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the novel valhalla


VALHALLA
ANOVEL
BYGEORGELONG
AUTHOROF“FORTUNE’SWHEEL”
THISBOOKISDEDICATEDBYTHEAUTHORTOHISGOD-DAUGHTER
MISSEDITHPEARLLAVINGTON
Formekindnaturewakeshergenialpow’r,
Suckleseachherb,andspreadsoutev’ryflow’r;
Annualformethegrape,theroserenew
Thejuicenectarious,andthebalmydew;
Forme,themineathousandtreasuresbrings;
Forme,healthgushesfromathousandsprings;
Seasrolltowaftme,sunstolightmerise;
Myfoot-stoolearth,mycanopytheskies.
Buterrsnotnaturefromthisgraciousend,
Fromburningsunswhenlividdeathsdescend,
Whenearthquakesswallow,orwhentempestssweep
Townstoonegrave,wholenationstothedeep?
No(‘tisreply’d),thefirstalmightycause
Actsnotbypartial,butbygenerallaws;

Th’exceptionsfew,somechangesinceallbegan;


Andwhatcreatedperfect?—whythenman?
—_Pope’sEssayonMan.FirstEpistle._
VALHALLA


CHAPTERI
ITwasintheyear19—thattherecameupontheworldagreatandvastupheaval
ofnature,soterribleandfar-reachinginitsconsequences,thatitmadeallthe
survivorsontheearthfearandtremble.Itcamesuddenly,assucheventsalways
do.Thepowersoftheearthwereshaken,thoughthesunandmooncontinuedto
givetheirlight,neverthelessmen’sheartsfailedthemforfear.Somethinghad
gonewrongintheworld—theyknewnotwhat.Subterraneanthunderrolled
beneathmen’sfeetastheyrushedoutintothestreets,thefields,thehighways,
anywhereratherthanremainbeneatharoof.Throughoutthelandhouses
trembledtotheirfoundations,asimmensethunder-ladencloudscrashedinto
eachotheroverheadwithadull,reverberating,awfulshock.Theseahadswept
uponthelowlandslikeatidalwave,drivingmeninlandpanic-stricken.
OncerecoveredfromtheterribleshockwhichhadbeenfeltbyallinGreat
Britain,itwasgraduallyrealizedwhathadhappened.Cableswereusedtoall
partsoftheworld,butnorepliescame.Thoseshipsthatcameinreported
nothingbutavastexpanseofwatereverywhere,alltheoldlandmarkshadgone.
Steamersweresentouttoexploreasfarastheycouldmanagewithoutfresh
coaling,andallreturned,saveone,withthesametale,nooldlandmarks.Even
IrelandandtheChannelIslandshaddisappeared.CoulditbepossiblethatGreat
Britainwastheonlylandthathadnotbeensubmerged?Yeteverythingpointed
tothatasafact.StillGod’sgreatcovenantwithmanhadnotbeenbroken,and
Hisbowremainedintheclouds.Thewholeworldhadnotbeendrowned;but
werenotthesurvivorsfacetofacewithstarvation?Whathadbroughtsucha
greatcalamityupontheearth?Mancouldnotsay,itwasbeyondhim.
Atfirstallwerecalm,butitwasonlythatdeephushthatcomesbeforeastorm.
Hereonthisislandweremillionsofpeoplewithfoodenoughtolastthemonly
aboutamonth.Thethoughtbredmadness.Thewisemenofthecountrystrove,
andorganized,andplanned,liketheoccupantsofabesiegedcity,tomakethe
availablerationslastuntilmorecould,intheordinarycourseofevents,be
obtained,butitwasnouse.Aswellmighttheyhavetriedtostemthetideof
someangrysea,orstoptheflowofwaterfromsomeswollenriver,whichhad
risenaboveitsbanks.Lawlessnessandanarchyprevailed,thestrongtookfrom


theweak,andthousandsfellfromstarvationinashorttime.Thedeadwent
unburied,andbredapestilenceintheland,sothatoldandyoung,richandpoor,


