Miss Dodan came more and more frequently
to see me. The thought of my physical depression,
the revulsion of hopelessness over my changing linéaments
made the love I bore her more painful and enervating.
I tried hard to conceal my fears over my condition.
But Miss Dodan had been observant. Her developing
affections became daily more tender and delicate,
and her solicitude evinced itself in many charming,
thoughtful ways that added only a more poignant sadness
to my sufferings.
I was, indeed, tortured by the conflicting
aims life seemed to furnish me. On the one hand
was the necessity of continuing, if I could, my communications
with my father; on the other, the duty I owed myself
to abandon all for the woman I truly loved, and to
renovate and establish my health so that I might woo
and win, and marry her.
It was, in a sense, an ethical question,
but it was quite as hard to determine by ordinary
arguments whether I could have any permission to violate
my promise to my father, as it was to estimate the
exact measure of my obligations to myself and Miss
Dodan. An incident occurred that dissipated this
dilemma, sent Miss Dodan to England, and left me at
Christ Church to receive the last message from my father
before the sickness had fully developed that now has
laid its searching and remorseless veto upon any further
life or happiness for me in this world.
Miss Dodan and myself were seated
together upon a bench drawn up in the sunshine at
the foot of the Observatory, watching with delight
the distinct changing sea, the plumes of smoke from
diminished steamers, and the white glory of full-rigged
ships. It was the autumn of the southern country,
and the dreamy spell of the declining days fell softly
upon the material tissues of nature, as well as on
the acquiescent spirit of man.
“Father,” said Miss Dodan,
uncertainly, while she formed her hand into an improvised
tube, and looked through it on the peaceful scene at
our feet, “has been telling me of my birthplace
in Devonshire. It must be very beautiful, more
beautiful than it is here. But there is no sea,
and it seems to me now that I should die without it;
it is the very soul and voice, too, of all this picture!”
She spread out her arms, and half willfully threw
back the one nearest me, until it swept over my head,
and I caught and kissed the opened palm.
“Yes,” I replied, “the
sea relieves everything about or near it, from the
humiliation of commonness. The stamp of distinction
rests on its printless waves. It was the first
surface of the earth, and its primal regency has never
been lost or forfeited;” a suspicion crossed
my mind: “How was it your father spoke
of Devonshire. I never knew before that you came
from that pearl of the countries of England. Would
you like to see it?”
My voice half sank, and the hitherto
unsuspected fact that Mr. Dodan had observed my physical
danger, and now was planning to interrupt his daughter’s
intimacy and hallucination for a poor, failing man,
struggling with an impossible problem, and a mortal
malady, seemed suddenly understood by me. I turned
to her a face of questioning concern. Her eyes
were still fixed upon the distant, pulsating sea.
“No,” she answered, half nonchalantly.
“I suppose not, and yet why not!
I have only known this country; to cross the great
ocean, to see the capital of the world, to learn the
great wonders of its palaces and temples, to see its
multitudes, to see the Queen. Ah! to see the Queen!”
Her hands folded tightly together
across her brow, she looked the very embodiment of
reverent expectation, and the blushing roses on her
cheeks, the lovelight in her eyes seemed to deepen
for an instant, and then pale slightly, as she turned
to me only to see me bury my head in my hands, holding
back the cry of stifled hope that often before had
leaped to my lips, but never had before so nearly passed
“Oh, Bradford,” she cried,
“would you mind so much! I would soon be
back again. And then, you know, this awful telegraphic
work would be over, and we could be happy together
without a thought of that cold, far-away Mars!”
We talked on together till the dusky
night had begun to gather its shadows about us, and
Mars, that marvellous spot of light from whose untouched
continents the waves of magnetic oscillation might
even then be starting on their pathless transit across
the abyss of space, destined for my ear, began to
shine above us.
