Classics of a fantasy

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Chapter 1


Zander sharply removed the drawing, got up because of a table, walked on

to office. Took out a violin from a case and played. Long, slender fingers

easily and vozdushno danced on a signature stamp. But a melody which took

the violinist from the tool, was not cheerful at all.

“The chief is excited with something! — Vinkler thought, listening from next

rooms to improvisation. — From! How many bitterness! As the violin complains!.”

The complaint turned into indignation, in a violent protest. Sounds accrued,

got stronger and suddenly broke not resolved chord.

“Resolutely, to Zander there was something unusual!” — again thought

Vinkler, drawing a drawing pen a curve.

From an office the fast paces of Zander muffled by a carpet were heard.

— Vinkler, fall here!

Zander sat already at a desk when Vinkler entered.

— You sit down.

Vinkler took seat against Zander. Minute they silently looked the friend on

the friend, as if tried to read something new in the familiar for a long time person.

On the left cheek of Zander the slight scar — an old trace was designated

student’s rapier; a face of the engineer Zander, a face of the artist with big,

pensive eyes, it was more pale than usual.

— Vinkler, how many years we work together?

— Twelve years, mister Zander.

— Yes, twelve. Term is considerable… You were the good assistant,

Vinkler, my right hand, my friend…

— I did not die yet, mister Zander…

Zander frowned:

— We have to leave.

Vinkler hasty lowered a hand in a pocket, took out a tube, filled it

tobacco, lit.

— It why., so unexpectedly?

— I leave. For a long time I leave the homeland, perhaps forever.

— “Mohicans”? — shortly Vinkler asked.

— Yes, they… You believe that I am threatened by an imprisonment, Vinkler? Worse.

Much worse. They came not with a sword, and with gifts.

— “Be afraid of Greeks, the gifts bringing”, — Vinkler nodded. — And

what gifts are?

— They are ready to forget graciously about my dirty blood, — with bitterness

Zander told. — To return me department, it is good to pay my work.

— From means., military department?

— You guessed, Vinkler. They offered me — you understand what means,

when they offer? — to work in military department… Stratospheric

the bombing rockets operated on radio. You heard about them? In

many regions of the country constructions for firing are already built by such

rockets. From these points several minutes it is possible to destroy Paris,

Brussels, Prague, Warsaw hail of explosive and gas rockets. But to them it

it is not enough. They need the “shells without guns” flying for thousands of kilometers. Not

only London, Rome, Naples, Madrid, Moscow, Leningrad, but even

New York, Washington — targets for their new tools of destruction. Capitals,

the industrial cities, ports, airfields of neighboring states are destroyed in

several minutes together with all people. To smother children, to tear to parts

bodies of fathers and mothers — for the sake of what? — here what they offer me,

Vinkler. Whether my teacher Tsiolkovsky thought of it whether I dreamed of it,

having devoted the life to jet engines, rockets, a zvezdoplavaniye?.

For nervousness on a high forehead of Zander small drops of sweat acted.

— And what you answered them? Zander shrugged shoulders:

— If I told them “no”, it is easy to present consequences. If

I would tell “I will think”, at best I would appear now under


— And you told “yes”?

— To have an opportunity to run immediately. Today I depart in

Switzerland. I ask you, Vinkler to collect my papers, drawings. Folder number

two — “Pikkolo Rocket”, number seven, number nine…

— And with it as? — Vinkler asked, having nodded on drawings of the rocket.

— Apparently, in any way, — Zander answered. — You know lord Blotton?

For it weeds in a stratosphere on the rocket — only the next hobby

athlete. And it already begins to cool down to this business. Several days to that

back he cabled that he will arrive today, and, as you can see, him

no. And monetary affairs of sir Henry are, apparently, not in brilliant

state. By the way, they to me already put by sight mine “strange communication” with


Vinkler puffed a tube.

— And what you will do in Switzerland?

— To play a violin and to fall in a reverie, — gloomily smiled

Zander. — I have abroad small savings.

— And when you will live them? To play a violin, collecting alms on

to the yards? “Give to professor Zander, the engineer with a world name, one

centime, kind citizens…” Picture, worthy our time.

Zander crackled slender fingers. His head was hung below and below under

weight of these words.

— Well to do, Vinkler? — quietly he asked.

— Something should be thought up, mister Zander. Whole world the day before

revolution, he prepares for war. Now everywhere look at rockets only

from the military point of view. — Vinkler released several puffs and


— In Switzerland there are many tourists. Tourists go by cars.

Cars demand repair. We will open repair shop.

— We?. Who?

— Yes we: you and I. A surname of Zander — not for a sign repair

workshop. I will open it on the name. “Vinkler and Co”. At me is on

you will accept one sensible fellow — Hans. You will continue the scientific

works, I — to help you and Hans. And we will perfectly live. “Repair

cars, bicycles and kerosene kitchens” is, of course, not so

poetically, as your star sonatas, but is more practical.

— Vinkler, — Zander with emotion told, rising and stretching

hand, — friends are learned in misfortune. Your loving kindness…

Vinkler strong shook hands Zander and, smiling, interrupted his outpourings:

— Heart and other internals is perfect at anything here,

mister Zander. Me only calculation, though not personal directs

character. I believe, this explanation is enough that you in any

degrees did not consider themselves obliged?

In a lobby the call was distributed.

Vinkler left, and in a minute on a threshold of an office high appeared

the slender person of years of thirty in a gray road suit.

— It is possible to enter?

— Sir Henry! — Zander exclaimed. — I am glad to see you.

— Hello, dear Zander. Forgive for a late visit. Affairs

detained. And all affairs eventually come down to money. — It


— Money! Fuel of all engines of the world, without excluding also warm. Without

money and to stars not to rise, isn’t that so, dear Zander?

Gestures and Blotton’s movements were easy and free. He conveniently took seat in

chair, crossed the legs, took out tortoise from a side pocket

cigarette case with the platinum monogram and a crown, with dexterity of the conjurer

threw it from a hand in a hand, took out a thin Egyptian cigarette and

lit. Spicy tobacco smoke mixed up with aroma of the strong French

spirits. Blotton brought with himself the atmosphere of carelessness of the spoiled child.

— Exult, Zander. I brought to you a good portion of fuel. I and not

knew that the way to stars lies through an altar.

— What altar? Blotton laughed again, but did not answer a question.

— I think, we will have now means to finish the first stratospheric


Zander’s face turned pink.

— I am very glad. But we will build it not here. Today at dawn I

I depart to Switzerland.

— Did not get on with “Mohicans”? — Zander nodded. — Switzerland?.

It, perhaps, better. There to you will work more quietly. I will give you the check

on the Lyons credit. Report the address. At five in the morning I depart to London.

And how your work moved?

Zander developed the drawing and began to explain. Blotton absent-mindedly listened

several minutes, pretending what understands, thanked Zander, left

the check, told several latest sports news and left. Zander

called Vinkler and showed him the check.

— Obviously, lord Blotton managed to receive money under the bride, —

told, smiling, Vinkler.

— How it “under the bride”?

— Recently in Taymsa it was printed about lord Blotton’s engagement with

Ellen Hinton. Ms. Ellen is the niece and the only heir

millionaire lady Hinton. Probably, to Blotton allotted the wide credit.

— And so why he said that the way to stars lies through

altar! — Zander remembered.

— Well, so far we can do without repair shop. It

will replace to us sports vanity of Blotton. It is better for those. Leave, mister

Zander. Now at us work will begin to boil. If only…

— What?

— If only you managed to get out safely. At you the plan is ready

departure? Is not present? It is necessary to help you.

And they were inclined over the map of the country which was once their homeland.

Chapter 2


— Whether everything is given? A benedictine for the bishop? Sherribrendi for sir Henry?

White wine? Cheese? Cake? And honey? His Eminence loves honey — food

hermits. There is no honey? — Lady Hinton called.

The girl, the red-cheeked Scotswoman in a gray dress, with white entered

starched apron and in a white lacy headdress, from under which

locks of a thick nutbrown hair were beaten out. In Mary’s hand was crystal

vase with honey.

— You forgot to put honey again, Mary? Mary silently put a vase

and silently came to a table. Hinton carried out it by eyes and translated a look

on a pale face of the niece.

— Why you cut hair, Ellen?

The girl touched slender white fingers with long bright pink

nails the ashy hair falling to cheeks equal waves

waves, and silently told:

— Sir Henry…

— Certainly! — with displeasure the old lady said. — Give me

“air” also take the book.

Lady Hinton embroidered five months with silk and gold flowers and

cherubs on “air” for an altar of church in which prior was

the bishop Iov Weller is a confessor the lady, her old friend and the adviser.

— What time is it now?

— Five minutes to five.

— Read, Ellen.

The niece opened at random Dickens’s volume:

— “Then they only feel in a happy state

the friendly association and mutual goodwill which is

source of the most true, pure pleasure…”

— In the Hyde park again, apparently, a meeting, — interrupted reading lady Hinton,

listening. Shook the head and heaved so a deep sigh that it

the breast which is stirred up under a lilac silk dress touched double


After this lady Hinton fiercely thrust a needle in an eye of the cherub and

deeply thought.

How many years it wages war, hopeless war over time!

At first against each new pound of weight of a fat body, against everyone

new wrinkle on a face — not without reason she endured three husbands and collected in

the strong hands three states, — and then against that new that

interfered in political, public and private life, up to these

“modern short-haired hair and indecent suits” Ellen.

Lady Hinton considered the Golden Age kind old England of times

the Queen Victoria to whom the lady was a little similar and which

tried to imitate.

The old mansion in West End, against the Hyde park, lady Hinton

turned into fortress — “my house — my fortress”, — in which wanted

to sit out from time pressure. The twentieth century had to come to an end on

threshold. Here everything, beginning from heavy furniture and finishing vital

way and etiquette, was antiquated and pradedovsky times.

Lady Hinton even did not open tightly the closed double glazing in the summer and

forced to lower heavy curtains on windows not to see crowd

the excited people passing in the Hyde park — the favourite place for

meetings. But voices and songs, rumble, and sometimes and dry crash of shots

got through thick walls. At its canneries — inheritance

the second husband — workers striked, and it had to conduct unpleasant

talk with the managing director. To its Fife-au-shreds a political talk was

are expelled as a sign of bad form. And nevertheless it is frequent behind these ceremonious

tea drinking political debates erupted.

Time has come, time conducted the correct siege of the mansion which took cover for

lattice, under old chestnuts and elms.

Time rushed a street rumble, the concerning talk, terrible

news. Neither old servants, nor thick walls, nor double glazing, nor curtains

did not save from time impact.

At lady Hinton the real mania of prosecution began. And

time was a persecutor, the enemy, the murderer…

— Read, Ellen.

But it was not necessary to continue reading. Hours slowly, deafly, as if blows

them reached from a far tower, punched five.

In the doorway silently the old footman in a gray livery with braids appeared.

Deaf aged voice respectfully reported:

— Doctor Mr. Teker.

Lady Hinton frowned. On Thursdays — put Fife-au-shred — house

the doctor had to be at four hours forty five minutes to end

evening visit before arrival of guests. Today the doctor was late for whole

fifteen minutes.

— Ask.

Because of a door the close-cut head with turning gray seemed

temples, then also all figure of the doctor — in black carefully promoted,

tightly the clasped frock coat. A frock coat instead of traditional evening

tuxedo! Lady Hinton forgave such violation of etiquette Tekera only

because he was “the person of other circle”, besides the foreigner, fine

doctor, “victim and refugee of time”. In the homeland he did not get on with “spirit

modern times” which was given for there “true spirit ancient”.

Teker’s face was confused and joyful and uneasy. About ostentatious

confidence it passed space from a door to a tronopodobny chair,

welcomed lady Hinton respectful bow and it is careful as fragile

jewelry, took a thick hand of the patient to probe pulse.

— Said to me that doctors differ in punctuality, and German in

features! — viscously lady Hinton told.

— . Sixty six., sixty seven… — the Ticker counted blows

pulse, looking at a second hand of the pocket watch — Pulse normal.

Forgive, the lady. House circumstances detained me. My wife.,

it was resolved from a burden. Boy. — And Teker’s eyes flashed joy.

— I congratulate, — lady Hinton silently told. — The doctor accepted? At

your wife, so there were two doctors. And at me the attack was nearly played

liver… Medical ethics, however, always for me were unclear.

The ticker shifted from one foot to the other. Internally he was enraged, but

constrained itself, having remembered the newborn: new duties of the father, new


Having set the patient several questions, Teker wanted to leave. But at the lady

Hinton already was on call women’s revenge.

— I hope, the doctor, you will not refuse to remain to Fife-au-shred?

My old friends will gather, — she told with a smile hospitable


The ticker shortly sighed, bowed and took seat on a chair with such look,

as if it was the hot brazier. There came silence.

To interrupt a burdensome pause, the captive of artful hospitality

started talking:

— I read in the newspaper: somehow at the London economic school acted

famous writer. He addressed listeners with such speech:

“Many of the young people sitting here will be killed, others are suffocated

gases, the third will die of hunger. World accident approaches.

The civilization perishes, and there is no exit. It is necessary unless to construct an ark

like Noyev…”

Lady Hinton omitted embroidery on knees. She turned pale, eyes

sparkled anger.

— Spare nerves of your patient, Mr. Teker! The servant entered:

— His Excellency baron Marshal de Terlonzh and his excellency

commerce adviser Mr. Stormer.

Displeasure was replaced on a face of lady Hinton by a habitual mask


Marshal de Terlonzh, the French banker with shadowy past entered,

the title of the baron which profited in the war and bought. To it was under fifty, but

it looked a perfect wreck. Together with it appeared broad-shouldered,

the strong old man with a red face of the butcher. The baron проковылял to a chair,

kissed a hand of the hostess and, strongly stammering, told:

— Allow, e-e-e., to present my kkompanion and Mr. friend

St… St… St…

— Stormer! — the fat man banged, stretching to the shuddered hostess

the spread wide thick fingers.

— His Eminence bishop! — the footman announced.

The bishop Iov Weller, the stout, healthy man with thoroughbred entered

ruddy face. His radiant eyes and juicy lips smiled.

After the bishop professor of philosophy Shnirer seemed. It

puzzly looked round around as if got at the wrong door, smiled as

the child who learned familiar faces and, having given both hands, went to the lady


After mutual greetings all took seat at a tea table. At this moment

at an entrance the beep of the car cried. Lady Hinton discontentedly frowned

— “after all is!.” — and Ellen slightly reddened. She learned beep

blottonovsky car.

In two minutes lord Henry Blotton already entered a drawing room, in black

tuxedo, fashionable vest and tie, sparkling a monocle. It was scented,

it is perfectly shaved.

— I was not late? Hello, aunt! — so he called lady Hinton,

which had the remote relative.

As soon as all took seat at a table, the lady started talking on a favourite subject about

degradation of morals, dissoluteness of youth, modern books, “which

it is impossible to give in hands to the well-educated girl”, about lack of due

respect for authorities and seniors.

— Tell, dear baron, — she addressed the banker, — I heard, you

came to us to extort the English gold? You want to shoal our gold


The face of the banker warped.

— Хь., хь., хь… I am for this purpose too low-power pump, the lady.

TT., the same success I could shoal the Atlantic Ocean.

Lady Hinton reluctantly received “it the upstart”, but was with it

it is kind at insistance of the legal adviser and managing affairs

Smiggers who ran large business with the banker.

Did not forget lady Hinton as the hospitable hostess, and the old philosopher.

— And where your charming daughter, Mr. Shnirer?

— And? What? — professor as if wakening from a dream asked. — Amelie?

Yes. At a football match! What? Soccer! And? — It plunged into the again

usual contemplate state.

— It is a pity, — lady Hinton stretched though she in soul was glad: it

preferred men’s society, besides in Amelie’s behavior a lot of things

shocked her.

— Doctor Teker told me terrible things, — it continued,

addressing already all and darting a sidelong glance at Teker, — how ours

the famous writer predicted death of a civilization. Really it


The ticker was on thorns. He thought of the wife, of the newborn and

every minute tried to rise, take the leave and leave, but did not decide to make


Shnirer, having heard about the favourite subject, unexpectedly turned from

contemplate Buddha in the ardent speaker.

