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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-The Time Machine by H.G. Wells


69

CHAPTER 11

I HAVE ALREADY told you of the sickness and confusion that
comes with time travelling. And this time I was not seated
properly in the saddle, but sideways and in an unstable fashion.
For an indefinite time I clung to the machine as it swayed and
vibrated, quite unheeding how I went, and when I brought myself
to look at the dials again I was amazed to find where I had arrived.
One dial records days, and another thousands of days, another
millions of days, and another thousands of millions. Now, instead
of reversing the levers, I had pulled them over so as to go forward
with them, and when I came to look at these indicators I found that
the thousands hand was sweeping round as fast as the seconds
hand of a watch-into futurity.

As I drove on, a peculiar change crept over the appearance of
things. The palpitating greyness grew darker; then-though I was
still travelling with prodigious velocity-the blinking succession of
day and night, which was usually indicative of a slower pace,
returned, and grew more and more marked. This puzzled me very
much at first. The alternations of night and day grew slower and
slower, and so did the passage of the sun across the sky, until they
seemed to stretch through centuries. At last a steady twilight
brooded over the earth, a twilight only broken now and then when
a comet glared across the darkling sky. The band of light that had
indicated the sun had long since disappeared; for the sun had
ceased to set-it simply rose and fell in the west, and grew ever
broader and more red. All trace of the moon had vanished. The
circling of the stars, growing slower and slower, had given place to
creeping points of light. At last, some time before I stopped, the
sun, red and very large, halted motionless upon the horizon, a vast
dome glowing with a dull heat, and now and then suffering a
momentary extinction. At one time it had for a little while glowed
more brilliantly again, but it speedily reverted to its sullen red
heat. I perceived by this slowing down of its rising and setting that
the work of the tidal drag was done. The earth had come to rest
with one face to the sun, even as in our own time the moon faces
the earth. Very cautiously, for I remembered my former headlong
fall, I began to reverse my motion. Slower and slower went the
circling hands until the thousands one seemed motionless and the
daily one was no longer a mere mist upon its scale. Still slower,
until the dim outlines of a desolate beach grew visible.

I stopped very gently and sat upon the Time Machine, looking
round. The sky was no longer blue. North-eastward it was inky
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-The Time Machine by H.G. Wells



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