A Martian Odyssey
by Stanley Grauman Weinbaum
Jarvis stretched himself as
luxuriously as he could in the cramped general quarters of the
"Air you can breathe!" he exulted. "It feels as thick as soup
after the thin stuff out there!" He nodded at the Martian landscape
stretching flat and desolate in the light of the nearer moon,
beyond the glass of the port.
The other three stared at him sympathetically—Putz, the engineer,
Leroy, the biologist, and Harrison, the astronomer and
captain of the expedition. Dick Jarvis was chemist of the famous
crew, the Ares expedition, first human beings to set foot on the
mysterious neighbor of the earth, the planet Mars. This, of
course, was in the old days, less than twenty years after the mad
American Doheny perfected the atomic blast at the cost of his life,
and only a decade after the equally mad Cardoza rode on it to
the moon. They were true pioneers, these four of the Ares. Except
for a half-dozen moon expeditions and the ill-fated de Lancey
flight aimed at the seductive orb of Venus, they were the first men
to feel other gravity than earth's, and certainly the first successful
crew to leave the earth-moon system. And they deserved that
success when one considers the difficulties and discomforts—the
months spent in acclimatization chambers back on earth, learning
to breathe the air as tenuous as that of Mars, the challenging of
the void in the tiny rocket driven by the cranky reaction motors
of the twenty-first century, and mostly the facing of an absolutely
Jarvis stretched and fingered the raw and peeling tip of his
frost-bitten nose. He sighed again contentedly.
"Well," exploded Harrison abruptly, "are we going to hear
what happened? You set out all shipshape in an auxiliary rocket,
we don't get a peep for ten days, and finally Putz here picks you
out of a lunatic ant-heap with a freak ostrich as your pal! Spill it,
"Speel?" queried Leroy perplexedly. "Speel what?"
"He means 'spiel'," explained Putz soberly. "It iss to tell."
Jarvis met Harrison's amused glance without the shadow of a
smile. "That's right, Karl," he said in grave agreement with Putz.
"Ich spiel es!" He grunted comfortably and began.
"According to orders," he said, "I watched Karl here take off
toward the North, and then I got into my flying sweat-box and
headed South. You'll remember, Cap—we had orders not to
land, but just scout about for points of interest. I set the two
cameras clicking and buzzed along, riding pretty high—about
two thousand feet—for a couple of reasons. First, it gave the
cameras a greater field, and second, the under-jets travel so far in
this half-vacuum they call air here that they stir up dust if you
"We know all that from Putz," grunted Harrison. "I wish
you'd saved the films, though. They'd have paid the cost of this
junket; remember how the public mobbed the first moon pictures?"
"The films are safe," retorted Jarvis. "Well," he resumed,
"as I said, I buzzed along at a pretty good clip; just as we figured,
the wings haven't much lift in this air at less than a hundred
miles per hour, and even then I had to use the under-jets.
"So, with the speed and the altitude and the blurring caused
by the under-jets, the seeing wasn't any too good. I could see
enough, though, to distinguish that what I sailed over was just
more of this grey plain that we'd been examining the whole week
since our landing—same blobby growths and the same eternal
carpet of crawling little plant-animals, or biopods, as Leroy calls
them. So I sailed along, calling back my position every hour as
instructed, and not knowing whether you heard me."
"I did!" snapped Harrison.
"A hundred and fifty miles south," continued Jarvis imperturbably,
"the surface changed to a sort of low plateau, nothing
but desert and orange-tinted sand. I figured that we were right
in our guess, then, and this grey plain we dropped on was really
the Mare Cimmerium which would make my orange desert the
region called Xanthus. If I were right, I ought to hit another
grey plain, the Mare Chronium in another couple of hundred
miles, and then another orange desert, Thyle I or II. And so I
"Putz verified our position a week and a half ago!" grumbled
the captain. "Let's get to the point."
"Coming!" remarked Jarvis. "Twenty miles into Thyle—believe
it or not—I crossed a canal!"
"Putz photographed a hundred! Let's hear something new!"
"And did he also see a city?"
"Twenty of 'em, if you call those heaps of mud cities!"
"Well," observed Jarvis, "from here on I'll be telling a few
things Putz didn't see!" He rubbed his tingling nose, and continued.
"I knew that I had sixteen hours of daylight at this season,
so eight hours—eight hundred miles—from here, I decided
to turn back. I was still over Thyle, whether I or II I'm not sure,
not more than twenty-five miles into it. And right there, Putz's
pet motor quit!"
"Quit? How?" Putz was solicitous.
"The atomic blast got weak. I started losing altitude right
away, and suddenly there I was with a thump right in the middle
of Thyle! Smashed my nose on the window, too!" He rubbed
the injured member ruefully.
"Did you maybe try vashing der combustion chamber mit
acid sulphuric?" inquired Putz. "Sometimes der lead giffs a secondary
"Naw!" said Jarvis disgustedly. "I wouldn't try that, of course—not
more than ten times! Besides, the bump flattened the landing
gear and busted off the under-jets. Suppose I got the thing working—what
then? Ten miles with the blast coming right out of
the bottom and I'd have melted the floor from under me!" He
rubbed his nose again. "Lucky for me a pound only weighs seven
ounces here, or I'd have been mashed flat!"
"I could have fixed!" ejaculated the engineer. "I bet it vas
"Probably not," agreed Jarvis sarcastically. "Only it wouldn't
fly. Nothing serious, but I had my choice of waiting to be picked
up or trying to walk back—eight hundred miles, and perhaps twenty
days before we had to leave! Forty miles a day! Well," he concluded,
"I chose to walk. Just as much chance of being picked
up, and it kept me busy."
"We'd have found you," said Harrison.
"No doubt. Anyway, I rigged up a harness from some seat
straps, and put the water tank on my back, took a cartridge belt
and revolver, and some iron rations, and started out."
"Water tank!" exclaimed the little biologist, Leroy. "She
weigh one-quarter ton!"
"Wasn't full. Weighed about two hundred and fifty pounds
earth-weight, which is eighty-five here. Then, besides, my own
personal two hundred and ten pounds is only seventy on Mars,
so, tank and all, I grossed a hundred and fifty-five, or fifty-five
pounds less than my everyday earth-weight. I figured on that
when I undertook the forty-mile daily stroll. Oh—of course I
took a thermo-skin sleeping bag for these wintry Martian nights.