It was clear to me now that Mr. Dodan
had been carefully nursing in his daughter a desire
to see England and the Queen, and her own little birthplace,
and that he had formed a resolution to separate us,
for his daughter’s best interests, as he thought.
I suffered from a very proud, sensitive
nature, perhaps unwholesomely intensified by the lonely
life I had led, and a peculiar sense of my difference
from other people.
This revelation, so unwelcome, so
fraught with painful anticipations, roused my pride
to a sharp climax of revolt, disdain and defiance.
Miss Dodan should go, I should urge it.
I would applaud and hasten it, there would be no weakness,
no supplication, no obstacles on my part. Let
death write his inerrant claim to me, let it be recognized;
Mr. Dodan need not be disturbed as to my absolute
The very acerbity of my coming misery,
through Miss Dodan’s absence, fully realized
by me, seemed now only to add a desperation of assumed
indifference and gayety to all my actions. I argued
against delay, and dwelt with excellent effect upon
the charms of the visit. I assumed that Miss
Dodan needed the change, that the educational value
of such an experience would be incalculable.
Mr. Dodan was frankly surprised and
pleased. This unexpected support and enthusiastic
commendation of his plan was something he gratefully
accepted, and he assumed a new manner toward me.
He ascribed to me a power of self-renunciation which
won his ardent approval and admiration.
The day was at last fixed. Miss
Dodan, young, appreciative, and curious, was elated
at the prospect of the voyage, and, momentarily, at
least, forgot her first reluctance to desert me.
The preparations were all completed. I need not
dwell upon all the detail of that last week.
It was a cruel ordeal for me, but no one would have
suspected my real anguish. I seemed the most
thoughtful of all, the most naturally buoyant and
hopeful for the success of the trip. I forgot
nothing. The telegraph station was not, however,
neglected. I watched at night, and during the
hours of my absence my assistant was persistently present
in the tower.
At last the steamer sailed away from
the wharf at Port Littelton. The last moments
I passed alone with Miss Dodan were sacred, sweet memories;
all that I have now.
Mr. and Mrs. Dodan and Miss Dodan
were waving their handkerchiefs from the deck as I
turned sorrowfully back to Christ Church. I realized
that I had seen Miss Dodan for the last time, and
that when she returned to New Zealand, she would only
find me gone. There was but one duty now.
To resume, if possible, the communications with my
father, and prepare the story of my experience and
discoveries, and leave it to the world.
I went back to the Observatory.
I was again alone. A reaction of despondency
overwhelmed me, and it was coincident with a hemorrhage,
which left me weak and nervous. I resumed my watching
at the station. I seemed to anticipate a new
message. I endured peculiar and excruciating
excitement, a tense suspense of desire and prevision
that deprived me of appetite and sleep, and accelerated
the ravages of the disease, that now, victorious over
my weakened, nervous force, began the last stages
of its devastating advance.
It was a clear, cold night of exquisite
severity and beauty May 20, 1894, that
the third message came from my father. It was
announced, as had been all the others, by the sudden
response of the Morse receiver. A few nights
before, grasping at a vague hope that I might again
reach him with the magnetic waves at my command, I
had launched into space the single sentence:
“Await me! Death is very near.”
The message that now startled my ears began with an
exact answer to that trans-abysmal despatch:
“My son, the thought of your
death fills me with happiness. Surely you will
come to this wonderful and unspeakable world, you will
see me again, and I you, but under such new circumstances!
My heart yearns for you immeasurably. Come!
Come quickly! To press you to my heart, to speak
with you, to teach you the new things, and Oh! more
than all, to bring you to your mother. For, Tony,
she is found; my search is ended. I have discovered
her whom the cruel mystery of Death on earth so sharply
removed from us, in youth and radiance. I have
not yet revealed myself. The joy of anticipation
surpasses thought or words. I have hastened back
from seeing her, whom to leave in this paradise imparts
the one pang I have known in this new life, hastened
again to the Hill of Observation that now looks on
the cruel ruin, the emptiness of desolation, where
once was the City of Scandor. Let me tell you
“When I sent you my last message
I was at the Tower of Observation. As the last
wave was emitted from the transmitter, the hand of
Superintendent Alca, whom I met at the mines,
was laid upon my shoulder. I looked up in surprise.