— Death of a civilization! — he exclaimed, having sparkled eyes, and continued,

increasing tone:

— Yes, the civilization perishes! She is doomed, and she is ruined by the car, it

iron monster. The owner of land becomes the slave to the car. It forces

us, one and all whether we know and whether we want it or not to go

till its ways. Without restraint the rushing chariot drags for itself prostrate

the winner, until he dies… Human beings, so

carefully raised these wild and dangerous animals, woke up and found

in an environment of the new race of iron monsters dominating over them…

Shnirer did not speak any more, and cried out, shaking by the wrinkled fist:

— It is necessary to bridle even stronger science, to detain rationalization,

to clamp the equipment, to suffocate invention, differently death of a civilization and

our death are inevitable… Still a cup of tea, more strong if you allow, —

unexpectedly it finished.

Ellen silently spilled tea, imperceptibly glancing at the groom. But that

was interested in liqueurs more, strenuously adding the bishop whose face

shone light of terrestrial pleasures.

— WW., ffva., are right, professor, — objected the banker, — it is necessary to the technician

to keep in a strong bridle. But civilizations threaten not only машшш.,

cars. There are animals more dangerous, artful and ruthless…

— Communists! — lady Hinton exclaimed.

Precisely December cold blew softly in August. The society which gathered for

table, it was stirred up.

All started talking at once, having forgotten about ethics. Faces were poured by hatred,

rage and fear. The word was pronounced. General disease, which

undermined all, saddened, joy of life poisoned, sang dreadful

dreams, it was called…

Everyone hurried to facilitate the soul, to pour out what overflowed long ago

heart. Spoke differently, but about same: about damned

communists, destroyers of culture and civilization, fanatics. Here was

in total: and revolutions in three states, and “nationalization of women”, and

Komintern, both dumping, and destruction of temples, and hunger…

Never before society of lady Hinton was so unanimously, so sincerely

in expression of feelings and thoughts. Never at a table sounded so harmoniously

the symphony of hatred and bodily fear before close revolution.

“Red animals” — unless not they threaten to take away everything from lady Hinton:

title, power, situation, wealth?

Their propagandists decompose Christ’s herd and threaten with God’s desolation

to temples, starvation to the bishop Iov Weller.

And the philosopher Shnirer — that other, except boundless hatred, he could

to feed “for patrons of the equipment and enthusiasts of industrialization,

forced to serve themselves cars which the teeths tear

human beings also threaten to crush the gear wheels modern

culture”! . When nervousness settled a little, lady Hinton seized


— I offered two hundred thousand pounds on fight against them recently, but

it, of course, is not enough. Each of us has to understand that it is better now,

while the getting is good, voluntarily to refuse a part of the property, than

to lose everything.

— I read about “Noah’s Ark” and I believe that the writer quite

in due time raises a question of great importance, — Henry told, reeling up

on a finger a ribbon with a monocle. — When in a number of the countries revolution wins,

won, the truth resisting, quit the stage and as extreme

means, rescue in flight look for. But where to run? Whether is quite

the safe countries on the globe? It is time to think of it.

— Do not accept my words, — the baron told, — for premature

defeatism, panic, disbelief in a victory. With risen we will be

to fight all measures to the death. But success seems to me

problematic. Already now we are anxious with in what business to place ours

capitals, where big guarantee of their safety. However can come

the moment — and it is rather, than it seems to much, — when it is necessary to think already

not so much about the capitals, how many about to.

— And people will rush about here and there, as in the house embraced

flame, — in Shnirere the prophet recovered again. — From the country to the country will be

to run they and everywhere will meet an all-devouring flame, a pernicious flame,

unrestrained and inevitable, as destiny. Also will not save from him the guard,

iron lattices of fencings, thick walls. Everything will die. Everything will turn

in ashes. And we will die. — And, having passed to shrill shout again, Shnirer

finished — And who is guilty? Cars! Proletarians! They! Still cup to tea,

more strong if you allow.

— Strikes began, revolution will finish, — the banker brought a remark.

— Yes this bowl will pass us! — the bishop exclaimed and, having instantly made

pious expression, crossed. — Here really it is time to think about

some., an ark in which with the God’s help could take refuge

righteous persons — color of our civilization and culture. Whether not merciful

the Lord put some idea this, how in times Noyev?

— To construct such “Titanic” — “ark” of modern scale,

equipped with the latest technology? — ironically Henry asked. —

And further? Where you on it will go? To the southern seas? To uninhabited

to the island mislaid in the ocean and not plotted even? Nonsense,

there are no “white spots” on the world map any more. There are no almost such islands. And if

also is, they will be found soon. Construction of “ark” and its departure will not be able

to pass unnoticed. Will find for us, will overtake and will crush as worms,

together with “ark”. Where, at last, a guarantee that it will manage to be completed?

There came silence.

— Really there is no exit? — lady Hinton asked.

— Why is not present? There is a solution, and quite good as it seems to me, — it is quiet

Henry answered. — Here you, mister professor of philosophy, scolded to the technician,

and from the point of view you, of course, are right. But the same equipment can give

for us and an exit to open a way to rescue. We will force the equipment to render to us

this last service, and then I have nothing against if it is

it is destroyed, to your pleasure, professor.

All pricked up the ears, listening. The henry happy with the had effect,

made a pause and slowly continued:

— “Ark” can save not all belonging to our class and

to circle, and only small group of the electees… “Magics to escape yes will escape”

— so, apparently, the milord is told in the writing? So, “ark” can and

it has to be constructed. But “ark” of absolutely special grade which carried away

us far away from this rebellious planet — well, at least for a while, so far

danger will not be eliminated. Or otherwise., forever…

Listeners disappointedly leaned back on backs of chairs, and the bishop,

Henry as dexterous maneuver who apprehended words to distract the general attention from

gloomy thoughts, threw off a fast mask, began to shine and good-natured burst out laughing:

— Perfectly! The ark floating on waves of the radio ocean!


— Yes, on waves of the radio ocean, — Henry seriously answered.

— It could come to mind only to Henry! — respectable exclaimed

the lady not flatter for it tone.

— Least of all in my head, the aunt. I admit, I understand a little in

to the equipment. But you, misters, know that recently I pay a tribute

to interest in stratospheric flights together with my friend the engineer,

large theorist of a zvezdoplavaniye and talented designer Leo

Zander. I just from it… And if you knew about its works, it


— But same chimera!

— Imagination!

— And how we will breathe there?

— And what to eat? Air?

— We will stiffen from world cold which will destroy us also soon

and it is right as it will make communism.

— He wants to send us to the sky prematurely!

— And you depart?

Exclamations, jokes, laughter were heard.

— The lady and gentlemen, — Henry was not appeased, — your questions and

exclamations testify only to full yours, to put it mildly

ignorance of a subject. I claim that if you…

But did not listen to it. The nervous tension found a way out. Society

cheered up. Even Shnirer left the gloomy concentration and

opened that in this world, except strong tea and terrible cars, exist

still amazingly pleasant liquids concluded in graceful small bottles, and

the bishop reddened more than ordinary and laughed more loudly, than it was necessary

to it at its dignity.

Lady Hinton was happy and already graciously glanced at Henry,

it is free or involuntarily rendered her service.

— Let’s not be, misters to think of gloomy things, — she told. — God

it is mercy, our people are reasonable, the power in reliable hands, and to us,

I hope, it is not necessary to resort to the air ships and to look for rescue in

similar flight. Why you will not taste this liqueur, the baron?

Henry was angry by a failure of promotion of a zvezdoplavaniye.

He expected to receive several checks for continuation of experiences


Lady Hinton seemed she managed what as to the skillful captain, already

to bring the ship out of a strip of the most severe storm, and suddenly flew new:

Stormer who was silent all evening zagromykhat by the thunderous voice:

— And I assure you, the sir, — addressed he Blotton, — that in the southern seas

there will be not one ten more unopened islands. I well know Silent

ocean. In its southeast part, far from main ocean roads, and

now still it is possible to find a silent shelter, — the island which is not put on one

card… But… I am a businessman, the businessman not inclined to panic and

to hysterics. Silly, however, to close eyes to reality. We live

on a volcano. Yes. We with devilish (Hinton shuddered) speed fly in

abyss. I will not list the latest events, they are known to all.

It is necessary to be ready to the worst. Yes. — Everyone it “yes” rattled as

thunderclap. — I speak not about a silly pose a rack. The baron is right. It is necessary to fight

and at the same time to prepare ways of retreat, so far we did not tie hands and

there are capitals.

To construct the huge motor ship. Such “Noah’s Ark” of three hundred

meters and with the displacement of eighty five — hundred thousand tons. So

mechanized that it was possible to manage the minimum quantity

crew — from young people of exclusive classes. Any

the proletarian, because all of them are obvious or our secret enemies. Yes. How many

wars, revolutions will last? Four-five years? We will be able to take

food on six, for eight years. Not to mention an opportunity

replenishments of stocks fishing and hunting on lonely islands. And we

let’s sit out. We will be able to keep thus the life if not the

capitals. I offer, without postponing, to organize the company for

constructions of “Noah’s Ark”. Needless to say that members of this

the companies will be only chosen and all case will be processed in the most strict

to secret. My project does not exclude yours, the sir, — turned Stormer to

To Blotton, having filled on him the red face with goggle rachy

eyes. — He agrees: to open our floating island our enemies nevertheless

will be able. In a zvezdoplavaniye I, unfortunately, understand nothing. But if it

it is feasible why don’t we prepare as a last resort and to

to the last jump — from Earth to abysses of the sky? You will not refuse courtesy,

the sir to acquaint me with your inventor?

If he convinces me that a zvezdoplavaniye not a chimera, I am the first

I will bring a share.

— Ffva you fverit Nneuzheli in a zvezdoplavaniye and hkhgotova to fvlozhit фв it

business to., to., capital? — Marshal Stormera when they asked

came back from lady Hinton.

— I trust! Yes! — Stormer bellowed. — Both of us are businessmen, the baron, and with you

I can frankly speak, — it continued more quietly. — I trust in

the zvezdoplavaniye is as firm, as in a placer on the Thames. Yes.

Listen. If the Thames proceeded for thousands of kilometers from London, in

to the exotic country, thousands would believe in a placer on the Thames.

You remember mine “silver mines” in New Zealand or I wash “the Australian

oil”? I acquired on them millions, and they existed only in imagination

shareholders. Now you understand, as on the Thames can be gold

scatterings which will enrich us?

The car began to shake as if flew on the timbered bridge. Driver

looked back.

It Mr. Stormer laughed.

— Situation really extremely serious, — was continued by it more quietly and

more quietly. — What we endure, you know. In three countries already

communists dominate. Every day brings news of new

suicides. Whether long ago Smith, Milton., behind them Skarfas, now

Сиддонс, Abbington… Real epidemic. The most terrible crises happened and

earlier, but committed a suicide the few. Why? People trusted: behind crisis

again there will come the prosperity era. There is no this belief now. Who was ruined —

it was ruined forever. Unless I am not right?

— Fff…

— Such is situation and such is mood. Revolutions and ruin,

inevitable as death, guard all of us. Inevitable death. Stormer

made a pause to recover the breath.

— The person despaired. Was overstrung. It was exhausted. The person already stretches

hand to the revolver. And this minute to it our agent comes and speaks:

“We can save you. We will provide you a silent shelter where will not reach

your enemies and where you will be able in a circle of people close to you, surrounded

habitual comfort to live your life. Yes, it will cost to you

millions. But what these millions will cost tomorrow? Tomorrow you can

to wake up the poor, and you will intercept the retreat all,

to flight, rescue…”

Whether will be much such which will refuse our offer? To

to example, lady Hinton. Quite ripened fruit. Two-three more already close

political crash, and from this rich person fall down in our hands

pounds sterling without account. We will build “Noah’s Ark”. We will be

to build a starprobe vehicle, tens of starprobe vehicles, without caring for that at all,

they will depart or not. We will be at the head of business and to move huge

means. Conspiracy simplifies the reporting. It is necessary at all not

to have commercial intuition not to estimate all advantage of it

enterprises. I hope, now you quite understood what means to open

placer on the Thames?

Marshal de Terlonzh for nervousness long puffed, sniffed and, at last

squeezed out from itself:

— E-e-e., ffva are absolutely right!

So new was born in foggy London evening in darkness of a limousine

the joint-stock company fastened with short strong handshake.

Chapter 3


Hans Finger was by the cabin window. His curling fair hair and face

burned in the sun. He whistled a cheerful march, beating time and a leg and

hand. Finger experienced delight of the first flight on the stratoplena.

“Life — devilishly interesting movie when time and events fly as

this стратоплан…” Hans all accelerated a march. If it was possible

to start up the movie of life even quicker! To strike time in a nape so that all

hour hands were started turning quicker second, detachable leaves

calendars fell down as autumn leaves during a storm, and the sun a comet

would rush on a sky…

Hans suddenly reeled, hit the head against a wall and screamed. Or it

also, like a certain utopian hero, received a gift to work wonders?.

The sun as soccerball, described an arch in the sky and was behind a frame


Hans rubbed a nape, took seat in an easy chair and laughed.

“Well of course, it стратоплан the abrupt bend made. Yes, changing time

on the third speed, it is necessary to keep more strong”.

Hans thought.

Elections, strikes, street demonstrations. Hans kept up everywhere:

scattered illegal leaves from a roof, filled with them abonent books in

boxes of payphones, managed “Mohicans” near by to do, as well as

hundreds of his companions, antigovernmental inscriptions on walls of houses and on

the passing vans, collected the chronicle for underground newspapers, let

children’s spheres with leaflets, set up at night red banners on spikes

churches, sold theatrical programs, putting in them leaflets,

invented tens of ways of propaganda, ran away from prosecution, disappeared,

changed clothes; even it zagrimirovyvatsya and again threw out such pieces, from

which enemies turned green, workers laughed and political raged


Vinkler’s call. Organization of escape of Zander. A smart suit “under

Englishman”. Soft compartment. To the Swiss border — on a car. Boundary

strip. Night, storm… Searches of companions to which at Vinkler was

letter. Wandering… A crossing through the river. Alarm. Firefight…

Switzerland. Mountains in the neighborhood of the Alps. The small house — a chalet — among

unction, larches, Alpine cedars. Snow. Tasty mountain frosty

the air which is given to drink by a needles smell. Work in a workshop. Production of model

starprobe vehicle according to drawings. Study. War with integrals and differentials. In

leisure hours — skis, excursions on the mountains… Blotton’s arrival with big

news. Order of a big passenger starprobe vehicle. Blotton’s departure,

Zander and Vinkler in some unknown Stormer-city…

New duties are assigned to Hans: purchase and reception

high-quality staly Europe in the different cities and America.

Continuous trips. It is interesting. But… “purchasing agent” — such

work not in Hans’s taste. It sends desperate letters to Vinkler. At last

Vinkler “took pity” on him. Arrived to Europe personally to make

some purchases and to capture with itself Hans. And now they fly in

this mysterious Stormer-city. Also Blotton flies. He will make the first

rise in a stratosphere on the single rocket. He did not want this honor

to concede to nobody.

Hans looks out of the window. The sky at this height of gray and flaky color. Sun

it is dazzling is white.

And what becomes below? Concave dark blue board of the ocean. On it

it is dazzling a bright circle — reflection of a solar disk.

Magnificent, wonderful flight! Terrible jump! From west banks

Europe on the southwest, through the Atlantic Ocean, to South America.

Stratoplan crossed all its continent from edge to edge over a river basin

Amazons, passed through the Andes, made a wide semicircle over the coast

The Pacific Ocean and now goes to the same Andes from the southwest. Here they

are seen hardly noticeable zazubrinka on the horizon…

— Уф! — Hans zasvistat a march again.

— What did you rassvistetsya there? — Vinkler from the next cabin speaks.

— Very well we fly! — Hans answers, going to Vinkler.

— On the airplane so would not whistle! — Vinkler speaks. He sits at

little table also considers something in the notebook, puffing

unseparable tube.

— I only in water am not able to whistle, — Hans answered. — And in the airplane —

as much as necessary.

— The same effect that in water: stops the engine.

— It is right, — Hans agreed. — Here it is absolutely silent. As if you fly on

balloon. Even explosions are not heard.

— Quicker than a sound we fly, because and it is not heard. Four hundred. We slow down

the course also we decrease. Height is only fifteen kilometers.

— But here temperature has to be much lower, than on

the Earth’s surface, the speed of a sound decreases with decrease


Vinkler nodded in the affirmative.

— . reaching at zero three hundred thirty two meters per second.