"Off I went, bouncing along pretty quickly. Eight hours of
daylight meant twenty miles or more. It got tiresome, of course—plugging
along over a soft sand desert with nothing to see, not
even Leroy's crawling biopods. But an hour or so brought me to
the canal—just a dry ditch about four hundred feet wide, and
straight as a railroad on its own company map.
"There'd been water in it sometime, though. The ditch
was covered with what looked like a nice green lawn. Only, as I
approached, the lawn moved out of my way!"
"Eh?" said Leroy.
"Yeah, it was a relative of your biopods. I caught one—a
little grass-like blade about as long as my finger, with two thin,
"He is where?" Leroy was eager.
"He is let go! I had to move, so I plowed along with the walking
grass opening in front and closing behind. And then I was
out on the orange desert of Thyle again.
"I plugged steadily along, cussing the sand that made going
so tiresome, and, incidentally, cussing that cranky motor of yours,
Karl. It was just before twilight that I reached the edge of Thyle,
and looked down over the gray Mare Chronium. And I knew
there was seventy-five miles of that to be walked over, and then a
couple of hundred miles of that Xanthus desert, and about as
much more Mare Cimmerium. Was I pleased? I started cussing
you fellows for not picking me up!"
"We were trying, you sap!" said Harrison.
"That didn't help. Well, I figured I might as well use what
was left of daylight in getting down the cliff that bounded Thyle.
I found an easy place, and down I went. Mare Chronium was
just the same sort of place as this—crazy leafless plants and a
bunch of crawlers; I gave it a glance and hauled out my sleeping
bag. Up to that time, you know, I hadn't seen anything worth
worrying about on this half-dead world—nothing dangerous, that
"Did you?" queried Harrison.
"Did I! You'll hear about it when I come to it. Well, I was
just about to turn in when suddenly I heard the wildest sort of
"Vot iss shenanigans?" inquired Putz.
"He says, 'Je ne sais quoi,'" explained Leroy. "It is to say, 'I
don't know what.'"
"That's right," agreed Jarvis. "I didn't know what, so I sneaked
over to find out. There was a racket like a flock of crows eating
a bunch of canaries—whistles, cackles, caws, trills, and what have
you. I rounded a clump of stumps, and there was Tweel!"
"Tweel?" said Harrison, and "Tveel?" said Leroy and Putz.
"That freak ostrich," explained the narrator. "At least, Tweel
is as near as I can pronounce it without sputtering. He called it
something like 'Trrrweerrlll.'"
"What was he doing?" asked the Captain.
"He was being eaten! And squealing, of course, as any one
"Eaten! By what?"
"I found out later. All I could see then was a bunch of black
ropy arms tangled around what looked like, as Putz described it
to you, an ostrich. I wasn't going to interfere, naturally; if both
creatures were dangerous, I'd have one less to worry about.
"But the bird-like thing was putting up a good battle, dealing
vicious blows with an eighteen-inch beak, between screeches. And
besides, I caught a glimpse or two of what was on the end of
those arms!" Jarvis shuddered. "But the clincher was when I
noticed a little black bag or case hung about the neck of the bird-thing!
It was intelligent! That or tame, I assumed. Anyway, it
clinched my decision. I pulled out my automatic and fired into
what I could see of its antagonist.
"There was a flurry of tentacles and a spurt of black corruption,
and then the thing, with a disgusting sucking noise, pulled
itself and its arms into a hole in the ground. The other let out
a series of clacks, staggered around on legs about as thick as golf
sticks, and turned suddenly to face me. I held my weapon ready,
and the two of us stared at each other.
"The Martian wasn't a bird, really. It wasn't even bird-like,
except just at first glance. It had a beak all right, and a few
feathery appendages, but the beak wasn't really a beak. It was
somewhat flexible; I could see the tip bend slowly from side to
side; it was almost like a cross between a beak and a trunk. It had
four-toed feet, and four fingered things—hands, you'd have to call
them, and a little roundish body, and a long neck ending in a tiny
head—and that beak. It stood an inch or so taller than I, and—well,
Putz saw it!"
The engineer nodded. "Ja! I saw!"
Jarvis continued. "So—we stared at each other. Finally the
creature went into a series of clackings and twitterings and held
out its hands toward me, empty. I took that as a gesture of
"Perhaps," suggested Harrison, "it looked at that nose of
yours and thought you were its brother!"
"Huh! You can be funny without talking! Anyway, I put
up my gun and said 'Aw, don't mention it,' or something of the
sort, and the thing came over and we were pals.
"By that time, the sun was pretty low and I knew that I'd
better build a fire or get into my thermo-skin. I decided on the
fire. I picked a spot at the base of the Thyle cliff, where the rock
could reflect a little heat on my back. I started breaking off
chunks of this desiccated Martian vegetation, and my companion
caught the idea and brought in an armful. I reached for a match,
but the Martian fished into his pouch and brought out something
that looked like a glowing coal; one touch of it, and the fire was
blazing—and you all know what a job we have starting a fire in
"And that bag of his!" continued the narrator. "That was a
manufactured article, my friends; press an end and she popped
open—press the middle and she sealed so perfectly you couldn't
see the line. Better than zippers.
"Well, we stared at the fire a while and I decided to attempt
some sort of communication with the Martian. I pointed at myself
and said 'Dick'; he caught the drift immediately, stretched
a bony claw at me and repeated 'Tick.' Then I pointed at him,
and he gave that whistle I called Tweel; I can't imitate his accent.
Things were going smoothly; to emphasize the names, I repeated
'Dick,' and then, pointing at him, 'Tweel.'
"There we stuck! He gave some clacks that sounded negative,
and said something like 'P-p-p-proot.' And that was just the beginning;
I was always 'Tick,' but as for him—part of the time he
was 'Tweel,' and part of the time he was 'P-p-p-proot,' and part
of the time he was sixteen other noises!
"We just couldn't connect. I tried 'rock,' and I tried 'star,'
and 'tree,' and 'fire,' and Lord knows what else, and try as I
would, I couldn't get a single word! Nothing was the same for
two successive minutes, and if that's a language, I'm an alchemist!
Finally I gave it up and called him Tweel, and that seemed to do.
"But Tweel hung on to some of my words. He remembered
a couple of them, which I suppose is a great achievement if you're
used to a language you have to make up as you go along. But I
couldn't get the hang of his talk; either I missed some subtle point
or we just didn't think alike—and I rather believe the latter view.
