FEBRUARY * 20e !







you've got WHEN the sniffles, a Listerine Antiseptic reac chill, and your throat feels irri- back on throat surfaces to tated, it's a sign that germs are prob- lions of the secondary in ably at work in mouth and throat. germs that many author Sometimes they can be killed in help to complicate a cold a sufflcient numbers or kept under it so troublesome. control so that Nature can halt the Actual tests showed gen infection . . . throw off the cold. tions on mouth and throat If you have any symptoms of ranging to 96.7% even lf> trouble, start gargling with full after the Listerine Antisepti strength Listerine Antiseptic and Up to 80% one hour later. keep it up. Countless people say it's In view of this evidence, d a wonderful first aid and 8 years of think it is a wise precautio scientilic research back them up. Listerine Antiseptic systeri Tests during this period actually- during fall, winter, and sprinj showed fewer and milder colds for when colds are a constant rri Listerine Antiseptic users . . . fewer the health of the entire famj] sore throats, too. Lambert I'harmac-al Co.. SI. La NOTE HOW LISTERINE GARGLE REDUCED GE

FOR COLDS I'he cwo drawings at left illustrate li range AND in germ reductions on mouth an surfaces in test cases before and after Listerine Antiseptic. Fifteen minutes 96.7* wer and even one hour after, germs were duced as much as 80%. £mS THENAMP GOT BILL A GOOD JOB!

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AMAZING STORIES 6uX is the time/

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for YOU, iff ... .

RIGHT now, in many lines, there is a search portunities flourish for every American every

. for really good men—managers, leaders day of his life. men who can take charge of departments, busi- Far more to the point is to be ready—to be nesses, branch offices, and get things humming. Prepared—to make yourself interesting to the As always, there are not enough ordinary big-time employer—and LaSalle offers you a jobs to go 'round—but rarely before, in the short-cut method of qualifying for opportunity history of American business, has there been jobs in accounting, law, traffic, executive man- so much room at the top! And new jobs are agement, and kindred occupations. being created by the business pick-up in many LaSalle Extension is 30 years old— averages lines jobs that pay splendidly and that open — over 30,000 enrollments a year 60 American the way to lifetime success. — firms each employ 500 or more LaSalle-trained Ordinarily, there would be plenty of men to men— surveys show that many LaSalle stu- fill these jobs—men in junior positions who dents attain 40% salary increase after gradu- had been studying in spare time. But most men ation—10% of all C.P.A.'s in the U.S.A. are have been letting their training slide during LaSalle-alumni. these dark years of depression . . . "What's the use?"—You have heard them say. Perhaps Why not find out what LaSalle has done and there has been some excuse for sticking to any is doing for men in your position? Send and get old kind of a job one could get the past few the facts; see what LaSalle can do for you, personally! years—but the door is wide open for the man with ambition and ability NO Wl There's no question about it—business is And don't let anyone tell you that "Oppor- picking up—jobs are looking for men—the time tunity Only Knocks Once"—that's one of the has come for you to qualify for prosperity. most untruthful sayings ever circulated. Op- Mail this coupon today!

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Position Address^.- FEBRUARY 1940 *V STORIES VOLUME 14 NUMBER


— _. ... _ . _. .. by 8 .dam Link faced the greatest tragedy of tlis career as he battled a giant robot rival to his power.

ROCKETS OVER EUROPE by Robert Moore Williams 28 What really happened at Friedrichshafen? Was it an incredible bit of come true?

UNDERSEA PRISONER by Horl Vincent 40 What good was vengeance and a confession when an undersea trap doomed you to death Five mites down?

TRUTH IS A PLAGUEI by D.vid Wri sht O'Brien 58 A liar is a hated man, but can he cause as much havoc as a whole city madly declaring the truth?

THE THIRTEENTH MR. TUMPS by Richard O. Lewis 76

T. Wilton Tumps loved his wife. But so did the thirteenth Mr. Tumps . . . and all the Tumps between!

SONS OF THE DELUGE by Netson S. Bond 86 Inexorably the Deluge roared down, forcing Duke Callion and Joey Cox to fulfil an ancient legend. FEATURES

The Observatory 7 Monthly Merit Award . . 133 Riddles of Science 57 Meet the Authors... 134 Stations in Space 122 Discussions 136 Forecast 130 137 Science Quiz 131 Correspondence Comer 141 Questions & Answers 132 Evolution Gone Mad 145

Front cover painting by C L. Hartman, depicting a scene from Adam Link's Vengeance Bade cover painting by H. M. Duffin Illustrations by Robert Fuqua, Rod Ruth, Julian S. Krupa, Joe Sewell

d Vmo, Auoclott Edltori Herman R. tiollin. Art Db.ctoi

We do not accept responsibility for the r

whatever revision is necessary to meet requirements.

PubHS&Bd monthlu by ZIFF-DAVIS PUBLISHING COM 008 Soutb Dear- " born Street. Chicago, 111. Now York OP iond clasu matter Oetober 6, ' 6


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his opinion, by creatures as far below him as the

ape is below us? What will he achieve? What

will he went? How will he find happiness? Would we be his enemies or his slaves? The gifted pen of Weinbaum answers these questions in this

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r readers are receiving our H0 is th£ most famous character ever to 'TpHE way the new come out of Amazing Stories? Well, writers gladdens your editor's heart. Carl that's a question, but you'd be giving an Selwyn who authored his first in Amazing Stories excellent answer if you said: "Adam Link!" To last month with "The Strange Death of Richard your editor's mind this is one of the most amazing Sefton" is looking up in the voting. He'll be a things he has ever run across. The fact that a contender. And Richard O. Lewis has been hit- metal man, a robot, (and how robots have been ting high. Now he comes to us with a short humor maligned in the past!) should become a dozen yarn in this issue that ought to tickle your ribs. times more popular than a flesh and blood char- It's fantasy, pure and simple, and reminds us some- acter, and assume an identity in the eyes of the how of the famous Dr. Fosdick. "The Thirteenth readers so real that he becomes a real person, re- Mr. Tumps" is our suggestion for your monthly ferred to by name by the readers, has set your edi- laugh. tor back on his heels, and trying to figure it out. We won't say any more about the stories in this The secret lies, no doubt issue, beyond mentioning with Eando Binder, who that Nelson S. Bond has done what every au- winds up his Deluge nov- thor dreams of doing, el in fine style. And Harl undersea given flesh to an illusion ! Vincent does an yarn in an excellent man- WHICH brings us io ner, with David Wright story the fact that in this O'Brien bringing a rather to the issue we have the best unusual Adam Link story to date. pages of Amazing Stories. If you don't thrill to the humanness,, the pathos, - CO many of our readers and the real significance ^ have asked for an au- of "Adam Link's Ven- thoritative article on geance" we don't know a rocket science that we've good story when we see procured one from Willy one Ley on one phase of the future of rocketry, and HpHIS modern war in one that Mr. Ley declares Europe has done a lot is more important than to change the aspect of the invention of rocket American ships themselves, because in order to fiction, and even in he states that Amazing Stories, the mag- leave the earth, rocket Miss Robots, you might Alright, will to de- azine of the future, it science need just as well take a letter . . . practical makes its presence felt. velop a more Robert Moore Williams has written a sequel to Read "Stations In Space." a very popular story in our June 1939 issue. You may remember "Lundsiret's Invention." Well, QNE of our readers suggests that if the Earth, here's "Rockets Over Europe," and we don't know V* by where Williams got his information, since he won't rotation so that the days became longer, we might tell us. But the more we think about that mystery gain a lot more "time" to live. We don't just explosion at Friedricbshafen, the more we wonder get how he means this, but we have a few views just how true this story is. Perhaps when the war of our own, and are extremely interested in having is over we will find that science fiction has come a few more from our readers. true under our very noses. (Concluded on page 130)

YtsuuaHCt 7 ~ "IfIf youvou are lonely,'lonelv." said Dr. iiiri > Hillory, "why not make another iiitiHjiit, robot, patterned after the woman you love?"And AdamLink agreed.


10 any of you humans committing suicide, your last thought must

A beb that death is after all so sweet and peaceful and desirable. Life is so cruel. And to be brought back from voluntary death at the last second must be a terribly painful experience. So it was with me, though I am a robot. My mind blinked back into con- sciousness. My mechanical brain was instantly alert. Full memory flooded back. What had happened to prevent my death? I had allowed my batteries to drain, and had lain myself flat to pass into oblivion with the last of the electrical energy. Over my head I had fixed a timed clockwork which would within an hour tip over a beaker of strong acid. I had removed my skull- piece so that the acid would bite deeply into my iridium-sponge brain and ut-

terly destroy it. ' Now I was alive again, feeling the strong pulse of electrical current surg- ing through me. And the acid lay spat- tered over the stone floor beyond, hiss- ing and bubbling. Someone had knocked it away at the last second. And

g day and had reconnected a battery to my central a* an acceler- distributor. "body All this passed through my mind in a "

10 AMAZING STORIES split second, after opening my eyes. mediately in full possession of my Then I turned my head and saw my powers. I arose, shaking off his hand self-appointed rescuer, standing a few with a half-human petulance at his feet away, slowly shaking his head. presence and interference in my life— "Are you all right, Adam Link?" he or death. queried. "Why didn't you let me die in T STARED at him. wondering how he peace?" I said. My voice, in human had found me. This spot was remote terms, was a groan. "I have known a from the haunts of men. Not one of my great hurt—this is not my world." personal friends had known of it. That was the irrevocable decision I "I'm Dr. Paul Hillory," he intro- had come to, a month before, after leav- duced himself. He was a small, wizened ing the world of men. Kay Temple had man of late middle age, bald-headed as proved that to me. She had made it an egg. He had a certain sly look in clear that a robot mind, knowing of but his eye that I took for either humor or lacking the capacity for human love, a cynical outlook such as comes, I sup- must live only in a terrible, bitter lone- pose, from seeing much of life. liness. Think of yourself the only hu- "I'm a scientist, retired. I have a man being on -Mars, among utterly alien small summer cabin a mile away. I saw beings. Beings with intelligent minds, you drive up here into the mountains but strange bodies and strange customs. like a demon, a month ago. In my next You would know true loneliness. visit to the city, I heard the story of I had fled to my secret retreat in the your trial and business venture, and Ozark mountains— fled from Kay. But sudden disappearance. I sought you I could not escape myself. My mind out, but had some trouble finding this knew human emotion, too much of it. exact hideaway. 1 came just in time, I was determined, at first, to weed that it seems. I saw you lying on the floor, out—make myself truly a machine. I and then the clockwork began tipping experimented with my brain, trying to the beaker of acid. I knocked it away burn out those unmachinelike things, with a rod. Then I took the battery but failed. I was doomed to remain a from my car and connected it to your robot with human feelings. distributor. Your heart, by analogy. I Suicide was the only course left, so realized I had brought you back from that with me would die the secret of the —death. It rather thrilled me." metal-brain. So that others of my kind I still stared at him, with an unvoiced would not be created and come to know question. the hurt I know—that this is not our "I'd do the same for any wretch try- world. ing to take his own life," he responded "Not your world?" returned my rather sharply. His voice changed. A rescuer. "Your very existence in it note of eagerness came in it. "You're

makes you part of it. I'll help you up." a robot, Adam Link! A living, think- He came forward, tugging me to my ing creation of metal! I knew Dr. Link, feet, exactly with the manner of a solic- your creator. I told him he was a fool to itous person holding another who hope to succeed. Now I see he did. It

! might be weak and spent. I needed no —it amazes me

help, of course. 1 was not a starved, He sat down suddenly. Most people thin, haggard would-be suicide. With have known fear, or even panic at first electrical current in me, I was im- seeing me. Dr. Hillory was too intel- "


ligent to be frightened. But he was ob- when I built the hideaway. Within a viously shaken. month, a second iridium-sponge brain "You have brought me back to a life lay in its head-case, on my workbench. I renounced," my phonelike voice said Dr. Link, my creator, had taken dully. "But against my will." I told twenty years to build my complex metal my story in brief, terse phrases. brain. I duplicated the feat in a month. Then, without another word, I Dr. Link had had to devise every step stalked from the cabin. I strode along from zero. I had only to follow his the path through the trees that sheltered beaten path. As an added factor, I the place from prying eyes. Beyond work and think with a rapidity un- was a clearing of a hundred feet. It known to you humans. And I work 24 ended abruptly in a cliff, which dropped hours a day. sheerly for five hundred feet, to hard The time had come to test the new rocks below, f would find my death metal-brain. Dr. Hillory was vastly down there. nervous. And also strangely eager . His

Dr. Hillory had followed me. When face at times annoyed me. I could not he divined my purpose, he cried in pro- read behind it. test and tugged at my arm. He might I paused when the electrical cord had as well have tried to hold back a tractor. been attached to the neck cable of the I didn't know he was there. He grasped metal-brain head, resting with eyes my middle—and dragged along like a closed on a porcelain slab. sack of feathers. "I had thought of this before, of The cliff edge was now fifty feet course," I informed my companion. away. I would keep right on walking. "Making a second metal-brain. But I

Suddenly he was running in front of me, had reasoned that it would come to life pushing at me and talking. and know the bitter loneliness I knew.

"You can't do this, Adam Link!" he 1 did not think of her having my com- screeched. "You have the secret of the panionship, and I hers." metal-brain, ft must—not go with you. "Hers!" Robots can be useful Dr. Hillory was staring at me open- He was talking to the wind. The cliff mouthed. was twenty feet away. 1'or a moment I myself was startled, Suddenly a gleam came into his eyes. f had given myself away, and somehow, "You are lonely, Adam Link. You before this elderly man, I felt—embar- have no one like yourself to talk to. to rassed. 1 felt before him now like a share companionship. Well, you fool, teen-age youngster, experiencing his

why not make another robot?" first love affair. In all except the actual

1 stopped. Stopped dead at the brink fact, I blushed. Metal, fortunately, of the cliff. 1 stared down five hundred does not act like the thermometer of feet at the shattering rocks below. human faces, to human feelings.

Then 1 turned away; went back. Dr. But it was too late to hide what I Hillory had won. meant from the canny scientist. Be- sides, he had to know sooner or latet.

t_TE stayed to help me. 1 had a com- I went on.

pletely equipped workshop and "When you stopped me at the cliff, laboratory. Certain parts needed I or- you said why not make another robot? dered, through the devious channels I I had been thinking of Kay Temple at had thought necessary to my isolation, the moment. The picture of the robot ! " —"

12 AMAZING STORIES that leaped into my mind, then, was not For what if the metal-brain were a one like myself. Not mentally. The failure? What if my brain was what it outward form would not matter. I was was by sheer accident, not the result of 'brought up' from the masculine view- Dr. Link's creative genius? What if point. This robot-mind must be given after all the process could not be re- the feminine outlook!" peated again—ever My mechanical voice went down in Loneliness! Death! Again my life tone. would be wedged in maddeningly be- "Her name will be—Eve!" tween those two words. Dr. Hillory had recovered himself. I held my breath, I repeat. I heard "And how will you accomplish this the hum of the electron-discharge, miracle?" he said skeptically. coursing through the metal-brain I "Simply enough. She must be brought hoped to bring to life. And then up in the presence of a woman. Her movement! The eyelids of the head thought-processes, her entire outlook, flicked open. The brain saw. The eye- will automatically be that of a woman. lids clicked shut again, as though the You must do this for me, Dr. Hillory. brain had been startled at what it saw. You are my friend. You must go to the Then open and shut several more times, city and see Kay Temple for me—now exactly as a human being might blink, Mrs. Jack Hall. She is the only one awaking from some mysterious sleep. who can make my plans come true. She "It's alive!" whispered Dr. Hillory. must be the companion for—Eve!" "The brain is alive, Adam Link! We've Dr. Hillory sat down, shaking his succeeded!" head a little dazedly. I could appre- I looked down at the blinking head. ciate how he felt. Bringing a girl up The eyes seemed to look into mine, won- here to teach a metal monster to be deringly. ! sweet, gentle-natured, feminine! Like "Eve! " I murmured. "My Eve trying to bring up a forest creature of CHAPTER II lionlike build and strength to be a harm- less, playful kitten! It was incon- "Educating" an Eve gruous. Even I had my doubts. But I body, had equal determination. VS/HEN we had completed the "I suppose," he said, with a trace of similar to mine but somewhat the cynicism that lurked somewhere in smaller, Dr. Hillory went to the city. his character, "that you will want your He came back with Jack and Kay. imme- —Eve—to learn to giggle, like a school- They had come without question, girl!" diately. I didn't answer. "Adam Link!" Jack called as soon as Instead, I switched on the electric he stepped from his car. "Adam, old wor- current. Slowly I rheostated it up, to boy! We've been wondering and reach the point at which electrons rying about you. Why did you run off would drum through the iridium-sponge like that? Why didn't you get in touch— brain, as thoughts drum in the human with us sooner, you blithering idiot mind, under the forces of life. I Jack was just covering up his in- watched, holding my breath—no, I tense joy at seeing me, with those have no breath. Sometimes I forget I words. It was good to see him too, he am a metal man. But the idiom stands who was my staunch friend and looked as descriptive of my feelings. upon me more as a man than robot. —


Kay came up. The air seemed to say it was all rather foolish. "You two hush. We stared at each other, not can use my cabin," he said to Jack and speaking a word. Kay. "It's only a mile away." Something inside of me turned over. My heart—as real as the "heart" with 1£~AY came every morning, promptly. which you humans love and yearn She would turn the switch on Eve's stopped beating. I had fled from her, frontal plate that brought her to life and but had not escaped. It was plain, now. begin her "lessons." And Kay? What was she thinking, she Eve learned to walk and talk as who had such a short time ago seen me rapidly—within a week—as I had as a man behind the illusion of metal. under Dr. Link's expert guidance. Eve,

A man she could love. . . . no less than myself, had a brain that Jack glanced from one to the other learned instantly and thereafter never of us. "Say, what's the matter with forgot. Once she had learned to talk, you two? You're staring at each other the alphabet and reading came swiftly. as though you'd never met before. Then, like myself, she was given books " Kay whose contents she absorbed in page-at- Jack of course didn't know. She had a-time television scanning. She passed not told him; he would not understand. from "babyhood" to "schoolhood" to And my last letter to Jack had told a mental "maturity" in the span of just half-truth, that there could never be weeks. another man in Kay's life but Jack. The other process was not quite so "Nothing, darling," Kay spoke. She simple—instilling in her growing mind took a deep breath, squeezing his arm. the feminine viewpoint. It might take And then I saw how radiantly happy months of diligent work on Kay's part, she was. It was an aura about her, like and would take all of her time, much to that of any newlywed. They had been Jack's ill-concealed dislike. married two months. I felt a surge of I had put quite a bit of thought into joy. Kay had found herself. And I the matter. At last I devised an instru- would too, soon, in a companion like ment that shortened the process. An myself in outward form, and like Kay aluminum helmet, fitted over Kay's inwardly. head, transferred her thoughts directly, They agreed enthusiastically. over wires, to Eve. Thoughts are "I take credit for the idea originally," electrical in nature. I found the way said Jack in mock boastfulness. "You to convert them into electrical impulses, remember once, Adam, that 1 suggested like in a telephone. Fitted to the base you make another robot, give it the of Eve's skull-piece was a vibrator feminine viewpoint, and you were au- whose brush-contacts touched the base tomatically her lord and master!" of her brain. Kay's thoughts then set Kay touched my arm. "I'll try to up an electro-vibration that modulated make her a girl you can be proud of, the electron flow of Eve's metal brain. Adam!" Mind transference. Telepathy. Call

"With you training her, that is as- it what you will. Kay's mind poured sured," I returned, with more than mere over into the receptive Eve's. I knew

gallantry. . that Eve would then be a second Kay, a "Well, let's get to work," said Dr. mental twin. It was Kay's mind I ap- Hillory impatiently. He had stood by preciated from the first, in an emotion with a look in his face that seemed to as close to human love as I can reach. 14 AMAZING STORIES

Dr. Hillory and I watched develop- Ridiculous? You who read do not ments with all the avid curiosity of the know the solemnity of that scene, the scientific mind. But I watched with tense expectancy behind it. Jack, Kay more than scientific interest. We left and Hillory, as well as myself, had be- the whole job to Kay. We seldom come vitally interested in the problem. talked with or even went near Eve, for The future of the intelligent robot might fear of upsetting this strange process here be at stake. We all felt that. How of giving a robot a feminine mind. nearly human, and manlike and woman- Once, in fact, I was annoyed to find like, could metal life be made? Dr. Hillory talking to Eve. Kay had We talked, as a group. left for a moment. What he had said The conversation was general. Eve I don't know. I didn't want to ques- was being introduced to her first "so- tion Eve and perhaps confuse her. But cial" gathering. I was pleased to note I pulled Dr. Hillory away, squeezing how reserved she was, how polite and his arm with such force that he winced thoughtful in the most trivial exchange in pain. of words. Gradually, I became aware "Keep away from her," I said of her "character" and "personality." bluntly. She was demure, but not meek. She

Dr. Hillory said nothing, however. I was intelligent, but did not flaunt it. began to wonder what to do about the Deeper than that, she was sweet, loyal, scientist. But then I forgot about him, sincere. She was lovely, by nature. as the great moment neared. She was—well, Kay. "I'll be darned," Jack suddenly said, 'T, HE great moment arrived. slapping his knee. "Eve, you're more Jack, Dr. Hillory and I were in Kay than Kay herself!" He grinned the sitting room. Kay brought Eve in, impishly at his wife. "Kay, how would leading her by the hand. Kay had as- you like a little trip to Reno?" sured me, that morning, that she had It was a splendid thing for Jack to done all she could. Mentally matured, say. He had made me feel human that Eve was as much a "woman" in outlook, way too, when I first met him. He had as I was a "man." shaken hands with me in prison, and I'll never forget that scene. had me play poker with the "boys." Outwardly, of course, Eve was just a But he wasn't merely making a gallant robot, composed of bright metal, stand- gesture, here with Eve. He meant it! ing on stiff alloy legs, her internal We all laughed, of course. Yes, I mechanism making the same jingling laughed too, inside. And I knew that hum that mine did. But I tried to look Kay laughed, for she pressed her folded beyond that. Tried to see in this hands together. Kay always did that second intelligent robot a psychic reac- when she laughed. tion as different from mine as a human Something of the tense atmosphere female's from a human male's. Only in was relieved. Our conversation became that would I be satisfied. more natural. And before we knew it, I was Pygmalion, watching breath- Eve and I, sitting together, were ab- lessly as his ivory statue came to life. sorbedly engaged in a tete-a-tete. What

"This is Adam Link, Eve," Kay said would two robots talk about, you won- gravely, in our first formal introduction. der? Not about electrons, rivets, gears. "He is a wonderful man. I'm sure But about human things. She told me you'll like him." she liked good books, and the beauties ADAM LINK'S VENGEANCE 15 of sunrise, and quiet moments of I knew I had succeeded. thought. I told her something of the Kay had caught on, somehow. She world she hadn't seen. arose, tugging Jack by the hand. It was then we noticed a queer "We're not needed here any -more. phenomenon. Our conversation be- We're going back to the city. Dr. Hil- tween ourselves gained in rapidity. lory, you go back to your cabin for a Both of us thought and spoke instan- while." Turning to us she said, smil- taneously. Vaguely, I noticed that the ing, "Get in touch with us soon, Adam others were looking at us in covert sur- and Eve." prise. Our voices to them were an in- And they were all three gone. coherent blur! And we—the Adam and Eve of ro- In the next few hours, Eve- and I bots—looked into each other's eyes and passed through what might have cor- knew that we had achieved a pinnacle responded to days or weeks of human of human relationship—love. association.

Suddenly it happened. CHAPTER III "I love you, Adam!" Eve said. I gasped, in human terms. My first Happiness at Last? reaction was one of astonishment. And I was a little repelled. It did not seem A MONTH went by. I will draw the like a matured decision, rather a mere curtain over it, as is customary in fancy of the moment on her part. Nor your human affairs, when a man and did I want her to say that simply be- woman adjust themselves to a new, dual cause she knew I was the only other liv- life together. For the first time, in my ing robot on Earth. I had wanted her sojourn among humans, I knew happi- to say that only from the depths of her ness. And Eve was radiantly happy, being, as human beings did when the exactly as Kay in her new-found hap- mighty forces of love awakened. piness with Jack. "But Eve," I protested, speaking to We went to see Dr. Hillory finally, her as to a child, "you hardly know after that month. It would have been me. And you have been—well, for- a strange sight to any human eyes, I ward. - Nor have I given you any indi- suppose. Two robots, glinting in the cation that I wanted you to say such sunlight, strolling hand in hand through a thingl" the woods, chatting as merrily as a Eve's folded hands pressed together. country boy and girl. A bird suddenly She was laughing. flew up and dashed itself against my "Adam, you poor dear," she returned. chest-plate, blinded no doubt by the "You've been saying you love me for shine. It fell to the ground, stunned. the past half hour, in every manner Eve picked it up in her steel fingers, but short of words. I just wanted to end with all the tenderness of a soft-hearted your suspense. I say it again, as I will girl, and cuddled it to her. After a mo- to the end of time—I love you!" ment the bird recovered, chirped uncer- And in a sudden blinding moment, I tainly, then flew away. knew my dream had come true. I Dr. Hillory's cabin was only a mile couldn't fathom how this girl-mind away. He eyed us with his enigmatic worked. She was—mystery. She was expression. to me what women have been to men "How are the honeymooners?" he since the dawn—mystery. And in that, grinned, with an innuendo that I didn't " " —


like. But outside of that, he seemed moment, I was little more than startled pleased to note how perfectly Eve—his at Dr. Hillory's commands, and his creation and mine—had turned out. strange power over us. "I've been doing a little experiment- "Adam!" Eve cried. "Don't you see? ing myself," he confided. "You remem- We're in his power— ber I took Kay's trans-mind helmet Lightning struck my brain. In- along. It's a fascinating gadget. I stinctively I also raised my hands to rip made some improvements. In fact, I away the little instrument that gave eliminated the wires—made it work on him such command over us. the radio principle. Want to try it, "Stop, Adam! Put your hands in Adam?" your lap!" I complied. He unhinged the skull- section next to the base of my brain and T FOUGHT. I strained with every set the vibrator in contact. He had steel muscle. But my machine's another one made, so Eve also joined strength meant nothing. My hands the experiment. dropped obediently. No wires led from the vibrators to Dr. Hillory was looking at us trium- Dr. Hillory's helmet. A little two- phantly. There blazed suddenly from masted radio aerial at its top sent out behind his features the look of a man impulses that sped through the ether bent on evil designs. I had long sus- instead. pected he was not a man to be trusted. "Do you hear me clearly, Adam Now he had revealed himself. Link?" came Dr. Hillory's voice in my "Adam Link," he said gratingly, brain. Yet his lips hadn't moved. His "your brain controls every cable and thought-words had directly modulated cog in your body. But your brain, in the electron-currents of my brain, re- turn, is under my control. I am producing the same thought-words. at my own success. Obviously a com- "Yes," I returned, also by thought, mand given by me, impinging on your since the system was a two-way con- electron-currents, is tantamount to a tact.— "This is rather clever but of what command given by yourself. Perhaps use you can explain it better than I. But Dr. Hillory's mental voice burst in. this is certain—I can do with you as I "Adam, strike Eve on the frontal-plate will!" with your fist!" I tried speaking and found I could, To my surprise, I instantly balled my as long as he had made no direct com- fingers and clanged my metal fist mand against it. against Eve's frontal plate. It didn't "Let us free, Dr. Hillory. You have hurt her, of course. But Eve did a no right to keep up this control. We strange thing. With a short, frightened are minds, like yourself, with the right cry, she reached her hands behind her of liberty." head, to rip the vibrator away. Dr. Hillory shook his head slowly. "Stop, Eve!" commanded Dr. Hil- "No, Adam. You will stay under my lory. "Put your hands down. Fold domination—" them in your lap." It was then I acted—or tried to. I She did. And she did not press them tried to leap at him. A swift mental together; she wasn't laughing. I sensed command from him—and I stopped that she was instead very, very fright- short. Fighting an intangible force ened. As for myself, up till this fighting my own brain—I strained to " " "

ADAM LINK'S VENGEANCE move on. Every muscle cable was taut. "While I wear the helmet, you are Every wheel in my body meshed for under my command," the scientist said movement. Electrical energy lay ready matter-of-factly. "Whenever I wish to to spring forth in a powerful flood. But take the helmet off, I simply turn you the mental command did not come from two off first. You cannot escape me, my brain. Instead, slowly, my body and you must do as I wish." inched back and finally eased with a grind of unlocking gears. TN the following month, part of his Hillory had won. plan unfolded. He forced me to de- He stood before me, my master. I vise a new and larger robot body. had the strength of ten men in one arm, When the parts came, from factories, the power of a mighty engine at my my fingers put them together, under his fingertips. I could in three seconds command. have taken his puny, soft body and torn Completed, the body stood eight feet it to bloody shreds. Yet there he stood, high, without a head. It was a super- my master. powerful mechanism, with muscle Hillory eased his caught breath, as cables and cogs all proportionately though not sure himself up till then that larger than mine. Twice as much elec- he could stop me. Color came back into trical power would be needed to run it. his face. It was probably the upper limit in robot "I'm your master," he hissed. "And bodies, within the boundaries of flexibil-

I have plans— ity, mobility and strength. Anything Eve and I looked at each other help- larger would have been clumsy. Any- lessly. What evil plans did this man, thing stronger would have been too so suddenly revealed in his true colors, heavy to leave a useable margin. have? A sadness radiated from Eve's Dr. Link had built my body as nearly eyes. Our late happiness had suddenly in human proportion as possible. I shattered like a fragile soap-bubble. stood five feet ten inches and weighed If I had any hope of breaking from 300 pounds. This robot body was two Hillory's clutch, it was quickly dis- feet higher and weighed 500 pounds. pelled. First he made us lie down, then And when Hillory finally revealed his removed our frontal-plates. It was purpose, I screamed in protest.

! simple for him to unhook the cables "Put Eve's head on that robot body from the batteries that gave us life. We he had commanded. blinked out of consciousness. "No!" I bellowed. "What monstrous When we regained our senses—it was motive have you behind all this— like a dreamless sleep—we realized He let me rage on for a while. He our true hopelessness. Hillory had did that once in a while, playing with welded the vibrators to the backs of our me cat and mouse, knowing he had the skull-pieces, so firmly that it would be upper hand. Eve pulled at my arm. impossible for us to tear them away "Please don't, dear ! " she begged. "It's with our fingers. Secondly, he had in- no use." stalled turn-off switches in the battery- And it was no use. I quieted. Eve circuit, so that we could be turned off was turned off. Though it revolted me when he desired. Eve's switch had in every atom of my being, I unfastened been removed before, when she reached her head-piece gently and attached it to

"maturity." Now it was back, this the new body. I trembled doing it. means of "turning off" our life. Trembled with anguish. Though "—

18 AMAZING STORIES changing bodies does not mean so much till she vanished in the woods. Still the to a robot as it would to a human being, scientist commanded her to move on, it is nevertheless a disagreeable thought. watching an instrument that recorded I had come to love every contour, every distance and control. Eve was sent a dent and scratch on Eve's former body. mile altogether, and came back obe- She would be strange to me, in the new diently. one. At no time, obviously, had she felt Finally every little wire had been con- the slightest weakening of Hillory's re- nected, between her brain and the relay mote-control, borne by high-frequency switches in the body's neck. Then I radio-waves. And radio-waves had a bolted the neck-piece in place, holding limitless range! the head firmly. At the last, under Hil- "You can easily be sent down to the lory's command, I snapped the back- city," Hillory remarked, pleased with switch. the results. "Under my control, you With a creak and groan of new metal, can be made to do anything I want the body arose. It towered above us there." both like a Goliath. I shed mental "What are you planning, you devil?" tears, and I could see the same in Eve's I demanded. eyes as she looked down at me. This A sly leer was my only answer. was as agonizing to us as to a human wife suddenly finding herself three feet npHAT night, Eve was sent down to taller than her husband. Jt was mon- the city. Hillory was able to guide strous. her easily enough, though she had never Hillory was ignoring our feelings, in been there before. His mental com- this as in all previous things. Hope- mands told her every step. Conversely, lessly, I tried to appeal to him. her sharp comprehensive thoughts came "She's my mental mate," I said. back to him, whenever she was in doubt "Don't you understand? She's my as to a road or turn. When she reached wife! We have feelings. Please— the city, in the dead of the night, Hil- The scientist laughed. lory read street signs through her and "Metal beings parading as humans," directed her footsteps. Svengali had he spat out. "You, Adam, prating never had the full, diabolical control about loneliness, wanting a companion, over his Trilby that Hillory had over mental love! It was sickening the day poor Eve! you and Eve talked of loving each At times, though the streets of the other. That's all sentimental, twisted small city were nearly deserted at this rot. Even among humans. You two, hour, late wanderers spied the tall alien in the first place, are just metal beings. form. Eve involuntarily informed Hil- You have no rights, alongside humans. lory, and he would cause her to duck You were created by human hands. I'll into shadowed doorways, or down al- show the world how to really use robots leys. —as clever instruments!" "This is perfect!" exulted Hillory to Instruments of what? What had he me. "I'm really there, by proxy. meant? Through Eve, I can accomplish any We soon found out. That very day, deed within reason, without stirring a Hillory tested the range of his remote- step from here!" control by radio. Eve, astride her new Eventually, Eve informed Hillory giant body, was sent step by step away, that she stood before a bank. Hillory — "


sent her to the back entrance, and after I tried to remonstrate with Hillory. around, told her to clicked us off, laughing, with little . a guarded look He shoulder down the door without making more regard for us than he would have unnecessary noise. Inside her keen had for cleverly trained dogs. mechanical eyesight picked her way to the vault. It was not a particularly CHAPTER IV sturdy vault. The bank was a small one. A Horrible Slavery Hillory gave an amazing order. Hillory tuned the I heard all these through my mental 'npHE following day, contact with Hillory's helmet. He told radio to the city's station. The Eve to pull open the vault door! news blared forth through Eve's involuntary thoughts, The Midcity Bank was mysteriously we could almost picture her tugging at robbed last night. The thief or thieves the heavy metal door. Finally she broke down the back door and raided braced her feet. The stupendous the vault, escaping with $20,000. The strength of her giant steel body exerted vault door did not seem to be blown itself in one furious tug. There must down. It had apparently been forced have been a terrific grind of strained, open by some amazingly powerful lever breaking metal, as the vault lock or instrument. Police are puzzled. cracked apart. Eve's great new hands They are investigating strange re- had done a job that might have balked ports that a robot form was seen last a blast of nitroglycerine. night by several people, described as a Eve did not know what money was, huge one ten feet tall. Is it Adam Link, but Hillory did. He had her stuff great the intelligent robot, with a new body? packets of bills in a sack and hurry out. Has he returned, after five months of The whole episode was over in three mysterious absence, to commit this minutes. Eve arrived back without deed? Before he left, Adam Link was mishap, the sack dangling over her accepted almost with human status. shoulder. Has he returned now to vindicate those Hillory had robbed a bank, without who said he was a Frankenstein mon- the slightest personal danger! Was ster, dangerous to human life and prop- that his purpose to amass ill-gotten erty? wealth? He read my thought. Frankenstein! Again that hideous "No, Adam," he said suavely. "This allusion was springing up about me,

is a matter of personal revenge. The when I had labored so hard to erase it President of the bank once refused me a in the minds of humans. loan!" "You are ruining all my past ef- Which made his motive still more forts!" I accused Hillory. "I saved life, petty and unworthy. I looked at poor helped humans, showed that the intelli- Eve. Her eyes were haunted. She gent robot would do good, not— harm. knew she had been forced to do some- Now you are destroying that thing wrong. Her Kay-mind told her "Nothing of the sort," retorted Hil- that. She was miserable. But I was lory evenly. "I have reasoned the more miserable. I had brought her to matter out carefully. After perfecting

life. I had not dashed myself to pieces, my robot-control, and doing one or two there at the cliff. On my soul—robot other personal things, 111 take my plans or not—rested the deed. to big business interests in New York. "


The few little things that happen here might look at a piece of prized furni- won't matter. I'll sell you as a great ture—impersonally. new invention!" "We are life!" I said doggedly. I He might have been speaking of a wished at that moment that my metallic new type of radio, or automobile. larynx did not sound so cold, so expres- I tried to speak slowly, calmly in sionless. It destroyed the meaning of answer. my words. "Life is in the mind. We "You are making a frightful mistake, have minds. Dr. Link realized that. Hillory. When I came to life, and lived You must too— in the world a while, I saw the enormous "Shut up!" roared Hillory in exas- difficulties of introducing robot-life. I peration. "Why should I listen to your saw from my own experiences that it meaningless drivel?" would not be like introducing a new I was helpless to go on. He had mechanical gadget. For I have a mind commanded me to stop talking. He was and feelings and human emotions. master of every atom of my body. Eve Human life is complicated enough, and I looked at each other. She under- without adding another complex factor. stood. The future of robots lay in my Before the cliff there, I had made up my hand. But I was a pawn in Hillary's mind it was better for the secret of the hands. The dread thought loomed be- metal-brain to vanish. Both for my fore us—what would be the fate of our sake and the world's. Foolishly, I let future kind? Of the robot—race? the thought of a companion robot sway Slavery! We must have felt then like me to stay in life. Yet perhaps the the Adam and Eve of Biblical history, problem is not insoluble. But I tell you denied Eden, foreseeing only misery this, Dr. Hillory—I and I alone must and suffering for their people. decide! I alone, the Adarn^of intelli- gent robots, can find a way to introduce HpHE following night, Eve was again robot-life without creating future dis- sent down to the city, like a metal aster!" zombie. This time Hillory directed her Hillory hardly heard. toward the residence section of town. "Rubbish! Your whole approach She arrived at a certain house. She has been wrong. Who are you to tell was sent quietly through a porch win- humans what is best for them? You're dow. Hillory seemed to know the house no more than a clever mechanical toy, thoroughly. with pseudo-human reactions. I have Then through a door. Hillory's cau- figured out the way to introduce robots. tious mental-commands to make no Not as independent individuals who noise were probably carried out to the wander around in a half-human daze, letter. Merely by leaning her great looking for mental love. But as an or- weight against a locked door, slowly but ganized, controlled force of workers, steadily, Eve could force the lock with under the strict domination of their little more than a clink of snapping human creators and masters. As for parts. Apparently no one had heard. your so-called 'feelings', they are spuri- The metal housebreaker was not de- ous. Like a phonograph, you have tected. learned to imitate the human things. Then Hillory gave a command that You are no more than a clever mech- made something inside of me go cold. anism." He told Eve to strangle the man lying He looked at Eve and me as one there in bed, asleep! Strangle him, kill "

ADAM LINK'S VENGEANCE 21 him! Hillory's psychic command was quences. Hillory had no consequences a ruthless, eager whisper. Powered by to fear. It was perfect, for him. radio, the heartless command sped to He went on. "But you are being Eve, and those great metal hands had blamed, Adam Link. The myth of the no choice. free-willed robot who can do only good Eve came back with human blood on is being destroyed. When you have her hands. She kept looking at them. been definitely branded the culprit, I "Adam, what have I done?" she said. will announce to the authorities that Behind the flat, metallic tone was sheer mental-control is the only way to handle anguish. Eve was a gentle humanlike the robot problem that has arisen before girl, in a metal body, remember that. mankind. I am doing the world a "He gave a cry—one cry. A horrible— service. I am giving it the great gift cry. It is awful to take human life of robot-labor, in a safe sure way!" She had cried this out in a rush, be- fore Hillory could command her to stop TJTLLORY sent Eve out again the sniveling. Then she stared at me. I next night. His sly look told of could feel her poor, dazed mind tot- some other hideous deed in mind. A tering. It was a brutal introduction to man of his temperament and character the mystery of life and death to her, had undoubtedly made many personal she who was so much like the gentle, enemies. warm-hearted Kay. I wanted to rush A short time later, a car's motor and to her, comfort her, as any human brakes sounded outside, and then its would rush to his loved one in distress. horn. Hillory glanced out of the win- Hillory made me stay where I was. dow. "You're a fiend, Hillory!" I man- "Kay!" he breathed. But he seemed aged to say before he locked my voice. prepared. "Your heart is harder than the hardest Kay rushed in. She was alone. She steel of my body. You call us non- glanced at us both. human beings. Yet you are less a "Adam! " she cried. "I had to come. human—" He stopped me then. Is there anything wrong? Where's The next day tie radio blared Eve?" angrily. "No, there is nothing wrong, Kay," I "A brutal murder last night again returned, but the words had been pro- brings up tie thought of Adam Link, jected from Hillory's mind. I had no the robot. Police say the door had been power to stop them, or utter words of forced by a strength greater than any my own. "Eve is all right. She just man's. The body's neck was almost went out for a walk." severed. Adam Link's strong metal Kay heaved a tremulous sigh. fingers could do that—" "Then all those ugly rumors are "What would they say if tiey knew groundless, just as Jack said." Her

it was Eve Link?" said Hillory, glanc- voice held deep relief. "The robbery ing at us with a sidelong look of mock- and murder naturally would be pinned ery. "That man was a personal enemy; on Adam Link, Jack said. People now he's out of tie way. Ah, this is so are like that. He said the criminals perfect, perfect!" probably did things in such a way as

I have heard it said that every human to leave signs pointing to you. You're being has at least one enemy he would their perfect cover-up. I wanted to

like to kill, if there were no conse- come up yesterday, but Jack said not to " "

12 AMAZING STORIES disturb you and Eve until you called for In two bounds I was before him. I us. But I was so worried that tonight grabbed the helmet from his head and I jumped in the car and came up, just flung it to the floor. Then I grasped to make sure everything is all right." his two shoulders in a vise-like grip There was still a trace of doubt in and held him. I think if my face had her voice. She was staring at Hillory, shown any expression at that moment, I and the queer helmet he wore. would have been grinning—but with no "Adam and I were just finishing a trace of humor. little experiment," Hillory said easily Hillory's face had gone dead-white Kay turned to me again. "Then in fear. He squirmed and moaned in everything is all right?" my adamant clutch, expecting imme- "Of course, Kay. It was nice of you diate death. to be concerned and come up, but why Let me make a confession at this not come back some other time, when moment. For one split instant, with we aren't so busy?" rage shaking every cell of my iridium- Hillory's words, of course, through sponge brain, I thought of tearing Hil- my helpless brain and larynx by proxy. lory's head from his body. But only I strained to put in a note of warning, for an unguarded instant. Then reason distress. But a robot's voice is in the came to me. A robot must never kill first place devoid of human emotion. a human, of his own free will. It was But strangely, instead of taking the a thing I would never do. And a thing hint to go, she seemed curious over the I will never let happen again—save for experiment. She moved toward the the deed poor Eve was driven to do. control board of the helmet, connected I merely held Hillory firmly. To Kay "Thanks, Kay. You've saved to it by wires. I said:— "This looks something like the helmet me I used with Eve," she said. "I knew there was something wrong! I could- see Hillory's impatience for Her lips were quivering now, in reaction her to go. But he could not afford to to the excitement. "I knew it couldn't arouse her suspicions. He knew that be you, Adam that told me to go so she and Jack were much more my brusquely. And Dr. Hillory is a poor friends than they could ever be of Hil- actor." And Kay, I reflected, was an lory. He began to describe the experi- intelligent girl. is all What hor- ment in general, meaningless terms. "What— this about? Suddenly Kay moved. rible " Kay seemed about to go to She moved with a swiftness and pur- pieces. pose that startled us both. Her hand "Buck up!" I snapped. I told the grasped the switch cutting off current story briefly. Then I instructed her to it the to the helmet. Hillory recovered and get a bottle of acid and apply to clutched at her wrist. With a furious instrument welded on my skull-piece. later the vibrator fell effort, Kay opened the switch. A few minutes helmet That was all that was needed. away. I was free entirely of the control!

