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A Trip to Venus   By: (1849-1930)

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A TRIP TO VENUS

A NOVEL BY JOHN MUNRO

Author of the "The Wire and the Wave," "The Story of Electricity," etc., etc.

Published in 1897 by Jarrold & Sons, London

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. A MESSAGE FROM MARS

CHAPTER II. HOW CAN WE GET TO THE OTHER PLANETS?

CHAPTER III. A NEW FORCE

CHAPTER IV. THE ELECTRIC ORRERY

CHAPTER V. LEAVING THE EARTH

CHAPTER VI. IN SPACE

CHAPTER VII. ARRIVING IN VENUS

CHAPTER VIII. THE CRATER LAND

CHAPTER IX. THE FLOWER OF THE SOUL

CHAPTER X. ALUMION

CHAPTER XI. THE FLYING APE

CHAPTER XII. SUNWARD HO!

CHAPTER XIII. HOME AGAIN

"The heaven that rolls around cries aloud to you while it displays its eternal harmony, and yet your eyes are fixed upon the earth alone."

DANTE.

"This truth within thy mind rehearse, That in a boúndless universe Is boundless better, boundless worse.

"Think you this mould of hopes and fears Could find no statelier than his peers In yonder hundred million spheres?"

TENNYSON.

A TRIP TO VENUS.

CHAPTER I.

A MESSAGE FROM MARS.

While I was glancing at the Times newspaper in a morning train for London my eyes fell on the following item:

A STRANGE LIGHT ON MARS. On Monday afternoon, Dr. Krueger, who is in charge of the central bureau at Kiel, telegraphed to his correspondents:

" Projection lumineuse dans région australe du terminateur de Mars observée par Javelle 28 courant, 16 heures. Perrotin. "

In plain English, at 4 a.m., a ray of light had been observed on the disc of the planet Mars in or near the "terminator"; that is to say, the zone of twilight separating day from night. The news was doubly interesting to me, because a singular dream of "Sunrise in the Moon" had quickened my imagination as to the wonders of the universe beyond our little globe, and because of a never to be forgotten experience of mine with an aged astronomer several years ago.

This extraordinary man, living the life of a recluse in his own observatory, which was situated in a lonely part of the country, had, or at any rate, believed that he had, opened up a communication with the inhabitants of Mars, by means of powerful electric lights, flashing in the manner of a signal lantern or heliograph. I had set him down as a monomaniac; but who knows? perhaps he was not so crazy after all.

When evening came I turned to the books, and gathered a great deal about the fiery planet, including the fact that a stout man, a Daniel Lambert, could jump his own height there with the greatest ease. Very likely; but I was seeking information on the strange light, and as I could not find any I resolved to walk over and consult my old friend, Professor Gazen, the well known astronomer, who had made his mark by a series of splendid researches with the spectroscope into the constitution of the sun and other celestial bodies.

It was a fine clear night. The sky was cloudless and of a deep dark blue, which revealed the highest heavens and the silvery lustre of the Milky Way. The great belt of Orion shone conspicuously in the east, and Sirius blazed a living gem more to the south. I looked for Mars, and soon found him farther to the north, a large red star, amongst the white of the encircling constellations.

Professor Gazen was quite alone in his observatory when I arrived, and busily engaged in writing or computing at his desk.

"I hope I'm not disturbing you," said I, as we shook hands; "I know that you astronomers must work when the fine night cometh."

"Don't mention it," he replied cordially; "I'm observing one of the nebulas just now, but it won't be in sight for a long time yet."

"What about this mysterious light on Mars. Have you seen anything of it?"

Gazen laughed.

"I have not," said he, "though I did look the other night."

"You believe that something of the kind has been seen?"

"Oh, certainly... Continue reading book >>




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