Now probably the motor is switched already off.

— And what ceiling?

— Twenty — twenty two kilometers. It is the most favorable height if

not to chase record speed.

— Mosquito take-off. Two hundred — three hundred kilometers — all right! Five hundred

— six hundred is the real height! — the voice of the third was heard


Smoking the Egyptian sigarette, Henry Blotton approached Vinkler’s chair.

The lord was dressed in warm light brown sports overalls though in

to such “prozodezhda” there was no need: cabin of a stratoplan

it was well heated by electricity and supplied with clean air. In it

it was warm, cozy, with comfort, as in a compartment of the pullman car.

— Aeroplanny champions of height, certainly, pottered about in dust on

to comparison with us. For all these “saunders-Valkyries”,

“pharman-sou-pergoliafov”, “yunkers” twelve — fifteen thousand meters

were already almost extreme height. Researchers of a stratosphere rose

higher. But they rose on balloons. And recently in Taymsa I


Blotton rode out the favourite fad and began a never-ending conversation

about height records, about rivals who can challenge its monasteries, about

chances of a victory of the same champions, as it.

— You will go to an interplanetary travel and at once will beat all

the rivals, — Vinkler told. Blotton did not understand a sneer.

— Yes, but., I am afraid that about it it will not be printed in Taymsa and

my rivals just do not learn about a new record, — melancholically answered


Stratoplan decreased and reduced speed. Mountains on the horizon grew, dark

color of the sky turned pale, turned blue, stars, as one by one died away on


Far below, at a foot of mountains as the bright green ocean, spread

violent tropical vegetation.

— The Andes — the South American continuation of the Cordilleras, — Vinkler told. —

Behind them the desert lowland, and further — the Rocky Mountains the republics


— Surprisingly! It is difficult to get used to it. What speed, what

victory over space! — Finger exclaimed and once again Endured all


Europe — as if the big card. On the right — the Azores, at the left —

the Cape Verde Islands, hardly distinguishable even in the strongest sea

field-glass, South America… The basin of Amazon with its inflows similar on

tree branches… A semicircle of “atmospheric braking” over the Great ocean and

again coast of South America, already western.

— Yes, quite good way of studying of geography. It is better our school

books and maps, — Henry told. — But speed turtle. Other business —

space flight!

— Space flight! Turtle speed! — in Blotton’s tone continued

Vinkler. — That twelve mean some — eighteen kilometers in

second of space flight in comparison at least with thirty kilometers

flight of Earth? And star fogs! Some of them fly from huge


— ? — Blotton asked.

— About one thousand kilometers per second — usual average speed. But

there are also exceptions. According to the latest data, a fog Big Dipper

number twenty four flies with a speed of eleven thousand seven hundred

kilometers per second, Lev number one — nearly twenty thousand kilometers.

— Yes, such speed is pleasant to me. But do not laugh, kind Vinkler.

I understand in such things a little, but our friend Leo Zander said to me that

when we have radioactive energy down to a science, it will be possible

to reach also velocity of light.

— Alas, even with velocity of light you should fly to the next

stars four years and four months. To other sun stars, which we

we consider our “neighbors” in world space, — ten — fifteen

years. Some tens of stars are from us on such close

distance. To the others it should fly hundreds and thousands of years. You

the immense desert within months, years, decades would surround.

Any concept about time will disappear.

— What star, next to the Sun? — Blotton asked.

— Alpha Tsentavra. In total about forty trillion kilometers.

— Four over a year — are not much. Having kept silent, lord Henry

returned to terrestrial affairs:

— And why, actually, for start this is chosen wild, desert


— Just because it wild, desert, unsociable. Such is desire

shareholders of your wild society “Noah’s Ark”. Conspiracy.

— But there is a lot of desert places on the globe, to take at least Youzhny

pole. There nobody would prevent us, even efficient reporters. Why

exactly here? I would like to know, than the choice was defined.

— On it there were the, and important, the bases, — seriously answered

Vinkler. — Exactly there are optimum conditions for

take-off. You probably know that to the rocket at take-off from Earth

it is necessary to break through a double armor: atmospheres and terrestrial

inclinations. The greatest inclination exists on poles, the smallest — on

the equator as Earth is a little flattened to poles. Besides on

poles the smallest, and on the equator the greatest centrifugal effect.

Therefore an inclination armor on the equator minimum.

— And what difference in weight?

— On the equator the body weighs on the one two-hundredth share less, than on


— Only? — disappointedly Blotton told.

— Yes, only. Thanks to centrifugal effect and “inflation” of terrestrial

sphere at the equator of a body weigh on half-percent less here, than at poles.

As though really it is a little. But for the rocket important even it

reduction of weight: it gives noticeable economy in a fuel reserve. So

weight half-percent — not so small size in our enterprise.

— Well, equator. He agrees. But why this place on the equator?

— To answer also this question, we should talk already about

other armor — atmospheric. Air which we approximately do not notice,

represents almost absolute obstacle for quickly moving

bodies. The quicker the movement, the is more resistance. At very big

speeds resistance of air is almost also big, as well as resistance

solid body, — the real steel armor. This not only figurative

expression. Meteors — the stones which are on a silver platter — move from space

speed; crashing into the atmosphere, meteors more small, being heated because of

air resistance, evaporate, being besieged тончайшею by dust. Here with

what obstacle it is necessary to deal in our flight. Zhyulvernovskiye

the heroes who were taking off from the gun in a shell would have to in the first

the moment of a shot to break in flat cake against a shell bottom. To avoid

this sad fate, we will increase the speed of our rocket

gradually. We have to choose such place on the globe where

the atmospheric armor has the smallest thickness. Relative

density of air depends on pressure, temperature, humidity, and all

it, in turn, from height above sea level. Than higher over level

the seas, an armor of the atmosphere are thinner than subjects, it is easier for that to punch, therefore

it and that should be spent for it fuel less. At the height of six

density of air is approximately already twice less than kilometers, than at the level

seas. Now, I hope, it is clear to you that it is more favorable to the interplanetary ship

to start in total from perhaps higher place, with some mountain

surfaces? So what is is necessary for us? The equator and the greatest height on it.

Take the globe, and, turning it, you will see what mountain areas

crosses the equator. Islands of Sumatra and Borneo and South American

The Cordilleras — the Andes. Islands gorist. There are heights more than four

thousands of meters. It is possible that Sumatra and Borneo will become rocket airfields

future regular interplanetary travel, as well as Andes. But on these

islands., it is too crowded: oil, coal, tropical spices and

fruit and other tempting things attracted the capital and people there, and

islands became colonies of a number of powers. Besides Sumatra and Borneo

are rather far from those factories and the plants at which

parts of the rocket are produced. Transfer would cost much.

Therefore, there are Andes. Here everything that to us, is more faithful to you, is necessary:

equator, high mountains, deficiency, off road terrain, desert, solitude. Quite

also the area topography approaches. Flight will be directed on an inclined plane in

twelve degrees on the East, that is in the same direction, in what

also the globe rotates. It to use “free”

additional speed of rotation of Earth to add this speed to speed

rockets. As you can see if skillfully to undertake, then and rotation of Earth is possible

to make the ally. Between the Andes and the Rocky Mountains the valley lies. There,

where the Andes break to this valley, it is convenient to arrange the platform for running start

rockets. Having gained speed, the rocket “will break” from break to leave

Earth. Well, now all “why” are resolved? Blotton nodded:

— I thank you, everything is clear. Do not complain about me for my dullness: to me

it was not necessary to be engaged in these lofty matters.

— However we were so chattered that nearly missed landing, — told

Vinkler. — Already Stormer-city — the purpose of our travel is seen. On

any case be fastened to a chair by belts. Startodr here not quite

it is equipped.

Finger silently executed this council, but Blotton, being fastened, carelessly

told with a type of the skilled person.

— Overcaution!

Chapter 4


Today last day…

Ellen drops on the earth of several broken roses and does not notice it.

The aunt ordered to get ready for a trip. “You can select things weight

on centner, and gram more, — she told. — You can take everything that

it is pleasant to you also that you consider it necessary”.

Ellen entered the country lock of lady Hinton from a garden on wide

to white stone ladder. Family crests over doors with cut from

gray stone lions were corroded winds and rains of four centuries.

Four hundred years sharp-toothed, oskalenny mouths of animals protected rest of the lock. And

now it is necessary to leave all to the mercy of fate if only to save themselves…

Winter garden. Fountains in marble reservoirs murmur, birds chirp.

Artificial grottoes, small falls among greens. Palm trees, cactuses

vsevozmozhneyshy types. The most valuable collection of orchids collected by her grandfather in

that time when orchids became fashionable in England and for rare copies

paid gold heaps. Some fancy copies of these exotic

flowers had the history. To receive them, courageous hunters

behind orchids went to the wild woods of the Central Africa and Southern

America, battled against savages, animals, died of fever, stings

dragon. Some of them were burned on fires, eaten by cannibals,

died of the poisoned arrows. When this watered with blood extraordinary,

as if brought from other planet, plants appeared in the capital

Great Britain, on them new hunting — hunting capital began

the aristocrats-snobs trying to catch any price in the

collection the most original and beautiful flowers. Her grandfather then bought up

the best copies, came to admire its collection from different

countries. How many works and money were cost by this winter garden!

Behind a garden the art gallery began. Entrances and exits protect

terrible knights from whom there was only a brilliant cover. They not

will lift heavy swords in protection of the lock, will not cross copies for

honor of ladies of the heart…

Hall of easel painting. Reysdal, Rosetti, Flemings, Dutches,

Spaniards, Italians. Whether not to take what from this room? Some

peace Dutch landscape?. No!

In the dining room — hills of ancient porcelain, crystal, Venetian

color glass. Unless it is possible to take these fragile things in the rocket?

Library. Books are hated it. By!.

Narrow dark corridors Ellen passed to wardrobe rooms. Here

smelled of naphthalene. Cases contained the whole history of a suit. Ellen

removed doors and looked inside. Silk, velvet, heavy brocade,

gold sewing, pearls… And what sizes! As if wore these dresses

the died-out breed of giants. Ellen reached own clothes,

where the dresses sewed for it by the best tailors were stored. To take, to be

can, this gray silk dress? Or this black, output?

Ball — steel color? To what? Evening receptions, theaters… All this

“there” it is not necessary…

Many hours she wandered about the house. Took one thing in hand and, forgetting about

to it, mechanically put back, went further.

It turned out as a result that she loves nothing and it is not tied to anything.

Ellen has no lovely, expensive things. But why then she so dreamed about

inheritance? In what business? She could not understand it.

With bitterness she entered the room of lady Hinton. The aunt sat at a desk

mahogany and, as the usurer accepting gold in a mortgage

weighed diamonds on pharmaceutical scales.

For Ellen it was day of revelations. Having found the aunt behind this occupation,

Ellen suddenly felt that she hates her and despises. These feelings

long ago were concealed in her soul and now emerged on a surface.

— Selected? — lady Hinton asked.

— Selected nothing, — the girl answered and took seat behind the aunt at


— Why?

— Because I do not know what to select.

— You do not know?

— I do not know! — with extraordinary sharpness Ellen answered. — Any thing

does not interest me, does not stop my attention.

— Choose as I choose. To Earth we still will return when passes

general madness, I firmly trust in it. But what we leave here

it is necessary to consider lost. However, I disposed to hide some

jewelry. In cellars of the lock there are hiding places about which nobody not

suspects. There are storerooms in which it is possible to immure something. Something

it will be dug in a garden, something will be lowered in a well. But unless on servants

it is possible to rely? Means, it is necessary to count only that we can

to take with itself. The centner is after all much if to choose efficiently.

It is necessary to take the smallest by the size and weight of a thing and the most expensive.

Watch how I arrive. — And lady Hinton showed a chubby hand on a heap

the values lying before it on a table.

— I have no your abilities, — noticed Ellen.

— Study. From dresses, linen at least selected something?

— Henry says that it is only excess freight. In Stormer-city

special suits for the rocket are produced. There it will be so warm,

that to put on an excess dress it would be just unhygienic.

— Hygienists! Tell Henry that I will refuse flight if they are

to walk there in indecent suits. Take several dresses, it is more

linen, hat, galoshes, umbrella.

— And galoshes, umbrella, what for?

— They are going to land us on some comet…

— To the planet, aunt.

— Do not interrupt. And if there the rain is or slush?

— Henry advises winter suits to take. It is possible that it is necessary to us

to land on the planet with a frigid climate.

— Let do not land on such. Can choose become warmer. I do not take out

cold weather.

— Today this question will be discussed still.

— You reminded me. Whether rooms for guests are prepared? How many

the person is expected?

— Person twenty. I already disposed.

— And lunch?

— Everything is ready, the aunt.

Now there was not such time to receive guests. But it was also not

standard practice. In the country lock of lady Hinton had to gather

some participants of the forthcoming flight, to discuss very important

questions. So far it was not still precisely solved on what

the planet the crew of “ark” will land. On this congress expected arrival

several most visible astronomers. Well paid them for consultation and

for silence. Except the closest participants of flight, nobody has to know about


It would seem what can be urgency in astronomy where time

it is estimated in billions of years where everything from the terrestrial point of view is firm?

Steadily planets move on the orbits, steadily follow the

in the ways periodically appearing comets… Or astronomers waited for one of

such rare guests, like Galley’s comet, or were trapped full

solar eclipse?. No, not comets and solar eclipses absorbed them

time. They were really extremely busy. Astronomy — science about

the far sky — it was very close to some terrestrial affairs.

Great mathematicians, experts on heavenly mechanics, they were mobilized

for work on superartillery and superaircraft. “The last Mohicans”

capitalism feverishly prepared for war, preparing for the opponent “surprises”

in the form of rocket shells, military stratoplan, superlong-range guns

and other. And scientists jealously carried out charged to them especially scientific


But, working for those who were executed by animal rage and thirst of fight

and destructions, scientists could not refuse the last service and that who

wanted to run from fight. And, having bargained, they accepted favorable


That minute when lady Hinton was engaged in weighing of the

family values, the philosopher Shnirer also sat in the office for

scales, but its scales were big, and it weighed not on carats, and on

tens of kilograms. On a table before it heaps of philosophical books lay. It

the library weighed not one centner. These books are so heavy! He decided to take

the best of them. From ancient philosophers Platon — it is unconditional, Aristotle —

under doubt. From new — certainly Kant, Schopenhauer, Spengler,

Bergson. But as this old man Kant weighs much! Perhaps, not to take them?

No, they will be necessary “there”.

Shnirer worked methodically, as always. At first made a marking

“the specific philosophical weight” of each philosopher, then noted

the “physical” weight of the book also accurately wrote down on the sheet of paper.

The door of an office was slightly opened, someone glanced through a crack.

— You do not work, the father? — asked Amelie, entering the room. Amelie

never entered to the father when that was busy. It were hours

religious rites. The daughter of the philosopher was excited, her cheeks burned

flush. Shnirer looked at the daughter over points and asked briefly:

— Sport?

— This time not. I saw Otto. The lieutenant Otto Ernst was

Amelie’s groom.

— Well and that? — Shnirer asked, weighing Descartes.

— We with it had a conversation…

— As I see, very hot.

— Yes. I suggested it to take part in flight. He answered that with

its parties it would be desertion. He told: “I have to remain

here, to win or die!” Otto convinced me to remain with him.

Descartes’s small volume trembled in Shnirer’s hand.

— Well, and that you answered? — he asked, trying to hide alarm.

— I answered it that I will follow you, the father. Shnirer frowned,

to hide joy:

— So. And Otto?

— Otto speaks, as you have no need to fly… And all these books you

you want to take with yourself? Whether you gather, the father to give lectures on

philosophies to Martians or inhabitants of Venus?

— If they exist and are rather developed for this purpose, then why to them

and not to get acquainted with philosophers of Earth? — Shnirer answered. — And to fly to me

it is necessary. And it for my part not desertion and not cowardice. On me

the holy duty lies — to keep wisdom of Earth. True philosophy,

thousand-year heritage of human culture. To all this, — he specified on

books, — terrible danger threatens. Who knows what treasures of a thought

were killed in fire at the fire of the Alexandria library? And now approaches

world fire. If communism wins, I think, these barbarians will burn everything

philosophical books, except books of the philosophers, — Shnirer was lop-sided on

fireplace. — The mankind will run wild and eventually will die: the car will exterminate

it. Around the world — understand, in all solar system, in all space! —

treasures of the human genius will remain only in our “ark”. If

we are not fated to return to Earth, we will land on some planet.

