Citation
Twenty thousand leagues under the sea

Material Information

Title:
Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
Series Title:
Every boy's library
Creator:
Verne, Jules, 1828-1905
George Routledge and Sons
Charles Dickens and Evans
Crystal Palace Press
Place of Publication:
London ;
New York
Publisher:
George Routledge and Sons
Manufacturer:
Charles Dickens and Evans ; Crystal Palace Press
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Edition:
Complete ed.
Physical Description:
253, 1, 256, 31, 1 p., 2 leaves of plates : ill. ; 18 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Submarines (Ships) -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Submarine captains -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Adventure and adventurers -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Death -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Sailors -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Whales -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Natural history -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Seafaring life -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Marine animals -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Egoism -- Juvenile fiction ( lcsh )
Fantasy literature -- 1876 ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1876 ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1876
Genre:
Fantasy literature ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues ( rbgenr )
novel ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
England -- London
United States -- New York -- New York
Target Audience:
juvenile ( marctarget )

Notes

Summary:
A nineteenth-century science fiction tale of an electric submarine, its eccentric captain, his prisoners, and an undersea world, which anticipated many of the scientific achievements of the twentieth century.
General Note:
Publisher's catalogue follows text.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Jules Verne ; translated by Henry Frith.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
This item is presumed to be in the public domain. The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions may require permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact The Department of Special and Area Studies Collections (special@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
Resource Identifier:
027005425 ( ALEPH )
ALH9757 ( NOTIS )
61250033 ( OCLC )

UFDC Membership

Aggregations:
University of Florida
Jules Verne

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Full Text
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630,090 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA.’—PART I,



TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES
UNDER THE SEA

BY

JULES VERNE

AUTHOR OF “THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN HATTERAS”
“ JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH”
ETC, ETC.

COMPLETE EDITION

TRANSLATED BY HENRY FRITH

LONDON AND NEW YORK
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS
1876



CHARLES DICKENS AND EVANS,
CRYSTAL PALACE PRESS,



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. PAGE
A movine Rock... wee ae a we we 5

CHAPTER II.
For AND AGAINST oe _ see tee tes we = «4

_ CHAPTER III.
‘«JusT AS MONSIEUR PLEASES” tee tee we we 22

CHAPTER IV.
NepD LAND aes a ae tee cs a ae = 29)

CHAPTER V.
“AT A VENTURE” te see wes tee a we = 38

CHAPTER VI.
FULL SPEED sae we tee tee oes wae ve = 46

CHAPTER VII.
AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE ... wee tee owe = «57

CHAPTER VIII.
MosBILis IN MOBILE... wee wes a Pa ws = 67

CHAPTER IX.

NED LAND’s ANGER... tee see a we = 78
CHAPTER X.

THE MAN OF THE SEA... tes wee tee tee ww. =—-87
CHAPTER XI. .

THE ‘ NAUTILUS” wee te tee tee we 99



CONTENTS.

/ CHAPTER XII.
ENTIRELY BY ELECTRICITY
CHAPTER XIII,
A FEW FIGURES ... wee wee os
CHAPTER XIV,

Tue BLACK RIVER

CHAPTER XV.
A NOTE oF INVITATION

CHAPTER XVI.
A WALK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA

CHAPTER XVII.
A SUBMARINE FOREST ...

CHAPTER XVIII.

Four THOUSAND LEAGUES BENEATH THE PACIFIC

CHAPTER XIX.
VANIKORO te

CHAPTER XX.
TORRES STRAIT ...

CHAPTER XXI.
SomE Days ‘‘ ASHORE”

CHAPTER XXII.
CarTaAIN NEMO’s LIGHTNING ...

CHAPTER XXIII,

7EGRI SOMNIA

CHAPTER XXIV,
THE REALMS OF CORAL

PAGE
109

118

126

140

180

158

167

178

191

202

217

231

243



TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES
UNDER THE SEA.

CHAPTER I.
A MOVING ROCK.

THE year 1866 was marked by a very strange event, an
inexplicable and unexplained phenomenon, which must
still be in the recollection of our readers.’ Without
mentioning rumours which agitated the population of
the sea-ports, and extended to the interior of various
countries, the maritime population were more particularly
exercised in their minds. Merchants, ship-owners, ship-
captains, skippers, and masters, both European and
American, officers of the Marines of both countries,
and, subsequently, the Governments of various States of
these continents, were deeply engrossed respecting this
phenomenon.

As a matter of fact, for some time many vessels had
encountered “an enormous thing,” long, spindle-shaped,
phosphorescent at times—very much larger and swifter
than a whale.



6 A MOVING ROCK.

The facts relating to this apparition, as recorded in
various “logs,” agreed sufficiently respecting the forma-
tion of the object—or being—in question, the unheard-of
celerity of its movements, its wonderful power of motion,
the peculiar life with which it seemed endowed. If it
were of the whale species, it exceeded in bulk all that
science had hitherto classified. Neither Cuvier, nor
Lacépede, nor Dumeril, nor M. de Quatrefages, had
admitted the existence of such a monster,

But to strike a medium of the observations made at
intervals, rejecting the timid estimates which pronounced
this object to be 200 feet long, and putting away the
exaggerated opinions which gave it a breadth of one
mile and a length of three, we may state, nevertheless,
that this extraordinary being exceeded anything hitherto
discovered by ichthyologists—supposing it ever existed.

Now if it existed, the fact could not be denied, and
with the instinct for the marvellous, indulged in by the
average brain of humanity, one can understand the effect
produced upon the world by this supernatural apparition.
It was quite impossible to treat it as a mere fable.

In fact, upon the zoth July, 1866, the steamer
Governor Higeinson, of the Calcutta and Burnach Steam
Navigation Company, had encountered this moving mass
five miles to the east of Australia. Captain Baker was
at first under the impression that he had met with an
unknown rock, and was preparing to take the bearings of
it, when two columns of water, impelled by this extra-
ordinary object, were spurted 150 feet into the air. So,
unless this rock were subject to the intermittent expan-
sions of a geyser, the Governor Higginson had in good
earnest encountered some aquatic mammifer hitherto un-



A MOVING ROCK. 7

known, which spurted through its blow-holes two columns
of water mixed with air and steam.

A similar occurrence was observed on the 23rd July
in the same year, in the Pacific Ocean, by the Christopher
Columbus of the West India and Pacific Steam Naviga-
tion Company. On this occasion the wonderful cetacean
must have moved from place to place with extreme
velocity, since the Governor Higginson and the Chrts-
topher Columbus had observed it at two places separate
more than seven hundred nautical leagues.

Fifteen days later, two thousand leagues from the
above latitude, the He/vetia, of the National Steamship
Company, and the Skannon, of the Royal Mail, sailing
between Europe and America, noticed the monster
respectively 42° 15’ N. lat., and 60° 35’ W. long., of the
meridian of Greenwich. In this simultaneous observa-
tion the minimum length of the mammifer was estimated
at 350 feet, for the Shannon and Helvetia were smaller
than it, inasmuch as they measured 300 feet only from
stem to stern. Now the very largest whales—those
which inhabit the neighbourhood of the Aleutian Islands,
Kulammak and Umgillick—have never exceeded 180
feet, even if they reached that length.

These reports arrived in quick succession. Further
observations made on board the Transatlantic “liner”
Pereive; a collision between the £tza of the Inman
Line and the monster ; an official report sent in by the
officers of the French frigate Za Mormandie; a very
serious report obtained by the Secretary of State from
Commodore Fitz-James of the Lord Clyde, stirred up
public curiosity. In a country possessing some sense of
humour the subject would have been treated as a joke,



8 A MOVING ROCK.

but in such grave and practical nations as England,
America, and Germany, people were very much exercised
in their minds.

In the large towns this monster became quite the
rage; they sung about it in the cafés, they derided it
in the newspapers, and joked upon it in the theatres.
The canards had now every opportunity to lay eggs of
every colour. One might have noticed in the papers
drawings and descriptions of all the terrible and
imaginary beings, from the white whale—the fearful Moby
Dick of the Arctic regions—to the immense Kraken, whose
tentacles were sufficient to grasp a ship of 500 tons and
drag it to the depths of the ocean. They reproduced
even the statements of ancient writers, the opinions of
Aristotle and Pliny, who admitted the existence of these
monsters; the Norwegian narratives of the Bishop
Pontopidan, the tales of Paul Heggede, and, finally, the
reports of Mr. Harrington, whose good faith no one
could impugn, when he declared he had seen, when on
board the Castl/an in 1857, that enormous serpent,
which up to that time had only infested the waters of
the ancient Constitutional.

Then there arose the interminable discussions
between the credulous and the incredulous amongst
scientific societies and publications. This “monster
question” inflamed their minds. Journalists who pro-
fessed themselves scientific in contradistinction to those
who professed to be intellectual, “slung ink” to a great
extent during this memorable campaign; some even shed
a few drops of blood, for the sea-serpent gave rise to
some very offensive personalities.

For six months this paper-war continued with varying



A MOVING ROCK. 9

success. To the leading articles of the Geographical
Institute of Brazil, of the Royal Academy of Sciences at
Berlin, of the British Association, of the Smithsonian
Institute at Washington, to the discussions in the “ Indian
Archipelago,” in the “Cosmos” of the Abbé Moigno, in the
“Mittheilungen ” of Petermann, in the scientific notices of
French and other journals, the comic papers replied with
unflagging energy, their lively writers parodying a speech
of Linnzeus, quoted by the opponents of the monster,
maintained in effect that Nature did not do foolish things,
and abjured their contemporaries not to give Nature the
lie by admitting the existence of krakens, sea-serpents,
“Moby Dick,” and other inventions of drunken sailors.
At length, in a very celebrated satirical journal, the
editor attacked the monster, gave him a last blow, and
conquered, amid universal laughter. Wit had vanquished
science.

During the first months of the year 1867 the question
remained in abeyance, and did not appear likely to crop
up again, when suddenly some new facts were brought
to the knowledge of the public. These did not take the
shape of a scientific problem which had to be solved,
but of an actual danger to be avoided. Thus the ques-
tion assumed a totally different aspect. The monster
was still an islet, a rock, a reef, but a moving rock,
indeterminable and unassailable.

On the 5th March, 1867, the Moravian, of the Mon-
treal Ocean Company, in 27° 30’ N, lat. 17° 52’ W. long.,
during the night struck, on the starboard quarter, a rock,
which no chart had ever laid down. Impelled by steam
and wind, the vessel was progressing at the rate of thir-
teen knots. Had the Moravian not been very stoutly



10 A MOVING ROCK.

built? she would have sprung a leak, and have gone to
the bottom with her 237 passengers and crew.

The accident happened at about 5 A.m., at daybreak.
The officers of the watch hurried to the stern of the ship.
They scanned the ocean with minuteness. They per-
ceived nothing except a strong eddy, which broke about
two cables’ length distant, as ifthe surface of the sea had
been violently disturbed. The bearings of the spot were
accurately taken, and the Moravian continued her
voyage apparently uninjured. Had she struck upon a
sunken rock or on some wreckage ? They could not tell,
but upon examination in dock it was discovered that a
portion of the keel had been carried away.

This occurrence, although sufficiently serious in itself,
would perhaps have been forgotten, like many others, if,
three weeks afterwards, it had not occurred again under
exactly similar conditions. Only, thanks to the nation-
ality of the ship, the victim of this system of running foul
of vessels, and to the reputation of the company to which
the ship belonged, the event created a great sensation.

No one can be ignorant of the name of Cunard, the
celebrated English shipowner. This gentleman founded
in 1840 a postal service between Liverpool and Halifax,
N.S., with three wooden vessels and engines of 400 horse-
power, and 1,162 tons measurement. Eight years after-
wards the fleet of the company had increased by four
ships of 650 horse-power and 1820 tons, and two years
later two other steamers of greater size were built. In
1853 the Cunard Company, which had again secured the
concession to carry the mails, added successively to its
fleet the Arabia, Persia, China, Scotia, Fava, Russia,
all vessels of the first-class, and the largest (except the



A MOVING ROCK. II

Great Eastern) that had ever crossed the ocean. Thus,
in 1867, the company possessed twelve ships, eight
paddle and four screw-steamers.

I give these details so that every one may appreciate
the importance of this company in maritime affairs. No
enterprise connected with transatlantic transport has been
conducted with such ability, or crowned with so great
success. For six-and-twenty years the Cunard “liners ”
had crossed the Atlantic, and had never missed a voyage,
had experienced no serious delays, nor even lost a man,
a letter, or a vessel. So passengers choose them still,
notwithstanding the great competition, as can be per-
ceived from an abstract from the official reports. Under
these circumstances it is not surprising that some excite-
ment should have been created when the news came
of an accident that had happened to one of the best
steamers,

On the 13th April, 1867, the sea was smooth, the wind
light, and the Scotéa was in 15° 12’ W. long. 45° 37’ N. lat.
She was steaming over thirteen knots. Her draught of
water was about six metres and a half, her displacement
6,680 cubic metres.

About four o’clock in the afternoon, while dinner was
proceeding in the saloon, a shock, but not a very great
one, was distinctly felt somewhere on the starboard
quarter abaft the paddles.

The Scotfa had not struck; it had been struck, and,
moreover, by some sharp or pointed thing, which con-
tused her. This “hulling” of the vessel was so gentle
that no one on board would have felt anxious had not
someone run upon the bridge and exclaimed, “ We are
sinking ! we are sinking !”



12 A MOVING ROCK.

Of course the passengers immediately took alarm, but
Captain Anderson soon reassured them. Indeed, the
danger could not be imminent, as the Scotia is divided
into seven water-tight compartments, and can put up
with a little leakage.

Captain Anderson descended at once into the hold.
He perceived that the fifth compartment had sprung a
leak, and the rate at which the water was pouring in
proved that the injury was of considerable extent. Very
fortunately the furnaces were not situated in this portion
of the ship, else they would have been quickly extin-
guished.

Captain Anderson stopped the Scotia, and sent one
of the sailors to examine the injury. He soon discovered
a large hole in the hull. Such damage could not be
trifled with, and the Scotva was put at half-speed for the
rest of the voyage. She was then 300 miles from Cape
Clear, and, after a delay of three days, which caused
great anxiety in Liverpool, she arrived in port.

The surveyors then set about their examination of
the Scoféa, which was dry-docked for the purpose. They
could scarcely believe their eyes. About six feet below
the water-line there was a regular rent, in the shape of
an isosceles triangle. The fissure in the iron plating
was perfectly even, and could not have been more neatly
done with a punch. It must have been caused by an
instrument of no common hardness, and after it had been
launched against the ship with such prodigious force as
to pierce an enormous hole in the iron, it had been
withdrawn by a retrograde movement almost incon-
ceivable.

This was the last occurrence which had so excited



A MOVING ROCK. 3

public curiosity. From that time all disasters at sea
which could not be accounted for were put to the credit
of the monster. ‘This fantastic animal bore the respon-
sibility of all shipwrecks—whose numbers are, alas ! con-
siderable—for out of the 3,000 vessels whose loss is
annually recorded, the number supposed to be lost,
because no intelligence concerning them has been re-
ceived, scarcely reaches 200. Now this was the
monster which, justly or unjustly, was accused of their
destruction ; and, thanks to him, the communication
between the continents became more and more dan-
gerous, and the public demanded that the ocean should
be cleared of this formidable cetacean.



CHAPTER II.
FOR AND AGAINST.

Wuite the events above described were taking place, I
was returning from a scientific expedition into the wiid
territory of Nebraska, U.S.A. In my position as assistant
professor to the Natural History Museum in Paris, the
French Government had nominated me to the expedition.
After six months passed in Nebraska, I arrived in New
York about the end of March, in charge of a valuable
collection. I had arranged to sail for France at the
beginning of May. In the meantime I was occupying
myself in classifying my mineral, botanical, and zoological
collections, when the accident happened to the Scof/a.

I was perfectly well acquainted with the topic of the
day: how could it be otherwise ?: I had read again and
again the European and American journals without being
any more enlightened. This mystery puzzled me. In
the impossibility to form an opinion, I drifted from one
extreme to the other. That there was something was an
undoubted fact, and the unbelieving were invited to put
their fingers into the side of the Scoffa. When I arrived
in New York the subject.was being freely discussed. The



FOR AND AGAINST. Ty

hypotheses of the floating island and the unassailable
rock, upheld by some minds, had been altogether aban-
doned. And indeed, unless this rock possessed a machine
in its interior, how could it move at such a tremendous
pace! The floating hull of some large wrecked vessel
was also set aside as untenable, and for the same reason,

There thus remained two possible solutions to the
question, which called into existence two distinct clans or
cliques—those who believed in a monster of enormous
size, on the other hand those who supported the idea
of a submarine vessel of a wonderful motive-power.

Now this last hypothesis, allowable after all, could not
be supported in face of the inquiry directed against it.
That any one person had such a mechanical power at his
disposal was scarcely likely. Where and when had he
manufactured it, and how had he kept the construction a
secret?

A Government only could have possession of such a
destructive machine, and in these disastrous days, when
everyone is bending his energies to multiply the effect of
offensive weapons, it was possible that one State might,
unknown to others, attempt such a formidable engine.
After chassepéts, torpedos—after torpedos, submarine
rams ; then—a reaction. At least, I hope so!

But the suggestion of an engine of war was dissi-
pated by the declarations of the various Governments.
As the question agitated was of public interest, since
inter-oceanic communication was being interrupted, the
statement of the Governments could not be called in
question. Moreover, how could the construction of such
a machine have escaped notice? To guard such a secret
under the circumstances would be a very difficult task



16 FOR AND AGAINST.

for an individual, and certainly impossible for a State,
whose acts are jealously watched by powerful rivals.

So, after inquiries had been instituted in England,
France, Russia, Prussia, Spain, Italy, America, and even
Turkey, the suggestion of a submarine monitor was
definitely rejected.

The monster appeared by fits and starts, in spite of
the incessant fire of jokes directed against it by the
comic press, and in this direction imagination went to
the most absurd lengths in fantastic ichthyology. On
my arrival at New York many people had done me the
honour to consult me upon the phenomenon in question.
I had already published in France a work in two
volumes quarto, entitled “The Mysteries of the Great
Ocean Depths.” This work, which was much relished
by the scientific world, dubbed me a specialist in this
somewhat obscure branch of natural history. My
opinion was asked. So long as I could deny the reality
of the occurrence I took refuge in absolute denial, but
soon, driven to the wall, I was obliged to explain cate-
gorically ; and “the Honourable Pierre Aronnax, Pro-
fessor at the Museum in Paris,” was formally called
upon by the ez York Herald to pronounce an opinion.

I complied with the request, because I was unable
to remain silent. I discussed the question in all its
bearings, politically and scientifically, and I give below
an extract from a well-digested article which I published
in the issue of the 30th April.

“ Thus,” said I, “after having examined one by one
the various hypotheses, all other suppositions being re-
jected, we must necessarily admit the existence of a
marine animal of great power.



FOR AND AGAINST. i7

“The profound depths of the ocean are entirely un-
known to us. Soundings have never reached to the
bottom. What goes on in these abysses? What beings
inhabit or can inhabit the regions twelve or fifteen miles
beneath the surface of the water? What is their organ-
isation? One can scarcely even conjecture.

“ Nevertheless, the solution of the problem which has
been submitted to me assumes this shape—

“Hither we are acquainted with all the varieties of
beings which inhabit our planet, or we are not.

“Tf we do not know them all, if Nature has still
secrets from us in ichthyology, nothing can be more
rational than to admit the existence of fishes or cetacea
of new species, or even new genera, of an essentially
primary organisation, which inhabit the beds of ocean
inaccessible to the sounding line, and which some acci-
dent, a fancy or caprice, if they will it, impels, at long
intervals, to the upper waters of the ocean.

“Tf on the contrary, we do know all living species,
we must, necessarily, seek for the animal in question
amongst the marine animals already catalogued, and in
this event, I am disposed to admit the existence of a
gigantic narwhal.

“The common narwhal or sea-unicorn often attains
a length of sixty feet. Five or ten times this extent
would give to this cetacean a force proportionate to its
size ; increase its offensive power, and you obtain the
animal you desire. It will have the proportions mentioned
by the officers of the SZaznon, the instrument needed for
the perforation of the Sofa, and the force necessary to
pierce the hull of a steamer. As a fact, the narwhal is
armed with an ivory sword, or halberd—as some natural:

VOL. I, B



18 FOR AND AGAINST.

ists have termed it. It is a tooth of the hardness of
steel. Some of these teeth have been discovered in the
bodies of whales, which the narwhal can attack with
success. They have also been extracted, and not with-
out labour, from the hulls of ships, which they have
pierced through and through, as a gimlet pierces a cask.
The Museum of the Faculty of Medicine in Paris con-
tains one of these weapons, two metres and a quarter in
length, and forty-eight centimetres broad at the base.

Well, then, suppose a weapon ten times as powerful,
and the animal ten times as great as the ordinary nar-
whal, let it rush through the water at the rate of twenty
miles an hour, multiply the mass by the velocity, and you
will obtain a resultant capable of producing the shock
required.

“So far as information can go, I am of opinion that
this monster is a sea-unicorn of colossal dimensions,
armed, not merely with a ‘halberd,’ but with a veritable
spur like an iron-clad or a ‘ram,’ possessing, at the
same time, a force and motive power in proportion.

“Thus I can explain this almost inexplicable pheno-
menon, unless there is really nothing at all—in spite of all
that has been seen, written, and felt—which is still
possible.”

These last words were rather weak on my part, but I
wished, up to a certain point, to shroud myself in my
dignity as a professor, and not to give the Americans
anything to ridicule, for they laugh well when they do
laugh. Ireserved a loophole for myself. In my heart
I admitted the existence of the monster.

@#My article was warmly criticised, and this gave it
popularity. It gained a number of adherents. The



FOR AND AGAINST, 19

solution it advanced also gave free scope to the imagina-
tion. The human mind is pleased with great concep-
tions and supernatural beings. Now the sea is precisely
the best vehicle for them, the sole medium where these
giants, compared to which terrestrial animals, elephants
or rhinoceros, are but dwarfs, can be produced and
developed. These ocean depths contain the largest
known species of mammalia, and perhaps contain mol-
luscs of unheard-of size, crustacea frightful to behold, such
as lobsters of 100 metres, and crabs weighing 200 tons !
Why not? Formerly terrestrial animals of the geological
epochs—the quadrupeds, apes, reptiles, and birds—were
all formed upon gigantic models. The Creator cast them
in a colossal mould, which time has by degrees reduced.
Why cannot the sea, which never changes, while the
earth is ever changing, still retain in its unknown depths
these immense specimens of the animal life of former
ages? Why cannot it hide within its bosom the last
varieties of this Titanic species, whose years are centuries,
and whose centuries thousands of years ?

But I must not indulge in unbecoming speculations.
A truce to these fancies, which time has shown me are
terrible realities. Irepeat the opinion then expressed of
the nature of the phenomenon, and the public admits,
without question, the existence of an enormous being
which has nothing in common with the fabulous sea-
serpents.

But if one party saw in this nothing but a scientific
problem to be solved, the others, more positive, above
all in England and America, were anxious to purge the
ocean of this redoubtable monster, so as to secure safety
in transatlantic communication. The commercial and

B2



20 FOR AND AGAINST.

trade journals took the matter up mainly with this view.
The Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, Lloyd’s List, The
Steamboat, The Maritime and Colonial Review, all the
papers devoted to the Insurance Companies, which
threatened to raise their premiums, were unanimous on
this point.

The opinion of the public being thus pronounced,
the United States took the initiative. ;

Preparations were made at New York for an expe-
dition destined to pursue this narwhal. A frigate of
great speed—the Abraham Lincoln—was fitted out for
sea at once. Commodore Farragut pushed forward the
armament of the ship rapidly.

At this very time, as always happens, when they had
determined to pursue the monster, the monster did not
turn up. For two months nothing was heard about it.
No vessel had fallen in with it. It seemed as if this
unicorn had some knowledge of the toils being spread
around it. Too much had been said about it, and by
means of the Atlantic cable too. So argued the funny
ones, who maintained that this “sly dog” had inter-
cepted some telegram, which he had turned to his own
advantage.

So there was the frigate supplied with material for a
lengthened cruise, and formidable apparatus for the
monster’s capture, and no one knew whither she must
sail, The general impatience was increased when, on
the 2nd of July, it was announced that a steamer of the
San Francisco and China line had seen the animal
three weeks before in the South Pacific Ocean.

gehe excitement caused by this intelligence was
intense. Commodore Farragut had not twenty-four



FOR AND AGAINST, 21

hours’ notice. His provisions were put on board. The
bunkers were filled with coal. Not aman of the crew
was missing. He had only to light the fires, get up
steam, and put to sea. People would not have tolerated
the delay of half a day. Besides, Commodore Farragut
was only too anxious to set out.

Three hours before the departure of the Abraham
Lincoln, I received a letter couched in the following
terms :—

MM, ARONNAX,
“ Professor of the Museum of Paris,
“ Fifth Avenue Hotel,
“ New York,
“ SIR,—

“Tf you wish to accompany the expedition on board
the Abraham Lincoln, the United States’ Government will
be pleased that France should be represented by you, in
this enterprise. Commodore Farragut will hold a cabin
at your disposal,

“Yours very truly,

“J. B. Hogson,
“Secretary to the Admiralty,”



CHAPTER III.
“ JUST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES !”

THREE seconds before the arrival of Mr. Hobson’s letter,
Ihad no more notion of going in search of the unicorn
than of attempting the North-West Passage. Three
seconds after I had read the Secretary’s letter, I quite
believed that my true vocation, my only aim in life, was
to hunt up this monster, and rid the world of him.

Meanwhile, I was about to undertake a trying journey,
with all its fatigue and absence of repose. I had been
wishing above everything to see my native land, my
friends, my little house in the Jardin des Plantes, my
cherished and valuable collections, once again. But now
nothing would stop me. I forgot all this—friends, col-
lections, and perils—and I accepted, without hesitation,
the offer of the American Government.

Moreover, I thought every track leads to Europe, and
the unicorn may be amiable enough to lead me to the
coast of France. This worthy animal would doubtless
permit himself to be taken in European waters, for my
especial benefit, and I did not wish to bring back less
than half a metre of his ivory halberd, for the Museum
of Natural History.



“FUST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES!” 23

But, meantime, it was necessary to search for this
narwhal in the North Pacific Ocean ; so to reach France,
I should probably have to go by way of the antipodes !

“ Conseil !” I cried peremptorily.

Conseil was my servant, a devoted fellow, who ac-
companied me in all my wanderings—a brave Fleming,
whom I like very much, and who serves me well; phleg-
matic by nature, regular on principle, zealous from habit,
taking life very easy, very handy and apt in all things,
and, his name notwithstanding, never giving advice, even
when he was of asked for it.

In consequence of associating with savants in our
little world in the Jardin des Plantes, Conseil had picked
up some information. I possessed in him a specialist
well up in the classification of natural history, who could
run, so to speak, like an acrobat up the ladder of branches,
groups, classes, sub-classes, orders, families, genus, sub-
genus, species, and varieties. But there his scientific
attainments stopped. To class was his wdtma thule, but
he knew nothing beyond that. Completely versed in the
theory of classification, but little in the practice, I do not
believe he could distinguish a cachalot from a whale.
Nevertheless, he was a brave and worthy fellow.

For the last ten years Conseil had followed me
whithersoever science had drawn me. He never com-
mented upon either the duration or the fatigue of a
journey. He had no objection to start for any country,
China or Congo it was all the same to him. He would
go to one or the other and ask no questions. Moreover,
he enjoyed excellent health, which set all illness at de-
fiance ; solid muscles, no nerves—not even the appear-
ance of nerves—I mean moral nerves, of course. He



24 “YUST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES!”

was thirty years of age, and his age was to his master’s
as fifteen to twenty, so I need not add that I was forty
years old. But Conseil had one fault. A strict formalist,
he never addressed me except in the third person—
enough to set your teeth on edge !

“ Conseil,” I repeated, as I began, with feverish hands,
to make preparations for departure. Certainly, I was
sure of this devoted fellow. In ordinary circumstances
I never asked him whether it would suit him or not to
accompany me in my travels ; but this time it was upon
an expedition which might be indefinitely prolonged,
and hazardous, in the pursuit of an animal capable of
crunching a frigate like a nutshell. There was need of
reflection in this, even for the most impassible man in
the world. What would Conseil say ?

“Conseil,” I cried, for the third time.

Conseil appeared.

“ Did Monsieur call ?” he asked as he entered.

“Ves, my lad. Get my things and your own ready.
We start in two hours.”

“Just as Monsieur pleases,” replied Conseil calmly.

“There is not an instant to lose. Pack up my trunk
quickly.”

“ And Monsieur’s collections ?” asked Conseil.

“We will see about those later.”

“What! the archiotherium, the hyracotherium, the
oreodons, the cheropotamus, and the other specimens ?”

“The hotel people will take care of them.”

“ And the babiroussa ?”

“They will keep it during our absence. Besides, I
will leave orders to forward our menagerie to France.

“ We are not returning to Paris, then?” said Conseil.



“¢UST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES!” 25

“ Well—yes—certainly,” I replied evasively ; “but
we shall take a little round.”

“ Any defour that Monsieur pleases.”

“Oh! that will not be of much consequence. By a
less direct route, that’s all. We shall sail in the Abraham
Lincoln.”

“As may be most convenient to Monsieur,” replied
Conseil quickly.

“Vou are aware, my friend, of the question about
this monster—this narwhal. We are about to purge the
sea of him. The author of a work in quarto, and in two
volumes, upon the “Mysteries of the Great Ocean Depths,”
cannot give up the idea of embarking with Commodore
Farragut. A glorious enterprise, but dangerous. One
cannot tell where they may go. These animals are very
capricious ; but we shall go all the same. We have a
commander who has no fear.”

“If Monsieur goes, I will go,” replied Conseil.

“ But mark well, for I have no wish to hide anything.
This is one of the journeys from which one cannot always
return.”

“ Just as Monsieur pleases.”

A quarter of an hour afterwards our trunks were
ready. Conseil had done everything, and I was sure
nothing was forgotten, for this fellow could classify
shirts and coats as well as birds and beasts.

The hotel “lift” deposited us in the great vestibule
of the entresol, I descended to the hall, paid my bill,
and gave directions to have my various collections of
plants and animals forwarded to Paris. I opened a
credit for the babiroussa, and, followed by Conseil,
jumped into a carriage.



26 “FUST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES!”

The fly, at twenty francs the course, descended
Broadway as far as Union Square, proceeded along
Fourth Avenue to its junction with Bowery Street,
entered Katrin Street, and stopped at the thirty-fourth
pier. There the Katrin ferry took us all over—men,
horses, and carriage, to Brooklyn, the great suburb of
New York, situated npon the left bank of the river ; and
in a few minutes we reached the quay, close to which the
Abraham Lincoln was vomiting huge volumes of black
smoke from her two funnels.

Our baggage was immediately put on board. I
hurried after it, and asked to see the commodore. One
of the sailors conducted me up to the poop, where I
found myself in the presence of an officer of pleasant
appearance, who offered me his hand.

“ Monsieur Pierre Aronnax ?” said he. a

“The same,” said I. “ Have I the pleasure to address
Commodore Farragut ?”

“Yes, in person. You are welcome, sir, and your
cabin is prepared.”

I saluted him, and leaving the commodore to his
duties, I descended to the cabin destined for my re-
ception.

The Abraham Lincoln had been well selected and
fitted out for its novel enterprise. She was a quick
sailer, fitted with superheating apparatus, which permitted
the expansion of the steam to seven atmospheres. With
such a pressure, the Abraham Lincoln attained an average
speed of eighteen miles and a quarter an hour, a very
considerable speed, too, but not sufficient to cope with
the gigantic cetacean.

The interior arrangements of the frigate were in keep-



“FUST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES !” 27

ing with her sea-going qualities. I was much pleased
with my cabin, situated at the stern, opening to the ward-
room.

“We shall be very comfortable here,” said I to
Conseil.

“Very much so, indeed, if Monsieur is not displeased
to live like a hermit crab in a whelk-shell.”

I left Conseil to arrange the cabin, and ascended to
the deck to investigate the preparations for getting under
weigh. At this moment Commodore Farragut gave orders
to “let go,” so, had I been a quarter of an hour later, I
should have been left behind, and missed this extra-
ordinary and improbable expedition, of which this truth-
ful narrative may perhaps contain some incredible state-
ments,

But Commodore Farragut did not wish to lose an hour
in searching the seas in which the animal was reported
to be found. He sent for the engineer.

“Ts steam up?” he asked.

“ Yes, sir,” replied the engineer.

“ Go ahead, then,” said the commodore.

At this order, which was conveyed to the engine-
room by a speaking tube, the engineers started the engines.
The steam hissed into the cylinders, the long pistons set
the connecting-rods of the shaft in motion. The blades
of the screw beat the waves with increasing rapidity, and
the Abraham Lincoln advanced majestically in the midst
of a crowd of ferry boats and tenders, filled with spec-
tators, which composed the procession,

The quays of New York and Brooklyn, bordering the
East river, were crowded with the curious. Three cheers
were given by half a million throats. Thousands ot



28 6FUST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES t”

handkerchiefs were waved in salute to the frigate, until
she reached the Hudson, at the point of the long penin-
sula on which stands the town of New York.

The frigate coasting the New Jersey side, on which so
many pleasant villas are erected, passed the forts, which
saluted. The Abraham Lincoln replied, dipping and
hoisting the American flag three times, whose thirty-nine
stars shone at the peak; then slackened speed, so as to
make the buoyed channel which leads into the inner bay,
formed by the point of Sandy Hook, where many thou-
sands of spectators gave the frigate a parting cheer,

The procession of boats still followed the Abraham
Lincoln, and did not quit her until they reached the light-
ship at the entrance of the channel.

It was then three o’clock. The pilot got into his
boat and was pulled on board his little schooner, which
lay hove-to awaiting him. The frigate’s fires were coaled
up, the screw revolved quicker than before, the frigate
passed the yellow low coast of Long Island, and at eight
o’clock P.M., having lost sight of Fire Island, she pro-
ceeded at full speed across the Atlantic.



CHAPTER IV.
NED LAND.

ComMoDORE Farracut was a good sailor, and worthy
of the frigate he commanded. His ship and he were
one. He was the soul of it. On the question of cetaceans
he entertained no doubt. He would not permit any
discussion respecting it. He believed in it as some
good women believe in Leviathan, by faith, not by reason.
The monster was in existence, and he had sworn to rid
the seas of him. He was a sort of Knight of Rhodes ;
a Dieudonné de Gozon, marching to encounter the ser-
pent that was devastating his island. Either Farragut
must kill the narwhal or the narwhal would kill Farragut.
There was no compromising the matter.

The officers were of the same opinion as their com-
mander. One could hear them speak, discuss, dispute,
and calculate the various chances of an encounter, as
they scanned the ocean expanse. More than one im-
posed a voluntary watch upon himself, and ascended to
the fore-topmast cross-trees, which under other circum-
siances would have been voted an awful bore. So soon
as the sun got hot, the masty were ascended by sailors,



30 NED LAND.

to whose feet the planks of the deck were too warm.
Meanwhile, the Abraham Lincoln had not yet entered
upon the suspected waters of the Pacific.

As for the ship’s company, they asked for nothing
better than a meeting with the unicorn, to harpoon him,
hoist him on board, and to cut him up. They watched
the sea with scrupulous attention. Moreover, Com-
modore Farragut had spoken of a certain sum of $2,000,
reserved for whosoever he be, ship-boy or able seaman,
master or officers, who should first signal the animal. So
I leave you to imagine whether they used their eyes on
board the Abraham Lincoln.

For my own part, I was not behind-hand with the
others, and delegated to no one my part of the daily
observations. The frigate might, with much reason,
have been called Argus. Only amongst them all Conseil
protested by his indifference on the question which
absorbed us, and was somewhat a “damper” of the
general enthusiasm on board.

I have already mentioned that Commodore Farragut
had carefully provided proper apparatus to catch this
enormous cetacean. A whaling ship could not have
been better armed. We possessed all known weapons,
from the simple hand-harpoon to the barbed arrows fired
from a blunderbuss, and the explosive bullets of the duck
gun. On the forecastle was trained the latest pattern of
breech-loading cannon, of great thickness and accuracy,
the model of which was in the Exhibition of 1867. This
valuable weapon of American construction could carry
with ease a conical shot, weighing four kilogrammes, to a
distance of sixteen kilometres.

Thus no means of destruction were wanting on board



NED LAND. 31

the frigate. But there was better than this still. There
was Ned Land, the king of harpooners,

Ned Land was a Canadian of almost incredible sleight
of hand, and unrivalled in his perilous profession. Skill
and coolness, bravery and tact, he possessed in a very
high degree, and it must, indeed, be a very malignant
whale, or a very astute cachalot, that could escape from
his harpoon. j

Ned Land was about forty. He was of large frame,
and over six feet high, strongly built, grave, silent, some-
times passionate, and very angry when contradicted. He
attracted attention by his appearance, and chiefly by the
steadiness of his gaze, which gave a singular expressive-
ness to his countenance. I believe that Commodore
Farragut had wisely engaged this man. He was worth
the whole crew for steadiness of eye and hand. I can
only compare him to a powerful telescope, which could
be immediately used as a loaded cannon.

A Canadian is a Frenchman, and little communica-
tive as Ned Land was, I think he conceived a certain
liking forme. My nationality attracted him, no doubt.
It was an opportunity for him to speak, and for me to
listen to the old language of Rabelais, which is still in use
in some parts of Canada. The family of the harpooner
were originally from Quebec, and had already grown into
a tribe of hardy fishermen when that town belonged to
France.

By degrees Ned got to like a chat, and I was glad to
hear the recitals of his adventures in the Arctic seas,
He recounted his fishing exploits and his combats with
much natural poetry of expression. His narratives
assumed the epic form, and I could fancy I was listening



32 NED LAND,

to some Canadian Homer chanting an Iliad of the Arctic
regions. I am now describing this hardy companion as
IT actually knew him. We have become quite old friends,
united by the unalterable band of friendship, which is
born of and cemented by the most terrible experiences
in common. Ah, brave Ned, I only ask to live a hun-
dred years so as to think the longer of you!

And now what was Ned Land’s opinion respecting
this marine monster? I should state that he scarcely
credited the unicorn theory, and was the only one on
board who did not share in the general conviction. He
even avoided the subject, upon which I thought he ought
to have entered some day.

One lovely evening, the 30th July, that is to say,
three weeks after our departure, the frigate was about
thirty miles to windward of Cape Blanco, on the coast of
Patagonia. We had passed the tropic of Capricorn, and
the straits of Magellan were scarcely 700 miles to the
south. Before eight days had passed the Abraham Lin-
coln would be ploughing the waters of the Pacific.

Sitting on the poop, Ned Land and I were chatting
of various things, watching that mysterious sea whose
depths are still inaccessible to human research. I led
the conversation up to the subject of the gigantic
unicorn, and treated of the chances of success or failure
of our expedition. Then perceiving that Ned permitted
me to speak without replying, I put the direct ques-
tion:

“ How is it, Ned, that you cannot be convinced of
the existence of this cetacean we are pursuing? Have
you any particular reasons for being go incredu-
lous 2?”



NED LAND. 33

The harpooner looked at me for some seconds before
he replied, then striking his forehead with a gesture
habitual to him and closing his eyes, as if to collect his
thoughts, he said at last, “Perhaps I have, M.
Aronnax !”

“Why, Ned! a man like you, a ‘whaler’ by pro-
fession, and familiar as. you are with all such marine
animals—you, whose imagination can easily entertain
the hypothesis of an enormous cetacean—you ought to
be the very last person to harbour a doubt under such
circumstances.”

“It’s just there where you make the mistake, sir,”
replied Ned. That common people may believe in
wonderful comets, or in the existence of antediluvian
monsters inhabiting the centre of the earth, is not sur-
prising ; but neither the astronomer nor the geologist
will admit such a theory. In the same way the whaler.
I have hunted hundreds of cetaceans, harpooned
quantities of them, killed them by dozens ; but powerful
and armed as they were, neither their tails nor their
tusks were able to pierce or damage the hull of an
iron steamer.”

‘But, Ned, there have been cases in which the tooth
of the narwhal has pierced ships through.”

“Wooden ships, perhaps,” replied the Canadian.
“All the same, I have never seen any. But, on the
contrary, I deny that whales, cachalots, or narwhals can
produce such an effect.”

Just listen to me, Ned.”

“No, sir, no. Anything you like, except that. A
gigantic polypus, for instance.”

“Still less. The polypus is only a mollusc ; and the

VoL. L c



34 NED LAND.

name of it even indicates the consistency ‘of its flesh.
Is it 500 feet long ever? Why, the polypus does not
belong to the branch of vertebrates, and is perfectly
harmless towards such vessels as the Scofva and the
Abraham Lincoln. We may, then, relegate to the land
of fables all tales of the exploits of krakens and other
monsters of like nature.”

“Then, sir,” said Ned, in a bantering tone, “ you
admit the existence of an enormous cetacean?”

“Ves, Ned; I repeat it with a conviction founded
upon the logic of facts. I believe in the existence of a
mammifer of a powerful organisation, belonging to the
vertebrate animals, like whales, cachalots, and dolphins,
and furnished with a horny defence, whose power of
penetration is very great.”

“Tum,” replied the harpooner, nodding his head
with the air of a man unwilling to be convinced.

“ Just consider, my worthy Canadian,” I replied, “that
if such an animal exist, if it inhabit the depths of
the ocean, if it live some miles below the surface, it
necessarily possesses an organism defying all com-
parison.”

“And why should it have such a powerful
organism ?”

“Because it must possess a tremendous strength to
enable it to live so far below the surface and resist the
pressure of the water.”

“ Really ?” inquired Ned, with a wink.

“Certainly; and figures can easily demonstrate it.”

“Oh, figures !” cried Ned. “One can do anything
with figures !”

“In business, Ned, but not in mathematics, Listen.



NED LAND. 35

Granting that the pressure of the atmosphere may be
represented by the pressure of a column of water thirty-
two feet high. In reality the column of water would be
of less height, since it would be sea-water, whose density
is superior to that of fresh-water. Well, when you dive,
‘Ned, so long as you have thirty-two feet of water above
you your body is supporting a pressure equal to that of
the atmosphere, that is to say a kilogramme for each
square centimetre of surface. It follows that at 320 feet
this pressure would be equal to ro atmospheres, and to
1oo atmospheres at 3,200 feet, and 1,000 atmospheres at
32,000 feet, which is about two and a half leagues.
This is equivalent to saying that if you could reach this
depth, each square centimetre of your body would bear
a pressure of 1,000 kilogrammes. Now, my brave Ned,
do you know how many square centimetres of surface
there are in your body ?”

“T cannot tell, M. Aronnax.”

© About 17,000.”

“So many as that?”

“ And as, in fact, the atmospheric pressure is a little
greater than one kilogramme to a square centimetre
your 17,000 square centimetres are at this moment sup-
porting a pressure of 17,568 kilogrammes (97,500 lbs.).

“Without my being sensible of it?”

“ Without your being sensible of it. And, if you are
not crushed by this pressure, it is because the air enters
the body with an equal force. So the inward and out
ward pressure are equal, and neutralise each other, and
you can support it without inconvenience. But in the
water it is a different thing.” ,

“Yes, I understand,” replied Ned, who was now

c2



36 NED LAND.

very attentive, “because the water surrounds me, and
does not enter the body.”

“ Precisely, Ned; so at thirty-two feet below the
surface of the sea you would be subject to a pressure of
17,568 kilogrammes ; at 320 feet ten times that pressure,
that is to say, 175,680 kilogrammes ; at 3,200 feet 100
times that pressure, viz., 1,756,800 kilogrammes; at
32,000 feet at least 1,000 times that pressure, viz.,
17,568,000 kilogrammes. In other words, you would
be flattened out as if you had been under a hydraulic
press.”

“The devil !” exclaimed Ned.

“So, my worthy harpooner, if vertebrates, many
hundred metres long and large in proportion, live at such
depths, and whose surface is represented by millions of
centimetres, we must estimate the pressure to which they
are subject by thousands of millions of kilogrammes.
Calculate now what the strength of their bony structures
and organism must be to enable them to resist such
pressure.”

“They must be like ironclad frigates,” replied
Ned.

“ Just so, Ned ; and now think of the damage such a
mass could do, if, going at express speed, it encountered
the hull of a ship.”

“ Well — yes — perhaps,” replied the Canadian,
staggered by these figures, but unwilling to yield to
them.

“Well, are you convinced ?”

“You have convinced me of one thing, sir, and that
is that if such animals live at the bottom of the sea, they
must necessarily be as strong as you state.”



NED LAND. 37

“ But if they do not exist, how can you explain the
accident to the Scotia ?”

“ Perhaps ” began Ned.

“ Well, go on.”

“Because it is not true,” replied the Canadian,
imitating unconsciously a celebrated reply of-Arago.

But this reply only proved the harpooner’s obstinacy
—nothing more. I said no more upon that occasion.
The accident to the Scofta was undeniable. The hole
existed, and it had to be stopped up, and I do not think
that the existence of any hole could be more con-
clusively demonstrated. Now as the hole did not get
there of its own accord, and since it had not been pro-
duced by rocks or submarine engines, it must have been
caused by some animal.

Now, according to my view, and for reasons already
given, this animal belonged to the vertebrate branch,
class mammalia, group pisciform, and to the order of
cetacea. It was of the whale family (or of the cachalots
or dolphins), its genus and species was a matter for later
decision. To decide this it must be dissected ; to dissect
it, it must first be caught; to catch it we must have the
harpooner—that was Ned Jand’s business; the har-
pooner must see it, which was the ship’s affair; and to
see it, it must first be in sight, which was a matter of
chance |





CHAPTER V.
“aT A VENTURE.”

TuE voyage of the Abraham Lincoln was not marked by
any particular incident for some time. Nevertheless, a
circumstance occurred which brought out the wonderful
skill of Ned Land, and showed what confidence might
be reposed in him.

On the 3oth June the frigate communicated with
some American whalers, and we learnt that they had
seen nothing of the narwhal. But the captain of one
vessel, the AZonroe, hearing that Ned Land was on board
the Abraham Lincoln, asked for his assistance in chasing
a whale then in sight. The commodore, wishing to see
Ned Land at work, gave him leave to go on board the
Monroe. Chance favoured the Canadian, who, instead of
one whale, harpooned two, “right and left,” striking one
to the heart, and taking possession of the other after a
chase of some minutes. Certainly, if the monster should
ever come into contact with Ned Land, it would be very
bad for the monster.

The frigate ran along the south-east coast of America
at a rapid rate. On the 3rd July we opened up the



“AT A VENTURE” 39

Straits of Magellan near Virgin Cape. But the com-
modore did not wish to enter upon this winding passage,
so we directed our course round Cape Horn.

The crew thought him right. Was it at all likely
that the narwhal would be encountered in the sinuous
strait? A number of the sailors declared that the
monster was too big to pass it.

Upon the afternoon of July 6th the Abraham Lincoln
doubled the solitary island—that isolated rock at the
extremity of the American continent named Horn by
the Dutch sailors who discovered it, in compliment to
their native town. The course now lay N.W., and next
day the frigate’s screw beat the waves of the Pacific
Ocean.

“ Keep your eyes open now,” cried the sailors to each
other. And they did very considerably.

Eyes and telescopes—somewhat dazzled, it is true,
by the prospect of the $2,coo—rested not a minute.
Day and night the ocean was scanned, and those who
had night-glasses, whose facilities of seeing increased their
opportunities fifty per cent, had a good chance of
gaining the reward.

For myself, though the money was no: attraction, I
was not the least attentive of those on board. Giving
but a few minutes to meals or repose, careless of the
sun or wind, I scarcely quitted the deck. Sometimes
perched in the nettings on the forecastle, sometimes on
the poop-rail, I watched with anxious eyes the creamy
wake of the frigate. And often have I partaken of the
emotions of the officers and crew when some capricious
whale elevated his black back above the surface of the
waves. The deck of the frigate was crowded in an



40 “AT A VENTURE”

instant, officers and men came “tumbling up” from
below, panting for breath, with restless eyes watched the
course of the cetacean. I looked also, and became
nearly blind over it, while Conseil, always so paleren
would say calmly :

“If Monsicur would have the goodness to open his
eyes a little less widely he would see very much
better.”

But all this excitement was to no purpose. The
Abraham Lincoln would change her course and approach
the animal signalled at the time, a whale or cachalot,
which soon disappeared in the midst of a volley of
curses.

Meantime the weather continued favourable, and the
voyage was proceeding under pleasant circumstances. It
was then the winter season, for July in those latitudes
corresponds to our January in Europe, but the sea re.
mained calm, and could be observed for miles in every
direction.

Ned Land still remained incredulous. He would. not
even pretend to examine the sea, save during his watch,
except when a whale turned up; and, nevertheless, his
wide range of vision would have rendered great service.
But eight hours out of twelve this peculiar fellow was
either reading or sleeping in his cabin. A hundred times
I have expostulated with him.

“ Bah,” he would reply, ‘there is nothing at all, M.
Aronnax, and if there were some animal what chance
have we of seeing it? Are we not cruising at random ?
People have, they say, seen this now invisible beast in
the Pacific ; I admit it, but two months have passed since
then, and your narwhal does not care to remain long in



“AT A VENTURE.” 41

the same neighbourhood. It is gifted with great speed.
Now you know as well as I, monsieur, that nature would
not have bestowed this attribute of speed upon the animal
were it not for some useful purpose ; so if the beast exist,
he is far away from here by this time.”

I had no reply to this. Evidently we were groping
in the dark, but how else were we to proceed? So our
chances of success were limited. However, no one
despaired of ultimate success, and not a sailor on board
had bet against the narwhal and his next appearance.

We crossed the tropic of Cancer in the 105° of longi-
tude on the zoth July, and on the 27th of the same
month we passed the equator on the 11o° meridian.
The frigate now directed her course towards the west,
into the centre of the Pacific. Commodore Farragut
thought, and with reason, that the monster would most
likely frequent the deep waters at a distance from any
land, which it feared to approach, “without doubt
because there was not suffiicient water for it,” as the
master remarked. The frigate passed by the Marquesas
and the Sandwich Islands, crossed the tropic of Cancer
at 132° longitude, and sailed towards the China
seas.

We had at last reached the scene of the monster's
latest gambols, and as a matter of fact, we lived for
nothing else. Our hearts palpitated fearfully, and laid
the foundation of future aneurism. The whole ship’s
company were suffering from a nervous excitement, of
which I can give no idea. No one ate, no one slept.
Twenty times a day a mistake or an optical delusion of
some sailor perched upon the yards, gave rise to intoler-
able startings and emotions, twenty times repeated, which



42 “AT A VENTURE.”

kept us in a state of “jumpiness,” too violent not to
bring upon us a reaction at no distant date.

And the reaction did not fail to setin. For three
months—three months of which every day seemed a cen-
tury—the Abraham Lincoln traversed the South Pacific,
running up when a whale was signalled, making sudden
turns, going first on one tack then on the other, stopping
suddenly, “ backing and filling,” or reversing, and going
ahead, in a manner calculated to put the engine altogether
out of gear; and thus did not leave a point unexplored
on the American side of the Japanese coast. And
nothing—nothing after all was to be seen but the watery
waste. No sign of a gigantic narwhal, nor a moving rock,
nor of anything at all out of the common.

The reaction came. Discouragement seized upon all,
and incredulity began to appear. A new feeling arose on
board, which was composed of three-tenths shame and
seven-tenths anger. They all felt very foolish, but were
much more annoyed at having been taken in by a chimera,
The mountains of argument which had been piled up for
a year, crumbled away at once, and no one had any
thought, except to make up for lost time, in the matters
of food and sleep.

With the natural fickleness of the human mind, they
went from one extreme to the other. The warmest
adherents of the enterprise became, as a matter of course,
the most ardent detractors. Reaction set in from the
lowest ranks to the highest, and certainly, had it not been
for the firmness of Commodore Farragut, the frigate’s
head would have been put to the south again.

However, this uscless search could not go on for ever.
The Abraham Lincoln had nothing to reproach itself with,



“AT A VENTURE” 43

it had done its utmost to insure success. Never had ship
or crew shown more patience or determination, the non-
success could not be laid to their charge. Nothing now
remained but to return home.

A representation to this effect was addressed to the
Commodore. He was firm. The sailors did not conceal
their disappointment, and the service was suffering accord-
ingly. I do not mean to insinuate that there was a
mutiny, but after a reasonable period, Farragut, like
another Columbus, demanded three days more. If
during that time the monster did not appear, the helms-
man should have orders to put the ship about for American
waters.

This promise was made upon the znd November.
The result was to re-animate the failing courage of the
crew. The ocean was scanned with fresh zeal. Every-
one wished to give a last look in which memory might
be summed up. Telescopes were used with a feverish
activity. This was the last defiance hurled at the giant
narwhal, and he could not in reason decline to reply to
the challenge to appear.

Two days had passed. The Abraham Lincoln cruised
about at half-speed. They employed a thousand means
to awake the attention or to stimulate the apathy of the
animal, in the hope that he was in the neighbourhood.
Enormous quantities of lard were thrown over the stern,
to the great satisfaction of the sharks, I may add. The
boats pulled in all directions round the frigate, while she
was hove-to, and did not leave any part unexplored.
But the evening of the 4th of November arrived and
nothing had been heard of the submarine mystery. On
the following day, at noon, the three days’ grace would



44 “AT A VENTURE”

expire. After that, Commodore Farragut, faithful to his
promise, would give the order to “’bout ship,” and
abandon the Southern Pacific Ocean.

The frigate was then 32° 15’ N. lat. and 136° 42’
E. long. Japan was 200 miles to windward. Night
came on. Eight bells was struck. Heavy clouds veiled
the moon, then in her first quarter. The sea was calm,
and rose and fell with a gentle swelling motion. At this
time I was forward, leaning on the starboard nettings.
Conseil, close to me, was looking ahead. The ship’s
company, perched in the shrouds, were scanning the
horizon, which was darkened, and then lighted up
occasionally. The officers, with their night glasses,
peered into the increasing obscurity. At times the
dark sea scintillated under the moon’s rays, which darted
between the clouds: then all luminous effects would be
again lost in the darkness.

Observing Conseil I fancied that he was yielding to
the general influence. Perhaps, and for the first time,
his nerves were moved by a sentiment of curiosity.

“Well, Conseil,” said I; “here is our last opportunity
to pocket $2,000.”

“ Monsieur must permit me to say that I have never
counted upon winning this reward ; and the Government
of the Union might have promised $100,000 without
being any the poorer.”

“Vou are right, Conseil, this is a foolish business
after all, and into which we rushed too hurriedly. What
time has been lost! What useless worry! We might
have been in France six months ago.”

“In Monsicur’s little apartment,” replied Conseil,
“in the museym. And I should have already classified



“AT A VENTURE? 48

the fossils, and the babiroussa would have been installed
in his cage in the Jardin des Plantes, and been visited
by all the curious people of Paris.”

“ Just so, Conseil, and no doubt they are all laughing
at us.” .
“Tn reality,” replied Conseil quietly, “I think that
they do laugh at us, Monsieur, And—— May I
say it?”

“You may.”

“Well, then, Monsieur has only got what he de-
serves.”

“Indeed !” .

“When one has the honour to be a savant like Mon-
sieur, one does not make oneself conspicuous ”

But Conseil never finished his compliment. In the
midst of the universal silence a voice was heard. It was
Ned Land’s voice, and Ned Land cried out:

‘Hallo, there! There is our enemy, away on the
weather beam |”





CHAPTER VI.
FULL SPEED.

At this announcement the whole crew ran towards the
harpooner—-commodore, officers, mates, sailors, and
boys ; even the engineers left the engine-room, and the
stokers the furnaces. The order to “stop her” was
given, and the frigate now only glided through the water
by her own momentum.

The darkness was profound: and the Canadian
must have had very good eyes. And I wondered what
he had seen, and how he had been able to see it. My
heart was beating fast.

But Ned Land had not been mistaken, and we all
perceived the object he indicated with his outstretched
hand.

Two cables’ lengths from the Abraham Lincoln, and
on the starboard quarter, the sea appeared to be illumi-
nated from below. It was not a common phosphores-
cence, and could not be mistaken for it. The monster,
some fathoms beneath the surface, gave forth this
intense light, which had been referred to in the reports
of many captains, This wonderful irradiation must



FULL SPEED. 47

have been produced by some tremendously powerful
illuminating agent. The luminous part described an
immense elongated oval upon the water, in the centre of
which was condensed a focus of unbearable brilliancy,
which radiated by successive gradations.

“Tt is nothing but an agglomeration of phosphorescent
molecules,” cried one of the officers.

“No, sir,” I replied, firmly, “neither the pholades
nor salpze produce such a powerful light. This brilliancy
is essentially electric. But look—look—it moves, it
advances—it retreats—it is rushing towards us !”

A general cry arose. , ,

“Silence,” cried Farragut. “ Put the helm up—hard !
Turn astern!”

The sailors rushed to the wheel ; the engineers to the
engine-room. The engine was reversed, and the 4draham
Lincoln payed off to larboard, and described a semi-
circle.

“ Steady.1”—* Go ahead !” cried Commodore Farra-

gut.
These orders were executed, and the frigate rapidly
distanced the luminous object. I should have said,
attempted to distance it, for the supernatural animal
moved with twice the speed of the frigate.

We were speechless. Astonishment more than fear
kept us silent and motionless. The animal gained upon
us easily. He swam round the frigate, which was then
going fourteen knots, and wrapped us in his electric
beams like a luminous dust, He then went away for two
or three miles, leaving a phosphorescent line behind him,
like the volumes of steam left by the engine of an express
train. All at once, from the dark limit of the horizon



48 FULL SPEED.

where he had gone to take his start, the monster launched
himself suddenly against the Adraham Lincoln with fear-
ful rapidity, stopped suddenly within twenty paces of the
frigate, extinguished the light—not by plunging beneath
the surface, since the gleam was not withdrawn by de-
grees—but suddenly, as if the source of the brilliant
light had been suddenly dried up. It then reappeared at
the other side of the frigate, so either it had turned, or
the monster gone underneath it. At every moment a
collision seemed imminent, and that would have been
fatal to us.

Meantime, I wondered at the behaviour of the frigate.
She was flying and not attacking. She was pursued, in-
stead of being the pursuer, and I said so to Commodore
Farragut. His usually impassible face betrayed the
greatest astonishment.

““M. Aronnax,” he replied, “I do not know with what
formidable being I have to do—and I do not wish to risk
my ship in this darkness. Besides, how can I attack it,
or how defend myself from its attack? Let us wait for
daylight and the sides will be changed.”

“You have no doubt respecting the nature of the
animal, commodore ?”

“No, it is evidently a gigantic narwhal, but also an
electric one.”

“ Perhaps,” I added, “we should not approach it any
more than a torpedo P”

“ Quite so,” replied the commodore, “and if it pos-
sess the power to emit a shock, it is the most terrible
animal ever created. That is why, sir, I am on my
guard.”

The crew all remained on deck during the night. No



FULL SPEED. 49

one dared to sleep. The Abraham Lincoln, not being
able to cope with the animal in speed, had moderated
her pace, and was kept under easy steam. On his part
the narwhal, imitating the frigate, lay rocking at the will
of the waves, and appeared to have made up its mind
not to abandon the struggle.

It disappeared, however, about midnight, or, to employ
a better term, extinguished itself like an enormous glow-
worm. Had it fled? We might fear, but could not
hope so. But at seven minutes to 1 A.M. a deafening
rushing noise was heard, like that produced by a column
of water expelled with extreme violence.

Commodore Farragut, Ned Land, and I were
then on the poop searching into the profound ob-
scurity.

“Ned Land,” asked the commodore, “you have
often heard the blowing of whales ?”

“ Often, sir, but never of such whales, the sight of
which has brought me $2,000.”

“You have a right to the reward. But tell me is
this noise the same as whales make in ejecting water
from their ‘ blow-holes ?’”

“The same noise, sir, but ever so much louder. One
cannot mistake it. It is truly a cetacean which is here
with us. With your permission,” added the harpooner,
“we will have a word or two.with him to-morrow morn-
ing.”

“Tf he will listen to you, Master Land,” = said, ina
sceptical tone,

“Tf I get within four harpoons’ length of eee re-
plied the Canadian, “I will engage that he will listen to
me.”

VOL. I. D



50 LULL SPEED.

“But to approach him I must put a whale-boat at
your disposal ?” said the commodore,

“ Certainly, sir.”

“ And by so doing risk the lives of my men?”

“And mine also,” replied Land quietly.

About two o’clock a.m. the luminosity reappeared, not
less intense, five miles to windward of the frigate.
Despite the distance and the noise of the wind and
waves, the sound made by the formidable beatings of the
monster’s tail could be distinctly heard, and even its
hoarse respiration could be distinguished. It seemed
that when this immense narwhal was breathing, that the
air rushing from the lungs was like the steam from the
cylinders of an engine of 2,000 horse-power.

“Hum,” I muttered, “a whale with the force of a
regiment of cavalry ought to be a fine one.”

Everyone remained on the watch till daybreak, and
prepared for the combat. The fishing material was
arranged along the nettings. The mate had charge of
those blunderbusses which ean throw a harpoon to the
distance of a mile, and the long duck-guns, with the ex-
plosive bullets, whose wound is mortal, even to the most
powerful animals. Ned Land was content with his
harpoon, which in his hands was a terrible weapon.

' At six o’clock day began to dawn, and at the first
beams of sunrise the narwhal’s light was extinguished.
At seven o’clock the light was sufficiently strong for our
purpose, but a very thick mist hung around the horizon,
and the best glasses could not pierce it. Much disap-
pointment and anger was the result.

I ascended to the mizzen-yard. Several officers were
already perched at the mast-head.



FULL SPEED. st

At eight o’clock the mist began to disperse slowly.
The horizon gradually cleared. Suddenly the voice of
Ned Land was heard,

“Here is the animal astern

Everyone looked in the direction indicated. There,
about a mile and a half from the frigate, a long black
body raised itself about a yard above the waves. _ Its tail,
which moved quickly, kept up a considerable agitation
in the water; never had tail beaten the water with such
force. An immense frothy wake marked the course of
the animal, and described an extended curve.

The frigate approached the cetacean. I examined
it carefully. The reports of the Shannon and Helvetia
had exaggerated its dimensions a little, and I estimated
its length at only 250 feet. As for its bulk, it could not
be easily arrived at, but the animal appeared to me to be
admirably proportioned throughout. While I was look-
ing at this phenomenal creature, two: jets of water and
steam spurted from the blow-holes, up to a height of
forty yards, which settled its manner of respiration in my
mind. From that I concluded that the animal belonged
to the vertebrates, class mammifer, sub-class mono-
dolphins, pisciform group, cetacean order, and family:
Here I was unable to pronounce an opinion. The
cetaceans comprise three families : whales, cachalots, and
dolphins; and it is with the last-named that narwhals
are ranged. Each of these families is divided into several
genus, each genus into species, each species into varieties.
Varieties, species, genus, and family failed me here, but
I did not doubt that I should be able to complete my
classification with the assistance of heaven—and Com-
modore Farragut |

1?



D2



52 FULL SPEED.

The crew were impatiently awaiting orders. The
commodore, having attentively observed the animal,
called the engineer. He came at once.

“ Have you plenty of steam?”

“Ves, sir,” replied the engineer.

“Good. Fire-up; and go a-head full speed.”

Three cheers accompanied this order. The struggle
had come. In a few moments after the frigate’s
chimneys poured forth their black smoke, and the deck
shook with the action of the engines.

The Abraham Lincoln, impelled by her powerful
screw, “went for” the strange animal direct. It per-
mitted the frigate to approach to within half a cable’s
length, then, disdaining to dive, went on a little, and
contented itself by keeping its distance. This manner of
pursuit continued for about three-quarters of an hour,
without the frigate having gained upon the cetacean.
It became evident that if we kept thus we sbould never
reach it.

Commodore Farragut got very angry. “Ned Land !”
he cried.

The Canadian approached him.

“Well, Master Land, do you still advise me to
launch a boat ?”

“No, sir,” replied Ned Land; “for this beast will
not let you take him unless he please.”

‘‘ What are we to do, then ?”

“Keep up the highest possible pressure, and, if you
will permit it, I will get under the bowsprit, and if I
come within casting distance I will harpoon him.”

“Go, Ned,” replied the commodore. “Go a-head
faster,” he cried to the engineer.



FULL SPEED. 53

Ned Land took up his position. The furnaces were
coaled up, the screw made forty-three revolutions in
the minute, and the steam went roaring through the
safety-valves. They heaved the log, and found that the
frigate was going at the rate of eighteen and a half miles
an hour.

But the cursed animal also went at eighteen anda
half miles an hour.

For an hour and a half the frigate went at this pace,
without gaining a foot. This was rather humiliating for
one of the swiftest vessels of the American navy. The
ship’s company got sulky. They reviled the monster,
which did not condescend to reply. Commodore
Farragut no longer twisted his chin-tuft—he bit it.
The engineer was summoned once more.

“ Are you going at your fullest possible pressure ?”

“Yes, sir,” replied the engineer.

“The valves are charged ?”

“Up to two atmospheres and a half.”

“ Charge them up to ten,” cried the commodore.

That was a true American order. It could not be
surpassed on the Mississippi, to distance a rival steamer.

“ Conseil,” said I to my faithful servitor, who was
near, “‘do you know where we are likely to go to?”

“Wherever Monsieur pleases,” replied Conseil.

“Well, I confess I am not indisposed to take the
chance,” said I.

The steam-gauge went up; the furnaces were filled.
The speed increased. The masts shook fearfully, and the
chimneys seemed scarcely sufficient to permit the escape
of the immense volumes of smoke.

They heaved the log again.



54 FULL SPEED.

“ What pace now, eh?” inquired the commodore.

“Nineteen and a quarter, sir.”

“ Press on more.”

The engineer obeyed. The steam-gauge showed ten
atmospheres’ pressure. But the narwhal had also “fired-
up,” for it was now going at “nineteen and a quarter,”
also. 2

What a chase it was! I cannot describe my feelings.
Ned Land was at his post—harpoon in hand. Many a
time the animal permitted us to approach.

“We are gaining, we are gaining,” cried the Canadian.

But at the moment he was prepared to strike, the
cetacean went ahead with a speed of scarcely less than
thirty miles an hour. And even at our greatest speed, it
cruised round the -frigate. A cry of fury then escaped
from all.

At mid-day we were not more advanced towards the
attainment of our object than we had been at eight
o'clock.

Commodore Farragut then decided to employ more
direct measures.

“Well,” he said, “that animal can go faster than the
Abraham Lincoln, We will see if he can distance a
conical bullet. Gunner, get the forward gun ready for
action.”

The bow-gun was immediately loaded, pointed, and
fired. The ball passed over the cetacean, now half a
mile distant.

“ Take better aim next time, you lubbers, and there’s
$5 to the man who puts a shot into the infernal beast.”

An old gunner with a grey beard came forward, with
a determined air and resolute eye. He pointed the gun



FULL SPEED. 55

and took a long steady aim. A loud detonation was
heard amid the cheers of the crew.

The shot had hit the animal, but not fairly; it glanced
off its smooth side, and fell into the sea two miles distant.

“Ah !” cried the gunner, angrily, “those kind of fellows
are sheeted with six inches of iron, I suppose.”

“ Tarnation !” cried Commodore Farragut.

The chase recommenced, and the Commodore coming
towards me, said: ,

“JT will pursue that thing till the frigate blows up.”

“ Ves,” I replied, “ you are quite right.”

But I could not but hope that the animal might
become exhausted, and not be so indifferent to fatigue as
a steam-frigate. But it was no use. Time passed with-
out the animal showing any signs of fatigue.

But I must confess that the Abraham Lincoln kept
up the chase with great spirit. I do not think that we
traversed less than 300 miles during that inauspicious
6th of November. Night came and enveloped the swelling
ocean in its shadows.

I then began to believe that our expedition was at an
end, and that we had seen the last of the fantastic
monster. But I was mistaken. About io p.m. the
electric gleam again appeared about three miles off, as
clear and bright as upon the preceding night.

The narwhal was motionless. Perhaps, fatigued by
its day’s run, it was asleep, rocked by the billows. This
was a chance by which Farragut determined to profit.

He gave orders that the frigate should be put at easy
speed and advance cautiously towards its enemy. It was
by.no means an uncommon occurrence to meet sleeping
whales at sea, when they have been successfully attacked,



56 FULL SPEED.

and Ned Land had frequently harpooned them under
these circumstances. He took up his former position at
the bows, while the frigate noiselessly approached the
animal, and stopped the engines about two cables’ length
distant, merely advancing by its momentum. The crew
were in a state of breathless attention. Profound silence
reigned on deck. We were not a hundred paces from
the light which flashed into our eyes.

At this moment I saw Ned Land beneath me, holding
by one hand to the martingale, with the other brandish-
ing his fatal harpoon. Scarcely twenty paces separated
us from the sleeping monster.

Suddenly Ned launched his harpoon. I heard the
blow with which it hit the prey; it sounded as if it had
come in contact with a hard substance.

The electric gleam was suddenly extinguished, and
two enormous columns of water were directed over the deck
of the frigate, rushing like a torrent fore and aft, overturn-
ing the men, and breaking the seizings of the spars. A
terrible shock was felt, and, thrown over the bulwark,
before I had time to save myself, I was precipitated into
the sea.



CHAPTER VII.
AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE,

So surprised wae I by my unexpected fall that I have but
little recollection of my sensations at the time.

I was first dragged down about twenty feet. Iama
good swimmer, not so good as Byron or Edgar Poe, and
this plunge did not embarrass me. Two vigorous strokes
brought me to the surface. My first care was to seek
the frigate. Had the crew observed my fall? Had the
Abraham Lincoln put about? Was the commodore
sending a beat forme? Could I hope to be rescued ?

The darkness was profound. I could perceive a
black mass disappearing in the east, whose lights were
extinguished by distance. It was the frigate. I felt I
was lost !

“Help! help !” I cried, swimming in the direction of
the Abraham Lincoln despairingly. My clothes weighed
upon me heavily. The water glued them to my body ;
they paralysed my movements. I was dying; I was
suffocating. “Help !”

This was the last cry I uttered. My mouth filled



58 AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE.

with water ; I was overwhelmed—dragged beneath the
surface.

Suddenly my clothes were seized by a strong hand.
I was drawn up, and I heard—yes, heard these
words:

“Tf Monsieur will have the great kindness to sup-
port himself upon my shoulder he will swim more
easily.”

I seized the arm of my faithful Conseil.

“Is it youe” I said; “you /”

“ Myself,” replied Conseil, “‘at Monsieur’s orders.”

“And you were thrown into the sea by that shock as
well as I?”

“Not at all; but being in Monsieur’s service I have
followed him!” The worthy fellow saw nothing extra-
ordinary in this.

“ And the frigate ?” I asked.

“The frigate,” replied Conseil, turning on his back ;
“T think we had better not count upon her !”

“What !”

“Tsay, that as I jumped into the sea I heard the
steersman cry, “The screw and the helm are both
broken !”

“ Broken !”

“Yes ; by the teeth of that monster. It is the only
damage the Abraham Lincoln has suffered. But, un-
fortunately for us, she cannot steer.”

“Then we are lost !”

“Perhaps so,” replied Conseil calmly. “But we
have still some hours before us, and a great many things
may happen in that time.”

The imperturbable coolness of Conseil reassured me.



AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE. 59

I swam more vigorously, but, impeded by my clothes, I
found great difficulty in keeping afloat. Conseil per-
ceived this.

“Will Monsieur permit me to make a little incision ?
There,” said he ; and with a quick movement he passed
the blade of his knife from my back downwards. Then
he slowly took off my garments, while I swam for
both.

I, in my turn, then rendered him a like service ; and
we continued to swim close together.

Nevertheless, the situation was no less alarming.
Perhaps our disappearance had not been remarked, and
if it had the frigate could not return for us, being
deprived of her rudder. We then could only count
upon one of her boats to pick us up.

Conseil coolly reasoned upon this hypothesis, and
made his arrangements accordingly. He was apparently
quite at home.

We made up our minds that our only chance of
safety lay in our rescue by the boats of the frigate, and
we therefore ought to arrange so as to remain as long
as possible above water. I resolved to divide our
strength, so that we should not succumb simultaneously,
and this is how we did it. While one lay upon his back,
motionless, with folded arms and extended limbs, the
other was to swim and push him along. The part of
following in his companion’s wake was not to last more
than ten minutes, and by thus taking it in turn we
might be able to swim for some hours, and perhaps until
dawn.

It was but a chance, but hope is firmly anchored
in the human breast. Then we were two. In fact, I



66 AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE.

declare, though it may appear improbable, if I tried to
destroy all expectation, if I wished to despair, I could
not have done so.

The collision between the frigate and the monster
had occurred about rz p.m. I counted upon eight
hours’ swimming until sunrise. This was very prac-
ticable by helping each other as explained. The sea,
being smooth, did not trouble us much. Sometimes I
tried to pierce the thick darkness, which was broken
only by the phosphorescence created by our movements.
I kept looking at the luminous waves, which broke upon
my hand, whose sparkling surface was spotted with
bright bubbles. It looked as if we were swimming in
a bath of mercury.

About one o’clock I began to feel very tired. My
limbs were knotted with violent cramps. Conseil did
his best to support me, and our preservation now
depended upon his care. JI soon heard the brave
fellow gasping for breath. I understood that he could
not hold out much longer.

“Let me go,” I cried. “Leave me.”

“Abandon Monsieur! Never!” he replied, “I
am looking forward to drowning before him.”

At this moment the moon broke through the clouds.
The surface of the sea sparkled in its rays. This
pleasant light reanimated our courage. I raised my
head again and looked around the horizon. I saw the
frigate five miles away—a black and scarcely distinguish-
able mass. But there were no boats !

I was about to cry out ; but for what purpose at such
a distance? My swollen lips refused to utter a sound.



AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE, 61

Conseil could articulate a little, and I heard him repeat
many times, “ Help, help !”

Suspending our movements for a moment, we listened.
Was that a buzzing noise in the ear, or was it an answer
to Conseil’s cry for assistance ?

“Did you hear that ?” I murmured.

“Yes, yes!” and Conseil again cried for help
despairingly.

This time there was no mistake. A human voice
replied. Was it the voice of some unfortunate person,
abandoned in the midst of the ocean—some other victim
of that collision? or rather, was it a boat from the
frigate hailing us in the darkness? Conseil made a last
effort, and leaning on my shoulder, while I gave all the
support of which I was capable, he raised himself half
out of the water, and fell back exhausted.

* What have you seen ?”

“T have seen,” he murmured, “I have seen—but let
us not talk, let us husband all our strength,”

“ What had he seen?” At that moment the monster
came to my mind with all its old force. But there was
the voice. The times were past for Jonahs to live in
whales’ bellies.

Nevertheless, Conseil pushed me forward once more,
He raised his head at times to look before him, and
uttered a cry, to which a voice replied nearer and nearer
each time.

I could scarcely hear it. My strength was spent;
my fingers were no longer at my command; my hands
could no longer make the strokes; my mouth, con-
vulsively opened, was filled with the salt water, and



62 AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE.

cold was seizing upon my limbs. I raised my head for
the last time, and sank.

At that momenta hard substance struck me. I clung
to it. It drew me upwards, and so soon as I regained
the surface I fainted. I came to myself very speedily,
thanks to the vigorous friction applied to my body. I
-opened my eyes.

“Conseil,” I murmured,

“ Did Monsieur call ?” he asked.

The moon again burst forth, and by her light I
recognised another figure beside Conseil.

“Ned !” I exclaimed.

“Tn person, sir, looking after his reward.”

“You were also thrown into the sea by the collision,
I presume ?”

“Ves, sir,” replied he; “but, more fortunate than
you, I got upon a floating island at once.”

“ An island ?”

“Ves; or rather upon our gigantic narwhal.”

“Explain yourself, Ned.”

“There is only this. I have discovered why my
harpoon did not injure the creature, and was blunted by
the hide.”

“Why, Ned? Why?”

“ Because this beast is clothed in sheet-iron.”

It was now necessary for me to recover my spirits
and collect my thoughts. The last words of the Cana-
dian had produced a sudden change of thought. I
pulled myself up to the top of the object or being
upon which we had taken refuge. I kicked -it. It
was certainly a hard body, and not of the material of
which immense marine mammifers are composed.



AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE. 63

But this hard substance might be a bony covering
like those possessed by some antediluvian animals; and
I might be free to class it amongst amphibious animals
—the tortoises and alligators. But the black surface that
supported us was smooth and polished, not imbricated.
It gave out a metallic sound when struck, and, incredible
as it may appear, it seemed to me to be composed of
riveted iron plates. No doubt about it. The animal,
the monster, the phenomenon which had puzzled the
entire scientific world, upset and mystified the minds of
sailors in both hemispheres, was a greater wonder still—
a phenomenon constructed by human agency.

J should not have been nearly so much astonished by
the discovery of the most fabulous and mythological of
animals, However extraordinary the being may be that
is from the hands of the Creator, it can be understood ;
but to discover all at once, under one’s very eyes, the:
human realisation of the impossible, was sufficiently
startling. But we must not hesitate. Here we were
sitting upon the top of a species of submarine boat,
which presented, so far as we could judge, the form of
an immense fish of iron. This was Ned Land’s opinion.
Conseil and I could not classify it.

“But,” said I, “he must contain within ii the
machinery for locomotion, and a crew to direct his
course.”

“ Certainly,” replied the Canadian ; “and neverthe-
less, during the three hours I have been here, I have
perceived no signs of life.”

“The boat has not moved ?”

“No, M. Aronnax ; it has lain rocked by the waves,
but has not otherwise moved.”



64 AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE.

“We know already that it possesses great speed.
Now as there is a machine with this attribute, and a
machinist to direct it, I conclude that we are safe.”

“ Hum,” replied Ned Land, doubtfully.

At this moment, and as a commentary upon my
remark, a disturbance arose at the stern of this strange
vessel, whose mode of propulsion was evidently a screw,
and it began to move. We had scarcely time to secure
ourselves to the higher part, which was about a yard out
of water. Fortunately the speed was not great.

“So long as it goes over the waves, I have no par-
ticular objection,” said Ned Land. “But if it should
take a dive, I would not give $2 for my skin.”

The Canadian might have made even a lower estimate.
But under the circumstances, it was necessary to com-
municate with the beings shut up in this machine, I
looked for an opening—a panel—a “man hole,” to use
the technical term, but the lines of rivets solidly fixed
upon the joinings of the iron plates were whole and
regular.

Moreover, the moon deserted us, and left us in pro-
found obscurity. We were, therefore, obliged to wait for
daylight, to find means to penetrate into the interior of
this submarine vessel.

Thus our safety depended entirely upon the caprice
of the mysterious helmsman who guided this machine :
if he descended we were lost. Unless this occurred, I
had no doubt of being able to communicate with the
crew. And indeed if they did not manufacture the air
they breathed, they must come to the surface from time to
time to replenish the supply. Thus the necessity for an
aperture communicating with the outer air.



AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE. 65

We had given up all hope of being rescued by
Commodore Farragut. We were proceeding westwards,
and I estimated our speed at twelve miles an hour. The
screw revolved regularly, sometimes emerging and throw-
ing phosphorescent jets of water to a great height.

About 4 A.M. the speed increased. We had some
difficulty in resisting this giddy pace, as the waves beat
upon us in full volume. Fortunately Ned felt a large
ring, let in to the upper part of the iron back, and we
fastened ourselves to it securely.

This long night at length came to an end.

My. imperfect recollection cannot recall all the im-
pressions of those hours. One detail comes to my mind.
During certain lulls of the wind and waves, I fancied I
could hear, vaguely, a sort of fugitive harmony, produced
by distant chords. What was, then, this mystery of sub:
marine navigation, of which the world was vainly seeking
the key? What kind of beings inhabited this vessel ?
What mechanical agency permitted them to move at
such a prodigious rate ? ;

Daylight appeared. The morning mists wrapped us
in their folds, but soon dispersed. I was making a
careful survey of the hull, which formed, at its upper
part, a sort of horizontal platform, when I found myself
sinking by degrees.

“Eh! thousand devils,” cried Ned Land, striking
the iron a sounding blow with his foot. ‘Open, I say,
you inhospitable travellers |”

But it was no easy matter to make them hear while
the screw was working, Fortunately the descent was
arrested.

Suddenly a noise, as of bars being pushed back within

VOL, I. E



66 AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE.

the boat, was heard. A plate was raised, a man appeared,
uttered a singular cry, and immediately disappeared.
Some time after, eight strong fellows, with veiled faces,
silently rose up and pulled us into the formidable
machine.



CHAPTER VIIL

MOBILIS IN MOBILE,

TuIs movement, though so roughly executed, was per-
formed with lightning rapidity. My companions and 1
had not time to look about us. I do not know that
it was a great trial, our being thus introduced into the
floating prison, but, for my own part, I must say that a
rapid shudder went through me. With whom had we
to do? Doubtless with some pirates, who were ex-
ploring the seas after their own fashion.

Scarcely had the narrow panel been closed than we
were surrounded by thick darkness. My eyes coming
from the daylight so suddenly could distinguish nothing.
I felt that I was upon an iron ladder. Ned Land and
Conseil, held tightly, followed me. At the bottom of
the ladder a door was opened, and was shut upon us
with a loud noise. We were left to ourselves. Where ?
I could not say—scarcely fancy. All around us was of
such an absolute blackness that even after a time my
eyes perceived none of those rays which are perceptible
in the darkest nights.



68 MOBILIS IN MOBILE.

Ned Land, furious at such treatment, gave free vent
to his indignation.

“A thousand devils,” he cried; “they call this
hospitality. They only want to be cannibals to be
perfect. I should not be surprised ; but I will give them
something before they make a meal of me !”

“Be quiet, friend Ned, keep quiet,” said Conseil
calmly. ‘Don’t look too farahead. We are not roasted
yet.”

“Roasted, no,” replied Land; “but we are in the
oven. It is as dark, at any rate. Fortunately, I have
not lost my bowie-knife, and I can generally see well
enough to use it. The very first of these robbers who
lays a finger on me 2

“Don’t put yourself out, Ned,” I said; “we shall
gain nothing by useless violence. Who can tell whether
they can hear us? Let us rather endeavour to ascertain
where we are.”

I advanced with outstretched hands. After five paces
I touched a wall of riveted iron plates. Returning, I
ran against a wooden table, near which were some stools.
The floor was covered with a thick matting, which
deadened the sound of our footsteps. The bare walls had
neither door nor window perceptible. Conseil, who had
been making a tour in the opposite direction, rejoined
me, and we came into the centre of this cabin, which ap-
peared to be about twenty feet long and ten wide. Even
Ned Land, with his great height to assist him, could not
touch the ceiling.

After half an hour had passed in this way, our eyes
were suddenly exposed to a violently brilliant light. Our





MOBILIS IN MOBILE, 69

prison was suddenly illuminated. In the whiteness and
intensity of this gleam I recognised the electric light
which produced the appearance of a magnificent phos-
phorescence round the submarine vessel. I was in-
voluntarily obliged to close my eyes, and when I again
opened them I found that the light had been placed in a
ground-glass globe, which was fixed at the upper end
of the cabin.

“ At last we can see something,” cried Ned Land,
who, bowie-knife in hand, stood on the defensive.

“Ves,” I replied, risking the antithesis, “but the
situation is not the less obscure.”

“If Monsieur will only have patience,” said the
impassible Conseil,

The sudden illumination of the cabin gave me the
opportunity to examine it more minutely. It only con-
tained a table and five stools. The invisible door was
hermetically closed. No sound reached our ears.
Everyone seemed dead on board. Whether it was still
moving over the surface of the ocean, or plunged in its
depths, I-could not divine.

