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earth seemed very fair. And so my mind came round to the
business of stopping.

‘The peculiar risk lay in the possibility of my finding some
substance in the space which I, or the machine, occupied. So long
as I travelled at a high velocity through time, this scarcely
mattered; I was, so to speak, attenuated-was slipping like a vapour
through the interstices of intervening substances! But to come to a
stop involved the jamming of myself, molecule by molecule, into
whatever lay in my way; meant bringing my atoms into such
intimate contact with those of the obstacle that a profound chemical
reaction-possibly a far-reaching explosionwould result, and blow
myself and my apparatus out of all possible dimensionsinto the
Unknown. This possibility had occurred to me again and again
while I was making the machine; but then I had cheerfully
accepted it as an unavoidable risk-one of the risks a man has got to
take! Now the risk was inevitable, I no longer saw it in the same
cheerful light. The fact is that, insensibly, the absolute strangeness
of everything, the sickly jarring and swaying of the machine, above
all, the feeling of prolonged falling, had absolutely upset my nerve.
I told myself that I could never stop, and with a gust of petulance I
resolved to stop forthwith.

Like an impatient fool, I lugged over the lever, and incontinently
the thing went reeling over, and I was flung headlong through the

‘There was the sound of a clap of thunder in my ears. I may have
been stunned for a moment. A pitiless hail was hissing round me,
and I was sitting on soft turf in front of the overset machine.
Everything still seemed grey, but presently I remarked that the
confusion in my ears was gone. I looked round me. I was on what
seemed to be a little lawn in a garden, surrounded by
rhododendron bushes, and I noticed that their mauve and purple
blossoms were dropping in a shower under the beating of the
hailstones. The rebounding, dancing hail hung in a cloud over the
machine, and drove along the ground like smoke. In a moment I
was wet to the skin. “Fine hospitality,” said I, “to a man who has
travelled innumerable years to see you.” ‘Presently I thought what
a fool I was to get wet. I stood up and looked round me. A colossal
figure, carved apparently in some white stone, loomed indistinctly
beyond the rhododendrons through the hazy downpour. But all
else of the world was invisible.

‘My sensations would be hard to describe. As the columns of hail
grew thinner, I saw the white figure more distinctly. It was very
large, for a silver birchtree touched its shoulder. It was of white
marble, in shape something like a winged sphinx, but the wings,
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