth on the great principles of human equality and the right of
life, liberty and the pursuit of rational happiness, and my ancestors,
comprehending the profound laws of Nature unknown to yours, wafted
to them these precious seed, trusting that they would fall on genial
and generous soil, and the inspiration thus transmitted through the
agency of our progenitors was inscribed by yours upon rescript of your
national autonomy.

"Its growth, once so promising, has become painful and pitiable. The
upas of human greed and selfishness withers it, and the prophecy
of bloom and fruitage is unfulfilled. The animal instinct and the
barbarous appetite which reaches after the gaud and tinsel of excessive
wealth and accumulation, the two aggressive forms of selfishness
combined in one, hold civilization and human progress in check, and may
in your case, as in a thousand others, lead back to the fen and morass
of primal barbarism.

"No, this is not the Paradise of Socialism, as you call it," said he,
interpreting the thread of my thought. "That is but an idle dream, the
recrudescence of primal, undeveloped and undesirable conditions, which
occasionally flashes through irresolute minds, unfitted to solve the
great problem of human existence and happiness.

"This is the land of absolute individuality as well as absolute
equality. Every man who reaches maturity becomes the individual owner
of property in one or more of its forms, the foundation being the soil
for residence or productive purposes, or both, at his option. All lands
are subject to individual ownership, within clearly defined limits, the
public domain being held in reserve to meet new demands of increasing
population. It is the common property of all until it passes into
individual ownership, to be used for agricultural or other purposes,
under fixed rules, a specific proportion of the product, or its
equivalent, being turned into the common treasury, to prosecute public
improvements and for other public purposes.

"This stands in lieu of taxation in other countries, and it is only
on rare occasions that it is necessary to supplement it with a direct
tax on the people, except as to the municipal and provincial taxes for
local purposes, in which case each man of mature age, or twenty-five
years, pays the one hundredth part of his earnings monthly into the
treasury, the sum thus paid being evenly divided between the treasuries
of the province and municipal division. When a surplus equal to the
previous year's expenditures accumulates this tax is remitted for the
ensuing year.

"A man may own a home and a separate farm or garden, or business or
manufacturing site; nor may he engage in more than one business or
employment, except the public service, at the same time. He may change
from one line of business to another, but may not buy or sell real
estate for mere speculation. He may not acquire property other than his
earnings until he reaches maturity, and designs to marry and become the
head of a family. If his intent fail, or remains unfulfilled for three
years, the home thus acquired becomes public property, and may be sold
to another who assumes the marital relation, and the proceeds divided
equally between the municipal treasury or bank and the former owner.

"Residences may be exchanged, as may farms, gardens, business sites
and factories, including the line of business or manufacturing, but
neither may be alienated by the owner, except with the approval of
the Custodian of the Municipality upon a satisfactory showing of the
reasons therefor.

"All persons of both sexes must take up an occupation at the age of
twenty, and continue therein, or in some other occupation, until sixty
years of age, unless incapacitated, and deposit in the municipal bank
or treasury at least one-twentieth of their monthly earnings. At sixty
they may retire from active life, and their accumulations are subject
to their wants and demands under salutary rules. The residue, along
with their other personal property, is distributed pro rata among their
direct descendants, and if there be none, in is turned into the general
treasury of the Commonwealth.

"Women are entitled to their earnings, but may not own real estate,
the policy being that men shall be the home-makers and women the
home-keepers. The wife is entitled to the prevailing wage from her
husband for attending to his household affairs, in addition to the
other provisions for household matters and economies which he must
make.

"Under our system there is neither opulence nor poverty in the
land. Great wealth has no existence with us, and therefore has no
allurements. Charity is not a gaunt pack-horse, overloaded with
offerings which come after the eleventh hour. The equality of
opportunity closes every inlet to the wolves of Hunger and Poverty
which ravage other lands amid the riotous revelry of the unjustly
opulent. We have had, at intervals, persons who rebelled, through
recurrent heredity perhaps, against our admirable system, and to them
we administer lex dernier--they are transported to some other land, by
methods known only to ourselves, there to mingle with a new people,
with but a faint conception of their nativity. They constitute those
mysterious beings found in all other countries, whose origin is forever
hidden, and as a rule they are excellent and strangely wise citizens,
for they are permitted to carry with them much of the knowledge, with
some of the wisdom, of their ancestry."

I shall abbreviate much that Xamas gave in great detail. From him
I learned that every male is entitled to participate in all public
affairs, including the right of franchise. All are eligible to office.
The Commonwealth is composed of twenty-four provinces, each province
being composed of twelve municipal divisions.

The elective officers are, in their order: 1. First Citizen of the
Commonwealth. 2. Chief Citizen of the Province. 3. Custodian of the
Municipality.

The First Citizen is the executive head of the Commonwealth, serves
but a single year, and is not eligible to re-election. The Chief
Citizens, or executives of the provinces, constitute his Board of
Counselors to determine all matters affecting the public welfare and to
select the various Curators of the divisional interests of the entire
Commonwealth. They meet to perform these duties twice each year,
alternating between the Greater and Lesser Cities.

The Chief Citizens are the executive heads of the Provinces, the
Custodians of the Municipalities constituting their respective Boards
of Counsellors. They, too, meet twice each year to consider and
determine matters of provincial interest, and to decide all questions
of difference which may come up from the Municipalities. Their tenure
of office is two years, and they are not eligible to re-election.

The Custodians are the sole heads of the Municipalities, and decide all
questions arising therein, and appeal lies from their decisions to the
Provincial Board of Counsellors, who determine the question finally.
They hold the office three years, and may not be re-elected. The above
officials appoint all the necessary clerical and other assistants
necessary to carry out the duties imposed on them.

None of the elective officers receive salaries, but are allowed out of
their respective treasuries 20 media per day for all necessary expenses.

The media is equivalent to 20 cents American currency, and is the
unit of exchange. It is divided into four equal parts, the coin being
designated quatro, while a third coin, equivalent to 5 media, is
denominated cinque, so that the three coins are quatro, silver; media,
gold; and cinque, gold and platinum in equal parts, of nearly equal
size and weight, representing five, twenty, and one hundred cents of
our currency, and nearly the size of an American quarter-dollar.

Twenty media is the wage of the master artisan, and 15 media the wage
of all other males. Females receive a wage of from 8 to 15 media. The
master artisan's wage is the compensation of all official assistants
in whatever capacity, as well as the expense allowance of the actual
officials.

In addition to the above officials of the Commonwealth there are:
Curator of Revenues; Curator of Works and Polity; Curator of Learning
and Progress; Curator of Scientific Research and Application, and
Curator of Useful Mechanical Devices. Their duties are suggested by
their titles. They receive the expense allowance, no salaries, are
chosen for terms of seven years, ineligible to a second term, by the
First Citizen and his Counsellors, and appoint their own subordinates
and assistants.

There is a Curator of Revenue appointed by the Chief Citizen of each
Province to care for the provincial, and by the Municipal Custodian to
care for the Municipal revenues.

The marriageable age of men is from 25 to 30, and women from 20 to
25. The offspring of the marriage relation varies from two to six,
seldom less than two, or more than six, the average being four, hence
population increases slowly, while the great majority live from 80 to
100 years, retaining both physical and mental faculties to the last.

"There is no mercenary incentive to hold office," said Xamas, "and it
is absolutely open to all, and men leave it, not with regret, but with
the consciousness of having performed a necessary duty and service.
Three months hence I will leave the chief office of the State, and
resume my occupation as mechanical engineer under one with whom I have
been for a score or more of years. He is now my Secretary, but that is
nothing unusual. It is a leading part of our history.

"But it is time for rest. You have an important engagement with Maros,
our Curator of Scientific Research and Application, tomorrow morning,
and he exacts promptitude."



III.

 MAROS PLACES ANDERTON IN COMMUNICATION WITH HIS MOTHER, AND DISSIPATES
 HIS SUPERSTITIOUS IDEAS AND OTHERWISE ENLIGHTENS HIM AS TO THE
 POSSIBILITIES OF SCIENCE.



III.

A DAY WITH MAROS.


I called on Maros, the Curator of Scientific Research and Application,
as per appointment, and found him surrounded with everything calculated
to contribute to the enjoyments of earthly existence. His residence
differed in many respects from that of Xamas. All its appointments
and environments were in the most exquisite taste. But this may be
said, once for all, of every private residence and public edifice in
Intermere. The taste of architects and occupants differed, but all were
on lines of beauty, comfort and convenience.

