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Nalboon Of Mardonale







From: The Skylark Of Space

As the Skylark approached the shore, its occupants heard a rapid
succession of heavy detonations, apparently coming from the direction in
which they were traveling.

"Wonder what that racket is?" asked Seaton.

"It sounds like big guns," said Crane, and DuQuesne nodded agreement.

"Big guns is right. They're shooting high explosive shells, too, or I
never heard any. Even allowing for the density of the air, that kind of
noise isn't made by pop-guns."

"Let's go see what's doing," and Seaton started to walk toward one of
the windows with his free, swinging stride. Instantly he was a-sprawl,
the effort necessary to carry his weight upon the Earth's surface
lifting him into the air in a succession of ludicrous hops, but he soon
recovered himself and walked normally.

"I forgot this two-fifths gravity stuff," he laughed. "Walk as though we
had only a notch of power on and it goes all right. It sure is funny to
feel so light when we're so close to the ground."

He closed the doors to keep out a part of the noise and advanced the
speed lever a little, so that the vessel tilted sharply under the pull
of the almost horizontal bar.

"Go easy," cautioned Crane. "We do not want to get in the way of one of
their shells. They may be of a different kind than those we are familiar
with."

"Right--easy it is. We'll stay forty miles above them, if necessary."

As the great speed of the ship rapidly lessened the distance, the sound
grew heavier and clearer--like one continuous explosion. So closely did
one deafening concussion follow another that the ear could not
distinguish the separate reports.

"I see them," simultaneously announced Crane, who was seated at one of
the forward windows searching the country with his binoculars, and
Seaton, who, from the pilot's seat, could see in any direction.

The others hurried to the windows with their glasses and saw an
astonishing sight.

"Aerial battleships, eight of 'em!" exclaimed Seaton, "as big as the
Idaho. Four of 'em are about the same shape as our battleships. No
wings--they act like helicopters."

"Four of them are battleships, right enough, but what about the other
four?" asked DuQuesne. "They are not ships or planes or anything else
that I ever heard of."

"They are animals," asserted Crane. "Machines never were and never will
be built like that."

As the Skylark cautiously approached, it was evident to the watchers
that four of the contestants were undoubtedly animals. Here indeed was a
new kind of animal, an animal able to fight on even terms with a
first-class battleship! Frightful aerial monsters they were. Each had an
enormous, torpedo-shaped body, with scores of prodigiously long
tentacles like those of a devil-fish and a dozen or more great, soaring
wings. Even at that distance they could see the row of protruding eyes
along the side of each monstrous body and the terrible, prow-like beaks
tearing through the metal of the warships opposing them. They could see,
by the reflection of the light from the many suns, that each monster was
apparently covered by scales and joints of some transparent armor. That
it was real and highly effective armor there could be no doubt, for each
battleship bristled with guns of heavy caliber and each gun was vomiting
forth a continuous stream of fire. Shells bursting against each of the
creatures made one continuous blaze, and the uproar was
indescribable--an uninterrupted cataclysm of sound appalling in its
intensity.

* * * * *

The battle was brief. Soon all four of the battleships had crumpled to
the ground, their crews absorbed by the terrible sucking arms or
devoured by the frightful beaks. They did not die in vain--three of the
monsters had been blown to atoms by shells which had apparently
penetrated their armor. The fourth was pursuing something, which Seaton
now saw was a fleet of small airships, which had flown away from the
scene of conflict. Swift as they were, the monster covered three feet to
their one.

"We can't stand for anything like that," cried Seaton, as he threw on
the power and the Skylark leaped ahead. "Get ready to bump him off,
Mart, when I jerk him away. He acts hard-boiled, so give him a real
one--fifty milligrams!"

Sweeping on with awful speed the monster seized the largest and most
gaily decorated plane in his hundred-foot tentacles just as the Skylark
came within sighting distance. In four practically simultaneous
movements Seaton sighted the attractor at the ugly beak, released all
its power, pointed the main bar of the Skylark directly upward, and
advanced his speed lever. There was a crash of rending metal as the
thing was torn loose from the plane and jerked a hundred miles into the
air, struggling so savagely in that invisible and incomprehensible grip
that the three-thousand-ton mass of the Skylark tossed and pitched like
a child's plaything. Those inside her heard the sharp, spiteful crack of
the machine-gun, and an instant later they heard a report that paralyzed
their senses, even inside the vessel and in the thin air of their
enormous elevation, as the largest X-plosive bullet prepared by the
inventors struck full upon the side of the hideous body. There was no
smoke, no gas or vapor of any kind--only a huge volume of intolerable
flame as the energy stored within the atoms of copper, instantaneously
liberated, heated to incandescence and beyond all the atmosphere within
a radius of hundreds of feet. The monster disappeared utterly, and
Seaton, with unerring hand, reversed the bar and darted back down toward
the fleet of airships. He reached them in time to focus the attractor
upon the wrecked and helpless plane in the middle of its
five-thousand-foot fall and lowered it gently to the ground, surrounded
by the fleet.

