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Title: NEQUA or The Problem of the Ages
Author: Lowe, Mary P., Grigsby, Alcanoan O.
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 "NEQUA or The Problem of the Ages" ***

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  NEQUA

  OR

  The Problem of the Ages

  By JACK ADAMS

  VOL. I.

  EQUITY PUBLISHING COMPANY
  Topeka, Kansas
  1900



DEDICATION.


TO ALL LOVERS OF HUMANITY, WHEREVER FOUND WHO BELIEVE THAT THE
APPLICATION OF THE GOLDEN RULE IN HUMAN AFFAIRS WOULD REMOVE ALL THE
BURDENS THAT IGNORANCE AND GREED HAVE IMPOSED UPON THE MASSES OF
MANKIND, THIS VOLUME IS RESPECTFULLY DEDICATED BY

  THE AUTHOR.



  Copyrighted 1900, by
  A.O. Grigsby and Mary P. Lowe.



CONTENTS.


    CHAPTER I.

    Beneath the Midnight Sun--A strange visitor comes down from
    above--An old acquaintance recognized--Strange story by
    an old physician                                                   1

    CHAPTER II.

    In San Francisco--"Where shall I go next?"--A startling item of
    news answers the question and ends the search--In male attire--Enlists
    as Scientist on the Ice King--Off to the North Pole--An
    unexpected blow--The danger signal--The race for life--The
    earthquake--"The channel is closing!"--"The ship is
    lost!"                                                            16

    CHAPTER III.

    In the dark--All is still--Imprisoned in the ice--Distressing
    situation--How to preserve the health and efficiency of the crew--A
    new danger--The ice is moving--The common sailor to the
    rescue--Lief and Eric save the ship--The tunnel to the
    surface--Exploring the ice-field                                  40

    CHAPTER IV.

    A singular discovery--Battell crossing a sand ridge on the
    ice-field--Captain Ganoe leads a party to his assistance--Lief
    and Eric--Battell's theory--A second expedition--Battell's
    long absence--Is discovered returning alone, scarcely able to
    walk--Relief party finds him unconscious--Captain Ganoe as
    physician--Battell relates how he was abandoned by his men--Preparing
    for the break                                                     65

    CHAPTER V.

    The break--A race for life--The island--Strange tower--A safe
    harbor--Crossing the open Polar sea--Strange phenomena--Sailing
    south--Horizon obscures familiar constellations--Return
    to the tower--No explanation--Off for the Pole again--A
    wonderful discovery                                               94

    CHAPTER VI.

    Sailing south--The wind ceases--Our coal exhausted--Drifting on
    an unknown ocean--In the grasp of southbound
    currents--Desponding--Visited by an airship--Then a whole
    fleet--Among friends--A most highly cultivated people--We
    embark for Altruria--An air voyage                               111

    CHAPTER VII.

    Caring for the sick--New methods of treatment--Not physicians
    but nurses--A voyage through the air--Wonderful optical
    instruments which reveal a panorama of the world--Arrival in
    Altruria--Marvelous improvements--Drudgery and poverty
    both abolished                                                   136

    CHAPTER VIII.

    A colossal communal Home--District 1, Range 1--Under the Pacific
    Ocean--Battell at the telephone--Startling apparition in a
    mirror--Enrolled in school--Study of the language--Phonographic
    enunciator--A communal agricultural district--The first revolt
    against landlordism--Freedom the rule--A new world--Strikingly
    similar to America                                               151

    CHAPTER IX.

    A happy scene--Two civilizations compared--Arrival of Oqua--Disguise
    penetrated--Human rights--"Glittering generalities"
    reduced to practice--A strange custom--Numbered, labeled
    and registered as citizens--Exit Jack Adams--A new name--Nequa--Bitter
    memories--Oqua's sympathy                                        178

    CHAPTER X.

    Oqua's visit--The revelation--A story of perfidy and wrong--Cassie
    VanNess--Raphael Ganoe--Richard Sage--A designing guardian--False
    charges against Ganoe--A fraudulent marriage--Home
    abandoned--On the high seas--Jack Adams--Ganoe
    found--Effects of a false education--Legal Wrongs vs. Natural
    Justice--Oqua hopeful                                            191

    CHAPTER XI.

    An air voyage--Change of scenery--Homes for mothers--Evolution
    from competitive individualism--The mountains--Battell joins
    us--Orbitello--A perpetual World's Fair--Department of Exchange--The
    business of a continent--Norrena--Public Printing--The
    council--All matters submitted to the People--Library
    of Universal Knowledge                                           216

    CHAPTER XII.

    The institute of school superintendents--Norrena's address on the
    Transition Period--From Competition to Co-operation--The
    closing decades of Money supremacy--The power of gold--Its
    conquest of the world--Political governments its tools--The
    people helpless--A hint at the way out                           244

    CHAPTER XIII.

    Bona Dea--Matrons' home--Pre-natal influences--Improving the
    airships--Battell explains--Plans for the future--Museum of
    Universal History--Relics of the Past--Building toward our
    ideals--Law of human progress--Presaging the future--Profit
    causes Poverty--Equitable Exchange the remedy                    283

    CHAPTER XIV.

    Through the air to Lake Byblis--On the Ice King once more--Captain
    Ganoe in command--Met by the Viking, Silver King and
    Sea Rover--A wedding--Huston and Dione the principals--Ganoe
    objects--Norrena investigates--Objection over-ruled--Excursion
    beneath the waters of the lake--Down the Cocytas--The
    ruins of Kroy--Abandoned gold--The last relic of barbarism       320

    CHAPTER XV.

    Home again--Letter from Bona Dea--Electric garments--Reporter's
    phonograph--Testing the new airship--A World's Council--Wallaroo
    on Evolution--The ideals planted by Missionaries--The
    Eolus--Preparing for return to America--Excursion to
    the far North--The Watch Tower--Symbolic representations--The
    Farewell--The revelation to Ganoe--"Cassie! Cassie!
    Come back! Come back!"                                           354



EXPLANATORY.


The undersigned claims no credit for the concept of an "Inner World"
in which the great economic problems which now confront the people
had been solved in the interest of humanity and ideal conditions
established for all. This was the leading thought in a work by Dr.
T.A.H. Lowe, deceased, which was placed in the hands of the writer by
his widow, Mrs. Mary P. Lowe. It contains a glowing description of the
ideal conditions which would prevail under the practical application of
the principles of Freedom, Equality and Fraternity in human affairs but
the author died before he had an opportunity to work out a practical
system by which the masses of the people, situated as they now are,
without even a clear understanding as to just what is the matter, could
commence with existing conditions, and peacefully, effectually and
speedily establish the much to be desired system of absolute justice
in distribution which he described. Hence it was determined to prepare
a series of volumes, illustrating the operation of practical working
methods by which this result could be secured, and then, publish Dr.
Lowe's original volume, just as it was written as a fitting conclusion;
and we now take pleasure in presenting to the reader the first volume
of the series and respectfully ask a candid consideration of the
principles which it is designed to elucidate.

  JACK ADAMS.



NEQUA.



CHAPTER I.

  BENEATH THE MIDNIGHT SUN--A STRANGE VISITOR COMES DOWN FROM ABOVE--AN
  OLD ACQUAINTANCE RECOGNIZED--STRANGE STORY BY AN OLD PHYSICIAN.

[Illustration]


MY private office was on the second floor of the sanitarium which I
had fitted up in Kansas City to meet the demands of my large practice
in the treatment of chronic diseases. The furniture consisted of a
large book case, containing my library of standard works, and other
publications useful in my practice; a writing desk, a few chairs, sofa
and other conveniences usually found in such places. One door opened
into the hall, and another connected with my bed chamber, bath room and
laboratory in the rear. In the front was a large bay window where I
often sat, in a meditative mood, concealed by the heavy lace curtains,
looking out upon the throngs of people and numerous vehicles passing to
and fro on the street below. On the opposite side of the main hall, and
separated from it by the wide stairway, was the parlor where I received
visitors. In the rear of this were the consultation and operating
rooms. I usually lunched in my private office, my meals being sent up
to me on an elevator, from a restaurant connecting directly with the
sanitarium.

As a rule, no one but the office boy, who occupied a small room over
the stairway, was ever admitted to my private office. The boy attended
the door, conducted visitors to the parlor, and then reported who was
in waiting. If I cared to see them, I went around the head of the
stairs to the parlor; otherwise I was "Not in."

Many of my patients came from a distance and had lodgings and board
in the sanitarium. Others called at my reception rooms during my
regular office hours, which were from 9 to 11 A.M. At other hours I
was ordinarily occupied in my private office, reading, thinking and
writing, or in my laboratory compounding medicines, etc. But it was
generally understood that I frequently drove out, and hence people
calling to see me, except during office hours, were not surprised to
learn that I could not be seen.

This arrangement was an absolute necessity in order that I might have
time to attend to my large correspondence and make my usual study of
the diseases of patients who had placed themselves under my treatment
as their last hope of regaining health. My success in treating these
cases which had been given up as incurable, was such, that the
sanitarium was always full, and it was a rare thing indeed, that I
called upon patients at their homes.

One bright and unusually pleasant day in June 189--, after I had
attended to my patients, I retired to my private office, feeling that a
call, even from my most intimate friends, would be very undesirable. I
wanted to be alone. I had many letters to write, and other work that I
could not well neglect, but I seemed in spite of myself to have lost my
usual active interest in my business. I felt oppressed and dissatisfied
with its restraints, and after worrying through with my most important
correspondence, I got up and paced the floor to and fro.

What could it mean? Why was it I felt this restless longing for
something that seemed just beyond my reach? My business was
flourishing, my health was never better, my friends were numerous
and all my surroundings pleasant. Then why was it that I could not
compose myself to read or write? Whenever I tried to do anything, my
mind involuntarily reverted to the past, and especially to a voyage I
had taken some years before in the capacity of ship surgeon. At last
I despaired of being able to complete my work to my satisfaction, and
determined to indulge this irresistible tendency to retrospection.

All the afternoon, whatever I did or attempted to do, my mind turned
to Jack Adams, a beardless young man who shipped on the same vessel
with me as super-cargo. Turn which way I would, his image loomed up
before my memory with a vividness that was startling. Why should I be
continually thinking of him? True, we had been the closest of friends,
and often spent hours together in the most enjoyable conversations.

However, notwithstanding our intimacy, there had ever hung around Jack
an air of fathomless mystery. His character was faultless, his modesty,
refinement and culture unexcelled. His perceptions were keen, his
reasoning powers deep and comprehensive, and his innate truthfulness
inspired every one with unlimited confidence who came in contact with
him. In times of peril he was courageous as a lion and yet he was
gentle as a woman.

He was of medium size and perfectly rounded form, too refined in his
appearance to be masculine, but none the less active and efficient; and
I must say that his face was the most handsome, and the most expressive
of the finer emotions of the soul, I had ever met with in man. We
were the most congenial of associates, and I was more attached to his
personality than I had ever before been to one of my own sex. Though
young and beardless, his intellect was mature beyond his years, and by
common consent the old and experienced soon came to honor his unusually
remarkable judgment.

To me, he was a phenomenon that I was utterly unable to fathom. While
he was not shy, he was always reserved and retiring. He never intruded
where he had no business except in my cabin, where he often came to
while away an hour discussing themes of lofty and far reaching import.
He seemed not to live on the common plane of ordinary life, but soared
far above it. Still he attended to all his duties in a prompt and
energetic manner, often lending a helping hand to others when there was
no necessity for him to move a muscle. He seemed to take real pleasure
in lightening the burdens of others even at a sacrifice of his own
comfort.

Such was Jack Adams, who had worked himself up from the most menial
employments on shipboard to a position of responsibility. Such was
my most valued friend, always reserved and reticent with others,
but genial, sociable and confidential with me, notwithstanding the
disparity in our ages. But why should he now be intruding upon my
memory, and holding my thoughts to himself by a mystic chord which I
had no power to break, much as I had striven to do so?

I had left the sea at the close of this voyage, the memory of which had
haunted me all day. I had scarcely thought of Jack Adams for years, and
now I found it impossible to keep from thinking of him all the time. I
became almost superstitious, and began to speculate that perhaps he had
just passed from earth, and that his spirit was now with me trying to
force a recognition. As I was thus ruminating, my office boy announced
that a gentleman wanted to see me.

I was just about to send back the word "Not in," when behind the boy,
through the half open door, I beheld a tall, handsome and elegantly
dressed man, of commanding personal appearance.

My rule had been never to permit anyone to enter my private apartments
except on my personal invitation, and as the boy seemed entirely
unconscious of his presence, I knew that some mistake had been made,
and instinctively felt that the man was not an intruder; so all that
remained for me was to recognize the requirements of common politeness
and invite him in.

As he entered the room I mentally took his photograph. He was tall,
symmetrical, powerful, with a high intellectual forehead, dark,
deep-set eyes, dark hair and whiskers, and dark complexion. His
countenance was very impressive, inspiring the beholder with a feeling
of respect and confidence. As the door closed behind him he fixed
his large, penetrating eyes upon me as if he were reading my inmost
thoughts, and after a moment's scrutiny said: "Have I the honor of
addressing Dr. Thomas H. Day, who was a surgeon some years ago on a
vessel engaged in the East India Trade?"

"Yes," I replied, "that is my name, and I was surgeon on an East
Indiaman."

"Then," he continued, "may I further ask if you remember a young man
on the vessel in the capacity of super-cargo, who greatly trusted and
confided in you?"

His words penetrated my inmost being like a shock and I exclaimed
impulsively:

"You mean Jack Adams! I feel it! I know it! Is he still living?"

"He is alive and well," he said, "and your prompt recognition
demonstrates that you are the man I am looking for. I bring you word
from Jack Adams. He was also a trusted friend of mine, in whom I felt
deeply interested, when he occupied the humble position of cabin boy on
a steamer between New York and Liverpool."

His words came to me like a flash of sunlight, dispelling at once the
clouds which had seemed to paralyze all my energies. I felt that any
word from Jack Adams would be an inexpressible relief to my present
agitated state of mind. I grasped my visitor's hand with a warmth I
could not restrain, and with an enthusiasm that must have appeared to
him effusive, I said:

"Thank God! Your words thrill me with delight. I will esteem any
message from Jack Adams a blessing, and the messenger a benefactor. You
are indeed a welcome visitor, and you have placed me under bonds of
gratitude by removing a most oppressive burden from my mind."

He returned the pressure of my hand in a manner I had hardly expected,
and handed me a card on which was traced a significant inscription in
Jack's well known handwriting which, if any confirmation was necessary,
would have removed every possible doubt. Shaking his hand again I asked:

"Will we ever have a world of truth such as has been the dream of every
altruist?"

"Jack has found it," said my visitor, "and we must make it. That is the
mission he sends me on. He has made it his life work to discover just
how this may be accomplished with the greatest ease, and to convey the
information to us."

"Then you are doubly welcome," I said. "Be seated and make yourself at
home. I hail you as a brother in a common cause, even if, as yet, I
have no name by which to call you."

"Excuse me," he said, "I should have introduced myself before, but
I was so overjoyed at finding Dr. Day that I forgot he knew nothing
about me. My name is Leo Vincennes. I have been in the public service
in some capacity, ever since I came to years of maturity; as soldier,
sailor, scout, and later, as civil engineer and explorer. I come now
from Alaska, and my special business here is to see you and deliver a
message, committed to my care by our esteemed brother and co-worker,
Jack Adams."

I had moved my chair as near to him as decorum would permit, and said
in reply:

"I am indeed happy to meet you, Mr. Vincennes. I have been thinking of
Jack all day, and I want you to tell me all about him."

"I saw him last at Cape Lisburne, on the northwestern coast of Alaska,
where I was on the lookout for a vessel that was to take me and my
party to San Francisco. We were employed on the coast survey, and our
allotted portion of the work included the cape, where we went into camp
about the last of June. Our lookout was on top of the bluff, which at
this point rises to a height of about eight hundred feet above the
level of the sea. The other members of our party were out on a hunt
while I remained at the lookout. Through my glass I had a clear view of
the sea for leagues away, and I continued to sweep the horizon with my
glass, as the unusually early breaking up of the ice led me to expect
the appearance of a ship at any time. I casually turned my glass and
espied a speck on the horizon, a little to the east of north, that
at first gave me the impression of a distant sail. Not thinking of a
vessel from that direction, I observed it more closely, and soon saw
that it was not on the surface of the water, but evidently in the air
and coming directly toward me. It looked like some monstrous bird, of a
magnitude such as I had never conceived.

"In my long experience as a soldier, sailor, scout and explorer of
the polar regions, I had been accustomed to remarkable adventures,
and had come to take pride in the fact that I could face danger of
any kind without a tremor; but I do not hesitate to confess that as
this gigantic, winged phenomenon of the heavens bore down toward me, I
quivered in every vein and fiber of my being. It came with a rapidity
that was startling, and ere I could recover my equanimity sufficiently
to determine whether I should try to get out of the way or take my
chances with the monster, it came to a halt directly over my head,
and I could see that it was some kind of a mechanical contrivance for
navigating the air, and that its movements were controlled by human
intelligence. It remained stationary for a moment, as if the occupant
were taking observations, and then dropped slowly down and alighted
on the highest point of the cape, within twenty feet of where I was
standing. As this strange vessel came to a rest, a door opened and out
stepped a young man who said in the clearest of English:

"'Well, well, I declare! Here is the same Leo Vincennes who gave me my
first lessons in navigation. How glad I am to see you so far north. I
was heading due south for the mouth of the Yukon, when I discovered you
scanning the horizon with your glass. I then changed my course a little
to the west and came directly to you.' I recognized his features, but
was dazed and stood rooted to the ground. Seeing my embarrassment, he
advanced, extending his hand as he said: 'Surely you have not forgotten
Jack Adams, the cabin-boy, who sailed on the same ship with you from
New York to Liverpool, and asked you so many questions about ships and
a seafaring life.'

"I grasped his hand, but for a moment my brain seemed benumbed, and my
tongue, to use an oft quoted phrase, 'clave to the roof of my mouth.'
I could only look at him in open eyed wonder--the same smooth-faced
lad that I had known and admired--nay loved, fifteen years ago. My
temporary paralysis gave way to a flood of feeling such as I had never
experienced before, and I convulsively shook his hand as I exclaimed:

"'Yes! yes! My dear old Jack, I remember you, but never again did
I expect to meet you--and least of all on this barren rock, in the
regions of eternal ice, beneath the midnight sun, and dropping from the
heavens to this mundane sphere. Where did you come from and whither are
you going? Have you put off this mortality with all its weakness and
put on immortality in some far off clime of perpetual youth, beyond the
utmost limit of our earthly vision?'

"'Hold on Leo,' he exclaimed, with that mischievous twinkle in his eye
that I remember so well, 'don't for Heaven's sake get superstitious.
Remember that if the Kingdom of Heaven can be established in us,
there evidently must be more in this mundane sphere than has ever
been dreamed of in our philosophy. I am no visitant from another
world, but I do come from another country, where man is master of his
environments, instead of being their servile victim, just as you and I
and all of the brothers and sisters on our plane of thought, believe
that all of this glorious old world ought to be. We must continue to
spread the light, and inspire our common humanity, in every stage of
development, wherever found, with higher aspirations and brighter ideas
of what is in store for them. We must give them hope and courage.
The good time coming, so oft foretold, is almost here, and it will
be realized just as soon as a respectable minority can be brought to
fully comprehend the way out of all their miseries, as well as they now
understand the crushing effects of their present environments. It is
for us to speak the word that will save them from all their miseries,
pains, and woes, here and now, without waiting for some far off time,
and wonderful change to be brought about in some mysterious and
incomprehensible manner. No! No! Leo, this is no time for us to stop
and simply wonder at something that is merely the birth-right of every
human being, while by a little well devised, intelligent and earnest
effort on the part of the very few reformers who are not yet entirely
submerged, we can secure to every human being every blessing he or she
is capable of appreciating. There is nothing impossible about this,
and if the world is not redeemed from its present low estate, it will
be because the few altruists in the world do not make the necessary
effort;--and they will surely make that effort when they comprehend how
easy it is to quietly and peacefully remove the burdens that ignorance
and greed have imposed, and thus rescue the toiler from the grasp of
the selfish. How much are you willing to do toward this work of saving
the world? Could you be persuaded to forget self for awhile and lend
your services to the cause of humanity, by spreading the light that
will save it, and save it too before even the older people of this
generation shall have passed off the stage?'

"I was carried away by his earnest appeal, and promptly responded:

"'I am indeed willing to make any conceivable sacrifice in such a
cause, my dear old Jack, but you must tell me what to do and how to do
it.'

"'Then can you go into the interior of the United States--to the great
Missouri Valley, and deliver a message from me to a dearly loved
friend, which will secure his assistance?'

"'I certainly will,' I said. 'Personal matters require my presence in
New York. I shall go from here to San Francisco, and thence across the
continent by rail, and can stop off at any point you desire. I have
been notified that, in the private papers of Richard Sage, who died
some years ago, a document was found, clearly proving that I am one
of the heirs to a large property, which was held in trust for minors,
whose whereabouts were unknown to the testator, my grandfather. I am
the representative of those heirs.'

"As I spoke, Jack's countenance became ashen pale and the expression
hard and stony, and as I concluded he asked in tones that struck me
with a chill like a polar wave:

"'And is Richard Sage dead?'

"'He died nearly fifteen years ago,' I said. 'Committed suicide, I
believe. Did you know him?'

"'I think so,' he said. 'He was a friend of my father--But,' he added
after a short pause, his face regaining its usual winning and kindly
expression, 'we have no time to give to the discussion of the dead
past. Come with me and take a look at our earth from the cosy cabin of
the Eolus, while I tell you something of my adventures in the way of
polar exploration, and explain what it is that I want you to do.'

"We stepped into a small but luxuriantly furnished car, which I shall
not attempt to describe, and seated ourselves upon a soft cushioned
divan. The walls were paneled on all sides with large transparent
sections, through which we obtained a clear and seemingly magnified
view of the surrounding scenery. There we were, poised on the highest
point of this towering rock, overlooking the sea, the rolling waves of
which dashed themselves into foam on the rocks below. Jack manipulated
a delicately arranged keyboard at his side, and in a minute more we
were flitting to and fro far above the earth at an almost inconceivable
speed, and then loitering along or standing still to get a better view
of objects of especial interest.

"Jack handed me what looked like a peculiarly constructed opera
glass, and requested me to take a peep at Cape Lisburne through the
transparent section at the bow. Though we were miles away, I felt that
I could reach out and pick up a pebble anywhere along this rock-bound
shore. This explained a mystery, and I turned to Jack and said: 'I
can now understand how it was that you discovered me at such a great
distance, for when I first saw you, your ship was but a speck, and
several points to the east of north.'

"'Yes,' he said, 'I discovered you on the lookout when several leagues
away. I had not expected to find civilized people so far north. As soon
as I saw you, I put the Eolus to her greatest speed directly toward
you, lest you should leave the lookout. As I came nearer I felt sure
that I recognized your features, and I at once made up my mind that
I had found one whom I could trust to assist me in the work I had
undertaken to perform. This fortunate meeting enables me to return
immediately, and relieve the painful anxiety of many loving hearts
concerning my safety. They had a most exaggerated conception of the
perils I would be compelled to encounter in attempting to traverse
these frozen regions.'

"He told me a wonderful story of his trials, perils and adventures in
getting past the great ice barriers, and his discovery of a World of
Truth beyond.

"When we had circumnavigated the country for miles around, we slowly
descended to earth and alighted at the same spot from which we started,
and as we separated, he to return to his new home beyond the ice
barriers, I to come to you, he placed his portmanteau in my hands and
said:

"'Go to Dr. Thomas K. Day, at Kansas City, and if he will agree to
publish the manuscript contained in this portmanteau and scatter it
broadcast over the world, place it in his hands and tell him to use the
gold contained also therein, which was contributed by the crew of the
Ice King for that purpose; for nothing but gold, the fetich of this
benighted and money enslaved external world, can command labor; and
yet it is labor and not gold, that is the sole producer of everything
essential to the sustenance and comfort of humanity. If Dr. Day cannot
be found, or is so situated that he cannot attend to this matter, use
the gold yourself to find a publisher, and have eight printed volumes
for me when I return with another manuscript of even more value, from
the same fruitful field of discovery.'

"And now Dr. Day," continued my visitor, "will you undertake to
discharge the trust committed to you by Jack Adams?"

"I will gladly do so" I replied, "for anything from Jack will surely be
a blessing to humanity."

He placed the portmanteau in my hands and said:

"I must bid you adieu. Send the eight volumes for Jack to my address at
Fort Yukon, Alaska, and as many more for myself, unless I should send
you other directions. I shall be anxious to read the book as soon as it
is published. Jack must have passed through some trying ordeals, and
from what I saw, his discoveries have been wonderful. But I must go."

I tried to detain him, but with a cordial grasp of the hand he was gone.

I turned and opened the portmanteau with the key that was attached. It
contained a package, securely enclosed in a wrapper of some water-proof
material, and marked "MS," and below was a glittering array of gold
eagles.

I examined the package of manuscript more closely. On either side it
was addressed to Dr. Thomas H. Day, Kansas City, and below was written:

"In the name of civilization I ask that whoever may find this package
shall place it in the hands of those who will publish the MS. contained
therein and have it scattered broadcast over the world, so that the
discoveries recorded shall not be lost to humanity.

  NEQUA."

This was repeated in French, German, Norwegian, Russian and Spanish.

And now dear reader, I shall give you the contents of this remarkable
manuscript, from the pen of my sailor comrade of years ago, Jack Adams,
but known in his new home as Nequa, the teacher. Ponder well the
lessons taught in these wonderful discoveries.

  Yours truly,
  THOMAS H. DAY.



CHAPTER II

  IN SAN FRANCISCO--WHERE SHALL I GO NEXT?--A STARTLING ITEM OF NEWS
  ANSWERS THE QUESTION AND ENDS THE SEARCH--IN MALE ATTIRE--ENLISTS
  AS SCIENTIST ON THE ICE KING--OFF TO THE NORTH POLE--AN UNEXPECTED
  BLOW--THE DANGER SIGNAL--THE RACE FOR LIFE--THE EARTHQUAKE--"THE
  CHANNEL IS CLOSING!"--"THE SHIP IS LOST!"

[Illustration]


I WAS in the parlor of the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. Since my
last visit to the city, I had circumnavigated the globe. During the
last three years, I had not only again visited the leading points of
interest for tourists in Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia, but had
extended my travels into the frozen regions of the far south, on a
whaling voyage. Yet I had not found that for which I was searching.

My failure had brought a feeling of intense sadness and depression
which I shall not attempt to describe. For fifteen years I had been
a wanderer on the high seas. I had traversed every latitude from
Greenland to the South frigid zone and was now mentally asking "Where
shall I go next?" I had determined that I would not give up this long
continued search until it was crowned with success, or death had
intervened, as long as there was one spot on earth unexplored.

Thus pondering in my own mind what to do next, I picked up an evening
paper and abstractedly glanced over its pages in the attempt to form an
idea of its contents by reading the headlines. In the editorial columns
my eye rested on the caption:

  "OFF TO THE NORTH POLE."

This was travel into a region I had not penetrated. I was at once
interested and glancing down the column I read the comments of the
editor. "The discovery of America," he said, "was the attempt to
discover a more direct and consequently a nearer route to India by
sailing westward. The object sought for was not found, but the search
gave to the overcrowded and oppressed millions of Christendom a new
world, where they might work out their destiny in conformity with
the ideal of the founder of their religion, beyond the reach of the
political and religious despotisms of the old world; and why may not
this venture, even though it fails to reach the pole, ultimate in
discoveries of inestimable value to mankind? We hope so, and hence we
wish the most abundant success to the expedition now being organized
in this city, by an experienced traveler and navigator, Capt. Raphael
Ganoe."

The paper dropped from my hand; I was overcome; my senses were
paralysed; my heart almost ceased to beat; my brain for a moment
was deprived of the power of thought. As the full import of this
unexpected revelation dawned upon me, I arose and paced the floor.

"My God," I exclaimed, "this cannot be, it must not be, but how can I
prevent it? All the arrangements are perfected. I cannot, I dare not,
under the circumstances, speak the word that possibly might prevent
this perilous undertaking." I was powerless. But I soliloquized, "If I
cannot prevent it, I must join the expedition, for never again will I
permit him to leave me."

My mind was made up. I was in the prime of life, about thirty-five
years of age, and had traveled extensively. I was familiar with
ocean navigation and versed in all the sciences taught in our higher
institutions of learning. I would make application for the position of
scientist, and failing in that would enlist before the mast as a common
sailor, if nothing better offered.

I turned to the mirror and surveyed myself long and earnestly. I raised
myself to my full height and critically viewed the womanly face and
figure revealed to my vision. Though not masculine, my form was strong
and muscular for one of my sex, and with the proper disguise it would
do. For the first time in years I had donned the habiliments of woman.
In masculine attire I had traveled without being discovered. Protected
by this disguise, I had filled almost every position on shipboard and
had succeeded in earning a competency, something I never could have
accomplished as a woman. It was not an experiment. I had tried it
successfully for years and would try it again.

I took up the paper and read the account of the expedition with more
care. The ship was one of the staunchest that had ever been built
and had been provided with all the modern appliances for the comfort
and protection of the crew, during a cruise that was intended to
be indefinitely extended. None but bold and experienced seamen had
been enlisted. As time was no object it was intended to use the sails
instead of steam whenever it was practicable. Hence the large space
usually given to coal was mainly reserved for an unusual supply of
carefully prepared provisions for a long sojourn in the Arctic regions.
Every thing that human foresight could devise for the success of this
expedition had been provided. The daring commander had determined to
take all the time that was needed for making careful surveys of the
shore lines of the frozen north, and sounding its seas.

My mind was made up. I retired at once to my rooms. The male attire
that I had used so successfully, was in my trunks. I need not worry
the reader at this time with the details of my hasty yet thorough
preparation for concealing my identity from the keen observation of
one who knew me so much better than the many with whom I had been
associated in my wanderings. Suffice it to say that every arrangement
was completed in my private apartments, without exciting the suspicion
of any person. I dressed myself in a neat sailor suit, which was
concealed from view beneath the ample folds of a fashionable wrapper.
I packed my trunks, summoned a porter and ordered my goods removed to
furnished rooms that I had previously engaged. When there, I removed
every article that would indicate that I was a woman, and with valise
in hand took my way to the dock, where the Ice King was being fitted up
with the greatest care by the experienced navigator in whose services
it was my intention to enlist.

It was in the early twilight of a glorious evening in May 189--. I
lingered a few moments on the wharf to enjoy the scene and to collect
my faculties for the trial that was to come. I was tall and slender
and my appearance was youthful and refined. Yet I flattered myself
that with my long experience in this disguise, I would be able to
successfully act the part I had determined upon. As I stepped on board,
I met an officer who accosted me with the familiar salutation: "Hello
Jack, what will you have?"

"I want to see Captain Ganoe," I said. "Where can I find him?"

"He is in his cabin," he replied, and passed on.

I gained the deck. The calm waters of the bay reflected the full
rounded moon and her stellar attendants. The harbor was almost
deserted. Vessels here and there dotted the placid surface of the
water. Music low, sweet and plaintive reached my ears. Its melancholy
strains drew me forward. The soul of the performer seemed to float out
upon the air through the tender caresses of the magic bow. The very
waves, as they sparkled in the mellow moonbeams, seemed to dance to the
sweet melody.

It came from the Captain's quarters. I passed in so quietly that I was
not observed. As I suspected, the musician was Captain Ganoe. He was so
absorbed in the plaintive notes of the violin, through which his soul
was speaking, that he did not notice my intrusion. He was in thought,
far away and oblivious to his surroundings.

I stood and carefully scanned the form before me. It was that of a
man of mature years, broad shoulders and medium height, firmly knit,
compactly built and fair complexion. His eyes were blue, his nose
a combination of Grecian and Roman, his mouth firm, and his entire
bearing indicative of courage and strength of character. His brow was
broad and thoughtful; his expression kind and firm. Everything left
the impression that, though comparatively young, he had drained the cup
of bitter disappointment to its dregs. While I sympathized, his sadness
brought a feeling of sweet relief. Oh, how my heart bounded, and for
the moment I felt impelled to fall upon his bosom and sob out the story
of my wrongs. But no, this would not do. I must be patient and first
ascertain from his own lips, in just what light he would regard me when
he learned the whole truth.

I aroused him from his reverie with the inquiry:

"Is this Captain Ganoe?"

He looked up quickly, surprised to see a stranger in his cabin, and
responded:

"Yes, young man, I am Captain Ganoe, and let me ask to what I am
indebted for the honor of this visit. Did you not meet an officer who
could attend to your wants?"

"I did," I replied, "but I wanted to see and talk with Captain Ganoe."

The severity left his countenance, and he bade me be seated.

"Now young man," said he, "please state fully but briefly, what you
want, for my time is entirely occupied."

I answered promptly, and without preliminary explanations I said:

"I have just learned from the papers that you are about to sail for
the most thorough exploration of the Arctic regions that has yet been
attempted, and I want to go with you."

He turned up the lamp which had been burning low, and looked me full
in the face. I felt his searching gaze but withstood it, with no
exhibition of the fears I felt for the success of my plans. But with
inward tremor, I awaited his reply. After hesitating a moment, he said
deliberately:

"You do not know what you ask. You are young and refined. This
expedition must encounter dangers, known and unknown, and none but the
strong and experienced should be permitted to make the venture. It
would be wrong in me to take a young man like you from the bosom of his
family, from society, and all the opportunities for a successful and
useful life, to go with me on this perilous expedition. The fact is,
you ought to return home and leave such hazardous adventures as this
for those who have no hopes to be blasted, and who wish for reasons of
their own, to hide themselves away from the world. Please tell me your
name and where you come from."

"My name sir," I replied, "is Jack Adams, and I have just returned from
a three years cruise, during which time I visited the leading seaports
of the world. I have become familiar with a life on the high seas in
all the medial latitudes, and now propose to explore the frozen north.
As to family, I have none. I am an orphan, and all alone in the world.
I graduated from school at the head of my class and then shipped as
cabin boy and worked my way up to a position of super-cargo. I have
been a practical student of navigation--never sailing twice on the same
line of travel when I could avoid it. I now offer my services to you
because I want to go with you into the unexplored regions of the north.
I have had enough of the tropic and temperate zones. If I never return
I leave no one to mourn my loss."

He looked his astonishment and was visibly softened as he responded:

"We have no need of a super-cargo and we have all the seamen we want.
I have just formed a co-partnership with Captain Samuel Battell, who is
not only an officer of ability and long experience in the Arctics, but
an expert scientist and mathematician. Every place seems to be full."

"I am not," I replied, "seeking a position as super-cargo, nor am I
asking any position that requires pay or even board, if you can find
room in your commissary for the supplies I stand ready to furnish. I
can and will do any work that may be assigned me. All I want is to be
permitted to go with this expedition, take my own chances and pay my
own way."

"You seem very much in earnest Mr. Adams, and I am frank to admit that
I admire your courage even if I doubt your judgment in this matter.
But what can you do, and what evidence have you to offer that you can
render valuable service in an expedition of this character? As to pay,
I would not have you infer that I regarded it as any object to one of
your adventurous disposition. No one enlisted in this expedition is
promised a salary but the common sailors, and that is paid by Captain
Battell and myself."

"As to what I can do," I responded, "I am by education and experience,
qualified to navigate the vessel and make every necessary scientific
observation and calculation. I am familiar with all that has been
published on Arctic exploration and discovery. As to my ability, you
can best ascertain that by inquiring into what I know. That is the
best evidence of my training and experience on the high seas. I do not
shrink from the necessary examination."

"You are right," said he, "and I will consult my partner. If it is
agreeable to him, you may take charge of our library and scientific
instruments, assist in our observations and keep a record of the
expedition. I will summon Captain Battell."

He touched an electric button and in a moment a bell sounded at his
side. He said to me:

"Captain Battell will be here in a moment, and I will leave this matter
to him."

A moment later, the same officer I had met when I first came aboard the
ship, entered and I was formally introduced. He cordially shook my hand
and Captain Ganoe told him what I wanted, and, quite unexpectedly to
me, said:

"Mr. Adams is admirably qualified, and I think we had better place
him in charge of the scientific work of the expedition. We can assist
him as occasion requires. This will enable us to give our entire
attention to the exigencies of the situation in the dangerous waters of
the Arctic regions, while Mr. Adams will keep a record of everything
discovered that may be of value, and send out duplicates of the same by
the balloons, as we intended, so that if the expedition should be lost,
the winds may carry some account of our discoveries to the civilized
portions of the globe." Evidently in the mind of Captain Ganoe, I had
already been appointed to the position which of all others I would have
preferred, and one that would always keep me near his own quarters. And
to this, Captain Battell assented, saying:

"I met Mr. Adams on his arrival, and was favorably impressed with his
appearance and evident determination to see the senior officer of the
Ice King." And turning to me he continued, "I will now take pleasure in
showing you through the library, which will be your quarters during the
voyage."

Captain Battell was the opposite of Captain Ganoe in his personal
appearance. He was powerfully built, of medium height, dark
complexion, dark hair, and steel grey eyes set beneath a broad and
beetling brow. The general contour of his features indicated courage,
firmness, and strength of character. He was just that type of a man
who might be expected to appear to the best advantage in some great
emergency that demanded qualities of a high order.

All the appointments for the scientific work were of the first quality.
The library contained the leading scientific publications, together
with encyclopedias, and historic and general literature, carefully
catalogued for easy reference.

Every kind of scientific instruments, charts, maps, globes, cameras,
etc., had been selected with the greatest care. Among the special
supplies were the balloons to which Captain Ganoe had referred. These
were small and could be inflated at short notice. They were designed
to be sent up from time to time with accounts of the expedition, its
progress, discoveries etc., hermetically sealed. It is well known that
at the equinoxes, the heated air from the tropics ascends to the higher
altitudes and flows toward the poles, while the cold air flows toward
the equator to fill the vacuum, producing the equinoctial storms. These
little balloons were expected to be carried south by the winds, and
find a resting place on the land surface where they might be picked up
by civilized people; or if they fell into the water, the bottles would
preserve the dispatches and the ocean currents might carry them into
civilized countries. Thus every precaution was taken to secure to the
world the benefit of any discovery that might be made, even though the
expedition should be lost.

I was well pleased with my quarters. All the surroundings would be,
to me, most satisfactory, no matter what the trials and dangers that
we might encounter. I was enlisted for the expedition, and in the
position I preferred above all others, as it brought me into frequent
consultation with the commander, and I should be able to acquaint
myself with his present views and feelings and note what changes had
taken place since I saw him last.

I lost no time in having my trunks brought on board and made ready for
the voyage. The Ice King was soon at sea. We stopped at one of the
Aleutian Islands where we took on our dog teams, which were to be used
for explorations on the ice. The sledges were so constructed that they
might readily be converted into boats that would accommodate the whole
crew and a good supply of provisions, in case we should be compelled
to abandon the ship. We expected to be locked up in the ice during
the winter, but with our sledges and dog teams, we could continue our
explorations for long distances in every direction, with the ship for
headquarters. Captain Battell was a whaler and familiar with all the
methods of Arctic travel. His long experience on these northern waters
enabled him to forsee many of the dangers we were likely to meet, and
to make the needful preparations to overcome them.

From this point our voyage northward through Behring Strait and into
the Arctic Ocean, was without any incident worth recording. Our course
after passing the strait, was a little east of north to avoid the ice,
until we reached longitude 165 degrees West of Greenwich, and then
north. Captain Ganoe often came into my cabin to while away an hour in
conversation. His marked friendship seemed to increase with each visit.
He always addressed me familiarly as Jack, and in these conversations
he became more and more confidential, and revealed to me more and more
of his inner life, his early hopes and subsequent disappointments.

One evening after we had been at sea about four months, he came into
my cabin looking unusually gloomy. After the customary salutation he
lighted a cigar and fell into a brown study, not speaking to me for
several minutes, when suddenly he said:

"Jack, did you ever think what mere trifles sometimes change the whole
course of a life-time? I often wonder at myself for being out here
on this wild goose chase, with the certainty of loss of property,
business, comfort and possibly life itself, searching for something I
have no use for, and which at best if discovered, will only gratify an
idle curiosity. And yet, this has been brought about by what was only a
trifling incident. Have you ever thought of these strange effects which
flow from trivial causes?"

He spoke bitterly and I determined to take advantage of the opportunity
to draw him out. I wanted to penetrate the inmost recesses of his
being, and with this object in view I replied:

"Yes, Captain, I have often thought of it and have realized it in my
own experience. It sometimes seems little short of a miracle, that
after years of wandering, I am now here with you. In my case I was not
influenced by a mere trifle, but a stern necessity. I had absolutely
nothing to lose, and I thought I might find something which, under the
circumstances, would amply repay me for all the hardships and dangers
I might have to encounter. But you were differently situated. You were
independent. You had wealth, business and influential friends, while
I had been robbed of my patrimony, and was thrown upon the world with
nothing but my hands and brain to work with. My course was a necessity,
but it is a mystery why you should abandon a profitable business and
organize this expedition at such an enormous expenditure of labor and
money, while you regard its avowed objects as matters of such little
importance. Your course seems to involve a self-contradiction that I
cannot comprehend."

"And thereby hangs a tale," said the Captain. "As a matter of fact,
I never did attach any great importance to Arctic exploration. From
my point of view, the discovery of the Pole would be of no especial
value to mankind, as no practical use could be made of it. Even the
discovery of a productive country, which may be possible, could not
greatly benefit the world, as it would be inaccessible to the masses of
humanity whose condition would be improved by the discovery of a new
country and cheap homes. While such a successful culmination would be
of small benefit to the world, it would be of still less interest to
myself. I really care but little about what we may find at the end of
this voyage."

"Then," I said, "if such be the estimate that you place upon the
objects of this expedition, I am more than ever curious to learn what
could have impelled you to undertake it. You must have had a reason of
some kind. I cannot understand how men can act without a motive."

"Yes," said he, "I was impelled to organize this expedition by a power
stronger than myself, but when I ask myself what I expect to accomplish
by it, truth compels me to answer: 'Nothing.' As to the motive, I
suppose that I have been actuated by an all-absorbing desire to forget
the miseries of the past in the activities of the present."

"But this is not the tale that unlocks the mystery." I responded.
"You have aroused my curiosity to a fever heat, and yet you fail to
gratify it. It might be that I could pour oil on the troubled waters
and possibly enable you to discover that you have been actuated by a
mistaken conception, and that really there is nothing in the past that
you should desire to forget. It would certainly do no harm to review
the case, and it might reveal the fact that it was a source of misery,
simply because all the circumstances were not fully understood."

"I have no desire," said the Captain, "to conceal the story of my life
from you, if you care to hear it. But I fully understand it and it is
of such a nature as to admit of no remedy."

"Do not be too sure of that," I said. "But until the story is told, of
course I will not be able to form an intelligent opinion of the case.
Yet, observation and experience have convinced me that there are always
two sides to every question and that to get at the facts in all their
bearings, we must closely examine both sides."

"Well," said the captain, "I see that you were cut out for a lawyer
and the wonder is how you came to be a sailor. You certainly have a
judicial cast of mind and to while away the monotony of the hour, I
will submit the matter to you, reserving the right, however, to decide
for myself. I have always exercised my natural right to examine every
question from my own standpoint and decide it according to my own sense
of right and wrong.

"It is the same old story of an all-absorbing love and a cruel
disappointment, followed by long years of suppressed anguish, from
which I am still striving to escape. I was an orphan, living with
my bachelor uncle, Richard Sage, in one of the suburbs of New York
City. He was my guardian and the executor of the estate left me by
my father. My uncle was kind and indulgent, and my widowed aunt who
presided over his home, was to me a loving mother, and so my childhood
days were passed in happy contentment.

"One misty, dreary morning, my uncle announced at the breakfast table
that he had been called to the bedside of his old friend, James
VanNess, who was supposed to be dying. He said he would not return
until his friend was much better or dead, and not to be disappointed if
he was absent for several days, or possibly weeks.

"A week later I saw my uncle drive up to the gate and assist a very
beautiful young girl from the carriage. He beckoned me to him, and
introduced me, saying:

"'Raphael, I have brought you a little sister. This is Miss Cassie
VanNess, whose father I was called to see. I have been made her
guardian and this will be her future home. Both mother and father are
dead and she has no near relatives. Remember this, and do everything in
your power to make her home with us as happy as possible.'

"We at once became great friends. Cassie was at that time about
fourteen or fifteen years of age and I was eighteen. She proved to
be the gayest, brightest, most winsome little lady I had ever seen.
I must have fallen in love with her at first sight. I have often
thought since," he added slowly, "that even his Satanic Majesty might
look entrancingly beautiful, for to my intense sorrow, Cassie proved
herself, it seems to me, a tenfold greater hypocrite than Judas of old
who betrayed with a kiss.

"But enough of this. Our school days, lasting some five years, were
to me one ceaseless round of delightful experiences, which seemed to
fill every vein and fiber of my being with unalloyed happiness. During
our vacations Cassie and I were always together, either at home or
traveling, and many were the excursions, romps and drives we enjoyed.

"I graduated at twenty-three and we laid our plans for the future.
I had inherited an interest in a line of steamers running between
Liverpool and New York, which enabled us to frequently cross the
Atlantic during our vacations, and visit the leading points of
interest in Great Britain and on the continent. I had acquired a taste
for travel, and it was determined that I should visit the Orient,
while Cassie returned to college to complete her study of the higher
branches. I was to be gone about three years, during which time I would
circumnavigate the globe, and on my return we were to be married.

"With these objects in view I secured, through the influence of my
uncle, a lucrative position in the employ of a firm of importers, whose
trade extended to all parts of the eastern continent and Australia.
On the evening before my departure, I placed a brilliant diamond
engagement ring on Cassie's finger and a gold chain and locket of
peculiar workmanship around her neck.

"These presents were made from special designs for this purpose and
the patterns destroyed. I shall never forget the last night we spent
together. The appearance of my affianced bride in her splendid evening
dress, her diamond engagement ring sparkling on her lovely hand, the
gold chain and diamond set locket and her luxuriant suit of golden hair
handsomely ornamented, formed a picture of beauty indelibly imprinted
upon my memory.

"My ship sailed from one of the piers on the Hudson near the Battery.
We contemplated the circumnavigation of the globe by way of Cape
Horn, the Sandwich Islands, Japan, China, Australia, Africa, Europe,
and thence returning to America, stopping at all the principal seaport
cities and points of interest on our voyage. This would enable Cassie
and me to keep up our correspondence with no very long interruptions.

"For the first year of my absence, at every port I received a package
of letters from home, and this always contained letters from Cassie.
We had agreed to write to each other at least once a week without
waiting for replies, and it often occurred that I got a whole package
of letters from her at one time, and the perusal of these affectionate
missives was the one all-absorbing pleasure to which I looked forward
when we came into port. Whatever else might be lacking, Cassie's loving
letters never failed.

"At last, however, they ceased all at once. Letters from my uncle came
regularly, and through them I heard of Cassie, but I could get no
word from her. I wrote to her every week, but my letters brought no
response. I was miserable, and urged my uncle to find out what was the
matter and let me know if my letters came safely.

"My uncle's replies were at first evasive, but at last with an
expression of the most cordial sympathy for me, he informed me that my
letters came regularly, but that Cassie had changed her mind and they
remained unopened. He enclosed a draft on London for the balance due
on my estate, together with a complete statement of the account from
the date of his taking charge, and the findings of the court as to all
the property and investments that came to me from my father. Everything
was complete and duly certified, so there was nothing that demanded my
presence in New York. He advised me not to return home, but continue in
my present position, as Cassie was to be married in a short time and my
presence would be painful to her as well as to myself, and embarrassing
to everyone concerned.

"I was thunderstruck. I did not, could not, would not believe that
Cassie was false to our mutual and oft repeated pledges of love and
fidelity to each other. I could get no satisfaction from my uncle.
My aunt had been dead several years. I wrote to my lawyer to learn
if possible, the truth of the reported engagement and approaching
marriage. His reply was prompt, stating that it was not only true,
but that the marriage had already taken place. He wrote that he had
been called in by my uncle, who was in feeble health, to make out
the papers in regard to the estate of Cassie VanNess, which she was
anxious to have settled satisfactorily to herself before her marriage.
'These financial matters being arranged,' wrote my lawyer, 'what was
my surprise to be called upon to witness her marriage to Richard Sage.
Financially she did well, but it is hard for me to believe that it was
a love match. Your uncle, however, is certainly much infatuated with
her, and she is indeed beautiful.'

"This same letter contained a flattering offer from a firm of New York
importers, for my interest in the steamship line, and I advised my
attorney to close the deal at once and forward the proceeds to London
and also to dispose of all my property in and about New York, lists of
which were in his possession. I had made up my mind never to return
home, as it would be distressing to me and certainly embarrassing to my
uncle. After that my only New York correspondence was with my attorney.

"When I reached London, I found a letter from my attorney with drafts
on the bank of England for all my interests in America. This letter
also contained the information that my uncle was in great trouble,
his marriage with Cassie having resulted in much unhappiness. She
had suddenly deserted him without giving any reason for her strange
conduct. She merely left a note, stating that she would not live with
him. This was the last that had been heard from her. 'Of course,' added
my attorney, 'it would be next to impossible to find her in this large
city if she desires to keep herself concealed.'

"Since that time I have been a wanderer, caring little whither I went,
so that my mind was fully occupied. I purchased a staunch ship in which
I cruised for years, avoiding as far as practicable the regular lines
of trade and often sailing without a cargo, searching for a contentment
never to be found. At last I conceived the idea of getting away from
civilization altogether, joining in the work of Arctic exploration,
and, if possible reaching the pole. With this end in view, I had the
Ice King built according to special designs, and adapted, so far as
human foresight and ingenuity could devise, for a long sojourn in the
frozen north. And now here we are, in the Arctic Ocean, liable at any
moment to be caught between the ice fields which appear on either side,
and possibly crushed. What is to come next? God only knows.

"Such is a brief statement of the perfidy of the woman I loved, and
its consequences. And this is why I am out here on this perilous
expedition, searching for something that I care very little about. I
think you will agree with me that it admits of no remedy."

"It does not look that way to me," I responded. "I would be unwilling
to condemn your affianced bride until I had heard her side of the
story. It may be that her marriage to your uncle was secured by unfair
means, and that when she discovered the fraud, in her desperation she
started out to find you. In that case, the remedy would be for you to
find her and renew your plighted faith."

"Never!" said Captain Ganoe. "Even if your supposed case is correct,
it could not set aside the facts. She knew that, in marrying my uncle,
she was false to me, and when she deserted him with no legal cause for
separation, she was false to her husband to whom she was bound in the
holy bonds of matrimony. She acted from her own choice. She was not
compelled to engage herself to me, and no law could have forced her to
marry my uncle. Her conduct in both cases reveals her innate perfidy
of character, and under no circumstances could I, as an honorable man,
accept such a woman as my wife. Her tarnished reputation, if nothing
else, would place an insurmountable barrier between us even if she were
not legally the wife of another man."

I was paralyzed. I had indeed succeeded in getting from him an emphatic
expression of sentiment covering my own case. I had penetrated the
innermost recesses of his being, but had fanned to a flame the
slumbering fires of a volcano, only to be submerged in the eruption of
molten lava.

The blow was so unexpected and so sudden, that I was stupefied, and
my astonishment left no room for grief, which gave me a moment for
reflection. Here I was, in the ship with him, far within the Arctic
Circle, at the beginning of the Arctic winter, and with the certainty
of being locked up in the ice for months if not for years. I could
not get away from him if I would, and from his own lips I had heard
my conduct denounced as the acme of perfidy, and my love spurned as
something treacherous and vile. Bitterly and in the most emphatic
manner, had he declared that as an honorable man, he could never
associate himself in the tender relations of marital love, with one of
my tarnished reputation. In his own estimate, he had already assigned
me a place among the most debased and abandoned characters, and all
there was left for me to do was to preserve my disguise, in order to
secure even respectful treatment from the man I loved.

As the full sense of the situation dawned upon me in all its crushing
weight of humiliation and anguish, I must have fallen at his feet in a
dead faint, but for the clangor of the great bell which had been agreed
upon as the signal of immediate peril, to summon each one to the post
that had been assigned him in case of sudden emergencies. The alarm
came to me as a sweet relief from an agony tenfold more difficult to
endure than any possible hardships or dangers from an Arctic storm,
amid towering mountains of ice.

There was no time for grief. The emergency demanding prompt action
was upon us, and we hurried out upon deck. According to previous
arrangements, Captain Ganoe seized the wheel and Captain Battell, as
an experienced Arctic navigator, took command, while I, with glass and
note book, stood by the wheel to make observations and to render any
assistance to Captain Ganoe that might be required.

The cause of alarm at once became apparent. The stiff breeze that
had been blowing all day from the southwest, had now increased to a
gale, and the icebergs which for days were becoming more numerous on
our starboard quarter, had formed a solid pack, which was evidently
land-locked, as it remained stationary, while on the larboard, a solid
field of ice of vast extent was approaching. It was only a question
of a few hours at the utmost, when these two great ice walls must come
together and it would be destruction for us to be caught in their
deadly embrace.

Retreat was impossible. The only open channel was the one we were
pursuing. The walls on either side were continuous, and with my glass
I could see the channel behind us blocked with icebergs, urged on in
our wake by wind and waves as if determined not to let us escape. Our
only safety seemed to be in our being able to sail beyond these two
continuous walls of ice before they came together. Captain Battell,
with his glass kept up a rapid survey of the horizon, and gave orders
through his trumpet as calmly as if scenes like this were matters of
every day occurrence, and Captain Ganoe, at the wheel, responded as
if he was part of the machinery, which he handled with rapidity and
precision.

It was a scene never to be forgotten. The midnight sun hung just above
the horizon. Off to our larboard, an unbroken wall of ice extending as
far as the eye, assisted by a powerful glass could reach, was bearing
down upon us. On our starboard another wall of ice against which the
waves were dashing in all their fury, stood apparently as firm as the
granite shores against which it rested. Behind us, the channel was
filled with detached masses of ice, which if caught between these ice
walls might hasten the closing of the channel before us. Could we
escape? was the all pervading question that propounded itself to us.

Every sail was set and under the pressure of every pound of steam our
boilers could carry, the Ice King leaped forward like a frightened
deer, as if conscious of the doom that was impending. For hours we
kept up this reckless speed. The foam flew in blinding spray from the
ship's quarters, fretted along her sides and left a broad white line
in her wake. The whistling of the wind in her rigging and the regular
plunging of her engines, made pandemonium on board.

It was indeed a race for life, and in my perturbed state of mind I
actually enjoyed the excitement, almost hoping that it might culminate
in the destruction threatened. With the courage of despair I calmly
surveyed the scene and took my notes, occasionally assisting Captain
Ganoe at the wheel. This was the first real danger that we had
encountered, and my interview with the Captain had given me a reckless
daring to meet it without a tremor, that seems almost miraculous.

We still kept up this rapid flight, and as far as the eye could reach
the two great ice walls still confronted each other and the channel of
open water continued to grow more narrow. Soon we had to veer from side
to side to avoid collisions with the jagged shore-lines of ice, but
nowhere was there any indication that when they came together an open
space would be formed sufficient to protect the ship. We were compelled
to reduce our speed, and still the ice-fields were coming closer
together and at last we were forced to creep along a narrow, crooked
channel between two great packs of ice-mountains which often towered
far above the mainmast of the Ice King.

The outlook was desperate, but the ice on our larboard ceased to
approach, and for a moment it seemed as if we might escape into open
water. But not so. Our way was blocked. An ice-mountain loomed up
before us, and we came to a full stop. It was this that had probably
checked the advance of the moving ice-pack, and saved us from the cruel
"nip" which has crushed so many hapless vessels in these dangerous
waters.

The Ice King lay between two vast overhanging ice-mountains, which
towered high above us. In the front was the huge iceberg, which had
prevented the nearer approach of the wall of ice. The channel in which
we lay could only be closed by the breaking up of the fields of ice
behind us, and we could see no reason why this should occur. If the
ice-fields remained intact until the freezing of the channel there
would be no collision and we would be safe for the time being.

The weather had become intensely cold and we began to feel that the
danger had passed by, when an ominous roar and the sharp reports of
breaking ice, gave warning of the only thing we had to dread. A violent
earthquake was lashing the ocean into fury, and the ice pack was broken
into innumerable fragments, which were crashing against each other in
the most violent commotion. Captain Battell shouted from the lookout
where he had posted himself:

"Save yourselves if you can. The channel is closing and the ship is
lost."

I looked up, and as I did so, the lofty ice-mountains between which we
lay, seemed to be falling directly down upon us, and at the same time
a violent shock threw me upon the deck with a force that must have
rendered me unconscious for a few seconds.



CHAPTER III.

  IN THE DARK--ALL IS STILL--CAPTAIN GANOE'S NARROW ESCAPE--IMPRISONED
  IN THE ICE--DISTRESSING SITUATION--HOW TO PRESERVE THE HEALTH AND
  EFFICIENCY OF THE CREW--A NEW DANGER--THE ICE IS MOVING--THE COMMON
  SAILOR TO THE RESCUE--LIEF AND ERIC SAVE THE SHIP--THE TUNNEL TO THE
  SURFACE--EXPLORING THE ICE-FIELD.

[Illustration]


THE first thing I remember after being thrown to the deck, was the
profound quiet, and the consciousness that some mighty change had taken
place in our surroundings. I opened my eyes. The deck was wrapped in
semi-darkness, and instead of the thundering reverberations of the
breaking ice and the waves dashing into foam upon their icy barriers,
there was a gentle, swish, swish, of the sea as it lashed the sides of
the ship. I felt dazed, and the memory of the awful scenes through
which we had passed impressed me like the vivid imagery and fantastic
pictures of some horrible dream.

At the moment of the shock, fully impressed with the conviction that
all was lost, I was turning to grasp Raphael in my arms, so that we
might die together, and on recovering consciousness, my first thought
was of him. I sprang to my feet and in the dim light I saw something
gliding away from me towards the edge of the deck, and I instinctively
grasped it, as it was about to drop overboard. It was Captain Ganoe.
He was living but unconscious. With my insecure footing, I feared for
a moment that we should both go overboard together, when there was a
flash of light and Battell seized my arm, exclaiming:

"Thank God, you are both alive! I called to you and as you did not
reply, I feared that you were both killed by the falling ice. It was
lucky that you were able to grasp the Captain just when you did, or he
would surely have been lost."

I was holding Captain Ganoe in my arms, while Battell was briskly
chafing his hands. In a moment he aroused, as if suddenly awaking out
of a deep sleep, and straightening himself up in a dazed sort of way,
he exclaimed:

"Good God, Jack, what is the matter? Where are we? Have I been asleep?"

"Oh, we are only imprisoned in the ice," said Battell. "I feared that
you were crushed by that huge block of ice which came so near carrying
away the part of the deck where you were standing. If Jack had not
caught you and drawn you back at the imminent risk of his own life, you
would now be at the bottom of the sea."

Captain Ganoe, now fully aroused, took in the situation at a glance,
and exclaimed as he grasped me by the hand:

"Jack, my savior! The last I remember was that you were turning as if
to grasp me in your arms. It was indeed a close call. But why did you
risk your life to save mine?"

I had scarcely spoken since the alarm had ended our conversation in
my cabin, and I felt that to do so now, in answer to such a question,
would betray my weakness and possibly my secret, which I had resolved
to guard more closely than ever. Fortunately, however, he did not wait
for a reply, but with his usual thoughtfulness for the crew and safety
of the ship, he started below, saying:

"Come on, my bruises are not severe, and we must look out for the
sailors and make a tour of inspection around the ship and ascertain as
nearly as possible, in just what kind of a place we are."

Just as we reached the deck below, we met Paul Huston, the engineer;
Pat O'Brien, second mate; and Mike Gallagher, the cabin boy. They
understood what had happened and feared we had been injured or killed
by the shower of ice that had fallen upon the upper deck. They reported
everything all right with the crew and that the vessel was apparently
uninjured.

We passed entirely around the ship, narrowly scanning the walls of our
ice prison, with a powerful reflector, which revealed every crevice.
We lay in an inclosure which gave the vessel more than room enough
to turn around if carefully handled. We ascertained that the great
overhanging ice-mountains between which we lay, and that had threatened
us with instant destruction, had actually been our salvation. When
the earthquake shattered the two great ice-fields, these towering
mountains had started to tumble over on the ship at the same time, and
meeting far above had formed a massive arch which had prevented the
closing of the channel at that point. Here and there were openings in
the icy roof, but in the main, the colliding masses were closely joined
together. The only injury to the ship was from the block of ice that
had fallen so near to Captain Ganoe. From the number of fragments of
from one to several pounds in weight, which were scattered over the
upper deck, it seemed a marvel that we had escaped without serious
injury.

When our tour of inspection was completed we repaired to the library to
talk over the situation. Addressing Battell, Captain Ganoe asked:

"What do you think of the situation?"

"I apprehend no immediate danger," replied Captain Battell. "In a few
hours with the present intense cold, this ice-pack will be frozen into
one solid block. But if we are not crushed by the ice, God only knows
when we will get out. As for the present, we are most fortunately
situated. We could not find better winter quarters in the frigid zone.
We are well protected from the cold, and the fishing will be good, as
this will be a good breathing place where the fish will gather for air.
We can lay in an ample supply of dog feed and I am inclined to believe
that we might capture a whale and lay in a supply of oil for fuel."

"But how long do you think it will be," asked the Captain, "before we
will have an opportunity to get the ship clear of the ice?"

"I would not venture a prediction," replied Battell. "One thing is
certain. We are sealed up for the winter, and it may be that the entire
summer will not be sufficient to produce a break up of the ice-field
in which we are caught. So it may be that we will be cooped up for a
year or two. There is no telling how long we will be prisoners."

