An extract from Xanthe Terra, as published in this month’s Aspidistra X
- Giacomo Lee
August 22nd, 1924
The old man was surrounded by young men with machines. While the latter were checking dials and measuring radio waves, the old man made notes on the machines, and on what the young men did with their hands. His own meanwhile etched sketches, annotated with names and numbers, ideas. He was a respectful guest, careful to keep his stooped figure out of the men’s way, like a pivot in the middle of the observatory, an ancient space body moving in ever decreasing circles. Ironically, he was being respectful to men who were awed by the mere presence of him. It was the Camille Flammarion after all, and when one by one all these young men left, their ancestor in astronomy was left on his own with all their machines in matrix.