bows upward, and then with
a shattering jolt we were in collision. What I had hoped for happened.
The cruiser, already tilted at a perilous angle, was carried completely
over backward by the impact of my smaller vessel. Her crew fell
twisting and screaming through the air to the water far below, while
the cruiser, her propellers still madly churning, dived swiftly
headforemost after them to the bottom of the Sea of Omean.
The collision crushed our steel bows, and notwithstanding every effort
on our part came near to hurling us from the deck. As it was we landed
in a wildly clutching heap at the very extremity of the flier, where
Xodar and I succeeded in grasping the hand-rail, but the boy would have
plunged overboard had I not fortunately grasped his ankle as he was
already partially over.
Unguided, our vessel careened wildly in its mad flight, rising ever
nearer the rocks above. It took but an instant, however, for me to
regain the levers, and with the roof barely fifty feet above I turned
her nose once more into the horizontal plane and headed her again for
the black mouth of the shaft.
The collision had retarded our progress and now a hundred swift scouts
were close upon us. Xodar had told me that ascending the shaft by
virtue of our repulsive rays alone would give our enemies their best
chance to overtake us, since our propellers would be idle and in rising
we would be outclassed by many of our pursuers. The swifter craft are
seldom equipped with large buoyancy tanks, since the added bulk of them
tends to reduce a vessel's speed.
As many boats were now quite close to us it was inevitable that we
would be quickly overhauled in the shaft, and captured or killed in
To me there always seems a way to gain the opposite side of an
obstacle. If one cannot pass over it, or below it, or around it, why
then there is but a single alternative left, and that is to pass
through it. I could not get around the fact that many of these other
boats could rise faster than ours by the fact of their greater
buoyancy, but I was none the less determined to reach the outer world
far in advance of them or die a death of my own choosing in event of
"Reverse?" screamed Xodar, behind me. "For the love of your first
ancestor, reverse. We are at the shaft."
"Hold tight!" I screamed in reply. "Grasp
But beyond thirty! And I have gone there, and come back; and now you may go there, for no longer is it high treason, punishable by disgrace or death, to cross 30d or 175d.Page 8
"The regulations are explicit, and if the Coldwater crosses thirty it devolves upon you to place Lieutenant Turck under arrest and immediately exert every endeavor to bring the ship back into Pan-American waters.Page 9
"You may go below, Mr.Page 10
I had seen to it that a sea anchor was rigged, and even now the men had completed their task, and the Coldwater was swinging around rapidly, her nose pointing once more into the wind, and the frightful rolling consequent upon her wallowing in the trough was happily diminishing.Page 14
The Coldwater had abandoned us in midocean.Page 17
Reasoning thus, I discovered that it was improbable that a state of war still existed, and that the people all had been drawn from this portion of England to some other, where they might better defend themselves against an invader.Page 18
They had lain close beside the skull.Page 26
I questioned many of them concerning past historical events, but they knew nothing beyond the narrow limits of their island and the savage, primitive life they led there.Page 28
The antelope, although in plain view of the huge beast, paid not the slightest attention to it, and I was so wrapped up in watching the mighty pachyderm that I quite forgot to shoot at the buck and presently, and in quite a startling manner, it became impossible to do so.Page 33
" But what utter and appalling devastation the Great War must have.Page 34
The learned professor assumes that while a long-continued war had strengthened rather than weakened the instinct of paternal devotion, it had also dulled other humanitarian instincts, and raised to the first magnitude the law of the survival of the fittest, with the result that when the exodus took place the strong, the intelligent, and the cunning, together with their offspring, crossed the waters of the Channel or the North Sea to the continent, leaving in unhappy England only the helpless inmates of asylums for the feebleminded and insane.Page 37
He would kill anyone who befriended me, for fear that I might become another's.Page 45
I know that I thought that fear was coming to me, and so I straightened up and squared my shoulders and looked the lion straight in the eyes--and waited.Page 47
I was anxious to look with my own eyes upon the famous bridge, and I guessed, too, that the river would lead me into the part of London where stood Westminster Abbey and the Tower.Page 53
The roaring of the beasts that had discovered us, together with the report of my rifle, had set the balance of the fierce inmates of the palace into the most frightful uproar I have ever heard.Page 55
"Go on!" I cried.Page 60
Victory, who was given a voice in our councils, was all for going to the continent, or anywhere else, in fact, where she might see new sights and experience new adventures.Page 69
But there were upward of a hundred of the latter, all well armed, and so I commanded Delcarte to keep out of harm's way, and stay where he was till I needed him.Page 81
Evidently he would never leave, or turn his back again.Page 83
" She ceased her struggles, just a trifle, but still tried.