"Well, I suppose then," said the Captain, "that all there is for us to
do is to wait."

"Yes," said Battell, "that is all we can do, and," he added, smiling,
"it will not take much effort. But," after a pause, "it will take some
effort on our part to provide sufficient exercise and amusement to
preserve the health and discipline of the crew, so that we will have a
reasonable prospect of getting clear of the ice when the break up does
take place."

"That is well thought of," said Captain Ganoe, "and I think it would be
well to muster the crew and organize a regular system of employment and
amusement. And," turning to me, he continued, "what do you have to say,
Jack? I never knew you to be so silent. What is the matter? Have you no
opinions to offer, and nothing to suggest?"

"I certainly have opinions and I might offer some suggestions," I
remarked, "but before doing so, I want to familiarize myself with
existing conditions. Only one thing seems certain, just at present,
and that is, that we are locked up in the ice for several months and
perhaps for years to come. This will give us ample time for careful
reflection. There is no reason that we should be in a hurry to
inaugurate a rigid system of any kind just now in order to preserve
the discipline of the crew. There is no danger of their deserting the
ship and we can well afford to wait until the novelty of our present
surroundings has worn away."

"You are right," said the Captain. "There is certainly a novelty in
our present surroundings, that will attract the attention of all and
prevent ennui for the time being, but this will soon wear away, and
the monotony of our imprisonment will become unbearable, except to
the best disciplined minds. This will be particularly severe on our
common sailors, who are uneducated, and thus deprived of the numberless
sources of recreation and amusement to which we have ready access. When
this time comes, what would you do?"

"So far as I am concerned," I said, "I have access to the library, and
will really enjoy the association that it affords with the brightest
intellects and noblest characters of earth, past and present. Now,
if I should suggest anything for the relief of the common sailors,
outside of such exercise and amusements as are essential to health, I
would organize them into a school, and seek to bring these more exalted
pleasures within their reach by increasing their knowledge, and giving
them broader views of life and higher aspirations. This will also
furnish us with needful and elevating employment and will certainly
afford us a splendid opportunity to do good to others, and at the same
time increase our own knowledge of human nature, and to trace the
effects produced by environments, on the masses who have not enjoyed
the advantages of a liberal education."

"Your suggestion," said the Captain, "is all right as far as the better
educated are concerned, but it would be useless and probably hurtful to
the common sailors. Remember the old adage that 'a little learning is
a dangerous thing.' To the extent that we could succeed in giving them
broader views of life and higher aspirations, we would only succeed in
making them dissatisfied with their lot, and thus weaken the discipline
on which the safety of all depends. All that we can do for the common
sailors is to provide such healthful exercise of the muscles as will
give them good appetites and enable them to enjoy rest and sleep. They
would not appreciate the mental feast which you in your kindness of
heart would set before them. Their training has been physical, and,
hence, their enjoyments must be of the same nature. The same rules that
apply to trained intellects will not apply to them."

"If that is your opinion," I said, "there is no use for any suggestions
from me. You are the owner and senior officer of the Ice King, and, of
course, good discipline demands that your will shall be law. You ought
to understand the material of which your crew is composed, better than
I. My duties have not brought me in contact with your sailors and, of
course, I know practically nothing about them, except that I see they
are courageous and efficient. But, nevertheless, on general principles,
I believe that nature has planted the germs of all that is good and
noble in every human soul, and if this is true, all that is good and
noble can be developed in them by the proper influences, without
detracting in any way from their usefulness as mere workers; besides,
the effort to elevate them draws them nearer to us, and it seems to me,
would tend to engender feelings of mutual love and confidence, that
strengthen instead of weaken that perfect discipline which is of such
inestimable importance to an expedition like this, when the safety and
well-being of every individual member is of vital importance to the
safety and well being of the entire crew."

"I have always had the respect and confidence of my sailors," said the
Captain, "not because I tried to lift them up to the same plane that I
occupied, but because I provided them with good food, good quarters,
never overtaxed their strength, and gave them ample time for rest
and such amusements as they could appreciate. I have always had the
good-will and cheerful obedience of the common sailors, because I
looked out for their physical needs and treated them kindly."

"I have no doubt of that," I said. "But your voyages in the past have
been between civilized ports and all your sailors wanted was their
pay, and in addition to this, you gave them better treatment than they
could get elsewhere. Hence, their selfish impulses held them to you.
The relation between you and them was purely physical, and all that was
needed to make them loyal to you, was to look out for their physical
wants and treat them kindly. From their standpoint, this was an
addition to their wages that they could not secure under more heartless
employers. But you are now differently situated. You are not expected
to come into a civilized port where sailors can spend their wages as
sailors usually do. They have nothing to look forward to, and as mere
workers they have no interests in common with you. But with the broader
views of life to which association with the best intellects and the
noblest characters gives access, they would take a more exalted view of
the work in which they are engaged, and be true to you from a higher
motive than their wages, which they cannot use in the supply of their
physical wants. This is why I suggested the school."

"I recognize the force of your reasoning," said the Captain, "and if I
regarded your premises as correct, I would come to the same conclusion
that you do. But you make the mistake of overlooking the fact that a
liberal education can only be secured by years of training in school,
from the kindergarten to the college, and should be accompanied by the
elevating influences of the home and cultured society, and followed by
a life of study and experience in the higher walks of life, before
the average man can be reasonably expected to rise above the plane of
mere physical existence, and act from the high intellectual and moral
impulses which impel the most cultivated and elevated characters. And,
you must still further take into consideration the fact, that even if
we were imprisoned in the ice for a year or more, we would have time
enough to give our sailors only a smattering of what they ought to
know, in order to develop the high type of character that you propose,
even if we could overcome the influence of their home lives and the low
social status of the society in which they have always mingled. You
do not realize, my dear Jack, the utter impossibility of the task you
would have us undertake. They must still be sailors and perform the
hard labor for which they were engaged, and we should be careful not
to engender in their minds hopes and aspirations that would make them
dissatisfied with their lot."

"I certainly would not do anything," I replied, "that would tend to
make them discontented. This is something that should be most carefully
avoided. But, nevertheless, I still think my suggestion, if carried
out, would have just the opposite tendency. From my own experience,
I regard my premises as stronger than my reasoning. I enjoyed all
the advantages of a liberal education and the elevating influence
of home and cultured society, and still, I have engaged in the most
menial employments. Yet, I did not find that my education rendered me
dissatisfied with my lot. On the contrary, it did much to enable me to
adapt myself to the situation, and to find sources of enjoyment which
were inaccessible to my uneducated associates. But, more than this, my
experience among the lowly, convinces me that a collegiate education
is not essential to the development of the noblest characteristics. I
have met sailors before the mast, who had accumulated a vast fund of
useful knowledge, and had the broadest and most comprehensive views of
life, and its duties. The premises from which I reason, are the results
of actual experience with the lowly."

"I fear," returned the Captain, "that in your enthusiastic love for
humanity, you have made the very natural mistake of judging the
uneducated by yourself. I do not desire to flatter, but you have
certainly inherited qualities of a high order, and a temperament so
well poised, that you could acquit yourself with credit in any capacity
in which you might be placed. Your employers could not fail to discover
your worth, and according to your own statement, you were rapidly
promoted. This is the ordinary reward of those who have inherited
exalted qualities. Real ability never remains very long in a menial
position. The simple fact that our sailors, who are much above the
average of their class, have, after years of experience, still remained
in the same humble position, is a very good evidence that they are not
qualified for anything higher. There are Lief and Eric, for instance.
They have been with me for several years, and they have not even tried
to master the language. As mere sailors, you could not find better
men, but you would never select them for an emergency that required
extraordinary quickness of perception, and the ability to lead."

I was about to reply, feeling myself master of the situation, so far
as the argument was concerned, when a crashing sound from above, and
a careening motion of the ship brought us to our feet. On gaining the
deck the cause of the commotion was immediately apparent. The ship was
moving toward the starboard, and was being forced under the shelving
ice. The crashing sound had been caused by the masts coming in contact
with the sloping, icy roof. The masts were closely wedged under the
roof and could go no farther, while the hull was still being carried
forward by what seemed to be a strong ocean current. The situation
was one of imminent peril, for if this motion continued, we were in
immediate danger of being capsized. The ship was already careening
toward the larboard.

The top could go no farther, while the hull was too far from the solid
ice to admit of the use of pikes and spars to prop it back.

Battell was calling for axes to cut away the masts, when a shout from
the larboard wall of our prison, attracted our attention. By the light
of the reflectors we saw Lief, on a low lying bench of ice making a
cable fast around an ice hummock, and at the same time we heard the
voice of Eric calling for aid at the capstan on the lower deck. We saw
instantly that this was the thing to do, and Captain Ganoe, Battell,
Huston and myself were the first to take hold of the lever. Eric
immediately motioned for the men who were coming forward with axes to
man another capstan, while he seized a coil of small rope attached to
a cable, sprang into the sea and swam rapidly to join Lief on the ice
bench. The axmen hesitated for a moment and Captain Ganoe shouted:

"Man the capstan! The Norwegians know what they are doing."

With remarkable celerity, the new cable was made fast and the men
began turning the capstan. This was not a moment too soon, as the
first cable, unable to stand the strain, showed unmistakable signs of
breaking. The motion of the vessel toward the starboard and under the
ice was stopped. But the Norwegians now called for a boat and more
cables. Their orders were promptly obeyed. Captain Ganoe, Battell and
myself were the first to respond. For the moment, our Norwegian sailors
were in command, and all obeyed their orders with alacrity. The boat
was manned and the Ice King was lashed to the larboard wall of our
prison at a number of different points. The ship was saved from the
impending disaster, but still was slightly careened and the masts were
bent almost to the point of breaking.

Returning to the ship, Captain Ganoe and Battell began figuring on
getting the masts clear of the ice and the ship righted. The pressure
of the water on the larboard side was immense, but the cables held
her fast and there was no especial need of haste. The first thought
suggested was to remove the upper splice of the mainmast, which would
relieve the pressure, but the Norwegians had evolved a more simple
plan. They motioned the engineer to set the screws in motion, slowly.
As soon as the ship began to move forward the masts began to bend
toward the stern, and the cables which held the ship firmly on the
larboard, being relatively shortened by the forward motion, the vessel
was drawn in that direction and righted herself. We now moved the
vessel to the center of the enclosure in which she floated, and cables
were made fast to the ice on every quarter, and thus secured from
contact with it, the Ice King had the appearance of a huge spider with
its web spread out in every direction.

The danger was past, the ship was safe, and we had time to inquire into
the particulars concerning the important part that had been enacted by
our two Norwegian sailors. We now learned that while the entire crew,
except themselves, were resting from their recent fatigue in a feeling
of security, Lief and Eric were far from believing that our winter
quarters were entirely safe until the ship was securely tied up to the
walls of our prison. Their especial charge was to keep the cables,
capstans and anchors ready for use at a moment's notice, and they were
satisfied that this was a time when they were needed. Hence, instead
of retiring to their hammocks to sleep, they determined to carefully
examine our surroundings for themselves. They observed that the
larboard wall was nearly perpendicular to a point several feet above
the top of the masts, while on the starboard, the sloping roof extended
far out to the water's edge. They further observed that along the
larboard was a low lying bench upon which the falling ice had formed a
number of hummocks. This was a safe place to tie to.

Just as they had satisfied themselves on this point, they noticed that
the ship was drifting toward the starboard, and that the masts were
coming dangerously near the roof, and that in a few minutes we might
be capsized. There was not a moment to be lost. This motion toward the
starboard must be arrested, and Lief, with one end of a coil of small
rope, sprang into the water and swam to the bench along the larboard
wall while Eric attached the other end to a cable. But before it could
be made fast to the larboard wall the masts came in contact with
the sloping roof on the starboard which gave the alarm that aroused
the crew and brought the officers on deck with the results already
mentioned.

Captain Ganoe was visibly affected when he learned how the ship and the
lives of the crew had been saved by the quick perception and prompt
action of the two sailors. He shook their hands and thanked them over
and over again, declaring that such all-important service should not
go unrewarded. They understood his allusion and declared in their
very limited supply of English that they could not be induced to take
pay from the Captain for saving the ship and at the same time saving
themselves. That we must all stand together or we would all perish.

As soon as they had succeeded in making themselves understood, they
withdrew. As a rule they kept to themselves, except when their services
were needed. Yet they were not unsociable and often conversed with the
engineer, Paul Huston, who understood their language. When they had
an important communication to make, they secured his services as an
interpreter. They seemed averse to the use of English.

When they were gone Captain Ganoe said: "I little thought that Lief
and Eric possessed ability of such a high order, and since I have
discovered their true nobility of character, I am more than ever
anxious that they should study English, as it would enable me to do so
much more for them."

"You little understand the material of which these Norwegians are
made," said Huston, who was standing by. "They do not want you to do
anything for them. They feel more than able to take care of themselves.
They have not always been sailors, but that occupation suits their
purpose best for the present. They are looking forward to great results
that may be accomplished by this expedition, and they care more for its
success than for anything you could do for them. As to the language,
they already understand more than they care to use. They are proud of
their native Norse."

"You astonish me!" exclaimed the Captain. "I must get better acquainted
with them."

"Then," said Huston, "you must learn their language, and even then
they may repel any familiarity. They preferred working for you because
you did not understand their language. They do not care to be on
confidential terms with anyone. When they found that I understood them,
they became somewhat communicative but not confidential. Yet, I have
learned enough to make me believe they have a history, and some well
defined purpose in life. I would not think, however, of trying to draw
from them anything that they did not care to give of their own accord.
One thing is certain. You can place implicit confidence in their
courage, ability, nobility of character and fidelity to the purposes of
this expedition."

"Well, thanks to their watchfulness, quick perception and prompt
action," said Captain Ganoe, "we can now have the much needed rest we
tried to enjoy before we had taken the precautions essential to our
safety. I am surprised that we did not think of the possible dangers
that might beset us from ocean currents. My only fear was that some
disturbing cause might sunder the walls of our prison before they were
frozen solid. And, even now, I have some fears on that score."

"No danger of that kind," replied Battell. "Several hours have already
elapsed, and the weather was intensely cold before the channel closed.
Just listen how the storm still rages."

Through the rifts in our ice roof, we had been enabled to catch
glimpses of the sky, but now it was all inky blackness. The gale that
had brought the two great ice-fields together, had now grown to a
terrific storm, and had changed its direction. The winds roared and
raged like demons in mortal combat, and ever and anon the snow was
driven in upon us like fine dust, indicating the intense cold. We,
now that the ship was safe, had the best of reasons for congratulating
ourselves on our snug winter quarters. Our icy prison was both our
safety from the violence of the storm, and our protection from the
intense cold. We partook of a hearty lunch and retired to our rest with
feelings of perfect security.

When I awoke everything was astir on board. The carpenters were
busily engaged in repairing the broken deck, while the sailors were
removing the ice and snow. Everything was being put in order as if
we were preparing for a voyage. The storm had ceased to howl and we
were in the grasp of an Arctic winter. Even in our secluded retreat,
it was necessary for us to wrap up in furs and woolens when we went
on the upper deck. But our cabins were warm and we had an abundance
of everything to eat and wear to make us comfortable. The ice-field
was frozen into a solid block, and there was no question as to our
safety, but we had no means of making observations that would indicate
our location. This to me, was the loss of an occupation that I really
enjoyed and I felt the need of something that would take its place.

We were imprisoned in the ice on September 23d, and from my last
observations I inferred that our location was about latitude 77° North
and longitude 160° West. The sun made his appearance for a brief
interval each day, and I calculated that the long Arctic night would
be fully set in by the last of October. The rifts in the roof of our
prison afforded us no opportunity for determining our location. Our
recent danger had revealed the fact that we were moving. We tried the
sounding line and found that we were in deep water, and that our motion
was evidently due to the motion of the ice-field. We were floating
at the mercy of the winds and ocean currents. But whither would they
carry us? None could tell. Assuming, however, that the currents were
north-bound, and reasoning from the fact that the motion of the earth
was from west to east, the tendency being, as it were, to slip from
under us, we concluded that as long as the ice was floating freely, our
general motion would be toward the west and north.

For the present we were safe and comfortable with the ship securely
fastened to the solid walls of our prison. But we knew summer would
come, and the warm rays of the sun would beam down on us for months,
melting and breaking up the frozen surface of the ocean which was now
our security, but might then become the cause of our destruction.
Our future safety, and the success of the expedition, demanded that
we should have easy access to the surface, so that we could make the
necessary observations, and, if possible, find some means of providing
for the safety of the ship and crew when the ice went to pieces. This
was the task before us, but we had no means of calculating the time
it would take. All we knew was, that the two ice mountains by coming
together had formed a roof over our heads, and towered many feet above
the ship's masts, and if their other dimensions were in proportion, it
might take a long time for us to tunnel through to the surface.

We felt that there was no time to lose. All needful arrangements were
soon perfected under the direction of Battell, who took charge as
engineer and manager. The ice-bench on our larboard was selected as the
point of starting. The crew was divided into three reliefs, each with a
foreman, and the work of excavation went on without intermission. This
arrangement gave eight hours for work in the tunnel, and sixteen for
rest and recreation.

I again suggested my "pet hobby" as it was called, of organizing the
crew into a school and devoting a few hours each day to educational
purposes. But I was alone in the recommendation, and it was not acted
on, but the library was free to all who cared to read. I noticed,
however, that Paul Huston, Pat O'Brien and Mike Gallagher, were the
only ones who ever called for books, and Huston was the only one who
seemed to know just what he wanted. Lief and Eric had some Norwegian
books and writings which they often consulted, but all the others, when
not at work, spent their time in playing games, spinning yarns and
fishing.

As predicted by Battell, the enclosure in which the ship floated,
seemed to attract the finny denizens of the deep, supplying fresh food
for the crew and our dog teams, as well as oil which we used for fuel.
The library was the favorite resort of those who cared to read and
discuss topics of general interest. Here we spent our leisure hours,
reading, conversing upon subjects of every description and devising
amusements that would enable us to pass the time pleasantly. When tired
of these things we joined the working force in the tunnel and exercised
our muscles. This was a work of necessity, as well as a healthful
recreation, and we went into it with the utmost enthusiasm. We managed
to get comfortably tired every day, and enjoyed excellent appetites and
most refreshing sleep, in consequence. Altogether the winter passed
very agreeably.

It was well on toward spring before the tunnel was completed. We
now had access to the surface, up an easy incline, and beheld the
uninterrupted beauties of an Arctic night. The scene which greeted us
defies description. The sky was cloudless, and the Northern Lights,
with their brilliant corruscations, nature's compensation for the long
polar night, presented a pyrotechnic display, the grandeur and beauty
of which are indelibly impressed on my memory.

We took our bearings and found we were in latitude 84° N. longitude
170° W. We were seven degrees farther north than when we were caught in
the ice, and ten degrees farther west. We were plainly in the grasp of
north-bound currents, while our motion toward the west was uncertain.
Subsequent observations revealed the fact that at times our longitude
was stationary, or drifting somewhat toward the east. On the whole,
our westerly motion exceeded any opposite tendency, but our progress
northward was considerable though not regular, as if we were retarded
by obstructions which were being overcome at intervals by the force of
northerly currents.

It was now the 20th of Feb., and it was determined that the work of
exploration should commence. The dog-teams and sledges were brought
out and provisioned for a journey to the eastward under the direction
of Captain Battell. Captain Ganoe, Pat O'Brien, Mike Gallagher, Paul
Huston, the two Norwegian sailors and myself remained on the ship. The
sledge party was to be absent a month and possibly longer. Captain
Battell wanted to make some thorough observations on the eastern
borders of the ice-field, and take soundings if he could reach open
water.

We still had some weeks of Arctic night before us, but the full,
round moon and the brilliant Aurora, made every object visible for a
long distance. The weather was intensely cold, but the scenery was so
attractive that I spent much of my time exploring the ice-field in the
immediate vicinity of the ship. Many were the weird and fantastic
scenes that I sketched, and many the strolls I took in a vain effort
to find some prominent point from which with my glass I could get an
unobstructed view of the horizon. But like our prison in the ice,
all nature seemed cramped. The starry vault was contracted by the
obscuration of stars which I thought should have been visible above
the horizon. I kept searching for an elevated point of view, but this
seemed always just a little ahead. These rambles often extended for
miles and occupied hours.

Returning from one of them, I was met by Lief and Eric who pointed to
the crest of the mountain of ice that formed the roof of our prison,
and beckoned me to follow them. I did so and found that they had cut
an inclined road around the icy mountain to the apex, where they had
erected an observatory out of ice blocks. It was built over a rift
in the roof of our prison that was directly above the ice bench on
the larboard near the mouth of the tunnel. The wall at this point was
almost perpendicular, and with but little labor they were able to put
in an elevator, consisting simply of a platform secured by ropes, and
attached to a pulley inside the observatory.

They showed me what they had done, and to convince me that it was
entirely safe, they let themselves down on the elevator and raised
themselves up again, much as a painter handles his swinging scaffold,
but more rapidly. I was pleased with the contrivance, and more with the
interest taken by Lief and Eric in making arrangements to facilitate my
observations. I did not hesitate to take my place on the platform with
them and return to the ship by this direct route.

I now learned that as soon as the tunnel was completed, Lief and
Eric had found their way to the top of our prison, and seeing the
advantages that this elevation offered as an outlook, they conceived
the idea of an observatory on the top, to be connected with the ship
by an elevator. They took no one into their confidence but Huston, and
set to work immediately. In a little over two weeks they were ready to
put in the elevator which connected directly with the ship, and saved a
long walk by way of the tunnel. This work had just been completed and
they were enabled to give me a very unexpected but agreeable surprise
on my return from one of my usual rambles.

But it was no more of a surprise to me than it was to Captain Ganoe,
who was just starting out to the surface through the tunnel, when Lief,
Eric and myself came swinging down from the observatory on the platform
which constituted the cage. Lief who was handling the rope stopped our
descent just in time to prevent the platform from swinging against the
Captain, who looking up exclaimed:

"Hello, Jack! Where did you come from, and what is all this rigging
for?"

"Just ask Lief and Eric," I replied. "They have been looking out for a
more direct route to the surface than by way of the tunnel. They have
erected an observatory on the roof, and if you are going out for a
walk, you had better take the elevator."

"All right," said the Captain stepping on the platform, "but I would
suggest that you ought to have a light on board, to give warning in
this gloom to all whom it may concern, to get out of the way of the
engine."

"That can be provided for in the future," I said. "This is the first
trial and we find that it works all right. Now we are ready for such
improvements as you have to suggest. While the invention belongs to
our Norwegian friends, we have no patent laws in this country and hence
there can be no infringement. There is no restrictive legislation here
to stand in the way of progress."

"I think in view of all the facts," said the Captain, "that this matter
had better be left in the hands of the inventors. I have no doubt that
they are fully equal to the task, and they have free access to the
ship's stores for that purpose. It seems to me that the improvement
most needed is some contrivance that will counteract the swinging
motion, and no doubt Lief and Eric have a plan already that will
accomplish that."

We were now in the observatory and the view in every direction was most
satisfactory. This was by far the most elevated location anywhere in
the region, and Captain Ganoe cordially concurred in my suggestion to
fit it up in good shape for all the purposes of an observatory as well
as a resting place when the weather became warm. We carefully explored
the immediate vicinity and found that this towering mountain of ice
could be made accessible from both the east and west. Towards the north
and south it was easy to trace the seam where the ice walls had come
together, and along this line were numerous depressions of great depth.

When we were ready to return to the ship we found that Lief and Eric
had stretched ropes from the top to the bottom which passing through
the platform held it steady while passing up and down. They had also
devised a contrivance by which the elevator could be operated either
from above or below as occasion might require; also a telephone
connection between the observatory and the ship.

With this easy means of access to the surface, we seldom used the
tunnel except for the sledges, or the transportation of some heavy
burden. From this elevated point I watched with continually increasing
interest, the roseate hues on the horizon which indicated the location
of the rising sun. These grew brighter and brighter until the king of
day made his appearance. This was the signal for inflating the balloons
and sending up dispatches in the hope that they might be carried south
into civilized portions of the globe by the equinoctial storms. It
was also the time fixed for the return of Battell from his exploring
expedition on the eastern portion of the ice field. His observations,
in connection with my own, constituted our only means of accumulating
that fund of information concerning these unknown regions which would
make this expedition valuable to the world. Besides, our own safety
depended to a very great extent upon the accuracy of the knowledge we
could acquire concerning the forces which controlled the movements
of this vast island of ice. My relation to the scientific work of
the expedition, made me anxious to make the best possible use of our
present favorable opportunity for investigation.

During our long incarceration in our ice prison I had kept such
notes and made such observations as our environments would permit.
The movement of the ice field towards the west which at first had
threatened to draw us under the ice and capsize the ship, had lost
much of its force, and now that we were on the surface, and able to
trace the seam which marked the channel in which we had been moving,
we discovered that its general direction was from southeast to
northwest, while at the time we had been caught between the colliding
ice fields, we had according to my notes, been running northeast. This
demonstrated, that the entire body of ice had turned one quarter
around, while its general movement had been toward the west and north.
And now my daily observations indicated that it was continually
changing its position, and that while its motions were generally toward
the west, they were by no means uniform. It seemed to have been at
the mercy of contending forces ever since we had been held within its
grasp, and it was one of the prime objects of the expedition to make a
close study of just this kind of influences.

As soon as the sun began to show itself above the horizon, I kept a
constant lookout for the return of Captain Battell and his sledge
party. We knew that he had gone east, and that it was his intention
to commence the exploration of the western portion of the ice-field
before the sun was remaining above the horizon for the full twenty-four
hours. But the weather during the early spring was unfavorable and I
discovered nothing worthy of note. When the days became longer and with
the sun in the west, I expected to make some important discoveries with
my glass. And when I did get a clear view I was startled to observe
what seemed to be a barren waste of sand and sand mountains. I called
Captain Ganoe's attention to this appearance, and after a careful
scrutiny with his glass he said:

"That looks very much like land. The surface is certainly neither snow
nor ice. But where in the world did all that sand come from? I will
telephone Huston to bring a larger telescope and we will make a closer
examination."

In a few minutes Huston made his appearance and we placed the
instrument in position. With the stronger glass, our first impressions
as to the nature of the surface were confirmed but we discovered
nothing that offered any explanation of the phenomenon. Here was
a mystery and we were now more anxious than ever for the return of
Captain Battell, who we felt assured had made some very interesting
discoveries.

I continued to scan the horizon with the large telescope and my search
was soon rewarded by the discovery of a man who seemed to have just
reached the crest of what appeared to be a long sandy ridge running
north and south, but a few miles distant. He seemed to be assisting
others to reach the same position. Raising the instrument to its
highest powers I was enabled to recognize Captain Battell and several
sailors. They were hauling others up from the opposite side by means of
a rope, who as soon as they reached the top, took hold and helped to
raise others.

I described the scene and asked Captain Ganoe to look for himself. He
took in the situation at a glance and said;

"We must go to their assistance. The sledges and dog teams are
evidently on the opposite side and they must be lifted up as well as
the men," and turning to Huston he said: "Return to the ship. Summon
the entire crew. Explain the situation to the Norwegians, tell them to
get out the sledges immediately and take such appliances as they deem
necessary, and Jack and I will meet you at the foot of the mountain
on the east side. Make all haste possible as we must hurry to the
assistance of our comrades who are evidently nearly exhausted."



CHAPTER IV.

  A SINGULAR DISCOVERY--BATTELL CROSSING A SAND RIDGE ON THE
  ICE-FIELD--CAPTAIN GANOE LEADS A PARTY TO HIS ASSISTANCE--LIEF
  AND ERIC--BATTELL'S THEORY--A SECOND EXPEDITION--BATTELL'S LONG
  ABSENCE--IS DISCOVERED RETURNING ALONE, SCARCELY ABLE TO WALK--RELIEF
  PARTY FINDS HIM UNCONSCIOUS--CAPTAIN GANOE AS PHYSICIAN--BATTELL
  RELATES HOW HE WAS ABANDONED BY HIS MEN--PREPARING FOR THE BREAK.

[Illustration]


HUSTON stepped upon the elevator and descended to the ship to carry
out the instructions he had received, while Captain Ganoe and myself
remained in the observatory to scan the surface more critically, and
map out the route we must travel. So far as we could discover there
seemed to be no serious obstacle in the way. The surface between us
and the sand ridge which Battell must cross had the appearance of a
level plain of snow or ice, with numerous hummocks scattered here and
there. Beyond this, the ridge, with some lofty elevations, filled the
outlines of the picture.

The point which Battell had selected for crossing was a gap in this
ridge. Directly below the gap the ridge was very steep but the top
could be reached from this point by an easy incline towards the south.
I made a hasty sketch of every prominent object on a direct line from
the observatory to the gap which was the point we desired to reach as
soon as possible, as we felt that our assistance was sorely needed.
This work was completed to our satisfaction when we noticed the crew
with the sledge coming around the north side, and we hastened down to
meet them at the foot of the mountain on the east. We found everything
in good shape for a rapid march: The sledge was lightly loaded with
such appliances, ropes, pulleys, etc., as had been deemed necessary
to enable us to render the most effectual assistance. The dogs were
pulling on their harness as if anxious for a run, and the men were
fresh, and feeling the need of exercise.

The thaw had scarcely commenced and the traveling was good. Every
condition seemed favorable. Captain Ganoe and myself led off along the
route which our observations had indicated as the most practicable.
In less than two hours we had reached the foot of the ridge just
below the gap where we had discovered Captain Battell. We found the
surface covered with volcanic ashes and scoria, and our minds instantly
reverted to the earthquake which broke up the ice-field, and our narrow
escape from destruction. However, this was no time for speculation. Our
business was to reach the top as soon as possible.

We found that a direct ascent would be exceedingly difficult, but
that the inclining shelf along the face of the ridge would enable us
to reach the top at a point about a half mile south of the gap. This
shelf, or bench, was several yards in width and its appearance, covered
as it was with ashes, gave the impression that it had been a level
shore line that in some great convulsion of nature had been tilted up
from the south at an angle of about twenty-five degrees, and that the
general surface had been leveled up by a subsequent deposit over the
lower part.

We at once began our ascent along this comparatively easy route. Yet
it was a tedious and toilsome effort to get the sledge with its load
of necessary appliances to the top. However, within less than an hour,
notwithstanding numerous resting spells, we reached the top and found
ourselves on a level plateau, several hundred feet wide, and about one
half mile south of where we expected to find Captain Battell and his
comrades.

While our party halted in order to give the dog-team a rest, Captain
Ganoe and myself hurried on to the gap. On reaching the edge we
discovered that the men were taking a rest, after having lifted most of
the contents of the sledge to the top. We could see that they had been
compelled to cut a road through some hundreds of feet of frozen ashes,
in order to reach their present position, and we did not need to be
told that they had been having a very hard time.

Most of the party were asleep and no one observed our approach until we
had descended into the gap, and Captain Ganoe had called out in regular
sailor style the familiar: "Ship Ahoy!" This unexpected greeting
brought Captain Battell to his feet, but for a moment he was too much
surprised to make any response.

Recovering himself, he advanced and grasped Captain Ganoe by the hand
exclaiming:

"How did you get here? I was just thinking how fortunate it would be if
you knew the predicament we are in and would come to our relief with a
capstan and some more ropes and pulleys."

"That is just what we have done," said Captain Ganoe. "Jack was on the
lookout for you from his observatory on top of the mountain of ice that
covers the resting place of the Ice King. As soon as we discovered you,
we started to your relief with a sledge load of such appliances as it
seemed you most needed."

"This is indeed fortunate," said Battell. "We are almost exhausted with
the efforts we have been compelled to make in order to reach this gap,
and now that we are here, we find that our difficulties are by no means
ended, and it is most important that we should get well over the ridge
and commence our exploration of the western portion of this vast island
of ashes and ice."

As he was speaking, our sledge appeared at the top of the gap and the
men joined us at once. Huston acting as spokesman for our Norwegian
sailors, said: "Lief and Eric request that they be permitted to
complete the work of transferring the sledges and their loads to the
west side."

"Tell them," said the Captain, "to go ahead in their own way and accept
our thanks for their most welcome services."

In a few minutes they had their ropes, pulleys and capstan in place and
gave us to understand that the dogs would furnish all the power that
was needed. They soon had one of the sledges slowly but surely gliding
up the steep incline to the top.

We watched them a few minutes, when Captain Ganoe said:

"I think we can safely leave this matter to the Norwegians and we may
start on our return to the ship."

"I am willing to trust them," said Battell, "and it is important that
we begin at once to compare notes and lay our plans for the future. I
feel that there is no time to be lost." And giving some instructions
to Brown who had been selected as foreman in the work of road making,
to give such assistance as might be needed, we started on foot for the
ship, a distance of between five and six miles.

On our way back, Battell gave us a concise account of his observations
and the conclusions at which he had arrived.

"When we left the ship," he said, "we took a southeasterly direction.
The cold was intense, but with our ample preparations we did not suffer
so much as might have been expected. We reached open water within three
days, but the shore line was so precipitous that we could not launch
our sledge boats and sail around as I had intended. So, we continued
our journey around the ice-field toward the north, as we had begun it.
The general direction of the shore line at this point was from the
southwest toward the northeast. The traveling was fairly good and we
made good time for about a week, and then our trouble commenced. The
entire surface was covered to an unknown depth with volcanic ashes.

"The surface formation was evidently new, but careful examination
revealed the fact, that this covered an older formation of very
considerable thickness. Our soundings, owing to the precipitous
character of the coast line, were not satisfactory, but taken in
connection with my observations as to the motions of the ice-field,
I came to the conclusion that it was frequently grounding on the
tops of submarine mountains. If this is true, it will probably hasten
the breaking up when the ice becomes rotten under the influence of
continuous sunshine.

"Having satisfied myself on these points we started on our return trip,
and but for the difficult nature of the surface, and the frequent
necessity for road making, we would have been with you by the time the
sun made his appearance."

Before we reached the ship, it had been definitely settled that after a
short rest, Battell should continue his explorations toward the western
borders of the ice-field, and time the expedition, so as to return
to the ship before there was any immediate danger from the thaw. We
had come to the conclusion that we were floating in an open sea, and
it was our intention to press on for the north when the ice went to
pieces; and some phenomena, that we, in common with other explorers had
observed, led to the opinion that we would find land and not unlikely a
habitable country around the pole.

Since the sun had made his appearance, flocks of ducks, brants and
geese, coming from the north were quite numerous. When killed we found
them fat and juicy and their crops were often filled with a species of
grain resembling rice, which seemed to indicate that they came from a
temperate climate. We now began to confidently expect that when the
ice-field went to pieces we would find the country which produced this
grain--the northern home of these flocks of birds.

We argued that the six months and more of continued sunshine at the
pole, would necessarily produce a mild, if not a warm climate, for
the greater portion of the year. We held that refraction would secure
perhaps as much as seven months of sunshine at the pole, and add to
this the long twilights and the Aurora, preventing absolute darkness,
the immediate vicinity of the pole might be in many respects, a most
desirable climate. Of one thing we felt sure, and that was, that those
flocks of ducks and geese that came from the north had been well fed
with grain that must have grown in a productive country.

When we came to the ice mountain that covered the ship, Captain Battell
turned to the north, saying:

"I believe that this is the route to the mouth of the tunnel."

"Yes, that is true," replied Captain Ganoe, "but let us go by the way
of Jack's observatory, which is directly over the ship."

"All right," said Battell. "Lead on. I want to see the observatory any
way, and it is probably no further over the mountain than it is around
it, even if the traveling may be a little more laborious."

We offered no explanation as to our elevator, and in a few minutes we
were in the observatory, under the canopy of sail cloth which protected
it from the rays of the sun.

"Well, this is a cosy place," said Battell, as he seated himself upon
one of the extemporized cushioned seats with which it was furnished.

"It is," said I, "but I am more interested in seeing how Lief and Eric
are getting along in their coveted task of transferring the sledges to
this side of the ridge."

So saying, I went directly to the large telescope which we had left
bearing upon the gap Battell had chosen for a crossing place. A glance
was enough, and in reply to a questioning look from Battell I said:
"Both sledges are on top and they are preparing to let them down on
this side. Come and see for yourself. I believe that our Norwegian
sailors are equal to anything they are willing to undertake."

"I believe you are right," said Battell, as he took his place at the
telescope. "There," he continued, "they are letting the sledges down
the steep incline fully loaded. From the progress they are making,
they will be here in a few hours, with everything in ship shape for
the expedition toward the west. That rests me so, that I will not mind
clambering down to the mouth of the tunnel."

"Why go by way of the tunnel?" asked Captain Ganoe. "Just take your
seat on that divan and there need be no clambering down."

"Yes," I said, "and just let me share the seat with you, and let
the Captain act as chief of transportation and take command of the
expedition, down to the ship."

He did as he was directed with a puzzled look. Captain Ganoe took hold
of the rope while I turned on the light and we began to drop down
toward the ship.

"Well you have got things fixed up in grand style," said Battell. "Who
would have expected a few weeks ago, that we would now be descending
into the interior of an iceberg on a grandly upholstered elevator, with
the stern Captain of the Ice King as our elevator boy? Is not this
putting on a little too much style for these regions of eternal ice?"

"Not at all," I responded. "I hold, you know, that every human being is
justly entitled to the very best that his own labor can produce. But
this arrangement for facilitating our access to the outer world is the
product of the labor and skill of our Norwegian sailors. They had the
observatory almost completed before they revealed their designs to any
one but Huston."

"Then," said Battell "if that is the sort of men they are, I think
they had better remain with the ship. I had thought of proposing to
take them out with me on our western expedition and leave some of the
other men to take their place here."

"I could hardly consent to part with our Norwegians even for a few
days," said Captain Ganoe. "Since I have discovered their ability, I
want them on the ship in case of emergencies. I would not hesitate, if
it was necessary, to place them in command. The quickness of perception
and general reliability they have shown, almost persuade me that Jack
is right and that under some circumstances the highest qualities may be
developed among the most lowly."

"And it may be," said Battell, "that as Huston intimated, Lief and
Eric have some great purpose in life, and under such influences as
Jack would like to place around the common sailors, many of them might
develop qualities of a high order. I have thought much of Jack's 'pet
hobby.' On this last expedition, I have realized more than ever, the
importance of having men of lofty characters in the capacity of common
sailors, if such a thing is possible."

"And it is possible," I added. "And whether it is possible or not, it
is our duty to ourselves and to humanity to do everything in our power
to inspire all with whom we come in contact, with broader views of
life, and nobler aspirations for the future."

"Well," said Captain Ganoe, "it is certainly not my intention to
antagonize your exalted idea of our duty toward our fellow beings.
It is an ennobling thought to dwell upon, but whether it will ever
be possible for us to do much for our sailors in this way or not, it
is clearly impossible to do anything immediately, and surely Captain
Battell wants one good sleep in his own bed before he starts on
another expedition. So I propose that we now retire to our quarters for
rest. We certainly need it, and there is no duty pressing upon us to
prevent it."

We acted upon the Captain's suggestion as soon as we could reach our
cabins. In a few minutes I was sleeping soundly, and did not awake
until the gong gave notice that breakfast was ready. The crew had
returned with the sledges, and after a nap were now ready for the first
meal on shipboard that they had taken for over a month. Captain Battell
had completed preparations for his expedition toward the west, and once
more the officer's mess was complete, and while we enjoyed our repast
we discussed plans for the future. As we arose from the table, Battell
took me by the hand and said:

"You may keep a sharp lookout for me after the First of July. By that
time we ought to be able to reach open water on the west and return. If
we can launch the sledges, it is my intention to sail around the ice to
the north and if possible return along the seam which marks the channel
through which we were moving when we were entombed beneath these
'bergs.' I have already made use of your observatory to make a sketch
of the most prominent objects toward the west and north. I apprehend
no trouble. Of course we will have channels of water to contend with
before we return, but as our sledges make excellent boats, they are as
likely to expedite as to obstruct our movements. I need not caution you
to keep up your observations, and note everything that has a bearing on
our situation. I will do the same and together we cannot fail to secure
a fund of valuable information."

He bade us good-bye, and at once departed. I repaired to the
observatory, and through my glass watched the sledges until they
disappeared from view in the distance.

It was now the 20th of April, and it would be two months and a half
before we expected the return of the exploring party, and if it met
with no mishap, there was ample time for an extended tour around the
ice-field. I anticipated great results from the observations that might
be made.

Captain Battell had left with us three of his party who seemed the
least able to bear the fatigue of the long journey over the ice which
he contemplated. This was a valuable addition to the force left with
the ship, and at the same time relatively strengthened the exploring
party, as it relieved them of the prospective danger of being compelled
to take care of disabled comrades.

The weather was favorable, and soon the rays of the sun began to slowly
but surely change the surface of the ice. I watched the process with
constantly increasing interest. If we were ever to escape from our
imprisonment, our release must come as a result of the thaw. Hence,
I came to regard the little rivulets that were forming in every
direction, and usually disappearing in a short distance through some
crevice, as our saviors. If the process kept on with sufficient vigor,
the ice-field was sure to break up before we were again locked in the
embrace of an Arctic winter, and we would have an opportunity to escape.

At last the sun had reached his highest altitude, and the time had come
when we might expect the return of Battell. The thaw had progressed
rapidly and the ice was becoming rotten, and with the first storm
would probably go to pieces. But the weather was serene and there was
no immediate danger. The 1st of July had come and gone and Battell
was still absent. The thaw, under the continuous rays of the sun was
accelerated, and I began to fear the break up would come before his
return with the larger part of the crew. This might prove to be fatal
to all our hopes. I felt that we sorely needed Captain Battell with his
experience in the navigation of these frozen seas.

I now began to dread the thaw as much as I had been inclined to welcome
it two months before. I continued my observations with more interest,
if possible, than ever. The motions of the ice-field puzzled me.
We seemed to be slightly oscillating from one side to the other of
longitude 180°, but with a frequent motion toward the north.

I spent most of my time in the observatory, more on the lookout for
some indication of the return of Captain Battell than for any other
purpose. This interest was shared by every member of the crew, and we
established regular watches for this one purpose, so that there was
always some one at the telescope. Captain Ganoe and myself took the
first watch, Pat O'Brien and Huston, the second, and Lief and Eric the
third. So the entire twenty-four hours were occupied in the lookout for
Battell. In addition to this, we made several expeditions to the north
and west for many miles. While we learned that the traveling was very
toilsome, we discovered no reason why the exploring party should not be
able to return as long as the ice-field remained unbroken. It was true
that the expedition might have reached a section where the thaw had
destroyed the solidity of the ice, but it was well equipped for such a
contingency, as the sledges could readily be converted into boats.

We tried in vain to figure out the cause of Captain Battell's delay.
The ice was becoming more rotten every day and our suspense became more
and more painful. We had almost despaired of his return, when through
my glass, I observed what seemed to be a human being, directly west of
us, slowly struggling along over the rotten, slushy surface of the ice.

I called the attention of Captain Ganoe to my discovery and after a
careful scrutiny of the object he exclaimed:

"That is certainly a man. It must be Battell or one of his men
returning alone. And," he paused, and then added hastily: "He is
scarcely able to walk and falls down from sheer exhaustion. We must go
to his relief at once." And turning to Mike Gallagher, who was present,
he said: "Hurry down to the ship and tell O'Brien to summon a relief
party with a stretcher. Bring my medicine case with restoratives for an
exhausted man. Tell Huston to explain the situation to Lief and Eric.
Make all the haste possible and meet us at the mouth of the tunnel."

Mike started down on the elevator at once to deliver these orders,
while Captain Ganoe and myself went down the winding way on the west
side. At the mouth of the tunnel we were joined by the relief party.
Lief and Eric carried the stretcher, while Pat O'Brien, Paul Huston and
Mike Gallagher, each had a parcel containing something intended for the
relief of an exhausted man. The medicine case and some warm blankets
were on the stretcher.

The ice-field in this direction spread out before us into a vast plain,
but the exact spot where we had observed the approaching man was hidden
from view by a number of hummocks and we took these for our guide.

As soon as we reached the nearest and highest of these elevations, I
climbed to the top and carefully scanned the plain beyond. Several
minutes elapsed without discovering any indication of the object of our
search, when not more than a mile away, I saw through my glass the head
and shoulders of a man, arise above the surface. For a moment he seemed
to support himself on his hands and then dropped back out of sight. I
carefully noted the location and we then hurried on.

In a few minutes we came to a channel in the ice that had been worn
out by a stream of water. A little to one side a man was lying on the
bottom as if dead. We called to him, but he did not move. Lief and Eric
sprang into the channel and lifted him out.

It was Captain Battell and he was entirely unconscious. We could now
see that he had been trying with all his strength to lift himself out
of the channel which was not over four and a half feet in depth by six
or seven in width. When I saw him from the summit of the ice hummock he
was doubtless making the last effort to climb out, that his exhausted
energies would permit. We had arrived just in time to rescue him from
certain death.

As he lay upon the stretcher unconscious and scarcely breathing, in
fancy, I pictured the trials through which he must have passed. His
worn out boots and tattered clothing; his sunken eyes and pinched
features, all indicated more than words could express his terrible
struggle for life against the combined forces of cold and hunger.
True, it was not freezing weather, but the water through which he
had been compelled to wade was ice cold, and the bed upon which he
rested, must have been a melting ice hummock. All these things were
evident from the environments and did not need to be stated in words in
order to be understood and appreciated. While he alone could give us
the particulars, we were already familiar in a general way with his
experiences, traveling on foot over the fast melting ice and almost
without food for weeks and possibly months.

While no physician had been engaged for this expedition, it was because
Captain Ganoe was well qualified by education and experience to fill
the place as occasion might require, and among the stores of the Ice
King, there was an ample supply of medicines, surgical instruments
and appliances of all kinds. The Captain was very averse to being
classed as a physician, and yet his knowledge of medicine, surgery
and practice would have enabled him to aspire to the highest rank in
the profession. Hence he at once took charge of the patient with the
readiness and skill of an experienced practitioner, and soon he had him
as comfortable as dry clothing, a warm bed and appropriate restoratives
could make him.

The patient did not regain consciousness, but he was soon breathing
naturally and apparently enjoying a sound and refreshing sleep.

When all was ready for us to start on our return to the ship, Captain
Ganoe said:

"As it is evident that I must turn doctor for a few days I will place
Jack Adams in command. That will leave just six of us to carry Captain
Battell to his cabin in the Ice King. For this purpose we will divide
into three reliefs. Huston and I will take the first; Pat and Mike the
second, and Lief and Eric the third. This seems to be about the proper
order, as our Norwegian comrades carried the camp bed and medicine case
all the way from the ship."

"But what if I object to the arrangement?" I asked. "While I am
willing," I continued; "to render any service in my power, I am not
disposed to usurp your place as commander. You lead the way and I
will take my place at the handles of the stretcher. I enlisted to
obey orders and take any place assigned me, but not to usurp the
prerogatives of commander."

"Then I have only to insist upon the terms of the contract as you
understand it," said the Captain. "You say that you enlisted to obey
orders and take any place assigned you, and hence as the captain of the
Ice King, I order you to take the place of commander until I choose
to resume the duties of that position. This is just as it should be.
It was you who discovered Captain Battell and then led us to the spot
where we found him, and now you are appointed to lead us back to the
ship by the most direct and practicable route. It is fortunate for us
that you have spent so much of your time in the study of the topography
of this country, if that is the proper word to apply to a dreary waste
of ice. It is your first duty as commander to divide the distance to
the ship into easy stages and see that each relief does its part of the
work with all possible care for the comfort of our comrade. This is
'orders,' if you prefer to look at it in that light. I shall certainly
take my place at the stretcher until in your judgment, the second
relief, Pat and Mike, ought to take hold."

"All right," I said. "If I am to be commander-in-chief, whether I will
or not, my first order is, 'Follow me.'"

We returned to the ship without any particular haste, frequently
stopping to rest and to administer restoratives to the lips of our
exhausted comrade. He was conveyed to his own quarters and everything
was, by the direction of Captain Ganoe, placed as nearly as possible,
in the same shape that he left it.

He was still sleeping, and the Captain assured us that he was doing
well, and that if fever could be avoided, he would soon recover. He
cautioned us to keep quiet and not ask him any questions in case he
should awake to consciousness.

Captain Ganoe took his place at the side of the patient and from time
to time touched his lips with water. After several hours he partially
aroused from his lethargy, and the Captain administered a few spoonfuls
of broth, which were swallowed with avidity, and he again relapsed into
a profound slumber.

The Captain now directed us to leave him entirely alone with the
patient but to hold ourselves in readiness to come at a moment's
notice. He told us that all the patient now needed was profound
silence, and a little nourishment whenever he was sufficiently aroused
to partake of it. "I want Mike" he said, "to remain with me so as to be
ready at any moment to execute my orders. Captain Battell's restoration
to health and vigor is of more importance to us now than any other
consideration. I need Mike more than you do, and you must get along
with cold lunches, or, do your own cooking. If I need any of you, Mike
will let you know."

Through Mike, we heard from the sick room from time to time, but the
word was always the same; that the patient was doing well, but still
sleeping. Mike said that whenever Battell showed signs of awaking, the
Captain would administer a spoonful of soup and he would drop off to
sleep again without ever being fully aroused to consciousness.

I was keenly alive to the fact that the death, or even the great
disability of Captain Battell would be an irreparable loss to all of
us. He was the only experienced Arctic navigator and explorer among us,
and notwithstanding the cheering news from the sick room, I felt the
most intense anxiety, and remained in the library all the time, so as
to be ready to respond at once to any call from Captain Ganoe.

After forty-eight hours of this anxious waiting had gone by, I was
surprised at a personal call from Captain Ganoe, who greeted me in his
usual cordial manner, while his face fairly glowed with happiness.
Without waiting for me to ply him with questions, he exclaimed:

"Well, Jack, the danger has passed. Captain Battell has come to
himself. He is still very weak, but there are no signs of fever. I
admonished him not to talk until he had taken another nap, to which he
consented on the condition that I would call you. He wants a conference
at once."

"I am delighted to hear such good news!" I exclaimed. "But what did
he say when he realized that he was in his own cabin, and you sitting
by his side in the capacity of attendant. I have all of a woman's
curiosity in regard to this matter, and insist upon your giving me all
the particulars."

"Certainly," he replied. "Your interest is but natural, and shall be
gratified as nearly as my memory will permit. In his treatment, I
sought to keep him asleep until he had gained strength for mental and
physical effort. When he showed signs of waking up, I knew that it was
from the gnawings of hunger, and would administer a small quantity of
beef tea or some strengthening cordial, and then he would again relapse
into a profound slumber. These spells of semi-consciousness became more
and more frequent as he gained strength, and at last he opened his
eyes and looked me full in the face. He closed them again, and seemed
to reflect and then looking at me, he said in his usual calm and
deliberate manner:

"'The last thing I remember, is, that I was trying to climb out of
a channel that had been worn in the ice by a small stream of water.
The bank only came up to my chin, but I was so weak that I could
not succeed. After that, I seem to have dream-memories of delicious
feasting, and reclining on luxurious couches. I want you to tell me at
once how I got here, into my own quarters.'

"I told him to be careful and not permit himself to become the least
excited until he had gained more strength, but to content himself
with the simple statement that Jack had noticed his approach from his
observatory; and that we went immediately to his relief. 'Now,' said I,
'drink this cup of beef tea and turn over and take another nap.'

"He drank the tea and said, 'I will do as you say, if you will agree
to have Jack here when I wake up. It is a matter of the greatest
importance that we have a conference immediately. We must be ready for
the break up and I have much to tell you.'

"So saying he turned over and was soon sleeping soundly, and I am here
to request you to come to his quarters. As he is not likely to sleep
very long we had better go at once. Nature will soon be demanding
exercise for mind and body as strenuously as she has demanded rest. Let
us go."

Some ten or fifteen minutes after we entered Captain Battell's cabin he
awoke, and immediately got up and shook hands with me most cordially.
He was naturally a man of few words, and never very demonstrative of
either joy or grief, affection or anger, and usually preserved the
most perfect equilibrium, but he was visibly affected when he said:

"My dear Jack! How fortunate it has been for Captain Ganoe and myself
that you joined this expedition. But for your watchful care we would
both have been dead, and in all probability, the Ice King and the
entire crew would have been lost. You have certainly been our guardian
angel, and must ever hold the very highest place in our esteem and
affection."

"I deserve no especial thanks for anything I have done," I responded.
"We are out here all alone, imprisoned in the ice and our only hope of
escape depends upon our standing together and helping each other, at
all times and under all circumstances. The safety of every individual
depends upon the safety of every other individual. Common sense and
our common interests, dictate that we should be a unit and realize
that 'an injury to one is the concern of all.' Our rule of action
toward each other should be, 'each for all and all for each.' This
is the only principle that a truly intelligent people anywhere would
ever adopt, but here on this waste of floating ice, situated as we
are, the most stupid ought to be able to comprehend the necessity for
its application. So, I repeat that I deserve no especial credit, for
in looking out for the safety of others I do the only thing that can
be done for my own safety. This thing of caring for self, regardless
of the interests of others, indicates a deficiency in intellectual
development as much as it does hardness of heart; and a careful regard
for the comfort and interest of others, is indicative of intellectual
development as much as it is of kindness of heart and love for our
fellow creatures."

"Your philosophy," said Captain Battell, "is always right; but what
is still better you practice what you preach. Would to God that our
misguided crew had understood the self evident truths to which you
so frequently give expression. They might have saved themselves from
a terrible fate, and we would not have been short handed, now that
the ice is liable to go to pieces at any time. And as this matter is
referred to, I suppose I had better tell you at once what became of
them and why I was stranded on the ice in such a woebegone plight."

"And that is just what we are most anxious to hear," said Captain
Ganoe, "but I have resolutely suppressed this anxiety because I feared
fever and a possible fatal culmination, as the result of your exposure
and privations. We certainly do want to hear all about your expedition,
your crew and what you discovered. But do not relate it even now, if it
is going to excite you in the least. The fact is, that you must be very
careful for several days until your strength is fully restored."

"Do not be alarmed about me," said Battell. "It is not the first time
that I have been stranded on the ice and so I was to some extent
prepared for this by past experience; besides you know that I am much
inclined to be a stoic and never permit my feelings to very seriously
disturb my equilibrium."

"Then go ahead," said the Captain. "We want to hear what is uppermost
in your own mind, and we will listen. If we have any questions to ask,
or other matters to discuss, we will do that when you are through."

"Just speak when the spirit moves," said Battell. "It will not disturb
me. As you doubtless remember, when we started on this last expedition,
I was anxious to reach open water on the west and if possible launch
the boats and circumnavigate this island of ice around toward the
north as far as practicable, so as to be able to return early in
July, keeping a close watch of the movements and condition of the
ice, and noting any signs of its breaking up. We found the traveling
exceedingly difficult, and it was late in June before we reached open
water, about one hundred and fifty miles west of this. We found the ice
sloughing off in great sections and floating away from the main body,
demonstrating that the ice-field was comparatively stationary so far as
any westerly motion was concerned. By careful observation I satisfied
myself that it had grounded somewhere to the north, probably against an
island and was oscillating on that point.

"This made me more anxious than ever to launch our boats and make
observations along the shore of the ice-field which sloped off towards
the northeast. We would therefore during the exploration of its
shore-line be getting nearer to the ship, and I thought that we would
be able to reach the obstruction against which it had grounded, which
I found reasons for believing was not so very far north of the ship,
and probably near the seam where the two original ice-fields had come
together. I reasoned that it was held against an island under the
influence of north bound currents, and that the entire field might be
expected to part along this line as soon as the ice became sufficiently
rotten, which would give us a chance to keep on our way. If such a
break came along the line of this seam, the ice-field urged forward by
the northerly currents, would spread apart and we would only have to
follow the fissure as it formed, to come either to land, or out into an
open polar sea. In either case we would be safe for the coming winter.
Our greatest danger will be from the falling of the ice when these
'bergs' part company, and that, to a great extent, can be provided for.

"After careful investigation we selected a spot where by cutting a
short road down to the water's edge we could easily launch our boats.
When I gave the word, the men sprang to their work with the greatest
alacrity and in good time we had an inclined way admirably cut out
and arranged for launching the boats. We first unloaded everything of
importance, as our stores were too precious to run any risk of loss or
damage. Our boats were very soon riding the waves without any mishap,
and the dogs and baggage placed on board. While all this was going on,
I noticed frequent consultations among the men, but it seemed that it
was because they were taking unusual care in their work. As soon as
the last of our baggage was on board, the men took their places at the
oars with a promptitude which I regarded as highly commendable. Then
came the climax that I had least of all things expected. Tom Brown
halted me at the plank and asked a word with me. He said that the men
had determined to return to civilization and that they would prefer I
should go with them and retain the command.

"I was astounded at such an unreasonable, as well as infamous,
proposition to abandon the ship, and I told him I did not believe that
any body of sane men would contemplate such a suicidal undertaking. He
replied very emphatically:

"'Then, if you do not take my word for it, you may speak to the men. I
have only spoken at their request.'

"And so saying, he stepped quickly into the boat and drew the plank in
after him. The men in the boats pushed out into the water and halted
as if to listen to what I had to say.

"I expostulated with them, and explained how it would be utterly
impossible for them to reach civilization in such frail boats, and that
their provisions, at the farthest, would not last them more than four
or five weeks, and then, they must look starvation in the face. Brown,
who acted as spokesman, replied:

"'We have decided upon this thing deliberately, and we have closely
calculated how long the provisions will last. Besides, we have plenty
of ammunition and can certainly kill some game, and if the game is not
abundant, we will kill the dogs and salt them down.'

"I then tried them on another tack, and called their attention to the
comrades whom we had left behind, and the imminent danger of their
being lost, as well as ourselves, if we did not all stand together, and
make good use of the observations we had made.

"'They have the ship and must take their own chances,' said Brown. 'We
know that there is no hope of the ship being able to get out of the
ice, and we propose to save ourselves while we have an opportunity, and
you had better go with us. Let Captain Ganoe and his shipmates take
care of themselves. We cannot afford to take any chances, in a case
like this, to save them. We are determined to look out for ourselves,
and let them do the same.'

"I was so exasperated at this cold-blooded speech, revealing, as it
did, such a depth of perfidy, that I felt that I could scarcely refrain
from opening fire on them, and evidently they feared something of the
kind, for as I turned to take hold of my gun, which was leaning against
a block of ice, Brown gave the order, 'Ready!' and instantly twenty
rifles were aimed at me, and he said:

"'We do not want to hurt you, but if you do not let your gun remain
where it is until we are out of range, I will give the order to fire
and you will be filled with bullets, and you will not have even the
poor satisfaction of dying with your friends at the ship, whom you seem
to think are worth more to you than the entire crew.'

"'Have your own way,' I said. 'I certainly shall not stain my hands
with your blood, neither will I be responsible for the miserable fate
that awaits you as the result of this infamous and rash undertaking. I
have given you fair warning.'

"I watched them until they were out of range, and then started on my
return to the ship. All the food I had, was the hardtack and bacon
which I always carry in my haversack, for emergencies. I had, however,
my cartridge-box with some ammunition, and I could kill game, but
considering the long journey before me, and the slow progress I could
make, the supply was indeed very small.

"The traveling was terrible, through water and slushy ice, often for
miles at a stretch. I often had to make long detours around chasms and
inaccessible elevations. When I slept it was on a melting hummock of
ice. I could have killed a large number of brants for food, but I felt
that it would be suicidal for me to waste my ammunition on such small
game. Hence, I took my chances of finding something larger. I killed
a goose occasionally, but was compelled to eat it raw, as I had no
means of making a fire. But I did not fear starvation as long as my
ammunition lasted.

"I had reason, however, to fear that the ice would break between me
and the ship, and this came near being the case when I first started
on my return. When I was only a few hundred yards from the place
where the boats were launched, a large strip of the shore-line broke
away behind me. But, I now think this rapid breaking up on the western
border was due to a strong ocean current, that did not extend very far
east. However, I was very apprehensive that I might be sent adrift into
an unknown ocean on a cake of ice, and probably, for this reason, I
exerted myself more than I should have done for the first few days.

"I got along tolerably well until my boots gave out, and then the
ice-cold water seemed to paralyze my limbs, and my progress was
correspondingly impeded.

"I often felt that I must drop in my tracks, and never make another
effort to move. But I was buoyed up by the thought that every step
brought me nearer the ship. At last I could catch glimpses of this
ice mountain, and the sight gave me renewed strength and courage. But
my ammunition had given out, and I was famishing for food. I would
often fall from sheer exhaustion, but would rally again, and stagger
on toward the goal of my hopes. When I came to the channel where you
found me, I made an effort to spring across, but landed on the bottom.
I repeatedly attempted to climb out on this side, but failed. You know
the rest."

"I thank God," said Captain Ganoe, "that Jack discovered your approach
so that we could come to your assistance. The loss of so many of our
crew is much to be regretted, but your loss would have been much worse,
as your experience is indispensable to the safety of all. And now you
must take some refreshments and another nap and then I think you will
be all right."

"I will take the refreshments," said Battell, "but we have no time to
waste on sleep until work has commenced in earnest on the necessary
preparations for our escape. How long have I been here?"

"A little over forty-eight hours."

"Then we cannot afford to delay another two days before we commence
work."

"Do you think the danger so pressing as that?" asked the Captain.

"I do," said Battell emphatically. "We are at the close of an Arctic
summer and we may look for storms and a breaking up at any time. The
ice is very rotten, and the ocean currents, which are holding this
ice-field against some point of land or submarine mountain, may part
it in twain at any time, and then we will be compelled to run for our
lives."

"And what preparation do you advise?" asked the Captain. "Tell us just
what to do and I will see that work is commenced at once and pushed to
completion as rapidly as our small force will permit.

