Doctor Jones' Picnic
by S. E. Chapman
CHAPTER I. “Figures Don't Lie.”
CHAPTER II. Two Men Resolve to Go Picnicking.
CHAPTER III. Mrs. Jones Offers Some Objections.
CHAPTER IV. Mrs. Jones Dictates Terms.
CHAPTER V. The Government Joins the Picnickers.
CHAPTER VI. Off on a Shoreless Sea.
CHAPTER VII. A Gunpowder Tea-party.
CHAPTER VIII. Relating how the Beautiful Picnic Progressed.
CHAPTER IX. In the Heart of Labrador.
CHAPTER X. A Messenger from the Skies.
CHAPTER XI. Is the World Growing Better?
CHAPTER XII. Greenland's Icy Mountains and the Russian Bear.
CHAPTER XIII. Beauty and the Beast.
CHAPTER XIV. Doctor Jones Commits Treason.
CHAPTER XV. A Model Teacher and Ideal Student.
CHAPTER XVI. The Count Steps Over the Line.
CHAPTER XVII. Farewell to Beauty and the Beast.
CHAPTER XVIII. Woman Locates the North Pole.
CHAPTER XIX. The Planting of the Flagstaff.
CHAPTER XX. Battle of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain.
CHAPTER XXI. Things Material and Spiritual.
CHAPTER XXII. Familiar Scenes and Faces.
CHAPTER XXIII. The World at the Feet of Doctor Jones.
CHAPTER XXIV. Ho! for the South Pole!
DOCTOR JONES' PICNIC
S.E. CHAPMAN, M.D.
THE WHITAKER &RAY CO.
Copyrighted 1898, by
S.E. CHAPMAN, M.D.
All Rights Reserved
I must confess that I offer this romance to the reading public with
no little trepidation. I am fully aware of having transcended the
ordinary rules and paths of legitimate romance, and that I have
presumed to broach fearlessly the deep things of God. The scope of the
work is infinitely beyond the remotest thought of the writer when he
began this labor; but as it grew, deepened and broadened upon his hands
from day to day, like Noah's dove he could find no rest for the sole of
his foot, and found it impossible to stop short of the Millennium.
The author is ready to substantiate the marvelous cures performed by
Dr. Jones, for they are cases from practice. One of the objects of this
work is to stimulate scientific investigation of the law of cure which
guided the worthy Doctor in his selection of the remedy in a given
As to whether Silver Cloud and her achievements be possible or not,
I am not specially concerned. And whether there are air currents in the
upper deep, as described within these pages, is a matter of little or
no consequence. We are desirous of being fair and magnanimous, and will
let the burden of proof rest upon the other fellow.
When we come to the consideration of the means by which the grand
finale was brought about, then I stand by my colors, and claim to have
delineated the only way out of the woods for the suffering world.
And, further, the denouement is but the inevitable result of the
adoption of Golden Ruleism by the world.
No thinking man can fail to see that there is something fearfully
and radically wrong in this world of ours. The few are getting too
much, and the millions are getting far too little. The cry of the poor
fills the earth, and many are the plans that have been devised for the
relief of the innumerable sufferers; but there is an essential defect
in each of them, nor is there relief to be obtained short of the power
of Almighty God. This is fully comprehended in what we have been
pleased to call Golden Ruleism, in the 2nd and 3d volumes.
Many students and writers upon the signs of the times take an
extremely pessimistic view of the situation, and believe that we shall
witness blood to the horses' bridles. No one can deny that things are
desperately bad, and that something must be done soon to relieve the
strain or the very worst may be apprehended; yet the author prefers to
see things through optimistic eyes, and believes that God will raise up
a Moses, (or Doctor Jones, if you please,) who will lead us to a higher
and better state than this world has yet ever known. The old adage 'It
is always darkest just before dawn,' is beautifully applicable to the
present state of the world. So I take courage and launch my book out
upon the tempestuous sea of humanity, trusting that it may be welcomed
as the harbinger of a better and happier era. I am sure that it bears
to the world the olive branch of peace.
As is usual with prefaces, this one is anticipatory and can only be
appreciated after one has perused the book. So I make the request of
the reader that he re-read it after having become acquainted with the
scheme and scope of the work.
This volume is to be immediately followed by volumes two and three,
which complete the set.
S.E. CHAPMAN, M.D.
Napa, Cal., Dec. 13th, 1897.
DOCTOR JONES' PICNIC.
CHAPTER I. Figures Don't Lie.
The North Pole! That spot upon earth so environed with trackless
fields of unbroken snow and mountains of ice; with an atmosphere so
cold that none but the bravest and hardiest of mankind can breathe it
and live. And yet these apparently insuperable obstacles have but
stimulated men to do and dare all things, so that they might but reach
that ultima thule. In vain have our utilitarians cried, Qui
bono? God has planted within man the spirit of lordship and
domination; and, true to that spirit, he will never rest until Nature
shall have yielded up to him her last secret, and his restless foot
shall have trodden the wildest and farthest spot of earth. Then, and
not till then, will he stand crowned Lord of Creation.
In this faithful history of the discovery and exact location of the
North Pole, it is not necessary to bring before the reader in
historical review the many illustrious names and grand heroisms of
former explorers of Arctic regions. They did marvelous deeds, beyond
the comprehension of those who did not actually participate in them.
They sacrificed thousands of noble lives, and undoubtedly did all that
could be done with the means at their command. Ah! there we have struck
the keynote. The means at their command were inadequate, and nothing
but failure and disaster could result from their best laid plans and
Dr. Jonathan Jones sat in his office in the populous, thriving city
of R, situated in one of our western states. He occupied an easy
chair, heels upon a low, flat-topped writing desk, newspaper in hand,
reading an account of the failure of Dr. Nansen to reach the North
Pole. That renowned and hardy explorer proposed reaching the spot by
floating on an ice floe. We are all familiar with the fact that he did
actually get to within about three hundred miles of the coveted spot,
but was obliged to turn back for want of dogs and sledges.
Dr. Jones laid the paper down with a groan. Will they never learn?
he apostrophizingly cried to a bust of Hahnemann that rested upon a
bracket in a corner of the room. They can never get there on any such
lines. I believe it to be a perfectly feasible scheme, if worked out on
simple scientific principles. If I had capital, I would try it.
He sat with the points of his extended fingers touching each its
mate of the opposite hand, and mused for several moments. Suddenly he
seized a pencil, and rapidly jotted down figures, lines, and characters
that meant nothing to any mortal but himself.
Figures don't lie! he shouted to aforesaid bust. That depends,
Doctor, on whether they are legitimately used or not. Sometimes they
are made to represent the vilest untruth, said a voice behind him. The
Doctor wheeled about and encountered the genial countenance of Mr. A.L.
Hullo! Denison. Just the man I wanted to see. Sit down.
What's up now, Doctor? Anyone hurt or seriously sick? inquired
Denison, as he occupied a chair.
For answer the Doctor read aloud the account of Dr. Nansen's failure
to reach the North Pole, and then said: I do not wonder that he
failed. No one will succeed upon any such lines or plans.
Well, Doctor, you don't suppose that anyone will ever get there and
back alive, do you?
Whether they will or not, I do not know; but that it is a perfectly
feasible and rational undertaking, under proper conditions, I as firmly
believe as I do that I am alive, and he brought his fist down upon the
desk by way of emphasis with a whack that made the various loose
articles in the little office rattle. Even the bust upon the bracket
moved about uneasily, whether by way of approbation or not, this
truthful chronicle ventures no opinion. Denison looked at the flushed
face and glittering eyes of the Doctor, moved uneasily in his chair,
and said: What's up, Doctor? I never knew you to drink. Getting off?
tapping his os frontis with his forefinger significantly.
Denison, replied the Doctor, unheeding the innuendoes of his
friend, I tell you that I have a plan for going to, and returning
from, the North Pole with perfect safety, absolute certainty, and a
degree of comfort that will reduce the whole expedition to the level of
a glorious picnic. Denison indulged in a long, low whistle.
Draw it a little milder, Doctor. Go to and return from the North
Pole with perfect safety, certainty, comfort, and pleasure! What do you
mean? I never heard of anything so preposterous in my life!
Hitch up to the desk here, and I will soon tell you what I mean,
cried the Doctor. Denison complied, and the Doctor, seizing a pencil,
drew upon a leaf of the scratch book, with a few vigorous strokes, a
sketch of a globe, thus:
There, said he, as he gave a few finishing touches. There you
have the idea.
Well, go on.
This sketch represents a mammoth globe of aluminum, two hundred
feet in diameter, as you will notice.
I see, assented Denison.
We have, then, a great hollow globe, consisting, as I said before,
of aluminum. I have chosen that material for two obvious reasons;
lightness and strength. The globe is simply to be floated by heating
the atmosphere within it.
What will you heat it with, and how long do you suppose it will be
before your globe returns to the earth? asked Denison.
Your questions are quite practical, and I am ready to answer them.
There are to be three skins or coverings to our globe, with a foot of
space (or air blanket, if you please) between them. This affords us two
air chambers that materially prevent the radiation of heat. Once
heated, a very little fuel will keep the interior of our great air-ship
at the desired temperature. You see, at the inferior or lower part of
the ship, a square apartment attached, plentifully supplied with
windows. That represents the living and store rooms. The living rooms
are to be comfortably furnished, and no reason can be alleged why we
should not enjoy in them absolute comfort. In our store-rooms, we will
carry one year's supply of food. And in tanks of sufficient size,
petroleum (or whatever combustible we conclude to be most suitable) for
heating and cooking purposes. See?
I see, said Denison.
You will observe that so conservative of heat is this arrangement
that every particle of caloric created in the living rooms, or cabin
below, helps by that much to float the great globe. All the warmth from
cooking and heating; the heat and smoke from our pipes and cigars; yea,
even the animal heat which radiates from our bodies, all subserve the
one great purpose and functionkeeping up the temperature and buoyant
effort of the globe. Do you begin to catch on? fairly shouted the
Well, it looks very well so far, returned Denison slowly. But, my
dear sir, I foresee one difficulty that in your enthusiasm you seem to
have overlooked. You can never guide or steer this immense ship. It
must go with the wind, and you are just as likely to go to the South
Pole as to the North, and very unlikely to go to either. You must
excuse me, but this last is certainly an insuperable obstacle to your
making anything practicable of your idea.
I admit at once that this great body could not be steered, nor in
any degree guided by any apparatus that we could devise, assented the
Doctor. But that we should be obliged to float aimlessly, hither and
thither, altogether the creatures of chance, I do not for a moment
admit. The equator, receiving as it does, the vertical rays of the sun,
is by far the hottest portion of the earth. The atmosphere at that
quarter, being constantly superheated and correspondingly rarified,
ascends into the vault above. This creates a semi-vacuum below, and the
cooler atmospheres north and south of the equator rush in and fill the
aforesaid vacuum. Pouring in from opposite directions with an impetus
that often amounts to hurricanes, they boil up as they meet, miles into
the firmament above. They then set off in two strong currents toward
either Pole. What is the natural inference? The navigators of our
air-ship have the power to raise and lower at pleasure. Obviously,
there is but one thing for sensible men to do: Let her rise until we
strike a northerly current, if necessary, and remain in it so long as
it is favorable; when it changes, rise or lower until another favorable
current is found, etc. Do you happen to think of any more 'insuperable'
obstacles, my dear sir?
Well, I must say that while I am not convinced of the
practicability of your scheme, still you meet my objections in a way
that is quite surprising, and which shows that you have given the
matter much thought; yet I am not sure that you will not run upon
difficulties that will make it altogether impossible. For instance,
there is the cost of so vast an undertaking. It would cost hundreds of
thousands, at the least calculation.
Now, Denison, you have struck the only real difficulty that I can
think of. I really have no idea of who will furnish the money. I had
not thought even of asking anyone to do so.
Patients came in at this juncture, and Denison took his departure. A
few days later, however, he returned, and when the Doctor was at
leisure, opened the conversation by asking if anything had developed
with regard to the air-ship building.
O, ho! cried Dr. Jones, you are getting into my way of thinking
on that subject, are you?
Well, to tell you the truth, I have thought of it considerably
since I saw you. I would like, at least, to see it tried.
There is but one way to do: If you get interested sufficiently to
wish to take hold, we will see if we cannot stir up our friends and
form a stock company. Or, failing in that, we might have a working
model built, and I think we could induce the Government to take hold of
Denison called frequently during the following month, and it was
evident that he was fast becoming imbued with the Doctor's ideas and
CHAPTER II. Two Men Resolve to Go
One afternoon, the Doctor being at leisure, he and Denison talked
long and earnestly of their never-failing theme, the aluminum globe.
Denison finally said:
You know, Doctor, that I never go into anything without due
consideration. I have studied this matter over carefully, and am
willing to chance it with you. We have been acquainted a great many
years, and I never knew you to make any bad breaks. I have nothing else
to do at present, and have a few thousands that I am willing to risk in
this business. If I lose it I shall let it go for experience and blame
no one but myself.
Denison, you know very well that I would not lead you into anything
that would do you an injury, financially or otherwise, for anything in
the world. I had not thought, indeed, of asking you to take any part or
stock in this scheme. I believe in it with all my soul, but had not
allowed myself to seriously think of promoting or investing in it. You
had better think of it for a while longer.
As I told you, returned Denison, I have given it very serious
thought for several weeks. I have every confidence in the world in you,
and my mind is thoroughly made up now that I wish to go with you into
this enterprise. You know that since my wife died I have done little or
nothing. I have no family to occupy my mind, and this is the first time
since her death that I have felt any interest in anything. It took
something extraordinary, like your scheme, to wake me up. So here I am,
Doctor, yours for the North Pole!
Well, old friend, you are a man of the right spirit, said Dr.
Jones, taking him by the hand, and I am willing to do with you what we
can to get the Government interested in this matter. What shall be our
How can you leave your business or get any time to do anything in
this undertaking? asked Denison.
I will tell you: I have been right here, at the old stand, for
twenty-odd years. In all that time I have never taken a vacation of any
sort. I have for years been intending to do so, but something always
prevented. Now I have an opportunity to put a good man into my place,
and I feel the necessity of taking a rest of a year or so. This looks
like just the chance for me. So you may consider that question settled.
Now, what shall be our first move?
Since we are each determined to take hold of this venture, Doctor,
I suppose that the first thing will be to get an architect to figure on
the thing, and give us necessary figures and data. And I have just the
manWill Marsh, office on Main Street. He is an extraordinary fellow,
a real genius, and a gentleman in every sense of the word. Let's see
him right away. I'm catching your spirit of enthusiasm, Doctor, and
what does a man amount to without enthusiasm in this age of the world?
Well, of course, the enthusiast is numbered with the cranks,
replied Dr. Jones. But, Denison, the cranks are the only men who
accomplish anything of note in this world. I have really great respect
for cranks, if they only are honest and not too abusive. So we may as
well anticipate the dear public, and enroll ourselves among the
All right, returned Denison, 'Sail on!' as Joaquin Miller has
Columbus say to the faint-hearted sailing master. 'The North Pole or
bust!' is my motto now.
That's right, that's right, grinned the Doctor, amused to see the
enthusiasm he had aroused in his friend. And now let's to business. I
am ready to go with you and see the architect.
So together they walked to the office of that gentleman. They found
him in and at leisure, and they immediately opened their business to
him. The Doctor took the lead, Denison occasionally offering a
suggestion. Mr. Marsh proved to be a good listener, jotting down the
items as they were given him, and they made excellent progress.
Evidently Dr. Jones had studied the subject very thoroughly, for he
gave measurements and specifications with a readiness and accuracy that
And now, Mr. Marsh, there are doubtless some important points that
have not occurred to me, and which you will discover. What we want at
present is an approximate estimate of the cost, carrying and floating
capacity of our globe. I think you have the idea as nearly as we can
give it, and please let us know all about it as soon as possible, said
Dr. Jones as they were about to depart.
I will do so, sir, replied the architect, but you understand that
your project is so extraordinaryif I may be allowed to say sothat
it will require several days before I can give you any definite
information. I must go to the city and ascertain the prices of
We understand that, Mr. Marsh; only please do not neglect to attend
to it immediately.
With this parting injunction they bade him good-day and departed,
each to his home.
CHAPTER III. Mrs. Jones Offers Some
But Dr. Jones met great opposition in a quarter that was not so
easily disposed of. He had a wife. Mrs. Jones was a very intelligent
and lovely woman, younger by some fifteen years than the Doctor. She
must be consulted. He broached the subject very cautiously, now and
then expatiating upon the extreme ease and comfort with which the trip
to the North Pole might be made. He bought histories of the many Arctic
explorations, and read them aloud to her. At first she listened
indifferently, not dreaming for a moment that the Doctor was burning
with a desire to become an Arctic explorer. Day after day he enlarged
and dilated upon his plan. Denison often dropped in of an evening, and
the conversation invariably drifted into the old topic, the aluminum
globe and the trip to the North Pole.
One evening the architect, Mr. Marsh, with a large paper roll in his
hand, came with Denison to the Doctor's residence. After the usual
greetings the Doctor said, Mrs. Jones, I think we will take possession
of the dining-room, as we wish to use the table. Come in with us, for I
am sure that you are greatly interested in the business we have on hand
Mrs. Jones good-naturedly complied, and sat engaged with some
knitting, while the roll brought by the architect was spread upon the
table, and weights laid upon its corners. The two schemers gave a cry
of delight as a truly magnificent sketch of the globe unfolded before
their eyes. Floating in the firmament, thousands of feet above the
earth, with a panoramic view of forests, lakes, rivers, mountains and
hill elevations, fruitful valleys thickly dotted with towns, villages,
farms, little specks that represented houses, green fields, etc.,
fading away into indistinctness in the far distances of the horizon,
all done with such patient and faithful regard for detail and artistic
appreciation of color and perspective, that Mrs. Jones joined in the
chorus of expressions of unqualified admiration. It was done in water
colors, and the enraptured Doctor seized one end of it and cried: Take
hold of one end, Denison, and help me hold it up against the wall.
There, Maggie! Denison! Did you ever see anything so absolutely
They declared that they never had. The artist, meantime, stood with
flushed cheek, his arms folded across his breast, modest and quiet.
Get tacks and a hammer, Maggie, and we'll fasten it to the wall;
then we can all sit and enjoy this glorious panorama.
The painting was quickly tacked up in a position for inspection, and
all sat admiringly before it.
By the way, Mr. Marsh, you must have done something in the line of
aeronautism, or you never could have made that painting, observed the
No, Doctor, I have never made any balloon ascensions, but I have
climbed many mountains, both in Europe and America, and have made
numerous sketches from vast elevations. I have simply drawn upon these
for my material, and in this painting you have a blending of several of
them. Of course, I have taxed my imagination to some extent. The
central object, the globe, air-ship, or whatever you may be pleased to
call it, is your own conception, or my conception of your idea.
Well, I am more than pleased with your work. Your execution has so
far transcended my idea that I take no credit at all in this instance.
But now we must never rest until we have materialized this splendid
So they sat admiring and chatting over the painting some little
Well, Marsh, have you anything more to show us to-night? asked
Yes, he replied, I have some figures and data that I received
from the city a day or two since.
Drawing their chairs about the table, Mr. Marsh read from a small
memorandum-book estimate prices of materials, amount and weight of
same, cost of labor, and finally what he deemed to be the approximate
cost of the globe complete, furnished and equipped for a one year's
I have some suggestions to offer, Doctor. You spoke of having three
skins or envelopes of aluminum, with air chambers between them that
would prevent the radiation of heat. Now, I think that we can do better
than that, though without doubt your idea is practical and would answer
the purpose; yet I have a plan to offer that will dispense with one
envelope, and will more effectually conserve heat. Zinc is the best
nonconductor of heat that I know of. One thin layer of this metal
within a few inches of the external covering of aluminum will serve you
a much better purpose and will greatly reduce the cost of
This suggestion met with the immediate approval of the Doctor and
Denison. They talked and planned until quite a late hour. After the
departure of the two men Mrs. Jones said:
Are you seriously thinking of going into this wild scheme, Doctor?
Well, Maggie, what do you think of it? Don't you see how perfectly
feasible and beautiful it is?
Why, so far as I know, it may do well enough. But how can you do
anything with it, and what good would it do you if you could?
My dear Maggie! How can you ask such a question! Think of the glory
of accomplishing that which has defeated some of the best and bravest
men that the world has ever produced. And think of the importance this
accomplishment might be to science. Is the undying fame that would
attach to such a deed to be lightly esteemed? Oh, my dear wife! you
know how steadily and conscientiously I have labored all these years.
More than a quarter of a century have I devoted to the care of the
sick, with scarcely a moment's recreation. The time has come when I
feel that I must take a vacation. Further than this, I feel that I can
do the world greater service with my idea of reaching the North Pole,
besides settling a question as to the possibility of aerial navigation
for long distances. How can I better spend a year or so than in the
promotion of this idea? Be a good, brave little wife, as you always
have been, and don't oppose me in this thing upon which my heart is
And who is to sail this great balloon, or air-ship?
Well, as the Dutch captain said when the harbor inspector asked
'Who is the captain of this ship?' 'I ish de feller!'
With these words he assumed a melodramatic attitude. But Mrs. Jones
was not to be won by any facetiae, and walked up to him, placing her
hands upon his shoulders, said: Do you think for one moment that I
will ever consent to your going off on so fearfully perilous an
expedition as this? How I should feel to see you sail off into the blue
sky, with an almost absolute certainty of never seeing you again! I
should go insane. What would my days and nights be, even though you
went and returned in all the safety you anticipate? I should go insane
in less than a week with anxiety. Do as you please so far as promoting
the construction of the globe is concerned, but never will I consent to
your going in it.
Maggie, Maggie, don't be so foolish. I do not intend going until I
have perfectly satisfied you that I am not more safe in our home than I
should be in our great ship.
All right! she cried. You are not to go, then, until I freely
O, hold on! he answered. Don't construe me so ungenerously. I
only said that I would first convince you of my safety.
That you can never do, and you may as well give it up. It cannot be
a safe undertaking. It makes me faint to even think of it. Just imagine
yourself in that cabin now, pointing to Marsh's painting that still
hung upon the wall.
I wish to heaven I was, growled the Doctor.
I just won't hear another word of it! and she flounced out of the
room to bed.
CHAPTER IV. Mrs. Jones Dictates
Several months have passed since the meeting recorded in our last
chapter. The enthusiasm of the three men (for Marsh was now a member of
the company) increased as the days went by. A considerable amount of
canvassing had been done among the moneyed men of the community, but
with no success. No one could be found who was willing to risk any
considerable amount of wealth in an enterprise whose outcome was so
problematical. Fame is all well enough, but there is very little
sentiment about capital.
After many consultations by the three, it was agreed that nothing
further could be done at home, and the next move would be a trip to
Washington. The idea of building a model was abandoned, as the
beautiful drawings and paintings of the architect completely obviated
The Doctor had said but little to Mrs. Jones upon the subject that
lay nearest his heart since the time recorded in our last chapter.
Though he went about his professional duties as usual, yet that astute
little lady thoroughly understood that he was far from laying aside
this great ambition of his life. And she also realized that a crisis
was approaching when quick, sharp work must be done, and she had
determined what she should do.
The Doctor, meantime, furtively watched day by day the lovely face
of his wife. But he might as well have spent the same time studying the
face of the Sphynx. He could not decide whether she was acting a part
most beautifully, or had dropped the matter as settled. It cost her a
great struggle to keep from smiling as she looked into his troubled
eyes, and at times would be obliged to put her handkerchief to her
mouth to keep back the smiles that dimpled about its corners. She knew
that the crisis was at hand, and so persevered in her part; and, better
than all, she knew that she should come off victor.
All things were ripe for the assault upon the Government board of
Meet at my house to-night, gentlemen, said the Doctor. My
arrangements are all made, and I could start to-morrow morning if my
wife would consent. I feel more concerned about getting her
acquiescence than I do about getting the Government interested. I
really fear that she is like Sambo's mule: 'When he so quiet an' still
like, yo' look out! He templatin' trouble den, shuah!' There's
something up, and I must have it out with her to-night; and I want you
to stand in and say all you can to help me out. We must convince her
that there is not nearly so much danger in our globe as there is aboard
a train of cars or a steamship.
So that evening in the dining-room, and upon the same table, Marsh
spread the drawings and specifications that represented the smallest
detail connected with the construction of the globe. Mrs. Jones entered
into the conversation, made suggestions as to the furnishing of food,
bedding, furniture, etc., until the three men winked and grinned slyly
at one another, delighted to see the interest she displayed.
Now, Maggie, I am sure that you cannot see any element of danger in
this trip, said the Doctor, fixing his eyes upon her very anxiously.
To his surprise and delight she unhesitatingly said:
No, I do not see why it should be at all dangerous.
That's my brave little wife! shouted Dr. Jones, catching her in
his arms and kissing her upon both cheeks. What an old lunkhead I have
been all this time! Why, Maggie, do you know that I have been terribly
worried lest you should prove foolish and obstinate and would do all
you could to prevent my going?
I knew it all the time, she replied.
Just listen to the demure little sinner! Knew that I was worrying
all this time and never let me see that she understood me at all! What
a little hypocrite you are! But I forgive you, since you are so
But my dear hubby, do not jump at conclusions. There is a condition
connected with my consent.
And it is granted now, my dear. What is it?
Oh, it is a real easy one!
I am sure of that, dear Maggie, for you are the most reasonable
woman alive. Isn't she, gentlemen?
Of course the conspirators loudly assented.
That is very nice of you, gentlemen, said she, bowing gracefully
to them, but I know about how much allowance to make for 'soft soap'
in this case.
But what is the condition, Maggie? asked Dr. Jones.
I go with you.
To Washington? Certainly you shall, honey.
I go with you in the globe, to the North Pole, or any other place
the wind may blow us.
I have said it.
The Doctor dropped into a chair with a groan. I knew it! I knew she
meant mischief all the time.
But my dear woman, cried he, jumping from his chair again, don't
you see the utter impossibility of your going on so hard and perilous a
voyage? You could never endure it in the world.
Hardships and perils, indeed! said she mischievously. Haven't you
said over and over in my presence that this was simply a beautiful
picnic trip and perfectly safe?
Wellerer, stammered the Doctor, but, Maggie, it would be no
place for a woman, you know.
I beg your pardon, sir, but I do not know anything of the kind. Do
you suppose that I have sat here all these months listening to you men
talk of this scheme without becoming a convert to your theories? No,
Doctor, I am as enthusiastic as any of you in this matter. The North
Pole fever is like the measles, very contagious, and I have a severe
attack of it. Now you have all agreed that I am the most reasonable
woman living, and you cannot accuse me of being unreasonable simply
because I wish to go with you on this safe, comfortable and perfectly
beautiful picnic excursion.
This turn of affairs was so complete a surprise to the three men
that they sat silent with consternation for a few moments.
Come to think of it, gentlemen, I am pleased for one that Mrs.
Jones wishes to accompany us. Why should she not? said Marsh.
Mrs. Jones beamed upon him so warmly that he blushed to his ears.
One vote for me, she gayly exclaimed. Now, Mr. Denison, on the
score of old friendship, I claim your franchise.
And you have it, my dear madam, cried Denison. Yours for the
North Pole, Mrs. Jones.
She gave a hand to each of her coadjutors, and turning to Dr. Jones,
said: Don't you see what a splendid lobbyist I am, Doctor? You will
need me when you get to Washington.
The Doctor's face was a study. At length he said: Woman is the most
unaccountable creature in the universe. I expected to-night to have
made the plea of my life, and I declare for it, if she hasn't turned
the tables completely upon me, and actually stands there imploring to
go with us, instead of going into hysterics and making no end of
opposition. Well, honey, putting his arm about her waist, I took you
for better or worse, but I did not expect to take you to the North
Pole. I yield to the inevitable, gentlemen. Allow me to introduce you
to No. 4, North Pole Aluminum Globe Co.
CHAPTER V. The Government Joins the
Not many days later found our friends comfortably located in a hotel
in the national capital. The Doctor was quite well acquainted with the
representative from his congressional district, and was supplied with
letters of introduction from influential parties to members of both
houses. By a judicious use of these, they managed to obtain a hearing
before the scientific and geographical departments of the Smithsonian
Institute. So thoroughly had Dr. Jones and Mr. Marsh mastered the
details of the subject that they immediately made a favorable
impression upon that learned body. After some weeks spent in
investigation, they unanimously voted in favor of the project, and
recommended that Congress grant appropriations for that purpose.
After a certain amount of lobbying (in which, I am glad to say, No.
4's services were not required), an amount in accordance with the
architect's estimates was passed by both houses, and duly signed by the
President. Nothing could exceed the joy and satisfaction of the four
friends. They now hurried to their homes and made arrangements for
permanently moving to Washington. A few weeks later, we find them
settled in a pleasant home in the capital, a busy lot of happy
cranks, as Mrs. Jones expressed it.
The building contract was awarded a Washington company, whose
foundries and shops are located upon the Potomac, adjacent to the city.
The work is being done under the general supervision of Marsh and the
three friends. It is not long before the vast scaffolding that is built
up as the long, slender, silver-like ribs of the aluminum framework are
put in place, begins to attract the attention of the surrounding
populace. And well it might, for as the beautiful globe began to assume
shape, certainly nothing so colossal of the kind had ever been seen
before upon earth. And as one stepped inside the mighty ball and looked
up through the vast network of aluminum rods and braces that ran in
every conceivable direction, looking like silken threads in the great
distances above, the feeling inspired was one of awe and unbounded
The work was pushed forward with all possible expedition. The summer
passed rapidly away. As winter drew near, a vast roof was built over
the globe, and all was securely shut in from the inclemencies of that
inhospitable season. All winter the hundreds of hammers, busily riveted
the sheets of aluminum and zinc into place, and by spring the globe,
the splendid creation that had existed in the brain of Dr. Jones, was
an actuality. Language is inadequate to describe the sensations of the
little company of promoters. They said but little, but would often
stand in a group, gaze upon it, then into each other's eyes, and smile
and wag their delighted heads.
The newspapers were not slow, meantime, in keeping the public
informed of all that could be learned of the unique enterprise.
Reporters besieged the projectors, in season and out. Our friends
freely gave them all possible information, and no little interest was
excited all over our great land. People came from every quarter of the
Union, many from Europe to see the mighty, glistening sphere. The
crowds were so vast that work was impeded, and it became necessary to
restrict admission. A nominal entrance fee was charged, but that only
seemed to stimulate the eager sightseers. So the public were, of
necessity, finally entirely excluded.
Then the roof of the building was removed, and the whole structure
gradually, except so much of it as was absolutely necessary to maintain
the globe in position.
The cabin was attached to the bottom of the globe, forty feet
square, with ten feet between the floor and ceiling. It was divided off
into several bedrooms, sitting and dining-rooms, kitchen, smoking-room,
store-rooms, oil tanks, etc. In the center was a room, fifteen feet
square, that was called the engine-room. Everything that could be
thought of that could add to comfort had been supplied, always with
reference to compactness and weight. Not an ounce of superfluous weight
would the architect allow. He had calculated very carefully and knew to
a pound, almost, just what his great ship would carry, and how much
fuel would keep her afloat a certain number of hours. But the thing
that aroused the admiration of the public was the aluminum shaft that
passed from the floor of the cabin straight up through the center of
the globe, and extended on above it full ninety feet. And from this
dizzy height, floated Old Glory, constructed of fine wire of that
same beautiful, evershining metal, aluminum. Round and round this
splendid shaft, up through the globe, wound a delicate stairway. From
its top stair, one stepped out into a small observatory, well supplied
with windows upon its four sides. The stairway was protected from the
hot air of the interior of the globe by a zinc coating, so that the
mast and stairway really passed up through the center of a zinc tube
standing on end, and about six feet in diameter.
Already it is an inspiring sight to stand in the observatory,
situated exactly upon the top of the sphere, and look away into the
surrounding country, up and down the Potomac, and over the lovely
capital city. But what will it be when suspended in the air, thousands
of feet above terra firma?
Do you feel no fear, Maggie? asked the Doctor, as they stood with
Marsh and Denison and looked from this great height.
Not the slightest tremor, she replied, and she looked so brightly
and bravely into their faces that Denison said: I really believe,
Doctor, that she will prove to be the best sailor of the lot.
I wish we had a female companion for you, Maggie. I have a great
mind to advertise for one, said Dr. Jones.
I beg you to do no such thing. She will be sure to be finical,
cowardly, or disagreeable in some way. And then such a host of all
sorts of creatures as would reply to your advertisement. We shall do
very well without her, replied Mrs. Jones.
But I am sure it would be much pleasanter for you, Maggie. Don't
you know of a female acquaintance that you would like to have accompany
you? persisted Dr. Jones.
Well, let me think. If Mattie Bronson could go, it would afford me
the greatest pleasure.
The very thing! declared the Doctor in his usual emphatic way.
Mattie is a lovely, brave, all-around nice girl. Let it be Mattie, by
Denison and Marsh expressed their entire satisfaction with this
I will write her immediately to come and visit us, and then I am
sure that we can prevail upon her to go with us, said Mrs. Jones.
They then descended the long, slender stairway, and returned to
CHAPTER VI. Off on a Shoreless Sea.
About the middle of April appeared the following in one of the
Last night our citizens, and a tremendous overflow of visitors were
treated to the most magnificent sight their eyes ever beheld. The great
aluminum globe, about which all the world has been agog for so long,
arose and stood for three hours above the city, some two hundred and
fifty feet. The whole mighty sphere was ablaze with myriads of electric
lights, from the ball of the tapering flagstaff to the beautiful cabin
below. As it hung suspended above the city, connected with the earth by
but a slender aluminum chain that looked like a thread of silver
piercing the skies, a great hush fell upon the hundreds of thousands of
gazers below. All Nature seemed auspicious to the occasion. Scarcely a
zephyr was stirring, and the stars shone brightly down upon the scene
from cloudless skies. One hundred people, consisting of the President
and cabinet, senators, congressmen, editors, scientific and literary
men and women, were the favored party who occupied the gigantic ship.
Suddenly there fell upon the ears of the waiting multitude the
glorious soprano voice of Mrs. Jones. So far above, yet so thrillingly
sweet and distinct, one could scarcely refrain from imagining that the
Pearly Gates had opened, and we were listening to the voice of one of
the Redeemed. But that illusion was soon dispelled, and we recognized
the familiar strains of Star Spangled Banner. And when the whole
hundred voices swelled the splendid chorus, a great shout arose from
the multitude like the sound of many waters, beginning directly beneath
the globe, and spreading away in every direction like billows from a
great rock, dropped into the center of a quiet lake.
And so, under the direction of Professor Marsh, brother of the
architect of the globe, a beautiful and appropriate musical program was
rendered, lasting nearly an hour.
