The Island of Doctor Moreau HTML version
The Finding of Moreau
WHEN I saw Montgomery swallow a third dose of brandy, I took it upon myself to
interfere. He was already more than half fuddled. I told him that some serious thing must
have happened to Moreau by this time, or he would have returned before this, and that it
behoved us to ascertain what that catastrophe was. Montgomery raised some feeble
objections, and at last agreed. We had some food, and then all three of us started.
It is possibly due to the tension of my mind, at the time, but even now that start into the
hot stillness of the tropical afternoon is a singularly vivid impression. M'ling went first,
his shoulder hunched, his strange black head moving with quick starts as he peered first
on this side of the way and then on that. He was unarmed; his axe he had dropped when
he encountered the Swine-man. Teeth were his weapons, when it came to fighting.
Montgomery followed with stumbling footsteps, his hands in his pockets, his face
downcast; he was in a state of muddled sullenness with me on account of the brandy. My
left arm was in a sling (it was lucky it was my left), and I carried my revolver in my right.
Soon we traced a narrow path through the wild luxuriance of the island, going
northwestward; and presently M'ling stopped, and became rigid with watchfulness.
Montgomery almost staggered into him, and then stopped too. Then, listening intently,
we heard coming through the trees the sound of voices and footsteps approaching us.
"He is dead," said a deep, vibrating voice.
"He is not dead; he is not dead," jabbered another.
"We saw, we saw," said several voices.
"Hullo!" suddenly shouted Montgomery, "Hullo, there!"
"Confound you!" said I, and gripped my pistol.
There was a silence, then a crashing among the interlacing vegetation, first here, then
there, and then half-a-dozen faces appeared,-- strange faces, lit by a strange light. M'ling
made a growling noise in his throat. I recognised the Ape-man: I had indeed already
identified his voice, and two of the white-swathed brown-featured creatures I had seen in
Montgomery's boat. With these were the two dappled brutes and that grey, horribly
crooked creature who said the Law, with grey hair streaming down its cheeks, heavy grey
eyebrows, and grey locks pouring off from a central parting upon its sloping forehead,--a
heavy, faceless thing, with strange red eyes, looking at us curiously from amidst the
For a space no one spoke. Then Montgomery hiccoughed, "Who--said he was dead?"
The Monkey-man looked guiltily at the hairy-grey Thing. "He is dead," said this monster.