Phoebe put on what her sister always called "that schoolmarm
look" and replied:
"Why, it's the turning round of the earth on its axis once
"Yes -- yes -- it's all one -- all one," Droop broke
in, eagerly. "To put it another way, it comes from the sun cutting meridians, don't
it? If a man travels round the world the same way 's the sun, he catches up on time a
whole day when he gets all the way round. In other words, the folks that stays at
home lives just one day more than the feller that goes around the world that way. Am I
"Now, then, just follow me close," Droop continued,
sitting far forward in his chair and pointing his speech with a thin forefinger on his
"If the feller was to whirl clear 'round the world and cut
all the meridians in the same direction as the sun, an' he made the whole trip around just
as quick as the sun did -- time wouldn't change a mite for him, would it?"
"Follow out that same reasoning to the bitter end!" he
cried, "and what will happen if that traveler whirls round, cuttin' meridians jest twice
as fast as the sun -- going the same way? Why, as sure as shooting, I tell ye, that feller
will get jest one day younger for every two whirls around!"
"But how's he going to whirl round as fast as that, Mr.
Droop?" she said.
"It does sound outlandish, when you think how big the world
is. But what if ye go to the North Pole? Ain't all the twenty-four meridians jammed up
close together around that part of the globe? Ain't it clear that if a feller'll jest take
a grip on the North Pole and go whirlin' around it, he'll be cutting meridians as fast as
a hay-chopper? Won't he see the sun getting left behind and whirlin' the other way from
what it does in nature? If the sun goes the other way round, ain't it sure to unwind all
the time that it's been a-rollin' up?"