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Classics fantasy — 14

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Underwater expedition

— It is a thought!

Having put the book aside, Mr. Solly once again repeated:

— Yes. It is a thought! — also was lost in thought.

Mr. Solly is a successful New York manufacturer and the stockbroker who profited on military deliveries to time of world war.

War — a fine thing for such people. The above mountains of corpses on fields of battles grew, the current account of Mr. Solly was rounded more. By the end of war Mr. Solly «cost» several billion dollars.

But when it reached top of financial power, the bad story happened to it. The magnificent lunches which are plentifully irrigated by thin wines caused a disease of brain vessels. And he got sick from brain blow when he least of all expected it. The right hand and a leg were taken away from it. The blow was easy, and at careful medical care in several months of the patient recovered. Paralysis, appear, passed. But the doctor strictly forbade Mr. Solly to come back to commercial activity.

— There is enough, worked — the doctor told. — If you want to keep health, you have to change a way of life absolutely. Travel, be engaged in a collecting, charity — in a word, than you want if only to fill up your time and to have a good time, but avoid intellectual and nervous tension. Otherwise I am not responsible for your life.

After such ultimatum before Mr. Solly there was a hard question: what to fill life with and how to use the infinite riches?

It was lonely. It complicated situation even more. He has nobody was to care, except as for himself.

To go to Africa and to hunt lions how it was made by Roosevelt?

Too strong feelings of such sport did not attract Solly.


One thought of it caused a fastidiousness grimace on his fat red face. It is too beaten, went. To write the check for one hundred thousands of dollars in favor of university then to admire the portrait in the newspaper? Empty and boring occupation.

Mr. Solly tried to be engaged in a collecting. Began to buy up pictures of old Italian masters. But all these Leonardo da Vinci and Rafaeli, obviously, did not consider the American demand. The majority of unik [6] was bought already up. Having cut a poor figure with purchase of the «original» Korredzhio who appeared by a dexterous fake, Solly revolted to painting.

Then collections of the Australian boomerangs, the Chinese hand bells followed… The collection made of three hundred fifty species of the live fleas who are brought together from all countries of the world forced to tell about itself some time. But all this was not that… It was necessary to find something outstanding that, perhaps, would immortalize his name.

Having tasted from fruits of wealth and the power, Mr. Solly secretly dreamed also of glory. But how to buy it? It was absolutely not so simply, as with exchange actions.

And here, when he already lost hope to find its worthy purpose of life, the simple case came to the rescue.

The personal secretary of Mr. Solly incidentally left on a desk the motley book with gray and blue strips of a cover. It was the small volume in French: «Roger Devin. The disappeared continent. Atlantis, sixth part of the world».

The millionaire, missing, checked this book, but several lines stopped its attention.

«It is necessary to create — the author wrote — an expedition from the ships of all nations for a research of the Atlantic Ocean to find the sacred earth in which the general ancestors of the most ancient nations of Europe, Africa and America sleep».

«An underwater expedition for search of Atlantis… It is the idea!»

Having begun to smoke a cigar, Mr. Solly plunged into ambitious dreams. It, Mr. Henry Solly, opens this disappeared continent. He will be new Columbus. He will set up a star American banner on this disappeared continent. And collections from an ocean floor! There, likely, will be no fakes. All unik of immeasurable value. «Not bad room for the capital — the thought which got used to everything to approach with commercial calculation flashed. — And glory, glory…»

Yes, it is resolute, over it it is necessary to think. It is necessary to study a question. Mr. Solly examined the enclosed bibliography at the end of the book: «One collection of books contains more than 50 000 volumes in Smitsoniansky institute…»

«Well, it too! — Mr. Solly frowned, having imagined these heaps of books. — However, for what there are scientists? We will charge to them to make necessary selections. For now we get acquainted with Devinem».

Having forgotten even about a high security of the doctor, Mr. Solly sat up after midnight, shipped in reading the book.

The personal secretary Mr. Carter who came to other morning saw the boss extraordinary brisk and was stunned with his words.

— Case! We go to an underwater expedition to search for Atlantis…

The case widely opened eyes, on the small volume left yesterday Devinya was lop-sided then and understood everything.