There is no luxury in Intermere, as we use the term. Luxury is a
merely comparative term in the rest of the world, distinguishing
those who have much from those who have little or nothing. Here every
rational taste is gratified in all particulars. The people have clearly
discovered the hidden springs of Nature's kindly intentions toward man,
and utilize them at individual and collective will.

"You are prompt," said Maros, seating me in his study. "Let us proceed
with the matter in which you are interested."

He placed before me a perfectly drawn map of a section of the United
States, embracing the place of my nativity, and asked me to point out
the exact vicinity of my mother's home. I found it readily.

"The point you now occupy is the lineal opposite. Turn to the point, or
direction, you have designated, and direct your concentrated thought
there. If a responsive impression comes to you, communicate its purport
to me."

I sat in silent thought a few moments, Maros closely regarding me.

"I am impressed that my mother is prostrated with grief; that she has
just learned of the death of my kinsman; that rumors of the loss of
the Mistletoe have reached her, being first cabled from Singapore to
New York, and from thence transmitted to the press, and that she is
impressed with the belief that I, too, am dead. I fear that she will
not survive the double shock."

"Frame such a thought as you would wish impressed upon your mother's
consciousness and faith, and tell me what follows."

This is the thought I framed: "Mother, I am alive and well in an
unknown land, surrounded by kind friends, and will ere long return to
you."

Later to Maros: "I am convinced. My mother has partially recovered from
the shock. My death would have been the fatal blow. She smiles with
pious resignation, through the tempest of her grief, and extends her
arms as if to embrace me. This, however, is wholly an impression; I
do not see or hear her, but we seem to stand face to face, and both
realize it."

"Give yourself no further concern, nor seek further communication with
her until you meet her in person. She knows you are alive and will
return to her. Nothing she will hear will change that belief."

"Tell me by what divine or celestial power I am thus enabled to project
my thoughts across unknown seas and continents, and receive responsive
thoughts. Only supernatural agencies could accomplish this."

"You have what you call the telephone?"

"Yes."

"You communicate alike with friends and strangers hundreds of miles
distant in an ordinary tone of voice?"

"Yes."

"Is that supernatural?"

"No; it is the result of scientific achievement and natural phenomena."

"Would one, coming out of the depths of absolute ignorance of
scientific achievement, as you call it, regard it as a supernatural
agency?"

"He undoubtedly would."

"What would you think of his conclusion?"

"That it was the result of superstition."

"And yet you who have just stepped out of the dawn into the full day;
you who have transmitted uttered thoughts to remote distances through
a coarse steel or copper wire and received other uttered thoughts in
return, regard with superstitious awe, as supernatural, what you have
just experienced. Wherein do you differ from the untutored barbarian?"

I sat in silence.

"The telephone wire is to the thread of sentient thought which may span
the universe itself, what the horseback mail-rider is to your modern
methods of communication--what the earliest dawn is to the full day."

Maros explained at full length how he became possessed of the knowledge
of my identity, family connections and my misfortunes, summing up:

"When you were found in the remote and outer ocean and brought within
the precincts of Intermere, you were physically unconscious, but still
possessing partially dormant mental faculties; that is, you continued
to think feebly and intermittently. We traced your two intermittent
lines of thought to your mother in America, and to, or rather toward,
your kinsman at some unknown point. Tracing again to your parent we
learned that Marshall had accompanied the American expedition to
China from Manila. Following this clew, we ascertained that he had
been killed, and that that fact would reach his home in due course,
as well as the fact that information of the loss of your ship would
reach America almost simultaneously. What your mother now regards
as premonitions of impending evil or misfortunes were communications
with her consciousness, far more refined and perfect than the
subsequent cable communications, but quite as natural, and in no sense
supernatural."

"This is indeed amazing!" I exclaimed.

He further said that this was an individual case and purely the
result of my condition. "We do not seek, as a rule, knowledge of
individualities in the outside world, but confine our inquiries
to matters of general moment. We know of the steps of progress,
retrogression, of savagery and butchery and wrong and oppression which
dominate an embryotic civilization. Amuse yourself for a time with the
pictures and tapestries, and I will give you a record of the outer
world's important matters of yesterday."

He opened a cabinet, and assumed the mien of expectant inquiry and
meditation. Soon his hands began to move with rhythmic rapidity over
the curiously inlaid center of the flat surface of the open cabinet.
At the end of ten or fifteen minutes his manipulations ceased, a
compartment above noiselessly opened, and eight beautifully printed
pages, four by six inches, bound in the form of a booklet, fell upon
the table.

It was printed in characters more graceful than our own Roman letters,
from which they might have been evolved, or the Roman Alphabet might
have deteriorated from what appeared before me. The English language
was not used, and yet I could readily read and comprehend the lines.
The pages before me comprised a compendium of yesterday's doings of the
entire world, and included a note of my own case.

They told of all the military operations in China, in the Philippines,
in South Africa, in the far East and in the remote West; of labor
troubles in the mining districts of America; the strike of the textile
operatives on our Atlantic border; the unrest of the Finns and Slavs;
of plots and counterplots, and political assassination and revolution,
attempted or accomplished, and the full catalogue of such happenings,
with now and then a flash of loftier civilization.

"What you read is being reproduced in every divisional municipality of
the Commonwealth, with such a number of instantaneous duplications as
may be required for the perusal and study of all who desire to compare
tinseled and ornamented barbarism with true civilization.

"Selfishness, oppression, slaughter, pride, conquest, greed, vanity,
self-adulation and base passions make up ninety-nine one-hundredths
of this record. What a commentary on such humanity! To it love,
brotherhood and mutual helpfulness are too trivial for serious
consideration.

"The nations and their rulers, differing somewhat as to degree, stand
for organized and dominant wrong, based primarily on selfishness--the
exact reverse of the conditions that should exist."

"This," said I, still contemplating the pages, "compares with our
newspapers."

"As two objects may compare with each other as to bulk or form,
but in no other respect. This is to promote wisdom. The newspaper
to feed vicious or depraved appetite, as well as to convey useful
information. This is the cold, colorless, passionless record of facts
and information, from which knowledge and wisdom may be deduced to
some extent. Your newspaper is the opposite, taken in its entirety. It
consists of the inextricable mingling together of the good and the bad,
of the useful and the useless, and the elevating and the degrading,
the latter always in the ascendant.

"It foments discord instead of promoting profitable discussion, which
is the bridle-path leading into the highway of wisdom. It is built upon
the cornerstone of selfishness, the other name of commercialism, and is
thoroughly imbued with the spirit of greed.

"It caters to the public demand regardless of the spirit or the
depravity behind it. 'Quatro! Quatro! Quatro!' is the burden of
its cry, and for quatro it is willing to lead the world forward or
backward, as the case may be. It has been growing in stature and
retrograding in usefulness for fifty years throughout the world, in all
save increasing facilities, and avidity for pandering to the worst and
most uncivilized propensities of mankind, and it will probably continue
to grow worse for a century to come.

"Fifty years ago it was blindly controversial, but there was enough of
reason in its discussions to give hope for the future. Now it is a
mere mental and moral refuse car, and its so-called religious form is
devoted only to a more refined class of refuse, if that expression is
allowable.

"As a whole, it represents classes and not the whole community;
prejudices, and not principles; it advocates selfish, not general
interests; it panders to petty jealousies; it indulges in tittle-tattle
in mere wantonness, and has no aim save the grossly materialistic."

I winced under his fierce arraignment and invective, for I am a
newspaper man myself.

"I know that I have touched you in a sensitive spot, but I speak of
the newspaper in a general sense. There are worthy exceptions, despite
all the untoward environments; but, unfortunately, their influence
is limited. Your masses read and re-read accounts of how two beings
beat each other out of human semblance on a wager, and pass, unread
and unnoticed, the best thoughts of your greatest scientists and
profoundest thinkers. It is not the canaille who do this alone, but
your statesmen and rulers, men of large affairs and men of the learned
professions."

I turned the conversation, saying:

"It is incomprehensible to me how you produced this record of events in
so short a time and without apparent mechanical or physical effort."

"Doubtless, but not more incomprehensible to you than your linotype
machines and perfecting press would have been to Gutenberg. And your
discoveries and inventions would be no more incomprehensible to him
than would his types and crude multiplying press be to the papyrus
writers, scriveners and hieroglyphants of the earlier world.

"The transition from the work of the papyrians to the achievements of
the Intermereans is the result of that evolution known as scientific
research into Nature's beneficence, in which mechanical invention is
a mere incident, and its application to a high, unselfish and noble
purpose, instead of selfish, base and ignoble ends.

