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|The First Men In The Moon||H. G. [Herbert George] Wells|
In the Sunlight
|Page 3 of 5||
"Yet after all," I said, "even if we don't find the sphere at once, there is a chance for us. We might hold out. Even through the night. We might go down there again and make a fight for it."
I stared about me with speculative eyes. The character of the scenery had altered altogether by reason of the enormous growth and subsequent drying of the scrub. The crest on which we sat was high, and commanded a wide prospect of the crater landscape, and we saw it now all sere and dry in the late autumn of the lunar afternoon. Rising one behind the other were long slopes and fields of trampled brown where the mooncalves had pastured, and far away in the full blaze of the sun a drove of them basked slumberously, scattered shapes, each with a blot of shadow against it like sheep on the side of a down. But never a sign of a Selenite was to be seen. Whether they had fled on our emergence from the interior passages, or whether they were accustomed to retire after driving out the mooncalves, I cannot guess. At the time I believed the former was the case.
"If we were to set fire to all this stuff, I said, "we might find the sphere among the ashes."
Cavor did not seem to hear me. He was peering under his hand at the stars, that still, in spite of the intense sunlight, were abundantly visible in the sky. "How long do you think we've have been here?" he asked at last.
"Been where? "
"On the moon."
"Two earthly days, perhaps."
"More nearly ten. Do you know, the sun is past its zenith, and sinking in the west. In four days' time or less it will be night."
"But - we've only eaten once!"
"I know that. And - But there are the stars! "
"But why should time seem different because we are on a smaller planet? "
"I don't know. There it is!"
"How does one tell time?"
"Hunger - fatigue - all those things are different. Everything is different - everything. To me it seems that since first we came out of the sphere has been only a question of hours - long hours - at most."
"Ten days," I said; "that leaves -" I looked up at the sun for a moment, and then saw that it was halfway from the zenith to the western edge of things. "Four days! ... Cavor, we musn't sit here and dream. How do you think we may begin?"
I stood up. "We must get a fixed point we can recognise - we might hoist a flag, or a handkerchief, or something - and quarter the ground, and work round that."
He stood up beside me.
"Yes," he said, "there is nothing for it but to hunt the sphere. Nothing. We may find it - certainly we may find it. And if not -"
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|The First Men In The Moon
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells
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