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|The First Men In The Moon||H. G. [Herbert George] Wells|
Mr. Bedford at Littlestone
|Page 5 of 9||
"Just pass me that toast-rack," I said, and shut him up completely.
"But look here, I say," began one of the others. "We're not going to believe that, you know."
"Ah, well," said I, and shrugged my shoulders.
"He doesn't want to tell us," said the youngest young man in a stage aside; and then, with an appearance of great sang-froid, " You don't mind if I take a cigarette?"
I waved him a cordial assent, and proceeded with my breakfast. Two of the others went and looked out of the farther window and talked inaudibly. I was struck by a thought. "The tide," I said, "is running out?"
There was a pause, a doubt who should answer me.
"It's near the ebb," said the fat little man.
"Well, anyhow," I said, "it won't float far."
I decapitated my third egg, and began a little speech. "Look here," I said. " Please don't imagine I'm surly or telling you uncivil lies, or anything of that sort. I'm forced almost, to be a little short and mysterious. I can quite understand this is as queer as it can be, and that your imaginations must be going it. I can assure you, you're in at a memorable time. But I can't make it clear to you now - it's impossible. I give you my word of honour I've come from the moon, and that's all I can tell you. ... All the same, I'm tremendously obliged to you, you know, tremendously. I hope that my manner hasn't in any way given you offence."
"Oh, not in the least!" said the youngest young man affably. "We can quite understand," and staring hard at me all the time, he heeled his chair back until it very nearly upset, and recovered with some exertion. "Not a bit of it," said the fat young man.
"Don't you imagine that!" and they all got up and dispersed, and walked about and lit cigarettes, and generally tried to show they were perfectly amiable and disengaged, and entirely free from the slightest curiosity about me and the sphere. "I'm going to keep an eye on that ship out there all the same," I heard one of them remarking in an undertone. If only they could have forced themselves to it, they would, I believe, even have gone out and left me. I went on with my third egg.
"The weather," the fat little man remarked presently, "has been immense, has it not? I don't know when we have had such a summer."
Phoo-whizz! Like a tremendous rocket!
And somewhere a window was broken. ...
"What's that?" said I.
"It isn't - ?" cried the little man, and rushed to the corner window.
All the others rushed to the window likewise. I sat staring at them.
Suddenly I leapt up, knocked over my third egg, rushed for the window also. I had just thought of something. "Nothing to be seen there," cried the little man, rushing for the door.
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|The First Men In The Moon
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells
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