The Project Gutenberg eBook of Intermere

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Title: Intermere

Author: William Alexander Taylor

Release date: October 2, 2016 [eBook #53193]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Ralph and the Online Distributed Proofreading
Team at (This file was produced from
images generously made available by The Internet Archive)


Transcriber's Note:

Punctuation and possible typographical errors have been changed.

Archaic and variable spelling have been preserved.

The cover image and Table of Contents were created by the transcriber and placed in the public domain.


William Alexander Taylor





1901 - - - 1902

The XX. Century Pub. Co.






The tourist lost in mid-ocean is mysteriously introduced into Intermere, and meets the first citizen and other chief officials. 10
Xamas, the first citizen, explains the polity and principles governing the Commonwealth and promoting the interests of all the people of Intermere. 30
Maros places Anderton in communication with his mother, and dissipates his superstitious ideas and otherwise enlightens him as to the possibilities of science. 54
A trip by air and land and water through the provinces, cities, hamlets and gardens, with matchless beauty and enjoyment on every hand. 73
The philosophy of life, and the faculty of its enjoyment as personified in the persons and vocations of the entertainers. 95
The secret of Intermere partially revealed to Anderton, and when he least expects it he is restored to his home and kindred, much to his regret. 119
Le envoi. 148







The Mistletoe, staunch, trim and buoyant, steamed across the equator under the glare of a midday sun from a fleckless sky, and began to ascend toward the antarctic circle.

Three days later we came in sight of a great bank of fog or mist, which stood like a gray wall of stone across the entire horizon, plunged into it and the sun disappeared—disappeared forever to all except one of the gay and careless crew and passengers.

For days, as was shown by the ship's chronometers, we steamed slowly on our course, surrounded by an inky midnight, instinct with an oppressive and fearsome calm. As we approached the fortieth parallel of south latitude[12] a remarkable change set in. The deathly calm was suddenly broken by the rush of mighty and boisterous winds, sweeping now from one point of the compass, and then suddenly veering to another, churning up the waters and spinning the Mistletoe round and round like a top.

In the midst of the terror and confusion, heightened by the unheeded commands of the officers, a glittering sheeny bolt, like a coruscating column of steel, dropped straight from the zenith, striking the gyrating Mistletoe amidships.

There was a deafening report, the air was filled with serpentine lines of flame, followed simultaneously by the dull explosion of the boilers, the hissing of escaping steam, the groaning of cordage and machinery, the lurching of the vessel as the water poured in apparently from a score of openings, a shuddering vibration of all its parts, and then, amid[13] cries and prayers and imprecations, the wrecked vessel shot like a plummet to the bottom.

I felt myself being dragged down to the immeasurable watery depths, confused with roaring sounds and oppressed with terrors indescribable and horrible. The descent seemed miles and miles. Then I felt myself slowly rising toward the surface, followed by legions of submarine monsters of grotesque shapes and terrifying aspects.

With accelerated motion I approached the surface and, shooting like a cork above the now calm sea, fortunately fell upon a piece of floating wreckage. Looking upward as I lay upon it, I saw the blue sky and the brilliant stars far overhead. The fierce winds and inky darkness and blackness of the night were disappearing beyond the northeastern horizon.

I tried to concentrate my scattered thoughts and piece out the awful catastrophe that had[14] befallen the ship and my companions, but the effort was too great a strain and I ceased to think—perhaps I ceased to exist.

I seemed to be passing through a vague twilight of sentient existence. Thought was rudimentary with me, if, indeed, there were any thoughts. They were mere sensations, perhaps, or impressions imperfectly shaped, but I remember them now as being so delightful, that I prayed, in a feeble way, that I might never be awakened from them. And then gradually the senses of sight, hearing, and full physical and mental existence returned to me.

At length I was able to determine that I lay on something like a hammock on the deck of a smoothly gliding vessel. Turning my head first to the right and then to the left, I imagined that I was indeed in Paradise, only the reality before me was so infinitely more beautiful than the most vivid poetic descriptions I had ever read of the longed for heaven of endless[15] peace and happiness. But this could not be the Paradise of the disembodied souls, for I realized I was there in all my physical personal being.

I was sailing through a smooth, shimmering sea, thickly studded with matchlessly beautiful islands. They lay in charming profusion and picturesque irregularity of contour on the right and the left, each a distinct type of beauty and perfection. I could make out houses and gardens and farms and people on each of them.

Looking to the right I saw what appeared to be a mainland with majestic and softly modulated mountains and broad valleys, running from the distance down to the sands of the seashore. Above the mountains shone the unobscured sun, but not the burning orb I had known of old in the lower latitudes. It kissed me with a tenderness that was entrancing, filling my weakened frame with new life.

The breezes toyed with my tangled and unkempt[16] locks, fanned my brow and whispered such things to me as did the zephyrs when I stood upon the threshold of guileless boyhood.

Finally I was able to frame a consecutive thought, in the interrogative form, and it was this:

"Where am I? Is this the Heaven my mother taught me to seek?"

I had as yet seen no one aboard the ship, or whatever it was, although I had heard the hum of what seemed to be conversation from some point beyond the line of vision. Again I silently repeated my mental question.

As if in response to my unuttered query, a being, or a man, of striking and pleasing appearance came to my side and laying his hand softly on my forehead, addressed me in a tongue at once familiar but wholly unknown, as paradoxical as that may sound.

I remained silent and he again addressed me.

I did not feel disconcerted or awed by his[17] appearance and said: "I speak French and German imperfectly; English with some fluency."

His rejoinder was in English: "You speak English, but are not an Englishman except by partial descent. You are an American. Not a native of the eastern portion of the continent, but from west of the range of mountains which separate the Atlantic seaboard from the great central valley of the continent. You are from the tributary Ohio valley, and are, therefore, better fitted to comprehend what you will be permitted to see and hear, than the average habitant of the eastern seashore, especially of its great cities."

You can possibly imagine, in a faint way, my unbounded surprise to be thus addressed by one who was more than a stranger to me.

"You asked yourself two questions. I will answer the first: You are in Intermere."

"And where is Intermere?"


"It lies at your feet and expands on every hand about you. Let that suffice.

"No, this is not the Heaven to which your mother taught you to aspire. It is a part of your own planet, inhabited by beings sprung from the same parent stock as yourself, but differing from all other nations and peoples; a people who are many steps nearer to the higher and better life, and is, by comparison, the Paradise or Eden that masks the gateway of the true Heaven, in a sphere beyond in the great Universe."

He motioned to some one, and two persons appeared with refreshments.

"Partake," he said, "and renew your exhausted physical and mental powers."

The proffered refreshments and cordials seemed to be the acme of the gustatorial dreams of my former life: the suggestion of other things, yet unlike them. After I had partaken, a new life thrilled every nerve and[19] fibre of my physical being and pulsated through every mental faculty.

I arose from my recumbent position and was conducted forward upon the softly carpeted deck and presented to a score of others who received me with every token of marked respect, unkempt and bedraggled as I was. They were men of unusual physique, a composite of the highest types of the human race I had ever seen or read of. Each possessed a distinctive mien and personality, as individuals, yet presenting a harmonious whole, taken collectively.

Xamas, as I afterward learned to know him, when I saw him presiding as First Citizen over this wonderful people, said to his fellows:

"This is Giles Henry Anderton, a citizen of the interior of the great Republic of North America. I have fathomed him and know that he is worthy our respect and considerate treatment. He has dreamed longingly of the things whereof we know, and which he has never even[20] recognized as a possibility. It will be our mission to show him the grand possibilities of human life before we restore him to his kindred and friends.

"Not understanding that Nature had lain all treasures worth possessing in lavish profusion at his feet in his own land, and guided by merely commercial instincts, he sought for paltry gold in distant lands and seas, and, escaping the vortex of death, has been placed in our hands for some great purpose. He will be addressed in the English tongue until it is determined whether he is to be admitted to ours."

This was spoken in a language absolutely unknown to me, and not a word of which I was capable of framing, and yet I understood it as fully as though spoken in English. So great was my amazement that he should know my nativity, my name, my hopes, my ambitions and my purposes, I could scarcely reply to the salutations extended to me.


"Do not be surprised," said Xamas, reading my inmost thoughts, "at what I say, nor need you ask how I became possessed of your history. All that will be made plain to you hereafter."

Turning to one who stood near, he said: "Conduct Mr. Anderton to my apartments and see that he has proper 'tendance and is supplied with suitable clothing."

With that I was conducted below to a charming suite of apartments lying amidships, bathed, was massaged and shaven by an attendant, as lofty of mien as Xamas himself, and furnished with clothing suitable to the company with which I was to mingle, not more unlike the workmanship of my American tailor than his would be unlike the handiwork of his French, English or German fellow-craftsmen, and yet so unlike all of them as to fit perfectly into the ensemble of the habiliments of my new friends.


The ship, or Merocar, as I subsequently learned was its general designation, was a marvellous affair, unlike any water craft I had ever seen. Its length was fully one hundred and fifty feet, and its greatest breadth thirty, gently sloping both to stem and stern, where it rounded in perfect curves. The upper, or proper deck, extended over all. The lower deck was a succession of suites and apartments, richly but artistically furnished, opening from either side into a wide and roomy aisle. All the work was so light, both the woods, and the metals, that it seemed fragile and unsafe, but its great strength was shown by the fact that none of its parts yielded to the weight or pressure upon it.

There was not a mast, a spar nor a sail on board. The light and richly wrought hammocks swung on lithe and polished frames, apparently intended to sustain the weight of fifty pounds, yet capable of sustaining five or ten[23] times as much. They were unprotected by awnings. Sunlight rather than shade was apparently the desideratum.

In some unaccountable way the long and lithe Merocar was propelled at any desired rate of speed, and was turned, as on a pivot, at the will of the man who acted as captain, pilot and engineer. There was no steam, no furnace belching black volumes of smoke, no whirr of machinery, no strain or creaking as the craft shot, sometimes swiftly, sometimes slowly, through the rippling water. Even motion was not perceptible to the physical senses.

The captain-pilot-engineer did not tug at a wheel in his railed-in apartment, elevated a few feet above the center of the upper deck. He placed his hand upon the table before him and it shot forward with incredible speed; he touched another point and it stood still, without jar or vibration. A movement of the hand, and the prow of the Merocar swept gracefully[24] from north to east in less than its length, to pass between two beautiful islets or round some sharp promontory. Hundreds of other Merocars, differing in size and form, were visible.

How they were propelled was so incomprehensible to me that I attributed it to supernatural agencies. I learned that it was a simpler process than the utilization of oars, or sails, or steam, which the progenitors of these mariners had abandoned before the days of Tyre and Sidon and Memphis and Thebes.

Rejoining the company, I endeavored to carry on a conversation with them, but I fear I made little headway, so deeply was I absorbed in the wonderful panorama that lay before me.

