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|The First Men In The Moon||H. G. [Herbert George] Wells|
Points of View
|Page 3 of 5||
He paused. "Yes?" I said, though I knew what was coming.
"We might attempt once more to establish some sort of understanding with the minds of the people in the moon."
"So far as I'm concerned - it's the first."
"You see," said Cavor, "I do not think we can judge the Selenites by what we have seen of them. Their central world, their civilised world will be far below in the profounder caverns about their sea. This region of the crust in which we are is an outlying district, a pastoral region. At any rate, that is my interpretation. These Selenites we have seen may be only the equivalent of cowboys and engine-tenders. Their use of goads - in all probability mooncalf goads - the lack of imagination they show in expecting us to be able to do just what they can do, their indisputable brutality, all seem to point to something of that sort. But if we endured -"
"Neither of us could endure a six-inch plank across the bottomless pit for very long."
"No," said Cavor; "but then -"
"I won't," I said.
He discovered a new line of possibilities. "Well, suppose we got ourselves into some corner, where we could defend ourselves against these hinds and labourers. If, for example, we could hold out for a week or so, it is probable that the news of our appearance would filter down to the more intelligent and populous parts -"
"If they exist."
"They must exist, or whence came those tremendous machines?"
"That's possible, but it's the worst of the two chances."
"We might write up inscriptions on walls"
"How do we know their eyes would see the sort of marks we made?"
"If we cut them - "
"That's possible, of course."
I took up a new thread of thought. "After all," - I said, " I suppose you don't think these Selenites so infinitely wiser than men."
"They must know a lot more - or at least a lot of different things."
"Yes, but -" I hesitated.
"I think you'll quite admit, Cavor, that you're rather an exceptional man."
"Well, you - you're a rather lonely man - have been, that is. You haven't married."
"Never wanted to. But why - "
"And you never grew richer than you happened to be? "
"Never wanted that either."
"You've just rooted after knowledge?"
"Well, a certain curiosity is natural - "
"You think so. That's just it. You think every other mind wants to know. I remember once, when I asked you why you conducted all these researches, you said you wanted your F.R.S., and to have the stuff called Cavorite, and things like that. You know perfectly well you didn't do it for that; but at the time my question took you by surprise, and you felt you ought to have something to look like a motive. Really you conducted researches because you had to. It's your twist."
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|The First Men In The Moon
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells
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