Study of Beelzebub's Tales




3 The Cause of the Delay in the Falling of the Ship Karnak


“Your Right Reverence of course knows that this ‘Madcap’ comet always leaves in its track a great deal of ‘Zilnotrago2 which on entering the planetary body of a being disorganizes most of its functions until all the ‘Zilnotrago’ is volatilized out of it.


“I thought at first,” continued the captain, “of avoiding the ‘Zilnotrago’ by steering the ship around these spheres, but for this a long detour would be necessary which would greatly lengthen the time of our passage. On the other hand, to wait somewhere until the ‘Zilnotrago’ is dispersed would take still longer.


“If the detour should involve even the most trifling damage to our ship, then in my opinion we ought to prefer your second suggestion, that is, to stop somewhere until the path is cleared of the noxious ‘Zilnotrago.’ By that means we should spare our ship useless damage.

“And we will try to fill the period of this unforeseen delay with something useful for us all.


2 The word “Zilnotrago” is the name of a special gas similar to what we call “cyanic acid.”


35 A Change in the Appointed Course of the Falling of the Transspace Ship Karnak


“Very good, your Reverence, I will think out how it may be possible to carry out your desire. I do not know just what obstacles there were then for the captain of the ship Omnipresent, but in the present case, on the direct route between the holy planet Purgatory and the planet Deskaldino, there lies the solar system called Salzmanino, in which there are many of those cosmic concentrations which, for purposes of the general cosmic Trogoautoegocratic process, are predetermined for the transformation and radiation of the substances Zilnotrago; and therefore the direct falling of our ship Karnak, unhindered, through this system, will scarcely be possible. In any case, I will try in one way or another to satisfy the desire expressed by your Reverence.”