We venture the assertion that no performance was ever rendered to
so great an audience, and certainly not to one more appreciative. And
we predict that there will be a great demand for liniments and plasters
for some weeks to come. For standing two hours or more with the back of
one's head resting upon the cervical portion of one's spinal column,
and screaming at the top of one's lungs a good portion of the time,
with eyes unblinkingly and unwinkingly set upon the inconceivably
splendid globe, all this we assert to be highly conducive to stiff neck
and sore throat. And it is a question whether many of that innumerable,
entranced audience will be able to keep their hearts and minds upon
things terrestrial for a considerable time to come. From the bottom of
our hearts, we commiserate every member of the race who missed the
sights and sounds of last evening.
All arrangements are now completed, and day after to-morrow,
weather favorable, Dr. Jones and party expect to sail at the hour of
noon, away for the North Pole. Nothing has been omitted that could
insure the success of the expedition, and we feel confident of all that
could be hoped for, or desired by the enterprising Doctor and friends.
The hour set for sailing had arrived. The day was beautiful, and a
moderate breeze was blowing toward northwest. With proud, happy hearts
the party of navigators stood upon the balcony that ran about the four
sides of the cabin. This balcony was one of the chief embellishments
and conveniences of the cabin. It was five feet wide, and extended, as
before said, about the four sides of the cabin. A balustrade four feet
high was built along its outer edge. A more exhilarating promenade
could not be conceived, and right well did our friends enjoy it during
the notable voyage which we are about to record.
The party consisted of Professor J.Q. Gray, the scientific
representative of the Smithsonian Institute; Miss Mattie Bronson;
Professor Fred Marsh; our four friends with whom the reader is
acquainted; and last, but not least, so far as bodily comforts were
concerned, Ah Sing, the cook.
As the globe arose slowly to the length of its cable, five hundred
feet, it seemed to the little company upon the balcony as if the
universe had assembled to see them off. On the streets, public squares,
housetops, decks of all ships upon the river, were crowds on crowds of
people; people anywhere, everywhere; far as the eye could reach was one
vast, countless host. What wonder that the heart of the Doctor swelled
and quickened as he looked upon the ocean of upturned faces below, and
realized that from his fertile brain had sprung the mighty object of
all this attention. How it pulled and surged at its silver-like cable,
as if it were a thing of life, and desired to be away toward its
destination, the North Pole!
The hour of noon was announced by hundreds of bells and whistles.
The Doctor waved a flag over the balustrade, the anchor was cut loose
from its fastenings, and away bounded the colossal sphere toward the
ethereal blue. Upward and still up it arose to the height of three
thousand feet, trending slowly toward the northwest.
The voices of the multitude sounded like the roar of the sea, and as
it grew fainter and fainter, the stout-hearted little party realized
that they were effectually cut off from the worldoff on a limitless
sea, alone with God.
CHAPTER VII. A Gunpowder Tea-party.
Nothing could be completer nor daintier than the cabin and its
furnishings, divisions, and subdivisions. The rooms of necessity were
small, but sufficiently large for convenience and comfort. A choice
selection of best authors had been added by the Doctor. Mr. Will Marsh,
the architect, had not forgotten a painting, sketching, and
photographing outfit. Professor Fred Marsh had brought a good supply of
vocal and instrumental music, and a small aluminum organ of exquisite
tone and splendid volume. Professor Gray, as a matter of course, was
abundantly supplied with books, charts, instruments, etc. The ladies
did not forget to bring knitting, crochet, and sewing work with them.
For we cannot be continually craning our necks out of our little nest,
sightseeing, said Mrs. Jones.
And then I suppose that we shall be above the clouds a good share
of the time, with nothing but a fog bank to look at, added Mattie.
Dr. Jones carried a plentiful supply of drugs and instruments. I
have not given up practice, said he. There is no telling how many
patients I may encounter outside of our little crowd, before we
But we cannot stop to enumerate all the conveniences and
appurtenances of the wonderful sky-ship, now hastening toward its
destination. More of that later on.
Washington and its crowds of excited people were fast disappearing
in the distance. To say that no fear was experienced upon the part of
any of the company would not be strictly true. The ladies were pale and
silent, and stood with their arms about each other. Very little was
said by any one, for the sensation of skimming through the air at the
rate of more than twenty miles an hour at this elevation was too novel
and thrilling to admit of conversation. All experienced more or less of
vertigo and nausea, but the Doctor promptly controlled these
disagreeable symptoms with medicines from his case. All stood at their
post for something near an hour, Sing excepted. He was rattling about
among his pots, pans, and kettles as unconcernedly as if in the best
appointed kitchen in Washington. Finally a general conversation was
entered into as the first qualms of fear and sickness began to wear
I am delighted with the performance of our ship, said Will. (We
shall take the liberty of using the given names of the two brothers
hereafter, Will and Fred.)
Yes, returned the Doctor, how easily and smoothly we are going.
When one looks inside, it is hard to realize that we are flying at the
rate of nearly thirty miles an hour through the air, three thousand
feet above the earth.
And notice how steadily we are moving. Not a tremor nor movement of
any sort appreciable. How decidedly superior to car or steamboat
traveling. Here we have no jar, noise, nor dust, continued Will.
Nor any kind of danger of shipwreck or collision, added Professor
Well, I'm sure that we are a peculiarly favored lot of travelers,
said Fred, turning to the organ and playing Away with Melancholy,
with great spirit.
How does the temperature in the globe keep up? asked the Professor
I am astonished, Professor, he replied, it has scarcely varied a
degree since starting, now two hours, and we are burning no fuel at all
That is truly wonderful, answered the Professor. At this rate we
are not likely to run out of fuel.
No, said Will, we are safe on that score.
The Doctor and Will now ascended to the observatory. Professor Gray
and Denison sat beside the ladies upon the balcony. Each was studying
the topography of the country with the aid of their field glasses.
See the people everywhere and all waving their handkerchiefs at
us, exclaimed Mattie.
How distinctly we can see their white upturned faces, and how they
do shout, remarked Mrs. Jones.
I can see photographers catching snap shots at us, said Denison.
I dare say that the telegraph and telephone wires are being kept
busy over us, said Fred, who had just joined the group.
Not a doubt of it, answered the Professor, not only in America,
but all over Christendom.
Dr. Jones and Will now returned from their aerie, the observatory.
Whew! exclaimed the Doctor; if that isn't exercise for you!
What is the temperature now? asked the Professor.
One hundred and thirty degrees, replied Will. It has cooled off a
Yes, we have descended to the twenty-five hundred foot level,
remarked the Professor, after consulting the barometer.
She will skim along many hours before we need to fire up, returned
And how is the view from the observatory? inquired Denison of the
That is the sight of a lifetime, cried Dr. Jones. Language is
utterly inadequate to describe it. With the vast, unobstructed view on
all sides, far as the eye can reach, the great glistening rotund sides
of the globe rolling away from beneath your feet, giving one a
sensation as if about to slide off into the awful chasm below, I assure
you that it is something fearful. But I cast my eye up the shining mast
and saw the stars and stripes floating there so calmly and serenely,
and I remembered our glorious mission, and instantly I felt the
Everlasting Arms about me. I realized as never before in my life, the
utter littleness of man, and the almightiness of God. Here, floating
thousands of feet above the earth, we can rest just as implicitly on
His promises as we ever did in our lives.
These words were said by the Doctor with so much earnestness and
solemnity that a hush fell upon the company for a few moments. Then
Mrs. Jones sat at the organ and began singing in a low, sweet voice,
Kelso Carter's splendid hymn:
Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let his praises ring;
Glory in the highest, I can shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God.
Every one of the seven were trained vocalists, and, very happily for
the pleasure of the company, the four parts were so nicely balanced
that their voices blended in sweetest harmony. The Doctor and Will and
Denison sang bass; Fred and Professor Gray tenor, Mattie alto, and Mrs.
Jones soprano. Mattie possessed an exceedingly rich contralto, while
Mrs. Jones' soprano was strong, sweet, and clear as a bird's. They all
joined in the chorus, and when the hymn was finished, Ah Sing, who
stood in the doorway with his white cap and apron on, encored loudly.
Velly good. Me heap likee, was his verdict.
It takes the 'Children of the Skies' to sing that hymn! cried
Hear! Hear! said Mrs. Jones, clapping her hands. Isn't that
poetic and appropriate? The Children of the Skies! That was an
inspiration on your part, Mr. Denison.
Several more pieces were sung, and the newness of their position
began to wear off toward evening. After this the rooms were assigned to
each by the Doctor, who was by common consent, recognized as captain of
the ship. Himself and wife occupied the largest of the sleeping
apartments, a beautiful bedroom, twelve feet square. How pure, sweet,
and clean they all were! The ceilings, walls, floors, and furniture,
all of that marvelous metal, aluminum. Rugs laid about as required were
the only covering upon the floors. At six o'clock, Sing announced
dinner. As they repaired to the dining-room and sat in the dainty
aluminum chairs about the aluminum table, set with a complete service
of the same metal, they could not repress their expressions of delight.
They sat with bowed heads while Dr. Jones invoked the Divine blessing
upon the food of which they were about to partake, and asked His
special protection and care during the unknown perils before them. As
the meal progressed, they grew quite talkative and merry.
This is high living in more senses than one, remarked Fred as he
finished a plate of soup.
Yes, returned Mrs. Jones, we have picked up a jewel of a cook.
How are you getting along, girls? cried the genial Doctor, from
the lower end of the table where he sat carving the meat.
Just splendidly, Doctor, replied Mattie, gaily. Your picnic is
turning out to be a grander success than you ever could have dreamed
I don't know, he returned as his eye swept about the room and out
of the window. I had my ideas up pretty high, but I must admit that
this rather exceeds my highest flights of imagination.
My ideal of pleasure, so far as eating goes, used to be that of
sitting in a Pullman dining-car, flying at the rate of forty miles an
hour or more. I have spent an hour at such a table more than once,
looking out of the great windows as I ate, and thought I knew all about
it. But ah! I had never dined with the 'Children of the Skies,' said
And so they pleasantly chatted through the meal. Mrs. Jones, who sat
at the other end of the table, poured the tea.
It may be imagination, but everything seems to taste better than
common aboard this ship, said Professor Gray. Now, this tea is
remarkably fragrant and delicious. It is a beverage that I do not as a
rule care much for. What particular variety of tea is it?
It is the very best quality of Ceylon. I have forbidden the use of
any other kind by my patients. The Ceylon tea possesses little or no
tannic acid, and is not nearly so deleterious to weak stomachs as other
varieties. Speaking of teas, I suppose that you have all heard of one
brand of tea called 'Gunpowder.' I could tell you a very good story
about Gunpowder tea if you wish to hear it.
A general desire being expressed to hear it, the Doctor began:
My maternal grandfather left New York state and moved to the
vicinity of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1830. Cleveland at that time was a
small, unimportant lakeport and my grandfather was offered his choice
between a tract of land upon what is now the most beautiful residence
street in the world, Euclid Avenue, and a piece at what was called
Brighton, several miles farther from town. It speaks but little for the
old gentleman's foresight, but he chose the latter, and so remained a
comparatively poor man all his life, instead of becoming a millionaire.
But, by dint of hard work, grandfather prospered as well as his
neighbors, and was content. In course of time, a hired man became a
necessary fixture upon the farm, and for many years Pete Wiggs, an
honest, hardworking German, was grandfather's right-hand man. But Pete,
jewel of a farmhand though he was, possessed one serious flaw: he
would have a periodical spree. But, so considerate was he, that he
always chose a time for his sprees when 'Dere really vos notting else
to do, Uncle Ezra,' as he assured my grandfather by way of extenuation.
So it became an understood arrangement that Pete was to be allowed, and
expected to have, a 'blowout' every spring and fall. One spring day,
the crops being all in, Pete began making arrangements for one of his
semi-annuals. 'Now, Pete,' said my grandmother, 'before you get drunk,
I want you to be sure and not forget to buy me a pound of the new tea I
have heard of. They call it 'Gunpowder tea.' Now attend to this for me
before you get to drinking.
'All right, Aunt Lois, so I vill,' replied Pete.
Four or five days later, Pete returned as usual, semi-intoxicated,
and looking very much the worse for wear.
'Give me dish, Aunt Loish, and I gif you dot Gunpowder dee. Paper
proke in mine bocket.'
So out of his coat pocket he began to fish great handfuls of tea
leaves, and a fine, black, granular substance. Grandmother looked at
the strange mixture critically, and concluded that the reason the tea
was so called was because part of it so much resembled gunpowder. So
she thanked the thoughtful Dutchman most kindly, and set it away
carefully. A few evenings later she invited a number of her neighbors,
old cronies, to drink Gunpowder tea with her. None of them had ever
seen the new variety of tea, and all were there, expecting a very great
It was soon poured out and upon the table. Grandmother noticed that
its color was black as ink, and she felt a thrill of anxiety run down
her spinal column as she poured it into the cups. Aunt Joanna, my
grandmother's sister, was the oracle of the settlement on social
matters, and by tacit consent, all awaited until she had first tasted
the new beverage. Each felt that a great event was at hand, and the
fate of Gunpowder tea was about to be settled, once and forever, in
that settlement. So Aunt Joanna, fully alive to a sense of her position
and responsibility, with great deliberation took a generous sip of the
candidate for social favor. Her eyes filled with tears; she coughed
furiously behind her handkerchief, and a spasm of disgust and nausea
went to her very toes. Then she sat straight, grim, and silent as
death. Each of the other old ladies went through about the same
motions. And now grandmother, who had been puttering about, waiting
upon her guests, noticed that something was wrong.
'Well, Joan, how do you like Gunpowder tea?'
'Taste it, Lois,' was all Aunt Joan would condescend to reply. She
complied, taking quite a generous swallow.
'Oh! my stars!' she fairly screamed, 'What horrible stuff is this?
'Why, that is Gunpowder tea, Lois,' said Aunt Joan with grim
sarcasm. 'Beautiful, isn't it?'
'There is some awful mistake about this,' said grandmother. 'I'll
see that drunken Pete about it.'
Pete was called in. Grandmother brought the box of tea out before
him and said: 'Pete, what is the matter with this tea? It has nearly
poisoned us all to death. What is this black stuff mixed up with the
The Dutchman looked at it stupidly for a moment, then his mouth
expanded from ear to ear, and he roared with laughter. 'Dunder und
blixen, Aunt Loish, but dot vos a goot choke on you. Dot vos Gunpowder
dee mitout any mishtake,' and again he howled with laughter.
The long and short of the matter was, that Pete had bought a pound
of tea and a pound of gunpowder, and had put the two packages into the
same pocket before getting drunk. During his drunken brawling and
fighting the papers had become broken, with the result related.
The evening was balmy and beautiful, and they promenaded about the
balcony until the shades of night had set in. The twinkling lights of
the towns and farmhouses began to appear. They were passing over the
mountainous region of southeastern Pennsylvania, and the globe had
ascended to the four thousand foot level. The wind had shifted to
nearly due west.
Where are we now, Doctor? asked Mattie.
We are crossing the southern portion of Pennsylvania. We are
traveling nearly due west. I shall seek a more northerly current
to-morrow morning if this wind does not become more favorable by that
They finally tired of walking and sat conversing until nearly ten
o'clock, when, by general consent, they retired, except Will, who
remained up to keep a lookout, and to watch the barometer and
CHAPTER VIII. Relating how the
Beautiful Picnic Progressed.
Shortly before six o'clock all arose. The Doctor and his wife, at
her earnest solicitation, ascended to the observatory to witness the
sunrise. Mattie had manifested symptoms of vertigo that morning on
first looking out, and decided not to go up with them. The exertion of
climbing that long flight of stairs flushed the lovely face of Mrs.
Jones, and her cheeks were like twin roses when they reached the
observatory. Once there, she was glad to sit and rest. The Doctor
opened the windows and then sat beside her. Mrs. Jones sat quiet and
dumb, hands clasped, looking out upon the most glorious scene her eyes
had ever beheld. The sun was just peeping above the horizon. The
painting of the clouds; the variegated face of the earth; the pure,
balmy atmosphere; the great globe beneath their feet; the exquisitely
graceful shaft that pierced the vault nearly one hundred feet above
their heads, bearing our beautiful symbol of liberty; all these,
combined with the inspiration that always attends looking out upon the
works of God from great elevations, thrilled the souls of the two
spectators as they had never been before in their lives. Thus they sat
in silence drinking in the beauties of the morning for nearly a quarter
of an hour. Approaching steps upon the stairway broke the spell, and
the Professor and Fred stepped into the observatory. As they looked out
upon the transcendent loveliness of the scene, the Professor raised his
hands above his head and cried: 'What is man, that Thou art mindful of
him, or the son of man that Thou visitest him? Thou hast made him
little lower than the angels, and crowned him with glory and honor.'
You told us yesterday that you never felt so little as when you looked
out from this magnificent aerie; but I declare to you, Doctor, that I
feel now that God has made man a wonderful being. As we go thus sailing
through these roseate skies in this most splendid creation that ever
came from the hands of man, I feel like crying with old Elisha, 'My
father! My father! The chariot of Israel and the horsemen thereof.'
They sat a few minutes and then descended to the cabin. Mattie,
Will, and Denison were upon the balcony, speculating as to what city
they were rapidly approaching. Dr. Jones looked at it through his
glasses, and said: That is Columbus, the capital city of Ohio. Those
great stone buildings you see there, inclosed by high stone walls,
constitute the state prison. It contains at present, I believe, nearly
three thousand convicts.
The poor things! said Mattie. Just think of the contrast between
sailing so smoothly and easily as we are doing, away above the world
with all its cares and sorrows, and being incarcerated within those
gloomy walls, many of them for life. I am sure that if they could
become 'Children of the Skies,' they would all reform in a short time.
No, no, Mattie, replied the Doctor, God did infinitely more than
that for man. He placed him in the garden of Eden, and he transgressed
the only restrictive law laid upon him. And he became so vile that the
Lord was compelled to drown them like so many rats. Beautiful and
inspiring though our present circumstances and surroundings are, yet
they could never change the hearts of the majority of those miserable
Breakfast was now announced by Sing. The bracing atmosphere of this
upper region seemed to be very appetizing, for they all ate heartily.
The ship was acting splendidly, continuing at nearly the same level
of the day before, and but little fuel had been burned during the
night. The wind had shifted to the south, and they were sailing twenty
miles an hour, due north. The Doctor rubbed his hands gleefully. We're
getting there now, ladies and gentlemen, we're getting there finely.
Nothing could be better.
The sweet, happy valleys of Ohio were so exceedingly beautiful; the
little towns appeared so pure and lovely to the voyagers; and the
people were out in such crowds, cheering them so lustily, that our
friends could do little else than sit through the day and watch them
through their glasses. And numerous were the dispatches they wrote and
cast from the balcony. They could see the people rushing eagerly for
them, as they reached the earth.
I wish we had a morning paper, sighed Fred. I do not doubt that
we receive some mention in it.
That is about the only thing I have missed so far, said the
Professor. But we can well afford to forego that luxury for what we
are now enjoying.
And I really do wish we could attend church Sunday mornings, said
Oh! we will have a church service, replied Denison. I notice that
the Doctor has brought with him a book of sermons and a Bible. Then we
have an organ, and the best choir I ever heard. The Doctor or Professor
can act as parson; and, to make the thing realistic and homelike, I
will pass the contribution box.
I will see that he uses a bell punch, cried Fred. This suggestion
was immediately rejected as unworthy of one of the Children of the
The Professor sat consulting a map. We are heading straight for
Cleveland, he remarked.
I am really glad of that, said Dr. Jones. That is my old native
town, and I have not seen it for many years. The population has doubled
several times since I left it, immediately after the war.
An hour or so later, as he stood upon the balcony, the Doctor
suddenly shouted, There's Cleveland! And that town this side of it is
Berea, the great stone quarry place. Do you see on the north side of
the town those brick and stone buildings in a campus? That is Baldwin
University, where I attended school several years. You didn't dream,
dear old girl, said he, tenderly and apostrophizingly to said
institution of learning, that you would ever turn out such a sky
traveler as I am, did you?
All the glasses were turned upon the University. We shall pass
directly over it, said Fred.
They have sighted us! cried the Doctor excitedly. See the
students pouring out of the buildings! Let's give them some messages.
This they did in a liberal shower.
They had lowered to the five hundred foot level, so that a good view
might be taken of the beautiful metropolis of OhioCleveland. They
were just about passing over it.
What a splendid city it has grown to be, said Professor Gray.
Yes, indeed, replied Dr. Jones. That portion of the city,
continued he, pointing with his finger, was formerly called Brooklyn
Center. I was born a mile or so from there. Yes! he cried, looking
earnestly through his glass, I am quite sure that I can see the old
two-story farmhouse where I was born. It is, sure as shooting! There is
grandfather's farm where the 'Gunpowder tea' party was held that I told
you of. And off here are the Heights, or South Cleveland. In 1862, when
I joined the army, that was Camp Cleveland. It was then covered with
rough wooden barracks, but now you see that it is densely built up with
houses. My regiment, the 124th O.V.I. was in camp there three months
before we went south.
You must have been a very small soldier at that time, said Mattie.
Yes, he replied, I was but fifteen years old at that time. I
didn't do much good or harm, for I was but a snare drummer the first
two years of my soldiering, and the last year I was detailed as mounted
orderly at brigade headquarters. But just see the people! Give them
some messages! We shall be out of 'Yankee Doodle' land very soon.
So the half million (more or less) of Clevelanders were treated to a
shower of greetings.
If I had thought sooner, I would have dropped anchor here and given
my old townies a handshake, said the Doctor.
Too late now, Doctor. We have passed the principal portion of the
city, and will be above Lake Erie in two or three minutes.
Yes, yes, I see, sighed the Doctor. But we may see you again.
The blue water of Lake Erie was now rolling beneath them. Steamers
and sail vessels thickly dotted the face of the beautiful lake; for the
traffic and travel upon these great inland seas are exceedingly large.
The Canadian shores were visible, and when Sing announced dinner, the
splendid domain of Her Majesty Victoria, Ontario, lay widespread before
them. It was hard to realize that they were not still in their own
land, so much like it did the peaceful towns, villages, and farms
After dinner, the five men, in the little smoking-room, lighted
their pipes and cigars, and entered into a general chat.
If this wind holds, we shall be in the Arctics in two or three
days, said Will.
I suppose that we shall then be obliged to get out our furs,
No, returned the architect. These walls are double as well as the
floor, with air chambers between, and I can turn hot air into them at
pleasure. The windows and doors are all double, also, and Jack Frost
can never penetrate this cabin.
What a contrast between this luxurious sail through the sky, and
the buffetings upon sea and land, the hunger, cold, and oftentimes
death, suffered by former Arctic explorers, said the Professor. And,
Doctor, he continued, if we make a successful trip, the matter of
aerial navigation will have been settled. What a power this ship would
have been in the late war of the Rebellion.
The war would have been very quickly terminated if our globe had
been in existence at that time, returned Dr. Jones. We could have
sailed above the reach of their best guns and dropped bombs upon them
that would have destroyed their forts, gunboats, and armies at will.
But I am glad things were as they were. We fought a fair fight to the
finish, and settled forever the question of human slavery in America.
Had the first few battles of the war been won by the North, the South
might have laid down their arms, and have been permitted to retain
their institution of slavery. When Lincoln issued his Emancipation
Proclamation, I remember that even we soldiers in the field received
the news with a sort of shock, and thought our President over-bold. We
had not thought of that extreme measure as a result of the war. We were
simply out to preserve the Union.
And right well you did it, Doctor, said Denison. I have always
noticed in reading the history of that war, that in the latter part of
it you fought with much greater skill and judgment than you did in the
first year or two.
That is quite true, and nothing more than what might have been
expected, replied Dr. Jones. It is marvelous what we accomplished
with an absolutely empty treasury, no credit, no standing army to speak
of, and our little navy scattered to the four ends of the earth. The
vast, splendidly drilled armies which we brought into existence as if
by magic, were the wonder of the world. We had everything to learn,
both North and South, in the matter of logistics. Long lines of
communications had to be kept open, and such splendid raiders as John
Morgan, Forest, Mosby, etc., were not slow to break them frequently, so
that I remember going to bed supperless many times after a hard day's
march, because our rations had been captured and burned. Our wagon
trains were something immense, while the big Bell tents were in use;
but after what were called by the boys 'pup tents,' or 'dog tents,'
were introduced, the wagon trains were cut down at least three-fourths.
For the pup tents we carried upon our backs, and so dispensed with the
great Bell tents that were hauled in wagons. Our trains had been so
large and cumbersome that military movements were inconceivably slow,
and the war could never have been fought to a successful issue by the
North on those lines.
I suppose, Doctor, that you were in some of the great battles?
Yes, I was in the battles of Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, through
the Atlantic campaign; then under General Geo. H. Thomas we marched
back into Tennessee, fought a desperate battle at Franklin, and a few
weeks later annihilated the army at Nashville. While we were doing
this, Sherman was making his renowned march to the sea. But I'll spin
you some of my experiences before we get back home. Let's join the
I should never tire hearing your war stories, said Fred.
Yes; and you would be the first one to go to sleep if I should tell
you of the battle of Chickamauga or Missionary Ridge.
This Fred stoutly denied. All right, said the Doctor. I'll test
you one of these evenings.
The sooner the better, replied Fred. And now let's have some
They sang several anthems and choruses, and all retired at an early
hour, except Denison, who stood watch.
CHAPTER IX. In the Heart of
The central room of the cabin was called the 'engine room.' It was
fifteen feet square, with a hole three feet in diameter in one corner,
now securely covered. It was used for lowering or hoisting objects
through while the globe was at anchor. An aluminum frame or cage,
attached to a windlass by a chain of the same material, was used for
this purpose. A powerful coil steel spring operated the windlass. In
each of the other corners of the room were anchors of aluminum, also
attached to windlasses and worked by steel springs. There was a dynamo
that afforded abundance of light for the ship. This, too, was run by
spring power. The rooms of the cabin were brilliantly lighted, and the
spiral stairway, from the foot of the mast which stood upon the center
of the floor of the engine-room, was illuminated by several lights, up
to the observatory itself. At the top, or ball of the mast, was a light
of thirty-two hundred candle power. Altogether, the ship must have been
at night an object of terrific splendor to the observer below.
Will was the originator of the steel-springs motor idea, and he
daily attended to winding them with great faithfulness and pride. And
it was a most invaluable adjunct to the comfort and success of the
expedition, as will be seen before the end of this history is reached.
At daylight, on the following morning, all were up and looking out
upon wild Canadian forests. Here and there were small towns and
settlements, but they realized that they were fast hastening beyond the
pale of civilization. The wind had moved during the night into the
southwest, and the Professor informed them that they were sailing at
the rate of more than thirty miles an hour.
If this wind will only continue, we shall not be long reaching our
destination, said the Doctor. While I am enjoying the trip
splendidly, yet I am anxious to reach the Pole as soon as possible.
After that we will start on a general sightseeing tour. But until I
have planted our aluminum shaft exactly upon the north end of the
earth's axis, sightseeing is but incidental and secondary.
All day they skimmed like a frigate bird across the face of Canada,
at an altitude of about two thousand feet. All were delighted with the
behavior of the ship. Her capacity for floating and retaining heat far
exceeded their most sanguine expectations.
It was interesting to watch the fast changing appearance of the
country, and they could note that the timber was rapidly growing
smaller. Clearings and settlements became more and more rare, and as
the day closed they were looking upon primitive, unbroken forests,
known only to hunters, both white and red.
Another night passed without incident. The wind held all night in
the same quarter. On the following morning the beautiful ship was
enveloped in a dense fog. We are in the midst of a great cloud, said
I think we will rise a few hundred feet and see if we can get out
of it, replied Dr. Jones.
The temperature within the globe was raised a few degrees, and the
ship rapidly rose to twenty-five hundred feet altitude. This carried
them high above the clouds, and it was with new and strange sensations
that our aerial navigators looked down upon the dense cloud that
obscured the face of the earth from their view. The sun, meantime, was
shining with what seemed to them greatly increased splendor in this
Well, girls, cried the Doctor, I am for some exercise. Who will
mount with me to the observatory?
They each assented, and a few moments later were sitting in that
elevated place, very warm and breathless from the unwonted exercise of
the long climb. This was Mattie's first visit to the observatory, and
her eyes dilated with terror as she looked over the rolling sides of
the massive globe.
O, Doctor, Doctor! isn't this perfectly awful! Think of what the
very slightest mistake or mishap would do. We should go flying down
through those clouds, and be dashed to pieces in those uninhabited
Canadian forests. And I suppose that our friends would never hear of us
Tut, tut, Mattie. Cheer up, little girl, said the doctor, very
soothingly, and patting her head with his steady, strong hand. No
mishap is possible. We cannot explode, collapse, burn, collide, nor
capsize. No enterprise ever entered upon by man possessed so much of
interest and importance, and was attended by so little of the element
of danger. You were never safer in your life than you are at this
moment. Think of it! Here we are above the clouds, the world with all
its care and heartaches shut out, basking in this glorious sunlight,
sailing on in this clear, bracing, microbeless atmosphere. The clouds
beneath our feet, the sun above our heads, and God's empyrean all about
us. What can be more inspiring and grand? How does the chorus of that
old hymn run?
'Let us look above the clouds,
Above the clouds, above the clouds;
Up above the stormy clouds
To fairer worlds on high.'
The Doctor sang this simple chorus in his great sonorous voice that
rang out over the clouds like a bugle blast.
Well, I declare Doctor, you will not let me get into a real good
fright, cried Mattie, smiling through eyes filled with tears.
No, indeed, I will not, Mattie. The only fear I have now is that we
may keep breakfast waiting. Let's descend.
The forenoon passed away very uneventfully. About the middle of the
afternoon they were treated to a splendid spectacle. A terrific thunder
storm raged beneath them; and as they looked below into the inky depths
of the thunder clouds, pierced and riven by jagged lightnings, followed
by deafening bellowings and crashings of thunder, and then cast their
eyes up to the sun shining in full-orbed splendor over all, they
realized as never before the presence and majesty of Omnipotence.
At four o'clock, P.M. the storm clouds cleared away, and the bleak,
uninviting face of Labrador was plainly visible. The ship had settled
to an altitude of fifteen hundred feet, and was moving northeasterly at
the rate of thirty miles an hour.
Isn't that a settlement I see ahead a few miles? asked Will.
The Doctor and Professor Gray decided that it must be a fort or
trading post. The ship, meantime, was lowering quite rapidly, and was
but eight hundred feet above the earth.
I have a mind to drop anchor at that fort for the night, said Dr.
Jones. Some fresh meat, especially game and fish, would not be at all
bad to take. What do you all say?
A general desire was expressed to do so.
They could see that the inhabitants of the place were greatly
excited, and were running to and fro. The globe was lowered to within
three hundred feet of the earth. As they neared the spot, two of the
anchors were dropped, and soon caught in the birch tree tops. The ship
strained tremendously at the cables for a moment or two, and then rode
easily at anchorage, three hundred feet above the buildings.
Fort ahoy! shouted the Doctor.
Ahoy! replied a hoarse voice.
What fort is this?
This is not a fort, but Constance House.
Well, we are a party bound for the North Pole, and we wish to buy
All right. Come down, and we will do the best we can for you. But I
think you have scared everybody on the place about to death.
The spring power was turned on, and the windlasses drew the globe to
within one hundred feet of the earth. Then the Doctor and Denison
descended in the cage. They met a splendidly built, large man, dressed
in a semi-arctic suit of woolens and furs. The two voyagers introduced
themselves, explained their business, and they were received very
cordially by this man, John Barton, the proprietor and owner of
Constance House. He invited the whole company to descend and make
themselves at home as long as they desired to remain. So two by two
they descended, Sing also joining the group below. The anchors were
lashed to the trunks of the trees to prevent accidents from sudden
gusts of wind.
They found Constance House to be a large one-story stone building,
which served for both residence and storeroom. One-half of it was
devoted to the storage of provisions, clothing, and such other goods as
are required by hunters and trappers. These Mr. Barton exchanged for
furs with said hunters and trappers. Hunting, trapping, and fishing
constituted the sole business of the simple-minded inhabitants. Here
they are born, live, die contentedly, knowing little of and caring
nothing about the great world which the most of us are so anxious to
Barton's family consisted of a wife, two strapping sons, who were
hunters and trappers, and a daughter. The daughter's name was Jennie,
aged eighteen. She was a strong, healthy, beautiful girl. Nothing could
exceed the loveliness of her skin, the whiteness of her even teeth, or
the graceful shapeliness of her form. Mrs. Jones and Mattie were
immediately drawn to her. She met their advances freely and frankly,
though her manners showed at once that she was not accustomed to such
society. But she was so unaffectedly sweet and pure that the two ladies
loved her all the better for her unsophistication. Mrs. Barton was an
invalid, and they did not see her that evening.
After a bountiful supper the whole party drew up to a vast
fireplace. In it roared a huge fire, for the night was very cold and
frosty. For a time the air-ship and the object of their voyage was
discussed. The admiration of Barton and the inhabitants of Constance
House for the globe was unbounded. The wind had lulled away to a very
gentle breeze, and the superlatively splendid globe hung above them so
majestically, and glistened so beautifully in the moonlight, that it is
not wonderful that these people, who saw and knew so little of the
outside world, should be struck dumb with wonder and astonishment as
they looked upon it.
I must say, said Barton, that I never experienced such sensations
in my life as I did when your ship hove in sight. I have been mate of
some good ships in my time, and have traveled over a good portion of
the earth. I have seen many strange sights on land and sea, but this
beats them all by so much that I shall never mention them again. And
you are going to make the North Pole beyond a peradventure. Nothing
could please me so well as to make one of your party. But my poor, poor
wife! He dropped his face into his hands, and tears trickled down upon
his massive grey beard. The two sons and Jennie also participated in
their father's grief.
What is the matter with your wife? asked Mrs. Jones, very gently.
Perhaps Dr. Jones might do something for her.
No, no, madam; her case is a hopeless one. I took her down to
Montreal last year, and the best medical men there were consulted. They
could do absolutely nothing for her, and I have brought her home to
die. I wanted to stay there with her, where she could have more of the
comforts of life, but she preferred to come back to Constance House.
While I know nothing of the nature of your wife's disease, yet I
will say that I have cured many cases of so-called incurables. It is
not that I know more of the nature of disease than the average
physician, but I use drugs that they know nothing of, will not
investigate, look at, nor even touch with the longest of tongs, said
But, Doctor, my wife's case is cancer. They showed me the latest
and best authorities, and they invariably gave what they called an
'unfavorable prognosis.' You would not undertake to say that this
fearful disease is curable, would you? cried Barton, very earnestly.
The Doctor saw that he had a very intelligent and well-informed man
to deal with. He had conceived a liking for the grand old man, and
desired, with all his good and kindly heart, to help this noble family
in its distress and isolation from the civilized world. So he said
slowly and impressively:
Mr. Barton, I came to you this afternoon like a messenger from the
skies. The way in which I came, and the ship in which I sailed, ought
to entitle my word to some weight with you. Now I am going to say this:
I have cured cancers, and believe that a large percentage of them are
curable. I would like to see your wife, and if I can do anything for
her, I shall be glad to do it.
