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|The First Men In The Moon||H. G. [Herbert George] Wells|
Mr. Cavor Makes Some Sugestions
|Page 1 of 5||
FOR a time neither of us spoke. To focus together all the things we had brought upon ourselves, seemed beyond my mental powers.
"They've got us," I said at last.
"It was that fungus."
"Well - if I hadn't taken it we should have fainted and starved."
"We might have found the sphere."
I lost my temper at his persistence, and swore to myself. For a time we hated one another in silence. I drummed with my fingers on the floor between my knees, and gritted the links of my fetters together. Presently I was forced to talk again.
"What do you make of it, anyhow?" I asked humbly.
"They are reasonable creatures - they can make things and do things. Those lights we saw..."
He stopped. It was clear he could make nothing of it.
When he spoke again it was to confess, "After all, they are more human than we had a right to expect. I suppose -"
He stopped irritatingly.
"I suppose, anyhow - on any planet where there is an intelligent animal - it will carry its brain case upward, and have hands, and walk erect."
Presently he broke away in another direction.
"We are some way in," he said. "I mean - perhaps a couple of thousand feet or more."
"It's cooler. And our voices are so much louder. That faded quality - it has altogether gone. And the feeling in one's ears and throat."
I had not noted that, but I did now.
"The air is denser. We must be some depths - a mile even, we may be - inside the moon."
"We never thought of a world inside the moon."
"How could we?"
"We might have done. Only one gets into habits of mind."
He thought for a time.
"Now," he said, "it seems such an obvious thing."
"Of course! The moon must be enormously cavernous, with an atmosphere within, and at the centre of its caverns a sea.
"One knew that the moon had a lower specific gravity than the earth, one knew that it had little air or water outside, one knew, too, that it was sister planet to the earth, and that it was unaccountable that it should be different in composition. The inference that it was hollowed out was as clear as day. And yet one never saw it as a fact. Kepler, of course -"
His voice had the interest now of a man who has discerned a pretty sequence of reasoning.
"Yes," he said, "Kepler with his sub-volvani was right after all."
"I wish you had taken the trouble to find that out before we came," I said.
He answered nothing, buzzing to himself softly, as he pursued his thoughts. My temper was going.
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|The First Men In The Moon
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells
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