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I TRUST that the reader, who has followed me thus far in this argument, is satisfied that the legends of mankind point unmistakably to the fact that the earth, in some remote age--before the Polynesians, Red-men, Europeans, and Asiatics had separated, or been developed as varieties out of one family--met with a tremendous catastrophe; that a conflagration raged over parts of its surface; that mankind took refuge in the caves of the earth, whence they afterward emerged to wander for a long time, in great poverty and hardships, during a period of darkness; and that finally this darkness dispersed, and the sun shone again in the heavens.

I do not see how the reader can avoid these conclusions.

There are but two alternatives before him: he must either suppose that all this concatenation of legends is the outgrowth of a prodigious primeval lie, or he must concede that it describes some event which really happened.

To adopt the theory of a great race-lie, originating at the beginning of human history, is difficult, inasmuch as these legends do not tell the same story in anything like the same way, as would have been the case had they all originated in the first instance from the same mind. While we have the conflagration in some of the legends, it has

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been dropped out of others; in one it is caused by the sun; in another by the demon; in another by the moon; in one Phaëton produced it by driving the sun out of its course; while there are a whole body of legends in which it is the result of catching the sun in a noose. So with the stories of the cave-life. In some, men seek the caves to escape the conflagration; in others, their race began in the caves. In like manner the age of darkness is in some cases produced by the clouds; in others by the death of the sun. Again, in tropical regions the myth turns upon a period of terrible heat when there were neither clouds nor rain; when some demon had stolen the clouds or dragged them into his cave: while in more northern regions the horrible age of ice and cold and snow seems to have made the most distinct impression on the memory of mankind. In some of the myths the comet is a god; in others a demon; in others a serpent; in others a feathered serpent; in others a dragon; in others a giant; in others a bird in others a wolf; in others a dog; in still others a boar.

The legends coincide only in these facts:--the monster in the air; the heat; the fire; the cave-life; the darkness; the return of the light.

In everything else they differ.

Surely, a falsehood, springing out of one mind, would have been more consistent in its parts than this.

The legends seem to represent the diverging memories which separating races carried down to posterity of the same awful and impressive events: they remembered them in fragments and sections, and described them as the four blind men in the Hindoo story described the elephant;--to one it was a tail, to another a trunk, to another a leg, to another a body;--it needs to put all their stories together to make a consistent whole. We can not understand

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the conflagration without the comet; or the cave-life without both; or the age of darkness without something that filled the heavens with clouds; or the victory of the sun without the clouds, and the previous obscuration of the sun.

If the reader takes the other alternative, that these legends are not fragments of a colossal falsehood, then he must concede that the earth, since man inhabited it, encountered a comet. No other cause or event could produce such a series of gigantic consequences as is here narrated.

But one other question remains: Did the Drift material come from the comet?

It could have resulted from the comet in two ways: either it was a part of the comet's substance falling upon our planet at the moment of contact; or it may have been torn from the earth itself by the force of the comet, precisely as it has been supposed that it was produced by the ice.

The final solution of this question can only be reached when close and extensive examination of the Drift deposits have been made to ascertain how far they are of earth-origin.

And here it must be remembered that the matter which composes our earth and the other planets and the comets was probably all cast out from the same source, the sun, and hence a uniformity runs through it all. Humboldt says:

"We are 'astonished at being able to touch, weigh, and chemically decompose metallic and earthy masses which belong to the outer world, to celestial space'; to find in them the minerals of our native earth, making it probable, as the great Newton conjectured, that the materials which belong to one group of cosmical bodies are for the most part the same."[1]

[1. "Cosmos," vol. iv, p. 206.]

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Some aërolites are composed of finely granular tissue of olivine, augite, and labradorite blended together (as the meteoric stone found at Duvets, in the department de l'Ardèche, France):

"These bodies contain, for instance, crystalline substances, perfectly similar to those of our earth's crust; and in the Siberian mass of meteoric iron, investigated by Pallas, the olivine only differs from common olivine by the absence of nickel, which is replaced by oxide of tin."

