A Journey to the Interior of the Earth
Headlong Speed Upward Through The Horrors Of
It might have been, as I guessed, about ten at night. The first of my senses which came
into play after this last bout was that of hearing. All at once I could hear; and it was a real
exercise of the sense of hearing. I could hear the silence in the gallery after the din which
for hours had stunned me. At last these words of my uncle's came to me like a vague
"We are going up."
"What do you mean?" I cried.
"Yes, we are going up--up!"
I stretched out my arm. I touched the wall, and drew back my hand bleeding. We were
ascending with extreme rapidity.
"The torch! The torch!" cried the Professor.
Not without difficulty Hans succeeded in lighting the torch; and the flame, preserving its
upward tendency, threw enough light to show us what kind of a place we were in.
"Just as I thought," said the Professor "We are in a tunnel not four-and-twenty feet in
diameter The water had reached the bottom of the gulf. It is now rising to its level, and
carrying us with it."
"I cannot tell; but we must be ready for anything. We are mounting at a speed which
seems to me of fourteen feet in a second, or ten miles an hour. At this rate we shall get
"Yes, if nothing stops us; if this well has an aperture. But suppose it to be stopped. If the
air is condensed by the pressure of this column of water we shall be crushed."
"Axel," replied the Professor with perfect coolness, "our situation is almost desperate; but
there are some chances of deliverance, and it is these that I am considering. If at every
instant we may perish, so at every instant we may be saved. Let us then be prepared to
seize upon the smallest advantage."
"But what shall we do now?"
"Recruit our strength by eating."