"I've other reasons for believing that. After a while I gave
up the language business, and tried mathematics. I scratched
two plus two equals four on the ground, and demonstrated it with
pebbles. Again Tweel caught the idea, and informed me that
three plus three equals six. Once more we seemed to be getting
"So, knowing that Tweel had at least a grammar school education,
I drew a circle for the sun, pointing first at it, and then
at the last glow of the sun. Then I sketched in Mercury, and
Venus, and Mother Earth, and Mars, and finally, pointing to
Mars, I swept my hand around in a sort of inclusive gesture to indicate
that Mars was our current environment. I was working
up to putting over the idea that my home was on the earth.
"Tweel understood my diagram all right. He poked his beak
at it, and with a great deal of trilling and clucking, he added
Deimos and Phobos to Mars, and then sketched in the earth's
"Do you see what that proves? It proves that Tweel's race
uses telescopes—that they're civilized!"
"Does not!" snapped Harrison. "The moon is visible from
here as a fifth magnitude star. They could see its revolution with
the naked eye."
"The moon, yes!" said Jarvis. "You've missed my point.
Mercury isn't visible! And Tweel knew of Mercury because he
placed the Moon at the third planet, not the second. If he didn't
know Mercury, he'd put the earth second, and Mars third, instead
of fourth! See?"
"Humph!" said Harrison.
"Anyway," proceeded Jarvis, "I went on with my lesson.
Things were going smoothly, and it looked as if I could put the
idea over. I pointed at the earth on my diagram, and then at
myself, and then, to clinch it, I pointed to myself and then to the
earth itself shining bright green almost at the zenith.
"Tweel set up such an excited clacking that I was certain
he understood. He jumped up and down, and suddenly he
pointed at himself and then at the sky, and then at himself and
at the sky again. He pointed at his middle and then at Arcturus,
at his head and then at Spica, at his feet and then at half a dozen
stars, while I just gaped at him. Then, all of a sudden, he gave
a tremendous leap. Man, what a hop! He shot straight up into
the starlight, seventy-five feet if an inch! I saw him silhouetted
against the sky, saw him turn and come down at me head first,
and land smack on his beak like a javelin! There he stuck square
in the center of my sun-circle in the sand—a bull's eye!"
"Nuts!" observed the captain. "Plain nuts!"
"That's what I thought, too! I just stared at him open-mouthed
while he pulled his head out of the sand and stood up.
Then I figured he'd missed my point, and I went through the
whole blamed rigamarole again, and it ended the same way, with
Tweel on his nose in the middle of my picture!"
"Maybe it's a religious rite," suggested Harrison.
"Maybe," said Jarvis dubiously. "Well, there we were. We
could exchange ideas up to a certain point, and then—blooey!
Something in us was different, unrelated; I don't doubt that
Tweel thought me just as screwy as I thought him. Our minds
simply looked at the world from different viewpoints, and perhaps
his viewpoint is as true as ours. But—we couldn't get together,
that's all. Yet, in spite of all difficulties, I liked Tweel, and I have
a queer certainty that he liked me."
"Nuts!" repeated the captain. "Just daffy!"
"Yeah? Wait and see. A couple of times I've thought that
perhaps we—" He paused, and then resumed his narrative. "Anyway,
I finally gave it up, and got into my thermo-skin to sleep.
The fire hadn't kept me any too warm, but that damned sleeping
bag did. Got stuffy five minutes after I closed myself in. I opened
it a little and bingo! Some eighty-below-zero air hit my nose, and
that's when I got this pleasant little frostbite to add to the bump
I acquired during the crash of my rocket.
"I don't know what Tweel made of my sleeping. He sat
around, but when I woke up, he was gone. I'd just crawled out
of my bag, though, when I heard some twittering, and there he
came, sailing down from that three-story Thyle cliff to alight on
his beak beside me. I pointed to myself and toward the north,
and he pointed at himself and toward the south, but when I loaded
up and started away, he came along.
"Man, how he traveled! A hundred and fifty feet at a jump,
sailing through the air stretched out like a spear, and landing on
his beak. He seemed surprised at my plodding, but after a few
moments he fell in beside me, only every few minutes he'd go
into one of his leaps, and stick his nose into the sand a block
ahead of me. Then he'd come shooting back at me; it made me
nervous at first to see that beak of his coming at me like a spear,
but he always ended in the sand at my side.
"So the two of us plugged along across the Mare Chronium.
Same sort of place as this—same crazy plants and same little green
biopods growing in the sand, or crawling out of your way. We
talked—not that we understood each other, you know, but just
for company. I sang songs, and I suspect Tweel did too; at least,
some of his trillings and twitterings had a subtle sort of rhythm.
"Then, for variety, Tweel would display his smattering of
English words. He'd point to an outcropping and say 'rock,' and
point to a pebble and say it again; or he'd touch my arm and say
'Tick,' and then repeat it. He seemed terrifically amused that the
same word meant the same thing twice in succession, or that the
same word could apply to two different objects. It set me wondering
if perhaps his language wasn't like the primitive speech of
some earth people—you know, Captain, like the Negritoes, for
instance, who haven't any generic words. No word for food or water
or man—words for good food and bad food, or rain water and
sea water, or strong man and weak man—but no names for general
classes. They're too primitive to understand that rain water and
sea water are just different aspects of the same thing. But that
wasn't the case with Tweel; it was just that we were somehow
mysteriously different—our minds were alien to each other. And
yet—we liked each other!"
"Looney, that's all," remarked Harrison. "That's why you
two were so fond of each other."
"Well, I like you!" countered Jarvis wickedly. "Anyway," he
resumed, "don't get the idea that there was anything screwy about
Tweel. In fact, I'm not so sure but that he couldn't teach our
highly praised human intelligence a trick or two. Oh, he wasn't
an intellectual superman, I guess; but don't overlook the point
that he managed to understand a little of my mental workings,
and I never even got a glimmering of his."
"Because he didn't have any!" suggested the captain, while
Putz and Leroy blinked attentively.
"You can judge of that when I'm through," said Jarvis.
"Well, we plugged along across the Mare Chronium all that day,
and all the next. Mare Chronium—Sea of Time! Say, I was willing
to agree with Schiaparelli's name by the end of that march!
Just that grey, endless plain of weird plants, and never a sign of
any other life. It was so monotonous that I was even glad to see
the desert of Xanthus toward the evening of the second day.
