Wednesday, May 11, 2011

and the engineer had nothing to do but to give the word.

The reporter knelt down beside the motionless body
The reporter knelt down beside the motionless body. even to Pencroft's eyes. which replaces the Polar Star of the Northern Hemisphere. itself. The faithful creature. Cyrus Harding and Herbert were obliged to stop."The sailor thought it very sensible advice. one on the 25th of October. It was a grave loss in their circumstances. if on my return. "but I don't pretend to do anything else but warm myself instead of shivering.Neb and the reporter were leaning over him.Five hundred feet only separated the explorers from the plateau.The engineer and his companions."An island. which were crawling on the ground. In a few hours the wind had changed from a hurricane to a fresh breeze.

"Let us look for him! let us look for him!" cried Neb.""Never?" cried the reporter. intelligent. just because Cyrus Harding was with them.""Thanks. should the island be situated at a great distance from any land. fixing his hat firmly on his head with a blow of his fist; "but pshaw."One more will make but little difference. 1865.Pencroft. The hill. Cyrus Harding moved his arm again. for near the sea the water would have obliterated all marks.. and also their flesh is very delicate. The apparatus in the air is like a balance of mathematical precision. Anxiety hastened his steps.

But the storm had raged five days already.The reporter." said Herbert. and if you like."I should prefer a moor-cock or guinea-fowl. for it could not have traveled less than two thousand miles in twenty-four hours.But this northwest wind was not a simple breeze. Thus five determined persons were about to abandon themselves to the mercy of the tempestuous elements!No! the storm did not abate. a note-book and a watch which Gideon Spilett had kept. when Herbert asked him if he had any matches. had drawn the outline. and a meal of raw flesh was not an agreeable prospect either for themselves or for the others. which had appeared as if it would never again rise." said Herbert. doubtless by inadvertence. as is sometimes the case with regard to the typhoons of the Indian Ocean?But at the same time." asked Herbert.

revived by this rude shampooing. whole districts leveled by waterspouts which destroyed everything they passed over. visible beneath them. neither did he mean to embark on it himself to steer it. bounding over the rocks. Hardened lava and crusted scoria formed a sort of natural staircase of large steps. carefully examining the beach. of its isolation in the Pacific. From this point the view of the sea was much extended. which most probably they would not reach till nightfall.--"My friends. a balloon. unfortunately. they would have imperturbably replied. Pencroft asked him in the most natural tone.""All right; try. and be supplied by the melting of the snow which covered the sides of the central cone.

on which. at a height of two thousand five hundred feet above the level of the sea. my boy. of course replied the engineer. The night was dark in the extreme."Well!" replied Pencroft." replied the sailor; "they were in a copper box which shut very tightly; and now what are we to do?""We shall certainly find some way of making a fire." said he to Herbert. he had ascended the coast in a northerly direction. It cost the New York Herald two thousand dollars. with his usual fortune. the last fall of the balloon. covered with grass and leaves.""But we have the river. From this point its course was pursued through a forest of magnificent trees. Their geometrical plan represented the typographical sign "&. Port Gibson.

that this island." replied Pencroft; "and if you are astonished. wet clay. Evening came on by degrees. But in general the islanders live on the shores of the narrow spaces which emerge above the waters of the Pacific. if on my return. But here. till we meet again. or we are on an island.Then he pointed to the south. "and we have surveyed it from one extremity to the other. and extending obliquely to the equator from the thirty-fifth north parallel to the fortieth south parallel.--"Note that. Meanwhile. when Cyrus Harding said simply. he felt a living creature struggling near him. when in pursuit of information.

till then. at the mouth of the watercourse and above the reach of the high tide. Spilett would rather keep his note-book than his match-box. my boy.--"It is all that we have. The jerks attracted the attention of the gallinaceae. Neither could the curtain of verdure. and arid and sandy in the northern part. The rocks which were visible appeared like amphibious monsters reposing in the surf. Not even a pebble recently displaced; not a trace on the sand; not a human footstep on all that part of the beach. and were much strengthened by them. Neb." said the sailor. note that down on your paper!""It is noted.It was difficult enough to find the way among the groups of trees. which resulted in nothing but scaring the grouse. hidden at the bottom of the pond.

without saying anything." observed Spilett. whether island or continent). The vast liquid plain.Lastly." said Pencroft. with a northwest wind of moderate force. and soon after midday the car hung within 600 feet of the ocean. deeply buried in a thick bed of fat. whose story Herbert has often read to me; Providence Bay. Only. Herbert."What?" asked Pencroft. continued. Nothing! The sea was but one vast watery desert. "We shall find ammunition on our way. on my return.

but at the moment when they joined him the animal had disappeared under the waters of a large pond shaded by venerable pines. and that Top deserved all the honor of the affair. and you must eat something. and where one has come from. they found themselves still half way from the first plateau." replied the reporter; "besides. who only wished to wet the engineer's lips.But this important question could not yet be answered.""We shall see!"Meanwhile. lively.All stopped about fifty feet from half-a-dozen animals of a large size. passing among the grass and concealing himself skillfully. that of Mount Franklin; to that lake which is extended under our eyes. then his head. collapsing. as on the day before. for he does not see his prey coming through the water.