CHAPTER V Not till then did I release Hillory. He staggered to a chair, mute and mor- Heartbreaking Combat tally frightened. The man who had npHE helmet went dead. I was no been my master sat there now, a cow- longer in Hillory's mental control. ering wretch. —•


"Hillory—" I began. I, two beings who loved one another There was an interruption, outside. but were battering at one another with The clank of metal feet sounded. the fury of giants. Eve was fighting Through the open door I could see to destroy me. I was fighting for my Eve's body, glinting in moonlight. She life. had come back, also released from the I knew quickly that I had no chance. mental control. She stood beside Kay's Eve's body was almost twice as heavy car, swaying on her feet, as though ut- and powerful. I was slightly quicker terly dazed and lost. in movement, and that alone saved me I ran out. from almost instant destruction. "Eve!" I yelled. "We're free! Eve, Mighty blows from her great fists dear—" thundered against my body. My re- I suppose I felt at that moment as turn blows fell short. I danced out of any man would, when he and his loved her grasp. Those arms had crushing one are reunited after a deadly peril strength. I tried to flee. In three has passed. I extended my hand. mighty strides Eve had caught up,

Eve took it, with a glad cry. knocked me off my feet. A powerful And then suddenly she yanked at my leg rained kicks at my fallen form, arm, throwing me to the ground. For denting metal and endangering delicate an agonized moment I thought she had mechanisms within. Then the great gone mad. Then, as her great body form jumped on me. Five hundred came at me I realized what had hap- pounds crashed down on my chest. It pened. was very nearly the fatal blow. t I leaped to my feet. A glance over But I managed to roll aside, escaping my shoulder told me the situation. I the second such stroke, aimed at my saw within the open, lighted doorway head. Hillory wanted my brain crushed. of the cabin. Like a fool, I had forgot- He wanted to destroy me utterly, and ten about Hillory. He had picked up have Eve left under his control. the helmet, turned on the power, and The battle could not last much was fighting Kay off. Brutally, he longer. Within seconds I would be crashed his fist against her chin and the crushed, broken, lifeless. girl toppled to the floor, knocked cold. I did the only thing left. I ran— Hillory had no more control over me. but this time to the cliff edge, where I But he did have over Eve! had once nearly invited death. Eve's Her great body came at me, under hands clutched at me, and then drew Hillory's command. Its mighty arms back. Hillory was willing to let me clutched for me, grabbed me, squeezed plunge over the cliff, and meet destruc- with machine-given power. My frontal tion five hundred feet below. I went plates groaned. I squirmed loose some- over, dropping like a stone. . . . how, and staggered back. A stunning blow- from Eve's powerful hand caught HPHE fall seemed interminable. me at the side of the head. My left It is said that you humans, when tympanum went dead, ruptured. I falling or drowning, see your whole life reeled. before your mind. I saw mine—not "Eve!" I shouted. "Eve—don't" once but a hundred times. Every detail But of course it was no use. It was stood out with stark . But one, not Eve who was attacking me. It was livid thing stood out above all others Hillory. And there we battled, Eve and the thought of Eve, my beloved crea- !


tion, remaining alive in the hands of a slim chance. I had thrown myself over

human fiend. . . . the cliff—but not as a suicide. I had Yet one part of my brain, as I fell, hoped this miracle would happen. Up was cool and calculating. It kept track above, Hillory must be looking down. of my descent, counting off the feet and He must be seeing the faint patch of yards by that automatic sense of tim- metal shining in the moonlight, unmov- ing and measurement which is part of ing. He would be certain of my utter me. destruction.

A hundred feet to the ground ! It an- Perhaps now he would be turning . nounced that and then acted. It made away, ordering Eve inside. And there my arms and legs flail, shifting my cen- plotting his scheme of bringing to life a ter of gravity. My body had turned horde of mind-enslaved robots

head over heels four times in falling. But I lived. . . . But when I landed, it was squarely on I began crawling. Little more than my feet. To have landed on my head a head, battery and arm, I began crawl- would have been immediate destruc- ing alone. The stump of my arm dug tion. into the soil, flexed, and moved me an I have instant reflexes. The moment inch at a time. Behind me trailed my feet-plates touched ground, my leg- shreds and tags of metal, all that was cables flexed, taking up as much of the left of my body. My steel backbone, shock as possible. It might be the mar- to which was attached the battery case, gin to save me. The rest was a clash of head and arm, moVed as a unit, but the grinding, bending, breaking metal that rest was shreds. Hour after hour I horrified my own ear. I had fallen on crawled along, like some strange half- a patch of grassy ground, but with the mangled slug that clung to life. force of a motorcycle hitting a stone Yes, I knew agony. The shattering wall at 300 miles an hour. of my body meant nothing, but my My mind swam out of a blur. One brain itself ached. Some few crushed eye was wrecked and useless, but with cells were warping my electron-cur- the other I looked over my body. My rents, creating a sort of hammering legs were twisted, crumpled lumps that static. It throbbed like the beat of a had been driven up into my pelvic re- great hammer. I do not know what

gion. One arm was broken completely your human pain is. But I would have off and lay twenty feet away. My gladly exchanged any possible form of frontal plates had split in half and now it for the crashes and thuds within my stuck half-way over my sunken head. brain that seemed like the sledge-blows Every cog, wire and wheel below my of a mountain-tall giant. shoulders was scattered around in an But worse than that "physical" ag- area of more than fifty feet. ony was my mental torment.

But I lived 1 Hived! What if the twisted cables and gears My brain was whole, though badly of my arm failed? What if the battery jolted. By a miracle, the battery cable cracked wide open? What if a little bolt to my head was intact. The battery was or wire slipped out of place? At any

cracked, but working. I could move moment it might happen. And I would one arm slightly. I was little more than lie there, dead. Or paralyzed, awaiting a battery, head and arm, but I lived! death. And up there in my cabin-

Fortunately, I knew no pain. laboratory, Hillory, and poor Eve. . . . And thus I had played out my one But metal is sturdy. And Dr. Link "

ADAM LINK'S VENGEANCE 25 had built my body with care. I crawled That was all I had time for. The all that night and the next day, through farmer blazed away at me with a shot- woods, meadows and stretches of boul- gun he carried. The first shot wrecked der-strewn land. I knew where I was my arm, making me completely help- going, if I could get there. Twice hu- less. The second, by its concussion, mans passed near me. I lay still. They tumbled me from my perch. I fell to would probably destroy me, with the the floor with a clatter and lay still. deeds of Hillory pinned on Adam Link. The farmer did not know what he had Once, reaching a brook, it took me an shot at, whether beast or nameless hour to figure a crossing. I could not thing. He shut himself up in the next risk water, for fear of a short-circuit. room, then, with his wailing family. I I nudged a log into the stream. It will never know what he thought of the caught against rocks. I crawled across. whole thing. But I will not go into the nightmarish Jack arrived within an hour, in his

detail of that journey. Forty-eight car and took , me away, explaining to hours later, again at night, I had the farmer as incoherently as the farm- crawled five miles. Before me lay a er stammered his story. In the car were farmhouse, the nearest one, I had Kay and Tom Link. known, to my hideaway. It had a tel- Kay wept unashamedly. ephone. "Adam! You're alive—thank God!" I told my story briefly. Kay told CHAPTER VI hers. Hillory had released her, of course, after I was gone. Kay had re- ''Vengeance Is Mine!" turned to the city. In a red rage at T REACHED the back door. Luckily, Hillory, Jack had driven to his place, as with many unmolested farmer the next day—yesterday. He had not folk, it was unlocked. I made my way met Hillory, only the menacing form of in and found the telephone, but it was Eve, who waved for him to leave. Hil- on the wall out of my stunted reach. lory spoke, through Eve, saying he was Working as soundlessly as I could, I preparing papers for patent, on the pulled a chair over. From that perch, helmet-control of robots. I was barely able to reach the phone. Back in the city, Jack had called It was the old-fashioned hand-ringing Tom, who came by plane from the east. type, still prevalent in that region. They had been discussing, when I With my one good hand I lifted the called, some legal way to forestall receiver, left it dangle, and rang the Hillory. bell. A sleepy operator answered. I Tom Link, my "cousin," looked at me hurriedly gave the long-distance num- sadly. "Meeting you this way hurts, ber in the city nearby. Jack's number. Adam!" he said sincerely. "I didn't He had mentioned it to me during his know you were in trouble." My last visit. letter to him had not revealed my hide- I heard the ringing of the phone at away or purpose. the other end. I also heard a stir from He went on grimly. "We must stop one of the other rooms. Jack answered Hillory some way. We can try to pin at the same time that a burly farmer the murder and robbery on him, with appeared, snapping on the lights. yourself as chief witness. You have le- "Jack!" I yelled. "It's Adam Link! gal status, since your trial, Adam. Fail- Come and get me! Trace this call— ing in that, we can contest his patent, " " " " a6 AMAZING STORIES or file counter-patent, or— then they might win a legal victory Tom was vague, uncertain. It was over him. a tricky situation. I thought of a court trial, which I had once sat through, and WAS there at dawn. If I had thought J all the clumsy machinery of law. And to surprise Hillory asleep, I saw my I thought of Eve in Hillory's hands all mistake. Eve's form, sitting before the that while, going mad perhaps. . . . cabin, rose up mechanically, with a I think my voice must have startled shout of alarm. Hillory had somehow them, as I broke in. Perhaps for once rigged her up as a sentry. something of the burning emotion I felt The cabin door flew open and Hil- reflected in my dead, mechanical tones. lory's bald head peered out. He saw "Vengeance," I said, "is mine! me running up as fast as I could. His eyes popped. I must have seemed to 'T'HREE days later, working day and him like a ghost from the dead—a ro- night at an accelerated, driving bot's vengeful ghost. pace, I had a new body. I was in Dr. But he darted back in, obviously to Link's old workshop, my "birthplace." his helmet-control, and Eve's great Tom had locked the place without re- form lumbered out to meet me. This I moving its contents, for sentimental knew was inevitable, that I would have reasons. I had been created here, over to battle Eve again. a year before. Now a new Adam Link "You escaped death somehow, Adam was replacing the old.. Link!" Eve's voice said. But I knew My new body was eight feet tall. it was Hillory talking, through her. I Bringing me only as a living head, Tom had no way of telling whether he was and Jack had, under my instructions, perturbed or not. "I'll smash you com- connected me to a broken, partly dis- pletely this time, before my eyes!" he mantled robot body Dr. Link had first concluded defiantly. made for me, then discarded as not I stopped ten feet before Eve's quite what he wanted. Working with crouching, waiting form. this basis, I rebuilt the body piece by "Eve, listen. I know you can hear piece, strengthening, improving, em- and understand." I went on rapidly. ploying greatly advanced mechanical "I have to battle you, perhaps kill you! principles. It is the only way. I must destroy you At last it was done, and I prepared if I can, so that Hillory does not de- to leave. stroy me. Hillory must not be allowed Kay, Jack and Tom wore solemn to introduce robot-slaves. This is all faces. Within, I was solemn too. I torture to you, darling, I know. You knew what I had to do. are fighting me when you don't want "I'll bring Hillory down alive,"— I to. And I will be bent on your destruc- promised grimly. "But before that tion—even, if necessary, that of your I could not finish the thought. brain. Your life! I love you, Eve. Kay burst out into tears. She loved Forgive me— Eve too, "Love!" scoffed the robot before me. I left. I had told them to come up, For a moment I thought it was Eve. if I did not return in twenty-four hours, Then I knew it was Hillory, hearing my with police. Hillory could be arrested words, and mocking. "Mechanical pup- for living on my property, already pets, both of you!" signed over to Jack and Kay. Perhaps And then we were battling. — a


LJOW can I describe that battle? A ous crash. I had my chance then— battle between two metal titans, perfect chance to stamp my iron heel each with the ruthless machine-powered down on the head, crunching it. But I strength of dozens of men? It seemed didn't. Eve's eyes stared at me. unreal even to me. The chance passed, as my enemy We came together with a clang that rolled away, swung erect. But I had resounded through the still mountain been a fool. One blow and Eve would air like a cannon's roar. We locked have known non-existence. It would arms, straining to throw each other. have been sheer mercy, to save her from But now I was no longer at a disad- a living death. If the chance came vantage. We were equally matched. again, I would not hesitate. . . . Two robots constructed for maximum I hardly know what went on in the power, speed and endurance. Unyield- following minutes. Once my enemy ing metal against unyielding metal. picked up a boulder that ten men could We looked into each other's eyes, not have budged and hurled it at me told each other that though our bodies like a bomb. I dodged but it scraped fought, our minds loved. my side, tearing three rivets loose. We broke apart. We came at each Again, he locked his arms around me other with swinging arms. Mailed fists from the back and crunched them to- clanked against our adamant armors. gether so fiercely that metal screamed. The blows would have broken the back But I heaved him over my back, break- of an elephant. Within us, gears, cogs ing the hold. and wheels clashed in spurts and re- We fought on, like two mad giants. verses as we weaved and danced around Our colossal blows at one another would like boxers in a ring. We did not move have felled the largest dinosaur of as agilely as human boxers, however. Earth's savage past. Our mechanical The robot body must ever be inferior, apparatus within began to feel the re- in sheer efficiency, to nature's organic peated shock. Parts were being strained robots. to the breaking point. It couldn't go on Suddenly my adversary—I no longer forever. One of us would break down. thought of her as Eve, but Hillory I had a dim hope that my enemy stepped back, stooping. He shot for- would first. Hillory had had to fight ward in a football tackle, toppling me by. proxy, from a distance. I had backward. Then, while I lay slightly fought from a closer range. I had got- stunned, he picked me up by heel and ten more telling blows in. His inner arm and flung me over his head. I mechanisms had received the most ter- landed with a metallic crash. The next rific jolting. It was his second battle. second a huge boulder whizzed past my I had punched at the head as often as I brain head. Then another . . . but I was could, jarring the within—even dodging. though it was Eve's. I was on my knees when he came at I cannot describe the hollow ache me, hammering at my skull-piece with that came with the thought of winning his ponderous arms. I flung my arms by killing Eve. But I had to win. I up in protection. He sought to destroy had to save the future robot race from my brain. Once that was crushed, my slavery. And the human race, beyond powerful body was senseless junk. that, from the eventual catastrophe of I lunged forward at his knees, hurl- such a stupid course.

ing him to the ground with a thunder- C Concluded on page 128)

" "


i hoi


MARTIN LANGLEY wiped his no far distant time. A faint pallor glasses. Regretfully he laid showed through the tan of his face. His down the newspaper clipping eyes were heavy with tension. which the somber young man had Langley cleared his throat. "Lieu- handed to him. (See clipping above.) tenant Andre,"— he said. "Naturally, of "You said that you think this is the the army of strange new weapon which the current "Pardon me, Monsieur," the lieu- war has been expecting to see?" he said tenant interrupted. "I am here as a quietly. private citizen. I offer you this com- "Perhaps. We know the 'rumors'— mission alone, for the moment. There are true. We have only our fears is no need to mention my country. You The young man was in civilian must understand. We have had our clothes, but the straightness of his back experiences with espionage already." and the square cut of his shoulders Langley blinked. "Espionage! Not showed that he had worn a uniform at in America. There are no spies here." 29 " I


The young officer smiled wanly. "I ship. He had seen the model of such fear you are mistaken in that, Mon- a ship once, had seen it fly. The great sieur. One cannot be too careful, any- Lundstret, his memory now sealed in — " where. However " he shrugged. — death, had built that rocket, and its se- did not come to you to talk of spies, but cret had gone to the grave with him. of this." He pointed again to the clip- From then on Langley had known that ping on the desk. "You have not read his life would never be complete until this dispatch in your papers before to- he had built another such model. And day?" now this young man from—he forced Langley shook his head apologeti- himself not to think of the officer's na- cally. "I fear I do tionality—was of- not read the pa- This story is fiction. The editors have f e t i n g him a desire pers as much as I no to present ROCKETS OVER chance to . . . should. The war EUROPE in any other light. Yet, in "What do you view of the news that has come through news sickens me. want me to do?" the war censorship; remembering the Fortunately, m Langley said. y Mysterious blast of one of the belliger- work is —rather en- ent's great airdromes; recalling other The Lieutenant grossing carefully veiled explosions—-the reader took a deep Langley could may well ask—is this fiction? breath. His eyes see how much his The newspaper clipping that begins shown as he this story has had its counterparts words had struck in the grasped Langley 's daily press. One of the belligerents has the young man. hand and held it often claimed a new weapon that would "Yes, Monsieur. firmly for a mo- make for invincibility. Yet the war has The war sickens not brought this weapon out ... Or has ment. "Thank us all." He paused it—and has that weapon failed? you, Monsieur a moment, and What do you think? Langley,'' he then went on dog- whispered. "With gedly. "You are a scientist and your the great Martin Langley to help us, we work is your life. But the lives of mil- will be victorious. We must fight de- lions of people may depend on work struction with destruction. Unless we such as yours. It is for that reason can find a defense for this weapon, and that I have been sent to you. We need our scientists have already told us they your help, Monsieur,—we need it badly. are powerless, we must repay the enemy If truly these rockets are being used, in kind. The Dictator of our enemy a strange new disaster confronts an en- will learn—" tire nation—perhaps two nations." Langley'a face had gone white. "My help." Langley spoke simply "No," he said. "Not" He brushed a and quietly. He looked at the troubled hand across his forehead. "My work is young face before him and he could see for peace, not for war. My country is the fear and uncertainty reflected in neutral. And more than that, Lieuten- millions of other such young faces. ant, I have been a pacifist all my life. They needed his help. "I don't know You have asked the impossible." —" he began, then stopped. "You do not understand! This war The idea was momentarily perplex- was forced on us—it is a war against ing. Langley had spent many years of the innocent. Soldiers are willing to die his life experimenting with rockets, and in battle, but this new weapon will go the dream of his years of work was to far beyond that. It can travel for hun- build a rocket that would fly, a space- dreds of miles to kill women and chil- " !

"ROCKETS OVER EUROPE" 31 dren who have already paid more than eyes in a smart salute as he stood over they can bear. We want the weapon Langley's bed. For a moment it looked only to show the enemy that if he uses as if the nurse would take him away, it, he must also face its use by us." but then looking at Langley and antici- Slowly Langley shook his head. "I pating him before he could speak, she am sorry," he said. "This war is not smiled and backed away. mine— "You are all right, Monsieur?" the It came through the great bay win- young officer said anxiously, and then dow behind both men, a thundering as if reassuring himself he said, "But crash that beat them as if with physical of course you are. The doctors all told force—an explosion rocking the house me that. I am leaving for my native Hurled off his feet by the murderous country within the hour, and I came blast, Langley was thrown violently here to tell you how great my sorrow is against a wall. He remembered the that my visit has caused you so much mortar dust flying up furiously, and the misfortune—our enemy stops at noth- slow fall of bricks, and the way the ing." He looked at Langley, his lips whole ceiling overhead sagged. Then ashen. "Forgive me, Monsieur, I can- he was thinking vaguely of what the not express myself." officer had said about spies. This then In that moment Martin Langley

— After that it was as if some great knew what he was going to do. hand had closed his eyes. He was a strange man sometimes, even to himself. The quiet Langley '"TpHE doctor says you're to rest could be roused to cold fury. Now an quietly." The young, white-clad unsuspected savage gleam shone in his nurse smiled down at Martin Langley. eyes. He sat up. Langley could see her through a "If you'll wait until I get dressed, clearing haze that seemed spread over Lieutenant," he said, evenly and quietly, his eyes. Almost as if he were focusing "I'll join you. That bomb drafted me." a camera, he finally made her out. The Four days later, Martin Langley first words spoken were: "How is the stepped out of a huge flying boat that Lieutenant?" had met him at the Azores; a fleet bat- "He's all right. As soon as you're tle cruiser had taken him from a launch able to see him, he will be in." thirty miles off Sandy Hook and taken Langley looked up at the ceiling. him to the airplane. And now Langley Slowly a strange anger had begun to stood on alien soil. burn within him with his returning con- sciousness. "DO you know what hap- CIX men were seated in the large pened?" he said to the nurse. room. Martin Langley looked about She smiled comfortingly, but firmly. him at their determined faces. The "You're to be quiet, Mr. Langley," she room was heavy with cigarette smoke. said. Sheafs of papers lay on the huge, circu- Just then, Langley saw the tall, lean lar table. These several ranking offi- figure of the tall Lt. Andre come up cers of the Intelligence Corps were lis- behind the nurse. He was dressed in tening to Major Bruillard. The Ma- the uniform of his country now, and jor's voice was calm, but under it lay his face was half obliterated with heavy a grim expectancy. Death, by proxy, bandages. His left arm hung limply in hovered over the room. a sling, but the other came up to his "... And we now know definitely 32 AMAZING STORIES that the enemy is manufacturing these their pillboxes, their dugouts, and be- curious rocket shells in large numbers. gan to create gigantic mud puddles, to Up to now they have probably been ex- raise huge piles of absorbent material, perimenting with them. Otherwise, a monstrous heaps of hastily cut shrub- real attack. . . ." The Major paused. bery. "They won't start their main attack Near the little village that had been until they have thousands of those rock- Alspach, where the rockets had fallen ets ready to launch at us. When they for several nights they went out into do start, it must not be too late. Our no-man's land. Langley went with nation could be blown out of existence." them, and Andre accompanied him. "All right," said Langley. "Show me The enemy ever alert and all-knowing, what you have." opened up with mortars, 105's, and ma- They took him to a laboratory, chine guns, and men ducked into shell showed him the fragments. Bits of holes and men died. How many went broken metal, iron, copper, empty half- to their death because of his order, shells—hints at the mechanism that op- Langley never knew, but his face grew erated the rockets, but only hints. as haggard as Andre's. With Lieutenant Andre constantly Then shortly after midnight, a hand- beside him, Langley went to work. ful of the strange rockets came, whining Within hours he knew the worst. The downward like monstrous starshells, fragments were too broken to tell him trailing streaks of glowing light behind anything about the mechanism of the them, to burst with incredible explo- rockets. sions. "I have to have one of those rockets," They fell close together, and the he said bluntly. "One that hasn't ex- earth became a pockmarked wilderness. ploded." Still the men, those who lived, waited, "Impossible! We had hoped to be standing near their nets. able to secure a dud, and our patrols are Then just before dawn a final rocket instructed to be constantly on the look- came, like a glowing ghost whistling out, but no duds have come over." down the sky. Huddled in a shell hole "We'll make our own dud," Langley in the darkness, Langley and Andre said. "Nets. Huge piles of excelsior, watched. The rocket roared to earth mud. Even high explosive shells fre- and they held their breath, waiting for quently fail to explode when they strike the gigantic explosion. It never came. a soft surface." The rocket had struck one of the mud "But we're not certain these are con- puddles in the nets. tact explosives. They may be time shells." y^HEN they dug it out, they, and "In that case," said Langley, "notify the dozen soldiers who helped your army that all they can do is pray. them were covered with mud from head

to foot. The rocket was slick with it.

But the army of Andre's brothers More men were needed to carry it, and were not ready for prayer. Whatever mysteriously, Andre brought them out Langley asked for, he was given. His of the gray dawn mist. orders were listened to and carried out. They got the rocket over a hill and That night, some hundred hardy vol- out of sight of the enemy patrols just unteers, rifles slung across their shoul- as the sun came up. They loaded it in ders, came out of their concrete forts, a truck. Langley rode on one side and .


Andre rode on the other, to keep it from plans for the Voyager. Had she come rolling and possibly exploding. Neither back to earth, Langley wondered. If let himself think of what would happen so, why hadn't the enemy built rocket if that rocket exploded when they were ships, why wasn't he blasting across the so near it. sky, smashing all opposition? Or was When they arrived safely at their that waiting for the immediate future laboratory, with explosives experts to witness? clustering thick around them, working Langley shivered involuntarily with with infinite care, they pulled the rock- a new fear. et's teeth. When that huge pile of high Then, studying the rocket, he saw explosive powder was safely out of the what must have happened. The rocket laboratory, Langley suddenly found he was unbelievably crude. It was far was too weak to stand. He sat down from Lundstret's perfected mechanism. and wiped the sweat from his face. The enemy did not have a complete de- Every muscle in his body was jerking as sign of Lundstret's ship. The controls if it had a mind of its own. were entirely inadequate. In fact, there "We've won!" Andre whispered be- were scarcely any controls, the power tween bloodless lips. "We've got one of being fed automatically. those rockets. As soon as we under- Was it possible that the enemy had stand its mechanism, we can make them somewhere found some of Lundstret's ourselves. We've won, won, won!" He old notes, which had enabled them to was almost shouting when he finished. create this rocket. Certainly they had "Maybe," Langley said. "I have seen not found the Voyager. But they had too many men die tonight to want any the clue that would lead to perfected more of them dying from a machine of rocket flight, if they could carry it to peace." its logical conclusion. Grimly, Lang-

The laboratory was crowded. Ex- ley wondered how long it would be. . . perts in all lines, there to help. As he began to explore the mechanism of the 1LTE was aware of a stir in the men rocket, Langley saw the anxiety on the massed around him. Looking up, faces of this people. It was the same he saw a messenger coming through the way everywhere he had been, since crowd. Andre took the square of paper. landing. Among this people at war, As he read it, the blood drained from those who knew were waiting—like men his face. "From headquarters," he before a firing squad. . . , whispered. "Our intelligence service

Langley removed the housing that reports that enemy big push is matter covered the rocket motor. He took one of days, possibly hours. Monsieur look and his heart almost stopped beat- Langley, we've simply got to have these ing. rockets to use in counter attacking." This—this was Lundstret's rocket Langley didn't answer. He had in- design! Lundstret, who had built the tended to say it was impossible, but Voyager and sent her off to the stars he looked at their faces and the words rather than let her fall into the wrong would not come. hands. Lundstret had died protecting Langley knew it was hopeless from a rocket model similar to this. the start. True, they had a model. And Lundstret had died in vain! They knew how the rockets worked. Somehow the dictator who had driven But weeks would be required to adapt him from his country had secured the the machinery necessary to the con- " —

34 AMAZING STORIES struction of the parts, to assemble the teries of artillery, massing tanks. The motors, and prepare the war-heads. rockets were coming over in larger They didn't have those weeks to spare. numbers. During the first night, the No one knew how long they had. rockets smashed a fort that had been "We've got to have something else," regarded as impregnable. But the big Langley said bitterly. "We've got to push did not come that first night. It find some way of—Well, why not?—of would come the second, or the third. exploding these things as they come But it was coming. — over — exploding before they strike "Monsieur Langley earth." "We're doing our best," Langley an- "Is-^is that possible?" Andre asked. swered. "Shut up and let us work."

"We're going to make it possible!" By noon of the second day he impro- Langley said quietly. vised searchlights were moving up to How he achieved what he did, Lang- the front. Did they have enough of ley never fully understood. He had them? Langley didn't know. Would help, the best help the nation could pro- they work, they asked Langley. He vide, the cream of its scientific minds. said they would. Together they worked until they were A weak cheer went up when he made ready to drop from exhaustion. They the announcement. His helpers were didn't drop. The constantly mounting too tired for the cheer to be anything tension, the constant fear—"When is but weak and Langley was too tired to the zero hour? When does the enemy care whether they cheered or not. big push start?"—drove them on. The second night came. Langley did knew what And then they believed it was done. not go up to the front. He Digging into the firing mechanism of would happen when the oncoming that rocket, Langley found a hint. The rockets met the beams from his strange rockets did not operate by ejecting gas searchlights. He crawled off into a at high velocity. They ejected what corner and went to sleep. In his dreams looked like light, but which Langley dis- a constant exulting echo sounded. covered was not really light, but was "We've won, won, WON!" he did not the a modified force field, a space tension. see what happened up there where the darkness, "Lord," he said. "Is it possible?" massed men crouched in What he had in his mind had to be waiting for hell to break loose. voice calling to possible. There was no time to test it. Dimly he heard a at his It had to work. The rockets came down him, felt somebody tugging arm. was bend- in a shower of sparks and luminous He opened his eyes. Andre lieutenant's face was light. The idea was to spot them ing over him. The and quickly and hit them with enough force splotched with a haggard grayness to explode them before they landed. his eyes were wild. Langley called for searchlights, bat- "Monsieur, monsieur, we've failed teries of them, set his willing, if bewil- failed I" dered, helpers to dismantling them, to he removing the electrodes. All day they T ANGLEY sat up. "Failed!" labored, and all of the first night. Re- echoed. "Didn't the rocket ex- ports were coming in from headquar- plode?" exploded. ters, urging them to hurry. The enemy "Yes, monsieur,— the rockets was concentrating large bodies of troops But they had " He tried to explain, in attack positions, bringing up bat- but there was little meaning in his fum- "ROCKETS OVER EUROPE' 85

bled, over-emotional words. Langley did not answer. The sense "Take me up there and show me what of failure was overwhelming. The en- happened," Langley said bruskly. emy was sending over even bigger rock- The weak dawn that marked the end ets and even if he managed to extend of the second night was near when they the range of his improvised searchlight reached the front lines. generators so they would explode the

Haggard men stood about, eying rockets five hundred feet in the air, it them desperately, saying nothing. An- would not help. Showers of shrapnel dre disappeared for a time, and when would spray down, deadly fragments of he returned, there was a company of metal. No force beam crew could stay twenty-five men with him. From out in action. of nowhere many of the scientists with Men could live only underground, whom Langley had worked appeared: and they could not operate the explo- the word of the failure had taken them sive searchlight beams from beneath all from sleep, here in the bloody slime the surface. When the big attack came, of the front. those rockets would not only be drop- "We'll have to feel our way into posi- ping on the front line forts, but would tion, if you want to see the results," be passing overhead, searching out the Andre said to Langley. "The territory supply depots in the rear, the Jines of where we had our force-beams ... is communication. They would be explod- ... is now in enemy hands. Some of ing over cities and a deadly rain of it is still no-man's land." screaming metal would shower down. Vaguely, Langley nodded. He had Non-combatants would die far back of to see. the lines. A nation would perish. The shelling had died down and there Lundstret, that shy persecuted little was little activity on the front. From genius, had made this invention. He had the distance behind the enemy lines intended it for peaceful purposes, for there came a low, unceasing rumble of the conquest of space, of the worlds motors and movement. The enemy was across the sky. It was being used here coming in, taking position. on earth to destroy a country- Later,

Little by little the band of men edged unless it was defeated, it would be used forward, the scouts in front, signalling to attack other countries. the rest forward. The earth was Langley stood there in No-Man's scarred and broken by huge pits. A ma- Land, his face a wrinkled mask of pain, chine gun coughed fitfully somewhere, not seeing, not hearing, just existing. then broke off. Somewhere, sharply Off to the left a machine gun opened up through the still dawn, a rifle sang out. again, rattled viciously into silence. "Here," said Andre, quietly, "was Far to the right there was the thump of where we had a crew with a beam last a trench mortar. Overhead was the night." Langley looked at ground that droning roar of airplane motors as re- seemed to have been gone over as if by connaisance planes went out into the some great scythe. The whole area was dawn of death. * depressed about two feet, and not the Lost in bitter thoughts, Langley did slightest vestige of life or machine had not hear the hiss of the lieutenant. He remained. "Last night the shells were did hear a strange snap in the air very

enormous. When we exploded them in near him. The bullet did not hiss, it mid-air, their effect was just as horrible did not whistle; it snapped, like a whip. as when they had landed." "Enemy raiding party," Andre jerked —


out. "Seel Over there! A dozen of a soft rattle—inside the shell hole. them. Quick 1 Into a shell hole. No "Throw it back at them!" Andre time to get back to the forts." gasped; It was an unnecessary order.

A private had already grabbed it, sent IJE ducked downward, jerking the it whirling back. It exploded in the air. dazed scientist with him. The air Langley did not have time to realize was suddenly alive with snapping how close that had been. A split sec- sounds, the sharp bite of rifles. Lang- ond of delay in hurling that grenade ley fell face downward into the hole. back and— Men fell on top of him. Somebody He heard the rattle of sand again. groaned. Rifles roared all around as Another grenade had landed, again in- the squad began firing. side the shell hole. For a fateful sec-

Off to the left the machine gun ond men scrambled for it. Andre got it. opened again. Another joined it, and He started to hurl it back and it ex- another, until the air quivered with the ploded in his hand. thuds. Another machine gun snarled. For a fearful second, while time A third joined the first two. Search- stopped moving, the lieutenant's body lights stabbed through the dawning stood erect. His right shoulder was mist, winking on and off. Starshells gone, his face was a bloody pulp, blood flamed overhead, their white radiance was splashing from his throat, from his showering downward. The whole front chest. He slid downward without a opened up as millions of men, waiting sound. He was dead long before he at their posts for the attack they knew reached the ground. was imminent — knowing everything The whole front seemed to explode in but the hour when death would come one hideous blast of sound as the guns relieved the torture of anguished nerves in the forts let go, the field batteries by firing blindly toward enemy posi- back of the front, everything. The tions. enemy patrol slid to the protection of Langley had no rifle. Technically he shell holes. Langley, and what was left was a non-combatant. But when one of the group that had gone out with him, of the squad, firing over the top of the stumbled back to the shelter of their shell hole, suddenly ceased firing and own lines. Langley was sobbing. Tears slid downward, a grayish mass of blood were rolling down his face. He had and plasma oozing from a hole in his seen a man die heroically, a man whom

forehead, Langley grabbed his rifle. he had come to regard as a friend, as The barrel was still warm. He saw a a comrade. And he had seen something figure in a gray uniform, squeezed the else. trigger. The figure slumped silently. They thought he was crazy. They As he slumped a brilliant flare and a thought the things he had seen out there rocking explosion roared just in front in No-Man's Land had snapped his of the shell hole. mind. He told them one thing he had "Grenades!" Andre shouted. seen out there where men battled in the "They're throwing grenades. Watch dawn. They were doubtful. closely. Look out I" "Impossible!" they said. Another grenade burst, just to the "Impossible, hell I" he snarled. "Get left. Fragments of steel sang through out of my way. I've got work to do and the air. Dirt cascaded upward. An- damned little time in which to do it." other" came sailing over. It landed with They caught a little of his will, did 'ROCKETS OVER EUROPE' 87 these grim men who guarded the forts. up under gun fire. But they had not They had been hopeless, waiting only been designed to withstand the tremen- for the end they knew was coming. But dous impact of these rockets—tons of when they looked at Monsieur Langley, explosive would crumble the stoutest their hopes began to revive. A ragged concrete, twist and smash the toughest cheer broke out. It grew in volume. steel. They did not know exactly what they The rockets would blast resistance were cheering about. They did not out of the way. Reaching overhead, clearly understand what this scientist they would smash the civilian popula- had said he could do. tion in the rear. Troops, footsoldiers, They had no idea how he could do it. the man with the knife in his hands, But somehow, when everything was the man who in the final analysis wins blackest, when the massed attack of all and holds all battle gains, would pour the enemy forces could not be farther through in floods where the rockets had away than one more dawn, he gave blasted a way. them a forlorn hope. And they cheered. The dictator was confident. He had The thunder died along the front. troops, artillery, planes. Most of all, Men took up their watchful waiting he had his secret weapon. It had been again. thoroughly tested. Beyond the shadow

of a doubt it would win for him. HTHE day passed with no attack. Ob- Martin Langley worked. His force servation planes, flying over the beams, to which he had adapted the front, reported that the enemy concen- rocket firing mechanisms, were changed trations were complete. He was using radically. Crews placed them along every weapon at his command. Camou- the front. In the sectors where the flaged batteries were hidden every- enemy concentrations were heaviest, in- where, waiting for the zero hour. dicating the attack was to be strongest, Troops lay out of sight in every forest, the new crews and their weapons were in every bit of cover. The blunt noses placed in greatest numbers. Even then of tanks were visible among the trees, they were pitifully inadequate. fleet tanks, designed to work against in- It was the best he could do, in the fantry, heavy tanks, to crush machine limited time. In putting even those few gun nests. Far back of the lines planes strange weapons into the field in the waited on enemy landing fields. Long time he had, he achieved miracles with range artillery sought for the enemy men and metal. batteries. Their fire was not answered The third night came. —a sure sign that the attack was com- ing, and the enemy did not wish to dis- HTHE enemy lines were silent—until close the position of his guns. about midnight. Thin the heavies Somewhere, far back of the enemy began to mutter, the long range naval lines, so far away that no airplane guns mounted on railroad cars. Great could find them, were the batteries that shells came over the lines, searching for launched the rockets, sent them into the the forts. air. The enemy prepared all his offen- Langley was at field headquarters. sive weapons, but these were the things There was nothing he could do now. he relied on to win for him. The allied Everything had been done. Now the forts could stand against his heavy test was coming. He could only wait guns; they had been designed to stand the few hours that remained. 38 AMAZIN© STORIES

Until two o'clock the long range guns stantly. Telephones quit ringing, radio thundered. Then otter, heavier explo- stopped buzzing, officers ceased giving sion began to sound, like giant pigs commands. This was the moment when grunting in the night. history was made, when destiny walked

"Those are the heavy mobile guns," across the earth. Everyone knew it. Langley's aide explained. "They'll open The men, cowering in their dugouts

with the howitzers next, the 155's." knew it. The aviators, circling over-

Langley did not answer. They had head in the dawn, knew it. The officers given him this new aide to replace Lieu- knew it only too well. Faces turned tenant Andre. Langley had not learned toward Langley, harried, hunted, panic- his name. It did not matter. All that stricken faces. Men had seen death mattered was that growing thunder coming down across the sky. They from the front, that increasing cre- looked at Langley. scendo of fire, the baleful grunting and Langley stood, his whole body grumbling. bunched forward in the tension of that "When will they use their rockets?" moment, bis eyes wide, staring at the Langley said, after a time. sky. "Just before dawn. The rockets will He saw the first rocket come winging come over to smash the forts. They'll down. It struck. STRUCK! The keep coming. Then the light artillery roar was like that of a volcano. It ex- just back of the enemy lines will open ploded with intolerable brilliance, up, to complete the wreckage caused by square on a fort, blowing concrete and the rockets. Then the barrage will roll steel and men from the earth. ." forward, and the first wave of troops "Oh, God . . Langley whispered. " will come." "I've failed . . . failed again. . . The aide was shaking with a mad Around blm voices echoed the word, ague. "Oh, God, Monsieur Langley, muttered it, began to shriek it fiercely, will you be able to stop those rockets? men with death close upon them, men If only—" who were watching the first stroke that Langley sighed. "It is out of my spelled the ruin of their country. hands now. We either win or lose, we Another rocket came, winged slowly live or die, by what has already been downward, flared intolerably. Langley done." shut his eyes. That second explosion The minutes dragged. The thunder broke his heart. The first failure meant of the guns grew louder, heavier. Hell nothing. But when two rockets came was bursting up there at the front. The over—He sank to the ground, waiting, darkness began to dim in the east. unconsciously for the third explosion.

Then the rochets came. , , . It didn't come. They were near enough to the front He waited, waited, waited. It didn't so they could see them coming, trailing come. Then he heard the whispers great trails of fire as they arched down- around him, the startled voices of men ward through the fading night. They crying out in awe, in wonder. He didn't move as fast as shells, didn't have opened his eyes. What he saw lifted to. They carried their own motive him to his feet. force with them and moved slow enough The third rocket hadn't struck. A so that they were easily visible. radiant beam, like the ray from a weak When they appeared in the sky, the searchlight, had caught it when it was mad clamor at headquarters ceased in- high in the air, had lifted it up, up, UP "


—in a great arc, had turned it com- while around hundreds of voices pletely around, so that it was winging buzzed. There were dozens looking at its way back toward the enemy lines. Langley eagerly, waiting for the chance How many men were watching that to grasp his hand. In an adjoining rocket, no one ever knew but everyone room, preparations for a great dinner in that vicinity must have had his eyes were going forward. glued on it, for when it described that Langley had no answer for the Col- arc in the air, and turned back toward onel. He looked around at the horde the enemy, every gun in that vicinity that was waiting to pour congratula- stopped. Men stood paralyzed, watch- tions on him, and he felt sick again, in ing the inconceivable happen. spite of everything. "I can't stay," he Another rocket came. Again the light faltered. caught is, buoyed it up, lifted it, turned "But Monsieur, we owe you— it, started it back toward the enemy "You owe me nothing. Thank, in- who had launched it. stead, the memory of your countryman, The first reports from reconnaissance Lieutenant Andre, who showed me what plane came in. Far behind the lines, to do, and died showing me. When he explosions had occurred — explosions threw back the grenades, I had my an- that might have been shelling, or aerial swer. I knew then that we had to re- bombings. But G.H.Q. knew there was turn the rockets. Your enemy had to no shelling and no bombing. It was the learn that whenever they used one of rockets, going home. . . . the instruments that Lundstret had in- That was the end. The guns became vented for peace, that it would come silent. But over that scarred and pit- back to destroy them. ted land, once a great ringing shout "The field force that I used had to lifted and hung in the still morning air, be softened. It had to ease the rocket, then it was quiet again. And presently, catch it, and at the same instant, spin guns began to chatter, and little by lit- it around and send it back along the tle the full horror of the war as it had same arc from which it had come. You been before the rockets had come, was have the defense now. I will never ex- back again. plain its mechanism. God alone knows how long this war will last, and to what "A VICTORY that is not a victory." temptations even the most peaceful peo- Langley spoke quietly. "Because ple may yet be driven. of me the war will last longer." "But if you want to thank me, thank "Would you kill off a nation to end me with a just peace. When the day killing?" said a Colonel. "Monsieur for peace comes, remember Lundstret, Langley, this war is not of our choice, who died to save his invention from be- believe me. And so long as war can be ing used as instrument of war. And on forced on a peaceful people, why should that day, be just and be honorable." we not keep that war as harmless as The Colonel bowed slowly, extended possible?" a hand to meet Langley's. But these two men stood in the cor- Then Langley was walking quickly ner of a huge chamber, talking quietly, from the room.

r% A*r% <4jrr\


Richard Burke chose the chance of

death in the deep, to that he could force

a confession from the man who framed him.

lICHARD BURKE, I sentence tica and already starting his ten to RICyou to confinement in Attica twenty bit. -Prison for a period of not less Waiting in growing animosity toward than ten nor more than twenty years. Augustine, and in a state of nerves that was rapidly coming to the snapping It would have been longer if he'd point. Suppose the Court refused his been a second offender or if they could application have shown a motive for the killing of Burke wasn't the first, nor would he which he was accused. They couldn't be the last man to surfer for the crime show that. Kill Jack Van den Broek, of another. He couldn't prove his iano- the best friend he'd ever had? Impos- cence. He had but one hope now. In sible. But the jury had thought other- these days, where evidence was purely wise. There was circumstantial evi- circumstantial, there were the chances dence that looked perfect. Alibis that for alternative sentences. In the inter- seemingly broke down. And Burke was est of science, or rather in the interest morally certain, knowing that the evi- of the scientists who were coming to be dence had been planted, that Francis such a factor in all branches of govern- Augustine had somehow been at the bot- ment and jurisprudence. And one such tom of his framing. The great Profes- possible alternative would give Burke sor Augustine, for whom Dick had long his chance to get close to Augustine, to further. worked, who had so many times . . . might even enable him go well, he just had the hunch, put it that way. This was the Augustine Undersea For which reason, he had engineered Balloon, which was to descend six miles his plans through Slim Curran. And in the ocean in a couple of weeks. And now he was waiting for the reply to bis in which would descend as observers application. two convicts who, thereby, would sat- Burke had a good friend in Slim Cur- isfy their sentences in full. None of ran, one of the Sheriff's finer deputies. Augustine's devices had returned from Slim had pulled some wires on the out- depths greater than two miles. But side in Burke's behalf, otherwise, he'd Burke was not concerned with that; he have long since been on his way to At- only wanted to get near to the man he AMAZING STORIES was sure had framed him. And Augus- the first to make stratosphere balloon tine couldn't prevent that, once his ap- flights, had never had the courage to go plication was approved. down in one of his own contraptions. Whether or not he ever came up from The new Alternative Sentence Law was the depths made no difference. To rot a help to him. in the Big House would be worse. He Burke's companion-to-be was Thad- knew Augustine, knew his influence, deus Zybyski, a former radio man who and felt certain that the man would see had done three years of a life sentence to it that he served his full time once in Sing Sing. Through some under- he was sent away. By the same token, world connections he had somehow he knew that the professor, once he managed this alternative. He was a learned to his chagrin who was going confessed kidnaper. Of a five year old down in his machine—if Burke could baby, who had died on his hands! make the grade—would find some Burke was forced to occupy the same means of making sure he never came cell with the man on the ship that was back alive. Augustine was full of dirty to take them to the scene of the descent. tricks. In the meantime, though, Burke The kidnaper, a surly and murderous- would have a chance at him himself, looking brute, insisted on being called some sort of chance. . . . Teddy. And Teddy was getting cold Days passed. He had about given up feet. hope when there was a shout from the "I'm damn near tempted to back main gate of the gallery: "Burke—go- out," he told Burke on their second day ing out ! Get everything together. Go- out. "Hell, it's an easy life in the radio ing out!" room up the river. So what the hell? Going out? Burke was going down. The boys may make a break one of His pulses raced with the excitement of these days. And the hacks aren't so the thought. bad anyway. This way it's curtains sure. We'll never come up in that tlTE had never thought much of these thing."