He answered my questioning glance: ’I did
not return with Chapman. There was no need of
it. A barge going to the City of Light took the
body. I explained everything in a letter to the
Council. I was distressed over the news I had
received of the approach of the cometary mass, which
I have detected myself, and I hurried after you in
my own kil-chow (the name of the little porcelain
steamers), anxious to see this terrible thing.
Let us go out and watch the wonder. Whatever
happens we shall remain together. I am from Scandor
myself, and though I might have been safer at the
mines, I could not stay there in the crisis.’
“We descended to the ground
and walked out over the hillside. The encircling
range of high country about Scandor is, perhaps, one
thousand feet high. Its crest is a low swell,
that beyond the city falls away in broken, irregular
slopes to the country of the Ribi on one side, and
to far outstretched plains on almost every other side.
This dome was covered with the people of Scandor,
fleeing from the doomed city. The long lines
of moving figures were issuing from the city through
its numerous boulevards, and crowding the spaces on
the hilltops. The astronomers knew exactly now
the nature of the approaching mass, its orbit, spacial
extent and weight. Their proclamation had been
prepared and pasted all over the city, announcing
its certain destruction, but that the area of devastation
would only embrace the city, that the cometary visitor
was a narrow train or procession of meteors of stone
and iron, that the force of impact would be considerable,
enough to crush to the ground the glassy splendor
of the beautiful city, and that beyond its limits
there would be almost no falls.
“Beautiful, indeed, was Scandor
in the morning light. It lay before us shining
with a hundred hues. How can I tell you of its
exquisite perfection! Its arrangement expressed
a color scheme simple and effective. The amphitheatre
rose in the center, an opalescent yellow; the boulevards
spaced with trees, stretched out in radiating lines
from it, defined by the blue lines of ornamental metal
pillars which held the lamps; from point to point,
piercing the air from the shady peaks or squares shot
up also the needles of metal holding the curious electric
globes, while at regular intervals blue domes like
gigantic azure bubbles interrupted the streets of
square and colonnaded houses, that began around the
amphitheatre, with pale saffron tones, and grew in
intensity until the edges of the huge populous ellipse
were laid like a deep orange rim upon the green country
side. The light falling upon this reflected,
refracted and dispersed, seemed to convert it into
a liquid and faintly throbbing lake of color, cut
up into segments by the dark lanes or streets of trees.
“And this was to be crushed
and crumbled to the ground. The houses and all
the constructions are built of glass bricks laid in
courses, as with you on the earth, a soluble glass
forming the cement that holds them in contact and
together. The huge glass factories making this
formed a black circle in one part of the City.
“It was now day, and the meteoric
nebula was invisible. All day the people came
crowding to the hills. At last, as we gazed in
bewildered admiration at the strange multitudes about
us, the sound of distant music, the organ-like swell
of a titanic chorus approaching was heard. Far
away down the boulevard, on whose apex we stood, we
saw a marching retinue of men and women surrounding
a platform borne on the shoulders of men. The
platform held the upright figures of the Council amongst
whom, distinguished by a blue chalcal tunic bound about
him by yellow cords, was the noble being I had seen
in the Council chamber on the night of my arrival
“How marvellous it all seemed.
The sense of unreality, of dreamland again overpowered
me, a wild horror like some mad possession seized me.
I shook convulsively, and covered my face in my hands,
stricken through and through with a nameless repining
misery of doubt, of apprehension, of dismay.