highandlow,wentdownbeforethegreatreaperDeath,untilapparentlynota
soulremainedontheearth.YettwolivesweresparedeveninBritain.
ThenthelandwasturnedintoaValhalla,ahomeforthespiritsofthedead.
Everywhere,onallsides,thespiritsworkedforthegoodofthetwosurviving
humanbeings.Whatevertheywantedwasdoneforthembyinvisiblehands.
HenryLearwasoneofthesurvivors.Hewasayoungmannowfive-and-twenty;
ofmediumheight,withdarkcurlinghair,greyeyes,andanopencountenancea
littlemarkedwithcare,andworld-worn.Hehadinearlyyouthledawildlife,
butafterwardshadbecomearecluse;andwhenthedirecalamitycameuponthe
worldhewaslivinginaremotefarmhousealmostalone;hewassoonleft
entirelyso.Heknewofthisupheavaloftheworld’sfoundations,butlaughedfor
theconsequences.Hecarednothingforthislife,andhefearednotdeath.Noone
gavehimathought,sowhyshouldhegooutintotheworldtotroubleabout
others?
“Toeverymanuponthisearth
Deathcomethsoonorlate.”
Andhehadnowishtolive.Soaslongashewasalonehewasindifferent,but
whenallothershaddied,hewasbyhimselfnolonger,andheknewit—the
kingdomofValhallahadbegun;buthewasnotafraid,forhisnaturehad
changedtomeettheneworderofthingsintheworldaroundhim.
Thespiritsbegantoworkforhim.Sosoonashecamedowninthemorninghe
foundfoodsetoutforhimbyinvisiblehands.Ifhewantedhishorse,hehad
onlytowalkouttothestableandthereitwasreadywithsaddleandbridleon,
whileallanimalsseemedentirelyunderhiscontrol.
Henowwishedtoseewhathadcometothecountry,totheworld,andatoncean
unseenforceurgedhimon.
Intheearlymorning,hemountedhishorseandrodeslowlytothetown.He
crossedthedownswrappedinmist,andsawthesunriseinallhisglory,andas
hegainedthehardroad,thedewonthegrassbythehighwaysparkledlike
diamondsashetrottedalong.Allinthetownwaslonelinessanddesolation,so
afterleavinghishorseattheusualstableshemadehiswaytotherailwaystation.Nosoundorsignofhumanlifeanywhere,buthetookhisseatinthe


trainwithawishtotraveltothegreatcityofLondon,andpunctuallyatthe
appointedtimetheshrillwhistleoftheengineburstout,andhebegantomove
slowlyoutofthestation.HenryLeardidnotfeelstrangeoruncomfortableinthe
least,herealizedexactlywhathadhappened,andwasgoingtohappen,andhe
wasgraduallyfindingouthispower.
Asthetrainrushedbystationafterstationwithoutstopping,hepassedthemall
withoutnotice.Asheranthroughtownsuninhabitedbyasinglebeinghedidnot
thinkofthedesolation,itwascompletelyindifferenttohim.WhenonceLondon
wasreachedthetraindrewupwithajerk.Hecouldseenocabs,nopeople,no
signofmanatall.
Atfirsthedoubtedwhattodo,thenitoccurredtohimtotrytheMetropolitan
train,andheenteredone,andmadeatourofthecity.Hewalkedoutintothe
streets,butallwasthesame,manhadpassedaway,sofarasheknew,forever.
Hereandtheresightsmethiseyewhichwereenoughtoappal,buthetookno
noticeofthedead.Thegreatestcityintheworldhadbeenturnedinto“an
abominationofdesolation,”butwhatwasthattohim?Hewasfortifiedbysome
strengthbeyondhumanwillorpower;yethewishedthatallthedeadintheland
mightbeputawayoutofhissight.
Hebecamehungryandenteredarestaurant,butnothingremainedbutempty
platesandglasses.Hehurriedoutagain.
Thenalongingcameoverhimtobealonenomore,andhewasledtothe
railway-station,nottothesamewhencehecame,buttoonebywhichhecould
quicklygetawaymilestothenorth.
Aspiritmovedhimtosay“Liverpool,”andagaintheenginewhistledandmoved
onslowlyuntilhefoundhimselfgraduallyincreasinginspeed,whenhesimply
flewthroughthecountrytowardthenorth.
Naturewastoomuchforhimand,tiredout,hefellasleepashewaswhirled
along.


CHAPTERII
WHAToftheotherwhosurvived?Shewasatallgirloftwenty-two,fair,witha
goodfigure—notaltogetherprettyorhandsome;butwithanicesweetface,
whichgaveonetheimpressionthatshewasfirmandtrue.Shehadbeenliving
aloneatOban,whereshehadfledwhentheplaguehaddevastatedtheland,after
thegreatupheaval;butshetoohadfailedtofeelherlonelinessuntilallinthe
landhaddied,exceptHenryLear,thenshefeltthatshewasnotalone,andat
oncehadthedesiretogobacktotheworld,andseeforherselfwhathad
happened.ShewalkedintoOban,andfoundallmuchthesameasHenryhad
doneinLondon;shewasnotafraid,butshewishednolongertobealone,andin
amomentshewasattractedtotherailway-station,justasthemanhadbeen,and
foundatrainwaitingforher.
Somethingpromptedhertosay“Liverpool,”andthetrainatoncemovedoff.
Theywerebothledbyaspirittorealizethattheywereseekingeachother,andit
wasalmostatthesamemomentthateachwishedtogotoLiverpool.Thenbegan
araceagainsttimebythetrains,andthoughnorecordcanbegiven,itmusthave
beatenanythatwentbefore.HenryLearwasthefirsttoarrive,butthesteamhad
scarcelyslackenedonhisenginewhentheothertraindrewupintothestation.
Henryfounditslonelyoccupant,andopenedthecarriagedoor.FloraMalcolm
startedatthesoundofahumanvoice.
“Wehavemetatlast,”saidHenryLear;“Ihavedreamedofthis.”
“SohaveI,”saidFlora,asshedescendedtotheplatform.
Andlookingateachothertheylaughedattheirownwordsandatthesituation.It
seemedsocurioustobethusbroughttogether.Buttheirlaughtersoundedhollow
inthatgreatplace,allbythemselves.
“Letusgo,”saidHenry.
“Butwhere?”saidFlora.“Oh,Iwishweknewwheretofindotherpeople.”
Shehadscarcelyexpressedthewishwhenshewasledawayasbeforebysome
unknownpower.Henryfollowedher.Theyreachedthedocks.Theretheyfound


