“This is exactly the condition that exists in a virator in ordinary use with these exceptions: the current of super-radium is made to flow either in or out of the bottom chamber, as well as the top; instead of being local, the current is between Earth and Mars, and consequently much more powerful. The currents from both the top and bottom chambers are controlled by clockwork which I have devised for that purpose, and in place of an operating table in the virator I have substituted a couch.
“And now I enjoin you to summon all your courage, for in this undertaking nothing but nerves of steel will carry you safely through.”
“I shall faithfully carry out your instructions, Almos,” I responded, trying to appear perfectly calm, though my being fifteen hundred years behind Martian times never seemed so much a handicap as now.
“Follow me, then, word for word,” resumed Almos. “Understand all I say, for in the error of a second, the misconception of a word, the hesitancy of a moment, there is death!
“To-morrow, when that part of the Earth’s surface on which Paris is situated appears, I shall attach the receiving apparatus of the radioscope to the lower chamber of the virator, so that the return current from Earth will flow into it. I shall then set the clockwork to turn on the current of super-radium in half an hour. In that time my body must be in a condition to receive your spirit.”
I could not suppress a shudder upon hearing this, but I deemed it best not to interrupt Almos.
“Filling a cone with the required amount of chloroform, I shall enter the virator, and, reclining upon the couch, place the cone over my mouth and nose. In a few minutes my spirit will have passed into the upper chamber.
“By experimenting, I have found that regenerating rays are contained in super-radium. In fact, my theory is that the regenerating rays and the invisible rays of super-radium are synonymous. Such being the case, when the current of super-radium is turned on by the clockwork, it will flow to Earth and, returning, enter the virator and restore my body to a normal condition, freeing it from the fumes of chloroform and making it capable of receiving its new life.
“The glow of your instrument, in response to the super-radium current, will warn you that this has taken place, and you must then prepare yourself for departure. You will not observe any image, owing to my having removed the lenses of the radioscope, but your instrument will glow in response to the current.
“Having prepared a cone of chloroform, you must move a couch directly in front of your instrument, so that upon lying down your body will obscure the rays from it. You will thus know that you are in the path of the super-radium current; this is of the greatest importance as, otherwise, your spirit would undoubtedly escape upon leaving the body and be lost forever.
“After taking every possible precaution to safeguard against any movement of the body, place the cone securely over your mouth and nose. Within a short time your spirit will leave the body and will instantly be caught up by the super-radium current, on its return flow to Mars. Entering the receiving apparatus and thus passing into the virator, the flow will come into direct contact with my body, into which it will discharge your spirit.”