' undersea contrivances of Augus- Which gave Burke an idea. He eyed tine's. They were developments of the the big man contemplatively. Teddy free balloon first proposed some seventy was about Augustine's build, same years previously by the more famous bulky frame, same paunchy jowls. If it professor, Auguste Piccard. Strange, weren't for the prison pallor, his lock- the slight similarity in names. The step gait and the absence of the square things had been an expensive hobby black mustache, he could easily pass for with Augustine; several had been built the scheming professor. and tested. Two had never returned "Maybe we can rig up that break from the mysterious deep. The one right here," he suggested to Teddy. which had at last come up to bob along- "A getaway! From here? You're side the mother ship brought with it nuts. What do you think the two hacks two madmen, two utterly crazed young came along from Sing Sing for? To scientists who were never able to dis- see damn well I get in that machine and cuss their adventure. Only their films am properly sunk. Same as the two were of value and even these recorded screws that came with you. Hell, they nothing beyond the two mile depth. aren't giving us any breaks." Augustine, unlike the originator of "I still think you might make it," the underwater free balloon and one of Burke insisted. "Not me. I'm in this UNDERSEA PRISONER 43

in- to stay. But you can get away with it." side. There's only room for three "How?" The con was impressed. side. But I'm armed." Burke started outlining his plot. Burke saw from the corner of his eye that the professor's amphibian plane A T length there came the time when was on the after deck of the ship. Even warming the whine of the atomic motors as he looked, the started guessed and slowed and finally stopped. The ship up the motors. Just as he'd flying for was rolling and pitching without head- told Zybyski. Augustine was sphere was in way in deep water. "Too damn deep home as soon as the for me," growled Teddy. He and Burke water. were herded up on deck by the four The three men were inside the gon- guards. The professor greeted them dola then and the professor started ex- unctuously, rubbing his pudgy hands plaining its many apparatuses. The in- together and showing tobacco-stained ner chamber was twelve feet in diam- teeth beneath his square mustache. He eter, its three foot thickness of triple wore sun goggles, which was a break berylumin wall sufficient to withstand Burke hadn't anticipated. an external pressure of twenty thousand "Well, my hearties," he offered. pounds per square inch.* "Ready for the plunge?" In a half hour the watchers on the "Sure we're ready," rasped Teddy. ship's deck saw Augustine climb "How else could we be?" through the manhole of the car and Burke made no comment. emerge. He looked over the side and The car, suspended a few feet above saw that the huge oil bag was filled. the deck from the boom of a derrick, The hose couplings had been discon- seemed huge viewed from nearby. It nected and the bag nipples capped. was a gleaming sphere of eighteen feet Chuckling, he swung home the heavy diameter, with three heavy conical bal- plug to close the manhole and told the last weights on its underside and with mechanics to make it fast. Then he six broad vertical fins spaced around its turned to the grinning guards. circumference to keep its inner floor "They're safe there as they would be level when in the water. The ballast anywhere," he said. "And I guess you cones, Burke knew, could be unlatched fellows aren't sorry. Your work is from inside when it was desired to re- done; you only have to wait for the turn to the surface. Provided the cutter that is to take you back. When they're free latches hadn't been tampered with. . . . they return to the surface From sturdy steel eyes on the top of according to law. And I wish them the sphere, a dozen steel cables draped luck, for my sake as well as their own." over the ship's rail and looped down to This last seemed sincere, spoken the wire net that enclosed the balloon.* huskily. None of those who heard Augustine turned to the guards. "It's could doubt the professor's real feel- all right, boys," he assured them, pat- ings. He was a man of science, the lis- ting his hip. "I want to take them in- teners were convinced, who had a heart. Anxious to see his experiments succeed, *This balloon itself is an envelope of oil-and- world dis- water-tight metallic fabric filled with oil. Oil, be- anxious to give the any new ing lighter than water, buoys up the heavy gon- * thou- dola in water as helium or hydrogen lifts the car of This is equivalent to more than forty-six the car is safe it a balloon in air. Only in this case the ballast is of sand feet of sea water and so likely be sufficient weight to draw the balloon gradually to depths fifty percent greater than any to .Autaer. the bottom of the ocean.—-Author. encountered in either Atlantic or Pacific.— "

AMAZING STORIES coveries that might result. At the same great beads on his forehead as he strug- time, ready to cooperate with and serve gled to a sitting position. "You don't the ends of justice under the new laws. understand. You— Why, he was positively pale with emo- "Damn right I understand. You tion! fixed things so I'd stay sunk and now As the great three-legged and six- you're in the same boat. Don't think so finned sphere was lowered over the side, much of it, do you?" the professor stood with arms folded, "But I didn't mean—" his face hidden from the rest. Obvious- "No, you didn't mean to come along. ly, he was deeply moved as the waters But here you are. It was all right for closed over his brain child. And when me, wasn't it? When it's you it's dif- the great oil-filled balloon began to sink ferent. Now, see if you can figure a and the cable from the derrick was let way out—for both of us." loose from the gondola below, he Augustine's flabby jowls twitched turned and hurried toward the am- violently; his pendulous lower lip quiv- phibian. ered. "Un-untie my hands, Dick," he "So long," he called back. "I'll keep begged. in ..." Burke obliged, first patting his own Just then the deck televis shrieked: hip pocket, to which the professor's cap-

"Grab him I That's not Augustine! sule projector had been transferred. It's Zybyski. Take off his goggles and "Don't try anything funny," he warned. mustache." "I've your gun. Not that I'd need it." The guards closed in swiftly and The older man was almost as white surely. now as had been Zybyski when he his CHAPTER II stepped outside the sphere. With hands finally free, he at once buried his Monster of the Deep face in them. His big frame shook convulsively. He was in a mortal funk. HTHE real Francis Augustine did not "Snap out of it!" snarled Burke. recover consciousness until the "Get your think tank working. What'd outside pressure gauge registered more you do to this thing to wreck it so it than eleven hundred pounds. They couldn't rise?" were nearly a half mile beneath the The professor looked up with an surface.. Trussed and gagged as he agony of craven fear in his every ex- was, the professor could only struggle pression. He was suddenly an old, old madly and make horrible grunting man. "I—I welded the ballast weights noises as his eyes seemed about to fall to the shell," he admitted. from their sockets. "That's nice. Lovely. All beauti- Ungently, Burke ripped the gag from fully taken care of on the outside his mouth. where we can't get at them. Where the "G-god!" babbled Augustine, look- pressure'd flatten us like chewing gum ing wildly atthe gauges. "We're down. even if we could get out there. You're We've submerged." good, you are." Burke was untying the professor's Augustine slumped to his knees, feet. "You're telling me ! " he said sav- started alternately praying and curs- agely. "And how do you like it?" ing. Incoherently. Burke slapped "But, Dick!" Augustine's stare was him back to blubbering sanity. frenzied and perspiration oozed out in "Get yourself together and face the "

UNDERSEA PRISONER facts. If we have to die, let's die sane '"pHREE thousand pounds, nearly anyway. And if there's any chance at seven thousand feet, they were all, let's try and dope it out." down before either of them thought of "There's no chance in the world," switching on the outside lights to see sobbed the professor. what there was to see of the fabled deni- Burke drew back his arm for another zens of the deep. Until now no man swing. "Don't, don't!" the demoral- still alive and sane had seen more than ized man pleaded. "I'll be good." vague shadows on a color screen. That He was like a child. The young re- is, at any depth such as this. search engineer regarded him contempt- "You can finish telling me about the uously, turned his back and moved to gadgets now," said Burke. "How do the televis. "This is no good down this you turn on the outer floods?"

far, is it?" he asked. Augustine showed him, first illumi- "No—not below a thousand feet." nating the huge balloon that swayed Burke looked at the pressure gauge. above them, then the sides, then below. Two thousand pounds, it read. "We're There were five of the thick glass ports, not sinking very fast," he said. one above, one below, and three spaced "No, the difference in weight of the around the middle. They saw abso- car in excess of the buoyancy of the bal- lutely nothing outside the circles of

loon is very little. The descent must be misty brilliance and nothing within the gradual for safety." zones of illumination excepting a few "Safety—hmpf. Call this safety?" wriggling, corkscrewlike glistening "I mean under ordinary circum- threads that slithered upward over the stances." Augustine was coming around circular ports. They were utterly alone to normal. in the depths. "Then we wouldn't need to discard "Showing you about the gadgets, as much weight to halt our downward you call them, reminds me," said the progress, would we?" professor. "How did you and the other "A couple of hundred pounds would manage this? Where's he? All I re-

do it now. But there is no way of call is when the mountain fell on my throwing off any weight at all. The head." manhole can't be opened from inside; Burke laughed in spite of the serious- even if it could be the pressure would ness of the situation. Hip companion

! swamp us. No hope was taking it better than He'd expected "How long will our air last? Food —so far. "That was Teddy," he told and water?" him. "He slugged you from behind. "Four days with two aboard." You didn't make a sound to warn those Burke's eyes narrowed, then he outside. Then he took your sun glasses laughed. "Hell's bells," he chuckled. and stuck on the false mustache we'd "No need of killing you or of you kill- made from his own hair in imitation of ing me to make it last eight days, is your real one. We stripped you and he there? That would only prolong the changed to your clothing. Then he agony for the one that was left alive. went outside and bossed the job of clos- Might just as well wait for what's com- ing us up and dropping us over." ing to us." Augustine nodded. "Yes, that way, He stared at the professor. Augus- he could easily pass for me." Dropping tine stared back. The spectre of cer- his eyes to the unfamiliar clothing he'd tain death was between them. not even noticed yet, the professor 46 AMAZING STORIES snapped: "But you—you aided a crim- Burke. He switched off the lights both inal to escape. He would get away in inside and outside the sphere. The my plane and not be suspected I" creature was five hundred feet long if an "That's what you think. And that's inch. what Teddy thought. I kidded him "Holy Smoke!" he gasped. "That along so I could get you right here thing could swallow us whole. And if where you are. I won—he lost. Once it should get tangled up in the cables we were down I used the televis— above or puncture the balloon, it'll be quick. Zybyski will say it was a dou- just too bad. Hope he didn't see us." ble cross. I call it justice—turning Augustine moaned a little in the dark- him in again. Think I'd let a rat like ness. "As well go that way as the that loose? He'd be murdering some- other," he whispered. one else's baby in a year or so. Oh, It was true. Burke felt a little fool- no." ish over his useless precautions. But Augustine looked thoughtful. "You he didn't turn on the inside lights until did a pretty good job at that," he ad- they'd seen the monster that was like a mitted. "And I guess I deserve what lighted ocean liner in the blackness drift I'm getting, too." on up past the bulking shadow of the Burke was amazed; his companion balloon and out of sight. was as cool now as a cucumber. Was he cooking up something in his treach- piFTY-FIVE hundred pound/. erously inventive mind? About two and a half miles of ocean "You certainly do deserve it. But lay above them. A distinct sense of isn't there something we can do? No movement was felt suddenly; the point- possible chance at all?" er of the gauge swung rapidly across The professor shook his head dole- the scale to sixty-two hundred, then re- fully. Then his eyes widened suddenly mained stationary. and he pointed to one of the viewing "What the hell," said Burke. "Did ports. "Look!" he yelped. "What on we fall?" earth is that?" Augustine looked at another of the They had switched off the outer gauges. "We were swept downward by floodlights to save the batteries as much a submarine current. And we're still as possible, though why they needed to in it, but i,t has leveled off and is carry- save them was not clear. "Looks like ing us rapidly toward the northeast. a submarine," exclaimed Burke. Sa-ay!" It did. Something was approaching The professor's eyes brightened on steadily in the inky blackness out there, the exclamation. something with a long row of small "Say what?" Burke couldn't see lights along its side and with a twin anything to be jubilant over. beam exploring ahead. Burke switched "There is a chance, just one remote on their side floods and the creature chance," said Augustine, "that we may was revealed, not as any man-made be swept into a rising current. Sort of duplication of Captain Nemo's Nauti- an updraft, you know. We're heading lus, but as a gigantic living, swimming for the Irish coast now. Where we monster that carried its own lights. started, the depth was more than five One look at its enormous bulk, its ten miles. It'll be getting shallower after a foot long razor fins, its huge head and while. And if there is such an upward " broad, tusk-filled mouth was enough for current and we strike it . . UNDERSEA PRISONER

"What are the probabilities?" asked the cavern floor on three of its sucker- the younger man dubiously. lined arms while the other five arms Augustine's face fell. "About ten weaved and twined toward the dangling million to one," he admitted. sphere. Two eyes were beneath, two, "That's what I thought." above a cavernous, wide-open mouth They had started dropping again at that was lined with row upon row of about the former rate; the current had glistening incisors. A tentative arm been unable to hold them. It was like reached out as the terrifying creature drifting in the car of an ancient gas- advanced, its tip curling around a few their filled balloon, at the mercy of every er- of the cables that connected car rant wind, falling for lack of ballast to with the balloon. The car swung throw out. They could discharge oil crazily in toward that yawning mouth, from the bag above, of course, the same spilling the two men in a heap on the as you could use the ripcord of a gas floor. balloon. But that would hasten the "God!" screamed Augustine. "It's end, not prolong it. going to swallow us." "Let's light up outside," said Burke The car jerked as cables snapped. for want of action. And he switched on And then the great jaws closed in over the floods as he spoke. He hadn't the them. There was the crunch of huge heart to go to work on Augustine right teeth on the berylumin shell. But the now. He'd suffer enough—later. creature, powerful as it was, could make A mountain peak loomed immedi- no impression on that glass-hard sur- ately alongside, vanished into the black- face. The car rolled inside and the ness above. They were slithering down teeth snapped shut on what was left of the sheer face of a granite cliff, the the frayed cables. great balloon overhead bouncing over There were convulsive heavings of its jutting ledges. Fortunately, their the sphere and it rolled over and over descent was very gradual. in the huge cavity of a mouth, battering And then the balloon had lodged be- its two occupants against bunks, instru- tween two projecting fingers of rock. ment tables and walls. A few dizzying They jerked to a stop. The car dan- flashes came to them in the tumbling, of gled, swaying before the mouth of a great reddish-purple splotches and dan- huge cavern. The pressure was sev- gling fleshy members, of a constricted enty-one hundred. opening down which their sphere spun Burke's eyes tried to penetrate the madly. gloom beyond the white wall of light The monster was swallowing them that pushed perhaps a hundred feet into whole! the cavern. He had thought he saw

something flicker back there. He hadl CHAPTER III Four discs of luminosity swam into view, like the eyes of a team of dogs Monster with a Stomachache gleaming in an automobile headlight the car lurched to rest glare. But these four ghastly orbs grew INALLY steadily larger. with its floor cocked at an angle. And then an ugly, squirmy monster Not so bad, though; at least they could hove into view. This was a giant squid, stand. They took stock of their an octopus thing with four eyes that bruises and of the bizarre surroundings. reared its hideous body forty feet from "Hell of a note," grumbled Burke. 18 AMAZING STORIES

Out through a port he saw only the of their flood lights the rocky rim of the swirling green stickiness of the diges- cavern entrance. And the frayed cable tive juices of their captor's interior. ends dangling from above. Then, with "Ugh!" a wild lunge, the monster flung out of Augustine was blubbering again. its lair into the black abyss of the sea. "Dick," he whined. "Before I die, I Clinging to the bolted-down legs of must confess. I was the one who killed the table, Burke managed to get to his Van den Broek. I set the police on you. feet. He switched off the floods and I planted the evidence. Forgive me, saw that the green murk remained Dick." alight. With lambent flame that told Forgive? Burke forgot their plight, of intense heat generated by this weap- forgot everything but blind rage. This on that had been loosed within the man would've let him rot in the pen. beast. There were momentary flashes He'd have sent him to the hot seat if he of emptiness where the thick green fluid could. And now this! But rage was would clear away only to be replaced futile now. by rolling whiteness. Steam! "Hell of a time to confess!" snarled "Hey, Prof!" Burke yelped. "What Burke. "You make me think of the kind of energy's this?" guy who paid his pal fifty bucks he'd No answer. Augustine had fainted. owed him for ten years—just when the He couldn't take it. boat they were on was torpedoed. While the car swayed and teetered in Sinking. Shut up your bellering and the mad flight of the tortured beast, tell me where's the gadget you charge Burke clung to the table and studied the shell with." the instruments. There was an indica- "What gadget?" tor of horizontal speed and a compass. "You built a weapon into these things They were traveling east-northeast at to ward off undersea monsters. What ninety miles an hour! The pressure good is it? How does it work?" was decreasing. Which meant they The demoralized professor shakily were rising as well! Could this thing indicated a small control panel. Burke travel! Burke shut off the energy, just examined it, then yanked the rheostat to see what would happen. all the way over. The result was in- Their tremendous pace continued, stant and nearly catastrophic. A but the pressure began to mount. The blinding flash outshone their floods in monster was diving. Or was it that? the green murk outside. The car heaved An inspiration; he switched on the wildly, smashed him to the floor. Then energy again. The flaming in the green he came up against the wall under a stuff commenced anew. Once more the table. pressure outside was decreasing. It was There were violent upheavals and due to a gas generated in those digestive shudderings. juices by the energy. They were mak- "The thing's trying to vomit us out," ing a veritable balloon of a living crea- moaned the professor. "And we're ture, their own container plugging its stuck in its throat." throat to retain the gas. Burke could see that this was so. A Burke could envision the bloating of port faced directly out toward the crea- the vast body which was taking place to ture's mouth. The mouth was stretched such an extent that the weight of water wide. Through its gaping maw the en- displaced was considerably greater than gineer could see reflected in the glare its own. He found he could vary its UNDERSEA PRISONER 49

buoyancy by manipulating the rheostat "We're going up. - We're saved I" and thus regulate the speed of ascent. "Not yet,"—drily. "Think it out, They were in the body of a living, stupid. We've a chance in a million, is though probably slowly dying, sub- all." marine balloon that was to an extent Fifteen hundred pounds, a thousand. navigable. But the creature continued The swirling green murk outside the to propel itself madly in the northeast- ports had almost vanished. Burke erly direction and this was entirely out could see the distended wall of the crea-

of control. "What a belly-ache it must ture's stomach. It was dripping great have! " thought Burke, grinning in spite blobs of sticky black stuff from several of himself. torn spots. The thing was hemorrhag- ing internally. He backed off further TJE was careful to keep the current on the rheostat and the pressure gauge low so they would not rise too pointer moved slowly toward the lower

swiftly, knowing that if the ascent be- end of the scale. They would have to came so rapid as to permit insufficient keep their carrier intact as long as pos- time for internal and external pressures sible. to equalize, the creature would explode Augustine was talking again and was violently. Though he couldn't see how still excited. "You're wrong, Dick. it would do him any good personally, There's more than a chance in a mil- he had a mad desire to get up to the lion; there's a good chance. Listen: I surface. If the monster should expire see you're easing it upward as gently as

then, as undoubtedly it would, and its possible. That's right. We'll make the carcass should float, there was still a surface. The monster will die, of

bare chance for life. Even if it did course; it's dying now. But it will float mean prison for himself. He wondered when we get up there. The carcass how much pressure difference the won't burst. Not if the pressures inside thickly armored hide of the beast would and outside are kept from differing too stand. How much stretching due to the greatly, especially too suddenly. Don't expansion in volume by tissue penetra- you see?" tion of the gases. Undoubtedly there "Sure I see. As far as you've gone. was some escape through natural ori- So then what?" fices other than the gullet. Enough to "Why, the televis, naturally. We can act as a safety-valve, he hoped. start calling for help even before we're Augustine was stirring, groaning. afloat—a thousand feet before. Our The pressure gauge showed less than own ship, any ship can easily come to two thousand pounds when he tottered us. We're saved, I tell you!" The pro- to his feet. Burke wasn't at all sure fessor's voice screeched as he tried to now how nearly this was an accurate convince himself of his own words. indication of depth, since he didn't "Ever stop to think how much bat- know the pressure differential between tery power this is taking? Take a slant the inside and outside of their animate at the charge indicator." balloon. He thought this differential Augustine gasped. The battery could not be very great. Their forward charge was already down to thirty per- speed was slowing considerably; the cent of full capacity. "I—I didn't think monster was losing strength. of that," he faltered. The professor gazed disbelievingly at "Lots of things you haven't thought the instruments. "Dick!" he exclaimed. of," sneered Burke. "For one, the mur- " !


der rap that'll be facing you if you do down hard with his chin on the table. get up top alive." His antagonist had wrapped those huge This was a blunder. Burke had un- arms around his knees and was drag- derestimated his companion's cunning ging him down. Hell of a way to fight and the courage which would come Thoughts weren't at all clear now to from desperation. In fact, he'd talked Burke but he knew he must get to that too much. He'd put ideas into the oth- rheostat. They were rising like a er's head that wouldn't have sunk in of rocket. their own accord. "Wait, Prof!" he groaned. The professor's voice changed subtly. He twisted free and lurched upward, He moved near and peered at the pres- starting a swift right to his opponent's sure gauge. "Eight hundred fifty bobbing jaw. But it never landed. pounds, two thousand feet," he mur- There came a terrific wrench and a mured. Then: "You wouldn't turn me simultaneous crash as of the entire uni- in, would you, Dick?" verse disrupting. Then utter blank- "What did you do to me?" ness. Then, taken completely by surprise, Burke went full down under the weight CHAPTER IV of the enraged scientist. As he lurched from the instrument table, his hand A Submarine Plateau automatically clung to the rheostat handle. He felt it slam over to the full TJURKE'S first conscious impression "on" position. Then his grip tore loose. was of a continuous six foot length of aching bone and sinew that was ob- A UGUSTINE'S pudgy but powerful viously his own body, next of something fingers twisted around his wind- freezing cold and steel-hard that pipe as they rolled over and over on pressed flatly and determinedly against the floor. Burke tore at them franti- his cheek. He opened an experimental cally, finally got them free. The squid eye. And with it he gazed directly into mustn't explode! two frigidly staring optics of the most "You fool!" he croaked. "The en- fearsome creature he had ever beheld. ergy's full on. Well go up like a shot. This nightmare object was not more We'll—" than three feet from his face. He closed The professor, fighting blindly, evi- the one eye and concentrated his mud- dently did not get the import of the dled wits on what he had seen. Or had scarcely intelligible words. He was it been hallucination merely? Such pounding at Burke's face with every- things couldn't exist. thing he had and it was all the younger It had been like a fish, yet it was not man could do to wriggle himself free a fish. A head like that of one of the and roll back against the wall. Furies, but larger than a man's, had "The energy!" he managed to howl faced him with such a malevolent stare before Augustine's two feet struck him as only a basilisk might achieve. And together. "You damn— the head, though attached to a sinu- He lashed out blindly as pain from ously scaly body with iridescent fins, the heavy double kick flashed racing was covered with long black hair that torture through his body. With sudden streamed upward as if each strand was new energy, he scrambled erect and electrified and straining to be away. dived for the rheostat. Then he came The mouth had been most horrible of UNDERSEA PRISONER 51

all, with two long curved tusks pro- opened tin and regarding his curiously. jecting from the lower jaw to the level He was somehow changed; his mien of the glaring eyes, and a dozen smaller was composed, confident, gloating. tusks arching down from the upper None of his former panicky nervous-

jaw. The face itself, if it could be called ness; he was sure of himself now. He a face, was a distorted, evilly grinning actually grinned. gargoyle. It was purple. Burke opened "Nice long sleep you had," he re- both of his eyes suddenly. The thing marked. "Sorry I fell on you."

was still there. "Uh-huh." Painfully, Burke crawled Then his mind began working nor- out from under the table, his head mally. He remembered. The surface throbbing as if it would split as he against his cheek was one of the thick struggled to his feet, where he stood glass ports of Augustine's sphere. His swaying. "Where are we?" aches and pains were from the fight The professor waved his spoon airily with the professor. No, not from the toward one of the other ports. "On fight; something had happened. Of the very rim of a submarine plateau course—the big octopus thing had where our giant creature kindly de- blown up. That accounted for the shock posited us when his sudden rise in the which had stunned him and flung him watery world rent him asunder." where he now lay. And they were in Burke gasped. Not only was Aug- the water once more; this was a deni- ustine trying to be flowery in his zen of the ultimate depths hovering speech, but what he said was true. Out outside that port. Where was Augus- there in the brilliance of the sphere's tine? Was he alive? Recalling his floods there showed the edge of a preci- former rash spouting of words, Burke pice. Vast chunks of the defunct mon- decided to keep quiet until he could ster draped over its jagged outline, huge learn for himself. oozing and quivering blobs on which a Turning slightly, repressing a groan score of miscellaneous horrors of the

at the pain it caused, he cast his eyes deep were feeding. The young engineer unward. He was under the instrument shuddered. He looked at the pressure table. His attention was drawn by a gauge. Three hundred forty pounds, shuffling of feet on the steel floorplates. eight hundred feet. So near and yet Augustine, then, was alive and con- so far. There still remained twenty scious. percent of the battery charge. Deep silence followed; there was not "So now what?" he demanded. even the faint whine of the tiny battery- "So now the Scipio is on her way to powered energy generator. Of course, haul us up from here. Have someting with the monster no more, they would to eat? You need it." Leering, Aug- not need that now. Further reflection ustine passed can and opener. convinced Burke they hadn't dropped "You mean you've had them on the any great distance. The shock of fall- televis?" Burke's eyes narrowed. ing to the ocean floor at a depth of Realizing suddenly that he was very even two or three miles would have hungry, he opened the tin and ate. broken their bones, probably killed them. Slowly he turned his head to- "T HAVE and they're on their way. ward where he'd heard the shuffling. That damned living sub we were The professor was seated on the in carried us nearly two hundred miles edge of the lower bunk, eating from an toward Ireland. But the Scipio will AMAZING STORIES

reach us in a few hours." The triumph Augustine's eyes never left him nor in Augustine's insolent stare was patent. did his fingers stray far from that de- He had put something over. structive capsule projector. He had "So then what?" Burke mumbled the upper hand now and he intended to through a mouthful of corned beef. keep things this way. The professor shrugged. "Then I go "But you did kill Van den Broek," back to work and you go back to jail." Burke said. Whether it would be of any His little black eyes glittered and be use or not, he determined to get more patted the capsule gun where it lay be- detail. side him on the bunk. "Certainly I didl" Augustine was "So you frisked me," growled the vigorously defiant. "And for good engineer. reason. Time after time he embar- "Why not? The tables had to turn rassed me before the Academy of somehow." Science. Time after time he bungled "The law's been satisfied. I'm free my experiments and made a laughing now, Prof. And you're the one who's stock of me. He would have ruined me in jeopardy. You told me you killed if I had let him live. Of course I killed Van den Broek." Burke was only Van den Broek, but you can't prove it. sparring for time and opportunity; he Nor can anyone else." knew what the reaction would be. "You mean you stole some of his in- Augustine laughed harshly. "Who'd ventions and called them yours. And take the word of a convict against you were afraid he'd expose you. mine? And there are two more charges That's why you killed him." against you now. You'll be a third of- The professor reddened, puffing out fender now and will surely be sen- his fat cheeks as if about to explode in tenced to life imprisonment, don't for- a tirade. But he subsided, again laugh- get that." ing harshly. "Oh, maybe that did have "What do you mean, two more something to do with it," he admitted. charges?" "Might as well admit it to you pri- "First degree assault on me for one vately; you'll never be able to tell. It thing, kidnaping me for another." The was necessary that Van be removed, professor's grin was ghoulish. necessary too that someone other than Burke was silent for a long time after myself be found guilty of the murder." this. Everything Augustine had said "And that's where I came in," Burke was true. They wouldn't take his un- said bitterly. "You hated me for the supported word that the professor had same reason you hated Van, so you confessed. And the assault and kid- planted the evidence on me." naping charges were bad—they'd stick. Augustine now chuckled, much He hadn't thought of those at the time. pleased with himself. "Quite right, my Then, he hadn't had the faintest idea boy. And I did it cleverly, too. Used he'd ever come up alive in this sphere. your pistol with a rubber glove on my He'd only thought of taking Augustine hand to prevent fingerprints, then put with him. Hadn't cared about the rest. it back in your own drawer, from which Now it was of great importance. But, I'd taken it. Your cigaret case, which maybe . . . Burke remembered his fool- was found beside the body—I put that ishness in talking too much previously; there, too. And your prints were on now he would keep his own counsel. that. You hadn't a chance and you Get out of this as best he could. haven't now." UNDERSEA PRISONER 53

"And then when you found I'd won effect. Forgetting entirely that this was this alternative sentence, you welded his first deep sea dive in his own or any the ballast weights to the bottom of the other contrivance. Bragging of scien- car to be sure I'd never come up. Swell tific achievment, dramatizing his kid- setup." Burke talked deliberately with naping, boasting of subduing a danger- dully hopeless tones. He was getting an ous criminal and returning him to idea. justice, lying blatantly about the means "All true, my boy. I think I've done of their salvation from a watery grave, a pretty good job, even if I missed out taking full credit to himself. It was on this and nearly lost my own life. sickening. But Burke held his peace. With Van out of the way and you be- "See what chance you'll have?" hind the bars for life, it will be plain gloated the man, when wiping the pers- sailing for me now." Fat fingers piration from his brow after this effort. caressed the capsule gun. "At first I The engineer did not reply. was going to kill you—when the squid Another silent hour passed before the blew up. I figured one could live longer Scipio was overhead and her grap- than two and knew I could get away pling hooks were reaching down for with that, too. Self defense, you know. them, taking hold. But then I saw where we had landed Then Augustine played his trump and found there'd be enough battery card. "I suppose you think you'll get and air, so I decided life imprisonment somewhere mentioning the welded was probably better after all. You weights," he said. won't like that, will you?" Burke started. "I had thought of Burke stared at the man in open that," he admitted. astonishment. "No, I wouldn't like The professor drew a slender tube that," was all he could say. from his pocket with one hand, keeping Augustine was so utterly cold- his prisoner covered with the capsule blooded about it all, so completely sure gun in his other. "Well, you won't do of himself, so entirely self-satisfied, it," he grated. "You know what this that it seemed incredible. is. Your own invention, the psycho- neural regrader. It'll blast out your A FTER that, Burke wandered aim- memory of the past ten hours entirely. lessly in the narrow confines of the You will never be able to tell anything sphere, tinkering with this instrument of this, because you won't remember. and that, always under the professor's And you get it now." watchful eye. Few words passed be- Burke tensed as the tube leveled at tween them. Each was too occupied him. with his own thoughts. CHAPTER V There were frequent televis calls, always answered by the older man in Battle on the Ocean Floor pompous voice. World Telecasts came TZ"NOWING that no man can perform in with a request for a speech and Aug- differing actions ustine's triumph knew no bounds. two simultaneous- Burke listened in mounting disgust ly with any degree of success in either, that last as he mouthed long strings of superla- Burke took his chances on professor's. Figured tives and posed before the iconoscopic word of the he was scanning eye with the capsule propector concentrating on the amnesia. against his prisoner's temple for added Swinging sharply with his right hand, "

54 AMAZING STORIES he knocked the regrader from the man's alongside the Scipfo — or possibly on grasp and hooked a stiff left into his deck already. The televis shrilled in- paunch at the instant the capsule gun sistently. Burke switched it off, know- popped. Its deadly missile crashed ing this would send back an "out-of- harmlessly into an instrument panel as order" signal to the ship. Burke's right fist caught Augustine in Immediately there were sounds at the his gaping mouth, splashing out a gush manhole. And in its cover of blood and knocking him into the clanked off. Burke shoved the doll- bunk. But the professor clung fast to jointed professor through and tumbled the pistol, gasping, stuttering primeval, after him. They were on the deck of wrath and spitting out teeth. The en- the Scipio. gineer clamped on his gun wrist just as It was to have been a notable occa- the sphere swayed to the tugging cables sion. It was, though not as had been and commenced rising. intended. They moved into a circle of Augustine brought up a knee violent- staring iconoscopic eyes. Above them ly as Burke twisted his thick wrist. swung the microphones of the telecast- Burke went dizzy and weak with pain. ers and high above these hovered a His antagonist was a powerful brute, as swarm of gyrocopters. The sea around he'd learned before. It took superhuman was dotted with bobbing amphibians. efforts of will and half-paralyzed mus- Everywhere were goggling human eyes. cles to keep him down and hold to his The captain of the ship, his officers gun hand at the same time. Slamming and most of the crew, were there. There away weakly with his right, Burke were many strangers in the crowd, some willed a desperate new accession of of them obviously dignitaries of one vigor into his left and tore the projector sort or another. This was to have been loose. It clattered to the floor and he a crowning triumph for one Professor had both fists free to use on the pro- Augustine. fessor. His head was clearing now and Burke looked around for the depu- muscular strength flowing back. In a ties, whom he had thought would be few moments the big man was groggy there to rearrest him. Then he remem- and Burke retrieved both gun and re- bered; they had returned Zybyski to grader. Sing Sing. He remembered, too, that "Now! " he rasped, "I'm the boss. Get this was on the high seas. That Captain back there." He prodded Augustine Jameson was the sole authority. He with the capsule gun and experienced walked over to that amazed officer and savage glee at the bulging of his vic- surrendered the capsule. tim's eyes. "What's this all about?" bellowed "Don't shoot!" babbled the profes- Jameson, peering amazedly into the sor. "I'll do anything. I'll— blank eyes of Augustine, who stood "Shut up! Burke twisted a tiny dial rigidly before the iconoscopic eyes and on the regrader and pressed its latch. A microphones. "What have you done to haze bathed Augustine's head for the professor?" an instant, then vanished as if soaked "Nothing serious," Burke assured up by a sponge. A blank look came into him. "If you'll give me a chance to the popping eyes and the big man went prove it, I'll show you and the world stiff-limbed as an automaton. that he's a faker. That he's the crim- There was a clank overhead. The inal, not I." sphere had ceased rising. They were The crowd was closing in around "' 1 \

UNDERSEA PRISONER ' 55 them. "Put him in irons!" came a talk with extreme rapidity. shout. "Hang him to the foremast," "Well, my hearties," were his first another. An angry murmur rose and words. "Ready for the plunge? It won't swelled as the telecasters stood irreso- be long. But while the bag's fill- " lute. ing Gun in hand, Captain Jameson faced From then on, his words became so Burke as his officers and crew gathered rapid they could be followed only with around. The surrendering of that gun the strictest attention. had confused them, and Augustine's "... It's all right, boys . . . condition made them uncertain. there's only room for three inside . . .

"What's this all about?" demanded we're down . . . we've submerged the captain. "I asked you before. Now ... I welded the ballast weights . . . I want it all." I guess I deserve what I'm getting, too

All over the ship, in the surrounding . . . Dick, before I die, I must con- sea, high in the air, there was commo- fess. I was the one who killed Van den tion. Excitement. Expectation of the Broek . . . you wouldn't turn me in, unexpected. The cries for Burke's scalp would you, Dick? . . . used your pis- died down. His gray eyes looked frank- tol with a rubber glove, then put it ly and levelly into the captain's brown back . . . your cigaret case . . . I put ones. that there, too . . . it'll blast out your "I only ask — first — that you have memory of the past ten hours entire- " one of your officers examine the ballast ly. .. . weights of Augustine's sphere and re- In a very few minutes it was over. port to you what he finds. Then I be- Every word Augustine had used during lieve you'll trust me to show you the the past ten hours went out over a rest." world-wide hook-up. For an instant af- Jameson nodded to the mate. ter he had finished he seemed dazed. The first officer was back in a mo- Everyone on the deck of the Scipio was ment. "The weights are welded fast to dazed. Even the gyrocopters overhead the shell, Captain," he reported in seemed to be drawing back in astonish- amazed voice. ment. At millions of televis sets "You may proceed, Burke," said throughout the world must have sat Jameson. dazed listeners and observers. Suddenly the great professor came to TAICK moved to Augustine's side and, full realization of what he had done. He

with the regrader still in his pocket, leaped for the rail and would have made a new adjustment. Pressed the plunged overboard. But Captain Jame- latch. The professor was at once erect, son and his officers were too quick for his usual debonair self. Seeing the him. They had him under arrest about microphones, he blinked, then bowed as quickly as Zybyski had been taken before the iconoscopic battery. Imme- before. diately the telecasters became frantic- It was the end for Francis Augustine, ally busy. This was to be the scoop of the beginning for Richard Burke. the year. It was. Instead of addressing his beloved TATER, in the captain's cabin, Burke public in the usual way, the professor sat before the scanners and mikes wandered a bit over the deck, gazed im- and told his story in detail, questioned portantly at the sphere, and began to and prompted by Jameson himself from 56 AMAZING STORIES time to time. pulsion impulse, I caused him to repeat "But, Mr. Burke," said the captain, at greatly accelerated speed, all his when he had reached the point of the speech of the amnesia period. It was final landing on deck. "Tell the telecast really nothing at all." audience what it was that Augustine in- "Hm-m. Probably not," commented tended using on you to blank out your Captain Jameson. "And do you intend memory. What it was you used to force to give this invention to the world, Mr. his confession." Burke?" "A very simple discovery of my own. "To the medical profession only, One that the professor had st—er—ap- where it may have uses. Do you think propriated and which he did not fully it would be safe in other hands, Cap- understand. It is well known, of course, tain?" laughed Burke. that the nerve currents and the activi- "Not in hands like Augustine's, that's ties of the cells of the brain itself are sure." electrical or electro-chemical in nature. The telecasters signed for a cut off Well, investigating multitudes of these and Burke sank back in the captain's phenomena, I stumbled upon a means own chair with a sigh of relief. "Thank of controlling the nerve and brain im- God, that's over," he said. pulses in a number of ways. One of Upon which there was an insistent these is a simple blocking process. An- shrilling of the captain's personal tele- other is a means of running back along vis. It was Al Brown, New York State's the thought train for any desired period governor calling for Richard Burke. and then blocking to produce amnesia. "Mr. Burke," his mellow voice start- And this process can be reversed. ed, without preamble. "This entire re- "I merely set back Augustine's clock markable performance has been wit- ten hours, so to speak, and left him in nessed by me here in Albany. I con- a state of complete amnesia and partial gratulate you and greet you as an out- neural paralysis. Then, by a simple re- standing citizen of our great State. And verse adjustment of my pocket appa- I wish to assure you that your legal ratus, and an increase in the normal status is clear in all respects. I shall thought rate in the normal forward di- so direct the Attorney-General at once. rection, combined with a hypnotic com- Good-bye, Mr. Burke and good luck."


.'v..>wihmv Coupon

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\m~f\ HE Chinese have a legend which says their race originally came from fhe moon, ~] \* and that the equivalent to Adam and Eva arrived in a ship which flew on wings of Uk flame. The flying dragon. Whether they did or not, some theorists hold that the Moon was originally pert of the earth, which broke loose during its molten state, cooled faster, because of its smaller size, and prod uced a race much earlier than Earth. They point to Chinese legend to bear this out. However, the moon's origin is still unknown. H TRUTHli*

ALMOST everyone in Weston saw By DAVID f-\ the planes that morning. Crowds pouring from the subways and WRIGHT O'BRIEN elevateds on their way to work stopped in the middle of the business district to • crane their necks heavenward in gap- ing astonishment. Traffic became hor- ribly snarled, and the policemen let it Suddenly the citizens of stay that way while they, too, watched the writing in the sky. Weston found themselves in a Ordinary commercial smokewriting would not have merited more than a plague of truth, and there was passing glance from the citizenry of Weston. But this was certainly differ- the devil to pay that a few lies ent. To begin with there were ten planes printing the sky message. Sec- might easily have prevented ondly, they were flying so low that it appeared as if they would inevitably • crash into the office buildings of the district. And last but not least, there Lance Randall and Professor Me Ho fought to get through the panic stricken crowd 59 60 AMAZING STORIES

was the message itself. skywriters spread enough smoke around "HONESTY," it read, "IS THE the city to gag a man. He turned into BEST POLICY!" his office building and was standing in The skywriting continued for an- front of the elevator when someone other half hour, during which time the slapped him on the back. It was Jones, message must have been spelled out another business associate whom he fifty times in all. Then the smoke hadn't seen in several weeks. planes departed, and Weston was "Good old J. T.," boomed Jones. shrouded by the cloak of blue vapor "Glad to see you, old boy. How have left in their wake. you been? Where've you been keeping yourself? Really great to see you, /^VN the twenty-first floor of the Radio great!" Building, located in the heart of A mechanical smile came to the busi- Weston, Jack Train, staff announcer for ness man's face as he opened his mouth Station W-E-S-T, left the window to reply. Something, at that moment, where he had been watching the sky- seized control of his tongue. writing. It was two minutes to nine, "You're a damned liar," he heard and he was due in Studio F at nine himself saying. "We hate one another's o'clock. guts and you know it." . . . "Whew!" snorted Train, "those ships were flying so low you could even smell T INDA MEADE, salesgirl in Wes- the smoke." He sniffed deeply as if to ton's most exclusive millinery shop, prove it to himself. brought forth another hat for Mrs. "Funny smoke at that," he said as he Blythe. It was the fourteenth hat that entered Studio F. "It's sort of sweet Linda had tried on the society matron and fresh smelling." in the last half hour. Mrs. Blythe He cleared his throat and looked at coughed disapprovingly as Linda ad- the glass partition behind which the en- justed the hat. "Terribly smoky in gineer was sitting. The engineer sig- here, m'dear." nalled the "on-the-air." "It's from those skywriters, modom," "Goooood morning, ladies and gentle- Linda explained patiently. "They flew men. This is Jack Train, your Pobo so low that the entire city seems to be Toothpaste announcer, greeting you. filled with it." Have you brushed your teeth today? Mrs. Blythe, hat on head, began Don't forget, Pobo is the Toothpaste peering this way and that into the mir- Supreme. It gives your molars that ror before her. She turned to Linda, brilliant lustre so necessary to movie smiling sweetly. "What do you think stars. It removes dirty, dingy stains." of this one, m'dear?" As if in a dream, Train heard his "It makes you look," said Linda, hor- voice continuing gaily on past the point rified at what she knew was coming, where the commercial ended. "like a rather pretty mountain goat!" "Yes indeed. It removes stains. It removes enamel. Give it a little time T ANCE RANDELL placed the tele- and it removes your teeth, too!" . . . phone back in its cradle and turned to face Professor Merlo. "It's a HpHE business man was coughing call from the airport," he stated. "The slightly. Smoke always made his planes are . They've covered the throat harsh, and those blankety-blank city with our smokewriting." TRUTH IS A PLA6UEI 61

Professor Merlo, a sparse, bird-like here to get the reports, and then you little man, ran a nervous hand through might drive back to give me a first his white hair. "Fine," he said, "splen- hand account." did. In another hour we should be get- Randell grabbed his hat. "Swell. ting reports on the effect of our experi- Soon as I take a look at our Utopia, I'll ment." call you." Randell grinned. "You mean your A few minutes later, behind the experiment, Professor. Your experi- wheel of his roadster, Randell said to ment, not mine." himself, "Somehow this is like—like "Without your financial backing," playing God I" the Professor reminded him, "it would It sent a shudder through him. still be a dream. It is yours as much as mine." He beamed fondly on the TT was only a fifteen minute drive rugged young man. from Professor Merlo's suburban "It's still hard to believe," said laboratories to the city limits of Wes- Randell reflectively. "A gas made from ton, but Randall tried to make it in Truth Serum. If it has effect, Profes- ten. Halfway there, two sirens began sor, are you still sure it will make every- to scream behind him. one tell the truth?" "Pull over," snarled the motorcycle "Yes, my boy. Dishonesty will be an copper on his right. Randell brought impossibility, providing the gas works." his car to an abrupt stop. His pur- "Utopia?" suers walked over to his car. They "Maybe. We must first see what effect looked grim and determined and were it has on one city. If it works on Wes- pulling little black books from their ton we can change the world. At the hip pockets. end of this hour, every citizen in Wes- "Thought you'd shake us at the city ton should be affected by it." limits, eh?"