It was the last struggle of readjustment between my
memories of earth, my identity as a man on the earth,
and this new life I had entered. Alca caught
me affectionately and placed the acrid bean I had
tasted in the City of Light in my mouth. The black
suffocation passed, and as I slowly returned to realization
and serenity I opened my eyes upon the city, now dead
and silent, but blazing with all its lights, awaiting
desolation, dressed in its sumptuous glory like some
princely captive on whom the doom of immolation, before
an unappeasable deity, had suddenly fallen. It
was night fall.
“Suddenly a flash, a short piercing
note, a loud report, and the sky above us seemed crowded
with glowing missiles. The impact from the first
arrivals of the cometary body upon the outer envelopes
of the Martian atmosphere had begun. A loud shout
of attention, surprise and half extemporized terror
rose from the multitudes about us. It was a breathless
moment. The oncoming shoals shot forward in rapid
jets of fire now clouded together in igneous masses,
now separated in disjointed streaks and radiant clusters
of snapping, shining bolts.
“As yet the material rushing
in upon us failed, in most instances, to reach the
ground in solid forms. It was burned up in the
air. The spectacle was surpassingly strange.
The air before us was weaved with crossing shafts,
threads, and traces of phosphorescent light. Behind
this veil still shone with responsive beauty the great
city, while rising occasionally in bursts of color,
we could see the alarm rockets from the opposite hills
penetrate the entering flood of light with frivolous
and extinguished protests.
“About half an hour after the
glory reached us, and as on all sides the country
shone in spectral illumination, a great mass, decrepitating
with minute explosions along its oncoming side, plunged
down upon the noble amphitheatre of glass. A
dreadful sound of crashing stone followed, and then,
rapidly fired from the aerial batteries, came still
more of the dark, half ignited bodies, bathed in hurrying
streams of evanescent blades, and splinters of light.
“And now the destructive bombardment
had really begun. The celestial downpour increased,
the valley below us sent upward the détonations
of exploding meteorites and the harsh reverberating
crash and overthrow of glass fabrics. The lights
of the city were brokenly extinguished and the pitiless
hail of ruin continued with increasing fierceness.
“It was an awful, glorious scene.
The vault of the sky emptying itself in an avalanche
of flame, while from within the wide stream of projectiles,
collisions caused by some accident of deflection originated
interior spots of sudden blazing light. The irregular
and separated shocks of sound from the falling city
now ran together in a continuous roar of dislocated
and broken walls, towers, parapets and citadels.
Coruscations sprang out from the yet heated masses,
accumulating on the ground, as they became incessantly
struck by new accessions. The ground trembled
with ceaseless fulminations and impingement, the atmosphere
seemed saturated with sulphurous odors, and the panoramic
flow of fluctuating splendor shed a day-like brightness
upon the upturned faces of the startled and stupefied
“All night long the invasion
continued. The area of destruction, exactly as
the astronomers had defined it, was confined to the
long elliptical basin in which Scandor lay. Beyond
it hardly a branch upon the trees was broken, though
occasional erratic bombs shot over us and fell miles
away along the borders of the canals.
“As the morning dawned, the
shower discontinued, a few laggards fell in scattering
confusion over the prostrate city, and the sun climbing
the eastern sky sent its peaceful reassuring light
upon a cairn-like heap of desolation. The chilled
surface of the fallen meteorites were broken up by
areas of glowing cinder-like surfaces. The glittering
and opaline city of glass, the City of Scandor, capital
of the Martian world, was buried beneath the scorching
and stony fragments of a minor comet, or some diminished
and wandering meteor train which suddenly issuing from
the unknown depths of space had descended with mathematical
precision upon the treasure city of the planet.
“The Martian legions remained
on the hilltops, sombered and silent. The awful
reality, impregnable and drear, before them had changed
their spirit, and they looked into each other’s
faces with bewilderment.
“I had stayed with Alca
throughout the night, and I now turning to him said:
“’Let us go! What
can we do here? Let us walk away for awhile.
I am dizzy with terror.’
“‘Yes,’ he answered,
and tears seemed filling his eyes, ’we will go.
