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‘Weena, I was glad to find, was fast asleep. I carefully wrapped her
in my jacket, and sat down beside her to wait for the moonrise. The
hill-side was quiet and deserted, but from the black of the wood
there came now and then a stir of living things. Above me shone
the stars, for the night was very clear. I felt a certain sense of
friendly comfort in their twinkling. All the old constellations had
gone from the sky, however: that slow movement which is
imperceptible in a hundred human lifetimes, had long since
rearranged them in unfamiliar groupings.

But the Milky Way, it seemed to me, was still the same tattered
streamer of stardust as of yore. Southward (as I judged it) was a
very bright red star that was new to me; it was even more splendid
than our own green Sirius. And amid all these scintillating points
of light one bright planet shone kindly and steadily like the face of
an old friend.

‘Looking at these stars suddenly dwarfed my own troubles and all
the gravities of terrestrial life. I thought of their unfathomable
distance, and the slow inevitable drift of their movements out of
the unknown past into the unknown future. I thought of the great
precessional cycle that the pole of the earth describes. Only forty
times had that silent revolution occurred during all the years that I
had traversed. And during these few revolutions all the activity, all
the traditions, the complex organizations, the nations, languages,
literatures, aspirations, even the mere memory of Man as I knew
him, had been swept out of existence. Instead were these frail
creatures who had forgotten their high ancestry, and the white
Things of which I went in terror. Then I thought of the Great Fear
that was between the two species, and for the first time, with a
sudden shiver, came the clear knowledge of what the meat I had
seen might be. Yet it was too horrible! I looked at little Weena
sleeping beside me, her face white and starlike under the stars, and
forthwith dismissed the thought.

‘Through that long night I held my mind off the Morlocks as well
as I could, and whiled away the time by trying to fancy I could
find signs of the old constellations in the new confusion. The sky
kept very clear, except for a hazy cloud or so. No doubt I dozed at
times. Then, as my vigil wore on, came a faintness in the eastward
sky, like the reflection of some colourless fire, and the old moon
rose, thin and peaked and white. And close behind, and overtaking
it, and overflowing it, the dawn came, pale at first, and then
growing pink and warm. No Morlocks had approached us. Indeed,
I had seen none upon the hill that night. And in the confidence of
renewed day it almost seemed to me that my fear had been
unreasonable. I stood up and found my foot with the loose heel
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