"We had outstripped your present ideals ages before the Chinese began
block printing, or Gutenberg fashioned his types and press. Both
these, as well as your own advanced mechanism, as well as your every
other great achievement in science and research, were the result of
the thought-seed sown or diffused from this land, but which fell on
absolutely barren soil, or only grew in puny or defective forms, far
short of ripening or maturity.

"Your Franklin comprehended the supreme and all-pervading power and
genius of the Universe, the knowledge of and the power to utilize which
makes man godlike, but the dense ignorance and gross materialism of his
day prevented him from enlightening his people.

"Your Morse conceived and executed the scheme of telegraphic signals
cycles after we had discarded it.

"Your nameless and unknown discoverers, whose weak but apprehending
genius was utilized by Bell, gave you the telephone ages after it had
been supplanted here by our more nearly perfect system of intelligent
communication with the entire terrestrial world, and we are now
exploring, with it, the adjacent systems of the Universe with promising
results.

"Your Edison and other electrical discoverers are more than a cycle
behind us, and have as yet but touched the outer surface of the great
secret. To them and to others the current of the Universe is a constant
menace and a danger. To us it as gentle and as harmless as the flowers
that bloom by the wayside, and responds to our every wish and use with
absolute tractability.

"The fault of the rest of the world is that all great discoveries,
all the unlockings of Nature's treasure-house, are turned to selfish
ends, to the aggrandizement of the few, and the detriment, if not the
oppression, of the many; hence civil commotions, wars, tyrannies, the
insolence of opulence, and the failure to carry forward the process of
civilization and the elevation of the race by the unselfish application
of attained wisdom. The barbarian spirit of Self is dominant.

"You were about to ask if you might carry this record home. No. You
will be permitted to inspect it and others similar during your sojourn,
and carry their remembrance with you, and thus be enabled to compare
them with your own current records of contemporaneous dates; but that
is all.

"The Western nations have opened their own gates and invited eventual
destruction by this apparently temporary invasion of the East. This
war, if it may be so called, will be of short duration, followed
by the oppression inseparable from selfish greed, commercialism and
the love of conquest and arbitrary power which compels the unwilling
obedience of peoples.

"But the 400,000,000 Chinese and affiliated races, are more insidiously
dangerous than you know. They will cultivate the seed now being sown,
and prepare the dragon's harvest of blood. In the remoter provinces
they will soon breed soldiers and captains, who will eclipse the bloody
and destructive achievements of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, profiting
by your present superior knowledge of mechanism and the arts of war,
which they will appropriate and assimilate, and turn to terrible final
account.

"The commercial greed of the West will be the enemy of the Western
peoples themselves. It will fit and arm the aroused avengers for their
world-wide invasion and conflict. Selfish capitalists will do this
in spite of all inhibitions, under the plea of creating prosperous
conditions and extending commerce, and their people and their posterity
will perish by the enginery which selfish commercial greed placed in
the hands of their enemies."

Maros presented me to another official, and politely dismissed me to
visit the places of interest in the city. Upon my return to America
I compared the contemporaneous history of the world with the daily
records I had been permitted to inspect, the remembrance of which
I vividly retained, and found every fact therein to be absolutely
correct.



IV.

  A TRIP BY AIR AND LAND AND WATER THROUGH THE PROVINCES, CITIES,
  HAMLETS AND GARDENS, WITH MATCHLESS BEAUTY AND ENJOYMENT ON
  EVERY HAND.



IV.

A TOUR OF SIGHT-SEEING.


What a wonderful land is Intermere, and what a wonderful people live
and enjoy life in it to the full!

Twenty days of visiting ten of the interior provinces, bordering
on the mere, was more like a dream of happiness, sight-seeing and
indescribable enjoyment to me than a reality. For reasons not explained
to me I was not carried into the fourteen remaining provinces, which
evidently lay in all directions toward the exterior borders of the
land. I rather suspect that this was because it might have enabled me
to form some definite idea of the geographical location of Intermere.

What I saw and experienced I still retain as a beautiful and
ineffaceable memory, but it is a picture I can not wholly reproduce or
describe in anything like complete details. I can at best only give the
impressions I still retain.

The delightful journey was under the direction of Karmas, the Custodian
of Works and Polity, accompanied by other chief officers, and the
officials of the provinces, the title and character of which had
already been given me by Xamas.

They have three modes of travel: by Medocar, by Aerocar, and by
Merocar. By the first you travel on land; by the second through the
air; by the third on the water. While these vehicles of transportation
are divided into three general classes as designated, they comprise
thousands of beautiful and curious designs, upon which individual names
are bestowed, as we bestow names upon our horses and our ships.

There is no preference as to the mode and method of journeying. Each of
them seems absolutely perfect. There is no physical sense of motion in
either, as we realize it.

They glide over the broad, smooth and perfectly kept roadways,
through the depths of the ether, or along the waters, with the same
imperceptible motion, and can be put to a rate of speed that makes our
limited railway trains seem like lumbering farm wagons. All resistance
of the elements seems absolutely overcome.

The power of propulsion was wholly incomprehensible at first, and
later I was only able to learn as to its principle, and left wholly to
conjecture as to its application.

Roadways, or, perhaps more properly, boulevards, interlace the
whole country. They are the perfection of road-building--smooth,
even-crowned, and free from dust, water or other offensive substance.
The surface is like a newly asphalted street, but hard and impervious,
with no depressions, cracks or flaws. The engineering could hardly be
improved on. Accepting the statements made to me that the most of these
highways have been in use for centuries, with few if any repairs, they
may be looked on as not only permanent but indestructible.

The purpose of each of them is self-evident. Every rod of it is for use
and to meet some requirement that presents itself. They are bordered,
wherever they extend, with beautiful homes, monuments and temples,
commemorative of some great achievement in civilization and progress.

The residential grounds, farms and gardens are marvels of exquisite
taste without an exception, so far as I was able to note, modeled after
countless designs, which give the earth's surface a versatility of
beauty that is enchanting.

There are farms and gardens everywhere except in a limited number of
the compact squares of cities, small and perfectly kept, and productive
in a sense and to a degree absolutely incredible to the dwellers of any
other land.

As to these roadways: They are of the uniform width of two hundred
feet wherever you find them, whether skirting sea, lake or river,
penetrating valleys or clambering around and around the ascent of the
mountains from base to apex, where some monument or temple, or both,
are perched, overlooking hundreds of square miles.

As already stated, they are everywhere as smooth and kept as clean as
a tiled floor, with a sense or quality of elasticity, and seemingly
indestructible. I would have regarded them as natural phenomena had
I not seen a mountain being terraced and a roadway being graded and
finished without any of the paraphernalia of our own methods of
engineering and construction.

Earth and rock seemed to melt and become mobile under the influence of
some unseen power, and gangs of men, following with levelers of light
machinery, modulated the grades and contours of the crumbled rock and
soil. Others followed these, compounding, expanding and laying down
a plastic and rapidly hardening envelope, thus finishing the surface
like the roads over which we were gliding, some of which, I was told,
had been in use for many centuries without the slightest change of
condition.

I expressed a doubt as to their longevity.

Karmas smiled and said:

"You judge by experience. In your cities you import material from some
distant country or island, and by mechanical manipulation and chemical
combination and processes fit it to be laid down as a pavement. When
finished it looks almost as smooth and beautiful as yonder landway
being newly constructed to accommodate the expanding population of the
district. But the resemblance ends here.

"Your chemists and engineers and constructors have only the crudest
ideas of landway or terraneous works. The asphalt is a suggestion, but
the builder's compound turns it in the direction of deterioration.
Instead of going forward, they go backward. They know little of the
character of the materials they seek to utilize, and nothing of the
true principles of chemical combination.

"Our material is at hand, as it is at hand everywhere, containing the
elements which need only to be properly combined and assimilated to
become practically indestructible.

"You take a clay, and by machinery, crude perhaps, reduce it to dust,
then moisten it back into pliable clay, fashion it, subject it to
an intense but unrefined heat, and you have what will retain its
form and consistence for centuries, and resist the elemental attacks
longer even than granite. This is but the dawn of possibilities. The
semi-barbarous, thousands of years ago, went further and made them
flexible as well as durable. Their discoveries were long ago forgotten.

"Your people never go beyond the point of discovery. They stop short
of the possibilities. They lose these possibilities in material and
commercial utilization. Ego stands between the discoverer and the
world, and progress ends.

"While the rest of the world has thus, again and again, stood still on
the threshold, or moved backward or forward intermittently, for obvious
and selfish reasons, we have steadily moved forward in scientific
discovery and research, and the application of great principles.

