rate. You never intimated that the speed of this thing would be so
high, Perry. Didn't you know it?"
"No," he answered. "I could not figure the speed exactly, for I had no
instrument for measuring the mighty power of my generator. I reasoned,
however, that we should make about five hundred yards an hour."
"And we are making seven miles an hour," I concluded for him, as I sat
with my eyes upon the distance meter. "How thick is the Earth's crust,
Perry?" I asked.
"There are almost as many conjectures as to that as there are
geologists," was his answer. "One estimates it thirty miles, because
the internal heat, increasing at the rate of about one degree to each
sixty to seventy feet depth, would be sufficient to fuse the most
refractory substances at that distance beneath the surface. Another
finds that the phenomena of precession and nutation require that the
earth, if not entirely solid, must at least have a shell not less than
eight hundred to a thousand miles in thickness. So there you are. You
may take your choice."
"And if it should prove solid?" I asked.
"It will be all the same to us in the end, David," replied Perry. "At
the best our fuel will suffice to carry us but three or four days,
while our atmosphere cannot last to exceed three. Neither, then, is
sufficient to bear us in safety through eight thousand miles of
rock to the antipodes."
"If the crust is of sufficient thickness we shall come to a final stop
between six and seven hundred miles beneath the earth's surface; but
during the last hundred and fifty miles of our journey we shall be
corpses. Am I correct?" I asked.
"Quite correct, David. Are you frightened?"
"I do not know. It all has come so suddenly that I scarce believe that
either of us realizes the real terrors of our position. I feel that I
should be reduced to panic; but yet I am not. I imagine that the shock
has been so great as to partially stun our sensibilities."
Again I turned to the thermometer. The mercury was rising with less
rapidity. It was now but 140 degrees, although we had penetrated to a
depth of nearly four miles. I told Perry, and he smiled.
"We have shattered one theory at least," was his only comment, and then
he returned to his self-assumed occupation of fluently cursing the
steering wheel. I once heard a pirate
175d is ours--from 30d to 175d is peace, prosperity and happiness.Page 5
I was on the bridge, and as we dropped from the brilliant sunlight into the dense vapor of clouds and on down through them to the wild, dark storm strata beneath, it seemed that my spirits dropped with the falling ship, and the buoyancy of hope ran low in sympathy.Page 7
I do not know that he is directly responsible for what followed so shortly after; but I have always had my suspicions, and Alvarez is even more prone to place the blame upon him than I.Page 9
"You shall not," I replied.Page 10
I deplore the action of Lieutenant Alvarez, but I cannot expunge from my mind the loyalty and self-sacrificing friendship which has prompted him to his acts.Page 14
"Is that where you mean, sir?" "No, Snider," I replied.Page 18
There would be the civilization that two centuries must have wrought upon our English cousins as they had upon us.Page 25
But it soon will be, and it will end, as it always does, with the Westenders running away.Page 27
Never in my life had I seen such a beast, nor did I at first recognize it, so different in appearance is the live reality.Page 30
There was a great tree close behind me, and, stepping within its shade, I leaned against it, wiping the perspiration from my face, for the day was hot, and the exertion and excitement left me exhausted.Page 35
" Buckingham.Page 37
you if Buckingham gets his hands on you.Page 38
The older part of the camp consisted almost wholly of trenches, as though this had been the original form of dwellings which was slowly giving way to the drier and airier surface domiciles.Page 52
I promised his majesty, and when he returns he will find that I was true to my trust, for I shall be awaiting him.Page 53
Swinging myself outward, I began the descent, and had come to within a few feet of the ground, being just opposite a narrow window, when I was startled by a savage growl almost in my ear, and then a great taloned paw darted from the aperture to seize me, and I saw the snarling face of a lion within the embrasure.Page 56
but she shook her head.Page 65
7 We stood there, grouped about the body of the dead Grabritin, looking futilely down the river to where it made an abrupt curve to the west, a quarter of a mile below us, and was lost to sight, as though we expected to see the truant returning to us with our precious launch--the thing that meant life or death to us in this unfriendly, savage world.Page 66
They will not travel as rapidly as Snider probably hopes.Page 78
That night came a lull in the hostilities--a truce had been arranged.Page 81
Very shortly thereafter the earth shook to the explosion of a shell within the city, and from time to time thereafter other shells burst at no great distance from the palace.