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The Record of Currupira   By: (1924-1990)

The Record of Currupira by Robert Abernathy

First Page:

This etext was produced from Fantastic Universe, January 1954. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.

This story contains what is, to us, at any rate, a novel idea that when we of Earth finally reach Mars we may find there records of prehistoric Earth far surpassing those of our paleontologists. Or, in other words, that creatures of Mars may have visited this planet tens of thousands of years ago and returned home with specimens for their science. A nice idea well told.

THE RECORD OF CURRUPIRA

by ... Robert Abernathy

From ancient Martian records came the grim song of a creature whose very existence was long forgotten.

James Dalton strode briskly through the main exhibit room of New York's Martian Museum, hardly glancing to right or left though many displays had been added since his last visit. The rockets were coming home regularly now and their most valuable cargoes at least from a scientist's point of view were the relics of an alien civilization brought to light by the archeologists excavating the great dead cities.

One new exhibit did catch Dalton's eye. He paused to read the label with interest

MAN FROM MARS:

The body here preserved was found December 12, 2001, by an exploring party from the spaceship NEVADA, in the Martian city which we designate E 3. It rested in a case much like this, in a building that had evidently been the municipal museum. Around it, in other cases likewise undisturbed since a period estimated at fifty thousand years ago, were a number of Earthly artifacts. These finds prove beyond doubt that a Martian scientific expedition visited Earth before the dawn of our history.

On the label someone had painstakingly copied the Martian glyphs found on the mummy's original case. Dalton's eyes traced the looping ornamental script he was one of the very few men who had put in the years of work necessary to read inscriptional Martian and he smiled appreciation of a jest that had taken fifty thousand years to ripen the writing said simply, Man From Earth .

The mummy lying on a sculptured catafalque beyond the glass was amazingly well preserved far more lifelike and immensely older than anything Egypt had yielded. Long dead Martian embalmers had done a good job even on what to them was the corpse of an other world monster.

He had been a small wiry man. His skin was dark though its color might have been affected by mummification. His features suggested those of the Forest Indian. Beside him lay his flaked stone ax, his bone pointed spear and spear thrower, likewise preserved by a marvelous chemistry.

Looking down at that ancient nameless ancestor, Dalton was moved to solemn thoughts. This creature had been first of all human kind to make the tremendous crossing to Mars had seen its lost race in living glory, had died there and became a museum exhibit for the multiple eyes of wise grey spiderish aliens.

"Interested in Oswald, sir?"

Dalton glanced up and saw an attendant. "I was just thinking if he could only talk! He does have a name, then?"

The guard grinned. "Well, we call him Oswald. Sort of inconvenient, not having a name. When I worked at the Metropolitan we used to call all the Pharaohs and Assyrian kings by their first names."

Dalton mentally classified another example of the deep human need for verbal handles to lift unwieldy chunks of environment. The professional thought recalled him to business and he glanced at his watch.

"I'm supposed to meet Dr. Oliver Thwaite here this morning. Has he come in yet?"

"The archeologist? He's here early and late when he's on Earth. He'll be up in the cataloguing department now. Want me to show you "

"I know the way," said Dalton. "Thanks all the same." He left the elevator at the fourth floor and impatiently pushed open the main cataloguing room's glazed door.

Inside cabinets and broad tables bore a wilderness of strange artifacts, many still crusted with red Martian sand... Continue reading book >>




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