Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
Book II Jules Verne

Wanted: A Steelyard

Page 3 of 4

Table Of Contents: Off on a Comet

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

The audience looked at one another, and then at Ben Zoof, who was thoroughly acquainted with all their resources. "We have neither one nor the other," said the orderly.

The professor stamped with vexation.

"I believe old Hakkabut has a steelyard on board his tartan," said Ben Zoof, presently.

"Then why didn't you say so before, you idiot?" roared the excitable little man.

Anxious to pacify him, Servadac assured him that every exertion should be made to procure the instrument, and directed Ben Zoof to go to the Jew and borrow it.

"No, stop a moment," he said, as Ben Zoof was moving away on his, errand; "perhaps I had better go with you myself; the old Jew may make a difficulty about lending us any of his property."

"Why should we not all go?" asked the count; "we should see what kind of a life the misanthrope leads on board the Hansa."

The proposal met with general approbation. Before they started, Professor Rosette requested that one of the men might be ordered to cut him a cubic decimeter out of the solid substance of Gallia. "My engineer is the man for that," said the count; "he will do it well for you if you will give him the precise measurement."

"What! you don't mean," exclaimed the professor, again going off into a passion, "that you haven't a proper measure of length?"

Ben Zoof was sent off to ransack the stores for the article in question, but no measure was forthcoming. "Most likely we shall find one on the tartan," said the orderly.

"Then let us lose no time in trying," answered the professor, as he hustled with hasty strides into the gallery.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

The rest of the party followed, and were soon in the open air upon the rocks that overhung the shore. They descended to the level of the frozen water and made their way towards the little creek where the Dobryna and the Hansa lay firmly imprisoned in their icy bonds.

The temperature was low beyond previous experience; but well muffled up in fur, they all endured it without much actual suffering. Their breath issued in vapor, which was at once congealed into little crystals upon their whiskers, beards, eyebrows, and eyelashes, until their faces, covered with countless snow-white prickles, were truly ludicrous. The little professor, most comical of all, resembled nothing so much as the cub of an Arctic bear.

It was eight o'clock in the morning. The sun was rapidly approaching the zenith; but its disc, from the extreme remoteness, was proportionately dwarfed; its beams being all but destitute of their proper warmth and radiance. The volcano to its very summit and the surrounding rocks were still covered with the unsullied mantle of snow that had fallen while the atmosphere was still to some extent charged with vapor; but on the north side the snow had given place to the cascade of fiery lava, which, making its way down the sloping rocks as far as the vaulted opening of the central cavern, fell thence perpendicularly into the sea. Above the cavern, 130 feet up the mountain, was a dark hole, above which the stream of lava made a bifurcation in its course. From this hole projected the case of an astronomer's telescope; it was the opening of Palmyrin Rosette's observatory.

Page 3 of 4 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
Off on a Comet
Jules Verne

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004