"The example is before you. Without any of your crude and cumbersome
machinery, the mountain is being terraced and fitted for the abode
of man, the elemental constituents are being disintegrated, properly
disposed, rearranged and the surface recombined in a new form and
proportion by natural laws, and remote generations will find yonder
landway as our workmen will leave it. They could level the mountain as
readily as they terrace it, distributing it over the adjacent plain,
leaving it a level and fertile glebe, instead of a towering height of
rock and sand overspread with soil.

"All that you see or will see is the result of knowledge and wisdom
turned to noble and unselfish ends for the common betterment and
elevation of the race.

"Your progenitors learned to dig the hard and soft ores from the earth
and produce iron, then took a step forward and converted it into
steel, of greater strength and durability, capable of light forms and
high polish, and there you have stopped at the very beginning. You
are incapable of saving your own handiwork from disintegration. The
elements corrode your finest steel products, and they flake away to
the original conditions of the crude ore, losing a large proportion of
their original virtues and constituents. We have, on the contrary, gone
forward to the ultimate.

"You have denuded your lands of forests to use as a cumbersome material
for building, and furniture and other purposes, the wood, which decays
and is soon destroyed. You have, without understanding the process,
macerated and reduced woods to a pulp and fashioned it into paper,
which in several forms you utilize, but you have stopped at the
beginning of the journey.

"We have carried it forward, and a large proportion of the material
used in the construction of our houses and furniture and bridges and
cars are the product of our forests in a new and better and more
enduring form--light and capable of the most graceful fashioning.
This is used in combination with the metals in all departments of our
economies."

I had already noticed the fact that but little of the woodwork was in
the natural form, and that while it was incredulously light, it was
incredibly strong. The same was true of the wrought metals, all of
which differed from our own forms.

In my examinations of the bridges across streams, both large and small,
I noted the fact that they were constructed in about equal parts of
wood, or a substance I took therefor, and metal, differing greatly from
the metals we use, yet not wholly unlike them. Both materials were of
tubular construction, appearing almost fragile in their lightness,
but strong and firm, and showing none of the ravages of time and the
elements.

So far as I was able to judge no paints were used, but everything was
perfectly polished. The bridges were light, airy constructions, swung
from lofty and graceful piers, a span of a thousand feet appearing to
be as firm and strong as one of fifty.

I also noticed that in their construction of cars, furniture, houses,
and the like, the woods and metals were indiscriminately used, more for
beauty and ornamentation, perhaps, than for strengthening purposes or
utility. Lightness and gracefulness were in evidence everywhere. There
were panels and inlays of wood in its natural state, highly wrought and
polished, as hard and impervious as the metals.

"You seem to be able to make everything indestructible," I said to
Karmas.

"It is your privilege to draw your own conclusions," was his reply.

       *       *       *       *       *

The people I met and mingled with, both men and women, were superb
specimens of the human race, full of life, full of hope, full of high
ambitions, and capable of infinite enjoyments.

Games, sports and social amenities were the order of their daily
life, albeit every one of them engaged in some laborious or business
occupation during a part of each day. I learned that under their system
of economy less than four hours out of the twenty-four were necessary
for the comfort, sustenance and requirements of each adult, so that
labor did not degenerate into slavery. Every fifth day was a holiday,
during which no labor was performed, except such as was necessary for
the enjoyments of the day.

Manufacturing and business of different kinds were diffused in
proportion to the population. There were no great factories or business
houses, but innumerable small ones. No manufacturer employed more
than ten persons, usually but five, and two or three employes were
sufficient for the business houses.

The remarkable discoveries and inventions of the land revolutionized
all our ideas of manual labor and mechanics. Heavy and bulky machinery
is entirely unknown.

There were no smoking furnaces, no clangor of machinery. The factory
was as neat and practically as noiseless as the private home. Useful
and necessary devices and machinery were turned out as quietly as a
housewife disposes of her routine labors. Science had apparently solved
the rough and knotty problem of labor and production.

Nowhere did I see a furnace; in fact, fire was visible nowhere; and yet
I could see its offices performed everywhere. I asked Karmas to explain
the phenomena.

"That," he replied, "will be explained to you by Remo, Custodian of
Useful Mechanical Devices. That is his official sphere."

Another incredible phenomenon presented itself during the journey. We
passed through one province early in that journey, and my attention was
called to the fact that the farmers were sowing their cereals, which,
by the way, greatly resemble our own, but in a much higher state of
cultivation and infinitely more nutritious.

Ten days later we repassed the same spot, and they were harvesting the
ripened grain.

"In my country," I said to Karmas, "from eight to ten months, dependent
upon the season, elapses between the sowing and the harvesting of
wheat. Here the period is reduced to from eight to ten days. I can not
understand the discrepancy."

"But it is an absolute mystery to you?"

"It is."

"And yet your own people have approached the twilight of its solution.
By selection of seeds and combination of soils, and other perfectly
natural processes, they have been able to change the nature of
vegetation and produce new vegetable being. The period for the growth
and maturing of nearly all your grains and vegetables has been
perceptibly shortened, and entirely new forms produced, within the past
century, and largely within the period of your own lifetime.

"Your floriculturists and horticulturists have carried the evolution
the furthest, and yet they do not even faintly comprehend the real
principle which produces results. We understand and intelligently apply
it. Hence with us but ten days elapse between seedtime and harvest, and
shorter periods in the production of our common vegetables.

"We are able to produce flowers of all shapes and colors at will, and
with the absolute certainty of the operation of fixed and immutable
laws, while your florists, groping in the dark, occasionally stumble on
a result, knowing nothing of the law that produces it, and give their
fellows a nine-days' wonder.

"Yesterday you asked me why all the farms were so diminutive--'merely a
ten-acre field,' as you expressed it. The explanation is before you.
Each of these small farms is capable of producing food for one thousand
persons with their constantly duplicated crops. There is room for a
million such farms in the Commonwealth, without impinging upon the
residential demesnes or cities.

"There is no need to put these farms to the full test of their
productiveness. The twentieth part suffices. We have a population of
50,000,000, increasing at the rate of scarcely one per cent each year,
and two-thirds of the Commonwealth is public domain, for the benefit
of the countless generations yet unborn. Each year and each day brings
their immediate needs, and they are met with plenteous fullness."

       *       *       *       *       *

Karmas later gave me a fuller idea of the general polity of the
Commonwealth.

All men become voters at 25, if they are married, and participate
in the choice of officers. All are eligible to office. On the day
fixed for the election of public officials the voter calls up the
office of the Municipal Custodian and registers his choice in the
ballot-receiver, which automatically records, and at the end of the
balloting announces the result. If for provincial officers, it is
instantaneously transmitted to the capital of the province, and if for
Commonwealth officers to the Greater City. In your land this would open
the door to fraud, but in Intermere there is neither fraud nor chicane.

There are no armies, no warships, no police, no peace or distress
officers, and no courts and no lawyers. Sometimes citizens may differ,
as they differ in other lands, as to their respective rights or
obligations. In such case they repair to the Municipal Custodian and
state the respective sides of their case. The Custodian decides at
once, and that ends forever the controversy, unless one or the other
appeals to the Chief Citizen of the Province and his Counselors, who
consider the original statements submitted to the Custodian and render
the final judgment. It is seldom an appeal is taken, and seldom that an
original decision is revised.

The educational period continues from birth to 20 years of age, in what
may be called a common school, held in the temples, which all enter at
the age of ten.

The spheres of the two sexes are clearly marked, and both live within
them, that of the female being regarded as the highest and most sacred.
The men make the homes and the women care for and beautify them, and
receive the homage universally accorded them.

Neither sex looks upon necessary labor as a drudgery or in any manner
degrading. They all receive a like education, and the superior mental
equipment invariably asserts itself in some appropriate direction.

Almost invariably the children of the household marry in the order of
their birth, being absolutely free to choose their mates. There are no
marriages for convenience and no second marriages. All are the result
of affection and natural affinity.

The last child to marry inherits the homestead at the death of the
father. The surviving mother becomes the Preferred Guest of her child
during the remainder of her life, and is treated as such. If the
father survives, he retains his position as head of the household.
The personal estate of a deceased parent is divided equally among the
children.

"In short," said Karmas, "We aim to dispose the burdens and distribute
the enjoyments of life equally and justly among all.

"Tomorrow we will be accompanied by Alpaz, the Curator of Learning and
Progress, who will answer the other questions in your mind."



V.

 THE PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE, AND THE FACULTY OF ITS ENJOYMENT AS
 PERSONIFIED IN THE PERSONS AND VOCATIONS OF THE ENTERTAINERS.