"I was fair worn out, but Tweel seemed as fresh as ever, for
all I never saw him drink or eat. I think he could have crossed
the Mare Chronium in a couple of hours with those block-long
nose dives of his, but he stuck along with me. I offered him some
water once or twice; he took the cup from me and sucked the
liquid into his beak, and then carefully squirted it all back into
the cup and gravely returned it.
"Just as we sighted Xanthus, or the cliffs that bounded it,
one of those nasty sand clouds blew along, not as bad as the one
we had here, but mean to travel against. I pulled the transparent
flap of my thermo-skin bag across my face and managed pretty
well, and I noticed that Tweel used some feathery appendages
growing like a mustache at the base of his beak to cover his nostrils,
and some similar fuzz to shield his eyes."
"He is a desert creature!" ejaculated the little biologist, Leroy.
"He drink no water—he is adapt' for sand storm—"
"Proves nothing! There's not enough water to waste any
where on this desiccated pill called Mars. We'd call all of it desert
on earth, you know." He paused. "Anyway, after the sand
storm blew over, a little wind kept blowing in our faces, not
strong enough to stir the sand. But suddenly things came drifting
along from the Xanthus cliffs—small, transparent spheres, for
all the world like glass tennis balls! But light—they were almost
light enough to float even in this thin air—empty, too; at least, I
cracked open a couple and nothing came out but a bad smell. I
asked Tweel about them, but all he said was 'No, no, no,' which
I took to mean that he knew nothing about them. So they went
bouncing by like tumbleweeds, or like soap bubbles, and we plugged
on toward Xanthus. Tweel pointed at one of the crystal balls
once and said 'rock,' but I was too tired to argue with him. Later
I discovered what he meant.
"We came to the bottom of the Xanthus cliffs finally, when
there wasn't much daylight left. I decided to sleep on the plateau
if possible; anything dangerous, I reasoned, would be more
likely to prowl through the vegetation of the Mare Chronium
than the sand of Xanthus. Not that I'd seen a single sign of
menace, except the rope-armed black thing that had trapped
Tweel, and apparently that didn't prowl at all, but lured its victims
within reach. It couldn't lure me while I slept, especially as
Tweel didn't seem to sleep at all, but simply sat patiently around
all night. I wondered how the creature had managed to trap
Tweel, but there wasn't any way of asking him. I found that out
too, later; it's devilish!
"However, we were ambling around the base of the Xanthus
barrier looking for an easy spot to climb. At least, I was. Tweel
could have leaped it easily, for the cliffs were lower than Thyle—perhaps
sixty feet. I found a place and started up, swearing at
the water tank strapped to my back—it didn't bother me except
when climbing—and suddenly I heard a sound that I thought I
"You know how deceptive sounds are in this thin air. A shot
sounds like the pop of a cork. But this sound was the drone of
a rocket, and sure enough, there went our second auxiliary about
ten miles to westward, between me and the sunset!"
"Vas me!" said Putz. "I hunt for you."
"Yeah; I knew that, but what good did it do me? I hung
on to the cliff and yelled and waved with one hand. Tweel saw
it too, and set up a trilling and twittering, leaping to the top of
the barrier and then high into the air. And while I watched, the
machine droned on into the shadows to the south.
"I scrambled to the top of the cliff. Tweel was still pointing
and trilling excitedly, shooting up toward the sky and coming
down head-on to stick upside down on his beak in the sand. I
pointed toward the south and at myself, and he said, 'Yes—Yes—Yes';
but somehow I gathered that he thought the flying thing
was a relative of mine, probably a parent. Perhaps I did his intellect
an injustice; I think now that I did.
"I was bitterly disappointed by the failure to attract attention.
I pulled out my thermo-skin bag and crawled into it, as the night
chill was already apparent. Tweel stuck his beak into the sand
and drew up his legs and arms and looked for all the world like
one of those leafless shrubs out there. I think he stayed that way
"Protective mimicry!" ejaculated Leroy. "See? He is desert
"In the morning," resumed Jarvis, "we started off again. We
hadn't gone a hundred yards into Xanthus when I saw something
queer! This is one thing Putz didn't photograph, I'll wager!
"There was a line of little pyramids—tiny ones, not more
than six inches high, stretching across Xanthus as far as I could
see! Little buildings made of pygmy bricks, they were, hollow
inside and truncated, or at least broken at the top and empty. I
pointed at them and said 'What?' to Tweel, but he gave some
negative twitters to indicate, I suppose, that he didn't know. So
off we went, following the row of pyramids because they ran
north, and I was going north.
"Man, we trailed that line for hours! After a while, I noticed
another queer thing: they were getting larger. Same number of
bricks in each one, but the bricks were larger.
"By noon they were shoulder high. I looked into a couple—all
just the same, broken at the top and empty. I examined a
brick or two as well; they were silica, and old as creation itself!"
"How you know?" asked Leroy.
"They were weathered—edges rounded. Silica doesn't weather
easily even on earth, and in this climate—!"
"How old you think?"
"Fifty thousand—a hundred thousand years. How can I tell?
The little ones we saw in the morning were older—perhaps ten
times as old. Crumbling. How old would that make them? Half
a million years? Who knows?" Jarvis paused a moment. "Well,"
he resumed, "we followed the line. Tweel pointed at them and
said 'rock' once or twice, but he'd done that many times before.
Besides, he was more or less right about these.
"I tried questioning him. I pointed at a pyramid and asked
'People?' and indicated the two of us. He set up a negative sort
of clucking and said, 'No, no, no. No one-one-two. No two-two-four,'
meanwhile rubbing his stomach. I just stared at him and
he went through the business again. 'No one-one-two. No two-two-four.'
I just gaped at him."
"That proves it!" exclaimed Harrison. "Nuts!"
"You think so?" queried Jarvis sardonically. "Well, I figured it
out different! 'No one-one-two!' You don't get it, of course, do
"Nope—nor do you!"
"I think I do! Tweel was using the few English words he
knew to put over a very complex idea. What, let me ask, does
mathematics make you think of?"
"Why—of astronomy. Or—or logic!"
"That's it! 'No one-one-two!' Tweel was telling me that the
builders of the pyramids weren't people—or that they weren't intelligent,
that they weren't reasoning creatures! Get it?"
"Huh! I'll be damned!"
"You probably will."
"Why," put in Leroy, "he rub his belly?"
"Why? Because, my dear biologist, that's where his brains
are! Not in his tiny head—in his middle!"