"The first thing to be done," said Battell, "is to see that the boilers
are free from all sediment, and that the furnaces are filled with the
most combustible material we have, so the application of a match will
produce a fierce heat and get up steam in the shortest time possible.
If we had plenty of coal, I would get up steam at once and keep up a
moderate pressure until the ice had gone to pieces, or we were securely
frozen up for the winter. But with our small supply of coal we cannot
afford to do this, and I am quite sure that we cannot afford to wait
for the break to commence, or the coming of a storm. In either case we
will have a few minute's warning. Of course in such an emergency we
must use steam, as with our small force the sails might be a positive
detriment.

"Secondly, when the break comes, there will be a fall of ice from over
head that might prove fatal to those who must remain on the upper deck.
This must be provided for by the erection of substantial structures to
protect those who direct the course of the ship.

"Thirdly, cut all the cables that hold the ship but four, so that our
diminutive force can cut us loose with one blow of their axes.

"This is all the work that our small force can possibly get through
with before the breaking up of the ice, if that is to occur at all,
this season."

"Then," said the Captain, "I will go at once and commence work, and if
the necessity is as pressing as you think, you had better take all the
rest you can, so that you can lend a hand when the emergency comes."

"I will rest and eat," said Battell, "but I will not be idle. To
gain strength, I must take exercise, so Jack and I will make some
observations along the seam in the ice which marks the old channel, as
the break will in all probability be along that line."

Captain Ganoe, commenced the work of preparation immediately, and
Battell and myself engaged in the work that he had proposed. Our
observations, made with the greatest care, seemed to confirm, more
decidedly than ever, the theory that the ice-field had lodged against
some obstruction, not very far north of us.

Since we had reached longitude 180°, we had been oscillating from
one side to the other but had made considerable progress toward the
north, indicating that the ice was sloughing away in that direction
while the main body was held against some obstruction, by the force of
the currents. My own observations all the time had shown that we were
oscillating, and these compared with observations made by Battell,
one-hundred and fifty miles west, where this movement was much more
apparent, gave us reliable data on which to make calculations. At the
present time, the sloughing off of the ice was evidently much more
rapid on the west and hence our position was tending more than ever
toward the east of the longitudinal line on which we lay. From the
observations we had made we calculated that the obstruction against
which the ice-field had lodged, was about one degree due north of our
present position.

We closely examined the seam in which we lay and found numerous
indications of its weakness. In many places, where the walls of
the closing channel had not come into close contact, we found open
water for considerable distances, where the fish were making their
appearance. On the theory which Captain Battell had evolved, it did not
seem difficult to prognosticate just where the break would first make
its appearance, and some of the contingencies which would confront us
when that time came.

Within a few days, notwithstanding our very small force, everything was
ready for the emergency we anticipated and now we anxiously awaited
the storm that would sunder the ice-field and release us from our long
imprisonment. But the weather remained calm while it was steadily
growing colder and we began to fear that we would be locked in the ice
for another winter. At last, however, a stiff breeze set in from the
southwest and the barometer began to fall, indicating an approaching
storm. Immediately every man was at his post, but hours passed away and
the wind did not increase. The order was given for every man to remain
at his post and be ready to act as soon as the alarm should be sounded.
As no special duty had been assigned to me, I retired to my quarters in
the library to take a much needed rest and was soon asleep.



CHAPTER V.

  THE BREAK--A RACE FOR LIFE--THE ISLAND--STRANGE TOWER--A SAFE
  HARBOR--CROSSING THE OPEN POLAR SEA--STRANGE PHENOMENA--SAILING
  SOUTH--HORIZON OBSCURES FAMILIAR CONSTELLATIONS--RETURN TO THE
  TOWER--NO EXPLANATION--OFF FOR THE POLE AGAIN--A WONDERFUL DISCOVERY.

[Illustration]


I WAS startled from my slumbers by the alarm and sprang to my feet. The
strong breeze that had been blowing from the southwest had increased to
a gale and the hissing of the steam revealed the fact that sufficient
warning had been given to enable the engineer to be ready to start the
machinery as soon as the parting of the ice gave us an opening through
which we could move. The time for action had come and I heard Battell
give the order to cut the cables.

As I hastened on deck, the two great ice mountains between which we lay
were lifted by the waves, and a moment later parted, and a shower of
ice fragments from the sundered roof fell upon the upper deck with an
awful crash; but thanks to the wise precautions that had been taken,
no one was hurt, and the injuries to the vessel were but slight. The
ice-field had parted along the line that had been predicted by Captain
Battell, and the Ice King was at once subjected to the full force of
the winds and waves which urged us forward with an irresistible force.
But under the influence of the same power the ice continued to part
before us, and all we had to do was to keep in the channel that was
forming.

While the waves behind us were driving the ship to seeming destruction,
they were at the same time rending the ice-field asunder in the
direction we were moving, creating a narrow, but constantly widening
channel between the walls of ice on either side. Captain Battell, as
usual in cases of emergency, was in command. Captain Ganoe was at the
wheel, while I took my place at his side to take notes and render
assistance as occasion might require.

Captain Battell was right when he said we might be compelled to run
for our lives. The gale continued to increase in its fury, and as we
followed the channel that was forming before us, the wind was closing
up the channel behind, by huge masses of ice in wild commotion. A halt
would have invited destruction, and if we missed the channel that was
being opened before us, we might be dashed to pieces against the ice.

While the general direction of the channel being formed was toward
the north, the ice did not break along a straight line, but was often
zigzag, and it took the closest kind of attention to keep the ship
from dashing against one side or the other and being disabled. The ice
pack that was always forming behind us, urged forward by the wind and
probably a strong ocean current made retreat impossible, even if we
had so desired. There was but one thing that could be done, which was
to move forward regardless of the continual danger of a collision that
might prove fatal.

This strain was kept up for several hours, when to our great delight
we could discern what seemed to be a small island toward the northeast
and an open sea beyond. A minute later; what appeared to be a mighty
watch tower, at least two hundred feet in height, loomed up before our
astonished vision just a little off from our starboard quarter. It
stood at the edge of the water and the waves were dashing against its
base.

This island was evidently the obstruction against which the ice-field
had been lodged. The tower was built of dressed stones accurately piled
upon each other; and at one time had apparently been surrounded by a
spiral staircase which led to an observatory on top. This conclusion
was the logical deduction from the existence of a spiral ledge from
the base to the summit, plainly indicating that it had been used as a
support for an external structure.

We were now running under a full head of steam through a channel that
had been formed between the ice and the island, which led into an open
sea beyond. This channel brought us close to the strange tower, and
as we came even with it, Captain Battell gave the word: "Starboard
your helm! hard up!" "Aye, aye, sir," came the response, and the wheel
fairly spun in Captain Ganoe's hands. The Ice King lurched, trembled,
and in the next instant shot around the tower, and into comparatively
still water, under the cover of the island, which we now discovered,
extended from west to east, about two miles, in the form of a crescent,
constituting a safe harbor from all storms except from the north. We
determined to cast anchor until the wind had subsided and give our
small crew a much needed rest. This gave me an opportunity to make
sketches of the tower and island at my leisure.

The rest was most welcome to officers and men after the unusual
fatigues of the last few days, culminating in the excitement and
extraordinary efforts of the last few hours. While we slept, the winds
ceased to howl, the skies became clear, and I sketched the tower and
the island while they were bathed in the glorious hues of an Arctic
sunset.

I applied the camera to every prominent object in sight. The island had
the appearance of a segment of the top of a circular mountain which
might have been, in geologic ages, the crater of a vast volcano, since
which time the land had been depressed, or the water level elevated,
perhaps several hundred feet. The shore-line was a granite precipice,
rising to the height of about one hundred feet. Over this was a lofty
covering of ice, cut into the most fantastic shapes by streams of water
which come with summer and depart with winter. In places where the
surface had been laid bare I could discover traces of man's handiwork,
which for the present I had no opportunity to investigate, owing to the
precipitous nature of the shore-line.

But the object of the greatest interest was the tower. As I made my
sketch, the last rays of the sun illuminated this strange guardian of
these unexplored waters with a luster which impressed the beholder
with a feeling of awe. We examined it closely with our glasses and
speculated as to its origin. It had evidently been erected to serve
some important purpose, by a people who were skilled in architecture.
From its location, it might have served the purpose of a light-house
in some far off time, before these regions were covered with their
present mantle of ice.

As this mighty column loomed up above its icy background, its presence
was thought-provoking as well as awe-inspiring. It seemed like some
sentinel placed here to guard the gateway to this unknown northern
sea. But when was it built? and for what purpose? were questions
that were continually forced upon our minds. As to the time: it must
have been before the great ice age, when tropical plants as well as
animals, flourished in the far north, and a tropical, or semi-tropical
climate extended from the equator to the poles. But this did not
indicate the purpose for which it was erected. Was it an observatory
for astronomical purposes, or a light-house for the guidance of the
pre-historic navigators of these waters, now locked in the embrace of
almost impassable ice barriers? Who could tell? All we could do for
the present was to record our observations. The tower was there, two
hundred feet in height, and its latitude was 85° north, and longitude
180° west. This was all that we could learn for the present.

As had been the experience of all other navigators in high northern
latitudes, the dipping of the needle rendered the compass useless, and
we had to depend on the sun, moon and stars for our guidance. But the
skies were clear and the sea open, so that we apprehended no further
trouble, notwithstanding this was the beginning of winter. Accounts of
the expedition were sealed in bottles and sent up in balloons, as was
our custom, and as there was no ice in sight, we determined to sail due
north from the tower.

After holding our course for a few days, we found that the needle had
again assumed the horizontal position and that we were sailing due
south. We knew we had started north and had not consciously changed our
course. Here was a mystery we could not fathom. But this was not all.
The horizon seemed to be rising up and obscuring stars that ought to
have been in full view.

The pole star, which had been near the zenith was sinking toward the
horizon behind us. The whole face of the celestial vault was changing.
As the northern lights, which were dropping to the rear grew less
brilliant, the southern horizon beamed with a halo of light, which
continued to grow brighter. Without having changed our course we were
now sailing away from the constellations by which we had so long been
guided in our progress toward the pole. What could it mean?

These strange phenomena upset all of our calculations. Everything
seemed weird and unnatural. The engines were stopped and we lay to, in
order to make observations and study the situation. Accounts of these
strange phenomena were securely sealed in bottles and committed to the
care of the winds.

Captains Ganoe and Battell held a council in the library and made a
careful study of the best authorities, but could find no solution to
the problem, as to why we should be going south. It was determined to
change our course to the northeast. Continuing in this direction, we
found the cold increasing, while the northern lights grew brighter, and
stars that had been obscured, again made their appearance above the
horizon.

At the end of this run, the ice-pack, now frozen solid, made its
appearance. We changed our course toward the east, keeping the ice on
our starboard quarter until we were again at the great tower from which
we had started. We had discovered no opening in the ice-barriers and
no solution to the problem we had started out to investigate.

We found ourselves in an open sea, but encompassed by an impassable
barrier of ice. We again determined to sail directly north, and, if
possible, cross this wide expanse of ocean around which we had been
sailing.

In a few days we again found ourselves running south and leaving the
pole star behind us. Star after star began to disappear behind the
horizon. Again the light in the south appeared and began to grow
brighter.

Again, Captains Ganoe and Battell held a conference. After carefully
comparing notes and going over all the facts revealed by our
observations, Captain Ganoe asked me to hand him a magazine which he
selected from the catalogue. I complied, and he looked through it for a
minute and handed it to me saying:

"There is the solution of the problem."

I found the article which he had marked, to be a review of the

  "THEORY OF CONCENTRIC SPHERES,"

by Captain John Cleves Symms. "According to this theory," says the
reviewer, "the earth is a hollow globe and open at the poles. The
diameter of the northern opening, is about 2,000 miles, or 4,000 miles
from outside to outside. The south opening is somewhat larger. The
planes of these openings are parallel with each other, and form an
angle of twelve degrees with the equator. The shell of the earth is
about 1,000 miles thick, and the edges of the shell at the openings are
called verges, and measure from the regular convexity without to the
regular concavity within, about 1,500 miles."

I turned and read the passage again, which he had marked for my careful
perusal. I had never heard of this "Theory of Concentric Spheres."
Could this earth be a hollow shell with an outer and inner surface?
At first thought I felt like rejecting the idea as utterly absurd,
but in view of the strange and inexplicable phenomena which we had
encountered, and my confidence in the judgment of Captain Ganoe, I only
requested him to tell me just what he thought about this "Hollow Globe
Theory."

"I believe," he said, "that this theory offers the only logical
solution of the phenomena which have upset all of our calculations. We
found the open polar sea, just as we expected, but when we tried to
sail across it, we found ourselves sailing away from it. We also found
that constellations which ought, according to the popular astronomy,
to have been seen above the horizon were entirely obscured. You will
remember that you remarked the cramped appearance, as you expressed it,
of the celestial vault, when we were imprisoned in the ice.

"This 'Theory of Concentric Spheres' offers a ready and complete
explanation of all these phenomena by which we have been so much
puzzled. It now begins to look as if this theory had been rejected by
scientists with the same unreasoning haste that every other new idea
has encountered. Many things that explorers have met with in the polar
regions, seem inexplicable, unless we admit the truth of this theory."

The last remark aroused the interest of Captain Battell, who was
ordinarily more inclined to listen, than to join in conversation.
Taking up the subject where Captain Ganoe seemed disposed to drop it,
he continued:

"In my long experience as a whaler and explorer, I have often found
tropical vegetation, and evidences of man's handiwork, on the
northern shores of Iceland, Spitzbergen and the borders of Siberia;
trees, vines and flowers. The position where these were found, on
the northern shores, precludes the idea of their having been brought
by ocean currents, from our own temperate and tropical countries.
Besides this, we find that after we pass 80° north latitude, the cold
never increases. We further observe flocks of birds coming from, and
returning to, the north. When we kill them for food, we often find
their crops filled with grain and seeds which must be the product of a
mild climate. All these things have come under my personal observation,
and this 'Theory of Concentric Spheres' offers the most complete
explanation that I have met with."

"Then, do you believe this theory?" I asked, somewhat surprised at the
unusual interest taken by Captain Battell.

"Why not?" he responded. "I have always been among the few who treated
every new thought with fairness and consideration, no matter what might
be my own preconceived opinions. While not accepting every new fangled
theory that comes along, I do not condemn, but investigate, with a
view to ascertaining the exact truth. I will not knowingly twist and
misrepresent facts and logical deductions therefrom, for the purpose
of proving a pre-adopted creed. Hence I have given this theory an
impartial hearing and justice compels me to admit that the arguments in
its favor are well worthy of careful consideration. Scientists have all
agreed that the earth is not a cold, solid body, and to account for its
lack of density they assume that the center is expanded and diffused
by heat. They further assume that it was originally a nebulous body
entirely destitute of a solid surface. If this is true, then the
centrifugal force generated by its rapid revolution on its axis would
certainly throw its constituent elements outward toward the surface,
thus tending to produce a hollow shell, the very thing claimed in this
'Theory of Concentric Spheres.' The operation of this mechanical law,
which governs revolving matter, can be readily illustrated by placing
a quantity of oil in alcohol of the same density. The oil at once
assumes the globular form by virtue of the law of molecular attraction.
Then insert a disk through the center of the globule and begin to turn
it around. The oil at once begins to rotate on its axis and becomes
depressed at the poles and bulged at the equator, just the form which
the earth is conceived to be. Increase the rapidity of the revolution
up to a certain point and the oil separates from the disk and becomes a
revolving ring. Reasoning from these well-known mechanical laws, we are
forced to the conclusion, that if the earth was ever a soft revolving
body it must be hollow at the center, and it is not at all unlikely
that there may be openings at the poles into this hollow space. So, we
see that there is some logical foundation for this Hollow Globe Theory."

"It is true," I replied, "that the motion of a soft revolving body,
such as the earth is supposed to have been, may be so accelerated, that
the mass will separate from the line of its axis, but in such a case
it would become a revolving ring, and not a hollow shell, as required
by this theory of concentric spheres. Have you any theory as to how a
revolving ring could under the operation of known mechanical laws, be
converted into a hollow shell, with convex and concave surfaces?"

"Yes," responded Battell, "I can very easily formulate such a theory.
I can assume that the earth was at one time a revolving ring of
meteors, or minute planetary bodies, which by the mutual attraction
of its parts became solid. This ring, besides the motion on its own
axis, was revolving around the sun, or common center of the solar
nebula, through space filled with meteors, and by its attraction it
gathered other rings of meteors exterior to itself, thus forming a
series of concentric rings revolving around the first, or present
ring. The materials composing these external rings could not reach
the parent ring at its equator because of the centrifugal force
generated by its revolution around its axis, but under the operation of
well-known mechanical laws, they might be drawn toward the pole where
the attraction was the greatest and the centrifugal force the least.
Under the influence of these contending forces, these external rings,
thus acted upon, would one by one spread out and form, first a canopy
over the central ring, and then it would part at the equator, and be
drawn to the poles where it would ultimately find a resting place upon
its polar edges. Such a process kept up long enough would convert the
original revolving ring, or infant earth, into a hollow shell. Of
course all this is mere speculation, but the same thing may be said of
the nebular hypothesis, the supposed igneous condition of the earth's
center, and in fact of nearly all the teachings of science when it
attempts to go beyond the domain of undisputed facts."

"I am much interested in your reasoning," I said. "This is a new
thought to me and I would like to follow it a little further. How does
this Hollow Globe theory account for volcanoes and other evidences of
internal heat, that have led scientists to the conclusion that the
center of the earth is an igneous mass?"

"To my mind," said Battell, "these evidences of intense internal
heat do not conflict with the Hollow Globe Theory. Assuming that the
shell is one thousand miles thick; at the center, between the outer
and inner crust, there would be a pressure of five hundred miles of
solid matter, more than sufficient to generate a heat that would melt
every known rock, and this of itself will account for every evidence
of internal heat. Scientists have taught us that heat is a form of
motion, or rather that it is the result of motion when arrested. Now
pressure is only arrested motion, or in other words heat. Hence it has
been estimated that the weight of a column of steel blocks, sixty-five
thousand feet in height, would generate sufficient heat to melt the
lower tier of blocks. These well-known laws, to my mind, offer a more
plausible explanation of the existence of intense heat at great depths,
than the assumption that this heat is the residue, that was left over
from the heat of an original planetary nebula. Well known laws of
physics, force us to the conclusion that this earth can never become a
cold body and that the igneous condition at great depths, will continue
as long as the centripetal and centrifugal forces continue to press the
outer and inner surfaces toward each other. Or in other words, as long
as the surface continues to press down upon the materials below, as
they do now, there will be intense heat at great depths."

"Your theory," I replied, "if true, will force scientists to abandon
the wonderful history of creation which they have evolved from long and
persistent research."

"Nothing but their opinions will need to be revised," said Battell.
"Every fact they have discovered will continue to be a fact. We are
here on this expedition to discover facts of scientific importance,
and it now looks as if we are making a most wonderful discovery that
will force scientists to abandon some of their long cherished opinions
and revise others. If we find that this earth is actually a hollow
shell, it will be a fact, that must in the very nature of things
harmonize with every other fact that has been, or will be discovered.
Facts are facts, and while they may not be understood, they cannot
be set aside. It was to discover facts that might benefit the entire
human race by increasing their knowledge that I sacrificed a whaling
business that was paying a handsome profit, to join Captain Ganoe on
this expedition, in which I might lose the accumulations of years, and
possibly life itself. I certainly did not join this expedition in order
to either confirm, or disprove, any of the theories which scientists
have given to the world."

"Then it seems," I responded, "that you joined the expedition with a
view to making discoveries by which mankind would be benefited, by
adding to the sum total of human knowledge, rather than from any hope
of personal advantage."

"Possibly," he said. "But I cannot draw the line that your remark
would seem to suggest. I cannot see how I could help mankind, without
helping myself, at least so far as it would give me satisfaction,
and that after all is the one great object that makes life worth the
living. As to just what I expected to discover, I have only to say that
I am not surprised at present appearances. There now seem to be as
many indications of the existence of a habitable country on an inner
surface of the globe, as there were of a western hemisphere, before the
discovery of America. Columbus gave to mankind a new world, and should
we be the means of discovering an inner world, and of opening a line
of communication between that and the outer world, it would not be so
much a matter of astonishment as it would be of actual advantage." Then
turning to Captain Ganoe he asked: "What do you think of our prospect
of success?"

"The present indications," replied the Captain, "are certainly most
encouraging. From the observations which we have already made, I
believe that we have passed over the verge into the gateway of an inner
world. You remember," he continued, turning to me, "that when we made
our escape from the ice, we sailed directly north and soon made the
discovery that some thing interposed between us and certain stars that
ought to have been visible just above the horizon."

"Yes," I replied, "I remember. But what do you infer from that?"

"I infer," he said, "that it was the opposite side of the verge that
interposed between us and the stars which we calculated ought to have
been visible. And now, I propose to sail south until we find land, or
failing in that, run out at the south opening, if we find one. We have
circumnavigated the north pole and yet when we tried to sail across the
open polar sea we found ourselves sailing away from it, assisted by a
powerful ocean current. Now, the water which comes from this impassable
polar sea, is going somewhere, and it is our business to follow it up
and find out all we can about its destination."

As he spoke, a large flock of birds passed over our heads.

"There," said the captain, "go our oracles that will lead us to land,
and as they are going in our direction I propose to follow them," and
going to the wheel, he placed the ship directly in their track.

"How is it," I asked, "that you now take the birds for our guide,
something you have never done before?"

"Because," said the Captain, "we want to find land and these birds are
evidently on their way to find feeding grounds. I wonder that it did
not occur to me sooner to follow them."

The light we had observed in the southern horizon grew brighter, and
soon we saw the sun emerge as if from behind a cloud and disappear
again near the same point, when we saw the full moon and a few stars
shining through the northern verge. It was indeed a strange sight to
visitors from the outer world. It never became actually dark, as light
from the sun either direct or reflected reached us at all times. We had
therefore reached a country of which it might be truly said: "There is
no night there."

Some two days after the first appearance of the sun shining through the
opening at the southern pole, we sighted a small island with a high,
rocky shore-line, and a deep inlet, which formed a natural harbor, well
protected from storms if any ever came to these placid waters.

We steamed into the inlet, cast anchor and went ashore. This was the
first time in over eighteen months that we had the opportunity to set
our feet upon land. As there seemed to be an abundance of game birds,
Captain Ganoe gave orders that all who desired might take their guns
and enjoy a day's shooting. Notwithstanding the general desolation of
the island it was a most welcome diversion for our small and overworked
crew.

The first thing that attracted our notice, was the stump of a tree
that had been cut down with an axe. Though the stump was much decayed,
the marks of the axe were plainly visible. On examination, we found
plenty of evidence that the island had been inhabited at no very
distant day, as everything in the shape of timber had been cut down.
This we regretted, as we would gladly have availed ourselves of an
opportunity to take on a supply of wood, our coal being well nigh
exhausted.

On one side of the narrow inlet in which the ship was anchored, was
a wall of stone which was covered with figures of men, animals and
hieroglyphics. Captain Ganoe said that he had seen similar sculptured
stones in New Mexico, and from this, he inferred that the time had been
when the same people had visited both localities, and that time had
been before the great ice caps had enveloped the poles. On the other
side of the inlet was found a rude hut constructed of rough stones, and
from the inscriptions on the walls we learned that it had been occupied
by an English speaking people, whose vessel had been wrecked on this
lonely island.

The powerful current which had been the chief factor in liberating us
from the ice, and sweeping us out into the open polar sea, touched at
this lonely island; and it was not unlikely that it was this current,
which had stranded some disabled whaler and its crew, the vestiges of
which were now attracting our attention. This would also account for
the destruction of the few trees which had grown upon this stony waste.
So near the icy verge, fire was a necessity. The scant growth of timber
had been needed for fuel, by these ship-wrecked mariners.

But what had become of the crew? They had evidently burned up all
the fuel, but they had not been frozen, as their skeletons would
have revealed their fate. The supply of ducks, geese and fish seemed
inexhaustible, and hence they had not starved. We searched diligently,
but could find no indications of death in their ranks, except one lone
grave, on the most elevated point in the island, marked by a rough
stone on which was inscribed the one word: "Father."

With my camera I took views of the most prominent objects. We spent two
days on this island to the great relief of all. The sailors enjoyed the
hunt, and a goodly supply of ducks, geese, etc., rewarded their efforts.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER VI.

  SAILING SOUTH--THE WIND CEASES--OUR COAL EXHAUSTED--DRIFTING
  ON AN UNKNOWN OCEAN--IN THE GRASP OF SOUTHBOUND
  CURRENTS--DESPONDING--VISITED BY AN AIRSHIP--THEN A WHOLE
  FLEET--AMONG FRIENDS--A MOST HIGHLY CULTIVATED PEOPLE--WE EMBARK FOR
  ALTRURIA--AN AIR VOYAGE.


AS we again proceeded south, the weather became more and more
spring-like and the air more invigorating. The climate seemed to have
opposite effects on different temperaments. The more delicate and
refined were stimulated to greater vigor and endurance, while the most
powerful physically were stricken with a fever, attended by acute
pains. This reduced our small crew to a point where we were helpless.
Our coal was also exhausted. The light breezes which had enabled us to
utilize the sails, now ceased entirely and we lay becalmed.

For weeks the Ice King lay idly on the bosom of this most placid
ocean. So monotonous it became that even an Arctic gale would have been
a most agreeable diversion, by enabling us to move. With a supply of
fuel our chances of finding land would have been increased manifold. We
could have made some headway, notwithstanding the fact that we had at
this time only five persons able to render any efficient service. These
were Captain Ganoe, Battell, Huston, Mike Gallagher and myself. Pat
O'Brien and the two Norwegians, Lief and Eric, were scarcely able to
move around and the three sailors that had been left with us by Battell
while exploring the ice-field because they were not able to stand the
exposure, were now utterly helpless, and not expected to live from hour
to hour.

We had plenty of provisions for an indefinite period, and when these
were exhausted, the sea would furnish an unlimited supply of fish. Our
vessel was seaworthy and there was seemingly no possible danger of a
storm. And yet our condition was most depressing. The ocean currents
were drifting us slowly along towards the south and might eventually
bring us to land. But this hope, at best, was only a bare possibility.
These same currents might carry us into the ice-fields at the south
pole which in our present disabled condition, meant almost certain
destruction.

We dropped bottles into the sea containing dispatches, stating our
condition, and describing our location as nearly as possible. But the
chances were that these would never reach a people who would understand
their purport, and be able and willing to offer us any assistance. All
these considerations, added to the sickness of our most sturdy seamen,
had a most depressing effect, and every hour the outlook became more
hopeless.

With these gloomy forebodings, I had become discouraged indeed. I am
naturally hopeful, but now all hope seemed to be gone. As I look back
to this period I regard it as certainly the darkest of my life.

Early one morning I had gone upon the upper deck, hoping that the fresh
air might brace me up and revive my drooping energies. In my mind,
with my note book before me, I mentally reviewed the leading incidents
of our voyage on this unknown ocean. According to my reckoning we had
escaped from the ice on the 23d of September, sketched the island and
tower on the 24th, and on the 25th set sail as we supposed for the
north pole. Without having consciously changed our course, five days
later we found ourselves sailing south. We then under a full head of
steam changed our course to the northeast, and circumnavigated a large
expanse of sea surrounding the pole.

When we again attempted to cross this open sea we again found ourselves
sailing south. We landed on a barren island on the first of November.
In a few days we were becalmed, but in the grasp of a powerful current
which carried us steadily southward, and now on the 25th of December,
when Christmas festivities were the order of the day throughout the
Christian world, here we were on a broad ocean, drifting we knew not
whither. I never felt so utterly devoid of hope, but I was determined
to keep up courage.

We were in a most agreeable climate. The air was sweet and refreshing
and I thought if we could only find land, what a glorious discovery
we had made, and if we could convey the news to our own country, how
it would stimulate the latent energies of the whole people to find
some ready means of access to this inner world, and thus our perils
and privations might ultimately prove a blessing to mankind. But
why speculate? We were lost on an unknown ocean which seemed to be
boundless, and utterly unable to direct our movements. The thought
struck me with a chill.

Suddenly in the midst of my cogitations I was startled by a loud,
"Halloo!" It was certainly near at hand. I sprang to my feet and looked
around over the placid surface of the ocean. I could see for leagues
away in every direction, yet could not discover any living thing. I
then started to go below, thinking that perhaps Captain Ganoe had
called me. As I disappeared, the "Halloo!" was repeated in a somewhat
louder tone.

I met the Captain coming in search of me, and I told him what I had
heard. With an incredulous look on his face, he placed his hand on my
head and said:

"I fear my dear Jack that your brain has played a trick on you."

"That may be so," I said, "but let us go above and investigate before
we jump to conclusions."

He assented, and as we reached the deck, the "Halloo!" was repeated
in a much louder tone than before and this time, apparently directly
over our heads. We looked up and about one hundred feet above our
starboard quarter we beheld what, at first sight, appeared to be some
monster bird, with outspread wings slowly moving as if to maintain its
position. But a second glance revealed it to be some kind of an aerial
conveyance, with transparent sides, through which we could plainly see
two persons on board, who were watching us with intense interest.

"Well Jack, what do you think of it?" asked the Captain.

"I hardly know," I replied, "but this seeming monster bird is some kind
of a contrivance for navigating the air, and it has passengers on board
who evidently want to communicate with us."

Our colloquy was brought to a summary conclusion by one of our aerial
visitors addressing us in a strangely musical but unknown tongue. We
were astonished at the salutation, but we had had so many strange
experiences lately, that we did not lose our self possession, and
Captain Ganoe responded at once by inviting them to "Come on board."
They did not seem to understand, and after a moment's pause he beckoned
to them. They understood the gesture and after a short consultation,
their strange vessel began to circle around in a spiral and came to a
rest on deck, when a side door opened, and two of the finest looking
people I had ever seen stepped out and shook hands with us. They were
large, very fair and looked almost exactly alike.

One of them who seemed to be the leader, presented a paper which I
recognized as one of the dispatches which we had committed to the care
of the winds a few days after our escape from the ice. I was surprised
to see written below it, in strange characters, what seemed to be a
translation, and this was signed, "Mac," in a plain round hand. We
examined it closely, and handing it back, Captain Ganoe turned to me
and exclaimed:

"Thank God! English is understood by some people in this inner world.
This removes our greatest difficulty. We can get acquainted."

Our visitors seemed pleased when they saw that we recognized the
dispatch and the leader at once stepped to the larboard side of the
ship and waved a handkerchief. I now noticed for the first time that
two other airships hovered near, and one of them immediately responded
to the signal and came alongside. After a brief consultation with the
occupants, it began to circle around and ascend until it had attained a
great height, when it darted off at an amazing speed toward the west. I
had noticed that these aerial conveyances both ascended and descended,
by circling around in a spiral.

While this was going on, I took especial notice of our visitors. They
wore soft felt hats, slightly turned up at the side, with broad silver
bands. Their hair was parted in the middle and hung in ringlets to
their shoulders. They wore embroidered slippers, with silk stockings,
and pants that fastened just below the knee, attached to a loose
waist with a short skirt. Around the waist was a broad silken girdle,
fastened in front by a silver buckle, and tied behind in a bow, the
ends deeply fringed and hanging even with the bottom of the skirt.
Their necks were bare but encircled by a golden chain to which was
attached what seemed to be diamond set lockets, and at their girdles
they wore watches of magnificent workmanship.

While they were conferring with the occupants of the other airship,
Captain Ganoe said to me:

"These persons are surely women."

"And," added Battell, who had just come on deck, "What beauties! Where
did they come from?"

"They came through the air in yonder little vessel," said the Captain,
"and they seem to have been looking for us, as they have one of the
dispatches we sent out after we escaped from the ice; and more than
that, it has been translated into an unknown tongue, by some one who
signs the name of 'Mac.'"

"Then they are our saviors," said Battell.

"I certainly feel so," said the Captain, "and they have evidently made
up their minds to stay awhile, for some purpose."

"No doubt," replied Battell. "See! They are sending that other bird off
for help. They understand what they are about."

As the airship disappeared from view, our strange visitors returned to
where we were standing, and seeing Captain Battell, the leader advanced
and gracefully extended her hand. Her unaffected and cordial manner at
once placed us at ease.

They now manifested a disposition to examine the ship, and seemed by
their motions to confer with each other about it, pointing to the smoke
stacks, the sails and steering apparatus as if they were discussing the
motor power.

Observing their evident interest in these things, Captain Ganoe
suggested that Battell and myself should conduct them over the ship,
while he would attend to having a breakfast prepared that would be a
credit to the Ice King. Thus prompted, we motioned our visitors to
accompany us below, which they seemed pleased to do.

We took them through the engine room and pointed out such portions of
the machinery as we felt would interest them the most. We showed them
our liberal supply of scientific instruments, maps, charts, etc. I was
astonished at the keen interest they manifested in our large library.

We then led them into the presence of our sick sailors. Sympathy was
plainly depicted on their countenances as they passed from one to
another and cordially grasped their hands, frequently conferring with
each other in low tones, as if planning for their relief.

In the meantime, Mike Gallagher, who in our disabled condition was
nurse, cook and general factotum, had prepared an ample repast, in
which our guests participated with evident relish. While we were
enjoying our meal, I noticed that our visitors were observing me
closely, and then looking at the others, as if making a comparison and
mentally taking notes. When we had arisen from the table the one who
had presented the dispatch came up and pointed to the signature as if
to ask if it was mine. I nodded assent, and she took me by the hand and
drawing it through her arm, led off toward the deck and conducted me
directly to her airship.

I noticed now, for the first time, that the entrance was about thirty
inches above the deck, where it rested, and was approached by steps so
constructed that they dropped to their place when the door was opened.

We entered, and I found it to be a splendidly upholstered car, about
six feet wide by sixteen in length, coming to a sharp point at the bow,
while the stern was oval. I could see by a glance at its proportions,
that it was designed to dart through the air at a great speed. But I
had no time to take many notes of this small, but elaborately finished
vessel. The proprietor, so to speak, at once opened a little bookcase,
and handed me a small volume with a knowing smile on her face. To my
surprise, I found it to be a school history of the United States in
English, with a translation, presumably into her own language, printed
in parallel columns. She handed me several other volumes printed in
the same manner in both languages. Among these I noticed a grammar,
dictionary, small geography, a New Testament, hymn book and several
introductory works on the natural sciences.

She showed me a card on which was printed the English alphabet, that
had evidently never been used, and opposite each letter, a varying
number of characters, corresponding with the number of sounds which we
assign to each. I understood from this, that the people of this country
used phonetic characters.

I at once realized that she had the means of acquiring a knowledge of
our language, history, geography and science as taught in our common
schools. I surmised that this collection of school books, had been
brought to this country on the vessel that was lost near the barren
island on which we had stopped. It was just such a collection as might
be expected among sailors who were trying to obtain the rudiments of an
education, while employed on a whaler.

She had doubtless shown me these books as a means of letting me know
that our country and its language were not entirely unknown in her
country, and that she had contemplated making a study of these things.

We were soon joined by her comrade, Battell and Huston, and this unique
library of outer world school books was again exhibited, and while we
could not exchange a word, we soon felt that we were old acquaintances.

Our visitors were evidently highly cultured people, and while not
speaking our language, they certainly knew considerable about our
country, while we knew nothing about theirs.

I was a little surprised at the active interest taken in our guests by
Captain Battell, who was usually so reticent and retiring, and this
interest was plainly mutual. Although they were not able to converse,
they could understand each other, and spent their time strolling about
the ship and peering out over the calm waters of the ocean.

After the airship had been gone about eight hours, our guests began to
consult their watches and look intently toward the west. Soon a whole
fleet of airships came into view. In a few minutes the foremost one
separated from the others, circled around, and alighted upon our deck,
and one of the occupants stepped out, and as he did so exclaimed in
good English:

"Thank God, you are safe! How happy I am to welcome so many of my
countrymen into this world of Truth, Justice and Fraternity."

"And how happy are we," said Captain Ganoe, "to be welcomed by a fellow
countryman after our long voyage in these unknown waters. We have not
looked in the face of a fellow being for nearly two years, and we
welcome you to the deck of the Ice King, as the saviors of all that is
left of its once numerous crew."

The new comer threw his arms around the Captain's neck, and embraced
him as a mother would her long lost child, sobbing with sudden emotion
until we were all shedding tears in sympathy. Then leaving Captain
Ganoe he embraced each of us in turn.

"I never was so happy in my life," he exclaimed. "I hope you will
excuse me for thus giving way to my feelings. I had thought I would
never again look into the face of a single human being from my own
native land, and this meeting with so many overcomes me."

"No apologies are necessary," said Captain Ganoe. "We appreciate the
man who has feelings and is not ashamed to show them, while we could
not have any respect for the man who is destitute of feeling."

"Thank you," said the newcomer, "and now permit me to introduce myself.
My name is, or rather was, James MacNair, an American born Scotchman."

Captain Ganoe then introduced himself, Battell, Huston and myself.
MacNair in turn introduced our visitors as the twin sisters, Polaris
and Dione, of the Life Saving Service, and then continued:

"Ever since they discovered me, almost starved, on a desolate island
far to the north, these self devoted saviors of humanity, have kept an
especial lookout for stranded mariners from the frozen north. And since
they captured your little balloon with the dispatch I translated for
them, they have known that an entire crew had passed the ice barriers,
and they have been more than ever on the alert for an opportunity to
render assistance, and conduct you into a safe harbor. They feared that
you would be disabled by the almost perpetual calms on these waters,
and be carried to the southern verge by these ocean currents which seem
to carefully avoid the land. You see with all their watchfulness you
have been carried nearly to the equator without being discovered, and
you are now fully one thousand miles from land."

"It was indeed fortunate," said Captain Ganoe "that we continued to
commit dispatches to the care of the winds."

"That is true," said MacNair, "but it is more fortunate that you sent
up dispatches just when you did, for at that time, the sun begins to
heat the air at the southern verge and it rises to higher altitudes
and the air in the vicinity flows in to fill the vacuum. This produces
a current of air that flows south from the northern verge. It was
this breeze which occurs but once a year that brought your balloons
south. Had they been sent up at the beginning of the northern summer
they would have been carried south on the outside by your equinoctial
storms. This is my theory. It may not be a correct one but it satisfies
me."

"Whether correct or not," said Captain Ganoe, "we know by experience
that we had a northerly breeze for several days, which enabled us to
use our sails to some advantage. But this breeze soon ceased and as we
had no coal we were at the mercy of the ocean currents."

"Yes," said MacNair, "there is but little use for sails in this inner
world. But with plenty of coal you would have had no difficulty in
finding a safe harbor among a highly civilized people, in a country
where extremes of heat and cold, and violent storms are unknown."

MacNair's remarks were cut short by the appearance on the scene of
another magnificent woman who had evidently remained on the airship
which had brought him to our deck, and he added:

"And now permit me to introduce to you my wife, Iola, who wished to be
among the first to welcome you to this inner world."

"Glad to meet you," said Captain Ganoe, extending his hand, "and I hope
that you will have no reason to regret this addition to your circle of
so many of your husband's fellow countrymen."

"Thank you," said Iola, in good English, but with a peculiar accent.
"On behalf of our people, I take pleasure in extending to you a cordial
welcome to our home in Altruria, where we are making a special study of
everything we can get concerning the outer world."

"And happy are we," rejoined the Captain, "to be welcomed by a people
where our language is not entirely unknown. It will be so much easier
for us to get acquainted, and adapt ourselves to our new surroundings."

"In our district," said Iola, "you will find quite a number of people
who can converse in English. We are teaching it in our schools."

While this conversation was going on, Polaris had stepped to the side
of the ship and commenced signaling with a yellow silken flag to the
fleet of airships which hovered over us. Soon one of the largest, and
seemingly the most elaborately furnished, swerved around and alighted
upon the deck of the Ice King.

Seeing that our attention was attracted to this new movement started by
Polaris, MacNair said:

"That is our hospital or relief ship. Polaris has called them to the
assistance of your sick sailors."

"Thank God!" ejaculated Captain Ganoe, "for indeed the poor fellows
need the most careful attention. She and her comrades have placed us
under obligations for their kindness, that can never be repaid. I am
indeed most thankful to our new found friends."

"Why feel under such obligations to anyone?" asked Iola. "Polaris is
only doing her duty and so are her comrades. This is a duty which we
owe to each other, and you and your sailors will only receive that
which justly belongs to you."

"But are we not under obligations to those who assist us when in
trouble?" asked Captain Ganoe, "and should we not repay them for the
burdens we impose on them?"

"I do not quite understand you," said Iola. "You certainly are under
obligations to yourself to entertain feelings of grateful appreciation
toward those who assist you in getting out of a difficult and
distressing situation, as this feeling tends to make us all better
men and women, and hence more desirable members of the community. But
as to repaying others for their assistance, I cannot see how we could
do so unless we were to place them under similar environments, and we
certainly would not do that, simply for the purpose of securing an
opportunity to do for them what they did for us."

"And I do not understand you at all," said the Captain. "When people
help us, we are certainly under obligations to compensate them for
their assistance, with something more substantial than mere thanks."

"Then I will try to make my meaning clear," she said. "We all seek
happiness, but a well ordered mind cannot enjoy real happiness while
others are miserable. So in helping others into a condition where they
may be happy, we are working to establish and perpetuate conditions
that are essential to our own happiness. The act itself brings its own
reward. In order for a people to be happy, it is necessary for them
to do to others as they would have others do to them. This is one of
the most simple and obvious laws that govern our relations to each
other. It cannot be ignored without establishing conditions, under
the operations of which, misery would become the normal condition of
mankind, ourselves included."

"I begin to get a glimpse of your meaning," replied the Captain.
"The founder of our religion, inculcated the same principles in his
teachings which we call the 'Golden Rule,' but I have never before met
with such a practical, matter-of-fact application of it to all the
relations existing between the individual members of the human family.
It may be that among our people a few small circles, to some extent,
apply this rule of action to a chosen few, but it is never applied to
the people in general, except by some cranky individual, who in popular
esteem, is regarded as a fit subject for a lunatic asylum."

"It seems strange to us," said Iola, "that your people do not
universally apply this fundamental law, upon which human happiness
depends, in all their relations with each other. They must certainly
desire happiness and the most ordinary intelligence ought to incline
them to use the means by which they could secure happiness. But I
know from history that this law was entirely ignored by our ancestors
thousands of years ago. It was first taught as a religious tenet,
but for ages it has been accepted as a fundamental principle in our
civilization, and as a teacher of moral philosophy in our schools it
becomes my duty to inculcate these principles into the minds of the
children. The civilization which we have now, carries out in practice,
the fundamental, humanitarian principles to which the founders of our
old religious system gave expression. These teachings were in many
respects identical, even in language, with the teachings of Jesus and
the apostles as I find them recorded, in the copy of the New Testament
which was among the books that my husband, then a small boy, saved from
his father's ship which went to the bottom near the barren island where
he was discovered."

"This is indeed remarkable," said the Captain. "I had thought from the
tenor of your remarks that the apostles must have penetrated this inner
world and taught these doctrines, and that they had taken a better
hold on the minds of the people than they have in the outer world. I
see, however, that you claim an independent origin for your religious
system, yet you have the same fundamental doctrines. How is this?"

"Nothing strange about it," said Iola. "Truth is truth no matter where
it is found. All people, no matter where they live, have the same
faculties, and the same sources of knowledge are open to all alike.
All the religions of the world have had their origin in some form of
inspiration, and these religions have, in turn, left their impress
upon the civilizations of the world. Jesus, of the outer world, and
Krystus of the inner world, both inculcated the same fundamental
truths, which we have incorporated into our civilization, and now teach
in our schools as the fundamental natural laws which must regulate
human relations, before the race can attain to the one great object of
existence,--Happiness."

While this most interesting conversation was going on, Polaris,
Dione and MacNair were busy fitting up the Hospital ship and giving
directions by signals, to the fleet which hovered above us. Ropes were
attached to the bow of the Ice King, which connected with a number of
the largest airships. The design was apparent, by the preparations.
They intended to tow us to shore. But this was not all. Electrical
apparatus was placed on board and they evidently intended to use
electric motor power to set the machinery in motion. As soon as the
preparations were well on the way, MacNair broke in upon the discussion
by saying:

"Captain Ganoe, we are now ready to look after your afflicted sailors.
We want to attend to them, just as we would like to be attended to, if,
unfortunately, we were compelled to change places with them, and with
your permission we will take charge of them at once."

"You not only have my permission, but my heart felt thanks for the
interest you take in them. So now let us go below," and suiting the
action to the word, Captain Ganoe led the way and we all followed.

We found the ever active Mike, busy ministering to the wants of the
sick and keeping up the spirits of all by his inimitable Irish wit, in
which Pat O'Brien, notwithstanding his acute rheumatic pains joined
with a hearty good will. This buoyant Irish lad and the herculean
Irish sailor, had been the life of the expedition, when we were
imprisoned in the ice, and but for these typical sons of Erin, our
environments would have been much more gloomy. No matter how serious
the outlook might be, they brought out the comic and laughable side of
the picture by their mirth-provoking comments.

A half dozen persons from the Relief ship at once began their
examination into the condition of the sick, and Captain Ganoe, turning
to MacNair, asked: "Are these persons all physicians?"

"Well, yes, and no," replied he. "In the outer world you would
call them doctors but here they are nurses. These skilled hospital
attendants, understand all that has been discovered in regard to the
treatment of both mind and body."

"But what do they use?" asked the Captain. "I see no sign of medicines
and the usual hospital appliances."

"They need none," replied MacNair. "But this is something that must be
learned further on."

"Yes," interposed Iola. "You will doubtless find a very different
system of treating human weakness from that which I understand is
adopted in the outer world by the medical practitioners. In their
system of healing they depend exclusively upon external appliances and
ingredients, while we depend mainly upon arousing the internal powers
of mind and spirit, which alone can exercise any absolute control over
the human organism. Your system of treating the body is from without,
while ours is from within, directly opposite to it."

I did not at that time comprehend her meaning, neither did any of our
crew. Its depth was beyond our grasp and we found that indeed this was
something to be learned further on. But as she ceased speaking, Polaris
called her to one side, and after a brief consultation with the nurses
she said to Captain Ganoe:

"The nurses report that it will require an hour or more to get the
patients in proper condition for removal and that they want to be left
alone with them, and will let us know when they are ready."

With this, we all returned to the upper deck to await the pleasure
of the nurses. Captain Battell, who had been an intensely interested
listener, notwithstanding his retiring disposition, now moved to renew
the conversation by turning to MacNair and saying:

"My dear sir, did I understand you to say that the special business of
Polaris and Dione is to look out for those who may be lost at sea and
render assistance as occasion may require, and especially for such as
may drift in from the outer world? Where are your men, that women are
permitted to engage in these hazardous enterprises?"

"Nothing strange about that," said MacNair. "As you well know, the
women of the outer world take the lead in all humanitarian work,
because they are naturally more sensitive and sympathetic than men. The
women of this inner world are even more inclined to extend a helping
hand to the distressed, and they are not handicapped by usages which
restrict the influence of the woman of the outer world. Here, both
sexes are placed upon terms of absolute equality, and every individual
has an opportunity to find the place that is best suited to his or
her inclinations. Men are also engaged in this work, but the women
here, as in the outer world, are more sympathetic, and as there is
nothing to prevent it, they have carried their humanitarian work to
such perfection, that all the oppressive conditions which afflict
humanity have been wellnigh removed. To this, more than to all other
causes combined, do we attribute the existence of the ideal conditions
which you will find throughout this inner world. You certainly cannot
think that women are out of place when they are protecting their own
offspring?"

"Not that," said Battell. "I certainly esteem it most fortunate that we
have fallen into the hands of these humanity loving women, but it all
seems so strange. You have women commanding fleets in the air, and if
so, why not have them navigating the ocean and commanding your armies
and navies?"

"We have no armies and navies to destroy our offspring," interrupted
Iola. "We know nothing of these things except from our ancient
histories. When woman secured her true position in the world she
put an end to war by removing the vicious commercial, financial and
governmental systems that enabled one class of people to oppress
another. When greedy and domineering classes could no longer have
soldiers to do their bidding, poverty was abolished by securing to the
whole people equal access to the unlimited productive power of the
earth. The women demanded peace because it prevented the slaughter of
their offspring in useless wars, and in order to have peace it was
necessary to secure to all an equal opportunity to create wealth by
their labor."

"But I do not see," said Battell, "how equal rights to women would
prevent governmental injustice, with its consequent wars and bloodshed.
In the outer world, some of the most bloodthirsty rulers in the annals
of history have been women."

"And the same thing was true in the inner world," said Iola, "until
all women had secured their personal freedom from the domination of
man-made laws and prerogatives. When that time came, Mother-love
completed the work of human redemption. In time the women became a unit
for peace, and this thought was impressed upon their offspring and
these grew into maturity without any inclination to rule by violence,
and war was abolished. And the same love of offspring which put an end
to war and all its horrors, demanded the removal of the discriminations
which enabled the offspring of one woman to defraud and oppress the
offspring of another woman. It was the inspiration of Mother-love
which set the women to investigating the systems which enriched the
few at the expense of the many; and in defense of their children,
they united their efforts along peaceful lines to establish equitable
relations in all the affairs of life. The women of that day, were not
more intelligent than the men, but love for their offspring gave them a
deeper and more abiding sympathy for the oppressed, and this feeling,
if not crushed out by the iron heel of military power, will ultimately
save the people of any country from the consequences of inequitable
conditions."

"I believe you are right," said Battell, "but this does not explain to
me why women should lead in such a hazardous business as this in which
Polaris and Dione are engaged."

"It is because they desire to do so," said MacNair. "Polaris is a
sincere lover of humanity. She is a true womanly woman, and as such
takes pleasure in rendering assistance to all who are afflicted
or distressed. Besides, she is by education, inclination and long
experience, an expert in aerial navigation, and holds her position as
head of the Life Saving Service by virtue of her superior qualities."

"But," said Battell, "as head of a department, she might send her
subordinates and not take the hardest work on herself. It seems to me,
that she personally superintends everything, doing as much work as a
half dozen others ought to do."

"Polaris always leads," said MacNair. "Besides, in your case there were
especial reasons why she should personally lead the search. You were
exposed to peculiar dangers, and it was uncertain whether you had been
carried into the Oscan or Umbrian oceans, by the ocean currents. So,
to guard against possible failure, she did not trust entirely to the
patrols, but continued to circumnavigate the concave herself.

"But few persons could have kept up the incessant activity and
watchfulness that she and Dione have done ever since they captured your
dispatches. They were determined that you should not be carried into
the stormy waters of the south if persistent vigilance could prevent
it."

"Well, thank God, they were successful!" said Battell. "If we should
live a thousand years we could not pay them for their efforts in our
behalf."

"No thanks are required," again interrupted Iola. "Polaris has only
done her duty, and as to pay, she could hardly comprehend what you
mean by it. She doubtless felt that she was amply rewarded for all her
efforts when she succeeded in finding you. Success, in a praiseworthy
undertaking, is the only reward that any man or woman can afford to
work for. She has found you and therefore has her reward, while we
can enjoy the pleasure of providing you with the comforts of a home
and freedom from anxiety, toil and danger. You will only get what our
common mother nature has prepared alike for all her children, while
we have been especially benefited by the opportunity it has given
us of helping a brother in distress. If there is any difference, we
have more reasons to be thankful than you have, as we take pleasure
in contributing to the happiness of others. It is in very truth 'more
blessed to give than to receive.'"

"I am not an enthusiast," responded Battell, "but I am frank to admit
that I am carried away by the transcendent character of the sentiments
you express, in regard to our duties toward each other. But it seems to
me, that your grand ideal as to what human character ought to be, is
so far above our fallen human nature, that it can never be realized in
this life. Such a character was Jesus, the Savior of mankind as painted
by our religious teachers. But this character is so very much above the
human plane of development, that it would be regarded as sacrilegious
for anyone to attempt to be as pure, as noble and as holy as he is said
to have been."

"The great mass of our people," said Iola, "would not understand
your allusion to fallen human nature, and the Savior of mankind, but
I have read a number of your religious books, and from comparisons
with our own ancient history, have concluded that the Fall of Man and
his Redemption through the Cross are allegories which were intended
to teach a wonderful truth. But, be this as it may, the character of
Jesus, I regard as the only truly human character that I have met
with in the few outer world books that we have. The wonder is, that
this magnificent character has not been incorporated into all of
his professed followers. After two thousand years of preaching and
discipline, it is strange that you have not developed many of these
characters; even surpassing his exalted standard, especially as he told
his disciples that they might do greater things than he did."

"But," said Battell, "we are told that he was more than man. He was the
Son of God, sent upon earth from his Father's home in heaven, to save
fallen man."

"I am willing," was Iola's reply, "to admit all this, as I understand
it. We had similar characters in the olden time, who tried to save
their fellow beings from the low estate in which they lived. But a time
came when the effect of their teachings was to produce a multitude
of such characters, and then the entire people made one great bound
upward, and now we are all saviors whenever and wherever we find a
demand for our services in that capacity."

Battell looked his astonishment as he asked:

"Is this heaven? Am I to be brought into the presence of not one, but a
world full of these God-like characters?"

Iola smiled as she said in response:

"Yes, this is heaven provided you have heaven in you, the only place
where you will ever find it. And this God-like character whom you call
a Savior, is also in you, as it is in every other human being, just as
soon as you permit it to be developed. This spark of Divinity--this Son
of God--is latent in the human soul, and its efforts to make itself
felt, is the source of every noble, pure and holy impulse to elevate
our common humanity. Give the God that is in you a chance to develop,
and you will become like unto Jesus, a 'God manifest in the flesh.'"

"But how am I to develop this God-like character?" asked Battell.

"By becoming a savior of the race to the best of your ability,"
answered Iola. "You were taught that it was the mission of Jesus to
save the world. It is also your mission. He did his duty in his age
and generation, to elevate humanity, and it is your duty to make just
as much of an effort in your age and generation, to make the world
better for your having lived in it.

"You cannot afford to sit down as if you had nothing to do and 'cast
all your cares on Jesus.' You have no right to impose, even if it
were possible, any more burdens upon the 'meek and lowly carpenter of
Judea.' He did his duty, well and truly, and you ought to do yours.
You, in common with every other human being owe a debt to humanity, and
you must pay it by your efforts to save humanity--

  From all its sins, its aches and pains
  From all its multitude of woes,

You cannot be released from your share of the obligation to save the
world, by singing:

  'Jesus paid it all, all the debt I owe.'"

"I acknowledge," said Battell, "the justice of your criticism as
applied to the churches of the outer world, but I am, or rather, I was,
a whaler, and they do not fit me. As a sailor, and as a whaler, I never
shirked any duty or danger, and I expected every other man to do his
duty. I think if I had been called upon to do the work of every other
man on shipboard, I would have objected to it most strenuously. On the
same principle, Jesus certainly has a clear case against every one of
his followers for neglect of duty."

"I did not expect you to take my criticism to yourself," said Iola,
"notwithstanding the fact that you referred to the religious system
of your country, as if it was your standard of faith and practice. I
only sought to impress upon your mind, the truths that, it seems to me,
the founder of your religion intended to teach. Those who took up the
work after him, seem to have entirely lost sight of the purpose and
spirit of his teachings. But here comes Polaris. She has something to
communicate."

Polaris came forward, and after a brief conference with Iola and
MacNair, she signaled the fleet, which began to maneuver, as if
aligning itself under orders, according to some well-defined plan,
while MacNair, addressing himself to Captain Ganoe, said:

"Polaris reports that the nurses are ready, and to guard against any
excitement that might disturb the patients, they want everyone to
embark on the airships except Mike, who will stay with the patients
on the Relief ship. Polaris will take Battell and Huston in the ship
with herself and sister, while Jack and yourself will take passage with
Iola and your humble servant. The rest of the fleet will tow the Ice
King into port, where you can remove your baggage at your leisure. She
will be taken up the Cocytas to Lake Byblis, where all will be safe
and under the charge of Pat O'Brien and Mike Gallagher. It will be a
convenient distance from the home we have prepared for you until you
have become familiar with the language, customs of the country, and so
forth."

"How far will it be?" asked the Captain.

"Only about 150 miles," replied MacNair, "which can easily be reached
by airship or electric car in half an hour."

"So quickly as that!" exclaimed Ganoe.

"Certainly. 300 miles an hour is nothing extraordinary."



CHAPTER VII.

  CARING FOR THE SICK--NEW METHODS OF TREATMENT--NOT PHYSICIANS
  BUT NURSES--NO MEDICINES--A RAPID RECOVERY--A VOYAGE THROUGH THE
  AIR--WONDERFUL OPTICAL INSTRUMENTS WHICH REVEAL A PANORAMA OF THE
  WORLD--ARRIVAL IN ALTRURIA--MARVELOUS IMPROVEMENTS--DRUDGERY AND
  POVERTY BOTH ABOLISHED.

[Illustration]


CAPTAIN Ganoe and myself took passage with MacNair and Iola. For the
first time, we had embarked upon an airship. I had witnessed many
balloon ascensions and had read much in regard to various contrivances
for navigating the air, all of which had been failures. But here was a
success, and I was on the alert to learn everything possible, in regard
to the mechanical principles involved.

We found ourselves in an elegantly furnished cabin, but we saw no
signs of machinery. Everything in sight seemed to be arranged for the
especial comfort and convenience of the passengers. The view in all
directions, through transparent sections, was unobstructed, but the
sections could be readily shaded, or the light shut out entirely as the
occupants might desire.

In the center was a table of exquisite design and workmanship, on which
were various optical instruments for the use of the occupants, and also
an electric keyboard connected with the hull which was elevated about
thirty inches above the floor upon which it rested.

The shape of the hull in which I concluded that the motor power was
placed seemed to be adapted to the navigation of the water as well as
the air and in answer to our inquiries MacNair informed us that it
could readily be converted into either a water craft or land carriage.
The ordinary propelling power consisted of an ingenious combination
of wings shaped like those of an insect, but when extraordinary
speed was required there was a rudder-like appendage, similar to the
tail of a fish, that was shot out from the hull. These were operated
by electricity and appropriate mechanical contrivances. He further
explained that the power of levitation, or rising in the air, did not
depend entirely upon the wings, but, that by a discovery in magnetism,
the vessel was rendered positive to the earth so that they mutually
repelled each other.

When all was ready, MacNair touched a button on the keyboard, and at
once our aerial conveyance became instinct with life. Its broad wings
that had been neatly folded, as it alighted upon the deck, now extended
out like the pinions of some mighty bird, there was a slight whirring
noise beneath our feet, and we began to ascend, moving as it were
forward, around a spiral incline.

As we circled around and arose to a place among the fleet which had
hovered over us, we had a full view of the ample preparations which our
deliverers had made for our rescue. On some of the ships we noticed
cables and powerful dynamos. These vessels were as unlike the light and
airy passenger boat on which we were embarked, as the ponderous freight
train is unlike the lightning express. They had evidently come prepared
to take charge of the Ice King as well as the crew.

Polaris, Dione, Battell and Huston had embarked, and ascended a short
distance, as if to be in a good position to give directions. The
hospital attendants were carrying the afflicted sailors on board the
Relief ship, on stretchers, with the exception of Pat O'Brien, who was
getting around as lively as if there never had been anything the matter
with him, and Mike seemed to be trying to keep him still. We were
surprised at what seemed to be such a wonderful recovery, and MacNair,
noticing the intense interest we were taking in what was transpiring on
the Ice King, asked:

"What is the matter? Anything going wrong?"

"Nothing wrong," replied Captain Ganoe, "but something strange. Do
you see that herculean sailor rushing around down there and evidently
making himself useful in caring for his comrades?"

"Well, what of that?" asked MacNair.

"Only this," said the Captain, "a few hours ago he was confined to
his bed with a severe attack of rheumatism and now he seems the
personification of health and vigor. Can you explain the change in his
case while the others are still helpless?"

"Perhaps his rheumatic attack had actually run its course, but still
remained to trouble him as the result of the impression that had been
made upon his mind. If that is the case, then he only needed a mental
suggestion, to remove the rheumatic impression which had fastened
itself upon him."

"That is a queer view to take of the matter," said the Captain, "yet
there may be something in it. But why are the others still helpless?
Why would not mental suggestion have the same effect on them?"

"I do not understand the particulars in regard to their condition,
and hence, am not qualified to offer an opinion. It may be that the
disease in them had worked some organic change that was not so easy to
overcome, or, it may be that the suggestion that removed the pain put
them to sleep. I see they are apparently sleeping soundly."

"I hope their sleep may be a favorable indication," said the Captain.
"I do not," he continued, "understand this strange disease which seems
to single out the most robust and powerful. Can you explain it to me?"

"The atmosphere of this inner world," interposed Iola, "is highly
stimulating, and it requires much active exercise to provide an outlet
for the surplus energy that is generated. You were becalmed. Your
sailors had nothing to do but to rest when they were not tired. The
energy was created and it must be expended. Mental activity would have
accomplished this, and their health would have been improved. But
failing in this, it took the form of fever and acute pains. The best,
in fact, the only efficient safeguard from disease, situated as you
were, is to be found in mental activity."

"You certainly do not mean to say that mentally active people are not
liable to get sick in this inner world?" remarked the Captain.

"Nothing of the kind," said Iola. "But I will say this, that all other
conditions being equal, mentally active people are not in as much
danger, provided they think healthy thoughts. If they think disease
and fear the worst, they will be even more liable than others to get
just what they think. But if the active mind is trained to exercise
its power to preserve the health of the body, there is no danger from
disease."

"This is a strange doctrine," said the Captain, "and one that I am
anxious to know more about, but that must be learned further on, I
suppose, as MacNair says."

