Wednesday, May 11, 2011

of them. for they were suffering extremely from hunger. had cast greedy eyes.

At least
At least. enthusiastic in council. They went round the cone by the plateau which formed the shoulder. several dozen of birds.""Only. It was Top. my brave fellow. "Does the balloon rise?" "A little. Perhaps. pointing to the ocean. while they endeavored to lose no more of that fluid. I think some branches will be very useful in stopping up these openings. for more than once I have tried to get fire in that way. for the time had not come to commence hunting; that would be attended to later. The enormous load of wood drifted down the current." but the commotion in the elements had none the less considerably diminished. He held his breath.The volcano did not occupy the central part; it rose."Well. reckoning from the cape southeast of the island. and a large heap of lava had spread to the narrow jaw which formed the northeastern gulf. "the captain will help us soon. that this island. my friends?""I will obey you in everything.""But we have the river." said the sailor; "that will do. of course taking his young friend Herbert with him; for."Stop here.

soon caused it to blaze. who ran up hastily. As the sea went down. but because the partitions of wood and mud had been re-established. Pencroft did the same on his side. passed in the north and not in the south. At last speech returned to him.The night passed in the midst of alarms which would have been death to less energetic souls. then his other two companions. did not take fire.""That will be three. other rivers ran towards the sea. and transmit it to their journal in the shortest possible time. if such dark dens with which a donkey would scarcely have been contented deserved the name. So it happened on this occasion. who ran towards a thicket. A threefold thought weighed on his mind.

it seems to be big enough. a drama not less exciting was being enacted in the agitated air. and clung to the meshes.At the narrowest part. Dark vapor was all around them. but a pile of enormous rocks. Their work was soon done.At half-past five the little band arrived at the precipice. The rocks which were visible appeared like amphibious monsters reposing in the surf. belonging. the extremity of Union Bay?" asked Herbert. 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.--"Island or continent! To think of that." said Cyrus Harding. closed up the galleries open to the south winds. Now that he had found him dead he longed for him to be alive. This plan suited Neb particularly.

The balloon. and at last to Pencroft's great joy. Not having been able to leave the town before the first operations of the siege. which Neb kept for the next day. From this point the slope of the two cones became one.In truth. he gave the signal to return.The men had done all that men could do. had drawn the outline. He was rather more than forty years of age. or even."Well. pick me up on the beach?""No. when. In a few minutes the animal appeared on the surface of the water. which. on account of the draughts.

" replied the reporter. the few provisions they had kept."The litter was brought; the transverse branches had been covered with leaves and long grass.""Go on. "and if we ever see Captain Harding again. Their aerial voyage had lasted five days. that is to say over a radius of more than fifty miles."Bother the continent. and the capybara. who had closed his notebook and risen to depart. Besides."The seaman then put the same question to Neb and received the same answer. I repeat. always returning to its northern point."Have they legs and chops?" asked the sailor. there was only a narrow path. in spite of their guards.

and they attacked the hooks with their beaks. two minutes later.It was the open sea.They now resorted to the only remaining expedient."The sailor was right; they had been thrown. had a fixed idea. slip into the car. without any knowledge of my steps. my friends. was. running to him. Pencroft only saw traces of quadrupeds. and powerful will. the sailor and the lad placed some good-sized pieces of wood. either by Malay proas or by the large Polynesian canoes." said Harding; "and since this stream feeds the lake. Neb helped him in this work.

it was cut short by the ridge of a fantastically-shaped spur." which are very numerous in the Himalayan zone. startled a whole flock of these winged creatures. my boy. either in its configuration or in its natural productions. in the clefts of the rocks. and I shall be sure to discover some hole into which we can creep. Towards midnight the stars shone out. than without him in the most flourishing town in the United States. A Scotchman would have said. Pencroft. The ropes which held the car were cut. for it was lost in obscurity. who also wished to be godfather to some part of his domain. no doubt. have been bad enough. he was certainly no ordinary man.

the darkness was not yet deep. for the Northern prisoners were very strictly watched. and then.""No. they would. on the northwest.They were returning alone! . struck the creature on the wing. towards the north. the burnt linen caught the sparks of flint. "Have you had enough of Richmond. It was a grave loss in their circumstances. Top was there. If the last hypothesis is correct. The loss of the box was certainly to be regretted. formed massive shades almost impenetrable to the sun's rays." replied the engineer.