We will walk out into the hill and river country beyond
the canal. Many are wandering over the country
now. The farmers will harbor us and the beauty
of the lanes will bring us cheerfulness.’
“And so we went away, hastening
with the Martian velocity of motion until as the sun
hung in the zenith, we had reached a hillside sloping
upon a meadow space through which passed the clear
but sluggish waters of a wide stream. A tulip-like
grass was distributed in the heavy luxuriant growth
of the meadow, which bore upon pendant threads a blue
bell-like flower. A gentle wind, rising and falling,
swept over them, lifting and blowing out the cups
as it passed off to the surface of the water and printed
it with plashes of ripples. A piece of wood pushed
out from the hillside, the trees that formed it struggling
out into the meadow in a broken succession of individuals
like a line of men. Here, leaning against the
last tree trunk that stood quite alone in advance of
its companions, was a young woman, her arms folded
above the cap like the Grecian cassos that
imperfectly held her hair, and dressed in a yellow
tunic and the half seen leggings of meshed chalcal
thread a lovely picture of meditation.
“I caught Alca’s arm in
a sudden wave of desire and excitement. It was
the impulse of love, the first burning of its sacred
fire I had known in Mars, and it was the intense certainty
of recognition that made it so impetuous. My
Son, your Mother was before me!
“The same glorious beauty I
had known on earth covered her, and like a mystic
light shone from her face and person. I was myself
again, young, and she was the same. The impelling
sense of a superhuman Destiny bringing us together
again in this new world, forced from me an ejaculation
of thankfulness. The cry was not loud, but audible
to her ears, and she turned toward us. Yes! it
was Martha, as I knew her in those raptured days of
love on the banks of the Hudson before disease and
weakness and age had stolen the bloom from her cheeks,
the light from her eyes, and the fair presentiment
of charm and perfection from her body. She did
not see me perhaps clearly. Certainly she did
not recognize me. An instant’s scrutiny
and her face turned again to the open exposure of
hill and field, stream and cloud-flecked sky.
“Alca had observed my gestures
of delight, and, perhaps reading my thoughts by that
intuition of mind so wonderful in the Martians, pushed
me toward her gently and moved away from us toward
the brink of the river.
“I stood for a moment hesitating,
overwhelmed with the marvel of this new thing.
I stole on, and finally pushing aside the high grown
grass, was at her side at the side of the
very form and feature of the woman who had taught
me on earth the worth of living and the meaning and
the glory of rectitude.
“She was breathing fast, her
bosom rising and falling with quick respirations,
and her cheeks flushed with color, made a delicious
foil to the pearly tone of her face, concealed on
her neck and forehead by the escaping tresses of her
“I drew back, trembling with
anticipation, my heart beating, and my clasped hands
folded on my breast in an agony of restraint.
She was talking, talking to herself in the low musical
voice of the Martians. The wind had ceased, a
dark shadow from a crossing cloud moved toward us
from the river over the blue sprinkled field, a haze
stole upward from the farther view, and, bending at
the margin of the water the figure of Alca bathed
in light, seemed to watch us like some calm incarnate
response to my own hopes and prayers.
“‘How beautiful, how wonderful
it is!’ her arms dropped from her head, the
body bent forward to the earth, she knelt; ’but
must it always be as it is! Shall not the companion
of my days come to this dear place? The light
of sun and moon and stars seems as it always seemed
on Earth, but there does not come to me the divine
touch of affection, that intimate feeling of oneness
and self-surrender that was mine with Randolph on the
Earth. A strength unknown to me before, a power
of enjoyment, a motion that is ecstacy, thought, feeling,
language, all strong, radiant, supreme, but yet loneliness!
Memory of the things of Earth hardly remains, except
where love prints its firm expression. Randolph,
my husband, and Bradford, my boy, to me are deathless.
Why can it not be that they should be here also?