I thank you, Dr. Jones, with all my heart. Come right in with me,
and Barton led the way to his wife's room. Half an hour later the
Doctor came from the sick room, went out, jumped into the cage and
mounted to the globe. He returned in a few moments and said: I have
here medicine, Mr. Barton, that is certain to do your wife a great
amount of good. And I am quite positive that it will work a perfect
cure. Her symptoms point so unmistakably and pronouncedly to a certain
remedy that I feel safe in assuring you of immediate relief. I shall be
much surprised if you do not see less pain, burning, restlessness,
thirstin short, a decidedly better night than she has known for
Constance House was not prepared with sleeping accommodations for so
large a company of visitors, and at ten o'clock they mounted to the
ship for the night. At seven o'clock on the following morning they all
descended again and partook of the substantial breakfast prepared for
them by Jennie, with the help of a half-breed Indian girl.
The surprise and delight of the family was immeasurable at the
palliative effects of Dr. Jones' medicine. Mrs. Barton had rested quite
comfortably nearly all night, a thing that she had not done in many
months. Barton grasped the Doctor's hand when he first appeared in the
morning, and could not speak for emotion.
That is all right, Mr. Barton; just what I expected.
Doctor, you have inspired me with a degree of hope that I never
expected to know again. Do you really think you can cure her?
Mr. Barton, I will just reiterate what I said to you last night: I
have seen some astonishing cures done by the remedy indicated by the
symptoms, and in what we call a 'high potency.' I cannot stop to
explain all this to you, but you can rest assured that it is the only
help or hope for your wife. Anxious though I am to be off toward our
destination, yet I am going to stop over and study your wife's symptoms
more closely, and leave you medicines with written directions as to
The joy of the Barton family was unbounded at this announcement of
the benevolent Doctor.
After breakfast, Denison, Fred, and Will decided to accompany the
Barton boys up the river that flowed near Constance House, visiting
What game do you have in this country? asked Denison.
We have reindeer, bear, wolves, foxes, hare, marten, otter, and in
the spring and summer we have an abundance of geese, ducks, etc.,
replied Joe, the elder of the boys. Sam was the younger of the
brothers, and they were aged twenty-three and twenty-one years
respectively. The voyagers were surprised at the correctness of their
speech and other indications of education.
Our mother is an educated woman, and has taken great pains with our
education, said Sam in reply to a remark of Denison upon the subject.
And she has done as much for father. Our long winter nights we always
spend in reading, music, and sometimes in such games as chess,
backgammon, drafts, etc. Mother is a most splendid mathematician. She
is also quite a linguist. But I am afraid that mother's days of
teaching are over in this world. Dr. Jones is exceedingly kind, but do
you really think that he has any hopes of curing her? And the two sons
looked anxiously into Denison's face as they awaited his reply.
Well, replied Denison slowly, as if carefully weighing his words,
I have known Dr. Jones more than twenty years very intimately, and I
tell you candidly that you may rely implicitly upon his word. He is a
physician of remarkable skill, and to my positive knowledge has cured
several cases of cancer that had been, like your mother's, given up as
incurable. So I should hope a great deal if he gives you
God is good, and has heard our prayers, said Sam.
While this party spent the day until the middle of the afternoon
paddling from trap to trap, capturing three otters, and catching
several dozen beautiful trout and black bass, the Doctor and the
Professor ascended with Mr. Barton to the ship. As he passed through
the elegant rooms of the cabin, and saw the wonderful degree of
comfort, and even luxury, that our voyagers were enjoying, he cried
out, like the Queen of Sheba, The half was never told! And the
wonderful metal of which everything was composed where
practicablealuminumexcited his special interest.
Without this metal you could never have made the trip, he
declared. But when he had mounted the spiral stairway, and was standing
in the observatory, for some time he was speechless. As his eye ran up
the shining mast, then off over the glistening sides of the globe to
the earth, three hundred feet below, then away over the trackless
wastes of Labrador, he finally exclaimed, This, gentlemen, is too
wonderful for me. I cannot give expression to my feelings. If you had
told me that you were visitors from Venus or Mars, I should be obliged
to believe you.
And so they sat and discussed for an hour or more the object of the
expedition, and the probability of success. All agreed that, so far as
human thought and judgment could foresee, failure was hardly possible.
They descended to the cabin. The aluminum mast especially attracted the
attention of the old sailor.
And you intend erecting this magnificent spar at the North Pole!
he exclaimed, all his sailor instincts thoroughly aroused. How do you
intend to manage that business, Doctor?
We shall be governed in that matter entirely by circumstances,
replied Dr. Jones. I do not know what we may find there, and so cannot
say exactly what we may have to do. But I shall consider the trip a
partial failure if I do not leave this stately shaft, exactly to the
quarter of an inch, standing at the North Pole, with that aluminum flag
flying at its peak, there to float till time shall be no more.
Well, Doctor, I am a thoroughbred British subject, and can't help
wishing that it was the Union Jack that you were going to leave there;
but you deserve all the honor of the occasion, and I am glad to bid you
Godspeed, said Barton heartily.
Thank you, replied Dr. Jones, now let us go down and see further
about your wife's case. I must be off to-morrow morning, bright and
The Doctor and Barton repaired to the sick chamber. After nearly an
hour they left the house, walked down to the river bank, and talked
long and earnestly concerning the treatment of Mrs. Barton.
I will tell you just what I am doing for your wife, and the grounds
I have for hope. I think, under the circumstances, that an exposé of
the rationale of my treatment is due you, for two reasons, first,
because I desire to give you a reason for the hope that is within me,
and so make you as happy and comfortable as possible by filling you up
with a lively faith; secondly, because I delight in instructing
intelligent people in what I conceive to be the only rational and
scientific system of medicine known to man.
In this pocket-case book, you will observe that I have taken Mrs.
Barton's symptoms very carefully and minutely:
1. A fearful and apprehensive state of mind. She cannot tolerate
being left alone.
2. Intolerable thirst for cold water. Drinks often, and but a sip
or two at a time.
3. The pains are very sharp, lancinating, and burning.
4. She is always worse at night, from twelve o'clock until two or
three, A.M. The pains then are intolerable, and burning like red-hot
iron, so that you are obliged to hold her in your arms to prevent her
doing herself injury.
5. Great restlessness.
6. Skin yellow, or straw-colored, dry and wrinkled.
7. Very emaciated and weak.
There are quite a number of other symptoms of less importance, but
all are found under but one drug in all the earth, and that drug is
arsenic. Do not be alarmed at the name, for the doses I give are
absolutely immaterial and can do no harm. But they do possess a
curative power that is truly miraculous and past the comprehension of
man. What gives me greater hope and confidence in your wife's case is
the fact that she has never been under the surgeon's knife. Operations
for cancer not only do no good whatever, but they reduce the patient's
chances of cure, so that after the second or third one the case is
rendered absolutely incurable. And another thing greatly in her favor
is that she has taken but little medicine, and so I have been able to
get a clear picture of the case. And I must strictly forbid the use of
any drugs whatever, internally or externally, except what I give you.
But, Doctor, the terrible odor! said Barton, Must I not use the
disinfectant as I have been doing?
No; nothing but washing with warm castile soap-suds, two or three
times daily. The odor will all disappear within a few days.
Well, that is astonishing! And is arsenic the remedy for all cases
Not by any manner of means. That is the great mistake of the
medical world in all ages. They are continually on the lookout for
specifics, or medicines that cure all cases of any given disease,
irrespective of symptoms. Every case must be taken upon its individual
merits, and differentiated upon symptomatology alone. And a drug must
be prescribed that is indicated by the symptoms. Anything more or less
than this is unscientific, and a contrariety to one of God's most
beautiful and universal laws'Similia similibus curanter,''Like
cures like.' That is to say, arsenic is the remedy for your wife,
because, when taken in material doses, it always produces symptoms
identical with those manifested in her case. Hence I meet them with
immaterial doses of that drug. Had her symptoms been different, then I
should have been obliged to seek and find, if possible, a drug capable
of causing this different set of symptoms, whatever they might have
been. Now this rule of law holds good throughout all the field of
medicine, except that which is purely surgical. Do you catch the idea?
I do, Doctor, I do; and I declare that it looks very reasonable as
you put it. I like the theory, and if it always holds good in practice,
then it is certainly one of the most beneficent of God's laws.
Thousands of times, Barton, in an active practice of more than
twenty-five years, I have tested this law; and I tell you, as an honest
man, and one who expects to answer for the deeds done in the body at
the bar of God, that it never failed me once. I have failed many times
because I could not read aright the symptoms of the case; or when it
was an incurable affair, rendered so by drugs and surgery, said Dr.
Jones with great earnestness. But come, I have given you quite a
medical lecture. Let's look up the girls and see what they are about.
CHAPTER X. A Messenger from the
Mrs. Jones and Mattie had found Jennie to be a lovely, intelligent,
and more than ordinarily educated girl. While unused to society, yet
there was an honest straightforwardness about her that was very
charming. The two ladies became easily intimately acquainted with her.
Her whole soul was devoted to her mother, and the hope that Dr. Jones
had inspired shone from her eyes. She became quite cheerful and merry.
And the effect upon the poor invalid was not less visible. She insisted
upon sitting in her easy chair by the fireplace, and joined in the
Sing, meantime, had installed himself as the presiding genius of the
kitchen, and he and the half-breed Indian girl were getting along
How long have you lived in this place, Mrs. Barton? asked Mrs.
Twenty-three years, replied she.
Well, have you not found it a very monotonous existence?
I did at first; but as my children were born, my mind and heart
were so taken up by them that time did not hang heavily upon our hands.
I really believe that we are much happier than the majority of people
in the towns and cities.
O, if mother can but get well, it seems to me that I shall never be
discontented again in Constance House! exclaimed Jennie, her eyes
filling with tears.
My poor girl does long sometimes to see the great world, said Mrs.
Barton, stroking the head of Jennie, who was sitting upon a stool at
her feet. Well, my dear girl, I believe that God, in his infinite
mercy, has sent us help directly from the skies; for I must say that
last night, as I lay the first time for many weary months free from
pain and awful burning and restlessness, that I thanked God as I had
never done before; and my faith went out to Him so that I felt a great
peace settle upon me. He has blessed the means being used. I shall
recover, my darling girl.
Jennie, in a paroxysm of joy, threw herself at her mother's feet,
and buried her face in her lap, weeping as she had never done in her
life. At this juncture the Doctor, Professor Gray, and Mr. Barton
entered the room.
Tut, tut, said the Doctor, seeing the tears streaming down the
faces of the four women, what sort of business is this? You ought to
all be laughing instead of crying. There is nothing to cry about, I
Doctor, said Mrs. Barton, extending her hand to him, you do not
understand. We are rejoicing, and this is just our poor woman's way of
I see, I see, said the jovial Doctor. Well, now wipe away your
tears, and give God all glory. He has sent me, a poor weak mortal,
simply as a messenger to administer that which will save you from a
loathsome disease and death. All glory be unto Him.
He then began singing softly and reverently, the others joining:
God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform,
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.
Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs.
And works his sovereign will.
Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
And now, Mrs. Barton, you must come out and see the chariot in
which the Lord sent us, cried Dr. Jones gayly.
The poor invalid stood in the door and looked up at the great globe
that shimmered and glistened like burnished silver in the rays of the
setting sun. How proudly and serenely it rode above their heads as if
conscious of its own unparalleled beauty, and its blessed mission in
this present instance. She gazed upon it a few moments in speechless
rapture, her poor emaciated hands clasped upon her breast.
This is too marvelous for me, she cried. What am I that God
should send deliverance to me in so glorious and majestic a ship of the
skies! I am lost in wonder and praise. Glory be to His holy name
forever and forever.
Amen! responded the listeners fervently.
The canoe party returned at four o'clock, P.M. All were tired and
ready to sit about the generous fire; for evening was at hand, and the
air was already sharp and frosty.
And how did it happen, Mr. Barton, that you came to settle away up
in this barren wilderness? asked Professor Gray.
I do not know that I know myself, returned Mr. Barton. I was
taken sick at a boarding-house in Montreal, and was sent to a hospital.
I was at that time master of the bark Twilight, a Liverpool craft. Mrs.
Barton was then a beautiful girldon't blush so, Mrs. Barton. Jennie
there is a perfect reproduction of you as I first saw you, and I should
not be ashamed of our Jennie anywhere on earth. Well, as I was saying,
Mrs. Barton, named at that time Miss Constance Schmidt, the daughter of
a Moravian missionary, visited the hospital frequently as an angel of
mercy. So far as I was concerned it was a case of love at first sight.
She nursed me back to health; and, with the usual ingratitude of man, I
married her for her pains. I then gave up the sea after a trip or two,
and settled in Montreal. But I could not get used to, nor like the
conventionalities of city life. So I made a trip into these wilds. I
saw an opportunity to do a good business in furs; and so, with wife's
consent, we settled on this spot. I built this house, which I named in
honor of my wifeConstance. I have done fairly well financially, and I
am sure that we have been quite happy and contented. Until Mrs.
Barton's illness, I was without a care or worry in the world.
But don't you find the winters very long and terribly cold? asked
On the contrary, we enjoy our winters very much. To be sure, the
thermometer runs from thirty to fifty degrees below zero; but if the
wind does not blow, we suffer very little from it.
What do you do to pass the time? asked Will.
The boys, when the weather is favorable, trap and hunt. I am
getting a little too old and heavy for much of that; so I attend to the
chores about the place, trade goods for furs to the hunters and
Esquimaux. Our evenings are passed in reading, one often reading aloud
to the rest of us. And we have a great deal of music. Joe plays the
violin, Sam the flute, and Jennie the guitar or dulcimer.
By the way, cried Fred, Let's have a musical soiree to-night.
What do you all say?
This proposition was enthusiastically received.
Come, Will, let's run up and get the organ. Will you go up?
addressing Joe and Sam.
Go up, my sons, and see this Alladin's palace, said Mr. Barton.
You will never see its like again.
In half an hour they returned. The young Bartons were wildly
enthusiastic in their praises of the globe.
Jennie, you must not fail to see the wonderful air-ship, cried
Joe. Mattie, Jennie, Will and Fred visited the globe, returning just in
time for a splendid supper prepared by the skillful Celestial, Sing.
All that the larders of both Constance House and the globe afforded had
been drawn upon, and it is doubtful if in all inhospitable Labrador a
more elaborate and bountiful table was ever spread.
The Doctor, at Mr. Barton's request, asked the Divine blessing, and
all fell to and ate with an appetite that is known only to those of
clear consciences and sound digestive organs. Having done justice to
the really splendid meal, they repaired to the sitting room. The
beautiful aluminum organ graced the center of the apartment, and the
musicians gathered about it. Fred was surprised and delighted to find
that the young Bartons were all really accomplished musicians, and
their instruments blended in sweetest harmony. So they played a number
of orchestral pieces that were received with great applause by the
audience. Then solos, duets, trios, quartettes, choruses, etc., were
sung, and it is not probable that the Barton family ever spent so
delightful an evening in their lives. And let us just contemplate the
scene for a moment. How happy, joyous, and innocent they were, just as
God intended his children to be. Two days before, this lovely family
had been in the depths of despair, day by day watching a beloved wife
and mother dying by inches of a painful, lingering, loathsome disease.
Not a sound of music had been heard in the house for many days. The
violin, guitar, and dulcimer had lain utterly neglected and unstrung.
Now a change has occurred that must have delighted the angels of God.
Through the unselfishness, skill, and noble-heartedness of one man, has
come so unexpectedly, as if dropped from the very skies, in the heart
of one of the most inhospitable portions of the earth, sweet hope and
deliverance. What wonder that their hearts are light and merry? One
thought only mars their pleasure: to-morrow morning the Children of the
Skies will sail away in their glorious sky-ship, probably never to
At ten o'clock the company broke up, the ship company ascending, as
before to their staterooms. Barton would not hear to anything else than
that they should descend in the morning for the last time. How sad
these earthly partings are. It will not be so in that better land.
CHAPTER XI. Is the World Growing
Before daylight on the following morning they descended to
breakfast. Mrs. Barton had enjoyed a comfortable night, and Dr. Jones
expressed himself as delighted with her condition.
You have everything to hope for, he said to the family. I leave
you this medicine, with written directions for its use. Do not repeat
the dose I have given her so long as improvement continues. When it
ceases you will do as directed in my written instructions.
The hour of departure had arrived. Farewells had all been said, and
the company had ascended except the Doctor and his wife.
I cannot say what I wish to you, said Barton, taking each of them
by the hand. I simply look upon you as messengers from God, and I want
to give you something more substantial than thanks. He placed a
buckskin sack of gold in the hand of Dr. Jones.
Oh! no, Mr. Barton, my good friend, said the Doctor, handing it
back; I won't take a cent. You are ten thousand times welcome to
anything I have done. I feel myself richly remunerated in the
satisfaction of leaving you all happy.
Take it, Mrs. Jones, as a present from me, said Barton, and he
pressed it into her hand. You will really hurt me if you do not accept
Then I will do so, Mr. Barton. Good-bye, and away they shot up to
the cabin. At a given signal Joe and Sam cast the anchors off, they
whizzed up to the engine-room, and the mighty ball bounded skyward like
a bird in the clear, frosty morning air. A very brisk wind was blowing
from nearly due south, and the voyagers were delighted with the
progress they made that day toward their destination.
All day they sped at more than forty miles an hour over the vast
elevated plains that were but barren wastes, growing every hour
drearier and more desolate.
Of all the misnomers on earth, the name given this country ranks
first, said Professor Gray.
What is the meaning of the word 'Labrador,' Professor? asked
The literal meaning of the word is 'cultivable land.' As to its
appropriateness, you can judge for yourselves. I do not know who
bestowed upon it this misfit of a name, but it must have been a hardy
explorer, who did it in a fit of spleen and wretchedness.
The Barton family seems to be comfortable and happy in poor old
Labrador, said Mrs. Jones.
Yes, but my dear madame, they do not live by cultivating the land,
returned the Professor. The seasons are too variable, and the changes
of temperature are far too sudden to permit raising of crops of any
Mr. Barton told me that they did raise a little garden stuff, such
as onions, lettuce, and radishes; but potatoes, corn, etc., invariably
are nipped by frost, and never mature, said Denison.
The Professor, a few moments before noon, ascended to the
observatory with sextant and chronometer, and determined the latitude
and longitude of Silver Cloud, as Mrs. Jones had named the aluminum
ship. He made the entry in his logbook.
There is our exact position now, Doctor, and he placed the point
of a pencil on the map of Labrador.
In forty-eight hours we will be within the Arctics at this rate of
speed, cried Dr. Jones, rubbing his hands with delight.
The face of the country was so uninteresting and monotonous, covered
more or less with snow, that the voyagers became tired of looking at
it, and turned their attention to various pursuits within the cabin.
Becoming tired of music, they read, played games, conversed, etc.
The Doctor and Professor were each expert chess players, and their
games were long and closely contested. Victory perched about as often
upon the banner of one as the other.
Fred worked daily upon a composition which he entitled The North
Pole March, and declared that the music should be played by himself,
while the rest of the company marched around the aluminum flagstaff,
after its erection at the summit of the earth, the North Pole. The two
ladies were greatly interested in Fred's composition, and hummed and
sang it with him, offering suggestions here and there that were of more
or less benefit to him.
Denison and Will spent their time attending to the springs, watching
the thermometers and barometer. This, however, occupied but little of
their leisure, and they played many games of checkers and backgammon.
Will took an occasional snapshot with his camera when he saw anything
of interest. He had taken some excellent photographs of Silver Cloud
and company, which he had left with the Barton family. Who can doubt
that they were an unfailing source of delight and tender remembrance to
this intelligent and interesting family, as they sat about their great
fireplace during the long winter nights. And the artist had taken some
sketches of Constance House and inhabitants, which he had brought with
him. He had converted one of the spare bedrooms into a studio, and
spent an hour or two daily upon a portrait in oil of Jennie Barton. The
fact of the matter is, the unadorned beauty and grace of the lovely
Jennie had touched his artistic taste beyond anything that he had ever
experienced in his life. And away deep in his heart, almost unknown to
himself, was a determination to spend a summer season at Constance
House, as soon after their return from the Pole as possible.
Silver Cloud all this time was hastening with the speed of a carrier
pigeon, nearly due north. Dr. Jones and Professor Gray could not
repress their satisfaction each day as their observations showed them
to be moving straight as an arrow toward the object of their journey.
The altitude they maintained was very little more or less than three
thousand feet, and the wind continued from the south at the rate of
twenty or thirty miles per hour. The outside temperature was balmy and
bracing during the day, so that the balcony afforded them a splendid
promenade, where they spent hours daily, exercising in walking round
and round the spacious cabin, and studying the topography of the
country. Frequent trips were also made to the observatory, and sitting
there with the windows open was very inspiring, as well as comfortable.
To thus sit in so elevated a place with the windows wide open, while in
a state of perspiration, the result of climbing the long stairway,
would seem to have been the height of imprudence. But we must remember
that such a thing as a breeze or draft of air was never felt on board
the Silver Cloud while in motion. The great ship went exactly with the
wind, and at precisely the same rate of speed. So, whether the wind
blew one or a hundred miles an hour, it was always a dead calm aboard
the Silver Cloud.
This is the ideal place for all catarrhal and pulmonary cases,
declared Dr. Jones. I shall always prescribe a trip in Silver Cloud
for this class of patients hereafter.
I fully believe in its efficacy, said Professor Gray. But I fear
that it will be too expensive a prescription for many of your poor
That's the trouble, that's the trouble, assented the Doctor,
shaking his head sadly. Millions are yearly dying that might be saved
by this and other means on the same line. But the blindness and
selfishness of mankind is so absolute and infernal that but little
philanthropic work of this sort can be done. There are some noble
exceptions, or we should have suffered the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah
But, Doctor, you believe that the world is getting better, do you
not? asked Will.
In what way?
Well, in every way. No one can doubt that in the arts and sciences
more has been done in the past fifty years than in all the previous
history of the world.
Granted, assented the Doctor.
All right. Then let us look at the social, moral, and spiritual
sides of the question. Socially, certainly, no period of history can
compare with the present. We are educating our children, feeding and
clothing them better than they ever were before in the world.
I really think we are, again assented Dr. Jones.
Well, then, cried Will, glowing with triumph, thinking that he was
fairly smoking the little Doctor out, what can you say for your
side of the question? Was there ever a time when life and property were
so protected as now? And were there ever so many Bibles and tracts and
other religious matter published and disseminated as at the present
time? Missionaries are going by thousands all over the earth, and the
gospel will soon have been preached to all nations.
That's so, that's so, concurred the Doctor again.
Come, come, Doctor; defend your side of the question, cried Fred.
I did not know that I had committed myself to either side,
returned he. But I will say this much: While I am not pessimistic as
to the outcome of this struggle going on between God's and Satan's
forces in the world, yet we should not overlook the fact that the devil
is fearfully active in these times. While I have admitted all that Will
has said, yet there is another side to the question. Let me call your
attention to the fact that there never was a time when there was so
much rum and tobacco used in the world as to-day. The amount consumed
per capita is increasing tremendously. Remember that with every
missionary there are sent in the same ship from seventy-five to one
hundred gallons of intoxicants, and tobacco galore. Never has this
world seen so vast preparation for war. The people of all Europe are
groaning beneath the taxation imposed upon them for the support of vast
armies and navies. At no time has money been piled up in the hands of
the few as at the present. Hundreds of millions in many instances are
held by a single individual. By no sort of philosophy can he be
entitled to it, and by no system can he come into possession of it
without robbing thousands of his fellowmen. And as to inventions:
surely no man delights more in the splendid achievements of our age in
this direction than I do. But I declare to you that I believe
labor-saving machinery to be a mighty curse to mankind, because the
laborer is being driven closer and closer to the wall by the
innumerable inventions that are driving him out of every field of
labor. The great money kings are taking advantage of every such
invention, and what the end is to be I do not dare predict. Ignatius
Donnely's fearful picture in his work, Caeser's Column, I hope and
believe to be terribly overdrawn. And, as I said before, I am not
pessimistic as to the final outcome; but let us beware of crying
'Peace! peace! when there is no peace!' The fact is, gentlemen, I
cannot help thinking that St. James referred to these very times, when
he said in the fifth chapter of his epistle: Go to now, ye rich men,
weep and howl for the miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches
are corrupted and your garments are moth-eaten. Your gold and silver is
cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and
shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped up treasure
together for the last days. Behold, the hire of the laborers who have
reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth:
and the cries of them who have reaped are entered into the ears of the
Lord of Sabbaoth. See James, 5-4. I cannot, in the light of these
prophecies, see that the world is growing essentially better rapidly,
if at all.
But, Doctor, said Will, you cannot deny that the children of
these times are incomparably better clothed, have more and better
books, live in more comfortable homes, and are enjoying privileges
never known to children of former generations.
While I must assent to what you have said, yet all these advantages
are not unmixed blessings. In my experience as a physician, I have seen
very many precious lives go out, simply because they could not endure
the high pressure system of our modern educators. I feel so strongly
upon this subject that I would prefer that a child of mine should live
and die absolutely illiterate, than that he should sacrifice one
particle of health for any conceivable amount of mere book-learning. I
once had an uncle who was a man of wonderful learning. He was a
collegian, a master of half a dozen or more languages, and for all this
he paid the price of his good health. All his life, he suffered the
pangs of an outraged stomach and nervous system. He could never make
any use of his splendidly cultivated brain, and was a miserable,
unhappy burden to himself and friends to the end of his life. His end
was sad, tinged with the element of ridiculousness. He was sitting in a
field one day, resting during a short walk, when a great vicious hog
attacked him, tossed him about, rooted him here and there, and would
have certainly killed him outright if his cries had not brought
assistance. He never recovered from the effects of the injuries
received on that occasion. Suppose poor old uncle could at that time
have traded all his dead and modern languages for a pair of good stout
legs, would it not have been a grand bargain for him?
But could not your uncle have been more judicious and systematic in
the prosecution of his studies, and have done the same amount of work
without detriment to his health? asked Professor Gray.
I do not doubt that he might. But our schools are run nowadays
upon, as I said before, a high-pressure system. Too many children are
packed into imperfectly ventilated schoolrooms, and the poor teachers
are miserably overtaxed. But the schools are graded, everything cut and
dried, the curriculum made by state or county board; and, like the
tyrant's bedstead, those too long must be cut off, and those too short
must be stretched. All must fit the bedstead. That great story-teller,
Charles Dickens, tells the story exactly in his picture of Dr.
Blimmer's system of teaching. That poor babe, Paul Dombey, might as
well have been fed to an insatiable ogre as to have been placed in the
hands of that pompous idiot. And our country is full of little Paul
Dombeys, blossoming for eternity. How much better to have let the poor
little fellow play in the sands upon the beach with his sister Florence
and old Glubb. But the precocious innocent must be murdered by this
same senseless system, because of the inordinate vanity of a foolish
father, and the stupidity of his teacher. In vain have I warned
hundreds of parents, when I saw their children thus being hurried to
premature graves. But they are so proud of the precocious darlings that
they seldom heed until it is too late. Faugh! the whole business makes
Well, Doctor, admitting all you say, what do you suggest as the
remedy? I have known many statesmen who could see and point out the
evils, present or imminent, of society or state, with great sagacity
and accuracy, but when it came to prescribing the remedy, were utterly
impracticable, said Professor Gray.
That is right, Professor Gray. It is very little benefit to a sick
man to tell him that he is sick, or even to make for him a scientific
diagnosis, if it be not supplemented by the remedy. I have remedial
measures to suggest. In the first place, I would build schoolhouses
upon strictly scientific principles; a certain number of cubic yards of
pure air should be allowed each scholar, and the most perfect system of
ventilation should always be used. Further, by way of homely
illustration, I should treat the children upon the same principles that
we do our horses. Some horses are calculated for heavy draught
business, others for light draught, roadsters, racers, etc. I need not
mention the folly of attempting to drive these animals out of their
respective classes. Now children differ as essentially in their mental
capacities and requirements as do horses physically. You can by no
possible means make a mathematician of a scholar who is deficient in
the organ of calculation. It is a manifest injustice to hitch such a
one beside another who is a perfect racer in the mathematical field. It
is not fair to either of them. I claim that each child should be
treated upon his individual merits, and in accordance with the natural
gifts that God has bestowed upon him. The graded school system is in
direct opposition to this idea, and is wholly wrong and unscientific.
Well, as to the curriculum, Doctor, said Will, suppose you were
called upon to abridge the list of studies in our public schools, where
would you begin and end? Isn't it a pity in this age of the world, to
shut off from the children any one of the branches of science or
Indeed, that would be a great pity, and far be it from me to do
anything of the kind. I would not abridge the curriculum for any child;
it should simply be taught that for which it has a capacity. A teacher
who is not capable of so discriminating and anticipating the wants of
each pupil, is not a teacher in the best sense of the word, any more
than a man is a horse trainer who cannot differentiate between a heavy
draught-horse and a light roadster. I might say considerable as to
methods of teaching, but I presume that you have heard enough for
Yes, but we have not settled the question as to whether the world
is getting better or not, returned Will. I am willing to admit that
our school system is defective. But what do you say as to the safety of
life and property at this time, compared with any other age of the
Really, now, I wish an intelligent Armenian were here to answer
But that is not fair, Doctor. The Armenians are in the hands of the
Turks and we know that they are capable of any conceivable inhumanity.
I supposed that we were discussing the world so far as civilized. I
really think that it is a clear case of 'begging the question,' when
you introduce the Armenian case into the discussion.
Do you, indeed! And let me inquire, my dear boy, who is responsible
for this wholesale slaughter of a people whose only crime is that of
being nominal Christians? Five or six centuries ago the combined
governments of Europe would have made common cause against the infamous
Turk for much less than the murder of a Christian nation. But to-day
there is so much less of manhood in Europe than there was in the days
of chivalry, that the civilized world is sitting calmly by and
permitting this unspeakable crime to go on at the sweet will of the
bloody-handed Turk. And do you not think that God will hold the nations
of Europe to a strict account for this villainy that marks the closing
decade of the nineteenth century as the blackest page in human history?
God will surely avenge Armenia, and woe to Europe when He treads the
wine-press of His wrath!
As Will offered no reply, the discussion closed.
CHAPTER XII. Greenland's Icy
Mountains and the Russian Bear.
Upon the morning of the third day from Constance House the wind
shifted almost due west. Silver Cloud was in latitude 65 deg.,
longitude 70 deg. 13 min., and they were driving rapidly toward
We are still two or three points north of east in our course, and
will let her drive as she goes for the present, said Dr. Jones. And
you wouldn't mind seeing Greenland's icy mountains, about which you
have sung so many years, would you, girls?
O let us see Greenland, by all means, Doctor! cried Mattie.
What noted travelers we will be when we get back to Washington,
and he placed an arm about each of their waists and galloped them up
and down the little sitting room several times.
I do believe that you grow to be more of a boy every year of your
life, panted Mrs. Jones, as she smoothed her rumpled hair.
You are quite right, Maggie; and what is worse, I do not expect to
ever improve a bit on that line. Give me the heart of a boy while I
live. And now, Professor, I am ready to give you revenge for that last
game or two of chess that went to my credit.
While these two were oblivious to the world in a very closely
contested game, Mrs. Jones sat knitting while Mattie read aloud to her
from a late magazine. Denison and Fred were pacing the balcony for
their constitutional. Will was working on his oil painting of Jennie
Barton, and so beautifully had he succeeded in bringing out the lovely
features, and trusting, fearless spirit that beamed from a pair of dark
blue eyes, that all the company, even to Sing, expressed their
Me sabe, said the acute Mongolian. Ah! Will heap likee Miss
The artist blushed, and they all laughed uproariously at his
confusion, and Sing went chuckling to the kitchen.
The following morning Silver Cloud had nearly crossed Davis Strait,
and the bold headlands of the western coast of Greenland were in plain
view. They crossed the western boundary line of that land of perpetual
winter, just a few miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Hurrah! shouted Dr. Jones. In the Arctics at last!
The wind held still a little north of due east, and Silver Cloud
rode at an elevation of between 3,500 and 4,000 feet. The surface of
Greenland was cold, dreary, and uninviting to a degree. Vast tracts of
ice and snow stretched in every direction, far as the eye could see.
Away in the interior a range of mountains broke the monotony of the
landscape. Toward morning a violent snowstorm gathered below them and
hid the face of Greenland from view until next morning. Silver Cloud,
meantime, was sent up to nearly 5,000 feet altitude, so that they might
not collide with any mountain peak during the night.
Upon my word, said Professor Gray, as he stood on the balcony the
following morning, and looked out over the white and ghastly picture of
desolation, I thought Labrador the most inappropriately named country
upon the earth, but think of calling this picture of all that is
inhospitable and forbiddingGreenland!
By noon they were crossing swiftly the ridge that runs the length of
Greenland, so far as is known. Silver Cloud swept within three hundred
feet of one lofty peak, covered with eternal ice and snow. Then on and
on, swift as an eagle, over the high plateaux and steppes of Eastern
Greenland. Early the following morning they arose to find the Arctic
Ocean beneath, and Greenland disappearing in the misty horizon behind
them. The wind bore a point or so more easterly, and Dr. Jones was
tempted to seek a more favorable current. He descended to the 2,000
foot level, but experienced no perceptible change.
Well, we'll stick to my original plan. Anything north of due east
or west is good enough for us, said he.
But he grew restless as they hour after hour steadily continued upon
nearly the same latitudinal line, and descended to 1,000 feet
elevation. There was some change for the better at that altitude for
many hours. One thing that specially pleased them was the wonderful
sensitiveness of the globe to the slightest variation of the
temperature within its interior. The Doctor's plan of using hot air
alone as the floating power had been modified to the extent of dividing
one-half of the globe's interior into several compartments by thin
sheets of aluminum, and these were filled with hydrogen gas. The gas
fell but little short of the power necessary to float the ship, so that
a slight elevation of the temperature in the air chamber above that of
the external atmosphere was sufficient to float the vessel. When it was
desirable to descend, a trap being opened in the upper and lower parts
of the air chamber caused the hot air to rush out and the cold air in,
and the descent could be made rapidly or slowly, at the will of the
commander. By virtue of the zinc lining of the air chamber the
temperature would remain at a given point for many hours without the
consumption of a particle of fuel.
