As Mars approached opposition, Lavelle of Java set the wires of the astronomical exchange palpitating with the amazing intelli- gence of a huge outbreak of incandescent gas upon the planet.
That night another invisible missile started on its way to the earth from Mars, just a second or so under twenty-four hours after the first one.
He was full of speculation that night about the condition of Mars, and scoffed at the vulgar idea of its having in- habitants who were signalling us.
The chances against anything manlike on Mars are a million to one," he said.
Do not," replied Vulcan, "ask me to do this; a bad man's bond is bad security; what remedy could I enforce against you if Mars should go away and leave his debts behind him along with his chains?
Vulcan," said Neptune, "if Mars goes away without paying his damages, I will pay you myself.
Thereon he loosed the bonds that bound them, and as soon as they were free they scampered off, Mars to Thrace and laughter-loving Venus to Cyprus and to Paphos, where is her grove and her altar fragrant with burnt offerings.
He sang how they overran the city hither and thither and ravaged it, and how Ulysses went raging like Mars along with Menelaus to the house of Deiphobus.
Still, though his people mourned their chieftain, they were not without a leader, for Podarces, of the race of Mars, marshalled them; he was son of Iphiclus, rich in sheep, who was the son of Phylacus, and he was own brother to Protesilaus, only younger, Protesilaus being at once the elder and the more valiant.
But Polypoetes was not sole in command, for with him was Leonteus, of the race of Mars, who was son of Coronus, the son of Caeneus.
Apollo, of the silver bow, had bred them in Perea--both of them mares, and terrible as Mars in battle.
Hippothous led the tribes of Pelasgian spearsmen, who dwelt in fertile Larissa--Hippothous, and Pylaeus of the race of Mars, two sons of the Pelasgian Lethus, son of Teutamus.