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|Book II||Jules Verne|
|Page 4 of 4||
Regardless of the efforts that were made to silence him, the Jew continued, "By the God of Abraham, I beseech you, give me some tidings of Europe!"
"Europe?" shouted the professor, springing from his seat as if he were electrified; "what does the man want with Europe?"
"I want to get there!" screeched the Jew; and in spite of every exertion to get him away, he clung most tenaciously to the professor's chair, and again and again implored for news of Europe.
Rosette made no immediate reply. After a moment or two's reflection, he turned to Servadac and asked him whether it was not the middle of April.
"It is the twentieth," answered the captain.
"Then to-day," said the astronomer, speaking with the greatest deliberation--"to-day we are just three millions of leagues away from Europe."
The Jew was utterly crestfallen.
"You seem here," continued the professor, "to be very ignorant of the state of things."
"How far we are ignorant," rejoined Servadac, "I cannot tell. But I will tell you all that we do know, and all that we have surmised." And as briefly as he could, he related all that had happened since the memorable night of the thirty-first of December; how they had experienced the shock; how the Dobryna had made her voyage; how they had discovered nothing except the fragments of the old continent at Tunis, Sardinia, Gibraltar, and now at Formentera; how at intervals the three anonymous documents had been received; and, finally, how the settlement at Gourbi Island had been abandoned for their present quarters at Nina's Hive.
The astronomer had hardly patience to hear him to the end. "And what do you say is your surmise as to your present position?" he asked.
"Our supposition," the captain replied, "is this. We imagine that we are on a considerable fragment of the terrestrial globe that has been detached by collision with a planet to which you appear to have given the name of Gallia."
"Better than that!" cried Rosette, starting to his feet with excitement.
"How? Why? What do you mean?" cried the voices of the listeners.
"You are correct to a certain degree," continued the professor. "It is quite true that at 47' 35.6" after two o'clock on the morning of the first of January there was a collision; my comet grazed the earth; and the bits of the earth which you have named were carried clean away."
They were all fairly bewildered.
"Where, then," cried Servadac eagerly, "where are we?"
"You are on my comet, on Gallia itself!"
And the professor gazed around him with a perfect air of triumph.
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