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“‘It makes no matter. See. I will gif it to you gratis.’
“He handed me the metal contrivance. It was closed.
“‘Inside iss a little, such a very little. Not yet iss it arranged the motive-power to give-forth. One more change-to-be-made that shall require. But the other phenomena are all in this little half-grain comprised. Later I shall tell you more. Take it. It iss without price.’ He laid his hand on my shoulder. ‘Like the love of friends,’ he said gently.”
Feeling in his upper waistcoat pocket, Darrow brought out a phial, so tiny that it rolled in the palm of his hand. He contemplated it, lost in thought.
“Radium?” queried Barnett, with the keen interest of the scientist.
“God knows what it is,” said Darrow, rousing himself. “Not the perfected product; the doctor said that when he gave it to me. If I could remember one-tenth of what he told me that night! It is like a disordered dream, a phantasmagoria of monstrous powers, lit up with an intolerable, almost an infernal radiance. T cheap nike air max 1 his much I did gather: that Dr. Schermerhorn had achieved what the greatest minds before him had barely outlined. Yes, and more. Becquerel, the Curies, Rutherford–they were playing with the letters of the Greek alphabet, Alphas, Gammas, and Rhos, while the simple, gentle old boy that I served had read the secret. From the molten eruptions of the racked earth he had taken gases and potencies that are nameless. By what methods of combination and refining I do not know, he produced something that was to be the final air max 1 word of power. Control– control–that was all that lacked.
“Reduced to its simplest terms, it meant this: the doctor had something as much greater than radium as radium is greater than the pitchblende of which a thousand tons are melted down to the one ounce of extract. And the incredible energies of this he proposed to divide into departments of activity. One manifestation should be light, a light that would illuminate the world. Another was to make motive power so cheap that the work of the world could be done in an hour out of the day. Some idea he had of healing properties. Yes; he was to cure mankind. Or kill, kill as no man had ever killed, did he choose. The armies and navies of the powers would be at his mercy. Magnetism was to be his slave. Aerial navigation, transmutation of metals, the screening of gravity–does this sound like delirium? Sometimes I think it was.
“That night he turned over to me the key of the large chest and his ledger. The latter he bade me read. It was a complete jumble. You have seen it…. We nike air max 1 grey were up a good part of the night with our pet volcano. It was suffering from internal disturbances. ‘So,’ the doctor would say indulgently, when a particularly active rock came bounding down our way. ‘Little play-antics-to-exhibit now that the work iss finished.’
“In the morning he insisted on my leaving him alone and going down to give the orders. I took the ledger, intending to send it aboard. It saved my life nike air max 1 possibly: Solomon’s bullet deflected slightly, I think, in passing through the heavy paper. Slade has told you about my flight. I ought to have gone straight up the arroyo…. Yet I could hardly have made it…. I did not see him again, the doctor. My last glimpse … the old man–I remember now how the grey had spread through his beard–he was growing old–it had been ageing labour. He stood there at his laboratory door and the mountain spouted and thundered behind.
“‘We will a name-to-suit-properly gif it,’ he said, as I left him. ‘It shall make us as the gods. We will call it celestium.’
“I left him there smiling. Smiling happily. The greatest force of his age–if he had lived. Very wise, very simple–a kind old child. May I trouble you for a light? Thanks.”
Part 3 Chapter 10 The Doom
“Nothing remained but to search f nike air max 1 sale or his body. I was sure they had killed him and taken the chest. I had little expectation of finding him, dead or alive. None after I saw the stream of lava pouring into the sea. One saves his own life by instinct, I suppose. There I was. I had to live. It did not matter much, but I continued to do it by various shifts. That last day on the headland the fumes nearly got me. You may have noted the rather excited scrawl in the back of the ledger? Yes, I thought I was gone that time. But I got to the cave. It was low tide. Then the earthquake, and I was walled in…. Mr. Barnett’s very accurate explosives–Slade’s insistence–your risking your lives as you did, mites on the crust of a red-hot cheese–I hope you know how I feel about it all. One can’t thank a man properly for the life….
“Oh, the pirates. Necessarily it must nike air max 1 ebay be a matter of theory, but I think we have it right. Slade and I built it up. For what it’s worth, here it is. Let me see: you sighted the glow on the night of the 2d. Next day came the deserted ship. It must have puzzled you outrageously.”
“It did,” said Captain Parkinson, drily.
