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Book II Jules Verne

A Journey And A Disappointment

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Table Of Contents: Off on a Comet

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"But allow me to repeat," insisted Servadac, "that we are no longer on the earth, although we expect to come in contact with it again in about eight weeks."

"I have no doubt," the major answered, "that England will make every effort to reclaim us."

Servadac felt perplexed. It was quite evident that Major Oliphant had not been convinced of the truth of one syllable of what he had been saying.

"Then I am to understand that you are determined to retain your two garrisons here and at Gibraltar?" asked Servadac, with one last effort at persuasion.

"Certainly; these two posts command the entrance of the Mediterranean."

"But supposing there is no longer any Mediterranean?" retorted the captain, growing impatient.

"Oh, England will always take care of that," was Major Oliphant's cool reply. "But excuse me," he added presently; "I see that Colonel Murphy has just telegraphed his next move. Allow me to wish you good-afternoon."

And without further parley, followed by his soldiers, he retired into the casemate, leaving Captain Servadac gnawing his mustache with mingled rage and mortification.

"A fine piece of business we have made of this!" said Ben Zoof, when he found himself alone with his master.

"We will make our way back at once," replied Captain Servadac.

"Yes, the sooner the better, with our tails between our legs," rejoined the orderly, who this time felt no inclination to start off to the march of the Algerian zephyrs. And so the French tricolor returned as it had set out-- in Ben Zoof's knapsack.

On the eighth evening after starting, the travelers again set foot on the volcanic promontory just in time to witness a great commotion.

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Palmyrin Rosette was in a furious rage. He had completed all his calculations about Nerina, but that perfidious satellite had totally disappeared. The astronomer was frantic at the loss of his moon. Captured probably by some larger body, it was revolving in its proper zone of the minor planets.

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Off on a Comet
Jules Verne

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