A. D. 2000

A. D. 2000

Author:
Alvarado M. Fuller
Author:
Alvarado M. Fuller
Format:
epub
language:
English

%title插图%num
Author: Fuller, Alvarado M. (Alvarado Mortimer), 1851-1924
Fantasy fiction
Utopias — Fiction
Utopian fiction
A. D. 2000
Note
The cover is created by the transcriber and is placed in the public domain.
A detailed transcriber’s note can be found at the end of this book.


A. D. 2000


BY
LIEUT. ALVARADO M. FULLER
U. S. A.


CHICAGO
Laird & Lee Publishers
1890


Entered according to act of Congress in the year eighteen hundred and ninety, by LAIRD & LEE, in the office of the librarian of Congress at Washington.
(All rights reserved.)


PREFACE

Lest originality of title and theme be denied, it is but justice to myself to state that both were assumed in November, 1887. My thanks are due to Lieutenant D. L. Brainard, Second Cavalry, for the true copy of the record of the Greely party left in the cairn at the farthest point on the globe ever reached by man—83 degrees 24 minutes North Latitude, 40 degrees 46 minutes West Longitude.
The Author.


CONTENTS


CHAPTER I
Junius Cobb’s Marvelous Discovery 9
CHAPTER II
A Startling Proposition 31
CHAPTER III
Preparing for the Test 45
CHAPTER IV
Jean Colchis, Conspirator and Savant 61
CHAPTER V
On the Eve of a Century’s Sleep 80
CHAPTER VI
Faithful unto Death 101
CHAPTER VII
“You Say this is A. D. 2000?” 108
CHAPTER VIII
San Francisco in the Twenty-First Century 130
CHAPTER IX
The Central Pneumatic Railroad 150
CHAPTER X
Under the Central Sea 168
CHAPTER XI
The Army of Instruction 199
CHAPTER XII
Junius Cobb Reads a Newspaper 235
CHAPTER XIII
New York City—Population 4,000,000 245
CHAPTER XIV
The Law of the Land 261
CHAPTER XV
The Sympathetic Telegraph 278
CHAPTER XVI
Chicago the Metropolis of the Country 299
CHAPTER XVII
Niagara Falls Harnessed 309
CHAPTER XVIII
The Mystery of the Copper Cylinder 315
CHAPTER XIX
Resurrected 332
CHAPTER XX
An Aerial Voyage 347
CHAPTER XXI
The Transatlantic Life-Saving Stations 363
CHAPTER XXII
Locating the North Pole 380
CHAPTER XXIII
United at Last 396
CHAPTER XXIV
Conclusion 404

