The Gland Men of the Island can be found in Magazine Entry


SCIENTISTS admit that we are now on the verge of great discoveries in biology We are Just learn any what we human beings are and what the forces are that control us. Why are some men small and others tall; why are some witty, clever, strong and successful and others dull, stupid and apparently without purpose or energy in life? The answer of the biologist is: Glands-little reservoirs of strange fluids, the fluids that course through our blood and determine our destiny. This seems almost magical—that for example a few drops of an unknown fluid can determine a man's entire destiny. Yet it has been proved to be true.

What a world we will have then when we finally discover how to control these glands and make them do for us what we will! We may have a nation of supermen or a nation of strong, stupid, slavish servants. It will all depend on who controls the glands. The author of this exciting tale was a professor of medicine himself and his science is not only exact but his story most thrilling.

An Army of Merciless, Inhuman Creatures were ready, . . . Under the Master's hand they armed for action . . . then Nature entered the play . . .

TO many who read my account of our amazing adventure on the island of the Gland Men, it will serve as just another illustration of how devious is the path of science. It will illustrate also how, from the darkness that girds it round, terrible possibilities loom black and menacing, terrifying those daring enough to wander from the beaten track.

Another, and I fear greater section of my readers may harbour no such sentiments, labelling the whole as a tissue of preposterous lies, but to those who condemn me, I say this. Take the facts—meagre, garbled—as they appeared in the newspapers and attempt to account for them in any other way. There is only one answer. It is impossible.

The intimate details were far too terrifying and astounding to permit of the facts being published verbatim, and it was mainly due to the newspaper's reticence that something bordering on a worldwide panic was averted.

Doctor Bruce Clovelly, DD., F. R. C. S., will, of course, need no introduction, for his recent surgical triumphs in glanding have made his name almost a by-word, and it is with Guy Follanshee that we must concern ourselves. Follansbee, as I knew him in my days as laboratory assistant to the doctor—one of those singularly fortunate individuals who know exactly what they want and how to got it without offending a single soul—inclined to be cynical, yet straight as the proverbial string. He had inherited from his father an insatiable desire for adventure and an income that ran into I forget how many figures. Being a man of somewhat simple philosophy, he used the latter to appease the former.

It had taken our combined arguments, practised often and over long periods, to make the doctor even consider such a thing as recreation and I had experienced the hardest task of my life in getting him from his chambers in Cower Street, to which he clung like Diogenes to his wooden cavern. Even after his actual transplanting on to his opulent friend's yacht, the Silver Lady, he took his enforced holiday like a small boy takes his medicine, but as the illimitable miles of sparkling water grew between our vessel and his stuffy chambers, he turned about to enjoy himself.

We were midway between the Solomons and Santa Cruz islands when the queer affair began. The morning had been oppressively calm and Follansbee, the doctor and myself had taken the electric launch to examine the rock fauna that flourished so prolifically hereabouts. It was characteristic of the doctor that he could, when required, produce inexhaustible stores of unexpected knowledge on the most out-of-the-way subjects; and though I had never before heard him mention marine growths, here he was expounding in his most didactic manner to his slightly amused companion.

Having little taste in such matters, I was reclining upon the collapsible canvas chair, smoking a cigarette, and occasionally dipping my hand into the water, in order to convince myself that it would not emerge dyed blue. Whether, rocked by the gentle motion of the boat, I fell into a semi-doze or whether the change swept down so quickly that its coming was unnoticed, I cannot say. But I remember that I suddenly jumped to my feet and called my companions' attention to the unpleasant condition of the weather.

In the east, the sun, flattened lo a disc of unhealthy brown, was gradually giving way to a dense bank of cloud that rushed down with the rapidity of a drop curtain. The water had lost its turquoise hue and undulated in a long oily swell that was strangely suggestive of hidden power underneath. Everywhere a heavy, pall-like silence hung over the face of Nature, fraught with an indescribable sensation of impending danger. Now and again there sounded, very faint and far-off, a curious humming sob, no of some gigantic beast in an agony of torture.

"Without the slightest intention of being a first class Jonah," it was Follansbee's first remark as he boarded the launch. "I should say that we were in for something extra in the way of dirty weather."

Doctor Clovelly shrugged his shoulders. "I should have expected something like this to happen," he said irritably. "We should have never left the yacht. What are our chances worth if it catches as in the open sea?"

The explorer snapped finger and thumb. "Just that," he said grimly. "The only thing possible is to cut for the nearest island. With the weather like this the storm may be on us in five minutes, but on the other hand it may hang off for hours." He swung the wheel as he spoke and the launch cut thru the swell with a curious sticking motion. "But the Lord help us," it was Follansbee speaking again, "if it brings typhoon in its wake."

I LEANED over the side and glanced at the approaching is-laud. Through the haze, I discerned the woods that flanked the shining stretch of silver sand, unsullied by mark or impression, the thick vegetation that grew, tangled and luxurious, down to the water's edge. Here was a tumbledown native hut, raising its battered head above the mass of tropic greenery, there a sturdy giant palm, the trunk hidden from view by the enveloping folds of some flaming parasite. As we neared the beach, I saw that the land sloped sharply into rolling hillocks, cut and serried by deep gullies whose black, forbidding extremities were lost beneath the shadow of the higher mountains.

I turned to our host. "Does it possess a name?" I queried.

He shook his head. "Probably one of the numerous islands that stud the Polynesia like stars in the Milky Way. They are here today and gone tomorrow, thrust up by some I volcanic eruption, sucked under the sea by a tidal wave or some similar undersea disturbance."

"I sincerely hope that it remains stable during our occupation," I remarked. Then the launch grounded on the shore and I jumped out to aid Follansbee to beach it high and dry. This done, we took our first close look at the island, our enforced landing place.

As we stood on the clean fringe of sand, the hush of the elements was even more apparent. Not a leaf moved in the thick humid heat, not a bird flew or animal moved. It seemed as though all Nature was waiting breathlessly for the opening of the cataclysm. But for the low rumble of the breakers, we might have trod another planet, some long dead world; and the thick sand, deadening our footsteps, gave us a peculiar disembodied sensation that was unpleasant in the extreme. It was Follansbee who broke the silence. "No good cooling our heels on this beach." he said. "Under the circumstances, I think it would be worth our while to do a little exploring. That track through the trees seems to suggest unlimited possibilities." He broke off and pointed to where a worn track wound its way through the undergrowth.

"At least," remarked the doctor, as we made our way toward it, "we cannot claim to be true Crusoes. Someone has used this path pretty frequently—and not so long ago, if we are to judge by its appearance."

"Animals—?" I suggested.

"Much too narrow," interjected Follansbee. "Then again, the beasts have no object in coming here; there is no water to drink, nothing to est and from my experience of animals, they generally shun the seabeach," he glanced at the dry rotted grass. "No, my sonny, that track was made by one thing only—a number of men walking in single file."

I looked blankly at the waste of matted undergrowth and stunted trees, "But where on earth did they go?" I asked.

"That," was the reply, "is what we are going to find out."

In single file we followed the circuitous path for over a mile, Follansbee leading, his grey eyes gleaming, the doctor n...

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