Informational Site NetworkInformational Site Network
Privacy
 
Home - Stories - Categories - Books - Search

Featured Stories

The Little Robber Girl
The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Categories

A FAIRY-TALE

Aesop

ALPHABET RHYMES

AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES

AMUSING ALPHABETS

Animal Sketches And Stories

ANIMAL STORIES

ARBOR DAY

BIRD DAY

Blondine Bonne Biche and Beau Minon

Bohemian Story

BRER RABBIT and HIS NEIGHBORS

CATS

CHINESE MOTHER-GOOSE RHYMES

CHRISTMAS DAY

COLUMBUS DAY

CUSTOM RHYMES

Didactic Stories

Everyday Verses

EVIL SPIRITS

FABLES

FABLES FOR CHILDREN

FABLES FROM INDIA

FATHER PLAYS AND MOTHER PLAYS

FIRST STORIES FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK

For Classes Ii. And Iii.

For Classes Iv. And V.

For Kindergarten And Class I.

FUN FOR VERY LITTLE FOLK

GERMAN

Good Little Henry

HALLOWEEN

Happy Days

INDEPENDENCE DAY

JAPANESE AND OTHER ORIENTAL TALES]

Jean De La Fontaine

King Alexander's Adventures

KINGS AND WARRIORS

LABOR DAY

LAND AND WATER FAIRIES

Lessons From Nature

LINCOLN'S BIRTHDAY

LITTLE STORIES that GROW BIG

Love Lyrics

Lyrics

MAY DAY

MEMORIAL DAY

Modern

MODERN FABLES

MODERN FAIRY TALES

MOTHER GOOSE CONTINUED

MOTHER GOOSE JINGLES

MOTHER GOOSE SONGS AND STORIES

MOTHERS' DAY

Myths And Legends

NATURE SONGS

NEGLECT THE FIRE

NUMBER RHYMES

NURSERY GAMES

NURSERY-SONGS.

NURSEY STORIES

OLD-FASHIONED STORIES

ON POPULAR EDUCATION

OURSON

Perseus

PLACES AND FAMILIES

Poems Of Nature

Polish Story

Popular

PROVERB RHYMES

RESURRECTION DAY (EASTER)

RHYMES CONCERNING "MOTHER"

RIDDLE RHYMES

RIDING SONGS for FATHER'S KNEE

ROMANCES OF THE MIDDLE AGES

SAINT VALENTINE'S DAY

Selections From The Bible

Servian Story

SLEEPY-TIME SONGS AND STORIES

Some Children's Poets

Songs Of Life

STORIES BY FAVORITE AMERICAN WRITERS

STORIES FOR CHILDREN

STORIES for LITTLE BOYS

STORIES FROM BOTANY

STORIES FROM GREAT BRITAIN

STORIES FROM IRELAND

STORIES FROM PHYSICS

STORIES FROM SCANDINAVIA

STORIES FROM ZOOLOGY

STORIES _for_ LITTLE GIRLS

SUPERSITITIONS

THANKSGIVING DAY

The Argonauts

THE CANDLE

THE DAYS OF THE WEEK

THE DECEMBRISTS

The King Of The Golden River; Or, The Black Brothers

The Little Grey Mouse

THE OLD FAIRY TALES

The Princess Rosette

THE THREE HERMITS

THE TWO OLD MEN

Theseus

Traditional

UNCLES AND AUNTS AND OTHER RELATIVES

VERSES ABOUT FAIRIES

WASHINGTON'S BIRTHDAY

WHAT MEN LIVE BY

WHERE LOVE IS, THERE GOD IS ALSO

ASTOUNDING, YET TRUE.

from The Lost City





The professor gave a great start at this almost reluctant
suggestion, shrinking back with a look which fell not far short
of being horrified. But then he rallied, forcing a laugh before
speaking.

"No, no, Bruno. All conditions are lacking to form the mirage of
the desert. And, too; everything was so distinct and clearly
outlined that one could--"

"Fairly feel those blessed bow-arrows tickling a fellow in the
short ribs," vigorously declared the younger Gillespie. "Not but
that--I say, uncle Phaeton?"

"What is it now, Waldo?"

"Reckon they're like any other people? Got boys and--and girls
among 'em, I wonder?"