Raising my eyes from the shimmering, island-studded and beauty-bestrewn sea to the blue above, I uttered an ejaculation of surprise at what I beheld. There I saw "the airy navies" of which Tennyson had written under the spell[25] of an inspiration which must have been wafted from this unknown land, but marred by the hostile environments of his own.

Every quarter of the heavens disclosed graceful barques sailing hither and thither, passing and repassing each other, gathering in groups, filled with people, many of them holding mute communications with my companions, as though friend were talking with friend, without utterance, sign or gesture.

"I am beyond the confines of earth," I said to Xamas. "This is a higher and spiritual sphere, and I am not Giles Henry Anderton, but his disembodied spirit."

"You are at fault. You are within the mundane sphere, but with a people infinitely in advance of yours—a people who, by evolutionary processes, have unlocked a large proportion of the secrets of Nature and the Universe, and turned them to ennobling ends, not to selfish purposes. These facts will come to you[26] in time, and you will be convinced.

"See," he continued, "the city is slowly coming into view across the horizon."

My glance followed to the point indicated, and I saw a city of ineffable magnificence, softly rising from the bosom of the deep, as though obedient to the wand of a master magician.

Soon I could see that it swept around the broad semicircle of the bay, many miles in extent and artistically perfect in contour, the land rising gently from the strand into a grand and massive elevation, cut into great squares and circles, and crowned with noble buildings, great and small, in a style of architecture which embraced all the beauties and none of the blemishes of European and American creations. It was the full and perfect flower of the crude buds of other lands.

For a time my companions remained silent as I contemplated the entrancing scene and drank in its beauties. Then Xamas interrupted me:


"Yesterday the allied armies of the Western Nations entered the capital of China, and are now bivouacked in the Forbidden City, from which the Empress, Emperor and Court have fled."

I shook my head incredulously:

"When I sailed from New York six months ago there was no thought of war between any of the Western Nations and the Chinese Empire. Russia may have invaded one of its provinces by way of reprisal. That is a possibility."

"Great events focus and transpire within six months. What I tell you is true. The hostile standards of England, Russia, Germany, France, Japan, and your own Republic, which has departed from its wise traditions, flout the Yellow Dragon in the precincts of his own citadel and temple. Is not this true, Maros?" turning to one who looked the prophet and seer.

"Aye, indeed, and the best loved of this man's[28] kindred fell in the assault. He will know if I am permitted to name him."

"Shall he be permitted?"


"Albert Marshall, a sergeant of Marines, your playmate and foster brother, the next beloved of your mother, the son of her deceased sister; your mother reared him as her own son, and she knows, as yet, nothing of the disaster which has befallen you nor the loss of her foster son. He was of your own age, and like you tall, athletic and vigorous, with fair hair and complexion and blue eyes, the very counterpart of yourself—a man fit for a higher destiny than butchery."

"O Albert! O unhappy, stricken mother!" I cried in agony.

"Revered sir, I believe your words. They are absolutely convincing. Tell me how you came into possession of this strange information."


"In time; but be patient. Lament not for the dead; sorrow not for the living. We must presently debark. Come to my garden tomorrow. It lies within the shadow of the Temple of Thought, Memory and Hope. My home is unpretentious, but you will be welcome. There is need that you should come. Tomorrow your mother will be apprised of the death of your kinsman; almost simultaneously will come rumors of your shipwreck. She must be assured of your safety within twenty-four hours, if you hope to meet her again."

"But how can I com——"

"Peace, patience; sufficient unto tomorrow is the labor and issue thereof."

The Merocar gently ran into its slip, and we debarked, Xamas carrying me to his home in a vehicle of strange design and mysterious power of propulsion.







I shall so far anticipate as to say that the city in which I found myself was known as the Greater City, in contradistinction of the Lesser City, lying at the opposite end of the inland sea or mere.

This body of water extends in an oval shape or form north and south, its length being approximately four hundred miles, and its greatest width at the latitudinal center two hundred miles, gradually narrowing toward the opposite extremes, where it gently expands into rounded bays, forming the extended water fronts of both cities.

The Greater City was clearly the original seat of the present civilization, from which it[32] extended southward along both shores until it met at the southern apex and became the Lesser City. I was able, however, to distinguish but little, if any, difference between the two.

The twelve hundred miles of shore line is studded with farms, gardens, towns, villages, hamlets, private residences and public edifices, extending over highland and plain, as far as I was permitted to see, toward the outer boundaries, the location and character of which I can not even conjecture.

Many rivers, limpid and sparkling, coming through level and spreading valleys, and from almost every point, contribute their waters to the mere.

The current of the mere is phenomenal—not violent, but distinctively marked. Twice within every twenty-four hours it sweeps entirely around the oval, affecting one-half of the mere as it moves. With the early hours of the morning[33] and evening it sweeps from north to south throughout the eastern, and with noon and midnight through the western half of the sea.

This current may be described as anti- or trans-tidal; that is, the general water level falls or is lowered on the side where the current runs, and rises correspondingly in the opposite half.

The effect is this: From 6 a. m. to 12 noon and from 6 p. m. to midnight, throughout the eastern half, the tide runs in from those rivers falling in from the east, and correspondingly rises and moves inland in those falling in from the west, and then the current flows north on the western side from 12 noon to 6 p. m. and from midnight to 6 a. m., so that for half the time the rivers on either side ebb or flow into the sea, and for the other twelve hours rise and flow to the interior, east or west as the case may be.

The effect of this is singular indeed, or it was[34] to me. The rivers appear to run inland from the sea a part of the time, and then run from the landward into the sea for twelve hours, or an equal period, while the sea itself appears to be a subdivided river forever flowing in an elongated circle along the opposite shores.

The description of the Egyptian high priest, carefully guarded by his successors for nine thousand years, then revealed to Solon, and by Solon narrated to Plato, and by Plato transmitted to the modern world, must have had its basis here. Is not this the Atlantis which enthralled the Egyptian sage, philosopher and priest more than ten cycles ago?

To the Egyptian the ever-flowing rivers returned to their common source through valleys and landscapes of ravishing beauty, renewing themselves forever. They laved the feet of cities, irrigated the endless succession of farms, gardens and residential demesnes, and mirrored the mountains, clothed with perpetual[35] verdure and crowned with the stately monuments of genius, wisdom, art, civilization, learning and human progress, a century of centuries agone.

I have spoken of the singular vehicle in which, with Xamas, I left the pier and ascended the gentle slope into the city. It might be likened, faintly however, to the best types of our automobiles. But the comparison would be much like that between the ox-cart and the landau.

It more resembled a double-seated chair set upon several small elastic wheels, scarcely visible beneath the rich trappings which dropped almost to the smooth street, as scrupulously clean as a ballroom floor.

Xamas pushed a tiny lever, almost hidden in the rich upholstery of the arm-rest, and it moved swiftly and noiselessly forward without jar or oscillation. A delicate and a deftly concealed[36] spring guided it along the graceful curves of the streets, or sent it at a right angle when the streets crossed at tangents.

An adjustment lowered the speed to a strolling pace; another movement gave a high speed, while the reversal of the lever brought us to a standstill that I might silently admire some stately architectural pile or revel in the contemplation of some lovely private home.

As we journeyed Xamas said: "Ask with all frankness such questions as you desire. Wisdom is the child of patience, so be neither impatient, if the answer is not immediate, or if it is at first incomprehensible. It will be some time before your understanding can grasp all that you see or all that you hear.

"Your people undertake the impossible feat of putting a gallon of grain into a pint vase. Result: The vase is crushed and broken and the grain is spilled and lost. The human mind is the vase; Knowledge is the grain, from[37] which Wisdom will germinate. The vase expands by a process too subtle for your comprehension. To crowd it beyond its capacity with the idea of expanding its receptiveness is a dangerous and fatal folly. That is why mental dwarfs multiply and mental giants diminish in proportion to the increase of your people. Two things are uppermost in your mind:

"First, you believe you are in a supernatural sphere and surrounded by a supernatural people. In this you are absolutely at fault. Accept this assurance without reservation. You will tarry with us long enough to fully comprehend that fact. You will see nothing during your stay that can not be accounted for on natural and scientific grounds.

"Second, you are consumed with curiosity to know how I propel this Medocar and make it obey my every wish, so to speak. The full explanation of that I shall delegate to another, who will acquaint you with our mechanisms[38] and the principle that moves them.

"When you have patiently and intelligently listened to him you will know that we have achieved what your wisest and deepest and least appreciated thinkers have but vaguely dreamed of and hoped for during long and intermittent periods. But here we are at my residence. Let us enter and I will introduce you to my family and friends."

The Medocar halted with the last word in front of a two-storied, many-gabled house with broad verandas, situated in the center of spacious grounds, beautified with trees and shrubs and flowers and bubbling fountains.

Ushering me into a spacious reception hall, he presented me to his wife and children—grown-up sons and daughters—and then to a number of men and women who had called to greet him, some on social affairs and some on matters of public business, concluding with: "Mr. Anderton is a castaway from the other[39] side of the world, who is entitled to our sympathy and care."

If my newly made acquaintances were curious as to my being, personality and history, they had masterful control of their feelings. In all things they treated me with the most refined courtesy and gentle consideration. They did not embarrass me with expressions of pity or consolatory suggestions.

They addressed me in my own language, made me feel that I was welcome to their society. Each extended an invitation to me to visit them at their homes, some of them in distant provinces, and these invitations were gratefully accepted. There could be no mistaking the deep sincerity they implied.

After an hour's pleasant conversation on many and varied subjects with my host and his guests, Xamas led me to a suite of apartments intended for my use, and said:

"Attendants will provide you with refreshments[40] and ascertain your every want. Rest and fully recuperate. Later in the day I shall explain to you the polity of our Commonwealth, in which I perceive you are deeply interested."

What a remarkable man! He seemed to read my inmost thoughts.

As the sun was hanging like a softly beaming lamp above a cone-like mountain beyond the western line of the Greater City, Xamas and I were alone upon an open veranda, overgrown with clambering vines of many kinds in full bloom, radiant with exquisite colors and shades. He abruptly said to me:

"This Commonwealth is a pure democracy. Titles and offices confer no merely meretricious distinctions. They temporarily impose additional responsibilities, duties and burdens; the chief distinction of the citizen is conferred by labor, for labor is honorable and praiseworthy above all things else. The second is justice.[41] When and where all men labor and all men are just, there can be no wrong, no sin, no evil. Where there is labor and not justice, the strong enjoy, the weak suffer and endure, opulence flourishes for the few, pain and poverty afflict the many. Where there is neither labor nor justice, where might makes right, barbarism in its worst form curses the land.

"The ascent from the third condition to the first is a highway leading through the second, where labor is oppressed and justice is a stranger, until at last justice and labor join hands and produce a happy and a great people. I touch only on the three cardinal points. The process of ascent is slow and purely evolutionary—an evolution that constantly conforms itself to ever-changing environments.