V.

SOME OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE.


The environments of life have much to do with its philosophy. This
thought impressed itself forcibly on me in Intermere.

The environments of its people contribute much, if not most, to their
philosophy, or the faculty of life's enjoyments.

They are pleasantly housed, handsomely habilitated, physically and
intellectually employed, sans the driving spur of necessity or greed,
with profound and earnest aspirations beyond their present stage of
existence. This is not confined to the few, but animates and elevates
all.

Learning, in a loftier sense than we understand the term; art, music
and all the senses of physical and mental enjoyment, and the promotion
of all of them, are pitched in a high and harmonious key.

Personal adornment and physical beauty in both sexes have no tinge
of vanity, and awake no envy in others. Intermerean dress and its
adjuncts are as closely looked after as their wonderful mechanism and
its mysterious soul or motor-spirit, which enables them to travel with
celerity and safety by land or air or sea, or that subtler principle
by which men and women, separated by distance, talk to each other by
thought instead of speech, and would render the clumsy deception of our
own diplomats and other hypocrites an impossibility.

The clothing of the Intermereans, wrought from native materials not
wholly unlike, except an to quality, those utilized by other peoples,
is of a texture and finish beyond the conception of the outer world,
and of such colors and combinations of tints as to breathe, as it
were, both art and aptitude.

The garments of both sexes more nearly resemble those in Europe and
America than any others, and yet they are very unlike in striking
points. Speaking of this similitude, I may say that the polity and
institutions, and mental and physical characteristics of the people
who live under them, more nearly resemble those of America than of any
other nation or people.

But at that, how wide and deep and apparently impassable is the
gulf that separates them. Ours is but the faint promise; theirs the
fulfillment of the completed prophecy.

Did we start on the journey? Have we halted just beyond the first
milestone? Will the journey be resumed? Will our remoter generations
reach the Ultima Thule? What splendid hope or what illimitable despair
and misery depend upon the Sphinx's answer to these questions!

While Intermere is not sown with diamonds and pearls and precious
stones and metals, they were to be seen in profusion everywhere, not
as matters of garish display, but of artistic taste. I doubt not that
the Intermereans, through their successful study of Nature, possess
the Philosopher's Stone, capable of combining and transmuting every
substance into the riches for which men die and women sacrifice more
than life, and nations crush nations, and peoples destroy peoples,
gathering the Dead Sea fruits that turn to bitter ashes on their lips.

These people place no more commercial value upon these than they do
upon the tints of the rainbow, or the purple haze that hangs like a
halo above the mountain tops. To them they are but artistic types of
beauty that add to life's true enjoyments.

In mingling socially with the men and women--they do not speak of them
as ladies and gentlemen--of Intermere, I was struck with their ease
and delicate frankness of entertainment. They were very human indeed in
every way. There was no affectation in speech or manner. They were good
listeners as well as good talkers, fond of art and the lofty literature
in which they were naturally at home; anxious to learn something about
the outside world from their visitor, and yet not inquisitive, never
asking an embarrassing question.

Their literary and social entertainments, many of which I attended,
while altogether new and strange to me, were none the less thoroughly
enjoyable. Their social games were unique--to me--and in all respects
I was struck with their great superiority, and forcibly impressed with
the belief that their lives were indeed worth living.

Their conceptions of art were of the highest and most exalted
character. Their tastes were not only refined but sublimated, and
I felt abashed at my own inability to follow them rapidly, or fully
comprehend them on the moment.

The women were splendid types of physical beauty as well as mental
endowment; the men were trained athletes, and the devotees of physical
as well as mental culture, and I watched with keen zest their prowess
in the athletic games everywhere indulged in. I did not see a physical,
mental or moral derelict in the land. All were robust and perfectly
formed.

There were no classes. Laborers and officials met on an equal footing.
There were no telltale differences in dress to indicate sets, circles,
position or titles among the men. The same was true of the women.
Mental superiority or maturity was discernible to me and recognized on
every hand, not to be envied or decried, but to serve as the guide to
other feet.

And all this was easily reconcilable to me. All were coequal laborers.
All were coequal sharers of the common benefits of their governmental
system, and they all had a common incentive--to ennoble and dignify
the race by ennobling and dignifying themselves individually, but
contributing alike to the common stock of blessings.

Never before did I fully realize the meaning of the Divine Master when
He said: "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so
to them." Before me and around me was the literal fulfillment of the
injunction in the form of the model government for mankind, founded
upon the highest attribute of Divinity.

But there was neither cant nor affected solemnity in the never-ending
performance of this duty. It had become absolutely and essentially a
part of their nature, and was at once the cornerstone and the Temple of
their Religion; but their ideas of Religion were widely different from
ours. They never expounded, but lived it.

Delightful people accompanied us if we traveled in Aerocars;
delightful people met us with Medocars when we came to terra firma,
and accompanied us through the bewildering lanes and mazes of beauty
by land; and delightful people met us with fairy-like Merocars when
we sought to thread the enchanting islands of the strange pulsating,
moving sea.

Thus day by day I was carried from province to province, from city to
city, from valley to valley and from mountain to mountain; relays of
entertainers met us at every stopping-point to take the places of those
who had accompanied us thither. Nothing could have seemed more unreal;
nothing could have been more exquisitely enjoyable.

Now we wound through gardens smiling with beauty and redolent with
balm and fragrance; anon we were in orchards plucking the ripened
fruit; then in the harvest fields of the husbandman, and next in shops,
factory or store; I wondering at all I saw, and my conductors kindly
wondering at me, no doubt, but of that they gave no significance or
sign.

Almost literally speaking there is no night in Intermere. With the
twilight myriads of lights flash out everywhere along the streets,
highways, lanes, and from residences, temples and monuments, more
luminous than our electric lamps, diffusing a mellow and pleasing light
everywhere. But one sees no wires, as with us, to feed the lamps of
many sizes and shades of light, each one of which, so far as we can see
and realize, is independent of all others and everything.

Merry parties make moonlight and starlight trips by Aerocar. I enjoyed
one of them, and there are no words adequate to the description of what
I saw and enjoyed. With the moon and stars above and the millions
of lights below, with music, song and laughter ringing through the
ethereal depths, I was in a new world, and one beyond ordinary human
conceptions, much less description. The Aerocars themselves were
studded with countless lights of all the colors and shades, and shone
like trailing meteors at every angle of inclination, singly here,
grouped there, and in processions beyond.

It may be said in this connection that while the Intermereans eat
the flesh of both domestic and wild animals and fowls, resembling in
general features our own, and fish, they subsist chiefly on a vegetable
diet, especially between the age of infancy and twenty years, and after
sixty.

One of the mysteries confronting me was that of cookery. They used no
fire, nor any of our ordinary cooking utensils, and yet they served hot
meals and drinks, prepared in what may be called, for lack of a better
name, chafing dishes and urns, and yet there was no sense of heat or
fire, except when in close contact with the utensils.

In a chafing dish they broiled or roasted or baked; in an adjoining urn
they brewed a delightful hot drink resembling coffee, while in another
near by they made the most delicious ices.

The housewife maintained neither dining-room nor kitchen. Meals were
prepared and served wherever most convenient, on veranda or in the
house proper. The table was spread in beautiful style with exquisite
furnishment, and presided over by the housewife. A woman assistant,
or more than one, according to the requirements of the occasion, had
charge of a suitable sideboard, where the entire meal was prepared, and
from which it was served to the company as desired. There were no odors
from the cooking, and nothing to suggest the kitchen or scullery.

This is so unlike our methods that its appropriateness can not be
realized short of the actual experience. The culinary utensils are
rather ornamental than otherwise, and the preparation of the dishes
occupies an incredibly short period of time.

On our various journeys by land and sea and air, I found that a full
stock of provisions was carried, along with the culinary paraphernalia,
and were served regularly and with as much care and taste as in any
residence. Ices and confections were made as readily in mid-air as on
land or sea, by some mysterious and never-failing process.

One day as we rested in a charming suburb of the Lesser City, Alpaz,
the Curator of Learning and Progress, appeared in a splendidly
appointed Aerocar, accompanied by his entire family and attended by
a fleet of Aerocars carrying his assistants, provincial officials
and men and women, who made up his entourage. It proved to be a most
delightful company.

After sailing overhead for hundreds of miles we descended to an island,
along the beach of which lay a complement of Merocars, to accommodate
the entire party, as well as some of the insular citizens who begged to
accompany us.