However, the lamp had not been lighted for nothing.
So I was in hopes that the crew of the vessel would soon
put in an appearance. When people wish to put an end
to prisoners they do not illuminate the oud/iettes.

I was not mistaken; the noise of withdrawing bolts
was heard, the door opened, and two men entered.

One was rather short but strongly made, with immense
breadth of shoulder, intellectual looking, with thick black
hair and beard, piercing eyes, and with the vivacity which
characterises the provincial population of France.



70 MOBILIS IN MOBILE.

Diderot has justly maintained that man’s gesture is
metaphorical, and this little man was the living proof of
that statement. One had a sort of feeling that his
habitual discourse was made up of prosopopceia, metany-
mus, and hypallages. But I was not able to verify this,
as he always used a peculiar and utterly incomprehensible
idiom.

The second arrival deserves a more detailed descrip-
tion. A pupil of Gratiolet or Engel would have read his
face. like a book. I can easily recall his characteristics.
Confidence in himself, for his head rose nobly from the
arc formed by the line of his shoulders, and his dark eyes
regarded you with a cool assurance. He was composed,
for his face, more pale than ruddy, betokened a dis-
passionate nature. Energy he possessed, as demonstrated
by the rapid contraction of the eyebrows. Finally, he
was courageous, for his deep breathing denoted great
vitality.

I should add that this man was proud, his firm and
composed look seemed to reflect elevated thoughts, and,
added to all this, the homogeneity of expression in the
movements of his body and face, according to the obser-
vation of physiognomists, resulted in an indisputable open-
heartedness.

I felt myself involuntarily reassured in his presence,
and I augured well of our interview. This person might
have been any age between thirty-five and fifty. He was
tall, a wide forehead, straight nose, a well-shaped mouth,
beautiful teeth, long, thin, and very muscular hands,
worthy to serve an elevated and passionate mind. This
was certainly the most admirable type of individual that



MOBILIS IN MOBILE, 71

I had ever seen. To descend to detail, his eyes, set a
little apart, could: embrace nearly a quarter of the
horizon.

This faculty, which came to my knowledge later, gave
him a great advantage over the excellent sight- of Ned
Land. Whenever this unknown personage was looking
intently at anything he frowned, his large eyelids con-
tracted so as to conceal the pupils, and to considerably
circumscribe his line of sight—and he ad look! What a
gaze that was, as if he was making distant objects larger,
or penetrating your very soul by his gaze; as if he could
pierce the depths of the waves, so opaque to our eyes,
and could read the secrets of the sea.

The two strangers wore otter-skin caps and sea-boots
of seal-skin, and clothes of a peculiar texture, which sat
loosely upon them, and allowed of great freedom in their
movements.

The taller of the two—evidently the captain—re-
garded us with great attention, without speaking. Then
turning to his companion, he conversed with him ina
language I did not understand. The other replied by a
nod, adding a few unintelligible words. Then with a
glance he appeared to interrogate us personally.

J replied, in good French, that I did not understand
his language; but he did not appear to comprehend
mine, and the situation became somewhat embarrass-
ing. . :
“Tf Monsieur would relate our adventures,” suggested
Conseil, “ perhaps the gentlemen would understand some
of it.” ,

I then commenced a recital of our experiences, dis-



72 MOBILIS IN MOBILE.

tinctly dwelling upon all the words, and without omitting
a single detail. I announced our names and station—
then I presented in due form M. Aronnax—his servant
Conseil, and Ned Land, the harpooner. The indi-
vidual with the calm eyes listened quietly, even politely,
and with great attention. But his face betrayed no sign
that he understood a word. When I had finished, he
remained perfectly silent.

There still remained the English Janguage, as a last
resource. Perhaps he would understand that almost
universal tongue. I was acquainted with it, and with
German sufficiently to read fluently, but not to speak it
correctly. Now here it was absolutely necessary to be
understood.

“Do you try,” I said to the harpooner, “ speak the
best English ever heard, Master Land, and try to be more
successful than I have been.”

Ned made no objection, and repeated my recital, so
as I could understand it pretty well. The issue was the
same, but the form was different. The Canadian was
more energetic. He complained bitterly at -being im-
prisoned, against the rights of nations, demanded legal
satisfaction for his detention, invoked the Habeas Corpus
Act, threatened to prosecute those who had kept us
prisoners unlawfully. He kicked about, gesticulated, cried
out, and finally, by a most expressive pantomime, gave
them to understand that we were almost dying of
hunger.

. This was true as a matter of fact, but we had nearly
forgotten it.

‘To his intense surprise, the harpooner did not appear



MOBILIS IN MOBILE, 73

to have been more intelligible than I was. Our hosts
did not move.a muscle of their faces. It was evident
that they understood neither the language of Arago nor
Faraday. I was very much puzzled what to do next,
when Conseil said :

“If Monsieur will permit me, I will speak to them
in German.”

“What! do you know German !” I cried.

“Like a Dutchman,” replied he ; “if Monsieur has
no objection.”

“T am much pleased. Go on my lad.”

And Conseil recounted, for the third time, the various
adventures we had met with. But notwithstanding the
excellent accent and the elegantly-turned phrases of the
speaker, German was not a success. At length, pushed
to the very last position, I recalled all I could of my
former studies, and essayed to tell the tale in Latin.
Cicero would have stopped his ears, and declared it was
“dog Latin,” but, nevertheless, I went on. But with
the same result !

This last attempt having miscarried, the two strangers
exchanged some words in their incomprehensible language, —
and retired, without bestowing upon us even one of those
signs which are universally understood. The door was
again shut upon us.

“This is infamous,” exclaimed Ned Land, who burst
out for the twentieth time. “ Why, we have spoken
French, English, German, and Latin to those rascals,
and they have not had the civility to reply.” °

“Calm yourself, Ned,” said I to the angry harpooner;
“anger will do no good !”



74 MOBILIS IN MOBILE.

“But don’t you know, sir, that we may die of hunger
in this iron cage ?”

“ Bah!” said Conseil, with his usual philosophy, “we
can hold out for some time yet.”

“My friends,” said I, “we must not despair. We
have not come to the worst yet. Do me the favour to
wait before you form an opinion respecting the captain
and crew of this vessel.”

“‘ My opinion is already formed,” replied Ned ; “they
are a set of rascals.”

“Good; and of what country?”

“ Of a rascally country.”

“My brave Ned, that country is not clearly laid
down upon the map of the world ; and I confess that
the nationality of these two strangers is difficult to de-
termine. That they are neither English, French, nor
German we can affirm. Now I am tempted to admit
that they were born in lower latitudes. There is a
southerly look about them; but whether they be
Spaniards, Turks, Arabs, or Indians, their physical
types do not enable me to decide. Their language is
simply incomprehensible.”

“There is the drawback of not knowing every
language,” replied Conseil, “and the disadvantage of
not having a universal one.”

“That would not help us at all,” replied Ned Land.
“Do you not understand that these fellows have got
a language of their own, invented to drive to despair
those brave people who ask for something to eat? But
in any country in the world, if you open your mouth,
move your jaws, smack your lips, would they not under-
stand what you meant? Would not that be sufficient



MOBILIS IN MOBILE. 75

to indicate, equally in Quebec as in Pomaton, in Paris,
or the antipodes, ‘I am hungry; give me something to
eat?”

“Oh!” cried Conseil, “there are some natures so
utterly stupid——”

As he spoke the door opened and a steward entered.
He brought us clothing, vests and trousers, fit for sea
wear, of a material with which I was unacquainted. I
hastened to clothe myself, and: my companions followed
my example.

Meantime the steward—silent, perhaps deaf—had
laid the table and set on three dishes.

“ There is something satisfactory,” said Conseil ; “this
promises well !”

“Bah !” cried the spiteful Canadian ; “ what the devil
do you expect to get to eat here ; tortoise livers, fillet of
shark, or a slice from a sea-dog ?”

“ We shall soon see,” replied Conseil.

The dishes, with their silver covers, were placed sym-
metrically upon the cloth, and we took our places. De-
cidedly we had to do with civilised beings ; and were it
not for the electric light which surrounded us, I should
have fancied we were sitting in the Adelphi Hotel in
Liverpool, or in the Grand Hotel in Paris. I must say
that we had neither wine nor bread on this occasion.
The water was pure and bright ; but it was water, which
was not acceptable to Ned Land. Amongst the meats
served to us I recognised various kinds of fish very deli-
cately cooked ; but upon some of the dishes I could not
pronounce an opinion, as I was perfectly unable to say
to what kingdom, animal or vegetable, they belonged.
The table-service was elegant, and in perfect taste. Every



76 MOBILIS IN: MOBILE.

knife, fork, spoon, or plate, was marked with a letter
surrounded by a motto, of which the following is a fac
simile ¢ ,

gibls IN MO Bay
9°
N

Mobile ina mobile element. This applied exactly to
this submarine machine, if you translate the preposition
“in” as “in,” and not “upon.” The letter N no doubt
stood for the initial of the name of the eccentric indi-
vidual who commanded.

Ned and Conseil did not waste much time in re-
flection. They began to eat, and I quickly followed
their example. I was, moreover, now reassured as to our
fate, and it was very evident that our hosts did not
intend that we should die from inanition.

Everything must have an end in this world, and so
must the appetites of people who have fasted for fifteen
hours. The want of sleep now began to make itself felt
—a natural reaction, after the long night during which we
had struggled face to face with death.

“ Faith, I shall sleep well,” said Conseil.

“T am already asleep,” replied Ned Land.

My companions lay down upon the floor, and were
quickly in a profound slumber.

For my part I yielded less quickly to the drowsy god.
A number of thoughts crowded my brain, insoluble
questions pressed upon me, a troop of mental images
kept my eyes open. Where were we? What strange
power held us? I felt, or fancied I felt, the machine



MOBILIS IN MOBILE. 77

sinking to the bottom of the sea. Fearful nightmares
beset me. I sawin mysterious passages the whole of the
unknown animal kingdom, of which the submarine vessel
appeared to be the congener, living, moving, and as for-
midable as they. Then my brain cooled, my imagination
was steeped in sleep, and I soon fell into a peaceful
slumber.



CHAPTER IX.
NED LAND’S ANGER.

How long we slept I do not know, but it must have been
some time, as we awoke completely refreshed. I was the
first to awake. My companions had not stirred, and
remained stretched in the corner like lifeless beings.

Scarcely had I got up from my hard bed, when I per-
ceived that my brain was clear and my mind invigorated.
I then began to re-examine our cell attentively.

Nothing had been altered in its arrangement. The
prison was still a prison—the prisoners still prisoners.
But the steward had cleared the table while we slept.
There was no symptom of any approaching change for
the better, and I began to wonder whether we were des-
tined to live for ever in that cage.

This prospect was so much the more unpleasant, as, if
my brain were clear, I felt my chest very much oppressed.
My“breathing had become difficult, the heavy air was not
sufficient for the play of my lungs. The cell was cer-
tainly of large size, but it was evident that we had con-
sumed the greater part of the oxygen it had contained.
Each man breathes in an hour the amount of oxygen



NED LANDS ANGER. 79

contained in roo litres (22 gallons) of atmospheric air,
and this air, then almost equal to carbonic acid gas,
becomes insupportable.

It was, therefore, necessary to renovate the air of our
prison, and, without doubt, also the atmosphere of our
submarine boat.

Here was a puzzling question. How did the com-
mander of the floating dwelling get on? Did he obtain
air by chemical means, by disengaging the oxygen con-
tained in chlorate of potash, and by absorbing the
carbonic acid by the caustic potash? In this case he
must keep up a communication with the earth to obtain
a supply of these materials. Did he only take the pre-
caution to store the air under great pressure in reservoirs,
and free it again according to the requirements of the
ship’s company? Perhaps so. Or, what was a much
easier method, more economical, and therefore more
probable, was that he came up to the surface of the
water to breathe, like a cetacean, and for twenty-four
hours renew his supply of oxygen. However it might
be, and by whatever means, it appeared to me prudent
to employ it without delay.

In fact I was already obliged to breathe more quickly
to extract what little oxygen the cell contained, when I
was suddenly refreshed by a current of pure air, per-
fumed with the odour of the sea. It was the true sea-
breeze vivified and charged with iodine. I opened my
mouth wide. I was sensible of a rocking motion, a
rolling of some extent, but perfectly determinable. The
monster had evidently come up to the surface to breathe,
after the fashion of the whale. The mode of ventilating
the ship was now perfectly apparent.



80 NED LANDS ANGER.

While I was enjoying the pure air I looked for the
medium of its introduction, and was not long in dis-
covering it. Over the door was an aperture, through
which the fresh air entered and renovated the vitiated
atmosphere of the cabin.

I had got so far in my observations when Ned and
Conseil woke almost at the same moment, under the
influence of the fresh air. After sundry rubbings of the
eyes and stretchings of the arms they got upon their
feet.

“Has Monsieur slept well?” inquired Conseil, with
his usual politeness.

“Very well indeed,” I replied. “And you, Master
Land ?”

“Soundly,” was the answer. “ But—perhaps I am
mistaken-—I fancy I can detect the smell of the
sea.”

A sailor could make no mistake on this point, and I
told the Canadian what had passed.

“That explains the roarings we heard when the
supposed narwhal was near the Abraham Lincoln,’ said
Ned.

“Quite so, Ned, that was its breathing.”

“ Only, M. Aronnax, I have no notion what time it
is, unless it is dinner-time.”

“Dinner-time, my worthy harpooner? say rather
breakfast-time, for we are certainly in another
day.”

“Which shows that we have slept for twenty-four
hours !”

“ That is my opinion,” I replied.

“T will not contradict you,” replied Ned Land.



NED LANDS ANGER. &r

“But dinner or breakfast, I shall be glad to see the
steward, whichever he may bring.”

“ Both,” said Conseil.

“Just so,” replied Ned. “We are entitled to two
meals, and, for my part, I could do justice to both.”

“Listen, Ned,” said I. “It is very evident that
these people do not intend to starve us, else the dinner
yesterday would have had no meaning.”

“ Unless they wanted to fatten us up a bit.”

“I must protest against that,” said I. “We have
not fallen among cannibals.”

“ Once is not a custom,” replied the Canadian
seriously ; “ who can tell whether these people have not
been deprived of fresh meat for some time? and, in that
case, three such individuals as you, Monsieur, your ser-
vant, and I ”

“ Banish such thoughts, Land,” I said, ‘‘and above all
things do not go out of your way to abuse our hosts—that
will only make matters worse.”

“In any case,” said Ned, “I am as hungry as a
thousand devils; dinner or breakfast, the meal is not
here.”

“We must conform to the regulations of the ship,”
I replied. ‘ Possibly our appetites are in advance of the
galley clock.”

“ And I suppose that is set correctly ?” said Conseil
calmly.

“That is so like you, friend Conseil,” replied the im-
petuous Canadian. ‘You don’t ever trouble yourself
much, you are always calm. You are the kind of fellow
to say grace before your Jdenedicite, and die of hunger
rather than complain.”

VOL. I. F





82 NED LANDS ANGER.

“ And what is the use of complaining ?” asked Con-
seil.

“But it will do good. And if these pirates—I say
‘pirates’ with all respect, as the professor objects to my
calling them cannibals, and I don’t want to hurt his feel-
ings—if these pirates imagine that they are going to
keep me.a prisoner in this stifling cage without hear-
ing some pretty strong observations from me they are
very much mistaken. Look here, M. Aronnax, tell me
frankly, do you think we shall be kept long in this iron
box ?”

“To say the truth, I cannot tell any more than your-
self.”

“ Well, but what do you think?”

“T imagine that chance has made us masters of an
important secret. Now, if the crew of this submarine
vessel are much interested in keeping it, and if such
interest is as important as the lives of three men—I do
think that we are in danger. But in the contrary case,
the monster may put us ashore again amongst our
species.

“Unless he enrol us with the crew,” said Conseil,
“and take care of his secret that way.”

“Until some day,” replied Ned, “when some frigate
better ‘found’ and faster than the Adraham Lincoln, takes
possession of this nest of robbers, and sends us and them
to swing at the yard-arm.”

“A good argument, Land,” said I, “ but nothing of
all this has yet happened. It is useless to discuss what
may happen, until the case arises. I repeat, let us wait
and act according to circumstances. We need do nothing,
because there is nothing to do.”



NED LANDS ANGER. 83

“On the contrary, sir,” replied the Canadian, who
would not give in, “ we ought to do something.”

“Well, what? ”

‘Save ourselves—try to escape !”

“ To escape from a prison on land is difficult ; but to
get out of a submarine prison, appears to me imprac-
ticable.” bee

‘Now, friend Ned,” said Conseil, “what do you say
to Monsieur? I cannot believe that an American Is ever
at a loss.”

The harpooner, visibly embarrassed, was silent. Flight
under the circumstances was out of the question. But
a Canadian is half a Frenchman, and master Land showed
that by his reply.

“So, M. Aronnax,” he said, after some minutes’ con-
sideration, “ you do not know what people ought to do
who cannot escape from their prison?”

“No, my friend.”

“Tt is very simple—they ought to arrange in what
manner they will remain.”

“By Jove,” said Conseil, “I think you are better
inside than either above or below !”

“But having overcome gaolers, keys, and bolts?”

“ What, Ned, is it possible that you are seriously con-
templating escape from this vessel ?”

“ Very seriously, indeed,” replied the Canadian.

“ Impossible !”

“Why so, sir? Some favourable opportunity may
arise ; and I do not see why I should not profit by it:
If there are not more than twenty men on board, they
will not be able to resist two Frenchmen and a Canadian,
I suppose ?”

EF 2



84 NED LANDS ANGER.

It was better to admit this proposition than to discuss
it, so I contented myself by saying :

“Wait events, and see. But till the time comes pray
curb your impatience. We cannot act except by strata-
gem, and it is not in our power to create opportunities.
So promise me that you will take things as they come,
quietly.”

“‘T promise, sir,” replied Ned, in a tone but little
reassuring. “Not a coarse nor violent word shall pass
my lips, not a gesture shall be perceived, even if the
table be not served with desirable regularity.”

“T have your promise, Ned,” I replied.

Our conversation ceased, and each of us began to
reflect. For myself, I confess, notwithstanding the
assurance of the harpooner, I did not delude myself. I
did not admit those favourable chances of which Ned
had spoken. To be so well manceuvred, the submarine
boat must be well manned and equipped, and conse-
quently in the event of a dispute we should get the worst
of it. Besides, above all it was necessary to be at
liberty, and we were not. I did not perceive any means
of flight from this close prison. And if the strange com-
mander of this vessel had a secret to preserve—which
was at least probable—he would not permit us to be at
large on board. Now whether he would get rid of us
by violence, or land us safely upon some corner of the
earth, was the question. All these hypotheses appeared
to me extremely plausible, and one needed to be a
harpooner to hope to regain his liberty.

I comprehended, moreover, that Ned Land’s inten-
tions were by no means in keeping with his reflections.
I heard him beginning to mutter strange oaths, and his



NED LAND'S ANGER. 85

gestures were becoming threatening. He got up and
walked about like a wild beast in a cage, hitting and
kicking the walls as he passed. By-and-by his anger
evaporated, and hunger began to assail him cruelly, and
yet the steward appeared not. Our position, as ship-
wrecked people, had been forgotten too long if they had
really been well-intentioned towards us. Ned Land,
really suffering from hunger, got more and more angry ;
and, notwithstanding his promise, I was afraid of an
explosion should any of the crew enter our cabin. For
two hours longer Ned’s anger burned. He called, he
shouted in vain. The walls were impervious to sound
I could not hear any sound within the boat. It was not
moving, for we should in that event have felt the throb-
bings of the screw. Plunged in this state of uncertainty
beneath the waves, we seemed to belong to earth no
more. The death-like silence was appalling.

I did not dare to contemplate the chances of a
lengthened abandonment and isolation in this cell. The
hopes I had conceived after our interview with the com-
mander faded by degrees. His kind expression of
countenance, pleasant look, and nobility of mien all
faded from my memory. I recalled this extraordinary
personage, as he had now become, necessarily pitiless
and cruel. I put him out of the pale of humanity, inac-
cessible to every sentiment of pity, the remorseless
enemy of his fellow-creatures, against whom he had sworn
an undying enmity.

But was this man, then, going to let us perish of
hunger, incarcerated in an iron cell, at the mercy of
those terrible temptations which assail men under the
influence of extreme hunger? This fearful thought



86 NED LANDS ANGER.

burnt itself into my brain, and imagination being at work,
I felt myself becoming the prey of a maddening terror.
Conseil was quite resigned. Ned was raging.

At this juncture a voice was heard outside, footsteps
were heard on the iron flooring, the bolts were drawn
back, and the steward appeared.

Before J could interpose to prevent him, the Canadian
had thrown himself upon the unfortunate man, felled him
to the ground, where he held him by the throat. The
steward was strangling beneath that powerful grasp.
Conseil had already attempted to loosen the deadly
grasp of the harpooner, and I was about to assist, when
I was glued to the spot by hearing a voice call out in
French :

“Calm yourself, Master Land, and you also, professor,
and be so good as to listen to me !”



CHAPTER X,

THE MAN OF THE SEA,

Iv was the commander of the vessel who had spoken.

At those words, Ned Land suddenly arose; the
steward, half strangled, staggered out at a sign from his
master; but such was the discipline enforced, that the
man did not even by a gesture betray his resentment
against the Canadian. Conseil was interested, in spite
of himself, and I stood petrified with astonishment. We
all awaited the dénowement in silence. The commander,
leaning against the table, regarded us fixedly. Did he
hesitate to speak, or was he regretting having addressed
usin French? It might be so. os

After a silence of some minutes, which none of us
ventured to break :

.“ Gentlemen,” said he, in a calm and penetrating tone,

I can speak French, English, German, and Latin with
equal facility. I was therefore quite capable of replying
to you at our first interview, but I wished to learn first,
and reflect afterwards. Your respective accounts of your
adventures agreeing in all important particulars assured
me ot your identity. I am now aware that chance has



88 THE MAN OF .THE SEA.

brought to me Monsieur Pierre Aronnax, Professor of
Natural History in the museum at Paris, charged with a
scientific mission ; Conseil, his servant, and Ned Land, a
Canadian by birth, harpooner on board the frigate
Abraham Lincoln, of the United States Navy.”

I bowed assent. There was no necessity for further
reply. The man expressed himself with perfect ease,
with no foreign accent. His phraseology was good, his
words well chosen, his facility of speech remarkable.
Nevertheless, I did not take to him as a country-
man.

He continued :

“You have doubtless thought that I have been a
long time in paying you a second visit. It was because,
your identity once established, I wished to consider
seriously how to act towards you. I hesitated for a long
time. Unfortunate circumstances have brought you in
contact with a man who has forsworn his fellow-
creatures. You have come to disturb my exist-
ence ”

“ Unintentionally,” I put in.

“ Unintentionally !” repeated the stranger, raising his
voice. “Was it unintentionally that the Abraham
Lincoln chased me through the ocean so long? Was it
unintentionally that you came on board that ship? Was
it unintentionally that your shot came hustling against
the hull of my vessel? Was it unintentionally that Land
here struck it with his harpoon ?”

I perceived a subdued anger in these questions. But
to all these recriminations I had a perfectly plain answer
to make, and I made it.

“Monsieur,” said I, “you are ignorant of the dis-





THE MAN OF THE SEA. 89

cussions which have arisen in Europe and America about
you. You are not aware that the various collisions you
have caused have evoked public observation in both
continents. I spare you the numerous hypotheses by
which people have endeavoured to explain the inexplic-
able phenomenon of which you alone possess the secret.
But you must know that in pursuing you the Abraham
Lincoln's crew were under the impression that they were
pursuing some powerful marine monster, of which it was
necessary to rid the ocean at any cost.”

A half-sigh parted the lips of the stranger; then, ina
calmer tone he said:

“ Monsieur Aronnax, can you affirm that your frigate
would not have followed and fired at a submarine vessel
as well as a monster ?”

This question caused me some little embarrassment,
for certainly Commodore Farragut had not hesitated.
He would have deemed it his duty to destroy an appa-
ratus of the kind as well as a gigantic narwhal.

“So you perceive, Monsieur,” said the stranger, “ that
I have a right to treat you as enemies.”

I did not reply, and for a good reason. Where was
the use to answer a proposition, when force could over-
come a thousand arguments.

“T have hesitated for a long time,” said the com-
mander. “There is no reason why I should extend my
hospitality to you. If I leave you, I have no interest in
seeing you again. If I replace you upon the platform
outside, upon which you took refuge, I can sink beneath
the surface and forget that you ever existed. Have I
not this right ?”

These thoughts chased rapidly across my mind,



go THE MAN OF THE SEA.

while the strange personage was silent, absorbed, and
plunged in thought. I was regarding him with a
melancholy interest, much as CZdipus may have looked
at the Sphinx. After a long silence the commander
again spoke:

“T have waited before speaking,” said he, “ because I
was thinking that my own interest may be in keeping with
the natural consideration to which every human being has a
right. You shall remain on board, since fate has thrown
you in my way. ~ You will be free here, and in exchange
for this liberty, I will only impose one condition. Your
word of honour that you agree to it ‘will be sufficient.”

“Speak, Monsieur,” said I, “I have no doubt the con-
dition is one that brave men may accept.”

“ Certainly, and this is it. It is possible that certain
circumstances may compel me to confine you to your
cabin for some hours, o1 some days. As I have no wish
to use force, I expect from you, above all, the most passive
obedience. In acting thus, I take all responsibility off
your shoulders, and you are free; for it will be my busi-
ness to see that you do not become acquainted with
what it is inexpedient for you to know. Do you accept
the condition?”

“We accept,” I replied. “But I wish to ask one
question—only one.”

“ Speak, Monsicur,” he said.

“ You have stated that we shall be free on board?”

“ Entirely.”

“T would ask what you mean by such freedom?”

“ Permission to go and come and look about as you
please, to see all that takes place here. In fact the same
freedom as I and my companions enjoy.”



THE MAN OF THE SEA. gI

“ That is perhaps the right of a savage,” I said, ‘ but
not ofa civilised being.”

“ Monsieur, I am not, so to speak, a civilised being.
I have broken with the world altogether, for reasons
which I can alone appreciate. I obey no laws, and I
recommend you never to put them in force against
me.”

This was sternly spoken. An angry and disdainful
gleam shone in his eyes, and in this man’s life I could
discern a terrible past. Not only had he put himself
out of reach of all human laws, but he was independent,
free—in the largest acceptation of the term—beyond all
reach.

Who would dare to pursue to the bottom of the
sea a being, who at the surface baffled all efforts to over-
take him? What ship could resist the shock of this sub-
marine “ram?” What armour-plate could sustain his
blows? None among men could demand an account of
his actions. Providence, if he believed in Him; his
conscience, if he had one, were the only judges before
whom he could be brought.

It was evident that we did not altogether understand
each other. ,

“T beg your pardon,” I added, “ but the liberty you
would accord is only that granted to a prisoner, to walk
round his prison. That is not enongh for us.”

“ Well, it must suffice, nevertheless.”

“What! You would debar us from ever seeing our
friends, relatives, and our native land again ?”

“Yes, Monsieur ; but to renounce the insupportable
yoke of earth which men call freedom, is not such a very
great sacrifice as you imagine.”



92 THE MAN OF THE SEA.

“Well,” cried Ned, “I will never give my word of
honour not to attempt to escape.”

“‘T did not ask you for your word of honour, Master
Land,” replied the commander in a freezing tone.

“Sir,” said I, carried away in spite of myself, “you
take an unfair advantage of your position. It is
cruel.”

“No, sir; itis mercy. You are my prisoners of war.
I take care of you, when, by a word, I could have you
thrown into the sea. You have attacked me. ‘You have
come here, and have discovered a secret which no one
in the world ought to know—the secret of my existence.
And do you believe that I shall put you ashore upon
that earth which shall know me no more? In keeping
you here it is not you whom I take care of, it is
myself.”

These words indicated a resolution which no argu-
ment could overturn.

“ Thus,” I replied, “you give us simply a choice
between life and death ?”

“ Exactly.”

“ My friends,” said I, “‘to such a question there is
no answer. But we are not bound to the master of the
ship.”

“Not at all,” replied the captain. Then, in a more
pleasant tone, he resumed: “ Now permit me to finish
what I have to say. I know you, M. Aronnax. You,
personally, have not perhaps much reason to complain
that you have cast in your lot with mine. You will find
amongst the books which are my favourite studies your
own work upon the greatest depths of the sea. I have
often read it. You have extended your work as far as



THE MAN OF THE SEA. 93

terrestrial science permitted. But you do not know
everything, and have not seen everything. Allow me to
tell you that you will not regret the time you may pass
on board with me. You are about to sail through a
world of wonders, Astonishment and stupefaction will
be the prevailing feelings you will experience. You will
not easily get tired of the never-ceasing spectacle
before you. I am about to make a new tour of the
submarine world—perhaps the last, who knows?—to
study, as far as possible, at the bottom of those seas
through which I have so frequently coursed, and you
shall be my companion. From this day you will enter
upon a new existence; you will see what no man has
ever seen—for my companions and myself do not count
—and our planet, thanks to me, shall yield its deepest
secrets to you.”

I could not deny it. The captain’s words had a
great effect upon me. I was assailed at my weak point,
and forget, at the moment, that the contemplation of
these wonderful things could not compensate for my lost
liberty. However, I counted upon the future to solve
this question, so I answered :

“ Monsieur, if you have quarrelled with humanity, I
like to think that you have not renounced every human
feeling. We are shipwrecked people, received charitably
on board your vessel, we do not forget that. As for me,
Iam not. sure but that, if the interests of science will
permit me to forget the want of freedom, I can promise
myself that our intercourse will be very pleasant.”

I fancied that the commander would tender me his
hand to ratify our agreement. He did not do so, and,
for his sake, I was sorry for it.



94 THE MAN OF THE SEA.

“One last question,” I said, as this strange individual
was about to retire.

“ Well, Monsieur ?”

“‘ By what name shall I address you ?”

“Sir,” he replied, “to you I am but Captain Nemo,
and your companions and yourself are to me only pas-
sengers in the ship /Vaztzlus.”

Captain Nemo then called the steward, to whom he
gave his orders in that strange language which I could
not make out ; then turning to Conseil and the Canadian
he said to them :

“A meal awaits you in your cabin. Be so good as
to follow that man.”

“This is not to be refused,” said the harpooner, and
Conseil and he quitted the cell in which they had been
interned thirty hours.

“ Now, M. Aronnax, our breakfast is ready. Allow
me to lead the way.”

“ At your orders, captain.”

I followed Captain Nemo, and as soon as I had
passed the door I entered a sort of corridor, illuminated
by electric light, and resembling the waist of a ship.
After proceeding a short distance a second door was
opened before me.

I was ushered in a dining-room ornamented and fur-
nished in perfect taste. Oaken shelves inlaid with
ebony were erected at each end of this room, upon which
were displayed, in varying order, china, earthenware,
porcelain, and glass of inestimable value. The table-
services glittered heneath the rays which extended to the
ceiling, whose fine frescoes toned down the powerful
light.



THE MAN OF THE SEA, 95

In the centre of the room was a splendidly-served
table. Captain Nemo pointed out my place.

“Sit down,” said he, “and eat like a man who is
dying of hunger.”

The meal was composed of a certain number of dishes
which only the sea could have supplied, and some of
which I was entirely ignorant. They were very good,
but* of curious flavour, to which, however, I speedily
became accustomed. These various dishes were rich in
phosphorus, and from this I argued that they were of
oceanic origin. :

Captain Nemo was looking at me. I asked him
nothing, but he divined my thoughts, and replied volun-
tarily to the questions I was burning to address to
him.

“The greater part of these dishes are unknown,”
said he; “but you may eat without fear. They are
wholesome and nourishing. For years I have renounced
all sustenance derived from the earth, and am none the
worse. My crew, who are strong fellows, live as I
do.” -

“All these things are produced in the sea,
then ?”

“Yes, the ocean furnishes me with all I require.
Sometimes I spread my nets astern, and haul them in
ready to break. Sometimes I go hunting in this element
so inaccessible to man, and I take the game that in-
habits the submarine forests. My flocks, like those of
father Neptune, feed fearlessly in the submarine pastures,
and share a vast estate which I cultivate myself, and
which is always sown by the hand of the Creator of all
things.



96 THE MAN OF THE SEA.

I gazed at Captain Nemo in astonishment, and
replied :

“J can quite understand that your nets furnish you
excellent fish, but I do not quite comprehend how you
hunt the aquatic game in the submarine forests, and,
least of all, why so small a portion of meat appears at
your table.”

“For the reason that I never consume the flesh of
terrestrial animals.”

“But this, now?” I retorted, pointing to a dish upon
which some slices of a “ fillet” were placed.

“That which you believe to be meat is nothing but
tortoise fillet. Here is likewise some dolphin liver
which you might take for pork. My cook is an ex-
perienced hand, and excels in preparing the various
productions of the sea. Taste those. Here is a con-
serve Whololuries, which Malais declared unrivalled.
Here is a cream made of the milk from the breast of
a cetacean, and sugar from the great fucus of the
North Sea; and, finally, allow me to offer you these
confitures a@’anemones, which are equal to the most
pleasant fruits.”

I tasted them, more out of curiosity than hunger,
while Captain Nemo amused me by his improbable
tales.

“ But this inexhaustible sea not only feeds but clothes
me. That material you wear is made from the byssus of
certain shell fish. They are coloured with the purple of
the ancients, variegated with violet tints, which I extract
from the aplysis of the Mediterranean. The perfumes
you will find upon your dressing-table have been pro-
duced by the distillation of marine plants. Your bed is



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630,090 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA.’—PART I,
TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES
UNDER THE SEA

BY

JULES VERNE

AUTHOR OF “THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN HATTERAS”
“ JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH”
ETC, ETC.

COMPLETE EDITION

TRANSLATED BY HENRY FRITH

LONDON AND NEW YORK
GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS
1876
CHARLES DICKENS AND EVANS,
CRYSTAL PALACE PRESS,
CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I. PAGE
A movine Rock... wee ae a we we 5

CHAPTER II.
For AND AGAINST oe _ see tee tes we = «4

_ CHAPTER III.
‘«JusT AS MONSIEUR PLEASES” tee tee we we 22

CHAPTER IV.
NepD LAND aes a ae tee cs a ae = 29)

CHAPTER V.
“AT A VENTURE” te see wes tee a we = 38

CHAPTER VI.
FULL SPEED sae we tee tee oes wae ve = 46

CHAPTER VII.
AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE ... wee tee owe = «57

CHAPTER VIII.
MosBILis IN MOBILE... wee wes a Pa ws = 67

CHAPTER IX.

NED LAND’s ANGER... tee see a we = 78
CHAPTER X.

THE MAN OF THE SEA... tes wee tee tee ww. =—-87
CHAPTER XI. .

THE ‘ NAUTILUS” wee te tee tee we 99
CONTENTS.

/ CHAPTER XII.
ENTIRELY BY ELECTRICITY
CHAPTER XIII,
A FEW FIGURES ... wee wee os
CHAPTER XIV,

Tue BLACK RIVER

CHAPTER XV.
A NOTE oF INVITATION

CHAPTER XVI.
A WALK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA

CHAPTER XVII.
A SUBMARINE FOREST ...

CHAPTER XVIII.

Four THOUSAND LEAGUES BENEATH THE PACIFIC

CHAPTER XIX.
VANIKORO te

CHAPTER XX.
TORRES STRAIT ...

CHAPTER XXI.
SomE Days ‘‘ ASHORE”

CHAPTER XXII.
CarTaAIN NEMO’s LIGHTNING ...

CHAPTER XXIII,

7EGRI SOMNIA

CHAPTER XXIV,
THE REALMS OF CORAL

PAGE
109

118

126

140

180

158

167

178

191

202

217

231

243
TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES
UNDER THE SEA.

CHAPTER I.
A MOVING ROCK.

THE year 1866 was marked by a very strange event, an
inexplicable and unexplained phenomenon, which must
still be in the recollection of our readers.’ Without
mentioning rumours which agitated the population of
the sea-ports, and extended to the interior of various
countries, the maritime population were more particularly
exercised in their minds. Merchants, ship-owners, ship-
captains, skippers, and masters, both European and
American, officers of the Marines of both countries,
and, subsequently, the Governments of various States of
these continents, were deeply engrossed respecting this
phenomenon.

As a matter of fact, for some time many vessels had
encountered “an enormous thing,” long, spindle-shaped,
phosphorescent at times—very much larger and swifter
than a whale.
6 A MOVING ROCK.

The facts relating to this apparition, as recorded in
various “logs,” agreed sufficiently respecting the forma-
tion of the object—or being—in question, the unheard-of
celerity of its movements, its wonderful power of motion,
the peculiar life with which it seemed endowed. If it
were of the whale species, it exceeded in bulk all that
science had hitherto classified. Neither Cuvier, nor
Lacépede, nor Dumeril, nor M. de Quatrefages, had
admitted the existence of such a monster,

But to strike a medium of the observations made at
intervals, rejecting the timid estimates which pronounced
this object to be 200 feet long, and putting away the
exaggerated opinions which gave it a breadth of one
mile and a length of three, we may state, nevertheless,
that this extraordinary being exceeded anything hitherto
discovered by ichthyologists—supposing it ever existed.

Now if it existed, the fact could not be denied, and
with the instinct for the marvellous, indulged in by the
average brain of humanity, one can understand the effect
produced upon the world by this supernatural apparition.
It was quite impossible to treat it as a mere fable.

In fact, upon the zoth July, 1866, the steamer
Governor Higeinson, of the Calcutta and Burnach Steam
Navigation Company, had encountered this moving mass
five miles to the east of Australia. Captain Baker was
at first under the impression that he had met with an
unknown rock, and was preparing to take the bearings of
it, when two columns of water, impelled by this extra-
ordinary object, were spurted 150 feet into the air. So,
unless this rock were subject to the intermittent expan-
sions of a geyser, the Governor Higginson had in good
earnest encountered some aquatic mammifer hitherto un-
A MOVING ROCK. 7

known, which spurted through its blow-holes two columns
of water mixed with air and steam.

A similar occurrence was observed on the 23rd July
in the same year, in the Pacific Ocean, by the Christopher
Columbus of the West India and Pacific Steam Naviga-
tion Company. On this occasion the wonderful cetacean
must have moved from place to place with extreme
velocity, since the Governor Higginson and the Chrts-
topher Columbus had observed it at two places separate
more than seven hundred nautical leagues.

Fifteen days later, two thousand leagues from the
above latitude, the He/vetia, of the National Steamship
Company, and the Skannon, of the Royal Mail, sailing
between Europe and America, noticed the monster
respectively 42° 15’ N. lat., and 60° 35’ W. long., of the
meridian of Greenwich. In this simultaneous observa-
tion the minimum length of the mammifer was estimated
at 350 feet, for the Shannon and Helvetia were smaller
than it, inasmuch as they measured 300 feet only from
stem to stern. Now the very largest whales—those
which inhabit the neighbourhood of the Aleutian Islands,
Kulammak and Umgillick—have never exceeded 180
feet, even if they reached that length.

These reports arrived in quick succession. Further
observations made on board the Transatlantic “liner”
Pereive; a collision between the £tza of the Inman
Line and the monster ; an official report sent in by the
officers of the French frigate Za Mormandie; a very
serious report obtained by the Secretary of State from
Commodore Fitz-James of the Lord Clyde, stirred up
public curiosity. In a country possessing some sense of
humour the subject would have been treated as a joke,
8 A MOVING ROCK.

but in such grave and practical nations as England,
America, and Germany, people were very much exercised
in their minds.

In the large towns this monster became quite the
rage; they sung about it in the cafés, they derided it
in the newspapers, and joked upon it in the theatres.
The canards had now every opportunity to lay eggs of
every colour. One might have noticed in the papers
drawings and descriptions of all the terrible and
imaginary beings, from the white whale—the fearful Moby
Dick of the Arctic regions—to the immense Kraken, whose
tentacles were sufficient to grasp a ship of 500 tons and
drag it to the depths of the ocean. They reproduced
even the statements of ancient writers, the opinions of
Aristotle and Pliny, who admitted the existence of these
monsters; the Norwegian narratives of the Bishop
Pontopidan, the tales of Paul Heggede, and, finally, the
reports of Mr. Harrington, whose good faith no one
could impugn, when he declared he had seen, when on
board the Castl/an in 1857, that enormous serpent,
which up to that time had only infested the waters of
the ancient Constitutional.

Then there arose the interminable discussions
between the credulous and the incredulous amongst
scientific societies and publications. This “monster
question” inflamed their minds. Journalists who pro-
fessed themselves scientific in contradistinction to those
who professed to be intellectual, “slung ink” to a great
extent during this memorable campaign; some even shed
a few drops of blood, for the sea-serpent gave rise to
some very offensive personalities.

For six months this paper-war continued with varying
A MOVING ROCK. 9

success. To the leading articles of the Geographical
Institute of Brazil, of the Royal Academy of Sciences at
Berlin, of the British Association, of the Smithsonian
Institute at Washington, to the discussions in the “ Indian
Archipelago,” in the “Cosmos” of the Abbé Moigno, in the
“Mittheilungen ” of Petermann, in the scientific notices of
French and other journals, the comic papers replied with
unflagging energy, their lively writers parodying a speech
of Linnzeus, quoted by the opponents of the monster,
maintained in effect that Nature did not do foolish things,
and abjured their contemporaries not to give Nature the
lie by admitting the existence of krakens, sea-serpents,
“Moby Dick,” and other inventions of drunken sailors.
At length, in a very celebrated satirical journal, the
editor attacked the monster, gave him a last blow, and
conquered, amid universal laughter. Wit had vanquished
science.

During the first months of the year 1867 the question
remained in abeyance, and did not appear likely to crop
up again, when suddenly some new facts were brought
to the knowledge of the public. These did not take the
shape of a scientific problem which had to be solved,
but of an actual danger to be avoided. Thus the ques-
tion assumed a totally different aspect. The monster
was still an islet, a rock, a reef, but a moving rock,
indeterminable and unassailable.

On the 5th March, 1867, the Moravian, of the Mon-
treal Ocean Company, in 27° 30’ N, lat. 17° 52’ W. long.,
during the night struck, on the starboard quarter, a rock,
which no chart had ever laid down. Impelled by steam
and wind, the vessel was progressing at the rate of thir-
teen knots. Had the Moravian not been very stoutly
10 A MOVING ROCK.

built? she would have sprung a leak, and have gone to
the bottom with her 237 passengers and crew.

The accident happened at about 5 A.m., at daybreak.
The officers of the watch hurried to the stern of the ship.
They scanned the ocean with minuteness. They per-
ceived nothing except a strong eddy, which broke about
two cables’ length distant, as ifthe surface of the sea had
been violently disturbed. The bearings of the spot were
accurately taken, and the Moravian continued her
voyage apparently uninjured. Had she struck upon a
sunken rock or on some wreckage ? They could not tell,
but upon examination in dock it was discovered that a
portion of the keel had been carried away.

This occurrence, although sufficiently serious in itself,
would perhaps have been forgotten, like many others, if,
three weeks afterwards, it had not occurred again under
exactly similar conditions. Only, thanks to the nation-
ality of the ship, the victim of this system of running foul
of vessels, and to the reputation of the company to which
the ship belonged, the event created a great sensation.

No one can be ignorant of the name of Cunard, the
celebrated English shipowner. This gentleman founded
in 1840 a postal service between Liverpool and Halifax,
N.S., with three wooden vessels and engines of 400 horse-
power, and 1,162 tons measurement. Eight years after-
wards the fleet of the company had increased by four
ships of 650 horse-power and 1820 tons, and two years
later two other steamers of greater size were built. In
1853 the Cunard Company, which had again secured the
concession to carry the mails, added successively to its
fleet the Arabia, Persia, China, Scotia, Fava, Russia,
all vessels of the first-class, and the largest (except the
A MOVING ROCK. II

Great Eastern) that had ever crossed the ocean. Thus,
in 1867, the company possessed twelve ships, eight
paddle and four screw-steamers.

I give these details so that every one may appreciate
the importance of this company in maritime affairs. No
enterprise connected with transatlantic transport has been
conducted with such ability, or crowned with so great
success. For six-and-twenty years the Cunard “liners ”
had crossed the Atlantic, and had never missed a voyage,
had experienced no serious delays, nor even lost a man,
a letter, or a vessel. So passengers choose them still,
notwithstanding the great competition, as can be per-
ceived from an abstract from the official reports. Under
these circumstances it is not surprising that some excite-
ment should have been created when the news came
of an accident that had happened to one of the best
steamers,

On the 13th April, 1867, the sea was smooth, the wind
light, and the Scotéa was in 15° 12’ W. long. 45° 37’ N. lat.
She was steaming over thirteen knots. Her draught of
water was about six metres and a half, her displacement
6,680 cubic metres.

About four o’clock in the afternoon, while dinner was
proceeding in the saloon, a shock, but not a very great
one, was distinctly felt somewhere on the starboard
quarter abaft the paddles.

The Scotfa had not struck; it had been struck, and,
moreover, by some sharp or pointed thing, which con-
tused her. This “hulling” of the vessel was so gentle
that no one on board would have felt anxious had not
someone run upon the bridge and exclaimed, “ We are
sinking ! we are sinking !”
12 A MOVING ROCK.

Of course the passengers immediately took alarm, but
Captain Anderson soon reassured them. Indeed, the
danger could not be imminent, as the Scotia is divided
into seven water-tight compartments, and can put up
with a little leakage.

Captain Anderson descended at once into the hold.
He perceived that the fifth compartment had sprung a
leak, and the rate at which the water was pouring in
proved that the injury was of considerable extent. Very
fortunately the furnaces were not situated in this portion
of the ship, else they would have been quickly extin-
guished.

Captain Anderson stopped the Scotia, and sent one
of the sailors to examine the injury. He soon discovered
a large hole in the hull. Such damage could not be
trifled with, and the Scotva was put at half-speed for the
rest of the voyage. She was then 300 miles from Cape
Clear, and, after a delay of three days, which caused
great anxiety in Liverpool, she arrived in port.

The surveyors then set about their examination of
the Scoféa, which was dry-docked for the purpose. They
could scarcely believe their eyes. About six feet below
the water-line there was a regular rent, in the shape of
an isosceles triangle. The fissure in the iron plating
was perfectly even, and could not have been more neatly
done with a punch. It must have been caused by an
instrument of no common hardness, and after it had been
launched against the ship with such prodigious force as
to pierce an enormous hole in the iron, it had been
withdrawn by a retrograde movement almost incon-
ceivable.

This was the last occurrence which had so excited
A MOVING ROCK. 3

public curiosity. From that time all disasters at sea
which could not be accounted for were put to the credit
of the monster. ‘This fantastic animal bore the respon-
sibility of all shipwrecks—whose numbers are, alas ! con-
siderable—for out of the 3,000 vessels whose loss is
annually recorded, the number supposed to be lost,
because no intelligence concerning them has been re-
ceived, scarcely reaches 200. Now this was the
monster which, justly or unjustly, was accused of their
destruction ; and, thanks to him, the communication
between the continents became more and more dan-
gerous, and the public demanded that the ocean should
be cleared of this formidable cetacean.
CHAPTER II.
FOR AND AGAINST.

Wuite the events above described were taking place, I
was returning from a scientific expedition into the wiid
territory of Nebraska, U.S.A. In my position as assistant
professor to the Natural History Museum in Paris, the
French Government had nominated me to the expedition.
After six months passed in Nebraska, I arrived in New
York about the end of March, in charge of a valuable
collection. I had arranged to sail for France at the
beginning of May. In the meantime I was occupying
myself in classifying my mineral, botanical, and zoological
collections, when the accident happened to the Scof/a.

I was perfectly well acquainted with the topic of the
day: how could it be otherwise ?: I had read again and
again the European and American journals without being
any more enlightened. This mystery puzzled me. In
the impossibility to form an opinion, I drifted from one
extreme to the other. That there was something was an
undoubted fact, and the unbelieving were invited to put
their fingers into the side of the Scoffa. When I arrived
in New York the subject.was being freely discussed. The
FOR AND AGAINST. Ty

hypotheses of the floating island and the unassailable
rock, upheld by some minds, had been altogether aban-
doned. And indeed, unless this rock possessed a machine
in its interior, how could it move at such a tremendous
pace! The floating hull of some large wrecked vessel
was also set aside as untenable, and for the same reason,

There thus remained two possible solutions to the
question, which called into existence two distinct clans or
cliques—those who believed in a monster of enormous
size, on the other hand those who supported the idea
of a submarine vessel of a wonderful motive-power.

Now this last hypothesis, allowable after all, could not
be supported in face of the inquiry directed against it.
That any one person had such a mechanical power at his
disposal was scarcely likely. Where and when had he
manufactured it, and how had he kept the construction a
secret?

A Government only could have possession of such a
destructive machine, and in these disastrous days, when
everyone is bending his energies to multiply the effect of
offensive weapons, it was possible that one State might,
unknown to others, attempt such a formidable engine.
After chassepéts, torpedos—after torpedos, submarine
rams ; then—a reaction. At least, I hope so!

But the suggestion of an engine of war was dissi-
pated by the declarations of the various Governments.
As the question agitated was of public interest, since
inter-oceanic communication was being interrupted, the
statement of the Governments could not be called in
question. Moreover, how could the construction of such
a machine have escaped notice? To guard such a secret
under the circumstances would be a very difficult task
16 FOR AND AGAINST.

for an individual, and certainly impossible for a State,
whose acts are jealously watched by powerful rivals.

So, after inquiries had been instituted in England,
France, Russia, Prussia, Spain, Italy, America, and even
Turkey, the suggestion of a submarine monitor was
definitely rejected.

The monster appeared by fits and starts, in spite of
the incessant fire of jokes directed against it by the
comic press, and in this direction imagination went to
the most absurd lengths in fantastic ichthyology. On
my arrival at New York many people had done me the
honour to consult me upon the phenomenon in question.
I had already published in France a work in two
volumes quarto, entitled “The Mysteries of the Great
Ocean Depths.” This work, which was much relished
by the scientific world, dubbed me a specialist in this
somewhat obscure branch of natural history. My
opinion was asked. So long as I could deny the reality
of the occurrence I took refuge in absolute denial, but
soon, driven to the wall, I was obliged to explain cate-
gorically ; and “the Honourable Pierre Aronnax, Pro-
fessor at the Museum in Paris,” was formally called
upon by the ez York Herald to pronounce an opinion.

I complied with the request, because I was unable
to remain silent. I discussed the question in all its
bearings, politically and scientifically, and I give below
an extract from a well-digested article which I published
in the issue of the 30th April.

“ Thus,” said I, “after having examined one by one
the various hypotheses, all other suppositions being re-
jected, we must necessarily admit the existence of a
marine animal of great power.
FOR AND AGAINST. i7

“The profound depths of the ocean are entirely un-
known to us. Soundings have never reached to the
bottom. What goes on in these abysses? What beings
inhabit or can inhabit the regions twelve or fifteen miles
beneath the surface of the water? What is their organ-
isation? One can scarcely even conjecture.

“ Nevertheless, the solution of the problem which has
been submitted to me assumes this shape—

“Hither we are acquainted with all the varieties of
beings which inhabit our planet, or we are not.

“Tf we do not know them all, if Nature has still
secrets from us in ichthyology, nothing can be more
rational than to admit the existence of fishes or cetacea
of new species, or even new genera, of an essentially
primary organisation, which inhabit the beds of ocean
inaccessible to the sounding line, and which some acci-
dent, a fancy or caprice, if they will it, impels, at long
intervals, to the upper waters of the ocean.

“Tf on the contrary, we do know all living species,
we must, necessarily, seek for the animal in question
amongst the marine animals already catalogued, and in
this event, I am disposed to admit the existence of a
gigantic narwhal.

“The common narwhal or sea-unicorn often attains
a length of sixty feet. Five or ten times this extent
would give to this cetacean a force proportionate to its
size ; increase its offensive power, and you obtain the
animal you desire. It will have the proportions mentioned
by the officers of the SZaznon, the instrument needed for
the perforation of the Sofa, and the force necessary to
pierce the hull of a steamer. As a fact, the narwhal is
armed with an ivory sword, or halberd—as some natural:

VOL. I, B
18 FOR AND AGAINST.

ists have termed it. It is a tooth of the hardness of
steel. Some of these teeth have been discovered in the
bodies of whales, which the narwhal can attack with
success. They have also been extracted, and not with-
out labour, from the hulls of ships, which they have
pierced through and through, as a gimlet pierces a cask.
The Museum of the Faculty of Medicine in Paris con-
tains one of these weapons, two metres and a quarter in
length, and forty-eight centimetres broad at the base.

Well, then, suppose a weapon ten times as powerful,
and the animal ten times as great as the ordinary nar-
whal, let it rush through the water at the rate of twenty
miles an hour, multiply the mass by the velocity, and you
will obtain a resultant capable of producing the shock
required.

“So far as information can go, I am of opinion that
this monster is a sea-unicorn of colossal dimensions,
armed, not merely with a ‘halberd,’ but with a veritable
spur like an iron-clad or a ‘ram,’ possessing, at the
same time, a force and motive power in proportion.

“Thus I can explain this almost inexplicable pheno-
menon, unless there is really nothing at all—in spite of all
that has been seen, written, and felt—which is still
possible.”

These last words were rather weak on my part, but I
wished, up to a certain point, to shroud myself in my
dignity as a professor, and not to give the Americans
anything to ridicule, for they laugh well when they do
laugh. Ireserved a loophole for myself. In my heart
I admitted the existence of the monster.

@#My article was warmly criticised, and this gave it
popularity. It gained a number of adherents. The
FOR AND AGAINST, 19

solution it advanced also gave free scope to the imagina-
tion. The human mind is pleased with great concep-
tions and supernatural beings. Now the sea is precisely
the best vehicle for them, the sole medium where these
giants, compared to which terrestrial animals, elephants
or rhinoceros, are but dwarfs, can be produced and
developed. These ocean depths contain the largest
known species of mammalia, and perhaps contain mol-
luscs of unheard-of size, crustacea frightful to behold, such
as lobsters of 100 metres, and crabs weighing 200 tons !
Why not? Formerly terrestrial animals of the geological
epochs—the quadrupeds, apes, reptiles, and birds—were
all formed upon gigantic models. The Creator cast them
in a colossal mould, which time has by degrees reduced.
Why cannot the sea, which never changes, while the
earth is ever changing, still retain in its unknown depths
these immense specimens of the animal life of former
ages? Why cannot it hide within its bosom the last
varieties of this Titanic species, whose years are centuries,
and whose centuries thousands of years ?

But I must not indulge in unbecoming speculations.
A truce to these fancies, which time has shown me are
terrible realities. Irepeat the opinion then expressed of
the nature of the phenomenon, and the public admits,
without question, the existence of an enormous being
which has nothing in common with the fabulous sea-
serpents.

But if one party saw in this nothing but a scientific
problem to be solved, the others, more positive, above
all in England and America, were anxious to purge the
ocean of this redoubtable monster, so as to secure safety
in transatlantic communication. The commercial and

B2
20 FOR AND AGAINST.

trade journals took the matter up mainly with this view.
The Shipping and Mercantile Gazette, Lloyd’s List, The
Steamboat, The Maritime and Colonial Review, all the
papers devoted to the Insurance Companies, which
threatened to raise their premiums, were unanimous on
this point.

The opinion of the public being thus pronounced,
the United States took the initiative. ;

Preparations were made at New York for an expe-
dition destined to pursue this narwhal. A frigate of
great speed—the Abraham Lincoln—was fitted out for
sea at once. Commodore Farragut pushed forward the
armament of the ship rapidly.

At this very time, as always happens, when they had
determined to pursue the monster, the monster did not
turn up. For two months nothing was heard about it.
No vessel had fallen in with it. It seemed as if this
unicorn had some knowledge of the toils being spread
around it. Too much had been said about it, and by
means of the Atlantic cable too. So argued the funny
ones, who maintained that this “sly dog” had inter-
cepted some telegram, which he had turned to his own
advantage.

So there was the frigate supplied with material for a
lengthened cruise, and formidable apparatus for the
monster’s capture, and no one knew whither she must
sail, The general impatience was increased when, on
the 2nd of July, it was announced that a steamer of the
San Francisco and China line had seen the animal
three weeks before in the South Pacific Ocean.

gehe excitement caused by this intelligence was
intense. Commodore Farragut had not twenty-four
FOR AND AGAINST, 21

hours’ notice. His provisions were put on board. The
bunkers were filled with coal. Not aman of the crew
was missing. He had only to light the fires, get up
steam, and put to sea. People would not have tolerated
the delay of half a day. Besides, Commodore Farragut
was only too anxious to set out.

Three hours before the departure of the Abraham
Lincoln, I received a letter couched in the following
terms :—

MM, ARONNAX,
“ Professor of the Museum of Paris,
“ Fifth Avenue Hotel,
“ New York,
“ SIR,—

“Tf you wish to accompany the expedition on board
the Abraham Lincoln, the United States’ Government will
be pleased that France should be represented by you, in
this enterprise. Commodore Farragut will hold a cabin
at your disposal,

“Yours very truly,

“J. B. Hogson,
“Secretary to the Admiralty,”
CHAPTER III.
“ JUST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES !”

THREE seconds before the arrival of Mr. Hobson’s letter,
Ihad no more notion of going in search of the unicorn
than of attempting the North-West Passage. Three
seconds after I had read the Secretary’s letter, I quite
believed that my true vocation, my only aim in life, was
to hunt up this monster, and rid the world of him.

Meanwhile, I was about to undertake a trying journey,
with all its fatigue and absence of repose. I had been
wishing above everything to see my native land, my
friends, my little house in the Jardin des Plantes, my
cherished and valuable collections, once again. But now
nothing would stop me. I forgot all this—friends, col-
lections, and perils—and I accepted, without hesitation,
the offer of the American Government.

Moreover, I thought every track leads to Europe, and
the unicorn may be amiable enough to lead me to the
coast of France. This worthy animal would doubtless
permit himself to be taken in European waters, for my
especial benefit, and I did not wish to bring back less
than half a metre of his ivory halberd, for the Museum
of Natural History.
“FUST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES!” 23

But, meantime, it was necessary to search for this
narwhal in the North Pacific Ocean ; so to reach France,
I should probably have to go by way of the antipodes !

“ Conseil !” I cried peremptorily.

Conseil was my servant, a devoted fellow, who ac-
companied me in all my wanderings—a brave Fleming,
whom I like very much, and who serves me well; phleg-
matic by nature, regular on principle, zealous from habit,
taking life very easy, very handy and apt in all things,
and, his name notwithstanding, never giving advice, even
when he was of asked for it.

In consequence of associating with savants in our
little world in the Jardin des Plantes, Conseil had picked
up some information. I possessed in him a specialist
well up in the classification of natural history, who could
run, so to speak, like an acrobat up the ladder of branches,
groups, classes, sub-classes, orders, families, genus, sub-
genus, species, and varieties. But there his scientific
attainments stopped. To class was his wdtma thule, but
he knew nothing beyond that. Completely versed in the
theory of classification, but little in the practice, I do not
believe he could distinguish a cachalot from a whale.
Nevertheless, he was a brave and worthy fellow.

For the last ten years Conseil had followed me
whithersoever science had drawn me. He never com-
mented upon either the duration or the fatigue of a
journey. He had no objection to start for any country,
China or Congo it was all the same to him. He would
go to one or the other and ask no questions. Moreover,
he enjoyed excellent health, which set all illness at de-
fiance ; solid muscles, no nerves—not even the appear-
ance of nerves—I mean moral nerves, of course. He
24 “YUST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES!”

was thirty years of age, and his age was to his master’s
as fifteen to twenty, so I need not add that I was forty
years old. But Conseil had one fault. A strict formalist,
he never addressed me except in the third person—
enough to set your teeth on edge !

“ Conseil,” I repeated, as I began, with feverish hands,
to make preparations for departure. Certainly, I was
sure of this devoted fellow. In ordinary circumstances
I never asked him whether it would suit him or not to
accompany me in my travels ; but this time it was upon
an expedition which might be indefinitely prolonged,
and hazardous, in the pursuit of an animal capable of
crunching a frigate like a nutshell. There was need of
reflection in this, even for the most impassible man in
the world. What would Conseil say ?

“Conseil,” I cried, for the third time.

Conseil appeared.

“ Did Monsieur call ?” he asked as he entered.

“Ves, my lad. Get my things and your own ready.
We start in two hours.”

“Just as Monsieur pleases,” replied Conseil calmly.

“There is not an instant to lose. Pack up my trunk
quickly.”

“ And Monsieur’s collections ?” asked Conseil.

“We will see about those later.”

“What! the archiotherium, the hyracotherium, the
oreodons, the cheropotamus, and the other specimens ?”

“The hotel people will take care of them.”

“ And the babiroussa ?”

“They will keep it during our absence. Besides, I
will leave orders to forward our menagerie to France.

“ We are not returning to Paris, then?” said Conseil.
“¢UST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES!” 25

“ Well—yes—certainly,” I replied evasively ; “but
we shall take a little round.”

“ Any defour that Monsieur pleases.”

“Oh! that will not be of much consequence. By a
less direct route, that’s all. We shall sail in the Abraham
Lincoln.”

“As may be most convenient to Monsieur,” replied
Conseil quickly.

“Vou are aware, my friend, of the question about
this monster—this narwhal. We are about to purge the
sea of him. The author of a work in quarto, and in two
volumes, upon the “Mysteries of the Great Ocean Depths,”
cannot give up the idea of embarking with Commodore
Farragut. A glorious enterprise, but dangerous. One
cannot tell where they may go. These animals are very
capricious ; but we shall go all the same. We have a
commander who has no fear.”

“If Monsieur goes, I will go,” replied Conseil.

“ But mark well, for I have no wish to hide anything.
This is one of the journeys from which one cannot always
return.”

“ Just as Monsieur pleases.”

A quarter of an hour afterwards our trunks were
ready. Conseil had done everything, and I was sure
nothing was forgotten, for this fellow could classify
shirts and coats as well as birds and beasts.

The hotel “lift” deposited us in the great vestibule
of the entresol, I descended to the hall, paid my bill,
and gave directions to have my various collections of
plants and animals forwarded to Paris. I opened a
credit for the babiroussa, and, followed by Conseil,
jumped into a carriage.
26 “FUST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES!”

The fly, at twenty francs the course, descended
Broadway as far as Union Square, proceeded along
Fourth Avenue to its junction with Bowery Street,
entered Katrin Street, and stopped at the thirty-fourth
pier. There the Katrin ferry took us all over—men,
horses, and carriage, to Brooklyn, the great suburb of
New York, situated npon the left bank of the river ; and
in a few minutes we reached the quay, close to which the
Abraham Lincoln was vomiting huge volumes of black
smoke from her two funnels.

Our baggage was immediately put on board. I
hurried after it, and asked to see the commodore. One
of the sailors conducted me up to the poop, where I
found myself in the presence of an officer of pleasant
appearance, who offered me his hand.

“ Monsieur Pierre Aronnax ?” said he. a

“The same,” said I. “ Have I the pleasure to address
Commodore Farragut ?”

“Yes, in person. You are welcome, sir, and your
cabin is prepared.”

I saluted him, and leaving the commodore to his
duties, I descended to the cabin destined for my re-
ception.

The Abraham Lincoln had been well selected and
fitted out for its novel enterprise. She was a quick
sailer, fitted with superheating apparatus, which permitted
the expansion of the steam to seven atmospheres. With
such a pressure, the Abraham Lincoln attained an average
speed of eighteen miles and a quarter an hour, a very
considerable speed, too, but not sufficient to cope with
the gigantic cetacean.

The interior arrangements of the frigate were in keep-
“FUST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES !” 27

ing with her sea-going qualities. I was much pleased
with my cabin, situated at the stern, opening to the ward-
room.

“We shall be very comfortable here,” said I to
Conseil.

“Very much so, indeed, if Monsieur is not displeased
to live like a hermit crab in a whelk-shell.”

I left Conseil to arrange the cabin, and ascended to
the deck to investigate the preparations for getting under
weigh. At this moment Commodore Farragut gave orders
to “let go,” so, had I been a quarter of an hour later, I
should have been left behind, and missed this extra-
ordinary and improbable expedition, of which this truth-
ful narrative may perhaps contain some incredible state-
ments,

But Commodore Farragut did not wish to lose an hour
in searching the seas in which the animal was reported
to be found. He sent for the engineer.

“Ts steam up?” he asked.

“ Yes, sir,” replied the engineer.

“ Go ahead, then,” said the commodore.

At this order, which was conveyed to the engine-
room by a speaking tube, the engineers started the engines.
The steam hissed into the cylinders, the long pistons set
the connecting-rods of the shaft in motion. The blades
of the screw beat the waves with increasing rapidity, and
the Abraham Lincoln advanced majestically in the midst
of a crowd of ferry boats and tenders, filled with spec-
tators, which composed the procession,

The quays of New York and Brooklyn, bordering the
East river, were crowded with the curious. Three cheers
were given by half a million throats. Thousands ot
28 6FUST AS MONSIEUR PLEASES t”

handkerchiefs were waved in salute to the frigate, until
she reached the Hudson, at the point of the long penin-
sula on which stands the town of New York.

The frigate coasting the New Jersey side, on which so
many pleasant villas are erected, passed the forts, which
saluted. The Abraham Lincoln replied, dipping and
hoisting the American flag three times, whose thirty-nine
stars shone at the peak; then slackened speed, so as to
make the buoyed channel which leads into the inner bay,
formed by the point of Sandy Hook, where many thou-
sands of spectators gave the frigate a parting cheer,

The procession of boats still followed the Abraham
Lincoln, and did not quit her until they reached the light-
ship at the entrance of the channel.

It was then three o’clock. The pilot got into his
boat and was pulled on board his little schooner, which
lay hove-to awaiting him. The frigate’s fires were coaled
up, the screw revolved quicker than before, the frigate
passed the yellow low coast of Long Island, and at eight
o’clock P.M., having lost sight of Fire Island, she pro-
ceeded at full speed across the Atlantic.
CHAPTER IV.
NED LAND.

ComMoDORE Farracut was a good sailor, and worthy
of the frigate he commanded. His ship and he were
one. He was the soul of it. On the question of cetaceans
he entertained no doubt. He would not permit any
discussion respecting it. He believed in it as some
good women believe in Leviathan, by faith, not by reason.
The monster was in existence, and he had sworn to rid
the seas of him. He was a sort of Knight of Rhodes ;
a Dieudonné de Gozon, marching to encounter the ser-
pent that was devastating his island. Either Farragut
must kill the narwhal or the narwhal would kill Farragut.
There was no compromising the matter.

The officers were of the same opinion as their com-
mander. One could hear them speak, discuss, dispute,
and calculate the various chances of an encounter, as
they scanned the ocean expanse. More than one im-
posed a voluntary watch upon himself, and ascended to
the fore-topmast cross-trees, which under other circum-
siances would have been voted an awful bore. So soon
as the sun got hot, the masty were ascended by sailors,
30 NED LAND.

to whose feet the planks of the deck were too warm.
Meanwhile, the Abraham Lincoln had not yet entered
upon the suspected waters of the Pacific.

As for the ship’s company, they asked for nothing
better than a meeting with the unicorn, to harpoon him,
hoist him on board, and to cut him up. They watched
the sea with scrupulous attention. Moreover, Com-
modore Farragut had spoken of a certain sum of $2,000,
reserved for whosoever he be, ship-boy or able seaman,
master or officers, who should first signal the animal. So
I leave you to imagine whether they used their eyes on
board the Abraham Lincoln.

For my own part, I was not behind-hand with the
others, and delegated to no one my part of the daily
observations. The frigate might, with much reason,
have been called Argus. Only amongst them all Conseil
protested by his indifference on the question which
absorbed us, and was somewhat a “damper” of the
general enthusiasm on board.

I have already mentioned that Commodore Farragut
had carefully provided proper apparatus to catch this
enormous cetacean. A whaling ship could not have
been better armed. We possessed all known weapons,
from the simple hand-harpoon to the barbed arrows fired
from a blunderbuss, and the explosive bullets of the duck
gun. On the forecastle was trained the latest pattern of
breech-loading cannon, of great thickness and accuracy,
the model of which was in the Exhibition of 1867. This
valuable weapon of American construction could carry
with ease a conical shot, weighing four kilogrammes, to a
distance of sixteen kilometres.

Thus no means of destruction were wanting on board
NED LAND. 31

the frigate. But there was better than this still. There
was Ned Land, the king of harpooners,

Ned Land was a Canadian of almost incredible sleight
of hand, and unrivalled in his perilous profession. Skill
and coolness, bravery and tact, he possessed in a very
high degree, and it must, indeed, be a very malignant
whale, or a very astute cachalot, that could escape from
his harpoon. j

Ned Land was about forty. He was of large frame,
and over six feet high, strongly built, grave, silent, some-
times passionate, and very angry when contradicted. He
attracted attention by his appearance, and chiefly by the
steadiness of his gaze, which gave a singular expressive-
ness to his countenance. I believe that Commodore
Farragut had wisely engaged this man. He was worth
the whole crew for steadiness of eye and hand. I can
only compare him to a powerful telescope, which could
be immediately used as a loaded cannon.

A Canadian is a Frenchman, and little communica-
tive as Ned Land was, I think he conceived a certain
liking forme. My nationality attracted him, no doubt.
It was an opportunity for him to speak, and for me to
listen to the old language of Rabelais, which is still in use
in some parts of Canada. The family of the harpooner
were originally from Quebec, and had already grown into
a tribe of hardy fishermen when that town belonged to
France.

By degrees Ned got to like a chat, and I was glad to
hear the recitals of his adventures in the Arctic seas,
He recounted his fishing exploits and his combats with
much natural poetry of expression. His narratives
assumed the epic form, and I could fancy I was listening
32 NED LAND,

to some Canadian Homer chanting an Iliad of the Arctic
regions. I am now describing this hardy companion as
IT actually knew him. We have become quite old friends,
united by the unalterable band of friendship, which is
born of and cemented by the most terrible experiences
in common. Ah, brave Ned, I only ask to live a hun-
dred years so as to think the longer of you!

And now what was Ned Land’s opinion respecting
this marine monster? I should state that he scarcely
credited the unicorn theory, and was the only one on
board who did not share in the general conviction. He
even avoided the subject, upon which I thought he ought
to have entered some day.

One lovely evening, the 30th July, that is to say,
three weeks after our departure, the frigate was about
thirty miles to windward of Cape Blanco, on the coast of
Patagonia. We had passed the tropic of Capricorn, and
the straits of Magellan were scarcely 700 miles to the
south. Before eight days had passed the Abraham Lin-
coln would be ploughing the waters of the Pacific.

Sitting on the poop, Ned Land and I were chatting
of various things, watching that mysterious sea whose
depths are still inaccessible to human research. I led
the conversation up to the subject of the gigantic
unicorn, and treated of the chances of success or failure
of our expedition. Then perceiving that Ned permitted
me to speak without replying, I put the direct ques-
tion:

“ How is it, Ned, that you cannot be convinced of
the existence of this cetacean we are pursuing? Have
you any particular reasons for being go incredu-
lous 2?”
NED LAND. 33

The harpooner looked at me for some seconds before
he replied, then striking his forehead with a gesture
habitual to him and closing his eyes, as if to collect his
thoughts, he said at last, “Perhaps I have, M.
Aronnax !”

“Why, Ned! a man like you, a ‘whaler’ by pro-
fession, and familiar as. you are with all such marine
animals—you, whose imagination can easily entertain
the hypothesis of an enormous cetacean—you ought to
be the very last person to harbour a doubt under such
circumstances.”

“It’s just there where you make the mistake, sir,”
replied Ned. That common people may believe in
wonderful comets, or in the existence of antediluvian
monsters inhabiting the centre of the earth, is not sur-
prising ; but neither the astronomer nor the geologist
will admit such a theory. In the same way the whaler.
I have hunted hundreds of cetaceans, harpooned
quantities of them, killed them by dozens ; but powerful
and armed as they were, neither their tails nor their
tusks were able to pierce or damage the hull of an
iron steamer.”

‘But, Ned, there have been cases in which the tooth
of the narwhal has pierced ships through.”

“Wooden ships, perhaps,” replied the Canadian.
“All the same, I have never seen any. But, on the
contrary, I deny that whales, cachalots, or narwhals can
produce such an effect.”

Just listen to me, Ned.”

“No, sir, no. Anything you like, except that. A
gigantic polypus, for instance.”

“Still less. The polypus is only a mollusc ; and the

VoL. L c
34 NED LAND.

name of it even indicates the consistency ‘of its flesh.
Is it 500 feet long ever? Why, the polypus does not
belong to the branch of vertebrates, and is perfectly
harmless towards such vessels as the Scofva and the
Abraham Lincoln. We may, then, relegate to the land
of fables all tales of the exploits of krakens and other
monsters of like nature.”

“Then, sir,” said Ned, in a bantering tone, “ you
admit the existence of an enormous cetacean?”

“Ves, Ned; I repeat it with a conviction founded
upon the logic of facts. I believe in the existence of a
mammifer of a powerful organisation, belonging to the
vertebrate animals, like whales, cachalots, and dolphins,
and furnished with a horny defence, whose power of
penetration is very great.”

“Tum,” replied the harpooner, nodding his head
with the air of a man unwilling to be convinced.

“ Just consider, my worthy Canadian,” I replied, “that
if such an animal exist, if it inhabit the depths of
the ocean, if it live some miles below the surface, it
necessarily possesses an organism defying all com-
parison.”

“And why should it have such a powerful
organism ?”

“Because it must possess a tremendous strength to
enable it to live so far below the surface and resist the
pressure of the water.”

“ Really ?” inquired Ned, with a wink.

“Certainly; and figures can easily demonstrate it.”

“Oh, figures !” cried Ned. “One can do anything
with figures !”

“In business, Ned, but not in mathematics, Listen.
NED LAND. 35

Granting that the pressure of the atmosphere may be
represented by the pressure of a column of water thirty-
two feet high. In reality the column of water would be
of less height, since it would be sea-water, whose density
is superior to that of fresh-water. Well, when you dive,
‘Ned, so long as you have thirty-two feet of water above
you your body is supporting a pressure equal to that of
the atmosphere, that is to say a kilogramme for each
square centimetre of surface. It follows that at 320 feet
this pressure would be equal to ro atmospheres, and to
1oo atmospheres at 3,200 feet, and 1,000 atmospheres at
32,000 feet, which is about two and a half leagues.
This is equivalent to saying that if you could reach this
depth, each square centimetre of your body would bear
a pressure of 1,000 kilogrammes. Now, my brave Ned,
do you know how many square centimetres of surface
there are in your body ?”

“T cannot tell, M. Aronnax.”

© About 17,000.”

“So many as that?”

“ And as, in fact, the atmospheric pressure is a little
greater than one kilogramme to a square centimetre
your 17,000 square centimetres are at this moment sup-
porting a pressure of 17,568 kilogrammes (97,500 lbs.).

“Without my being sensible of it?”

“ Without your being sensible of it. And, if you are
not crushed by this pressure, it is because the air enters
the body with an equal force. So the inward and out
ward pressure are equal, and neutralise each other, and
you can support it without inconvenience. But in the
water it is a different thing.” ,

“Yes, I understand,” replied Ned, who was now

c2
36 NED LAND.

very attentive, “because the water surrounds me, and
does not enter the body.”

“ Precisely, Ned; so at thirty-two feet below the
surface of the sea you would be subject to a pressure of
17,568 kilogrammes ; at 320 feet ten times that pressure,
that is to say, 175,680 kilogrammes ; at 3,200 feet 100
times that pressure, viz., 1,756,800 kilogrammes; at
32,000 feet at least 1,000 times that pressure, viz.,
17,568,000 kilogrammes. In other words, you would
be flattened out as if you had been under a hydraulic
press.”

“The devil !” exclaimed Ned.

“So, my worthy harpooner, if vertebrates, many
hundred metres long and large in proportion, live at such
depths, and whose surface is represented by millions of
centimetres, we must estimate the pressure to which they
are subject by thousands of millions of kilogrammes.
Calculate now what the strength of their bony structures
and organism must be to enable them to resist such
pressure.”

“They must be like ironclad frigates,” replied
Ned.

“ Just so, Ned ; and now think of the damage such a
mass could do, if, going at express speed, it encountered
the hull of a ship.”

“ Well — yes — perhaps,” replied the Canadian,
staggered by these figures, but unwilling to yield to
them.

“Well, are you convinced ?”

“You have convinced me of one thing, sir, and that
is that if such animals live at the bottom of the sea, they
must necessarily be as strong as you state.”
NED LAND. 37

“ But if they do not exist, how can you explain the
accident to the Scotia ?”

“ Perhaps ” began Ned.

“ Well, go on.”

“Because it is not true,” replied the Canadian,
imitating unconsciously a celebrated reply of-Arago.

But this reply only proved the harpooner’s obstinacy
—nothing more. I said no more upon that occasion.
The accident to the Scofta was undeniable. The hole
existed, and it had to be stopped up, and I do not think
that the existence of any hole could be more con-
clusively demonstrated. Now as the hole did not get
there of its own accord, and since it had not been pro-
duced by rocks or submarine engines, it must have been
caused by some animal.

Now, according to my view, and for reasons already
given, this animal belonged to the vertebrate branch,
class mammalia, group pisciform, and to the order of
cetacea. It was of the whale family (or of the cachalots
or dolphins), its genus and species was a matter for later
decision. To decide this it must be dissected ; to dissect
it, it must first be caught; to catch it we must have the
harpooner—that was Ned Jand’s business; the har-
pooner must see it, which was the ship’s affair; and to
see it, it must first be in sight, which was a matter of
chance |


CHAPTER V.
“aT A VENTURE.”

TuE voyage of the Abraham Lincoln was not marked by
any particular incident for some time. Nevertheless, a
circumstance occurred which brought out the wonderful
skill of Ned Land, and showed what confidence might
be reposed in him.

On the 3oth June the frigate communicated with
some American whalers, and we learnt that they had
seen nothing of the narwhal. But the captain of one
vessel, the AZonroe, hearing that Ned Land was on board
the Abraham Lincoln, asked for his assistance in chasing
a whale then in sight. The commodore, wishing to see
Ned Land at work, gave him leave to go on board the
Monroe. Chance favoured the Canadian, who, instead of
one whale, harpooned two, “right and left,” striking one
to the heart, and taking possession of the other after a
chase of some minutes. Certainly, if the monster should
ever come into contact with Ned Land, it would be very
bad for the monster.

The frigate ran along the south-east coast of America
at a rapid rate. On the 3rd July we opened up the
“AT A VENTURE” 39

Straits of Magellan near Virgin Cape. But the com-
modore did not wish to enter upon this winding passage,
so we directed our course round Cape Horn.

The crew thought him right. Was it at all likely
that the narwhal would be encountered in the sinuous
strait? A number of the sailors declared that the
monster was too big to pass it.

Upon the afternoon of July 6th the Abraham Lincoln
doubled the solitary island—that isolated rock at the
extremity of the American continent named Horn by
the Dutch sailors who discovered it, in compliment to
their native town. The course now lay N.W., and next
day the frigate’s screw beat the waves of the Pacific
Ocean.

“ Keep your eyes open now,” cried the sailors to each
other. And they did very considerably.

Eyes and telescopes—somewhat dazzled, it is true,
by the prospect of the $2,coo—rested not a minute.
Day and night the ocean was scanned, and those who
had night-glasses, whose facilities of seeing increased their
opportunities fifty per cent, had a good chance of
gaining the reward.

For myself, though the money was no: attraction, I
was not the least attentive of those on board. Giving
but a few minutes to meals or repose, careless of the
sun or wind, I scarcely quitted the deck. Sometimes
perched in the nettings on the forecastle, sometimes on
the poop-rail, I watched with anxious eyes the creamy
wake of the frigate. And often have I partaken of the
emotions of the officers and crew when some capricious
whale elevated his black back above the surface of the
waves. The deck of the frigate was crowded in an
40 “AT A VENTURE”

instant, officers and men came “tumbling up” from
below, panting for breath, with restless eyes watched the
course of the cetacean. I looked also, and became
nearly blind over it, while Conseil, always so paleren
would say calmly :

“If Monsicur would have the goodness to open his
eyes a little less widely he would see very much
better.”

But all this excitement was to no purpose. The
Abraham Lincoln would change her course and approach
the animal signalled at the time, a whale or cachalot,
which soon disappeared in the midst of a volley of
curses.

Meantime the weather continued favourable, and the
voyage was proceeding under pleasant circumstances. It
was then the winter season, for July in those latitudes
corresponds to our January in Europe, but the sea re.
mained calm, and could be observed for miles in every
direction.

Ned Land still remained incredulous. He would. not
even pretend to examine the sea, save during his watch,
except when a whale turned up; and, nevertheless, his
wide range of vision would have rendered great service.
But eight hours out of twelve this peculiar fellow was
either reading or sleeping in his cabin. A hundred times
I have expostulated with him.

“ Bah,” he would reply, ‘there is nothing at all, M.
Aronnax, and if there were some animal what chance
have we of seeing it? Are we not cruising at random ?
People have, they say, seen this now invisible beast in
the Pacific ; I admit it, but two months have passed since
then, and your narwhal does not care to remain long in
“AT A VENTURE.” 41

the same neighbourhood. It is gifted with great speed.
Now you know as well as I, monsieur, that nature would
not have bestowed this attribute of speed upon the animal
were it not for some useful purpose ; so if the beast exist,
he is far away from here by this time.”

I had no reply to this. Evidently we were groping
in the dark, but how else were we to proceed? So our
chances of success were limited. However, no one
despaired of ultimate success, and not a sailor on board
had bet against the narwhal and his next appearance.

We crossed the tropic of Cancer in the 105° of longi-
tude on the zoth July, and on the 27th of the same
month we passed the equator on the 11o° meridian.
The frigate now directed her course towards the west,
into the centre of the Pacific. Commodore Farragut
thought, and with reason, that the monster would most
likely frequent the deep waters at a distance from any
land, which it feared to approach, “without doubt
because there was not suffiicient water for it,” as the
master remarked. The frigate passed by the Marquesas
and the Sandwich Islands, crossed the tropic of Cancer
at 132° longitude, and sailed towards the China
seas.

We had at last reached the scene of the monster's
latest gambols, and as a matter of fact, we lived for
nothing else. Our hearts palpitated fearfully, and laid
the foundation of future aneurism. The whole ship’s
company were suffering from a nervous excitement, of
which I can give no idea. No one ate, no one slept.
Twenty times a day a mistake or an optical delusion of
some sailor perched upon the yards, gave rise to intoler-
able startings and emotions, twenty times repeated, which
42 “AT A VENTURE.”

kept us in a state of “jumpiness,” too violent not to
bring upon us a reaction at no distant date.

And the reaction did not fail to setin. For three
months—three months of which every day seemed a cen-
tury—the Abraham Lincoln traversed the South Pacific,
running up when a whale was signalled, making sudden
turns, going first on one tack then on the other, stopping
suddenly, “ backing and filling,” or reversing, and going
ahead, in a manner calculated to put the engine altogether
out of gear; and thus did not leave a point unexplored
on the American side of the Japanese coast. And
nothing—nothing after all was to be seen but the watery
waste. No sign of a gigantic narwhal, nor a moving rock,
nor of anything at all out of the common.

The reaction came. Discouragement seized upon all,
and incredulity began to appear. A new feeling arose on
board, which was composed of three-tenths shame and
seven-tenths anger. They all felt very foolish, but were
much more annoyed at having been taken in by a chimera,
The mountains of argument which had been piled up for
a year, crumbled away at once, and no one had any
thought, except to make up for lost time, in the matters
of food and sleep.

With the natural fickleness of the human mind, they
went from one extreme to the other. The warmest
adherents of the enterprise became, as a matter of course,
the most ardent detractors. Reaction set in from the
lowest ranks to the highest, and certainly, had it not been
for the firmness of Commodore Farragut, the frigate’s
head would have been put to the south again.

