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Zarlah the Martian eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 104 pages of information about Zarlah the Martian.

What could be the reason for this perilous journey?  Did Zarlah not realize the danger to which she was exposed, rushing thus madly into the wilds of the North—­the region of the Repelling Pole—­without the means of stopping?

Suddenly I shrank in horror as a fearful thought entered my mind.  My senses reeled, and a strange sensation swept over me, as of an awful Presence in the car with me.  “No, no,” I muttered between clenched teeth; “it cannot be!  She surely realizes that it would be going to a certain and terrible death!” And as I frantically wrenched at the valve in an effort to get more speed, a strange hollow voice echoed through my brain, laughing at my unutterable agony, and crying with fiendish glee, “Your love has no thought of stopping; she hastens to her bridegroom, Death!”

As hot irons scorching the living flesh, the words burned into my brain, setting it on fire.  It was the voice of Death—­which voice no living mortal can mistake—­and I recognized it also as the fury of the storm which was abroad when I departed from Earth, and the echo of the stream’s song of peace in the midst of danger.  Had Death thus followed me from the world in which he thrived to wreak this vengeance upon me, by tempting my bride into his arms, believing that she hastened to her love?

On, on we rushed into the region of the dreaded Pole.  All signs of the canal had disappeared, and before us lay only a vast uninhabitable field of ice.  I stood at the levers, frozen rigid with the intense cold, but with my eyes ever on the flying object before me, while visions of my beloved one, now so close to death, passed rapidly through my fevered brain.  As if Death had thus planned to torture me, before tearing my loved one from my very arms, I seemed to stand impersonally apart and watch two lovers—­Zarlah and myself.  Bending over her, I tried to console her with a false hope—­a story of impossible fulfillment.  I succeeded; and now I saw that I had laid the trap which Death had placed in my hands to draw her toward him, and, with a cry of horror, I tried to wrench my hand from the lever to which it was frozen, so that I might shut such a scene from my sight—­

I realized the meaning of it all now.  Zarlah, unable to obtain the repelling force necessary to carry her off Mars, was rushing toward the Repelling Pole to be hurled off the planet, risking all in the hope of being drawn to Earth, which was in opposition.  It was a vain hope—­alas, I knew this too well.  She was rushing to her death—­a death that I had lured her to, and my hands would be stained with the blood of my beloved.

Desperately I wrenched at my frozen hands to free them from the metal to which they adhered, with a wild idea of smashing the window and calling loudly to Zarlah.  The skin tore from the flesh like paper at the fury of my efforts, and I freed my hands at last, only to find that my arms hung lifeless at my side.

In a frenzy of grief and despair at my utter helplessness, I fell on my knees, crying aloud, “Oh, my God!  Save her from this awful death!”

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