Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
A Lost Continent
THE NEXT MORNING, February 19, I beheld the Canadian entering my stateroom. I
was expecting this visit. He wore an expression of great disappointment.
"Well, sir?" he said to me.
"Well, Ned, the fates were against us yesterday."
"Yes! That damned captain had to call a halt just as we were going to escape from his
"Yes, Ned, he had business with his bankers."
"Or rather his bank vaults. By which I mean this ocean, where his wealth is safer than in
any national treasury."
I then related the evening's incidents to the Canadian, secretly hoping he would come
around to the idea of not deserting the captain; but my narrative had no result other than
Ned's voicing deep regret that he hadn't strolled across the Vigo battlefield on his own
"Anyhow," he said, "it's not over yet! My first harpoon missed, that's all! We'll succeed
the next time, and as soon as this evening, if need be . . ."
"What's the Nautilus's heading?" I asked.
"I've no idea," Ned replied.
"All right, at noon we'll find out what our position is!"
The Canadian returned to Conseil's side. As soon as I was dressed, I went into the lounge.
The compass wasn't encouraging. The Nautilus's course was south-southwest. We were
turning our backs on Europe.
I could hardly wait until our position was reported on the chart. Near 11:30 the ballast
tanks emptied, and the submersible rose to the surface of the ocean. I leaped onto the
platform. Ned Land was already there.
No more shore in sight. Nothing but the immenseness of the sea. A few sails were on the
horizon, no doubt ships going as far as Cape São Roque to find favorable winds for
doubling the Cape of Good Hope. The sky was overcast. A squall was on the way.