Neither is it true that all meteoric stones are of iron. Humboldt refers to the aërolites of Siena, "in which the iron scarcely amounts to two per cent, or the earthy aërolite of Alais, (in the department du Gard, France,) which broke up in the water," (clay?); "or, lastly, those from Jonzac and Juvenas, which contained no metallic iron."[2]

Who shall say what chemical changes may take place in remnants of the comet floating for thousands of years through space, and now falling to our earth? And who shall say that the material of all comets assumes the same form?

I can not but continue to think, however, until thorough scientific investigation disproves the theory, that the cosmical granite-dust which, mixed with water, became clay, and which covers so large a part of the world, we might say one half the earth-surface of the planet, and possibly also the gravel and striated stones, fell to the earth from the comet.

It is a startling and tremendous conception, but we are dealing with startling and tremendous facts. Even though we dismiss the theory as impossible, we still find ourselves face to face with the question, Where, then, did these continental masses of matter come from?

[1. "Cosmos," vol. i, p. 131.

2. Ibid., vol. i, p. 129.]

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I think the reader will agree with me that the theory of the glacialists, that a world-infolding ice-sheet produced them, is impossible; to reiterate, they are found, (on the equator,) where the ice-sheet could not have been without ending all terrestrial life; and they are not found where the ice must have been, in Siberia and Northwestern America, if ice was anywhere.

If neither ice nor water ground up the earth-surface into the Drift, then we must conclude that the comet so ground it up, or brought the materials with it already ground up.

The probability is, that both of these suppositions are in part true; the comet brought down upon the earth the clay-dust and part of the gravel and bowlders; while the awful force it exerted, meeting the earth while moving at the rate of a million miles an hour, smashed the surface-rocks, tore them to pieces, ground them up and mixed the material with its own, and deposited all together on the heated surface of the earth, where the lower part was baked by the heat into "till" or "hardpan," while the rushing cyclones deposited the other material in partly stratified masses or drifts above it; and part of this in time was rearranged by the great floods which followed the condensation of the cloud-masses into rain and snow, in the period of the River or Champlain Drift.

Nothing can be clearer than that the inhabitants of the earth believed that the stones fell from heaven--to wit, from the comet. But it would be unsafe to base a theory upon such a belief, inasmuch as stones, and even fish and toads, taken up by hurricanes, have often fallen again in showers; and they would appear to an uncritical population to have fallen from heaven. But it is, at least, clear that the fall of the stones and the clay are associated in

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the legends with the time of the great catastrophe; they are part of the same terrible event.

I shall briefly recapitulate some of the evidence.

The Mattoles, an Indian tribe of Northern California, have this legend:

"As to the creation, they teach that a certain Big Man began by making the naked earth, silent and bleak, with nothing of plant or animal thereon, save one Indian, who roamed about in a wofully hungry and desolate state. Suddenly there arose a terrible whirlwind, the air grew dark and thick with dust and drifting sand, and the Indian fell upon his face in sore dread. Then there came a great calm, and the man rose and looked, and lo, all the earth was perfect and peopled; the grass and the trees were green on every plain and hill; the beasts of the field, the fowls of the air, the creeping things, the things that swim, moved everywhere in his sight."[1]

Here, as often happens, the impressive facts are remembered, but in a disarranged chronological order. There came a whirlwind, thick with dust, the clay-dust, and drifting sand and gravel. It left the world naked and lifeless, "silent and bleak"; only one Indian remained, and he was dreadfully hungry. But after a time all this catastrophe passed away, and the earth was once more populous and beautiful.

In the Peruvian legends, Apocatequil was the great god who saved them from the powers of the darkness. He restored the light. He produced the lightning by hurling stones with his sling. The thunder-bolts are small, round, smooth stones.[2]

The stone-worship, which played so large a part in antiquity, was doubtless due to the belief that many of the stones of the earth had fallen from heaven. Dr. Schwarz,

[1. Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. iii, p. 86.

