The failing light on my instrument at this moment gave warning of the passing of Mars out of wave contact, and we were obliged to bid each other good-bye, Almos promising important revelations on the morrow.
As I stood for a moment before my instrument, now wrapped in darkness, I was conscious of a strange feeling that, in bidding Almos adieu, I had also parted from another inhabitant of Mars. Though well aware that I had only seen and conversed with Almos, my mind, nevertheless, also reproduced the likeness of a young girl, wonderfully beautiful. I had first experienced this mental image immediately after my first conversation with Almos. At that time I had tried hard to put it from me as merely a delusion resulting from nervous tension. But I found that after each interview with Almos, the image became clearer and more definitely fixed in my mind, until now I firmly believed in the existence of this beautiful being on Mars, and, remarkable though it seemed, I could not deny my growing affection for her. I had not mentioned this mental image to Almos, as I felt convinced that he knew nothing of it, and therefore would be unable to help me in any way. Moreover, my training had taught me to seek a scientific reason for things which might appeal to the superstitious as weird and uncanny. I was therefore loath to speak of it to Almos, until I had proved beyond doubt that it was not an hallucination.
After I had spent many hours in vainly seeking a possible cause for this mysterious mental image, the realization that I was but the veriest infant in the wonderful achievements of our sister planet, finally decided me upon the wiser course of leaving such matters until I had become better acquainted with Martian inventions and scientific progress. I therefore looked forward to visiting this wonderful world with the greatest anticipation, and though I was entirely ignorant of how this stupendous and seemingly impossible feat should be accomplished, such was my faith in Almos’ superior knowledge of science, that I did not, for a moment, doubt the possibility of such a thing. Little did I realize the fearful nature of the journey—the success of which was based entirely on theories—or I would have shrunk in horror from such an undertaking.
The hazardous undertaking.
The greater part of the next day was spent in moving the rest of my belongings to my new quarters and in settling down there. Indeed, so occupied was I with this task, that the approach of darkness found me quite unprepared for wave contact with Mars. I had been obliged to take my instrument apart in order to allow the larger pieces of furniture to be brought into the room, and it required almost two hours to put it together again.
When at last all was in readiness and I had turned on the current, I found my Martian friend waiting for me.