The Skylark landed easily beside the wrecked machine, and the wanderers
saw that their vessel was completely surrounded by a crowd of
people--men and women identical in form and feature with themselves.
They were a superbly molded race, the men fully as large as Seaton and
DuQuesne; the women, while smaller than the men, were noticeably taller
than the two women in the car. The men wore broad collars of metal,
numerous metallic ornaments, and heavily-jeweled leather belts and
shoulder-straps which were hung with weapons of peculiar patterns. The
women carried no weapons, but were even more highly decorated than were
the men--each slender, perfectly-formed body scintillated with the
brilliance of hundreds of strange gems, flashing points of fire. Jeweled
bands of metal and leather restrained their carefully-groomed hair;
jeweled collars encircled their throats; jeweled belts, jeweled
bracelets, jeweled anklets, each added its quota of brilliance to the
glittering whole. The strangers wore no clothing, and their smooth skins
shone a dark, livid, utterly indescribable color in the peculiar,
unearthly, yellowish-bluish-green glare of the light. Green their skins
undoubtedly were, but not any shade of green visible in the Earthly
spectrum. The "whites" of their eyes were a light yellowish-green. The
heavy hair of the women and the close-cropped locks of the men were
green as well--a green so dark as to be almost black, as were also their
eyes.

"Well, what d'you know about that?" pondered Seaton, dazedly. "They're
human, right enough, but ye gods, what a color!"

"It is hard to tell how much of that color is real, and how much of it
is due to this light," answered Crane. "Wait until you get outside, away
from our daylight lamps, and you will probably look like a Chinese
puzzle. As to the form, it is logical to suppose that wherever
conditions are similar to those upon the Earth, and the age is anywhere
nearly the same, development would be along the same lines as with us."

"That's right, too. Dottie, your hair will sure look gorgeous in this
light. Let's go out and give the natives a treat!"

"I wouldn't look like that for a million dollars!" retorted Dorothy,
"and if I'm going to look like that I won't get out of the ship, so
there!"

"Cheer up, Dottie, you won't look like that. Your hair will be black in
this light."

"Then what color will mine be?" asked Margaret.

Seaton glanced at her black hair.

"Probably a very dark and beautiful green," he grinned, his gray eyes
sparkling, "but we'll have to wait and see. Friends and
fellow-countrymen, I've got a hunch that this is going to be SOME visit.
How about it, shall we go ahead with it?"

Dorothy went up to him, her face bright with eagerness.

"Oh, what a lark! Let's go!"

* * * * *

Even in DuQuesne's cold presence, Margaret's eyes sought those of her
lover, and his sleeve, barely touching her arm, was enough to send a
dancing thrill along it.

"Onward, men of Earth!" she cried, and Seaton, stepping up to the
window, rapped sharply upon the glass with the butt of his pistol and
raised both hands high above his head in the universal sign of peace. In
response, a man of Herculean mold, so splendidly decorated that his
harness was one blazing mass of jewels, waved his arm and shouted a
command. The crowd promptly fell back, leaving a clear space of several
hundred yards. The man, evidently one in high command, unbuckled his
harness, dropping every weapon, and advanced toward the Skylark, both
arms upraised in Seaton's gesture.

Seaton went to the door and started to open it.

"Better talk to him from inside," cautioned Crane.

"I don't think so, Mart. He's peaceable, and I've got my gun in my
pocket. Since he doesn't know what clothes are he'll think I'm unarmed,
which is as it should be; and if he shows fight, it won't take more than
a week for me to get into action."

"All right, go on. DuQuesne and I will come along."

"Absolutely not. He's alone, so I've got to be. I notice that some of
his men are covering us, though. You might do the same for them, with a
couple of the machine guns."