alargeAtlanticlinerwaitingforthemwithsteamup.Theysteppedonboardand
immediatelytheelectricbellsrang,theenginesbegantothrob,and“TheQueen
oftheWaters“movedslowlyouttosea.HenryledFloratothesaloon,where
theyfoundacapitalluncheonputoutforthem.Theshipwasbeingworkedby
invisiblehands.
“Rathergoodquarters,”saidHenry.
“Excellent,”answeredFlora;“butthebestofitis,wearegoingtofindother
people.”
“Howdoyouknow?”
“Ifeelit,”saidFlora,“justasIdidthatIshouldmeetyou.”
“SodoI,”saidHenry.
Thegoodvesselboundedthroughthewaves,andbothrememberednowthat
theywereleavingthelandofthedeadbehindthem.
Florawasquiteatherease;somehowitseemedasthoughtheshipwerefullof
people,thoughtheysawthemnot.AfteranexcellentdinnerFlorawentoverto
thepianoandtouchedthekeys.Asherfingersplayedoverthemsheseemed
inspired,sogloriouswasthemusicthatrangoutinthatsaloon.Itseemedto
speaktoHenryofanewlandandalifeandlovetocomeofwhichhehadnever
dreamed.
“Playthatagain,”hesaid,“ifyoudon’tmind.Youhaveputfreshfeelinginto
thisoldheartofmine.”
“Really,haveI?”saidFlora.“Oldheartindeed!ButIscarcelyknowwhatI
played,orifIcandoitagain,buttopleaseyou,Iwilltry.”
Duringthepausetheycouldheartheengineswork,andthelashofthewaves
alongthevessel’ssides;butasFlora’sfingerstouchedtheinstrumentagain,the
musicseemedtobringHenryapromiseofhealingtoawoundwhichhehad
thoughtwouldforeverremainopenandsore.
“Thankyou,”hemurmured,asthelastnotesdiedaway;“youhaveeasedmeof
apainthathaslonglaininmybreast—Ineverheardsuchmusicbefore.”


“Thatmaywellbe,”shesaid;“Icertainlyhaveneverplayedlikeit.”Florastruck
thenotesoncemore,andthesoundawakenedfreshaspirationsinHenry’sheart,
andhefeltpreparedtobraveallforthewomanbeforehim.“Thankyou,”he
said,“Ishallnotforgetthatmusic.”
“Iamsosleepy,”saidFlora,“IthinkIwillfindmycabinandgotobed.”
“Yes,youmustbetiredoutafteralltheeventsoftheday.”Thenheadded,half
shyly,“Youwillnotbenervousallalonewithmeonthisgreatship,willyou?”
“Ohno;besides,wearenotaloneyouknow.Goodnight.”
“Goodnightandgoodrest,”returnedHenry,asheheldthesaloondooropenfor
hertopassout,andwatchedhertillshehadreachedhercabinandclosedthe
door.


CHAPTERIII
THEREwasonesteamerthatdidnotreturn.Itwasthe“Albatross,”commanded
byCaptainSinclair.Whenorderedoutonatourofinspectiontoseewhathad
happened,thisofficerhadyieldedtotheprayersofhiswifeanddaughterand
takenthemwithhim.Theshipwasmannedasusual,andhehadonboardSir
PhilipStewart,FellowoftheRoyalGeographicalSociety,andtheReverend
CharlesRobertsonaschaplain.
SirPhilipwasagood-heartedmanwithaclearandpracticalmind,slightly
retiringindisposition.HiswifehadbeenawayinAmericawithherownpeople
atthecrisis,andhewasafraidhehadlosther.Mr.Robertsonwasayoungman,
unmarried,conscientious,andtruetothelifehehadchosen.
Theshipwaswellcoaledandprovisioned,andCaptainSinclairmeanttohavea
goodlookround;infact,hewasinnohurrytogetbacktohisowncountry,
realizingashedidthetooawfulconsequencesinstoreforit.Atfirsthetookan
eastwardcourse,andsteamedslowlyacrosstheworldwhereEuropehadbeen;
then,turning,hecrossedtheseawhichnowrolledoverAfrica,andwas
proceedingtogooverwhatwasformerlytheAtlanticOceantomake
investigationswithregardtoAmerica,whensuddenlyhewasstartlednearlyout
ofhissensesbythecryof“Landahead!”
“Halfspeedahead“wasatoncetheorder;buttheyhadnotgonemuchfarther
whentherewasagrindingnoisecombinedwithavibrationofthevesselwhich
toldthoseonboardunmistakablythatthe“Albatross“hadgrounded.
“Reverseengines,fullspeedastern,”criedthecaptain;buttheshipwasfastand
movednot.
Tomakethingsworseaheavystormcameupbehindthem,andapanicensued.
Heavyseasstrucktheshipwithgreatforce,sendingoverthedecksadrenching
spray,andasthewindincreasedthevesselbegantoheeloverominouslytoone
side.
“Lowertheboats,”criedCaptainSinclair,“andletmeaskyoutotakecareofthe
passengers,and,beforeall,theladies.MywifeanddaughterIcommendtoyour