A. D. 2000


CHAPTER I

“Number three! half-past eleven o’clock—and all’s well!”
“All is well!” came the response from the sentry at the guard-house, while the sharp click of his piece as he brought it to his shoulder and the heavy tread of his retreating footsteps were all that was heard to break the stillness that reigned supreme throughout the garrison.
It was a dark, dreary, foggy night. The heavy atmosphere seemed laden with great masses of fleeting vapor, and the walks of the post and the ground surrounding them were as wet as if a heavy shower had just spent its force.
Such was the Presidio of San Francisco, California, a military post of the United States government, on the night of November 17th, 1887. The lights of the garrison made little effect upon that thick and saturated atmosphere; yet the little that they did make only seemed to add more to the depth of the surrounding gloom.
In the officers’ club-room, near the main parade, was gathered a jolly party of old and young officers. The rooms were handsomely, even superbly, furnished. The billiard-tables were in full blast; the card-tables were occupied; while many sat and chatted upon the various military topics which are ever a part of the soldier’s life.
In a set of officers’ quarters, some distance away from the main parade, were assembled three subalterns of the line. The room was bright and cheerful, and the decanters upon the table showed that they knew of the good cheer of the world. The furniture upon which the officers sat and reclined, as also about the room, gave evidence of refinement and education; while the cases stacked with books, near the entrance, bespoke a tendency and desire on the part of the occupant of the quarters for the improvement of his mind. A grate fire in the angle threw its cheerful rays upon those present, while the luxuriousness and warmth of the whole room was in direct contrast with the gloominess and cold without.
Opening from the main room through a curtained door was a second room, the inside of which was a study. There was no carpet upon the floor, and the boards gave evidence of having been used by many feet. Tables containing jars and many curious vessels, wires in every direction, bottles filled and empty, maps and drawings, and instruments of peculiar form and shape, were seen about the room.
In one corner was a large Holtz machine, whose great disc of glass reflected back the rays from the lights in the front room.
The three men were soldiers and officers of the army.
In the center of the room, by a small table upon which was a roll of paper, with one hand holding down the pages, while the other was raised in a commanding gesture, stood Junius Cobb, a lieutenant in the cavalry arm of the service. Sitting in an easy-chair near the fire, with his legs on the fender and his eyes watching every movement of the speaker, reclined Lester Hathaway; while midway between the table and the right side of the room, in a large rocker, sat Hugh Craft.
Lester Hathaway was a graduate of the military academy of the United States, as was also Hugh Craft; both were lieutenants in the army—the former in the infantry, and the latter in the artillery branch of the service.
Lester Hathaway was about twenty-eight years of age, tall and slim, fair-haired, a pleasing face, languid air, and a blasé style. To him the world was one grand sphere for enjoyment; it was his life, his almost every thought, as to how he could pass his time in an easy and amusing manner. Balls, parties, and dances were his special vocations. With him there was no thought of the true hardships of life.
Young and handsome, courted by the ladies, he could not understand how it was that others should occupy their minds with subjects of research and study.
Hugh Craft was of a different type; yet, like Hathaway, he was tall and thin, and about the same age; but here the likeness terminated. He was darker than his companion, with sharp features, an aquiline nose, and a chin denoting great firmness. His eye was piercing, and wandered from one object to another with the rapidity of lightning. He was much more of a student than Hathaway, delighting in all that portion of the sciences touching the marvelous; a good listener to the views of others. Altogether, Hugh Craft was a man worthy to be the partner of a scientific man in a great enterprise.
Junius Cobb, the central figure in the room, deserves more than a passing description. He was a man about thirty-three years of age, of medium height, but of a full and well-developed form, black eyes, a pleasing countenance, a dark mustache nearly covering his lips, square chin, and eyebrows meeting in the center of the face—all tokens of a great firmness and decision. He was one who had given many of his days and nights to hard study in science, in political economy, and, in fact, had taken a deep interest in almost all of the various progressive undertakings of his day.
Outside of his duties, Junius Cobb had employed every spare moment of his time in experimenting in chemistry and electricity. The room off the sitting-room, where the three gentlemen were gathered this dark and foggy night, was his workshop, into which no man was permitted to go save he himself. Its mysterious contents were known to no other person.
His friends would come and visit him, and sit for hours talking and chatting, but no invitation was ever accorded them to enter that single room.
“Craft,” and Cobb pointed his finger at that personage in an impatient manner, “we have often discussed these matters, I will admit, but it is a theme I like to talk upon. Do you believe in the immortality of the soul?”
“Why, of course,” replied that person, looking surprised.
“And you, too, Hathaway?” continued Cobb, addressing the other.
“Most certainly I do,” was the reply.
“Now, do either of you believe that the living body can be so prepared that it will continue to hold the soul within its fleshly portals for years without losing that great and unknown essence?” and Cobb fixed his sparkling eyes upon his listeners.
“Yes,” answered Craft; “but by God alone.”
“I do not mean by God,” quickly returned the other. “God is all powerful; but by man?”
“Then, of course, I would say that it cannot be done.”
“But if I were to show you that it was a fact, an accomplished fact, you would, of course, admit it?”
“No, Cobb. Look here, old fellow,” pettishly exclaimed Hathaway, rising from his chair, “what is all this about, anyway?”
Cobb glanced at him with an expression of pity, and quickly replied:
“I mean, Hathaway, that it is in my power to hold the life of mortal man within its living body for an unlimited time. I mean that I can take your body, Hathaway, and so manipulate it that you will be, to all appearance, dead; but your soul, or whatever you choose to call it, will still be in your body; and further, that after a certain time you will again come to life, having all your former freshness and youth.”
Cobb stood at the table with his hand upon the pages of his book, and a smile upon his face which seemed to say, “Deny it if you can.”
Hathaway and Craft looked at him in amazement. These men had known Cobb to be a student, but neither of them had ever thought him demented.
The proposition advanced by him seemed so terribly contrary to all the principles of science, natural law, and life, that neither of them could believe that the man was in earnest.
Both Hathaway and Craft had often come to Cobb’s quarters, and exchanged ideas with him concerning various and many topics; both knew him to be a student of chemistry and philosophy, and that he worked many hours in his little back room. They knew that he worked with chemicals and electricity, and both knew him to be a very peculiar man, yet neither of them had ever before seemed to be imbued with the belief that the man was of unsound mind. The grave and startling statement advanced by Cobb had so astonished them that it was impossible to think him sane.
“Yes,” continued Cobb, “I have found this power. I have no doubt that it strikes you with amazement that I should even suggest such an almost preposterous theory. I have no doubt that you almost think me insane; but my researches in the past few years have been rewarded by the most startling discoveries. We have all imagined, for many years, that as soon as the body was deprived of air for a considerable time, life would become extinct, or, in other words, that life could not exist without air. Such is not the case—ah! do not start,” he exclaimed, seeing both Hathaway and Craft bend forward inquiringly in their chairs. “I repeat, such is not the case. Without the oxygen in the air, the blood of man would be white, yet it would possess all the properties necessary to continue life. But one thing must not be confounded with this statement: oxygen is necessary for life with action, but not necessary for life without action. A strange statement, is it not? Am I tedious?” he asked, looking at his listeners.
“No; not at all,” they both exclaimed. “Please continue, for we are very much interested.”

