A Journey in Other Worlds HTML version

Changing Landscapes
On reaching the Callisto, Ayrault worked the lock he had had placed on the lower door,
which, to avoid carrying a key, was opened by a combination. The car's interior was
exactly as they had left it, and they were glad to be in it again.
"Now," said Bearwarden, "we can have a sound and undisturbed sleep, which is what I
want more than anything else. No prowlers can trouble us here, and we shall not need the
They then opened a window in each side--for the large glass plates, admitting the sun
when closed, made the Callisto rather warm--and placed a stout wire netting within them
to keep out birds and bats, and then, though it was but little past noon, got into their
comfortable beds and slept nine hours at a stretch. Their strong metal house was securely
at rest, receiving the sunlight and shedding the rain and dew as it might have done on
earth. No winds or storms, lightnings or floods, could trouble it, while the multiformed
monsters of antiquity and mythology restored in life, with which the terrestrials had been
thrown into such close contact, roamed about its polished walls. Not even the fiercest
could affect them, and they would but see themselves reflected in any vain assaults. The
domed symmetrical cylinder stood there as a monument to human ingenuity and skill,
and the travellers' last thought as they fell asleep was, "Man is really lord of creation."
The following day at about noon they awoke, and had a bath in the warm pool. They saw
the armoured mass of the great ant evidently undisturbed, while the bodies of its victims
were already shining skeletons, and raised a small cairn of stones in memory of the
struggle they had had there.
"We should name this place Kentucky," said Bearwarden, "for it is indeed a dark and
bloody ground," and, seeing the aptness of the appellation, they entered it so on their
charts. While Ayrault got the batteries in shape for resuming work. Bearwarden prepared
a substantial breakfast. This consisted of oatmeal and cream kept hermetically sealed in
glass, a dish of roast grouse, coffee, pilot bread, a bottle of Sauterne, and another of
Rhine wine.
"This is the last meal we shall take hereabouts," said their cook, as they plied their knives
and forks beneath the trees, "so here is a toast to our adventures, and to all the game we
have killed." They drained their glasses in drinking this, after which Bearwarden regaled
them with the latest concert-hall song which he had at his tongue's end.
About an hour before dark they re-entered their projectile, and, as a mark of respect to
their little ship, named the great branch of the continent on which they had alighted
Callisto Point. They then got under way. The batteries had to develop almost their
maximum power to overcome Jupiter's attraction; but they were equal to the task, and the
Callisto was soon in the air. Directing their apergy to the mountains towards the interior
of the continent, and applying repulsion to any ridge or hill over which they passed,