The Doctor and Will together had devised a most ingenious method of
heating the hot-air chamber instantly. By the use of a small air pump
hundreds of atmospheres could be compressed into a very strong aluminum
chest or cylinder. Beneath this cylinder were a number of burners that
heated the compressed air several hundred degrees. As we said before,
when they desired to descend, an upper and lower trap were opened, the
hot air rushed out above and the cold air in below, causing the globe
to descend with great rapidity. This descent could be arrested at any
level by closing the trap, and a certain amount of the air let off from
the hot-air chest, and any temperature desired could be attained at
once. All this could be done at an expense of oil that was ridiculously
and incredibly small. While they could by no means steer or guide this
ship, yet, if the Doctor's theory of air currents should prove to be
scientifically correct, then they were by no means entirely at the
mercy of any and every adverse gale. And, at the worst, when a
favorable current could not be found, they could descend to the earth
and anchor until a fair wind prevailed. One thing further should be
explained. When it became desirable to ascend suddenly or rapidly, the
hot-air chest was thrown completely open, and the vast chamber was
instantly filled with air at any temperature required. When this
operation was from any cause necessary, the upper trap was closed and
all the lower apertures opened. The hot air from the chest immediately
mounted to the upper end of the air chamber, and forced the excess of
cold atmosphere out through these lower traps. The effect upon the
globe was marvelous. It would bound skyward like a rocket. By a series
of experiments Will had ascertained just the amount of pressure per
square inch and the temperature that was necessary to send the ship to
a given altitude. The rate of ascent was under perfect control by
letting off the hot air slowly or rapidly.
What a mighty engine for good or evil in the world this ship would
be, if it could be guided or steered, remarked Professor Gray.
I doubt if that can ever be done, replied Will. The surface
presented to the current of atmosphere is too great to allow any sort
of device to operate satisfactorily.
The Government is making experiments with what is called the
aeroplane, and the indications are that it is the coming method of
aerial navigation. But the degree of comfort that we are enjoying can
never be an attendant of that plan. I shall never cease to wonder at
the speed with which we are traveling over these Arctic regions in
perfect comfort. I never felt better in my life, and I have grown to
feel as safe as I ever did in my home in Washington, said Professor
They occasionally saw whales spouting, and it was exceedingly
interesting to watch the great icebergs that floated here and there
over the face of the deep. Some of them towered like crystal mountains,
hundreds of feet into the air.
Just think how incomprehensibly great these masses of ice are,
observed Professor Gray. It is estimated that but one-eighth of the
berg protrudes above the surface. Now look at that monster! Not less
than eighteen or twenty miles long, and from five to six hundred feet
high, making it in the neighborhood of a mile in thickness. Ah! see
that big fellow turning over! Did you ever see anything so grand! I
don't wonder that navigating these seas is next to impossible.
They were all standing upon the balcony when they beheld this
For two whole days the beautiful ship continued steadily upon nearly
the same course. The Professor pointed out their position upon the map
at latitude 70 deg. 35 min., and longitude 50 deg. 20 min., East
Greenwich. At this point they encountered a terrible gale from the
north. The Doctor raised higher and higher, until they reached an
altitude of ten thousand feet. Still they flew at amazing speed toward
the south. He ascended to fifteen thousand, then twenty thousand feet
elevation, but on they went into the heart of Russia. Will went up into
the globe and hurriedly returned.
You must lower, Doctor! The strain upon the rods is tremendous! The
outside atmospheric resistance is so slight at this elevation that we
shall certainly explode if you ascend any higher.
Then we will descend and anchor at the first favorable spot, and
there await a south wind. There seems to be a great demand for air at
the equator just now. Well, let them have it, said he grimly, but we
are sure to get a regurgitation in our direction before many days. So
down we go to study Russian habits and customs.
The upper and lower traps were opened in the air chamber, and they
rapidly descended to within five or six hundred feet of the earth. They
could plainly see that the foliage was being thrashed with great
violence by the gale.
How shall we manage to safely anchor in this awful wind, Doctor?
asked Will anxiously.
Do you see that high range of hills just ahead?
Well, they run east and west. We will drop immediately upon the
other side of them. There it must be comparatively calm. But sharp is
the word! We are there now!
Downward dropped the great ship behind the sheltering crest of the
hills, and she, in a moment or two, was skimming quite easily along,
just above the treetops. In what appeared to be a great park, the
anchor was dropped into the top of a tree. It held securely, and Will
and Denison descended in the cage and made a very strong aluminum cable
fast about the trunk of the tree. After all was made secure, Dr. Jones
and Professor Gray also descended. The little company then began
looking around for signs of life.
I see a large stone building down this avenue, cried Will.
The Professor and I will prospect the place, while you two had
better remain here until our return, said the Doctor.
Accordingly they set off at a lively pace toward the building. As
they approached it they looked in vain for signs of human life. They
found it to be a massive ancient castle, standing in the midst of an
extensive grove or park. They were somewhat awed by the deathlike
silence that pervaded the place. They, however, stepped up to a massive
oaken door, and Dr. Jones seized the ponderous iron knocker and struck
several vigorous blows. They waited two or three minutes, but could
hear no sounds within.
We have struck an enchanted castle, and I must see if I cannot
awake the Sleeping Beauty within, said Dr. Jones, and he was about to
apply the knocker again, when a deep bass voice from a window above
addressed them in a language with which they were unfamiliar.
We cannot speak your language. Do you speak English? asked Dr.
Are you men, angels, or devils, and what do you want, returned the
voice in fairly good English.
The Doctor hastened to give the desired information, and told who
they were, etc., concisely as possible.
What is that fearful and wonderful silver ball or globe in which
you dropped from the skies among us?
After further explanations the bars were removed, and the massive
door swung slowly open. There stood before them a large, black-bearded
man, holding by the collars two large Russian hounds. The brutes
growled and showed their horrid fangs in a way that made the visitors
cringe and draw back.
Please restrain your dogs, sir, for our mission is a perfectly
peaceful one, said Dr. Jones; and he smiled so blandly that the man
seemed to dismiss his apprehensions. He gave a signal which summoned
two men, to whom he consigned the dogs, and they were led away. He now
invited them to enter, and gave them seats in an adjoining room.
Gentlemen, I am Count Icanovich, and this is my castle. I welcome
you to its hospitalities. You must excuse the reception we gave you,
for I must confess that I have never been so startled in my life as
when I saw your extraordinary ship come swooping down upon us a few
moments ago. Half my people are in fits, or hidden away in all sorts of
holes and corners.
I am exceedingly sorry, Count, to have come so abruptly and
informally among you, but I assure you that we are here very much
against our own wishes. We are bound for the North Pole, but this
terrible gale from the north necessitated our anchoring for the
present. But since fate has cast us among you, I am very happy to make
the acquaintance of Count Icanovich. I am Dr. Jones of Washington City,
United States, and this is Professor Gray, of Smithsonian Institute,
The Count shook hands with them very cordially, and asked, How many
are there of your party? Upon being told, he immediately desired that
they all be brought to the castle.
We see but little of the world in this place, said he, and we
hail this break in the humdrum monotony of our life with extreme
The two gentlemen returned appropriate acknowledgments of the
Count's kindness, and arose to return to the globe for the company.
Will you accompany us to the ship? asked Dr. Jones.
I thank you, but I am a victim of sciatic rheumatism, and can do
but little walking, returned the Count. I hope, however, before you
leave us, to be able to inspect your wonderful air-ship.
Is your sciatica of long standing? inquired Dr. Jones, all the
instincts of a good physician being aroused at the presence of
suffering; and running over in his mind a list of remedies from force
of long habit.
About three years. I contracted it from getting wet when warm. I am
incurable, and must grin and bear to the end.
Do you feel better quiet, or when moving about?
Oh! I must move about. I usually put in hours at night hobbling up
and down my room.
The bed feels so hard that you cannot find an easy spot to lie on.
You are always worse before storms. After sitting a little while you
stiffen up, feeling much better after moving about. The tendons of your
legs have a drawing sensation, and feel as if too short. There is more
or less of numbness and paralysis, and a wooden sort of feeling of the
leg when walking. You also have lightning-like shocks of pain through
the limb, now and then. Your attacks come on every few weeks, and it is
the left limb that is affected. You can be cured.
The doctor rattled these symptoms off with great volubility. The
Count looked at him with open-eyed wonder. The professor was not less
astonished at the positiveness with which Dr. Jones thus detailed the
Count's symptoms without any previous knowledge of the case.
Whether you be angel or devil, I do not know; but certain it is
that you have told my symptoms better than I could have done myself.
But you make a bold assertion when you say that I can be cured. Do you
know, man, that I have had the best advice in Europe, and have spent a
fortune seeking relief?
Are you taking medicine now, sir?
No. I have thrown physic to the dogs, and may God have mercy on the
dogs. I am thoroughly disgusted with physic and physicians. And why
should I not be? Several years since, I saw my wife die of pulmonary
consumption. And now my only child lies in a chamber above, well
advanced in the same terrible, wholly incurable disease. As if this
were not enough, I myself am suffering the pangs of hl with a
lingering, incurable complaint. Why shouldn't I detest the whole lying,
infernal business? he roared, striking the floor savagely with his
Sure enough, sure enough, said the Doctor soothingly and
sympathetically. I do not blame you in the least. But we will see if
something cannot be done for you, Count. I believe in my soul that I
can cure you, and that right speedily. Let us now hasten back, for our
people will be alarmed at our long absence.
They found them indeed wondering and anxious. All immediately
descended and repaired to the castle. The Count met them at the door,
and, after a formal introduction to each, led them to a large, quite
modernly furnished drawing-room.
Now, said the Count, please make yourselves at home. I intend
that you shall be my guests while you remain in this vicinity. You will
be shown to your rooms in a few moments. You will please excuse me now,
and I will see you at dinner, which will be at six o'clock.
He was about leaving the room, limping painfully, when Dr. Jones
stepped up to him, and, pulling a small vial from his vest pocket,
said: Put out your tongue, Count; I wish to give you a dose of
medicine that will cure your sciatica.
The Count looked at him suspiciously a moment, then sat down as
requested, and put out his tongue. Dr. Jones shook a grain or two of
powder upon it.
You will suffer less to-night than you have done in a long time. It
is very possible that this one dose will cure you perfectly and
I tell you frankly, sir, that I have not a particle of faith in
your minute, tasteless dose affecting me in the slightest, said the
Count with a half angry glare in his deep-set black eyes.
I do not care a fig for your faith, sir, replied Dr. Jones in his
independent American manner. Happily for you, this is not a Christian
Science cure that I am performing. You have the indicated remedy in
your circulation now; and with all due respect, believe what you
The company of friends were looking on anxiously, fearing that the
Doctor was too brusque with the nobleman. But that individual smiled,
and really seemed quite pleased and amused at Dr. Jones' positive,
straightforward way of doing business.
Evidently you are not deficient in the element of faith,
Doctor, and I can but wish that your faith may not be in vain in this
After the Count had withdrawn, Professor Gray said: Dr. Jones, I do
not at all understand how you could tell the Count his symptoms as you
did, without any previous knowledge of the case. Does sciatic
rheumatism always present just the same picture, or set of symptoms,
that you should be able to so rapidly and correctly tell his purely
Not by any means, Professor. A scientific prescription, like a
stool, must have at least three legs to stand upon. You will remember
that the Count had already told me that moving about, especially at
night, mitigated his pains; that he contracted his ailment from getting
wet; and I noticed that he favored the left leg in walking. These were
the three legs for my stool, or prescription. I felt positive that the
remedy indicated was Rhus Toxicodendron. So I merely mentioned the
leading characteristics of that drug, and I was not mistaken. You see,
then, that I did nothing marvelous nor supernatural. Now, any one of
many other drugs might have been indicated if the symptoms had been
different from what they were. The symptoms of the disease must always
be the same as those that the indicated drug is capable of producing in
crude doses. Rhus tox. will cure the Count because, in every case of
poisoning by that drug, there will be produced the symptoms found in
his case. Like cures like. This is a universal law of God. I feel quite
sure that the Count will experience great benefit from the one dose I
have given him.
I shall watch this case with the greatest interest, said the
Professor. You will make a convert of me to your system if you perform
a cure of so obstinate and painful a disease with an infinitesimal dose
All right, my dear sir. I always feel confident of a cure when the
symptoms are clear cut as in this instance.
A general conversation was now entered into for a few moments, when
servants entered and signaled them to follow, and each was conducted to
a comfortable apartment. They shortly after assembled again in the
drawing-room and awaited the announcement of dinner. Fred opened the
piano, and he and the ladies sang a trio. They were glad when a servant
appeared and signaled them to follow him to the dining-room. The Count
was the only Russian present who could speak English. So he watched
carefully and interpreted the wants of his guests to the servants, and
but very little trouble was experienced. They found the cooking very
palatable, and their mode of living aboard Silver Cloud in the frosty
atmosphere of the Arctic region had sharpened their appetites
The Count talked with them about their journey, and was much
interested in the graphic accounts given by the different members of
the party of their experiences. Will explained the plan and
construction of the globe. The Count was a good listener, and seemed
deeply impressed with all that was said upon the subject.
It seems to me incredible that you were so short a time ago in
Washington City, U.S., and are now sitting at my dining table in the
heart of Russia. And think of the circuitous route by which you came!
Still I am prepared to believe anything when I look at yonder wonderful
silver globe, and remember how you dropped among us from the skies as
you did to-day.
After dinner Will and Denison borrowed a lantern and went to see
that Silver Cloud was all right for the night. The wind swayed the
monster ball back and forward gently, and there seemed to be no great
strain upon the cables.
I think we had better get out the other two cables, said Will. I
do not feel quite safe. A heavy gust might tear it away, and that would
be a calamity indeed.
So he ascended to the engine-room and passed the cable ends to
Denison, who made them securely fast to adjoining trees.
A very enjoyable evening was spent in the great drawing-room. Of
course music constituted the chief source of pleasure. Fred brought his
anthem and glee books from the cabin of Silver Cloud, and the old walls
of the castle certainly seldom, if ever, rang with such music as was
discoursed there that night. The domestics had so far recovered from
their fright that they now crowded the adjoining hall to hear the
singing. So ravishing was the harmony to their semi-barbaric ears that,
conjoined with the marvelous manner of their coming among them, these
poor creatures were ready to fall down and worship them as heavenly
visitants. The Count himself seemed to enjoy the music exceedingly, and
encored long and loudly. When they separated for the night, he shook
hands cordially with each, and said:
My good friends, I cannot sufficiently thank you for the pleasure
you have afforded me this evening. You may be sure that my invalid
daughter has enjoyed your delightful music. She desired that the door
be opened so that she has heard it all. She was an accomplished vocal
and instrumental musician before her illness. Perhaps she may feel well
enough to see you in the drawing-room to-morrow evening.
Turning then to Dr. Jones, he said: Well, Doctor, whether it be
your medicine or music that has charmed away my pains, I do not know;
but it is certain that I have not been so free from suffering for a
long time. I bid you all a very good night.
After a consultation it was thought best that two should sleep
aboard Silver Cloud every night so long as the party remained with the
Count. So Will and Denison took upon themselves this duty, and
immediately repaired to the cabin for the night.
CHAPTER XIII. Beauty and the Beast.
On the following morning all were up early, and enjoyed a long walk
before breakfast in the park. They did not see the Count until
breakfast time. He was in a very pleasant mood, and, after inquiring
how they had rested, turning to Dr. Jones he said:
I have always made a point of rendering credit to whom credit is
due. I slept eight consecutive hours last night, solidly and
dreamlessly as the dead. I have had no such rest for years, and this
morning, but for the stiffness of my limb, should be tempted to
challenge you for a foot-race. If this be the effect of your medicine,
you are the most wonderful healer I ever met.
I am truly happy to hear that you feel so well this morning, Count
Icanovich. But remember that you do not believe at all in my
infinitesimal dose, and should not prematurely render me credit. Your
present improvement may be but a simple coincidence, and the Doctor's
eyes twinkled mischievously.
That is right, said the Count good-naturedly; I deserve your
Now, interposed Mrs. Jones, I do not think that the Count
deserves any reproach or sarcasm at all. Here we come among you, total
strangers; and Dr. Jones, before we have been here two hours, in his
usual insinuating manner, gets you to swallow a dose of medicine for
what you have good reason to consider an incurable complaint. I think
it quite unreasonable to expect you to have the slightest faith in his
one little dose.
Thank you, Mrs. Jones, said the Count, bowing to her gravely; but
you will allow me to ask, and he set his great black eyes upon her
very earnestly, do you think that the Doctor can cure me?
Do I think so! cried she, flushing with pride and enthusiasm, my
good sir, he has done so already!
The Count looked at her in astonishment for a moment, then dropped
his knife and fork upon the table, threw his head back and roared with
laughter. It was so hearty and contagious that all joined it in spite
Excuse me, friends, said he, wiping the tears from his eyes, but
I have not laughed so for years. And this lady's vindication of your
skill, Dr. Jones, inspires me with greater confidence than anything
else could have possibly done. All I have to say, madam, is that I
accept your diagnosis of cure, and shall throw crutches and canes
After breakfast the Count said: I have a stable full of horses
which are at your service. I should esteem it a favor if you would use
them as your own. There are many sights of interest about here. A few
miles away is the town of P, a nice little city of about five
thousand. No doubt you would like to make some purchases. I will
accompany you any time and act as interpreter.
They thanked him, but concluded not to visit town that day. He then
led Dr. Jones into his private room and said:
Doctor, I am desirous that you should see my daughter. I fear that
you can do little more than palliate her condition, but even that would
be very much for us. She is a great sufferer, and I shall be extremely
grateful for anything you can do for her.
The Doctor immediately signified his readiness to see her whenever
it pleased the Count.
That north wind is still howling, and I am only too happy to be of
service to your daughter, or any of God's suffering children while I am
with you. Keep me busy as you like, Count. My greatest delight is to
cure the sick, and the world is my field since I started on this trip
for the Pole.
The Count touched a bell, and a female servant entered. He gave her
some orders in Russian.
She returned in a few moments and spoke to him.
My daughter is ready to receive us. Will you go up to her now,
This is my daughter Feodora, Doctor Jones, said the Count as they
entered her room. A tall, graceful young lady of twenty arose from a
couch upon which she had been lying, and extended a thin feverish hand
to the Doctor. She spoke to him in beautiful English, and Dr. Jones
expressed surprise in his face so that the Count said:
I spent several years in London, and Feodora became very proficient
in the language there.
They were all seated, and, after a few casual remarks, Dr. Jones
requested Feodora to relate to him the history of her illness, and as
she did so, he carefully noted her symptoms in his case-book. He
interrupted her as little as possible, preferring to take down the
history in her own language. After she had finished he made a physical
examination of her chest. First, he carefully percussed both lungs;
that is, laid the fingers of the left hand upon the chest and tapped
them lightly with the finger ends of the right hand, thus producing a
more or less resonant or hollow sound. He could thus detect any
consolidated tissue that might be in the lung, or abnormal resonance
where there chanced to be a cavity. He then, with a stethoscope,
ausculated the lungs, or listened to the respiratory sounds. He noted
the temperature; rate and other qualities of the pulse; looked at the
tongue and sputa. Having now a complete picture of the case or what he
termed the totality of the symptoms, he said:
I must consult my library a few moments. I will be back within an
He hastened to the cage, ascended to the cabin, and in a few moments
was oblivious to everything but the salvation of this precious young
life. He transcribed from his case-book to a sheet of paper the most
prominent, unusual, and persistent symptoms. They were:
1. Weeps much, and cannot bear to be left alone. Fears she will die.
2. Great difficulty in breathing; worse from exertion and after
3. Dry, teasing cough, more or less day and night. In paroxysms from
tickling in the throat, with tenacious mucus, which she cannot raise,
and must be swallowed. Sputa sometimes consists of pus, mixed with
4. Lower third of the right lung particularly affected. She cannot
lie upon the right side on account of sharp, stitching pains through
the lung. Sometimes the sharp pains extend through the left lung, with
violent palpitation of the heart.
5. All these symptoms, cough, pains, etc., are invariably worse at
three o'clock, A.M., and continue one or two hours.
6. Very profuse night sweats, etc.
There were other concomitant symptoms that we will not stop to
enumerate. Dr. Jones prepared a powder from a vial labeled Kali
Carbonicum (cm), and descended and hastened to the castle. His heart
was jubilant within him, for he knew that he should save this lovely
girl. He fairly burst into her chamber, glowing with the pleasure he
thus felt in bearing the gospel of healing.
Praise God! he fervently ejaculated, I have found your remedy.
Take this please. She opened her mouth and he shook from a tiny vial a
dose of a white granular powder, just as he did the night before with
Now, I want you to cheer right up, and dismiss all thought of dying
from your mind. I expect that within a very few days you will
experience great relief. These sharp stitching pains will almost
immediately disappear, I am sure.
And so he talked to her for a little time so brightly and cheerfully
that the poor invalid seemed to catch his enthusiastic, hopeful spirit,
and smiled and chatted in a way that lifted the Count to the very
Whether there be any efficacy in your powders or not, Doctor Jones,
there is certainly wonderful potency in your sanguine manner of giving
Now, to-night, continued the Doctor, acknowledging the Count's
compliment with a smile and nod, I desire to see you in the
drawing-room. You must have pleasant, cheerful company. No more tears
and sighing in this dismal room. Throw open the curtains and blinds,
let God's sunshine and fresh air in. Take no medicine except what I
give you. I must bring my wife and Mattie to see you, and you and they
must romp all over this country in a few daysproviding a favorable
wind does not set in. For I must hie away to the North Pole at the
earliest practicable moment.
Please bring your ladies up soon, Doctor. I desire very much to
know them, and I am sure that company does me good. I am afraid to be
alone a moment. It has been too quiet in this great castle with no one
to talk with but the servants. Do send for them immediately, please.
A few moments later they appeared and were introduced to Feodora.
They were shortly upon very good terms, for each of them was
exceedingly well bred and possessed of purest womanly instincts.
I heard your beautiful singing last night, and how I did wish to
join your company. And do you know that yesterday I had been suffering
terribly with stitching pains in my side, and I was so tired and
miserable that I asked God to help me or take me home. Just then your
great silver ship sailed across my window so that I could see it as I
lay upon my couch, and do you know that I believed, for a time, that
God had sent his chariot for me. I did not seem the least frightened,
though I could hear the screams of the servants in different parts of
the house, and my nurse had crawled under the bed. I just closed my
eyes and awaited the summons. I confess that I felt really disappointed
when they told me the truth of the matter. But now, do you know,
grasping the good little Doctor's hand, that I believe this to be
God's messenger, and through him I am to be restored to health again.
The Lord grant it, said Dr. Jones. But now we must leave you a
few hours. You have had quite enough excitement for once. I expect to
see you in the drawing-room to-night.
So they withdrew, leaving her smiling and happy. Count Icanovich
joined the Doctor a few moments later and asked him to sit with him in
his private office.
You will understand, Doctor, that I am exceedingly anxious to know
your opinion of my daughter's condition. You have inspired us with a
degree of hope that we have not known for a long time. Indeed, Hope
spread her wings and left this castle long since, and it has been
little better than a charnel-house until your appearance. Now I ask you
to tell me candidly whether you entertain any hope of my Feodora's
ultimate recovery. You may lay your heart open to me, for I should
receive her as one raised from the dead if you save her. Do not, as you
love your own soul, attempt to deceive me.
Count Icanovich, answered Dr. Jones, I am hardly prepared to give
you a definite answer. I certainly see great reason to hope all that
could be expected or desired. A certain remedy is so positively and
clearly indicated in her case that I shall be greatly disappointed if
the most distressing of her symptoms do not immediately disappear.
After that, so much depends upon the hygienic and dietic management
that I do not feel justified in making an absolutely favorable
What if she were under your immediate supervision for a certain
length of time?
I should, under such circumstances, feel quite sure of restoring
her to perfect health.
Then, Doctor, if money be any object to you, you shall have your
own price for remaining until you pronounce her well.
I am extremely sorry, Count, but that cannot be. My Government has
built yonder aluminum air-ship at enormous expense at my express desire
and instigation, with the understanding that I sail with it to the
North Pole. My obligation is to do so with all possible dispatch. I
will leave medicine and explicit directions, so that in all probability
you will do just as well as if I remained.
The nobleman said no more upon the subject, and they joined the
company in the drawing-room. Will, Fred, and Denison repaired to the
stables, selected saddle-horses and rode to the town. There they were
objects of great interest to the inhabitants. The news of the great
silver globefor they all believed it to be of silver, and the
strangers to be fabulously richwith its load of voyagers that came so
suddenly and mysteriously among them the day before, had spread
rapidly. The superstitious people were half inclined to regard them as
celestial visitors, and looked upon them with awe and wonder.
The Doctor and the Professor, with the ladies, took a long walk
through the park. They met many of the natives, who were coming from
every direction to see the marvelous silver ship.
I declare, said Mrs. Jones, that I can hardly realize that all
this can be true. I have to pinch myself sometimes to see if I am not
enjoying a long beautiful dream.
It is romantic to the last degree, replied Professor Gray.
The wind still holds in the north, remarked Dr. Jones, scanning
the skies and treetops. I see that it has veered a few points to the
west. We will surely get a favorable wind before many days.
Isn't it a pity that you cannot stay with that lovely girl until
she is out of danger? sighed Mrs. Jones.
Yes, it grieves me exceedingly to be obliged to leave her, but I
have no option in the matter. If that globe were my private property, I
would not leave her until she was out of danger. But, under the
circumstances, I cannot do so. After all, said he, brightening up with
the thought, she will probably do as well without me.
She is the loveliest creature I ever saw, said Mattie. How
gentle, beautiful, and patient she is. Much as I desire to visit the
North Pole, still I would gladly remain here six months or a year if it
would do her any good.
The day passed away without incident. After dinner all met in the
drawing-room, and the invalid girl occupied an easy chair among them.
She extended her hand to Dr. Jones with a grateful smile, and said:
Doctor, I have not passed so comfortable a day for a very long
time. I shall get well. Your medicine has done wonders for me already.
You are, no doubt, in great haste to reach your destination, but you
must not leave me until I am better. If you do, I shall die.
O, no! my dear Miss Feodora, you will not die. I shall leave you
medicines that will help you through nicely.
This the Doctor said with all the assurance and cheerfulness he
could command. But she instinctively detected a slight shade of anxiety
or uncertainty in his tone. The physician must be a consummate actor
who can deceive a patient whose perceptions are preternaturally acute
as were Feodora's. He saw that he had not deceived her, and cried:
Do not let us think of that subject to-night. This unfavorable wind
may last many days, and I promise to see you better before I go.
She smiled sweetly and gratefully as he gave her this promise, and
abandoned herself to the enjoyment of the music, conversation, etc., of
the evening. Instrumental and vocal music constituted the principal
source of amusement, and the audience awarded unstinted praise and
applause. The singers were in the best possible form, not one of them
complaining of cold or hoarseness, as is customary. Nothing could
exceed the sweetness and richness of Mrs. Jones' voice. It seemed to
fill the gloomy halls and rooms of the castle to its farthest confines.
And Mattie's contralto beautifully and nobly seconded the soprano. The
tenor and bass could scarcely have been better, and altogether it was a
concert worthy of the praise of that, or any other, audience.
You will never know what a change your coming has made in our
home, said Feodora to Mrs. Jones and Mattie as they sat beside her.
Before your coming, all was so still and dark, and scarcely a sound
could be heard in the rooms or halls all day. Now see the servants
sitting and standing about the halls, chatting and laughing as if
nothing had ever been wrong in the house. And look at papa talking and
laughing as if he were not the saddest man on earth only two days ago.
As for myself, I am simply astonished beyond measure. I have really
forgotten for a time this evening that I am not perfectly well. O, what
a beautiful, beautiful change! And it is perfectly heavenly to have a
respite from pain, even if it be but temporary.
The two ladies, one sitting upon either side, smiled their sympathy
and happiness, and pressed her poor emaciated hands between their own
cool, soft, plump ones in a way that went directly to her heart.
Let us help you up stairs, said Mrs. Jones, for I am sure that
you must be getting tired.
She assented, bade the company good-night, and retired with the two
Now you must let us do everything we can for you while we are
here, said Mrs. Jones. You know that we are to see you better before
we go away, and I have so much confidence in Dr. Jones' system of
medicine that I am positive of your recovery.
Leaving her then to the nurse, they retired for the night.
CHAPTER XIV. Doctor Jones Commits
As they met at the breakfast table next morning, they found the
Count joyous and jubilant. Feodora had spent a comparatively
comfortable night. At the regular hour, 3 o'clock, A.M., the stitching
pains and cough recurred, but were so much less than usual, and lasted
so much shorter a time that she was radiant with joy, and thanked Dr.
Jones so sweetly that the good man was obliged to hem and cough and
wipe his nose and eyes, and complain of a slight cold which he had
contracted. As for the nobleman himself, he declared that he was the
happiest and soundest of all the Czar's subjects.
I cannot understand this matter, Doctor, said he. I have
absolutely exhausted the medical science of Europe without the
slightest benefit. Here you come from the United States, a new country,
and supposed to be very much behind in all matters of science and
letters, yet you have done for me and my daughter, as if by magic, what
the accumulated science and knowledge of Europe have not been able to
do at all. Is your science a mystic or esoteric affair, and are you the
only one in possession of the secret?
No, indeed, Count Icanovich. So far from my system being esoteric
or exclusively my own, I have for many years taught and exemplified to
the best of my ability the law by which I am governed in the selection
of the remedy. And there are a noble few in my country who are like
children sitting in the market, crying, 'We have mourned unto you and
ye would not mourn; we have piped unto you and ye would not dance.' By
every possible means we have endeavored to induce the dominant school
of medicine to investigate our claims, but they simply deride and laugh
us to scorn.
But surely, Doctor, they cannot deny the evidence of their own
senses! If you cure that which they cannot, they certainly must heed
you. Anything else is unthinkable, exclaimed the Count.
My dear sir, human nature is past finding out in its capacity for
stupidity and foolishness. God gives every man the power to choose good
or evil, and no amount of evidence can dispossess him of this elective
franchise. Hence he is the arbiter of his own fate. Abraham said to
Dives concerning his brethren, 'If they believe not Moses and the
prophets, neither will they believe, though one arose from the dead.'
Jesus Christ healed the sick, raised the dead, restored the lame, the
halt, the blind, in the presence of priests, lawyers, and doctors, the
scientists of those days; and they put him to death in precisely the
same spirit that they expatriated Samuel Hahnemann for discovering and
promulgating the only law of cure in God's universe. Human nature has
not changed a particle since the days of Adam and Eve, and it never
will be any more nor less than what it is now, except as it is
regenerated through the Atonement.
This is marvelously strange, said the Count musingly. I do not
remember to have heard of your system more than a few times in my life,
and then but as something ridiculous or foolish. Cannot something be
done to bring it before the public?
So far as I know, Count Icanovich, there is not a school in Europe
where the tenets of our system are taught. The dominant school of
medicine has used its power, and legislation effectually bars us out in
every European country. Only in America have we colleges, and even
there whatever privileges we enjoy are the results of deadly and
uncompromising warfare. So you will understand the difficulties under
which we labor.
It seems, then, that it is simply a matter of ignorance with the
laity that your system has not become universally adopted, interposed
Professor Gray. And the 'Regular School,' as they style themselves, is
exceedingly active in keeping them thus ignorant.
That is the state of affairs exactly, cried Dr. Jones. To
illustrate the fact that we have a law of cure, while the so-called
Regulars have nothing like it, a certain physician, a number of years
ago, sent out twenty letters, ten to prominent men of each school. He
sent to each the ordinary price of a prescription, and represented
himself as a patient. He detailed precisely the same symptoms to each.
Now, if medicine is worthy of being called a science, why should there
not have been an answer, and but one answer, as to the remedy indicated
in this case?
So I have said a thousand times, exclaimed the Count, excitedly.
And I can foretell the denouement so far as the Regular school is
concerned: You received as many prescriptions that were totally unlike
as there were men of that school who prescribed for you.
Right, you are, my lord! shouted the Doctor. But eight of them
responded. No two of their prescriptions at all resembled each other,
and the aggregate number of drugs prescribed by them was somewhere near
seventy, if I remember correctly. If all these drugs had been put into
a jug, the compound would have been a mass of incompatibles that would
have poisoned any miserable wretch who was fool enough to take it.
But how did the men of your school do, Doctor? asked Professor
Gray. Did they do any better?
Did they! again shouted Dr. Jones, swelling and flushing with
pride. Every one of them prescribed Lycopodium Pollen, which was the
How many physicians of your school are there in America? asked the
Something like twelve thousand, I believe.
And would each of them have prescribed the remedy you mentioned?
All worthy of the name would have done so.
And are not all worthy?
I am forced to say no! not by a great many. Like every other
representative system of truth, our greatest source of danger is from
within. No chain is stronger than its weakest link, as has been said
many times. The world judges us by our weaklings. Every good thing has
its hordes of counterfeits.
Well, said the Count, I am deeply interested in this matter. I
must hear more of it, Doctor.
And I also am desirous of information upon this all important
subject, added Professor Gray.
The wind had veered around to the west-nor-west. It had materially
abated in violence, but was still unfavorable for our navigators. And,
in truth, the Doctor was not nearly so anxious to depart at this time
as was Professor Gray. The good Doctor's mind was divided between a
desire to be off for the Arctics, and a professional interest in, and
friendly solicitude for, the beautiful Feodora. Nothing could exceed
the delight with which he noted the manifest curative power of the dose
which he had given her. And he had pledged his word that he would not
leave her until material improvement was apparent. So it was with a
considerable degree of resignation that he saw the wind continue
The matter stood about thus between him and Professor Gray: While
Dr. Jones was really commander of the expedition, yet the Professor
represented the Government's interests, and he kept a strict record of
every day's occurrences. These must be subjected to the inspection of
the proper authorities upon their return to Washington. The fact that
Dr. Jones had interested himself in a sick girl in the heart of Russia,
even though she was the only child of a Count who stood high with the
Emperor of all the Russias, could not excuse him to his Government for
holding in abeyance the mighty interests of the expedition upon which
it had projected him.
For two more days the northerly winds prevailed. Then came the
hoped-for, yet dreaded, change. At six o'clock in the morning, the
Professor rapped upon Dr. Jones' chamber door.
Come, Doctor, he cried. Ho! for the North Pole. A glorious breeze
from due South.
The Doctor joined him in a few moments, and they walked into the
park. The aluminum flag fluttered straight toward the north. The Doctor
expressed his delight, but there tugged at his heart the thought of
leaving the poor girl who clung to him for her life. But he did not
dare to mention this fact to Professor Gray. He knew that no merely
sentimental grounds would have any weight with that gentleman, and that
he (the Professor) would hold him strictly accountable to the
Government for any unnecessary delay.
So, with a sigh, he announced to his party that they would sail as
soon after breakfast as possible. The Count looked very much
distressed, but said not a word. After breakfast the Doctor and Count
repaired to Feodora's room. She had rested beautifully all night, and
received them with a glad, smiling welcome. But when Dr. Jones
announced that he must sail within two or three hours, her face became
exceedingly sorrowful, and she said to him so gently and simply that it
touched the hearts of the men more than tears could have ever done:
And do you know what goes with you in your beautiful Silver Cloud?
I do not know that I do. What do you mean?
This unexpected reply caused the Doctor a terrible shock.
O no! my dear young lady, you are doing splendidly. Just carry out
my written instructions and you will do as well without me as you would
Dr. Jones, I appreciate your situation, and know that you have no
right to remain here for my sake, or anyone's else. I will not try to
persuade you to stay; but I know that when you have gone, Hope will
have accompanied you, and I shall certainly die.
