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The First Men In The Moon H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

Mr. Cavor Makes Some Sugestions

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"What do you think has become of the sphere, anyhow? " I asked.

"Lost," he said, like a man who answers an uninteresting question.

"Among those plants?"

"Unless they find it."

"And then?"

"How can I tell?"

"Cavor," I said, with a sort of hysterical bitterness, "things look bright for my Company..."

He made no answer.

"Good Lord!" I exclaimed. "Just think of all the trouble we took to get into this pickle! What did we come for? What are we after? What was the moon to us or we to the moon? We wanted too much, we tried too much. We ought to have started the little things first. It was you proposed the moon! Those Cavorite spring blinds! I am certain we could have worked them for terrestrial purposes. Certain! Did you really understand what I proposed? A steel cylinder - "

"Rubbish!" said Cavor.

We ceased to converse.

For a time Cavor kept up a broken monologue without much help from me.

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"If they find it," he began, "if they find it ... what will they do with it? Well, that's a question. It may be that's the question. They won't understand it, anyhow. If they understood that sort of thing they would have come long since to the earth. Would they? Why shouldn't they? But they would have sent something - they couldn't keep their hands off such a possibility. No! But they will examine it. Clearly they are intelligent and inquisitive. They will examine it - get inside it - trifle with the studs. Off! .. That would mean the moon for us for all the rest of our lives. Strange creatures, strange knowledge ..."

"As for strange knowledge - " said I, and language failed me.

"Look here, Bedford," said Cavor, "you came on this expedition of your own free will."

"You said to me, 'Call it prospecting'."

"There's always risks in prospecting."

"Especially when you do it unarmed and without thinking out every possibility."

"I was so taken up with the sphere. The thing rushed on us, and carried us away."

"Rushed on me, you mean."

"Rushed on me just as much. How was I to know when I set to work on molecular physics that the business would bring me here - of all places?"

"It's this accursed science," I cried. "It's the very Devil. The medieval priests and persecutors were right and the Moderns are all wrong. You tamper with it - and it offers you gifts. And directly you take them it knocks you to pieces in some unexpected way. Old passions and new weapons - now it upsets your religion, now it upsets your social ideas, now it whirls you off to desolation and misery!"

"Anyhow, it's no use your quarrelling with me now. These creatures - these Selenites, or whatever we choose to call them - have got us tied hand and foot. Whatever temper you choose to go through with it in, you will have to go through with it. ... We have experiences before us that will need all our coolness."

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The First Men In The Moon
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

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