care;myself,Iremainontheship.”
AtthismomentLilianSinclaircameonthedecksupportinghermother,shehad
heardherfather’swords.
“Ishallnotleavefather,”shesaidfirmly,assheheldtherailwithherlefthand
andwiththerightshesupportedhermother.
“Beofgoodcourage,”saidtheRev.CharlesRobertson,“‘Deathisswallowedup
invictory.’Ialsowillkeepyoucompany.”
Liliannotedhisremark,butdidnotanswer.LieutenantMilescameforwardat
thatmoment.
“Come,ifyouwouldbesaved,”hesaid,“theboatsareready.”
“Leaveus,”saidLilian,“Istaywithmyfather.”
“InthatcaseItakemychancetoo,”saidMiles,andhewavedtothecrewtosave
themselvesiftheycould.Mrs.Sinclairtrembledwithfear,butshemadeno
attempttomove.Theboatsgotclearaway,buttheyhadlittlechanceoflivingin
thatsea,ortheiroccupantsofreachingthatland,which,asitnowoccurredtoall
leftonboardforthefirsttime,hadprobablyneveryetbeentouchedbythefoot
ofman.
Thestormincreasedandtheboatsdisappearedfromtheirview,andallgave
themselvesupforlost,whensuddenlythevesselmovedslightly,androlledasif
floatingagain.
“HIonlyhadmycrewIbelieveIcouldrighthernow,”saidCaptainSinclair.
“Oh,howIwishwewerebackinEngland,”saidLilian.
Nosoonerhadshespokenthantheshipseemedfullofmen;theengineswere
reversedandsetworkingtotheirfullpower,thewheelturned,andgraduallythe
shipswungroundandpushedslowlyintheteethofthewindouttosea.Likethe
“QueenoftheWaters“shewasbeingworkedbyinvisiblehands.
Thethreemenandtwowomenlookedateachother,butevenasHenryLearand
FloraMalcolm,theywerenotafraid.


Theshiptoiledonthroughthoseheavyseas,graduallyworkingawayfromthat
newborncoast,forinplaceoftheAtlanticOceanhadsprungupalarge
continent,whichatpresentwasnothingbutbarrenrocksandsand.
“Ibegintoseenowwhathashappened,”saidCaptainSinclair;“theoldlevels
arealtered,andwhatwasseahasbecomeland,andviceversa.”
“Thatdoesindeedseemtobeso,”saidMr.Robertson;“buthowcomesitthat
ourowncountry,GreatBritain,hasnotbeenswallowedupbytheseas?”
“Icanonlyaccountforthatbysupposingthatthewholelandhasbeenraised
higherbyvolcanicaction,inthesamewaythatthisnewworldhassprungoutof
theocean,”saidCaptainSinclair.
“Butsurely,”saidMr.Robertson,“inthatcaseweshouldhavefeltmoreofthe
shockthanwedid,besides,itwouldbeveryremarkableifthewholeland,justas
itwas,hadbeenmovedupwithoutanyadditionorsubtraction.”
“Wouldnotadepressionontheseabottomaroundourshorescometothesame
thing?”inquiredMiles.
“Icannotunderstandit,”saidCaptainSinclair.“Thefactremainsthatwithall
thisgreatupheavaltheseahasfoundherlevelwithoutsubmergingBritain.”
Meantimethestormhadceased,andtheshipnowmadegoodwayonhercourse
towardstheoldcountry,forthecaptain,onmakingobservations,foundthey
wererunningstraightforEngland.
Theygotalltheyrequiredinjustthesamewaythatthepassengersonthe
“QueenoftheWaters“did,and,withplentytoeatanddrink,theymanagedto
amusethemselvesandkeepuptheirspirits,fortheydidnotknoworcarewhat
wasbeforethem.
Asthedayadvancedastrangethinghappened.Anothersteamercameinsight
and,afteratime,passedthematfullspeedintheoppositedirection.Itwasthe
“QueenoftheWaters,”butneitherpartyhadwishedtostop,sotheyspedonand
wereeachsoorilosttoview.
The“Albatross“continuedhercourseuntilshedulyarrivedintheLiverpool
docks,andthepartylanded.Allwasemptinessanddesolation.Theyenteredan


hotel,butnofoodofanykindwasfoundthatcouldbeeaten.
“Weshallhavetomakethe‘Albatross‘ourhead-quartersforthepresent,Ican
see,”saidCaptainSinclair.
“Andwehadbettermakethemostoftheprovisionsonboarditstrikesme,”said
Mr.Robertson.
“Evidentlyweareexpectedtofindourownfoodevenunderthenew
arrangements,”saidLilian.
“Weshallhavetoformulatesomeplanfordoingthat,”saidLieutenantMiles,
“orwetoomaybestarved.”
Sotheyhadalookroundbeforetheyreturnedtotheship,butgowherethey
wouldnosignofhumanlifemettheireye,andeventhedeadhadbeenremoved.
“Iwonderwheretheothersteameris,andifshehasmanyonboard?”saidMrs.
Sinclair.
“Ionlysawtwo,”saidLilian;“Iwishtheywouldcomeback,andthatwecould
meetthem.”
Atonceshewasledtothe“Albatross“byanunseenpower,andtheothers
followedher.
Nosoonerweretheyallaboardthantheshipsteamedoutoftheharbour.