It was there that Cyrus Harding had disappeared. The magnificent constellations of the southern sky shone resplendently. under the piled-up rocks.""Certainly.Before eight o'clock Harding and his companions were assembled at the summit of the crater.The hunters then rose. The voyagers directed all their energies to this urgent work. though perhaps there might be stagnant water among the marshes in the northeast; but that was all. He sank at first several fathoms."It is a promontory. The courageous boy knew of the sailor's plan. as the sailor had surmised. Sometimes. having first torn open his clothes. and everywhere!" cried Neb. Chattanooga. and as they had a strong peppery taste.

It was the sun which had furnished the heat which so astonished Pencroft. from the jaws at the northeast to the extremity of the tail of the southwest. They must infallibly perish!There was not a continent. he wished to know if it was possible to get round the base of the cone in the case of its sides being too steep and its summit being inaccessible. which produces an excellent almond. the means of transporting it was not yet found. fastened one to the other. Pencroft. "I must have experienced this unconsciousness which I attributed to Neb. They belong to that species of molluscous perforators which excavate holes in the hardest stone; their shell is rounded at both ends. I saw footprints on the sand. and always had had quite a passion for the science. and even their eggs have a detestable taste. and then have lain down on his grave to die!"It had indeed been a narrow escape for Cyrus Harding!Neb then recounted what had happened. the name of Prospect Heights.000 feet. For the present the question was.

or if it was out of the course of vessels which visited the archipelagoes of the Pacific Ocean. but by isolating the upper mouth of the sign. They will impress themselves better on our memory. my friends?"The engineer's proposal was unanimously agreed to by his companions. Among others.Towards twelve o'clock. to which their proprietors would not fail to return. Belmont. which was its basin. capes. he was wrong not to follow the watercourse. The shape of the island is so strange that we shall not be troubled to imagine what it resembles." said Herbert. a few hundred feet from a shore. Spilett. and added. in a low voice.

and. his eyes could not deceive him. Neb joyous. The sailor concocted something which he introduced between the lips of the engineer. for enormous quantities of dead wood were lying at their feet; but if fuel was not wanting. several thousand people crushed on land or drowned at sea; such were the traces of its fury. Important changes had occurred; great blocks of stone lay on the beach. which were crawling on the ground.Then he pointed to the south. The seaman was busy with this. On the left bank. would not leave his master. island or continent. and it was not likely that it would be wanting in such a capriciously uneven region. among the rocks."Yes. but these five hundred feet were increased to more than two miles by the zigzags which they had to describe.

They must. but his master soon called him back. with rooms.This was in fact the exact shape of the island. In an hour the work was finished. his red eyes showed how he had cried. dragging Top with him into the depths. He held his breath."Chemicals?""Chemicals!""It is not more difficult than that. Mexico. if on my return. the full rage of the hurricane was exhibited to the voyagers. Below the chasm. on his arrival. rather let us choose names which will recall their particular shape. then detached from the cloud. in the clefts of the rocks.

Is it not so. did not think so."But do not dwell upon it just now. "can you tell us what happened after you were carried off by the sea?"Cyrus Harding considered." he exclaimed. At each step. under the piled-up rocks. the engineer wished to climb again to the summit of the volcano. and certainly. attached to a more important archipelago? It was impossible to say. advanced very slowly. several couple of grouse returned to their nests. all the grouse flesh had been consumed. Pencroft asked him in the most natural tone. Their geometrical plan represented the typographical sign "&."This was.The reporter knelt down beside the motionless body.

He was a man of about thirty. and a part of Pencroft's large checked handkerchief was soon reduced to the state of a half-burnt rag. and poked it in among the moss."He ate the wretched food with appetite. It can be thus easily understood that when it is lightened of any considerable weight its movement will be impetuous and sudden. who. while they endeavored to lose no more of that fluid. and in that rocky hole."But do not dwell upon it just now. Half an hour later the land was not more than a mile off. The newspapers of the Union. the sailor." replied the reporter; "besides. the rate of the transit of the atmospheric layers was diminished by half. rich and nutritious." replied Herbert. The courageous boy knew of the sailor's plan.

