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Ex Libris

First published by Vincent Publishing Company, Indianapolis, Indiana, 1893

This e-book edition: Roy Glashan's Library, 2018
Version Date: 2018-06-18
Produced by Keith Emmett and Roy Glashan

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"The Ke Whonkus People. A Story of the North Pole Country."
Vincent Publishing Company, Indianapolis, Ind., 1893

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"The Ke Whonkus People." Title Pages


IT is without the usual apology, but with the profoundest pleasure, that I introduce to the intelligent public my old and esteemed friend, Captain Sampson De Lilly, who will tell, in his own plain and pleasing way, the story of one of the most adventurous and thrilling voyages ever made; and will give an account of perhaps the oldest, and in some respects the most advanced, civilization on earth, which he found about the North Pole.

In this introduction I wish to say to the reader (what he will find true in the end) that Captain De Lilly possesses a trait rarely found in those who deal in other civilizations than their own, and can hold his own education and prejudices in the back ground; treating all peoples, and their opinions on all subjects, with respect and fairness.

—The Author.



I AM by birth a Canadian; and I remained in that country until I attained my majority. During my school-boy days I took a lively interest in the geography and history of other countries, and I seldom read of any place that I did not determine to see when I should become a man.

When I arrived at maturity I still felt an irresistible impulse to carry out my youthful intention: and, having become possessed of a sufficient patrimony, I left my native land in early manhood to visit as many of the old countries and explore as many of the new ones as possible, both for my own gratification and in the interest of government, science and religion.

I was absent about thirty-five years, and traveled more or less in the North and South Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia. In all that time, however, I had not conceived the idea of visiting the North Pole country.

In my many years of traveling over the world, I met with some good times and a great many hard ones, and learned that the life of a wanderer is not the most happy, especially for one growing old; that with many, even in the prime of life, the hardships encountered in long journeys frequently over-balance the pleasures; and that those who "hath not where to lay their heads" generally have "a hard road to travel."

Although I was engaged in several exciting and some important prospecting and mining enterprises, of all my various experiences during these years of my rambling life I desire to relate here only one particular incident. It occurred in California about twenty-four years since. I had a friend who had found a fine specimen of gulch gold, diamond-like in shape; and, as I had found one resembling a heart, each of us had a breastpin made of his rare specimen, with the initials of his name cut upon it.

A few days after we had these nice specimens converted to breastpins I went out with him to help inspect a sand bank which he contemplated purchasing. While we were about twelve feet below the surface, inspecting the sand, a part of the bank caved in upon us. But, luckily two little girls, one about eight and the other thirteen years of age, were passing and saw the accident; and running to two men who were at work near by, they informed them of our disaster. The men came and helped us out as soon as possible, but only in time to save our lives.

It was an hour or so before we were recuperated enough to leave the place. As we were about starting away the little girls passed by again, now on their way home. When one of the men informed us of what the girls had done to save our lives, we offered to reward them, but they were shy and bashful and refused to accept our money. Then my friend offered the older one his new gold breastpin while I offered the younger one mine, and, on being assured by one of our rescuers, with whom they were acquainted, that it would not be wrong for them to receive our nice presents, they accepted them and started on their way home, full of joy.

Although they were both neat and attractive looking little girls, the younger one attracted my notice the most. Her bright, blue eyes, dark curling hair, and the sweet, pleasant smile she gave me with her "thank you, sir," as she reached out her hand to receive my golden-heart breastpin, made an impression on my mind that time and toil have not effaced. I have thought of her by day and dreamed of her by night for years, until she appeared to me as my guardian angel.

About the first of March, 1885, I returned to the land of my birth, a wiser if not a better man than when I left it. I was then about fifty-six years old, and my hair showed I was physically up with time in appearance. But, at the present time, about four years later, I am not more than half so old bodily, and I have few gray hairs. How my physical life became renewed will be learned further on.

I had returned to my native land with the intention of settling there, amid old and fond associations, for life. I had become so tired and disgusted with roving I imagined retirement would yield me all desirable contentment. But I sadly found I was there also a lonely stranger in the land I had loved so well. I could recognize but few of the people, and a still less number remembered me. All the old land marks had undergone so great a change that the country, too, appeared about as unfamiliar to me as the inhabitants.

I soon found I had either outgrown my native country, or it had outgrown me, and it was not the place for me to locate. Then I thought of Horace Greeley's advice: "Go West, young man, and grow up with the country;" and I concluded to take it.

Though it may be true, as a general thing, that we are the architects of our own fortunes, there are exceptions to the rule. While fortune appears to favor some people it seems that fate is against others equally meritorious. Although I had never given up the common, vague dreams of youth, of matrimonial bliss in the uncertain future, I had concluded to take St. Paul's advice a while longer, and delay that part of my program until I had selected a location for life, and then to choose a better half at my leisure.

And I had thought it best, too, to get one living and having her friends near where she would probably spend her life. It is a sad mistake to take a woman away from old friendship surroundings.

Having decided to "go west" I was arranging to do so when I received a liberal proposition from a business gentlemen to go for him to New Orleans, Philadelphia and St. Johns, Newfoundland, to attend to some business matters at those places, and the offer was accepted.

I went to New Orleans first. After transacting my business there I met a friend who was captain of a steamer bound for Louisville, Kentucky. He invited me to take the trip that far with him and, as I was pleased to be in his company, I accepted his invitation. Though the boat was a slow one the weather was fine and the company so agreeable I enjoyed the trip finely.

On the third night out the vessel got stuck fast on a sand bar. Such accidents generally create some confusion among passengers, especially in the night. After some unsuccessful work of the crew to get it off the bar, another boat passing by stopped to lend aid. Of course many of the passengers left the cabin, some going to one point and some to another, to see what was going on. I had walked down to the lower deck to assist in any way I could. While standing near the farther side from the helping boat I heard something fall into the river near by. It was a little dark on that side of our boat and, in turning quickly to see what it was, I failed to notice a piece of timber that lay on the deck and stumbled over it; and also fell into the river myself.

Just as I struck the water I was grasped by a woman in the act of drowning. As the river there was shallow she must have gone to the bottom and risen to the surface again in time to grab me as I reached the water. I am a fair swimmer, but it was all I could do to keep the lady and myself from sinking, until we luckily drifted against a spar, which rested with one end on the boat and the other in the bar. There I held her with one hand and the spar with the other a short time till we were rescued.

At the time I stumbled and fell off the boat into the river it happened all those near me were looking in the opposite direction at the other boat and did not see me fall. They therefore presumed I had jumped into the river on purpose to rescue the drowning woman. Consequently, as soon as I was on the boat again and before I had time to explain my accident, the Captain and others hurriedly extended their hands, applauding and congratulating me for the brave and gallant act of saving a lady from a watery grave. So, after that I did not care to make any explanation. Whether deserved or not, people generally like praise. Yet I sometimes think that leaving those good people with an overdue estimation of my accidental bravery and gallantry is about the meanest act of my life.

The boat, however, was soon off the bar and making its way slowly up the river. The next day the Captain introduced me to a Mr. Van Dyke, a brother-in-law to the rescued lady, and spoke of me as one of his highly esteemed friends. While conversing with Mr. Van Dyke I learned the rescued party was Miss Delilah Rose; that she had been with him and his wife to the south on a visit, and they were on their return to Chicago; that at the time of the accident, they, together with other passengers, were walking about on the hurricane deck to see more clearly what was being done; that Miss Rose, while standing near the side of the boat, turned suddenly to look in the opposite direction, and striking her foot against something fell over into the river; and that he immediately gave the alarm and caused our rescue so soon. He also thanked me very much for risking my life to save that of his lady kinsman, and assured me that Miss Rose and his wife were both equally grateful.

In the afternoon he informed us that the young lady had recovered from her great fright, and invited the Captain and myself to go in and receive an introduction to Miss Rose and Mrs. Van Dyke. As a matter of course we gladly went with him. As, in addition to my natural timidity and bashfulness, I had been but little in the company of ladies for many years; and, as the Captain was one of those sociable, jolly, old river men who could make himself agreeable in almost any company, I was very much pleased to have him with me on this occasion. I knew that if I failed to conduct my conversation properly, according to the surrounding circumstances, he would take up the subject and relieve me, and so he did.

We found the ladies intelligent, polite, modest and handsome. Miss Rose, who was several years the younger, and though a little slender, was of medium height, had large bright blue eyes, also a fair complexion and dark curls, and looked really charming. We also found them quite agreeable company.

While they were thanking me so earnestly for risking my life to save that of a stranger, I could scarcely refrain from explaining how I came to be in the river at that time. But all I said about it was that I had done no more than my duty.

We found the ladies educated in music, both vocal and instrumental. So, they touched the guitar while we played the violin, and we had a very pleasant time while together. In fact from that time on till we reached Louisville we had music every evening. We thus became sufficiently acquainted to be travelling friends, and as such enjoyed the trip to Louisville very much. I think those few days were about the best of all my travelling life.

I had thought of going out west to engage in the stock-raising business and Mr. Van Dyke being already engaged to some extent in that branch of industry, invited me to call on him at Chicago when on my way west, proposing to furnish me the best advice he could in regard to a good location and to the business generally. As I desired an excuse to see my new friends again and at their home, the invitation was quite gratifying; and, of course, I promised to stop and see them.

We exchanged cards giving post-office addresses etc. I gave mine in care of a friend at Montreal, Canada, who would forward my mail to me wherever directed. We also exchanged photographs—I getting three for one. Then, with some hearty wishes for the future welfare of all, we parted company.


IN about ten day's after parting with my friends at Louisville I had been to Philadelphia, transacted my business there, and was on my way to St. Johns, Newfoundland.

As soon as we were well out of New York harbor a large, burly, rough looking, dark complexioned fellow got up a raffle for a fine gold watch. Such things thirty years ago were of common occurrence on second and third rate ships, but at that date it was a new scheme to most of the passengers. The consequence was the owner received about double the value of his watch and had, as he thought, chances enough left to win the prize himself.

A poor passenger from New York, who had his wife and two small children with him had purchased a share in the raffle before his wife (who was not only the "better half" but about all there was of the family, excepting the children) knew anything about it. Although she politely stated to the gambler that the money he got from her husband was nearly all they had to travel on and that they could not possibly get on without it, and to her sympathetic appeal added her tears profusely, she failed to make any impression on him. The old sinner's heart was so hardened with crimes that it was impervious to human sympathy. He peremptorily refused to take back the chance and to refund the money.

The poor woman's talk and tears so impressed me that, without any expectation of winning the watch with so many chances against me, I voluntarily refunded the money and took the one lone chance in the game myself.

Before the raffle commenced the anxious woman knelt down, and in the presence of all offered up a fervent prayer, beseeching the good Lord and all the holy angels to shower their blessings on me while on earth, and after that in Heaven for ever and everlastingly; and if it was not inconsistent with Divine will, to assist me to win the watch.

This prayer was heard by many of the passengers and, though they were greatly astonished, it had a wonderful effect upon them. Even the rough, hardened old sinner who had the money in his pocket, squirmed restlessly on his seat and showed signs of great uneasiness if not absolute fear.

After the prayer was ended nearly all who heard it, excepting the old gambler who had the watch, heartily applauded the woman in tears; and one old gray bearded father arose and asked for three cheers for the good madame, then for three more for the success of her prayer, all of which were heartily given.

Then the gray bearded old gentleman assured the gambler that the raffle had to be made fairly and squarely or it might be his last one. To that the gambler assented, apparently as a matter of course, but he was evidently scared for once in his life, if never before.

The fair conduct of the raffle was left with the captain, mate and gray bearded man, and common dice were used. Each ticket holder was allowed three throws of dice for each ticket he held. I asked the poor woman to throw for me—I desired to compliment her for her earnest prayer. She hesitated for a short time while many eager eyes were upon her and waited till all the others were done, then with quivering and prayerful lips and anxious eyes she threw the dice for me. And, to the great astonishment of all—I won the watch. Then, such shouting and rejoicing as followed I never heard before. Whether by accident or otherwise, the good woman's prayer was so far answered.

The watch is one of the best, full-jeweled stem-winders, and is worth about $100, but the gambler realized $190 for it—almost double its value. To reward the kind woman for her earnest invocation and good luck in throwing the dice, I made her a present of my old watch, worth about $40. Then all present, excepting the gambler, seemed well pleased and he was displeased only because he did not get the watch and double its value in money besides.

The next day on examining my newly acquired watch I thought I discovered that some initials had been erased, but as I used only my natural eyes I was not sure of it.

After arriving at St. Johns I was delayed about eight days in getting my business settled. During that time I had but little else to do than meditate on my course for the future. Although I had fully determined on going west to locate, I was here offered a handsome salary as a traveling agent for a manufacturing company; and, as it appeared to be about the best thing I had been offered for several years, it was a strong temptation.

One day I wandered alone out to a small forest where I could have quiet and a fair chance to consult with myself. I had been in the habit of consulting with others with uncertain success. Now, I desired to learn of myself what course would likely be best for me to pursue.

There alone, under the shade of a tree, I sat for several hours, seriously contemplating this, that and the other matter and project, over and over again. I thought of my youthful days; of my voyages in different parts of the world; of the many hardships I had endured; of the several narrow escapes I had made from the grim jaws of death; and, lastly, but not the least, of my late trip up the Mississippi and

Ohio rivers and the new friends I had made there. Finally I said to myself: "Old fellow, you have already done too much roving around over the world. You are now once more financially able to settle yourself. If you cannot go west a young man to grow up with the country, you can go an old man to help build up the country for others. In doing that you will be far happier than in making a tramp of yourself the remainder of life, even if you should have a little more gold to leave with strangers when you hand in your checks."

This argument was so invincible, and the self-advice seemed so good that I immediately decided to adhere to my previously formed intention of going west. From that minute I began to feel the good effect of my determination; or perhaps I began to feast on imagination, and really felt as if my future was a fixed fact. For the first time for several years I felt the good, bracing effect of a decisive mind control.

On my return to the hotel where I was boarding, I met with a watch peddler who had many sorts and sizes of watches to sell, and, as I thought, very cheap. After learning his bottom prices I concluded to purchase twenty quite small ones—ten of gold and ten of silver—to peddle out on my way westward. Upon inquiry of the peddler as to the best manner to secrete, carry and sell them to advantage he said: "I will put them up in a vest for you as I have often done for myself." He wrapped each one nicely in water proof paper and pasted the wrappers well. Then he procured a vest that fitted me rather loosely and placed the watches in between the face and lining, ten on each side, so as to be well protected from danger without attracting any one's attention. He also gave me his address and told me to order more, as I might want them, "C. O. D." His advice in regard to selling was to keep but one watch in sight at a time.

For the next two days I had to wait for a passage from St. Johns to Montreal, and I really felt so elated and happy over my hopeful good luck and cheering prospects that I could not sleep. I felt so young and sprightly that I forgot I was an old man. In my wandering imagination I could see my beautiful home in the far west, my lovely and happy prospective family, surrounded by good society, and enjoying all the comforts of life, and my herds of fine stock, basking in sunshine and reveling in clover. I even thought of a seat in Parliament or Congress and of being spoken of as the Hon. Sampson De Lilly, representative from the West.

That a man of common sense and mature age would permit a little streak of good, financial luck with a future prospect based on it, to lead him into such a sluice of imaginary happiness, is almost incredible. Yet, it is a fact and many others in like circumstances have been guilty of the same weakness.

The day for my departure having arrived I called at the post-office, more through habit than from expectation of finding anything there for me. But I received a letter which read as follows:

Chicago, Ill's., June 27th, 1886.

Mr. Sampson De Lilly, Montreal, Canada.

Dear Sir:

"We arrived at home the day after we parted from you at Louisville, Ky., but the day before our arrival Oscar B. Rose, a brother to my wife and Miss Delilah, who is afflicted with consumption, left home for New York, where he intends if possible to get a berth on a ship now being fitted out by some wealthy old crank, to go on another search for Sir John Franklin and the North Pole, with the hope that the voyage may improve his health. What folly! Yet, the young man is a fine clerk and-may get the berth. As it is likely you have been to New York since we parted and may have learned when the ship is to sail and where from, or perhaps, know some of the crew through whom you can reach Oscar by letter and dissuade him from going on that worse than wild goose chase, please do so if you can, and you will greatly oblige your friend."

Charles Van Dyke.

After reading this letter I had but a short time in which to answer it, but I wrote a few lines to Mr. Van Dyke, promising to reach Mr. Rose if I could and dissuade him from going so far north, and stating that I knew nothing of such an expedition; that it was perhaps only a matter of mere rumor, or else was being privately arranged; and that I was going west and would call on him on the way.

As I was about to go on board the vessel to leave for Montreal I met my little watch peddler again, who was looking for me. He had procured a quart flask of distilled water, a half-dozen hard tack biscuits and a link of sausage, and, as a parting gift asked me to put them in my pockets, to use in case of necessity. I smiled at the accommodating little man, and told him that while I was much obliged to him for his kind offer and good will, I had made quite a number of voyages at sea and I had never thought of such a precaution as that. However, when he informed me that he always adopted that plan when going on salt water, and that he had had a bad dream about that ship, I consented. He had the biscuits put up in my water-proof sack and said if I had any valuable papers I should put them and my small pistol in the sack with the biscuits; and, to please him I did so.

It was about dark when we left port and we were in the midst of a heavy fog. As I had once suffered considerably from a shipwreck and the little peddler's dream was fresh on my mind, I felt a little uneasy. And when I saw the carelessness of the officers my fears were strengthened, so I put on a small pair of private life preservers that I had carried with me when travelling on water, ever since I had suffered from the shipwreck. Then, I got some other life preservers which belonged to the ship, and also three pieces of small rope out of my satchel, and placed them by my side. Then I lay down with my clothes on, ready as I thought, for any emergency. But before I had fairly gone to sleep, another vessel struck ours about midship and threw me off my bed. I got up as soon as possible, put on the life preservers, strapped my little hand satchel on my back and was prepared for the water if it were necessary. Just as I stepped out on deck I discovered the ship to be sinking and all the people on deck were struggling to get into the life boats. The confusion was so great that the passengers appeared to be totally bewildered. The officers had lost all authority. No one heeded any order or command. Women and children were weeping while the strongest men were crowding into the boats. I tried to draw the attention of several persons to the life preservers, but they gave no heed to my suggestion. They were all rushing pell-mell for the boats, but before these could be brought into readiness the ship went down, carrying all on board with it.


AS the ship went down the water closed in from all sides burying passengers and all out of sight. Having on two sets of life preservers, I was soon at the surface again, but so badly strangled and confused that all I could do, was to flounder around on the waves. In a short time I got hold of a plank about fifteen inches wide and ten feet long, and to that I clung for life. Although a fair swimmer and had the aid of the life preserves, I had the extra weight of twenty watches, besides other cumbrous matters on my person, and soon became exhausted. Getting my plank in the best position possible I raised myself up, as well as I could, to see what had become of the other vessel and the life-boats, which I supposed would be out gathering up the people who might have survived. Once or twice I thought I saw a light at a distance and heard a noise resembling that of the human voice, but was not sure of it.

The sea was rough and the wind drove me away from where the vessel sank and where the boats should have been if any were afloat, and I concluded I would have to care for myself. But I soon found I was not alone, for a fellow-sufferer now seized me by one of my legs. He was nearly drowned and held on with such a grip that I feared he would drown me with himself. I kicked, floundered, and expostulated, but all to no purpose. It is possible the poor fellow did not hear me, at least he spoke not a word that I heard.

Finally I succeeded in turning my plank squarely under my breast, then I held on to it with one hand while I released his hold with the other, and he went down immediately, at least I knew no more of him.

Then I turned lengthwise on my plank again and thus floated for some time, a half hour or more, without seeing or hearing any one, until at length the front end of my float struck something. I looked up and right in front of me sat two dark objects, that proved to be two men on a stage plank, and I soon brought my small craft along side of their larger one.

Their raft was about four feet wide and twenty feet long, made of three inch planks, and held together by three strong cleets, one at each end and one in the middle.

By this time I was well tired out by swimming on my own little rocking support, and attempted to get on their more stable one, when one of the men angrily cried out:

"Hold on there, old fellow, this is our plank! It won't hold any more! If you get on we will all be drowned!"

The other man said nothing. He appeared to be praying. When I made a second attempt to get on, the spokesman commanded the praying man, who was nearest me, to push me off. But, as he was so engaged in lamenting his fate, he heeded not the order, and I was soon in a position to try the rights of property, or at least the right to a partnership by conquest.

Pretty soon the talkative fellow arose and swore that if the other man did not put me off he would. I was at the further end of the contested claim while the praying man was about mid-way between us. The bully began to crawl toward me, and then I told him in emphatic terms to go back to his seat and behave himself, or I would blow a hole through him as large as a half ounce ball could cut, and that I had the tool to do it with. Whether willingly or not he obeyed my orders.

As our meeting was accidental and rather hostile on his part, and, as I had him settled for the present, I thought it well to say no more, unless he first raised a question.

The praying man kept on lamenting and weeping by turns until I fell into a doze. After what seemed a very long night I woke from my stupor and found it fully day, but still foggy. In looking around I found the praying man was missing. Although I had intended not to speak to the profane fellow any more unless he first did to me, I asked him what had become of our partner. His reply was short, merely: "I don't know, sir, I suppose he has gone to Davy Jones' locker."

I knew from this expression that he was an old sailor and in all probability a tough one. At first I felt like charging the fellow with murder. But, on reflection, I reasoned that the poor troubled partner, in his sore distress, might have voluntarily disposed of himself by drowning, or he might possibly have fallen off the stage while sleeping.

That whole day we drifted, but I knew not where. I saw, or thought I saw, three different sails and made all the noise I could. The old sea-man also made all he could, and it was a whooping noise too, but no response came. Towards evening I felt very drowsy but was afraid to go to sleep lest he might send me also to "Davy Jones' locker."

Soon after dark that night, as I felt very hungry and thirsty, I ate a biscuit and a part of my link of sausage and drank a little water, but dared not go to sleep. I felt quite grateful toward the little peddler for his provisions, and kept a strict watch over the old tar.

During the night I caught myself dozing on several occasions, yet I presume the old salt thought I was wide awake all the time. And toward day I thought he was asleep because he lay stretched out at full length on the stage plank, while the sea was quite rough and the wind growing stronger. So, being badly worn out and feeling less fear of him, I got out my pieces of rope, lashed myself to a ring fastened to the raft and really went to sleep myself.

When I awoke the sun was up and I had partly rolled off the float, but the rope had saved me. The sea was by this time quite rough and the old sailor was missing. Where he had gone I could not know but I presumed he had rolled off while asleep and had followed his partner to "Davy Jones' locker."

From that time I had the raft all to myself, and, after taking another biscuit, the remainder of my sausage and a little water, I lashed my small plank to the middle of the stage and myself on it, and lay down for a good rest.

As I wished to watch for sails I did not expect to rest more than an hour or so, but when I awoke it was near two o'clock p.m. Then I ate another biscuit and drank nearly all the water I had left. The fog was then going off and I hoped to be rescued before night; and, although two vessels passed within sight before the sun went down, I could not hail them. This discouraged me very much.

When night came on again, I felt very sad and lonely, much more so than on the evening before when I had a suspicious partner to watch, and the excitement of such fear to brace me up. In fact I began to feel less care for life. For, in addition to my other troubles, the poor drowning man in his death grip on my ankle had strained it, and, although it had been all the time bathed in salt water it was getting sore and painful. Taking it altogether that was the most dreary night of my life. There I lay all the long, long night lashed to the wet plank and could neither rest or sleep.

The next morning I sat up a short time, ate my last bread and wet my parched tongue and lips with the last drops of my water. And, after seeing two more sails which I could not hail, I felt so badly disheartened that I lay down to die.

Then, indeed, I realized the truth of the old adage that, "There is, after all, a final consolation even in despair."


I REMEMBER but little of what transpired during the next two days. When my consciousness fully returned I was on board a ship, and a physician was treating my swollen ankle. It was then after dark and I rested tolerably well that night in my comfortable, hospital quarters.

After breakfast the next morning the doctor came in to see my ankle again, and brought with him the clerk, a slender, pale looking young man, who appeared very kind and polite, but I noticed that he coughed frequently. He had brought me a change of clothing and in removing my clothes they discovered the extraordinary weight of my vest. But they said nothing about it until I asked the clerk to set, by his time, the watch I had won in the raffle. I observed he first noticed it particularly on the outside of the case, and saw the partially erased initials which I thought I had discovered before. He then declared that it was his sister's watch, and that it had been stolen at Chicago.

Then they called in the captain and the first-mate and proceeded to overhaul my vest, which appeared so heavy and, finding the twenty watches in it, they naturally concluded I was a successful burglar. And, notwithstanding I gave them all the facts in relation to my possession of the watches, there was a strong thought of putting me in irons.

Finally it occurred to me to ask the young man the name of his sister; and on learning her name was Delilah Rose, I told him I thought I could satisfy him that I was not the person who stole the watch. I then opened a little water-proof sack from a side pocket and showed him the letter from Charles Van Dyke. He was very much surprised and soon changed his opinion of me. Although he had left home the day before his brother-in-law arrived from the south, he had been informed by a friend of the rescue of his sister from the Mississippi river, by a passenger, and there he had at least some evidence that I was the man.

While the officers were giving the letter due consideration, Terry O'Rook, the second mate, who had been off duty a day or so by reason of a bruised foot, hobbled in to see what was going on, and in him I luckily found an acquaintance. O'Rook was both a warm friend of mine and a really clever man generally, but unfortunately he had been too much of a rolling stone to gather much moss. I had once rendered Terry very essential financial assistance, and we had also been in partnership in business a while in Australia; and, recognizing me on sight, he was much surprised and pleased, too, to thus meet his old benefactor.

On learning of the trouble about the stolen watch, Terry asked the young man when his sister's watch had been stolen. And, on being told, "the first day of November, 1884," he said:

"Gentleman, that is the very day that Captain De Lilly and I sailed from Aukland, Australia, together, for San Francisco."

This, and his flattering account of me to all the officers, set me right with all on board. And after that I was treated as a highly respected guest.

I soon learned that I was on the Polar Star, a ship bound on a voyage in search of the North Pole. Then I was as much surprised to find where I was as my good friend, O'Rook, was to meet me there.

I had been discovered in an unconscious condition, lashed to my stage plank, late in the afternoon of the day after I had laid down to die; and had been taken on board as an act of humanity, to see if I could be resuscitated.

The name, Polar Star, had been given the vessel after it left port. Although it had undergone considerable change, it appeared to me much like the ship, Jackal, on which I once sailed. It had been purchased, repaired, fitted up and fully equipped at the expense of its present owner and commander, Captain Peter Von Snouchenpucker, a tall, straight, fine looking, courteous and polite gentleman, whom the crew, who were all only his hired men, called "Captain Puck."

Captain Von Snouchenpucker was a German by birth, and had been educated for the ministry, but chose the law, because it was more to his taste. Having lost his wife in early life, he entered the army to wear away his grief. A few years later he inherited a handsome fortune. Then he left the army and traveled many years for pleasure, and in the interest of science. Finally, he had drifted into modern spiritualism, and was accused of being a "crank."

The Captain claimed that it was through the spirits that he learned that there was a fine climate and a highly civilized people at the North Pole; and he firmly believed that his spirit guides would direct him so as to reach it, as he said they had promised to do. Although up in his sixties he had still an active brain and a wonderful energy; and he felt that he was using them in the interest of the human race.

Timothy Toutwiler, the first mate, was also a German, and a middle aged man of fine physique. And, being a well educated, courteous gentleman, and a good navigator, he was the right man for his place.

The balance of the crew, though rather indiscriminately picked up, and representing several nationalities and languages, all being stout and healthy, except the clerk, and all unmarried except two, were, with those exceptions, about the best possible for such a voyage. And all were to receive double wages on their return.

The whole outfit appeared about complete, except as to dogs and sledges, and provision for dogs. Indeed, the captain had on board a full supply of everything else necessary, besides a lot of liquors which I at that time, thought were not necessary.

I had intended to get transferred to some passing vessel if I could, to return and make my trip west. But, as I met with no such opportunity for several days, and all the officers urgently solicited me to go on with them, and as they had saved my life and had been so kind to me afterward, I could not refuse.

Therefore, I agreed to go on with the expedition, as an assistant to all the officers; and after my ankle became sufficiently strong again, I tried to make myself as useful as possible. After that I was consulted by the Captain much the same as the officers were.

Soon after I became interested in the expedition, I discovered the Captain exhibited some strange peculiarities in his conduct. When asked what course he expected to pursue, he sometimes gave an evasive answer, and then went to his private room. But, after being alone some time, he would come out and answer the question without hesitation. I hinted the matter to the other officers and found that they had not only noticed his strange conduct, but had also watched him while in his room and saw him sit down by a small table, shut his eyes and go into a kind of trance. And while in that condition he took a pen, and with a trembling hand scribbled something on a piece of paper, which, after awaking from his stupor, he read and seemed to study carefully.

It was then plain to us that he thought some spirit used his hand while in the trance, and in that way gave him advice. This was discouraging to us because we looked upon spiritualism as a hallucination. But, as he was the commander, as well as the owner of the vessel and its outfit, and as we knew that but few people accept advice which conflicts with their religion, we concluded the best course we could pursue was to mildly advise without opposing him.


AFTER we were well up in Baffin's Bay we suggested to the Captain that, in case he met with too much ice to sail safely into the open ocean at the Pole, or might desire to explore some places by land, dogs and sledges would be very useful if not essential. To that he politely replied: "I have given that matter due consideration." A few hours later he went into his private room and remained there more than an hour. Then he came out and ordered the ship headed to the Greenland coast. When Mr. Toutwiler asked him what point he was sailing to, he replied: "To Greenland to take on some dogs and sledges." And when asked if he was sure of finding them there he answered:

"We will see when we reach there." Later, Mr. O'Rook asked him if he was certain of finding a harbor at that point. He then handed the mate a field glass and said: "You can see for yourself."

And sure enough there was a visible notch in the coast, and a vessel at anchor in it.

In an hour or so we were anchored near by a Norwegian vessel which was also on an exploring expedition. It had a splendid outfit, including sledges with lamps and oil, dogs with harness and food, and fur sacks for both men and dogs to sleep in. In fact, it had about everything necessary for an excursion on the frozen ocean, or on land. But their finely equipped vessel had been badly damaged by contact with an iceberg, and they had put into a harbor to make some temporary repairs, to enable them to return home.

In a few hours our Captain had purchased their three sledges, seventeen dogs, harness, furs, oil food, etc., and paid for all with his surplus liquors. Of course the rest of us were agreeably surprised at the result.

When a young Norwegian dog-trainer brought the dogs on board the Polar Star, the Captain asked him whether he would like to go with us to take care of the dogs and show us how to use them, and told him what his pay would be. The young fellow understood both German and English and replied:

"Yes sir, for double wages, I will go with you anywhere, provided you will return to. New York and discharge me there."

The trainer registered his name Herman Skwunk, which at first caused a smile. However, when he pronounced it, Herman Squnk, we saw our smile was a little "previous."

We have since learned that this Herman Skwunk, notwithstanding his queer name, and that he was employed as a dog trainer, is a well informed young gentleman. He is moderately tall with a symmetrical form, and a fair complexion, and strictly handsome features. He, also, has fine brain power and a fair education. In fact, he is withal a mechanical genius. He understands the working of nearly all kinds of machinery; and, even as a dog trainer, he is a success. He is, also, a zealous, spiritual Christian; and, as may be learned further on, he is able to defend his faith. His mother, from whom he has undoubtedly inherited much, as well as received an important part of his education, was a German lady, and a descendant of a royal family.

But Herman Skwunk, like many other young men, had romantically wandered away from his home and was, by necessity, sometimes compelled to accept such situations of menial service.

After parting from the Norwegian vessel we sailed slowly up to Smith's Sound; then on to what I believe is called Kane's Sound. There we found quite cold weather, and the ice a little troublesome.

A consultation was held concerning future movement. The Captain spoke of bearing north-west to what is, I believe, called Grinnell's land; while the mates wished him to first go to Kane's winter quarters. But the Captain did not then decide which he would do, but went to his private room, as we supposed, to consult his spirit advisers. But before he had been there an hour, the vessel glanced by an iceberg. Though it did but little harm, more than give all hands a sudden scare, the Captain came out and ordered the ship headed about northwest. He was considerably excited, and said he knew where he desired to go, and when he wanted more advice he would ask for it. But I do not know that he ever did so.

We continued in that direction till Grinnell's, or some other land was in fair view, only a few miles right ahead of us. As the mates could see no harbor they expected the vessel to be beached in a short time. Yet on we went, while the Captain stood, glass in hand, watching the shore.

However, it was not long before we could see some kind of an inlet, or the mouth of a river, about three or four hundred yards wide and clear of ice; and the Captain sailed straight into it as if it had been a well known harbor. The wind being favorable, and the Captain having no fear as to the depth of the water, he ordered the ship held near the middle of the open water space, and on we went. Although the inlet, or whatever it may be, was somewhat crooked in places, its general course led us about northwest. At some places it appeared to be a mile or more wide, but all frozen over excepting a space of from two to three hundred yards in extent.

Further on we saw several small islands surrounded by ice, and at one place it seemed as if we were crossing a kind of lake or bay. In fact it appeared like sailing among a group of islands, where the water was all frozen over except a narrow channel.

The water in this inlet, though salt, was not pure sea Water, which was evidence to us that the open channel, at least, was fed by springs. As there was but little if any current we could not properly classify or name it. Though the sky was unusually clear for that latitude, and the wind very favorable, all hands kept a sharp lookout for breakers; perhaps, because no one felt disposed to sleep. However, we gradually began to conclude the Captain knew more than we had given him credit for.

In about forty-nine hours after entering this narrow water-way, we could see the end of the open channel at the base of a great rock, near a hundred feet high, on the northeast side. From there on it appeared to be all frozen over.

We cast the anchor when within about six hundred feet of the rock. While the sailors were anchoring the ship, the Captain discovered a large polar bear on a bench of the rock twenty feet above the water. This was the only inhabitant we could see there to greet us. Some one said: "Let us have a shot at him with the bear gun."

But the Captain, who was then in fine humor, said: "No, not now. If he will treat us respectfully by vacating the premises in our favor, we will not wage war on him. But, if he is there to molest us when we go on shore to take possession, then we will dispose of him, and take his country after the manner of civilized people."

Later, four of us got out a boat and rowed up to the big rock. There, as we expected we found an immense spring of quite warm water, which was both brackish and sulphurous, boiling up from under the rock; and we sounded, but found no bottom. Then, at the suggestion of Doctor Absalom Bombshatter, our physician, we named the place Puck's Springs, in honor of "Captain Puck," as he was generally called by the crew. And we so scratched the name on a smooth place on the big rock.


AFTER we had a good rest, the Captain and six more of us went on shore well armed to meet the bear, but he could not be found. He had taken a good look at us at the time we inspected him, and had wisely vacated the premises where he had been the "monarch of all he surveyed." There was, I presume, not a man, beast, or reptile there, "his right to dispute," till we discovered his country.

But why he desired to live all alone in that dreary, desolate, God-forsaken place we could not imagine, and what he found there to subsist on is a mystery; but all that was his own business, not ours.

A short distance beyond the spring we discovered a large hole, a sort of cave, in the south side of the rock; and inside of the cave, the rock was covered with moss. The bear had scratched off some of this for a bed, which was all the improvement he had made, at least all in sight.

We ascended to the top of the rock, and with the assistance of our best glasses, enjoyed an extensive view of the surrounding country. But, with the exception of the small, open channel through which we had come, it all appeared to be covered with ice, or rather ice, snow, and sleet combined. We could see some places that appeared like frozen lakes, bays, or inlets and others that looked as if they might be land or islands mostly covered with ice and sleet. We could clearly see our old, frozen inlet or river, extending away on to the northwest, with here and there an occasional high rock, similar to the one we were on, standing bald-headed on its shores. At some places it seemed to be several miles wide, and at others but a few hundred yards. We could see also large rocks or hills in other directions. And if there could be a God-forsaken spot on earth, this was one, indeed.

But the glancing rays of the sun beaming through a cloudless atmosphere on the accumulated ice and sleet of ages was the most wonderful sight. It was as if the country had been nearly covered with bright tin or glass, and was really so dazzling that it partially dimmed our view.

Finally we spied a single, little, white cloud away off in the northwest, which riveted especially the Captain's attention in that direction. He watched it closely with his glasses for fifteen to twenty minutes, but could not see that it had moved from the point where we first discovered it. After satisfying himself it was stationary, he remarked that it was too cold to remain up there any longer, at the time, so we would return to the ship, warm ourselves well, have dinner, and then come back and take another look at the strange cloud.

Later when we returned to the summit of the rock we had a better view of the little white cap. And it was still at exactly the same point where we first saw it; and being the only one in sight it was not a little mysterious.

When we brought our distance glasses to bear on it I reckoned it to be about two hundred miles away. But the Captain and Mr. O'Rook concluded it was not much over one hundred and fifty miles from us.

On returning to the ship the captain went to his private room and remained there for more than an hour. And when he came out he surprised us by saying:

"I have determined to go and see what that little patch of fog means. I am satisfied it is rising from water. Although it must be about five hundred miles from the North Pole, the open water there may lead to it. I wish to take five men with me. I will select Captain De Lilly, Mr. O'Rook, and Herman Skwunk; and Captain De Lilly and Mr. O'Rook may select one each."

I chose Guandergill Fluggings, an assistant cook and general roust-about, who was young, active, strong, and could assist at almost anything; and Mr. O'Rook selected Simon Shine, a stout, hardy and trusty Irish sailor.

Then continued the Captain:

"After resting, you who are to go with me must take the two large sledges and thirteen dogs on shore, hitch up and train the canines a few hours, and camp at the bear's den till ready to start. You must see that everything necessary to our comfort for about two weeks is taken with us. We will plan to use the first twelve hours of every twenty-four, as day, for traveling, &c., and the last twelve, as night, for rest, just as if we had days and nights of equal length; and you may so call them if you please. I will leave the ship in charge of Mr. Toutwiler till we return."

We adopted the Captain's suggestion as to time, and the next "day," as we called it, was occupied in preparing our outfit and training the dogs; and we found that they worked admirably. At "night," as we called it, Skwunk placed them all in line in the front part of the cave and backed each one into his fur sack, which covered him all over excepting his nose and eyes. He then called us to see how he had them arranged; and they appeared so snug, cute, and contented that all of us had a hearty laugh.

The next morning we started in search of the patch of fog. We aimed to follow up the frozen inlet and as near its north bank as practicable. But as it was wide at some places and narrow at others, and also made some extensive bends, we went as nearly northwest as we could to keep on the level ice, and to avoid some rough places where it had the appearance of having been bursted and frozen again, and afterwards hailed and sleeted on for ages. Yet, as our teams were fresh and in fine plight, we made good headway.

About noon we reached another high rock on the north bank, which also had an opening in the south side, lined with moss. There we also found a small spring; but the water was warm and sank near by where it rose. However, when cooled, it was good and was quite a treat to us. There we halted for an hour for refreshments and a little rest.

Toward evening I suggested to the Captain that, as the teams appeared perceptibly tired, it might be best to camp for the night under a projecting rock near by. But all he said was:

"I am expecting to find a much better place a little further on."

And, sure enough, about 8 o'clock we reached another large rock, similar to the one at Puck's Springs, with a much better opening in its south side, and more moss inside; and, for that country, a comfortable place to camp. But we were somewhat astonished to find we had traveled nearly seventy miles that "day."

Early the next morning the Captain, Mr. O'Rook, and I went up on top of the great rock to look again at the patch of fog. It was still at the same point and could be seen much more distinctly than from Puck's Springs. As we were about ready to leave the camp we discovered the Captain looking around as if he had lost something and was hunting for it. Then, thinking to help him, we joined in the search, when Mr. Fluggings soon picked up an old pocket-knife, which, from its appearance, must have lain there for many years. Then the Captain, seeming much pleased, said:

"I felt sure of finding something to prove that others had been here, and this is it."

Having found more or less opening in the southwest side of nearly all the high, steep rocks on the north bank, various opinions were advanced as to the cause of them; when, finally it was referred to the Captain, who decided it to be the result of many ages of freezing and thawing.

After traveling about fifty miles we found another cave, fair to camp in. Although it was not so large at the mouth as some others, it extended into the rock more than a hundred feet, and terminating in a crevice about fifteen feet long, and not more than three feet wide.

Here we had a moss fire and melted ice for water; and both men and dogs should have had a good rest, but for a very startling discovery, and what followed it.

After supper Captain Puck lighted his lantern and explored the dark, narrow crevice; and in it found the remains of a man wrapped in blankets. Of course we were all surprised except the Captain, who, it turned out, had been expecting something of the kind; and we were all more or less excited.

Upon examination we concluded that the dead man must have been there for many years, because his flesh was badly decayed. The Captain said to us:

"I expected to find some of Sir John Franklin's men, and I believe this is one of them. Poor fellow! We came too late to render him any assistance. For the present, at least, we will not disturb him. But, after all, this is merely his old shell of a body. His spirit, his real self, left it long since. And, perhaps, in a few days I may be able to tell you his name."

From the Captain's expression I presume that he expected to commune with the spirit of the dead man and learn who he was.

It was late when the rest of us lay down to sleep; and after that the Captain spent the most of his time back in the dark part of the cave, communing, or trying to commune, with the spirits. I do not believe he slept at all, unless when in a trance.

That night there were undoubtedly some very strange and wonderfully mysterious proceedings in the rear and dark part of the cave where the Captain was. I believe O'Rook, Skwunk, and Fluggins were all reliable men; and they were all sure they saw several objects in the shape of men around the Captain, some having the appearance of sailors; and also, one fine, portly-looking one, in particular, who appeared like an officer. Peter Dash also saw about the same manifestations, and declared that the cave was full of men, or their ghosts, for an hour or so. And though I failed to distinguish any forms of men myself, I really saw many streaks of light darting about something similar to lightning-bugs, only much smaller.

Usually Captain Von Snouchenpucker was a pleasant, sociable companion, especially at meal times; but that morning he had but little to say to any one; and he ate a light breakfast. Instead of being greatly elated by his, to us, startling discovery of the last night, he was seemingly in deep meditation, and really looked as dejected as though he had met with adverse fortune or great disappointment.

Whether he had obtained discouraging advice from his spirit friends, or could not read the scribbling he had done while in his trance, I never learned. But as Mr. O'Rook accidentally saw the writing that was undoubtedly done in that cave, and did not believe that the Captain nor any one else could read it, that may have been the cause of his trouble.

However, after breakfast, the Captain invited Mr. O'Rook, Fluggings and myself to go with him to the summit of the great rock to examine the patch of fog from that point. Although we had to wind around tortuously we made the ascent safely; and we saw the fog so plainly that there was no longer any doubt of its rising from water, or of its being only about seventy miles distant.

But as we were descending in a hurry to start on our journey, a piece of shelving rock, on which we were walking, broke loose from the main body, and we slid down more than fifty feet. In the fall the Captain had two ribs broken and was injured in a hip joint. Fluggings had a shoulder-joint disconnected; and both O'Rook and I sustained painful bruises. Fluggings was still able to walk, and O'Rook and I carried the Captain to camp. There we soon replaced Fluggings' dislocated bone and dressed the Captain's wounds the best we could.

It was then the opinion of all that we should return to the ship as soon as possible, so that the Captain could be treated by Dr. Bombshatter, and we started back. We made the return trip in thirty-six hours; but Captain Von Snouchenpucker and Fluggings suffered a great deal on the way, and all the rest of us were much fatigued. And on our arrival at the ship, we found Mr. Rose confined to his room with a cold.

On the sixth day after our return the Captain called me to his room and asked if I would take charge of six men and two sledges and make another attempt to reach the patch of fog. He thought that it might be a month or more before he could be able to go himself, and, by that time, it might be too late in the season. I consented to do so, and selected O'Rook, Skwunk, Shine, Dash, Gougebit, and Totswaliper, the last four being sailors and men of strong constitutions. And we arranged to start the next day.


EARLY on the eighth day after our return to the ship, my six men and I left it at Puck's Springs to go in search of, and if possible, explore the patch of fog.

On the first trip I had left most of my valuables with the clerk; but this time I took all with me. While I am not in the least superstitious, I had a dream in my last sleep before starting, in which it appeared to me that my mother advised me to take all I had with me; and it so impressed me that I did so. In fact on this second trip, we were pretty well prepared for traveling or trading, and also for fighting if necessary.

The parting with Captain Von Snouchenpucker and my young friend, Rose, was a sad event to me, for I felt a mysterious impression, somehow, that we might never meet again.

We followed the same route we had taken on the first trip. But our experience on the first taught us to make haste more slowly on the second. On the fourth night we camped at Dead Man's cave, a point we had reached in two days' travel on the first trip.

On the sixth night, as we called it, we camped on the south side of a large rock, on what appeared to be an island, about one hundred and sixty miles northwest of Puck's Springs.

From the top of the rock we found the patch of white cloud still at the same point as before, but we could see it much more distinctly now.

We also discovered that our old river appeared to fork a few miles ahead of us; one branch coming in from the north and the other from the south. Between them there seemed to be a high plain with a few hills scattered over it.

The next day, after an hour's traveling, we left the ice and struck out over the plain due northwest toward the fog, which then appeared to be rising from the summit of a small mountain. We then had to travel on snow, sleet, and gravel, and frequently all three combined; and as we were gradually ascending a kind of mountain, it was hard enough for our dogs to draw the sledges without our weight; consequently we had to walk, which was quite fatiguing. After making about fifteen miles, we stopped at another large rock to take refreshments. On finding it an unsafe place to camp we started on to another and still larger one, some five miles distant, but a little off from our course, and barely escaped all freezing to death before we reached it.

But here we found reasonably comfortable quarters with a warm spring near by, and also moss for fuel. We also rested here one day to recuperate our weakened vitality and replenish our energy. And, twelve hours after we arrived at this camp, the thermometer registered 68 degrees below zero.

Twenty-four hours later we found the temperature rising and concluded to go on up the mountain the distance of about five miles, as we thought, and have a good view of what we had already termed the great Fog Hole.

Mr. O'Rook, Totswaliper, and I started on foot but were followed by Skwunk with one sledge. It was up hill and very rough traveling. About noon we reached a shelving rock where we rested a short time and ate our dinner. There we left Skwunk with the team while the rest of us went on to the summit to make observations with our field glasses.

Although the way was rough and the wind extremely cold and cutting, in less than two hours we were standing near the edge of the great Fog Hole, to which Captain Von Snouchenpucker thought the spirits were directing him.

To say that we were astonished, delighted and amazed would be but a weak presentation of our thoughts and feelings. Here, right in front of us, and twelve to thirteen hundred feet deep was, sure enough, the great and hard sought Fog Hole! It was surrounded by an almost perpendicular cliff of rock, excepting one small, narrow passage on the north side. It also appeared to be about five to six miles wide from north to south and about eight to ten from east to west. Although the bottom is level enough now, it seems to me this great hole may have once been a lake; and perhaps long before that time, a volcanic crater.

We could plainly see two distinct streams of water, one of them coming from the southwest and the other from the southeast; and forming a junction about a mile south of the outlet, or canyon, on the north side, through which the water was passing out of the valley. And from the junction to the canyon appeared a picturesque little river in fair view.

But what surprised us most was that we could see trees and houses in many places; and between the forks of the stream was an attractive little city with some large and fine buildings. Here was evidence not only of inhabitants but of a civilization similar to that of Europe, and not far from the coldest latitude of the globe, at that.

The time we could have for viewing this wonderful valley from the top of its rim was necessarily short, because of the intensely cold wind. Yet it was so grand and so charming, that we really ignored the cold until we were almost frozen.

We examined it closely to find some inlet, but could see none except the narrow canyon on the north side into which the little river was running. But, as we could see boats on the river below the city, we felt assured the inhabitants had some means of communication with some other part of the world.

We returned to Skwunk and the sledge almost frozen, and there took some refreshments to brace our strength, and then returned to our camp. We had a hard day's journey but were greatly elated over our discovery, and well paid for our fatigue.

The next morning we found that the bench of rock at the base of the cliff where we had camped, continued on west along the foot of Fog Hole Mountain; and we concluded to follow it for some distance to search for a passway into the inhabited valley from the south side, before going around to the canyon on the north side.

At the distance of about five miles we found a spot where coal had been mined at some time in the distant past; and the dirt and rock roof over the coal had been removed and dumped into a lake to our left, now all frozen up. Though there was no appearance of the mine having been worked for many years, it was plain to us that there had once been a passway from it into the inhabited basin.

Therefore we examined closely every large crack and crevice we could see until finally about half a mile further on, and near the west end of the place, where coal had been mined, we discovered a small opening in the side of the mountain. I opened it a little more and crawled in and found it to be a good sized tunnel; but the entrance had been nearly closed by fallen rocks and the accumulated debris of time.

Then we at once commenced to remove the obstructions, and in a few hours had the entrance sufficiently clear to admit our dogs and sledges. And, as it was a suitable place for the purpose, we camped therein a short time for rest and recreation.

Revived by refreshments and a little rest three of us with the aid of lamps explored the tunnel more than a mile and found it in a fair condition, excepting in a few places, where more or less debris had fallen from the roof. It was nearly thirteen feet wide; and the bottom had once been the base of a seven-foot coal strata. We concluded that the coal had been taken out first, and the rock above cut away afterwards, so as to form the arch roof which was, at its center, about twelve feet above the floor. We also presumed that the rock had been taken out at the south end of the tunnel to make a fill which we saw crossed a lake near by.

Returning to camp and having a good rest, we then determined to go all the way through to Fog Hole, if possible and clear the way for the dogs and sledges before attempting to take them any further. I took Skwunk, O'Rook, and Totswaliper with me.

We had considerable debris to remove in some places near the north end, where we found several side tunnels branching off from the main one. Though the tunnel is but little more than three miles in length it required over ten hours of hard labor to remove the fallen fragments so our teams could pass through.

We found the north end opened into Fog Hole as we had expected, but about forty feet perpendicularly above a small branch of water, at the base of the great cliff, and also near twenty feet above the summit of the bank on the north side of the stream. Although there must have been a bridge leading from the high ground up over the water to the mouth of the tunnel when it was in use in the long, long ago, there was not any of it left when we arrived.

From the end of the tunnel we could see a large number of houses including a portion of the city, but only three of them were near to us. After looking at the beautiful valley awhile, and seeing no way to get down into it, Skwunk suggested that we fire off the bear gun to arouse the people at the nearest houses. But we fired a pistol first, then a small gun, and lastly the big, bear gun. Each of the firearms made a good noise for the purpose intended; but that of the bear gun was much the loudest. It reverberated, echoed and re-echoed all around Fog Hole, at least that part of it.

In a few minutes we saw the result. It brought out the inhabitants like thumping on a bee hive, and they ran around in great confusion as if an earthquake had been in operation.

We soon discovered, as we supposed, four large boys between us and the nearest house; but they did not seem to notice us. However, after we fired another pistol and waived our hats to attract their attention, they come up within speaking distance, and addressed us in a language we could not understand. And though we spoke to them in four different languages, they still could not comprehend us.

Then one of them started away in a hurry, and the others remained. From that we inferred that the absenter had gone to notify other parties of our presence; and in a short time our presumption proved true. The boy, as we had taken him to be, returned accompanied by several other persons, one of whom was a tall, portly looking man, who came nearer to us and spoke slowly in broken English, saying: "Gentle strangers, what will you have of us?"

We were greatly surprised, indeed, to hear our own language spoken by an inhabitant of this away off and unknown place; and I replied that we were there on a friendly visit; also, if his people had no objection, we would be pleased to go in and rest a few days in their fine city.

He seemed to hesitate a little, and then speaking slowly in somewhat queer English, said: "Gentle strangers, are you Sir John Franklin's people?"

We assured him we were not only Franklin's friends, but were anxious to hear what become of him and his companions. Then said he:

"You are welcome here as my own friends. I will go and get some ladders, and ropes to tie them with, help you down, and take you to our hotel."

We then informed him that we had left three of our comrades and our dogs and sledges at the other end of the tunnel, and we would go back there and return with them in twenty-four hours, if he and his boys would arrange some means by that time to assist us down. To that he replied: "Yes, my friends, that shall be done."

Having, as we understood it, obtained his promise to make some arrangement by which we, together with our dogs and sledges, could descend into the valley; and finding it somewhat difficult to conduct a more extended conversation with him from our position in the tunnel, we thanked him for his generous promise and bowed him good evening, which he returned in like manner, and we departed for the south end of the tunnel.

At the appointed time we were all at the north end of the tunnel, and found our tall and English speaking man and also near a hundred other persons, such as we had taken to be boys, there with him ready to receive us.

They had erected a temporary bridge from the mouth of the tunnel to the high, dry ground beyond the branch of water, especially for our accommodation.

They greeted us with a band of music, and also by waiving their hats; and we waived ours to them as the best return we could make.

I marched down over the bridge in the front, which gave them to understand that I was in command. The tall gentleman and I were the first who met; and, after we had a good, old-fashioned English hand shake, and we had passed such greetings as are usually drawn forth by the meeting of intelligent strangers, I inquired his name, and was not a little astonished when he replied: "My name is John Franklin Maxwell. The reason I am so much taller than my friends, whom you spoke of as boys, is that I am only a half-breed Ke Whonkian. My father was one of Sir John Franklin's men. He was a tall man, and though a half-breed I am about as tall as he was. You will find very few, if any, full blood natives so tall as I am."

I then gave him my address and introduced him, as Captain Maxwell, to each one of my men. After that he spoke to his people in their own language for about two minutes; and then they, one by one, in turn, came by and greeted each one of us with a hearty hand shake of welcome.

Although we were much pleased as well as surprised to meet intelligent, white people here; and though Captain Maxwell mentioned each one's name as he introduced him to us, we found it impossible to charge our memories with so many curious names in so short a time. Yet I observed that the sound of k, short o, and short u were unusually common among them.


AFTER a cordial reception at the bridge we were escorted to the Kofus, the best hotel in Fog Hole, and there furnished good rooms for ourselves and comfortable quarters for our dogs.

The Kofus is a fine stone building, situated on a beautiful elevation above the junction and between the two main streams of water, that form the little river running north and into the canyon about a mile below. These two streams are formed and fed by many springs of hot, cold and mineral waters, breaking out from under the great cliff at different places around the valley, besides many more boiling up in it.

From the junction to the canyon, along the main river, may be seen boats of different shapes and sizes, but only a few with any sail tackle attached, though there is plenty of water for small sailing vessels.

Although there are more or less homes scattered all over Fog Hole, a majority of the citizens reside in and around the City.

The houses are built mostly of stone and are generally comfortable, but ancient in appearance, and, to us, unique in architecture.