Then ensued a voyage the memory of which still lingers with me.
Such dreamlike beauty I never expect to see this side the gates of
eternity. It changed with every moment, and never palled nor paled.
Through this maze of land and water and bewildering enchantment we
journeyed, listening to conversation and music, till finally touching
the mainland, we found the Chief Citizen of the Province, and his
attendants and officials, with Medocars, in which the entire party
was carried to his capital, which crowned a grand elevation some two
hundred miles inland.

Here we were entertained in magnificent simplicity for a day, and here
Alpaz discoursed to me on the many matters in which I was interested,
and which fell within the sphere of his Curatorship. I cannot recount
them all, but shall endeavor to bring out the main points.

"You would learn something of our educational system?" he said, as
though I had plied him with a question.

"It is quite simple. It involves no complexities. We follow only the
path of nature. From birth to the age of ten the infant is in the
exclusive control and tutorship of the mother. She alone is entirely
capable of moulding the infantile mind, and setting its feet aright in
the pathway of manhood and womanhood.

"In your land, as in others, all too often she delegates this great
duty to alien and unfit hands, and reaps the bitter harvest of sorrow
in the afternoon of motherhood.

"At the age of ten, when the mother has fitted the mind for stronger
impressions, the child enters the broader field of learning. Our
temples, which you meet everywhere, are our schoolhouses, our altars of
Learning and Knowledge, the cherubim of Wisdom.

"These temples are the abode of Knowledge and Wisdom, handed down in
the records of the ages, showing each successive step taken and to what
it led. Here they are taught by the older men and women, who having
retired from the activities of life, with a competence assured them,
matured in thought, filled with knowledge and possessed of wisdom,
perform their final labor, a labor of love for the younger generation.

"At the age of fifteen every boy and every girl develops the line of
effort to which they incline in the respective spheres of the sexes,
and thereafter, to the age of twenty for females and twenty-five for
males, they are instructed along these lines by their tutors, in the
meantime devoting a part of their time to some useful occupation. The
result is men and women in every way fitted to fulfill their destiny.

"No; we have no clergy, no ministers as you term them, to teach either
the old or the young in what you name religion. We have no churches.
Reverence for the Supreme Principle of the Universe is instilled into
every mind, from infancy up, and all our people live these teachings.
They do not listen to them one day in seven and neglect to follow all
or the majority of them for six.

"We know nothing, except as lamentable facts, of the various so-called
religious divisions which convulse the rest of the world--Confucianism,
Hindooism, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism, Judaism,
Polytheism and Christianity, and the many warring or antagonistic
sects into which they divided and subdivided.

"We know only loving reverence for the Supreme Principle of the
Universe, filial love and piety, and justice to all creatures. This
is the soul and essence of your religion, Christianity, and the basic
principle of all others. We prefer the last analysis to the inchoate
mass of contending creeds, that have drenched the earth with blood
for time out of mind, and filled it with doubt and misery; and even
now, in the twilight of your Nineteenth Century, and in the name of
the Child of Nazareth, promulgates Christianization and evangelization
at the cannon's mouth and with the sword and torch, of peoples whose
only offense is that they believe that their God requires thus and so
at their hands as a prerequisite to their entrance into His heavenly
kingdom.

"By gentler and educatory teachings, untainted by the corroding canker
of selfishness, they might be turned in the right direction and their
generations be led into the light, provided that your educational
system moved on a loftier plane than theirs; but blood and violence,
and all the carnal lusts that follow like jackals in their wake, can
only eventuate in driving them into lower depths.

"The spiritual instructors of the outer world, past and present, are
and have been, in the main, sincere and earnest, but with a limited
idea of the spiritualism they essay to teach. Powerful prelacies have
grown up in all the religious divisions, ambitious of temporal power,
and untold evils have resulted, not from the system of religion, but
from the love of power and authority, non-spiritual in its nature, and
as a result the spirit or principle of religion has suffered undeserved
obloquy.

"To us the ideal God of your religious people is strangely
contradictory and irreconcilable. He is portrayed not as a spiritual
being, but as a common mortal in many of the essentials. Their
conception of Deity is that He rules as a king in heaven, before whom
the redeemed and the saints forever prostrate themselves in adoration
or sing praises by voice, and adulate Him with harp and lute and other
musical instruments, confessing hourly their unworthiness to come into
His presence.

"This is an earthly, barbarous conception of the Supreme Power of the
Universe. It was probably of Chinese or Oriental origin in the days of
supreme despotism, when every subject must prostrate himself in the
dust in the presence of majesty.

"This idea was transmitted to Christendom in the West when royalty
proclaimed itself the symbol of Godhood and religion. The subject was
taught that the monarch was the direct representative of God, and his
court was modeled after the court of the King of kings, where homage
and adoration and humiliation were the endless order of all future life.

"We have an entirely different conception of the Supreme Principle,
and do not regard it in the light of a ruler or king, in the mortal
sense, but the embodiment of justice and love, that neither exacts nor
receives adoration of those who pass to the world beyond, the returning
children of the great and enduring Principle which exists everywhere,
strengthened and broadened by a previous state or states of existence,
wherein they were clothed about with mortal and perishable habiliments.

"We look forward to the passage from this world to a better one beyond
with joyous expectation, and with no sense of terror or apprehension,
and there come us no pangs of dissolution. We have sought diligently to
live up to the law of love in this life, and have the fullest assurance
that our efforts will meet the approval of the Supreme Principle,
whose beneficences invite and permit us to enter the broader fields
and more perfect worlds of a higher existence.

"Death, or the exchange of worlds, has neither terrors for those who
go, nor the stings of affliction for those who tarry. It is but the
inevitable and necessary parting of friends and relatives for a little
period, and we know that the shores of reunion lie just beyond the
filmy veil of the future.

"The end or change is never hastened nor retarded by the violation
of Nature's sacred laws. There are but few partings or deaths in the
earlier periods of life. They go with joyful alacrity, as to a feast,
at four or five score, and their memory, works and examples cheer and
sustain those who remain.

"No; we have no physicians. If, perchance, some law of Nature is
violated and mortal ailment ensues, it needs no specialist to discover
that fact, or recommend the proper method of rectifying it. That is a
part of the education of all. Literally, we neither know nor care to
know what physic is. We live simply and in accordance with Nature's
laws, and disease, such as prevails in your land and others, is unknown
in this, and has been for ages. Science and scientific discovery, as we
utilize and employ them, have freed us from disease and made death but
the exchange of lives. We know more than we care to tell of the life
beyond."

He ceased abruptly after saying:

"Tomorrow you will be the guest of Remo, the Curator of Useful
Mechanical Devices. You may learn much from him."



VI.

 THE SECRET OF INTERMERE PARTIALLY REVEALED TO ANDERTON, AND WHEN HE
 LEAST EXPECTS IT HE IS RESTORED TO HIS HOME AND KINDRED, MUCH TO HIS
 REGRET.



VI.

THE SECRET OF INTERMERE.


The secret of Intermere--its great mechanical secret--was revealed to
me, but, alas! only in part. It was as if the sun be pointed out to a
child who is told that it shines and is a prime factor in the growth of
all forms of life, animal and vegetable.

The child realizes that the orb of day shines, but remains wholly in
the dark as to the processes of its rays; why it inspires animals and
vegetation with life and growth, and produces the prismatic colors of
the rainbow.

So with me. I know the fountain-head or cause that gave momentum to all
the mechanism of the land, shortened the period between germination
and maturity in vegetation, banished fire while retaining warmth,
turned the night into a season of beauty equaling the full day, kept
every street and highway free from debris, prevented foul emanations,
with their contaminations, and did countless other things which our
own scientists demonstrate are desirable and necessary, but still
unattainable. But of the details, of the why and the wherefore, of the
effects and the processes by which so many different results emanated
from the same apparent cause, I learned nothing.

One morning, after a season of delicious, invigorating slumber, as
I walked in the spacious grounds of my host, the Chief Citizen of
the Province--grounds sweeter and fairer than the fabled Gardens of
Gulistan--I saw a fleet of Aerocars approaching, led by one of the most
magnificent, and by far the largest, that I had yet seen. It could not
have been less than one hundred feet in length and twenty in breadth
at the midway point, and yet it seemed to float as lightly as a feather
in the aerial depths.

When almost directly overhead the fleet halted, and remained
stationary, as though firmly anchored to some immovable substance, and
then the leading craft slowly sank to the earth at my feet, as lightly
as you have seen a bird alight.

It was the Aerocar of Remo, containing a score of people. I had not
hitherto met Remo, the Curator of Useful Mechanical Devices. However,
he needed no introduction to me or I to him. The recognition was mutual.