"I daresay, yes, why not?" answered Featherwit, scarcely
realising what words were being shaped by his lips, while Bruno
broke into a brief-lived laugh, more at that half-sheepish
expression than at the query itself.

"Both boys and girls galore, I expect, Kid; but you needn't
borrow trouble on either score. You can outrun the lads, while
as for the fairer sex,--well, they'll take precious good care to
keep well beyond your reach,--especially if you wear such another
fascinating grin as--"

"Oh, you go to thunder, Bruno Gillespie!"

Through all this interchange the air-ship was maintaining a wide
sweep, drawing nearer the forest beneath, if only to keep hidden
from the eyes of the strange people in yonder deep valley. Yet
the gaze of Phaeton Featherwit as a rule kept turned towards that
particular point, his eyes on fire, his lips twitching, his whole
demeanour that of one who feels a discovery of tremendous
importance lies just before him.

"Are we going to land, uncle Phaeton?" queried Bruno, taking note
of that preoccupation, which might easily prove dangerous under
existing circumstances.

That question served to recall the professor to more material
points, and, after a keen, sweeping look around, he nodded
assent.

"Yes, as soon as I can discover or secure a fair chance. I wish
to see more--I must secure a fairer view of the--of yonder
place."

"Will it not be too dangerous, though? Not for us, especially,
uncle, but for the aerostat? Even if these be not the people you
imagine--"

"They are past all doubt a remnant of the ancient Aztecs. Yonder
lies the true Lost City, and we are--oh, try to comprehend all
that statement means, my lads! Picture to yourselves what
boundless fame and unlimited credit awaits our report to the
outer world! The benighted world! The besotted world!
The--the--"

"While we'll form the upsotted world, or a portion of it, without
something is done,--and that in a howling hurry, too!" fairly
spluttered Waldo, as the again neglected air-ship sped swiftly
towards a more elevated portion of that earth, part of the tall
hill-crest which acted as nature's barricade to yonder by nature
depressed valley.

"Time enough, lad, time enough, since we are going to land,"
coolly assured the professor, deftly manipulating the
steering-gear and still curying around those tree-crowned hills.
"If we are really hunted after, 'twill naturally be in the
quarter of our vanishment, while by alighting around yonder,
nearly at right angles with our initial approach, we will have
naught to fear from the--the Aztecan clans!"

Clearly the professor had settled in his own mind just what lay
before them, and nothing short of the Lost City of the Aztecs
would come anywhere near satisfying that exalted ideal. And,
taking all points into full consideration, was there anything so
very absurd in his method of reasoning, or of drawing a
deduction?

Still, that exaltation did not prevent uncle Phaeton from taking
all essential precautions, and it was only when an especially
secure landing-place was sighted that he really attempted to
touch the earth.

Fully one-half of that wide circuit had been made, and as nothing
could be detected to give birth to fears for either self or
air-ship, the aeronauts skilfully landed their vessel with only
the slightest of jars. It was a well-screened location, where
naught could be seen of the flying-machine until close at hand,
yet so arranged as to make a hasty flight a very easy matter
should the occasion ever arise.

Not until the landing was effected and all made secure, did
Professor Featherwit speak again. Then it was with gravely
earnest speech which suitably affected his nephews.

"Above all things, my dear lads, bear ever in mind this one
fact,--we are not here to fight. We do not come as conquerors,
weapons in hand, hearts filled with lust of blood. To the
contrary, we are on a peaceful mission, hoping to learn, trusting
to enlighten, with malice towards none, but honest love for all
those who may wear the human shape, be they of our own colour
or--or--otherwise."

"That's what's the matter with Hannah's cat!" cheerfully chipped
in the irrepressible Waldo. "I say, uncle Phaeton, is it just a
lie-low here until yonder fellows grow tired of looking for what
they can't find, then a flight on our part; or will we--"

"Have we voyaged so far and seen so much, to rest content with so
very little?" exclaimed the professor, hardly as precise of
speech as under ordinary conditions. "No, no, my lads! Yonder
lies the greatest discovery of the nineteenth century, and we
are--Get a hustle on, boys! The day is waning, and with so much
to see, to study, to--Come, I say!"

