The Door In The Wall

One confidential evening, not three months ago, Lionel Wallace told me this story of the Door in the Wall. And at the time I thought that so far as he was concerned it was a true story.

He told it me with such a direct simplicity of conviction that I could not do otherwise than believe in him. But in the morning, in my own flat, I woke to a different atmosphere, and as I lay in bed and recalled the things he had told me, stripped of the glamour of his earnest slow voice, denuded of the focussed shaded table light, the shadowy atmosphere that wrapped about him and the pleasant bright things, the dessert and glasses and napery of the dinner we had shared, making them for the time a bright little world quite cut off from every-day realities, I saw it all as frankly incredible. “He was mystifying!” I said, and then: “How well he did it!. . . . . It isn’t quite the thing I should have expected him, of all people, to do well.”

Afterwards, as I sat up in bed and sipped my morning tea, I found myself trying to account for the flavour of reality that perplexed me in his impossible reminiscences, by supposing they did in some way suggest, present, convey—I hardly know which word to use—experiences it was otherwise impossible to tell. Read More

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Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum. Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? Inmensae subtilitatis, obscuris et malesuada fames. Quo usque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra? Donec sed odio operae, eu vulputate felis rhoncus.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost

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When people think about computer science, they imagine people with pocket protectors and thick glasses who code all night.

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At 04 hours 10 minutes, ship time, the Niccola was well inside the Theta Gisol solar system. She had previously secured excellent evidence that this was not the home of the Plumie civilization. There was no tuned radiation. There was no evidence of interplanetary travel—rockets would be more than obvious, and a magnetronic drive had a highly characteristic radiation-pattern—so the real purpose of the Niccola’s voyage would not be accomplished here. She wouldn’t find out where Plumies came from.

There might, though, be one or more of those singular, conical, hollow-topped cairns sheltering silicon-bronze plates, which constituted the evidence that Plumies existed. The Niccola went sunward toward the inner planets to see. Such cairns had been found on conspicuous landmarks on oxygen-type planets over a range of some twelve hundred light-years. By the vegetation about them, some were a century old. On the same evidence, others had been erected only months or weeks or even days before a human Space Survey ship arrived to discover them. And the situation was unpromising. It wasn’t likely that the galaxy was big enough to hold two races of rational beings capable of space travel. Back on ancient Earth, a planet had been too small to hold two races with tools and fire. Historically, that problem was settled when Homo sapiens exterminated Homo neanderthalis. It appeared that the same situation had arisen in space. There were humans, and there were Plumies. Both had interstellar ships. To humans, the fact was alarming. The need for knowledge, and the danger that Plumies might know more first, and thereby be able to exterminate humanity, was appalling.

Therefore the Niccola. She drove on sunward. She had left one frozen outer planet far behind. She had crossed the orbits of three others. The last of these was a gas giant with innumerable moonlets revolving about it. It was now some thirty millions of miles back and twenty to one side. The sun, ahead, flared and flamed in emptiness against that expanse of tinted stars.

Jon Baird worked steadily in the Niccola’s radar room. He was one of those who hoped that the Plumies would not prove to be the natural enemies of mankind. Now, it looked like this ship wouldn’t find out in this solar system. There were plenty of other ships on the hunt. From here on, it looked like routine to the next unvisited family of planets. But meanwhile he worked. Opposite him, Diane Holt worked as steadily, her dark head bent intently over a radar graph in formation. The immediate job was the completion of a map of the meteor swarms following cometary orbits about this sun. They interlaced emptiness with hazards to navigation, and nobody would try to drive through a solar system without such a map.

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Fictum,  deserunt mollit anim italic laborum astutumque! Hi omnes link example lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. Plura mihi bona sunt, inclinet, amari bold petere vellent. A communi underline observantia strikethrough non est recedendum. Non equidem invideo, miror magis posuere velit aliquet. Cum sociis colored text natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient. Ambitioni dedisse scripsisse iudicaretur. Qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. Ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquid ex ea commodi consequat.

