The Cause of the Delay in the Falling of the Ship Karnak


The Cause of the Delay in the Falling of the Ship Karnak

THE captain soon afterward entered and having performed before Beelzebub all the ceremonies appropriate to Beelzebub’s rank, said:

“Your Right Reverence, allow me to ask your authoritative opinion upon an ‘inevitability’ that lies in the line of our course, and which will hinder our smooth falling by the shortest route.

“The point is that if we follow our intended course, then our ship, after two ‘Kilprenos*,’ will pass through the solar system ‘Vuanik.’

“But just through where our ship must pass, there must also pass, about a ‘Kilpreno’ before, the great comet belonging to that solar system and named ‘Sakoor’ or, as it is sometimes called, the ‘Madcap.’

“So if we keep to our proposed course, we must inevitably traverse the space through which this comet will have to pass.

“Your Right Reverence of course knows that this ‘Madcap’ comet always leaves in its track a great deal of ‘Zilnotrago**’ which on entering the planetary body of a being disorganizes most of its functions until all the ‘Zilnotrago’ is volatilized out of it.

“I thought at first,” continued the captain, “of avoiding the ‘Zilnotrago’ by steering the ship around these spheres, but for this a long detour would be necessary which would greatly lengthen the time of our passage. On the other hand, to wait somewhere until the ‘Zilnotrago’ is dispersed would take still longer.

*The word “Kilpreno” in the language of Beelzebub means a certain period of time, equal approximately to the duration of the flow of time which we call an “hour.”

** The word “Zilnotrago” is the name of a special gas similar to what we call “cyanic acid.”