CHAPTERIV
WHENtheboatsleftthe“Albatross”theywerequicklydriventowardsthenew
rockycoast.Itwasnotlongbeforetheywereswamped,andallhandswerelost
exceptSirPhilipStewart,whoswamashore.
Forthreedayshemanagedtokeephimselfaliveontheshellfishbythesea,and
onthefourthhewasoverjoyedtoseealargesteamerapproaching.Itwasthe
“QueenoftheWaters.”HenryLearthoughteverymomentthatshemustground,
butsheswungroundbeforeshehadgonetoofar.ItwasthenthatFloraobserved
somethingmovingonshore.
“Iwillfetchsomeglassesfromthesaloon,”saidHenry,andhecamebackon
decktomakebetterobservations.
“Yes,itisaman,”saidhe;“Iwishwecouldsavehim.”
Immediatelyoneoftheboatsbegantobelowered,andwhenHenryandFlora
hadgotin,itwasletdownandpropelledtowardstheshore,sotheywereableto
pickupSirPhilip.
“Haveyoubeenherelong?”askedHenry,c25
“Onlythreewholedays.Ihadonlyjustwishedtoseeashipwhenyoucamein
sight,”hesaid.
“Ihopeweshallgetbacksafely,”saidHenry.
“WesawanothersteamergoingtowardsEngland,”saidFlora,“Iwishwecould
joinher.”
Theboatwastakenbacktothesteamer,andassoonastheywereonboardshe
movedaway.
“IshouldliketolandatSouthampton,”saidHenry,“itisnearmyhouse,andI
wouldliketotakeyouthere.”
“Perhapsweshall,”saidFlora,andtheyheldontheircourse.


“IwonderifIshallevervisitthatnewbornlandagain,”saidSirPhilip;“some
dayIshouldliketodoso.”
“Whatisitlike?”askedFlora.
“Icouldnottellmuchaboutit,butIshouldsayitwillbenothingbutabarren
wasteforyears,”saidSirPhilip.
FlorahadtakenSirPhiliptothesaloon,wherehewasgladtoappeasehisthirst
andhunger.
“Itallseemsverywonderfulwhatyoutellme,”saidhe.“Areallmycountrymen
deadexceptyou?”
“Yes,allexceptthosewesawontheothersteamer,butIcan’tsayhowmany
theyareorwheretheyweregoing,”answeredHenry.
“Itmust,Ithink,havebeenthe‘Albatross/buthowshegotawayunharmedisa
mystery.”
“The‘Albatross’?”saidFlora.
“Yes,thesteamerwecameoutontoseeifwecouldmeetwithmoreland,and
whenwedidfindanyitwasquiteunexpectedyouknow.Weranontherocks.I
leftintheboats,butwehadnotgonefarbeforetheywerecapsized,andall
exceptmyselfwerelost.ThreetimesItriedtoland,butwasdraggedbackbythe
waves;butIwishedtosavemylifeandseethenewland,andbysomechance,
asIthought,Iwaswashedinbytheseaandfoundmyselflyinghighuponthe
shore,butInowseetherewassomesupernaturalassistanceaboutit.”
“Thespiritswerehelping;butwhatisyouropinionaboutitall?”askedHenry.
“Ithinkthatalltheoldland,exceptGreatBritain,isgone,butthatnew
continentshaverisenuptotaketheplaceoftheothers.Asforthespirits,Ihave
notthoughtmuchaboutthem,butitseemswonderfulthattheyshouldmanifest
somuchpowerintheworld,”,saidSirPhilip.“Don’tstaywithmeifyouwishto
goondeck,”headdedtotheyoungcoupleconsiderately.“Icanlookafter
myselfyouknow.”
“Wewillleaveyoutorestforawhilethen,”saidHenry.“Willyoucome,


Flora?”
“Yes,”sheanswered.“IamsureSirPhilipmustbewornout.”AndtheyleftSir
Philipinthesaloon.
Astheyleanedovertherailandwatchedthewatersrushby,therewasnoword
oflovespoken,but—
“Softeyeslookedlovetoeyesthatspakeagain.”
Andthesetwoseemedtoknowwithoutneedofwordsthattheyweremeantfor
manandwifeintheneworderofthings.
“Iwonderiftheunseenworldwillcontinuetohelpusalways,”saidFlora.
“Iwonder,”saidHenry;“butIhopeitwill,forwhatcouldyouandIhavedone
aloneandunassistedinsovastaspace?”
“True,”saidFlora,“weshouldhavebeenquitepowerless.”
“Youwillcometotheoldfarmhouse,willyounot?”
“Yes,IhopeIshallalwaysbewithyounow.”
“Ifwecouldonlygetthatpiano,youwouldplaytomesometimes.”
“Atanytimeyouliked,”answeredFlora.
“Andwhenyouarewithmewecanrideouttogether.Ihavemanyhorses.”
“Yes,ofcourse,Ishalllikethat.”
“IleftonehorsewhenIcameoutintotheworldtoseekcompany,Iwonderif
thespiritshavelookedafterhim.”
“Iexpectso,”saidFlora;“theyseemtotakeaninterestinouraffairs—these
invisiblebeings.”
“Theydo,”saidHenry,“andknowwhattheyareabouttoo,morethanany
humanhandcoulddo.”


