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instead of being carried vertically at the sides, were spread so that
it seemed to hover. The pedestal, it appeared to me, was of bronze,
and was thick with verdigris. It chanced that the face was towards
me; the sightless eyes seemed to watch me; there was the faint
shadow of a smile on the lips. It was greatly weather-worn, and
that imparted an unpleasant suggestion of disease. I stood looking
at it for a little space-half a minute, perhaps, or half an hour. It
seemed to advance and to recede as the hail drove before it denser
or thinner. At last I tore my eyes from it for a moment, and saw
that the hail curtain had worn threadbare, and that the sky was
lightening with the promise of the sun.

‘I looked up again at the crouching white shape, and the full
temerity of my voyage came suddenly upon me. What might
appear when that hazy curtain was altogether withdrawn? What
might not have happened to men? What if cruelty had grown into a
common passion? What if in this interval the race had lost its
manliness, and had developed into something inhuman,
unsympathetic, and overwhelmingly powerful? I might seem some
old-world savage animal, only the more dreadful and disgusting
for our common likeness-a foul creature to be incontinently slain.
‘Already I saw other vast shapes-huge buildings with intricate
parapets and tall columns, with a wooded hill-side dimly creeping
in upon me through the lessening storm. I was seized with a panic
fear. I turned frantically to the Time Machine, and strove hard to
readjust it. As I did so the shafts of the sun smote through the
thunderstorm. The grey downpour was swept aside and vanished
like the trailing garments of a ghost. Above me, in the intense blue
of the summer sky, some faint brown shreds of cloud whirled into
nothingness. The great buildings about me stood out clear and
distinct, shining with the wet of the thunderstorm, and picked out
in white by the unmelted hailstones piled along their courses. I felt
naked in a strange world. I felt as perhaps a bird may feel in the
clear air, knowing the hawk wings above and will swoop. My fear
grew to frenzy.

I took a breathing space, set my teeth, and again grappled fiercely,
wrist and knee, with the machine. It gave under my desperate
onset and turned over. It struck my chin violently. One hand on the
saddle, the other on the lever, I stood panting heavily in attitude to
mount again.

‘But with this recovery of a prompt retreat my courage recovered. I
looked more curiously and less fearfully at this world of the remote
future. In a circular opening, high up in the wall of the nearer
house, I saw a group of figures clad in rich soft robes. They had
seen me, and their faces were directed towards me.
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