Seaton stepped out of the car and went to meet the stranger. When they
had approached to within a few feet of each other the stranger stopped.
He flexed his left arm smartly, so that the finger-tips touched his left
ear, and smiled broadly, exposing a row of splendid, shining, green
teeth. Then he spoke, a meaningless jumble of sounds. His voice, though
light and thin, nevertheless seemed to be of powerful timbre.

Seaton smiled in return and saluted.

"Hello, Chief. I get your idea all right, and we're glad you're
peaceable, but your language doesn't mean a thing in my young life."

The Chief tapped himself upon the chest, saying distinctly and
impressively:

"Nalboon."

"Nalboon," repeated Seaton, and added, pointing to himself:

"Seaton."

"See Tin," answered the stranger, and again indicating himself, "Domak
gok Mardonale."

"That must be his title," thought Seaton rapidly. "Have to give myself
one, I guess."

"Boss of the Road," he replied, drawing himself up with pride.

The introduction made, Nalboon pointed to the wrecked plane, inclined
his head in thanks, and turned to his people with one arm upraised,
shouting an order in which Seaton could distinguish something that
sounded like "See Tin, Bass uvvy Rood." Instantly every right arm in the
assemblage was aloft, that of each man bearing a weapon, while the left
arms snapped into the peculiar salute and a mighty cry arose as all
repeated the name and title of the distinguished visitor.

Seaton turned to the Skylark, motioning to Crane to open the door.

"Bring out one of those big four-color signal rockets, Mart!" he called.
"They're giving us a royal reception--let's acknowledge it right."

* * * * *

The party appeared, Crane carrying the huge rocket with an air of
deference. As they approached, Seaton shrugged one shoulder and his
cigarette-case appeared in his hand. Nalboon started, and in spite of
his utmost efforts at self-control, he glanced at it in surprise. The
case flew open and Seaton, taking a cigarette, extended the case.

"Smoke?" he asked affably. The other took one, but showed plainly that
he had no idea of the use to which it was to be put. This astonishment
of the stranger at a simple sleight-of-hand feat and his apparent
ignorance of tobacco emboldened Seaton. Reaching into his mouth, he
pulled out a flaming match, at which Nalboon started violently. While
all the natives watched in amazement, Seaton lighted the cigarette, and
after half consuming it in two long inhalations, he apparently swallowed
the remainder, only to bring it to light again. Having smoked it, he
apparently swallowed the butt, with evident relish.

"They don't know anything about matches or smoking," he said, turning to
Crane. "This rocket will tie them up in a knot. Step back, everybody."

He bowed deeply to Nalboon, pulling a lighted match for his ear as he
did so, and lighted the fuse. There was a roar, a shower of sparks, a
blaze of colored fire as the great rocket flew upward; but to Seaton's
surprise, Nalboon took it quite as a matter of course, saluting as an
acknowledgment of the courtesy.

Seaton motioned to his party to approach, and turned to Crane.

"Better not, Dick. Let him think that you are the king of everything in
sight."

"Not on your life. If he is one king, we are two," and he introduced
Crane, with great ceremony, to the Domak as the "Boss of the Skylark,"
at which the salute by his people was repeated.

Nalboon then shouted an order and a company of soldiers led by an
officer came toward them, surrounding a small group of people,
apparently prisoners. These captives, seven men and seven women, were
much lighter in color than the rest of the gathering, having skins of a
ghastly, pale shade, practically the same color as the whites of their
eyes. In other bodily aspects they were the same as their captors in
appearance, save that they were entirely naked except for the jeweled
metal collars worn by all and a massive metal belt worn by one man. They
walked with a proud and lofty carriage, scorn for their captors in every
step.

Nalboon barked an order to the prisoners. They stared in defiance,
motionless, until the man wearing the belt who had studied Seaton
closely, spoke a few words in a low tone, when they all prostrated
themselves. Nalboon then waved his hand, giving the whole group to
Seaton as slaves. Seaton, with no sign of his surprise, thanked the
giver and motioned his slaves to rise. They obeyed and placed themselves
behind the party--two men and two women behind Seaton and the same
number behind Crane; one man and one woman behind each of the others.

Seaton then tried to make Nalboon understand that they wanted copper,
pointing to his anklet, the only copper in sight. The chief instantly
removed the trinket and handed it to Seaton; who, knowing by the gasp of
surprise of the guard that it was some powerful symbol, returned it with
profuse apologies. After trying in vain to make the other understand
what he wanted, he led him into the Skylark and showed him the remnant
of the power-bar. He showed him its original size and indicated the
desired number by counting to sixteen upon his fingers. Nalboon nodded
his comprehension and going outside, pointed upward toward the largest
of the eleven suns visible, motioning its rising and setting, four
times.