We will put the basis to new mankind, true culture — without cars,

without infection of materialistic philosophy, without policy and without workers

questions. — Shnirer became straight and became similar to the bible prophet. —

There, on new Earth, — it continued, having raised a finger up, — will be necessary

these books. They will become our tables of the covenant. And I will teach people to the truth.

Shnirer, this room scientist not capable to direct actions, all

served the class till last days. However, at this philosopher were

the scores with capitalism — cars. But also consisted in that

originality of its philosophy that he tried to resolve a circle quadrature about

capitalism without the equipment and machines. Generated by hopeless

contradictions, its philosophy was quite confused, but it used

success because carried out the social order of “Mohicans” and promised

some “exit” from the deadlock. Shnirer looked at himself nearly as

on the Messiah, designed to save capitalism from a loop and to remove it in

promised country of cloudless eternal prosperity. He seriously considered

itself the keeper of wisdom of Earth, that is that philosophy which is necessary

was for an ideological justification and the statement of its class. And this

to the idea it served selflessly. Only for the sake of it he decided to go in

this extraordinary risky travel. Only for the sake of it it — passionate

the opponent of cars — decided to resort to the help of the car, to send himself to it

the order to entrust it the “precious for mankind” life.

To escape from the car by car. He deeply and painfully felt it

contradiction, but did not see other exit.

— And if we return to Earth?

— Ives this case needs to keep books in the reliable place. And that

can be more reliable than “ark”? “They” can destroy books before

your Otto and his colleagues will destroy “them”. And I will return to Earth of its treasure.

I will bring these tables of wisdom from the sky and I will hand them to people as Moisey. I

I will educate the saddened human consciousness this! — It solemnly lifted

up a small volume of own philosophical treatise about malignancy

materialism. — I have to keep myself for mankind! — solemnly

he finished and already usual tone asked:

— You kept within?

— Still not. I go to gather, — Amelie told. She kissed the father in

cheek, passed to the room, opened a trunk and one minute threw there

volleyball, several tennis balls and rackets, two guns,

cartridges, bathing and sports suits, Hawaiian guitar, small

road toilet bag, two dresses, linen, the camera with a stock of films —

the word, everything that it took, going to ordinary “travel” —

to the resort.


The bishop Iov Weller got ready for a trip too. It should fly on

unknown planet. With this thought he, could reconcile in any way yet

to accustom.

Once on Saturday he peacefully sat, having gone deep into drawing up

the Sunday sermon, in the cozy apartment where lived two tens

years when the housekeeper reported that some person wants to see it.

Thinking that he is invited for execution of an occasional office, he told that

the visitor was let in.

The little restless person entered:

— I have honor to be presented. I am Henry Pinch. Representative of joint-stock

societies “Noah’s Ark” and personal secretary of the chairman of the board of Mr.

Samuel Stormer.

— This charitable society? — the bishop asked. He already forgot about

conversation in salon of lady Hinton.

— Not absolutely, — Pinch answered, taking seat in a chair and fidgeting in it. —

Though in some way it is possible to call it and charitable. Rescue

people from terrible death — whether this not good cause? You need to fly, the sir

bishop, as soon as possible.

— Where to fly? — Weller asked.

— On the sky.

The bishop was involuntarily removed to a chair back. That it, ridiculous joke

or ravings of a madman?

— I not absolutely understand you.

— I believed that you are rather prepared for this offer, —

Pinch answered, continuing to fidget in a chair. — Lady Hinton spoke…

The bishop remembered everything. But really it is serious?.

— I do not intend to fly on the sky! Perfect it intends! — the bishop told

such tone as if to it suggested to die. — To me to fly? Agree,

that it does not even match my dignity.

Пинч shrugged shoulders:

— I believe that it will not drop the advantage of your dignity. As

there were precedents… The prophet Ilya, for example, made flight to the sky.

Righteous person, prophet. On that time the prophet’s rank, I believe, meant not

it is less, than now the bishop.

— Yes, but., there was a God’s pleasure…

— And this pleasure of lady Hinton.

— I very much respect lady Hinton. This is the best sheep in my herd. But

it at me not one. I cannot leave the flock on eating up predatory

to wolves.

— And if the flock leaves you?.

The bishop sighed:

— I agree with you. Temples are visited less. But, as it is told in

the writing, “where one or two are brought together in my name, there and I in the middle of them”.

— In “ark” there will be twenty people. And when we will land on

some planet, to Mars or Venus, you will undertake a role

the apostle, announcing Christ’s doctrine to Martians or educating light

Gospel of inhabitants of Venus. Think only, you the first which will be with

the sermon of Christianity on other planets of solar system! And to be

can, god elects you for this mission.

— The almighty Lord, if finds necessary, can make it and other

in the way. But we will not concern so important theological questions, —

the bishop answered.

— Well, — continued Pinch, — it is admissible, you will refuse to fly,

despite insistent desire of lady Hinton who does not think of flight

without you. “The doctor is spiritual, — she says, — it is so necessary, as well as the doctor

corporal. Who will give to me advice, to direct “and a virtue path?

Who will make a ceremony of a wedding of lady Ellen with lord Henry Blotton?

Who will christen the been born children who will bury me if I die?”

Let’s say you will not obey these arguments and will remain. What waits for you

here? Perhaps, martyr death…

— I am ready to accept a martyr’s crown, — the bishop told, raising eyes to

to the sky. — But “yes this bowl will pass me”, — he whispered about himself.

— To remain on Earth, especially in your dignity, — Pinch was not appeased, —

extremely dangerously. In the country a tense situation. It is already the day before

revolutions, there is nothing to close eyes to it. — Пинч, having slid off on edge

chairs, continued by confidential tone:

— Lady Hinton received the most reliable news from the highest spheres that

falling of the power is expected any day. We not in forces to fight. It is impossible

to hesitate.

The bishop felt that sweat covers his forehead and cold runs on

to wide back.

— I am ready to everything, — he told.

Пинч took the leave and left.

The thought of missionary activity occupied the bishop. He did not trust in

existence of Martians, but on the new planet it would be among terrestrial

settlers the real father — Christ’s deputy. And unless without

Christianities, in general without religion it is possible to support a social order,

which provided also to it and his “sheep”, similar ladies Hinton, them

privileged position? But not only this “a high mission of the apostle”

forced it to decide to participate in flight. The bishop was frightened quickly

the developing events there is not less Shnirer and others. If revolution

will win, at its dignity it is necessary to it. Especially. perhaps, these

it was not necessary to tell sermons… And the prayer made by it about

the fastest death of communism? It even, speak, was with corresponding

with comments it is printed in their newspapers… No, to run, run… And it with

diligence began to select books of spiritual contents from the enough

big library. He put on a table already several big books when

phone cracked.

— Forgive for concern. Hallo! Yes! It again I, Pinch. I forgot

to warn you that if you decide to fly, hurry up to select things,

what you will find necessary to take with yourself, but it is no more than hundred kilograms.

Such is the order of our chief engineer. In “ark” everything is weighed

to the last gram.

The bishop with disappointment hung up.

It is no more than a centner. What complication! Except books, it is necessary to take

it is a lot of other things. He thought of the habits. Iov Weller loved

it is good to eat. What will feed in “ark” with? It will be necessary on everyone

to take a case with itself something for emergency. Even more the bishop loved and appreciated

thin wines and expensive liqueurs. They need absolutely to be taken. With the

stomach he did not get on as well as his best “sheep” — lady Hinton. To it

it was necessary to resort to laxatives, mainly to mineral

to waters. It is necessary to take at least a box of Zaltsbrunnen.

The bishop with despondency looked at the books which are spread out on a table and standing

on shelves. They one, probably, weigh more than a centner. It is necessary to select

the most necessary. The bishop called the housekeeper, ordered it to bring from the storeroom

bottles, banks of canned food, cookies boxes, banks with the oil condensed

milk also forced all this to weigh at itself. The housekeeper began to cry:

really the bishop considers her the thief? But at heart she was delighted:

the person who as she overheard, decided to depart, having thrown everything on

a destiny arbitrariness, would not begin to be engaged in economic trifles.

The hill with books on an episcopal table gradually thawed. At first it

put aside commentators and interpreters of the writing, then decided that

it is possible to do without history of ecumenical councils. Several tasty things and

warm jerseys forced to remove back on the book shelf of also some

Holy Fathers. Was already long after midnight when the bishop at last finished

selection. The voluminous chest was full. On the top pocket lay

Bible of the edition of the British bible society, and small breviary.

Apostles — those did also without it…


Dexterous agents of “Society of rescue from danger” hired all

new and new investors clients, gold flowed a wide stream in pockets

businessmen who had no objection to earn additionally and on rescue.

Collecting went to the road in the different ends of the world.


…There is such hour at dawn when the city polusmezhat tired for

put eyes. Show-windows and wide windows of cafe, a window which reflect die away

only gloss of streetlights. The movement of cars calms down.

In this hour on the city with speed limit long rushed

narrow brilliant limousine. It went to the building of the Central bank where

treasures of the largest capitalists were stored.

In a limousine sat, having leaned back on a seatback, Marshal de Terlonzh,

squeezing a small suitcase of yellow skin in hands.

The king of the exchange, obviously, waited in this inopportune for bank

operations hour. The car did not manage to approach to the bank building as silently

its side door opened. Marshal quickly went out of the car, almost

ran space to a door and sliped in a lobby. Bald,

the representative, stout man from the rest of curls on the head and humpbacked

respectfully met by a nose the banker and said in low tones:

— I ask you.

And they went along a long corridor accompanied by armed


They went down under the earth. The way went through the hugest fortress,

which was constructed ever by the person. Any Pharaoh would not think up

such unapproachable crypt in the depth of pyramids what these arches were

bank, lit throughout strong opaque electric


By the hoist engine they went down on two floors and appeared before

massive steel door. Such door banks считав usually sufficient

protection of the hidden treasure. Here it was only the beginning of fortress.

Behind a door the small tunnel began. The tunnel came to an end steel

tower. The tower closed the tunnel, and the third floor of the cellar had an appearance of huge

the arch which is held down by reinforced concrete walls four and a half thick


— This tower weighs fourteen tons, — the guide explained, — and

it is set in motion by the special electric mechanism.

The elevator lowered night visitors to the most first floor. Here began

the whole labyrinth of halls, the courses, confidential boxes in the walls disguised


Steps of travelers were given in empty halls by a repeated echo. In one of

halls gold, gemstones, important documents — all was stored

stolen for years it was accumulated in these safes.

There was an underground lake above. If it was only required, water

lakes could be flooded all basement floor.

This most unapproachable fortress in the world is not built, and dug in

whole granite on which there is a city. Five years that were required

to finish rocky works.

Armies of burglars could use all the life on penetration

in fortress without any hope for success. And certainly, not against

burglars all these exclusive measures were undertaken: if enemy

will occupy the city, it, naturally, will direct to gold. Applying most

modern means for blasting fortresses, it should work

it is a lot of months <the description of this bank not fiction of the author. Similar bank,

for example, is in Paris (The French national bank).>.

According to instructions of the associate director of bank the watchman opened a steel door,

the leader to the small reinforced concrete room which walls were filled

fireproof boxes. Marshal opened one of them own key,

having picked up the figures which are previously located in a corresponding way on

the rotating ring.

Guides showed such bashfulness as if the banker was a girl,

going to bathe: as soon as it undertook the suitcase, they departed

for a door also staid all the time there while the banker took out the treasures and

moved them to a fireproof case. It were diamonds and ingots such

sizes what were not seen even by lady Hinton. In each of them was


Having finished this operation, the banker closed a case, thanked the

satellites also left bank.

But on it its efforts did not end. Being going to leave Earth, it

cared more that will remain on Earth, than about unusual


The banker did not trust even the superfortress. It ideally protects from

thieves? Well. From enemy attack? Perfectly. But whether it can

to protect from revolution?. Attack of enemies on the city not so disturbed

the banker, as revolution and fear to lose the riches frightened.

No walls and underground hiding places will save then treasure of bankers. And

he decided to hide the most valuable that it had, in two places.

He had to make one more trip with the authorized representative,

the friend Ribot on whom he relied, as on itself (himself), to Andorra,

small republic close to Spain. This republic

has only four hundred twenty five square kilometers of the area and

six villages of the population. Surrounded from all directions with unapproachable

mountains, having only one good road through the Spanish border, this

the remote corner of Europe was chosen long ago by Marshal.

Several years ago he bought the abandoned site in Andorra

lands in the deserted area, near the Pyrenean mountains. Here, in the gorge,

the large share of richness of the March la was secretly buried. Iron chests

were deeply dug in different places and are filled up with stones.

If at least one such treasure remains, the banker will be able upon return on

The earth to begin business again. By then, according to the baron,

revolution will be suppressed.

A lot of money for bribery of bank was necessary to spend Marshalya

workers, that large withdrawal did not appear in books and at all not

it would be revealed before flying away of the banker.

Marshal de Terlinzh could fly quietly.


Collecting to the road brought the greatest trouble upon Semuel Stormer. But to us

it is necessary to tell before several words about that way which brought in

“Noah’s Ark” of the new participant who quickly seized all threads

managements of “Joint-stock company” and the chairman who moved forward on a post

boards. It possessed also an initiative of creation of the whole squadron

“arks” for rescue of capitalists of the other countries.

Semuel Stormer was once one of the richest people, the member

eighty five joint-stock companies, chairman of sixty others

and away, and so forth. Said about it that it “keeps half of Europe in waistcoat

pocket’. Stormer’s power was present ‘the state in

state”. More than fifteen million people in the different countries

were supplied with Stormer’s companies gas, electricity, coal.

Welfare of millions of small shares holders was in his hands.

— The most difficult was to extract the first million, — ordinary spoke

Stormer to reporters, telling a story of the wealth, — to get

the rest was already easy.

Production of actions was system of this easy getting.

But crisis broke also this colossus.

Operation of the typographical machine making all new and new actions

and military orders did not save either Stormer, or his fellows, and only on

some time removed their final death.

And Stormer decided, what is the best of all, having hidden solid cash,

to disappear, depart “on heaven”.

It unexpectedly like interest to., to a classical antiquity also went

through Paris to Athens to study ancient art of Greece. “Incidentally”

Greece was not connected by the extradition treaty of criminals.

Flight of Stormer and his brother caused noise in the country. Government

demanded Stormer’s delivery from Greece. It was arrested and forwarded in

prison — in the camera arranged better than any salon aristocratic


However for other morning when Stormer still stretched in a bed, to

to it the chief of prison and the Athenian lawyer, in most entered the camera

refined expressions apologized for the happened misunderstanding and

declared that it is free. He was obliged by it to the Greek millionaire,

invested the capital in Stormer’s enterprises.

But Stormer did not forget a lesson. It grasped the idea of “Noah’s Ark”. It

the scent said to him that on this business it is possible to profit. Unless one

Stormer is in a stalemate? And it with energy inherent in it

undertook affairs of “Noah’s Ark”, at once having put them in a big way and in that

time actively preparing for final elimination come in

the deadlock put. Induced to leave Earth it not only danger

the coming revolution. Revolution bore to it crash. Any day could

to emerge on a surface dark affairs, briberies, forgeries and even something

it is worse what at best threatened Stormer with full bankruptcy. But

that bankruptcy if direct threatened his life

danger? To leave Earth was for it the best outcome.

Stormer decided to set fire to the palace before flying away and to dramatize

own death in a flame. Thus many will be destroyed

the documents compromising him, and the case of it is dismissed for it

“death”. Everything was prepared for it.

Stormer should have held on by all means before

time, having kept visibility of prosperity. Therefore he could not withdraw from

addresses as Marshal, considerable part of the gold reserves.

And still he prepared a weighty suitcase. But he did not want to leave

to its Earth. He considered the earth insufficiently safe place since

danger of revolution became a reality.

And he asked Zander whether it is impossible to make at least part of the rocket of him

gold. Zander explained that it is impossible. Gold is even softer than silver.

It melts at one thousand sixty two degrees Celsius whereas

iron — at one thousand five hundred. The surface of the rocket at flight through

the atmosphere is exposed to strong heating.

— We risk to burn down in our gold rocket or to be flattened out at

to landing. The strongest refractory grades are necessary for a cover of the rocket

special steel.