"Your own so-called Declaration of Independence, which so many of your people do not care to comprehend, was drawn from the keystone of our own national arch—Human Equality,[42] the climax of human civilization and happiness.

"Thousands of years before the feet of the more modern Europeans trode the soil of your continent we had reached this point, and discovered that we had but reached the initial period of our usefulness and higher destiny.

"It required centuries to expel first the animal instincts, and then the barbarian nature from our race, not by savage repression and ruthless aggression and slaughter, but by the study and application of the laws of Nature and the Universe, which at last ultimated in the principle and entity of Brotherhood and the equality of all men—not equality of stature, mental equipment or material endowment, but the equality of common rights and common opportunities. Labor and Justice maintain and preserve this equality and Brotherhood.

"Thousands of years before Magna Charta[43] we had founded our Commonwealth on the great principles of human equality and the right of life, liberty and the pursuit of rational happiness, and my ancestors, comprehending the profound laws of Nature unknown to yours, wafted to them these precious seed, trusting that they would fall on genial and generous soil, and the inspiration thus transmitted through the agency of our progenitors was inscribed by yours upon rescript of your national autonomy.

"Its growth, once so promising, has become painful and pitiable. The upas of human greed and selfishness withers it, and the prophecy of bloom and fruitage is unfulfilled. The animal instinct and the barbarous appetite which reaches after the gaud and tinsel of excessive wealth and accumulation, the two aggressive forms of selfishness combined in one, hold civilization and human progress in check, and may in your case, as in a thousand others, lead[44] back to the fen and morass of primal barbarism.

"No, this is not the Paradise of Socialism, as you call it," said he, interpreting the thread of my thought. "That is but an idle dream, the recrudescence of primal, undeveloped and undesirable conditions, which occasionally flashes through irresolute minds, unfitted to solve the great problem of human existence and happiness.

"This is the land of absolute individuality as well as absolute equality. Every man who reaches maturity becomes the individual owner of property in one or more of its forms, the foundation being the soil for residence or productive purposes, or both, at his option. All lands are subject to individual ownership, within clearly defined limits, the public domain being held in reserve to meet new demands of increasing population. It is the common property of all until it passes into[45] individual ownership, to be used for agricultural or other purposes, under fixed rules, a specific proportion of the product, or its equivalent, being turned into the common treasury, to prosecute public improvements and for other public purposes.

"This stands in lieu of taxation in other countries, and it is only on rare occasions that it is necessary to supplement it with a direct tax on the people, except as to the municipal and provincial taxes for local purposes, in which case each man of mature age, or twenty-five years, pays the one hundredth part of his earnings monthly into the treasury, the sum thus paid being evenly divided between the treasuries of the province and municipal division. When a surplus equal to the previous year's expenditures accumulates this tax is remitted for the ensuing year.

"A man may own a home and a separate farm or garden, or business or manufacturing[46] site; nor may he engage in more than one business or employment, except the public service, at the same time. He may change from one line of business to another, but may not buy or sell real estate for mere speculation. He may not acquire property other than his earnings until he reaches maturity, and designs to marry and become the head of a family. If his intent fail, or remains unfulfilled for three years, the home thus acquired becomes public property, and may be sold to another who assumes the marital relation, and the proceeds divided equally between the municipal treasury or bank and the former owner.

"Residences may be exchanged, as may farms, gardens, business sites and factories, including the line of business or manufacturing, but neither may be alienated by the owner, except with the approval of the Custodian of the Municipality upon a satisfactory showing of the reasons therefor.


"All persons of both sexes must take up an occupation at the age of twenty, and continue therein, or in some other occupation, until sixty years of age, unless incapacitated, and deposit in the municipal bank or treasury at least one-twentieth of their monthly earnings. At sixty they may retire from active life, and their accumulations are subject to their wants and demands under salutary rules. The residue, along with their other personal property, is distributed pro rata among their direct descendants, and if there be none, in is turned into the general treasury of the Commonwealth.

"Women are entitled to their earnings, but may not own real estate, the policy being that men shall be the home-makers and women the home-keepers. The wife is entitled to the prevailing wage from her husband for attending to his household affairs, in addition to the other provisions for household matters and economies which he must make.


"Under our system there is neither opulence nor poverty in the land. Great wealth has no existence with us, and therefore has no allurements. Charity is not a gaunt pack-horse, overloaded with offerings which come after the eleventh hour. The equality of opportunity closes every inlet to the wolves of Hunger and Poverty which ravage other lands amid the riotous revelry of the unjustly opulent. We have had, at intervals, persons who rebelled, through recurrent heredity perhaps, against our admirable system, and to them we administer lex dernier—they are transported to some other land, by methods known only to ourselves, there to mingle with a new people, with but a faint conception of their nativity. They constitute those mysterious beings found in all other countries, whose origin is forever hidden, and as a rule they are excellent and strangely wise citizens, for they are permitted to carry with them much of the knowledge, with some[49] of the wisdom, of their ancestry."

I shall abbreviate much that Xamas gave in great detail. From him I learned that every male is entitled to participate in all public affairs, including the right of franchise. All are eligible to office. The Commonwealth is composed of twenty-four provinces, each province being composed of twelve municipal divisions.

The elective officers are, in their order: 1. First Citizen of the Commonwealth. 2. Chief Citizen of the Province. 3. Custodian of the Municipality.

The First Citizen is the executive head of the Commonwealth, serves but a single year, and is not eligible to re-election. The Chief Citizens, or executives of the provinces, constitute his Board of Counselors to determine all matters affecting the public welfare and to select the various Curators of the divisional interests of the entire Commonwealth. They meet to perform these duties twice each year,[50] alternating between the Greater and Lesser Cities.

The Chief Citizens are the executive heads of the Provinces, the Custodians of the Municipalities constituting their respective Boards of Counsellors. They, too, meet twice each year to consider and determine matters of provincial interest, and to decide all questions of difference which may come up from the Municipalities. Their tenure of office is two years, and they are not eligible to re-election.

The Custodians are the sole heads of the Municipalities, and decide all questions arising therein, and appeal lies from their decisions to the Provincial Board of Counsellors, who determine the question finally. They hold the office three years, and may not be re-elected. The above officials appoint all the necessary clerical and other assistants necessary to carry out the duties imposed on them.

None of the elective officers receive salaries,[51] but are allowed out of their respective treasuries 20 media per day for all necessary expenses.

The media is equivalent to 20 cents American currency, and is the unit of exchange. It is divided into four equal parts, the coin being designated quatro, while a third coin, equivalent to 5 media, is denominated cinque, so that the three coins are quatro, silver; media, gold; and cinque, gold and platinum in equal parts, of nearly equal size and weight, representing five, twenty, and one hundred cents of our currency, and nearly the size of an American quarter-dollar.

Twenty media is the wage of the master artisan, and 15 media the wage of all other males. Females receive a wage of from 8 to 15 media. The master artisan's wage is the compensation of all official assistants in whatever capacity, as well as the expense allowance of the actual officials.


In addition to the above officials of the Commonwealth there are: Curator of Revenues; Curator of Works and Polity; Curator of Learning and Progress; Curator of Scientific Research and Application, and Curator of Useful Mechanical Devices. Their duties are suggested by their titles. They receive the expense allowance, no salaries, are chosen for terms of seven years, ineligible to a second term, by the First Citizen and his Counsellors, and appoint their own subordinates and assistants.

There is a Curator of Revenue appointed by the Chief Citizen of each Province to care for the provincial, and by the Municipal Custodian to care for the Municipal revenues.

The marriageable age of men is from 25 to 30, and women from 20 to 25. The offspring of the marriage relation varies from two to six, seldom less than two, or more than six, the average being four, hence population increases[53] slowly, while the great majority live from 80 to 100 years, retaining both physical and mental faculties to the last.

"There is no mercenary incentive to hold office," said Xamas, "and it is absolutely open to all, and men leave it, not with regret, but with the consciousness of having performed a necessary duty and service. Three months hence I will leave the chief office of the State, and resume my occupation as mechanical engineer under one with whom I have been for a score or more of years. He is now my Secretary, but that is nothing unusual. It is a leading part of our history.

"But it is time for rest. You have an important engagement with Maros, our Curator of Scientific Research and Application, tomorrow morning, and he exacts promptitude."







I called on Maros, the Curator of Scientific Research and Application, as per appointment, and found him surrounded with everything calculated to contribute to the enjoyments of earthly existence. His residence differed in many respects from that of Xamas. All its appointments and environments were in the most exquisite taste. But this may be said, once for all, of every private residence and public edifice in Intermere. The taste of architects and occupants differed, but all were on lines of beauty, comfort and convenience.

There is no luxury in Intermere, as we use the term. Luxury is a merely comparative term in the rest of the world, distinguishing[56] those who have much from those who have little or nothing. Here every rational taste is gratified in all particulars. The people have clearly discovered the hidden springs of Nature's kindly intentions toward man, and utilize them at individual and collective will.

"You are prompt," said Maros, seating me in his study. "Let us proceed with the matter in which you are interested."

He placed before me a perfectly drawn map of a section of the United States, embracing the place of my nativity, and asked me to point out the exact vicinity of my mother's home. I found it readily.

"The point you now occupy is the lineal opposite. Turn to the point, or direction, you have designated, and direct your concentrated thought there. If a responsive impression comes to you, communicate its purport to me."

I sat in silent thought a few moments, Maros closely regarding me.


"I am impressed that my mother is prostrated with grief; that she has just learned of the death of my kinsman; that rumors of the loss of the Mistletoe have reached her, being first cabled from Singapore to New York, and from thence transmitted to the press, and that she is impressed with the belief that I, too, am dead. I fear that she will not survive the double shock."

"Frame such a thought as you would wish impressed upon your mother's consciousness and faith, and tell me what follows."

This is the thought I framed: "Mother, I am alive and well in an unknown land, surrounded by kind friends, and will ere long return to you."

Later to Maros: "I am convinced. My mother has partially recovered from the shock. My death would have been the fatal blow. She smiles with pious resignation, through the tempest of her grief, and extends her arms as[58] if to embrace me. This, however, is wholly an impression; I do not see or hear her, but we seem to stand face to face, and both realize it."

"Give yourself no further concern, nor seek further communication with her until you meet her in person. She knows you are alive and will return to her. Nothing she will hear will change that belief."

"Tell me by what divine or celestial power I am thus enabled to project my thoughts across unknown seas and continents, and receive responsive thoughts. Only supernatural agencies could accomplish this."

"You have what you call the telephone?"


"You communicate alike with friends and strangers hundreds of miles distant in an ordinary tone of voice?"


"Is that supernatural?"

"No; it is the result of scientific achievement[59] and natural phenomena."

"Would one, coming out of the depths of absolute ignorance of scientific achievement, as you call it, regard it as a supernatural agency?"