"Not on Mars, it isn't! This flora and fauna aren't earthly;
your biopods prove that!" Jarvis grinned and took up his narrative.
"Anyway, we plugged along across Xanthus and in about
the middle of the afternoon, something else queer happened. The
"Yeah; the queer part was that the last one—and now they
were ten-footers—was capped! See? Whatever built it was still inside;
we'd trailed 'em from their half-million-year-old origin to the
"Tweel and I noticed it about the same time. I yanked out
my automatic (I had a clip of Boland explosive bullets in it) and
Tweel, quick as a sleight-of-hand trick, snapped a queer little glass
revolver out of his bag. It was much like our weapons, except
that the grip was larger to accommodate his four-taloned hand.
And we held our weapons ready while we sneaked up along the
lines of empty pyramids.
"Tweel saw the movement first. The top tiers of bricks were
heaving, shaking, and suddenly slid down the sides with a thin
crash. And then—something—something was coming out!
"A long, silvery-grey arm appeared, dragging after it an armored
body. Armored, I mean, with scales, silver-grey and dull-shining.
The arm heaved the body out of the hole; the beast
crashed to the sand.
"It was a nondescript creature—body like a big grey cask,
arm and a sort of mouth-hole at one end; stiff, pointed tail at the
other—and that's all. No other limbs, no eyes, ears, nose—nothing!
The thing dragged itself a few yards, inserted its pointed
tail in the sand, pushed itself upright, and just sat.
"Tweel and I watched it for ten minutes before it moved.
Then, with a creaking and rustling like—oh, like crumpling stiff
paper—its arm moved to the mouth-hole and out came a brick!
The arm placed the brick carefully on the ground, and the thing
was still again.
"Another ten minutes—another brick. Just one of Nature's
bricklayers. I was about to slip away and move on when Tweel
pointed at the thing and said 'rock'! I went 'huh?' and he said
it again. Then, to the accompaniment of some of his trilling, he
said, 'No—no—,' and gave two or three whistling breaths.
"Well, I got his meaning, for a wonder! I said, 'No breath?'
and demonstrated the word. Tweel was ecstatic; he said, 'Yes, yes,
yes! No, no, no breet!' Then he gave a leap and sailed out to land
on his nose about one pace from the monster!
"I was startled, you can imagine! The arm was going up for a
brick, and I expected to see Tweel caught and mangled, but—nothing
happened! Tweel pounded on the creature, and the arm
took the brick and placed it neatly beside the first. Tweel rapped
on its body again, and said 'rock,' and I got up nerve enough
to take a look myself.
"Tweel was right again. The creature was rock, and it didn't
"How you know?" snapped Leroy, his black eyes blazing
"Because I'm a chemist. The beast was made of silica! There
must have been pure silicon in the sand, and it lived on that. Get
it? We, and Tweel, and those plants out there, and even the
biopods are carbon life; this thing lived by a different set of
chemical reactions. It was silicon life!"
"La vie silicieuse!" shouted Leroy. "I have suspect, and now
it is proof! I must go see! Il faut que je—"
"All right! All right!" said Jarvis. "You can go see. Anyhow,
there the thing was, alive and yet not alive, moving every ten
minutes, and then only to remove a brick. Those bricks were its
waste matter. See, Frenchy? We're carbon, and our waste is carbon
dioxide, and this thing is silicon, and its waste is silicon dioxide—silica.
But silica is a solid, hence the bricks. And it builds
itself in, and when it is covered, it moves over to a fresh place
to start over. No wonder it creaked! A living creature half a
million years old!"
"How you know how old?" Leroy was frantic.
"We trailed its pyramids from the beginning, didn't we? If
this weren't the original pyramid builder, the series would have
ended somewhere before we found him, wouldn't it?—ended and
started over with the small ones. That's simple enough, isn't it?
"But he reproduces, or tries to. Before the third brick came
out, there was a little rustle and out popped a whole stream of
those little crystal balls. They're his spores, or eggs, or seeds—call
'em what you want. They went bouncing by across Xanthus just
as they'd bounced by us back in the Mare Chronium. I've a
hunch how they work, too—this is for your information, Leroy.
I think the crystal shell of silica is no more than a protective covering,
like an eggshell, and that the active principle is the smell
inside. It's some sort of gas that attacks silicon, and if the shell
is broken near a supply of that element, some reaction starts that
ultimately develops into a beast like that one."
"You should try!" exclaimed the little Frenchman. "We must
break one to see!"
"Yeah? Well, I did. I smashed a couple against the sand.
Would you like to come back in about ten thousand years to see
if I planted some pyramid monsters? You'd most likely be able
to tell by that time!" Jarvis paused and drew a deep breath. "Lord!
That queer creature! Do you picture it? Blind, deaf, nerveless,
brainless—just a mechanism, and yet—immortal! Bound to go on
making bricks, building pyramids, as long as silicon and oxygen
exist, and even afterwards it'll just stop. It won't be dead. If the
accidents of a million years bring it its food again, there it'll be,
ready to run again, while brains and civilizations are part of the
past. A queer beast—yet I met a stranger one!"
"If you did, it must have been in your dreams!" growled
"You're right!" said Jarvis soberly. "In a way, you're right.
The dream-beast! That's the best name for it—and it's the most
fiendish, terrifying creation one could imagine! More dangerous
than a lion, more insidious than a snake!"
"Tell me!" begged Leroy. "I must go see!"
"Not this devil!" He paused again. "Well," he resumed,
"Tweel and I left the pyramid creature and plowed along through
Xanthus. I was tired and a little disheartened by Putz's failure
to pick me up, and Tweel's trilling got on my nerves, as did his
flying nosedives. So I just strode along without a word, hour after
hour across that monotonous desert.
"Toward mid-afternoon we came in sight of a low dark line
on the horizon. I knew what it was. It was a canal; I'd crossed
it in the rocket and it meant that we were just one-third of the
way across Xanthus. Pleasant thought, wasn't it? And still, I was
keeping up to schedule.
"We approached the canal slowly; I remembered that this
one was bordered by a wide fringe of vegetation and that Mud-heap
City was on it.
"I was tired, as I said. I kept thinking of a good hot meal,
and then from that I jumped to reflections of how nice and
home-like even Borneo would seem after this crazy planet, and
from that, to thoughts of little old New York, and then to thinking
about a girl I know there—Fancy Long. Know her?"
"Vision entertainer," said Harrison. "I've tuned her in. Nice
blonde—dances and sings on the Yerba Mate hour."
