The Witnesses murmured reverently:
The object Captain Tillinger had called "M-42" was no stranger to Herrell McCray. It was the Great Nebula in Orion, in Earth's telescopes a fuzzy patch of light, in cold fact a great and glowing cloud of gas. M-42 was not an external galaxy, like most of the "nebulae" in Messier's catalogue, but it was nothing so tiny as a single sun either. Its hydrogen mass spanned dozens of light-years. Imbedded in it—growing in it, as they fed on the gas that surrounded them—were scores of hot, bright new suns.
The Irish race were never much indebted to the written word. The learned class, the ollamhs, dwelt apart and kept their knowledge sacred. The people therefore lived entirely upon the traditions of their forefathers, blended with the new doctrines taught by Christianity; so that the popular belief became, in time, an amalgam of the pagan myths and the Christian legend, and these two elements remain indissolubly united to this day. The world, in fact, is a volume, a serial rather, going on for six thousand years, but of which the Irish peasant has scarcely yet turned the first page.
Dr. J. von SACHS,
“Then you really think there is a chance of it being stolen?” I asked eagerly.
"It is," said McCray hoarsely, through lips that were parched and cracked, sitting up and trying the muscles of the body. It ached. He was bone-weary. "Give me a hand getting out of this suit, will you?"
She breathed, a little raggedly but without visible discomfort; her face was relaxed as though she were sleeping. She did not rouse as he moved her.
They were by this time approaching the shore, which they could see was inclined to be rocky and very rough. A shallow beach ran along under the little bluff, however, and a landing could be easily effected if they were not subjected to a hot bombardment from rapid-fire guns.
"Man, man!" I said, "and is that the way you will be disowning your kith and kin—this comes of consorting with Princes," I said, aside, with a droll look to Father O'Rourke. "Things have come to a pretty pass when Barisdale does not know Scottos because he wears a foreign uniform."
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