He then invited the visitors, in unmistakable sign language, to
accompany him as guests of honor, but Seaton refused.

"Lead on, MacDuff, we follow," he replied, explaining his meaning by
signs as they turned to enter the vessel. The slaves followed closely
until Crane remonstrated.

"We don't want them aboard, do we, Dick? There are too many of them."

"All right," Seaton replied, and waved them away. As they stepped back
the guard seized the nearest, a woman, and forced her to her knees;
while a man, adorned with a necklace of green human teeth and carrying a
shining broadsword, prepared to decapitate her.

"We must take them with us, I see," said Crane, as he brushed the guards
aside. Followed by the slaves, the party entered the Skylark, and the
dark green people embarked in their airplanes and helicopters.

Nalboon rode in a large and gaily-decorated plane, which led the fleet
at its full speed of six hundred miles an hour, the Skylark taking a
placing a few hundred yards above the flagship.

"I don't get these folks at all, Mart," said Seaton, after a moment's
silence. "They have machines far ahead of anything we have on Earth and
big guns that shoot as fast as machine-guns, and yet are scared to death
at a little simple sleight-of-hand. They don't seem to understand
matches at all, and yet treat fire-works as an every-day occurrence."

"We will have to wait until we know them better," replied Crane, and
DuQuesne added:

"From what I have seen, their power seems to be all electrical. Perhaps
they aren't up with us in chemistry, even though they are ahead of us in
mechanics?"

* * * * *

Flying above a broad, but rapid and turbulent stream, the fleet soon
neared a large city, and the visitors from Earth gazed with interest at
this metropolis of the unknown world. The buildings were all the same
height, flat-roofed, and arranged in squares very much as our cities are
arranged. There were no streets, the spaces between the buildings being
park-like areas, evidently laid out for recreation, amusement, and
sport. There was no need for streets; all traffic was in the air. The
air seemed full of flying vehicles, darting in all directions, but it
was soon evident that there was exact order in the apparent confusion,
each class of vessel and each direction of traffic having its own level.
Eagerly the three men studied the craft, which ranged in size from
one-man helicopters, little more than single chairs flying about in the
air, up to tremendous multiplane freighters, capable of carrying
thousands of tons.

Flying high over the city to avoid its congested air-lanes, the fleet
descended toward an immense building just outside the city proper, and
all landed upon its roof save the flagship, which led the Skylark to a
landing-dock nearby--a massive pile of metal and stone, upon which
Nalboon and his retinue stood to welcome the guests. After Seaton had
anchored the vessel immovably by means of the attractor, the party
disembarked, Seaton remarking with a grin:

"Don't be surprised at anything I do, folks. I'm a walking storehouse of
junk of all kinds, so that if occasion arises I can put on a real
exhibition."

As they turned toward their host, a soldier, in his eagerness to see the
strangers, jostled another. Without a word two keen swords flew from
their scabbards and a duel to the death ensued. The visitors stared in
amazement, but no one else paid any attention to the combat, which was
soon over; the victor turning away from the body of his opponent and
resuming his place without creating a ripple of interest.

Nalboon led the way into an elevator, which dropped rapidly to the
ground-floor level. Massive gates were thrown open, and through ranks of
people prostrate upon their faces the party went out into the palace
grounds of the Domak, or Emperor, of the great nation of Mardonale.

Never before had Earthly eyes rested upon such scenes of splendor. Every
color and gradation of their peculiar spectrum was present, in solid,
liquid, and gas. The carefully-tended trees were all colors of the
rainbow, as were the grasses and flowers along the walks. The fountains
played streams of many and constantly-changing hues, and even the air
was tinted and perfumed, swirling through metal arches in billows of
ever-varying colors and scents. Colors and combinations of colors
impossible to describe were upon every hand, fantastically beautiful in
that peculiar, livid light. Diamonds and rubies, their colors so
distorted by the green radiance as to be almost unrecognizable; emeralds
glowing with an intense green impossible in earthly light, together with
strange gems peculiar to this strange world, sparkled and flashed from
railings, statues, and pedestals throughout the ground.

"Isn't this gorgeous, Dick?" whispered Dorothy. "But what do I look
like? I wish I had a mirror--you look simply awful. Do I look like you
do?"