A short time after reaching the hotel we had as fine a dinner as hungry men could desire. It was really so much on the European and American style, that we could hardly realize we were among an unknown people. We had fish and fowl; good bread and eggs, buckwheat cakes, fruits and vegetables; also the best of wine, hot or cold, straight, sweetened or creamed just as we preferred it. Besides, our table was attended by several as handsome young ladies, all appropriately dressed, as I have seen anywhere. Our new friend, Captain Maxwell, took dinner with us and interpreted our orders and conversation.

After dinner the Captain left us for a short time, and on his return said: "Gentlemen, many of my people have come to see you and learn something of you and your visit. I think it best for you to tell me first what is necessary, and then I will go out with you and explain it to them. After they have heard so much they will go home gratified."

I thanked him for his kind offer and gave him as much information concerning our people and our purpose in visiting his country as I could in about two hours; but I had to talk slowly and frequently repeat to enable him to understand me properly, for his knowledge of English was very imperfect.

He then escorted us out to a large portico where several of the chief dignitaries of Fog Hole were assembled and gave each one personally an introduction to us as being his father's friends, after which he spoke to them and also a large assemblage of people standing out in front of the hotel, for about an hour, at which they seemed intensely interested.

When he had finished speaking a fine band and choir of musicians walked up on to the portico and enlivened all present with excellent music both instrumental and vocal. Although we could not understand their language we could both see and feel the charming effect when they sang "Welcome, our friends, to Ke Swank-e."

In due time the people generally retired to their respective homes; and, the Captain after taking lunch with us and before leaving us said:

"My friends, this hotel is to be your home while you please to remain in Ke Swank-e. You are to be supplied with the best comforts we can furnish, and now at public expense; because you are now to be the guests of this province, Ke Swank-e. You need have no fear of rude treatment. We do not permit bad people to reside here. We hope to make your visit as pleasant and profitable to both you and us as possible. After you get well rested, and desire to see more of Ke Swank-e I will take you about in carriages."

When the Captain left us we had a good invigorating, mineral water bath, and then retired for our first sleep in Fog Hole; and, after the last twenty-four hours of exhausting excitement, we were needing a good rest:

Soon after we had done justice to a splendid breakfast the next morning, Captain Maxwell called on us for another talk; and we told him we desired to learn as much as possible concerning the fate of Sir John Franklin and his men; also as much about the North Pole country, its inhabitants, civilization, institutions etc., as possible in the short time we could be with him; because we would have to return to our vessel in a few days to report to our superior officer.

Then apparently somewhat disappointed he replied:

"My friends, I regret that you have to leave us so soon. We could learn so much from you. I also regret that I am not so well educated in the English as you are, and not so well acquainted with the history and institutions of this country as some others. But as my younger brother, Robert Burns Maxwell, and myself are the only persons in this country who can speak the English at all, and as he is now on a visit over at Ke Yopako, the capital, it is my duty and pleasure to do the best I can for you. And when you cannot understand my imperfect English please let me know, and I will repeat.

"As I have told you before I am a half-breed. My father was one of Sir John Franklin's men and my mother was a native of this place, which is a province of the Ke Whonkus government, around the north pole. My father's proper name was William Burns Maxwell. He was well educated and was a good man. He told me that he left his native home because of a difficulty he had with another young man about a lady. When he enlisted with Sir John Franklin he did so under an assumed name, because he feared being taken by officers. But I do not remember that he ever told me the name which he adopted. I now wish he had done so.

"My father told me they left their ship and attempted to reach the North Pole country over land and ice; and that Sir John Franklin and some of his men became so badly fatigued that they stopped at a cave in a big rock. But as they could see fog rising from water, Sir John sent my father and two other men on to examine it and then return to him.

"My father and the two men with him reached the great canyon about fifteen miles below here where some natives were catching fish at a big, warm spring that throws up a good deal of fog. They made a noise and the natives discovered them on the high cliff where it was very cold; then helped them down and brought them here in a boat. Their faces, hands and feet were all badly frozen. My father's life was saved by drinking and bathing in the waters of the blue and yellow hot springs, as the physician directed. His hair all came out, but new hair came in its place as he recovered; and he was soon a healthy young man again. But the two men who came here with him died, because they refused to use the waters as prescribed.

"After my father recovered his health it was too late to return to Franklin, and he had to remain here. In about two years he was married to my mother; and one year later I was born and named for Sir John Franklin.

"My father and his two friends brought here in their pockets, a small prayer book, a little song book, a small copy of Burn's poems, a novel and some other small pamphlets that they had with them to pass away dreary time; and this is all the English print I have ever seen.

"But my father did all he could to educate me in the English language. I can hardly remember when he commenced teaching me to read and write it.

"Besides these English books mentioned he wrote many lessons on geography and history and had me read and study them. Yet he had greater trouble in teaching me to speak the language than to read it. But, by talking with me in the English tongue only, for a few years, he partially succeeded so that I am now enabled to use it in this grateful way. Oh, how I wish he could have lived to meet you.

"Father long hoped that some of the English people might reach this place so that he could hear from his old home and learn the fate of Franklin. After he learned the Ke Whonkus language sufficiently he desired to visit the Pole country; but his friends here advised him to wait for an invitation from the government authorities, so that he could go free of expense and have better protection. But the authorities delayed the issue of the invitation so long that he became discouraged and concluded they did not want him there. Yet, if he had known the real cause of the delay, he would not have formed any such conclusion.

"About twenty years ago he dreamed of seeing Sir John Franklin at the cave where he had left him. It so impressed him that he persuaded two natives to go out with him to the cave to see if his dream were true.

"Father desired to go out through the great tunnel, but as the natives have a traditional fear of going through it, they went out at the way he had come in. And, as they have not returned, we believe they were frozen.

"Only a few days after father started to the cave an order, inviting him and his family to visit the Pole country a whole year, as guests of state, at government expense, was received. So, after waiting a year for father's return, my mother with my brother and myself, went over and spent a year, most of the time at the national capital, and I attended the national college—all at government expense.

"While at the capital I learned that the long delay in issuing the invitation to father was caused by a fear that the secret emissaries of the priests might assassinate him, because he was not only an advocate of a strange religion but was married to the sister of two scientists whom they had assassinated, as I will explain.

"Father believed in a religion that he called Christianity. Of course you must know more about that religion than I do though he tried to teach it to me. I merely mentioned it in this connection to explain why my poor father never visited the great Ke Whonkus country around the North Pole, as he so much desired to do.

"The people here, as also in all Ke Whonkus as a general thing, belonged to one or the other of the two classes: Those who claim to be religious and worship the sun about as my father worshiped a deity, whom he called God: or those who claim to be scientists and follow reason for their guide.

"When father came here there were two priests ('popinjaks' in Ke Whonkus) with their servants living here, though a majority of the residents were scientists. After father had been married about a year the two priests became greatly enraged at the publication of some matters by two of my mother's brothers who were leading scientists, and who were soon after that assassinated. And, as my two uncles had no known enemies, most of the people here believe they were killed by the servants of the priests, but they could not prove which were the guilty ones; because the priests, the only persons likely to know the facts, refused to tell or testify. They claimed that confessions made to them as priests were sacred trusts.

"Finally the scientists, or liberals, as they are sometimes called, assembled in mass and demanded that the priests should tell who the assassins were, or else leave Ke Swank-e forever, and they left.

"Though father was a modest, unassuming man, not at all aggressive in the promulgation of his faith, and he had had no trouble at all with the priests nor any one else, it seems that the authorities at the capital after considering the circumstance I have related, feared that the priest-hood might still believe his being here and his relation to my uncles had something to do in the trouble, even if he was not the prime cause of it. Therefore the delay in the invitation."

Here we asked Captain Maxwell why the people feared to go through the great tunnel, and he replied:

"Gentlemen, although I may be a little tedious, I will tell you that, also. According to both history and tradition there were a great many more people in this North Pole country in some of the past ages than at present; and they were mostly slaves to both priest-craft and king-craft.

"Between sixteen and seventeen hundred years ago, the population was three to four times as great as now. At that time Zebus, a great and powerful king, reigned, and he forced the people to go where ever he ordered and to work where he directed.

"He had the great tunnel first cut through to see how far the coal bed extended. After he learned it led to the outside world, he had it enlarged to its present size, in order that he might ride through it in his carriage.

"After finding the country could be explored still further, and nearer the great sun during our dark season, he ordered his people to go on and make a road as far to the south as possible.

"When his people reached open waters he sent out folding boats, made of strong water proof cloth on folding frame work. They were made here, folded up and sent out on sledges, the same as clothing, tools and provisions were transported.

"It is history that he sent out over two hundred thousand men to work on his road, and not more than one in ten of them ever returned. They died from cold, fatigue, and exposure in that cold, windy, changeable climate.

"In about seventeen years they had reached a country where they found trees, grass, fish, animals, fowls, and red people, and where the great sun could be seen a part of every twenty-four hours in the year. Then Zebus was so well pleased that he determined to go and see it himself.

"He took his sons, several priests, and many other friends and went on as far as the road had been completed. But finding the further he went the warmer the weather was he kept on till he came to a strong body of the red people, who killed him and his sons and the priests and nearly all the other people with him. Of all those with him only six ever returned through the tunnel, and three of them died soon after.

"After the survivors reported the country in that direction to be full of 'red devils' and what they had done, the people here were so alarmed they abandoned the tunnel and tore away the approach to it to prevent the red men from coming into Ke Swank-e.

"However, after father learned to speak our language, he informed the people here that the red devils, so called, whom the people of the long ago feared, were only savage, red men, called Indians, and there was never any danger of their coming over the great ice plains. In fact, such fear had long before died out among our most intelligent people; but as there was no necessity for opening the tunnel till you came, it was not done."


FINDING Captain Maxwell both able and willing to furnish us much of the information we desired in regard to the North Pole country and its inhabitants we inquired of him its extent, its present population, why the people were more numerous in the time of Zebus than now, etc., and he answered:

"Translating our measure into English it will make five hundred and seventeen miles from here to the island, Ke Kultus, which is near the center of the open Pole country; and it is about one hundred and fifty miles from here to the open ocean. Of course you understand the open Pole country is round like the head of a barrel. It is also a little more than seven hundred English miles in diameter including what we call the ice-water rim around the outer border, which mostly freezes over in winter and thaws out in summer; and it is about equal to a territory six hundred miles square, which will make about three hundred and sixty thousand square miles. Our map shows that fully three-fifths, or about two hundred and sixteen thousand square miles of it is land and the remainder water.

"The water is mostly around the outside. Yet there are some inlets and bays reaching far toward the center, besides the bay which extends clear in and all around the island, Ke Kultus. There are also many islands around the main land, and in fact all through the open polar ocean.

"The main land, also, has fresh water lakes with small streams emptying into them and rivers leading off from them to the ocean. Though the face of the country is usually smooth and fertile, there are occasionally small mountains all over Ke Whonkus.

"If we were at the center of the Pole country (the north end of the earth) any direction from it would, of course, be south. But from here, and using your customary idea of directions, Ti-e, the chief lake would be about seventy miles a little west of north from Ke Kultus, which is the center; and the river Ti-e, running south from the west end of the lake, and in its course, forming a long curve westward, empties into an inlet of the ocean a little west of north from here. The ancient city of Sauhil-a, on lake Ti-e, was the capital from the time our history began up to about eighteen hundred and fifty-six years ago; but since that time Ke Yopako, on the river Ti-e, sixty miles below Sauhil-a, has been the capital.

"The report of our census commissioner for the last year puts our population about 4,569,000. Of course it is a little more now. And that it is less now than in the time of Zebus is the result of several long devastating wars. It appears that more women and children died from starvation and other causes during such wars in this country, than there were men slain in battles.

"According to reliable Ke Whonkus history, which extends into the remote past about eleven thousand years (all back of that, about seventeen thousand years, being merely traditional) this country was governed by imperialism through a regular line of monarchs, or kings, from the birth of authentic history up to the end of Zebu's reign; yet the Popokoks, or Popes as you translate it, usually controlled the kings to a great extent, besides having full control of all offenders against religion, including both trial and punishment.

"After Zebus and all his sons were slain several persons claimed the right to be king; and a long war in which nearly two-thirds of the inhabitants perished was the result. Finally it was compromised by making the Pope also the king. But as there were, even at that early date, many people opposed to the Pope exercising temporal powers, rebellion after rebellion; causing more or less loss of life, was the result for nearly three hundred years. After that the Popes appointed kings to exercise all temporal powers except the trial and punishment of infidels, heretics, and other offenders of the sun-worship religion. Yet the people continued to rebel occasionally, because they thought the head of the church had too much influence over such kings.

"About one hundred and ninety-six years ago, after the population had been reduced to about one million by wars, the people succeeded in dethroning a bad king and establishing a republic; or I might say a limited 'priest-ocracy;' because the scientists were not allowed all the rights enjoyed by the priesthood, including all in clerical robes, even down to the 'muk-jaks' (monks, in English.) And the women were not permitted to exercise any political rights at all. Of course you know that such a government was not a full, pure, and consistent republic.

"About one hundred and seven years ago the sun-worshipers undertook to crush out all opposition to their religion, and that caused a war for nearly seven years and the death of about one third of the people. But finally the liberal army, under General Rinkl, triumphed. Common sense then prevailed, peace was restored, and our present form of government established. It permits all to believe as they please, or rather as they can; for really our opinions are no more under our control than the blood in our arteries; and, strange as it may appear to you, our religious people cannot appreciate that fact yet.

"Now those who still adhere to the old religion are still trying to teach it, and those who favor rationalism and the sciences are teaching their doctrines; and, as the latter are the better educated, they generally hold the offices.

"Our government is now reasonably good and the people are making fair progress in education, and morals, and advancing in civilization generally. When one commits a crime he is tested and treated for disease of mind and usually cured, instead of being inhumanely punished or put to death as was formerly done."

Here I asked how they cured criminals, and he said:

"That is done according to the diagnosis in each case. If it be for insanity alone in any form, the person is sent to a hospital for that purpose. But if it be for brutality, or any other form of cussedness, he is put down under ground where he can neither see nor hear any person or thing. In this way cussedness is usually cured in from two to three weeks. Three months of absolute solitude is seldom necessary to cure the worst cases. There is but one exception; that is where a person commits a crime in behalf of religion. For some such cases there is no means of cure but education, which requires several years. However, the number of such cases is diminishing every year as superstition gradually fades away.

"We are now also trying to improve our race. No one is permitted to marry unless of lawful age, which is twenty-four years for men and twenty-one for women. They must also prove that they are healthy in both mind and body; that they have moral, temperate, industrious, and economical habits, and that they as contracting parties, possess between them, clear of all encumbrance, as much as five hundred chikama (equal to $400) to commence the family business on. Thus as every proposed marriage goes through our courts before it is permitted, we seldom have a divorce case on docket."

Next we inquired if the country was all settled and how the climate was, and answering slowly he said:

"All the territory has more or less of civilized inhabitants excepting the two islands, Ke Klatter-waw, which is kept as a national park for wild animals, and Ke Kultus, or bad island, which contains the sun-worshiper's hell and is unsafe even for explorers on account of the mighty and terrible half-human 'Kargo' and other great and dangerous animals that inhabit it.

"In the Pole country there are no such great storms and drouths and sudden changes of temperature as my father said there were in the outside world. The temperature commences rising about the first of what you call 'March' before the sun comes in sight, and it gets a little warmer nearly every twenty-four hours until the sun commences returning south, and then gradually cooler till about the beginning of February; and from that until the first of March again it is nearly stationary but quite cold.

"The rainfall in the Pole country is very nearly as needed. In the winter there is but little rain. But it increases as the temperature rises and decreases as the cold increases. Consequently crops usually yield according to the fertility of the soil and the labor bestowed.

"It is, however, not the same here in Ke Swank-e. Though we have no such heavy storms and sudden changes here as in the outside world, we have both in a modified form; and, as the winds high above us frequently carry off the clouds that should give us rain, we occasionally have to select a still time of favorable humidity and then aid the natural forces to produce rain by the explosions up in the air where the warm currents from below come in contact with the cold ones above. The concussion and induced electrical conditions seem to aid the condensation of the vapor." Here Mr. O'Rook asked the captain how the Pole country could be reached, and answering he said:

"The water from this place runs out through the great canyon into the open Polar ocean, which is increased by many springs on its way. Though it runs under the great rocks in several places, the boats can generally run the whole distance; but there are a few places where there are no springs near by to prevent it, the water sometimes freezes over and causes considerable labor to cut away the ice so that boats may pass through. Therefore passengers in the winter usually go from here to Krinka, a station forty miles from here at a great rock and hot springs, on boats. From there to Kropa, another station at a similar place seventy miles further on, they go in sledges drawn by skykes; and from there they can go to almost any port or island on sail and electric vessel."

The captain paused here a moment, and then continued:

"My friends, when you come here again, I hope you will visit the Pole country and see it for your own gratification; and when there you should not fail to spend a while with Professor Kumtux, minister of education and president of the national college near the capital. He is the most learned man among the Ke Whonkus people; and he can give you more reliable information in a day than I can in a month. By to-morrow you will be well rested; then I will take you around to see more of Ke Swank-e and its people.

"Are your accommodations here satisfactory?"

We assured him that our treatment was highly so. In fact we had all that we and our dogs needed and of the best both in quality and preparation. Our table was attended by handsome, neat and polite young ladies, and our lodgings were splendid. Besides this, a Miss Klink-e, a beautiful young lady with keen, black eyes and long, dark curls hanging down her almost snowy white neck to her shoulders, brought out food and helped Skwunk feed our dogs on the best. Miss Klink-e appeared much pleased to see how the dogs obeyed Skwunk's orders, and, though it was only our second day in Fog Hole, I actually caught him making the dogs perform clever tricks to amuse her, which looked to me like love-making—kind o' indirectly.

The next morning Captain Maxwell drove up to the Kofus a team of six animals; not horses, mules donkeys nor oxen; but animals that he called "skykes." They were new to us. We had never read of nor seen such animals before. We cannot describe a skyke better than, supposing such a thing to be possible, we were to take a polar bear, a donkey, and a long-nosed Arkansas hog and combine them all into one animal. Yes, that would just about make a skyke. He has a long nose like a razor-back hog, hair like a polar bear, and ears and tail like a donkey. The movement of these animals is like that of a raccoon, a pace instead of a trot. However, they go as fast as necessary for common travel. Also, like hogs, they root in the ground and will eat almost anything; but at Fog Hole their principal food is fish, of which there is no scarcity.

We were taken over good roads to the great yellow spring, blue spring, clear springs, and other hot and cold springs. We were shown the coal mines, some fine gardens and pastures; also some cattle and goats. The cattle are smaller but the goats are larger than those of the outside world. And while the cows produce the most milk, that from the goats is the richest.

We were also taken to the electric light works. The public light globe is made of pure glass and is nearly eighteen feet in diameter: and it is on a tower two hundred and forty-two feet above the level of the valley. It furnishes fair light for all Fog Hole when artificial light is necessary.

Lastly we were taken to the Court House and Governor's mansion, two fine, stone buildings, and introduced to his Excellency, Governor Wagn Hamr. The Governor was an intelligent, pleasant, dapper, little man with a rather large and well-developed head, broad between the eyes, slanting forehead, and inclined to baldness. His beard was immense and reached nearly to his knees; but the latter was not uncommon in Ke Whonkus. After giving us quite a welcome reception the Governor in person, led us into his dining hall where we feasted on the best that Fog Hole could afford. A better dinner I have seldom seen; and for dessert, we had strawberries as large as hen's eggs, deliciously smothered in cream. Skwunk said they came near causing him to swallow his tongue.

After dinner the Governor showed us through his fine garden, the Court House, public grounds, and pleasure resorts.

We learned that a governor, sheriff, treasurer, auditor, and school director are elected by the vote of the people of Ke Swank-e every six years; a member of the national congress every three years, and a council of seven members every three years. The governor, with the sanction of the council, appoints ten policemen, and the national President appoints a judge; and these are all the regular officers of Ke Swank-e.

The Governor acts as presiding officer at all meetings of the council, and also acts as a judge within a limited jurisdiction; but litigants may appeal from his court to the higher one, and in some cases claim a trial by a jury.

The Governor hires a clerk to keep the books and make up the records. The sheriff acts as chief of police and also assesses the incomes. The treasurer collects the interest on the money loaned and the tax on incomes, and pays it out on orders drawn by the auditor and approved by the Governor.

We found the people at Fog Hole using about the same division of time that we had adopted at the suggestion of Captain Von Snouchenpucker. That is, they use twelve hours (one-half of every revolution of the earth) for labor and business, and the other half as night for rest. But they also have three hours for rest in the middle of their day which leaves but nine hours for labor and business.

That evening the splendid Ke Swank-e band rendered excellent music, and the nicest of dancing was enjoyed by all, including the Governor, till a late hour.

The Governor, through Captain Maxwell, expressed his gratification with our visit, and said he would call at the Kofus and accompany us to the tunnel when we started back to the ship. He also invited us to call on him again and sent an invitation to Captain Von Snouchenpucker to visit him likewise. He further said he would use his influence to have the general government extend us an invitation to visit the whole of the great Ke Whonkus country at public expense.

The next day Captain Maxwell took us down the canyon on a boat where we had fine sport catching fish and shooting fowls. On our return to the hotel that evening we held a consultation and concluded that, as we were well rested, had seen and learned so much, and were uneasy concerning the conditions of Capt. Puck and Mr. Rose we would start back to Puck's Springs the next morning, and we so notified the Governor and Captain Maxwell.

When morning came Gov. Wagn Hamr, Captain Maxwell, and many other citizens called to see us off; that is up into the tunnel. Skwunk harnessed up the teams as usual, but appeared to be in deep meditation. Finally he said:

"Captain if you can get along without me I believe I will stay here." But after I informed him that I expected we would be back there again in about three weeks, and also that it was his duty to return to the ship and procure a release from Captain Puck before leaving his service, he consented to go on with us. After that, however, he slipped back into the hotel to see Miss Klink-e again; and that explained his conduct. Poor boy, he was in love with the young lady in dead earnest.

Sometimes great and astonishing results grow out of small and apparently trifling events; and Skwunk, the unpretentious youth, had no thought at the time, that the few stolen moments spent in going back into the Kofus to see his charming little lady-love of so few days acquaintance, would work or lead to a great and wonderful change in the future destinies of himself and his six comrades, and perhaps, also the history of the Ke Whonkus people, if not more or less, of all civilized nations, for ages to come.

While Skwunk was engaged in gearing our teams I felt an unusually large streak of liberality passing through my heart and I presented the Governor, Captain Maxwell, and our good host, Ki Mukamux, or Mr. Mukamux, as we called him, each, with a watch and left one with the Governor to be sent to the President.

Although I expected to return to Fog Hole I did not bestow these presents with a view to future speculation, as is too often done; I did so because of the excellent treatment we had already received, and for which all compensation had been refused.

Mr. Mukamux, though near a hundred years old, looked to the comfort of his guests as closely as any young landlord could have done. His snowy white beard a foot and a half long gave him the appearance of an old patriarch: and, being a small and rather bow-legged man, he reminded me of the description given in the apocryphal new testament of St. Paul. The good old man, though he had a fair pocket time piece, on receiving a present of one so small and beautiful from the outside world, with tears of gratitude in his ancient eyes, told Captain Maxwell that on our return to Ke Swank-e we should board at the Kofus a whole year to receive compensation for it.

Though our two sledges were about equally loaded, the one Skwunk, Shine, Dash, and myself had charge of usually traveled in front because it carried nearly all the guns, ammunition, glasses, etc., while the other one which was in charge of Mr. O'Rook, Totswaliper, and Gougebit, carried most of the provisions and traveled in the rear.

But the delay in starting our team, caused by Skwunk going back to see Klink-e, put the other sledge and men belonging to it a head of us, and they went on up into the tunnel before stopping to wait for us.

When the rest of us with our team had nearly reached the tunnel, one of the main braces of the bridge gave way, and the whole structure fell with a crash; and men, sledge, and dogs all fell on the rocks and into the water below with a part of the bridge on top of us.


OUR Fog Hole friends soon had us out on dry ground; but all of us, except two dogs, were more or less crippled. Simon Shine had a leg and an arm broken and was injured in his spine. Peter Dash had a thigh broken and a splinter in one eye, besides an internal injury. Skwunk had an elbow joint dislocated, and I had a shoulder sprained besides other bruises. Our sledge was also badly damaged; and the disappointment was heart sickening to all but Skwunk.

It being impossible to proceed on our way to Puck's Springs we decided that Mr. O'Rook and the two men with him in the tunnel should go on and report to Captain Von Snouchenpucker the discoveries we had made and the accident that prevented the return of the four of us left at Fog Hole; this being the best that could be done under the circumstances.

The last that we saw of our friends, O'Rook, Gougebit, and Totswaliper, was when they bade us farewell from the mouth of the tunnel while we were being helped into carriages to convey us back to the hotel.

In a short time we were taken back to the Kofus where two good surgeons set our broken and dislocated bones, and gave us and our dogs their best attention. Miss Klink-e, who we have since learned, is a great granddaughter of Mr. Mukamux and a cousin to Captain Maxwell, gave her best attention, first to Skwunk, secondly to the rest of us men, and lastly to our wounded dogs. Indeed, she waited on Skwunk so admirably as to cause me to suspect that he was glad the accident had happened. At least he did not complain of our bad luck, as the rest of us did.

On the second day after the accident I informed the Governor that I expected Captain Von Snouchenpucker or some of his men to be with us in two or three weeks; and he then ordered a good bridge built at the mouth of the tunnel, which work was completed in fifteen days.

In a few days after our return to the hotel our good friend, Captain Maxwell, suggested that those of us who were able might be learning the Ke Whonkus language, and that he would give us a lesson daily.

The idea seemed so good I at once mentioned the matter to Skwunk, but I found he was already at it and Klink-e was his teacher. It was then arranged for the Captain to give each of us two a lesson every morning and Miss Klink-e to do the same every evening. Our friends, Shine and Dash, were not able to take lessons.

On the eleventh day after the accident Simon Shine died from his injuries; and the next day Peter Dash also died from his wounds. Although good surgeons attended these friends of ours as skillfully as possible, their injuries were of such a nature as to baffle all aid of science.

We could have had our two comrades cremated according to the custom of Ke Swank-e, but we preferred to bury them in accordance with the ways of their fathers. So, we had neat coffins made for them, and buried them in a little grove on the bank of Fish Creek about a mile above the city. We also placed a neat stone with his name carved thereon, at the head of each one's grave; so that if any of their friends ever visit Fog Hole they may find the place where these good fellows sleep.

The burial of these comrades was to me a sad occasion. It was, too, the first time in life that it became my duty to read a burial service, and I did so to the best of my ability, giving them in an humble way the first Christian burial in Ke Whonkus.

After the burial of our two companions, we had nothing to do but to bathe our wounds and study our lessons. As Klink-e had given Skwunk a few lessons in advance he had a little the start of me; but by hard work I caught up with him; and then tried to leave him behind. However, I could not do it. Our teacher, Klink-e, would give him extra lessons and attention, and it was all I could do to even keep up with him. I did not blame her though, for I had known school-marms to do so at home.

As the Ke Whonkus language is purely phonetic, and as its orthography or "spelling" (if it may be called spelling) is natural we soon learned to read. Indeed, we were fair readers in a few days.

As this may seem incredible to some people I will explain: As is known the human voice is capable of uttering forty-three different, distinct, elementary sounds. Now, the Ke Whonkus alphabet contains a separate letter for each one of these sounds; that is, it has forty-three instead of the English twenty-six.

Of course each of these letters has a name, but it is never used in spelling. It is used only when the letter is spoken of. In spelling only the sound of the letter is used. Then, spelling consists in simply joining together the several sounds in a word.

The speller first, by strict attention, gets a clear understanding of the word, and then utters, one after another, the sounds composing it. If he spells a written word, he merely sounds the different letters as he comes to them, beginning on the left hand.

There being forty three letters, it requires, of course, a little longer to learn the alphabet than in English; but, when once the sight with the sound becomes familiar, the task of learning to spell, so tedious, tiresome, and next to impossible in most languages, is accomplished.

In short, when a pupil is once capable of sounding his letters readily, he is already a reader.

To make this still plainer I will refer to the fact that in English several of our letters have a plurality of sounds, as a, e, i, o, u, g, c, and s. Take a for an example. It has seven, as in what, ate, far, mat, hall, air and grass. Here in spelling, we first call it a every time, and then pronounce it something else every time but once. And so with the rest of the plurals.

Now, this is confusing and renders the matter of spelling one of memory rather than principle; hence we have so few good English spellers. And in the French and some other languages it is even still worse. In Ke Whonkus there is but one a (long a) and it is never called anything else in spelling, but a.

Then, in the Ke Whonkus there is a letter representing the English th (hard) and th (soft) also oi, ou, sh, ch, ng and zh. They have no c, q, nor x.

Also, in the Ke Whonkus there are no "double" letters, no "silent" ones, and no so-called "final" ones; in short no surplus ones used.

The result of this is that all the people spell the same words the same way and do not know how to spell them any other way. Indeed there is but one way to spell any given word; if it were spelled in any other way it would have to come out as a different word entirely.

Skwunk put it clearly and truly when he said it was just as hard to learn to spell incorrectly in Ke Whonkus as it is to spell correctly in English and some other languages.

Then, as a consequence of this perfection and sameness in spelling, the people all over Ke Whonkus and its many separate islands speak exactly the same language, there being no dialects nor local variations. Not only so, but in learning the alphabet, people learn, when young, the habit of clear, distinct articulation as well as correct pronunciation.

And, oh! what a lovely effect, this has in song. The singer in Ke Whonkus whose words could not be perfectly understood would be hooted off the stage in a hurry.

But I may say here that loud speaking is considered in bad taste there, in fact, vulgar, except on religious subjects.

Speech making is generally conversational, excepting with the Sun-worship priests who claim loudness to add effect to their sermons.

To give the reader an idea of the shortening of words by phonetic spelling I will say that by it I would spell the English word schottische, with five letters; phthisic, with five; through, with three; and thought with three, and so on; and I would spell them just as fully and perfectly and with the same pronunciation as by our present inconsistent and round-about way.

Yes, we learned to read, and read well, in about two weeks. But when we came to learn the meaning of words it was more difficult; yet still not more so than in other languages. In Ke Whonkus all words of the same sound are of course spelled the same way; hence a few words have a plurality of meaning.

For illustration: In English we spell wright, right, write, and rite, each method indicating a different meaning. But in Ke Whonkus we would spell it always with the same three letters. But as one becomes a reader he soon learns to get the meaning of words by their connections. If, however, we wish to turn to the national dictionary we will find the definitions (of words having plural meanings) numbered.

In Ke Whonkus they have a national board of language that sits occasionally to settle all controversies and questions that may arise. The board hears all persons interested, in person or in writing; and when its decision is rendered it has the sanction of law, the acquiescence of scholars, and is recorded in the national language record.

In Ke Whonkus they have the scientific convenience of a pronoun of the third person, singular number and common gender; and I would respectfully suggest its adoption in English: "Thon," (the one) instead of the awkward use of "he or she."

The music there is also written in phonetics. But not understanding the science even in my own mother tongue I did not study it there. Skwunk, however, who is informed in what he calls the "angelic art," explained to me that they have a character or letter to represent each one of the tones of the septave scale; that is a musical alphabet of seven letters.

Then, these letters have little parasite-like dots, marks and numbers stuck around on them like so many ticks, to indicate the pitch, length, flat, sharp, swell and other properties of tone.

Skwunk thought it exceedingly simple, far more so than our Italian system, and therefore better adapted to vocal music. But he didn't see into it far enough, on short study, to understand how it meets the needs of instruments as well as the Italian method.

Dear, angel-hearted Skwunk! How deeply I have heard him sigh and earnestly wish God had revealed or would yet reveal some system of teaching music so simple that all his children, the world over, could learn to do their own singing of His praises, instead of having to depend on the church choirs to do it for them by proxy.

I would not be surprised if Skwunk himself should some day be the inspired genius to invent such a system, having the simple phonetic method of Ke Whonkus as a pointer.

Skwunk used to say that if he were to get the world's people all to Heaven he would waft them there on the wavy wings of music.

For the first two months we anxiously expected some of our friends from the Polar Star. After that we felt so much troubled in regard to their fate that, had it not been for the lameness of two dogs and lateness of the season, we would have started back to Puck's Springs to learn what had become of them.

After abandoning all hope of our friends coming to us that season we applied ourselves diligently to the further study of the Ke Whonkus language for the purpose of lecturing. At the suggestion of Captain Maxwell we wrote the best lectures we could in English, and on such subjects as he thought might be the most interesting to the Ke Whonkus people; and he assisted us in translating them into the Ke Whonkus.

I wrote on climates, peoples, governments, civilizations, education, language, the Christian religion, and religion generally. Skwunk gave his attention mainly to practical science, the mechanical arts, and machinery generally as applied in the outside world; and also to the Christian religion with its wonderful effect on the morals of the human race.

After committing our lectures well to memory in the Ke Whonkus language, we declaimed them over and over again before the Captain till he admitted that we spoke them fairly well. I felt that the undertaking would result in an accomplishment to render me much satisfaction; and so it transpired.


EARLY one morning, after we had been at Fog Hole near three months Skwunk came into my room greatly excited and said he was in trouble and had come in to consult me about it. When I inquired as to his difficulty he blushed and said he was engaged to be married to our teacher, Miss Klink-e Mukamux. I then remarked that such an engagement to so handsome and worthy a young lady as Miss Klink-e should give him pleasure instead of distress, and asked when the wedding was to take place. He assured me it was not the engagement that troubled him: he was pleased with that; but he had, by mere accident, found a letter to Klink-e from an old lover over at the capital and he was to be here in a few days.

"You know." said he, "Old lovers are dangerous rivals. I don't wish to take any chances with him. I fear it is now or never with me. I wish to close in with my little angel while she is attainable; and I want the wedding to be now just as soon as possible. Can you assist me in any way?"

I had found Skwunk to be a clever young man. In fact he has some noble qualities; and his condition then engaged my sympathy. I had thought he was in love with our little school marm, but had no idea of an engagement so soon. I informed him of what I had learned in regard to the stringent, Ke Whonkus marriage laws and that confused him still more.

However, he suggested that he might, perhaps, prove his age to the Governor's satisfaction by his general appearance, backed by his own affidavit, and if so he could prove all the rest but his possessions by me. Then if Klink-e could not give him 400 chickama to show up, what was he to do?

He went to see Klink-e, but she could show no more then her own necessary 100 chickama. Here the poor boy was in a fix. But in love, a man will catch at straws as if drowning. We had but little coin between us, and my paper money could not assist him. Finally, in his bewilderment, he said:

"I will try my old silver watch. If they value it as they appear to value those you gave them, it may be sufficient I do hope it may."

But as his old watch was out of running order I feared the Governor might regard such an offer as an insult. However, it proved to be a profitable thought for Skwunk because it reminded me of my fine new watches which would likely fill the bill. I gave him four of them as a wedding present, and he was so completely overwhelmed with joy that he could scarcely speak for several minutes. Then his thanks poured forth in copious effusion; and while expressing his gratitude to me, he said:

"Thank the Lord. Now, Klink-e will be mine, if I can only get the ceremony performed before the arrival of her old admirer."

As the gentleman from the capital was likely to come at almost any hour this wedding business of my friend had to be done up in a hurry, or perhaps not at all. Consequently, as soon as breakfast was over, we got Klink-e and Mr. Mukamux, and his family physician to go with us before the Governor to file a petition and make the necessary proof to obtain the license, that is, the court's marriage permission. Klink-e introduced her evidence first. She proved by Mr. Mukamux that she was twenty-one years old; that she was moral, temperate, industrious, and economical in her habits; and that she possessed as much as 100 chickama in values over and above all encumbrance.

Then Skwunk proved the same of himself by me, except as to his age and possessions; He also produced the watches I had given him and proved by me they were his unencumbered property; and submitted their value to the Governor, who decided they would sell for the 400 chickama because of being from the outside world. After that he submitted his general, personal appearance together with his own affidavit in proof that he was twenty-four years old; and his Excellency, being the court, said:

"Although the evidence as to Mr. Skwunk's age is a little short of what is usually demanded, a marriage that seems so appropriate should not be prevented by a legal technicality; therefore under the circumstances, I will accept it."

After that the family physician testified that both matrimonial candidates were healthy in both mind and body; and then the Governor ordered his clerk to issue the permit and make up the record. He then asked Skwunk when and where he desired the ceremony performed, the reply being:

"At the Kofus at 2 o'clock p. m. today, if possible."

His Excellency smiled considerably; but whether it was at Skwunk's broken Ke Whonkus, or the unusual haste I cannot tell. However he politely said he would be there promptly to attend to it.

To us it was a strange proceeding to obtain a marriage license, because we had never known anything like it before. But since we have learned the great benefit it has been to the Ke Whonkus people, we are rather astonished that all other civilized nations have not adopted some similar system to regulate the forming of the most important and sacred relation into which people can enter.

When the Governor arrived he found the hotel full of well dressed people to witness the long and very impressive ceremony and partake of the sumptuous feast prepared by Host Mukamux in honor of the marriage of his great granddaughter.

After the ceremony was over Skwunk appeared greatly relieved, and behaved better than I expected.

When all had feasted on the best viands that Fog Hole could furnish, a dinner that the monarchs of Europe would be proud of, the accomplished Ke Swank-e band furnished the most charming music; and the nicest of dancing, with pleasant, general merriment, lasted until a late hour.

Circumstances leading to important events are sometimes made up of links seemingly of little consequence as they transpire. Little did I think when purchasing the watches at St Johns, that they were to cut so great a figure, and become the keystone in the arch over one of the most important marriages that has been consummated in Ke Whonkus in modern times.

The next morning Skwunk and Klink-e started off on their wedding tour. That is, they walked over to Captain Maxwell's to spend the day with himself and family. As they were starting I remarked to Skwunk, in English, that Klink-e, in her white wedding dress was the sweetest looking bride I had ever seen.

"Yes," said he, "she looks good enough to eat, and she is all my meat now, too."

Soon after Skwunk and his bride left, in stepped a stranger and handed me his card:—"Slipera Whiskea." He was rather a fine looking young man; but I saw that he was greatly excited, and I suspected that he was Klink-e's old lover. In order to avoid conversation with him, I invited him, in as broken Ke Whonkus as possible, to take a seat in another room until I could send for Captain Maxwell.

In a short time the Captain arrived and asked the fellow what he wanted, and he rather bluntly said:

"I want to see one Skwunk, a fellow from the outside world, who has lately come in here and has taken my girl from me."

We laughed, much to his chagrin. On being informed that Skwunk and Klink-e were out visiting some of her relatives he declared he would challenge Skwunk to duel as soon as he returned. But the Captain promptly informed him that under the law, challenging a man to deadly combat within the first hundred days after marriage is a crime; and, if a man is killed under such circumstances, it is equivalent to assassination or murder.

After a little reflection Whiskea asked if I was Skwunk's friend, and on being informed I was, said:

"Then, I challenge his friend. I must have revenge or die in the attempt."

I did not desire a combat with the fellow; but I saw no honorable means of escape. I desired the people to believe I was both manly and brave. However, after Captain Maxwell informed me that, being the challenged party, I had the right of choice of weapons and distance, I felt much safer and consequently a great deal braver.

I accepted the challenge; and, knowing that my antagonist would have to use one of the short barrel, Ke Whonkus guns, which is not reliable for over a hundred steps, I chose our bear gun and three hundred steps distance and told young Whiskea he might use any Ke Whonkus hand gun he chose.

We went up the West Creek to a level place and the captain stepped off the distance. I then requested the Captain to tell my opponent to mark the spot on his head or breast where he preferred being shot and I would try to put a hole through him precisely at the chosen place, large enough for his surgeon to insert his hand. About the same time some one else told him that I had shot off the heads of several ducks at about that distance.

This rather bluffed the brave, young Ke Whonkian and placed him in a ridiculous quandary. He had, through excitement, committed a very rash and imprudent act in giving the challenge; and then he had but a few minutes in which to decide which horn of his dilemma he would accept, the instant death of a brave fool, or the disgrace of a foolish coward.

However, in his overwhelming confusion, he said:

"Sir, you will have so much the advantage it will be like murdering me."

I replied: "Quite sure indeed; but it is your fault, not mine. If you prefer to live, withdraw your challenge." Although the young man was greatly confused and agitated it was plainly to be seen that he did not desire to accept either death or disgrace.

Also, by that time I had reflected on the probable consequences to my friend Skwunk, as well as to myself, that might grow out of such a combat with any of the natives, and I was really as anxious to avoid it as was my challenger. I therefore privately requested the Captain to recommend an armistice for twenty-four hours in order to settle the matter amicably if possible; and he did so.

After a little consultation with our friends (a mere pretense on my part) we both gladly consented to the armistice; at least I know I did and I presume my opponent did, also.

That evening I consulted several friends, all of whom agreed that the trouble should be settled without bloodshed if possible. Consequently, on the following morning I sent Capt. Maxwell to inform the young man that I was conscientiously opposed to dueling; that I merely accepted his challenge because I saw no honorable way to avoid it; that I regretted to have to kill him or any one else as much as his friends would to see him killed; that from his appearance I took him to be a worthy young man who deserved a better fate than being slain in an unequal duel; and that I would permit him to honorably withdraw his challenge.

After a short consultation with some friends the disappointed young man came in, politely withdrew his challenge, and as a token of amicable settlement, presented me with his fine, diamond breastpin, worth in Europe from fifteen to twenty thousand dollars; and I gave him in return a small European watch worth from fifteen to twenty dollars at the same place. We were both well pleased with our presents; and after having a good, hearty shaking of hands, we parted in peace, and he left Ke Swank-e.

When I remarked to Skwunk and Maxwell that my conscience rather condemned me on account of the vast difference in the values of the presents they held that it was all right; that a gentleman could not afford to be so harassed and worried under such circumstances for less compensation; and that the promoters of all such troubles should be made to pay the costs.

Soon after my happy settlement with the disappointed lover, a friend informed me that President Klimax had undoubtedly received the watch I sent him; but it was possible, as we were strangers from the outside world, that he had sent out a national detective to fully investigate us before taking any action in regard to us, even the acknowledgment of the present; and, on the receipt of a favorable report of us he would both acknowledge the receipt of my gift and send us an invitation to visit any or all parts of the Ke Whonkus country at public expense.

Feeling deeply interested in the report to be made of us I attempted to act the detective myself, and soon found the one sent over by the President. He was a plain, common man in appearance, quite sociable, and assumed to be at Ke Swank-e in pursuit of health; but I found he was too sharp to divulge the information I desired.

A few days later I discovered my hair was falling off, though my health otherwise was not much impaired. It so alarmed me that I consulted the celebrated physician, doctor Klose-Chuk, who examined me closely and then asked who had advised me to use the Yellow Hot Spring water. I informed him I had only tasted that water a few times as I had all the other hot and mineral waters brought to the hotel in pipes. He appeared a little confused for a few minutes, and then said:

"You have a clear case of renewal of life, such as we produce with the Yellow Hot spring water. Your present hair will all drop out, but a new crop will come in its place. You will then be physically from twenty to twenty-five years younger and will be likely to live that much longer.. But you have undoubtedly gotten the Yellow Hot spring water into your system in some way."

After a little reflection I informed him that the surgeon who had dressed my wounds bathed them the first three days in that water; and, as it had given me so much relief, I had bathed my whole body in it once a day thereafter.

"That explains the case fully," said he. "You have taken the water into your system by absorption. But it has done its work as well and perhaps more safely than if it had been taken in the usual way through the stomach. You have been insured against its introduction too fast; but you must stop now for ten days. After that I will give you further advice."

On the tenth day the doctor called to see me again. He found my old hair about all gone and a new crop growing. I was also weak and feverish like a child when cutting teeth; but he said I was progressing finely and would need no more of the yellow water. However he advised me to drink of the iron mineral water and bathe in the Blue Spring water till quite well.

We were now dressed in fashionable Ke Whonkus clothing, and by mere sight could hardly be distinguished from the natives, except from our being about a foot taller than the average of them.

Ke Swank-e has been a health resort for thousands of years. Many people of the North Pole country visit this place to recuperate their health and renew their lease on life. Hotel keeping, gardening, fowling and fishing are the principal branches of business here.

The great similarity of the fashions and customs of these people to those of parts of Europe, and especially to those of the French people under the reign of Louis Napoleon, is really astonishing.

The most noticeable difference in their appearance, at a first glance, is the general uniformity in the height and size of the Ke Whonkus people. And while the Ke Whonkians are not so tall as the average of Europeans, they are generally erect and symmetrical in form and handsome in features with well shaped heads, according to phrenological rules.

One evening after Governor Wagn Hamr had given us some very interesting information about the Pope. I suggested to him and Maxwell that if they would assist me a little I would write His Holiness a letter of inquiry. I could now speak the Ke Whonkus well enough to be understood, but I feared I might not be able to write it with sufficient correctness to address an epistle to the great representative of the Sun. They looked at each other and smiled. The captain thought the Popokok would pay no attention to me; but the Governor thought it was probable he would answer in some way, as I was a foreigner. However, they were both pleased with the idea and advised me to write the letter in English and have the Captain assist me to translate it into Ke Whonkus.

I wrote as follows:

To His Holiness, the only inspired representative of the Mighty Sun on Earth; the Holy Popokok, exerciser of supernatural powers, and keeper of the great Temple of the Sun for his Ke Whonkus people, The Great Je Whilikans:

Holy Father!—

Permit me to inform thee that I am an humble citizen of the outside world, and have wandered into Ke Swank-e, a province of the great Ke Whonkus nation, in search of friends who attempted to visit thy great country some years since and have not returned. I would be much pleased to visit thee at the Holy Temple of the Sun. But, as I must return to my people as soon as I well can, I may not have an opportunity to see thee.

I have been informed by some of thy people, that thou canst cure any disease that human flesh is subject to by the exercise of supernatural powers. If so this is glorious news to me; and it may be a great blessing to the human race to understand it generally; even to my people in the outside world.

I know a little of the natural forces, but not much of the supernatural, as operated through thee, and I am anxious to learn as much of this very important matter as possible.

Therefore if it be not inconsistent with thy Holy mission, I humbly ask thee to explain to me the difference between the natural and supernatural powers of the great Sun, as clearly as possible. Also the modus operandi of exercising the supernatural powers so as to cure any disorder; because I wish to teach it to my people in the outside world.

And I assure thee we will ever hold thee in grateful remembrance and bestow appropriate devotion on the great Sun in thy name.

Thy Most Obedient Servant,

Sampson De Lilly.


ON the fourteenth day after mailing my letter to the Pope I received his reply, which on being translated with the assistance of Captain Maxwell, reads as follows:

To Sampson De Lilly,
A stranger from the outside world, Greeting!

Your late ommunication is received. I am gratified to hear from the outside world, and I am happy to aid its people all I can in the name and knowledge of the great Sun; and, with pleasure, I furnish you the information you solicit.

All power (and of course including the natural, or material, and the super-natural, or immaterial) is furnished by the great Sun. But the natural is furnished by a general, and the super-natural by special dispensations.

As you have some knowledge of the natural, it is only necessary for me to explain the supernatural that you may understand the difference.

In the study and exercise of the natural, faith is a result of success. But, in the study and exercise of the super-natural, success is the result of faith.

In the exercise of super-natural power the will-power must be modified to the harmonious condition of perfect adaptability to all co-relations adequate to a full comprehensibility of the immutable and omniscient immateriality of all special dispensations of the arbitrary powers of the spirit of the great Sun in all co-relative and concomitant manifestations of divine goodness in the creative generation and the harmonious development of synonymous physical organizations incompatible with a condition of valetudinarianism overcoming the morbid adhesibility of the molecular atoms of the moribund organization by a circumlocutionary effusion of divine effluvium predominating in revitalization by replacement of the morbid protoplasm with new and revivifying materializations. Heko-bolosi-ke, humbo-vili-ke, Humbo-hik-ke!

Hoping this explanation may be satisfactory I remain yours in plum-bung justification.

Je Whilikans.

The 369th Inspired Popokok, Keeper of the Holy Temple of the Sun, and Exerciser of Supernatural Powers on Earth. In the 11,132d year of the advent of Holy Inspiration, and the 28,272d year of the advent of man on earth.

This remarkable letter was no greater surprise to me than to many of our Ke Swank-e friends. Some of them laughed at it, while others sneered at it, as a burlesque on my inquiry. But some of the sun-worshipers seriously thought it was a grand letter, because it was proof to them of the Popokok's inspiration. They felt sure that no uninspired man could write such an epistle.

But the Governor gave his opinion that, whether so intended or not, the speaking or writing in a language or terms the people cannot comprehend has a tendency to mystify and make people believe in the inspiration of the author; and that he was inclined to believe such was the Pope's intention in his letter.

He further claimed that the Pope's statement that this being the 28,272d year of the advent of man on earth, and only the 11,132d year of inspiration was, to him, very unreasonable and subject to severe criticism.

"If inspiration was necessary at all," insisted the Governor, "why did the great Sun leave the people of the earth for the first 17,140 years in ignorance, without the great benefit of inspiration?"

His Excellency's criticism being unanswerable by any one present, it was agreed that I should show the letter to the great Professor Kumtux when I should visit the Capital and also get his opinion of the wonderful production.

On the following day Skwunk was offered two good homes with fine houses, small orchard, gardens, and vineyards up on the creek above where we buried our friends Shine and Dash, for the four watches I had given him and four more like them. The houses were covered with painted glass and well furnished with fine and fancy glass furniture all ready to live in; and he requested me to furnish the extra watches and take one house.

After a little reflection I gave him four silver watches and told him to close the trade, provided I should be permitted to redeem my watches within a year with 800 chickama. I thought it would be a good deal for him, and should I never wish to occupy mine I would make him a present of it.

I further thought that our being freeholders might aid us in obtaining a national invitation to visit the North Pole country as guests of the government; and in that I was not mistaken. At any rate the day after our deeds were recorded I saw the detective spoken of leaving Ke Swank-e. And, in about three weeks after his departure the Governor informed us that the Congress had passed a resolution tendering us the freedom of the country and making us the nation's guests, with free passage and board for two years, and granting the President the power to extend the time another year at his discretion.

The honorable "Kapitux" in his very grateful letter of acceptance of the fine watch, among other flattering things said:

We expect our people to be much benefited by the knowledge of the sciences and the history of the outside world, which they will gain by associating with our worthy guests.

On hearing this, Skwunk impromptuously exclaimed:

"Well, now, Captain, we must spread ourselves!"

After we had received the nation's invitation to become its guests, Captain Maxwell advised us to deliver a part of our lectures publicly before the people of Ke Swank-e, that we might be better prepared to deliver them at the capital if invited to do so. The suggestion was a good one. We did so: and we succeeded so well on our first attempt that we continued until all were delivered. Also, by his advice, we charged a quarter chickama admittance for the double purpose of making the people appreciate the lectures and for accumulating means to properly equip us for our journey.

We had crowded houses and appreciative audiences, and in a few hours after each lecture we could see it all in print and hear the people discussing its merits.

While our use of the Ke Whonkus language was imperfect it gave us necessary practice, and also as well, furnished the people much desirable information. It also increased our acquaintance and popularity with them.

The ever-present reporters dressed our lectures up in the best shape possible, and they were published under attractive headlines as the most startling news of the age, as indeed it was to them. As the net proceeds of our lectures at Ke Swank-e we had 3,765 chickama to divide between us.

After procuring complete outfits for our journey, including the best clothing the country afforded (and for silk, woolen and linen goods no country on earth can surpass Ke Whonkus) each of us had nearly 1,300 chickama left.

On the last day of February, according to my calendar, we received notice that a government boat was ready to convey us to Krinka, on our way to Ke Yopako, the capital. I call it day because during the nearly six months of night, there called "the dark season," the same division of time is kept as during the long day, or "light season."

When the long night, or dark season, set in we were agreeably surprised to find it came on so gradually that the change in twenty-four hours was hardly noticeable; that the eye timely became adjusted to it; and also to find that after it was fully inaugurated there was still generally sufficient light in which to travel and conduct most of the out-door business. In fact, after the sun is out of sight, they receive more or less light from three different sources, to-wit:—

First; the best of star light the greater part of the time.

Secondly; the aurora borealis, a natural electric light, popularly known in the outside world as the "Northern light," which always furnishes more or less light, and often a surrounding illumination to the whole country for weeks at a time.

Thirdly; the moon which gives its best light there at that time of the year. Though its changes are the same there as in the outside world, in winter it is north of the earth's equator about two weeks at a time, including full moon, and does not set during that time.

When the light from these sources is not sufficient for outdoor business, the great electric light globe is lighted, and it furnishes good light for all Fog Hole during the time used as day.

The houses are also lighted by electricity when it is necessary; and all business goes on as regularly as in the outside world.

When about ready to leave Fog Hole, Skwunk handed me the four watches I had pledged for the little home near his. He had paid the 800 chickama in order to return them to me as a present.

We were soon on the boat; but the parting of Skwunk and Klink-e was quite affecting and tears were shied freely. Indeed it reminded me of the scene described by Robert Burns when he parted with his Highland Mary.

The boat, though a small stern wheeler propelled by electricity, was a fine one and made the distance, about forty miles, to Krinka, in less than five hours. About two-thirds of the way the great canyon is open at the top and we could see the bright stars over head.

But there are six places where the river runs under the mountain, or great rock, making in all about thirteen miles of subterranean passage. There the scenery is sublimely grand—Skwunk said, "awfully grand." At some places the rock was hundreds of feet above us and at others not over forty to fifty feet. At some places where there were large springs boiling up the river was from one to two hundred yards wide, and at others not over one hundred feet.

A good electric headlight made it nearly as bright as daytime, and the pilot who stood near the bow of the boat could generally see a considerable distance ahead. Some of the crew always stood on each side of the boat with machines to keep it away from the rocks.

Krinka is only a way station cut in the great rock, near the water; but there is plenty of room for a hotel, freight storage, and stables; also good water and plenty of fuel. Here we had a good dinner and were furnished great fur wrappers, head dresses, etc., until, as Skwunk said, we looked like great stacks of fur. We even had fine wire gauze fenders to put over our faces to break the force of the cold air we had to breathe.

It is nearly a hundred miles from Krinka to Kropa by water, and it is a little dangerous traveling in winter, by reason of ice in some places; but by land it is only seventy miles. Therefore we were taken the nearer way in a sledge drawn by six large skykes. The skykes were also dressed, as a protection against the immense cold on the high plain, and had rough shod boots to prevent them from slipping on the snow, ice and sleet, that have been accumulating on these plains for ages.

