Zarlah the Martian eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 123 pages of information about Zarlah the Martian.

I now moved the current in a westerly direction, travelling at what would be a terrific speed on Earth, until I came to land.  Not recognizing the small coast town that first came in view, I moved up the coast in a northerly direction, diminishing the current until I could see a large stretch of country.  Toward the northwest a large city appeared, which I immediately recognized as Washington.  Directing the instrument to that city, I increased the current until the people on the streets measured two or three feet on the lens of my instrument.  Here I found that the curvature of the Earth resulted in my looking down obliquely at the objects on its surface, but not at a sufficient angle to see the faces of those who passed across my lens.

But now I became aware of a strange condition that, owing to the motion of the liner at sea, had escaped my notice before.  Although I was looking at the people passing before one of the large government buildings in Washington, I had to keep regulating the instrument in order to keep this building in view.  Moreover, I discovered that I had to regulate it as fast as I had done with the ocean liner.  In fact, obviously the liner’s speed mattered but little; it was the rate at which the Earth was revolving upon its axis and journeying around the sun with which I had to contend.  Through the telescope this was not discernible, but now that I had come into such close visual contact with the Earth’s surface, I realized the terrific speed with which it rushed through space.  Hundreds of miles a minute was the speed my instrument had to be regulated to, in order to keep an object on Earth in view—­the motion of the liner was insignificant!

Moving the current eastward over the Atlantic Ocean, I discovered that darkness in no way hindered my view of objects on Earth’s surface.  The reproduction on the lens, however, presented quite a different appearance to that which I had witnessed while observing the part of Earth illuminated by the sun.  The beautiful colors which contributed so much realism to the picture were now replaced by a sombre gray tone, greatly resembling a photograph in appearance.

So absorbed had I become in all that this wonderful instrument revealed to me of the different phases of life on Earth, that I forgot all else, until, with a start, I realized that someone was moving about in the large room which contained the virator that I had recently left.  I was filled with apprehension.  Who could it be?  And what was the reason of this unexpected visit?  Almos had not warned me against intrusion of any kind, and I felt that to meet and converse with a Martian, thus unprepared, would be impossible.  In that room, however, were the instruments that held two lives within their delicate mechanism, and even now they might have been tampered with enough to cause the most serious consequences.  I must not hesitate a moment longer.  Hastening down the passage that led to the larger room, I pushed aside the heavy portieres and found myself in the presence of a Martian.

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Zarlah the Martian from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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