From the Earth to the Moon
Chapter 17. A Telegraphic Dispatch
The great works undertaken by the Gun Club had now virtually come to an end; and two
months still remained before the day for the discharge of the shot to the moon. To the
general impatience these two months appeared as long as years! Hitherto the smallest
details of the operation had been daily chronicled by the journals, which the public
devoured with eager eyes.
Just at this moment a circumstance, the most unexpected, the most extraordinary and
incredible, occurred to rouse afresh their panting spirits, and to throw every mind into a
state of the most violent excitement.
One day, the 30th of September, at 3:47 P.M., a telegram, transmitted by cable from
Valentia (Ireland) to Newfoundland and the American Mainland, arrived at the address of
The president tore open the envelope, read the dispatch, and, despite his remarkable
powers of self-control, his lips turned pale and his eyes grew dim, on reading the twenty
words of this telegram.
Here is the text of the dispatch, which figures now in the archives of the Gun Club:
30 September, 4 A.M.
Barbicane, Tampa Town, Florida, United States.
Substitute for your spherical shell a cylindro-conical projectile. I shall go inside. Shall