«Would catch the fleas better» — Carter thought. This expedition did not smile to it at all. He was affianced only recently.

But with usual courtesy he said:

— At your service, sir.

Atlantis and Mary

Work began to boil. Mr. Solly was unrecognizable. Apathy and slackness disappeared completely. All day long he conferred with scientists, engineers, seamen. Solly entered all trifles and showed the remarkable practical and organizing abilities.

Engineers developed types of the underwater ships. Jules Verne’s imagination about discovery of Atlantis was realized by «Nautilus» of the captain Nemo. Solly rejected the project of construction of one big underwater ship.

— It can be necessary for us only at the end when Atlantis is found. And then, big submarines [7] of a dorogonka even for my pocket. We need police dogs, a flotilla of small vessels which will ransack under waves of the ocean and to make preliminary researches.

Stopped on type of the small submarine and began to develop its design.

On submarines it was supposed to arrange windows from thick glass and strong searchlights for observation from within the vessel. In day of the case there had to be openings through which special probes for a research of soils could fall by an ocean floor. At last, special hatches could throw out and take away back divers. With the surface world it was supposed to keep in a continuous communication through radio. Decided to construct five such submarines. The estimate all grew, but it did not confuse Solly. According to its plan, vessels needed to be constructed in two years; expenses could be covered by one percent from its capital. The first boat had to be ready in half a year. If to it has the luck, the others can and be not built.

Despite all this vigorous collecting, business could be upset and only because in destiny of discovery of Atlantis it was the blond Mary involved destiny, Carter’s brides. The secretary of the millionaire was also keen on it as Solly Atlantis. In her face Atlantis got the strong competitor.

Carter watched at Solly’s invention as on one of his whims which can pass as quickly as there took place his other hobbies. But this whim could tear off for a long time it from Ms. Mary Rivs.

And it led a secret intrigue to destroy this invention.

He assured the doctor that Solly’s hobby for Atlantis is harmful to his health. It deliberately complicated work to delay departure. He searched for professors who did not believe in existence of Atlantis, and asked them to persuade the old man Solly to refuse his invention. He created the whole campaign in the press. Most of scientists mocked at Solly’s fantazerstvo. Newspapers placed caricatures. But Solly was unshakable.

On Carter’s misfortune, Solly found in a face of professor Larison of the fanatical supporter of an expedition.

The old man Larison, with a spherical, hairless skull and narrow, cheerful eyes, moved to Solly and directly hypnotized him the excited speeches about Atlantis, its infinite riches buried at an ocean floor.

Having lost any hope to ruin an expedition, Carter declared to Solly in one morning the leaving.

— How, you abandon me such minute? — Solly disappointedly asked. — But what reason?

All this was told with such sincere chagrin that Carter after some fluctuation decided to tell the truth.

— I assume to marry soon and I do not find possible in such time to go to an expedition which will take, maybe, several years.

Solly hung the head. Then he suddenly jumped from a chair and, having waved both hand, cried:

— So behind what business became! Marry rather and take it with yourself!

«With itself … — it was the new thought which did not come to Carter to mind yet. — And whether Mary will agree?»

Unexpectedly for it Mary agreed to participate in an expedition and even expressed the most live interest.

Mary stopped being dangerous to Atlantis.

In search of Atlantis

There passed three more years. Years of disappointments and the disappointed hopes. Four years of a submarine abysses of the Atlantic Ocean between northwest coast of Africa and east coast of North and South America plowed. Many interesting geological and paleontologic finds were made, but traces of Atlantis were not. The whole groups of divers probed a seabed on hundreds of meters deep into, but everywhere found only a volcanic tufa crystallized under pressure of water, granite and clay slate.

Participants of an expedition were obviously tired. At Mary Carter interest in Atlantis considerably cooled down.

Her husband damned Atlantis, Larison and Solly. But the good salary held it in an expedition. Solly from time to time fell into doubt. Expenses grew, it had to touch fixed capital long ago, and it, Solly, «cost» already much less, than prior to an expedition.