Lance Randell lit a cigarette as the "I suppose you're gonna tell us you Professor fell silent. For the first time didn't know how fast you was going?" in his life, Randell told himself, he was said the second, a tall, morose fellow, putting his wealth to a good use. A the sarcasm dripping from him. "A world of Truth! Little shivers of ex- lousy seventy-five per." citement ran through him at the Randell would have sworn that it thought of how near they were to wasn't his own voice replying with such changing the course of destiny. He cheerful unconcern. "Yes," he heard drummed his fingers impatiently on the himself saying, "I had been hoping to arm of his chair. This waiting was shake you fellows at the city limits. nerve-racking. You wouldn't have been able to pinch Restlessly he went to the window me in Weston, y'know. I was not, how- and gazed for a moment at the serenity ever, doing seventy-five. Last time I of the countryside. "Nice out here," looked, I was inching up close to he observed. "So quiet. But right this ninety." minute, this peace is killing me." During the ominous silence that fol- He turned back from the window. lowed this announcement, Randell col- "If you don't mind, I'm going into the lected the pieces. He sniffed the air city." suspiciously. Yes, there it was, that

Professor Merlo smiled. "Go ahead. faint, sweet freshness I No wonder: the I'm a little old to be impatient. I'll stay Truth Gas extended all the way to the "


city limits! framed by auburn hair and presenting Suddenly the realization hit him. The a pert, freckled nose, level gray eyes officers, themselves, must be affected by and mischievous mouth, stared back at the gas, too! her. Randell kept his face straight dur- The mouth smiled, revealing an even ing his next question. "Haven't you po- row of dazzlingly white teeth. "You," licemen ever broken the speeding declared the mouth, "might as well be laws?" an office fixture." Doris snapped the The policemen started to speak and compact shut. She coughed slightly. stopped. They looked at each other The office seemed terribly smoky this queerly. "Of course," they declared in morning. Probably due to those planes ! stupefied unison. "Lots of times that had been skywriting over the city. "Fun, ain't it?" She got up to close the window next "Great sport," said the flabbergasted to her desk when she saw the familiar motorcycle cops. blue roadster roll up in front of the "Now," said Randell severely, "after building. She watched the rugged admitting that you break the speed laws figure of her boss get quickly out of the yourselves, adding that it's great fun, do car and walk swiftly to the entrance. you still think you ought to give me a She walked back to her desk and sat ticket?" down, making a conscious effort to as- "No," said the morose cop, with an semble the mail. It wasn't any use. oddly bright glance. "It wouldn't be There were little thoughts spinning fair!" around in her mind. . . . "Well," said Randell, putting his car Doris heard the doorknob turning, into gear, "so long, then!" and her heart did a more than its usual In his rear vision mirror Lance Ran- routine flip-flop. Randell came into the dell could see the bewildered motor cops room. standing at the city limits, scratching "How's the staff?" their heads. He couldn't hold back any He always said that to her. It was longer. He broke into peals of laugh- his standard form of greeting, rain or ter. But he wasn't laughing by the time shine, day in and day out. And he sel- he arrived in Weston's business district. dom waited for an answer. He just kept walking into his office. CHAPTER II Doris followed him. The Unexpected Truth "Here's your mail, Mr. Randell," she said, keeping her voice carefully imper- T~\ORIS MARTIN sat at her neat lit- sonal. tie desk in the ornate offices of She watched him while he sorted Lance Randell Enterprises, Inc., sorting swiftly through the letters, noticing the the batch of morning mail. The clock way he hunched his wide shoulders in on her desk told her that it was almost preoccupation. Then fearing that he ten o'clock. She sighed. The Boss might glance up, she turned back to could be expected about noon, if he some trivial matter. came in at all that day. "Ahhh." She knew from the sound At the thought of Lance Randell, of his sigh that he'd come to the letter Doris permitted herself another sigh, he was looking for. The perfumed and still sighing she stared for a message from the bubble dancer. moment into the mirror. An oval face, "Darling," Randell read to himself, "


"even a day away from you seems like that there might be someone in the simply years." As he read on, all world who'd care for you even if you thoughts of the past twenty-four hours didn't have a — vanished. From time to time he re- She was at the door, now, her hand on peated his sigh. Finally there was the the knob, speaking again. "It probably signature, "Your darling Edie." never occurred to you that someone He looked up from the letter, en- could love you so much that nothing tranced. "She's wonderful," he said else mattered except to see you do rhetorically to his secretary, "isn't something with your utterly pleasant she?" and equally worthless life besides waste "Do you mean Miss Dajmar?" Doris it on a bubble dancer!" heard herself reply. For five full minutes Lance sat on the Randell seemed startled back to edge of his desk, staring at the door. reality. He wasn't expecting an answer "Well, I'll be damned," he kept repeat- to his statement. "Why, yes," he said ing to himself. "Well, I'll be damned!" "who else would I mean?" His brain was going through the fu- Doris was flustered. Something had tile thought mechanisms that confront happened. She never meant to say that. any man when trying to arrive at a logi- It just popped out, and to her astonish- cal reason for the actions of a woman. ment a torrent of words were following Suddenly the explanation flashed before her first unintended sentence. She him. He had forgotten all about the heard her voice continue. experiment, aM about the gas! Doris "If you mean she's wonderful," Doris was affected by the Truth Gas, that was saying, "I don't think she is. As a explained it all! matter of fact I think she's nothing but But if she—no, it couldn't be. Lance a cheap, gold-digging little vixen. If tried to eliminate the logical conclusion you'd remove her warpaint, keep her to his deductions. With a sinking feel- away from the beauty parlor, and elimi- ing he was realizing that if the Truth nate the dubious glamour of her profes- Gas was the cause of her outburst, what sion, you'd see nothing but a washed- she said must have been true, even out, frizzled haired little know-noth- about Edie! ing!" Lance dashed for the door. There was only one answer to the agony of D ANDELL'S jaw was hanging fool- doubt that filled his mind. Edie was the ishly agape at the outburst. only person who could supply that "You are just sap enough," Doris answer! loves went on, "to think that she you. CHAPTER III She hasn't room enough in that shallow heart of hers for love of anything but The Plague Grows money and herself. You have plenty of money, and that's what she's after. 'T^HE ash tray next to the radio in

Everyone in town knows it but you." Professor Merlo's study was heaped Her voice was shaking now, and she with cigarette stubs. Slumped in an knew that she would be crying in armchair before the radio ever since another minute. Randell's departure, Professor Merlo Automatically Doris was picking up had been listening to news flashes from her things, moving toward the door. the scene of his Truth Gas experiment.

"It probably never entered your skull To be precise about it, the first bulle- 84 AMAZING STORIES

tin was read at 9:45. stores leaped to their deaths rather than "The Weston Board of Health," said meet the financial ruin facing their the announcer, "is investigating the establishments." rumor that an odd epidemic of insanity The Professor shuddered. He was has broken forth in the heart of the expecting something like that ever since city's business district. Victims of this the bulletin of an hour ago which stated strange malady are reported to be pos- that the clerk's in the downtown depart- sessed with the desire to make prepos- ment stores were selling all goods at less terous and often insulting statements. than cost price. Fifteen minutes after

As yet, however, these rumors have not that particular bulletin it was an- been authenticated." Professor Merlo nounced that delighted shoppers were smiled. The announcer concluded with, buying up every bit of stock in the "This bulletin has come to you through stores—at a net loss of several million the courtesy of the Weston Daily dollars to the owners of the stores. Herald, the World's Worst News- The announcer was babbling on, paperl" "This brings today's death rate to the Professor Merlo had guffawed. Now staggering total of one hundred persons. several hours after that, however, his Many of these, as you probably learned laughter was changed to shocked in previous flashes, were victims of amazement. murder." "It can't be so," the white haired lit- tle man was telling himself. "All this pROFESSOR MERLO cringed, re- is but the first spasm. When it has membering the thirty-or-so hus- spent itself, everything will settle into bands whose wives dispatched them to our expected pattern. Out of it will their Maker over blood-stained break- grow perfect order and Utopia. It is fast tables, the fifty-odd revenge slay- only natural that confusion should be ings perpetrated by persons who learned the first result of such an experiment. of long-concealed treacheries by friends By noon everything should be well or partners, the suicides whose doctors again!" were forced to admit that they were But even as he spoke, the Professor victims of incurable diseases. had a feeling of uneasiness. He'd been "God," Professor Merlo muttered, saying the same thing for the last hour covering his face with his hands, and a half. The Professor gulped, his "God!" Adam's apple bobbing along his "Police have stated," continued the scrawny neck like an egg in a hose. He announcer, "that they are as yet unable wished fervently that Randell would to control the army of a thousand men return. and women who have formed a march-

The radio news announcer was jab- ing brigade through the streets of- the bering excitedly once more. Dully, like city. These marchers, victims of the a man expecting an unavoidable blow, strange malady, were all thrown out of Merlo turned his head to listen. work early this morning when they told "As the strange epidemic of mass in- insulted employers what they thought of sanity grows in Weston, today, it has them. At present they are fairly or- been learned that three more suicides derly, but it is feared that, once they re- have occurred in the business district. alize their power, looting and blood- These happened when the owners of shed will result." Weston's three largest department Professor Merlo winced, thinking of TRUTH IS A PLAGUE! the hundreds mote who would join the pleasing their egos by giving their marchers the moment the department charity a lot of publicity. But now," he stores were shut down. shuddered, "they admit that they don't The telephone was jangling in- give a damn for charity!" sistently, and Merlo crossed the room slowly to where it stood. He knew what TPHE Civic Scientific Foundation had the call would probably be. He'd had been the pride and joy of Merlo's nine of them already. He picked the existence, and seeing it crumble was one receiver off the hook. "Yes?" of the hardest blows of the day. Ten "Hello, Professor Merlo?" a voice on years of progress was being wiped out the other end inquired. In an almost in the space of several hours. toneless whisper the Professor admitted It was clear to the Professor, now, it was. what he and Lance failed to take into "This is J. Weems Sharp," said the consideration before the experiment. voice. The Professor was sure of the People affected by the Truth Gas would call now. "Yes," said Merlo, "I think not only tell what they knew to be true, I understand what you're calling for. but would also admit to things which You want to tell me that you're with- had been lying under the hypocritical drawing your endowment from my cloak of their subconscious thoughts for Civic Scientific Foundation." years. In other words, the gas was ex- The voice was amazed. "Yes, that's posing ideas which people never even right. How did you know?" previously suspected they cherished! Merlo ignored the question. "You "Something," muttered the tight- want to withdraw your endowment lipped scientist, "has to be done, and from the Foundation because you are done fast." He paused before the win- quite willing to admit that you don't dow. And as he looked out across the give a damn for the betterment of your country-side, it seemed as though na- fellows." ture itself had fallen under the mood of "That's right," agreed the voice. "I gloomy foreboding. The sun was hid- never cared what happened to the den behind ominous formations of masses. No sense in my wasting money black rain-laden clouds. on other people when I can keep it all for myself. I was a chump to let you CHAPTER IV talk me into it for the past ten years. Lance Makes a Test Now it can go to the devil, I—" Pro- fessor Merle put his thumb down on the TF Lance Randell hadn't been so pre- hook, breaking the connection. occupied with the doubts that "That makes the tenth one," he told clouded his romance he might have no- himself bitterly, beginning to pace the ticed the growing confusion in Weston. floor. "They can all tell the truth, now. As it was, however, he looked neither They'll admit that they're miserly mon- left nor right as he put his high-powered sters, and refuse to give any more to roadster into gear and shot out for the scientific charity. It's just about the Weston Tower Hotel where the blonde end of my Foundation. Oh Lord," he Edie had an apartment. thought, "for ten years I've been able The crowds that were beginning to to play on the hypocrisy of those surge through the streets escaped his money-bags, making them shell out notice, the clang of speeding ambu- money for the good of their fellowman, lances and police wagons failed to enter 66 AMAZING STORIES his brain, so one-tracked was his deter- love, or is it my money?" mination. There, Lance told himself, it was In a little less than three minutes done. He felt his heart hammering after he'd left the office Randall drew wildly as Edie started to speak. He up in front of the elaborate canopy felt as though the answer would mean marking the entrance to the skyscrap- the difference between life and death. ing Weston Tower Hotel. Edie's apart- "Why, daahhling, of course I love ment was on the fortieth floor, and Ran- you! Honey, whatevah made you dell didn't bother to telephone from the fancy that I cared a speck about your lobby. He crossed the room swiftly money? I'd marry you even if you and stepped into an elevator. were a pauper!" Edie Dalmar, when she opened the Randell was ecstatic in his relief. door, was astonished to see a breathless They were all wrong! Doris had been a and strangely intense Lance Randell spiteful, jealous wench. Edie was true! standing there with his hat in his hand. He knew it all along, Edie was true! For a moment her oval, doll-like She didn't give a damn for his money. features registered amazement, then She loved him for himself alone. Weston's Loveliest Bubble Dancer re- By now, however, Edie was pouting. gained her composure. She arched deli- Two enormous tears began to trickle cately penciled eyebrows in a smile. down her cheeks. She was sobbing "Daahhling, what a surprise! What silently, dabbing at her eyes with a are you doing heah at this hour?" scrap of lace. Lance entered the room and put his hat on the mantel.- He turned and "LTONEY," said Randell, sensing spoke. that he had wounded her feel- "Edie, there are some things I have ings, "I never meant to doubt you, hon- to ask you. It's very important, and I estly. I'm sorry I ever asked you, but don't want you to be angry with me." I was desperately unsure. I had to Edie moved sinuously across the know. Please forgive me." room, smoothing her dark hair with Edie, however, was not so easily con- scarlet nailed fingers. She sat down on soled. She increased her snuffling. the couch and turned violet eyes on "You thought I, I, I, I was cheap!" she Lance. "Why, deah, ah don't know jes' wailed. what it's all about, but go right ahead Lance Randell had a sudden inspira- and ask me anything you want to." tion. "Edie!" Lance removed an enormous, floppy No reply, merely more snuffling. Cupid doll from the cushion next to her "Edie," he repeated. This time she and sat down. For a moment he was looked up. silent. This wasn't going to be easy. "What?" she asked between sobs. He knew that any question he'd ask "You know that coat you admired so would bring a starkly truthful answer. much the other day?" But he had to know. He forced him- Edie's snuffling lessened perceptibly. self to speak. "Yes?"

"Edie, do you really love me?" "I'd like you to have it as a present, The bubble dancer opened her dear." slightly petulant lips to protest, but Gone were the tears, silenced was the Lance went on. "I mean, do you love sobbing. Edie's doll face was wreathed me for myself? Is it, is it me that you m smiles. She was in his arms. TRUTH IS A PLASUEI 67

"Daahhling," breathed Edie. trousers. His head was pillowed in a "My dear," said Randell. pool of his own blood, and his right The floppy Cupid doll looked up hand held a death-like clutch on an from the floor where it had been automatic pistol. dropped, its button eyes shining "Horrified, Randell addressed the cynically. policeman who barred his way. "What happened, Officer?" \X7TTH singing heart Lance left "Suicide," was the terse reply. "Shot Edie's apartment. The world was himself while we were on the way to get once more righted, and now he had time him." to think of the second most important A pop-eyed little man on his right thing in his life, the experiment. Then, supplied Lance with the rest of the in- too, he'd almost forgotten that Merlo formation. "It's Gordon Carver," the was waiting for a call from him back in little man blurted. "He's killed him- the laboratories. self, rather than go to jail." He glanced at his watch. 10:30. Gordon Carver! Randell was Plenty should be happening by now. stunned. Gordon Carver was Weston's The gas bad had more than an hour and greatest philanthropist, most charitable a half to take effect on the populace. millionaire, a leading citizen! He There should be some interesting de- looked at the millionaire's body, so velopments. There were. queerly sprawled out across the cold As he stepped from the elevator into marble floor. The pop-eyed champ was the lobby, Randell was immediately still talking. aware that things were popping in the "Yeah," said Pop-Eyes, "he called Weston Tower Hotel. There had been the Police about a half an hour ago, con- a scant twenty people sitting about in fessed that he had committed some the spacious room when Randell had crime years ago, and was an escaped first arrived there. Now, not more than convict. He told them to come to the a half hour later, the place was literally Weston Tower Hotel, that he'd be wait- jammed with people. Everyone seemed ing in the lobby to surrender to 'em." to be talking at once, and in the voices Pop-Eyes paused to shudder. "I guess there was a growing undercurrent of he couldn't stand the thought of going hysteria. back to prison, so he plugged hisself just The fever spot seemed to be located as the cops walked in the lobby." around the Room Desk, and Randell began elbowing through the mob, mov- SUDDENLY Lance Randell knew ing in that direction. that he had to get away from that "Stand back, buddy!" circle. He fought his way back through Lance Randell was in the front of the the crowd, feeling that he might suc- circle around the Desk, when a blue- cumb to nausea at any moment. The clad arm shot out to stop his progress. voices all around him were still floating He noticed, then, that a cordon of eight to his consciousness. "What's happened policemen had blocked off a space to this town?" "It's the end of the around the Desk, and were holding the world." "Terrible, out in the streets, crowd back. rioting." "I saw a little child . . . ." In the middle of the space, face killed . . downward, lay a gray haired man Randell found a telephone booth, dressed in morning coat and striped managed to push inside. With a hand "


that trembled slightly, he fished through there was still time. Desperately, Ran- his pockets until he found a nickel. dell began to push back through the Then he was dialing Professor Merlo's crowded lobby toward the elevators. number. After what seemed like an CHAPTER V eternity he heard the old scientist's voice. Lance Gefs a Shock "Professor, it's me—Lance. I—" he was cut off by the sharp voice on the pROFESSOR MERLO waited a mo- other end of the wire. ment after hanging up on Lance "Yes," he heard Merlo saying, "I Randell. Then he picked up the tele-

know all about it. Got it all through phone again and dialed a number. As news flashes. We haven't any time to the receiver buzzed in his ear he lose. Have to act quickly. Where are drummed his fingers impatiently on the you?" table, staring out the window at the "At the Weston Towers, but—" Ken- darkening skies. dall began. "It should work," the old man mut- "Stay there," Merlo continued, "I'll tered to himself. "It has to work." meet you as quickly as possible. Every Then he heard a voice on the other end moment that this gas stays over the city of the wire. means more lives. I think I've hit on "Weston Contractors," said the voice. a solution." Merlo began speaking excitedly, em- "How? What?" Randell began. phatically, allowing his listener no time Then he cursed. Merlo had hung up. for interruptions. After several min- What did the old man mean? What utes he concluded, "Is everything possible solution could there be? They straight? It's a question of time. I had no anti-toxin to the gas. They want them there as quickly as possi-

knew that it would wear off in twenty- ble." four hours, of course, but in twenty-four "Certainly, Professor," was the re- hours—. He shuddered at the thought ply. "I understand. We'll get them of what was in store for Weston if the there as fast as is humanly possible. gas held that long! But such an enormous load of sand, I A feeling of utter hopelessness, com- can't imagine what you intend— plete futility came over Randell as he "Damn you," shouted Merlo, his face stepped back into the lobby of the Wes- purpling, "you don't have to imagine.

ton Towers. Another twenty-four hours All you have to do is get them there, and before the gas would drift from the city. get them there in a hurry!" Twenty-four hours in which hell would "Yes, Professor," the voice was star- rage unchecked! The thought was tled, "never fear. They'll be there on

staggering. Foolishly, it occurred to time." him that he was suffering the same emo- Merlo slammed the instrument back tions that Dr. Frankenstein had known on its cradle and stood up. He seized upon creating his monster. his hat from the top of a bookcase and Then and there his heart went into stamped out of the room. A few mo- a sickening tailspin. He had forgotten ments later he was turning his black about Ediel If this bedlam was going sedan out of his garage and onto the to continue throughout Weston, no one highway leading to Weston. Then he would be safe. He had to get her out of pushed the accelerator down to the the city, had to get her to safety while floorboards. ... "


Less than a mile from the Weston that he was climbing out of his car. Tower Hotel, a pretty, red-headed The driver was walking over to her young girl was being swept along by now, his face white, jaws shut. the semi-frantic crowds thronging the "Doris!" The driver stopped short business district. For the first time in shocked amazement. since she dashed tearfully from the of- fices of Lance Randell Enterprises, over TT was then that she recognized Pro- an hour ago, Doris Martin was becom- fessor Merlo. He had her by the ing aware of the frenzied hysteria grip- arm, was propelling her to his car and ping the city. talking rapidly. "What are you doing Despair at what she said to the man here? Life isn't safe anywhere in Wes- she loved had driven her into the streets, ton. You must be mad to be roaming made her wander about aimlessly, until the streets while this turmoil is raging. finally, Doris Martin knew what she Don't you know, haven't you seen it?" had to do. And she was going to do it. They were in Merlo's sedan now, No one on earth could stop her. once more moving along in the stream People were passing her, crowds el- of traffic. Doris found her voice at bowed by, the ordinary hum of the city last. "Where are you going, Professor? increased to a tone approaching an an- What, what has happened to the city?" gry howl, but Doris walked on, scarcely "Plenty," Merlo snapped. "We're conscious of anything but the pavement going to the Weston Towers. Lance is beneath her feet. Where she was go- there, waiting for me. There's a lot to ing, how long she'd been walking, noth- be done. Can't explain it all now." ing made any difference. At the mention of Lance, Doris paled. "Watch where ye're goin', sister!" "Good ! " she said firmly. "I was on my Doris had a confused vision of a fat way there. I've a little business of my red face peering angrily at her. A own there." sweaty, shirt-sleeved fellow in a sailor "Not with Lance, I suspect?" said straw had wrapped his pudgy hand Merlo, looking at her with less surprise around her arm and jerked her back- than he might have. ward. Her first instinct was one of an- "No," Doris' voice was amazingly ger, and she started to speak. different. "I'll tend to that— "Ya wanna get kilt?" The fat man Suddenly the little black sedan shot was pointing to the cars rushing by in across an intersection at the same mo- the street, and then Doris realized that ment that a lumber truck came hurtling they were standing on the curbing, that through from the side street. It was too the fat fellow had pulled her out of the late for Merlo to swing the sedan out path of the automobiles hurtling past of its path. The sickening, futile them. squealing of brakes preceded the rend- Her ears were torn by the screech of ing crash of a side-on collision. In the hastily applied automobile brakes. Out blackness that was closing around him, of the corner of her eye she saw a black Merlo heard a woman scream. . . . sedan jolting to an abrupt stop. Ter- rified, she stood rooted in the center of JT had only been his dogged determi- the street. nation that enabled Lance Randell "Good God, girl," someone shouted. to get Edie Dalmar to leave her apart- "I might have killed you!" Doris saw ment. At first she was coyly amused at that it was the driver of the sedan, and his insistence that she dress and leave 70 AMAZING STORIES

with him immediately. Then, as she "What's that you just said?" she de- began to notice the unsmiling set to his manded frigidly. mouth, the feverish gleam in his eyes, "I said that all business is being she became a little frightened and de- ruined. It means that all my invest- cided to humor him. ments will be wiped out if this con- They stepped out of the elevator into tinues, that I'll be a pauper," said Lance the lobby and Randell looked swiftly in confusion. through the crowd in an effort to see if "Are you sure of that?" Her tone Merlo had arrived yet. Edie tugged at was like an Arctic breeze. his sleeve. "I'm afraid so." Randell had pushed "Jus' what is this heah all about, his hat back on his forehead and was daahling?" she demanded. staring in amazement at the expression Randell tore his eyes from the crowd. that crossed Edie's face. Wordlessly he took her arm, piloting her "Then," said Edie deliberately, "you across the room to a quiet corner. They might as well get out of my sight, you found a lounge. boob. Do you think for a minute that "What's this all about?" repeated I have any time for a pauper. Why, Edie, her voice oddly different in ac- you sap, all I ever wanted was your cent. She jerked her arm out of his dough. This little gal looks out for grasp. herself. If you haven't got the bank- "Look, Honey," he began in a rush roll I can get a guy that has." She was of words. "As I said before. Some- standing up now, looking scornfully at thing terrible has happened to the city. him. "Excuse me, chump. I'm leaving. I can't tell you any more than that for Don't bother to come again!" the present. You'll have to trust me. Feeling as if he had just been thor- It isn't safe in Weston any more, and oughly gone over by a steam roller, I'm going to get you out of here as soon Randell sat gazing in aching astonish- as Merlo comes!" ment at Edie's retreating back. Edie's starry eyes narrowed percept- CHAPTER VI ibly. "Have you gone daffy?" Lance Randell groaned. Then, re- Sand—And Rain membering Edie had seen nothing of the effects of the gas, hadn't even heard T^OR a time Lance Randell was un- of it yet, he made another effort to ex- able to do anything more than stare plain. dumbly into space. Edie Dalmar's sud- "Listen, Darling. Weston is a city den change had affected him just as suddenly gone mad. Something has forcibly as a left hook to the jaw, leav- happened. It's no longer safe to go out ing him dazed, uncomprehending, para- into the streets. Business is being lyzed. His first reactions were those ruined. Financial houses are collaps- of hurt and bewilderment, bitterness ing. Lives are being taken recklessly. and heartbreak. Then reason began to

You must understand me, you have to return, and with it the demand for an believe me. If this keeps up, dear, explanation of her actions. everything will be ruined. It begins to She undoubtedly was acting under look like you'll have to keep your prom- the effects of the gas, he was certain ise about marrying me even if I were of that much. But why hadn't she a pauper." Lance stopped abruptly. spoken the truth when he talked to her Edie was staring at him strangely. in her apartment? Why didn't the gas — "

TRUTH IS A PLASUEI 71 influence her until they were down in felt dry, and all at once he knew it was the lobby? all over. Suddenly Randell looked at his They were beaten. There would be watch. He remembered at that mo- no solution. The one chance of saving ment that Merlo should be somewhere the city was in the Professor's plan. in the lobby. The Professor had had And that plan had evidently been more than enough time to get there. jarred from the old man's mind in the His personal troubles vanished as he collision. Automatically he listened, realized once more that as every mo- while the Professor went on: ment passed Weston was coming closer "Did you notice the weather?" and closer to the brink of utter madness. "No," Randell said, trying to keep And then, as he glanced in the direction the bitterness from his voice. of the revolving doors at the hotel en- "Rainclouds," said Merlo, "huge for- trance, he gasped. mations of them above Weston. I A grotesque caricature of a man was called the weather bureau. But the rain entering. On his head was a battered isn't expected until evening. Then it fedora, mashed down over wild white will be too late. We can't wait for eve- hair and a blood-caked brow. His suit ning, Lance. We must have rain, now. was literally ripped to shreds, the left Evening will be too late." The Pro- pants leg torn off at the knee, and the fessor stopped, and looked at Lance coat sticky with oil and blood. He strangely. "My God, Lance, don't you looked wildly about for an instant see what I'm getting at? Do you think Randell gasped again, "Professor I'm out of my head? Rain! Rain! Merlo!" It'll save us, man. Remember your ele- In several swift strides Randell was mentary chemistry! The rain will de- at the old man's side. He threw an stroy our Truth Gas, will disintegrate arm around his waist and half-carried its molecular formation! Water can him over to a couch. "Wasn't sure I'd do that to gas, don't you see?" make it," Merlo said faintly. "There There was life once more in Ran- was an accident. Truck. Hit me from dell's expression, hope in his eyes as he the side. Doris, Doris Martin was in spoke. Gone was his conviction that the car with me. I must have been out Merlo was babbling. "Good Lord, I

cold for five minutes. When I came see what you mean, Professor ! But you around, she was gone. Couldn't look said —that rain isn't expected until eve- for her. Came the rest of the way by ning cab. Had to tell you. We must work "That's what I said," agreed Merlo, fast!" "but we're going to make rain, Lance. "Where is Doris—" But Randell Now!" stopped, fighting to drive all other Randell was visibly perplexed, but he thoughts from his mind. One thing waited while Merlo continued. alone was more important than any "I've ordered sand," said the Pro- others. "Remember you said you'd fessor, "twelve trucks of it. They found a solution?" should be at the Weston Airport this "Yes," Merlo said quietly. "It's in minute. I've hired airplanes. They're the weather." the type used in spraying vegetation Lance Randell felt suddenly sick in- and smoking orchards. Those planes side. The old man was out of his head, are going to fly above the raincloud for- delirious from the accident. His mouth mations. They're going to bomb the " —


* clouds, with sand I " voice carried to where Randell and Pro- "But—" fessor Merlo were standing. "With sand!" repeated Merlo. "The "Good Lord," someone cried, "stop sand will shatter the cloud formations, him before it's too late." release the rain on the city immedi- "Get the Manager," a woman was ately!" screaming. "He wants to kill himself." Lance cursed in anguish. Another T ANCE RANDELL was on his feet. one. He struggled through the retreat- "You say the planes and the sand ing crowds until he stood behind a cor- are waiting at the Airport?" don of the more courageous spectators, Merlo nodded. "I'd planned that we some twenty feet from the elevator row. both go to the field. It will make it Merlo had followed directly behind easier if there are two of us to direct him. the operations." "Get back," the bespectacled little The youth helped the old scientist to fellow in the elevator was shouting. his feet. "Think you'll be okay, Pro- "Get away from here, all of you, unless fessor?" you want to come with me 1 "I think so," said Merlo. But his The man peered owlishly at the face was a sickening white. crowd through the thick lenses of his Randell looked quickly at the Pro- glasses, raising the object in his fessor, indecision crossing his face. At hand aloft. "This is nitroglycerine! It that instant confusion broke forth in can blow us all to eternityl Stand the lobby of Weston Towers, signalled back!" by a hoarse shout of terror from the di- Instinctively, the row in front of rection of the elevators. Then a woman Lance and Merlo surged back. Lance screamed and every voice in the place turned to Merlo. "It's another suicide became raised in bedlam. attempt!" The Professor and Randell wheeled The little man was shouting at the in the direction of this fresh outburst. crowd again. "I'm going up through People were rushing back and forth in this roof. Up in a blaze of glory. Glory, front of a corner elevator like so many for the first time in my miserable life! frightened chickens. They seemed des- I've been kidding myself too long. My perately eager to get away from that worthless hide doesn't mean a thing in particular spot. the scheme of things, and all the time Then they saw the cause of the ter- I've been a miserable failure, a fraud. ror, a mousey little man who was stand- But this morning I stopped lying to my- ing alone in the elevator, shouting hys- self. Now I'm going out—out and up terically. The fellow had one hand with this nitro in my hand! Who on the controls and the other was wants to come along, eh? Who wants clutching a small, vial-like object. to come along?" "Going up, going up, going up," his The Professor put a hand to his head, wiping away beads of perspiration. * Nothing is so tantalizing to drought sufferers He as raihdouds which, because of some peculiar quirk looked at Randell. "There's nothing atmospheric conditions, refuse to precipitate in we can do about it." rain. In the Southwestern section of the country, considerable success in the past was achieved by "Good God," Randell cried, "we airplanes which sprayed or "bombed" with sand can't let him kill himself. It's our fault stubborn rainclouds above drought-stricken crops ! if he dies " His voice had become an- or sun-baked city streets. Action of the sand on the clouds released the rain.—Ed. guished, impassioned, and Merlo placed "

TRUTH IS A PLAGUE! 73 a quieting hand on his arm. you're coming along!" "Steady, Lance. We couldn't foresee As the elevator door clanged shut all this. There's nothing we can do Lance RandelPs mind became a crimson about it. Every minute we stand here blot. With an animal snarl he lashed means at least ten such similar deaths out at the bodies that had blocked his throughout the city. Our duty is at the way to the elevator, beating a path be- Airport. Let's get out of here, imme- fore him, hurling himself through the diately." opening. He didn't notice Merlo barg- Suddenly Lance Randell trembled. ing along behind him. He didn't notice Then he quieted. anything but the cage with the little sui- "You're right. Sorry. Let's get go- cide and the dazed young girl. ing!" He turned, pushing back through A wild laugh came from the tiny cage, the crowd, when he noticed that Merlo and Randell shouted as he saw it start was not moving. The Professor stood upward. The light above the door flick- frozen motionless, staring in astonish- ered white. Merlo was beside Randall ment at the elevator. by this time, grabbing him by the arm. "Going up! Going up!" Randell He wheeled as he felt the old man's fin- heard the demonical little man chant- gers digging into his sleeve. ing. He also heard a gasp from the "What in the hell are we standing crowd, heard Merlo mutter a familiar here for?" Randell yelled. "Doris is in name incredulously. Randell spun that elevator, and by God I'm going around to face the elevator. after her!"

! "Doris " the name tumbled from his "Get a grip on yourself, Lance," lips in horror, for from a side entrance Merlo's fingers dug deeper into his arm to the lobby Doris Martin was walking and his voice was low, fierce. "Remem- in a direct line toward the madman's ber what I told you, man. Fbr every elevator! moment that we're delayed from the In the brief agonized glimpse Lance Airport, something like this happens Randell had of the girl he could see in- somewhere else in Weston. We've stantly that something was wrong. She wasted too much time already!" walked with the measured step of a The Professor's voice brought calm sleepwalker, her face blank, eyes un- back to Randell—calm and agony at the seeing. And in the shocked hush that full import of the situation. "Profes- fell over the lobby he heard her mutter- sor," he muttered shakily, "Doris will

! ing almost inaudibly. be blown to eternity. I have to follow "Lance Randell, you're a fool. A "You'll be sacrificing a hundred lives fool." She seemed to be sobbing. "I for one." love you, Lance. She'll never take Randell looked at the small puddle of ." you . . blood forming beneath Merlo's leg.

"Can you make it alone, Professor?" "r^OING up! Going up!" The wild "You love the girl?" The Professor's cry of the maniac rang out voice was soft. ." through the sudden silence like an un- "Yes ... I never realized . . clean cackle. He swung the grilled said Randell, and he realized with bit- doors of the elevator open momentarily, ter irony that the Truth Gas was at and in that instant Doris Martin, work once more. unseeingly, stepped inside the cage. Merlo held out his harid. "I'll make "Ha—ha! Going up, sister! Glad it, Lance, somehow. God give you luck, 74 AMAZING STORIES

lad, and speed!" Then the Professor He peered out through the grill. was gone, moving unsteadily off through With a silent prayer of thanks he saw the crowds. The open door of ah ad- that the cables in the adjoining shaft joining elevator caught Randell's eye were moving slowly. and he stepped toward it without hesi- "He's taking his time," he muttered. tation. "If I can catch the car before he drives "Don't be a fool," snapped a voice di- it through the roof I—" Suddenly the rectly behind him. elusive plan that had been hiding in his Lance Randell wheeled to see a tall, subconscious was crystallized for Ran-

broad shouldered fellow standing be- dell. He had it. hind him. "Keep out of that elevator. Of course! The Truth Gas didn't Get back into the crowd. There's a carry to the upper floors of the hotel. lunatic loose in an elevator with a vial It was a heavier than air substance. of nitroglycerine. We're clearing the That accounted for Edie being unaf-

lobby." fected by it when she was in her apart- "Thanks," Randell grated, "for the ment! information!" As he spoke his fist His plan was clear in his mind, now. swung simultaneously. The efficient- He knew that his one chance of saving looking young gentleman went down Doris lay in forcing the lunitic to the heavily. The elevator doors closed with upper floors of the Hotel without dis- a wild clang. charging the nitro. Once above the gas,

Lance Randell grabbed the controls the little man would return to normal- of the car, throwing them forward in- ity, would listen to reason. stantly. In his heart was the horrible The little car shot past the twenty- fear that he'd wasted too much time, fifth floor. Five floors more and Ran- that he Would be too late. The car dell caught a glimpse of the under- lurched forward from the quick start, structure of his quarry's elevator. then shot upward. From the moment Face taut, Randell began to slow his when he first spied the insane operator own cage. Three seconds, and he was in the elevator, something had been adjoining the death car. He threw his hammering at the back of his conscious- controls back to stop. ness. It seemed to hinge, somehow with "Ha!" He' could see the crazed little Edie Dalmar. And now, with every man turn from where he stood at the second holding the answer between life controls of the car. He peered through and death, he racked his brain in an the grillwork at Randell. effort to hit upon a plan. Suddenly the suicide's voice cackled, "So you want to come along, too?" IJE knew that his only hope of stop- His eyes sweeping desperately across ping the suicide,, saving Doris, lay the Car in an effort to see Doris, Randell in that elusive subconscious discovery. called, "Where's the girl?" He glanced swiftly about the narrow The little man glanced downward in confines of the cage, mentally thanking devilish amusement. "She's lying on

God that it was not one of the modern, the floor. Passed out a moment after room-type elevators enclosed on all we started up." sides. Instead, the upper-half of the Randell was talking rapidly, "You walls were merely spaced iron grillwork, can't take that girl to her death. For making it possible to see across the the love of heaven, man, she has noth- shaft from one elevator to another. ing to do with you or your life. Let TRUTH IS A PLAGUE! 75 her out!" breathing a silent supplication for time, Another hysterical burst of laughter he set to work on the wall grillwork of from the demented little fellow was the his cage. only answer. Randell opened his mouth Precious moments rushed by as he to speak, when the other car began to began the laborious effort required to ascend once more. Cursing, he threw unscrew the thick screen fastenings. It the controls forward again. would have been a difficult enough job "32" flashed by. with tools, but Randell had only his "33" dropped past. "36" faded by, hands, and inside of two minutes they and cold sweat trickled off Randell's were torn and bleeding. forehead, smarting into his eyes. He forced himself to look upward, catch- COBBING under his breath, knowing ing a glimpse of the car above. Sud- that the controls might loosen in the denly he cursed. Something was wrong. opposite car at any instant, Lance Ran- The other car had come, to a stop, and dell paused only to wipe away the sweat was bobbing between floors. "He's go- that clouded his eyes. Then at last one ing to drop the nitro," Randell thought side of the screen was loosened. desperately. He slowed his tiny cage It was enough. Calling on every last down until he was beside the other. ounce of strength, he pulled backward

Looking across the shaft, he was star- on the grilling, bending it enough to tled. Neither Doris nor the nitro-man push his head and shoulders through the was visible! scant opening. Hoisting himself up to Instinctively he called out, "Doris!" the ledge where the screening began, he The silent elevator shafts echoed and stood teetering, looking down thirty- re-echoed his cry. seven floors of elevator shaft. He set his controls, rushing to the He closed his eyes for a moment, grillwork wall, trying to get a better grating his teeth against the pain he view of the cage in the opposite shaft. knew was coming, then seized one of Then he saw them. In one corner of the black, greasy cables with his lacer- the elevator Doris was lying face down- ated hands. It was an almost super- ward. In the front, next to the con- human act of will that let him swing trols, the madman was stretched out flat his feet from the comparatively safe on his back. Next to his open hand was ledge of his own car out into space. the vial of nitroglycerine—rolling gent- For an agonized second, Randell was ly back and forth on the floor of the sure that his grip on the cable was car! loosening, that he was going to pitch With a numbing sensation of horror, headlong down the shaft. He wrapped Randell saw that the controls of the car his legs around the huge black coil, hop- were not set correctly, that they might ing to God that the grease wouldn't slip any moment! make such a grip impossible. It was now Steeling himself, he swept his eyes or never. across the cage in the opposite shaft, One hand lost the cable. The mo- looking frantically for some solution to tion made him slide several sickening the dilemma. The car was stuck be- feet. His hand caught the grilling on tween floors, making it impossible to get the death car, held him there. to it from a ball door. With his free hand Randell went to Randell realized as much instantly. work on the screen fastenings of the There was only one other solution, and (Concluded on page I2g)

BY RICHARD O. LEWIS T. Wilton Tumps thought having a double would be a great idea — but when he faced twelve of them

VyHEN Mrs. T. Wilton Tumps took was turned. He—moon-like of face and leave of her husband that eventful tummy, short legged, wispy of hair and evening to spend a quiet week end with wearing thick-lensed glasses over his her mother, she hadn't reached the half- pale eyes—had sat in silent loneliness way point of her journey, before Mr. T. in the living room for two hours before Wilton Tumps was seated in a booth in the idea came. a small beer parlor on the corner of 6th His mind had drifted back twenty and Grady of the suburban town of years — to his graduation from the Gradyville. He had nearly finished his Grady College of Business. Thoughts first bottle of beer. of the little cafe on 6th and Grady be- Now Mr. Tumps was strictly not the gan to fill his mind. He had spent many type of man who rushed to the nearest happy evenings there with the boys. Of beer parlor as soon as his wife's back course he had never entered actively 78 AMAZING STORIES into any of their boisterous revelries, took a step toward the door. At the but . . . suddenly he wanted to go same instant, the room pirouetted. back. Just for an evening. . . . In due course of time, he found him- THUMPS flung out his arms for sup- self standing on the corner of 6th and port, his fingers clutched empty air Grady. and he sat down heavily into the booth But the little cafe was no longer a next to the one he had just vacated. He cafe. The tables that had once cluttered sat there blinking across the table into the floor had given way to booths along the dark, hollow eyes of a tall man. The one wall. Along the other wall was a man's broad, white forehead was sur- long bar with a mirror behind it and mounted by somber, black hair. The shelves of bottles. pupils of his sunken eyes were dilated Tumps, slightly confused by the and the corners of his wide mouth changed surroundings, had slid into one sagged. There was a long row of of the booths, and a waiter had placed glasses on the table before him, most of a bottle of beer and a glass on the table them empty. before him. Tumps thought he had never before The little man, being the timid soul seen such a sorrowful person. "You he was, could not find it in his heart to look sad," he told the man. quit the place and leave the bottle un- "I am sad!" The man's voice was touched. There had been no alterna- slow and vibrant. "Everything I do tive; he had started drinking it. goes wrong. When I can't stand things Now, with the bottle half empty, a any longer, I come here to drown my new force was flowing through his veins. sorrow." He was no longer merely a bookkeeper He shoved a glass across the table leading a humdrum life, he was a college from the full end of the row. "I do boy, a rowdy and the life of the party everything scientifically," he explained. slowly being rolled into one. "Through experimentation, I have

He sprinkled salt into his empty glass found the exact number of glasses it and tilted the bottle toward it. The takes for the drowning process. There- beer promptly foamed up and over the fore, I get that many full glasses, place rim of the tall glass. T. Wilton Tumps them in a row and start at one end." gulped at it quickly lest it spew out all "My, my !" Tumps said. The content over the table. He poured more beer of the glass was pungently sweet to the into the glass. It was salty bitter to the taste and playful little bubbles kept zip- taste. By the time he got the drink to ping up and popping him on the end his liking, the bottle was empty. Then of the nose. came more bottles. "I'm an inventor," said the man. A flood of warm vigor surged up from "I'm a book ... er ... a rowdy." deep within him with a sudden rush that Tumps seemed to be drifting about in threatened to blow off the top of his a warm, red haze. The waiter brought head. The sudden rush dispelled itself more full glasses and he found himself into a gigantic hiccup. taking an active part in his new-found "Gosh!" he said. friend's drowning process. He got up and slid carefully out of Then a strange and bewildering thing his booth. His legs seemed strangely happened to the man across the table. unsteady and the room had a foolish He split in two, drifted apart and be- way of swaying back and forth. He came two men who were precisely alike THE THIRTEENTH MR. TUMPS in every respect even to the sunken, hol- wards, caught his balance and drew low eyes. He commented upon the fact himself up. "What I mean to shay," as he struggled to focus the man back he said, "ish that thish cabinet dupli- to a single entity. shates atomical structure in t'other "That's nothing/' said the man. "Du- one." plication is a scientific fact. My latest Tumps decided he had never before invention has proven it. If we were in heard a clearer and more concise ex- my laboratory, / could make two of planation of a scientific principle. you." "Thash true," he said, "Lemme in." "Could you?" asked Tumps. The interior of the cabinet was black, The man nodded and became des- hot and stuffy. Strange buzzings were pondent again. "If only things wouldn't going round and round in the head of go wrong after twenty. ..." T. Wilton Tumps. It seemed ages since The little man wasn't listening. He the tall man had closed the cabinet door

was grappling with a heaven-sent in- on him. He didn't like it in here. He spiration. Two of him! Two T. Wilton wanted to be out, wanted to go places Tumpses! Why, one of them could go and be a rowdy.

on being just a bookkeeper while the Finally, unable to stand it longer any , other one, the original T. Wilton he pushed open the door and stepped Tumps, could continue the pleasant out into the lighted laboratory. At first task of being the life of the party, any- he couldn't find the tall man. Then he body's party. saw him—seated on the floor, his back And no one would ever know! Not against the wall and his long legs ex- even his wife! tended before him. His head rose and

fell slowly in peaceful slumber. COMETIME later, he found himself Tumps went over and shook him. in a basement room where oddly "Humph !" he said. "Pashedout!" shaped lights glowed at him. Tangles A slight noise behind him caused him of wires lined the walls, several tables to turn. He stood there staring, for, were loaded with jumbled mysteries and coming out of the second cabinet, was the floor was cluttered with vases, his exact counterpart. flower pots and statues. T. Wilton Tumps was elated. Here The vases, flower pots and statues before him was his duplicate, the man were drawn up into a long, twisted line, who, from now on, was to have charge and each one of them had a twin stand- of all life's little drudgeries! The man ing by its side—except at the far end who was to give him freedom to do the of the line where there were no twins. things he had always wanted to do! In the center of the room stood two Then he peered more closely at the steel cabinets. They, too, were twins. man—and his heart sank. The dupli- The tall man did something at the cate's thin hair was mussed, his vest side of one of the cabinets that caused was hanging open, his collar and tie

a low hum of power to issue from it and were askew and he was standing there to vibrate through the room. He pointed gazing through his thick glasses with a unsteadily to the cabinet and then to most owlish and bewildered expression. the other. "I putsha in here," he said, "You're drunk!" accused Tumps. "I "and you come out here." don't want you 'cause you can't do my His lean body sagged to the point of work when you're drunk. Get back collapse. He took a quick step back- where you belong!" He gave a sudden " "

80 AMAZING STORIES shove that sent the bewildered dupli- "I'm not a duplicate. I'm T. Wilton cate staggering back into the open door Tumps ! of a cabinet—the cabinet he himself had "You can't be T. Wilton Tumps," just vacated a few minutes before. said Tumps stiffly, " 'cause I'm him." He locked the cabinet door and "I'll go back and find out," said the wedged a chair against it. man. He turned and started unsteadily The tall man was still asleep on the down the street. floor and the low hum of power was still It was still later that evening when vibrating through the laboratory. Tumps found himself on a corner But Tumps didn't notice. where there were several darkened He was standing in the center of the stores and business buildings. A big floor explaining to two lady statues that man in a blue uniform was standing at there was only one good oV T. Wilton the curb idly swinging his club. Tumps in the world and that there could "Offisher," said Tumps, "can you tell never be another one quite like the me where I can find 6th and ..." original. The officer turned quickly. His mouth The room gave a snake-like twist that fell open in surprise, then a black scowl sent him clutching at one of the ladies darkened his broad face. "What! You for support. Then he stood there blink- again ! " he roared. He put his big hands ing his eyes in amazement. The statue on his hips and glared down at the di- had vanished. sheveled figure before him. "Four "Boy!" said T. Wilton Tumps. "I times," he accused, "you've stood here gotta get out of here!" on the corner of 6th and Grady and

asked me where it is. Four times in the T ATER that night, Tumps found last hour, I've put you on a street car himself sitting on an overturned headed for town. And four times you've toy wagon rubbing a bruised ankle. He come back again. What is this? A had a hazy remembrance of having game!" stumbled over an identical wagon "Well, it could be," reasoned Tumps, earlier in the night. He shook his head "but . . . but on the other hand ..." at the wagon. "But you can't be the The lights of a street car glared down same one," he told it, " 'cause the other Grady Street. one was four blocks back. You must "I'm going to try you once more," be twins." said the officer. "But if you come back

It was then that he saw the figure of this time . . . I'll run you in so help a man coming up the dark street toward me!" him. He got up from the wagon and Tumps made the proper connections waited. down town and mounted the steps of "My dear shir," he said as the man the 47th Street trolley. The car was approached, "can you tell me the cor- empty except for the motorman who rect way to get to 6th and Gra ..." was about to finish up his night run. He stopped short to peer through his As Tumps entered the door, the mo- glasses. "Shay!" he gasped. "I thought torman stiffened and blinked his eyes I put you back in the cabinet! several times in quick succession. Then "You did," said the man, peering he shook his head slowly. back at him. "But I fooled you. I "Mr. Tumps," he said, "I do wish came out the other one." you would stay home. I've taken you "You're a duplicate," said Tumps. there I don't know how many times !