"He undoubtedly would."

"What would you think of his conclusion?"

"That it was the result of superstition."

"And yet you who have just stepped out of the dawn into the full day; you who have transmitted uttered thoughts to remote distances through a coarse steel or copper wire and received other uttered thoughts in return, regard with superstitious awe, as supernatural, what you have just experienced. Wherein do you differ from the untutored barbarian?"

I sat in silence.

"The telephone wire is to the thread of sentient thought which may span the universe itself, what the horseback mail-rider is to your modern methods of communication—what the[60] earliest dawn is to the full day."

Maros explained at full length how he became possessed of the knowledge of my identity, family connections and my misfortunes, summing up:

"When you were found in the remote and outer ocean and brought within the precincts of Intermere, you were physically unconscious, but still possessing partially dormant mental faculties; that is, you continued to think feebly and intermittently. We traced your two intermittent lines of thought to your mother in America, and to, or rather toward, your kinsman at some unknown point. Tracing again to your parent we learned that Marshall had accompanied the American expedition to China from Manila. Following this clew, we ascertained that he had been killed, and that that fact would reach his home in due course, as well as the fact that information of the loss of your ship would reach America almost[61] simultaneously. What your mother now regards as premonitions of impending evil or misfortunes were communications with her consciousness, far more refined and perfect than the subsequent cable communications, but quite as natural, and in no sense supernatural."

"This is indeed amazing!" I exclaimed.

He further said that this was an individual case and purely the result of my condition. "We do not seek, as a rule, knowledge of individualities in the outside world, but confine our inquiries to matters of general moment. We know of the steps of progress, retrogression, of savagery and butchery and wrong and oppression which dominate an embryotic civilization. Amuse yourself for a time with the pictures and tapestries, and I will give you a record of the outer world's important matters of yesterday."

He opened a cabinet, and assumed the mien[62] of expectant inquiry and meditation. Soon his hands began to move with rhythmic rapidity over the curiously inlaid center of the flat surface of the open cabinet. At the end of ten or fifteen minutes his manipulations ceased, a compartment above noiselessly opened, and eight beautifully printed pages, four by six inches, bound in the form of a booklet, fell upon the table.

It was printed in characters more graceful than our own Roman letters, from which they might have been evolved, or the Roman Alphabet might have deteriorated from what appeared before me. The English language was not used, and yet I could readily read and comprehend the lines. The pages before me comprised a compendium of yesterday's doings of the entire world, and included a note of my own case.

They told of all the military operations in China, in the Philippines, in South Africa,[63] in the far East and in the remote West; of labor troubles in the mining districts of America; the strike of the textile operatives on our Atlantic border; the unrest of the Finns and Slavs; of plots and counterplots, and political assassination and revolution, attempted or accomplished, and the full catalogue of such happenings, with now and then a flash of loftier civilization.

"What you read is being reproduced in every divisional municipality of the Commonwealth, with such a number of instantaneous duplications as may be required for the perusal and study of all who desire to compare tinseled and ornamented barbarism with true civilization.

"Selfishness, oppression, slaughter, pride, conquest, greed, vanity, self-adulation and base passions make up ninety-nine one-hundredths of this record. What a commentary on such humanity! To it love, brotherhood[64] and mutual helpfulness are too trivial for serious consideration.

"The nations and their rulers, differing somewhat as to degree, stand for organized and dominant wrong, based primarily on selfishness—the exact reverse of the conditions that should exist."

"This," said I, still contemplating the pages, "compares with our newspapers."

"As two objects may compare with each other as to bulk or form, but in no other respect. This is to promote wisdom. The newspaper to feed vicious or depraved appetite, as well as to convey useful information. This is the cold, colorless, passionless record of facts and information, from which knowledge and wisdom may be deduced to some extent. Your newspaper is the opposite, taken in its entirety. It consists of the inextricable mingling together of the good and the bad, of the useful and the useless, and the elevating and the degrading,[65] the latter always in the ascendant.

"It foments discord instead of promoting profitable discussion, which is the bridle-path leading into the highway of wisdom. It is built upon the cornerstone of selfishness, the other name of commercialism, and is thoroughly imbued with the spirit of greed.

"It caters to the public demand regardless of the spirit or the depravity behind it. 'Quatro! Quatro! Quatro!' is the burden of its cry, and for quatro it is willing to lead the world forward or backward, as the case may be. It has been growing in stature and retrograding in usefulness for fifty years throughout the world, in all save increasing facilities, and avidity for pandering to the worst and most uncivilized propensities of mankind, and it will probably continue to grow worse for a century to come.

"Fifty years ago it was blindly controversial, but there was enough of reason in its discussions[66] to give hope for the future. Now it is a mere mental and moral refuse car, and its so-called religious form is devoted only to a more refined class of refuse, if that expression is allowable.

"As a whole, it represents classes and not the whole community; prejudices, and not principles; it advocates selfish, not general interests; it panders to petty jealousies; it indulges in tittle-tattle in mere wantonness, and has no aim save the grossly materialistic."

I winced under his fierce arraignment and invective, for I am a newspaper man myself.

"I know that I have touched you in a sensitive spot, but I speak of the newspaper in a general sense. There are worthy exceptions, despite all the untoward environments; but, unfortunately, their influence is limited. Your masses read and re-read accounts of how two beings beat each other out of human semblance on a wager, and pass, unread and unnoticed,[67] the best thoughts of your greatest scientists and profoundest thinkers. It is not the canaille who do this alone, but your statesmen and rulers, men of large affairs and men of the learned professions."

I turned the conversation, saying:

"It is incomprehensible to me how you produced this record of events in so short a time and without apparent mechanical or physical effort."

"Doubtless, but not more incomprehensible to you than your linotype machines and perfecting press would have been to Gutenberg. And your discoveries and inventions would be no more incomprehensible to him than would his types and crude multiplying press be to the papyrus writers, scriveners and hieroglyphants of the earlier world.

"The transition from the work of the papyrians to the achievements of the Intermereans is the result of that evolution known as scientific[68] research into Nature's beneficence, in which mechanical invention is a mere incident, and its application to a high, unselfish and noble purpose, instead of selfish, base and ignoble ends.

"We had outstripped your present ideals ages before the Chinese began block printing, or Gutenberg fashioned his types and press. Both these, as well as your own advanced mechanism, as well as your every other great achievement in science and research, were the result of the thought-seed sown or diffused from this land, but which fell on absolutely barren soil, or only grew in puny or defective forms, far short of ripening or maturity.

"Your Franklin comprehended the supreme and all-pervading power and genius of the Universe, the knowledge of and the power to utilize which makes man godlike, but the dense ignorance and gross materialism of his day prevented him from enlightening his people.


"Your Morse conceived and executed the scheme of telegraphic signals cycles after we had discarded it.

"Your nameless and unknown discoverers, whose weak but apprehending genius was utilized by Bell, gave you the telephone ages after it had been supplanted here by our more nearly perfect system of intelligent communication with the entire terrestrial world, and we are now exploring, with it, the adjacent systems of the Universe with promising results.

"Your Edison and other electrical discoverers are more than a cycle behind us, and have as yet but touched the outer surface of the great secret. To them and to others the current of the Universe is a constant menace and a danger. To us it as gentle and as harmless as the flowers that bloom by the wayside, and responds to our every wish and use with absolute tractability.

"The fault of the rest of the world is that[70] all great discoveries, all the unlockings of Nature's treasure-house, are turned to selfish ends, to the aggrandizement of the few, and the detriment, if not the oppression, of the many; hence civil commotions, wars, tyrannies, the insolence of opulence, and the failure to carry forward the process of civilization and the elevation of the race by the unselfish application of attained wisdom. The barbarian spirit of Self is dominant.

"You were about to ask if you might carry this record home. No. You will be permitted to inspect it and others similar during your sojourn, and carry their remembrance with you, and thus be enabled to compare them with your own current records of contemporaneous dates; but that is all.

"The Western nations have opened their own gates and invited eventual destruction by this apparently temporary invasion of the East. This war, if it may be so called, will be[71] of short duration, followed by the oppression inseparable from selfish greed, commercialism and the love of conquest and arbitrary power which compels the unwilling obedience of peoples.

"But the 400,000,000 Chinese and affiliated races, are more insidiously dangerous than you know. They will cultivate the seed now being sown, and prepare the dragon's harvest of blood. In the remoter provinces they will soon breed soldiers and captains, who will eclipse the bloody and destructive achievements of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane, profiting by your present superior knowledge of mechanism and the arts of war, which they will appropriate and assimilate, and turn to terrible final account.

"The commercial greed of the West will be the enemy of the Western peoples themselves. It will fit and arm the aroused avengers for their world-wide invasion and conflict. Selfish[72] capitalists will do this in spite of all inhibitions, under the plea of creating prosperous conditions and extending commerce, and their people and their posterity will perish by the enginery which selfish commercial greed placed in the hands of their enemies."

Maros presented me to another official, and politely dismissed me to visit the places of interest in the city. Upon my return to America I compared the contemporaneous history of the world with the daily records I had been permitted to inspect, the remembrance of which I vividly retained, and found every fact therein to be absolutely correct.







What a wonderful land is Intermere, and what a wonderful people live and enjoy life in it to the full!

Twenty days of visiting ten of the interior provinces, bordering on the mere, was more like a dream of happiness, sight-seeing and indescribable enjoyment to me than a reality. For reasons not explained to me I was not carried into the fourteen remaining provinces, which evidently lay in all directions toward the exterior borders of the land. I rather suspect that this was because it might have enabled me to form some definite idea of the geographical location of Intermere.

What I saw and experienced I still retain[76] as a beautiful and ineffaceable memory, but it is a picture I can not wholly reproduce or describe in anything like complete details. I can at best only give the impressions I still retain.

The delightful journey was under the direction of Karmas, the Custodian of Works and Polity, accompanied by other chief officers, and the officials of the provinces, the title and character of which had already been given me by Xamas.

They have three modes of travel: by Medocar, by Aerocar, and by Merocar. By the first you travel on land; by the second through the air; by the third on the water. While these vehicles of transportation are divided into three general classes as designated, they comprise thousands of beautiful and curious designs, upon which individual names are bestowed, as we bestow names upon our horses and our ships.


There is no preference as to the mode and method of journeying. Each of them seems absolutely perfect. There is no physical sense of motion in either, as we realize it.

They glide over the broad, smooth and perfectly kept roadways, through the depths of the ether, or along the waters, with the same imperceptible motion, and can be put to a rate of speed that makes our limited railway trains seem like lumbering farm wagons. All resistance of the elements seems absolutely overcome.

The power of propulsion was wholly incomprehensible at first, and later I was only able to learn as to its principle, and left wholly to conjecture as to its application.

