A Journey in Other Worlds HTML version
Doubts And Philosophy
On reaching it, they climbed the ladder leading to the second-story opening, and entering
through this, they closed the door, screwing it tightly in place.
"Now," said Cortlandt, "we can see what changes, if any, this wonderful gust will effect."
"He made no strictures on our senses, such as they are," said Bearwarden, "but implied
that evolution would be carried much further in us, from which I suppose we may infer
that it has not yet gone far. I wish we had recorked those brandy peaches, for now they
will be filled with poisonous germs. I wonder if our shady friend could not tell us of an
antiseptic with which they might be treated?"
"Those fellows," thought Ayrault, who had climbed to the dome, from which he had an
extended view, "would jeer at an angel, while the deference they showed the spirit seems,
as usual, to have been merely superficial."
"Let us note," said Cortlandt, "that the spirit thermometer outside has fallen several
degrees since we entered, though, from the time taken, I should not say that the sudden
change would be one of temperature."
Just then they saw a number of birds, which had been resting in a clump of trees, take
flight suddenly; but they fell to the ground before they had risen far, and were dashed to
pieces. In another moment the trees began to bend and sway before the storm; and as they
gazed, the colour of the leaves turned from green and purple to orange and red. The wind
blew off many of these, and they were carried along by the gusts, or fluttered to the
ground, which was soon strewed with them. It was a typical autumnal scene. Presently
the wind shifted, and this was followed by a cold shower of rain.
"I think the worst is over," said Bearwarden. "The Sailor's Guide says:
'When the rain's before the wind,
Halliards, sheets, and braces mind;
When the wind's before the rain,
Soon you can make sail again.'
Doubtless that will hold good here."
This proved to be correct; and, after a repetition of the precautions they had taken on their
arrival on the planet in regard to the inhalability of the air, they again sallied forth. They
left their magazine shot-guns, taking instead the double-barrelled kind, on account of the
rapidity with which this enabled them to fire the second barrel after the first, and threw
away the water that had collected in the bucket, out of respect to the spirit's warning.
They noticed a pungent odour, and decided to remain on high ground, since they had
observed that the birds, in their effort to escape, had flown almost vertically into the air.