2. Brinton's "Myths of the New World," p. 165.]

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of Berlin, has shown that the lightning was associated in popular legends with the serpent.

"When the lightning kindles the woods it is associated with the descent of fire from heaven, and, as in popular imagination, where it falls it scatters the thunderbolts in all directions, the flint-stones, which flash when struck, were supposed to be these fragments, and gave rise to the stone-worship so frequent in the old world."[1]

In Europe, in old times, the bowlders were called devil-stones; they were supposed. to have originated from "the malevolent agency of man's spiritual foes." This was a reminiscence of their real source.

The reader will see (page 173, ante) that the Iroquois legends represent the great battle between the White One, the sun, and the Dark One, the comet. The Dark One was wounded to death, and, as it fled for life, "the blood gushed from him at every step, and as it fell turned into flint-stones."

Here we have the red clay and the gravel both represented.

Among the Central Americans the flints were associated with Hurakan, Haokah, and Tlaloe {Tlaloc?--jbh}, the gods of storm and thunder:

"The thunder-bolts, as elsewhere, were believed to be flints, and thus, as the emblem of the fire and the storm, this stone figures conspicuously in their myths. Tohil, the god who gave the Quiches fire by shaking his sandals, was represented by a flint-stone. Such a stone, in the beginning of things, fell from heaven to earth, and broke into sixteen hundred pieces, each of which sprang up a god. . . . This is the germ of the adoration of stones as emblems of the fecundating rains. This is why, for example) the Navajos use, as their charm for rain, certain

[1. Brinton's "Myths of the New World," p. 117.]

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long, round stones, which they think fall from the cloud when it thunders."[1]

In the Algonquin legends of Manibozho, or Manobosbu, or Nanabojou, the great ancestor of all the Algic tribes, the hero man-god, we learn, had a terrific battle with "his brother Chakekenapok, the flint-stone, whom he broke in pieces, and scattered over the land, and changed his entrails into fruitful vines. The conflict was long and terrible. The face of nature was desolated as by a tornado, and the gigantic bowlders and loose rocks found on the prairies are the missiles hurled by the mighty combatants."[2]

We read in the Ute legends, given on page ---, ante, that when the magical arrow of Ta-wats "struck the sun-god full in the face, the sun was shivered into a thousand fragments, which fell to the earth, causing a general conflagration."[3]

Here we have the same reference to matter falling on the earth from the heavens, associated with devouring fire. And we have the same sequence of events, for we learn that when all of Ta-wats was consumed but the head, "his tears gushed forth in a flood, which spread over the earth and extinguished the fires."

The Aleuts of the Aleutian Archipelago have a tradition that a certain Old Man, called Traghdadakh, created men "by casting stones on the earth; he flung also other stones into the air, the water, and over the land, thus making beasts, birds, and fishes."[4]

It is a general belief in many races that the stone axes and celts fell from the heavens. In Japan, the stone

[1. Brinton's "Myths of the New World," p. 170.

2. Ibid., p. 181.

3. Major J. W. Powell, "Popular Science Monthly," 1879, p. 799.

4 Bancroft's "Native Races," vol. iii, p. 104.]

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arrow-heads are rained from heaven by the flying spirits, who shoot them. Similar beliefs are found in Brittany, in Madagascar, Ireland, Brazil, China, the Shetlands, Scotland, Portugal, etc.[1]

In the legends of Quetzalcoatl, the central figure of the Toltec mythology, we have a white man--a bearded man--from an eastern land, mixed up with something more than man. He was the Bird-serpent, that is, the winged or flying serpent, the great snake of the air, the son of Iztac Mixcoatl, "the white-cloud serpent, the spirit of the tornado."[2] He created the world. He was overcome by Tezcatlipoca, the spirit of the night.

