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‘The strange exultation that so often seems to accompany hard
fighting came upon me. I knew that both I and Weena were lost,
but I determined to make the Morlocks pay for their meat. I stood
with my back to a tree, swinging the iron bar before me. The whole
wood was full of the stir and cries of them. A minute passed. Their
voices seemed to rise to a higher pitch of excitement, and their
movements grew faster. Yet none came within reach. I stood
glaring at the blackness. Then suddenly came hope. What if the
Morlocks were afraid? And close on the heels of that came a
strange thing. The darkness seemed to grow luminous.

Very dimly I began to see the Morlocks about me-three battered at
my feet-and then I recognized, with incredulous surprise, that the
others were running, in an incessant stream, as it seemed, from
behind me, and away through the wood in front. And their backs
seemed no longer white, but reddish. As I stood agape, I saw a
little red spark go drifting across a gap of starlight between the
branches, and vanish. And at that I understood the smell of
burning wood, the slumbrous murmur that was growing now into
a gusty roar, the red glow, and the Morlocks’ flight.

‘Stepping out from behind my tree and looking back, I saw,
through the black pillars of the nearer trees, the flames of the
burning forest. It was my first fire coming after me. With that I
looked for Weena, but she was gone. The hissing and crackling
behind me, the explosive thud as each fresh tree burst into flame,
left little time for reflection. My iron bar still gripped, I followed in
the Morlocks’ path. It was a close race. Once the flames crept
forward so swiftly on my right as I ran that I was outflanked and
had to strike off to the left. But at last I emerged upon a small open
space, and as I did so, a Morlock came blundering towards me, and
past me, and went on straight into the fire!

‘And now I was to see the most weird and horrible thing, I think,
of all that I beheld in that future age. This whole space was as
bright as day with the reflection of the fire. In the centre was a
hillock or tumulus, surmounted by a scorched hawthorn. Beyond
this was another arm of the burning forest, with yellow tongues
already writhing from it, completely encircling the space with a
fence of fire. Upon the hill-side were some thirty or forty Morlocks,
dazzled by the light and heat, and blundering hither and thither
against each other in their bewilderment. At first I did not realize
their blindness, and struck furiously at them with my bar, in a
frenzy of fear, as they approached me, killing one and crippling
several more. But when I had watched the gestures of one of them
groping under the hawthorn against the red sky, and heard their
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