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A Journey to the Interior of the Earth

The Rescue In The Whispering Gallery
When I returned to partial life my face was wet with tears. How long that state of
insensibility had lasted I cannot say. I had no means now of taking account of time.
Never was solitude equal to this, never had any living being been so utterly forsaken.
After my fall I had lost a good deal of blood. I felt it flowing over me. Ah! how happy I
should have been could I have died, and if death were not yet to be gone through. I would
think no longer. I drove away every idea, and, conquered by my grief, I rolled myself to
the foot of the opposite wall.
Already I was feeling the approach of another faint, and was hoping for complete
annihilation, when a loud noise reached me. It was like the distant rumble of continuous
thunder, and I could hear its sounding undulations rolling far away into the remote
recesses of the abyss.
Whence could this noise proceed? It must be from some phenomenon proceeding in the
great depths amidst which I lay helpless. Was it an explosion of gas? Was it the fall of
some mighty pillar of the globe?
I listened still. I wanted to know if the noise would be repeated. A quarter of an hour
passed away. Silence reigned in this gallery. I could not hear even the beating of my
heart.
Suddenly my ear, resting by chance against the wall, caught, or seemed to catch, certain
vague, indescribable, distant, articulate sounds, as of words.
"This is a delusion," I thought.
But it was not. Listening more attentively, I heard in reality a murmuring of voices. But
my weakness prevented me from understanding what the voices said. Yet it was
language, I was sure of it.
For a moment I feared the words might be my own, brought back by the echo. Perhaps I
had been crying out unknown to myself. I closed my lips firmly, and laid my ear against
the wall again.
"Yes, truly, some one is speaking; those are words!"
Even a few feet from the wall I could hear distinctly. I succeeded in catching uncertain,
strange, undistinguishable words. They came as if pronounced in low murmured
whispers. The word 'FORLORAD' was several times repeated in a tone of sympathy and
sorrow.
"Help!" I cried with all my might. "Help!"
 
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