"When he would promulgate his decrees, his herald proclaimed them from Tzatzitepec, the hill of shouting, with such a mighty voice that it could be heard a hundred leagues around. The arrows which he shot transfixed great trees; the stones he threw leveled forests; and when he laid his hands on the rocks the mark was indelible."[3]

"His symbols were the bird, the serpent, the cross, and the flint."[4]

In the Aztec calendar the sign for the age of fire is the flint.

In the Chinese Encyclopædia of the Emperor Kang-hi, 1662, we are told:

"In traveling from the shores of the Eastern Sea toward Che-lu, neither brooks nor ponds are met with in the country, although it is intersected by mountains and valleys. Nevertheless, there are found in the sand, very far away from the sea, oyster-shells and the shields of crabs. The tradition of the Mongols who inhabit the country is, that it has been said from time immemorial that in a

[1. Tyler's "Early Mankind," p. 224.

2. Brinton's "Myths of the New World," p. 197.

3. Ibid., p. 197.

4. Ibid., p. 198.]

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remote antiquity the waters of the deluge flooded the district, and when they retired the places where they had been made their appearance covered with sand. . . . This is why these deserts are called the 'Sandy Sea,' which indicates that they were not always covered with sand and gravel."[1]

In the Russian legends, a "golden ship sails across the heavenly sea; it breaks into fragments, which neither princes nor people can put together again,"--reminding one of Humpty-Dumpty, in the nursery-song, who, when he fell from his elevated position on the wall--

"Not all the king's horses,
Nor all the king's men,
Can ever make whole again."

In another Russian legend, Perun, the thunder-god, destroys the devils with stone hammers. On Ilya's day, the peasants offer him a roasted animal, which is cut up and scattered over the fields,[2] just as we have seen the great dragon or serpent cut to pieces and scattered over the world.

Mr. Christy found at Bou-Merzoug, on the plateau of the Atlas, in Northern Africa, in a bare, deserted, stony place among the mountains, a collection of fifteen hundred tombs, made of rude limestone slabs, set up with one slab to form a roof, so as to make perfect dolmens--closed chambers--where the bodies were packed in.

"Tradition says that a wicked people lived there, and for their sins stones were rained upon them from heaven; so they built these chambers to creep into."[3]

In addition to the legend of "Phaëton," already given, Ovid derived from the legends of his race another story,

[1. Tylor's "Early Mankind," p. 328.

2. Poor, "Sanskrit Literature," p. 400.

3. Tylor's "Early Mankind," p. 222.]

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which seems to have had reference to the same event. He says (Fable XI):

"After the men who came from the Tyrian nation had touched this grove with ill-fated steps, and the urn let down into the water made a splash, the azure dragon stretched forth his head from the deep cave, and uttered dreadful hissings."

We are reminded of the flying monster of Hesiod, which roared and hissed so terribly.

Ovid continues:

"The urns dropped from their hands, and the blood left their bodies, and a sudden trembling seized their astonished limbs. He wreathes his scaly orbs in rolling spirals, and, with a spring, becomes twisted into mighty folds; and, uprearing himself from below the middle into the light air, he looks down upon all the grove, and is of" (as) "large size, as, if you were to look on him entire, the serpent which separates the two Bears" (the constellations).

He slays the Phœnicians; "some he kills with his sting, some with his long folds, some breathed upon by the venom of his baleful poison."

Cadmus casts a huge stone, as big as a millstone, against him, but it falls harmless upon his scales, "that were like a coat-of-mail"; then Cadmus pierced him with his spear. In his fall he crushes the forests; the blood flows from his poisonous palate and changes the color of the grass. He is slain.

Then, under the advice of Pallas, Cadmus sows the earth with the dragon's teeth, "under the earth turned up, as the seeds of a future people." Afterward, the earth begins to move, and armed men rise up; they slay Cadmus, and then fight with and slay each other.

This seems to be a recollection of the comet, and the stones falling from heaven; and upon the land so afflicted

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subsequently a warlike and aggressive and quarrelsome race of men springs up.

