_Painted in Water-Colors from a Scene in "The Pirate Planet."_
THE WALL OF DEATH VICTOR ROUSSEAU 151
_Out of the Antarctic It Came--a Wall of Viscid, Grey, Half-Human
Jelly, Absorbing and Destroying All Life That It Encountered._
THE PIRATE PLANET CHARLES W. DIFFIN 168
_A Strange Light Blinks on Venus, and Over Old Earth Hovers a
Mysterious Visitant--Dread Harbinger of Interplanetary War._
(Beginning a Four-Part Novel.)
THE DESTROYER WILLIAM MERRIAM ROUSE 198
_Slowly, Insidiously, There Stole Over Allen Parker Something
Uncanny. He Could No Longer Control His Hands--Even His Brain!_
THE GRAY PLAGUE L. A. ESHBACH 210
_Maimed and Captive, in the Depths of an Interplanetary Meteor-Craft,
Lay the Only Possible Savior of Plague-Ridden Earth._
JETTA OF THE LOWLANDS RAY CUMMINGS 230
_Black-Garbed Figures Move in Ghastly Greenness As the Invisible Flyer
Speeds on Its Business of Ransom._ (Conclusion.)
VAGABONDS OF SPACE HARL VINCENT 244
_From the Depths of the Sargasso Sea of Space Came the Thought-Warning,
"Turn Back!" But Carr and His Martian Friend Found It Was Too Late!_
(A Complete Novelette.)
THE READERS' CORNER ALL OF US 271
_A Meeting Place for Readers of Astounding Stories._
Single Copies, 20 Cents (In Canada, 25 Cents) Yearly Subscription,
Issued monthly by Publishers' Fiscal Corporation, 80 Lafayette St.,
New York. N. Y. W. M. Clayton, President; Francis P. Pace, Secretary.
Entered as second-class matter December 7, 1929, at the Post Office at
New York, N. Y., under Act of March 3, 1879. Title registered as a
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* * * * *
The Wall of Death
_By Victor Rousseau_
[Illustration: And then Kay had broken through and was hewing madly
with great sweeps of the ax.]
[Sidenote: Out of the Antarctic it came--a wall of viscid, grey,
half-human jelly, absorbing and destroying all life that it
"This news," said Cliff Hynes, pointing to the newspaper, "means the
end of _homo Americanus_."
The newspaper in question was the hour-sheet of the International
Broadcast Association, just delivered by pneumatic tube at the
laboratory. It was stamped 1961, Month 13, Day 7, Horometer 3, and the
headlines on the front page confirmed the news of the decisive defeat
of the American military and naval forces at the hands of the Chinese
A gallant fight for days against hopeless odds; failure of the army
dynamos; airships cut off from ground guidance; battleships ripped to
pieces by the Chinese disintegrators; and, finally, the great wave of
black death that had wiped out two hundred thousand men.
Kay Bevan--to use the old-fashioned names which still persisted,
despite the official numerical nomenclature--glanced through the
account. He threw the sheet away. "We deserved it, Cliff," he said.
Cliff nodded. "You saw that bit about the new Chinese disintegrator?
If the Government had seriously considered our Crumbler--"
Kay glanced at the huge, humming top that filled the center of the
laboratory. It spun so fast that it appeared as nothing but a
spherical shadow, through which one could see the sparse furnishings,
the table, the apparatus ranged upon it, and the window over-looking
the upper streets of New York.
"Yes--_if!_" he answered bitterly. "And I'm willing to bet the Chinese
have an inferior machine, built upon the plans that Chinese servant
stole from us last year."
"We deserved it, Cliff," said Kay again. "For ten years we've harried
and enslaved the yellow man, and taken a hundred thousand of his men
and women to sacrifice to the Earth Giants. What would we have done,
if conditions had been reversed?"
"Self-preservation," Cliff suggested.
"Exactly. The law of the survival of the fittest. They thought that
they were fitter to survive. I tell you they had right on their side,
Cliff, and that's what's beaten us. Now--a hundred thousand of our
_own_ boys and girls must be fed into the maw of these monsters every
year. God, suppose it were Ruth!"