“See to it that the others know; and if such a thing actually comes into existence, let me know immediately.”
“Very well, Supreme.” And the soldier straightway took the tale to another bee. This told, both proceeded to spread the news, bee-fashion; so that the entire hive knew of the terror within a few minutes. Inside an hour every hive in the whole “city” had been informed.
“Give them time now,” said the doctor, “and they will tell every bee on the planet. Suppose we want a couple of weeks before doing anything further? The more afraid the bees are in advance, the easier for Rolla and her friends.”
Meanwhile Corrus, after a sleepless night with his cattle had driven them hurriedly back to the huts surrounding the “experimental station.” Here the herdsman turned his herd over to another man, and then strode over among the huts. Outside one of them—probably Rolla’s—he paused and gazed longingly, then gave a deep sigh and went on. Shortly he reached another hut in which he found Dulnop.
“I was just going to seek ye!” exclaimed the younger man. “I have seen a wondrous sight, Corrus!”
Thus the two men came to compare notes, finding that each had learned practically the same thing. Corrus being denied the right to visit any woman save Cunora, Dulnop hurried to Rolla and told her what he and the herdsman had learned. The three testimonies made an unshakable case.
“By the great god Mownoth!” swore Corrus in vast delight when Dulnop had reported. “We have learned a way to make ourselves free! As free as the squirrels!”
“Aye,” agreed the younger. “We know the method. But—how shall we secure the means?”
Corrus gave an impatient gesture. “’Twill come in time, Dulnop, just as the dream came! Meanwhile we must tell every one of our kind, so that all shall be ready when the day comes to strike!
“Then”—his voice lost its savagery, and became soft and tender—“then, Dulnop, lad, ye shall have thy Cunora; and as for Rolla and I—”
Corrus turned and walked away, that his friend might not see what was in his eyes.
It was two weeks to a day when the four on the earth, after having seen very little of each other in the meanwhile, got together for the purpose of finishing their “revelation” to the Sanusians.
“Mr. Van Emmon and I,” stated Billie coolly, as they put on their bracelets, “have been trying to decide upon the best way of telling them how to obtain fire.”
Neither Smith nor the doctor showed that he noticed her “Mr. Van Emmon.” Evidently the two were still unreconciled.
“I argue,” remarked the geologist, “that the simplest method will be a chemical one. There’s lots of ways to produce fire spontaneously, with chemicals; and this woman Rolla could do it easily.”
Billie indulged in a small, superior smile. “He forgets that all these chemical methods require pure chemicals. And you don’t find them pure in the natural state. You’ve got to have fire to reduce them with.”