THE THIRTEENTH MR. TUMPS 81 tonight, but, in some way, you always open. The bed had been slept in. So beat me back down town. You must had the bed in Mr. Tumps' room. stairs, realize that you are . . . well . . . They went slowly down the ah ... not exactly yourself tonight." stopped short at the door of the living Tumps was searching his pockets for room. Seated here and there about the something. living room was a solemn group of T. "You needn't look for your pass," Wilton Tumpses. Each was exactly said the man. "I took the liberty of like the other in every respect—except

keeping it when you showed it to me that one wore Tumps' slippers, another on the last run. I thought that, perhaps, his smoking jacket and another his in that way I would prevent ..." precious new bath robe.

"Ah, here it ish," said Tumps, draw- Tumps stepped into the room. "I am ing the pass from his pocket. T. Wilton Tumps. ..." He halted The conductor's mouth sagged open abruptly, realizing the man at his side and his face became ashy white as his had spoken the same words in unison eyes traveled from the pass in his own with him. hands to the one held out by T. Wilton He stared about the room a moment, Tumps. "Why, why they're identical!" then found a chair and sank wearily he gasped. "They're alike — even to down into it. the thumb smudge in the upper right- "You are the sixth ones who have " hand corner! told us that this morning," said the T. "Yes," said Tumps, lurching back for Wilton Tumps in the easy chair. a seat. "The whole world is twins to- Holding his aching head in his hands, night." Tumps tried to think. He went slowly over the hazy events THUMPS awakened to find himself sit- of the night before and found among ting bolt upright in bed. His stom- them a dim recollection of having ach felt weak, and his mouth was arid. pushed someone into a cabinet, or had He clutched his throbbing head in both it been just the other way around? hands and groaned audibly as he looked He couldn't quite remember. But about the room. The guest room! How one thing was certain: someone had in the world did he happen to be in the been pushed into that cabinet and that guest room? infernal machine had duplicated that A movement at his elbow caused him someone over and over again all night

to turn. He nearly fell out of bed in while the tall man . . . alarm as he saw his exact duplicate gaz- His thoughts shattered suddenly as ing questioningly at him through half- a step sounded on the porch. His heart opened, sleepy eyes. congealed into ice and his weak stomach "How did you get here!" gasped got up slowly and turned over. Cold Tumps. perspiration beaded out on his fore- "I am T. Wilton Tumps," said the head. Mrs. T. Wilton Tumps! She

man. "I live here. Who are you?" . . . she had taken an early train home "We're not going into that again," The latch clicked loudly through the said Tumps decisively. silence of doom. The outer door opened Eying each other suspiciously, they and closed. Steps came slowly through both got from bed, dressed, donned the hall toward the door of the living their glasses and went into the hall. room. The door to Mrs. Tumps' room stood Then a sigh of relief went up from "


." the entire group. There in the door way should be able to . . stood merely another T. Wilton Tumps. "Perhaps you remember where he lives," came the hopeful suggestion. UTS clothes were rumpled and "It's more than the rest of us remem-

mussed as if they had been slept ber," said another voice. In. He clutched the door for support "We could ask the officer on 6th and as he caught sight of the group. Grady," offered Tumps from the couch.

"Who . . . who are you?" he gasped. "He might know." "If you can remember anything "No!" quickly objected the newest about last night," said Tumps of the arrival. "We had best not bother him." smoking jacket, "you'll have the an- "We could ask at the cafe." It was swer." T. Wilton Tumps of the new bath robe. "Why are you so late getting here?" "They might remember him, might asked another. "It's nearly noon." even know where he lives." The man at the door hung his head "All cafes selling liquors are closed and looked sheepishly over his glasses. on Sundays," put in T. Wilton Tumps "I spent the night in jail," he said. in the leather chair by the east window. "There was an officer on the corner of "We could call at the manager's ." 6th and Grady . . home." It was the smoking jacket One Mr. Tumps was wringing his again. hands. "My wife will be home on the "But we couldn't go as a group," night train," he worried. "All of you cautioned one Tumps who had no dis- ." will have to go before she . . tinguishing feature except that he had "Your wife!" cut in another. "What lost his glasses somewhere. "People do you mean, your wife!" would stare at us." "When she gets home," said Tumps "I'll go alone," volunteered the slip- of the easy chair, "she'll know I'm her pers. husband. She'll make short work of the "No!" said T. Wilton Tumps leaning rest of you." against the library table. "I don't "We must send her a telegram," said trust you. For that matter—" He a Mr. Tumps on the couch. "We must looked about the room from one to tell her to stay another week. Then another. "For that matter, I don't ." we . . trust any of you. All of you know that "No!" objected Mr. Tumps of the I am original T. Wilton Tumps and, if new bath robe. "A telegram would one of you went alone to find the inven- bring her home on the very next train. tor, you would undoubtedly prejudice

! ." I know my wife him in your own favor, fix it so I . . Tumps, the original, felt that his Then everyone was talking at once. brain was a vast booming, buzzing con- fusion. He couldn't think straight. All np WILTON TUMPS, the original,

• these . . . these T. Wilton Tumpses, sat in his chair and held his head claiming they were the originals, claim- in his hands, his confused brain shut- ing his wife. Soon they would be claim- tling back and forth between morbid ing his job, his bank account, his very thoughts of suicide and murder. He home! tried to drive the thoughts from him. He lurched to his feet. "Something Anyway, what could he possibly do has got to be done!" he shouted. with a dozen dead bodies? "We've got to find that inventor! He He wished he had never gone to the —


cafe, wished he had never met the tall from one to thirteen. In the other were man. also thirteen folded slips of paper He shook his head. No use worry- twelve of which were blanks and one of

ing about the past. He had to think of which had on it a round circle of black. the future, had to think of some way The first hat was passed. Tumps to get rid of the results of his folly. drew number ten. That meant he was But how? to be the tenth to draw a slip of paper His wife would be coming home in from the second hat. a few hours now. What would she Rules had been carefully written out think? What would she do? All these on a sheet of paper so that there could

husbands claiming her. . . . be no mistake or argument about what Tumps found a profound love for his each T. Wilton Tumps was to do after wife soaring up from deep within him. the draw.

The love grew until it knew no bounds. The one drawing the black circle He had to do something! He had to would be considered the undisputable, save her the distress of meeting all these original T. Wilton Tumps. To him, the

husbands! He would do anything I winner, went everything! He would Anything! be the one to meet Mrs. Tumps and to He arose again from his chair. His escort her home where they, presum- mind was made up. All eyes of the ably, would live happily ever after. room turned slowly toward him. The losers would leave the house one "We all can't stay here," he began. by one. They would take devious "I know that we all love my wife and routes to Gradyville where, for the rest that we all want to save her the shock of the night, they would search for the of seeing all of us here in a group. We inventor. must make a great sacrifice to that love But if the inventor were not to be

we have for her. All of us but one found that night, or if it were beyond must leave, must go far away and his power to remedy the situation, then never return." the losers were to leave the city, go as "And, I suppose," said a sarcastic far away as the few dollars in their voice, "you will be the one to stay." pockets would permit—and never re- "I don't know," said Tumps. He turn. felt weak and all gone inside. Then Number nine drew. He opened his he drew himself erect, with an air of slip, went suddenly white and slumped supreme sacrifice. "We shall leave that down again to the couch, the slip of entirely to chance. We shall drain paper fluttering to the floor. lots!" Then Tumps, the original, found him- That started an argument that lasted self approaching the hat. He seemed to two hours. No one wanted to give up be in a daze. His legs trembled and his wife, home, security and everything his knees threatened to give way at any else and to go out into the cold world moment. ' and begin life all over again at the age His fingers reached into the hat. of forty. There were only four slips of paper left But, as evening fell, no one was able —and among them was the one with to think up a better idea, and all wanted the black circle, the one that offered to save the woman they loved. life and love and peace. Two hats were brought. Into one A slip of paper was between his grop- were placed slips of paper numbered ing fingers. He drew it from the hat. —


His fingers were trembling so violently The inventor would certainly know who that the paper dropped to the floor. He the original was, would certainly be able picked it up, fumbled with it, got it to do something about it. He must find open at last. him! He would search the whole night Tumps felt the blood drain from his through, would visit every house in face. His legs turned to water and his Gradyville until he found that ' base- head went floating away on a tumult- ment laboratory. uous sea. The world went as blank as He consulted his watch— 10:45 the paper in his trembling fingers. and the sadness returned. In just "I've got it! " It was number eleven, twenty minutes the train would be pull- the one in the new bath robe, that had ing into the down town station. In just just made the draw. He held the slip twenty minutes she would be in the of paper up so all might see. His moon- arms of . . . like face was radiant; but his eyes were Thoughts of her predominated his blinking mistily. "I've got it! I am brain, drove out all else. He must see the real T. Wilton Tumps!" her! Must see her once more before He was, by far, the happiest man in going out alone into the cold world. the room. He almost ran to the corner drug store two blocks down the street. He "QARKNESS had settled over the fumbled a nickel from his pocket, troubled home of T. Wilton dropped it into the telephone and called Tumps. The crowd in the living room for a taxi to pick him up. had thinned noticeably. There were Tumps did not know it, but exactly only four left. The others had gone eleven other T. Wilton Tumpses, out into the night one by one at inter- scattered widely through the neighbor- vals of five rm'nutes according to plan. hood, had thought up precisely the same Tumps went slowly out of the house idea. Each of them had called a cab. and down the front steps. In the street, Each wanted to feast his eyes once more he turned to look back at the house he upon Mrs. Tumps before leaving the had bought fifteen years ago and on city once and for all. which he had just made the final pay- The taxi pulled up to the station plat- ment last year. He sighed heavily. form just as the train snorting He was and , would never see the house again. wheezing to a stop. The first time his wife had left him Tumps, number eleven, was hurry- in the fifteen years they had been mar- ing expectantly along the platform to- ried—and he had done this. He shook ward the train steps. his head slowly from side to side and Tumps, the original, drew further walked sadly down the dark, lonely back into the shadows of his cab lest street. What a terrible price to pay for he be seen. one night of folly! In the other cabs along the platform, An hour later, he was still walking. other Tumpses also drew back into the

Aimlessly. His life had no point to it shadows. now, no meaning. For the rest of his Then he saw her. She was coming days he would wander like this—a lone, down the train steps, a heavy suit case forlorn and dejected shell. The thought held lightly in one hand, a basket in of it was almost too great for him to the other. How beautiful she was, he bear. thought. How efficient she looked!

Then he stopped short. The inventor! How . . . how statuesque! THE THIRTEENTH MR. TUMPS

XTUMBER ELEVEN, the winner, ment. took the heavy suit case from her Mrs. T. Wilton Tumps set her basket hand, kissed her and started happily down, drew herself up to her full height down the platform, his arm locked in and glared at them. "Preposterous!" hers. she snapped. "Willie certainly could Tumps closed his eyes tightly to shut not have hired all of you to bring him out the sight of them. He wished he here! What nonsense ! Now clear out ." hadn't come. Leaning forward, he of here before I . . tapped the driver of the cab on the They went. Not even taxi-drivers shoulder. He could stand it no longer. were foolish enough to argue with a He must get away from here. Get woman who squared her shoulders like away. . . . that. It was then that he heard the sten- torian scream that came from the direc- IN a basement laboratory near 6th tion of the platform. He knew that and Grady, a nervous T. Wilton voice. It toppled him from the cab. Tumps sat staring across a table at a In the fraction of an instant, he was dark-haired man with hollow eyes. racing toward her. "You've kept me here all day," he She stood there stiffly, her mouth was lamenting. "You've got to let me open for another sirenic blast. The go now. It is exactly time for my wife suit case lay on the platform where it to get to the station. I must meet her." had fallen. Number eleven was no- "Someone will meet her," said the where to be seen. inventor. "I knew when I found you The sight of Tumps rushing toward locked in the cabinet this morning that her, muffled the impending blast to a you were a duplicate." half-choked cry of amazement. She "But why are you keeping me here?" passed her hand over her eyes. "I demanded T. Wilton Tumps'. don't know what happened to me," she "Everything I have duplicated in sobbed as he reached her side. "I had that cabinet," explained the inventor, the strangest feeling. I thought you "has dematerialized in exactly twenty- disappeared into thin air right by my four hours after duplication—flower side." pots, vases, statues, everything. That T. Wilton Tumps was excited. Some- is why I went to drown my troubles how, words tumbled out. "The trip last night and found you.

. . . The ride on the train . . . You're "Now that I have duplicated a living

tired . . . Excited. ..." man, I want to see if you will behave Suddenly Mr. and Mrs. T. Wilton in the same manner. I want to be ." Tumps found themselves in the center sure. . . of an irate group of taxi-drivers. Each But the inventor was talking to thin of the drivers was claiming vociferously air. There was no longer a T. Wilton that this little man in the business suit Tumps across the table from him. There and the thick glasses had hired a cab was only a scattered group of atoms to bring him to the station and had not that had suddenly found themselves paid the hire. They demanded settle- free again.

ik is


Intrigue and treachery sweep the Atlantean city as the day of the Del- uge draws near, and Duke Callion battles to avert an ancient tragedy.

PART TWO OF A TWO-PART SERIAL (See Pese 88 lor Synopsis of Part One)

WAS Duke who rallied his friends be a man. Yes, we must move—and ITout of the despair which had en- swiftly. Lucan, everything can be pre- gulfed them. He stood up deter- pared for our immediate departure?" minedly and faced the others. "Within the hour!" promised the "Well, so what?" he demanded. "It's priest, and left the room hurriedly. not going to take us a whole year to get Quelchal turned to Duke again. to Aztlan, is it? We've still got a few "And you, my friend? You are pre- months to get there and warn your peo- pared to go." ple, Quelchal. All this means is that we "I suppose so," said Duke gloomily. must move—and move at once." "But—" His words put new hope into the At- Quelchal asked softly, "Pyrrha?" lantean's heart. Quelchal forced a smile Duke's flush answered him. But be- to his bloodless lips. fore he had time to speak, a slim, white- "You put me to shame, Duke Cal- clad figure raced into the room to toss lion," he said in a quiet voice. "You herself, sobbing, into Duke's astonished a modern American—have taught me to arms. It was Pyrrha herself. 87 "



0QUGHT by the Mexican government for par- come, thus altering the history of mankind! He tidpation ij in a rebel uprising, American sol- invites Duke and Joey to join him in this mag- diers-of-fortune "Duke" Callion and his stuttering nificent adventure. comrade, Joey Cox, seek refuge in the obscure As they hesitate, trouble strikes. Federal troops town of Chunbubub on the Yucatan peninsula. and enraged natives storm their refuge. A battle There they meet a mysterious white stranger ensues, and when defeat seems inevitable the three named Quelehal. Quelchal's haughty mannerisms friends take Ike last chance offered them. They antagonize the natives, who attack the gringo escape—into Time! trio. They escape to Quelchal's abode where, tem- The time ship makes a successful journey, but porarily free of their joes, Duke and Joey find upon "landing" is wrecked due to geological in- themselves more and more bewildered by their equalities unallowed for in their haste. The three new friend. are seised by Mayapan soldiers led by the warrior- Not only are there many inexplicable souvenirs priest, Hurkan, whose enmity Duke Callion earns. civilization of an ancient among Quelchal's posses- Before a court of justice, Hurkan testifies falsely sions, but the manner of the man himself is a against them, and they are condemned to sacrifice strange admixture of hauteur, pride, and contempt on the altar of the sun god, Ray-moe. A friendly for present day life. The reason for his odd be- priest, Lucan, intercedes unsuccessfully on their havior is revealed when he tells them, proudly, "I behalf, But at the crucial moment, stammering am an Atlantean!" Joey Cox awes the Atlantean colonists into ac- Pressed for further explanation, Quelehal spins cepting them as gods. Hurkan flees. a wild, fantastic tale. He boasts of a vast culture Free at last to continue their journey, they emanating from the island of Atlantis, a wide- plan with Lucan for an ocean trip to Atlantis spread civilization of which the Yucatan peninsula while Duke falls in love with Lucmn's niece, was once part. In that day, he tells, he was vice- Pyrrha. Chance discussion of the time at their regent of the colony at Mayapan. disposal reveals a new and unexpected danger. He explains how, while leading an exploration Duke remembers the Quiche legend of the Deluge, into the bowels of a nearby mountain, he was which says the cataclysm occurred in the Atlan- trapped by a landslide, engulfed in a state of tean year 41)08. This brings a gasp of horror from catalepsy by noxious gases, to be released thou- his listeners. Duke says, sands of years later—in the present era. "But I don't understand. Is there something Grief-stricken by the knowledge that Atlantis is wrong?" no more, Quelehal turns his great knowledge to Lucan echoes, "Wrong!" hollowly, and the At- the accomplishment of a plan fantastic but feasible. lantean, Quelehal, raises his head to answer Duke He shows his astonished friends an invention, a with a great bitterness. time ship. In this he plans to return to the Atlan- "More than that, Duke Callion! It means our tis of 12,000 years before, warn the islanders of the trip is a failure. For the Atlantean year 4008 impending disaster, save their culture for ages to is—this year!"

"Duke!" she cried, "Duke Callion! the girl's head with infinite gravity. My uncle has told me. You are leaving! "You want to go with us, Pyrrha? You Take me with you! Ah, do not go and want never to be separated from this leave me behind. Take me!" man?"

Duke tried to pry her loose tenderly, There was a sudden glory in the girl's but there was a strange lump in his eyes that humbled Duke oddly. throat. He said, chokingly, "Never! " she said in a ringing voice. "Pyrrha—I can't—we can't— "And you, Duke Callion? You, too, And then, astonishingly, Quelehal want this?" said, "Why not, Duke Callion? There "More than anything on earth," is room for the girl aboard. And— Duke said simply. these things can be arranged easily and "Then," said Quelehal, "you twain swiftly." are mated in the eyes of the Gods, and Duke said hoarsely, "Don't fool me, I, Quelehal, Viceroy of the Atlantean Quelehal! I don't feel like joking!" colony of Mayapan, do bless this union! "Joking? I do not joke in times of When Lucan— returns he will sanctify stress, Duke Callion." Quelehal lifted it! And " with one of his rare smiles " " — "

SONS OF THE DELUGE 89 he added, "—may peace and happiness the swellest place you and I ever visited. attend you! Excepting for H-h-hurkan." "Y-y-you said it!" came a voice from From the prow of the boat, Quelchal the doorway, and Joey Cox entered. He heard him and turned to glower darkly. stared at the sober trio thoughtfully. "You need concern yourself no longer "Hey, what's g-g-going on here? It with Hurkan, Joey. His life is forfeit sounds like a wedding ceremony! when Lucan finds him." "It is," grinned Duke. "Joey, in the "Funny he hasn't found him al- words of the world we left behind us ready," mused Duke. "Where might he meet the wife!" be hiding, Quelchal?" Joey stammered, "W-w-well, I'll be "Many places. In the jungles. The damned! Lucan told me outside that mountains of the peninsula. Anywhere. we were preparing to go on a dangerous But wherever he is, he will return no quest. But he didn't tell me how d-d- more to Mayapan." dangerous!" "And good riddance!" breathed Duke. Then, as he felt his bride of but CHAPTER XI a few hours shiver in his arms, he said

solicitously, "Cold, Pyrrha ? It is chilly Atlantis out here on the water. Wait. I'll bring T^HE slim ship rolled gently in the you a wrap." trough of the sea. Before them, as He ducked down the companionway. far as the eye could see, was water. Be- An instant his footsteps clattered on the hind them was a receding patch of stairs—then his companions on deck green, now nebulous with distance. The heard a loud, amazed shout. sun was like a great bronze disc hang- "Hey, speak of the devil! Look ing over them. Not a cloud marred the what's stowed away on our boat!" brilliant turquoise of the sky. There was the sound of a scuffle, short Joey Cox turned. He had been look- and swift, then Duke appeared at the ing backward to the mainland. Now, as head of the companionway dragging the ship dipped into a valley of white- behind him a dishevelled figure in crim- capped emerald, he sighed. son rote. All the adventurers surged "W-w-well, that's that! You know, forward. Pyrrha gasped, and one white Duke, I kind of h-h-hated to leave that hand flew to her lips. Joey gasped,

! place. I liked it!" "The p-p-priest ! Hurkan Duke didn't take his hands off the Quelchal moved slowly, but his every wheel. There was no need to. Pyrrha movement was pregnant with menace. fitted snugly into the circle of his arms He strode forward; collared the ash- as he guided the white-sailed vessel east- visaged culprit. In a level voice he said,

ward. He smiled, "It is good! I will take care of him, "Cheer up, Joey. We'll return one of Duke Callion." these fine days. After we've finished Lean, bronzed cords tensed in his our mission." forearms as he marched the quaking ex- Joey snorted, "Yeah, that's all right priest to the side of the boat. He mut- for y-y-you to say! You brought one tered a few swift words in Atlantean. of the n-n-nicest things—in Mayapan Hurkan struggled wildly; strove to along with you ! But me " He sighed break that iron grip. But Quelchal, like

wistfully. "You know, Duke, I enjoyed a great, golden terrier, lifted the quiv- _ being a big-shot there. Mayapan was ering rat in his strong arms and— —


"Quelchal!" cried Duke Callion. "So be it, Duke Callion!" he said. Quelchal paused; turned his head im- "But I fear we will regret this." patiently. And Joey added his warning, "Yes, my friend?" "J-j-just one teeny-weeny regret, and "You—you musn't! We can't kill he goes to f-f-feed the sharks!" He him like that!" added, humorously, "Just as sure as I'm C-c-coxcox. the biggest god in Maya- TJURKAN sensed an intercessor. As pan!" Quelchal's grip relaxed somewhat, Duke said nothing. Already he re- he tore loose from the one time Viceroy; gretted his own soft-heartedness. But slithered across the deckboards to he knew he would do the same thing Duke's feet and groveled there, mouth- again, under the same circumstances. ing frantic pleas. Duke drew back from him, sickened. But he said, "p\AYS passed. Fair days and foul "We just can't kill the man in cold days; days when the westerly wind blood, Quelchal. It's not civilized." was like the gentle breathing of a maid- ; Quelchal folded his arms sternly. He en's voice; days when howling tempests said, "Was there mercy in his heart for screamed across the waters to rip at the us, Duke Callion? It is not wisdom to fabric of their reefed sails with hungry spare an enemy like this!" fingers. The mother sea was alternately Joey said, "D-d-duke's right, though, the mistress of calm and the mistress of Quelchal. We just can't knock him off passion. Days upon endless days that in c-c-cold blood." And hopefully stretched into weeks. . . . "Of course, if h-h-he'd like to scrap it But inexorably, proudly, gallantly, out—?" the slim ship nosed its way through the Once again Quelchal grasped the swelling troughs; ever eastward. Once priest by the nape of the neck. the adventurers paused at a small island "He is our enemy. More than that, for an overnight rest on solid land, and he aspires to the favor of your woman, to refill their water tanks. Once, on Duke Callion. Did you not know that the dim horizon, they saw the image was why he was so bitterly turned of a feather-sailed vessel; tall and proud towering high above the surface against us during the trial?" ; Duke said, "Is that right, Pyrrha?" of the water. and the girl nodded mutely. For an in- Haze, and the indirect sunlight stant Duke's jawline hardened and he caused that form of mirage known to was tempted to let Quelchal have his mariners as "looming." For a brief pe- way with the grovelling Hurkan. Then riod it appeared to those in the tiny boat his inborn American spirit of fair play that the larger vessel was within scant won over his emotions. He said, "Nev- furlongs of them. They could see its ertheless, he's defenseless now. Let him straining canvas; see, too, the hawkline live. There are four of us to watch features of the captain on the poop, and him." the swarthy mates who paced the run- Hurkan understood. In a paroxysm ways between the ranks of sweating of surrender, he writhed at Duke's feet, oarsmen. Three high banks of oars slobbering oyer his boots. He raised raised, lowered, pulled in unison, and his voice again and again in pledges of beads of spray followed the shimmering allegiance. Quelchal shrugged and blades. Almost they could hear the folded his arms. groaning of the oars in their locks, and !

SONS OF THE DELUGE 91 the sound of the horsehide drum beat- So many things! Every civilization ing the tempo for the crew in the galley. under the sun had a legend of a But as swiftly as it had appeared, the "Deluge"—yet the scientists dismissed mirage faded. Once again the boat was these as mere legends of a "small, iso- a dot on the horizon. lated flood." True! It had been an Quelchal said, "A trireme out of "isolated" flood, mayhap—but a flood Tyrrhenia. Sailing for Helluland, I that had erased from the face of the suppose." globe the mother-country. Aztlan Joey said, "T-t-tyrrhenia? Would How, in the face of all this evidence, that be Tyre of our t-t-time?" had science so long contrived to decry "Possibly. But not the Tyre of which the existence of Atlantis? Duke did not your Christian Bible speaks. There know. But he did know that he was were seven cities of Tyre. This was the grateful for the combination of circum- earliest; peopled by colonists from stances which had enabled him to live Aztlan." through this adventure. And — meet "And Helluland?" hazarded Duke. Pyrrha. "America?" "The part which you knew as Nova r\AYS upon endless days. Days that Scotia," replied Quelchal. "A cold land, lengthened into weeks. Once a but a fruitful one." windless spell stilled their sails, letting For the thousandth time since their them drift aimlessly on the face of the adventure had begun, Duke was re- swelling tide for three solid days, while minded of its weirdness; its almost in- Quelchal impatiently gnawed on his credibility save for the fact that—as fingernails. Once Hurkan, grown more Joey had once commented—here they confident now that he had been allotted were! a special watch, and a time at the wheel, He could not help but marvel at the was found drinking surreptitiously out smugness of Twentieth Century savants of the too-swiftly emptying water bar- who, in his school days, had been con- rels. For that misdeed, Duke had given tent to allow that civilization sprang the ex-priest a good taste of American into being ("By spontaneous genera- free-for-all roughhouse. After that, tion, I suppose," Duke thought wryly) Hurkan attempted no more such tricks, at a spot in history scarce five thousands but as he nursed a swollen nose and of years prior to the birth of Christ. "moused" eye back to normal, many All the evidence was to the contrary. were the vengeful glances he tossed in The fact that the Egyptian civilization Duke Callion's direction. Always in showed no indications of a slow, tedious, secret, however. groping development—but had sprung But by and large, harmony reigned into being overnight, full-fledged and on the vessel. To compensate for the knowledgeable. Now Duke knew that sun's brazen outpouring in the day- Egypt was one of the Atlantean colonies. time, there was the cooling silver of Then there was that remarkable fact the moon at night. Joey played endless —the strange similarities between early games of solitaire with a deck of cards Greek and early Mexican, Peruvian and rapidly losing their colors beneath a

American Indian languages ! From his smear of grime. Hurkan nursed his smattering of Atlantean, Duke now rec- grudge, but obeyed his superiors cau- ognized that this was the mother of all tiously. Quelchal spent hours of hope- tongues. ful brooding on the forward deck. And ! " "

92 AMAZING STORIES in the comfort of the lee, Duke Callion forward to where Quelchal stood staring and his bride loved and found reason to at the green land before them. wish this trip might never end. . . . Several hours had passed since the Until, one morning standing the dog- sighting of the island empire. Blessed watch, Duke Callion's eyes saw a with favorable winds, their tiny craft strange phantasm in the interminable had made good speed. Not that it was blue-green of the dawn-streaked waters. possible to see with fair clarity larger A curious hooked smudge of brown details of the mainland. that, rub his eyes as he might, did not Quelchal stirred as Duke came be- disappear. Uncertainly at first, then side him. There was puzzlement in his with growing confidence, he roused the voice as he said: others with his cry: "I cannot understand, Duke Callion. "Land ho! Land away!" It is incredible, but—there appears to Sleepy-eyed but hopeful, the others be a battle raging!" gathered about him. There was long si- Hurkan overheard them and moved lence as they watched. Brighter grew forward. Silence fell as the three the sky. Clearer grew the spot of brown. strove to pierce the thin watery haze.

Clearer . . . until it took form. A Then: form that Duke Callion recognized. He "Damned if I don't think you're had seen it before ... in the book of right, Quelchal," said Duke. "It looks

Cosmos, the Mad Monk . . . and in to me as if those black ships are bom- Quelchal's collection of souvenirs from barding the city." his lost homeland. A great cry ripped Hurkan said, "Black ships! Those from his throat. would be the Titans.*" "Quelchal! The Crooked Mountain Quelchal rapped sharply, "Ridicu- Colhuacan!" lous! The Titans were quelled into sub-

But Quelchal had fallen to his knees. jection in my time ! Four hundreds of There were tears of joy and thanksgiv- years ago!" ing in his eyes, and one word on his lips. Hurkan sneered belittlingly. "Aztlan!" Hurkan, too, was moved by "That was in your time. They are a the sight. He made a swift, cryptic ges- mighty, independent nation now. A ture over his right breast and dropped state of warfare has existed between to his knees. Aztlan and Titania for more than three Pyrrha pressed closer to Duke. Joey decades." He added indiscreetly, stood beside him, as ever. And thus "Perhaps it would be well for the Ti- they watched, in the first, golden glow tans to win, too. They are— of the rising sun, as before them, mys- "Silence!" Quelchal's great, silver- terious, lovely and beckoning, rose downed hands twisted with the desire to from the bosom of the sea the Golden spring themselves at Hurkan's throat. Island of the Hesperides. The Fabulous "You see, Duke Callion? Not only a Isle of Colhuacan. Atlantis! liar, but a traitor as well. We should get rid of him now. Here ! CHAPTER XII "Wait," Duke soothed him. "Soon we will be able to turn him over to those

The Titans * The legend of the Titans persists Uirougii ev- ery recognized mythology. Even the Christian bible makes mention of the fact (in the chapter T~\UKE called, "Hey, Joey take over — devoted to the Deluge) that "there were Giants for a spell, will you?" and moved rn those days."— Author. " "

SONS OF THE DELUGE 93 who will try him. We don't want his swered slowly, blood on our hands." "That is something I cannot under- Quelchal subsided, grumbling. Hur- stand. I did not lie to you, Duke Cal- kan's face had paled before the golden lion. I think my time-ship proved —my man's anger. Now slow color crept contention. All I can assume is that back into it, mottling it unhealthily. He Joey Cox, who had turned the wheel turned and left the two friends. over to Hurkan and come forward to They scarcely noticed his departure. join them, interrupted him suddenly. Both were engrossed in the spectacle be "Well, that seems to be that. The ing enacted before them. battle's over! But w-w-who won?" A half score of hulking, black ships, Duke and Quelchal looked swiftly. deep-bellied with massive ebon sails, The battle was over, and now the mas- were knotted outside the crescent- sive black fleet was swinging about; shaped harbor of the island empire. preparing to leave the harbor. Duke Tiny crimson glows in the guts of these said, "Hey—they're moving this way!" craft betold the presence of fires there and leaped toward the wheel. He —fires in which huge balls of pitched rapped sharp orders to his shipmates. tow were being ignited. "Reef the sails! Get down every inch of canvas. We don't want those black TTIESE burning spheres were deftly babies to see us ! manoeuvered into gigantic cata- But his warning came too late. Al- pults, mounted on the srjips. When the ready the black fleet had put about, and torque was released, the confiagratory one ship was edging away from the mass arced high over the smaller, de- others; scudding across the intervening fending ships in the harbor to fall into water in the direction of the lonely little the heart of the city of Aztlan. Here craft. and there smoky pillars designated that Duke countermanded his order. a firebrand had found a mark. "Never mind—we're in for it now! The on-shore defenders were utilizing Get 'em all up again! Maybe we can a similar weapon, but for the main part beat out the big unwieldy bug!" their defense was futile. The mobile A big "bug" the approaching black ships offered too tiny a target for the in- bireme might be—looking, as it did, like accurate catapults. Once, indeed, a a huge, many-legged spider as it spark caught one of the nigruous ship's crawled over the water towards them, mainsails, and a great sheet of flame its double row of oars dipping in mag- rose over the craft. But a swarm of nificent unison. But unwieldy it most sailors roached high into the rigging to certainly was not. With the cadenced prevent the fire from spreading. rhythm of the oarsmen aided by the Duke thought, "Oh, boy! What one wind that filled the sails, it literally flew twenty-incher would do to that crowd! toward their laboring little sloop. Or even a broken-down howitzer! " But The harbor was still knots distant. aloud he said, "Quelchal—I don't There was no hope of succor coming understand? For a while you had me from the shore. It was catch-as-catch- convinced that your nation was one can; the agility of the little boat against well-versed in science and mechanics. the superior lines and speed of the Ti-

How is it they use such primitive weap- tanian man-o'-war. Black as a thun- ons?" dercloud; ominous as impending doom, Quelchal, too, was puzzled. He an- the vessel plunged down on the small " " "


sloop. The Titanian raiders, their bom- upon that of the frantically struggling bardment of Aztlan having ended in a Hurkan. bootless draw, seemed determined to at Duke Callion took Pyrrha in his least wreak their vengeance on this tiny arms. For all too short an instant he

Atlantean craft. pressed her close ; then released her. To Nearer and nearer they drew. Now Quelchal he said, "We'll let 'em know Duke and his companions could see the they were in a fight, anyway— horde of faces glaring down upon them From the water rose a frightened from the soldiers' deck; could glimpse, scream. Little Joey Cox had over- through tiny port holes, the straining hauled the traitorous priest. His hands visages of the slaves in the galley rack. were seeking, finding, Hurkan's throat. The long oars seemed to yawn toward

them . . . recede . . . yawn toward There came a sudden, grinding shock. them again. Wood struck wood; splintering. A shard of broken oar shattered the flop- ~C" VEN at that, they might have made ping jib of the tinier craft. Duke saw it—had not Hurkan's treachery be- the butt of a crushed blade throb sud- trayed them. So intent was Duke at the denly backward against one of the gal- wheel, curveting, twisting, writhing his ley slaves' faces; saw wood and flesh tiny craft through the green like a live and blood grind horribly together once thing, that he did not have time to while a piercing shriek broke from the watch the venomous ex-priest. Nor did oarsman's gushing throat.

the others ; their first intimation of any- He was conscious of Pyrrha at his thing wrong coming when, shoulder, her scented hair fragrant in "The scoundrel!" roared Quelchal. his nostrils. Of a wild-eyed Quelchal "He has destroyed us all 1 charging to meet a horde of gigantic in- And suddenly, beneath Duke's tensed vaders who dropped from the towering hands, the boat seemed to go dull and decks above to swarm their own small lifeless. He looked up, an oath spring- boat. He glimpsed, for an instant, a ing to his lips. heavy figure hurtling down toward him;

Hurkan had seized the moment. black bulk blotting the sun. . . . Scrambling to the fore deck, he had Then something silver gleamed, and slashed expertly at the ropes which held lightning was crashing madly at the the straining sails; had taken time to base of his skull. He felt strength slash once . . . twice . . . thrice . . . sloughing away from him; his knees at the sails themselves before leaping buckling forward. He saw a host of over the gunwale. bestial faces writhe in taunting laugh- Now the boat, like a bird with two ter; heard the voice— of Pyrrha crying broken wings, shredded sails flapping hopelessly, "Duke aimlessly in the wind, came slowly to Then all was silence. heel, stopped, and began to wallow in the forewash of the approaching Ti- CHAPTER XIII tanian vessel. The Dungeons of Titania "At 1-1-least," screamed Joey Cox madly, "I'll get h-h-him for this ! " In a nPHERE was dampness about him; a swift movement he was at the side of moist and fetid chill that seemed to the boat. Then he, too, was in the ooze into the marrow of his bones. The water. His splashing body bore down air his parched lungs gulped was rank — — "

SONS OF THE DELUGE 95 and sour; smelling of old sores long ward them. One pock-marked captive afester. Duke gagged, raised up on one snarled an oath at Duke; grabbed him elbow, and peered about him. by the arm and spun him around. Instantly someone was at his side. "Fair warning, brother," he spat, Pyrrha. Her face, against his, was wet "before I slit your throat like a herring. with tears. This is my fire and my band! Go build "Duke! You're all right?" your own blaze if ye'd be warm!" "It t-t-takes more than a crack on the Duke said thoughtfully, "So that's c-c-conk," said the voice of Joey Cox, the way it is, eh?" and stared at the hos- "to kill Duke Callion. Hey, fella! tile circle of faces. "Every band has How's the head feel?" its own captain? And its own fire?" "Lousy, thanks!" groaned Duke. He He faced the pock-marked one coolly. rose to his feet gingerly; peered into "And suppose I declare myself in on the semi-darkness about him. "Where this band? Then what?" are we, anyway?" "Then this!" retorted the band cap- "In the dungeons below the castle- tain. A grimy hand flew to his belt. fort of Titania," answered Quelchal. Metal shimmered evilly. He rushed at "You have been unconscious for a Duke, the naked blade heart-high. longer time than you imagine, Duke Pyrrha screamed. The scream turned Callion." heads from all parts of the room. A "It looks like it," agreed Duke. tall, black-haired youngster stepped for- "How long?" ward swiftly; stayed his captain's hand. "The captive "Several hours. It is not far from "Let bel"—he begged. Titania to my country. But " Quel- is new here chal appended ruefully, "far enough!" With a foul curse the band leader Duke saw, now, that he and his com- jerked free and flung himself once more panions were in but one corner of a upon Duke. Joey chuckled. He said, spacious, vaulted dungeon. The place under his breath, "What did I tell you? was like a gigantic, filthy honeycomb. Wherever he goes there's trouble!" He

And it was peopled with others, captive didn't even stir. He knew Duke too like themselves. well to waste movements. Seemingly no concerted effort had Duke's left hand darted out as the been made by the Titans to keep their captain sprung in. He grasped the captives under bonds. Here and there pock-marked one's wrist in an iron Duke saw a prisoner chained to the clutch; wrenched sharply. Bone grated wall, but for the most part the dun- dully. The knife clattered to the stones. geon's inhabitants roamed freely within The man fell back, screaming vitupera- the limitations of the moldy cavern. tive threats, nursing his shattered wrist Ruddy spots in the darkness glowed in his good hand. where they had built small fires to ward Duke said speculatively, "Now, if off the miasmic chill. About each of any of the rest of you—" these fires was gathered an evil-looking The dark-haired youngster who had group of humans. attempted to befriend him stepped for- Duke Said shortly, "Come on—let's ward smiling. see what kind of dump this is!" and "There are no others," he said. "I led the way to the nearest fire. As he will vouch for the rest. I am Dwyfan and his friends pushed into the squalid of Cym." — little circle, unfriendly faces turned to- "And I " began Duke. A sharp, 96 AMAZING STORIES warning cry turned him in time. The "Thus we dispose of them," he said, "in injured captain, maddened with anger this hell-hole!" He carried the dead and pain, had raised himself to one body to a stream of evil-smelling water knee; crawled behind Duke. Even now that entered the prison through a tube, he was lifting the blade to plunge it into splashed into a wide, deep trough run- the small of Duke's back. ning the length of the room, and disap- Duke moved fast, but Dwyfan was peared into another circular aqueduct. even faster. In one swift stride he was over the murder-bent leader; had TIE heaved mightily. The body turned the blade in his hand. He made arched into the torrent. Then, as a jabbing motion. The pock-marked one's scream died in a gurgle. Just once he twitched—then lay still. Casually, Dwyfan lifted the body.

Duke moved felt but Dwy- fee was even faster. In one swift stride he was on the murder-bent leader. " — -

SONS OF THE DELUGE 97 the rushing waters plucked at it, it Dwyfan panted, "You are a man, moved sluggishly downstream to disap- stranger. Few can manage this climb," pear into the unknown beyond. and motioned Duke to the window. "We must provide our own sanita- Duke saw, then, why there was no tion," smiled the dark Dwyfan. "Our escape from the dungeon. Titania was paptors forget us, once we are here. Oh, an island, and to escape the prison was they throw us scraps of food from time useless. The Titan soldiers guarding to time, like wild beasts. But were we their rock-walled little empire would not needed as galley slaves, no doubt hunt down like a dog any stranger who they would begrudge us even their succeeded in escaping the cells. But slops." yet They had rejoined the group at the Duke gazed wistfully at the scene be- fire now, and Duke noted a new respect fore him. The calm, green, unchanging on the faces of those who had before sea; smooth and serene as ever. The questioned his presence. Other prison- horizon paling into the azure sky. And ers, attracted by the commotion, had he sighed. drifted from their own fires. Duke Dwyfan laughed mirthlessly, and be- turned to Dwyfan wonderingly. gan to clamber down again.

