Page:Avon Fantasy Reader 10.djvu/38

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by Bassett Morgan

With rare imaginative power and beauty of vision, Bassett Morgan's story an arctic fountain of youth brings all the terror and fascination of the far polar plains—the eternal mystery of ice caps whose aurora is a symphony of color, whose white fields are garbed in peace, and whose atmosphere is the chilling breath of death. With such ingredients, "Bimini' is a weird tale par excellence.

Commander crayne interrupted the tale by a gesture of his hand.

"Do you mind, Captain Ek, if I call Lieutenant Murphy in and have him take down what you are telling me? I'd like to check up on a few historical dates."

The old man nodded assent.

"It's what I want. Shows you're takin' int'rest. I've told some of this to several people. They think I'm crazy like you do, only they never got as far as takin' notes."

"Captain Ek, this is my aide, Lieutenant Murphy. He was with me on the polar flight. He is taking the brunt of this trip and I don't mind telling you that I'd rather take a dozen trips like our northern one than meet the crowds and dodge this publicity.—Murphy, Captain Ek is telling of a trip he made north. Please make a note of places he mentions and data."

Lieutenant Murphy, was one of those Americans who "don't have to come from Ireland to be Irish." Stormy black lashes "set in with a smutty finger" hid twinkling blue eyes as he looked at Captain Ek, whose white hair and silvery beard were close-trimmed, whose leathery brown skin showed fine wrinkles, and whose general appearance gave the impression of a man prematurely white.

Commander Crayne, whose name still occupied newspaper headlines recounting columns of his achievement in circling the North Pole and remaining in its vicinity long enough to make valuable discoveries which no other polar explorer had done, sat near the window. His face was in shadow and did not reveal the incredulity of his mind at the tale Captain Ek had been telling. He had first been impatient. So many visitors had called during his