“Howstrangeitseems,”saidFlora,“tothinkofourlandasbeingthehomeof
thespiritsofthedead.Ihopeitisonlythesoulsofheroeswhoarethere,andthat
theywillworkforourgoodalone.”
“Theybroughtyoutome,”saidHenry;“Icouldforgivemuchafterthat,
whatevertheydo.”
“Youprizemetoohighly,itwasHobson’schoiceyouknow,theycouldbringno
oneelse.”
“Iftheyhadthechancetoselectfromthousandstheywouldneverfindonemore
worthyofacceptance,”Henryreplied.
“Thatistruealsoofyou,”saidFlora.Andsotheytalkedonuntiltheycamein
sightofthewhitecliffsofsouthernEngland,andinduetimeranupthe
SouthamptonWaterandintothedocks.
Heretheyfoundthe“Albatross“alreadywaitingforthem,andatlengthallthe
livingpeopleoftheearth,sofarastheyknew,wereunited,withoneexception.
AstheylandedCaptainSinclaircameforwardtogreetthem,andwasastounded
toseeSirPhilipStewartthere.
“Ah,oldfriend,”saidSirPhilip,“itisasIguessed,youreturnedinthe‘
Albatross/youluckyoneswhohadthesensetoremain.”
“Ididnotexpecttoseeyouagain,”saidLilianSinclairandMilesalmostina
breath.
“Iowemylifetotheseyoungpeople,”saidSirPhilip;“letmeintroduceyou.”
“Nottous,”saidHenryaftertheyhadshakenhands,“buttotheunseenpower
thathashelpedus.”
“Iliketogiveyouthecredit,anyhow,”saidSirPhilip.
“Andarewetheonlylivingpeople,doyouthink?”inquiredHenry.
“Soitappears,”SirPhilipreplied.


“Eightpersons—fivemenandthreewomen,”saidLieutenantMiles.
“Howstrange,”saidSirPhilip;“ifonlymywifewerehereIcouldputupwith
anything;butlivingordeadIwishIcouldgotoher.”
Assoonashehadspokenhewasdrawnbacktothe“QueenoftheWaters,”and
oncemorethatgoodshipputouttosea.SirPhilipwavedhishandtothose
behindandwasquicklygonefromsight.
“Hewillfindher,”saidHenry;“you’llsee,hewillfindher.”
“LadyStewartwasontheseawhenthecalamitycameuponus?”askedFlora.
“Yes,”saidHenry,“IheardhimsayshewasexpectedhomefromAmerica.”
“Willyouallcometothefarmwithmenow?”saidHenry.
Theyallwillinglyconsented.Sotheytooktheirseatsinatrainwithinthestation,
andassoonasHenrywishedtogotoDunstontheystartedaway.


CHAPTERV
SIRPHILIPSTEWARTwentforthaloneintothegreatworldofwaters.He
knewnotwherethespiritswouldleadhim,buthewasnotdismayed.Hefelt
certainnowthathewouldfindhiswifesomewhere,deadoralive.
Hehadnotlongtowaitbeforeheknewmore.Goingdowntothesaloon,he
partookofamealsetoutforhimandthenwentoffinadeepsleep.Whenhe
awokeitwasearlymorning,andhisshipwaslying-tobytheScillyIslands.As
hereachedthedeckaboatwaslowered,andhegotintoitandwastakentowards
theland.Helookedaboutandsawsomeoneseatedonabenchwavingtohimto
come.Ashegotnearerhesawthatitwashiswife,andherushedforward.
Beforehecouldreachhershehadfainted,andhefoundherlyingdeath-likeon
theseat.
“Sheisdead!”hecriedinagonyashetookherinhisarms,“sheisdead!”
Staggeringalongwithhisburden,hesucceededinreachingtheboatandwas
pulledbackagaintothesteamer.
AllthetimeLadyStewartlayinherhusband’sarms,coldandpaleasdeath,
whilethecoolseaairplayedonhercheeks.SirPhilipdippedhishandkerchiefin
theseaandchafedhertemples—therewasaslightmovementoftheheart,a
littleflutteroftheclosedlids.Theshockofthecoldwaterrousedher,andbythe
timetheyreachedtheshipshehadsomewhatrevived.
“Doyouknowme,dear?”saidSirPhilip,“youmusthavefainted.”
“Yes,Isawyoucoming,andthereliefwastoomuchforme,Irememberno
more.”
ItwaswithgreatdifficultythatSirPhilipgothiswifeonboard,buthewishedto
getherthereandtheunseenpowersassistedhim.
OncemoretheyproceededbacktotheSouthamptondocks.
“Howcameyouonthoseislands?”askedSirPhilip.