Roadways, or, perhaps more properly, boulevards, interlace the whole country. They are the perfection of road-building—smooth, even-crowned, and free from dust, water or other offensive substance. The surface is like a[78] newly asphalted street, but hard and impervious, with no depressions, cracks or flaws. The engineering could hardly be improved on. Accepting the statements made to me that the most of these highways have been in use for centuries, with few if any repairs, they may be looked on as not only permanent but indestructible.

The purpose of each of them is self-evident. Every rod of it is for use and to meet some requirement that presents itself. They are bordered, wherever they extend, with beautiful homes, monuments and temples, commemorative of some great achievement in civilization and progress.

The residential grounds, farms and gardens are marvels of exquisite taste without an exception, so far as I was able to note, modeled after countless designs, which give the earth's surface a versatility of beauty that is enchanting.


There are farms and gardens everywhere except in a limited number of the compact squares of cities, small and perfectly kept, and productive in a sense and to a degree absolutely incredible to the dwellers of any other land.

As to these roadways: They are of the uniform width of two hundred feet wherever you find them, whether skirting sea, lake or river, penetrating valleys or clambering around and around the ascent of the mountains from base to apex, where some monument or temple, or both, are perched, overlooking hundreds of square miles.

As already stated, they are everywhere as smooth and kept as clean as a tiled floor, with a sense or quality of elasticity, and seemingly indestructible. I would have regarded them as natural phenomena had I not seen a mountain being terraced and a roadway being graded and finished without any of the paraphernalia[80] of our own methods of engineering and construction.

Earth and rock seemed to melt and become mobile under the influence of some unseen power, and gangs of men, following with levelers of light machinery, modulated the grades and contours of the crumbled rock and soil. Others followed these, compounding, expanding and laying down a plastic and rapidly hardening envelope, thus finishing the surface like the roads over which we were gliding, some of which, I was told, had been in use for many centuries without the slightest change of condition.

I expressed a doubt as to their longevity.

Karmas smiled and said:

"You judge by experience. In your cities you import material from some distant country or island, and by mechanical manipulation and chemical combination and processes fit it to be laid down as a pavement. When finished[81] it looks almost as smooth and beautiful as yonder landway being newly constructed to accommodate the expanding population of the district. But the resemblance ends here.

"Your chemists and engineers and constructors have only the crudest ideas of landway or terraneous works. The asphalt is a suggestion, but the builder's compound turns it in the direction of deterioration. Instead of going forward, they go backward. They know little of the character of the materials they seek to utilize, and nothing of the true principles of chemical combination.

"Our material is at hand, as it is at hand everywhere, containing the elements which need only to be properly combined and assimilated to become practically indestructible.

"You take a clay, and by machinery, crude perhaps, reduce it to dust, then moisten it back into pliable clay, fashion it, subject it to an intense but unrefined heat, and you have what[82] will retain its form and consistence for centuries, and resist the elemental attacks longer even than granite. This is but the dawn of possibilities. The semi-barbarous, thousands of years ago, went further and made them flexible as well as durable. Their discoveries were long ago forgotten.

"Your people never go beyond the point of discovery. They stop short of the possibilities. They lose these possibilities in material and commercial utilization. Ego stands between the discoverer and the world, and progress ends.

"While the rest of the world has thus, again and again, stood still on the threshold, or moved backward or forward intermittently, for obvious and selfish reasons, we have steadily moved forward in scientific discovery and research, and the application of great principles.

"The example is before you. Without any of your crude and cumbersome machinery, the[83] mountain is being terraced and fitted for the abode of man, the elemental constituents are being disintegrated, properly disposed, rearranged and the surface recombined in a new form and proportion by natural laws, and remote generations will find yonder landway as our workmen will leave it. They could level the mountain as readily as they terrace it, distributing it over the adjacent plain, leaving it a level and fertile glebe, instead of a towering height of rock and sand overspread with soil.

"All that you see or will see is the result of knowledge and wisdom turned to noble and unselfish ends for the common betterment and elevation of the race.

"Your progenitors learned to dig the hard and soft ores from the earth and produce iron, then took a step forward and converted it into steel, of greater strength and durability, capable of light forms and high polish, and there you have stopped at the very beginning. You[84] are incapable of saving your own handiwork from disintegration. The elements corrode your finest steel products, and they flake away to the original conditions of the crude ore, losing a large proportion of their original virtues and constituents. We have, on the contrary, gone forward to the ultimate.

"You have denuded your lands of forests to use as a cumbersome material for building, and furniture and other purposes, the wood, which decays and is soon destroyed. You have, without understanding the process, macerated and reduced woods to a pulp and fashioned it into paper, which in several forms you utilize, but you have stopped at the beginning of the journey.

"We have carried it forward, and a large proportion of the material used in the construction of our houses and furniture and bridges and cars are the product of our forests in a new and better and more enduring form—light[85] and capable of the most graceful fashioning. This is used in combination with the metals in all departments of our economies."

I had already noticed the fact that but little of the woodwork was in the natural form, and that while it was incredulously light, it was incredibly strong. The same was true of the wrought metals, all of which differed from our own forms.

In my examinations of the bridges across streams, both large and small, I noted the fact that they were constructed in about equal parts of wood, or a substance I took therefor, and metal, differing greatly from the metals we use, yet not wholly unlike them. Both materials were of tubular construction, appearing almost fragile in their lightness, but strong and firm, and showing none of the ravages of time and the elements.

So far as I was able to judge no paints were used, but everything was perfectly polished. The bridges were light, airy constructions,[86] swung from lofty and graceful piers, a span of a thousand feet appearing to be as firm and strong as one of fifty.

I also noticed that in their construction of cars, furniture, houses, and the like, the woods and metals were indiscriminately used, more for beauty and ornamentation, perhaps, than for strengthening purposes or utility. Lightness and gracefulness were in evidence everywhere. There were panels and inlays of wood in its natural state, highly wrought and polished, as hard and impervious as the metals.

"You seem to be able to make everything indestructible," I said to Karmas.

"It is your privilege to draw your own conclusions," was his reply.

The people I met and mingled with, both men and women, were superb specimens of the human race, full of life, full of hope, full of high ambitions, and capable of infinite enjoyments.


Games, sports and social amenities were the order of their daily life, albeit every one of them engaged in some laborious or business occupation during a part of each day. I learned that under their system of economy less than four hours out of the twenty-four were necessary for the comfort, sustenance and requirements of each adult, so that labor did not degenerate into slavery. Every fifth day was a holiday, during which no labor was performed, except such as was necessary for the enjoyments of the day.

Manufacturing and business of different kinds were diffused in proportion to the population. There were no great factories or business houses, but innumerable small ones. No manufacturer employed more than ten persons, usually but five, and two or three employes were sufficient for the business houses.

The remarkable discoveries and inventions of the land revolutionized all our ideas of manual[88] labor and mechanics. Heavy and bulky machinery is entirely unknown.

There were no smoking furnaces, no clangor of machinery. The factory was as neat and practically as noiseless as the private home. Useful and necessary devices and machinery were turned out as quietly as a housewife disposes of her routine labors. Science had apparently solved the rough and knotty problem of labor and production.

Nowhere did I see a furnace; in fact, fire was visible nowhere; and yet I could see its offices performed everywhere. I asked Karmas to explain the phenomena.

"That," he replied, "will be explained to you by Remo, Custodian of Useful Mechanical Devices. That is his official sphere."

Another incredible phenomenon presented itself during the journey. We passed through one province early in that journey, and my attention was called to the fact that the farmers[89] were sowing their cereals, which, by the way, greatly resemble our own, but in a much higher state of cultivation and infinitely more nutritious.

Ten days later we repassed the same spot, and they were harvesting the ripened grain.

"In my country," I said to Karmas, "from eight to ten months, dependent upon the season, elapses between the sowing and the harvesting of wheat. Here the period is reduced to from eight to ten days. I can not understand the discrepancy."

"But it is an absolute mystery to you?"

"It is."

"And yet your own people have approached the twilight of its solution. By selection of seeds and combination of soils, and other perfectly natural processes, they have been able to change the nature of vegetation and produce new vegetable being. The period for the growth and maturing of nearly all your grains[90] and vegetables has been perceptibly shortened, and entirely new forms produced, within the past century, and largely within the period of your own lifetime.

"Your floriculturists and horticulturists have carried the evolution the furthest, and yet they do not even faintly comprehend the real principle which produces results. We understand and intelligently apply it. Hence with us but ten days elapse between seedtime and harvest, and shorter periods in the production of our common vegetables.

"We are able to produce flowers of all shapes and colors at will, and with the absolute certainty of the operation of fixed and immutable laws, while your florists, groping in the dark, occasionally stumble on a result, knowing nothing of the law that produces it, and give their fellows a nine-days' wonder.

"Yesterday you asked me why all the farms were so diminutive—'merely a ten-acre field,'[91] as you expressed it. The explanation is before you. Each of these small farms is capable of producing food for one thousand persons with their constantly duplicated crops. There is room for a million such farms in the Commonwealth, without impinging upon the residential demesnes or cities.

"There is no need to put these farms to the full test of their productiveness. The twentieth part suffices. We have a population of 50,000,000, increasing at the rate of scarcely one per cent each year, and two-thirds of the Commonwealth is public domain, for the benefit of the countless generations yet unborn. Each year and each day brings their immediate needs, and they are met with plenteous fullness."

Karmas later gave me a fuller idea of the general polity of the Commonwealth.

All men become voters at 25, if they are[92] married, and participate in the choice of officers. All are eligible to office. On the day fixed for the election of public officials the voter calls up the office of the Municipal Custodian and registers his choice in the ballot-receiver, which automatically records, and at the end of the balloting announces the result. If for provincial officers, it is instantaneously transmitted to the capital of the province, and if for Commonwealth officers to the Greater City. In your land this would open the door to fraud, but in Intermere there is neither fraud nor chicane.

There are no armies, no warships, no police, no peace or distress officers, and no courts and no lawyers. Sometimes citizens may differ, as they differ in other lands, as to their respective rights or obligations. In such case they repair to the Municipal Custodian and state the respective sides of their case. The Custodian decides at once, and that ends forever the controversy,[93] unless one or the other appeals to the Chief Citizen of the Province and his Counselors, who consider the original statements submitted to the Custodian and render the final judgment. It is seldom an appeal is taken, and seldom that an original decision is revised.

The educational period continues from birth to 20 years of age, in what may be called a common school, held in the temples, which all enter at the age of ten.

The spheres of the two sexes are clearly marked, and both live within them, that of the female being regarded as the highest and most sacred. The men make the homes and the women care for and beautify them, and receive the homage universally accorded them.

Neither sex looks upon necessary labor as a drudgery or in any manner degrading. They all receive a like education, and the superior mental equipment invariably asserts itself in[94] some appropriate direction.

Almost invariably the children of the household marry in the order of their birth, being absolutely free to choose their mates. There are no marriages for convenience and no second marriages. All are the result of affection and natural affinity.

