We knew that there was no hope, and yet
with the persistence of life itself we continued to hope against
Already the air tanks were at low ebb--there was barely enough of the
precious gases to sustain us for another twelve hours. But would we be
alive to know or care? It seemed incredible.
At four hundred and twenty miles I took another reading.
"Perry!" I shouted. "Perry, man! She's going down! She's going down!
She's 152 degrees again."
"Gad!" he cried. "What can it mean? Can the earth be cold at the
"I do not know, Perry," I answered; "but thank God, if I am to die it
shall not be by fire--that is all that I have feared. I can face the
thought of any death but that."
Down, down went the mercury until it stood as low as it had seven miles
from the surface of the earth, and then of a sudden the realization
broke upon us that death was very near. Perry was the first to
discover it. I saw him fussing with the valves that regulate the air
supply. And at the same time I experienced difficulty in breathing.
My head felt dizzy--my limbs heavy.
I saw Perry crumple in his seat. He gave himself a shake and sat erect
again. Then he turned toward me.
"Good-bye, David," he said. "I guess this is the end," and then he
smiled and closed his eyes.
"Good-bye, Perry, and good luck to you," I answered, smiling back at
him. But I fought off that awful lethargy. I was very young--I did
not want to die.
For an hour I battled against the cruelly enveloping death that
surrounded me upon all sides. At first I found that by climbing high
into the framework above me I could find more of the precious
life-giving elements, and for a while these sustained me. It must have
been an hour after Perry had succumbed that I at last came to the
realization that I could no longer carry on this unequal struggle
against the inevitable.
With my last flickering ray of consciousness I turned mechanically
toward the distance meter. It stood at exactly five hundred miles from
the earth's surface--and then of a sudden the huge thing that bore us
came to a stop. The rattle of hurtling rock through the hollow jacket
ceased. The wild racing of the giant drill betokened that it was
running loose in AIR--and then another truth flashed upon me.
I'm not going to hand you a lot of mush, dad, but I want to try to do something that will give.Page 16
At first he had written his father and his mother regularly, but now he found it difficult to write them at all.Page 18
" "But I'm not--yet!" exclaimed the girl.Page 32
He's a big guy here.Page 36
"It ain't such a bad job," admitted the Lizard, "if a guy ain't too swelled up.Page 41
For, as most men of his class, he had a well-defined conception of what constituted a perfect waiter, one of the requisites being utter indifference to any of the affairs of his patrons outside of those things which actually pertained to his duties as a servitor; but in this instance Jimmy realized that he had come very close to revealing the astonishment which he felt on seeing this girl in Feinheimer's and unescorted.Page 61
After Jimmy had presented himself the other motioned him to a chair.Page 66
This man is perfectly respectable.Page 70
"that in a short time I will know as much about the payroll as the assistant general manager.Page 73
"Well, Krovac," he said as he came upon the man, "is Torrance interfering with you any now?" "He hasn't got my job yet," growled the other, "but he's letting out hard-working men with families without any reason.Page 74
" "I cannot give it to you here," said Bince, "but if I should happen to pass through the shop this afternoon you might find an envelope on the floor beside your machine after I have gone.Page 81
's discover it, as they will within the next day or two--you are being systematically robbed.Page 91
The suggestion which her words implied came to Jimmy as a distinct shock.Page 95
" "Put up your hands," snapped O'Donnell for the second time, "and be quick about it!" It was then for the first time that Jimmy realized the meaning that might be put upon his presence alone in the office with his dead employer.Page 105
His reverence for her had died hard, but in the face of her arrogance, her vindictiveness and her petty snobbery it had finally succumbed, so that when he compared her with the girl who had been of the street the latter suffered in no way by the comparison.Page 106
If after the day's work I could come home to a regular home it would do me a world of good, I know.Page 108
Suddenly he half rose from his chair.Page 110
For several minutes pandemonium reigned in the court-room.Page 111
"Don't then," said the Lizard.Page 114