Can the purposes of divine love be fulfilled by this
separation? Shall all the powers of this new life,
this beautiful and sinless Nature be wasted for the
want of love which holds both Nature and the soul
in place, in harmony, in adoration of the One enduring
“’How the long years have
rolled by since I have left the Earth, and how, amid
all the pleasurable things of this serene and hopeful
life, the hidden loneliness has denied it the last
completing touch of joy! Only as I still dare
to believe, that the flight of years must end his
aging days on Earth, and that the eternal destiny of
married souls is an eternal union, and that his reincarnation
here shall bring us into a new and better, richer,
deeper harmony of mind and tastes and thoughts; only
as the belief grows stronger with passing time, can
I, so surrounded with peace and happiness, in this
countryside of quiet work and gentle cares, bear longer
this awful isolation, the nights of prayerful hope,
the days of still enduring hope.
“’How beautiful it is
to live, to watch the changing seasons in this strange
new world untouched by sickness or death or sin.
And yet,’ she convulsively clasped her face,
’what beauty, what peace, what sinlessness can
replace the only life the Life of Love?
“’And then my boy!
Can it be possible that I may see him! Why, now
he will seem only a brother in this new youth in which
I have been born, and yet and yet the
mother feeling is unchanged; the old yearning, just
as when I left him a boy upon the Earth seems as great
“’Oh! when shall this
waiting all end in our reunion father, mother,
son and all strong and glad in youth and
“She rose and stretched out
her arms toward some phantasy of thought or fancy
in the air above her, and then a song of recall from
a distance floated along the meadow and the river’s
banks, a sweet, joyous, beckoning melody, that compelled
the ear to listen, and the feet to follow.
“Martha half turned I
was dazed with wonder I did not wish to
speak. I could not then have revealed myself.
It was all too marvellous, too hard to comprehend.
The old doubts of my reality, of the realness of everything
I had seen, surged up again, and swept over me in a
tide of disillusion.
“Was I dreaming; in the death
from Earth had I passed into a wild phantasmagoria
of mental pictures, some endless dream where the lulled
soul encountered again, as visions, all it may have
hoped for, all its unconscious cerebration had limned
on the interior canvases of the mind, to be reviewed,
as in a sleep, where every detail met the test of
curiosity except that last test waking?
Should I awake?
“I sprang forward and beat myself,
in a sort of fury of doubt against the trees about
me. The resistance was secure and certain.
Pain it seemed a kind of bliss, as the
guarantee of my flesh and blood existence came
to me and in my paroxysms the torn skin of my body
bled. I looked at the red stains with exultation.
I felt the aches of physical concussion, with a real
“This life was real, was dual body
and mind as on Earth, and the woman hastening
before me along the marge of the rippling stream I
listened in a kind of feverish anticipation of its
silence, for the low cadence of water passing over
pebbles was Martha! It must be true!
What agency of superhuman cruelty could thus deceive
me? No! my eyes were faithful, and the air, thrilling
with the distant song, brought nearer to my ears the
answering call of my wife!
“She was far distant. I
ran from tree to tree in the wooded back ground and
traced her to a little hamlet where a group of Martians
awaited her. They turned up a narrow lane singing,
and I lost them.
“I returned to Alca, pensively
standing on the hill we had first descended, and said
nothing of the strange revelation. I contrived
to learn from him the name of the little village,
and the nature of its inhabitants. He called
it Nitansi, and said it had been one of the old spots
where migrating souls from other worlds once entered
“‘A few,’ he added,
’come there now, though rarely, and the people
cultivate flowers in great farms, and formerly sent
them to Scandor. I think I saw them moving now
along the fields at the riverside. We must go
back. I shall go down the canal to Sinsi.
I know the Council of Scandor will resolve to rebuild
The message closed. I rose and
staggered backward into the arms of Jobson. A
severe hemorrhage ensued, and slowly thereafter the
darkening doors of life began to close upon me.
Disease had won its way against all the force of life.