We had been rising slowly until we had now attained a great height and
MacNair interrupted the discussion of mental suggestion by saying:

"We have designedly ascended to a greater height than usual, so as
to be above the more humid atmosphere. This will give you a better
opportunity to make observations."

"But what observations can we make," I asked, "that could not be made
from the surface? When I became satisfied from seeing the sun shining
through the southern verge, that we had passed into an inner world,
I expected with the telescope, to be able to scan every part of the
surface, but I found that I was seemingly as far from being able to
do so, as when I was in the outer world. Can you explain to me why I
cannot turn my glass to the zenith and see the opposite side of the
concave?"

"There can be but one reason," said MacNair, with a merry twinkle in
his eyes. "The gaseous contents of the concave must be opaque to your
vision."

"Well, well," I said laughing, "I found that out without your
assistance, and I am not going to let you dodge the question by a play
on words. What I want to know is, why these gaseous contents at the
center, are opaque while the air at the surface is not?"

"Well I see," said MacNair, "that you are determined to compel me to
reveal how little I know. The scientists of the early ages evolved the
theory that the center of the concave is a gaseous globe composed of
the very lightest materials which they knew by actual experience to be
opaque to their vision."

"But why," I asked, "is it that this concave sphere does not shut off
the light from the sun?"

"Because," said MacNair, "this opaque sphere is above our line of
vision,--our position on the surface, being twelve degrees below
the verges. Besides this, the central opaque sphere is conceived to
be flattened at the poles and bulged at the equator, and some have
contended that it is also hollow like the earth. But for this opaque
sphere our nights would be as light as day by the reflection from the
hemisphere above."

"I have thought of that," I replied, "and still I have so much wished
that the opposite hemisphere could be seen with the telescope."

"Well, that is precisely what you will be able to do from this
airship," said MacNair.

"How so?" I asked. "We certainly cannot rise above the opaque sphere,
and if we could, and got a clear view of the opposite hemisphere, that
would not be seeing from one side of the concave to the other."

"Not that surely," said MacNair, "but scientists knowing that magnetic
currents often pass more readily through opaque than transparent
substances, began to search for rays of this kind that would pass
through dark bodies and be reflected by substances beyond. At last
they succeeded in securing a photograph through wood and metal, and
then, all that was required in order to enable us to see through opaque
matter, was an optical instrument that would cast the reflection on the
retina of the eye. This, in the course of time, was accomplished. And
now, these wonderful discoveries are used by the medical profession,
in order to enable them to look into the bodies of their patients
and examine the internal organs. And, these electro-magnetic optical
instruments have been so improved that they are in general use, in
observations where opaque bodies obstruct the view."

"And do you tell me this as sober truth?" I asked.

"Certainly," responded MacNair, "I propose to give you a practical
demonstration. You discovered that the space between us and the zenith
was opaque to your vision. Now, take these glasses and adjust them to
your eyes and look through those semi-transparent sections, which are
like a lace-work of tubes. The penetrating power of these glasses, you
see, can be increased or decreased by moving this slide. They enable
you to use the magnetic rays which pass through all substances for the
purpose of vision."

We followed his directions and the first glance gave us an ocular
demonstration that the surface was concave. "Now," continued MacNair,
"in order to get the best idea of the leading geographical outlines of
this inner world, I want you to examine with your glasses a zone from
the horizon in front of us, through the zenith to the horizon behind
us. We are now moving on an airline for your future home in Altruria.
Our course is a little south of west and the distance about one
thousand miles. We are now very near the center of the Oscan ocean.
East of us is the continent of Atlan. So, a zone, extending through
the zenith along the line on which we are moving will pass through the
equatorial belt, and give you a clear concept of the great centers of
population and material improvement. This is the most important part
of the world for you to study for the present, and until you learn the
language and mingle with the people, you must depend upon your eyes as
the chief source of information."

We were now moving at great speed and the sensations were most
exhilarating. Looking out over the bow we beheld the horizon of water
and raising our glasses as we had been directed, at an elevation of
about twenty degrees, the coast line of a continent came into view. And
still elevating our glasses, we rapidly passed in review a wonderful
panorama of flowing rivers, cultivated fields, tangled wildwood,
and lofty mountain chains until at an elevation of about forty-five
degrees, we beheld the western coast line of the Altrurian continent.
At the zenith, we saw the Umbrian ocean, and further down, and directly
opposite to Altruria, the continent of Atlan, suspended, as it were, in
the eastern sky like a map. Looking toward the north, and some ten or
twelve degrees above the horizon, was the barren island on which we had
landed.

We were so engrossed with our observations in a world where we could
take a bird's eye view of any part of it, that we did not care
to continue the conversation in which we had become so intensely
interested. The continent which we were approaching, looked through our
glasses like a vast concave picture of a most lovely country suspended
above the horizon, and covering almost the entire western sky. But when
we looked through our ordinary glasses, the general appearance was not
materially different from what it would have been in the outer world.
I could but wonder at this marvelous discovery, which had enabled the
inventor to construct instruments that converted opaque rays into rays
of light, and I could not help thinking, what a restraint the general
use of such wonderful optical instruments would be upon evil doers.
Nothing could be hidden from those who cared to investigate.

While my thoughts wandered into other channels, my gaze was riveted
upon the wonderful panorama presented to our view. I noted that the
divisions between land and water were strikingly similar to the
physical geography of the outer world, except in this, that the land
surface of the inner world on the line of the equator seemed to
correspond very closely with the water surface of the outer world,
though on a much smaller scale. The clear weather prevailing in
the western hemisphere gave us a splendid view of the continent of
Altruria. In a few localities dense masses of clouds obscured, but did
not entirely shut out the view; and on the whole we got a clear concept
of the topography of the country.

A lofty mountain chain extended from the north to the south, and many
long rivers flowed from the mountains into the ocean on either side.
Large areas of the surface seemed to be highly cultivated, and even
in the mountains, palatial buildings were brought into view by the
higher powers of our telescopes. Boats plowed along the rivers and on
the lakes, and the entire country seemed to be a network of railroads,
while airships appeared like specks in the field of our vision,
flitting here and there and speeding in every direction.

But the most singular feature which attracted our attention, was, that
notwithstanding all the evidences of a highly cultivated country and
the most active traffic and trade between the different sections, we
nowhere discovered any indications of great cities; and while what
appeared to be extensive manufacturing establishments existed in
numerous localities, and the harbors along the shore lines were filled
with shipping, nowhere did we see vast clouds of smoke such as vitiate
the atmosphere in the large cities and manufacturing districts of the
outer world.

We were so taken up with what we could see, that we had no inclination
to withdraw our attention from this wonderful panorama, to ask for many
explanations of minor details. We now had a view of an entire continent
and were disposed to make the most of the opportunity. It was doubtless
highly civilized, and had its libraries filled with historical,
scientific, sociological and ethical works that would, in time, reveal
to us all that was worth knowing. As MacNair had said, we must use our
eyes as our chief source of information, until we had acquired the
language and familiarized ourselves with the daily life and usages of
the people.

We were now nearing the continent and MacNair reduced our speed so as
to give us time to make our observations more in detail. The general
direction of the coast was north and south for some hundreds of miles.
Along the mainland, capes and promontories were numerous, while running
parallel therewith was a chain of islands, forming a continuous series
of bays which in the outer world would have been of inestimable value
as harbors.

One long island, lying parallel with the coast immediately before us,
particularly attracted our attention. It seemed to be some twenty-five
or thirty miles in length, and lay like an elevated ridge, between
two promontories which extended out from the mainland at either
extremity, from which it was separated by narrow channels. This formed
a magnificent bay which contained a number of smaller islands that
divided the bay into a series of land-locked harbors.

The Cocytas river, to which our attention had been called, flowing
from the mountains in the northwest, entered this bay at its northern
extremity, through two outlets about five miles apart. Between these
outlets was a triangular island about fifteen miles in length. The
north bank of the northern outlet was a promontory which extended
out from the mainland, to within a few hundred feet of the northern
extremity of the island which separated the waters of the bay from the
ocean.

As we neared the coast, what had seemed to be a huge smokestack on the
point of the promontory that constituted the southern shore-line of
the bay, was revealed to our vision as a colossal tower, that in its
general appearance, was an exact duplicate of the strange tower we had
passed at the northern verge, at the point where we had escaped from
the ice. The material used, the style of architecture, and everything
about it indicated that it was erected by the same people and for the
same purpose.

We had now been speeding forward in a straight line for five hours.
We had covered fully 1,000 miles, and MacNair assured us that we had
been traveling slowly, in order to give us an opportunity to study the
topography of the country, as a whole, from an advantageous position,
at an average height of about four miles, though at times we had
ascended to higher altitudes, as Iola suggested, to so train our lungs
to an attenuated atmosphere, that we would experience less discomfort
from the lofty aerial flights we were destined to make.

MacNair now called our especial attention to the region of country we
were approaching. It was an agricultural district, and, evidently,
in a high state of cultivation. It looked like a vast prairie farm,
regularly laid out, in the shape of a parallelogram, extending from
east to west about thirty miles, and from south to north about fifteen
miles. Magnificent buildings appeared at regular intervals, surrounded
by beautiful grounds, and connected by broad boulevards, reaching
from one end to the other, and crossed by elevated roads at regular
intervals. On these magnificent highways, splendid carriages were
rolling, but no horses were in sight. Electric cars were continuously
moving both ways between these houses, the north and south lines being
elevated.

Airships of all sizes and designs, seemed to be ubiquitous, and were
moving in every direction. Children amused themselves on the shaded
lawns that bordered the boulevards, and in the flower gardens of the
highly ornamented grounds around the palatial buildings which appeared
in every direction. While this district seemed to be distinctively
agricultural, much of the surface was given up to parks, shaded
driveways, miniature rivers, artificial lakes, fountains, ornamental
gardens and orchards.

The lands devoted to cultivation, were laid off into rectilinear fields
running the entire length of the district, thus securing a saving of
labor that could not have been accomplished in any other manner. From
one end to the other of these long fields, monster machines were
moving, operated by electricity, and completing their work as they
went. One machine to which MacNair directed our especial attention, was
a combined breaking plow, seeder and roller. It was moving at a rapid
rate, and leaving behind it a strip, fifty feet in width, thoroughly
pulverized, seeded and rolled. The operator occupied a comfortably
furnished cab, and directed the progress of the machine by what we were
told was a delicately arranged electric keyboard on a table before him.

Everywhere within the range of our vision was presented a scene of
industrial activity, and yet comparatively few appeared to be engaged
in actual labor. The major portion of the population seemed to be
out enjoying a holiday. So impressed was Captain Ganoe with this
appearance, that he asked if it was some special festival occasion.

"Not at all," said MacNair. "This scene of recreation and enjoyment is
of every day occurrence. The people of this inner world have learned
that it takes very little physical labor to provide an abundance of
every article of necessity, comfort and luxury for the whole people.
They have discovered how to control the great forces of nature and the
machine has taken the place of human muscle."

"But," said the Captain, "does not that throw the great masses of the
people out of employment, and place them at the mercy of the people who
own the machines and the land?"

"It certainly does," answered MacNair. "It deprives all persons of
toilsome drudgery, and places them absolutely at the mercy of the
people who own the machines and the land. But this is just what they
want, because these same people who are deprived of employment, own
both the land and the machinery of production and distribution. Hence,
they are enabled to enjoy a perpetual holiday. The amount of work to
be done, is a much coveted task, as it provides necessary exercise,
and from the fact that it is useful and contributes to the commonweal,
it is ennobling. The people of this country are too wise to permit the
private ownership of land and the means of production, and thus deprive
themselves of the abundance, that can be provided for all by the
intelligent application of human labor to those natural resources which
exceed in productiveness all the demand that can be made upon them.

"But here we are," continued MacNair, "over the land, and now we will
loiter along, so you can study the immediate neighborhood in which you
will have your home until you want to make a change. These magnificent
buildings are communal homes, and this is a communal agricultural
district. I am engaged here as a teacher of English, and it has been
thought best to bring you here, because quite a number of people are
learning to speak our language. It will therefore be more agreeable to
you until you have learned to speak the language of Altruria, which has
long been universal throughout the inner world. But this will not take
you long, and then your services will be in demand as a teacher. The
people are anxious to learn all that can be discovered concerning the
outer world."

This country is divided into numerous districts which are numbered
from north to south. This is District No. 1, Range No. 1, west. This
range line corresponds with longitude 180°. These longitudinal lines
are numbered east and west just as they are in the outer world, but as
the circle is smaller, the distance between the lines is proportionally
less.

"The tower which you were examining so closely as we came to land, is
the point from which longitude is calculated. It stands on the equator,
and the north and south verges are said to have been marked on the same
longitude by similar towers, in ancient times, before communication
between the inner and outer worlds was closed by the great ice age,
and floods which are said to have submerged all the lower lands. Some
regard these traditions as mythical, but many of the ablest scholars
accept them as the fragments of authentic history which were saved from
some great cataclysm."

"Then," said Captain Ganoe, "it will doubtless be interesting to
these people to learn, that our log book confirms the truth of these
traditions. At the point where we escaped from the ice was a stupendous
tower situated on a point of land, and it was in latitude 85° north,
longitude 180° west. So from this it seems that we are now situated
directly under the Pacific Ocean."

"This indeed will be welcome news to the people of the inner world,"
said MacNair. "Numerous expeditions have been sent to discover these
towers, but thus far, they have either perished, or have been driven
back by the cold and storms of the icy verges. Our ancient histories
record, that, from the top of these towers, the philosophers made note
of some wonderful appearances in the heavens which threatened the race
with destruction. Oqua, who is at the head of our district schools will
indeed be glad to converse with you on this subject. She has been an
enthusiastic patron of polar expeditions, believing that the discovery
of these towers would confirm much in the history of the world that has
been regarded as mythical. It was the first of these expeditions to use
the airship, that rescued me. The only important discovery made was
that while the airships are all the most enthusiastic expected in these
medial latitudes where storms are unknown, they are not equal to the
task of penetrating the icy verges."



CHAPTER VIII.

  ARRIVAL IN ALTRURIA--A COLOSSAL COMMUNAL HOME--DISTRICT 1, RANGE
  1--UNDER THE PACIFIC OCEAN--BATTELL AT THE TELEPHONE--STARTLING
  APPARITION IN A MIRROR--ENROLLED IN SCHOOL--STUDY OF THE
  LANGUAGE--PHONOGRAPHIC ENUNCIATOR--A COMMUNAL AGRICULTURAL
  DISTRICT--THE FIRST REVOLT AGAINST LANDLORDISM--FREEDOM THE RULE--A
  NEW WORLD--STRIKINGLY SIMILAR TO AMERICA.

[Illustration]


WHILE MacNair was speaking our airship had alighted upon the top of one
of the monster houses. We found that a portion of the roof constituted
the boat yard for the airships which were kept for the use of the
community. In the center of this roof and elevated far above it, was a
circular structure which was slowly revolving, and we could see that
it was occupied by people who seemed to be enjoying a siesta. MacNair
informed us that this was the reclining room where the members of the
community retired to rest and enjoy the scenery in every direction, as
well as a place for conferences in its many private apartments.

From this roof, elevators connected at various points with the floors
below. This was by far the largest residence building I had ever seen.
It consisted of one main building, twelve stories in height and 600
feet in length by 200 wide. On either side were three wings, of the
same height, 200 feet long by 100 feet in width. The building was
constructed of semi-transparent material which admitted a mellowed
light. At the points occupied by the elevator cages were awnings of
the same material as that which constituted the roof. We took our
seats in one of these elevators, MacNair touched a button and the cage
descended, leaving its covering as part of the main roof.

We landed in an extensive dining hall where a magnificent repast had
been provided for us. The tables were loaded with the finest soups,
bread, vegetables, honey, fruits and nuts in the greatest variety.
MacNair informed us that any person had the right to eat at any
communal home or public dining hall in the world provided that he had
performed his share of productive labor in any part of the world.

No matter where the labor is applied, the product is added to the
world's supply and it does not signify where its equivalent is
consumed. The evidences of useful service rendered to society, which
are issued by the proper authorities in every part of the world,
entitle the holder to food, shelter and raiment in any other part of
the world. These evidences of labor performed, procure the right of way
upon any public conveyance on land or water, or through the air.

To us, this had indeed been a most eventful day.

We had been discovered in our forlorn condition early in the morning
and at 4 o'clock in the afternoon we had embarked for a voyage of 1000
miles through the air, during which time we had been permitted to enjoy
a bird's eye view of the mighty oceans and vast continents of the
world. By the time we were through with our suppers it was 11 p.m., and
MacNair's announcement that we would now be conducted to our rooms,
was indeed most welcome. He explained that they were in the visitor's
department which we would occupy until our own apartments were ready.

I was introduced into a magnificent bed chamber but was so sleepy that
I scarcely noticed its contents. It was late next morning when I awoke,
and when I went out into the hall, I found it full of people passing to
and fro, and wondered how it was that I could sleep so soundly. But the
mystery was soon explained. I met MacNair in the dining hall and in his
usual cheerful manner he asked:

"Well, Jack, how did you rest?"

"All right," I said, "but I seem to have lost my ability to waken up. I
am usually aroused by the least noise, but all the passing to and fro
in the hall had no effect on me."

"Of course not," said he. "We wanted you to sleep all you could, and so
cut off the sounds from your rooms. These walls are all upholstered so
that no sound can enter when the sound conductors are disconnected.

"Now," he continued, "just make yourself at home and look around for
a day or two. Go wherever your inclinations seem to direct, and make
good use of your eyes. Remember that transportation is free. I am now
going to register your arrival. Your other comrades have gone to Lake
Byblis. Polaris will take care of them and the Ice King."

I took him at his word, and roamed at will over the grounds and through
the public offices, Library, Museum, Lecture Room, Music Hall, etc. I
found that the heads of the departments and many others understood some
English, and all treated me with the utmost courtesy.

The second morning Iola informed us that Battell wanted to communicate
with us and conducted us to the telephone room. On entering I was
surprised to see Battell standing before me, and he greeted me in his
usual cordial manner:

"Well, good morning, Jack. How do you like this enchanted land?"

"I am delighted to meet you," I replied, and extended my hand. Imagine
my surprise when it touched the smooth surface of a mirror, and Battell
broke into a hearty laugh, saying:

"I would indeed like to shake, but we are not yet able to reach 150
miles."

I was astonished. Indeed I was so taken aback by the unexpected and
life-like apparition, that for once I was completely dumbfounded. Iola,
seeing my confusion came to my rescue, saying:

"I ought to have prepared you for this by some explanation of our
system of inter-communication, but I thought that the use of our
electro-magnetic optical instruments, by which we are enabled to see
through opaque substances had prepared you for this. The reflection of
Captain Battell on the mirror, is only another method of applying the
same principle. The rays from him, converted into rays of light, are
reflected upon the mirror, on the same principle that the rays from
the eastern hemisphere are reflected on the retina of the eye."

"I ought to have anticipated such an application of this wonderful
discovery," I replied, "but it was nevertheless so unexpected, that I
was entirely unprepared for it."

"Well Jack," came from the phonograph, "you are not alone in your
astonishment. I would have been quite as much surprised to see you, had
I not been apprised of what I might expect. I called you up in order to
let you know that we have JUST ARRIVED at Lake Byblis. The Ice King is
coming. The hospital boat is here. Pat and Mike are well. Lief and Eric
have gone on to the hospital and the other three sailors are dead. We
are all well pleased with the possible exception of Mike, who thinks we
are bewitched. Pat got well so soon that Mike thinks he must be crazy.
But what shall be done with your baggage when it arrives?"

After consulting with Captain Ganoe, who was present, I replied:

"Send our trunks to Headquarters, District No. 1, Range 1, Continent of
Altruria."

"Well, well, Jack," responded Battell, "I am glad you know where you
are. I am not so sure about myself. We are treated royally. This is a
lovely lake with the most magnificent surroundings I ever beheld. I
take it, that this is a great pleasure resort, for a people who seem
to have nothing to do but to enjoy themselves. We are taking lessons
in the language, and find it very easy. I have taken the liberty to
authorize the Department of Education to translate our library, and
they were so anxious about it, that they went out on airships to meet
the Ice King, and commence the work."

"That is right," said Captain Ganoe, who now came forward and took up
the conversation. "Tell them the Ice King, and all we have so far as I
am concerned, is at their service."

"They have no use for the ship," responded Battell, "but would highly
appreciate it, as a specimen of American ship building. They will place
Pat and Mike in charge as soon as the ship comes in. Polaris informs
me that the whole world will give us a reception at Lake Byblis when
some great council meets here. By that time she thinks we will have
become masters of the language and learned in all the wisdom of the
Altrurians."

We frequently conferred with Battell, and he kept us advised in
regard to everything of interest relating to the Ice King, and other
matters in which we felt especially interested. Acting upon MacNair's
suggestion, I gave my entire time to the study of our immediate
surroundings. I found that this magnificent home contained over 2000
people, men, women, and children, and still there was no crowding.
The main building contained all the offices and store rooms, public
halls, school rooms, library, museum, dining hall, kitchen and laundry.
Powerful storage batteries furnished electricity for heating and
lighting, and motor power for manufacturing, which formed a part of
the educational system in every home. The wings were given up entirely
to apartments, so that the members of this immense family could be
just as secluded and exclusive as they desired. Each one had a private
apartment furnished to his or her taste.

Each room was numbered and connected by telephone with the library,
storerooms and business offices, and could be placed in communication
with the occupants of any other apartment, or with the District
Exchange which could place them in communication with any part of the
world. If a book was wanted from the library or any article from the
storeroom, it was ordered by telephone, and delivered at once, by
pneumatic tube. Every apartment could be connected by phonograph with
the lecture room or music hall, and the occupant could listen to the
lecture or music, without leaving his or her room. There was also a
universal distribution of news by the same means to any person who
desired such service.

In each of these communal homes was a publishing department, and all
the facilities for manufacturing furniture, clothing and almost any
utensil needed, equal to the supply of the community, if it was found
to be necessary. While the district was devoted mostly to agriculture,
in its educational system, every member was trained in the mechanic
arts and general business methods.

This training began with the children and continued for life as
occasion might require. People never imagined that they would become
too old to learn. They were taught that the most important service they
could render to themselves and to society was to educate themselves,
physically, mentally and morally, and that for this kind of service
society could well afford to give them access to all that was required
for their sustenance and comfort.

Hence all facilities for improvement, books, papers, scientific
instruments and instruction were not only free, but the use of them
was regarded as a valuable service to society. The pupil attended
school, got his or her evidence of labor performed, which entitled the
holder to food, shelter, clothing, etc., the same as the teacher,--as
both were alike serving society. The pupils, in training themselves
for lives of usefulness, were regarded as benefiting the community
as well as themselves, and hence the community was in duty bound to
provide them with all the essentials for their highest development of
body and mind, in harmony with the demands of an advanced or advancing
civilization.

These lessons concerning this inner world civilization, derived from
conversations with MacNair, Iola and others who could converse in
English, and confirmed by our own observations as far as they had gone
were intensely interesting, and we never tired of asking questions,
which were always answered courteously and in a satisfactory manner.
But I soon reached the point where I began to feel the need of more
comprehensive sources of information. I wanted to be able to speak the
language of the country, converse with all the people, attend lectures
and make the fullest use practicable of the extensive libraries and
numerous publications which contained the current literature of the
times, so that I could enter into the spirit and purpose of this
wonderful civilisation, which seemed to be far more attractive than the
most entrancing picture of Utopia. Feeling thus, I was prepared for
what was to follow.

One morning after we had somewhat familiarized ourselves with our new
surroundings, and we felt inclined to rest and think, rather than to
roam around, MacNair asked:

"How do you like your new home since you have had time to look around
and get acquainted?"

"So far as I am concerned," I replied, "I am delighted with the country
and the treatment I receive wherever I go. But there is so much to
learn, that I feel overwhelmed. If I were able to converse with the
people, and enter into the spirit of their daily life, I would be more
at home. I want to be able to utilize all the sources of learning which
are contained in your literature and I think that the time has come
when the best thing we can do is to settle down in earnest to the study
of the language."

"I knew that you would soon come to that conclusion," said MacNair,
"but what you have seen is a necessary step in your education. We must
soon go to our classes and you can go with us and take your first
lesson. In order to facilitate your studies, you have been assigned
apartments adjoining the Library and Lecture room."

We assented and were at once conducted to our apartments. Iola
presented each of us with just such a bookcase and library as Polaris
had shown us, on her airship. As she opened one of these cases and
displayed the contents, she said:

"You will find here everything needed in order to acquire an accurate
understanding of our language. It has been prepared under the direction
of MacNair and myself by the publishing department, particularly for
the use of English speaking people who might succeed in getting through
the ice barriers. These cards contain the English alphabet with our
corresponding characters printed on the right. The only difference is
that we have a character for each sound while you have a number of
sounds to one character. When you have learned our alphabet you will be
able to read our language. If there should be any difficulty with the
pronunciation all you have to do is to formulate the word by pressing
the characters on this keyboard and you will hear every sound clearly
enunciated. Every word thus formed is inscribed on a cylinder and after
the sounds have been recorded all you have to do is to increase the
speed of the clock work in order to have the word pronounced just as
it is spoken in ordinary conversation. This instrument is called a
Phonographic Enunciator and it records the sound of every character
by means of a simple but most delicately constructed mechanical
contrivance which has been carefully adjusted to the tones of the human
voice. The sounds thus recorded by the use of the sound characters on
the keyboard are then pronounced audibly on the principle of our old
fashioned phonograph.

"You will find that the definition of the words and the grammatical
structure of our language are very easy to learn. This small dictionary
of root words, defined in English, contains the key to the definition
of every word in our language. When you have committed these
definitions to memory you will not find it difficult, even without a
teacher, or lexicon, to define every word compounded from them. The
grammar, as you will see, is not essentially different from your own,
except that we have simplified its treatment. We recognize but four
parts of speech; nouns, verbs, modifiers and connectives. The study
of our language is further facilitated from the fact, that when its
fundamental principles are fully understood, you will naturally have
a word for every meaning, instead of a variety of meanings for one
word. Our Altrurian language has been repeatedly revised by carefully
selected committees of eminent scholars, with a view to making it
so easy to learn that it would become universal, a result that was
accomplished several hundred years ago."

"Polaris showed me a school library something like this," said I, "but
it was adapted to pupils who wanted to study English."

"Yes," remarked Iola, "we have been urging her for a long time to study
English, but we never could induce her to make the effort. But," she
added, smiling, "no doubt she now regrets it. I predict that it will
not be long before she is speaking English as glibly as she does her
mother tongue. But I must go now. If you need any help, just touch that
button and I will come at once."

She bade us adieu, and we went to work to master the language. As
Iola and MacNair had informed us, we found it remarkably easy. We had
been well trained from childhood in distinguishing all these sounds,
and our eyes soon became familiar with the characters by which they
were represented, and before we retired to rest after our first day's
study, we were practicing the pronunciation of words, and committing
definitions to memory.

We soon had quite a vocabulary of words at our command, which we
introduced into our ordinary conversation. This could be the more
readily done, because of the grammatical construction of the language
being so similar to the English. Associated as we were, with a number
of highly educated people, who understood both languages, our progress
was very rapid, and in a short time we could express all of our wants
in the language of the country, and when we did not have the right
word we substituted English, knowing it would be understood, and also,
that some one would supply the right word. We determined from the
beginning, to use no language but the Altrurian, just as rapidly as we
could acquire it. We used it in reading, writing and conversation, and
soon we scarcely thought of our mother tongue, except when we heard it
spoken.

MacNair and Iola were engaged with their classes an average of two
hours a day, and we ordinarily spent our leisure and recreation time
together. Our home was also District Headquarters, and here we were
continually meeting with representatives from every home in the
district, and our acquaintance was rapidly extended. We often visited
other homes, sometimes by electric carriage or airship, and sometimes
we would walk for miles. When tired, we could always hail a car or
carriage. Thus, we were by our associations continually improving in
the use of the language, while we were adding to our fund of knowledge
concerning the country, by observation and conversation with the people.

I carefully studied the economy of the home in which we lived, being
assured that this was a sample of a multitude of others. The same thing
was true of the district. So in a general way, we were making a study
of the entire concave by having a sample submitted to our inspection.
At least, I could get a very clear idea of agriculture, the great
basic industry that sustains the race, and hence, I am condensing into
this chapter the results of a long and careful investigation under
exceptionally favorable conditions.

During our attendance at school Iola and MacNair frequently took us
for a sail in their airship. This gave us an opportunity to study
its mechanism, and at the same time obtain a bird's eye view of the
country, and if anything especially attracted our attention, all we had
to do was to ask for an explanation. As we had first approached the
continent we were struck by the large residences, storage buildings,
and the long rectilinear fields, but now that we examined the scene
at leisure we began to take in the details, and were impressed by the
general sameness of the picture.

These magnificent buildings were strikingly similar to each other
and the same thing was true of the long rectilinear fields and the
arrangement of the crops. The residence buildings were apparently
situated at alternate section corners and hence about two miles apart
each way. Midway between these were large warehouses, elevators, mills,
factories, etc.

To the east and west these long rows of buildings were connected by
surface, electric roads, and north and south by elevated roads. These
roads, both passenger and freight, all passed through these buildings.
This general arrangement of everything into squares, gave the entire
district, from the cabin of the airships, the appearance of an immense
checkerboard.

This district which may be taken as a sample of many others, had a
complete system of waterworks, a continuous pressure being secured by
a series of stand-pipes, from three to five hundred feet in height,
which forced the water to every point where it was needed. This system
also provided water for irrigation purposes as the season seemed to
require. This with a complete system of drainage, constituted a method
of keeping the most perfect condition for producing the greatest
abundance. In addition to this, all the waste products were converted
into fertilizer and returned to the soil. These wise, economic,
scientific methods and intense cultivation, explain how this small
district, sustained a population of 200,000 and yet gave up fully
one-half of its lands to boulevards, lawns, parks, driveways and
ornamented grounds.

Electricity was the universal motor power, as well as a stimulant to
the growth of crops. The soil was pulverized, seeded and rolled by
vast machines. The grain was harvested, threshed and placed in sacks
by huge combined reapers and threshers, and dried by passing through
evaporators on an endless belt which conveyed it to elevators, from
which it reached the mills by force of gravity, if that is the right
word to apply to the centrifugal force which in this moral world held
everything to the surface.

The standard day's labor was but two hours; and yet with the aid of
machinery, ten persons harvested a strip of grain one hundred feet wide
and thirty miles in length, delivering the same at the elevators in
sacks, while another ten prepared the soil and put in another crop. All
the other work was carried on in the same labor saving manner, and this
two hours of labor was deprived of every feature of drudgery and became
only agreeable exercise.

One thing I noticed particularly; domestic animals seemed to be raised
more as pets than for use. The only animal diet ordinarily used
consisted of eggs, milk, butter and cheese. Sheep and goats were raised
for the fleece which was manufactured into the finest fabrics. Fruits
and nuts were produced in the greatest abundance and constituted a very
large part of the diet of the people.

The district was in fact a stupendous farm and in its original design
the prime object had evidently been utility rather than ornament.
The work of the landscape gardener had been utilized to the largest
extent, but it had not been permitted to encroach upon the useful. The
economy in the uniformity in which the lands were laid out, the houses
constructed and the work of production carried on, gave to the whole
country such an artificial appearance, especially from the airships
which we need most generally in our observations, that Captain Ganoe
could no longer refrain from commenting upon it. One day as we were
soaring above this magnificent farming district, he asked MacNair if
the entire inner world had been cut out according to the same pattern.

"Not at all," replied MacNair. "You will find plenty of variety. Every
person has an opportunity to gratify his or her tastes, provided that
by so doing they do not deprive others of the same privilege. There is
nothing compulsory about it. People who do not desire to dwell together
can find plenty of opportunities to be by themselves. The rule here
is freedom. People live together in communities because it secures so
many advantages, but they often take an outing and find variety, and
solitude if they want it, in comparatively wild and uninhabited parts
of the country."

"But," I said, "I am curious to learn how it was that the communal
system came to be established. In the outer world I am inclined to
believe that it would be impossible to find so many people who would
live together in harmony."

"That is doubtless true," said MacNair. "But as I now understand it,
influences are at work, which will ultimately compel the producing
masses to come together as one family, in order to enable them to
preserve any semblance of personal liberty and economic independence."

"And was it," I asked, "necessity that compelled the founders of this
district to organize this system of community life?"

"It certainly was," interrupted Iola. "This district was founded by a
few of the more intelligent laborers in the great city which at that
time existed at the mouth of the Cocytas. A time had come when the
laboring masses were forced to get together in colonies and co-operate
with each other in order to live. This represents the first organized
revolt of the masses against landlordism and the spirit of commercial
and financial cannibalism, which had reached its apex in the large
cities existing in the olden time along this eastern coast. The few
owned all the land, all the machinery and all the facilities for
distribution while the many were often famishing for food, and always
begging for an opportunity to serve some master who would feed them."

"If they were indeed so poor," I asked, "how was it possible for them
to break the chains by which they were bound?"

"That is a long story," said Iola, "and cannot be recorded in a word.
Volumes are filled with the futile efforts of the working classes
to protect themselves by organization, and their education had to
come through their repeated failures. But all these futile efforts
at organization were on the competitive plan, and actually placed
one class of workers in competition with another class. At first the
skilled artisans, seemingly secured some advantages by the trade
unions, but it was only a question of time when the improvement in
machinery and a division of labor, placed the skilled workman, to a
very large extent, in competition with the common laborer for the
privilege of running the machines, which did the work better than the
most skillful mechanic, and with a speed that had never before been
dreamed of. From that time on to the end, the employed in every branch
of production were placed in a bitter and destructive contest with the
unemployed for the privilege of working for a master.

"It was not until they had reached this condition by bitter experience
that they began to learn just what was the matter. Among the first
things that occurred to them, was, that they were at the mercy of the
landlord until they had access to the soil, but how could they obtain
access to the soil in their penniless condition? This was the question
that racked their brains.

"But conditions, which neither they, nor their oppressors could
control, were forcing a solution. It had been recognized in the
civilization of that time, that the poor and the physically infirm,
had a just claim on society for food, shelter and raiment which must
not be disregarded. All that they needed, was the fruits of their
labor applied to the soil, and the money kings had to a very great
extent monopolized the soil. It was worthless to them unless it was
cultivated. Its possession still gave them power to oppress the
landless, but not the opportunity to speculate, as no one was able to
buy. So to save the expense of feeding their victims they were willing
that the land should be used, by these objects of charity, to produce
their food by their labor.

"Thus was provided the opportunity that enabled far sighted reformers
to introduce a new system of organization among the poor, which placed
all their relations to each other on an ethical, instead of a selfish
basis. They began by organizing exchanges among themselves, and what
they saved to themselves in this way was invested in land for which
there were no other purchasers. For a time this enabled the land owners
to sell the lands which were useless to themselves, as a source of
profit. The colonists continued to cultivate the land, sell the surplus
in the cities, and buy more land, but they never sold an acre. In the
course of time, the lands of this district were socialized and rent
abolished.

"Thus, by using the profit, which under the old competitive system
left the hands of the producers, never to return, they were able to
abolish landlordism, as far as they were concerned, and their wealthy
oppressors congratulated themselves that they had gotten rid of a
dangerous class. But the same causes continued to impoverish others,
and thus create other dangerous classes, and the only way to get rid of
them, was to give them an opportunity to dig their living out of the
soil. It became a common thing for cities to organize movements which
enabled the poor to secure subsistence by cultivating vacant lots.
Indeed, this was one of the first signs that marked the decline, and
presaged the early abolition of the then existing system of commercial
and financial cannibalism that impoverished the people.

"This community demonstrated that labor could, even under the most
adverse circumstances, by co-operating in production and distribution,
get control of land and the means of production, and abolish tribute
to non-producers in all its forms. You will find the history of these
movements most intensely interesting, and I should think from what I
have learned, of inestimable value in your native land.

"Since MacNair gave us the benefit of his knowledge of the economic
system which exists in the outer world, our scholars have studied our
own ancient histories as they never did before. Situated as we are, it
is hard to believe that any people, no matter how ignorant they may be,
would permit a few to take possession of the earth and starve the many,
but such was the situation here in the olden times; hence, it is not
strange that these conditions exist in the outer world."

"Well," I remarked, "since I think of it, I am not surprised that
you can hardly believe such conditions could exist in any country
claiming to be civilized. But why is it that the people of this inner
world, understood the nature of this evil and removed it so long ago,
while the masses of the people of the outer world seem to be utterly
oblivious to the fact that there is anything wrong?"

"On this question I can only theorize," said Iola. "I have thought that
it may have been the long continued ice age, that with its rigors,
held the people of the outer world back and retarded their development
until long after the inner world had made a very considerable progress
toward civilization. But MacNair has a theory that may have something
in it. He believes that the psychic conditions in a concave world,
tend directly toward concentrated effort and co-operation, because
the heads of the people all point toward each other and converge at a
common center, while in the outer world they point outward, each in a
direction of its own, tending directly toward individualism and the
development of every selfish instinct."

"Well," said Captain Ganoe, who had been an attentive listener, "I am
glad, for the honor of my own country, that a fellow countryman of
mine has evolved a theory that has not been previously thought out and
demonstrated by this most progressive people. I think, Jack, that we
had better go to work and evolve an improvement on these airships that
will enable us to carry the news of these wonderful discoveries to our
own people."

"I have been thinking of the same thing," I replied, "and that is why
I have always been insisting that we should use these airships for our
short journeys that did not require speed. It is when we go slowly that
I can study them best, and in my mind I have partially solved the
problem of constructing a ship that would be proof against both cold
and storms."

"Just like my luck," said the Captain. "I always succeed in getting an
idea in my head after someone else has worked it out. But still I think
that I am something of a mechanic and you can depend upon me to do my
best to assist you."

"Thank you," I replied, "I shall certainly call upon you for
assistance."

"I have reason," said MacNair, "for believing that Battell and Polaris
contemplate something of the same kind, and I am sure that they will
call upon both of you for your co-operation."

"Why," I asked, "have you had any intimation of the kind?"

"Not directly from them," said MacNair, "but I have heard this, that
Battell and Polaris spend much of their time in the airship factory at
Lake Byblis and that they are experimenting with their private airship
every day, and that they have succeeded in making some changes in the
gearing that enable them to reverse the wings and run backward; also in
moving the steering apparatus so they can ascend or descend without the
usual spiral motion."

"That is good news," I said, "but I thought that Captain Battell was
giving most of his time to the study of the language and customs of the
country."

"So he is," said MacNair. "Polaris told me so by telephone, and what is
more, she spoke in good clear English. She further said that the work
of translating the library was progressing rapidly and that several
volumes had been completed and furnished to Norrena, the Continental
Commissioner of Education at Orbitello, for distribution to the
commissioners of all the grand divisions of the Concave."

"Orbitello! What is Orbitello? A country or a city?" asked Captain
Ganoe.

"We have no cities," said MacNair, "but Orbitello is what you would
probably call the seat of government. It is the center of business for
this continent, the headquarters of all the departments of the public
service. The Altrurian Council meets at Orbitello every year, and the
World's Parliament every four years. Here the Continental Executive
Committee meets every day to transact business in which the whole
people are interested. It is located on the Cocytas at the foot of the
mountains."

"I would indeed be pleased to visit this center of business and
learning," said the Captain.

"We have thought of that," said MacNair, "and as soon as Oqua returns,
I think that we had better go. She is our District Commissioner of
education and I am deputy and must officiate in her absence. She is
attending the Quadrennial Congress of Educators in the mountains of
Atlan at Lake Minerva. The sessions seldom last more than thirty days
and that time has passed, so we may expect her return from the old
world almost any day."

"What's that? The old world!" ejaculated Captain Ganoe. "Am I to
understand that you have an old world here, and is this the new, just
as we have it in the outer world?"

"Yes, very much the same," said MacNair. "Altruria is often spoken of
as the new world because it was originally settled by colonists from
the other side of the Ocean. The early history of this country is in
a general way very similar to the early history of America. This
similarity holds good even to the almost total destruction of a warlike
race of red men. The original colonies achieved their independence of
kingly rule and established a republican form of government, just as
was done by our thirteen original colonies. But here the similarity
ends. Altruria now extends all over the continent, and has carried
out to their logical sequence, the principles set forth in our own
Declaration of Independence; and more than this, these principles have
extended over all parts of the inner world. This is why I often speak
of the concave as the World of Truth."

As MacNair ceased speaking, our airship alighted on the roof of our
home, and we were informed that Battell wanted to meet us at the
telephone. We went at once to the telephone room and again met Battell,
but I was not dumbfounded at the sight. He addressed me in his usual
familiar style, saying:

"Well, Jack, we have a boat factory here and I have conceived the
idea of becoming an inventor of airship attachments and I want you
and Captain Ganoe to join me. I want the Captain for his mechanical
skill and I want you to test our inventions, make observations and
report such changes in the mechanism as you deem advisable. Polaris
cannot stand the cold at the verges and I will not have time. Can you
undertake the work?"

"Certainly," I replied. "Just notify me whenever you are ready. I have
been contemplating the same thing myself, and Captain Ganoe has offered
his services as a skilled mechanic."



CHAPTER IX.

  A HAPPY SCENE--TWO CIVILIZATIONS COMPARED--ARRIVAL OF OQUA--DISGUISE
  PENETRATED--HUMAN RIGHTS--"GLITTERING GENERALITIES" REDUCED TO
  PRACTICE--A STRANGE CUSTOM--NUMBERED, LABELED AND REGISTERED AS
  CITIZENS--EXIT JACK ADAMS--A NEW NAME--NEQUA--BITTER MEMORIES--OQUA'S
  SYMPATHY.

[Illustration]


THE proposed improvement of the airship, so that it could withstand the
storms of the polar regions, and MacNair's report of the progress that
Battell had made in that direction inspired me with the determination
to prosecute my studies with more energy than ever. I saw at a glance,
that if we should be able to open up a channel of communication with
the outer world, the knowledge that could be acquired here would be
of incalculable value to the people on the outside of the sphere, and
especially to my own native America, on whose virgin soil the new
and improved thought was the most likely to germinate and grow to
perfection. Before this trip to the outer world was made, I felt that
it was my imperative duty to glean the wisdom of the ages from these
vast libraries, and from the oral lessons of these ripe scholars. My
one, all-absorbing thought, was to trace the progressive evolution of
these people and discover the fundamental principles and practical
business methods that had enabled them to reach their present ideal
civilization. Hence I determined to apply myself to study, with an
earnestness of application that I had never before attempted.

When I needed rest or desired to be alone, my favorite resort was the
large observatory or reclining room on the top of the building. This
room is octagonal in form and is detached from the roof on which it
rests, and is placed upon small wheels which run around on a circular
track whenever the occupants turn on the electric power. In order to
enjoy a most beautiful panorama, all I had to do was to seat myself
at one of the windows, with or without my glass, and set the room to
revolving slowly. I never tired of the scenes thus presented to my view
from this elevated position.

This room is furnished in the most superb style. Its elaborate
upholstery is of the finest and softest materials of the most exquisite
designs. It is large and airy. The walls are adorned with many
magnificent paintings and ornamented with festoons of trailing vines
and flowers, while the windows are garlanded with green and fragrant
foliage.

Around the circumference of this luxurious retreat, are small, well
furnished alcoves at each window, which can be cut off from observation
by sliding doors which are upholstered with some soft material that
excludes every sound that might disturb the occupant.

One day, about a week after the interview with Battell in regard to the
improvement of the airships, MacNair, Iola, Captain Ganoe and myself
had descended to the observatory for our usual after dinner rest. I was
in a meditative mood, and not caring to take part in the conversation,
I had retired to one of the little alcoves, closed the doors, set the
room in motion and brought my window around to a point overlooking the
great boulevard, with the pleasure grounds, shrubbery, flower gardens
and giant forest trees just beyond. From my lofty perch I looked down
upon the scene before me. Bright, happy faces, and kind, cheerful
voices, greeted eye and ear through the open window.

I felt entranced by the wonderful scenes around me. I could not help
but compare this great communal home, where all was abundance, elegant
leisure, fascinating social enjoyment, health and happiness, with the
crowded, filthy and ill-ventilated tenement houses of New York, London
and other large cities of the outer world, which are pre-eminently
the abodes of destitution, misery and woe. How often has my heart
ached when I have found families of ten and twelve persons, huddled
into one or two diminutive rooms, poorly lighted, ill-ventilated and
disgustingly filthy.

In the living hells of the outer world, I had witnessed every manner of
deformity, degradation and filth. Children in rags, just from the arms
of their mothers, creeping like cowardly wharf rats about the slums
and alley ways, picking up pieces of mouldy bread or fishing in slop
barrels and sewers for bits of meat, were scenes of human misery that
often made my heart bleed.

Then, add to this picture of the conditions into which the children are
born, the abject misery of their decrepit grandsires and grandmothers.
How often have I seen them, dressed in tatters and exposed to the
wintry winds as they tottered off to some alley, or some rich man's ash
heap, to scratch out with naked and almost freezing fingers, the little
bite of unconsumed coal, so that they might have a little fire to warm
their half-famished bodies, while they dined upon the garbage gathered
up by the children.

Such were the scenes that I had often witnessed in the poverty stricken
districts of the large cities of the outer world, and with them I
compared the happy scene before me. Not one deaf, dumb, blind, lame,
deformed or disfigured individual among the multitudes which often
gathered upon the grounds I was now contemplating. Not one ragged,
bare-footed and bare-headed urchin, nor one snowy-haired, tottering and
infirm old man or woman among them.

What a contrast! A heaven was opening up before me, in comparison with
the living hells that had been so indelibly impressed upon my memory.
Why such a contrast between humanity here in this great communal home,
and humanity in the tenement houses in the large cities of the outer
world? There must be some cause for this extraordinary difference in
the physical makeup and personal appearance of the people. Why were
the people in this communal home more robust, more beautiful and more
kind and cheerful than the people of the outer world? And why had the
usual decrepit appearance of age disappeared from view? Here was the
evidence that a physical regeneration of the race had taken place.
I did not doubt that this was the logical result of improved social
and economic conditions and I was determined to find if possible the
scientific explanation.

But here my meditations were broken in upon by the sight of an airship
crossing my line of vision, in the direction of that portion of the
roof used as a boat yard. I opened the sliding doors and looking out
toward the landing, I saw the vessel alight and a splendid looking
person step out, just as MacNair opened the door upon that side,
saying: "There is Oqua!" and motioned for her to come into the
reclining room.

MacNair and Iola had so often spoken of this person in such eulogistic
terms as a ripe scholar and experienced educator, prominent throughout
the world, that I had pictured her as aged, sedate and probably
careworn from the discharge of her onerous duties, showing the wear of
years of careful study and attention to public affairs. But what was my
surprise, as she came up to the observatory, to see a most beautiful
woman, showing no signs of age or care. I could but stand spell-bound,
and admire her form and features which were simply perfect. Any attempt
at description would be presumptuous and I will not attempt it.

As she came in and was introduced by MacNair, I noticed that she
understood our language and customs, for stepping forward and extending
her hand to Captain Ganoe she said in a most musical voice:

"I am indeed most happy to make your acquaintance and offer you a
most cordial welcome to our country and a place in our esteem. Your
arrival has been heralded all over the world, and it is regarded as
an event that may be pregnant with the most important results to the
entire human race. The Congress of educators at Lake Minerva passed a
resolution requesting that the next meeting of the World's Parliament,
shall be held at the Auditorium of the Transportation Pavilion at
Lake Byblis, and that this shall be the occasion of giving a world's
reception to the crew of the Ice King. But Captain, how many do you
have with you?"

"Only one," said the Captain. "The others are at Lake Byblis. But here
is Jack Adams, the scholarly artist and scientist of the expedition,
and as such I have no doubt that you and he will become fast friends."

She turned to me and placing one hand on my shoulder grasped my
extended hand with the other. She scanned me from head to foot with
an expression of amazement and inquiry playing over her smiling
countenance; then with a light, musical laugh she bent forward and
kissed me on the forehead, saying:

"Yes, I am sure that we will become fast friends."

The action was so sudden and unexpected, that I blushed, stepped back
and stammered. I instinctively knew that her keen eye had penetrated my
disguise, and the recognition tested my nerves. Yet it was so cordial,
that I felt that my secret was safe, and my reply was a laugh, a
lifting of the eyebrows and a closer pressure of her soft, warm palm as
I merely responded, "Yes, I am quite sure," and from that moment I knew
that she was indeed a friend. A chord of sympathy and affection had
been touched, that enraptured while it bound me in bonds of friendship
to this grand woman, a relationship of the most enjoyable character, as
well as of incalculable value, in opening up for me a life work, as
agreeable to myself as I hope to make it profitable to others.

For some time we joined in general conversation when Oqua asked MacNair
if we had yet been registered and enrolled as citizens.

"In part," said MacNair. "They have been given numbers on the schedule
of the school, but have not yet been called upon to select the names
by which they desire to be known. In fact I have not yet explained
this matter to them. Iola has been giving them language lessons in
their room, and instructions concerning such matters as they desired to
understand more fully in regard to the country, its history, customs,
etc. But as they can now read and speak the language understandingly,
their selection of names and registration as citizens ought not to
be put off any longer, as at present their numbers only rank them as
minors."

We were more than a little mystified at the turn the conversation had
taken and as it related to us Captain Ganoe asked:

"What does this mean? It seems from your remarks that we have been
numbered and that we are now to be labeled. I would be pleased to have
an explanation. We highly appreciate the interest you have taken in
our welfare, and anticipate much pleasure and profit to be derived
from a knowledge of your language, as it will give us access to the
boundless stores of wisdom which are contained in your literature. But
is it really necessary for us to be numbered and labeled? I take it for
granted that it is all right, but I do not understand it."

"Perhaps," said MacNair, "this should have been explained to you
sooner; but I was guided by my own experience when I found myself among
these people. There was so much to be learned and it could not all be
acquired at once. I deemed it best to give you as nearly as possible
just what you asked for, and let you get somewhat acquainted with the
customs of the country before asking you to take the steps necessary
to become citizens of Altruria, which also makes you citizens of the
inner world, entitled to all the rights of citizenship, no matter where
you go. In America, you require a foreigner to declare his intentions
to become a citizen, and then, after five years you permit him to be
sworn in as a full-fledged citizen. We have no regulations but such
as apply to all alike. The child has no choice of birthplace, but it
has a natural right to food, shelter, clothing, education, etc. Hence,
children are numbered, so we may know how many are to be provided for.
When they reach maturity and graduate from school, they are requested
to select the names by which they desire to be known. This entitles
them to a voice in public affairs and makes them eligible to any
public trust. When I gave you a number, the right to food, clothing
and education was conferred upon you. When you select names you will
be registered as citizens and will be entitled to a voice in public
affairs and eligible to any public trust for which you may be selected."

"Then," said the Captain, "it seems that we have no reason to be
dissatisfied with either the number or the label, as the first gives us
free access to wealth that we did not create, and the second confers
upon us the sovereign right to be consulted as to how our benefactors
should conduct their business. We seem to be the beneficiaries in all
these regulations, 'reaping where we have not sown.' What right have we
to the fruits of the labor of others to whom, as yet, we have been of
no benefit whatever?"

"The same right," said Oqua, "that you have to live. Your right to life
cannot be questioned, and you cannot live unless you have access to the
fruits of the earth, which are garnered by the labor of the people. The
primary object of human society is to secure to each individual member
the right to live and be happy, and to this end, each must be secure
in the possession of the means of subsistence and the liberty to enjoy
the healthy exercise of every function of mind and body. This, being
the primary object for which our social organism was created, our first
duty is to humanity, and all of our rules and regulations have this one
object in view."

"But does not this endanger the perpetuity of the social organism,"
asked the Captain, "by opening the door to those who would take
advantage of this broad definition of rights to impose grievous burdens
upon those who confer these rights?"

"Not at all," responded Oqua. "When all the people enter into an
organization of society, the primary object of which is to provide
the best possible conditions for each of its members, the personal
interests of each, will, to say nothing of the moral obligations,
impel them to perpetuate such organization, by doing everything in
their power to promote the best interests of all. Hence, just as soon
as all have been made secure in their natural rights to life, liberty
and those equitable conditions which place happiness within the reach
of all, sound policy, as well as equal liberty and even-handed justice
demands that all should have an equal voice in the conduct of public
affairs in which all are equally interested. It would be manifestly
unjust and oppressive, to ask the people to submit to regulations to
which they never consented."

"I admit the force of your reasoning," said the Captain. "The same
ideas, expressed in different language, were adopted in my own country
and have served to embellish platform utterances and sensational
newspaper appeals, but in practice, they have been treated as mere
'glittering generalities.' Here, you seem to regard them in a far
different light, as something to be reduced to practice in every day
life; and with a people as well educated as yours this seems to be
easy, but, with an ignorant and brutal populace the case would be very
different."

"Not so," said Oqua. "There is more good than evil in the human soul.
The populace might be made ignorant and brutal by the violation of
these principles, and if so, the application of these principles in
all the transactions of life would inevitably produce an intellectual
and refined populace. This is no 'glittering generality,' but a sober
truth, and this is the lesson that your people must learn before they
can ever reach their ideal of what they ought to be. When the leading
minds among any people realize that there is absolutely but one way by
which the masses of mankind can ever be elevated to higher and better
conditions mentally and morally, and that way is, by placing them
under better conditions physically, it will be found that the whole
people can be lifted up to a higher plane of being as if by magic. It
is on this line that the people of this country have been moving for
centuries and it is to this that we desire to call your attention. We
give you a number, which signifies that because you have an existence,
you are entitled to the blessings of our civilization. But now we want
you to register your name, as a co-worker. When you take this step, you
will have given us your permission to ask your co-operation whenever it
is needed. Are you willing to register and assume the duties incumbent
upon citizenship?"

"Certainly," said the Captain. "You have a right to command our
services and all we want is to know what is required of us."

"Then you will register," said Oqua. "This will make you one of us and
equally responsible with us for the exalted trust which is committed to
our hands of preserving intact the blessings of a humane civilization.
So if you are ready we will attend to this preliminary work at once."

We assented, and stepping on the elevator passed down to the lower
story and into the Registry office which was made a part of the
Department of Education. For school purposes it was of course necessary
to register the children and as all adults were supposed to be
graduates of the schools, the same department kept a registry of the
entire people, so that at any time, the population of any community,
district or continent could be ascertained at short notice.

Oqua opened an immense volume and turning to the proper letter said:

"You see here the name of your countryman, James MacNair. Just
opposite, on the left, is a number. Of course his introduction to our
schools was that of a child, as he had everything to learn concerning
the language and people of our country while we knew nothing of his
language or his country. As a pupil he was known by a number; as a
citizen he is known by a name; and according to our customs that name
must be one of his own choosing. There could be no objection to his
taking the same name by which he was known in the outer world, and you
can of course suit yourselves in the selection of names, but it must be
your own signature and when recorded it becomes permanent. All that we
care for is, that it shall be your own choice."

"As to that," said the Captain, "I prefer to retain my original name.
However, I rather like this custom of permitting people to select names
to suit themselves. In the outer world, the name is selected for you,
and you are not permitted to change it, except by application to the
courts or the law-making power. But as I have no reason to change my
name you may record it as Raphael Ganoe."

"But let me suggest," interposed MacNair, "that you retain the prefix
of Captain as it is familiar to your crew and also designates your
relation to what I doubt not is destined to take its place in the minds
of the people of the world as the only polar expedition that brought
blessings to humanity. Of course the title signifies nothing here, but
it does in the outer world which is to receive the greatest benefits
from it, and there is no reason here that you should not retain it as
part of your name."

"Then so be it; Captain Raphael Ganoe will give me the regulation three
names of the outer world, for the edification of a people who seem to
be, as a rule, contented with only one."

My turn to select a name came next, and Oqua toying with her fan
between her fingers, and with a smile she could not suppress, said to
me:

"Well, Jack, why is it that you take no part in this discussion? You
seem to have no interest in the matter of selecting names. Is it
because you deem it of no importance, or do you disapprove of our
custom of requiring every person to select a name in order to become a
citizen?"

"Oh, as for that," I replied, "I approve your custom, but as yet I have
not given any thought to the name I should select for myself. But as I
have always been rather indifferent in regard to names, I hardly know
how to give myself a cognomen which seems to be so much more important
than I have been accustomed to think it."

"Oh then," interposed MacNair, "there is no hurry. You have an
unquestioned right to take all the time for reflection that you
require, provided that you are willing to remain a minor."

"I am not trying to evade the responsibility," I replied. "This matter
may just as well be attended to now as at some future time."

Oqua then raising her eyes with a mischievous twinkle, asked with a
comical expression of countenance:

"Shall it be Jack Adams?"

I pressed my finger on my lips and with a side glance at Captain Ganoe,
replied: "No, not Jack Adams, if you please."

MacNair caught the silent message but could not interpret its purport,
and looking first at me and then at Oqua, said:

"What kind of a sideshow is this being exhibited under our very eyes
and we left in the dark? What have you against Jack Adams, that you
should thus take the very first opportunity to put an end to his
existence, so that he will not have even the poor tribute to his memory
of an inscription on a marble slab?"

"No mystery at all," I replied. "Jack Adams is all right for a sailor
but too commonplace for this land of romance and sublimity. I intend to
exercise my right to select a more euphonious title, more in harmony
with the part I hope to play," and turning to Oqua I asked: "Will
you please to suggest some appropriate name? Something short and
significant."

After a moment's reflection she said:

"I have a name for you, Jack, that I think will be most appropriate. I
have been told that you are a student, and our people greatly desire to
obtain all the knowledge that is within reach of the outer world, its
geography, history, manners and customs, and as you are inclined to be
studious, we will doubtless want you as an instructor in our schools;
and for that reason I select for you the name, Nequa, which signifies
teacher."

I was much pleased with the name and even Captain Ganoe who was quite a
stickler for established usages intimated that he regarded it as much
more appropriate than commonplace Jack Adams. Of course I assented and
Nequa became the name by which I am known in the inner world.

I was now a citizen of Altruria and had been assigned a position in the
public service as a teacher which gave me the opportunities I so much
coveted, to gather gems of wisdom for the benefit of my own country,
which was grappling with great problems that had here been solved. I
retired to my apartments to think. It had been just two months since we
arrived at this great communal home, and I had recovered from the long
strain to which I had been subjected for two years on the Ice King.

I now discovered that it was this strain brought on by the dangers
which continually beset us, that had held me up. But now that all the
dangers were past and the future bright with hope, a flood of bitter
memories swept in upon me like a mighty avalanche. For the first time
in years I gave way to uncontrollable emotions, as I buried my face
in the soft silk cushioned sofa on which I reclined and wept as seldom
mortals are doomed to weep.

How long I had remained thus I do not know, when I felt a gentle hand
tenderly stroking my head and a voice I could not mistake said, in the
most soothing tones:

"Nequa, Nequa child, what troubles you? Listen to me dear. It did
not take me long to discover that under the smiling exterior of Jack
Adams, you carried the aching heart of a stricken woman. Do not start.
I am your friend. Confide in me. I know that there is some deep secret
gnawing at your heartstrings, and that it relates to Captain Ganoe, and
of which he is entirely unconscious. And I know that there must have
been some great wrong in days gone by from which you suffer."

I could stand no more and throwing both arms around Oqua's neck and
drawing her down to me as the suffering child would its affectionate,
sympathetic mother, I kissed her repeatedly between my sobs as I
replied:

"Yes, my dear Oqua, you read me aright. But the crushing wrongs of the
hideous past are irreparable and the future promises no healing balm
for the wounds that have been inflicted. I must meet my fate alone. It
would be wrong for me to burden you with my troubles. No! Let me bear
them alone, on, on, to the bitter end. I must drain the cup of misery
to its dregs absolutely alone."

Here I again broke down and gave way to another flood of tears. I wept
until my brain seemed a livid flame and my heart bursting with despair
while Oqua sat silently by my side stroking my head until the storm of
contending emotions had time to subside when she said:

"Nequa, I am glad to find you in tears. They will give you relief
as nothing else can. I knew you needed a friend, and I have come to
constitute myself that friend. Now listen to me. I knew from the first
that you were a woman and that Captain Ganoe did not suspect anything
of the kind. I further discerned that there was a hidden chord which
drew you to him and yet for some reason you dare not reveal yourself to
him. This secret is wearing your life away. You must tell me all about
it and I can, and I will, help you to bear it. When we look at things
philosophically and see them on all sides, just as they are, there is
no wound of body, mind or spirit that may not be healed. There is no
wrong that is not too limited in its scope to effect any permanent
injury. Our bounteous mother, nature, has provided a healing balm for
every wound if we will but search for it with the right spirit."

I could not be mistaken as to the spirit and purposes of this noble
woman, nor resist her entreaties. She had penetrated my disguise and
read my secret and I had every reason to respect her judgment. For
years I had carried my burdens alone. Under the weight of the wrongs
imposed upon me I had sought relief from the burden of grief in the
exercise of an indomitable will, in a vain effort to force my heart
to become, if need be, as cold as ice, and as hard as adamant. But it
could not be. I was forced to realize that

  "There can be no philosophy
  Which steels the heart 'gainst ev'ry bitter woe;
  'Tis not in nature, and it cannot be;
  We cannot rend the heart, and not a throe
  Of agony, tell how it feels a blow."

And now this agony, which I had carried so long, concealed under the
smiling countenance of an assumed character, had forced a recognition.
This was nature's demand for human sympathy and the kind and loving
heart of Oqua was here to respond. Much as I had desired to keep my
sorrow deep buried in my own bosom. I could not repel this noble woman
whose keen intuition had already divined my secret. I felt the need of
just such sympathy as hers, and why should I spurn it from me? My soul
went out to her and I felt impelled by some irresistible impulse to
clasp her to my bosom and tell her all.

