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Selestor's Men of Atlantis, by Clara Iza von Ravn, [1937], at

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Origin of the Mongolian race. Kling, from Atlantis, tempted.

Atlantis held no kings who warred upon the land thou names, * for they were wise and as allies held the people near and far nor yet desired war where peace could give all that they asked.

They knew the law of greed, and this they read with eyes so well attuned to higher moods that all was wisely done, and Mercy tempered Greed.

Those yellow forms thou namest first came to shape, and soon a nation formed, in that dim morn when in the time of dearth Atlantis drew her bread supply from plains now rank with growth of trees—with bloom that cloys the sense, where serpents twine amid the broad, lush leaves, and beasts prowl greedily among coarse reeds which stand where once great grains of maize did grow.

A people dark, but lacking not in brain, lived where the river which knows fleet of boats for commerce laves the banks of slime; yet once upon those banks grew grain to feed the world. And thither sent Atlantis men of trust to barter what the smiths did beat from gold, or yet those pictures rare wrought in the metal fair ye name upon the scroll, and yet not so exact in every point of worth, for it still held another added part which saved the metal for the tooth of Time to gnaw and yet not crumble. Aye, I give the method when the hour hath struck.

One man whom king Arman Dorth sent to hold

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commercial speech with people of that land was Kling. A wise and crafty and far seeing one, who bore him wife and babe with train of slaves. And as he bartered for the filling of his galley's vast, a crafty spokesman of the land of grain held thus his ear:

"Oh man of worth," spake he, “the plains lie to the northward in the sun that thou couldst people with thy slaves and kin and garner greatest wealth. Wild camels prowl o’er sands whose richness, when the river drinks the drouth, will yield thee wealth of grain like this we hold. And where the ooze of rivers ply the soil great grains, whose whiteness mocks the bloom of lilies, grow.

“Let us depart. Take store of grain and make a nation all our own; thou king, I lord of finance to thy house; and thus in time the world shall wonder at our courage and our wealth, and people thrive where now alone the night bat flies and night beasts prowl.”

Then he from Atlantis shore spake slow: “I value much thy trust in me, but kindred have I none. None have I save these I bear in carven device—wife and child; for I am but a waif of Ocean. All save I went down in galley.

“I alone am left of four score souls. My father of the plains, my mother, brother, sisters—all, alas! and lesser ties did break in that wild siege of Nature ’gainst mankind.”

Spake one: “Thou shalt know a people all thine own ere thou goest hence to that, unseen, far land which shadows people, and where light that laves doth draw its glow and worth from out a Heart that once was all when Earth revolved about a central Sun that held the Life-spark. Nothing else was there.

“Take thou wives of this, my land, and bear with

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her thou now namest wife to that far country. In secret go we. Of the coffers of this state hold I the key, and we depart with store sufficient for our needs.”

He pondered, Kling, the man of varying moods, was tempted, fell! The stores ne’er reached that isle where he as wanderer met and loved the one who mother of a nation did become, and lives again on earth, revered, in shape on strange and battered jar which sheddeth incense o’er the worshippers who live and die, give place to other hordes.

Aye, Kling did turn within his mind these promptings of the one who learned of growth of nations by much study. Knew the worth of power, and long had held in ample cave such "goods" as he had pillaged through the years of his high office.

Kling this crafty one had named as chief. "For," argued he, "the chief hath but the word, the power to bind with reason. I hold power in keys that lock and unlock all the coffers great the state doth own. An empty title tempts me not, for matter not what I am called. Praise is an empty casket. Gold doth fill the mind with fairest visions; in their midst the one who owneth gold is shrined."

And thus began their journey secretly. At night the ships set out for northern point well known to the advisor. Many days both long and weary sailed they until that point was reached. Their ships they bartered to squat men with craft for beasts, for food and for safe conduct to the kingdom's boundary.

At last the boundary reached, the caravan's great beasts went crashing through the forests' rim which bordered on the desert. Keen, alert rode spearsmen to the rear as to the front, for in that day the world teemed with fierce ones who sought but slaughter.

Mankind is restless. None may taste the joys of peace while in the body. Earth must fade from

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mortal vision ere the mind is well prepared to grasp the note of peace. And thus the heart of man turns fierce when long balked of adventure.

Interruption is the spur in side of beast which brings forth thought of slaughter; and the tribes inhabiting the land through which they passed made protest—pricked by spleen; and greed was also born through visions of the state the well-born plunderers did affect, and men were made bold by trespass, fit excuse for war.