We took our seats in the middle of the sledge; the driver and his assistant took theirs in front; and our two fine-looking police escorts occupied the rear. The lamps to keep our feet warm were lighted and then the team driven onto a platform, when the whole moved up an inclined elevator to the cold plain above, where the thermometer registered 58 degrees below zero. Here our driver cracked his long whip, the two skykes in the lead reared up, and then they all stretched off on a double quick pace together, as if to martial music.

Leaving the great canyon to our right we struck out north on the left side of a row of electric lights. These lights extending from Krinka to Kropa are about a mile apart, and from ten to fifteen feet above the surface, on frames which are wind proof. They are lighted by means of a wire that connects them, and only when teams are on the road.

Besides these lights the teamster had a reflector lantern that cast a light almost a mile ahead. Yet the air was so clear and the stars so bright that his lantern was not necessary.

We traveled about eight miles an hour and did not halt until we reached a way station about forty miles from Krinka, where we drove into comfortable quarters for rest and refreshments. This station is also cut in the side of a great rock and is very necessary for a resting place.

After an hour of rest our driver changed two rather tired skykes for two fresh ones and we started on to Kropa. We had but thirty miles for the last drive, yet it was so much rougher than the first forty that the driver had to encourage some of the animals with his whip to keep them up to usual speed on the last few miles.

On our arrival at the edge of the canyon above Kropa we were let down to it near the water on another inclined elevator. But the distance down is not so great as at Krinka, perhaps not over four hundred feet. We made no halt at Kropa, which is much such a place as Krinka, cut into the rock a few feet above the water. Here we went immediately on board the beautiful government boat, Tumpatum. It is not large compared with boats of the outside world, but it is much finer, stronger, safer and more durable. It not only has large amounts of aluminum and copper in its construction but is richly embellished with the precious metals. It has an outfit for sailing, besides three wheels, one on each side and one in the rear propelled by electricity. The electricity is combined with certain non-explosive material that is sold in bars, or blocks, as a matter of commerce; and in that shape it is carried on boats, cars and vehicles. When used, a block of it is placed in a small machine run by weights and springs like a clock, which deals off the electricity as needed from the block into the motor of the machinery. The boat made twelve miles an hour only, till we reached the broad water. After that the full electric force was applied and the sails unfurled, and away we went at almost railway speed. In a short time we passed an island on our right and soon after another to our left.

A little further on we came to the beautiful city of Kopanika, on an island of the same name; and it being in that portion of time used as night, an electric bomb was thrown off and exploded to awake the people. It was soon answered by one on shore and then instantly a great electric light globe on a high point near the city was lighted so that we could see the fine city with its long, handsome streets reaching from the wharf away back and up a gradual rise, through one of the most pleasant, soft, mellow lights ever produced by art or nature, rendering our view of the splendid city from the boat particularly grand.

After stopping about ten minutes to let a few passengers off and take others on, we were soon under full headway again; and after passing two more islands we soon reached the mouth of the Ti-e river. Then in less than two hours more we were at Ke Yopako, the capital of Ke Whonkus.


WHEN within about a mile of the city, Ke Yopako, a signal rocket was sent up from our boat, which was soon answered by an immense explosion of some kind on shore. We were then met at the landing by his Excellency, Kopo Klimax, the "Kapitux," or President, of the United Ke Whonkus nation, and his chief three cabinet officers, the Hons. Zip Wink, Nedo Finko, and Unik Niska.

After a cordial greeting, some ethical ceremony and congratulations we were escorted by them, in a closed carriage, to the Komoganza, the great national hotel; not under the sound of "booming cannon," but that of some kind of aeriolite explosions which seemed to jar both the very heavens and the earth.

There we were assigned the best suite of rooms in the great hotel and informed that arrangements had been made to banquet us in the fine dining hall that evening; also, that a national ball, or dance, would follow it in the great parlor; and that we would be introduced to several hundred of the leading citizens of the country. But we were notified that we would be served with breakfast in our rooms; and, by the time we were ready for it a most excellent one was set before us.

This hotel is government property and is probably one of the finest in the world. It and the national capital across the street from it, each, occupy nearly an acre of ground; and they are said to be absolutely fire-proof buildings. Here are the headquarters of the government officers, and many of them also live or board here.

By the time we had finished our morning meal the President called, and after apologizing for the intrusion, informed us that vast numbers of people were crowding the streets, all very anxious to see their first visitors from the outside world; also, if we were not too much fatigued he would like to take us through some of the principal thorough-fares of the city in an open carriage, that the populace might see us and be satisfied to retire to their homes and occupations; remarking also, that we could at the same time get a slight view of the capital city. Of course we gave our grateful consent.

Although President Klimax was rather corpulent he was really a live, active, business man, quick in apprehension and decision; and with all, a courteous, sociable gentleman.

We then accompanied the President into his fine, large, open carriage, which was highly ornamented with the most exquisite designs in the precious metals and drawn by six horses as black as crows and as sleek as moles. The three cabinet officers were also our companions. But we had to move slowly to let the people get a good view of us. And then we had frequently to stop till the police could open a way through the surging crowds for the carriage to pass. While the President was frequently pointing out buildings of importance our eyes were really on the masses of people and our ears almost deafened by the noise they were making. I had seen surging crowds of men, women, and children before, but none that could make so much noise. It really appeared as if each one was trying to make more noise than all the others.

It was about noon when we returned to the hotel. Yet, even after that the President was requested to take us out onto a balcony to be gazed at. And, finally he and I both had to make short speeches to the people before they would retire gratified.

The banquet commenced at three o'clock, p. m. according to the division of time kept here, which is the same as that described at Fog Hole. During the long natural night, or dark season, that portion of each twenty-four hours appropriated to labor and business is lighted by great electric globes; and while the sun is in sight, during that part of each twenty-four hours appropriated to rest, nearly all the bed rooms are darkened. Thus these people have both artificial light and artificial darkness to supply a want that nature affords those nearer the equator.

The time intervening between the speaking and the feast was occupied in receiving introductions to the chief dignitaries and citizens of the country; and it was about the most tiresome ordeal through which we had to pass; besides the most annoying, because we could not remember their names.

At the great dinner the President occupied a seat at the head of the long V shaped table in the great dining hall with me on his right and Skwunk on his left. Our position was a good one. It enabled us to see the one-hundred and sixty-three notables seated at the sides of the table reaching away down the long hall in front of us, while they were also situated so as to see us at the end.

It was truly a very entertaining sight and a grand dinner. But we saw no priest, or popinjak as they are called here, at that table. We had seen one occasionally while passing through the city, stick his smoothly shaven head and face out of a door or window to gaze at us, but for some cause they failed to appear at the banquet. At this great feast I could see many old gentleman, and not a few on the bald order; but nearly all had immense beards. As they are generally men of short stature, many had beards reaching nearly to their knees. But a more courteous, polite and intelligent assembly of people I have never seen anywhere. I was also as agreeably surprised, as at Fog Hole, to see that they dress much like the French people; and the women even more so than the men. Although women have the same political rights as men, out of one hundred and sixty-four people at the feast, only thirty-two were women. One of them, Mrs. Sap-e Rinkl, was one hundred and twenty-eight years old, but with all, grand looking beyond description.

The size, splendor and magnificence of the dining hall, the vast amount of fine table ware and other furnishings, the sparkling wines, the many sumptuous dishes served, the brilliant attire of the feasters, the blazing diamonds and other glittering precious jewels displayed in profusion in all directions, were simply amazing. Even the waiters were about as neatly dressed, if not so profusely decorated with jewels, as the guests.

Though I have some knowledge of several languages I find all totally inadequate to do justice to this wonderful occasion. All went on as smoothly as clock-work; and a more exact compliance with all the courtesies, politeness, and conventionalities usual on such occasions I have never witnessed.

Later in the evening when we entered the great drawing-room we were still more surprised to find that its splendor and magnificence exceeded that of the dining hall a hundred percent. Here we met about as many ladies as gentlemen; and all were arrayed in gorgeous dress, while many were decorated with the finest jewelry. Here, also, the worrying ordeal of numerous introductions amidst our glittering, blazing, dazzling, surroundings almost overwhelmed us. Skwunk was really thrown into a state of ecstasy; and when I asked what the trouble was with him, he looked wildly and replied in English:

"I feel like the boy in a sugar hogshead who prayed for a thousand tongues to do the thing justice."

I must confess I was also slightly off my own balance. I could scarcely realize where I was, whether on earth or in Heaven. Was it a reality or only a dream? I hesitated a minute or two in trying to clear my confused and bewildered mind before I could answer. It was a reality, yet a fact truly stranger than fiction, that all this unspeakable experience, was with a people unknown to the rest of the world.

Here we were really at the long sought North Pole or, at least within about ninety miles of the island Ke Kultus, which is undoubtedly the North end of the earth. We were also beholding all, yea more of the splendor, magnificence and glory of this great country than Captain Von Snouchenpucker ever imagined he saw in all his dreams and spiritual visions.

Yet, how wonderfully strange and how sad to reflect that while a poor, shipwrecked, Canadian wanderer, picked up from the ocean waves as an act of humanity, and a young Norwegian adventurer, hired on the voyage to take care of dogs and sledges, are here enjoying all they are physically able to bear, not one of the brave, noble officers, or original crew, of the Polar Star have arrived; and we much fear never may.

When the dancing was to commence the gentlemen had the choice of partners for the first set and the ladies for the second. After that all could make their own arrangements. I was awarded the first choice, Skwunk the second, the President the third, and the other officers according to rank; and then the non-office holders according to age, the oldest first.

The gentlemen being seated on one side of the parlor and the ladies on the other we could see all the ladies before we crossed over to take our choice and lead out our "dancarenes."

I chose the aged Mrs. Sap-e Rinkl for two reasons; First; because I thought it a deserved compliment to her to be the first lady led out at the great national ball. Secondly; although a fair dancer in my young days or rather my first young days (for you have been informed that I am now comparatively a young man again.) I was out of practice, and I presumed that Aunt Sap-e with her experience for over a hundred years, could easily correct any mistake I might make.

But Skwunk, acting on the usual impulse of inexperienced young men, chose the handsomest young lady he could see; and she tinned out to be the lately wedded bride of Slipera Whiskea, our dueling friend. But Slipera could raise no rumpus here. He had to "grin and bear it." However it appears that he had taken the little European watch that I gave him at Fog Hole to the capital, and perhaps through its influence, succeeded in wedding a wealthy and quite handsome young lady. So, instead of being hostile, as we feared, he was agreeably sociable, and appeared well pleased with the novel turn his affairs had taken.

The President led out the beautiful and accomplished Mrs. Wink-e Wink, wife of grand secretary Zip Wink. But Zip soon got even with him by a similar compliment to Mrs. Klimax.

When all were ready the fine national band struck up: "The sun is returning," the most thrillingly charming air I have ever heard, and with dancing time equal to the very best. The dancing also, with the exception of an occasional misstep by Skwunk and myself, seemed absolutely perfect.

Aunt Sap-e carried herself as gracefully as any young lady; and, whether natural or artificial, the really beautiful, black curls hanging down over her ancient, tapering, snow-white neck and over her plump shoulders made her appear truly lovely.

The ball was a grand success, and I received many compliments and congratulations for choosing Aunt Sap-e for my first partner. All agreed that it was a well deserved compliment to her, and nothing else that I could have done at our grand reception ball could have given such universal satisfaction.

During the next fifteen days we spent the forenoons in looking at the fine city, together with its public and other fine buildings, its parks, and streets; and the evenings in lecturing to large audiences at Science Hall.

The people were so anxious to learn all they could about the outside world that the President and his cabinet thought it best for us to give the desired information in lectures and as soon as we conveniently could.

We suggested that they should be free to all, because we were the nation's, the people's guests. But as the authorities feared free admission might draw such immense crowds as to be unmanageable, tickets of admission were sold at one chikama.

Yet the great hall was filled to its utmost capacity every evening with intelligent, appreciative people.

I lectured the first evening and Skwunk the next, and so on alternately, to the end of the course. He was at his best on the mechanical arts and labor-saving machinery as applied in the outside world; and I was at home on history, geography, climates, and the languages, laws, and religious customs and habits of the different nations of the earth. But when we touched on the Christian religion, we were about equal, I think. Neither one of us though, was as well informed in that particular as he should have been for such an extremely important occasion.

We found lecturing in Ke Whonkus quite a different thing from what it is in the outside world, where, as a "liberal" friend of mine used to say; "Any presumptuous, egotistical, enthusiast, or blatherskite, may have a rostrum or pulpit, as a coward's castle, to protect him from having to explain any discrepancy in the doctrines he may promulgate, or reasons advanced to sustain them; and where he may rave and rant, bang books and tables, and with a stentorian voice, try to pound his notions into the people who must either hear them in silence or contemptuously step out"

In Ke Whonkus the custom is that the audience shall always have the right to a division, or equal time, with the orator; and it may be used by asking him pertinent questions in explanation, or in commenting on his statements, or by both combined. And this rule cannot be suspended if there is a single dissenting voice present. I may also remark that all the hearers are present at the opening. No person is permitted to enter the room at any public entertainment of any kind after exercises begin; nor can any one leave until it ends without permission granted by the presiding officer for good cause shown. These rules of respect are always observed.

Although our intelligent and polite audiences during this course of lectures, refrained from using all their rights as hearers, including the usual criticisms, as a matter of courtesy to us, because we were strangers having but a limited acquaintance with them and their language and customs, yet we had, after each lecture, to answer the usual pertinent questions in explanation of our statements, not exceeding the time occupied in its delivery. And, as such questions were generally on the table before us or forth-coming and could not be dodged, we had time only for one lecture each evening.

Ke Yopako is indeed a fine city and the cleanest one I have ever seen. These people build houses and improve streets to last for ages. Seeing the streets were as smooth and clean as the best pavements in other countries I inquired how they were made; and I learned they were paved with blocks composed of equal parts of glass, coarse sand, and fine gravel, and they jointed together so neatly that it is hard to find the seams between them.

It makes a street so smooth that it is easily cleaned by sweeping or washing, which is frequently done, too. It is said one such improvement lasts a century.

It seemed pitiably strange, however, to us, to see a people so far advanced in civilization in a general way, and yet so far behind in religion. The great puzzle is why God has left them thus in heathen darkness. Skwunk once in a spell of despair suggested that God couldn't make anything else than heathen out of such a nation of smarties.


ONE day after I had been examining the great national library and record department until I was a little tired and had taken a seat to rest, I asked Mrs. Sap-e Rinkl, the librarian, whether she had any objection to giving me a short history of herself when she replied that she would do so with pleasure. As it may be more interesting in her own language I will so give it as nearly as I can remember and translate it:

"I am the only child of my parents, who have both been in their graves for over a hundred years. My mother was a zealous devotee of the sun-worship religion; but my father leaned toward the scientific, or liberal thought of his day. He died when I was about thirteen years old.

"After his death my mother indoctrinated me in strict discipline to her faith until I was about seventeen years old; and then she left me also.

"After her death I lived with an uncle, my father's brother, who was a leading scientist, until I was twenty-one years old and was married to General Skukum Rinkl, who was also a leading scientist. While living with my uncle my faith in the sun-worship religion experienced a considerable change; and since then I have grown practically out of it.

"Soon after my marriage the great body of the priesthood held a national council and resolved that all who refused to practice the sun-worship religion should either be made slaves to the faithful or suffer death. That caused great excitement throughout the whole nation.

"Then the scientists and liberals generally held also a national meeting, and after several days in deliberation, resolved that, 'As people cannot control their faiths by mere will power, all belief must necessarily be honest; and therefore, all should have equal rights, both politically and religiously.' And a long, terrible war was the result.

"My husband became the chief commander of all the liberal forces, while a noted priest named Skinkum Waw-waw, was the chief commander of the sun-worship forces. The war continued in shocking severity for over six years, and until about one-third of the people were either slain, died of disease or literally starved to death. Sometimes one army would appear to have the advantage and at other times the other one.

"Finally, nearly all of the available forces on both sides were brought into line of battle about fifteen miles from this city where the national cemetery is located. I presume it was the determination of both commanders to make it the decisive battle of the war.

"Although the sun-worshipers had much advantage in regard to numbers, the liberals had equally as much in skill and courage; because intelligence is a power in war as well as in civil matters.

"The battle lasted near three days. Toward the end of the third day, the liberal forces, being fatigued and discouraged by having to fight nearly double their number, fell back in confusion. After his own forces had retreated General Rinkl observed that the sun-superstition forces did not follow up their victory as usual, but were stacking their arms; and their officers were gathering at one point around their chief, as if they considered the battle won and the war virtually ended. They seemed to be gathering for the purpose of general congratulation.

"Seeing the unguarded condition of the enemy, General Rinkl determined to rally his forces and make one more charge on them, in which the liberals, even if they could not win the battle, might in desperation dispose of their lives so as to make the victory of their enemies as costly as possible.

"In order to inspire his soldiers with sufficient confidence he led the charge, himself, and directly on the crowd of assembled officers, who, as they were not expecting the assault, were not prepared to meet it. The result was a complete victory for the liberals.

"Nearly all of the sun-worship officers were slain. General Rinkl slew the great priest, Waw-waw, and several of his leading officers himself, with a broad sword. Soon after their officers were slain, the sun-worship soldiers became panic-stricken and nearly all surrendered. That victory virtually ended the most important war of our modern times.

"General Rinkl was brought home almost covered with wounds, yet he survived thirty-one days.

"During that time no one but his two surgeons, two attendants, two special friends, and myself were permitted to see him. He dictated and I wrote and sent out all of his orders with his signature to each one; and his aids saw that they were obeyed.

"He expected to die and instructed me to keep his death as secret as possible until the proposed new form of government was safely established. He also signed his name to a sufficient number of blanks and instructed me to continue issuing such orders as I might think for the best so long after his death as might be necessary. After he died I had his body embalmed and secreted it under one of his houses.

"I allowed no one but his surgeons, attendants and two particular friends to know that my husband was dead until after our present form of government had been agreed upon, a congress elected, and it had selected a Kapitux (President) and other officers for the first year. After that the officers were to be chosen by a vote of the people, males and females having equal suffrage.

"When the congress was about to elect General Rinkl to the Kapituxy, after he had been dead almost ten months, I sent in his objections over his own signature, requesting that General Klose Tila-kum be elected in his stead and it was done. When the time came for me to divulge my husband's death it was hard to make the people believe it.

"I was elected national recorder and librarian by the first liberal congress; and when the sun arrives in sight about eighty hours from now I will have held those offices one hundred years.

"As fast as old records have been worn out I have had them renewed. I have performed most of the labor myself, and have tried to do my duty to my country to the best of my feeble ability.

"I have attended all your lectures at Science hall. When you spoke of the system of recording dates in the outside world—how the Christians had established the custom of dating from their era backward and forward, it impressed me that progress renders about the same changes necessary among all peoples.

"When I was inducted into this office I conceived the idea and established a new era to date from very much like that of the Christians. They date before Christ, 'B. C.' and after Christ, 'A. D.' We date before equal rights, 'B. E. R.,' and after equal rights 'A. E. R.' But our year commences when the sun appears here; I believe that is about your 21st of March. We are now near the close of our 100dth, A. E. R. In eighty hours from now our 101st A. E. R. will commence.

"Our days are divided into twenty-four hours each, the same as yours; but our years have thirteen months each. Our first, or great holiday month, has only about five days in it, while the other twelve have thirty days each; and each tenth day is a holiday, corresponding to your Sunday, kept for rest—and by religionists for worship."

Here Mrs. Rinkl stopped and appeared as if she desired me to speak. I suggested that she had exercised a vast influence in establishing the new and liberal government; and perhaps it was through her influence that the women obtained equal rights with the men; and she replied:

"Yes, indirectly. I was almost an absolute dictator for the greater part of a year. I suffered nothing done which I thought was clearly wrong.

"Although the liberals had resolved in favor of equal religious and political rights to all, after the war was over they felt so embittered against the sun-worshipers that they would have disfranchised all of them forever. To prevent it I had to send the convention a protest over General Rinkl's signature, stating positively that he would never recognize such a constitution; but that they might prevent all who had engaged in, or aided or abetted the war for the extermination of the liberals, from ever holding office, and from exercising the elective franchise for the first twenty years.

"I thought that would give the liberals the control of the government and still leave the sun-worshipers all the liberty that could be safely allowed them until they could be sufficiently educated to exercise the rest; also that it would plainly show them that the liberals were not only superior to them in intelligence, but also in mercy, charity, and general humanitarian characteristics.

"But the feeling against the priest-hood was so strong that the convention, at first, refused to grant that request, and sent a committee to see General Rinkl personally. However, I had taken the precaution to instruct the guards not to admit any one under any circumstances; and when the committee arrived I sent out a message to them over the genuine signature of my husband, stating positively that he could not and would not be seen.

"The committee returned and reported the result to the convention. And after several days of consultation and some angry debating that clause of the constitution was finally adopted as requested.

"Then, again, the convention wished to construe the war resolution of 'equal religious and political rights for all,' to mean for all men only. Of course I met that as every good woman should try to do such wrongs. I sent in a protest over the genuine signature of General Rinkl stating positively that he would never recognize any constitution that disfranchised one half of the people, and the better half at that, on account of sex; that the war was fought for equal rights to all, and while he had the power to defend equal suffrage all should have it.

"In this bold stroke I feared a failure; but General Rinkl was held in such high estimation by the people that the convention finally adopted the clause granting full equal rights to all, male and female. And while I do not desire to be egotistical, I look upon that as the grandest act of my long life; and I hope I have lived not in vain.

"I did then, and have ever since done, that which I thought my good husband most desired; and I also expect to keep on doing so until we meet again."

Then I interrogatively suggested that she still believed in a future or continued life, and she answered:

"Yes, or at least I hope for such. Indeed the hope to meet my good husband again, has been more consolation to me, and has done more to sustain me for the last hundred years than all the wealth, honors and laudations showered on me by my beloved people; and they have been all that my heart desired in that direction.

"Yet, if this life should be the only one, and after losing my consciousness I should never regain it, it will then be all the same to me, because I shall never know the lack of it. From that time on it will be the same to me as if I had never existed. Yet, I will have made the best of life, and will have had the blessings of my love and hopes while living."

Here, perhaps, I should have stopped my inquiry. But my curiosity had been aroused and caused me to exclaim:

"And in all these long, hundred years you have loved but the one man?"

With a heart-heaving sigh she replied:

"Although at the age of eighty-five years I went to Ke Swank-e, that you call 'Fog Hole,' and had my lease on life renewed, and for a number of years felt young again, I have never loved any one but him, and never wish to—couldn't!

"The memory of my husband is as sweet and dear to me, and my love for him as strong today as when he gave his life for equal rights over a hundred years ago; and it will continue so until we meet again, if that shall ever be possible."

I here noticed the tears trickling freely down her time-worn cheeks, and I silently wept with the grandest woman of Ke Whonkus—yes, of the world!

Then, heartily wishing her many more happy years and promising to see her again, I wiped the tears from my eyes and took my departure, feeling a good influence from the visit.

I had both received interesting information and learned a good, and I hope, a lasting lesson. I had never before fully appreciated such living, lasting love and such buoyant hope; nor had I ever heard more pointed and satisfactory philosophy of life and death.

I found that the national records run back 11,117 years B. E. R. to the reign of the great Jak-o, who gathered the tribes under one government and started a record. Yet they have one large book of traditional history that reaches back about 28,272 years B. E. R.; but only the sun-worship religionists regard this as reliable and that because it is a part of their creed.

This volume is certainly very ancient, though, as well as useful in proof that the "new" things are "discovered" at extended intervals by the mind of humanity on its grand rounds in a circle.


WE spent the greater part of a day in looking through the great, new temple of the Sun, and the old and lesser one of "Moko" (the Moon) called by the faithful, the Sun's wife, and over about twenty acres of ground enclosed with them by a stone wall twenty-seven feet high. This is the national headquarters of the sun-worshipers. It is on a beautiful elevation, about four miles from the capital, and is called the holy ground, or sacred grove.

Though this temple of the sun has been in use over eighteen hundred years, it is called the new one, because it has been built since the ancient one at Sauhil-a was entombed in lake Ti-e. It is about one hundred and twenty feet from basement to roof and over three hundred feet to the top of the tower. It also occupies more than an acre of ground and has undoubtedly cost many millions of chikama.

This wonderful building is also in octangular form, having apparently eight fronts; and each front has eight colossal, marble columns reaching from basement to roof. On the second floor is the Pope's great throne. On each side of his throne are six altars, being one, each, for his twelve high priests (we would say cardinals) besides a much finer one in the rear for the vice Pope; and on each side of the twelve side altars is a kind of pulpit. These are for the twenty-four common priests, or assistants. Besides all this there is sitting and standing room for thousands of worshipers.

On the third floor are the Pope's magnificent apartments, also thirteen more of less pretentions for the high priests and the vice Pope, or senior cardinal; and also twenty-four more of still less pretentions for the common priests.

How many apartments there are above the third floor I cannot tell, but enough to accommodate about a hundred females, called prettiwinks (nuns, we would call them). What the offices or occupations of these women are, the two polite priests, who showed us through the premises, refused to tell. Perhaps it was impertinent for us to make such inquiry. Below the second story are rooms for fifty-six monks, or male servants, here called "muk-jaks."

The Pope's throne is literally covered with glittering gold, flashing diamonds, and sparkling gems. Each one of the altars for the high priests and vice Pope is about one-half covered with gold and the other half with silver and also checkered with precious stones. And each of the pulpits for the common priests is slightly silver mounted.

The temple of "Moko", or the moon, is about four hundred feet back of that of the Sun; but it is much the same in shape. It is small compared with that of the sun, and has but few costly ornaments or trimmings. It has also a very ancient appearance. It is said to have been built over eight thousand five hundred years ago. But it was only a local place for worship until after the sinking of the great Temple at Sauhil-a in lake Ti-e. After that it was used as the national headquarters only until the new temple was finished; and then it took the name "The Moon."

We were also informed that all the Popes and priests in good standing, who have died while engaged at this temple of the Sun, have been deposited in the catacombs, or subterranean passages, leading from it to the temple of the Moon.

Though our two clever guides offered to conduct us through the catacombs, and while I had a strong desire to see the preserved remains of the many Popes and priests who had occupied the great temple from A.D. 62 up to the reign of Je Whilikans, we could not then spare the necessary time. Skwunk wished to make another visit that day. In fact I presume the tender-hearted boy did not wish to see the mummies at all.

Neither did we get to see His Holiness, the great "Je Whilikans, Popokok and exerciser of supernatural powers," etc., etc. We were informed that he was indisposed. But, whether that was true or not, he certainly was not disposed to see us.

Perhaps the great head of the sun-worship church thought it might in some way interfere with his perfect holiness and sanctification to see two heathens from the outside world. However, as he is over ninety-seven years old, he maybe excusable on the ground of infirmity. In fact, as we saw no cardinal, priest, or monk about the premises, under about fifty years of age, we concluded they were all on the down grade of life.

All the men we saw were smoothly shaven, both face and head; and though the women looked much younger than the men, all, both men and women, had a pale, sallow, care-worn, dejected, super-sanctimonious appearance; and all were dressed in an old fashion established by the faithful hundreds of years ago. Although, as a matter of politeness, as we thought, we spoke to some of the women not one of them answered. It may be they are not permitted to speak to visitors.

By the peculiar, uniform dress of these people they are easily distinguished from all others.

When I first saw a little squad of these women, silently marching along a street, they reminded me of my early impression of ghosts.

While all are permitted to visit the temple of the Sun, or go there to worship, no one is permitted to live in that holy precinct, unless he or she is too good to marry and go into the family business.

When we take into consideration the fact that these people look upon all who are not of their faith as aids of the devil, our treatment at the temple of the sun was as respectful as we could expect, in fact more so.

As we were passing out at the great gate, Skwunk looked back and exclaimed:

"The largest house in the world, built of marble, lined inside with gold and trimmed with diamonds." He was not far from the truth; and I added:

"Yes, and the most stupendous monument of superstition and folly on earth, too. Only think that the predecessors of those people in that same temple, only one-hundred and seven years since, issued a decree, that all who refused to accept their faith should either become slaves to the faithful sun-worshipers, or else suffer death."

The next morning the new year commenced, and Skwunk started to the Umskopa House where a great ball was pending. He pretended that he had an engagement to meet some of his new mechanical friends there, but I knew it was the dancing he was mostly after. I simply refreshed his recollection of Klink-e, but said no more. As I had a greater desire to see the sun arrive in sight than the great Ke Whonkian sun-dance I went out to the National College on College Hill seven miles from the Komoganza. I desired to get a view of the returning sun from the College observatory; also to have a good opportunity to interview Professor Kumtux, the president of this institution, and who is acknowledged to be the most learned man among the Ke Whonkus people, while the students were absent on their New Year holiday pleasures.

College Hill is about four hundred feet high, with over two hundred acres of level ground on its summit, all of which is inclosed as college grounds; and, as a site for both a college and observatory it is all that could be desired.

The great college building is of lasting, white marble, and with the observatory on its top, stands grandly on the highest point of the hill four hundred feet above the general level of the surrounding country. There it has been dispensing knowledge to the Ke Whonkus people for eight thousand five hundred and sixty slow-revolving years; and until the last century under strict religious censorship.

During all of that immense time, notwithstanding the many long, devastating wars, and mutations and changes of government, such has been the universal respect for this ancient institution, that no ruthless hand has ever been permitted to molest it. And from its present appearance and popular prestige it may still be there another eight thousand, five hundred and sixty, if not destroyed by some convulsion of nature.

During all the long ages of sun-worship rule the priesthood discouraged the teaching of any of the sciences that conflicted with the sun-worship creed, yet this institution came to be the basis for the wonderful, scientific thought and research of today among the Ke Whonkus people.

Since the scientists have had control of it, they have reconstructed, enlarged and beautified it, and added much to its usefulness.

On the college grounds are also fine homes for all the teachers and good boarding houses for all of the students. These grounds are finely arranged, and ornamented with fountains, walks, fruit trees, shade trees, flowers and sculpture, in fact, every improvement necessary to comfort, convenience and beauty.

I found the Professor a polite, courteous and accommodating gentleman. He is of medium size and handsome form and large, blue eyes, a finely developed head, and beard a foot and a half long. He is also in prime of life, not over sixty-five years of age, and really appears much younger. It is also claimed that he is a descendant in a direct line from the great Tik-e Kumtux, of ancient history, who was the founder of the college, and, though, two hundred and forty-four generations have intervened no one acquainted with the wonderful history of the Ke Whonkus people will consider such a thing impossible or even improbable.

If the great Kumtux of antiquity could now be materialized and made acquainted with his distant descendant he would find no cause to be ashamed of him.

The polite Professor conducted me over the College grounds, through the College and up into the observatory. Though we had really enjoyed fair daylight for over forty hours we could see but little of the sun from that point, which is only five hundred and thirty-six feet above the level of the country: but we could see a bright, red streak just above it. The Professor seeing I was somewhat disappointed, said:

"If you have no objection, I will take you up in the aluminum-tube elevator to where you can now see a greater part of the Sun." That surprised me, and I asked him how high that would be.

"Nearly twelve hundred feet above the general level of the country," said he, "But we can have a fair view of about half of it from a position about nine hundred feet up from here."

Although I felt a little fearful about going so high, I told him I would try it if he would stop when I felt I could not stand it to go higher. To that he readily consented.

When I inquired where that elevator was, he replied:

"Out in the middle of the College grounds." Then I was even more surprised than before, for I had noticed nothing of the kind there.

We then left the observatory and went to the center of the College ground; and there all that I could see was a circle of strong machinery covered by a low, flat roof with a small, open space in the center in which an aluminum tube, nearly four feet in diameter, was sticking up out of the ground, with a cone shaped cage about six feet in diameter, sitting on top of it. The floor of the cage was of timber, but all the rest of aluminum, except the roof which appeared to be of glass cloth. It also had one small door, four windows and four seats, and was arranged to accommodate as many as four persons at a time.

The Professor opened the little door and we entered and took our seats. Then he, through a telephone, ordered the machinery put in motion, and said we would be ascending in a few minutes. While waiting for the elevator to start, I asked the Prof to explain its construction, and he did so.

It is all very simple. A hole similar to an artesian well was bored mostly through solid rock to the depth of about twelve hundred feet and a little over four feet in diameter. The tube is made of aluminum and in sections about seventeen feet long and between one and two inches less in diameter than the well hole, with grooves on the outside to fit the cogs on the wheels of the machinery, and so shaped at the ends as to be easily and strongly spliced on to each other. The rim of the tube is double and partly hollow and over five inches thick. The tube is also so strongly braced inside by cross braces about ten feet long that it would be very hard to break or bend. In its construction, as fast as the sections were spliced on to it, the tube was lowered into the well by the same machinery that forces it up.

After the tube reaches the height of eighty feet it is held in proper perpendicular position by guy ropes, regulated by the same machinery.

Just as the Professor had finished his explanations, I looked out and saw we were up over a hundred feet. I could also see eight guy ropes, reaching out from the tube in as many different directions, and at equal distance from each other, to where they were being played off of wheel like spools, apparently in the mouths of cars that looked like great frogs, as large as wagon boxes, that were backing off like craw-fish as the ropes were being unreeled from their mouths.

After the first, another set of guy ropes were attached for each one hundred and sixty feet of the tube above ground. And each set of guy ropes was played out and stretched by its own set of cars, but each additional set of cars was on the same tracks as the first.

When we were up about five hundred feet I told the Prof. I felt a strange sensation and a tingling at the bottoms of my feet. He then opened a little box under a seat and handed me a flask of wine; and after using the wine freely I felt much invigorated. But at the height of one thousand feet I told him I could not stand it to go higher; so he telephoned to the man at the machinery to stop it, and gave me more wine.

We then could see about half of the great luminary, besides the greater part of the Ke Whonkus country. He then opened another box, took out, unfolded and adjusted a telescope; and after placing one end of it in a window told me to look through it.

One half of the sun through a cloudless sky, and from a point one thousand feet above the North Pole is a sight so immensely beautiful and grand that it is almost overwhelming. It is really so wonderfully peculiar that there is nothing to compare it with, even if I had the language to describe it. The visible half appeared to me about one hundred yards long, and—here I may well stop and let each reader imagine the balance for himself, for there is no danger of any one over estimating it, under any circumstance.

After viewing the visible half of the sun I took a cursory view of the best part of the North Pole country. I could see the main lands, lakes, and cities, also the seas dotted with islands. I could also see the wonderful island, Ke Kultus (containing the sun-worshiper's hell) with its three distinct rims around a center, from which a great cloud of fog or smoke was rising, that reminded me of a great charcoal pit or tar-kiln. I also had a partial view of the great, bright-looking, ice plains surrounding the whole Ke Whonkus country. In fact I continued looking over the country in great wonder and astonishment till nearly frozen, and then found the Professor had ordered the elevator down to keep us from freezing.

When we landed on terra firma the Prof. Said: "I see you appear a little exhausted. We will now go up to the dwelling and take some refreshment and then a few hours rest."

I found Mrs. Kumtux a really interesting and charming lady; and we three had a sumptuous holiday repast together. They said they had attended all our lectures, and that our pronunciation of the Ke Whonkus language was so nearly perfect, they could easily understand about all we said; and were much pleased to hear so much of the outside world, that they could rely on as truth.

After receiving a pressing invitation to remain with them another day, I was shown an enticing bed in a darkened room and was soon in the gentle arms of Morpheus.


AFTER eight hours of refreshing sleep I was notified by telephone that breakfast would be ready in forty minutes, which came in due time prepared according to the best culinary art of Ke Whonkus; and a most excellent meal it was, too.

An hour later we three were seated in the fine library room for conversation, and I proposed, as they had heard all of our lectures, they ought to excuse me for the present, and after merely suggesting the subject I would be pleased to have them do most of the talking themselves.

I first drew the Professor out on creation, and matter and force, including the birth, growth, duration, decline, death and dissolution of corporeal bodies, animate and inanimate, and he began by saying:

"I have no use for that word 'creation,' which I understand means the bringing of matter into existence. I hold that all matter (and also force, which appears to be a property of matter) is eternal. The two combined as one constitute all there is, and all there ever was or ever can be. Matter in motion, of itself, has done all that ever was done in the great eternity of the past, and must of necessity do all that ever will be done in the future. I hold that every effect has a necessary cause back of it; and like causes must necessarily produce like effects at all times or places.

"To me the words, time and space, convey abstract ideas. All we can know of time is from one established period to another, and all we can know of space is from one visible object to another; except that both must necessarily be limitless—at least to our conception.

"Without matter, force could not have had anything to act or operate upon, and could not have existed; at least it could not have formatted anything, nor done anything else before it existed in connection with matter. Therefore, if we assume that matter was created it must necessarily be as old as its creator, which to me is an absurdity.

"Of course you understand that I hold everything that is anything (except such abstract ideas as time and space) must be matter in some form either visible or invisible, in contradistinction to blank nothing.

"Further, if matter and force are, as I hold, natural and eternal, and force, through operating on matter, has done all that ever was done, there is no necessity for a super-natural creator; and it is not probable there is any. Nature deals only in necessities.

"As to space, if it were possible for one to travel in any given direction and on a horizontal line, and as fast as the electric spark, for as many millions of years as there are drops of water on the earth, he could come to no end, simply because there is none. He would pass world after world—great suns with their planetary systems, one after another; some young, some old, and others in their dotage or decay; some worlds with vegetation, animals and people on them, and many with none; but he could never go beyond all of them.

"Matter 'abhors a vacuum.' All space must necessarily be occupied by matter in some form. Consequently, all space must have planets, worlds, occasionally floating in it. Therefore, the number of planets or worlds must be entirely unlimited.

"As the number of drops of water on the earth, great as it is, has a limit, and as the number of worlds cannot have any limit, it is plain there are more worlds than there are drops of water on the earth. Also, as any proportionate part of an unlimited number must be greater than any limited number, it is clear that, if one planet or world in a thousand, or even one in every million, has people on it then there are more worlds with people on them than there are drops of water on the earth.

"While I do not pretend to say what proportion of the planets have people on them, I am sure that on each planet where the same causes exist there must of necessity be the same results as on earth.

"I also hold that matter contains within itself the germs for all beginnings. But certain causes, or perhaps combinations of causes or conditions are necessary to their development and growth, and all growth, whether it be of vegetation, animals, or worlds, is necessarily by accretion. I therefore believe that planets, as well as all other corporeal bodies of matter, have their periods of birth, youth, maturity, old age, decay, and finally dissolution.

"The millions of meteors and the innumerable sun-light rays falling on the earth every day and building it up by adding so much to its body of matter, I call its growth by accretion.

"These meteoric bodies are undoubtedly crystalizations of ethereal matter; and though so small at first as to be invisible, they grow by the law of attraction till some larger body of matter attracts them to it; and then they become a part of the larger body, which has grown so much by accretion."

Here I suggested to the Professor that he give us his opinion as to the manner in which a new planet is born, and he answered:

"I have already explained how the ethereal matter is crystalized in bodies at first too small to be visible. I will now add that while it may seldom be the case, it is not impossible for one of these small ethereal crystalizations to form exactly on the line of the equal attractive forces between two planets, and in such case it may become tethered. Then it cannot be drawn to either of them; and as it cannot remain motionless, it is naturally forced to an orbit of its own. Then a new world is commenced, or as you say, born.

"I will further add that after such a birth this baby world goes on growing by accretion the same as other planets, and the larger it gets the greater its attractive power, and the faster it grows.

"Like a little fish, a little planet is liable to be taken in by some larger one; but, if it escapes, as some little fishes do, it will continue on growing to maturity. Then it may or may not possess the necessary conditions to the development of vegetable and animal life.

"However, in course of time (no one can tell how long) this young world will have reached the size of the earth. Then, and perhaps millions of years before, the immense gravitational pressure on its center will have melted that part of it to a boiling, seething mass; and, as it goes on growing the greater the melted mass becomes, until the flaming matter begins to break through the outside crust in many places. Then it will be a young sun giving some light to its satellites or other orbs.

"When it reaches the size of our sun there will be great craters all over it belching up flaming substance many miles high and throwing off light to a greater distance.

"By that time its immense attractive power will probably have formed for it a planetary system of its own; and, while the orbital motion of its satellites will prevent them from drifting to it, its superior attractive force will prevent them from escaping from its circle of attraction. Then with its planetary system it will be something similar to our present one.

"But in course of time, though immense it may be, this new sun must become old and worn out, and of necessity cease to exist. As its dissolution gradually goes on, a part of its substance will be floating from it in form of light to its satellites and other orbs, and another part in the form of ether will be thrown off, or pass off, to the ethereal regions to keep up the equilibrium of matter. Finally, the last cluster of gassy fog will float off in form of a comet and gradually loose a part of its tail to one planet and then a part to another until all is gone.

"Force appears to possess two antagonistic properties or qualities to-wit: The positive or attraction, which builds up, and the negative, or repulsion, that tears down. Each of these may also be subdivided. For example: Love is one phase of attraction, and builds up—forms friendships; and hatred is a form of repulsion that tears them down, destroys them.

"Thus you see science has furnished us a base for a chain of reason that leads to a logical conclusion, that great suns have their beginning and ending the same as other bodies of matter; the chief difference being in regard to their time of durability, which is controlled by the cohesion of their atoms.

"But, in course of time the very power, attraction, that builds them up by accretion, produces a condition that enables the repulsive power of force to overcome the cohesion of their atoms and cause a dissolution. Hence, the truth of the adage: 'Time dissolves all both great and small.'"

Next I requested his opinion as to the cause of the fine climate at the pole, and he gave it thus:

"The beautiful and pleasant climate we have here, contrasted with the frigid ice plains that surround us has awakened in me much thought, and I have formed some opinions in regard to it.

"We have no very strong winds, tornadoes, nor cyclones, such as you spoke of having in the outside world; and consequently no sudden changes in temperature or weather. Our extremes of heat and cold come and go so gradually that the difference in twenty-four hours is scarcely perceptible. Yet I am not astonished to hear that the people of the outside world generally believe the poles to be barren, frigid, ice plains; their experience naturally leads them to that conclusion.

"By the daily revolution of the earth, its surface, where most of the people of the outside world reside, must necessarily move so much faster than at the poles, as to cause considerable atmospheric disturbance. Then the rays of the sun are shut off about half of every twenty four hours; and a portion of the heat developed in day time is dissipated at night. But, when the sun rises here even at a low altitude it sheds its genial rays upon us for about half the year before it goes out of sight again.

"Further, I presume you understand that the diameter of the earth through from pole to pole is less than at the equator; therefore its poles are necessarily in flats or basins as compared with the balance of its surface. Although we do not get our heat directly from the sun, we do get its rays of light from which heat is developed by arrested motion, or what I believe you call 'friction.'

"While the rays of sun-light fall on the ice plains at such an acute angle as to glance off and evolve but little heat, it is quite different here in the polar flat or basin where the rays strike that part of the flat apparently the furthest from it, as the earth revolves in a sufficiently direct manner to evolve considerable heat. Besides, there is no night for about six months to dissipate it.

"But I should also state in this connection that the perpetual sunshine for so long a period would develop a great deal too much heat, were it not that the greater the degree of heat the greater the amount of evaporation.

"In midsummer the evaporation is so great as to form clouds every few days that obscure the sun's direct power to a considerable extent until the evaporated water returns in form of rain. Thus, this natural process keeps up a happy equilibrium of both temperature and moisture. Besides, as the power of the sun decreases the rains decrease, until in the winter, when they are not needed, we have scarcely any.

"You have experienced our coldest winter weather; and though the low degree registered by your thermometer would be nearly as cold as the inhabited parts of the outside world, it is so still and dry here, and the cold comes and goes so gradually that it is not nearly so hard on man, beast or vegetation as the same degree is in your part of the world.

"But to explain why it is not still colder during the long absence of the sun is more difficult. Yet the numerous hot springs and the fact that what little current there is in the air leads from the pole toward the ice-plains instead of from them, goes a long way in that direction. The vast amount of heat belched up at numerous places, on the islands and at sea, and especially at Ke Kultus, keeps the waters generally from freezing, except near the border of the ice plains.

"The climate of the little province of Ke Swank-e out in the ice plains, is undoubtedly controlled by the many great, hot springs and the great amount of electric heat escaping from the earth there, and the immensely high wall around it. Also, its outlet to the polar ocean is evidently kept open by the numerous hot springs and the electric heat all the time pouring into it.

"Though much more is to be learned, it is certain that the earth's crust is thinnest at the poles."

I had been informed that Mrs. Kumtux was a fine physician; and at this point as a matter of courtesy as well as curiosity, I requested her to explain the modus operandi of renewal of life by the yellow hot springs water at Ke Swank-e, and she gave it thus:

"As you have experienced the renewal of life you already know it is possible, even if it is not useful or desirable under all circumstances.

"If we were to thoroughly analyze the body of an old person and that of a young one, we would find a perceptible difference in their material compositions. Consequently, if an old person and a young one could exchange the materials composing their bodies and were to do so, the old one would be physically young again and the young one old.

"It appears that the human body, or as Mr. Skwunk puts it: 'The human form divine,' after growing to what is called maturity, stops and remains at about the same size and strength for a time and about equal to that of its growth. After that it gradually declines, and continues growing weaker till death ends the struggle. I say struggle because nature is all the time renewing, or rather repairing our bodies to some extent, by throwing off deleterious matter and substituting new atoms in place of those worn out. Was this not so life would be much shorter, even if growth were at all possible for the first few years.

"What is called the infirmity of old age is produced, not by time, but in course of time, by noxious matter that the efforts of nature fail to exclude or throw off, and which gradually accumulates in the system, forming a coating of the blood vessels and cells, and also calculous deposits in the joints, muscles, ligaments and secretory organs. These vitiating matters, somewhat like dirt in a watch, gradually weaken the functions of the vital organs until the whole machinery must stop.

"The remedy, as with a dirty watch, suggests itself: It is to clean the system of dirt and any foreign, noxious matter that has gradually settled in it; but, unlike a watch, it cannot be taken apart and cleaned by hand. It must be done by introducing some material that will dissolve the calculous accumulations, and assist the system through natural law to throw them off.

"It seems that the water of the Yellow Hot Spring at Ke Swank-e holds in solution the necessary ingredients in proper proportion, if judiciously administered, to dissolve, break up, and enable the system to throw off these foreign deleterious matters by degrees, until it is comparatively clear of them. Then, like a cleaned watch, the machinery performs its functions all right till it needs another cleaning.

"This is about all there is in the renewal of one's lease on life. But, from parity of reason, it would seem that if the human body 'divine' was thus cleaned every two or three years, and was not otherwise destroyed, it might survive till as old as Methusalem, your patriarch father, whom Professor Skwunk spoke of."

Here I brought it about to show them my letter from the great Popokok, or Pope, Je Whilikans; also to give them the criticism of it by the Governor of Ke Swank-e. After reading it carefully they both smiled; and the Professor asked Mrs. Kumtux to give her opinion first; so she said:

"The letter is much like some other letters and articles from the Pope, that I have seen. A part of it is either too deep or too obscure for my comprehension. However, as the priesthood have their pet words, phrases, and expressions peculiar to their profession, the same as physicians and lawyers, we should make due allowance for the Pope. Yet, the Governor's criticism relating to inspiration is surely appropriate even if the other is not."

Then anticipating what was expected of him the Prof. Began:

"After endorsing the opinions given by Mrs. Kumtux I will add a little more about the Pope, whom I will mention as a difficult problem and in connection with another, because of a great similarity in some respects.

"A person may be able to grapple with much of the intricate natural phenomena and solve problems in regard to great suns, stars, and planetary systems, and yet blunder in some common place matter.

"After many years of faithful reasoning I have failed to fully solve two small, yet to me, perplexing problems. Je Whilikans is one and Ke Kultus is the other; and the only one point in either that is yet clear to my mind is that Je Whilikans is a good man and Ke Kultus is a bad place.

"I have been well acquainted with Je Whilikans for over half a century, and I have all the time looked upon him as a friend, at least so far as his faith and position would permit.

"He has surely been the best Pope the sun-worshipers have had in modern times. He has endeavored to prevent all persecution and ostracism for opinion's sake; and he has to a great extent assisted in removing the blighting enmity that existed between his people and the scientists.

"He has also been a friend to education under our stringent public school system, which has been enabling his people to outgrow their faith in his religion, until there are but few men in clerical robes under fifty years of age. And inside of the next hundred years the whole system of sun-worship religion, must necessarily become a thing of the past.

"Now, has the great Popokok been so ignorant as not to see the effect a good education is having on his people? Or, has he really been too honest to oppose it, in order to hold them in their superstition through ignorance, as his predecessors for hundreds of years had done?

"Or, has he in fact been a liberal in disguise, and holding on to his high position with the sun-worship people, in order to gradually lead them out of the shackles of their superstition to the plane of mental freedom, through his only means, a good education? These questions are yet unsolved.

"Now, as to Ke Kultus. Though it is a rather small island, and only about ninety miles from here, it, too, is an unsolved problem; though its round form and three of its four distinct rims were plainly seen from our position in the aluminum tube elevator; though the ancients sacrificed immense numbers of their lives and untold millions of wealth in an almost perpetual struggle for hundreds of years to penetrate and fully explore it; though they fully believed it (and still do) to be a place of eternal torment, that you call hell, and sent thousands of their condemned as far into it as possible; though they honey-combed much of the outside rim and some of the second one, and entombed thousands of their good, wise and great therein; and, though it may still be penetrated to the second, and even the third rim with more or less loss of life, no one who has ever yet passed the fourth rim or seen the inside of it, has ever returned to tell the tale of his exploit."


After a pressing invitation to repeat my visit to my learned friends, Professor and Mrs. Kumtux for another talk, I returned to the Komoganzi and there learned that arrangements had been made for us to deliver six free lectures, each, during the holidays. It was arranged to have two lectures each day—one in the forenoon and the other in the evening; and that two of the lectures by each should be on religion and in the evening, in order to be heard by as many as possible.

As we had now acquired quite a national reputation, and as the people would flock in from all parts of the country near, this was our opportunity to teach the common people the history, principles, and results of the Christian religion; and, also if possible open the way for missionaries from the outside world to Christianize Ke Whonkus, should a railroad sometime be built, or other means for travel provided, to this distant North Pole country.

There were three or four subjects in which the Ke Whonkus people were especially interested——our government, our political economy, our modes of punishment to prevent crime, and our religion.

The interest manifested in the first three themes named, and in their ramifications, was, of course, in proportion to the intelligence of the audience. But on the subject of religion all classes and grades of intellect were about equally interested. And, for this reason, as well as others, it was also our favorite theme.

Yet the discussion here had its drawbacks. Although during all our former lectures the right to criticise was never really suspended, yet through courtesy to us, our intelligent audience refrained from using it; and even the right to ask questions was quite moderately and politely used.

Here we had all classes, and the rights to both question and criticise were freely exercised. But we were never annoyed by the untimely arrival nor departure of a hearer, nor by the lack of proper temperature and ventilation of the halls.

As to ventilation, I cannot pass the subject without special mention. There is not a public nor private hall in all Ke Whonkus that has not its system of ventilating tubes and fans run generally by electricity or weights. Indeed, most of the dwellings for both man and beast are supplied with pure air and disinfecting processes.

As it is said that all Holland is scrubbed every day, so is all Ke Whonkus aired and disinfected every hour. Wearing apparel, bed clothes, and upholstered goods that cannot be washed are frequently put through the disinfecting machines which abound both in public and private. Even bodily disinfection is much more common in Ke Whonkus than in the outside world.

Skwunk used to say that the olfactory sense in the Ke Whonkus people was about as well developed as the scenting powers of a fox hound, and that they generally kept their noses, as well as their eyes and ears, open.

In Ke Whonkus it is recognized that every individual is surrounded by, or rather enveloped in, a personal aura, or atmosphere, emanating from the physical body; and that both the body and atmosphere need frequent electro-disinfection.

One of the most scientific means of diagnosing disease, especially nerve disorders, is a delicate instrument that might be translated an electro-spectroscope, by which this nerve aura is analyzed.

Both mental and physical disease is transmitted through this highly rarefied bodily emission.

On the affinity or antagonism of two personal atmospheres depend largely, if not entirely, congeniality, love and hatred.

Probably some of our scientific folks may laugh at this as dealing with a myth; but not so. This individual atmosphere surrounds not only the human kind, but some other warm blooded animals.

At certain places in the far North where it is very cold and the necessary electric and magnetic conditions obtain, it may be seen with the natural eye; and it is said that it conforms in shape so nearly to that of the animal that experienced Esquimaux can determine at a distance of a mile what kind of an animal it surrounds.

A celebrated physician, Dr. Kokwa-Niker, in conversation with me on this subject, was surprised to learn that this well established bodily emission was not recognized in the outside world. He assured me that through this nerve aura he successfully treated epilepsy and catalepsy; and that it was absolutely essential in the intelligent management of various phases and forms of insanity.

Here this learned, medical man suggested an interesting illustration.

A dog lay stretched out on a foot-mat on one side of the room and a big tom-cat in a rocking chair some fifteen feet away, both being fast asleep.

Said he: "The atmospheres of these two animals are antagonistic. Let me bring them suddenly together. I will make a large loop with one end of this electro-magnetic, transmitting coil, and lay it around the dog's body two feet distant from him and apply the other end in the same way around the feline pole."

In less than a minute both the cat and dog were dreaming of a war of races; and soon both were awake ready for a fracas.

Said he: "Though the subject of animal atmosphere borders closely on metaphysics it is nevertheless in the most lively realm of reality. It is a boundless field covered all over with facts."

With enthusiasm he added:

"Captain De Lilly: If you ever have the fortune to reach the outside world and remember but one thing of Ke Whonkus let that be to inform your medical men of the importance we attach to nerve aura. Impress on your people how it affects social order—how inharmonious and antagonistic atmospheres render marriage a farce and civilization a failure."

In a limited explanation of treatment of nerve disorder through this animal atmosphere the doctor mentioned that, though it emanated from the body, it nevertheless remains a part of it; that countless infinitesimal particles, that compose the haloic cloud, seem to be rushing to and from the body with electric speed.

It is through this wonderful magnetic circulation that the ethereal elements of the animal economy are reached and disorders like insomnia cured.

This interesting, private interview was the result of Dr. Kokwa-Niker's attendance at the lecture I gave on: "Crime, our modes of punishment, and theory of prevention."

While the doctor was modest and polite in his remarks generally, it was plain to be seen that he was intensely disgusted at our penal methods. In fact, he said our laws are barbarous and our methods cruel; and that the result must ever be a failure.

He insisted that crime is generally, if not always, a result of ignorance in some form.

Said he: "It is a practical truth that it really pays people best to do right at all times and under all circumstances. By so doing the moral effect will be to give them better health of body and mind, and more friends, and generally more wealth; in fact, more of all that renders life pleasant to self and profitable to our kind. But ignorance hides this important truth."

