Page:Avon Fantasy Reader 10.djvu/99

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.


So I was conducted to the mathematical physicist. The student led me into the very building which corresponded to Morton Hall, and into an office the position of which quite corresponded to that of Woleshensky's room. However, the office was older and dustier; it had a Victorian look about it, and was not as modern as Woleshensky's room. Professor Vibens was a rather small, bald-headed man, with a keen looking face. As I thanked the law-student and started on my story, he looked rather bored, as though wondering why I had picked on him with my tale of wonder. Before I had gotten very far he straightened up a little; and further along he picked up another notch; and before many minutes he was tense in his chair as he listened to me. When I finished, his comment was terse, like that of a man accustomed to thinking accurately and to the point.

"Obviously you come into this world from another set of coordinates. As we are on the z dimension, you must have come to us from the t dimension—."

He disregarded my attempts to protest at this point.

"Your man Woleshensky has evidently developed the conception of relativity further than we have, although Monpeters' theory comes close enough to it. Since I have no idea how to get you back, you must be my guest. I shall enjoy hearing all about your world."

"That is very kind of you," I said gratefully. "I'm accepting because I can't see what else to do. At least until the time when I can find me a place in your world or get back on my own. Fortunately," I added as an afterthought, "no one will miss me there, unless it be a few classes of students who will welcome the little vacation that must elapse before my successor is found."

Breathlessly eager to find out what sort of a world I had gotten into, I walked with him to his home. And I may state at the outset that if I had found everything upside down and outlandishly bizarre, I should have been far less amazed and astonished than I was. For, from the walk that first evening from Professor Viben's office along several blocks of residence street to his solid and respectable home, through all of my goings about the town and country during the years that I remained in the t-dimensional world, I found people and things thoroughly ordinary and familiar. They looked and acted as we do, and their homes and goods looked like ours. I cannot possibly imagine a world and a people that could be more similar to ours without actually being the same. It was months before I got over the idea that I had merely wandered into an unfamiliar part of my own city. Only the actual experience of wide travel and much sight-seeing, and the knowledge that there was no such extensive English-speaking country on the world that I knew, convinced me that I must be on some other world, doubtless in the t dimension.

"A gentleman who has found his way here from another universe," the professor introduced me to a strapping young fellow who was mowing the lawn.

97