"Not being able to see myself, I can't say, but I imagine you do. You
look as you would under a county-fair photographer's mercury-vapor arc
lamps, only worse. The colors can't be described. You might as well try
to describe cerise to a man born blind as to try to express these
colors in English, but as near as I can come to it, your eyes are a dark
sort of purplish green, with the whites of your eyes and your teeth a
kind of plush green. Your skin is a pale yellowish green, except for the
pink of your cheeks, which is a kind of black, with orange and green
mixed up in it. Your lips are black, and your hair is a funny kind of
color, halfway between black and old rose, with a little green and...."

"Heavens, Dick, stop! That's enough!" choked Dorothy. "We all look like
hobgoblins. We're even worse than the natives."

"Sure we are. They were born here and are acclimated to it--we are
strangers and aren't. I would like to see what one of these people would
look like in Washington."

* * * * *

Nalboon led them into the palace proper and into a great dining hall,
where a table was already prepared for the entire party. This room was
splendidly decorated with jewels, its many windows being simply masses
of gems. The walls were hung with a cloth resembling silk, which fell to
the floor in shimmering waves of color.

Woodwork there was none. Doors, panels, tables, and chairs were
cunningly wrought of various metals. Seaton and DuQuesne could recognize
a few of them, but for the most part they were unknown upon the Earth;
and were, like the jewels and vegetation of this strange world, of many
and various peculiar colors. A closer inspection of one of the marvelous
tapestries showed that it also was of metal, its threads numbering
thousands to the inch. Woven of many different metals, of vivid but
harmonious colors in a strange and intricate design, it seemed to writhe
as its colors changed with every variation in the color of the light;
which, pouring from concealed sources, was reflected by the
highly-polished metal and innumerable jewels of the lofty, domed
ceiling.

"Oh ... isn't this too perfectly gorgeous?" breathed Dorothy. "I'd give
anything for a dress made out of that stuff, Dick. Cloth-of-gold is
common by comparison!"

"Would you dare wear it, Dottie?" asked Margaret.

"Would I? I'd wear it in a minute if I could only get it. It would
take Washington by storm!"

"I'll try to get a piece of it, then," smiled Seaton. "I'll see about it
while we are getting the copper."

"We'd better be careful in choosing what we eat here, Seaton," suggested
DuQuesne, as the Domak himself led them to the table.

"We sure had. With a copper ocean and green teeth, I shouldn't be
surprised if copper, arsenic, and other such trifles formed a regular
part of their diet."

"The girls and I will wait for you two chemists to approve every dish
before we try it, then," said Crane.

Nalboon placed his guests, the light-skinned slaves standing at
attention behind them, and numerous servants, carrying great trays,
appeared. The servants were intermediate in color between the light and
the dark races, with dull, unintelligent faces, but quick and deft in
their movements.

The first course--a thin, light wine, served in metal goblets--was
approved by the chemists, and the dinner was brought on. There were
mighty joints of various kinds of meat; birds and fish, both raw and
cooked in many ways; green, pink, purple, and white vegetables and
fruits. The majordomo held each dish up to Seaton for inspection, the
latter waving away the fish and the darkest green foods, but approving
the others. Heaping plates, or rather metal trays, of food were placed
before the diners, and the attendants behind their chairs handed them
peculiar implements--knives with razor edges, needle-pointed stilettoes
instead of forks, and wide, flexible spatulas, which evidently were to
serve the purposes of both forks and spoons.

"I simply can't eat with these things!" exclaimed Dorothy in dismay,
"and I don't like to drink soup out of a can, so there!"

"That's where my lumberjack training comes in handy," grinned Seaton.
"With this spatula I can eat faster than I could with two forks. What do
you want, girls, forks or spoons, or both?"

"Both, please."

Seaton reached out over the table, seizing forks and spoons from the air
and passing them to the others, while the natives stared in surprise.
The Domak took a bowl filled with brilliant blue crystals from the
major-domo, sprinkled his food liberally with the substance, and passed
it to Seaton, who looked at the crystals attentively.

"Copper sulphate," he said to Crane. "It's a good thing they add it at
the table instead of cooking with it, or we'd be out of luck."

Waving the copper sulphate away, he again reached out, this time
producing a pair of small salt-and pepper-shakers, which he passed to
the Domak after he had seasoned the dishes before him. Nalboon tasted
the pepper cautiously and smiled in delight, half-emptying the shaker
upon his plate. He then sprinkled a few grains of salt into his palm,
stared at them with an expression of doubting amazement, and after a few
rapid sentences poured them into a dish held by an officer who had
sprung to his side. The officer studied them closely, then carefully
washed his chief's hand. Nalboon turned to Seaton, plainly asking for
the salt-cellar.