The hordes hung long upon the footsteps of the caravan, and once attacked where desert met the trees which hid the wild assailants; but their mode of warfare being crude they fell an easy prey to those swart spearmen on the great brute's flanks perched arrogant. So peace at last was won and safety held.

Kling's thoughts were wavering still on his forsaking that fair isle—his home, on deeds of kindness at the hand of her, the foster mother, old and sore beset with ingrate children of her blood; on him—the patriarch Atlantian, who had held his hand that day the storm-cast lad lay weeping sore, with bruised limbs and heart that ached for them who sank in that wild storm which cast him forth upon the harbor of the fruitful isle.

And she, his wife, had father, mother there, beneath whose roof her rosy childhood passed, and from whose sheltering arms he had decoyed with promises of love unfailing as the gods!

Sore beset with memories did Kling glide forth from out his tent at night and paced the sands, unmindful of the eyes which gleamed and glowed, where hillocks vast held long-haired brutes that fought to death. One night he wandered far and halted in surprise, for in the starlight, making

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hideous moan, lay form of man with speech he once had known.

"Ah, son!" so spake the creature, tattered, long of hair and beard, a thing of skin which tightly clung to bone—"My son, why fearless wander on the steppes where prowls the tiger that doth live by blood, and serpents, which do sting the prisoned soul to Light? So young, so fearless, who art thou, I pray?" The voice spake low, Kling fell unto his knees.

“Ah, Father! Stranger! Man with tongue that draws from out the chambers of my mind the mark of speech like unto them who made my life a heaven when boyhood held my form! My father thus did speak, my mother sweet, with eyes aslant and sparkling, sang fond lays in this, thy tongue which then was mine own tongue.

“Whence cometh thou? Do the gods cast down to earth such self-neglected ones as thou to sight appearest? Or from the sands send up the nether gnomes such manhood to the beasts that prowl and sting?”

And, in a voice as feeble as the sigh of wind across the plain when first is born the mists of eve, the stranger made reply: “I am the last of a lost clan. Though lost to men of other lands we held in kinsmen's bonds till came dissension.

“My brothers one by one, with followers, set to reach again our land that always far and far away did seem; then famine smote those lingering, and thirst and pestilence. Thus all were lost to history of the World, for none save I survived.

“The others' fates through years I know not, nor shall know till I have passed! For Death is nigh, but He, my people's God, will gather to Himself the scattered shards and make again a mighty tribe

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if so He wills; but I shall seek the sky ere this be done.

“I bore the name of Asher; I knew thy father, for I feel the touch of mind with meaning in this hour. Thy father was my kinsman. Side by side we fought in battle. Love touched both our hearts, its rosy finger pointing to the same sweet face, vet he, not I, was chosen by the god to claim the one who bore thee.

“He to other land from our far home set sail in galley manned by many oars. I watched them sail—those brothers who with me had wandered far—and then turned I and mine our faces to the eastern sun, intent on seeking burial place, for to this end doth man forever trend.

“The tribes beset us; reft us of our instruments, our beasts, our women. Driven thus to seek but food for sustenance for our worn bodies, not of North or South thought we, but wandering on and on we set at last our feet upon the desert confines.

“Some of the tribe died early, stung by serpents. Others followed, lingering wanly, clung to life till fell disease had claimed, as I have told. I, last of all, was left as though the life which had imbued my form refused to lift itself to kindred ether.

“Long years passed by. I counted not their flight, for I have scorned to measure Time as man may count, but brain hath wove its stories; brain conjectured. Brain hath teemed with products of a state so grown to fit conditions that it felt no woe in loneliness.

“Thus I read the stars. Have peered into the lives of things that prowl and gnash white fangs at all save of their breed. To me an open book the weather's moods. I learn of tempests, sand storms, days to come. I learned to crush with foot, all bared, the deadly head and yet remain unharmed.

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“Low at my feet creep wounded beasts; the young that whimper at desertion of their dam beside my door are fed. (If door, indeed, be skins from thorny rod suspended.)

“Now doth the body shrink and soul look forth, I read of future methods which shall be employed by thinkers wise in many crafts and arts in ages yet to come. I read, alas! my earth-eyes soon must close, and soul be borne to strange and brilliant planes where sense of touch, they taught, is dead, and sight alone and voice and hearing shall so linger one forgets that Earth is his no more.