Stormer was disappointed and is even offended. For the first time it was necessary to it

to hear that gold is put below steel.

— Well, and on internal hand-made articles?

— It is possible, though is unprofitable: gold too massivno, increases

dead freight. On gazo-and water pipes, perhaps, it is possible to use

this metal if you insist.

— On the sewerage, can be? — being indignant with such profanation

“golden calf”, Stormer asked.

— And at least and for bathrooms, — Zander quietly answered. — In the sky other

quotation of values.

Also settled upon that: in “Noah’s Ark” of a pipe and some details

the equipment will be made of gold.

Chapter 5


Stratoplan tilted. For a moment Finger saw the mountain platform and

on it Stormer-city.

This city had an extraordinary appearance. On the central square was

the huge horseshoe attached to the earth by the rounded-off part. Any

the cathedral in the world, any skyscraper could not be made even to it on height.

Around a horseshoe not less strange constructions settled down.

The spherical buildings, huge cylinders which are lying on one side or standing on

the basis. One sphere was glass and as it seemed to Finger,

rotated. Another — absolutely black. The lying cylinder, or “tank”,

had a surface half black, opaque, half brilliant,

as if silver. The strange roundabouts, planked footway hanging in flashed

air, railway lines.

At the next moment стратоплан it was leveled, the platform failed.

Finger extended a neck to look down.

— You admire an amusement park? — Vinkler with a smile asked.

The second small list, and Hans saw one-storey pine houses, for

them — two-storeyed long standard barracks, further away — tents.

Crossing all city, there was an embankment, hollow rising in the direction

break. On the very brink of the city factory cases and pipes were seen, from

who were brought down by Narrow-gage railway smoke diversely cut the city.

Trucks scurried about. The embankment blackened the people who were pottering about as if ants.

Along an embankment long trunks of excavators turned.

“Really here the amusement park is arranged?” — Finger, but not wanted to ask

was in time. Stratoplan sharply came in the land, sat down on the earth, jumped up,

swept and unexpectedly abruptly stopped.

— Arrived, — Hans told.

Travelers quickly put on in fur coats and caps.

The hermetic door of a stratoplan opened. Pakhnulo frosty air K

the stratoplan suited the bystry tripping gait the tolstenky person in

to fur-coat. It was the commercial director Collins.

— You arrived for ten minutes earlier, — he told, greeting. — I

heard an infernal crash of your stratoplan and hurried here. You are wounded, the sir?

You have on a forehead blood.

— Trifles, — Blotton answered. — Medical assistance is not required Idle time

bruise about a door. And here if you feed me with a good beefsteak, I will be

to you he is very grateful. It is hungry so as if did not eat days, and meanwhile

before flying away I have densely breakfast.

— Not without reason the theory of relativity claims that it than quicker moves

the body, the more slowly for it proceeds time, — with a smile told


— I think, now sir Henry Blotton will prefer a hot grog and

beefsteak of the theory of relativity, — Vinkler noticed.

— How is Mr. Zander? — Blotton asked.

— It was caused on a meeting has to return to lady Hinton On soon, —

Collins Blotton and Collins answered send forward. Vinkler and Finger — on

some distance from them.

— I will show you our dwelling, — Vinkler told. — I think, you

it will be most convenient to be located in the room near me.

— Certainly, — Finger answered.

They went down the street Stormer-city, supporting each other. In the city still

did not manage to take care of improvement. Sidewalks were not, packed

snow became covered by an ice crust, and people quite often fell.

It was the city which all life was adapted for

implementation of one grandiose idea.

Cold mountain air was filled with a rumble, noise, shouts, beeps.

Deafly excavators roared, small electric locomotives had sharply something in common,

busy scurrying about on a narrow-gage railway, squealed on trolley curves

On the ground shadows from cars of the suspended road crept. From time to time

booming blows shook air — tore rocks. Monophonically sang sawmills.

Smelled of sulfur, the petrol reek of alcohol. Somewhere pneumatic cracked

punchers the guttural multilingual speech of workers was heard Everywhere. They

scurried about on streets in all directions, transferring on weight shoulders,

filled the city with din and the movement. On this mountain platform as if

centuries and the people met. The electric and steam shovels made on

to state-of-the-art technology, and the biped “pack animals” moving

weights, as at the time of the Egyptian Pharaohs.

“Muscular force here, obviously, is cheaper and more favorable, than cars”, —

Finger thought, looking narrowly at workers.

Who was not only here! Both yellow-faced Chinese, and Blacks, and

chocolate Malayans, and bronze Hindus.

Also white faces met, most often it were foremen.

Despite the snow covering city streets, and cold, sharp mountain

wind, workers were dressed easily. At many through shirts appeared through


— Real International! — Finger told.

— Yes, poverty International, — Vinkler answered. — All of them are bought for

pennies are also contracted by agents of society for several years. People

agreed to any conditions, if only to avoid starvation,

unemployment, and still met the worst of slavery here. From there are ways

retreats are cut off. Unapproachable snow mountains, snow snow-storms,

abysses, deserted, naked deserts protect this hungry люд better

any watchmen. The few from them are solved on escape and almost all pay for

it the life. Strikes here ruthlessly are suppressed, though

flash again.

Finger vaguely lowed something. Vinkler has a look at him,

patted shoulder and continued:

— I see, you are covered already by an itch of the propagandist. Yes, here grateful

the soil, it is also necessary to put not enough work that all this powder

the cellar blew up. But, — it continued significantly, — endurance, Hans,

and patience are so necessary for the revolutionary, as well as bravery. In total in

the time. Here and our housing.

They entered the small house put from crude logs of mountain


Walls of the room of Vinkler were covered with plywood sheets. In a corner stood

iron furnace. Two tables — lunch and working with phone and a lamp on

it is mute, couple of chairs, a bed, a washstand and a small locker made

all situation. A color carpet on a wall at a bed and a skin of a bear on a floor

brightened up this just arranged room a little.

— So you were not tired?

— No, he is not tired, — Finger answered, undressing. — I would like somewhat quicker

to get acquainted with the city and…

— To learn the latest news?

Vinkler took out an electric tile, cans from a locker,

bread, plates also began to manage.

— And so, listen. Now in Stormer-city it is constructed

the first big rocket calculated on twenty people. Behind it have to

to follow others. And finally to convince men of little faith,

the hesitating, indecisive rich men, the small rocket is already constructed

Pikkolo in which one person can be located. Trial flight in

presence of “shareholders” Blotton will make — he wants to concede to nobody

this honor. For this purpose it also arrived here. The lord cannot refuse in

rash bravery, characteristic of the bourgeois champion. Rocket

will make small take-off, will rise over a stratosphere — new laurels in

rekordsmensky wreath of the lord — will also go down on the surface of the Great ocean,

where we will also catch it. A lot of things depend on success of this first flight.

Intensity of a gold stream can increase considerably if Blotton

will appear after flight live and safe before kings of the exchange.

— And you, Vinkler, trust in a possibility of rescue of capitalist

tops in such unusual way?

— Let will do some flying.

— And., you promote it?

— Not only that itself I promote, but also attracted you to “partnership

in a crime against revolution”. Yes, yes. You will not only work

on building, but also you will depart together with me and lords whom you are so

fairly you hate, — certainly if only flight takes place.

Hans, do not get excited. Listen to me quietly. I well know that you want

to tell. We could upset all this music, certainly, very easily.

We could cause a revolt, could blow up the rocket before most

take-off. But what would be benefited by us from it? The idea we would not kill. Flight all

could take place, but already in other place, without us. And it would be

much worse. A starprobe vehicle — a dangerous toy. It can be used not

only for shameful flight, but also for approach. Eventually we

we are not down on to all plans of leaders of this business. And that they

mean to use a starprobe vehicle and for a throwing of bombs in critical

the moment of the last decisive battles, it is not subject to doubt. It already

becomes in colonies — during war and at suppression of revolts. No,

much more safely is also more practical if we with you on the rocket are. In

the necessary moment we will always manage to appropriate whom follows.

— If everything is and can be coming us more interesting and

considerable work, than service of the capitalists trying to get away,


— Isn’t that so, fascinating task? — Vinkler killed it. — But

you should work, work hard terribly. All these

starprobe vehicles., let they build them… After the world revolution all

will get to us, isn’t that so? So why to us to exterminate rockets now?

No, we will build them, to build for ourselves. Superfast means of communication

will gain the huge and daily value. Will be necessary to us

stratoplana first of all, and over time and starprobe vehicles. There now and

it is ready. To pork I will make still fried eggs. You eat, be sated, gain strength.

Hans with appetite of the young, healthy and got hungry man

began to absorb both pork, and fried eggs, and beans in a tomato. Vinkler, tenderly

smiling, watched it.

— Whether Zander knows about the true purposes to which he serves now? — asked

Finger, having satisfied the first hunger.

— How to tell! Time “Noah’s Ark” does not pursue the military aims, for

the naive pacifist engineer Zander of it is enough. And in everything

the rest he is interested in affairs of shareholders a little. Society gave it

an opportunity and huge appliances to develop work in such

scales of which he could not dream. It for it the main thing. And

he can really make a lot of things. Zander — talented

theorist, magnificent designer and extremely modest person.”I

only pupil of the great teacher Tsiolkovsky. It lit a flame, I

only I support him until the dream of mankind is fulfilled” — so

he speaks about himself. I would tell that Zander though he now and “out of

politicians”, perhaps, belongs to that best part technical

the intellectuals which can work well together not bad with us as it worked well together

once it in the east. Here therefore we with you also helped Zander

to run. Well, it is full? We go, I will show you an amusement park.

— Here did not think in any way what in Stormer-city exists even

amusement park! Perhaps, there is also a cinema, cabaret, taverns and these… “red


— How the businessman will do without these institutions? Device

pumpings out of a salary from pockets of workers works here excellently. But

only amusement park here special… And, unlike other entertainments,

even free. It has great success in the local population. And,

it is necessary to tell, deserves that. It is very amusing and very instructive. Not

I will mystify you more. Amusement park not entertaining

attractions, and real city laboratory. In this laboratory

those conditions in which there will be participants are artificially created

flight on rockets — from start to the finish. Here influence of these is studied

conditions: accelerations and delays of flight, increase in gravity,

zero gravity and so on. Unfortunately, I am too busy that

to accompany you. But you also will understand everything. Here to you “entrance

the ticket” in an amusement park. According to this admission all will show you and all will explain.

Chapter 6


Members of Spaseniye joint-stock company, future participants of flight on

to the first rocket, gathered in a country mansion of lady Hinton that

to discuss important questions of the forthcoming travel.

At a preliminary meeting scientists did not come to the full agreement.

The general meeting was organized in the hall of ancestors. If severely looking

from dark canvases proud knights could listen, they, likely, jumped out

from the gilded frames also escaped, — about such wild, improbable for

them things it was told here.

Guests sat at the long oval table laid by a white cloth

Elizabeth’s times. An ancient tea service with gold stains on blue

background, color candles in bronze high candlesticks, roses in vases,

gilded biscuit barrels decorated a table. As statues, stood at an entrance severe

footmen in gray liveries.

— It is given the floor to professor sir Abraham Kinbruk! — loudly

Stormer who undertook duties of the chairman unusual announced


The English astronomer, yet not the old, stout man similar in the

tail-coat suit on the diplomat, slowly rose, softly smiled and

threw a meeting an inquisitive look. For any audience, since

the international astronomical congresses and finishing aristocratic

salons, at it prepared different styles and methods of a statement

material. “It is necessary to be at loss for words on ears, — laughing, he said in a circle

friends. — Not any word will get into the ear aggravated by diamond


— Lady and gentlemen! — there began Kinbruk and made a pause, once again

checking mood of audience. — Responsibility of the task assigned on

us, forces to be especially careful. I frankly have to tell,

that our scientific knowledge about whether there can be a person on others

planets, are very incomplete, limited. My scientific colleagues assume,

that in solar system there are two planets available for

human existence, is Mars and Venus. Alas, I cannot

to divide with them this confidence. In comparison with our Earth the planet

Mars receives twice less light and heat. If you landed on

Mars, that Sun would seem to you rather small disk.

The Martian day would seem you twilight of Earth. You would suffer from

cold weather. Perhaps, you would pine from thirst because on Mars it is not enough

waters. In eternal cold you would wander about fruitless sandy deserts

continents and to hollows of the dried-up seas. However, I doubt that wandered

.You just would choke with a lack of oxygen. It there very much

it is not enough.

If you want to present even more clearly living conditions on Mars, I will bring

to you such example. The highest of the mountain tops, known on Earth, Everest

rises by eight thousand eight hundred eighty two meters. Ours

the English climbers, the best in the world, could reach only height

eight thousand six hundred four meters. Any expedition did not reach to

tops. Ice-covered steep slopes of mountains, furious mountain wind, a frost — everything was

it is overcome. But people receded before a lack of oxygen. They

choked. With the lowered atmosphere pressure blood went from ears. Everyone

the movement was torture.

As the person at height of two Everestov — has to feel on

to height of sixteen kilometers above sea level? Such mountains do not exist

on Earth. But tried to rise by similar height in open gondolas

stratosphere balloons. Brave aero navigators perished from suffocation already at height

to ten — twelve kilometers. On Mars air is as rarefied, as over

The earth at the height of sixteen kilometers. And there it is also cold. Even still

more cold. At disembarkation to Mars you would be expected by really terrible destiny.

— I do not fly to Mars! — resolutely lady Hinton told.

— There is Venus, — the astronomer continued. — Venus is located closer to

To the sun, than Earth. But on Venus, milords and the lady, absolutely not


— It still needs to be proved! — the second astronomer noticed, without lifting


— To my respectable colleague professor Dzhilber it will be provided

an opportunity to state the theories, — Kinbruk continued, having flashed points in

party of the opponent. — I claim: on the basis of the last scientific

data, are not found in the atmosphere of Venus also an oxygen trace. Anything, who

would dare to land on Venus, the destiny of a mouse under glass waits

cap from which air is extorted.

— Incorrect comparison. Even if on Venus there is also no oxygen, air

there nevertheless is, — Dzhilber did not restrain again.

— Ives that and in other case an outcome one — death from suffocation, — objected


Lady Hinton removed a cup.

— I do not fly also to Venus.

— So. And other planets? — Stormer asked.

— About them out of the question. On Mercury you alive would burn down from

heats, other planets, on the contrary, are too cold; they are too far from

Sun, heat source.

— In a word, we have no place to land? — Stormer asked.

— Yes. In all solar system, in the whole Universe one Earth

it is adapted for human life.

— What will quite be coordinated with the Scripture! — the bishop exclaimed.

— In the Bible it is told that the Lord created Earth for dwelling

the person, and the Sun, the Moon and stars for lighting of Earth. I cannot

to assume that life could exist on other planets that on

them reasonable beings lived. It would bring chaos in all our

religious representations. Really god created not one Adam, but tens

and hundreds of thousands on different planets? And whether there was a fall on one

To the earth or and on other planets? And whether it was necessary to a God’s window

to reincarnate, descend repeatedly in an image of the person on different

planets to die and revive to expiate an original sin? Absurdity!

Heresy! If even on other planet we could also exist that

it is impossible whether we have the right to leave Earth? It is told in the Writing:

“The earth of an esa and to the earth of an otydesha”. To the earth, but not to some Mars! Ours

ashes have to be based in our earth!

— I will not treat anywhere! — lady Hinton declared.

Stormer impatiently fidgeted on a chair. This speech of the bishop could harmfully

to affect affairs of the company. Still professor Kinbruk spoiled business by the

performance. Who could expect such dirty trick? Once he paid! And

here still the bishop with the inappropriate sermon…

— You terminated, professor Kinbruk? It is given the floor to professor

To Dzhilber!

Dzhilber raised the face inclined over a table.

Gray-haired, old, with a big nose, the drooped moustaches and young people,

derisive eyes, the astronomer Dzhilber started talking unexpectedly thin


“Chirps as a canary!” — Amelie thought.

— “Platon to me the friend, but the truth is dearer!” — there began Dzhilber with Latin

proverbs. — At all my respect for the colleague, dear professor

To Kinbruk, I have to tell that he is not right. And it is not right twice. He spoke

about care, responsibility. We, scientists, have to have one

responsibility — before the truth. Care and courage — it is eternal

the conflicting sisters. But they are reconciled by strict mother — need. Not

whether professor Kinbruk believes that modern climate of Earth very much

promotes health and longevity of the ladies who gathered here and

gentlemen? Whether it finds that the terrestrial atmosphere now

is more favorable, than the atmosphere of Venus? Where the respectable society which gathered

at this table, risks to choke rather? As you can see, when will come

need, care forces to be courageous, forces to go

on risk.