However, this uscless search could not go on for ever.
The Abraham Lincoln had nothing to reproach itself with,
“AT A VENTURE” 43

it had done its utmost to insure success. Never had ship
or crew shown more patience or determination, the non-
success could not be laid to their charge. Nothing now
remained but to return home.

A representation to this effect was addressed to the
Commodore. He was firm. The sailors did not conceal
their disappointment, and the service was suffering accord-
ingly. I do not mean to insinuate that there was a
mutiny, but after a reasonable period, Farragut, like
another Columbus, demanded three days more. If
during that time the monster did not appear, the helms-
man should have orders to put the ship about for American
waters.

This promise was made upon the znd November.
The result was to re-animate the failing courage of the
crew. The ocean was scanned with fresh zeal. Every-
one wished to give a last look in which memory might
be summed up. Telescopes were used with a feverish
activity. This was the last defiance hurled at the giant
narwhal, and he could not in reason decline to reply to
the challenge to appear.

Two days had passed. The Abraham Lincoln cruised
about at half-speed. They employed a thousand means
to awake the attention or to stimulate the apathy of the
animal, in the hope that he was in the neighbourhood.
Enormous quantities of lard were thrown over the stern,
to the great satisfaction of the sharks, I may add. The
boats pulled in all directions round the frigate, while she
was hove-to, and did not leave any part unexplored.
But the evening of the 4th of November arrived and
nothing had been heard of the submarine mystery. On
the following day, at noon, the three days’ grace would
44 “AT A VENTURE”

expire. After that, Commodore Farragut, faithful to his
promise, would give the order to “’bout ship,” and
abandon the Southern Pacific Ocean.

The frigate was then 32° 15’ N. lat. and 136° 42’
E. long. Japan was 200 miles to windward. Night
came on. Eight bells was struck. Heavy clouds veiled
the moon, then in her first quarter. The sea was calm,
and rose and fell with a gentle swelling motion. At this
time I was forward, leaning on the starboard nettings.
Conseil, close to me, was looking ahead. The ship’s
company, perched in the shrouds, were scanning the
horizon, which was darkened, and then lighted up
occasionally. The officers, with their night glasses,
peered into the increasing obscurity. At times the
dark sea scintillated under the moon’s rays, which darted
between the clouds: then all luminous effects would be
again lost in the darkness.

Observing Conseil I fancied that he was yielding to
the general influence. Perhaps, and for the first time,
his nerves were moved by a sentiment of curiosity.

“Well, Conseil,” said I; “here is our last opportunity
to pocket $2,000.”

“ Monsieur must permit me to say that I have never
counted upon winning this reward ; and the Government
of the Union might have promised $100,000 without
being any the poorer.”

“Vou are right, Conseil, this is a foolish business
after all, and into which we rushed too hurriedly. What
time has been lost! What useless worry! We might
have been in France six months ago.”

“In Monsicur’s little apartment,” replied Conseil,
“in the museym. And I should have already classified
“AT A VENTURE? 48

the fossils, and the babiroussa would have been installed
in his cage in the Jardin des Plantes, and been visited
by all the curious people of Paris.”

“ Just so, Conseil, and no doubt they are all laughing
at us.” .
“Tn reality,” replied Conseil quietly, “I think that
they do laugh at us, Monsieur, And—— May I
say it?”

“You may.”

“Well, then, Monsieur has only got what he de-
serves.”

“Indeed !” .

“When one has the honour to be a savant like Mon-
sieur, one does not make oneself conspicuous ”

But Conseil never finished his compliment. In the
midst of the universal silence a voice was heard. It was
Ned Land’s voice, and Ned Land cried out:

‘Hallo, there! There is our enemy, away on the
weather beam |”


CHAPTER VI.
FULL SPEED.

At this announcement the whole crew ran towards the
harpooner—-commodore, officers, mates, sailors, and
boys ; even the engineers left the engine-room, and the
stokers the furnaces. The order to “stop her” was
given, and the frigate now only glided through the water
by her own momentum.

The darkness was profound: and the Canadian
must have had very good eyes. And I wondered what
he had seen, and how he had been able to see it. My
heart was beating fast.

But Ned Land had not been mistaken, and we all
perceived the object he indicated with his outstretched
hand.

Two cables’ lengths from the Abraham Lincoln, and
on the starboard quarter, the sea appeared to be illumi-
nated from below. It was not a common phosphores-
cence, and could not be mistaken for it. The monster,
some fathoms beneath the surface, gave forth this
intense light, which had been referred to in the reports
of many captains, This wonderful irradiation must
FULL SPEED. 47

have been produced by some tremendously powerful
illuminating agent. The luminous part described an
immense elongated oval upon the water, in the centre of
which was condensed a focus of unbearable brilliancy,
which radiated by successive gradations.

“Tt is nothing but an agglomeration of phosphorescent
molecules,” cried one of the officers.

“No, sir,” I replied, firmly, “neither the pholades
nor salpze produce such a powerful light. This brilliancy
is essentially electric. But look—look—it moves, it
advances—it retreats—it is rushing towards us !”

A general cry arose. , ,

“Silence,” cried Farragut. “ Put the helm up—hard !
Turn astern!”

The sailors rushed to the wheel ; the engineers to the
engine-room. The engine was reversed, and the 4draham
Lincoln payed off to larboard, and described a semi-
circle.

“ Steady.1”—* Go ahead !” cried Commodore Farra-

gut.
These orders were executed, and the frigate rapidly
distanced the luminous object. I should have said,
attempted to distance it, for the supernatural animal
moved with twice the speed of the frigate.

We were speechless. Astonishment more than fear
kept us silent and motionless. The animal gained upon
us easily. He swam round the frigate, which was then
going fourteen knots, and wrapped us in his electric
beams like a luminous dust, He then went away for two
or three miles, leaving a phosphorescent line behind him,
like the volumes of steam left by the engine of an express
train. All at once, from the dark limit of the horizon
48 FULL SPEED.

where he had gone to take his start, the monster launched
himself suddenly against the Adraham Lincoln with fear-
ful rapidity, stopped suddenly within twenty paces of the
frigate, extinguished the light—not by plunging beneath
the surface, since the gleam was not withdrawn by de-
grees—but suddenly, as if the source of the brilliant
light had been suddenly dried up. It then reappeared at
the other side of the frigate, so either it had turned, or
the monster gone underneath it. At every moment a
collision seemed imminent, and that would have been
fatal to us.

Meantime, I wondered at the behaviour of the frigate.
She was flying and not attacking. She was pursued, in-
stead of being the pursuer, and I said so to Commodore
Farragut. His usually impassible face betrayed the
greatest astonishment.

““M. Aronnax,” he replied, “I do not know with what
formidable being I have to do—and I do not wish to risk
my ship in this darkness. Besides, how can I attack it,
or how defend myself from its attack? Let us wait for
daylight and the sides will be changed.”

“You have no doubt respecting the nature of the
animal, commodore ?”

“No, it is evidently a gigantic narwhal, but also an
electric one.”

“ Perhaps,” I added, “we should not approach it any
more than a torpedo P”

“ Quite so,” replied the commodore, “and if it pos-
sess the power to emit a shock, it is the most terrible
animal ever created. That is why, sir, I am on my
guard.”

The crew all remained on deck during the night. No
FULL SPEED. 49

one dared to sleep. The Abraham Lincoln, not being
able to cope with the animal in speed, had moderated
her pace, and was kept under easy steam. On his part
the narwhal, imitating the frigate, lay rocking at the will
of the waves, and appeared to have made up its mind
not to abandon the struggle.

It disappeared, however, about midnight, or, to employ
a better term, extinguished itself like an enormous glow-
worm. Had it fled? We might fear, but could not
hope so. But at seven minutes to 1 A.M. a deafening
rushing noise was heard, like that produced by a column
of water expelled with extreme violence.

Commodore Farragut, Ned Land, and I were
then on the poop searching into the profound ob-
scurity.

“Ned Land,” asked the commodore, “you have
often heard the blowing of whales ?”

“ Often, sir, but never of such whales, the sight of
which has brought me $2,000.”

“You have a right to the reward. But tell me is
this noise the same as whales make in ejecting water
from their ‘ blow-holes ?’”

“The same noise, sir, but ever so much louder. One
cannot mistake it. It is truly a cetacean which is here
with us. With your permission,” added the harpooner,
“we will have a word or two.with him to-morrow morn-
ing.”

“Tf he will listen to you, Master Land,” = said, ina
sceptical tone,

“Tf I get within four harpoons’ length of eee re-
plied the Canadian, “I will engage that he will listen to
me.”

VOL. I. D
50 LULL SPEED.

“But to approach him I must put a whale-boat at
your disposal ?” said the commodore,

“ Certainly, sir.”

“ And by so doing risk the lives of my men?”

“And mine also,” replied Land quietly.

About two o’clock a.m. the luminosity reappeared, not
less intense, five miles to windward of the frigate.
Despite the distance and the noise of the wind and
waves, the sound made by the formidable beatings of the
monster’s tail could be distinctly heard, and even its
hoarse respiration could be distinguished. It seemed
that when this immense narwhal was breathing, that the
air rushing from the lungs was like the steam from the
cylinders of an engine of 2,000 horse-power.

“Hum,” I muttered, “a whale with the force of a
regiment of cavalry ought to be a fine one.”

Everyone remained on the watch till daybreak, and
prepared for the combat. The fishing material was
arranged along the nettings. The mate had charge of
those blunderbusses which ean throw a harpoon to the
distance of a mile, and the long duck-guns, with the ex-
plosive bullets, whose wound is mortal, even to the most
powerful animals. Ned Land was content with his
harpoon, which in his hands was a terrible weapon.

' At six o’clock day began to dawn, and at the first
beams of sunrise the narwhal’s light was extinguished.
At seven o’clock the light was sufficiently strong for our
purpose, but a very thick mist hung around the horizon,
and the best glasses could not pierce it. Much disap-
pointment and anger was the result.

I ascended to the mizzen-yard. Several officers were
already perched at the mast-head.
FULL SPEED. st

At eight o’clock the mist began to disperse slowly.
The horizon gradually cleared. Suddenly the voice of
Ned Land was heard,

“Here is the animal astern

Everyone looked in the direction indicated. There,
about a mile and a half from the frigate, a long black
body raised itself about a yard above the waves. _ Its tail,
which moved quickly, kept up a considerable agitation
in the water; never had tail beaten the water with such
force. An immense frothy wake marked the course of
the animal, and described an extended curve.

The frigate approached the cetacean. I examined
it carefully. The reports of the Shannon and Helvetia
had exaggerated its dimensions a little, and I estimated
its length at only 250 feet. As for its bulk, it could not
be easily arrived at, but the animal appeared to me to be
admirably proportioned throughout. While I was look-
ing at this phenomenal creature, two: jets of water and
steam spurted from the blow-holes, up to a height of
forty yards, which settled its manner of respiration in my
mind. From that I concluded that the animal belonged
to the vertebrates, class mammifer, sub-class mono-
dolphins, pisciform group, cetacean order, and family:
Here I was unable to pronounce an opinion. The
cetaceans comprise three families : whales, cachalots, and
dolphins; and it is with the last-named that narwhals
are ranged. Each of these families is divided into several
genus, each genus into species, each species into varieties.
Varieties, species, genus, and family failed me here, but
I did not doubt that I should be able to complete my
classification with the assistance of heaven—and Com-
modore Farragut |

1?



D2
52 FULL SPEED.

The crew were impatiently awaiting orders. The
commodore, having attentively observed the animal,
called the engineer. He came at once.

“ Have you plenty of steam?”

“Ves, sir,” replied the engineer.

“Good. Fire-up; and go a-head full speed.”

Three cheers accompanied this order. The struggle
had come. In a few moments after the frigate’s
chimneys poured forth their black smoke, and the deck
shook with the action of the engines.

The Abraham Lincoln, impelled by her powerful
screw, “went for” the strange animal direct. It per-
mitted the frigate to approach to within half a cable’s
length, then, disdaining to dive, went on a little, and
contented itself by keeping its distance. This manner of
pursuit continued for about three-quarters of an hour,
without the frigate having gained upon the cetacean.
It became evident that if we kept thus we sbould never
reach it.

Commodore Farragut got very angry. “Ned Land !”
he cried.

The Canadian approached him.

“Well, Master Land, do you still advise me to
launch a boat ?”

“No, sir,” replied Ned Land; “for this beast will
not let you take him unless he please.”

‘‘ What are we to do, then ?”

“Keep up the highest possible pressure, and, if you
will permit it, I will get under the bowsprit, and if I
come within casting distance I will harpoon him.”

“Go, Ned,” replied the commodore. “Go a-head
faster,” he cried to the engineer.
FULL SPEED. 53

Ned Land took up his position. The furnaces were
coaled up, the screw made forty-three revolutions in
the minute, and the steam went roaring through the
safety-valves. They heaved the log, and found that the
frigate was going at the rate of eighteen and a half miles
an hour.

But the cursed animal also went at eighteen anda
half miles an hour.

For an hour and a half the frigate went at this pace,
without gaining a foot. This was rather humiliating for
one of the swiftest vessels of the American navy. The
ship’s company got sulky. They reviled the monster,
which did not condescend to reply. Commodore
Farragut no longer twisted his chin-tuft—he bit it.
The engineer was summoned once more.

“ Are you going at your fullest possible pressure ?”

“Yes, sir,” replied the engineer.

“The valves are charged ?”

“Up to two atmospheres and a half.”

“ Charge them up to ten,” cried the commodore.

That was a true American order. It could not be
surpassed on the Mississippi, to distance a rival steamer.

“ Conseil,” said I to my faithful servitor, who was
near, “‘do you know where we are likely to go to?”

“Wherever Monsieur pleases,” replied Conseil.

“Well, I confess I am not indisposed to take the
chance,” said I.

The steam-gauge went up; the furnaces were filled.
The speed increased. The masts shook fearfully, and the
chimneys seemed scarcely sufficient to permit the escape
of the immense volumes of smoke.

They heaved the log again.
54 FULL SPEED.

“ What pace now, eh?” inquired the commodore.

“Nineteen and a quarter, sir.”

“ Press on more.”

The engineer obeyed. The steam-gauge showed ten
atmospheres’ pressure. But the narwhal had also “fired-
up,” for it was now going at “nineteen and a quarter,”
also. 2

What a chase it was! I cannot describe my feelings.
Ned Land was at his post—harpoon in hand. Many a
time the animal permitted us to approach.

“We are gaining, we are gaining,” cried the Canadian.

But at the moment he was prepared to strike, the
cetacean went ahead with a speed of scarcely less than
thirty miles an hour. And even at our greatest speed, it
cruised round the -frigate. A cry of fury then escaped
from all.

At mid-day we were not more advanced towards the
attainment of our object than we had been at eight
o'clock.

Commodore Farragut then decided to employ more
direct measures.

“Well,” he said, “that animal can go faster than the
Abraham Lincoln, We will see if he can distance a
conical bullet. Gunner, get the forward gun ready for
action.”

The bow-gun was immediately loaded, pointed, and
fired. The ball passed over the cetacean, now half a
mile distant.

“ Take better aim next time, you lubbers, and there’s
$5 to the man who puts a shot into the infernal beast.”

An old gunner with a grey beard came forward, with
a determined air and resolute eye. He pointed the gun
FULL SPEED. 55

and took a long steady aim. A loud detonation was
heard amid the cheers of the crew.

The shot had hit the animal, but not fairly; it glanced
off its smooth side, and fell into the sea two miles distant.

“Ah !” cried the gunner, angrily, “those kind of fellows
are sheeted with six inches of iron, I suppose.”

“ Tarnation !” cried Commodore Farragut.

The chase recommenced, and the Commodore coming
towards me, said: ,

“JT will pursue that thing till the frigate blows up.”

“ Ves,” I replied, “ you are quite right.”

But I could not but hope that the animal might
become exhausted, and not be so indifferent to fatigue as
a steam-frigate. But it was no use. Time passed with-
out the animal showing any signs of fatigue.

But I must confess that the Abraham Lincoln kept
up the chase with great spirit. I do not think that we
traversed less than 300 miles during that inauspicious
6th of November. Night came and enveloped the swelling
ocean in its shadows.

I then began to believe that our expedition was at an
end, and that we had seen the last of the fantastic
monster. But I was mistaken. About io p.m. the
electric gleam again appeared about three miles off, as
clear and bright as upon the preceding night.

The narwhal was motionless. Perhaps, fatigued by
its day’s run, it was asleep, rocked by the billows. This
was a chance by which Farragut determined to profit.

He gave orders that the frigate should be put at easy
speed and advance cautiously towards its enemy. It was
by.no means an uncommon occurrence to meet sleeping
whales at sea, when they have been successfully attacked,
56 FULL SPEED.

and Ned Land had frequently harpooned them under
these circumstances. He took up his former position at
the bows, while the frigate noiselessly approached the
animal, and stopped the engines about two cables’ length
distant, merely advancing by its momentum. The crew
were in a state of breathless attention. Profound silence
reigned on deck. We were not a hundred paces from
the light which flashed into our eyes.

At this moment I saw Ned Land beneath me, holding
by one hand to the martingale, with the other brandish-
ing his fatal harpoon. Scarcely twenty paces separated
us from the sleeping monster.

Suddenly Ned launched his harpoon. I heard the
blow with which it hit the prey; it sounded as if it had
come in contact with a hard substance.

The electric gleam was suddenly extinguished, and
two enormous columns of water were directed over the deck
of the frigate, rushing like a torrent fore and aft, overturn-
ing the men, and breaking the seizings of the spars. A
terrible shock was felt, and, thrown over the bulwark,
before I had time to save myself, I was precipitated into
the sea.
CHAPTER VII.
AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE,

So surprised wae I by my unexpected fall that I have but
little recollection of my sensations at the time.

I was first dragged down about twenty feet. Iama
good swimmer, not so good as Byron or Edgar Poe, and
this plunge did not embarrass me. Two vigorous strokes
brought me to the surface. My first care was to seek
the frigate. Had the crew observed my fall? Had the
Abraham Lincoln put about? Was the commodore
sending a beat forme? Could I hope to be rescued ?

The darkness was profound. I could perceive a
black mass disappearing in the east, whose lights were
extinguished by distance. It was the frigate. I felt I
was lost !

“Help! help !” I cried, swimming in the direction of
the Abraham Lincoln despairingly. My clothes weighed
upon me heavily. The water glued them to my body ;
they paralysed my movements. I was dying; I was
suffocating. “Help !”

This was the last cry I uttered. My mouth filled
58 AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE.

with water ; I was overwhelmed—dragged beneath the
surface.

Suddenly my clothes were seized by a strong hand.
I was drawn up, and I heard—yes, heard these
words:

“Tf Monsieur will have the great kindness to sup-
port himself upon my shoulder he will swim more
easily.”

I seized the arm of my faithful Conseil.

“Is it youe” I said; “you /”

“ Myself,” replied Conseil, “‘at Monsieur’s orders.”

“And you were thrown into the sea by that shock as
well as I?”

“Not at all; but being in Monsieur’s service I have
followed him!” The worthy fellow saw nothing extra-
ordinary in this.

“ And the frigate ?” I asked.

“The frigate,” replied Conseil, turning on his back ;
“T think we had better not count upon her !”

“What !”

“Tsay, that as I jumped into the sea I heard the
steersman cry, “The screw and the helm are both
broken !”

“ Broken !”

“Yes ; by the teeth of that monster. It is the only
damage the Abraham Lincoln has suffered. But, un-
fortunately for us, she cannot steer.”

“Then we are lost !”

“Perhaps so,” replied Conseil calmly. “But we
have still some hours before us, and a great many things
may happen in that time.”

The imperturbable coolness of Conseil reassured me.
AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE. 59

I swam more vigorously, but, impeded by my clothes, I
found great difficulty in keeping afloat. Conseil per-
ceived this.

“Will Monsieur permit me to make a little incision ?
There,” said he ; and with a quick movement he passed
the blade of his knife from my back downwards. Then
he slowly took off my garments, while I swam for
both.

I, in my turn, then rendered him a like service ; and
we continued to swim close together.

Nevertheless, the situation was no less alarming.
Perhaps our disappearance had not been remarked, and
if it had the frigate could not return for us, being
deprived of her rudder. We then could only count
upon one of her boats to pick us up.

Conseil coolly reasoned upon this hypothesis, and
made his arrangements accordingly. He was apparently
quite at home.

We made up our minds that our only chance of
safety lay in our rescue by the boats of the frigate, and
we therefore ought to arrange so as to remain as long
as possible above water. I resolved to divide our
strength, so that we should not succumb simultaneously,
and this is how we did it. While one lay upon his back,
motionless, with folded arms and extended limbs, the
other was to swim and push him along. The part of
following in his companion’s wake was not to last more
than ten minutes, and by thus taking it in turn we
might be able to swim for some hours, and perhaps until
dawn.

It was but a chance, but hope is firmly anchored
in the human breast. Then we were two. In fact, I
66 AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE.

declare, though it may appear improbable, if I tried to
destroy all expectation, if I wished to despair, I could
not have done so.

The collision between the frigate and the monster
had occurred about rz p.m. I counted upon eight
hours’ swimming until sunrise. This was very prac-
ticable by helping each other as explained. The sea,
being smooth, did not trouble us much. Sometimes I
tried to pierce the thick darkness, which was broken
only by the phosphorescence created by our movements.
I kept looking at the luminous waves, which broke upon
my hand, whose sparkling surface was spotted with
bright bubbles. It looked as if we were swimming in
a bath of mercury.

About one o’clock I began to feel very tired. My
limbs were knotted with violent cramps. Conseil did
his best to support me, and our preservation now
depended upon his care. JI soon heard the brave
fellow gasping for breath. I understood that he could
not hold out much longer.

“Let me go,” I cried. “Leave me.”

“Abandon Monsieur! Never!” he replied, “I
am looking forward to drowning before him.”

At this moment the moon broke through the clouds.
The surface of the sea sparkled in its rays. This
pleasant light reanimated our courage. I raised my
head again and looked around the horizon. I saw the
frigate five miles away—a black and scarcely distinguish-
able mass. But there were no boats !

I was about to cry out ; but for what purpose at such
a distance? My swollen lips refused to utter a sound.
AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE, 61

Conseil could articulate a little, and I heard him repeat
many times, “ Help, help !”

Suspending our movements for a moment, we listened.
Was that a buzzing noise in the ear, or was it an answer
to Conseil’s cry for assistance ?

“Did you hear that ?” I murmured.

“Yes, yes!” and Conseil again cried for help
despairingly.

This time there was no mistake. A human voice
replied. Was it the voice of some unfortunate person,
abandoned in the midst of the ocean—some other victim
of that collision? or rather, was it a boat from the
frigate hailing us in the darkness? Conseil made a last
effort, and leaning on my shoulder, while I gave all the
support of which I was capable, he raised himself half
out of the water, and fell back exhausted.

* What have you seen ?”

“T have seen,” he murmured, “I have seen—but let
us not talk, let us husband all our strength,”

“ What had he seen?” At that moment the monster
came to my mind with all its old force. But there was
the voice. The times were past for Jonahs to live in
whales’ bellies.

Nevertheless, Conseil pushed me forward once more,
He raised his head at times to look before him, and
uttered a cry, to which a voice replied nearer and nearer
each time.

I could scarcely hear it. My strength was spent;
my fingers were no longer at my command; my hands
could no longer make the strokes; my mouth, con-
vulsively opened, was filled with the salt water, and
62 AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE.

cold was seizing upon my limbs. I raised my head for
the last time, and sank.

At that momenta hard substance struck me. I clung
to it. It drew me upwards, and so soon as I regained
the surface I fainted. I came to myself very speedily,
thanks to the vigorous friction applied to my body. I
-opened my eyes.

“Conseil,” I murmured,

“ Did Monsieur call ?” he asked.

The moon again burst forth, and by her light I
recognised another figure beside Conseil.

“Ned !” I exclaimed.

“Tn person, sir, looking after his reward.”

“You were also thrown into the sea by the collision,
I presume ?”

“Ves, sir,” replied he; “but, more fortunate than
you, I got upon a floating island at once.”

“ An island ?”

“Ves; or rather upon our gigantic narwhal.”

“Explain yourself, Ned.”

“There is only this. I have discovered why my
harpoon did not injure the creature, and was blunted by
the hide.”

“Why, Ned? Why?”

“ Because this beast is clothed in sheet-iron.”

It was now necessary for me to recover my spirits
and collect my thoughts. The last words of the Cana-
dian had produced a sudden change of thought. I
pulled myself up to the top of the object or being
upon which we had taken refuge. I kicked -it. It
was certainly a hard body, and not of the material of
which immense marine mammifers are composed.
AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE. 63

But this hard substance might be a bony covering
like those possessed by some antediluvian animals; and
I might be free to class it amongst amphibious animals
—the tortoises and alligators. But the black surface that
supported us was smooth and polished, not imbricated.
It gave out a metallic sound when struck, and, incredible
as it may appear, it seemed to me to be composed of
riveted iron plates. No doubt about it. The animal,
the monster, the phenomenon which had puzzled the
entire scientific world, upset and mystified the minds of
sailors in both hemispheres, was a greater wonder still—
a phenomenon constructed by human agency.

J should not have been nearly so much astonished by
the discovery of the most fabulous and mythological of
animals, However extraordinary the being may be that
is from the hands of the Creator, it can be understood ;
but to discover all at once, under one’s very eyes, the:
human realisation of the impossible, was sufficiently
startling. But we must not hesitate. Here we were
sitting upon the top of a species of submarine boat,
which presented, so far as we could judge, the form of
an immense fish of iron. This was Ned Land’s opinion.
Conseil and I could not classify it.

“But,” said I, “he must contain within ii the
machinery for locomotion, and a crew to direct his
course.”

“ Certainly,” replied the Canadian ; “and neverthe-
less, during the three hours I have been here, I have
perceived no signs of life.”

“The boat has not moved ?”

“No, M. Aronnax ; it has lain rocked by the waves,
but has not otherwise moved.”
64 AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE.

“We know already that it possesses great speed.
Now as there is a machine with this attribute, and a
machinist to direct it, I conclude that we are safe.”

“ Hum,” replied Ned Land, doubtfully.

At this moment, and as a commentary upon my
remark, a disturbance arose at the stern of this strange
vessel, whose mode of propulsion was evidently a screw,
and it began to move. We had scarcely time to secure
ourselves to the higher part, which was about a yard out
of water. Fortunately the speed was not great.

“So long as it goes over the waves, I have no par-
ticular objection,” said Ned Land. “But if it should
take a dive, I would not give $2 for my skin.”

The Canadian might have made even a lower estimate.
But under the circumstances, it was necessary to com-
municate with the beings shut up in this machine, I
looked for an opening—a panel—a “man hole,” to use
the technical term, but the lines of rivets solidly fixed
upon the joinings of the iron plates were whole and
regular.

Moreover, the moon deserted us, and left us in pro-
found obscurity. We were, therefore, obliged to wait for
daylight, to find means to penetrate into the interior of
this submarine vessel.

Thus our safety depended entirely upon the caprice
of the mysterious helmsman who guided this machine :
if he descended we were lost. Unless this occurred, I
had no doubt of being able to communicate with the
crew. And indeed if they did not manufacture the air
they breathed, they must come to the surface from time to
time to replenish the supply. Thus the necessity for an
aperture communicating with the outer air.
AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE. 65

We had given up all hope of being rescued by
Commodore Farragut. We were proceeding westwards,
and I estimated our speed at twelve miles an hour. The
screw revolved regularly, sometimes emerging and throw-
ing phosphorescent jets of water to a great height.

About 4 A.M. the speed increased. We had some
difficulty in resisting this giddy pace, as the waves beat
upon us in full volume. Fortunately Ned felt a large
ring, let in to the upper part of the iron back, and we
fastened ourselves to it securely.

This long night at length came to an end.

My. imperfect recollection cannot recall all the im-
pressions of those hours. One detail comes to my mind.
During certain lulls of the wind and waves, I fancied I
could hear, vaguely, a sort of fugitive harmony, produced
by distant chords. What was, then, this mystery of sub:
marine navigation, of which the world was vainly seeking
the key? What kind of beings inhabited this vessel ?
What mechanical agency permitted them to move at
such a prodigious rate ? ;

Daylight appeared. The morning mists wrapped us
in their folds, but soon dispersed. I was making a
careful survey of the hull, which formed, at its upper
part, a sort of horizontal platform, when I found myself
sinking by degrees.

“Eh! thousand devils,” cried Ned Land, striking
the iron a sounding blow with his foot. ‘Open, I say,
you inhospitable travellers |”

But it was no easy matter to make them hear while
the screw was working, Fortunately the descent was
arrested.

Suddenly a noise, as of bars being pushed back within

VOL, I. E
66 AN UNKNOWN SPECIES OF WHALE.

the boat, was heard. A plate was raised, a man appeared,
uttered a singular cry, and immediately disappeared.
Some time after, eight strong fellows, with veiled faces,
silently rose up and pulled us into the formidable
machine.
CHAPTER VIIL

MOBILIS IN MOBILE,

TuIs movement, though so roughly executed, was per-
formed with lightning rapidity. My companions and 1
had not time to look about us. I do not know that
it was a great trial, our being thus introduced into the
floating prison, but, for my own part, I must say that a
rapid shudder went through me. With whom had we
to do? Doubtless with some pirates, who were ex-
ploring the seas after their own fashion.

Scarcely had the narrow panel been closed than we
were surrounded by thick darkness. My eyes coming
from the daylight so suddenly could distinguish nothing.
I felt that I was upon an iron ladder. Ned Land and
Conseil, held tightly, followed me. At the bottom of
the ladder a door was opened, and was shut upon us
with a loud noise. We were left to ourselves. Where ?
I could not say—scarcely fancy. All around us was of
such an absolute blackness that even after a time my
eyes perceived none of those rays which are perceptible
in the darkest nights.
68 MOBILIS IN MOBILE.

Ned Land, furious at such treatment, gave free vent
to his indignation.

“A thousand devils,” he cried; “they call this
hospitality. They only want to be cannibals to be
perfect. I should not be surprised ; but I will give them
something before they make a meal of me !”

“Be quiet, friend Ned, keep quiet,” said Conseil
calmly. ‘Don’t look too farahead. We are not roasted
yet.”

“Roasted, no,” replied Land; “but we are in the
oven. It is as dark, at any rate. Fortunately, I have
not lost my bowie-knife, and I can generally see well
enough to use it. The very first of these robbers who
lays a finger on me 2

“Don’t put yourself out, Ned,” I said; “we shall
gain nothing by useless violence. Who can tell whether
they can hear us? Let us rather endeavour to ascertain
where we are.”

I advanced with outstretched hands. After five paces
I touched a wall of riveted iron plates. Returning, I
ran against a wooden table, near which were some stools.
The floor was covered with a thick matting, which
deadened the sound of our footsteps. The bare walls had
neither door nor window perceptible. Conseil, who had
been making a tour in the opposite direction, rejoined
me, and we came into the centre of this cabin, which ap-
peared to be about twenty feet long and ten wide. Even
Ned Land, with his great height to assist him, could not
touch the ceiling.

After half an hour had passed in this way, our eyes
were suddenly exposed to a violently brilliant light. Our


MOBILIS IN MOBILE, 69

prison was suddenly illuminated. In the whiteness and
intensity of this gleam I recognised the electric light
which produced the appearance of a magnificent phos-
phorescence round the submarine vessel. I was in-
voluntarily obliged to close my eyes, and when I again
opened them I found that the light had been placed in a
ground-glass globe, which was fixed at the upper end
of the cabin.

“ At last we can see something,” cried Ned Land,
who, bowie-knife in hand, stood on the defensive.

“Ves,” I replied, risking the antithesis, “but the
situation is not the less obscure.”

“If Monsieur will only have patience,” said the
impassible Conseil,

The sudden illumination of the cabin gave me the
opportunity to examine it more minutely. It only con-
tained a table and five stools. The invisible door was
hermetically closed. No sound reached our ears.
Everyone seemed dead on board. Whether it was still
moving over the surface of the ocean, or plunged in its
depths, I-could not divine.

However, the lamp had not been lighted for nothing.
So I was in hopes that the crew of the vessel would soon
put in an appearance. When people wish to put an end
to prisoners they do not illuminate the oud/iettes.

I was not mistaken; the noise of withdrawing bolts
was heard, the door opened, and two men entered.

One was rather short but strongly made, with immense
breadth of shoulder, intellectual looking, with thick black
hair and beard, piercing eyes, and with the vivacity which
characterises the provincial population of France.
70 MOBILIS IN MOBILE.

Diderot has justly maintained that man’s gesture is
metaphorical, and this little man was the living proof of
that statement. One had a sort of feeling that his
habitual discourse was made up of prosopopceia, metany-
mus, and hypallages. But I was not able to verify this,
as he always used a peculiar and utterly incomprehensible
idiom.

The second arrival deserves a more detailed descrip-
tion. A pupil of Gratiolet or Engel would have read his
face. like a book. I can easily recall his characteristics.
Confidence in himself, for his head rose nobly from the
arc formed by the line of his shoulders, and his dark eyes
regarded you with a cool assurance. He was composed,
for his face, more pale than ruddy, betokened a dis-
passionate nature. Energy he possessed, as demonstrated
by the rapid contraction of the eyebrows. Finally, he
was courageous, for his deep breathing denoted great
vitality.

I should add that this man was proud, his firm and
composed look seemed to reflect elevated thoughts, and,
added to all this, the homogeneity of expression in the
movements of his body and face, according to the obser-
vation of physiognomists, resulted in an indisputable open-
heartedness.

I felt myself involuntarily reassured in his presence,
and I augured well of our interview. This person might
have been any age between thirty-five and fifty. He was
tall, a wide forehead, straight nose, a well-shaped mouth,
beautiful teeth, long, thin, and very muscular hands,
worthy to serve an elevated and passionate mind. This
was certainly the most admirable type of individual that
MOBILIS IN MOBILE, 71

I had ever seen. To descend to detail, his eyes, set a
little apart, could: embrace nearly a quarter of the
horizon.

This faculty, which came to my knowledge later, gave
him a great advantage over the excellent sight- of Ned
Land. Whenever this unknown personage was looking
intently at anything he frowned, his large eyelids con-
tracted so as to conceal the pupils, and to considerably
circumscribe his line of sight—and he ad look! What a
gaze that was, as if he was making distant objects larger,
or penetrating your very soul by his gaze; as if he could
pierce the depths of the waves, so opaque to our eyes,
and could read the secrets of the sea.

The two strangers wore otter-skin caps and sea-boots
of seal-skin, and clothes of a peculiar texture, which sat
loosely upon them, and allowed of great freedom in their
movements.

The taller of the two—evidently the captain—re-
garded us with great attention, without speaking. Then
turning to his companion, he conversed with him ina
language I did not understand. The other replied by a
nod, adding a few unintelligible words. Then with a
glance he appeared to interrogate us personally.

J replied, in good French, that I did not understand
his language; but he did not appear to comprehend
mine, and the situation became somewhat embarrass-
ing. . :
“Tf Monsieur would relate our adventures,” suggested
Conseil, “ perhaps the gentlemen would understand some
of it.” ,

I then commenced a recital of our experiences, dis-
72 MOBILIS IN MOBILE.

tinctly dwelling upon all the words, and without omitting
a single detail. I announced our names and station—
then I presented in due form M. Aronnax—his servant
Conseil, and Ned Land, the harpooner. The indi-
vidual with the calm eyes listened quietly, even politely,
and with great attention. But his face betrayed no sign
that he understood a word. When I had finished, he
remained perfectly silent.

There still remained the English Janguage, as a last
resource. Perhaps he would understand that almost
universal tongue. I was acquainted with it, and with
German sufficiently to read fluently, but not to speak it
correctly. Now here it was absolutely necessary to be
understood.

“Do you try,” I said to the harpooner, “ speak the
best English ever heard, Master Land, and try to be more
successful than I have been.”

Ned made no objection, and repeated my recital, so
as I could understand it pretty well. The issue was the
same, but the form was different. The Canadian was
more energetic. He complained bitterly at -being im-
prisoned, against the rights of nations, demanded legal
satisfaction for his detention, invoked the Habeas Corpus
Act, threatened to prosecute those who had kept us
prisoners unlawfully. He kicked about, gesticulated, cried
out, and finally, by a most expressive pantomime, gave
them to understand that we were almost dying of
hunger.

. This was true as a matter of fact, but we had nearly
forgotten it.

‘To his intense surprise, the harpooner did not appear
MOBILIS IN MOBILE, 73

to have been more intelligible than I was. Our hosts
did not move.a muscle of their faces. It was evident
that they understood neither the language of Arago nor
Faraday. I was very much puzzled what to do next,
when Conseil said :

“If Monsieur will permit me, I will speak to them
in German.”

“What! do you know German !” I cried.

“Like a Dutchman,” replied he ; “if Monsieur has
no objection.”

“T am much pleased. Go on my lad.”

And Conseil recounted, for the third time, the various
adventures we had met with. But notwithstanding the
excellent accent and the elegantly-turned phrases of the
speaker, German was not a success. At length, pushed
to the very last position, I recalled all I could of my
former studies, and essayed to tell the tale in Latin.
Cicero would have stopped his ears, and declared it was
“dog Latin,” but, nevertheless, I went on. But with
the same result !

This last attempt having miscarried, the two strangers
exchanged some words in their incomprehensible language, —
and retired, without bestowing upon us even one of those
signs which are universally understood. The door was
again shut upon us.

“This is infamous,” exclaimed Ned Land, who burst
out for the twentieth time. “ Why, we have spoken
French, English, German, and Latin to those rascals,
and they have not had the civility to reply.” °

“Calm yourself, Ned,” said I to the angry harpooner;
“anger will do no good !”
74 MOBILIS IN MOBILE.

“But don’t you know, sir, that we may die of hunger
in this iron cage ?”

“ Bah!” said Conseil, with his usual philosophy, “we
can hold out for some time yet.”

“My friends,” said I, “we must not despair. We
have not come to the worst yet. Do me the favour to
wait before you form an opinion respecting the captain
and crew of this vessel.”

“‘ My opinion is already formed,” replied Ned ; “they
are a set of rascals.”

“Good; and of what country?”

“ Of a rascally country.”

“My brave Ned, that country is not clearly laid
down upon the map of the world ; and I confess that
the nationality of these two strangers is difficult to de-
termine. That they are neither English, French, nor
German we can affirm. Now I am tempted to admit
that they were born in lower latitudes. There is a
southerly look about them; but whether they be
Spaniards, Turks, Arabs, or Indians, their physical
types do not enable me to decide. Their language is
simply incomprehensible.”

“There is the drawback of not knowing every
language,” replied Conseil, “and the disadvantage of
not having a universal one.”

“That would not help us at all,” replied Ned Land.
“Do you not understand that these fellows have got
a language of their own, invented to drive to despair
those brave people who ask for something to eat? But
in any country in the world, if you open your mouth,
move your jaws, smack your lips, would they not under-
stand what you meant? Would not that be sufficient
MOBILIS IN MOBILE. 75

to indicate, equally in Quebec as in Pomaton, in Paris,
or the antipodes, ‘I am hungry; give me something to
eat?”

“Oh!” cried Conseil, “there are some natures so
utterly stupid——”

As he spoke the door opened and a steward entered.
He brought us clothing, vests and trousers, fit for sea
wear, of a material with which I was unacquainted. I
hastened to clothe myself, and: my companions followed
my example.

Meantime the steward—silent, perhaps deaf—had
laid the table and set on three dishes.

“ There is something satisfactory,” said Conseil ; “this
promises well !”

“Bah !” cried the spiteful Canadian ; “ what the devil
do you expect to get to eat here ; tortoise livers, fillet of
shark, or a slice from a sea-dog ?”

“ We shall soon see,” replied Conseil.

The dishes, with their silver covers, were placed sym-
metrically upon the cloth, and we took our places. De-
cidedly we had to do with civilised beings ; and were it
not for the electric light which surrounded us, I should
have fancied we were sitting in the Adelphi Hotel in
Liverpool, or in the Grand Hotel in Paris. I must say
that we had neither wine nor bread on this occasion.
The water was pure and bright ; but it was water, which
was not acceptable to Ned Land. Amongst the meats
served to us I recognised various kinds of fish very deli-
cately cooked ; but upon some of the dishes I could not
pronounce an opinion, as I was perfectly unable to say
to what kingdom, animal or vegetable, they belonged.
The table-service was elegant, and in perfect taste. Every
76 MOBILIS IN: MOBILE.

knife, fork, spoon, or plate, was marked with a letter
surrounded by a motto, of which the following is a fac
simile ¢ ,

gibls IN MO Bay
9°
N

Mobile ina mobile element. This applied exactly to
this submarine machine, if you translate the preposition
“in” as “in,” and not “upon.” The letter N no doubt
stood for the initial of the name of the eccentric indi-
vidual who commanded.

Ned and Conseil did not waste much time in re-
flection. They began to eat, and I quickly followed
their example. I was, moreover, now reassured as to our
fate, and it was very evident that our hosts did not
intend that we should die from inanition.

Everything must have an end in this world, and so
must the appetites of people who have fasted for fifteen
hours. The want of sleep now began to make itself felt
—a natural reaction, after the long night during which we
had struggled face to face with death.

“ Faith, I shall sleep well,” said Conseil.

“T am already asleep,” replied Ned Land.

My companions lay down upon the floor, and were
quickly in a profound slumber.

For my part I yielded less quickly to the drowsy god.
A number of thoughts crowded my brain, insoluble
questions pressed upon me, a troop of mental images
kept my eyes open. Where were we? What strange
power held us? I felt, or fancied I felt, the machine
MOBILIS IN MOBILE. 77

sinking to the bottom of the sea. Fearful nightmares
beset me. I sawin mysterious passages the whole of the
unknown animal kingdom, of which the submarine vessel
appeared to be the congener, living, moving, and as for-
midable as they. Then my brain cooled, my imagination
was steeped in sleep, and I soon fell into a peaceful
slumber.
CHAPTER IX.
NED LAND’S ANGER.

How long we slept I do not know, but it must have been
some time, as we awoke completely refreshed. I was the
first to awake. My companions had not stirred, and
remained stretched in the corner like lifeless beings.

Scarcely had I got up from my hard bed, when I per-
ceived that my brain was clear and my mind invigorated.
I then began to re-examine our cell attentively.

Nothing had been altered in its arrangement. The
prison was still a prison—the prisoners still prisoners.
But the steward had cleared the table while we slept.
There was no symptom of any approaching change for
the better, and I began to wonder whether we were des-
tined to live for ever in that cage.

This prospect was so much the more unpleasant, as, if
my brain were clear, I felt my chest very much oppressed.
My“breathing had become difficult, the heavy air was not
sufficient for the play of my lungs. The cell was cer-
tainly of large size, but it was evident that we had con-
sumed the greater part of the oxygen it had contained.
Each man breathes in an hour the amount of oxygen
NED LANDS ANGER. 79

contained in roo litres (22 gallons) of atmospheric air,
and this air, then almost equal to carbonic acid gas,
becomes insupportable.

It was, therefore, necessary to renovate the air of our
prison, and, without doubt, also the atmosphere of our
submarine boat.

Here was a puzzling question. How did the com-
mander of the floating dwelling get on? Did he obtain
air by chemical means, by disengaging the oxygen con-
tained in chlorate of potash, and by absorbing the
carbonic acid by the caustic potash? In this case he
must keep up a communication with the earth to obtain
a supply of these materials. Did he only take the pre-
caution to store the air under great pressure in reservoirs,
and free it again according to the requirements of the
ship’s company? Perhaps so. Or, what was a much
easier method, more economical, and therefore more
probable, was that he came up to the surface of the
water to breathe, like a cetacean, and for twenty-four
hours renew his supply of oxygen. However it might
be, and by whatever means, it appeared to me prudent
to employ it without delay.

In fact I was already obliged to breathe more quickly
to extract what little oxygen the cell contained, when I
was suddenly refreshed by a current of pure air, per-
fumed with the odour of the sea. It was the true sea-
breeze vivified and charged with iodine. I opened my
mouth wide. I was sensible of a rocking motion, a
rolling of some extent, but perfectly determinable. The
monster had evidently come up to the surface to breathe,
after the fashion of the whale. The mode of ventilating
the ship was now perfectly apparent.
80 NED LANDS ANGER.

While I was enjoying the pure air I looked for the
medium of its introduction, and was not long in dis-
covering it. Over the door was an aperture, through
which the fresh air entered and renovated the vitiated
atmosphere of the cabin.

I had got so far in my observations when Ned and
Conseil woke almost at the same moment, under the
influence of the fresh air. After sundry rubbings of the
eyes and stretchings of the arms they got upon their
feet.

“Has Monsieur slept well?” inquired Conseil, with
his usual politeness.

“Very well indeed,” I replied. “And you, Master
Land ?”

“Soundly,” was the answer. “ But—perhaps I am
mistaken-—I fancy I can detect the smell of the
sea.”

A sailor could make no mistake on this point, and I
told the Canadian what had passed.

“That explains the roarings we heard when the
supposed narwhal was near the Abraham Lincoln,’ said
Ned.

“Quite so, Ned, that was its breathing.”

“ Only, M. Aronnax, I have no notion what time it
is, unless it is dinner-time.”

“Dinner-time, my worthy harpooner? say rather
breakfast-time, for we are certainly in another
day.”

“Which shows that we have slept for twenty-four
hours !”

“ That is my opinion,” I replied.

“T will not contradict you,” replied Ned Land.
NED LANDS ANGER. &r

“But dinner or breakfast, I shall be glad to see the
steward, whichever he may bring.”

“ Both,” said Conseil.

“Just so,” replied Ned. “We are entitled to two
meals, and, for my part, I could do justice to both.”

“Listen, Ned,” said I. “It is very evident that
these people do not intend to starve us, else the dinner
yesterday would have had no meaning.”

“ Unless they wanted to fatten us up a bit.”

“I must protest against that,” said I. “We have
not fallen among cannibals.”

“ Once is not a custom,” replied the Canadian
seriously ; “ who can tell whether these people have not
been deprived of fresh meat for some time? and, in that
case, three such individuals as you, Monsieur, your ser-
vant, and I ”

“ Banish such thoughts, Land,” I said, ‘‘and above all
things do not go out of your way to abuse our hosts—that
will only make matters worse.”

“In any case,” said Ned, “I am as hungry as a
thousand devils; dinner or breakfast, the meal is not
here.”

“We must conform to the regulations of the ship,”
I replied. ‘ Possibly our appetites are in advance of the
galley clock.”

“ And I suppose that is set correctly ?” said Conseil
calmly.

“That is so like you, friend Conseil,” replied the im-
petuous Canadian. ‘You don’t ever trouble yourself
much, you are always calm. You are the kind of fellow
to say grace before your Jdenedicite, and die of hunger
rather than complain.”

VOL. I. F


82 NED LANDS ANGER.

“ And what is the use of complaining ?” asked Con-
seil.

“But it will do good. And if these pirates—I say
‘pirates’ with all respect, as the professor objects to my
calling them cannibals, and I don’t want to hurt his feel-
ings—if these pirates imagine that they are going to
keep me.a prisoner in this stifling cage without hear-
ing some pretty strong observations from me they are
very much mistaken. Look here, M. Aronnax, tell me
frankly, do you think we shall be kept long in this iron
box ?”

“To say the truth, I cannot tell any more than your-
self.”

“ Well, but what do you think?”

“T imagine that chance has made us masters of an
important secret. Now, if the crew of this submarine
vessel are much interested in keeping it, and if such
interest is as important as the lives of three men—I do
think that we are in danger. But in the contrary case,
the monster may put us ashore again amongst our
species.

“Unless he enrol us with the crew,” said Conseil,
“and take care of his secret that way.”

“Until some day,” replied Ned, “when some frigate
better ‘found’ and faster than the Adraham Lincoln, takes
possession of this nest of robbers, and sends us and them
to swing at the yard-arm.”

“A good argument, Land,” said I, “ but nothing of
all this has yet happened. It is useless to discuss what
may happen, until the case arises. I repeat, let us wait
and act according to circumstances. We need do nothing,
because there is nothing to do.”
NED LANDS ANGER. 83

“On the contrary, sir,” replied the Canadian, who
would not give in, “ we ought to do something.”

“Well, what? ”

‘Save ourselves—try to escape !”

“ To escape from a prison on land is difficult ; but to
get out of a submarine prison, appears to me imprac-
ticable.” bee

‘Now, friend Ned,” said Conseil, “what do you say
to Monsieur? I cannot believe that an American Is ever
at a loss.”

The harpooner, visibly embarrassed, was silent. Flight
under the circumstances was out of the question. But
a Canadian is half a Frenchman, and master Land showed
that by his reply.

“So, M. Aronnax,” he said, after some minutes’ con-
sideration, “ you do not know what people ought to do
who cannot escape from their prison?”

“No, my friend.”

“Tt is very simple—they ought to arrange in what
manner they will remain.”

“By Jove,” said Conseil, “I think you are better
inside than either above or below !”

“But having overcome gaolers, keys, and bolts?”

“ What, Ned, is it possible that you are seriously con-
templating escape from this vessel ?”

“ Very seriously, indeed,” replied the Canadian.

“ Impossible !”

“Why so, sir? Some favourable opportunity may
arise ; and I do not see why I should not profit by it:
If there are not more than twenty men on board, they
will not be able to resist two Frenchmen and a Canadian,
I suppose ?”

EF 2
84 NED LANDS ANGER.

It was better to admit this proposition than to discuss
it, so I contented myself by saying :

“Wait events, and see. But till the time comes pray
curb your impatience. We cannot act except by strata-
gem, and it is not in our power to create opportunities.
So promise me that you will take things as they come,
quietly.”

“‘T promise, sir,” replied Ned, in a tone but little
reassuring. “Not a coarse nor violent word shall pass
my lips, not a gesture shall be perceived, even if the
table be not served with desirable regularity.”

“T have your promise, Ned,” I replied.

Our conversation ceased, and each of us began to
reflect. For myself, I confess, notwithstanding the
assurance of the harpooner, I did not delude myself. I
did not admit those favourable chances of which Ned
had spoken. To be so well manceuvred, the submarine
boat must be well manned and equipped, and conse-
quently in the event of a dispute we should get the worst
of it. Besides, above all it was necessary to be at
liberty, and we were not. I did not perceive any means
of flight from this close prison. And if the strange com-
mander of this vessel had a secret to preserve—which
was at least probable—he would not permit us to be at
large on board. Now whether he would get rid of us
by violence, or land us safely upon some corner of the
earth, was the question. All these hypotheses appeared
to me extremely plausible, and one needed to be a
harpooner to hope to regain his liberty.

I comprehended, moreover, that Ned Land’s inten-
tions were by no means in keeping with his reflections.
I heard him beginning to mutter strange oaths, and his
NED LAND'S ANGER. 85

gestures were becoming threatening. He got up and
walked about like a wild beast in a cage, hitting and
kicking the walls as he passed. By-and-by his anger
evaporated, and hunger began to assail him cruelly, and
yet the steward appeared not. Our position, as ship-
wrecked people, had been forgotten too long if they had
really been well-intentioned towards us. Ned Land,
really suffering from hunger, got more and more angry ;
and, notwithstanding his promise, I was afraid of an
explosion should any of the crew enter our cabin. For
two hours longer Ned’s anger burned. He called, he
shouted in vain. The walls were impervious to sound
I could not hear any sound within the boat. It was not
moving, for we should in that event have felt the throb-
bings of the screw. Plunged in this state of uncertainty
beneath the waves, we seemed to belong to earth no
more. The death-like silence was appalling.

I did not dare to contemplate the chances of a
lengthened abandonment and isolation in this cell. The
hopes I had conceived after our interview with the com-
mander faded by degrees. His kind expression of
countenance, pleasant look, and nobility of mien all
faded from my memory. I recalled this extraordinary
personage, as he had now become, necessarily pitiless
and cruel. I put him out of the pale of humanity, inac-
cessible to every sentiment of pity, the remorseless
enemy of his fellow-creatures, against whom he had sworn
an undying enmity.

But was this man, then, going to let us perish of
hunger, incarcerated in an iron cell, at the mercy of
those terrible temptations which assail men under the
influence of extreme hunger? This fearful thought
86 NED LANDS ANGER.

burnt itself into my brain, and imagination being at work,
I felt myself becoming the prey of a maddening terror.
Conseil was quite resigned. Ned was raging.

At this juncture a voice was heard outside, footsteps
were heard on the iron flooring, the bolts were drawn
back, and the steward appeared.

Before J could interpose to prevent him, the Canadian
had thrown himself upon the unfortunate man, felled him
to the ground, where he held him by the throat. The
steward was strangling beneath that powerful grasp.
Conseil had already attempted to loosen the deadly
grasp of the harpooner, and I was about to assist, when
I was glued to the spot by hearing a voice call out in
French :

“Calm yourself, Master Land, and you also, professor,
and be so good as to listen to me !”
CHAPTER X,

THE MAN OF THE SEA,

Iv was the commander of the vessel who had spoken.

At those words, Ned Land suddenly arose; the
steward, half strangled, staggered out at a sign from his
master; but such was the discipline enforced, that the
man did not even by a gesture betray his resentment
against the Canadian. Conseil was interested, in spite
of himself, and I stood petrified with astonishment. We
all awaited the dénowement in silence. The commander,
leaning against the table, regarded us fixedly. Did he
hesitate to speak, or was he regretting having addressed
usin French? It might be so. os

After a silence of some minutes, which none of us
ventured to break :

.“ Gentlemen,” said he, in a calm and penetrating tone,

I can speak French, English, German, and Latin with
equal facility. I was therefore quite capable of replying
to you at our first interview, but I wished to learn first,
and reflect afterwards. Your respective accounts of your
adventures agreeing in all important particulars assured
me ot your identity. I am now aware that chance has
88 THE MAN OF .THE SEA.

brought to me Monsieur Pierre Aronnax, Professor of
Natural History in the museum at Paris, charged with a
scientific mission ; Conseil, his servant, and Ned Land, a
Canadian by birth, harpooner on board the frigate
Abraham Lincoln, of the United States Navy.”

I bowed assent. There was no necessity for further
reply. The man expressed himself with perfect ease,
with no foreign accent. His phraseology was good, his
words well chosen, his facility of speech remarkable.
Nevertheless, I did not take to him as a country-
man.

He continued :

“You have doubtless thought that I have been a
long time in paying you a second visit. It was because,
your identity once established, I wished to consider
seriously how to act towards you. I hesitated for a long
time. Unfortunate circumstances have brought you in
contact with a man who has forsworn his fellow-
creatures. You have come to disturb my exist-
ence ”

“ Unintentionally,” I put in.

“ Unintentionally !” repeated the stranger, raising his
voice. “Was it unintentionally that the Abraham
Lincoln chased me through the ocean so long? Was it
unintentionally that you came on board that ship? Was
it unintentionally that your shot came hustling against
the hull of my vessel? Was it unintentionally that Land
here struck it with his harpoon ?”

I perceived a subdued anger in these questions. But
to all these recriminations I had a perfectly plain answer
to make, and I made it.

“Monsieur,” said I, “you are ignorant of the dis-


THE MAN OF THE SEA. 89

cussions which have arisen in Europe and America about
you. You are not aware that the various collisions you
have caused have evoked public observation in both
continents. I spare you the numerous hypotheses by
which people have endeavoured to explain the inexplic-
able phenomenon of which you alone possess the secret.
But you must know that in pursuing you the Abraham
Lincoln's crew were under the impression that they were
pursuing some powerful marine monster, of which it was
necessary to rid the ocean at any cost.”

A half-sigh parted the lips of the stranger; then, ina
calmer tone he said:

“ Monsieur Aronnax, can you affirm that your frigate
would not have followed and fired at a submarine vessel
as well as a monster ?”

This question caused me some little embarrassment,
for certainly Commodore Farragut had not hesitated.
He would have deemed it his duty to destroy an appa-
ratus of the kind as well as a gigantic narwhal.

“So you perceive, Monsieur,” said the stranger, “ that
I have a right to treat you as enemies.”

I did not reply, and for a good reason. Where was
the use to answer a proposition, when force could over-
come a thousand arguments.

“T have hesitated for a long time,” said the com-
mander. “There is no reason why I should extend my
hospitality to you. If I leave you, I have no interest in
seeing you again. If I replace you upon the platform
outside, upon which you took refuge, I can sink beneath
the surface and forget that you ever existed. Have I
not this right ?”

These thoughts chased rapidly across my mind,
go THE MAN OF THE SEA.

while the strange personage was silent, absorbed, and
plunged in thought. I was regarding him with a
melancholy interest, much as CZdipus may have looked
at the Sphinx. After a long silence the commander
again spoke:

“T have waited before speaking,” said he, “ because I
was thinking that my own interest may be in keeping with
the natural consideration to which every human being has a
right. You shall remain on board, since fate has thrown
you in my way. ~ You will be free here, and in exchange
for this liberty, I will only impose one condition. Your
word of honour that you agree to it ‘will be sufficient.”

“Speak, Monsieur,” said I, “I have no doubt the con-
dition is one that brave men may accept.”

“ Certainly, and this is it. It is possible that certain
circumstances may compel me to confine you to your
cabin for some hours, o1 some days. As I have no wish
to use force, I expect from you, above all, the most passive
obedience. In acting thus, I take all responsibility off
your shoulders, and you are free; for it will be my busi-
ness to see that you do not become acquainted with
what it is inexpedient for you to know. Do you accept
the condition?”

“We accept,” I replied. “But I wish to ask one
question—only one.”

“ Speak, Monsicur,” he said.

“ You have stated that we shall be free on board?”

“ Entirely.”

“T would ask what you mean by such freedom?”

“ Permission to go and come and look about as you
please, to see all that takes place here. In fact the same
freedom as I and my companions enjoy.”
THE MAN OF THE SEA. gI

“ That is perhaps the right of a savage,” I said, ‘ but
not ofa civilised being.”

“ Monsieur, I am not, so to speak, a civilised being.
I have broken with the world altogether, for reasons
which I can alone appreciate. I obey no laws, and I
recommend you never to put them in force against
me.”

This was sternly spoken. An angry and disdainful
gleam shone in his eyes, and in this man’s life I could
discern a terrible past. Not only had he put himself
out of reach of all human laws, but he was independent,
free—in the largest acceptation of the term—beyond all
reach.

Who would dare to pursue to the bottom of the
sea a being, who at the surface baffled all efforts to over-
take him? What ship could resist the shock of this sub-
marine “ram?” What armour-plate could sustain his
blows? None among men could demand an account of
his actions. Providence, if he believed in Him; his
conscience, if he had one, were the only judges before
whom he could be brought.

It was evident that we did not altogether understand
each other. ,

“T beg your pardon,” I added, “ but the liberty you
would accord is only that granted to a prisoner, to walk
round his prison. That is not enongh for us.”

“ Well, it must suffice, nevertheless.”

“What! You would debar us from ever seeing our
friends, relatives, and our native land again ?”

“Yes, Monsieur ; but to renounce the insupportable
yoke of earth which men call freedom, is not such a very
great sacrifice as you imagine.”
92 THE MAN OF THE SEA.

“Well,” cried Ned, “I will never give my word of
honour not to attempt to escape.”

“‘T did not ask you for your word of honour, Master
Land,” replied the commander in a freezing tone.

“Sir,” said I, carried away in spite of myself, “you
take an unfair advantage of your position. It is
cruel.”

“No, sir; itis mercy. You are my prisoners of war.
I take care of you, when, by a word, I could have you
thrown into the sea. You have attacked me. ‘You have
come here, and have discovered a secret which no one
in the world ought to know—the secret of my existence.
And do you believe that I shall put you ashore upon
that earth which shall know me no more? In keeping
you here it is not you whom I take care of, it is
myself.”

These words indicated a resolution which no argu-
ment could overturn.

“ Thus,” I replied, “you give us simply a choice
between life and death ?”

“ Exactly.”

“ My friends,” said I, “‘to such a question there is
no answer. But we are not bound to the master of the
ship.”

“Not at all,” replied the captain. Then, in a more
pleasant tone, he resumed: “ Now permit me to finish
what I have to say. I know you, M. Aronnax. You,
personally, have not perhaps much reason to complain
that you have cast in your lot with mine. You will find
amongst the books which are my favourite studies your
own work upon the greatest depths of the sea. I have
often read it. You have extended your work as far as
THE MAN OF THE SEA. 93

terrestrial science permitted. But you do not know
everything, and have not seen everything. Allow me to
tell you that you will not regret the time you may pass
on board with me. You are about to sail through a
world of wonders, Astonishment and stupefaction will
be the prevailing feelings you will experience. You will
not easily get tired of the never-ceasing spectacle
before you. I am about to make a new tour of the
submarine world—perhaps the last, who knows?—to
study, as far as possible, at the bottom of those seas
through which I have so frequently coursed, and you
shall be my companion. From this day you will enter
upon a new existence; you will see what no man has
ever seen—for my companions and myself do not count
—and our planet, thanks to me, shall yield its deepest
secrets to you.”

I could not deny it. The captain’s words had a
great effect upon me. I was assailed at my weak point,
and forget, at the moment, that the contemplation of
these wonderful things could not compensate for my lost
liberty. However, I counted upon the future to solve
this question, so I answered :

“ Monsieur, if you have quarrelled with humanity, I
like to think that you have not renounced every human
feeling. We are shipwrecked people, received charitably
on board your vessel, we do not forget that. As for me,
Iam not. sure but that, if the interests of science will
permit me to forget the want of freedom, I can promise
myself that our intercourse will be very pleasant.”

I fancied that the commander would tender me his
hand to ratify our agreement. He did not do so, and,
for his sake, I was sorry for it.
94 THE MAN OF THE SEA.

“One last question,” I said, as this strange individual
was about to retire.

“ Well, Monsieur ?”

“‘ By what name shall I address you ?”

“Sir,” he replied, “to you I am but Captain Nemo,
and your companions and yourself are to me only pas-
sengers in the ship /Vaztzlus.”

Captain Nemo then called the steward, to whom he
gave his orders in that strange language which I could
not make out ; then turning to Conseil and the Canadian
he said to them :

“A meal awaits you in your cabin. Be so good as
to follow that man.”

“This is not to be refused,” said the harpooner, and
Conseil and he quitted the cell in which they had been
interned thirty hours.

“ Now, M. Aronnax, our breakfast is ready. Allow
me to lead the way.”

“ At your orders, captain.”

I followed Captain Nemo, and as soon as I had
passed the door I entered a sort of corridor, illuminated
by electric light, and resembling the waist of a ship.
After proceeding a short distance a second door was
opened before me.

I was ushered in a dining-room ornamented and fur-
nished in perfect taste. Oaken shelves inlaid with
ebony were erected at each end of this room, upon which
were displayed, in varying order, china, earthenware,
porcelain, and glass of inestimable value. The table-
services glittered heneath the rays which extended to the
ceiling, whose fine frescoes toned down the powerful
light.
THE MAN OF THE SEA, 95

In the centre of the room was a splendidly-served
table. Captain Nemo pointed out my place.

“Sit down,” said he, “and eat like a man who is
dying of hunger.”

The meal was composed of a certain number of dishes
which only the sea could have supplied, and some of
which I was entirely ignorant. They were very good,
but* of curious flavour, to which, however, I speedily
became accustomed. These various dishes were rich in
phosphorus, and from this I argued that they were of
oceanic origin. :

Captain Nemo was looking at me. I asked him
nothing, but he divined my thoughts, and replied volun-
tarily to the questions I was burning to address to
him.

“The greater part of these dishes are unknown,”
said he; “but you may eat without fear. They are
wholesome and nourishing. For years I have renounced
all sustenance derived from the earth, and am none the
worse. My crew, who are strong fellows, live as I
do.” -

“All these things are produced in the sea,
then ?”

“Yes, the ocean furnishes me with all I require.
Sometimes I spread my nets astern, and haul them in
ready to break. Sometimes I go hunting in this element
so inaccessible to man, and I take the game that in-
habits the submarine forests. My flocks, like those of
father Neptune, feed fearlessly in the submarine pastures,
and share a vast estate which I cultivate myself, and
which is always sown by the hand of the Creator of all
things.
96 THE MAN OF THE SEA.

I gazed at Captain Nemo in astonishment, and
replied :

“J can quite understand that your nets furnish you
excellent fish, but I do not quite comprehend how you
hunt the aquatic game in the submarine forests, and,
least of all, why so small a portion of meat appears at
your table.”

“For the reason that I never consume the flesh of
terrestrial animals.”

“But this, now?” I retorted, pointing to a dish upon
which some slices of a “ fillet” were placed.

“That which you believe to be meat is nothing but
tortoise fillet. Here is likewise some dolphin liver
which you might take for pork. My cook is an ex-
perienced hand, and excels in preparing the various
productions of the sea. Taste those. Here is a con-
serve Whololuries, which Malais declared unrivalled.
Here is a cream made of the milk from the breast of
a cetacean, and sugar from the great fucus of the
North Sea; and, finally, allow me to offer you these
confitures a@’anemones, which are equal to the most
pleasant fruits.”

I tasted them, more out of curiosity than hunger,
while Captain Nemo amused me by his improbable
tales.

“ But this inexhaustible sea not only feeds but clothes
me. That material you wear is made from the byssus of
certain shell fish. They are coloured with the purple of
the ancients, variegated with violet tints, which I extract
from the aplysis of the Mediterranean. The perfumes
you will find upon your dressing-table have been pro-
duced by the distillation of marine plants. Your bed is
THE MAN OF THE SEA. 97

composed of the softest zostera of the ocean. Your pen
is from the fin of a whale; your ink is the liquor
secreted by the cuttle-fish. Everything now comes from
the sea, and will return to it again some day.”

“ You are fond of the sea, captain.”

“Yes; I love it. The sea is everything. It covers
seven-tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breathings are
pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, in which
man is never lonely, for life is spread around him. The
sea is only the medium for a supernatural and wonderful
existence ; it is nothing but movement and affection ;
the living infinite, as one of the poets has said. In fact,
nature is herein represented by all three kingdoms—the
mineral, vegetable, and animal. The last is largely re-
presented by the four groups of zoophytes, three classes
of articulated animals, five classes of molluscs, three
classes of vertebrates, the mammifers, reptiles, innumer-
able legions of fish, an infinite order of animals, which
includes more than 13,000 species, of which only a tenth
part inhabit fresh water. The sea is the vast reservoir
of nature. It was by the sea that the world may be said
to have commenced ; and who knows whether it will not
finish it also! There alone is perfect quiet. The sea
is not for despots. At the surface it can still exercise
its iniquitous rights ; there it beats furiously and devours
greedily; there it bears all earthly horrors, But at
thirty feet below the surface its power ceases, its influence
is extinguished, its strength dies out. Ah, Monsieur,
live in the bosom of the waters. There alone you will
find independence ; there I recognise no master; there
I am free !”

Captain Nemo suddenly stopped in the midst of

VOL, I. G
98 THE MAN OF THE SEA.

his enthusiastic address. Had he been betrayed out of
his habitual reserve? Had he said too much? For
some time he walked about, evidently agitated. Then
he became calmer ; his face resumed its usual impassi-
bility, and turning to me he said :

“ Now, Monsieur, if you wish to inspect the Vautrlus,
I am at your service.”
CHAPTER XI.

THE “NAUTILUS.”

Carrain Nemo got up from his chair. I followed him.
A double door at the end of the room was passed, and
we entered a chamber of similar size to that we had just
left.

It was a library. High ebony book-cases, inlaid with
brass, contained a large number of books similarly
bound. These followed the curvature of the walls, and
terminated at their lower part in large sofas covered
with maroon leather, which presented most comfortable
resting-places. Light, moveable desks were attached
thereto, adapted either for reading or writing. In the
centre was a large table, littered with pamphlets, with
here and there some old newspapers. The electric light
fell upon all these from four swinging globular lamps
fastened in the fluting of the ceiling. I gazed admiringly
around me at this ingeniously-arranged room, and could
scarcely believe my eyes.

“Captain Nemo,” said I to my host, who had
stretched himself upon a couch, “this library would do

G2
100 THE “ NAUTILUS,”

credit to a palace; and I am fairly astounded when I
reflect that it can be eavally available at the bottom of
the sea.”

“You can find true solitude and silence here,” replied
the captain. “I do not think that your study at the
Museum can offer you such perfect quiet.”

“No, indeed; and it will appear very poor after
this. You must have 6,000 or 7,000 volumes on these
shelves.”

“Twelve thousand,” replied Captain.Nemo. ‘ Those
are the only things that bind me to the earth. The
world was dead to me when my WVaz/e/us plunged for the
first time beneath the waves. Upon that day I purchased
my last volumes, my last pamphlets, my last papers; and
since then I wish to believe that the human race has
neither thought nor written anything. These books are,
however, quite at your disposal, and you may use them
freely.”

I thanked my host, and approached the shelves.
There were books of science, and moral and literary
subjects in every language; but I did not perceive any
work upon political economy. One curious feature was
that the books were mingled together, not arranged
according to the language in which they were written ;
and this seemed to prove that the captain read whatever
volumes came to hand.

Amongst the books I noticed the greatest works of
ancient and modern celebrities, that is to say, all the
finest works that humanity has produced. There was
poetry, romance, and science represented, from Homer
to Victor Hugo, from Xenophon to Michelet, from Rabe-
THE “NAUTILUS.” tor

lais to Madame Sand. But science cormnposed the bulk
of the works ; books upon mechanics, balistics, hydro-
graphy, meteorology, geography, geology, &c., held a no
less important place than works on natural history, which
I fancied was the captain’s chief study. I perceived the
complete writings of Humboldt, Arago, Foucault, Henry
St. Claire Deville, Chasles, Milne-Edwards, Quatrefrages,
Tyndall, Faraday, Berthelot, of the Abbé Secchi, Peter-
mann, Commodore Maury, Agassiz, &c. The memoirs
of the Academy of Science, the transactions of various
geographical societies, &c., and, in a conspicuous posi-
tion, those two volumes to which, perhaps, I was indebted
for Captain Nemo’s clemency.

Amongst the works of Joseph Bertrand, his book
entitled “Les Fondateurs de l’Astronomie,” gave me a
fixed date, and as I knew that the book had appeared
during the year 1865, I was enabled to arrive at the con-
clusion that the institution of the JVauti2us had not been
at a date more remote than that. Thus for three years
or more Captain Nemo had led a submarine exist-
ence.

I was in hopes that more recent works would enable me
to fix more definitely the exact period, but I had plenty
of time before me, and did not wish to delay an explora-
tion of the wonders of the Mautilus.

“T thank you,” said I to the captain, “for having
placed this library at my disposal. There are some
treasures of scientific research which I shall be able to
profit by.”

“ This is not only a library, it is also a smoking-room,”
said he.
102 THE “ NAUTILUS.”

“A smoking-room!” I exclaimed. “So you have
some cigars on board ?”

“Certainly.”

“Then I am obliged to think that you must preserve
relations with Havana.”

* Not at all,” replied the captain. “Try this cigar, and
though it is very certain it never came from Havana, I
think you will like the flavour.”

I took the cigar, which was made like those sold in
London, but it appeared to bé composed of leaves of
gold. I lit it at a little bronze brazier and inhaled its
fragrance with all the gusto of a man who had not smoked
for two days.

“Tt is excellent,” I said, “ but it is not tobacco.”

“No,” replied the captain, “that weed never grew
in Havana nor the East. It is a kind of sea-weed, rich
in nicotine, which the ocean supplies to me somewhat
sparely. Do you regret your London cigar ?”

“My dear sir, I shall despise them hence-
forth.”

“Well, then, smoke as much as you like, and without
thinking of the origin of the cigars. They bear the
brand of no nation, but they are not the less good, I
fancy.”

“On the contrary.”

- Captain Nemo then opened a door opposite to that
by which we had entered, and I passed into a large and
brilliantly-lighted salon.

It was a large oblong with walls sloping inwards,
ten yards long, six wide, and five high, The lighted
ceiling, decorated by arabesques, distributed a clear and
THE “ NAUTILUS.” 163

soft light upon all the marvels of this museum, Fora
museum it really was, in which an intelligent and prodigal
mind had united all the treasures of nature and art, with
a little of that “mixing” which distinguishes the ‘ studio”
of a painter. Thirty masterpieces in handsome frames
ornamented the walls, covered with tapestry of chaste
design.

Here I perceived pictures of the greatest value,
which for the most part I had admired in private col-
lections and exhibitions. The various schools of the old
masters were represented by a “ Madonna,” by Raphael ;
a “Virgin,” by Leonardo da Vinci; a “Nymph,” by
Correggio; a “ Lady,” by Titian; an “ Adoration,” by
Veronese ; an “ Assumption,” by Murillo; a portrait, by
Holbein; a “ Monk,” by Velasquez; a “ Martyr,” by
Ribeira ; a “ Kermesse,” by Rubens; two Flemish land-
scapes by Teniers, three small pictures of the school of
Gerard Dow, Metsu, and Paul -Potter, two by Géricault
and Prudhon, some sea views by Backuysen and Vernet.
Amongst modern works were those of Delacroix, Ingres,
Decamp, Troyon, Meissonnier, Daubigny, &c., and some
admirable reductions from statues of the first models
stood upon pedestals in the corners of this splendid
museum.

The state of stupefaction predicted by the cap-
tain of the Wauélus had already taken possession of
my mind. :

“Monsieur,” said the extraordinary man, “you
will, I hope, excuse the informal manner in which
I have received you, and the disorder or _ this
room.”
104 THE “ NAUTILUS”

“Without seeking to know who you are, sir,” I said,
“T may remark that you are an artist.”

“ An amateur, no more ; I like to collect these beauti-

.ful specimens of human workmanship. I was a great
collector at one time, and have been able to obtain some
works of greatvalue. These are the last souvenirs of the
earth which is now dead to me. To my eyes, your
modern artists cannot compare with the old masters, who
have two or three thousand years’ existence, and I confuse
them. They have no ‘age.’”

“And these musicians?” said I, pointing out works
of Weber, Rossini, Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Meyer-
beer, Herold, Wagner, Auber, Gounod, and others,
scattered upon a piano-organ, which filled up one of the
panels of the room.

“Those musicians,” replied Captain Nemo, “are
the contemporaries of Orpheus, for chronological diffi-
culties are passed over in the memories of dead men;
and I am dead, equally dead as any of your friends lying
six feet under ground.” :

He ceased speaking, and appeared plunged in a
profound reverie. I gazed at him with emotion,
analysing his features in silence. Leaning against a
beautiful Mosaic table, he was quite unconscious of my
presence.

I respectfully recalled his attention, and we continued
to inspect the curiosities of the salon.

After the works of art, the rare natural specimens
held the most important position. They consisted
chiefly of plants, shells, and other productions of the
ocean, which Captain Nemo had himself picked up. In
THE “NAUTILUS” 105

the centre of the room was a small jet of water, illumi-
nated by the electric light, and falling into a simple
tridone. This shell, produced by the greatest of acepha-
lous molluscs, measured about six yards round the
delicately-curved edge. It thus surpassed in size those
that were presented to Francis I. by the Republic of
Venice, and of which the church of St. Sulpice in Paris
has constructed two immense holy-water basins.

Around this vase were classed and ticketed the most
precious productions of the sea that had ever gladdened
the eyes of a naturalist. You can picture my delight,

The zoophytes presented most curious specimens of
the two groups of polypes and echinodermes. In the
first group, tubipores, gorgons displayed fan-wise, soft
sponges from Syria, &c., and a series of those madrepores,
which my mastef Milne-Edwards has so cleverly classed
in-sections. - In fine, the whole represented a collection
complete in individual specimens of the various
groups. 3, Pat
The collection of shells was of inestimable value, and
time would fail me in attempting to describe them all.
Amongst them I well remember the elegant royal
hammer-fish of the Indian Ocean, whose regularly-placed
white spots showed out upon the red or brown beneath
—an imperial spondyde of vivid colouring, bristling
with spines, a rare specimen in European museums, and
worth, I should say, 20,000 francs; a common speci-
men of hammer-fish from New Holland, where it is
not easy to procure, however ; “ buccardia” of Senegal,
fragile white bivalves, which one may blow away like a
soap-bubble ; a whole series of “trochi,” some greenish
106 THE “ NAUTILUS)

brown, from American waters, some a reddish-brown, re-
lated to those of New Holland; the former from the
Gulf of Mexico, remarkable for their imbricated shells ;
the latter, the stellaria, found in the South Seas, and
rarest of all, the magnificent “spar” shell of New Zealand ;
and, in fine, ovula, oliva, buccini, voluta, harpa, cassis,
cerethia, fissurella, patella, and other delicate and fragile
shells, to which science has given most charming
names.

Besides, and in special compartments, were displayed
rows of pearls of great beauty, which the electric light
tipped with little scintillations. Rose-pearls torn from
the Red Sea; green pearls of the halistoid iris; yellow
pearls, and blue, and black; curious products of various
molluscs in every ocean, and in certain water-courses,
besides many other specimens of immense value.

Some of these pearls surpassed a pigeon’s egg in size,
and were worth more than that which the traveller
Tavernier sold to the Shah of Persia for three millions,
and excelled that other pearl of the Imaum of Muscat,
which I fancied without a rival in the world.

So to calculate the value of this collection was
almost impossible. Captain Nemo must have spent
tnillions on his specimens, and I was thinking how he
could thus afford to gratify his tastes, when I was in:
terrupted by his saying:

“You are examining my shells, monsieur; they can
interest a naturalist, but they have a greater charm for
me, for I have collected them all myself, and there is
not any part of the oceanic world that has escaped my
search.”

“TI can quite understand,” said I, “the pleasure of
THE “ NAUTILUS.” 107

floating in the midst of such riches. You are one of
those who have made their own fortune. No-museum
in Europe possesses such a collection as yours. But if I
go on admiring these so much, I shall have no wonder
left for the vessel that carries us. I do not wish to pry
into your secrets, but I confess that the speed of the
Nautilus, the machinery that guides her, the power that
animates her, all have excited my curiosity to a very
high pitch. I see hanging from these walls some instru-
ments with whose uses I am unacquainted. May I
know what they are?”

“M. Aronnax,” replied the captain, “I have already
told you that you are free on board my ship, and so no
part of the Wautddus is forbidden you. You can go over
her, and I shall be very happy to be your conductor.”

“T really don’t know how to thank you, monsieur, but
I will not abuse your confidence. I will only enquire the
uses of those instruments.”

“Similar instruments wili be found in my roor:, and
I will explain their uses there. But first come and see
your own cabin. - You ought to know how you are likely
to be lodged on board the Mautélus.”

J followed the captain, who, by one of the doors
pierced in each side of the room, brought us back into
the “waist” of the ship. He led the way forward, and
there I found not merely a cabin, but an elegantly-fitted
chamber, containing a bed, wardrobe, and other fur-
niture.

I was not able to express my thanks to my host.

“Your room is contiguous to mine,” said he, opening
a door as he spoke, “‘and mine opens into the room we
have just left.”
108 THE “ NAUTILUS”

I entered his room; it had an austere appearance,
almost monkish. An iron bedstead, fa work-table, and
some toilette furniture. The light was dim. There was
nothing “cosy” about it; what was necessary was there,
but nothing more.

Captain Nemo pointed to a seat.

“Won't you sit down,” he said.

I sat down, and he addressed me as follows :
CHAPTER XII.
ENTIRELY BY ELECTRICITY.

“ Monsieur,” said he, as he indicated the instruments
suspended against the walls of the room, “there is the
apparatus necessary for the navigation of the autlus.
Here, as in the other room, I have them always under
my eyes, and they point out to me my exact situation
and direction in mid-ocean. Some of them are known
to you, such as the thermometer, which tells me the tem-
perature of the Mawtrlis ; the barometer, which tells me
the weight of the air, and predicts changes of weather ;
the hygrometer, which marks the dryness of the atmo-
sphere; the storm-glass, whose mixture decomposing,
tells me of the approaching tempest; the compass,
which guides me: the sextant, which, by the sun’s alti-
tude, tells me my latitude; the chronometers, which
show my longitude ; and finally, the day and night tele-
scopes, by which I can scrutinise all parts of the horizon
when the Mautilus comes up to the surface of the
sea,” :
“These are the instruments in general use on board
ship,” I said, “and I know their uses. But there are
IIo ENTIRELY BY ELECTRICITY.

some others, intended, no doubt, for the peculiar require-
ments of the MVaudilus. That dial-plate I see with the
moveable needle. Is it a manometer P”

“Tt is a manometer, in fact. Placed in the water, of
which it indicates the exterior pressure, it gives me at
the same time the depth at which I am keeping my
boat.”

“ And those novel sounding-lines ?”

“They are the theometric ‘leads,’ which inform me
of the temperature at various depths.”

“ And those instruments, with the use of which I am
unacquainted ?”

“On these points, I must give you some little expla-
nation, if you will listen to me.”

After a short pause, he recommenced.

“There is an agent here, powerful, obedient, rapid
in action, natural, which adapts itself to everything on
board. It does everything by itself. It gives me light,
it warms me, it is the very soul of my mechanical
arrangements. ‘This agent is electricity.”

“Electricity !” I exclaimed.

“Ves, monsieur.”

“But,” said I, “you move at a great pace, which is
not in accord with the power of electricity. So far as
we know, its dynamic power remains very limited, and
is not able to produce any great forces.”

“ Monsieur,” replied Captain Nemo, “my electricity is
not that of the world in general, dnd that is all that I
feel at liberty to tell you.” ;

“JT will not insist upon it, of course, and will content
myself by being very much astonished at the result. One
question I would ask, to which, of course, you need not
ENTIRELY BY ELECTRICITY. Ilr

reply. Do not the elements you employ soon expend
themselves? Zinc for instance. How can you replace
it if you have no communication with the land ?”

“Your question shall have an answer,” replied
Captain Nemo. “TI may tell you, however, that mines
of zinc, iron, silver, and gold, all exist at the bottom of
the sea, and the exploration of them is surely prac-
ticable. But I am in no wise indebted tc the minerals
of earth, and I only ask the sea to produce my elec-
tricity |”

“The sea !”

“Ves, and the means are these. I have been able to
establish a circuit between the threads, cast in different
depths, to obtain electricity by the difference of the
temperature they underwent, but I prefer an easier
plan.”

“ And that is?”

“Vou know the composition of sea-water. In 1,000
grammes there is 9634 per cent. of water; two and
one-third per cent. of chloride of sodium, then small
quantities of chlorides of magnesium and potash, bro-
mide of magnesium, sulphate of magnesia, sulphate and
carbonate of lime. So you perceive that the chloride of
sodium is present in a large proportion. Now, it is this
sodium which I extract from the water, and of which I
make my elements.”

“The sodium P”

“Yes. Mixed with mercury it forms an amalgam,
which takes the place of the zinc in the Bunzen elements.
The mercury remains, the sodium only gives off, and the
sea itself furnishes that. I may tell you, morcover, that
the sodium battery may be considered as the most
112 ENTIRELY BY ELECTRICITY.

powerful, and the electric force is double that of the zinc
battery.” ’

“T quite understand the value of the sodium in the
condition in which you find it. The sea contains it. So
far so good. But still it is necessary to extract it. How
do you do that? Your batteries could evidently be of
use to extract it, but if I do not mistake, the expenditure
of sodium, necessitated by the electric apparatus, ex.
ceeds the quantity extracted. So you would consume
more of it than you could produce.”

“But I do not extract it by the assistance of the
battery. I simply employ the heat of pit-coal.”

“ Pit-coal?” I said, meaningly.

“Well, let us say sea-coal, if you prefer it,” replied
Captain Nemo.

“ And can you dig out mines of sea-coal ?”

“'M. Aronnax, you shall see me work it. I only ask
a little patience, since you have time to be patient.
Only recollect this—I owe everything to the ocean. It
produces electricity, and electricity gives the Mausilus
heat, light, speed, and, in a word, life !”

“ But not the air you breathe !”