It has been my task during these last
weeks of life to write this account of these wonderful
experiences, and to leave them to the world as an
assurance to how many will it give a new
delight in living, to how many will it remove the
bitterness of living, to how many may it bring resignation
and hope that the blight of Death is only
an incident in a continuous renewal of Life.
(End of Mr. Dodd’s MS.)
Note by Mr. August Bixby Dodan.
Mr. Dodd died January 20, 1895.
He never recovered from the severe shock caused by
hemorrhage, after receiving the second message from
his father and recorded above. He appreciated
the imminence of death acutely, and struggled to complete,
as he has, the narrative of his life. My daughter
was not again seen by Mr. Dodd, though he received
several letters from her, which were found beneath
his pillow after his demise.
I was with Mr. Dodd constantly during
the latter days of his illness, and then promised
him that I should secure the publication of his remarkable
I am not willing to hazard any conjecture
as to the more extraordinary features of this narrative.
I can very positively, however, affirm my complete
confidence in Mr. Dodd’s honesty. I knew
both his father and himself very well, and through
a long intimacy found them both consistently conforming
to a very high type of character, courage, and intellectual
The MS. of Mr. Dodd was handed to
me by himself, and I recall with a pathetic interest
his smile of appreciative gratitude as I received it,
and gave him my earnest assurance that it should be
printed, and that the world would be made acquainted
with his experiments and their results.
Mr. Dodd was the residuary legatee
of his father, and his own will made during his last
sickness, appointed me as his executor. My daughter
was made his sole heir, with two exceptions; small
amounts in favor of his assistants Jeb
Jobson and Andrew Clarke were mentioned in his will and
these sums have been paid by myself to each.
A series of extraordinary misfortunes,
for which I am myself measurably to blame, resulted
in the complete disappearance of the fortune inherited
by my daughter. Her own death and that of my wife,
following upon this disaster, though in no way connected
with it, obliterated and here again I admit
a very grievous culpability the remembrance
of the MS. of Mr. Dodd and my own promises as to its
I found the MS. of Mr. Dodd carefully
wrapped up at the bottom of a trunk of papers, and
confess that I opened the package it formed with a
bitter sense of self-reproach. Mr. Dodd had expected
to publish this paper in New York, and had requested
that it should be forwarded to that city. I have
at last complied with his wishes, and the MS. leaves
my hands, absolutely unchanged, consigned through
the kind intervention of a friend, to a publishing
house in that western metropolis. I am unable
to add anything more to this statement, which, in itself,
I fear conveys considerable censure to the undersigned.
August Bixby Dodan.
Note by the Editor.
The MS. alluded to by Mr. Dodan in
the preceding paragraphs was safely brought to New
York in 1900, and after a very careful examination,
repeatedly rejected by the prominent publishers to
whom it was submitted.
Through a peculiar accident connected
with some negotiations pertaining to a scientific
work, contemplated by the writer, the MS. came into
his hands, and he has been encouraged to publish it,
influenced by the favorable comments of friends upon
its intrinsic interest. He also has added to
the work as an appendix, which cannot fail to attract
the attention of many, the views of the great astronomer
Schiaparelli upon the present physical condition of
Mars, being the reproduction of an article by that
distinguished observer translated from Nature et
Arte for February, 1893, by Prof. William
H. Pickering and published in the Annual Report of
the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution
for 1894, published here by permission of “Astronomy
and Astro-Physics,” in which journal it
first appeared in Vol. XIII., numbers 8 and 9,
for October and November, 1894. In this report
also appeared Schiaparelli’s Map of Mars in
1888, which the Editor has not reproduced in this
The introduction to-day of the wireless
telegraphy, assuming a daily increasing importance,
furnishes some reasonable hope that the marvellous
statements given in Mr. Dodd’s narrative may
be more widely verified in the future, and point the
way to a realization of the daring and thrilling conception
of interplanetary communication.