Isles of Spice and Palm

D. Appleton

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D. Appleton
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Dec 31, 1915
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The discovery of a means of transportation by means of disintegration would certainly solve a great many problems on interplanetary travel-to say nothing of shorter distance transportation...ExcerptExcitement, speculation, wonder and interest ran high in Sonko-Huara, for news had been spread that Kespi-Nanay had returned. It was almost as though a person had returned from the dead. In a way, it was more amazing, for persons had been known to be resuscitated; moreover, everyone knew that death was merely a state and that the spirit that left one body took possession of another. But Kespi-Nanay had not died. He had merely disappeared-vanished completely-three Chukitis (years) before, after declaring that he intended to visit Suari, that great, glowing, mysterious planet that from the very beginning of history had been a source of wonder, of study and of baffling mystery to laymen and scientists alike. It was the nearest planet to Sonko-Huara-near, however, only by comparison-and separated by some forty-odd million Tuppus (miles) of space. Yet through the ages the astronomers of Sonko-Huara had learned much about their great, glowing neighbor, that, like their own planet, raced about the sun and rotated upon its own axis, so that the Sonko-Huaran scientists knew that the seasons, the climate, the alternating days and nights of Suari must be very similar to their own.Through their telescopes the astronomers of ancient times had studied Suari; they had viewed its surface from pole to pole and completely around its circumference, for unlike Quilla (the moon), that presented only one side to view as far as Suari is concerned, Suari presented every portion of its surface to the eyes of the studious and curious inhabitants of Sonko-Huara. Often, however, strange masses of dense vapor obscured the big planet. Often, for long periods of time, certain portions of Suari were completely blanketed by these impenetrable masses that so puzzled the scientists. Yet always there were certain portions of its surface that were free from the vapor. Innumerable speculations had been raised by this phenomenon, for no such tenuous veil ever hung over and above the surface of Sonko-Huara.Always the sunshine or the moonlight streamed upon it from a cloudless sky, and often, on moonless nights, for they had their own moons, the glow from Suari illuminated the planet. Through the ages, too, much had been learned of the surface of Suari. Over two-thirds of the planet was covered with water (an amazing discovery for the Sonko-Huarans whose planet was woefully short of water and was, with the exception of polar seas and inland seas, all land). Vast mountain ranges, great canals (crooked and winding in most remarkable manner) had been studied and mapped; immense masses of ice had been seen to cover the polar regions, and the astronomers were both astonished and puzzled to note that the appearance of the land masses changed continually. At times they were white, at others brown, at others green. Gradually they noticed that these alterations followed a regular sequence, that they were repeated at fixed intervals and that they bore a direct relationship to the position of the planet in reference to the sun. Suddenly the Sonko-Huaran astronomers had had an inspiration. Their neighboring planet must be inhabited! It must be populated by intelligent beings not unlike themselves! The change in colors must be the result of these beings cultivating the land!
A body appeared mysteriously in the trash can...ExcerptHenry Columbus, khaki clad, his ebon face gray with ashes and dust, and driver of one of those two-wheeled abominations maintained by the municipality of New York for the reception of rubbish and the dispersal of dust over passengers, was industriously emptying the ash cans on the north side of West 85th Street.It was a charming spring morning, and Henry, well content with the world and himself, was whistling cheerily while he worked. As he rolled the battered iron containers to the curb, and raising them, dumped their contents into his vehicle, he glanced at the miscellaneous odds and ends that poured from them, ever on the watch for some discarded but still serviceable article which he might salvage.Farther down the street, and working east from Amsterdam Avenue on the opposite side of the thoroughfare, was Tony Celentano with his wagon. Like Henry, the Italian was also on the alert for chance treasure-trove among the rubbish.As the dusky namesake of the famous discoverer reached the group of cans before a block of brown-stone front houses, he noticed that one of the receptacles was filled to overflowing with a bulging, patched, burlap bag.Whatever the contents were they were heavy, and wondering vaguely what the can contained, Henry heaved it over the edge of his cart. The bag however, was tightly jammed into the can, and, in order to dislodge it, he was forced to clamber onto the half-filled wagon. Grumbling a bit at the extra labor involved, he grasped the sacking with a huge black paw and tugged at the bundle.
A quick run of a cargo of booze, might be a risky business, but it can be profitable too! But had Capt. Carmichael taken on more than he handle? Excerpt "So that's the graft, eh?" rumbled Captain Carmichael as he straightened up in his chair and gazed from under bushy brows at the overdressed, florid-faced man across the little table. "Want me to run a cargo of booze and risk my ship and the calaboose or a fine for me and me men for five thousand while you set back safe and sound and pocket the profits. No, mister, nothing doing." "Got cold feet or too law-abiding?" sneered the other. Carmichael's eyes flashed, his lips set in a hard line and one huge fist clenched as he half rose. Then he settled back. "Cold feet, hell!" he burst out. "No one never said Jerry Carmichael got cold feet yet without being derned sorry he spoke; and as for the law-any fool law like this dry business was made to be broke. No, mister, game ain't worth the candle, that's all." "Maybe we might sweeten the kitty a bit if that's all," suggested the other man. "Would ten grand tempt you?" For a space the bull-necked, deep-chested seaman studied his companion thoughtfully. Then: "Say," he ejaculated, "you fellows make me tired. You think you're some pumpkins, but you don't know no more about running in contraband than a suckling babe. You're a bunch of pikers and dumb fools besides. "You send a schooner down to load hootch in the Bahamas and you know blamed well Nassau's full of spies and every keg and case you put aboard's checked off, and then the craft sails north with faked papers and sneaks up the coast and lays to twelve or fifteen mile off shore, just advertising she's crooked, and then a towboat or a launch goes off making enough racket to wake old Davy Jones and you get chased and catched or have a gun fight or maybe land a few hundred cases and clean up a few thousand and call it business. "No, mister, my motter's 'a thing what's worth doing at all's worth doing well' and you might's well die for a sheep as a lamb. The fine ain't no bigger if you bring in a thousand cases than if you bring in one, and big deals are what pays."
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