"If, indeed people could be brought to realize this weighty fact even their own selfishness would keep them in the ways of rectitude."

"Consequently, in all our dealings with criminals we should bear in mind that we are battling with ignorance in some form; and our remedies should embrace medical treatment and curative management.

"Tell your Christians while they are turning their 'swords into plow-shares' (as we have already done) to also turn their penitentiaries into asylums and their guillotines into aural disinfecting machinery."

"But Dr. Kokwa-Niker was very conservative in the use of drug medicines. He believes their virtues lie mostly in their heating and cooling effects, their electric and magnetic powers being their essential elements; and these effects are generally more practically applicable through heat, electricity, magnetism, water, and mental impression."

He also claimed that the mental effort of the patient is, in most cases, more effective than all other remedies combined; and that those who can most effectually control and direct the minds of the sick are the greatest physicians.

By way of illustration, he suggested that there are few persons who could not be made sick through a collusion of confidential friends to make them believe they are sick: and though it may require more confidence to make a sick person well than a well one sick, the philosophy and mode of operation are the same.

His theory appears to be that disease, or disordered function, has its cause mostly away down in the intangible essence and highly ratified material of the body; and that to reach this is the business of the healer, whether it be done by drugs, light, heat, electricity, mental impression or otherwise.

By "mental impression" I understood him to mean a process similar to what we call hypnotism.

As to absolute, solitary, confinement the Dr. thought it was necessary only in extreme cases where the person was too full of what I can best translate as "rambunctiousness" to submit to the proper diagnostic tests and treatment.

During this course of lectures I experienced my worst regrets that I am not a theologian. Such opportunities to teach the Christian religion occur to but few men and extremely seldom.

Others have had the opportunity to instruct the credulous, unscientific babes of the wilds of the world. But here, we were before throngs of the most intelligent of our race, anxious to learn all they could; and here we were with only lay information, where nothing less than the highest learning of the clergy could have met the wants of the occasion.

There were some freely exercised criticisms on all the subjects relating to our civilization, but when we came to our religion they were simply, yet tenderly, unmerciful. Yet we dared not show even the discomfiture of our embarrassing situation.

Questions were shot at us hot and thick, and so unerring that no ingenuity available enabled us to dodge them. Yet to attempt to answer them to the satisfaction of a thinking people who had no regard for the sacredness of the subject was next to useless.

Even the half grown children of Ke Whonkus are full of criticism. On one occasion one Kios Kutux, a youth not over sixteen years of age, rose to ask a question, and when I stopped according to custom to hear it, he inquired:

"Sire, am I correct in understanding you to say that your God has made all peoples and that he is perfect in all he does?"

After I answered him affirmatively, he rejoined:

"Sire, if that be so, it appears to me, for a perfect workman, he has made some mighty poor jobs," and at the same time holding up his deformed hand as a sample.

Then I remarked that my young friend had my sympathy in his great misfortune; but it was merely an unlucky freak of nature.

"Yes," said the little heathen, "That is correct; it is what we call it, because nature's laws were thwarted in my formation. But, if your God made me, then it is 'merely' an unlucky freak of a perfect God."

However, young Kutux is like many other boys about his age. He thinks he knows a great deal; and like the others it may take him till old age to learn that he does not.

It was here that I became thoroughly converted to the position taken by the great English statesman Gladstone, when he told Ingersoll, that to realize the full potency of the Bible one "must approach it with reverential awe."

These independent Ke Whonkians insisted on regarding our religion as they would any other subject for consideration. And here I fully realized the great advantage of teaching the sacredness of the written word before teaching its contents—yes the absolute necessity of it.

Skwunk declared he would rather undertake to teach religion to a whole tribe of Esquimaux, capable of exercising a reasonable degree of credulity, than to answer the questions of one single Ke Whonkian whose unbridled intelligence had not been modified by faith.

But as I will refer to these matters elsewhere I will make mention here of only the fact that in an emergency we could always fall back on our argument of last resort: "Nothing is impossible with God," and: "The ways of God are not the ways of men."

It is some satisfaction even yet to think of the number of learned critics whom we made to bite their lips and shrug their shoulders with these clinchers, and also with the further knock-down argument that; "We have no right to criticise God's work nor question any of his purposes."

The worst, however, came when these learned materialistic scientists of the North Pole attacked the very necessity of a super-natural power. That was awful.

They contended that Matter, together with the forces which appear to belong to it and could not exist separately and apart from it, constitute the sum total of all there is in existence; that, as something cannot be created or formed of nothing, and as matter with its qualities or properties is well known to be indestructible, it must of a necessity be eternal; and that force, by operating on matter is doing all that is done. Consequently there is no use or necessity for any supernatural power. And they tauntingly defied us to show any reason for one.

They contended that it is a great deal more reasonable to assume that all matter and force are eternal and have done all that ever has been done, than to assume that a personal being exists without any cause or maker and possesses the wonderful and arbitrary power to make everything else, all out of nothing, or even from a part of himself.

They suggested to us that, as the word, God, is a conventional term, a starting point, and as a God seemed a necessity with us, why not call matter and force the God? Then we would have one that even the greatest scientists would have to admit is eternal, omnipotent, and omnipresent.

When Skwunk suggested that the people needed the restraining influence of a faith in a personal God of unlimited power, wisdom and goodness, to keep them in the path of rectitude, they answered that the properly educated can not be influenced by scare-crows, and in fact need not be; that they know it pays them best to do right, God or no God; that their intelligence is a sufficient restraint from wrong; and a much better and safer one than the fear of some punishment away off in the future that they may even escape by prayer and penance.

"In fact," said they, "your idea of escaping punishment in the future by penance and prayer must operate as a license to the ignorant to do wrong. Anyhow the sun-worship deity, having a bona-fide visible existence, certainly makes a better scarecrow for the ignorant than yours, that is certainly invisible if not mythical, and therefore difficult of comprehension."

They further contended that the great want of harmony in the operation of nature is radically inconsistent with the philosophy that they were either made, or are controlled by a being of perfect wisdom, power and goodness; and as the boy, Kutux, had intimated, there had been entirely too many imperfect and conflicting jobs done in the realms of nature to have had even the supervision of a perfect architect.

It was shocking to hear them. But Skwunk fitly answered these last blasphemous criticisms by persistently quoting: "The fool saith in his heart there is no God."


AS we then had sunlight we decided these six days of lecturing at the capital would be a good time to arrange for a trip to Ke Kultus, on which our curiosity had been so much excited, and of which we had seen something from the great elevator.

Ke Kultus as before stated contains the Hell of the sun-worship religionists, and the very name is spoken with a nervous awe by the faithful. And well may it be, if even ten per cent. of its history is true, to say nothing of what is known to be there now.

This is the only place in Ke Whonkus not inhabited by the human race proper, to some extent. As there is a tradition that no company has ever attempted to explore that awful island without some loss of life, the place is seldom visited nowadays, though it is only about ninety miles from the capital.

This fearful island is about the only thing or theme in Ke Whonkus on which the scientists have not laid their innovating hands. Ke Kultus is there as unknown, and some of it as unknowable, if not indeed as awful to the thought, as in the "dark ages" when it was the place for banishment of infidels and heretics to the overpowering sun-worship religion. As I now, months afterward, write the word, my very hair seems to stand on end, even though thousands of miles away.

But I wanted to see the worst to tell it to the outside world; and Skwunk insisted that I should not go without him. He was loyal to me; and his loyalty in this case may be fitly illustrated by what I once heard a devoted wife say to her infidel husband. He had been twitting her about the certainty of his going to hell, as he could not "believe" what seemed to him so ridiculous as a miraculous conception:

"Well, then," said she: "my dear, if you must go, I will throw my arms around your neck and go with you and share your sufferings for ever and ever; because Heaven can furnish no happiness to me if you are in hell."

We were guests of state, and no means were spared to gratify our most crafty wishes. So, the authorities enlisted a company of twenty-five picked and experienced policemen, drilled in obedience and maneuver, and equipped with everything necessary and convenient for comfort and defensive execution, and placed them under orders of Captain Indigo Kaktus, who knew more of the island than any other living man.

Capt. Kaktus was an old man who had been the government pilot for over sixty years; yet in all that time had made but nine trips to the interior of the awful place. He was a fearless man, yet like all truly brave men, had a judicious regard for real danger.

He instructed the crew and all the visitors (for we had several with us) individually and collectively, so that each man should fully comprehend the danger, and his own responsibility to the rest.

The brave, experienced, old commander, however, was himself at my command, should I have any wishes.

Our little electric boat, Klose Ti-e (meaning Bright Spirit) was supplied for the trip and carried everything that experience could suggest as needed for comfort and conflict; and it is doubtful whether a better informed, a better drilled, or jollier crowd ever voluntarily embarked for deathly danger before.

Among our ample provisions I may mention an abundant supply of explosives; some to be thrown from guns and others by hand. We had one kind that had about ten times the explosive power of our dynamite. This was a hand-grenade, and was made by enclosing four shells, one in another, and filling the spaces between them and also the hollow in the center one with different substances. The outer shell contains many little tack-like probes with their points turned inward. When the ball is thrown so as to strike an object these points puncture or break the second shell. This fuses two antagonistic ingredients together, which, on the instant causes a primary explosion which, in turn, breaks another shell and so on until the last begets a local vortex cyclone that is past description. I was told that the hollow of the inner shell contains "solidified electricity" which, when set free, shoots out in all directions with fullest lightning force.

But these powerful means of destruction are made only by government, and handled only by its authority and officials. They are also a new invention and had never been tested much in practical operation; so that our proposed employment of them on the monsters of Ke Kultus was to be partly an experiment.

The hand bomb just mentioned is called "Ke Kultum" from its resemblance in construction to the island of Ke Kultus.

Our departure caused as much anxiety among official friends and the people generally as ever followed a departing war squadron from an European shore.

Who of our party should be left in Ke Kultus, and who should return? Ah, was this courtesy to the nation's guests, to gratify an idle curiosity, an occasion to justify the sacrifice that all past experience made certain for us? I felt grave doubts about it; but the people and the authorities wanted me to see for myself and make a true report of Ke Kultus to the outside world; and at the time I really felt that I would have preferred death to disappointment in the matter. How foolish I was. How foolish anyhow to learn facts that must make life less pleasant to us! Indeed are there not ten thousand things, large and small, in life, besides Ke Kultus, that we might be happier had we never known of them? It may still be a debatable question as to which brings most happiness to the individual—wisdom or ignorance.

So amid music of the national band and parting salutes of sky-rockets from the capital tower, and the tears of hundreds of anxious friends, we started to the island of death and gloom, which could be plainly seen with field-glasses from the aluminum elevator on College Hill.

The trip which was made for pleasure as well as knowledge, was not made in haste; and we stopped at several places on our way, as Skwunk said, "to be shown to the people." Surely they had as much curiosity in seeing us as if we had dropped from the skies. They had read our lectures and, to them, the wonderful things we told of, and their curiosity was stretched to its highest tension. We were called out and had to make speeches and shake hands wherever we stopped until we were almost worn out. We were then wonderful men in Ke Whonkus.

But these "monotonous" people, as Skwunk termed them, had more interest in us, as persons, than we had in them as such; for they are nearly all as castings from the same mould. Not having been mixed with any other nation for so very long in geological history, the people are all thoroughbred. Yes, they are a hundred times more thorough-bred than Berkshire hogs, and resemble each other quite as much.

These monotonous people, too, all speak and write the same language, even to accent and inflection. This is the result of their isolation and perfect system of phonetic print and writing.

Generally the principal difference in the looks of this stereotyped race is in intelligence. The subject on which people think is usually the force that casts their physiognomy. This is a rule of very general application the world over.

It is a wonderful fact that these people of the North Pole, to a great extent, know each other by their features. Their intuition as to this matter has no comparison anywhere else on earth. They are a nation of practical mind-readers, and recognize the fact they are read by others wherever they meet.

But Skwunk and I were more interested in their institutions, industries and customs than in their fixed personal appearance. It was very interesting to compare matters there with similar ones in our part of the globe. But I cannot at this time tell all of: "What I saw and heard in Ke Whonkus." I hope to tell more hereafter.

In some respects these isolated people are a long way ahead of us, and in some others a great way behind us in civilization; but they are certainly the most contented people on earth—as Skwunk used to say, "miserably contented."

After a pleasant journey of what we would call four days, which was spent largely in visiting the islands and cities on our way, and making acquaintance with our comrades for weal or for woe, we arrived at the outer wall and pre-historic entrance gate to inner Ke Kultus, currently known in Ke Whonkus as Hell.

Before I speak fully of this wonderful, ancient passway, the work of forgotten human hands, I will give an outline, necessarily imperfect, however, of the bad island itself.

The word kultus means bad; (and it is a strange coincidence that the North West Indian Jargon has the same word with about the same meaning.) Ke means place. Then Ke Kultus means bad place; and human ingenuity could not invent a more appropriate name.

Ke Kultus is an almost perfectly round island about seventeen miles in diameter, and about ninety miles North East of Ke Yopako, the capital. It consists of four rock rims, three ancient craters, now "seas," so-called, between these rims; and a central, circular opening within the fourth, or inner rim.

Taken as a whole these rims and intermediate spaces resemble somewhat a nest of four crocks, one within another, with water between them. Viewed from the outside the island also resembles a great crawfish stool and hole in clay soil.

These rock rims vary much in formation, the outer one being solid granite, apparently, and the others being softer and more porous as they near the center. The third and fourth rims are so porous they resemble magnified pieces of pumice stone, or baker's light bread.

These rock rims vary from one-eighth to one-fourth of an English mile in thickness; and the spaces between them vary from four miles to one mile and a quarter, the outer spaces, or seas, being the wider ones. The outer rim is from 600 to 700 feet high, almost perpendicular, water-tight in solidity, and almost as smooth as glazed porcelain—so smooth and slick by the wear and waste of time that no animal has ever been able to climb its precipices so far as known.

These walls are all brown in color; in fact that is the color of almost everything—animals, fowls, fishes and vegetation on, in and about Ke Kultus. Even the snakes and very insects are of a dull, brown color. And that is also the tint of the sky thereabouts, and of the waters, the hue deepening toward the center of the island. It is to this sameness in color of everything that the unavoidable dangers of Ke Kultus are mostly attributed.

At the ocean's edge, at high tide, there is a ledge of the same rock as of the ring reaching out in a double terrace, about twenty-five feet, making a great flat rock on which we landed, and to which we tied our little ship. From the water's edge we found ancient stair steps cut into the rock, leading up to the second terrace. On this second rock porch floor, we found a great, ponderous, bronze gate, opening into a wonderful tunnel through the flinty mountain, made by hands, perhaps before they wrote history. On either side of and over this ancient gate are statues, busts of human faces, animals, birds and reptiles cut in the solid rock and covered with an indestructible paint, that looked almost as natural as life. Even their very eyes seemed to have a living, electric sparkle. The oldest history gives them as pre-historic.

The modern chemist, who will re-invent this old enamel paint, that has stood the wear and tear of ages without the loss of its tenderest tint, will benefit his race and deserve a fortune.

About three hundred feet above this gateway there is a most remarkable representation of the sun, as the smiling face of a man or deity. It is a combination of sculpture and Mosaic inlay, the main covering material being the sacred red diamonds of the sun-worship religion. (In a more extended description of "What I saw and heard in Ke Whonkus," I hope to give the outside world the thrilling history of the red diamond.)

The disk of this sun-face is raised, and is about ten feet in diameter; and being inlaid with the fiery stones, in thousands upon thousands, its sparkling brilliancy is indeed amazing. The radiating ray representations are likewise raised and covered. As their greatest lengths are about twenty feet, this artificial luminary is about fifty feet in diameter. At certain times with the sun at right reflection, this diamond deity can be plainly seen smiling from the aluminum tube elevator on College Hill, at the capital.

The diamonds, transparent and colored, in that wonderful production of art, would sell in Europe for five thousand million pounds sterling.

But it is not the construction of this glittering emblem of deity that is the most wonderful—how did the workmen get up there—three hundred feet up a perpendicular precipice as hard as glass and as slick as glazed pottery—and stay there during the months and perhaps years that is required to do this slow work of Mosaic, diamond inlay? Let modern engineering and architecture answer!

It is doubtful whether any human eye ever rested on that dazzling monument of ancient faith, ingenuity and enterprise, without a soul-thrill of love and admiration for the minds that conceived and planned, and the hands that executed it. I am glad to remember one bright spot in Ke Kultus.

The immense gate was unlocked with a combination key in the hands of our good Captain Kaktus.

Having removed our abundant means of comfort and combat from our little ship and placed them in baskets, bags and hand-barrows, we entered on our foot-journey into the ancient tunnel way; the captain locking the gate with an impressive bang behind us.

I asked him why he locked the door. He said he would tell us two reasons and show us a third one:

"First; I want to be sure that no animal, bird or reptile gets in here. Second; I want you all to realize the worth of my life to this company. Third; you will see as we pass on."

We had gone but a few feet when we came to glass covered vaults cut into the rocks on the sides of the old tunnel, containing hundreds of the ancient rulers of Ke Whonkus, both of church and state. They had been preserved in a way to appear so life-like that it was impossible to realize that perhaps more than ten thousand years had passed into receding shadows since they played their part in the stirring scenes of their times. In many cases the cheek still carried its flush and the eye its brilliancy.

Besides the thousands of real bodies thus enameled and petrified in air-tight glass fronted vaults, there are numerous statues of other personages, almost as perfect in form and life color, cut into the solid wall.

Though very ancient, most of these statues had histories in decipherable hieroglyphics, some of which were explained to us by our learned captain, Indigo Kaktus. But though the real ladies and gentlemen in the vaults have likewise names and histories no modern Ke Whonkus scholar has ever been able to translate them.

I feel sure that the loveliest female face and form ever looked upon by any human eye sits there in that dungeon tunnel on a diamond-bedecked, golden throne. It is no ideal Madonna picture painted by lustful man, but the highest type of a genuine human face and form divine, fashioned by an agreement of all the Gods, where they have blended purity, beauty, grace and affection into sweetest harmony.

Standing one on either side and one in front, leaning on her knees, were three beautiful little children, evidently her own, looking up into her face—the grandest tableau ever beheld by man.

The two children at her sides were doubtless twin girls, about six years old, and the one in front a boy of about four. The queen had her hands on the girl's shoulders and seemed to be addressing a sweet message to the boy in front.

The Captain assured me no dry eye ever looked on that group of actual entities of pre-historic antiquity. What is supposed to be a name is carved and gilded on the wall over and opposite each head. The Captain asked me to translate them into English and I pronounced for the girls love and charity, and for the boy hope; and for the grand queen, the sweetest word ever spoken, Mother. Oh my loss, in the picture I had of them!

As we stood impertinently (I felt) gazing at these people of by-gone ages, who laugh at the ravages of time, they seem to say to us:—

'Pass on ye insignificant moths of an hour, into pitiable oblivion that kindly awaits modern man. How dare you, decaying rubbish, thus invade this sacred place and disturb the serenity of those appointed to count the centuries as they fly by into the bosom of eternity, and watch the birth, growth, and death of civilizations as they pass before us in the panorama of duration.'

But, alas, how wicked in me to tell these things! How long, now, before Yankee ingenuity and cupidity will rob these tombs of their gold and diamonds; and how long before Englishmen will grind this queenly mother and her little ones into powder and scatter their sacred dust over European wheat fields? Woe, woe, is me if I am tortured with life when this, not impossible ravage may occur.

Not only were both sides of this main tunnel fully occupied with petrified people, and carved images, but numerous branch and cross-tunnels were likewise filled. We followed away into some of these and saw sights that baffle description. I can add here only that the Captain assured me that more than five thousand of the important personages of pre-historic Ke Whonkus can be seen in this great in-rock pass-way and its side tributaries.

I am sure that the precious stones and metals and other valuables therein would out value the combined wealth of Great Britain; and this to say nothing of the many other sepulchral ways in this outer rock rim of Ke Kultus.

Amidst this array of the great dead of remote times apast, one is frequently startled from his strange reverie to inquire if he is not in a weird spot of dreamland; and to this day times come when I wonder if it is possible that I, alone, of all the outside world's unnumbered millions, have really bowed in awful obeisance before men and women of more than ten thousand years ago; men and women who once had like thoughts and felt like thrills of joy, and had similar pangs of sorrow, and shed as burning tears as myself.

We spent ten exciting hours with these granite ghosts, these veritable human rocks of ages, while our artist took negatives of a number of them, by electric lanterns.

We then passed the outer gate that led us onto another double terraced, rock porch, similar to the one on which we had landed from the Bright Spirit.


WHEN all were through this second gate the captain gave it a heavy slam and it locked itself. We were then prisoners in Ke Kultus. Then addressing me, said he:

"I wish to seriously impress upon this company the value of my life."

Then, speaking directly to the company, "I know more of this awful place than all the rest of you. If I am lost you can never get out unless rescued by the government; and even in that event you will not have more than one chance in a thousand. Therefore as you value your lives and love your anxious friends at home, obey my every order until we return to this gate."

I afterward learned that if he had been lost we could have signalled the government boat, which guarded the entrance gate of the great tunnel and the treasures therein, for help.

We had with us a sky-writing, signal lantern and two men drilled in its use; but it was a secret to all the rest. With this it could have been told where we were and what the trouble was mostly; but it was not best for all to know it at the time.

There, on the natural rock porch that reached out from the main wall about a hundred feet, we took our first meal and sleep after leaving the Bright Spirit.

The government has here at the end of the tunnel, a barricade made of great, malleable, glass ropes woven like cloth, and we enjoyed its security until we were well refreshed.

At the mouth of the tunnel (and within this little fort) the government has a small arsenal.

It consists of a great vault cut into the mountain rim and contains many things that experience has taught might be needed by explorers of this dangerous place. This gate also locks itself when shut; and is unlocked with a great combination key.

From this storage vault we took five fine, flexible fiber boats that are run by electric machinery (part of which we carried with us) as well as with hand oars; also ropes, anchors and pulleys; also a powerful electric battery; also guns, spears, swords and the like; but chiefly an extra supply of explosives.

These boats were let down to the water's edge with ropes and pulleys through an inclined chute made in the rock thousands of years ago for the purpose. Each boat had a shifting water-proof covering, as a protection against rain and fog that fall there, at this season of the year every few hours and sometimes for several hours at a time.

Our way of getting ourselves down to our launched boats was now by stone steps cut by unknown workman's hands in the long ago.

But, before descending (and as we stood an anxious group ready to embark, maybe for eternity) Skwunk politely asked for and received general permission to offer up a prayer for our safety.

Herman Skwunk never engaged in any important undertaking without first praying. The boys used to accuse him of praying every time before harnessing his dogs; but to their twitting he had a reply which no philosophy has yet answered:

"I learned it from my mother, and she was the best woman in the world; anyhow, if it does no other good, prayer gives me confidence; and confidence is the main-spring of success."

I have always observed that people who do not pray themselves, nevertheless respect those who do; even if it be but a pitiful respect for their credulity.

This "first sea," as they speak of it, as well as others in Ke Kultus, is, no doubt, an ancient crater. It is about four miles wide and nearly fifty long; and in a circle, of course. It contains many little islands and huge rocks projecting up out of the water, covering perhaps, one tenth of its area.

While the porch-like projections of the mountain rims are generally slanting and accumulate little soil, and support but little vegetation other than moss, it is different with the great rocks that constitute the islands out in this first water. There grow doubtless the largest trees and most gigantic vegetation generally that can be found on earth. The soil on them is largely of guano and other animal matter; and the warmth from internal causes together with constant aerial moisture, constitute the best possible condition for vegetable growth.

Much of this vegetation is of the moss and fungoid families. Mushrooms of the finest flavor grow there as large as flour-barrels, and four times as long. The mighty trees bend with mistletoe. Even the time-worn, cone-shaped rocks, rising up as monuments of forgotten times, are gaily enrobed in mossy gowns of purple hue.

On this moss, mushrooms, and tender vegetation live sky-darkening flocks of water fowls; and on the eggs and the young of these, feed millions of small animals and reptiles. Then on these in turn, live larger ones, and so on up to monsters of this seemingly bottomless deep whose description may seem almost incredible.

The fact is the most moderate description of animal life in Ke Kultus would be past belief by any one who had not seen nor heard it. Life there truly lives gluttonously upon life.

Indeed it seems that life in Ke Kultus is in a continuous rush of madness to change from one animal form to another.

Nature seems to be playing at a game of destruction around this sun-worshiper's hell, that it is ashamed to practice elsewhere.

The water in this first sea is warm—in some places hot—and of a slightly sulphurous taste; and it begets a blood-thirsty disposition in all its inhabitants.

We were informed that, at times, even the greatest monsters of this hell-land have to succumb to the blood-sucking insects that seem to fill every inch of space; but we failed to find them so numerous or hungry when we were there.

While this sea has a general slow current, round and round, with the motion of the earth, there are many cross currents, eddies and back waters; also many a vortex caused by—God only knows what—down in its vast unknowable depths.

It was on the islands of this sea and on its rock-rimmed ledges before mentioned, that we had our curiosity first gratified at the sight of the wonderful "man-animal," the savage Kargo. It is sometimes called the unsolved problem of naturalists.

The Kargo is supposed, by some, to be the connecting link, or Darwin's "missing link," between the lowest of the human race and the highest of the ape tribes. In anatomical structure this animal is identical with man, with the exception of the teeth and feet. Instead of thirty-two teeth in the permanent or adult set, he has thirty-six (sometimes forty;) and the cuspids or eye teeth, are tusks in males, from two to three inches in length.

Then on the feet the great toes stand out from the smaller ones as a thumb stands out from the fingers. Then, there are other slight differences in that the arms of the Kargo reach to his knees and below. He is both a great jumper and climber. Ordinarily he walks upright like man, but when he makes haste he goes on all-fours.

This mighty man-animal averages about six feet in height and three hundred pounds in weight. As a covering he has a short, thick coat of brown hair all over his body excepting his face and the insides of his hands and feet; and the males have immense beards. He has a great chest and immense lung power, and strength entirely beyond reason.

His preferred way of warfare and means of killing game is by throwing stones, which he does with remarkable precision. It is said that he can throw a ten pound stone with such aim and force as to knock a man's head off at one hundred steps distance. And we were assured that no company had ever visited Ke Kultus without losing some of its members by the unerring aim of some missing link.

The Kargo has many habits of the human race. They live in families and have laws and customs, that all seem to understand and respect.

The relation of the sexes is polygamous, each male having a harem of from four to ten females. It is said that the surplus males, while infants, are fed to beasts or disposed of in some other way.

The Kargo, in communication, deals largely in signs, but uses about one hundred distinct words in his vocabulary. The male heads of families hold councils and make speeches, and the females sing their children to sleep like other loving mothers. Sometimes several sing in harmony and make fair music.

It is, however, seldom a young Kargo is seen. They are kept in their cave-homes and closely guarded by females of the family against numerous enemies, even to closing the doors with ponderous stones.

But unlike the human race, there are no old bachelors or old maids—nor widows or widowers of long standing. They all marry; and if reports are true their faithfulness to marriage sanctity is an example needed by some of their superior type. This wonderful half-human is master of all the quadrupeds and land animals of the ledges and sub islands of Ke Kultus. But he is himself the much coveted prey of a number of species of serpents, amphibia, and flying beasts that live in the waters and in the holes and crevices of the mountain rims and great rocks that stand out in the waters.

The greatest and most constant dread of the Kargo is the Karkolo, the flying dragon, that lives in the great cracks and crevices and caves and natural tunnels of the ancient crater known as "Hell's Ante-Chamber." By this is meant the space between the third and fourth circular rims. It is set down on the map as a sea, but in fact it contains about as much rock and fire and volcanic debris as water.

The great flying dragon makes his home most exclusively in this ante-chamber, though he is sometimes seen to fly over the fourth or inner rim and descend, it is believed, somewhere into the awful central hole in the end of the earth, or at least a part of the way down.

As the Kargo wishes to get as far as possible from his flying enemy he inhabits mostly the islands and rock ledges of the first sea, though he is frequently found in the second one.

Well, we are now in our boats ready to paddle for mountain rim No. 2. With our glasses we can plainly see the gate that leads into another tunnel which we must pass through to get to the second sea. This gate is also closed to keep out beasts, birds, reptiles, and vampires that would fill it from one end to the other if left open.

Though it is only about four miles from us, we must travel about eight to reach it.

We must steer clear of some islands with their ferocious animals, and go around some dangerous water suctions; and we must go out of our way to keep within safe distance of places of safety hewn into great rocks that stick up out of the water.

Our head observer in the front boat casts his field glass ahead and reports our way clear so far as he can see.

The word was given by Captain Kaktus and we were off. We traveled about one mile, unobserved, as we thought, by anything that could harm us; but we were being followed. In the wake of our rear boat we noticed five monster Kargoes swimming toward us with all their mighty strength.

It is against the law and orders to kill a "half-human" Kargo except in self defense. Were they after us? If so they would overtake us and kill us, for they are great swimmers. But they appear frightened and are on the run themselves. They are but two hundred yards behind us and are squalling their loudest; and it is not their habit to make a noise in search of prey.

Kaktus informed us that they themselves, were being chased by a great, monster Kultux, a water lizard, that can eat a dozen full grown Kargoes at a meal; that they were bound for the little island ahead of us for safety, and we must go there too, as fast as possible, to avoid the same danger.

If the awful beast should overtake and catch them it would only sharpen his appetite for several, if not all of us. Besides, there might be two of these monsters together, on within calling distance.

Also, if we met the Kargoes on the island we would have an awful fight; but with our bombs we might whip them, though not without some loss. There, however, we would be out of the way of the great lizard.

We made for the island in a hurry. It was a great flat rock base of about two acres in extent, with deep, rich soil, heavy timber and dense undergrowth on it. The captain knew the old landing where steps were carved from the water's edge, some six feet, to the top; and he thought it likely the Kargoes knew of the steps, too.

At any rate they followed us closely. We got there and had just time to tie up our boots to over-reaching limbs of trees and ascend the steps and listen a few minutes to counsel and orders when they came up to within throwing distance of the shore.

If they were allowed to land they would have to be killed anyhow, or they would kill us. It was soon decided to be a case of self defense. The chase was an awfully exciting one. Such swimming we had never seen before; and every stroke of the poor Kargoes was made with a scream that thrilled the air; and the bellowing from the fearful beast behind them made the very sea tremble.

But while we looked on with wonder, another, a still more exciting occurrence, transpired. A great monster sea serpent raised his head full ten feet out of the water through a thicket of great floating water lily leaves, near the bank, and with a hideous hiss, like escaping steam from a locomotive, thrust out his red, forked tongue fully twenty feet, wound its proboscis-like coil around one of our men and swallowed him as quickly as a frog would take in a fire-fly.

It was done so quickly that some of our company failed to see it at all. As it happened I witnessed most of the sickening scene.

The tongue hit the man so as to place him right in its fork, when the coils went around him in different directions and completely tied him fast in an instant. A jerk back and he went down the snakes throat instantly.

This species of snake, the Dago, has a third or central prong to his tongue, a short one with a spear on its end. The spear is to pierce the victim while the two coils tie him up. But in this case our man's aluminum-wire ring cloth underwear prevented its entrance into his body.

In an instant after swallowing our poor comrade, Jak Rego, with a bowing gulp, he raised his head and with another frightful hiss—a hand bomb went into his mouth and tore his head off much quicker than it can be told. Immediately this mighty serpent lay afloat with his belly turned up like a dead fish, but with his ponderous tail lashing the water into a white foam all around.

We had no time to "stamp dead snakes," nor even to lament our loss of a kind comrade, for the Kargoes were near our boats. And the indescribable water lizard, with his fiery red mouth open wide enough to take in a full grown horse, and his eyes projecting from his long head like two big fire balls was only about one hundred yards behind them.

Captain Kaktus gave the signal and five hand grenades tore the five poor, frightened Kargoes into mince meat in time enough to save chewing by the great Kultux, that took them in like a duck scoops in floating water bugs.

But what do we see? While the monster Kultux swallows the five Kargoes, the heaving belly of the headless snake spews up its contents on the water; and here is our friend, Jak Rego, alive and kicking, holding unconsciously to the shivered fragments of the serpent's jaws.

A brave, heroic friend, Bi Karo, volunteered to save him, and by jumping into a boat right in the face of this water mammoth, picked up the unconscious comrade and brought him safely ashore. Oh! what a daring act of unselfish friendship!

In less time than it takes to tell it the powerful lizard had taken in the Kargoes and was already at the huge, headless snake floundering in the foaming water.

At a signal from Kaktus we watched the process, which lasted just two minutes by the watch. The great beast had now in his belly not less than seven thousand pounds of fresh meat; yet, when he had finished his meal of snake, he winked at us on shore as wistfully as if he were half starved.

He was not more than forty feet from us, yet we were safe from him. We took a good look at him. He was all of ninety feet long with four paddle legs not less than ten feet long; and he had a head as large as a sugar hogshead and four times as long, with shining, round, red eyes as large as bushel baskets.

He had half a dozen rows of teeth on each side of each jaw, and they were as large and long as cows horns and shapely pointed, striking together between each other, like cogs working between each other in wheels.

While some of our party worked with our rescued comrade the rest of us took a good look at this fearful reptile as he played leisurely around watching us with equal interest.

Presently at the command of the Captain five explosives from the air guns of as many of our men put the awful monster's eyes out. This was done to cause the beast to bellow and induce all other lesser animals, dangerous to us, in the vicinity, to leave.

I have an idea that such a noise was never heard, nor such plunges seen by men before. The very water seemed to bellow and the rock island appeared to tremble; and the hidden land beasts and birds and water animals, in fright, fled as if an earthquake was in progress. We had no idea of our dangerous surroundings until these numerous animals lying in wait for prey were scared from their lairs.

Finally with one last, tremendous, downward plunge the blind Kultux left us to appear no more.

"Now," said the captain, "is our opportunity. Our way to the second mountain rim is clear. Unless perchance we run across something that has hidden, we need have no fear for several hours."

By this time our friend, Rego, had been cleaned up and stimulated and had gained consciousness enough to hurriedly relate his experience in the great snake's belly; which was merely that of a troubled dream without actual pain.

I may here remark that as this was the first case of the kind in Ke Whonkus, and as it was a verified one, it was a most opportune answer to the humorous sneers of the scientists at our scriptural story of Jonah and the fish, which we had related in our lectures.

"If a heathen could live three minutes in a snake's belly why not a believer in the true God live three days in the belly of a great fish?"

It was a knock-down argument which these heathen could not answer.

When all was quiet, Skwunk asked permission of Captain Kaktus, and was granted the privilege to render thanks to God for our deliverance, and especially for the deliverance of Jak Rego from the snake's belly. But the experts who threw the bombs into the serpent's mouth claimed the honor for his deliverance themselves, saying:

"Skwunk's God had nothing to do with it."

Nothing further, excepting a heavy rain, happened on our way, and in due time we had made our tedious journey and were at the gate entering the tunnel through the second mountain rim of Ke Kultus.

This rock rim was in texture very unlike the outer rim. It was of a different formation and full of holes, fissures and caverns. Out of some of these poured pure, clear, cold water, and out of others hot water and various other strange liquids that ran back into other holes and fissures.

In this hand-made tunnel, however, all the natural openings had been closed to keep out everything else than the man who could operate the great bronze gates at either end.

Leaving our boats securely placed in vaults made in the long ago, we hauled our plunder through on truck wagons that we found there for that purpose, and were soon at the further end looking out over the second sea. Here again fastened in the side of the mountain we found another lot of government boats at our disposal.


THIS second sea is much like the first one, with this difference, by far a greater part of it is taken up with islands, projecting rocks, and great rock bridges. The water is warmer and more sulphurous, and it holds more mineral in solution.

Then the larger kinds of vegetation, though still profuse, is smaller in size. The timber is low and the undergrowth almost impenetrable. Moss, mistletoe, and mushrooms still support untold millions of insects, animals, birds and reptiles, that in turn, not only become food for one-and-another, but for still larger ones, till life in number crowds into bulk, and mighty land and sea creatures roam over rocks, islands, natural bridges, and through the red water in a plentitude fearful to contemplate even by an adventurer.

The Kargo lives here, too, but in less numbers and is more shy. Here he remains more in his cave, in jungle, and in other safe places. This is from fear of the great vampire dragon that is so fond of his half-human blood.

Indeed it is the current belief that many of the Kargoes in this second basin have more than half human blood in their veins.

As has been stated it was once the custom of the church to banish heretics to Ke Kultus. Owing to the extent of their unbelief and blasphemy they were sent to the first, second, or third space.

In short it is claimed by what passes as good authority that the stain of their blood has not all been washed away.

The dragon vampire, the Karkolo, visits the first space only when he fails to supply his wants nearer his haunts, which are said to be mainly in the caves, tunnels, crevices, and holes in the third and fourth rock rims, and ancient volcanic craters between them.

But nevertheless, these masters of all quadrupeds and of most land reptiles, the mighty Kargo, sometimes venture out on the rocks, and rock bridges and, flanges of this second sea. When he is spied by the fearless dragon he plunges into the water and takes his chances with the awful Kultux and other warm water monsters.

We launched our new, flexible, fiber boats, at the order of our captain, and set off for Crawfish rim, No. 3.

This rim is about two miles from us, but we must travel full seven to get there, for the same reason that we did so in crossing the first water. But we did not go the whole distance in our boats. We left them at an ancient landing at a little island about midway of the sea, and wound the rest of the way around over islands and rock bridges, and through several tunnels that were weird and awful to contemplate.

In some of these tunnels, and caverns leading out from them, are human bones enough to fertilize an English farm. And on these old skeletons are jewels enough to enrich the impecunious aristocracy of England, if not all Europe. They are said to be the bones of infidels and skeptics to the sun-worship religion, carried there by dragons of the long ago.

There are, however, not a few of these bodies that petrified before the flesh was otherwise disposed of. It is plain to be seen they were people of good rank and intelligence.

The probability is, though, that many of these are the remains of other criminals than heretics; for under the old criminal regime (when criminals were punished for the sake of revenge instead of for the purpose of reformation,) it was the practice to turn certain civil offenders over to the beasts of Ke Kultus, the idea being both for revenge and to deter others from crime.

To deny that the sun was the intelligent author of all else than himself, and to dispute what he said through his chosen, inspired oracles, was the highest crime; and for it, the blasphemer was condemned to the third sea of Ke Kultus, the home of the awful Karkolo.

A number of exciting incidents and some narrow escapes occurred on this seven miles trip, but want of space forbids the mention of more than the first one.

When about one-third of the way across, our watchman, with his field glass, called our attention to one of the vampire dragons of which we had heard such dreadful tales, and which was perched calmly on mountain rim number 3, and about a mile and a half in front, of us. With our glasses we could see him intently watching our movements.

Captain Kaktus informed us that he would probably sit there and rest a half an hour, then make for us and take one of us over into Hell's ante-chamber, the third sea of Ke Kultus, to his family; and in the meantime if his mate should join him, they would come together and take two or more of us.

He spoke of the matter so coolly that it made the chills run over me, saying such had always been the case and would continue to be so unless perchance, the new weapons, the bombs, could be used to kill him, or frighten him away. In the past nothing had deterred him in the least.

We were ordered to make haste to a large rock a few rods ahead where some of us could hide and where weapons of defense could be tried. We found the rock to contain about fifty square rods of tolerably level surface, free from vegetation, except occasional bunches of moss, and shooting up out of it, was a spring of clear, cold water.

Landing on this retreat a few of us were secreted under a large projecting rock; and among these were Skwunk and myself.

The police soldiers who went along to fight, and be sacrificed if necessary, were arranged in a circle and made to lie on their backs with their feet to feet. In this position they held their spears at proper angles to make a dangerous barricade for the demon dragon to fly against. In addition to the spears there were also several bombs placed in the hollowed ends of long poles made for the purpose.

One man, Bono (we had nicknamed him "Pro-Bono-Publico") was chosen, by lot, as the "middle man," or "bait," to remain exposed while the rest covered themselves nearly over with their water proof blankets.

No army color bearer in battle ever held a more responsible position than poor Bono, as he sat there as prey for the most fiendish animal that ever breathed—outside of hell at least.

When a boy I used to make hawk traps by driving into the ground, in a circle, sharp, pointed, iron rods at reclining angles from the center and tying a chicken in it for bait. But I never realized what I had done until away in after years I saw this poor unfortunate Bono sitting there, ready for the claws of the most hellish beast that God or Devil, in their wisdom could invent.

When caught he would not be kindly killed and eaten, but carried away off into some den and kept there for young vampires to suck his life blood, from time to time, for it may be hundreds of hours.

I came near exclaiming: "Great God, why hast Thou made such a creature and endowed it with such a cruel nature as this?"

But we have no right to question the justice or wisdom of God's work. Judas was a necessary means in the plan and programme of salvation through the blood of Christ. This vampire demon, we may be assured, was not made in vain. And poor Bono, as clay in the potter's hands, has no right to complain of his lot. He ought to be proud to be a martyr to his country now showing its guests the worst spot on earth.

Indeed it may lead the way to Christianize Ke Whonkus. When the Island is known to the outside world, ways and means will be sought, and perhaps found, to reach the North Pole to capture this immense wealth of jewels; and Christianity will follow—perhaps come with the invaders as it was taken into Mexico.

For myself I could only philosophize that in some way it would turn out best for poor Bono's blood to nourish the young dragons in their dens—to the end that Ke Whonkus might be redeemed. But tender-hearted and impulsive Skwunk in his effusion of feeling, burst forth in one of the most powerful prayers God ever listened to, in behalf of the poor fellow in wait for the worst imaginable fate.

While Skwunk was wrestling with God in behalf of trembling Bono, and the winged demon sat watching us like a hawk watches a brood of helpless chickens, one of the scientists suggested to him that as he had so much influence with his deity and so much confidence in him, perhaps he had better take Bono's place—that God might more willingly protect his pious servant than a heathen. But Skwunk was too sharp for his twitterer. After a little hesitation he prophetically replied:

"My friend, God has other work for me to do."

In shape of body this dragon has something of human form and weighs nearly five hundred pounds. He has a short, sharp, horny sword on his nose for puncturing the veins of his victims. He has four legs, or rather two arms and two legs; and I may say four hands, for he uses his feet also as hands. He is a cliff-climber as well as cave dweller, and therefore the bony shield covering his breast, and the claws at the joints of his wings.

See, he lifts his great, leathery, bat-like wings occasionally as if to test their efficiency in the flight he is about to make?

He begins to bat his immense "pop eyes" and they flash like fire as he snaps them at poor Bono, now the only one of our crowd in sight.

His ponderous body begins to heave as he gathers breath for the leap—and here he comes!!

The spears are set for him but they will probably snap like pipe-stems against his bone-plated breast. The bombs are also set for him; but they may prove as disastrous to the men as to the demon. He may, too, discover the spears and drop down at one side of the trap and take some other than Bono the "bait man," after all.

Deathless silence follows the last order of Captain Kaktus; but the silence is short. Skwunk bursts out again imploring the salvation of the poor pale, trembling police-soldier.

Here comes the demon, on, on, and on!

As from our covering we watch the slow, measured strokes of his mighty wings, the glossy bronze on his scaly body and metallic legs throw a thousand dancing, skipping, dazzling, sunbeams into our eyes—beautiful, but awful!

Here he comes—only a few hundred yards more and we shall see the worst!

Down he plunges to within a hundred feet of us and—turns off to our great surprise! Ten seconds more and he has laid hold of a great, sleeping, man Kargo on the further side of the little rock island from us.

Peeping out from our covering we see every movement of the demon and his victim.

Such screams could never come from other throats. As the Kargo gnawed at the dragon's scaly legs his teeth snapped like branches breaking in a frozen forest. The noise grinds on my nerves even yet.

Finally the powerful vampire turned his victim with his face downward; and extending his immense wings, sided this way and that, back and fourth, right and left until he had his front hands around the Kargo's neck, and his hind ones around his body, and held him there until he had almost ceased to resist, from strangulation.

Then he stuck his nose sword into the Kargo's body, opened a blood vessel, and took a draught; but carefully not enough to kill him.

We were willing to have the Kargo out of our way, but did not want the dragon to escape.

So, just as the vampire raised his body to gather strength for flight, the Captain ordered him bombed. The intention was to knock his eyes out, but we did more. Several grenades from hands, and small explosives from guns, striking his head at once, tore the front part of it literally off.

But we were disappointed in not getting to examine the two monsters in the interest of science. Floundering around like a decapitated chicken, with his victim still in his claws, the blood sucking devil tumbled over into the sea. At the instant we all ran to watch his capers in the water.

But we did not see much of him, for the noise had attracted one of the great Kultux to the spot and in less than five minutes both the great flying devil and the powerful Kargo were in the belly of the frightful water lizard.

Now what were we to do? We dare not venture out to sea on our journey with this dreadful saurian in the neighborhood.

It was finally decided by the Captain to toll him near the shore with one of our men. Lots were cast and it fell to Ki Ut's luck to swim out, with a rope around his body and tell the great, reptilian Czar of all Ke Kultus, of our presence in his empire.

Ki jumped in and swam out near enough to attract the old Kultux's notice, when, with a rush, like a bass after a minnow, he made for our man.

It was an exciting chase. And unlooked for by us, the great lizard came very near getting our comrade. Sticking his long nose under the water, and with a tremendous, continued blow, he threw such a spray over Ki as to utterly bewilder and almost strangle him.

Seeing the danger we pulled him to shore barely in time to save him. With the animal's mouth within thirty feet of us and sufficiently open to take in an ox, five hand bombs exploded against his great teeth and tore his immense jaws into fragments.

In a few seconds the water all around was in commotion as if an earthquake had taken place.

The jawless beast bellowed till our very rock island trembled as well as ourselves. He would dive until from twenty to forty feet of his tail would rise into the air; and then would come up until as much of his great scaly body would be out, spouting water like an engine hose.

There he floundered about for ten minutes until the commotion of the water and the blood and foam brought a school of water dogs to the scene. Said Kaktus:

"In two hours there will not be an ounce of the 100,000 pounds of lizard meat left on his skeleton."

It was like a gang of starving wolves at a wounded buffalo; only the school of water dogs, or Kultars, numbered thousands, and weighed about a thousand pounds each.

The water-dog, or Kultar, is an animal that may be described as resembling a supposed cross between a hyena and an alligator. He has hair instead of scales. His habit is to follow in the wake of the great battles that are constantly going on between the monster beasts of the warm and bottomless waters of Ke Kultus, and to devour the dead and wounded. Often in dearth of such supplies he will attack even those in health; and, as he goes in schools, he is a desperate foe to contend with.

While a fight for the meat of the great, dying, sea monster was going on among a thousand, hungry screaming, squalling, bellowing, plunging, and snorting Kultars, we took refreshment; and after a few hours rest were ready to move on.

Just before starting Skwunk took an appropriate opportunity to call the attention of the party to the solemn fact that in answer to his prayers, God, in his mercy, had spared Bono, and now in gratitude he wished to offer thanks and ask his further guidance on our journey.

Some of the infidel scientists sarcastically asked Skwunk if it did not hurt the poor half human Kargo to be caught by the great blood-sucker, just as badly as it would have hurt Bono, and humorously suggested that the next time he should also include Kargoes in his prayer.

But the joke was not appreciated by Bono, who had been so miraculously saved. As between the glistening spears and prayer he preferred to give Skwunk the benefit of the doubt.


THIS island, which Pro-Bono-Publico named Prayer Island, was but a few hundred feet from where we were to leave our boats, at the end of a long, slim, winding rock, or chain of rocks, known as a natural bridge.

The water way before us, though narrow, is an exceedingly dangerous channel, as it is the path of the large sea animals around the bridge or ledge of rock. In crossing it we ran some dangerous risks and at one place had to blow the head off of another such a snake as had swallowed Jak Rego.

This rock bridge has seldom been footed by man in recent times, and many of the conveniences for crossing on it in the olden time have disappeared, so our progress was slow. At a few places it was slightly under water and we Had to feel our way and wade. It had either sunken, or the water has risen, since the times when yearly, hundreds of convicted anti-religionists crossed on it to their fearful fate in Hell's ante chamber.

The hewn steps up steep places were filled with the debris of time and had to be cleared. Where currents did not wash, the moss was thick, and in some places three feet high and full of all sorts of snakes and other reptiles; and insects as large as tom-cats.

Not to mention the many serious and funny incidents that would too much lengthen our narrative, we arrived at the entrance of the tunnel through the third great rock rim of Ke Kultus in safety.

Many things of exciting interest might be said of our journey through this third old pass-way, which is a combination of the work of nature and of man. Originally it was a vast cavern reaching through the entire mountain, with numerous branches and side caves connected with it; but the side outlets had all been closed and gates placed at each end of the main way, as at the other tunnels, so as to exclude animals and serpents.

(Our observation in this old tunnel may at some future time further interest the world.)

About midway therein there is a gold quartz lead, that if mined, would unsettle the values of all other property in all nations that make gold the basis of exchange and lead to the demonetization of that precious metal.

This quartz crevice is fully three hundred feet wide and runs longitudinally with the mountain, no telling how far, and no knowing how deep.

The quartz is exceedingly rich; and shining pockets of once melted nuggets are seen in all directions. I told Captain Kaktus that all else which I would repeat to the outside world concerning Ke Whonkus would not excite the people anything like what I am now writing. I told him, too, that if there was no other way to invade Ke Kultus, our enterprising capitalists would actually cut a tunnel underground hundreds or thousands of miles through the frozen regions to reach this gold and diamond and skeleton-jeweled land.

He replied:

"Surely Christians are a gold loving people, as they pave the streets of their Heaven with it. We find the richest gold deposits nearer our hell; too near to be safely worked."

"Yes," I rejoined, "we don't let hell stand in the way of our getting gold."

Passing through this weird, old pass-way to its further end we are at the finis of our authorized journey. Government orders positively forbid any attempt to go further; and indeed the sights before us enforce the law themselves.

Coming out at the final gate we find ourselves safely enclosed against a moving immensity of swimming, flying and creeping creatures, as it seems, all trying to eat each other up, in this mixed mess of land, lava, bones, ore, rock, water, oil, fire, steam, gas, electricity and magnetism, called hell's ante-chamber.

Projecting rocks covered us, and a treble network woven of large, malleable glass ropes, hemmed us in from this sea of devouring beasts, which all the languages in the world would fail to half-way describe.

Whether God or Satan rules this island, and especially this part of it, is a question; but most certainly it is infinite in hellish horror. All ingenuity of human imagination has failed to compare its productions to this ante-chamber of the sun-worshiper's hell. Dante's Inferno, by the side of it, shows like a candle by the side of the great incandescent ball over the Capital of Ke Whonkus.

Longitudinally with this third rim runs the usual rock porch, or flange, that projects from the other rims. At some places it is as much as two hundred feet wide, and at others not more than thirty.

In front of our ancient fort there is what is laid down on the map as the "Rock of Doom." I tremble as I speak the word.

It is a side projection of the porch already mentioned and extends nearly five hundred feet further out over the so called sea and is supported by two natural pillars. It is about one hundred yards wide and as flat and smooth as a time-worn marble slab.

It was on this Rock of Doom that the offenders against the sun-worship religion in the days of church Supremacy, were placed to await the leisure and pleasure of the awful flying vampire demon, the blood-thirsty Karkolo, that carried them away.

It was the law for several thousand years under the rule of the church party to send and place one hundred of these sacrilegious unbelievers on this rock at a time, and have them, men and women, remain there till but ten were left. These last ten survivors were then forgiven and taken home to tell the awful tale throughout the country.

History relates that on one occasion there were one thousand men and women put there to appease the wrath of the Sun for a special offense, and all were carried off except one hundred within what we call two weeks.

The forgiveness of ten per cent. had a two-fold object, if no more. First; that returned offenders might relate the fate of others as they witnessed it; and secondly; to prevent suicide by victims throwing themselves into the mouths of the thousands of hungry beasts around them, rather than go to the dens of the flying dragons. Besides, they pretended to have a revelation from the Sun that the dragons should every time take the worst criminals first.

Each person carried away increased the chances of the others to get back home to their families and friends, and the scheme worked to the satisfaction of the popes.

At that time there was a high, smooth, glazed, wall enclosing a part of the Rock of Doom, to further prevent suicide, and also the destruction of offenders by other animals than the most dreaded Karkolo, as we prevent the suicide of criminals to get the fun of hanging them.

The distance from our glass-woven fort to the inner, central rim of Ke Kultus, is less than a mile, yet that is a mile that no human foot has ever trod to return.

In the bad, old times mentioned, forgiveness was offered to thousands of heretics and other convicts if they would cross this chasm of death and report to the authorities what they saw within this central rim, but not a single one ever returned.

So, to get a knowledge of what became of those carried off by the vampire dragons, the following plan was adopted: several thousand copper tubes were made with caps secured on their ends and air tight. They were large enough to hold fifty sheets of thin rolled paper, pencils etc. A strong ring was attached to each end of the tube and so constructed as to quickly lock itself around a demon's leg; and the contrivance could be worn without much inconvenience to the animal.

Each convict had one of these tubes securely fastened to him or her when placed on the Rock of Doom, and was requested to write the history of his or her case before death, if possible, and put it in the tube and fasten it onto one of the demon's limbs.

Then those on the rock were further instructed (should they possibly have a chance) to detach the tube from the vampire's limb when the usual struggle was going on and while he was preparing his victims for transportation. If any succeeded and escaped the dragon at the time, they were to be pardoned.

Of course it was not expected that many reports could be obtained in this awful way; but if a few authentic ones could be, it would be a great satisfaction to all Ke Whonkus in such sickening suspense—a relief to know even the worst that could be told.

Within a few centuries, about two thousand years ago, several poor unfortunates reported in this way of the habits and habitats of this most wonderful creature; also of many other things in this connection.

In catching his prey this vampire overcomes it with exhaustion, especially if it be a Kargo or human. Then, if hungry he punctures a blood vessel with his nose sword, and sucks enough blood to weaken it to no further resistance.

After that he applies an adhesive, acrid saliva, secreted for the purpose, and coats the wound, and coagulates the blood and stops the bleeding—a most wonderful provision of nature—we hardly dare say of God.

Then he carries his submissive victim away to his family den, which is generally in the central Ke Kultus rim, with its entrance situated against escape. There it is generally handed over to the young and the aged and infirm who can not fly out in pursuit of food. And there the poor, weakened victim, if there is much hunger in the family, is drained again; but the old beasts take care that the young and inexperienced do not carry the bleeding process too far. The intention is to keep the victim as long as it can be made to furnish a reasonable amount of the precious fluid.

Therefore it is carefully and plentifully fed on meats of fowls and on eggs and other strong food, with plenty of fresh water carried to it in old skulls. Even the worst of Ke Kultus that is known is furnished with plenty of crevice streams of cool water, through veins from the cold regions south.