“Oh! I can make the air necessary for my use, but
it is unnecessary, since I go up to the surface whenever
I please. However, if electricity do not furnish me with
air to breathe, it at least sets in motion some powerful
pumps, which enable me to store in reservoirs for the
purpose, sufficient to enable me to remain, at need, as
long as I choose at the bottom of the sea.”

“Captain Nemo,” said I, “I can only admire you,
You have discovered, what men will some day find out,
the true dynamic power of electricity.”
ENTIRELY BY ELECTRICITY. 113

“JT do not know if they will or not,” replied Nemo,
coldly. ‘ However that may be, you already know the
first application that I make of this precious agent. It
gives us light with an equality and continuity equal to
the sun. Now that clock is electric, and goes with a
regularity that defies a thousand chronometers. I have
divided it into twenty-four hours, like the Italian clocks,
for, for me no night exists, and no day; nor sun, nor
moon, but only this artificial light, which I produce from
the depths of the sea, Look! at this moment it is
10 A.M.”

Just so!”

“Here is another application of electricity. That dial
hanging before us indicates the speed of the vessel. An
electric cord places it in communication with the screw’s
log, and the needle indicates the speed. Look here!
at this moment we are going at the moderate speed of
fifteen miles an hour.”

“Tt is, indeed, marvellous ; and I see that you are
right to employ this agent, which is destined to supersede
wind, water, and steam.”

“We have not finished yet, M. Aronnax. If you
like to follow me, we will go astern.”

I already was acquainted with the forward portion of
the ship, which was divided into two parts in the centre.
The salle-a-manger, separated from the library by a water-
tight bulkhead ; the library; the grand saloon, separated
from the captain’s room by another watertight partition ;
this room and mine and an air-reservoir composed the
forward portion—in all thirty-five yards in length. The
bulkheads were pierced with doors, which could be

VOL. I. H.
114 ENTIRELY BY ELECTRICITY.

hermetically sealed, and assured the safety of the
Nauttlvs in the event of any influx of water.

I followed Captain Nemo across the waist, and
reached the centre. There was a sort of well, which
opened between two bulkheads. An iron ladder led
upwards. I asked the use to which this ladder was put.

“Tt leads to the ‘Jaunch.’”

“ What, have you a boat, too ?”

“ Certainly, and an excellent one—light, and impos-
sible to sink ; which serves for pleasure or fishing.”

“But when you wish to embark in it you must surely
go up to the surface of the sea?”

“By no means. This boat is fastened to the upper
part of the hull of the Meutlus, and rests in a cavity
prepared for it. It is decked, absolutely staunch, and
kept secured by solid bolts. This ladder leads to a man-
hole in the hull of the JVautilus, which corresponds to
another hole in the side of the launch. It is through
these openings that I enter the boat. In shutting one I
open the other, by pressure of a screw. I pull out the
bolts, and the boat rises with great swiftness to the
surface. I then open the deck-panel, hitherto carefully
closed. I ‘step’ the mast, hoist my sail, or take to the
oars and puil about.”

* But how do you return on board ?”

“T do not return ; it is the Vazte/us which comes up.”

“ At your order ?”

“Yes, An electric cord is extended between us. I
merely send a telegram, and that is sufficient.”

“In fact,” said I, intoxicated by these wonders,
“nothing can be more easy.”

Having passed the staircase leading to the platform,
ENTIRELY BY ELECTRICITY. 115

I saw a cabin in which Conseil and Ned Land had
enjoyed an excellent meal. Thence a door opened into
a kitchen, situated between the immense store-rooms.

There the electricity, more energetic and more
obedient than gas, did all the cooking. The wires,
passing into the fireplaces, communicated to the platinum
sponges a heat which was evenly maintained. It equally
heated the distilling apparatus, which, by vaporisation,
made a very drinkable water. From the kitchen opened
a bath-room, comfortably arranged, and with hot and
cold water laid on. Beyond the kitchen was the sailors’
cabin. But the door was closed, and I was not able to
inspect its arrangements, which might have given me
some idea of the number of men required to navigate
the Mautilus.

At the end another bulkhead separated this cabin
from the engine-room. myself in the compartment in which Captain Nemo, a
most accomplished engineer, had arranged the machinery.

This engine-room, well-lighted, was of great extent.
It was properly divided into two parts, one for the
elements which produced the electricity, the other for the
mechanism which moved the screw.

I was at first surprised by the smell—sad generis—
which pervaded the room. Captain Nemo noticed my
impressions.

“Tt is only an escape of gas produced by the
use of the sodium—but it is not very unpleasant. More-
over, every morning we purify and ventilate the ship
thoroughly.”

But now I began to examine with a lively interest the
engine of the Mawtslus,

H 2
116 ENTIRELY BY ELECTRICITY.

“ You perceive,” said the captain, “ that I employ the
Bunzen elements in preference to the Ruhmkorff, which
did not answer. The Bunzen elements are fewer, but
stronger, as experience has shown. The electricity pro-
duced goes to the stern of the vessel, where it acts by
means of electro-magnets of great power upon a par
ticular system of levers and gearing, which transmit the
motion to the shaft of the screw. Thus, a diameter
of six metres, and a pitch of seven and a half, can
give me a hundred and twenty revolutions in a
second.”

“ And you obtain from that ?”

“ A speed of fifty miles an hour.”

There was some mystery here, but I did not insist
upon an explanation. How could electricity yield such
a force. Where did this illimitable force take its origin.
Was it in the excessive tension obtained by a novel kind
of bobbins? Was there in its transmission through the
system of levers the power to increase it indefinitely ?
‘That was what I could not understand.

“ Captain Nemo,” said I, “I see the result, and I do
not seek the explanation of the means. I have seen the
Nautilus manceuvre before the Abraham Lincoln, and I
know its speed. But speed is not everything. You must
be able to see whither you are going. You must have
the power to direct your course to the right or left—up
or down. How do you reach the deeps, where you
must support a pressure of hundreds of atmospheres ?
How do you rise to the surface of the ocean? Finaliy,
how do you maintain your vessel halfway when it suits
you to do soP Am I indiscreet in asking all these
questions ?”
ENTIRELY BY ELECTRICITY. 117

‘Not at all,” replied the captain, after a little hesi-
tation, “since you never are likely to quit this submarine
vessel. Come into the saloon. It is our ‘study,’ and
there you shall be made acquainted with all you ought to
know respecting the Vautilus.”
CHAPTER XIII.
A FEW FIGURES.

WE were soon seated in the saloon, enjoying our cigars.
The captain placed a diagram in my hands, showing the
sections and elevation of the Wazfilus. He then com-
menced his description as follows :

“ Vou perceive, M. Aronnax, that my boat is an elon-
gated cylinder, pointed at the extremities. It is of much
the same shape as a cigar, a form which has already
been tried in England and several vessels. Its length is
exactly seventy yards; its greatest breadth ten yards.
It is not, you see, constructed exactly on the principle of
your swift-going steamers, but its lines are sufficiently
lengthened to permit the displacement of water to pass
away easily, and to oppose no serious resistance to its
progress.

“ The above measurement will enable you to arrive at
the displacement and weight of the Wautilus. Its sur-
face measures I1,o007%, square metres, its volume
1,500, metres. So when completely immersed it dis-
places or weighs 1,500 cubic metres or tons.

“When I planned this vessel for submarine naviga-
A FEW FIGURES. 11g

tion, I intended that nine-tenths should be immersed,
and one-tenth out of the water. Consequently, it would
not displace more than nine-tenths of its volume, that is
to say 1,356, square metres, or the same number of
tons. I was therefore obliged not to exceed that weight
in constructing it according to the following dimen-
sions.

“The Vautius is composed of two hulls, one within
the other, fastened by T-shaped bolts, which give the
vessel great strength. In fact, it has as much resistance
in this form as a solid mass would possess. -The bulwark
cannot be broken, it adheres by itself, and is not riveted.
The homogeneity of its construction and the joining of
the materials enables it to defy thé most violent
seas.

“The two hulls are made of iron-plates, whose den-
sity with respect to the water is as 73% The first is not
less than two-and-a-half inches thick, and weighs 3641's
tons. The second ‘skin’ includes the keel, twenty
inches high and ten thick, which weighs by itself sixty-
two tons; the engine, the ballast, the various accessories
and gear, the compartments and supports of the interior,
weigh 96183; tons, which gives a total of 135648; tons.
Is that clear?”

“ Perfectly !” I replied.

“ Well,” continued the captain, “when the Wautilus
is in the sea, under these conditions, it emerges one-tenth.
Now, I make the reservoirs of a capacity equal to this
tenth, that is to say of 15074% tons, and fill them with
water; the vessel will then be completely immerged.
That is the case. These reservoirs exist in the lower
part of the JVaititus ; I open the tops, the reservoirs are
120 A FEW FIGURES.

filled, and the boat sinks to a level with the surface of
the water.

“ Very good, captain, but now we have arrived at the
real difficulty. ~I can understand that you can get level
with the surface. But in going lower down in your sub-
marine vessel, do you not encounter a pressure, and
consequently endure a pressure, from below, which may
be estimated at an atmosphere for thirty feet of water, or
about 15 lbs. for every square inch?”

“ Quite so,”

“Then unless you fill up the 4Vauts/us altogether, I do
not see how you can get her down to the bottom of the
sea.”

“Monsieur,” replied Captain Nemo, “you cannot
confuse statics and dynamics without running the risk of
grave errors. It gives me very little trouble to reach the
depths of the ocean, for all bodies have a tendency
to sink. Do you follow me?”

“T am listening, captain.”

“When I wish to determine what increase of weight
I must give the auétlus to sink her, I have only to think
of the reduction in the volume of sea water, according
as we get lower and lower down.”

“ That is clear enough,” I replied.

“Now, if water be not absolutely incompressible, it is
nearly so. In fact, according to the latest calculations,
it is only ‘000436 per atmosphere for each thirty
feet of depth. If I want to descend 1,000 yards,
I calculate the reduction of volume of a column of
water of 1,000 yards—that is to say, under the pres-
sure of roo atmospheres, This reduction will then be
436 hundred-millionths. I must then increase the weight
A FEW: FIGURES, 121

so as to sink, to 1,51374% tons, instead of 31,5073. The
increase will consequently only be 634% tons.”

“Ts that all?”

“Yes, and the calculation can be easily verified.
Ihave supplementary reservoirs capable of holding 100
tons. So.I can descend to a very considerable depth.
When I wish to come up again to the surface, I have only
to eject the water in all the reservoirs, and the JVauti/us
will float with one-tenth emerged.”

I could not object to these figures.

“T admit your calculations, captain,” I replied, “and
it would be very bad taste to dispute them, since ex-
perience has proved them right every day. But I confess
to a difficulty.”

“ What is that 2”

“When you are at a depth of 1,000 yards, the
sides of the Vautilus support a pressure of 100
atmospheres. So then, at the time you employ your
reservoirs for the purpose of rising to the surface, you
must overcome by means of your pumps this pressure of
too atmospheres which is 1,500 lbs. for a square inch.
Such a power——” :

“Electricity alone can give me,” interrupted Captain
Nemo. “I repeat that the dynamic power of my engines
is almost infinite. The pumps have enormous power.
For instance, look at the columns of water thrown like a
torrent upon the deck of the 4éraham Lincoln. Besides,
I do not fill my supplementary reservoirs, except to reach
moderate depths. But when the fancy seizes me to visit
the very bottom of the sea, or two or three leagues below
the surface, I employ other more complicated but not
less certain measures.”
122 A FEW FIGURES.

“What are they ?” I inquired.

“That naturally leads me to tell you how the Vaw-
tidus is worked.”

“‘T am very anxious to know, I-assure you.”

“ To steer her to larboard of starboard, to work her
horizontally, in a word, I make use of an ordinary
rudder, with a large blade fixed behind the stern post,
and which a wheel and tackling puts in motion. But I
can also move the Wautilus up or down vertically, by
means of two inclined planes attached to her sides, at the
centre of flotation. These are moveable, and fitted to
take any- position, and which are worked from inside by
powerful levers. These are kept parallel to the vessel
when she is moving horizontally; but if inclined upwards
or downwards, the Wautdus follows the same direction,
and by the power of her screw, plunges or rises at any
angle I please. And even if I wish to return very
rapidly to the surface, I ship the screw, and the pressure
of the water sends the Waudclus vertically to the surface—
as a balloon, filled with hydrogen, mounts into the air.”

“ Bravo, captain !” I cried ; “ but how can the steers-
man find the proper direction beneath the water ?”

‘The helmsman is placed in a glazed compartment,
which opens upon the upper part of the vessel, which is
fitted with lenticular glasses.”

“Glasses capable of resisting so great a pressure.”

“ Certainly. Crystal, though fragile to a blow, will
resist considerable pressure. In fishing experiences by
electric light in the North Sea, in 1864, plates of this
material, of only one-third of an inch in thickness, resisted
a pressure of sixteen atmospheres, to say nothing of the
heated rays which divided the heat unequally. Now the
A FEW FIGURES. 123

glasses I make use of are not less than twenty-one
centimetres thick in the centre—that is to say, thirty
times more than those.”

“ Admitted,” said I; “ but to be able to see the light
you must overcome the obscurity of the water. How is
that accomplished ?”

“Behind the steersman a powerful electric light is
placed, which lights up the sea for half a mile ahead.”

“Well done, indeed, captain! I can now compre-
hend the phosphoresence of the pretended narwhal,
which has puzzled all the “knowing ones.” By the way,
may I ask if the collision between the Mawtilus and the
Scotia was purely accidental 2”

“ Entirely so. I was moving two yards under water
when the collision occurred. I saw that it had no un--
pleasant result.”

“None; but how about your meeting with the
Abraham Lincoln ?” :

“‘T am very sorry, Monsieur, for one of the ships of
the fine American navy ; but she attacked me, and I only
defended myself. Moreover, I was content to let the
frigate off easily. They will have no difficulty to repair
her in the nearest port.”

“ Ah !” I cried, with an air of conviction, “there is
no doubt that your Wavzti/us is a wonderful vessel.”

“Ves,” replied Captain Nemo, with emotion, “indeed
she is, and I love her as my own child. If all is danger
upon one of your vessels launched upon the ocean, if
upon the sea “ the first impression is of the gulf beneath”
—as has been well said by Jansen—in the WMautlus a
man has nothing to fear. No injury, for the double hull
is as strong as iron can be; no inconvenience from
124 A FEW FIGURES.

rolling or pitching ; no sails for the wind to carry away ;
no boilers to burst ; no fire to fear, since thej fittings are
all iron; no coal to exhaust, because electricity is the
motive power ; no collisions need be feared, because we
can traverse the very deeps of the ocean; no storm to
brave, because at a few yards beneath the surface all is
still. So there, Monsieur, there is the ship par excellence.
And if it be true that the engineer has more confidence
in the ship than the builder, and the builder more than
the captain himself, you can understand how proud I am
of my Wautilus, since I am constructor, engineer, and
captain In my own person.”

He spoke with a persuasive eloquence. The flashing
eye, the passionate gesture, seemed to change him com-
pletely. Truly he loved his ship as a parent his child !

But another, perhaps an indiscreet question, naturally
presented itself, and I risked it.

“ You are an engineer, then, Captain Nemo?”

“Yes,” he replied. “I studied in London, Paris,
and New York.”

“ But how could you secretly construct such a vessel
as the Mautélus ?”

‘Each part, M. Aronnax, reached me from a dif-
ferent part of the world, and under a false name. The
keel was forged at Creusot ; the screw-shaft by Penn & Co.,
London. The iron plates were made by Laird, of Liver-
pool; the screw was by Scott, of Glasgow. The reservoirs
were constructed by Cail & Co., in Paris; the engine by
Krupp, in Prussia; the “spur,” in the workshop of
Motala, in Sweden; the instruments at Hart Brothers’,
New York ; and each manufacturer received my plans
under a different name.”
A FEW FIGURES, 125

“But when the parts were made it was necessary
to put them together.”

“T established my workshops in a desert island in
the open sea. There my workmen—that is to say, the
brave companions whom I have instructed and got
together—and I built our Mawutilus. When we had
finished, we destroyed by fire every trace of our work.
I would have destroyed the island had I been able.”

“Then I may conclude that the price of the vessel
was very great.”

“M. Aronnax, a ship of iron costs 1,155 francs per
ton. The Vautilus cost 1,500. That is, therefore,
1,687,000 francs cost. Ailow two millions for the
fittings, and four or five millions for the works of art and
collections, and you have the total.”

“A last question, Captain Nemo.”

“ What is it P”

“T suppose you are very rich ?”

“Infinitely wealthy, Monsieur. I could without in-
convenience pay the ten milliards of the French debt.”

I looked steadily at this extraordinary individual as
he spoke thus. Was he taking advantage of my
credulity ? The future will show ! ,
CHAPTER XIV.
THE BLACK RIVER.

THE portion of the terrestrial globe occupied by water
is estimated at 80,000,000 of acres. This liquid
mass includes 2,258,000,000 of cubic miles, and forms
a sphere, of a diameter of sixty leagues, whose weight
is three quintillions of tons. To understand this it
must be stated that the quintillion is to the billion as
the billion is to the unit; so there are as many billions
in a quintillion as there are units in a billion. Now
this mass of water is nearly as much as would flow
through all the rivers in the world during a period of
forty years.

During the geological epoch, when fire succeeded
water, the ocean was universal. Then, by degrees, the
summits of mountains appeared; islands emerged ; dis-
appeared again under partial floodings; re-appeared ;
united themselves; formed continents; and, at length,
the earth remained as we see it. The solid had gained
from the liquid 37,000,657 square miles.

The configuration of the continents permits of the
THE BLACK RIVER. 127

division of the waters into five great oceans: the
Arctic and Antarctic, the Indian, the Atlantic, and the
Pacific.

“The Pacific Ocean extends from north to south,
between the polar circles, and from west to east, between
Asia and America, to a distance of 145° of longitude.
It is the most tranquil of seas; its currents are wide and
slow ; its tides not excessive ; its rains abundant. Such
was the ocean which fate had destined me to traverse
under such strange conditions.

“ Professor Aronnax,” said Captain Nemo to me,
“Jet us endeavour to ascertain our true position, and fix
the point of departure for this voyage. It wants a
quarter to twelve noon. I am about to go up to the
surface.”

The captain pressed an electric bell three times.
The pumps began to expel the water from the reservoirs ;
the needle of the manometer marked the ascent of the
Nautilus by the different pressures. She stopped.

“ We are at the surface,” said the captain.

I advanced to the central staircase, which led to the
platform, and by the open panel I reached the upper
surface of the Mautelius, 2

The platform was not far above the water. The
Nautilus was of the fusiform shape, which had been com-
pared to a long cigar. I noticed that the iron plates,
lightly imbricated, resembled the scales which clothe
certain reptiles. I could then understand why this boat
had always been taken for a marine animal, in defiance
of the best glasses.

Towards the middle of the platform lay the launch,
half buried in the hull of the ship. Fore and aft were
128 THE BLACK RIVER.

two cages of medium height, with sloping sides, and
partly closed by thick lenticular glasses. One of these
cages was for the steersman, the other contained the
electric light which lighted up the ship’s course.

The sea was lovely, the sky clear. The long vessel
scarcely rose to the lazy undulations of the ocean. A light
breeze from the east ruffled the surface. The horizon
was perfectly clear for observations. There was nothing
in sight—not a rock, not an island. No more of the
Abraham Lincoln /

Captain Nemo, furnished with his sextant, took the
sun’s altitude, which was to give him his latitude. For
some minutes he waited till the level of the horizon was
fixed. While he made his observations, not a muscle
moved, and the instrument was as motionless as in a
hand of marble.

“Now, professor,” he said. “Now, if you are
ready ” ,

I threw a last glance over the sea, and descended to
the large saloon.

There the captain was making his longitude by chro-
nometers altered in accordance with horal angles of his
observations. Then he said: ‘We are 137° 5° west
longitude.”

.“ Of what meridian ?” I asked, hoping from his reply
to discover his nationality.

“Monsieur,” said he, “I have chronometers regu-
lated for the meridians of Paris, Greenwich, and Wash-
ington. But in your honour, I will use the Paris
meridian.”

I gained nothing from this reply. I bowed; he con-
tinued :


THE BLACK RIVER. 129

“ Thirty-seven degrees fifteen minutes longitude west
of Paris, and 30° 7/ north lat., so we are 300 miles from
the Japanese coasts. So to-day, the 8th November, and
at mid-day, we commence our exploration under the
sea.”

“May God preserve us!” I said.

“Now I must leave you to your studies,” said the
captain. “TI have told them to proceed north-east about
fifty metres down. There are maps on which you can
trace the course. The saloon is at your service, but I
must ask your permission to retire.”

Captain Nemo saluted me, and withdrew. I re-
mained absorbed in my reflections, which all turned to
the commander. Should I never know to what nation
this mysterious man belonged, who boasted that he was
no longer of any? The hatred he had vowed against the
human race, too, I wondered who had provoked that!
Was he one of those misunderstood savants, a genius
to whom all was bitterness—a modern Galileo—or
even one of those scientific men like Commander
Maury, whose career had been cut short by political
revolutions? I could not then determine. He met me
coolly, though he had taken me on board and treated
me hospitably while my life was in hishands. But he had
not accepted my extended hand, neither had he offered
me his own.

For a whole hour I remained plunged in these re-
flections, seeking to pierce this mystery which interested
me so deeply. Then my gaze became fixed upon the
large map upon the table, and I placed my finger upon
the very spot where the latitude and longitude lately
arrived at, intersected.

VOL. 1, 1
130 THE BLACK RIVER.

The sea has its rivers as a continent. These are the
special currents recognisable by their temperature and
their colour, of which the most remarkable is the Gulf
Stream. Science has determined the direction ot five
principal currents on the globe. One in the North
Atlantic, one in the South Atlantic, a third in the North
Pacific, a fourth in the South Pacific, and a fifth in the
Southern Indian Ocean. It is even probable that a
sixth current existed formerly in the Northern Indian
Ocean, since the Caspian and Aral seas, united with the
great Asian lakes, only formed one and the same sheet
of water.

Now, at the point indicated on the map, one of these
currents started—the Kuro Scivo, of the Japanese—the
Black River, which, leaving the Bay of Bengal, warmed by
a tropical sun, traverses the Strait of Malacca, extends
along the coast of Asia, flows into the North Pacific near
the Aleutian Islands, bearing trunks of the camphor-tree
and other indigenous products, and contrasting the pure
indigo of its warm waters with the waves of the ocean.
This was the current that the /Vautilus was about to
follow. I traced it up and perceived that it was lost in
the vastness of the Pacific, and I felt myself “ carried
away” by it, when Ned Land and Conseil appeared at
the door of the apartment.

My two brave companions appeared petrified at the
sight of the marvels presented to their gaze.

“Where are we?” cried the Canadian. “In the
Quebec Museum ?”

“If Monsieur has no objection, this may rather be
the Hétel of the Sommerard !”

“ My friends,” 1 said, as [ signed for them to enter,
THE BLACK RIVER. 131

“you are neither in Canada nor France, but on board
the Nautilus, at fifty yards beneath the surface of the
sea.”

“We must credit Monsieur if he says so,” replied
Conseil, “but this sa/oz is enough to astonish even a
Fleming like myself.”

“Give rein to your astonishment then, and look
around you ; for, for a classifier of your reputation, there
is something to do here.”

I had not much need to encourage Conseil. The
brave lad, bent over the cases, was already muttering
“ Class Gasteropods, family Buccinoids, genus Porcelain,
species Cypraea Madagascariensis,” &c.

Meantime, Ned Land, who was not much of a
naturalist, was making inquiries respecting my interview
with Captain Nemo. Had I found out who he was,
whence he came, whither he was going, to what depths
he was dragging us? and athousand questions to which
I had no time to reply.

I told him all I knew, or rather all that I did not
know, on those points, and inquired what he had heard
or seen on his side. . -

“ Nothing at all,” he replied; “not even the crew.
I suppose they are not electric by any chance, are they,
sir 2”

“ Electric!” £ exclaimed.

“Faith, I am inclined to think so. But you,
M. Aronnax,” asked he, who had his own idea, “how
many men do you think there are on board? Ten—
twenty—fifty—a hundred ?”

“TI do not know how to answer, Ned,” I said.
“Moreover, take my advice, give up the idea of yours

I 2
132 THE BLACK RIVER.

to seize the (Vaudilus and make your escape. This
boat is one of the chefs @wuvre of modern industry,
and I would have been sorry not to have seen it.
Many people would accept the situation, if it were
only to wander about amongst all these wonderful
things. So keep quiet, and try to see what passes
around us.”

“See !” replied the harpooner; “there is nothing to
see; one will see nothing in this iron prison. We are
moving, we are sailing blindly ”

As Ned was speaking the light was suddenly ex-
tinguished, and a profound darkness supervened. So
rapidly was the light withdrawn that my eyes retained an
impression somewhat similar to that which is produced
when darkness is suddenly illuminated.

We remained silent and motionless, not knowing
what surprise, agreeable or otherwise, awaited us. A
rustling noise was heard, as if the panels at the side were
being moved.

“ Tt is the end of the world,” said Land.

“ Order of Hydromedusze,” murmured Conseil.

Suddenly daylight appeared at each side of the room
across two oblong openings. Liquid masses appeared
vividly illuminated. Two crystal plates separated us
from the sea. J shuddered at first at the thought that
these fragile walls might give way; but the strong copper
supports afforded them an almost infinite resistance
against pressure.

The sea was distinctly visible in a radius of a mile
around the Mautius. And what a spectacle it was!
What pen can describe it? Who could depict the
effects of the light across these transparent waves, and


THE BLACK RIVER. 133

the softness of the successive gradations to the upper or
lower depths of the ocean.

The diaphonous quality of the sea is well known. We
know that its clearness is superior to fresh water. The
mineral and organic substances which it holds in sus-
pension, even increase its transparency. In certain
parts of the ocean—in the Antilles—the sand can be
perceived at a depth of 145 yards; and the force of
penetration of the solar rays seems to descend to a depth
of 300 yards. But in the middle course of sea pursued
by the WawutiZus, the electric light was produced in the
very bosom of the deep. It was no more like a luminous
ocean—it was a liquid light.

If we can admit Erhemberg’s hypothesis, that there
is a phosphorescent illumination at the bottom of the sea,
then nature has certainly reserved for the inhabitants
of the ocean one of its most wonderful sights, and I was
able to judge of it here by the “play” of this Hght.
Upon each side a window opened upon these unexplored
abysses. The darkness of the room made the exterior
more clearly visible, and we kept gazing as if the pure
crystal was the glass case of an immense aquarium.

The Nautilus did not appear to move, because guid-
ing-marks were absent. Sometimes the lines of water,
divided by the “spur,” passed before our eyes with
wonderful rapidity. Perfectly amazed we were seated
before these glasses, and no one spoke till Conseil
said :

“You wanted to see something, friend Ned—do you
see now ?”

“ Very curious indeed,” exclaimed the Canadian, who,
forgetful of his anger and his plans for flight, had sub
134 THE BLACK RIVER,

mitted to the fascination ; “and people would come from
a very great distance to see such a sight as this !”

“ Ah,” I thought, “I understand the life of this man.
He has made a world of his own, which reserves for him
her most extraordinary wonders !”

“But the fish !” the Canadian cried ; “I don’t see any
fish !”

“ What does that matter,” replied Conseil, “since you
do not know them.”

“JT! why, I ama fisherman !”

And on this subject a discussion arose between the
friends, for they knew the fish, but each in a different
fashion.

Everybody knows that fishes form the fourth and last
class of the vertebrate animals. They have been correctly
defined as “vertebrates, with double circulation and cold
blood, breathing by means of gills, and destined to live
in water.” They form two distinct series—that of osseous
fishes (that is to say, those whose dorsal fin is made of
osseous vertebree, and the cartilaginous fishes, whose
dorsal fin is composed of cartilaginous vertebre. The
Canadian may have been acquainted with this distinction,
but Conseil knew a good deal more, and now, bound in
friendship to Ned, he could not hint that he knew less
than himself. So he said: :

“Friend Ned, you are a killer of fish, and a very
skilful fisherman. You have captured a great number of
those animals. But I will bet that you do not know how
they are classed.”

“Indeed!” replied the harpooner. ‘They are
classed as fish you may eat, and those you may not.”

“That is merely the distinction of a gourmand,”
THE BLACK RIVER. 138

said Conseil. “But tell me if you know the difference
between osseous and cartilaginous fishes.”

“ Perhaps so !” replied the Canadian,

“And the subdivision of these two great
classes ?”

““T have some doubt about it.”

“Well then, friend Ned, listen and learn. The
osseous fishes are subdivided into six orders. First, the
‘acanthopterygians,’ whose upper jaw is complete and
moveable, and whose.gills somewhat resemble a comb.
This order consists of fifteen families—that is to say,
three-quarters of the known fishes. Type, the common
perch.”

“Not bad to eat,” said Land.

“Secondly,” continued Conseil, “the ‘abdominal,’
which have the ventral fins suspended beneath the
abdomen, and in rear of the pectoral fins, without being
attached to the shoulder-bone; this order is divided
into five families, and includes the greater part of the
fresh-water fish. Type, the carp and the jack.”

“Pooh!” said the Canadian, with contempt. “Fresh-
water fish, indeed !”

“Thirdly,” said Conseil, “the ‘subrachians,’ whose
ventral fins are fastened beneath the pectorals, and
directly suspended from the bone of the shoulder. This
order contains four families. Types, the plaice, dab,
turbot, brill, soles, &c.”

“ Excellent, excellent!” cried Ned, who only looked
at the fish from the gastronomic point of view.

“ Fourthly,” continued Conseil, without heeding the
interruption, ‘the ‘apodals,’ with long bodies, unpro-
vided with ventral fins, and covered with a thick, and
136 THE BLACK RIVER.

frequently slimy skin—an order which consists of only
one family. ‘Type, the eel.”

“ Middling, middling !” said Ned.

“Vifthly,” said Conseil, “the ‘lophobranchiata,’
which have jaws complete and free, but whose gills are
formed of little tufts, placed in pairs along the branchial
arches. This order has only one family. Type, the
sea-horse.”

“ Bad, bad!” replied the harpooner.

“ Sixthly, and lastly,” said Conseil, “are the ‘ plec.
tognathes,’ whose maxillary bone is firmly fixed to the
intermaxillary, which forms the jaw, and of which the
‘palatine anal’ is connected by suture with the skull,
which renders it immoveable—an order which has no
true ventrals, and consists of two families. Type, the
sun-fish.”

“ Would disgrace a copper,” said Ned.

“Do you understand, friend Ned?” asked the learned
Conseil.

“Not the least in the world, friend Conseil. But go
on, for it is very interesting.”

“ The cartilaginous fishes,” replied Conseil, “ only in-
clude three orders.” *

“So much the better,” said Ned.

_ “First come the cyclostomi, whose jaws are connected
by a moveable ring, and the gills open in numerous holes
—an order which includes only one family; type, the
lamprey. Secondly, the selacians, with gills resembling
those of the cyclostomi, but whose lower jaw is moveable.
This order, which is the most important of its class, com-
prehends two families ; types, the ray and the shark.”

“What !” cried Ned, “rays and sharks in the same
THE BLACK RIVER. 137

order! Well, in the interest of the rays, I do not advise
you to put them in the same tank.”

“ Thirdly,” said Conseil, “the sturiones, whose gills
are open, as usual in fishes, but with a single aperture,
provided with an operculum. ‘This order includes four
genera ; type, the sturgeon.”

“ Ah, friend Conseil, you have kept the best to the
last—in my opinion, at least. Is that all?”

“Yes, my brave Ned; and you may as well note,
that when you know all this you know nothing at all;
for the families are divided into genus, sub-genus, species,
and varieties.”

“Well, friend Conseil,” said Ned, leaning against the
glass, “look at the varieties passing.”

“Ves; one could almost believe oneself in an
aquarium.”

“No,” I said, “for an aquarium is a cage, and those
fish are as free as a bird in the air.”

“Come, now, name them, Conseil; name them,”
cried Ned Land.

“J,” he replied; “I am not equal to that. You
must ask my master.”

In fact, Conseil, though an excellent classifier, was
nothing of a naturalist ; and I do not think he could tell
the difference between a tunny and a bonito. He was
just the opposite of the Canadian, who could name. the
fish without hesitation.

* A balista,” I had said.

“ And a Chinese balista,” added Ned.

“ Genus balista ; family sclerodermes ; order plectog-
nathes,” murmured Conseil.

The Canadian had not been mistaken. A shoal of
138 THE BLACK RIVER,

balistas, with their flattened bodies and “ grained ” skin,
armed with a prickly fin on the back, were playing
around the MVautdus, moving the four ranges of spines,
which bristled on each side of their tails. Nothing
could be more beautiful than their skins, grey above
and white underneath, the golden spots shining in the
darkness of the waves. Amongst them rays were swim-
ming, like a cloth undulated by the wind ; and amongst
them I could perceive, to my delight, the Chinese ray,
yellow on the upper surface, light rose-colour underneath,
and furnished with three spikes behind the eye; a very
rare species this, and even doubtful in the time of
Lacéptde, who had never seen one, except in a col-
lection of Japanese drawings.

For the space of two hours a regular aquatic army
surrounded the Vautélus. In the midst of their gambols,
in which they rivalled each other in beauty, speed, and
agility, I distinguished the green wrass; the goby, with
its rounded tail, white and violet tinted; the Japanese
scomber, the beautiful mackerel of these seas, blue and
white, the brilliant azure exceeding all description. The
streaked sparus, with varied blue and yellow fins; the
“fessy” sparus, relieved by a black band across the
tail; the zonephorus sparus, elegantly streaked across
the body; auloxtones—the sea woodcocks, with regular
beaks, some specimens attaining the length of nearly a
yard ; Japanese salamanders; eels six feet long, like
serpents, with quick small eyes and large mouths bristling
with teeth, &c.

Our wonder continued unabated. Exclamations of
delight were frequent. Ned named the fish, Conseil
classed, while I went into ecstacies before the vivacity of
LTHE BLACK RIVER. 139

their movements and the beauty of their appearance. I
had never had an opportunity to observe these animals
living and in their native waters, till now. I will not
mention all the varieties which passed before my dazed
vision, this wonderful collection of the Japanese and
China seas. These fishes were more numerous than are
birds in the air, and were doubtless attracted by the
electric light.

Suddenly light again appeared in the room—the
panels were closed, and the enchanting vision disappeared.
I thought of what I had seen for a long time, until my
gaze fell upon the instruments suspended upon the wall.
The compass, I noticed, pointed N.N.E. ; the manometer
gave a pressure of five atmospheres, corresponding to a
depth of fifty yards, and the electric gong indicated a
speed of fifteen miles an hour.

I waited for Captain Nemo, He didnotappear. It
was five o’clock.

Ned and Conseil returned to their cabin, and I went
tomy room. There I found my dinner prepared. It
was composed of turtle soup, mullet fillets, prepared from
the “ emperor holocanthus,” the taste of which appeared
to me to be superior to salmon.

I passed the evening in reading, writing, and reflection.
Then sleep asserted its sway, and I retired to my grass
couch and slept soundly, while the autilus skimmed
across the rapid current of the black river.
CHAPTER XV.
A NOTE OF INVITATION.

Wuen I awoke next morning I found I had slept twelve
hours. Conseil came as usual to inquire “how Monsieur
had passed the night,” and to offer his services. He had
left the Canadian sleeping like a man who had never
done such a thing in his life before.

I let Conseil chatter away, but did not reply. I was
thinking of the absence of Captain Nemo, and I was
hoping to see him again.

I was soon dressed in my garments of byssus, upon
which Conseil commented freely. I informed him that
the material was made from the silky fibres which attach
the “ jambouneaux ”—a sort of shell-fish very common
in the Mediterranean—to the rocks. Formerly stockings
and gloves were made of these filaments, and proved to
be very warm and soft, The crew of the Maztt/us could
thus clothe themselves at will, independently of cotton,
wool, or silkworms. When I was dressed I proceeded
to the saloon. It was empty.

I plunged at once into conchology. I also inspected
the large collection of aquatic plants of the rarest kinds,
A NOTE OF INVITATION. 141

and which, although dried, still preserved their wondrous
colourings. Amongst these beautiful hydrophytes I
remarked the verticillated cledostephes, the vine-leaved
caulupes, &c.—in fact, the whole series of sea-weeds.

The whole day passed without my receiving a visit
from Captain Nemo. ‘The panels did not open ; perhaps
he was afraid I should get tired of the sight.

The Mautilus still headed N.N.E.; the pace was
sixteen miles an hour, and the depth sixty metres.

Next day (Nov. 10) there was the same freedom and
the same solitude. I saw none of the ship’s company.
Ned and Conseil passed the greater part of the day with
me. They were astonished at the inexplicable absence
of the captain. Was he ill? Had he altered his plans
concerning us ?

After all, as Conseil remarked, we enjoyed complete
freedom, and were well and abundantly fed. Our host
observed the terms of the treaty; and, moreover, even
the singularity of our situation had some real compen-
sation, so that we had no right to find fault with him.
Upon that day I commenced to write a record of our
adventures, which has enabled me to relate them with
such exactness ; and I wrote upon a paper made from
the sea-wrack.

Upon the 11th November, the influx of fresh air,
very early in the morning, apprised us that we had risen
to the surface to replenish the store of oxygen. I
ascended the staircase, and passed out upon the
platform.

It was six o’clock, The sky was cloudy, the sea
looked grey, but calm; scarce a ripple ruffled the
surface. I wondered whether Captain Nemo would
142 A NOTE OF INVITATION,

appear. I expected to see him, but could only perceive
the helmsman in the glass cage. I sat down upon the
protuberance formed by the hull ef the launch, and
inhaled the delicious sea-breeze.

The mist gradually rose, under the influence of the
rising sun, which soon flashed up over the eastern horizon,
throwing a fiery track, like a lighted powder train, across
the sea. The scattered clouds were tinged with bright
and variegated colours, while the numerous “ mares’
tails ” indicated a breeze.

But what dida storm matter to the Mautilus? I was
admiring the beautiful sunrise, when I heard someone
ascend to the platform. I expected to see Captain Nemo,
but it was his mate, whom I had already met at the first
interview with the captain. The mate came up, but did
not seem to notice my presence, and he proceeded
to “sweep” the horizon with his powerful glass. His
observation having terminated, he approached the panel
and pronounced the following sentence. I remember the
exact terms, because every morning the same words were
repeated under the same conditions. The sentence ran
thus—

“‘ Nautron respoc lorni virch.”

What that meant, I cannot say.

Having pronounced those words, the mate descended,
and I, fancying that the /Vautdlus would now resume her
course, followed him, and returned to my room.

Five days passed in a similar manner. Every
morning I ascended the platform. The same phrase was
pronounced by the same person—but Captain Nemo
never appeared.

I had made up my mind that I should see him no
A NOTE OF INVITATION. 143

more, when, on the 16th November, as I entered my
room with Conseil and Ned, I found a note on my table
addressed to me.

I opened it quickly. It was written in a clear, bold
hand, something of a German type was evident.

“To M. Aronnax,

“On board the Nautilus,
“ 16th November, 1867.

“Captain Nemo requests the pleasure of Professor
Aronnax’s society at a shooting party, to be held to-
morrow morning, in the woods of the island of Crespo,
Captain Nemo hopes that nothing will prevent M. Aronnax
from attending, and will be pleased if his companions will
also join the party.”

“A shooting party !” cried Ned.

“ And in his forests of Crespo !” added Conseil.

“ But this particular gentleman must go ashore then !”
said Ned.

“ That is sufficiently clear from the note,” I said, re-
reading it.

“Well, we must accept the invitation,” said the
Canadian. “Once on shore we shall know what to do.
Moreover, I shall not be sorry to have a little fresh
meat.”

Without stopping to reconcile the inconsistency of
Captain Nemo, who, while professing horror of conti-
nents and islands, yet goes shooting in a wood, I merely
accepted the invitation.

“Let us find where this island of Crespo is !”

I turned to the map, andat 32° 4o’N. lat., and 167°
50’ E. long., I found the island discovered by Captain
Crespo, in 1801. The old Spanish maps call it “Rocca
144 A NOTE OF INVITATION.

de la Plata,” or “Silver Rock.” We were then about
1,800 miles from our starting-point, and the course of
the Wautilus was now rather S.E.

I pointed out to my companions the little rock
situated in the midst of the Pacific Ocean.

“Tf Captain Nemo is going to land at all,” I said,
“he has chosen the very smallest of desert
islands,”

Ned Land nodded without speaking, and then he
and Conseil left me to myself. After supper, which was
served by the silent and impassible steward, I retired—
but much pre-occupied.

Next morning I perceived that the Mautilus was
stationary. I dressed hastily and proceeded to the
saloon.

There I found Captain Nemo. He was awaiting me.
He got up, saluted me, and asked whether it would suit
me to accompany him.

As he made no allusion to his absence during the
last eight days, neither did I, and merely replied that
my companions and myself were ready to go with
him.

“But, Monsieur,” said I, “I must ask you a
question.”

“ Ask it, M. Aronnax,” said he, “and if I can reply
to it, I will.”

“How is it that you who have renounced all inter.
course with the earth, can possess woods in the island of
Crespo ?”

“The woods I possess,” he replied, “require no
light nor heat from the sun. No lion, tiger, panther, nor
any other quadruped inhabits them. They are known
A NOTE OF INVITATION. 145

to me alone. They exist but for me. They are not
terrestrial, but submarine forests.”

“ Submarine !” I exclaimed.

“Ves,” :

“ And you ask me to go thither ?”

“ Precisely.”

“On foot?”

“Yes, and dry-shod !”

“ And shoot ?”

“ And shoot.”

“ With gun in hand !”

“ Gun in hand.”

1 looked at the captain of the /Vauéidus with an air
by no means flattering.

“ He is evidently mad,” I thought. “ He has hadan
attack during the last eight days, which has not yet
passed away. What a pity! I would rather see him
eccentric than lunatic.”

These ideas were clearly expressed by my counte-
nance, but Captain Nemo merely invited me to follow
him, and I did so. I was prepared for the worst.

We reached the dining-room, where breakfast was
served,

“M. Aronnax,” said the captain, “I beg you will
partake of my breakfast, without any ceremony. We
can talk while we are eating. But though I have pro-
mised you a ‘turn’ in the forest, I cannot promise you a
restaurant there. So you had better breakfast like a man
who will not dine till late.”

I did honour to the meal, which was excellent:
Captain Nemo at first ate without speaking, at length he
said :

VOL, I, K
146 A NOTE OF INVITATION.

“ Professor, when I first suggested your joining in a
shooting-party in my forest in Crespo, you believed I was
inconsistent. When I told you that these woods were
under water, you thought I was a lunatic. You should
never judge men hastily.”

“But, captain ”

“Listen to me, if you pleasé, and you will see
whether I am to be accused of folly or inconsistency.”

“ Tam listening.”

“You are aware that man can live under water so
long as he can carry with him a supply of atmospheric
air. In all submarine works, the artisan is clothed with
a waterproof dress, and his head is covered with a metal
helmet. He receives the air by means of force-pumps
and regulators of the supply.”

“Tike the diver’s jacket,” I said.

“Somewhat, but in those conditions the man is not
free. He is attached to a pump by an india-rubber
tube, a chain which binds him to the bank ; and if we
were thus tied to the Mausiius, we could not go far.”

“ And how do you obtain the desired freedom?” I
asked.

“By employing the Rouquayrol-Denayrouze appa-
ratus, invented by two of your countrymen, but which I
have perfected for my own use, and which you may
yourself make use of, without any inconvenience what-
ever. The apparatus is composed of a reservoir of
sheet-iron, in which I store the air, under a pressure of
fifty atmospheres. This reservoir is carried on the back,
like a soldier’s knapsack. The upper part forms a box,
from which the air, restrained bya sort of bellows, cannot
escape, except at the normal tension. In the Rouquayrol


A NOTE OF INVITATION. 147

apparatus, as we employ it, two india-rubber tubes from
this box open into a sort of respirator, which covers the
head of the operator, one for the introduction and the
other for the expulsion of the air, and the tongue closes
one or the other, as the exigencies of inspiration and
respiration demand. But I, who have to dare consider-
able pressure at the bottom of the sea, enclose my head
in a helmet, as the divers do, and it is to this that the
two tubes are attached.”

“Excellent, Captain Nemo. But the air you carry
must be quickly expended ; and so soon as it contains
more than fifteen per cent. of oxygen it ceases to be
respirable.”

“Certainly; but as I have said, the pumps of the
Nautilus allow of the stowing of the air under a great
pressure, and so the air in the reservoir will last for nine
or ten hours.”

“T have no objection to make,” I said. “I only
want to know how you can obtain light at the bottom
of the ocean.”

“By means of the Ruhmkorff apparatus, If the
first be carried on the back, the other is fixed to the
chest. It is composed of a Bunzen pile, which acts,
not with bi-chromate of potash, but with sodium. An
induction bobbin collects the electricity produced, and
directs it towards a lamp of peculiar construction. In
this lamp is a glass serpentine, which contains only a
residuum of carbonic acid gas. When the apparatus is
at work the gas becomes luminous, and gives forth a
white and steady flame. Thus provided, I can both
breathe and sce.”

“Captain Nemo, to all my objections you return

K 2
148 A NOTE OF INVITATION.

such satisfactory replies, that I do not dare to express a
doubt. But if I am obliged to accept the Rouquayrol
and Ruhmkorff apparatus, I must make a reservation in
regard to the gun with which you will arm me.”

“ But it is not an ordinary gun,” replied the captain.
“We do not use powder.”

“Tt is an air-gun, then ?”

“ Certainly. How did you fancy I could make gun-
powder on board, having neither saltpetre, sulphur, nor
carbon.”

“ Besides,” I said, “to fire under water in a sur-
rounding medium, 855 times denser than the air, you
must overcome a tremendous resistance.”

“That need not affect the question. Certain cannons
exist, improved upon Fulton’s idea by the Englishmen
Coles and Burley, by the Frenchman Farcy, and the
Italian Laudi, which are made upon a particular system,
and can be used under these conditions. But I repeat,
that having no powder, I have to replace it by air at
high pressure, which I can obtain in abundance by means
of the pumps of the Mautilus.”

“ But this air must be rapidly expended.”

“Well! have I not my Rouquayrol reservoir, which
can furnish me with a supply at a pinch. A tap is
sufficient. But you will see for yourself, M. Aronnax,
that during our submarine shooting there is no great
expenditure of air or bullets.”

“ Vet it seems to me that, in the semi-darkness, and
in a medium much denser than the atmospheric air, the
bullets would not travel far, and would not be frequently
mortal.”

“ Monsieur, on the contrary, all hits made by this gun
A NOTE OF INVITATION. 149

are mortal, and however lightly the animal may be struck,
he falls dead.”

“ Why?”

“ Because I do not use ordinary bullets—but little
glass capsules, invented by the Austrian chemist Zenie-
brock, and of which I have a large supply. These are
covered with steel and weighted with lead—true Leyden
jars in fact—in which electricity reaches a high tension.
At the slightest resistance they burst, and the animal,
however powerful he may be, falls dead. I may add
that these capsules are no bigger than ‘No. 4,’ and that
six of them is the usual charge.”

“J do not question it,” I said, rising, “and I have no
more to do than take my gun. So where you go—I go.”

Captain Nemo then led me to the stern of the
Nautilus, and as we passed the cabin where Ned and
Conseil were seated, I called them to accompany us.

We all soon reached a small cabin near the engine-
room, and in which we were to be fitted out for our
expedition.
CHAPTER XVI
A WALK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA,

Tuis little cabin was, properly speaking, the arsenal and
the vestry of the Mautilus. A dozen diving costumes
hung upon the walls ready for use.

Ned Land, on seeing them, manifested a decided
objection to adopt one.

“ But,” I said, “the forest of Crespo is under the sea,
Ned.”

“ Ah,” said the harpooner, disappointed as he saw
his dream of fresh meat disappear. “And are you
going to get into one of those dresses, M. Aronnax ?”

“T must do so, Ned.”

“Well, you are free to do so, of course,” said he
shrugging his shoulders ; ‘ but unless I am compelled to
do so, I won’t, I can tell you.”

“No one will force you, Master Ned,” said Captain
Nemo.

“ And is Conseil going to risk his life, too ?”

“‘T go where Monsieur goes,” replied Conseil.

At a sign from the captain two men came forward to
assist us in donning the heavy waterproof dresses. They
A WALK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 151

were like yielding suits of armour, and were composed
of trousers and vest. ‘The former terminated in a thick
pair of leaden-soled boots. The vest was fastened by
copper plates, which protected the chest against the
pressure of the water, leaving the lungs free to act; the
sleeves ended in flexible gloves, which did not interfere
with the movements of the hands.

Captain Nemo, one of his crew—a perfect Hercules
—Conseil, and I, were soon ready. It only remained
for us to put on the helmet. But before I did so I asked
the captain’s permission to examine the guns.

I was handed an ordinary gun, the stock of which
was made of sheet-iron, and hollow. It served as a
reservoir for compressed air, which a valve, worked by a
“tumbler,” permitted to escape into the barrel. A box,
hollowed out in the stock, contained twenty electric
bullets, which the elasticity of the air placed in the barrel.
So soon as one shot was discharged, the gun was again
loaded automatically.

“ Captain Nemo,” I said, “this is a perfect weapon,
and easily managed. I am anxious to try my skill. But
how are we to reach the bottom of the sea ?”

“ At this moment the Mauéilus is aground. We have
not far to go.”

“ But how are we to get out?”

“ You shall see.” z

Captain Nemo then put on his helmet. Conseil and
I did likewise, not without hearing the Canadian’s ironical
wishes for “ good sport.”

The upper part of the vest was encircled by a copper
collar with screws, to which the helmet was fastened.
Three glazed apertures permitted us to see in all direc-
152 A WALK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.

tions. So soon as we were ready, the Rouquayrol appa-
ratus was placed upon our backs, and immediately began
to act, so that I felt no inconvenience in breathing.

The Ruhmkorff lamp at my waist, and gun in hand,
I declared myself ready to set out. But in those heavy:
garments and boots, I found it impossible to stir a step.
This had been provided for, for I felt that I was carried
into an adjoining chamber. My companions followed.
I heard a door spring back, and darkness enveloped us.
After some minutes, I heard a loud hissing noise—I am
certain a sensation of cold rose from my feet to my
chest. Evidently, the water had been admitted, and the
chamber was filled. Then another door in the side of
the JVautélus opened. A dim light was visible, and an
instant afterwards, our feet touched the bottom of the
sea.

And now, how can I recall the impressions which
this expedition at the bottom of the sea has left upon me?
Words are powerless to describe such marvels. Where
the pencil cannot depict, how can the pen reproduce
these wonders? Captain Nemo walked in front, his
friend behind us, while Conseil and I remained together,
as if any interchange of words were possible under the
circumstances. Ino longer felt the weight of my gar-
ments, or boots, or the reservoir of air; my head moved
about in my helmet like a nut in its shell. All objects
plunged into water lose a portion of their weight, equal
to that of the water displaced, and I recognised that
physical law discovered by Archimedes. I was no longer
an inert mass, but had considerable freedom of move-
ment. The light, which illuminated the ground thirty
feet below the surface, surprised me by its power. The
A WALK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA, 183

solar rays easily penetrated this aqueous mass and dis-
persed its colouring. I could distinctly perceive objects
too yards distant. Beyond, the depths toned down in
fine gradations of ultramarine, then got bluer in the dis-
tance, and finally disappeared in a sort of undefined
obscurity. The water around us was really but a kind ot
air, more dense than the terrestrial atmosphere, but
almost as transparent. Above I could perceive the calm
surface of the ocean. :

We were walking upon a fine firm sand, not furrowed
as that is upon which the waves leave their traces. This
dazzling carpet, a true reflector, refracted the rays of the
sun with surprising intensity. This is the cause of the
tremendous reflection which penetrated all the liquid mole-
cules. I should scarcely be credited, if I stated that, at
this depth of thirty feet, I could see as plainly as in the
daylight above—but it is a fact.

For a quarter of an hour we trod this glittering sand,
composed of the impalpable dust of shells. The hull of
the Mautidus, standing out like a rock, disappeared by
degrees, but the light was burning to facilitate our return
in the evening. It is difficult for those who have only
seen the electric light on shore, to realise its vivid
stream of brilliancy. There the dust which the air
contains gives it the appearance of a luminous fog,
while under the sea the light is transmitted with incom-
parable purity.

We kept going forward, and the plain of sand
appeared boundless. I put by with my hands the liquid
curtains which immediately closed behind me, while the
pressure of the water obliterated our footsteps in the
sand,
154 4 WALK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.

Some objects in the distance now attracted our
attention. I recognised magnificent first formations of
rocks covered with zoophytes of the most beautiful
species, and I was struck with the peculiar effect of the
sea at.this depth. ;

It was ten o’clock. The sun’s rays struck the water
at a somewhat acute angle, and the light, decomposed by
the contact as in a prism, flowers, rocks, plants, shells,
polypes, were variegated with all the colours of the solar
spectrum. It was wondefrul, a perfect feast for the eyes.
The mixture of colours and tones of colour formed a
regular kaleidoscope of green, orange, yellow, violet,
indigo, and blue ; in a word, all the colours of the palette
of an artist gone mad. How I longed to exchange with
Conseil the sensations and ideas which possessed me!
and I did not know even how to converse by signs as
Captain Nemo and his companion did. So, as a last
resource I talked to myself, and in so doing very likely
used more air than was altogether desirable.

Conseil was equally delighted. He was evidently
classing all these specimens of zoophytes and molluscs
as hard as he could. Polypes and echinodermes
abounded. The variegated “isis,” the “cornulaires ”
which live by themselves, the clumps of virgin “ocularis”
or white coral, the mushroom-like fungi, the anemones
fixed by their muscular discs, formed quite a parterre of
flowers, enamelled by the porpites dressed out in their
necklaces of blue tentacles; the starfish, which shone
upon the sand, and the “asterophytons,” like beautiful
lace, worked by naiads, moved in gentle undulations as
our footsteps pressed upon the sand. It was a real
sorrow to me to crush beneath my feet such splendid
A WALK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 155

molluscs as lay around in thousands. But it was
necessary to get along, and we went ahead, while above
us the “ physalides ” waved their long tentacles over our
heads; the umbrella-like medusz with their opal and
pink colouring surrounded by a scroll-work of azure,
sheltered us from the sun’s rays; and the palagia pano-
pyres, which, in the obscurity, sprinkled our path with
phosphorescent light.

All these wonders were observed within the space of
a quarter of a mile, and I scarcely stopped to observe
them. Following Captain Nemo, who beckoned us
onward, we found the nature of the ground began to
change. To the plain of sand succeeded the viscous
deposit termed “ooze,” composed entirely of siliceous
or calcareous shells. We then passed through a prairie
of algee—plants which the water had not disturbed, and
whose growth was of a fungous nature. These grassy
plants were soft to the feet, and rivalled in the softness of
their texture the finest carpets ever made. A light arch
of marine plants, also belonging to this extensive family
of algee, of which there are more than 2,000 known
species, crossed the surface of the ocean. I could-see,
floating in long bands of /wcus, some globular, some
tubular, laurencize, cladostephi, the “ palm ” rhodymeniz,
like the faus of the cactus. I also observed that the
green plants kept near the surface, while the red varieties
grew lower down, leaving to the black and brown hydro-
phytes the formation of the lowest gardens of the
sea.

These alge are really wonderful. This “family” pro-
duces the largest, and at the same time the smallest
vegetation in the world, While one may count forty
156 A WALK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.

thousand almost imperceptible plants in the space of a
few square inches, one can collect /icus whose length
exceeds many hundred feet.

We had been absent from the WVaz¢iZus about an hour
and ahalf. It was nearly noon. I could see that the
sun’s rays were perpendicular, and did not refract. The
magical appearance of the colours disappeared by degrees,
and the shades of sapphire and emerald disappeared from
our “sky.” We proceeded at a steady pace, stepping
together ina manner which resounded loudly from the
ground. The slightest noises were transmitted with a
clearness to which the ear on land is unaccustomed.
Water is a much better conductor of sound than air, and
the rapidity of the transmission of sounds is quadrupled
in the former compound.

Now the ground descended steeply, and the light
assumed a uniform tint. We had reached a depth of
roo yards, and under a pressure of ten atmospheres ;
but our divers’ dresses were so constructed that we felt
no inconvenience from the pressure. I only felt a little
uncomforfable sensation in my fingers, which, however,
quickly passed away. I felt no fatigue whatever, not-
withstanding the unaccustomed “harness” I wore. My
movements, assisted as they were by the water, were
perfectly unconstrained.

At this depth of 300 feet I could still see the sun’s
rays, but feebly. To their intense brilliancy a crespucular
ruddiness had succeeded a sort of twilight. We could,
however, see sufficiently well to proceed, and the Ruhm-
korff was not required.

Captain Nemo stopped here. Ile waited till I had
A WALK AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA. 157

rejoined him, and he then pointed to some mass, which
formed a thick shade at a little distance.

“‘ That is the Forest of Crespo,” I thought ; and I was
not mistaken.
CHAPTER XVII.

A SUBMARINE FOREST.

WE had at length reached the borders of this forest,
without doubt one of the most beautiful in the extensive
domains of Captain Nemo. He looked upon them as
his own, and arrogated to himself the same rights as
the first inhabitants in the world’s infancy. Moreover,
who would dispute with him the possession of this sub-
marine domain? What other and more hardy pioneer
would have come, hatchet in hand, to cut down these
dark coppices.

This forest was composed of immense arborescent
plants ; and as soon as we had entered it I was struck
by the peculiar disposition of their branches, such
as I had not ever before observed. None of the
grasses which carpeted the earth, nor any of the
branches of the plants were curved, or crept along
the ground; they all grew perpendicularly upward
towards the surface. Not a filament nor a reed, thin
and delicate as they were, but stood up straicht as a
rod of iron. The /wcvs and the bind-weeds grew rigid
A SUBMARINE FOREST. 189

and perpendicular, sustained by the density of the element
which gave them birth. So stiff were they that when put
aside by the hand they sprang back into their former
places. This was indeed a kingdom of upright-
ness !

I soon grew accustomed to this peculiarity, and also
to the partial obscurity which surrounded us. The
ground was encumbered with sharp blocks of stone,
difficult to avoid. The submarine flora appeared to me
to be as extensive, and even more rich, than under the
tropical or arctic zones, where the productions are less
numerous. But for some minutes I involuntarily con-
founded the zoophytes and hydrophytes, the animals and
the plants.

And who would not have done so? so thickly
are the flora and fauna of this submarine world inter-
spersed. I observed that ail these productions of the
vegetable kingdom were only attached to the ground by
a single superficial base. Deprived of roots, indifferent
to a solid body, sand, shellfish, shells, or shingle, which
supported them, they only asked a support, not life.
These plants are born of themselves. The principle of
their existence is the water, which nourishes and sustains
them. The greater number of them, instead of leaves,
possessed only capriciously-formed lamels, and very
limited in their scales of colour, which only included
rose-carmine, green, olive, fawn-colour, and brown.

I perceived here—but not dried, as ou board the
Nautilus—the “ peacock-padines,” spread out in a fan-
like form, as if to woo the breeze, and a number of other
marine plants totally devoid of flowers. ‘A curious
anomaly, a whimsical element,” as has been said by a
160 A SUBMARINE FOREST.

witty naturalist, “in which the animal kingdom flowers,
and the vegetable kingdom does not flower at all.”

Amongst the various shrubs, as large as in the trees of
temperate zones, and under their damp shade, were
massed, actual thickets of living flowers, hedges com-
posed of zoophytes, upon which bloomed the striped
and furrowed “encandrines,” the yellow cariophylliz,
with their translucent tentacles, the gauzy tufts of
“zoanthanes,” and, to complete the illusion, the flying-
fish darted between the branches like humming-birds,
while the yellow lepisacanthi, with a bristling mouth
and pointed scales, dactylopteri, and monocentrides rose
under our feet like so many snipe.

In about an hour Captain Nemo signed to us to halt.
I was not sorry for this, and we lay down under a canopy
of alarices, with long, arrow-like prongs.

The rest was most welcome to me. All we wanted
was the charm of conversation. But it was impossible
to speak. I put my great headpiece close to Conseil.
I could perceive his eyes gleaming with happiness, and,
asa token of his satisfaction, he moved himself in his
heavy dress in a most comical manner.

After these four hours, I was astonished that I did
not feel more hungry. Why I did not feel hungry, I do
not know; but then, on the other hand, like all divers, I
began to feel very sleepy. So my eyes soon closed
behind the thick glass, and I fell into a deep sleep, which
the action of walking had hitherto resisted. Captain
Nemo and his robust companion, stretched in this liquid
crystal medium, set us the example.

I do not know how long I slept, but when I woke, it
appeared as if the sun were sinking towards the west.
& SUBMARINE FOREST. 161

Captain Nemo had already risen, and I was beginning to
stretch my limbs, when an unexpected sight caused me
to spring nimbly to my feet.

A few paces off there was an enormous sea-spider,
about three feet high, regarding me with its cross-squinting
eyes, and ready to attack me. Although the diver’s dress
was sufficient to protect me from the bite of the animal,
I could not restrain a movement of horror. Conseil and
the sailor of the Mazdéilus now awoke ; Captain Nemo
pointed to the creature, and the sailor killed it by re-
peated blows with the stock of his gun, while I saw the
terrible limbs of the monster twisting and curving in the
agonies of death.

This meeting made me think of other and more
dangerous animals which inhabited these dark depths,
and against whose attacks my dress would be no pro-
tection. Up to this time I had not thought about such
things, and I determined to be on my guard. I supposed
also that this halt was to indicate the turning point of
our expedition, but I was mistaken, for Captain Nemo
continued his daring excursion.

The ground still fell away, and led us into very great
depths. It was nearly three o’clock when we reached a
narrow valley, hollowed out between two perpendicular
walls, and at a depth of 150 yards. Thanks to the
perfection of our dresses, we had exceeded by ninety
yards the limit that nature appears to have hitherto put to
man’s sub-aqueous excursions.

I say 150 yards, although I had no instrument to
measure the distance. But I know that in the clearest
seas the solar rays cannot penetrate farther. Now the
obscurity had become profound. Nothing was visible at

VOL, I, L
162 A SUBAL!RINE FOREST.

a distance of ten paces. I was therefore obliged to grope
my way, when I perceived a brilliant white light suddenly
appear. Captain Nemo had put his electric apparatus
into gear. His companion followed his example, and
Conseil and I followed suit. I established the com-
munication by turning a screw, and the sea, lit up by our
four lamps, was illuminated to a distance of five-and-
twenty yards.

Captain Nemo continued to plunge into the dark
depths of the forest, in which the “copses” became
fewer and fewer. I noticed that the vegetable dis-
appeared more quickly than animal life. The aquatic
plants had already quitted the inhospitable soil, while an
immense number of animals, zoophytes, molluscs,
fish, &c., were still visible.

All the time we were walking I thought that the
lights we carried would probably attract some of the
inhabitants of these gloomy depths. But if they did
approach, they kept at a safe distance from our guns,
Many times I saw the captain stop and bring up his gun,
but after a pause he lowered it again and resumed his
course.

At length, about four o’clock, the notable excursion
reached its limit. A superb wall of rock, and of most
imposing appearance, barred our passage. Enormous
cliffs of granite, hollowed out into dark caves, presented
no practicable breach. This was the shore of the island
of Crespo—the earth itself.

Captain Nemo stopped at once. He signed to us to
halt, and desirous as I was to cross the wall of rock, I
was obliged to comply. Here Captain Nemo’s territory
ceased. He had no wish to go farther. Beyond that
A SUBMARINE FOREST. 163

lay the portion of the globe which he never wished to
tread.

The return journey was commenced. Captain Nemo
reassumed the lead, and proceeded without hesitation.
We did not return by the same route as we had come.
This new direction, very “stiff,” and consequently very
laborious, brought us rapidly to the surface of the ocean.
Nevertheless, the ascent was not so steep as the descent
had lately been, and which sudden changes lead to grave
disorders, and are the cause of fatal internal injuries to
divers. The light quickly reappeared and increased,
the sun was already low in the sky, and the refraction
again surrounded the various objects with a spectral
halo.

At a depth of ten yards we met a crowd of little
fishes of all kinds, more numerous and more active than
birds in the air; but no aquatic “game” worthy of a
bullet met our gaze. Just then I saw the captain shoulder
his gun, and follow some moving object in the coppice.
He fired; I heard a feeble hissing, and the animal fell
dead a few paces off.

It was a magnificent sea-otter, the only exclusively
marine animal. This was about four feet long, and
would fetch a high price. Its skin, of a dark chestnut
hue above, and silver below, would make one of those
splendid furs so sought after in Russian and Chinese
markets; the fineness and the lustre of the skin would
make it worth 2,000 francs. I admired its rounded
head, small ears, round eyes, its white “moustache,”
resembling that of a cat, its webbed feet, and tufted
tail.

‘This valuable animal, hunted and trapped h+ jisher-

L2
164 A SUBMARINE FOREST.

men, is becoming extremely rare, and it usually takes
refuge in the southern portions of the Pacific, where,
apparently, its species will soon become extinct. Cap-
tain Nemo’s messmate shouldered the animal, and we
resumed our route. For an hour the sand-plain ex-
tended round us. It ascended often to within six feet of
the surface. I could at these times perceive our images
clearly reflected upside down above us, and an identical
party imitated all our gestures in every way like ourselves,
except that their heads were at the surface, and their feet
in the air. There was another effect to be noted. This
was the passage of thick clouds, which formed and
vanished rapidly; but, as I reflected, I understood that
these supposed clouds were only due to the varying
thickness of the long furrows at the bottom, and I
could perceive even the fleecy masses which their
broken crests multiplied upon the water. They were
only the shadows of the great birds which flew over our
heads, and whose rapid skimming over the surface I
could not detect.

At this time I was witness to one of the most splen-
did shots that ever thrilled a sportsman with delight. A
large bird, with immense spread of wing, was distinctly
visible. Captain Nemo’s friend levelled and fired, when
it was only a few yards above the waves. The bird fell,
and almost exactly at the feet of the keen shot, who
secured it. It proved to be an albatross of the most
beautiful species, a splendid specimen of sea-bird.

Our progress had not been interrupted by this inci-
dent. For two hours we followed, sometimes a sandy
plain, sometimes a prairie of wrack, very difficult to cross.
Frankly, I could not have accomplished much more,
A SUBMARINE FOREST. 165

when I distinguished a vague gleam, which broke the
obscurity, about halfa-mile distant. It was the lantern
of the Wautilius. In less than twenty minutes we should
be on board, and there I should be able to breathe more
at ease, for it appeared to me that the air supplied by my
reservoir was deficient in oxygen. But I did not count
upon an incident which delayed our arrival. I was
about twenty paces behind the others, when Captain
Nemo hurriedly returned towards me. He dragged me
to the ground by main force, while his companion did
the same to Conseil. I did not know what to make of
this sudden attack, but was somewhat reassured to per-
ceive that the captain lay down close beside me, and
remained motionless.

I was stretched upon the ground, under the shade of
aclump of sea-wrack, when, as I raised my head, I saw
some enormous masses pass noiselessy by, emitting a phos-
phorescent gleam as they went.

My blood ran cold. I recognised the shark. They
were two terrible specimens, with enormous tails, a dull
and glassy stare, and they gave forth a phosphorescent
matter from the holes pierced near the muzzles. Their
enormous fiery mouths could engulf a man whole within
those fearful teeth. I do not know whether Conseil
amused himself in classifying them, but, for my own part,
I regarded their shining bellies, and their formidable
throats, bristling with teeth, in a very unscientific manner,
and more from a victim’s than from a naturalist’s point
of view.

Fortunately, these voracious animals cannot see very
distinctly. They passed without noticing us, although
they almost brushed us with their black fins, and we
166 A SUBMARINE FOREST.

escaped as by a miracle from this encounter, even more
dangerous than an encounter with a tiger in a jungle.

Half-an-hour later, guided by the electric light, we
reached the Mautilus. The outside door was still open,
Captain Nemo closed it when we had entered. He then
pressed a spring. J heard the pumps working, and felt
the water subsiding around me. Ina few moments the
cell was quite emptied. Then the inner door was
opened and we stepped into the “ vestry.”

There our divers’ dresses were doffed, but not with-
out difficulty ; and worn out, giddy from the want of food
and rest, I regained my chamber, quite knocked up by
this most extraordinary excursion to the bottom of the
sea.
CHAPTER XVIII.

FOUR THOUSAND LEAGUES BENEATH THE PACIFIC,

I HAD quite recovered from my fatigue on the next day
(18th Nov.), and, as usual, ascended to the platform, just
as the mate of the Mauti/us was giving his daily report.
It occurred to me that this was to announce the ap-
pearance of the sea, or rather that it signified “no vessel
in sight.”

As a fact the ocean was perfectly clear. The Isle of
Crespo had disappeared. There was not a sail to be
seen. The sea, which absorbed all the prismatic colours,
except the blue rays, reflected them in all directions, and
bore a beautiful indigo tint. It appeared like a broadly-
striped watered silk.

I was admiring its beauties when Captain Nemo
appeared, He took no notice of my presence, and
busied himself with astronomical observations. He
then seated himself upon the lantern-cover, and gazed
abstractedly at the ocean.

Meantime, twenty sailors, all strong and wiry fellows,
had reached the platform. They came to draw the nets
168 f£OUR THOUSAND LEAGUES

they had “shot” during the night. The crew seemed to
be of all nations, but the European types were pre-
dominant. I recognised, if I was not much mistaken,
Irish, French, Sclaves, a Greek, a Candian. They were
chary of speech, and only conversed in that strange
idiom, the origin of which I could not determine ; so I
gave up my idea of questioning them.

The nets were hauled on board, and appeared to be
like those in use on the Normandy coast; vast pockets,
kept open by a large piece of wood and a chain fixed
in the lower meshes. These nets, dragged upon iron
fittings, swept the bottom of the ocean, and picked up
everything in their way. Upon that occasion they
brought to light many curious specimens of fish; lophies,
whose comical movements reminded one of actors; black
commersons, balistze, tetrodons, some lampreys, trichures,
whose electric power is equal to that of the electric eel
or torpedo, many varieties of gobies, and some extremely
large fish ; a cavanx, with its very prominent head, about
a yard long, some beautifnl scombres, laced with blue and
silver, and three splendid tunny-fish, whose rapid swim-
ming could not save them from the net.

I estimated the take at about 1,000 lbs. of fish,
which was a good but not a surprising quantity. These
nets might be kept at the bottom of the sea for many
hours, and would then enclose specimens of the whole
marine world. It was evident there would be no stint
of excellent food, and the rapidity of the Wauti7us, and
the attraction of its electric light, could always insure us
a new supply at any time.

The various productions were immediately sent down
BENEATH THE PACIFIC, 169

to the storé-rooms ; some for use while fresh, the other
to be pickled.

Now that the fishing was over and the supply of air
renewed, I thought that the Mawtilus would resume her
submarine voyage, and I was preparing to go below when
Captain Nemo addressed me suddenly as follows :

“Ts not that ocean endowed with real life? Has it
not its angry and its tender moments? Yesterday it
slept like ourselves, and now it is awake after a peaceful
night.”

No salutation had passed between us. Would not
one have thought that this strange captain was only con-
tinuing a conversation.

“Do you see,” he continued, “it has awakened
under the sun’s caresses. It will live anew its daily life.
It is an interesting study to follow the play of its organ-
ism. It has a pulse, arteries, it has its spasms too, and
T agree with Maury, who has discovered in it a circula-
tion, as real as the circulation of the blood in
animals.”

It is certain that Captain Nemo expected no reply
from me, and it appeared useless to throw in the “ evi-
dentlys,” “ certainlys,” and “quite rights.” He seemed
to be talking rather to himself than to me, and paused
between each sentence. He was thinking aloud !

“Ves,” he continued, “the ocean possesses a real
circulation, and to excite it, it is only necessary that the
Creator should increase its temperature, the salt, and the
animalcules. Heat causes different densities, which
bring about currents and counter-currents. Evapora-
tion, which is #2? in extremely cold latitudes, is very
170 FOUR THOUSAND LEAGUES

active in tropical zones, and constitutes a regular change
between the tropical and polar waters. Further, I have
detected currents from beneath the sea to the surface,
and wice versa, which constitute the true breathings of the
ocean. I have seen the molecule of sea-water warmed
at the surface, redescend towards the depths, attain its
maximum of density at 2° below zero, and then freezing
once more become lighter, and mount upwards again.
At the poles, you will perceive the consequences of this
phenomenon, and you can understand why, by this law
of all-provident nature, congelation can only be produced
at the surface of water.”

While Captain Nemo was speaking, I was think-
ing.

“The pole! is it possible that he intends to visit
such latitudes !”

The captain was again silently regarding the element
he had so completely studied, and yet was incessantly
studying. He resumed.

“Salts,” he said, “are in the sea in large quantities,
and if you could take all that it holds in solution, you
would form a mass of 4,500,000 cubic leagues, which,
spread out upon the globe, would reach to a height of
more than ten yards. Do not imagine, either, that the pre-
sence of these salts is only due to nature’s caprice. Not
at all. They make the water less liable to evaporate,
and prevent the winds from raising too much vapour,
which, in again resolving, would drown the temperate
zones. There is a great part played by the sea, it pos-
sesses great weight in the interior economy of the
globe !”

Captain Nemo stopped speaking, took a few
BENEATH THE PACIFIC, 171

turns up and down, and again approaching me,
said :—

“As regards the zzfusoria, the milliards of animalcules
which exist by millions in every drop of water, and of
which 800 weigh about the thousandth part of a grain,
their part is not less important. They absorb the
marine ‘salts, they assimilate the more solid elements
of the water, and the true constructors of calcareous
lands, they make the corals and the madrepores. And
then the drop of water deprived of its mineral nourish-
ment gets lighter and ascends to the surface. It there
absorbs the salts set free by evaporation, which makes it
heavier and it descends, and carries new elements of
absorption to the animalcules below. So there is a
double current, ascending and descending, ever moving,
ever living. A life more exuberant, more infinite, and
more intense than that of earth, spreading out in every
part of the ocean, the element of death to mankind, an
element of life to myriads of other animals, and to me.”

While Captain Nemo thus spoke his whole counte-
nance was lighted up, and he produced an extraordinary
impression upon me.

“ Besides,” he added, this is life indeed. “And Ican
imagine the establishment of nautical towns and groups
of submarine houses, which, like the Mawti/vs, might
come up every morning to the surface to breathe. Free
towns, so to speak, independent cities! And yet, who
knows but some despot ”

Captain Nemo accompanied this speech with a
violent gesture. Then addressing himself directly to
me, like one who would get rid of an uncomfortable
thought—


172 FOUR THOUSAND LEAGUES

“Monsieur Aronnax,” he said, “do you know the
depth of the ocean ?”

“T, at least, know the principal soundings that have
been obtained,” I replied.

“Can you quote them so that I may correct them if
necessary P”

“These are some,” I replied, “ that 1 can remember.
If I mistake not, an average depth of 8,200 yards in the
North Atlantic, and 2,500 yards in the Mediterranean.
The most remarkable soundings have been made in the
South Atlantic, near the 35th degree, which have given
12,000 yards, 14,091 yards, and 15,149 yards. To sum
up, it has been estimated that if the bottom of the sea
were levelled it would give a depth of about five miles
and a-half.”

“Very good, professor,” said Captain Nemo; “but
we will show you something better than that, I hope. I
may tell you that the average depth of this part of the
Pacific is but 4,000 yards.”

As he spoke, Captain Nemo advanced to the panel
and descended, and I regained the saloon. The screw
was set in motion, and we proceeded at twenty miles
an hour.

During the days and wecks that passed I saw very
little of Captain Nemo. The mate made the direction
regularly, which I found entered on the map, so that
I could always tell the route of the Maz/i/us.

Conseil and Land passed the days with me. The
former had related the marvellous incidents of our
expedition, and the Canadian regretted that he had not
accompanied me. But I hoped that another occasion
might arise to visit the sub-oceanic forests.
BENEATH THE PACIFIC. 173

Each day, for some hours, the panels of the saloon
were drawn back, and our eyes were by no means
fatigued.

The Mautilus was kept in a south-easterly course,
and at about 150 yards below the surface. One day,
however, for some reason, she descended diagonally by
means of the inclined planes, to a depth of 2,000 feet.
The thermometer indicated 4.25 centigrade, a tempera-
ture that at this depth appears to be common to all
latitudes.

On the 26th November, at 3 a.M., the Vautilus
crossed the tropic of Cancer at 172° longitude. On the
27th we passed the Sandwich Islands, where the illus-
trious Captain Cook met his death, on the 14th February,
1779. We had then made 4,860 leagues from our start-
ing-point. In the morning, when I came up on the
platform, I perceived, about two miles to windward, the
island of Hawaii, the largest of the seven composing the
group. I could distinctly perceive its cultivated borders,
the chains of mountains parallel to the coast, and the
volcanoes, of which Mouna Rea is the highest, rising
15,000 feet above the level of the sea. Amongst other
souvenirs of these regions, the nets pulled in some
polyps peculiar to this part of the ocean.

The Nautilus still ran south-east. We passed the
equator on the rst December, in 142° longitude, and on
the fourth of the same month, after a rapid passage, but
devoid of incident, we reached the Marquesas Isles. I
perceived three miles away, in 8° 57’ south latitude, and
139° 32’ longitude, Point Martin, in Nouka-Hiva, the
principal of the group which belongs to France. I could
only distinguish the wooded hills, for Captain Nemo did
174 FOUR THOUSAND LEAGUES

not like to hug the shore. Here the nets secured some
splendid fish, the choryphenes, with blue flesh and golden
tail, the flesh being unrivalled; hologymnoses, nearly
scaleless, but of exquisite flavour; ostorhinques, with
bony jaws; and the yellow thasards, which are equal to
the bonita. All these fish were worthy of being “classed”
in the kitchen.

Quitting these beautiful islands in the interval be-
tween the 4th and 11th December, the /Va@uéilus ran
about 2,000 miles. This part of the voyage was marked
by one meeting with an immense shoal of calmars, a
curious mollusc, very like the cuttle-fish. The French
fishermen call them “horned” calmars, and they belong
to the class of cephalopodes and the family of di-branchia,
which includes likewise the cuttle and the argonaut.
These animals were studied particularly by the naturalists
of old, and furnished numerous metaphors to the orators,
at the same time that they supplied an excellent dish to
wealthy citizens—that is, if we may believe Athene, a
Greek doctor, who lived before Galen.

It was during the night, g-roth December, that the
Nautilus encountered this army of nocturnal molluscs.
They could be reckoned by millions. They emigrate
from the temperate to the warmer zones, and follow the
same mode of travelling as the herring and the sardine.
We watched them through the thick crystal plates, swim-
ming backwards with extreme rapidity, moving by means
of their tubular locomotive power, and pursued by fish and
molluscs, eating the smaller ones and being eaten by the
larger, and moving to and fro in indescribable confusion
the ten legs that nature had fixed upon their heads like a
BENEATH THE PACIFIC. 175

wreath of pneumatic serpents. The /Vautd/us, notwith-
standing her speed, kept meeting these animals for
many consecutive hours, and the nets brought in
an innumerable quantity — when I recognised the
nine species that d’Orbigny has classed for the Pacific
Ocean.

During this voyage the sea displayed her marvels
with a prodigal hand, and with an infinite variety. She
changed her decorations and mse en scone at our will
apparently, and we were permitted to observe, not only
the works of the Creator in mid-ocean, but even to pene-
trate the most hidden mysteries of the sea.

During the rrth December I was engaged reading in
the saloon. Ned and Conseil were watching the glitter-
ing waters through the panels. The iVautslus was at
rest. Her reservoirs were full, and she lay at a depth of
1,000 yards, 4 somewhat uninhabited level, in which large
fish were very seldom seen.

I was reading a very interesting book by Jean Macé,
entitled “Les Serviteurs de Estomac,” and I was relish-
ing its ingenious teaching when Conseil interrupted my
reading.

“Will Monsieur come here for a moment?” he said
in a peculiar tone.

“‘ What is it, Conseil ?”

“ Monsieur will see.”

I got up, sat before the sheet of glass, and looked

out. *
In full glare of the electric light was an immense

black mass, suspended in mid sea. I looked at it

attentively, seeking to recognise the nature of such an
176 FOUR THOUSAND LEAGUES

enormous cetacean. Suddenly a thought flashed into
my mind.

“Tt is a ship !” I cried.

“Ves,” replied the Canadian, “an abandoned vessel
which has sunk.”

He was right. It was a ship before us, the shrouds
cut and hanging down as they had fallen. The hull ap-
peared to be in good condition, and yet her wreck was
not of yesterday. Three stumps, broken about two feet
above the deck, indicated that her masts and rigging
had been cut away. But she lay, full of water, heeling
over to port. A sad spectacle, indeed, was this noble
vessel beneath the waves; but a far sadder sight were
the dead bodies, still held by the cords lying as they had
been entangled. Icounted four—four men, of whom one
was still at the tiller—then a young woman, half hanging
from the sky-light in the poop, holding a child in her
arms. I could plainly see, by the light of the Mauislus,
the features not already decomposed. In the supreme
moment slie had held the infant above her head, who—
poor little thing !—was clasping its mother’s neck with its
tiny arms. The attitude of the four sailors appeared
terrible to me—tortured in their convulsive efforts to re-
lease themselves from the cordage that bound them
helpless. Alone, more calm, with a quiet, grave face,
his grey hair pressed down over his forehead, and with
one shrivelled hand still grasping the tiller, the steers-
man appeared to be still guiding his shipwrecked vessel
amidst the depths of the ocean.

What a spectacle! We sat dumb with beating hearts
before this shipwreck, taken in the fact, as it were, and
photographed at the last moment. And I could see
BENEATH THE PACIFIC. 177

already advancing, with fiery eyes, the enormous sharks
attracted by this bait of human flesh.

But the MewtZus moved, and as we turned round
the stern of the wreck, I read the name, “ Florida, Sun-
derland.”

VOL. I. M
CHAPTER XIX,
VANIKORO.

Twat terrible sight inaugurated the series of maritime
catastrophes which the JVewtr/us encountered. Since we
had been passing through more frequented seas we often
noticed shipwrecked vessels decaying in mid-sea depths,
and, deeper down, the cannons, anchors, chains, cannon-
balls, and a number of other things that were being
devoured by rust.

Still going forward in this Mvwédus, in which we
existed like an isolated set of beings, as we were, we
entered the archipelago of Pomotou on the rith
December. This was the group of “dangerous isles”
in ages past, and extend across a space of five hundred
leagues from E.S.E. to W.N.W., between 13° 30 and
23° 50'S. lat., and 125° 30’ and 151° 30’ W. long, from
the Isle Ducie to the Isle Lazareff. This archipelago
covers an area of 370 square leagues, and is composed
or sixty groups of islands, amongst which is the Gambier
group under French protection. These isles are corala-
ginous. A very gentle but surely building-up process by
VANIKORO. 179

the polypes will some day form a communication between
them. Then the new island will (later on) become
united to neighbouring islands, and a fifth continent will
extend from New Zealand and New Caledonia to the
Marquesas.

When I suggested this to Captain Nemo, he coldly
replied :

“Tt is not new continents that are required, but new
inhabitants of the old ones.”

The chances of navigation had conducted the
Nautilus towards the island of Clermont-Tonnerre, one
of the most curious of the group which was discovered
in 1822 by Captain Bell of the Afiuerva. I was thus
able to study the system by which islands are formed in
this ocean by madrepores.

The madrepores, which must not be confounded with
the coral, have a tissue enclosed in a calcareous crust,
and the modifications of the structure have enabled Mr.
Milne-Edwards, my illustrious master, to class them in
five sections. The tiny animalcules which secrete this
polypary live in thousands of millions at the bottom of
the little cells. These are the calcareous depéts which
become rocks, reefs, islets, islands. Here they form a
ring, enclosing a lagoon or interior lake, in which an
opening permits communication with the sea. There
they construct reefy barriers like those which exist on
the coasts of New Caledonia and the various islands of
Pomotou. In other places, like Reunion and Maurice,
they build, fringed reefs, high upright walls, alongside
which the sea is extremely deep.