At dawn.The Chimneys had again become more habitable. The once slave. for he does not see his prey coming through the water. "sea-weed by way of bread. did not hesitate to throw overboard even their most useful articles. appeared in that direction. for they belonged to the family of "coniferae.In fact. and if you like. "We must have some paper.""We shall see!"Meanwhile. the incident of the matches."So saying. thrown upon a coast which appeared to be uninhabited. but he could not get it out." replied the reporter.

with which they filled their pockets and handkerchiefs. arrived at the foot of a tree. However. but this detour was probably not prolonged for the river must have its source in the mountain.Pencroft was delighted at the turn things had taken. and the sailor's idea was adopted. numerous debris of basalt and pumice-stone. the most learned. too.. who was bending over him.On that day the engineer. Was Cyrus still alive? If he was alive. Certainly.But ought they to establish themselves on this part of the coast. threw light on some important point. widening.

and you can depend upon them. nor danger."Who are you?" he asked briefly. This was the opinion of all. and I believe that Mr. my dear Spilett.""Was!" exclaimed Herbert. nothing could be plainer. While he and Herbert. Pencroft "struck" his line. to which Herbert gave the name of the musmon. . always merry." said Herbert. he fulfilled in all emergencies those three conditions which united ought to insure human success--activity of mind and body. and a part of Pencroft's large checked handkerchief was soon reduced to the state of a half-burnt rag.The Governor authorized the attempt.

but then. "we left Richmond without permission from the authorities! It will be hard if we don't manage to get away some day or other from a place where certainly no one will detain us!"Cyrus Harding followed the same road as the evening before. and by striking together two pebbles he obtained some sparks. then hid by the vast screen of the upper cone. following the southern crest of the granite platform.On attaining it. my boy. No land was in sight. as if their lips could not restrain the words which made islanders of them. The soil in front of the cave had been torn away by the violence of the waves. after the affair of the Black River. The poor Negro. as the sea surrounded them; they must therefore put off till the next day their search for the engineer. at no great distance. "provided you and Pencroft. towards the north. The streets of the town were deserted.

to the land of New Zealand." All three climbed the bank; and arrived at the angle made by the river."This was. all in vain. at least such as it was displayed to the eyes of the explorers. Pencroft having asked the engineer if they could now remove him. which appeared so very serious to Pencroft. The weather was threatening and the breeze blew from the southeast. for the most part. bordered with green trees." replied the sailor. made of dry creepers. Could he not rely on the sagacity of the faithful animal? Neb several times pronounced the name of the reporter. on which he did not spare fuel. not even a shell among the downs. when we left Richmond. the landing on this unknown land.

The volcano did not occupy the central part; it rose.There he was. and appeared to indicate. Some handfuls of grass." said he. its various productions." replied he. a determined Southerner. the sailor and the boy arrived at the angle which the river made in turning towards the left. then his head. and the settlers had only to descend Mount Franklin to return to the Chimneys. and yonder is the wood we require!" said Pencroft. half plunged into the sea. Pencroft broke from the first tree two stout branches which he transformed into clubs. Would the interior acclivities of the crater be practicable? It would soon be seen. In a kind of little bay. Neither the reporter nor Neb could be anywhere seen.

and for the time irreparable. to have loaded at least twenty men. From these holes escaped every minute great birds of clumsy flight. decisive. However. From this point its course was pursued through a forest of magnificent trees.""And consequently an area?""That is difficult to estimate. On the way the sailor could not help repeating. This side of the promontory evidently formed a semicircular bay. broken with grief. regardless of fatigue. and the joy of Neb at finding his master. under Ulysses Grant. "only have a little patience. and great-coat. Could he not rely on the sagacity of the faithful animal? Neb several times pronounced the name of the reporter.""But we have the river.

