The First Men In The Moon
Experiments In Intercourse
WHEN at last we had made an end of eating, the Selenites linked our hands closely
together again, and then untwisted the chains about our feet and rebound them, so as to
give us a limited freedom of movement. Then they unfastened the chains about our
waists. To do all this they had to handle us freely, and ever and again one of their queer
heads came down close to my face, or a soft tentacle-hand touched my head or neck. I
don't remember that I was afraid then or repelled by their proximity. I think that our
incurable anthropomorphism made us imagine there were human heads inside their
masks. The skin, like everything else, looked bluish, but that was on account of the light;
and it was hard and shiny, quite in the beetle-wing fashion, not soft, or moist, or hairy, as
a vertebrated animal's would be. Along the crest of the head was a low ridge of whitish
spines running from back to front, and a much larger ridge curved on either side over the
eyes. The Selenite who untied me used his mouth to help his hands.
"They seem to be releasing us," said Cavor. "Remember we are on the moon! Make no
"Are you going to try that geometry?"
"If I get a chance. But, of course, they may make an advance first."
We remained passive, and the Selenites, having finished their arrangements, stood back
from us, and seemed to be looking at us. I say seemed to be, because as their eyes were at
the side and not in front, one had the same difficulty in determining the direction in
which they were looking as one has in the case of a hen or a fish. They conversed with
one another in their reedy tones, that seemed to me impossible to imitate or define. The
door behind us opened wider, and, glancing over my shoulder, I saw a vague large space
beyond, in which quite a little crowd of Selenites were standing. They seemed a curiously
"Do they want us to imitate those sounds? " I asked Cavor.
"I don't think so," he said.
"It seems to me that they are trying to make us understand something."
"I can't make anything of their gestures. Do you notice this one, who is worrying with his
head like a man with an uncomfortable collar? "
"Let us shake our heads at him."
We did that, and finding it ineffectual, attempted an imitation of the Selenites'
movements. That seemed to interest them. At any rate they all set up the same movement.
But as that seemed to lead to nothing, we desisted at last and so did they, and fell into a