“Well,” and Cobb’s eyes flashed as he warmed up to his subject, “it was long ago discovered that there was a peculiar odor arising upon the passage of a current of electricity through oxygen gas; this was also perceived even in working an electrical machine. This odor was named ozone. Both of you gentlemen are sufficiently proficient in chemistry for me to pass over the various methods by which ozone can be manufactured, yet I think it quite necessary that I should state a few facts about this very remarkable gas, if, indeed, it can be called a gas; it is really allotropic oxygen. Now, oxygen can be put into a liquid state, or even into a solid state; yet it is most difficult to keep it in either of those conditions—so much so that it would be of no use for the purposes for which I desire to use it. Oxygen is contracted by passing an electric spark through it, and ozone is perceived by the peculiar odor arising therefrom. If the intensity of the current is increased sufficiently, the oxygen is proportionately decreased in bulk. Suffice it to say that oxygen can be reduced millions of times in bulk by this simple method, always provided that the electrical energy was sufficient at starting. You will perceive,” and he hastily quitted the room, entered his workshop, and returned with a small bottle fitted with a tight stopper, and containing apparently a stick of camphor—“you will perceive,” he continued, “when I open this bottle, a most peculiar odor, a lightness in the atmosphere, a seeming renewal of life, and a sense of languidness passing over you.”
Saying this, he took out the glass stopper and passed the bottle two or three times in front of Hathaway and Craft. As the bottle was moved from side to side, both of them experienced a strange sensation; it seemed that the air was heavily charged with a something that gave them feelings of unutterable lightness, of calm repose, and intense satisfaction. The lights danced about in thousands of forms, yet each appeared to possess some true and beautiful shape. They moved, they walked and ran, yet no effort seemed to be required. It was as if they were a part of some living thing, yet not a part: a part of it in that they moved and had feelings coincident with it, yet not a part because no effort was required, of brain or muscle, to be a part of it. For a moment it seemed to each of them that a state of exertionless existence had been reached, and then each knew no more. They lay in their chairs apparently lifeless.
Cobb quickly replaced the stopper in the bottle, and took from his nostrils two small pieces of sponge, which had been saturated in some kind of solution.
Returning to the back room, he replaced the bottle on the shelf from which he had taken it, and came back to his position by the table.
He watched Hathaway and Craft a few minutes, when, seeing no appearance of reviving, he arose and opened the windows and wheeled their chairs around so that the cool night air could strike them full in the face. This done, he sat himself down near the table and seemed to watch with great earnestness the countenances of his two friends.
He had sat this way but a moment, when a sigh escaped the lips of Craft, his eyes opened, and he gazed about him with a most puzzled and dazed expression.
Cobb sprang quickly to his side, and presented a glass of wine to his lips.
“There,” he said, “take some of that, old fellow; you will feel like your former self in a moment.”
Craft drank the liquor without saying a word; then, raising himself, he looked Cobb in the eyes, and asked:
“Have I been asleep, Cobb, or what is the matter? I feel as if I had just awakened from a most delicious slumber, a most refreshing one, and yet I had no dreams, nor does it seem that I am fatigued in the least.”
At this moment Hathaway opened his eyes, and also in a dazed manner viewed his surroundings.
“Why, bless me, I have been asleep!” he exclaimed.
Cobb quickly filled a second glass of wine and gave it to him, saying: “Drink that; you will feel all right in a jiffy.”
Hathaway emptied the glass, and then, looking at Craft, said:
“I know now; it was the bottle, or rather the contents, that has caused us both to fall asleep.”

