A Journey in Other Worlds
march of deterioration or involution, which will end by making them as insignificant as
those on earth. These ants have probably come into the woods to lay their eggs, for, from
the behaviour of the animals we watched from the turtle, there must have been several; or
perhaps a war is in progress between those of a different colour, as on earth, in which
case the woods may be full of them. Doubtless the reason the turtle seemed so
unconcerned at the general uneasiness of the animals was because he knew he could
make himself invulnerable to the marauder by simply closing his shell, and we were
unmolested because it did not occur to the ant that any soft-shelled creatures could be on
the turtle's back."
"I think," said Bearwarden, "it will be the part of wisdom to return to the Callisto, and do
the rest of our exploring on Jupiter from a safe height; for, though we succeeded in
disabling this beauty, it was largely through luck, and had we not done so we should
probably have provided a bon bouche for our deceased friend, instead of standing at his
Accordingly they proceeded, and were delighted, a few minutes later, to see the sunlight
reflected from the projectile's polished roof.