• "There must be more than three score "You see? Escape is both impossible held captive in these dungeons," he and—futile!" marvelled. Duke nodded. "Impossible and fu- "We were taking census just before tile. Yes." And for an instant a great you came," the Cymrian replied. dread swept over him. Time sped by, "Three score and four, including your- while they, the only ones who could save selves. And—minus one, now—that Atlantis from its impending fate, lan- makes sixty-three." guished in this dungeon. His jaw tight- Duke's eyes narrowed. ened. "Yes—but it must be accom- "Sixty three," he mused, "and two- plished!" thirds of them are sturdy fighting men. Tell me, have you never contemplated , HERE came the sound of a key '~J" escape from your prison?" grating in a rusty lock. The two A listener laughed hoarsely. Another men who had just reached the floor spun said, "Escape? Traghol has just shown to see an armed group, of their captors you the only escape ! " Duke regarded entering the dungeon doorway. the man thoughtfully. For the first time, Duke was able to "Traghol?" see the men who warred upon Atlantis Dwyfan the Cym shrugged and —and his eyes grew wide at the sight of nodded toward the stream. "Folddhe them. Titans! They were Titans, in- means that the only escape is—death! deed. Not a man of them was less than are on an island. We An island of seven feet in height ; and each was built giants. Come, see for yourself ! in perfect proportion. Huge, broad There was a small, barred window set men; raven-haired and dark of visage. high in the wall of the dungeon. Yellow Strong-thewed and mighty. And with rays of late afternoon sun filtered dust- them— ily through the narrow slit. Dwyfan Joey gasped, and lunged forward. gestured Duke to follow; began to clam- "H-h-hurkan!" he cried. ber up the damp, uneven rock wall, The crimson-robed ex-priest of May- clinging with fingertips and toes. apan edged cagily behind one of his " —"" "


stalwart companions. His smile was fell over the dungeon. Dull silence nervous but determined. He sneered, which at last was broken by the voice of "So we meet again, my friends?" the Cym, Dwyfan, springing to his feet Joey raged, "You grinning s-s-scoun- to address the brooding prisoners. drel! I thought I'd drowned you like "Now," he cried in a voice of thun- the rat you are!" der, "we are become no longer men! It

! "Hurkan lives to avenge his wrongs was evil enough that we allowed our- spat the man. He nodded to the tall selves to be meekly herded into this captain beside him. "That one. The stinking pest-hole, to rot here like caged girl." rodents. But we have stood by and Duke gritted, "Oh, no you don't!" seen them take a woman—a young and and raced to the side of Pyrrha. Joey beautiful woman ! And a bride ! Shall and Quelchal, and their new friend, we stand for this any longer?" Dwyfan, also closed in to form a pro- tective circle about her. But the un- A MUTTERING rose from the for- armed guard was impotent before the ward-pressing horde. It rose and strength and size of the Titan soldiery. grew to an ominous rumble of sound; With vast unconcern, the Titans broke an ominous growl of manhood long them apart with cold steel; seized the taunted, but finally spurred to rage. girl and bore her to Hurkan. The sound of steel mingled with the

! "Pyrrha " Duke quivered with rage, rumble of voices. Angry shouts roused feeling steel press threateningly against unholy echoes in the murky cavern. his breast. She was fighting like a wild- One man burst forward to confront cat clawing scratching ; and at her cap- Duke. tors. But now she saw his own plight "The time is past for tiny bands and and subsided. Harkan smiled. petty band-captains!" he cried. "I, "Ah, that is better! Will you come Angha of Boeotia, do hereby bow to a quietly—or shall I have my friends mightier leader than myself. Duke Cal- quarter your groom for the crows?" lion, my sword and heart are yours. Pyrrha's frenzy melted. She cried in And those of my followers ! an agonized voice, "Duke ! Resist them It was the trap that released the tem- no longer. I—I will be all right!" pest. Fire swept through the other Quelchal boomed devastatingly, prisoners. One by one, from the most "This will not be forgotten, Hurkan! virile captain to the humblest serf, they Traitor and thief! With my own hands, surged forward to dedicate themselves I will rip your heart from your breast to the single purpose. A motley crew and feed it to the dogs that begat you! they were; many of them gaunt and "Your bones will rot in this dungeon, ragged. Their names were a rollcall of braggart!" jeered Hurkan. To Duke the nations of earth. Like Babel their he added, "Farewell, man out of the fu- voices sounded. ture! Despair for not your bride. "I, Ogyges of Attica . . . Yima of

When the conquest of Aztlan is con- Iran . . . Valthgar of the Sunless ." cluded, and you rot here with your fel- Land . . lows, she will be safe and secure—lying Something of their fire ignited the in my arms! dulling flame in Duke Callion's own Then a word to the Titan captain heart. He stared at his new rag-tag and they were gone. Once more the key army with sudden hope. His warrior's grated in the massive lock. Dull silence eyes appraised, and found good, these " " " "

SONS OF THE DELUGE 99 men. Valthgar, the huge, blond man "Stay! Folddhe speaks more truth from the North. Ogyges, the broad- than he knows! There is a way from chested Attican. Chiba, the great blaqk- the dungeons!" skinned barbarian from Afric. His Valthgar, the Viking, said, "A way?" eyes blazed. "The tube! The water tunnel! Has

"It is good! I accept your vows. anyone ever attempted escape through Pick up your blades and weapons, and there?" you leaders gather about me while we The swarthy Iranian, Yima, shook plan a council of war." his head morbidly. "It was told me once that a madman tried it. He was CHAPTER XIV never heard of again."

And Joey pleaded, "No, Duke ! You The Ancient Legion can't try that! We'll storm the door

T_IIS words were interrupted by the . . . break through the walls some- sound of a commotion outside the where ! walls of the dungeon. Something me- Duke said, "Before this battle is tallic shattered against the stone abut- ended? No, we must move now—and ments. A weird streak of glowing swiftly! Before the Atlantean fleet orange flared briefly in the tiny, slitted leaves the harbor. They are our one window; hiss and spluttered, and dis- hope of salvation!" appeared. Swiftly he stripped himself of all Dwyfan the Cym left the group; once heavy impedimenta. His high field more clambered up the wall to the win- boots. His now useless gun belt and dow. From that height he looked down holster. The machete he had worn at the allies; cried excitedly, since the fight—oh, so long ago—in "It's a counter-attack! The Atlan- Chunhubub. Into his belt he tucked teans' fleet is in the harbor, bombarding only a slim dirk. Then he strode to the the city ! side of the trough which fed the dun- Quelchal smiled grimly. geon with water. "I knew retaliation would be swift!" The exit tube was barely wide enough he grunted. to contain a man's body. Duke looked Joey Cox said, "To h-h-hell with at it—and for an instant fear and inde- that! This is just what the d-d-doctor cision weakened him. Then he remem- ordered for us! Duke—those Atlan- bered Pyrrha in Hurkan's lustful arms. tean ships offer us a way of getting off He took a deep breath; turned once to the island!" grasp Joey's hand. Only one of the assembled captains "Gather at the door. If I succeed,— remained stubborn. It was Folddhe, I'll find some way to open it. If not the grim, dour-visaged Celt, who re- Joey understood. He said, "Okay, peated the morbid warning he had made D-d-duke! Good luck!" before. "There is only one escape from Then he turned away, reluctant to these dungeons! Death—and the watch, as Duke drew a deep, lung-filling tube!" breath and plunged himself into the rac- Dwyfan said scornfully, "You cow- ing current; straight through the mouth ardly cur— of the tunnel tube. But Duke Callion halted them sud- denly as, their eyes blazing, the two men UTS lungs were shrivelled with fire, wheeled to face one another. and the desire to breathe was a ! —

100 AMAZING STORIES force that sapped strength from his fail- then as the cumulative force of the wa- ing arms and legs. The water pressed ter behind gave it impetus, with explo- about him coldly; sweeping him out of sive speed! Water pressure thrust in- darkness into darkness he knew not exorably against Duke's back. He felt where. The sound of his beating heart himself popped like a cork out of a bot- throbbed in his ears like a threnody of tle .. . sprawling helplessly through death. air . . . falling . . . Duke Callion knew that it was a mat- But even while falling, he found time ter of seconds before his tortured lungs to draw into his lungs fresh, lifegiving would have their will over his weaken- air before he plunged once more into ing body. Soon that insistent inner urge water. But, miraculously, this was would open his clenched mouth and nos- clean water! Its grateful sting laved trils; let in a flood of slimy, stinking his eyes, cleansing them of their offal- water. burned smarting. Its bosom lifted him. His eyes, open despite the filthy scum He was atop the water, and that surrounded him, saw nothing but It was sea-water ! Clean, salt sea- darkness. He fought his way to the sur- water! The tube which fed the dun- face, the top of the tube, hoping for an geons opened onto a sheer thirty foot inch of fetid air above the water. drop into the ocean. There was none. The tube was com- Again and again, Duke ducked him- pletely choked with the offal drainage self, scrubbed at his hair and face and of the dungeons. eyes with the emerald salt water to rid This, then, Duke knew, was the end. himself of the last vestiges of the filth And even as he struggled to hold that through which he had swum. Finally, stifling bit of air in him, he found him- clean again, he circled back toward the shore, selecting the most likely vantage self thinking of Pyrrha . . . Then, suddenly, the darkness about point from which to re-enter the for- him was turned to a dull, misty gray. tress. Sunlight! There was sunlight on the He found it. A narrow foothold stair- water somewhere! And where there case circling up the rampart walls; en- was sunlight, there was air tering the fort through an arched door- His body met, locked against, some- way. On catlike feet, he stole up this Some- walk apprehensive that at any moment thing monstrously distorted. ; thing fleshy, flabby, that gave before he might be seen from below. him like soft, unbaked dough. In the But he was not. The Titans were too murky light Duke saw what blocked his busy staving off the retaliatory attack passage. The body of the slain captain, of the ships from Aztlan. Traghol, somehow caught at the lip of Duke's sense of direction, earned the tube where it opened to the Outside through years of vagabondage, served —and freedom! him well. In the musty corridors of the unerringly the proper The irony of it almost forced a groan castle, he chose from Duke's lips. That he should be turns. And at last he gained a low- this near release, only to be defeated in ceilinged avenue which he knew had to death by one who had failed to master open on the dungeon's only doorway. him alive. With a last, convulsive — movement of despair, he lashed out with T_TE rounded a final corner -and both fists against the swollen carcass. knew at once that he had guessed

And—it gave! Sluggishly at first, right. For there were two soldiers —

SONS OF THE DELUSE 101 standing beside a barred door. There Duke!" Then the captains, the first was disturbed anxiety on their faces as taste of victory sweet on their lips, were they listened to the tumult of sound gathering about him, asking instruc- echoing through the grillwork. tions. Duke said swiftly, As Duke waited, one guard said "The girl. Pyrrha. We must find nervously, "I don't like it, Bursal! I her first, then steal a longboat. Row to don't like it at all. There's something the Atlantean fleet and safety!" strange afoot amongst the prisoners." It was Duke who led the vengeance- Bursal laughed carelessly, "Let be! hungry horde of prisoners forward and

Who cares if the rabble howls? Stone upward into the heart of the castle. and iron will hold them!" Some sort of prescience seemed to guide "I think we should call the captain him. It was as if the thoughts of of the guard. Perhaps a few lashes Pyrrha were blazing a trail for him. would quiet them?" But whatever the explanation, the Bursal stroked his chin meditatively. ragged army found its way to the proper "Well—a few lashes wouldn't hurt. I sector without once meeting opposition. like to see them writhe, anyway. Wait At the entrance to an ornate hall, you here, Herg. I'll call the captain." Duke motioned his men to halt. Swiftly Duke shrank into the shadows as the he ordered, guard's footsteps approached. Now "We split here! Joey, half of the they were almost upon him. Harness men go with you in that direction. If clanking, he turned the corner you do not find Pyrrha, continue on to He never had a chance. Duke's dirk the shore and find there a boat or boats. was lunging at his throat even as the "We others will go forward. May we man's eyes widened in surprise and hor- all meet at the shore!" ror. His cry was stifled in a choking "Or in Valhalla!"* added Valthgar. gurgle. His blood gushed a hot torrent "So be it!" over Duke's bared arm as the man sank The two groups split. Duke ap- lifeless to the ground. praised those behind him swiftly. Joey's From the far end of the corridor, the detachment had taken Quelchal, Ogy- other man, Herg, cried nervously, ges, Yima and Angha and their follow- "Bursal! Bursal! Did you call?" ers. He had drawn the giant Nubian, Then his footsteps came racing up the Chiba, Valthgar the Viking, Dwyfan, avenue. He almost stumbled over the and the morose Celt, Folddhe. body of the prostrate Bursal; recovered his footing just in time to see death, VX7TTH whatever weapons they pos- grim-faced and terrible, bearing down sessed—knives and clubs for the upon him. He reached for his sword most part; an occasional rusted sword ... his hand never found it. Duke's —the strange crew pressed forward dirk found his heart first. over stone flaggings, past an ornate Eagerly, Duke snatched the key-ring court, into the heart of the fortress. from the harness of the second warrior. Finally, at the portal of a great bronze- In a trice he was at the door of the dun- studded door, dim voices came to them. geon; twisting the rusted clef in the Again Duke hushed them into wary si- lock. A hoarse shout greeted him as the lence. door swung open. Joey Cox was pound- Then his heart gave a great leap as he ing his back; screaming delightedly: heard, on the other side of the door, a

"You did it! I knew y-y-you could, well-remembered voice. The voice of " "


the rascally priest, Hurkan. filled the room with an ear-splitting din. "The rulership of Aztlan," Hurkan Dwyfan roared, "He'll bring the whole was saying, "is all I ask for my services. fortress down onus!" and leaped at the That and one other thing. The girl, guard, sword gleaming. With both Pyrrha." hands he swung the heavy blade. The A rumbling, disdainful voice asked, man's head wobbled loosely on a riven "You seek to bargain with me, rene- neck; fell forward on his chest. He fell gade?" slowly, ponderously, as a tall building "There are many things I can tell you might fall. In sections. about the island of Aztlan," Hurkan Duke shouted, "Get the other girl, persisted insinuatingly. "You did not Dwyfan. Let's get out of here ! know for instance that the fires be- Pyrrha was at his side; sobbing with neath— joy and relief. He saw the dark-haired, Chiba, the strong-thewed black, laughing Dwyfan sweep the auburn- snicked his dirk in its scabbard and tressed beauty off her feet, tuck her rumbled deep in his throat. But Duke under his arm like a sack of meal, and laid a restraining hand on his arm. charge toward the doorway. Then all "Wait!" he whispered. "The girl of them were racing down the corridor first! I have a plan to take care of the toward an entrance-way suddenly fill- Titans. But we must get to Aztlan ing with Titans. first." Afterward, Duke Callion had no Grumbling, the Nubian subsided. clear recollection of that fight. It was Duke's intuition was working with like some wild, fantastic dream in which sweet perfection now. It was with, a a warrior goes down, bleeding from a feel of utter certainty that he led his thousand wounds, only to rise again and men to an adjacent doorway. With struggle on a few feet farther. complete assurance that he flung open He, himself, was like a madman as he the door. carved a way through the mountain of "Here!" he cried. flesh that stood before him. He caught And he was right. As his detach- fitful glimpses of his fellows about him. ment crowded into the room behind He heard Chiba's barbaric war-chant him, two women started and cried out rising above the din of battle; saw the with fright. One was an auburn haired swart Ogyges rip a dripping sword from girl with flesh the hue of alabaster. The a Titanic opponent with his bare hands, other was—Pyrrha. Just for a moment and plunge the weapon down the man's did surprise shock Pyrrha into motion- gaping throat. Iessness. Then, with a glad cry, she Dark Yima was a maddened dervish. was racing forward. Like a cat, he fought to disembowel his But there was another in the room. antagonists. A sadistic smile on his One of the giant Titans, an armed slender features he fought his way guard, standing beside a huge brass through the holocaust with a lunge, gong. One startled look at the raiders twist, rip—and on to the next man! and he swung into action. He reached But from their superior height, the

for the hammer; raised it to bring it Titans wrecked havoc amongst the raid- across the gong's gleaming face. ... ers, too. Twice Duke Callion felt a Cro-o-o-ongghl The crashing sound companion at his side gasp, choke, and slip to the floor. Once one of the pris-

* Heaven where heroes dwell. oners stepped squarely into the blade of ! —

SONS OF THE DELUGE 103 a sword lunging at Duke's heart. There the decks of their bobbing craft, feeling was a smile on the man's lips as he died hope die coldly within them, numbed by plans, . . . and salt stung Duke Callion's eyes this culminating blow to their as, vengefully, he cleft the skull of the one figure stirred into action. It was Titan who had slain him from pate to the dour Celt, Folddhe. chin. With a snarled oath, he wrenched the heavy blade from Duke's hand. Then, AND then, somehow, they were no before anyone could guess his intention, longer inside the fortress. They he was overside, sword in his teeth, were in the open, racing down across a swinging toward the nearer arm of land. sandy beach to where a wildly gesticu- Too late the stupefied Titans divined lating Joey beckoned them on. his aim. By the time their bewildered Pyrrha stumbled, and Duke lifted her captain had given orders to intercept bodily from the ground; swung her over him, he was already dragging himself his shoulder. No time to waste now in out on the far beach; racing to the gentleness. Already a fresh horde of sturdy stanchion into which was im- Titans were racing through the portals bedded the harbor chain. of the fort, charging down the beach The blade in his hand hacked at the after them. stubborn wood like the avenging wrath And there were so few of them left! of a god. Slivers of wood broke off; the Even in this moment of haste, it sick- gigantic stapling pin loosened. Duke ened Duke's heart to see that of the watched him breathlessly. A few more score of men who had been in his cor- strokes, now. Another. Another! tige, a scant half dozen remained alive. Then the Titans were upon him. A cast spear tore a gaping wound in his Then they were at the boats, and side; blood gushed forth to paint a gory Joey's voice was screaming in his ear, cicatrix down one deep-planted limb. "G-g-get in, Duke! We're c-c-casting Another stroke. And another. Wood off! He felt friendly hands relieving groaned. Metal grated. And him of his precious burden; water A great shout rose from the boats. splashing about his ankles, his calves, The massive harbor chain broke from his thighs. A hard deck was under him. its mooring; sank beneath the choppy Over him a black sail was blossoming rip. The straining boats broke free. like an ebon flower before the wind. Sails caught the wind and they spurted And the angry roar of Quelchal, forward like racers. roaring above the din, "The harbor Folddhe threw his broken sword into chain! By Bel, we're lost!" the faces of the raging Titans. Then Duke's heart sank. He had forgot- once more he was splashing, stumbling, ten that this, as all ancient harbors, was swimming through the sea. Duke secured against invasion by a great, heeled his vessel to. A host of eager metal chain stretched across the mouth hands reached out as the heroic Celt of the harbor inlet. A massive series of threw a dripping arm over the gunwale. links deep-set into oak stanchions on Dwyfan the Cym cried, "Folddhe, either crescent of land. Through this you have saved us all! Come aboard. the ships could not pass We are free now!" It was then occurred that which Duke But Folddhe shook his head. His Callion was never afterward to forget. lips were white with pain. Now Duke For as the rebels stood dumb-struck on saw, with sudden horror, that where one " 1

104 AMAZING STORIES limb dragged in the water, the emerald Dwyfan. You people in love—" sea was stained a dull and dirty crim- He stopped suddenly as the door son. And Folddhe gasped, burst inward to admit the dark-haired

"Think you still . . . I am a . . . Cym. Behind him, blushing furiously, ?" cowardly cur . . . Dwyfan . . . and trying to draw back, was the au- He smiled that tight, dour smile they burn beauty who had been Pyrrha's all knew so well. Then his pale arm maid-servant in the castle of Titania. slipped from the gunwale—and he was "How long, Nata," demanded Dwy- gone. fan, "before this barge reaches Azt- Duke's eyes were moist as he turned lan?" away. Dwyfan the Cym was weeping "Very soon now," answered the cap- openly in great, wracking sobs, like a tain. "Why?" little child. Duke pressed his shoulders Dwyfan laughed uproariously, dis- consolingly. playing gleaming white teeth. "Then "We will avenge him, Dwyfan," he very soon," he echoed, "this luscious promised simply. "But later. For, morsel will become Dwyfach—wife of see? Already the ships of Aztlan are Dwyfan!" putting about to receive us!" Joey's face was a picture of dismay. He gasped for breath. Then, CHAPTER XV "Well, I'll be d-d-damned!" he com-

plained mournfully. "They're a 1 I in "Atlantis Is—Doomed!" g-g-going crazy! I wish was back Cin—" He stopped and reconsidered. ^ATA, youthful captain of the At- "No—I don't! But I w-w-wish I was lantean man-o-war Kyklopes, back in Mayapan!" which had picked up the fugitives, nodded gently as Quelchal finished •TXUKE CALLION had travelled over speaking. much of the face of the Twentieth "I do not pretend to understand all Century world, and had considered its you say," he confessed. "But, then, I culture to be a very high and worthy am merely a humble, god-fearing sailor. one. But now, after a journey about It is not for me to question your wis- the capital city of the island of Aztlan, dom. Within the space of hours we will with Nata as guide, he was forced to be in Aztlan, where you can communi- concede that this ancient civilization cate your warning to the Emperor, compared favorably with the best he Zeus." had known before. Quelchal said somberly, "Much time Quelchal had gone to a private audi- has been lost. Much precious time. Al- ence with the Emperor and his advisors. ready the hour of the Deluge draws Joey, fatigued by their recent adven- near." tures, had remained in the apartment al- Duke said cheerfully, "Well, it looks lotted to them vowing that he was going

as if our troubles are all over now, to, "H-h-hit the hay for a week or Quelchal." And he pressed his wife's t-t-ten days ! hand affectionately. Nata had proven a sterling host. He Joey Cox rose, disgust plain on his had shown to them the palace with its features. gorgeous triple wall; the outer of brass, "S-s-soft stuff!" he snorted disdain- the second of tin, the third of the lost fully. "I'm g-g-going out and talk to element—oralchium. He had shown SONS OF THE DELUGE 105

them the temple to King Poseidon, one chal, your predecessor by some four of Aztlan's early rulers; its interior a hundreds of years, should have been treasure-house of gold, silver and ivory; able to construct the space-time craft in the gigantic statue of the King himself which we Came here." standing in a chariot—charioteer of six "As I have told you, Duke Callion, I winged horses—of such a size that Po- am a humble sailing man. It is not seidon's carven head touched the roof mine to question the wisdom of my rul- of the temple.* ers. But—there is a legend amongst us He had shown them the fountains that Aztlan once possessed these things and the hot baths for which Aztlan was of which you speak. And discarded noted. ("Volcanic substratum," Duke them." Callion guessed.) Then the gardens, "Discarded them?" the canals, and the thousands upon "Yes. Quelchal lived in an era—" thousands of homes, shops and amuse- Nata grinned sheepishly, and Duke ment centers which made up the capital knew that the sea captain was, like him- city. self, conscious of the constant incon- Duke looked—and marvelled. gruity of speaking of Quelchal as hav- "But, Nata," he said at last, "This ing lived before, when the man was lived an era city is tremendous 1 What is its popu- alive now. "Quelchal in lation?" which boasted a mighty scientific "More than an alau *," replied the knowledge. But as must be the case in mariner proudly. "Twenty and one a land densely populated, there came a HnchU at the last census. In the city of time when civilization had reached the Aztlan alone there are thirty cabal." state where all mankind's normal work Duke whistled, translating the Atlan- was being performed mechanically. tean figures into the more familiar Ara- "Shortly after the death of King The- bic numbers. "Larger than Chicago in seus, it was decided that our race was my day. And from the looks of things, retrogressing rather than progressing. more active as well!" Then recollec- The wise King Heracles decreed that tion of a former puzzling question came the artificial age of machinery must end. to him. "There's one thing Quelchal That land culture and manufacture was not able to explain to me, Nata. must return to the men themselves. "It was my understanding that in "So it was ordained. And lest some Quelchal's day the scientific progress of future civilization be tempted by the your countrymen was high. Yet today fruits of earlier knowledge, it was or- we have seen no evidence of great me- dered that a great pyre be built. The chanical skill. No telephones, automo- savants conducted a ruthless destruc- apparatus, all biles, electricity . . . nothing, to be tion of all mechanical treating of such subjects, all i brief, which would explain why Quel- books notes and facts and figures. *For a complete description of Aztlan, see "Only vital discoveries were retained Plato's Criiias. Mayan numbers Arabic Equivalents and utilized. The mariner's compass, hurt 1 the knowledge of crop rotation, naviga- kal 20 20 hun—1 tion principles, astronomical calcula- 20 kal—1 bak 400 20 bak—1 pic 8,000 tions." 20 pic—1 cabal 160,000 cabal—1 kinchil 3,200,000 20 \JATA smiled wistfully. "Yes, there 20 kinchil—1 alau 64,000,000 ^ 20 alau— 1 hablat 1,280,000,000 is even told that at one time Azt- " " " " " "


Ian knew the secret of flight. Not of armament to Aztlan. terrestrial flight alone, but of flight "And if we hurry," he promised him- amongst the stars. To the sister plan- self, "there'll be time to blow Titania ets revolving about the mother Sun off the face of the map before the Del-

uge pops along and does it for us!" "It sounds incredible," murmured Joey was so enthusiastic about the Duke, "but somehow I believe it. It plan that he forgot to grumble about explains so many things. The tales of being wakened. ancient gods who descended from —the "S-s-sure we can do it!" he exulted. skies in chariots of living flame "I worked for a couple of y-y-years in Then, suddenly, "But there is one bit of the Frankford Arsenal, back in Phila- knowledge which it was stupid of your delphia. Just g-g-gimme some paper. people to destroy, Nata. That which I'll figure it out. W-w-where's Quel- would enable Aztlan to conquer its en- chal? He ought to be here, too! emy, Titania." As if in answer to his words, the door "We did not need such knowledge opened and Quelchal entered. Duke aforetime," said Nata. "In those days, sprang toward him excitedly, Aztlan held all the outside world in fee. "Listen, Quelchal, we're on the trail our colonies rebel to loose them- — Now — of some fun I We're going to selves " He stared at Duke with sud- Then he stopped in amazement at the den hope. "You possess this lost knowl- expression on the Atlantean's face. It edge?" was not anger that dulled Quelchal's Duke said grimly, "Not all that which eyes. It was despair. Sheer, stark de- your people— destroyed. But at least one spair—and discouragement. thing " Knowing no Atlantean word "What is it? What's the matter?" for it, he had to use the English term. Quelchal turned lack-lustre eyes to "You have never heard of—gunpow- him; to each of the others in turn. He der?" said in a gray voice,

"Gun . . . powder?" Nata's lips "My friends — our mission has stumbled over the unfamiliar word. "I failed!" know its meaning not, Duke Callion." "F-f-failed!— What do you mean?" "Then," Duke smacked a heavy fist "I mean " Quelchal barked a short, into his other palm, "By Bel, you're go- sharp, mirthless laugh. "—that the ing to ! And so are the Titans ! We are Emperor did not believe my warning. going to give those big, overgrown bums He was friendly. He was sympathetic.

! something to remember us by But he heard my story as a child might hear a fable—then advised me in all TT was in a pitch of high excitement gentleness to come home and rest. that the trio returned to their apart- Much hardship and privation, he said, ment. The idea of avenging himself had given my brain to phantasms ! upon the Titans by means of some Duke stared at him, stunned. snappy Twentieth Century ordnance "Then that means— was one much to Duke's liking. Al- Quelchal's voice was high and shrill. ready his hands itched for the feel of a "Our efforts have been wasted, Duke

.75 lanyard; his nostrils strained for the Callion. The period of C/iuen is upon sharp, familiar stench of gunpowder. us. The year of Atonatiuh draws rap- He felt sure that he and Joey, working idly to a close. History is about to re-

together, could contrive to give such peat itself. A few weeks . . . perhaps " — "


but days . . . and the Deluge will lot of dirt. And I've g-g-got a feeling come! that he'll do us even more, if w-w-we ''Atlantis is doomed!" don't watch out! But how about you, Nata? How do you f-f-feel about all CHAPTER XVI this?" The young mariner said quietly,

The Builders "I am a humble man. I should not doubt the wisdom of my Emperor and J~JUKE said disconsolately, "We his advisors—but somehow I do. I be- might have expected something lieve your tale of a Deluge to come. like this, Quelchal. I told you long ago There is but one thing for me to do. that I did not believe it lay within the Prepare my finest ship for it, that I and power of mortals to make changes in my wife and my children may ride out the recorded Past. The Deluge was; the storms in safety." hence must it always be." Duke grinned, remembering the old Quelchal shook himself out of his Christian tale of the Deluge. He said, lethargy. His eyes blazed. "That's the smartest idea of all, Nata.

"You are wrong, Duke Callion! It is Maybe we'll lick this thing; maybe not. has to that we are pawns of chance . . . and Somebody give the world a new every step of the gambit has played lease on life if we lose. So be sure to against us. Had we returned to my take plenty to eat. And maybe, like the time, instead of to this less enlightened old boy I used to hear about in Sunday age—" School, you should take along animals Joey interrupted. and birds." "If t-t-that's the big drawback," he He grinned again, but the serious- said reasonably, "W-w-why don't we try minded Nata did not smile in return. again? Go b-b-back to your time?" To Duke's surprise he nodded soberly "What do you mean?" and said, "Another time-ship. You know how "It is a good plan, Duke Callion. I to make one now. And you're in a civil- shall start preparing now." ized nation, with skilled workmen and He turned and hurried from the room. plenty of materials at your disposal. Duke gazed at Joey and scratched his Make a second ship, and this time we'll head. go back to an era where we'll find an "Looks like we've got one believer, understanding p-p-people ! anyway. And I know where we'll find Quelchal said, "It might be done. By some others. Joey, suppose you go out Dis, it can be done! I'll get right to and round up the gang. Dwyfan and

! work on it Angha and Chiba and the rest. We're ." "And in the meantime," said Duke, going to need their help . . "I've a little project of my own that I want to carry out." Swiftly he told FORTNIGHT passed; two weeks Quelchal of his plan. The Atlantean's of hectic occupation for Duke Cal- lips approved. lion and that loyal little band which fol- "It is good, Duke Callion. The world lowed him. Duke and Joey, pooling will be the better with Titania de- their knowledge of Twentieth Century stroyed. And Hurkan along with them; armarrfent, had "rediscovered" gun- traitor that he is." powder for Aztlan; and vast was the Joey nodded. "That guy's done us a amazement of the naive Atlanteans to "

108 AMAZING STORIES find that there was potency in the meas- if so, we owe our lives to your madness. ured admixturing of such simple com- Your cause is our cause." monplaces as saltpeter, charcoal of wil- And on a high ridge of the mountain low, and sulphur. Colhuacan a little colony came into be- Joey found himself confronted with ing. A colony of those who believed the the problem of constructing a cannon warning of the "future men." The se- that would not only shoot, but shoot lection of their site was at once deter- without destroying itself and everyone mined by logic and chance. about it. His initial attempts caused "When the Deluge comes," Duke consternation amongst the Atlantean said, "if it does come, it will be prefaced soldiery—and, on several occasions, al- by a great tidal wave. Craft in the har- most decimation of the curious who bor will be immediately destroyed. We gathered around his "proving grounds." should build our vessels of escape on a At last there came the day, however, high peak, where there will be egress in when trial and error resulted in the cre- any direction." ation of a cannon. Ugly, it was, and Unable to choose between several but crudely rifled—but it worked. likely promontories, Joey tossed a coin. "It's n-n-not much to look at," Joey "Heads we stay here," he hazarded. confessed wryly, "b-b-but it ought to "Tails we go to that other peak over scare the living daylights out of the Ti- there." tans. And that's s-s-something ! The piece of silver glinted momen- Duke felt some misgivings about tarily; fell and rolled. Search as they

Nata. The quiet, simple sailing man might, none of them could find it. had definitely proven himself a convert "We stay here, anyway," laughed to the adventurers' warning of the Del- Duke. "We have a capital investment uge to come. Asking leave of absence in this territory now." from his duties, he had bought himself And Joey said ruefully, "Shucks! a ship, and to this ship he had moved Good Atlantean money *—and I go his wife and children. tossing it away!" Now, whilst crowds of highly amused and sometimes openly jeering Atlan- TDUT these were interludes. For the teans gathered about this vessel, he was most part the litle crew was kept busily engaged in stocking it as for an constantly busy. While Dwyfan, Yima ocean voyage. To all queries and gibes and the others carried on, atop the he made but one reply, mount, the work which Nata was dedi- "Duke Callion has said that the wa- cating himself to below, Duke and Joey ters will come to cover the earth. And worked like Trojans on the rearmament I believe him." of the Atlantean fleet.

But it was not only Nata who be- Perhaps Quelchal was busiest of all. lieved the tale. Quelchal, Duke and found their cause espoused openly Joey In 1867, archeologists discovered on the is- —and with fists when the occasion arose land, Corvo, in the Azores group, an unusual coin —by those men who had been their marked with the symbol of the Crooked Moun- tain; with the transverse depicting a great serpent companions in the escape from Titania. twined about two stark trees. The blond Viking, Valthgar. Yima. This coin was, in sheer desperation established Ogyges. as "probably Phoenician," though it did not cor- respond with the known coinage of that land; As Dwyfan said, "Perhaps, as they more resembling the "coiled serpent" of Central say, you are mad, Duke Callion. But America.—Author " — —


For he was laboring night and day over ship pulled away. a second glistening sphere to carry him Dwyfan grinned and said, "Seems back to his own era—a time in which he funny, doesn't it? Marriage, I mean would find ready ears to his warning of and settling down to a quiet life? Oh, disaster to come. This time his sphere well. We'll make this last scrap a good was being constructed on majestic scale. one."

When completed, it would be large Duke nodded; straining for a last enough to hold the score of men who glimpse of Pyrrha. And then suddenly had pledged themselves to his cause. Joey clutched his arm. He gasped, And then—the day of vengeance "D-d-duke—am I nuts? Did you dawned ! At last the rearmament of the s-s-see him?" Atlantean fleet had been accomplished, "Him? Who?" and every ship had been supplied with "There! The guy in the white. Just a full complement of cannon. Stores disappearing around the corner of of gunpowder had been prepared, and Damn it! He's gone!" the ambitious Joey had even devised a Duke said, "What's the matter, crude sort of hand grenade for use Joey? Somebody in Atlantis who owes against the Titans. And for the first you money?" time in more than three hundreds of Joey exploded, "Worse than that. It years, Aztlan was in a position to prove looked like Hurkan ! itself queen of the seas; mistress of the "You're seeing things," laughed world. Duke. "Hurkan's in Titania. And It was a gala scene when the huge we're going to see him now!" His silver fleet set out from the harbor of jaw set tightly. Its cast did not bode

Aztlan, Titania bound. Banners flew well for Hurkan. . . . proudly, bands played, crowds cheered themselves hoarse as one by one the At- '-piTANIA did not wait for the Atlan- lantean ships shook out canvas and tean fleet to bring the battle to them. swept gracefully out of the harbor. Its warriors sighted the silver vessels Duke and Joey stood on the deck of from afar, and broke out the huge black the Kyklopes, beside Nata, feeling the sails of their own ships. Ebon oars enthusiastic mood of the crowd com- crawled from the Titan's harbor to meet municate itself to them. Of all their the rapidly advancing biremes of Azt- band, only Quelchal was remaining in lan, And it was a mile from the island Aztlan. His work was too pressing to that the battle began. allow even for such a foray as this. But "They'll be expecting," Duke said all the others of their hard-bitten crew rapidly, "the same old kind of fight. were aboard the commanding vessel. Catapults of fire-balls. Lances thrown Last to leave the harbor, it would as- by jaculins. Ram's-head contacts and sume command as soon as they reached hand-to-hand fighting. the open sea; would lead the attack "Let them get near us—within accu- against Titania. rate shooting range. And then let 'em Pyrrha and Dwyfach remained be- have it!" hind. Even though this trip was a Joey Cox, crouched over the foremost leave-taking, the two brides felt no fear. and largest of the Kyklopes cannon, The result of the expedition, both knew, chuckled delightedly, and fingered the was foreordained. So they waved lanyard. gladly, proudly, from the docks as the " Y-y-you bet ! Boy, I haven't had so " " "

110 AMAZING STORIES much f-f-fun since that scrap in Chun- the air hideous with screams of pain and hubub. But—no hand-to-hand fight- fear. ing, Duke?" Joey shouted, "A b-b-bull's-eye ! "Why should we? There's no use and swivelled about. "G-g-get me near

! risking lives if we can mow them down another one this way." But his had been the shot that set off

Joey's face fell. the guns of the other Atlantean vessels. "I was j-j-just thinking of Hurkan," All were firing now, and to the stunned he murmured dejectedly. "But if you Titans it must have seemed that the f-f-feel that way about it— thunder and lightning of the gods were "I may change my mind," Duke's bursting forth. Flame and fire struck eyes glinted, "if we see Hurkan." at their flimsy vessels in a tumult of rag- Then there was time for little more, ing sound; men died unknowing that for the slim black craft of Titania were death was at their sides. upon them, diabolically sleek in the late It was not a battle; it was a slaugh- rays of the afternoon sun; crowded to ter.* Within the space of minutes, the the aft rails with sable-armored war- sea was clogged with the broken hulls of riors thirsting for battle. splintered fighting ships, scud of drag- Already a ram's-head grappling hook ging black sails, shards of masts and was being put out from the Titanian spars to which clung clots of gory hu- lead vessel. The rhythmic beat of the manity until their grip loosened and oarmaster's gong could be heard across their heavy armor dragged them into the water. The starboard oars were be- the cold, green depths. ing shipped so the black ship might be Here a captainless vessel, rudder manoeuvered closer. smashed away by an Atlantean ball, Duke looked at Joey. spun and struggled like a wounded duck "Ready?" he said. on the surface of the water. There a "R-r-ready!" Joey's body tensed. desperate galley-slave, numb with fear, "Then—fife!" sought escape by slashing off his own

There was a burst of smoke, a belch- feet to rid them of their shackles ; then ing of sudden flame, and thunder rent tottered on bleeding stumps to the rail- the air. Screams of wild fear and hor- ing to throw himself, dying, into the ror rose from the ill-fated Titanian ves- sea. And where scant moments before, sel as one side of its wooden keel a haughty black fleet had come proudly smashed inward as though struck by forth to do battle, now the sea was some massive fist. Planks ripped and swept clean of all save the silver-ban- tore. The cries of the living mingled * "The struggle lasted many years, all the might with the groans of the dying. A violent which the Olympians could bring to bear being shudder trembled the ship from prow to useless, until on the advice of Gaea (Joey? NSB), Zeus set free the Kyklopes and the Hekatoncheires rudder. Terrified bodies, bruised and (i. e., "brought the ships into play"), of whom bleeding, fled from the entrails of the the former fashioned thunderbolts for him, while ship to toss themselves, armor and all, the latter advanced on his side with force equal to the shock of an earthquake. The world trem- into the water. bled down to lowest Tartarus as Zeus now ap-

The doomed vessel made a gulping, peared with his terrible weapon and new allies( 1). sucking sound as sea water surged for- Old Chaos thought his hour had come, as from continuous blaze of thunder-bolts the earth took ward into the gaping hole. Men fire, and the waters seethed in the sea."—"The dropped like insects from the decks, the War of the Titans" from the Manual of Mythol- rigging. Chained galley slaves made ogy, by Murray. , SONS OF THE DELUGE 111

There was a tremendous explosion, and the galley lifted into the air.

nered invaders who dipped from float- struction they had witnessed from afar. ing spar to spar, rescuing such bits of As the Atlantean fleet swung into the human flotsam and jetsam as had sur- harbor with guns primed and trained, a vived the holocaust. sobered convoy of weaponless soldiery Even Duke, hardened as he was to stepped forward to signal their surren- the grim reality of warfare, was sick- der. Duke gave orders to withhold fire, ened by the massacre. But he set his selected a group of his own followers, jaw grimly. and landed. "On!" he said. "On to Titania!" Through an avenue of weeping wom- en and grave men his triumphal proces- T>UT Titania had seen, from turrets sion ascended the beach to the palace. and walls, the visitation of the gods There he confronted a thoroughly upon their once mighty fleet. They had cowed Emperor of Titania. no wish to see their city tumbled into The Emperor made obeisance; then, ruins; no stomach for the death and de- "It is futile to struggle against the " "


gods," he said. "What is your will of we will be in Aztlan again. See? Al- us?" ready the harbor lights glimmer." Dwyfan, at his side, whispered, Duke stopped grumbling, but his in- "Trust him not, my captain! Remem- terminable pacing continued. Hours ber the dungeons ! had passed since he learned from the But a strange pity stirred Duke Cal- Titanian Emperor the whereabouts of lion fpr this once glorious, now crushed, the scoundrelly priest, but each of those nation. He said, hours had seemed a century; each mo- "We seek only your allegiance to Azt- ment decades long. lan. That and—" Nor was the young adventurer the Joey whispered something swiftly. only one to experience this feeling of Duke nodded. urgency. That foreboding which comes "That," he continued, "and the ren- to active men at a crisis had descended egade priest of Mayapan who was your over all of his companions like a sable ally. Hurkan." cloud. Instead of returning home like The Titanian Emperor said quietly, the conquerors they were, their visages sincerely, were as strained and drawn as those of "The allegiance I pledge, master of defeated men. Thunder and Lightning. But Hurkan But all journeys, howsoever tedious, —he is not here." must come to an end at last. And final- "Not here!" exclaimed Duke, and ly, when the sun had come above the Joey cried, in a suddenly fearful voice, horizon to light the sky with crystal "Ik-k-knewit! That was him I saw on morning, Duke's ship put in to Aztlan the docks of— harbor. "He is gone," the Emperor said, "on The crowd that had wished them a mission of his own devising—to Azt- Godspeed was but a fragment of the lan!" mob that turned out to welcome home its victorious heroes. Aztlan had once CHAPTER XVII more come into its own—and its people were joyous. From humblest servant to The Vengeance of Hurkan most noble lord, all were there waiting on the docks. And a messenger brought p\AWN was breaking over the ama- tidings that the Emperor was waiting ranthine sea, and the first, slender in his palace for a special audience with shafts of orange stirred the ocean with the conquerors. slumbrous pastels of beauty. But Duke But for once, Duke Callion was mak- Callion, restlessly pacing the deck of ing no palliatory gestures toward a the Kyklopes, had no eye for loveliness ruler. He said to Nata, just now. He paused to strike a moist "Give the old boy my apologies. Tell hand on the pommel of his sword and him whatever you want to. I've got to plead, find Quelchal!" And he loped off to- "Step up the beat of your oarsmen, ward the workshop wherein Quelchal building his time craft. Nata ! Haste ! There is no time to idle was new when that devil, Hurkan, devises God knows what hellish schemes against QUELCHAL was inclined to discount us!" Duke's fears. Nata said soothingly, "Peace, Duke "There is no cause for alarm, Duke Callion. Our oarsmen weary. But soon Callion," were his first words. "All " " " " "


Hurkan can possibly hope for is to miraculous thing?" prejudice the public in your disfavor. It "I've told you before," said Duke must have been for some such purpose— gloomily, "that I don't believe it's pos- that he came here. But after today sible. This time your machine won't Quelchal shrugged. "There is no great- work, Quelchal. Or something will go er man in all Aztlan than you. Were wrong. Man cannot change the tapes- Hurkan to speak a word against you, try of Time." the mob would tear him limb from "Nothing can go wrong now, Duke limb." Callion," Quelchal contradicted him se- Duke said bluntly, "I don't like it, renely. "One more day and it is done. Quelchal. The man must have an ace The tapestry of Time will have to be re- up his sleeve. He would not risk his woven. Are you ready for the next ad- neck stealing into this country merely venture?" for the purpose you suggest. There "Whenever you are," nodded Duke. must be something deeper— "Or, that is, as soon as I've taken care "What, Duke Callion?" Quelchal was of Hurkan in this era— smiling. "I fear you have listened to He found his private "army," no an old-wives' tale." longer a rag-tag collection of strangers, Duke grumbled, "Well—" and was but now a well-clad, well-feted group of silent, because he had no answer. "Any- men, in the banquet hall provided by way, I'm going to get my men together. the Emperor for the heralding of the Search for him. And this time he won't victors. Despite his anxiety, he could escape me!" not help but grin at their discomfiture. "It might have been better," agreed They were frankly bewildered by all the Quelchal, "if you had let me have my fuss being made over them, and just as way with him weeks ago. Still, I ap- frankly bored. When he had gestured prove of your aim. Now, the time them to meet him outside, man by man ship— they gave vent to an expression of re- "It's finished?" lief. "Not quite, but almost. This time "Another hour of that speech-mak- there will be no mistakes. We will re- ing," confessed the swart Ogyges, "And turn to my era, and therein have a pe- I'd have gone back to Titania." riod of time sufficient to convince my Valthgar the Viking scrubbed at his people of the impending Deluge." right cheek with an embarrassed, hairy Quelchal sighed. paw.

