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CHAPTER I

TOWARD THE ETERNAL FIRES

I WAS born in Connecticut about thirty years ago. My name is, David Innes. My father was a wealthy mine owner. When was to he mine when I had attained my majority provided that I had devoted the nineteen he died. All his was property two years intervening in close application to the great business I was to inherit.

I did my best to fulfil the last wishes of my parent not because of the inheritance, but because I loved and honored my father. For six months I toiled in the mines and in the counting rooms, for I wished to know every minute detail of the business.

Then Perry interested me his in . rnven tion. He was an old fellow who had devoted the better part of a long life to the perfec tion of a mechanical subterranean prospector. As relaxation he studied paleontology. I looked over his plans, listened to his argu ments, inspected his working model—and