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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Time Machine by H.G. Wells


Then he drew up a chair, and sat down. The only other object on
the table was a small shaded lamp, the bright light of which fell
upon the model. There were also perhaps a dozen candles about,
two in brass candlesticks upon the mantel and several in sconces,
so that the room was brilliantly illuminated. I sat in a low arm-
chair nearest the fire, and I drew this forward so as to be almost
between the Time Traveller and the fireplace. Filby sat behind him,
looking over his shoulder. The Medical Man and the Provincial
Mayor watched him in profile from the right, the Psychologist from
the left. The Very Young Man stood behind the Psychologist. We
were all on the alert. It appears incredible to me that any kind of
trick, however subtly conceived and however adroitly done, could
have been played upon us under these conditions.

The Time Traveller looked at us, and then at the mechanism.
‘Well?’ said the Psychologist.

‘This little affair,’ said the Time Traveller, resting his elbows upon
the table and pressing his hands together above the apparatus, ‘is
only a model. It is my plan for a machine to travel through time.
You will notice that it looks singularly askew, and that there is an
odd twinkling appearance about this bar, as though it was in some
way unreal.’ He pointed to the part with his finger. ‘Also, here is
one little white lever, and here is another.’ The Medical Man got up
out of his chair and peered into the thing. ‘It’s beautifully made,’
he said.

‘It took two years to make,’ retorted the Time Traveller. Then,
when we had all imitated the action of the Medical Man, he said:
‘Now I want you clearly to understand that this lever, being
pressed over, sends the machine gliding into the future, and this
other reverses the motion. This saddle represents the seat of a time
traveller. Presently I am going to press the lever, and off the
machine will go. It will vanish, pass into future Time, and
disappear. Have a good look at the thing. Look at the table too, and
satisfy yourselves there is no trickery. I don’t want to waste this
model, and then be told I’m a quack.’ There was a minute’s pause
perhaps. The Psychologist seemed about to speak to me, but
changed his mind. Then the Time Traveller put forth his finger
towards the lever. ‘No,’ he said suddenly. ‘Lend me your hand.’
And turning to the Psychologist, he took that individual’s hand in
his own and told him to put out his forefinger. So that it was the
Psychologist himself who sent forth the model Time Machine on its
interminable voyage. We all saw the lever turn. I am absolutely
certain there was no trickery. There was a breath of wind, and the
lamp flame jumped. One of the candles on the mantel was blown
out, and the little machine suddenly swung round, became
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