"Sure, old top. Keep 'em both, there's lots more where those came from,"
as he produced several more sets in the same mysterious way and handed
them to Crane, who in turn passed them to the others.

* * * * *

The meal progressed merrily, with much conversation in the sign-language
between the two parties. It was evident that Nalboon, usually stern and
reticent, was in an unusually pleasant mood. The viands, though of
peculiar flavor, were in the main pleasing to the palates of the Earthly
visitors.

"This fruit salad, or whatever it is, is divine," remarked Dorothy,
after an experimental bite. "May we eat as much as we like, or had we
better just eat a little?"

"Go as far as you like," returned her lover. "I wouldn't recommend it,
as a steady diet, as I imagine everything contains copper and other
heavy metals in noticeable amounts, and probably considerable arsenic,
but for a few days it can't very well hurt us much."

After the meal, Nalboon bade them a ceremonious farewell, and they were
escorted to a series of five connecting rooms by the royal usher,
escorted by an entire company of soldiers, who mounted guard outside the
doors. Gathered in one room, they discussed sleeping arrangements. The
girls insisted that they would sleep together, and that the men should
occupy the rooms at either side. As the girls turned away, the four
slaves followed.

"We don't want these people, and I can't make them go away!" cried
Dorothy.

"I don't want them, either," replied Seaton, "but if we chase them out
they'll get their heads chopped off. You girls take the women and we'll
take the men."

Seaton waved all the women into the girls' room, but they paused
irresolutely. One of them went up to the man wearing the metal belt,
evidently their leader, and spoke to him rapidly as she threw her arms
around his neck. He shook his head, motioning toward Seaton several
times as he spoke to her reassuringly. With his arm about her tenderly,
he led her to the door, the other women following. Crane and DuQuesne
having gone to their rooms with their attendants, the man wearing the
belt drew the blinds and turned to assist Seaton in taking off his
clothes.

"I never had a valet before, but go as far as you like if it pleases
you," remarked Seaton, as he began to throw off his clothes. A multitude
of small articles fell from their hiding-places in his garments as he
removed them. Almost stripped, Seaton stretched vigorously, the muscles
writhing and rippling in great ridges under the satin skin of his broad
back and mighty arms and shoulders as he filled his capacious lungs and
twisted about, working off the stiffness caused by the days of
comparative confinement.

The four slaves stared in open-mouthed astonishment at this display of
muscular development and conversed among themselves as they gathered up
Seaton's discarded clothing. Their leader picked up a salt-shaker, a
couple of silver knives and forks, and some other articles, and turned
to Seaton, apparently asking permission to do something with them.
Seaton nodded assent carelessly and turned to his bed. As he did so, he
heard a slight clank of arms in the hall as the guard was changed, and
lifting the blind a trifle he saw that guards were stationed outside as
well. As he went to bed, he wondered whether the guards were guards of
honor or jailers; whether he and his party were honored guests or
prisoners.

Three of the slaves, at a word from their chief, threw themselves upon
the floor and slept, but he himself did not rest. Opening the apparently
solid metal belt, he took out a great number of small tools, many tiny
instruments, and several spools of insulated wire. He then took the
articles Seaton had given him, taking great pains not to spill a single
grain of salt, and set to work. Hour after hour he labored, a strange,
exceedingly complex instrument taking form under his clever fingers.




+--------------------------------------+

By the time you finish reading the
final instalment of "The Skylark of
Space," we are certain that you will
agree with us that it is one of the
outstanding scienti-fiction stories
of the decade; an interplanetarian
story that will not be eclipsed
soon. It will be referred to by all
scienti-fiction fans for years to
come. It will be read and reread.
This is not a mere prophecy of ours,
because we have been deluged with
letters since we began publishing
this story. In the closing chapters,
you will follow the adventures with
bated breath, and you will find that
though the two preceding instalments
were hair-raising and thought
absorbing, the final instalment
eclipses the others a good deal.
Plots, counterplots, hair-raising
and hair-breadth escapes, mixed with
love, adventure and good science
seem to fairly tumble all over the
pages. By the time you finish this
instalment, you will wish to go back
to the beginning of the story and
read it more carefully and thrill
all over again.

+--------------------------------------+





Next: Nalboon Unmasked

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