The prey of this horrible creature is never maltreated any further than to enforce quiet submission, and bleeding being an easy death, it is said that their human victims seldom make any resistance, but are prone to offer themselves in too great frequency, to get rid of life. Yet the game of the Karkolo sometimes lives months, and in the case of the human, even years.

As also in the case of the Kargo, men and women have, in some instances, been adopted in the family, and in this way the natural history of the beast has come to be well known.

When, however, the prey of the dragon dies, it is either eaten at once or dragged away; for with all of his wicked doing he is a rather cleanly animal about his house.

From our glass-cloth fort, with our strong field glasses, we watched the sickening tumult in this ante-chamber, until it became tiresome to look on, at the wonderful battle of animals that has been going on without a moment's cessation for ages upon ages. We were situated to see the minutest maneuvering of the beasts as if it took place at our feet; but still it grew tiresome.

Then we were called to a recess and took some refreshments and a few hours sleep. We had the finest fowl and eggs cooked by electricity, with the most delicious golden colored mushrooms for desert.

Skwunk jokingly said the carnage sight had caused his stomach to gnaw for the blood pudding of his mother's country, at which one of the scientists sarcastically remarked, that he understood Christians were fond of blood. Retorted Skwunk:

"Yes, even the blood that washes away the sins of all the world—but those of Ke Whonkus."

After refreshment and sleep, Captain Kaktus proposed to pilot us through some wonderful ancient caverns that were connected with the tunnel near that end, but which had been closed against wild animals for several centuries on account of the sacredness of some human relics that had been deposited there in the long ago.

These were relics of "infidels," as the religionists would say, and "martyrs to intelligence," as the scientists have it.

Captain Kaktus and his assistants gave us abbreviated historical sketches of some of those skeletons and mummified bodies in order, as we passed them by; but to the reader they would be only about as interesting as my own life will be to those who will walk the richly embellished streets of the world's aristocratic resort of Ke Kultus, five hundred years hence.

After passing these vaults, so richly decorated with flowers, made of gold and diamonds, and other precious stones, we came to the end where the passage had been closed by nicely fitting stones, by the hand of man, further back than history.

I proposed to the Captain that we open the passage and go in and explore some unknown ground. He said he thought he had no authority to do anything of the sort, but when we returned to camp he would look up the history from the map-key and would see about it.

Returning down on the opposite side of our way, we passed many other relics similar to those we had been seeing. Said the Captain:

"There are several side branches to this tunnel that no man has even looked into for centuries."

On getting back to our outdoor fort, we rested a while and had more refreshment. Then looking up the matter to his satisfaction, our pilot found no law to prevent the regular government agent from opening any of the caverns, provided nothing marked on his guide map as "sacred," was touched.

Furthermore his present orders were:

"Subject to the wishes of the nation's esteemed guest from the outside world, Captain Sampson De Lilly, excepting only things marked 'sacred' on map."

He then requested a written order from me to open the closed cavern; after which he unlocked an arsenal vault and got such tools as we might need. Then with everything in readiness we started back to the old, closed entrance, and found it easily opened by an hour's work.

From appearance we soon discovered that it opened into a secret tunnel with all other openings closed, as no signs of life were to be seen there.

With no fears of vicious animals we went on, perhaps three hundred yards, without seeing much of exciting interest, more than occasionally a pile of old bones along the way.

Then we came to the end, which was also closed. Sending back for our tools we opened it, too, but with more difficulty than the first. And what a sight! A magnificent suite of rooms, all lighted with natural electricity as brightly as an equatorial noon-day; and the walls one indescribable medley of gems, and mica of numerous colors, sparkling, twinkling, yea laughing at us, across an intervening bottomless chasm, that dizzied our heads and held us at bay.

This beautiful, soft electric light, came up through the chasm down into which we could see, even to the limit of our strong field glasses; but there was no bottom. Aside from an occasional sulphurous whiff the air was as pure as at Puck's Springs in the frozen zone.

The part of the cavern that we could see was about as large as the Grand Pacific hotel at Chicago; but there was probably a hundred times more of it that we could not see.

The floors and rock shelves of this grand court of nature were literally strewn with bones, and skeletons of man, bird and beast. Tons of them were piled up here and there as if by human hands.

Hanging by itself, hooked over a rock corner that projected out, and sparkled with diamonds or something much resembling them, we discovered a bone with something fastened to it. On closer inspection we decided that it must be one of the ancient tubes, made to be filled with history and fastened to the leg of the flying dragon by condemned skeptics.

It was but about fifty feet from us, yet was it not the same to us as if it were ten thousand miles away? for who would even venture the thought of crossing that truly bottomless pit of internal fire, even for such a prize as that might prove to be?

In my younger life I had practiced the art of lassoing, and was a fair amateur at it; but if I should try it now, and fail in getting a secure hold on that leg bone with its valuable prize, and should drop it into that hole into internal eternity, the world, and Ke Whonkus especially, never would forgive me; and worse still, I'd never forgive myself. I declined therefore, to make the attempt.

Captain Kaktus thought the matter of so much importance as to suggest that we let it alone, report it to the government, and let it offer a reward for an invention to get it.

The artist was ordered to take an electrograph of it, so as to settle all doubts with the government officials.

At this juncture one of the men proposed that Skwunk implore his "obedient God" to hand it over to us.

"No," said that ever-witted Christian, "God will tell some one how to reach out and get it before long, if he desires us to have it."

"Yes," said Pro-Bono-Publico, the saved, "I have it. The end of that great leg bone that inclines upward has a knot on it. If Captain De Lilly can throw one noose over it he can throw several, and in the number he will surely have one good hold or more. When he gets his ropes over that knot, he can give each one a sudden, careful, light jerk, so as to tighten it well. Then if the bone is as sound as it looks to be, we can draw it across the fiery deep with safety." It was a revelation; at least that is what Skwunk called it. I at once saw the practicability of the "several ropes" scheme, and we sent back to camp for them.

In half an hour from my first throw, I had five good holds on that leg bone and the prize was soon ours. It turned put to be a prize of prizes, a surprise of surprises—and God only knows what else it may prove to be.

Full of the intoxication of success and excitement, we closed the holes with the closely jointed rocks that we had removed, and left the place for future generations to make more discoveries perhaps, and then returned as jubilant to our fort as if we had discovered a new world.

Regarding the immense and wonderful cavern, from which we took this interesting relic of antiquity, I need only remark that it had been in the long ago a Karkolo den; and the skeletons that lay there by the ton, were those of the victims of his natural habits.

An unfortunate, in some age far gone by, had succeeded in fastening a tube full of, no doubt, important facts, to the animal's leg, but it had never been removed. After that, some other unfortunate had found the leg bone, with its precious appendage and hung it on the projecting rock. With the rock's sharp crown between the bone and the tube, it had hung there, no one knows how long, but not far from two thousand years. Skwunk insisted that God sent me there on purpose to discover it. Yes, he was strong in the belief that we were sent to Ke Whonkus.

Returning to our safe quarters, we ate, drank and rested, and wondered if this pandemonium before us, and between us and the core of Ke Kultus, was only Hell's ante-chamber, what must the Hell itself be, over the center rim. Finally we all gathered round and prepared to be verifying witnesses to the unfolding of some ancient secret.

We opened the tube and found it contained ninety two pages of silk-like tissue paper, of closely but nicely written, and well preserved manuscript, seemingly in cipher, not a word of which any one of us could read; also a roll of golden hair, a finger ring, and a miniature picture of a handsome, womanly face; and some other little trinkets.

The reader may be assured that our curiosity to know the secrets we held in our hands, was unbounded and painful.

Then, surfeited with the sights of carnage in Ke Kultus, we decided to return to the capital at once, to report our precious find, and if possible learn its long kept and probably momentous secret.

We had rather more trouble in getting back to our little boat, Bright Spirit, than we had on our way from it to Hell's ante-chamber, and it took us longer. But the story is too long for these pages. Indeed it would make a small book of itself, and seem more like a romance than a reality.

Further it is sufficient to say that when we boarded our waiting vessel and every man answered to his name, Skwunk was bodily lifted above the heads of his enthusiastic comrades for his saving prayers, and held there on the shoulders of the saved Bono and Rego, to offer final thanks for the first trip in modern times, made into Hell's ante-chamber without more or less loss of life.

I do not mean to say that the heathen were properly converted to an actual belief in God; but the whole company was seized with a spontaneous overflow of that latent human gratitude, that rises alike above the ignorance of the savage, and the reason of the philosopher, and seeks return to a higher power the world over.

Although that party of brave men may never live to be converted to the worship of the true God they will always worship one of his most trusting servants, Herman Skwunk of Norway. And a fit urn, in the center of a fine monument, will sometime hold his cherished ashes in the land of Ke Whonkus.


FROM Ke Kultus we returned straight-way and hurriedly to Ke Yopako. And on our arrival at the capital, an unbroken party, the nation at large was informed at once, and congratulations poured in through all means of communication. Friends of the company hurried in by hundreds to see the risen dead; for, as we remained in Ke Kultus longer than was expected, there were fears for us.

The fact is that a visit to hell's ante-chamber has been regarded almost equivalent to death in latter times. The ancients seem to have been more fortunate, as they did a great deal of work on the island. It may be they gorged the Kargo, Kultux, Karkolo, Dago, and other monsters with victims of their hate before they exposed themselves. The sun-worshipers have it, that in the 'age of faith,' the Sun protected His devotees in opening those vast tunnels and pass-ways, through which to banish heretics.

One good joke we got on the Ke Whonkus people, by our trip to Ke Kultus. In our first lectures we were over eager to tell them, with their eyes, ears, and mouths all open, of the outside world, and especially of our religion. So, we unfortunately told them of some things prematurely; that is before we taught them to "regard them with sacred awe." And among others were the stories of Jonah and the fish; Daniel in the lion's den; the three 'Hebrew children' in the fiery furnace; and Sampson tying the tails of 300 foxes together with fire brand between them, setting them on fire and turning them loose in the fields of their enemies, the Philistines, to destroy their grain. But fortunately for me, this was done by Skwunk.

It was both amusing and provoking to see these Godless heathen laugh. I could, however, make more allowance for them in their darkness than Skwunk could. It hurt his feelings very much to hear them laugh at these sacred things in his lectures.

I never can forget Skwunk's supreme disgust when, on a certain occasion, these religiously benighted, smart, pagan egotists would make mathematical calculations concerning those three hundred foxes. They figured like this:

"If three hundred foxes were to stand side by side with their tails together, giving each fox one foot of space, the circumference of the circle would be 300 feet, the diameter about 100 feet, and the radius about 50 feet. Thus, if the foxes' bodies were only about two feet long, their tails must have been about 48 feet long;" and then a big ha, ha!

Skwunk, poor boy, wishing to modify their estimation of the circumference, made for them a different count. He told them the foxes were hungry and could stand in a space of half a foot. The circumference of the circle would then be only 150 feet, the diameter only about 50 feet, and the radius only about 25 feet. Consequently the tails of the foxes were only about 23 feet long. But that still caused as much laughter as their own estimation.

Then, the precocious youth, Kias Kutux, asked:

"If each fox ran from the direction of his tail which way would the whole gang go?"

But I had Skwunk to explain to them that the foxes were not all tied together in a bunch, but in two's; a big one tied to a little one; and when the big fox ran forward, with the little one running backward, both at the same fox-hound speed, and 150 pairs of them in the race, the wheat flew like a fire cyclone was passing through it.

Then the self-conceited smart critics, wanted to know how long it took Sampson to catch 300 foxes; also what the Philistines were doing all that time? Then came another all-around laugh at Skwunk's expense.

But, sneer as they may at our 'Jonah-and-whale' story, the Ke Whonkus people now have verily a snake story of their own as unreasonable as our fish story; and one they know to be true, too.

And then our Daniel-in-the-lion's den story is offset by the fact of the great dragon passing by Bono to take the sick or sleeping Kargo, on the island of prayer, and at Skwunk's prayerful request.

And, too, the escape of Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego, unsinged, from the hot bake-oven is more than matched by the great miracle: the safe return of a whole party of thirty men from Hell's ante-chamber, in Ke Kultus.

In fact many things familiar to the Ke Whonkus people will sound just as 'fishy' to the outside world as Jonah-in-the-whale's-belly sounds to them.

As a general thing, the high officials refrained from all criticism and managed to dodge all direct conversation on religion. However, the Hon. Zip Wink, when plainly asked by Skwunk, whether or not, he believed that a faith in God and in a future life had a restraining influence on people, calmly replied:

"Yes, to some extent with the very ignorant. Yet, if it were not for their religion they would not be so ignorant, and consequently would not need such a scarecrow restraint; neither could it effect them. The intelligence of properly educated persons is their best restraint; in fact it is all that can effect such.

"Belief in supernatural manifestation of power, in hobgoblins, and in punishment after death, have a tendency to dwarf the mind by keeping it too full of weird, visionary thought and fear to permit a full development of its reasoning powers; and consequently it is so much the less intelligent, free, fearless, and happy.

"As an illustration I point you to the superior intelligence, looks, health, and general happiness of our scientists, compared with our more devoted sun-worship religionists.

"All who really believe that any deity, God, or supernatural power is their master, must necessarily be his mental slaves, whether he is a reality or a myth.

"It is, Sir, an unpardonable outrage on children, to make them believe any doctrine that cannot be taught to intelligent, grown people, who are certainly the better judges.

"I would be ashamed to permit a priest to teach one of my children a doctrine that he could not make me believe. Yet, if the undeveloped minds of children were not so taught and dwarfed, all the great superstitions would become things of the past in less than a hundred years."

While I dislike to repeat such blasphemous argument, and feel like asking the reader's pardon, my excuse for it is double: First I have promised to make a faithful report of our visit among these people; and secondly, I think it best for the outside world to realize what a horrible condition, even the most intelligent and highly civilized people may be in without the blessings of Christianity.

But, as President Klimax and the great Pope, Je Whilikans, have already appointed a joint committee of twenty-five of the most learned archaeologists to make a correct translation of the Karkolonian Manuscript, and report the result at the end of one year, I feel sure that all these other matters will become tame and commonplace, compared with the wonderful and weird story of the copper tube, taken from the cavern of diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires in the third rim of Ke Kultus.

In fact, Skwunk has had some wonderful dreams or trance visions about that manuscript; and if they should prove true, it will undoubtedly cause a great religious revolution in Ke Whonkus, if not more or less throughout the whole civilized world. Such is his impression, anyhow.

Finding the capital full of people, and being so bored by interviewers from all parts, as well as by solicitors to induce us to go to this, that, and the other place to lecture, while we were confused and out of trim for that business, we concluded to go over to Ke Klatterwaw, and spend a few days among the wild animals for recreation.

Ke Klatterwaw, or great animal island, is a kind of national park for all kinds of wild beasts, except the destructive flesh eaters, which have all been killed off hundreds of years since.

This island is also about ninety miles from the capital, but in an opposite direction from Ke Kultus. It is about ninety miles long by thirty wide, and it reaches away out nearly to the frozen ocean.

There is no settlement on Ke Klatterwaw except forts. Here the great woolly elephant, the elk, buffalo, horned horse, reindeer, black-tailed deer, ass, skyke, goat, sheep, etc., roam at pleasure, except on the lands inclosed with the forts. It is mostly a level country, with some small lakes and a good deal of low, marshy land; and, as part of it is somehow well warmed from internal heat, it affords good grazing all the year round.

This time the President and two of his cabinet officers went with us. They were too busy to go to Ke Kultus, at least they pretended to be.

We landed at the neck of a peninsula containing from four to five thousand acres, and used as a pasture for tame animals. Across the neck of this peninsula, fencing it off from the main land, is a strong, stone wall with a great gate and drawbridge. No wild beast enters there.

For both safety and expeditious traveling we had to go on horseback. Also, as the common horse is afraid to approach the woolly elephant, we took the tamed, horned horses. They look much like other horses, except they have horns about a foot long and hoofs like a reindeer. They are also about as nimble and fleet as the reindeer.

After our horses were saddled, we all took a round over the fort grounds to try them, while the pack train to carry provisions, blankets, etc., was being loaded. Then the heavy gate was opened, the drawbridge let down, and out we rode among the wonderful, wild animals, for sport.

We were out three days (seventy-two hours). We traveled sometimes fast and at others slow, as it suited us. We stopped twice at forts, on mounds containing from ten to twenty acres; but so fenced in by precipices, walls, and strong gates that no wild animal can enter them; and at these places we rested and slept.

The long-wooled elephant is the king among the wild beasts here. The great elk comes next in command; but both mostly range in the farthest and coldest part of the park. We found the other animals, more or less, all around where we traveled. The sight of a herd of elephants with wool like Angora goats, at a distance reminded me of the appearance of a cluster of hay ricks on the western prairies after a strong wind storm. They are immense in size and heavily built beasts; and their long, woolly hair makes them appear still larger than they really are. They are the only animals that did not try to get out of our way. To avoid unpleasantness we generally left at least fifty yards between us and them; and when they moved toward us we left still more.

No one is permitted to kill anything on this island, without first paying the government for it; and then an officer goes with him to see that he does not kill or wound more than he has paid for. But on this occasion we were permitted to kill a buffalo, besides several deer, goats, and sheep.

On our return to the peninsula, after we had left the elephant range far behind, and while we were trying to rescue a mired horse, an old, solitary elephant bull rushed out of a brush thicket at us. It would not do to run, because if he could not catch us, he would surely kill the horse. I had scarcely time to level the bear gun at him before he was within fifty feet of us. Nevertheless I put a ball into his brain; but being under headway, he fell partly on the mired horse. However we rescued the horse.

On our arrival at the peninsula fort, men were sent back to skin, cut up, and bring in the elephant. His tusks were fully ten feet long; and contrary to what we had supposed, his flesh was fair, but rather coarse, meat.


AFTER returning from the National Park, and having a day of rest, I went out to College Hill to visit my learned friends, Professor and Mrs. Kumtux, again.

On sending in my card, they met me at the door with a cordial greeting, and conducted me to the library, where, to my pleasant surprise, I found the President and Mrs. Klimax. They had learned of my intended visit, and also desiring to hear the renowned, philosophical Professor talk with a foreigner, availed themselves of this opportunity.

After a while of familiar conversation, in which all participated, I requested the Professor to give us his idea of the best form of government, and he gave it thus:

"People should be governed according to their degree or grade of civilization and enlightenment, as a nation or a tribe; that is to say, according to their inability to govern themselves properly.

"The best government is that which is the best calculated, under existing circumstances, to advance the masses in civilization and enlightenment, at the same time granting the people all the personal rights that they are capable of exercising without injury to themselves or their fellow citizens. Consequently the government for every grade of civilization should be different, in some respects, from all others.

"Therefore, if I were to choose governments for all nations and tribes on earth, I would give the wild savage, just emerging from beasthood, an absolute monarchy. After that I would grade the others up through several degrees of limited monarchy, to republicanism and democracy; and, for the most intelligent, then mix in about as much of what you call 'socialism' as we have for the Ke Whonkus people.

"Yet if I were to find a nation of what you call 'angels' I would allow them full socialism; but I would want to be sure that they were all good angels. And in no case would I permit the devotees of any particular system of religion or morals, any right or privilege not granted to all other citizens. Special privileges to any class of people must certainly be a curse to any nation on earth or elsewhere.

"As a matter of course I would maintain free, public secular schools, with free text books and compulsory attendance of all children of proper age and capable of receiving such education. Because, education of the masses is the only means of smothering out superstition which enslaves them; and also of advancing civilization and developing the race.

"In order to leave the wealth (the result of labor) in the hands of those who create it, as far as possible, taxes should be levied lightly, if at all, on the poor. They should be allowed to retain their earnings on which to support their families as well as possible.

"To this end—as you no doubt have already learned—we collect taxes mostly from incomes. By this means people pay taxes according to their ability, and without limiting their comforts and pleasures.

"In other words they are permitted to retain their wealth in proportion to their needs.

"But like other reforms, that in government must generally be introduced by degrees, and through the slow process of compromises between ignorance and education.

"Then to illustrate my idea of reaching the government for civilization, I will run over the road we of Ke Whonkus have ourselves traveled from our old limited monarchy (which ended with our last revolution over one hundred years ago) to our present.

"This brings us to the advanced civilization (as you admit) in which you now find us, but still not to what I hope the future holds in store for us.

"Although our government was called republican, it was really an oligarchy under the control of the three powers, priest-craft, wealth-craft and male-craft. It chartered many private corporations; and they formed combinations so as to cut off competition, and to monopolize all of the most profitable branches of business for their own benefit.

"These corporations virtually controlled all of the mines, money circulation, public conveyances, and large manufactories; and this enabled them to control, to a great extent, the prices of both labor and its products.

"The bankers, the ruling combination, hoarded most of the metallic money as a pretended 'base', or security, for their promises to pay, and issued from five to ten times the amount in their non-interest-bearing notes, which many of our people, especially the active, producing classes, were compelled to borrow at high usury, to use as the tool of trade in the exchange of their property and in payment for labor.

"I say pretended base, because a mortgage on real estate which cannot be stolen, destroyed or run off, is the only absolutely safe base or security for bank or any other kind of notes. What you call a specie base security is liable to go in either of those three ways. It is therefore an unsafe security.

"Furthermore, when the security base is left with the debtors, as in the case of the bankers, it is what Professor Skwunk calls humbuggery. And, when the bankers issued their notes to five times the amount of their pretended base security, it was a 'base' fraud.

"As the bankers loaned several times the amount of their pretended 'base,' drew interest on all of their debtors' notes and paid none on their own, they grew vastly rich and lived luxuriously on the interest of their own indebtedness to the people.

"Finally, as an effect of this and other class legislation of different kinds, the people generally drifted off into two distinct classes, the very rich and the very poor. Nearly all of the lands and other most desirable property fell into the possession of the priesthood and other wealthy persons, who generally managed to live in luxurious idleness.

"To make the condition of the toiling producers still worse, the vast wealth held by the church and priest-hood and some other rich persons and societies, was exempted from taxation; and a heavy tax placed on all the common necessaries of life to meet public expense.

"As this threw the greater burden of taxation on the poor and laboring classes, their fate was that of almost incessant toil and squalid poverty; and, as you said by Jesus of Nazareth, many of them had no place to lay their heads—tramps!

"Even the little education the poor received, was mostly controlled by the priest-hood and in the one direction of superstition. It was much like putting blinds on a horse so that he can see in but one direction, and has to depend on the command of a master and the crack of his whip for the balance. Indeed, many were made too poor to resist, and their children were taught that resistance to the established powers was wrong.

"But during all this time there was a patriotic little party that battled for equal rights, which finally won.

"After its triumph in our last revolution it took the reins of government and gave equal rights to all, both male and female; and in reality established our present form of government. It soon put on its brakes and stopped the great monopolies and many other abominations.

"By the right of necessity that you call 'eminent domain', it nationalized and took charge of all the mines, the principal means of public communication and the principal conveyances; and the most essential of the large manufactories, and conducted them for the benefit of the people generally, charging only about what the article or service cost.

"It first abolished the old system of taxation, and levied a light and equal, what you call an 'ad valorem' tax on all property (not strictly public) excepting such as belonged to poor persons, owning less than five hundred chikama in value; and not exempting that of the churches and priesthood; besides fixing a graded tax on all annual incomes of over four hundred chickama. That was as far as the congress could then comprehend the best system of taxation.

"A few years later an act was passed to limit the future acquisition of real estate; and also to enable those who owned no homes to obtain one from those who owned several that they did not really need, in the same way that the government itself, took what it needed—by paying the owner the fair appraised value thereof.

"A few years later still, our congress came to the wise conclusion that, although trade could be conducted in a precarious way with money made of the precious metals, and stones and bank notes pretendedly based on them, it was, after all, only a kind of barter; that is to say, the giving of so much in supposed value of one commodity for so much of another; and that the real money of account should be entirely the creature of law, issued and clothed by the sovereign power of the nation.

"Also that to prevent the many fluctuations in the prices of property and labor (by means of which a few people by far seeing, and others by mere stupid luck unjustly gained what others lost) there should be, as nearly as possible, the same amount of money per inhabitant, in circulation at all times.

"To reach this desirable result, some material should be selected for it of which the government could control the amount; and, by the amount, also control its value or purchasing power.

"It likewise, finally reached the very important conclusion that it could not accomplish that object with gold, silver, platinum nor precious stones, because they were used also in the arts and industries. When fashion and fancy demanded it, money made of them was taken out of circulation; and this disturbance of the money volume increased its value, and thus deranged all other property values accordingly.

"It was therefore agreed that all of the money of Ke Whonkus, above the half chickama (40 cents) should be made of the best fine paper, and issued by the national government only; that the amount should be kept, as nearly as possible, at sixty chickama per inhabitant; and that it should be a full legal offer for all debts, present and future.

"It was also further provided that the half chickama and all smaller change should be of platinum, and the amount thereof kept up to ten chickama per capita.

"But now, that this metal is so much used with electric lights and in the manufacture of artificial teeth it is too valuable for money uses, so we use aluminum, because it is plentiful, light and cheap."

Here I inquired how the government managed to put its paper money, which had so very little commodity value in it, in circulation, and his quick and intelligent reply was:

"Why, sir, that was exceedingly simple and easy. Money, you know, is the creature of law. The same sovereign act that created this paper money, also at the same time, demonetized the precious metals and stones, on the very grounds that money of account should be made of a material of as little commodity value as possible. The law that created this money was a sovereign act. It was the government manufacturing, or as you would say 'coining,' so much of its sovereignty into money.

"It was also provided to give a part of this new, national sovereign money gradually to the provinces of the nation, to be used in making good, country roads wherever necessary, to the end that the people of both the towns and the country would receive as equal benefit at the start as possible.

"This method put the desired amount of the money into the hands of labor and popularized it at once, in spite of the great efforts of the old, bank oligarchy to decry it.

"And a secondary result, also an inestimable comfort, is that we now have the splendid system of gravel-glass country roads you see all over Ke Whonkus."

Here I begged leave to interrupt the Professor to thank him especially for his new, practical, and just system of furnishing the people good roads; and to assure him I would report it to the outside world, should I ever reach home.

Then he went on, saying:

"We also put a part of our national money into circulation by a system of small loans to individuals on real estate security at a low rate of interest. This was not done especially to help the borrower individually. The object was to put the money in circulation, and to establish a low rate of interest, by competition, so as to prevent the rich money lenders from robbing the people by collusive usury.

"The result is that individual persons can now borrow either public or private money, at a rate of interest that will generally justify their industry.

"And we also used a part of this national money in payment of government expense. This was done gradually, until the tax from incomes and interest on the government loans, together with other small revenues, and the gradual increase in the volume of money to keep it up to the same amount per capita, became sufficient to defray all expense of government.

"Our income tax is so arranged as to gradually fall heavier on incomes as they increase in amount; and it answers a double purpose—indeed two very essential purposes. It not only draws the revenue from those most able to spare it, but it, at the same time, prevents too much of the wealth of the country from drifting into the possession of a few persons.

"So now, our ad valorem tax system is seldom used, and only for city and provincial purposes."

I then requested the Professor to give us the reason for their school and marriage laws, which I had found to be more stringent than those of any other country I had visited, and he said:—

"We hold that ignorance is the cause of all wrong; that it is a fact that people can obtain more of all that really contributes to the happiness of life by doing right than doing wrong. Consequently if we could teach them to thoroughly know and to fully appreciate it, their own selfishness, if nothing else, would keep them in the path of rectitude.

"That being true, every child that is mentally and physically able to receive it, has a moral right to a fair education, not only for its own benefit, but also for that of the whole people, or state, of which it is to become a part.

"Ignorance is a prime necessity to slavery; and the mind must be enslaved before the body can be. These are the reasons why we compel all our children of sufficient health and intellect to attend our public, free schools from the age of eight to eighteen years. Also, all who are ever to practice law or medicine, teach school or officiate in any religious or moral creed, or order, must attend full fifteen years.

"Perhaps this is the reason you see so few young priests. By the time our young men comply with all the requirements of our school law the sun-superstition is generally out of them.

As to our strict marriage law, I will say that a bad population is not desirable and we have no outlet for the surplus of even a good one. And as our country had, in past ages, been both over-populated and badly populated, our present law was adopted as a necessity to prevent both in the future.

"Besides, we hold that people have no moral right to impose on the public, children either mentally or physically too weak to ever be self-supporting; and surely they have no moral right to impose on their children, either an unhealthy body or mind, ignorance or poverty.

"Our laws are, indeed, very strict in regard to marriage; but as our people are now on the high road to mental, moral, and physical development, the results surely prove the wisdom of their adoption."


A FEW days after returning to the capital we found the solicitations for lectures so numerous that we consented to an arrangement to visit Kopanika, Mikatik-e, Ke Maumik, Ke Lomax, Wapatox, Sie-au (meaning far away) Mitlite, Kias-klose, Mox-chuk, Bi Hoka, Kli-hiam-six, Nipintuk, Bi Jingo, Ka Lorik, Kinik-e-nik, Nux Vomika, Klose-chuk, Chukaluk, Chink-e-wink, Ke Pot-e-rak, Skezix, and Sauhil-a, twenty-two of the principal cities, and deliver two lectures, each, at each city, at one chikama admission; after which, we might give as many free ones as we might desire.

Skwunk, who takes Christ at his word, said all of the lectures on our religion should be free; because his Lord and Master said His gospels should be free. Skwunk is a noble fellow. He holds that the followers of Christ should never make merchandise of his sacred word; also that when he calls any one to preach his gospels he qualifies him for the work and pays him for it, too; all in His own mysterious way.

He also insists that it is a burning shame to Christianity to have some of its ministers living in luxury and dressing in pomp, "purple," and splendor, and their children growing up in educated idleness—all on fat salaries; while many of their poor parishioners, whose labor helps to foot the bills, are subjected to a fate of incessant toil and drudgery, to obtain a meager living; and whose little ones are growing up in ignorance and rags.

He also insists that true Christianity always sympathizes with the under dog in the great battle of life. But high position, with high living and gorgeous dressing, is sure to create aristocratic feelings, and it is utterly impossible for the aristocratic clergy to have the proper Christian sympathy and fellow-feeling for people on the lower plain of life.

On learning that the government was about establishing a plant to manufacture watches like mine, I concluded to take them with me to dispose of while the price was up.

At all those cities, and some others of less importance, which we visited, we met with a cordial reception; and at every place a fine ball was arranged for the occasion. These people generally like merriment, music, and the active pleasures of life; and they well understand how to receive and entertain their visitors.

By this time our practice in lecturing and our much talking had enabled us to speak on almost any subject, and we permitted our audiences to choose the themes for all our lectures but the free ones. But we found very few halls large enough to accommodate the vast numbers who desired to hear us, especially in our free discourses. And our trip over the country proved to be one of mutual benefit, for we learned much, as well as did the Ke Whonkus people.

While I cannot do more than simply refer to many cities which we visited, duty demands that I shall do more for Ke Maumik and Sauhil-a. Ke Maumik is on a rich island of the same name, away off in the direction of Asia; yet it is the greatest manufacturing point in Ke Whonkus. It has immense quantities of ores and coal, all in near proximity, besides vast fields of clay loaded with aluminum. In the old iron, malleable glass, and steam ages of the country, Ke Maumik (which name itself means a place of work) furnished the greater part of the iron, and since the aluminum and electricity have come and generally taken the place of iron and steam, it has furnished the greater part of the aluminum.

It is quite interesting to see some of the great electric trains loaded with clay on their way to the extensive aluminum works, and others returning to the clay fields loaded with the clay (from which the metal has been extracted) fertilized for agricultural uses.

In fact we found all those cities to be flourishing except ancient Sauhil-a. It was once all on the shore of lake Ti-e, the finest and clearest lake I have ever seen. According to Ke Whonkus history it is the oldest city on record. It had a large population over eleven thousand years ago. It was then called Sauhil-a Ti-e which means 'the great father of all.' How much older it is no one can tell; but in all probability it is now, since the sinking of Atlantis, the oldest on earth. At least some matters that were incidentally brought to light while we were there, point strongly in that direction.

If old Egypt is the "mother of civilization," Sauhil-a must be its grandmother, or perhaps its great grandmother.

Although ancient Sauhil-a is said to have been a great business mart in the distant past, it is not flourishing much now. The old saying that "every dog has his day" seems applicable to cities as well.

About eighteen hundred and fifty six years ago (about the year A.D. 33 of the Christian era) according to its history, about two thirds of the city, including all that part of it on the level ground between the old shore of the lake and the high land, a strip about thirteen miles long, and from three to four miles wide, was shaken loose from the high ground by an earthquake, and sank all together to a level with the bottom of the lake, where it has since remained mostly intact, and is plainly visible to this day.

It was truly a great sight and a wonderful occasion for us to look over the homes of the vast and pressing crowds of its immense population who lived, struggled and died thousands of years before our Savior was born; and, also long before our history began. It really produced a feeling of reverential awe that no one but a barbarian could resist. Though we had set apart but one day to look at the submerged part of this old, old mother city, we spent four, and could have spent as many more before seeing it all.

The water is so very clear that we could see a great deal without the aid of the water-glasses, and with the best of them we could see the part of the city under water almost as well as that out of it. There were the long, straight and handsomely paved streets, crossing at right angles, and great blocks after blocks of houses of many and quaint shapes, and of wonderful architecture for miles upon miles. While the strong tile roofs of many fine buildings were still intact, many weaker ones had fallen in.

We could but think of the immense throngs of people in active, busy life, with about the same wants, passions, desires, hopes, and fears as ourselves, who passed and repassed up and down these grand old thoroughfares, away back in the childhood days of the human race. With the eye of imagination only could we still see the pushing crowds of humanity that thronged these delightful pass ways in the long, long ago. Yet it is true that these ancient, antediluvian streets and alleys are still teeming with active busy life; but they are not the people of remote antiquity. They are fishes. What was a great loss to the people who, in toil and sweat, erected these princely mansions and great business blocks, has been a gain to the gay and sportive fishes that have since occupied them.

While passing around we stopped several times to look at the old, mother Temple of the Sun. It still stands fronting on Temple Street where it has stood, according to Sun-worship history, for about ten thousand four hundred and fourteen years; but it is now over a mile from the lake's shore. It also appears to be about as complete in form as when finished by the faithful Sun-worshipers of the remote and shadowy past.

It occupies nearly a whole block, having forty-two great, marble columns in front, reaching up over ninety feet, each with a capital as large as a miner's cabin.

The history of this wonderful edifice states it was first built by the great Je Hoka, a "Popokok" who was so large and corpulent as to weigh about eight hundred pounds. And as it also appears that it was reconstructed and enlarged to its present great dimensions about six thousand years ago by the great Pope, Je Hovux, who was over eight feet tall, there must have been giants in Ke Whonkus "in those days," though there are none now.

It is also claimed that this wonderful old edifice had been the national headquarters of the Sun-worship religionists for eight thousand five hundred and sixty years before the great earthquake that shook up the North Pole country as it never was before nor since, causing vast destruction of life, and landing it and the greater part of old Sauhil-a safely at the bottom of the beautiful Ti-e waters.

According to a careful computation made by Skwunk, the great earthquake occurred on the very day that Christ was crucified and destroyed about a half million of lives at Sauhil-a, alone. If he is correct, it is a very remarkable coincidence, that at the very time "many (Jewish) saints" were rising from their graves and visiting their old friends at Jerusalem, our holy city, about a thousand times as many of these ancient, hyperborean sun-worshipers at their holy city, Sauhil-a, were just being buried in watery graves.

We were assured that all the fine and costly trimmings and embellishments of this, perhaps the oldest and undoubtedly the richest temple of worship on earth, were still just as they were left when entombed in the lake; and three accommodating officers of Sauhil-a offered to take us down in water-proof suits, in diving boats, to see them; but at first we both declined.

However, after being further informed that in the long ages of its usefulness, all of the worst and well known infidels, skeptics, and other offenders of the sun-worship religion were brought there before the Pope, to receive his admonitions and pardon, either with or without torture, or else their final sentence to the Rock of Doom, in Hell's ante-chamber, in Ke Kultus, I felt anxious to see it.

And when the chief officer stated that the criminals were all placed, one at a time, in the great torture chair, which, together with its attachment of rack and thumb-screw, was drawn up in front of the Pope's throne on all such occasions; also, that the reformation of a young heretic was in progress at the very time the great earthquake occurred, and that the torture chair still remained in the same position, my curiosity overcame my fears and I had to go down to gratify it.

But Skwunk still refused to undertake the dangerous adventure; and I have since been informed that while I was under water the noble-hearted boy offered up a fervent prayer for my safety. But whether he stopped above for that purpose I have not learned. Yet it is like his conduct on some other occasions.

The three officers, as well as myself, were each, inclosed in a complete water-proof suit, which had a double air hose attached to it, one part of which was to convey fresh air from the machinery in the surface boat down to us, and the other to return it after used.

Our diving boat landed on the street in front of the Temple. One of the men remained in it to look after the proper uncoiling of our hose, while the other two walked up the steps and into the ancient edifice with me.

On reaching the inside of this quaint, antediluvian house of the Sun-God I was agreeably surprised. I had expected to find all of its untold millions of wealth in precious stones and metals, including all of its fine trimmings and furniture, covered with sediment and water moss, but they were all as clean, clear, bright, and sparkling as those of the new Temple at Ke Yopako. The Sun worshipers claim that he keeps them clean; but the scientists say it is done by a species of minute fish called moss suckers.

It is utterly impossible for me to give either a respectable or plausible description of what I saw while reviewing this grand, old, water-entombed Temple of worship of the long ago; or of my peculiar sensation while in this wonderful, weird, and awe-inspiring place. Though fresh air was furnished me through a competent hose, the cold chills crawled up my back till they and my astounding surroundings so completely shocked and over-whelmed me that I stood as motionless between the great throne and the horrible torture chair as any object around me.

However, in this awe-stricken condition my vision was unusually clear, and my brain wonderfully stimulated, and working to its utmost capacity. The result was, that thought after thought flashed through my mind as if in a hurried dream.

I thought of the vast amount of toil and sweat it cost the ancients to procure the materials, erect this gigantic edifice, and embellish it with the precious metals and stones by which I was surrounded.

Then I thought of the many great and powerful Popes who had occupied that sparkling, blazing, dazzling throne in the long time ago; and especially of the last one, and the poor heretic he was trying to reform at the very time the Temple commenced sinking.

Here the many, many thousands of poor infidels, skeptics, and back-sliders who had occupied the fearful, old torture chair, in the great ages of its usefulness, loomed up in my mind.

I then thought of what a wonderful and almost instant eye-opener the rack must have been; and of the vast numbers who were suddenly changed in their opinions and straightened up in their religion, by the gentle admonitions of the Popokok, and the knock-down argument of that thumb-screw.

I also thought of the many thousands of noble men and women who were too intelligent to be convinced even by these powerful arguments, and too honest to pretend they were; and who, after being terribly tortured, were dragged away from their homes, families, and friends to the awful Rock of Doom in Hell's ante-chamber in Ke Kultus, to be bled to death by degrees by the great blood-sucking dragons.

Thus, I thought and thought! And indeed, if my two guides had not discovered my condition and hustled me out to the diving boat and up to the other one, I might, perhaps, have remained in that antiquated church hall and been one of its wonders at which future generations might stare, as I was doing.

These devotees of the Sun claim that He protects this ancient, mother Temple with all of its immense wealth, because it was dedicated to him by the most faithful. But they could not give us any reason why He permitted it to sink in the lake. When asked the question, they answered:

"He has not seen proper to reveal any reason yet."

In this Skwunk declared they were mocking some of our answers to their sarcastic queries. If this old temple were in the outside world, even if not robbed by wholesale, both it and its rich trimmings would be carried away by relic hunters.

Here I must tell a good joke on my dear boy, Skwunk. On first starting out to look at the sunken part of Sauhil-a our two guides brought their conveyance up to the Ti-e Hotel where we were stopping and informed us they were ready. As we were entering the vehicle I noticed it was of peculiar shape. Its body resembled that of a boat and reached nearly down to the street; and the spokes in its wheels had flanges on them reaching half-way from the rims to the hubs, reminding me of the fenders on a Mexican saddle. Besides, it had a tail, or rudder, in the rear, as well as the usual apparatus in front, for steering electric vehicles.

Not wishing to expose my ignorance I said nothing about the conveyance; and Skwunk, being too busily engaged in conversation with the guides to notice its peculiar shape, took for granted, without thinking, that he was in a regular land vehicle.

From the hotel to the lake is a down grade, and to his surprise our conveyance moved briskly on without stopping when it reached the water. Thinking the manager had lost control of it he jumped out. But the momentum of the boat (which it proved to be) threw him, heels over head, out into the deep water; and although a good swimmer, he was so badly stunned and strangled that I had to jump out and assist to keep him from drowning. Then the boat was quickly turned and we were taken in and back to the hotel for a change of clothing; and though the matter caused much merriment at Skwunk's expense, he seemed to enjoy it with the rest.

Before leaving this grand, old city of ante-historic ages I must mention one more matter—one which may yet prove to be of more interest to the outside world than any other I have related:

During the fore part of the last day we were at Sauhil-a we were looking over that part of it still above water, and came to what is called the "Flower Garden of Edenk." It is on a high and beautiful site, appears to be well kept, and produces seemingly every variety of flowers and luscious fruit. It has near its center one very peculiar tree called "Koksivivo" (sacred live forever), or "the Tree of Life," which bears fruit somewhat resembling an orange. But no one is permitted to touch it but the pope. There is always one young tree kept near by to take the place of the old in case of its death. They are the only trees of the kind permitted to live at the same time; and the garden, including these trees, is strictly guarded by the church, under the law of religious liberty.

Near by this sacred tree, Koksivivo, stands a towering, marble column, one hundred and sixty-four feet high, somewhat resembling Cleopatra's needle; and on top of this beautiful model of ancient sculpture, which is covered with hieroglyphical records, is the wonderful "Kutikuris," or "TWO EDGED, BLAZING SWORD." It acts as a weather vane and always points windward. This sword is said to be pure gold, covered with an inlay of sacred red diamonds of the sun-worship religion.

Sure enough it is a blazing sword, appearing to be one really on fire.

As this Ke Whonkian Flower Garden of Edenk reminded me of the Garden of Eden, of Genesis, and, as that evening was the time for our lectures on religion, I was appropriately led to make some remarks about our own sacred lost garden. Then noticing, as I thought, that my hearers seemed even more interested than usual in our discourses on our religion, I went on giving a pretty thorough review of our history of creation; and particularly of Adam and Eve, their fall through that lying, old snake, the devil; and of the inherited sin of the human race therefrom. Indeed I thought I was making a fine speech; and, as Skwunk sometimes says, "spreading myself."

However, in the midst of my fine discourse, and when I thought I was making a deep impression, I chanced to observe a greater commotion among my hearers than I had ever seen at any of our other lectures. And, as it was mostly among the intelligent people, I stopped a moment to learn the cause, when promptly an old, bald-headed antiquarian with a long, snow-white beard, dignifiedly rose to his feet and said:—

"Sire, please excuse this ill-timed sensation and interruption: but, if you please, I can, perhaps, tell you more of your Adam and Eve than you have told us."

Of course I was astonished at the proposition; and Skwunk shook, as the backwoodsmen sometimes say, "like a boy with the buck eager."

I politely requested the aged gentleman to proceed, and he went on, saying:

"About the time that you state your Adam and Eve were turned out of your Garden of Eden by your great God, Jehovah, our great Ke Whonkian Pope, Je Hovux, turned out one Adamik and one Evek, (the word Adamik meaning clay and Evek meaning mother) a young man and his wife, who were the disobedient keepers of our 'Flower Garden of Edenk,' because they ate of the fruit of the Koksivivo, or sacred tree of life and spiritual knowledge, that you saw standing in the middle of the garden, and which bears a fruit forbidden to all but the Pope.

"Our Adamik also tried to excuse himself by laying the blame on his wife; and she in turn, for an excuse, claimed that a talking snake had overpersuaded her to do it."

(This brought out a roaring laugh all over the room; and whew! how it made Skwunk sweat.)

"The offense, under the law, was also one of death. But the offenders being young and inexperienced, and of good, general moral character, were let off with the mild sentence of banishment from the earth to the cold regions above for one wiket (ten days—week.)

"To execute the punishment, the great Popokok Je Hovux, sent them up in a balloon. Though, as they were not accustomed to such hardship, he graciously permitted them to take a few clothes and provisions with them. But, taking advantage of the Pope's generosity, they piled in about everything they had, including, provisions, tools, writing materials, clothing, etc., as if they did not expect to return.

"When the usual amount of gas failed to raise the extra load, the engineer (perhaps under the influence of a 'tip') promptly applied a sufficient quantity of it to raise them about fourteen hundred feet, the length of the cable. There the balloon was soon struck by a strong current of air which broke its cable; and with all of its load it was driven briskly off over the ice plains in the direction of where you say your Adam and Eve were manufactured—one out of mud and the other out of mud's right side rib."

(Here was another big ha, ha! and more sweat from Skwunk.)

"That was the last ever heard from them until about forty years ago, when one Maxwell came to Ke Swank-e from the outside world and related substantially what we have heard from you at this hour.

"It is probable that this young couple from our old Flower Garden of Edenk dropped down in Asia Minor, as you call it, and started a branch of our race there.

"Possibly they may have made up the story you tell us themselves, and handed it down to posterity as truth. Or, what is more probable, they might have left a true story of their lives, which afterwards some satirist thought to burlesque, with the ridiculous narrative you now offer our old civilization as a genuine history of creation; creation at the hands of a personal deity instead of by the well established evolutionary methods of nature."

As I have said, I gave this lecture free; and I may as well admit this audience of irreverent heathen gave me a good, all around laugh just as cheap.

I had been over the world and had had so much experience with Godless people before, that I was measurably able to take their merriment as a good joke.

But it was very different with poor, tenderhearted Skwunk. He, at first, really feared that the old, bald-headed savant's statement was a death blow to the very foundation of our cherished religion; and, while the humorous heathen were having their big fun at our perplexity, he broke down completely and wept like a child.

But Skwunk, though extremely modest about it, is impressed with a destiny for himself. And it may be that some day there will be a way pointed out for him to even up with these learned, pagan scientists. Yea, they may yet, Paul-like, be unceremoniously knocked from their high horses of philosophy by a light that will shine through him, and come tumbling into the dust of contrition at the feet of his faith.


ON our way from Sauhil-a to the capital we stopped to see the great national light works on Mount Rokinbak. It is on the summit, one thousand and thirty feet above the level of the country. It has ninety-two jets, and a glass globe around them thirty-two feet in diameter, which was put up in sections that are held in place by malleable glass clamps and glass cements. But it was being taken down in order to build a larger one, which is to have two hundred jets, and a globe sixty-four feet in diameter; the object being to furnish more or less light to all Ke Whonkus for twelve out of every twenty-four hours during the sun's absence.

We did not go down to the waterfall to see the machine for furnishing the electricity, for that was also being taken down to give place to a new one of greater capacity.

On our tour over this wonderful country we saw and learned much more to be admired, but little of which can be given here.

We found the people generally well educated in all the common branches, including music; and with the exception that the women are about twenty per cent. smaller than the men they are nearly all of a uniform height and size; and they are generally of symmetrical, handsome form. We saw but few who were either too corpulent or too lean; and crippled and deformed people are scarce. We saw no drinking saloons, drunken people, nor beggars; and but few unhealthy or idle people.

We saw many people over a hundred years old and a few over a hundred and fifty. We also met one old gentleman who claims to be one hundred and seventy-nine; that he has had his lease on life renewed twice, and that he intends going to Ke Swank-e to have it, if possible, renewed the third time, so that he may live to see his two hundredth birthday. We also found either a good railroad or an electric boat to convey us to any point of importance.

The Ke Whonkus railways all have two tracks, one for trains each way; and all the trains are propelled by electricity. Each track has three rails—the two outside rails are for the wheels to run on, the same as ours; and the middle one is to keep the engine or motor from jumping the track or turning over, in case of accidents. It is also larger than both the others; and besides being fastened to the ties as the others, it is securely anchored deep in the ground. Also on each side it has a strong flange curving downward so as to form a groove on the under side, for strong metal bars which are securely fastened to the engine, motor, or coach, to slide under but not so close as to cause much friction, not more than the cables of our street cable cars.

Though the middle rail is a plain, simple arrangement, it must cost as much as both of the others. Yet, as it secures the trains or any part of them from jumping off the track or turning over, it must pay largely by preventing both loss of life and cost of smash-ups.

The wagon roads are good everywhere.

We saw vehicles of many forms on these roads, some of which were propelled by electricity, some drawn by horses, and a few by skykes; but we saw no rough or muddy roads. Single and double seated buggies run by electricity are common in Ke Whonkus.

Ke Whonkus is truly a very wonderful country for fish, fowls, fruits, and flowers. In some of these respects it is far ahead of the outside world.

Nearly all well to do families have their fruit and flower houses, which they can keep at any temperature desirable; and, as there are plenty of birds to destroy the insects, there is an abundance of fruit every year; in fact, I may say the whole year through.

As to flowers, we saw some chrysanthemums nearly a foot across their faces. We also saw one flower undoubtedly of the chrysanthemum species which has but the one flower and that on top of the stalk like a sunflower. It was of a cone shape, and was eleven inches in diameter at its base, and tapered up beautifully nearly eighteen inches to a point, with petals like the chrysanthemum, from five to seven inches long, and of all imaginable colors, all mixed and blended together so as to form within itself a charming, natural bouquet.

The natives called it, "Ke Tumpa," for the little island upon which it was discovered. Skwunk, however gave it the name, "Tumpatum Boka," in honor of the fine boat that conveyed us from Kropa to Ke Yopiko.

On this extensive lecture tour we met about the usual amount of questions and criticism at every place except at the far off city, Si-e-au, where other matters prevented it. But, as we were then accustomed to it, we cared but little for it on any subject except our religion; indeed I rather enjoyed it on all other subjects. I had also by experience learned to leave as few gaps open to these religiously untamed Ke Whonkians as possible. The fact is, in my lectures on religion I generally gave them much good moral talk they could not well object to. Consequently, I got along well enough at every place except at Sauhil-a, where I was led as Skwunk says to "spread myself," by having seen the Flower Garden of Edenk. Indeed, I was a few times applauded.

But Skwunk, poor fellow, with all the caution I could give him, could not refrain from talking (really preaching) to these witty, critical heathen, about as he would to the already believing people of Norway.

The result was, that at the end of each of his lectures on religion, except the one at Si-e-au, they deluged, overwhelmed him with questions, many of which it would take a well informed theologian ten to fifteen minutes to fully explain; and indeed some of the explanations would need be so long the people might forget his first remarks before he reached his last. I have experienced a few such cases myself. Yet Skwunk was expected to answer all of them off hand, and many by yes or no.

Merely as an illustration I will give the outlines of his splendid lecture at Kopanika and a few of the test questions he had to answer in relation to it.

There, he commenced at the beginning and explained the fall of man, and the whole plan for his redemption and salvation, thus:

"In the beginning, about six thousand years ago, God created the Heavens and the earth and all things therein, and pronounced them good.

"He made Adam, the first man, and Eve, the first woman, and placed them in the fine garden of Eden to dress and keep it, giving them the privilege to eat of all its luscious fruits except that of the tree of knowledge, but told them the day they should eat thereof they should surely die.

"Then an evil spirit called a serpent, the devil, beguiled Eve, and she first ate of the forbidden fruit herself, and then gave some of it to Adam who also ate of it. (Here was subdued merriment in the audience in advance.)

"God then turned them out to shift for themselves, with all the great curse of disobedience resting upon both themselves and all of their posterity, making the awful sin of their disobedience hereditary."

(Here there was some sensation and many commenced writing questions in their memorandum books.)

"About four thousand years later, God, in his infinite wisdom, love and mercy toward the condemned progeny of the first two, conceived the great and glorious plan of salvation through the atoning blood of his only and beloved son, Jesus Christ, by which he could be reconciled, and justified in forgiving them for the great ancestral sin of the disobedience of Adam and Eve in eating the forbidden fruit. (The sensation increases.)

"To accomplish his compassionate object, God sent his only begotten Son into the world to suffer and die the ignominious death of the cross."

(The sensation still increases and scores are ready to rise to their feet.)

"Christ came, took upon himself the flesh and form of man through a virgin mother, and went about doing good, healing the sick, restoring sight to the blind, raising the dead, casting out evil spirits and teaching the people the way to heaven.

"He also taught the poor to lay up their treasures in Heaven instead of on earth; and the rich that they should be charitable and distribute their wealth among the needy in order to inherit eternal life; and that all should take no heed of the morrow, but let each day provide for itself.

"To execute the great and wonderful plan of salvation it was necessary that Christ should be betrayed into the custody of his enemies, and by them put to death by crucifixion; and that he did so die on a cross between two thieves.

"He then arose from his sepulcher on the third day, as he had predicted he would, visited some of his apostles, and then ascended up to heaven. Also after he had arisen, many of the saints arose from their graves and were seen by many people.

"The great plan of salvation through the atoning blood of God's Son is still in force and will be, so long as there is a living human being on earth. And he that believeth in Him and is baptized for the remission of sin shall be saved; but he that believeth not must still be damned."

And of course he said much more; but this was sufficient to stir up his audience to a wonderful interest.

And here following are some of the disgusting, sacrilegious questions that these critical pagans threw at the young preacher of the new doctrines:

1st. "Admitting your statements to be true, it appears to us your God must be perfect in wisdom, power and goodness; yet, he conceived the plan, and if he did not actually order the execution of his own innocent Son, he surely was willing it might be done; otherwise, having the necessary knowledge and power, he surely would have prevented it. Therefore we ask you in all candor, if it was not equivalent to God, himself, sacrificing his own innocent Son to himself to appease his own wrath?

"Also, as under our law, if we were to imitate him by treating our children in that manner, it would be equivalent to cold-blooded, premeditated murder, we wish to know if you hold that a God of unlimited wisdom and power can righteously do that which if done by poor, weak, puny man, is the greatest crime on earth?"

2nd. "Why should your God not have just as well forgiven Adam's descendants their inherited sin without the cruel sacrifice of his innocent child, as with it? Also, if he could have done so, we humbly ask in behalf of common reason and natural justice why did he not do so?"

3rd. "If it were necessary at all to have a Savior why did God delay so important a matter for 'about' four thousand years?"

4th. "If a belief in the atoning blood of Christ and baptism for the remission of sin, is the only means of salvation, why has God, with perfect wisdom, power, and goodness, so long delayed sending the news to us in Ke Whonkus, as well as to many other peoples?"

5th. "If God had perfect knowledge, did he not know when he put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden what they would do? Also, if he did know what they would do, why did he put them there and give them such a command? Or, is it possible, he did so on purpose to have an excuse to curse and damn them and their innocent posterity forever afterwards for what he knew they would do, even before he created them?"