In the contest of Hercules with the Lygians, on the road from Caucasus to the Hesperides, "there is an attempt to explain mythically the origin of the round quartz blocks in the Lygian field of stones, at the mouth of the Rhône."[1]

In the "Prometheus Delivered" of Æsechylus, Jupiter draws together a cloud, and causes "the district round about to be covered with a shower of round stones."[2]

The legends of Europe refer to a race buried under sand and earth:

"The inhabitants of Central Europe and Teutonic races who came late to England, place their mythical heroes under ground in caves, in vaults beneath enchanted castles, or in mounds which open and show their buried inhabitants alive and busy about the avocations of earthly men. . . . In Morayshire the buried race are supposed to have been buried under the sand-hills, as they are in some parts of Brittany."[3]

Turning again to America, we find, in the great prayer of the Aztecs to Tezcalipoca, {Tezcatlipoca--jbh} given on page 186, ante, many references to some material substances falling from heaven; we read:

"Thine anger and indignation has descended upon us in these days, . . . coming down even as stones, spears, and darts upon the wretches that inhabit the earth; this is the pestilence by which we are afflicted and almost destroyed." The children die, "broken and dashed to pieces as against stones and a wall. . . . Thine anger and thy indignation does it delight in hurling the stone and arrow and spear. The grinders of thy teeth" (the dragon's teeth of Ovid?) "are employed, and thy bitter whips upon the miserable of

[1. "Cosmos," vol. i, p. 115.

2. Ibid., p. 115.

3. "Frost and Fire," vol. ii, p. 190.]

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thy people.... Hast thou verily determined that it utterly perish; . . . that the peopled place become a wooded hill and a wilderness of stones? . . . Is there to be no mercy nor pity for us until the arrows of thy fury are spent? . . . Thine arrows and stones have sorely hurt this poor people."

In the legend of the Indians of Lake Tahoe (see page 168, ante), we are told that the stars were melted by the great conflagration, and they rained down molten metal upon the earth.

In the Hindoo legend (see page 171, ante) of the great battle between Rama, the sun-god, and Ravana, the evil one, Rama persuaded the monkeys to help him build a bridge to the Island of Lanka, "and the stones which crop out through Southern India are said to have been dropped by the monkey builders."

In the legend of the Tupi Indians (see page 175, ante), we are told that God "swept about the fire in such way that in some places he raised mountains and in others dug valleys."

In the Bible we have distinct references to the fall of matter from heaven. In Deuteronomy (chap. xxviii), among the consequences which are to follow disobedience of God's will, we have the following:

"22. The Lord shall smite thee . . . with an extreme burning, and with the sword, and with blasting, and with mildew; and they shall pursue thee until thou perish.

"23. And thy heaven that is over thy head shall be brass, and the earth that is under thee shall be iron.

"24. The Lord shall make the rain of thy land powder and dust: from. heaven shall it come down upon thee, until thou be destroyed. . . .

"29. And thou shalt grope at noonday, as the blind gropeth in darkness."

And even that marvelous event, so much mocked at by modern thought, the standing-still of the sun, at the

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command of Joshua, may be, after all, a reminiscence of the catastrophe of the Drift. In the American legends, we read that the sun stood still, and Ovid tells us that "a day was lost." Who shall say what circumstances accompanied an event great enough to crack the globe itself into immense fissures? It is, at least, a curious fact that in Joshua (chap. x) the standing-still of the sun was accompanied by a fall of stones from heaven by which multitudes were slain.

Here is the record

"11. And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Beth-horon, that the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: there were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword."

"13. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

"14. And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel."

The "book of Jasher" was, we are told, a very ancient work, long since lost. Is it not possible that a great, dim memory of a terrible event was applied by tradition to the mighty captain of the Jews, just as the doings of Zeus have been attributed, in the folk-lore of Europe, to Charlemagne and Barbarossa?

