Astounding Stories of Super-Science, December 1930
101 Pages
English

Astounding Stories of Super-Science, December 1930

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Published 08 December 2010
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Astounding Stories of Super-Science, December 1930, by Various This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: Astounding Stories of Super-Science, December 1930 Author: Various Release Date: December 17, 2009 [EBook #30691] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK ASTOUNDING STORIES, DEC. 1930 *** Produced by Greg Weeks, Katherine Ward, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net ASTOUNDING STORIES OF SUPER-SCIENCE On Sale the First Thursday of Each Month W. M. CLAYTON, Publisher HARRY BATES, Editor DR. DOUGLAS M. DOLD, Consulting Editor The Clayton Standard on a Magazine Guarantees That the stories therein are clean, interesting, vivid, by leading writers of the day and purchased under conditions approved by the Authors’ League of America; That such magazines are manufactured in Union shops by American workmen; That each newsdealer and agent is insured a fair profit; That an intelligent censorship guards their advertising pages. The other Clayton magazines are: ACE-HIGH MAGAZINE, RANCH ROMANCES, COWBOY STORIES, CLUES, FIVE NOVELS MONTHLY, ALL STAR DETECTIVE STORIES, RANGELAND LOVE STORY MAGAZINE, WESTERN ADVENTURES, and WESTERN LOVE STORIES. More than Two Million Copies Required to Supply the Monthly Demand for Clayton Magazines. VOL. IV, No. 3 COVER DESIGN CONTENTS H. W. WESSOLOWSKI DECEMBER, 1930 Painted in Oils from a Scene in “The Ape-Men of Xlotli.” SLAVES OF THE DUST SOPHIE WENZEL ELLIS 295 Fate’s Retribution Was Adequate. There Emerged a Rat with a Man’s Head and Face. THE PIRATE PLANET CHARLES W. DIFFIN 310 It is War. Interplanetary War. And on Far-Distant Venus Two Fighting Earthlings Stand Up Against a Whole Planet Run Amuck. (Part Two of a Four-Part Novel.) THE SEA TERROR CAPTAIN S. P. MEEK 336 The Trail of Mystery Gold Leads Carnes and Dr. Bird to a Tremendous Monster of the Deep. GRAY DENIM HARL VINCENT 354 The Blood of the Van Dorn’s Ran in Karl’s Veins. He Rode the Skies Like an Avenging God. THE APE-MEN OF XLOTLI DAVID R. SPARKS 370 A Beautiful Face in the Depths of a Geyser—and Kirby Plunges into a Desperate MidEarth Conflict with the Dreadful Feathered Serpent. (A Complete Novelette.) THE READERS’ CORNER ALL OF US 421 A Meeting place for Readers of Astounding Stories. Single Copies, 20 Cents (In Canada, 25 Cents) Yearly Subscription, $2.00 Issued monthly by Readers’ Guild, Inc., 80 Lafayette St., New York, N.Y W. M. Clayton, President; Francis P. . Pace, Secretary. Entered as second-class matter December 7, 1929, at the Post Office at New York. N.Y ., under Act of March 3. 1879. Title registered as a Trade Mark in the U.S. Patent Office. Member Newsstand Group—Men’s List. For advertising rates address E. R. Crow & Co., Inc., 25 Vanderbilt Ave., New York; or 225 North Michigan Ave., Chicago. 295 Slaves of the Dust By Sophie Wenzel Ellis It’s a poor science that would hide from us the great, deep, sacred infinitude of Nescience, whither we can never penetrate, on which all science swims as mere superficial film. —Carlyle. Sir Basil showed his teeth in his ugly smile. “A creator is never merciful.” T HE two batalões turned from the open waters of the lower Tapajos River into the igarapé, the lilysmothered shallows that often mark an Indian settlement in the jungles of Brazil. One of the two halfbreed rubber-gatherers suddenly stopped his batalõe by thrusting a paddle against a giant clump of lilies. In a corruption of the Tupi dialect, he called over to the white man occupying the other frail craft. “We dare go no farther, master. The country of the Ungapuks is bewitched. It is too dangerous.” Fate’s retribution was adequate. There emerged a rat with a man’s head and face. Fearfully he stared over his shoulder toward a spot in the slimy water where a dim bulk moved, which was only an alligator hunting for his breakfast. Hale Oakham, as long and lanky and level-eyed as Charles Lindbergh, ran despairing fingers through his damp hair and groaned. “But how can I find this jungle village without a guide?” The caboclo shrugged. “The village will find you. It is bewitched, master. But you will soon see the path through the matto.” “Can’t you stay by me until time to land? I don’t like the looks of these alligators.” “It is better for a white man to face an alligator than for a caboclo to face an Ungapuk. Once they used to kill and eat us for our strength. Now—” Again his shrug was eloquent. “Now?” Hale prompted impatiently. “The white god who put a spell on these one-time cannibals will bewitch us and make us wash and rejoice when it is time to die.” 296 H E shuddered and spat at a cayman that was lumbering away from his batalõe. Hale Oakham laughed, a hearty boyish laugh for a rather learned young professor. “Is that all they do to you?” he asked. “No. All who enter this magic matto die soon, rejoicing. Before the last breath comes, it is said their bodies turn into a handful of silver dust—poof!—like that.” He snapped his dirty fingers. “Then the life that leaves them goes into rocks that walk.” Hale sighed resignedly. There wasn’t any use to argue. “Unload your batalõe,” he ordered testily, “and get your filthy carcasses away.” The half-breeds obeyed readily. As the departing batalõe turned from the igarapé into the open water of the river, the young man repressed a sudden lifting of his scalp. He was in for it now! His long body sprawled out in the batalõe, he paddled about aimlessly for several minutes until he found an aisle through the jungle—the path that led to the jungle village which he was visiting in the name of science, and for a certain award. Before plunging into that waiting tangle where life and death carried on a visible, unceasing struggle, he hesitated. Instinctively he shrank from losing himself in that mad green world. H E had first heard of the Ungapuks at the convention of the Nescience Club in New York, that body of scientists, near-scientists and adventurers linked together for the purpose of awarding the yearly Woolman prizes for the most spectacular addition of empiric facts to various branches of science. One of the members of the club, an explorer, had told a wild yarn about a tribe of Brazilian Indians, headed by Sir Basil Addington, an English scientist, who was conducting secret experiments in biochemistry in his jungle laboratory. The explorer had said that the scientist, half-crazed by a powerful narcotic, had seemingly discovered some secret of life which enabled him to produce monsters in his laboratory