My God! My God! Dr. Jones, I cannot endure this, groaned the
Count, and great tears coursed down his cheeks.
Let me talk with you a few moments privately, said the Doctor.
The Count led the way to his office, and when they were seated the
Count Icanovich, I cannot leave you, and yet you see my situation.
Professor Gray will not consent to an hour's unnecessary delay, and
will hold me in strictest account to my Government.
Cannot he be brought to consent to remain a few weeks? asked the
Not all the gold in Russia would tempt him one moment, declared
the Doctor emphatically.
But you must not go and take my darling's life with you! cried the
Say 'shall not,' and you will hit it exactly, replied the little
Doctor, winking shrewdly at the Count.
What do you mean?
Have you no special power or authority in this section?
I have very great power if I choose to use it. Do I understand you
to advise me to detain you by force?
The Doctor grinned, gave a little Frenchy shrug of the shoulders,
and said: It would be treason to my country to advise you to do so,
sir; but if you permit us to go, surely you cannot blame me for going.
I very much prefer to stay, but only absolute force can prevent my
I understand you perfectly, Doctor, and you need say no more,
replied the Count, smiling grimly. It had not occurred to me to treat
my guests with such discourtesy; but you Americans have an adage, I
have heard,or is it English?that a hint is as good as a kick. Well,
you needn't kick meunless I let you go. Now go up to my daughter and
cheer her up with the news that you are forcibly detained, and will not
sail till she is cured.
Here the two men clasped hands, threw open their mouths to their
widest extent, and laughed long andsilently.
But now run up to Feodora; she needs you badly, and I have some
very important business to attend to.
So the Doctor again ascended to Feodora's room. He found there his
wife and Mattie, all three in tears.
Come, come, girls, wipe your eyes. Please leave me alone with Miss
Feodora a few minutes. I will join you down stairs directly.
And now, said he, cheer right up. We are not going to leave you
until your father consents. I have made the arrangement with him, but
it must not be known to anyone else. You understand, do you not?
I do, Doctor, I do, she cried; and I promise to get well as soon
as I can, so as not to detain you any longer than necessary. I shall
get well! I shall get well! and she pressed his hand to her lips in
the ecstacy of her joy.
There, there, said he, a little sheepishly, withdrawing his hand,
go to sleep now, and come down to the drawing-room this afternoon.
He had been in the drawing-room but a moment or so when the
Professor and Will rushed in, each very excited.
Doctor! cried Will, what do you suppose the Count has done?
I don't know, I'm sure. What's the matter?
Well, by Jove, if he hasn't padlocked our cables, and very coolly
informed us that we cannot sail until he gives us permission!
What can he possibly mean! exclaimed the Doctor in well-assumed
astonishment. We must see about this matter. Where is he?
We left him at the globe, said the Professor. I cannot comprehend
the meaning of this. Let us go at once and see him.
Surely he must be joking you, said the Doctor, as they walked
rapidly toward Silver Cloud.
They found a group standing beneath the globe; and, as Will had
said, every anchor and cable was heavily padlocked. Dr. Jones stepped
briskly up to Count Icanovich and said with all the sharpness he could
command: What is the meaning of this, Sir Count? Why have you
padlocked these cables?
Evidently I could have but one object; to prevent your casting them
But why? What right have you to do so?
Simply the right of might. But come, said he, looking over the
company, let us talk this matter over together. Shall we return to the
Suppose we ascend to the cabin, said the Doctor. There we can
talk without interruption.
So, two by two, they all ascended to the sittingroom of the cabin.
The Doctor and Count were the first to go up.
I shall make a great demonstration of anger, and may talk pretty
sharply, Count, but you will know my meaning, said the former, as they
landed in the engine-room.
I perfectly understand; act your part, Doctor.
When they were all seated in the sittingroom, the Doctor immediately
reiterated the question:
What is the meaning of this high-handed proceeding, Count
It simply means that I cannot consent to let you go at present,
And do you really mean to detain us by force?
I do, if necessary.
Will you kindly tell us your object, and by what authority you dare
to delay a United States' expedition? Do you not know that our
Government will demand heavy reprisals for this action upon your part?
Allow me to answer your first question. When you landed among us a
few days ago, you found us a despairing lot of invalids. We were simply
waiting death as the only possible escape from our pains and distress.
The change that you have brought about by your medical skill and
knowledge is known to you all, and I need not dwell upon it. Our hearts
are bursting with gratitude, and it pains me beyond measure to be thus
obliged to use coercion; but my daughter's interestsher lifecompel
me to detain you. She declares that she cannot live if the Doctor
leaves her, and I cannot and will not permit her only chance of
recovery to thus fly away in the air. She is all I have on earth, and I
swear that you shall stay until she consents to let you go.
But, Count Icanovich, do you not see how impossible it is for us to
remain? asked Professor Gray.
No; I only see how impossible it is for you to go.
But look at the vast amount of money that our Government has
intrusted us with for an express purpose. Having accepted this trust,
our first and only duty is to that Government. And I tell you that
whoever dares to detain us will have a heavy account to settle with a
great and powerful nation.
I perfectly appreciate all that, Professor Gray, and am ready to
settle any indemnity that may be demanded of me. I tell you, one and
all, that I count these things as but dross when compared with the life
of my Feodora. She shall not die if any high-handed outrage that I can
commit will prevent it. You have heard me.
The voyagers looked at one another in dismay. Here was a predicament
that no one could have foreseen.
How long is this delay likely to last? asked Will.
Just as long as the interests of my daughter's health demand it,
returned the Count.
The Doctor gave a hypocritical groan that would have made his
fortune upon the stage.
How long will that be, Doctor? asked Will.
Three months, at least, was the reply.
The Professor duplicated the Doctor's groan with such emphasis that
the party could not repress their smiles, and the two conspirators did
not dare look at each other.
Well, Professor, we'll have to accept the inevitable, said Dr.
Jones. Let's go down again and continue our studies of Russian customs
Allow me to say, gentlemen, before we descend, that it is best that
we should have a thorough understanding. I desire to treat you as my
honored friends and guests, and to allow you every possible liberty and
pleasure while here. Pledge me your word that you will not attempt to
sail without my knowledge, or seek governmental interference, and all I
have is at your command.
Before I accede to your proposition, I wish to put one question: If
Dr. Jones will consent to remain, will you permit the rest of the party
to depart with the ship? asked the Professor.
I shall be delighted if you can make any such arrangement, quickly
returned the Count.
What do you say, Doctor? cried Professor Gray, turning to him.
The Doctor pondered a moment or two, and then said:
It is very great to be the discoverer of the North Pole, but it is
very much greater to save a human life. My wife and Mattie will remain
with me, but the rest of you may depart immediately if you wish.
As for me, said Denison, promptly, I shall stay with Dr. Jones.
Will and Fred looked at each other a moment, then Fred burst out:
Let's stick together. The North Pole will be there just the same a
few months later, and I do not blame Count Icanovich for detaining the
Doctor under the circumstances. To use a beautiful Americanism, we may
as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. In one, in all.
I stand with the majority, said Will.
Well, gentlemen, I do not see but that I am in a hopeless minority,
and must accept the Count's terms, sighed the Professor. But say,
Doctor, let me suggest one more idea before settling the matter
definitely. Are there not men in Russia who practice your system, and
who could fill your place satisfactorily in this case?
I presume there are, but I am unacquainted with them.
But, gentlemen, my daughter will accept no substitute. I suggested
the same idea to her, but she would not listen to it. It is Dr. Jones
or nobody with her. There is no alternative. Dr. Jones must stay. This
the Count said so decisively that further argument was mutually dropped
Well, Sir Count, since fate is against our sailing until the
recovery of the fair Feodora, I only hope her return to perfect health
may be unprecedentedly rapid, and I hereby give you the required
pledge. With this the Professor extended his hand to the Count. The
latter seized it cordially, then shook hands with each of the rest of
the company, saying:
I am so glad that this unpleasant matter has been so easily and
amicably adjusted. Let us go down now, and the only command that I put
upon you is that you use my castle as your own, and that you come and
go as you please.
They all thanked the noble Count, and the whole party set out for
the castle. When they reached the drawing-room the Professor dropped
into a chair and said: I used to be of the opinion that the stories of
the enchanted castles, Sleeping Beauties and Beasts were all childish
fiction and romance. But, as the darky said, 'Heah we is.' We have the
castle, the Beauty, and the Beast. Though I must say of the Beast that
he is a very amiable old fellow, after all, and I would do just as he
is doing under the circumstances. This Beauty must be awakened, and Dr.
Jones is the Prince of Physicians who can do it.
Thank you, Professor. And now, girls, take off your hats and
cloaks, cried the Doctor. We have concluded to stay with the Count a
They looked at him to see if he were not joking.
What do you mean, Doctor? asked his wife. Did you say that we
were to stay here a few months?
Yes, my dear. The Count has persuaded me to remain until Feodora is
so far recovered that we can safely leave her.
Well now, I will tell you the truth; I am really glad to hear it.
Then turning to the company, she proudly said: This is just like him.
I am sure that he would not only give up the North Pole, but the whole
earth to save a human life.
Come, come, sis, said the Doctor, blushing and confused, you make
me feel silly. Scatter off, now, and make yourselves at home. We must
make the Count glad to get rid of us.
CHAPTER XV. A Model Teacher and
The days and weeks flew swiftly by. The fame of the great air-ship
spread far and wide, and thousands of visitors came to inspect it and
the wonderful voyagers. But what especially drew the people, and was
talked of more than all else, was the marvelous skill of Dr. Jones as a
healer. The beautiful Feodora improved from day to day, so that she
daily drove with her devoted and constant companions, Mrs. Jones and
Mattie. She began to eat heartily, gained flesh rapidly, and her cough
had nearly left her. Roses of health assumed the place of hectic flush,
and she was the talk and wonder of everyone who knew of her former
Many were the consultations held by Dr. Jones, with the grateful and
goodnatured Count for interpreter. Money and honors poured in upon him,
though he never made any sort of charge for advice or medicine. The
better class of patients invariably left upon the table one or more
pieces of gold.
Maggie, do you know that I have no idea of what to do with all this
money? If it keeps on this way, I shall be obliged to found a college
and hospital when we get back to Washington. Wouldn't it be grand if I
could break down the prejudices and legal barriers in this great
country, and establish our school upon an even footing with the old
The Count must have influence at court. I should think that he
might be of great help to you, suggested Mrs. Jones.
That is a good thought, and I will have a talk with him upon the
subject at the first opportunity.
The Count, meantime, was closely watching the Doctor's methods and
the results. He was delighted to note that many chronic cases recovered
under the treatment; and acute diseases yielded as if by magic to his
all-powerful infinitesimal doses.
This is something utterly incomprehensible, he said to the Doctor
one evening, as the friends sat with him in his office, smoking and
talking. Your medicines are working wonders, and yet I cannot
understand how it is possible for so minute a particle as is contained
in one of your doses to act so potently and profoundly upon a great
mass of blood, flesh, and bones, like the human body. That it does so
is beyond question. I have watched you carefully, and am thoroughly
converted to your system.
Wouldn't it be a glorious thing for Russia if this system of
medicine could have at least an opportunity of being heard, and of
exemplifying the fact that it is founded upon science, and that beside
it there is no other? cried Dr. Jones.
Suppose you had an opportunity, by what method would you prove this
system to be what you claim for it? asked Professor Gray.
By the only method that can satisfy the human mindpractical
experience and demonstration. Nothing else will do. Theory is all well
enough, but if it cannot stand the test of experiment it is of no sort
of use. There is not a crowned head nor potentate in Europe before whom
I would not gladly and fearlessly put my system to such test. Give me
but a clear cut caseone that has not been spoiled by massive dosage
or surgery, and I am willing that the system shall stand or fall by the
That is perfectly fair, and I know, Doctor, that you would
succeed, said the Count. And I will say, further, that I am at your
service to promulgate your system in Russia. I have influence at court,
and I can put it to no better use than to help you present the system
of medicine which you represent to those in a position to open our door
to your school.
If you will do that, sir, I shall never regret our having been
blown out of our course into Russia. If I can thus be instrumental in
the salvation of countless thousands of God's suffering children, I
shall feel that I have not lived in vain, whether I ever reach the
North Pole or not. Do not think, Professor, that I have in any degree
lost interest in our original enterprise. But, meantime, I must do what
I can for humanity when opportunity occurs.
You are doing that, Doctor, and I heartily sympathize with you in
your labors, answered the Professor. I only insist that, when
permitted by the fair Feodora, we sail immediately for our
That we will, Professor, and I promise not to enter into any
arrangements that shall prevent our going as soon as possible, replied
Excuse me, gentlemen, interrupted the Count, but I wish to ask
the Doctor for information. As you know, I have had a considerable
amount of experience with the regular school of medicine, and you also
know that I was thoroughly disgusted with it when you came so
opportunely. I have carefully observed your methods, Dr. Jones, and I
notice this essential difference between the two schools: The old
school physicians are exceedingly particular in their examinations and
explorations. They seem extremely worried about naming the disease and
knowing the exact condition of the diseased tissues, but they do not
appear to be able to manage the practical part of the businesscure.
You, as a representative of the other system, do not lay so much stress
upon these things, but do take cognizance of the symptoms in each case
with surprising particularity. And I notice that you appear to base
your prescription solely upon what you term the 'totality of symptoms.'
How nearly am I right?
Count, you have apprehended the exact condition of things. It is
well enough to know all we can of the state of the organ or organs that
we are treating; but suppose I spend hours examining a patient with all
the appliances known to medicine, and have determined to a certainty
the name of the disease with which my patient is afflicted, I am now no
nearer knowing the remedy indicated in this case than I was before I
made the examination. I must go back and take all the symptoms into
account, both subjective and objective before I can intelligently
I do not see, then, that it makes any difference whether you know
all about the condition of the organs, or can name the disease or not,
Good boy, Will, smiled the Doctor. You're learning fast. It is an
absolute fact that some of the best shots I ever made were where
neither I, nor any living man, could make what we term the
diagnosisthat is, name the disease. I will give you a case in point:
A good many years ago, when I was quite a young physician, there came
into my office a man who desired me to go with him and see a sick babe.
I found the most miserable looking three months' old child I had ever
seen. Nothing could exceed the emaciation and puniness of the little
creature, and the mother was carrying it about upon a pillow. For six
weeks it had cried night and day, almost incessantly, except when under
the influence of opiates. Five old school doctors had done what they
could, and at last had declared that it could not live. They had not
been able to establish the diagnosis, and so were at sea as to
treatment. I sat beside it and studied the case as closely as possible
for more than an hour. There was but one peculiarity or symptom upon
which to base a prescription. It was this: It would lie a few moments
apparently asleep, then it would give a start and begin to scream with
all its puny power. This would last one or two minutes, when it would
as suddenly fall asleep again. This, they assured me, was the way it
had performed all through its illness, except when opiated. 'Pains come
and go suddenly.' That was all I had to go on. I could not locate the
pains, nor by any possible means know what the cause of them was; but I
did know, thank God, what was of infinitely greater importance: I knew
the drug that had that particular symptom, and that was Belladonna.
Into half a tumblerful of water I dropped five or six drops of the two
hundredth dilution of that drug, and put a few drops of this medicated
water into the poor little thing's mouth.
Here the Doctor stopped, knocked the ashes from his pipe, arose and
started as if to leave the room.
Hold on, Doctor, cried Fred; I am very much interested in that
baby. How did it come out on your Belladonna solution?
O yes! I should have said that it immediately went to sleep, and
did not awaken for several hours. It never cried again, received no
more medicine, and in a few weeks would have made a model picture for a
patent baby food company. It only received the one little dose that I
I declare, said the Count, laughing heartily, that it sounds
absurd beyond anything I ever heard in my life. Yet who has greater
reason to know it to be absolutely true than myself. Go on, Doctor; I
am prepared to believe anything you are pleased to tell us of your
Before I go I think I will spin you one more story, said the
Doctor, reseating himself. This is what might be termed the reductio
ad absurdum of prescribing merely for the disease by name, irrespective
of symptomatology. I was called to see a poor Dutchman who was in the
last stage of pulmonary consumption. He had just been brought home from
a certain city, where he had been in a hospital for two or three
Well, Hans, I said, how did they use you at the hospital; they
are very scientific there, you know, and must have done great things
O Doctor! he groaned, dondt speak aboudt dem fellers. Dey vos de
piggest lot of shackasses I efer saw.
Why, Hans, I am surprised at you! What did they do that did not
Vell, I tells you. Ven I goes into dot hoshpital, dey oxamines mine
lungs. Den dey puts me into a pedt mit a pig card hanging ofer mine
hedt, und dere vos on dot card in pig letters, de vird, CONSUMPTION. I
tink dey puts dot card dere to encourage me ven I looks at him. Und in
a leedle pox py mine hedt, dey puts a pottle of medticine und say to
me, 'You dakes a teaspoonful of dot efery dree hours.' So I do dot. It
vos awful stuff but I sticks to him aboudt dree veeks. Den I can no
more dake it. It makes me so seek to mine stummick dot I gan no more
eat anyting. So I say to de steward von morning, 'I gan no more dake
dot medticine. I must haf some oder kind.' Vell, sir, you should haf
seen dot feller look at me. He lifts up his hands und says, 'I shoost
adtmire you, Hans.' 'What for you adtmire me?' 'Pecause you vos de
piggest kicker dot efer comes into dis hoshpital. Now look at yourself.
You vos oxamined und put into de ped to which you pelong. Dere ish de
card hanging ofer your hedt vot tells vot vos der matter mit you. Und
den dere ish der medticine for consumption in de pottle py your hedt.
Dot medticine is Doctor Smith's favorite prescription for dot disease.
Und mit all dot you kicks. Vot more do you want?' 'Vell,' I say, 'I gan
no more dake dot medticine. It makes me awful seek.' 'Now, Hans, dondt
be so unreasonable. You pelongs to dot ped, und whoefer goes into dot
ped dakes dot medticine. Dondt you see?' 'But I dells you dot I gan no
more dake dot medticine. It vill kill me. If no oder medticine goes mit
this ped, put me in some oder ped dot has a tifferent pottle, I cares
not what it is.' But no, sir! dey keeps me in dot ped. So I spidts
Doctor Smith's tam stuff into de slop bowl, und comes home so quick as
I could hardly credit Hans' story, and told it as a joke to an old
school physician who was familiar with the hospital where Hans had
been. To my surprise he did not seem to see any joke in it. 'Can it be
possible,' said I, 'that Hans told the truth?' 'Well,' said he, 'in all
but one particular I think that he did.' 'And what was that
particular?' I asked. 'The card above his head did not have on it,
'Consumption,' but 'Phthisis Pulmonalis.'
CHAPTER XVI. The Count Steps Over
The Silver Cloud's crew, if we may so term it, had busied themselves
in various ways, according to their several dispositions and bents of
mind. Dr. Jones was occupied more or less of the time with the
invalids, who came to him from far and wide. The most inveterate cases
of chronic diseases constituted the bulk of his practice, and the cures
that he made were truly marvelous. The patience and interest of the
Count never flagged a moment. He continued at his post and interpreted
for the Doctor with surprising fidelity. Dr. Jones was so pleased with
him that he explained to his noble student every case for which he
proscribed, told him the name of the drug and precisely why he gave it.
Surely here was a model teacher and an ideal student.
Let it not be inferred that our Doctor was infallible, nor that he
There are many cases that are incurable, Sir Count, and we must
learn to know them almost by intuition. The causes of failure are
numerous, but you will notice that they are always to be found in the
physician or patient; never in the law of cure. If I be not able to
apprehend and duly estimate the symptoms of a given case, I must, of
necessity, fail to cure. Or if the patient be unruly, stupid, or
willful, he must pay the penalty. Frequently, the case has been
rendered incurable by massive dosage or surgery. My system cures all
that is curable when intelligently applied. And you will notice that in
some instances there is an absolute dearth of symptoms. You also
observe that I give them a dose and tell them to return in a week or
ten days. When they return they often exhibit a splendid crop of
symptoms, and I experience no trouble then in finding the remedy. These
cases usually have a history of suppressed eruption. At some time in
their lives the itch, or eczema, or some other skin trouble has been
driven into their system by external medicaments in the form of
ointments, washes, etc. Lifelong ailments, over which the old school
have no control, are the result. A large percentage of chronic diseases
are due to this cause alone.
And so, during their leisure hours, sitting in the Count's office,
or peripatetically as they walked together in the park, the
enthusiastic Doctor taught his willing and attentive pupil.
Just see those two inseparables! cried Feodora to Mrs. Jones and
Mattie, as they sat by the front reception-room window, looking out
upon the park. The Doctor and Count were promenading before the great
building, the former with head erect, hands extended before him,
lecturing upon his favorite theme. The towering figure of the Count
strode along beside him, hands clasped behind and head bent well
forward, listening attentively to every word.
I do believe that my father will be so enthusiastic a convert to
the Doctor's system, that he will get books and medicines and practice
upon our poor people when you are gone, said Feodora.
And he could not do a better thing, answered Mrs. Jones. I have
known laymen who made very fine prescribers. The Count could do a vast
amount of good with a set of books and medicines.
Then you can rest assured that he will do so, returned Feodora.
My father is a very benevolent man naturally, but was fast becoming a
misanthrope when you came among us. I shall never cease thanking God
for the northern gale that blew you here.
Nor shall I, dear Feodora, said Mrs. Jones, kissing her with great
affection. And I really dread the time when we must leave you. But you
are improving so rapidly that we must go before many weeks.
I am glad to get well, but I do feel sorry to think of your going.
But I do not give up ever seeing you again. You will go to the North
Pole in a short time, and then return home. You will write me from
there, both you and Mattie, and then my father and I will visit you and
bring you home with us. You must spend a winter with us in our capital
city. It is the most beautiful and gayest city in Europe in its
And you shall spend a winter in Washington, returned Mrs. Jones.
I have never seen anything so beautiful as Washington, said
And so the friends chatted and cemented their acquaintance and
friendship day by day, planning for future enjoyment of each other's
The Count and Feodora were greatly interested in their account of
their visit with the Barton family in Labrador.
By the way, said Mattie, let's go up to Will's studio and see his
painting of Jennie Barton.
Feodora readily assented. I have been longing for some time to see
the interior of your beautiful cabin, she said.
They slowly walked to the cage and mounted to the cabin, a distance
of but fifty feet. They found Will at work upon a local landscape. He
was delighted to receive the ladies, especially Feodora. This augurs
well for our sailing soon, Miss Feodora. And I cannot tell you how glad
we all are to see you recovering so rapidly.
I told Feodora that you had made a fine painting of Jennie Barton.
We have told her all about our visit in Labrador, and she wishes to see
your painting of Jennie, said Mattie.
I am only too proud to show it her, answered Will, and he removed
a cloth from the painting that rested upon an easel.
What a sweet, lovely face! exclaimed Feodora. I have never seen
anything sweeter in my life.
Will hastened to assure her, though he flushed with pride, that it
lacked very much of doing the fair Jennie justice.
There is something so good and pure in that face, that it rests one
to look at it, said the fair Russian.
Would you accept it from me as a present? asked Will.
O Mr. Marsh! would you really part with it?
I shall feel greatly honored if you will accept it from me. I
intend painting another immediately. Whether I shall ever reach my
ideal, I do not know.
I fear that you never will until you return to Constance House,
said Mattie slyly.
Now Mattie, that is very unkind of you, cried Will with a
Feodora thanked Will sincerely for his present, and declared that it
should be hung in her room where she might see it the first thing in
the morning and the last thing at night. Surely nothing could be
sweeter and more interesting than the romance connected with this
lovely painting, said she.
Professor Gray, meantime, had not been idle all these weeks. He and
Denison had developed an affinity for each other, and spent many hours
together, the former teaching the latter much of the geology, botany,
etc., of the country round about. And with rod and gun they kept the
Count's table well supplied with game. They also did much riding, and
for many miles they became familiar objects to the inhabitants. The
Professor made copious notes of all he saw of interest, intending it as
subject matter for a future scientific work.
And Fred busied himself with his music. He had discovered among the
visitors at the castle a young Russian who spoke English tolerably
well, and who was more than an ordinary violinist. They immediately
formed a friendship, and daily sought each other's society. Fred became
a great favorite among the local talent, and many were the concerts
they held in the castle.
Surely, for prisoners in a foreign land, restrained from going about
their legitimate business, our friends were enjoying themselves
wonderfully. The Count and Feodora were never so happy as when doing
something calculated to enhance the comfort and pleasure of their
guests. The days flew so swiftly by that the time for their departure
was near at hand before they were aware of it. Feodora's recovery was
uninterrupted, and she had gained many pounds of flesh. All
apprehensions concerning her health had about disappeared. The Count
continued his medical studies and investigations with unabated zeal and
interest. The action of the infinitesimal dose was a knotty question.
He could not deny the fact that they exhibited marvelous power over
disease, but their immateriality staggered his faith at times, in spite
of all that he had seen and experienced. But there came a time when he
stepped over the line forever. He was Born into the Kingdom, as the
Doctor expressed it.
There came a messenger at midnight one dark, stormy night, from a
castle several miles distant. A letter to the Count from a certain
Russian Prince, implored him to bring the American Doctor immediately
to see his wife. The Count awoke the Doctor and told him that he would
accompany him, if he would go; and he would esteem it a personal favor
if he would attend the call.
Certainly, I will go, said Dr. Jones heartily, and he hastily
prepared himself for the journey.
The rain poured in torrents, and the heavy covered carriage in which
they rode lumbered uncomfortably over the rough country roads.
You should introduce the horseless carriage into your country,
said the Doctor as he bounced about upon his seat. You would then
agitate the subject of good roads.
At last they reached their destination, and were hurried to the
bedside of the suffering Princess. She was a woman of fifty-five, large
and fleshy, sitting bolt upright in the middle of the bed. Her distress
was terrible. The Doctor took the symptoms hurriedly as possible. They
Violent palpitation of the heart. The bed fairly shook with the
action of that organ.
Expectorating large quantities of frothy blood.
Breathing exceedingly labored; could not lie back in the least
Stomach and bowels enormously distended with gas; so much so that
she could not lean forward at all.
Eructations of gas in large quantities, which gave no relief; the
least particle of food or drink excited these eructations.
A very profuse cold sweat that saturated her clothing and bed.
Great thirst, drinks little and often.
Lower extremities restless, could not keep them quiet.
Very nervous and despairing.
Here was a terrible case, and the little Doctor studied it with the
greatest possible care. He learned that the Princess had been an
invalid for many years. She had taken vast quantities of crude drugs,
and the time had come when her stomach rebelled and would tolerate no
more drugging. The great physicians of Europe had been consulted,
without permanent benefit. Her regular medical attendant, with his
assistant, was now present. Dr. Jones was introduced to them, and such
courtesies as were possible under the circumstances were extended by
each. They gave such information as possible through the Count, and
declared that the Princess must die within a few hours. They now stood
powerless by, very curious and observant of everything the Doctor did.
He had carefully written out the above symptoms, and now retired for
a few moments with the Count to an adjoining room. The two Russian
physicians were asked to join them, as a matter of professional
This is a desperate affair, said the Count, and I fear that your
infinitesimals will do her very little good.
Don't be so sure, Sir Count. You may see something to-night that
will remove your last remnant of unbelief, returned the Doctor, as he
turned over the leaves of a materia medica that he had brought with
There is undoubtedly organic disease of the heart, and other
complications that I have not time now to investigate. I have the
totality of symptoms before us, and I have found the remedy that covers
them precisely. He read to the Count each symptom, and showed how
exactly they were covered by the drug. Some degree of explanation of
this was made the native physicians, but it was evidently something new
to them which they did not at all comprehend.
And now let us hasten to administer a dose of this drug.
They returned to the sick chamber. Dr. Jones from a small case vial
dropped a single minim into a teaspoon and wiped it off upon her
tongue. It seemed so simple and wholly inadequate a thing to do in this
very urgent affair, that the Count and the two medical men could not
repress their smiles.
But the Doctor said, Wait and you shall see the glory of God.
Not more than three minutes later, the royal patient, who was
sitting perfectly erect, eyes closed, suddenly threw up her hands and
cried out in the Russian tongue, My God! What have you given me? I'm
drunk! and fell back upon her pillow as if shot. She almost
immediately began snoring as if sound asleep. The Prince, Count, and
two physicians sprang forward in great alarm, and were about to raise
her to her former sitting posture. But Doctor Jones said commandingly,
Let her alone! Do not touch her!
But she is dying! cried Count Icanovich.
No, my dear Count, she is sleeping beautifully. To awaken her now
would be fatal. I wish all to leave the room but her nurse.
Several moments later the Doctor followed them to the parlor. The
Count was greatly agitated, and stepped up to him immediately as he
How is she now, Doctor?
Sleeping as peacefully as a child.
And is it a natural, healthful sleep?
Doctor, you have conquered my last prejudice. The modus operandi of
the action of your infinitesimals I shall never comprehend. But that
they do operate, immediately, powerfully, and beneficently, I can no
longer doubt. Now please let me see the vial from which you poured the
wonderful drop that you gave Her Highness.
The Doctor complied, and the Count held the tiny vial to the light
and read the label, Cinchona Officinalis, 30x.
The Prince also took the vial into his hand, looked at it with
curiosity, and made a remark to the Count.
His Highness suggests that this must be a poison of fearful power,
said the Count to Dr. Jones.
Please say to him that it is not a poison in any sense of the word.
I could swallow every drop of it with perfect impunity, replied Dr.
Nothing could exceed the interest and curiosity of the two
physicians. They looked at the vial and asked questions almost without
number. The old familiar look of incredulity crept into their eyes when
they came to an understanding of the immateriality of the dose. They
were familiar with the dogma of Similia similibus curanter, or Like
cures like, and repudiated it at once. But they said nothing of it to
the Prince or Count at this time. The Count again addressed Dr. Jones.
His Highness is lost in wonder at the magical effect of your
medicine, and desires me to express his heartfelt gratitude and
The Prince, with tears in his eyes, took the Doctor's hand, and said
something to him in his own language.
He says that he can never repay you for what you have done
to-night, and that you may command him for anything in his power,
interpreted the Count.
Say to him that I am more than repaid for anything that I have
done. Let him give all the glory to God.
After ascertaining that the Princess still slept quietly, the Doctor
and Count retired for the remaining hours of the night.
CHAPTER XVII. Farewell to Beauty and
The royal patient slept soundly until eight o'clock the following
morning, or six consecutive hours. This was so entirely new and
different from anything she had experienced for a very long time, that
nothing could exceed her own and the astonishment of everyone who was
acquainted with the facts. Long and painful had been her nights,
sleepless and full of misery, unless under the influence of a narcotic.
And, as we said before, she had reached a point where her system would
endure no more of crude drugging. She always awoke unrefreshed and
miserable from these unnatural, forced sleeps. So when she awoke this
morning, refreshed and rested, her gratitude was boundless.
Dr. Jones received her grateful expressions with the simple, modest
dignity that is characteristic of the good and intelligent the world
over. He made now a critical examination of the heart, and found it
incurably affected. And there were complications of the digestive
organs, etc., that we need not stop to mention. He acquainted the
Prince with the conditions he had found, and showed him why she could
not be cured. But he assured his royal patron, that she might be kept
comfortable, and her life indefinitely prolonged by treating her case
symptomatically as occasion should require.
He remained at the castle several days. In two weeks the royal lady
who had been devoted to immediate death by that school of medicine
which arrogates unto itself the terms, Liberal, Regular, and
Scientific, walked in her garden!
The effect upon the Count was past our powers of description.
Doctor Jones, he cried, I am converted not only to your system, but
to God! I realized, as I witnessed the astounding power of the
infinitesimal dose in this remarkable case, the wisdom and goodness of
our Heavenly Father. And I now say to you, that I am devoted to your
cause, and I shall never rest until your school of medicine shall have
free course throughout all Russia. And you can rest assured that the
Prince's influence, conjoined with my own, will have sufficient weight
at court to break down all barriers and opposition to the propagandism
of your blessed system of medicine. This shall be my life work, and I
only wish that you were going to stay with me. But I will not urge that
point, as I know that you are pledged to prosecute your effort to reach
the North Pole. You will succeed in that enterprise, and the world will
ring with your praise. But far grander than all this is your simple,
sublime faith in God, and in the beautiful law by which you are guided
in the selection of the remedy in the treatment of the sick. I am a far
better man, physically, morally, and spiritually for having met you.
If my visit to Russia shall effect the recognition of my school by
your Government, I shall forever thank God for sending me here. This is
probably the entering wedge that shall open Europe to us, and induce
the inquiry and investigation that we crave. Let our system stand or
fall upon its merits.
And so the friends conversed and laid their plans for the
introduction of the new medical system into Europe. The Prince also
joined them in their plans, and his enthusiasm quite equaled that of
the Count. Among other items, the two noble converts made arrangements
to purchase a complete stock of books and drugs. Dr. Jones daily taught
them the art of taking a case, as he called it; or the examination of
a patient and writing down the symptoms.
The three months had expired and Feodora's condition was far above
the danger mark. She was beautiful, rosy, and blushing, romping about
with Mattie, like a great school-girl. So now the morning of their
departure was set. The news was heralded far and wide that the great
air-ship would sail upon a certain day if the wind were favorable.
The morning had arrived, the wind was blowing within a point or two
of north, and every preparation had been made for hoisting anchors. A
vast concourse of people had assembled to witness their departure. The
many friends of the voyagers were present in force, and they loaded
them with presents, many of them very costly. Dr. Jones' practice had
been lucrative beyond anything he had ever dreamed of. He found himself
suddenly made a wealthy man. The gratitude of the people was boundless;
and the simple-hearted man scarcely knew what to do with all the money
that poured in upon him. So he caused a considerable portion of it to
be distributed among the poor peasantry in the vicinity of the castle.
He felt a great sense of sorrow as he looked upon the many faces that
he had learned to love. But all was ready and he must away.
I have spent some of the happiest hours of my life with yourself
and daughter, my dear Count, and truly hope to visit you again and
enjoy your hospitality. Good-bye, and God bless you all.
He had shaken hands with all those immediately about him, among whom
were the Prince and Princess, and stepped with Mrs. Jones into the
cage. It shot up to the engine-room, the anchors and cables were cast
off, and the splendid globe, so long bound in chains to the earth,
arose majestically into the blue vault above. Loud and mighty were the
cheers that followed them. Silver Cloud, as if impatient at the long
delay in Russia, rapidly ascended three thousand feet, and flew
northward at tremendous speed.
Could deliverance have come to your house and mine more
appropriately than from the skies, and in yonder silver chariot? asked
the Count of his two royal friends, while they stood watching the
rapidly disappearing Silver Cloud.
The deliverance has not come to us alone, but to the suffering
millions of Russia, Count Icanovich. And all through the faithfulness
and earnestness of that modest, yet wonderful little man, Doctor Jones.
But as he said over and over again, 'Let us give God all the glory,'
replied the Prince.
