He was full of speculation that night about the condition of Mars, and scoffed at the vulgar idea of its having inhabitants who were signalling us. His idea was that meteorites might be falling in a heavy shower upon the planet.

He pointed out to me how unlikely it was that organic evolution had taken the same direction in the two adjacent planets. "The chances against anything manlike on Mars are a million to one," he said. Hundreds of observers saw the flame that night and the night after about midnight, and again the night after; and so for ten nights, a flame each night.