The Land of the Changing Sun
Branasko paused again in his walk towards the mysterious light.
"It cannot be from the internal fires," said he, "for this light is white, and the glow of the
fires is red."
"Let's turn back," suggested Johnston, "it can do us no good to go down there; it is only
taking us further from the wall."
"I should like to understand it," returned the Alphian thoughtfully; "and, besides, there
can be no more danger there than back among the hot crevices. We have got to perish
anyway, and we might as well spice the remainder of our lives with whatever adventure
we can. Who knows what we may not discover? There are many things about the land of
Alpha that the inhabitants do not understand."
"I'll follow you anywhere," acquiesced Johnston; "you are right."
They stumbled on over the rocky surface in silence. At times, the roof of the cavern sank
so low that they had to stoop to pass under it, and again it rose sharply like the roof of a
cathedral, and the rays of the far-away, but ever-increasing light, shone upon glistening
stalactites that hung from the darkness above them like daggers of diamonds set in ebony.
"It is not so near as I supposed," said the Alphian wearily. "And the light seemed to me to
be shining on a cliff over which water is pouring in places. Yes, you can see that it is
water by the ripples in the light."
"Yes, but where can the light itself be?"
"I cannot yet tell; wait till we get nearer."
In about an hour they came to a wide chasm on the other side of which towered a vast
cliff of white crystal. It was on this that the trembling light was playing.
"Not a waterfall after all," said Branasko; "see, there is the source of the reflection," and
he pointed to the left through a series of dark chambers of the cavern to a dazzling light.
"Come, let's go nearer it." He moved a few steps forward and then happening to look over
his shoulder he stopped abruptly, and uttered an exclamation of surprise.
"What is it?" And Johnston followed the eyes of the Alphian.
"Our shadows on the crystal cliff," said Branasko in an awed tone; "only the light from
the changing sun could make them so."