Everything pointed to its being the manifestation of some outside agency; possibly electrical waves which my apparatus received and in a measure responded to, coming through the open skylight from—where? The question reiterated itself in my mind, as I stood gazing perplexedly at the phenomenon. I might have been satisfied with the supposition that, unknowingly, I had made an instrument which was capable of receiving wireless waves from another instrument of similar tone in or near Paris, if I had had only the humming sounds to contend with, but the shadow impelled me to look for the reason further than this. I glanced upward, eagerly seeking some explanation. One star was visible through the open skylight—Mars. Clear and bright it shone in the inky blackness framed by the window.
Once more I climbed to the skylight, feeling that I must seek the explanation in that direction, when my attention was suddenly turned to the apparatus below me. The glow was slowly passing off one side of the film. I hastily descended and examined the batteries, thinking I would find the cause of this in a failing current, but all was apparently in perfect order. Still the glow and shadow moved steadily off, growing fainter every moment, until it disappeared completely.
With a sudden impulse, born of a weird and almost terrifying thought, I bent over until my eyes were on a level with the film, then I looked upward; the star was no longer visible from the position of the instrument, it had risen above the frame of the window. At once I was seized with an intense excitement; could it be possible that my apparatus was responding to waves mysteriously projected from Mars? If not, why had the glow and shadow faded from the film at the same instant that Mars disappeared above the window frame?
Hoping to test this further, I endeavored to move the apparatus to a position where Mars would again be visible, but alas, I found it much too heavy. I felt keenly disappointed at the sudden termination of this strange phenomenon, but, upon reflection, I realized that it was only the simultaneous disappearance of Mars and the glow on the film that had caused me to attribute waves to that far source. The more I pondered upon the matter, the more impossible it seemed, yet, strange to say, the more convinced I became that the theory was correct. Light-waves, I argued, unlike the wireless waves in common use, could be received only when the two objects were in line of vision; but I realized that if they were of Martian origin they were of remarkable magnification, projected through space by some unknown and powerful agent, thousands of times more powerful than electricity as we know it upon Earth. That the shadow on the film had been that of a Martian, I dared not hope. Though my mind continually reverted to this wild conjecture, I impatiently put it aside, as the apparent impossibility of it all would force itself upon me.