The Gold of the Gods HTML version

15. The Weed Of Madness
In my absence Craig had set to work on a peculiar apparatus, as though he were distilling
something from several of the cigarette stubs which he had been studying by means of
the interferometer.
"Here's your confounded cat," I ejaculated, as I placed the unhappy feline in a basket and
waited patiently until finally he seemed to be rewarded for his patient labours. It was well
along toward morning when he obtained in a test-tube a few drops of a colourless,
odourless liquid.
"My interferometer gave me a clue," he remarked, as he held the tube up with
satisfaction. "Without the tell-tale line in the spectrum which I was able to discover by its
use I might have been hunting yet for it. It is so rare that no one would ever have thought,
offhand, I suppose, to look for it. But here it is, I'm sure, only I wanted to be able to test
"So you are not going to try it on yourself," I said sarcastically, referring to his last
experiment with a poison. "This time you are going to make the cat the dog."
"The cat will be better to test it on than a human being," he replied, with a glance that
made me wince, for, after his performance with the curare, I felt that once the scientific
furore was on him I might be called upon to become an unwilling martyr to science.
It was with an air of relief, both for himself and my own peace and safety, that I saw him
take the cat out of the basket and hold her in his arms, smoothing her fur gently, to quiet
the feelings that I had severely ruffled.
Then with a dropper he sucked up a bit of the liquid from the test-tube. I watched him
intently as he let a small drop fall into the eye of the cat.
The cat blinked a moment, and I bent over to observe it more closely.
"It won't hurt the cat," he explained, "and it may help us."
As I looked at the cat's eye it seemed to enlarge, even under the glare of a light, shining
forth, as it were, like the proverbial cat's eye under a bed.
What did it mean?
Was there such a thing, I wondered hastily, as the drug of the evil eye?
"What have you found?" I queried.
"Something very much like the so-called 'weed of madness,' I think," he replied slowly.