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*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE RADIO MAN *** Produced by Stephen Hutcheson, Dave Morgan and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at
High Adventure and Strange Romance on a World of Mystery

When Myles Cabot accidentally transmitted himself to the planet Venus, he found himself naked and bewildered on a mystery world where every unguarded minute might mean a horrible death.

Man-eating plants, tiger-sized spiders, and dictatorial ant-men kept Myles on the run until he discovered the secret of the land—that humanity was a slave-race and that the monster ants were the real rulers of the world!

But Cabot was resourceful, and when his new found love, the Kewpie-doll princess Lilla, called for help, the ant-men learned what an angry Earthman can do.

AN EARTHMAN ON VENUS is a science-fiction adventure packed with the excitement of an Edgar Rice Burroughs, and the science-vision of an H. G. Wells. You won’t be able to put it down once you start it.


{Originally titled “THE RADIO MAN”}


119 West 57th Street, New York 19, N. Y.
Published by Arrangement with the Author

On the planet VENUS you will meet—

MYLES CABOT, a good-looking young Boston radio experimenter, who accidentally broadcast himself bodily to another world.


QUEEN FORMIS, a twelve-foot-high monster, who ruled a world from an egg-laying couch, and could conceive of no mercy for her human slaves. DOGGO, who became Myles Cabot’s friend through a curious accident and who first showed Myles the ropes on that queer planet. SATAN, who was given that name by Myles for the unpleasant reason that he deserved it—and who lived up to it.


PRINCESS LILLA, the lovely girl with the Kewpie wings, who held the key to the throne of Venus and the key to Myles’ heart simultaneously. YURI, the suave scoundrel who wouldn’t hesitate to sell out his whole race to get Lilla’s hand by force. TORON, who tipped Myles off to Lilla’s private intentions in order to save himself from slavery. BTHUH, the beautiful lady who conspired to win Myles for herself, though she had to help his deadliest enemies to do it.

The Radio Man. Copyright, 1924 and 1939, by Frank A. Munsey Company. Copyright, 1948, by Ralph Milne Farley.

Avon Reprint Edition

An Earthman on Venus. Copyright, 1950, by Avon Publishing Co., Inc.


contents 1 The Message in the Meteor 3 2 Stranded in Space 8 3 Out of the Frying Pan 16 4 Go to the Ant, Thou Sluggard 22 5 A Vision 30 6 Radio Plays its Part 37 7 A Hunting Trip 48 8 The Conspiracy 56 9 The Rescue 63 10 Before Queen Formis 73 11 The Valley of the Shadow of Death 81 12 A Victim of Yuri 89 13 Kidnaped 96 14 In Disgrace 104 15 A New Game 110 16 Cabot Tells the World 119
3 1
the message in the meteor

Never had I been so frightened in all my life! It was a warm evening late in August, and I was sitting on the kitchen steps of my Chappaquiddick Island farmhouse, discussing the drought with one of the farm hands. Suddenly there appeared in the sky over our heads a flaming fiery mass, rushing straight downward toward us.

“Here’s where a shooting star gets me,” I thought, as I instinctively ducked my head, just as though such a feeble move as ducking one’s head could afford any possible protection from the flaming terror. The next instant there came a dull crash, followed by silence, which in turn was broken by the hired man dryly remarking: “I reckon she struck over to Cow Hill.” Cow Hill was the slight elevation just back of our farmhouse.

So the meteor hadn’t been aimed exactly at me, after all.

If that thing had hit me, some one else would be giving to the world this story.

We did nothing further about the meteor that night, being pretty well shaken up by the occurrence. But next morning, as soon as the chores were done, the hired man and I hastened to the top of Cow Hill to look for signs of last night’s fiery visitor.

And, sure enough, there were plenty of signs. Every spear of grass was singed from the top of the hill; the big rock on the summit showed marks of a collision; and several splinters of some black igneous material were lying strewed around. Leading from the big rock there ran down the steep side of the hill a gradually deepening furrow, ending in a sort of caved-in hole.

We could not let slip such a good opportunity to get some newspaper publicity for our farm. And so on the following Friday a full account of the meteoric visitation appeared in the Vineyard Gazette, with the result that quite a number of summer folks walked across the island from the bathing beach to look at the hole.


And there was another result, for early the following week I received a letter from Professor Gerrish, of the Harvard Observatory, stating that he had read about the meteor in the paper, and requesting that I send him a small piece—or, if possible, the whole meteor—by express, collect, for purposes of analysis.

Anything for dear old Harvard! Unfortunately all the black splinters had been carried away by tourists. So I set the men to work digging out the main body. Quite a hole was dug before we came to the meteor, a black pear-shaped object about the size of a barrel. With rock tongs, chains and my pair of Percherons, we dragged this out onto the level. I had hoped that it would be small enough so that I could send the whole thing up to Harvard and perhaps have it set up in front of the Agassiz Museum, marked with a bronze plate bearing my name; but its size precluded this.

My wife, who was present when we hauled it out, remarked: “It looks just like a huge black teardrop or raindrop.”