At a few cables’ lengths from the shore of the island
of Clermont-Tonnerre I inspected the work done by

Ho 2
180 VANIKORO.

those microscopic workers. These walls were exclusively
the work of madrepores known as “‘millepores,” “ porites,”
“astrea,” and “ meandrines.” These polypes are chiefly
developed at the moving and higher beds of the ocean,
and consequently it is their upper parts which commence
these works, and which are buried by degrees with the
débris of the secretions which support them. This, at
least, is the theory of Mr. Darwin, who thus explains
the theory of “atolls.” A better theory, as I think, is
that the madrepores have as a basis the summits of
mountains or volcanoes upon which to work, and which
are at some distance below the surface.

I was enabled to observe these curious walls very
closely, for in perpendicular depth the soundings gave
more than 300 yards, and our electric light made these
brilliant calcareous masses gleam again.

Replying to a question of Conseil’s, respecting the
time these barriers had taken to construct, I astonished
him somewhat by telling him that savants estimated the
progress at the eighth of an inch in a hundred years.

“Then to build up these walls,” he said, “it must
have taken. —”

“ One hundred and ninety-two thousand years, my
brave friend, which lengthens the Biblical days. More-
over, the formation of the pit-coal—that is to say, the
mineralisation of the forests buried by the deluge—has
required a much longer time. But I may add that the
Biblical days are not the epochs, and not the interval of
time between sunrise and sunrise ; for, according to the
Bible itself, the sun was not made upon the first day of
the creation.

While the JVautilus remained at the surface of the


VANIKORO. 181

sea, I was able to inspect, in all its development, this
small and wooded island of Clermont-Tonnerre. Its
madreporical rocks were evidently fertilised by water-
spouts and tempests. One day some corn, carried bya
hurricane from neighbouring islands, fell upon its cal-
careous formation, mixed with the detritus which forms
the vegetable mould, and which is made of decomposed
fish and marine plants. A cocoa-nut, impelled by the
waves, reaches this new coast. The germ takes root,
the tree grows, absorbs the watery vapour. The stream
is born, vegetation increases apace. Animalcules, worms,
insects, arrive upon these island beginnings. Turtles
come and lay their eggs there. The birds build their
nests in the young trees. In this way animal life is
developed, and attracted by the verdure and fertility, man
appears, Thus these islands are formed, the vast works
of microscopic animals.

Towards evening Clermont-Tonnerre disappeared in
the distance, and the course of the MawtiJus was sensibly
diverted. After touching the Tropic of Capricorn at the
130° degree of longitude, she turned to the W.N.W,,
ascending towards the intertropical zone. Although the
summer sun was extremely powerful, we did not suffer
from the heat, for at thirty or forty yards below the sur-
face the temperature did not increase more than ten or
twelve degrees.

On the 15th December we passed the Society Isles
and Tahiti, the queen of the Pacific. In the morning
I perceived the elevated summits of the mountains of
that island. Its waters supplied us with some excellent
fish—mackercl, bonita, albicoras, and a variety of sea-
serpent, called “ muneoplics.” The Mawté/us had ac-
182 VA NIKORO.

complished 8,100 miles: 9,720 miles were recorded on
the log when we passed the archipelago of Tonga-Tabou,
where the Argo, the Port au Prince, and the Duke of Port-
Zand were lost ; and the Navigator Isles, where Captain
Langle, the friend of La Perouse, was killed. Then we
came to the Fiji Islands, where the savages murdered the
sailors of the ship Won, and Captain Bureau, of Nantes,
of the Aimable Josephine. This archipelago extends 100
leagues to the north and south, and go leagues from
east to west, and is comprised between 6° and 2° S. lat.,
and 174° and 179° W. long. It is composed of islands,
islets, and rocks, amongst which are the islands of Viti-
Levou, Vanona-Levou, and Kandubon.

Tasman discovered this group in 1643, the same
year that Toricelli invented the barometer, and in which
Louis XIV. ascended the throne. I leave my readers to
reflect which of these facts has proved most useful to
mankind. d

After Tasman, Cook, in 1714, Entrecasteaux, in 1793,
and, finally, Dumont d’Urville, in 1827, came to clear
up the obscurity of these regions. The Vautilus now
approached the Bay of Wailea, the scene of the terrible
adventures of Captain Dillon, who was the first to clear
up the mystery connected with the shipwreck of La
Perouse.

This bay, dredged many times, furnished us with
abundance of oysters. We ate quantities of them, open-
ing them at our own table, as recommended by Seneca.
These belonged to the species known as the ostre lamel-
losa, which is very common in Corsica. That the bank
of Wailea will become of great extent, is certain ; and
if destructive agencies be not increased, the quantities
VANIKORO. 183

of oysters will soon fill up the bay, as we counted 2,000,000
of eggs in a single oyster. And if Master Ned Land did
not repent of his gluttony in this respect, it was because
the oyster is the only thing that does not cause indigestion.
In fact it would necessitate the consumption of sixteen
dozen oysters to furnish the 315 grammes of azote sub-
stance necessary to nourish one man. On the 25th
December the Mautz/its sailed into the midst of the group
of the New Hebrides, discovered by Quiros, in 1606,
which Bongainville explored in 1768, and to: which
Captain Cook gave its name in 1773. This group is com-
posed principally of nine large islands, and forms a band
of 120 leagues from N.N.W. to S,S.E., included between
15° and 2° S. lat., and 164° and 168° long. We also
passed close to the island of Auron, which at midday
appeared to be a mass of green woods, commanded by
a mountain of immense height.

‘This was Christmas Day, and Ned Land appeared to
regret keenly the usual celebration of the day—the
family gathering in which some people are so fanatical.

I had not seen Captain Nemo for eight days, when,
on the 27th, very early in the morning, he éntered the
saloon, having as usual the air of a man who had left you
but five minutes before. I was engaged in tracing our
course upon the map. The captain approached, placed
his finger upon a spot in the map, and uttered the single
word, “ Vanikoro !”

The word was magical. It was the name of the
island where the ships of Ia Perouse were lost. I rose
up suddenly.

“Ts the Maufilus carrying us to Vanikoro?” I said.

“ Yes,” replied the captain.
184. VANIKORO.

“ And can I explore those islands upon which the
Boussole and the Astrolabe were lost ?”

“If you wish to do so,” was the reply.

“When shall we reach Vanikoro ?”

‘We are there now, professor.”

Following the captain, I ascended to the platform,
and eagerly scanned the horizon.

In the north-west, two volcanic islands of unequal
size showed themselves; they were surrounded by a
coral reef of forty miles in circumference. We were
close to the island of Vanikoro, properly so called,
which Dumont d’Urville designated the “Isle of Re-
search,” and immediately opposite the small harbour
of Vanou in 16° 4’ S. lat., 164° 32’ E. long. The
island appeared covered with verdure from shore to
summit, and was dominated by Mount Kapogo, 2,856
feet high.

The Mautilus, having cleared the outward rocks
through a narrow passage, was safely within the line of
breakers in a depth of thirty to forty fathoms. Beneath
the mangroves I distinguished some savages, who ap-
peared much astonished at our appearance. In the long
black mass moving along the surface of the water, they
probably only recognised some formidable cetacean,
which they were bound to challenge.

Captain Nemo now asked me what I knew of the
shipwreck of La Perouse.

“‘ What everyone else does,” I replied.

“And can you tell me what everyone else knows
about it?” he asked, with a touch of irony,

“ Very easily.”

And I then recounted to him what the last works of
VANIKORO. . 185

Dumont d’Urville had made known, of which the follow-
ing is a very succinct account.

La Perouse, and his mate, de Langle, were despatched
by Louis XVI, in the year 1785, to circumnavigate the
world, They embarked in the Boussole and Astrolabe,
which never again returned.

In 1791, the French Government, naturally uneasy
respecting the fate of these vessels, fitted out two large
store-ships, the Aecherche and Lspérance, which left
Brest on the 28th September, commanded by Bruni
d’Entrecasteaux. Two months after it became known
by the deposition of a certain Captain Bowen, of the
Albemarle, that the remains of some wrecked vessels
had been seen upon the coast of New Georgia. But
Entrecasteaux, ignorant of this, and equally uncertain,
moreover, sailed towards the Admiralty Isles, described
in the report of a Captain Hunter, as being the scene of
the shipwreck of La Perouse.

Entrecasteaux’s search was fruitless. The 2spérance
and the Recherche even passed Vanikoro without stop-
ping, and the voyage altogether was most disastrous, as
it cost the lives of Entrecasteaux, two of his lieutenants,
and many of his crew.

An old hand, one Captain Dillon, was the first to
discover some traces of the shipwrecks. On the 15th of
May, 1824, his vessel, the Saét Patrick, passed close to
the island of Tikopia, one of the New Hebrides. There
a Lascar, who sold him the silver hilt of a sword, stated
that six years previously, during his stay at Vanikoro, he
had seen two Europeans who had belonged to the ships
wrecked many years before upon the reefs of that
island. Dillon suspected that the man was referring to
186 : VANIKORO.

the ships of La Perouse, whose disappearance had in-
terested the entire civilised world. He wished to reach
Vanikoro, where, according to the Lascar, he would find
many traces of the wrecked vessels ; but the winds and
opposing elements prevented him.

Dillon returned to Calcutta. There he made known
his discovery to the Asiatic Society and to the East
India Company. A vessel, to which they gave the name
of the 2esearch, was placed at his disposal, and he sailed
on the 23rd of January, 1827, accompanied by a French
agent.

The Research, having touched at several ports in the
Pacific, anchored before Vanikoro on the 7th of July,
1827, in the same harbour of Vanou in which the auslus
is now lying.

There they picked up many relics of the wrecks:
iron utensils, anchors, block-strops, swivel-guns and
shot, astronomical instruments, a part of the taffrail, and
a bronze timepiece, with the inscription, Bazin m’a fait
marked by the manufactory at Brest, 1785. Doubt was
no longer possible.

Dillon remained at the ill-fated spot to complete his
arrangements. In October he quitted Vanikoro, and sail-
ing towards New Zealand, reached Calcutta on 7th April,
1828. He then proceeded to France, where he was
kindly received by Charles X. But meantime Dumont
@Urville, ignorant of what Dillon had accomplished, had
sailed to discover the scene of the shipwreck. He had
learnt from a whaler that a medal and cross of St. Louis
had been seen in the hands of savages in New
Caledonia.

D’'Urville then put to sea, and, two months after
VANIKORO, 187

Dillon had quitted Vanikoro, he anchored before Hobart
Town. There he heard of Dillon’s success, and further
he learned that a certain James Hobbs, mate of the
Union, of Calcutta, had landed on an island situated in
8° 18’ south lat., and 156° 30’ east long., and had re-
marked the iron bars and the red stuffs which were in use
by the aborigines.

Dumont d’Urville was much perplexed, and did not
know whether he could believe these reports, so he
finally decided to follow Dillon’s tracks.

On the roth February, 1828, the Astrolabe appeared
before Tikopia, and, taking on board as guide a deserter
who had taken up his abode in the island, he made
Vanikoro on the 12th February, and anchored in the
harbour of Vanou.

On the 23rd, many of the officers explored the island
and brought back a few unimportant relics. The natives,
by denials and evasions, refused to lend them assistance
in discovering the locality of the disaster. This suspicious
conduct gave the French reason to believe that the
natives had maltreated the shipwrecked crews, and, in
fact, they appeared to be fearful that d’Urville would
avenge La Perouse and his unfortunate companions.

However, on the 26th, by presents, &c., the natives
were induced to believe that there was nothing to fear,
and they conducted the mate, M. Jacquinot, to the scene
of the wreck.

There, in three or four fathoms of water, between the
Pacon and Vanou reefs, lay anchors, cannon, pig-iron,
and lead, embedded in the calcareous secretions. The
long boat and the whaler of the Astrolabe were sent to
the spot, and after much labour they returned with an
188 VANIKORO.

anchor, a cannon, some pig-lead, and two brass swivel-
guns.

Dumont d’Urville, by interrogating the natives, also
discovered that La Perouse, after having lost his ships,
had constructed a smaller vessel, in which he was again
lost—where they did not know.

The commander then caused a cenotaph to be
erected to the memory of the bold navigator and his
companions. It was a simple quadrangular pyramid
erected on a basis of coral, and in which was no orna-
mentation likely to excite the cupidity of the
natives.

_ D’Urville then wished to return home, but fever and
malaria had attacked his crews, and even he himself was
very ill. He was not able to get away before the
17th March.

Meantime, the French Government, fearing that
Dumont d’Urville had not followed Dillon’s route cor-
rectly, sent the corvette Bayonnaise, commanded by
Legoarant de Tromelin, which was stationed on the west
coast of America. The Mayonnaise arrived at Vanikoro
some months after the departure of the Astrolabe, and
did not find anything further, but took note that the
mausoleum had been respected by the natives.

That is the substance of the narrative I told Captain
Nemo.

“So,” said he, “nobody knows yet what became of
the third ship, constructed by the shipwrecked sailors on
the island of Vanikoro.”

“No one.”

Captain Nemo made no reply, but signed to me to
follow him into the saloon. The Wawtilus was then at
VANIKORO. 189

some distance below the surface, and the panels were
opened.

I hurried to the glass, and beneath the workings of
the coral, clothed with fungi, and amid hundreds of
beautiful fish, I recognised certain ddr7s which the drags
had not been able to recover, such as iron “ stirrups,”
anchors, cannon-balls, cannon, capstan and bars, the
stern of a vessel, all belonging to the shipwrecked vessels,
and now strewn upon that living floor.

While I was looking at these desolate waifs and
strays, Captain Nemo said gravely :

“Thecommander, La Perouse, lefton the 7th December,
1785, with the Bussole and the Astrolabe. He touched
first at Botany Bay, visited the Friendly Isles, New
Caledonia, sailed thence towards Vera-Cruz, put into
Namonka, one of the Hapa group. His ships then
arrived at the unknown Vanikoro reefs. The Aussole,
which was in advance, struck them on the south side ;
the Astrolabe went to her assistance, and shared her fate.
The former vessel was soon entirely knockcd to pieces,
but the latter, being to leeward, lasted some days. The
natives treated the crews kindly. They lodged them on
the island, and there they built a smaller vessel from the
timbers of the ships. Some sailors elected to remain at
Vanikoro. The rest, weak and ill, accompanied La Perouse.
He made for the Solomon Isles, and there the adven-
turers all perished upon the western side of the principal
island, between capes Deception and Satisfaction.”

“And how do you know all this ?” I exclaimed.

“See what I found at the scene of the last ship-
wreck.”

Captain Nemo then showed me a tin box stamped
190 VANIKORO.

with the French arms, but much corroded by the salt
water. I opened it, and within I found a bundle of
yellow, but still readable, papers.

They were the actual instructions issued by the
Minister of Marine to La Pérouse, and were annotated
in the margin by Louis XVI. himself.

“Ah! it was a fine death for a sailor,” said Captain
Nemo. “The coral is a peaceful resting-place, and con-
stitutes the only heaven for me and my companions.”
CHAPTER XxX.

TORRES STRAIT.

Durine the night of the 27th December the Mazrtilus
quitted Vanikoro, and resumed her voyage at a great
speed. We sailed S.E., and in three days had cleared
the 750 leagues which divide the Isles of La Pérouse
from the S.E. point of Papua.

Very early in the morning of the ist January, 1863,
Conseil joined me on the platform.

, Monsieur,” said he, “ Monsieur, will allow me to
wish him a happy new year.”

“What, Conseil! Just as if I were in my study at
the Jardin des Plantes at Paris? I accept your good
wishes, and thank you heartily. But I would ask
you what you mean by the happy new year under
present circumstances? Will the year put an end
to our imprisonment, or see the end of this strange
voyage ?”

“ Faith,” replied Conseil, “I do not know what to
say to Monsieur. It is certain that we have seen some
curious things, and for two months have not found our
192 TORRES STRAIT.

sojourn tiresome. The last marvel is always the greatest,
and if we goon at this rate I do not know what we
shall eventually arrive at. -My opinion is that we shall
never have such another experience.”

“ Never, Conseil.”

“ Besides this Captain Nemo, who fully justifies his
Latin name, as he is not any more trouble than if he
never existed.”

“ Just so, Conseil.”

“T think, therefore, if Monsieur has no objection,
that a happy new year will be one which may permit us
to see everything v

“To see everything! Why, that will take a very
long time. What does Ned Land say?” :

~ “Ned Land is of the exactly opposite opinion,” replied
.Conseil. “He has certainly an obstinate brain and a
powerful appetite. Look at the fish he is always eating,
and is never satisfied. The want of wine, bread, and
meat does not agree with a worthy Saxon, to whom beef-
steaks are familiar, and who is not alarmed at brandy and
gin.”

“So far as I am concerned, Conseil, that is not the
point that troubles me. I can get on very well with the
supplies on board.”

“So'can I,” replied Conseil. ‘So I think as much
about stopping here as Master Land does of escaping.
Therefore, if the new year is not good for me, it may be
so for him, and we versé. In this way somebody is
sure to be satisfied. So, in conclusion, I wish Monsieur
whatever pleases him best.”

“Thank you, Conseil ; but I must ask you to remit,
for the present, the question of New Year's gifts; and,


TORRES STRAIT, 193

meantime, accept a shake of the hand; I have nothing
else to offer.”

“‘ Monsieur has never been so generous,” said Conseil,

And the brave lad descended.

On the 2nd January we had made 11,340 miles, or
8,250 leagues from our starting-point in the Japanese
seas. In front now extended the dangerous coral-reefs
of the north-east coast of Australia. We skirted. this
wonderful bank (on which Cook’s vessels were lost in
1770) for a distance of many miles. The ship which
carried Cook ran upon.a rock, and that it did not sink
was owing to the fact that a piece of coral, detached by
the blow, remained fast in the hole it had made in the
ship’s hull. : ,

I wished very much to visit this reef, which is 360
leagues in length, and against which the sea, always
rough, breaks with a roar like thunder. But at this
moment the inclined planes of the Mauédlus directed us.
to a very great depth, and I could see nothing of these
high walls of coral. So I was obliged to content myself
with various specimens of fish, brought up in the nets.
I remarked, amongst others, the germons, a sort of large
scombre, as large as tunny-fish, with bluish sides, and
striped transversely. These stripes faded at the death
of the animal. These fish accompanied us by hundreds,
and furnished us with excellent dishes. We caught, also,
a large number of sparus vertor, tasting like a John Dory,
and the flying pyrapeds, true sea-swallows, which, in
dark nights, illuminate the air and water alternately with
their phosphorescent glimmerings. Amongst the mol-
luscs and the zoophytes I found in the meshes of the

VOL, I. ON
194 TORRES STRAIT.

nets, were various species of alcyoniares, sea-hedgehogs,
“ cadrans,” “hammers,” acrites, and hyattee.

The flora were represented by beautiful floating
alge laminariz and macrocystes impregnated with the
mucilage which exuded from their pores, and amongst
them I found a splendid Nemastoma Geliniaroide, which
was placed amongst the natural curiosities in the
museum,

Two days after crossing the coral sea, on the 4th of
January, we made the Papuan coast. The captain then
informed me of his intention to gain the Indian Ocean
by Torres Strait. His communication was limited there.
Ned hailed with delight the prospect of approaching
European waters. Torres Strait is no less dangerous by
reason of the rocks with which it abounds, than on
account of the savage races on its coasts. It separates
New Holland from the large island of New Guinea, or
Papua.

New Guinea is 400 leagues in length, and 130 in
breadth, and has a superficies of 40,000 geographical
miles. It is situated between o® 19’ and 10° 2’ S,
lat., and 128° 83’ and 146° 15’ long. At mid-day, while
the mate was taking an observation, I discerned the
summits of Mount Arpalx rising into sharp peaks.

This land, discovered in 1511 by the Portuguese
Serrano, was visited successively by Don José de Menesis
in 1526; by Grijalva, in 1527; by the Spanish general,
Alvar de Saavedra, 1528; by Juigo Ortez, in 1545; by
Shonten, in 1616; by Nicholas Srinck, in 1753; by
Tasman, Dampier, Furnel, Carteret, Edwards, Bougain-
ville, Cook, Forrest, MacCluer, and Entrecasteaux, in
1792; by Dupeney, in 1823; and by Dumont d’Urville,
TORRES STRAIT. 195

in 1827. “It is the worst passage of all in the Malayan
Archipelago,” as M. de Runzi has said, and I had little
doubt that this hazardous bit of navigation would bring
us to the celebrated Andaman Islands.

The Vautz/us was then at the entrance of the most
dangerous strait in the globe, and one which the hardiest
sailors scarcely dare to traverse, and which Louis Paz
de Torres braved in returning from the south into the
Malaynesia, and in which the ships of Dumont d’Urville
were nearly lost. The /Vaut/us itself, superior to all the
perils of the sea, was nevertheless obliged to exercise
great caution amongst those coral reefs.

Torres Strait is about thirty-four leagues wide, but it is
obstructed by innumerable islands, and islets, shoals,
rocks, &c., which render navigation almost impracticable.
Consequently Captain Nemo took all necessary pre-
cautions. The autilus, floating at the surface, proceeded
ata moderate pace. The screw beat the water slowly,
like the tail of a cetacean.

Profiting by these circumstances, my two companions
and I took up our position on the platform. Before us
rose the steersman’s cage, and I believe Captain Nemo
was also there directing the Mausz/us himself.

I had the excellent maps of Torres Straits designed
and drawn up by the hydrographical engineers, Vincendon
Dumoulin and Lieutenant Coupvent Desbois, who is
now an admiral, who formed part of the staff of Dumont
d'Urville during his last voyage of circumnavigation.
These are, with those of Captain King, the best maps,
and which unravel the intricacies of this narrow passage ;
therefore I studied them attentively:

The sea broke furiously around the Nautilus, The
196 TORRES STRAIT.

current ran from south-east to north-east,-at a rate of
two and a half miles an hour, and broke in foam against
the coral-reefs, which rose at frequent intervals.

“That is a nasty sea,” I said to Ned Land.

“ This lunatic captain of ours must be very sure of
his course,” replied the Canadian, ‘for I can see some
reefs there which would splinter this vessel if she touched
them.” ;

The situation was really perilous, but the Vautilus
appeared to glide magically between these foaming rocks.
She did not follow the route of the Astrolabe and the
Zelte, which was fatal to Dumont d’Urville, but took a
more northerly course, coasting Murray Island and
turning to the south-east, towards. Cumberland Passage.
I really did think we should be wrecked when, bearing
to the north-west, we passed amid a quantity of unknown
islets towards the island of Tounel and the Dangerous
Passage.

I was already reflecting whether Captain Nemo,
imprudent even to foolhardiness, wished to bring his
ship into this passage where the corvettes of Dumont
d@’Urville had been lost, when, changing his course a
second time and bearing westward, he made for the
island of Gueberoar.

It was then 3 pM. The waves raged. It was
almost high water. The MVawuti/us approached the
island, which I could see scarcely two miles distant.
Suddenly a shock threw me down. The Wautilus had
struck upon a rock, and remained immovable, with a
gentle “list” to port.

When I got up again I noticed Captain Nemo and
the mate on the platform. He was examining the
TORRES STRAIT. |. 197

situation of the vessel, and they exchanged a few words
in their extraordinary dialect.

We were about three miles to windward of the island
of Gueberoar, whose shore trended from north to west
like an immense arm. Towards the south and east some
coral-reefs were already being uncovered by the ebb
tide. We were, in truth, stranded; and in a sea where
the tides are never high—an unfortunate circumstance
with reference to the refloating of the Maudtilus. How-
ever, the vessel had not suffered at all, as the hull was
so solidly built. But if it could neither float nor be
opened there was a great chance that we should be stuck
here for ever, and then there would be an end of Cap-
tain Nemo’s submarine vessel. I was thinking of all
this when the captain, calm and cool as ever, neither
appearing to be excited nor depressed, approached.

“ An accident has happened ?” I said.

“No, an incident,” he replied.

“ But an incident which may oblige you to return to
that earth you wish to avoid,” I replied.

Captain Nemo gazed at me with a curious expression,
and made a sign in the negative, thereby intimating that
nothing would induce him ever to become an inhabitant
of the continent again. Then he said :

“ However, M. Aronnax, the Vaudz/us is not lost. It
will yet carry you into the midst of the ocean marvels.
Our voyage has scarcely begun, and I do not wish to
deprive myself of the honour of your company so soon.”

“But, captain,” I replied, without noticing these ironical
expressions, “the azéilus is stranded at this moment in
the open sea. Now the tides are not high in the Pacific,
and if you cannot lighten the Mewéi/us—which appears
198 . LORRES STRAIT,

to me impossible—I do not see how you can get her
off.”

“You are right about the tides, Professor, but in
Torres Strait there is still a difference of a yard and a half
between high and low water. To-day is the 4th January,
and in five days there will be a full moon. Now I shall
be much surprised if this complaisant planet does not raise
the water sufficiently to render me a service which I do
not wish to owe to anyone but her.”

As he spoke, Captain Nemo, followed by the mate,
descended. The ship never moved, and remained as
motionless as if the coral polyps had enclosed her in
their indestructible cement.

“Well, sir?” said Ned Land, who came up to me after
the captain had left.

“Well, Ned, we must wait patiently for the tide of
the oth, for it appears that the moon will be good enough
to float us again.”

“ Without assistance P”

“Yes.”

* And is not the captain going to try to warp her off ?”

“Not if the sea will be sufficient,” said Conseil.

The Canadian looked at Conseil, and shrugged his
shoulders—the sailor in him had spoken.

“Monsieur,” said he, “you would not believe me
when I told you that this bit of metal would not travel
either above or below the ocean. It is no good, except
to sell for the iron. I think, therefore, that the time has
come to part company with Captain Nemo.”

“Friend Ned,” I replied, “I do not despair, as you
do, and in four days we shall know to what we have to
trust to. And your suggestion as to flight would be
TORRES STRAIT. 199

opportune were we in sight of the coast of England or
France, but in the Papuan Archipelago it is a different
thing ; and we can always fall back upon itif the Maudilus
is not floated, which I look upon as a very serious
question.”

“But may we not go ashore at least. Here is an
island, and there are trees. Beneath those trees are
animals in which are cutlets and steaks, to which I would
gladly introduce my teeth.”

“ Now here Ned is right,” said Conseil, “ and I agree
with him. Cannot Monsieur obtain permission to land,
so that we may not lose the habit of walking on dry land
altogether ?”

* T could ask him,” I said, “ but he will refuse.”

“ Well, Monsieur, risk it, and we shall then know
how far we may count upon the captain’s good
nature.”

To my greatsurprise, Captain Nemo made no objection,
and accorded his permission ina most polite and gracious
manner, without even exacting any promise of return.
But a walk in New Guinea was somewhat dangerous, and
I would have advised Ned Land not to attempt it.
Better be a prisoner on board the /Vaw/dlus than fall into
the hands of the natives.

The launch was placed at our disposal for the next
morning.. I did not inquire whether Captain Nemo
would accompany us. I thought that none of the crew
would be “told off,’ and that Ned Land would be
sufficient to steer the boat. Moreover, the land was
only two miles off; and it was only “ child’s play” for the
Canadian to steer a boat amongst the reefs so fatal to
large vessels. Next morning the boat was launched by
200 TORRES STRAIT.

two men, The oars were in the boat, and we had only
to take our places.

At eight o’clock, armed with guns and hatchets, we
left the Mauti7us. The sea was calm, but there was a
slight land-breeze. Conseil and I took the oars and
pulled vigorously, and Ned steered. The boat was well
managed, and went at a good pace.

Ned Land was unable to restrain his exultation. He
was like an escaped prisoner, and did not think it was
by any means necessary to return to prison.

“ Aha, meat!” he cried, “we shall now eat some
meat; and what meat? Game. No bread, perhaps. I
am far from saying that fish isnot a very good thing ; but
you may have too much of it; and a bit of venison
grilled on the hot embers will be an agreeable variety.”

“ Gourmand /” cried Conseil ; “you make my mouth
water.”

“We do not yet know whether there is any game in
these woods,” said I, “ or whether the game is not such
as is more likely to hunt the hunter than to be hunted
itself.”

“Very good, M. Aronnax,” said Ned, whose teeth
must have been lately sharpened; “then I will eat the
sirloin of a tiger if there be no other quadruped in the
island.”

“Ned is getting alarming,” said Conseil.

“Come what will,” said Ned, “the first animal on
four legs, without feathers ; or the first on two legs, with
feathers, shall be saluted by a shot from my gun, I
assure you.”

“Now,” said I, “Master Land’s imprudence is be-
ginning to manifest itself.”
TORRES STRAIT, 201

“Don’t you be alarmed, M. Aronnax,” replied the
Canadian, “and pull strong. I only ask for twenty-five
minutes to offer you a meal of my providing.”

At half-past eight the launch ran gently upon a sandy
beach, having safely traversed the coral-studded sea
which washes the island of Gueboroar.
CHAPTER XXI.

SOME DAYS “ASHORE.”

I was much impressed upon landing. Ned trod the
ground as if he had come to take possession. We had
been two months “passengers in the JVautz/us,” to use
Captain Nemo’s expression—that is to say, prisoners of
the commander.

We were soon at gun-shot distance from the shore.
The soil was almost entirely madreporic, but some dry
beds of torrents, scattered with granite débris, betokened
the primal formation of the island. The horizon was
completely hidden by the woods. Enormous trees,
nearly 200 feet high, intertwined by bind-weed of the
tropics, formed actual hammocks, which were rocked by
the gentle breeze. There were mimosas, figs, teaks,
hibiscas, palms, in mingled profusion; and beneath their
verdant shade the orchids, both vegetable and ferny,
were growing. But without noticing the beautiful flora,
the Canadian abandoned the agreeable for the useful.
He perceived a cocoa-nut tree. He knocked down a
SOME DAYS “ASHORE.” 203

nut, broke it, and we drank the milk; we ate the kernel
with a satisfaction which was a mute protest against the
Nautilus dinners.

“Excellent,” said Ned.

“ Exquisite,” replied Conseil.

“ And I did not think that your Nemo would object
to our expedition if he saw the prospect of a cargo of
cocoa-nuts,” said Ned.

“T do not believe so myself, but he will not want to
taste them,” said I.

“So much the worse for him,” said Conseil.

*‘ And the better for us,” replied Ned. ‘“ There will
be more left.”

“Just one word, Master Land,” said I, as he was
preparing to attack another tree; “the cocoa-nut is a
very good thing, but before we fill the launch with them
let us see whether the island does not produce something
equally useful. Fresh vegetables will be welcome in the
store-rooms of the WVauttlus.”

“Monsieur is right,” said Conseil; “and I propose
to have three divisions in the boat—one for fruit, one for
vegetables, and one for venison, of which we have
hitherto had not the slightest trace.”

“ Conseil, you must never despair of anything,” said
Ned.

“ Let us get on,” I said; “ but keep a sharp look-out.
Although the island appears to be uninhabited, it may
contain some individuals who would be less hard to
please as to the quality of ‘game.’ ”

“Ha, ha!” laughed Ned Land, as he moved his jaws
significantly,

“Well, Ned?” cried Conseil.
204 SOME DAYS “ASHORE.”

“ Faith,” he replied, “I am beginning to understand
the charms of anthropophagy.”

“Ned, Ned, what are you saying? You a can-
nibal! I shall not be safe so near you in the cabin now.
Suppose I should wake up some fine morning, half
eaten?”

“Friend Conseil, I like you very much, but not
enough to eat you, unless under the pressure of ne-
cessity.”

“T am not proud,” replied Conseil. “ Let us go on.
We must kill some game to satisfy this cannibal, or one
of these mornings Monsieur will only have the fragments
of a servant to wait on him.”

All this time we were penetrating into the wooded
glades of the forest. We looked through it in every
way.

Chance brought about what we desired in this search
for vegetables, and one of the most useful products of
tropical regions furnished us with an article of food
much needed on board. I mean the bread-fruit, which
is very plentiful in the island of Gueboroar, and I there
noticed the variety without grains, which in Malaya is
entitled ‘“ rima.”

This tree is distinguished from others by its upright
stem, which is about forty feet high. The top is grace-
fully rounded, and is composed of large multilobed
leaves, known to naturalists at once by this “ artocorpus.”
From this green mass the fruit detaches itself. It is
nearly four inches long, and of hexagonal form. most useful vegetable supplied by nature to countries
where corn does not grow, and which, without any culti-
vation, yields its fruit during eight months of the year.
SOME DAYS “ASHORE.” 205

Ned Land was well acquainted with this fruit ; he
had eaten them on former occasions, and he knew how
to prepare them. ‘Thus the sight of them excited a de-
sire to possess them, and he did not long delay the
attempt.

“ Monsieur,” he said, “I shall die if I do not taste a
little of this bread-fruit.”

“Fat at your leisure, Ned,” Ireplied. “We are here
to experimentalise. Get them down.”

“That will not take long,” replied the Canadian ;
and, armed with a match, he lit a fire of dead wood,
which crackled joyously, Meantime, Conseil and I
chose the best fruits. Some had not yet reached
maturity, and their thick skin was covered over
with a white fibrous pulp. In other places great
numbers, yellow and gelatinous, had not waited to be
gathered.

These fruits do not contain noyau. Conseil brought
a dozen to Ned Land, who placed them on the fire, after
cutting them in thick slices. In so doing he kept
saying :

“ You will see how good the bread will be.”

“ Particularly as we have been so long deprived of
it,” said Conseil.

“Tt is even better than bread,” added the Canadian.
“Tt is like fine pastry. Have you ever eaten it,
Monsieur ?”

“No, Ned.”

“Well, then, prepare yourself for something very
nice ; and if you do not enjoy it, I am no longer the king
of harpooners.”

In a few moments the part of the fruit exposed to the
206 SOME DAYS “ASHORE.”

fire was completely baked. The interior appeared like a
white dough, like the crumb of bread; the taste was
something like the artichoke.

It must be admitted that the bread was excellent,
and I ate it with much gusto.

“Unfortunately,” said I, “it will not keep fresh, and
it seems to me useless to attempt to lay in any store of
it on board.”

“Indeed, Monsieur !” cried Ned. ‘But you speak
as a naturalist; now I speak as a baker. Conseil,
collect a quantity of those fruits fof us to carry on
board.”

“ And how will you prepare them ?” I asked.

“ By making a fermented paste with their pulp, which
will keep it sweet for an indefinite period. When I want
to use the bread I have only to cook it on board, and,
notwithstanding a slightly acid taste, you will find it
excellent.”

“ Then, Master Ned, I see that the bread will be all
right.”

“Tf,” replied the Canadian, “we had some fruit and
vegetables.”

“ Let us look for them.”

When our search was ended we set about completing
our ‘dinner.

Our efforts were not fruitless, and towards mid-day
we had laid in a quantity of bananas. These delicious
products of the torrid zone ripen all the year round,
and the Malays, who call them “pisang,” eat them
raw. We also found some enormous “ jaks,” some-
what “strong” in their flavour, savoury mangoes,
and ananas of an immense size. But this collecting
SOME DAYS “ASHORE.” 207

took up a long time, which, however, we did not
regret.

Conseil kept his eyes upon Ned. The harpooner
marched in front, and as he went through the forest he
collected with unerring skill the fruit we required.

“Well, now,” said Conseil, “you want nothing more,
eh ?”

“ Hum,” replied the Canadian.

“What ! not satisfied ?”

“Vegetables and fruit alone do not constitute a
meal,” said Ned. “ They come in at the end like dessert.
Where is the soup and the joint ?”

“In fact,” I said, “‘ Ned has promised us cutlets, and
they appear to me doubtful.”

“ Monsieur,” replied Ned, “ not only has our hunting
not finished, but it has not even commenced. Patience.
We are sure to meet some feathered or hairy animal—if
not in this spot, somewhere else.”

“ And if not here to-day it will be here to-morrow,”
added Conseil, “for it cannot be far off. I vote we
return to the boat.”

“ What, already ?” exclaimed Ned.

“We ought to be back before night,” I said.

“But what time is it now?” asked Ned.

“ About two o’clock,” replied Conseil.

“ How quickly time passes on firm ground,” said Ned
Land with a sigh. °

“Let us return,” said Conseil.

We again passed through the forest, and com-
pleted our supply of provisions by making a raid
upon the cabbage-palms, which we had to climb up
to obtain the fruit; some small beans, which I recog-
208 SOME DAYS “ASHORE”

nised as the “abrou” of the Malays; and some excellent
yams.

We were overloaded when we reached the launch;
nevertheless, Ned still found the supply insufficient. But
fortune favoured him. As we were embarking he caught
sight of some trees which appeared to be a species of
palm. These trees are justly reckoned amongst the
most useful of the Malayan products. They were sago
trees. They grew naturally without culture, and were
reproduced, like the mulberry, by their shoots and
seeds. ,

Ned Land knew how to treat them. He seized a
hatchet, and, working with great determination, he soon
felled two or three sago trees, whose maturity he recog-
nised by the white dust powdering their leaves.

I watched him from a naturalist’s point of view,
rather than as a hungry man. He began by raising a
strip of bark, about an inch thick, from each tree, which
covered a network of long fibres, forming inextricable
knots, which were cemented together by a sort of gummy
farine. This was the sago which forms a principal article
of food amongst the Malays. Ned Land, for the
moment, only cut the trees in pieces as for firewood, in-
tending to extract the sago later by separating it from
the fibrous ligatures, evaporating the water by the sun’s
heat, and leaving it to harden in the moulds.

At length, about 5 p.m., laden with our treasures,
we quitted the island, and half an hour later climbed on
board the /Vautilus. No one was to be seen. The
vessel appeared deserted. We embarked our provisions.
I descended to my room, where I found my supper pre-
pared. I ate it and went to bed,
SOME DAYS “ASHORE” 209

Next morning, the 6th January, nothing new ap-
peared on board. No sound was heard, not a sign of
life. The launch lay alongside as we had left it. We
resolved to return to the island. Ned Land was hoping
to be more successful as a hunter than he had been the
day before, and wished to visit another portion of the
forest.

At sunrise we were ez route. The boat, assisted by
the tide, soon reached the island.

We disembarked, and thinking it better to trust to
the instinct of the Canadian, we followed Ned Land,
whose long legs threatened to distance us.

He took his course towards the west, then finding
some torrents, he gained the high ground, which is sur-
rounded by beautiful woods. Some kingfishers darted
along the water-courses, but would not allow us to ap-
proach them. Their caution was to me evidence that
they were acquainted with mankind; and if the island
was not actually inhabited, it was frequently visited by
human beings.

Having crossed an immense grass prairie, we reached
the edge of a little wood, which resounded with the
songs and rustlings of a quantity of birds.

“ They are nothing but birds,” said Conseil.

“But there is something to be eaten,” replied the
harpooner.

“ Not at all,” replied Conseil, “for I can see nothing
but parrots.”

“Friend Conseil,” said Ned, gravely, “a parrot
becomes a pheasant to those who have nothing but parrots
to eat.”

VOL. I. o
210 SOME DAVS “ASHORE.”

“And I will add,” said I, “that, nicely prepared, they
are worth eating.”

A whole race of parrots were flitting from branch to
branch, beneath the thick foliage of this wood, and only
required a little careful teaching to be able to speak.
They chattered with paroquets of all colours, grave
cockatoos, which seemed to be considering some problem ;
the loris, of a beautiful scarlet, darted like a bit of stamen
carried by the wind ; and every variety of bird, beautiful
to behold, but not usually good to eat.

Nevertheless, there was one bird wanting, which never
passes the limits of the Aroo and the Papuan Islands.
But fate had decreed that I should admire it before
long.

We crossed through a thicket, and found ourselves on
a plain sprinkled with clumps of bushes. I then saw get
up some beautiful birds, whose long feathers obliged
them to fly against the wind. Their undulating flight,
their graceful curves in their aerial course, the varying
play of colour, attracted and charmed the eye. I had no
difficulty to recognise them.

“ These are birds of paradise!” I cried.

“ Order, sparrows ; section, clystomores,” said
Conseil.

“ Family partridges ? ” inquired Ned Land.

“J do not know, Master Land. Nevertheless, I
count upon your skill to procure one of them.”

“TJ can try, though I am more accustomed to handle
a harpoon than a gun.”

The Malays, who drive a great trade in these birds
with the Chinese, have various methods of catching them,
which we could not employ. Sometimes they fix snares
SOME DAYS “ASHORE?” ait

at the top of the high trees, for which the birds of
paradise have a preference. Sometimes they secure them
with a kind of bird-lime. They sometimes even poison
the pools where the birds drink. But we were reduced
to taking flying shots at them, which left us little chance
of success; and in fact we did expend some of our
ammunition in vain. Towards eleven o’clock we had
crossed the hills which rise in the centre of the island,
and had hitherto killed nothing. Hunger began to
attack us.

The sportsmen had trusted. to the produce of their
skill, and had been mistaken. Fortunately Conseil, to
his own great amazement, fired “right and left,” and
secured our breakfast. He killed a white pigeon and a
wood-pigeon, which quickly were plucked, and, suspended
to a stick, were roasted over a fire of dead wood. While
these interesting fowls were cooking, Ned prepared the
bread-fruit. Then the pigeons were eaten, the bones
picked, and the meal declared excellent. The nutmeg,
upon which they feed, perfumes their flesh and gives it a
pleasant flavour.

“Tt is as if the fowls had been fed upon ‘ trouffles,’”
said Conseil.

“ Now Ned, what do you want ?”’I said.

“Some four-footed game, M. Aronnax,” he replied.
“ All these pigeons are only side-dishes, and whets for the
appetite. So until I have killed some animal available
for cutlets, I shall not be satisfied.”

“Nor shall I, Ned, unless I catch a bird of
paradise.”

“Let us go, then,” replied Conseil, “but in the
direction of our boat. We have reached the first
212 SOME DAYS “ASHORE.”

mountains, and I think it will be better to re-enter the
forest.”

This was sensible advice, and was followed. After
an hour’s walking, we reached a regular forest of sago-
trees. Some harmless serpents fled at our approach.
The birds of paradise disappeared, and I was beginning
to despair of getting a specimen, when Conseil, who was
ahead, stooped suddenly, uttered a triumphant cry, and
came back to me carrying a magnificent bird of
paradise.

“Bravo, Conseil !” I cried.

“‘ Monsieur is very good,” replied Conseil.

“ Not at all, my lad. You have made a master-stroke,
to catch one of those birds alive in your hand !”

“Tf Monsieur will examine it more nearly, he will

see tha there is nothing very wonderful in it after
all.”

“Why, Conseil ?”

“ Because the bird is as drunk as an owl !”

* Drunk !”

“Yes, sir: intoxicated with the nutmegs under the
tree, where J took him. Just see, friend Ned, the terrible
effects of intemperance !”

“ A thousand devils!” exclaimed the Canadian, “it is
rather hard to reproach me with intemperance—I, who
have not tasted spirits for two months !”

Meanwhile I was examining this curious bird. Conseil
was right. The bird of paradise, intoxicated by the
“heady” juice, had become helpless. It could not fly,
scarcely walk. But that did not trouble me at all, and I
let it “get over it.”

This bird belongs to the most beautiful of the eight
SOME DAYS “ASHORE? 213

species which are found in Papua and the neighbouring
islands. This was the “Emerald” bird of paradise—
one of the rarest. It measures nearly a foot in length.
Its head is relatively small. Its eyes are placed near the
opening of the beak, and are likewise small. But it pre-
sents a wonderful combination of colour; the beak is
yellow, the feet and claws brown; hazel wings, tipped
with purple at their extremities ; pale yellow on the head
and behind the neck ; throat emerald green, and the chest
and stomach is a fine maroon. Two curved and soft
feathers growing above the tail, and prolonged in
beautiful light and lengthy plumes of admirable softness,
complete the exsemble of this wonderful bird, which the
natives call the “bird of the sun.” ,

I was very anxious to bring back this lovely specimen
to Paris, and to present it to the “ Jardin des Plantes,”
where there was not a living one.

“Ts it, then, so very uncommon?” asked the
Canadian, in the tone of a hunter who did not regard
game from the artistic point of view.

“Very rare, indeed, and, above all, very difficult to
catch alive ; and even dead these birds are the object of
much business traffic. So the natives have conceived the
idea of ‘making them up,’ as people might imitate
diamonds or pearls.”

“What!” exclaimed Conseil, “fabricate birds of
paradise P”

“Yes, Conseil.”

“Can Monsieur explain the process ?”

“Certainly. During the east monsoon these birds
lose their magnificent plumage, which surrounds the tail.
These are the feathers which are collected by the false
214 SOME DAYS “ASHORE.”

traffickers in birds, and which they fix cleverly into some
unfortunate paroquet, previously mutilated for the pur-
pose. Then they dye the suture, varnish the bird, and
export to the museums and amateurs in Europe—the
result of their industry.”

“Well, at any rate,” said Ned, “if you have not
got the bird you have got his feathers; and so long
as you don’t want to eat the animal it is no great
matter.” ‘

But if my wishes were satisfied in the possession of
the bird of paradise, Ned’s were not so. Happily,
during the afternoon he shot a magnificent wild pig,
;which the natives call “bari-outang.” This animal, came
n very opportunely, and was welcomed accordingly.
Ned Land was very proud of his shooting. The pig,
touched by the electric bullet, had fallen dead on the
instant.

The Canadian prepared him in workmanlike manner,
after having taken some cutlets from him for our evening
meal. Then the chase was resumed, which was further
distinguished by the exploits of Conseil and Ned
Land.

These two, by beating, roused a herd of kangaroo,
which bounded away as actively as usual. But they did
not fly so rapidly as the electric bullets, which checked
their bounding career.

“ Aha! Professor!” cried Ned, into whose head the
sportsman’s passion for killing had mounted, “what
excellent game, particularly stewed. What a provision
for the Mautilus. Two, three, five head. And when I
think that we are eating all this fresh meat, and the idiots
on board have not a crumb ”


SOME DAYS “ASHORE” 215

In the excess of his joy the Canadian, if he had not
talked so much, would have slain the whole herd. But
he was content with a dozen of these marsupials, “ which
form the first order of aplacentary mammifers,” as
Conseil told us.

These animals were small. They were a species of
the “rabbit kangaroo,” which live in the trees, and
whose rapidity of movement is extreme; but if only of
medium height they furnish excellent food.

We were very well pleased with the results of our
“hunting.” The delighted Ned proposed to return
again upon the following morning, with the view to
depopulate all the game But he was reckoning “ with-
out his host.”

At'6 P.M. we arrived at the shore. Our boat was
as we had left it. The Mazdilus, like a great rock, rose
up from the waves about two miles off. Ned Land at
once occupied himself respecting the important question
of dinner. He understood the cooking part of this
very well. The cutlets, grilled upon the wood embers,
soon spread a delicious odour around us.

And I perceived that I was following Ned in this.
Here was I delighted at the prospect of pork chops. I
trust I may be forgiven, even as I forgave Master Land,
and for the same reason.

In fact the dinner was a success. The pigeons
wound up this (to us) extraordinary meal. The sago
pité, the bread fruit, some mangoes, half-a-dozen bananas,
some fermented cocoa-nut milk put us in good trim. I
really believe that the ideas of my worthy companions
were not altogether so clear as they might have
been,
216 SOME DAYS “ASHORE.”

“Suppose we do not return to the Mautilus to-
night ?” said Conseil.

“Suppose we don’t return to the Mawtilus at all?”
added Ned Land.

At this moment a large stone fell at our feet, and cut
short the harpooner’s suggestions.
CHAPTER XXII.

CAPTAIN NEMO’S LIGHTNING.

WE turned towards the forest without getting up. My
hand was arrested in the act of putting a morsel in my
mouth. Ned did not stop his hand.

“A stone does not fall from heaven,” said Conseil,
“unless it be an aérolite.”

A second stone, well aimed, which knocked a savoury
bit of pigeon out of Conseil’s hand, gave a point to the
remark,

We all rose, shouldered our rifles, and were = realy to
repulse any attack.

“ Are they apes?” said Ned.

“ Nearer relatives,” said Conseil. “ They are savages.”

“Let us gain the boat,” I cried, retreating towards
the shore.

We were obliged to retreat fighting, for twenty
natives, armed with bows and spears, appeared at the
edge of a coppice which lay to the right, scarcely a
hundred paces distant.

Our launch was sixty yards away.
218 CAPTAIN NEMOS LIGHTNING.

The savages approached steadily, but very demon-
strative in their hostility. Stones and arrows whistled
round us.

Ned Land had no intention to abandon his pro-
visions, and, despite our danger, with the pig in one
hand and the kangaroos in the other, he retired at a
moderate pace.

In two minutes we had reached the shore. To throw
ourselves into the boat with our arms and provisions, push
off, and man the oars, was the work of a moment. We
had scarcely gained two cables’ length when a hundred
savages, shouting and gesticulating, ran into the water up
to their waists in pursuit. J looked to see whether anyone
was on the deck of the autzZus. But no, the enormous
machine appeared absolutely deserted.

Twenty minutes later we were on board. The
panels were open. We pulled up the launch, and
entered the Mawtzlus.

I descended to the saloon, whence I heard music.
Captain Nemo was there, seated at the organ, and
plunged in a musical reverie.

“Captain,” I said.

He did not hear me.

“ Captain,” I repeated, touching him as I spoke.

He started, and turned round.

“Ah, Professor; is it you?” said he. “ Well, have
you had good sport; have you had success in your
botanising ?”

“Ves, captain. But we have unfortunately met
with some bipeds, whose near neighbourhood makes
me uneasy.”

“What bipeds P”
CAPTAIN NEMOS LIGHTNING. 219

“Savages !”

“ Savages !” repeated Captain Nemo ironically. “And
are you astonished at meeting savages anywhere on the
earth? Savages! Where arethey not? And are these
savages worse than any others P”

“ But, captain—-—”

“For my part,” he said, “I have met them every-
where.”

“Well,” said I, “if you do not wish to receive them
on board you had better take some precautions.”

“Be at ease, Professor. There is nothing to worry
about.”

“ But these natives are numerous.”

“ How many did you reckon them to be ?”

“ A hundred at least.”

“M. Aronnax,” replied Captain Nemo, who again
turned to the instrument, “if all the natives of Papua
were assembled on this coast, the /Vawti/us would have
nothing to fear.”

The captain’s fingers ran over the notes, and I re-
marked that he only played the black keys, which gave
his melodies an essentially Scotch tone. He soon forgot
my presence, and was again plunged in the reverie from
which I had aroused him, and which I did not again
venture to disturb.

I remained alone for some hours, sometimes thinking
of the savages, but not fearing them, as the confidence
of the captain inspired me ; sometimes forgetting them,
to admire the beauties of the tropical night. My thoughts
turned to France, following those zodiacal stars which
would shine over it in a few hours. The moon shone
brilliantly amidst the northern constellations.
220 CAPTAIN NEMOS LIGHTNING.

T wondered whether this complaisant planet would
raise the waters for us to-morrow and float the Mausilus.
Towards midnight, seeing that all was quiet around us, I
retired and slept quietly. The night passed without
incident. The Papuans were afraid, no doubt, even at
the view of the monster stranded in their bay, for the
panels had been left open, and access to the Mautélus
was easy.

At six o’clock the next morning I ascended to the
platform. The morning mists were rising. The island,
its shores and mountains, would soon be distinctly
visible,

The natives were still there, and in greater numbers
than before—five or six hundred, perhaps. Some of
them advanced over the coral reefs—the tide being out
—to within two cables’ length of the Wautélus. I could
distinguish them plainly. They were of the true Papuan
type—tall, athletic men, high foreheads, large noses, not
flattened, and white teeth. Their long hair, tinted red, fell
over their shoulders, and their skin was as black and glossy
as that of the Nubian. The lobes of their ears, cut and
distended, were hung with bone ornaments. The men
were naked, as a rule. Amongst them there were a few
women, clothed from waist to knee in a regular crinoline
of grassy texture, sustained by a girdle of bark. Some
of the chiefs had ornamented their necks with a painted
crescent, and with rows of red and white beads. They
were nearly all armed with bows and arrows and shields,
while over the shoulder they wore a kind of net, in
which they carried the round stones which they sling
with much accuracy of aim.

One of the chiefs approached the Mautilus pretty
CAPTAIN NEMO'S LIGHTNING. 221

closely, and examined it attentively. He appeared to
be a “ mado” of high rank, for he was dressed in a mat
of banana leaves, fringed at the edges, and trimmed up
with bright colours.

I could easily have shot this fellow, who was so un-
guardedly gazing at us, but I thought it better to wait
the actual commencement of hostilities. Between Euro-
peans and savages it is always better to let the latter
commence an attack.

So long as the tide was low these natives prowled
around the /Vazztlus, but they were not demonstrative.
I heard them frequently repeat the “assai,” and by their
gestures they invited me to go ashore, an invitation
which I felt myself obliged to decline.

All that day, therefore, the launch did not leave the
ship, much to Land’s disappointment, as he wished to
complete his stock of provisions. The “ handy”
Canadian, however, occupied himself in preparing the
food and vegetables we had brought on board. The
savages returned to ¢erra firma, as the tide rose about
eleven o’clock, but their numbers still kept increasing
considerably on the shore. It is probable that they came
from the neighbouring islands, but- I had not yet per-
ceived any of the native canoes.

Having nothing better to do, I thought I would
“drag” the clear water, in which numbers of shell-fish
could be distinctly seen, as well as zoophytes and marine
plants. This was, moreover, the last day which the
Nautilus was to pass in this place, if it was to be again
afloat the next day, according to Captain Nemo’s
promise.

I called to Conseil to bring me a light chag-net,
222 CAPTAIN NEMOS LIGHTNING.

something like those which are used in oyster
dredging.

“If Monsieur is not displeased at my remark, I
would say that these savages are very wicked ; are they ?”
asked Conseil.

“ They are at any rate cannibals, my friend.”

“Still they can be cannibals and brave men too,”
replied Conseil; “just as one may be a gourmand and
an honest man. ‘The one does not exclude the
other.”

“Well, Conseil, I grant you that there may be honest
cannibals, who honestly devour their captives. However,
as I do not wish to be eaten, even honestly, I will be
upon my guard; for it seems that the captain of the
Nautilus is taking no precaution whatever. Now let us
get to work.”

We fished for two hours, without pulling up anything
extraordinary. We caughtsome “ Ears of Midas,” some
“harpes,” some “holotures,” some pearl oysters, and a
dozen little turtles, which we handed over to the cook.
But at a moment when I was least attentive, I lighted
upon a wonderful specimen—I might almost say a natural
deformity—very rarely met with. Conseil dragged the
net, and it came up filled with a number of ordinary
specimens ; when suddenly I plunged my hand quickly
into the net and pulled out a shell-fish, and uttered the
cry of a conchologist, which is the most piercing cry that
the human throat can produce.

“What is the matter?” asked Conseil, in surprise.
“Has Monsieur been bitten ?”

“No, but nevertheless my finger has paid for my
discovery.”
CAPTAIN NEMOS LIGHTNING. 223

“ What discovery ?”

“ This shell,” I said, displaying it.

“Tt is only an olive porphyry—genus, olive; order,
pectinibranchal; class, gasteropodes; branch, mol-
lusc.”

“Yes, Conseil; but instead of curving from right to
left, this ‘olive’ turns from left to right.”

“Ts it possible !” exclaimed Conseil.

“Yes, my lad.”

“A ‘sinister’ shell!”

“ Look at the spiral.”

“ Ah ! Monsieur,” said Conseil, “I can believe it; but
I have never had such an experience before.”

There was, after all, something to excite surprise.
Everyone is aware that nature, as a rule, works as it were
from right to left. The planets and stars, in their move-
ments, go from right to left. Mankind use the right hand
more than the left, and consequently all his instruments,
&c., are made with the view of being employed as from
right to left. Nature has generally carried out this
principle in the “whorl” of shells. With very rare
exceptions, they all have the spiral from right to left, and
when by chance a “left-handed” whorl is discovered, it
is worth its weight in gold.

“Conseil and I were engaged in the contemplation
of our treasure, and I was anticipating its presentation
to the museum, when a stone, only too well directed
by a native, shivered the precious object in Conseil’s
hands.

I uttered a cry of despair. Conseil seized my gun
and levelled it at a savage who was swinging his sling
about a dozen yards off. I tried to stop him, but he
224 CAPTAIN NEMOS LIGHTNING.

fired, and struck the bracelet of beads which was hanging
from the arm of the savage.

“ Conseil !” I cried, “‘ Conseil !”

“Well, did not Monsieur see that the cannibal began
the attack P”

“A shell is not worth a man’s life,” I said.

“Ah, the blackguard!” cried Conseil; “I would
rather he had broken my shoulder.”

Conseil was sincere, but I did not agree with him.
However, the situation had altered during the last few
minutes, and we had not perceived the change. Twenty
canoes now surrounded the JVautilus. These canoes,
hollowed out from trunks of trees, are long and narrow,
and well put together for speed, and kept in equilibrio by
double sets of bamboo poles, which floated on the
surface of the water. They were worked by skilful
hands, and it was not without some misgivings that I
perceived their approach. It was evident that the
Papuans had already been in communication with
Europeans, and that they knew their ships. But this
long cylinder of iron, without masts or chimney, what
could they make of it? Nothing very pleasant appa-
rently, as they kept at a respectful distance. However,
seeing it motionless, they regained confidence by degrees,
and sought to make themselves acquainted with the
Nautilus.

Now it was precisely this familiarity that it behoved
us to check. Our arms, which gave no report, only
produced a slight effect’ upon the natives, who respected
loud-mouthed guns. People are not so much frightened
by lightning when unaccompanied by thunder, although
CAPTAIN NEMOS LIGHTNING. 225

it is really the lightning, and not the thunder, which
constitutes the danger.

At this moment the canoes approached the Muuislus,
and a shower of arrows struck it.

“The devil!” cried Conseil; “here is a regular hail-
storm ; and perhaps the hail is poisoned too.”

“ We must acquaint Captain Nemo,” I said, entering
the panel as I spoke.

I descended to the saloon; no one was there. I
ventured to knock at the door which opened into the
captain’s room.

A “Come in” answered me, and I found the captain
immersed in algebraical calculations.

“T am disturbing you, I fear,” I said politely.

“Well, yes, M. Aronnax ; but I daresay you have
very good reasons for so doing.”

“JT have indeed. We are surrounded by canoes
filled with the natives, and in a short time we shall be
attacked by hundreds of savages.”

“Ah!” said Captain Nemo quietly; “so they have
come in their canoes, eh ?”

“c Yes.”

“ Well, we have only to close the panel.”

“ Precisely ; I came to tell you so.”

“Nothing can be easier,” was the reply ; and pressing
an electric bell, it gave the order.

After a pause, he said :

“That is done. The launch is in its place, and the
panels are closed. You have no fear, I suppose, that
these gentlemen outside will break the walls which the
shot from your frigate could not hurt ?”

VOL, I. P
226 CAPTAIN NEMO'S LIGHTNING.

“No, captain ; but there is still danger.”

“In what way P”

“To-morrow we must open the panels again for
fresh air.”

“ Certainly ; we breathe like cetaceans, you know.”

“Tf at this moment the savages were on the outer
platform, I do not see how you could prevent their
entrance.”

“Then you suppose they will get on board?”

“T am sure of it.”

“Well, let them if they like. I see no reason to
prevent them. After all, they are but poor devils, these
Papuans, and I do not wish that my visit to the isle of
Gueboroar should cost one of them his life.”

At that I rose to retire, but Captain Nemo de-
tained me, and invited me to sit beside him. He
questioned me with much interest respecting our ex-
cursions to the island, and our hunting, and did not
appear to understand the Canadian’s desire for fresh
meat. The conversation then became more lively, and
without being too communicative, Captain Nemo dis-
played great amiability.

Amongst other things, we spoke of the position of the
Nautilus, stranded upon the precise spot where Dumont
d’Urville was so nearly lost. Speaking of this the captain
said:

“He was one of your greatest and best sailors. He
was the French Captain Cook. Unfortunate man!
Having braved the icebergs of the southern polar regions,
the coral reefs of the ocean, and the cannibals of the
Pacific, to perish miserably in a railway train. If this
majestic man was able to reflect during the last moments
CAPTAIN NEMOS LIGHTNING. 227

of his existence, you can imagine what his thoughts may
have been.”

Captain Nemo appeared to be moved, and I gave
him credit for the feeling.

Then, maps in hand, we traced the discoveries of this
bold navigator, his voyages round the world, his two
attempts to reach the South Pole, which resulted in the
discovery of “ Adélie” and “Louis Philippe,” and
finally his hydrographical survey of the principal oceanic
islands.

“What your D’Urville did at the surface, I have done
beneath,” said Captain Nemo, “ and more easily and com-
pletely than he. The Astrolabe and Ze, continually
knocked about by the winds and waves, were not as good
as the Mautilus, where there is a quiet ‘ study,’ and really
motionless in the water.”

“ Nevertheless, there is one point of resemblance
between the ships of Dumont d’Urville and the
Nautilus.”

“ What is that ?”

“That the Mautidus has stranded, just as they did.”

“The MVautilus has not stranded,” replied Captain
Nemo, coldly. “The Mauti/us is merely reposing on the
bed of the ocean, and the persistent labour and work
which D’Urville had to refloat his vessels will not .be
necessary with us. The Astrolabe and the Zéde ran a
great risk of being lost, but we are inno danger. To-
morrow, the day named, and at the time I mentioned,
the tide will raise us quietly, and we shall resume out
voyage.”

“ Captain,” I said, “I have no doubt about it.”

“To-morrow,” added he, rising, “to-morrow, at
228 CAPTAIN NEMOS LIGHTNING.

2.40 P.M., the Vautilus will float, and leave Torres Strait
uninjured.”

These words were spoken quickly, and Captain Nemo
reseated himself and bowed slightly. This was the signal
for my departure, and I regained my room.

There I found Conseil, anxious to hear the result of
my interview with the captain.

“ My lad,” I replied, “when I fancied his Mautrlus
was threatened by these Papuans, he replied to my fears
in a bantering tone. I have but one thing to say—have
confidence in him, and go to sleep in peace.”

“Monsieur does not want me?”

“No. What is Ned Land doing?”

“Monsieur will excuse me, but Ned is making a
kangaroo pie, which will be a great success.”

I was left alone, and I went to bed, but slept badly.
I heard the savages trampling overhead, and uttering
discordant yells. The night passed in this manner, and
none of the crew seemed to be in the least disturbed about
it. They no more disturbed themselves about these
cannibals, than in an iron battery they would trouble
about the ants crawling on it.

At six o’clock I got up. The panels had not been
opened. The air in the interior had not therefore been
renewed, but the reservoirs, which were destined to act
under such circumstances, forced fresh oxygen into the
vitiated atmosphere within the Wautilus.

I worked in my room up to mid-day, without even
having a glimpse of Captain Nemo. There did not
appear any preparation for departure.

I waited some time longer, then went into the saloon.
The clock showed it was half-past two. In ten minutes
CAPTAIN NEMO'S LIGHTNING, 229

the tide would have attained its maximum height, and
if Captain Nemo had not made a rash promise, the
Nautilus would be soon at liberty again. If not, then
several months must elapse before we could quit this
coral bed.

However, some little vibrations began to be felt in
the hull, and I could hear the coral grinding beneath the
weight of the ship.

At 2,35, Captain Nemo appeared.

“Well!” said I.

“T have given orders to have the panels opened.”

“ And the Papuans ?”

“The Papuans!” he exclaimed, shrugging hig
shoulders.

“Will they not penetrate into the interior of the
Nautilus?”

“ How P”

“ Through the panels you have just opened !”

“M. Aronnax,” replied Captain Nemo, calmly, “ they
will not enter, even though the panels be open,”

I looked at the captain.

“You do not understand ?” he said.

“ Not at all.” ‘

“Well, then, come and see for yourself.”

I accompanied him to the centre staircase. There
I found Ned Land and Conseil very much puzzled to see
the crew open the panels, while cries and shouts of rage
resounded outside.

The mantelets were beaten down, and twenty horrible
figures appeared. But the first of the natives who
placed his hand upon the balustrade of the staircase was
hurled backwards by some invisible force ; and he fled,


230 CAPTAIN NEMOS LIGHTNING.

uttering terrified yells, and executing most extraordinary
antics.

Ten of his companions succeeded him, but all met
the same fate.

Conseil was delighted. Ned Land, carried away by
his impetuosity, advanced to the staircase ; but so soon
as he had touched the balustrade, he was upset bodily i in
his turn. .

“A thousand devils!” he cried; “I am struck by
lightning.”

That one word explained everything. It was not a
balustrade, but a metal cable charged with electricity,
and whoever touched it immediately received a fearful
shock, which would have been fatalif Captain Nemo had
permitted the full power to be used. One could truly
say that between himself and his assailants he had
drawn an electric chain which none could pass. Mean-
while the astonished Papuans had beaten a retreat,
quite overcome with terror. We, half laughing, consoled
and rubbed the unfortunate Ned Land, who kept swear-
ing like a trooper.

But now the MazéiHis, raised by the last waves of the
high tide, left her bed of coral, and at the exact moment
predicted by Captain Nemo. The screw slowly beat the
ebbing waters. Her speed increased by degrees, and
sailing upon the surface of the sea, she quitted the
dangerous Torres Straits safe and sound,
CHAPTER XXIII.

4EGRI SOMNIA.

On the following day, roth January, the (Vautilus re-
sumed her course beneath the waves at a speed which
surprised me, ‘and which could not have been less than
thirty-five miles an hour. The revolutions of her screw
were too rapid to admit of being reckoned.

When I thought of this marvellous electric agency,
which gave light, heat, and movement to the Mautélus,
protected her from attack, and transformed it into an
ark, into which no one could enter without running the
risk of death by lightning, my admiration knew no
bounds ; the machine was worthy of the hand that
made it.

We proceeded due west, and on the 11th of January
we doubled Cape Wessel (situated in 135° E. long. and
10° N. lat.), which forms the eastern point of the Gulf of
Carpentaria. The reefs were numerous, but easily dis-
tinguished, and shown upon the map with great accuracy,
The Wautilus easily avoided the breakers of Money to
larboard and the Victoria reefs to starboard, situated
232 EGRI SOMNTA.

in 130° long, and on the tenth parallel, which we
steadily followed.

On the 13th of January, Captain Nemo reached the
Timor Sea, and sighted the island of that name in
1222 long. This island is ruled by the Radjahs. These
princes call themselves the “sons of crocodiles ;” that is to
say, descended from the highest rank to which human
nature can lay claim. So these scaly ancestors abounded
in the streams, and were the object of peculiar veneration.
The people protected them, petted them, worshipped
them, and fed them, even giving them their young
children to eat ; and woe to the stranger who raised his
hand against these sacred lizards.

But the Vautilus had nothing to do with these
horrible animals. Timor was only visible for a moment
at mid-day, while the mate made the observations. And
equally I could only catch a glimpse of the little island
of Rotti, which made one of the group, the women of
which bear a high reputation for beauty in the Malayan
markets.

The MVautilus now went south-west, and bore up for
the Indian Ocean. Whither was Captain Nemo taking
us? Was he about to run up the Asian coasts, and
towards Europe? This was not likely to be the idea of
aman who kept aloof from inhabited continents. Would
he descend to the southward, double the Cape of Good
Hope and Cape Horn, and advance to the Antarctic
regions? Or would he return to the Pacific, where the
Nautilus found easy and independent navigation? Time
would show.

Having skirted the rocks of Cartier, Hibernia,
Seringapatam, and Scott—the last barriers of the land
EGRI SOMNIA. 233

against the water—on the 14th January we were beneath
all lands. The speed of the Maut:/us was slackened,
and she became very capricious in her movements,
sometimes sailing beneath and sometimes at the surface
of the water.

During this portion of the trip Captain Nemo made
some very interesting observations respecting the tem-
perature of the sea at different depths. Under ordinary
circumstances the results are obtained by means of
complicated instruments, and are at least doubtful as
regards theometric soundings, as the glasses frequently
break under the pressure of the water, or of those
appearances based upon the principle of the variation of
the resistance of metals to the electric currents. The
results thus obtained cannot be really depended upon.

Captain Nemo, on the contrary, went down to
ascertain the temperature in those depths, and his ther-
mometer, put in communication with the various zones
of liquid, gave ‘him surely and immediately the looked-
for temperature. Thus it was, whether in filling the
reservoirs, or in descending obliquely by means of the
“inclined planes,” the JVautidus attained successively
the depths of 3,000, 4,000, 5,000, 7,000, 9,000, and
10,000 yards, and the definite result of these experi-
ences was that the sea gave a permanent temperature of
4%? at a depth of 1,000 yards* in all latitudes. I
followed his experiments with the greatest interest.
Captain Nemo was passionately fond of this work. I
often wondered what was the use of all these observa-
tions. Was it for the benefit of his fellow-creatures

* Metres,
234 “EGRI SOMNIA.

This was not likely, for some day or other his work
would perish with him in some unknown sea. It was
not likely that he destined them for me, as that would
be to admit that my strange voyage would have an end;
and this termination I did not yet perceive.

However, Captain Nemo made me equally acquainted
with himself with various results obtained by him, and
which established the agreement of the densities of the
water in the principal seas. From this communication
I drew a personal lesson, which had nothing scientific
about it.

On the morning of the 15th January the captain,
with whom I was walking on the platform, asked me if
I knew the different densities of sea-water. I replied in
the negative, and I added that exact observations on
the subject had not been recorded.

“T have made such observations, and I can vouch
for their accuracy,” said the captain.

“Very good,” said I, “but the Mautifis is a world in
itself, and the secrets of its wise men have not reached
terra firma.”

“ You are right, Professor,” he replied after a pause.
“Tt is a world apart. It is as great a stranger to the
earth as the planets which accompany the globe round
the sun ; and the earth does not yet know the secrets of
the savanis in Saturn and Jupiter. However, since
chance has thrown us together, I will tell you the result
of my observations.”

“T am all attention, captain.”

“Vou know,” said Captain Nemo, “ that salt water is
more dense than fresh water, but this density is not
uniform. For example, if I represent the density of
“EGRI SOMNIA. 235

fresh water by 1, I find 113% as the density of the
Atlantic, 143%, that of the Pacific, 113%, that of the
Mediterranean ”

“Ah!” thought I, “he has sailed in the Mediter-
ranean.”

“ Tn the Ionian Sea 17285, and 17285 in the Adriatic.”

The Mautifus certainly did not avoid the crowded
seas of Europe, and I judged from this that it would
carry us, perhaps before very long, towards the more
civilised Iands. I fancied that Ned Land would appre-
ciate this very highly.

For a long time the days passed in experiments of
all kinds, to ascertain the saltness of the sea-water at
different temperatures—its electrisation, its colouration, its
transparency; and under all circumstances Captain
Nemo displayed an ingenuity which was only equalled
by his great politeness to me. Then for many days I
did not see him, and I remained almost isolated on
board.

On the 16th January the Vautilus appeared to
sleep at a few metres only beneath the surface. The
electric apparatus was not at work, and the. screw
being immovable, she drifted at the will of the cur-
rents. I supposed that the machinery was being re-
paired, such a course being necessary after the late violent
working.

My companions and I were witnesses of a curious
spectacle that day. The side panels of the saloon were
open, and as the lamp of the Vaztr/us was not alight, a
vague obscurity reigned in the water. The stormy and
clouded sky could give but little light even to the first
beds of the waters,


236 “EGRI SOMNIA.

I was observing the sea under these conditions, and
the largest fish only appeared like indistinct masses, whey
the Wautilus was suddenly in a bright zone of light. I

“at first believed that the electric light had been set going,
and was thus illuminating the surrounding sea ; but I was
mistaken, and soon perceived my error.

The Mautilus was floating in the midst of a phos-
phorescent zone, which in the prevailing obscurity became
dazzling. This was produced by myriads of luminous
animalcules, whose sparkling increased as they glided
against the metallic hull of the vessel. I could perceive
spots of light in the midst of this luminous sheet, like
the lumps of iron in a furnace when the metal is at a
white heat; and sometimes, on the contrary, certain
luminous portions would become dark in the midst of the
brilliant mass, from which all shade had apparently been
banished. No, this was not the calm irradiation of our
usual light. There was a vigour and an unwonted move:
ment in it all. It was a living light.

In fact, it was an innumerable collection of pelagian
infusoria of noctiluqueous glands, regular globules of
diaphonous jelly, provided with a filiform tentacle; and
of which animals there are about 25,000 in thirty cubic
centimetres of water. An their light was doubly
increased by the gleams of the medusz, the asteroids,
and other phosphorescent zoophytes impregnated with
the oily substance of organic matter decomposed in the
sea, or, perhaps, with the mucus secreted by the fish.
For a long time the Vaz¢i7us continued to float in these
brilliant waves, and our admiration was increased at
perceiving great marine animals disporting themselves
like salamanders. I saw in that fire which did not burn
GRI SOMNIA. 237

the elegant and rapid porpoise, indefatigable clown of
the sea, and sword-fish three yards long, those intelligent
prophets of storms, whose formidable weapons now and
then struck the glass of the saloon panels. Smaller
fish also appeared, which flashed amidst the luminous
waters.

There was a fascination in this dazzling spectacle.
Perhaps some atmospherical condition increased the
brilliancy of the phenomenon. Some storm perhaps,
from which the JVauti/us, so low down, was secure, and
so lay peacefully in the midst of calm waters.

Thus we proceeded, incessantly being charmed by
some new marvel. Conseil observed and classed the
zoophytes, the articulates, the molluscs, and fish. The
days passed rapidly away, and I no longer took note of
them. Ned, as usual, employed himself in finding out
some additions to our table. Like snails, we were
fastened to our shell; and I can state that it is not
difficult to become a perfect snail.

Therefore this life appeared to us easy and natural,
and we were no longer thinking of a different existence
on land, when an event suddenly recalled us to the
strangeness of our position.

On the 18th January the WVautrlus was in long. 105°
and 15° S. lat. The weather was threatening, the sea
rough, and the wind blew strongly from the east. The
barometer had for some days predicted an approaching
storm.

I was on the platform when the mate was taking the
usual angles. I was awaiting, as usual, for the customary
sentence to be pronounced, but that morning another
phrase, equally incomprehensible, was uttered. Almost
238 EGRI SOMNIA,

immediately I saw Captain Nemo approach, and direct
his glass towards the horizon.

For some minutes the captain remained motionless,
without taking his eyes from the telescope. He then
dropped the glass and exchanged a few words with the
mate. He appeared to be the prey of an irrepressible
emotion; but Captain Nemo, more master of himself,
remained cool and collected. He seemed, moreover,
to be making certain objections, to which the mate re-
sponded by formal assurances. So at least I fancied,
judging from their voices and gestures. I had been
carefully looking in the direction indicated without dis-
covering anything. The sea and sky met without any
intervening object to break the continuity.

Meanwhile, Captain Nemo walked up and down the
platform without noticing me, perhaps without being
aware of my presence. His step was firm, but less
regular than usual. Sometimes he stopped, folded his
arms across his chest, and gazed fixedly at the sea.
What could he be seeking in that immense expanse ?
The Mautélus was then some hundreds of miles from the
nearest land.

The mate had taken up the glass and swept the
horizon, going and coming, stamping his feet, and con-
trasting generally with his chief in the nervous agitation
of his manner.

However, the mystery was about to be cleared up,
and before long, for by the captain’s order the screw was
set going at a great rate.

At this moment the mate again attracted the captain’s
attention. Captain Nemo stopped in his walk and

levelled his glass in the direction indicated. “He gazed
for a long time steadily. I was now somewhat disturbed,
and descending to the saloon, brought up an ex-
cellent telescope which I was in the habit of using.
Then resting the glass upon the cage forward, I disposed
myself to observe the sea and sky. But scarcely had I
applied my eye to the telescope when it was snatched
from my grasp. I turned round. Captain Nemo stood
before me, but I scarcely recognised him. His face was
completely altered. His eyes, flashing with a lurid light,
glanced at me beneath his frowning brows. His mouth
was half open, his body was rigid, his hands clenched,
his head bowed between his shoulders—all bearing testi-
mony to the violent emotion that possessed him. He
did not move an inch. My glass, fallen from his hand,
rolled to his feet. What had happened that I had thus
unwittingly provoked his anger? Did he imagine that I
had discovered some secret interdicted from the guests
of the Mautilus ?

No, I was not the object of his hatred, for he was
not looking at me, but gazing steadily on the particular
portion of the horizon.

At length he became calm, his face and figure
resumed their usual impassibility. He spoke some
words to the mate in the unknown tongue, and he then
turned to me.

“M. Aronnax,” said he, in a somewhat haughty tone,
“T would recall your attention to one of the conditions
I imposed upon you. e

“ What is the question, captain?”

“You and your companions must be content to be
240 EGRI SOMNTIA.

incarcerated until I shall judge it desirable to release
you.”

“You are master here,” I replied, looking at him
steadily. “But may I ask you a question ?”

“No, Monsieur.”

There was no disputing this. I had not to discuss,
but to obey. Any resistance was impossible.

I descended into the cabin occupied by Conseil and
Ned, and told them of. the captain’s resolve. I will
leave you to imagine how my tidings were received by
the Canadian. However, there was no time for explana-
tions. Four of the crew appeared at the door and
conducted us to the cell in which we had passed our
first night on board the Waz/zlus.

Ned Land wished to expostulate, but the door was
shut upon him for all reply.

“Will Monsieur tell me what all this means?” asked
Conseil.

I related all that had passed. They were as much
astonished, but no more enlightened than I was. I fell
into a reverie, and the strange expression of fear in
Captain Nemo’s face haunted me. I was quite incapable
of putting two logical ideas together, and I had lost
myself in the most absurd hypotheses, when I was
aroused by Ned saying :

“Hullo! Breakfast is served.”

And as a-fact the table was prepared. Captain
Nemo had evidently given this order at the time he
directed the increase of the speed.

“Will Monsieur permit me to recommend him some
thing?”

“Ves, Conseil,” I replied.
“EGRI SOMNIA. 241

“Well, then, I recommend that Monsieur eat his
breakfast, It is prudent, for we do not know what may
happen.”

“ You are right, Conseil.”

“ Unfortunately,” said Ned, “they have only given
us ship’s fare.”

“ Friend Ned,” said I, “ what would you have done
had there been no breakfast at all ?”

This remark put an end to the harpooner’s grum-
bling. We sat down and ate in silence. I ate little;
Conseil forced himself to eat, as a matter of pru-
dence; and Ned Land, nevertheless, did not lose a

mouthful. Then, breakfast over, we rested on the table
as we sat.

Just then the luminous globes were extinguished, and
we were left in utter darkness. Ned Land went to sleep
on the spot, and to my astonishment Conseil also yielded
to a heavy drowsiness. I was wondering what had
caused this sudden accession of sleep in him when I felt
my brain affected by a drowsy feeling. My eyes closed
in spite of all my efforts to the contrary. I became a
prey to a terrible hallucination. Evidently some soporific
had been mixed with the food we had eaten. It was
therefore not enough to imprison us to prevent the be-
trayal of Captain Nemo’s secret—it was necessary to drug
us as well.

I heard the panels shut. The undulation of the
water ceased. The Vaudtidus had then quitted the surface
of the ocean. Was she again descending to the motion-
less zones of the seas ?

I tried to resist sleep; it was impossible. My
breathing became weaker; I felt a death-like chill ex-

VOL. 1. Q
242 “2GRI SOMNIA.

tend over my frame. My eyelids fell over my eyes like
lumps of lead; I could not raise them. A morbid
trance, and full of fancies, took possession of my whole
being. Then the visions disappeared, and left me com-
pletely prostrated.
CHAPTER XXIV.
THE REALMS OF CORAL,

Next day I awoke, and my head was wonderfully clear.
To my great surprise I was in my own room. My
companions doubtless had been taken to their cabin
without being more aware of the transfer than I was.
They were quite as ignorant as I was respecting the
occurrences of the night, and I could only hope that
chance would develop the mystery at some future time.
I then thought I would leave my chamber; but was I
free, or stilla prisoner? Free. I opened the door and
went out upon the central staircase. The panels were
now open. I reached the platform.

Ned Land and Conseil met me there. I questioned
them ; they knew nothing. Wrapped in such a heavy
slumber that they remembered nothing, they had been
much surprised to find themselves in their cabin.

All this time the Vautilus was as quiet and mys-
terious as ever. It floated at the surface and progressed
slowly. Nothing was changed on board. Ned Land
kept his eyes fixed upon the sea; it was deserted. The
244 THE REALMS OF CORAL,

Canadian signalled nothing new—no land, not even a
sail. The west wind blew stiffly, and the long waves
gave a perceptible motion to the Mauizlus.

After the air had been renewed, we descended to a
depth of fifteen metres, so that we might quickly return
to the surface. This operation, contrary to custom, was
often performed during the day. The mate then ascended
to the platform, and the usual phrase was transmitted to
the interior of the vessel.

Captain Nemo did not appear. Of all the ship’s
company, I only saw the impassible steward, who waited
on me with his usual punctuality and silence.

About two o’clock I was in the saloon arranging my
notes, when the captain entered. I saluted him. He
acknowledged my greeting in an almost imperceptible
manner, but did not speak. I resumed my occupation,
hoping that he would offer some explanation of the
events of the preceding night. He said nothing. I
looked at him attentively. He appeared fatigued—his
eyes had not been refreshed by sleep, and his face
expressed a deep sadness, a real sorrow. He moved
about, seated himself, then got up again, took up any
book that came to hand, threw it down again imme-
diately, looked at his instruments vacantly, and appeared
thoroughly restless.

At length he came to me and said:

“* Are you a doctor, M. Aronnax ?”

I paused a little at this unexpected question.

“Are you a doctor?” repeated Captain Nemo.
“Many of your colleagues have studied medicine—
Gratiolet, Moquin-Tandon, and others,”

“Well, in fact,” I said, “Iam a doctor, and a house-
THE REALMS OF CORAL. 245

surgeon. I practised many months before I entered the
museum.”

“Good,” was the reply.

My answer evidently satisfied the captain. But not
knowing what might come of it, I waited for further
questions, resolving to reply according to circumstances.

“M. Aronnax,” said the captain, “will you extend
your skill to one of my men?”

“ There is an invalid on board, then ?”

* Ves.”

“Tam ready.”

* Come with me.”

I confess that my heart was beating. I do not know
why I perceived some connection between this patient
and the events of the preceding day, and the mystery
troubled me at least as much as the sick man.

Captain Nemo led me abaft, into a cabin close to the
men’s quarters,

There lay a man about forty years old, a determined
face too—a regular Anglo-Saxon.

I knelt beside him. He was not only a sick, but a
wounded man. His head was wrapped in blood-stained
bandages, and lay on a double pillow. I took off the
bandages, and the wounded man, gazing at me with his
great round eyes, made no sign and uttered no complaint.
The wound was fearful. The skull, fractured by some
blunt instrument, had laid the brain bare, and the cere-
bral substance had suffered complete attrition. Some
clots of blood had formed within the mass, which was like
the dregs of wine. There was a contusion and con-
cussion of the brain here. The breathing of the patient
was laboured, and spasmodic movements agitated his
246 THE REALMS OF CORAL.

features. The cerebral phlegmasia was complete, and
induced paralysis both of body and mind.

I felt the sick man’s pulse. It was intermittent.
The extremities were already cold, and I could perceive
that death was approaching without any possibility of
my staying its approach. Having dressed his wounds
I readjusted the bandages, and, turning to Captain
Nemo, said :

“ How did this man come by this hurt ?”

“What matters?” he replied evasively. “The
Nautilus struck, and broke one of the levers of the
engine, which struck this man, But what is your
opinion ?”

I hesitated.

“You may speak fearlessly, he does not understand
French.”