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Nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati, nihil urbis vigiliae. At nos hinc posthac, sitientis piros Afros. Quam temere in vitiis, legem sancimus haerentia. Donec sed odio operae, eu vulputate felis rhoncus. Ab illo tempore, ab est sed immemorabili. Phasellus laoreet lorem vel dolor tempus vehicula. Magna pars studiorum, prodita quaerimus. Fabio vel iudice vincam, sunt in culpa qui officia. Quam diu etiam furor iste tuus nos eludet? Donec sed odio operae, eu vulputate felis rhoncus.

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content-14Inmensae subtilitatis, obscuris et malesuada fames. Cras mattis iudicium purus sit amet fermentum. Curabitur est gravida et libero vitae dictum. Nihilne te nocturnum praesidium Palati, nihil urbis vigiliae. Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum. Contra legem facit qui id facit quod lex prohibet. Nec dubitamus multa iter quae et nos invenerat. Quis aute iure reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse. Tu quoque, Brute, fili mi, nihil timor populi, nihil! Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum. Petierunt uti sibi concilium totius Galliae in diem certam indicere. Donec sed odio operae, eu vulputate felis rhoncus. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisici elit, sed eiusmod tempor incidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Morbi odio eros, volutpat ut pharetra vitae, lobortis sed nibh.

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The Key To A Quality Restoration

From the Pacific to the Atlantic by the Lincoln Highway, with California and the Virginias and Maryland thrown in for good measure! What a tour it has been!

As we think back over its miles we recall the noble pines and the towering Sequoias of the high Sierras of California; the flashing water-falls of the Yosemite, so green as to be called Vernal, so white as to be called Bridal Veil; the orchards of the prune, the cherry, the walnut, the olive, the almond, the fig, the orange, and the lemon, tilled like a garden, watered by the hoarded and guarded streams from the everlasting hills; and the rich valleys of grain, running up to the hillsides and dotted by live oak trees.

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We recall miles of vineyard under perfect cultivation. We see again the blue of the Pacific and the green of the forest cedars and cypresses. High Lake Tahoe spreads before us, with its southern fringe of emerald meadows and forest pines, and its encircling guardians, lofty and snow-capped. The high, grey-green deserts of Nevada, Utah, and Wyoming stretch before us once more, and we can smell the clean, pungent sage brush. We are not lonely, for life is all about us. The California quail and blue-jay, the eagle, the ground squirrel, the gopher, the coyote, the antelope, the rattlesnake, the big ring snake, the wild horse of the plains, the jack rabbit, the meadow lark, the killdeer, the red-winged blackbird, the sparrow hawk, the thrush, the redheaded wood-pecker, the grey dove, all have been our friends and companions as we have gone along. We have seen them in their native plains and forests and from the safe vantage point of the front seat of our motor car.

The lofty peaks of the Rockies have towered before us in a long, unbroken chain as we have looked at them from the alfalfa fields of Colorado. Read More

10 Sailing Destinations Sure To Inspire Awe

In the time of Spanish rule, and for many years afterwards, the town of Sulaco—the luxuriant beauty of the orange gardens bears witness to its antiquity—had never been commercially anything more important than a coasting port with a fairly large local trade in ox-hides and indigo.

content-06The clumsy deep-sea galleons of the conquerors that, needing a brisk gale to move at all, would lie becalmed, where your modern ship built on clipper lines forges ahead by the mere flapping of her sails, had been barred out of Sulaco by the prevailing calms of its vast gulf. Some harbours of the earth are made difficult of access by the treachery of sunken rocks and the tempests of their shores. Sulaco had found an inviolable sanctuary from the temptations of a trading world in the solemn hush of the deep Golfo Placido as if within an enormous semi-circular and unroofed temple open to the ocean, with its walls of lofty mountains hung with the mourning draperies of cloud.

On one side of this broad curve in the straight seaboard of the Republic of Costaguana, the last spur of the coast range forms an insignificant cape whose name is Punta Mala. From the middle of the gulf the point of the land itself is not visible at all; but the shoulder of a steep hill at the back can be made out faintly like a shadow on the sky. Read More