I need not repeat an answer which, to those familiar with the oldest language of Terrestrial symbolism, would have occurred as readily as to myself; and which, if they could understand it, it would not be well to explain to others. The three principal elements of thought represented by the doubly-coiled serpent are the same in Mars as on Earth, confirming in so far the doctrine of the Zinta, that their symbolic language is not arbitrary, but natural, formed on principles inherent in the correspondence between things spiritual and physical. Some similar but trivial query, whose purport I have now forgotten, was addressed by the junior of the Chiefs to Eveena; and I was struck by the patient courtesy with which he waited till, after two or three efforts, she sufficiently recovered her self-possession to understand and her voice to answer. We then retired, taking our place on seats remote from the platform, and at some distance from any of our neighbours.
On a formal invitation, one after another of the brethren rose and read a brief account of some experiment or discovery in the science of the Order. The principles taken for granted as fundamental and notorious truths far transcend the extremest speculations of Terrestrial mysticism. The powers claimed as of course so infinitely exceed anything alleged by the most ardent believers in mesmerism, clairvoyance, or spiritualism, that it would be useless to relate the few among these experiments which I remember and might be permitted to repeat. I observed that a phonographic apparatus of a peculiarly elaborate character wrote down every word of these accounts without obliging the speakers to approach it; and I was informed that this automatic reporting is employed in every Martial assembly, scientific, political, or judicial.
I listened with extreme interest, and was more than satisfied that Esmo had even underrated the powers claimed by and for the lowest and least intelligent of his brethren, when he said that these, and these alone, could give efficient protection or signal vengeance against all the tremendous physical forces at command of those State authorities, one of the greatest of whom I had made my personal enemy. One battalion of Martial guards or police, accompanied by a single battery of what I may call their artillery, might, even without the aid of a balloon-squadron, in half-an-hour annihilate or scatter to the winds the mightiest and bravest army that Europe could send forth. Yet the Martial State had deliberately, and, I think, with only a due prudence, shrunk during ages from an open conflict of power with the few thousand members of this secret but inevitably suspected organisation.