The last child to marry inherits the homestead at the death of the father. The surviving mother becomes the Preferred Guest of her child during the remainder of her life, and is treated as such. If the father survives, he retains his position as head of the household. The personal estate of a deceased parent is divided equally among the children.

"In short," said Karmas, "We aim to dispose the burdens and distribute the enjoyments of life equally and justly among all.

"Tomorrow we will be accompanied by Alpaz, the Curator of Learning and Progress, who will answer the other questions in your mind."







The environments of life have much to do with its philosophy. This thought impressed itself forcibly on me in Intermere.

The environments of its people contribute much, if not most, to their philosophy, or the faculty of life's enjoyments.

They are pleasantly housed, handsomely habilitated, physically and intellectually employed, sans the driving spur of necessity or greed, with profound and earnest aspirations beyond their present stage of existence. This is not confined to the few, but animates and elevates all.

Learning, in a loftier sense than we understand the term; art, music and all the senses[98] of physical and mental enjoyment, and the promotion of all of them, are pitched in a high and harmonious key.

Personal adornment and physical beauty in both sexes have no tinge of vanity, and awake no envy in others. Intermerean dress and its adjuncts are as closely looked after as their wonderful mechanism and its mysterious soul or motor-spirit, which enables them to travel with celerity and safety by land or air or sea, or that subtler principle by which men and women, separated by distance, talk to each other by thought instead of speech, and would render the clumsy deception of our own diplomats and other hypocrites an impossibility.

The clothing of the Intermereans, wrought from native materials not wholly unlike, except an to quality, those utilized by other peoples, is of a texture and finish beyond the conception of the outer world, and of such colors and combinations of tints as to breathe, as it[99] were, both art and aptitude.

The garments of both sexes more nearly resemble those in Europe and America than any others, and yet they are very unlike in striking points. Speaking of this similitude, I may say that the polity and institutions, and mental and physical characteristics of the people who live under them, more nearly resemble those of America than of any other nation or people.

But at that, how wide and deep and apparently impassable is the gulf that separates them. Ours is but the faint promise; theirs the fulfillment of the completed prophecy.

Did we start on the journey? Have we halted just beyond the first milestone? Will the journey be resumed? Will our remoter generations reach the Ultima Thule? What splendid hope or what illimitable despair and misery depend upon the Sphinx's answer to these questions!


While Intermere is not sown with diamonds and pearls and precious stones and metals, they were to be seen in profusion everywhere, not as matters of garish display, but of artistic taste. I doubt not that the Intermereans, through their successful study of Nature, possess the Philosopher's Stone, capable of combining and transmuting every substance into the riches for which men die and women sacrifice more than life, and nations crush nations, and peoples destroy peoples, gathering the Dead Sea fruits that turn to bitter ashes on their lips.

These people place no more commercial value upon these than they do upon the tints of the rainbow, or the purple haze that hangs like a halo above the mountain tops. To them they are but artistic types of beauty that add to life's true enjoyments.

In mingling socially with the men and women—they do not speak of them as ladies[101] and gentlemen—of Intermere, I was struck with their ease and delicate frankness of entertainment. They were very human indeed in every way. There was no affectation in speech or manner. They were good listeners as well as good talkers, fond of art and the lofty literature in which they were naturally at home; anxious to learn something about the outside world from their visitor, and yet not inquisitive, never asking an embarrassing question.

Their literary and social entertainments, many of which I attended, while altogether new and strange to me, were none the less thoroughly enjoyable. Their social games were unique—to me—and in all respects I was struck with their great superiority, and forcibly impressed with the belief that their lives were indeed worth living.

Their conceptions of art were of the highest and most exalted character. Their tastes were[102] not only refined but sublimated, and I felt abashed at my own inability to follow them rapidly, or fully comprehend them on the moment.

The women were splendid types of physical beauty as well as mental endowment; the men were trained athletes, and the devotees of physical as well as mental culture, and I watched with keen zest their prowess in the athletic games everywhere indulged in. I did not see a physical, mental or moral derelict in the land. All were robust and perfectly formed.

There were no classes. Laborers and officials met on an equal footing. There were no telltale differences in dress to indicate sets, circles, position or titles among the men. The same was true of the women. Mental superiority or maturity was discernible to me and recognized on every hand, not to be envied or decried, but to serve as the guide to other feet.


And all this was easily reconcilable to me. All were coequal laborers. All were coequal sharers of the common benefits of their governmental system, and they all had a common incentive—to ennoble and dignify the race by ennobling and dignifying themselves individually, but contributing alike to the common stock of blessings.

Never before did I fully realize the meaning of the Divine Master when He said: "Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them." Before me and around me was the literal fulfillment of the injunction in the form of the model government for mankind, founded upon the highest attribute of Divinity.

But there was neither cant nor affected solemnity in the never-ending performance of this duty. It had become absolutely and essentially a part of their nature, and was at once the cornerstone and the Temple of their[104] Religion; but their ideas of Religion were widely different from ours. They never expounded, but lived it.

Delightful people accompanied us if we traveled in Aerocars; delightful people met us with Medocars when we came to terra firma, and accompanied us through the bewildering lanes and mazes of beauty by land; and delightful people met us with fairy-like Merocars when we sought to thread the enchanting islands of the strange pulsating, moving sea.

Thus day by day I was carried from province to province, from city to city, from valley to valley and from mountain to mountain; relays of entertainers met us at every stopping-point to take the places of those who had accompanied us thither. Nothing could have seemed more unreal; nothing could have been more exquisitely enjoyable.

Now we wound through gardens smiling with beauty and redolent with balm and fragrance;[105] anon we were in orchards plucking the ripened fruit; then in the harvest fields of the husbandman, and next in shops, factory or store; I wondering at all I saw, and my conductors kindly wondering at me, no doubt, but of that they gave no significance or sign.

Almost literally speaking there is no night in Intermere. With the twilight myriads of lights flash out everywhere along the streets, highways, lanes, and from residences, temples and monuments, more luminous than our electric lamps, diffusing a mellow and pleasing light everywhere. But one sees no wires, as with us, to feed the lamps of many sizes and shades of light, each one of which, so far as we can see and realize, is independent of all others and everything.

Merry parties make moonlight and starlight trips by Aerocar. I enjoyed one of them, and there are no words adequate to the description of what I saw and enjoyed. With the moon[106] and stars above and the millions of lights below, with music, song and laughter ringing through the ethereal depths, I was in a new world, and one beyond ordinary human conceptions, much less description. The Aerocars themselves were studded with countless lights of all the colors and shades, and shone like trailing meteors at every angle of inclination, singly here, grouped there, and in processions beyond.

It may be said in this connection that while the Intermereans eat the flesh of both domestic and wild animals and fowls, resembling in general features our own, and fish, they subsist chiefly on a vegetable diet, especially between the age of infancy and twenty years, and after sixty.

One of the mysteries confronting me was that of cookery. They used no fire, nor any of our ordinary cooking utensils, and yet they served hot meals and drinks, prepared in what[107] may be called, for lack of a better name, chafing dishes and urns, and yet there was no sense of heat or fire, except when in close contact with the utensils.

In a chafing dish they broiled or roasted or baked; in an adjoining urn they brewed a delightful hot drink resembling coffee, while in another near by they made the most delicious ices.

The housewife maintained neither dining-room nor kitchen. Meals were prepared and served wherever most convenient, on veranda or in the house proper. The table was spread in beautiful style with exquisite furnishment, and presided over by the housewife. A woman assistant, or more than one, according to the requirements of the occasion, had charge of a suitable sideboard, where the entire meal was prepared, and from which it was served to the company as desired. There were no odors from the cooking, and nothing to suggest[108] the kitchen or scullery.

This is so unlike our methods that its appropriateness can not be realized short of the actual experience. The culinary utensils are rather ornamental than otherwise, and the preparation of the dishes occupies an incredibly short period of time.

On our various journeys by land and sea and air, I found that a full stock of provisions was carried, along with the culinary paraphernalia, and were served regularly and with as much care and taste as in any residence. Ices and confections were made as readily in mid-air as on land or sea, by some mysterious and never-failing process.

One day as we rested in a charming suburb of the Lesser City, Alpaz, the Curator of Learning and Progress, appeared in a splendidly appointed Aerocar, accompanied by his entire family and attended by a fleet of Aerocars carrying his assistants, provincial officials[109] and men and women, who made up his entourage. It proved to be a most delightful company.

After sailing overhead for hundreds of miles we descended to an island, along the beach of which lay a complement of Merocars, to accommodate the entire party, as well as some of the insular citizens who begged to accompany us.

Then ensued a voyage the memory of which still lingers with me. Such dreamlike beauty I never expect to see this side the gates of eternity. It changed with every moment, and never palled nor paled. Through this maze of land and water and bewildering enchantment we journeyed, listening to conversation and music, till finally touching the mainland, we found the Chief Citizen of the Province, and his attendants and officials, with Medocars, in which the entire party was carried to his capital, which crowned a grand elevation[110] some two hundred miles inland.

Here we were entertained in magnificent simplicity for a day, and here Alpaz discoursed to me on the many matters in which I was interested, and which fell within the sphere of his Curatorship. I cannot recount them all, but shall endeavor to bring out the main points.

"You would learn something of our educational system?" he said, as though I had plied him with a question.

"It is quite simple. It involves no complexities. We follow only the path of nature. From birth to the age of ten the infant is in the exclusive control and tutorship of the mother. She alone is entirely capable of moulding the infantile mind, and setting its feet aright in the pathway of manhood and womanhood.

"In your land, as in others, all too often she delegates this great duty to alien and unfit[111] hands, and reaps the bitter harvest of sorrow in the afternoon of motherhood.

"At the age of ten, when the mother has fitted the mind for stronger impressions, the child enters the broader field of learning. Our temples, which you meet everywhere, are our schoolhouses, our altars of Learning and Knowledge, the cherubim of Wisdom.

"These temples are the abode of Knowledge and Wisdom, handed down in the records of the ages, showing each successive step taken and to what it led. Here they are taught by the older men and women, who having retired from the activities of life, with a competence assured them, matured in thought, filled with knowledge and possessed of wisdom, perform their final labor, a labor of love for the younger generation.

"At the age of fifteen every boy and every girl develops the line of effort to which they incline in the respective spheres of the sexes,[112] and thereafter, to the age of twenty for females and twenty-five for males, they are instructed along these lines by their tutors, in the meantime devoting a part of their time to some useful occupation. The result is men and women in every way fitted to fulfill their destiny.

"No; we have no clergy, no ministers as you term them, to teach either the old or the young in what you name religion. We have no churches. Reverence for the Supreme Principle of the Universe is instilled into every mind, from infancy up, and all our people live these teachings. They do not listen to them one day in seven and neglect to follow all or the majority of them for six.