The underwater expedition of Solly excited enormous interest in the beginning. For a while Atlantis became the most fashionable subject. About it uncountable lectures were given, scientific disputes were conducted. The riches buried at an ocean floor seemed to some. Even the question of foundation of joint-stock company for maintaining together with Solly of works was brought up. But simple calculation forced to wait for results of an expedition of Solly. And these results were deplorable so far. Newspapers and magazines wrote about an expedition more and more cold, then passed to a vyshuchivaniye, calculated, how much for «the myth about Atlantis», and at last became silent absolutely. It for Solly was worst of all. In completion of troubles he lost a part of the fortune, concluded in oil stocks.

The further «instillation of money to the ocean» as wrote in newspapers, threatened it with ruin.

Solly became silent and irritable.

One Larison did not despond.

— All our failures prove nothing. Just we made a mistake in researches. But it is easy to correct this error. The matter is that still we picked only tops of the volcanic mountains of Atlantis. Remember that else Platon mentioned these high mountains. The cities lay at their sole. Therefore, to look for them, it is necessary to fall to valleys at least by three thousand meters of depth lying at an ocean floor and to do several deep slanting trenches in the soil. And we will find Atlantis. She waited for you tens of thousands of years, and really now when you is so close from it and from glory — yes, from glory — you will throw everything?

Cunning Larison found a weak string of Solly long ago. Glory!

— How many it costs? That is how many it will cost still? — he asked.

Began to count. Works at an ocean floor cost madly much. But persistence and a habit forced to risk Solly to make up the mind to this step.

For the last researches chose the area on 12° northern latitude and 40° the western longitude. On a bottom enormous air bells as at a depth of three thousand meters pressure of water was too big for work of divers were lowered. The drills set in motion by electricity from the ships standing on the surface of the ocean drilled and split up the earth which via hermetic hatches was thrown out of a bell. Several times water got under a bell. Six workers already paid with life. It was harder and harder to find hunters on the place of left, work was more and more expensively paid. Three months there was this persistent work. Heroic efforts of an expedition drew to it attention of «the elevated world» again. Tireless Larison vigorously directed works at an ocean floor. Solly spent the most part of time on the floating dock arranged about the place of works — in the open air. Stay in submarines for it was heavy. But sea air very much strengthened his health. Physically he felt perfectly. But this treatment ran to it into money. In one morning, having sat over accounts and having struck balance, he saw that it will have enough means to continue work only for two months. And further — the end. It is ruined and in addition is dishonored as the old visionary and the dreamer.

In the evening when Larison, tired, but vigorous and noisy, as always, rose to him from an ocean floor, Solly told sad news.

Larison for the first time felt confused.

He never thought that this gold bag can run low. But Larison was too absorbed by the works to give way to despair.

— It cannot be!

— That is how cannot be? Here look at a result.

— There cannot be it, I that work stopped on the most interesting place say. We reached a soft tufa. It is easier to work. And only today I found something devilishly reminding a piece of a tile from a roof. Money? They should be got!

— But how?

Larison shrugged shoulders and left to himself. He long wrote to this evening, made some orders and next morning, having hastily had breakfast, dived «to himself» on an ocean floor.

Unexpected help

Two fatal months were on an outcome. Solly was engaged in the fact that he counted that will remain to him on modest life when he throws «a silly invention» with Atlantis and liquidates it. The called managing director did it the report. After elimination of sheep ranches in Texas there were some remains in several thousand dollars.

Solly in thoughtfulness started up smoke streams, drawing a picture of the future. He will go to a lonely manor in the southern states and will attain the age all alone. From the African coast pulled hot breath of the heated deserts.

Suddenly in the north a number of the ships seemed. When they approached, Solly uvidat the fluttering pennants.

— It that else for a flotilla?

He did not know that it was unexpected international aid. Larison did not doze. He wrote the hot appeal to newspapers of the different countries with an appeal to all cultural mankind to help an expedition «for the sake of science». His hotly written appeal made an impression. The auxiliary fleet which ships approached a floating beacon now was created. Solly did not read newspapers for a long time: «Anything, except troubles». And therefore did not know about Larison’s appeal.

The help arrived on time, and work began to boil with the doubled speed. Indisputable traces of Atlantis — a stone laying from the black, white and red stones which well remained in a waterproof layer were soon found. Opening made an extraordinary splash around the world. Almost all states as if wishing to make up for lost, took part in excavation.