I looked again steadily at the wounded man.

“ He will not live two hours longer,” I said.

“Can nothing save him?” ,

“ Nothing.”

Captain Nemo clenched his hand, and tears glittered
in his eyes, which I did not think were made to
weep.

For some minutes I kept looking at the dying man
as his life ebbed away. His paleness appeared more
ghastly beneath the electric light that illuminated his
death-bed. I looked at that intellectual head, and the
face seemed furrowed by premature wrinkles, which sin,
or perhaps trouble, had placed there long ago. I
endeavoured to learn the secret of his life from the last
words that escaped his lips.

“You can retire, M. Aronnax,” said the captain.
THE REALMS OF CORAL, 247

I left him in the cabin of the dying man, and
regained my own room very much impressed by the
scene I had witnessed.

All day I was haunted by sinister presentiments.
At night I slept little, and amid my frequently inter-
rupted dreams I fancied I heard distant sighings and
the sound of a funeral hymn. Was it the prayer for the
dead, uttered in that language which I did not under-

stand.
Next morning I went on deck. Captain Nemo was

there before me. So soon as he saw me he approached
and said :

“Would it be convenient for you to make a sub-
marine excursion to-day ?”

“With my friends ?” I asked.

“They can go if they like.”

“We are at your orders, captain.”

“Will you, then, put on your divers’ dresses,
please 2”

There was no question of the dying or the dead.
I told Conseil and Ned Land what Captain Nemo
had suggested.

Conseil was anxious to go, and the Canadian appeared
very willing to accompany him.

It was eight o’clock, a.m. At half-past eight we were
equipped for our expedition, and furnished with the
lighting and breathing apparatus. The double door was
opened, and, accompanied by the captain and followed
by a dozen of the crew, we trod, at a depth of ten
yards, upon the ground where the Mautilus was firmly
reposing.

A gentle slope led us to a bottom much furrowed,
248 THE REALMS OF CORAL,

and about fifteen fathoms down. This ground was very
different from that which we had first met with beneath
the Pacific Ocean. Here was no fine sand, no sub-
marine prairies nor forests. I immediately recognised
that wonderful region of which Captain Nemo did
the honours. It was the Kingdom of Coral.

In the branch of zoophytes, and in the class of
alayonnares, we remarked the order of gorgonares, which
includes the three groups of gorgonians, the insidians,
and the corallines. It is to the last named that the
coral is attributed—a curious substance, which has been
classed by turns in the animal, mineral, and vegetable
kingdoms. A remedy with the ancients, an ornament
in modern days, it was only in 1694 that Peysonnel
classed it definitely in the animal kingdom.

Coral is a conglomeration of animalcules, united on
a natural, brittle, and stony polypary. These polypes
have a single generator, which produces them by a
budding process ; they have a separate existence, while
participating in a common life. It is a kind of natural
solecism. I had read the latest works upon this curious
zoophyte which mineralises itself in growing like a tree,
following the very just observation of naturalists, and
nothing could be more interesting to me than a visit to
one of these petrified forests which nature has planted
at the bottom of the sea.

The Rumhkorff apparatus were set going, and we
followed a coral bank in course of formation, which in
time will form a barrier to this part of the Indian Ocean.
The way was by the side of inextricable thickets, formed
by the entanglement of the branches which covered the
little starry flowers with white rays, only, inverse to the
THE REALMS OF CORAL. 249

plants of earth, those fixed to the rocks all grew down-
wards.

The lights we carried produced a thousand beautiful
effects amid those coloured branches. It appeared to
me that the membranous and cylindrical tubes trembled
at the undulation of the water. I was tempted to collect
some of these beautiful fresh corals with such delicate
tentacles, some newly opened, some just sprouting, which
the fish, with rapid fins, moved as they passed, as a bird
might move the twigs of the trees. But as my hand ap-
proached these living flowers, these sensitive plants, all
were immediately on the alert. The white corals retired
into their red cases, the flowers disappeared from my
sight, and the “coppice” was changed into a block of
stony hills,

Chance put me in possession of the most valuable
specimens of this zoophyte. The coral is equal to that
found in the Mediterranean, on the French, Italian, and
Barbary coasts. It fully justifies its names of “ Fleur
de sang” and “Ecume de sang,” which trade has be-
stowed upon the most beautiful kinds. Coral is sold at
500 francs the kilogramme; and in this spot the beds
would have made the fortunes of a thousand fishers.
This valuable material, often mixed with other polypes,
forms the compound called ‘‘ Macciota,” and amongst
which I remarked some splendid specimens of rose
coral. ‘
But the “ bushes ” soon became smaller, and the tree
growths increased. A petrified underwood and long
fantastic arches opened before us. Captain Nemo
penetrated beneath a dark gallery, whose gentle descent
led us to a depth of roo yards, The lights at
250 THE REALMS OF CORAL.

times produced magical effects, and caught the angles
and projections of these natural arcades, until they
appeared tipped with fire. Amidst the branching corallines
Inoticed other polypesno less curious—melites, articulated
iris ; some tufts of corallines—some red, some green ;
true alge, crusted in their calcareous salts, which natural-
ists, after much discussion, have definitively ranged in
the vegetable kingdom. But in the words of a deep
thinker, “perhaps the real point to get at is where the
life obscurely rises from the stony sleep, without being
yet detached from this rude starting-point ”

After about two hours’ walking, we attained a depth
of about three hundred yards ; that is to say, the extreme
limit at which coral begins to form. But here was no
thicket nor modest bush, but an immense forest of coral,
enormous petrified trees. We passed freely underneath
the high branches which were lost in the shade of the
waves, while at our feet the tubipores, meandrines, fungi,
&c., formed a flowing carpet, sprinkled with sparkling
gems.

It was an indescribable sight. Oh, that we could
have exchanged confidences. Why were we imprisoned
in this head-piece of metal and glass? Why could we
not speak to each other? Why could we not live like
the fish, or even like the amphibious animals, which for
hours can roam at will in the domains of the land or
water P

Meantime Captain Nemo had stopped. We ail
followed his example, and turning round, I perceived
that the men had formed themselves in a semicircle
round their chief. And looking more closely, I perceived
that four of them carried something on their shoulders.
THE REALMS OF CORAL. 251

We had arrived at a large open space in the coral forest.
Our lamps threw around this clearing a sort of twilight,
which cast long shadows on the ground. Beyond the
reach of our lamps the darkness was profound, and only
here and there a gleam fell upon the points of the
coral.

Ned Land and Conseil were close to me. We
looked on, and it appeared to me that I was about to
take part in a very curious drama. On examining the
ground I saw that it was heaped up in places, and these
heaps were disposed with & regularity which betrayed
man’s handiwork.

In the midst of the clearing, upon a pedestal of rocks
piled up to a great height, was a cross of coral, and its
long, extended arms looked almost like petrified blood.
At a sign from Captain Nemo one of the men advanced,
and at some paces from the cross he began to dig a
hole with a pick-axe which he detached from his
girdle.

I understood it all. This clearing was a cemetery,
this hole a grave, that long object the body of the man
who had died during the night. Captain Nemo and
his men had come hither to bury their companion in
this their common resting-place at the bottom of the
ocean.

Never had my mind been so impressed. Never had
more impressive thoughts crowded my brain. I did not
wish to see what was being enacted before me.

Meanwhile the grave was being slowly excavated.
The fish fled hither and thither. I heard the iron ring
upon the calcareous ground, and sometimes a spark
would break forth as the pick came in contact with some
252 THE REALMS OF CORAL.

lost piece of silex. The hole extended and widened,
and was soon sufficiently large to receive the body.

The bearers then approached. The corpse, wrapped
in white byssus, was laid in its damp tomb. Captain
Nemo, with folded arms, and all the friends of the dead
man, knelt down ; I and my companions knelt also.

The grave was then covered with the @ért’s, which
had been dug out, and which thus formed a slight
mound.

When this had been done, Captain Nemo and his
men rose up, and approachin& the grave all bent the knee
once more, and waved a last adieu to their dead friend.

The funeral procession then returned to the JVautzlus,
repassing in its way beneath the arcades and the long
bush-like formations of the coral.

At length the light appeared burning on board. The
long gleam led us to the JVautilus. At one o'clock we
had regained the ship. ;

As soon as I had changed my dress, I ascended to
the platform, and beset by a crowd of mingled feelings,
I sat down near the lighting apparatus.

Captain Nemo joined me. I got up and said:

“So, as I warned you, the man died during the
night?”

“Yes, M. Aronnax,” he replied.

“And he now rests among his companions in the
cemetery of coral.”

“Yes, forgotten by all—except by us. We have dug
his grave, and the polypes will take care to seal up our
dead for ever.” And hiding his face in his hard hands,
the captain tried in vain to conceal a tear. Then he
added :
THE REALMS OF CORAL. 253

“Tt is our most peaceful burying-ground, some
hundreds of feet beneath the surface of the waves.”

“Your dead sleep there tranquilly at least ; out of
reach of sharks.”

“Yes,” replied the captain, gravely, “out of the
reach of sharks—and men.”

END OF VOL, I.

CHARLES DICKENS AND EVANS, CRYSTAL PALACE PRESH


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*€90,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA.”’—PART IL,
TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES
UNDER THE SEA

BY

JULES VERNE

AUTHOR OF “THE ADVENTURES OF CAPTAIN HATTERAS”
“JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTIi”
ETC. ETC,

VOLUME II.

TRANSLATED BY HENRY FRITH

LONDON AND NEW YORK
‘GEORGE ROUTLEDGE AND SONS
1876
THARLES DICKENS AND EVANS,
CRYSTAL PALACE PRESS,
CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I,
THE INDIAN OCEAN

CHAPTER II.
A NOVEL PROPOSITION OF CAPTAIN NEMO

CHAPTER III,
A PEARL oF TEN MILLIONS ... vee oes ase

CHAPTER IV.
Tue Rep SEA

CHAPTER V.
THE ARABIAN TUNNEL -

CHAPTER VI.
THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO ...

CHAPTER VII.
THE MEDITERRANEAN IN FORTY-EIGHT HOURS

CHAPTER VIII.
Vico Bay... vee

CHAPTER IX.
A SUBMERGED CONTINENT

CHAPTER X.
TuHE SUBMARINE COAL-FIELDS

CHAPTER XI.
THE SARGASSO SEA

PAGE

17

28

41

56

66

79

87

99

Tit

122
4 CONTENTS.

CHAPTER XII.
CACHALOTS AND \WHALES tes io on a

CHAPTER XIII,

THE ICEBERGS... rn te ses a see
CHAPTER XIV.

THE SOUTH POLE wee tee ae wee
CHAPTER XV.

ACCIDENT OR INCIDENT wee ae one aes

CHAPTER XVI.
WANT OF AIR... - avs = ae oo

CHAPTER XVII
From CAPE Horn TO THE AMAZON

CHAPTER XVIII.

THE Octopus! ... te tee tee ane eae
CHAPTER XIX,

THe GULF STREAM we a tee aes oes
CHAPTER XxX.

From LATITUDE 47° 24’ TO LONGITUDE 17° 28’
CHAPTER XXI.

A HECATOMB) ... we tee ie ee
CHAPTER XXII,

Tue LAst Worps oF CAPTAIN NEMO tae vee

CHAPTER XXIII,
CONCLUSION tee wee tos wee ase oe

PAGE
130

143

156

171

180

IQI

202

214

227

235

246

255
TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES
UNDER THE SEA.

CHAPTER I. Web eg
THE INDIAN OCEAN,

WE now commence the second part of the voyage under the
sea. The first ended with that sad scene at the cemetery of
coral, which left a deep impression on my mind. Thus,
then, in the bosom of the deep sea the life of Captain Nemo
was entirely passed, and he had even prepared his last rest-
ing-place in the most impenetrable of its abysses. There
no ocean monster will ever disturb the last sleep of these
companions of the JVauiilus, of those friends united in
death as in their lives. “ Nor will any man, for ever,” the
captain had added—always the same strange implacable
defiance towards mankind! For my part I was not any
more contented by the hypothesis which satisfied Conseil.
He persisted in taking the commander of the (Vautilus for
one of those mistaken savants who return man’s indiffer-
ence by dislike., So to Conseil the captain was an eccentric
genius, who, disgusted by the falseness of earthly things,
had been obliged to take refuge in the inaccessible seas
where he could exercise his tastes freely. But in my opinion
6 THE INDIAN OCEAN.

this idea only explained one of the sides of Captain Nemo’s
character. In fact, the mystery of the night during which
we had been imprisoned and drugged, the precaution so
violently taken by Captain Nemo to snatch the telescope
from my grasp, the mortal wound inflicted upon the sailor
by some unexplained collision of the Mawir/us—all these
things led me into a new vein of thought. No; Captain
Nemo did not content himself by merely avoiding mankind.
His formidable apparatus not only served his tastes, but for
some terrible vengeance.

At this time nothing is clear to me. I can only grope
in the dark, and only write, so to speak, under the dictation
of events.

Furthermore, nothing binds us to Captain Nemo. He
knows that escape from the Mauti/us is impossible. We
are not even prisoners on parole. No promise binds us.
We are merely captives—prisoners, called guests by courtesy.
Ned Land has never given up the idea of recovering his
liberty. He will surely take advantage of the very first
opportunity that chance may throw in his way. I shall do
the same. Nevertheless, it will not be without a sense of
regret that I shall carry away with me all the mystery of the
Nautilus that the captain’s kindness has permitted me to
penetrate. For, after all, was he a man to be hated or
admired? Was he a victim or an executioner? And then,
to be frank, I would like, before I quitted the vessel for
ever, to finish this tour of the submarine world whose
opening scenes are so splendid. I should like to see
the marvels scattered beneath the seas, to behold what man
never yet has seen, even if I pay by my life for this insatiable
desire for knowledge. What have I discovered so far?
Nothing, or scarcely more than nothing, since we have only
travelled 6,000 leagues across the Pacific. Still, I know
LHE INDIAN OCEAN. 7

very well that the auti/us is approaching some inhabited
land, and that if chance befriend us it would be cruel to
sacrifice my companions to my passion for discovery, I
must follow—perhaps lead them. But would the oppor-
tunity ever present itself? Then man, forcibly deprived of
his liberty, wishes for it; the connoisseur—the savant
fears it.

On the 21st January, 1868, at midday, the mate came
up to take the sun’s altitude. I was on the platform, and,
lighting a cigar, I watched the operation. It seemed evi-
dent to me that this man did not understand French, for I
often spoke my thoughts aloud, and the very words would
have drawn from him some involuntary sign of attention if
he had understood the language, but he remained impassible
and silent.

While he was taking the observation, one of the sailors—
the same who had accompanied us in our first excursion to
the island of Crespo—came to rub up the lantern glasses,
T then examined the fixing of this apparatus whose power is
multiplied by lenticular rings arranged as in lighthouses, and
which keep the light in the horizontal plane. The electric
lamp was so arranged as to yield all its illuminating power.
The light was produced in a vacuum, so the regularity and
intensity were assured at the same time. By these means
the points of graphite between which the light was developed
were economised, This economy was very important for
Captain Nemo, who could not easily renew the points.
But under these conditions the expenditure was almost
insensible.

So soon as the Vautil/us was ready to recommence her
submarine journey, I descended to the saloon. The
panels were shut down and the course directed to the
west.
8 THE INDIAN OCEAN,

We skimmed through the waves of the Indian Ocean, a
vast liquid plain containing five hundred and fifty millions
of hectares,* and the water is so transparent as to make
those giddy who lean over them. The Vawti/us usually
floated at a depth of between 100 and 200 yards (metres).
So we passed many days. To any one but myself, who
is so passionately fond of the sea, the hours would have
appeared, no doubt, long and wearisome ; but the daily
walks upon the platform, where I was able to drink in the
healthy sea-air, the sight of the teeming waters through the
crystal side-panels of the saloon, the books, the editing of
my memoirs, engaged all my time, and did not leave me a
moment for lassitude or enxnuz.

The health of the whole ship’s company was still ex-
tremely good. The food suited us perfectly, and, for my
own part, I could well have dispensed with the variations
which Ned Land, in his spirit of protestation, studied hard
to supply. Besides, in this even temperature we had no
fear of catching cold, while the Madrepore dendrophylle,
known in Provence as the ‘“Sea-fennel,” and of which a
supply remained on board, furnished us by the melted flesh
of its polyps with an excellent remedy against coughs.

We saw great numbers of aquatic birds as we proceeded ;
there were palmipeds, sea-mews and gulls, some of which
we shot, and prepared in a particular way, furnished us with
an acceptable supply of “water game.” Amongst the larger
birds which had flown long distances and were resting upon
the water, I perceived a magnificent albatross, whose dis-
cordant cry is not unlike a donkey’s bray. It belongs to
the family of “longipennes.” The family of totipalmes was
represented by the frigate birds, which rapidly brought the

* A hectare is 2 acres, I rood, 35 perches.
THE INDIAN OCEAN. 9

fish to the surface, and by a number of “ phaetons,” or tropic
birds, some as large as a pigeon; and of this kind, the red-
tipped variety, the white plumage is shaded with rose-colour,
which sets off the dark tints of the wings.

The nets captured many sorts of marine tortoise of the
convex-backed genus, the shell of which is much sought
after. These reptiles, which dive easily, can remain a
long time under water by shutting the valve of flesh
situated at the external orifice of the nose. Some of them
when taken were still asleep beneath the marine animals.
The flesh of these tortoises was generally only “ middling,”
but their eggs were most excellent.

The fish continually roused our admiration as we
watched them through the open side-panels of the vessel.
I remarked here many species that I had not seen before.

I will notice principally the ostraceans native to the
Red Sea, to the Indian Sea, and to that portion of the
ocean which washes the coasts of equatorial America,
These fish, like the tortoise, the turtle, the echinus, the
crustacea, are protected by a cuirass which is neither
cretaceous nor stony, but actually bony. Sometimes this
covering takes the form of a triangular solid, sometimes of
a quadrilateral form. Amongst the former kind I noticed
some of the length of an inch and a half, the flesh most
wholesome and of pleasant taste. The tail was brown, fins
yellow; and I recommend the acclimatisation of these
fishes in fresh water, to which some sea fish soon accustom
themselves. There were also quadrangular ostraceans,
bearing four large tubercles on the back; the spotted
ostraceans, with white spots on the belly, which grow as
tame as birds; the trigons, provided with prickles formed by
the prolongation of their bony covering—these fish have
been dubbed “sea-pigs,” on account of the singular grunting
10 THE INDIAN OCEAN.

noise they emit; then there were “dromedary” fish, with
large humps, whose flesh is hard and coarse.

Talso extract from the notes daily taken by Conseil certain
fish of the tetrodon genus peculiar to these seas with red
backs and white bellies, which are marked by three longi-
tudinal rows of filaments; and electric eels seven feet in
length, adorned with most beautiful colours.

Then, as specimens of other genus, there were ovoids
like a brownish-black egg, striped with white bands, and
tailless; disdons, regular sea-porcupines, furnished with
quills, and able to swell themselves out so as to present the
appearance of a ball bristling with spikes. The sea-horses
common to all oceans ; the flying pegasus, with long snouts
and with their pectoral fins so elongated and disposed in
the form of wings that they can almost fly—at least rise
into the air; pigeon-spatul, whose tails are covered with
numerous scaly rings; macrognathes, with long jaws—
excellent fish, twenty-five centimetres long, and shining with
various colours; pale calliomores, with reddish heads;
myriads of blennies, striped with black, and shooting to the
surface with prodigious velocity, aided by their long pectoral
fins; the trichopteres, whose wings are formed of filaments ;
trygles, whose liver is considered poison; bodians, which
wear a movable blinker on the eyes; and, finally, the blow-
fish, or cheetodons, having a long tubular snout ; fly-catchers,
armed with a gun which neither chassepots nor Remingtons
can beat, and which kill the insects by shooting a drop of
water at them.

In the eighty-ninth genus of fishes classed by Lacépéde,
which belongs to the second sub-class of Ossians, cha-
racterised by an operculum and a bronchial membrane, I
remarked the scorpena, the head of which is furnished with
spikes, and which only possesses a single dorsal fin; these
THE INDIAN OCEAN. II

animals are supplied with or deficient of little scales accord-
ing to the sub-genus to which they belong. The second
sub-genus gives us specimens of didactyles, thirteen or four-
teen inches in length, striped with yellow, with very
odd-looking heads. The first sub-genus furnishes many
specimens of a curious fish justly named the “sea-frog.” It
is a large-headed fish, sometimes shrunken, sometimes puffed
out, bristling with spines, and sprinkled with tubercles ; it
has irregular and ugly horns, its tail and body are furnished
with a hard skin, its prickles inflict dangerous wounds, and
it is altogether horrible and repugnant.

From the 21st to the 23rd of January, the Mautelus
steamed at the rate of 250 leagues in twenty-four hours ; that
is to say, 540 miles, or twenty-two miles an hour.

Any fish we recognised on the passage were those which
were attracted by our electric light ; the greater number were
speedily distanced, but some managed to keep up with the
Nautilus for a timé.

On the morning of the 24th, in S. lat. 12° 5’, long. 94° 33’,
we sighted the isle of Keeling, planted with magnificent
cocoa-nut trees. It was formed by the madrepores, and was
visited by Mr. Darwin and Captain Fitzroy. The Mautslus
gave the shores of this desert island a wide berth. We
brought up in the drags numerous specimens of polypi and
echinodermes, and some curious shells of molluscs. Some
beautiful specimens of the delphinale species were added to
Captain Nemo’s treasures, to which I contributed an Astrea
punctifera, a sort of polype parasite often fixed upon a
shell.

Keeling Island soon disappeared, and we steered N.W.
towards the southern point of Hindostan.

“Some civilised territory,” said Ned, “ would be better
than these islands, where there are more savages than goats.
12 THE INDIAN OCEAN.

In India, sir, there are roads, railways, towns inhabited by
English, French, and Hindoos ; one could not go for five
miles without meeting a fellow-countryman. Is not this the
time to stir up Captain Nemo’s sense of politeness ?”

“No, Ned,” I replied, in a determined tone. “ Let us
go on as we are. The JVaufi/us is approaching habitable
continents. We are returning towards Europe. Once arrived
in our own seas we shall see what prudence suggests as best
to be done. Besides, I do not suppose that Captain Nemo
would permit us to go ashore to hunt upon the coasts of
Malabar or Coromandel, as we did in the forests of New
Guinea.”

“Well, but cannot we go without leave ?”

_ I made no reply, for I did not wish to discuss this point.
At heart I was ready to go through the adventure to the
end.

After leaving Keeling Island our progress was slower
and more erratic, leading us at times to great depths. The
inclined planes were often used, and which levers within the
vessel placed obliquely to the line of flotation. We went in
this manner for about two miles, but without ever reaching
the enormous depths of the Indian Sea, in which sounding
lines of 7,000 fathoms have not touched bottom. The
temperature of the low zones is always four degrees above
zero. I observed, however, that in the upper zones the
water was always colder in the high levels than in the
open sea.

On the 25th January the ocean was absolutely deserted,
the WMautizus passed the whole day at the surface, knocking
up great waves with her powerful screw. Who would not,
under these circumstances, have mistaken her for an enormous
cetacean? I passed the greater portion of the day upon
the platform, looking at the sea. There was nothing in sight
THE INDIAN OCEAN. 13

till about 4 P.M. we saw a large steamer running westward,
on the opposite tack. Her masts were for an instant visible,
but she could not perceive the auéilus, which was so low
in the water. I fancied that this steamer belonged to the
Peninsular and Oriental Company, plying between Ceylon
and Sydney, touching at King George’s Point and Mel-
bourne.

At 5 p.m. before the quickly-passing twilight, which
joins day and night in tropical countries, Conseil and I
were astonished by a very curious sight.

It was a pretty animal we saw, the appearance of which,
according to the ancients, betokened good luck. Aristotle,
Pliny, &c., had studied its habits and exhausted in respect
of it all the poetry of the savants of Greece and Italy.
They called them Nautilus and Pompylius; but modern
science has not endorsed these appellations, and the mollusc
is now known as the argonaut.

If anyone had consulted Conseil, he would have told
them that the molluscs are divided into five classes; that
the first class, that of the cephaloids, are shell-less some-
times, sometimes tentacular, and include two families—the
dibranchize and the tetrabranchiz. The former family includes
three genus—the argonaut, the calmar, and the “seiche,”
while the other has only one genus—the nautilus. If, after
this distinction, anyone confuses the argonaut, which is
acetabulifer, or air-carriers, with the nautilus, which is
tentaculifer, or carrying tentacles, there can be no excuse
for him.

Now this was a shoal of argonauts which were sailing
along. We could reckon them by hundreds ; they belonged
to the tubercular argonauts, which are peculiar to the Indian
seas.

These graceful molluscs moved backwards by mean of
14 THE INDIAN OCEAN,

expelling the water they had aspired. Of their eight ten-
tacles, six long and thin floated in the water, while the
others, rolled up in a rounded, flattened form, were ex-
tended to the wind, and acted as sails. I could easily see
the spiral and undulating shells, which Cuvier justly com-
pared to an elegant boat. A boat indeed, for it bears the
animal without the animal being fixed to it.

“ The argonaut is free to quit its shell,” I said to Conseil,
“but it does not do so.”

“Just like Captain Nemo,” replied Conseil, judiciously.
“Perhaps it would be better to have called this vessel the
Argonaut.”

For about an hour the /Vauti/us was surrounded by this
shoal of molluscs. Suddenly they took alarm, I know not
why. Ata signal all the sails were furled, the arms were
folded, the bodies contracted; the shells, turning over,
changed the centre of gravity, and the whole fleet dis-
appeared beneath the waves. It was instantaneous, and no
ships in the navy could execute a manceuvre with greater
smartness. :

Night now fell, and the waves, scarcely ruffled by the
breeze, rolled quietly alongside the Mautilus.

The following day we crossed the equator at the eighty-
second meridian, and passed into the northern hemisphere.

During the day a formidable tribe of sharks kept us
company. Terrible animals they are, and render these seas
very dangerous. These were the “ Phillipi” species, with
brown backs and whitish bellies, having eleven rows of teeth;
the “eyed” sharks, which have a great black patch sur-
rounded by white on their backs, which resembles an eye ;
and the “Isabelle” sharks, their round backs spotted with
black. These powerful animals often struck the glass panels of
the saloon with a violence that was rather alarming. At those
THE INDIAN OCEAN. 15

times Ned Land got very impatient ; he wanted to go up
to the surface and harpoon some of the monsters; and
some, whose mouths were studded with teeth, disposed like
a mosaic, and enormous tiger-sharks, five yards long at
least, provoked him incessantly. But the Meuéti/us in-
creased her speed, and soon left the most rapid of the
sharks astern.

On the 27th January, opening up the Bay of Bengal, we
repeatedly encountered a horrible sight—viz., dead bodies,
which were floating at the surface. ‘These were the dead
from the Indian towns on the Ganges, and which the
vultures, the only scavengers of the country, had not been
able to devour. But the sharks had no need of assistance
in their horrid banquet.

About 7 p.m. the Mautilus, half emerged, was ploughing
through a sea of milk. As far as one could see the ocean
appeared to be covered with milk. Was this the effect of
the lunar rays? No, for the moon was scarcely two days
old, and was still below the horizon, The whole sky,
although illuminated by the sheen of the stars, appeared
dark in contrast with the whiteness of the sea.

Conseil could not believe his eyes, and inquired the
cause of this singular phenomenon. Fortunately I was able
to answer.

“Tt is what is called a ‘milk sea,” I replied, “a vast
expanse of white waves, which is frequently observed upon
the coasts of Amboyna and in these latitudes.”

“ But,” said Conseil, “ Monsieur will perhaps inform me
what is the cause of this, for I do not imagine that the sea
is changed to milk.”

“No, my lad, this whiteness which astonishes you is due
to the presence of myriads of infusoria, a kind of luminous
worm, gelatinous and colourless, about as thick as a hair,
16 THE INDIAN OCEAN.

and not more than ro of an inch in length. Some of
these animals adhere to each other for many leagues.”

“For many leagues !” exclaimed Conseil.

“Ves, and do not seek to ascertain the number of these
infusoria, You will never arrive at it, for, if I do not mistake,
people have sailed through these milk seas for more than
forty miles.”

I do not know whether Conseil attended to my advice,
but he seemed to be deep in thought, seeking, no doubt, to
calculate how many rvscths of an inch were contained in
forty square miles. I continued to observe the phenomenon.
For many hours the /Vawdc/us drove through these white
waves, but towards midnight the sea resumed its usual
appearance, but behind us, as far as we could see, the sky,
tinged by the reflection from the waves, seemed to be covered
with the indistinct gleams of the aurora borealis.
CHAPTER II.
A NOVEL PROPOSITION OF CAPTAIN NEMO.

On the 28th February, when the JVaut/us came up to the
surface, in 9° 4’ N. lat., we were in view of land about eight
miles westward. I noticed first a range of mountains about
2,000 feet high, whose forms were very uneven. After our
position had been ascertained and reported, I found that we
were close to Ceylon, the pearl which hangs from the lobe
of the Indian peninsula.

I searched in the library for some book about this island,
which is one of the most fertile in the world. I founda
volume entitled, “ Ceylon and the Cingalese.”

At that moment Captain Nemo appeared with the mate
The captain cast a hasty glance at the map, then turning to
me, he said:

“Ceylon is celebrated for its pearl fisheries. Would
you like to visit one of them?” -* ~

“Very much indeed, captain,” I replied.

“Well then, that is easily managed. Only, if we go to
the fishery, we must go as fishermen. The annual search
has not yet commenced, but never mind. _ I will give orders

VOL, II, aia B
18 A NOVEL » kOPOSITION.

to ‘pull up’ in the Gulf of Manaar, where we shall arrive
during the night.” ,

The captain then said something to the mate, who went
out immediately. The Wauti/us soon descended again, and
remained at a depth of about thirty fect.

Map in hand I searched for the Gulf of Manaar. I
descried it in the 9th parallel on the N.E. coast of Ceylon.

“ Professor Aronnax,” said Captain Nemo, “pearls are
found in the Bay of Bengal, in the Indian Ocean, in Japanese
and Chinese seas, in the South American waters, in the
gulfs of Panama and California, but it is at Ceylon that this
fishery obtains the best results. We shall soon get there.
The divers only assemble in March in the Gulf of Manaar,
and there for thirty days their 300 boats reap a glorious
harvest. Each boat is fitted for six rowers and six divers.
These in two parties descend alternately to a depth of more
than 150 feet by means of a heavy stone, which they retain
between their feet, and which is fastened to the boat by a
rope.”

“ This,” said I, “was the primitive method. Is it still
used ?”

“Yes,” replied the captain, “ even now when the fisheries
belong to the English, to whom they were ceded by the
Treaty of Amiens in 1802.”

“Tt seems to me, captain, that the diver’s dress you
have would suffice in this expedition.”

“ Yes, for the poor fishers cannot remain long under
water. Perceval, an Englishman, in his ‘ Travels in Ceylon,’
spoke highly of a Caffre, who remained for five minutes
under water, but I can scarcely credit it. I know that some
divers can stay for fifty-seven seconds, and very skilful ones
for eighty-seven, which is very seldom done, and when
they return to the boat, these unfortunate fellows bleed from
A NOVEL PROPOSITION. ig

the nose and ears. I believe the average time these divers
can exist under water to be thirty seconds, during which
time they detach all the pearl oysters they can seize, but
these men do not live long as a mle; they are weakened,
ulcers form in their eyes, sores come upon their bodies, and
they are frequently seized with apoplexy at the bottom of
the sea.”

“Yes,” I replied, ‘it is ari unpleasant avocation, and only
to satisfy a caprice. But what number of oysters can a
boat capture during the day ?”

“From 40,000 to 50,000. It is said that in 1814 the
English Government, having taken the fishing on its own
account, the divers, during twenty days’ working, brought
up 76,000,000 of oysters.”

“Well, at any rate these fishers are well paid?”

“Not at all. In Panama they make only one dollar a
week. More frequently they receive a halfpenny for every
pearl oyster ; and how many do they bring up which con-
tain no pearl !” ;

“A halfpenny for these poor people who enrich their
masters! It is iniquitous.”

“ Well, Monsieur, you and your companions shall visit the
Manaar Bank, and if by chance we find somie early fisher
there we will see him at work.”

“ That’s a bargain, captain.”

“ By-the-by, M. Aronnax, are you afraid of sharks?”

“Sharks !” I exclaimed.

This appeared a somewhat difficult question, to me at
least.

“Well?” asked the captain.

“JT must confess,” T said, “that Iam not yet very
familiar with that genus.”

“Well, we people here are sevidionied to- deus and so

B 2
20 A NOVEL PROPOSITION.

will you be in time. Besides, we are armed, and as we go
along we may perhaps have a shark hunt. It is a very
interesting occupation. So to-morrow, Monsieur ; and very
early.”

And saying this in an airy manner, Captain Nemo
quitted the saloon.

If you were invited to a bear hunt on the Swiss moun-
tains what would you say? ‘Well, to-morrow we will go
bear-hunting.” If asked to hunt lions on the plains of the
Atlas, or the tiger in an Indian jungle, you would reply,
“Allright. It seems we are going to hunt the lion or the
tiger (as the case may be).” But if you were asked to hunt
the shark in his native element, you would, perhaps, request
a little time to consider before accepting the polite invita-
tion.

I passed my hand over my forehead as I mused, and
found it covered with a cold perspiration.

“Let us think over this,” I said to myself; “and take
our time. To hunt otters, as we did, in the forest of the
Isle of Crespo is one thing, but to go down to the bottom
of the sea where one is nearly certain to encounter sharks
is another. I know very well that in some places—the
Andaman Islands, for instance—the negroes do not hesitate
to attack the sharks, a dagger in one hand a lasso in the
other, but I also am aware that many of the venturesome
individuals never return. Besides, I am not a negro; and
even if I were, I do not think a little hesitation would be at
all out of place under the circumstances.”

And so I dreamt of sharks, and of their vast jaws armed
with rows of teeth capable of snapping a man in half. I
already began to experience a curiously unpleasant sensation
about the waist. But I could not understand the easy way
in which the captain had given this deplorable invitation ;
A NOVEL PROPOSITION. 21

he had said it in muci the same way as one would ask you
to go fox-hunting.

“ However,” I thought, “Conseil will not want to go,
and that will give me an excuse to let the captain go
without me.”

As for Ned Land, I was obliged to confess that I was
not so sure of his sagacity. Any peril, however great, had
always an attraction for his bellicose nature. So I returned
to my book on Ceylon, but between the lines I could
perceive the formidable jaws opening still.

At this moment Conseil and Ned returned with quite a
cheerful air; they little knew what was in store for them.

“Faith, Monsieur ! your Captain Nemo—may the devil
take him—has made us a very nice offer.”

“ Ah!” T exclaimed, “ you know. ”

“Tf Monsieur has no objection,” replied Conseil, “ the
captain has asked us to accompany Monsieur to the mag-
nificent pearl fisheries of Ceylon. He made the suggestion
like a gentleman.”

“ He said nothing more than that ?”

“ Nothing,” replied Ned, “except that he had spoken to
you on the subject.”

“So, in fact, he gave you no details ?”

“None. You will accompany us, won’t you?”

“TI? Certainly. I perceive you like the idea, Master
Land.”

“Ves, it is curious, very curious !”

“ A little dangerous, perhaps ?” I insinuated.

“ Dangerous?” exclaimed Ned. “A little excursion on
an oyster-bank—dangerous ?”

It was evident that Captain Nemo had decided that it
would be useless to awake the idea of sharks in the minds
of my companions. I already looked upon’ them with a


22 A NOVEL PROPOSITION.

pitying glance, as if they had lost a limb. Ought I to
warn them? Yes, doubtless, but I did not quite know how
to set about it.

“ Monsieur,” said Conseil, “will Monsieur tell us how
they set about this oyster fishing.”

“The fishing itself, or the incidents connected with it?”

“ About the fishing,” said the Canadian. ‘“ Before
getting to the ground, we ought to know something of it.”

“Well, then, if you will sit down, I will tell you all I
have read upon the subject.”

Ned and Conseil took their seats, and suddenly the
Canadian asked :

“ What is a pearl ?”

“ My brave Ned,” I replied, “to a poet a pearl is a tear
of the sea; to the Orientals it is a solidified dew-drop ; to
ladies it is a jewel of oblong shape, of a material like
mother-of-pearl, which they wear on the finger, the neck, or
ears; for the chemist it is a mixture of the phosphate and
the carbonate of lime with a little gelatine ; and, finally, for
naturalists it is merely a morbid secretion of the organ
which produces the mother-of-pearl in some bivalves.”

“ Branch of mollusca—class acephali; order testacea,”
said Conseil,

“Precisely, Professor Conseil. Now amongst these
testacea, the sea-ear iris, the turbot, the tridanz, and all
those which secrete the mother-of-pearl—that is to say, that
blue, bluish-violet, or white substance which lines the in-
terior of their shells—are not unlikely to produce pearls.”

“ And mussels also?” asked the Canadian.

“Ves, mussels in certain districts of the coast of Scot-
Jand, Wales, Ireland, Saxony, Bohemia, and France.”

“Ah! in future I will pay them a little attention,”
replied Ned.
A NOVEL PROPOSITION. 23

“ But I said the mollusc that really forms the pearl is the
pearl-oyster—the Meleagrina margaritifera pintadines. The
pearl is only a nacreous concretion which is disposed in a
globular shape. It adheres to the oyster-shell, or en-
crusts itself in the body of the animal. Upon the shells
the pearl adheres, in the flesh it is loose ; but in any case it
possesses a little hard nucleus, which may bea barren-egg—
a grain of sand around which the nacreous matter has been
disposed, during many years, by delicate and concentric
layers.”

“Are many pearls found in one oyster?” asked Conseil,
“Ves; there are certain ‘ pintadines’ which form a regular
casket of pearls. I have heard of an oyster—though I
rather doubt the story—which contained no less than 150
sharks !”

“A hundred and fifty sharks !” exclaimed Ned.

“ Did I say sharks?” I cried quickly, “I meant pearls;
sharks would be absurd.”

“Of course,” said Conseil. “ But Monsieur has not yet
told us how the pearls are obtained.”

“In many ways, and frequently when the pearls adhere
to the shells, the divers tear them with pincers. But more
commonly the ‘pintadines’ are extended on the esparto
fibres which are laid on the banks. They then die in the
open air, and at the end of ten days they are in a satisfactory
state of putrefaction. They are then thrown into large re-
servoirs of salt water, and are then opened and washed.
At this period the real labour of the sorters begins. First
they separate the layers of mother-of-pearl, known in com-
merce as franche argentée, bastard whites and bastard blacks,
which are sent off in cases of 200 or 300 pounds each. The
‘parenchyma’ of the oyster is then raised, boiled, and sifted
for the pearls.”
24 A NOVEL PROPOSITION.

“T suppose pearls vary in price according to size ?” said
Conseil.

“Not only according to size, but according to shape and
the ‘ water,’ or colour, and their ‘ orient,’ that is the ‘shot’
coloured hue which is so beautiful. The most beautiful are
called virgin pearls, or paragons ; they form only in the tissue
of the mollusc. They are white, often opaque, but some-
times of an opaline clearness, and more usually oval or
rounded. The spherical pearls are made into bracelets, the
oval into pendants, and, being the most valuable, they are
sold singly. The other pearls adhere to the oyster-shell,
and, not being so good, are sold by weight. Finally, in the
inferior class come the small pearls, known as ‘ seed-pearls,’
which are sold by the measure, and are chiefly used to em-
broider church furniture.”

“ But is it a long or difficult job to separate the pearls
according to size ?” asked Ned.

“No; this work is performed by means of sieves or
screens of various meshes. The pearls that remain in the
largest sieves are reckoned of the first class, those that do
not pass through the medium screens are counted in the
second class, and those are called ‘ seed-pearls,’ for which
the smallest sieves, pierced with goo to 1,000 holes, are
used.”

‘Tt is ingenious, but I see the classing of pearls is only
a mechanical operation,” said Conseil. “ But can Monsieur
tell us what the cultivation of oyster-beds yields to the
owner ?”

“ According to my information, the annual value of the
Ceylon fisheries is three millions of sharks.”

“ Of francs, I suppose,” said the Canadian,

“I mean francs—three millions of francs. But I do not
think the fisheries yield as much as formerly. It is the
A NOVEL PROPOSITION. 25

same with the American beds, and in fact we may estimate
nine millions as the whole value of the pearl fisheries.”

“ But are there not some celebrated pearls which com-
mand a very high price ?”

“Yes, my lad. They say Cesar offered Servillia a pearl
estimated at 120,000 francs of our money.”

“T have even heard it stated that some woman of
antiquity used to drink pearls dissolved in vinegar,” said
Ned.

“ Cleopatra,” replied Conseil.

“That must have been very unpleasant,” added Ned.

“ Detestable, friend Ned ; and a little glass of vinegar
that cost 1,500,000 francs was dear |”

“YT am sorry I didn’t marry that woman,” said the
Canadian, raising his arm in a menacing manner.

“Ned Land Cleopatra’s husband !” exclaimed Conseil.

“ But I ought to marry, Conseil, and it is not my fault
that the business has not come off. I have even purchased
a necklace of pearls for Kate Tender, my fancée, who, mean-
while, married somebody else; the necklace cost only a
dollar and a half, and yet, if Monsieur will believe me, the
pearls would not have passed through the biggest sieve.”

“My good Ned,” I said, laughing, “ they were artificial
pearls, simple glass drops filled with essence of orient.”

“Ts that expensive?” asked the Canadian.

“Not at all. It is only the silvery substance of the
scales of the bleak collected in the water and preserved in
ammonia. It has no value.”

“ Perhaps that is the reason why Kate married the other
fellow,” said Ned, philosophically.

“ But,” said I, “to return to our high-priced pearls. I do
not belicve any sovereign ever possessed any so valuable as
those Captain Nemo has,”
26 A NOVEL PROPOSITION.

“ This 2?” said Conseil, indicating a splendid one in a
glass case.

“Certainly. I do not think I am wrong in estimating
it as worth two millions of.

“Francs !” said Conseil, quickly.

“Yes, two millions of francs ; and I daresay that sum
would not repay the captain for the trouble of obtaining
it.”

“Eh!” said Ned; “but who knows that we may not
get such another to-morrow.”

“ Bah !” said Conseil.

“ Why not ?”

“What would be the use of millions to us here ?”

“On board, no. But otherwise—— ”

“Oh! otherwise,” echoed Conseil, with an upward toss
of his head.

“Master Land is right, though,” said I, “and if we
could bring back to Europe a pearl worth a few millions
there will be at once a proof of the truth and success of
our expedition.”

“ T believe it,” said the Canadian.

“ But,” said Conseil, who always came back to the
instructive side of things, “‘is this pearl-fishing dangerous ?”
“No,” said I quickly, “ not if you take proper care.”

“ What risks do you run?” asked Ned. “The taste of
some mouthfuls of sea water?”

“ Just so, Ned. By-the-by, are you afraid of sharks P”

I asked this in as airy a tone as I could assume.

“TI?” exclaimed Ned. “A harpooner by profession?
Why I laugh at them !”

“ But,” said I, “it is not the question of fishing for
them, hauling them on board ship, and cutting them up,
and throwing the heart into the sea.”


A NOVEL PROPOSITION. 27

“Then it is-——”

“Yes, exactly.”

“Tn the water ?”

“Ves, in the water.”

“Faith, with a stout harpoon, I don’t know. You
understand that these sharks are very ill-made beasts. They
must turn on their backs to snap you up, and mean-
time——’”

Ned’s way of pronouncing “snap you up” made my
blood run cold.

“Very well. And,‘Conseil, what do you think of the
sharks P” .

“T will be frank with Monsieur,” he said.

“So much the better,” I thought.

“If Monsieur will encounter the sharks, his faithful
servant will also encounter them by his side.”
CHAPTER III.
A PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS.

Nicut came. I went to bed, but slept badly. The sharks
played an important part in my dreams. I was awakened
by the steward at four o’clock. I got up at once, and, dress-
ing quickly, passed into the saloon.

There Captain Nemo was waiting for me.

““M. Aronnax,” said he, “are you ready to start?”

“Tam.”

“Will you follow me, please ?”

“ And my companions also, captain ? ”

“ They have gone, and are waiting for us.”

‘Shall we not put on our diving dresses ?” I asked.

“Not yet. I have not permitted the WawutiZus to come
very close to the shore, and we are still at some distance
from the Manaar Bank ; but the launch is ready to take us
to the exact spot, and will save us a long way. It has the
apparatus on board, and we can put our dresses on at the
moment we commence our submarine journey.”

Captain Nemo then led the way towards the central
staircase to the platform. There we found Ned and Con-
A PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS. 29

seil, delighted at the “pleasure party” in prospect.
Five sailors were resting on their oars in the boat along-
side.

Day had not yet appeared. The sky was cloudy, and
but few stars were visible. I looked towards the land, but
could descry nothing but a dark line across the horizon
from S.W. to N.W. The Mautilus, having run up the
western side of Ceylon during the night, was west of the bay,
or rather of the gulf formed between the “ main island” and
the island of Manaar. There, beneath the dark waters,
lay the bank of pintadines, an inexhaustible pearl-field
twenty miles in length. Captain Nemo, Ned Land, and I,
took our places in the stern-sheets of the launch. The
coxswain took the tiller, the sailors were ready, the
“ painter” was “cast-off,” and we started.

The course was to the south; the rowers did not hurry.
I noticed that, while they pulled strongly, they rested for
about ten seconds between each stroke, like man-o’-war’s
men. As the boat proceeded the bubbles broke crisply
upon the dark waves like drops of molten lead. A slight
swell rolling in from the offing gave some motion to the
boat, and broke beneath the bows in curling waves.

We were all silent. What was Captain Nemo thinking
about? Perhaps of the land we were approaching, and
which was too near for him, as it was still too far for the
Canadian. As for Conseil, he was with us merely as a
spectator. About half-past five the first tints on the horizon
showed the coast-line more clearly. It appeared to be
somewhat flat on the east side, but became more undu-
lating towards the south. We were still five miles away, and
the coast was not very distinctly seen, owing to the mist.
Between us and the shore nothing was to be seen. Not a
diver nor his boat. A death-like silence reigned in this
30 A PEARL OF TEN MIELIONS. -

trysting-place of. pearl-fishers. So, as Captain Nemo had
said, we had arrived a month too soon.

At six o’clock the day broke with that suddenness pecu-
liar to tropical climes. The sun’s rays pierced the bank of
clouds on the eastern horizon, and the orb ascended rapidly
in the heavens. I could now see the land distinctly, with
the trees scattered here and there upon it.

The launch approached the island of Manaar, which
trended to the south. Captain Nemo rose from his seat,
and gazed over the sea.

At a sign from him the anchor was let go, and the chain
fan out; but not far, for the depth was not much more than
a yard ; and just here was the highest portion of the pearl-
oyster beds. The launch imnrediately swung to the ebb-tide.

“Well, here we are, M. Aronnax,” said the captain.
“You see this bay is well enclosed. Here, in a
month’s time, will assemble numerous fishing-boats, and in
these waters the divers will go boldly to work. This bay
is wonderfully formed*for this kind of fishing. It is pro-
tected from the strongest winds, and the sea is never very
high, which is a favourable circumstance for the divers.
We will now put on our dresses, and commence our excur-
sion.”

J made no reply, and, all the time gazing at the “ sus-
pected” sea of sharks, I was assisted into my dress by
one of the sailors. Captain Nemo and my companions
were also inducted into their habiliments. None of the
sailors of the (Vazti/us were to go with us.

We were soon clothed up to the neck in the india-
rubber garments, and the air apparatus was fastened to our
shoulders by braces. ‘There was no necessity to use the
Ruhmkorff lighting apparatus. Before putting on my helmet
I spoke to the captain about it.
A PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS. 31

“They would be useless,” he said, ‘as we shall not go
to any great depth, and the sunlight will suffice for us.
Besides, it would not be very prudent to carry an electric
lamp under these waters. The light might attract some
dangerous inhabitants inopportunely.”

As Captain Nemo spoke, I turned towards Ned and
Conseil. They had already put on their helmets, and
could neither hear nor reply.

One last question I must address to the captain.

“ Our arms,” I said; “what about our guns ?”

“Guns, for what?” he said. “Do not mountaineers
attack bears with daggers ? and is not the steel more certain
than lead? Here is a true bit of steel for you. Stick it in
your waist-belt and let’s go.”

T again looked at my freinds. They were also furnished
like ourselves, and besides the dagger, Ned Land brandished
an enormous harpoon, which he had placed in the boat
before we left the Mautilus. Then following the captain’s
example, I put on my head-piece, and the air-reservoirs
immediately began to act.

An instant after the sailors let us gently down into the
water, and at about ten yards from the surface we touched a
fine sand,

Captain Nemo signed to us ; we followed him, and de-
scending a gentle slope, we disappeared under the waves.

Once beneath the water, the fearsome ideas I had
hitherto indulged disappeared, and I was quite calm. The
ease with which I was able to move, gave me confidence,
and the unusual sights around me captivated my imagination.

The sun already gave us sufficient light. The smallest
objects were perceptible. After walking for ten minutes,
we were about six yards beneath the surface, and the sand
became more level.
32 - 4 PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS.

Shoals of fish, as we advanced, rose up before us like
snipe ina bog. These fish were of the monoptera genus,
having no other fin than the tail. I recognised the Javanese,
a true serpent, about three feet long, which might easily be
mistaken for the conger, without the line of gold on his
sides. Ariongst the stromatas, whose bodies are very com-
pressed. and oval-shaped, I observed “ parus” of brilliant
colours, with scythe-like dorsal fin, an eatable fish, and
which, when dried and salted, makes an excellent food
called karawade ; there were tranquebars that belong to the
apsiphoroides, the bodies of which are covered with a scaly
protection. |

Meantime the light increased as the sun rose higher in
the heavens. The nature of the ground changed by de-
grees. A regular ‘causeway succeeded to the fine firm sand,
and the stones were clothed with a carpet of molluscs and
zoophytes. Amid the specimens of these two branches, I
remarked the placones, with thin and unequal shells, a sort
of ostracea peculiar to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean ;
some orange lucinze with orbicular shells, and many other
interesting varieties, panopines, oculines, &c. In the midst
of these living plants, and beneath the hydrophytes, lay
legions of articulates,’ chiefly the ranie dentale, the carapace
of which make a slightly rounded triangle. * A hideous
animal, and one I have encountered many times, was the
enormous crab observed by Mr. Darwin, on which nature
has bestowed the instinct and strength necessary to live
upon cocoa-nuts. It ascends the trees on the beach, knocks
off the nuts, which are cracked by the fall, and it then
“ prizes” them open with its powerful claws. Here beneath,
these transparent waves this animal moves with incredible
velocity. Towards seven o’clock we reached, the oyster-
beds, on which the pearl-oysters reproduce themselves by
A PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS. . 33

millions. These valuable molluscs adhere to the rocks, and
are there strongly attached by the byssus which will not
allow them to move. In this respect, the oyster is inferior
to the lowly mussel, to which nature has granted certain
powers of locomotion.

Captain Nemo indicated a prodigious number of pinta-
dines, and I could understand that the supply was really in-
exhaustible, for the creative power of nature is beyond
man’s destructive tastes. Ned Land, faithful to his instinct,
hastened to fill his net with the best oysters he could
gather.

But we could not stay, we were obliged to follow Captain
Nemo, who appeared to be striking out paths known to him
alone. The ground was getting higher evidently, and some-
times my arm, when held up, was above the surface of the
water. The levels of the beds were very irregular, we often
turned. high rocks worn into pyramid shape. In their
gloomy fissures enormous crustacea, standing on their long
limbs like war-machines, looked at us with fixed eyes, while
beneath our feet were many others.

A large grotto now opened before us, excavated amid a
picturesque mass of rock, covered with thick submarine
flora. The grotto at first sight seemed very dark indeed.
The sun’s rays seemed to be extinguished gradually, and
the vague transparency might fitly be termed “drowned
light.”

Captain Nemo entered it, however ; we all followed him.
My eyes soon got accustomed to the gloom. I perceived
that the springings of the arches were irregular, and supported
by natural pillars standing on broad granite bases like
Tuscan columns. Why did our guide lead us into this sub-
marine crypt? I was to know ere tong.

Having descended a somewhat steep decline, we reached

VOL, II. c
34 A PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS.

a kind of circular pit. Here Captain Nemo stopped and
pointed out to us something I had never seen before.

It was an oyster of most extraordinary size, a gigantic
tridacne, a shell which would have held a lake of holy water,
a vase whose breadth was more than two anda half yards,
and, therefore, larger than that which was in the saloon of
the Mautilus.

I approached this enormous mollusc. It was fixed to a
granite slab, and there it grew by itself beneath the calm
waters of the grotto. I estimated its weight at 600 pounds.
Now an oyster like this would contain about thirty pounds’
weight of meat, and one must have the stomach of a Gargan-
tua to swallow a few dozen of such “ natives.”

The captain was aware of the existence of this bivalve ;
evidently it was not the first time he had visited it, and I
thought that in coming hither he had only wished to show
us a natural curiosity. I was mistaken. Captain Nemo
had a personal interest in ascertaining the actual condition
of this tridacne. :

The shells were open. The captain thrust his dagger
between them so as to prevent them shutting again. He
then raised the membraneous tissue with its fringed edges
which formed the covering of the oyster. There, between
the plaits, I saw a loose pearl of the size of a small cocoa-
nut. Its globular form, its perfect transparency, the splendid
“water,” stamped it as a jewel of inestimable price. Actuated
by an impulse of curiosity, I extended my hand to seize it
and weigh it, but the captain stopped me, shook his head,
and, withdrawing his dagger, permitted the shells to close
suddenly.

I then understood his motives. By leaving this pearl
hidden within the tridacne, he allowed it to grow insensibly.
With each year of existence the mollusc added new con-
A PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS. 35

centric rings. The captain alone was acquainted with this
grotto, in which this admirable fruit of nature was ripening ;
he alone would reap it, so to speak, for his famous museum.
Perhaps, after the fashion of the Chinese and Indians, he
had brought the pearl into existence, by introducing into the
folds of the mollusc a piece of glass or iron, which became
covered by the nacreous substance by degrees. In any case,
comparing this pearl to those which I already knew, and to
those which glittered amid the captain’s collection, I should
say its value was ten millions of francs at least (£400,000).
It was a magnificent natural curiosity, and not a jewel, for
there are no ladies’ ears capable of sustaining such a weight,

Our visit to this “ aristocrat” tridacne was over. Captain
Nemo left the grotto, and we remounted to the oyster-beds
into those clear waters not yet disturbed by divers.

We walked singly, in an easy sort of way, stopping or
advancing as suited our respective fancies. For my part I
had no thought for the dangers I had previously conjured
up. We were advancing sensibly towards the surface, and
my head soon rose high above it as I stood in less than
four feet of water. Conseil drew near me, and, putting
his helmeted head close to mine, “made eyes” at me in
the most friendly manner. But this high ground did not
extend for any great distance, and we soon were below the
surface of our e/ement. I believe I am entitled to say so
now !

Ten minutes after, Captain Nemo stopped suddenly. I
fancied he had only halted in order to retrace his steps. No.
By a gesture he directed us to crouch near him, at the
bottom of a large fissure. He pointed towards a particular
spot. I looked steadily at it. About six yards off a shadow
appeared and fell on the ground. The nervous idea of
sharks crossed my mind. But I was wrong, and this time

ca
36 A PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS.

we had not to encounter these ocean monsters. It was a
man—a living man, an Indian: a poor devil of a diver, no
doubt, who came to glean before the corn was cut. I could
perceive his canoe anchored some feet above his head. He
dived and ascended again ; a stone which he held between
his feet (a cord that secured him to the boat) was sufficient
to cause him to descend rapidly. This was his whole
apparatus. As he reached the bottom he fell upon his
knees and filled his net with pintadines, collected indis-
criminately. He then ascended, emptied the net, replaced
the stone, and recommenced his operations, which never
exceeded thirty seconds’ duration.

The diver did not perceive us. The shadow of the rock
hid us; and, besides, how. could this poor Indian suppose
that beings like himself would be there under water watching
his movements, not losing a detail ?

Many times he ascended and dived again. He did not
bring up more than ten oysters at a time, for he was obliged
to tear some away by main force ; and how many of these
oysters had no pearls, for which he was risking his life !

I was watching him with fixed attention ; his movements
were regular, and during half an hour no danger threatened
him. I was getting accustomed in watching this interesting
fishing, when suddenly, as the Indian was kneeling on the
ground, I saw him make a gesture of terror, rise up, and
spring for his boat.

I understood the position. A gigantic shadow ap-
peared above the terrified diver. It was a shark of the
largest size, which was swimming diagonally—eyes flaming,
and with extended jaws.

J was petrified with horror.

‘The voracious fish, by a vigorous stroke of his fins,
darted towards the Indian, who threw himself aside, and
A PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS. 37

avoided the open jaws of the shark, but not the stroke of his
tail, for he received a blow in the chest which stretched
him on the ground. This was the work of a few seconds.
The shark came again to the attack, and, turning on his
back, seemed about to cut the Indian in two, when Captain
Nemo jumped up, poinard in hand, and, rushed straight at
the monster, ready for a “ hand-to-hand ” encounter.

The shark perceived this new adversary just as he was
about to snap up the unfortunate diver, and, turning on his
belly, he went for the captain.

I can still see Captain Nemo, as he stood.

With wonderful selfpossession he coolly waited the
attack of this enormous shark, and, when it rushed at him,
the captain, jumping aside with surprising dexterity, avoided
the contact and plunged his dagger into the belly of the
animal. But all was not over. A terrible fight ensued.

The shark seemed to roar, as it were. The blood poured
in torrents from the wounds. The sea was tinged with red,
and through this opaque liquid I could not perceive how
the fight was waging.

I saw nothing more until the moment when, as the
ensanguined waves cleared away, I perceived the undaunted
captain holding to one of the shark’s fins, and dealing himi-
blow after blow, but unable to deal a mortal one at the
heart, ‘The shark in its struggles so agitated the water that
I could scarcely keep my position.

I wished to get to the captain’s assistance, but I was
nailed by horror to the spot.

I looked on with haggard eye. I saw the varying
fortunes of the combat. The captain fell upon the ground,
overturned by the enormous mass that weighed upon him.
Then the shark’s jaws opened like enormous shears, and
would have made an end of the captain, had not Ned Land,
38 A PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS.

quick as thought, precipitated himself, harpoon in hand,
upon the shark, and driven the terrible weapon into his
side.

The waves were immediately a mass of blood, and
rolled in large billows as the shark beat them in his struggles.
Ned Land had struck home; this was the monster’s last
gasp. Pierced to the heart, he beat out his life in spas-
modic writhings, the shock of which upset Conseil.

Meantime, Ned Land had gone to the captain’s assist-
ance, and he, again on his feet, hastened to the Indian, cut
the cord which fastened the stone, and, taking him in his
arms, by a vigorous stroke ascended to the surface. We all
followed, and, in a few minutes, most miraculously preserved
from death, we reached the diver’s boat.

Captain Nemo’s first care was to restore this unfortunate
man to life. Iwas afraid he would not succeed—I hoped
he would, for the poor man’s immersion had not lasted long
—but the blow from the shark’s tail might have been fatal.

Happily, by vigorous rubbing, I perceived the diver

regaining consciousness. He opened his eyes, and great
was his astonishment to perceive four great copper-helmeted
heads leaning over him.
_ And still greater must have been his surprise, when
Captain Nemo, taking a string of pearls from his dress, placed
them in his hand, This munificent present from the man of
the seas to the poor Cingalese was accepted with trembling
hands. His startled eyes showed that he did not know to
what superhuman beings he owed at once his fortune and
his life.

At asign from the captain we regained the oyster beds,
and retracing our steps, we reached the anchor of the launch
in about half an hour, Once again on board, we with the
sailors’ assistance took off our dresses,
A PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS, 39

Captain Nemo’s first words were addressed to the
Canadian.

“Thank you, Master Land,” he said. -

“Tt was only a ‘return match,” said Ned. “I owed you
that.”

A wan smile flitted across the captain’s features, and that
was all.

“To the Mautilus,” he cried.

The boat flew over the waves. Some minutes later we
encountered the dead body of the shark floating on the
surface.

In its black marking at the extremities of the fins, I
recognised the terrible melanopteron of the Indian Seas,
sharks properly so called. Its length was twenty-five feet :
its enormous mouth occupied a third of its body. It was a
full-grown specimen, as we could perceive by the six rows of
teeth, disposed in the form of an isosceles triangle in its
upper jaw.

Conseil regarded it from an entirely scientific point of
view, and I am sure he classed it, and not without reason,
amongst the cartilaginous animals—order of chondrop-
terygians with fixed gills, family selacian—genus sharks.

While I was looking at it, a dozen of its voracious
relatives appeared close by; but, without noticing us, they
threw themselves upon the corpse, and fought for the
fragments.

At half-past nine we were on board the Mautilus
again.

There I began to reflect upon the incidents of our ex-
cursion to the Manaar Bank. ‘Two reflections suggested
themselves at once. One was the unparalleled bravery of
Captain Nemo; the other, his devotion to a human being,
a representative of the race he shunned. Whatever he
40 A PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS.

might hint to the contrary, I was persuaded that this ex-
traordinary man was not entirely devoid of heart.

When I said as much to him he replied, with some little
emotion, “ That Indian, monsieur, is an inhabitarit of an
oppressed country. I am, and shall be to my last day, such
an one myself!”
_ CHAPTER IV.

THE RED SEA,

Durine the day the island of Ceylon disappeared from
view, and the Wawtlus steamed at about twenty miles an
hour into the labyrinth of canals that separate the Maldive
from the Lacadive Isles. We skirted the island of Kitlan,
of madreporic formation, which was discovered by Vasca de
Gama in 1499, and is one of the nineteen large islands of
the Lacadive group, situated between 10° and 14° 30’ N.
lat. and 69° and go0° 72’ E. long. We had -now made
16,220 miles, or 7,500 leagues, since our departure from
Japan.

Next day, 30th January, when the JVaudi/us rose to the
surface, no land was in sight. We steered N.N.W. towards
the Sea of Oman, between Arabia and Hindostan, and which
is the mouth of the Persian Gulf.

There was evidently no egress. Whither was Captain
Nemo leading us? I could not say. This did not satisfy
Ned, who asked me where we were going.

“We are going,” said I, “whither the captain’s fancy
leads us,” = 2
42 THE RED SEA.

“This fancy will not lead us very far, then. There is no
other outlet to the Persian Gulf, and if we enter it we shall
soon have to retrace our steps.”

“ Well, then, we must come back again, Master Land;
and if, after the Persian Gulf, the Wautilus chooses to visit
the Red Sea, the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb is always free to
us.”

“T need scarcely tell you, sir,” replied Ned Land, “ that
the Red Sea is closed equally with the Gulf, since the
Isthmus of Suez is not yet cut through ; and if it were, a
mysterious vessel like ours would not risk herself in a canal
intersected with sluices. So the Red Sea is not our road
to Europe.”

“But I have not said that we were going back to
Europe.”

“What do you think, then ?”

“T suppose that, after having seen the curious localities
of Arabia and Egypt, the Mauti/us will go back into the
Indian Ocean again, perhaps through the Mozambique
Channel, perhaps outside Madagascar, so as to gain the
Cape of Good Hope.”

“And when we have reached the Cape?” asked the
Canadian, with peculiar insistence.

“Well, then we shall explore that part of the Atlantic
we do not yet know. Ah! friend Ned, you are getting tired
of this submarine travelling. You are d/asé with the in-
cessant wonders of the sea, varied though they be. For my
own part, I shall be sorry to come to the end of a voyage
such as is given to few men to enjoy.”

“But are you aware that we have been shut up in the
Nautilus nearly three months ?”

“No, Ned, I did not know it. I do not wish to—and
I reckon neither hours nor days,”
THE RED SEA, 43

“But what is the end to be?”

“The end will come in good time. Besides, we can do
nothing, and there is no use talking about it. If you should
come to me and say: ‘I see a chance of escape for us,’ I
would go into the question with you; but that is not the
case now, and I tell you frankly I do not think that Captain
Nemo will ever venture into European waters.”

By this short conversation you will perceive that I was
almost as much attached to the Waw/e/us as its commander.
Ned Land brought the interview to a conclusion by the
following muttered words :

“That is all very well, but in my opinion, when one is
tired of the thing, there is no fun in it.”

For four days the Vauti/us explored the Sea of Oman
at various depths, and with varying speed. We appeared
to be sailing at random, as if there were some hesitation
respecting our route, but we did not pass the Tropic of
Cancer.

As we left this sea we caught a glimpse of Muscat, the
most important town of the Oman territory. I admired its
strange aspect in the midst of the black rocks surrounding
it, and against which the white houses and forts stood out
in strong relief. The round domes of the mosques, the
tapering points of the minarets, the fresh green terraces,
were all before us. But it was only a fleeting vision, for the
Nautilus again plunged under Oman’s green water.

We afterwards coasted the Arabian shore for six miles,
and its line of undulating mountains dotted with ancient
ruins.

On the 5th of February we entered the Gulf of Aden, a
regular funnel introduced into the neck of Bab-el-Mandeb,
which serves as the entrance for the waters of the Indian
Ocean to the Red Sea.
44 THE RED SEA.

Next day the Wauti/us lay off Aden, which is perched
up upon a promontory united to the mainland by a narrow
isthmus—a miniature Gibraltar, the fortifications having been
built by the English in 1839. I could see the octagon
minarets of the town, which was formerly one of the richest
commercial stations on the coast.

I was certain that Captain Nemo would now retrace his
steps, but, to my surprise, he did nothing of the kind.

On the 7th we entered Bab-el-Mandeb, which in Arabic
signifies ‘Gate of Tears.” The strait is twenty miles
wide and about thirty long, and, for the JVauit/us at full
speed, the passage was accomplished in less than an hour.
But I saw nothing, not even the island of Perim, by which
the British Government has strengthened the position of
Aden. Too many steamers of all nations passed this strait
for the Vaztr/us to venture to show herself, so we prudently
kept under water. At noon we were in the Red Sea. This
sea, celebrated in Bible history, is scarcely refreshed by rain,
nor is it supplied by any important river; it is subject to an
excessive evaporation, and loses each year a layer of water
about two yards high. A singular gulf, which, enclosed, and
under similar conditions to a lake, would be dried up, and
in this respect inferior to its neighbours the Caspian or the
Dead Sea, the levels of which have only descended to the
points where their evaporation exactly equals the amount
of water received by them.

The Red Sea is between 1,500 and 1,600 miles long,
and about 150 miles in width. At the time of the Ptolemys
and the Roman Empire, it was the great commercial artery
of the world; and the cutting of the Suez Canal will restore
it to its former importance, a result that the railway has
already partly brought about.

I did not even seek to understand the caprice of the
THE RED SEA. 45

captain, which had decided him to enter the Red Sea ; but
I quite approved of this course. He went at less speed,
sometimes at the surface, sometimes plunging down_ to
escape observation; and I was able to notice both the
upper and lower parts of this curious sea.

On the 8th of February, at dawn, we sighted Mocha, a
town now ruined; whose walls would fall down at the
report of a single cannon. It was formerly an important
city, enclosing six public markets, twenty-six mosques, and
the walls, defended by fourteen fortresses, were more than
two miles in circumference.

The Vautilus approached close to the African side,
where the depth of water is greater. There, in a medium
as clear as crystal, we were able to gaze upon the beautiful
corals and the enormous masses of rock covered with alge
and fuci. It was indescribable! What a variety of land-
scapes there were among those rocks and islands which
border on the Libyan coasts. But it was on the eastern
side that these appeared in full beauty, and the Mauttlus
was not long in reaching them. This was on the Tehama
coast, for there not only did the expanse of the zoophytes
flourish below the level of the sea, but they entwined them-
selves picturesquely some feet above the surface. These
were more extensive but less beautiful than those which
were kept fresher by the surrounding vitality of the
waters.

How many pleasant hours I passed at the open panels
of the saloon. What numbers of specimens of submarine
flora I admired by the gleam of the electric light. Mush-
room-shaped fungi, red-coloured sea-anemones, amongst
others, the ¢halasstanthus aster; tubipores like flutes, which
only waited the breath of the “great god Pan;” shells
peculiar to this sea, which were resting in the holes made
46 THE RED SEA.

by the madrepores, and the bases of which were turned ina
short spiral; and finally, what Ihad never seen in its natural
polype state—the common sponge.

The class of sponges, first in the group of polypi, has
been precisely created by this curious product, the uses of
which are indisputable. The sponge is not a vegetable, as
some naturalists think it, but an animal of the lowest order,
a polype inferior to the coral. There is no doubt of its
being an animal, and one cannot even adopt the classifica-
tion of the ancients, who put it between the plants and
animals. I ought to mention that naturalists do not agree
respecting the mode of organisation of the sponge. Some
say it is a polypus; others, such as Mr. Milne-Edwards,
that it is an isolated species, and unique.

The class of sponges include about 300 species, which
are met with in many seas, and even in water-courses, where
they received the name of “fluviatiles.” But they are
chiefly found in the Mediterranean, in the Grecian Archipe-
lago, on the coasts of Syria, and in the Red Sea. There
the softest and most beautiful sponges grow, and rise to a
value of six pounds sterling, such as the white Syrian
sponge, Barbary sponge, &c. But as I could not hope to
study these zoophytes in the Levant, from which we were
separated by the Isthmus of Suez, I was obliged to content
myself by examining them in the Red Sea,

I called Conseil to me while the Mauti/us slowly passed
by the beautiful rocks of the eastern coast at about ten
yards below the surface.

Sponges of all shapes and sizes were there, pediculated,
foliated, globulous, and digital. They justified the appella-
tions of baskets, vases, distaffs, elk-horns, lion’s feet, peacock-
tail, Neptune’s glove, which have been bestowed upon them
by the fishermen, more poetical than naturalists. From the
THE RED SEA. 47

fibrous tissue coated with a semi-gelutinous substance, a
thread of water is incessantly escaping, which, having carried
life into each cell, is expelled by a contractile movement.
This substance disappears after the death of the polypus,
which, when putrifying, disengages ammonia. Nothing is
then left but the horny or gelutinous fibres, forming the
domestic sponge, which takes a russet tinge, and is used
in various ways, according to its elasticity, permeability,
or resistance to maceration.

These polypes adhere to rocks, to shells of molluscs,
and even to the stalks of hydrophytes. They garnish the
smallest crevices, some extending outwards, others close or
hanging down like corals. I told Conseil that these sponges
are fished for in two ways, by a drag or by hand. The
latter method is preferable, for the divers take care of the
tissue of the polype, and this gives the commodity greater
value.

The other zoophytes which live near the sponges are
chiefly medusze of a beautiful species. Molluscs were repre-
sented by the varieties of calmar, which, according to
Orbigny, are peculiar to the Red Sea, and the reptiles by
the ergata turtle belonging to the Chelonie genus, which
furnishes our table with such delicate and wholesome
food.

The fish were numerous and often remarkable. The
nets of the Vawit/us were frequently drawn, and we found
rays of a reddish brick colour, mullet, gobies, blennies,
balista, hammer-fish, and a thousand other fish common to
the oceans Which we had already traversed. On the gth of
February the /Vazd¢lus was in the broadest part of the Red
Sea, which is between Souakin on the west and Quonfodah
on the east coast, a distance of ninety miles.

At noon Captain Nemo came upon the platform, where
48 - THE RED SEA.

he found me. I determined not to allow him to go away
without having at least given me some hint as to his future
proceedings. He approached as soon as he saw me, and
offered me a cigar. .

“Well, monsieur,” he said, “does the Red Sea please
you? Have you sufficiently examined the wonders it con-
tains—its fish and zoophytes, its sponges and corals? Have
you seen the towns on the coast?”

“Yes, Captain Nemo,” I replied, “and the Wautidus is
wonderfully fitted for such studies. It is a very cleverly-
designed vessel.”

“Ves, sir ; clever, fearless, and invulnerable. It neither
fears the tempests of the Red Sea, its currents, nor its
rocks.”

“Tn fact,” said I, “this sea is quoted as being one of
the worst, and, if I do not mistake, its reputation in ancient
times was very bad indeed.”

“ Detestable, M. Aronnax. The Greek and Latin writers
do not speak well of it, and Strabo says that it is par-
ticularly dangerous during the season of the Etesian winds
and in the rainy season. The Arab historian, Edrisi, who
has described it under the name of the Gulf of Colzoum,
relates that ships have perished in great numbers on its
sand-banks, and that no one would venture to navigate it
during the night. It was, he states, subject to terrific hurri-
canes, and interspersed with barren islands, and ‘had nothing
good in it, either above or below. Such, indeed, was the
opinion of Arrian, Agatharchides, and Artemidorus.”

“One can very easily perceive that these hisforians never
navigated it in the Wautilus,” said I.

“ Exactly,” replied the captain, smiling; “and in this
respect the moderns are not much more advanced than were
the ancients. It has taken many centuries to develop the
THE RED SEA. 49

mechanical powers of steam. Who knows but that in a
hundred years they may see another /Vautédus. Progress is
slow, M. Aronnax.”

“Tt is true,” said I, “that your vessel is a century, many
centuries perhaps, in advance of its time. What a pity it is
that the secret should die with its inventor.”

Captain Nemo made no answer. After a pause he said :
“ We were speaking of the opinions of the ancient historians
respecting the dangers of the Red Sea.”

“Ves,” I said, “ but were not their fears exaggerated ?”

“Well, yes—and no, M. Aronnax,” replied the captain,
who seemed to have physically and morally gone deeply
into the Red Sea. “ That which is not dangerous for a
modern ship, well found and solidly built, and, thanks to
steam-power, master of its course, would offer considerable
danger to ancient galleys. We must consider these first
navigators in their roughly-built vessels. They had not any
instruments to take bearings, and they sailed at the mercy
of almost unknown currents. Under such conditions ship-
wrecks were, as might be expected, frequent. But in our
time the steamers that perform the service between Suez and
the Southern Seas have nothing to fear in this sea, despite of
monsoons even. Captains and passengers do not offer
propitiatory sacrifices before starting, and when they return
they do not carry gilded ornaments and fillets as thank-
offerings to the gods.”

“T agree with you,” I said; “and steam appears to have
killed thankfulness in the hearts of sailors. But, captain, as
you appear to have made this sea your study, can you tell
me the origin of its name ?”

“Numerous explanations exist. Should you like to
know the opinion of a chronicler of the fourteenth
century?”

VOL. Il. D
50 THE RED SEA.

“Very much indeed.”

“ This writer pretends that the name was bestowed upon
it after the passage of the Israelites, when Pharaoh perished
at the closing in of the waters :

‘* As sign of miracle so dread,
The waves became a rosy red.
And since by ages handed down,
As the Red Sea the gulf is known.”*

“A poetical explanation, captain,” I replied, “but I
camnot accept that reason. I should like your own
opinion.”

“You shall have it. In my opinion, M. Aronnax, the
name Red Sea is a translation from the Hebrew word
‘Edrom,’ and if the ancients gave it that name, it was in
consequence of the peculiar colouring of its waters.”

“Till now, nevertheless, I have observed nothing but
clear water, without any peculiar tint whatever.”

“ No doubt, but towards the end of this gulf, you will
perceive this singular appearance. J remember having seen
it in the Bay of Tor, perfectly red, like a lake of blood.”

“And this colour you attribute to the presence of
microscopic algze ?”

“Yes—it is a purple mucilaginous seaweed, produced
by the plants known as trichodesmia, and of which it
requires forty thousand to occupy a space of a surface about

* The original is as follows :—

En signe de cette merveille,
Devint la mer rouge et vermeille.
Non puis ne surent la nommer,
Autrement que la rouge mer,
THE RED SEA. 51

.o4 of an inch square. Perhaps at Tor we may meet
them.”

“T perceive, captain, that this is not the first time you
have traversed the Red Sea.”

“No.”

“Well, as you were speaking just now of the passage of
the Israelites, and the destruction of the Egyptians, I
would ask if any submarine traces of this fact have been
discovered ?”

“No, Monsieur, and for a very excellent reason.”

“What is that ?”

“Because the spot where Moses crossed over with his
people is now so silted up that camels can scarcely bathe
their limbs there. Even my Wautidvs could not float in that
spot.”

“ And where is the place ?”

“Tt is situated a little below the Isthmus of Suez, in the
arm that formerly formed a deep estuary at the time when
the Red Sea extended to the Salt Lakes. Now, whether this
passage was miraculous or not, the Israelites did not the
less pass there to gain the Promised Land, and the army of
Pharaoh perished at that identical spot. I think, therefore,
that excavations into these sands would be successful in
discovering a quantity of ancient Egyptian arms and
accoutrements.”

“No doubt,” I replied, “and it is to be hoped, for
archeologists, that these excavations will be made when
towns shall be built upon the isthmus after the construction
of the Suez Canal. A very useless canal for such a ship as
the Matelus.”

“TJ daresay; but very useful to the world in general,”
replied Captanm Nemo. “ The ancients understood the
utility of establishing a water communication between the

D2
52 THE RED SEA.

Red Sea and the Mediterranean, but they did not think of
cutting a canal direct, and they took the Nile as the inter-
mediary route. Very probably the canal which united the
Nile to the Red Sea was commenced under Sesostris, if
tradition may be accepted. It is certain, however, that in
615 B.c., Necos undertook the excavation of an ‘alimentary’
canal across the plain of Egypt opposite Arabia. This
canal might be ascended in four days, and its width was that
of two triremes abreast. It was continued by Darius, the
son of Hydaspes, and probably completed by Ptolemy the
Second. Strabo saw it in use for vessels, but the very
slight ‘fall? between its point of departure near Bubastes to
the Red Sea rendered it navigable only for a few months in
the year. ‘This canal served for commerce up to the age of
Antoninus, when it was abandoned, then silted up, but
restored by the Caliph Omar. It was finally filled in in 761
or 762 by the Caliph Al-Mensor, who wished to prevent food
from reaching Mohammed-Ben-Abdullah, who had revolted
against him. During Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt, the
traces of the work were discovered in the desert of Suez, and,
surprised by the tide, the French were nearly lost some
distance from Hadjaroth, the same place where Moses had
encamped three thousand years before.”

“Well, captain, if the ancients failed to make this canal,
which would shorten the distance from Cadiz to India by
water by nearly 6,000 miles, M. de Lesseps has done it, and
before long he will have changed Africa into an immense
island.”

“Yes, M. Aronnax ; and you have reason to be proud of
your countryman. He is a greater hero to a nation than a
great general. He began, like many others, under slights and
rebuffs, but he has triumphed, for he has brain and good
THE RED SEA. 53

will. It is sad to think that this undertaking, which ought
to have been international, and is sufficient to add lustre to
any reign, was only successful owing to the energy of one
man. So all honour to M. de Lesseps !”

“Ves, all honour to this great citizen!” I replied,
surprised by the manner in which Captain Nemo
spoke. ;

“Unfortunately,” he said, “I cannot take you up the
Suez Canal, but the day after to-morrow you will see the
long piers of Port Said, when we shall be in the Medi-
terranean.”

“Tn the Mediterranean ?” I exclaimed.

“Yes. Does that astonish you?”

“Ves, it does. The idea that we shall be there the day
after to-morrow !”

“ Really !”

“Yes, captain. Although I confess I ought not to be
surprised at anything while on board your vessel.”

“ But why are you surprised ?”

“ Because I think of the awful speed you must make to
double the Cape of Good Hope, go round Africa, and enter
the Mediterranean the day after to-morrow.”

‘“‘ And who told you that I am going to double the Cape
and go up the African coast, eh ?”

“Well, you will admit that even the Mawutélus cannot
sail on dry land, across the Isthmus of Suez.”

“ Nor beneath it, M. Aronnax ?”

“ Beneath it?” I echoed.

“ Certainly,” replied the captain, calmly. ‘“ Nature long
ago made, underneath, what mortals have only to-day com-
pleted on the surface.”

“What do you say? A passage exists ?”
54 THE RED SEA.

‘Ves, a subterranean passage does exist. I call it the
Arabian Tunnel; it commences underneath Suez and ends
in the Gulf of Pelusium.”

“But the isthmus is only composed of shifting sand !”

“To a certain depth—yes. But at about sixty yards
down there is a solid rock.”

“ And did you discover this passage by chance ?”

“By chance and reason, professor ; and by reason even
more than chance.”

“Captain Nemo, I Zear you, but my ears can scarcely
take it all in.”

“ Ah, Monsieur, aures habent et non audient is a motto
for all ages. Not only does this passage exist, but I have
often taken advantage of it. Were it not for it, I should not
have come into the Red Sea at all just now.”

“‘ May I ask how you discovered the tunnel ?”

“Monsieur,” replied the captain, “there is no reason
to keep any secret between people who will never be
separated.”

I did not notice the insinuation, and waited for the
captain’s explanation.

““M. Aronnax,” said he, “it was the simple reasoning of
a naturalist that led me to the discovery of this passage,
with which I alone am acquainted. I had remarked that in
the Red Sea and in the Mediterranean there existed a
number of fish identical in every respect. Once certain of
this fact, I began to consider whether there might not be
some communication between the two seas. If such existed,
the subterranean current would flow from the Red Sea to
the Mediterranean by the simple difference of level. I then
caught a quantity of fish off Suez; I placed on their tails
brass rings, and let them go. Some months later, on the
Syrian coasts, I pulled up some specimens of fish which
THE RED SEA, 58

were decorated with brass rings on their tails. Thus the
communication between the seas was demonstrated. I
made search with the /Vawtzlus, I discovered the passage, I
ventured into it, and before long, sir, you will also have
passed the Arabian Tunnel.”
CHAPTER V.

THE ARABIAN TUNNEL,

Tuat day I reported to Conseil and Ned Land such por-
tions of my conversation with Captain Nemo as directly in-
terested them. When I told them that in two days we
should be in the Mediterranean, Conseil clapped his hands,
but the Canadian shrugged his shoulders.

* A submarine tunnel!” he cried. ‘ A communication
between the seas! Who ever heard of such a thing?”

“ Friend Ned,” replied Conseil, ‘‘ had you ever heard of
the Mautilus ? No, but it nevertheless is a fact. There-
fore, do not shrug your shoulders so quickly, and do not
disbelieve things because you have never heard of them.”

“Well, we shall see,” said Ned, nodding his head. “After
all, I desire nothing better than to make this passage into
the Mediterranean.”

The same evening, in 21° 30’ N. lat., the Waut//us ap-
proached the Arabian coast. I could see Djeddah, an
important “exchange” of Egypt, Syria, Turkey, and the
Indies. I could distinguish clearly its houses, the vessels
alongside the quays, and those anchored farther out. The
THE ARABIAN TUNNEL. - 57

setting sun fell full upon the houses, making them appear so
very white, while farther off some cabins of wood or reeds
indicated the Bedaween quarter.

Djeddah was soon lost in the gloom, and the Maztilus
descended beneath the phosphorescent water.

Next day, February roth, many vessels appeared to
windward. The Vautlus resumed her submarine naviga-
tion ; but at midday, at the time for taking “ bearings,” the
sea was clear of ships as we came to the surface ‘again.
Accompanied by Ned and Conseil, I sat down upon the
platform. The coast on the east side was half hidden by a
thick mist.

Leaning against the launch, we were chatting on various
topics, when Ned, extending his hand, ‘said :

“Do you see anything over there, sir?”

“No, Ned,” I replied, “my eyes are not so good as
yours.”

“Took steadily,” replied Ned, “a little above the lan-
thorn to starboard. Don’t you see something moving?”

“Tn fact,” I said, after gazing attentively in the direction
indicated, “I do believe there is a long black body at the
surface of the water.”

“ Another Wautilus ?” suggested Conseil.

“No,” said the Canadian ; “if I mistake not, it is some
marine animal.” ;

“ Are there any whales in the Red Sea?” asked Conseil.