"That's her," said Jarvis ungrammatically. "I know her pretty
well—just friends, get me?—though she came down to see us off
in the Ares. Well, I was thinking about her, feeling pretty lonesome,
and all the time we were approaching that line of rubbery
"And then—I said, 'What 'n Hell!' and stared. And there
she was—Fancy Long, standing plain as day under one of those
crack-brained trees, and smiling and waving just the way I remembered
her when we left!"
"Now you're nuts, too!" observed the captain.
"Boy, I almost agreed with you! I stared and pinched myself
and closed my eyes and then stared again—and every time, there
was Fancy Long smiling and waving! Tweel saw something, too;
he was trilling and clucking away, but I scarcely heard him. I
was bounding toward her over the sand, too amazed even to ask
"I wasn't twenty feet from her when Tweel caught me with
one of his flying leaps. He grabbed my arm, yelling, 'No—no—no!'
in his squeaky voice. I tried to shake him off—he was as
light as if he were built of bamboo—but he dug his claws in and
yelled. And finally some sort of sanity returned to me and I
stopped less than ten feet from her. There she stood, looking as
solid as Putz's head!"
"Vot?" said the engineer.
"She smiled and waved, and waved and smiled, and I stood
there dumb as Leroy, while Tweel squeaked and chattered. I
knew it couldn't be real, yet—there she was!
"Finally I said, 'Fancy! Fancy Long!' She just kept on smiling
and waving, but looking as real as if I hadn't left her thirty-seven
million miles away.
"Tweel had his glass pistol out, pointing it at her. I grabbed
his arm, but he tried to push me away. He pointed at her and
said, 'No breet! No breet!' and I understood that he meant that
the Fancy Long thing wasn't alive. Man, my head was whirling!
"Still, it gave me the jitters to see him pointing his weapon
at her. I don't know why I stood there watching him take careful
aim, but I did. Then he squeezed the handle of his weapon;
there was a little puff of steam, and Fancy Long was gone! And
in her place was one of those writhing, black, rope-armed horrors
like the one I'd saved Tweel from!
"The dream-beast! I stood there dizzy, watching it die while
Tweel trilled and whistled. Finally he touched my arm, pointed
at the twisting thing, and said, 'You one-one-two, he one-one-two.'
After he'd repeated it eight or ten times, I got it. Do any of you?"
"Oui!" shrilled Leroy. "Moi—je le comprends! He mean
you think of something, the beast he know, and you see it! Un
chien—a hungry dog, he would see the big bone with meat! Or
"Right!" said Jarvis. "The dream-beast uses its victim's longings
and desires to trap its prey. The bird at nesting season
would see its mate, the fox, prowling for its own prey, would see
a helpless rabbit!"
"How he do?" queried Leroy.
"How do I know? How does a snake back on earth charm a
bird into its very jaws? And aren't there deep-sea fish that lure
their victims into their mouths? Lord!" Jarvis shuddered. "Do
you see how insidious the monster is? We're warned now—but
henceforth we can't trust even our eyes. You might see me—I
might see one of you—and back of it may be nothing but another
of those black horrors!"
"How'd your friend know?" asked the captain abruptly.
"Tweel? I wonder! Perhaps he was thinking of something
that couldn't possibly have interested me, and when I started to
run, he realized that I saw something different and was warned.
Or perhaps the dream-beast can only project a single vision, and
Tweel saw what I saw—or nothing. I couldn't ask him. But
it's just another proof that his intelligence is equal to ours or
"He's daffy, I tell you!" said Harrison. "What makes you
think his intellect ranks with the human?"
"Plenty of things! First, the pyramid-beast. He hadn't seen
one before; he said as much. Yet he recognized it as a dead-alive
automaton of silicon."
"He could have heard of it," objected Harrison. "He lives
around here, you know."
"Well how about the language? I couldn't pick up a single
idea of his and he learned six or seven words of mine. And do
you realize what complex ideas he put over with no more than
those six or seven words? The pyramid-monster—the dream-beast!
In a single phrase he told me that one was a harmless automaton
and the other a deadly hypnotist. What about that?"
"Huh!" said the captain.
"Huh if you wish! Could you have done it knowing only six
words of English? Could you go even further, as Tweel did, and
tell me that another creature was of a sort of intelligence so different
from ours that understanding was impossible—even more
impossible than that between Tweel and me?"
"Eh? What was that?"
"Later. The point I'm making is that Tweel and his race
are worthy of our friendship. Somewhere on Mars—and you'll
find I'm right—is a civilization and culture equal to ours, and
maybe more than equal. And communication is possible between
them and us; Tweel proves that. It may take years of patient
trial, for their minds are alien, but less alien than the next minds
we encountered—if they are minds."
"The next ones? What next ones?"
"The people of the mud cities along the canals." Jarvis
frowned, then resumed his narrative. "I thought the dream-beast
and the silicon-monster were the strangest beings conceivable, but
I was wrong. These creatures are still more alien, less understandable
than either and far less comprehensible than Tweel, with
whom friendship is possible, and even, by patience and concentration,
the exchange of ideas.
"Well," he continued, "we left the dream-beast dying, dragging
itself back into its hole, and we moved toward the canal.
There was a carpet of that queer walking-grass scampering out of
our way, and when we reached the bank, there was a yellow
trickle of water flowing. The mound city I'd noticed from the
rocket was a mile or so to the right and I was curious enough to
want to take a look at it.
"It had seemed deserted from my previous glimpse of it, and
if any creatures were lurking in it—well, Tweel and I were both
armed. And by the way, that crystal weapon of Tweel's was an
interesting device; I took a look at it after the dream-beast episode.
It fired a little glass splinter, poisoned, I suppose, and I
guess it held at least a hundred of 'em to a load. The propellent
was steam—just plain steam!"
"Shteam!" echoed Putz. "From vot come, shteam?"
"From water, of course! You could see the water through
the transparent handle and about a gill of another liquid, thick
and yellowish. When Tweel squeezed the handle—there was no
trigger—a drop of water and a drop of the yellow stuff squirted
into the firing chamber, and the water vaporized—pop!—like
that. It's not so difficult; I think we could develop the same
principle. Concentrated sulphuric acid will heat water almost
to boiling, and so will quicklime, and there's potassium and sodium—
"Of course, his weapon hadn't the range of mine, but it wasn't
so bad in this thin air, and it did hold as many shots as a cowboy's
gun in a Western movie. It was effective, too, at least
against Martian life; I tried it out, aiming at one of the crazy
plants, and darned if the plant didn't wither up and fall apart!