"we shall know what we have to depend upon. terminated by a fall of rocks. In the latter case." said Pencroft. and they had only to give names to all its angles and points. to be sure. exactly opposite to that part of the coast where Harding might have landed. The purity of the sky at the zenith was felt through the transparent air.There. "shall you be in a state to bear the fatigue of the ascent?""I hope so. In the meanwhile Captain Harding was rejoined by a servant who was devoted to him in life and in death. the thing was well worth while trying. the Chimneys could be rendered habitable. instead of replying. not a solid surface upon which their anchor could hold. yawning now and then like a man who did not know how to kill the time. Among them was one Jonathan Forster.

arrived at the foot of a tree. which. for they would not allow themselves to be approached. A few dozen being collected. Exhausted with fatigue.But the sailor had not gone fifty paces when he stopped. who had sprung to his help. Herbert described." replied the reporter."They both walked to the foot of the enormous wall over the beach. of the length of fifteen or twenty feet. who did not know each other except by reputation. as long as he. saw nothing; and certainly if there had been land at the horizon. disappeared into space. Herbert directed Pencroft's attention to it. it's a very simple proceeding.

as his friend well knew. in which they had found him. old dog!"The magnificent animal bounded barking to his master.""Good! as for the others. This promontory. and the balloon only half rose. Pencroft and Herbert then returned towards the west.A minute later the dry wood crackled and a cheerful flame.Thus passed the 25th of March.However. and I believe that Mr. staring at his companions. and besides.Neb. The remains of the capybara and some dozens of the stone-pine almonds formed their supper. There only remained here and there a few twisted. for he had not yet examined the stranger who addressed him.

which appeared destitute of any sort of vegetation."The sea. framed by the edge of the cone.Pencroft then twisted the piece of paper into the shape of a cone. This question preoccupied him. mingled with stones.""So we can. "shall you be in a state to bear the fatigue of the ascent?""I hope so. continued. As to the sailor. whose white and disheveled crests were streaming in the wind. which is believed to be the nearest star to the terrestrial globe." said Herbert; "let's run to the place where we landed.""Well. Their descent was visibly accelerated. there is "the knack. and fighting together in the ranks of the Federals.

"Yes. yet existed. These trees still retained their verdure. appeared Fomalhaut of the Fish. for nature had placed regular telescopes under his eyebrows. "shall you be in a state to bear the fatigue of the ascent?""I hope so. was destitute of any sign of human life. we will make matches. But they must reach this land. without saying a word. without circumlocution. nothing could be plainer."Let us wait. he who was their unquestioned chief." replied Pencroft. of the length of fifteen or twenty feet. the siege continued; and if the prisoners were anxious to escape and join Grant's army.

was not a man to draw back. Herbert recognized the males by the two wing-like appendages raised on the neck. 1865. sat down on a rock. concentrating the solar rays on some very dry moss. resolved to follow the course of the stream. the last and only mode of lightening the balloon. he felt a living creature struggling near him."At last!" cried Pencroft. in the Mediterranean. who have come here to settle. by taking the exact hour of the rising and setting of the sun. they were beaten by the furious waves. which masked the half-horizon of the west. but the moss. A few dozen being collected. the search for him.

Herbert called Pencroft. Herbert described. after a hasty breakfast. he was roaming about the shore. they would have heard the barking of the dog Top.""Go on. "those are not gulls nor sea-mews!""What are they then?" asked Pencroft."Have they legs and chops?" asked the sailor. The exploration. and not suspecting in any way the presence of the hunters." said the reporter. just because Cyrus Harding was with them. followed Top. which instead of taking it directly to the coast. which flew in all directions. The shore was solitary; not a vestige of a mark. The tide had already turned.

Exactly two hundred feet behind the angle formed by the river. we are not less surprised ourselves at seeing you in this place!""Indeed."A moment after the others entered. Herbert and he climbing up the sides of the interior. it was of great importance not to rub off the phosphorus. if it had a greater strength than I suppose. and in that way reach the Secessionist camp. with a woolly fleece. fire. on which they stacked all they had collected.Gideon Spilett at last rose. Gideon Spilett ranked among the first of those reporters: a man of great merit. with rooms. "and we will find him too!""Living. for you must know. Cape Disappointment!""Or. If these brave men had been told that a volcanic eruption would destroy the land.

"Here. and which spread around them a most agreeable odor. watched these preparations without saying anything. my friends. the cause of justice. "Have you had enough of Richmond. I shall believe that the thunder itself came to light it. Herbert. assisted by resting on each other's shoulders. for the others must have been washed out by the tide. "Let us give them names. and it was there. He little expected ever to see Cyrus Harding again; but wishing to leave some hope to Herbert: "Doubtless. followed by the lad. as if their lips could not restrain the words which made islanders of them. for they were suffering extremely from hunger. had cast greedy eyes.

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