“Yes,” said Cobb, “it was the contents of that bottle that has caused you both to enter the first stages of death.”
“How long has this sleep continued?” asked Craft.
“About ten minutes.”
“And was I also asleep as long?” asked Hathaway.
“Yes; a little longer,” returned Cobb. “Craft awoke first.”
Pausing to light a cigar, he then resumed:
“How do you feel—sick or languid?”
“Oh, as for me, not at all,” spoke up Craft. “I cannot say that I feel any ill effect from the drug.”
“Nor I,” said Hathaway, “except that I am a little dry,” with a laugh.
“Then take some of this wine,” and Cobb filled a glass for each of them. “It will brace up your nerves.”
They drank the wine, and appeared to suffer no evil effects from their enforced sleep.
“Will you not smoke, also?” asked Cobb, as he passed over a box of fine Havana cigars. Each took one, and Cobb laid the box aside.
Soon the clouds of smoke rising to the ceiling renewed the scene of warmth and sociability which had prevailed before the uncorking of the bottle of ozone.
“You, gentlemen,” said Cobb, drawing his chair to the fire, and taking a seat near the others, “have seen pure ozone in its solid state, and you both have felt its effect. It is the life-giving principle of oxygen. Ozone is everywhere; in the air, of course; in all creation, in fact. I do not wish to tire you, but if you desire, I will explain why I said that I had the power to hold life in the human body for an indefinite time.”
“You will not tire us. Pray go on; I, for one, am most anxious to know more of this wonderful discovery of yours,” quickly returned Craft.
“I also can listen for hours to your words,” answered Hathaway.
“Then, I will explain to you my researches in this direction;” and Cobb arose and entered his little back room, soon returning with a good-sized box, which he laid upon the table.
Craft and Hathaway watched him with an earnestness which gave evidence of the interest they took in the strange theories which he had advanced. Indeed, it was a most strange, not to say terrible, power for a man to possess—that of holding the soul of man within its fleshly portals during his pleasure.
After Cobb had placed the box up

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