My heart was breaking with the silent misery that it had carried for
years, unshared by a single human being, and which I resolved should
be carried unobserved to the grave. Again I resolved anew that I would
not even share it with this noble, sympathizing woman, but nature's
floodgates, once opened for the outpouring of long suppressed sorrow,
close no more to force it back upon the surcharged heart, and before
I knew what I was doing I was folded to her bosom and weeping out the
long pent up load of grief that had been gnawing at my heartstrings. As
I looked up into her face, I could see the cordial, heartfelt sympathy
reflected from her beautiful countenance as she whispered:

"Go on, dear Nequa, and tell me all about it. Do not distrust a friend
who is able to help you as I can. Remember what I told you that our
bounteous Mother Nature, has provided a balm for every wound. This is
no fanciful exaggeration, but a well ascertained truth."

"I do not distrust you," I replied, "and when I am more composed I will
tell you all. I have done nothing to be ashamed of, but I cannot talk
now. I am too much agitated. Call this evening and I will tell you
all."

"So be it," said Oqua, "and I will be here early this evening. Do not
be discouraged. Compose yourself and be of good cheer and all will
be well." And imprinting a kiss on my forehead, she left me to my
meditations, which now began to assume a more roseate hue. Some of the
blackness of despair which had overwhelmed me had begun to depart, and
I felt more hopeful and became more composed.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER X.

  OQUA'S VISIT--THE REVELATION--A STORY OF PERFIDY AND WRONG--CASSIE
  VANNESS--RAPHAEL GANOE--RICHARD SAGE--A DESIGNING GUARDIAN--FALSE
  CHARGES AGAINST GANOE--A FRAUDULENT MARRIAGE--HOME ABANDONED--ON THE
  HIGH SEAS--JACK ADAMS--GANOE FOUND--EFFECTS OF A FALSE EDUCATION--LEGAL
  WRONGS VS. NATURAL JUSTICE--OQUA HOPEFUL.

[Illustration]


AS the sun disappeared behind the western edge of the verge, I was
reclining upon my sofa awaiting the promised visit to Oqua. I was
now as anxious to tell the story of my sorrows to a sympathising
friend as I had formerly been to conceal it from all the world. Since
my conversation with Oqua, a longing sensation had come over me to
confide to her the story of my life. The hour had arrived for my
meeting with her, and a minute later she was by my side. Laying her
hand on my head, she said:

"Nequa, I have come at the time designated, and in order to be able
to assist you, I must not be left to surmise what is the matter. By
the very act of telling me your troubles, you will to a certain extent
obtain control over your own feelings, and thus take the first step
toward finding a remedy."

"Then you shall know all, from my earliest recollection," said I. "My
name is Cassie VanNess. I was born and raised near New York City. My
mother died when I was an infant, and I was cared for by my devoted
old father, James VanNess, and a kind motherly colored woman who had
been a servant in the family. My father died when I was fifteen years
old, and I went to live with my guardian, Richard Sage, who was also
the uncle and guardian of Raphael Ganoe, whom he had taken to raise
when an infant. At this time Raphael was eighteen years of age. Our
school days, of about five years, were the happiest, nay, I may say
the ONLY really happy days of my life. When I was twenty and Raphael
twenty-three years of age, he was offered a lucrative position on a
ship engaged in the Chinese trade. During our vacations we had crossed
the ocean together, and he desired to travel in the Orient. While on
this voyage he expected to circumnavigate the globe, stopping at all
the leading ports. On his return we were to be married.

"He promised to write to me at every available opportunity, and for
the first few months his letters came regularly, always couched in the
most affectionate terms and often referring to our coming marriage as
the beacon light of all his fondest hopes. Then his letters ceased
altogether, and though I wrote repeatedly to him, I never heard from
him again.

"As the months rolled by, often at noontime, when the music of birds
filled the air, and all was life and light, or at eventide, when the
mellow twilight was over hill and dale, and the activities and light of
day were giving place to the stillness and shadows of night; when the
perfume of the flowers filled the air, or the yellow leaves of autumn
fell about my feet, I, the forsaken, and perhaps forgotten, could have
been seen seated beneath some broad-spreading tree, where we used
to read and converse together. I would sit thus for hours in silent
meditation, recalling the tender words and caresses of my absent lover.
Then arising sad and disconsolate, I would leave the lonely spot and
try to bravely wait and hope for the word that never came.

"My guardian professed great sympathy, and with seemingly the most
poignant grief informed me that his nephew had committed some desperate
crime in foreign lands for which he had been tried, convicted and sent
to prison for a long term of years. Yet, with this black shadow resting
upon him, the truth of which was vouched for by his uncle, I continued
to write as it had been agreed between us and many were the tear
stained missives I addressed to him, hoping that comrades on the ship
would see that they reached him. Though he might be a criminal and an
out-cast from his kind, my affection for him never wavered for a single
moment.

"My guardian, in order to make his deception more complete,
pretended to deplore the actions of his nephew, and even his own
unthoughtfulness, in telling me of them, and thus causing me so much
suffering. He seemed to be aging very fast, and I feared that he, the
only friend to whom I had never looked in vain for kindly counsel and
advice, was falling into a decline from the crushing weight of what I
believed to be our common sorrow, and consequently, my woman's sympathy
and pity went out to him in what I regarded his disconsolate lot.

"He fully realized the sincere and all pervading character of my
sympathy for him, and took advantage of every opportunity to impress
me with the dangerous state of his health. He intimated that the chief
cause of his suffering, aside from the grief caused by the wayward and
criminal course of his nephew, was the agony that it gave him to leave
me all alone in the world, with no one to guard and protect me from
the manifold dangers that threatened an inexperienced girl when thrown
upon her own resources in this cold and unfeeling world. He did not
ask my affection, except as a daughter, but suggested that under the
circumstances, I had better become his wife, and then my position in
the world, as his widow, would be secure. I would be protected against
the intrusion of society and would be alone, as he felt sure I so much
desired.

"'You are already in mourning,' he said, 'and yet, your grief is
so indefinable that no one will be disposed to respect it as I do.
Besides, situated as you now are, with no female companion, you are
in some sense at the mercy of the evil-minded who never lose an
opportunity to asperse the character of the good and pure, while as my
wife, you would be safe, and your position honorable in the eyes of the
world. I could then, even more than now, console you, and sympathize
with you in your affliction.'

"I told him that I had never thought of my position as being in the
least compromising, in the home of my lawful guardian, and if it was
so, I would go away at once, but I could not be his wife. He besought
me again and again, and I continued to give him the same answer. In the
meantime, I was greatly troubled by what he had intimated regarding
my compromising position in his house without a female companion. I
had all faith and confidence in his unselfish and paternal regard for
my welfare. For years, he had treated me with marked kindness and
consideration, such as a loved daughter might expect from a kind and
loving father. For this, I regarded him with the filial affection
of a devoted and trusting nature. To leave him now, when stricken
with sorrow and apparently with one foot in the grave, was repugnant
to my feelings, as it seemed to me that it would be an act of base
ingratitude, and yet, it was brought to my ears that people were
beginning to make flippant and disrespectful remarks concerning my
position. Yet I felt that I could not be so cruel as to forsake him
now. The situation was a most trying one to me, as I never for a moment
suspicioned that it had been made up for the occasion to influence my
feelings.

"He continued his importunities under the guise of paternal counsel
for my own good as a loved daughter. One day he brought me a newspaper
clipping which stated that Raphael Ganoe had died in prison. He seemed
to be so grief stricken and depressed, that for many days I feared that
he would drop off at any moment, and he seemed so entirely dependent
upon me that I dared not leave him for a moment, and yet my position
was such that I must necessarily often give place to others, who had
no such regard for him as I had. If I were his wife in the eyes of the
world, I might do much more for him, and believing that my affianced
husband was dead, I at last consented to become his legal wife and the
ceremony was performed while he lay as I believed, on his dying bed.

"Two hours later, feeling lonely and disconsolate, I had gone into
the library and taken a seat in one of the deep windows behind the
curtains, where I was hidden from view.

"He seemed to have fallen asleep and my long watch was wearing upon me.
I was exhausted and took this opportunity for rest and communion with
my own thoughts. I soon fell into a reverie, in which the past came up
before me like a panorama, and again the fancy I was with my handsome,
happy lover--when suddenly I heard voices in the adjoining room where I
had left my guardian asleep. A strange voice asked:

"'Where is your young wife?'

"'Gone to her room to rest,' said my guardian. 'She thinks I am very
sick and she has watched by my side, to minister to my pains until
she is worn out. I got easy and told her that she might go and rest
herself, as I would, now that the pains had ceased for the time, be
able to take a long nap. She remained until I was seemingly fast asleep
and then she tiptoed out of the room as softly as a cat for fear she
would awaken me.'

"'You worked it well,' said the stranger, 'but what shall I write to
Ganoe? He has written me a long letter engaging my services as his
attorney to find out all about Cassie. What shall I say to him?'

"'Here,' said my guardian, 'are the letters I have written to him in
regard to Cassie's change of mind. You can take your cue from these and
be governed accordingly.'

"'But,' asked the attorney, 'what if she should suspicion something,
and drop a letter to Ganoe into some street box? It might prove to be a
serious matter for us if she should learn the truth.'

"'I have provided for that,' said my guardian. 'There is a round
million in the deal for us, after all the expenses are paid, and no
mail can reach him on the ship, without being inspected by a man who
has as much interest as we have in preventing him from hearing from
Cassie. If a letter should not be intercepted by my agent in the
postoffice, which is not likely, it would be intercepted at the ship.
So rest easy in regard to this matter. There is no danger; besides she
is now my wife, and I have all the legal rights of a husband. But as
we want to avoid everything like friction, it is best to prevent Ganoe
from returning to America, which will not be difficult if it is managed
well.'

"'All right,' said the lawyer, 'provided you deal squarely with me. I
am the only one who could defeat the plan and of course I will not lose
a million to do that.'

"'Of course not,' said my guardian, 'and you know that I have even
more to lose than you have--a life long reputation for integrity and
purity of character, which to a man in my position is worth more than
money. It would cut off my income as a favorite administrator on large
estates.'

"'Well, we are both in the same boat,' laughed the lawyer, 'and we can
well afford to trust each other. I guess that now you have recovered
from your very serious illness we may expect to hold our conferences at
the proper place.'

"'Oh certainly,' laughed my guardian, 'and my lovely bride will not
object to my being away, as she is in widow's weeds, mourning the
untimely death of her first and only love. So, good day. I must rest
and take a long and very refreshing nap to account for my unexpected
recovery.'

"'Just so,' laughed the lawyer, and I heard the door close behind him.

"The conversation that I had overheard froze the very blood in my
veins. I learned that I had been deliberately deceived and not only
robbed of a large fortune, but had been robbed of my affianced husband.
Worse than this, I had been induced to take a step that made me false
to him and at the same time precluded the possibility of our ever
consummating our plighted faith without violating the marriage laws, as
under the law I was his aunt and marriage with him would have been a
crime, for which under the law I could be imprisoned for a long term of
years.

"My whole nature arose in revolt against the iniquity that had been
perpetrated against me. I determined to find Raphael and explain the
whole matter to him. I hastily wrote a note to my guardian and left
it where he would be sure to find it, denouncing his treachery and
informing him that under no circumstances would I ever enter his door
again.

"I made my way into the city and disguising myself in male attire I
succeeded in finding a position as cabin boy on a steamer bound for
Liverpool. I was determined to find Raphael. I kept up the search for
nearly fifteen long years, visiting almost every part of the known
world, and at last found him at San Francisco, on the eve of starting
on an expedition to the north polar regions. Before revealing myself
to him I wanted to ascertain beyond any doubt whatever, from his own
lips, in just what light he would regard my marriage to his uncle and
my subsequent long career on the high seas in male attire. So I applied
for a place on the Ice King and succeeded in getting the position of
scientist. I cultivated the acquaintance of the Captain, secured his
confidence so far that he related to me the story of his life, which
gave the opportunity I wanted to draw him out, and soon learned, what I
had come to dread, that the prejudices engendered by social usages were
stronger than his sense of natural justice, and I heard my own conduct
denounced as perfidious and vile. But for the sudden sounding of the
alarm I must have fallen at his feet and thus have in all probability
revealed my identity.

"But I was saved that bitter humiliation and now, after a long and
perilous voyage, locked up with him on the same ship, I am at last
permitted to pour my tale of woe into sympathetic ears, far away from
the land where legal wrongs are honored while natural rights are
regarded as disreputable."

Oqua had listened to my story without a single interruption, and with
a sympathetic interest which drew me closer to her than ever. When I
ceased speaking, she looked at me with a puzzled curiosity, which I
shall never forget as she remarked:

"Your guardian certainly committed a great wrong against you, and
under the operation of an awakened conscience, I can well understand
that his remorse would be most excruciatingly painful, but you have
not committed any wrong, and I do not understand what it is that you
are feeling so badly about. The blame all rested with your guardian
and the fact that you discovered his perfidy so soon, and at the same
time discovered that the man to whom you were the betrothed wife, only
awaiting the time set for the consummation, was still living, ought, it
seems to me, to have been a source of rejoicing. While the deception
practiced upon you was painful to contemplate, it brought with it a
certain measure of compensation. Had you failed to make this discovery,
you might have unwittingly violated the most sacred obligation, that to
your betrothed husband. The wrong might have been much worse."

"You have mistaken my meaning," I said. "I was not under that
obligation to Raphael that you seem to think. I had only promised to
become his wife but I was actually married to another man. Under the
circumstances I do not see how the wrong could have been worse, and I,
as its innocent victim, was certainly excusable for feeling badly about
it. The wonder is how I could bear it at all."

"If I was mistaken," said Oqua, "in regard to your relations to Raphael
Ganoe, I fear that your explanation of the situation only makes the
matter more difficult to understand. I certainly understood you to
say that you loved Ganoe and that he loved you, and that you had both
agreed to go through life as husband and wife. This you had a perfect
right to do, and this agreement constitutes a marriage bond that cannot
be set aside without sufficient cause, as long as you both live, and
hence you could not become the wife of another man, without violating
the most sacred of all obligations. And if by misrepresentation you
were induced to enter into any such relation while Ganoe was living and
true to you, such relation would be on the face of it, null and void."

"But I was married to my guardian," I said. "Actually married. The
clerk of the court had issued the license which was a legal permit for
us to marry, and the minister pronounced us man and wife according to
the solemn rites of the church. My guardian took an obligation to love,
cherish and protect and I, an obligation to love, honor and obey; and
then the minister invoked the blessing of heaven upon our union and
pronounced the solemn warning to all who might object: 'Whom God hath
joined together, let no man put asunder.' Yes, I was actually married
to Richard Sage, according to law and the sacred rites of the church."

"The more you explain, my dear Nequa, the more incomprehensible your
ideas of marriage become. You say that you were actually married to
Richard Sage. That God joined you together, but before He could do so,
a permit had to be granted by the clerk of the court. Yet, in your own
soul you repudiated this fraudulent marriage, and for nearly fifteen
years you searched for your betrothed husband, to whom you felt bound
by the laws which God had implanted in your own soul. To me it seems
that this first engagement to Raphael Ganoe was the only true marriage,
in which God had joined you together and that the court and the
minister united to put you asunder. Your own inner consciousness, the
spark of divinity that is in you, forced you to take this view of the
transaction. From all the facts, just as you relate them, I must still
insist that you were not married to Richard Sage. That the ceremony was
a fraud and could not annul your obligations to Raphael Ganoe. Your
actions demonstrate, that your own true self, took the same view of
the matter, and that when you found your betrothed husband you loyally
stood by his side in the hazardous effort to reach the pole, and now
you are here with him in this inner world where we regard it as our
first duty to accept the true and discard the false in all of our
relations to each other, and to the universal system of which we form a
part."

"I agree with you," I replied, "that my marriage to Richard Sage was
false, and that in order to be true to myself and my higher convictions
of duty to my absent lover, when I learned that he was still living, I
was forced to rend these legal bonds regardless of the consequences;
but still, in the eyes of the law, of society and the church, I was
the wife of my guardian, the uncle of Raphael Ganoe, and hence his
aunt, and as such could never become his wife. Yet I realized that I
was united to Raphael in bonds of affection that never could and never
should be broken. But all the powers of law, religion, and society were
united to hold me to a union secured by deception, which I loathed and
abhorred. It was the environments established by this world wide power
that held me incarcerated, as it were, in a prison, from which there
was no escape but the grave."

"Thank you," said Oqua, "for the light which you have thrown on
the present state of your outer world civilization. It seems
almost incomprehensible that the laws and usages of any people
would seek to make right wrong and wrong right, but I can readily
turn to a corresponding period in our own history and trace the
evolutionary forces which must now be at work among your people.
The old institutional life is ever striving to preserve its forms
and ceremonies while the advancing spirit of freedom is continually
protesting. At first the advocates of the old order, persecute all who
protest against its dictum, and this protest in the name of liberty,
often only means license. Both extremes are essentially wrong. But
the friction between these two elements, in the end will lead to the
discovery of the truth upon which both extremes can unite, and this
truth will make them indeed free. The manifest progress of the race is
in the direction of the truth, and its logical culmination must be the
establishment of altruistic conditions in all the relations which exist
between individual members of the human family."

"Well, I am glad that you have at last penetrated my meaning," I said.
"The misunderstanding grew out of my inability to formulate my own
thought, so as to adapt it to your Altruistic conceptions. I like
the word altruism, but the thought that it expresses is so little
understood in the outer world, that the word is, as far as I know,
generally excluded from our common school dictionaries, while in
this country I find that it forms a necessary part of your every day
vocabulary. I realize that all of my troubles grew out of environments
which were the legitimate product of the false premises from which we
drew our conclusions. In speaking of myself as actually the wife of my
guardian I only used the popular phraseology to express the conceptions
of the people among whom I was raised. They regarded the license and
the ceremony as the actual marriage without reference to the plighted
troth of devoted lovers. I only used their language to express their
conceptions, while my own were expressed by my actions."

"Thank you," said Oqua. "I surmised that you spoke the language of your
environments rather than your honest convictions, but I wanted you to
say it yourself. You know that I insisted that you should say just what
you mean and leave nothing for me to surmise. In all that you have
to say, I want you to draw the line clearly between the true and the
false, in thought and action, just as you understand the terms, and
then we can ascertain where the trouble is and take steps to remove
it. You are now in a country where truth alone is recognized as a
standard for the regulation of human conduct, and it seems that there
ought to be much in the way of mutual explanations between you and
Captain Ganoe, and then all will be well."

"I dare not risk it," I said. "I thought just as you do when I secured
a position on the Ice King, but I deemed it advisable to conceal my
identity until I had ascertained in just what light he would regard the
course I had taken. The opportunity came as I have already told you and
as yet I have discovered no indications that he has in any way modified
his views in regard to such matters. I have ascertained beyond a doubt
from two years' association with him, that in him all the prejudices
of the popular education of the outer world, its laws, usages and
religious notions have crystallized. If he knew that I had spent years,
associated with men, in the character of Jack Adams, the sailor, his
sense of propriety would be shocked, and I should forfeit his respect,
which would be something that I could not bear."

"I cannot see," said Oqua, "how he could cease to respect you. I know
that as the scientist of the Ice King, he entertains the most exalted
opinion of your ability, courage and refinement of character."

"Yes, Oqua, I doubt not that he respects me as Jack Adams, the sailor.
He has given me numerous proofs of that. But as Cassie VanNess in that
garb he would regard me as unwomanly and immodest, much below the
standard of propriety and respectability of the women of the outer
world, with whom he would be willing to associate on terms of equality.
Remember that his education, like my own was as far removed as possible
from the spirit of altruism. When I left my guardian's home I was
penniless, except for an allowance known as 'pin money.' By the
marriage ceremony, my fortune had been transferred to Richard Sage. As
a woman, I stood no show of being able to acquire a competency, besides
I was liable to pursuit and arrest. I had no legal grounds for divorce,
and if I had been discovered as the absconding wife of Richard Sage,
the multi-millionaire, the courts would have declared me insane, and
I would have been incarcerated, most likely for life, in some lunatic
asylum. Hence it was from necessity, rather than choice, that I donned
male attire and sought employment as a cabin boy. My education, tact
and close attention to business led to more lucrative positions which
required ability as well as a strict integrity and close application.
By rigid economy, I succeeded in accumulating a moderate competence. As
a woman I could not have even procured a comfortable subsistence; but I
was in male attire, associated with men in all my relations to society,
and hence in the eyes of the world my womanly character was under a
cloud. For this reason I did not care to reveal my identity to Captain
Ganoe until I knew that he would approve the course I had taken. As
for myself I was prepared for altruistic principles. My association
with the working classes gave me a knowledge of their condition, and I
familiarized myself with the best thought of their leaders. But Captain
Ganoe had been differently situated. He had continued to move in the
narrow circle in which he was born. I had hoped that experience with
the world had broadened his views. But I found that I was mistaken. I
have studied his feelings and hence have resolved never to give him the
opportunity to reproach me for my unwomanly disguise and associations."

"How could he reproach you, Nequa, when he realized that it was all for
love of him?"

"You cannot, my dear Oqua, educated as you were in the most advanced
thought of this altruistic civilization, realize the almost
irresistible power of prejudices when they have been incorporated into
the education of a people for thousands of years. They constitute a
race belief, the correctness of which the people seldom, if ever, heard
questioned. When I assumed male attire and associated myself with men
in the ranks of labor, I knew that I invited not only social ostracism,
but laid myself liable to arrest and imprisonment, if my disguise was
discovered. And Captain Ganoe as a high spirited gentleman of the old
school, could not unite his destinies with such a social out-cast."

"But surely," said Oqua, "he will not entertain such mistaken
conceptions of honor when he learns that the people of this inner world
without an exception, would honor you for your heroic devotion to your
bridal troth and regard Captain Ganoe as the most fortunate of men in
having such a companion."

"That may indeed be true, sometime," I said, "but before I reveal
myself to him, I must hear from his own lips such expressions of
opinion as will demonstrate that he would not regard the career of Jack
Adams, under the circumstances, as unworthy, immodest and unwomanly.
There is a deep seated prejudice in the outer world against 'mannish
women,' and the donning of male attire is prohibited by law, and what
is even worse, it is regarded as positively disgraceful. Hence I must
know that he of his own option has abandoned all these prejudices,
before I will consent to be known to him as Cassie VanNess."

"I believe," said Oqua, "that his association with Altrurians will
certainly give him a higher regard for truth and correspondingly weaken
the influence of time honored errors. We can very easily ascertain
his views and if we should find them adverse, do not be discouraged,
for the atmosphere of truth which surrounds him is creative in its
influence and will surely establish itself in his mind. An error is
powerless to hold anyone in thrall very long where truth is cultivated
and free to express itself in thought and action. Truth is eternal and
cannot be destroyed, while error is transitory and disappears with the
ignorance on which it is based."

"I will leave this matter to you," I said, "with this understanding,
that to Captain Ganoe I must remain simply Jack Adams, or Nequa, until
I know that he approves and appreciates the sacrifices made by Cassie
VanNess. I love him too well to be willing to face his disapproval, but
knowing the purity of my own purposes, I will never put myself in a
position that will imply even in the remotest degree that I was wrong.
My self respect forbids this. My heart tells me that I was right and I
will never apologize to any human being for the course I have taken,
and least of all to Captain Ganoe, for love of whom I have braved the
danger of social ostracism as well as the dangers incident to the life
of a sailor, from the blistering heat of the tropics to the intense
cold of the frigid zones. I certainly could never ask him to forgive me
for loving him so well."

Oqua threw her arms around my neck and kissed me most affectionately,
saying:

"My dear Nequa, I knew that I was not mistaken in the estimate that I
had placed on your mental and spiritual character. You have a great
work to do, not only in the education of our people, but a work for
your own people. Intercourse between the inner and outer worlds must
be re-opened. In this work much depends upon the crew of the Ice King,
as you are the only people among us from the educated classes who
have ever penetrated the frozen regions which surround the verges.
Our people will of course assist in every way possible. But my dear
Nequa, a still greater work depends upon you, more than upon any of the
others, in which we can be of but little assistance."

"And what is that greater work?" I asked. "And how could I get along
without assistance? No matter what I undertake I want you as a tutor.
To me it seems, that in this inner world, I have everything to learn,
and I must have a teacher at every step."

"And I, too," said Oqua, "have much to learn from you. All that I have
learned of the outer world came from MacNair and the few books which he
saved from the sinking ship. With the Ice King comes a well selected
library of standard works and three scholarly, well read people, and
from this, I anticipate a most valuable addition to our knowledge,
especially of a scientific, geographical and historical character,
which has been hidden from the people of the inner world. We have, it
seems, made more progress along lines of a social, economic and ethical
nature and in mechanical inventions. So while we need that knowledge
which can be more readily acquired in the outer world, your people need
the lessons taught by our progress along other lines. Our libraries are
filled with these lessons and the work evidently marked out for you is
to gather this knowledge for the benefit of your own people. In this
you will have the cordial co-operation of the scholars of the inner
world."

"This," I said, "is certainly a work in which I am most anxious to
engage, just as soon as I can qualify myself for the task, and I
shall certainly need all the help I can get. I do indeed want the
people of America, the great republic of the outer world, to learn
that the highest ideals of their revolutionary sires, are not mere
'glittering generalities,' but realities, and have been carried out
to their logical culmination in this country with the most beneficent
results to humanity. To this end, that they should not only learn
this most significant fact, but that they should have laid before
them a clear and concise statement of the methods that have been used
so successfully to produce these results and evolve this wonderful
Altrurian civilization. I most keenly realize that it is my duty
to accomplish this work for humanity, but when I think of the vast
libraries, written in a strange tongue, that must not only be read but
studied, in order to trace the operation of the evolutionary forces
which have produced these grand results, I am overwhelmed at the
contemplation of the magnitude of the task set before me."

"Do not be alarmed," said Oqua, "at the multitudinous array of
ponderous volumes. These records are only preserved for reference. The
scholars of every age have been over them, with the special object in
view of condensing and simplifying their lessons, for the benefit of
students who could not afford to neglect other studies of the most
pressing importance, in order to familiarize themselves with the
details of so many thousands of years of history. Hence the lessons of
permanent value, such for instance as relate to the social, economic
and ethical progress of the people, have been carefully arranged in
the form of attractive condensations, with marginal references to the
authorities. With these lessons from History, designed for the use of
the pupils in our schools, the students can rapidly trace every step in
our progress, from the original half-civilized condition down to the
present time, and if there is any matter which they wish to examine
more closely, the marginal references will direct them to volume and
page. So, my dear Nequa, you will find that the greater part of your
work which looks so overwhelming, is ready made for you, in our School
Concordances. Another thing will help you; these lessons of progress
have all been treated in the shape of allegories and historical
romances, in order to make them attractive. Perhaps you could not
transmit them to your own people in a better shape, than by translating
some of the works that bear directly upon what they need to understand.
These works trace in a most attractive form the operation of every
evolutionary force which has contributed to our Altrurian civilization
as you find it to-day."

"This, indeed, my dear Oqua, relieves my mind of a load of doubt and
apprehension, which amounted almost to a dread, whenever I thought of
reading so many ponderous volumes in order to get a clear idea of the
forces which have contributed to your present ideal conditions. It also
explains to me how it is, that your entire people have such a clear
understanding of every economic, social and ethical problem. These
things are taught to the children in your primary schools."

"Yes," said Oqua, "the blessings of a high state of civilization
can only be preserved by educating the children of a country into a
comprehensive understanding of the laws of progress, by which these
blessings are secured. While a very few can set the machinery in
motion by which the masses may be relieved of any burdens that can be
imposed upon them, yet unless the children are universally educated in
regard to these matters, a few will be able to re-enslave them. These
so-called 'great problems' which you inform me are puzzling the brains
of your statesmen, ought to be thoroughly understood by the children.
Hence we teach these things to children while the mind is the most
receptive and the most capable of acquiring knowledge rapidly."

"But," I remarked, "it sounds so strange to hear you speak of children
thoroughly understanding these questions of world-wide importance, with
which the great statesmen of the outer world have grappled for ages,
without finding a solution."

"Nothing strange about it," said Oqua. "The mind of the child is
plastic and is remarkable for the facility with which it receives and
retains impressions. When it reaches the adult stage these impressions
become crystallized and are hard to change. Hence the importance of
starting the child rightly, with correct habits of thought on these
vital matters, upon which its future weal, and that of every other
human being depends. If the impressions on the mind of the child are
erroneous, they are liable to crystallize and be retained through
life, no matter how absurd they may be. As an apt illustration of
this tendency, I have only to refer to some of the notions which were
popular in this country at the time when the old economic system had
run its course and was producing widespread poverty and suffering among
the people. At that period all of the exchanges among the people were
on a money basis, and the few had control of the money while the many
were not able to utilize their labor to produce the wealth they needed
because they could not get the money to effect the necessary exchanges.
The reformers of that time were loud in the demand for more money,
while the controlling minds among the majority insisted that the one
thing needed was less money so that the money they had would purchase
more; and others were equally sure that more tax on products of foreign
countries was just the thing to relieve the industrial depression
by holding the home market for the products of our own labor. Keep
foreign products out by a high tariff and protect home industry, was
the doctrine. But we cannot help smiling as we read that these same
people who wanted to exclude foreign products from our markets in
order to protect our own labor, expected to get revenues from a tax
on foreign goods to run the government. It is difficult to imagine at
this time that any sane people ever entertained such absurd and self
contradictory opinions, but it is nevertheless a fact, as demonstrated
by the history of that time. These absurd notions could not have found
lodgement in the human mind, if as children, the people had been
trained to correct habits of reasoning."

"And such," I said, "are the notions which predominate at this time in
my own country and the result is, that a few are very rich while the
many are hard pressed and poor. The few who protest against this system
are denounced as cranks, agitators and dangerous characters."

"This is just what might be expected," said Oqua. "Like causes produce
like effects. The masses of mankind are always prone to deride and
persecute isolated individuals who know more than the mass, which is
physically so much more powerful. This is the protest of brute force
against mental, moral and spiritual superiority. This was why your
Jesus was crucified and this is why your reformers of the present day
are denounced as cranks, agitators and dangerous characters. It is an
invariable trait of human nature in a certain stage of development."

"I have long entertained these same views," I replied, "but the
object lessons which can be drawn from your history will cover all
these questions and they ought to reach our people with the first
announcement of the discovery of this inner world where all the great
problems of human development have been solved. I have found your
language remarkably easy to learn and from what you say, I expect
to find lessons from your history equally easy, but still I need
your assistance. I want to make the very best possible use of my
opportunities, and to that end, I want the benefit of your experience,
observation and knowledge of Altrurian civilization as it is to-day."

"Then, to begin," said Oqua, "my work as counsellor, I would advise you
to complete your account of the expedition which brought you into this
inner world; a brief description of your reception; the civilization
you found as it appeared to you at first sight, and the information
that you gathered from intercourse with the people in regard to
the progressive development of the country from the semi-barbarous
conditions which existed in early times. This ought to be sent to the
people of the outer world just as soon as possible. It will make an
excellent introduction to a series of works consisting of your own
observations in regard to the existing educational system, customs of
the people and business methods, together with translations from our
literature that will be of use to your people. In the preparation of
the account of your expedition and your discoveries, you will need no
assistance and when it comes to translations from our libraries and
travel over the five grand divisions, you will have the help of ripe
scholars wherever you go."

"Concerning the work here in this inner world," I said, "among such
a people, I have no doubt that it will be well done, but how are we
to transmit the information across the ice barriers at the verge? I
at first had great hopes from your airships, but I find that while
they are all right in this serene climate, they would be worse than
useless in the stormy atmosphere of the outer world and as at present
constructed the occupants could not live an hour in the intense cold of
the Frigid Zones."

"I do not," said Oqua, "apprehend any insurmountable difficulty from
this source. The inventors of the airship know nothing about storms
and cold and hence made no provisions for guarding against them. The
case is different with arctic explorers. Our inventors have learned
how to navigate the atmosphere, with ease and safety. This is the main
point. Now you people of the outer world can take up the work where
our inventors left off, and construct ships which can ride the storm.
I have learned since my return from the Minerva congress, that Captain
Battell is working on this problem with good prospects of success. I do
not believe that there is anything impossible to the human mind when it
acts in harmony with nature's laws. The airship factory at lake Byblis
is at your service, with every facility of material, machinery and
mechanical skill. All that is needed is a comprehensive understanding
of outer world atmospheric conditions, and you brought that knowledge
with you. This is all that our inventors needed in order to enable them
to construct an airship that would be equal to every emergency."

"You give me great encouragement," I said. "Captain Battell has asked
me to assist in this work by making experimental voyages to the verges,
in order to test the proposed improvements and make observations."

"Then all seems to be going well," said Oqua, "but there is no time to
lose. You must be gathering materials for your first volume as rapidly
as possible for I feel that it will soon be needed. To this end, I want
you and Captain Ganoe to go with me to-morrow to Orbitello, to see how
business is carried on. What do you think of it?"

"Think of it!" I said. "I have been very anxious to take this trip and
have only been awaiting your return so that we might have company, who
could assist us in our observations."

"Then," said Oqua, "we will start early, and I will telephone Polaris
and Dione to meet us and bring Battell and Huston. I know that Norrena
will be most happy to meet you. He is a walking encyclopedia of
knowledge and I know that you will enjoy his acquaintance. But," she
added after a moment's hesitation, "you need rest and I will go. Be of
good cheer. All is well, and do not forget that there is a wonderful
power in truth when it is left free, to remove errors from the pathway
of human progress,"--and kissing me good-night, she was gone.



CHAPTER XI.

  AN AIR VOYAGE--CHANGE OF SCENERY--HOMES FOR MOTHERS--EVOLUTION
  FROM COMPETITIVE INDIVIDUALISM--THE MOUNTAINS--BATTELL JOINS
  US--ORBITELLO--A PERPETUAL WORLD'S FAIR--DEPARTMENT OF EXCHANGE--THE
  BUSINESS OF A CONTINENT--NORRENA--PUBLIC PRINTING--THE COUNCIL--ALL
  MATTERS SUBMITTED TO THE PEOPLE--LIBRARY OF UNIVERSAL KNOWLEDGE.

[Illustration]


EVERY preparation had been made for our proposed voyage into the
interior and as the sun appeared from behind the eastern edge of the
southern verge we were embarking on the airship. Our party consisted of
MacNair, Iola, Oqua, Captain Ganoe and myself. I took my place at the
helm with MacNair and told him that I wanted to take lessons in aerial
navigation. He kindly explained the use of the electric keyboard which
controlled the machinery, and I found it so simple that I felt no need
of an instructor. In this placid atmosphere all I had to do was to set
the ship in the direction we wanted to go and turn on the power until
we reached the speed at which we desired to travel. All the motions
of the vessel were under absolute control. I found that the steering
apparatus could be readily adjusted to overcome a light wind, and
reasoned that the same principles would enable us to ride the storm.
This first practical experience in aerial navigation gave me confidence.

Our course was a little north of west, and we were soon leaving the
great communal agricultural district which we now regarded as our home.
According to our reckoning it was now the 1st of February and I had
begun to figure whether it would be possible for us to be ready to
attempt the proposed journey to the outer world during the northern
summer. If we did, it would certainly require intense application.
These thoughts were continually running through my mind, and they
spurred me up to gather all the information possible for the book that
I was preparing.

The country over which we were passing was still agricultural, but
the surface was more broken and the general arrangements were changed
accordingly, presenting to our vision an agreeable variety. We still
saw the magnificent communal homes with correspondingly large areas
of cultivated lands, but we also saw cottages gathered into groups,
with large public buildings which MacNair informed us were schools,
public halls, homes for the aged, hospitals, and especially homes for
prospective mothers who felt that the ideal conditions which these
homes afforded would secure the best possible development of their
offspring.

I was forcibly struck by the number and grandeur of these homes for
mothers. I had noticed that every communal home had its department
for the care of mothers, and now I found that the grandest structures
that I had ever seen were devoted exclusively to this purpose. In
reply to my inquiries I was informed that this care for motherhood was
a universal feature throughout the inner world. But in this, as in
everything else, liberty prevails. The mother is always free to select
her own conditions. Many prefer these large public homes which are
exclusively under the control of women, while others, with different
temperaments, prefer greater exclusiveness in their own apartments, but
all alike make this period of prospective motherhood, one in which all
the environments are calculated to produce the best possible pre-natal
influences upon the unborn child.

For this purpose, different temperaments require different
surroundings. The impressions produced by beautiful scenery and social
enjoyments on one, may be more readily produced by reading, lectures,
music and intellectual entertainments on another. The unperverted taste
of the mother is always accepted as a sure guide to what is best in
each case, and the best is always provided.

While the country over which we were passing did not have the same
artificial appearance as if laid out by one uniform pattern, like
that where we had been located since our arrival in Altruria, I still
noticed the general tendency of the people to get together in large
communities. We passed over large districts of wild lands which
afforded ample opportunities for isolated homes but nowhere did we see
anything of the kind. This induced Captain Ganoe to ask if there was
any law against people getting out by themselves and cultivating these
wild lands.

"Nothing but the natural law," said Oqua, "which impels people to do
that which is the most conducive to their happiness. The people of
this country do not like drudgery and they have learned by experience
that in order to avoid drudgery, they must work together on a large
scale, as one family, each for all and all for each. In the olden time,
people in their ignorance scattered into single families consisting
of a man and wife and their children. They wasted their energies in
their isolated efforts, and were at the mercy of the few who had the
intelligence to work together. When the masses became more intelligent
they gathered into communities and co-operated with each other to make
the most out of their labor and to avoid the payment of tribute to
speculators who did not work at all. They soon found that they could
not possibly consume all that they were able to produce and they began
to work less and enjoy more."

"But," asked the Captain, "have you no arrangement by which a man
and his wife could get out on these wild lands and make a home for
themselves?"

"We certainly have no arrangement," said Oqua, "that would prevent
their doing so. But if they should try such an experiment it would not
last long. As soon as they found themselves toiling incessantly to
procure a bare subsistence, while the great masses in the communities
were spending eleven-twelfths of their time in the enjoyment of rest
and pleasurable recreations, they would seek admission into a large
communal home, where all who are willing to perform their share of the
labor are welcome."

"But," said the Captain, "you say that the people of this country once
lived in isolated homes. The people in the outer world do so now, and
they feel that to be the best possible condition for the development
of the highest qualities. How were the individualists of this country
persuaded to give up their individual holdings and accept in lieu
thereof a community interest in the products of their own labor?"

"They outgrew their preconceived opinions," said Oqua. "Among the
reformers of the olden time none were more earnest than a large and
very intelligent class of individualists, who believed that the people
ought to own the land, and that the individual holder ought to pay the
community for its use, in proportion to its value as land, not counting
the value of the improvements. These reformers agreed to the abolition
of land titles, and in accordance with the doctrines which they had
promulgated long and earnestly, they took their lands in severalty and
paid the community a tax for its use. As individualists, they could
not object to other people forming communities and having all things
in common. But when they discovered how much more they had to work
than their neighbors, they were true to their own interests and joined
the communities where their labor became so much more effective. They
found that instead of sacrificing any of their individual rights by so
doing, they actually made those rights more valuable by being relieved
of drudgery. The land tax to the community was abolished in the course
of time, and then any individual might take a homestead and cultivate
it in his own way without being taxed for the privilege of doing so,
but this right is never exercised, as it would deprive the individuals
thus setting up for themselves, of free access to the common wealth
of the community, and the common advantages which belong to community
life. They could only enter the communal homes as guests and strangers,
and while free entertainment is never refused, proud spirited
individualists would never think of securing a subsistence by visiting
around. They would naturally prefer doing their share of the work to
create the common stock. And hence our individualists are all in our
communal homes and have no desire for individual holdings of any kind.
Their community interest in the common wealth is worth vastly more to
them than all the wealth that they could create by individual effort."

"But," asked the Captain, "do you permit no private ownership of
property at all in these communities?"

"Yes, we do," said Oqua. "All persons may accumulate property which
they create by personal labor, if they wish to burden themselves with
the care of it. But as there is an abundance in the common stores to
supply every want, there is no motive for the private ownership of
anything but personal belongings which are ordinarily of no value to
anyone else. Members of the community may have anything they need
out of the common stock and intelligent people would not encumber
themselves with the care of more than they have a use for. The greed
for the accumulation of property which I am informed is so prevalent
in the outer world, if manifested here would be taken as an evidence
of insanity and would be treated accordingly. It is very difficult for
the average Altrurian to realize that people should ever desire to
hoard up wealth which it is impossible for them to consume. But when
we scan the pages of our early history at the time when legal money
was the medium of exchange and the standard of value, the people made
a mad scramble for money, in which they disregarded every interest of
humanity."

We were now approaching a region where art and nature seemed to have
united in one mighty and persistent effort to excel each other in
the entrancing beauty and rugged grandeur that could be added to the
picture. On either side was a broad expanse of cultivated lands,
interspersed with parks, lawns and ornamented grounds, which revealed
the work of the most artistic landscape gardeners. Beneath us the
Cocytas meandered its way toward the distant ocean, between its
wooded shores, like a shining pathway of silver, while before us the
great continental divide with its towering mountain peaks piercing
the clouds, closed our view towards the west. At one moment we were
admiring the rugged grandeur of this lovely mountain chain and at
another entranced by the beauty of the highly ornamented landscape,
where art had improved upon nature. Take it all in all, the scenery
presented to our view from the cabin of our airship, sailing at a
height of several thousand feet, was sublime, beyond the power of words
to describe.

As we neared the mountains, MacNair took charge of the ship and made
a detour toward the south, which brought into view the mighty canon
through which the Cocytas reaches the plain. On either side were
mountain torrents dashing over the rocks on their way to join the
waters of the deep flowing river. Here, nature in all her majesty
revealed her titanic powers. But suddenly another scene opened upon our
vision, in which art revealed itself as master of all the forces of
nature. It was more like a city than anything we had seen since leaving
San Francisco. And yet it was very much unlike any city I have ever
seen. I was bewildered by its sudden appearance upon this wonderful
panorama of nature and art which seemed to hold us spell bound.

Palatial buildings in white and silver appeared in every direction,
surrounded by highly ornamented grounds. No smoke, no dust and no
miserable shanties to remind us of the poverty and misery which
characterized the cities of the outer world. In the distance, it
presented a panorama of beauty and grandeur, more like the paintings of
a gorgeous midsummer dream, than any real achievement of human skill
and human taste. It was more like the fancied abode of the gods than
the dwelling place of men.

This was Orbitello, and as it lay spread out before us, it presented
a scene beyond my powers of description. It was located on an
elevated plateau and almost enclosed within a bend of the river,
which flows around it on three sides, the west, south and east, like
a silver highway, over which electric yachts of almost every size and
description were gliding. It was a dream of beauty that once seen,
could never be erased from the memory.

"This," said MacNair, "is our continental headquarters. Here, was at
one time a large city, but every remnant of the old structures was
removed long ago. The location, however, is so central that it was
selected as our chief center of business for all the departments of the
public service. It is a favorite gathering place for large numbers of
people from all parts of the world. Hence the number of buildings for
the accommodation of visitors. It is in fact a perpetual World's Fair,
a miniature picture of the world as it is to-day. There is no better
place to study the civilization of the inner world in all its phases."

MacNair was interrupted by a familiar voice with the well remembered
"Ship Ahoy!" and as we turned around to see from whence it came,
another airship came alongside, and we exchanged greetings with our
old shipmates, Battell and Huston, and our saviors, as we called them,
Polaris and Dione, who both addressed us in English.

"Please speak Altrurian," I said. "I have abandoned English except in
cases of emergency, as I am anxious to perfect myself in the use of
your native tongue. Remember that I have become a citizen of Altruria,
and have no desire to perpetuate the use of a foreign language."

"And we," replied Polaris, "want to perfect ourselves in the use of
English, as we want to visit America and talk like natives, just as
soon as a ship can be constructed that will enable us to navigate the
frozen regions without being frozen ourselves."

"And one," I responded, "that can hold to its course with a side wind
of a velocity from fifty to one hundred miles an hour."

"Have no fears on that score," interposed Battell. "We have the
principal parts of the machinery completed, and all that remains to be
done, is for you to take a trial trip to the southern verge and see
how it will work in a storm, and in the meantime we will try our hands
at constructing one that will be proof against the cold of a polar
winter. Better go to the southern verge now, while it is comparatively
temperate and test our improvements in a gale."

"All right," I said. "I am willing. But who will go with me? I ought to
have the assistance of someone who could not only stand the exposure,
but be able to make observations. It will keep one person busy to
manage the ship during a storm, no matter how perfect your machinery
may be."

"I suggest," said Battell, "that you take Lief and Eric, who are
first-class mechanics as well as scientists. This is their request,
and it ought to be granted. We need both Huston and Captain Ganoe, to
assist in the construction of a cold proof vessel. This is the plan of
work that I suggest. How will it suit you?"

"Anything suits me that looks toward success," I said. "Since you have
already completed the inventions that I had contemplated, it is but
fair that you dictate how they should be used until we can improve on
your improvements, which, by the way I hope may not be necessary."

"Oh yes, it will," said Battell. "Just as soon as there is no room
for improvement, everything will be perfect, and with nothing to do,
nothing to live for and no improvements to make, constituted as we are
now, we would very likely be just as unhappy, as we are now anxious
to improve the airship or to accomplish any other object that is dear
to us. This is a working world and we are workers, and when there is
no work to do, there will be no use for us on our present plane of
development."

"You talk like a philosopher," I said. "One would think you had
graduated from an Altrurian university."

"So I have," said Battell. "Were you not talking Altrurian philosophy
all the time we were together on the Ice King? So I was to some extent
prepared for what we have found in this highly developed country."

"But what's the matter?" I asked, as Battell's airship came to a full
halt, and seemingly began to fall. Before I recovered from my surprise,
it had settled lightly on the top of a stupendous structure, and
MacNair was evidently aiming for the same place, as he set our ship
to circling around in the way I have often described. I had seen the
practical workings of one of Battell's improvements, and could not
help seeing that it was an undoubted success. The mechanism that would
control the vessel while dropping toward the earth, seemed to me, more
difficult of construction than that which would hold it on its course
against contrary side winds.

A minute later and we had reached the surface. Polaris, and her crew,
so to speak, had disembarked and we had a cordial handshaking, and then
took a stroll around the roof of this immense building. Everything
about it seemed to indicate that it was especially designed for the
accommodation of business on a gigantic scale. It was built of the
semi-transparent material which we had found so common in the district
where we had made our homes. The cornice, windows and doors were
trimmed with aluminum, which gave it a peculiar grandeur of appearance.

MacNair, who was ever ready to make explanations, informed us that
this was the Continental Department of Exchange through which all the
commercial transactions between the various districts throughout the
continent were carried on. This was the chief center of distribution,
and bore the same relation to the continent, that the District
Exchange bore to the several communities of which it was composed.
The community stores made the actual distribution of products to the
people. These larger exchanges, District and Continental, did not
really handle the products at all, but collected the orders from the
consumers and sent them direct to the communities where the goods were
wanted, in this way saving very much unnecessary labor in handling and
transportation. The actual exchange of commodities was always direct
between the producers and the consumers.

I did not quite comprehend all this, but it prepared me for the object
lesson which was to come. I was keenly alert to everything that was to
be seen and heard, as it was valuable material for the book which I now
felt sure I would be able to lay before the people of the outer world.

It was now noon, and MacNair suggested that it was about time for
dinner. "No doubt," he said, "your fifteen hundred miles of travel has
given you an appetite." And suiting the action to the suggestion, we
all stepped upon an elevator, and descended to the largest dining hall
I had ever seen. It seemed that thousands of people were seated at the
tables, quietly conversing and enjoying their midday meal. We seated
ourselves at a vacant table and Oqua said:

"I shall order for all, as our American visitors are not yet perfectly
familiar with our customs." And manipulating a button at her side,
I was surprised to see the center of the table disappear, but it
reappeared before I had sufficiently recovered my equilibrium to ask
questions, and it was loaded with the most tempting viands. Oqua
explained that these central tables which carried the food stood on the
top of an elevator that connected with the kitchen below. That when an
order was received, a table was already prepared to take the place of
the one which the elevator brought down. Everything moved with quiet
celerity; no bustling waiters, and no waiting for orders to be filled.

After dinner we passed into a large sitting room, elegantly furnished
with chairs, divans, sofas, etc., splendidly upholstered. I noticed
chairs and divans on wheels and asked MacNair for an explanation, and
he replied:

"These chairs are moved by electricity, supplied by storage batteries
just under the seats. You apply the power by pressing a button on
the arm by your side, and guide them with your feet. You will often
find them in use, particularly in large places like Orbitello,
where travelers coming in fatigued, and people on business with the
various departments, having many places to go, need some easy means
of locomotion. In the olden time, waiters used to push these chairs
around by hand, but with the advent of electricity, electric motors
were substituted, and now the people who use these chairs need no such
assistance, and all the chair-men have to do is to see that the chairs
are returned to their proper place."

After a little instruction we found no difficulty in going where we
pleased in our chairs, and regulating their direction and speed with
perfect ease. This novel experience was so agreeable that we decided to
visit the leading points of interest in these electric chairs.

The first place to visit was the business offices of this great
Continental Exchange. We took our places in a large elevator room and
passed down to the office of the Commissioner of Exchange. On either
side of the great hall were shelves containing large books in which
we were informed, were statistics of production that are sent in from
every district twice a year, at the close of each crop season. These
records show just how much surplus each district has for exchange,
and of what it consists. This information is for the Order and Supply
Department which is on the same floor, toward which we were directing
our chairs.

Here we entered a long hall, on either side of which were arranged
desks and electrical instruments. The clerks in attendance, each
represented a district, and were selected by the districts to fill
these positions because of their intimate knowledge of the wants of
their several localities and of the surplus they had for exchange.

The District Commissioners sent their orders to their own clerk which
was written out by telautograph on his own desk. The order was at once
transmitted by the same method, to the district having the surplus,
through its own clerk, and a duplicate of these orders to the Record
Department. These orders when received from the District Commissioners
were transmitted to the communities having the surplus. The Community
Department of Exchange then shipped it directly to the place where it
was needed.

Under this system of distribution, products passed directly from
the producer to the consumer and were never handled but once. The
producers held their surplus in their own possession until they had
orders from consumers by whom it was needed. The Commissioner of
Exchange at Orbitello had a tabulated report of the surplus held by
each district, and each district had its clerks in the Order and Supply
Department of the Continental Exchange. When an agricultural district
wanted machinery, musical instruments, furniture, clothing, etc., the
order for the same was transmitted to its own clerk in the Department
of Exchange and it was at once sent to the district, or districts,
having a surplus of the products needed. And when a Manufacturing
District needed food supplies the orders were sent to the clerk in
the Continental Exchange and the order was transmitted to the nearest
agricultural district that had a surplus for exchange.

Under this system of organized exchange, if any district found that
it had a surplus accumulating in its warehouses for which there was
no demand, this was all the notice required that a time had come to
curtail production in that particular line. From what we could see
of the workings of this system, by going through this department, we
could readily see how the law of supply and demand, if permitted to act
freely with no artificial restrictions, would be a perfect regulator
in the world of commerce. Neither would there ever be, under this
Altrurian system of exchange, a glut in the market at one place while
there was a scarcity at another.

"You see here," said MacNair, "a business house which handles the
trade of a continent, containing over two hundred millions of people.
All the products of the soil, the shop, the factory and the mine, are
practically bought and sold in this establishment, and yet without any
of the excitement and bustle, hard work and worry, which characterize
the comparatively diminutive business houses of New York and London."

"I see evidences," I remarked, "of a most admirable business system on
a stupendous scale. But the question that will be asked in the outer
world will be, How are these goods paid for and how are the prices
fixed and the accounts adjusted without money? This is what the people
of the outer world will want to understand. I am asking more for them
than for myself."

"Nothing difficult about it," said MacNair. "Product pays for
product here just as it actually does in the outer world, but under
co-operation, the elements of interest, profit and rent have been
eliminated. The price of an article is fixed by the amount of labor
expended in its production and distribution. This of course only
applies to such commodities as are in demand. A great deal of labor
might be expended in the production of something that no one wanted.
Such labor would be wasted here as it would be anywhere else."

"I had thought of this contingency," I replied, "but was not seeking a
difficulty. I referred only to such articles of necessity, comfort and
luxury as the consumers wish to secure. How are the prices fixed, what
is the standard and how are balances settled?"

"These questions," said MacNair, "are well put, to draw out a concise,
as well as a comprehensive statement of our business methods. We
readily ascertain by statistics, the average number of minutes, hours
and days of labor invested in the production of every commodity which
enters into common use. This includes the labor invested in the
necessary transportation, superintendence and distribution. Hence in
our accounts, the value of products of all kinds are credited and
debited as given amounts of labor. This is what in the outer world
would be called the price. A given number of hours of labor in one
branch of useful service to society is worth just the same number of
hours of labor in some other branch, and the exchange is made on that
basis. The one primary object of this system of exchange is to secure
equal and exact justice to all."

"But how are all these numerous employes on your railroads, in your
stores and the various departments of industry paid?" asked Captain
Ganoe.

"Very easily," said MacNair. "The people produce all the supplies and
render all the service, and the people enjoy all the benefits. This is
about all there is of it. We produce what we consume, and consume what
we produce, without paying tribute to anyone else for the privilege of
exercising these natural rights, as the people in the outer world are
forced to do."

"But," said the Captain, "would you have me infer that all these expert
clerks and accountants, and the commissioner who superintends all this
business do not receive any more than the laborers on the farms and in
the shops, factories and mines?"

"Why should they get more than people who are engaged in laborious
occupations?" asked Iola. "They get all they can consume. If they
should use a little more or less no one cares. They can have all they
want without working any more hours than other people and I cannot
understand how they could use any more food or clothing without ruining
their health or making themselves very uncomfortable. I cannot conceive
of any person wanting to eat more food or wear more clothes, because he
or she is employed in some position of trust. Can you, Captain Ganoe?"

"I admit," replied the Captain, "that your question is a poser. And
this is not the first time that I have been puzzled by your remarks. I
do not say that you are wrong; but I never heard questions handled in
this way until I drifted into this inner world. I can only say that I
am bewildered and while I do not comprehend your philosophy I do admire
your civilization."

"And," responded Iola, "I cannot comprehend how anyone can admire our
civilization without accepting our philosophy. The civilization of a
people is only reducing to practice, the mental and moral concepts of
the people. Our civilization is the logical outcome of our philosophy.
People always think first and act afterward. Our philosophy is what we
think, and our civilization is the result of what it induces us to do."

"Well," said the Captain, "it has certainly induced your people to do
many things that would look very strange in the outer world, but which
seem to work rightly here."

Oqua, who had quietly dropped out of our party without being observed,
now joined us, accompanied by a man of commanding appearance. He was
about six feet, four inches in height, brown hair, full beard, blue
eyes, fair complexion and a high intellectual forehead. Oqua introduced
him as Norrena, Chief of the Continental Department of Education. His
address was most gentle, pleasing and kind, but firm and decided.
Turning to me he said:

"I had hoped to have an opportunity to make the acquaintance of Jack
Adams, the scientist of the Ice King, but Oqua tells me that I must be
content with Nequa, the teacher. She informs me that you are preparing
a book to be published in your own country, and to that end you are
making a close study of our civilization."

"That is true," I said, "and she has spoken to me of you as one who
could render me great assistance, in gathering the lessons that
would be of the most value, in our transition from competition to
co-operation."

"I shall gladly render you any assistance in my power," he said, "but
what you can see here of our completed system of co-operation in
every department of human endeavor, will be indispensable to a clear
comprehension of the lessons to be drawn from the history of our own
Transition Period."

"Thank you," I said. "And I would be pleased to have you show me
through the departments, and call my attention to such features as will
be of the greatest advantage for me to understand just at this time."

"That is the same request that was made by Oqua, as it would take a
long time for you to find just what you want without the assistance
of someone who is familiar with all the departments and who also
understands the nature of the work in which you are engaged. To
begin, we will now visit the Department of Public Printing and News
Distribution."

We now dispensed with our electric chairs, as we felt the need of
exercise. As we emerged from the Exchange building, Norrena took the
lead, and conducted us into another stupendous structure, devoted to
the Public Printing and the Distribution of News to all parts of the
world. The upper story was an immense auditorium, where public meetings
of unusual proportions could meet and have ample room, and where the
acoustic properties were so scientifically adjusted, that all could
hear the speaker in ordinary tones of voice.

Norrena conducted us first into the press room, where printed sheets
were being turned out with a rapidity I had never before witnessed.
These passed on an endless belt into the binding department and from
thence in completed form to the mailing rooms for distribution.
Everything seemed to move with the same quiet celerity that we had
noticed in the Exchange Department.

From the press rooms we ascended in an elevator to the composing
department, where we found a number of machines turning out stereotype
plates, but no operators were anywhere in sight. Norrena informed
me that the machines were operated on the same principle as the
telautograph, or writing telegraph, and with the multiplex system
of transmission, an expert could operate a number of these machines
in different parts of the world at the same time. The matter for
publication, was thus delivered in the composing room in the shape of
plates ready for the presses.

But the most interesting and important feature of this great publishing
house is the manner of collecting and distributing news. The News
Department is connected by telegraph with news offices throughout the
world and is continually receiving items of general interest, which are
classified and distributed by the same means to the people in every
home throughout the continent. The printed pages are of matter of a
more permanent character, which is regarded as worthy of preservation.
Copies of new books are sent to similar establishments in the other
grand divisions and by them reproduced and placed in their local
libraries where all have access to them. This free distribution of
intelligence to the whole people is under the direct control of the
Department of Education.

During the meetings of the Altrurian Council, this department
has another important duty to perform. The council, through this
department, is practically, at all times, in communication with the
majority of the people. When a matter of public interest has been
carefully discussed pro and con, it is formulated and transmitted to
every community where the people are interested, a vote is then taken
at once, and the result transmitted to the council. By this means,
a majority of the people can be heard from in regard to any matter
of importance in a few hours. The people are at all times familiar
with the matters which are being considered by the council, and are
prepared to respond promptly. The communities ordinarily have decided
any important question in their minds before it is submitted to them
and reply at once. I could readily see how, under an advanced state of
civilisation, direct government by the people is not only practicable,
but remarkable for its simplicity and promptness of execution.

The council acts upon all matters in which two or more districts are
interested and the matter is formulated and submitted at once to the
people of such districts for their approval or disapproval. But in
any matter of great importance the people are not compelled to wait
for the regular meeting of the council, but may by the action of the
communities place the matter before the executive committee which meets
every day, and it becomes their duty to submit the question to a vote
of the people. In this way, under this system, the people can always
secure prompt action, as it is the duty of their officials to serve,
but not to govern, as they do in the outer world.

If a public improvement is agreed upon, the districts and communities
interested, make an appropriation of necessary material and labor,
and the work is pushed forward. In all things this great council is
advisory in its character and the executive committee only takes such
action as the people have agreed upon, and when any matter has been
agreed upon the executive power acts at once without question. The will
of the people is the law which no one ever assumes to question.

We passed rapidly through a large number of magnificent structures,
filled with exhibits of all kinds. In Machinery Hall were samples of
every conceivable mechanical device. Another vast building was devoted
to textile fabrics of all kinds. Every industry had its exhibit.
All the great Grand Divisions had similar buildings. Everywhere,
accommodating attendants were ready to show us anything and give us any
information we wished. And one remarkable thing was, that while every
one seemed anxious to display the goods on exhibition, no one ever
tried to sell us anything, as would have been the case in the outer
world.

Here, as MacNair said, was indeed a miniature picture of a world. I
could write a volume on each one of these great buildings without
exhausting the subject. But for the present I had seen enough and
requested Norrena to conduct us next to the Library of Universal
Knowledge which was the most highly finished and imposing of all
these palatial structures. It was built of the usual semi-transparent
material which shut out the direct rays of the sun while it admitted a
mellow radiance rendering artificial light as a rule unnecessary.

We took an elevator to the top where we began our survey of the
contents. Elevators at frequent intervals connected every story. A
description of one story would in a general way apply to all the
others. Each floor is divided longitudinally into three halls or suites
of rooms. The central division is ordinarily a single hall fifty feet
in width by six hundred in length, and in these central halls are
stored all the books, papers and relics of the past. Also specimens of
ores, metals, alloys and compounds of everything that goes to make a
complete museum of natural history, and scientific methods in chemistry
and the mechanic arts. Different stories are given to Archeology,
Ethnology, Geology, Chemistry, Electricity, etc., and constitute a most
instructive feature of this Library of Universal Knowledge.

The divisions on either side are given up to reading rooms, lecture
halls and schools for culture in technical branches that can be studied
to better advantage here in this vast library than elsewhere. In the
reading rooms, which are always open to the public, full catalogues are
always kept for visitors, and courteous attendants are ever ready to
give any information and procure any book that may be needed. Books are
all numbered and catalogued, so the visitor has but to press the number
on an electric keyboard, and it is delivered at once by a pneumatic
tube. The attendants return the books to their proper places in the
same rapid and quiet manner. No noise, bluster, or confusion anywhere.
Everything is reduced to system, and moves along like clock work.

Instruction is free in any of the technical schools, to all who apply
and submit to the rules. These schools embrace every specific branch of
study, and are usually patronised by graduates from the public schools
who desire to perfect their knowledge of some specific branch in order
to be better qualified for a special calling. Here, can be studied
under the most favorable conditions, the progressive development of a
world, illustrated at every step by the relics indicative of its status
which are carefully preserved in the museums, thus tracing in the most
instructive and satisfactory manner, the progress of the people from
their primitive condition of barbarians to their present high state of
culture.