The company, meanwhile, though much regretting the parting with
their new found friends, yet were exhilarated with the idea that they
were again rapidly rushing toward the object of their expedition. Their
supplies of food, fuel, clothing, etc., had been fully replenished so
far as was necessary, and nothing should now prevent their reaching the
Pole at an exceedingly early date. This they were the more anxious to
do, as the season was getting well advanced, and they desired to be out
of the Arctic region before winter should set in. This was not a matter
of so much concern to them, however, as it had been to all previous
explorers of these frigid regions. The navigators of Silver Cloud had
no frozen seas nor icebergs to contend with, and could soar above all
clouds and storms. And the matter of temperature was of little
consequence to them; for, as Will had said, the cabin was so
constructed that frost could never penetrate its beautiful aluminum
So they were jubilant and happy. Even Singwhom, by the way, we
have shamefully neglected during the past three monthsjoined in the
general hilarity, and treated them to many Russian dishes that he had
picked up in the kitchen of the castle, where he had spent his time
during their stay there.
The wind continued all day from the south, so that by evening they
sighted the city of Archangel away to their left. All night they sped
at express train speed toward their destination. When they looked out
in the morning from the balcony, the northern coast of Russia was
indistinctly seen in the southern horizon, and they were again floating
over the floes and bergs of Arctic seas.
We have crossed the 70th degree of latitude, said the Professor at
breakfast. We are heading directly for Franz Joseph Land. We should
sight that island by noon at our present rate of speed.
All expressed themselves as delighted at the marvelous performance
of Silver Cloud, and Denison declared that he should never be contented
to settle down to slow going terrestrial life again.
I move that we set out for the South Pole as soon as we get back to
Washington, said he.
I second the motion! cried Mattie.
I don't know whether women have the elective franchise in this
country or not, laughingly replied Dr. Jones. At all events, let's
get back to Washington before we plan any more expeditions. I do not
doubt that the South Pole will be our next objective point.
Just imagine the American flag flying at the two poles of the
earth! cried Professor Gray. What could be more appropriate and
grander! I believe Denison's motion to be strictly in order. As to
Mattie's second, I am for female suffrage, here and everywhere upon
earth. Without it woman is but a slave, and can be but what her lord
and master, man, permits her to be.
Hear! hear! cried the ladies, clapping their hands.
What an old Bluebeard of a husband you have, haven't you? said the
Doctor to Mrs. Jones.
Oh! you are fishing for compliments, she returned archly, But I
tell you, sir, that I have my eye upon you. Did you all notice how the
Princess, Feodora, and a lot more of those Russian ladies cried over
him when we were parting from them? and she shook her finger at him
from the lower end of the table, and tried so hard to look jealous and
mad, and made so dismal a failure of it, that they all laughed
And so they merrily chatted through the meal. The men then resorted
to the smoking-room, and when all had lighted their cigars or pipes,
Which of the battles of the war of the great Rebellion do you
consider to have been the hardest fought, Doctor Jones?
Chickamauga is conceded by the majority of our historians to have
been the most savagely contested of the great battles of the war.
Something near forty per cent of the men engaged were killed, wounded,
or taken prisoner.
Were you in that battle, Doctor?
I would be glad if you would tell us about it; that is, I mean,
your own personal experiences.
Well, returned Dr. Jones, taking a look out of the window by which
he sat, we are spinning along at a rattling gait toward Franz Joseph
Land, and I don't know that we can do any better than tell war stories
to pass away time.
I believe I told you that I was fifteen years old when I enlisted.
The battle of Chickamauga occurred September 19, and 20, 1863, one year
after my enlistment, so that I was a lad of sixteen at the time of the
battle. You cannot presume that a boy would have seen much that would
be of historical value, where all was horrible roar of musketry,
booming of cannon, confusion, and blood-curdling yells of charging
The morning of September 19, 1863, dawned upon us beautiful and
bright. I shall never forget that lovely morning. Throughout the rank
and file of our army there was a feeling that we were upon the eve of a
great battle; but we did not dream that the armies of Bragg and
Longstreet had combined, and we were opposing from fifty-five thousand
to seventy-five thousand men. But our confidence in our commander,
General Rosecranz, was so great that we would have fought them just the
same if we had known of the great odds against us.
Heavy skirmishing began quite early in the morning along the picket
lines. This gradually swelled into the incessant roar of pitched
battle. At about nine o'clock we were ordered to the front at a
double-quick. We crossed a field, then into a wood where we met the
fire of the enemy. Being a musician I was counted a noncombatant, and
my duties during battle consisted in helping the wounded back to
hastily extemporized hospitals.
So on we charged into the woods, already densely filled with smoke.
Then the bullets flew swiftly about us, and men began falling along the
line. I set to work helping the wounded to the rear. I had just been to
the hospital with a poor fellow from my company, and hastened back to
where I had last seen the regiment. They had made a flank movement to
the left, but I, supposing that they had advanced and were driving the
enemy like chaff before them, traveled straight on through the woods,
and out into an open field. What a sight was there! Dead and wounded
Confederates lay thickly strewn in every direction. I was really in
what had just been the Confederate lines, and was in imminent peril of
being shot or captured.
Several of the wounded spoke to me, 'O Yank! for God's sake, give
me a drink of water,' I felt alarmed at my position, but I could not
resist the appeals of these poor fellows. So I gave water to many from
the canteens that I found scattered about the field. I spread blankets
for others who asked me; dragged some of them into the shade, for the
sun was very hot. And so I spent a considerable time among them, doing
such little offices as I could. For these services they were very
grateful, some of them calling down the blessings of heaven upon my
head. I have always been glad that I incurred this risk of life and
liberty for these dying men. But at last I felt that I dared not stop
longer, and started to retrace my steps to the woods, when I heard a
terrible wailing and moaning a few yards to my right. I rushed to the
spot and saw a poor Confederate boy, about my own age, at the foot of a
great poplar tree, in the midst of a brush heap, trying to spread his
blanket. I did not at first see what the cause of his terrible outcry
was. 'What is the matter, Johnnie?' I asked. He lifted his face to me,
and I shall never forget the awful sight! A bullet had shot away the
anterior part of each eye and the bridge of the nose, and in this
sightless condition he was trying in the midst of the brush heap to
spread his blanket and lie down to die! As he moved about upon his
hands and knees the ends of the dry twigs, stiff and merciless as so
many wires, would jag his bleeding and sightless eyeballs. I could not
leave him in this condition, and so helped him from the brush heap to a
smooth, shady place, spread his blanket for him, put a canteen of water
by him, and then ran for the Union lines, not a moment too soon.
All day the battle raged with terrible fury until long after the
shades of night had fallen. Indeed, the heaviest musketry I ever heard
occurred some time after pitch darkness had completely enveloped us. My
supper that night was a very plain one. A piece of corn bread, or hoe
cake, that I had abstracted from the haversack of a dead Southerner,
and a canteen of cold water constituted that simple meal. I really felt
a sense of gratitude toward the poor Confederate, who had undoubtedly
baked the corn bread that morning, little thinking that it was destined
to be eaten by a miserable Yankee drummer boy. But such is the fate of
It had been very hot during the day, but the night was bitterly
cold. There was a heavy frost that night, and under a thick blanket
upon the bare ground, I slept by fitful snatches. Let me tell you,
friends, that the most terrible place upon earth is a battlefield at
night. The groans of the wounded men and horses are awful beyond
anything I ever heard. All night I could hear their heartrending cries,
but in the pitch darkness could do nothing to help them. How many times
I thought of my far away northern home during that awful night. Should
I live through the morrow? for the battle would certainly be resumed
with the return of daylight. Should I ever see mother, brothers and
sisters, home and friends again?
Here the Doctor sang softly and slowly part of the pathetic old war
Comrades brave around me lying,
Filled with thoughts of home and God;
For well they know that on the morrow
Some must sleep beneath the sod.
The little party were deeply impressed, for the Doctor was a good
story teller, and was himself much affected at this point.
The much longed for, yet dreaded, daylight dawned at last. It was
Sunday morning. For some reason hostilities were not immediately
resumed. The sun rose in beauty and splendor, warming our chilled bones
and blood in a way that was exceedingly grateful to us. For a little
time all was so quiet and still that it only lacked the sweet tones of
church bells, calling us to the house of God, to have made us forget
that we were enemies, and have induced us to rest from our fearful,
uncanny works for this holy Sabbath at least. But no! soon the battle
was on again with greater vigor, if possible, than ever. Before noon
our flanks were completely routed; and, but for that magnificent man,
the peer of any soldier of any nation or age, General George H. Thomas,
it is doubtful whether I should be here now, telling my little story.
While Rosecranz, whipped and beaten, fled to Chattanooga and
telegraphed to Washington that everything was lost, and the Cumberland
army a thing of the past, General Thomas, with a few thousand men,
checked and held at bay this great Southern army, flushed with victory
though it was. How the mighty host rolled and surged against this
single army corps, but could not break nor beat them back. While
Crittenden's and McCook's corps were completely routed and
disorganized, Thomas with his 14th corps thus stood the brunt of
battle, and saved the Army of the Cumberland from total annihilation.
Well may we call him the Rock of Chickamauga!
My father was quartermaster-sergeant of the regiment and I saw him
for the first time during the battle on Sunday morning. We were
trudging along with the routfor it could not be called army
that Sunday afternoontoward Chattanooga. We knew that we had
sustained defeat, but we did not realize how desperate the situation
was. A brigadier-general was passing us, when a private rushed up to
him and asked, 'O General! where is the 87th Indiana?I think that
was the regiment he mentioned. 'There is no 87th Indiana. All is lost!
Get to Chattanooga!' he shouted, and galloped toward the city,
unattended by any of his staff.
'Did you hear that, John?' asked my father.
'I did,' I replied.
'Well, if you expect to ever see your mother again, you must do
some good traveling now.'
As we had an intense desire to see her again we started down the
road at a good pace. We distinctly heard the Confederate cavalrymen
crying, 'Stop, you blankety blanked Yankees!' But we felt that our
business in Chattanooga, demanded immediate attention, and we had no
time to spare them.
Passing a certain place, I saw General Thomas standing upon the
brow of Snodgrass Hill, or Horseshoe Ridge, field glass in hand,
intently watching the movements of the troops. I distinctly remember
his full-bearded, leonine face, and little did we know that the fate of
the Cumberland Army, or possibly of the Nation, rested upon that single
man that terrible Sunday afternoon. What a mighty responsibility! But
there he stood, a tower of strength, the Rock of Chickamauga indeed!
With but a single line he repelled charge after charge of Longstreet's
And so we fought the most sanguinary battle of modern times, yet
utterly bootless so far as immediate results were concerned. One
hundred and thirty thousand men were engaged with a loss of nearly
fifty thousand, or a little less than forty per cent. This battle
should never have been fought. Rosecranz here lost his military
prestige that he had so splendidly won at Stone's River. Thomas alone
achieved on this field immortal glory, and was the one great hero of
the occasion. The Confederates claimed it as a victory, but they should
daily thereafter have asked a kind Providence to keep them from any
more such victories.
The next day Thomas followed us into Chattanooga, and Bragg and
Longstreet perched with their armies upon Lookout Mountain and
Missionary Ridge. From these elevations they watched us with Argus
eyes. Our supplies were completely cut off and we were soon reduced to
the point of starBut here, you fellows are getting tired, and so am
I. I will tell you about the siege of Chattanooga and battle of
Missionary Ridge some other time.
CHAPTER XVIII. Woman Locates the
Silver Cloud hastened on with the favoring gale from the balmy
South. By noon the coast of Franz Joseph Land could be seen. They were
now near the eightieth degree of latitude. During the afternoon they
crossed that land of eternal winter. Monotonous mountains, hills, and
plains of everlasting snow and ice wearied the eye, and caused a sense
of seasickness and vertigo if looked upon too long. The Doctor had
treated these symptoms in each as they occurred, and our friends had
experienced but little of the inconvenience due to this cause that is
suffered by most aeronauts. They had entirely lost their sense of
insecurity and fear, and nothing could be more comfortable and pleasant
than were the accommodations of the cabin of Silver Cloud, even in this
exceedingly high latitude. And oh! those walks about the balcony of
Silver Cloud! How invigorating and healthful! So vast were the
proportions of the globe that there was no swaying, shaking, nor
trembling ever perceptible. It was as if the splendid structure were a
rock, and all the world a swift flying panorama far beneath them. Very
strange and weird was the sight of the sun, traveling in one continuous
circuit but a few degrees above the horizon, never rising nor setting
during six months of the year. The atmosphere was particularly clear
and frosty, so that as they promenaded the balcony, or sat in the
observatory, they were obliged to don their beautiful sealskins, a
complete outfit of which Count Icanovich had presented to each member
of the company.
All were exceedingly happy and jubilant. The wind continued very
nearly as before, and within twenty-four hours, nothing preventing,
they would stand at the coveted spotthe North Pole.
At dinner time Franz Joseph Land was far behind them, and they were
sailing over the dark blue waters of the Arctic Ocean, more or less
filled with great floes and icebergs, illustrating to the voyagers the
terrible perils and hardships through which Arctic explorers had
passed, and amidst which so many of them had died.
What wonder, said the Professor, as he scanned the unnavigable
seas with his glass, that man has thus far utterly failed in his
attempts to overcome these insuperable obstacles. Think of the cold,
hunger, and awful wretchedness these poor fellows have suffered. And
Doctor, see! Is not that a ship I see yonder? It is! It is! cried the
Professor excitedly, pointing to an object sailing in a bit of open
sea, her nose pointing stubbornly toward the North.
We can hail them, cried the Doctor.
The upper and lower traps of the air chamber were opened, and Silver
Cloud settled like a great roc toward the toiling little ship. They
passed nearly directly over it, and at an altitude of but 300 feet.
Ship ahoy! shouted the Doctor through a speaking trumpet.
Ahoy! came from the vessel.
Where are you bound?
Sail due west twenty miles and you will find an open sea to the
North. All closed ahead. Good luck to you! Good-bye!
Aye, aye, sir! Good-bye! came cheerily from the quarterdeck of the
little ship, and they had passed beyond hailing distance.
Poor, brave fellows, sighed the Doctor.
They have reached an amazingly high latitude, said the Professor.
They have crossed the 83rd parallel, very nearly as high as Nansen got
with his expedition last year.
I declare that I am sorry for them, and really dislike to take the
glory of the discovery from them. But we cannot stop now, and it is
utterly impossible for them to get there anyway.
They would have soon been shut in, and probably forever as they
were heading, observed Will.
North and east, as they could distinctly see from their elevation of
two thousand feet, far as the eye could reach, all was one vast field
of huge piles of ice, exceedingly rough and broken, with here and there
towering spires that seemed to reach up toward the globe like grizzly
arms that would prevent them from penetrating the secrets of the north
that had been held for untold centuries.
As the Doctor had informed the captain of the ship, away to the west
was a certain amount of open sea, but it was of limited extent, and the
prospects of the poor fellows getting much farther looked more than
And what is to become of them if they cannot get through? asked
I cannot tell, returned the Doctor, but the chances are that they
will be crushed in the ice.
O dear, what a fate! cried Mrs. Jones. Can we do nothing for
Nothing at all, my dear. They are beyond our reach, and it is not
likely that they would desert their ship if we could offer to take them
with us. Such men are not easily turned from their purpose.
All we can do then is to pray that God will preserve them, and
permit them to return safely home, said the sympathetic little woman.
And let us ask Him that this favoring gale may continue a few hours
longer, added Dr. Jones.
There was no thought of retiring as the usual hour for doing so
arrived. They all felt impressed with the thought that they were now
looking upon scenes never before seen by mortal eye, and that they were
very near the object of their journey. How their hearts warmed and
palpitated with the thought!
We have crossed the 85th parallel, said the Professor, and in six
or seven hours will reach the Pole at this rate.
This is the Lord's doings, and it is marvelous in our eyes, quoted
the Doctor with great fervency.
Busy feet climbed and descended the spiral stairway many times that
night, but could see nothing but a frozen sea in every direction. The
wind blew from due south, and they were flying at tremendous speed
directly toward the Pole as if drawn there by a great magnet. The cold
was intensethe thermometer registering more than 60 deg. below zero.
But as we said before, no wind was ever felt aboard Silver Cloud, and
it has been ascertained that man can endure almost any degree of cold
if it be quiet and still.
At midnight they all sat down to a good substantial supper that had
been prepared by Sing. The aroma of the coffee filled the little
dining-room, and was grateful to the senses. How merry and happy they
were! And they ate and drank with appetites that were very
complimentary to Sing's cooking, and the faithful Mongolian was well
pleased to see the food thus disappearing.
There is no place like the Arctics for getting hungry and giving
food a relish. I declare that I have not eaten so since a boy,
I really eat until I am ashamed of myself, said Mattie.
Well, it agrees with you, Mattie, replied Denison. Just look at
her plump cheeks, and the beautiful roses upon them!
Indeed, I never saw you look so well as you do now, said Mrs.
Jones, looking at her admiringly.
And I am glad that I can return the compliment, replied Mattie.
I am of the opinion that a trip to the Arctics in Silver Cloud
would cure any case of dispepsia in the world, said Dr. Jones.
What a wonderful stimulant coffee is, remarked the Professor, as
he sipped a cup of that beverage.
I never realized that fact so much as when in the army, replied
Dr. Jones. After a long day's march we would get into camp so tired
that we could scarcely move. We would start our camp-fires, and very
soon after you could hear a musical clink, clink, clinking in every
direction. It was the sound produced by the soldier boys, pounding
their coffee fine in their tin cups with the butt of their bayonets.
And the effect of a pint of that hot Government Java coffee was
perfectly marvelous. It would almost instantly take the aching and
tired feeling from the muscles, and we could have marched all night if
I cannot realize that this is midnight, said Mattie, as they stood
upon the balcony, well wrapped in furs, looking over the vast fields of
ice and snow. One would hardly know when to get up or go to bed in
this wonderful country.
The time rapidly passed; they reached the 86th, 87th, 88th, 89th
degrees of latitude, and the strain upon their nerves grew to be
tremendous. The Doctor and Professor could not rest anywhere but in the
observatory, glasses in hand. Each was pale with excitement.
I believe that to be land ahead, said the Doctor, pointing to a
high elevation directly before them.
The Professor looked at it earnestly a few moments and replied:
It is, Doctor, and we have settled the fact that the North Pole is
situated upon an island. The open sea at the Pole is a myth, as I
always believed it to be.
The rest of the party was notified of the fact that land was near at
hand, and that very shortly the North Pole would be reached. So they
all assembled upon the balcony, except Sing. That individual could not
be enthused upon so small a matter as the discovery of the North Pole;
and after washing the supper dishes and cleaning up the kitchen and
dining-room, retired as unconcernedly as if nothing unusual were at
Rapidly and unerringly as a dart flew the beautiful ship to the
place of all places upon earth to our exultant voyagers. Nearer and
nearer grew the elevation before them.
We are within less than half an hour of the Pole, announced the
Professor in a low constrained voice.
Glory be to God! said Dr. Jones with great solemnity. I never
felt His presence more than at this moment. To Him be all the praise.
Amen! responded every one of the little company.
They were now passing over the island. They could see that it was
several miles in diameter, and nearly circular in form. Almost exactly
in the center arose a conical hill or mountain, about one thousand feet
Upon the summit of that mount I am of the opinion we will find the
North Pole, said Professor Gray.
And we are heading directly for it! cried Dr. Jones. Just a few
moments more, dear friends, and we shall have reached our journey's
end. Now get ready to drop the anchor when Professor Gray gives the
Silver Cloud was lowered as they neared the mount. They were just
over the summit at but fifty feet from the surface. The signal was
given, the anchors dropped. At first they dragged upon the frozen snow,
but soon the flukes caught in the crevices of the icy masses, and the
great globe was securely anchored at the North Pole!
They instantly prepared to descend in the cage. The cold was
terrible, so much so that they could not have endured it at all but for
provisions that Dr. Jones had made for this very event. Besides their
splendid silk-lined and padded sealskin suits, he had brought a large
number of Japanese fireboxes. The punks in these were lighted, and when
all were very hot they were wrapped in flannels and distributed about
their persons inside their sealskins. With this arrangement, Jack
Frost's chances of nipping their persons were very slim indeed.
The thermometer registered seventy degrees below zero. Having taken
every possible precaution, the Doctor and Professor descended. Their
feelings cannot be described as they stepped upon the solidly frozen
surface, and realized that they were the first human beings who had
thus stood upon the summit of the earth! After looking about a few
moments, Professor Gray said:
We must settle the globe to the earth, and from the observatory I
can make observations that will locate the Pole exactly.
This was accordingly done. From the observatory with a sextant he
made an observation every six hours, making allowance for the
declination of the sun, meantime. This was an exceedingly delicate
problem, but the Professor was fully equal to it. At the end of
twenty-four hours he and the Doctor again donned their furs, stepped
over the railing of the balcony and walked out upon the snow. The rest
of the party had amused themselves while awaiting the Professor's
observations by setting up little mounds of ice, upon what they guessed
to be the spot where the learned Professor would declare the
geographical pole to be. His mind, meantime, was too engrossed with the
momentous business in hand to pay the least attention to their
frivolities; and, utterly unmindful of the fur-clad figures that stood
scattered about, each by its respective ice mound, he measured a
certain number of lengths of a sharp pointed steel rod which he carried
in his hand, directly to Mrs. Jones, and with a side swipe of his foot
he swept aside her pile of ice lumps, raised the steel rod in both
hands and drove it down with all his force just where the ice mound had
stood, and cried with all his power in a fur-muffled voice, The North
Pole! And Mrs. Jones jumped up and down as nimbly as her load of furs
and fireboxes would permit, banged her great sealskin mittens together,
and cried, Goody! Goody! I guessed it! I am the discoverer of the
North Pole! I always knew that a woman would be the first one there!
CHAPTER XIX. The Planting of the
The whole of the party now shoutedSing always excepted. That
individual was strictly attending to his business in the kitchen during
the excitement. They ranor waddled, for they moved with difficulty,
loaded as they wereto the spot where the two men and Mrs. Jones were
standing. They gathered in a circle about the steel rod that marked the
exact spot for which the boldest navigators and explorers have longed,
and striven, and died by thousands during many decades of the past.
The Doctor broke out in his sonorous voice, the rest immediately
joining him in the familiar doxology, Old Hundred,
Praise God from whom all blessings flow.
When they had finished, at a signal from the Doctor, they all
kneeled upon the icy pavement, and he offered up a fervent prayer of
praise and thanksgiving for the preservation of their lives, and for
the wonderful success that had attended their enterprise. Then in
unison they repeated the Lord's prayer.
And what could be more appropriate? The echoes first awakened in
this ultra-frigid region by the human voice were praises to God in song
and prayer. The ends of the earth had bowed the knee to the Father
Almighty, and it seemed to the little band to be the beginning of the
good time foretold, when the glory of God shall cover the earth as the
waters do the face of the deep.
Now let us see what Sing has for breakfast, lunch, or whatever meal
it may be. I have been so interested in our work the last few hours
that I have paid no attention to time, said Dr. Jones.
A few moments later they were seated about their dining table, and
no happier company could be found in Christendom that day.
Did anyone note the time that we arrived here? asked Will.
At 7 o'clock, 45 min., 20 sec., August 6, 19, we located the
North Pole, and planted our steel rod as marker thereof, replied
What is the next thing on the program, Doctor? asked Denison.
We will immediately set about planting our aluminum flagstaff. We
are liable to a terrible storm at any moment, and might be driven away
before we had accomplished that important ceremony. It would possibly
be months before we should encounter so favorable a gale again. Let us
not rest until we have finished all we came to do, then away for home.
It is all very well to say 'Plant the flagstaff'; but how on earth
can we possibly set up a 300 foot metal pole at this extremity of the
earth, without derrick, blocks and tackles, or any machinery whatever?
I'll show you a Yankee trick in a short time, cried Dr. Jones.
They hurried through the meal and prepared again to go out into the
terribly cold atmosphere. The fireboxes were again lighted and
distributed about their clothing as before. All then went out and
assembled again about the rod.
I must get through this crust of ice and see what depth of snow
there is below, said the Doctor.
With the sharp-pointed steel rod he picked and worked several
minutes, but made very little progress in the flinty ice.
Get a hammer, Denison, said he.
The tool being procured, they hammered upon the upper end of the
rod, and drilled as miners do in rock. After some time of this work the
This will never do. We have evidently a great thickness of ice to
go through, possibly more than we can ever penetrate. We can do no work
in these fur suits, and we should instantly freeze if we took them off.
We must settle the globe upon this spot, then we shall be within the
cabin and can throw off our coats and go to work. We have a big job on
hand. Let's pull the ship over at once.
The wind had subsided to a nearly dead calm, and it was remarkable
how all nature seemed to be auspicious to the occasion. She had been
forced to yield up her secrets, fast locked and frozen by the chill
hand of Jack Frost so many centuries, and now seemed disposed to
surrender them with a good grace. The globe was raised a few feet from
the earth. Two of the anchors were carried to the opposite side of the
Pole, and Will turned on the spring windlasses. Thus they easily drew
the ship to the desired spot, and it was slowly settled down so that
the manhole, as they called the hole in the floor through which the
cage operated, came directly over the steel rod, the rod standing
precisely in the center of the manhole.
Now, my hearties, furs off! cried the energetic little Doctor. He
doffed his own suit hurriedly, pulled on a pair of woolen gloves in
lieu of the sealskin ones, pulled the steel rod out and laid it aside,
grasped an axe and began chopping into the ice with all his might. The
ice chips flew about the engine-room in a shower. He was soon obliged
to stop for breath. Will shoveled the loosened ice out, then seized the
axe and worked for a short time with the same spirit that animated the
Doctor. And so by turns they kept the axe and shovel flying, making
very rapid progress. They soon were too deep to use long-handled tools,
and resorted to mallet and chisel, and a short-handled hand axe. Slowly
and more slowly progressed the work as the shaft grew deeper. Finally
the head of the man in the shaft disappeared below the surface, being
now nearly seven feet deep.
We shall have to devise some plan for hoisting before long, said
Can't we use the windlass? suggested Denison.
So we can! cried the Doctor. The steel springs forever! Will
never did a better thing than when he invented the spring power
windlass. We may have to go twenty-five or thirty feet. But we will
hoist by hand for awhile yet.
They had reached the depth of between eight and nine feet, when
Will, who was in the hole, shouted, Hurrah! I've broken through! and
he tossed up a handful of snow.
Good boy! cried the Doctor. Now try with the rod and see if there
be another layer of ice within reach.
The rod, which was six feet long, was easily passed its full length
into the underlying snow.
All right! said Dr. Jones. The flagstaff will settle sufficiently
deep to hold it there forever. Fire up, Will. I want to rise forty or
fifty feet above this hole.
This was accomplished in a very few minutes.
Now let us get the foot of the mast precisely over that hole. I
mean to let it drop from this height, and its weight will sink it 25 or
30 feet into the snow. That, with 9 feet of ice, will hold it for
centuries. We will fill the space in the ice shaft about the foot of
the mast with the ice chips that we have taken out, ram them down good
and solid, then pour water in. This will instantly freeze, and all the
gales that ever howled can never blow down the finest flagstaff that
ever stood upon the face of the earth.
The plumb-line was lowered and cables tautened here and slackened
there until the butt of the great mast stood precisely over the shaft.
The spiral stair had been so constructed that it nowhere touched the
mast. At its entrance into, and exit from the globe, heavy collars
connected the mast with the ship. These were removed, and a heavy trap
door, upon which the foot of the flagstaff rested, was its only
support. A massive bolt alone held the trap in place. Will and the
Professor were by the ice shaft, watching the plumb-line. At a signal,
the Doctor struck the bolt a heavy blow with a sledge, the trap fell,
and the beautiful mast shot like a flash of lightning down through the
frosty atmosphere, entered the ice hole precisely in the center, and
sank to the depth of 35 feet into the snow, which, added to the 9 feet
of ice, made a footing of 44 feet for the towering flagstaff. The globe
was again settled to the foot of the mast, the ice chips filled in and
rammed solidly, the water poured about it, and their work was
completed. The ingenuity displayed by the Doctor upon this occasion
showed him to be a born leader of men, and the little band of
associates so acknowledged to him upon the spot. Dr. Jones shut off
their effusive demonstrations as quickly as possible. He did not appear
to be possessed of any degree of love of praise; on the contrary, it
always embarrassed and made him uncomfortable.
And now let us eat again, said Dr. Jones. We must get away from
here before we sleep.
So they sat down to a hearty dinner, all tired and very hungry. But
the coffee and smoking food immediately reinvigorated them, and they
arose from the table anxious to complete their work and be off for
Shall we rest a few hours, or go on with our celebration, and
immediately sail for homeor wherever the wind may carry us? asked
O, let us go on by all means! plenty of time for rest and sleep,
was the unanimous decision.
All right, he replied. That suits me perfectly. This good weather
will not last long. The Arctics are subject to fearful and sudden
storms, and we must be ready to go at any instant. Whatever we are to
do, let us do quickly.
I think we should have a patriotic piece or two at the foot of the
mast, and then our North Pole March. I have had in my mind that it
would be fine to raise the globe up ten feet or so, and beneath it we
will have our concert.
But how can we sing with our mouths all wrapped up in furs? We
shall instantly freeze if we expose our faces to the cold. See, the
thermometer now marks nearly 70 degrees below zero.
It was Mattie who put this poser.
I will tell you the only thing we can do, said Will. We have an
abundance of coal oil. We will set all the pots, pans, and kettles
aboard ship in a circle around the mast at a sufficient distance from
it for our purpose. We will fill these dishes with coal oil, set fire
to them, and within this charmed circle you may sing to your hearts'
Aye, aye, Will! cried Dr. Jones. You've struck it!
The globe was adjusted, the vessels of oil set in place, the oil
instantly congealed, but Will had taken the precaution to place into
each vessel several wicks. He lighted these ends, and in a little while
the temperature in the circle rose very perceptibly. The organ was then
brought down and placed by the mast. They threw back their hoods and
sang America with deep solemnity and feeling. When they had finished,
Professor Gray said:
I now propose that we have a speech from Doctor Jones. But first,
three cheers for the projector of this glorious enterprise and
discoverer of the North Pole. Hip, hip, hurrah!
These cheers were given with all possible zest and enthusiasm.
Friends and fellow citizens, began the Doctor, smiling
good-naturedly upon them, I sincerely thank you for your expressions
of good will. I did not suppose that I was on the program for a speech.
My heart is too full for utterance when I contemplate the fact that we
now actually stand, safe, sound, and comfortable, at that spot so long
sought by the bravest men of all civilized lands. That the world will
receive us with open arms, and will heap honors and riches upon us, I
do not for a moment doubt. But all this will do us no good, on the
contrary, much harm, if we allow ourselves to become puffed up thereby,
and cease to give to God all the glory and honor. As for myself, I am
only proud of this achievement by so much as it shall prove a blessing
to mankind. I believe that true happiness is found alone in working for
others. Selfishness is the direct source of all the unhappiness upon
earth, and is the chief or only difference between a devil and an
angel. But I see that our fires are fast burning low, and I must
So by right of discovery, I claim this island for our great
republic, the United States of America; and its name shall be, owing to
its position upon the top of the earth, Summit Island!
This speech was received with great applause. Fred then struck up on
the organ the music of the North Pole March. The company began to
circle about the mast, keeping step to the inspiring notes and singing
the four parts. By the time this music was ended the fires were nearly
burned down and the temperature within the circle lowered rapidly. The
vessels were hastily gathered up and all entered the cabin.
As they were about to hoist the anchors, Professor Gray said:
I am not perfectly satisfied as to the location of our pole being
exactly correct. And, to tell you the truth, it has been demonstrated
that the Pole is not a fixed, unchangeable spot, but really swings
about in a circle, varying from six to thirty feet in diameter, just as
the upper end of the stem of a spinning top does when it begins to run
down or lose its momentum. Now I am positive that our flagstaff stands
within this circle. But I would like, by another very satisfactory
experiment, to verify the one we have already made. It will require
another twenty-four hours.
By all means, Professor, answered Dr. Jones, do so. Let us do
everything possible to establish the fact that we are scientifically
correct in our location of the Pole. What would you have us do now?
I will explain what I intend doing, and then we will understand and
we can work intelligently together. I wish to photograph the stars
directly above our heads. If we were here during the winter season,
when the sun was below the horizon, we could see the stars distinctly
with the unassisted eye. But from March 21st to September 21st we
cannot do that because of continuous daylight. Now you are probably
aware that looking up from the bottom of a deep well or shaft in the
daytime, the stars are visible, even in the sunlight. And that is what
I purpose doing.
Well, and where is your shaft that you intend looking up through?
inquired Dr. Jones.
The Professor significantly laid his hand upon the zinc tube which
enveloped the flagstaff. O ho! cried the Doctor, why did not I think
We should have explained before that the spiral stairs ran up
between two zinc tubes, the one six feet in diameter, and the other two
feet in diameter. The latter surrounded the mast, and after the globe
should rise from the flagstaff this tube would indeed be a shaft two
hundred feet in depth, or two hundred and ten feet, for it extended to
the top of the roof of the observatory.
Accordingly, the burners were lighted, the globe arose until the
ball of the mast was just below the level of the floor of the
engine-room. Upon looking through the tube after all light had been
excluded from the engine-room, a bright star could be seen shining down
upon them with resplendent brilliancy.
Now, Will, cried Professor Gray, I wish you could go up and lower
a plumb-line from the exact center of the top of the shaft. I want to
see if our tube stands perpendicularly. If it does, and the plumb-line
points straight through the center of it to yonder star, then we are at
the exact spot we seek.
The line was lowered, and after a little adjustment of the cables,
the lower end of the plumb-line passed through the exact center of the
tube. The Professor ran his eye up the line and smiled with
Look at it, Doctor, he said.
Well, that is wonderful! cried Dr. Jones. Look at it Fred,
Denison. The line runs precisely in alignment with the star.
And now, said Professor Gray, after all had verified this last
statement, let's not lose a moment's time. Get your camera out. We
want a twenty-four hours' exposure through our shaft, and photograph
that star. If we be exactly at the Pole, it will describe a perfect
circle upon the sensitive plate. If we are not so located, the line
upon the plate will form an ellipse.
The camera was set as suggested by the Professor, and then the party
retired for the night. We say night, but the reader will constantly
bear in mind that this term is not used with reference to daylight or
darkness, simply to the clock, or time of day.
There was an absolute, dead calm during the following twenty-four
hours after Will had set the camera. Nature was so extraordinarily kind
to Dr. Jones during the time that we almost tremble for our reputation
for veracity as we record the last-mentioned fact. Any swaying of the
globe by the wind would have effectually prevented anything like a good
negative being made. But the globe remained in the exact position, the
atmosphere in the hot air chamber being kept up sufficiently so that a
steady strain was maintained upon the four cables. At the end of the
time mentioned the Professor examined the negative with a magnifying
glass, and pronounced the test perfectly satisfactory.