“And yet I read of earth's strange change. Of people crowding steppes where now the sand alone doth move to mood of wind, or agitation of the globe, or law that doth prevail and which is life! And thus these sands shall move by drops of dew into a mass of blackness. Blades of grass shall cover all, and beauteous blossoms.

“All is writ so plain upon a parchment swinging in the 'space' where sunbeams, making big the tiny dust-speck, laugh at man's all futile grasp, for growth is all about us. This I read in days so long, with solitude alone to call my friend, companion, that the heart stood still with dread lest Night and Sleep and Death might never fall!

“I read thy purpose. Read, and for long days I watched and waited for thy coming. Get thee hence when I have passed and to the northward turn thy face to solitude; and where long stretches of green reeds wave broad raise thou thy tents.

“In time a city vast shall spring of people all thine own. A race of men adhering to thy teachings through all time. A race of cunning craftsmen, skilled in arts, shall rule. The world at large apart shall view with keen surprise.

“Behold, thou art the son of him I loved full

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well, who hath communed through soul since that wild day when, reft of body, lying on the sands he fled in speech to me! And I have woven thoughts as strands to draw to me thy presence, son of him once loved, of her I loved, but later, she—the bone of strife that brought me hence!

“I wander from my purpose through this speech and, weaker growing, cannot hope to tell my secret—secret of the desert. Wild the barren plain where Death stalks white and dread! Aye, even here with none to peer at me, I hold my secret cuddled to my heart!

“In yonder cave it lies. The new day dawns soon. Hold thou my hand till it's appearing, for the chill of night is yet supplanted by another thrill that loosens cords and muscles, rends the bonds and frees the dove that nestles in my breast. To freedom, dove, which is a soul!

“And ere it flieth take, my son, this talisman. Hand loosen! soon thou’lt know the touch of gold no more! Why clingeth thou?”

And feebly, in the hand of Kling he laid a bauble, once worn by her he loved—the mother of the man who knelt beneath the sky, red-stained with hint of dawn, nor knew his history would cling to centuries.

“Take thou the path that wanders from this tiny spring and by a rock, all whitened, seek the long, loose hanging of my portal. Pass within and ’neath the stone which makes the inner threshold find thou that which thou shalt hand adown the years.

“That which the myriad eyes of nations read. That which shall dictate unto kings, that crowns shall bow to, Death himself divert.”

He passed as wandering sunbeams smote the rocks and sand and called the serpents from their sleep and sent to lair the graceful leopard. As he spake so Kling indeed performed.

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The hiding place gave forth a priceless store. Long histories of peoples passed of whom no other trace was held. Of people to the westward, where great temples rose, where sons had set them forth to find a land more fitted to their needs. Of those who perished on the great sea flight, of others of the tribe who now abode neath Orient sun. His brothers all in speech and mode of thought, and mode of harmony in song.

And yet they stood apart from alien tribes. Were strangers in a land where strangers sought commingling with the nations at their door. Would stand apart, a race intensified by thought and custom from the centuries’ line for ages yet to come.

Marked were they by the hand of isolation. Strong the will still binding to the country left afar. A people chosen for their stolid worth to self. A chosen race to hold tradition strong and mark in time the history of the world. His race that lives today! *

There stored, the forming of a government made plain. The law of Life—of Death—the full, deep thought born of communion with the unseen world through sense attuned to Reason. Toil of many years was there bound stone to stone or traced on skins as custom held that age.

And to the North the wanderers bore, fulfilling prophecy of him who learned in solitude the lessons for the world to glean and make it wiser, better, all fulfilled as he had said who in the desert died at stroke of day. The secret learned, the story told in teachings to the young adown the years.

Ah, Kling! thy monument still stands, though Time hath strove to crumble; yet the proof is there and in great tomes the speech of other days speaks

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potently. Thy blood but passed to younger rulers. Down the line hath History handed something of the tale I tell with lips that lie not, neither do pervert, from the first sentence.

Nations grow but slow, yet thou hast grown, O Nation, of such people as ne’er change, to fill the crannied spaces of the plain and overflow to seas. The land which teemed with plenty at its birth hath fallen. In the wilds and ’neath the sands are hid vast temples where stored knowledge lies. And yet they shall endure when brighter lands have darkened—shall become a star of destiny to nations that have scoffed at thee.


110:* Mongolia.

118:* Chinese.

Next: Chapter XVI. The first Mongolian city. Mention of Yucatan