“Wewerewreckedinthemostawfulseaimaginable,butIwascarriedbythe
wavesontosomerocksandsavedtogetherwiththreeothers,buttheyhavesince
died.”
“Whatamarvellousescape,”saidSirPhilip.
“IthoughtIshouldhavediedliketherest,butwhentheyweregoneIawokeone
morningwiththefeelingthatIwasnotalone,andafreshstrengthcametome.I
walkedtothehousesnearandfoundalittlefoodwhichIcouldscarcelyeat,but
itservedtokeepmealiveuntilyoucame.”
“Doyoufeelbetternowyouhavehadrefreshmenthere?”
“Yes,much.”
“Weareluckytohaveit.Thereareonlysevenotherpersonsbesidesourselves
savedontheearth,andoffoodthereisscarcelyanyleftanywhere,fromwhatI
hear.”
“Whoarethepeople?”askedLadyStewart.
“Altogetherwearefivemenandfourwomen—twomarriedcouplesandtwo
moreyoungcoupleswholooklikemakingmatchesofit,andtheoddmanisthe
Rev.C.Robertson,whowaschaplainonourboat.”
“Howlucky!hewilldoforthemarriages.”
“Ohyes,butaformalmarriageservicewillbescarcelyrequirednow.Ifaman
acceptsawomanashiswifeandsheconsentsbeforewitnessesthatshouldbe
sufficient,somewhataftertheScottishmarriagelaws.”
“Yes,thatshouldbequiteenough.Tellmemoreabouttheseothermenand
women.”
“Well,thereisCaptainSinclairandhiswife,awomanaboutyourownage;then
thereishisdaughter,LilianSinclair;andanothergirl,FloraMalcolm,whoisI
thinkattachedtoHenryLear;andlastlythereisLieutenantMiles,whoshould
takeLilianSinclairforawife.”
“Youarebecomingquiteamatch-maker,Philip.”


“No,itisnomattertomeatallexceptthatItakeaninterestinLearandFlora,
becauseitwasthroughthemIwassavedandbroughtbackfromthenewworld.”
“How?”
SirPhilipheretoldhiswifehisownadventures,andoftheworkwhichthe
spiritsweredoing.
“Howwonderfulitallseems.”
“Itdoes,”saidSirPhilip.
“Whatastrangepeopleweshallbe,andIwonderhowweshallgeton?”
“Iwonder,too,”saidSirPhilip;“Ifeelthatagreatresponsibilityhasfallenon
us,weshallhavetocarryonandrepopulatetheworld,andifpossiblepreserve
allknowledgeforthebenefitofthefuturerace,sothatnothingmaybelost.”
“Howstrange,”answeredLadyStewart.
“IthoughtIknewsomething,butnowIfeellikeachildagain;whatIdoknowis
notmuchgoodatpresent.HenryLearwillbemasterofthemostusefulart:
agriculturewillbeofmoreconsequencethananythingatpresent,andHenryis
justthemantoorganizeforusandleadus.”
“Isheagoodman?”
“Yes,Ihaveeveryconfidenceinhim;heiscleverandstrong,andseemsexactly
fittedtostarttheneworderofthingswhichthisgreatchangeintheuniversehas
broughtabout.”
“Wherearetheynow?”
“ThatIcan’tsay;IleftthematSouthampton,butHenrywasgoingtotakeevery
onetohisfarm.Nodoubtweshallfindthemtherejustinthesamewaythatwe
haveallbeenabletomeet.Itisdonebytheunseen,thespiritsofthedead,who
areworkingtohelpus.”
ThusbythetimetheygotbacktoSouthamptonLadyStewartknewasmuchof
thepresentstateofthingsastherest.


Theysearchedabout,butfoundnotraceoformessagefromtheothers;sothey
gotintoatrain,andasusualweretakenonoutofthestation.Astheywentthey
sawacurioussight,andSirPhilipwishedthetrainwouldstopsothattheymight
getabetterviewofwhatwaspassingbeforethem.Thetrainslowlydrewupand
theywereabletoseeapackofhoundspassinfullcry,followedbyhorses
mountedbyinvisiblehorsemen.Thehoundsstucktothelineastheydoonthe
keenestscent;somehorsesrushedmadlyatthefences,drunkwithexcitement;
sometookthemsteadily,andmadecleanjumps;somefell,butwereupagain
instantly,andresumedthechase.
SirPhilipandhiswifewatcheduntilallhadpassedoutofsight;thenthey
wishedtorenewthejourney,andinstantlytheystartedonagain,andinduetime
arrivedatDunston.
Seeingamotor-caroutsidethestation,theygotin,andwishedtobedrawnto
Henry’sfarm.Theyweretakentherewithoutmishapofanykind.


