Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
‘You can show black is white by argument,’ said Filby, ‘but you
will never convince me.’ ‘Possibly not,’ said the Time Traveller.
‘But now you begin to see the object of my investigations into the
geometry of Four Dimensions. Long ago I had a vague inkling of a
machine-’ ‘To travel through Time!’ exclaimed the Very Young
‘That shall travel indifferently in any direction of Space and Time,
as the driver determines.’ Filby contented himself with laughter.
‘But I have experimental verification,’ said the Time Traveller.
‘It would be remarkably convenient for the historian,’ the
Psychologist suggested. ‘One might travel back and verify the
accepted account of the Battle of Hastings, for instance!’
‘Don’t you think you would attract attention?’ said the Medical
Man. ‘Our ancestors had no great tolerance for anachronisms.’ ‘One
might get one’s Greek from the very lips of Homer and Plato,’ the
Very Young Man thought.
‘In which case they would certainly plough you for the Little-go.
The German scholars have improved Greek so much.’ ‘Then there
is the future,’ said the Very Young Man. ‘Just think! One might
invest all one’s money, leave it to accumulate at interest, and hurry
on ahead!’ ‘To discover a society,’ said I, ‘erected on a strictly
communistic basis.’ ‘Of all the wild extravagant theories!’ began
‘Yes, so it seemed to me, and so I never talked of it until-’
‘Experimental verification!’ cried I. ‘You are going to verify that?’
‘The experiment!’ cried Filby, who was getting brain-weary.
‘Let’s see your experiment anyhow,’ said the Psychologist, ‘though
it’s all humbug, you know.’ The Time Traveller smiled round at us.
Then, still smiling faintly, and with his hands deep in his trousers
pockets, he walked slowly out of the room, and we heard his
slippers shuffling down the long passage to his laboratory.
The Psychologist looked at us. ‘I wonder what he’s got?’
‘Some sleight-of-hand trick or other,’ said the Medical Man, and
Filby tried to tell us about a conjurer he had seen at Burslem; but
before he had finished his preface the Time Traveller came back,
and Filby’s anecdote collapsed.
The thing the Time Traveller held in his hand was a glittering
metallic framework, scarcely larger than a small clock, and very
delicately made. There was ivory in it, and some transparent
crystalline substance. And now I must be explicit, for this that
follows-unless his explanation is to be accepted-is an absolutely
unaccountable thing. He took one of the small octagonal tables that
were scattered about the room, and set it in front of the fire, with
two legs on the hearthrug. On this table he placed the mechanism.