But whether this risk is so high? Professor Kinbruk very much exaggerated. I

I do not dare to polemize with lord bishop. It, of course, is right that

to the Lord many efforts would increase if also other worlds were

are manned. But we and have enough efforts, and we will speak so far

only about them.

Stormer breathed a sigh of relief.

— Yes, I claim that Mr. Kinbruk exaggerated and sinned

against the truth. My respectable colleague missed one very important

circumstance — atmosphere density on planets. Our atmosphere

reflects more than a half of sunbeams in heavenly space. Mars

almost everything reflects them. Therefore temperature of Mars is much lower terrestrial,

what is confirmed by the last measurements and a certain size

polar ices of Mars. The atmosphere on Venus almost all beams of the Sun

rejects in heavenly space. Therefore temperature of Venus only

is a little higher, than on Earth. On Mars it is cold. But also on Earth is

cold places. Remember at least as saved once Byrd on Youzhny

pole. Saving groups made the way on catarpillars in ices

Antarctic at a frost in seventy one degrees. It is more, than in

to stratosphere. And anything. Were not afraid of a frost — saved lives. Oxygen on

Mars it is not enough. Without habit will breathe more difficult. But professor Kinbruk

did not tell about one — as losses of an organism will be considerably there

it is less. Because bodies weigh almost three times less there, than on Earth.

Mr. Pinch will easily lift one hand of the boss, respectable there

Mr. Stormer. You will feel extraordinary ease in the

body. During the walking, a raising of weights muscle work will be facilitated three times. And

means, and the need for oxygen will be less. For me is not subject

to doubt that on Mars there is vegetation. Means, can be and

animals and people, though, perhaps, and not similar to terrestrial.

— What they can be? — Amelie became interested.

— Hypothetically, proceeding from a planet environment, I can take on

courage to represent to you the Martian. As living beings

test on Mars “burden of Earth” three times smaller, it is possible that they

have also growth three times bigger. For the same reason and their muscles can

to be considerable smaller. Their legs and hands are thinner. Lack of oxygen

has to cause increase in volume of a thorax. Even at us on Earth,

as showed measurements, at inhabitants of high mountains the thorax is wider, than at

inhabitants of valleys. Mars is more ancient than Earth. Inhabitants of Mars therefore have to possess

more developed brain, and consequently, and the large volume of the head.

The lack of light has to cause increase in organs of vision. And at us

some deep-water fishes possess huge eyes. A sound in

the rarefied air extended worse. This circumstance

causes development of auditory organs.

— High, thin, with a barrel-shaped breast, the big head, huge

eyes and ears… Фи! — Amelie exclaimed.

— Everything in the world is conditional, Ms.! — Dzhilber answered. — Believe, as you,

even you, — it gallantly added, — it is probable, will not cause delight at

Martian Apollo. Yes! There is one more advantage of life on Mars,

which will be estimated especially by women. Year is almost twice longer there, than on

To the earth. And, having lived forty terrestrial years on the Martian account, you can on

to tell conscience that to you only twenty.

— And I will look twenty-year-old or forty-year-old?

— Here I find it difficult to tell it to you. I am afraid to upset, but I think that

forty-year-old. Though, maybe, and vital processes will proceed there

in a slowed-up way.

— I believe that on Mars it is not so bad. A little coldishly…

— But it is possible to live.

— Ellen! You laid a fur coat? — lady Hinton interrupted.

— And Martians will not kill us? — again asked Amelie. Lady Hinton already

glanced at it with displeasure.

— Will not kill. The biggest — will be put in the museum as rare

copies, — with a smile Dzhilber answered.

— As for Venus, — it continued, — I already told that: there not

such conditions, as on Earth. But climate, perhaps, not really pleasant. Not

I know whether fall by the Martian Adam, but on Venus was made

people, likely, strongly made angry god.

— Why you so think? — the bishop became interested.

— John Milton assures of the poem “The Lost and Returned Paradise”

lips of an angel that the axis of our Earth before Adam’s fall stood

perpendicularly to the plane of a terrestrial ecliptic and on Earth was all the year round

identical spring climate. The terrestrial axis was inclined in punishment for

fall of the first person, and climate of Earth worsened. And as

inclination of an axis of Venus bigger, than a terrestrial axis, it is necessary to make

conclusion that venerianets even more made angry god, than our primogenitors.

Venerable professor Kinbruk claims that on Venus it is perfect

there is no oxygen, and approves it on the ground that spectral

the analysis of traces of oxygen it is not revealed. It is incorrect. Physicist

The Michigan university by Artur Adel it was established that

concentration of carbon dioxide in only one upper atmosphere

Venus it is enormous in comparison with terrestrial. If there is a carbonic acid, then

there has to be also an oxygen. Venus has to be similar to a huge greenhouse, and

life on Venus, maybe, accepts especially violent and intensive

the forms surpassing what we have on Earth.

— And animals on Venus are? — asked Pinch.

— If there is an oxygen, moisture, warmly, then why not to be also an animal?

— What water on Venus? — the bishop asked. Dzhilber crafty


— It depending on for what needs. In old times the father

Kirkher was interested whether water on Venus for commission of a ceremony is good

baptisms. Unfortunately, I cannot answer this question to you

in the affirmative. In all other relations, I believe, water nothing not

differs from terrestrial.

— I do not agree with my dear colleague, — without having asked permission at

the chairman, Kinbruk began to say. Stormer tried to stop it, but

the scientist did not stop. Fortunately, in the heat of a dispute Kinbruk forgot about audience

also began to pour the terminology clear to nobody, except devoted.

Between scientists the dispute erupted. Zander listening already with impatience


— I would ask to give us rather your resolutory data. Venus, Mars

or neither that nor other planet?

— Whether and everything is equal to you? — Stormer who did not get used that asked

somebody interfered with conducting a meeting.

— By no means not all the same, — Zander answered. — If we fly to Venus,

the minimum initial speed of flight of the rocket has to be eleven

whole the four tenth kilometer per second; if to Mars — eleven

whole six tenth. Flight to Mars occupies not less than hundred ninety

two days, to Venus — ninety seven. All calculations depending on

it change.

— But I did not tell about the third opportunity, — Dzhilber told, — about

opportunities., anywhere not to land. If you really managed

to establish that circulation of substances about which told me dear

Leo Zander, and to these you would provide yourself food on vaguely long

term, it would be the best exit. You could install in the rocket

both climate of Riviera, and lighting according to your desire, even in each cabin

different — to tastes of inhabitants. You could make attempt to land

on the planet and to depart from there if life on it is unsuitable.

In a word, you would be masters of the situation and would not depend more on Earth

and sky.

This offer, probably, was pleasant to all.

Zander grinned and asked words. Stormer strictly looked at him

and solemnly proclaimed:

— It is given the floor to the engineer Zander.

— All this discussion, — there began the engineer, — with my point of view, it seems

overdue. You are going to fly in the most near future. You hurry

me with flying away. You hurry me with completion of work. What would be if

I would design the rocket suitable for flight to Venus, and to me would be

the task to fly to Mars or to soar in space without landing is given!

It is impossible to remake the rocket, it would be necessary to build new.

— But you put several types of the rocket?

— From a bookmark before construction not one month proceeds. In ready or

almost in finished form there is only one. And if you want to fly,

on it it is also necessary to make a trip.

Stormer flushed.

— In other words, — he told, — you, without us resolved an issue about

route and in compliance with it constructed the rocket?

— Anyhow I could arrive? Really you believe that I expected

at this meeting to meet something new to me? All mentioned

I was forced to study questions in the most attentive way still to

first drawing of the rocket. All latest astronomical literature, all

last achievements of astronomy. At last, your task — to be guided

to Venus.

— If so, then I do not understand why it was necessary to invite us, —

Kinbruk quite sharply told.

— Well, at least to tell future participants of flight

some data on astronomy, — with a smile were told by Zander. And not only

for this purpose. I cannot assume all responsibility. As if

we are circumspect were, whatever precautionary measures

undertook, our travel after all is risky.

Stormer angrily began to patter fingers on a table. That for tactless

person this Zander! It is good still that it is not heard by other participants

joint-stock company. It would frighten off them.

At the word “risk” of lady Hinton and Ellen made the involuntary movement.

Zander noticed it and immediately hurried to calm women.

— And trips in the train are accompanied by risk, — he noticed. — Not

I think that flight in the rocket represented big risk. But in a case

landings to the planet us, of course, expect many surprises. And I am very much

he is grateful to professor Kinbruk who informed you in advance about

some inconveniences existing on the specified planets. In

astronomical questions your authority will be believed, certainly, more,

than me.

— But where you land us, devil take it? Forgive, the milady, for

involuntary exclamation, — Stormer told.

All waited with breathless attention that Zander will tell.

— Anywhere. I believe that to us it is the more favorable and safest exactly anywhere

not to land.

— O… a ryzhok in anything? — Marshal with bitter irony which not asked


— And therefore I also tried to create such interplanetary ship, on

which there could be a circulation of substances. The rocket will have

greenhouse in five hundred meters of length which has to give us necessary

for food vegetable products and oxygen for breath.

— To eat one wild strawberry? — asked Amelie. — I agree.

— For fans to eat more densely we will take products of month on

rub, on five. If I manage to carry out completely the invention,

which I finish now, perhaps, these one three-months

terrestrial stocks, apart from a greenhouse, will be enough for us at least for two-three

ten terrestrial years.

— You believe that you in the rocket to us will be sufficient for saturation

homeopathic doses?

— I am not going to cut off a ration on one gram.

— Then, so you are going to repeat an evangelical miracle of saturation

five thousand people five fishes and three bread?

— Yes, if you want, a miracle.

— But in what it consists?

— In “extending” time in the rocket as rubber. While

in the rocket there will pass days, on Earth — months and, perhaps, years.

Round eyes of Stormer left orbits. That would be the last straw, that

Zander went balmy from mind!

— You, it seems., a little bit…

— Went crazy? — Zander facilitated Stormer’s task.

— I understand Mr. Zander, — Dzhilber told, rubbing the forehead. —

Means to slow down a current of time really exists. It

means — to accelerate the movement. But, Mr. Zander, to create

such difference between a current of time on Earth and in the rocket, are necessary

speeds close to velocity of light.

Zander nodded.

— I do not claim that I will manage to solve this problem, but, it seems to me,

I am close to its decision, — he told.

— Radiant energy? Radio waves? Intratomic energy? — threw

Zander’s questions.

— It is a secret so far, — he answered. — And if I manage to seize

really huge speeds, then we will be able to visit even not

on one planet and personally to be convinced whether life is possible on them.

— Still! — Kinbruk exclaimed, derisively smiling. — Flying with

velocity of light, you in one and a half seconds would fly by by the Moon, and eight with

a half of minutes would be enough for you to reach the Sun.

— Really, — Dzhilber started talking, — if you flew with

speed a little smaller, than the velocity of light, that time in the rocket

it would be slowed down in comparison with terrestrial. So far on our rocket will pass near

years, on Earth there can pass ten or even hundred years.

The conversation quickened. Except astronomers and Zander, nobody understood how

time flow quicker, more slowly, but a thought extremely can

interested all. Just imagine, so it is possible in some way

to operate also terrestrial time, forcing it to flow quicker,

more slowly.

— When I return to Earth in one or two months, I will find my Otto

the decrepit old man, and itself I will remain it is also young, isn’t that so, mister


— And if terrestrial affairs develop adversely, we could put

the basis on some planet to new mankind, — Shnirer told,

the staying all evening in silence. — To create a new civilization, without

cars, without the equipment.

“Hundred years in two years! — Stormer thought. — During this time long ago will die

all my envious persons, enemies and judges, and case of me will decay in archives

vessels. Perfectly, devil take it! And if all this dies, we will slow down

flight — we will accelerate a current of time not too to lag behind terrestrial affairs,

also we will return to Earth to the most favorable to us the moment”.

— I would prefer to return to Earth and to find there triumphing

“Mohicans”, — he told. — But if, over expectation, it was necessary to us

to land on some planet, it would be very clever to us to undertake for

organization of this newest mankind. I offer such project.

We will take with ourselves in the rocket, so to speak, all quintessence of necessary

practical knowledge. In the most compressed look we will state all necessary

knowledge: mathematics, astronomy, medicine, biology, botany,


— I am afraid that terrestrial botany, the zoology and geography are not enough there

will be useful, — Dzhilber told. — On other planets you should create

other botany and geography.

— So, I suggest to capture with myself all “earth salt” in compact

look, — Stormer continued. — Experts could order

to make such abstracts, to everyone in the area and to print books

the most small print on the thinnest, but strong paper or to take

microbooks. I gave botany, geography for example. I think, however, as

terrestrial botany, geography, history will not be superfluous. Unless to immigrants

to Venus it will not be interesting to know about Earth But I pass to most important

parts mine of the project. New mankind on the new earth, certainly, so

it has to be divided into classes, as well as on our planet. But division

it has to be sharper. People of our circle have to borrow there

dominant position Descendants of any servants, mechanics and other

service personnel which we will take with ourselves have to become

our slaves We will create a caste “wise”, “devoted”, slaves have to

to be illiterate, dark people. And we will rule over them therefore

that without our knowledge they will be helpless and powerless Only we one

let’s know how to build houses, cars…

— Cars? Again cars? And there cars? — Shnirer screamed. — You want

to ruin new mankind? To transfer this infection, this plague to new

earth? Cars is a damnation of a Satan which finished terrestrial mankind

before a real crash! By no means, not under any circumstances I not

I will agree to this madness! Classes can remain — they are even necessary.

Only slavery could provide leisure, necessary for reflections

to philosophers of antiquity. Let there will be slavery, but the slavery softened

patriarchal relations. Life close to the nature! Natural

economy! Any cities! We, Germans, in the person of unnaturally expanded

communities of Berlin created the tool which destroyed the state when it

the tool — Berlin — fell into hands of extremists, that is antigosudarstvenno

the adjusted people at large. Any factories and plants! Any cities!

Farms, meadows, herdboys, streamlets… Philosophy of contemplation and morals…

— Christian! — the bishop inserted.

— Yes, Christian, — the philosopher agreed. — It is very convenient for us.

And, you know, I would leave these terrestrial stories, geography on Earth. We

would create a modern history — about the highest beings, nisshedshy from “sky” on

earth. We would have an authority of divinity. We will be wisely and graciously

to operate our slaves. They will graze our herds, to cultivate ours

vineyards and on Sundays together with us to praise us and

to supreme. Peaceful life on a nature bosom. Any working questions,

strikes, revolutions! Golden Age! Paradise on the earth!

— And — any banks, commercial affairs? Etto., boringly! — told


— Without commerce life does not make sense. But we will bring this

the amendment, the baron, — Stormer told, addressing Marshal, — and I hope that

dear professor Shnirer will agree to this compromise. Private

property, I hope, you do not deny, mister Shnirer? And if is

private property…

Between bankers and the philosopher the dispute erupted. Nobody noticed how

Zander rose and left gallery of ancestors. Destiny of the future social

the device on the new earth had no relation to rocket flight. Besides

all these logomachies, in his opinion, were alien anything practical


Chapter 7


Hans left Vinkler’s house and went to a huge horseshoe. It

it was visible from everywhere.

Finger walked on the ice-covered road and thought:

“The horseshoe is similar to a tuning fork. Yes, it is not lower than the Eiffel Tower, can

to be above. The fork scratching clouds…”

The dense cloud closed a horseshoe half.

“Three hundred meters… The horseshoe costs on the mountain which has not less

five-six thousand meters of height above sea level. Quite good tower. But for

what is it built? Vinkler did not explain. I will try to guess…

Maupassant once complained that the Eiffel Tower pressed his brain of the

platitude. At that time it was, of course, a worthless construction. It

built as “nail” of the World Parisian Fair. And still, if

Maupassant was an engineer, he would like respect and respect to D’Eiffel

to tower. For those times it was miracle of construction art. On

To the Eiffel Tower astronomical and meteorological laboratories,

physical office and powerful radio station. Possibly, and the horseshoe is created

for the similar scientific purposes.