He came forward and greeted me cordially, and later presented me to his
fellow voyagers, and said:

"I know you are anxious to learn something of the motive principle of
our mechanisms. That I shall impart to you, at least partially. Our
journey will begin to suit your convenience. We will breakfast en
route."

I hastened to say my adieux to the Chief Citizen, Alpaz, and the
members of the household, and then entered the Aerocar, taking a seat
near Remo. At a signal to the pilot, the craft rose as lightly and
majestically as it had descended.

I looked about me at the passengers, hampers of provisions, culinary
utensils and table equipment, and estimated that the Aerocar was
carrying not less than four thousand pounds of dead weight.

"You are wondering how so much bulk and weight ascend without apparent
cause."

I assented to the proposition.

"When you are at home and see an inflated balloon ascend, carrying a
man weighing one hundred and fifty pounds, with seventy-five pounds of
sand ballast, you can understand how it ascends?"

"Readily."

"By mechanical contrivance of immense comparative bulk, aided by
chemical product, the power of gravitation is sufficiently overcome
or neutralized that a disproportionately small amount of weight is
carried into the upper air. We ascend for the same general reason, the
resultant of a greater, a different and a fixed principle.

"Our pilot, by means of the mechanical and other power at his command,
neutralized the attraction of gravitation, and without the aid of any
other appliance arose, carrying a weight of more than four thousand of
your pounds avoirdupois. It has ascended in a direct or perpendicular
line, despite the breeze, which would otherwise have carried us at a
western angle. I will have the pilot produce an equilibrium, stopping
all movement."

A signal was given the pilot, and, after a slight manipulation, it
stood still.

"Now we will descend, first perpendicularly and then at an angle of
forty-five degrees."

One signal and one manipulation, and the Aerocar described the first
motion. A second signal and manipulation, and it described the other.

"Now we will ascend, first by the reverse angle and then by the
perpendicular."

Again the signals and again the manipulations, and again the exact
movements through space.

"If your flying machine and airship builders could do that, what would
your people think?"

"That the world had been revolutionized."

"But the world will not be thus revolutionized until science is freed
of gross materialism and human aspiration becomes something higher
than selfish greed, commercialism, war, conquest, opulence, and the
despotisms they engender. You must expel all the gods with whom you
most closely commune, before you may commune with the true God or
Supreme Principle of the Universe."

In the meantime the Curator's Aerocar had rejoined its consorts, and we
floated away to the northeast, where a great semicircle of mountains
were dimly outlined, and then descended upon a city looking like a
pearl in a semicircular valley, bisected by a broad river, spanned with
bridges at short intervals as far as the vision reached.

With my watch I had timed the voyage. It had lasted two hours and
thirty minutes.

"How far have we traveled?" I inquired of Remo.

"One thousand of your miles."

"That is four hundred miles to the hour; six and two-thirds miles each
minute."

"The speed might easily have been doubled."

My amazement was unbounded, but I did not doubt Remo's statement then.
Later, I recognized it as an easy possibility.

Remo detained me until the rest of the company had left the Aerocar,
and then said abruptly: "You would learn the secret of the motive
principle that moves our mechanical devices and performs other offices
which seem to you miraculous. It is this: It is the electric current
which we take direct from the atmosphere at will--electricity, which
is the life-giving, life-preserving and life-promoting principle, the
superior and fountain of all law affecting the material Universe and
intervening space. To command that is to command everything.

"This is the capital of my Curatorship. Here all my predecessors have
served the Commonwealth; hither all my successors will come. Here every
mechanical device is tested, approved or rejected, and from hence their
production is directed, as a public right, in every municipal division
of the Commonwealth.

"Nearly every monument you have seen, as you have doubtless noticed,
is dedicated to some Chosen Son of Wisdom, and some of them date back
tens of centuries. Whoever makes a great discovery, such as taking the
electric current direct, or dividing its capabilities into useful and
necessary directions, or perfects some great mechanism, securing the
full beneficence of the current, brings it here and dedicates it to the
Commonwealth and its sons and daughters. Its benefits are common to all.

"His reward is that he is elected by universal acclaim as the Chosen
Son of Wisdom, a monument commemorative of his achievement is erected
at once, and he is installed in a home furnished out of the public
revenues, receives a stipend of fifty or five cinque media daily, and
is the honored guest on all public and private occasions.

"I shall show you many of our devices; some of them will be
self-explanatory, some will, to a degree, be explained, others left to
your conjecture, and for obvious reasons."

With this he led me through a large number of what we would look upon
as diminutive manufacturing establishments. In the first one visited he
exhibited to me two crystalline elongated globes, the size of an egg
each, connected by a small tube or cylinder of the same material two or
three inches in length.

The globes were filled with a whitish substance, or granulation, the
upper intensely white, the lower somewhat shaded. The upper one was
fitted with a movable disk, and could be opened by touching a lever.
A cluster of rather coarse wires, apparently an amalgam of several
metals, rose above the granulated contents. A double coil of wires, of
a different material or combination, running in opposite directions,
filled the connecting cylinder, while a cluster of almost imperceptibly
fine wires, of still a different material or combination, projected
from the bottom of the lower globe.

These globes resembled glass, and were, to all appearances, extremely
fragile. Remo dashed it upon the hard floor, as though he would
destroy it. It rebounded, and he caught it as an urchin would catch a
rebounding ball.

"I did this," he said, "to show you that these appliances are not
amenable to accident. This is the accumulator or receiver of the
current."

He touched the lever and opened a small aperture directly over the
cluster of wires in the upper globe.

"Hold your hand below the lower portion," he said.

I complied, and instantly my hand was moved away with such resistless
force that I was turned completely around and sent across the room.
Remo smiled at my undisguised consternation, and said:

"You will not be harmed. What you experienced was the flow of the
electric current, but it has not harmed you. It is physically
harmless. You would call this a twenty-horse-power motor in your
country, although it looks like a toy. Take it and handle it as I
direct. You may handle it with perfect safety. Place it horizontally
near that fly-wheel and push the lever."

He pointed to a fly-wheel scarcely a foot in diameter, with seven
radiating flanges set slightly at an angle. I did, and opened the
aperture. In less time than it takes to tell it the wheel was revolving
at a rate of speed so high that it seemed like a solid motionless and
polished mirror.

"Close the aperture, go to the side in which direction it is revolving,
and again open it to the current."

I did so, and instantly the wheel was motionless.

He pointed to a huge block of granite, which rested on a metal
framework a dozen inches above the floor, and said: "Banish all
nervousness, invert the accumulator, and hold it under the center of
the block, which weighs five of your tons."

I did so, and it slowly rose toward the ceiling.

"Close the aperture slowly, and finally close it entirely."

This I did, and it settled back to its original place.

"There," said Remo, "you have the direct current and its direct
application to machinery and inert bodies. You know enough about
mechanics to understand what that means. The ascent and flight and
movements and descent of the Aerocar; the running of the Medocar and
the sailing of the Merocar, are not such a profound mystery to you as
they were yesterday."

He conducted me into another factory and exhibited a number of
accumulators, each filled with apparently the same granulated
substance, but of different colors and admixture of colors. Remo opened
the apertures of a long line of them upon a wire rack, and they flashed
into brilliant lamps of every hue and color and shade--a light that was
as steady as that of the stars. He closed them one by one, showing the
absolute independence of each.

"Our lamps, with which we beautify the night, are no longer a mystery
to you--that is, not an absolute mystery."

In another factory he exhibited more accumulators with varicolored
materials in the globes. He opened one and directed its power toward an
ingot of metal. It melted like wax. Turning its force upon a fragment
of rock, it was transformed into the ordinary dust of our roadways.
With another he turned a vessel of water into a solid block of ice.

"Our topographical construction, our culinary economy and the absence
of fire are now plainer than they were."

"But how do you achieve all these different results with apparently the
same means?"

"The first device shown you is the primary; the others are subsequent
discoveries. By the primary medium we were able to produce or secure
the electric current in the form of dynamic power, eminently tractable
and harmless with ordinary prudence. New combinations of the medium
gave us all the other results, at intervals, subsequent to the original
discovery. And the field is not exhausted."

Remo explained that the crystalline substance in the upper globe of
the accumulator induced or gathered the electric current, giving it
controllable direction as well as defined volume, while that in the
lower determined its significance or divisional use.