I saw at a glance that this was the place where my contemplated work of
investigation, into the practical methods which had enabled the people
of this country to develop such ideals, could be prosecuted under
the most favorable conditions. I determined to make good use of these
facilities for gathering the ripened sheaves of human thought in every
age and condition of life, for the benefit of the people of my own
native land.

In the lower story, we passed into the department where new
publications are received and catalogued. The first thing that
attracted my attention was the translations from the library of the
Ice King, which seemed to have the right of way over everything else.
Among these translations, I noticed the American Cyclopedia, Ridpath's
History of the World, the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,
histories of the United States and the leading countries of the world,
together with a selection of works on polar exploration, and a number
of scientific works. I was astonished at the progress that had been
made, but Norrena informed me that, under their system, a work could be
translated almost as fast as it could be read, and that the work had
been divided between the scholars of all the grand divisions.

I asked Norrena if there was much demand for these translations of
outer world literature, and he replied:

"Yes, the orders from each grand division, amount to millions, and they
can be translated in all parts of the concave as rapidly as the presses
can turn them out. This is especially true of everything pertaining to
America, whose history up to date is so similar to the early stages of
our own."

"But," I said, "with the usual large attendance at the reading rooms,
one volume will do for a number of persons, and I should think that
would greatly decrease the demand."

"That is true," said Norrena, "but all have an equal right to be
served, and this addition to our knowledge of the outer world is in
such great demand, that all want to be supplied at the same time."

"Of course that is impossible," I said, "and so I suppose that with all
your improved methods many will be compelled to wait."

"Not so very many," said Norrena. "All may not be able to get books,
but all who desire to do so can hear them read."

"How," I asked, "can that be, when millions are asking to hear them
read all at once?"

"Not so very difficult," he replied, "when we use the multiplex
phonograph. One reader can be heard all over the concave. A vast number
would rather listen to a good reader, than to read themselves, and
as the voice of this reader can be connected with a large number of
phonograph reading rooms at the same time, in each such room, as many
can listen as can be seated."

"You astonish me," I said. "Will you please explain how this is done?"

"I will do more than that," he said. "I will show you how it is done.
Come with me."

I followed him into a large room, where I found, I should think, from
two to three hundred people, composedly sitting in chairs, or reclining
on sofas and divans, with phonographic attachments in their ears.

"These," said Norrena, "are all listening to readers at Lake Byblis who
are assisting in the translation of these works. They are using these
attachments in the ears because they are not all listening to the same
matter. This is a fair sample of what is going on in every room of
this character, throughout the concave. A large number of professional
readers are employed who are connected by telephone and phonograph
with every home and reading room in all parts of the country. By such
means you see that we can disseminate knowledge almost simultaneously,
to all who are most anxious for it. The demand for printed books is
mainly from libraries and reading rooms, public and private. The masses
of the people at this time are spending much of their ample leisure,
in listening to the reading of this new addition to our literature. It
will not be long, before the most industrious, intellectually, have
absorbed, to a considerable extent this most valuable addition to our
knowledge, and then a very large number will apply themselves to the
study of the English language, so that they may be able to judge for
themselves as to the accuracy of the translations."

"I see from your admirable system of distributing knowledge that there
must be an extraordinary demand to be supplied."

"Nothing extraordinary for us," said Norrena. "The demand is steady
with a tendency to increase. Our people are all workers who have enough
physical exercise to keep their bodies in good condition, and this
stimulates the mind to demand food, which it is our duty to provide."

"Do you not often find this difficult?" I asked.

"Not at all," he replied. "In this, as in the supply of food for the
body, the quantity is always ample where the operations of natural law
are not antagonized in the administration of public business. We have
ample facilities for gathering news, and everyone who has a thought to
express finds an opportunity to do so. There is a steady supply which
we distribute alike to all. This demand for mental food is even more
pressing than the demand for physical nourishment. The real man and
the real woman are not their physical bodies, but the living souls
which occupy these bodies, and it is the duty of this department of the
public service to provide these souls with the staff of life, which is
knowledge."

Before leaving the library, Norrena requested us to record our names on
the visitor's book. We complied, and then continued our rambles until
I, for one, was utterly exhausted, and asked to be excused from further
exercise.

"Then," said Norrena, "we will retire to the Department of Public
Comfort, where I have my private rooms, and while you are resting, we
can talk over plans for the future, or other matters that may demand
attention. I am much interested in this move to improve the airships
with a view to opening up a line of communication with the outer world."

"And," I remarked, "I am, if possible, more interested in the
completion of my book in time for it to go to the United States by
the first airship, for publication. And I want it to contain every
lesson of importance to our people that can be gleaned from the present
condition and the past history of the people of this country."

As we were speaking, Norrena hailed a passing electric carriage, and in
a few minutes we were landed at the grandest hotel I had ever entered
in my life. I could see at a glance why it was called the Department of
Public Comfort. Every facility for the comfort and enjoyment of guests
was provided. But the dimensions assigned to this volume will not
permit a description. I need only say that all its appointments were
complete, for the accommodation of thousands of guests.

While each of the department buildings had its own arrangements for
accommodating its own force of employes and its own guests, this
Department of Public Comfort was designed more especially for guests
from other Grand Divisions. Here, the heads of departments of all the
Grand Divisions held their conferences; and here the continental heads
of departments very appropriately had their headquarters.

After supper, Norrena informed me that on the morrow, he would
devote an hour to oral lessons at the institute of district school
superintendents and that his subject would be the History of the
Transition Period.

"This," he explained, "covers that period in the history of Altruria
which marks the decline and fall of the old system of competition and
the introduction of co-operative methods. It may be just what you want
in the way of lessons from history. If you think that you do not yet
understand our language well enough to fully comprehend all the points,
I will provide you with a translation into English."

I thanked him for his interest in my work and assured him that while I
wanted to hear him in his own tongue, if he could provide me with the
same matter in English, it would help me to a better understanding of
the language of the country, and that certainly I did not want to miss
any point of real value in the subject matter.



CHAPTER XII.

  THE INSTITUTE OF SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS--NORRENA'S ADDRESS ON THE
  TRANSITION PERIOD--FROM COMPETITION TO CO-OPERATION--THE CLOSING
  DECADES OF MONEY SUPREMACY--THE POWER OF GOLD--ITS CONQUEST OF THE
  WORLD--POLITICAL GOVERNMENTS ITS TOOLS--THE PEOPLE HELPLESS--A HINT
  AT THE WAY OUT.


AT an early hour we were up and had our breakfast. I felt that
my journey to Orbitello and the hasty glance through the leading
departments had been the most instructive day I had ever experienced.
But I was not surfeited, and looked forward with interest to the
meeting of the Institute of School Superintendents and especially
to Norrena's oral lessons from the Transition Period of the great
Industrial Commonwealth of Altruria.

We met in the Auditorium over the Department of Public Printing. Many
had already arrived and were gathered into groups in various portions
of the vast hall conversing with each other. I took a seat on one
side by myself to contemplate the scene before me. I was by nature
a student, and here I was among, as it were, a nation of competent
instructors, and in a country where everything demonstrated the power
to control the great potent forces which govern the external world,
and the innate force of our higher moral and spiritual concepts of
what should be our relations toward each other in order to convert
this earth into a heaven of blissful, happy contentment. I was among
a people who universally regarded "an injury to one as the concern
of all," and hence health, happiness and abundance for all was their
normal condition.

I could hardly realize that this country had once been the abode of
poverty and all of its consequences of ignorance, vice and crime; that
here where equal rights, equal opportunities and an equal share in
the unlimited abundance which nature places within the easy reach of
intelligent labor were the universal and unquestioned law of being,
there had once been a grasping and cruel financial and commercial power
that condemned the wealth-producing millions to lives of unrequited
toil. But such, I was repeatedly told, had been the fact, and Norrena,
at this meeting was to give an oral lesson from that period and
describe the power that had oppressed and degraded the people in those
early ages.

But a short time had gone by since my first meeting with these people
and yet I had become thoroughly absorbed in their mental, moral and
spiritual life. I felt myself to be to all intents and purposes one
of them. What was it that had so entirely taken possession of my
consciousness? In all my life I had never felt so completely at home,
and at peace with myself and all the world. I was fully satisfied.

Norrena broke in upon my reverie by asking:

"What is it Nequa, that so absorbs your attention that you seem to be
utterly oblivious of the presence of this large assemblage of teachers
from all parts of the country to talk over the history of the olden
time when 'wealth accumulated and men decayed?' Have you forgotten
what I told you last evening? Oqua will report the lesson from the
Transition Period in English for you and you can afford to give some
attention to your old friends, Iola, MacNair, Polaris, Dione and your
comrades of the Ice King."

I looked around and found that while I had been musing, our party
had all gathered near me without attracting my attention and I said
apologetically: "I must have been dreaming."

"Then you were dreaming with your eyes wide open," said Oqua. "I
noticed that you seemed to be unusually absorbed. What were you
thinking about?"

"I was pondering," I replied, "how it was possible that this country
could ever have been cursed with poverty as the normal condition of
the masses of the people while the few were rich beyond the dreams of
avarice, and held those masses bound by fetters that they could not
break."

"It is now time for the exercises to commence," said Norrena. "I will
explain the mystery in my address, at least so far as the leading
factors are concerned, for in its entirety it is indeed a long and
ghastly picture of human ignorance on one side and human greed
directed by a morally perverted human intelligence on the other."

The chairman called the meeting to order and stated that the first
thing on the program would be an address on the Transition Period, by
Norrena, the Continental Commissioner of Education. Without extended
preliminary remarks, the speaker opened the discussion of the question
under consideration from which I condense the following from Oqua's
report in English. Yet notwithstanding my short residence in the
country I believe that I could have given the gist of the address
myself without any assistance.

"I need not," said the speaker, "enter into any lengthy explanation
before an institute of teachers, as to how our ancestors under the
old civilisation exchanged the products created by their labor for
products created by the labor of others, by the use of a law-created
medium of exchange called money. Neither need we trace the history of
many kinds of products and devices which were used in different ages
as a medium of exchange, such as cattle, slaves, shells, tobacco, the
skins of animals and certain stones and metals. These things are only
of interest to the antiquarian. It is enough to know for our present
purpose that money had originally been devised as a substitute for
barter, and marked the first step towards the establishment of a system
of exchanging products which required the exercise of a higher order
of mental faculties. During the early part of the Transition Period,
gold and silver were the exclusive materials from which money was
coined, except for sums of only a few cents, when the so-called baser
metals were used. As the supply of gold and silver was not equal to
the demands of business, banks were established to issue notes to
circulate as money with the consent of both parties to the exchange.
These notes were made redeemable in gold and silver on the demand
of the holders, and at frequent intervals the banks failed and the
people lost the wealth which they had exchanged for the notes. This
was a transfer without compensation, of the actual values created by
the labor of the people, to the note issuing power, and this process,
oft-repeated, laid the foundations for many colossal fortunes.

"In this connection, it may be well to note that in times of great
public danger when the metal coins disappeared from circulation, the
government exercised the right to issue a legal tender paper money to
meet the deficiency. It served all the purposes of gold, and often
in the midst of adversity and disaster brought great industrial
prosperity to the people. But when the danger had gone by, strange
as it may appear, the government funded this legal tender paper into
government bonds, payable, interest and principal, in coin. This
process of converting the debt paying medium of the country into an
interest bearing debt that must be paid in another kind of money
which had been hidden away by the more wealthy in times of danger,
was the foundation of the great bonded debt of this country which was
established during the Transition Period. This bonded debt was made
the basis of a national bank currency for the redemption of which, at
first in legal tender paper and coin, and later in gold, the people as
debtors to the banks were in the last analysis responsible. In other
words the national bank currency derived its sole value as a reliable
medium of exchange from the fact that it was based on the public
credit, and this public credit belonged to the people, but the private
banking associations got the benefit for the private gain of their
stockholders, and the service rendered, cost the people many times its
worth.

"During the Transition Period in this country the people had three
kinds of legal tender money, gold, silver, and paper, together with the
national bank notes which were a legal tender as between the people and
the government. At the close of this period, silver coin, and legal
tender paper were made redeemable by the government in gold, on the
demand of the holder; and all deferred payments were made payable in
gold on the demand of the creditor. The great bulk of the business of
the country among the people was transacted by the use of silver, paper
and bank notes but the holders of these forms of currency could demand
gold in exchange, and if for any cause the government failed to collect
enough gold from the people to meet the demand it became the duty of
the Secretary of the Treasury to sell interest bearing gold bonds to
meet the deficiency.

"Such in brief, was the complicated, cumbersome and unscientific system
of exchanging, or distributing wealth, which existed under the old
civilization. The means of production being fixed by natural law were
the same then as now. Wealth always was and must always continue to
be, the product of human labor and skill applied to natural resources,
facilitated by such mechanical contrivances and business methods as
human skill may devise. But the system of distribution being entirely
under human control is continually changing as affected by human
impulses, whether they be selfish, as in the olden time, or altruistic
as they are now.

"We now exchange a product for a product of equal value, for the
convenience and benefit of all, without any charge except for the
necessary labor expended in the production and distribution. But under
the old civilization the product was first exchanged for money and the
money was then exchanged with some one else for the product that was
wanted in return. As a method of exchanging one value for another,
this was a very awkward and unscientific process, but in and of itself
it was not necessarily unjust and oppressive; yet the system such as
it was, could be used by the greedy few who controlled the financial
and commercial affairs of the country, for the purpose of exacting
such exorbitant tribute from the many as would, and did, condemn the
millions to poverty. The few, with their superior business sagacity
took advantage of this semi-barbarous idea of a perpetual money token
which was supposed to contain within itself an actual value, equal to
the values which it was used to exchange, and they organized banking
as the chief factor in the mechanism of exchange among themselves,
which in its operations also gave them control of the perpetual money
tokens which the people must have to carry on their ordinary business
transactions with each other.

"These shrewd financiers had no use for money except to pay balances,
and at the time of the end, ninety-seven per cent. of the great
business transactions of the country were carried on by means of
organised credit through banks and clearing houses. This system of
minimising the use of legal money through banking methods, as a matter
of course left a large surplus in the hands of the great operators,
which was loaned to the people, who in their unorganised condition were
compelled to pay cash. These loans bore various rates of interest,
but always much above the average increase of wealth, and very often
so exorbitant that the states for very shame's sake were compelled to
establish certain arbitrary rates beyond which the money lender dare
not go.

"It will be seen at a glance that this system of transacting the
business of the country on a cash basis by the people and by organized
credit through banks by large operators who controlled finance and
commerce could not fail to give to the latter an enormous advantage
in the aggregate business of the country. The great masses of wealth
producers naturally became a debtor class. As all wealth was the
product of their labor, they must necessarily create the means of
paying all indebtedness, interest and principal. Hence they constituted
the interest paying masses while the comparatively small number
of large operators constituted a powerful creditor class who were
continually receiving interest, and hence always had money to loan or
invest in such a manner as to be able to receive more interest. And the
larger the interest-charge against the people, the more they needed
money and the more inclined they were to borrow. Cities and towns often
voted a bonded debt upon themselves for improvements, for the express
purpose of providing employment for the workers, so that business might
derive some temporary advantage by having the wages expended in their
midst. The great masses of the people did not realize that a part
of the same dollars they borrowed most go back to the lender to pay
interest, and that the consequent deficiency in the means of payment
could only be met by transferring to the creditor a portion of the
wealth created by their labor equal to the interest. And the larger the
aggregate indebtedness in proportion to the volume of money available
for debt paying purposes, the larger must be the deficiency to be met
out of their savings, or what should have been their net income from
the exercise of their producing power.

"But the interest on loans, public and private was only a small
fraction of the burden of usury imposed upon the wealth producing
masses. All the large industrial, financial and commercial enterprises
of the country were on a debt-creating basis. Stock companies owned
the railroads of the country; the streetcars, waterworks, gasworks
and electric light and power plants of the cities; all the great
manufacturing, mining and commercial enterprises; the steamship lines,
and even vast bonanza farms and stock ranches. All these interests were
operated with a view to paying dividends on the stock in addition to
the operating expenses, and were therefore equivalent to a perpetual
interest bearing debt, the principal of which never could be paid.

"This constructive indebtedness was intended to be perpetual, and its
volume was not limited to the actual cost of the various enterprises
that were incorporated. The railroads, for instance, sold stock to
many times the cost of the roads, or as it was called, 'watered their
stock,' and then they ordinarily bonded the roads for vast sums
besides. These bonded debts however, were very often created for the
purpose of bankrupting the companies for the enrichment of an 'inside
ring.' This process was known as 'freezing out the stockholders,' and
by thus reducing capitalization it was not necessary for the roads to
exact so much tribute from their patrons in order to pay dividends.
Other corporate enterprises also 'watered' their stock, and some
of them got such a hold upon the people that they continued to pay
exorbitant dividends on their fictitious valuation until they were
absorbed into the larger combination of the whole people.

"At the close of the Transition Period the volume of interest bearing
indebtedness and dividend earning investments was estimated at fifty
thousand millions, and the average cost to the people six per cent.
per annum, or an aggregate of three thousand millions every year to
be taken out of the wealth produced by the people. The bulk of these
obligations, public, corporate and private was held by the great
banking institutions which had been established by the corporation and
trust magnates, who practically owned the lands and all the machinery
of production and distribution. They owned not only the indebtedness
against the people but they controlled the medium by which it must be
paid, and on their demand under the law, this medium of final payment
was gold.

"As this great creditor class was the principal employer of labor and
controlled both the buying and selling of products which the people
must have for the purposes of consumption, thus fixing both the income
and the expenses of the producer, it was not difficult to collect their
tribute. A pro rata of the great annual charge of interest, dividends
and profits against the people was collected from the producer in the
shape of a discount on what he had to sell, whether it was his labor
or its products. The remainder was charged up to consumption and
constituted a part of the price that was paid for every article that
was purchased. The cost to the consumer of every commodity purchased,
consisted of five distinct elements: First, interest on the money
supposed to be invested in its production and distribution; Second,
rent upon all the buildings in which it had been stored, which would
include cars or vessels used in transportation; Third, profit to
all who had handled the product; Fourth, its pro rata of taxation
and Fifth, the wages paid to the labor expended in its production,
transportation, superintendence and distribution. This fifth element in
the cost was all that went to useful labor, while the other elements
went to the great financial, industrial and commercial combines which
held the masses of the people in their grasp.

"Of course under the operation of this system, where both the income
and the expenses of the producer were determined by this great
creditor class for its own selfish purposes, it is not strange that
the condition of the average toiler was one of poverty, nor is it
strange that a widespread spirit of unrest, and often of angry and
violent discontent threatened the peace of society and the perpetuity
of established institutions and a stable government. But to us, it does
indeed look strange that the brawny millions whose strong arms and
undaunted courage had conquered the untamed forces of nature and made
the wilderness a fit dwelling place for a refined and cultured people,
could have been bound, hand and foot, by such a gossamer thread as the
puny power of a few owners of gold. But when we take into consideration
the fundamental truth that mind controls matter, and that the few
who were at the top had cultivated brains while the many who were at
the bottom had only cultivated muscles, the mystery is solved. The
toiling masses had no conception of their power, and on their plane of
intelligence were utterly unable to hold their own against the wily
schemes of the more intelligent few.

"At the time of which we speak, four-fifths of the aggregate wealth
of the country had passed into the hands of a small fraction of
the people, and millions were landless, homeless and dependent for
subsistence upon the crumbs, so to speak, that fell from the tables
of their lordly masters who controlled every avenue to employment
and dictated the terms upon which they were permitted to live. Being
few in numbers, they could and did co-operate with each other for
their mutual advantage. All they had to do in order to keep wages at
a minimum was to leave a large number of applicants unemployed, and
hence very poor, who at all times, would be ready to take the place of
workmen who demanded more liberal wages. The self-employed farmers were
but little better off than the wage workers, as they were forced to
sell their products and purchase their supplies at prices fixed by the
great financial, industrial and commercial combines which controlled
the business of the country. Under the inequitable methods of exchange
which existed at that time, the masses of the people were powerless to
help themselves. The fortunate few who controlled money, dictated how
much they might receive for their labor or its products and how much of
the products created by the labor of others they could purchase with
the proceeds.

"To us the natural remedy for discriminations of this kind, so unjust
and oppressive to the masses of the people seems so self-evident and
easy of application that it is not strange that many have been inclined
to doubt the correctness of much that is recorded in the history of
the economic conditions which existed under the old civilisation, when
human selfishness ruled supreme in business affairs. But when we take
into consideration the fact, that at that time, the world had never had
a single object lesson large enough to be seen by the great of mankind,
as to what would constitute an equitable system of distribution, we
are forced to the conclusion that the adverse conditions existing
during the Transition Period were just what might have been expected
under the circumstances. The few who had the ability to conduct the
business of the world did not understand that the productive power
of the earth is practically unlimited so that under an equitable
system of exchange there is absolutely no possibility of any person
being reduced to poverty. Then, too, the great masses were but a few
generations removed from a condition of absolute serfdom, and were
just what ages of drudgery had made them, and could not be expected to
take broad and comprehensive views of the great economic problems by
which they were confronted. The world had never known anything but the
private ownership of all the means of production and distribution and
the desire to lay up treasures was universally regarded as laudable
and praiseworthy. Under these circumstances neither the few who had
monopolized the earth nor the many who were disinherited could have
been reasonably expected to be other than they were. Both alike were
the product of long ages of growth. The wheat and the tares must
necessarily grow up together, nurtured by the same soil, until the
harvest is ready, and then the separation takes place strictly in
accordance with natural law.

"The gold power which established itself in this country during the
Transition Period was an exotic that had been imported from the old
world. Its object was to control every nation on earth, for its own
gain, without being the loyal supporter of any. It had secured absolute
control over the nations of the Old World before it succeeded in
financially conquering the New. Whenever it succeeded in establishing
the gold standard in any country, it established its local branch for
controlling that country's finances. Its first object was to promote
the creation of national bonded debts, payable, principal and interest,
in gold. For this purpose, it was always ready to loan money to carry
on wars, and each country could negotiate its loans through its own
local branch, but the creditor in every case, as a matter of fact, was
the international Gold Power of the world, which had no preferences
between nations but sought to impose a bonded debt alike upon all.
There was absolutely nothing patriotic about it. All it wanted, was
a lien upon the industries of the world, that would produce a steady
income in the shape of interest.

"In this country, we had a Republican form of government and with our
vast area of public lands the people were more independent by far than
the people of any other country ever had been, notwithstanding the
fact that they were robbed unmercifully by the private banks which
issued notes and then suspended so that the notes which the people had
accepted for their property became worthless. At frequent intervals,
these bank panics reduced thousands of people to bankruptcy. But the
country was new and land could be had for the asking, so when pressed
to the wall, as it were, in the more populous districts along the
eastern border, they came west on the public lands, made new homes
and soon accumulated another competency. It is not strange that this
international Gold Power of the world cast longing eyes upon a country
that was so productive, and could recover so rapidly from industrial
depressions and financial disasters.

"For nearly one hundred years after the establishment of our Republic,
notwithstanding the prevalent 'wild cat' banking system as it was
called and the absurd reverence for the so-called precious metals,
the people of this country were practically independent of the great
Gold Power which had its headquarters in Atlan. While the founders of
the Republic had made gold and silver coin the standard money of the
country, they reserved the right to issue treasury notes and also to
make them a legal tender, and as there was no great debt, and land
could be had for the asking, the economic independence of the people
could not be entirely crushed out, and therefore Altruria offered an
effectual barrier to the encroachments of the gold power. Before the
people could be actually subjugated financially, a vast bonded debt
must be created, and in order to induce the people to agree to such a
debt, the life of the Republic must be placed in jeopardy. A foreign
war was not to be thought of, as it would arouse to fever heat all of
the innate democratic hatred against aristocratic rule of every name
and description, but a war between the states would serve the same
purpose.

"The conditions that made such an interstate struggle possible, had
unintentionally been provided for by the founders of the Republic. At
the time when the Republic was established the colored people were held
as slaves in nearly all of the original colonies. This institution was
regarded by the founders of the Republic, as inconsistent with the
spirit of its institutions, and it was unsparingly denounced as the
'sum of all villainies' by a large number; and one state after another
emancipated its slaves, and new free states were admitted, until the
country was practically half slave and half free.

"In the manufacturing states uncultured slave labor was not profitable
and hence there was but little objection to its abolition. But in
the agricultural states such labor was valuable, as the old world
furnished an unfailing market for all the surplus products. The gold
power of Atlan took advantage of the situation to sow the seeds of
discord between the two sections.

"Missionaries were sent into the manufacturing states, papers
established and literature distributed appealing to the sympathies of
the people in behalf of the slaves and creating a public sentiment
against the slaveholding states. These anti-slavery missionaries came
in the name of religion and humanity and it cannot be denied that ample
grounds existed for all that could be said against chattel slavery,
but the PURPOSES for which the anti-slavery agitation was used by the
Gold Power were, if possible, to destroy the Republic, or failing in
this, involve the country in an interstate war and induce the patriotic
lovers of liberty to consent to the establishment of a vast bonded debt.

"Another class of missionaries were sent into the slaveholding states
and another class of literature circulated, proclaiming that 'cotton is
king' and that if Free Trade with all the world was established, the
planters would be the wealthiest and happiest people on earth. That all
that stood in the way was the union with the anti-slavery states, which
sought to abolish the 'peculiar institution' that enabled the planters
to produce such a magnificent surplus, which the Old World stood ready
to take in unlimited quantities, at high prices in gold, just as soon
as Free Trade could be established. To secure this grand victory for
agriculture, all that was needed was to dissolve the union with the
anti-slavery states and their pet hobby of tariff duties on imported
goods.

"Both sections of the country were flooded with literature, all
of which contained enough of truth to make it attractive to honest
people, and enough of misrepresentation to engender the most bitter
and antagonistic feelings between them. The institution of slavery
was wrong, in and of itself, but the anti-slavery agitators ignored
the fact that the masses of the slaves were not qualified for
self-government, and that the perpetuity of free institutions depended
upon the intelligence of the voters. They did not try to convert
the slaveholding states to the policy of educating their slaves and
preparing them for freedom, but they went to the non-slaveholding
states and demanded the immediate and unconditional abolition of
slavery in the other section. This was, as a matter of course, most
exasperating to the people of the slave states who in their capacity as
independent states felt themselves amply competent to attend to their
own affairs.

"In the political discussions of that time, half truths served all the
purposes of full grown falsehoods as a means of deluding the people.
The Free Trade agitators of the slave states were unqualifiedly right
when they called attention to the fact that all import duties were
a tax upon the people in proportion to their expenses instead of
their incomes and were therefore unjust and oppressive to the great
masses of the people; but they ignored the fact that the absolute
Free Trade that did exist between all sections of the country was of
vastly more importance to the slaveholding states, than Free Trade
with any foreign country could possibly be. The manufacturing states
of their own country were over two thousand miles nearer to them than
the manufacturing countries of the Old World, and that fact, with a
fair compensation to labor would have given them an assured market for
their surplus products without paying transportation charges both ways
across the ocean.

"But the leading object of these Free Trade agitators, was to appeal
to the selfish impulses of the few who owned slaves, and to the race
prejudices of the masses of non-slaveholders, by telling them that the
abolitionists proposed to place them on terms of political and social
equality with the slaves. They were taught to believe that under the
prevailing tariff regulations, they were taxed for the special benefit
of the 'mudsills' of the manufacturing states, who being low down in
the social scale themselves wanted to bring the proud, chivalrous
people of the slave states down to the level of their chattel slaves.

"As a matter of fact, neither the producing masses of the Free States
or the non-slaveholders of the slave states had the remotest conception
that the international gold power of Atlan was taking advantage of the
discussion of slavery and free trade through its paid agents, to sow
the seeds of discord between the two sections of the Great Republic
of the New World. And they permitted their resentments for fancied
wrongs to be fanned into a flame of fierce indignation, which, as was
intended, culminated in a bloody strife and the creation of a vast
bonded debt.

"This fratricidal struggle lasted nearly five years, and when it ended,
the people found themselves in debt, billions of dollars, to a class
of people who had speculated on their necessities. The unsuspecting
masses on both sides had bared their breasts to the storm of battle,
endured all the privations and suffered all the losses, and were in
debt for all the expenses of the war INCLUDING THEIR OWN SERVICES, to
an international money power which ruled the world.

"In order to carry on the war, paper money was issued and paid out
to the soldiers, sailors and citizens for their services. This money
performed all the functions of gold and notwithstanding the fact that
the people were engaged in a most destructive war, it stimulated
all branches of business and brought on an era of great industrial
prosperity. But after the war was over this same paper money which had
been paid to the people as the original creditors of the government,
and for which they had signed receipts in full for their services,
was converted into interest bearing bonds, and these same soldiers,
sailors and citizens were taxed to pay to those who speculated on their
necessities in the hour of danger, the same debt that had originally
been due to themselves, and for which they had received legal tender
paper money.

"But had the process of funding the legal tender debt paying medium of
the country into bonds ceased at this point, the international gold
power of the world would never have been able to financially subjugate
the people of this country, as under the law creating the bonds, the
debt was payable in legal tender paper money. So another step must be
taken. The debt had been created and a large portion of the money had
been burned, but the bonds did not call for gold, except for interest.
Hence a law was enacted resuming specie payments, and the bonds were
made payable in coin, and now the people who had taken paper dollars
for their services in saving the union, were taxed to pay gold dollars
to the money kings for the paper dollars they had received.

"We can scarcely conceive at this distant day, how it was possible
for our ancestors to have been so stupid, as not to see through this
outrage that was perpetrated upon them, but nevertheless, history
records the fact that for thirty odd years after this bare faced
legalised robbery had been committed, a vast majority of men were
voting their approval, which was proclaimed throughout the world as the
triumph of patriotic statesmanship.

"As the direct result of this kind of financial legerdemain,
which converted the DEBT-PAYING medium of the country into an
INTEREST-BEARING DEBT, the wages of labor and the prices of products
steadily declined, business enterprises were wound up in bankruptcy at
the rate of more than one thousand per month and millions of workmen
were forced into idleness and thronged the highways in all parts of
the country, demoralized, degraded and becoming a sure menace to
civilization.

"As a result of the war between the states, chattel slavery had been
abolished, but another form of industrial servitude, the wage system,
had fallen heir to all of its worst features. The owners of the
chattel slaves had the power to be oppressive and cruel, but personal
interest demanded that the slave should always be provided with food,
shelter and raiment, while the wage slave could be turned out to starve
when from sickness, age of any other cause it was more profitable to
dispense with his services. The wage slave, who must work or starve was
serving a much more exacting and cruel master than the most heartless
owner of chattel slaves ever could have been. In the great sphere of
human servitude the tables had been completely turned. While the slave
owner had always been very careful not to give his chattel slaves an
opportunity to run away, the wage slave very often lived in a perpetual
dread that his master would pay him off and tell him to go.

"Conditions such as these could not fail to arouse a widespread feeling
of dissatisfaction and as every man had a vote, political agitation
was the logical result of the situation and politicians were kept
busy in defending old policies and proposing new ones, all for the
professed purpose of securing better conditions for the great masses
of the people. A slight glance at a few of the popular economic and
political ideas of that time indicates the average status of popular
intelligence, and is therefore useful in tracing the evolutionary
forces which were operating at that time for the elimination of
selfishness and the establishment of equity in human affairs.

"As the times grew harder, the politicians of the old school told the
people that the over production of wealth was the cause of all their
poverty and distress, and for a time the great masses seemed to be
satisfied with this explanation. They did not pause to inquire how it
was possible for them to produce so much food and clothing and build so
many houses, and for that reason be compelled to go hungry, dress in
rags and be without shelter.

"Further on, this same class of politicians told the people that what
they needed was to make their silver and paper money redeemable in
gold and then they would have a dollar that would purchase more, and
a majority of the people decided in favor of the gold standard. They
did not reflect, that the larger the purchasing power of the dollar
might be, the more of their labor it would require in order to get
the dollar, and so without understanding what they were doing, the
laboring masses of the country actually voted to decrease the money
earning power of their own labor. But had they decided in favor of
more money, while their wages would have gone up, their cost of living
would have increased and they would not have been materially benefited
except incidentally, as a part of the great debtor class, which was
required to pay interest as part of the price of everything purchased
for consumption. And we may add, that but for the fact that the great
masses who produced wealth by their labor, constituted a debtor class,
the advantages and disadvantages between a larger or smaller volume of
money, would have formed a perfect equation, and the condition of the
masses would neither have been better nor worse, as in either case, the
banks would have determined the amount that was permitted to circulate
among the people, by making or withholding loans as might at the time,
best promote their own interests.

"While the Gold Power was international in its character, and not
loyal to any country, it always took an active interest in moulding
the opinions of the dominant political parties of all countries. It
was necessary for it to have at least two favorites among the dominant
parties, so that by turns they might spring reforms, so-called,
based on half truths, to attract the constantly increasing number
of dissatisfied voters. The demand for an increased volume of money
in order to raise the wages of labor and the price of farm products
was a question of this character, and it was sufficient to sidetrack
and head off a more searching investigation as to the real causes of
poverty. This was met by the demand for a better quality of money that
would purchase more goods. The arguments in favor of both, contained
half truths which were dwelt upon with great force, but the success
of either, still left the gold power, directly or indirectly, in a
position to control the situation.

"The same thing was true in regard to the tariff question which the
gold power made a dominant issue between its favorite parties. The
question itself could be used to call attention away from the question
of finance, which had a more direct bearing upon the vital matter of
EXCHANGE and was therefore more likely to educate the people to a
point where they could no longer be deluded by an ingenious discussion
of half truths. This question, in order to be made available for
the purposes of the gold power, must necessarily have two SEEMINGLY
antagonistic political parties to go before the people. One party
advocated a tariff-for-revenue, with Free Trade arguments, while the
other advocated a tariff-for-protection, and appealed to the laboring
classes to maintain liberal wages for themselves by voting for a high
tariff that would exclude foreign goods.

"The positions taken by these parties were about equally delusive and
neither would have in the least delayed the dangerous encroachments
of the gold power. A tariff-for-revenue could in no sense be a Free
Trade party, but it did propose to raise revenue by duties on imports.
This duty would of course be paid by the people as part of the price
of the goods which they consumed, and hence the tax would be in
proportion to their expenses without any reference to their incomes.
Those who expended their entire incomes in consumption would be taxed
upon the whole, while those who expended only a small fraction, would
be taxed only on the fraction so expended. As a system of taxation
it is difficult to conceive of one that would be more unequal in its
bearings, and more oppressive to people of small incomes.

"On the other hand the tariff-for-protection party, proposed to make
the duties on imports so high that foreign productions would be kept
out, and the home market secured to the employers of home labor.
This, it was claimed, would enable the employers of labor to pay
higher wages, which was true; but the selfishness of the heartless
employer, was always in favor of keeping wages at a minimum and the
noble, generous, employer could not afford to pay any more. If he did,
his heartless competitor would undersell him in the market and destroy
his business. Hence we are not surprised that statistics proved the
tendency of wages to be toward a minimum under both parties--that is,
a sum barely sufficient to provide food, clothing and shelter, and to
enable the workman to raise other toilers to take his place when he was
no longer able to work.

"Under this tariff-for-protection policy, the revenues raised were just
as oppressive and unjust to people of small incomes as under the policy
of 'a tariff for revenue only,' but with this additional burden, that
the increased price of home products was assessed upon the people in
the same unequal manner. But on the other side, more home labor could
be employed, which benefited the workmen in protected industries at
the expense of the classes which were not protected. Of course, even
the tariff-for-protection party which had so much to say in favor of
holding the home market for home products, never seriously intended to
exclude foreign products, as that would have put an end to all revenue.

"These delusive theories of a tariff for revenue and a tariff for
protection, served the purposes of the Gold Power, by calling the
attention of the people away from the real difficulty which stood
in the way of wealth producers. All that the people needed was an
opportunity to apply their labor to natural resources, and be able to
exchange their products for products of equal value, produced by the
labor of others. The foreign trade of the country was a matter of small
importance compared with the home trade. If at almost any time during
the latter part of the Transition Period, the people of this country
had been guaranteed just such rations as were provided for soldiers,
or even convicts, there would have been no surplus for exportation;
and had the whole people been provided with all the clothing that
was needed to keep them well clad, it would have taken the entire
product of wool, flax, cotton and leather. But the press of that day,
religious as well as secular, was to such a large extent under the
control of the Gold Power, that facts such as these were kept away
from the masses of the people. And it may be added in this connection,
that the educational system of the country was controlled by this same
power to suppress the truth on economic questions, and many eminent
scholars were removed from professorships in the higher institutions of
learning, because they refused to teach such sophistries as suited the
purposes of the Gold Power.

"In our very brief mention of the political agitations of that time we
have only referred to the leading measures advocated by the dominant
political parties. It is due however to even that benighted age to
state, that at every step taken by the international Gold Power to
financially conquer the world, a few of the more enlightened and
self-sacrificing spirits, boldly exposed the financial wrongs which
were being perpetrated against the people for the still further
enrichment of the money kings of the Old World and their agents and
co-workers in the great centers of wealth in this country. But these
courageous, clear headed and humanity loving pioneers of a higher
civilization were frowned down as dangerous agitators and enemies
of law and order, and every foul epithet was applied to them. If in
business, they were boycotted, and if belonging to the ranks of labor,
they were blacklisted and in many cases imprisoned on false charges,
and some were even executed for crimes which they did not commit. And
yet the measures of reform they advocated along political lines were
usually of such a nature that had they been enacted into law they would
only have prolonged, for a few decades perhaps, the false system which
pauperized and degraded the toiling millions.

"So much for the political agitations which had for their ostensible
object the improvement of the economic condition of the great masses
of the people. Yet they did much good as a means of educating the
more intelligent into a better understanding of the situation, and
revealed the apparently utter hopelessness of ever being able to secure
necessary reforms by political action, as no matter how pure at first
might be the objects of a political party, just as soon as it was
successful, and offices were in sight, the work of corruption set in
and its principles became subordinate in the minds of its leaders, to
the more profitable occupation of office seeking.

"But other more potent factors than political agitation, were at
work among the masses in the shape of great industrial organizations
of farmers and wage-workers. These organizations as a rule were
strictly non-political. The farmers sought to secure higher prices
for the products of the farm without any regard for the interests of
the millions of wage-workers and others upon whom they depended for
a market. Another object of the farmers was to reduce their cost
of living by securing lower prices on their implements and other
supplies. By concentrating their trade and taking advantage of the
competition between dealers they often succeeded in securing very much
reduced prices on goods, and this furnished what was regarded as a
legitimate excuse for reducing the wages of the employes engaged in
their manufacture. This reduction of wages crippled the market for farm
products and offended both the employer and the workmen, so in the end
the farmers defeated themselves and succeeded in arraying all other
classes of people against them.

"But it was the wage-workers who suffered the most from the great
oligarchy of wealth which had been established in the name of the
people for the express purpose of exacting profits from the industrial
classes. They organized Trade Unions which ultimately federated into
one great national organization with a view to securing higher wages
and fewer hours of labor without any regard to the interests of the
consumers of their products. The number of workmen in these Trade
Unions were at all times but a small fraction of the multitude which
depended upon wages. As a rule the purposes and methods of these
labor organizations were in practice, if not in theory, based upon
the same false principles that characterized the industrial despotism
against which they were protesting. Selfishness was a distinguishing
characteristic and a fatal defect. The skilled workman who had
employment, cared but little for the non-Union workman of his own craft
except as a possible competitor for his job, and nothing whatever for
the great masses of common laborers who were so numerous and so poor
that organization could do them no good as a means of maintaining
wages. The union workman recognized no interest in common with the
unemployed outside of his own fraternity.

"Instead of banding together to devise ways and means by which all
could find employment, the Trade Unions sought only to secure work and
maintain wages for the comparatively small number who were members in
good standing. Hence in case of strikes and lockouts the unemployed
workmen were actuated by the same selfish motives and did not hesitate
to take their places whenever they could be protected from violence.
And whenever they did so, the union workmen made war upon them.
While they recognized the relation of master and servant as one that
was to be perpetuated, they denied the right of the 'scabs' as they
were called, to accept employment from THEIR masters, no matter how
destitute they might be.

"Neither did they question the right of employers, who in the days
of the old civilization were principally powerful corporations, to
control the enactment and the enforcement of the laws. As a rule,
the workmen divided their voting power between the political parties
which were controlled by their masters. With such evident inability
to grasp the situation in which they were placed, it is not strange
that the employers were enabled to obtain absolute control of every
branch of government, state and national, legislative, executive and
judicial, notwithstanding the fact that every laborer had a vote which
counted just as much as that of the most wealthy corporation magnate.
Conspiracy laws were enacted which could be used for their suppression
as occasion required. The right of trial by jury was denied by the
courts, and the champions of labor were imprisoned for long terms for
disobeying the mandates of the courts. Finally the Supreme Court, in
the case of a sailor who had refused to serve for the period for which
he had hired, decided that his employer had a right to hold him in
bondage until the expiration of the contract; that the ownership over
himself had ceased for the time specified, and that the constitutional
provision which prohibited involuntary servitude did not apply to such
as him. One of the labor papers of that time characterized this opinion
of the Court as the 'FUGITIVE SAILOR DECISION,' a name by which it is
known in the history of those dark days of the Transition Period.

"But unfriendly legislation and one-sided court decisions, were not
the only factors in crushing the hopes of labor. This was a period
of wonderful scientific discoveries of natural forces and mechanical
inventions by which they could be utilized in saving labor. The
grandmothers who boasted that they could spin three miles of thread
in one day, from sunrise to sunset, lived to see their little
granddaughters spin three thousand miles in ten hours with the aid
of machinery. Similar improvements were introduced into every branch
of industry. The machinery belonged to the employer and he added the
saving to his profit. He did not need so many workmen to produce all
that the people were able to purchase, and the workmen were dismissed
to join the mighty army of the unemployed. For a time certain skilled
workmen were enabled to maintain living wages by means of organization,
but continued improvements in machinery ultimately enabled common
laborers to take their places, and reduced the number of experts
required, to such a degree, that their condition was but little better
than that of the unskilled. Among the best paid organizations of the
olden time was the Locomotive Engineers, but ultimately, electricity
took the place of steam, and a motor-man from the ranks of common
labor took the places of both an engineer and a fireman. The machine
displaced three-fourths of the printers at first, and later a still
larger number of what remained, by introducing the principles of
multiplex telegraphy, which enabled one expert to operate machines at
the same time in a number of separate offices in different parts of the
world whenever the copy was the same.

"Labor economists called attention to this displacement of labor
by machinery, but the press and the politicians in the service of
the corporations claimed, that this cheapening of production was of
great benefit to the people by securing a corresponding reduction in
prices. Finally, after a persistent agitation for years, the national
Commissioner of Labor was required to make a careful examination,
and in his report, among a multitude of similar items, we find that
the labor cost of a five-dollar hat was only thirty-four cents; a
ten-dollar plow, seventy-nine cents and so on to the end of a long
catalogue of commodities which the people always needed. The question
was, Who got the difference between the amount received by the
actual producer and the price paid by the consumer? The answer was
self-evident; outside of clerk hire, it must have gone to pay profits
in some form to non-producers. But after this official demonstration
that the 'lion's share' of the wealth created by productive labor went
to nonproducing speculators, the great masses of the people still
continued to use their influence to perpetuate this inequitable system
which practically confiscated the wealth created by their labor to pay
profits on speculative investments.

"The mass of the small dealers of that time were no better off, in
many respects, than the wealth producing laborers, but being in some
sense a part of the profit-exacting system, they held to it longer,
in the vain hope that a time might come when by some fortuitous turn
in business, or lucky speculation, they could amass millions. As a
class they had never devoted themselves to an earnest and careful study
of economic questions, but as long as the people came and purchased
goods and left a profit in their hands, they were satisfied, and
paid no attention to the far reaching influences which were surely
paving the way to their ultimate failure in business. Hence it was
not until just before the end of the old civilization that they began
to realize that something was the matter. Sharp competition among the
large number of small dealers reduced the average profits below a fair
compensation for the labor expended, and large combines with unlimited
money capital, were able to meet the universal demand for cheap goods.
The dealers were finding themselves crowded out of business. They
blamed their customers for not giving them the preference, even if the
large department stores could afford to sell for less. They demanded
legislation against the large stores and took an active interest in the
Anti-Trust agitation of the time.

"This opposition to Trusts and Department stores, like the farmer's
organizations and trade unions, took a very narrow view of the
situation. They saw their profits decreasing and their sole object was
to prevent this, without any reference to the interests of the people
who as purchasers of goods must pay all the profits. The masses of
the people understood their motives and did not hesitate to patronize
Department stores and purchase Trust products, provided they could get
them for less. They might have been able to protect themselves from the
inordinate greed of the trusts and combines, by taking their customers
into partnership and with their assistance organizing consumption and
thus controlling distribution for the equal benefit of all. This would
have been in exact accordance with the ideal that had been handed down
in their system of religion, that we should always do unto others as we
would have them do unto us.

"The entire history of Altruria as an independent republic belongs to
the Transition Period in the progress of the world and in a larger,
but not so well defined a sense it extends to the discovery of the
continent, and even to an earlier period, distinguished by the
breaking up of the ancient religious hierarchy and the introduction
of a constantly increasing number of warring sects. These were the
evolutionary forces developed under the operations of natural law, in
strict accordance with the constitution of the human mind, which always
tends towards the utmost possible development of the race, physically,
mentally and morally. These forces in the early stages of human
development, work so slowly, that even the best trained intellects do
not discover their existence and hence have no power to intelligently
co-operate with them, with a view to accelerating their own progress
upward toward the highest possible planes of development. But, it was
during the last fifty years of this Transition Period, that all these
forces became more apparent to the careful historian, and it is these
to which I have more particularly directed your attention.

"Human selfishness on the lower planes of development constitutes the
first step in the development of that higher selfhood, which is the
predominating characteristic on the higher planes. During the last
fifty years of the Transition Period, human selfishness, in the baser
sense, was making its last struggle for existence as the controlling
factor in human affairs. All classes of people were inspired to action
by selfish interests, and these interests could not fail to clash. Out
of this clashing between forces they ultimately learned that the best
and highest interest of every individual could always be secured by
carefully guarding the interest of every other individual. Out of this
was evolved our present universal rule, which governs our relations
towards each other, of 'each for all and all for each,' and hence all
are equally secure in the exercise of every natural right and in the
possession of absolute economic independence.

"The Gold Power sought for and secured universal dominion over all the
nations of the earth and there being no other nations to conquer, in
its inordinate greed, it continued to impose additional burdens upon
the people. This met opposition, first from one class and then from
another, but all these movements were animated by the same element of
selfishness which characterized the Gold Power. The farmers organized
to secure better conditions for themselves without any regard to the
interests of the millions of wage workers and others upon whom they
depended for a market. The workmen organized to secure better wages
for the members of their unions with no regard for any other class
of people, or even for other workmen who did not belong to their
fraternity. At the close of the old system the small dealers and
manufacturers were unanimous against the encroachments of the vast
combines who could undersell them, but they ignored the interests of
the great mass of consumers upon whom they depended for a market.
Selfishness, in the baser sense, guaranteed the failure of all these
movements. No one class of people, seeking to promote its own selfish
interests was able to hold its own against the superior intelligence of
the great financiers who had planned to financially conquer the world
by controlling the world's supply of gold through an organized system
of creating debts both actual, for borrowed money, and constructive as
investments which exacted tribute from the wealth producing classes.
This process of debt creating continued until in this country the
entire volume of sixteen hundred millions of money of all kinds
would have paid but a fraction of the annual charge for interest,
dividends, etc., upon investments and all the gold in the world, about
$4,000,000,000 would have paid but a fraction of the principal.

"But another, and in the end the most potent evolutionary force which
was destined to emancipate the people, was the arousing of the moral
sense of large numbers who had never turned their attention to the
study of economic science but whose souls revolted at the conditions
imposed upon vast multitudes of people. The Gold Power while still a
mighty factor in the control of the religious press and a large number
of the leading religious teachers of the country, was not able to still
the voice of the truest disciples of Krystus, and these demanded that
the spirit of the founder of their religion should be exemplified in
the practical every day affairs of life. They well understood that if
the people were doing to each other as they would have others do to
them, there could be no such thing as poverty, with all its tendencies
towards vice and crime. These pioneers of a Diviner Civilization, with
nothing but a theological training, were perhaps not clear in their own
minds, as to just how this Golden Rule could be applied in business
under the prevailing financial and commercial systems of the country,
but they did believe that the ideal in every human relation could be
realized, and they insisted that the effort should be made by every
true follower of Krystus, to establish the dominion of good upon earth
to the end that righteousness might prevail in human affairs.

"For this grand culmination, the operation of the evolutionary forces
for the last fifty years had been a post-graduate course for the
workers who were to set the machinery in motion, on the material plane,
by which all the crushing burdens imposed by Greed could be easily and
speedily removed. And in this course, the mistakes made by the people
had been the most potent educators. The producing classes had been
induced to organize because they felt that they were not getting their
just share in the distribution of wealth; but to save that which was
lost in the distribution, they made the strange mistake of organizing
as producers. The farmer had no need of an organization, to enable him
to produce more wealth. The soil would produce just as much without
such organization as with it. The same thing was true of mechanics,
miners and other wage-workers, who organized in their capacity of
wealth producers. But as consumers they could all stand on one
platform, and being the market upon which all producers must depend,
they would be masters of the situation. With an equal distribution of
the benefits of such organization of consumption, it would be just as
easy to pay dividends to labor, and thus increase their share in the
distribution, as it was to pay dividends on capitalistic investments.

"So it was, that at a time when every thing seemed hopeless, the few
who never yield to disappointments, and who had made an exhaustive
study of existing economic conditions reinforced the earnest followers
of Krystus who were demanding the application of the Golden Rule in
business by formulating methods by which this much desired result could
be attained. They had studied the moral problem that confronted the
religionists, from the objective side, and understood just how it must
be solved along business lines. Inasmuch as all material wealth was
created by labor, and distributed by being bought and sold, it followed
as a logical sequence, that there was but one way by which every useful
worker could secure a just share in the distribution, and that was to
take charge of the business of exchange (buying and selling) and divide
the benefits equally among all who united their efforts to establish
the largest possible round of exchange between producers and consumers.
This was simply the organization of the market for the express purpose
of establishing Equity in Distribution, by paying dividends to labor.
The people had at last discovered the vital truth upon which the
application of the Golden Rule depends, that ORGANIZED CONSUMPTION
CONTROLS DISTRIBUTION.

"Organizations of consumers were effected with a view to concentrating
their purchasing power through channels of their own, not to reduce
prices, but to pool the net profits into a common fund for the equal
benefit of all the members. A portion of this was set aside as an
educational fund to extend the work, and the remainder was used to pay
dividends to the members who, as customers, had paid the profits into
the common treasury. This was known as the "Dividend to Labor," and it
was always distributed equally, as it had been secured by the united
purchasing power of all the members. And, in order to secure this fund,
which belonged alike to all, no member had added one cent to his or
her cost of living. It was all a saving, as between the new equitable
system of exchange and the old and wasteful profit system. This was a
PROFIT-SAVING BUSINESS MACHINE of which the PRODUCERS who constituted,
in the main, the great markets of the world, COULD NOT BE DEPRIVED, and
WITH THIS, it became a matter of indifference as to who had immediate
control of the LABOR-SAVING MACHINERY of PRODUCTION.

"This movement had its origin in the West where the people were more
inclined to think for themselves, but the benefits were so decided
and so easily secured, that it spread rapidly. The first exchanges
demonstrated that the use of money could be very largely minimized,
and banks were established as depositories for all the money that
came into their hands, and to facilitate their financial relations
with unorganized communities where money was still a necessity. These
savings of money, were held as a sacred trust, to enable the members to
pay taxes, and debts, in cases where the creditor could not be induced
to take products at a fair price. Among themselves they used exchange
certificates which were issued on the deposit of products or money, and
for necessary labor. These certificates being issued on values which
were seeking a market and redeemed in products needed for consumption
and cancelled, constituted an ideal currency that was always just equal
to the demand,--neither more nor less.

"The people learned by experience how easy it was to minimize the use
of money, and the tendency of this decrease in the demand for money,
was to relatively increase the amount in circulation. It was easy now,
for the most unfamiliar with business methods, to understand how
the large operators, under the old system, had enriched themselves
by making their settlements through great clearing houses where one
obligation cancelled another and only two or three per cent. of money
had been used to pay balances; and they could see how even this balance
among wealth producers, could take the shape of a check against future
production and money be entirely eliminated as a medium in the exchange
of wealth.

"All the people who were doing their buying and selling through these
exchanges were regularly supplied with carefully prepared literature
on economic questions and business methods, and of general information
as to the trend of current events, the progress of the new order which
placed business on an ethical basis and all matters of advantage
for an independent, cultured citizenship to understand. Then for
the first time, the multitudes began to realize the weakness of the
fragile thread by which they had been bound to the triumphal car of
Capitalism. Their experience gave them confidence. They used the same
business methods for the benefit of the many that had enabled the
few to concentrate in their own hands four-fifths of the wealth of
the country. It was therefore no untried experiment. They were only
exercising the same kind of business sagacity that had been used by the
money kings to financially conquer the world. Just in proportion as
they decreased the demand for money, it flowed in upon them in exchange
for their products at a steadily increasing price. They had established
a DEBT-PAYING instead of a DEBT-CREATING system of business, and in
the course of time their debts were all paid, the necessity for legal
money had disappeared, the people were free from its exactions, and all
they had to do was to produce what they consumed and consume what they
produced, exchanging equivalent for equivalent for the equal benefit of
all. And thus the world had been saved from its thralldom to Greed by
the establishment of the 'Kingdom of God and His Righteousness' as had
been enjoined by Krystus at the beginning of the old religious system
two thousand years before. This which was enjoined at the beginning of
the Dispensation was REALIZED at its close and hence the FIRST BECAME
THE LAST, because the LAST was THE FIRST REDUCED TO PRACTICE IN HUMAN
AFFAIRS."



CHAPTER XIII.

  BONA DEA--MATRON'S HOME--PRE-NATAL INFLUENCES--IMPROVING THE
  AIRSHIPS--BATTELL EXPLAINS--PLANS FOR THE FUTURE--MUSEUM OF UNIVERSAL
  HISTORY--RELICS OF THE PAST--BUILDING TOWARD OUR IDEALS--LAW OF HUMAN
  PROGRESS--PRESAGING THE FUTURE--PROFIT CAUSES POVERTY--EQUITABLE
  EXCHANGE THE REMEDY.

[Illustration]


AS I listened to Norrena's description of the financial and commercial
system which had once existed in Altruria, I could not help but notice
its close similarity to the system which prevailed in the outer world.
As he elucidated the international and seemingly unlimited power that
had been exercised by the owners of gold, and how it would take all the
gold in the world to pay a small fraction of the annual interest on
the obligations held against the people, my heart sank within me at the
utter hopelessness of their condition.

I was expecting to hear that the people in their desperation had
blotted this power from the earth with fire and sword, but the speaker
finished with merely a description of a more equitable system of
transacting business. Just as he had come to this most interesting
place in the discussion, the Institute closed and took a recess for
dinner, and MacNair began to introduce us to the superintendents of
many of the large educational institutions of the country who were
members.

As we were leaving the hall Oqua joined us, accompanied by a
magnificent looking woman whom she introduced to me as Bona Dea, the
superintendent of the Matron's home at Lake Byblis, saying:

"My dear Nequa, I want you to learn that in Altruria we commence the
education of children before they are born. This is what these Matron's
homes are established for, and Bona Dea is superintendent of one of the
oldest, largest and most thoroughly equipped institutions of this kind
in the world. I want you to make her acquaintance, and I doubt not that
you will become fast friends."

"I am indeed glad to meet you," I said, "as I want to learn all that I
can about these, to me, strange educational institutions."

"And I," said Bona Dea, "shall be happy to give you any information in
my power. Oqua informs me that you are preparing a book descriptive of
our civilization, and I am much interested as an Altrurian in what it
may present to the people of the outer world."

"Yes," I said. "And by all means, I want it to contain a review of
these Matron's homes, and all that can be learned in regard to their
origin, and the good they are designed to accomplish for humanity."

"That, indeed," said Bona Dea, "would constitute a most important
volume in a series, but it should not be the first one in a thorough
treatment of the evolutionary forces which work for the development of
the race toward higher and better conditions."

"Then," I said, "would you have me ignore this, to me, most singular
system of commencing the education of children before they are born?"

"There is nothing singular about the system," said Bona Dea. "Even
the savages of the olden time did the same thing, but they did not
know it. The mothers were surrounded by the conditions of savagery,
and their children were born predisposed to become savages. These
pre-natal influences are in fact the commencing point in the education
of every child that is born, as they pre-dispose the child to a
life of usefulness, or the reverse, according to the character of
the influences. The object which our Matron's homes are designed to
accomplish is to provide the best possible conditions, to start the
child with a strong, healthy body and mind, with a kindly disposition
and elevated aspirations toward the highest possible intellectual and
moral development."

"If such results," I said, "can be secured by the establishment of
these homes, you certainly would not dissuade me from an exhaustive
review of the entire question?"

"Certainly not," she said, "but as a teacher of your people I would
have you follow the natural law and begin your work at the beginning.
From what I can learn, your own country is now passing through its
Transition Period, similar to that described in Norrena's lecture,
and hence the first great duty of your people is to abolish poverty.
When the fear of want is removed from every household the first effect
will be to place better pre-natal conditions around the mothers, and
the next generation will be placed on a higher plane physically,
intellectually and morally. This is the first step that your people
must take and then the Home may be introduced for the scientific
adaptation of pre-natal influences to specific purposes. Then you will
begin to determine in advance whether the child shall be an inventor,
scientist, philosopher, poet, musician, teacher or explorer. The
Homes are scientifically adapted to specific purposes, while economic
independence and general education lift the entire people to a higher
plane of being along every line of human effort. What your people need
now, is the general, mental and moral uplifting of the victims of
your present system, and to this end, my advice to you would be, to
confine your first work to the solution of the problem, 'How to abolish
poverty.'"

"But would you," I asked, "discourage these specific measures at this
time because the masses are poor?"

"Of course not," said Bona Dea, "for those who are able to apply them,
but I would first place these advanced scientific methods within the
reach of the entire people by establishing economic independence for
all. This is simply following the natural law of human development."

"Will you," I asked, "please explain just what you regard as the
natural law of human development?"

"It is the law of growth," said Bona Dea, "and always begins at the
base and works its way upward. The plant germinates in the earth and
then pushes its way upward towards the light. The growth of the
animal organism from conception to maturity is along the same line
of progression, from the bottom of the scale, toward the top. In the
growth of human civilization and the mental, moral and spiritual
elevation of the race, the same general law of evolution holds
good. The elevating influence must reach the people through their
environments. The real man and the real woman, is the ego or spirit.
The physical body is the outermost environment of the individual being.
By improving the physical conditions we stimulate the mental organism
into a healthy activity, and the result is intellectual growth, and
spiritual unfoldment. Such is the natural law of human progress from
the physical through the mental to its culmination in the spiritual or
divine, which is the very highest type to which we aspire."

"This," I said, "looks like a concise and logical statement of the
natural law, but how do you apply it to the present conditions
which exist in my own country? We have a civilization and many very
intelligent, well meaning and well to do people who might be greatly
benefited by a better understanding of the influences of pre-natal
conditions."

"Doubtless that is true," she replied, "but your duty as a teacher is
to take the whole people into consideration and not a part, and in
your work for their enlightenment begin at the bottom of the scale.
Your present civilization was developed along the lines of unconscious
growth, jest as the child grows from birth to maturity. But your work
as a teacher and civilizer is to work along conscious lines and lay
your plans with due deliberation. Having, as it were, reached the top,
you are able to give instruction to those who are lower down and help
them to climb higher. The place of the teacher is one which demands
that you should understand the natural law of growth, so that you
may work to the best advantage. Hence your work is to begin with the
outer environment, the physical, and that which pertains to the higher
will take care of itself. It is not the whole, but the sick, who need
the physician, so it is not the wise, but the ignorant who need the
teacher. For these reasons I advise you to confine your present work
more to the economic, as that would prepare the field for the higher,
and that, just where it is most needed, among the poor."

"I think I comprehend your meaning," I said, "and shall act accordingly
in the preparation of my first volume on Altrurian civilization. Oqua's
advice was very similar, but situated as I am here, these numerous
lines of thought press in upon me all at once, and there is so much
to learn, that I often find it difficult to make a selection. I am
sure that the people of my own native land are passing through their
Transition Period, and I am anxious to give them that which will do
them the most good."

"Then," interposed Norrena, who had joined us, "show them how to get
rid of poverty. Without economic independence, political independence
and personal liberty, under the law, are a hollow mockery. There can be
no progress without freedom, and there can be no freedom as long as a
people are driven to their work by the stern lash of necessity."

"But how is it," I asked, "that you have such a realizing sense of the
horrors of poverty, when you have always had an abundance?"

"Because it is the one great object," said Norrena, "of our educational
training and of our Altrurian civilization to provide against want,
and to relieve distress wherever found. Every student in our schools
is required to make a careful study of our Transition Period, the
helpless, hopeless condition of the poverty stricken masses, and the
methods by which they got out, and which must be continued in order to
stay out."

"But why," I asked, "do you now, after centuries of abundance, still
make these lessons so prominent in your educational system?"

"Because," said Norrena, "we are still on the physical plane, and if we
do not guard against them by every means in our power, these physical
evils may again overtake us. We know for a fact that eternal vigilance
is the price that we must pay for the preservation of our present
blessings."

"But constituted as your people are," I said, "with their readiness to
relieve distress under all circumstances, I should think that you have
no cause to fear a return of the old systems of oppression."