6th. "If it was really necessary to complete the great scheme of salvation through the atoning blood of the good and innocent young man, Christ, and that he should be betrayed into the hands of his enemies, and by them cruelly put to death, why should his betrayer, Judas, or indeed, his executioners, be blamed? Or does your God plan schemes to make it necessary for his people to commit crimes and then blame and punish them (or permit them to be punished) for it?"

7th. "If the person who betrayed Christ and the persons who put him to death had failed in doing so, and no one else had done it, would the great, merciful, and glorious scheme of salvation through his innocent, atoning blood have been also a failure, and the world still left without a Saviour, as it was for the first four thousand years after the eating of the fruit by Adam and Eve?"

Though these seven are not half of the ridiculous and blasphemous questions put to the poor boy, God knows they are enough for me to notice as an illustration, and I will stop. They are too disgusting: and must have been prompted by the devil, or what they call "Satanikok."

Yet Skwunk had the one ever-ready knock-down answer for most of them, to-wit:

"We have no right to question God's wisdom and goodness, nor any of his purposes, ways or works, however inconsistent, unreasonable or cruel they may seem. We are to him as clay in the hands of the potter."

The best of it was these egotistical and sacrilegious heathen had to grin, shrug their shoulders and take it. Skwunk's earnest eloquence generally quieted them, too.

We met no such questions or criticism however, at far off Si-e-au. The people there were glad to hear us and learn all they could from us. It was the old home of Bono, our karkolo-bait-man, and Jak Rego, the man who was swallowed and thrown up by the sea serpent. They had gone back there several days ahead of us to visit their relatives and friends, and had given a wonderful account of our trip to Hell's ante-chamber in Ke Kultus, and the astonishing effect that Skwunk's prayers had on the blood-sucking dragon and other dangerous animals. Thus, they had created considerable interest in our favor; or rather in. Skwunk's favor, for while he was really lionized, I was not. Indeed though well and politely treated generally, on comparing it with the attention given Skwunk, I felt, to use a Western expression, "like a poor boy at a frolic."

We were met at the depot and escorted to the best hotel by a band of music and many of the most prominent citizens, with comrades Bono and Rego at the head of the procession; while a grand display of flags of welcome floated in the air, and thundering explosions were heard all around.

We were great men in Si-e-au; at least Skwunk was one.

After we had received such splendid treatment at that far away city, Skwunk was invited to return there the following winter and hold a protracted meeting, and he promised to do so. And I confidently predict that he will succeed in starting and perhaps permanently establishing the first Christian church in Ke Whonkus, there; also that our two comrades in danger, Pro Bono and Jak Rego, will be the first members baptized.

It was my turn to lead off on the evening for our lectures, on our religion, at Sauhil-a; and the unexpected and astonishing coincidence, of our Eden and its Adam and Eve, with their Flower Garden of Edenk, and its Adamik and Evek, sprang up so suddenly and caused so much confusion, that Skwunk did not attempt to deliver his lecture on religion there at all. Indeed, after that astounding matter was developed and the mirthful Sauhilians got through with their great merriment over our embarrassment, we were on both sides anxiously trying to learn all we could about the others sacred garden and its inhabitants of the long ago.

But after hearing their strongest argument to show that our Adam and Eve story was a plagiarism from theirs, and that the outside world got even its first ideas of Heaven and Hell from the Ke Whonkus religion, through the disobedient keepers Adamik and Evek, I am still undecided as to this being the original Garden of Genesis. But it may be true.

But Skwunk, who is as firm in his faith as any intelligent Christian on earth and whose judgment deserves consideration, confessed to me the last day we were together, that he was inclined to believe the Flower Garden of Edenk is really the Bible Garden of Eden.

As no trace of the Genesis Eden can be found in the outside world, he prefers to believe it and Edenk to be the same, rather than to believe there never was one; or, that the Bible account of it is a mere allegory, as some theologians are disposed to treat it. One thing sure, this is a very mysterious and puzzling coincidence.

On our trip we found diamonds and some other precious stones were very cheap, and my watches, being from the outside world, were in great demand; Consequently I succeeded in trading ten watches for gems, mostly fine diamonds, of about the value of £40,000 sterling, or near $200,000, besides some very fine ones I purchased with money.

On our return to the capital, Ke Yopiko, the government made each of us a present of a home, of the value of 20,000 chikama, in that city; and also offered us the net proceeds of all of our lectures. But, after considering the excellent treatment we had received, we concluded to accept but one-half of the latter.

Then, being satisfied with visiting, Skwunk wished to start back to Fog Hole. He was wanting to see Klink-e badly; but I prevailed on him to stay a few days longer.

I found a home of about thirty acres near the city for sale; and not knowing of anything better that I could do with my paper chikama and two remaining watches I gave the latter and 15,000 of my chikama for it.

After that I deposited three-fourths of the balance of my chickama in the national treasury for safe keeping. I further left a will recorded, to the effect that if I failed to return or send for my deposits in ten years, my real estate should be cashed; that Pro Bono, Jak Rego, and Capt. Kaktus should each have a medal bearing my name together with 500 chikama; that Capt. Maxwell should also have a similar medal besides 5,000 chikama; and that Skwunk should have the rest of my estate to be used for Christian missionary work in this Godless land of intelligent heathen and Sun-worship superstition.


BEING about ready to return to Fog Hole and intending to make my way from there on to Chicago if possible, I suggested to Skwunk that we should go out to College Hill and make a parting visit to professor Kumtux and his good wife. I was quite anxious to hear what the great heathen philosopher thought of the new religion before I left the country.

On our arrival we sent in our cards, and were met at the door with a cordial greeting by both of them, and were then conducted to the library where they receive their distinguished visitors.

As Skwunk and I both had concluded that Ke Whonkus would be a fine field for missionary labor, after the usual compliments and congratulations were exchanged and some interesting common-purpose conversation held, in order to introduce the subject of religion, I asked the Professor if he thought a few good, Christian missionaries from the outside world would be acceptable to the Ke Whonkus people, should the Lord see fit to open a way for their coming. He smiled and replied thus:

"I have heard all your lectures on the Christian religion, and also all your answers to the questions at the close of each; and I think I understand you fully.

"The scientists can hold no prejudice against any one because of his need of proper education. If Christian or any other missionaries come here they will be treated respectfully by our liberal classes, and protected by the government so long as their conduct is good; yet I fear they might not be entirely acceptable to our religious people, who will not permit any religion that conflicts with their own, taught here, if they can prevent it by peaceful means. Of course they dare not use violence, hence your teachers would be safe.

"As our scientists go as near to the bottom facts of all questions and subjects as possible, your missionaries may be requested to give satisfactory scientific, explanations, and make fully clear and comprehensive all points like 'immaculate conception,' 'deistic trinity,' and 'vicarious atonement; and fully explain any seeming inconsistency where the higher deistic attributes may appear to conflict with the existing conditions of wrong and inharmony in nature and among men.

"As in the outside world, we have had many pretended 'saviors' and 'prophets.' In the last ten thousand years about thirty new systems or forms of religion, assumed to be based on revelations to persons claiming inspiration from deities have been inaugurated; but the Sun-worshipers in one way and another have crushed all of them out of existence. They believe that the Sun is the true deity; that he is clothed with about all the attributes that you claim the Christian God has; that he has revealed his will and all necessary knowledge of religion and morality to them through the inspired Popokoks; and, also that to dispute, or criticize their religion, or to deny its authority is blasphemy—an insult to their deity.

"They also believe that all other systems or forms of religion are base frauds, instigated by the Do-evils, or Devils; that it is their duty to prevent the propagation of all such frauds; and to that end they will go as far as the law permits. As a general rule they will not themselves listen to any one outside of their own faith, and of course they will dissuade others.

"Although our scientists will not hear any one who is too bigoted to hear them, if your missionaries will come here, conduct themselves modestly, and learn our language sufficiently, we will divide the time with them and discuss the Christian or any other religion impartially and thoroughly.

"If they can convince us that it is true, we will be forced to believe it; and as a matter of course, after we believe it we will have to adopt it; because we are all the time open to conviction—all the time seeking for more light, adjusting ourselves and practicing our belief as fast as we obtain it.

"As I believe you admit our morals are up to the highest of any of the outside nations who claim to practice the Christian doctrine, our thinking people may expect your missionaries to show good reason why they should introduce Christianity among us without the probability of improving us in the way of morals.

"I believe, also, that you stated, in answer to a question asked you at the close of one of your lectures, that it is the opinion of the most learned of your Christian ministers, that the people who know not their gospel, cannot be tried and condemned to everlasting soul loss by it. In other words, where there is no law there is no transgression; but, that God would save all such by his supreme compassion.

"I also believe that in answer to another question at the close of a lecture, you conceded that it is the opinion of many Christian priests, as well as many of their most devoted followers, that in all probability, a very large majority of the people of all Christian lands will be lost on account of unbelief, negligence, disobedience, and other causes. If that be true, it may be proper for our people to inquire about the probable results of the introduction of your gospels among us.

"As you virtually admit that your plan of salvation has saved only a small per cent. of the people where it has been propagated, our people may wish to know why Heathen nations, already safe under the supreme compassion of God, should be jeopardized by the promulgation of the Christian gospels. In fact, I fear many may look upon your Christian plan of salvation as one rather of damnation.

"But, perhaps your religious ambassadors may be able to fully explain all those seeming objections and difficulties, should they come here.

"In their explanations they may also be called upon to show why God has so long, or indeed at all, delayed his message to us. Because, as you admit, we are among the oldest of earth's peoples; and if so, we have been in need of the true gospel as long as any.

"It will not be satisfactory to say we have been neglected on account of our inaccessibility, because, if God is everywhere, he is here with his North Pole children also; and it would seem he might have inspired one or more of our people to write, for us exact copies of all of his several messages to his children of the outside world.

"Indeed, it appears to me that nothing could have been more fair and more convincing than for your God to have inspired some one in every nation, and thus have supplied all peoples with exact copies of his messages at the same time.

"However, if your missionaries are well educated gentlemen, you may tell them they will be kindly received and handsomely treated by our scientists; and if they cannot teach us, it may be we can teach them; it is always best for people to know the truth.

"But, if they ask us to accept their 'faith,' unsupported by scientific reason, they will meet with only derision and laughter; because, we have had enough of that from our Sun-worship people long ago."

Then I asked him if he believed that all religions are the results of education instead of inspiration from deity, and he answered:

"Yes, that is about the sum total of it. But I include the effects of all surrounding forces and circumstances as parts and parcels of the education. To illustrate: let us compare the germs of the faculties of perception, thought, and belief of a child at birth, with a piece of blank paper, susceptible of being filled up with any matter we choose. Then let us take six such children, all sons of the same parents, and all of equal physical and mental ability.

"By surrounding each one with the necessary conditions, training and circumstances, we may make of one a Christian priest, of another a Jew priest (Rabbi) of another a Mohammedan priest, of another a Mormon priest (elder) of another a Sun-worship priest, and of the sixth a highly educated scientist, who could believe only what appears to him scientifically reasonable, being always open to conviction on the reception of more light.

"After these brothers are thirty to forty years old it will be barely possible for any power on earth to ever convince any one of the five priests that his religious faith is not true; but the scientist will ever be seeking for more light, and adjusting his opinions as fast as he receives it.

"After that, we may bring all of them together and prove to their satisfaction that they are all brothers, sons of the same parents; and the five religionists will soon commence quarreling about their religions. Each one will honestly believe that his religious faith is absolutely correct and true; that he has the authority of a deity for it; and, that the welfare of the human race depends on its propagation.

"Also, as the religious faith of each of the others will appear to him as a fraud and absolutely wrong, he will honestly believe the propagation thereof would be a fatal injury to the race, and that it ought to be smothered, if not crushed out of existence; and, perhaps, that the end would justify the means necessarily used.

"But their scientist brother would say to them: Stop! my brethren, stop your angry disputing. We should remember we are all brothers, sons of one good mother. Nature has produced us without our consent. We are merely creatures of circumstances beyond our control. Our surroundings and educations have been very different, and have made each of us just what he is in faith. No one of us has had any more control in the formation of his faith than over the air he has breathed.

"In fact, each one of you has really been robbed of his natural right to choose his religion, by being stuffed with the faith he now holds, and prejudiced against all others while a child, and before he was sufficiently developed to resist it. Therefore, no one should be blamed for what he believes. As no one can control his belief, a dishonest faith is an absurdity.

"Besides, persecution for opinion's sake is not only wrong in moral principle, but it is bad policy in practice. Instead of convincing, it generally kindles a feeling of resentment, and war in some form is generally the result. Therefore, if we can not convince one of his error by fair, reasonable, argument, we must remember his faith is as honest as ours, and honesty must be respected.

"Then each one of the five priests would be apt to say to his learned scientific brother:

"My poor, deluded, sinful, ungodly brother: Your science and much learning is as nothing with God. Unless you believe and practice the faith that I teach, you must be eternally damned."

Here, at Skwunk's suggestion, I asked the Professor to give us his opinion of prayer, and he said:

"I presume you mean such as are made by religionists to their deities. Our religious people pray to the sun just about as your Christian people do to their Gods; that is God and his son, Jesus Christ. You know that, although the sun is the controlling planet of our system, a prayer can no more effect it than one could the moon or any other planet. Planets can be effected only by the natural laws of attraction and repulsion.

"If the Christian deity is, as you claim, co-extensive with time and space, matter and force, and absolutely perfect in knowledge, power, and goodness; and, also, absolutely unchangeable, it is clear; logical evidence to me that he cannot be affected by prayers any more than the sun. But he surely must have to do exactly right all the time, prayers or no prayers.

"He surely could not do wrong if he would, and would not if he could. It also appears to me impertinent for poor, puny man to assume to direct such a perfect deity to do or not to do a given thing.

"Yet, I think prayer may, and often does, affect the party praying and others who hear him. While the cold formula of a prayer, repeated by a hypocritical demagogue for money or popularity, may fall flat and affect no one, a really earnest, feeling and enthusiastic prayer, by an honest, thorough believer in any system of religion, may touch and tender his own feelings, as well as those of many of his hearers; and in that way prayer may do some good among that class of people.

"But, if the person praying and those who hear him really believed the moon, or any other object, real or imaginary, was the true deity, prayer to it would have the same effect as to the Christian Gods, or any other deity.

"But, my friends, you must not understand me as criticising the Christian God; because, if he is as you claim, omnipotent, and omnipresent, all good and absolutely unchangeable, he comes nearer to my estimation of what deity ought to be than any other I have heard of."

Here Skwunk's zealous Christianity urged him to put in, and he remarked:

"Professor, my church holds that God is also love." To that the Professor replied:

"If that claim is also true, I must say he is indeed a splendid Deity."

Being much pleased to hear the great pagan philosopher so far indorse the true God, I asked for his opinion of Jesus Christ, his only begotten son, and Savior of mankind, and he said:

"About all that I know of Christ I have learned from your lectures; and I presume you gave substantially about what his followers and your sacred book teach of him.

"But I may not understand you correctly. You say 'begotten by God' and 'born of a woman;' and yet he spoke of himself as the 'son of man,' and he was known as carpenter Joseph's son.

"If his mission was to labor for what he regarded the greatest good of the human race and he traveled from place to place doing all the good he could, that was surely commendable. If he was too unselfish to accumulate property, and therefore owned no place to lay his head, there was a conflict between head and heart.

"Upon the whole Christ will occupy a front seat in my estimation of good men and great, unselfish reformers; and, to the extent that his admirers have abandoned evil and followed his good advice and examples, I must admit he has been their 'savior.'

"But any attempt to defy any person, born of a woman, appears to me like trying to magnify a lamp to make it equal to the sun, considering what a Deity must be, if one at all.

"Judging from your comprehensive lectures on the history of the several different religions of the outside world, I fear that the enthusiastic admirers of Buddha, Christ, Confucius, Mohammed, and other great reformers, in attempting to clothe them with the attributes of a Deity, may have detracted from their true characters, as noble men.

"Sap-e Rinkl is, perhaps, the best illustration of the main principles taught of Christ, and probably the brightest star that has ever arisen among the Ke Whonkus people; and, for her intelligence, purity, love, and integrity, and her great and unselfish devotion to the cause of humanity, the people will love and revere her memory for ages after she has passed away. Also if any of them, through her advice, abandon evil and emulate her noble examples, she will to that extent, be their saviour of course. Yet it is to be hoped that no absurd attempt to deify her may ever cause her sublime character, as a woman, to be underestimated.

"When they call her 'the mother of equal rights and temperance,' they pay her the highest tribute possible with language. Indeed, a Deity who would do less for his intelligent creatures, would deserve less from them."


AFTER the Professor had answered our last question Mrs. Kumtux invited us to a fine dinner, prepared according to the advanced state of culinary art in Ke Whonkus. Of course our conversation at the table was such as suited the occasion.

But after dinner was over and we had returned to the library I asked the Professor:

"Admitting the Christian religion has been purely a matter of education ever since its promulgation by the apostles how can you account for its inception by them without inspiration from deity?

"I believe you stated in your lectures," said he, "that there have been several systems of religion promulgated in the outside world, all of which were fraudulent but the one; and I must say the same for this country, except that they have all been frauds. As you have had some founded by Buddha and others before Christ; also one by Mohammed about six hundred years later, and still another by Jo Smith only about half a century ago; and as you claim, too, in one of the most intelligent portions of the world, all of which were claimed to be based on inspiration from deity at their inception, the same as yours, and all have more or less of honest, sincere and devoted followers, the same as yours; and as you claim they are all fraudulent, our intelligent people, the scientists, may wish to know, why not yours a fraud, also.

"Besides they may ask if it is possible that a God of all power, knowledge, goodness and love would give any of his people a good, moral code, upon the observance of which their eternal welfare depends, and then permit a lot of crazy fanatics, or rascally hypocrites, to introduce several more similar, but fraudulent ones, to lead them astray.

"However, when your learned missionaries come here perhaps they may be able to fully explain all of its seeming inconsistencies and convince us by good, logical, scientific reasons why the Christian religion is the only honorable exception to the general rule of practicing fraud through the pretense of inspiration from Deity.

"And, for the sake of the sublime character you give of Christ, its alleged founder, I hope they may be able to do so."

I was a little surprised, as well as pleased, to hear the great Heathen philosopher speak of the "sublime" character of Christ. It was a little more than I had expected and I said to him:

"Although I have not been able to give you more than an abridged history of the Christian religion and its plan of salvation, if it ever becomes possible I will try to introduce into your country some of our most highly educated missionaries—men who thoroughly understand all known sciences and who have made the Bible and practice of the Christian religion their life study. They are called by Christ to go and preach his gospel to all nations, teaching the people the glad tidings of great joy—the way to eternal life and happiness; and as a matter of course, he calls none but those who are qualified or else qualifies all whom he calls.

"As these learned servants of God are especially called to do such work, I think you may rest assured they will be able to dispel from the minds of your learned critics, all seeming contradictions and inconsistencies in our system of religion.

"They will be able to show you that, as all things are possible with God, there can be no inconsistency in anything He may see fit to do; that He can even make a mountain and conglomerate it with sea fossils with his hands, if he chooses, just as easily as by the so-called geological process; and that, as He can do any thing, there need be no trouble in accounting for the fact that He has done any given thing, although it may seem ever so unscientific to us.

"They will also be able to prove to your satisfaction that God's saying in his revelation to man, that he has done so-and-so, and that He expects man to do so-and-so, is all sufficient. Also such facts as that God made man just as He wanted him to be, and that man turned out to be what God did not want him to be, and that He repented of having made him, are perfectly harmonious and sacred truths.

"Also, the fact of a 'Trinity in unity' is a sublime mathematical formula. As there is 'nothing impossible with God,' He can divide himself up into three parts—the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost—three separate identities; and yet remain all one and the same deity. God is God even over mathematics.

"All of these seeming inconsistencies will be made plain to your critics by those whom God has called and qualified by divine afflatus to do the work.

"The carnal mind cannot discern spiritual things.

"The seeming inconsistency that a perfect God has made many imperfect things and some blunders, can be made to appear perfectly harmonious by divine teachers, after one's spiritual eyes are opened."

Here, as I had done the best I could, I felt it was time to close the interview. But Skwunk not being satisfied, imprudently, as I thought, put the safe-side argument at the Professor, thus:

"Admitting there may be some unexplainable mysteries about the Christian religion, would it not still be the safest to believe and obey it? Because, if it turns out to be true, the believer will be safe and even if it does not, he will still be as well off as the unbeliever."

To that the old philosopher replied, thus:

"My young friend, While I must admit it is well to be safe at all times I have already shown that people have no more control over their beliefs than over the winds. Therefore, they cannot be justly held responsible to any person or power for what they believe or do not believe.

"Furthermore, there are many different forms of religion all of which you admit are frauds, but one. It is also impossible for people to know positively which one is genuine; and belief in a fraudulent religion certainly could not make them safe.

"Therefore, if it were even possible for people, by mere will-power, to believe in any religion, be it to them ever so unreasonable, yet it certainly would be much safer to believe in all than in one only; but then their beliefs would be considerably mixed."

(Here, Skwunk earnestly said to me in undertone in English: "Yes, but they would be safe all the same.")

"I will further state in this connection, that, if the Christian God has all the attributes that you claim he has, it seems to me that he cannot justly nor consistently punish any one for his belief or disbelief; because such punishment would not only be a great cruelty, but it would also show Him to be only a Devil in disguise.

"Next: As to what you call obeying or the practice of your religion, if you mean industry, honesty, love and charity, including all the moral virtues, permit me to inform you that they have been 'practiced' by untold millions who never heard of the Christian religion, many of whom never believed in any religion beyond those virtues."

Here Skwunk unwisely put in again, and said:

"Professor: We do not hold that God ever punishes any one. The Devil does that."

And to that the old philosopher replied:

"Let us suppose the Devil does inflict the punishment, does not God sanction it? If he does not directly, he surely does indirectly; because, if he really has, as you say, all power and knowledge, he must have the same power over the Devil as over any one else. Also, having all knowledge, he must know exactly where the Devil is and what he is doing at all times; and if so, he surely cannot permit the Devil to do wrong without sharing the blame, being particeps criminis."

Notwithstanding these learned and severe criticisms of the great Professor Kumtux, I am forced to believe the Ke Whonkus country is the best field for missionary work on earth. At most of the places where our missionaries labor, they have first to civilize the people before they can permanently christianize them; but in Ke Whonkus they will find one of the most moral civilizations on earth awaiting the finishing touch of the true religion. There they will not have to educate the people in anything but Christianity.

As the old Sun-worship superstition is fast dying out and religion of some sort is a necessity, the work of bringing the great masses of the Ke Whonkus people to Christ will be an easy matter.

But Skwunk and I, unprepared as we were, not only failed to convince the great Minister of education, but we developed the fact that it will require the best talent in the Christian world to do it. The essentials of Christian permanency are lacking in his case. His school of science has taught him to reason in a different direction, that leads first to doubt, then disbelief, and finally to denial in all religions.

If this great Ke Whonkian had been trained, as Skwunk and I were, to regard faith as a virtue and the safest possible guide, and doubt as a dangerous sin; and, if he had been taught to let others, wiser in spiritual affairs and in nearer and better relations to God, do his religious thinking, there would be more hope that this great Heathen philosopher might yet be brought to Christ.

But, as the masses of the Ke Whonkus people are not so highly developed and trained in scientific thought as Professor Kumtux, they can be more easily converted. But, even to accomplish that desirable object, the best talent in the outside world, both in Christian faith and in scientific learning, should be sent there.

However, I feel hopeful that Skwunk, even without the assistance of missionaries, will become a great power for good. Yet, if he had a copy of the Bible to translate into the Ke Whonkus language, it would be an immense help to him in his noble work.

Indeed, it appears to me that his settlement there is providential. The manner in which he went there, the circumstances that caused him to stay there, and his lucky marriage to Miss Klink-e Mukamux, all point strongly in that direction.

Then more than all Skwunk, himself, is impressed with the notion that God has planned a work of some kind for him to do.


I HAD promised to see Mrs. Rinkl again before our departure; and indeed I had been thinking that there might be still much more in her grand career worth knowing, if it could be learned. Besides, Skwunk, after hearing Professor Kumtux eulogize her by comparing her character with that of Christ, was anxious to advance his acquaintance with her. So we made it a point to call on her at the National Record office the next morning.

Aunt Sap-e received us with cordial greeting and invited us to seats. After the usual compliments and some conversation on matters of general interest, I remarked that in all our traveling in Ke Whonkus we had not seen an intoxicated person; and, as it was so different from our experience in the outside world, we would be pleased to learn her view of the cause. Her prompt reply was:

"That is easily explained. For about a half-century we have had a law which prohibits the manufacture and sale of all intoxicants but wine, except by the government; and even its agents may not sell it except for medical and mechanical purposes. Even wine cannot be sold in a less quantity than two kaktums; (about twenty gallon) consequently we have no saloons or drunkard manufactories."

Then I remarked: "As we have failed to enact such laws in the outside world can you explain how that was done here?"

In reply to that request, Mrs. Rinkl with some hesitation, answered:

"I can, in my tedious manner, give you a short account of the great struggle the Ke Whonkus people had in overcoming the stupendous evil of intemperance, if you would rather hear me than have me hear you; and provided you will give me your solemn promise that you will not divulge it to any one for one year. I have to require this because it will contain secret matters—one between a lady and myself, and one between a gentleman and myself.

"But, as the good lady has already gone to rest, and the gentleman is nearing the end of his earthly career, and will be gone in a few weeks, if not in a few days; and as I desire the matter made public after his death anyhow, with your promise I will relate it to you now. Yet I had hoped to hear something more entertaining from you, gentlemen."

That both aroused our curiosity and increased our anxiety to hear the statement, and of course we made the promise. She then continued:

"Even if I had the time to detail all the evil results of intoxicants in this country, it would not be necessary. You know what it has been in the outside world; and, from your account of its evil results there, I presume you might double that, and not exaggerate what it was here at my earliest recollection.

"At that time our government was mostly controlled by the Sun-worshipers. Although their doctrine was nominally opposed to the immoderate use of intoxicants, and the popinjaks taught temperance in their sermons, most of them used intoxicants as a beverage, and many to excess. And, as you said of some of the priests of the outside world, 'they failed to be a proper example to their people.'

"At my first recollection there was an undercurrent, a kind of smothered element, in favor of total prohibition, excepting wine for sacrificial purposes. But as that was mostly among the women who had no influence in legislation, it made slow progress. Besides, the liquor business being more lucrative than most others, it was adopted by the shrewdest people, especially those who had no consciences, or at least, very pliable ones. And as they generally became wealthy they were a great power in politics.

"Before the great war for equal rights we had a few temperance societies, but they were all broken up by the conflict. A few years after the war we re-organized our temperance societies and fought the evil the best we could awhile with moral suasion; but the social halls or saloons, made drunkards faster than we could reform them.

"After that we brought the matter before Congress by a very large petition, which was, however mostly by the women. But as the congress was about equally divided between the two great political parties—the Radical and the Conservative, which had grown up on other issues after the war, it met with but little favor.

"Although some of the members of each party were personally in favor of prohibition, they feared to disobey the mandates of their party caucuses lest they might be defeated at the next election. In fact, each party feared to antagonize the liquor influence, lest it would all be thrown in favor of the other.

"Indeed, the wealthy liquor dealers cared but little for either party, but divided their influence between them, so as to be able to control the caucuses of both, in order to smother any effort for prohibition, or any other measure they desired to oppose.

"Usually the platforms of both parties were mostly made up of generalities binding them to nothing definite. When we sprung the prohibition question they at first ignored it entirely; and, after we began demanding pledges from the candidates, they made their declarations of principles so ambiguous that they could be construed in various ways. Consequently the few members we helped to elect generally evaded their pledges to us in some way.

"Finally we formed a third party, called the Prohibition party, and put members of our own party in nomination. Then we found the full force of all opposition arrayed against us. The powerful influence of the liquor dealers, with their immense wealth, was used against our candidates in every manner possible.

"The two old parties treated our new one with contempt and derision. The Radicals declared it was a Conservative trick to defeat them, and the Conservatives said it was only a Radical trick to defeat them; and, by appealing to the old party ties and political prejudices of the people, they prevented many from voting their prohibition sentiments.

"Besides all that too, the greater part of the Sun worshipers, especially the women, on whom we had mostly depended, were under the influence of the priests, while many of the priests themselves were controlled by the liquor interests.

"The result was that all the prohibition candidates, except myself, were defeated; and perhaps I would have been also, had I not at one time used my influence to keep a part of the Sun-worshipers from being disfranchised for life. Yet, as I was National Recorder, I could not serve as a member of congress.

"After that our candidates met about the same fate for several years. Then the two old parties, in order to conciliate the people and break up our anti-liquor party, established a very high license. But that only enabled a few of the most wealthy to monopolize the business, render it more respectable and accumulate immense fortunes; yet, it had but little effect in curtailing the evil of intemperance.

"After that I saw plainly what I should have known much earlier—that although a majority of the people were really in favor of prohibition, in order to obtain their votes for it, the vast influence that the liquor-dealers and priests had been using against it, would have to be overcome by some means.

"Then we went before Congress with an extensive petition, asking for a bill to prevent the manufacture and sale of all intoxicants, except by the government; and that none should be sold except for medical, mechanical and sacrificial purposes.

"And, that it might stand on its own merits, we asked that it should be submitted to a direct vote of the people, at an election to be held for that purpose only.

"Such a bill was framed; but on interviewing the members I found less than a majority would promise to vote for it. Then I felt sure that the liquor dealers and some of the priests were already using their influence against it. Yet, if I could control the votes of five Sun-worship members, who refused to give me their promise, the bill would succeed; and my only means of success was to do that.

"At a secret meeting of prohibitionists, it was suggested that the five Sun-worship members might be bribed; and a party actually proposed to attempt it. But I put my feet squarely on that proposition and crushed it completely. However, being willing to fight stratagem with stratagem, I turned my attention to the Pope, the great Je Whilikans, who was then in prime of life and quite popular with his people. I presume that if any Pope in the last thousand years deserves to be called great, he does, because there has been none better.

"Je Whilikans is a son of my mother's half sister. He was so poor in early life that I gave him material aid in procuring his education; and his gratitude for it made him a good friend to me ever since. I wrote him a note, asking a private interview at my office, and sent it to him by Miss Cheek-e Klimax, then the first lady at the temple.

"Miss Cheek-e was also a warm friend of mine, and perhaps for the same reason the Pope was; because I had helped her also to a good education. She was the only child of her parents; and though she was a relative of President Klimax, her mother was a Sun-worshiper, and had brought her up in that faith.

"Her parents both died while she was a school girl, leaving her a good home, but mortgaged to a wealthy liquor dealer; and because she refused to marry his son, a saloon-keeper, he managed to take her home from her.

"Being alone and with no support left, she, through the persuasion of the Pope and priests, took the sacred veil and became a prettywink (wife of the church) or what you call a 'nun.' Then Je Whilikans gave her the first woman's place at the Temple. Though she and I still kept up our old friendship, after that we met only on the streets, or privately at my rooms.

"One day I met Cheek-e on the street and requested and arranged a private interview with her; and she came in disguise at the appointed time. Then I learned for the first time that she was not satisfied with her condition and situation; that she had been over persuaded to take the vow, that she would freely throw it off if she could have a support away from the Temple; and that if she had her old home again it would be sufficient. She appeared so dissatisfied and unhappy that I proposed to purchase it and give it to her for life. She was so overjoyed at the proposition that she offered to assist me in any way possible; and thus I obtained her promise to aid me in procuring the Pope's assistance, and her first was to carry a note to his religious Majesty for me.

"A few hours after I sent him the paper and rather to my surprise, the good Pope came to my office in disguise. Although I could not prevail on him to issue a Decree, which I believe you call, a 'Bull,' to the effect that all who should oppose the Prohibition bill, through the influence of liquor dealers or priests, should be excommunicated, I did obtain his promise to see each of the five Sun-worship members and try to induce them, in some way to vote for the bill, and not to let their intention be known until they cast their vote; because, I felt sure if they let their purpose be known before that time, the bill would be defeated in some way. Yet, he feared that wine might have to be excepted. A few days later I received a note from him stating that, as he anticipated, wine would have to be excepted.

"At an opportune time I called on a reliable member and induced him to offer an amendment as follows:

"'Except the manufacture of wine, in any quantity, and the sale thereof in packages of not less than two kacktums.'

"Whether the five Sun-worship members noticed the restriction left on the sale of wine or not I do not know; but the amendment was adopted.

"I do not know what means the great Je Whilikans used, but when the bill came up for a final vote I was present. Its enemies were so sure of its defeat they sneered at me, the first and only time in my life that I have been so treated. Yet, to their great surprise the bill succeeded.

"After that the liquor people besieged the President, Wake Tik-e Klatterwa, to veto the bill. But, as I had been to see him before they arrived, and had given him to understand that if he vetoed that bill he might be then holding his last term of office; and, as he was a great lover of office and popularity, they failed to get the veto.

"Then, as you said in a lecture, 'came the tug of war.' There was about four months to work in, and such electioneering and scheming as were done I have never known before or since. We found it necessary to employ private detectives to learn the schemes of the opposition. Although I started out once intending to speak to the people at all available points I soon found it necessary to return home to keep all of our forces under proper control.

"Finally I became fully convinced that the schemes arranged by the liquor dealers and priests would surely defeat us unless we could, in some way, use the influence of His religious Highness to break them up with the Sun-worship people. How to do that was the great puzzle of my life; but I did finally conceive a plan.

"It was to fight schemes with schemes and though it was a dangerous undertaking for my friend, Cheek-e, as well as myself and the prohibition cause, I determined to risk it.

"I first procured a lengthy consultation with Cheek-e at my private apartment. She was by custom permitted to leave the Temple in disguise. When I asked her how long she could remain with me she answered:

"'Four to five hours. I told the guard at the Temple gate as I passed out, that I might be absent that long, because I wished to call on a sick friend.'

"In that consultation with Cheek-e I learned all I could about the different apartments of the Temple; who occupied each one, the duty of each occupant; and especially about the Pope's apartments; also when and where he slept. I was astonished to learn she knew all about the Temple from base to roof, excepting only the room, called 'Popokokum,' or Holy of Holies, which no one ever entered but the Pope himself, and he only on every tenth day (the Sun-worship holy day of rest corresponding with your Christian Sunday.)

"Women generally have more desire, if not ability, to pry into rooms and secret chambers of houses than men; and, as Cheek-e had been rather forced to her position by her surroundings, and had no religious scruples against prying into all the secrets and secret places of the Temple, she was much better qualified for that purpose than any one else. Besides, as the Pope had all confidence in her, she had no guard over her.

"I also learned that she knew where the Pope kept all of his keys, except the one which unlocked the door to the Popokokum; and, as she had, through a key-hole, seen him take something from a private pocket in his underclothes just before entering the Inner Sanctum, she surmised it was the key to that door. Also, as she had frequently examined the key hole in that door, she was sure she would know the key from the peculiar shape of the hole.

"I also asked her whether she could by any means procure the key to the Holy of Holies, but she thought it very doubtful; furthermore if she should be discovered in the attempt, it would ruin her. She then remained silent for a short time, as if in a deep study. Then suddenly she looked up at me again, her eyes fairly sparkling with assurance and said:

"'I know the Pope is in the habit of putting some kind of liquid from a bottle on a handkerchief and laying it on his forehead to induce sleep. I can find the bottle of liquid, put some of it in another bottle, and after he goes to sleep I can use still more of it on him and easily search the pockets in his night clothes. Also, if I find the key to the Holy Room I am not afraid to go in and examine it.'

"I knew that according to religious history several Popes had (or at least pretended they had) received written messages from the Sun; and I presumed that they, or at least some of them, were still on file in the Popokokum. As I also desired to see one I requested Cheek-e, if she could find them, to lend me one for a short time.

"In a few days she returned in disguise as usual and highly elated. She then informed me that she had found the Pope's sleep-producing liquid; and when he was sleeping soundly had added a little more of it than he had used on his handkerchief. Then she found the key to the Holy of Holies in a pocket in his night clothes, and succeeded in entering that sacred room.

"'Oh!' said she 'what wonderful things I found; but I had much trouble in learning how to open all the safes and drawers. Finally I found from the difference in the key holes that each one had a separate key, yet I could not find any of them. Then I tried the door key on all and found one that it unlocked; and in it I found the key to the next, and so on to the last one which also had a key in it. But what the last key was for puzzled me for quite a time. However, I found that a knob on the back part of the inside of the last safe could be slipped to one side and that revealed a small keyhole that the extra key fitted.

"'In that drawer I found the messages from the Sun, and also a lot of paper, such as the messages have been written on, besides a bottle of ink as red as blood, and such as was undoubtedly used in writing the messages.

"'I tell you it is a big undertaking to go through all the safes and drawers of the Holy Room. Besides, I had to return to the Pope's sleeping apartment twice in the time to put more of the liquid on his handkerchief. Yet I have examined nearly everything in that wonder of wonders.

"'You asked the loan of only one message; but as I thought you might like to see more I have brought you six; and also six sheets of the paper and a small bottle of the ink, that you can use provided you wish to copy them.'

"I was agreeably surprised to find Cheek-e's forethought had supplied the deficiency in mine. She had brought me exactly what I wanted, and avoided the trouble of returning to the Holy place for them. Then I requested her to call again in four days and I would be ready to return what she had loaned me.

"'I examined all those messages from the Sun and found they all showed considerable age, and some of them great age. Yet they had all been written on sheets of paper of exactly the same size and quality, and with the same red ink. What astonished me most was that they all appeared to be written by the same hand.

"'As I could not think the Sun had written them, and thought it impossible for one Popokok to have written all of them, I was forced to seek for an explanation in some other direction.

"'After some reflection a thought occurred to me that the first one must have been written by some Pope who pretended it came from the Sun; and, after that other Popes, who desired such messages, finding the ink and paper in the Holy Sanctum, had concluded to assist the Sun a little, and had written such themselves, after learning to counterfeit the hand writing.

"'I procured some paper and ink as nearly like those from the Temple as possible, and copied each of the six messages quite a number of times, being particular to make every letter as nearly the shape of the originals as possible, until I could imitate the hand writing almost perfectly. Then I wrote the following message on a sheet of my own paper in good counterfeit of the hand writing of the other messages, and as nearly in their language and form as possible:

"'My beloved, my obedient son! Mine only inspired servant! My vicegerent on earth! My confidential Popokok for my beloved Ke Whonkus people! Hear ye, me! I perceive many of my Ke Whonkus people are being led astray by the bad spirits. They are selling their souls to the dealers in intoxicants.

"'Oh, Je Whilikans, my beloved! My inspired son! Warn ye them against the pollution of their souls! Oh, warn ye them, that they must not use their influence in any manner, in aid of drunkenness; that they must not aid or abet the schemes of the wicked dealers in intoxicants, for they are the tools of the evil spirits and are trying to lead my people to perdition!

"'Oh, Je Whilikans! My beloved servant! Give ye my people timely warning, that they must keep themselves clean and unspotted from contamination with the servants of the evil ones, or they must be excommunicated from all association with the righteous for all eternity. For I have all power. I am the Creator of all. I am the source of all life, light, and blessings. Know ye, I am The Mighty Sun."

"Seeing I had made a good imitation of a message, I copied it quite carefully on one of the ancient sheets of paper with the sacred ink. On comparing it with the messages purporting to be from the Sun, I saw it would be almost impossible to detect the handwriting from the others; and as the paper and ink were the same, I concluded to risk it being as good a deception as the others.

"When Cheek-e called on me again I handed her back all that she had loaned me and directed that everything be returned to its place, except the sheet on which I had written the message; and that it be laid on the altar in the center of the Popokokum, that the Pope should see it when he entered that apartment for devotion the next day, which was the tenth, or day for rest and meditation.

"On the fourth day after those papers were returned to the Holy sanctum, his Holy religious Majesty issued a decree as follows:—

"'I, Je Whilikans; the vicegerent, only inspired representative of the great Sun, on earth, and Popokok of his beloved Ke Whonkus people, do hereby, and with the direct authority of the great and mighty Sun, through his written message to me, received on the altar of the Popokokum on the last Tenth-day, and in obedience to his expressed will and command, Decree, that all persons of Sun-worship faith, who shall hereafter fail to teach temperance by both word and example, or who shall receive any compensation from the dealers in intoxicants, or their servants, agents, or emissaries, to induce them to use their influence in any manner against the prohibition of intoxicants by law, shall be excommunicated and doomed to the lake of boiling oil for ever and ever.'

"'Promulgated at the Temple of the Sun on the 14th day of the 4th month of the 11,081st year of the Inspiration of Man, and the 28,221st year of the advent on earth; and in the seventh year of the occupation of the Throne, by Je Whilikans.'

"It is hardly necessary to tell you that the decree did its work and did it well. The prohibition law was adopted; and its great success in forty-nine years has vindicated its adoption and I think the means used, too. It has caused the people to become much more industrious, thrifty, intelligent, enterprising and honorable.

"Although the great Pope's decree was so necessary to the success of the prohibition bill, it really seems to me now that it will yet prove to have been the death knell of the Sun-worship religion."

Here I asked if she thought Je Whilikans would be the last Pope, and answering, she said:

"No. There will be one or two, and perhaps three yet. But, as there are very few young priests and it is not likely there will be any more, those who may hereafter ascend to the throne cannot occupy it many years. But, I presume when the great Temple is converted to a college to teach the sciences in years hence, and the holy apartment is opened to the public, the message that I wrote for the Sun will be found to be the last, if not the best, one from that great luminary."

Then I inquired what effect this matter would have on the Sun-worshipers, if divulged now.

"But little," said she, "on any but the Pope. The others would declare it a false report, circulated by infidels to scandalize their religion. But the Great Je Whilikans, how it would trouble him, no one can tell. It is probable, though, that honest as he is, his position and the tremendous consequences to follow admission would compel him to insist on my insanity."

Here Skwunk, feeling interested in Cheek-e inquired what became of her, and the answer was:

"I advised her to remain at the Temple until the election was over. Then she came out for a few hours as usual; but instead of returning went to her own well-furnished home, where she was strongly guarded by the police, until I prevailed on the Pope to grant her a degree of divorcement from the church—the only one that has been granted for over four hundred years.

"After publication of the decree, no one ever molested her. She afterward married a good man and raised a beautiful and highly educated daughter, who is today the accomplished wife of the Hon. Zip Wink, Secretary of State."


THE beautiful Tumpatum conveyed us back as far as Kropa on our return to Fog Hole. On this occasion it also carried a full cabin of the very nicest of passengers; and among them were several of the leading scientists and Sun-worshipers on their way to Ke Swank-e. But as the canyon was then clear of ice we came from Kropa to Fog Hole on a regular canyon boat.

The President and nine other dignitaries, besides a number of other highly respectable citizens, accompanied us, as complimentary escorts, as far as Kopanika, where we found a splendid supper, and an elegant ball were arranged for our arrival.

Among the passengers on board was a very peculiar looking, aged high priest, who sat off by himself and seemed to take no interest in the general merriment and good feeling of the occasion. He was quite bald and his long beard and sparse hair were almost as white as snow.

Sitting there wrapped in his gown of ancient pattern, he appeared, as Skwunk said, "like a back number," and was as grave in appearance as a Jewish Rabbi. So exclusive was he that even the Sun-worshipers aboard, seemed to hold him in awe.

As he was the first Sun-worship priest we had seen, whose head and face were not smoothly shaven, he attracted our attention; though we felt no especial disposition to form his acquaintance.

However, the president, in his usual exuberance of politeness gave us an introduction to him as, "The Right Reverend Superior Arch-Kardinal Klonas Sullux Ker Flumux." Although the great Heathen divine did not offer us the usual Ke Whonkus hand shake of welcome, he did rise to his feet and make to us a very polite bow. But as our first impression was unfavorable we did not care to advance our acquaintance much at the time.

However, when the president afterward informed us that Ker Flumux was the most liberal priest in the country; that he was the only one who could defy the force of custom and the thralldom of fashion, to wear his beard and hair as suited his own taste; that he then occupied the position nearest to the pope, vice pope, and would immediately ascend to the throne on the demise of the Great Je Whilikans; that he would then make an innovation on the old customs and establish the right of the priest to marry; and that he was then on his way to Ke Swank-e to have his lease on life renewed with those ends in view, which would be the first instance of the kind by a priest, we felt more interest in him.

We had quite a pleasant time with our escorting friends both on the boat and at the supper and ball at the grand city of Kopanika. But the hour, not a little dreaded, after such splendid entertainment, came when we must part, when the President in a touching, short farewell address said:

"My esteemed friends, in parting with you, permit me to say in behalf of the Ke Whonkus people that we most highly appreciate your visit, and will hold you in kind remembrance. Also, that we will gladly welcome you back again at any time it may be your fortune and suit your pleasure to return to our extreme end of the earth.

"We also hope that if Captain De Lilly succeeds in reaching the outside world, he may publish a correct account of what he has seen and experienced while with us, favorable and unfavorable, that the people of that great country may receive as much benefit from your visit here as we have done.

"May your surroundings and environments favor you through life."

After we left our lively, sociable friends at Kopanika, we felt rather lonesome, and Skwunk suggested that as we had not interviewed any priest on matters of religion yet, we might for pastime try Ker Flumux. I declined, giving as a reason, that I had more fear of having my common sense offended than hope of gaining useful or interesting information from a man who believed our Sun to be an intelligent being—a deity.

But Skwunk, whose curiosity was never satisfied, nor his interest in religious matters gratified, proposed that if I, his elder, was afraid of the old heathen he was not; and he would conduct the interview himself. Then, merely to accommodate him, I agreed to back him up with at least the prestige of my presence; so we walked up and took seats near the venerable gentleman of national importance.

After some effort Skwunk mustered sufficient courage and with a most condescending bow of obeisance said:

"Most worthy sire, we are informed that you are on your way to Ke Swank-e to have your most useful life renewed; and we hope the same is true?"

"That is correct, my youthful friend," replied the priest. With increased confidence Skwunk next remarked, again in an interrogating way:

"We are further informed that your Holy Highness is the first of your order to take advantage of that wonderful blessing to humanity?"

"That is also true," again replied the old man with a dignified bow.

"Would it be impertinent to ask your Highness why it is that your brotherhood refrain from the benefit of this boon to the aged and infirm?" inquired Skwunk.

The old priest answered:

"Under ordinary circumstances, my son, it would be improper for me to speak of my official connections and duties to outsiders at a time and place like this. But, considering the importance of your personages and that you are guests of state, I will consider it a pleasure to give you any reasonable information that I can."

At this victory Skwunk's heart leaped with joy till I could almost hear it palpitate—for it was a victory. President Klimax, himself, would not have dared to undertake what my brave, youthful, traveling companion had here accomplished—a public interview with the high, royal, religious Ker Flumux of Ke Whonkus, the vice pope, on a passenger boat.

Inviting us to a nearer and more comfortable position the great Kardinal continued:

"Our clergy, like many of yours of the outside world, are exceedingly conservative, and suspicious of all new discoveries and inventions, lest the glory of their deity be lessened thereby. They believe in penance, prayer, and fasting for all ills of flesh and mind. They feel that the hearts of our people are turned from the great source of all good, with every means of relief by other methods than humble devotion.

"As men learn to get their wants supplied by active, self effort, they cease to pray to the Sun; become less suppliant and devotional; and less dependent on their superiors for prayerful assistance.

"But for the Pope and myself, we see another side to the question; and, being the first priest in rank, it becomes my duty to set the example of thought and action for the rest to follow.

"Science, discovery, and free thought are making inroads on old notions at a frightful speed; and though we think it best to act as a safety balance-power, by retarding innovations, we must timely adjust our doctrines and practices to the new conditions, or lose the much needed moralizing influence of our blessed religion.

"We all hold, of course, that the Sun does all the good that is done for us; but we must have new explanations of his methods, as necessities and new revelations arise from time to time.

"Heretofore we have mostly depended on prayer for relief of our infirmities; but the stubborn fact that the renewing waters of the Yellow hot springs are far more effective as an elixir is now so well known that we must acknowledge it. This I propose to do for the church; nevertheless, I propose to show that it is the Sun's new way of extending life. The waters and gases of course, get their potency for good, directly and indirectly from the Sun.

"When men make discoveries like this, they do it in accordance with the wise plan of the Sun. Then, after all, it is his beneficent work; and still unto Him is the glory, quite as much as if done in the old way, in answer to prayer. I am now on my way to have my lease on life renewed, for these and other reasons.

"You have no doubt observed that I am the only priest you have seen who wears hair and beard. In the long time ago, it was the Sun's purpose (which we do not question) not to permit the clergy to marry. To enable them to exert a degree of magnetic repulsion toward the opposite sex, it was revealed that they should wear ridiculous garbs and shave their heads and faces; and this has been effective.

"But the time has now arrived when the inroads of skepticism have so thinned our flock of its best blood that we need an increase of brains and energy in our fold. It has been decided, therefore, ere long, to admit the brotherhood of priests to the pleasures and new paternal duty of matrimony, to the end that each one may beget and instruct a son to take his place.

"So you see I am preparing to lead in the good way and set the example."

And here transpired an incident, that was both funny and unfortunate. Our kindly, old entertainer, in whom we were now so much interested, drew from his bosom a life colored photograph of himself, as he used to look when a common shaven-headed and smooth-faced popinjak.

Without a thought I involuntarily ejaculated, "Whoo-ee!" in a rather loud voice. It brought the old gentleman to an earnest protest instantly; and Oh! such a look as he cast on me—it went nearly through me!

By a strange coincidence, Whoo-ee, in the Ke Whonkus language, is a devil, and a very bad one in the Sun-worship faith—an inspirer of lust.

It took considerable apology and explanation to convince His Reverence that "Whoo-ee" in English, is only a mild slang interjection; and I am not satisfied that I did really convince him that I was a gentleman, in thus using it in his august presence.

But the old priest was smart, and soon bethought himself that he had a dignity to maintain and a reputation at stake in the interview, as well as the rest of us. So, after a good laugh all around over the strange coincidence we were as well prepared to go on as before.

Then Skwunk proceeded to say:

"A moment ago you made a comparison with some of the clergy of the outside world. Will our Reverend father please inform us where he got his information as to our priests?"

The answer was:

"First from a man named Maxwell at Ke Swank-e over thirty years ago; and lately by reading Capt. De Lilly's lectures."

Then Skwunk asked; "How did our father like our lectures given in broken Ke Whonkus?"

Replied the priest:

"They were, of course interesting as news to us all. Some of them were usefully instructive, yet pardon my candor, some of them were wholly worthless from a practical point of view; those on religion, I mean."

"But why, good father, do you think our lectures on religion were worthless?" was Skwunk's quick response, with some earnestness.

The old priest, as quickly, taking up Skwunk's inflection, replied:

"Simply because your religion itself is a worthless fraud. There can be but one true religion, and that is to worship the great and glorious Sun from whom all blessings flow."

Here it was appropriate for Skwunk to ask why he thought Sun-worship was the only true religion and our's a worthless fraud; and it brought out the Reverend Ker Flumux with his reason in plain and earnest style, indeed. Said he:

"Because the great Sun has a real, substantial, visible, knowable, measurable existence, and we know to a certainty that he actually does furnish us with all the great blessings, to-wit: life and light, air and animals, warmth and water, fruits and flowers, health and harvests—in fact, all blessings necessary to our happiness. This no person can successfully dispute. Even the learned Professor, Kumtux, admits it all; though he denies that the Sun has an actual intelligence and that with such he superintends earthly affairs.

"I regard your religion a fraud, because according to your claim, your supposed deity is omnipresent, everywhere throughout endless space. A 'being' that has been seen and heard to talk, and at the same time is without beginning or ending, body or parts, is a ridiculous absurdity. He is an invisible nondescript, a blank, and can not have any existence outside of the crooked imagination of a very weak mind. And all the blessings, as well as curses, supposed to come from 'him' are, of course, as purely mythical as himself.

"It being the duty of my responsible position to teach the truth as well as to combat all religious error, I hope I have answered your question satisfactorily and given no offense."

At this unexpected outburst of blasphemy, Skwunk was so shocked, bluffed and excited, for a time he hardly knew what to say. I winked at him to stop, but he mistook my sign and gathered himself up for what he afterwards told me he thought would be a "stunner."

Said he: "Admitting, as you claim, that we do get all those blessings from the Sun, how could he possibly ever have himself existed, without some other greater power to create him?"

As quick as thought came the answer: "Just as easily as your imaginary deity, even if he were a reality, could exist without some other greater power to create him. Our great Sun did not need your 'Being' without beginning or ending, body or parts, to create him; nor is his supposed sustaining power needed now in the wonderful operations of our light.

"If your God were blotted out of all existence, real or imaginary, the great and glorious Sun, who needs no assistance, would still continue to shed his genial rays and shower his many blessings on us all the same.

"But if the great Sun were annihilated all life on the earth, both animal and vegetable, would soon cease to exist, and not another seed of vitality would ever germinate on it. After that, this earth together with all the rest of the great Sun's family of children, called planets, would be dark, dead bodies of unspeakable desolation. Glory be to the Sun!

"Oh! my dear youth, reflect that you owe your existence and all you enjoy to the great Sun, the father and mother of all good; and that ingratitude is the sum of all sin. Reflect, my son."

After a moments' pause, that failed to elicit further questioning from Skwunk, the earnest high priest continued:

"Yes, young man, as a high father in the true religion, with more experience than it may ever be your lot to enjoy and suffer, let me beseech you to reflect over the great truths which I have condescended to speak for your benefit in this common place."

Another pause, without response from Skwunk, and he went on:

"Be assured your religion is a delusion, perpetuated from one generation to another by superstitious education. There is nothing natural or reasonable about it; and it depends wholly on being taught. Come, even now, to the acknowledgement of the glorious Sun, as the true deity, whose very face you might look upon this moment, only for its smiles of dazzling beauty and brilliancy."

Still another pause, and silence was taken for consent. The venerable servant of the Sun then drew from his pocket a powerful convex sun lens, richly bordered with gold and diamonds; and, rising to his feet, addressed Skwunk in a tone most weirdly solemn:

"My penitent brother, thou wilt now speak audibly thy name and repeat after me, syllable after syllable, this the most sacred of all vows: 'Si-a-e-ri-o-je-ri-a-e-or-do,' while I baptize thee into the only true faith, with the concentrated smiles of the great Sun, on what shall ever hereafter be thy most devout head."

I would today give a thousand dollars for a true phonographic record of the high priest's solemn, weird, monotonous rendering of "Si-a-e-ri-o-je-ri-a-e-or-do."


AND here occurred an incident that remains one of the most cherished pictures in my memory's gallery.

