After Morey's explanation of the ship was completed, Wade took Arcot's place at the controls, while Morey and Arcot retired to the calculating room to do some of the needed mathematics on the time-field investigation. Their work continued here, while the Ortolians prepared a meal and brought it to them, and to Wade.
Since the space strain mechanism had proved itself in the first test, they felt they needed no more observations than they could make from the control room meters. Arcot gazed out at the spot that was their immediate goal and said slowly: "How much bigger than Sol is that star, Morey?" "It all depends on how you measure size," Morey replied.
Morey settled back and looked vacantly at the ceiling. They were seated now in the conference room of Transcontinental Airways. "Well, boys," said Mr. Morey, "as usual, I'm in a position where I'm forced to yield.
The ball split, and became two planes. Between them was a small ball of a glistening solid. The planes moved slowly together, and the ball flattened, and flowed. It was a sheet. A clamp of artificial matter took it, and held the paper-thin sheet, many feet square, in the air. It seemed it must bend under its own enormous weight of tons, but thin as it was it did not. "Cosmium," said Morey softly.
Will, thought, concentration they are efforts, they require energy. Then they can exert energy! That is the key to the whole thing. "But now for the demonstration." Arcot looked toward Morey, who stood off to one side. There was a heavy thud as Morey pushed a small button. The relay had closed. Arcot's mind was now connected with the controls. A globe of cloudiness appeared.
The magnetic rays touched them a few times, and each time Torlos was thrown violently to the floor, but the ship was in the path of the beams for so short a time that he was not badly injured. He more than made up for his injuries with the ray he used, and Morey was no mean gunner, either, judging from the work he was doing.
Each of the others agreed with Morey that Venus was the logical choice. By this time the machine had sunk to the roof of their apartment, and the men disembarked and entered. The next day they were to start the actual work of designing the space ship.
"I think this is meant to represent this globe," Morey said. "I'm almost certain it represents this very spot. Now look over here." He pointed to a spot which, according to the scale of the globe, was about five thousand miles away. Projecting from the surface of the bronze globe was a little silver tower. "They want us to go there," continued Morey.
"The cells were immaculately clean," said Miss Morey, "but there was one feature of this experience which obliterated all its advantages. The cells were without modern toilet facilities. The toilet equipment consisted of a heavy wooden bucket, about two and a half feet high and a foot and a half in diameter, half filled with water. No one of us will ever forget that foul bucket.
From appearances, no one had lived there for years. But some one had stored a quantity of hay in the mow beside the barn floor; the sheep were already nibbling at it. "I don't know whose hay this is," Addison said, "but the sheep must be fed. The old Squire or Mr. Morey can look up the owners and settle for it afterwards."