"You found it hard to understand, "Lip rouge!" he rumbled. "By the Duke Callion. Sometimes I find it hard teeth of the Dragon—me with lip rouge myself. Look you! We have failed to on my cheek! These brazen modern convince these people of this era. Thus, women—Bah!" when the waters come, disaster will Duke said, "Well, cheer up! —I've got strike them. And we know that on at an assignment for you. Listen " And least one other occasion in Time, those he told them of Hurkan's being free same waters drowned Aztlan. somewhere on the island; warned them "Yet there remains the paradoxical of what the priest's machinations might truth that as soon as I have completed mean. "Find him!" he concluded, this machine, we can return to Aztlan "And when you find him—bring him to of four hundred years ago and prevent me. I would prefer to meet him alive. the Deluge! Is not that a strangely But—bring him however you must ! "


T>UT it was Duke Callion himself who an aged watchman tottered from his lit- found Hurkan. And the way of tle shed to peer at wild-eyed young man their meeting was strange. quizzically. It was late afternoon. For some "A man and a woman?" he replied to hours, Duke had been out searching for Duke's frenzied query. "Nay, there the ex-priest. Now, his own seeking was no—Stay! There were footsteps fruitless, he returned to Quelchal's on the dock here but minutes ago. I workshop in the hope that one of his called but got no answer. I thought it companions might have returned with was children playing, as they do." news. "Footsteps? Which way?" Quelchal was inside the huge, shining "Down there!" pointed the old oralchium sphere working when Duke watchman. And Duke was already entered the room. Duke had time to leaping in the direction he indicated; notice that the intricate wiring job was down by the lesser wharf where the near completion before Quelchal poked small fishing craft and feluccas were his head out to see whom his visitor moored. might be. His lean, bronzed face mir- He was just in time to see a small, rored astonishment at seeing Duke. slim sailing vessel pushing off from the "Duke Callion? But I understood' dock. A tiny craft at the helm of which you were at the water-front?" stood a figure Duke recognized all too "The water-front?" Duke shook his well. Hurkan! And huddled in the head. "You're thinking of two other stern, strangely limp and silent, was the fellows, Quelchal. I've been up in the girl, Pyrrha! hills most of the day. Looking for that scoundrelly rascal, Hurkan." Tl AGE spurred Duke Callion to "But I thought—" Quelchal stared at greater" speed than he knew he pos- him oddly. "You're sure, Duke Cal- sessed. Already the tiny ship was yards lion? You didn't send a message for away from the dock, and now its slight Pyrrha to meet you at the Kyklopes?" canvas was beginning to belly to the "I haven't been near the Kyk— breeze. But Duke's mind was racing Duke stopped suddenly, and his face along with his feet. There was a spot, tensed. "Pyrrha! She was here? She three hundred yards distant, where the received such a message?" boat must edge past the end of the "Yes. She left ... oh, some min- wharf to run through the channel-bar. utes ago." He swerved; cut in that direction. Duke cried, "Hurkan!" in a rage- It was man's puny strength against choked voice. "He has always wanted the untiring wind. For a prize, for a her! Now he has trapped her!" He wager, Duke Callion could never have started for the door. Behind him Quel- made it. But now he was running for chal cried, "Here! Wait for me!" but the greatest of all prizes—love. And it Duke Callion was waiting for no one. was love that gave him strength to On feet winged by fear for his bride, he streak down that three hundred yards was racing for the waterfront; for the of salt-crusted planking, devour the last dock at which was moored the Kyk- few feet at a heart-wrenching stride, and lopes. lunge himself into the air over twelve There was no one on the deck of the feet of rapidly widening water to land, Kyklopes; no one in sight on the docks, sprawling on his hands and knees, mo- either, until Duke loosed a shout. Then mentarily stunned and helpless, on the ! — — ;


deck of the runaway sloop 1 But Duke was off his feet in a diving In that one moment, Duke Callion tackle. He felt flesh between his arms was at the mercy of Hurkan. But the tightened them convulsively. Hurkan, ex-priest did not know it. He had not now squealing in plaintive little mews, guessed that there was anyone within kicked and struggled. One boot glanced miles of him, and the element of sur- off Duke's head streaming a shower of ; prise was Duke's salvation. Before stars before the young man's eyes. But Hurkan's stunned brain had time to re- Duke's grim clutch grew tighter. His act, Duke had regained his feet—and hands moved upward. with his footing, his strength! One instant they were straining there It was not love, now, but hate—com- on the hard deck; the next Duke had plete, unadulterated and vicious—that sprung to his feet. His arm drew Hur- drew back the corners of Duke Callion's kan to him; spun him around. The mouth in a snarl. Like a great cat, with- priest's throat was soft and yielding in out cry or warning, he flung himself the crook of his elbow. Duke panted, upon Hurkan. "Look you well, Hurkan! It is the Hurkan loosed a great scream of rage. last you will see!" His hand tugged at his girdle; was locked there by Duke's iron grip. For nrHE man's eyes bulged. His face be- an instant they stood there swaying, gan to purple, and there were dry, molded together by the sheer force of choking rattles in his throat. Duke their enmity; then Duke's fist rose once, tightened. Hurkan's chest heaved aim- twice lessly; vainly. He was throttling. His The anger mirrored on Hurkan's face tongue writhed out between bloody lips; faded into a look of numbed surprise. spurted as his teeth locked into it. Then His jaw fell slack, and his eyes rolled he made one last, frantic, slipping move- backward, inward. He slumped to the ment to the side deck. There was a sudden short, harsh In a flash, Duke was at Pyrrha's side. sound! Duke let his arm fall away as But now her eyes were open, and a Hurkan's body sank limply to the deck. tremulous smile hovered on her lips as Pyrrha screamed and covered her eyes she breathed, — with her hands. An involuntary shud- "Duke ! I knew you would " Then der coursed through Duke. He said those eyes became wide with sudden dazedly, fright, and her voice broke into a "He did it himself! Broke his own scream. "Behind you! Duke!" neck. But it is just as well, for I would ." Duke wheeled; couched, ducked. have killed him . . Something hissed over his head. Steel Then he stared down at his feet, star- death sang a crisp song by his ear ; then tled. For a faint, choking voice whis- whizzed past to splash into the bobbing pered huskily, depths beyond. "I'm not dead . . . yet . . . Duke Hurkan had staggered to his feet and Callion." was reeling there drunkenly. Now, see- Duke gasped. By all rights the man ing that his cast weapon had failed to should be in hell now. His head reach its mark, he spat like a caged sprawled at a weird, unnatural angle to cougar and turned. His sandaled feet his body. Only his indomitable hatred scraped drily on the deck as he made kept him alive at all. That and to dive overside. "I will live . . , long enough," "

116 AMAZING STORIES rasped that grave-cheating voice, "to find them and get out of this ! see the end ... of you all! Yes! Swiftly he turned the drifting sloop

Even now ... it is here!" about; began to manoeuver it in to har- The ship gave a sudden violent lurch. bor again. It took but minutes; still his The afternoon sky, which had begun to body was clammy with exertion and ap- dull into twilight, became a sheet of prehension when he finally rammed the quivering flame that scorched Duke's skiff headlong into the lower wharf and eyes. There came a startled cry from leaped ashore with Pyrrha in his arms. Pyrrha. Duke looked shoreward. Aztlan had become a mad-house. The very sky seemed afire, and earth With the first dull rumblings, curious was atremble. Colhuacan. The guard- heads had poked from doorways; seen ian mount of Aztlan! It was spouting the sheet of greasy fire that screened flame, smoke, ash! Erupting! the sky. Now all sixty-four million in- There was mockery in Hurkan's eyes habitants seemed to be in the streets of as Duke crouched over him; demanded the capital city; jostling, pushing, ask- wildly, "What is this? Speak, dog! ing questions to which there was no an- You know its meaning!" swer; racing aimlessly from one place

"Do not . . . move my head . . . to any other. Fruitlessly seeking secur- Duke Callion. I would ... lie here ity—for there was no security any- and see . . . the end of the world. where. Momentarily the rumblings "Yes ... 1 know about this. I did from the bowels of Colhuacan grew it. My workmen bored a shaft ... to deeper and more ominous. Each suc- the core ... of Colhuacan. Turned ceeding belch of living flame that leaped

. . . the icy sea waters . . . into its from the riven crest of the Crooked

glowing heart. Aztlan . . . and all that Mountain seemed to spiral higher into it stands for . . . is about to perish!" the tortured sky. Comprehension swept suddenly over Now a light, dusty ash, scorching hot, Duke Callion. He shouted, "The Del- began to fall from the livid heavens. uge! This is how it is destined to come Duke knew what that presaged. Vol- to pass! The Deluge!" canic ejaculation. Lava would be'flow- There was the palest ghost of a smile ing, white-hot, on the slope of Colhua- on Hurkan's lips now. He whispered, can. He redoubled his speed; reck-

"Yes. You have bested me in . . . but lessly jamming a way through the one thing . . . Duke Callion. I could crowds that hemmed his passage. Ev- not have her ... in life. But I will erywhere voices screamed mad queries. take ... her vision . . . now . . . with Some raised futile prayers to the gods. ." me in death . . Others cursed the Titans, intuitive that

And slowly, deliberately, Hurkan this was their doing . . . moved. Turned his head for the last Somehow, above the din, Duke heard time. Turned his face to look upon a voice calling his name. A hand tight- Pyrrha—and died. ened on his arm, and he turned to look Thus passed Hurkan the priest. into the face of Nata. The young cap- tain's face was not frightened. There CHAPTER XVIII was a look of ecstacy in his eyes. "You were right, Duke Callion! It The Deluge is the end of the world for those who J~\UKE cried, "Quelchal! Joey! would not heed your warning! Come to Nata and the others! We must my boat with me. All is prepared!" "


Duke had to scream to make himself should we never meet again. And heard. now—" burst inward, and Duke "I must find Quelchal and Joey ! Go The door back and get ready to cast off! Get cried out, "Joey!" as his companion clear of the island before the sea rushes raced into the shop. Behind him was in!" the smiling Cym, Dwyfan, and his Nata pointed at Pyrrha; shouted, bride. But none of them were smiling "Pyrrha! Shall I take her with me?" now. Their clothing was in tatters; The girl opened her eyes, hearing, their bodies wet with plastered ash and and shook her head. "Where Duke Cal- mud. There was a deep bleeding lion goes, there go I, too." scratch on Dwyfan's face. Dwyfach's Nata fell back reluctantly. He cried, alabaster beauty was concealed behind "I will wait for you until the last possi- a mask of fear and anguish; her auburn ble moment, Duke. Do not tarry too tresses tumbled about her shoulders in long!" a bedraggled cloud. Joey cried in a grief-stricken voice, nPHEN he was gone; fighting through "It is the end, D-d-duke! The e-e-end the milling mob back to the seques- of everything!" tered section of the harbor where he had "The others? Where are the others?" moored his ship. Joey spread his arms in a helpless Above the incessant roaring of the gesture. crowd came the sound of earth scream- "God knows. We were on the moun- ing. A loud explosion. The ground be- tain when the explosion came. The top neath them shook, and immense col- of the m-m-mountain blew off, and lava umns of hot water and mud, mixed with flooded down the mountain side. Valth- in his ship. He never heard brimstone, ashes, and lapilli, gushed gar was — from the crest of Colhuacan like a wa- our cries of warning before " He ter-spout. The stifling stench of sul- shuddered, wiping a grimy hand across phur made breathing difficult, and Duke his eyes as though to erase the memory. Callion, when he tried to wipe the sweat "AndOgyges? Yima? Angha?" from his streaming brow, found his "Out there—s-s-somewhere—in that hand smeared with gray volcanic ash. screaming mob. You can't tell f-f-friend And then he was at the doorway of from enemy. Did you find Hurkan?" QuelchaPs workshop; was breaking into "Dead!" said Duke. "I killed him. the room where Quelchal rushed to greet But it was he who caused this." him. Quelchal muttered, busy again with "You are all right, Duke Callion?" his tools, "It was fated to be so, Duke Callion. There was no way to escape "Iam—yes! But Aztlan is doomed! Come, Quelchal—we must flee to the it." mountains! Save ourselves while there Dwyfan said impatiently, "There are

! is still time still ships in the harbor. Nata is there. Quelchal shook his head. "It is too We must go, my friends!"

late! There is but one chance for me. Again Quelchal shook his head. "You go! " he answered. "I must That is to finish my ship— before the sea rushes in. But, here " He pressed stay. Duke—you will understand why. an envelope into Duke's hand. Duke Later." The bronzed Atlantean bent

clutched it instinctively; rammed it into once more over his incompleted time- a pocket. "This will explain much, ship. His hands flew from wire to wire —


as he tightened, arranged, rearranged. manity caught in a plunging sea of fear. Indecision slashed at Duke Callion Five who strained every muscle, every with torturing blades. He could not de- thought, to keep together. They raced sert Quelchal. Yet—at his side was past the temple of Poseidon; saw how Pyrrha. She must live. And she would the walls had split asunder. The gold not desert him. Joey was tugging at and ivory charioteer still lashed his sil- him; screaming frantic pleas. Grudg- ver, winged steeds toward Chaos. But ingly he moved toward the doorway; as they watched, the mighty statue glanced back for one final look. trembled. The effigy of King Poseidon "Goodbye, Quelchal—" lurched drunkenly and toppled side- The Atlantean's hands never stopped ways with a mighty crash. An agon- moving. His eyes were warm with ized scream rose as men saw that something deeper than friendship. He crushing weight plunging toward them said in that sweet, mellow voice Duke was never afterward to forget, Then Joey screi -ned, "Duke—jump ! "Not goodbye, Duke Callion. Just for your life " and suddenly their grasp ." till we meet again . . on each other's wrist was broken. A Then once more they were out on the vast crevasse was splitting the street streets, but things had become graver asunder; a hole dark and fearsome since they had entered the little work- gaped like a hungry maw, gulped bodies shop. The sun had disappeared com- of shrieking humans. pletely, now, behind a veil of stifling Duke saw Joey leap to safety; saw smoke and mud. But in its place, cast- Dwyfan lift his fainting wife and carry ing a weird, unearthly glow over the her beyond the gigantic crack. He felt maddened city, was a ruddy pillar of his own feet slide precariously beneath flame emanating from the volcano; a him; threw all his strength into a fran- livid glare that quivered wild, unnatural tic backward leap. shadows over the faces about them. He made it—but now Joey and Dwy- The ground no longer pulsed under fan were separated from him and their feet; it shook like a live thing Pyrrha by a crevice too wide for leap- stricken with the ague. Duke had all ing. He saw Joey cup his hands to his he could do to stay on his feet. About mouth; sensed, rather than heard, him frenzied Atlanteans stumbled and Joey's cry, fell, tore bleeding sores in their hands ." "The harbor! To the ships . . and knees, rose and tottered a few steps It was hard to breathe now. Each forward. gulping mouthful of air seared his lungs Now stones and bricks and masonry as he drew in stifling ash and the foul added to the hazard of the journey. stench of brimstone. Pyrrha was a

Buildings collapsed about them; nar- drag on his arm. But still he staggered rowly missing them as they toppled. on; fighting, struggling, elbowing a way Once as they quitted a narrow street, through the terrified crowd about him. Duke looked behind to see that both And now the docks were in sight. And walls of the street had caved suddenly here, indeed, humanity had gone mad. inward, burying a thousand screaming, Every ship, every tiny jelucca, was writhing souls beneath tons of detritus. jammed to the gunwales with frantic, struggling humans who, oarless, made HPHE earth rolled, quaked and trem- vain paddling movements at the turgid bled. They were five specks of hu- waters of the sound. Sails were lifeless !

SONS OF THE DELUGE 119 in the oppressive heat; weighted by was cold about him; cold and wet and inches of muddy effluvium from Col- horror. His lungs were stifled for air. huacan. He kicked out vainly, fighting even in

But it was only a short distance to that last terrible moment for another Nata's ship. There, Duke knew, he second of life. would find haven. He scourged his ach- Something hard and unyielding ing body for one last ounce of strength struck him in the small of the back to carry him on. agonizingly. He felt himself toppling

And then, over backward . . . rising . . . rising. "The sea!" Then soft bells were in his ears; pealing The roar rose from a million throats; their dainty chimes. A vast weakness drowning out all tumult that had been surged over him, soothing the anguish before. Duke, looking seaward, saw of his weary body. that of which man had oft heard legend This, then, was death. It was not before, but never seen. The crest of the hard to drown, Duke thought languid- first tidal wave sweeping in on the ly. To drift off into nothingness like doomed island of Aztlan. The fore- this; all harshness forgotten, the world runner of—the Deluge gone mad and torn apart. His love in

Like a great green wall, rimmed with his arms. . . . white, it roared down upon the hapless port; a hundred feet high and terrible. CHAPTER XIX It struck the ships at the harbor bar first; lifted them momentarily as Deucalion and Pyrrha though weighing them on a huge, cosmic balance, then chose amongst them with TJE was dead. He was dead—and the cold imperviousness of a judicial the old tales of a hell beyond the ghoul- god. Duke saw one ship . . . two . . . portals of death were true. This surmount that majestic crest miracu- ish light above him was the roofing of lously. But others spilled over before the underworld, and his nostrils shriv- it, dripping their screaming cargoes like elled at the sulphurous breath of shaken pods. And the mighty wave demons. swept inward . . . But—Pyrrha was at his side. Was Duke's voice cracked on a great, for- bending over him, whispering in his lorn cry. ear, "Duke! Duke Callion! You are

"It is the end, Pyrrha! The end..." alive!" And then, in that last, terrible mo- Duke roused himself. Every bone ment, Pyrrha was in his arms, her arms and muscle in his body was strained locked about his neck, her lips welded and sore, as though he had gone through to his, whispering, a thousand battles. To move was to "Then we die together, Duke Callion. suffer, but—he lived! He lay in the It is all I ask!" thwarts of a tiny, bobbing craft; a sin- And their bodies were crushed to- gle-sailed felucca that somehow wal- gether in a long, frantic, hungry kiss. lowed on the surface of the waters! It was warped, the single sail ripped and Then the flood struck! Duke felt a flapping, inches of water in the bottom, mighty force descending upon him; bat- but it floated! tening, wrestling, plunging. His arms He cried, "Pyrrha!" and gathered tightened about Pyrrha's form. There her into his arms once again. There 120 AMAZING STORIES was no need to say more. Both of them pocket. It was water-soaked, but legi- knew that a miracle had happened; that ble. The sky was lightening with false somehow the impartial sea had seen fit dawn. Hunkered in the weaving craft, to spew them forth out of its hungry Duke read. . . . gorge with the craft that had been borne "When you read this, Duke Callion, down upon them at the last moment. Aztlan will be no more. The hungry

The sea was a charnel house. AH sea will have devoured it. The tapestry about them, on the mottled surface of of Time will be justified. the water, sprawled the bodies of the "I write this in my shop, awaiting dead. Even the water seemed sluggish. your coming. A strange sense of pre- Duke guessed why. Miles upon square science is with me this morning, and I miles of muddy land lay beneath; all fear that ere the day ends, that will the area of the Aztlan that was. Only come to pass which I knew from the one part of the doomed island still rose beginning must occur. above the surface. That was the "Yes, I knew, Duke Callion! For- crooked knob of the destroying moun- give me—for I have lied to you, not tain iself—Colhuacan. once, but many times. Almost from the It was this which was spouting the beginning, I knew that our journey mto lurid flames that Duke had thought the the past would end thus—but there was fires of Hades. But the glare was less- hope in my heart that through a mir- ening, now; the streamers of greasy acle we might succeed in changing smoke twisting off in sultry spirals to these Things that Be. I worked toward die in the gray sky above. this miracle. And even as they watched, "Almost from the beginning. Not at

! "See 1 It is the end " said Duke Cal- first, Duke Callion. When we met in lion. They stood silent as there came my hovel at Chunhubub, I did not know one final, convulsive burst of belching that Time's demands were inexorable; flame and lava from the mouth of the that in finding you, 1 had merely done volcano. Then, like a foundering ship, that which the Fates had decided. I the whole mountain seemed to rear up knew only that I had found a friend. momentarily, stagger, and slide into the "Then we returned to Mayapan the cold bosom of the sea. Eld. And there it was that I first dis- Waters churned and bubbled where it covered that these adventures we have had sunk, and a vast whirlpool eddied undergone together are not new adven- toward the explosive mount with a hor- tures, but were written into the tapestry rible sucking sound. Gruesome, bloat- of Time long eons ago. ed bodies swirled and bobbed toward "It was when Mayapan deified joey the maelstrom with grotesque, swim- Cox, calling him Coxcox, that I first ming motions. Pyrrha moaned once, suspected the truth. For my reading softly, and Duke turned her head into had taught me, Duke Callion, that in the protection of his shoulder. ages past the Mayans worshipped a "It is the end," he repeated dully. white god, Coxcox, god of flame and "Our warning was vain. These things mystery, who came to them once, left had to be." them, and returned again. His name Then suddenly he remembered the was Coxcox, and he was known as the envelope Quelchal had thrust into his double-tongued god. . . . hand during those last, hectic moments "My suspicions were verified when at the shop. He fished it out of his we met Dwyfan and Angha and Ogyges ; "


and Yima in the dungeons of Titania. and my hope. If I can do this, I can

You had no way of knowing it, Duke return to the Aztlan of my time; give Callion—by my studies had taught me warning, and end forever this endless that these names were the legendary circle. names of men who escaped the Deluge "You have no way of knowing that I founded new dynasties after the sink- fail or succeed. In this lifetime which ing of Aztlan. The Sanscrit legends now lies before you, we will never meet mention Angha, father of the human again. race. Ogyges is worshipped by Greece "For my deception, I beg your for- as the founder of humanity. The giveness. In this strange new world Welsh claim descent from Dwyfan and into which I have led you, I ask you to Dwyfach—two who escaped the Del- remember only that of all things, Quel- uge. chal loved only one thing more than you. And that was—Aztlan ! "A BOUT yourself, Duke Callion, I Duke finished reading. There was pondered long. It is odd that it much in the letter which he did not

did not occur to me earlier . . . and understand. But slowly he began to that your marriage to the sweet Pyrrha see its meaning. And there were some did not give the clue I sought. But I things that gave him joy. tried, vainly, to reconcile your surname, If Quelchal's words were true—and Callion, with a hero of the past—and true they must be—Joey Cox was not could not. It was but a short time ago dead. Somehow the "double-tongued that I recalled the diluvian legend of the god had survived the Deluge. In good Arameans, directly derived from that time Joey would find his way back to of Chaldea, as it was narrated in the the Mayapan he loved; there to reign celebrated Sanctuary of Hierapolis, or again as "Coxcox."

Babbyce. . . . Dwyfan and Dwyfach, too, were still

"The myth runs thus : that when the alive. From their loins would spring a earth drowned in a sea of water, two new race which ultimately would people escaped. A man and a woman. Their that which, centuries hence, would be

names were—Deucalion and Pyrrha 1 known as the British Isles. So, also, "You, Duke Callion, are the 'Deu- with Yima the Iranian, Angha of

calion' of legend. This is so . . . this Boeotia, Chiba of Afric. And Nata.

is constant . . . this is as it was and Duke's eyes opened wide. Suddenly ever shall be. Our lives; yours and he was seeing the broad tapestry of mine and Joey's and those of the men Time from Quelchal's objective view- who suffered, laughed and fought with point. He was remembering the "hum- us, are inextricably bound, woven to- ble, godfearing sailor" who, with his gether into that huge tapestry we know wife and children, "listened to the voice as Time. Ever and again must we live of God" and "built himself a huge this legend through; returning ever ship." Filling the vessel with provi- from the Twentieth Century to act our sions, with animals and birds, "of every little roles, then rest, at last, until the clean beast," preparing for a Deluge time comes for us to return again. . . . whilst crowds jeered. . . . "Unless—and this is our sole salva- Nata! If the name of Duke Callion tion, Duke Callion—I can somehow con- could become, in the distorted memories trive to finish my second timeship be- of men yet unborn, Deucalion—could fore the Deluge. That is my prayer (Concluded on page 127) By WILLY LEY PROMINENT AUTHORITY ON ROCKETRY, SPACE FLIGHT AND ASTRONAUTICS

somebody put the question to me DUT Mars' lesser gravity is not the IFof how the development of civiliza- only reason. Even more important tion would have been different — for the solution of the problem are its compared to actuality—if it had taken two tiny moons, each about six miles in place on another planet, say Mars, I diameter and circling the planet at dis- would hesitate very much to give any tances of 5,860 miles (Phobos, in 7 definite answers. There are too many hours and 39 minutes) and 17,160 more or less accidental factors involved miles (Deimos, in 30 hours and 18 min- that could not be determined just by utes). It is evident that the nearness logical thinking. And many of the of these small moons would increase the fundamental facts are not even known efforts of rocket enthusiasts well enough to serve as a basis for rea- considerably and silence the critics at soning. the same time. About one particular point, however, And after space travel were an ac- I would be quite certain. Space Travel complished fact Phobos and Deimos would already exist if we lived on Mars. would be even more valuable. To reach There are various reasons for such an them less than escape velocity would assertion. One is that the gravity of be needed, to depart from them would Mars is so much smaller while the en- require only very small quantities of ergy stored in chemical compounds that fuel. Martian space ships, therefore might be used as fuels is necessarily the could set out on their exploratory trips same as on Earth. Mars' "escape vel- with full fuel tanks after re-fueling on ocity" is only 4.97 kilometers (3 miles) their moons. A similar advantage per second as compared with that of would hold true for returning space Earth amounting to 11.2 kilometers (7 ships. miles) per second. Which means that It would be much easier to land on a space ship with motors having an ex- one of the moons than on the planet haust velocity of 5 kilometers per sec- itself, not only because they exert ond (a very efficient rocket motor using hardly any gravitational influence but hydrogen as a fuel with liquid oxygen or also because the velocities of a return- liquid ozone could produce such an ex- ing ship and of one of the moons would haust velocity), would have to carry match more closely than that of the re- only 2.72 times its own weight in fuels turning ship and the planet. Thus a to attain escape velocity. To escape space ship could make a safe landing Earth's gravity the same space ship on a moon even if its fuel supply would would have to carry at least ten times be so low that an attempt of landing its own weight. That's the reason why on the planet would be plain suicide. space ships are difficult to design. All this certainly sounds nice but ap- 122 Space travel will net be a reality by first building a space ship, but by constructing a practical space station as a take-off point

parently it does not help us very much "// we make space rockets 0} very to know these things since we are not large size circle around Earth they living on Mars. Our own moon unfor- represent a kind oj small moon. They tunately does not offer any of these ad- don't have to be capable of descending vantages. It is so far away and so huge to Earth anymore. Connection between itself that an attempt to use it as a fuel them and the planet can be maintained depot for space ships could be compared by smaller rockets so that these large to a fuel depot in Cape Town for liners rockets (we'll call them observation scheduled to cross the Atlantic from stations) can be re-shaped more and New York to Le Havre. more for their special purpose. If the However, the existence of Phobos steady absence of a feeling of gravity and Deimos is valuable to us even should have unhealthy consequences— though we live on Earth. It constitutes which I doubt—two such rockets could of an example what space travel could be connected by a wire rope of a few gain by having near and comparatively miles in length and made to rotate small bodies like them around. In a around each other." way it is the same problem that con- It may be necessary to add a word or fronted the pioneers of transatlantic two about the scientific principles of air travel fifteen years ago. "If there such a station. A body, moving hori- were an island midway between Amer- zontally at a velocity of about eight ica and Europe" they said. And since kilometers (5 miles) per second, does there was no such natural island in the not drop to Earth anymore unless its desired position they contemplated the velocity is influenced by air resistance construction of an artificial (floating) or similar factors. This phenomenon island, as fuel depot, repair shop and which has received the name of "cir- temporary haven in bad weather. cular velocity" can be explained easily in simple language. It occurs whenever 17 XACTLY the same idea exists in the the spherical surface of a planet curves ' realm of the growing science of as- downward under the moving body just tronautics. If there is no Phobos or as fast as this moving body is pulled Deimos around, why not build one? The down by the gravity of the planet. idea may sound preposterous at first Thus, although falling and falling with- glance but actually it is very sound. It out end it can never touch the surface was introduced into science for the first of the planet, it falls around it. The time by Professor Hermann Oberth horizontal velocity at which this occurs who wrote in his book "Die Rakete zu depends upon mass and size of the den Planetenraumen" (I am translating planet in question, in the case of Earth from the second edition of 1925). it is about 5 miles per second. 124 AMAZING STORIES

Naturally no fuel would be needed to TT is not impossible that all attempts A keep such an artificial moon in space of flying to the moon may be fore- once "circular velocity" has been im- doomed to failure in spite of theoretical parted to it and the orbit is well estab- probability just because the rocket mo- lished. tors cannot burn sufficient quantities of fuel at the beginning of the flight when

yjyHEN Professor Oberth wrote the the ship is still heavy with more fuel. words quoted above he foresaw But there is hardly any doubt that many of the possible uses of such a sta- rocket motors powerful enough to im- tion, astronomical and terrestrial obser- part circular velocity to the ship will be vations, scientific experiments of all developed some time. And with cir- kinds under new conditions (large air- cular velocity the station in space can less space at the disposal of the experi- be constructed and after that space menters, freedom from gravity drag and travel has ceased to present difficulties. other disturbing factors) and he also Even while building the station the realized the advantages for space flight engineers in charge will experience a itself. But he believed that such a sta- number of pleasant surprises. They tion would be one of the later results of will have to keep in mind constantly space travel. that every pound of material to he To give but one example: A space transported into space will require tre- ship designed to take off from Earth for mendous amounts of fuel. But they a trip to the moon and back, carrying will also find that the number of pounds several passengers and necessary pro- to be carried will be surprisingly small. visions, would weigh about as much as Since the whole thing is falling freely a medium sized ocean liner. In order all the time there are practically no to take off the amount of forty tons of strains and stresses to be considered, fuel would have to be bumed during the everything can be built so flimsily that first second. If the ship were to reach it would not last for seconds on the sur- a station 5000 kilometers (3000 miles) face of Earth. The reflecting mirror of from the surface the amount of fuel to a large telescope, for example, could be be burned during the first second is only thinner than a watch crystal and to hold about two tons. To take off from the it in position three quarter inch mag- station for the Moon would require only nesium rods would be ample. . . . 400 pounds of fuel per second! Oberth, when reading this, will prob- The advantage does not lie in the ably mutter that a tenth of an inch saving of fuel, as may be thought. The would do just as well. And he'd be right. ship would have to re-fuel on the sta- Realizing all the advantages briefly tion and since the fuel for re-fueling has touched in this article it is easy to pre- to be brought there—thus necessitating dict than one day there will be a station the expenditure of more fuel to carry in space. The idea will not be aban- it up—there is no saving if the whole doned like that of an artificial island in procedure is considered. But it will be the Altantic because a station in space very much easier to build rocket motors will always have definite uses of its own burning two tons of fuel per second at and will be valuable to space ships even the most than to construct monsters if they (say after the advent of atomic with a capacity of 40 tons per second. power) would not need it anymore. "

Do Cave Men Still Live?

By James F. Scheer

Persistent stories continue to come out of Canada telling of the existence of a

tribe of primitive cave men still living

THERE are strange whisperings very tall—maybe seven feet or more! among the Chehalis Indians and His face was ugly. He had long arms those of the Skwah reservation in that reached his knees. He chased me,

! the mountainous Harrison Lake Dis- but I was so scared I ran too f ast trict of British Columbia, Canada. An occasional witness says that the They walk warily in the forests. Sasquatch have broad noses that spread They keep their eyes and ears wide over most of their faces. On this point open—for one reason. The Sasquatch, exist the only differences of opinion. giant, hairy men have again been seen Further evidence that Sasquatch may in the region. be living in the vast mountain wilder- For more than twenty-five years now ness has been uncovered by Captain A. most of the white men near Harrison Warde, who has examined some of the Lake have pooh-poohed the Indians' rocky caverns and found remains of stories that such a forgotten race of fires and also odd inscriptions chiseled hairy giants is living in the mountain in the rock—inscriptions far different caves. But recently reports have been from any used by the Chehalis. so numerous that the Vancouver Mu- Anthropologists still refuse to be- seum is about to make an investigation. lieve that there are such creatures as The awakened interest of the Van- Sasquatch, but meanwhile the Chehalis couver Museum, plus the fact that ar- tribe records new sight evidence. chaeologists have dug up a race of gi- Recently an Indian named Tom Ce- ants in Mexican mountains, indicates dar was fishing from his canoe on Mor- that there may be fact in the stories. ris creek. He was near the high over- Several century old legends of the hanging bank when a large rock Chehalis tribe give almost the same de- splashed into the water. scription of the Sasquatch as are offered Drenched, he wiped the water from by today's witnesses—both white men his eyes and looked up angrily. What and Indians. he saw made him goggle with fright. Not long ago an Indian boy was There on the stony ledge was a barrel- chased by a naked, hair-covered crea- chested, hairy giant who had a second ture near Harrison Mills. rock in his hands and threw it at Cedar.

"I thought it was an animal at first," But Cedar paddled furiously and es- he said. "But I looked closer into the caped. brush and I saw it was a man. He was Most of the Sasquatch seen by the 126 AMAZING STORIES natives in and around Harrison Lake quatch tells that his doubt vanished have attempted to harm someone. And while he and friends were in swimming the one Peter Williams, a Chehalis In- near Yale. dian, encountered was no exception. "I looked toward the bank and there "It happened on a May night," he among the trees I saw a huge man, explained. "I was something like a mile naked and hairy, watching us curiously. from the reserve near the foot of a He had big eyes and looked very kind. mountain when something rose out of I was about to speak to him when he the thickets. It looked like a great ran back into the woods." black bear oh its hind legs at first. One of the few white men to see a

"It ran toward me, and I knew it was Sasquatch is Herbert Point, of Agassiz. a man. I ran toward my canoe. I heard He and his girl friend were picnicking the Sasquatch crashing through the on the outskirts of the little town when brush after me. I paddled across the they saw a grotesque figure of a man stream. It is a shallow one, and the approaching them. giant waded out after me. I reached "He was twice as big as the average the other side, jumped out, and ran into man," said Point. "He had arms that my house, bolting the door behind me." almost touched the ground and a hairy And Peter Williams' brother Paul body like an animal." had an equally harrowing experience. Women as well as men have been "I was fishing on the bank of the frozen with fright by the Sasquatch. A creek when I heard a branch break," he woman who lives on the outskirts of said. "It was some distance behind me. the tiny town, Harrison Mills, was do- I turned and saw a giant coming toward ing her weekly washing when she heard me. I ran, but he didn't chase me far. a low growling noise. I saw him snatch the fish I had caught On the edge of , a huge and go back into the woods." hair-covered man loomed up suddenly. Both brothers claim to have seen a The woman, in fright, fell into her wash Sasquatch man and woman recently. tub with a splash. Terrified, she pulled But the hairy creatures did not follow. herself out and started to run. But the Usually when people who live near cave man had disappeared. Harrison Lake see the hairy men it is Yes, the eye-witness' stories are spring. And every fourth year during many. But most of them are told by spring they encounter more Sasquatch Indians. And British Columbians gen- than ordinarily. erally take them with a barrel of salt. Verbal records of the Chehalis Indi- Chehalis Indians are rapidly becom- ans for more than three generations ing more shy of telling their experiences show that there is some sort of signal with Sasquatch to white men. They fire burning on the tallest peak of the are too proud a tribe to stand the scoff- Chehalis range every fourth year in ing and laughter. Yet today they are springtime. The fire burns for four finding some satisfaction. Perhaps nights and then disappears. soon their stories will be proved. "These are fires of worship made by Now the Vancouver Museum is to the Sasquatch," the Indians claim. investigate—to scour the Harrison A native of Chilliwack, Charles Vic- Lake country, forest and caves for the tor, who did not believe much in the Sasquatch—to prove once and for all signal or religious fire and who doubted that there is or isn't a strange race of that there was any such thing as a Sas- giant cave men in British Columbia! "


SONS OF THE DELUGE craft restlessly. (Concluded jrom page 121) Duke studied the damage. Yes, he decided, a man could restore the ship to not Nata's name become . . . Noe good condition. And a man and his . . . eventually . . . Noah? wife could sail it to land. To a bright new land of promise, where awaited J-TURKAN,* too. Quelchal had not them more adventures. mentioned him, but Duke knew Upon their shoulder s his and that somewhere in history must persist — Pyrrha's lay a great obligation. A a legend of his perfidy. With so many — new race was theirs to found. They it who had hated him alive. was who must preserve what little It was all very puzzling. And Duke knowledge, what culture, remained of Callion, ever more the man of action Aztlan the Eld. Until such time as, in than of conjecture, roused himself. the far-distant future, a bright-eyed, False Dawn had ended, and the little younger Duke Callion should once ship rolled lazily on the bosom of a more set forth from Chunhub upon a slothful, brackish sea. Off to the East backward journey into Time to prevent shone the rising sun, now gallantly that which was, and evermore was to struggling to burst through the veil of be. sultry ash that sifted down from the Pyrrha interrupted his reverie softly. heavens. A faint breeze stirred from She said, "Look, Duke Callion. The e sails of his tiny sun is finding a way through the va-

! * "Then the waters were agitated by the will pors of the Heart of Heaven, Hurkan, and a great in- "It greets a new world," he mur- undation came upon the heads of these creatures. mured. "A world that is yours—and . . . They were ingulfed, and a resinous thickness mine!" descended from heaven . . . the face of the earth was obscured, and a heavy, darkening rain com- He crushed her to him for a long mo-

menced rain by day and rain . . . — by night. ment. Her soft, sweet fragrance more There was heard above their heads a great noise, than repaid the world he had lost for- as if produced by fire.

"Then were men seen running, pushing each ever. He kissed her again . . . and other, filled with dismay; they wished to climb yet again. Then he turned to ponder upon their houses and the houses, tumbling down, the problem of mending that torn sail. fell to the ground; they wished to climb upon

the trees and the trees shook them off. . . . Water There was a frown on his forehead; an and fire contributed to the universal ruin at the itching impatience in his fingers. time of the last great cataclysm which preceded For the father of a new race, there is the fourth creation."—The "Popul Vuh," sacred

book of the Central American Indians. much work to be done. . . . r UNDER FIRE WITH THE SIGNAL CORPS PHOTOGRAPHERS! S

The camera has become one of the most important items of military equipment! In the hands of the Army Pictorial Service, a branch of the Signal Corps, it is a powerful instrument in both peace and war! Don't fail lo read this timely article on how the camera serves the role of publicity agent, teacher, blunt historian, liaison officer, and espionage agent extraordinary!

. . . Just one of the many fascinating features in the JANUARY ISSUE CET YOUR COPY NOW! 128 AMAZING STORIES

ADAM LINK'S VENGEANCE ical puppets, with which he could play as he desired. (Concluded jrom page 27) Hillory darted out of the door. His I aimed another blow, straight for face was a ghastly white. I clutched what would be the human jaw. at him, caught his coat, but he tore Suddenly it was over. loose. He ran, as though from some The other robot's arms dropped. monster. And at that moment, I was a There was a stunned, dazed air about monster. I pounded after him. What the whole body. It swayed a moment, things I screeched, I do not know. then its knee swivels bent and it crashed He ran past the edge of the cliff, tak- to Earth. It lay sprawled, eyes closed. ing the shortest course to the road. Ab- For a long moment I stared. I heard ruptly a great piece of the cliff-edge no sound from the other body. It lay parted from its matrix. The stupendous utterly rigid, quiet. And then I rea- vibrations of our battle had loosened lized it was dead. The brain had died the piece. It plunged below. Hillory first. My final blow had killed Eve! was on it. I stood looking down at the battered I dug my foot-plates into the soil and wreck. I looked beyond it. I could leaned backward, barely halting at the .almost see a body like Kay's lying edge of the fissure. I looked down. I there, a human body, the real Eve. Her saw the white dot of Hillory's body eyes were closed. Perhaps there was a land. I knew he hadn't survived the peaceful smile on the lips. fall. I turned slowly. I am writing this now, in the cabin. Slowly, my steps dragging, I strode When I am done, I will go with Eve. for the cabin, to confront the man who There may not be a heaven for robots. had killed my Eve. The man who con- But neither is there a hell—unless sidered us nothing more than mechan- Earth is it.

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he enlists until he retires . . . then judge for yourself whether or not our Army presents the most attractive radio proposition for those who are am- bitious to advance. Don't fail to read this stimulating account of the U. S. A. Signal Corps, just one of the many brilliant features in the RADIO NEWS NOW ON SALE AT ALL NEWSSTANDS'. TRUTH IS A PLAGUE1 129

TRUTH IS A PLAGUE! vator, making for the controls. . . . (Concluded jrom page 75) cage in which Doris was lying. Time p\ORIS stood close against Lance was a blur now, and every frantic sec- Randell, and his arms were around ond spent in tearing at the bolt fasten- her. They stood in the street outside ings seemed like a section of eternity. the Weston Towers. The angry howl He knew he wasn't going to make it, of the city had subsided to a tranquil felt his legs growing weak in their grip hum, above which could be heard the around the cable, felt the flesh tearing drone of many airplanes, growing open wider and wider on the hand softer, fainter. clutching the coil. But he continued Tiny grains of sand were falling in feverishly. many places over the city, but they were The grilled siding was almost opened, unfelt, locked in droplets of rain. And one more bolt, it was loose. . . . the rain kept falling gently, steadily, Through the daze of sweat, exhaus- washing away the madness and sorrow tion and pain Randell knew that he had and death that a plague of truth had to throw all his weight over the half- given freedom. side of the death car, and as he realized Lance Randell looked down at the the fact, he caught a split-second vision girl. of the vial of nitroglycerine on the floor, "Why, darling," he said softly, of the control lever that might slip with "you're crying I" the slightest jarring of the cage. She turned her face upward. "No," He grabbed, releasing all but his legs she murmured, "it's just the rain on my from the cable, got his elbows over the cheeks." side of the car. Now his legs were free, He drew her tighter. "Liar," he

and he was clambering into the tiny ele- whispered. . . .