“Not an easy problem, even with all the data at hand. You, of course, had none. On Slade’s showing, Handy Solomon and his worthy associates thought they had a chest full of riches when they got the doctor’s treasure; believed they owned the machinery for making diamonds or gold or what-not of ready-to-hand wealth. It’s fair to assume a certain eagerness on their part. Disturbed weather keeps them busy until they’re well out from the island. Then to the chest. Opening it isn’t so easy: I had the key, you know.” He brought a curious and delicatel nike air max 1 red y wrought skeleton from his pocket. “Tipped with platinum,” he observed. “Rather a gem of a key, I think. You see, there must have been some action, even through the keyhole, or he wouldn’t have used a metal of this kind. But the crew was rich in certain qualities, it seems, which I failed, stupidly, to recognise in my acquaintance with them. Both Pulz and Perdosa appear to have been handy men where locks were concerned. First Pulz sneaks down and has his turn at the chest. He gets it open. Small profit for him in that: the next we know of him he is scandalising Handy Solomon by having a fit on the deck.”
“That is what I couldn’t figure out to save my life,” said Slade eagerly.
“If you recollect, I told you of the Professor’s plunge in the cold spring, in a sort of paroxysm, one day,” said Darrow. “That was the physiologi nike air max 1 cal action of the celestium. At other times, I have seen him come out and deliberately roll in the creek, head under. Once he explained that the medium he worked in caused a kind of uncontrollable longing for cheap air max 1 water; something having none of the qualities of burning or thirst, but an irresistible temporary mania. It worried him a good deal; he didn’t understand it. That, then, was what ailed Pulz. When he opened the chest there was, as I surmise, a trifling quantity of this stuff lying in the inner lid. It wasn’t the celestium itself, as I imagine, but a sort of by- product with the physiological and radiant effects of the real thing, and it had been set there on guard, a discouragement to the spirit of investigation, as it were. So, when the top was lifted, our little guardian gets in its work, producing the light phenom cheap air max 1 enon that so puzzled Slade, and inspiring Pulz with a passion for the rolling wave, which is only interrupted by Handy Solomon’s tackling him. As he fled he must have pulled down the cover.”
“He did,” said Slade. “I heard the clang. But I saw the radiance on the clouds. And the whole thickness of a solid oak deck was in between the sky and the chest.”
“Oh, a little thing like an oak deck wouldn’t interrupt the kind of rays the d http://airsmax1.co.uk/ octor used. He had his own method of screening, you understand. However, this inconsiderable guardian affair must have used itself up, which true celestium wouldn’t have done. So when Perdosa sets his genius for lock-picking to the task, the inner box, full of the genuine article, has no warning sign-post, so to speak. Everything’s peaceful until they raise the compound-filled hollow layer of the inner cover, which serves to interrupt the nike air max 1 black action. Then comes the general exit and the superior fireworks.”
“That’s when the rays ran through the ship,” said Slade. “It seemed to follow the deck-lines.”
“The stuff had a strange affinity for tar,” said Darrow. “I told you of the circle of fire about Professor Schermerhorn’s waist the day he gave me such a scare. That was the celestium working on the tarred rope he wore for a belt. It made a livid circle on his skin. Did I tell you of his experiments with pitch? It doesn’t matter. Where was I?”
“At the place where we all jumped,” said Slade.
“Oh, yes. And you dove into the small boat, trying to reach the water.”
“Wait a bit,” said Barnett. “If that was the exhibition of radiance we saw, it died out in a few minutes. How was that? Did they close the chest before they ran?”
“Probably not,” replied Darrow. “Slade spoke of Pulz taking to the maintop and being shaken out nike air max 1 premium by the sudden shock of a wave. That may have been a volcanic billow. Whatever it was, it undoubtedly heeled the ship sufficiently to bring down both lids, which were rather delicately balanced.”
“Yes, for Billy Edwards found the chest closed and locked,” said Barnett.
“Of course; it was a spring lock. You sent Mr. Edwards and his men aboard. No such experts as Pulz or Perdosa were in your crew. Consequently it took longer to get the chest open. When at length the lid was raised, there was a repetition of the tragedy. Mr. Edwards and his men leaped. Probably they were paralysed almost before they struck the water. Your bos’n, whom Slade picked up, was the only one who had time even to grab a life preserver before the impulse toward water became irresistible. There was no element of fright, you understand: no desertion of their post. They were dragged as by the sweep of a tornado.” Darrow spoke direct to Captain Parkinson. “If there is any feeling among you other than sorrow for nike air max 1 leopard their death, it is unjust and unworthy.”
“Thank you, Mr. Darrow,” returned the captain quietly.③

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