If the contact of Lexell's comet with the earth would, as shown on page 84, ante, have increased the length of the sidereal year three hours, what effect might not a comet, many times larger than the mass of the earth, have had upon the revolution of the earth? Were the heat,

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the conflagrations, and the tearing up of the earth's surface caused by such an arrestment or partial slowing-up of the earth's revolution on its axis?

I do not propound these questions as any part of my theory, but merely as suggestions. The American and Polynesian legends represent that the catastrophe increased the length of the days. This may mean nothing, or a great deal. At least, Joshua's legend may yet take its place among the scientific possibilities.

But it is in the legend of the Toltecs of Central America, as preserved in one of the sacred books of the race, the "Codex Chimalpopoca," that we find the clearest and most indisputable references to the fall of gravel (see page 166, ante):

"'The third sun' (or era) 'is called Quia-Tonatiuh, sun of rain, because there fell a rain of fire; all which existed burned; and there fell a rain of gravel.'

"'They also narrate that while the sandstone which we now see scattered about, and the tetzontli' (amygdaloide poreuse, basalt, trap-rocks) 'boiled with great tumult, there also arose the rocks of vermilion color.'

"'Now this was in the year Ce Tecpatl, One Flint, it was the day Nahui-Quiahuitl, Fourth Rain. Now, in this day in which men were lost and destroyed in a rain of fire, they were transformed into goslings.'"[1]

We find also many allusions in the legends to the clay.

When the Navajos climbed up from their cave they found the earth covered with clay into which they sank mid-leg deep; and when the water ran off it left the whole world full of mud.

In the Creek and Seminole legends the Great Spirit made the first man, in the primeval cave, "from the clay around him."

[1. "North Americans of Antiquity," p. 499.]

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Sanchoniathon, from the other side of the world, tells us, in the PhÅ“nician legends (see page 209, ante), that first came chaos, and out of chaos was generated môt or mud.

In the Miztec (American) legends (see page 214, ante), we are told that in the Age of Darkness there was "nothing but mud and slime on all the face of the earth."

In the Quiche legends we are told that the first men were destroyed by fire and pitch from heaven.

In the Quiche legends we also have many allusions to the wet and muddy condition of the earth before the returning sun dried it up.

In the legends of the North American Indians we read that the earth was covered with great heaps of ashes; doubtless the fine, dry powder of the clay looked like ashes before the water fell upon it.

There is another curious fact to be considered in connection with these legends--that the calamity seems to have brought with it some compensating wealth.

Thus we find Beowulf, when destroyed by the midnight monster, rejoicing to think that his people would receive a treasure, a fortune by the monster's death.

Hence we have a whole mass of legends wherein a dragon or great serpent is associated with a precious horde of gold or jewels.

"The Scythians had a saga of the sacred gold which fell burning from heaven. The ancients had also some strange fictions of silver which fell from heaven, and with which it had been attempted, under the Emperor Severus, to cover bronze coins."[1]

"In Peru the god of riches was worshiped under the image of a rattlesnake, horned and hairy, with a tail of gold. It was said to have descended from the heavens in

[1. "Cosmos," vol. i, p. 115.]

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the sight of all the people, and to have been seen by the whole army of the Inca."[1]

The Peruvians--probably in reference to this event--chose as their arms two serpents with their tails interlaced.

Among the Greeks and ancient Germans the fiery dragon was the dispenser of riches, and "watches a treasure in the earth."[2]

These legends may be explained by the fact that in the Ural Mountains, on the east of Europe, in South America, in South Africa, and in other localities, the Drift gravels contain gold and precious stones.

The diamond is found in drift-gravels alone. It is pure carbon crystallized. Man has been unable to reproduce it, except in minute particles; nor can he tell in what laboratory of nature it has been fabricated. It is not found in situ in any of the rocks of an earth-origin. Has it been formed in space? Is it an outcome of that pure carbon which the spectroscope has revealed to us as burning in some of the comets?

[1. Brinton's "Myths of the New World," p. 125.

2. Ibid., p. 125.]

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Next: Chapter XI. The Arabian Myths