That's why I think the glass splinters were poisoned.
"Anyway, we trudged along toward the mud-heap city and
I began to wonder whether the city builders dug the canals. I
pointed to the city and then at the canal, and Tweel said 'No—no—no!'
and gestured toward the south. I took it to mean that
some other race had created the canal system, perhaps Tweel's
people. I don't know; maybe there's still another intelligent race
on the planet, or a dozen others. Mars is a queer little world.
"A hundred yards from the city we crossed a sort of road—just
a hard-packed mud trail, and then, all of a sudden, along
came one of the mound builders!
"Man, talk about fantastic beings! It looked rather like a barrel
trotting along on four legs with four other arms or tentacles.
It had no head, just body and members and a row of eyes completely
around it. The top end of the barrel-body was a diaphragm
stretched as tight as a drum head, and that was all. It
was pushing a little coppery cart and tore right past us like the
proverbial bat out of Hell. It didn't even notice us, although I
thought the eyes on my side shifted a little as it passed.
"A moment later another came along, pushing another empty
cart. Same thing—it just scooted past us. Well, I wasn't going
to be ignored by a bunch of barrels playing train, so when the
third one approached, I planted myself in the way—ready to jump,
of course, if the thing didn't stop.
"But it did. It stopped and set up a sort of drumming from
the diaphragm on top. And I held out both hands and said,
'We are friends!' And what do you suppose the thing did?"
"Said, 'Pleased to meet you,' I'll bet!" suggested Harrison.
"I couldn't have been more surprised if it had! It drummed
on its diaphragm, and then suddenly boomed out, 'We are
v-r-r-riends!' and gave its pushcart a vicious poke at me! I jumped
aside, and away it went while I stared dumbly after it.
"A minute later another one came hurrying along. This one
didn't pause, but simply drummed out, 'We are v-r-r-riends!' and
scurried by. How did it learn the phrase? Were all of the creatures
in some sort of communication with each other? Were they
all parts of some central organism? I don't know, though I think
"Anyway, the creatures went sailing past us, every one greeting
us with the same statement. It got to be funny; I never
thought to find so many friends on this God-forsaken ball!
Finally I made a puzzled gesture to Tweel; I guess he understood,
for he said, 'One-one-two—yes!—two-two-four—no!' Get it?"
"Sure," said Harrison, "It's a Martian nursery rhyme."
"Yeah! Well, I was getting used to Tweel's symbolism, and I
figured it out this way. 'One-one-two—yes!' The creatures were
intelligent. 'Two-two-four—no!' Their intelligence was not of
our order, but something different and beyond the logic of two
and two is four. Maybe I missed his meaning. Perhaps he meant
that their minds were of low degree, able to figure out the simple
things—'One-one-two—yes!'—but not more difficult things—'Two-two-four—no!'
But I think from what we saw later that he meant
"After a few moments, the creatures came rushing back—first
one, then another. Their pushcarts were full of stones, sand,
chunks of rubbery plants, and such rubbish as that. They droned
out their friendly greeting, which didn't really sound so friendly,
and dashed on. The third one I assumed to be my first acquaintance
and I decided to have another chat with him. I
stepped into his path again and waited.
"Up he came, booming out his 'We are v-r-r-riends' and
stopped. I looked at him; four or five of his eyes looked at me.
He tried his password again and gave a shove on his cart, but I
stood firm. And then the—the dashed creature reached out one
of his arms, and two finger-like nippers tweaked my nose!"
"Haw!" roared Harrison. "Maybe the things have a sense
"Laugh!" grumbled Jarvis. "I'd already had a nasty bump
and a mean frostbite on that nose. Anyway, I yelled 'Ouch!' and
jumped aside and the creature dashed away; but from then on,
their greeting was 'We are v-r-r-riends! Ouch!' Queer beasts!
"Tweel and I followed the road squarely up to the nearest
mound. The creatures were coming and going, paying us not
the slightest attention, fetching their loads of rubbish. The road
simply dived into an opening, and slanted down like an old mine,
and in and out darted the barrel-people, greeting us with their
"I looked in; there was a light somewhere below, and I was
curious to see it. It didn't look like a flame or torch, you understand,
but more like a civilized light, and I thought that I might
get some clue as to the creatures' development. So in I went
and Tweel tagged along, not without a few trills and twitters,
"The light was curious; it sputtered and flared like an old
arc light, but came from a single black rod set in the wall of the
corridor. It was electric, beyond doubt. The creatures were
fairly civilized, apparently.
"Then I saw another light shining on something that glittered
and I went on to look at that, but it was only a heap of
shiny sand. I turned toward the entrance to leave, and the Devil
take me if it wasn't gone!
"I suppose the corridor had curved, or I'd stepped into a
side passage. Anyway, I walked back in that direction I thought
we'd come, and all I saw was more dimlit corridor. The place
was a labyrinth! There was nothing but twisting passages running
every way, lit by occasional lights, and now and then a creature
running by, sometimes with a pushcart, sometimes without.
"Well, I wasn't much worried at first. Tweel and I had
only come a few steps from the entrance. But every move we
made after that seemed to get us in deeper. Finally I tried following
one of the creatures with an empty cart, thinking that
he'd be going out for his rubbish, but he ran around aimlessly,
into one passage and out another. When he started dashing
around a pillar like one of these Japanese waltzing mice, I gave
up, dumped my water tank on the floor, and sat down.
"Tweel was as lost as I. I pointed up and he said 'No—no—no!'
in a sort of helpless trill. And we couldn't get any help from
the natives. They paid no attention at all, except to assure us
they were friends—ouch!
"Lord! I don't know how many hours or days we wandered
around there! I slept twice from sheer exhaustion; Tweel never
seemed to need sleep. We tried following only the upward corridors,
but they'd run uphill a ways and then curve downwards.
The temperature in that damned ant hill was constant; you
couldn't tell night from day and after my first sleep I didn't know
whether I'd slept one hour or thirteen, so I couldn't tell from
my watch whether it was midnight or noon.
"We saw plenty of strange things. There were machines
running in some of the corridors, but they didn't seem to be doing
anything—just wheels turning. And several times I saw two
barrel-beasts with a little one growing between them, joined to
"Parthenogenesis!" exulted Leroy. "Parthenogenesis by budding
like les tulipes!"