“ Yes,” I replied, “they are sometimes met with.”

“Tt is not a whale,” said Ned, who still kept his gaze
fixed upon the object. “Whales and I are such old
acquaintances, that I cannot mistake them.”

“ Let us wait,” said Conseil. “The Waudilus is going in

that direction, we shall soon see what it is.”

SS.

~ The black object was soon within a mile of us. It
58 THE ARABIAN TUNNEL,

looked like a great sandbank. What could it be? I was
not able to decide.

“ Aha! it moves, it dives!” cried Ned. ‘ Thousand
devils ! what can it be? Its tail is not divided like the
whales’ and cachalots’, and its fins look as if they had been
cut.”

* But then——”

“Look there!” cried the Canadian, “it is on its back

“Tt is a siren, a true siren,” cried Conseil. “If Monsieur
has no objection.”

The term “siren” gave mea hint, and I perceived at once
that this animal belonged to that order of marine animals
which are fabulously called sirens—half-female, half-fish.

“No,” I said to-Conseil, ‘it is not a siren, but a very
curious being of which very few specimens exist in the Red
Sea ; it is a dugong.”

“Order, sirens; group, pisciform ; sub-class, monodolphin;
class, mammifer; branch, vertebrates,” replied Conseil.

When Conseil had said this there was nothing to add.

Meanwhile Ned kept his eyes fixed on the dugong, and
they shone with expectation. His hand seemed ready to
grasp his harpoon, and one would have said that he only
awaited the proper moment to throw himself into the sea
and attack the animal in his native element.

“Oh, Monsieur!” he said, in a voice trembling with
eagerness, “I have never killed one of that kind.”

All the harpooner was in these words.

Just then the captain appeared. He noticed the dugong.
Understanding the attitude of the Canadian, he at once
addressed him:

“Tf you had a harpoon in your hand just now, Master
Land, it would burn your palm, would it not ?”

“ Quite true, sir.”

12?
THE ARABIAN TUNNEL. 89

“And it would not displease you to return to your
former avocation for a day, and to add yonder cetacean to
the list of your victories ? ”

“‘Tt would not displease me in the least.”

“Well, then, you can try.”

“Thank you, sir,” replied Ned Land, with kindling
eyes.

“Only, I advise you not to miss that creature, for your
own sake.”

“Ts the dugong a very dangerous animal to attack?” I
asked, notwithstanding Ned’s shrug of the shoulders.

“ Sometimes,” replied Captain Nemo, “the animal will
turn and attack its assailant; but, with Master Land, this
danger is not to be apprehended. His eye is quick, his
arm sure. If I recommended him not to miss his stroke, it
was because I look at it as fine game, and I know Master
Land has no objection to tid-bits.”

“ Ah !” cried Ned, “so he is good to eat, is he?”

“Ves, his flesh is held in high estimation, and the
Malays universally reserve it for the tables of their princes.
Indeed, they hunt the animal so persistently that, like its
relation the manatee, it has become very scarce.”

«Then, Monsieur,” said Conseil to the captain, “if that
dugong be the last of his race, would it not be better to
spare him, in the interests of science?”

“Perhaps so,” replied Ned, “but in the interests of
cookery it will be better to give him chase.”

“Well, go ahead, Master Land,” cried Captain Nemo.

Now seven of the crew, silent as ever, appeared upon
the platform. One of them carried a harpoon and line
similar to those used in whaling. The boat was lowered.
Six rowers took their places, and the coxswain seized the
tiller. Ned, Conseil, and myself sat in the stern-sheets.
60 THE ARABIAN TUNNEL.

“ Are you not coming, captain P”

“No, professor, but I wish you good sport.”

The boat shoved off, and, impelled by six sturdy rowers,
rapidly approached the dugong.

We slacked speed a few cables’ length from the crea-
ture, and pulled silently. Ned Land, harpoon in hand, took
up his position in the bows. The usual whaling harpoon is
attached to a long cord, which is paid out when the animal
dives ; but in this instance there were only about twelve
fathoms of line, and at the end of this a barrel was fastened
so as to indicate the course of the dugong in the water.

I got up and took a good look at the enemy. The
dugong—also known as the halicore—is very much like the
manatee, or lamantine. Its body is terminated by a long
tail, and its lateral fins by fingers. The difference between
the dugong and manatee consists in the former being armed
with two long and pointed teeth in the upper jaw, which
form a defence for each side.

This was the animal that Ned was about to attack ; its
length was about twenty-four feet. It did not move, and
appeared to be sleeping, which circumstance would render
its capture more easy. The launch approached cautiously
to within three fathoms. The oars were eased. I half
raised myself. Ned Land, his body thrown back a little,
brandished his harpoon.

Suddenly a hissing noise was heard, and the dugong
disappeared. The harpoon, forcibly cast, had only struck
the water apparently.

“Thousand devils!” cried Ned furiously. “I have
missed it.”

“No,” I said, “the animal is wounded, look at the
blood, but the weapon did not stick in the body.”

“ My harpoon, my harpoon !” cried Ned.
THE ARABIAN TUNNEL, 61

The sailors pulled and the coxswain steered for the
barrel. The harpoon was picked up, and the chase recom-
menced. The dugong came up to the surface to breathe
occasionally. The wound had not disabled him, for he
swam with great rapidity. The boat, impelled by vigorous
arms, flew upon his track. Many times we were close to
him, and the Canadian was prepared to strike, but the
dugong plunged suddenly, and it was impossible to reach it.

You may imagine Ned Land’s indignation. He heaped
the most energetic forms of expression upon the unhappy
animal. For my part, I was annoyed to see the dugong
escape us.

We pursued it steadily for an hour, and I was beginning
to believe that its capture would be a very difficult opera-
tion, when the animal was suddenly seized with the idea of
retaliation (of which we had cause to repent later), and
came to attack the boat.

This manceuvre did not escape the Canadian.

“Took out, men!” he cried.

The coxswain addressed his crew in his peculiar tongue
and no doubt put them on their guard.

Arrived at twenty feet from the boat, the dugong pulled
up. He sniffed the air with his immense nostrils, pierced in
the upper part of the muzzle, then with a spring he threw
himself upon us.

The boat could not avoid the shock. It was nearly
upset, and took in a couple of tons of water, which it was
necessary to get rid of. But, thanks to the coxswain, we
received the blow sideways, and we were not upset.

Ned Land, holding on tightly in the bows, struck blow
after blow at the gigantic animal, which, having fastened its
teeth in the gunwale, nearly lifted the boat out of the water.
We were thrown all together in a heap, and I do not know
62 THE ARABIAN TUNNEL.

how the adventure would have terminated, had not the
Canadian sent a lucky blow direct to the creature’s heart.

I heard its teeth grinding upon the gunwale, and the
animal disappeared, taking the harpoon with him. But the
barrel soon came to the surface again, and a few minutes
afterwards, the body of the dugong appeared floating on its
back. We pulled towards it, took it in tow, and returned
to the Nautilus.

It was necessary to employ some very strong tackle to
hoist the dugong on board. It weighed more than four
tons. It was cut up under the superintendence of the
Canadian, and the same afternoon the steward served me
with slices of the excellent flesh. I found it very good,
superior to veal, if not to beef.

Next day our larder was again enriched by some choice
game.
They were a species of Sterna mulotica peculiar to Egypt;
the beak is white, the head grey and pointed; the eyes are
surrounded by white spots; the back, wings, and tail are
greyish, the belly and throat white ; the feet are red. We
also captured some dozen Nile ducks, wild birds of a high
flavour.

The speed was then lowered. We strolled along, so to
speak. I noticed that the water of the Red Sea became
less and less salt as we approached Suez.

About 5 P.M. we sighted the Cape of Ras Mohammed.
This cape forms the extremity of Arabia Petreea, which is
included between the gulfs of Suez and Acabah. The Wau-
tilus entered the Jubal Straits, which lead to the Gulf of
Suez. I could distinctly see a high mountain rising up
between the two gulfs. It was Mount Horeb, at the summit
of which Moses met God face to face in the midst of the
fiery bush,
THE ARABIAN TUNNEL. 63

At six o'clock the autilus passed Tor at some dis-
tance; at the end of the bay, the waters appeared red as
Captain Nemo had stated. Night fell, and the deep silence
was sometimes broken by the cry of the pelican or some
night birds, and by the noise of the waves, or the distant
beat of the paddles of a steamer.

From eight to nine o’clock the (Vautr/us remained some
yards below the surface. As far as I could judge, we were
very close to Suez. Through the windows of the saloon I
could perceive the adjacent rocks lighted up by our electric
gleam. ‘The straits seemed to be getting narrower and
narrower.

At a quarter-past nine we rose to the surface. I went
upon the platform. I was very impatient to go through
Captain Nemo’s tunnel. I could not keep quiet, and I
sought the fresh air.

Very soon I perceived a pale light breaking through the
gloom, and half discoloured by the surrounding fog. It
appeared to be shining about a mile off.

“A floating lighthouse,” said some one close to
me.

I turned round and recognised the captain.

“Tt is the Suez floating light,” he said ; “we shall not be
long ere we reach the entrance to the tunnel.”

“The entrance is not very easy, I suppose ?”

“No; and therefore I am in the habit of taking the
helm myself as we go through. Now, M. Aronnax, if you
will be so good as to go-below, the WVautilus will do the
same, and not return to the surface until she has cleared the
Arabian Tunnel.”

I followed the captain; the panels were closed; the
reservoirs of water filled, and the vessel descended for a
distance of forty feet, or so,
64 THE ARABIAN TUNNEL,

Just as I was about to enter my room, Captain Nemo
stopped me. ;

“Would you like to come with me to the pilot-house ?”
he asked.

“T scarcely dared to ask you,” I said.

“ Come along ; you will see all that can be seen at once
beneath the earth and under water.”

Captain Nemo led the way to the central staircase.
Half-way up he opened a door and reached the pilot-cage,
which was, as may be remembered, at the extremity of the
platform.

It was a cabin measuring about six feet square, and
somewhat like those occupied by pilots in the Mississippi
and Hudson steamers. A wheel, vertically placed, occupied
the centre, and chains connected it with the rudder astern.
Four “ ports” gave sufficient light to the man at the wheel
to see all around him. .

The cabin was dark, but my eyes soon accustomed them-
selves to the gloom, and I saw the pilot, his hands resting
upon the spokes of the wheel. Outside the sea appeared
vividly illuminated by the lamp which was burning behind
us at the other end of the platform.

“Now,” said Captain Nemo, “let us look for our
passage.”

Electric wires connected the helmsman’s cage with the
engine-room, and the captain could communicate at the
same time the necessary speed and direction of his vessel.
He pressed a button, and the speed was sensibly diminished.

I gazed in silence at the high perpendicular wall along-
side of which we were running at that moment, the unyield-
ing foundation of a sandy coast. We proceeded thus for an
hour at a few yards’ distance only. Captain Nemo never
took his eyes from the compass suspended in the cabin.
THE ARABIAN TUNNEL, 65

By a gesture he indicated to the steersman the proper
directions.

I was placed on the port-side, and could perceive the
magnificent formations of coral; the zoophytes, alge, and
crustacea moving their enormous claws which were extended
from the holes in the rocks.

At a quarter-past ten Captain Nemo himself took the
helm. A large black gallery opened before us ; the Mauts/us
entered it boldly. An unusual rushing sound of water
accompanied us; this was caused by the waters of the Red
Sea which the incline of the tunnel sent rushing to the
Mediterranean. The Mautilus was borne upon the torrent
like an arrow notwithstanding that the screw was reversed
to counteract the speed.

Upon the walls of the tunnel I could distinguish nothing
but brilliant rays, lines of fire traced by the speed of our
electric light ; my heart beat fast and I put my hand to my
chest.

At 10°35 Captain Nemo gave up the wheel to the helms-
man, and, turning to me, said :

“ The Mediterranean !”

In less than twenty minutes the JVa¢ilus, carried along
by the current, had passed beneath the Isthmus of Suez!

VOL, It ¥
CHAPTER -VI.

THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO,

Ar dawn next day (F ebruary 12) the Mautiéus came up to
the surface again. Iran up to the platform. Three miles
to the southward I could see the outline of Pelusium. A
torrent had carried us from sea to sea. But the tunnel,
though easy. to descend, seemed to me, impossible to
ascend.

’ About 7 am. Ned and Conseil joined me. These two
“inséparables ” had been calmly sleeping, without troubling
themselves about the exploits of the Maztilus.

“Well, sir,” asked the Canadian, in a bantering tone,
“and how about this’ Mediterranean ?”

“We are floating on its surface, friend Ned !”

“‘ What,” said Conseil, “ last night——”
“ Ves, last night, in afew minutes, we cleared the toh
of Suez.” .

AT don’t, believe a word of it,” said Ned.

“Well, you are wrong, Master Land. That low coast
trending to the south is Egypt.”

‘Or some other,” replied the infatuated Canadian,
THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO. 67

“ But since Monsieur sys it is sor says Conseil, “you
must believe him.”

“ Besides, Ned, Captain Nemo aed me the turinel,
I was close to him in the por -house while he steered the
Wautilus through the passage.”

“Do you hear, Ned?” asked Conseil.

“And since you have such good eyes, Ned,” I added,
“you can perceive the piers of Port Said.” -

The Canadian looked attentively at them.

“Well,” he said, “you are right, sir, and this captain is
a wonderful fellow. We are in the Mediterranean.
Good. We may talk of our own little business if you
please, but so that we may not be ovetheard.”

I saw very well what the Canadian was driving at. In
any case I thought it better that he should talk, since he
wanted to do so, and we all sat down by the lamp, where we
were less likely-to be subject to the spray.

“ Now, Ned, we are listening,” said I. “What have you
to tell us?” ’ Y :

“Tt is not much,” he replied ; “we are in Europe, and
before Captain Nemo’s vagaries plunge us into the Polar
Seas, I vote we quit the Vautilus.” :

This style of conversation always embarrassed me. I
did not wish to be any tie upon my friends, and at the same’
time I did not want to leave Captain Nemo. Thanks to
him and his vessel, I was day by day increasing my studies,
and I was re-writing my book respecting the submarine
depths in those very depths themselves. Should I ever
have such another chance to observe the wonders of the
ocean? Certainly not; and I could not-bear to leave
the WMautilus before our round of exploration was com-
pleted.

“Friend Ned,” I said, .“ answer me frankly. Are you

E2
68 THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO,

tired of being on board? Do you regret the fate that placed
you in Captain Nemo’s hands ?”

The Canadian did not reply immediately; then folding
his arms, he said:

“Frankly, then, I do not regret this voyage. I am very
glad to have made it, but to have made it, it must have an
end. That is my opinion.”

' © Tt will come to an end, Ned !”

“When and where ?”

“ Where, I cannot say ; when, I do not know ; but I sup-
pose it will end when we can learn nothing more from the
sea. Everything must have an end in this world.”

“T agree with Monsieur, that when we have been all
round the world, Captain Nemo will give us our liberty.”

“We have nothing to fear from the captain,” I said,
“but I do not so far agree with Conseil’s ideas. We are
master of the secret of the Vauéz/us, and I cannot expect
that the captain will take the risk of releasing us and letting
his secrets be known.”

“ Then what do you expect ?” inquired Ned,

“That circumstances may occur by which we may and
ought to profit as well six months hence as now.”

“ All very well, but where shall we be six months
hence ?”

“ Here perhaps, or in China. You know the Wautilus
is a rapid sailer. It can cross the seas as a swallow the air,
or like an express train on land. It does not fear frequented
seas. Who can tell whether we may not close with the
coasts of France, England, or America, when an attempt to
escape might be made with at least as much hope of success
ag now.”

“M. Aronnax,” said Ned Land, “ your arguments won’t
hold water. You speak of the future. We shall be here or
THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO. 69

there. But I speak of the present. We are here, let us
profit by the opportunity.”

I was hit hard by Ned’s logic, and, felt beaten. I had
no other argument to advance.

“ Sir,” replied Ned, “let us suppose, as an impossibility,
that Captain Nemo. were to offer you liberty to-day—would
you accept it?”

“Tam not sure,” I replied.

“And were he to say that. he would not renew his offer,
would you then accept it ?”

I did not answer.

“And what do you think of it, friend Conseil?” de-
manded Ned.

“ Friend Conseil !” replied that worthy, “ friend Conseil
has nothing to say on the subject. He is absolutely disin-
terested. As the master, and as is Ned, he is a single man.
No wife, children, nor parents await his return. He is in
his master’s service. He thinks and speaks as his master
does; and, to his great regret, you must not count on him
for a casting-vote. There are only two persons here—my
master on one side, Ned Land on the other. -So Conseil
listens, and will mark the points for you.”

I could not repress a smile to see how completely Con-
seil annihilated his personality. The Canadian ought to
have been delighted at not having him against him.

“Then, Monsieur, since Conseil does not exist, the dis-
cussion is confined to us two. I have spoken, what is your
reply ?” ‘
The thing must be settled once for all, and evasion was
distasteful to me.

“Friend Ned,” I said, “here is my answer. “ You have
had the best of it, and my arguments have not been able to
stand against yours. We must not-count upon the good-


70 THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO.

will of Captain Nemo. The most common prudence would
prevent him from releasing us. On the other hand, pru-
dence bids us to take advantage of the first opportunity to
quit the Maztelus.”

“ Vou speak wisely, M. Aronnax.”

“ But just one observation,” said I. “The occasion
must be a good one, for our first attempt will surely be our
last ; and, if retaken, Captain Nemo will not forgive us.”

“ Quite right,” replied the Canadian, “but your remark
applies to all attempts at flight—in two years’ time, or two
days. Now the question is this: If a favourable occasion
present itself, we must seize it.”

“ Quite so. And now, Ned, what do you consider as a
favourable occasion ?”

“ When, some dark night, the MVauté/us is not far from
some European coast.”

“And you will endeavour to save yourself by swimming?”

“ Yes, if we are not too far from the beach, and if the
ship be on the surface. Not if we were far away or under
water, of course.”

“ And in that case?”

“Tn that case I would endeavour to get out the launch ;
I know how to work it. We should have to get inside it
and draw the bolts, when we should come to the surface
without even the steersman, who is forward, being aware of
our flight.”

“Good, Ned! Look out for the opportunity, and
remember that a hitch in the arrangements will be
fatal.”

“T will not forget, sir,” replied Ned.

“Now, Ned, would you like to hear my opinion of your
project ?”

“Gladly, M. Aronnax.”
THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO, 91

“Well, I think—I do not say hope—I think that this
occasion will never present itself.”

“Why not?”

“Because Captain Nemo cannot hide from himself the
idea that we hope to recover our liberty soine day, and he
will be on his guard ; particularly in European waters, and
in sight of European coasts.”

“‘T agree with Monsieur,” said Conseil.

“We shall see,” replied Ned, nodding his head in a
determined manner.

“And now, Ned Land,” said I, “let the matter rest
thus as it is. Nota word of all this. When you are ready,
let us know, and we will follow you. I leave the matter
entirely to you.”

So this conversation, which was destined to lead to
grave results, terminated here. I ought to mention that the
facts appeared to confirm my predictions, to the Canadian’s
despair. Did Captain Nemo distrust us while in these
crowded seas, or did he only wish to conceal his ship from
the numerous vessels that sailed the Mediterranean? I
cannot say, but we certainly were more often underneath
the water, and at a greater distance from the coast, than
formerly. When the /Vaudi/us emerged, nothing was visible
but the pilot’s house, and we went to great depths also ; for
between the Grecian Archipelago and Asia Minor we found
more than a thousand fathoms of water.

I only knew we were near the island of Carpathos, one
of the Sporades, by Captain Nemo quoting me Virgil’s lines,
as he placed his hand on the map:

Est in Carpathio Neptuni gurgite vates
Cocruleus Proteus——-

This was the ancient residence of Proteus, the shepherd
72 THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO.

of Neptune’s flocks—now the Isle of Scarpanto, situated
between Rhodes and Crete—but I saw nothing but the
granitic foundations from the windows of the saloon.

Next day, the 14th of February, I made up my mind to
devote a few hours to the study of the fish of the Archipelago,
but for some reason the panels remained closed. Upon
taking the course of the Wautidus, I perceived that we were
approaching Candia—the ancient Crete. When I had
embarked on board the Abraham Lincoln, I had heard that
the inhabitants of this island had revolted against the Turks,
but how the insurrection had prospered since that time I
was absolutely ignorant, and Captain Nemo could not, of
course, give me any information on this point.

I made no allusion to it when in the evening I was
alone with him in the saloon. Besides, he seemed to be
taciturn and preoccupied. Then, contrary to his usual
custom, he ordered the panels of the saloon to be opened,
and he watched the water attentively from one or the other.
What his purpose was in so doing, I could not divine, and
I amused myself by watching the fish.

I remarked the gobies mentioned by Aristotle, and vul-
garly called sea-loaches, which are chiefly found in the salt-
water about the Delta of the Nile. Near these were a
semi-phosphorescent bream, a sort of sparus which the
Egyptians hold sacred, and the arrival of which in the Nile
announces a rich overflow, and is celebrated by religious
ceremonies. I also saw some cheilones, a bony fish with
transparent scales, which are great devourers of marine
plants, are most excellent to eat, and were much prized by
the epicures of ancient Rome.

Another inhabitant of these seas attracted my attention,
and renewed all my recollections of antiquity. This was
the remora, which travels fixed upon the belly of the shark.
THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO. 73

According to the ancients, this little fish fastened to the
keel of a ship could stop its course, and one of them in this
way kept back the galley of Antony at the battle of Actium,
and thus facilitated the victory of Augustus. On how little
the destinies of nations hang! I also noticed some beau-
tiful anthize which belong to the lutjan order, a fish sacred
to the Greeks, who attribute to them the power to chase
marine animals from the waters they frequent. Their name
means flower, and is justified by their colours, which com-
prise every shade of red, from the rose to the ruby-tint. I
was gazing earnestly at these marvels of the sea, when an
unexpected apparition appeared.

A man appeared suddenly—a diver, carrying at his waist
a leathern purse. He was not shipwrecked, but a vigorous
swimmer, disappearing occasionally to breathe, and then
returning immediately.

I turned to Captain Nemo and exclaimed: “Here
is a shipwrecked man, we must save him at all
hazards.”

The captain made no answer, but approached the
window.

The diver came near, and putting his face against the
glass he looked at us.

To my utter astonishment Captain Nemo madea sign to
him. The diver waved his hand ; at once ascended, and did
not again appear.

“Don’t alarm yourself,” said Captain Nemo. “It is
only Nicholas, of Cape Matapan, surnamed Pesca. He is
well known in the Cyclades. A daring diver, water is his
element, he lives in it more than on land, passing between
the islands even as far as Crete.”

“You know him, captain ?” .

“Why not, M, Aronnax ?”
74 THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO,

As he said this, he advanced towards a cabinet placed
near the left window of the saloon. Near to this I sawa
coffer bound with iron, on the cover of which was a plate of
copper, engraved with a representation of the Mautdlus, and
the motto Mobilis in Mobile.

The captain opened the chest, which held a quantity
of ingots.

Golden ingots! Whence could he have collected this
enormous sum of money? What was he going to do
with it ?

I did not speak. I looked on. Captain Nemo took
these ingots and placed them mathematically one by one in
the chest, which he filled completely. I estimated that there
must have been 4,000 Ibs. weight of gold—five millions of
francs (200,000).

The chest was securely fastened down, and the captain
wrote upon the lid an address, in characters which appeared
to me to be modern Greek.

That done, the captain pressed a button communicating
with the men’s quarters. Four men appeared, and without
any trouble they pushed the chest out of the saloon.
Subsequently I could hear them hauling it up the iron
staircase.

Captain Nemo then turned to me and said: “ You were
saying—-— P” ,

“T was saying nothing,” I replied.

“ Then, sir, you will allow me to bid you good night,”
and he quitted the saloon.

I returned to my room much exercised in my mind.

I tried in vain to sleep. I sought some connection
between the appearance of the diver and the chest of gold.
I soon perceived by the motion of the Mautilus that we
were ascending to the surface.
THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO. 75

Then I heard some noise on the platform, I fancied that
they were launching the boat ; it struck the side and all was
quiet.

Two hours later the same noise and movement were
repeated; the boat was hoisted up and secured, and the
Nautilus plunged once again beneath the waves. So the
millions had been forwarded to their destination; but on
what part of the continent. Who was Captain Nemo’s
correspondent ?

Next day I related all I had seen to Conseil and
Ned. My companions were not less astonished than I had
been.

“But where does he take his millionsto?” asked Ned Land.

This we could not answer. After breakfast I went into
the saloon and sat down to work. Till 5 p.m. I was
arranging my notes, when I suddenly felt a great heat, and I
was glad to take off my outer garment of byssus. This heat
was extraordinary in effect, for we were not in tropic lati-
tudes ; and, besides, the Vaudédus being under water, would
not be affected in any case. I looked at the manometer;
we were at a depth of sixty feet, to which the heat of the air
could not reach. I continued to work, but the heat became
intolerable. . ,

“Ts the ship on fire ?” I thought.

I was about to leave the saloon when Captain Nemo
entered. He looked at the thermometer and, turning to me,
said :

“Forty-two degrees.”

“So I see, captain; and it the heat increases we shal)
not be able to bear it.”

“Tt will not get hotter if we do not like it.”

“You can reduce it, then, if you wish, captain?”

“No, but I can go farther from the cause of it.”
76 THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO.

“ Tsit, then, outside the ship ?”

“ Certainly ; we are floating in a current of boiling water.”

“Ts it possible?” I exclaimed.

“ Look !”

The panels were opened, and I could perceive that the
sea was quite white around the JVawti/us. A sulphurous
vapour rolled amid the waves, which boiled like water in a
copper. I placed my hand against one of the windows, but
the heat was so great I had to withdraw it.

“Where are we?” I asked.

“Close to the island of Santorin,” replied the captain,
“and in the canal which separates Nea-Kamenni from
Palea-Kamenni. I wished to let you see a submarine
eruption.”

“I thought that this formation of new islands had
ceased,” I said.

“ Nothing is ever at an end in volcanic localities,” replied
Captain Nemo; “and the globe is always being moved by
these subterranean fires. According to Cassiodorno and
Pliny, a new island—Thera (the divine)—appeared in the
very place in which these islands have been formed, about
the nineteenth year of our era. Then they sank, to rise again
in 69, and again disappeared. Since then, to our time, this
Plutonian work has been suspended. But on the 3rd of
February, 1866, a new island, called George Island, rose near
Nea-Kamenni, and disappeared upon the 6th of the same
month. Seven days after, the island of Aphroessa appeared,
leaving a passage about twelve yards wide between it and
Nea-Kamenni. I was in these seas when it happened, and
was able to observe the phases. The island of Aphroessa,
of a rounded form, measured 300 feet across and 30 feet in
height. It was composed of a black and vitreous lava,
mingled with felspar. Finally, on the roth of March, a smaller
THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO. 77

island called Reka arose close to Nea-Kamenni, and since
these three islands have been united.”

“ And the canal in which we now are ?” I asked.

“There it is,” replied Captain Nemo, indicating it on a
map of the Archipelago. “You see that I have put down
all the newest islands.”

“ But this canal will some day be filled up, surely ?”

“Very likely, M. Aronnax, for since 1866 eight little
islands of lava have risen opposite the harbour of St.
Nicholas, in Palea-Kamenni, It is, therefore, evident that
Nea and Palea will be joined together some day. If in
the Pacific there are infusoria, which form continents, here
it is by eruptive phenomena. ‘You can see, sir, what work
is being done beneath the waves.”

I turned to the window. The Meutlus was not going
fast. The heat became almost unbearable. The white
appearance of the sea had given place to a red tinge, which
colour was due to salts of iron. Notwithstanding the her-
metic ceiling of the saloon, an almost insupportable
smell of sulphur was present, and I could perceive that
the bright red of the flames completely overcame the
electric light.

I felt ina bath. Iwas choking. I was almost broiled.
I really did feel as if I were cooking !

“We cannot remain in this boiling-water any longer,”
I said.

“No,” replied the captain, calmly, “ it would be scarcely
prudent.”

An order was passed along—the MVautz/us went about,
and soon left the furnace at a distance. A quarter of
an hour later, we were breathing at the surface of the
sea. :

It occurred to me, that if Ned Land had selected those
78 THE GRECIAN ARCHIPELAGO,

places to make his escape in, we should never emerge alive
from the fiery sea!

The following day (February 16th) we left the basin
between Rhodes and Alexandria, which can boast of a
depth of about 4,500 yards, and the Mautlus giving Cerigo
a wide berth, doubled Cape Matopan, and left the Greek
Archipelago astern. .
CHAPTER VII.
THE MEDITERRANEAN IN FORTY-EIGHT HOURS,

Tue Mediterranean: the blue sea ou excellence. The
“great sea” of the Hebrews, “ 7/ze sea” of the Greeks, the
“ Mare Nostrum ” of the Romane, bordered by orange-trees,
aloes, cactug, pines, perfumed with myrtle, enclosed by rude
mountains, enveloped with a pure and transparent atmo-
sphere, but ever worked by the earth’s fires, is the regular
battle-field of Neptune and Pluto disputing for the empire
of the world. It is here on its banks as on its waters, says
Michelet, that man acquires new vigour, in one of the most
wonderful climates in the world !

But beautiful though it be, I could only indulge ina
very hasty glance. The personal experience of Captain
Nemo failed me here, for that extraordinary personage did
not appear once during the passage through, which we made
at full speed. I estimated the distance that the Maudilus
ran under the water was about 600 leagues, and she per-
formed it in eight-and-forty hours. We left the Grecian
Archipelago on the 16th of February, and on the 18th, at
sunrise, we had passed the Strait of Gibraltar.
80 THE MEDITERRANEAN.

It was evident to me that Captain Nemo did not like
being surrounded by these countries he wished to avoid.
The winds and waves carried too many sowvenirs—if not
regrets to his mind. Here he did not possess the same
liberty of motion as in the ocean, and his awutrls was in a
Strait, so to speak, between Europe and Africa.

Our speed was about twenty-five miles an hour.

It is needless to say that Ned Land, to his great disap-
pointment, was obliged to renounce his plan of escape. It
was of no use to think of launching the boat at the pace we
were travelling. To leave the Mavw¢:/us under these circum-
stances was like jumping out of a train at full speed, which
is not the most prudent thing to do at any time. Besides,
the ship only came to the surface during the night to renew
the air, and was solely guided by the compass and the log.

Therefore I saw no more of the Mediterranean than a
traveller by an express can see of the country through which
he passes. Nevertheless, Conseil and I were@ble to note
some of the Mediterranean fish, whose swimming powers
enabled them to keep alongside the Mautidus for a few
moments. My notes enable me to reproduce some account
of the ichthyology of this sea.

Of the many fish inhabiting it I saw some, and only
caught a glimpse of others ; so I must class them in a some-
what fantastic manner.

Amongst those surrounded by our light were lampreys,
about three feet long, which are common to all seas;
oxyrhinchia, a kind of ray, about five feet wide, with white
belly, spread out like shawls carried along by the current.
Other rays passed so quickly that I could not ascertain
whether they were the “ eagles” of the Greeks, or the “ rat,”
“frog,” and “ bat,” which modern fishermen have dubbed
them. Sea-foxes, several feet long, and gifted with acute
LAL MEDITERRANEAN. 8t

scent came along like great blue shadows. Dorades got up
in blue and silver, sacred to Venus, the eyes chased with
a gold pencilling ; a precious species, but suited to either
salt or fresh water, living in all climates and all tempera-
tures, and though belonging to the geological era, have pre-
served all their pristine beauty. Magnificent sturgeons, ten
or eleven yards long, of great speed, and knocking their
powerful tails against the windows of the saloon, showed
their bluish backs spotted with brown. ‘They are like sharks,
though inferior in strength, and are found in all seas. In
the spring they like to ascend great rivers like the Volga,
the Danube, the Po, the Rhine, the Loire, and Oder, living
on herrings, mackerel, &c. But of the various inhabitants
of the Mediterranean those which I could see best were of
the sixty-third genus of osseous fishes. These were tunny,
with blue-black backs. They are stated to follow ships in
search of the refreshing shade from the fiery tropical sky,
and they certainly proved the saying, for they followed the
Nautilus just as they followed the ships of La Pérouse.
For hours they emulated the speed of our ship. I could not
help admiring them, they seemed so built for speed ; small
head, lissome body, fins of great power, and forked tails.
They swam in a triangle, as some birds fly. But with all
their speed they do not escape the Provengals, and these
blind and stupid yet precious creatures throw themselves by
millions into the nets of the Marseillaises.

I could quote numbers of other fish—gymnotes, congers
of four yards length, trygles, red mullet, the ocean “ bird of
Paradise ;” and if I do not put down balista, tertodrons, hip-
pocampus, blennies, and numerous others, it is because the
speed of the Mautilus made it impossible to note them
accurately.

I fancied I saw at the entrance to the Adriatic two or

VOL, IL F
82 THE MEDITERRANEAN.

three cachalots, some dolphin of the genus globicephalt,
peculiar to the Mediterranean, the back of the head being
variegated with small lines; and some scals known as
“ Monks,” and which have really something of the appear-
ance of a Dominican.

Conseil thought he saw a tortoise six feet wide. I was
sorry I had not noticed it, for, from Conseil’s description, I
believed it to be the “luth,” which is very rare. I only
remarked a few caconans, with elongated shell coverings. ©

As regards zoophytes, I was able to admire for some
minutes an admirable orange-coloured galcolaria, which had
attached itself to the panel on the port side. I, un-
fortunately, was unable to secure this splendid specimen;
and perhaps no other Mediterranean zoophytes would have
presented themselves if the Wawt/us, during the evening of
the 16th, had not unexpectedly slackéned speed, under the
following circumstances.

We were passing between the coasts of Sicily and Tunis.
In this narrow space, between Cape Bon and the Strait of
Messina, the bottom of the sea rose very suddenly. A
regular reef had formed, above which there was not sixty
feet of water. The JVauti/us had therefore to move very
carefully, so as not to knock against the reef.

I pointed out to Conseil the position of the reef on the
chart. ‘

“But, if Monsieur has no objection, this is a regular
isthmus, uniting Europe to Africa.”

“Ves,” I replied, “it is a perfect bar to the Libyan
Straits, and the soundings of Smith have proved that those
continents were formerly united between Cape Boco and
Cape Furnia.”

“T can easily believe it,” replied Conseil.

“J may add that a similar reef exists between Ceuta and
THE MEDITERRANEAN. 83

Gibraltar. These bars, in the geological epoch, completely
shut in the Mediterranean.”

“Ah!” said Conseil, “and suppose some volcanic
action should raise these reefs again ?”

“ That is scarcely probable.”

“ At least, if Monsieur will allow me to finish; if this
should happen, it will be very awkward for M. de Lesseps,
who has taken so much trouble to cut the Suez Canal.”

“T agree with you, Conseil; but I repeat I do not think
it likely to happen. ‘The violence of the subterranean forces
is always diminishing. The volcanoes, so common in
early ages, are now comparatively few ; the interior heat is
dying out, the temperature of the earth’s strata is being
lowered appreciably every century, and to the detriment of
our globe, for this heat is life.”

“Vet the sun——’

“The sun is not enough, Conseil. Can it warm a
corpse ?”

“No, I should say not.”

“ Well, my friend, the earth will one day become a cold
body; it will become uninhabitable and uninhabited; like
the moon, which has long ago lost its vital heat.”

“Tn how many centuries?” asked Conseil.

“In some hundreds of thousands of years.”

“Then,” said Conseil, “we have still time to complete
our voyage, if Ned Land does not interrupt us.”

And Conseil, reassured, applied himself to the study of
the high bank that the /Vaw#?/us was skirting at a moderated
pace,

There, beneath a rocky and volcanic soil, was outspread
a living flora of sponges, holotines, cydippes, ornamented
with ruddy foliage, which emitted a slight phosphorescence ;
beroés, commonly known as sea-cucumbers, and bathed in

F 2


84 THE MEDITERRANEAN.

glittering light of a solar spectrum ; walking comatula a yard
long, whose purple hue coloured the water.

Conseil occupied himself chiefly in observi ing the
molluscs and the articulates. Time failed him to complete
the crustacea by the examination of the stomapodes, the
amphipodes, the homopodes, the trilobites, the branchiapodes,
the ostracods, and the entomostaces. But the Mawtelus
having passed the high bank on the right of the African
coast, redescended into deep water, and proceeded at her
full speed. No more molluscs, no more articulates, no more
zoophytes. Only a few large fish passed us, like great
shadows.

During the night of the 16-17th February we entered
the second Mediterranean basin, whose greatest depth is
3,000 yards. The Mautilus descended almost to the very
bottom.

There, in default of natural wonders, the great mass of
waters offered me very moving and terrible scenes. We
were then traversing that portion of the Mediterranean so
fertile in shipwrecks. From the Algerine coast to Provence
what vessels have disappeared! The Mediterranean is but
a lake compared to the Pacific, but it is a capricious and
changeful lake: to-day smiling and beautiful, to-morrow
raging, roaring, and swept by furious winds, disabling the
finest vessels, and smashing them against its precipitous
rocks.

So in this rapid transit, at these immense depths, I could
perceive anchors, cannon, cannon-balls, iron utensils, threads
of screws, pieces of the engines, cylinders, boilers, hulls
floating mid-way, some upright, some overturned !

Of these shipwrecked vessels, some had been injured by
collision, others from striking on the rocks. I saw some
which had gone down “all standing.” They looked as if
THE MEDITERRANEAN. 85

‘they were at anchor ina foreign harbour, and were waiting
the signal to depart. When the Aautilus passed between
them and wrapped them in the electric light, it seemed as if
these ships were going to salute the flag and hoist their
numbers. But no ! nothing but the silence of death reigned
in this scene of a great catastrophe.

T noticed that towards Gibraltar these sinister traces
became more numerous. The coasts of Europe and Africa
get closer here, and the meetings were more frequent. I
perceived numerous iron hulls, remains of steamers, some
careened over, some upright, like some formidable animals.
One of these vessels presented a terrible spectacle. How
many had gone down with her, who of all those on board
had survived to tell the tale, or did the waves still guard this
terrible secret? I do not know why, but it occurred to me
that this was the Aas, which had disappeared about twenty
years ago, and of which no one had ever since heard. Ah!
what fearful history might be written about these depths,
this vast mortuary of the Mediterranean, where so much
wealth has been lost, and where so many victims have found
death }

But the Mavtdus, indifferent to this, continued her rapid
course amid all this ruin. On the 18th of February, about
3 A.M., she entered the Straits of Gibraltar.

Here two currents exist ; the upper long known, which
takes the water from the ocean into the Mediterranean,
the other in the opposite direction of which reason has
proved the existence. In fact, the bulk ot the Mediter-
ranean waters, incessantly increased by the Atlantic, “and
by the rivers it receives, would rise each year to the level
of the sea, for its evaporation is not sufficient to estab-
lish the equilibrium, Now, it is not so, and the existence
of an under-current is only natural, and this current empties
86 THE MEDITERRANEAN.

the surplus water of the Mediterranean into the Atlantic» ’
through the Straits of Gibraltar. This is a fact, and the
Nautilus took advantage of this current. It rapidly ad-
vanced, For an instant I caught sight of the beautiful
ruins of the temple of Hercules (according to Pliny and
Avienus), buried with the island that supported it, and a
few moments later we were floating in the waves of the
Atlantic Ocean.
CHAPTER VIII.

VIGO BAY.

Tus Atlantic! A vast expanse of water, whose superficial
area, Covers 25,000,000 of square miles, is 9,000 miles long,
and has an average breadth of 2,700 miles. This enormous
ocean was almost unknown to the ancients, unless the Car-
thaginians perhaps, who in their commercial progression fol-
lowed the coasts of Europe and Africa. An ocean whose
winding and parallel shores embrace an immense area; sup-
plied by the largest rivers in the world—the St. Lawrence,
the Mississippi, the Amazon, La Plata, Orinoco, Niger,
Senegal, Elbe, Loire, Rhine, which bear their waters to it
through the most civilised, and also through the most bar-
barous countries. A magnificent sheet of water ploughed
by vessels over which the flag of every nation waves, and
which is bounded by those two points, so terrible to sailors,
the Cape Horn and the “ Cape of Storms.”

The Nautilus was cutting her way through these waters,
having made 10,000 leagues in three months and a half—a
distance greater than one of the carth’s great circles.
Whither were we now bound, and what had the future jn
store for us ?
88 VIGO BAY.

The Nautilus having cleared the straits, kept well in the
offing. We came to the surface, and our daily airings on
the platform were resumed.

I ascended at once, accompanied by Conseil and Ned
Land. Cape St. Vincent appeared about twelve miles away.
The wind was blowing stiffly from the south, the sea was
very rough indeed, and the Mauwélus rolled tremendously.
It was almost impossible to stand upon the platform, which
was swept by the waves almost every instant. We descended,
therefore, after having taken in a few mouthfuls of fresh air.

I retired to my room, Conscil went to his cabin also,
but the Canadian, who appeared preoccupied, followed me.
Our rapid passage through the Mediterranean had not per-
mitted him to put his design into execution, and he did not
conceal his disappointment. When he had closed the
door he sat down and contemplated me in silence.

“ Friend Ned,” I said, “I understand you, but you have
nothing to reproach yourself with. Under the circumstances
in which the Wawtélvs was worked, it would have been utter
folly to have attempted to leave it.”

Ned made no reply, his compressed lips and lowering
brow showed how deeply the idea of escape possessed him.

“But,” said I, “we will not despair. We are coasting
up by Portugal. France and England are not far off, where
we may easily find refuge. If the Mawéedus had gone south-
wards after clearing the straits we should have been again
carried away into mid-ocean, and I should have shared
your uneasiness, but we know that Captain Nemo does not
fear these frequented seas, and in a few days I believe we
shall be in safety.”

Ned Land gazed at me still more intently, and at length
opening his lips, said :

“Tt is for this evening.”
VIGO BAY. 89

I jumped up. Iwas, I confess, unprepared for such a
communication. I could not reply.

“Tt was arranged to wait an opportunity. Itis at hand.
This evening we shall be only a few miles from the Spanish
coast. The night will be dark. The wind is high, You
promised, M. Aronnax, and I depend upon you.”

As I still was silent the Canadian rose and came towards
me.

“Tonight at nine o’clock,” said he. ‘I have warned
Conseil. At that time Captain Nemo will be shut in in his
own room, and most likely asleep. Neither the engineers
nor the crew will be able to see us. Conseil and I will gain
the centre staircase. You, M. Aronnax, can remain in the
library close by till I give the signal. The oars, mast, and
sail are in the launch; I have even succeeded in laying in
some provisions, and I have got an English ‘key’ to undo
the bolts which fasten the boat to the auétilus. You see all
is prepared. This evening, mind.”

“ The sea is very rough,” I said.

“T know that,” replied the Canadian, “ but we must
risk it. Our freedom is worth a little danger. But the boat
is strong, and a few miles with a favourable wind is nothing
after all. Who knows, by to-morrow we may be a hundred
leagues away. If only fate be propitious, by ten or eleven
to-night we shall have landed somewhere or be dead. There-
fore, until the evening, adieu.”

The Canadian retired, leaving me speechless. I had
fancied that, the chance once gone, I should have had time
to reflect or discuss the point. My obstinate companion
would not allow this; but, after all, what could I have said P
Ned Land was right—a hundred times right. Here was a
chance of an opportunily, and he was taking advantage of it.
Could I retract my promise, and assume the responsibility
go VIGO BAY.

to compromise my companions by my selfishness? To-
morrow Captain Nemo might take us out to sea again.

At this moment a loud hissing noise made me aware
that the reservoirs were filling, and ‘the JVautr/us was des-
cending beneath the Atlantic waves.

I remained in my room. I wished to avoid the captain,
to hide from him the emotion that overcame me. I passed
a very wearying day, and left my submarine studies, as I was
balanced between the desire for liberty and my regret at
quitting the Wauti/us. To quit this ocean—“ my Atlantic,”
as I liked to call it—without having visited its greater
depths, without having gained its secrets, while the Indian
and Pacific Oceans had yielded theirs! My romance fell
from my hand at the first volume; my dream was inter-
rupted at the most pleasant moment! What unhappy hours
I passed thus! Sometimes picturing myself and my com-
panions in safety ; sometimes hoping, against my own reason,
that something would prevent Ned Land’s project from
being carried out.

Twice I came into the saloon. I wanted to look at the
compass. I wished to see in what direction the Vauétilus
was going; whether bringing us nearer to, or taking us
farther from the coast. But there was no change, we con-
tinued in Portuguese waters.

I must therefore make up my mind to depart. My
baggage was not excessive—only my notes !

I wondered what Captain Nemo would think of our
flight. What unhappiness, what evil might it not bring
upon him; and how would he act in either event—on
success or failure? I had certainly no cause to complain of
his conduct—on the contrary—he was hospitality itself.
But in leaving the ship I could not be taxed with ingratitude;
I was bound by no oath. He depended on circumstances,
VIGO BAY. or

and not upon any promise, to keep us-with him. But this
claim, which openly avowed his intention to keep us
prisoners for ever, quite justified our attempt to escape.

J had not seen the captain since our visit to the island
of Santorin. Would chance bring us together before we
escaped? I desired, and yet feared, the meeting. I listened
to hear if he were walking up and down in his room. I
heard no sound ; the room must be empty! Then I began
to wonder whether he were on board. Since the evening
that the boat had left the Jamis, on some mysterious
service, my ideas had been slightly modified concerning
him. I fancied, and I wish I could say so, that Captain
Nemo still kept up some communication with the earth.
Would he never leave the Mawtius altogether? Weeks
had passed without our meeting. What did he do in that
time? And, while I believed him a prey to misanthropy,
might he not be at a distance, carrying out some secret
plans P

All these anda thousand similar ideas crowded my brain.
Conjecture could be infinite under such circumstances. I
was terribly uneasy. The day appeared interminable. The
hours struck too slowly for my impatience. My dinner was
served as usualin my room. I ate little, I left the table at
seven o’clock. One hundred and twenty minutes more
separated me, from the moment I was to join Ned Land.
My agitation increased : my pulse beat violently, I could not
rest a moment. I moved about, in the hope to calm my
mind by so doing. The idea of non-success was the least
painful of my cares, but the thought of having our enterprise
discovered before we quitted the ship ; of being arraigned
before Captain Nemo, irritated, or what would be even
worse, sad at my abandonment of him, made my heart beat
painfully.
92 VIGO BAY.

I wished to take a last look at the saloon. I gazed at
all its riches, and treasured specimens, like one on the brink
of exile, and who was never to see these things again.
Those marvels of Nature, the masterpieces of Art, amongst
which my life had moved on for so long—was I about to
abandon them for ever! I wished to take a glance through
the windows across the Atlantic waves, but the panels were
closed, and an iron cloak separated me from the ocean which
z should no longer know.

As I wandered round the saloon, I reached a door that
opened into the captain’s room. To my great surprise it was
ajar. I drew back involuntarily. If Captain Nemo were
in his room, he would see me. However, not hearing any
noise, I approached the room—it was empty. I pushed the
door and entered. All was still, and plain of aspect as ever,

Just then some engravings, which I had not noticed
in my previous visit, attracted my attention. They were
portraits of men renowned in history, whose existences have
been devoted to some grand aim. Kosciusko, the Pole;
Botzaris, the Leonidas of modern Greece; O’Connell, the
Irish Patriot ; Washington, the founder of the American
Republic; Mauin, the Italian Patriot ; Lincoln, who fell by
the assassin’s bullet; and finally that martyr to the freedom
of the black races—John Brown, depicted on the gibbet, as
drawn with such terrible truthfulness by Victor Hugo.

What fellow-feeling existed between these heroic souls
and the mind of Captain Nemo? Could I now unravel the
mystery of his existence! Was he a champion of an
oppressed people—the liberator of a race of slaves? Had
he taken part in the later political and social commotions of
the century? Was he one of the heroes of that terrible,
lamentable, yet glorious American war ?

The clock struck eight. The sound of the first stroke
VIGO BAY. 93

aroused me from my dreaming. I trembled as if some
invisible eye had read my most secret thoughts, and I
hurriedly left the room.

In the saloon my eye fell upon the compass. We were
still going north. ‘The log indicated a moderate speed, the
manometer gave a depth of about sixty feet. These circum-
stances were favourable for the Canadian’s plan.

I regained my room. I clothed myself warmly, sea-
boots, a cap of otter-skin, a coat of byssus, lined with seal-
skin—I was ready—waiting. The vibrations of the screw
alone broke the profound silence that reigned throughout
the ship. I listened most attentively. Would no uproar
tell me that Ned Land had failed? A mortal uneasiness was
upon me. I in vain endeavoured to assume my usual
coolness.

It was nearly nine o’clock ; I put my ear close to the
door of the captain’s room. No sound whatever! I left
my room and entered the saloon, which was rather dark,
but quite deserted.

I opened the door communicating with the library. The
same semi-obscurity reigned here, but there was sufficient
light. I placed myself close to the door opening to the
central staircase. Here I awaited Ned Land’s signal.

At this moment the beatings of the screw diminished
sensibly, then ceased altogether. Why this change in the
pace of the Watilus? Whether this stoppage would faci-
litate or prevent the designs of Ned Land, I could not
imagine.

I could hear no sound but the throbbing of my heart.
Suddenly a slight shock was felt, and I perceived that the
Nautilus had grounded at the bottom of the ocean. My
uneasiness increased, the Canadian made no sign. I had
a great mind to join Ned Land, and induce him to forego
94 VIGO BAY.

his attempt to escape; I felt that our progress was no longer
being made under ordinary conditions.

The door of the saloon now opened, and Captain Nemo
appeared. He perceived me, and without preamble, ad-
dressed me.

“Ah! professor, I was seeking you. Do you know
your Spanish history ?”

One might know the history of one’s own country per-
fectly, while, under the conditions in which I then was—
mind upset, and head in a whirl—one could not recall a fact.

“Well,” repeated Captain Nemo, “did you hear my
question? Do you know Spanish history ?”

“Not very well,” I replied.

“There are savants then,” replied the captain, “ who
know ! - Well, sit down, for I am going to relate to youa
curious episode in this history.”

The captain lay down upon a sofa ; mechanically I sat
beside him.

“Listen attentively, Monsieur, if you please,” he said.
“This history will interest you, for it will answer a question
you have, no doubt, not yet been able to solve.”

“J am listening, captain,” I replied, not knowing what
he was leading up to, and whether he was about to touch
upon our projected escape.

“Tf you have no objection,” said Captain Nemo, “we
will go back to the year 1702. You are aware that at that
time your King Louis XIV., thinking that his gesture was
enough to bring the Pyrenees into his kingdom again, im-
posed his grandson, the Duke of Anjou, on the Spaniards.
This prince, who reigned more or less badly under the name
of Philip V., had to do with a strong party abroad.

“Tn fact, in the preceding ycar Holland, Austria, and
England had concluded a treaty of alliance at the Hague
VIGO BAY. 95

with the view to snatch the crown from Philip V., and
bestow it upon an archduke whom they prematurely de-
signated Charles III.

“Spain felt she ought to resist this, but she was almost
deprived of soldiers and sailors. However, money would
be forthcoming if only all those galleons laden with gold and
silver could arrive from America. Now, towards the end of
1702, the Spaniards awaited a rich convoy which France
was escorting bya fleet of twenty-three ships under the com-
mand of Admiral Chateau-Renaud, for the combined ficets’
were already in the Atlantic.

“This convoy was to arrive at Cadiz, but the admiral,
hearing that the English fleet was cruising in the neighbour-
hood, resolved to enter a French port. The Spanish
officers protested against this. They wanted to be con-
ducted into a Spanish port—if not Cadiz, Vigo, situated on
the N.E. coast of Spain, and which was not blockaded.

“ Admiral Chateau-Renaud was weak enough to comply,
and the galleons entered Vigo Bay. Unfortunately this bay
forms an open roadstead which could not be defended. It
was then necessary to hurry on the discharge of the galleons
before the arrival of the hostile fleet, and plenty of time was
available for the operation had not a petty gen of
precedence arisen.

“You are following the facts?” asked Cabtetn ‘Nemo.

“ Perfectly,” I said ; not knowing how all this was to
be applied to me.

“ Well, then, this is what occurred, the Cadiz merchants
had a privilege according to which they were to receive all
merchandise which came from the West Indies. Now, to
disembark ingots at Vigo was against their privileges. They,
therefore, lodged a complaint at Madrid and obtained from
the weak Philip V. permission for the convoy to remain in
96 VIGO BAY.

sequestration in the roadstead of Vigo until the hostile fleet
had disappeared from the neighbourhood.

“ But while this decision was being arrived at, the English
fleet appeared in Vigo Bay. Admiral Chateau-Renaud, not-
withstanding his inferior force, gave them battle. But when
he saw that the convoy was likely to fall into the enemies’
hands, he burnt and sunk the galleons, which went to the
bottom with the immense treasure on board.”

Captain Nemo paused; I could not yet perceive how
this history could interest me.

“Well?” I said.

“Well, sir,” replied Captain Nemo, “we are now in
Vigo Bay, and, if you please, you can penetrate its
mysteries.”

He rose and begged me to accompany him, I had had
time to recover myself. I obeyed. The saloon was dark,
but the sea scintillated before the windows; I looked out.

All round the Meutilus, to a distance of perhaps half a
mile, the sea appeared to be illuminated by electric light.
The sandy bottom was clear and distinct. Some of our
crew in their diving-dresses were engaged in clearing rotten
barrels and empty chests from the wrecks. From these
barrels and cases ingots of gold and silver were escaping,
cascades of money and jewels. They were piled up on the
sand. Then, laden with their booty, the men returned to the
Nautilus, and, depositing their loads, went back for another
haul in this inexhaustible fishery of silver and gold.

I understood it all. This was the scene of the battle of
the 22nd October, 1702. It was here that the galleons,
laden for the Spanish Government, had been sunk. Here
Captain Nemo was enabled to secure, as he chose, millions
to ballast the (Vaudiivs. ’Twas for him, and him alone, that
America had yielded that precious metal. He was the sole
VIGO BAY. 97

heir to these treasures, torn away from Incas, and from the
conquered people of Ferdinand Cortez.

“Were you ever aware that the sea contained such
riches, professor ?”

“T have heard that the silver in suspension in these
waters has been estimated at two millions.”

“No doubt; but -to extract this silver, the expenses
would carry away all profit. Here, on the contrary, I have
only to collect what has been lost ; and not only here, but at
the scenes of a thousand other shipwrecks, which I have noted
on the chart. Now do you perceive why I am so rich ?”

“Yes, captain ; but allow me to inform you that, in ex-
ploring the Bay of Vigo, you are only a little ahead of a
rival.”

“ What is that ?”

“A society has received from the Spanish Government
the privilege to search for these sunken galleons. The
shareholders are attracted by the promise of a large booty,
for they value the contents of these ships at five hundred
millions.”

“They were five hundred imuillions,” replied Captain
Nemo, “but they are not so now.”

“In fact, then,” said I, “a warning to these sidveliotders
would only be a charitable action. But how would it be
received? That which gamblers regret above all, usually, is
less the loss of their money than that of their foolish expecta-
tions. I pity them less, after all, than the numbers of
unhappy people to whom so much treasure, well bestowed,
would have been a boon ; while they will be for ever useless
to them.”

No sooner had I made this remark than I felt it had
wounded Captain Nemo.

“Useless!” he said, with animation. “ Do you imagine,

VOL. I. G
98 VIGO BAY.

Monsieur, that these treasures are lost because I gather
them? Is it for myself—as you imagine—that I give
myself all this trouble to collect this wealth? Who has told
you that I do not make a good use of it all? Do you think
Ido not know that suffering people and oppressed races
exist on the earth—unhappy ones to console and victims to
avenge? Do you not understand. ”

Captain Nemo checked himself, regretting, perhaps,
that he had said so much. But I had guessed. Whatever
the motives that had forced him to seek freedom on the
ocean, after all he was a man at heart. His bosom throbbed
for the sufferings of mankind, and his unlimited charity was
extended to oppressed races, as well as to individuals.

And I understood then to whom these millions were for-
warded by Captain Nemo, when the Mavéislus was cruising
in the neighbourhood of the Crete insurgents.


CHAPTER IX.
A SUBMERGED CONTINENT.

THE next morning (19th February) Ned Land entered my
room. I rather expected him. He wore a very disap-
pointed look.

“Well, Monsieur,” he said.

‘Well, Ned, fate was adverse yesterday.”

“Ves, because that damned captain stopped exactly at
the hour we were about to get into the boat.”

“Ves, Ned; he had some business to transact with his
banker.”

“* His banker !”

“Or rather, I should say his banking-house. I mean
by that this ocean, in which his treasures are more safe than
in the coffers of a state.”

I then narrated the occurrences of the previous evening,
in the secret hope to bring him back to the idea not to
abandon the captain, but my recital had no other result than
to cause him to regret, in the most energetic manner of
which he was capable (which was something), of not having
been able to make a little excursion on his own account
into the “ battle-field” of Vigo.

G3
100 A. SUBMERGED CONTINENT.

** However,” he said, “all is not lost yet. It is only a
‘cast’ lost. We will recoup ourselves another time, and
this evening——”

“ How is the ship’s head?” I asked.

“T do not know,” he replied.

“Well, to-morrow at noon we shall see the observa-
tions.”

The Canadian returned to Conseil. So soon as I was
dressed I entered the saloon. The compass did not give
us any hope, the course was S.S.E. We were turning our
backs on Europe.

I waited with some impatience till the bearings were
taken. About half-past eleven the reservoirs were emptied,
and we mounted to the surface of the ocean.

I hastened up to the platform, Ned Land had anticipated
me.

Land was no longer in-vitw. Nothing was to be seen
but the expanse of ocean. There were a few sails on the
horizon seeking at Cape St. Roque favourable winds to
double the cape. The weather was overcast, a storm was
brewing.

Ned, in rage, attempted to pierce the misty horizon.
He was in hopes still that behind all this cloud there might
be some land for which he was so anxious.

At mid-day the sun showed himself for an instant. The
mate profited by this burst to take the elevation. Then the
sea got up again, we descended accordingly, and the panels
were closed.

An hour afterwards, when I was looking at the chart, I
saw that the position of the Vautilus was 16° 17’ long. and
33° 22’ lat., about 150 leagues from the nearest shore.
There was no chance even to think of escape, and I may
A SUBMERGED CONTINENT. IOI

fairly leave you to guess the feelings of Ned Land when he
fully recognised the situation of things.

I did not worry myself particularly. I felt in a manner
relieved from a weight that had oppressed me, and I was
able to return to my usual occupations with some degree
of calmness.

About 11 p.m. J received a very unexpected visit from
Captain Nemo. He inquired very politely whether I felt
fatigued by my exertions of the preceding evening. I re-
plied in the negative.

“Then, Monsieur, I will suggest a very interesting ex-
cursion.”

“ By all means, captain,” I said.

“Hitherto you have only visited the ocean depths by’
day and with the light of the sun, Should you like to see
them on a dark night ?”

“ Very much, indeed.”

“T warn you the excursion will be tiring. We shall have
to walk for a long distance and scale a mountain. The
roads are not very well marked.”

“What you say only redoubles my curiosity. I am
quite ready to accompany you.”

‘“‘ Come along, then,” replied the captain, “let us put on
our diving-dresses.”

As we reached the room in which the dresses were kept,
I perceived that none of the crew, nor had either of my
companions, been selected to follow us on this excursion.
Captain Nemo had not proposed my taking either Conseil
or Ned.

We were ready in a few minutes. We shouldered a
reservoir of air each, but the electric lamps were not pre-
pared ; I called the captain’s attention to this.
102 A SUBMERGED CONTINENT.

“They would be of no use,” he said.

I fancied I was mistaken, but I could not repeat the
suggestion, for the captain had already put on his helmet.
I managed to equip myself, and I felt somebody put an iron-
pointed stick into my hand, and some moments later we
touched the bottom of the Atlantic, at a depth of three
hundred yards.

Midnight was at hand, The water was very dark, but
Captain Nemo pointed to a reddish gleam in the distance,
a sort of extended light, which burned at about two miles
distant from the Wauéilus. What this fire was, how it was
fed, why and how it burned amid the waters, I could not
hazard a conjecture. In any case it gave us light, vaguely
*tis true, but I soon became accustomed to the peculiar
obscurity, and I understood the inutility of the Rumhkorif
apparatus under the circumstances.

We advanced side by side directly towards the fire.
The flat ground mounted gradually. We made very long
strides, assisted by our sticks, but still our progress was not
rapid, for our feet often sank into a sort of ooze.

But, still advancing, I heard a sort of pattering noise
overhead. This sometimes increased until it sounded like
a hailstorm. I’soon understood the cause ; it was the rain-
drops falling upon the surface of the waves. Instinctively I
had an idea that I should get very wet. Wetted by rain-
water in the middle of the sea! I could not refrain from a
quiet chuckle inside my helmet at the idea; but, as a fact,
in the thick diver’s dress one does not feel the water, and
can fancy oneself in an atmosphere only a little more dense
-than the terrestrial atmosphere, that’s all.

- After halfan-hour’s walking the ground became stony.
Medusa, small crustacea, &c., lit up with their light phos-
phorescent gleams. I caught glimpses of piles of rocks
A SUBMERGED CONTINENT, 103

covered with millions of zoophytes and alg. My foot
often slipped upon the viscous carpet of varech, and had it
not been for my ddfon I should have fallen more than once.
When I turned round I could see the white lamp of the
Nautilus, though paling a little, in the distance.

These stony heaps of which I have spoken were disposed
at the bottom of the ocean with a degree of regularity which
I could not explain. I saw gigantic furrows which lost
themselves in the obscurity, and whose length exceeded all
computation, Other curious experiences presented them-
selves. It appeared to me that my heavy leaden soles
crushed a litter of bony fragments which cracked with aloud
noise. What was this vast plain which I was treading? I
should have liked to ask the captain, but his language of
signs, which permitted communication with his companions
when they accompanied him in his submarine excursions,
was utterly incomprehensible to me.

Meanwhile, the flame which guided us increased, and
lighted up the horizon. The existence of this fire beneath
the ocean puzzled me considerably. Was it electric? Was
I about to become acquainted with a natural phenomenon
hitherto unknown? Or had the power of man aught to do
with this? Were men fanning this flame? Was I about to
meet in these depths friends and companions of Captain
Nemo, living like him this strange life, and whom he was
about to visit? Should we find here below a colony of
exiles, who, tired of earth and its troubles, had sought and
found independence in the lowest depths of the ocean?
These foolish and utterly absurd ideas pressed upon me,
and in my condition of mind, over-excited by the wonders T°
beheld at every step, I should not have been very much
astonished to enter, at the bottom of this ocean, one of those
submarine towns ot which Captain Nemo dreamed,
- 104, A SUBMERGED CONTINENT,

Our route got more and more illuminated. The white
gleam radiated from a mountain about 800 feet in height.
But what I could see was only a reflection thrown up by the
crystal of the sea depths. The fire, the original cause of
this extraordinary illumination, lay at the opposite slope of
the hill.

Captain Nemo advanced amid the rocky masses without
the least hesitation. He evidently was acquainted with this
dark road. He had doubtless frequently traversed it, and
would not lose his way. I followed him in full confidence,
He seemed to me like one of those genii of the sea, and as
he walked in front, I admired his lofty stature, which was
thrown out in strong relief against the luminous horizon.

It was 1 AM. We reached the first slopes of the
mountain, but to cross them we were obliged to attempt
a difficult path in a vast thicket. Yes, a thicket of dead
trees, trees mineralised by the action of the water, with here
and there a gigantic pine dominating them. It was like a
standing coal-pit, whose ramifications, like cuttings upon
black paper, stood out clearly against the watery ceiling.
It was like a submerged forest of the Hartz, clinging to the
mountain sides. The paths were encumbered with alge
and fucus, amongst which crawled a whole colony of crus-
tacea, I went on jumping over the rocks, striding over the
tree-trunks, breaking away the bind-weed that extended
from branch to branch, and frightening the fish, Carried
onward, I felt no weariness. I followed my guide, who
knew no fatigue.

And what a sight it was! How can I reproduce it ?
How can I depict the aspect of those trees and rocks in this
liquid medium, the black foundations, while red-tinged tops
glowed in the light, which was doubled by the reflecting
powers of the water? We clambered up rocks which gave
A SUBMERGED CONTINENT. 105

way as we passed, and fell with the roar of an avalanche.
Right and left there were long dark galleries. In other
places were vast clear spaces, apparently man’s handiwork,
and I wondered whether some inhabitant of these submarine
districts would not suddenly appear !

Captain Nemo still kept ascending, and I could not
stay. I followed him boldly. My dééon was of great assist-
ance ; a false step would have *been dangerous on those
narrow places, but I walked carefully, and without feeling
giddy. Sometimes I was obliged to jump a crevasse, the
depth of which would have repelled me on land ; sometimes
I ventured across the unsteady trunk of a tree, thrown over
an abyss; and without looking to my feet, for my eyes were
fully occupied in admiring the wild scenery. Monumental-
like rocks, perched upon irregular bases, here seemed to
defy all laws of equilibrium. Between their stony embraces
trees sprang up, like a jet under the influence of great
pressure, and sustained those which sustained them in turn.
Then natural towers and escarpments which inclined at an
angle that gravitation would never have permitted on land.

I, myself, felt the influence of the great density of the
water, for, notwithstanding my heavy clothing, I was able to
scale these stiff ascents with the lightness and ease of a
chamois.

In thus narrating my expedition under water, I am aware
that it may appear incredible. I am merely the historian
of things apparently impossible, but none the less real and
incontestible. I did not dream all these things; I saw,
and came in contact with them.

Two hours after leaving the JVautidus, we had cleared
the line of trees ; and the mountain, a hundred feet above
us, threw a long shadow upon the opposite slope. Some
petrified trees appeared to move in fantastic zigzags,
106 A SUBMERGED CONTINENT.

Fishes rose in masses under our feet, like frightened birds
in the long grass. The massive rocks were seamed with
immense fissures; deep grottos, unfathomable holes, in
‘which formidable creatures were moving about. The blood
went back to’ my heart when I perceived an enormous
antenna blocking up the way, or a frightful claw shutting
with a loud noise in the depths of the caverns. Thousands
of luminotis points glittered in the darkness. These were
the eyes of enormous crustacea; giant lobsters, holding
themselves upright like so many halberdiers, and moving
their claws with a clanking sound ; titanic crabs, and fearful
octopi, waving their arms like a nest fullof serpents. What
was the extraordinary world which hitherto I had never
known? To what order did these articulates belong, for
whom the rocks formed a second carapace? Where had
nature discovered the secret of their vegetative life, and
how long—how many centuries—had they lived thus in the
lowest depths of the ocean ?

But I was unable to halt. Captain Nemo, evidently
familiar with these terrible creatures, paid no heed to them ;
so we reached the first platform, where there were other
surprises in store forme. There were scattered ruins which
betrayed the hand of man, not of the Creator. Amongst the
piles of stones, rose the vague forms of chateaux and temples,
clothed with zoophytes in full flower ; and over which, like
ivy, the algee and fucus threw a thick vegetable mantle.

I would have fain asked Captain Nemo for an explana-
tion of all this, but, not being able to do so, I stopped and
seized his arm; but he shook his head and, pointing to the
last peak of the mountain, motioned me onward. I followed,
and in a few minutes we gained the top, which, in a circle of
ten yards, commanded the whole of the rocky expanse
beneath, ;


A SUBMERGED CONTINENT. 107

I looked down the ascent we had just climbed. The
mountain was only about 700 feet high from that plain we
had left, but on the other side it looked down twice the
height to the depths of the Atlantic. My gaze roamed over
a vast space, lighted up by a violent conflagration. The
mountain was, in fact, a volcano. Fifty feet below the
summit a large crater was vomiting torrents of lava in the
midst of a rain of stones and scorize ; the volcano lit up the
plain below like an immense torch, even to the limits of the
horizon.

I have said that the volcano cast up lava but no flames.
To have flame oxygen of the air is necessary, and flame
cannot be developed under water, but lava possesses in
itself the principle of incandescence, and reaches a white
heat, and, in contact with the liquid element, gains the
upper hand and vaporises it. Rapid currents, carrying all
the gases in diffusion, and the lava torrents, flowed to the
base of the mountain, like the eruptions of Vesuvius upon
another Zorre del Greet.

In fact, beneath my eyes, ruined and destroyed, appeared
the remains of a town, its roofs open, its temples fallen, its
architecture gone, and, in the columns still remaining, the
Tuscan style could be recognised.

Further on were the traces of a gigantic aqueduct, and
again the base of an Acropolis, with the dim outlines of a
Parthenon. Here were vestiges of a quay, as if an ancient
harbour had been existent, and had sunk, with its merchant-
men and ships of war, to the bottom. At a greater distance
still were long lines of sunken walls and streets—a Pompeii
engulfed in the ocean.

Where was I? I was determined to know at any hazard.
I wished to speak, and would have taken off my helmet had
not Captain Nemo stopped me by a gesture. He then
108 A SUBMERGED CONTINENT.

picked up a piece of chalky stone, and, advancing towards a
black rock, he wrote the single word—

ATLANTIS,

A sudden light flashed through my mind. Atlantis!
The ancient Meropis of Theopompus ! The Atlantis of Plato!
The continent whose existence was denied by Origen,
Porphyrus, Jambilicus, D’Anville, Malte-Brun, and Hum-
boldt, who ranked its disappearance amongst the old
legends, Admitted by Passidonius, Pliny, Tertullian, Engel,
Sherer, Tournefort, Buffon, d’Avezac, there it was now
before my eyes, bearing witness to the catastrophe
The region thus engulfed lay astride Europe, Asia, and
Africa ; beyond the Pillars of Hercules, in which lived a
people—the powerful Atlantides—against whom was waged
the first battles of ancient Greece.

Plato, himself, is the historian who has recounted the
events of the heroic times.

“One day Solon was conversing with some aged sages
of Sais, a town then 800 years old, as its graven annals bear
witness. One of the old men was narrating the history of
another town more ancient still. This first Athenian city,
800 years old, had been attacked and partly destroyed by
the Atlantides. These people occupied an immense con-
tinent, greater than Africa and Asia put together, which
covered a surface between the 12° to 14° N. lat. Their
domination extended even to Egypt, and they wished to
conquer Greece also, but were repulsed by the indomitable
resistance they met with. Centuries rolledon. A cataclysm
occurred—inundations and earthquakes. A night and a
day sufficed for the destruction of the Atlantis; the highest
summits—Madeira, the Azores, the Canaries, and the Cape
Verd Islands—only remaining above water.”
A SUBMERGED CONTINENT. 109

Such were the historical souvenirs which Captain
Nemo’s inscription called up inmy mind. Thus, led by the
strangest destiny, I was standing upon one of the mountains
of that continent; I was touching these ruins, a thousand
centuries old, and of the geological epoch ; I was walking
in the places where the contemporaries of the first man had
walked ; I was crushing under foot the skeletons of animals
of a fabulous age, which the trees, now mineralised, once
covered with their shade.

Ah! If time had not failed me, I should have descended
those steep hills and explored the whole continent—which,
no doubt, unites Africa to America—and visited the grand
antediluvian cities. Here lived those gigantic races of old,
who were able to move those blocks which still resisted the
action of the water. Some day, perhaps, a convulsion of
nature will heave these ruins up again. Many submarine
volcanoes have been reported in this portion of the ocean;
and many ships have felt extraordinary shocks in passing
over these disturbed depths. The whole of the soil, to the
equator, is still rent by these Platonian forces; and who
knows but that at some distant day the summits of these
volcanic mountains will appear once more above the surface
of the Atlantic !

As I was musing thus, and endeavouring to fix the
details on my memory, Captain Nemo remained immovable,
and as if petrified. Was he thinking of those former gene-
rations, and endeavouring to elucidate the secret of human
destiny. Was it to this place he came to revel in historical
memories, and to revive the ancient life—he to whom a
modern one was distasteful. What would I not have given
to have known his thoughts, to share them, to understand
them |

We remained in the same place for a whole hour, con-
110 A SUBMERGED CONTINENT.

templating the vast plain by the gleam of the lava, which at
times glowed with intense brilliancy. Loud noises were
clearly transmitted by the water, and were echoed with
majestic fulness of sound.

The moon now appeared across the waters, and threw
her pale rays over the engulfed continent. It was but a
gleam, but it had a wonderful effect. The captain rose,
threw a last look at the immense plain, and then signalled
to me to return.

We rapidly descended the mountain. The mineral forest
once passed, we could perceive the lantern of the Mazutilus
shining in the distance like a star. The captain made
directly for it, and we got on board just as the first rays of
dawn were brightening the surface of the ocean,
CHAPTER X.

THE SUBMARINE COAL-FIELDS,

I AwoxeE very late next morning, the zoth February. I
dressed quickly, and hastened to ascertain the course of the
Nautilus, The instruments indicated a southerly direction
at a speed of twenty miles, and at too yards below the
surface.

Conseil entered. I related to him the incidents of our
nocturnal excursion, and the panels being open, we could
catch a glimpse of the sunken continent.

In fact, the Wazti/us was only about ten yards from the
bottom of the Atlantic, and skimmed along like a balloon,
hurried across terrestrial prairies, but it would be more cor-
rect to say that we were apparently in a saloon carriage of
an express train. The first objects that we passed were fan-
tastically splintered rocks, forests which had been changed
from the vegetable to the animal kingdom, and whose im-
movable outline was shadowed beneath the waves. Stony
masses hidden beneath a carpet of axidies and anemones,
bristling with long vertical hydrophytes, and strangely
twisted blocks of lava, which attested the fury of the erup-
tions.
112 THE SUBMARINE COAL-FIELDS.

While these strange things were clearly observable under
our electric ight, I made Conseil acquainted with the his-
tory of the Atlantides; which, from a purely imaginative
point of view, inspired Bailly with material for many charm-
ing pages. But Conseil appeared somewhat indifferent to
my wish to discuss those questions respecting ancient
Atlantis, and his indifference was soon explained.

So many fish passed before him, and when fish were in
the way Conseil plunged into the depths of classification,
and went out of the world altogether. In this case I could
only yield, and study with him.

The fish in the Atlantic, as a rule, do not differ much
from those we have already noticed. There were gigantic
rays, various kinds of sharks, a glaucus about fifteen feet
long, with sharp triangular teeth, brown sagre, humanteris,
sturgeons, trumpet syngnathes,. about a foot and a half long,
without teeth or tongue, which swam like beautiful and
lissome serpents.

Amongst the bony fishes, Conseil noted the black
mokairas, nine feet long, and armed with a long sharp
“sword” in the upper jaw ; other coloured animals known
in the days of Aristotle, as the sea-dragon, whose spikes and
sharp dorsal fin make it dangerous to grasp with the bare
hand, coraphines whose brown backs were prettily striped
with blue and surrounded by a golden edging ; beautiful
dorades also, and troops of enormous sword-fish, fierce
animals, some of them more than twenty-four feet in length.
They are more herbivorous than carnivorous, and the males
obeyed the slightest gesture of the female fish, as well-trained
husbands should do.

But all this time I did not fail to examine the long
plains of Atlantis. Sometimes the nature of the bottom
obliged the auti/us to slacken speed, and it glode with the
THE SUBMARINE COAL-FIELDS. II3

dexterity of a cetacean amongst the scattered hillocks, If
the labyrinth appeared inextricable the vessel rose like a
balloon, and, the obstacle overcome it resumed its course at
the lower level. An admirable and charming way of sailing
which recalled a balloon voyage with the difference that the
Nautilus always obeyed the hand of the steersman.

About 4 P.M. the appearance of the soil, hitherto com-
posed of thick mud and petrified wood, began to change.
It was more stony now, and sprinkled with conglomerate
and basaltic lumps, with lava and sulphurous obsidian. I
fancied that a mountainous region would soon succeed the
plains, and at a movement of the /Vaztdlus I perceived the
southern horizon was barred by a high wall which appeared
to block all further progress. The -summit of this was
evidently above the sea level. It must be a continent or an
island, perhaps one of the Canaries, or Cape Verd islands,
The observations not having yet been taken, perhaps
designedly omitted, I was ignorant of our position. At any
rate this wall appeared to me to mark the limit of Atlantis,
only a very small portion of which we had traversed after
all.

Night put an end to my observations. I was left alone.
Conseil had retired to his cabin. The Wautilus slackened
speed, sometimes it passed over high ground, sometimes it
almost touched bottom, and at times it rose capriciously to
the surface of the ocean.

I could have remained much longer at the window but
the panels were closed. The MVaztelus had now reached
the high wall. What would be done now? I regained my
room ; the autilus did not move. I went to sleep with
the determination to wake after an hour or two.

But it was eight o’clock next morning when I re-entered
the saloon. I perceived by the manometer that the Vaudslus

VOL. IL. H
114 THE SUBMARINE COAL-FIELDS,

was floating on the surface. Besides, I-could hear a noise
upon the platform. Nevertheless, no rolling motion be-
tokened that we were lying at the surface of the water.

I ascended to the deck panel. It was open. But
instead of the daylight I expected, all around was dark.
Where were we? Had I made a mistake and it was still
night? No, not a star glittered, and no night is so abso-
lutely dark.

I did not know what to think of this when a voice close
to me said :

“‘ Ah, Professor, is that you?”

* Oh, Captain Nemo,” I cried, “ where are we ?”

“Under ground !” he replied.

“ Under ground, and the Maz/ilus afloat, too !”

“Tt always does float,” replied the captain.

“T do not understand,” I said.

“Wait a minute or two and you will. Our lantern
will soon be lighted, and if you like light you will then be
satisfied.”

I accordingly waited. The darkness was so thick that
I could not even see Captain Nemo. Nevertheless, just
exactly overhead I fancied I could detect a glimmer of
twilight coming through a. circular hole.

At this moment the lamp was lighted, and its strong
light quite extinguished the gleam overhead.

I looked round me so soon as I could accustom my
eyes to the sudden change from the darkness. The Mawtilus
did not move. It was floating alongside a mountain like an
enormous quay. The water in which it floated formed a
lake enclosed within a circle of rocky walls about two miles
in diameter. The level indicated by the manometer was
only that of the exterior sea-level, for a communication, of
course, existed between the lake and the ocean, The high
THE SUBMARINE COAL-FIELDS. 115

rocks leant over and united in a vaulted roof about 500 or
600 yards above us. At the top was a circular hole, through
which I had caught that glimpse of daylight.-

“Where are we ?” I asked.

“In the heart of an extinct volcano,” replied the captain ;
“a volcano to which the sea was admitted by some great
natural convulsion. While you were asleep the Naz/ilus
entered this lagoon by a canal which opens about ten yards
below the surface of the ocean. This is our harbour of refuge,
sure, safe, commodious, and mysterious, perfectly sheltered.
Can you find me any harbour in the world so completely
out of the reach of all storms ?”

“ You are certainly in perfect safety here, captain—who
could reach you in the centre ofa volcano? But is there
not an opening at the top 2”

“Yes, the crater, which now gives passage to the air we
breathe.”

“ But what is this volcano ?”

“Tt belongs to one of the numerous islands scattered in
this sea. A rock for all vessels save mine, for us an
enormous cavern. I discovered it by chance, and in that
fate befriended me.”

“But can no one descend through the crater?” I
asked.

“No more than I can ascend it. For a hundred feet
up the interior base of the mountain is practicable, but
above the cliffs are perpendicular, and they cannot be
scaled.”

“T see, captain, that Nature helps you everywhere, and
in everything. You are in perfect safety here, and no one
can intrude in these waters, But what is the good of it,
after all? ~The Mauti/us does not require a harbour.”

“No, but it requires electricity to move it, and the

H 2
116 THE SUBMARINE COAL-FIELDS.

elements to make the electricity ; sodium to ‘supply those
elements, carbon to make the sodium, and coal to extract
the carbon. In this very spot the sea covers entire forests
which were embedded during the geological period, now
mineralised and become coal, an inexhaustible mine for
me.”

“ Your crew become miners here, then, captain.”

“Certainly. These mines extend beneath the waves,
like the Newcastle collieries. Here in their divers’ dresses,
with pick and shovel, my men dig the coal out, which I do
not ask from terrestrial mines. When I burn it to make
sodium, the smoke escapes by the crater, which makes the
mountain appear as an active volcano.”

‘Shall we see your companions at work ?” I asked.

“Well, not this time, for I am in a hurry to continue
our voyage. So I will only draw the sodium from my
reserves. We only allow a day to put it on board; so if
you wish to see the cavern and make a tour of the
lagoon. you had better take advantage of that day,
M. Aronnax.”

I thanked the captain and sought my companions, who
had not yet left their cabin. I invited them to accompany
me, but did not tell them where we were.

They ascended to the platform. Conseil, who was never
astonished at anything, looked upon it as quite a natural
thing to wake up in the centre of a mountain, having gone
to sleep while under water. But Ned Land thought of
nothing but of finding an exit.

After breakfast—about six o’clock—we landed.

“ Well, here we are on land again,” said Conseil.

“TJ don’t call this land,” replied Ned. “And, besides,
we are not on land, we are underneath it.”

Between the mountain side and the lake ran a sandy
THE SUBMARINE COAL-FIELDS. 117

ridge about soo feet wide at its greatest breadth. We
could easily walk round the lake upon this shore. At
the base of the rocks was a rough soil, upon which, in
picturesque confusion, lay volcanic blocks and enormous
pumice boulders. All these masses, polished as they
were by the action of fire, shone under the gleam of
our electric lamps. The micacious dust flew around like
sparks.

The ground ascended as we left the margin, and we
soon arrived at long inclined planes or slopes, but we were
obliged to step carefully amongst those loose conglomerates,
upon which the feet often slipped.

The truly volcanic nature of the place was everywhere
observable, and I pointed it out to Ned and Conseil.

“Can you imagine,” I asked, “what this crater must
have been when choked with boiling Java, and when the
level of the boiling liquid rose to the aperture of the
mountain ?”

“ T can imagine quite well,” replied Conseil. “ But will
Monsieur tell me why the Great Founder has suspended
this operation, and how it is that the furnace is filled by the
tranquil waters of a lake?”

“ Most likely,” I replied, “ because some convulsion of
nature produced the opening through which the Veuti/us
entered. The. waters of the Atlantic then deluged the
interior of the mountain. It must have been a terrible
struggle between the two elements, but Neptune gained the
day. Many ages have elapsed since then, and the sub-
merged volcano is now a peaceful grotto.”

“ All right, sir!” said Ned, “I will accept the explana-
tion, but I should have preferred, for our sakes, that the
opening of which you speak had been above the sea
level.”
118 THE SUBMARINE COAL-FIELDS.

“But, friend Ned,” replied Conseil, “ if the passage were
not submarine, the AV@itc/vs would not have been able to
enter it.”

“ And I may add that, if the water had not rushed in
under the mountain, the volcano would have remained in
activity. So your regrets are altogether superfluous.”

We continued to ascend. The slopes became more and
more narrow and perpendicular. There were many deep
crevasses which we were obliged to cross. Overhanging
rocks had to be turned. We crawled on our knees and even
on our stomachs; but Conseil’s skill and Ned’s strength
succeeded in surmounting all obstacles.

At a height of about ninety feet, the nature of the
ground underwent an alteration, though it became no more
practicable for us. Black basalt succeeded to the con-
glomerates and trachytes; the former in an extended
surface, sprinkled with bubbles ; the latter in prisms, placed
like a colonnade, an admirable specimen of nature’s archi-
tecture. Amongst the basalt wound streams of cold lava,
incrusted with bituminous rays; and in places there were
quantities of sulphur. A stronger gleam entered by the
crater, and lit up vaguely the eruptive remains buried for
ever in the bosom of the mountain.