Before the erroneous old religionist had concluded his pointed remarks, I had been observing a new and strange look playing over Skwunk's fair countenance, that I had never seen there before, under any of the trying circumstances through which we had passed together. I noticed, too, that the great priest, who was addressing him, was watching this puzzling outward expression of thought as well as myself.

Were these scathing criticisms against our blessed religion by this sanctimonious old blasphemer, together with his bewitching picture of sun-worship, working really to the conversion of my dear friend?

It was evident the high priest hoped for just what I feared; though neither of us had opportunity to fully scan Skwunk's mind.

For a few moments here was the trying time of all my life, not excepting shipwreck; for one may be tempest-tossed without disgrace.

Was I to look on assentingly and see my dear friend baptized into idolatry and suffer the most mortifying humiliation before some of the most highly cultured scientists of Ke Whonkus? or should I take the equally terrible alternative of interfering in a sacred ceremony and raising a row about religion so contemptible to them?

To aggravate the pain of my suspense I felt that the "right, reverend, superior arch-Kardinal Ker Flumux" had his mind on me also; and that he was drinking down the sweet hope of glory to himself for baptizing one, if not both of the noted visitors from the outside world, the news of which, would have flashed throughout Ke Whonkus in a few hours. What should I do?

A friend once described to me the "middle of a d—d bad fix" as having four degrees of torture; the first, is when one doesn't know what to do; the second, when he doesn't know what to do; the third, when he doesn't know what to do; and the fourth, when he doesn't know what in the devil to do!

With the sun glass in the old "popinjak's" hand just ready to concentrate "baptismal rays of sun-smiles" on the head of my hypnotized friend, I was surety in the fourth degree of a bad fix.

But relief came—and such relief!!

As the first shot of scorching 'smiles' struck the top of half-asleep Skwunk's flaxen head, it made a sizz that instantly brought him to his feet with a "Whew!" that almost shook the boat.

Over six feet tall and as straight as a Sioux chief, with a form fit for a sculptors model; with a Christ-like face reflecting conscientiousness and purity of character, and now flushed with a new charm, he stood there before the powerful heathen Kardinal, not to be baptized into idol worship, but, as a model representative of our Christian civilization; and, as it verily seemed, by divine appointment, too.

(As to the special providence of the case I will leave the reader to judge, at the close of the chapter.)

With a polite nod and courteous smile Skwunk placed his left hand on the venerable Heathen's shoulder; and with his right one slowly rising above his majestic body, pointed to the Heavens a minute in eloquent silence. I say in eloquent silence, because of its spell-binding effect on the intelligent audience that had now gathered about us.

(It may seem somewhat ludicrous to here mention, that a Government artist among the passengers, furnished us with a fine life colored picture of the pantomime position of the two contestants for religious excellency, in less than an hour's time; also that the authorities had afterwards to suppress a cartoon enterprise, in deference to the guests of state.)

With the attention of his audience riveted and intensified, this young prototype of Christ on the mount, with words put into his mouth from on high, opened his lips and sounded his musical voice, to speak as never man had spoken in Ke Whonkus before.

I can but compare this humble but educated Norwegian mechanic and dog trainer, with the carpenter's son, whose sermon on the mountain has thrilled civilization to the ends of the earth—Ke Whonkus alone excepted.

Christ puzzled the doctors and teachers of Palestine; but they now would be but intellectual babes in the presence of his serene highness, the prospective Pope, Ker Flumux; and mere pygmies by the side of the learned scientists of Ke Whonkus who listened to Herman Skwunk.

Christ spoke in homely parables mostly to the common bare-footed herd, of things more or less familiar to them; Skwunk in the language of astronomy and the higher mathematics, to a select crowd of master minds and fearless critics, who could measure the star-suns as they fly through space at lightning speed.

Oh! my dear reader, it is the life-time regret of a Christian that I cannot furnish the world with a full and exact copy of this grand, inspired answer to the high priest; this impromptu speech to the wise infidels of Ke Whonkus, which ought to have convicted all who heard it.

The stenographer of state, Kip Krako Rego, furnished me a certified verbatim copy, with the compliments of authority; but the gilded parchment, together with a valuable package of seeds, was, through hurry and carelessness, left in a drawer in my room at the hotel at Fog Hole; so I can give it only from defective recollection, losing of course, the overwhelming effect of the loudness and sweetness of inspired oratory:

"Much respected, but more benighted, high PRIEST, VICE POPOKOK, HOLY KER FLUMUX OF KE WHONKUS: thou innocent blasphemer of the true God, your Sun deity is beautiful and grand, sublime and magnificent. Your eloquent praise however has, indeed, but feebly pictured his splendor and beneficence. Yea, venerable sire, he is even infinitely more yet than the words of man can portray.

"As the shadow disappears in the sun's brilliant light, even so do thy well meant words fail in describing his splendor and usefulness.

"But with all his magnitude and enchanting brilliancy, he is comparatively but a candle swung out in the universal depths, to mark the pathway of other suns as much greater than he, as a mountain is larger than an ant hill.

"Truly he is but a spark from the workshop of our true God, the great creator of all things.

"Look, ye, Oh highest priest in all Ke Whonkus! look ye, out into these boundless blue skies of the heavens, on a cloudless night. Look to the right and to the left, to the front and to the rear, and above thy time honored head!

"Behold the star-lit depths of unmeasurable distance! See star beyond star, and star beyond star!

"Look, then, through the most powerful telescope when the further stars become near ones; but in the distance new ones come into the range of stronger vision.

"Wait then a short time for the mounting of the great Kumtux Sikro Makro, that will take us out into still further fields of stars, and bring us face to face with the people of our moon, if not others of our planetary family.

"While this new world-hunting glass will bring the stars of our natural sight to our very doors, there will be an incomprehensible beyond, full of stars beyond stars. Ah, it will be thus, star behind star, until distance fades and the mind vanishes into forgetfulness.

"Most of these stars, my dear priest, indeed nearly all of these stars, are suns; and some are as unspeakably greater than the Sun deity of your worship, as your Temple is larger than a grain of wheat."

(Vice Pope looks greatly astonished at the young Christian orator.)

"If your Sun—our Sun—is a deity, he is one amongst du-o-decillions of others, and is a mere water-bug among whales."

(Priest fairly shakes with excitement.)

"But these Suns are all central orbs to lesser ones that play around them, as our planets whirl about our sun. They all have satellites, and their satellites in turn have lesser satellites, even as Saturn and Jupiter and our earth have their moons. Or, as your worship would say it: 'children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and so on.'

"So numerous are worlds that our minds faint to dizziness in vain attempt to contemplate them.

"Oh, mighty high priest, behold these countless Sun gods that overshadow your deity, as his brilliancy overshadows that of the glow-worm.

"Great Arch Kardinal Ker Flumux these indescribable suns are but globules in the laboratory of my God, the great Jehovah."

(Ker Flumux hurriedly chews kik-gum and grinds his teeth.)

"They together with their satellites and sub-satellites, these mighty sun centers and world families, are but toys in God Almighty's omnipotent hand."

(Much whispering in the audience that now gathers close, and Ker Flumux shows exceeding restlessness.)

"My God creates these suns and worlds out of his own breath, yea verily, out of nothing, and throws them out of the hollow of his hand into the vast deep until they swarm around His central throne like bees circle around their beloved queen-mother."

Extending his remarks now to the increasing crowd Skwunk goes on—

"Oh, ye priests and religious people, oh, ye wise skeptics of Ke Whonkus also hear me!

"God has filled the universe with worlds that fly through space around and about and among each other like flakes in a snow storm. They take their courses and cross courses and angles; they have their circuits and distances, velocities and oscillations; their sizes and densities; their attractions and repulsions, and act with such mathematical precision that all is order and harmony throughout limitless world space."

(Priest trembles, and scientists as well as religionists, crowd up with profound attention.)

"Now, oh, high priest and learned people, drop your telescope and come to the microscope.

"Take a drop of water and divide it into a thousand parts; then each part again into a thousand parts, and behold we see each part a complete world, a round world, an inhabited world. We see the inhabitants of these infinitesimal worlds as complete in their organization for their surroundings, as man is adapted to his. The most powerful microscope shows that all below is life and activity, down! down! down!

"But, as Professor Kumtux's Sikro Makro will not see to the end above, his soon to be finished Sikro Mikro will not see to the bottom. Star beyond star above—microbe within microbe below! Worlds too large and worlds too small for man's comprehension!

"My God—even also the God of Ke Whonkus—created them all, sees them all, knows them all, and takes pride in them all as units, and as an harmonious whole.

"These are the works of His material universe, but they are not all. He likewise reigns supreme in a spiritual universe, a counterpart of the material one.

"As through the laws of matter he governs the physical, so, too, by the laws for the spirit he governs the spiritual universe.

"As he reaches out with laws of matter to make a planet grow, an animal grow, even so does he reach out with spiritual law to make the souls of men and angels grow. (Breathless silence prevails.)

"Oh, ye Sun-worshipers, stop not at the worship of a mere speck of the Almighty's material hand work; but come and drink sweet draughts of true religious spirituality from the pure fountain that flows from his throne.

"And oh, ye learned scientists of Ke Whonkus, you are as swine rooting in the earth for a living! When you confine your researches to matter, you get but the dry husks that satisfy not your hunger.

"As wonderful as the physical realms are they are but the coarse expression of the higher plane of spirituality.

"Oh, ye wise men who say there is no God but matter, think ye of the whence of it, and where originated the laws that so intelligently formulate and disintegrate it; whence all this grand display of intelligent power, if not from God; and why if not for his glory!

"Oh, hear me, hear me, ye people of the North Pole—scientists and Sun-worshipers! Oh, Kumtux! Oh, Ker Flumux! Oh, Je Whilikans, the great Je Whilikans; ye who are in darkness, hear my voice in prophecy!

"Your spiritual day is dawning. The true God is preparing to make Himself known to you and to take you into the great family of nations who know Him and worship Him. He is even now inspiring the genius who is soon to invent means and methods to carry the Holy Bible and inspired missionaries across the icy barriers that now isolate you from the wonderful Christian civilization of the outside world.

"The mighty Pope, Je Whilikans, may not live to see the written word of God; but you, most worthy Ker Flumux, will yet read the story of the cross in your sweet and beautiful phonetic language of Ke Whonkus.

"The proud scientists of the North Pole will yet have to adjust their scientific truths to the holy ones of the inspired and written word, of which they sadly know so little.

"The Sun-worshipers will yet learn that it is against the true God's commands to worship their deity. They will learn that their sun deity comes and goes at the command of even men who serve the true God. On one occasion he was sent back ten degrees; and on another he stood still in the middle of the heavens, for about a whole day—twelve hours—at the command of General Joshua, until he fought a great battle."

(Ker Flumux grinds his teeth, snaps his eyes and stamps his feet, while the crowd around, mostly liberals, look in great wonder and astonishment at both Skwunk and myself. Were I not in a cause that I know must prevail I would feel again under the ban of disgust.)

"The grand old story that has moved the nations of the earth, will yet thrill the soul of the highest priest in Ke Whonkus—the story of how God so loved His fallen race that he gave His innocent and only begotten Son, in sacrifice, to save whomsoever would believe.

"Oh, scientists! Oh, Kumtux! Oh, Ker Flumux! Oh, Je Whilikans, the great Je Whilikans."

Here the young prophet fell exhausted and unconscious into the arms of the priest, but was soon reclining in an easy arm-chair, hurriedly brought for the purpose.

The old gentleman, seemingly in due sympathy for the fallen hero, drew from his breast pocket a bottle that had the sparkle of countless little diamonds, and gave him a swallow of stimulant, and flipped a little in his face with his fingers; at the same time whispering something in his ear that I could not hear.

Skwunk soon recovered and was himself again. And I may add that he afterward insisted that he had no recollection whatever of anything that occurred from the time the "sun smiles" set his head on fire till he awoke in the arm-chair.

Spiritualists explain this phenomenal occurrence as a clear case of mediumship trance speaking, under the control of some eminent divine in spiritual life. If this is not acceptable we must regard it as a case of direct inspiration from on high.

We afterward learned that the liquid used by the old priest was "Ker-slash:" a sacred antidotal water used to exorcise evil spirits. To be effective, however, it must be believed in, either by the operator or one operated upon, but is more powerful with the faith of both.

Ker-slash, though, being a word that must never be uttered above a whisper, the more common name is "go-devil." Go-devil is water gathered during a sunshiny-rain shower in a sacred gold basin, on the tower of the temple of the Sun, and blessed by the Popokok with the help of twelve priests.

It is sold in very small quantities at very high prices; and those possessed by demons, and their friends for them, have to pay well for its valuable use.

It is said that more men than women are possessed of devils, but that the meaner ones get into women and are more difficult of dislodgement, sometimes requiring the aid of several priests to get them out.

It is claimed that evil spirits, or demons, also get into animals, especially skykes; and that go-devil water will drive them out if applied by a believer.

Indeed, the casting out of devils with ker-slash, is sometimes made a test of belief, even as casting them out in the name of Christ is made a test or sign of belief in him in our new testament (Mark, ch. 16. v. 15 to 19.)

About eighty-five years ago a Sun-worship insurrection resulted from the report of a committee of experts who examined ker-slash under the microscope, and found it alive with minute animalcule, eels and water bugs.

A compromise, however, was effected and war averted by the government handing over to the Pope the blaspheming and slandering committee for "extreme condemnation;" that is, for the curse of everlasting punishment, after death, in a lake of boiling oil. But they were to go free until death. It is said they had constant engagement with lecture bureaus as long as they lived, after their conviction.

This impressive and awful ceremony of damning the souls of these five infidel scientists took place in presence of thirty-eight thousand people in the sacred grove near the great temple. Two hundred and eighty-five persons fainted at the sight and noise, and seventeen of them never recovered consciousness. The seventeen were regarded about the same as martyrs to the holy cause and have since been declared saints.

The fearful condemnatory edict of the Pope excluded from the rights and benefits of the church, also the descendants of these slanderers of holy water, down to the sixth generation; even as bastards were excluded from the congregation of our Lord to the tenth generation. (Deut. 23-2.)

However the presence of animalcule in the holy water is now admitted by all well informed Sun-worshipers; and strange to say its potency is now claimed to be partly due to these ever-present 'water serpents.'

Owing to the fact that the damned committee were correct in their report, it is thought by many good Sun-worshipers that their souls ought now, if possible to be released from the boiling oil lake; but the Pope and his edicts are infallible. Then these scorched scientists would now be unfit occupants for a better world anyhow.

For the present they must take consolation that "offenses must needs come," but bad luck to him by whom they come.

Yet it is generally believed that when the innovating Ker Flumux ascends to the papacy, the Sun will have his attention called to the injustice of the punishment.

He is said to secretly entertain anyhow the "infidel" idea that it can, in no event, do any good to punish "for ever and ever," since no reform can come to the punished soul and that the great Sun can take no further gratification in punishment beyond the benefit to the punished.

But I must not longer wander from this memorable interview, which did not end with the practical, but unintended Ker-slash joke that the Reverend Ker Flumux played on Skwunk.

When the mediumistic, or inspired Christian youth, regained his consciousness, the good father, as we called him, threw his arms about the young man's neck and kissed his forehead earnestly.

This is a very rare and a very high honor to receive; only one higher—a kiss from a Popokok.

Both wept and were deeply moved; Skwunk at the father's kindness, and the priest at the young man's wonderful power and zeal in his religion.

I felt as though that sermon ought to have softened the hardest soul there; and as the good priest lingered within Skwunk's embrace, in tears, I really felt hopes of his conviction.

When I bethought me how kings and emperors had often come down from their magnificent thrones to humble themselves at the feet of God, why not the royal high priest of Ke Whonkus?

But alas! alas! alas! Sin originated in heaven among angels. The serpent, the devil, beguiled purity and perfection in the paradise of Eden. For some reason of His own God permits evil to enter the most sacred places and despoil His most favored work.

And this remarkable meeting on the Tumpatum, where it seemed so much truth had been told, and so much error combatted, and so much prospective good had been done, was to be no exception.

While Skwunk was speaking with a tongue certainly touched with inspiration from some good source, I noticed a peculiar looking, little dark-complected man, whittling with his pocket knife, on a wooden puzzle (which I afterwards procured and brought home with me.)

For the most part he seemed as unconcerned as if nothing unusual was taking place; yet, occasionally he would look up at Skwunk with about such a smile as many of our ministers and priests are wont to bestow on the salvation army, as they pass the streets with the music of drum and tambourine.

I observed that his motionless face was a fruitful field of study; but I had no time to give to it. I saw plainly, though, there was no spiritual animation there. I saw that Skwunk's grand answer to the high priest, with all his wonderful emotion, made about as much impression on his mind, as the imaginary whisperings of the Heathen idols of wood and stone make on the ears of Christian missionaries in India.

By-and-by the silence was broken by a nasal voice out in the crowd calling out. "Shek-a-la-go-has-ke-gon!"

A moment's silence, and several voices echoed: "Shek-a-la-go-has-ke-gon!"

Now this almost unspeakable word means, "One who esteems truth above mere sentiment;" or, "one who loves facts more than fancy."

No one seemed ready to respond until our piping voice called out: "Kiro, kiro, kiro, Shek-a-la-go-has-ke-gon."

This brought out our little whittling man, with long whiskers and long eye-brows, and close cut hair, to the front, where the old priest and Skwunk were seated side by side in great arm chairs.


BOWING gracefully and directly to these two religionists of opposite views, Kiro spoke in a remarkably suasive, conversational, easy manner as follows:

"Most welcome visitor from the outside world; also much respected great High, Popinjak.

"It is my great pleasure to extend to you the thanks of the liberal scientists who have listened to your sentiments, so earnestly and ably expressed.

"We regard discussion as the motion and friction needed to clarify the muddy water of superstition. Your action, therefore, has our sincere approval and we have been very much interested.

"We feel that each of you has said something to make the other think outside of his usual channel; and thought is the proper road to facts. Liberate mankind from the thralldom of enslaved thought and lo! the truth is at hand; and with truth in hand we have little left to give us trouble.

"I humbly beg leave, Professor Skwunk, to most respectfully inform you of our custom with which his high reverence, Ker Flumux, is already familiar, the custom of replying on the spot, whenever it is appropriately admissible, to every new scheme, proposition and argument, that conflicts with our reason and scientific experiences.

"While we give the most respectful hearing to all that is offered for the benefit of our needy race, from whatever source and in whatever direction, we regard it as a duty to thoroughly analyze and investigate it in all its bearings and phases before accepting it, or letting it go abroad unchallenged.

"It is a rule of our brotherhood, which numbers many thousand and extends throughout Ke Whonkus, that no member shall ever refuse the call of three others to defend truth and combat error. It is to a call of this kind that I now respond as Shek-a-la-go-has-ke-gon.

"We hold that truth, under all circumstances, and however seemingly sad, is preferable to delusion, however pleasant it may be for a time.

"We believe that happiness must prevail when man comes to fully recognize the physical universe as competent to all his necessities, and governs himself accordingly.

"We therefore hold that a true and useful religion must have for its object the proper adjustment of humanity, physically and mentally, into harmony with natural law.

"If we were to formulate our belief it might be thus expressed:—

"Truth is our 'God;' falsehood our devil. Science is our 'word of God' and points to 'heaven' or happiness.

"Ignorance is our word of the Devil and leads to 'hell' or misery.

"Yes, we hold that when man divests himself of mal-education and adjusts his mind to Nature's omnipotence; when he renovates his being from superstition, and places himself to best advantage in the hands of natural law; when he ceases to make Gods of his own puny image, and endow them with his own perverted attributes and worship his own shadow; when he comes to the truth that he is himself a part of the All-pervading God and must be in harmony with the rest of himself to be happy, then he will be happy.

"The Gods that men make and worship are as various and conflicting as the distorted imaginations that create them.

"My friends from the outside world, your God is just as unreal as is the intelligence claimed for the Sun, by the great Je Whilikans and his deluded fellow Sun-worshipers.

"My deistic friends, you have both told much that is true of each other's God and religious faith; and in the interest of truth we commend a close study of what you have told each other.

"But we, free investigators, after long and deep study, and thorough search, have failed to find any evidence of any God in nature that can be regarded as a being separate from matter-in-motion.

"Matter-in-motion is all the God we know of. 'He,' if we use your expression—does all that is done. He exists as a principle pervading all conceivable existence, but of no personal limit or form. He never creates anything out of nothing, but formulates everything by change of that which exists and always has existed.

"This God does not sit on a golden or diamond throne far away, wrapped in gorgeous attire of mystic pattern, and perform at a distance, at the bidding of feeble things like men; but he dwells as a force everywhere.

"This God does not say to an acorn, from afar: 'Become thou a tree;' but he exists in the remotest germ, and remains within it throughout all the years of its development until it becomes a tree, and until its use in natural economy is ended. He accompanies its every globule of sap, and places cell upon cell until the work is complete; then disintegrates it again by universal law.

"Just so with all things great and small. Whether matter be in the form of blood, or sap, or world-dust, this force places particle upon particle, till the plant or animal or world is formed.

"The systematic methods of force are the only and absolute 'words of God.' He who knows the most of these methods is the most inspired man; and the inspiration is for all who prove themselves worthy.

"My young friend from the outside world, your God is a mere assumption; otherwise my old friend, the reverend Ker Flumux, has pretty well described him. At any rate we are quite unable to comprehend him from all that you and Capt. De Lilly have said of him.

"In one sentence you speak of him as the one, and in the next as two, and then as three. You say there is but one God and then have them speaking to one another. This we cannot understand. In one sentence you speak of him as omnipresent and in the next as coming and going. How a thing can be everywhere and yet come and go we cannot comprehend.

"You call him all-wise, and yet speak of his failures. You speak of his omnipotent goodness and then tell us that he condemns the greater portion of his human creation to a lake of fire and brimstone forever and ever. (Our religious people have it boiling oil.)

"You speak of his infinite power and love, and at the same instant tell us he permits an evil god, called the devil, with less power than himself, to beguile most of his people to eternal ruin.

"You tell us that your God made all things, and pronounced all good and satisfactory, and then that he afterward 'repented' that he had ever made his crowning work, man.

"You tell us that he made a perfect heaven and filled it with perfect beings, and then introduced sin to engender evil propensities, till the din of warfare reigned in the best world in existence.

"You tell us that he is supreme in justice and infinite in compassion, and then inform us he accepts human sacrifice; yea, even the sacrifice of his only begotten and innocent son. We cannot understand this.

"You speak of his perfection in wisdom, power and love, and yet tell of a condition next to universal in harmony that obtains in the outside world

"You tell us your God is a 'personal being,' without beginning or end, body or parts, self-existent, and that he created all things else from nothing—a proposition of maximum absurdity, most surely.

"Now, all this, we scientists insist, is mere assumption and wholly incapable of proof.

"As you two interesting gentlemen from the outside world make no claim to special theological learning, but merely accept as sacred what has been taught you as truth, we will not demand too much from you. But we beg permission to send this proposition to your Popokoks and priesthood, if you please:

"If any one thing, being, or principle, can exist without a creator, why not another, and indeed why not everything? And, if everything else, what the need of a creator?

"As your God created matter He, of course, existed before it. Time began with matter; for before matter there could have been no means of measuring duration—eternity.

"Creation then is very recent compared to the unthinkable lapse of duration before your God began to create and formulate things.

"But you tell us God never has changed. If so He had his present attributes of sight, hearing and feeling before time began; before any material thing was made.

"Oh, think of an existence under such circumstances! Away in the midst of the unoccupied nowhere of illimitable space without a footstool for his swinging feet.

"Oh. dear brother Skwunk, think of the awful solitude of a God of sight and hearing in the long, long, long ante-time before there was anything to see or hear or touch or to love!

"If God is wisdom, power and goodness, he must always do right. He can not even do the wrong of neglecting to do right. He must do, too, all—all that is right, even without the asking.

"And if he thus acts without solicitation, what other is he than a God of nature; that is the God of the scientists? No other can there be!

"You see, gentlemen from the south, your idea of a God is self destructive. As the reverend Ker Flumux tells you He is a 'blank.' He is a myth; and all his doings and sayings, as a personage, emanate from brains crazed with superstitious education.

"All such teaching results in the dwarfing of humanity, and arresting its development to the higher plane of harmony and happiness."

As he finished his blasphemous answer to Skwunk's grand inspiration and stepped aside, we again heard: "Kiro, Kiro, Kiro! Shek-a-la-go-has-ke-gon!"

Returning to the encore he politely bowed to me and said:

"We are pleased to learn from you that scientific research is on the forward march in the outside world. That is all you need to tell us as to the final outcome, if persisted in. Only such a cataclysm to civilization as swept your portion of the world during your centuries of 'dark ages,' can check your development. The North Pole country has in times long past, gone through a vast amount of such experiences as you mention in your lectures.

"The mythical Gods ruled here for ages with about the same results. Now we have practically but one left—the Sun; and he is comparatively harmless. His greatest influence for evil is in discouraging scientific education and investigation. His devotees have opposed every advance in science that has been made; and yet when victory is gained over them they insist on giving the glory to the sun—a harmless amusement for men of thought to watch.

"They especially oppose every innovation made on old notions about the human body and mind. It almost caused a revolt when we passed laws for the prevention of diseases by vaccination; that is by rendering our bodies unfit soil for the development of disease germs: and by introducing one sort of bacteria to devour a worse kind in our systems.

"They are now fighting our discoveries in matters pertaining to the mind, such as hypnotism, catalepticism, clairvoyance, mental heredity, insanity, force of habit, dreams, somnambulism, religion, and what you call spiritual mediumship.

"It is even now said that the Pope, the Great Je Whilikans, liberal as he is, will insist on damning the soul of the inventor of the new mento-meter and moralo-meter, which are used to test and measure the moral-legal responsibility of criminals, and the fitness of people for marriage, and the like.

"While we regard all irregularities of mind as either disease or hereditary disorder, much of which can be cured by sanitary treatment and wholesome education, they regard them as the results of evil spirits, which may be 'cast out' with prayer and ker-slash. In fact they regard some disorders of mind as normal and commendatory.

"In a past age it was considered an act of the highest and worthiest devotion for parents to 'sacrifice' their children. We now have (but generally against their protest) asylums and methods for the cure of many forms of mind disorder. Among the greatest of all these is our national system of education, which excludes the teaching of any religion in the public schools.

"It is no uncommon thing to see whole families of sons and daughters educated out of superstition in a single generation, whose parents will not even read a book nor listen to a lecture on scientific facts.

"The Sun-God, himself, however, no longer thirsts for blood nor accepts human sacrifice; nor encourages war; nor covets the virgin daughters of men, as he once did.

"And, to do him justice, I must admit that his influence against scientific education is somewhat offset, by his general moral influence over his ignorant devotees. He really exercises a restraint through superstitious fear, over his adherents, that all the law and intelligence of Ke Whonkus could not enforce without it over the same people. He is as good as several thousand policemen and is self sustaining, withal.

"Yet, it seems to us, if he would instruct his priesthood to use more scientific education; and, instead of so much preaching and warning, to keep the people out of Hell, try rather to keep Hell out of the people, he might be doing much better."

(Here old Ker Flumux wriggles about in his seat, and looks as sour as a Baptist preacher at a sprinkling baptism.)

"The fact is, aside from the ignorance he maintains among his worshipers we, in the main, are pleased with our sun, 'from whom all blessing flow.' In the latter days he is a very quiet deity, the same as yours seems also to be.

"And now, brother De Lilly, it is my pleasure to tender the congratulations of the scientists of the North Pole to the investigators of nature in the outside world, through you, and to send them greeting in their search tor truth.

"Tell them to make no fight against any form of religion which allows undisturbed scientific research.

"Their part of the world, like ours, will grow out of superstition, under freedom of thought, as fast as it is best to do so. Free schools with free text books, free from superstitious teaching, and with compulsory attendance of children, will open a sure road out of the wilderness.

"Evolution in every phase of nature is slow, and that from superstition is no exception. And as long as people need the restraint of religion they should have it. This need, brought about by long heredity, will, in some cases last through several generations.

"Tell your scientists to bring about the evolutionary change by the educational process alone; that is, by education in the sciences. People may be educated to be superstitionists, and even to be abject slaves; in fact, educated fools.

"Many of our Sun-worship citizens are fairly educated in religious lore and general literature; and even in song and the arts used to glorify their deity and their faith.

"But teach the people the truths of science, that they may see and feel and know the falsehood of superstition. In this way their mental growth will be safe and permanent.

"I say, tell the reformers of the outside world to go slow in removing the restraints of religion from the unthinking masses. In a certain stage of mental development, Gods and devils, brimstone hells and boiling oil lakes are necessities. Superstition appears to be in-bred in mankind and there is no safe way to get it out but by gradually crowding it out with scientific education.

"I would hardly dare to speak in this manner to our sun-worship masses, lest I might take away their mental meat and drink, when they are too weak to digest the sublime, scientific truths we have to offer in place of their religion.

"As you may not be aware, the inhabitants of the beautiful island, Sullux, in a remote part of Ke Whonkus, were savage barbarians only about one hundred years since, and they still had their old savage Gods and religion. Their Gods demanded sacrifices of blood and ashes of certain fowls and animals, about the same as your Jewish Jehovah once did, and occasionally they claimed human sacrifices the same as the Gods of other ignorant barbarians generally do.

"Their chief God, Kerkulio, revealed to his priests that certain children of virgin mothers were the sons and daughters of the Gods; that they were sacred; and that they should be tattooed as a mark of distinction and in all things obeyed.

"Well, to modify this savage religion, our government sent out an expedition and captured a lot of these sons and daughters of Gods and turned them over to our sun-worship priesthood for religious education.

"After they were tamed and fully indoctrinated with the sun-worship religion and faith in the one deity only, they were returned to their tribes and families to eliminate the plurality of Gods and establish the great Sun-Deity.

"In order to make them good religionists they were not permitted to learn any scientific facts regarding nature, beyond what was known by the lower classes of the Sun-worshipers at that time.

"Their bodies, showing the sacred tattoo mark, it was death to lay violent hands on them, and they were not harmed; nor were their doctrines and teachings disputed.

"Of course they engrafted the new religion on the old one, and brought about the change gradually as all changes in religion must be effected.

"Since introducing the Sun-worship superstition among these wild savages we are gradually educating that out of them, and bringing them over the road we have ourselves travelled up to the plane of scientific civilization.

"As I understand you there is a great part of the outside world yet in savagery and half savagery, and ruled by vicious Gods; and I offer these facts and suggestions to the scientists wherever they may be.

"Though your triune deity is not all that he ought to be, and is surely in some respects what he ought not to be, you will have made great progress when you get him, or him-them, to fully supplant the place of all other myths.

"As time passes on you will modify his worst attributes gradually and essentially, and synonymize him with matter and force.

"Perhaps, if brother Skwunk's predictions come true, we can, ere long, send you a lot of Sun-worship priests, as missionaries, by some soon to be discovered means of travel."

(Here we noticed clearly three different sorts of looks and smiles on the face of old Ker Flumux.)

"Pardon me, Captain De Lilly, for thus addressing a gentleman whom I know has no sympathy with our doctrines.

"But you are the only means we have of sending our respects to the progressive civilization of the outer world.

"We have the highest opinion of your honor, and can safely confide this trust to your keeping and execution.

"As for brother Skwunk, you can safely trust him to our liberality. We know men; and we know him who is so susceptible of self hypnotism, by a brain incapable of generating any other than kindly feeling, that you imagine to be from the God adistant, but which we think is from the God within him. He is a God, himself.

"May your surroundings and environments favor you through existence, is the wish of Kiro and his friends."


AT the close of Professor Kiro's scathing remarks, I could but acknowledge his great ability in his cause, and accept for the outside world scientists, the greeting entrusted so confidently to my charge.

Courtesy demanded it, and I was prompted to it also by his manner. Indeed, his earnest, fearless, yet respectful attack on our religion commanded my admiration. Even at home I far more respect an honest, outspoken skeptic than a cringing coward, who dodges behind public opinion and passively accepts our doctrines for the sake of business and social prestige, and yet refuses to obey the acknowledged commands of the Lord God.

The fact is, such people are not as worthy of our confidence as those who openly attack our religion on principle. Hypocrites are really unfit associates for both religious people and unbelievers.

But, though, I complimented Professor Kiro for his candor and earnestness, in my final reply I further said to him:

"My good and wise friend, nothing on earth could induce me to exchange my ship of hope, securely equipped with faith for time and eternity, for yours, tempest-tossed and adrift on the perilous sea of uncertainty, without sail, rudder or anchor. Such a hope as I enjoy is worth more than anything else in this world. It reaches beyond this world.

"While I am, of course, pained to thus hear the very necessity and existence of my Maker attacked, I feel, nevertheless, that it will not be without good effect. You have shown me more plainly than I have ever seen before, the value of my religion, and I hope ever to appreciate it.

"Permit me, my dear Kiro, to take for granted you have presented the strongest reasons that shek-a-la-go-has-ke-gon can offer for an existence without a personal God; and permit me to assure you that the contrast has strengthened the apparent need of one, and my confidence in Him. I thank my God that I have heard you.

"In your scientific teachings I fail to see anything to cheer and soothe the dying or console the bereaved. I fail to see anything in it to fill the vacuum left in human nature, when the God we all want to appeal to in distress, is gone.

"I fail to see where your 'universal harmony' to be reached by nature's laws and obedience to them, would satisfy the hunger and thirst of all normal souls for future spiritual hope.

"Your Godless condition must either harden you to an insensibility to wrong, or else leave you for life with a gnawing, unforgiven conscience. No God—no forgiveness.

"Oh, 'Shek-a-la-go-has-ke-gon!' you bring to my imagination more plainly than I have ever seen before the pitiable condition of a whole human race of needy orphans.

"My dear, dear, heathen brother, even a happy delusion is a thousand times better. With all our size and age, and strength of educated intellect, we never grow beyond a degree of child-like dependence. Oh, pathetic state would it be when we could no longer with confidence turn our tearful eyes skyward and say: 'Our Father who art in Heaven.'

"I am aware, Professor, that many of your propositions and objections are difficult to answer, especially for one not a theologian. Some of them probably, are unanswerable by the process of cold reason.

"For instance you ask: 'If God could exist without a creator why could not matter also exist without a creator; and, if matter can exist without a creator, why do we need a creator at all.'

"From a stand-point of cold logic, I suppose this is unanswerable—in the negative. Yet it does not follow that matter is uncreated. The possibility of such a thing being so, does not make it so.

"My dear Sir, even though God were not needed to create matter, he may nevertheless be a necessity otherwise.

"We hold that there is an existence even above the realm of what we know as gross matter. Even though we were to grant (which we do not) that matter, in some condition was, or is eternal, we still hold that our God is a necessity, in its differentiation and formulation.

"We hold that there must of necessity be an intelligence behind all the operations of matter.

"We hold this to be self-evident and out of the jurisdiction of fallible reasoning.

"What is reason? Is it supreme? That is the question.

"As there are worlds beyond our natural sight that increased vision will bring to view, so there are puzzles to mental vision that stronger power can solve and make plain to us.

"The carnal mind cannot discern spiritual matters. Our sacred book teaches us, as brother Skwunk has told you, of a higher plain that we may ascend to, where we may see with new eyes, hear with new ears, and feel with new hearts. (Ker Flumux smiles and Kiro shrugs his shoulders.)

"All independent discussion about the beginning of things, is as idle as to search for the limits of space, or the end of a circle—simply unthinkable.

"The human mind must needs have a starting point or it must wander out into the sea of vanishment.

"All existence is a series of multitudinous mysteries, and in the realm of reason remains utterly unaccounted for, by those of your views. But the believer in God sees that all things were created for his glory, even though we may not comprehend it ourselves. We are finite.

"To you scientists there can be no reason for existence, nor any of its beautiful details—not even that of glory.

"You say we must assume our God. We think not; but even be it so to those who, in their carnal natures, cannot and do not fully comprehend us, through spiritual light.

"While you encounter and acknowledge mystery on mystery, and mystery behind mystery, endlessly, we resolve all other mysteries into the one overwhelming one, our God. And if our method of disposing of countless, worrying, and wearing mysteries had no other advantage, it nevertheless gives anchorage and rest to the tired mind.

"Indeed, friend Kiro, your developing process will have to go on a very, very long time, and reach a very much higher degree than at present, when the poor, feeble mind of man can stand alone, unsupported by an 'assumed,' great, first cause.

"Yes, from a physical stand point, and to the carnal vision, it appears that we do 'assume' our God; yet not wholly so. We think we see much, in fact limitless evidence of this higher power and independent cause in physical nature.

"Granting that motion is a property of matter it seems to us that there must be an independent director behind even matter-in-motion, to give it method.

"When we behold in all things an infinitely wise economy and beautiful arrangement of means to ends, it appears there must be independent intelligence, if not power behind it.

"Brother Skwunk has called your attention to the grand, independent, and highly intellectual science of numbers, known as mathematics, and asked you who made its wonderful laws.

"He might have also suggested others. The law of differentiation of matter that causes individuality of form; and, in sentient beings, mental characteristics, seems to us entirely independent of matter itself.

"There are volumes, if written, in the detail of the animal world, that I might refer to, as evidence of our God.

"How can you account for life, sensation, thought, and the virtues like love, by self-directed matter and force? You do not and cannot answer these truths by asking, in turn, whether we can account for God. He is the sum of all mysteries and the author of all; an assumption if you choose, but an essential one, withal.

"But aside from and eminently above these reasons for belief in God, we have a knowledge of Him by direct spiritual communication. If all else were to fail, this cannot. No knowledge of our own physical being is on firmer foundation than our internal knowledge of God.

"It may be true (though comparatively hardly worth mentioning) that we will have to cut off much yet that never ought to have been attributed to God in our sacred book; that which brings him into derision and ridicule among thinking people, who depend upon external evidence. We have heretofore, from time to time, pruned it of its damaging surplusage (our old and new apocryphal testaments) but a proper pruning does not lessen the value of a fruitful tree.

"Were every sentence of our written word of God to man proven to be the selfish and ingenious work of priests and monks, to secure and maintain the control of men and women, it would not unsettle my faith in God; for there is none other to resort to. He is our father in need, our mother in distress, and our final hope.

"When your matter-and-force deity mocks at our cries for life beyond these fast flitting shades of time, our loving God comes to the rescue and beckons us to the future land, to meet loved ones gone before, and to welcome those left behind. Oh, the inestimable worth of this belief to helpless, dying man!

"Ah, my scholarly brethren of Ke Whonkus, until the intelligent phenomena of existence are otherwise accounted for, let us stand by Jehovah as the author of all.

"Until humanity ceases to yearn for a stronger arm than its feeble own to lean upon, let us cling to the fatherly arm of Almighty God; yea, place ourselves in the hollow of his protecting hand."

What effect our impromptu defense of our God and religion may have on those North Pole heathen may not be known soon, perhaps until Skwunk's prophecy shall be fulfilled and communication established with the Ke Whonkus people.

I have little hope for the scientists who believe in "Shek-a-la-go-has-ke-gon;" they have thought too deeply at the wrong end of truth.

But as the high priest, Ker Flumux, will probably soon be the Pope, I have more hope that some of our ideas may be engrafted in the religion of Ke Whonkus. Indeed, as his Reverence must have been deeply impressed, and I think took a liking to Skwunk it is not improbable that, in time, he will be called into papal confidence, if not in council, and thereby a compromise effected, and our Lord introduced into Ke Whonkus. "So mote it be."

It has been suggested to me that it was for this purpose that our way, closed to others, was opened through spiritual direction of Captain Von Snouchenpucker, to the North Pole. And it may also have been through the same influence that Mrs. Sap-e Rinkl was enabled to place the message purporting to be from the Sun in the Holy sanctum, or "popokokum," the exposure of which, after the death of the great Je Whilikans may convince the great Ker Flumux that all the rest of those messages are frauds, and thus weaken and maybe destroy his faith in the Sun-worship superstition.

Whatever may be the results, Ke Whonkus will soon have a Popokok who has heard more sides to the religious question than any Pope in the outside world ever has dared to listen to.

Of the many heart-thrills at the word 'good-bye' I have experienced in life, I remember but few more keenly than when I last parted with the right reverend superior Kardinal Ker Flumux, and Kiro, the 'Shek-a-la-go-has-ke-gon,' as we all disembarked from the Tumpatum. Will I ever meet them again?

Many of our Fog Hole friends met us at the boat landing. The meeting between Skwunk and Klink-e was quite affecting. They remained an unbroken package for several minutes. Ker Flumux stood spell-bound beholding their wonderful demonstration of love apparently in utter astonishment. I have no doubt that he would have been willing to abandon his Sun-worship faith, together with his prospect of soon being the Popokok of all Ke Whonkus, to have been as handsome and as young as Skwunk, with as beautiful and lovely a little wife as Klink-e, clasped in his arms.


FEELING much anxiety concerning the fate of the Polar Star and its noble crew, I desired to return to Puck's Springs, and report to Capt. Von Snouchenpucker, if still there, as early as possible; but Skwunk, having married and feeling settled at Fog Hole, was loth to go with me. However, after I insisted that it was as much our duty as if we belonged to the original crew, he consented to go, if I would delay the trip until July when the weather would likely be at its best, and also return with him to Fog Hole.

We started on the tenth day of July, about as well prepared for such a rugged trip as two men could well be. Our dogs were in good plight, and in addition to our old outfit, Skwunk, at the wise suggestion of Klink-e, put in a small stove with oil fuel for several days.

We found both the tunnel and the approach to it in good condition; and we stopped for rest at our former camping places. But we found the weather much rougher than when we went to Fog Hole. It was not only colder, but the wind was stronger and came mostly from the west, which rendered the caves in the rocks less protection as camping places. We had to keep a small fire in our stove every night and sleep near it with our dogs huddled close around us to keep us from freezing.

We arrived at Puck's springs at the end of the fourth day badly fatigued and almost frozen; and as we had feared, we found the ship and all its crew gone from there—but where, we did not know.

On examination of the little cave we found four letters in a conspicuous crevice in the rock, over which in plain letters, "Puck's P.O." was written with colored chalk.

One letter was from Mr. Toutwiler, the first mate, to me, stating that Captain Von Snouchenpucker and Mr. Rose died a few days after our departure and their bodies were prepared to be taken home; that, as the inlet was freezing up below the ship, he thought it best in order to save it, and perhaps the crew, to keep it below the ice; and that on our return we should follow down the inlet to overtake the ship.

Another letter was from Mr. O'Rook to me, stating the ship had left the Springs the day before his arrival, and he would follow down the inlet according to the mate's instructions.

The other two letters were written by Mr. Rose. One was to me, stating he expected to live but a short time, and asking me to see if ever possible, that his remains were taken back to his people at Chicago; and that the other letter, which was directed to his sister, should be delivered to her if possible.

Skwunk desired to start back to Fog Hole the next morning; but I prevailed on him to go down the inlet to a high mound about thirty miles distant, from which we could see the ship with our glasses, if within a hundred miles. However, we failed to see it, and the inlet being frozen over as far as we could see, we returned to the Springs that night to camp.

After resting our team one day, and leaving a short account of our trip, discoveries, etc., at Puck's P. O., we started back to Fog Hole, where we arrived after six days of hard struggling to keep ourselves and dogs from freezing.

As we had to face a cold wind from the West nearly the entire distance, and had but little protection from it while resting, had it not been for the forethought of Klink-e, in inducing us to take the little stove with us, it is not likely we would ever have reached Fog Hole again.

On our way back we stopped at Dead Man's Cave, where Capt. Von Snouchenpucker had previously found the dead man and held communion with the spirits.

After we had our supper, I jokingly remarked to Skwunk that, judging from his address to Ker Flumux, he was a spirit medium; and if so, he might commune with the spirits there, as the Capt. had done, and perhaps learn what became of the Polar Star and crew. To that he replied:

"While I believe in ancient spiritism, because the Bible is really founded on it, I have no knowledge of it nor experience with it in its modern form. Yet, it does not become me, nor any other consistent Christian to deny it, before giving it a thorough investigation.

"I have no idea that I possess any mediumistic powers; but as I wish to see that dead man again, if you will go with me to his chamber at the rear of the cave, we will take our camp stools and sit there a while."

We went and found the lonely, dead man there wrapped in his blankets just as before. We then took our seats in the dark part of the cave, extinguished our light, and awaited developments with peculiar anxiety.

In a short time I could see an occasional streak of light passing around. Skwunk remained still and silent. A few moments later, the streaks of light had so increased as to enable me to discern objects all about us. I could soon plainly see people, or ghosts, or something in the form of people; and I was really so frightened, that I impulsively rose to leave, without thinking of Skwunk.

Just as I got straightened up, Capt. Von Snouchenpucker, or rather his ghost, clasped my hand with a chilling grip which sent a peculiar thrill through my whole system, that I cannot describe.

Then he introduced Sir John Franklin, whose cold hand added intensity to my strange feeling and alarm. After that Mr. Rose rushed up and gathered my hand also.

I was so overcome I could not speak; and I felt as if I was falling. Then Mr. Toutwiler seized my hand likewise, and squeezed it so tightly as to bring me to consciousness again, and I exclaimed: "My God, is it true!" He replied in a plain audible voice:

"Yes, De Lilly, and we are here. The Polar Star went down between two icebergs with all on board."

Then a tall, handsome man dressed in Ke Whonkus clothing, gathered hold of my hand, and said:

"Tell Captain Maxwell that you have seen his father, whose earthly remains lie on the ice within a few miles of Ke Swank-e; and that he found Franklin, but it was in spirit life."

Just then I happened to look down at Skwunk, and to my utter astonishment, he appeared like a small skeleton of a boy. I was so alarmed at his condition that, under the impulse of the moment, I gathered him and the camp stools in my hands and started to the light at the front of the cave.

On the way I passed seven persons, three men and four women, in a group by themselves. They appeared to be plain, honest-looking American citizens, such as may be found among the industrial classes of the West. The tallest man standing in the center of the group held in his hands a beautiful flag on which was inscribed in dazzling letters: "The Seven Ghosts of Louisville."

I found that Skwunk got larger and heavier at every step I made, and by the time I had lain him on his blankets he was almost at his natural size and weight again.

I give these experiences just as I saw and felt them, or thought I did, without expecting every reader to believe them literally true. In fact, these are rather matters of experience that every person must see, feel and test for himself.

It may be claimed that this is a dream; but to me it is all true, and my narrative would not be complete without it.

I will further state that spiritualists have since explained to me how Skwunk's substance was taken for a time—borrowed—by the spirits to enable them to 'materialize;' and that if I had let him remain where he was a little longer, we could have had a more extensive and profitable interview with our departed friends and perhaps have learned much more of the fate of Franklin and his men, as well as other matters of interest.

Skwunk soon gained his consciousness, but was a little stupid and dull for several hours. He said it all appeared to him like a kind of lucid dream; yet in it he had seen and heard all that I had and much more. He said the Seven Ghosts of Louisville, were a band of traveling spirits and had stopped there for a time, because it is in the locality of the aurora borealis, where there is much magnetism and electricity, and spirits frequently congregate there.

He also says that the history and experiences of that noble band of seven spirits, is to appear in book form and will startle the world.

The failing to find the Polar Star, and our startling experience at Dead Man's cave, both seemed to strengthen my desire to go to Chicago; and in a few days I determined to start for that point by land, ice or snow, as I might meet with them on the most direct route, and as soon as I felt sure of finding ice instead of water to travel on. Although the sledge was made to serve also the purpose of a boat it is dangerous to cross wide spaces of water in it. Therefore, I thought it best to wait till the twentieth of September, to be sure of finding ice as far south as necessary.

Notwithstanding I liked the Ke Whonkus people, as well as their fine country and climate, there appeared to be something at Chicago, like magnetic attraction, drawing both my mind and body to that point; and, though my friends at Fog Hole brought all of their persuasive powers to bear on me to abandon the trip, because of it appearing absolutely impracticable, they failed to make any more impression on me than if I had lost my reason.

About ten days before my departure from Fog Hole, two young Skwunks—a male and a female put in their appearance; and the day before I left, their father concluded to have them christened according to his religion; but there was no minister to do it. Finally he decided it ought to be done, minister or no minister, and requested me to attend to it. I suggested it might be better to have Captain Maxwell, who was related to the children, administer the sacred rite. But the Captain contended that, as he was a half-breed Ke Whonkian and knew so little of the Christian religion, it would be more appropriate for me to christen the babies, and let him stand God father for them, if that would do any good.

So, thinking it might be the last act of kindness I might ever be able to bestow on my worthy young friends, as well as one of stern religious duty, I felt as if I was actually forced into the harness, and I christened the boy, Sampson De Lilly Skwunk, and the girl Sap-e Delilah Skwunk.

Though this was the first Christian rite ever administered among the Ke Whonkus people, I hope and believe it will not be the last.

On the 23d day of September I left Fog Hole, bound for Chicago. I had a good sledge and six good dogs for a team, besides an extra one to be used when one in the team needed rest. My sledge was loaded with about all the actual necessaries for such a journey including a small oil stove; and, also a few Ke Swank-e fuse bombs, given me by Capt. Maxwell, besides a number of Ke Kultum hand bombs, given me by the government, to use in case of necessity.

Just as I was bidding my Fog Hole friends farewell, Capt. Maxwell's team of six fine skykes hitched to an elegant, new sledge well furnished for a trip of several days was driven up; and as a surprise to me, both he and Skwunk got on it to accompany me a few days on my journey. It may be, they thought to prevail on me to abandon the trip and a return home with them.

We followed the old Zebus road, and found it rather better than we expected. We also found the weather better than we anticipated. There was but little wind and the cold was endurable. About the only trouble we had was in finding comfortable places to camp at night; but we soon learned to accept the first favorable place we came to in the later part of the day, and generally found such on the south side of rocks and banks. For water we had to melt snow and ice, except where an occasional spring was found.

The Skyke team being much the stronger we put about half of my load on their sledge, to give the dogs a fair chance to keep up with the fast traveling Skykes.

In six days we reached a point about three hundred and seventy miles south of Fog Hole. There the old road crosses a canyon, about sixty feet wide by about one hundred and thirty deep, on a natural rock bridge; and at the south end of the bridge passes through a tunnel a hundred yards in length.

As usual the end of the tunnel was so filled with debris, that it required over two hours to remove the obstruction. As soon as we drove in our teams became badly frightened, and Skwunk and I, with our guns in our hands, and the Capt., with a reflector lantern, started to learn the cause.

Near the south end we found two polar bears. They had risen on their feet, but were standing still and looking at us.

I told Skwunk to take the one on our right, and I would the one on the left. We both fired about the same time, and the bears fell. Both were shot in the head and soon expired.

After being satisfied the bears were dead, we went on to the south end of the tunnel and found it over half enclosed by debris; and as it was late in the day, we camped in the tunnel and cleared away the debris the next morning.

As my friends desired to rest a day or so, and then return to Fog Hole; and as the tunnel afforded good quarters for camping, we concluded to accept it; and while resting we could explore the country immediately around it.

We found the water in the canyon came from some hot springs, about two miles east of the bridge. Around the springs we found signs of bears, but saw none there. The two bears we killed in the tunnel were the first and only game we found in the three hundred and seventy miles travel. But, on their carcasses, all hands, men, dogs and skykes, feasted sumptuously for two days, and we had sufficient left to take away with us, in both directions.

I asked the privilege of naming the bridge and spring, and the names are "Maxwell's Bridge," and "Skwunk's Springs."

The second day of our encampment in the tunnel was quite blustery and rough, and my friends used all of their persuasive powers possible to induce me to return with them to Fog Hole, but they failed to change my mind or purpose.

The next morning, October first, it being fair weather again, both teams were put in readiness for traveling; the Skykes facing toward Fog Hole, and the dogs toward Chicago.

In parting, Capt. Maxwell said:

"We feel that we are losing a friend and forever;" and I replied: "Even if that be true, I will be the greatest loser, because I will lose two."

Dear reader, I hardly need tell you that I there felt the deepest and most impressive meaning of the word, "Good-bye."


AFTER parting with my friends I felt quite lonely for several days. I still followed the old road with only a little trouble to find it on the south shore of wide spaces of ice. Although the road and the weather were generally fair enough, I "made haste slowly," in order to favor my dogs.

While the main direction of the road is nearly south, it varies in places so as to cross the waters at their narrowest places; and where one or more islands intervene between the main shores it crosses over them. In crossing each considerable space of ice, I stopped a short time to bore through it and sound the bottom, which I generally found to be quite shallow, compared with waters of the same surface extent in other parts of the world.

On the 21st day of October I reached a considerable body of ice which I named Zebus Strait. While passing over it, my dogs shied around a place, which on closer inspection, proved to be a kind of air hole. After that I had no fear of dangerous ice—the dogs could not be driven on it.

From where it leaves Zebus Strait the old road leads off a little west of south, for over three-hundred miles, and it brought me twice in sight of what I took to be Belleville sound.

About two hundred miles south of Zebus Strait the road passes through a low gap in a small range of mountains, where I discovered some gold-bearing quartz. Finding a desirable place to camp at the south base of the mountain near a spring, and the weather being rough and my team needing rest, I stopped there three days.

While at that camp I spent a part of each day prospecting for gold. As the ground was frozen I had much trouble to prospect the gulches; yet after finding gold in the quartz at three places on the side of the mountain, I also found "placer" gold in gulches near its base; but it was mostly fine. The largest piece I found weighed only a little over two ounces. However I predict that "Gold Mountain," as I named it, though it is north of the timber line, will likely be a rich gold field in the future.

On the seventh of November I came to another strait. It is considerably larger than Zebus, but my sounding showed no greater depth of water. In crossing it the old road passes over three islands. The ice in some places was barely thick enough to make my crossing safe, showing my arrival there was sufficiently early. Not being certain of its geographical name, I call it Kumtux Strait, in honor of the learned Professor Kumtux, of Ke Whonkus.

From Kumtux strait to Coal Valley, the next point of interest, is about seventy-five to eighty miles; and excepting the first five miles it is quite a rough and hilly country. The last ten miles is an up grade, and the last three of that in a deep and crooked ravine that leads up to a bluff, about three hundred feet high. It is truly a desolate looking place; and for the last mile or so I found I was travelling over loose stone coal, which led me to believe I would soon reach another tunnel, which proved to be true.

On reaching the steep cliff, I found a small hole, which showed it was used by animals of some kind, and led into a tunnel. It required several hours to clear away the obstruction so as to permit my team to enter; and as soon as they reached the inside, they became frightened and stopped. Accepting their conduct as a warning of danger ahead, with my gun in one hand and lantern in the other, I started through to ascertain the cause. I soon found I was in a bear's den, with about as many large, brownish looking bears in front of me as dogs behind, and all of us were scared.

Here I was in quite a dilemma. The bears stood gazing at the lantern without showing any disposition to vacate their home, and the dogs in their gearing unable to assist me in combat.

