“How can such a thing be possible?” returned Zarlah, in tremulous accents, drawing closer to me as the awfulness of our narrow escape appalled her.
“Ah, my love, we may never know that!” I answered. “The Great Creator of all these wonders has, indeed, guided us to this haven in our wild flight through space. We can but theorize that the pole, being several miles in diameter, hurled us from its edge, the tremendous repelling force not permitting our aerenoids to proceed over its surface. The rotary motion of the planet upon its axis would then cause us to describe a curve in our flight from its surface, as only in the center of the pole would this rotary motion lose its effect.”
“Oh, Harold,” whispered Zarlah, timidly, when I had finished speaking, “the thought of these terrible things and the sight of this immense globe hanging over us fill me with dread! Do you think we shall ever reach our world again? It appears to be so near and yet is so far away from us. What veritable atoms we are in the glory of this tumultuous whirl!”
“I do not think we could possibly miss it, sweetheart,” I answered, cheerfully, as I placed my arm about her and drew her away from the window which commanded a view of Mars. “Come, let us look out upon the little globe that supports us; we are entirely missing the beautiful effect of this grand reflection of light”
The surface of the moon was now bathed in a beautiful diffused light, and our surroundings where once more visible. Indeed, many objects, which we had been unable to see in the dazzling brilliancy of the sun’s light, as it blazed forth from a heaven unsoftened by any atmosphere, were now clearly revealed. We had approached a window and were looking at these new objects of interest, when Zarlah suddenly cried in dismay: “Look, Harold, look! The other aerenoid is moving!”
Quickly turning my gaze in the direction indicated, I saw the aerenoid in which I had made the journey from Mars move a space of several yards with a jerky motion, then, to my intense horror, glide off the surface of the moon into space. At the same instant, the car in which we stood rocked as though about to turn over upon its side.
Not a moment was to be lost! Some unknown force was exerting its influence over the movable objects on the moon’s surface. What this power was I knew not, but the direction in which the aerenoid had glided proved it to be other than Mars. Our position was now perilous in the extreme, for were we suddenly to glide off into space we would undoubtedly be lost, as it was necessary to have air surrounding us in order to propel the car. Without an atmosphere we would therefore be helpless and entirely at the mercy of the unknown and mysterious power. Indeed, it was evident that only our increased weight had saved us from immediately following the other aerenoid, and I felt that at any moment we might do so. Although lacking the power of propulsion, my hope was that our repelling force, which I knew must be increased to an enormous extent by the slight gravity on the moon’s surface, would hurl us off that satellite straight upward into the influence of Mars’ gravity.