Nothing further could be done that night, and as I had worked hard all day preparing for my experiment, without even stopping for meals, I now felt the effect of the excitement I had undergone and resolved to take a walk in the cool air, I wanted to think, and, if possible, to plan a line of action for the morrow which would bring me better results, if my theory of light-waves should prove to be correct. Needless to say, I determined to cease my former experiments, and devote all my energy to ascertaining whether my apparatus was actually responding to Martian light-waves of remarkable integrity, and if such proved to be the case, to put every effort into improving the device with the hope of obtaining their import. I also determined to keep my discovery a secret, at least for the present.
I returned to my rooms with a much clearer conception of the conditions with which I had to cope, if the waves to which my apparatus responded should prove to be Martian waves. My mind was fully made up to proceed as if this were an established fact, as, in order to give my best efforts to improving my apparatus, I felt that I must eliminate all scepticism. I clearly appreciated the advantage of moving my instrument outside, where I could command a view of Mars for a much longer time, but the necessity of being in my laboratory while I was engaged in these improvements, decided me against any immediate change.
Accordingly I proceeded the next morning to make the changes I deemed necessary, being goaded into a fever of haste by a feeling of suppressed excitement. The composition I had used in the form of a film I now liquefied, having concluded that in the former condition, although necessary in my original experiments, it now only retarded the vibration of the wires.
That this composition was essential there could be no doubt, as it was its elements that responded to the agent used on Mars to project the waves. I therefore liquefied the film substance, being careful in so doing not to alter its properties. I then procured wires, much thinner than those I had previously used, and dipped them-into the liquid. After they had become perfectly dry, I stretched them on the frame as close together as I could without their coming into contact with one another. As light-waves are received in hundreds of different vibrations simultaneously, according to the light or shade of the object projected, I concluded that each wire should be capable of individual vibration. The device now resembled a large piece of mosquito netting with the cross wires removed, the coating of composition on each wire being so thin that it was hardly discernible. The batteries and coils I connected as before, taking great care not to change their arrangement.
My preparations were now completed, and before me stood an instrument as delicate and sensitive to wave vibrations as I could make it. Raising one side of the frame a foot higher than the other, in order that the surface of wires would be squarely facing the star when it appeared above the casement, I waited impatiently for the moment which should prove the truth or falsity of my surmises.