In the minuter accumulators, for the lamps only, did the current
present itself in the form of light, spark or flame. All the colors,
from pure white to deep purple, with their prismatic variations, were
the direct result of their differing chemical combinations in the lower
globe, each of the silk-like wires throwing off countless rays of
unvarying intensity and steadiness, but gave off no electric phenomena
or effects.

The heat accumulators gave moderate or intense heat, according to the
chemical combinations through which the primary current passed, but
there was neither glow nor light-flash. So, too, the cold accumulators
gave off varying degrees of cold, for the same reason.

In none of them was there either the electric shock or its effects,
and all were tractable and free from danger in what we may term the
electrical sense. The dynamic force of the primary and the intense heat
or cold of the divisional currents, common prudence avoids. Still it
would be easily possible, by chemical combination, to produce a current
destructive of life and capable of annihilating nations, without hope
or possibility of escape.

"Your own scientists know," said Remo, "that with the direct current
all that you have seen, and infinitely more, is but the result of a
simple process, capable of infinite multiplication."

"But what are the constituents of the medium in the accumulator, and
what are the formulas of the various combinations?"

"If you knew that you would know as much as we."

This was the nearest a jest I had heard in Intermere, but I knew from
the character of Remo's speech that the rest of the secret would remain
hidden from me.

As we sat at his table later he said:

"You have been nearer to our secret than any one else in the outer
world, and we shall see whether the seeds will grow into the tree of
Knowledge and produce the fruits of Wisdom. Neither your people nor any
other people could be trusted with this secret in their present moral
condition. A few learned men dependent upon the rulers in one nation,
knowing it, could and would plot the destruction and exploitation of
all others. The sacrifice of human life and the accumulation of human
woe and misery would be appalling.

"If your leaders, with the suddenly awakened hunger for conquest and
dominion, could literally command the thunderbolts and control the
elements as against the rest of the world, they would sack Christendom
in the name of Liberty, Humanity and the Babe of Bethlehem, but in the
spirit of Mammon, Greed and selfish love of power and riches.

"You will make some progress in discoveries along scientific and
mechanical lines, but no real good to the race can result until these
discoveries are turned to a nobler purpose than that of seizing
commercial supremacy, subjugating alien and unwilling peoples,
slaughtering those who resist, exploiting those who lay down their
arms, gathering wealth regardless of justice and the rights of mankind
and building up an artificial race in the form of a ruling class, who
base their right to exclusive privileges on wealth and the perversion
of every principle of justice and the Christianity they profess.

"You have been wondering why, with our great knowledge and
achievements, we do not go forth and dominate the world. What would
it profit us? Could we find anything that would contribute to our
enjoyments, our hopes, our aspirations? No.

"Even we are not proof against the paralyzing touch of deterioration.
We pay more heed to the world's history than do the nations and
peoples who made that history, during the centuries. History is but
the lighthouse which warns against the reefs and rocks where
countless argosies have been lost. The mariners who sail the ships
of state dash recklessly upon the rocks of destruction, despite the
friendly warnings of the dead and engulfed who have gone before."

Turning to lighter themes, Remo spoke of the various economies of
the Commonwealth, and explained how the obstacles which confront our
civilization are overcome. Garbage and all debris, for instance, are
disposed of by instantaneous reduction to original conditions, and
then a recombination and distribution upon the grounds, farms and
gardens. The sewage question, the standing menace of all dense and
even sparse populations, is solved by the same process of purification
and recombination. This work is constantly performed under the eye of
the municipal authorities, and under fixed rules and service. Thus the
absolute cleanliness which prevailed everywhere was readily explained.

In answer to my query why Intermere had so long escaped discovery from
navigators, he said, interrogatively:

"Would it not be possible, with our superior knowledge and wisdom, to
put their reckoning at fault whenever they came within a fixed sphere
of proximity?"

To my question as to the equability of the seasons, the absence of
storms, and the regularity of the descent of moisture in the form of
gentle rains, he said:

"Do not imagine that our scientific knowledge stops with the mere
discovery of the direct electric current or our mechanical devices."

Nothing further could I elicit from him or any other Intermerean on
these or kindred subjects. The Book of Knowledge had been opened and
apparently closed.

After two days' stay in Remo's capital the Aerocars took up a goodly
entourage, and we moved softly and swiftly to the Greater City.

There Xamas and all his officials awaited us, along with every
Intermerean of both sexes I had met in my journeys, as well as every
Municipal Custodian of the realm, and in addition the Chief Citizens of
the fourteen Provinces I had not visited.

A reception fete was given me in the chief temple of the city, hoary
with age and instinct with wisdom. There were songs and music by the
young and happy, and apropos discourses by the older. I essayed the
role of orator, thanked my entertainers for their many courtesies and
the happy hours they had conferred upon a wanderer in a strange land.
The afternoon and evening were a season of unalloyed happiness.

As I dropped into slumber in the house of Xamas I soliloquized: "This
kindness and these honors seem significant. Perhaps the Intermereans
intend to adopt me into all their knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps"----

       *       *       *       *       *

I felt that I was tossing on the swell of the ocean. Then there was a
sensation of physical pain, as if from long exposure to the elements.

So keen was this sensation that I awoke fully, started up and looked
around me. It was a grayish dawn, purpling in lines near the horizon.
Towering above me I saw the outlines of a great ship, lying at anchor
and lazily nodding as the swells swept into the harbor.

I found myself in one of the individual Merocars, intended for a single
passenger, but the compartments containing the accumulatory motors had
been removed and the marks of removal deftly concealed.

It was one of the most finished Merocars of its class with the
exception of the motor, constructed entirely of prepared wood,
resembling a piece of wicker work, but impervious to the sea, and
floated like a cork or a feather.

I was trying to determine where I was and how I came to be in my
present situation. Then came to me this in the Language of Silence:

"You have been safely delivered to those who will restore you to your
land and home. Discretion is always commendable."

I knew whence this thought came, and soon the increasing light showed
me that I was in the harbor of Singapore, lashed with a silken cord to
the forechains of an East Indian merchantman.

To my infinite regret I found that I was clad in the same clothes I
wore when the Mistletoe went to the bottom. The same trinkets and a few
coins and the other accessories were still in the pockets.

But the handsome and natty garments of Intermere were gone. I was back
in the world just as I left it, how long ago I could not tell, for
the memories of Intermere seemed to cover a decade at least, and I
estimated that those who lived to one hundred enjoyed a thousand years
of life.

The lookout on the ship finally discovered me, and shortly after I and
my curious boat were lifted to the deck and became the center of a
gaping crowd.

As I could not account for myself reasonably, I became merely evasive
and did not account for myself at all, and left the crew and passengers
equally divided as to whether I was a lunatic of a cunning knave.

Among those on board was one whose presence suggested Intermere.
I listened and observed, and learned that he was the Secretary of
a native Rajah on board the ship. He inspected me with curious
disappointment. The Merocar he seemed to worship both with eyes and
soul.

"Sell it to him, for you need money."

That was Maros; I could not be mistaken.

The Secretary motioned me to a distant part of the deck and said
abruptly:

"I will give you five thousand rupees for the--for the"----

"Merocar."

He started as though shocked by a bolt of lightning.

"I dare not talk--I cannot remember--but I dare not talk. Will you sell
it me for five thousand rupees, Sahib? It is all I have, but I will
give it freely."

"It is yours."

He went below and soon returned with the amount in bills of exchange
upon the bank at Hong Kong.

He carried his purchase to his stateroom, amid the laughter of
passengers and sailors, who did not conceal their merriment that any
man would pay such a price for a wicker basket, and my cunning and
hypnotic knavery were thoroughly established.

I remained a few days in Singapore, converting my bills partly into
cash and partly into exchange on London and New York.

Sailing later to Hong Kong, I there fell in with an American military
officer whom I knew, and who gave me the full particulars of Albert
Marshall's death. With him I made arrangements for the shipment of my
cousin's remains to his old home, via San Francisco.

Two days later I sailed for London, and within six weeks reached New
York, and the home of my childhood. I shall not describe the meeting
with my mother, nor speak of what was said in relation to the strange
and brief communications which passed between us months before.



VII.

LE ENVOI.


 I HAVE READ THE FOREGOING. IT IS A FAITHFUL REPRODUCTION OF WHAT I WAS
 ABLE TO COMMUNICATE TOUCHING MY EXPERIENCES. AND YET THE PICTURE DRAWN
 IS FAINT, HAZY AND FAR AWAY. COMPARED WITH THE BEAUTIFUL REALITY, IT
 IS "AS MOONLIGHT UNTO SUNLIGHT, AS WATER UNTO WINE."      G. H. A.

 Glenford, 1901.


       *       *       *       *       *





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