Clouds slowly floated on the West. The top of a horseshoe was accurately drawn

on the clear blue sky. Having thrown the head up, Hans sharp-sightedly peered in

horseshoe, but suddenly stumbled and fell. Someone’s laughter, guttural, melodious

dialect. Hans was faced by Indians in the blankets full of holes thrown on

half-naked body. Hans smiled. Indians smiled in reply, having bared

white teeth. Indians showed a hand on top of a horseshoe and on ice under

legs. Yes, yes. Hans stood gaping. With consciousness of the fault nodded and

rose. Indians passed and several words, possibly shouted following

warning about something. Four Blacks carried by a huge log on shoulders.

“Mechanization!” — Hans grumbled. It stepped aside and, having leaned to

to wall of the timbered lodge smelling of a fresh pine directed again

eyes on horseshoe top. The ends of forks were connected thin as thread,

platform. Over it there passed antenna wires.

“Well certainly, it is meteorological observatory and radio station.

For flight it is necessary to study atmospheric conditions of Stormer-city…”

Suddenly Hans saw the black point falling down. It moved with most

tops, along a strip, without separating from it.

“Here it that! It appears, a horseshoe not only radio — and a meteorological station,

but also laboratory for test of the falling bodies”.

The black point reached to the bottom, got on a curve, flew on

to it, from dispersal flew up on the second strip of a horseshoe, rose up,

departed down, again up and so continued to shake as a pendulum “with

damped oscillations”. When at last the point stopped in the middle

curves, Hans saw that it is a trolley. Perhaps, there, inside

there are people. It is good to rock on such swing! Yes it and

it is necessary. Weeds on the rocket — too take-off and falling. Take-off from Earth in

“sky”, falling from “sky” on the planet… “Yes, we have to study influence

zero gravity on an organism…” Hans already almost ran to a horseshoe. But it all

still was far. He saw how the cabin left the person and almost run

went to office which was occupied by Collins.

Having been out of breath, Hans ran up to the massive concrete basis of a horseshoe.

The trolley already crept up as an elevator cabin. Hans Wsbezhal on a planked footway on

concrete platform also examined a horseshoe curve. Couple of rails. Radius

curves — fifteen meters. If height is three hundred meters, then take-off and

falling have to proceed the whole fifteen seconds. Not bad. But, devil

take! With a height of three hundred meters curve radius fifteen are

the overload because of centrifugal force on a curve in forty turns out

time. Will flatten out, perhaps…

Under the platform rang out, roared, and Hans saw how one strip

huge horseshoe drives off from another. Radius of a curve increased to

sixty meters. “That is another matter. Now the overload will be all in

ten times. Approximately the same that is tested by us when sliding sledge with

abrupt hill”.

Again rumble and noise of motors of a construction. Radius was reduced to twenty

meters. “If only to me not to be late to roll down with this flight…” Hans

hurried to enter the building over which elevator cables lasted. Showed

to the metis in a cervine jacket the blue ticket. The metis nodded and silently waved

hand towards an elevator cabin. Hans entered, the cabin trembled, and rise


Hans as if rose in the balloon. Before it” opened again

weigh Stormer-city. Soon because of the ridge the ocean seemed. On

the North, the East and the South the Andes were piled up.

The elevator stopped. Hans left a cabin on the open area. Faugh!

Here is even colder. And what furious wind! But eagle outlook. On

to the wide platform which from below seemed the thread connecting “legs”

huge tuning fork, anemometers, barometers were installed a weather vane,

thermometers… Wind burns down the person. It is rather to the box! The fat man meets. Nods

head, as to the old acquaintance. Vinkler already warned by phone.

Of course, it is possible to examine and go down.

In the middle of the room there is a trolley above the hatch, ready to falling. Door

it is open. Hans looks inside, enters: the door behind it slams.

Here is warmer. On a ceiling — an electric bulb. There are no windows. A floor is covered

linoleum. The wall at a door is forced by boxes in which are located

experimental animals, birds, insects. The same boxes stand at a wall

at the left. At a wall opposite to a door — scales. To the fourth wall it is attached

hammock. Near a hammock stand three the deep convenient screwed on a floor

chairs with belts, as by planes, in a corner — spring scales the person

designs, on an iron core — the dial with the arrow noting

change of weight.

“Scales are spring, — Hans notes. — It is clear: cups of ordinary scales

will not change the situation, whatever freight lay on one and another

to cup as both bodies equally lose the weight. Only

spring scales can note loss of weight when falling”.

In a deep chair the fat, hardly holding in it person sat with

the shining bald head. It was faced by the high well-fad shaven doctor.

The bald fat man panted and looked at the doctor the scared eyes as

the patient waiting for operation.

Finger greeted the doctor and showed the blue ticket.

— You allow me to take part in experience? — Finger asked.

— Please! — the doctor answered and continued to convince the fat man of full

safety and harmlessness of flight. — You will lay down on a hammock, so to you will be

more conveniently. I will sit down near you in a chair and I will watch your pulse and

blood pressure. About is not present, at all not to warn

any danger. Just we will make various scientific observations,

that then to draw from them the conclusions. We generalize scientific observations and

we transfer them to the chief engineer who considers everything for the

technical calculations and designs: what acceleration is admissible at

flying away, what most expedient ways of protection from pushes

and so forth.

— Means, pushes are possible? Perhaps, and very strong? — scaredly

the fat man asked.

— It is no more, than in the tram, — his doctor hurried to calm. At

Finger’s help the doctor laid the fat man in a hammock and strongly tied him

heavy body belts.

Hans took seat in a chair, having fastened belts and askance looking at the

neighbor. The fat man puffed, was nervous, muttered something. Doctor also

fastened itself belts to a chair and undertook the lever.

— Prepare! We fly.

— No! Stop! I do not want! — the fat man began to yell.

But was already late. Hans felt how at him heart fades.

Unprecedented ease spread on all body. Hans raised a hand.

the slightest effort as if it did not lift, and lowered a hand. Even it is even easier.

Because, lowering a hand, nevertheless it is necessary to strain muscles. As in water. No,

as in weightless air if also the body became air. Second

flew after a second… The doctor felt the fat man’s pulse. Hans listened to

to beating of the heart. It is a little as though slowed down, and generally all in

order. It is a pity that there is no window… The arrow of a big stop watch approached to

to fifteen.

— Now there will be a curve. Keep more strong! — the doctor warned.

And suddenly the body began as if with lead to be poured. From legs to a back,

to the head. Became heavy so that it was difficult to breathe. Hands, legs are held down.

It is impossible to raise the heads. The fat man cries out… But here lead pours out from

bodies. Moment of the normal state. And again seconds of zero gravity.

The trolley goes down from the second strip, and again invisible weight presses

body and breast. Unpleasant feeling! It is good that with each scope

“pendulum” these feelings last less and weaken. Here and end. Stop.

Stopped. The fat man hoarsely swears. On his forehead cold sweat acted.

The door of a cabin opens. The doctor hurries to untie the fat man. That is enraged

so what cannot speak, only stares and does such terrible

grimaces as if wants to eat the doctor alive. A bomb takes off from a door.

Near a cabin Blacks and Indians crowded. The fat man amused them. Fresh

air returned it a speech power, and he shouted, swore, comically swung

hands. The color audience laughed loudly as children in a buffoonery, and these have more and more

angered the fat man. He damned also “Noah’s Ark”, and the Nov, and all who

invented this chertova piece. He prefers that it was fried alive,

but will not cross a threshold of “ark”.

— Money back! — he shouted.

— You know the charter of society: money does not come back at all.

You can only sell the shares if you find the buyer, — told

goodness knows where from the appeared in time commercial director Collins.

— I do not want to look for buyers! Let then vanish. Would be gone and

all of you here together with “ark”! Where my airplane? — and he walked to

to airfield. Collins considered excessive to hold him.

— What there is with it it? — Collins asked the doctor.

— Anything special, — the doctor answered. — These billionaires, no offense

be told them, there were nervna as hysterical young ladies. There is its table.

Work of heart: before experience — seventy four, after experience — seventy two.

Pressure in arteries: before experience — hundred thirty, after experience — hundred

sixty. Small falling of pulse and some increase

arterial blood pressure. I think if to make over it

observations in an office of its bank, throughout day during exchange

fevers such fluctuations in work of his heart could be noted


Collins thought, without listening to the doctor, and then interrupted him:

— And you know, we should refuse these experiments with ours

shareholders and future participants of flight. Here such individual not

only itself will run away, but also another will stir up. There is enough. For Zander at us

already there is a sufficient material. You the doctor, and you will be able to define,

having examined the person whether he is fit for a travel.

— I am afraid that to us such ruins which are more suitable for will come in large numbers

crematorium, than for flights on rockets.

— Do not tell trifles! — strictly Collins noticed. — Absolute

safety of rocket flights for us not only advertizing, but also the purpose.

Zander’s care — to make the rocket convenient and safe as a cradle

child. And he will make it, otherwise it would not cost that money which we

we spend for all these experiences.

Having abruptly turned, Collins floated in the long-skirted fur-coat to

to office.

This day Hans perekatatsya on all roundabouts, tried on himself

“attractions” of an extraordinary amusement park. He studied effects of dizziness

on a st-sirsqui roundabout, feeling feelings of take-off, descent, a list,

turn. He decided to break the endurance record at increase in weight and

forced to rotate itself at reckless speed. Many tried to compete

with it, but he won against all the tsvetnokozhy and white rivals. However,

it great was unsteady, descending from a roundabout.

Especially the room in the form of the rotating cylinder surprised him. It

span round its pivot-center and circled. Here it was studied so

the called “Coriolis acceleration”. When it approached room walls,

where the centrifugal effect was stronger, all his body as if was poured

lead. And was to turn the head enough as it seemed that all room

fell down or up as if cabin walls during strong rolling. It

there was very unpleasant feeling. It depended on how explained to it

subsequently the doctor that the center which is located in a head brain of the person

at long rotation of the room gives feeling of balance. Person as if

forgets about rotation, and at turns of the head of it it turns out

impression of new rotation.

At walls centrifugal force directed sideways was five times more

gravity, and Hans involuntarily “climbed on a wall”. He felt attacks

seasickness. With great difficulty he managed to put the head directly and

to pass from a wall to the center of the room where all unpleasant feelings immediately

left it.

In this room it made vsevozmozhneyshy experiences: tried to write on

the little table standing in the middle of a floor to sit down, to rise. The body did not obey

it. It as if had others body, not повинующееся to it, or other

the world, with other laws of the movement and balance. But for it it was not

sport, as for Blotton. No, he persistently trained himself. He knew that

in the rocket, at the real flight, to it together with Vinkler and Zander

it is necessary to work, work in these extraordinary conditions whereas

all passengers will be on the back, not capable to anything, except

complaint and moaning. He thought not only of “Noah’s Ark”, but also about

future flights on “the” rockets. And he stoically transferred everything

trials on which put itself.

Subsequently in this room he had to spend not one day.

It did various observations over a deviation of a current of liquids,

air stream, movement of insects, small animals Not smaller interest

caused in it and the rotating glass sphere. It was similarity

“the interplanetary dwelling”, arranged especially for behavior researches

the person and animals under the influence of centrifugal force. The sun shining with

clear sky, filled a sphere with the warmth giving life to plants

put on “equator” of a sphere of the room. Rotation of the room created on

sphere walls the centrifugal force exceeding Earth attraction, and plants

grew here not up, as usual, and sideways, from walls to the center of a sphere. It

watched their growth, development.

Here rabbits, hens, cats were located in cages. All of them,

apparently, did not notice singularity of the side situation. Walls

sphere for them were “bottom”, the earth. Rabbits jumped on cages, peacefully ate

cabbage leaves, carrots, hens rushed, brought chickens. The water standing

“steep wall” in relation to the earth, did not spill from cups, grain

did not wake up. When Hans stood in the center of a sphere, all animals and

plants were in relation to it in vertical position as if

he looked at inhabitants of this small world from above, lying on steep

to the rock. But as it approached “equator”, his body also

adopted gradually steep provision. And, standing near cages, he saw

the table standing on a floor in the middle of a sphere as if this table was

it is strengthened on a wall of the ordinary room.

As all situation of a sphere rotated together with it, it not

tested dizzinesses and even ceased замечав rotation of the room.

Only extraordinary position of a body when it moved on sphere walls,

reminded him of it.

In a sphere there was only the tenth part of normal amount of oxygen, but

Hans did not feel a lack of air. Oxygen was emitted with plants

the greenhouse occupying sixteen square meters.

Plants absorbed the carbonic acid emitted to them and animals.

Here the foundation of “circulation of substances” which had to were laid

to give to future heavenly travelers all necessary for life if their flight

will drag on or on other planets there will be a lack of the atmosphere and food.

Finger and a metal sphere which comprised “a piece examined

interplanetary space”. In this sphere the double door with the camera conducted,

as in a caisson, and it was possible to enter it only in special suits,

like diving. Zander worked over these suits much. It was necessary

to create special laboratory for test of various materials which

would provide, on the one hand, almost absolute not heat conductivity, and with

another — sufficient durability.

— And it is impossible to freeze in such suits, being in world

space? — Hans asked.

— Coloring of clothes and action of sunshine can give from minus

two hundred to plus hundred and more degrees Celsius, — the laboratory assistant answered. —

Therefore fears of cold of interplanetary spaces are exaggerated.

— And it that for tanks? — Hans asked.

— Test of a surface of the rocket for reflection and absorption of beams, —

the laboratory assistant answered. — Let’s enter in this cylinder. — They entered. — Now

here it is dark and quite cool. The cylinder is turned to the sun by the

the shining, polished surface which reflects sunshine.

Let’s turn the cylinder a black opaque surface now. — The laboratory assistant turned

the lever, the cylinder began to rotate on a longitudinal axis so that to Hans and it

the satellite had “to go on one place” until the cylinder stopped.

Did not pass also two minutes as Hans felt, what became much warmer.

— You feel how the Sun heats? And on the Earth’s surface

a half of sunbeams is reflected the atmosphere. Now you look.

The laboratory assistant rummaged around in the dark and again turned the lever. Above opened

window through which the sunlight rushed. Temperature began quickly

to raise.

— The ray of sunlight is collected by a concave mirror and directed to a back wall

rockets. Turning the rocket a black or brilliant surface, we can

to change temperature in it from twenty nine to seventy seven degrees

Celsius. Applying mirrors, it is possible to melt metals. But it is possible “to fill” and

world cold. Having such wide temperature scale in the hands,

Zander designed in principle Tsiolkovsky the solar engine. Two

reported the cylinder in turn address on solar, on

shady side. In the Sun liquid in the cylinder evaporates,

which presses on the piston, in a shadow — liquid and steam are cooled.

— You needed to examine laboratories where models were tested

rocket engines, the placed in an oak frame, six laboratories on

to domestic service of passengers of the rocket.

— Whole six!

— Yes, — the laboratory assistant answered. — A question here at all not in conveniences, and in

need. We have to neglect nothing and all are obliged

to provide. In usual conditions we do not notice much, about much

simply we do not think, and about such “trifles” without which it is possible to be gone

in “sky”, or, on the contrary, which can do huge harm if them

not to eliminate.

Chapter 8


— Zander arrived! We go to it! — Vinkler told. Hans raised the head

over the book. He was excited. Hans worked with Zander not one month. But

for the first time the engineer-inventor invited him to himself.

— What for?

— Probably, wants to get acquainted with you closer. Perhaps, to charge

some work, — Vinkler answered, and his eyes cheerfully smiled.

— Well, we go.

In Stormer-city Zander lived in a separate lodge with an attic. On a call

Vinklera was heard at first desperate bark of a sheep-dog; the door was opened, and

the old servant severely muttered:

— There is no house! — but, having recognized Vinkler, smiled as to the old acquaintance, and


— Ah, it you! You enter. Wait, I will only take away a dog.

Finger guessed how there lives Zander. The office which is filled up seemed to Hans

drawings, models and all other accessories of the inventor. But it

was mistaken. The small office of Zander where it accepted visitors, was

it is arranged more than simply. A desk, two chairs before it, near

table — the small rotating shelf with books, and only. Only thing

the big portrait under glass in dark oak was decoration of the room

to frame, hanging on a wall behind the owner. On a portrait it was represented

bearded old man unknown to Hans wearing spectacles. Under a portrait — book

shelf from the same oak where several tens of books stood in a row in

covers with a gold stamping. Sharp eyes of Hans were read on backs

covers of “Ziolkowsky”. On a table — the desk set, a lamp, a blotting pad — and

anything else. Finger was a little disappointed. Vinkler subsequently

explained to him that Zander usually works in an attic where at it

the library and small laboratory are located. But in this sanctuary it

lets nobody, and Vinkler managed to look only once

the room and that in absence of the owner.

