I therefore determined to have my instrument moved at once, in order to be installed in my new quarters that evening.
I next bought a crate, used for large oil paintings, and upon its delivery at my old rooms, I immediately commenced packing my instrument in it. Owing to its great weight this was no easy work, and it would express the procedure better if I said that I placed the crate around the instrument. Making sure that it was all covered carefully, I had it moved to my new quarters and set in place, the impression of the carriers being that it was a painting which I was very anxious that no one should see until it was completed.
As it was now within an hour of the time when I expected Mars to appear, I decided to leave my books and other belongings at my former rooms until the next day. I uncovered the instrument, and got everything into readiness, being careful to see that the batteries were all in place, so that nothing might occur to interrupt the long talk with the Martian which I was anticipating.
Having turned on the current, and opened the sliding section of the glass roof, I now awaited the appearance of Mars. There occurred to me question alter question that seemed of sufficient importance to prompt immediate inquiry, only to be forgotten as others came into my mind; until the presence of the increasing faint glow on my instrument found me unprepared with any single question of actual importance. Consequently I decided to allow my distant informant to continue with the account of Martian observations of Earth, as being at once the most instructive and surest way of suggesting important questions.
As my eyes got accustomed to the brilliancy I saw the Martian waiting for me, with his instrument in readiness. We greeted each other with the affection we both now sincerely felt, and though I could not clasp his hand, I endeavored in every way to show him the brotherly warmth of feeling I entertained for him.
It now occurred to me that in the excitement of our first communication with each other, we had completely overlooked an important conventionality. I therefore announced that I was known on Earth as Harold Lonsdale.
“My name is Almos,” he responded, his dark eyes sparkling as he quickly entered into the spirit of the occasion. “Although it was customary once for us to have two or three names, we found it in better harmony with the changed conditions of the present time to have but one. This you will more easily understand when you have become better acquainted with this planet and its people.”
“And as I am most anxious to learn more about the conditions of life in your world,” I added, eagerly, “I trust you will continue the account of Martian observations of Earth, which was barely commenced last evening when the wave contact ceased. But first let me ask how you located my whereabouts, for this morning I moved to another section of the city.”