"We know nothing, except as lamentable facts, of the various so-called religious divisions which convulse the rest of the world—Confucianism, Hindooism, Mohammedanism, Buddhism, Taoism, Shintoism, Judaism, Polytheism[113] and Christianity, and the many warring or antagonistic sects into which they divided and subdivided.

"We know only loving reverence for the Supreme Principle of the Universe, filial love and piety, and justice to all creatures. This is the soul and essence of your religion, Christianity, and the basic principle of all others. We prefer the last analysis to the inchoate mass of contending creeds, that have drenched the earth with blood for time out of mind, and filled it with doubt and misery; and even now, in the twilight of your Nineteenth Century, and in the name of the Child of Nazareth, promulgates Christianization and evangelization at the cannon's mouth and with the sword and torch, of peoples whose only offense is that they believe that their God requires thus and so at their hands as a prerequisite to their entrance into His heavenly kingdom.

"By gentler and educatory teachings, untainted[114] by the corroding canker of selfishness, they might be turned in the right direction and their generations be led into the light, provided that your educational system moved on a loftier plane than theirs; but blood and violence, and all the carnal lusts that follow like jackals in their wake, can only eventuate in driving them into lower depths.

"The spiritual instructors of the outer world, past and present, are and have been, in the main, sincere and earnest, but with a limited idea of the spiritualism they essay to teach. Powerful prelacies have grown up in all the religious divisions, ambitious of temporal power, and untold evils have resulted, not from the system of religion, but from the love of power and authority, non-spiritual in its nature, and as a result the spirit or principle of religion has suffered undeserved obloquy.

"To us the ideal God of your religious people is strangely contradictory and irreconcilable.[115] He is portrayed not as a spiritual being, but as a common mortal in many of the essentials. Their conception of Deity is that He rules as a king in heaven, before whom the redeemed and the saints forever prostrate themselves in adoration or sing praises by voice, and adulate Him with harp and lute and other musical instruments, confessing hourly their unworthiness to come into His presence.

"This is an earthly, barbarous conception of the Supreme Power of the Universe. It was probably of Chinese or Oriental origin in the days of supreme despotism, when every subject must prostrate himself in the dust in the presence of majesty.

"This idea was transmitted to Christendom in the West when royalty proclaimed itself the symbol of Godhood and religion. The subject was taught that the monarch was the direct representative of God, and his court was modeled after the court of the King of kings,[116] where homage and adoration and humiliation were the endless order of all future life.

"We have an entirely different conception of the Supreme Principle, and do not regard it in the light of a ruler or king, in the mortal sense, but the embodiment of justice and love, that neither exacts nor receives adoration of those who pass to the world beyond, the returning children of the great and enduring Principle which exists everywhere, strengthened and broadened by a previous state or states of existence, wherein they were clothed about with mortal and perishable habiliments.

"We look forward to the passage from this world to a better one beyond with joyous expectation, and with no sense of terror or apprehension, and there come us no pangs of dissolution. We have sought diligently to live up to the law of love in this life, and have the fullest assurance that our efforts will meet the approval of the Supreme Principle, whose[117] beneficences invite and permit us to enter the broader fields and more perfect worlds of a higher existence.

"Death, or the exchange of worlds, has neither terrors for those who go, nor the stings of affliction for those who tarry. It is but the inevitable and necessary parting of friends and relatives for a little period, and we know that the shores of reunion lie just beyond the filmy veil of the future.

"The end or change is never hastened nor retarded by the violation of Nature's sacred laws. There are but few partings or deaths in the earlier periods of life. They go with joyful alacrity, as to a feast, at four or five score, and their memory, works and examples cheer and sustain those who remain.

"No; we have no physicians. If, perchance, some law of Nature is violated and mortal ailment ensues, it needs no specialist to discover that fact, or recommend the proper method of[118] rectifying it. That is a part of the education of all. Literally, we neither know nor care to know what physic is. We live simply and in accordance with Nature's laws, and disease, such as prevails in your land and others, is unknown in this, and has been for ages. Science and scientific discovery, as we utilize and employ them, have freed us from disease and made death but the exchange of lives. We know more than we care to tell of the life beyond."

He ceased abruptly after saying:

"Tomorrow you will be the guest of Remo, the Curator of Useful Mechanical Devices. You may learn much from him."







The secret of Intermere—its great mechanical secret—was revealed to me, but, alas! only in part. It was as if the sun be pointed out to a child who is told that it shines and is a prime factor in the growth of all forms of life, animal and vegetable.

The child realizes that the orb of day shines, but remains wholly in the dark as to the processes of its rays; why it inspires animals and vegetation with life and growth, and produces the prismatic colors of the rainbow.

So with me. I know the fountain-head or cause that gave momentum to all the mechanism of the land, shortened the period between germination and maturity in vegetation,[122] banished fire while retaining warmth, turned the night into a season of beauty equaling the full day, kept every street and highway free from debris, prevented foul emanations, with their contaminations, and did countless other things which our own scientists demonstrate are desirable and necessary, but still unattainable. But of the details, of the why and the wherefore, of the effects and the processes by which so many different results emanated from the same apparent cause, I learned nothing.

One morning, after a season of delicious, invigorating slumber, as I walked in the spacious grounds of my host, the Chief Citizen of the Province—grounds sweeter and fairer than the fabled Gardens of Gulistan—I saw a fleet of Aerocars approaching, led by one of the most magnificent, and by far the largest, that I had yet seen. It could not have been less than one hundred feet in length and twenty[123] in breadth at the midway point, and yet it seemed to float as lightly as a feather in the aerial depths.

When almost directly overhead the fleet halted, and remained stationary, as though firmly anchored to some immovable substance, and then the leading craft slowly sank to the earth at my feet, as lightly as you have seen a bird alight.

It was the Aerocar of Remo, containing a score of people. I had not hitherto met Remo, the Curator of Useful Mechanical Devices. However, he needed no introduction to me or I to him. The recognition was mutual.

He came forward and greeted me cordially, and later presented me to his fellow voyagers, and said:

"I know you are anxious to learn something of the motive principle of our mechanisms. That I shall impart to you, at least partially. Our journey will begin to suit your convenience.[124] We will breakfast en route."

I hastened to say my adieux to the Chief Citizen, Alpaz, and the members of the household, and then entered the Aerocar, taking a seat near Remo. At a signal to the pilot, the craft rose as lightly and majestically as it had descended.

I looked about me at the passengers, hampers of provisions, culinary utensils and table equipment, and estimated that the Aerocar was carrying not less than four thousand pounds of dead weight.

"You are wondering how so much bulk and weight ascend without apparent cause."

I assented to the proposition.

"When you are at home and see an inflated balloon ascend, carrying a man weighing one hundred and fifty pounds, with seventy-five pounds of sand ballast, you can understand how it ascends?"



"By mechanical contrivance of immense comparative bulk, aided by chemical product, the power of gravitation is sufficiently overcome or neutralized that a disproportionately small amount of weight is carried into the upper air. We ascend for the same general reason, the resultant of a greater, a different and a fixed principle.

"Our pilot, by means of the mechanical and other power at his command, neutralized the attraction of gravitation, and without the aid of any other appliance arose, carrying a weight of more than four thousand of your pounds avoirdupois. It has ascended in a direct or perpendicular line, despite the breeze, which would otherwise have carried us at a western angle. I will have the pilot produce an equilibrium, stopping all movement."

A signal was given the pilot, and, after a slight manipulation, it stood still.

"Now we will descend, first perpendicularly[126] and then at an angle of forty-five degrees."

One signal and one manipulation, and the Aerocar described the first motion. A second signal and manipulation, and it described the other.

"Now we will ascend, first by the reverse angle and then by the perpendicular."

Again the signals and again the manipulations, and again the exact movements through space.

"If your flying machine and airship builders could do that, what would your people think?"

"That the world had been revolutionized."

"But the world will not be thus revolutionized until science is freed of gross materialism and human aspiration becomes something higher than selfish greed, commercialism, war, conquest, opulence, and the despotisms they engender. You must expel all the gods with whom you most closely commune, before you may commune with the true God or Supreme[127] Principle of the Universe."

In the meantime the Curator's Aerocar had rejoined its consorts, and we floated away to the northeast, where a great semicircle of mountains were dimly outlined, and then descended upon a city looking like a pearl in a semicircular valley, bisected by a broad river, spanned with bridges at short intervals as far as the vision reached.

With my watch I had timed the voyage. It had lasted two hours and thirty minutes.

"How far have we traveled?" I inquired of Remo.

"One thousand of your miles."

"That is four hundred miles to the hour; six and two-thirds miles each minute."

"The speed might easily have been doubled."

My amazement was unbounded, but I did not doubt Remo's statement then. Later, I recognized it as an easy possibility.

Remo detained me until the rest of the company[128] had left the Aerocar, and then said abruptly: "You would learn the secret of the motive principle that moves our mechanical devices and performs other offices which seem to you miraculous. It is this: It is the electric current which we take direct from the atmosphere at will—electricity, which is the life-giving, life-preserving and life-promoting principle, the superior and fountain of all law affecting the material Universe and intervening space. To command that is to command everything.

"This is the capital of my Curatorship. Here all my predecessors have served the Commonwealth; hither all my successors will come. Here every mechanical device is tested, approved or rejected, and from hence their production is directed, as a public right, in every municipal division of the Commonwealth.

"Nearly every monument you have seen, as you have doubtless noticed, is dedicated to[129] some Chosen Son of Wisdom, and some of them date back tens of centuries. Whoever makes a great discovery, such as taking the electric current direct, or dividing its capabilities into useful and necessary directions, or perfects some great mechanism, securing the full beneficence of the current, brings it here and dedicates it to the Commonwealth and its sons and daughters. Its benefits are common to all.

"His reward is that he is elected by universal acclaim as the Chosen Son of Wisdom, a monument commemorative of his achievement is erected at once, and he is installed in a home furnished out of the public revenues, receives a stipend of fifty or five cinque media daily, and is the honored guest on all public and private occasions.

"I shall show you many of our devices; some of them will be self-explanatory, some will, to a degree, be explained, others left to your conjecture,[130] and for obvious reasons."

With this he led me through a large number of what we would look upon as diminutive manufacturing establishments. In the first one visited he exhibited to me two crystalline elongated globes, the size of an egg each, connected by a small tube or cylinder of the same material two or three inches in length.

The globes were filled with a whitish substance, or granulation, the upper intensely white, the lower somewhat shaded. The upper one was fitted with a movable disk, and could be opened by touching a lever. A cluster of rather coarse wires, apparently an amalgam of several metals, rose above the granulated contents. A double coil of wires, of a different material or combination, running in opposite directions, filled the connecting cylinder, while a cluster of almost imperceptibly fine wires, of still a different material or combination, projected from the bottom of the[131] lower globe.

These globes resembled glass, and were, to all appearances, extremely fragile. Remo dashed it upon the hard floor, as though he would destroy it. It rebounded, and he caught it as an urchin would catch a rebounding ball.

