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

Bending over the instrument he held, he placed his mouth close to the top of it, and immediately the humming sounds, which I had noticed before, emanated from the wires of my apparatus.  The thought flashed through my mind that the Martian held in this instrument a means of communicating sound.  If so, what were the words—­what language?  The possibility of what I heard being words, made me strain every nerve to catch the slightest resemblance to such sounds, but alas, with no success.  That they were intended to convey a message, I became fully convinced, but I could not rest in the belief that this jumble of sounds was the Martian language.  If the Martians themselves resembled, in so striking a degree, the inhabitants of Earth, I argued, then it was in the nature of things to expect a language that, in some way, corresponded to one of our languages.  The fault lay in my instrument, I was sure of that, and in the keen disappointment of my failure to receive his message and the excitement of the moment, I gave utterance to an exclamation of despair.  Immediately a smile overspread the Martian’s countenance, and, to my great astonishment, he put down the instrument and clapped his hands by way of showing his approval.

Before I could recover from my surprise at this new evidence of Martian familiarity with the customs of Earth, the light suddenly grew dim and in a few seconds had disappeared completely, leaving the instrument plunged in darkness.  Mars had risen above the frame of the skylight, and I was no longer in contact with the light-waves.  I listened intently, thinking that if the sound-waves were of the nature of the electrical-waves we employ in the wireless system, I would still be in touch with my newly found friend, but I heard no further sound from the instrument, thus proving that these waves also were projected by the mysterious agent known only to the Martians.

I had so much to occupy my mind, with what I had just witnessed, and so many thoughts rushed in upon me regarding the perfecting of my instrument so that it might properly respond to the sound-waves, that I did not experience the disappointment I had felt before at the short duration of our contact with each other.  I was glad of the opportunity to think; I felt that it was necessary to do so before further action, if I ever hoped to attain the knowledge of Mars and its inhabitants that my remarkable discovery had placed within my reach.  I determined that on the morrow, if I did not meet with better results in the sound vibrations, I would try to communicate with the Martian by writing some simple sentence in a bold hand, and in as many languages as I could.  This I would expose in front of the instrument, but I placed little hope in the success of the scheme, for it was not possible that the Martian language would be identical with any of ours.



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