And sure enough it did. But why not? If raindrops take on a streamline form in falling, why might not a more solid meteor do so as well? But I had never heard of one doing so before. This new idea prompted me to take careful measurements and to submit them to Professor O. D. Kellogg, of the Harvard mathematics department, who was summering at West Chop near by. He reported to me that the form was as perfectly streamlined as it was possible to conceive, but that my surmise as to how it had become so was absurd.

While making these measurements I was attracted by another feature of the meteor. At one place on the side, doubtless where it had struck the big rock, the black coating had been chipped away, disclosing a surface of yellow metal underneath. Also there was to be seen in this metal an absolutely straight crack, extending as far as the metal was exposed, in a sidewise direction.

At the time the crack did not attract me so much as the metal. I vaguely wondered if it might not be gold. But, being reminded of Professor Gerrish’s request for a sample of the meteor, I had one of the men start chiseling off some pieces.


The natural spot to begin was alongside of the place where the covering was already chipped. It was hard work, but finally he removed several pieces, and then we noticed that the crack continued around the waist of the meteor as far as had been chipped. This crack, from its absolute regularity, gave every indication of being man-made.

Our curiosity was aroused. Why the regularity of this crack? How far did it go? Could it possibly extend clear way around? Was it really a threaded joint? And if so, how could such a phenomenon occur on a meteorite dropped from the sky?

Forgotten was the second crop mowing we had planned to do that day. Hastily summoning the rest of the help, we set to work with cold chisels and sledges, to remove the black coating in a circle around the middle of the huge teardrop. It was a long and tedious task, for the black substance was harder than anything I had ever chipped before. We broke several drills and dented the yellow metal unmercifully, but not so much but what we could see that the threaded crack did actually persist.

The dinner hour passed, and still we worked, unmindful of the appeals of our womenfolk, who finally abandoned us with much shrugging of shoulders.

It was nearly night when we completed the chipping and applied two chain wrenches to try and screw the thing apart. But, after all our efforts, it would not budge. Just as we were about to drop the wrenches and start to chisel through the metal some one suggested that we try to unscrew it as a left-handed screw. Happy thought! For, in spite of all the dents which we had made, the two ends at last gradually untwisted.

What warrant did we have to suppose that there was anything inside it? I must confess, now it is all over, that we went through this whole day’s performance in a sort of feverish trance, with no definite notion of what we were doing, or why; and yet impelled by a crazy fixed idea that we were on the verge of a great discovery.

And at last our efforts had met with success, and the huge teardrop lay before us in two neatly threaded parts. The inside was hollow and was entirely filled with something tightly swathed in silver colored felt tape.


Breathless, we unwound over three hundred feet of this silver tape, and finally came to a gold cylinder about the size and shape of a gingersnap tin—that is to say, a foot long and three inches in diameter—chased all around with peculiar arabesque characters. By this time Mrs. Farley and my mother-in-law and the hired girl had joined us, attracted by the shouts which we gave when the teardrop had come apart.

One end of the cylinder easily unscrewed—also with a left-handed thread—and I drew forth a manuscript, plainly written in the English language, on some tissue-thin substance like parchment.

Everyone clustered around me, as I turned to the end to see who it was from, and read with astonishment the following signature: “Myles S. Cabot.”

But this name meant nothing to anyone present except myself.

I heard one of the hands remark to another:

“’Twarn’t no shootin’ star at all. Nothin’ but some friend of the boss shootin’ a letter to him out of one of these here long-range guns.”

“Maybe so,” said I to myself.

But Mrs. Farley was quivering with excitement.

“You must tell me all about it, Ralph,” said she. “Who can be sending you a message inside a meteor, I wonder?”

My reply was merely: “I think that there is a clipping in one of my scrapbooks up in the attic which will answer that question.”

There was! I found the scrapbook in a chest under the eaves, but did not open it until after chores and supper, during which meal I kept a provoking silence on the subject of our discovery.


When the dishes were finally all cleared away, I opened the book on the table and read to the assembled household the following four-year-old clipping from the Boston Post.

Prominent Clubman Vanishes from Beacon Street Home

Myles S. Cabot of 162 Beacon Street, disappeared from his bachelor quarters late yesterday afternoon, under very mysterious circumstances.

He had been working all day in his radio laboratory on the top floor of his house, and had refused to come down for lunch. When called to dinner, he made no reply: so his butler finally decided to break down the door, which was locked.

The laboratory was found to be empty. All the windows were closed and locked, and the key was on the inside of the door. In a heap on the floor lay a peculiar collection of objects, consisting of Mr. Cabot’s watch and chain, pocket knife, signet ring, cuff links and tie pin, some coins, a metal belt buckle, two sets of garter snaps, some safety pins, a gold pen point, a pen clip, a silver pencil, some steel buttons, and several miscellaneous bits of metal. There was a smell in the air like one notices in electric power houses. The fuses on the laboratory power line were all blown out.

The butler immediately phoned to police headquarters, and Detective Flynn was dispatched

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