In spite of his initial attempt to impress his nephews with a due
sense of the heavy responsibilities which rested upon them,
Phaeton Featherwit was far more excited than either one of the
brothers. Doubtless he more nearly appreciated the importance of
this wondrous discovery, provided his now firm belief was
correct,--that yonder stood a solid, substantial city, erected by
the hands of a people whom common consent had agreed were long
since wiped out of existence.

The story told by Cooper Edgecombe, backed up by the articles
taken from the person of the warrior whom he had slain in
self-defence, certainly had its weight; while the brief and
imperfect glimpse which he had won of yonder valley helped to
bear out that astounding belief. And yet, how could it be true?

Really believing, yet forced by more sober reason to doubt, the
poor professor was literally "in a sweat" long ere another view
could be won of the depressed valley, although the landing of the
air-ship was so well chosen as to make that trip of the briefest
duration consistent with prudence.

The natural obstacles were considerable, however, and as they
picked their way along, the brothers for the first time began to
gain a fairly accurate idea of what was meant by the term, a
virgin forest.

To all seeming, the human foot had never ventured here, nor were
any marks or spoor of wild beasts perceptible on either side.

Although the aerostat had landed not far below the crest of those
hills, the adventurers had to climb higher, before winning the
coveted view, partly because the most practicable route led down
into and along a winding gulch, where the footing was far less
treacherous than upon the higher ground, cumbered, as that was,
with the leaf-mould of centuries.

Still, half an hour's steady labour brought the little squad to
the coveted point, and once again Professor Featherwit was almost
literally stricken speechless,--for there, far below their
present location, spread out in level expanse, lay the secret
valley with all its marvels.

Far more extensive than it had appeared by that initial glimpse,
the valley itself seemed composed of fertile soil, yet, by aid of
the river which cut through, near its centre, irrigating ditches
conveyed water to every acre, thus ensuring bounteous crops of
grain and of fruit as well.

Numerous buildings stood in irregular array, for the most part of
no great height, nor with many pretensions towards architectural
beauty or grace of outline; but in the centre of the valley
upreared its head a massive structure, pyramidal in shape,
consisting of five comparatively narrow terraces, connected one
with another only at each of the four corners, where stood a
wide-stepped flight of stones.

"Behold!" huskily gasped the professor, intensely excited, yet
still able to control the field-glass through which he was
eagerly scanning yonder marvels. "The temple of the gods! And,
yonder, the temple of sacrifice, unless my memory is--and look!
The people are--they wear just such garb as--Oh, marvellous!
Amazing! Astounding! Incredible--yet true!"

Although their uncle could thus take in the various details to
better advantage, still the intervening distance was not so great
as to entirely debar the brothers from finding no little to
interest them, as was readily proven by their various
exclamations.

"Just look at the people, will ye, now? Flopping around like
they hadn't any bigger business than to--Reckon they're looking
for us to come back, Bruno?"

"Or watching for the monster bird of prey, rather," suggested the
elder Gillespie. "Of course they couldn't distinguish our faces,
and our bodies were fairly well hidden. And, even more, of
course, they must be totally ignorant of all such things as
flying-machines and the like."

"Poor, ignorant devils!" sympathetically sighed the youngster.
"Well, we'll have to do a little missionary work in this quarter,
before taking our departure, eh, uncle Phaeton?"

With a start, Featherwit descended out of the clouds in which he
had been lost ever since winning a fair view of the secret city;
and now, rallying his wits and fairly aglow with eager interest
in this marvellous discovery, he began pointing out the various
objects of special importance, naming them with glib assurance,
then reminding the boys how wonderfully similar all was to what
had existed in Old Mexico before the conquest.

Bruno listened with greater interest than his brother could
summon at will. For one thing, he had long been a lover of the
genial Prescott, and, now that his memory was freshened in part,
was able to closely follow the course of that little lecture,
noting each strong point made by the professor in bolstering up
his delightful theory.

That monologue, however, was abruptly broken in upon by Waldo,
who gave an eager exclamation, as he reached forth a pointing
finger:

"Look! There's a white woman yonder,--two of 'em, in fact!"





Next: CAN IT BE TRUE?

Previous: A MARVELLOUS VISION.



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK



Viewed: 1222