Work went slowly, but now it there was already not a blind work of a mole.

Every month brought more and more joyful news. Solly who recovered and again became cheerful floated on a submarine along the place of works and in a window of a window looked as from the blue of the ocean lit with a searchlight were shown a half-ruined number of columns through which fishes floated, softly moving with fins, house walls, the lop-sided temple portico…

On the fifth year of an expedition ruins of the temple of Poseidon, and were found in them — the enormous library consisting of the bronze polished plates on which inscriptions were etched. Inscriptions perfectly remained. One Russian linguist managed to decipher them. Gradually Atlantis revealed all the secrets: temples, pyramids, statues, at home, bronze weapon, utensils and uncountable number of «bronze books» of Atlases.

Upon termination of excavation the international conference from representatives of diplomacy and a scientific world for permission of a question of destiny of the most valuable archaeological collections taken from an ocean floor was convened.

It was decided not to split up the «central kernel» of archaeological material giving full, almost exhaustive idea of Atlantis, its civilization and life. But between Europe and America the hot discussion was started: to whom to own this kernel?

Eventually the dispute was resolved in favor of America, but in the form of a concession to Europe the International museum of Atlantis was created there.

It was the grandiose building built in style of Atlases and consisting of three hundred sixty enormous halls filled with statues, utensils, cult objects, etc. This main building was adjoined by some other: The international institute on studying of Atlantis and the library including already more than two hundred thousand volumes of books across Atlantis.

The first speech at a ceremonial opening of this museum and the in-statute was provided to professor Larison. It proceeded more than six hours and was listened with fascinating interest. Mr. Solly was also not forgotten on this celebration, and its vanity was satisfied. Eventually, his boredom and spare cash helped to discover Atlantis.

There were enough duplicates of archeological finds to create the richest museums in Europe. Among them the fullest and rich were museums of Moscow, Paris and London.

On it we will also finish short history of discovery of Atlantis. Further there is already a history of Atlantis. This story was written by the unruly old man Larison. Such enthusiast as Larison, could not write the dry scientific treatise. He wrote rather a novel, than history. But the novel in which each situation is based on scientific data. Unfortunately, Larison unexpectedly died, and the manuscript about which many of his friends knew was considered as lost. Only recently it was found among stuff on an attic of his lonely house.

The manuscript is annotated Larisona which we kept. This manuscript.


I write for myself. I spent for studying of Atlantis for many years. I too got used to it. I wandered among ruins of Atlantis at an ocean floor. There before me pictures of its former greatness and the awful end rushed. According to many documents found at an ocean floor and on the Earth’s surface in various countries I got acquainted with destiny of its inhabitants and even individuals. And I showed the insuperable need to write down all this. I do not assume to print this manuscript.

My story about Atlantis is too scientific for the novel and is too romantic for science.

But I cannot but write it because these visions pursue me as hallucinations.

Perhaps, having described them, I with big tranquility will continue the scientific works.

Professor Larison

I. Atlantis

The sun was inclined to the West. Evening coastal wind informed of aromas of the blossoming orange trees, magnolias and fragrant mountain herbs the ship.

Passengers came to the main deck of the five-floor ship and admired a majestic picture.

Before them coast of great Atlantis dozed in beams of the hot sun.

At the coast the well-known Poseydonsky beacon [8] — one of world miracles towered. It had the form of a cone which truncated top, appear, rested against the heavenly arch. The beacon was difficult from the enormous stone cubes of red, black and white color located a beautiful pattern. Around a beacon a spiral the wide road on which freely passed a row six chariots curled.

Day and night on the screw road vehicles lasted. One of them delivered resinous trees to beacon top, others took away back ashes and coals. On top of a beacon there was a round platform on which the whole town freely could be placed. There were huge reserves of firewood, holes for ashes and coals, lattices for fires and the whole system of polished concave bronze mirrors. The resinous tree mixed with sulfur and oil gave a bright flame which even the storm could not extinguish. On a case of heavy rain the bronze canopy was established. Bronze mirrors as strong condensers, collected light and threw beams into the ocean on many tens of miles.

