Page:Melbourne and Mars.djvu/30

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The slight oscillation caused by her movement brought about what she feared, for over I went. For a little while I remember feeling the air rush past me, and seeing the tops of the trees coming to meet me. And then something touched my back; an instant more and I was firmly clenched by my clothing. My father had followed me down in the machine and caught me. But he was too late to get up into the air again. Our wings were tangled in the tree top, and one of them in its final stroke knocked me out of father's hand. 'Clutch the branches,' said he, as I dropped into the foliage. I tried to do so, and broke my fall materially. I do not remember getting to the ground.


I next remember waking out of a pleasant sleep and finding myself in mother's oval chamber. Two voices were speaking gently, one was my mother's and the other was strange to me. I was the subject of their remarks. Perhaps I ought to have uttered some sound, but I just lay there dreamily trying to find out how I had got there, and listening to bits of the conversation now and then.

"You think, then, that what my little boy has said in his wanderings really proves him an earth-born?"

"Yes, and more than that. They prove him to be living a dual life. On earth he must be a man of middle age, for he speaks to his children as if upgrown and his peers."

"How strange to have a child like that. He is old enough to be his mother's father. Is my experience unique, or are there many such?"

"My studies in medical psychology have taught me that there are three kinds of earth-borns on our planet. First, those who have lived on earth and become fit for introduction, to our higher life, which is to them a kind of heaven and reward for virtuous and religious living; second, those who, while still living on earth, put out a new life and live here also quite unconscious of the old life; third, those who live on both planets, and are conscious of the two lives. Your boy belongs to the second class at present, but can at any time begin to belong to the third. In his earth life he is conscious of this life, but in this he is unconscious of the other."

"Perhaps not quite so. He was asking me about money not long ago. He cannot have heard of money here. From whence came the money question?"

"It came like many other questions asked by children out of the past and out of the deep. Before we know whence such questions spring we shall have to know from where the life of the questioner springs."

"To return to this question of dual identity. How does the soul animate two bodies, and get from one to the other? My boy is never absent-minded. I have had no reason to suspect him of being anywhere else but here.

"There are thousands of mysteries of the soul of which we know nothing,