The Island of Doctor Moreau
Montgomery's Bank Holiday
WHEN this was accomplished, and we had washed and eaten, Montgomery and I went
into my little room and seriously discussed our position for the first time. It was then near
midnight. He was almost sober, but greatly disturbed in his mind. He had been strangely
under the influence of Moreau's personality: I do not think it had ever occurred to him
that Moreau could die. This disaster was the sudden collapse of the habits that had
become part of his nature in the ten or more monotonous years he had spent on the island.
He talked vaguely, answered my questions crookedly, wandered into general questions.
"This silly ass of a world," he said; "what a muddle it all is! I haven't had any life. I
wonder when it's going to begin. Sixteen years being bullied by nurses and schoolmasters
at their own sweet will; five in London grinding hard at medicine, bad food, shabby
lodgings, shabby clothes, shabby vice, a blunder,-- I didn't know any better,--and hustled
off to this beastly island. Ten years here! What's it all for, Prendick? Are we bubbles
blown by a baby?"
It was hard to deal with such ravings. "The thing we have to think of now," said I, "is
how to get away from this island."
"What's the good of getting away? I'm an outcast. Where am I to join on? It's all very
well for you, Prendick. Poor old Moreau! We can't leave him here to have his bones
picked. As it is--And besides, what will become of the decent part of the Beast Folk?"
"Well," said I, "that will do to-morrow. I've been thinking we might make that brushwood
into a pyre and burn his body--and those other things. Then what will happen with the
"I don't know. I suppose those that were made of beasts of prey will make silly asses of
themselves sooner or later. We can't massacre the lot--can we? I suppose that's what your
humanity would suggest? But they'll change. They are sure to change."
He talked thus inconclusively until at last I felt my temper going.
"Damnation!" he exclaimed at some petulance of mine; "can't you see I'm in a worse hole
than you are?" And he got up, and went for the brandy. "Drink!" he said returning, "you
logic-chopping, chalky-faced saint of an atheist, drink!"
"Not I," said I, and sat grimly watching his face under the yellow paraffine flare, as he
drank himself into a garrulous misery.
I have a memory of infinite tedium. He wandered into a maudlin defence of the Beast
People and of M'ling. M'ling, he said, was the only thing that had ever really cared for
him. And suddenly an idea came to him.