"Certainly not," said Norrena, "so far as this generation is concerned,
but should we neglect the education of the rising generation in regard
to these matters, we would begin to go back toward those conditions.
There is no danger so long as we do our duty as educators, and keep
alive the finer sensibilities of the soul. We did not reach our present
condition at one bound, and if we were to go back it would not be all
at once; but it is the duty of our teachers, to see that we do not take
a single step backwards. Hence, we educate."

We had now reached the Department of Public Comfort where we were
making our home during our stay in Orbitello. After dinner, Battell
informed us that he intended to start within an hour to Lake Byblis,
and that before he left, he desired to have some definite understanding
as to our plans for future work.

"Then," said Norrena, "you had better join me in my rooms and talk
the matter over. I feel deeply interested in your plans for opening
communication with the outer world. So if it is agreeable, come with
me."

We accepted the invitation, and were soon discussing what was now the
leading thought in our minds--the improvement of the airships with a
view to forming a connection between the inner and the outer worlds.
Battell explained his plans for constructing a ship that could be
moved in any direction, the power to be applied instantaneously, so
as to be able to meet all the contingencies of a storm and contending
currents of air. Then plans were discussed for protecting the occupants
from intense cold. For this purpose, I had plans of my own which I
did not divulge. Several ways were proposed for making the vessel
proof against cold, but I saw at a glance, that with all of them, the
freezing moisture on the inside, would so obstruct the vision as to
very materially interfere with the proper guidance of the vessel.

"Before I left," said Battell, "I gave plans and specifications for an
entirely new ship, that I want you to test in a storm, if you can find
one, and report as soon as possible. Captain Ganoe has agreed to go
with me and assist in its completion. As soon as it is ready I will let
you know. Will you come to Lake Byblis and start from there? or shall I
send it to some other point? What will be your address?"

"I have made no arrangements for the future," I said, "that will in the
least interfere with the proposed trial trip to the southern verge. I
think, however, I had better remain here a few days, as there are some
questions that I want to study, and to that end, I shall take a look
through the Museum of Universal History."

"Well, get your book ready," said Battell, "and we will find the means
to send it where it will do the most good."

"I have sufficient material ready," I said, "for a number of books,
but the question now is, How much out of the great abundance, shall I
select to go with an account of our discoveries?"

"Well, I should think," said Battell, "that you could not send a
very large proportion of what you can find in a single one of these
exhibits, to say nothing of the libraries; but do your best. I have
work that must be completed, in order to make yours available, so
good-bye, and may success attend you."

Captain Ganoe, MacNair and Iola accompanied Battell to Lake Byblis, and
Norrena, Oqua and myself went to the museum.

This was a most magnificent structure, situated on the river, on a
point of land where the river leaves Orbitello and makes a sharp
turn toward the east. The building was a hexagon, about 600 feet in
diameter, and the foundation had been excavated down to the level of
the water, which gave one-half the building the appearance of extending
out into the river. In the center of the building was an inlet for
boats for which there was a spacious landing, enclosed by broad, marble
steps on three sides. At the center, and each of the six corners,
was an elevator which connected with each floor. Around what may be
regarded as the main building, was a broad extension in the form of
an inclined floor, that communicated at frequent intervals with the
several stories, either on the level of the floors or by easy flights
of steps.

On the periphery of this inclined spiral floor, was a railing. The
whole of the external structure was supported by massive and highly
ornamented columns of aluminum which reflected the light like burnished
silver. In the center, and supported from above, was a double track
electric tramway, with cars moving each way at short intervals. This
arrangement gave the entire floor space to pedestrians and those using
electric chairs and other small vehicles. The lower stories of this
immense building, up to the level of the bluff, contained supplies
of all kinds, required by those engaged in river transportation.
The upper stories of the building were devoted to the preservation
of relics and records commemorative of past civilizations and
taken altogether, presented to the eye a complete history of man's
progressive development along every line from the earliest period of
recorded history. This wonderful exhibit, enabled the student to trace,
by means of practical illustrations, the progress of the mechanical
arts, from the original crude contrivances to the present high state of
development under which drudgery was unknown, and the people were in
the full enjoyment of all the comforts of life with a minimum of labor.
It is no part of my intention to attempt to give more than the most
cursory mention of this wonderful exhibition of industrial progress.

One feature, however, impressed me most and that was the striking
similarity in these exhibits, to the much smaller ones, which I had
visited in the outer world. The methods which had prevailed in the
different stages of civilization, were almost identical with those
prevailing in the corresponding stage of outer world development. In
water craft for instance, the raft of logs bound together with thongs
and propelled by poles came first, followed by canoes hollowed out of
logs. Then smaller boats with oars, and growing in dimensions until
they assumed the shape of Roman galleys and the ships of the Northmen.
Then sails were introduced and later, steam became the motor power.
So, of the methods of land transportation. The sledge and ox-cart were
followed in time by the stage coach, this by the electric car, and last
came the airship.

I asked Norrena to explain this remarkable similarity.

"This," said he, "only indicates that human development along every
line of progress is determined by the constitution of the human
mind. Knowing this, we have the key which explains all the mysteries
connected with the progress of the race from lower to higher
conditions. At every step it has been met by similar difficulties and
hence the methods for overcoming these difficulties have been similar,
because all have alike possessed the same mental constitution. This
progress up to a certain point, has been along unconscious lines, and
the average man and woman had no clear understanding of the influences
which were impelling them forward. In every age, and in every condition
of life, man has been building in the direction of his ideals, but
never reaching them. In his primitive state, he felt the need of some
means for crossing streams, and having observed that wood floated
upon the water, he constructed a raft. From this he formed the plan
of a boat, and constructed a canoe. As he improved in the direction
of his ideals, these ideals became more exalted, and to-day we have
the magnificent electric yacht. So it has been in every department of
human effort. The higher the ideals which have been formed in the mind
of man, the higher he has climbed in the scale of development. This
is the fundamental law of human progress. Every one of these relics of
past ages was at first an ideal that had been formed in the human mind
before it was realized."

"A thought strikes me," I exclaimed. "If all these ideals have been
realized, is it not a promise, or a prophecy, that our ideals of
to-day, will be realized in the future? And if from the constitution of
the human mind we could presage the ideals of the future, we could in a
general way predict what the civilization of distant ages will develop."

"Certainly," said Norrena. "Your thought is strictly philosophical
and applied to our immediate future it gives an infallible rule for
presaging events where we are familiar with the forces impelling in
a certain direction. If we can ascertain where we are to-day on any
given line of progress, we can safely predict what the next step
will be on the same line, for all things are possible to the human
mind in its ultimate state of development. There is no such thing as
actually turning back in the path of progress, much as man may seem
to retrograde at times. The lessons taught by these seeming failures
are essential elements in his still greater development further on.
Nothing that is useful can be permanently lost to the race. What we are
inclined to call evil, is fleeting and fades away, while the good, the
true and the really valuable is immortal. Hence, human progress towards
higher and better conditions, as applied to the race, and long periods
of time, must ever be onward and upward toward the Infinite Good."

"I have always," I said, "been deeply interested in everything
pertaining to the progress of the race, but I have been inclined to
regard it as somewhat a matter of chance. You seem to have reduced
it to an exact science. I can understand how certain influences are
necessarily toward improvement, but how is it that our elevation is
assured when so many are unconscious of such a tendency, and in the
outer world at least, multitudes seem to be bent upon getting lower
instead of higher in the scale? I feel quite sure that the masses of
our ancestors in the past, were no better than the masses now, and
did not consciously co-operate with nature for their own improvement.
It seems, however, that by some kind of a blind chance they may
have contributed something, but it certainly was not intentional. I
see a different influence working here and the people are evidently
co-operating with nature for the good of all, but I fear that it will
be a long time before the people of my own country will reach that
stage of development."

"Do not be discouraged," said Norrena. "The constitution of the
human mind is a guarantee of human elevation. The history of human
development presents two distinct stages, the unconscious and the
conscious. All progress from the simple cell to the human being, is
of course unconscious and is governed by fixed and immutable laws.
These same laws control human development up to the point where
knowledge enables the race to consciously participate in the work of
its own elevation. As soon as the people are sufficiently developed
to understand the operation of the laws which control their own
unfoldment, they will enter upon an epoch of conscious progress
by careful and well concerted measures. When at the close of the
Transition Period our people reached that stage, the change for the
better in every direction came suddenly upon the world, because the
masses of mankind felt the need of something better. Unconscious
development had prepared them for the wonderful change. The blind
forces which had been slowly urging man upward toward a higher plane of
existence, now had the aid of careful and well devised methods, and the
long ages of darkness disappeared in the blaze of light which was let
in upon the world."

"And from this," I said, "am I to infer that you think America is
about ready for such an uplifting of the masses? Your description this
forenoon of the Transition Period of this country, would pass as an
accurate delineation of the present condition in my own. The belief
is widespread among thoughtful people in the United States that our
country is on the eve of some great change. Persons of an optimistic
turn of mind believe that we are near the beginning of a higher, nobler
and purer civilization than the people have ever enjoyed before, while
the pessimistic are equally sure that we are destined to go back toward
barbarism. I want so very much to be able to disseminate the light that
will dispel this darkness from our future."

"I think," said Norrena, "that you have no cause for alarm. From what
I can learn the optimists of your country are largely in the majority,
and a general expectation of something better for humanity, is a
powerful psychic force, to produce something better. If your people
earnestly desire better things for the masses and at the same time
believe that better things are in store for them, your future is most
hopeful, as the people cannot fail to find out how to attain the object
they are seeking."

"Thank you," I said. "But where is the light, and what can I do to shed
it broadcast among them?"

"The light," said Norrena, "is latent in every human soul and is
manifested in the readiness with which all classes of people render
assistance to those who are placed in peril or are suffering from
some great affliction. This is the light that is manifested in your
charitable institutions and public hospitals for the relief of the poor
and the physically infirm. When those who provide these institutions
for the relief of suffering humanity learn how the sufferings which
now appeal to their sympathies can be avoided, this latent light will
be developed into a flame that will enlighten the whole earth and the
darkness will disappear as if by magic."

"But this," I said, "does not tell me how that latent light can be
developed into such a flame. Human sympathy has always existed,
but as yet in the outer world it has not succeeded in removing the
suffering which appeals to our sympathies. By what means can this be
accomplished?"

"By the discovery and application of the principles of equity in all of
our relations toward each other," said Norrena. "To assist you in this,
I suggested that we take a look through this Museum. In the relics
of past ages which you find here, you can trace the operation of the
fundamental laws of human progress. On this floor you have the works of
man in his lowest condition. On the floor above, you find relics of a
higher civilization. These have been classified as nearly as possible
in their natural order, from the lowest to the highest, with a view to
teaching the progressive development of the race in the most effective
manner."

"I realize the importance," I said, "of such a collection to every
student. But all this comes before your Transition Period and I do not
see its bearings upon the great problem of the present day in my own
country--how to secure the same conditions which I find prevailing
here."

"As yet," said Norrena, "you have only seen the relics of barbarism.
This museum is twenty stories high above the level of the bluff on
which it stands, and each story bears its record of the onward and
upward progress of the race. The first were erected soon after the
Transition Period, but others have been added since that time, to make
room for the evidences of our progress. We will now ascend to the one
devoted to the Transition Period."

We stepped upon the elevator and in a moment more were ushered into one
of the upper stories, and I found myself confronted by a display, such
as would characterize a first-class exposition of the present day in
the United States; with this difference, however; it represented the
poverty and misery of the hovel as faithfully as it did the grandeur
of the palace. Everything seemed familiar and I felt as if I had been
suddenly transported to New York or London. Every feature of the
competitive system of production and distribution was appropriately
illustrated, together with the inevitable consequences to the people;
wealth beyond the dreams of avarice for a favored few and hopeless
poverty and degradation for the many.

The clothing of the workmen in contrast with the gorgeous apparel of
the fashionable bon ton; the furnishings of the hovels of the poor and
the mansions of the rich placed side by side; the coarse and homely
fare of the wealth producer compared with the dainty viands of the
non-producer; all told more plainly than words the story of undeserved
poverty, and in millions of cases, the abject want and misery of
the most useful classes of society, in striking contrast with the
unearned abundance of the idle, and for all practical purposes, the
useless rich. The manner in which the wealth created by the toiling
millions, passed through the channels of trade, into the possession
of a few wealthy speculators, was illustrated by pictures and printed
explanations, in almost endless variety, so that even the most obtuse
observers, could not fail to get a clear idea of the practical workings
of a system of commercial exchange, under the operation of which,
interest, profit and rent were always added to the market price of the
product, every time it changed hands.

One of these illustrations was entitled, "Thirteen Usuries on One
Hog." It represented a hog passing from the farmer at one end of a
long bridge to the workman at the other. From the time the hog starts
from the producer on the farm until it reaches its destination in the
workshop of the consumer, its size (price) has become colossal.

In exchange for the hog a plow starts from the shop to the farm, and
the size (price) increases in the same proportion. Every time any
commodity passed one of the commercial toll gates established between
the producer and the consumer, the price was increased for the benefit
of speculators who contributed nothing to its value. All this was of
course to the manifest loss of the producers. The long bridge was
labeled, THE PROFIT SYSTEM.

In contrast with this was a short bridge labeled Equity, over which
products were passing both ways from the producer to the consumer,
without changing size. Over this Equity bridge the product passed
directly from the producer to the consumer by the shortest practicable
route, and was only handled one time. Over the Profit bridge,
goods became shelf-worn and deteriorated in value, by the frequent
changing of hands. These two bridges, Profit and Equity, were given
as symbolical representations of the Cause and Cure of poverty. There
was no mistaking the lessons taught by them; neither could there be a
doubt of their truth. Under the Profit system of exchange the managers
are self-employed and it is legitimate that they should have a profit
for the service rendered, and the larger the profit, the larger the
number who can make a living out of it. Under Equity, the managers are
employed by their customers and it is to their interest to see that the
business of exchange is carried on with the smallest possible amount
of work in handling the product. Hence the Profit system necessarily
entails poverty upon the masses who have no interest in the exchange,
while Equity secures abundance, because the exchange is effected by
their own agents at the least possible expense. Hence, under Equity,
the product passes from the producer to the consumer without changing
size, and the cost is fixed by the amount of labor expended in its
production, superintendence and transportation; and all parties to the
transaction, get the exact value of their services; but under this
system there is nothing for the money king, the profit-monger and the
landlord.

"You see," said Oqua, who had been unusually silent and pre-occupied,
"that this symbol of the two bridges, tells the whole story of the
difference between the profit system of exchange and the equitable;
between the old system with its widespread poverty and the new with its
abundance."

"I see the difference," I said, "but it is not so clear to my mind just
how the people can pass from one bridge to the other; from PROFIT to
EQUITY."

"That is very easy," said Oqua. "Change the PURPOSE for which business
is transacted. Instead of exacting profit from the producer and the
consumer, conduct business for the purpose of establishing equitable
relations between the producers and the consumers. When this is
done the profit system will have been removed and equity will bring
abundance to the household of every producer, and poverty will be
abolished."

"I can well understand," I said, "what the effect of a change of
systems would be, and it is equally clear to my mind that the money
kings, trust barons and landlords could, if they would, easily
introduce the change, but how could the poverty stricken people make
such a change in the business system of the world? If it is done at
all, it must be done by the very poor, and under the profit system the
very poor are helpless."

"That, 'under the profit system,' is well put in," said Norrena,
laughing. "It is undoubtedly true, that 'under the profit system,' the
producers are helpless; and it is equally true that as long as they
remain under this system, they will continue to be helpless. It is also
true that the selfishness of the wealthy managers will never consent to
the change so long as they can prevent it."

"Then, indeed," I said, "to my mind the condition of the laboring
millions is hopeless. They CANNOT establish equity and the rich WILL
NOT."

"Why hopeless?" asked Norrena. "Do you think they would refuse to make
the change from profit to equity, if they had the opportunity to do so?"

"Not that," I said. "But the question is, How can they make the change
while bound hand and foot under the profit system?"

"Whatever has been done," said Norrena, "can be done, and you have
only to look around you to see that the change from profit to equity
has been made in this country and can be made in yours, notwithstanding
the fact that the people are bound hand and foot and will continue to
be so bound as long as the profit system continues."

"Please do not mock me," I said with some spirit. "How can a people who
are bound hand and foot, save themselves?"

"By using their heads," said Norrena. "The hands and feet may be
bound while the head is left free to think. Let this freedom to think
be exercised in the right direction and their physical bonds will
disappear."

"I am sure they do think," I responded, "and what is more, they have
been thinking for a long time."

"Then," said Norrena, "let them continue to think and they cannot fail
in due time to find out just what is the matter."

"Oh, many of them have found that out," I said, "and realize that they
are impoverished by the exorbitant profits on investments which go to
the wealthy classes."

"Then, indeed," said Norrena, "the day of their deliverance is drawing
near. They have already learned that it is the profit system that
is pauperizing them. If they continue to think, they cannot fail to
learn that the profit system could not continue without their constant
support. That when they withdraw their patronage from profit-mongers,
the profit system will disappear. If I read your literature correctly,
your people are very near the hour of their deliverance."

"They may," I said, "be driven to the violent overthrow of the present
system, but I do not see how they can speedily break their bonds in any
other manner."

"They can do it," said Norrena, "by the exercise of the same spirit of
manly independence, intelligently directed, that they now exercise in
their worse than useless strikes. You have the competitive system which
is self-destructive and hence weak. Your producing classes can organize
as consumers and take advantage of the sharp competition between
dealers to sell goods, and by a wise use of their combined power to
purchase, introduce an equitable system of exchange."

"What is that?" I asked. "Would they expect any such sweeping results
from selling their trade to the firm that would give them the largest
rebate on prices? Would not the tendency of such a movement be, to
still further curtail the demand for labor, by depressing the the price
of products?"

"Yes," said Norrena, "such a system of selling their custom for a
rebate, would have just such an effect. But you lose sight of the fact,
that wholesale dealers are competing with each other for an opportunity
to sell goods. They sell to retail dealers who can find customers for
their goods. Organize your ability to purchase, select a competent
business agent, and go into business for yourselves, and be sure not to
undersell other dealers. Your exchange will have a decided advantage
over every other dealer, because your trade will be organized and your
sales will be certain. The wholesaler will be quick to see this, and
will be anxious to get your trade, as his pay will be certain."

"But," I said, "where would be the inducement for the people to
organize their trade, with the certainty that they would pay just as
much for the goods as they did before?"

"The same inducement," said Norrena, "that people under the money
system have for depositing their earnings in savings banks. Every
time they purchase an article in their own exchange they are making a
deposit to their own credit, where it will do them the most good in
times of disaster. The profits will belong to the organized customers,
and by leaving them in the exchange they will accumulate a sample stock
of goods already paid for, from which any order can be filled. After
such a stock of goods is secured, they might at regular intervals
declare a dividend to the organized customers, leaving a percentage
on deposit with the exchange to be used to educate the people into a
comprehensive understanding of business methods and for the creation of
a fund to purchase land and give employment to their members, in order
to eliminate rent on land and save the profits on production."

"But," I said, "I do not clearly see how starting stores and saving
retail profits would enable the people to escape the demands of
interest and rent."

"The store by itself," said Norrena, "could not do this, but the
financial power that can always be secured by wise business methods
could. To the extent that the use of money can be minimized and
debts paid, of course interest will be saved. And to the extent that
consumption can be organized and concentrated, a smaller number
of business houses will also be needed and thus rent saved to the
customers who in the last analysis pay all the expenses. And just in
proportion as business houses are not needed, they will be for sale to
people who can use them, as landlords could not afford to pay taxes on
property for which tenants could not be found. This property would
all be needed by the organized consumers who, with their continually
accumulating fund from pooling the savings of profit, interest and
rent, even on a comparatively small scale, would always be able to
buy. The profits on distribution will constitute an ample fund for
socializing the land and furnishing employment for a continually
increasing number of people."

"But," I said, "to be able to hold our own against the world-wide
profit system, would require a world-wide organization."

"Do not be too sure of that," said Norrena. "The benefits of equitable
exchange in a single locality, would be most decided. Of course it
would be more effective if extended over a wider field. But the
distribution of literature, such as the accumulating profits would
enable you to make, added to the far-reaching effects of a successful
object lesson, could not fail to make the organization world wide. All
that is necessary for this purpose is a practical demonstration, that
by this system, the productive laborer and not the money king is master
of the situation."

"Is this the same plan that you outlined in your address?" I asked.

"Just the same," he said. "All that is required is such a business
organization as will cover the entire ground demanded by absolute
justice. It must look to the elimination, as rapidly as possible, of
the elements of interest, profit and rent. To avoid the payment of
interest it is necessary to minimize the use of money, and as soon
as debts are paid, refuse to use it at all. To avoid profits, you
must purchase your supplies and sell your products through your own
exchanges. To get rid of rent, use the profits to socialize the land."

"This is certainly sweeping enough," I said, "but it seems to me, that
it would be an almost endless task to induce the masses of the people
to unite their trade to such an extent as would be necessary to secure
the full measure of relief demanded by absolute justice."

"It certainly would be," said Norrena, "if you did not prosecute a
vigorous educational work, and at the same time offer inducements that
the profit system cannot afford."

"I fear that this would be impossible," I said. "The dealers with
millions of money could beat us in offering inducements to catch the
trade of the unthinking."

"Do not fear that," said Norrena. "They could not do that without
abandoning the profit system, which is all that you would ask. As soon
as you have organized trade and have a sufficient stock accumulated to
meet its demands, you will be saving interest to the extent that you
can transact business without money, and to this will be added all of
the net retail profits. This will enable you to pay a little more for
farm products than dealers can who are on the profit basis. You can
safely continue this rise in prices until you pay as much as you can
sell for. This will give you the entire trade of the farmers, and the
usual profits on all they purchase will be a net gain to your exchange,
less the slight advance on the price of products, equal to the profits
of the speculators. The price you receive for farm products, will be
exchanged for goods on which you will make a profit, and if you can
always make one profit on the exchange you will be on the high road to
success."

"But this inducement," I said, "would only reach the farmers. It would
be necessary to offer some other kind of inducement to secure the
trade of the city workmen."

"That is easily provided for," said Norrena. "Your farmer's trade,
notwithstanding the fact that you pay as much for the product as
you can sell it for, will net one profit on the goods for which you
exchange it. With all this farm trade secure, you can begin to furnish
employment to city workmen in various ways, converting the raw material
into finished products to supply your increasing trade. This will
enable you to make valuable customers out of all the workmen for whom
you can find employment. Another inducement will be, to return one-half
of the net profits on their trade in the shape of a check which will be
good at the exchange for products. This will still leave one-half as
a contribution to the educational and land purchase fund. I believe,
however, that with a vigorous and comprehensive educational work, but
few would ever draw anything in the shape of a dividend out of the
business, but leave it as a permanent investment to enable them to
secure homes, or as an insurance fund to support them in sickness and
for the benefit of their families in case of death."

"You seem to have unlimited faith in this plan of organizing business,"
I said.

"And why should I not have?" asked Norrena. "These principles have
been tried in this country and we know by experience that they cannot
fail, wherever they are intelligently and honestly applied, on a scale
large enough to constitute one good object lesson as to what can be
accomplished. The system, in practice, will demonstrate that money
is not a necessity. Money however, will still come into your hands,
even more freely, and as long as you have debts that must be paid in
money, you will have use for it. But when the debts are all paid, money
might cease to circulate, as you would then have learned by actual
experience, that you would get along better without it than with it."

"That puts me in mind," I said, "that in your lecture you stated that
the people in this country, in their movement to establish equity in
business, established banks to manage their money account. If the
movement here was started by the very poor, how did they get money for
the necessary cash capital?"

"By the accumulation from cash purchases made in their exchanges,"
said Norrena. "Their exchanges were a system of banking products, but
they issued checks on the deposit of money as well as products. As
these exchanges offered superior inducements, they received their full
share of cash trade from the beginning, and nearly all of it when their
exchange was complete. Hence they found no difficulty in establishing
their own banks under the law, and as they never loaned their deposits,
their banks could not break, and people who had money to deposit,
brought it to them for safe keeping. As the tendency of this locking
up of deposits was to curtail the circulation of money, the exchanges
provided against any oppressive stringency, by loaning on good
security, without interest, checks which were redeemable in products at
the exchanges. It was estimated by the statisticians of that time, that
every dollar locked up in the exchange banks, brought six dollars of
trade per annum to the exchange stores on which the regular customers
at these exchanges made an average of ten per cent., or sixty per cent.
upon deposits."

"Were these exchanges incorporated as joint stock companies?" I asked.

"They were," said Norrena, "but not always. The real object of the
order was to ultimately eliminate the stock corporation and substitute
the equal co-partnership. Hence when incorporated, every regular
customer was a stockholder to the same amount, and the stock might
be paid for by turning their dividends back into the business as a
permanent investment. In other words, they might pay for their stock
out of what they were able to save in their cost of living by their
abandonment of the profit system. And further, in order to protect
themselves from the danger of a constructive indebtedness in the shape
of dividend exacting stock, no certificates were issued, and the stock
paid for was always redeemable in exchange certificates payable in
goods at the option of the shareholders, or by order of the directors
of the corporation, for failure to patronize the exchange whenever
practicable. As governments were especially friendly to corporations,
it was deemed best by many, to incorporate and secure these advantages."

"This," I said, "was certainly the full measure of justice to be
secured by a stock corporation, but how were others which were not
incorporated, organized in order to secure the full measure of justice
to members?"

"There was," said Norrena, "no patent on the application of the Golden
Rule in business, and among business men there was a large number who
really wanted to see equity established in human affairs. Hence there
was nothing to hinder a merchant from entering into contracts with
organized consumers, to sell his business to them, and retain the
management at an agreed salary, under such rules and regulations for
the conduct of the business as they might adopt. By this means many
were enabled to exchange a precarious profit for a permanent income. In
cases of this kind, the merchant was benefited by securing a guarantee
against bankruptcy and the organized consumers by securing the services
of the necessary business talent to establish Equity in Distribution,
by paying equal dividends out of the net income to all regular
customers. As contracts for a lawful purpose were held sacred by the
courts a very large number held that the contract between the customers
and the manager secured greater advantages than the stock corporation
in obtaining equality of dividends."

"But," I asked, "why this equality of dividends? Was it fair to those
who purchased large quantities of goods, to require them to share
equally with those who purchased on a small scale?"

"It certainly was," said Norrena, "as it took the UNITED purchasing
power of ALL to establish a business that enabled them to effect any
saving at all, so that there would be something to divide. The large
purchaser through these exchanges got something back, while under the
profit system he would have made nothing at all. To him this equal
dividend was a comparatively small item, while it was a most important
increase of purchasing power to one who was barely able to procure
the necessaries of life. Persons in affluent circumstances were thus
enabled to help their poorer neighbors, and at the same time secure
a dividend themselves. This system of organized consumption with an
equal distribution of the net profits, was the first introduction of
the fraternal features of our altruistic civilization. It was, in its
application, a system of universal insurance against poverty for all,
who, as consumers, withdrew their support from the profit system. In
a peaceful, just and orderly manner, it enabled the poorest to take
a seat at the table which our bounteous Mother Nature has prepared
alike for all, and from which they had been excluded by human greed,
which the founders of the old religious system had characterized as the
'Mammon of Unrighteousness.'"

"Then it seems," I said, "that this was something of a religious as
well as a business organization?"

"Yes," said Norrena, "it may indeed be regarded in that light as
it was the practical application of the teachings of Krystus. This
equality of interest in the distribution of that which had hitherto
been lost to the producers of wealth under the profit system was the
first recognition, on a broad scale, of the Brotherhood of Man in the
business relations which existed among the people. This great business
organisation appealed to the enlightened self-interest of all classes
of people, and drew them into closer relations with each other as one
family, and cultivated feelings of fraternal regard for each other that
will be imperishable. With an abundance for all, the inordinate thirst
for gain had been eliminated and the application of the Golden Rule in
business had at last been established to bless mankind."

"I am deeply interested in learning more about this organization," I
said. "From your explanations I think that I have a tolerably clear
idea of its general principles, and now I would be pleased to know more
of its origin, history and experiences. As an organization it must have
passed through many trying ordeals before it had accomplished its work
of freeing the people from their thralldom to triumphant greed."

"It did have a history," said Norrena, "but it was a history of signal
and sweeping victories. Its difficulties and trying ordeals were all in
its efforts to get started right. Even the leaders of the great reform
movements of that time, many of whom had given years to the study
and discussion of economic questions, did not comprehend its scope.
The people had been so thoroughly blinded by the universal system
of doing business on money basis, that they had never even tried to
formulate plans for changing to the labor basis unless they could get
money enough to purchase everything necessary to start up the work of
production and distribution. This class of co-operators frequently put
their means together, purchased lands and established colonies. Many of
these proved quite successful, but they did not bring the benefits of
co-operation to the millions who could not pay the necessary initiation
fee to say nothing of the other millions who were forced into idleness."

"This reminds me," I said, "that Iola told me the district where I had
been making my home, was a community or colony of this kind, but she
said that the colonists were from among the very poor."

"That is true," said Norrena. "District Number One, was originally
composed of that class of people in the great city Kroy, which the
money kings regarded as dangerous, and hence they were permitted to go
upon lands for which there was no market. The leaders were people of
high culture and knew how to use their opportunities. But the colonies
of which I speak were not founded by the submerged. These colonies
demonstrated that co-operation contained elements of vital power that
was irresistible, whenever it was fairly tested. The able literature
sent out from these colonies, backed up by their experience, was a
powerful educational influence which prepared the way for universal
co-operation."

"But this organisation of equitable exchange, as I understand it," I
said, "was a business organization adapted to the general public,
which enabled the people to get possession of the machinery of
production and distribution. We have successful colonies in the outer
world and I am familiar with their methods, but how to bring these
benefits of united action to the whole people, is the question in which
I am especially interested."

"I have described its workings," said Norrena, "as clearly as my
knowledge of your language will permit, and if there is any matter
concerning which you are in doubt I will try to make it plain."

"I have no doubt of the principles," I said, "and from what I have
seen, I am persuaded that the methods could be successfully applied
wherever a nucleus of earnest reformers could be found who would make
a careful study of the situation, and adopt the same business methods
which were used so successfully in this country. I want some of the
particulars concerning the history of this organization and a concise
statement of its purposes and business methods that would serve as a
model for a similar organization in the United States."

"The first organization," said Norrena, "was effected at this place
which was then the site of one of the larger interior cities of that
day. This was the center of business for a large population of farmers
on one side and miners on the other. It started with the guaranteed
trade of one hundred families and was a success from the start, as the
result of the ample provision for educational work along the lines
indicated. Every member was supplied with a paper which was devoted
to the education of the people into a comprehensive understanding of
business methods and commercial equation, as promulgated in theory
and illustrated in practice by the Patrons of Equity. This paper
contained the official reports of the business exchanges established
under the auspices of the order. The educational work had been carried
on for a long time by a few devoted workers, before it materialized
into a self-supporting business. After that, the order spread rapidly.
A percentage of the profits was used to employ organizers and every
organization added to the trade and increased profits without any
corresponding increase of expenses. When this movement was inaugurated,
the number of commercial travelers in the country was estimated at
about 250,000. These were persons of energy and business talent. They
were quick to see the advantages which this system of commercial equity
offered to men of ability, to establish themselves in business for
which they were especially qualified, and they started out to find
locations where they could organise business on these principles."

"But was there not some danger that designing people might get control
and defeat the purposes of the organization?" I asked.

"Designing persons did get into positions," said Norrena, "but there
could be no danger to the cause from this source, as in order to secure
positions they had to adopt methods of business that could not fail to
overthrow the profit system, and as fast as business was organized,
the official paper of the order was sent regularly to every member.
If at first they did not understand the principles well enough to
protect themselves from knaves, they soon learned; and if anything was
going wrong it was soon understood by the customers. As the business
extended, the oppressive power of money decreased, and the power of
labor increased. The enthusiasm of the people was aroused to the
highest pitch, and the magnates of the old system were correspondingly
depressed. The old system was essentially weak, while the new was
peculiarly strong, and as the hosts of wealth producers came together,
and utilised the actual values created by their labor as the medium
by which exchanges were effected, prices went up as the result of
the increase in the currency, and there was no use for money except
to pay debts. Under this system, the purchasing power of labor and
products was steadily increasing, while the purchasing power of money
was decreasing. As long as money was needed to pay debts, products
were exchanged for money at the increased price fixed under the labor
standard, but when the debts were all paid, the purchasing power of
money was gone and poverty had disappeared with it. Every debt had
been paid according to contract, and in the payment of these debts the
debtors had transferred their poverty to their creditors."

"We have gone over this ground," I said, "until, as I understand it,
the great potency of this organization, was in the fact that all its
methods were especially designed to ultimately eliminate the use of
money in the transaction of business, but it occurs to me, that much
could be done in this direction, without the organization of business
exchanges, which issue certificates on the deposit of money and
products to serve the purposes of a currency."

"You are right," said Norrena. "And much was done along other lines
when the people came to understand that the prime factor in the
overthrow of the profit system was to avoid the use of money in the
transaction of business, in every manner possible. In some localities,
farther east, the use of what was known as New Occasion Notes was
introduced to facilitate exchange without money. The shoemaker, for
instance, would give his note, payable in shoes, for groceries. The
physician would give his note for groceries payable in professional
services. The grocery man had no personal use for either shoes or the
services of a physician, but he needed coal, and the coal dealer needed
both a shoemaker and a physician, and exchanged coal for the notes.
The exchange enabled the shoemaker and the physician to get groceries,
the grocery man to get coal, and the coal dealer to get shoes and
the services of a physician, and all without the use of a cent of
money. The use of these notes became so common, that to still further
facilitate exchanges, clearing houses were established where persons
who held notes payable in something they did not need, could exchange
them for notes that were payable in something they did need. This
system of exchanging New Occasion Notes grew into a general collecting
agency, and it was found that among the large number of collections
placed in its hands, a great percentage cancelled each other, and
balances could ordinarily be put in the shape of New Occasion Notes
redeemable in some kind of products or services. As a means of enabling
people to get out of debt, and at the same time facilitating exchange
and decreasing the demand for money, these agencies proved to be most
effective. The Patrons of Equity contemplated the persistent use of
every method that could be devised to minimize the demand for money
with a view to its ultimate elimination as a medium of exchange, by
the establishment of equity between producers and consumers. They had
learned that money of any kind could be inflated and contracted for
selfish purposes, and therefore it was a false measure and could not
be depended upon to mete out even handed justice to the people who used
it as a medium of exchange."

"I can plainly see," I said, "that the field of labor for such an
organisation in the outer world is practically unlimited, and I want
you to furnish me with the details of its plan of organization, as a
model for a similar one for use in my book."

"I have," said Norrena, "provided a translation of the Constitution
and By Laws of the order, together with the rules and regulations for
the government of its Exchange Department for your own use. I would
advise you, however, not to publish these in your book. Only present
the general principles, and let your people work out the details in
their own way. Start the idea to working and I doubt not that they will
discover how easy it is for them to escape from their thralldom to
greed, and when they do, it will not be long until they sever the bonds
that hold them."

"And how," I asked, "would you state these purposes so as to include
all you have given me, in the fewest possible number of words?"

"For this purpose," said he, "I cannot do better than to quote the
declaration of purposes from the preliminary constitution formulated by
the founders of the Patrons of Equity, as follows:

"'SECTION 1. The primary object of this order shall be to organize
exchange on the largest scale that may be practicable, with a view
to the establishment of equitable relations between producers and
consumers, by eliminating as rapidly as possible, every element of
cost that does not go to the producers of the wealth exchanged, less
an equitable compensation to the labor, physical and mental, that is
necessary to an economical management of the business.

"'SEC. 2. And further, as opportunity offers, to effect such an
organization of our financial relations as will enable us, as far as
practicable, to hold all the money that comes into our hands, as a
sacred trust, to be used only in the payment of taxes, and of debts in
all cases where the creditor cannot be induced to take some other form
of payment.

"'SEC. 3. To accomplish these objects, the first and leading work
of the Patrons of Equity shall be to educate the people into a more
comprehensive understanding of business methods, that will enable them
to minimize the use of money in their business relations with each
other, by an organized effort to make the largest possible number of
exchanges with the smallest possible amount of money.

"'SEC. 4. The general policy of this order, in the conduct of all
the business enterprises established under its auspices, shall be to
utilize the net profits on distribution to procure lands and establish
production, in order to provide the largest possible amount of
employment to members in good standing.'

"This declaration," continued Norrena, "when fully understood, is seen
to contain every element of a speedy uplifting of any people who are
oppressed by the power of wealth. Any person with a fair understanding
of business methods can work out the details for the application of
these principles in actual business, and any fifty families who are
able to purchase and pay for supplies to the extent of five dollars per
week, would provide an aggregate sale of over two thousand dollars'
worth of goods per month, which would be ample to start business, pay
necessary expenses and have something left. Such a business properly
managed, could, by a comprehensive educational movement, be made to
absorb the trade of any community for the benefit of the customers, and
thus create an object lesson that would be speedily adopted by other
communities, and become general. The people would be masters of the
situation, and the power of money to dictate terms would have passed
away forever."

"I should think," I said, "that everything pertaining to the
organization which won such a victory for humanity would be carefully
preserved in this Museum of Universal History."

"It is," said Norrena, "but it will be found in the story above and we
will hardly have time to extend this visit any further to-day."

"Nor to-morrow, either," interposed Oqua. "We have important work at
Byblis to-morrow, or at least there may be. Huston and Dione, want
to register as man and wife, and for some reason, Huston thinks that
Captain Ganoe will have objections, and if so, they must be taken into
account. Besides, we propose to have an excursion around the lake on
the Ice King. So we had better return to our rooms, take a rest and be
prepared to start early to-morrow morning."

"And I propose," said Norrena, "that we extend our excursion to Kroy
and complete the object lesson that records the victory of Equity over
Greed."



CHAPTER XIV.

  THROUGH THE AIR TO LAKE BYBLIS--ON THE ICE KING ONCE MORE--CAPTAIN
  GANOE IN COMMAND--MET BY THE VIKING, SILVER KING AND SEA ROVER--A
  WEDDING--HUSTON AND DIONE THE PRINCIPALS--GANOE OBJECTS--NORRENA
  INVESTIGATES--OBJECTION OVER-RULED--EXCURSION BENEATH THE WATERS OF
  THE LAKE--DOWN THE COCYTAS--THE RUINS OF KROY--ABANDONED GOLD--THE
  LAST RELIC OF BARBARISM.

[Illustration]


THE journey by airship from Orbitello to Lake Byblis was as usual
most interesting. I never tired of these aerial flights. My first was
from the deck of the Ice King in the middle of the Oscan ocean to the
continent, and now I was returning to the Ice King from the middle of
the continent. Our course was an airline, several points south of
east, over the fertile valley of the Cocytas. For a distance of twelve
hundred miles, we were first on one side of the river and then on the
other, with a bird's eye view of this highly improved valley.

We traveled at a speed of about three hundred miles an hour which
brought us to the vicinity of Lake Byblis about 10 o'clock, A.M. From
our elevated position of several thousand feet we had a full view of
the surroundings. The lake is an expansion of the river, from five to
ten miles in width and thirty in length surrounded by a magnificent
boulevard, on which we could see numerous vehicles moving. The surface
of the lake was dotted over with water craft of various sizes and
descriptions.

On the north side, Oqua pointed out the hospital to which our sailors
had been sent, the Matron's Home where Bona Dea presided, the home
for the aged, and the crematory. On the south side, and situated back
on the bluff, was the airship factory where Battell was employed
superintending the completion of his improvements on the airship,
and the Transportation Headquarters, in the Auditorium of which
it had been announced that the World's parliament was to meet the
following December, and give us a welcome to the inner world, as
citizens-at-large. Anchored in front of the Transportation building I
recognized the Ice King with the stars and stripes floating from the
masthead.

The valley of the Cocytas had the appearance of having originally been
a vast inland sea extending about twelve hundred miles from the coast
range on the east to the great continental divide on the west, and from
five to six hundred in width, bounded by high lands north and south. At
the east end of the lake the Cocytas flows through a deep gorge on its
way to the ocean, carrying the surplus waters of a vast valley of rich
alluvial lands.

Such is the geographical location of this favorite gathering place for
pleasure seekers. As we approached the famous lake we reduced our speed
and took a little time to contemplate the magnificent scene presented
to our view. But we have neither time nor space for an adequate
description.

As we reached a point directly above the Ice King we began the usual
spiral descent and in a few minutes were once more upon the familiar
decks of the old ship, and exchanging cordial greetings with our old
shipmates and many of our new found friends and associates. It was a
happy reunion.

Pat and Mike gave us a most warm hearted Irish welcome. They informed
us that they had been installed as custodians of the Ice King and were
faring sumptuously. I asked Mike how he liked the people and he replied
laconically:

"Better than I did but I don't know how much."

I pressed him for an explanation of his doubtful compliment, and he
replied that he could not understand their queer ways. At first he
thought that they had bewitched Pat, as he got right up from his sick
bed and declared that there was nothing the matter with him any more.
As Pat had stayed well, it was perhaps all right, but it was queer.
Then ever since they had been at Lake Byblis they had got everything
they wanted but when they offered to pay for it, the shopmen would look
at the money, turn it over as if they did not know what it was and hand
it back.

"In fact," continued Mike, "I don't understand them at all. They never
work to amount to anything, and yet they have an abundance, and that
of the very best. They never pay for anything and they never charge
for anything. Ever since we have been here, it has been one continual
coming and going and merry-making. But this free spread cannot last all
the time or I miss my guess."

"Well Mike," I replied, "you seem to be doing well enough, for the
present at least, and ought to be satisfied. And I can safely assure
you that you need have no fears for the future. These people have
learned that it only takes about two hour's labor per day to produce an
abundance of everything they need. In taking care of this ship, so that
they can come and see what kind of vessels we have in the outer world,
you are doing all that will ever be required of you, and when you want
to take a furlough, you can travel wherever you please and it will
not cost you anything but the evidence that you have been serving the
people by taking care of this ship."

"May be so," said Mike, "but I don't see how they can afford it."

I had no time to explain the situation to Mike, as it had been arranged
that Captain Ganoe should again take his old position on the Ice King
and give its visitors an excursion on this, to them, strange craft. The
steam age with these people had long since given place to electricity
and compressed air, as motor powers, and so a steamship in actual use
was something they had never seen. Captain Ganoe entered into the
spirit of the occasion and summoned all the surviving members of the
Ice King crew to take their accustomed places.

When this understanding was agreed upon, Polaris and Dione came
forward and invited us below for an early dinner. We found that on
the same table where they had taken breakfast with us, on our first
acquaintance, they had spread such a repast for us as had never before
been attempted on the Ice King. A goodly number joined us in doing
ample justice to the delicious viands.

After dinner, Captain Ganoe invited the company present to go with him
and have a look over the Ice King while she was being made ready for
the excursion. The first place to which he conducted us was the engine
room, but it was so neat and clean that he did not recognise it, and
turning to Huston, he said:

"What does this mean? I thought that you told me every thing was ready
to get up steam on short notice. There is not an ounce of coal in sight
and the bunkers are as neat as a lady's bandbox. How do you expect to
get up steam without fuel?"

"We shall burn water," said Huston.

"Burn water!" exclaimed the Captain. "Have your new surroundings led
you to believe that we can set aside the laws of nature?"

"Nothing of the kind," said Huston, "but I am learning much concerning
the laws of nature that I never before suspected. You see this little
metallic cube. I drop it into this jar of water. See it effervesce. I
apply this match. See how it burns! This little cube dissolving in the
water, converts it into its original gases. You see now how we can burn
water. This tank, connected by these pipes with the furnace under the
boiler, contains water that has been charged with these metallic cubes,
the constituent elements of which have been found in coal and lime. I
now turn on this prepared water and apply an electric spark. See the
fierce flame! We shall soon have steam without having vitiated the
atmosphere with smoke, which in this country is regarded as a nuisance
not to be tolerated. Dione superintended this part of the arrangements."

"Wonderful! Wonderful!" was all that Captain Ganoe had to say, and he
passed out leaving Huston at his post as engineer. I remained behind as
I wanted to have a talk with Huston, concerning what Oqua had told us,
that he and Dione intended to be registered as man and wife and that he
expected Captain Ganoe would object. I asked him why he expected any
opposition from the Captain.

"Because," said he, "Captain Ganoe, with all his good qualities, is a
living personification of every popular error which forms a part of the
outer world education, law and custom."

"But," I asked, "on what grounds do you expect him to object?"

"He will," said Huston, "unless I have misjudged the man, raise the
question that I have a living wife, from whom I have no legal grounds
for divorce. This is true so far as the law goes, but false in every
feature that constitutes a true marriage. Captain Ganoe is familiar
with all the particulars, and still he entirely disapproves of the
course I took, in taking the law into my own hands and severing the
bonds, just as soon as I discovered the fraud that had been perpetrated
on me."

"Won't you give me the particulars?" I asked. "I am especially
interested in learning all about it."

"I have no objections," said Huston. "It is no secret. But steam will
soon be up and our time is limited."

"But please give me a brief outline," I persisted. "I am indeed vitally
interested in learning the principal facts in this case."

Huston regarded me for a moment with a puzzled expression of
countenance and then said:

"I will for your sake, Jack, try to make a long story short. My father
was a planter and supposed to be wealthy. Our family was proud and
aristocratic. My father had a ward in a distant state who lived with
his sister. She was heir to an immense estate. Though I had never seen
her I had been encouraged to correspond with her, and we had exchanged
photographs. Her letters indicated remarkable talent and the highest
culture, while her photograph proclaimed to my imagination, that she
was a beauty. I was but a boy and I confess that I was fascinated by
her letters, and the affectionate interest by which she led me to the
most ardent declaration of my admiration.

"Such was the relation that had been established between us when my
father took me into his confidence and declared that he was a ruined
man and our family irretrievably disgraced, unless I could prevent it
by a marriage with his ward, Zeta Wild. The time was at hand when he
must account for her estate, which had been lost through unfortunate
speculations, and that the settlement would reveal a state of affairs
that would send him to prison for a long term of years.

"I objected to the idea of marriage with a girl I had never met, no
matter how favorably I had been impressed by her photograph and her
letters. But my father's special pleading and the pressing nature of
the danger to the family name, overcame my objections, and the day was
set for the marriage.

"Everything was artfully arranged. We arrived in the evening and met
the bridal party at the church. I was charmed with the appearance of my
bride. We were married at once, and took carriages for the home of my
aunt where a splendid wedding supper awaited us.

"Within an hour, I found that I had married a beautiful idiot. I was
shocked, and stole away from the guests into an upper room. I wanted
to think. A lamp was burning on the table. My eyes fell upon a letter
written to my father by my aunt. I recognized the handwriting. It was
my aunt who had written the letters that had charmed me so much. In
this one, she deplored the deception that was being practiced upon me,
but justified it on the ground that it was necessary in order to save
the honor of the family.

"My mind was made up. I passed out into the darkness of the night,
started for the nearest seaport and found employment as a sailor.
I have never returned home since. I learned that my father got his
ward's fortune in my name. Captain Ganoe is personally acquainted
with my father and has seen his ward at his house, who was introduced
as his son's wife. I explained the situation to the Captain, but he
disapproved my conduct in very emphatic terms, and I should have left
the ship but for the fact that I had engaged to go with Battell on the
expedition.

"I have also explained the situation to Dione and my part in this
transaction meets her approval. We shall register as man and wife, and
if the Captain objects, so much the better, as it will place my conduct
in the correct light. The marriage was a fraud and no one ought to be
bound by a fraud."

"I can most cordially sympathize with you," I said. "It is certainly
a terrible wrong to compel people to associate in such an intimate
relation when their entire natures are in rebellion against it. It
cannot be wrong to sever such bonds regardless of the claims of church
or state. A relation that is wrong, in and of itself, cannot be made
right by lawmaker or priest."

"Thank you," said Huston. "I am glad that I am not alone among the crew
of the Ice King. Indeed I believe that ultimately even the Captain will
see this question just as I do. Our intention was to register while we
were in Orbitello, but Oqua requested that we should wait until this
excursion, and to please her we consented. I do not know her reasons
for advising delay but I suppose it is all right."

"I think I understand it," I said, "and you may rest assured that her
reasons are good, and good will come out of it."

"I hope so," said Huston. "But the steam gauge points to one hundred
and here goes to all whom it may concern," and suiting the action to
the word he pulled the rope and the steam whistle resounded far and
wide, something entirely new to these people, in a country which had
abandoned steam as a motor power so long ago.

I hurried upon deck and joined Captain Ganoe. Captain Battell was at
the wheel, and all was ready. The decks were crowded with excursionists
who had never been on board a steamship, and knew nothing of steam as a
motor power, except as a matter of history. All were anxious to see the
vessel move and Captain Ganoe did not keep them waiting. He signalled
the engineer and immediately the ponderous engines began to move and
the Ice King was backing out into the water and swinging around with
her bow toward the head of the lake. She obeyed her helm beautifully
and started off with a speed of which we were proud.

The route determined upon kept us near the larboard shore, while some
miles to the starboard we could see a magnificent craft that reflected
the light of the sun like burnished silver. I asked Oqua what it was.

"That," said she, "is the Silver King, an electric yacht, built of
aluminum. She brings a load of excursionists and expects to take us
down the river. She is remarkable for her speed and her splendid
accommodations. She will meet us at the head of the lake."

I found too much to look at to take up much time in conversation, but
cannot at this time indulge in descriptions. Suffice it to say that the
scenes presented on the boulevard surrounding the lake, on the surface
of the water and in the air were most animated, and all were moving as
if to meet us at the head of the lake.

As we approached the mouth of the upper Cocytas, we met the Silver King
and while the excursionists were exchanging greetings, a strange little
craft with a dragon's head and propelled by oars, shot out from under
the cover of the river bank. At the bow were our Norwegian sailors,
Lief and Eric plying their oars most sturdily and singing a weird song,
in which I distinguished the mythological names of Odin and Thor. The
oarsmen were dressed in a strange, fantastic style, and were armed with
spears, crossbows, swords, and long hunting knives.

This strange craft came out of the river and both the Ice King and the
Silver King, as if by common impulse stopped short in their career
while the Viking, for such it was, took its place between them. To say
that I was astonished at the appearance of a style of vessel that had
been obsolete for centuries, but feebly expresses my surprise, and I
asked Norrena where it came from.

"It came from the outer world," he said, "about 2,000 years ago,
and brought a warlike crew, the general appearance of which, the
Superintendent of Festivities, has tried to imitate. The historians of
that period could gather very little information from them concerning
the country from which they came. They said that the people had to
leave because it was so cold. This gave rise to the false impression
that the outer world had become uninhabitable and that these were the
last remnants of the people."

"These people," I said, "were known as Northmen, and their ships were
called Vikings. They were the most daring of navigators, and penetrated
every portion of the outer world, and it is not at all surprising that
some of them found their way to the inside. This will probably explain
why so many of your names are identical with those of the Scandinavian
countries.

"That is correct," he said. "Many of our people are descended from this
stock and still perpetuate the names. Our records preserve the language
they brought with them as carefully as our chemists have preserved this
little boat."

"Do you intend to say," I asked, "that this is the original boat that
found its way into the inner world a thousand years ago? I thought that
it was a reproduction. How was it possible to preserve it so long?"

"Yes," he said, "this is the original boat, and it has been preserved
by forcing a chemical solution into the wood which makes it as durable
as granite."

As we were speaking, two powerful metallic arms operated by machinery
reached down from the deck of the Silver King and lifted this little
Viking and its passengers into stocks that had been prepared for it,
with the seeming tenderness of a mother lifting her babe to her bosom.
So suggestive was the manner in which it was done that I turned to
Norrena to ask the meaning, which he anticipated by saying:

"This represents the tender care that vigorous youth ought to bestow
upon age. This little boat is highly prized, as in the process of
evolution, it may be regarded as the progenitor of the Silver King. If
there had never been such boats as the Viking, there never would have
been an Ice King or a Silver King. All things must develop from small
beginnings."

The Ice King and Silver King now headed toward the mouth of the lake,
were lashed together, and the excursionists on both vessels passed
freely from one to the other. The Ice King attracted much the largest
number, but I was more anxious to inspect the Silver King.

Norrena introduced us to Captain Thorfin, as visitors and seamen from
the outer world. He conducted us first to the motor room and explained
the workings of the machinery, and showed us a system of airtight
compartments, which would, he claimed, absolutely keep the vessel from
sinking, no matter how badly the hull might be injured. He stated that
even the decks would float like cork.

When we reached the upper deck of the Silver King we found that the
oarsmen on the Viking had exchanged their warlike equipments for
musical instruments and as we came up they opened with strains of the
most thrilling music that I had ever heard. As if in response, both
the Ice King and the Silver King seemed lifted up on the crest of some
mighty wave, and what appeared to be some monster marine animal arose
out of the water behind us and moved to the starboard side of the Ice
King. It had a resemblance to a gigantic turtle, but was fully three
times as long as it was wide. As soon as the water ceased to flow from
its sides, a hatchway opened in the center and MacNair and Iola made
their appearance, and began to wave their handkerchiefs to us. I was
too much astonished at this strange apparition to even ask what it was.
Norrena relieved my embarrassment by saying:

"This is the Sea Rover, a submarine boat, that came up the middle of
the lake near the bottom. The three boats will be lashed together
and thus proceed down the lake while the excursionists will have the
freedom of the entire flotilla, and may amuse themselves in any way
they choose. See there! The Sea Rovers have brought up their dancing
floor. It is plain that they propose to have a ball. But I have some
business that I must attend to while the crowds enjoy themselves. As
this is to be a private party of invited guests, of which you are one,
I shall expect you to join us in the cabin of the Silver King."

I intuitively knew what was coming. We found the cabin as exclusive
as could have been desired for a private party. Battell and Polaris,
Huston and Dione, Norrena and Oqua, MacNair and Iola, and Captain Ganoe
and myself constituted the party on this occasion.

When we were all comfortably seated, Norrena said:

"I have invited you in here because we want our esteemed guests from
the outer world to understand all of our usages. We are going to have
what in their world is called a wedding. Ordinarily these events
attract no especial attention in this country as there are but two
persons interested. But there may be circumstances under which marriage
is not permitted. In such cases we investigate. In this country, it is
the duty of the educational department to keep a record of everything
pertaining to birth, marriage and death, as all are supposed to be
either pupils in school or graduates from school. Hence the school
record is the record of the birth, educational attainments, name,
occupation, marriage and death of every person.

"We have no such marriage ceremonies as I find described in the
literature of the outer world, but we keep a most perfect system of
records. All persons who are allowed to marry at all, are free to make
their choice. No interference on the part of others is permitted. As
a notice of their intentions, they send or bring the nativity cards
which they receive on leaving school, to the proper office where they
are registered as citizens. If there is nothing in the record which
prevents, each couple so united receives an acknowledgment and a copy
of the record, enclosed in two silver lockets, which are usually worn
around the neck. This is all there is of it unless some one objects. In
that case, there is an inquiry and the commissioner decides according
to the facts.

"I have here two nativity cards. One is that of Dione of the Life
Saving Service, and the other bears the name of Paul Huston, and
the date of his registration on the books of the Sailor's Union of
Citizens-at-large of Altruria. At the request of the applicants for
registration as man and wife, I have invited you as witnesses and will
ask if any one objects to their union?"

"I object," said Captain Ganoe.

"State your grounds of objection," said Norrena.

"Because of my certain knowledge and his own admission, he has a living
wife to whom he was lawfully married."

"Is this true?" asked Norrena, addressing Huston.

"It is," responded Huston. "I was married according to the usages of
the country where I was born and I do not believe that I have any legal
grounds for divorce, but as a matter of fact, the entire transaction
was fraudulent."

"State the facts in full," said Norrena.

"I will," said Huston, and he narrated the story of his marriage,
substantially in the same language that he had related it to me.

Norrena turned to Captain Ganoe and asked:

"Have you any reason to offer why this statement just made by Paul
Huston, before these witnesses, should not be accepted as true?"

"I have not," said the Captain. "He admits that he was married to Zeta
Wild. That he left her without any offense on her part for which a
divorce could be obtained. Hence, he is to-day a married man. Married
according to law, and he has no right to marry another woman, and Dione
has no right to take him as a husband."

"That is your view of the matter," said Norrena. "But under our usages,
the girl to whom he was married was an imbecile and had no right to be
married, and on this ground the marriage was null and void. Besides,
he was deceived, and hence the marriage being fraudulent, could not be
binding."

"A legal marriage, voluntarily entered into cannot be fraudulent, and
is always binding upon the conscience of all well meaning people."

"But," said Norrena, "if she was a person he could not love and respect
as a wife, was it not better that he should refuse to consummate the
relation?"

"Certainly not," said the Captain. "When he was married to her, that
ended it. I have no doubt that he could have lived agreeably enough
with her if he had wanted to."

"I see," said Norrena, "that you are not likely to withdraw your
objection, so we will not continue the discussion. It is my duty to
decide in favor of the true and against the false, and hence I must
over-rule your objection to the registration of Paul Huston and Dione
as husband and wife."

"Do as you please," said Captain Ganoe. "It does not change the facts
in the case. It is strange to me that any woman would accept a man
as a husband under such circumstances. So far as I am concerned with
my present light on the subject, I could not as a conscientious man,
consent to marry a woman, no matter how much I loved her, who according
to law, was the wife of another man. As an honorable man I would advise
her to return to her husband."

I had been listening intently to this inquiry. Here was a case almost
identical with my own. I had married my guardian of my own free will,
and like Huston, when I discovered the fraud by which my consent was
secured, I had taken to the sea, and now the one whom I had loved more
than life itself, and for whom I had searched for years, and with whom
I had braved all the dangers of the frozen north in order to be near
his person, had for the second time deliberately declared that he would
not marry such a woman no matter how much he loved her. My entire being
was aroused in revolt against such injustice and I arose and said:

"For the second time, Captain Ganoe, I have heard you express this
atrocious sentiment, which ignores love, the only thing which can
sanctify the union of the sexes in the marriage relation, and place
above that the debasing doctrine that man made laws are superior to
the laws of God, which are implanted in the human soul. Without love,
marriage is a curse, unholy and impure. Love is an inspiration and
cannot be transferred by the state or the church. If you have never
realized what true love signifies, of course you are excusable, but
those who have felt it, will never agree with you. Huston was right,
to take the law into his own hands and separate from his imbecile
wife. To have consummated the union, would have been a crime against
her, against himself and against humanity. And now, so far as I
am concerned, I shall drop this question. No good can come of the
discussion, and other questions of far-reaching import to the toiling
millions of the outer world, demand my undivided attention. Let us
do what we can to abolish poverty by removing time honored wrongs,
and when women are economically free, they will be able to select
companions who will not trample love under the heel of antiquated
wrong."

So saying I walked out of the cabin without waiting for reply. Oqua
followed me and as she came up by my side, said:

"Do not be disturbed. Your victory is won. Captain Ganoe cannot long
withstand the force of truth. And he has now placed his position so
plainly before our people that the truth will reach him from all sides
in a way of which he never dreamed before."

"Yes," I said, "I have won a victory, but it is over myself. He may
come to me, when he has removed the clouds from his mind and the
bitterness from his heart. I will never make any overtures. I can love
humanity and work for it, and even if my work is not understood, I know
that it will exercise an elevating influence on myself. My motto for
the future will be, 'Plenty of room at the top where true love and a
sterling devotion to the right, will be understood and appreciated.'"

"You talk like a philosopher," said Oqua, "and I have no doubt that
your heroism of character will come out triumphant, but do not permit
your resentment of a wrong to engender a feeling of bitterness toward
Captain Ganoe."

"I shall not stoop to that," I said. "I cannot afford it. My love in
the future shall go out to every human being and I still regard Captain
Ganoe, with all of his prejudices, as one of the best. I have forgiven
his weakness and want to forget. What I need now is something better to
think about."

"Well," said Oqua, "the excursion beneath the waters of the lake in
the Sea Rover this afternoon and the one on the Silver King down
the Cocytas to-morrow will give you a great many things that will
doubtless, very thoroughly engage your attention."

"That," I said, "is just what I need. Something to arouse my interest
and exclude disquieting reflections. But what of this excursion beneath
the waters of the lake? I had not heard of that."

"Oh yes," said Oqua, "the Superintendent of Festivities would not think
of slighting the Sea Rovers who make the navigation of our shallow
lakes, bays and rivers safe for such vessels as the Silver King and
their numerous passengers. They wanted to entertain our visitors from
the outer world on their own vessel and of course the excursion beneath
the water was made a part of the program."

"Well, the arrangement," I said, "is better than I anticipated and it
surely will be, to me, a novel experience to be able to see the world
of marine life as the fishes see it."

"And as the Sea Rovers see and improve it," said Oqua. "But see! They
are signaling for us to come on board."

In a few minutes we had passed out upon the dancing floor of the
Rovers and descended into an elegantly furnished cabin. I was the only
one present who had not become acquainted with the crew, and Oqua
introduced me as the Scientist of the Ice King, to Captain Doris of the
Sea Rover who gave me a cordial greeting and introduced me to a number
of his comrades. In answer to my inquiries, he gave me an entertaining
and instructive description of the duties of the submarine service.

"Our work," he said, "is to keep a careful lookout for obstructions
that might impede navigation and endanger life. This is especially
necessary in rivers like the Cocytas, where huge stones are sometimes
loosened from the rocky shores and fall into the channel, and sand-bars
form rapidly. These are discovered and removed by the submarine
patrols."

"But how," I asked, "can you get at them?"

"Nothing easier," said Doris, "as I will show you."

At once I heard the water pouring into the hold and the Sea Rover sank
to the bottom. The Captain and two of the crew passed into a little
room at the rear of the cabin and immediately I noticed that the
sides of the vessel were transparent and brilliantly lighted from the
outside. Looking out I saw the men in diving suits leisurely walking
around on the bottom, which looked like a smooth floor.