But our ascent was soon arrested at a height of about
250 feet. A vault overhung our heads, and our ascent
gave way to a circuitous walk. Here the vegetable
kingdom struggled with the mineral. Some shrubs and
even a few trees appeared in the fissures. I saw some
euphorbias with the caustic juice exuding from them ;
some heliotropes—quite unable to justify their name, since
the sun never reached them—drooped their flowers, both
scent and colour being half gone. A few chrysanthemums
pushed their timid way up at the stems of the aloes, with
THE SUBMARINE COAL-FIELDS. 11g

their sad and sickly leaves. But, amid the lava, I perceived
some little violets, still scented, and I confess that I inhaled
their perfume with delight. Perfume is the soul of a flower,
and sea flowers—the splendid hydrophytes—have no souls.

We had reached some fine dragon trees, which had
thrust away the stones by their strong roots, when Ned
said :

“Look here! Here’s a hive—a hive !”

“A hive?” I exclaimed, incredulously.

“Yes, a hive; and the bees humming around it, too.”

I approached, and was bound to confess the fact. There
it was, in a hole in the dragon tree, inhabited by some
thousands of bees so common in the Canary Isles, where
their produce is held in particularly high estimation.

The Canadian naturally wished to lay in a stock of
honey, and I was loth to prevent him. He soon got together
some leaves, and with a quantity of sulphur he began to
fumigate the bees. The humming graduaily subsided, and
the hive yielded several pounds of excellent honey, which
Ned placed in his havresack.

“When I have mixed the honey with a paste of arto-
carpus,” he said, “I shall be ready to offer you an excellent
cake.” ,

“By Jove!” said Conseil, “that will be like ginger.
bread.”

Bother the gingerbread!” I said. “Let us continue
our excursion.”

At various turns of the path we had the view of the
lake from end to end. The lantern lit up the whole of the
unraffed surface. The Mawti/us was perfectly motionless.
The crew were at work at the side of the mountain and
upon the platform, like black shadows, clearly defined
against the light.


120 THE SUBMARINE COAL-FIELDS.

At this time we were rounding the highest crests of the
most elevated of the first pillars of rock supporting the
vaulted roof. I then saw that the bees were not the only
representatives of animal life in the volcano. Birds of prey
flew hither and thither in the obscurity, or rose from their
nests on the pinnacles of rock. There were sparrow-hawks
and kestrels. Several bustards scampered down the slopes.
You can imagine how Ned’s mouth watered at the sight of
this game, and how he regretted he had no gun with him.
He endeavoured to make up for the absence of lead with
stones and, after several misses, he did manage to disable
a splendid bustard. It is only right to say that he risked
his life twenty times in his endeavours to secure it, but he
succeeded, at length, in pouching the bird along with the
honey.

We had to descend towards the shore, for the crest had
become impracticable. Overhead the crater gaped like a
great pit shaft, and we could see the sky distinctly, and the
clouds flying to the eastward, leaving mist on the mountain
as they passed.

Half an hour later we gained the inner shore. Here the
flora were represented by marine crystal, a little umbelli-
ferous plant very gool for pickling, and also known as sea-
fennel. Conseil picked some. The fauna were represented
by thousands of crustacea of all kinds, lobsters, crabs,
spider-crabs, &c., &c.

Here we lighted upon a beautiful grotto, We stretched
ourselves gladly upon the smooth, fine sand. Ned Land
amused me by sounding the rocky sides with the view to
ascertain their thickness. The conversation turned upon
the everlasting project of escape, and I believed I was
justified, without stating so absolutely, to give Ned hope by
telling him that Captain Nemo had only come down south
THE SUBMARINE COAL-FIELDS. 121

to renew his supply of sodium. I hoped that now he would
return to the European and American coasts and give the
Canadian the opportunity to put his scheme into execution
with success.

We stayed in the grotto for more than an hour, but as
the conversation languished, sleep stole over us. We slept,
and I dreamt that I was a mollusc, and that the grotto
formed the two valves of my shell. Suddenly I was
awakened by Conseil.

“ Get up, get up |” he cried.

“What is the matter?” I said, sitting up.

“ The water is rising 1!”

I jumped up. The sea was rushing into the grotto like
a sluice, and as we were not really molluscs, it was advisable
to save ourselves.

In a few moments we were safe at the summit of the
grotto.

“What is the cause of that ; some new phenomenon ?”
asked Conseil.

“Oh, no,” I replied, “it is only the tide that has sur-
prised us, like Walter Scott’s hero. The ocean has risen,
and, of course, this lake must rise to the same level. ‘We
have escaped with a little wetting only. Let.us go on, we
can change on board.”

Three-quarters of an hour later we had finished our
circular tour and got back to the Wautilus. The crew had
finished embarking the sodium, and the Mawtidus could
start at once. However, the captain gave no order to that
effect. Perhaps he wished to wait till nightfall, and pass
secretly through the secret canal.

Whatever his reason was, the next day the Mavwélus was
clear of her harbour and, far from land, was skimming
along some yards beneath the surface of the Atlantic.
CHAPTER XI.
THE SARGASSO SEA,

No alteration was made in the course of the Mawtilus, and
all hope of gaining European waters was now gone. Where
Captain Nemo was hurrying I could not imagine.

That day we crossed a curious portion of the Atlantic.
Everyone is acquainted with the existence of the great warm
current called the Gulf Stream. Leaving Florida it flows
towards Spitzbergen. But before entering the Gulf of
Mexico, about the 44° N. lat., the current divides, one
branch going towards the Irish coast and up to Norway
while the other trends southwards up to the Azores, then
touching the coast of Africa, and describing a long oval, it
turns again towards the Antilles.

Now, this second arm (or rather collar), surrounds with
its warm water the portion of the cold ocean denominated
the Sargasso Sea, a veritable lake in the open Atlantic, and it
takes the great current no less than three years to encircle it.

The Sargasso Sea, properly speaking, covers the sub-
merged Atlantis. Certain authors have even admitted that
the herbs with which it is strewn have been torn from the
fields of that ancient continent. It is more probable, how-
THE SARGASSO SEA. 123

ever, that these alge and fucus, loosed from the coasts
of Europe and America, are carried hither by the Gulf
Stream. :

This was one of the reasons why Columbus believed in
the existence of a new world. When this hardy navigator
arrived in the Sargasso Sea the ships sailed with difficulty in
the midst of the herbs, to the terror of the crews, and it
took three long weeks to get through them.

Such was the region the Mauti/us entered, a regular
prairie, a carpet of seaweed, fucus, and berries, so thick and
compact that a vessel could hardly make way through it.
Captain Nemo, not wishing to get the screw entangled in
the weeds, kept the Wau/i/us at some distance beneath the
surface.

This name of Sargasso is dérived from the Spanish word
“ Sargazzo,” signifying sea-wrack. This wrack or varech is
the principal constituent of this immense bank. And the
following is the reason, according to Maury, why hydro-
phytes unite in this peaceful basin in the Atlantic.

“The only possible explanation,” says Maury, “seems to
me the result of a world-wide experience. If you place in
the centre of a vase some fragments of cork or other floating
substance, and give to the water a circular motion, the
fragments will unite in the centre, in the least agitated part.
In the phenomenon we are considering the vase is the
Atlantic, the Gulf Stream is the circular current, and the
Sargasso Sea the central point where the floating bodies
unite.” :

I agree with Maury, and was enabled to study the
phenomenon in the very centre where ships but rarely
penetrate. Overhead floated all kinds of products, trunks
of trees torn from the Andes or Rocky Mountains, and
floated out to sea by the Amazon or the Mississippi; nume-
124 THE SARGASSO SEA.

rous wrecks, keels, and hulls, and planks so heavy with
shells and barnacles as to be unable to float on the surface.
And time will justify Maury in his other opinion, that these
accumulations of centuries will petrify and form inexhaustible
coal fields ; a valuable reserve which Nature is preparing
for the time when continental coal-mines shall be exhausted.

In the midst of this tangled mass of plants and fucus,
I noticed some beautiful rose halcyus trailing their long
tentacles, and green, red, and blue meduse, particularly the
great rhizostoms of Cuvier, the blue “ umbrella,” of which
is bordered by a violet fringe.

We passed the whole of the 22nd of February in the
Sargasso Sea, where the fish, great admirers of marine plants
and crustacea, found abundant food. Next day the ocean
had assumed its usual appearance.

For the next nineteen days the Wauti/us kept in mid-
Atlantic. We proceeded steadily, at the rate of 100 leagues
in the twenty-four hours. Captain Nemo was evidently
determined to carry out his programme, and I had no doubt
that he intended, when he had doubled Cape Horn, to return
to the South Pacific.

Ned Land had therefore some cause for alarm. In these
immense expanses of sea, with but few islands, it would not
do to think of escape, nor were there any means to oppose
Captain Nemo’s wishes. We could only submit, but we
might gain by diplomacy what we could not attain by force
or stratagem. Once the voyage was over, would not Captain
Nemo restore us our liberty, under an oath never to betray
him. Now could I claim this liberty? He had declared
that the secret of his life entailed in return our lasting
incarceration on board the Maeuti/us, and would not my
silence for four months look like a tacit acceptation of the
conditions? In fact I was forced to confess that our chances
THE SARGASSO SEA. 125

of seeing our relatives again diminished more and more from
the day Captain Nemo went south again.

During the nineteen days I have referred to, no incident
of any note occurred. I saw but little of the captain, He
was at work. In the library I often found his books upon
natural history left open.

At this part of our voyage we often sailed for whole days
at the surface. The sea was, as it were, deserted. A few
sailing vessels bound to India, wd the Cape, were all we
perceived. One day we were pursued by the boats‘of a
whaler, who no doubt took us for some valuable whale. But
Captain Nemo was unwilling that these brave fellows should
lose both time and trouble, and so he plunged incontinently
into the depths. This incident appeared to interest Ned
Land mightily. I rather think he regretted that our iron
cetacean had not been captured by the fishermen.

The fish we observed here were not greatly different from
those we had previously noticed; the principal specimens
were various kinds of sharks. ‘

We also saw tremendous dog-fish, about which many ex-
travagant stories are related by fishermen, one of which was
reported to have swallowed two pickled tunnies and a
sailor, clothes and all, another a soldier fully equipped,
and, a third, a cavalier and his horse complete. But I do
not think we can rank the credit of these tales among our
articles of faith. At any rate we caught none, so I could not
verify even one story.

Troops of dolphins accompanied us for whole, days
at a time, and I noticed also some curious specimens of
the fish of the acanthopterigian order of the family of
scienoides.

Some authors, chiefly poets, pretend that these fish sing,
and their voices form quite a concert, to which human voices
126 THE SARGASSO SEA,

cannot compare. I do not deny this, but at any rate we
were not serenaded by them, and I am sorry for it.

We also saw quantities of flying-fish. Nothing can be
more curious than to see the dolphins giving chase with
such wonderful precision. No matter how the unfortunate
fish flew, or what course he took, even across the Wauttlus,
he always dropped into the mouth of his pursuer.

Up to the 13th of March our voyage continued like this.
On that day we took some soundings, which interested me
particularly.

We had made nearly 13,000 leagues since our departure
from the Pacific high seas. The bearings we took gave us
45° 37'S. lat. and 37° 53’ E. long. We were in the same
locality: where Captain Denham, of the Harold, gave out
14,000 yards of line without touching bottom. There, also,
Lieutenant Parker, of the American frigate Congress, did not
find soundings at 15,140 yards.

Captain Nemo resolved to bring down the Mautilus to
the greatest depth, to test these different soundings. I made
preparation to note the results. The panels were opened
and we set about reaching the depths of the ocean.

One might imagine that to dive it was only a question of
filling the reservoirs. But perhaps they would not be suffi-
cient. On the other hand, perhaps the pumps were not
sufficiently powerful to overcome the exterior pressure.

Captain Nemo resolved to get to the bottom by a long
diagonal by means of the inclined planes at the side being
placed at an angle of 45°. Then the screw was worked at
full speed, and it beat the waves with tremendous violence.

Under this tremendous pressure the Mautilus quivered
like a chord, and descended straightway into the water.

The captain and I, posted in the saloon, followed the
movements of the manometer, which moved rapidly. We
THE SARGASSO SEA. 127

soon passed the habitable zone in which the greater number
of fish live. I asked Captain Nemo whether he had ever
observed fish at a very great depth.

“Very seldom,” he said ; “ but what does science say ?”

“Tt is known,” I replied, “that towards the very low
depths vegetable life disappears more quickly than the
animal; and it is known that where even animated beings
are met with no vegetation is observable but hydrophyte.
It is known that pelerines and oysters live at 2,000 yards
under water, and that Captain McClintock, the Polar hero,
has brought up a living star-fish from a depth of 2,500 yards.
The nets of the Bulldog of the Royal Navy fished up an
asteroid from 2,620 fathoms. But, Captain Nemo, perhaps
you will say they know nothing about it.”

“No, professor ; I should not be so rude, And, more-
over, I should like you to explain how these things are able
to live at such great depths.”

“T can give you two reasons,” I.replied. “ First,
because the vertical currents, determined by the difference
in the saltness and density of the water, produce a move-
ment which is sufficient to give a rudimentary life on the
ecrines and asteroids.”

“ Quite so,” replied the captain.

“Secondly, because, if oxygen be the basis of life, we
know that the quantity of oxygen contained in the sea
increases with the depth, instead of diminishing, and that
the pressure helps to compress it.”

“ Ah! they know that,” said the captain, in a light tone
of surprise. ‘Well, they are right. I will add that the
swimming-bladders of fish contain more azote than oxygen
when the animal is near the surface, and more oxygen than
azote when at a great depth. That gives your system
probability, But let us continue our observations,”
128 THE SARGASSO SEA,

My gaze was fixed on the manometer. The instrument
indicated a depth of 6,000 yards. We had been immersed
for an hour, and the JVautilus was still descending. The
water was beautifully clear. An hour later we had reached
13,000 yards—about three and a quarter leagues—and the
bottom of the ocean had not yet been attained.

At 14,000 yards I saw some black peaks rising up; but
these summits appeared to be those of mountains as high as
the Himalayas or Mont Blanc, or higher, and the depths
appeared as far off as ever.

The Mautilus still descended, notwithstanding the
tremendous pressure. I felt it tremble, and the bolts
seemed to start; the partitions groaned, and the windows of
the saloon seemed to “ cave in” with the enormous pressure.
And the whole thing would have given way, had it not been,
as the captain had said, capable of resisting any possible
pressure, like a solid block of iron.

The last remnants of animal life soon disappeared, and
at three leagues down the Nawd¢dus had passed the limits of
submarine existence. We had attained a depth of 16,000
yards—four leagues—and the sides of the Mawtilus bore
the pressure of 6,000 atmospheres, or 2,000 lbs. (about)
for each two-fifths of an inch square of its surface.

“What a position!” I cried. “Sailing through these
profundities, where human kind has never been. Look at
those splendid rocks, captain ! those uninhabited grottos,
the last receptacles of the earth, where life is impossible !
What unknown sites are here, and how impossible it is that
we should retain any souvenir of them !”

“Would it please you to have a souvenir of them?”
asked Captain Nemo.

“What do you mean ?”

“J mean that nothing is easier than to take a photograph
of this submarine view.”






THE SARGASSO SEA, 12)

I had no time to express my surprise, for at a summons
from Captain Nemo the apparatus was brought in. The
water was electrically illuminated, and the perfectly dis-
tributed light could not have been surpassed by the sun’s
rays. The Vaufilus, under the pressure of her screw, and
overcome by the inclined planes, remained steady. The
camera was fixed, and in a few seconds we had obtained a
beautiful “ negative.”

I can only give the “ positive proof” here. The primi-
tive rocks which have never met heaven’s light, the lower
granite strata which form the foundations of the earth, the
deep grottos included in the stony masses, those clear
profiles with black edges. Then, beyond a horizon of
mountains, an admirable undulating line, which makes the
perspective of the picture. I cannot describe this assem-
blage of smooth, black, and polished rocks, and of the
strange forms which glittered beneath the gleam of our
electric light.

When Captain Nemo had finished, he said:

“Let us ascend again now. We must not go too far,
nor expose the autilus to such a pressure.”

“ Ascend again ?” I said.

“ Hold tight, I advise you,” said he.

I had no time to understand this caution, when I was
thrown upon the floor.

The screw was hauled in, the inclined planes pointed
upwards, and the /Vawti/us, carried up like a balloon, rose
with fearful rapidity. It cut through the waters with a roar.
Nothing whatever was visible as we ascended. In four
minutes we had passed the four leagues which lay between
us and the surface, and after emerging from the water like a
flying-fish, we fell back to float upon the waves, making the
billows rise to a prodigious height as we did so.

VOL. II. t
CHAPTER XII.
CACHALOTS AND WHALES,

Durinc the night of the 13th March the JVautilus steered
towards the south. I thought that when Captain Nemo had
got to the latitude of Cape Horn he would put the helm up
for the Pacific, and complete his tour of the world. But he
did not, and still kept his southerly course. Whither was
he bound? Tothe Pole? That was madness! I really
began to think that the captain’s rashness sufficiently justified
the apprehensions of Ned Land.

The Canadian had not spoken to me respecting his
plans of escape for some time. He had become less com-
municative—almost silent. I perceived how this long im-
prisonment preyed upon him. I felt that he was “ bottling
up” his indignation. Whenever he met the captain his
eyes gleamed with a fierce light, and I was always fearful
that his violent temperament would impel him to some rash
action. On that day, the 14th March, Conseil and he came
to see me in my room. I inquired the object of this visit.

“To ask a simple question, Monsieur,” replied the
Canadian.

“ Speak, Ned,”
CACHALOTS AND WHALES, 131

“How many men do you think there are on board the
Nautilus 2”

“T cannot tell you, my friend,” I replied.

“ Tt seems to me,” said Ned, “ that she does not require
a large crew to work her.”

“As amatter of fact, under present circumstances, ten
men would suffice,” I replied,

“Well, why should there be any more ?” said Ned.

“Why?” I asked.

I looked steadily at Ned, whose ideas were not difficult
to fathom.

“ Because,” I continued, ‘if my presentiments are cor-
rect, and I have understood the captain, the Vaztilus is not
merely a ship—it is a refuge for those who, like its com-
mander, have broken all worldly ties.”

“ Perhaps so,” replied Conseil, “ but it can only contain
a certain Humber of men, and Monsieur can give us the
maximum,’

“ How so, Conseil ?”

“ By calculation. Given the capacity of the vessel, which
Monsieur knows, and consequently the quantity of air it can
‘contain, and knowing, also, how much each individual
would require for respiration ; and, by comparing the result
with the recurring necessity for returning to the surface for
air every twenty-four hours.”

I saw at once what Conseil mieant.

‘“‘T understand,” I said, “but such a calculation could
give but an uncertain result.”

“* Never mind,” insisted Ned Land.

“Well, this is the calculation,” I said. “Every man’ in
one hour consumes the oxygen contained in roo litres
(twenty gallons) of air, soin twenty-four hours that would be
480 gallons. We must now endeavour to find out how

I 2
132 CACHALOTS AND WHALES,

many times 480 gallons of air are contained in the
Nautilus.”

“ Exactly,” said Conseil.

“ Now,” I continued, “the capacity of the Wautilus is
1,500 tons, and that of a ton is 200 gallons ; the Mautilus,
therefore, contains 300,000 gallons of air, which, divided by
480, gives 625. So the air contained in the Wawflus would
suffice for 625 men for twenty-four hours.”

“Six hundred and twenty-five !” repeated Ned.

“ But you may take for granted that, including ourselves,
crew, and officers, there is not a tenth part of that number
on board.”

“ But there are still too many for three men,” muttered
Conseil.

“ Therefore, my poor Ned,” I said, “I can only advise
you to be patient.”

“ And what is better, be resigned,” said Conseil. Conseil
had used the right word.

“ After all,” he resumed, “ Captain Nemo cannot always
keep going to the south, He must stop somewhere, and
return into more civilised seas. It will then be time to put
Ned Land’s plans in action.” ;

The Canadian shook his head, passed his hand over his
forehead, and went-out, but did not answer.

“Will Monsieur permit me to make an observation,”
said Conseil. . “ Poor Ned is ever wanting what he cannot
have. All his past life returns to him. He regrets every-
thing that is forbidden to us. Old memories oppress him,
and he has a large heart. We must try to understand him.
What has he to do here? Nothing. He is not a savant,
and cannot take the same pleasure in admiring the sea as we
do. He would risk all he possesses to be able to enter an
inn in his own country again.”
CACHALOTS AND WHALES. 133

It is certain the monotony of ship-life had become insup-
portable to the Canadian, used to an active existence. Events
which could rouse him up wererare. However, an incident
happened thatday, whichrecalled bright days to the harpooner.

About 11 a.M., being at the surface, the Maztz/us fell
in with a school of whales, at which I was not surprised, as
I knew that the creatures, hunted to death, seek refuge in the
high latitudes.

The part played by the whale in the marine world, and
its influence upon geographical discovery, has been consider-
able. It is the whale that successively induced the Basques,
the Asturians, the English, and the Dutch to accustom
themselves to the dangers of the sea, and has led them from
one end of the earth to the other. Whales frequent the
Arctic and the Antarctic Seas, Ancient stories say that these
cetaceans have brought fishers to within seven leagues of the
North Pole. If this be not true, it soon will be, and in their
chase of the whale, men will reach this unknown point of
the globe.

We were sitting upon the platform—the sea was calm.
But October of these latitudes gave us some lovely autumnal
days. The Canadian—he could not err—signalled a whale
on the horizon to the east, As we gazed attentively, we
could distinguish his black back rising and falling with the
sea, about five miles from us.

“ Ah!” cried Ned, “if I were only on board a whaler,
there is an encounter that would do me good. It is a
splendid animal. ook with what force he is ‘spouting.’
Why am I bound to this iron plate ?”

“What, Ned,” said I, “then you have not forgotten your
old tastes ?”

“Can a whale-fisher ever forget his trade, sir? Can the
excitement incident to such a chase ever die out ?”
134 CACHALOTS AND WHALES.

“You have never fished in these seas I suppose ?”

“ Never, sir, only in the north, in Behring’s and Davis’
Straits—about equally.”

“Then the whale of the southern seas is unknown to
you. You have hitherto only hunted the Greenland whale,
which would not pass the warm waters of the equator.”

“ Ah, monsieur! What do you mean?” cried Ned, in
a somewhat incredulous tone.

“T am stating a fact.”

“ Well, now, for instance ; I, myself, in 1865, that is two
years and a half ago, fell in with a whale near Greenland,
which carried another harpoon in his side; a harpoon
marked as belonging to a Behring whaler. Now I ask you
how, having been struck on the west side of America, the
animal could come up to be killed in the cast, unless he
had doubled the Cape, and crossed the equator ?”

“TJ agree with you, Ned,” said Conseil, “and should
like to have an explanation.”

“Whales are localised,” I replied, “according to their
species, in certain seas which they do not leave ; and if one
of them did pass from Behring’s to Davis’ Strait, it is simply
because some passage must exist beneath Asia or America.”

“Must we believe that?” asked the Canadian, with a
wink.

‘We must believe Monsieur,” said Conseil.

“All right, then,” said Ned; ‘and as I have never
fished in these seas, I do wot know the species of whale that
frequents them.”

““T have told you so, Ned.”

“All the more reason why we should make their ac-
quaintance,” replied Conseil.

“Look, look!” cried Ned, excitedly, “it is coming
nearer ; it it aggravating ; it knows that I cannot get at it.”
CACHALOTS AND WHALES. 138

Ned stamped his foot. His hand shook as if he were
brandishing a harpoon.

_ “Are these cetaceans as big as those of the North
seas?” he asked.

“Very nearly,” I replied.

“T have seen whales roo feet long, and I am told that,
at the Aleutian Islands, they have been known to exceed
150 feet in length.”

“That seems an exaggeration,” I replied. “These
animals are only baleninopterous, provided with dorsal fins,
and, like the cachalots, are usually smaller than the Green-
land species.”

“ Ah!” said the Canadian, whose eyes never left the sea,
“it is approaching nearer still ;” then, resuming the con-
versation, he said: “ You speak of the cachalot as a small
animal, but enormous specimens have been known. They
are intelligent cetaceans; some of them, it is said, cover
themselves with seaweed, and are sometimes mistaken for
islands; then people land and encamp, light a fire ”

“ And also build houses on them,” added Conseil.

“Ves, you joker,” replied Ned. “Then at last, some
fine day, the animal takes it into his head to dive, and
drowns all the inhabitants.”

“That is like the ‘Travels of Sinbad the Sailor,’” I
said, laughing.

“Ah! Master Land, it appears you are fond of extrava-
gant tales. ‘Very like a whale’ your cachalot! I hope
you do not believe it.”

“ Monsieur,” replied the Canadian, seriously, “we must
believe anything about whales. (Look how that fellow is
going along!) People say that these animals can go round
the world in fifteen days.”

“1 do not assert the contrary.”


136 CACHALOTS AND WHALES.

“ But you are doubtless aware, M. Aronnax, that at the
creation whales swam even more rapidly.”

“Indeed, Ned; why was that?”

“ Because they then had their tails like fishes, vertically,
placed so that they struck the water from left to right, and
from right to left. But the Creator, perceiving that they
moved too quickly, altered the tail so that it now beats the
water upwards and downwards to the detriment of great
speed.”

“ Good, Ned,” I replied ; but, borrowing his own ex-
pression, I added, “ Must we believe that ?”

“Not unless you like,” said he, “ and not any more than
if I told you that there exist whales 300 feet long, and
100,000 pounds weight.” ,

“Well, that is something,” I said. “ Nevertheless, it
must be admitted that some cetaceans reach an enormous
size, since they furnish, it is said, nearly 120 tuns of
oil.”

* T have seen as much,” said the Canadian.

“T willingly believe it, Ned, as I believe that some
whales equal roo elephants in size. Judge of the effect
which would be produced by such a mass coming in contact
with a vessel !”

“Ts it true that vessels are wrecked by them?” asked
Conseil.

“No,” I replied, “I do not believe ships are. But a
tale is told that in the year 1820, in these very seas, a whale
launched itself against the Zssex, and ‘rammed’ her back-
wards at the rate of four yards in a second. The waves
entered over the stern, and the vessel sank almost
immediately.”

Ned looked at me quizzically.

“TI have received a blow from the tail of a whale,” he
CACHALOTS AND WHALES. 137

said, “in my boat, of course. My companions and I were
flung six or seven yards into the air. But, beside your
animal, sir, mine was but a baby.”

“Do those animals live long?” asked Conseil, :

“ A thousand years,” replied Ned.

“ How do you know that, Ned 2”

* Because I have been told so.”

“ And why did they tell you so?”

‘* Because they knew it.”

“No, Ned,” I said, ‘they do not know it, they only
supposed so. Four hundred years ago, when whale-fishing
first began, these animals were larger than they are at
present. Therefore people suppose that the smaller size
is due to the fact that they have not had time to grow to
their full bulk. That caused Buffon to state that whales
lived a thousand years. Do you see?”

Ned Land neither heard nor understood. The whale
was approaching, and he was devouring him with all his
eyes !

“ Ah!” he exclaimed, “it is not one whale, there is a
whole school. And I unable to do anything, tied here hand
and foot.”

“ But, friend Ned,” said Conseil, “why do you not ask
permission to hunt them ?”

Scarcely were the words uttered, than Ned Land had
descended in search of the captain. In a few moments they
appeared together.

Captain Nemo looked at the whales, which were spouting
about a mile away.

“hey are the southern whales,” he said, “and would
make the fortune of a whaling fleet.”

“ Well, then, Monsicur, may we not chase them, if it be
for nothing else than to keep my hand in.”
138 CACHALOTS AND WHALES.

“For what object,” replied the captain, “simply for the
sake of killing? . We have no use for oil on board.”

“Nevertheless, in the Red Sea you permitted us to kill
the dugong.”

“Tt was then with a view to procure fresh meat for my
crew. Here it is only killing for killing’s sake. I know very
well it is man’s privilege, but I do not like killing for pas-
time. In destroying the southern whales—like the Greenland
whale, inoffensive and useful animals—people like you, Master
Land, are very culpable. They have already decimated them
in Baflin’s Bay, and a class of useful animals is being annihi-
lated. Leave these poorcetaceans alone. They have plenty
of natural enemies—cachalots, sword-fish, and saw-fish—
without you.”

I leave you to imagine what a figure the Canadian cut
during this homily. To talk like that to a hunter was to
throw words away. Ned gazed at the captain, and evidently
did not understand him. Nevertheless the captain was right.
The barbarous and indiscriminate fishing will soon clear off
all the whales from the ocean.

Ned Land whistled “ Yankee Doodle,” thrust his hands
into his pockets, and turned his back on us.

Captain Nemo continued to watch the cetaceans, and
turning to me, said,

“JT was right in saying that, without counting man,
whales had enemies enough. Those will have enough to
occupy them soon. Do you see those black moving spots
about eight miles to leeward, M. Aronnax?”

“Ves,” I replied.

“Thoseare cachalots—terrible animals, too. I have some-
times met them in ‘ schools’ of two hundred or three hundred
ata time. ‘They are cruel creatures, and one will do well to
kill chem.”
CACHALOTS AND WHALES. 139

The Canadian turned quickly—

“Well, captain, there is still time, even in the interest of
the whales.”

“Tt is no use to expose one’s self. The Vautilus will
suffice to disperse them. It is armed with a steel spur as
good as Ned Land’s harpoon, I imagine.”

The Canadian did not eventrouble to shrug his shoulders.
Who had ever heard of attacking cetaceans with a spur !

“ Wait, M. Aronnax,” said the captain, “and you will see
a novel chase. We need not pity these ferocious beasts.
they are only mouth and teeth.”

All mouth and teeth! No better description of the
macrocephalous cachalot could have been given. It is some-
times seventy-five feet in length. Its enormous head is fully
one-third of its body. It is better armed than the whale,
whose upper jaw is only furnished with whalebone, while
the cachalot has twenty-five large teeth about eight inches
long, round, and pointed at the top, weighing about 2 lbs.
each. In the upper part of the enormous head, the
valuable spermaccti is found .in large quantities. The
cachalot is a very disagreeable animal, more tadpole than
fish, according to Frédol ; it is very badly made (so to speak),
and one side is quite a failure, for it can only-see with the
right eye.

Meanwhile, this ‘school’ of monsters was approaching.
They had perceived the whales, and hastened to attack
them. One could predict victory for the cachalots, not only
because they were better fitted for the encounter than their
defenceless adversaries, but also because they could remain
longer beneath the waves without rising to breathe.

There was scarcely time to go to the assistance of the
whales. The /Vaué/us went under water. Conseil, Ned
and I, took our places at the windows of the saloon. Captain,
140 CACHALOTS AND WHALES.

Nemo stood by the helmsman, so as to work the vessel like
an engine of destruction. I soon heard the beating of-the
screw, and our speed increased.

The fight had already commenced when the Mawtrlus
arrived on the scene. We steered so as to divide the
cachalots. They at first appeared little impressed at the
sight of the new monster which had come to take part in
the battle. But very soon they had to guard its attack.

What a struggle it was! Ned Land, very quickly ex-
cited, clapped his hands. The Avaute/us was like a tre-
mendous harpoon brandished in the captain’s hand. He
turned it against the thick, fleshy masses, cutting them
asunder, leaving the quivering portions of the animal in the
wake.

We did not feel the furious blows applied to the sides of
the Nautilus, nor the shocks they produced, to any great
extent. One cachalot slain, we rushed at another ; backing,
going ahead or astern, under water, or re-mounting to the
surface, and then striking it full or diagonally; cutting or
tearing in every direction, at all paces, piercing them with
the terrible ‘“ spear.”

It was a massacre. The noise was prodigious. The
hissing and snorting of the enraged animals was deafening.
In these usually calm waters there were enormous waves.

For an hour this Homeric massacre continued. The
cachalots could not get away. Frequently ten or a dozen
would get together and attempt to crush the Vauizlis
beneath their weight. We could see from the window their
enormous throats lined with teeth, and their formidable
eyes. Ned Land threatened and cursed them alternately.
We could feel them fasten upon the hull and “ worry” it
like wild dogs their prey. But the Nawéi/us, putting on the
steam, would carry them along, either up or down, without
CACHALOTS AND WHALES. 141

heeding their enormous bulk, or their tremendous “ pull”
on the vessel.

At length the cachalots fled. The sea became calm
again. We ascended to the surface; the panels were
opened; we hastened to the platform. The ocean was
covered with mutilated bodies. A tremendous explosion
could not have had more terrible effects. We were floating
surrounded by gigantic corpses. Some cachalots were
visible on the horizon in full retreat. The waves were
tinged with red for several miles, and we appeared to be
sailing in a sea of blood.

Captain Nemo now joined us.

‘Well, Master Land !” he said.

“Well, sir!” replied the Canadian, whose ardour had
somewhat abated. ‘It is really a terrible spectacle; but I
am not a butcher, myself; I am merely a hunter, and this
has been butchery.”

“Tt was only a massacre of mischievous animals,”
replied the captain; “and the JVazsdus is not a butcher’s
knife.”

“T prefer my harpoon,” replied Ned.

“ Everyone to his own weapon,” replied the captain,
looking steadily at the Canadian.

I was afraid the latter would give way to some violence,
which would have deplorable consequences. But his wrath
was turned aside by the sight of a whale, which the Vauzi/us
had just reached. The animal had not escaped scot-free
from the jaws of the cachalots. I recognised the southern
whale by its black and flattened head. Anatomically it is
distinguished from the white and the North Cape whales
by the joining of the seven cervical vertebra, and it possesses
two more ribs than the others. This unhappy specimen
was lying upon its side, the belly bitten to pieces, quite dead,
142 CACHALOTS AND WHALES.

From a mutilated fin still hung a young whale, which the
poor animal could not save from the massacre. The water
flowed in and out of its open mouth with a sound like waves
breaking on the shore.

Captain Nemo guided the /auti/us close to the body.
Two men then mounted it, and with no little astonishment
I saw them draw all the milk from the breasts, about two or
three tuns.

The captain offered me a glass of the still warm liquid.
I could not conceal my repugnance, but he assured me it
was excellent,-and could not be in any way distinguished
from cows’ milk.

I tasted it, and found he was right. This, therefore,
gave us a very useful supply, for cheese and butter would
improve our table.

From that day I noticed that Ned Land grew more and
more badly disposed towards the captain, and I resolved to
keep a strict watch on the sayings and doings of the
Canadian.
CHAPTER XIII.
THE ICEBERG,

Tue JVautilus still continued her southerly course, Was it
Captain Nemo’s wish to reach the Pole? I did think so,
for hitherto all such attempts had signally failed. Besides,
the season was too far advanced, as the 13th of March, in
those latitudes, corresponds to the 13th of September in
northern climates, when the equinoctial period commences,

Upon the 14th of March, I perceived ice floating in
latitude 55°, merely field ice, in patches twenty to twenty-
five feet long, upon which the waves broke. The Wautdlis
remained at the surface. Ned Land, having fished in Arctic
seas, was familiar with icebergs. Conseil and I admired
them for the first time.

Towards the southern horizon, in the air, lay extended a
white band of dazzling appearance. This is what English
whalers have called the “ice-blink.” No matter how thick
the clouds, they cannot obscure its rays. It betokens the
near approach to a pack or floe of ice.

And, sure enough, blocks of considerable size soon began
to make their appearance, whose brilliancy was modified by
the caprice of the fogs. Upon some of these masses we
144 THE ICEBERG.

could trace green veins, as if caused by sulphate of copper.
Others appeated llke immense amethysts, through which the
light penetrated.

Some reflected the rays from the thousand facets of their
crystals, while others, clouded with vivid calcareous reflec-
tions, would have passed for a town of marble.

The further we got southward the greater became the
size and frequency of the icebergs. Polar birds built in
them by thousands. Petrels, damiers, and puffins deafened
us with their screams. Some of these birds, taking the
Nautilus for the dead body of a whale, came to rest upon it
and pecked the iron skin.

During our progress through the ice, Captain Nemo
kept upon the deck. He took note of these desolate
places. I perceived his calm face light up now and then.
Was he thinking how much at home he was in these polar
seas, denied to other men? Perhaps so; but he did not
speak. He piloted the Mawté/vs with consummate skill,
avoiding skilfully any encounter with those masses, some of
which were many miles long, and of a height varying from
200 to 250 feet. The horizon often appeared entirely shut
in. At the 60° of latitude all passage seemed barred, but
the captain, after a careful search, found a narrow opening,
through which he glided boldly; knowing very well,
however, that it would close in on his wake.

Thus the Nautilus, skilfully steered, passed all this
ice, classed, with a precision that delighted Conseil, ac-
cording to their form or size—icebergs or mountains ;
ice fields, or united and apparently boundless expanses ;
drift ice or packs, when circular called pa/chs, or streams
when they are lengthened out.

The temperature was very low; the thermometer marked
2° to 3° below zero in the open air. But we were warmly
THE ICEBERG. 14

clad in furs, at the cost of the seal and sea-bear. The
interior of the Avazfr/us, warmed by the electric apparatus,
defied the most intense cold. Besides, we had only to go
under water a few yards to find a comfortable temperature.

Two months earlier we should have enjoyed perpetual
day in these latitudes, but now we had three or four hours’
night; and, later six months darkness would envelope
these circumpolar regions.

On the 15th March we passed the latitude of the islands
of New Zealand and the South Orkneys. The captain in-
formed me that at one time quantities of seals inhabited
those islands, but the English and American whalers, in
their zeal for killing, massacred males and females indis-
criminately; and, where once life had been, after their
departure was the silence of death.

On the 16th March, about 8 a.m., the aztz/us crossed
the Antarctic Circle. Ice lay all round us and closed in upon
the horizon ; nevertheless the captain still kept on towards
the Pole.

‘But, where can he be going ?” I said to Conseil.

“ Ahead,” he replied; “and when he cannot get any
farther he will stop.”

“T wouldn’t swear to that,” I said.

And, to tell the truth, I was not displeased at this ad-
venturous kind of life. I cannot express the degree of
pleasure I experienced in these novel regions. The ice
assumed the most impressive and beautiful forms. Here
was an oriental town with innumerable mosques and mina-
rets; there a city thrown headlong to the ground by some
natural convulsion. ‘These appearances were continually
varied by the oblique rays of the sun, or lost amid the grey
mists in hurricanes of snow. On all sides were the detona-
tions and the sounds of the falls of great masses of ice,

VOL, IL K
146 . THE ICEBERG.

which changed the aspect at once, like the passing scene of
a diorama.

Whenever these falls took place while the Vawtilis was
under water, the noise was astounding to our ears, and the
waves were moved even to the lowest depths. At these
times the JVautilus rolled and pitched like an abandoned
vessel at sea.

On several occasions, as I could not discover any exit,
I thought we were actually hemmed in by the ice; but as if
it were by instinct Captain Nemo would always hit upon a
passage. He was never mistaken when he could see the
little blue rivulets trickling through the field-ice. I had
now no doubt that he had already ventured into these
Antarctic seas.

However, on the 16th March, the ice stopped us com-
pletely. Not icebergs, but vast ice-fields. This could not
stop the captain, however, and he rushed into the ice with
tremendous speed. ‘The Mawés/vs penetrated like a wedge
into this brittle mass, dividing it with loud cracking. It was
like the old “battering-ram” impelled with tremendous
power. The fragments of ice thrown high in the air fell
round us like hail. By its own impulsive force the Maudilus
made a channel through it. Sometimes carried forward by
its impetus it rose over the ice and crushed it beneath its
weight, sometimes when beneath the ice-field it broke it up
by a simple pitching movement.

All this time we encountered violent squalls, and thick
fogs prevented us seeing from one end of the platform to
the other. The wind blew sharply from all round the com-
pass, and the snow lay so thickly that we had to break it up
with pickaxes. The temperature was steady at 5° below
zero, and the JVau¢i/us was completely covered with ice,
An ordinary vessel could not have worked her way through,
THE ICEBERG. 149

as the rigging would have been frozen in the blocks and
pulleys. Such a ship as ours was had the only chance of
success.

Under these circumstances the barometer kept very low ;
it fell even to 73° 5’. The compass gave us no guarantee.
The erring needles marked contrary directions as we
approached the south meridianal pole, which must not be
confounded with the South Pole of the earth. According to
Hausten this pole is situated close to 70° lat. and 130° long.,
and, according to the observations of Duperrey, in 135° long.
and 70° 30’ lat. We were, therefore, obliged to make
numerous observations and move the compasses from place
to place in the ship to get a meridian. But frequently they
trusted to the reckoning to make out the course we had
run, a very unsatisfactory method in the midst of these
winding passes, in which the “landmarks” were constantly
changing.

At length the Mauti/us was actually blocked on the
18th March. There were no longer streams, packs, nor
fields, but an immovable, interminable, barrier formed by
mountains of ice wedged together.

“An iceberg,” said Ned Land to me.

I knew that to Ned Land, like all other navigators, this
was insurmountable. The sun appeared at noon for an
instant, and Captain Nemo obtained an observation which.
gave our position as 51° 3o’ long. and 67° 39’ south lat.
Wewere now a point more advanced in the Antarctic regions.
We were unable to obtain even a glimpse of sea. Before
the Mautilus lay a vast confused plain, heaped with ice
blocks, with all the capricious “ pell-mell” confusion which
characterises the surface of a river before the ice thaws on
it, but on an immense scale. Here and there sharp pcaks

and delicate needle-points raised themselves to a height of
K 2
148 THE ICEBERG.

200 feet; farther on was a long line of cliffs hewn out into
great peaks, and of greyish tint—vast mirrors which reflected
the half-obscured sunbeams. The dread silence was scarcely
disturbed by the flapping of the sea-birds’ wings. Every-
thing—even the noise—seemed frozen up.

The Nautilus was obliged to halt in her adventurous
course in the midst of the ice-field.

“ Monsieur,” said Ned Land to me one day, “if this
captain of yours goes any farther-——”

“Well ?”

“ He will be something very wonderful,”

“ Why, Ned?”

“ Because no one ever crossed an iceberg. Captain
Nemo is powerful, but, confound him, he is not stronger
than Nature, and where she has placed bounds he must stop
willy-nilly !”

“Just so, Ned, and I should like to know what is behind
this iceberg. A wall, that is what irritates me more.”

“Monsieur is quite right,” said Conseil. ‘“ Walls are
only invented to irritate savants. There never ought to be
any walls.”

“Well,” said the Canadian, “ they know very well what
is behind this iceberg.”

“What ?”

“Tce, nothing but ice.”

“You appear certain about that, Ned,” I replied, “ but
I am not at all sure, and that is why I want to see.”

“Then, sir, you may relinquish the idea. You have
reached the iceberg, which is quite enough, and neither you,
nor Captain Nemo, nor his (Vauéi/us will go any farther.
And, whether he will or no, we must go northwards again,
that is to say, amongst honest people.”

Notwithstanding all our efforts, notwithstanding the most
THE ICEBERG. 149

powerful means employed to break up the ice, the Wawztilus
remained motionless. Usually, in like cases, when progress
is impossible, the return path is open, but in this case to re-
turn was as impracticable as to advance, for all passages
were closed astern, and if our vessel remained stationary for
a little it would be at once blocked up. This actually hap-
pened about two o’clock p.m., and the young ice formed
round us with surprising rapidity.

I was obliged to confess that Captain Nemo had been
more than imprudent. I was on the platform at the time.

The captain, who had been taking in the situation for
some time, said to me:

“ Well, professor, what do you think of this ?”

“J think we are prisoners, captain.”

“ Prisoners! How do you make that out ?”

“JT mean, as we can neither move backwards or for-
wards, nor to either side. That is being a prisoner—at
least, in civilised countries it is so considered.”

“So, M. Aronnax, you think that the Maulilus cannot
get away?”

“Tt will be very difficult, at least, for the season is
already too far pdvanced to give you any nope of a tempo-
rary break-up of the ice.’

“ Ah, M. Aronnax !” replied the captain, in an ironical
tone of voice, “you will always be the same. You see
nothing but obstacles and difficulties in the way; now, I
not only assert that the Vaz¢ilus will disengage herself, but
that she will go farther on.”

“ Further south?” I asked, gazing at the captain.

“Ves, she will go to the Pole.”

“To the Pole?” I exclaimed, incredulously.

“Ves,” the captain replied, coldly, “to the Antarctic
Pole ; to that unknown point from which every meridian of
150 THE ICEBERG.

the earth springs. You are aware that I can do as I please
with the Mautilus?”

Yes, I did know that! I knew this man was bold to
recklessness ; but, to overcome the obstacles surrounding
the South Pole—more inaccessible than the North Pole,
which kad not yet been discovered by the most hardy
explorers—was to carry out a mad idea, and one which only
the mind of a madman could conceive.

It then occurred to me to ask Captain Nemo whether
he had already discovered “the Pole,” which had never yet
been touched by human foot.

“ No, professor,” he replied, “we will discover it together.
Where other people have failed, I shall not fail. I have
never, hitherto, driven my JMewf//vs so far over the southern
seas; but, I repeat, we shall go farther still.”

“T wish to believe you, captain,” I replied, with a
playful irony; “I do believe you. Let us get on; there is
nothing to hinder ws.. Let us smash up this iceberg ; blow
it to pieces if it resist. Let us give the Mawtrlis her wings
to fly over it.”

“ Over it, professor?” said the captain, calmly. “Not
over it—under it |”

“ Under it?” I exclaimed.

A sudden revelation of the captain’s plans flashed into
my mind. I understood it all. The wonderful qualities of the
Nautilus were once again to serve in a superhuman enterprise.

“TI perceive we are beginning to understand each other,
professor,” said the captain, smiling. ‘ You already see the
possibility, nay, the success of our attempt. What to an
ordinary vessel is impracticable, to the MWawtilus is easy of
accomplishment. If a continent is around the Pole, we must
stop at the continent, but if, on the contrary, the open sea
Javes it, we shall run up to the Pole itself.”
THE ICEBERG. ISt

“Yn fact,” I said, quite carried away by the captain’s
reasoning, “‘if the surface of the sea be solidified by ice, the
lower depths are free, in consequence of the natural law
that has fixed the maximum density of salt water at one
degree higher than freezing point; and if I am right, the
submerged portion of this iceberg is to the part out of the
water as four to one.”

“Very nearly, professor, for for one foot of iceberg above
the water there are, as a rule, three below. Now, since these
icy mountains are never more than 300 feet high, they are
not more than goo feet below; and what is a depth of goo
feet to the Mazztitus ?”

“ Nothing at all.”

“We could even seek, at a greater depth, the equable
temperature of sea water, and disdain the 30% or 40° of
surface cold.”

“Quite so,” I assented.

“The only difficulty for us,” said Captain Nemo, “ will
be to remain many days under water without renewing our
supply of fresh air.”

“Oh, is that all!” I cried. “Why the Maztz/us has im-
mense reservoirs, and they can supply us with all the oxygen
we shall require.”

“ Happy thought, M. Aronnax,” replied the captain,
smiling ; “ but as I do not want you to think me reckless, I
will submit to you my objections in advance.”

‘“ Have you any more ?”

“Only one. It is possible that if there be sea around
the South Pole, it may be frozen, and in that case we should
not be able to return to the surface at all.”

“Very well. But you forget that the Weus2vs is armed
with a sharp spur; and cannot we cut our way diagonally
through the ice, which would give way before us 2”
152 THE ICEBERG.

“ Certainly, professor, you are brilliant to-day.”

“ Besides, captain,” I added enthusiastically, “ why may
we not find the sea free at the South Pole as well as at the
north? The ice-poles and the earth’s poles are not the
same in either hemisphere ; and, until there is proof adduced
to the contrary, we may fairly assume that there is a continent
or an ocean free from ice at these extremities of the globe.”

“T agree with you, M. Aronnax,” replied the captain.
“T would hint to you, however, that after first making all
kinds of objections to my plan, you are now overwhelming
me with arguments in favour of it !”

Captain Nemo only spoke the truth. I had been “ out-
Heroding Herod.” It was I who was taking him to the
Pole. I was going ahead of him altogether. But no, poor
fool! Captain Nemo knows better than you the gvos and
the cons of this question, and it only amused him to see you
carried away by visions of the impossible !

All the same, he had not lost a minute. At a signal the
mate appeared. These two then conversed rapidly in their
incomprehensible language, and whether the mate had been
previously warned, or whether he believed the project prac-
ticable, he at any rate showed no surprise.

But, impassible as he was, he did not come up to Conseil
in that respect, for when I announced to him our intention
to reach the South Pole, he merely said, “ Just as Monsieur
pleases ;” and I had to be content with that. As for Ned
Land, if ever shoulders were lifted they were those of the
Canadian.

“ Look here, sir,” said Ned Land, “I pity you and your
captain.”

‘‘ But we are going to the Pole, Master Ned.”

“Well, you may go there, but you will never come back
again.”
THE ICEBERG. 153

And Ned Land went to his cabin, “so as not to make a
disturbance,” he said as he left me.

Meanwhile the preparations for this rash expedition were
commenced. The powerful pumps filled the reservoirs with
air, and stowed it at a high pressure. About four o’clock
Captain Nemo informed me that the panels on the platform
were about to be closed. I took a last look at the thick
iceberg which we were about to penetrate. The weather
was fine, the atmosphere clear, the cold piercing—12° below
zero ; but as there was no wind this cold was bearable.

A dozen men, armed with axes, cut away the ice around
the Wautilus. This was soon done, and the young ice was
still thin. We all descended into the interior. The usual
reservoirs were filled with water, and the Vautdlus quickly
sank,

I sat with Conseil in the saloon. Through the open
window we could inspect the lower beds of the Southern
Ocean. The thermometer rose. The needle of the mano-
meter deviated on the dial-plate. At about 300 yards down,
as the captain had anticipated, we were floating below the
moving icebergs. But the Mawii/vs went lower still. It
reached 800 yards depth. The temperature of the water
was 12° at the surface, down here it was only 10°. Two
degrees had been already gained. Of course the tempera-
ture of the JVau¢élis was maintained at a higher level by one
degree by its heating apparatus. All its movements were
executed with wondrous precision,

“If Monsieur please, I think we shall get through,” said
Conseil.

“‘T quite expect so,” I replied in a tone of conviction.

In this open water the /Vavti/us steered direct for the
Pole without quitting the 52nd meridian. From 67° 30’
to 90°, 224° of latitude remained to be got over, or a little
154 THE ICEBERG.

more than soo leagues. The average speed was twenty-
eight miles an hour. At this rate we should reach the Pole
in forty hours.

For a portion of the night the novelty of the situation
kept us at the windows of the saloon. The sea was lit up
by the electric lamp, but it was deserted. Tish could not
live in those prison-waters. They would only find a passage
here from the Antarctic Ocean to the open Polar Sea. Our
progress was rapid, as we could feel by the quivering of the
hull.

About two o’clock A.M. I retired to snatch some sleep,
and Conseil did likewise. On my way I did not meet
Captain Nemo. I suppose he was in the pilot-house.

Next morning, 19th of March, I again took my place at
the window. The speed of the Mawtelus had been dimi-
nished. We were ascending, prudently emptying the reser-
voirs, but slowly. My heart beat fast. Were we about to
emerge and breathe fresh air around the Pole ?

No. A shock told me that the Mazét/us had struck the
under-side of the iceberg, still very thick, judging from the
sound. We had “touched bottom,” to use a sea-term, but
in the inverse sense, and at a thousand feet below. This
would give us 2,000 feet of ice above us, of which 1,000 feet
were above the sea level. So the iceberg must be thicker now
than when we started, which was not a very cheerful con-
clusion to arrive at.

Many times during the day the JVautd/us tried the ice,
and always with the same success. At certain times it
encountered this icy ceiling at a depth of goo yards, which
gave a thickness of 1,000 yards in all, 200 being above
the sea level. The ice was double the thickness at the sur-
face now than it had been when we first plunged beneath it.

I noted these different depths carefully, and thus obtained
THE ICEBERG. 155

a submarine profile of this chain of mountains, as it were
developed under water.

By the evening no change had taken place. Ice every-
where, between 400 and 500 yards deep. The thickness
was diminishing, but what a depth yet remained between us
and the surface of the ocean! It was eight o’clock. At
four o’clock the air of the Vautilus should have been
renewed as usual. However, I did not suffer much, though
no demand had been made on the reservoirs for a supply of
oxygen. I slept but little that night. Hope and fear
assailed me by turns ; I got up many times. The Mauti/us
continued to “tap” the ice. Towards 3 a.m. I noticed that
the lower surface of the iceberg was only fifty yards down.
Only 150 feet now separated us from the surface. The ice-
berg was rapidly becoming an ice-field. The mountain was
dropping to a plain. My eyes never left the manometer.
We kept ascending steadily and diagonally. The sur-
rounding surfaces glittered beneath our electric light. The
ice was getting thinner both above and below, mile after
mile. At length, at 6 o’clock a.m. on this memorable
rgth March, Captain Nemo opened the door of the saloon
and said :

“We are in open water |”
CHAPTER XIV.

THE SOUTH POLE.

I nurriep to the platform. Yes, the sea was clear of ice,
with the exception of a few scattered pieces and moving ice-
bergs—in the distance a long extent of open sea. Birds
filled the air, fish crowded the sea which, according to its
depth, varied from an intense blue to an olive green. The
thermometer marked 3° (centigrade) below zero. This
was, comparatively speaking, spring, shut up behind the
icebergs whose distant masses were visible on the northern
horizon.

“ Are we at the Pole?” I asked, with a beating heart.

“T do not know,” he said; “I will take the bearings at
noon.”

“ But shall we be able to see the sun through the fog?”
I asked, looking at the dull grey sky.

“Tf he shine out ever so little it will suffice,” said the
captain.

Ten miles to the southward, a solitary islet rose to a
height of 200 yards. We advanced towards it cautiously,
for it might have been surrounded by shoals. An hour later
we had reached it ; two hours after that we had explored it ;
THE SOUTH POLE. 157

it was between four and five miles in circumference. A
narrow canal separated it from a large tract of land of which
I could not see the whole extent. The existence of this
land appeared to confirm Maury’s theory. That ingenious
American has stated that between the South Pole and the
sixtieth parallel the sea is covered with floating ice of great
size, which is never met with in the North Atlantic. From
this fact he has deduced the conclusion that the Antarctic
Circle encloses large tracts of land, since the icebergs cannot
form in the open sea, but only on a coast. According to his
calculations the mass of ice surrounding the South Pole
forms an enormous cap, extending about 2,400 miles.

Meanwhile the Maztitus, for fear of striking, stopped at
three cables’ length from a beach crowned by a splendid
mass of rock, The boat was launched. The captain, two
men carrying the instruments, Conseil, and I, embarked. It
was ten o’clock. I had not seen Ned Land. He probably
did not wish to stultify himself in the presence of the South
Pole. :

A few strokes brought us to land. Conseil was about to
jump ashore, but I restrained him.

“Sir,” said I to Captain Nemo, “to you belongs the
honour of first landing on this ground.”

“Ves,” replied the captain, “and if I do not hesitate to
tread this polar soil it is because no man has ever landed
here before.”

As he ceased speaking, he leaped lightly ashore. His
heart was beating with strong emotion. He climbed a rock
which terminated in a little promontory, and there, with
folded arms, with eager look, motionless and silent, he
seemed to take possession of those southern regions, After
five minutes he returned to us.

“Now, professor, when you please !” he cried.
158 THE SOUTH POLE.

I then disembarked, followed by Conseil, leaving the
two sailors in the boat.

For some distance the soil appeared to be composed of
tufa of a reddish colour, something like powdered bricks,
Scoria, lava streams, and pumice-stone covered it. We
could not mistake its volcanic origin. In some places arose
a light smoke which emitted a smell of sulphur, thereby
attesting that the subterranean fires had lost none of their
expansive power. However, having ascended a high pinnacle
of rock, I could perceive no volcano. We know that in
these regions James Ross discovered the craters of Erebus
and Terror in full activity in the 167th meridian, in latitude
77° 32' south.

The vegetation appeared very limited. Some lichens of
the Unsnea melanoxantha kind, spread over the black rocks.
Some microscopic plants, rudimentary diatomas, a kind of
cells placed between two quartz shells, the long purple and
scarlet fucus supported by their little swimming-bladders
which the surf carried to the shore, composed all the meagre
flora of this region.

The beach was covered with molluscs, small mussels,
limpets, smooth heart-shaped buccards, and particularly
clios with oblong and membraneous bodies, whose heads
are formed of two rounded lobes. There were myriads of
northern clios about an inch long, of which a whale would
swallow a world at one gulp. These charming pteropods,
perfect sea-butterflies, gave animation to the shore.

Amongst other zoophytes appeared, in the higher levels,
some arborescent corals of the species which, according to
James Ross, live in the Antarctic seas at a thousand feet
deep. Then there were little alcyores, belonging to the
species Procellaria pelagica ; and also a number of asteroids
peculiar to these climates, and star-fish.
THE SOUTH POLE. is9

But it was in the air that life was so prolific. Thousands
of birds flew and wheeled around us, deafening us with their
cries. Others crowded upon the rocks and watched us pass
without fear, and even came close to our feet. There were
penguins, so agile in the water that they have been mistaken
for the active bonitos, and yet so very heavy and clumsy
on shore. They uttered harsh cries, and formed a nume-
rous assemblage, quiet in their movements, but wonderful
as to clamour.

Amongst the birds I recognised the ‘ chionis” of the
family of waders. It is as large as a pigeon, white, with a short
and pointed beak, with a red circle round the eye. Conseil
laid in a stock of these, for, properly prepared, these birds
are very good to eat. Albatrosses flew about, the width of
their expanded wings being fully twelve feet. .They are
rightly called the ocean vultures. Gigantic petrels, amongst
others the Ovebrante huesas, with curved wings. These birds
are great eaters of seals. Some damiers, a kind of small
duck, the upper part of whose bodies is black and white, a
quantity of petrels, some white with brown-bordered wings,
some blue, peculiar to the Antarctic seas, and so full of oil,
I told Conseil, that the inhabitants of the Faroe Isles have
only to insert a wick in their bodies before lighting
them.

“A very little more and they would be perfect lamps,”
replied Conseil. “So we can scarcely expect nature to
have furnished them with wicks at first.”

After half a mile the ground was riddled with ruff’s nests.
It was a laying-ground, and from which many birds were
escaping. Captain Nemo caused some hundreds to be
hunted down, for their flesh is tasty. They uttered a cry
something similar to the bray of an ass. They are about as
large as a goose; body of a slaty colour, white underneath,
160 THE SOUTH POLE.

and with a yellow ring round the neck. They were killed
with stones without making any attempt to escape.

All this time the fog hung over us, and at 11 a.m. the
sun had not shone out. His absence caused me some un-
easiness, for without his appearance we could get no observa-
tions. How, then, could we ascertain whether we had
reached the Pole ?

When I rejoined Captain Nemo I found him leaning
against a rock, gazing at the sky. He seemed impatient—
worried. But what was to be done? He could not com-
mand the sun like the sea.

Mid-day arrived, and the sun had not appeared for a
moment. We could not even see its position through the
fog, and the fog soon turned to snow.

“To-morrow,” the captain said calmly, and we returned
to the /Vautilus. During our absence the nets had been
drawn, and I noticed with much interest the fish that had
been captured, which were chiefly migrates from less elevated
zones. I tasted some of them subsequently, and found
them insipid, notwithstanding Conseil’s opinion, for he liked
them.

The snow-storm continued till next day. It was impos-
sible to remain on the platform. Even in the saloon, where
I stayed to make notes of the excursion, I could hear the
cries of the petrels and albatrosses sporting in the storm.
The Wautilus did not remain at anchor, but went down the
coast about ten miles to the south in the midst of the twi-
light left by the sun as it touched the horizon.

Next day, zoth of March, the snow had ceased to fall.
The cold was rather more intense ; the thermometer was 2°
below zero. The mists were lifting, and I was in hopes that
to-day we should be able to take the observation.

Captain Nemo not having yet appeared, the boat took
THE SOUTH POLE. 161

Conseil and myself ashore. The soil was of the same
nature—volcanic. All round were traces of lava, scoria,
and basalt, although I could see no crater. Here, as lower
down, myriads of birds enlivened the scene. But their
dominion was here divided with troops of marine mammi-
fers, which gazed at us from their soft eyes. There were
various species of seals, some extended on the ground, others
on the ice, many plunging in and emerging from the water.
They did not move at our approach, never having before
encountered man; and I calculated that there were sufficient
to fill hundreds of ships.

“ Faith,” said Conseil, “it is a very good thing that Ned
Land did not come with us.”

“Why, Conseil ?”

“Because he would have killed all these.”

“ All of them? That is saying a great deal. But I do
not think we should have been able to prevent our Canadian
friend from harpooning some of these splendid cetaceans.
That would have annoyed Captain Nemo, for he does not
spill the blood of inoffensive animals wantonly.”

“ He is quite right.”

“Certainly, Conseil ; but tell me, have you not already
classed these magnificent specimens of marine fauna ?”

“ Monsieur knows,” replied Conseil, “that I am not
well up in it. When Monsieur has told me the names of
the animals ”?

“ They are seals and morses,” said I.

“Two genus which belong to the family of pinnipeds,”
said Conseil ; “ order, carnivorous ; group, unguiculus ; sub-
class, monodelphians; class, mammifer; branch, vertebrates.”

“Goad, Conseil,” I replied ; ‘‘ but these two genus are
divided into species, and, if Iam not mistaken, we shall
here have the opportunity to observe them. Let us go on.”

VOL. Il, L


162 THE SOUTH POLE.

It was now 8 a.m. We had four hours before the sun
could be observed with advantage. I therefore advanced
towards a large bay, which had hollowed itself out in the
granite cliffs.

There, as far as we could see, the earth and ice frag-
ments were absolutely covered with marine mammifers, and
I looked involuntarily for Proteus, the mythological shep-
herd, who guarded Neptune’s immense flocks. The seals
were most numerous. They formed distinct groups, males
and females, the fathers watching the family, the mother
suckling the young, some of which were sufficiently strong
to walk a little. When any of the animals wished to move
they went along by little jumps, due to the contraction of
the body ; and they helped themselves along awkwardly
enough by means of their fin, which, as in the lamantine,
their congener, forms a perfect fore-arm. In the water—
their element—the spine is mobile, and they are admirably
adapted for swimming, the skin being smooth and the feet
webbed. When resting upon the ground their attitudes are
extremely graceful. So the ancients, observing their expres-
sive faces, soft looks, which even a beautiful woman cannot

surpass, the clear and limpid eyes, their charming positions,
and the poetry of their manners, metamorphosed the males

into tritons and the females into sirens.

I called Conseil’s attention to the great development of
the brain-lobes of these interesting animals. No mammal,
except man, has such a development of cerebral material.
Thus seals are capable of receiving a certain amount of
education ; they are easily domesticated, and I agree with
some naturalists that, if properly taught, they could be easily
utilised as fishing dogs.

The greater number of the seals were asleep on the rocks
or on the sand. Amongst the seals proper, which have no
THE SOUTH POLE. 163
external ears, in which they differ from the others whose
ears are prominent, I observed several varieties of the
stenorhynchi, about nine feet long, white, with “ bull-dog ”
heads, armed with ten teeth in each jaw, four incisors above
and below, and two great canine teeth, shaped like a fleur
de lis.

Amongst them, sea-elephants moved about. They area
kind of seal, having-short flexible trunks ; and the giants of
the species measured twenty feet round, and more than
thirty feet long. They did not move as we approached
them.

“ Are these creatures dangerous ?” asked Conseil.

“Not if they are not molested,’ I replied. “Whena
seal is obliged to defend her young, her rage is terrific, and
they frequently break the fishing-boats to pieces.”

“ And quite right, too,” replied Conseil. -

“TI will not contradict you.”

Two miles farther we were stopped by a promontory
which sheltered the bay from the south winds. It fell per-
pendicularly to the sea, which foamed round the base in surf.
Beyond it we heard loud bellowings.

“Ffalloa!” cried Conseil, “there is a concert of
bulls.”

“ No,” said I, “it is a morse concert.”

“ Are they fighting ?”

“Either that or playing.”

“T should like to see them,” said Conseil.

“We must have a look at them, Conseil, certainly.”

We commenced our ascent of the black rocks, and got
many a titmble over the slippery stones. More than once I
rolled over, and to the detriment of my ribs. Conseil, more
prudent or more steady, did not fall, and was ready to help
me up, saying :

L 2
164 THE SOUTH POLE.

“Tf Monsieur would take longer steps he would keep his
balance better.” :

When we arrived at the upper ridge of the promontory, I
perceived a vast white plain quite covered with morses.
They were frisking about; so what we had heard were
bellowings of joy, not anger.

The morses resemble seals in form and the arrangement
of their members, but the canine and incisor teeth are want-
ing in the lower jaw, and the superior canines are two long
tusks. These teeth are of ivory, harder than that of the
elephant, and less likely to become yellow, and are much
sought after. So morses are an object for the hunter, and
they will soon be exterminated, as the fishers kill indis-
crimately, females and young, upwards of four thousand
every year.

We passed close to these curious animals, and I was
enabled to examine them at leisure. Their skins are thick
and rugged, of a fawn-colour, tending to red; the hair is
short and scanty. Some of them were twelve feet long.
Quieter and less timid than their northern relatives, they
did not post sentinels to warn them of approaching danger.

Having examined this city of morses, I thought it time
to retrace my steps. It was eleven o’clock, and, if Captain
Nemo could find a favourable moment for his observations,
I wished to be present at the time. However, I had little
hope of the sun showing that day; the clouds, heaped up
above the horizon, hid him from our sight. It seemed as
if the jealous orb did not wish to reveal to human beings
this inaccessible portion of the globe.

Nevertheless, I made up my mind to rettirn, We
followed a narrow track which ran along the top of the
cliff. At halfpast eleven we reached the landing-place.
The canoe was drawn up and had landed the captain and
THE SOUTH POLE, 165

his instruments; I saw him standing upon a block of basalt.
His instruments were ready at hand; his gaze was fixed
upon the northern horizon, near which the sun was then
describing a long curve.

I took my place beside him, and waited without speak-
ing. Twelve o’clock came, and, as on the previous day, no
sun was visible.

It was fatality. The observation could not be made.
If it could not be accomplished to-morrow, we must en-
tirely give up the idea of knowing our situation.

We were now at the zoth March; the morrow, the
21st, was the equinox—refraction not counted. The sun
would then disappear behind the horizon for six months,
and, at his departure, the long polar night set in. Since
the September equinox it had risen above the horizon,
rising in elongated curves daily till the 21st December; at
that time—the summer solstice of northern Jatitudes—it
began to descend; and, on the 21st March, it would pour
out its last rays.

I made known my observations and fears to Captain
Nemo.

“You are right, M. Aronnax,” he replied. ‘If to-
morrow I do not obtain the height of the sun, I cannot
repeat my attempt here for six months. But, also, precisely
because the chances of my sailing have led me to these
seas on the 21st March, my object will be all the easier to
attain, if, at mid-day, the sun will only show himself,”

“ Why, captain ?”

“Becanse, when the orb describes such lengthened
curves, it is difficult to measure exactly its height above the
horizon, and the instruments are not unlikely to return
erroneous results.”

“ But how do you intend to proceed?”
166 THE SOUTH POLE.

“T shall only use my chronometer,” replied the captain.
“Tf to-morrow, 21st March, at noon, the disc of the
sun—taking account for refraction—is exactly divided by
the northern horizon, I shall know we are at the South
Pole.”

“Quite so,” said I; “ but, nevertheless, this conclusion
is not mathematically correct, since the equinox does not
necessarily commence at mid-day.”

“No doubt, but the difference will not be a hundred
yards, and we do not want anything more than we shall get.
Till to-morrow, then.”

Captain Nemo returned on board. Conseil and I re-
mained until nearly five o’clock, surveying and studying the
shore. I did not pick up any curious thing except a pen-
guin’s egg of enormous size, for which a collector would
have paid a thousand francs. Its isabelle colour, its lines,
and the characters which ornamented it like so many hiero-
glyphics, made it quite a curiosity. I put it into Conseil’s
hands, and this prudent and sure-footed lad, holding it like
a precious bit of china, carried it in safety on board the
Nautilus. I placed the specimen in one of the glass cases
of the saloon, and after an excellent supper of seal’s liver, I
went to sleep, first invoking the favour of the sun like a
Hindoo.

Next morning at five o’clock I ascended to the platform,
and there found Captain Nemo.

“The weather is clearing a little,” he said. “I begin to
hope. After breakfast we will land to select a post of
observation.”

This point settled, I went to find Ned Land. I wished
him to come with me, but he refused, and I perceived that
his sullenness increased every day. After all I did not
regret his decision under the circumstances. There were a
THE SOUTH POLE. 167

number of seals on shore, and it was needless to submit the
harpooner to such temptation.

After breakfast we went ashore. The JVeutilus had
worked up the coast a few miles during the night. We were
in the offing quite a league from the shore, which was com-
manded by a high peak about 1,500 feet high. The boat
carried, besides myself and Captain Nemo, two men and
the instruments, viz., a chronometer, a field-glass, and a
barometer.

During our row I noticed numbers of the three austral
species of whale, viz., the “right whale” of the English
fishers, which has no dorsal fin ; the hump-back, or “ balz-
nopteron,” with creased belly and large white fins, which,
notwithstanding its name, do not form wings; and the fin-
back, a brownish-yellow creature, the most lively of all
cetaceans. This powerful animal can be heard at a great
distance when he throws to a great height columns of air
and vapour, which resemble clouds of smoke. These mam-
mals disported themselves in the quiet sea, and I saw that
the basin of the South Pole now served as a place of refuge
for these cetacea too closely pressed by fishermen.

At nine o’clock we landed. The sky was clearing. The
clouds were flying to the south, and the fogs rose.

Captain Nemo directed his steps to the peak, whence
he wished to make his observation, no doubt. It was a
rough ascent over the sharp lava blocks and pumice stones,
amid an atmosphere saturated with sulphurous exhalations.
The captain, for a man unaccustomed to walk on land,
ascended the steep and difficult slopes with an activity and
agility I could not emulate, and which a chamois-hunter
would have envied.

We had two hours to wait at the summit. From thence
we commanded an extensive prospect of sea, which towards
168 THE SOUTH POLE.

the north was clearly defined against the horizon. At our
feet lay snow fields of dazzling whiteness. Over head was
the pale blue sky. In the north, the sun’s disc, like a ball of
fire, already “horned” by the cutting of the horizon.
Magnificent jets of water rose by hundreds from the bosom
of the ocean, and in the distance the MVawtilus lay like a
sleeping whale. Behind us, to the south and east, extended
an immense tract of land, a chaotic mingling of rock and
ice without visible boundary.

Captain Nemo having reached the very top of the peak,
carefully took the mean elevation of the barometer, for that
he would have to take into account in his observation. At
a quarter to twelve the sun, seen only by refraction, showed
itself like a disc of gold, and threw its last rays upon this
desolate continent, and those seas which man had never yet
entered.

The captain, furnished with a reticulated glass, which, by
means of a mirror, corrected refraction, began to observe
the sun, which was sinking slowly below the horizon ina
long diagonal. I held the chronometer. My heart beat
loudly. If the disappearance of half the disc coincided
with noon on the chronometer, we were at the Pole itself.

* Twelve o’clock !” I cried.

“The South Pole,” replied the captain, in a grave tone,
and handing me the glass, I perceived the orb of day pre-
cisely bisected by the horizon.

I looked at the last rays tipping the peak, and watched
the shadows creeping up by degrees.

At that moment Captain Nemo turned to me and said:

“ Professor—in the year 1600 the Dutchman Gheritk,
driven by currents and storms, reached 64° of S. lat.
and discovered New Shetland. In 1773, on the 17th of
January, the illustrious Cook, following the 38th meridian
THI SOUTH POLE. 169

reached 67° 30’, and in 1774, on the rogth meridian, he got
to 71° 15’ S. lat. The Russian, Bellinghausen, in 1819,
found himself on the 69th parallel, and in 1821 on the 66th,
parallel in rr0® W. longitude. In 1820, the Englishman,
Brunsfield, stopped at the 65th degree. The same year
Morel, an American, whose narratives are dubious, mounted
to the 42nd meridian, discovered the open sea in 70° 14'
S. lat. In 1825, Powell, an Englishman, was not able to
get beyond the 62nd degree. The same year a simple seal-
fisher, Weddel, an Englishman, reached as far as 74° 15’ on
the 36th meridian. In 1829, Foster, his countryman,
captain of the Chanticleer, took possession of the Antarctic
continent, in 63° 26’ S. lat, and 66° 26’ long. In
1831, Biscoe, upon the rst of February, discovered the land
he called “Enderby,” in lat. 68° 50’; in 1832, on the
5th February, “ Adelaide,” in lat. 67°, and on 21st February,
“Graham’s Land,” in lat. 64° 45% In 1838, the French
explorer, Dumont d’Urville stopped by ice in lat. 62° 57’,
found the territory ‘ Louis Philippe ;’ two years later, in a
new place to the south, on the 24th January, he named
‘ Adelie,” in 66° 30°; and eight days later, in 64° 40’, the
Clarie coasts. In 1838, Wilkes, an Englishman, advanced
as far as the 69th parallel on the rooth meridian. In 1839,
Ballerny, an Englishman, also discovered ‘Sabrina Land,’
on the edge of the polar circle. Finally, in 1842, James
Ross, mounting ‘Erebus’ and ‘Terror,’ on the rath
January, in 76° 56’ lat., and 171° 7’ E. long., discovered
Victoria Land. On the 23rd of the same month he reached
the 74th parallel—the highest point attained to that time.
On the 27th day he was in 76° 8’, on the 28th at 772 32’,
on the znd February in 78° 4’, and in 1842 he reached the
71st degree, which he could not pass. So then, I, Captain
Nemo, on this 21st March, 1868, have reached the South
170 THE SOUTH POLE.

Pole, on the goth degree; and I take possession of this
part of the globe—equal to one-sixth of the- known conti-
nents,”

“Tn whose name, captain P”

“In my own!” he replied.

As he spoke he unfurled a black flag embroidered with
an “N” in gold. Then, turning to the sun, whose last rays
were tinting the waves on the horizon, he exclaimed :

“ Adieu, oh, sun! Disappear, radiant orb! Sleep
beneath this open sea, and leave a long night of six months’
duration to extend its shadow over my new dominion !”
CHAPTER XV.

ACCIDENT OR INCIDENT?

Next morning, at six o’clock, the preparations for our de-
parture commenced. The last hours of twilight were buried
in the night. The cold was intense. The stars shone with
wonderful brilliancy, and in the zenith glittered the Southern
Cross, the “ polar star” of the Antarctic regions,

The thermometer marked 12° below zero, and when the
wind got up it “bit” shrewdly. The ice-blocks increased
upon the ocean. Numerous black patches spread them.
selves over the surface, and announced the formation of the
young ice. Evidently the southern basin, frozen during the
six months of winter, was absolutely inaccessible. What
became of the whales during that period? Doubtless they
went below the icebergs to seek more open seas. As for
the seals and morses, accustomed to live in the most icy
climates, they remained where they were. The instinct of
these animals bids them to cut holes in the ice, and keep
them always open. They come to these holes to breathe,
and when the birds, chased away by the cold, have migrated
to the north, the mammals are the sole occupants of the
polar continent,
172 ACCIDENT OR INCIDENT ?

However, the reservoirs were filled, and the Maudslus
slowly descended. At a depth of 1,000 feet it stopped.
The screw beat the water, and it went right away towards
the north at a rate of fifteen miles an hour. Towards even-
ing we floated beneath the immense icebergs.

The saloon panels had been closed as a matter of pru-
dence, for the Wautilus might strike some immersed block
of ice. So I employed myself during the day putting. my
notes in order. My mind was fully occupied in recollec-
tions of the Pole. We had reached the hitherto inaccessible
point without fatigue or danger, as if our floating waggon
had run along a line of railway. And now our return had
actually begun. Had Captain Nemo any more such won-
ders in store? What a series of submarine wonders had I
witnessed during the five months I had been on board ! We
had sailed 14,000 leagues, and incidents of the most curious
or terrible nature had given a charm to our journey. The
chase in the Isle of Crespo, the threading of Torres Strait,
the coral cemetery, the Ceylon fisheries, the Arabian tunnel,
the fires of Santorin, Vigo Bay, Atlantide, and the South
Pole. During the night all these reminiscences prevented
my sleeping.

At 3 a.m. I was disturbed by a violent shock. I sat up
and listened, when I was roughly thrown into the middle of
the room. The Meutilus, having struck, had rebounded
violently. I groped my way to the saloon, which was
lighted from the ceiling. The furniture was upset. Happily
the glass cases were firmly fixed, and had not given way.
The pictures on the starboard side—the vessel being no
no longer upright—were hanging close to the paper, while
those opposite were a foot from the wall. The Mantis
was lying on the starboard side motionless. I could hear a
noise of footsteps and hurried voices, but Captain Nemo
ACCIDENT OR INCIDENT? 173

did not appear. Just as I was about to leave the saloon
Ned and Conseil entered it.

“What is the matter?” I asked.

“We came to ask Monsieur. ” said Conseil.

“Thousand devils! I know what it is very well,” said
the Canadian; “the JVautilus has struck, and, judging from
the ‘heel’ she has, I do not think she will recover as
easily as she did in the Torres’ Strait.”

“ But, at least,” said I, “ we shall go up to the surface.”

““We do not know,” replied Conseil.

“We can easily find out,” I said.

I consulted the manometer: to my great surprise it
indicated a depth of 11,000 feet.

“What is the meaning of this?” I cried.

“We must ask Captain Nemo,” said Conseil.

“ But where will you find him?” said Ned. |

“ Follow me,” I said.

We quitted thesaloon. There was no one in the library,
no one at the central staircase. I fancied that the captain
was in the pilot-house, so it was better to wait; we therefore
returned to the saloon.

I pass over the recriminations of the Canadian; I let
him exhaust his ill-humour at his ease without replying.

We remained thus for twenty minutes, endeavouring to
catch the slightest noise, when Captain Nemo entered.

He did not appear to see us; he showed signs of un-
easiness; he examined the compass and manometer in
silence, and placed his finger on a point on the map of the
Southern Seas.

T did not like to interrupt him, but, as he leaned towards
me, I made use of the expression he had used in Torres’
Strait.

“ An incident, captain ?”


174 ACCIDENT OR INCIDENT?

“No, sir,” he replied ; “ an accident this time.”

* Serious ?”

* Perhaps.”

“Is there immediate danger P”

cc No.”

“The Wautilus is stranded, I suppose ?”

“ Yes.”

“ And how has it occurred ?”

“From a caprice of Nature, not from our ignorance.
No mistake has been made in our course. But we cannot
prevent the effects of the laws of equilibrium. We may
brave human laws, but not those of Nature.”

This was a curious moment for Captain Nemo to select
to give vent to this philosophical reflection ; and, on the
whole, I got little from his reply.

“ May I know how this accident has come about?” I
asked.

“A whole mountain of ice has turned over,” he replied.
“When icebergs get undermined, either by warmth or
repeated shocks, the centre of gravity ascends. Then they
topple over. That is what has occurred. One of these
blocks, as it fell, struck the AazsfeZus under water ; then,
gliding beneath the hull, it raised it with irresistible force,
and forced us into thinner ice, where the WVaui//us now lies
on her side.”

“But cannot we empty the reservoirs, and get her off
by those means P”

“That is now being done. You can hear the pumps
at work. Look at the manometer. It shows that the
Nautilus is rising, but the block of ice is rising with it, and,
until its progress is stopped, our situation will be practically
the same.”

In fact the /Vautilus now gave a bound to leeward. She
ACCIDENT OR INCIDENT? 175

would right herself, no doubt, when the ice-block was
separated from her. But at that moment we could not tell
whether we might not be crushed up against the iceberg,
and crushed between the blocks.

I kept thinking of the consequences of the situation.
Captain Nemo never took his gaze from the manometer.
The Mautilus, since the fall of the iceberg, had risen about
150 feet, but at the same angle as before.

Suddenly a slight movement was felt. The vessel was
evidently righting a little. The objects suspended in the
saloon appeared to be recovering their normal position.
The sides got more upright. No one spoke a word. With
beating hearts we watched, and felt the ship recovering her-
self. The floor was at length horizontal. Ten minutes
elapsed. ,

“ At length we have righted !” I cried.

“ Ves,” said the captain, as he advanced to the door.

“ But are we floating ?” I asked.

“ Certainly,’ he replied, ‘‘ since the reservoirs are not
empty. When they are empty we shall rise to the surface
again.”

The captain went out, and I soon found that the ascent
of the WautiZus had been stopped. We should soon have
struck against {the bottom of the iceberg had we gone
up, and it was more prudent to remain beneath the
waters.

“We have escaped very well,” said Conseil.

“Ves, indeed. We might have been crushed between
the blocks of ice, or at any rate imprisoned. And, then, in
the absence of opportunity to renew the air——-! Yes, we
have escaped very well.”

“Tf it is all over,” murmured Ned.

I did not wish to enter on a useless discussion with the
176 ACCIDENT OR INCIDENT ?

Canadian, so I did not reply. Besides, the panels were just
then opened, and the exterior light entered.

We were in open water, as I have said ; but, at about
Six yards on each side of the Mauti/us, rose a dazzling wall
ofice. Above and below it was the same. Above us the
lower surface of the iceberg covered us like an immense
ceiling, while below, the overturned iceberg having slipped
a little, had found a rest upon the two lateral walls which
kept it in that position. The Wazé/us was thus imprisoned
in a regular ice-tunnel, about twenty yards in length, and
filled with still water. It was, therefore, easy to get out of
it by going backwards or forwards, and afterwards make, at
some hundred yards lower down, a free passage beneath the
iceberg.

The ceiling light had been extinguished, and, neverthe-
less, the saloon was brilliantly illuminated. This was the
powerful reflection from the glass partitions, caused by the
intense light of the electric lamp. I cannot describe the
effect of the voltaic rays upon the capriciously-shaped ice
blocks ; each angle, ridge, and facet threw off a different
gleam according to the vein of the ice. A sparkling mine
of gems, and particularly of sapphires, which crossed their
blue rays with the green of the emerald. There were also
opal shades of infinite softness coursing amidst brilliant
diamond-points of fire, whose intense brilliancy the eye
could not sustain. The power of the lantern was increased
a hundred-fold, like a lamp through the lenticular sheets of
a large lighthouse.

“Ys it not beautiful ?” cried Conseil.

“Yes,” I said, “it is a magnificent sight, is it not,
Ned?”

“Yes, confound it, yes it is,” replied Ned Land. “ It is
superb, Iam angry at being forced to admit it. N othing to
ACCIDENT OR INCIDENT? 177

equal it has ever been seen. But this sight may cost us
dear. And if I must say all I think, I believe that we are
now looking at things which God never intended man to
see.”

Ned was right. It was too beautiful. Suddenly a cry
from Conseil made me turn.

“What is the matter ?” I cried.

“T am blinded, I believe !”

I turned involuntarily to the window. The vessel was
was going at a great pace now. I understood what had
happened. All the quiet glittering of the icy walls was now
changed into flashing lightning. The glare of these myriads
of diamonds was absolutely blinding. The MWeutilus was
sailing through a stream of lightning.

The panels were closed. We held our hands before our
eyes, still affected by the intense glare. It was some time
before our eyes recovered their usual power. At length we
removed our hands.

“ T should scarcely believe such a thing,” said Conseil.

“
“When we return to earth,’ added Conseil, “satiated
with all the wonders of nature, what shall we think of the
miserable continents and the petty efforts of men? No, the
habitable world is not enough for us.”

To hear such a speech from the impassible Fleming
was a proof that some degree of excitement had increased
our enthusiasm. But the Canadian did not fail to throw
cold water on it.

“The inhabited world!” cried he, nodding his head.
“Be easy on that score, friend Conseil ; we shall never get
there again.”

It was then 5 a.m. We suddenly felt a shock. I un-
derstood that the spur of the Meutdlus had struck a block

VOL. Il. M
178 ACCIDENT OR INCIDENT? .

ofice. This must have been c