The globe was lowered down the mast for the last time. Denison and
Will ran out and loosened the anchors Slowly the ship then glided up
the beautiful mast. The flag, which had been wrapped about the small
upper end of the staff to prevent injury being done it while passing
through the tube, was shaken out at the moment it left the floor of the
engine-room. Its fastenings to the peak had been made doubly secure,
and it was tenderly manipulated through the final opening by loving
hands. The whole company involuntarily shouted at the inspiring sight.
The ship was lowered as it moved away, and the patriotic voyagers were
treated to a side view of the most beautiful, thrilling sight upon
earththe American flag flying at the North Pole at the peak of the
loftiest flagstaff ever erected! Well might their hearts swell with
pride and their voices break forth in songs of triumph and praise. The
Star Spangled Banner! Emblem of Liberty! How exquisitely meet that it
should be thus planted forever at the summit of the earth, a terror to
tyrants, and a never-failing beacon of Light and Freedom to all people
of the world!
The Professor pointed out certain conformations of the mountain's
summit, and said: This island is of volcanic formation, and this
mountain an extinct volcano. Yonder flagstaff stands upon the center of
a crater that has been filled with many centuries of ice and snow. At
some future time I hope to return prepared to penetrate this coat of
mail and determine, if possible, whether Summit Island has ever been
the habitat of any form of life, animal or vegetable.
Professor Gray had made such observations by the aid of instruments
as should be of interest to science. This he did while the others were
sinking the ice shaft, and during the time of the photographing of the
They were straining their eyes from the observatory to catch the
last glimpse of Old Glory, when a sudden storm gathered about the
island, and it was shut out from view. They involuntarily cast their
eyes up to its former place, and they realized that Silver Cloud had
been dismantled of her chief beauty and glory.
This will never do, exclaimed Dr. Jones. Silver Cloud is like a
bird of paradise with its tail feathers all plucked. We must replace
that pole and flag as soon as we return to Washington.
It seems like a cruelty to leave them in such a fearful place,
said Mrs. Jones. Think of the awful storms that will gather and howl
around them for ages.
They will outlast them all, praise God! replied the Doctor. As a
'Government of the people, for the people, and by the people shall not
perish from the earth,' so shall our flag and staff defy all the Arctic
storms that ever blew.
Then they descended to the cabin.
I think it is about time to see which way we are heading, said the
Professor. We are pointing straight for Alaska, as nearly as I can
judge, he said a few moments later.
All retired but Dr. Jones. He said that he really preferred to sit
and rest awhile before going to bed. So he sat for several hours,
looking occasionally at the barometer, thermometer, etc. Toward morning
he called Denison to take the helm, as he jocosely termed it.
CHAPTER XX. Battle of Missionary
Ridge and Lookout Mountain.
Will had not neglected to take numerous photographs of Summit
Island, the flag and staff; and with his kodak he had stepped outside
the circle and taken a shot at them as they circled about the mast,
protected from cruel Jack Frost by a wall of fire, as they awakened the
echoes in these hyperborean regions in the lively strains of North Pole
He exhibited this photograph to them on the following day, and all
were delighted with it.
Oh, I wish you would give me several of these, Mr. Marsh! cried
Mattie. I wish to give them to my friends.
You shall have all you want of them, Mattie, upon just one
condition, he answered.
And what is that?
Don't call me Mr. Marsh again on this trip. No formalities should
be allowed among the Children of the Skies.
Agreed, MistWill, replied Mattie, gaily. You may put me down
for one dozen on those terms.
Well, won't they be a sensation, when we show them in Washington?
said Will, viewing the picture critically. I really think I will make
it the subject of an oil painting.
And I want that painting at any price, if you will ever sell it,
cried the Doctor.
I will paint one for each of the companyexcept Sing. That
apathetic heathen would not care half so much for it as he would for a
highly colored chromo.
Don't be so hard upon poor Sing. I am sure that he would be just
delighted with one of those paintings, said Mattie.
Call him in and let's see. If there is a particle of the aesthetic
about him, I have failed thus far to see it, declared Will.
So Mattie called Sing from the kitchen. He looked so neat in his
white apron and cap that Will began to fear that he had slandered the
poor fellow. He was shown the photograph, and Mattie said:
You sabe that picture, Sing?
Yes, me sabe.
What is it?
Sing grinned a moment as he looked slyly around upon, the company,
Allee samee makee foolee lound flagpole.
All roared with laughter.
That is about what we did, and no mistake, said the Doctor, wiping
Well, Sing, said Mattie, looking her very pleasantest at the wily
Mongolian, I have called you in to prove that you heap likee pretty
things. Now, you would likee a pretty oil painting, big picture, allee
samee that? pointing to the photograph.
Sing's face was a picture of indifference, and he said,
Me no care.
What! not care for beautiful oil painting? cried Mattie,
desperately, seeing Will's eyes twinkling with fun and triumph. Well,
there is something in the world that you think pretty, isn't there
O, yes! promptly replied Sing, his face breaking out in smiles,
me tinkee Miss Mattie heap pletty. Me heap likee Miss Mattie.
This open avowal of admiration was more than Mattie had bargained
for, and she blushed furiously. The whole party clapped their hands and
laughed, while Will fell upon the floor and rolled about in an ecstacy
of fun and laughter.
Didn't I tell you, Mattie, that he was an incorrigible case? cried
Will, as he assumed a sitting posture on the floor.
And do you mean to say that Sing has no taste at all, simply
because he admires me? said Mattie very severely.
O, no! Mattie. I really admire Sing's taste, and acknowledge that I
have shamefully abused the poor fellow, said Will, rising to his feet.
But the way he turned the tables on you and made you blush is the best
fun I have seen on the trip.
And so they indulged in light hearted conversation, music, reading,
painting, chess, etc., as they sped over the frozen seas, homeward
bound. Toward evening a strong north wind set in and the Professor
declared that they were heading straight for the mouth of the Mackenzie
In two or three days we shall be in the United States if this gale
continues, said the Professor. We are traveling at tremendous
speednearly sixty miles an hour.
I only hope that it continues, for I do not doubt that the friends
have long since given us up as dead, replied Dr. Jones. We have been
gone now nearly four months, and have had no opportunity to communicate
with them since we left. What a glorious time it will be when we get
back and tell them how easily and comfortably we accomplished our
And so they enjoyed many an hour in anticipation of their reception
by friends who were mourning them as lost forever. And they were
assured of hearty expressions of admiration from a generous public. And
the Government would make proper acknowledgments.
Doctor, said Fred in the evening after dinner, I wish you would
tell us about the siege of Chattanooga, and Battle of Missionary Ridge
and Lookout Mountain.
All right, returned the Doctor. If agreeable to all, I don't mind
spinning a war yarn. Let me see; I left off at our entrance into
Chattanooga. Well, Bragg's army was sitting upon the surrounding hills
and mountains, watching us with eagle eyes. They cut off our lines of
communication and supplies, and we soon began to feel the pangs of
hunger. I saw stalwart men upon their hands and knees in the mud
hunting for grains of corn that had rattled from the army wagons into
the road. I saw horses in a battery adjoining my regiment gnaw nearly
through great oak trees in the torments of hunger. And when they were
fed their miserable pittance of corn, guards were necessary to keep the
gaunt, hungry men from stealing it from the perishing brutes.
Desertions became exceedingly frequent; so much so that nearly
every roll-call noted one or more missing from each regiment. What with
sickness, deaths, and desertions, our ranks were becoming rapidly
decimated. A council of war was held. General Sheridan, commanding at
that time the 2nd division, 4th army corps, volunteered to make an
example of two captured deserters in one of his regiments. His offer
was accepted, and a morning or two later the whole army was notified to
witness the execution of these deserters. Such extremities had not been
resorted to for simply running away home (for they had not attempted to
desert to the enemy), and we could not believe that they would be shot.
But we did not know Phil Sheridan.
Who could have dreamed on that morning that this trim little man,
who sat his horse like a centaur as he watched with critical eye the
carrying out of the horrible details of this double execution, was soon
to take rank among the greatest generals in the world's history?
At the appointed time we gathered informally in a great mass in an
open plain south of the town. The brigade to which the doomed men
belonged was formed into the three sides of a hollow square, two ranks,
open order. Two graves were dug in the fourth side of the square, and
there the execution was to occur. Soon were heard the unearthly
wailings of Dead March in Saul, played by a brass band. Behind the band
were two coffins in a hearse, draped in black. Following these walked
the condemned men, surrounded by guards with fixed bayonets. The firing
party brought up the rear of the procession. They marched slowly around
the three sides of the square between the silent ranks, finally
reaching the graves and upon the edge of each was set its respective
coffin. The two men were marched up beside the coffins, and who can
imagine their feelings as they thus looked down into their deep, cold
graves, where they were to lie a few moments later, until the trump of
God should resurrect their dishonored dust to stand before his dread
tribunal! One would have thought that under these awful circumstances
they surely would have cried to God for mercy! One of them did; and
kneeling near his coffin the poor wretch received the last rites of the
church of Rome. But the other scornfully refused the consolations of
religion in any form, and cried out a few moments later, as he sat
blindfolded upon his coffin and heard the ominous clicking of the
cocking of the muskets that he knew were aimed at him, 'Boys, take me
there!' Accompanying these words he tore open the bosom of his shirt,
exposed his bare breast, and a moment later each fell upon his face to
the grounda corpse! Thus ended the most tragical event I ever
And so the weary siege dragged on. We made a night descent upon the
enemy in boats. They were encamped upon the river a few miles below
Chattanooga, where they effectually cut off our communications with
Bridgeport. We attacked them in the blackness of a very dark night, and
completely routed them. This opened up communications with our base of
supplies, and our rations were greatly increased from that time on.
On the morning of November 23d, a little before noon, the 3d
division of the 4th Army corps, the one to which I belonged, was
ordered into the open plain that lay between us and Missionary Ridge.
Here we deployed into line of battle. Sheridan's division followed and
formed on our right. The eleventh corps, commanded by General O.O.
Howard, massed in the rear. Then followed the 3d division of the 14th
corps, General Baird in command, while the 1st division of the same
corps, under General Johnston, stood at arms in the rear of the center
in the intrenchments.
From their aerie upon the surrounding hills the Confederates
complacently viewed the magnificent pageant, mistaking it for a grand
review. So secure were they in their apparently impregnable positions
that we carried Orchard Knob and captured nearly the whole picket line
before they realized that we were not dress parading. And so, under the
immediate eye of General Grant, who stood upon Fort Wood, a very
commanding position, from which he could see every man of us, we
carried two miles of the enemy's first line of defense. Probably a more
inspiring sight was never seen by mortal eye. Upon us were the eyes of
a whole city, many of our own comrades, and tens of thousands of brave
and vigilant enemies.
So we rested upon Orchard Knob that night, having taken thus the
initiative in the great battle of Missionary Ridge and Lookout
Mountain. That night was a busy one all along the lines of both armies.
Mystic signs were written upon the skies all night by the signal corps
of each army. Hooker upon the right was preparing to assault Lookout
Mt. We of the center spent the night strengthening our line of
breastworks upon Orchard Knob. Sherman, on the left, succeeded in
crossing the Tennessee River before morning in small boats with two
divisions of his army, the remaining two divisions crossing early in
the day upon a hastily constructed bridge.
And the Confederates were equally active. All night long their
signal torches were working upon the mountain and hilltops. The
Southern commander, General Bragg, evidently considered Lookout
Mountain impregnable, and withdrew many troops from that point,
concentrating them upon his extreme right, in anticipation of Sherman's
Lookout was enveloped in dense fog the first part of the following
day, which enabled Hooker to dispose of his troops from that point as
he desired, preparatory for attack, with little or no opposition. At
eleven o'clock the fog began to lift, the attack commenced, and to us
below was unveiled one of the grandest, most soul-stirring exhibition
of courage and love of country ever witnessed! Thousands of blue-coated
boys pressed their way up the steep slopes of this mighty mountain, in
spite of the desperate resistance of a foe well worthy of their steel.
Well might we below raise a great shout of exultation and sympathy. The
guns of Wood and adjacent forts thundered out salvos of praise and
encouragement. On they went, step by step, until far into the night,
and achieved that victory that immortalized every man of them. The
following morning we beheld 'Old Glory' proudly waving from the great
barren rock, Point Lookout, and it seemed as if we should burst the
very skies with the shout that went up from thousands of loyal throats.
While Hooker and his boys were thus making one of the most glorious
pages of history, Sherman had completed preparations for an assault
upon Bragg's right wing. Nearly all day on the 25th, the third day of
the battle, Sherman vainly endeavored to turn the enemy's right flank.
They were strongly entrenched, and hurled the Union forces down the
slopes of Missionary Ridge time after time, though the assaults were
made with the utmost courage and determination. Grant, Thomas, and
Sheridan, from Orchard Knob, watched these desperate efforts upon the
part of Sherman. He was sent all the reenforcements that could operate,
and Baird's division was returned because there was not room for them
All day long we of the center of this great battle line had stood
at arms, watching the grand spectacular movements of the two wings,
expecting momentarily to be ordered forward. The sun was getting well
down the western slope when we received the signal from Fort Wood to
charge the lower line of works at the foot of Missionary Ridge. This we
did easily, but the cross-fire from the second line midway up the Ridge
was so galling that the position was untenable. One of two things must
be done: retreat or carry the Ridge. The first alternative I do not
think occurred to anyone, for they leaped the breastworks, and in spite
of the enemy's utmost endeavors and natural obstructions, the second
line in a few moments was ours. But not a moment did they stop, and in
an incredibly short time the Ridge was carried, the captured artillery
wheeled about and was pouring shot and shell into the fleeing ranks of
As the visitor now stands and contemplates the acclivities, and
considers what it meant to charge such a foe so well fortified, if he
be a Bible student, he will be reminded of the case of the Edomites.
They were the direct descendants of Esau, and inhabited Mount Seir.
This mount is an immense pile of rock in the southern part of
Palestine. Here the Edomites dug out their homes in the solid rock, and
so fortified themselves that they were the Gibraltar of ancient times.
From these mountain fastnesses they made predatory incursions upon
their neighbors, and for ages easily repelled all efforts at reprisal.
And so they came intolerably insolent, and feared neither God nor man.
But one day Jeremiah prophesied of them: 'Thy terribleness hath
deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in
the cleft of the rock, and holdest the height of the hill! Though thou
shouldst make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down
from thence, saith the Lord.'
He is but an indifferent reader of history who does not see the
hand of Almighty God displayed upon the side of Liberty and Union
throughout all this tremendous war. Even so great a man as W.E.
Gladstone, the 'Grand Old Man' of England, said that the eighteen
millions of the North could not subdue the eleven millions of the
South. But he did not know that the edict had gone forth from the court
of Heaven that these who arrogantly held the height of the hill must
come down from thence. And so we fought and won this grandest battle of
the warand perhaps of the world.
Here the Doctor paused and looked around upon his audience. He had
worked himself into a fine glow as these splendid reminiscences passed
before his mind. To his horror he found his hearers fast asleep, except
the Professor, and his eyes were winking and blinking suspiciously.
Well, if you are not an interested lot of fellows! cried Dr.
Fred roused at this juncture and said:
Go on, Doctor. That is the most thrilling story I ever heard.
Do you really think so? asked the Doctor very sarcastically.
O yes! Doctor, I assure you that I heard every word of it.
And what was I just talking about?
UmahO yes, I remember. It was where the two deserters were
sitting on their coffins and were just about to be shot. I want to hear
that out, and Fred looked the picture of anxiety and interestedness.
Do you, though! snorted Dr. Jones. If I served you right, I would
drop you through the manhole, just to wake you up.
CHAPTER XXI. Things Material and
The wind continued all night as last noted, and Silver Cloud,
without a tremor or swaying motion of any kind, was scurrying across
the barren wastes of the Arctics at marvelous speed. At noon upon the
second day from the Pole, Professor Gray took an observation, and
announced that they then were at latitude 68 deg., 20 min., longitude
120 deg. 16 min., West Greenwich.
We are about crossing the Arctic circle. We are just above the
barren grounds north of Great Bear Lake, said the Professor. Shortly
after breakfast to-morrow morning we will cross the northern boundary
of the United States at our present speed.
What great body of water is that I see ahead? asked Denison a
That is Great Bear Lake, replied Professor Gray. See how the
vegetation begins to show up.
The weather was superb, and the lake lay calm and smooth beneath
them as a mirror. While they were tearing through the skies at express
train speed, their elevation being a little over 3,000 feet, they could
plainly see through their glasses that small birch trees and evergreens
upon the banks were nearly motionless.
Now you see an illustration of my theory, cried the delighted
Doctor. Here are we in a gale; below, scarcely a breath of air is
stirring. It did not work in Russia, and we were obliged to anchor. But
I shall regard that as a providential affair and shall stick to my
theory. I would not for anything have failed to plant the good seed
which we left there. Great good will come of it, and it may be the
commencement of a general recognition throughout all Europe of God's
great law of cure. If so, I shall count that as of infinitely greater
importance than the location of the North Pole.
The wind veered to the northwest toward evening, and a consultation
of the map showed that they were heading precisely as they wished to.
On the following morning, they crossed what the Professor informed them
was the Lake of the Woods.
Before noon we shall be well into Northern Minnesota. We are
peculiarly favored upon this trip. It is very doubtful whether we would
encounter so many favorable gales in any number of future trips.
We are not home yet, Professor, and we may have an opportunity to
test the Doctor's theory as to air currents, said Will.
Soon after breakfast a further change in the wind occurred, and they
found themselves going due east. They watched through their glasses the
foliage below, but could see no difference in the direction of the
lower atmospheric stratum.
We will go as we look for a time, said the Doctor.
What do I see yonder! cried Denison. A train of passenger cars,
sure as you live! That must be the Canadian Pacific.
It is, replied Professor Gray. And away to the south, you see
Lake Superior. We are passing along its northern coast.
Don't those little settlements look beautiful! said Mrs. Jones.
See the little white church yonder with its tiny spire! It just seems
to me as if I should like to stop and attend service in that pretty
See the people rushing out to look at us! observed Dr. Jones.
Suppose we lower to within a few hundred feet of them, and give them a
good sight at the ship.
Accordingly Silver Cloud settled rapidly as it neared the little
town. They crossed the village at a height of about 500 feet. They
could see that the people were terribly frightened. Some were lying
upon the ground as if dead; others were upon their knees with their
hands stretched toward the globe that glistened like a star in the
sunlight. Many were rushing screaming into their houses. A few could be
seen fleeing from town, afoot or horseback, at the top of their speed.
Don't be alarmed, good people, shouted Dr. Jones. We are only
aeronauts who have been to the North Pole. Good-bye!
I won't do that again, said he. Some of those people may die from
the effects of this fright. But here we are again for home.
Silver Cloud had again mounted skyward and encountered a splendid
breeze from the north. A few moments later the blue, crystal waters of
Lake Superior were undulating beneath them.
Just see the shipping! ejaculated Denison. I sailed to the upper
end of this great lake to Duluth, twenty-five years ago. Then but few
steamers came up so far, and not many sailing vessels except those in
the iron and copper trade. Now see them in every direction! I am
astonished at the amount of traffic on these lakes.
Only those who have been away from their native land, and especially
if their travels have extended over the barren wastes of the extreme
north, can fully appreciate the immortal Scott:
Breathes there a man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said;
'This is my own, my native land!'
They traveled so rapidly over Upper Michigan that by evening they
were across the strait of Mackinaw. Then the wind lulled to a ten-mile
breeze and veered a point or two easterly. The great pine forests below
were a cheerful contrast to the illimitable fields of ice and snow and
uncultivable lands which they had so lately traversed. The farms and
villages grew thicker every hour and their twinkling lights were
pleasant sights to the voyagers as the night came on.
After dinner, all being tired from a long day of sightseeing, they
gathered in the little smoking-room for their usual evening chat. For
some reason, this time the conversation took a turn not unusual among
creatures who have to do with two worlds, the spiritual and material.
I would like to ask you, Dr. Jones, said the Professor, if you
ever encountered, or had any experience with what you were positive was
I have, answered the Doctor.
Well, Doctor, I confess that I never saw or heard anything in my
life that could not be explained upon natural principles. It is not
that I am especially skeptical, but my life has been spent in the study
of things material, and the laws that govern them. So it may be that I
have not been in a state of mind to apprehend spiritual phenomena, as I
might otherwise have done. However that may be, I am very desirous of
hearing a relation of your experiences on that line.
There is nothing, Professor Gray, replied Dr. Jones, that I am
more positive of than that we are constantly surrounded by, and in
actual contact with, spiritual forces. And further, that if we were but
in a receptive condition, or were in the attitude toward God that we
should be, we might, like Elisha's servant, see the hosts of the Lord
camping upon the hills round about us. But my individual belief would
be of no value if not based upon experience.
The first thing I ever saw that I recognized as purely spiritual in
its character was at the deathbed of a four year old boy. I was myself
at this time but twelve years old, but I received an impression that I
can never forget. I was standing at the foot of his little bed, his
father and mother and three or four brothers and sisters were ranged
along the sides and by his head. He was gasping in the last struggle
with the grim monster, when he suddenly threw his hands toward the
ceiling and cried out in a clear, strong voice, 'O papa! see there!'
His little face that had been so distorted with suffering lightened up
with the glory of the better world. His arms gradually sank to his
side, and he was dead. But that heavenly smile remained upon his face
long after death. One may explain away this glory-burst through the
eyes of a dying child, calling it hallucination of a fevered or
diseased brain if they will, but to me it was a revelation of spirit
A few years ago I was permitted again to get a glimpse of the
pearly gates, and this time it was the hand of a sweet little girl who
lifted aside the veil for her sorrowing friends and myself. She was in
the last extremity with diphtheritic croup. Her face was bloated and
blue-black with suffocation. Her eyes were nearly bursting from their
sockets, glassy and staring; and her face, always so sweet and
beautiful, was now distorted so that her mother could not endure the
sight, and cried in her agony, 'My God! is this my little Bertha? I
cannot believe it!' Bertha, in her expiring effort for breath, had
raised upon her knees in bed, when suddenly, as in the other case, she
raised her hands, her face illumined with the 'light that is not seen
upon sea or land,' and she said in a strong, clear whisperfor her
vocal cords were so involved in the diphtheritic membranes that her
voice was gone completely'O mamma! I see Jesus!' The ecstasy lasted a
moment or so, and then I laid her back upon the pillowdead! Here
again is an opportunity for the agnostic to cavil and reject such
evidence. But of one thing you may be sure: If he derives as much
pleasure from his unbelief as I do in believing, then he is a very
And now I will relate what to me was still more startling and
wonderful on the line of spiritual evidence or experience. I practiced
medicine a few years in the Sierra Mountains, California. I was called
one afternoon to see a patient in a mining camp some twelve or fifteen
miles away. I rode a faithful, sure-footed little mare, and chose a
short cut over a dangerous mountain trail. I had a deep cañon to cross,
and was coming down into it on my return, when night set in. It became
so dark that I could not see the trail, but fully trusted my little
mare. I dropped the reins upon her neck and let her choose her own way
and gait. We were on the most dangerous part of the trail, where it was
not more than twelve or fifteen inches wide, and upon my left hand was
a black chasm, some fifty or seventy-five feet deep. I was singing a
hymn as unconcernedly as I ever did in my life, when suddenly something
said to me, 'Get off that horse!' I did not stop to reason or ask
questions, but promptly threw myself off on the right side and stood a
moment by the animal, not knowing what the meaning could be. It was not
an audible voice that had spoken to me, yet it was none the less
distinct and unmistakable. I stood two or three minutes thus, waiting
for further developments. Then I stepped down in front of Mollieas I
called the mareinto the trail, and started to lead her. I did not
dare to get into the saddle again, though I could not imagine what was
coming next. I had not proceeded ten feet, when I came to an
exceedingly steep pitch in the trail. I had gone down this pitch but a
few feet when something held me and I could go no farther. I nearly
fell over the obstruction which I felt holding my legs. I reached down
and found a heavy wire drawn very tightly across the trail, just above
my knees. You will never know the feelings I experienced at that
moment. I saw in an instant that my Heavenly Father had interposed and
saved me from a violent death.
What was that wire, and how came it there? asked Fred.
It was a telegraph wire. The pole on the opposite side of the cañon
had been washed from its footing, and was hanging by its full weight
from the wire, thus drawing it very taut across the trail.
Could not this warning which you received be accounted for from a
psychological standpoint? asked Professor Gray.
I will answer your question by asking another: If we reject the
spiritual side of man's nature, then we have nothing left of him but
the material. Now I ask you as a physicist, what is there in the laws
governing matter that could in any degree account for the phenomenon
that I have just related?
Nothing, answered the Professor.
That is right, Professor. And I prefer to recognize the hand of God
in this, and to believe that He exercises a special care over his
children; that not a hair falls from the head of one of his believing
children without the Father's notice. It is so much better to simply
trust and believe. Nothing is so detestable as the spirit of skepticism
abroad in the land to-day. The ministry itself is more or less
permeated and honeycombed with the abominations called 'Higher
Criticism,' 'Evolution,' etc. They would have us believe that the Bible
is filled with interpolations, and that wicked men and devils, careless
translators or copyists have been allowed to destroy to a very great
extent the validity of that book. Now I simply take this stand: God has
created you and me, and has endowed us each with an immortal principle
which we call soul. He has placed us in this probationary state and has
set before us two ways: The straight and narrow way that leads to
Eternal Life, and the broad way that leads to Eternal Death. In order
that we may know His will and so be able to fulfill the conditions of
salvation, He has given us the Holy Bible. He is responsible for the
validity of that book, and we may defy all the smart Alecks and devils
in the universe to invalidate a single essential word of it. The gist
of the whole matter reduces to a simple syllogism.
The major proposition is: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou
shalt be saved.
The minor proposition: I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
The conclusion: Therefore I am saved.
This is my faith, and He is able to keep that which I have
committed unto Him, Bible and all, till that day. I have given you
several experiences that are not to be lightly explained away, nor
scoffed aside by skepticism. I could relate you another still more
wonderful experience, one on a par with Saul's conversion as he went to
Damascus to kill the saints. I refer to my own conversion. But I think
that you have had enough for once.
Let me ask one question further, Doctor, said the Professor. As
we have disposed of the psychological hypothesis in explanation of the
source of the impression that you received upon the trail, and which
without doubt saved your life, we must accept the spiritual. I wish to
ask, then, if it might not have been the spirit of a departed friend
who thus warned you?
No, sir! replied the Doctor with great emphasis. Departed spirits
have no such functions. On the other hand, we are told that 'He giveth
His angels charge concerning thee to keep thee in all thy ways. They
shall bear thee up in their hands lest at any time thou dash thy foot
against a stone.' And again: The angel of the Lord encampeth round
about them that fear Him, and delivereth them. Also: Are they not
ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs
of salvation? It means infinitely much to be the child of a King.
Angels to bear us up in their hands and to minister unto us if we will
but comply with the terms. So there is no need of spooks, wraiths, and
ghosts of departed men in our lives. God gives us all the light
necessary. He lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
Well, Doctor, there is still another difficulty that I think you
have not met or settled. I have acquaintances that I know are sincere
in their belief that they receive communications from departed friends.
They are people who do not accept the Christian faith, and you have
established the fact, from a biblical standpoint, that He giveth his
angels charge over those who are Christians, or heirs of salvation. If,
then, the spiritualist receives communications from the spirit world,
and they come neither through angels nor departed friends, from whom do
The Devil, or one of his legions of imps.
Excuse me, Doctor, but how is one to know whether his
communications be from a good or evil spirit? How, for instance, do you
know whether your communication which warned you of the wire across the
trail was from an angel or devil?
That question is not worthy of you, Professor Gray. In all the
history of this poor, sin-cursed world, the Devil never did one kind
act to a human being. He never wiped away a tear of sorrow, or
mitigated a heartache or pain, nor ever will. Jesus settled that matter
when the Jews accused Him of casting out devils through the prince of
devils, Beelzebub. If Satan be divided against Satan, his kingdom
cannot stand. When Satan warns one servant of God of danger, and saves
him from death his kingdom will fall. But say, let's to bed. We must be
out by daylight in the morning.
CHAPTER XXII. Familiar Scenes and
Silver Cloud was wafted by a gentle breeze to the center of Lower
Michigan. For two or three hours after sunrise there was nearly a dead
calm. Then a brisk breeze from due east arose, and they started for
Lake Michigan at a great speed.
This will never do, said Dr. Jones. We will go down and get fresh
supplies and the morning papers. There lies a good-looking town a few
miles west. We will anchor there. Stand by the anchor, boys.
In a few moments Silver Cloud, with her characteristic swiftness,
descended upon the town, and soon was safely anchored to several large
trees in the center of it. It proved to be the thrifty little town of
Lr, of between three and four thousand inhabitants. Silver Cloud
was drawn to within fifty or sixty feet of the earth, and the voyagers
rapidly descended in the cage to the main street.
That all the men, women, and children crowded to the vicinity of the
globe, and that our friends were the cynosure of thousands of wondering
eyes will be readily believed. And the glistening sphere that gently
oscillated in the breeze above the city excited the unbounded
astonishment and praise of all. Newspaper reporters gathered eagerly
about the party, and plied them with questions concerning their trip
and adventures. All, of course, were acquainted with the facts
concerning their sailing from Washington four months previously, and a
few of them had witnessed that notable event. The travelers were
informed that they had been mourned as lost for many weeks past, and
Government was fitting out a party to seek them as soon as possible.
The general opinion was, that the globe had collapsed or exploded, and
that the foolhardy explorers had all perished in the forests of Upper
Canada. This was the accepted theory, and nothing could exceed the
severity with which the editors of the papers politically opposed to
the administration censured it for the extravagance and all-round
idiocy of the whole Aluminum Bubble Scheme, as they termed it. Dr.
Jones was voted a lunatic, and the balance of the party was
commiserated in the Ahs! and Dear me's! and Poor things! of the
And we can well imagine that the telegraph wires were kept busy that
day all over the land. And the papers which in their previous issues
had inveighed so cuttingly and mercilessly against the Government and
Dr. Jones, and everybody in any way connected with the Aluminum Globe
Bubble, now came out in flaming double headings, under telegraphic
dispatches and in editorials, sounding the praises of Dr. Jones and
company in unbounded terms of commendation. They had always predicted
their speedy and triumphant return, so they had, etc.
Telegrams and phonograms poured in upon them until they were really
unable to attend to them. Very numerous were the offers of engagements
to Dr. Jones and Professor Gray for a course of lectures at liberal
I was satisfied, Professor, that we should stir them up, said Dr.
Jones, perspiring and glowing with the excitement and hurry, but I did
not look for this avalanche. I would rather be off into our native
element, the deep blue sky, than to be smothered in this fashion.
Keep cool, Doctor, replied Professor Gray. You may as well get
used to being lionized, for you will get no end of it at Washington.
All right, Professor. I'll do the best I can, but I really do not
enjoy so much of it. Suppose we give the people a reception at the
O good! cried Mattie. And let's give them a concert. We can
render them an hour of music that I am sure will please them very
Good girl! shouted Fred, who was always in for anything in the
line of music and innocent pleasure.
All instantly agreed, and the town and neighboring places were
informed of the fact of the intended reception that night. All
necessary preparations were made, and it is needless to say that the
building was packed to its utmost limits long before the appointed
At eight o'clock the curtain raised, and our friends marched upon
the stage and sang in their best form an anthem of praise and
thanksgiving to God. All were in the pink of health, free from all
carking cares and vanities of life, and they sang as if inspired. Such
singing had never been heard by the audience; and this fact, added to
the romance connected with the occasion, carried the thousands of
listeners completely off their feet. The encore that went up at the
conclusion of the piece was tremendous beyond description. Nor would
the excited audience cease an instant until our friends had rendered
another song. Then Dr. Jones stepped forward, and raising his hand to
invoke silence, said:
Your mayor will now address a few words to you.
The mayor, a typical aldermanic looking person, advanced to the
front of the stage and began a set speech after the stereotyped
fashion. He was thoroughly imbued with the idea that the navigators of
the great aluminum ship had premeditatedly visited their important city
before going on to Washington, and it was no matter of surprise to him
that they had done so. He thanked them, however, etc. He was discussing
the landing of the Pilgrim Fathers and was evidently wound up for an
hour, and the audience was beginning to move restlessly. A low murmur
of disapprobation ran through the house as the untimely, uninteresting
speech dragged its weary length, when a gallery god cried out: Did you
bring that thing from the North Pole, Dr. Jones? Trot it off and give
us some more music. The audience received this shot with shouts of
laughter and approval, and they did not stop until the crestfallen
mayor backed off the stage.
An hour was then spent in solos, duets, quartettes, choruses, etc.
Then Dr. Jones made a speech of a few moments' length, in which he gave
an account of the leading incidents of their wonderful trip. He
especially dwelt upon the planting of the aluminum flagstaff at the
North Pole, and when he assured them that the flag of our Union, as
they sat in that comfortable opera-house, was flying at the peak of
that superlatively splendid shaft at the very apex of the earth, the
emotions of the assemblage could not be restrained, and they broke
forth in thunders of applause.
Their return to the ship was a triumphal procession. The streets
were packed with people who waited to see them ascend to their cabin.
Early the following morning the wind had shifted to the northwest,
and the anchors were hoisted immediately. How beautiful the little town
and surrounding country appeared to the aeronauts in the early morning
light from their one thousand feet elevation.
I had no conception of the beauty of this world until I saw it from
the balcony of the Silver Cloud, observed Professor Gray.
There is but one trouble in this beautiful world, and that is with
its inhabitants, replied Dr. Jones. We should have the restoration of
Eden immediately if all men would but serve God and observe the Golden
Rule. Not another tear or sigh would ever be seen or heard again upon
earth. But O the pity of it! Man, willfully blind, goes stumbling on
through the short span of life, blighted and blighting everything about
him with unbelief. Full of misery and heartaches here, he goes into
Eternity to stand at the bar of God, naked and undone, and hears the
fearful sentence, 'Anathema Maranatha!' or 'Cursed and banished from
God!' And all this in the lovely world that lies spread out before us
this morning like the primitive Garden of the Lord, fresh as it came
from His bountiful hand. It fills my soul with sadness when I think of
our infinite foolishness. I do not wonder that Jesus wept over
The whole company were assembled upon the balcony, and drew in long
inspirations of the balmy morning air.
What a panorama! cried Mrs. Jones. I am forever spoilt for living
a terrestrial life again. We are Children of the Skies, and those low
vales are well enough for those who are contented therewith. But this
is our native element! and she spread her hands toward the upper blue.
Why, if I were to be confined to that humdrum existence again, I
should be likelike
a fish out of water, suggested Fred.
Now that is real mean, pouted Mrs. Jones. I was trying to give
expression to the inspiration excited by this lovely scene in the form
of poesy, but you have spoilt it all with your prosaic comparison.
I am just too sorry for any use at all, returned Fred, looking
anything but regretful. But, really now, Mrs. Jones, how could you
possibly express the idea better?