The beacon stood at the harbor, surrounded with gardens among which houses of a cubic form from stones of black, red and white color were scattered. Further the soil gradually towered, passing into a mountain chain.

On mountain slopes as the melted gold, Poseydonis’s buildings — the capitals of the world and Atlantis sparkled under the sun the bronze facing. Even higher as a sentry patrol, the semicircle of huge mountains with snow tops rose.

And along all mountain chain one of the most wonderful works of art of Atlases, creation of the great sculptor of Atlantis — Adishirny-Guancha was stretched: god of the Sun represented in the form of the young man reclining on the left side. In the right hand given along a hip it held a horn from which the enormous falls were overthrown. Having leaned on an elbow, he stretched the opened palm of the left hand and with a smile considered the temples located on it, with the great temple of Poseydonis in the middle, enormous pyramids and obelisks. All figure of god was cut from a mountain chain. Two and a half days of traveling were required to pass from the inclined statue elbow until the end of a leg. Tens of thousands of slaves worked on it.

This statue from the sea, at distance of several hours of a way from the coast, made extraordinary, incomparable impression. Enormous temples and pyramids on a palm of a statue seemed fine small toys.

Snow tops bordered a statue of god of the Sun as the white cloud rolling in blue of the tropical sky.

Passengers with mute awe looked at this majestic panorama.

— Yes, god of Atlantis is great — thoughtfully told one of them.

He sat on a gold throne, under a striped canopy, in the silk purple clothes embroidered with bright patterns. Red rubies sparkled on his clothes as coals, in beams setting the sun. His black long beard on cheeks was twisted in small rings, and was braided in plaits below. On the head the cone-shaped tiara was covered with gemstones.

It was far Ashur’s lord, one of the tsars subject to Atlantis.

It arrived with usual gifts for an annual holiday of the Sun.

The ship entered a bay. Sailors lowered enormous purple sails on which multi-colored silks embroidered winged bulls. And sails fell along the masts constructed in the form of «L» as on the put rain umbrella. One row behind another oarsmen lowered the heavy oars upholstered with thin sheets of bronze. Only in the lowermost tier of an oar struck water under rhythmic sounds of a flute.

At last also the small nasal triangular sail was lowered. It trembled on wind as wings of a butterfly, and stood.

The ship was included into the wide canal which coast were held down by a white stone.

The channel passed through three harbors lying one by one. At approach of the ship to the first harbor loud sounds of enormous bronze pipes of sea guards were heard.

Six customs barques, flat, with the pointed and raised capes and short masts in the form of «L», swam up and stopped a semicircle about the arrived ship. On barques there were soldiers with long peaks, short swords and in helmets from the polished bronze.

The chief of sea guards entered on the deck of the ship.

He gave a hand as a sign of respect — free Atlases did not fall on knees even before tsars — and asked to continue a way. Oars again gradually fell to water.

But here the channel unexpectedly broke, and the ship entered the Big Harbour of Poseydonis lit with the setting sun. Wind frayed flags on tops of the whole wood of masts. Shout of human voices, sounds of songs, a scratch of collars, a clang of bronze chains merged in monotonous noise.

The ship proceeded further to the big canal, of nine kilometers. On coast of the channel the houses, temples, warehouses, the richest fields of a maize and wheat irrigated by network of small channels stretched. Among greens of gardens low white cubofigurative houses from the white, red and black stone put by a simple, but beautiful pattern were scattered.

To the right, in the last beams setting the sun the building of the Sea Exchange with the high obelisks speckled by inscriptions towered. Before it the crowd, different races, motley rustled and worried: skandinavets, even here not leaving the fur clothes with the artful swords hidden under them; Asians in the red caps and long clothes painted with gold; Nubians are sellers of ivory — in conic tiaras, ringing the amulets; yellow-faced sellers of horses and profiteers…

At last the ship stopped in the third, internal, sea pool on which surface slid as bystry water bugs, small boats, felyug, gondolas.

Travelers descended from the ship and settled down in the black gondolas decorated with a disk of the sun.

Gondolas quickly floated along the direct channel which was crossed by three concentric channels. In these channels chained in red bronze Sacred Holm of the city of Poseydonis towered.

