The Island of Doctor Moreau
I TURNED again and went on down towards the sea. I found the hot stream broadened
out to a shallow, weedy sand, in which an abundance of crabs and long-bodied, many-
legged creatures started from my footfall. I walked to the very edge of the salt water, and
then I felt I was safe. I turned and stared, arms akimbo, at the thick green behind me, into
which the steamy ravine cut like a smoking gash. But, as I say, I was too full of
excitement and (a true saying, though those who have never known danger may doubt it)
too desperate to die.
Then it came into my head that there was one chance before me yet. While Moreau and
Montgomery and their bestial rabble chased me through the island, might I not go round
the beach until I came to their enclosure,--make a flank march upon them, in fact, and
then with a rock lugged out of their loosely-built wall, perhaps, smash in the lock of the
smaller door and see what I could find (knife, pistol, or what not) to fight them with when
they returned? It was at any rate something to try.
So I turned to the westward and walked along by the water's edge. The setting sun flashed
his blinding heat into my eyes. The slight Pacific tide was running in with a gentle ripple.
Presently the shore fell away southward, and the sun came round upon my right hand.
Then suddenly, far in front of me, I saw first one and then several figures emerging from
the bushes,-- Moreau, with his grey staghound, then Montgomery, and two others. At that
They saw me, and began gesticulating and advancing. I stood watching them approach.
The two Beast Men came running forward to cut me off from the undergrowth, inland.
Montgomery came, running also, but straight towards me. Moreau followed slower with
At last I roused myself from my inaction, and turning seaward walked straight into the
water. The water was very shallow at first. I was thirty yards out before the waves
reached to my waist. Dimly I could see the intertidal creatures darting away from my
"What are you doing, man?" cried Montgomery.
I turned, standing waist deep, and stared at them. Montgomery stood panting at the
margin of the water. His face was bright-red with exertion, his long flaxen hair blown
about his head, and his dropping nether lip showed his irregular teeth. Moreau was just
coming up, his face pale and firm, and the dog at his hand barked at me. Both men had
heavy whips. Farther up the beach stared the Beast Men.
"What am I doing? I am going to drown myself," said I.
Montgomery and Moreau looked at each other. "Why?" asked Moreau.