The Island of Doctor Moreau HTML version
How the Beast Folk Taste Blood
MY inexperience as a writer betrays me, and I wander from the thread of my story.
After I had breakfasted with Montgomery, he took me across the island to see the
fumarole and the source of the hot spring into whose scalding waters I had blundered on
the previous day. Both of us carried whips and loaded revolvers. While going through a
leafy jungle on our road thither, we heard a rabbit squealing. We stopped and listened,
but we heard no more; and presently we went on our way, and the incident dropped out of
our minds. Montgomery called my attention to certain little pink animals with long hind-
legs, that went leaping through the undergrowth. He told me they were creatures made of
the offspring of the Beast People, that Moreau had invented. He had fancied they might
serve for meat, but a rabbit-like habit of devouring their young had defeated this
intention. I had already encountered some of these creatures,-- once during my moonlight
flight from the Leopard-man, and once during my pursuit by Moreau on the previous day.
By chance, one hopping to avoid us leapt into the hole caused by the uprooting of a wind-
blown tree; before it could extricate itself we managed to catch it. It spat like a cat,
scratched and kicked vigorously with its hind-legs, and made an attempt to bite; but its
teeth were too feeble to inflict more than a painless pinch. It seemed to me rather a pretty
little creature; and as Montgomery stated that it never destroyed the turf by burrowing,
and was very cleanly in its habits, I should imagine it might prove a convenient substitute
for the common rabbit in gentlemen's parks.
We also saw on our way the trunk of a tree barked in long strips and splintered deeply.
Montgomery called my attention to this. "Not to claw bark of trees, that is the Law," he
said. "Much some of them care for it!" It was after this, I think, that we met the Satyr and
the Ape-man. The Satyr was a gleam of classical memory on the part of Moreau,--his
face ovine in expression, like the coarser Hebrew type; his voice a harsh bleat, his nether
extremities Satanic. He was gnawing the husk of a pod-like fruit as he passed us. Both of
them saluted Montgomery.
"Hail," said they, "to the Other with the Whip!"
"There's a Third with a Whip now," said Montgomery. "So you'd better mind!"
"Was he not made?" said the Ape-man. "He said--he said he was made."
The Satyr-man looked curiously at me. "The Third with the Whip, he that walks weeping
into the sea, has a thin white face."
"He has a thin long whip," said Montgomery.
"Yesterday he bled and wept," said the Satyr. "You never bleed nor weep. The Master
does not bleed or weep."