We are moving straight for Washington, said the Professor,
consulting a map in his hand, and at this speed we shall not be far
from it at bedtime to-night.
We can prepare ourselves for a grand reception, remarked Denison.
The good people of Lr gave us an earnest of what we may expect.
It is rather pleasant to be lionized, but we shall be obliged to
draw the lines somewhere, said Dr. Jones.
We can always retreat to Silver Cloud when tired of being
interviewed, wined, and dined, interposed Will.
Let's plant another flagstaff at the South Pole, Doctor, cried
Mattie. I never feel so well as when afloat upon this boundless sea.
Well done, Mattie, returned the Doctor, patting her on the head.
What a bold little navigator you have grown to be! And boundless sea
is quite poetic, too. But as to starting immediately for the South
Pole, I do not think we can do so. Perhaps we may, however, and you can
rest assured that this sort of life suits me amazingly. I shall favor
sailing for the South Pole at the earliest practicable moment.
One thing is certain, and that is, that if we are to be the first
to reach the South Pole, we cannot put the expedition off too long,
said Will. Others will imitate us and get there before us if we give
them time. We must sail within a few weeks at farthest.
That is true, assented Dr. Jones. But let us see what Sing has
So they entered the dining-room and ate with appetites known to but
few terrestrials. And why shouldn't they? Their sanitary environments
were perfect; their minds were free from all worldly cares. Ennui and
monotony were entirely unknown aboard Silver Cloud, because of the
constantly changing panorama of land and sea. There were no heartaches
nor burning envies among them, for all were pure-minded and lived as
God's children should live the world over. Why shouldn't they be plump
and pure and clean, inside and out? We have all outgrown our clothes,
as Dr. Jones expressed it.
It was a busy day aboard ship. The whole country was on the lookout
for them. The Doctor lowered to within five or six hundred feet of the
earth, and the cries of the multitudes that gathered in every town and
country corner continually rang in their ears.
Detroit lies directly in our course. Do you see it yonder? said
O yes! cried Mrs. Jones. I am glad that we shall get a good view
of the beautiful city of Detroit. Away to the left is Lake St. Clair,
Yes, answered the Professor, and that is the Detroit River. There
is the city. Across upon the opposite side is the city of Windsor. Just
see the crowds of people! We are being well advertised by telegraph.
The squares, streets, and housetops of Detroit were black with
people. Such cheering was never heard in that city as when Silver Cloud
majestically passed over it. The guns of the fort below the city poured
out thundering salutes of welcome.
The poor, dear people! said Mrs. Jones. I am so glad that we can
give them a few moment's pleasure.
And yet we have done nothing marvelous, returned Dr. Jones. We
have only made use of one of God's laws, and without any hardship or
special exertion, have been to the North Pole and back through the
kindness of Providence, who furnishes us with extraordinarily favoring
gales. The people, as well as ourselves, should give all the glory to
You are too modest by far, Doctor, replied Professor Gray. You
may as well prepare yourself for unstinted praise and honor. What you
have done is simple and easy enough now that it has been accomplished;
but it is the conception of the idea, and courage and faith that you
have exhibited, that the world will honor. It was precisely so with
Christopher Columbus. To cross the Atlantic was a comparatively easy
affair after he had led the way. You may as well prepare yourself to
stand in the niche beside the discoverer of America. You are in for it,
sir, and I am exceedingly pleased that you are. For I know that you are
worthy of these honors, and will not become spoilt and puffed up
thereby. Accept my heartfelt congratulations, Doctor Jones, and the
two shook hands cordially.
And mine, said Denison, also shaking the Doctor's hand. So they
all expressed their spontaneous and sincere respect for the hero of the
expedition who had so evidently excited the praise and honor of the
entire civilized earth. The little man was deeply affected.
I should be but an arrant humbug to affect to despise the honor
that the world seems disposed to bestow upon us. I say us, for I cannot
and will not take it all to myself. I may have been the originator of
the idea, but I could have done nothing without your co-operation, dear
friends. But this is very unprofitable conversation. Let's talk about
something else. There's my old duck pond, Lake Erie. Scores of times
have I sailed from one end of it to the other; and hundreds of times
have I bathed in its limpid waters. There is no spot on earth that I
love as I do beautiful, historic Lake Erie.
This was the grand and peculiar feature of Dr. Jones' characteran
utter disregard for his own aggrandizement and self-interest, and a
sincere desire to make everybody about him happy and comfortable. And,
underlying it all, was a sublime faith in Almighty God. These three
essentials make the great man: modesty, unselfishness, and faith in
God. Anyone is great who possesses them, and no one is great who lacks
either of them. If the reader has not gathered that Dr. Jones'
character was a most happy combination of these cardinal virtues, then
we have in no degree done him justice. And while he was kind and loving
to all about him, yet he was terribly severe with the incorrigibly mean
and vicious. If he had a great fault, it was in this particular. No one
could be more loving and tender with a penitent; but the stiff-necked
and haughty, the oppressors of the poor, were an abomination unto him.
I used to fear that I was too savage when I came into contact with
such people, said he; but one day, while reading the 15th Psalm, I
received a flood of light upon the subject. This psalm begins by
asking: 'Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in
thy holy hill?' In enumerating the qualifications of such person, the
psalmist says: 'He that contemneth the evil man, but he honoreth them
that fear the Lord,' Now that word 'contemn,' for the first time,
attracted my special attention. I had read it scores of times, but had
never realized how strong a term was here used. No stronger is to be
found in the language. It means to despise, detest, spurn, etc. I was
startled, but I was at the same time glad. I could not help it, but I
always did despise and detest a man who would grind the face of the
poor, or who would keep back the wage of the laborer. Not that I would
judge him, or take vengeance upon him; and I must forgive him and
receive him as my brother when he repents. But until he does turn from
the evil of his ways, and does his best at making restitution, I can do
a jolly good job at 'contemning' him.
The blue south shore of the lake soon became visible. A more
entrancing picture than that of Silver Cloud floating swiftly over the
great lake, so thickly dotted with steamers and sailing vessels, cannot
be imagined. The exhilaration of the occupants as they looked from
their commanding altitude upon this delightful scenery was extreme.
Many adjectives are used in describing the scenery and experiences
connected with this notable voyage, but language is far too feeble to
do the subject full justice.
The Doctor pointed out the various islands, lakeports, etc., with
all of which he was perfectly familiar. The wind became more westerly,
and they passed into Ohio away to the east of Cleveland.
I would have been glad to have stopped a little while at
Cleveland, said Dr. Jones, but we must hasten on while the wind is
Is it absolutely necessary that we take Silver Cloud to
Washington? asked Denison. Suppose the winds should be contrary for a
considerable time, could we not anchor, and Professor Gray, the ladies,
and yourself take the train for the Capital?
Yes, and we will do that if necessary. But I much prefer that we
sail there together. It would then look as if we could come and go as
we liked, and give some degree of color to my theory, that we can find
any current we wish by hunting for it.
That is all right in America, but doesn't hold good in Russia,
Doctor, said Will, laughingly.
Never mind, sonny, good-humoredly replied the Doctor. All rules
have their exceptions, and we happened to strike a full-grown, lusty
one that time. But I shall always be thankful that my rule failed for
once. I think more of the seed I sowed there than I do of our planting
the flagstaff at the North Pole.
The wind continued very brisk, a little north of west, and the ship
was heading considerably north of Washington.
We are pointing straight as a gun barrel for New York City, said
Will, who was consulting a map.
New York is considerably east of Washington, remarked the Doctor,
looking over the map with Will. I will tell you what we will do. If
the wind continues as it now is we will go on to New York and await a
favorable wind. What do you all think of that proposition?
Nothing could be more appropriate, since we must anchor, than that
it should be at the metropolis of America, answered Professor Gray.
So it was agreed that they should make New York their next anchorage
if possible. Along in the afternoon they were near the center of
Pennsylvania and were approaching a large town. The people were
evidently looking for them, for immense crowds could be seen gathered
in many places.
I think that I will send a telegram from here to the mayor of New
York that we will try and make that city to-night. At what time should
we arrive there at our present speed? he inquired of Professor Gray.
The Professor consulted his watch and map a moment, and replied,
About eight o'clock this evening, Doctor.
The telegram was written accordingly. Silver Cloud descended to
within four hundred feet of the earth, and when over the center of the
city, the Doctor leaned over the balustrade and shouted, Will you
please forward this message for me? As he said this he dropped the
message, wrapped about a silver half dollar. One of the thousands of
willing hands caught it, and a voice answered, Aye, aye, Doctor
They all have your name, Doctor. You are the best known man in
America to-day. And I doubt if there is one in the world so much talked
of as you are, said Professor Gray.
And that just shows how small a matter makes one famous. A few
months ago I was an humble, inconsequential country doctor. My greatest
delight and ambition at that time was to find the indicated remedy, and
see the sick recover. And I declare to you now, that while I enjoy this
racing through the skies, and the roar and acclamation of the
multitudes, yet all these are but secondary and insignificant to my
mind, when compared with that other great ambition of my lifethe
recognition by the medical world of the fact that there is an immutable
law of God for our guidance in the selection of the remedy for the
sick. And my daily prayer now is that my Father will keep me humble, so
that he can use me to this end. For I tell you, friends, and the
Doctor struck the table near him a mighty blow with his fist by way of
emphasis, that God can use no man who feels his own importance, and is
inclined to take all the glory to himself. He is simply a weak-minded
bungler, who gets into the way and frustrates whatever designs God
might otherwise have worked through him.
The Doctor was upon his favorite themethe propagandism of the
peculiar system of medicine of which he was so faithful and successful
a practitionerand they had left the city far behind them, when he
again paid attention to the rapidly changing scenery below. The wind
had increased to a strong gale, and they were crossing the full length
of Pennsylvania at astounding speed. They passed over the mountain
ranges of the eastern part of the state, with as little concern or
thought as if they had been level plain or water. So greatly had their
speed accelerated, that by six o'clock the smoke of the great city was
discernible immediately before them. The beautiful Hudson looked like a
silver ribbon trending away to the north. New York bay with its
shipping from all quarters of the earth, Liberty Lighting the World,
the suspension bridge, and the tall buildings of the city, were all
distinctly seen by the voyagers at a great distance. The booming of
cannon announced to our friends that they had been sighted by those
upon the lookout for them. A few moments later they had crossed the
river and were skimming over the housetops, looking for an anchorage.
There is Central Park. We shall pass over the south end of it. That
is the place for us to drop anchor, said the Professor.
All right, Professor. Stand by boys! Let them go! cried the
Down to the earth went two anchors. They almost immediately caught
in the strong limbs of the shade trees and Silver Cloud was again
safely anchored. It was well that this immense park had chanced to be
their stopping place, for the people were wild with excitement, and
poured into it like a mighty flood. The shout that went up was
deafening as the Doctor and Professor descended to the ground. The
whole party came down, two by two, the fastenings of the globe were
made doubly secure, a posse of policemen put in charge of it, and then
they submitted themselves to the committee of reception appointed by
the mayor. Carriages awaited them, and they were conveyed to a hotel as
rapidly as the densely crowded streets would permit. No conqueror ever
received a more tremendous ovation! Frequently the carriages were
brought to a dead standstill, and only the most strenuous efforts of
scores of policemen could make a passage for them. But finally their
enthusiasm broke through all barriers. The horses were taken from the
vehicles, and hundreds of friendly hands grasped the ropes attached to
the ends of the tongues, and then better progress was made. The Doctor
bore his honors with gentle dignity, taking off his hat, and bowing
frequently to the right and left to his excited and enthusiastic
countrymen who thus delighted to do him honor. If Mrs. Jones' eyes
filled with tears of pride and delight as she witnessed this outpouring
of the hearts of the people to the man whom she loved above anything
upon earth, surely no one will censure her for that. The travelers had
met with some hearty receptions, but never with anything like this. It
was not the male portion only who were demonstrative, but the ladies
were equally active in their expressions of appreciation. The carriages
were literally filled with rich bouquets of flowers that rained into
them. And when they could bring them to a standstill, the crush about
the vehicles almost threatened their destruction. They shook hands with
as many as climbed up within reach, not a few of whom were ladies.
Upon my word, girls, I don't know but they will eat us up, said
the Doctor to his wife and Mattie, who sat beside him in the leading
But all things earthly have an end, and the party finally landed at
the entrance of the hotel. Here the press was tremendous, and it was
with extreme difficulty that they at last reached the parlor, where the
mayor and many distinguished citizens awaited them.
I fear you have had a rough passage through our streets, said the
I give you my word, sir, that we have been in more danger during
the last half hour than in all the balance of our voyage, replied Dr.
You have stirred the world, and turned it upside down, and you will
have to stand the consequences of your unprecedented popularity. It is
so refreshing to see a man do the impossible with the nonchalance and
ease that you have displayed that you must not complain if we nearly
kill you with the best intentions in the world. But I promise that we
will endeavor to make it as easy for you as possible, while with us.
I have lived all my life in New York, but I am sure that I never
saw our city so excited as it is to-night, said another gentleman.
Just listen to them! Come out upon the balcony and look at them.
As they stepped out and looked up and down Broadway, far as they
could see the great thoroughfare was filled with people. The voyagers
were instantly recognized, and such a roar as went up from that vast
multitude! It continued until the mayor stepped forward and raised his
hand to command silence.
Speak to them a few words, Doctor, and send them home, said he.
The Doctor stepped forward and cried at the top of his powerful
Friends and fellow countrymen. Of course, I expected you would be
glad to see a party who travel in so splendid a chariot as the great
aluminum ship. And I take it for granted that you are all aware that
Silver Cloud, as we have named the globe, carried us to the North Pole
and back safely and pleasantly. And to-night, as we stand in the great
metropolis of the Western hemisphere, there flies from the most
splendid flagstaff upon earth, located precisely at the northern
extremity of the earth's axis, the Flag of our Union! (At this point,
the patriotic enthusiasm of the hearers could not be restrained, and
for several minutes the Doctor stood and awaited the subsidence of the
cheering.) But I have a proposition to make you. The Mayor desires that
you all retire now to your homes, and I promise you that to-morrow
night we will tell you all about our trip, and show you how we planted
the flagstaff at the North Pole. I bid you all good night.
That was good, Doctor, and I think that now they will disperse
quite satisfied, said the mayor. You are the city's guests, remember,
and we are extremely desirous of rendering you every possible honor and
pleasure. I do not doubt that you are all fatigued with so much
excitement and sightseeing as you have been through to-day, and we will
let you retire. Good-night.
CHAPTER XXIII. The World at the Feet
of Doctor Jones.
The following morning our friends were up be-times and were soon
engaged in the busiest day of their lives. The wind was still
unfavorable for their passage to Washington, and they abandoned
themselves to the numerous duties that pressed upon them, and
hospitalities of the friendly Gothamites. Messages almost innumerable
and visitors by thousands poured in upon them. Mrs. Jones, Mattie, and
Denison acted as secretaries for Dr. Jones, while Will and Fred
performed the same office for Professor Gray. Reporters by scores
besieged them at all hours. The Doctor disposed of these importunate
visitors by appointing an hour when he met them in a body in a private
room, and there answered their numerous questions. At three o'clock
P.M. the mayor called, and through a private exit the whole party was
led to carriages, and shown a considerable portion of the better part
of the city. They drove to the globe and found it surrounded by
thousands of admirers. Silver Cloud proudly floated above them, gently
oscillating in the breeze, slightly bowing to the right and left, as if
complacently acknowledging the admiration and praises of its visitors.
The carriages were driven as near as possible to the globe. Will and
Denison worked their way to the cage and ascended to the cabin. The
vast throng watched this proceeding with intense interest, and made the
welkin ring with their shouts as the two men safely entered the
manhole. They examined the thermometer, trimmed the burners that were
necessary to be kept alight, wound up the motor springs, and then
descended with a rapidity that caused the spectators to hold their
After several hours' driving, during which time the mayor pointed
out many objects of interest, they were driven to their hotel and left
to rest and prepare for the evening's entertainment. They had been
informed that the largest building in the city had been engaged, and
the whole party of Arctic explorers were earnestly requested to meet
the public that evening in said building. This they consented to do.
There was not the slightest snobbishness about Dr. Jones, or it
certainly would have manifested itself now when the world was at his
feet. But the little man was as kind and unaffectedly friendly now as
ever in his life. He was a close student of human nature too, and
thoroughly understood that they were fully capable of crying
Hosannah! to-day, and Crucify him! crucify him! to-morrow. Human
nature is not different from what it was thousands of years ago. It is
no better and no worse. Unregenerate man is out of harmony with his
Maker; and being possessed of a finite mind, he can never be right, do
right, nor keep right until he places himself unreservedly into God's
Just as I am, without one plea,
But that thy blood was shed for me,
And that thou bidst me come to thee,
O Lamb of God! I come.
When I would do good, evil is ever present with me, was St. Paul's
experience. It is yours and it is mine, gentle reader. There is no
escape from it, except through the blood of Christ. Then shall we
commit all our ways unto Him, and shall never be moved. This is the one
great cause of man's inconstancy. He is constantly seeking after that
which shall satisfy the cravings of his never dying soul, but refuses
the light which God gives him. He sips from every cup of worldly
pleasure, and madly rushes after the sensation of the hour, be it good
or bad. One after the other, they pall upon his wearied senses, and he
dashes them from his lips in disgust. Happy alone is he who listens to
that Voice, 'Come unto Me, and I will give you rest.'
That evening, before many thousands of people, our friends did what
they could to please them. They sang as they never had done in their
lives. It is unnecessary to say that their efforts were received with
tremendous rounds of encores by the delighted host. The music was
interspersed with appropriate speeches from the mayor and other civic
dignitaries. They all spoke in unlimited terms of praise of the man who
had conceived the idea of the aluminum globe, and who had had the
courage of his convictions. He had added undying glory to the land that
bore him, and now that land delighted to honor him by every means
within her power, etc.
The Doctor and Professor each spoke at some length, giving the
history of the expedition and the importance of it to the scientific
world. The Doctor told them of the planting of the aluminum flagstaff
in terse, graphic language, and concluded by saying:
And now friends, we will conclude the evening's performance by
giving you an exact representation of how we marched about the
flagstaff and sang Professor Marsh's composition, 'The North Pole
March.' You must imagine the thermometer sixty or more degrees below
zero in order to appreciate the scene.
A fair representation of the foot of the flagstaff had been
improvised, and the stage was made to look like a field of snow and
ice. In a circle about the pole were set vessels of burning oil. Within
this circle the friends marched to the beautiful music that Fred played
upon the aluminum organ (for even that instrument had been brought by
Denison and Will from the globe, that the scene might lack nothing in
And so real was the scene as they marched in their sealskin
suitspoor Sing among them, though he could not singand so inspiring
was the music, that the vast assemblage sat still as death, every sense
strained to the highest tension, that they might not lose a movement
nor note. When they finished, the shout that went up was a tremendous
lungburst that was simply deafening. Men, women, and children jumped
upon their feet, waved their handkerchiefs, and screamed and shouted
themselves hoarse. Nor would they cease until the lights had all been
turned low, and they realized that the Children of the Skies would
appear no more that night. They had improved the opportunity while the
multitude thus encored to make their escape in their carriages to the
I don't know, Doctor, but you will be responsible for many cases of
lunacy among our people, said the mayor. I never saw them so utterly
carried away as they were with your company and the globe. All you have
to do is to take to the stage and you can bankrupt the nation.
After a quiet supper with a select party of notables of the city,
our friends were permitted to retire for the night.
I am anxious to get on to Washington. This is very pleasant, but I
much prefer the cabin of Silver Cloud, with you, my dear friends, to
all this hustling, cramming, and jambing. The people are kind as they
can be, and are doing everything for our comfort and pleasure, but I
never could endure being crowded. Give me plenty of elbow room or give
me death! cried Dr. Jones.
Who would have thought that our march about the pole would make
such a sensation! said Mrs. Jones. Your North Pole March will make
your fortune, Fred. You should immediately copyright and publish it.
You could sell thousands of copies to-morrow.
All right, Mrs. Jones; I will profit by your suggestion, answered
Fred, gayly. Dear old Silver Cloud is making us all famous and rich.
Strike while the iron's hot;' 'Make hay while the sun shines;' etc. My
next attempt will be the Silver Cloud Waltz. This is the tide in my
affairs, and I must be thrifty enough to take it at its flood.
On the following morning after breakfast it was observed that the
wind was from the nor-nor-east, or nearly exactly toward their
Shall we sail to-day, or accept further hospitalities of New York?
asked Dr. Jones of the company. The unanimous decision was that they
The mayor was telephoned that they would sail within one or two
hours, the wind being favorable. A few moments later that gentleman
appeared in the parlor where they were sitting and said hastily:
My dear Doctor, we cannot let you go to-day. We have a splendid
program laid out for you, and our people will be greatly disappointed
if you do not stop at least another day. Besides, great excursions by
steamers and rail are expected to-morrow. We cannot let you off for two
or three days yet.
My dear sir, nothing would give me greater pleasure than to remain
as long as you desire. But my commands are peremptory from Washington
to report there at the earliest practicable moment. So I really have no
option in the matter, and must sail this very morning, replied Dr.
Such being the case, Doctor, I am too good a citizen to urge you to
disobey orders. We will say no more about it, but thank you for the
pleasure you have given us, and wish you 'Bon Voyage.'
You may do better than that, sir. We should be exceedingly pleased
to have you and your family accompany us to Washington. We can promise
you the sensation and pleasure of your lifetime, returned the Doctor.
O do come, sir! cried Mrs. Jones. Bring your family and give them
the greatest treat this world affords.
I will consult them, immediately. But I fear that they are poor
sailors, and can hardly be persuaded to venture a trip in an air-ship.
I will see that they do not suffer from seasickness, said the
Doctor. Prevail upon them to come if possible, for I know you will
never regret it. Now shall we remain here, or meet you at the globe?
Remain here, please, and I will return with all possible
A half hour later he returned with his wife and two daughters, the
latter being stylish, lovely girls of about Mattie's age. All three
were in a state of more or less nervousness and trepidation at the idea
of a sail through the sky, and yet they could not resist the desire to
O Mrs. Jones! Miss Bronson! don't you feel awfully frightened away
up there, thousands of feet from the earth? asked one of the girls.
Not the least bit! replied Mrs. Jones. So far from that, will you
believe me, I feel better and fully as safe in the cabin of our Silver
Cloud, five thousand feet from the earth, as I do in this parlor.
Do you hear that, mamma? cried the elder girl. And what an
appropriate, beautiful nameSilver Cloud. Well, I am determined to be
a good sailor, and enjoy this trip as I never did anything in my life.
I will meet you within an hour at the ship, said the mayor. I
must attend to some business before I can go, and he hurried away.
An hour later they were all standing upon the balcony of Silver
Cloud, excepting Will and Denison. They were standing by the spring
motors to hoist and stow the anchors.
The news had spread that the great globe was about to sail, and
people were rushing by thousands to witness its departure. The signal
was given, and Silver Cloud arose so majestically and beautifully above
the great city that the people roared like another Niagara at the
transcendently glorious spectacle! It rose to the height of eight
hundred feet, and moved rapidly toward the southwest. They maintained
this comparatively low altitude on account of their visitors
manifesting symptoms of extreme terror, especially the young ladies.
But Mrs. Jones and Mattie soothed and petted them, and assured them so
positively of their perfect safety that by degrees they became quiet,
and in a short time were enjoying the scenery, and watching through
their glasses the main objects of interest.
Mrs. Jones. said the mayor's wife, I do not wonder that you
prefer the cabin of this ship to the parlor of our grandest city hotel.
This is the most inspiring scene I ever witnessed, and one that I
should never grow tired of. How cool and pure this atmosphere is! I am
sure that nothing could add to the beauty of the scenery or your
O madam! but you should have seen Silver Cloud before we robbed her
of her chief ornament, the flagstaff. That was her glory, as a fine
head of hair is a woman's, replied Dr. Jones, who had overheard the
lady's remark. I shall never be satisfied until we have replaced it.
The ship, meantime, was hastening at a forty mile gait toward the
Capital. The trip was one long thrill of excitement and pleasure to the
visitors. The Doctor had settled all symptoms of nausea with his
well-selected remedies, and nothing more could be desired to add to
their pleasure and comfort.
At the hour of noon they sat down to lunch. They ate but little, the
excitement having more or less destroyed their appetites. But they sat
a considerable time at the table and talked animatedly upon various
topics; principally, though, of the ship and their voyage to and from
the Pole. The ladies could not sufficiently admire and praise the
beauty, cleanliness, and comfort of the cabin.
Fred was seated beside Grace, the younger of the sisters, and they
were discussing music. She praised his North Pole March in unstinted
terms, until he blushed to the ears with delight. She and her elder
sister, Rose, were musicians of a high order, and had graduated at the
leading musical conservatories of America. They had besides spent
several years in Europe in the pursuit of knowledge in that line. Fred
asked Grace to promenade the balcony with him. She immediately accepted
the proposition, and they were soon oblivious to the world in the
discussion of their favorite thememusic. No doubt the inspiring scene
below and all about them drew out all the finer sentiments of their
beings. And what could two handsome, heartwhole, sentimental young
beings do but fall
Not over the balustrade!
O no! but into love!
The whole company now came out upon the balcony, and they slowly
promenaded about the four sides of the cabin. We cannot describe the
witchery and beauty of the fast-flying panorama below. Our pen falters,
and the picture must be left to the imagination of the reader.
The mayor was very familiar with the topography of the country, and
pointed out the various rivers, mountain ranges, cities, towns, etc.
About three o'clock the capitol buildings, Washington monument, and
other tall structures about the city hove in sight. They were
immediately seen, for the great guns in all the forts about the city
fired thundering salutes.
They are loaded to the muzzle for us, Doctor, said Professor Gray.
It appears so, he replied. I only wish it was all over with.
What park is that? he asked a few moments later, pointing to one
that lay directly in their course. The Professor mentioned its name,
and thought it a very convenient place for anchorage. Accordingly,
Silver Cloud swooped down upon it with a velocity that fairly took away
the breath of the mayor and family. A few moments later, Silver Cloud
was safely anchored, after her voyage of many thousands of miles, at
her starting point. In a little less than four months they had made the
most extraordinary trip known in the world's history, that of Columbus
not excepted, and were now safely returned!
Two by two they descended to earth, and, as in New York, carriages
awaited them. Evidently preparations for their reception had been made
upon a colossal scale. The air was thundering and riven with the voices
of the innumerable hosts, brass bands on every hand in full blast, so
that it was impossible to hear a word said by the nearest neighbor.
The police, fire, and military forces were out in full strength. The
voyagers, mayor of New York and family, were seated in landaus, and
with ropes the girls of all the public schools, each dressed in pure
white and bearing in her hand an American flag, drew the vehicles
through the principal streets of the city. Each of the little maids
wore upon her bare head a chaplet of flowers, and the scene was one of
indescribable beauty. And as they walked they sang in sweetest harmony,
See, the conquering hero comes.
Dr. Jones was affected to tears at this sight, and could scarcely
contain himself. At last the procession stopped before the grand
central entrance of the capitol building. Upon the top steps they were
met by the President and his cabinet, many members of both houses,
though Congress was not in session at this season. Ministers and
plenipotentiaries from nearly every court in the world were also there.
Judges, statesmen, and journalists were in attendance by scores.
Nothing was left undone that could in any way add to the honor and
glory of the hero of the day. The modesty and unaffected dignity with
which he received it all, clothed him as with a garment, and was a
marvel to even those who knew him best.
But it would prove tedious to the reader if we were to relate in
detail all the speech-making and public receptions tendered our
friends. The Doctor and Professor before vast audiences told the story
of their journey, the planting of the pole, the scientific value of
observations made by Professor Gray, etc. The concert and North Pole
March were rendered several times.
In a week or so the furore began to subside, and the company were
glad to settle down to a comparatively quiet life in a large furnished
house, which the Doctor rented. Callers were coming and going
continually during several hours daily, and invitations to parties,
dinners, concerts, operas, etc., were very numerous. The mayor and
family returned to New York after spending a week with the friends.
They declared that they envied them their trip to the South Pole, and
should never be satisfied until they had enjoyed another sail in Silver
The Doctor and Professor were kept very busy in consultation with
governmental officials and scientific men. The naval and military
departments were especially interested in the probabilities and
possibilities of the use of air-ships in warfare. An arrangement was
made to take a party of military men on a trip in Silver Cloud. A very
successful and brilliant voyage of several hundreds of miles to the
south and return was made, during which the Doctor actually encountered
an opportunity to exemplify his theory as to air currents. While they
were driving rapidly south at an altitude of but four or five hundred
feet, he rapidly rose several thousand feet and encountered a splendid
northerly current that carried them back to their starting point in a
way that pleased the little man wonderfully well. This was a great
triumph for the Doctor, and impressed the governmental party as of vast
importance, and added immensely to the effectiveness of the ship in the
art of war.
The Government made Will a very liberal offer to act as architect
and constructor of another ship similar to Silver Cloud, with such
improvements as experience had suggested to him. He accepted the offer,
and would enter upon his duties immediately after their return from the
South Pole. The Government had immediately acquiesced to their
proposition to seek the South Pole, and even urged that they get out as
soon as possible. The aluminum pole, a fac-simile of the one already
planted, was being constructed.
One day, a month after their return, Mrs. Jones and Mattie were
summoned to the parlor at an early hour for callers. They found there a
large elderly gentleman and two ladies.
O Mattie! cried the younger, don't you know us?
Why! is it possible that you are our friends from Constance House?
It is, Maggie, it is! And this is Jennie Barton!
I declare that I was never so surprised and delighted in my life!
Can this be Mrs. Barton? And then such kissing and handshaking.
And how do you do, Mrs. Barton? I would not have known you. How you
have improved! And Mrs. Jones scanned her face very critically. Are
you entirely recovered?
She is so much better that we no longer consider her an invalid.
But I was desirous that the Doctor should see her again, and so we have
come down. We were in Montreal when I saw in a paper an account of your
return to Washington. That was the first we had heard of you since you
sailed from Constance House, and you can well believe that we were
exceedingly pleased to hear of your safe return. So we made up our
minds that we would run down and see you at once, said Mr. Barton.
After they had conversed a few moments and had inquired after Joe
and Sam, Mrs. Jones conducted them to two chambers, insisting that they
must be her guests while in the city.
The Doctor and other members of the party were delighted to met the
Bartons. Dr. Jones was well pleased with the progress that Mrs. Barton
had made. He considered her cure but a question of a short time, but
insisted, in order that no chances might be incurred, that she should
remain during the winter at Washington. He did not anticipate that they
would be gone more than thirty days on their South Pole expedition, and
certainly not more than two months. And so they arranged that they
should stay at least until the return of the expedition.
And that settles it that we are to remain here until next summer,
for it is very late even now for us to return to Constance House. So I
will write the boys to that effect, and shall settle down to the study
of American politics, said John Barton.
CHAPTER XXIV. Ho! for the South
Silver Cloud, meantime, had been returned to the place of her birth,
the great iron works upon the Potomac river. Another shapely three
hundred feet mast had been manufactured and erected. One morning about
the middle of September, the globe arose above the glittering mast and
slowly settled upon it. The fastenings were soon adjusted, the flag of
aluminum nailed to the peak, and Silver Cloud was herself again, ready
for another trip to the ends of the earth.
Will had made a number of additions and alterations, among which was
an increase in the size and strength of the coiled springs that were
used for hoisting purposes and running the dynamo. A powerful
searchlight had been added, and the electrical appliances greatly
increased. Among other things, he had a two horse power steam engine
set up. This was to be used for winding the springs. Good old John
Barton was never happier in his life than at this period. His interest
in the globe was intense, and he daily spent hours with Will at the
iron works. He made several valuable suggestions, and his hard common
sense and experience were of no little value to the architect.
If I were not getting so far along in years, and mother was
perfectly well and willing, I should like nothing better than to go
with you this trip, said he to Dr. Jones. But we will stay and keep
house for you until your return.
And that will be but a very few weeks, I am quite sure, answered
the Doctor. It is not likely that we shall be made prisoners three
months this trip. And that reminds me that I received a letter from
Count Icanovich this morning, Maggie, and it inclosed one from Feodora
The letters were hastily read. They were well, and Feodora had never
been better in her life. The Count had been studying and practicing the
new system of medicine, and, to his unbounded delight, had made some
center shots. His enthusiasm was steadily increasing, and he implored
the Doctor to return to Russia and co-operate with him in introducing
this God-given system into that vast empire. He assured him that they
had everything to hope for. The Princess was getting on quite
comfortably, and the fame of what Dr. Jones had done for her had become
national. Numerous physicians of note had called upon and written the
Prince and himself to ascertain the facts concerning the marvelous
cures that had been reported to them. The Prince and Princess sent
their sincere regards, etc. Feodora wrote in a lively strain to Mrs.
Jones and Mattie, and urged them to return to their castle for a good
visit as soon as possible. These letters were answered promptly, the
Doctor giving advice concerning a case or two that the Count had found
puzzling. He promised them a visit as soon after their return from the
South Pole as possible.
Two or three mornings later Washington was again packed with
visitors to witness the departure of Silver Cloud for the southern
extremity of the earth. Greater enthusiasm than before was expressed by
everyone, for now there were no skeptics, and everybody cheered with
might and main.
As on the previous occasion, the hour of noon was selected for
sailing. This gave people from the surrounding country an opportunity
to come in and witness the magnificent scene. It was declared a holiday
by general consent, and it is no exaggeration to say that nearly the
whole earth was represented in the unnumbered hosts that filled the
streets, covered the housetops and surrounding hills, and every spot
and place that afforded any possibility of seeing the ascent of the
The friends and acquaintances that the company collectively and
individually had formed were out in full force. Numerous and hearty
were the handshakings; Good-bye, and Bon Voyage, were heard on
The globe was anchored at but fifty feet from the earth. The cage
had been enlarged so that the voyagers now ascended four at a time.
This they did a few minutes before noon. The organ was taken out upon
the balcony, and God be with you till we meet again, was sung by our
friends. The three Bartons stood just below and opposite the choir,
tears of friendship and gratitude streaming down their faces. We will
state here (quite privately be it understood) that Will and Jennie had
come to an understanding that seemed to be very satisfactory to them,
and their leavetaking was more affectionate than is usual with mere
acquaintances, or even intimate friends. It is the old story. Cupid has
done his work again. Well, God bless them, and may a parson step in and
complete the love god's work very soon after Silver Cloud shall have
returned. And Fred visited Grace at the mayor's house in New York.
There may be trouble of the same sort brewing there.
But the bells and whistles have announced the hour for Bailing. The
anchors were tripped, and Silver Cloud arose with the majesty of the
Queen of Night, nearly perpendicularly above the city to the height of
three thousand feet; there, to the extreme satisfaction of Dr. Jones, a
brisk breeze from the northeast was encountered, and away sailed the
beautiful globe until the straining eyes of the multitude saw it as a
bright star-like point in the heavens, and then it disappearedbound
for the SOUTH POLE.