The Island of Doctor Moreau
The Reversion of the Beast Folk
IN this way I became one among the Beast People in the Island of Doctor Moreau. When
I awoke, it was dark about me. My arm ached in its bandages. I sat up, wondering at first
where I might be. I heard coarse voices talking outside. Then I saw that my barricade had
gone, and that the opening of the hut stood clear. My revolver was still in my hand.
I heard something breathing, saw something crouched together close beside me. I held
my breath, trying to see what it was. It began to move slowly, interminably. Then
something soft and warm and moist passed across my hand. All my muscles contracted. I
snatched my hand away. A cry of alarm began and was stifled in my throat. Then I just
realised what had happened sufficiently to stay my fingers on the revolver.
"Who is that?" I said in a hoarse whisper, the revolver still pointed.
"Who are you?"
"They say there is no Master now. But I know, I know. I carried the bodies into the sea, O
Walker in the Sea! the bodies of those you slew. I am your slave, Master."
"Are you the one I met on the beach?" I asked.
"The same, Master."
The Thing was evidently faithful enough, for it might have fallen upon me as I slept. "It
is well," I said, extending my hand for another licking kiss. I began to realise what its
presence meant, and the tide of my courage flowed. "Where are the others?" I asked.
"They are mad; they are fools," said the Dog-man. "Even now they talk together beyond
there. They say, `The Master is dead. The Other with the Whip is dead. That Other who
walked in the Sea is as we are. We have no Master, no Whips, no House of Pain, any
more. There is an end. We love the Law, and will keep it; but there is no Pain, no Master,
no Whips for ever again.' So they say. But I know, Master, I know."
I felt in the darkness, and patted the Dog-man's head. "It is well," I said again.
"Presently you will slay them all," said the Dog-man.
"Presently," I answered, "I will slay them all,--after certain days and certain things have
come to pass. Every one of them save those you spare, every one of them shall be slain."
"What the Master wishes to kill, the Master kills," said the Dog-man with a certain
satisfaction in his voice.