A Journey to the Interior of the Earth
The Professor And His Family
On the 24th of May, 1863, my uncle, Professor Liedenbrock, rushed into his little house,
No. 19 Konigstrasse, one of the oldest streets in the oldest portion of the city of
Martha must have concluded that she was very much behindhand, for the dinner had only
just been put into the oven.
"Well, now," said I to myself, "if that most impatient of men is hungry, what a
disturbance he will make!"
"M. Liedenbrock so soon!" cried poor Martha in great alarm, half opening the dining-
"Yes, Martha; but very likely the dinner is not half cooked, for it is not two yet. Saint
Michael's clock has only just struck half-past one."
"Then why has the master come home so soon?"
"Perhaps he will tell us that himself."
"Here he is, Monsieur Axel; I will run and hide myself while you argue with him."
And Martha retreated in safety into her own dominions.
I was left alone. But how was it possible for a man of my undecided turn of mind to argue
successfully with so irascible a person as the Professor? With this persuasion I was
hurrying away to my own little retreat upstairs, when the street door creaked upon its
hinges; heavy feet made the whole flight of stairs to shake; and the master of the house,
passing rapidly through the dining-room, threw himself in haste into his own sanctum.
But on his rapid way he had found time to fling his hazel stick into a corner, his rough
broadbrim upon the table, and these few emphatic words at his nephew:
"Axel, follow me!"
I had scarcely had time to move when the Professor was again shouting after me:
"What! not come yet?"
And I rushed into my redoubtable master's study.