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sympathetic concern when I told her there was a land where decrepitude was not so happily postponed. The Martians, she said, arranged their calendar by the varying colours of the seasons, and loved blue as an antidote to the generally red and rusty character of their soil. Discussing such things as these we lightly squandered the day away, and I know of nothing more to note until the evening was come again: that wonderful purple evening which creeps over the outer worlds at sunset, a seductive darkness gemmed with ten thousand stars riding so low in the heaven they seem scarcely more than mast high. When that hour was come my friend tiptoed again to my cheek, and then, pointing to the palace replica tiffany and laughingly hoping fate would send me a bride “as soft as catkin and as sweet as honey,” slipped away into the darkness. Then I remembered all on a sudden this was the con- nubial evening of my sprightly friends– real tiffany jewelry on sale the occasion when, as An had told me, the Government constituted itself into a gigantic matrimonial agency, and, with the cheerful care- lessness of the place, shuffled the matrimonial pack anew, and dealt a fresh hand to all the players. Now I had no wish to avail myself of a sailor’s privilege of a bride in every port, but surely this game would be interesting enough to see, even if I tiffany uk were but a disinterested spectator. As a matter of fact I was something more than that, and had been thinking a good deal of Heru during the day. I do not know whether I actually aspired to her hand–that were a large order, even if there had been no suspicion in my mind she was already bespoke in some vague way by the invisible Hath, most abortive of princes. But she was undeniably a lovely girl; the more one thought of her the more she grew upon the fancy, and then the preference she had shown myself was very GULLIVER OF MARS 63 gratifying. Yes, I would certainly see this quaint ceremonial, even if I took no leading part in it. The great centre hall of the palace was full of a radiant light bringing up its ruined columns and intruding creepers to the best effect when I entered. Dinner also was just being served, as they would say in another, and alas! very distant place, and the whole building thronged with folk. Down the centre low tables with room for four hundred people were ranged, but they looked quaint enough since but two hundred were sitting there, all brand-new bachelors about to be turned into brand new Benedicts, and taking it mightily calmly it seemed. Across the hall-top was a raised table similarly arranged and ornamented; and entering into the spirit of the thing, and little guessing how stern a reality was to come from the evening, I sat down in a vacant place near to the dais, and only a few paces from where the pale, ghost-eyed Hath was already seated. Almost immediately afterwards music began to buzz all about the hall- -music of the kind the people loved which always seemed to me as though it were exuding from the tables tiffany and co jewelry and benches, so disembodied and difficult it was to locate; all the sleepy gallants raised their flower-encircled heads at the same time, seizing their wine-cups tiffany earrings uk , already filled to the brim, and the door at the bottom of the hall opening, the ladies, preceded by one carrying a mysterious vase covered with a glittering cloth, came in. Now, being somewhat thirsty, tiffany jewellery uk I had already drunk half the wine in my beaker, and whether it was that draught, drugged as all Martian wines are, or the sheer loveliness of the maids themselves, I cannot say, but as the procession entered, and, dividing, circled round under the colonnades of the hall, a sensation of extraordinary tiffany jewelry store felicity came over me–an emotion of divine contentment purged of all gross- ness–and I stared and stared at the circling loveliness, gos- samer-clad, flower-girdled, tripping by me with vapid de- light. Either the wine was budding in my head, or there was little to choose from amongst them, for had any of those ladies sat down in the vacant place beside me, I should certainly have accepted her as a gift from heaven, without question or cavil. But one after another they slipped by, modestly taking their places in the shadows until at last came Princess Heru, and at the sight of her my soul was stirred. GULLIVER OF MARS 64 She came undulating over the white marble, the loveliness of her fairy person dimmed but scarcely hidden by a robe of softest lawn in colour like rose-petals, tiffany and co jewelry her eyes aglitter with excitement and a charming blush upon her face. She came straight up to me, and, resting a dainty hand upon my shoulder, whispered, “Are you come as a spectator only, dear Mr. Jones, or do you join in our custom tonight?” “I came only as a bystander, lady, but the fascination of the opportunity is deadly–” “And have you any preference?”–this in the softest little voice from somewhere in the nape of my neck. “Strangers sometimes say there are fair women in Seth.” “None–till you came; and now, as was said a long time ago, ‘All is dross that is not Helen.’ Dearest lady,” I ran on, detaining her by the fingertips and gazing up into costume jewellery those shy and star-like eyes, “must I indeed put all the hopes your kindness has roused in me these last few days to a shuffle in yonder urn, taking my chance with all these lazy fellows? In that land whereof I was, we would not have had it so, we loaded our dice in these matters, a strong man there might have a willing maid though all heaven were set against him! But give me leave, sweet lady, and I will ruffle with these fellows; give me a glance and I will barter my life for your billet when it is drawn, but to stand idly tiffany and co jewelry by and see you won by a cold chance, I cannot do it.” That lady laughed a little and said, “Men make laws, dear Jones, for women to keep. It is the rule, and we must not break it.” Then, gently tugging at her imprisoned fingers and gathering up her skirts to go, she added, “But it might happen that wit here were better than sword.” Then she hesitated, and freeing herself at last slipped from my side, yet before she was quite gone half turned again and whispered so low that no one but I could hear it, “A golden pool, and a silver fish, and a line no thicker than a hair!” and before I could beg a meaning of her, had passed down the hall and taken a place with the other expectant damsels. “A golden pool,” I said to myself, “a silver fish, and a line of hair.” What could she mean? Yet that she meant something, and something GULLIVER OF MARS 65 clearly of importance, man jewelry I could not doubt. “A golden pool, and a silver fish–” I buried my chin in my chest and thought deeply but without effect while the preparations were made and the fateful urn, each maid having slipped her name tablet within, was brought down to us, covered in a beautiful tiffany jewelry sale web of rose-coloured tissue, and commenced its round, passing slowly from hand to hand as each of those handsome, impassive, fawneyed gallants lifted a corner of the web in turn and helped themselves to fate. “A golden pool,” I muttered, “and a silver fish”–so ab- sorbed in my own thoughts I hardly noticed the great cup begin its journey, but when it had gone three or four places the glitter of the lights upon it caught my eye. It was of pure gold, round-brimmed, and circled about with a string of the blue convolvulus, which implies delight to these people. Ay! and each man was plunging his hand into the dark and taking in his turn a small notch-edged mother-of- pearl billet from it that flashed soft and silvery as he turned it in his hand to read the name engraved in unknown characters thereon. “Why,” I said, with a start, “surely THIS might be the golden pool and these the silver fish– but the hair-fine line? And again I meditated deeply, with all my senses on the watch. Slowly the urn crept round, and as each man took a ticket from it, and passed it, smiling, to the seneschal behind him, that official read out the name upon it, and a blushing damsel slipped from the crowd above, crossing over to the side of the man with whom chance had thus lightly linked her for the brief Martian year, and putting her hands in his they kissed before all the company, and sat down to their places at the table as calmly as country folk real tiffany jewelry on sale might choose partners at a village fair in hay-time. But not so with me. Each time a name was called I started and stared

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