"I did this," he said, "to show you that these appliances are not amenable to accident. This is the accumulator or receiver of the current."

He touched the lever and opened a small aperture directly over the cluster of wires in the upper globe.

"Hold your hand below the lower portion," he said.

I complied, and instantly my hand was moved away with such resistless force that I was turned completely around and sent across the room. Remo smiled at my undisguised consternation, and said:

"You will not be harmed. What you experienced was the flow of the electric current,[132] but it has not harmed you. It is physically harmless. You would call this a twenty-horse-power motor in your country, although it looks like a toy. Take it and handle it as I direct. You may handle it with perfect safety. Place it horizontally near that fly-wheel and push the lever."

He pointed to a fly-wheel scarcely a foot in diameter, with seven radiating flanges set slightly at an angle. I did, and opened the aperture. In less time than it takes to tell it the wheel was revolving at a rate of speed so high that it seemed like a solid motionless and polished mirror.

"Close the aperture, go to the side in which direction it is revolving, and again open it to the current."

I did so, and instantly the wheel was motionless.

He pointed to a huge block of granite, which rested on a metal framework a dozen inches above the floor, and said: "Banish all nervousness,[133] invert the accumulator, and hold it under the center of the block, which weighs five of your tons."

I did so, and it slowly rose toward the ceiling.

"Close the aperture slowly, and finally close it entirely."

This I did, and it settled back to its original place.

"There," said Remo, "you have the direct current and its direct application to machinery and inert bodies. You know enough about mechanics to understand what that means. The ascent and flight and movements and descent of the Aerocar; the running of the Medocar and the sailing of the Merocar, are not such a profound mystery to you as they were yesterday."

He conducted me into another factory and exhibited a number of accumulators, each filled with apparently the same granulated[134] substance, but of different colors and admixture of colors. Remo opened the apertures of a long line of them upon a wire rack, and they flashed into brilliant lamps of every hue and color and shade—a light that was as steady as that of the stars. He closed them one by one, showing the absolute independence of each.

"Our lamps, with which we beautify the night, are no longer a mystery to you—that is, not an absolute mystery."

In another factory he exhibited more accumulators with varicolored materials in the globes. He opened one and directed its power toward an ingot of metal. It melted like wax. Turning its force upon a fragment of rock, it was transformed into the ordinary dust of our roadways. With another he turned a vessel of water into a solid block of ice.

"Our topographical construction, our culinary economy and the absence of fire are now[135] plainer than they were."

"But how do you achieve all these different results with apparently the same means?"

"The first device shown you is the primary; the others are subsequent discoveries. By the primary medium we were able to produce or secure the electric current in the form of dynamic power, eminently tractable and harmless with ordinary prudence. New combinations of the medium gave us all the other results, at intervals, subsequent to the original discovery. And the field is not exhausted."

Remo explained that the crystalline substance in the upper globe of the accumulator induced or gathered the electric current, giving it controllable direction as well as defined volume, while that in the lower determined its significance or divisional use.

In the minuter accumulators, for the lamps only, did the current present itself in the form of light, spark or flame. All the colors, from[136] pure white to deep purple, with their prismatic variations, were the direct result of their differing chemical combinations in the lower globe, each of the silk-like wires throwing off countless rays of unvarying intensity and steadiness, but gave off no electric phenomena or effects.

The heat accumulators gave moderate or intense heat, according to the chemical combinations through which the primary current passed, but there was neither glow nor light-flash. So, too, the cold accumulators gave off varying degrees of cold, for the same reason.

In none of them was there either the electric shock or its effects, and all were tractable and free from danger in what we may term the electrical sense. The dynamic force of the primary and the intense heat or cold of the divisional currents, common prudence avoids. Still it would be easily possible, by chemical combination, to produce a current destructive[137] of life and capable of annihilating nations, without hope or possibility of escape.

"Your own scientists know," said Remo, "that with the direct current all that you have seen, and infinitely more, is but the result of a simple process, capable of infinite multiplication."

"But what are the constituents of the medium in the accumulator, and what are the formulas of the various combinations?"

"If you knew that you would know as much as we."

This was the nearest a jest I had heard in Intermere, but I knew from the character of Remo's speech that the rest of the secret would remain hidden from me.

As we sat at his table later he said:

"You have been nearer to our secret than any one else in the outer world, and we shall see whether the seeds will grow into the tree[138] of Knowledge and produce the fruits of Wisdom. Neither your people nor any other people could be trusted with this secret in their present moral condition. A few learned men dependent upon the rulers in one nation, knowing it, could and would plot the destruction and exploitation of all others. The sacrifice of human life and the accumulation of human woe and misery would be appalling.

"If your leaders, with the suddenly awakened hunger for conquest and dominion, could literally command the thunderbolts and control the elements as against the rest of the world, they would sack Christendom in the name of Liberty, Humanity and the Babe of Bethlehem, but in the spirit of Mammon, Greed and selfish love of power and riches.

"You will make some progress in discoveries along scientific and mechanical lines, but no real good to the race can result until these discoveries are turned to a nobler purpose[139] than that of seizing commercial supremacy, subjugating alien and unwilling peoples, slaughtering those who resist, exploiting those who lay down their arms, gathering wealth regardless of justice and the rights of mankind and building up an artificial race in the form of a ruling class, who base their right to exclusive privileges on wealth and the perversion of every principle of justice and the Christianity they profess.

"You have been wondering why, with our great knowledge and achievements, we do not go forth and dominate the world. What would it profit us? Could we find anything that would contribute to our enjoyments, our hopes, our aspirations? No.

"Even we are not proof against the paralyzing touch of deterioration. We pay more heed to the world's history than do the nations and peoples who made that history, during the centuries. History is but the lighthouse which[140] warns against the reefs and rocks where countless argosies have been lost. The mariners who sail the ships of state dash recklessly upon the rocks of destruction, despite the friendly warnings of the dead and engulfed who have gone before."

Turning to lighter themes, Remo spoke of the various economies of the Commonwealth, and explained how the obstacles which confront our civilization are overcome. Garbage and all debris, for instance, are disposed of by instantaneous reduction to original conditions, and then a recombination and distribution upon the grounds, farms and gardens. The sewage question, the standing menace of all dense and even sparse populations, is solved by the same process of purification and recombination. This work is constantly performed under the eye of the municipal authorities, and under fixed rules and service. Thus the absolute cleanliness which prevailed everywhere[141] was readily explained.

In answer to my query why Intermere had so long escaped discovery from navigators, he said, interrogatively:

"Would it not be possible, with our superior knowledge and wisdom, to put their reckoning at fault whenever they came within a fixed sphere of proximity?"

To my question as to the equability of the seasons, the absence of storms, and the regularity of the descent of moisture in the form of gentle rains, he said:

"Do not imagine that our scientific knowledge stops with the mere discovery of the direct electric current or our mechanical devices."

Nothing further could I elicit from him or any other Intermerean on these or kindred subjects. The Book of Knowledge had been opened and apparently closed.

After two days' stay in Remo's capital the[142] Aerocars took up a goodly entourage, and we moved softly and swiftly to the Greater City.

There Xamas and all his officials awaited us, along with every Intermerean of both sexes I had met in my journeys, as well as every Municipal Custodian of the realm, and in addition the Chief Citizens of the fourteen Provinces I had not visited.

A reception fete was given me in the chief temple of the city, hoary with age and instinct with wisdom. There were songs and music by the young and happy, and apropos discourses by the older. I essayed the role of orator, thanked my entertainers for their many courtesies and the happy hours they had conferred upon a wanderer in a strange land. The afternoon and evening were a season of unalloyed happiness.

As I dropped into slumber in the house of Xamas I soliloquized: "This kindness and these honors seem significant. Perhaps the[143] Intermereans intend to adopt me into all their knowledge and wisdom. Perhaps"——

I felt that I was tossing on the swell of the ocean. Then there was a sensation of physical pain, as if from long exposure to the elements.

So keen was this sensation that I awoke fully, started up and looked around me. It was a grayish dawn, purpling in lines near the horizon. Towering above me I saw the outlines of a great ship, lying at anchor and lazily nodding as the swells swept into the harbor.

I found myself in one of the individual Merocars, intended for a single passenger, but the compartments containing the accumulatory motors had been removed and the marks of removal deftly concealed.

It was one of the most finished Merocars of its class with the exception of the motor, constructed entirely of prepared wood, resembling a piece of wicker work, but impervious to the[144] sea, and floated like a cork or a feather.

I was trying to determine where I was and how I came to be in my present situation. Then came to me this in the Language of Silence:

"You have been safely delivered to those who will restore you to your land and home. Discretion is always commendable."

I knew whence this thought came, and soon the increasing light showed me that I was in the harbor of Singapore, lashed with a silken cord to the forechains of an East Indian merchantman.

To my infinite regret I found that I was clad in the same clothes I wore when the Mistletoe went to the bottom. The same trinkets and a few coins and the other accessories were still in the pockets.

But the handsome and natty garments of Intermere were gone. I was back in the world just as I left it, how long ago I could not tell,[145] for the memories of Intermere seemed to cover a decade at least, and I estimated that those who lived to one hundred enjoyed a thousand years of life.

The lookout on the ship finally discovered me, and shortly after I and my curious boat were lifted to the deck and became the center of a gaping crowd.

As I could not account for myself reasonably, I became merely evasive and did not account for myself at all, and left the crew and passengers equally divided as to whether I was a lunatic of a cunning knave.

Among those on board was one whose presence suggested Intermere. I listened and observed, and learned that he was the Secretary of a native Rajah on board the ship. He inspected me with curious disappointment. The Merocar he seemed to worship both with eyes and soul.

"Sell it to him, for you need money."


That was Maros; I could not be mistaken.

The Secretary motioned me to a distant part of the deck and said abruptly:

"I will give you five thousand rupees for the—for the"——


He started as though shocked by a bolt of lightning.

"I dare not talk—I cannot remember—but I dare not talk. Will you sell it me for five thousand rupees, Sahib? It is all I have, but I will give it freely."

"It is yours."

He went below and soon returned with the amount in bills of exchange upon the bank at Hong Kong.

He carried his purchase to his stateroom, amid the laughter of passengers and sailors, who did not conceal their merriment that any man would pay such a price for a wicker basket, and my cunning and hypnotic knavery were thoroughly established.


I remained a few days in Singapore, converting my bills partly into cash and partly into exchange on London and New York.

Sailing later to Hong Kong, I there fell in with an American military officer whom I knew, and who gave me the full particulars of Albert Marshall's death. With him I made arrangements for the shipment of my cousin's remains to his old home, via San Francisco.

Two days later I sailed for London, and within six weeks reached New York, and the home of my childhood. I shall not describe the meeting with my mother, nor speak of what was said in relation to the strange and brief communications which passed between us months before.





Glenford, 1901.