Statement of the ownership, management, circulation, etc., required by the Acts of Congress of August 24. 1912. and March 3, 11)33, ot Aniasin- Stories, published monthly at CMeago. lUinots. for February, 194C State of IlHnnle. County of Cook, sb. lielnre me. a notary public in and for the State and county aforesaid. wraonaUr appeared A. T. Pulled, who, baring bean duly sworn according to law, deposes and says that he Is the business manager of Amazing Stones ana ov-.s.svsiilii, o:e lias o:n: o Oirel i lis: diss iSliovvisi.- is i >:i .sens oi in caption, if s usi!y iisoor, itit. oiivois i ion; sic , of li e aforesaid potvficatf,;n for !he dais shown the slawe reouired Or to. Act of Ai.ssist 2i, 1913. as amended by tho Act of March 3, 1933, embodied In section 537, Postal Laws and Regulations, printed on the reverae or this form, to wit: 1. That the names and addresses pu oisiier, editor, til. managing editor, and business managers are: Publisher W. B. 2!ff. 60S S. Dearborn St., Chicago, ; Editor, B G I. avis. OSS so D.-aiison if:,, illnloaeo, 111: Managing Editor. It. Palmer, 908 S, Dearborn St.. Chicago. 111.: Business Manager, A. T. Pillion, (108 S. Dearborn St.. Chicago. 111. 2. That the owner is: (If owned by a corpora- tion, its naoic and address must be stated and also Immediately thereunder the names and addresses of stockholders

.avoir;.: 0 :K: s Oi o.o.v of v ia: SSOOOO ::: OS. if oot oV-OOC io . . , so il: was : of the individual owners must be given. If owned by a firm, company, or other uninoomorafod concern, its name lisvas so.a i.rol a.l.iios. a. vssli a., loss, of sash individual oossta.f. nas: Oo ::ivs:;i. : villi Publishing Company, S.

ifirv . fi s> Ill: B. Ziff. n.ssnsso .: , it.iva.o lil.: IV. E, i'o H s Dearborn St.. Chicago. W. 608 S. Dearborn St.. Chicago, m. il. G. Davis ros s Dcwberr, St., Chisago, 111 3. That the known bondholders, Itiortgageoa, and olher ss . iaO-ivvs ovvoioa so Ivoidiiig 1 iso wiit or more oi total amount nf bonds, mortgages, or other securities ate:

iff Ihoro in,, nooo, so slate, i None. 1. That the two paragraphs neat above, giving the names of the owners, slaves holders, soil security holders. 11 any, contain not only the list of stockholders and aerjurity holders as they appear upon the hooka of loo eooapanv lad. also, in eases where Iho stockholder or security holder appears upon the books of the

Ovaapiii . as : vosivs or in aov other lldueia.ry relation, Iho nsioa oi ile i-o so < o: snrsiosa fas visa: snap is oat, a. :s satins, is aioai also uiai fin said two paragraphs contain statements embracing affiant's ldll knowledge and boii.l ass to the eircutiist a eves a.ial .sso'litions iindar which stockholders and seCuritO' hnlders who do nnt appear upon the hooks of the voi usinv a,v, ho'ai atsoi, si d aesairitlas in a capacity other than that of a bona iirte owner: and this af- fiant has no reason to bellore that anv other nersou, association, or corporation has any interest direct or indirect io the said,. bends. 01 oihor securilics than as so stated by him. 5. That the average number of copies of each issue

io liiies 1 disis.ltsalvi!. liis-i.e.;. i*,. mails as otlsevvvise. io paid soO.aaii.asr-. da.:.,:. Oa Uv..iv. mosnlis proeedinii flu Oate shown above Is (This information is required from daily publications only.) A. T. Pullen. Business Manassas iSivosiovo of bosiooss manager.) Sworn to and suhs.rih.-d b.-1'otc me this 27th day of September. 1938. [Seai.J M. Cnass. Notary Public. (My oomrroesintt expires February US, 1619.) we think that's what would happen. So, in our opinion, any change in the rotation time of the Earth, either faster or slower, would result in a loss of waking hours to mankind. So let's not change, eh ?

TTERE'S a note that might interest you who fol- low the fortunes of science fiction authors. Orlin Tremaine, who has done a lo/ of science fic- (Continued from page 7) tion, can also do other material in bang-up style. He's in SOUTH SEA STORIES, Amazing's new Let us say, for instance, that the Earth's day sister magazine, with a fascinating adventure story. becomes 36 hours long. 18 hours of night and IS Why not try the south sea atmosphere? hours of day. The human being is an adaptable creature. He has slept during the dark hours for O EMEMBER the "future air" stories that the long ages. "He will no doubt continue to do so. old Amazing Stories used to feature as science Thus, if the change were to come about gradually, fiction? Well, they're fact today, and Amazing's he would increase his sleeping period to conform. new brother, AJR ADVENTURES might be called And therefore, he would cut down his waking Air Science Fiction. It's strictly modern, and we hours to one half of his life, instead of one third, advise you to try a copy. as is the case with the present setup.

back cover this month is on evolution, and AND now, all you sharks who are about to OUR what might happen if cosmic rays should send swarm all over us, when we begin to say the it running wild. Scientifically, this is something reverse would need to occur, we aren't going to that could easily happen, and is just an example say it. The reason is obvious. Cut the day to 5 of the delicate balance this planet maintains for hours and the night to five hours (in other words its living creatures. make the rotation time of the earth 10 hours in- stead of 24) and we find that adaptable human winds up the Observatory clock for being sleeping half his life away instead of one WHICH month. third, because he fails to adapt himself to the ex- this issue. See you next Rap tent of three hours, and sleeps all night. At least, BEGINNING NEXT MONTH! ALFRED R. STEBER'S GREATEST STORY BLACK WORLD Here's a treat you mustn't miss.' Carver, Board the British Space Liner Josephine with Interplanetary Patrolman John for Titan and Scientist Caldwell, and Interplanetary Sportswoman Ina Maiden, bound Here's a story treat yourself to a ride to the finest entertainment in many a moonl ever read. that will linger in your memory. It's one of the finest we have yourself: A long novel, presented in two big installments. As you read, you'll ask marvel does Professor Caldwell "Who is the mystery pirate What incredible scientific in the seek on the Black World? What menace threatens earth because of this mystery interplanetary depths of space? The answer will stagger you. "Black World" is the novel of the yearl Don't miss the first installment in the



The following quit has b«en prepared as a pleas- 3 —If sodium chloride is common table salt then ant means of testing your knowledge of things what is the heaviest element? But if sodium is common table salt is scientific and pseudo-scientific. We offer it solely not then what heliotherapy? 4—If the sum of the angles of a triangle is equal for the pleasure it gives you and with the hops 360 degrees then is it possible to find the square that it will provide you with many bits of informa- toot of a negative number? But if the sum of the tion thai will help you to enjoy the stories In this angles of a triangle does not equal 360 degrees magazine. If you rate 50% correct in your answers, then how many stars are there in the big dipper? you are considerably ahead of the average. Give 5 —If water is the combination of two parts of yourself 2'/2 points for each correct answer. hydrogen and one part of oxygen then how many incisors are found in the human mouth? But if water is not the combination of two parts hydro- A MATTER OF CHOICE gen and one part oxygen then what is the dis- tance of the earth to the sun?

! —The best way to cure myopia would be to (1) eat starchy foods; (2) wear glasses; (3) ex- MATCH THESE! ercise the affected area; (4) bath regularly. 2 —We are probably all vaccinated, but if you 1 —Constellations weren't you would contact— (10 measles; (2) ty- ) Aries A the lion phoid fever; (3) smallpox; (4) spirocheta- pallida. ( 1— — (i ) 2—Cancer B the ram 3—A drug that's prepared from Indian Hemp is — ( ) 3—Leo C—the warrior —(1) Codeine; (2) Opium; (3) Heroin; (4) Hashish. ( ) 4—Taurus D—the crab

( ) 5—Orion E—the bull 4—The disease of sciatica would cause you to have pain in the— (1) neck; (2) hip; <3) head; 2—"Ologies" (4) heart. ) 1—Ornithology A—rocks 5—The type of soil that would hold the most ) 2—Geology B—germs water would me— (1) sand (2) rich loam (3) 3 ) —Bacteriology C—man gravel dried leaves. ) 4—Anthropology D—stars 6—A frog's tongue is attached at the— front; (1) ( ) 5—Astrology E—birds (2) back; (3) side; (4) top of the mouth. 3—Elements 7—A diamond is composed of practically the same material as— (1) iron; (2) coal; (3) lead; ( ) 1—Copper A—Fe ( (4) copper. ' ) 2—Sodium B—Au

( ) 3—Iron C—Cu 8—The earth is nearest the sun in — (1) autumn; Tin (3.) summer; (3) spring; ($) winter. ( ) 4— D—Na 0 ) Gold Sn —The new discovered nylon, which is a syn- ( 5— E— thetic silk, is made of— (1) coal; (2) glass; (3) 4—"Meters" rubber; (4) tires. ( ) 1—Odometer A—used to determine 10—A deficiency of vitamin B would cause — (1) specific gravity. scurvy; (2) beri-beri; (3) pellegra; (4) rickets. ( ) 2—Variometer B—used to detect adult- erants.

( ) 3—Hydrometer C—instrument by which BRAIN WORK! hardness of metals can be ascertained. 1 —If one ergon is the resistance of two dynes ( Q) 4—Diagnometer D—measures distance over a distance of one centimeter then what is ( ) 5—Sclerometer E—measures magnetic forces on earth. the work of an eschatologist? But if one ergon* is not the resistance of two dynes over a distance —Alphabetic Science of one centimeter then for what purpose is a ( ) 1-T A—ray larynogoscope used? ( - ) 2-Y B—clef 2—If a zygospore is not the union of two ga- ( ) 3-X C—wrench metes then by what type of is malaria mosquito ( ) 4-G D—tube fever transmitted? But if a zygospore is the union ( ) 5-S E—square of two gametics, what is cretinism? (Answers on page 142)

131 —



QUESTIONS This department will be eonducted etch month at t source of Information tor our readers. Address your —— and ——— letters to Question and Answer Department. — AMAZING STORIES, 608 S. Dearborn St., Chicago. 111.

Q. Do scientists know anything about the tem- Mexico. This oil is distilled into kerosene, gaso- perature of Mars?—Eruiin Wilson, Birmingham, line, etc, and the residue hardens into a substance Alabama. known as asphaltic cement. It is this cement that A. According to observations made by Dr. Co- is most used to build roads. * * * blentz of the Bureau of Standards, during a re- cent opposition, the surface temperature of Mars Q. How many different kinds of fish are there? seems to be warmer than it had been previously —Ole Olson, Red Wing, Minn. true fishes. estimated. He discovered that its daytime tem- A. There are about 20,000 kinds of * * * perature, around noon, was sometimes as high as — 40 degrees to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. This is very Q. How long is a link, surveyor's measure? well suited to human life, and as far as tempera- Gilbert Stetz, Buffalo, New York. ture goes, we would not he inconvenienced. These A. A link is 7.92 inches. * * * temperature tests were made with red and violet the plants light, which revealed a much denser atmosphere Q. What are the names of some of than had been previously supposed. This discov- that eat flies and other insects?—L. B. ery raises the surface temperature readings. A. The Venus Flytrap is the most widely * * * and popularly known. Others are the sarracenia, There are still Q, What means is used to measure the gravity the teasel, and the nepenthes. of another planet? How can these findings be others, not generally classified. * * * considered accurate?—A. K. D., St. Louis, Mo. A. We compute the surface gravity of other Q. Does the compass always point due north, worlds by dividing the planet's mass—relative to or is there some variation? What is meant by the Coast and that of earth—by the square of its diameter. "line of no variation" mentioned in the Since these computations are based on Earth Geodetic Survey?—Dorothy Remold, Milwaukee, standards, we can be fairly certain that they Wisconsin. due would be accurate on a body which is much the A. No, the compass does not always point "line of varia- same in relative makeup. Thus we find that we north. In fact, it is only on the no can compute other planet gravities by Earth tion" you mention that it does. This line has standards, and discover that a body weighing 100 been charted as running through western South pounds on Earth would weigh only 82 on Venus Carolina, and N. N. W. through Michigan, in the is irregular, and and 38 on Mars, etc. United States. The line quite * * * seems to have no definite delineation. It may be United States, Q. What does radium look like?—Harry H. seen on the isogonic chart of the Gardner, Western Springs, Illinois. dated 1920. * * * A. In the form in which it is usually sold, radium appears as a white or nearly white sub- Q. What is the speediest animal?—Arthur Ta- stance which looks very much like common salt, tum, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. India hunting or baking soda. It is obtained from the ores in A. The cheetah, used in as a the form of hydrous sulphate, chloride, or bro- leopard, is supposed to be the fleetest of four- the cheetah is not a mide, and it is these salts which are in commercial footed animals. However, solely use. distance runner, and its speed is confined * * * to short dashes. It can run down any antelope Q. The asphalt used in paving roads is sup- or deer in a very short time. posed to come from two sources. If there is any other source than Trinidad, where is it? — M. Q. Noting your illustrated feature on Mt. Ev- James, Tucson, Arizona. erest, I am curious to know if the Matlerhorn Beard, A. Your information is nearly correct. There has ever been climbed?—Charles E. Cov- are two kinds of asphalt, but they come from ington, Kentucky. more than two places. Natural asphalt is found A. On July 14, 1865, a party of mountain in Trinidad, in Bermuda, in Venezuela, and other climbers headed by E. Whyraper, climbed the places. It is found in natural deposits generally Matterhorn, the first to accomplish the feat. Their in the form of lakes. The other type of asphalt ascent has been duplicated several times since. is a result of distilling asphaltic crude oil from Three of the party, and the guide were killed the wells of Texas, Oklahoma, California, and on the initial attempt. AMAZING STORIES 133 MONTHLY MERIT AWARD

RALPH MILNE FARLEY, "The Hidden Universe," $50.00 DON JOHNSON, 3530 Kenwood Ave., Kansas City, Mo., $10.00

There you are, readers; the winners in the December issue contest. Mr. Farley has hung up the enviable record of having duplicated his rating (81%) for the second time on his serial (which ties the only other 81% rating thus far, which went to David V. Reed for his "Where Is Roger Davis"). So, for winning first place with both installments of his serial, there can be no question of Mr. Farley's right to the prize. Nor can there be any question to his right to say "I have written the most popular story in Amazing Sto- ries since the Merit Award went into effect." Congratulations, Ralph, and come again. Incidentally your editor feels a little bit in- clined to brag on this one, because he really pushed this yarn through, and left his record for judgment entirely in the readers' gentle hands. The record is now in "prize winning" shape. Our congratulations also, to Don Johnson for his letter and his good judgment in select- ing the stories in almost correct order. Don missed only on the last two. He had 'em reversed. The rating of the stories in the December issue follows: Story Votes Rating

1. .81 Hok Goes to Atlantis 1230 .76

3. Fugitives From Earth 1 1 80 ,73 4. Ben Gleed, King of Speed .45

5. Gulpers Versus Earthmen 684 .42

6. Liners of Space 677 .42

Now let's have plenty of action in the contest for February. It's a fine bunch of stories, in your editor's opinion, and you'll be doing yourself a favor by reading them fast, and sending in your vote.

Don't forget that $10.00 is "easy money" for a reader who knows what he wants to read. Get in on the voting! Only two things to do: rate the stories and write a "best" letter. CLIP THIS COUPON AND MAIL

Amazing Stories, 608 S. Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois. In my opinion the stories in the February issue of Amazing Stories rank as follows: No. Here ADAM LINK'S VENGEANCE ROCKETS OVER EUROPE UNDERSEA PRISONER



City State

Attached is my letter of 20 words or more, on my reason for selecing story number one for that position. Q Check here. RICHARD O. LEWIS Author of tion of band director of a clown band which THE THIRTEENTH MR. TUMPS couldn't blow a note. Back to college again—broke. a girl from home town who was AM elated I I am the happiest man in the I found my I world! I am walking feet-foremost among also working her way through. We compared the clouds! living expenses one evening and came to that And I'll tell you why: Ever since I can re- time-worn conclusion that two could live as member, I have had the secret desire to write the cheaply as one. We were married the next week Story of My Life. (Who hasn't!) And here, at in the Little Brown Church in the Vale—from the request of the editor, is my golden oppor- the song of the same name. tunity. The realization of my dream. After that, I scrubbed out a little cafe each On second thought, maybe I'm not so happy morning, worked in a truck garden every after- after all. Here at hand is my golden opportunity noon, ate tomatoes three times a day and played —and I don't know where to begin. But, after cornet in a theatre orchestra at night. I even all, I suppose I should attended a few of my start at the very begin- classes. ning — that being the Christmas time (don't obvious place to begin let anyone kid you) r-uch ventures. found me irreparably Anyway, you're stuck broke, nearly destitute to with it. And so you of raiment and ready may as well raise the dig ditches — any kind curtain gently and of ditches for anybody. settle back comfortably A phone call saved into your seats while I the day. I had been give you a short concert elected to finish out the of egotistical hom -toot- year as a teacher in a ing. small town, a teacher of I was born on the music and a boy's phys- Tdes of March a few ical education. I lasted five years. j ears after the turn of the century just south From the above, one of the sunny side of a might get the impres- slack pile in an un- sion that, after all, I mapped coal-mining am just a normal sort camp somewhere in the of person. But I am corn-belt. not. Far from it. I I became extremely have an affliction. It dizzy as a youth from is a strange malady wandering around and known as fiskitis — a around that slack pile, type of amnesia which and have been slightly causes the patient to LEWIS confused ever since. RICHARD O. forget position, family, I was subjected to home and all other un- the formalities of high school and college. I re- important things and to go wandering about member very little concerning high school, except through the country with a pocket full of dreams that I usually kept my desk littered with silly and a hat full of fish-hooks. books on astronomy, electricity, chemistry and Once, I awakened to find myself floundering other subjects quite foreign to the school's curricu- about in a trout stream high up in the Rocky lum. Mountains. The local superintendent of schools predicted a Another time, I found myself far up in the future for me, a future far from rosy. (And how wilds of central Canada with a companion, eighty- right he was!) five pounds of dried food, a canoe and an aching I was too busy working my way through col- back. lege to remember too much about that phase of At still another time, I came to out on the full of my life. I quit once to travel for a season with Gulf of Mexico with a row-boat young Christy Bros. Big Five-Ring Wild Animal Show. hammer-head sharks, sting-rays, mullet, croaker, During that time, I held the most laudable posi- trout, flying-fish and what-nots. Outside the boat AMAZING STORIES 135

was tied an alligator-gar who had proven to be Science-fiction, I think we will all agree on this, a better man than I. (After several attempts to is the best of them all. If 1 didn't think so, I get him into the boat, and after getting knocked would be writing something else. And if you down just that many times, I had finally decided didn't think so, you wouldn't be reading this. that there was room enough in the boat for only When Amazing Stories' editor requested this one of us.) sketch and a picture, to be sent to bim immedi- Many times, I have been found wandering ately, it threw this household into more confusion about various lakes and rivers. Three times last than a proposed camping trip could. The entire summer. On one of those occasions, I was a family possessions were instantly turned upside hundred miles down a muddy river in an oddly- down and inside out in a frantic search for a pic- shaped, leaky craft of my own uncertain con- ture. struction. There were pictures of Aunt Minnie when she

The malady, once it gets hold of you, is per- was a little girl, pictures of Uncle Bill, pictures sistent. It never lets you rest. Eight now it is of Grandfather in his soldier uniform, pictures of telling me I should sail around the world in a boats, of the children, of hundreds of fish and twenty-foot boat. Some day I shall probably lakes and rivers and all sorts of things. But was awaken to find myself . . . there a picture of me anywhere? No. But why go on explaining this disease! Any- Finally, after an hour or so, two were found. one who has been afflicted with it knows its One a snap shot, the other a beautiful obviously- symptomology as well as I, and anyone not af- posed one. I am sending them both along, hop- flicted with it wouldn't understand anyway. ing he will throw them away. My first experience at writing was during col- In case he does toss them out the window, I lege. I sent an article to a farm magazine. Six will give you, in their place, a sort of bird's eye months later, I received a check for $9. But, for view of myself. You may be sure that I will not some reason, the article never came out in print. flatter myself in any way, because, if I do, it Later on, through down-right cussedness and would be just like the editor to print one of persistence, I broke down the resistance of a few those pictures just to show me up. more editors and began to sell—yes, you guessed To begin with, I am not exactly a he-man type. it—fishing articles. I am about average in height and a trifle on the Science- fiction now claims my entire attention. lean side in build. My cars stick out sideways Had Fate dealt the cards differently at the start, a bit farther than I care to admit and here lately I may have been one of those individuals who trial my light hair seems to have gotten an idea of and error among test tubes. My interest—other travel. I don't know where it is going—but it is. than fishing and writing—lies in that direction. I wear a pale moustache which is visible at I suppose I shall never become a truly great ten paces by actual count. This adds nothing writer under the generally accepted standards. whatever to my beauty, but is a great aid when it That is because I do not have the soul of the comes to cornet playing. artist, I guess. For instance, I can't for the life I am restless by nature and am constantly get- of me tell why classical music is better than swing. ting fed-up on civilization. I would rather live I can't say why trout-fishing is a better sport in a tent than in anything else. I promise myself than cat-fishing. (Personally, I think it isn't. every season that the next season will find me up There will be but a few mosquito-bitten old mud- and away from civilization for good. But the foolers who will agree with me on this.) And I next season always finds me just where I was can't see why slicks are better reading than pulps. No artistic soul, you see. the last one. the curtain and The pulps, I believe, have a very definite lit- You may ring down now erary place among us. Between those bright cov- awaken from your peaceful slumbers. I can't ers is mystery, adventure, romance, humor, dreams think of anything else to say about myself.—

—and I love them for it. Richard 0. Lewis, Oskaloosa, Iowa.

ALLIED -NAZI WARPLANE PHOTOS! \ Hera's an outstanding collection of authentic air war pictures taken right at the scene* of ^ action! Bombing operations against a Nazi submarine . . . British bomber shot down at Wil- 4

. by French anti-aircraft gunners helmshaven . . German Messerschmitt fighter brought down j . in Scotland! Don't . . Fairey bombers in battle formation . . . Swastikaed war-bird downed 4 miss this brilliant camera coverage oi Europe's air war in the < JANUARY ISSUE * S POPULAR AVIATION ! ! DISCUSSIONS

AKAnNO Stories will publish in each issue a selection of letters from readers Everybody is welcome to contribute. Bouquets and brick-bats will have an equal chance. Inter-reader correspondence and controversy will be encour- aged through this department. Get in with the gang and have your say. fl»llBiBIIB!l«]IKiK[S!«;i»

TIMELY YARN the best in the November issue of Amazing Site; Stories. It does not end Hie installment with the In my opinion "Judson's Annihilator" ranks first hero in imminent danger of his life, as does the in your October, 1939 (Vol. 13, No. 10), issue of typical serial. To be sure, we all want to know Amazing Stories. what the plates reveal but the drive to read the I chose this story for first place because it is next installment is something more subtle than packed with human interest and drama-suspense that. I want to know, for example, what happens intermixed with a romantic angle along with a to the love interest between Donna Frain and world problem probably foremost in the minds of Cathcart. This interest is apparent to the reader tnany people today—international war. but it is not forced upon him as so often happens The "Return of Satan" and "The Priestess Who when a science fiction author tries to work in a Rebelled" have good qualities though of lesser de- little love interest. I also want to know about gree than Judson's Annihilator. The rest of the Malcolm Frain. We are given an inkling that he stories seemed to revolve around some fixed plot is not a kind hearted philanthropist and yet the structure that was interesting though did not seem way is left open for him to be just that. If he is to carry a reader interest comparable to the afore- not, then just what is the character of Donna mentioned three. going to turn out to be ? William Wilson, The second reason that I chose this story is that 742 Fox Street, it is well written. There is a smooth flow of lan- Denver, Colorado. guage that is easy and pleasant to follow, The AN AUTHOR-SCIENTIST'S OPINION author handles his conversation nicely. In short, it is easy to read. Sirs : Finally, I like the interplay of purposes. Frain's The best story in your November issue is, in my is hidden but apparently he wants to make a good opinion, "The Hidden Universe." I pick this story world to live in. His methods may be a little although it is only the first installment. Even so abrupt but the idea if bona fide is fine. Terro, it is far superior to the other stories in the same with his purpose of undermining the project, shows issue, it is full of interesting characters of suspense that even in an apparently perfect state there are and has a plot that is much less transparent than those that are dissatisfied. OS course we are not that of the other stories. As a guess I'd say that sure yet just what he is after but we have a strong the "Hidden Universe" is on earth and that the belief. Freundlich has only the purpose to find "trip" consists of a transformation in size. I am out about the world about him but is rather bitter looking forward to the conclusion. against the Frain interests because they refuse to Second best in the issue is "Missing: Millions in allow him to investigate thoroughly. Cathcart of Radium," while I give third place to the "4-Sided course is driven by the purpose to get out of the Triangle." This story could easily have competed place: Yet bis purpose is not well founded nor for first place with the Hidden Universe if the clear cut and therein lies the only real weakness of writing had proved adequate to the plot. But the the story. style of writing is only passable, the psychological Victor Ketcham, Jr., points are not well enough presented and the whole 199 E. Weber Rd., looks a bit as if an amateur had made a cup of Columbus, Ohio. pure gold. That plot would have needed a good novelist. Too bad HOK IN ATLANTIS Willy Ley, 35-33 29th Street, Sirs: Long Island City, N. Y. As far as I am concerned, you can have Hok, FARLEY—YOU ARE LIKED! the caveman, go to plenty of other prehistoric Sirs: places. He's a character that appeals to me The Hidden Universe contains an element of plenty suspense of a type that is rather rare not only in Tell Wellman to keep up the good work. He's science fiction stories but to all kinds of continued a really good writer, and he can build up a pic- stories. That is the primary reason why I chose it ture that makes the story live in my mind. ! AMAZING STORIES 137

Amazing Stories is tops with me ideas. Which might give you a hint. We'd pay Robert Arthur, for good ideas for cartoons. Maybe our readers, 1263 Pasadena St., who know science fiction, can find the humor Santa Barbara, Calif. hidden in it?—Ed.

NELSON S. BOND The editors are glad to note that Hok is such a favorite with the readers. The caveman character Sirs: is one we don't see done very often, and it's a I want to comment on Nelson S. Bond's story, hard one to do with any real drama.—Ed. "Fugitives From Earth." Here's a yarn that hit me right on the button for convincingness and DECEMBER COVER reality. That guy sure can write of the future and make it read like dramatized history! Sirs: I'd like to see more of this kind of story. In At last, after all these years, you've given us a fact, I'd like to see these same characters go on space ship cover! Thanks a million, And Julian to new adventures. Certainly something could Krupa did a pretty fair job on it too! He's tops be done to get them out of the terrible fix they with machinery, and I don't mean to slight Rob- are in now? ert Fuqua either. Both men share the same posi- I don't like the idea of them just dying off, tion. now that they've gotten out of this world of However, now that you've done it, don't for- trouble. It's a dirty trick. How about it, Bond ? get to do it again. We want more space ship Can't you do something about it? covers. But try to make them different each Jokn Caegl, time. There are lots of kinds oE space ships. P. O. Bos 344, take for instance that article in your book Now Wichita, Kansas. some months ago, in which you argued for and against an "elevator type" space ship. Why not You've certainly put it aptly when you said of your artists one of those, put one to work on Bond could make a story read like dramatized taking off for planet or asteroid, blasting some history. We like that phrase very much. As for straight up? continuing the adventures of these characters, your Anyway, take it from me, I liked your Decem- editor is not averse, although just to show you ber cover, and hope like it. I you have more Bond hasn't had the same idea, he's written a William Burnett, sequel which we regretfully had to turn down. Pox 256, But we fully expect Bond can still make some- Canton, Ohio. thing out of it, and that it'll appear back on our desk in due time. We hope so, at least.—Ed. You aren't the only reader who liked our space skip cover. We got plenty of letters on it, and HIDDEN UNIVERSE A CLASSIC we know we rang the bell. Thanks much for your Sirs: suggestion for another cover. We'll see that some- I don't hesitate to say that Ralph Milne has thing is done about it.—Ed. added another classic to his already long list of CARTOONS classic science fiction. Not even his Venus stories can rival "The Hidden Universe." I enjoyed

every word of it, and I admit, it was the first Sirs: "infinite smallness" story that had me baffled. I You certainly are to be commended for your leaped up on feet when the truth dawned on newest innovation, the cartoons that have been my me, and kicked myself all over the place. appearing in Amazing Stories lately. We have

To me, that means the was plenty good I needed some humor in science fiction for a long yam Truman Whitney, time. Some of your cartoons have been side- Rural Route No. splitting, and others have seemed to miss the boat, 1, Abrams, Wisconsin. but I guess your artists will get onto this new type of cartoon soon. Science fiction is a bit We agree, Truman, it was a classic.—Ed. hard to make humorous. I laughed especially at the one in the December FANS IN AUSTRALIA issue, where the big "creature" is looming out of Sirs: the clouds. The cartoon was "made" by the cap- Although I have only been reading Amazing tion. Your captions are admirable. Stobies since June, 1938, I have made some firm Keep up the good work. The whole magazine opinions regarding it. Firstly, the best cover since is the "nuU," and I don't mean maybe. that date was September, '39, featuring The Beast Arthur Cart-wright, of the Island. Robert Fuqua is easily your best Toledo, Ohio. artist, and I think it was he who did the cover for January, which I admired so much. We've got a few more cartoons working which I am very glad to hear that Adam Link will not we think are really worthy of some of the high be electrocuted after all, for in my opinion "The class magazines. They include some of the readers' (Continued on Page 139) 138 AMAZING STORIES He's Coming Back!

the author of the most famous character in science fiction!

10 years ago made his bow to the world! This char- acter was destined to be- come almost an idol in the eyes of young and old alike! TLoxv...

A Great New Charac- ter Springs Up From the Gifted Pen of: PHIL NOWLAN

Let precedent be your guide— (Don!L WUaa,: PRINCE OF MARS RETURNS

. . . the story of Dan Hanley who lands on Mars . . . meets

a warrior girl . . . and fulfills a fantastic legend!



Trial of Adam Link, Robot" ended in the wrong strain. He must be acquitted! The best back-cover was "Arctic Radio Farms." and here Julian S. Krupa excels all his previous work of this type. Don't lose either of them. With regard to Paul, his space-suit on the back cover of June was fairly good, but I have seen better stuff done frequently by both Krupa and Fuqua.

I would like to inform Discussionites that a third Australian science-fiction fan mag is shortly to appear. "Luna," as it has been named, will contain 12 foolscap pages, have a front-cover illus- tration, and only cost ten cents (postage free) in

America. It will appear quarterly, and Number 1

is scheduled to appear on the first of December. Vol Noleswortk, 11 Northumberland Street, Clovelly, Sydney, New South Wales, Amiralia. "Learn PROBLEM by Doing" in 12 Weeks Sirs; HERE IN CHICAGO IN We have just finished reading the October issue of Amazing Stukies. We especially like the time THE SHOPS OF COYNE stories in it. We like to speculate on the future Send coupon now and I'll tell you all about my quick, easy way to train for your start for a better job and a real future so we have a problem that we would like to pre- in the giant field of ELECTRICITY. The great fascinating sent to the readers and get their opinion on it. We field of ELECTRICITY offers a real future to many men who are willing to prepare for believe this is one of the problems the world will a place in this Giant Industry. Thia is your chance to get started towards a real job and a have to face if time travel comes into being. real future. Don't dream about better jay and a good job Here is our problem: We have a time machine, prepare now to get it. and we project ourselves 100 years into the future. Their main source of power is atomic and accord- QUICKER, EASIER WAY ing to them, the people in 2039, it was discovered Here Jo my big COYNE Chicago training shops you are trained on real electrical machinery and equipment—not by correspondence in the year 2000 A.D. We study the process and or embarrassing reciting but by actual Practical work. First you are told how to do a thing Then you are shown how It become atomic engineers. Then we return to 1939 — to do Then you do the work yourself under the guidance of expert in- and we present it to the world saying we invented structor?. By my method of instruction you don't need previous experience or a lot of education. it. Now the problem is in the future say 2050 when students study history, what date will be PART TIME WORK WHILE TRAINING given for the invention and who will be named as its inventors? EMPLOYMENT SERVICE AFTER GRADUATION We would appreciate the readers' opinions on If you are short of money and need part-time work to help pay for your room and board while training, our Employment Depart- the subject. ment will help you get a part time job. After graduation, we will you Lifetime Employment Very truly yours, give FREE Service. Vernon Niekirk, GET THE FACTS 417—24 St. West, Don't let lack of money keep you from sending the Coupon NOW. Ken Looper, My Big FREE COYNE Book is full of facta and photographs wiu'ch tell you about COYNE Practical Training. It shows you 2615 Adams Ave., how eaay it is to lean* by ttie COYNE method, ft will alao tea Huntington, W. Va. Now you've started sometking! The argument yo'u^uT'wtto know. is one that can hardly be settled, but it'll be inter- esting to get opinions. Your editor thinks the Training in DIESEL. Electric Refrigeration future would be changed to conform with the dis- and Air Conditioninq NO EXTRA COST turbance caused by the advance of the time ma- MAIL THIS COUPON TODAY chine and its return. But then, we've had a hun- dred stories based on that, all different. Your I Please send me your Big Free Book and details of your opinion is as good as anybody's.—Ed. J "Plana" to belp me get Coyne Shop Training. AMAZINGLY AMAZING? Sirs: Amazingly, AMAZING continues to improve. The last tbree issues of AMAZING, October through December, have been easily your best so tu. ! ;


SAMPLES OF REMARK. Nelson j S. Bond and Don Wilcox seem to be Fgrr» t C ABLE TREATMENT FOR getting better and better. Bond with "The Priest - j

. ess Who Rebelled" and "Fugitives From Earth" Stomach Ulcers Wilcox with of "Dictator Peace" and "Ben Gleed, (Due to Gastric Hyperacidity) King of Speed." never fails to sat- isfy, and usually his yarns do than just that. H. H. Bromley of Shelburne, Vt., writes: more "I suffered for 10 Tears with acid -atom ach His latest Adam Link novel should be well worth trouble. Doctors all told me I had ulcers and would have to diet ttie rest of my waiting for. life. Before taking your treatment I weighed 143 pounds and could eat nothing Wellman's "Hok Goes to Atlantis" was almost but soft foods and milk. Now after taking the best story in the December issue; being nosed Von's Tablets, I weigh 171 pounds, can eat almost anything and feel perfectly out by Bond's terrific tale. Hok could go far in well." If you Buffer from Indigestion, gas- tritis, heartburn, bloating or any other science-fiction; Welrman willing. stomach trouble, due to gastric hyperacid- too, should try Von's for prompt relief. Send for FREE The only suggestion for improvement in Amaz- ing would be in the art work. offer, instructive Booklet is included. McCauley and Duffin are fine. Not so Fuqua and the ever- 3? KIIjADELPHIA TON CO. Fox Bid?., Philadelphia, Fa. present Krupa. If you could get either Wesso or Finlay, full-time, the situation would be remedied almost immediately. ANY PHOTO ENLARGED So we're to get FANTASTIC ADVENTURES St» 8 x IB InohM or imallM- II d»- once a month hereafter. Good Irad. Same price for full length or bust form, groups, landscapes, pet C Stanley Wells, animals, etc., or enlargements of any part of group picture. Safe return of — , 235 Noe Street, original photo guaranteed. 3 for $1.00 San Francisco, Calif. SEND NO MONEY "SffiS Your editors don't think it's so amazing. We're andwitMn a week you will receive your beautiful doing what we can to keep up our improvement. Ifta2^T-lnc!i "enla raement Our readers don't expect AMAZING STORIES to or send 80c Mid wr dbj^'* 1 in* offer now. Sen." yon stand still, and it won't.—Ed. STANDARD ARTSTUD10S, 1 13 S. Jefferson St., Dopt 800-A. Chicago COMMON ADVENTURE YARNS Sirs: I think the only "Hall of Fame" story you pub- MOUNT Bl lished so far was "The Strange Flight of Richard Clayton," yet in the old days there were such Tan SKINS, Make Up FURS masterpieces as "The Ship of Ishtar," "The Time Tun. V Machine," "Moon Pool" and the Skylark Series. I

rdFISft. Sove ronr bnntiaz trophiee; decorate home a. am quite sure if less space were given to common n. MAKE MONEY. Mount ud Krome-Un for othei BIc snratime profits. INVESTIGATE TODAY. FREE BOOK adventure yarns you would turn out more stories such as these. The laws of averages and authors would prove it. So please make FANTASTIC ADVENTURES live up to the build-up you gave it, "The best in science-fiction!"

The question of covers now arises f ?). Why in heaven's name must you plaster titles and authors all over the cover. I wish you would publish only one title and its author, and it should be the story ITCH from which the cover painting is depicted. You know pretty well that anyone going to a magazine stand 35c buttle, to buy one of your scientifiction mags knows at SfBMiJts, prom rt ««w what he wants and what he should expect from FAIR DICE two reputable magazines. & CARDS Another thing, why must human beings get the TWELVE WATS Professionals win with fair dice. No switching. spotlight No Practice. ONE HUNDRED Keys and Codes on twenty-four on all of your covers? A ship going through space is much more attractive than a man SPECIALTY EXPOSES, >0X 2492A, KANSAS CITY, MO. being armed with a gun, sword or bludgeon. Va- riety of scenery is what most fans want. Harold G. Sckaeffer, 1320 Fulton Ave., INVENTORS New York City. You've brought up a point that brings your edi- TIME COUNTS—don't risk delay In patent- ing your Inventton. Write for new FREE tor to a few rather pointed observations. First, you Book and Record of Invention form. No mention Charge for preliminary laformatioii. masterpieces. And you quote a few stories. CLARENCE A. O'BRIEN Now, just consider these stories seriously. They Registered Attorney Patent are common adventure yams. Ship of Ishtar was Dept. 0A5, Adam* Bldg.. Washington, D. C. pure adventure, in a fantastic world. Moon Pool AMAZING STORIES 141

was parked with adventure, no science. The ex- ception was The Time Machine. It wasn't science, and it wasn't adventure. It was what I'd call,

today, if I saw it on my desk, a "travelogue." The Skylark stories were pure, adventure, plus travelogue, plus super-science (copper bars of tre- mendous size, driving space, ships at incredible speeds, and human beings performing feats of the gods). Sometimes your editor wonders xohat the

fans would really say about these masterpieces, if they were to read them in Amazing Stories to- day, as original, unpublished works? Covers? Your point again has another view- point. We don't know that anyone going to the . offer tires at lowest price*, with _ newsstand will know what he wants. Our old . agreement to replace at <4 price any . tire that fails to give 12 Me*. Ssrvise. readers, yes, but not prospective readers. When EVERY TIRE GUARANTEED!* sell something, you've tell the buyer BALLOON TIRES REGULAR CORD TIRES you got to T Sin Rm I ires Tuba: !SJffM^?%- Sn what he's getting. Does any other magazine run covers .without captions? Why not? The answer OSll s:li »« v is obvious. |l HEAVY DUTY TRUCK TIRES The human being on a cover is a selling point. r 3! Size nm Tubeej£i« *We« Tubea It is a well that reader places him- ** *{-"*tiT*10.9* known fact a !| K£S H *4.6S SI §3 2"1* 10.9$ *-95 self m the position of the hero, subconsciously, S33 jH I2*»«8 1145 4M id ie>3 6. as *.i3*ots 13. as tes when he reads the story. That's why he enjoys " TRUCK BALLOON -TIRES a pulp fiction story. He isn't reading for esthetic fBaolKiSa reasons. out thrill. so, He's for a And a human fj 7.00-20 5.SS . being on the cover is good. Space ships? What about our December cover? »•"> ONLY S1.O0 DEPOSIT 00 each Hra ordered. (13.00 on each Truck Hre.1 We ante- balance C. O. D, You see, we are giving you what you want, Deduct S par cent If cash la sent in foil with order. To All order jwimptly we may piobstltatu brands If uecea- whenever we can. Let's hear from you again. aary. ALL TUBES BRAND NEW— GtlARANTEETJ — Your letters give us what we need in Discus- PERRY- FIELD TIRE & RUBBER CO. 23M-3Q S- Michigan Ar., Dept. 4343. CMcece, sions.—Ed. IB. READERS! e of AMAZING STORIES' discussions WORK FOR THE

; of the £aag" and he'll be &Iad


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everything. . . . Allen Glasser, 1645 Grand Con- course, N. V. C.j wishes to sell complete set of The

Traveler, . KIDNEYTROUBLE Time first SF fan magazine. . . Max Eelz, Waldoboro, Me., wants to correspond with fair to good chess players, anywhere, gives Stop Getting Up Nights first move, price of game won 12 Scientifictions. . . .

Julian Unger, 1349-50 St., Brooklyn, N. Y., has To harmlessly flush poisons and acid from kid- neys and relieve irritation of bladder so that you 8"xl0" photographs of the World's first Scientific- can stop "getting up nights" get a 35 cent pack- tion Convention Hall offered for 35c each; beauti- of age Gold Medal Haarlem Oil Capsules and take ful print suitable for framing Sol Knegov, 1171 as directed. Other symptoms of kidney and blad- Nelson Ave., Bronx, N. Y., like to hear der weaknesses may be scant, burning or smart- would ting passage — backache — leg cramps — puffy from people interested in selling their books, not eye3. Get the original GOLD MEDAL. Don't ac- magazines, which are in excellent condition, on such cept a substitute. topics as SF, classics, politics, and books by famous

authors. . . . C. Carlson, 2290 Bourdon St., Muske- gon, Mich., wants correspondents of either sex, on

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Bombet* HaI\ Stofon* Over

s * SB s Swiftly the Nazi bomber roared toward its objective, the Spitfire in close pursuit! Whiter Trail dove grimly down ... his motor thundering a promise of death to the bomber! In a moment the great bridge below would be blown to bits, unless Trail stopped the Nazi raider! broke, whirled Down . . . down . . . down, like a flashing comet . . . then Whitey Trail sobbed, the plane viciously away. Before his eyes loomed the upthrust pylons of the bridge. Pylons!

Always pylons! Trail couldn't stand pylons. They made him remember something . . . some- thing that threw utter terror into his soul! An unreasoning, resistless terror that made a coward of him. Dimly through his fear-clouded brain he heard the roar of exploding bombs. The Nazi bomber had reached his objective! And he, Whitey Trail, could have prevented it. Why hadn't he? Why did he go into a blue funk at the mere sight of the pylons? Don't fail to read the answer in by ARCH WHITEHOUSE SPITFIRE SQUADRON Ace Air Fiction Writer IT'S IUST ONE OF THE MANY MODERN AIR STORIES IN THE THRILL-PACKED kml A/* Qamjul NOW ON SALE AT ALL NEWSSTANDS ! !


Evolution is a strange thing, somehow governed by cosmic rays, and it could easily be unbalanced, causing it to run riot with strange effects

THE earth is a magnet. Like any other mag- That magnetic field is our protection against the net, it is surrounded by a magnetic field. unbridled forces of the universe ! It acts as a No more than a compass is needed to dem- shield, repulsing by far the greater part of the onstrate the lines of force running between its two cosmic radiation raining in on the earth from some poles. unknown source in space. Only cosmic rays of

What would happen if that magnetic field failed? energy greater than 200,000,000 electron volts are

The course of evolution would be turned back able to penetrate it. two hundred million years ! Great thunder-lizards The amount that gets through may seem, from would walk the earth again. Flying reptiles would the figure given, a heavy deluge. But if the poten- wing their huge bodies over towering fern fronds. tial of the field were to drop, if the shield let in Gigantic insects would fight for supremacy in the the far greater quantity of lower energy rays, a weird light of a world lashed by titanic forces. veritable cloudburst of malignant radiation would And mankind, unless it fled from those forces, descend upon us! would become a new race of nightmare monsters! No longer will it be a matter of random hits. It seems impossible, of course, that anywhere in That solid blanket will miss nothing! the universe there exists a single power capable of It will recreate the conditions controlling evo- producing those cataclysmic effects. Yet it is with lution two hundred million years ago, make over us all the time and all around us—in the eight every life form developed since! Lion-sized ant6, hundred million billion cosmic rays which strike the highest order of modern insects, will vie with the earth every second with a thousand times the Tyrannosaurus Rex, king of the dinosaurs, Man,

voltage of lightning I changed unrecognizably, will no longer be Ruler

Why don't we suffer any ill effects from that of Earth merciless bombardment now ? It amounts to And the earth itself wUl be strangely altered. about thirty shots af every human body each sec- But long before these indirect consequences ond. Considering that there are some thousand manifested themselves, we would have swifter evi- trillion trillion atoms in the average body, it seems dence of the disastrous effects of cosmic radiation. that there is no dearth of targets. Some damage Rank vegetation would push up through every should be done. crack, tearing sidewalks and streets apart. It But, though we seern solid enough, those atoms would reach up avidly and take hold in every are as far apart as island universes! Even their crevice of buildings. Cities would become steam- planetary electrons are separated from each other ing, impassable jungles! and the central nucleus by distances proportionally Swiftly, then, will the damage be done to men. as great as those between members of the solar Even as they scurry in panic at the first announce- system. The chances of a direct hit are infinite- ment of the catastrophe which Geiger counters, in- simal. The projectiles go straight through us struments for measuring quantity and intensity of without touching us! cosmic rays, have just discovered, the insidious A few, perhaps, do bit. It b believed that some malignant changes will be working in their bodies! freaks—five legged calves, ten-fingered children- Of those changes only this need be said: No are the result of damage done to the parental two men mil be alike—and none will any longer germ plasm by cosmic rays. Mutations are pro- be a human being. duced by changes in the genes, the carriers of Is there no escape? Perhaps—but only perhaps. heredity. In this way, experimenting on flies with Mankind might escape, if awakened to the dan- X-rays, scientists have created hundreds of new ger early enough, by burrowing deep into the earth. species and thousands of freakish variations. But Cosmic rays can penetrate thirty feet of lead, more such cases would be as nothing compared to what than a hundred feet of solid rock we would have if the earth's magnetic field were to We may be at the threshold oj the ultimate weaken or fail. catastrophe—if the earth's magnetic field fails! .


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