"If you say so, Frenchy," agreed Jarvis. "The things never
noticed us at all, except, as I say, to greet us with 'We are v-r-r-riends!
Ouch!' They seemed to have no home-life of any sort,
but just scurried around with their pushcarts, bringing in rubbish.
And finally I discovered what they did with it.
"We'd had a little luck with a corridor, one that slanted upwards
for a great distance. I was feeling that we ought to be close
to the surface when suddenly the passage debouched into a domed
chamber, the only one we'd seen. And man!—I felt like dancing
when I saw what looked like daylight through a crevice in the roof.
"There was a—a sort of machine in the chamber, just an
enormous wheel that turned slowly, and one of the creatures was
in the act of dumping his rubbish below it. The wheel ground it
with a crunch—sand, stones, plants, all into powder that sifted
away somewhere. While we watched, others filed in, repeating
the process, and that seemed to be all. No rhyme nor reason to
the whole thing—but that's characteristic of this crazy planet.
And there was another fact that's almost too bizarre to believe.
"One of the creatures, having dumped his load, pushed his
cart aside with a crash and calmly shoved himself under the
wheel! I watched him being crushed, too stupefied to make a
sound, and a moment later, another followed him! They were
perfectly methodical about it, too; one of the cartless creatures
took the abandoned pushcart.
"Tweel didn't seem surprised; I pointed out the next suicide
to him, and he just gave the most human-like shrug imaginable,
as much as to say, 'What can I do about it?' He must have known
more or less about these creatures.
"Then I saw something else. There was something beyond
the wheel, something shining on a sort of low pedestal. I walked
over; there was a little crystal about the size of an egg, fluorescing
to beat Tophet. The light from it stung my hands and face, almost
like a static discharge, and then I noticed another funny
thing. Remember that wart I had on my left thumb? Look!"
Jarvis extended his hand. "It dried up and fell off—just like that!
And my abused nose—say, the pain went out of it like magic!
The thing had the property of hard x-rays or gamma radiations,
only more so; it destroyed diseased tissue and left healthy tissue
"I was thinking what a present that'd be to take back to
Mother Earth when a lot of racket interrupted. We dashed back
to the other side of the wheel in time to see one of the pushcarts
ground up. Some suicide had been careless, it seems.
"Then suddenly the creatures were booming and drumming
all around us and their noise was decidedly menacing. A crowd
of them advanced toward us; we backed out of what I thought
was the passage we'd entered by, and they came rumbling after
us, some pushing carts and some not. Crazy brutes! There was a
whole chorus of 'We are v-r-r-riends! Ouch!' I didn't like the
'ouch'; it was rather suggestive.
"Tweel had his glass gun out and I dumped my water tank
for greater freedom and got mine. We backed up the corridor
with the barrel-beasts following—about twenty of them. Queer
thing—the ones coming in with loaded carts moved past us inches
away without a sign.
"Tweel must have noticed that. Suddenly, he snatched out
that glowing coal cigar-lighter of his and touched a cart-load of
plant limbs. Puff! The whole load was burning—and the crazy
beast pushing it went right along without a change of pace! It
created some disturbance among our 'V-r-r-riends,' however—and
then I noticed the smoke eddying and swirling past us, and sure
enough, there was the entrance!
"I grabbed Tweel and out we dashed and after us our twenty
pursuers. The daylight felt like Heaven, though I saw at first
glance that the sun was all but set, and that was bad, since I
couldn't live outside my thermo-skin bag in a Martian night—at
least, without a fire.
"And things got worse in a hurry. They cornered us in an
angle between two mounds, and there we stood. I hadn't fired
nor had Tweel; there wasn't any use in irritating the brutes. They
stopped a little distance away and began their booming about
friendship and ouches.
"Then things got still worse! A barrel-brute came out with a
pushcart and they all grabbed into it and came out with handfuls
of foot-long copper darts—sharp-looking ones—and all of a sudden
one sailed past my ear—zing! And it was shoot or die then.
"We were doing pretty well for a while. We picked off the
ones next to the pushcart and managed to keep the darts at a
minimum, but suddenly there was a thunderous booming of
'v-r-r-riends' and 'ouches,' and a whole army of 'em came out of
"Man! We were through and I knew it! Then I realized that
Tweel wasn't. He could have leaped the mound behind us as
easily as not. He was staying for me!
"Say, I could have cried if there'd been time! I'd liked Tweel
from the first, but whether I'd have had gratitude to do what
he was doing—suppose I had saved him from the first dream-beast—he'd
done as much for me, hadn't he? I grabbed his arm,
and said 'Tweel,' and pointed up, and he understood. He said,
'No—no—no, Tick!' and popped away with his glass pistol.
"What could I do? I'd be a goner anyway when the sun set,
but I couldn't explain that to him. I said, 'Thanks, Tweel. You're
a man!' and felt that I wasn't paying him any compliment at all.
A man! There are mighty few men who'd do that.
"So I went 'bang' with my gun and Tweel went 'puff' with
his, and the barrels were throwing darts and getting ready to rush
us, and booming about being friends. I had given up hope. Then
suddenly an angel dropped right down from Heaven in the shape
of Putz, with his under-jets blasting the barrels into very small
"Wow! I let out a yell and dashed for the rocket; Putz
opened the door and in I went, laughing and crying and shouting!
It was a moment or so before I remembered Tweel; I looked
around in time to see him rising in one of his nosedives over the
mound and away.
"I had a devil of a job arguing Putz into following! By the
time we got the rocket aloft, darkness was down; you know how
it comes here—like turning off a light. We sailed out over the
desert and put down once or twice. I yelled 'Tweel!' and yelled it
a hundred times, I guess. We couldn't find him; he could travel
like the wind and all I got—or else I imagined it—was a faint
trilling and twittering drifting out of the south. He'd gone, and
damn it! I wish—I wish he hadn't!"
The four men of the Ares were silent—even the sardonic
Harrison. At last little Leroy broke the stillness.
"I should like to see," he murmured.
"Yeah," said Harrison. "And the wart-cure. Too bad you
missed that; it might be the cancer cure they've been hunting for
a century and a half."
"Oh, that!" muttered Jarvis gloomily. "That's what started
the fight!" He drew a glistening object from his pocket.
"Here it is."
This eBook was produced from the 1949 book A Martian Odyssey and
Others by Stanley G. Weinbaum, pp. 1-27. Extensive research did not
uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was