The owner met them friendly, seated in chairs and, having had a talk about that,

about this, suddenly asked Hans an unexpected question:

— Whether you will tell me that such bipolar equation of a hyperbole?

Finger studied mathematics and somehow answered. Zander nodded and

asked a new question which nonplused Hans. Followed it

others — from the field of chemistry, astronomy, biology. It was real

examination. Hans was confused — he expected it least of all and therefore as to it

it seemed, not always answered truly and it is sensible even on well familiar

questions. Really it will fail at this examination? But Zander was,

apparently, it is satisfied. He nodded meaning that test

it is over, and told:

— You know more, than I assumed. But you should know immeasurably

it is more than what you know if you want to become my same assistant

as Vinkler.

Would he like to become! Hans was ready to work day and night that

to seize all necessary knowledge.

— You got used to be engaged independently? — the new question was asked. —

Vinkler will help you, but he will not be able to devote to it much time.

— And, addressing already Vinkler, Zander continued:

— I think, to our Hans Finger will be reasonably useful to live

month — another in a glass sphere. Observations will not take away from it too

it is a lot of time, and there it will be able to increase the mathematical knowledge. Without

mathematicians in our business it is impossible to step also to a step.

Zander talked some more minutes to Vinkler about affairs and got up.

The audience was ended.

— Well? Did not expect such bath? — Vinkler when they left from asked

houses. — You should sit in solitary confinement.

Month-other in solitary confinement! This prospect at all not

smiled to Hans. He wanted to get acquainted somewhat quicker with the city, from it

strange laboratories, extraordinary constructions. It not all


— To all time will come, — Vinkler consoled it. — Today you will carry out

put more “on freedom”, tomorrow, well, since morning you will bypass, you will examine

what did not see yet: laboratory where experience action of various

substances, other laboratory in which ways of cooling are tested

working part of the rocket — walls snuffled or дюз. For tomorrow it is enough.

— What will I do in the conclusion?

— Oh, your existence will be very peculiar! You on yourself have to

you will be to test and on you it will be checked whether the person can exist

in the conditions of artificially created circulation of substances. As soon as you

you will enter a sphere and you will receive the necessary explanations, a hermetic door

will slam for you. But there is phone, and we will be with you

to keep in contact. You will take with yourself necessary books, textbooks,


— But what I will eat there?

— Perhaps, you should sit a little on vegetarian food. You

you will eat those plants and fruits which grow in

to sphere greenhouse. To your services there will be an electric stove, a teapot.

— And water?

— Tomorrow you on everything will receive the answer. All allocations of your organism

will be processed. Allocations of intestines will go to fertilizers;

allocations of a bladder, having passed through the soil, through plants, gases,

refrigerators, filters, will turn into the purest water. Water will be given also

the cooled breath gases emitted by you, plants and “companions on

to the conclusion” — animals. You will have to look after and behind them — to feed,

to give to drink. Plants will give oxygen, they will absorb exhaled by you

and animals carbonic acid. In a word, if calculations are right, you will have in

sphere all necessary. I will visit you. If you it is nasty itself

you will feel, we will stop experience. Create to yourself the notebook or

notebook in which write down the major formulas, data from the theory

jet flights, help data, calculations. It is Zander’s council. Such

the notebook very much will help you.

Hans nodded and asked:

— By the way, tell whose portrait hangs in Zander’s office? His father?

Vinkler burst out laughing.

— Yes, in some way father. It is also the famous scientist-self-educated person

Tsiolkovsky, patriarch of a zvezdoplavaniye. Not “father”, and rather “grandfather”

his numerous followers: Roberta Esnopeltri, Robert

Goddard, Herman Obert, Walter Gomann, Tuberculine test, Debus and our Leo

Zander. I already spoke to you about this remarkable person. Modest

the provincial teacher, he managed to rise by “space” height

theoretical thought. This Columbus of the star worlds theoretically planned in

the main all next way of creation of interplanetary messages. Laid

to people road to the sky. In one thousand nine hundred third it published

work in which stated all theoretical calculations of space flights;

but the Russian imperial government helped nothing to it.

— So it is its works stand on the shelf under a portrait?

— Yes. Zander does not leave them.

This day ended with an effective show: from the mountain platform,

turned to the ocean, the first trial was started up in twelve o’clock in the morning

the rocket without people, with recording automatic devices. It had

two meters of height it was also strengthened almost steeply, with an easy inclination in

side of the ocean.

At experience there were Zander, Vinkler, Hans, Blotton and a little

the engineers working with Zander. Approximately a rocket deviation from a vertical

it was almost not noticeable, and Blotton told:

— And suddenly it will fall to us on the head? Zander, smiling, answered:

— It is a lot of years ago, in the seventeenth century, the monk Mersen and

the military Pti conducted such experiment: they delivered to a down vertically as

it seemed to them, and shot, observing whether the kernel on the earth will return. They

several times repeated this dangerous experiment. But as at them it did not appear

there is enough art to force a kernel to hit them directly the head,

they considered themselves to have the right to conclude that it hung in mid-air where and

long time will stay, undoubtedly. Not only at that time, but also now

it is seldom possible to find the gun which is perfectly calibrated for such experience

and it is difficult to establish it absolutely vertically. Well, and now depart.

I launch the rocket.

All departed and became silent waiting. In the dark sky stars flickered.

The new moon shone almost over the head, and it seemed that the rocket

goes to a lunar travel. Burst explosion. Thunder peals,

reflected by rocks, shook air. The fiery strip cut through

space. For a moment the mountain platform as though contacted the sky

golden bridge. Then the comet created by people picked up the tail,

turned into an asterisk and grew dim in height. Zander looked on

the dial of a chronometer and, counting seconds, spoke:

— Upper bound of the troposphere… Went beyond a stratosphere…

Return flight.

Next morning the whole flotilla of motorized vessels was sent for searches

the rocket which fell to the ocean. But Hans as he wanted it, could not

to take part in searches. Having examined several laboratories with Vinkler and

far without having got acquainted with all “shops” of grandiose

“the zvezdo-flight plant”, Finger took away chosen for him by Vinkler

books, a commonplace book, a recording feather also went to the glass

prison where had to spend not one day.

Chapter 9


— All this is awful! — lady Hinton told. Put finger-tips to

to temples:

— Give me cologne, Ellen!

— Would you like to rub whisky a menthol pencil, lady Hinton? —

doctor Teker asked.

— Does not help! — with irritation lady Hinton answered. — This rolling

will kill me. Why the steamship stands still? When it moves, swings

it is less.

— We have to protect fuel, lady Hinton! — drowsily responded from the

chairs Stormer. — Dead ripple. For hundred miles from us there passed the cyclone…

The baron — that absolutely got sick. Expresses with one interjections.

— I cannot… To me it is bad!. — Ellen squeezed spoke

by voice. Her face became green. It pressed a scarf to a mouth and, convulsively

pulling shoulders, hasty was removed.

— Ah! — it is noisy lady Hinton sighed. — It is heavy to be the exile in ours

years! Without house, a shelter and hopes…

— And I prefer to be an exile, than the decaying corpse. Yes! —

Stormer objected, sucking round pomegranate. — If not mine

foresight, we, likely, would already be production of sepulchral worms.

— Any hair will not fall from the head without God’s will! — instructively

the bishop Iov Weller noticed.

— Why you, the my Lord, did not remain in London, having entrusted

to God’s will your head of hear?

Distorted lady Hinton from such “blasphemous” words. “Demons of war

and revolutions broke from chains” as Shnirer before was was expressed

the rocket is ended and the huge motor ship is constructed. Stormer managed

to charter the ocean steamship standing in port, to put on it

shareholders — participants of future interplanetary flight and to sail in Silent


— Around water. Defenseless, unarmed, we stand in full view of all… —

lady Hinton continued the complaints. Stormer was bothered, probably, by it


— You begin to hallucinate? — almost he shouted at the old woman. —

Whom do you see? Who has us on a look? Who looks at us? The ocean is desert,

as in the first days of creation. And who will look for us now? Believe,

nobody does not care about us. Ocean not of Oxford Street, not Piccadilly. In the ocean

there are roads and the solitudes. We are in the center

the triangle which is formed crossing of big ocean ways: from

Yokohama and Valparaiso — Japan, South America; from Wellington — New

Zealand to Panama and from Panama along coast of South America to Magellanic

to the passage. More than one thousand kilometers separate us from west banks Southern

America. Here any ship does not come, unless a cyclone a sailing vessel

will bring. But sailing vessels to us are not terrible. Ocean steamships all are equipped

radio stations. They notify on themselves, we have a radio direction finder.

From a special mast tower watchmen sharp-sightedly watch the horizon. Ours

vessel one of the most high-speed. And we could not get away unless only

from warships. And, at last, we have hydroplanes. All valuable freight

long ago it is stored in the Andes.

Lady Hinton became angry about the fact that Stormer-city was called not her

name. Not to irritate the old lady, Stormer at her presence

called Stormer-city descriptively: “the city in mountains”, “the city where is under construction


— In case of extreme danger we can always depart there.

— But why don’t we make it now — not to depart to this yours

Stormer-city? — lady Hinton asked.

— Because there yet the hotel is not built. You to live in a working barrack

you will not be. Yes here, believe, and more safely. Here we can

to maneuver. If not yours, — Stormer wanted to tell “whims”, but

restrained, — not your indispositions, we would go down in more southern latitudes,

there we would be already in the absolute safety. There we would be “on

to look” at one penguins. And if to cover us in Stormer-city before

the rocket will be ready, we died. It is possible to run only by air from there.

But also there will be no place to run.

— My God! My God, my God! — tragicly lady Hinton exclaimed.

— Why you so nakazut us?

— Smoke on the horizon! — lingeringly the watchman from a tower shouted.

— Where? Where? — the turned pale bishop and too hasty shouted for

the dignity walked to a board, taking out on the run from a case prismatic


— Second smoke., the third., whole squadron!. — the watchman proclaimed.

By the ship vanity rose. Sharply the team was distributed. Powerful recovered

cars, the vessel case began to tremble. It began to be developed on the left board,

accelerating the course.

On the deck Shnirer ran, swinging Kant’s volume.

— Amelie! What? And? Already?

Being unsteady, there was Ellen. From where the baron crept out. His jaw shivered.

He tried to tell something to Stormer:

— E-e-e…

That waved away from it, as from a fly. Stormer was also excited, but

kept better than others.

The ship turned on the South and went with speed limit.

— Well, solve horsepowers now, — Stormer murmured.

— Perhaps, we absolutely are also not pursued, — suggested

Ticker. — The whole world is at war. The Japanese and American fleet chases in the ocean

one after another.

Lady Hinton for the first time with gratitude looked at the doctor.

These words of calm worked on it better than drugs. Teker caught

the mercy look of lady Hinton also used it.

— I will go to visit the wife and the child. I will return soon, lady Hinton, —

he told.

— For us or not for us a pursuit, but we were found, and this harm, — not

Stormer was appeased. — The unknown squadron follows us close. If

it will not be possible to disappear before nightfall, put rubbish.

There came burdensome silence. It was heard only as cuts

stem an ocean smooth surface yes diesels gradually knock.

Hour passed after an hour. The sun was inclined to the horizon, distance

between motor ship and the pursuing squadron everything decreased.

— It is good still that they do not shoot! — Stormer told. All were too

are suppressed to keep up the conversation. The captain phoned,

that, by its calculations, before twilight the squadron will not manage to overtake

them. And, perhaps, for the first time for many years of lady Hinton it is passionate

wanted that time went rather.

Before sunset already with the naked eye it was possible to distinguish

head vessel. According to the captain, it was the military cruiser. But Japanese

or American — it is hard to say.

— And it is even more difficult to guess who conducts these cruisers, — noticed Stormer. —

Everything in the world changes. Yesterday the country was capitalist, it today

already republic of proletarians.

At last beneficial night lowered the black curtain. If on

it the drama play also ended, it would be possible to disperse peacefully on

to the houses. An interval, alas, only an interval which should use.

To disappear under the screen of night, having sharply changed a course, — here in what now

there was a task. The captain thought and turned on the East.

— Hgu., хглупо, — Marshal to whom together with night told

cool the speech power returned. — In the east we will get on the sea way,

which goes along the southern coast of America.

— And I believe, — Stormer objected, — that our captain very cleverly

arrived. It is necessary to present itself on the place of persecutors and to think about

in their opinion, we will choose volume, what way. That, which

you specify. And for the same reason. And the squadron will probably turn

on the West. A sea way on which there are commercial ships, to us not

it is terrible. Even it is better if we meet these trade ships. They will distract

attention of persecutors if the squadron nevertheless turns, as well as we, on


The baron and Stormer continued to argue.

The squadron went probably with the extinguished fires. It was impossible to define,

far it or it is close.

The captain, having given the instruction and having charged management to the assistant, collected

also declared all passengers it:

— Our situation remains extremely serious: the squadron can

to be divided, having directed the ships in three directions — east,

western and southern. And next morning you can be overtaken. Could save you unless

only risky step — turn directly on the North, if only we not

let’s fly on a squadron…

— What to do to us? — the bishop exclaimed. — I believe, only one:

having used night darkness, to escape on hydroplanes.

— And you? — Stormer asked.

— The captain does not leave the vessel while it is capable to keep on

surfaces! — he answered. — I remain.

Stormer suspiciously looked at the captain. Now it is impossible for anybody

to trust.

Perhaps, the captain reported on radio about location of the motor ship?

Hasty collecting began. Lady Hinton so weakened for disorders that

it had to be brought in a cabin of the plane on hands. The child Tekera woke up

also cried. Passengers were nervous.

The alarm settled only a little when motors began to roar and

cars rose in air. All breathed a sigh of relief.

— It Kkkazhtsya, a shot? — scaredly the baron asked.

— Sit! — Stormer grumbled. — It the stopper jumped out of a bottle

champagne which I managed to take.

— Ddayte though hglotok. Vff a throat absolutely dried up!

— Thousand gold cash! — Stormer bit. (And the baron heard as

Stormer drinks directly from a neck.) — Here you are! — he took pity, stretching

almost become empty bottle. — Thousand will be written down into your account.

Chapter 10


The girl in fur approached a glass wall of a sphere from the street

short coat also glanced inside. In the center of the rotating sphere for

small table, having inclined over the book, the young man sat.

“There arrived passengers”, — Hans thought, having seen the girl. He looked

on it every time when the sphere turned in its party. Amelie is

there was she — was surprised how it at it will not begin to spin the head.

At Hans the head, and even at first was really turned

it is so strong that he wanted already to ask Vinkler to let out him from

the rotating prison. But Hans “was made of good stuff”. “Whether

it is necessary to worry in the rocket! It is necessary to get used to everything”.

And he got used. The main thing — not to look through sphere walls at the street that

not to notice the movement. His strong constitution quickly adapted to

to extraordinary living conditions. He spent more than a month in a sphere,

eating fruits and vegetables of a greenhouse. And plants, and he, and animals

were in good shape. However, for its young organism of one

only vegetable food was not enough, and he decently lost weight for it

time, but did not feel any indisposition. Well there were also its occupations.

It far moved ahead in the mathematical knowledge, accurately

kept record of various observations, drew many interesting conclusions.

Vinkler and several times Zander “visited” him — approached a sphere and

spoke by phone. But nevertheless it was desperately bothered by it

voluntary conclusion. It was young, he wanted the movement,

variety of impressions, live, practical work.

And Vinkler pleased him yesterday, having reported that today to this conclusion

the end will come Circulation of substances was repaid, everything went as

Tsiolkovsky and Zander assumed and calculated. And hard experience it is possible

was to end. Yesterday Vinkler reported to Hans that in Stormer-city

already passengers of the forthcoming flight go. Construction of the rocket for this month

strongly moved forward though before the termination it was still far.

— What work you charge me now? — Hans Winklera asked.

Finger very much wanted to work “closer to the rocket”, but Vinkler

disappointed him:

— You will work at construction of radio station. It very much

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