Without twilight the southern night fell to the ground. From a distance, from the Sea Exchange, the sounds of songs muffled by distance, noise of crowd reached…

On the hill enormous bronze columns — «lamps» from which top bright rays of light fell rose.

Against the background of the sky the woods at edge of the snow mountain tops protecting Atlantis from northern giperboreysky winds blackened…

Between the first and second ring channels enormous buildings of barracks were located. In them the soldiers tested in the fidelity who were taken mainly among blond long-haired Gauls and swarty berbers were located.

Guests descended from gondolas and began to rise by the Sacred Hill on foot. At its top the pyramids surrounding temples with Poseidon’s temple in the middle already clearly were seen. Temples were surrounded by a magnificent necklace of palaces, monasteries, chapels, hanging gardens, astronomical towers and scientific laboratories of priests.

On both sides of the road draconian trees with their sharp leaves and roots which juice is similar to blood grew. Among palm trees fountains streamed.

There ascended the moon, and light it brightly lit the city. Aroma of flowers filled air. From time sharp sounds of pipes reached time from barracks.

Nobody met on the way, except the guarding soldiers who were motionless as statues. Chained in brilliant armor, they shone by moonlight as bronze monoliths. It were «the Neptune’s cavalrymen» — sons of priests and tsars. Only the notable origin brought them honor to guard in these forbidden places.

At height of the hill the refreshing breath of the ocean was stronger felt…

Poseidon’s temple was erected on the truncated pyramid covered with bronze. It had stages [9] in length and all was covered with silver, gold and bronze. In the temple of a statue and a column were decorated with ivory. On top of the temple the huge statue of god standing on the chariot harnessed by winged horses towered. Around a statue ranks of astronomical columns, bronze nereids and gold statues of the tsars and queens who occurred from ten sons of Poseidon rose.

All these architectural constructions revetted with the sparkling bronze made an impression of a little barbarous, but striking magnificence.

Near the temple two sources followed from the rock: one with cold, another with hot water. Sources joined pools over which baths were erected: one summer and another, covered — for the period of winter rains.

The conductor led guests to one of the palaces standing near Poseidon’s temple in a laurel grove. The blossoming wistarias twisted columns.

The moon lit bronze facing of a door on which the face of god of the Sun in the form of the human head with the scattered flaring hair was represented.

On knock of the conductor the door opened.

— Three times the great tsar of Atlantis provided this palace in your order — told the conductor to Ashur’s tsar, giving a hand.

The honourable guards of Atlases shook by copies and struck with them in boards as a sign of a salute, and guests entered the palace.

II. Mudflow

— What stuffy night! This bronze facing in a day is so heated that even at night to breathe there is nothing. It is necessary to tell our architect Kuntinashar that he built to me the palace from a porous stone, as at Shishena-Itts. Open a veil, Tsa!

The old woman, the nurse of the tsarevna Sel, called Gu-Shir-Tsa. But Sel since the childhood called her briefly: Ца.

The old woman drew aside the lilac veil embroidered by silver lilies. In the opened frame between columns the strip of a surface of the ocean which is poured lunar silvery light sparkled. Fresh wind rushed into the room and the Mudflow kolykhnut the wide ends of a belt.

Mudflow stood at the little table from ivory forced by boxes from a jasper, crystal and gold bottles of the extended form, tiny cups from onyx and a cornelian for whitewash and blush and small figurines.

She held a mirror from the polished bronze in the given hand. The linen piece of matter with the weaved dragons and flowers, tightly strapped at hips, covered her body to a belt. Over a cloth the dark blue wide belt tied by knot at a stomach was tied. The ends of a belt went down below knees. The breast, a neck and hands were naked. Hands are higher than an elbow were intercepted by bracelets in the form of the twisted snakes. Small scales cast them greenish gold. On their raised heads emerald eyes sparkled.

Mudflow admired herself in a mirror, doing up let black hair down.

On the one hand the girl was lit with red fire of the high bronze lamp, with another — the blue beam of the moon falling through high columns.

The bronze mirror gilded her swarty skin color a little, and together with double lighting her face reflected in a mirror got extraordinary difficult coloring.

— Ца, do me hair. Arrived guests for a holiday much?

And the Mudflow settled on the low couch covered with a skin of a leopard.

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