CHAPTERVI
HENRYLEARcameouttowelcomeSirPhilipandLadyStewarttohishome.
Hehadtakenagreatfancytothisman,andheknewthathewastobeofgreat
assistancetohiminthecarryingonoftheworkoftheworld.
“Ihavefoundher,yousee,”saidSirPhilip,introducinghiswife.
“Iamsoglad,”saidHenry;“butIknewyouwould.”
“Butwhateverisallthis?”askedSirPhilip,pointingtothedrive,whichwas
strewnwithgold.“Haveyouhadashowerofsovereigns?”
“Ohno,Isimplywishedtohavesomehereinsteadofgravel,Ithoughtthey
wouldlookwell,youknow;andnowloadsonloadsarearriving.Listen,”he
said,“theyarejustgoingtoshootdownacart-full.”
Shing!shing!wentthegoldcoinsastheyfellout,makingthatringwhichis
peculiartogoldasametal.
“Ah,Isee,”saidSirPhilip;“whatiswealthnow,whenthereissomuchamong
sofew?”
“Thatisjustit,”saidHenry;“wearenotlikelytobeshortofmoneyformany
yearstocome,butofwhatusewillitbe?Creditwillbelosttous,andweshall
havetoworkonotherlines.”
“Wealthwillnolongerbeanything,”saidLadyStewart;“letushopewemayall
havehealthandhappiness.”
“MyfriendLearherewilllookafterusforthat;solongasheseestothe
productionoffood,itseemstomeinvisiblehandswilldotherest.”
TheotherladiesnowjoinedthemandtookLadyStewartintothehouse.
“Howgoesthefarm?”askedSirPhilip.
“Verywell;Ihaveonlytoarrangeeverythingandtheunseendothework.See,”
hesaid,pointingtoafield,“thoseteamsareallbeingworkedanddrivenbythe


invisible.”
“JustasIexpected,”saidSirPhilip.“Well,youyoungmenwillhavenothing
elsetodobutmakelove,andweoldones“
“Mustdothesame,”putinHenry.
“HowisMissFloraMalcolm?”
“Verywellindeed;shehasnothingtodoexceptride,walk,andpickthe
flowers.”
“Istheladies’workdoneinthesameway?”
“Precisely,”saidHenry;“thecowsaremilked,thebuttermade,andallthatkind
ofthing,byinvisiblehands.”
“Whatastrangeworlditwillseem;butIexpecttherewillbeplentyofworkfor
ourbrainsby-and-by,whenwefindoutjustwhatwehavetodo.”
“Yes,andtroubletooforsomeofus,”saidHenry,lookingdarkly.
“Howdoyoumean?”askedSirPhilip.
“Well,ourwillsandwishesmayclashbeforelong,andthenwhatwillhappen?
Whosepartwilltheunseentake?”
“Whateverhappenswillbeforthebest,”answeredSirPhilip,forhenoticedthat
Henryhadsomethinginhismind,butdidnotpresshimfurther.
“Youmustexcusemenow,”saidHenry,“IhavepromisedtoridewithFlora
Malcolm;makeyourselfathome,andrememberthatsofarasthisworld’sgoods
goyoucanhelpyourselftoeverything.”
“Thankyou,”saidSirPhilip,andwentintothehouse.
HenryandFlorawentforagalloponthedowns,astheydidnearlyeveryday.
“IamgladtheStewartshavecome,Ilikethem,”saidHenry.
“SodoI,”saidFlora;“infact,IcansayIlikealltheworldexceptone,andthat


isMiles,hedoesnotlooktrustworthy.”
“No!”
“Lilianisinlovewithhim,buthedoesnotcareforher.”
“Howhaveyoumadethatdiscovery?”
“Nevermindhow,Ihave.”
Henrythought’hecouldguess,butsaidnothing.
“Iamalarmedattimes,”Florawenton.“Whenonecomestothinkofit,what
powerforevilmightbeusedthroughthehelpoftheunseen.”
“Thatremainstobeproved.Wouldanyonegethelpforanevilpurpose?”said
Henry.
“Isee;thatisdoubtful,youmean?”
“Hithertothepowerhasbeenusedtohelpusforgood,hasitnot?”
“Yes,”answeredFlora;butshewasnotsatisfied.
Theyrodeonandcamebackroundthefarm.Allthecropslookedwell.
EverythingthatHenrycouldthinkoftobedoneonthefarmwascarriedoutat
once.Itwasnowspring,andthewintercornwasgrownandcoveredtheground,
whilethatlatelysownwasjustshootingforth.Thecryfromthemellowthroatof
thecuckoocametothemthroughthewoodlands,andeverywhereinthewoods
andhedgesthebirdssentoutajoyouschorus.
“Doesthatfellow,Miles,careforyou?”Henryaskedsuddenly.
“Ican’tsayexactly;butIdon’tlikethewayhelooksandspeakstome.Hesays
thatheagreeswithSirPhilipStewartthatiftwopersonsaccepteachotheras
manandwifebeforewitnesses,itshouldbeavalidmarriage.”
“Ishouldpreferkeepingtotheoldorthodoxwayinachurch,”saidHenry.“I
don’tliketheman,doyou?”
“No,Icarefornoonebutyou,Henry.”


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