To kill or wound one bear might precipitate a general engagement, and prove disastrous to me. However, I determined to discharge my pistol merely to scare them; and it had the desired effect. They ran toward the south end of the tunnel and I gladly let them retreat in peace.

As the tunnel is only about four hundred feet long we soon reached the south end with a larger opening where the bears had passed out; but it being then about dark I camped in the tunnel that night.

Early the next morning I walked out, gun in hand, to explore; and I found I was in a small canyon with a small stream of water running east. I also found another tunnel leading through the bluff on the south side.

Although I had become disgusted with tunnels, as I could find no way to drive around it, I removed a slight obstruction at that end and drove through to the other, a distance of over two hundred yards; and after several hours of hard work to open that end, I drove out into Coal Valley—I gave it that name because it is the finest coal field I have ever seen.

There were also several bears in the last tunnel; but they behaved very well. As we went in at one end they accommodatingly went out at the other.

In Coal valley, I found both scrubby timber and grass, the first of any consequence this side of Fog Hole. Besides plenty of bears, I found deer, rabbits, and grouse. I camped there four days, and killed one bear, four deer and all the rabbits and grouse I wanted, besides one very large owl that had eyes almost as large as an elephant's; but I saw no wolves nor panthers.

The shape of Coal Valley is so peculiar that it deserves a short description. It is seven to eight miles long from east to west, and less than a mile wide on an average; and on both sides and the east end it is bounded by high, steep bluffs.

Two small streams of water rise at the south end and form a junction near the middle, below which the stream runs northeast to the high bluff, and hugs it closely all the way round to the southeast corner, where it leaves the valley through a deep, narrow canyon. About three hundred yards above the canyon there is a stratum of excellent coal about forty-six feet thick.

On entering Coal Valley, it appeared as familiar to me as if I had seen it before; and, after a little reflection, I distinctly remembered having seen it before, but in a dream, more than ten. years earlier.

The coal stratum having been a prominent feature in the dream, I walked up the branch to see if it was really there, and found it exactly as seen in my vision. To many this may seem impossible; in fact it astonished me at the time. Yet it is really true; and I remember it as clearly as most incidents of my life.

On leaving Coal Valley I drove out through a short tunnel near the south east corner; and from there I could see a long distance to the south west. A hundred yards further south, it turns eastwardly and passes through still another short tunnel. After that it leads on a little west of south, on the east side of a high ledge of rock to a high, rolling, gravelly plain, a kind of desert; and that is the last place I saw the old Zebus road.

From Coal Valley to Fish River, although a down grade generally, I had "a hard road to travel." There was but little snow or ice, and my dogs had enough to draw over the sand, gravel, and rock without my weight; consequently I had to walk the greater part of the way, and was seven days in traveling that one hundred and eighty miles.

I arrived at Fish River after dark. The next morning, I saw a grove of small trees and brush on the south side, about two miles above my camp, and concluded to drive over to it and rest my dogs again for a few days. Their feet were getting tender. Finding sufficient ice near my camp, I drove over and up to the little bunch of timber. The brush being thick, I could not see into the grove until I came near to it. Then I heard two persons quarreling in plain, loud English. I felt a little alarmed, and thought of driving on. But I soon saw two white men, five ponies, and a very large, vicious-looking dog. The dog saw me first and barked. Then the men saw me, and appeared to be worse scared than I was; but there was no necessity for any of us to be alarmed. It was only because we did not expect to meet any one in that lonely place.

I spoke to the men in friendly terms, saying I was pleased to meet them. They still appeared to be uneasy, but asked me where I was going. I told them I had been on an exploring expedition with nineteen other men, whom I had left behind. That I was looking for the best route from Fish River on south; but I failed to tell where I had left my friends. That was to dissipate any idea they might have had of robbing me; because I suspected they might be escaped convicts.

One of them was a dark complexioned, heavy set, rough, sullen-looking fellow, who, in appearance, filled the bill for a criminal exactly. But the other, who appeared to be several years the younger, had a fair complexion, a pleasant countenance, and a general appearance of honesty in bad company.

I inquired what they were there for. The surly looking man hesitated, but the other one said:

"We came here for a winter hunt. We were out here two years ago and found plenty of game. But this winter there is scarcely anything but wolves; and we think they have driven all the deer away. So, when you came, we were fixing up to leave.

"I wanted to go back to a half-breed camp about two hundred miles south, while he (meaning his partner) wanted to go further up the river."

However, from the angry conversation that I overheard, I presume they had concluded to separate and each go his own way, and were disputing about which one should take the big dog, Gumbo, that I fear did not belong to either of them.

Gumbo is the largest dog I have ever seen. He is undoubtedly of the St. Bernard stock, but is mixed with both the spaniel and savage English mastiff. In fact, he is a savage looking animal, and did not then deceive his looks. Yet, after a mature acquaintance, he is one of the noblest of animals.

When I inquired whether the country between Fish river and the half-breed camp on Hudson Bay was covered with snow, they informed me that it was generally blown off and into the deep ravines, and therefore, not more than one mile in ten had snow on it.

After that an idea to trade them my dogs and sledge for three of their ponies struck me very impressively, and I made the offer for three standing near by, one with a riding saddle and the other two with pack saddles on them, and all apparently in good condition.

At first they refused to accept my offer. However, after I told them of the grass and game back at Coal valley, and the gold at Gold Mountain beyond, and showed them my specimens, they made the exchange willingly. They could not well go to the gold mines with horses, but could with the dogs and sledge. They did not wish to part with Gumbo; but after I told them it would be almost impossible to keep him with the other dogs, they also agreed I might have him for a few articles of baggage, that I would have to leave till my friends came along. I also left a note for them to hand to "Captain Maxwell" when they met him, stating that I had sold them the articles. I thought then a little stratagem might be necessary to enable me to get away from them peacefully.

I soon found that Gumbo thought the horses were under his protection, because every time I went near them he growled. As Skwunk had taught me how to tame and make friendship with dogs, I thought I would try it on Gumbo. So I cut a chunk of venison into small pieces and put them in my pockets. While doing that the two men watched me closely. I think they had no idea that I could induce the dog to follow me until they suspected what the meat in my pockets was intended for.

The young man kept Gumbo away while I was loading my pack horses; and although the poor dog was half starved, and I had tossed him two pieces of meat which he ate quickly, he still showed no sign of friendship, or surrender.

After I mounted my riding pony, which was the leader that the others followed, I threw the dog another piece of meat and called him, by name, to come on. By that time the meat had partaken of the scent of my pocket; and he smelt of it, ate it, and gave his tail one little wag, and though he refused to start, he looked after us intently. However, after I was a hundred feet away I dropped the fourth piece of meat and again called him by name to come on; then he came and ate it, wagged his tail, and followed on behind the pack animals. But for fear he might desert me I dropped more meat for him, every two or three hundred yards, for the first mile or so; yet I was careful to keep him still hungry.

Just before I left their camp the young man started after their two horses, that had wandered a short distance up the river grazing while mine were being loaded. My path also led in that direction, and as I was passing near him he stepped up for a farewell hand shake, and said:

"Stranger, I wish you well. You gave us a fair trade and told us where to find plenty of game and gold, and I will give you a little advice. You know every body is part angel and part devil. Well sir, that partner of mine is about nine-tenths devil. He is a hard bat. I have been wanting to get away from him for some time, but I am really afraid to attempt it. I think you had better keep a sharp lookout for a few days, or those ponies and that dog may come up missing, even if you don't yourself."

I thanked the young man for his warning, and told him the fellow's appearance had already aroused my suspicion; that I would be on my guard; and that if his partner followed, and attempted to rob me and did not return, he might know the result, and would be well rid of him.

I struck out south, and up a little creek, and traveled as fast as possible to get away from trouble, but as about three inches of snow fell in the fore part of the day, it both impeded my progress and made my trail easily followed.

Late in the day I reached the summit dividing the waters of Fish River from the one south of it, and finding fair grazing with water and a good location for camping I accepted it.

After putting my ponies to grazing and satisfying my own appetite I walked up on a high point to examine the surrounding country with the aid of my field glasses; and some six or seven miles down the valley that I had just come up I discovered a dark speck like some one following up my trail. At first I thought it might be a wolf; but, as it came on steadily without stopping, I felt sure it was a man.

Just before dark I brought the ponies close up to a high shelving rock that gave me protection on the north and east. I then spread a fur bed for Gumbo about twenty feet to their rear, dropped a piece of meat near it and said:

"Gumbo! come, here is your supper and bed;" and after I stepped away, he walked up slowly, ate the meat, and then coiled down on the bed as if he understood me fully.

After that I examined my gun and six shot revolver closely; and finding them in fair condition, I took a seat between two rocks, so that I could see over the one in front, and lean against the one to my back, and uneasily awaited further developments.

I kept wide awake until after midnight, but no enemy appeared, to disturb me. After that I fell into a doze, and was awakened by a noise made by the ponies. Just as I was about rising, I heard the report of a gun close by; and the ball must have glanced the rock near my head; because it threw dust in my face. I then saw a man whom I took to be the "nine-tenths devil" from Fish River, and whom I had seen with a good six shot revolver besides his gun, when I was negotiating for the dog; but on seeing me rise he dodged behind a small rock about fifty feet from me. Yet, as I could see his head above the rock, I shot at it with my gun; and he also shot at me about the same time with his pistol. His ball barely missing my neck, cut through my coat collar, and I presume mine missed him clearly. Immediately after that, as my gun was empty, I dodged down behind my rock.

Then there we were, each behind his rock breastwork, with his gun empty, but with a good six shot revolver, and close enough for a pistol duel. Then I luckily thought to raise my hat a little above the rock, on the muzzle of my gun, and let him fire at it if he would. It was about dark enough for me to practice the deception, besides I moved the hat occasionally. The result was that he made five shots at it; and good ones too, because three of the balls passed through the hat.

After that he stopped shooting, and feeling assured his revolver was also empty, I made a charge on him.

When he saw me approaching, he retreated in the direction of Fish River under the fire of my revolver; and at the second shot he fell. However, he soon got up and went on, limping badly. Then I sent two more balls after him without any noticeable effect, and finding he had left his gun where he had fallen, I gave him no more trouble.

Before daylight I heard a pack of wolves holding high carnival over something in that direction; and I presumed they had captured him, and were dividing the spoils.


ALTHOUGH I had made a necessary exchange of dogs for ponies, I soon found traveling with horses quite different from what it had been with dogs. The dogs could eat their meals in a few minutes, but the ponies required from two to three hours every day to graze. The grazing was also scarce, and could be found only in spots; and those places seldom afforded desirable locations to camp in over night. I also found the wolves too annoying, even if not too dangerous, to graze my horses away from camp after night. Therefore, I had to stop and let them graze in daytime as I met with the opportunity; and towards night I selected such places to camp as afforded me the best protection from the wolves. I generally found such locations as gave me protection on one side at least.

About noon on the third day from Fish River I stopped to let my ponies graze near a spring and brush thicket. When I looked for Gumbo, who usually followed behind my pack animals and lay down about twenty feet from me when I stopped, I could not see him. I took my gun and started back a short distance to look for him. Before I had gone a hundred yards I heard a terrible growling on the opposite side of the thicket and could also hear Gumbo bark occasionally. After passing through the intervening brush as carefully as possible I found the dog standing on one side of a small deer that was about dead, and an immense, black, timber wolf on the other. The wolf had undoubtedly caught the deer and refused to let Gumbo have it. Each one being a little afraid to attack the other, but not cowardly enough to give up the deer they, like some people I have seen, were trying to settle the dispute by a game of bluff and bluster.

The wolf being too busily engaged with the dog to notice me, I easily put a ball through him, when he sprang off a few steps and fell.

While Gumbo thought he was finishing the wolf, I got the deer and dragged it over to the camp. I feared if the dog got it first he might refuse to let me take it away from him, until he had eaten enough to make him too sluggish and lazy to follow me.

After I got the deer to camp, the dog came up and sat down about twenty feet from me as usual, and wagged his tail, to show he was ready for his share of the spoils.

I packed all the meat I could well take with me, gave Gumbo a fair dinner, and disposed of the remainder by tying it to the top of a bent sapling and bracing it up out of his reach.

But when I started on, Gumbo, being still hungry refused to leave the meat to follow me. Luckily about all the wolves in the neighborhood had by that time, gotten scent of the meat and blood and were on hand promptly, and before I was a mile away they made the dog glad to follow me. They followed him up close enough for me to shoot one; and if he had not been so large and savage in appearance, it is likely they would have had him for their dinner in place of the deer. But the whole drove stopped to dine on the one I shot, and we escaped.

After that time we had to fight wolves more or less every evening. I do not believe it an exaggeration to say, there are more wolves, if not worse ones, to the square mile from Fish River to the white settlements, than any where else on earth—North Russia not excepted. They commenced showing themselves generally between one and two o'clock p. m., and got thicker and worse till near midnight. After that they gradually disappeared till daylight, when scarcely any were to be seen.

For the first one hundred and fifty miles we had principally what is called the black timber wolves to contend with. For the next two hundred and fifty miles we had mostly the large, gray, timber wolves, which were worse, if possible, than the black ones; and, after that all sorts and sizes, mixed and in great numbers.

What such vast numbers of wolves can find to subsist on is a mystery, unless they slay and eat the weakest among themselves, which I presume they often do. At least every time I killed or wounded one or more in a drove, the others stopped to eat them before pursuing us farther. Consequently, nearly every evening I stopped and shot one or more in the pack following me, and got away while their comrades were devouring them.

Late one evening I camped on high ground; and from that point the next morning I saw a considerable body of water a few miles east of me, which I took to be a lake, or else an arm of Hudson Bay; and on a stream leading into it I saw an Indian village.

Wishing to avoid the Indians I changed my course to about southwest and started off in a hurry.

While crossing the stream a mile or so above the village, I saw four Indians on ponies, a few hundred yards below me; and they also appeared to be looking at me. After crossing the stream I found a little trail leading in the direction I wished to go and followed it; but I had not gone over two miles when I looked back and saw the four Indians following me as fast as their ponies could bring them. As at least two of them had guns I presumed their object was robbery; yet they would perhaps not hesitate to murder a lone person to accomplish that end.

Seeing a rock about six feet high beside my little trail I dismounted, told Gumbo to take care of the ponies, and got behind the rock. When the Indians got within about fifty yards of me I presented my gun at them over the rock and commanded them to halt. Whether they understood the command or not they saw the danger and stopped suddenly. Indians are always cowardly in an open field; and though they were four to one they knew I had the advantage, and they returned about as fast as they had come.

Then I started on, but felt almost sure that I would be pursued by a larger body of Indians as soon as the four could return to the village and drum up more.

The little trail I was on soon led me into a narrow, winding canyon with steep, rock cliffs, from thirty to sixty feet high on each side. After following it some four or five miles and feeling uneasy about the Indians I came to a place where I could climb the cliff and see a long way back. I did so, and I discovered from ninety to a hundred Indians were pursuing me briskly.

It seemed they had about twenty ponies, and more than that many guns among them. Each pony appeared to have from two to three Indians on it, and the balance of them were on foot. Some of them were dressed in wolf-skin clothing and the others wrapped in old blankets.

They were scattered along the trail for some distance, and presented the appearance of a motley mob more than a band of braves.

However I presumed all of the available forces of the tribe were after me and I felt much alarmed. Indeed I fully expected, unless I could find a place where I could use my explosives on them without injury to myself, I would surely be robbed and probably murdered.

I traveled on as fast as possible, and soon reached a place where the canyon formed a complete horseshoe bend and ended at a large spring; but to my right was a narrow, steep defile leading up to the plain above.

I dismounted, and with considerable exertion my ponies climbed through the defile to the top of the cliff. We landed on a plateau containing near an acre and nearly surrounded by the canyon and defile. It being an excellent location from which to fight the Indian mob I tied my ponies to some boulders near the center and commenced getting my Ke Kultum bombs ready for action.

Just as I got my explosives ready I heard Gumbo growl. I was not expecting the Indians so soon; and, on looking in the direction of the narrow passway to the canyon I was surprised by seeing two Indians arriving on the plateau.

Just as the foremost one was leveling his gun at me Gumbo seized him by his throat and caused him to miss his aim; but his ball cut a hole through my hat. Then the other one, seeing the immediate danger his companion was in, tried to shoot the dog as he was in the act of throwing the front one to the ground, but missed his aim and shot his comrade through the breast. Then Gumbo very sensibly left the wounded one and seized the other by his throat, also.

By that time I had reached a point where I could see about a dozen more Indians coming up the defile. I threw a bomb among them and hastened to the opposite side of the plateau to see where the others were. From that point I saw that the main body of Indians had just arrived in the canyon below me, and met a few of the advance squad, who had not gone near enough to the defile to be killed by the bomb thrown into it, and were retreating; and I threw a bomb among them and another a short distance below. Then, in order to be certain the victory was complete, I threw two more between that place and the narrow passway, and the battle was ended.

It lasted a less time than it takes me to describe it; yet not an enemy was left to tell the tale of the mob's horrible fate.

When I found time to look after Gumbo's part of the battle he had finished his job and was leisurely walking away to his little fur bed near the horses, where he coiled down as if nothing unusual had occurred. His antagonists were both dead. Besides the bullet hole in the breast of one, the throats of both were torn from ear to ear.

I went down into the canyon to see the results—and oh! what a horrible sight. It was really heart sickening. Excepting the badly bruised heads of a few men and the heads, from the eves down, of a few ponies, all of the Indians and ponies were torn literally into fragments and shreds and scattered in all directions together with dirt, broken rocks and other debris.

Even the steep cliffs were torn and stained with blood. Small bits of blankets and wolf-skin clothing were scattered all around, some were sticking on the sides of the cliffs; and the saddles were torn to splinters and the guns twisted into all imaginable shapes.

As each explosive caused the very plateau to tremble like an earthquake, I expected to find the destruction great; yet it even exceeded my anticipation. How I wish I had the secret of making the Ke Kultum bomb.

Although I acted in self defense, I left that battlefield with a sad heart, hoping that another such necessity for the destruction of life might never occur to me, nor to any one else, even if it be among barbarian robbers.

As soon as I got back on the plateau I heard the wolves in several directions. They had scented the blood and commenced their peculiar howl that calls their clans together. As I could not use my bombs on them without something intervening between us to protect me, I concluded to vacate the battle ground as soon as possible; and when leaving it, I could see them gathering in to the carnival from all directions. But as they failed to follow us I suppose they found sufficient fragments of the slain to satisfy their appetites.

One afternoon, a few days after my trouble with the Indians, I saw a dark cloud rising in the North West, and fearing a blizzard or something of that nature, I began looking for a place to camp. In a short time a fine, misty snow commenced falling. It soon came rolling, winding, whirling and twirling in all directions; so that I could not see my direction nor scarcely anything else; but I could hear Gumbo, who was behind my pack animals, frequently growling and snapping. Though he is not a natural snapper, he fights a pack of wolves according to their own rules of warfare.

I had been permitting my horses to choose their course for half an hour, hoping they might lead me to an acceptable place to camp, when they took me through a narrow gap in a ledge of rock running nearly east and west, that, by some convulsion in the earth, in the distant past, had been set up edgewise. There the ponies wanted to turn squarely west along the south side of the ledge; but seeing the ledge still higher east of the gap I turned them and stopped to camp about thirty yards east of it.

While I was selecting a place to tie up the ponies, I heard Gumbo bravely defending the narrow gap in the rock against a large drove of wolves and I went to his assistance. He had them where they could not flank him as they had done on open ground; and he thought it a good location to show his bravery. When the wolves saw me also at the gap, they went east and opposite the ponies.

Then I thought of my Ke Swank-e bombs. I got out the largest one, set fire to the fuse and threw it over the rock among the wolves, and just as it reached the ground it exploded. It made a tremendous noise and appeared to jar the earth.

I had presumed the rock would protect me and the ponies, and so it did; but it was badly shattered. The wolves were either all killed or driven away—we saw no more of them that day or night.

But the bomb frightened my horses and they started off west along the ledge where they desired to go when they passed through the gap. Gumbo followed them and I followed him. That is one instance where a boss had to follow his servants and was glad of the privilege.

Having gone in that direction about a mile the ponies went down a small hill and stopped at the side of a large cave on the south side of a steep precipice to drink at a little spring. The cave is about seventy feet wide at the mouth, and extends into the hill more than twice that distance. It is a fine place to camp. Besides, I found in it a small lot of wood and coal, also a half a ton of coarse dry hay. The ponies knew better than I did where to go for a shelter from the blizzard. I had never been there before and I think they had.

Before old "Cubbus," my saddle pony, was done drinking I saw him throw up his head and snort; and soon after Gumbo commenced barking on the opposite side of the cave, and about seventy feet from the mouth. It being about dark. I lighted my lantern and went to see what caused the alarm. At first I could not see anything. But finally I thought I saw what appeared like three or four balls of fire oh a kind of shelf in the rock some twenty feet above where the dog stood.

Just as I was preparing to shoot at the balls of fire a large mountain lion rose up on his feet, wagging his tail as if ready to spring upon the dog. I shot him but only broke his back. When he fell to the floor Gumbo commenced to finish the job; and then a female lion, considerably less than the wounded male, leaped down on the dog's back and made his long, wooly hair fly in all directions.

He had all he could do to fight the broken backed male, and had I not been there to assist him the female would have torn him into shreds in a short time. In fact she did not abandon the enterprise until after I had put three pistol balls through her body. And even after that she actually got away from us.

When the lion—which was over seven feet from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail—was dead, I found the storm was raging and my ponies all gone. Yet Gumbo badly as he was bitten and torn walked slowly and deliberately to where the ponies were grazing and I could barely see to follow him. Then instead of following the ponies as usual, he led the way back to the cave.

The storm lasted all night; and the next day the thermometer registered forty degrees below zero. But, as we had fuel and hay left there by some hunters or prospectors, we remained there moderately comfortable during four days of cold, rough weather.

After that I traveled on high ground as much as possible. Although it may be I was growing a little wild myself I wished to avoid falling in with Indians, half-breeds, or other "amorugians." I also aimed to keep well off from Hudson Bay to avoid having to cross large waters. At several places I found fresh tracks of men and horses. And after that I discovered smoke on some of the small creeks.

Therefore I thought it best to do most of my traveling in the latter part of the night and early part of the day.


ONE night I crossed a small creek near a camp, and the next forenoon, while on a high ridge, I examined the surrounding country with my glasses as usual, and discovered six men on horseback were following me. I concluded they had found my trail where I crossed the creek and were following me for some purpose, and likely not an honest one.

I did not stop again till four o'clock, p. m., and then I saw it was likely they might overtake me before night. As I could not safely use my bombs there, and as it was not probable I would be able to defend myself against such a force, if they proved to be robbers, I took the small bag of diamonds that I had brought from Ke Whonkus, out from my luggage and hung it on the horn of my saddle, intending to throw it to one side before my pursuers caught up with me; and thus save them the trouble of carrying away my chief wealth.

I was following a kind of old trail which soon led me into a small valley, and to the crossing of another little creek, closely above a fall of several feet. I saw the creek was all frozen over except on the falls and a few feet above and below it; and as the trail evidently crossed there and I was in a hurry I rode in without any hesitation; but when about two-thirds across the ford my riding pony slipped and fell. Then I got off to assist him; but in his struggle to rise he blundered and slid over the falls into water ten to fifteen feet deep.

After taking my gun to the south bank I went to his assistance as soon as possible. Finding he could not climb the fall I began breaking some ice so he could swim to the south bank; and while doing that the ice on which I was standing gave way and let me in the water with the pony. Then we were truly in a bad fix; both were in a swimming struggle for life.

Luckily, just as I fell into the water a white man and two half-breed Indians rode up on the south side of the ford saw our condition, and helped us out. I politely thanked the men for their timely assistance, and led my half drowned riding pony up to where the dog had taken a stand and was guarding my pack animals.

The white man said to me rather authoritatively:

"Git on your pony and we will take you to camp."

Although I disliked his manner of expression, I asked how far it was, and he replied; "Only about a mile down the creek."

Being wet, wearied and cold I informed him I would gladly accept his kind offer. When I was preparing to get on my pony I discovered my diamonds were gone; and it was clear to my mind, they were in the deep water below the ford.

Seeing one of the half-breeds had my gun in his hands I presumed he would hand it to me when on my pony; but he peremptorily refused to do so. Then about as quick as thought I jumped off the pony and abruptly snatched it out of his hands.

I was then convinced that, although they were not my pursuers, they wished to treat me as a prisoner. Yet, as I had my gun in my hands and had shown a bold front they must have thought it dangerous to attempt to disarm me. Then I was pleased to think that my diamonds were in the creek for the time being.

The white man told me to ride on down the creek and they would follow. Not liking that arrangement I informed him he could go ahead and I would follow him, and the others could follow me. The truth is I wanted the boss in front so that I could attend to him first in case of trouble.

When we were starting the half-breeds rode around my pack animals to drive them up; but Gumbo refused to let them do so. He thought they were still under his protection, and he drove them on behind me as usual. I told the men to let the ponies alone, and the dog would bring them up all right. However, they still followed behind the dog; and when they rode too close to him he stopped and growled at them.

When about half way to their camp one of the half-breeds spoke to the white man something about the dog, and he replied:

"If the dog bothers you why don't you shoot him." I then more forcibly than politely told him if any one shot my dog I would shoot him. Then said he:

"Old feller! you had better keep your mouth shet; and I replied:

"You don't know who you are talking to or you would keep your own mouth shut." At that he commenced raising his old gun; but seeing I had mine ready first and had the advantage he lowered his and said:

"We will go on to camp and let Cap Jim settle it."

To that I replied: "All right sir! Cap Jim and I are friends; we can soon settle it." Although at that time I had no idea who Cap Jim was, I desired to avoid trouble as long as possible.

When we arrived at the camp, the white man called Cap Jim out, and said:

"Here is a feller with three ponies that I have captured and he says you are his old friend."

As soon as the Captain rose up and started to us I recognized him sure enough as an old and trustworthy friend, with whom I had once worked in the gold mines. But he did not recognize me until I said:

"Captain, you don't believe that fellow. You know that no three such amorugians could capture me."

As the word, "amorugian," was an appellation that we had manufactured and frequently applied to a certain class of stupid, ignorant, lazy, worthless people in the mines he at once recognized me from that expression; and, grasping my hand, he exclaimed; "Heavens and earth! De Lilly, is this you?"

When I told him it was all that was left of me he asked:

"Well, where in the thunder and lightning have you been and where are you going?" Also, when I informed him I had been out to the North Pole exploring and visiting among the great Ke Whonkus People he appeared utterly astonished and exclaimed; "Why, De Lilly, are you crazy or only joking?"

By that time my clothes were frozen stiff; but Captain Jim kindly helped me off my pony and to a good fire, and then wrapped me in blankets to help thaw my clothes. He also offered to send my ponies out to grazing but I told him my dog would not permit any stranger to touch them.

Gumbo took care of the ponies till I was in a condition to take them out to grazing and then Captain Jim went with me. When I gave the dog his supper and spread his fur bed near the ponies, telling him to be a good boy and to watch the horses till I come in the morning, my old friend was greatly surprised and said:

"It is really astonishing to see such a great, savage-looking dog obeying as well as a boy."

In fact, by that time Gumbo and I had become good friends, and I generally spoke to him as if he was somebody.

That night I learned from Captain Jim that he and three other white men had about a dozen half-breeds hired to help prospect some mines; that some of their ponies had been stolen; that they were there in pursuit of the thieves; and that it was quite likely that the 'chaps' as he called them, who had been following me that day were the ones he was after.

Although Captain Jim gave me whisky and quinine enough that night to keep a horse from taking cold, I felt stiff and badly used up the next morning; and not being able to travel Jim left his best man with me at the camp till he and the others returned from pursuit of the thieves. They soon found the trail of the parties who had chased me; and on the third day returned with the stolen animals; but they never told me what became of the thieves.

The last day Captain Jim and his men were out after their ponies I felt considerably recuperated and went up to the hole where Cubbus and I had gotten the ducking and had lost my bag of diamonds. By that time it was all frozen over and I could see nothing of my treasure. In fact it was so cold I hurried back to camp to keep from freezing. I also felt alarmed, fearing Jim and his men would all freeze to death. Yet it is really surprising to see the degree of cold these northern pioneers and their long haired ponies can stand. Unless there is considerable wind from twenty to thirty degrees below zero does not stop them.

As Captain Jim insisted I should go on with him to his prospecting camp and remain there until good weather, I concluded to do so, but I intended to return as soon as the weather was suitable, and, if necessary, drain the deep water off so as to recover my diamonds; because I did not wish to go on to Chicago without them.

The next morning all of us started for Captain Jim's diggings; and late on the second day we arrived there. The temperature being about twenty degrees below zero, when we were too cold to ride we had to walk. Although I had the best protection against the cold I believe I suffered the most. It was about as hard on me as my last journey to Puck's springs, from Fog Hole.

Captain Jim had comfortable quarters dug in the south east side of a hill for both men and animals; also water, fuel and fair grazing, all handy; besides dry hay for animals in bad weather; and there I, my ponies, and Gumbo, all had a good place to recuperate.

Gumbo soon became a favorite in the camp. He took my ponies out to graze, guarded them and brought them back when ordered as promptly as any half-breed would have done it; and woe be unto the wolf that crossed his path or came too near the ponies while in his care. Even the man who told the half-breed he might shoot him offered me four good ponies for him.

While Captain Jim's men worked most of the winter he and I spent our time mostly in hunting.

Toward spring I took an interest in the enterprise and then, being engaged in business, I delayed going back after my diamonds until the first of June.

When I concluded to go for them I desired to have Captain Jim go with me; and then I revealed the whole matter to him fully. He was again agreeably astonished; but he readily agreed to go with me and to keep the matter a profound secret from all the rest.

We selected a trustworthy white man to boss the work and told him to take charge until we returned from a week or ten days hunting expedition.

We went well armed and equipped, having our great coats, besides blankets, provisions, etc., including the whisky and quinine Jim usually had in such outfits. We also took a pick, shovel and pan to prospect some if we wished. Of course Gumbo went with us. We had taught him to go anywhere in water and bring us ducks and geese that we killed.

The second day about noon we arrived at the junction of two creeks about two miles below where I lost my diamonds. Finding there a fair place to camp close to a high, steep rock where we could have protection on one side, if molested by wolves or robbers, we accepted it until a better one was discovered.

After arranging matters at our camp we concluded to have a little hunt that afternoon. He went up on the north side of the south fork and I went up on the south side of the north fork; and we were to meet at the ford on the north fork where I had lost my diamonds.

While I was walking leisurely up the creek looking closely for geese and ducks, and yet a half a mile below the ford, I took out my glasses to see if Capt. Jim was much ahead of me. Though I did not see him I discovered four persons on horseback; two were half-breed men, one a half-breed woman, and the other a well dressed white woman.

The half-breeds alone would not have astonished me. But to see a well dressed, young, white lady with them in that wild, lonely country, startled me. I saw they were making for the ford; and in a few moments I looked again and I thought I could see that the pony the white woman was riding was being led by one of the men. That so aroused my suspicion that something wrong was going on, that I kept in sight of them.

They were traveling north; and after crossing the creek at the ford they stopped to camp about two hundred yards beyond it. A short time after they stopped I saw one of the men leading their ponies up the creek to graze, and the other with a gun going out toward a small lake north of them, as I supposed, to shoot ducks.

I was then on the high ground about seventy yards from the ford, and rather impatiently waiting for Capt. Jim to arrive. I desired he should go over with me to see what, if anything, was wrong with those people.

A few minutes later I saw one of the women running from their Camp toward the ford and I started down to it to speak to her; but before I could do so she ran into the water, till the strong current washed her over the falls into the deep hole where she sank out of sight just as I reached the south bank.


GUMBO was near me and saw the woman sink, and, while I was taking off my coat and boots to swim in after her he, of his own accord plunged in, and dived after her, but soon came up without her. However, I then commanded him to bring her to me, the same as if she had been a duck, and he dived again and was under the water a little longer than on the first attempt but brought her to the surface. He had hold of the back of her dress; and by the time I had waded in to where the water was up to my shoulders he brought her to me with her face still under water. To keep her head above the water I placed her on my shoulder something like a miller would a sack of flour.

Just as I was going up the bank Captain Jim arrived. To say he was greatly astonished would be to state it very mildly. If he had met me there crawling out of the creek with a bag of diamonds in my hand he would have been only agreeably surprised.

But to meet me there with a drowned white woman on my back was "dumbfounding." He could hardly speak at all but followed me up on the high ground where I laid her on the grass. Then like the noble man that he is he drew off his coat and spread it under her and went to the work of resuscitation.

That was a science that I did not well understand; but luckily he did; and he kept up a kind of artificial contraction and expansion of her chest until she began to breathe again. I then spread my coat over her and informed him briefly of the circumstances that had so lately transpired.

"Now," said Captain Jim, "De Lilly, we must take good care of this poor girl." And handing me a small flask of whiskey with quinine in it he continued:

"You stay with her and give her some of this as soon as she can swallow it, while I run over to their camp and get some of their blankets for her, and then we will take her to our own camp."

I cautioned Jim to look out for the two half-breeds because they might be hostile.

His reply was: "Never mind the half-breeds. If they have the blankets I will get them."

Then gun in hand he waded the creek and started to their camp. On the way he met the half-breed woman in search of the white lady; but on seeing him she became alarmed and ran back to her camp. However, he walked up boldly but with his usual honest, firm, pleasant appearance and politely asked for the blankets for the half-drowned lady—and he got them.

He also learned from the woman that a half-breed man down near the bay had a fine looking, young white wife whom he thought a great deal of, but she had run away from him; that he had offered her husband and another half-breed man four ponies to follow her and bring her back; and also, that he had offered her another pony to go with them to see they did not mistreat her.

He also learned from her that none of them had ever seen the white lady before; but from the description the man gave of his wife and the place where they found the white lady they were all fully satisfied she was the half-breed's wife.

Before the Captain returned I had induced the lady to take a little of his whisky. When he returned with the blankets he also brought some small rope and a pole about ten feet long.

We tied the ends of the blankets to the pole, making a kind of swinging hammock for an ambulance, put the lady into it, gave her a little more whisky, and with one end of the pole on his shoulder and the other on mine, we conveyed her to our camp. There we soon had a good fire and made her as comfortable as possible, under the circumstances.

Captain Jim is a pretty good cook and he seldom leaves home to be gone over a day or so without a little coffee and tea with him. On this occasion he had both and prepared both for supper. He said if anything would tempt a feeble lady it was tea. Although she was not disposed to take any supper at all, when he offered her a cup of tea she took it, and afterward, a little bread and broiled duck.

While the lady was taking her tea, although she looked so pale, careworn, and haggard, I thought that I had certainly seen that face before; but when or where I could not remember. Therefore, I felt a strong desire to commence a conversation with her to learn who she was.

When I beckoned the Captain to one side to consult him about it he said:

"Let us give her to understand we are not enemies, but will see her safe at home as soon as possible and leave it with her to commence the conversation. When she feels like talking she will manage in some way to commence it or else she is an exception among the ladies."

Of course I obeyed the Captain. In fact, about all who are with him or around him do that. Although he has but a limited education and is not of extra size, or prepossessing in general appearance, he is one of nature's noblemen—one born to rule.

Being naturally honest, brave, kind, polite, and charitable, with a quick apprehension, and sound, decisive judgment, he is bound to rule; and does with scarcely any effort on his part rule all with and around him. Put him with fifty frontier miners, all strangers to him, and in a month he will know all of them, and perhaps better than they know themselves; and he will be their respected boss, too.

I first formed the acquaintance of Jim's brother Bob, who was about fifteen years the elder, and was then the "Captain," because he was also a kind of ruler among men. But Bob ruled through his ambition, while Jim rules through natural kindness of heart; in fact, because, he can not well avoid it.

Jim has obtained the title "Cap," since we worked together in the gold mines, from having generally been the boss. At his present camp there are four Jims, to wit: Big Jim, Little Jim, Lame, or Limpy Jim, and Cap Jim, the boss; besides, there was a One-Eyed Jim who left there before my arrival.

I suggested to the Captain that we should keep a sharp look-out that night for the two half-breeds and his answer was:

"Of course, we must watch all night. Many of them are treacherous; and those two may come prowling around to see if they can re-capture this unprotected woman."

After supper I finally recognized the lady and came near addressing her as Miss—but fearing I might be mistaken I deferred it till morning. But after making the best preparation we could Captain Jim mustered up all the courage he could command and said to her:

"Here, good lady, here is the best arrangement for you to rest we can make. Don't be at all afraid of us or any one else. We are gentlemen, and we will protect you. We will take the best care of you we can and see you safe at home as soon as possible; but we will probably have to be out on guard all night." Then we left her to herself and went on guard.

We brought our ponies up near the camp and set Gumbo to watching them; and then each took his station so that we might assist each other in case of necessity, but could not well be discovered by an enemy. About midnight when the moon was nearly down I thought I saw something crawling out from the brush near the creek. At first it appeared like a wolf, but seeing it came on slower and more steadily than a wolf I surmised it was something else and shot at it. Then it proved to be one of the half-breed men and, luckily for him, the ball only cut away a part of one of his arm bones and amputated one of his great toes.

He dropped his gun, straightened up and started to run. Then I told Gumbo who had come to me, to go and bring the fellow up just as I was in the habit of telling him to bring up the ponies. Whether the dog thought the fellow was a pony or not he soon got beyond him and drove him back to me all the same.

When I made my shot the other half-breed, who had actually crawled up within fifty feet of Jim, unobserved, jumped up and started to run; but Jim being quick with his gun put a ball through the fleshy part of the fellow's thigh, which stopped him suddenly.

We marched the 'chaps,' as Jim called them, up to our camp and examined their wounds; then said he: "De Lilly, we have taught these chaps a good lesson and we must now dress their wounds." He acted as surgeon and I as assistant. We took off and tore up my prisoner's shirt for bandages and dressed and bandaged their wounds about as well as any practitioner would have done it. Then Jim said to them:

"Boys, you see we are not your enemies. You came to attack us without any just cause or provocation, and the wounds you received were only in our defense.

"We have spared your lives and dressed your wounds as acts of humanity. Now, on your part, you must he truthful and honest with us; and when you have repaired the wrongs you have committed as well as possible you may go on home so far as we are concerned."

After a little hesitation the married man said:

"Yes, you have treated us better than we expected and, I will be honest and tell the whole truth. About ten days ago a strange half-breed hunter came to our camp and inquired for a fine looking young white woman. He said she was his wife and had run off from him. He was lame and offered us four ponies and some money to follow her up and bring her back. He also offered my wife another pony to go with us and take good care of his wife on our return, for he appeared to think a great deal of her. We soon got on her trail and traced it a long way until we traced her to a white man's ranch. But my wife got so tired of riding on her pony that we hired a little wagon and two ponies of an old Indian about sixty miles this side of the white man's rancho, and traveled to the rancho and back to his camp in it.

"When about three miles this side of the white man's rancho and late in the day, we found an Indian boy herding cattle for the white man. He told us there were but two women at the white man's house, i. e., his wife and a very fine young woman that had come there only two days before; and, as the time of arrival, place and description all suited for the one we were after we felt sure she was the one.

"The boy said the woman of the house would be found in the kitchen at the north end of the house and the fine young woman in the other end a little after dark. We gave him ten dollars to start a fire out near the man's corral a little after dark and report it to the men at the house to get them out of our way. We drove up within a quarter of a mile and waited till we saw the boy starting the fire. Then my wife stopped at the wagon while we went after the woman. We found her where the boy said we would. She was writing at a table and we slipped up behind her and threw a wet blanket over her head, stopped her from making any noise, and carried her away easily enough.

"When we got her to the wagon she was so badly smothered I thought she was dead; but my wife brought her to."

Here Jim impatiently said: "Stop, that's enough; for God's sake tell us no more."

But I then put in and said: "Did not the lady tell you she was not the hunter's wife?"

To that he answered promptly: "Of course she did; she claimed to be a lady from some big city away off some where; that she was a sister of the white man's wife, and had come to visit her; but as we had expected her to tell us something about like that we paid no attention to it."

By that time it was full daylight and we were fully satisfied that a great mistake had been made. That is not all; the lady was then sitting up and looked considerably revived; and having a fair view of her face I (rather unthoughtedly) said:

"Miss Rose; I hope you rested well last night."

That so startled her that she rose to her feet and demanded to know who I was.

I told her I had rather unthoughtedly addressed her by that name; but she really reminded me so much of a young lady of that name whose acquaintance I rather accidentally formed on the Mississippi River about two years before, that she should excuse me.

She was then worse confused than ever and said: "Although you much resemble a gentleman who rescued me from where I had fallen off of a boat into the Mississippi River about that time, that gentleman appeared to be considerably older than you look to be."

She also said that her brother-in-law had since written to that gentleman in regard to her brother and received his answer from St. John's Newfoundland. I then informed her that I was the man who rescued her and who had answered the letter from Mr. Van Dyke in relation to her brother, Oscar.

Seeing she was over much excited when I mentioned the names of her brother and brother-in-law I told her that after she had her breakfast and was a little stronger I would tell her much more.


AS Captain Jim was the boss in our cooking, as well as in most other matters, and I was willing that he should do not only the bossing but also the cooking, he was busily engaged in preparing breakfast while I had the more pleasant task of entertaining our rescued guest.

I asked her whether she had heard the confession of her abductors, and she said she thought she had heard most of it and believed it to be substantially true. She said it was true that she arrived at the ranch (and present summer resort of her brother-in-law, Mr. Van Dyke) from the south on the same day another lady (and the one she presumed they were after) arrived there from the North. But the other woman, being in a great hurry to reach the railroad, started on her way to it that same evening.

She also stated that the evening she ran into the creek, was washed over the riffle, sunk into the deep water, and was rescued by Gumbo, was the first chance she had had to escape after being abducted.

After hearing that, the two wounded half-breeds clearly saw their blunder and were quite penitent. They begged the lady's pardon and promised to make all the reparation possible. They agreed to give her their best pony, saddle and blankets to take home with her, and also to send her $1,000 as soon as they could raise the money by sale of property. After that all were to meet as friends. They also thanked us over and over again for not having killed them.

After breakfast Captain Jim went up to their camp and brought the half-breed woman and their ponies down to ours. We then helped the wounded half-breeds on their ponies; and as talking was cheap we gave them a good supply of advice and started them on their way home. Though they were able to ride they must have suffered terribly on their way.

Miss Rose wished to start home that day. She feared her brother-in-law would charge her disappearance to the Indians and cause trouble with them. But Captain Jim, whose judgment is generally good, informed her that she was yet too feeble to travel; but if she was able for the journey we would start with her the next morning.

Then he inquired how she came to be in that wild country; and she informed us that her brother-in-law had been out there the year before and purchased the rancho and stock, that he had brought his family out to see the country and be with him during the summer; that they desired she should spend the summer with them for company and that a few weeks after they came out she came also, reaching their ranch on the same day the other lady did.

Miss Rose then reminded me of my promise to tell her more about her brother. I then informed her I had a letter from him for her; but perhaps she had better wait for it till she was stronger. Then said she: "It must be sad news and the suspense will be as bad as the worst."

I then handed her the letter left in my care for her by her brother at Puck's springs; and as soon as she saw the direction—"In care of my friend, Captain De Lily"— her eyes were filled with tears and she looked at me and said: "Captain De Lilly, please excuse me for not recognizing you sooner."

Though I told her she was surely excusable I did not tell her I was about a quarter of a century younger than when she met me about two years before.

As I preferred to be absent when the young lady was reading her brother's last letter and it was likely we would start to take her home the next morning, I desired to visit the place where my diamonds were lost and ascertain if the water could be drained off so as to find them before I left them the second time. Therefore, I asked Captain Jim to remain at camp until I could visit the ford. Although the young lady by that time mostly occupied my mind, and I would have risked my life to see her safe at home, I had not forgotten that my diamonds, my chief wealth, lay in the hole of water where she once did.

With my gun in hand and Gumbo at my heels I walked up the creek till I was a quarter of a mile beyond the hole where my diamonds lay, before I again thought of them. I had other matters in my mind that crowded the over $300,000 worth of diamonds out for a time. However, when they came into my mind I walked back down to the hole in the creek and found it would take two men a month to drain the water off so as to find them. That discouraged me a little but I determined to do it as soon as possible after seeing the young lady home.

While sitting there on the bank meditating, some ducks lighted over the hole and I shot one. As usual Gumbo swam in and brought it out to me, and I gave him his pay in a small bit of meat, such as I generally carried in my pockets for that purpose.

After a few minutes I conceived the idea of tying up some gravel in my handkerchief and throwing it in to see if he would dive and bring it out. I did so without letting him see me. But he heard the noise and saw the waves, and when I said: "Gumbo, go bring it," he plunged in, made one dive, and came up without it. But when I again said: "Bring it out to me, Gumbo," he tried it again; and that time he found it and brought it to me. That gave me encouragement.

I then gave him his reward; and after letting him rest a few minutes I found a small rock and threw it into the hole, unobserved by him. He heard the noise and saw the waves as before; and when I said: "Gumbo, go bring it to me," he plunged in again and made a longer dive than usual, but came up without anything.

Then, I again said: "Gumbo, bring it out to me," and he immediately made a second dive and was under the water longer than I had ever known him to stay before.

When he came up this time, although he appeared to be about half drowned, he had something in his mouth. It was my lost bag of diamonds!

I was so overjoyed and well pleased with Gumbo that I, for the first time, dared to pat him on his head, and I presume it was the first time it was ever done, too, because he growled, and if we had not been the best of friends I believe he would have bitten me. Yet when I offered him his usual bit of meat he took it and wagged his tail, his usual token of friendship.

When I told Captain Jim what Gumbo had done he said the dog had as much sense as a half-breed, and was worth more than a dozen of them.

Miss Rose's grief at her brother's sad fate was very great. They were the younger children of the family and were much attached to each other. But when we promised to start to her home with her the next morning she felt some relief in that direction.

When I informed her that it was Gumbo who had dived down and brought her out of the deep water she called him up and talked to him so nicely that, savage as he was, he actually licked her hand.

The better Captain Jim became acquainted with Miss Rose, the more he admired her; and when we were saddling up our ponies to take her home he said:

"You know I am not superstitious: but it appears to me as if an angel has fallen into our hands."

Also, when I told him it appeared to me that she was the magnet that drew me away from the North Pole he said:

"Our meeting her here, under such circumstances is strange, very strange, stranger than fiction. Let us hope good may come of it. She is worthy of you and your diamonds. You may safely depend on my assistance, as far as my ability goes. In your absence yesterday I gave her a fine account of you. We will see her with her friends before many days; and, after that, you must not desert her."

We helped Miss Rose on her pony and started back on the same trail the half-breeds brought her out on. Fearing she might not be able to ride the whole distance on horseback we stopped at the old Indian's camp and hired his little wagon and two ponies to take her from there on home.

When within about fifty miles of Mr. Van Dyke's rancho we met him and three other men following the trail in pursuit of the kidnappers.

They had been at first deluded by a false report of the Indian boy and had gone south to the railroad; but on finding they had been purposely misdirected, they had returned and were then on the right trail.

Mr. Van Dyke was greatly surprised and overjoyed to meet Miss Rose there, and also to meet us again; for he had a slight acquaintance with Captain Jim also. We stopped, had a rest and refreshments and over two hours talk. Then we told him he could see Miss Rose home and we could return to our diggings; but he would not consent to that at all. He said he wished us to go on with him and Miss Rose and stop at least a week at his rancho; that it would be a great pleasure to him and his family to have our company. Besides he had some speculations in view where he would need the assistance of two or more good, reliable men; and whether we were in for a speculation or not we should go home with them and visit a few days.

Consequently we went on with them. To tell the truth I really did not desire to turn back but Captain Jim did. He thought it would not look well to be visiting among well dressed people with his miner's garb on.

We found the folks excellent company and had a very pleasant, and as Captain Jim says, "a very profitable visit." The next day after our arrival Mrs. Maggie—, a handsome, intelligent and charming young widow, a sister to Mrs. Van Dike and Miss Rose, and who had been informed of Miss Rose's abduction by telegram, also arrived from St. Paul. She was quite an addition to our circle of friends and made the time pass both swiftly and pleasantly.

I took Miss Rose, and Captain Jim took the widow, out a short distance on a nice little lake to sail and fish, and we had such a nice and pleasant time that we took them again and again. I really believed Captain Jim and the widow's was a case of "love at first sight." They really suited each other so well it was a kind of natural necessity; because each one needed the other to render life more pleasant and profitable, and consequently more happy.

After a pleasant visit of four days Captain Jim thought it best to go on to a trading post on the railroad and lay in a supply of articles necessary at our camp. While there I sent about $50,000 worth of my diamonds to a firm of brokers in New York by express. We also fitted ourselves out in suits of fine and fashionable clothing. So when we came back to Mr. Van Dyke's we really looked more like two modern, city dandies than the two roughly dressed miners who had left there a few days before.

In our new suits we spent four days more with our friends at the rancho, and perhaps about the happiest days of our lives up to that date. In fact, in that time we made arrangements to return again the 10th of August, to, as Captain Jim expressed it, "tie up to our angels."

Mrs. Maggie, who had left her home in a hurry, was to return to it, wind up her affairs there, and be back by that time, when a double wedding was expected at the rancho.

On the eighth day after leaving our esteemed friends at the rancho we arrived at Captain Jim's old camp. The "boys" were highly pleased to see us drive up loaded with so many good things, necessary to their comfort; and after they learned what Gumbo had done he was a great pet among them, and fared as well as any of us.

By the first of August we had prepared quite comfortable quarters for two ladies. Then, after putting a reliable boss, with full instructions, over the men, we left again, to be gone till the first of the next May. We gave ourselves ample time to do some fine wedding touring. We also promised to bring out many good things to our work hands the next spring.

We reached the home of our fair friends on the 8th and on the next day a cousin of theirs, who is a minister, arrived there on a visit; and on the next day after that there was a double wedding. Now, she who was a blooming Rose is the fairest Lilly on the northern plains, and she who was the bereaved widow is now Mrs. Maggie Williams, the wife of one of the best men on the northwest frontier or anywhere else.

In the evening after the wedding, and while all were present, conducting a kind of mixed but pleasant conversation, Mr. Van Dyke remarked that Captain Jim and Maggie had made about the clearest case of 'love at first sight' that he had ever known.

To that all the rest of us seemed willing to yield our consent except Maggie, who had apparently been in a deep study for a few minutes.

She then rose and said: "I am not so sure of that;" and walked across the room to her satchel, opened it, took out a fine breastpin made of a piece of natural gold of diamond shape, handed it to Captain Jim and asked if he remembered having seen it before.

Although I recognized it immediately he was what he sometimes calls, "thunder struck," and at first hesitated, but soon remembering the breastpin, in astonishment exclaimed:

"Heavens and earth! are you the same girls who saved our lives at the sand pit in California about twenty-four years ago?"

Delilah, also remembering that circumstance, went to her valise and took out the golden heart breastpin that I had given her at the sand pit and handed it to me.

Of course we were all greatly, yet agreeably surprised at the very strange course events had taken, and the romantic end they had so happily reached.

Then, for the first time, I realized that Delilah, and the little girl with blue eyes, and dark curling hair, whom I had been so often thinking and dreaming of, for about twenty-four years, as my guardian angel, are the same person.

And then it was agreed by all present that what is to be will be. But, as Maggie had been married before it was decided that what is not intended to be may sometimes happen.

For fear some young persons may think our marriage rather hasty I will say that when bachelors conclude to marry they generally mean business; and they let their choice lady know it. Then if she is willing they marry without much hesitation or circumlocution about it.

Although I was not then an old man, Captain Jim was, and I had been less than two years before, and we were both bachelors—consequently we acted on business principles.

As some of the boys may wish to know what became of Gumbo, I will say he is the great pet of his mistress. He is really one of the family and no money could buy him. But she has at last so tamed him with her kindness that she can handle him the same as other gentle dogs.

As my readers may wish to know whether I expect to return to the North Pole on a visit to the Ke Whonkus people again I will inform them I do; provided there may be a railroad on which I can take my better half to see incomparably the greatest wonders of the world.

Also, as they may desire to know whether I believe the construction of a railway to the open country around the north Pole practicable, I will also say I do. I am fully convinced that it is only a matter of time, labor, brains and money. And as to time and labor there is surely an abundance of both.

I also believe there are parties who have the necessary skill and energy, and who, if furnished the necessary capital, could complete the road from the most convenient point on the Canadian Pacific west of Winnipeg, to the open Polar country in less than ten years.

As this is probably the only practical route for a road to the North Pole country it would have no competition. It would also pass through vast sections rich in the precious metals, and over the greatest coal, gas and oil fields on earth; besides, through the great North ivory belt. Millions of people from the outside world would travel over it to that wonderful country; some for renewal of life, some for pleasure and others for trade; and the Ke Whonkus people would be equally as anxious to visit the outside world.

Hence, it would not only be the grandest achievement of man's skill and energy of modern times, but also a financially profitable scheme for the investment of a vast amount of European and American capital.

Of course this would be an immense undertaking, the details of which I cannot here even suggest. But for other, if not greater reasons than mere railroad profits, it would be overwhelmingly justifiable.

It would lead to the adoption in the outside world, of many laws and customs of the Ke Whonkus, that would be great reforms with us.

It would, no doubt, in time, result in our adopting their most wholesome marriage law, to restrict wrongful marriages, and their many bad results.

It would doubtless, also, lead us to adopt their laws, prohibiting the manufacture of intoxicating drinks and the adulteration of food and medicines; and raise us to a plane of sobriety and health, as well as morals, now unknown in the outside world.

We would, through this railroad, learn from those heathen, of a justice in equal political rights and full religious liberty, to which we are now almost strangers.

Through it the outside world nations would learn of Old, Old Ke Whonkus, how to manage their public finances, public roads, public communication and transportation, to the welfare of the whole people, instead of to the few, to a degree that would now seem utterly utopian.

By this means of communication our part of the world would learn from these old ice bound pagans a humane treatment of criminals and domestic animals, that all the religion founders we have ever had, have failed to teach us.

Our teachers, visiting Ke Whonkus, would learn and come back and teach, the great public and private advantages of compulsory secular education, physical development, and observance of hygiene.

And our physicians, too, thereby would learn much, that would be new and valuable, from Doctor Kokwa-Niker and his co-workers, in advanced physical and metaphysical medication.

I can but regret to reflect, though, that this road would open to the avaricious, outside world, those thousands of unspeakably jewelled human rocks of ages in the catacombs of Ke Kultus. My heart weakens at the thought.

But to offset this, the road would open the way for Christendom to introduce its religion to the utmost corner of the earth, and save the souls of the most moral civilization on the globe—unless per divine aid and guidance, my beloved friend and traveling companion, Herman Skwunk, whom I left there, shall have already done this before the cars reach the Ke Whonkus people.