Oqua explained that by means of powerful arc lights and reflectors,
these submarine navigators were able to see for long distances even at
great depths, and that the work of removing obstructions was carried on
by means of machinery, and that the stones which fell into the channel
were reduced to powder by powerful explosives, and the surface smoothed
down like a well cultivated field. The air was continually renewed from
stores of condensed air, while the poisonous exhalations from the lungs
were absorbed by sponges having a peculiar affinity for carbon.

In a few minutes Captain Doris returned and the vessel began to move
rapidly through the water. I was much interested in the view of marine
life which was revealed through the transparent sides, and especially
in the level bottom of the lake, which, as Oqua had remarked, really
looked something like a broad, smooth, cultivated field. But soon we
turned toward the south and began to move slowly along the side of
a brilliantly lighted boulevard on which all kinds of vehicles were
passing and repassing.

I was so much astonished at this unexpected scene, so realistic and
seemingly uncanny, that I was utterly at a loss for words to express my
feelings. Oqua seeing my embarrassment came to my relief by saying:

"This is the tunnel across the lower portion of the lake and
constitutes a part of the boulevard you noticed along the shores."

"How is this?" I asked. "It is certainly not a tunnel excavated under
the lake. If anything, we are a little below the roadway and well above
the bottom of the lake with the water all around us."

"We do not," said Oqua, "excavate tunnels as we did in ancient times.
They are constructed in our machine shops. This is a metallic tube
with supports which rest on the bottom, and has many advantages over
the old fashioned, dark and dismal excavations. The material used is
a compound somewhat like common glass but as strong as steel. With
our submarine fleets it is not difficult to put the sections in place
and when completed the water is pumped out of the cavity and the
roadway is ready for use. Even across small streams, where the banks
are not too high, they are frequently preferred to bridges as more
safe and durable, but for long distances and in very deep water they
are indispensable, and in the case of deep water tunnels, they are
frequently made to span submarine gorges."

"How fortunate," I exclaimed, "that this submarine excursion was on the
program! I now see a most wonderful exhibition of the power of mind to
overcome material difficulties, that it would have been hard for me to
realize if I had received the information in some other manner."

"All things," responded Oqua, "are possible to the human mind in its
ultimate state of development--But we are now heading for the landing
at the Transportation Headquarters and we will spend the night on the
Silver King which takes us down to the ruins of Kroy in the morning."

"And," I asked, "what is to hinder you from telling me something about
these ruins now, and what they have to do with Norrena's economic
lessons?"

"They are," said Oqua, "only the relics of the great money center which
held the people in bondage during the Transition Period. When Kroy
was deserted by the money kings, the people determined to preserve
it, subject only to the ravages of time, as a warning and a lesson to
future generations."

As Oqua ceased speaking, the Sea Rover arose to the surface by the
side of the Silver King, the hatches were opened, and in a few minutes
we were welcomed on board the electric yacht by Captain Thorfin, and
invited to an elegant supper. The day had certainly been most agreeably
spent but its lessons were too suggestive and far-reaching in their
character to be adequately presented in this small volume. I was
fatigued by the incessant activity since early morning and was glad of
an opportunity to retire to my state-room and rest.

I was awake early next morning and after a hearty breakfast, we were
soon speeding down the Cocytas between two lofty walls of granite.
There was nothing to be seen but these towering cliffs for the first
few miles and Captain Thorfin gave us a specimen of the speed of
the Silver King. The cliffs seemed to dart past us as if we were on
board of a lightning express train, and yet we could scarcely feel
the motion of the vessel. I confess that I felt a little nervous at
such astonishing speed, but Captain Thorfin assured us that there was
no danger, as the submarine patrols removed every obstruction and
preserved a uniform depth of water.

I asked the Captain what was the greatest speed of his vessel and he
replied that he had never tested it. He had made one hundred miles an
hour but the excursionists generally preferred to travel slowly. On
this trip we would average fifty, and so reach Kroy in about three
hours.

During the last two hours of our journey we were passing through a
densely populated country. Great communal homes appeared on either
side and large manufacturing plants at frequent intervals. But our
interest was centered at the mouth of the river and our attention was
chiefly directed over the bow. Soon a point of land appeared where
the river seemed to part in twain. This I recognized as the island I
had seen from the airship which had brought us to the continent, and
here is where the city of Kroy had been situated. My interest had been
aroused and as the Silver King turned into the northern channel, the
island became the center of attraction. On the larboard side the same
scenes of sylvan beauty, palatial buildings and groups of happy, joyous
people continued, but it was now the uninhabited island that absorbed
my attention.

I could see, in places, through the tangled brushwood and tall trees
which lined the shore, glimpses of shattered walls and tumuli, over-run
by vines and briers, such as in many parts of the outer world are so
attractive to archeologists, as the ruins of some ancient civilization.
At one point I noticed what appeared to have been costly monuments to
the dead and I said to Norrena:

"Surely that must have been a cemetery."

"And so it was," he responded. "In those days, millions were expended
in decorating the graves of the rich, while the masses of their fellow
beings who had toiled to create what the few had absorbed, lived in
poverty, and large numbers died in alms houses or by the wayside, and
found their last resting place in a Potter's field. More was often
expended on a single tomb than could possibly have been earned in any
useful service to society, in a life-time. They sought to secure a sort
of immortality by polished granite columns and laudatory inscriptions.
This has all been changed for centuries. We cremate the dead body in
the most speedy and economical manner possible, and seek to secure
longevity and happiness for all, by creating the best possible
conditions for the living."

At another place I caught glimpses of monuments of another description,
mingled with what had evidently been palatial structures adorned with
the artistic work of the sculptor in great profusion. Obelisks of
polished stone towered above the surrounding trees, giving the forest
a peculiar appearance not easily forgotten, but difficult to describe.
Noticing my interest in the scene Norrena remarked:

"This was once a magnificent park, and was ornamented by works of art
from foreign lands representing the most ancient civilizations, as well
as the most artistic products of their own sculptors and painters. One
of those Obelisks dated back to pre-historic ages. It was transported
from its original site in the Old World, at great expense as a
monument to the wealth and munificence of the money kings. They had
conquered the world then existing and held the people in subjection. To
commemorate their success they sought to compel the Past to proclaim
their greatness and gratify their vanity. But they had no future.
They passed away. And now the descendants of the millions whom they
oppressed, visit these ruins and gather lessons of wisdom from their
contemplation."

We were now opposite a portion of the island where the ruins assumed
something of the appearance of a city. An open roadway between
buildings indicated that this had been one of the principal streets
in the olden time. The Silver King rounded to and made fast to a well
preserved dock which forcibly called to my mind the great docks of New
York, Liverpool and other seaport cities of the outer world.

We disembarked and found the first restrictions on our movements that
we had met in Altruria except the entrances to private apartments.
Those who desired to visit the ruins on the island were required to
register their names and accept an escort to see that nothing was
displaced or carried away from the chief points of interest.

These preliminaries arranged, the gates were opened and accompanied
by our escort, we proceeded up the well-worn roadway towards what
had doubtless been the chief center of wealth and power. On either
side were huge masses of debris, and falling walls of what had once
marked the site of lofty structures. Briers and brambles grew in the
accumulated dust of ages which now covered the well-paved streets and
marble sidewalks. Wild vines clambered over the shattered walls and
not unfrequently tall trees grew through the tops of buildings where
the walls still stood firm. We were in the midst of a deep tangled
wildwood, where on every side could be seen indisputable evidence that
this had once been a great center of population, wealth and luxury.
Ruined churches and marble halls where once had gathered the elite of
a city, the opulence of which had been the wonder of the world, now
afforded a nesting place for wild fowl.

My heart grew faint and my head dizzy as I pondered upon the wonderful
lesson spread out before me. Here had been a city, no less magnificent
in its prime than New York, the great metropolis of America, and I
asked myself the question, Could this ever be the fate of my native
city? Captain Battell, who was walking by my side, broke in upon my
meditations by asking:

"What do you think of it, Jack? I never saw you so absorbed."

And Yankee like I said:

"I reply by asking, what do you think, Captain? Surely you cannot be
indifferent to scenes like this when you reflect that we are natives of
New York City!"

"I am not indifferent," said Battell, "but I have had the advantage of
former visits and hence am better prepared for it. The part of the city
we are now approaching has been kept in a tolerable state of repair,
to make the lessons taught by these ruins more impressive. This visit
has been arranged for your especial benefit, as you are the recognized
historian of the Ice King. Polaris and Dione showed Huston and myself
through these ruins as soon as we reached the continent, which led me
to infer that they had learned enough of our money system from MacNair
to understand that we needed the lesson."

"Then you are not a total stranger to these scenes?" I said.

"No, I have been here several times and every time I come I get some
new light which applies to our own country. These ruins teach a
wonderful lesson. It does seem, as Norrena claims, that human progress
always leads up through similar channels of development. Here we are in
what was once a city, every feature of which indicates very clearly the
existence of the same conditions which now prevail in the great cities
of the outer world. It had its day and passed away because it had
served its purpose, and so must all great centers of pride and fashion
in which a few absorb the wealth created by the people and expend it
for their own pleasure without regard for others."

We now entered a locality where all the buildings, pavements, etc.,
had been kept in a state of repair that had in a great measure
withstood the ravages of time. Everywhere else the island had been left
without care and was a mass of ruins which were largely concealed from
view by a deep soil, composed of accumulated dust and vegetable humus
from ages of luxuriant growth. Here, however, were the Sub-treasury,
Stock Exchange and a number of great banking houses, still preserved,
to some extent, as the money kings had left them.

"These buildings," said Norrena, "were occupied by the taskmasters
of the people. Here was the headquarters of the gold power in this
country, and having a monopoly of money, it bore to the people the
relation of a Universal Creditor and absorbed the ENTIRE SURPLUS
created by their labor to meet its demand for interest, etc. Here was
practically determined the amount allowed to producers on one hand,
and the price charged to consumers on the other. This power was the
unquestioned dictator in every sphere of human activity. But we will
visit the vaults of the great money kings of that time, which were the
actual head-center of this oppressive oligarchy of wealth."

We entered a massive building. Its heavy bronze doors and polished
granite walls gave the impression, that notwithstanding its artistic
finish, the chief object in its erection had been strength and
durability. The thick plate glass windows could be at once protected
by heavily barred steel shutters. At a moment's notice this massive
structure could have been converted into a fortress that would enable a
small number to hold it against a multitude.

The front room was perfectly equipped as a bank, but with a strange,
and seemingly reckless display of gold coins, giving one the impression
that a time had come when the owners were utterly indifferent as to
what became of their accumulated hoard. Large safes were standing open
literally crammed with stacks of glittering coins. Tables and shelves
were crowded with the yellow metal, which the custodian informed us,
was kept just as it had been left, as a relic of the ages of mental
darkness, when the wealth producing millions foolishly believed that
they were dependent upon this golden hoard for the privilege of
converting their labor into the means of subsistence.

From the public office of the bank we descended a flight of marble
steps into the basement which we found brilliantly lighted by
electricity. Huge steel vaults were standing open, piles of gold bricks
rested upon the floors and packages of gold coins met our sight in
every direction.

"You see," said Norrena, "how the gold flowed in upon the creditors
when the people were making their exchanges without its use. Among the
people, it was only used to pay debts, and as the money kings owned, to
such a large extent, the indebtedness, the gold supply of the country
flowed in upon them until it was difficult to find storage for it.
Additional vaults were built and these were soon filled. At first they
sought to turn this glut of gold to profit by making improvements which
gave employment to labor. Great trunk lines of railroad were built
and the government borrowed vast sums which were expended on country
roads, waterways, harbors and so forth. But the people, now fully
established in business for themselves, continued, by their system of
paying dividends to consumption, to increase the price of labor and its
products. When these millions were paid out as wages and entered into
circulation they speedily found their way into the people's banks and
were returned to these vaults to pay debts. All this time the price of
labor and its products was increasing, and the purchasing power of gold
was decreasing, until in time all the debts were paid and the people
ceased to exchange their products for money altogether. The purchasing
power of gold was gone, and the money kings, who held on to the system
to the last, were poor indeed. They found starvation staring them in
the face. Then, they abandoned these useless hoards, went out among
the people and found plenty of employment for their really valuable
talents."

From the gold vaults we passed into others where bonds, mortgages,
stocks etc., had been kept.

"Here," continued Norrena, "at regular intervals, clerks were locked in
and kept close prisoners while they clipped coupons for their masters.
You see by the labels, the kind of securities which each compartment
contained. These vaults held a legal lien upon the great bulk of the
wealth of the country, the interest, dividends, etc., on which, if
paid in cash, would require each year a sum equal to, at least, one
and one-half times the entire circulating medium of the country, and
the principal if converted into cash would have required ten times the
entire volume of gold in the world. Here, in potency, was held a lien
sufficient to take every acre of land and personal property in the
country."

"That," I said, "calls to my mind a phase of the question which I would
like to have you explain. How did the multitudes, especially in this
city and on this coast, escape the grasp of these money-kings who also
owned the real estate? The people had no land to go upon, and hence
could not procure a subsistence by cultivating the soil without paying
tribute in the shape of rent."

"Your question," said Norrena, "is far-reaching and I can only hint at
the reply which it naturally calls forth. The money kings over-reached
themselves by encouraging people to secure loans and pledge their
real estate for interest and principal, and then by contracting the
circulation in order to increase the purchasing power of the money
which they received as interest. As long as only a minor fraction of
the land was mortgaged the interest was promptly paid, but a time
came when nearly all of the lands were mortgaged and the people were
compelled to force their products on the markets all at once to get
money to pay interest. More and more of the debtors gave up the
struggle and abandoned their farms. These lands were useless to the
money-kings when no longer cultivated by a sturdy yeomanry. All along
this eastern seaboard, where agriculture ought to have been most
profitable, farms were abandoned because they would not pay interest on
the investment. The money value of lands for actual use to producers,
declined to zero, and the people crowded into the city and were
regarded, in their impoverished condition, as a dangerous class. Under
these circumstances the tendency of the ruling class was to encourage
the homeless poor to go upon the lands and dig a subsistence out of the
soil, for which there was no market."

"Iola explained this to me," I said, "but I have never quite understood
why it was that these colonists were not charged a rental that would
keep them in perpetual poverty."

"That," said Norrena, "would certainly have been the result, if
there had been no great Central West, with a widespread tendency to
agitate the money question and its relation to the economic condition
of the wealth-producing millions. When the people began to organize
as consumers with a view to minimizing the demand for money, and to
equalize distribution by paying dividends to labor, the money kings
were forced to change their policy in regard to labor, and many
producers got a firm hold on enough land to furnish a subsistence. The
unused lands had no value and the Equitists continued to increase the
price of products in the west. The money kings who were not able to
sell their lands could avail themselves of opportunities to exchange
them for products. The leaders of the co-operative movement here in the
east knew how to take advantage of these changing conditions, and by
their communal system of co-operation, were able to keep the movement
on peaceful lines, and thus avoid violent collisions which might have,
locally, at least, set the work of industrial emancipation back for
years."

"Then it appears," I said, "that it was not the western organization
of Equitable Exchange, singly and alone, that compelled the Gold Power
to relax its grasp; but this eastern co-operative movement was also a
factor in securing better conditions for labor."

"That is true," said Norrena. "In the west, the people had one great
advantage over the east, plenty of land. But it was the organization
of equity in the west that flooded this eastern financial center with
money, not as interest, but because the western people were using
less money and paying debts. This made times better for the eastern
workmen. Both the western and eastern co-operators were working on the
same principles. They were all accumulating funds to purchase land,
and just in proportion as the people acquired control over business
they had more influence on legislation, and the power of money was
correspondingly decreased."

"So it seems," I said, "that your business organization did at last get
into politics!"

"Yes," said Norrena, "it did get into politics as a business influence
and what may seem strange to you, its object was to prevent the
repeal of laws which had been enacted in the interest of the money
monopolists. These shrewd financiers, raised a great outcry against
combinations among producers to increase the price of products by
using interchangeable certificates of deposit instead of money, in the
transaction of business. The people were using the same methods for
the improvement of their own financial condition that had been used so
successfully by monopolists for their impoverishment, and the Patrons
demanded that all the laws that had been enacted in favor of monopoly
should remain on the statute books. They further demanded that all
debts should be payable in legal tender money at the option of the
debtor."

"I should have thought," I said, "that the people would be glad to
welcome the repeal of laws from which they had suffered so much."

"There was a time when they would," said Norrena, "but not after they
had adjusted their business relations to the operation of monopoly
laws. Their debts were legally payable in money, and as the purchasing
power of money was continually decreasing, it was to their interest to
pay in money, and when all their debts were paid and the people refused
any longer to take money for their products, the money kings who owned
these vaults and their hoards of gold had to go in search of food.
Many found homes in the co-operative communities and became valuable
citizens, while a larger number had taken the alarm and emigrated to
the Old World, only to meet a worse fate a little later on, for in the
less enlightened parts of the world, the Reign of Gold wound up in a
Reign of Terror."

The lesson taught by these ruins would fill volumes. Norrena's
accurate historical knowledge and ever ready explanations, with the
not less forcible comments of Oqua and others, covered every phase
of this wonderful, speedy and peaceful evolution from the Era of
Money Despotism to the Era of Man and Universal Freedom, Equality and
Fraternity. No wonder, I thought, that these people had preserved the
ruins of Kroy as a relic of their Dark Ages and a warning to humanity
for all time to come. Here, human selfishness reigned supreme and
the people of an entire continent had suffered in order to pour into
this greedy maw the wealth which it had no power to consume. And now,
this once great center of wealth, pride and fashion, was a solitude.
Its aristocratic "four hundred" had actually been starved out by the
refusal of the "clodhoppers," "greasy mechanics" and "mudsills," whom
they had held in such contempt, to feed and clothe them any longer.
Surely this was an object lesson well worthy of the care that had been
taken to preserve it from the refining and civilizing hand of labor.
Time was slowly obliterating these foot prints of a tyranny from which
the people had been emancipated for ages, but it was still important
that it should not be entirely forgotten, and there could be no better
reminder of the evil that had impoverished and degraded the millions,
as well as of the means by which it had been removed, than these ruins
and the abandoned heaps of useless gold.

After a day among the ruins, and full of serious reflections, we
returned to the Silver King and were soon speeding down the bay.
We landed at the tower, and from this point the electric cars soon
transported us to our great communal home. I was fatigued and retired
to my own apartment at once, to think and rest.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XV.

  HOME AGAIN--LETTER FROM BONA DEA--ELECTRIC GARMENTS--REPORTER'S
  PHONOGRAPH--TESTING THE NEW AIRSHIP--A WORLD'S COUNCIL--WALLAROO
  ON EVOLUTION--THE IDEALS PLANTED BY MISSIONARIES--THE
  EOLUS--PREPARATIONS FOR RETURN TO AMERICA--EXCURSION TO THE FAR
  NORTH--THE WATCH TOWER--SYMBOLIC REPRESENTATION--THE FAREWELL--THE
  REVELATION TO GANOE--"CASSIE! CASSIE! COME BACK! COME BACK!"

[Illustration]


NEXT morning at the breakfast table Oqua informed me that a package
and letter from Bona Dea to my address, had arrived at an early hour
but that it had not been delivered, as they did not wish to disturb my
rest. It had been retained in the office subject to my order when I was
ready to receive it.

This recalled to my mind a private conversation I had with Bona Dea at
Orbitello, and I surmised that her communication might have reference
to that; but I was at a loss to form any opinion in regard to the
package. She had told me that one of the inmates of the Home at Lake
Byblis was paying especial attention to the formation of an ideal
mental picture of life and its conditions in the frozen regions. And to
that end her apartments had been fitted up to represent winter scenery,
and to make the impression more realistic she was provided with a
refrigerator room where she subjected herself to low temperatures and
was testing the heat conserving powers of various qualities of clothing.

When breakfast was over I called at the office and received a large
bundle, neatly wrapped and securely sealed. The address was "Jack
Adams, No. 1, care Nequa." This was a poser. The communication was in
the official envelope of the Home and I hastened to my room, so that
if need be I could have the aid of a lexicon in the translation. But
when I opened it, somewhat to my surprise, I found it was written in
English. Being appropriate as a part of this narrative, I insert it in
full.

  MATRONS' HOME, LAKE BYBLIS,
  March 1, 6894, A.M.

MY DEAR NEQUA:--On returning to the Home, I related to Meidra, the
"Arctic pupil" of whom I told you, the substance of our conversation,
and explained to her what you suggested in regard to electric garments
as a means of conserving the natural heat of the body when exposed to
severe cold.

She informed me that she had been experimenting on that line and had
succeeded in making a suit that proved to be an ample protection from
the greatest cold that her refrigerator is capable of producing. She
sends you this electric suit, with the request that you test it in your
proposed voyage to the southern verge.

She further requests me to tell you that she does not intend to
permit you to deprive this inner world of the honor of having a Jack
Adams among its great navigators and explorers by your simply taking
advantage of one of our customs to change your name to such a feminine
cognomen as Nequa. Both she and Tanqua are anxious to make your
acquaintance. Meidra says that your image is indelibly impressed on
her mind by your photograph. She has an enlarged reproduction of your
picture as a prominent feature in her room, and from this she reads a
most admirable character.

The people of the entire concave are aroused to the importance of your
efforts to open up a channel of communication with the outer world.
All the Grand Divisions want to participate in the honor and to that
end each one has appointed a member to act with a representative from
Altruria, and constitute an Inner-World Council to assist in every way
possible.

It has been agreed that Norrena shall represent this country and I
am authorized to request you to make a date for the first meeting of
the Council, as soon as possible after your trial voyage "in search
of a storm," as Battell expressed it. Please advise me as soon as
you return, when it will suit you best to have these Inner-World
Representatives call upon you, and oblige

  Your many friends,

  BONA DEA.

I opened the bundle and found a beautifully quilted silk suit, soft
and pliable, but of firm texture, with sandals, gloves, head-dress and
visor to match. It also contained a small inlaid jewel case with a
key in the lock. I opened this and found, as I supposed a beautiful
locket in which I expected to see a picture of the donor, but it proved
to be a delicate piece of machinery with printed instructions, which
informed me that it was a phonograph for the especial use of reporters.
When wound up it recorded on silver foil every word spoken. This was
something new and I recalled to mind that I had frequently talked to
people who wore similar lockets. Now I had found put that they probably
preserved a record of every word I said, and I wondered if I had said
anything that I would not like to have repeated. With people wearing
lockets of this description, I realized how important it was for all
to be very careful what they said; and certainly the people of this
country are the most circumspect and exact in their statements, of any
people with whom I have ever met.

Just as I had finished the examination of the phonograph, the bell
called my attention to my private telephone, and I was requested to
meet Battell at the boatyard on the roof, prepared for a flight through
the air on his new airship and to take some lessons in its management.
This was just what I wanted, and in a minute the elevator had landed me
on the roof. I found Battell, Huston, Polaris and Dione, together with
Iola, MacNair and Oqua, ready for a ride in the new airship.

It was beautifully finished but much more substantial than the light
airy vessels to which I had become accustomed. I complimented Battell
upon its appearance, but he was too matter-of-fact to appreciate
anything that might look like flattery and said with his usual honest
bluntness:

"It is not the appearance that we care anything about, but the sailing
qualities. And so far as this climate is concerned we have made decided
improvements in this particular. The sailing qualities are such, that
everyone wants an improved airship, all at the same time. The demand is
so pressing that Captain Ganoe and myself are in honor bound to these
people, to give our entire attention to supplying the world with these
improvements for at least a year to come. So we have concluded to turn
the whole matter over to you, of constructing a vessel that will meet
the requirements of an Arctic storm."

"But," I asked, "why should you give up this work, now that you have it
so far completed, into my inexperienced hands? I should think that your
improvements could be duplicated by native mechanics."

"So they might," said Battell, "but they want all their factories
readjusted, and the same improved methods of manufacture which have
been introduced at Lake Byblis. Besides we could not have completed the
work without your assistance. It was just as important that you should
test our improvements in the conditions existing at the verges, as it
was for us to manufacture them. These EXTERNAL WORLD METHODS of testing
everything by ACTUAL EXPERIMENT are absolutely necessary when we come
to deal with EXTERNAL WORLD CONDITIONS. A department of the factory at
Byblis has been set apart for you, where your plans and specifications
will be speedily worked out."

"But," I asked, "how can they be worked out as they should be by
mechanics who know absolutely nothing about EXTERNAL WORLD CONDITIONS,
such as Polar waves, Arctic storms, hurricanes and cyclones which are
produced by EXTERNAL influences not existing in this INTERNAL WORLD?
Will Captain Ganoe and yourself, with your external world experience
and observation be there to superintend the work?"

"Yes, I will be there," said Battell, "but I want to thank you now
for so forcibly presenting the reasons why the people of the inner
world are anxious to avail themselves of our outer world experience
in adapting their airships to outer world conditions. You certainly
would not deprive them of this when they have given us so much that is
indispensable to the physical, mental and moral uplifting of the people
who live in the external world? It is these considerations which have
influenced our decision to yield to their wishes. Whenever these people
who live in this Internal World of Truth, as MacNair calls it, where
an Altruistic love for humanity is the controlling impulse, see an
improvement, they all want it immediately because it will enable them
to do more good to others and of course we could not honorably refuse
to assist them to the fullest extent of our ability."

"Certainly not," I said. "That puts the matter in an entirely new
light; but it also leaves to me, with my comparative inexperience, the
whole responsibility of constructing a storm and cold proof ship. For
this, I have no experience as a mechanic, and am but poorly qualified.
My duties on shipboard have always been in some capacity that did not
stimulate my mechanical faculties, if I have any. As an assistant to
Captain Ganoe and yourself I thought there might be a place for me, but
as to my ability to take the lead, I have my doubts. I do not see how I
am to get along without your co-operation and counsel."

"You will certainly have that," said Battell "This is a country
of rapid transit and we shall get together at regular intervals
to compare notes. Besides, we will have the assistance of an
Inner-World Association, whose representatives will constitute an
Inner-World Council of the most earnest spirits, who are anxious
to unite the INTERNAL and EXTERNAL worlds by opening a channel of
INTER-COMMUNICATION and cultivating a mutual spirit of fraternal regard
and co-operation between the two. I have thought much along these lines
and realize how necessary these two great worlds are to each other and
how important that the leading spirits of both should come together and
work with one accord for the highest possible development of both."

"And that is just what they must do," said Oqua. "But let us test your
new ship at once and confer in regard to the work we have in hand at
the same time."

Thus prompted, we embarked, Battell applied the power and we began
to ascend. Every required motion of the vessel had its appropriate
propelling power which was under perfect control. No turning around was
necessary. The new ship could dart in any given direction, at the will
of the operator.

I took my place at the helm with Battell and after a little practice
found that I could handle it without difficulty. To me its management
was much more simple than the old style which could only move in one
direction. This facility with which the direction could be changed
was the essential feature in order to be able to ride the storms and
nullify the influence of the contending air currents which would be
a constant source of danger in the outer world. In fancy, I pictured
myself in a storm with sudden changes in the direction of the wind,
and suiting the action to the thought I set the vessel to dodging and
gyrating in every direction to the no little alarm of our Altrurian
friends who had no conception of the conditions of an external world
bluster.

"Hold on Jack!" exclaimed Battell. "Don't shake the life out of us.
Wait until you get into an actual storm and then dodge as rapidly as
may be necessary, but there is no need of it here."

"I was just thinking," I said, "what motions might be necessary in a
regular bluster, to hold the ship steady on her course. I really feel
anxious to try it, and believe that I can literally ride the storm like
the petrel in such a ship as I fully believe can be made."

"Well, you can try as soon as you like," said Battell. "I see you
understand the management and I leave you to test it to your heart's
content. Find all the deficiencies you can and let us know what changes
may be needed, and they will be made to the best of our ability. We
will now return to your home, borrow one of your old fashioned ships
and return to our work at Byblis."

"Well, do not send it back," said Oqua, "until it is remodeled
according to the latest improvements."

"Your Department of Exchange," said Battell, "has already sent in a
general order for improved airships to replace those of the old style,
which in effect means, that they shall all be remodeled on application.
So we will send you an improved ship as soon as it can be made."

It was now the second day of March and I had set my heart on getting
ready to start for the outer world by the latter part of May or the
first of June, so there was no time to be wasted. I determined to leave
at once on my experimental voyage to the southern verge and announced
my intentions to Oqua, requesting her to represent me during my absence
and any arrangements that she made in my name would be satisfactory.

"What!" she exclaimed. "Do you propose to go alone? I thought Battell
intended that two of your sailors should go with you?"

"So he did," I replied, "and at that time I thought I would need them,
but since I have tried the vessel, I have come to the conclusion that I
had better go alone. As Battell left without referring to the matter, I
shall act upon the presumption that he had changed his mind, just as he
did in regard to completing a storm and cold proof airship."

"But," said Oqua, "your journey will take a week or ten day's travel
at the least, and how can you stand the constant attention to the helm
without rest?"

"No fears on that score," I said. "Very much of the time will be spent
in this serene atmosphere. I need only set the helm in the right
direction and I can rest until I find stormy conditions. Then I will
surely be able to experiment with the ship for a few hours."

Oqua, seeing that I was determined, helped me to get ready. I took
sufficient supplies for three weeks, although I did not expect to be
gone half of that time. The trip was most interesting but I have no
room to describe the voyage. Sufficient to say that I found storm
conditions and intense cold much sooner than I expected. My electric
garments proved to be a perfect success, but I discovered a number of
deficiencies in the ship. I returned in just eight days and presented
a written report, and specifications for necessary changes. Battell
assured me that the new vessel should be ready for another trial
journey as soon as possible.

I had notified Norrena, that I would be pleased to meet the World
Council at my own apartments on the fifteenth, and I was back from the
southern verge on the tenth, ready to place my discoveries before them.
Promptly at the time indicated, Captains Ganoe and Battell with our
usual circle of Altrurian friends were present in the Council Chamber
of the home, ready to receive our guests, and in a few minutes Norrena
arrived with the representatives from the other Grand Divisions. He
introduced them as Hylas of Atlan, Lal Roy of Budistan, Wallaroo of
Noxuania and LeFroy of the Austral Isles. Coming as they did from all
the Grand Divisions of the world, I expected to see people of widely
different physical appearance and mental characteristics, but in this
I was mistaken. While they showed marked differences, there were no
such contrasts as we find between different races in the outer world.
In complexion they ranged from blonde to a dark brunette, all spoke the
same language, expressed similar sentiments and in features and general
deportment seemed to be building toward a common type.

I made a report of my trial trip to the southern verge and also of our
plans and specifications for the further improvement of the airship,
that we believed would make it storm and cold proof. As these people
knew practically nothing of the conditions of the frigid zones they
accepted what we had to offer without criticism. They expressed
themselves as highly gratified that they had with them experienced
navigators who were familiar with the frozen regions and who knew what
was needed in order to open up a channel of communication.

At this meeting it was definitely determined that we should meet again
on April 15th, which interval Battell assured us would give me an
opportunity to report on another trial trip, to test the additional
improvements which had been found desirable. That I should go ahead
with the work of preparation in my own way, and when I was satisfied
that the time had come to cross the Ice Barriers I should fix the date,
so that the Council could arrange for an excursion to the most northern
point of the continent of Altruria where the Life Saving Service had
a signal station at an ancient watch tower that had been erected in
pre-historic times.

After our business meeting had closed, the representatives from the
Old World plied us with questions concerning the outer world which we
answered to the best of our ability. Finding that they were not a bit
backward about questioning I was emboldened to ask, how it was that
all the representatives from the different countries seemed to have
been selected from the same race of people, while I had learned from
Altrurian history that the same races of men had existed here that
existed in the outer world.

"That was the case in ancient times," said Wallaroo of Noxuania, "but
at this time we have practically only one race of people in the inner
world."

"Here is a mystery," I said, "that I would like very much to have
explained. How is it that they have all merged into one type, ranging
in complexion from blonde to brunette?"

"My own explanation," said Wallaroo, "is, that identity of ideals and
similarity of conditions naturally lead to similarity of development,
as in accordance with natural law the race is always building in the
direction of its ideals."

"That is certainly," I said, "a scientific proposition, but it does
not explain why blonde, for instance, should ever become an ideal
complexion among the dark races. How do you account for it?"

"Your question," said Wallaroo, "is one that should be carefully
studied in the light of science and history, in order to be understood.
One thing is certain, that the early inhabitants of my own country,
Noxuania, were very dark, ranging from brown to black, while at
present, brunette is the rule and blonde is not uncommon."

"But how," I asked, "do you account for the change?"

"My opinion," said Wallaroo, "is that the influence of the white
missionaries created a new ideal in the minds of the people and
especially in the minds of the mothers, who almost worshiped them."

"But how is this?" I asked. "In the outer world, the dark races very
often persecute and destroy the white missionaries."

"And so they did here," said Wallaroo, "before Equity was established
in Altruria among white people, and another class of white missionaries
were sent to the dark races. These came not to promulgate metaphysical
creeds, but to bring material blessings, and establish freedom,
equality and fraternity. They practiced just what they preached and
wherever they went, they bestowed blessings. The people, especially
the women, soon came to worship them as Saviors because they sought
only to do them good on the material plane which they could appreciate,
and left them to free their minds from superstition in the natural
way by increasing their knowledge. It is not strange, under these
circumstances, that with these children of nature, white became the
ideal color. Improved material conditions, together with a scientific
education, higher ideals and ample time for development have produced
all the changes which have been wrought out."

I found the members of the Council from the other Grand Divisions to
be highly cultured people and I looked forward to meeting them in the
future with pleasure. I was especially, interested in Wallaroo and
LeFroy because they represented peoples which at the introduction of
the present Altruistic civilization would correspond to the people
now occupying Central Africa and the South Sea Islands. Wallaroo
had attributed their remarkable development as physical, mental and
moral beings to the higher civilization derived from the religion of
humanity regardless of creeds, that had been brought to them by the
Altrurian missionaries. The more I thought of these things the more
I was impressed that I must visit these countries, mingle with the
people and make a close study of their history. LeFroy told me that
their written history commenced with the work of the missionaries of
the new civilization, but much additional knowledge had been gained
from archeological and ethnological researches in the light of such
pre-historic traditions as had been preserved. These missionaries did
not come to promulgate doctrines of a FUTURE life but to establish
conditions which would confer blessings in THIS life, such as could be
appreciated on the animal plane. For this reason they were welcomed as
superior beings to lead them morally and spiritually.

By these glimpses of a new field of discovery that was opening up
before me, I was more than ever stimulated to complete the work I had
in hand which was directly applicable to the solution of the great
economic problem confronting the people of the outer world. As had been
promised by Battell, at the Council which met on April 15th, I was able
to report the deficiencies that had been discovered in the airship by
my second trial trip to the southern verge during its winter season.
At this meeting it was determined to name the new vessel the Eolus,
though I preferred to call it the Petrel because I had demonstrated
that it could ride the storm. The time for the excursion to the Watch
Tower at the northern extremity of the continent and my departure
for the outer world was fixed for the twentieth of May and the next
meeting of the Council on board the Silver King on the fifteenth,
while enroute. This gave me really less than one month to complete my
manuscript and get everything in readiness for what I regarded as the
most momentous voyage of my life.

While I was enrolled as a teacher of English, and the geography,
history and institutions of the outer world, I had really given all
of my attention to the study of the Altrurian language, and of the
manner in which the great problems now confronting my own country had
been solved. Every day revealed something new or presented the old
in a new light. The arts and sciences had been developed to a degree
that had scarcely been dreamed of in the outer world. Psychic powers
such as clairvoyance, clairaudience and telepathy, which in the outer
world were classed as occult by believers, and as baseless assumptions
by the multitudes, were here well understood by the many, as revealed
in the fact that my disguise had been so readily penetrated by native
Altrurians. But at the same time they respected my right to conceal my
identity. This was a marked peculiarity of these people. The right of
persons to keep a secret in their own bosoms was never questioned, and
when it was discovered, as I take it for granted was usually the case,
it was never alluded to. Here, my assumed character of Jack Adams,
the sailor, was held in the highest esteem by the few to whom I had
explained the reason for it, because it had been necessary, in order
to enable me to be true to my own higher sense of right. In the outer
world this would have branded me as disreputable and I would have been
ostracized as something vile by the so called better classes of society.

After years of wandering, exposed to the perils and hardships of a
sailor's life, I had found my lost lover, only to learn from his oft
expressed sentiments, that he regarded such a course of life as I had
pursued as so grossly disreputable that no honorable man could afford
to contract a matrimonial alliance with such a woman. For this reason I
had not revealed myself to him, and now that I was soon to leave him,
the question often presented itself to my mind as to whether I ought to
let him remain any longer in ignorance of the fact that Cassie VanNess
had stood by his side in so many dangers.

The time was at hand when this question must be decided and I
determined to confer with my most intimate Altrurian friends of my own
sex. Bona Dea had arrived at our Home at my invitation and Oqua and
Iola were present to assist in making out a program for the excursion
and my departure for the outer world. My proposed journey was of course
the subject of conversation, but I wanted to draw them out in regard
to the personal matter that was uppermost in my mind. I wanted their
advice but did not want to be too abrupt in raising a question that was
calculated to call the attention of these public spirited people away
from an important public question in which they were deeply interested,
to the consideration of my own private affairs.

Oqua, however, soon gave me the opportunity I wanted by asking:

"What does Captain Ganoe think of the decision of the Council and the
general consensus of the opinions of those most interested, that you
should have your own way about the journey and go alone if you thought
best? While he did not object, I felt quite sure that he did not
approve."

"His heart," I said, "was very much set on going himself and he
expresses grave fears as to my safety, notwithstanding my excursions
into the stormy regions in the vicinity of the southern verge. He knows
however that it was with his consent and advice that the entire matter
of opening communication with the outer world was placed in my hands
and I accepted the responsibility under protest. The Council regarded
my proposed expedition as too perilous to risk more than one life in
the attempt. But this you know is just what I wanted for reasons of my
own. As a matter of fact there is less danger than in my excursions to
the southern verge. I wonder sometimes what the Captain would think if
he knew that it was the little girl playmate of his boyhood days and
the affianced bride of his early manhood who was bidding him adieu!"

"And do you not intend," asked Oqua, "to reveal your identity to him in
some way so that when you return, no concealments will be necessary?
You know that we penetrated your disguise at once but we respected your
natural right to conceal your identity, and we shall continue to do so
until you are willing for us to do otherwise. But I would suggest, as
an act of justice to Captain Ganoe as well as to yourself, that you
ought to let him know who you are. It will doubtless awaken in his mind
a train of thought that will be very beneficial to him, while it will
protect you from the deteriorating effects of leading a double life."

"But," I said, "this double life was forced upon me by causes over
which I had no control and hence I do not see how it can have any
deteriorating effects."

"That was no doubt true," interrupted Bona Dea, "in the present stage
of your outer world civilization, but there is no necessity for it
here. And the necessity being past, the continuance of the deception
might be interpreted to mean that deep down in your soul you doubted
the propriety of your conduct. Disguise is perfectly legitimate as a
means of self protection, but when it is unnecessary, its tendency is
to cultivate duplicity, a characteristic to be carefully avoided. Hence
I would advise you to adopt some method of revealing your identity to
Captain Ganoe at the moment of your departure; and the more open and
frank you are about it, the better will be the effect on him as well
as your self. Better not wait until he penetrates your disguise for
himself, something he would have done long ago, but for the fact that
from his education, he is guided by external appearances instead of
those more subtle impressions from which there can be no concealments."

I saw the force of this kind of reasoning and determined to act
accordingly, and the more I thought of it, the more determined I became
to be frank, honest and kind, but strong, independent and inflexible in
the assertion of my natural right to think and act for myself without
having my integrity and purity of character called in question, because
I preferred truth to falsehood. At first I dreaded the denouement; but
the more I reflected upon it, the more necessary it appeared, and the
better I was prepared for the ordeal.

The hour of my departure was near. It had been arranged that the
Silver King with the delegations from the other Grand Divisions
should meet the Altrurian delegation at the ruins of Kroy, and I had
agreed to give Pat and Mike a ride on the Eolus, from the Ice King
on Lake Byblis, and land them on the Silver King while enroute for
the northern extremity of the continent. I started to the Lake early
on the morning of May 15th and within an hour from my departure I
was on the deck of the Ice King. I found Lief and Eric, as well as
Pat and Mike, ready for the journey. As soon as I had secured some
scientific instruments I wanted from the equipment of the Ice King and
some personal belongings which I regarded as important, I invited the
sailors ON BOARD THE EOLUS, and in a moment more we were mounting into
the air. We sailed around the lake and gave the people an opportunity
of seeing the airship that was destined for the outer world. The Eolus
was not built with a view to securing greater speed but for holding its
course regardless of contrary winds. In speed, however, it was capable
of making considerable progress against a head wind of two hundred
miles an hour. I put the ship through the various movements that it
was capable of making, such as stopping suddenly, moving backward,
moving sidewise and suddenly rising and falling, for the benefit of the
sailors and of the numerous spectators.

Mike was quick to see the advantage that the Eolus had over other
airships and he remarked with enthusiasm:

"Well Jack, it will take a lively hurricane to drive you much from your
course, but how in the world will you keep from freezing?"

"Nothing easier," I said, as I touched a button and lighted the
electric burners that were placed between the inner and outer walls.
In a minute the walls were hot to the touch and the air inside became
sultry.

"Gracious!" exclaimed Mike. "You can never stand this. It will roast
you."

"Then we will cool it," I said, as I shut off part of the burners, "or
if this is not enough, I will shut them all off."

"But," said Mike, "you have it so hot now that it will take an hour to
cool off."

"Not so," I replied. "I will open the doors and start the electric
fans," and suiting the action to the word, a cool breeze took the place
of the sultry air. "But if you want it cooler," I continued, "I will
bring the temperature down a point or two more," and closing the doors,
I opened the refrigerator compartment and in a moment we were shivering
with the cold.

"Well!" exclaimed Mike, "I never knew climate to change so rapidly. I
think you have not been dodging up to the Pole and back for nothing.
You seem to have provided for every emergency but one, and that is the
freezing of the moisture which is already obscuring your lookouts by
this manufactured dose of winter."

"That is provided for," I said, as I started the circular lookout
glasses into motion under a specially prepared brush which absorbed the
moisture. Mike noticed the disappearance of the clouds on the lookouts
but did not observe the cause and looked at me inquiringly.

"Put your hand on the glass," I said, "and it will explain itself."

"Well I should think it would!" he exclaimed as he jerked back his
hand. "The whole window is just a whizzing; and now I see that the
cross bar is a brush that seems to have drank up the moisture."

"I have tried to provide for every contingency," I said, as I turned
the prow of the Eolus down the valley of the Cocytas, and put her at
full speed. "I regard it as a matter of the first importance that
a full account of our discoveries shall be transmitted to our own
country. We must join the excursion on board the Silver King as soon as
we can. I want to interview as many of the representatives from other
countries as possible. I must gather all the useful knowledge I can for
the benefit of the external world."

"That is right," said Mike, "and I would be far from stopping you, but
I want you to be after going slow a bit."

"Why what is the matter?" I asked, as I checked our speed.

"Just this," said Mike, producing a box, "it will take money in the
outer world to secure the publication of your book and here is our
wages from the Ice King. It is of no use to us in this country, and we
want it to be used to send your book broadcast. You will see that it is
divided into two parcels, one belongs to Lief and Eric and the other to
Pat and myself."

Here Lief broke into our conversation, speaking the Altrurian language
like a native, saying:

"We want your book to be translated into all languages,--and it
will be, just as soon as our wonderful discoveries are known in any
civilised country. We particularly want our own people to hear about
this country, and that we are not the first Norsemen who came here.
Tell them about the old Viking, and also of the Norwegian names which
are found everywhere."

"I have noted these things," I said, "as well as the part you have
taken in the expedition. How you saved the Ice King by your prompt
action when we were caught in the ice, and how your ability as seamen
enabled us to get through after the larger part of the crew had
deserted."

"Oh! we ask no credit for that," said Eric. "We shipped for a purpose,
and have in a measure found what we were looking for. When the right
time comes our people will hear from us, and when they do, we may be
able to add something of value to the great work for humanity which
you have undertaken. All we ask for now is, that your account of our
discoveries shall be given to the outside world."

"And I promise you," I said, "that your money shall be used for that
purpose, and I fully believe that what we have learned, will be the
greatest boon that could be conferred upon the people of the outer
world. In the name of humanity I accept the trust you place in my hands
and I shall see that your gold shall be used to emancipate your fellow
workmen from the tyranny now imposed upon them by human greed."

As we sped down the valley a glass of small magnifying power brought
the Silver King into view gliding northward on the bay like a thing of
life. I timed the Eolus so as to join the excursion on this floating
crystal palace when it passed out upon the ocean. As we slowly settled
in the place that had been set apart for us, the crowds gathered around
and I was kept busy answering questions and explaining the use of the
various attachments which experience had demonstrated to be essential
to the successful navigation of the air in the external world.

This was an excursion long to be remembered. The crowds of elegantly
dressed people who thronged the decks of the Silver King had gathered
from every part of the concave to accompany us to the northern
extremity of Altruria, a distance of about 7,000 miles from the mouth
of the Cocytas. It was intended that we should cover this distance in
seven days, which would make the actual time of my departure on my
aerial voyage, the morning of the twenty-third of May.

As the excursion was to last one full week a series of entertainments
was provided to make the time pass pleasantly and profitably. Music,
dancing and theatrical performances were interspersed with lectures and
social converse touching upon leading subjects of thought and action.
The program made this journey one ceaseless round of enjoyment. The
records of the conversations preserved by my locket phonograph, I
regard as the most instructive and valuable historical, scientific and
ethical lessons I have ever listened to, and which I hope to be able to
give to the world when the occasion requires.

On the evening of the twenty-second, Oqua called my attention to
the kaleidoscopic lights on the Watch Tower which was to be the
point where I would bid farewell to my Altrurian friends as well as
my comrades of the Ice King. In the pitch dark nights of the outer
world such an exhibition would have been beautiful and grand beyond
description but even here, with the reflected light which made the
darkest nights comparatively light, the scene through our glasses, of
the ever changing views was such, that I never tired of observing them.
These lights presented all the prismatic hues of the rainbow with the
intermediate shades, continually changing from one geometrical figure
to another, but always coming around to a five pointed star which is
the symbol and sign manual of the material civilization of this inner
world; the changing colors kept pace with the changing geometrical
figures, always returning to the five pointed star, until it had been
reproduced in each of the seven prismatic colors.

This seemed to be the regular order, but suddenly it was broken,
by giving only the stars in the seven different colors in a rapid
succession, until they resolved themselves into a circle, revolving
swiftly on its axis. Seeing my interest in this change, Oqua said:

"The keeper has just noticed our approach and is operating the keys
to send us a welcome in the name of the entire concave. This welcome
will be repeated by every signal station on this parallel around the
world. The principal use of these lights is to send messages by means
of the changing figures, which are well understood by the people of
this country, and especially those who navigate these northern waters.
The one great drawback to their use, is, that they must be observed
through glasses which are especially adapted to this purpose. Here in
this inner world where it is never absolutely dark we cannot take the
full advantage of these light signals, without the use of external
appliances."

As she spoke she set the great telescope through which I was looking
to revolving so as to take in a zone all around the concave, and I
observed other signal lights responding in regular order along this
zone.

"These signal stations," continued Oqua, "are under the control of the
Life Saving Service, and the keepers with these glasses are always
on the lookout for mariners who may be in danger, and their signal
messages notify any patrols that may observe them of the nature of the
danger as well as the locality of the endangered. Had the Ice King come
within the radius of any of these Signal Stations at almost any other
time, you would certainly have been discovered and rescued. But at
the time you came into these waters the fog had effectually checkmated
our observations. For this reason we are agitating for the extension
of this system to medial and equatorial latitudes, as a time has come
when it seems likely that other ships like the Ice King, may drift into
these placid waters where sails are useless, and hence be powerless
to save themselves from certain destruction by being carried into the
southern verge on ocean currents which never touch the land."

On the morning of the twenty-third when I awoke, the Silver King was
lying at the wharf and I had a close view of the Watch Tower and its
ever changing signal lights. It was more like a lofty building than a
mere tower. It was a hexagon in shape, two hundred and fifty feet in
height with a large platform on top, in the center of which was a huge
column like the body of a tall tree branching out into numerous arms,
each supporting a series of electric lights. The mechanical contrivance
by which these lights were controlled was automatic, but as occasion
required could be changed by the watchman in the observatory to signal
any message required to all whom it might concern. This building from
outside to outside was one hundred feet at the base and fifty feet at
the top, while the inside diameter was the same from top to bottom.
On the outside was a spiral stairway reaching from the ground to
the platform at the top and in the center was an electric elevator,
connected with each of the twenty stories.

The hour of my departure had come. According to the program I was to
bid farewell to the members of the Inner World Council and my old
comrades of the Ice King and some personal friends at the top of the
tower where they had already assembled. The crew of the Silver King
and her throngs of excursionists had gathered on the deck and the wharf
to see me take my flight. When all was ready, I took my place on the
Eolus and rising a few feet sailed slowly around this magnificent ship,
coming to a halt on the starboard quarter where Captain Thorfin, acting
as spokesman, said:

"In the name of the people here assembled from all parts of the world
who have accompanied you thus far on your daring expedition, I am
requested to express to you our exalted opinion of your courage, your
ability and worth, and to thank you for the inestimable service which
you have undertaken to render to our people, by extending their sphere
of knowledge in regard to the external world. You are now engaged in
a work for which our people are powerless. We realize that we are
to profit by your perils. You will ever occupy a warm place in our
affections. Accept our thanks for your heroic efforts to open a channel
of communication with our fellow beings of the external world. Hoping
for your speedy return we bid you a loving farewell."

"And through you," I responded, "I desire to extend my heartfelt thanks
to those who are beyond the reach of my voice, for this demonstration
of their interest, and may the channel of communication, which we hope
to establish between the internal and the external worlds never again
be closed. But as yet I have not accomplished anything to merit your
thanks. I am the one who ought to be grateful to your people. I came
among you a stranger and you received me as a brother. Everywhere I
have met the kindest consideration and all my wants have been supplied
without even the formality of asking. I have here found the living
soul of humanity developed as it has never been believed to be
possible in the external world. I carry with me to my own native land
THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE, the knowledge that HUMANITY CAN BE REDEEMED
FROM SELFISHNESS AND ALL OF ITS CONSEQUENCES. In the external world,
from whence I came, we have only cultivated the external, and hence
have developed physical hardihood while you have developed the finer
attributes of the soul which we have neglected. My ambition is to bring
these two worlds together. You need our physical hardihood while we
need your higher development of soul. When the leading characteristics
of both are united into one common brotherhood, both worlds will have
a perfected humanity. If I can help humanity to reach this grand
culmination, where both soul and body shall be developed to their
utmost capacity, I shall be happy. To me, with my training, it does
not seem like a daring undertaking now that I am enabled to utilize
your grand discovery of the means by which the air can be navigated.
Thanking you for this mark of your consideration, and promising to
return as soon as possible, I bid you adieu."

As I ceased speaking, I set the Eolus to moving directly to the top of
the tower. This demonstrated at once to the multitudes, its superiority
over the old style of airship and they gave a cheer, which was the more
expressive and significant as these people are not given to anything
like loud demonstrations of applause.

At the platform I received cordial words of cheer from the committee,
my old comrades of the Ice King and my most intimate Altrurian friends.
Speaking for the committee, Lal Roy, of Budistan said:

"On behalf of the members of this committee, and especially of the
members from the eastern hemisphere, I congratulate you upon the marked
improvements you have made in our methods of aerial navigation. The
construction of the Eolus marks an era in our progress that will be
a monument to your memory. You will be honored and appreciated for
generations to come."

"Excuse me," I responded. "I am not entitled to the honor you would
bestow upon me. Captain Battell made the first move toward the
improvements that were consummated in the Eolus, and Captain Ganoe and
Huston have both contributed their mechanical skill. Without them there
would have been no Eolus."

"Hold on Jack," said Battell. "In the consummation, we only carried
out your suggestions. The improvements I started, were completed in
accordance with your plans."

"Yes," said Captain Ganoe, as he clasped my hand. "You were the first
person I ever heard suggest the construction of an airship that could
ride the storm, and but for your suggestions every one of which was
tested in your experimental journeys to the verges, we never could have
succeeded. And but for your intimate knowledge of the difficulties to
be overcome, I never would have consented for you to go alone. Even
as it is, notwithstanding the unanimous decision of the committee, I
find it very hard to reconcile myself to the thought that you are to
be exposed all alone, to the cold and the storms of the polar regions.
Such dangers ought to be reserved for those who have nothing to live
for, and not for the young, the refined and the educated who have a
bright future before them."

"Have no fears for me," I said. "You must not forget that it is now
warm weather in the north frigid zone and I will not be exposed to
intense cold, and the probability is that I will have no severe
storms to contend with. But I will promise this: To be careful, and
if I discover any defect in the Eolus that would make the journey
too hazardous, I will return at once, rather than take any chances of
defeating our purpose of communicating with the outer world when we
have mastered the problem of riding the storm. No doubt my observations
on this voyage, will open the way for other improvements. Keep up
your courage. This is but the beginning of our work. We must have
airships that will enable the most sensitive, to visit the outer world,
and teach our countrymen the importance of cultivating the higher
attributes of the soul, which can only be developed in their fullness
under the benign influence of an Altruistic civilization."

Oqua here stepped forward and took me by the hand, saying:

"Nequa, my more than friend, go, and the blessings of our people go
with you. May you reach your native land in safety and accomplish your
mission. By so doing you will leave footprints on the sands of time
that can never be effaced. As soon as your work is placed in the proper
hands return with all speed to the many loving hearts which await you."

Scarcely had she ceased speaking when Polaris, as if to continue her
remarks, raising her hand and pointing to the north, said:

"Yes, loving hearts will await you. And when your form has faded from
our vision, in yonder deep cerulean blue, the mystic symbol of purity
and truth, remember that in spirit we are with you. And I will continue
to keep watch over these waters, patiently awaiting your return, as
in the past I have kept watch for any of your people that might drift
in here, and be left to the mercy of the currents which never touch
the land. I hope to be the first to greet you on your return, but if
perchance you should be lost in your perilous undertaking, I will still
be flitting, to and fro, over these northern seas, awaiting the coming
of your people, to assist and welcome them in the true spirit of our
civilization."

MacNair gave a new turn and spirit to this closing interview, by saying
in his usual cheery manner:

"In the name of humanity I protest against preparing for the funeral
before the corpse is ready. Neither am I willing to contemplate the
possibility of Jack Adams ever requiring any such a service at our
hands. You do not understand the kind of material of which he is
composed. I know that Jack is going to make the round trip, no matter
what we may be doing, and so far as I am concerned, I do not intend to
give myself any uneasiness about him; and instead of bobbing around up
here in this chilly atmosphere, I will go home and be ready to give
Jack the cordial greeting of a fellow countryman, when he returns from
this last polar expedition."

"MacNair is right," I said. "I am not starting out to fall by the
wayside, and do not forget that the Eolus will sail far above the
ice-fields, and that during the high-noon of the long arctic day of
six months duration. I apprehend no danger, but anticipate a pleasant
excursion to my native land. But I will not go any further this time,
than is absolutely necessary. I hope to meet the right persons at some
of the many stations in Alaska, and if so I will return several days
earlier than I have promised. I shall return as soon as possible. My
life work is here, for it will take a life-time to complete the work
that I have laid out for myself to do for the benefit of my countrymen
who live in the external world."

As I was speaking, Captain Ganoe stood with his hand on the door of the
Eolus, at if it was by right his place to have the last parting word.
Captain Battell and the other comrades of the Ice King drew near. Upon
their faces, I read the affectionate regard they had for me. It was a
trying moment. I wanted a last word with Captain Ganoe. I wanted it
impressive, kind but inflexible. I shook hands with all who stood near,
and then as I held Captain Ganoe's hand I said to Oqua:

"Step on board, I want you to assist me a moment," and to the Captain,
"Wait here a moment, I have something to say to you."

Oqua did as directed, and we ascended and made the circuit of the
lights, while I prepared myself for the revelation I intended. Oqua
handled the ship while I hastily donned the attire which characterised
my sex in the outer world. I arrayed myself in the same rich satin
dress that I had worn on the last evening I had spent with Raphael, at
his uncle's home in New York. My golden locks made into a neat fitting
wig, and put up in the game style which he had so much admired, now
covered my short cropped hair. Around my neck I had the same gold chain
and locket of peculiar workmanship, and the same ring on my hand, which
had been his parting presents to his affianced bride. Over all I wore a
cloak that came down to my feet.

My toilet complete, we dropped to the level of the platform, but just
outside, and Oqua with a parting pressure of the hand, and with a last
injunction: "Nequa, be strong, be true, but do not forget to be kind
and considerate," passed from the Eolus to the platform, and moving
back a few feet, I stepped to the door and throwing aside my cloak,
stood arrayed before Captain Ganoe, just as I had been when I bade him
adieu at our guardian's home just fifteen years before.

The crowd stood spell-bound. None but Oqua, MacNair, and the crew of
the Ice King had ever seen any one dressed in the costume which is
peculiar to women in the outer world. Captain Ganoe stood rooted to the
spot, and gazed at me with a look of consternation, as if I was one who
had just arisen from the grave, as I said:

"Captain Ganoe, you doubtless recognize me and I ask your attention
for a moment. You will probably remember, that on the Ice King you
confidently related to your scientist, Jack Adams, the story of your
engagement to Cassie VanNess, and asked him if he had ever loved. He
made an evasive reply. If you care to have an explicit answer to that
question, ask my trusted friend Oqua. I do not wish to have that story
again pass my lips. I have done with it forever. I have now taken up a
new life and henceforth I am wedded to a new lover, and the wealth of
my affections shall be bestowed upon humanity.

"The memory of the old life, and the old love, carries with it the
martyrdom of all that is noblest, purest and most sacred in the soul
of woman, her devotion to the chosen idol of her girlhood days. These
outer world conditions so foreign to all that is good and true, make
me wonder that I should ever have been so weak as to be victimized by
them. But such are the consequences of a false education, which belongs
to a benighted past and cannot be helped. For many long years, in my
assumed character of Jack Adams, the sailor, I roamed over the high
seas to find you, and during all of our perils in the ice, I stood
by your side. I worshiped you with an idolatrous devotion. And all
this, only to hear again and again from your lips, the expression
of sentiments, that condemned all that I had done, as disreputable,
unworthy and immoral. You have repeatedly declared that as an honorable
man, you could never unite yourself with such a woman in the holy bonds
of matrimony, no matter how much you loved her.

"It was for this reason, that my own self respect forbade that I should
reveal my identity to you. The case of Huston was almost identical with
my own, and in condemning the course which he had taken you condemned
me. I took it for granted, that as an honorable man, you expressed your
honest sentiments, and there was nothing for me to do but to submit to
your verdict--"

The Captain raised his hand as if to speak, but I checked him, saying:

"Hear me through. It is in no spirit of unkindness that I speak. I
have waited patiently for you to so modify your views, that I could
make myself known to you in the full assurance of your approval of my
fidelity to our plighted troth. But you gave me no such opportunity.
Oqua penetrated my disguise at first sight and many others of my inner
world friends with whom I have been associated, intuitively understood
that Jack Adams, the sailor, was an assumed character and why it had
been adopted; but you, blinded by the crystallized errors of a false
education, were ignorant of my identity.

"I now reveal myself to you, because I do not wish to continue this
assumed character, even to escape the pain that would be inflicted by
your disapproval. I do not regret the course I have taken. Under the
same circumstances I would be compelled to do the same thing again,
rather than be false to the higher laws of my own nature. It is true
that I have repudiated, and still repudiate, any legal obligation that
may be secured by fraud, misrepresentation or coercion. I now know that
human laws, human customs and legal ceremonies may be the cover for the
violation of God's laws which are implanted in the human soul. I have
been true to these higher, God made laws of my own being, and disregard
all man made laws and customs which violate the most sacred rights of
the human soul.

"If I cannot meet you as an equal, free to think and act for myself,
regardless of the arbitrary rulings of either church or state, then it
will be far better for both of us, that we remain apart. I will never
be bound by any ceremony that does not meet my own approval. When it
comes to matters of this kind, I, Cassie VanNess, am the lawmaker.

"You have repeatedly expressed sentiments, which could have no other
meaning, than that you regarded legal and popular ceremonies, as of
more worth in your estimation, than the 'unpurchased, and unpurchasable
devotion of a loving woman.' If you prefer a companion who cares more
for what Mother Grundy might say, than she does for Captain Ganoe, then
I could not possibly be that companion. When I return, let all this
be forgotten. Let us meet as friends, forget if we can, the past, and
let each of us live our own life, true to our own convictions of what
is noble, good and true. I have had one lover and lost him because I
loved him too devotedly. I shall never make that mistake again. But as
the widow of such a lover, I shall henceforth continue to labor for the
upbuilding of all humanity, as I would gladly have lived for him, and
him only.

"And now, farewell Raphael. I regret, not that I loved you so
devotedly, but that I did not learn sooner, that it was only love with
certain restrictions, and within certain specific bounds, that you
wanted. Excuse my mistake and farewell."

While I maintained my equilibrium, I felt that my heart would break.
With my hand I waved a farewell to all, and set the Eolus in motion. As
I closed the door, Captain Ganoe sprang forward and would have dashed
himself from the tower but for those who stood by him. His last words
have been ringing in my ears ever since as they were wafted to me on
the balmy air. In a voice of agonizing entreaty, he cried out:

"Oh Cassie! Cassie! For God's sake, Come back! Come back!"


THE END.





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