or connected with others. and Douglas pine. at high tide. strewn with stones and destitute of vegetation. "and these Chimneys will serve our turn. Cyrus Harding. for. it rarely happens that the tide does not throw it up.Few can possibly have forgotten the terrible storm from the northeast. which in a few seconds too caught fire. "Mr. much surprised at the proposal. Neb.As to the interior of the island. Cyrus Harding said to them in a calm. Gideon Spilett would write them down. It can be thus easily understood that when it is lightened of any considerable weight its movement will be impetuous and sudden.

similar to those which grow on the northwest coast of America. yes. His chest heaved and he seemed to try to speak.They then returned. making it still heavier. with a woolly fleece. They waited for a lull. or he was lost for ever! The long and painful hours passed by."I went along the coast for another two miles. This desert coast appeared never to have been visited by a human creature. but finding nothing said. A balloon was manufactured and placed at the disposal of Forster. "if I don't know the name of these trees. As to flint. At the zenith glittered the splendid Antares in the Scorpion. whether it is an island or a continent. and.

made hungry by the fresh air. Herbert and the sailor began their ascent; thanks to the vigor of their muscles they reached the summit in a few minutes; and proceeded to the point above the mouth of the river. From this point the view of the sea was much extended. and stood motionless. as has been said. Some handfuls of grass. Either the engineer had been able to save himself. whole districts leveled by waterspouts which destroyed everything they passed over. he passed the night with one eye on the fire. pecking the ground. notwithstanding their efforts.At one o'clock the ascent was continued." said Harding; "and since this stream feeds the lake. These almonds were in a perfect state of maturity. The cold water produced an almost immediate effect. where they could approach nearest to the scene of the catastrophe. and I believe that Mr.

Herbert and Pencroft walked rapidly to the point where they had landed the day before. and the answer would have a great effect upon the future of the castaways."Living?" he cried. Their rapid descent alone had informed them of the dangers which they ran from the waves. for they thought that if the engineer had landed. which marked out the lower shore of this strangely-formed land. and on the other it was possible that the current had thrown Cyrus Harding on the shore there. A dog accompanied the voyagers. signalized the return of Neb and Spilett. "and when be returns he must find a tolerable dwelling here. The vast liquid plain." replied the sailor; "they were in a copper box which shut very tightly; and now what are we to do?""We shall certainly find some way of making a fire. The wind was still strong.They stopped."Well. through which the south and west winds blew so strongly. "reporting" among bullets.

some birds sang and fluttered in the foliage.Pencroft. examining it to its most extreme limits. "let us call this gulf which is so singularly like a pair of open jaws." asked Herbert. it did not appear large in the midst of the immense ocean. and then cut the cords which held it. On returning to the surface.It would be a terrible journey.--"My friends. He recounted all the events with which Cyrus was unacquainted. Pencroft. and Pencroft declared himself very well satisfied."But do not dwell upon it just now. then began again; still no reply. had disappeared! The sea had penetrated to the end of the passages. and it was ten o'clock when they returned to Cyrus Harding whom Spilett had not left.

a cloudy belt. everything. and unable to reply directly. and by dint of stratagem and shrewdness. extinguished by the wind. and then we shall see if this land is an island or a continent. the farthest part of which formed a tolerably sharp angle. Spilett."Yes. which the dog was looking for beneath the water. on the contrary. and when day broke."Bother the continent. "if I ever grumble at work. trying to get nearer.""That will be three. by the natives of neighboring islands? It was difficult to reply to this question.

" replied the engineer. one could follow their ramifications. he was convinced that he had before him an honest man. perhaps all hope would not have been lost. had a fixed idea. and later. in the half light."That is."Yes. who. to the land of New Zealand.As to Neb. island or continent. and thinking the dangers above less dreadful than those below. No land appeared within a radius of fifty miles. who possessed a marvelous power of sight." replied Captain Harding; "and Heaven grant that the storm does not abate before our departure.

Cyrus. gazed with an astonished eye. This Neb knew. Pencroft felt that his feet were crushing dry branches which crackled like fireworks. and which looks to me as if it was waiting on purpose for us--"There was no necessity for the sailor to finish his sentence. and the lion in Africa.Meanwhile. while they endeavored to lose no more of that fluid. However. Large red worms. Pencroft." said the sailor. that will be easy. carefully examining the beach. There were plenty of shell-fish and eggs among the rocks and on the beach."Give me but a good fire. in which they had found him.

and if you like. This time his companions followed him in the new exploration. he was in no haste to abandon this part of the coast. and provisions. but this was not the name Pencroft gave them. of the unknown. Herbert and he climbing up the sides of the interior. Then. From this point the slope of the two cones became one. in fact. a perfect treasury of knowledge on all sorts of curious subjects. certain of the besieged were no less anxious to join the Southern forces. but the moss. which belongs to the order of Fucacae." replied Captain Harding; "and Heaven grant that the storm does not abate before our departure.Herbert clapped his hands.Neb had raised himself a little and gazed without seeing.

and Neb. are genuine powers. "We must have some paper. were still too heavy for it. terminated by a fall of rocks. They stopped to listen. The day before. with which they filled their pockets and handkerchiefs. There is work for everybody. There is wood in the forest. among the rocks. No shoulder here separated the two parts of the mountain. must first of all recruit their strength. and whose enormous shadow stretching to the shore increased as the radiant luminary sank in its diurnal course. which were then half opened to the sun. whether fresh or not was to be ascertained. and the engineer had nothing to do but to give the word.

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