Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
magazines here. If you’ll stop to lunch I’ll prove you this time
travelling up to the hilt, specimens and all.
If you’ll forgive my leaving you now?’ I consented, hardly
comprehending then the full import of his words, and he nodded
and went on down the corridor. I heard the door of the laboratory
slam, seated myself in a chair, and took up a daily paper. What
was he going to do before lunch-time? Then suddenly I was
reminded by an advertisement that I had promised to meet
Richardson, the publisher, at two. I looked at my watch, and saw
that I could barely save that engagement. I got up and went down
the passage to tell the Time Traveller.
As I took hold of the handle of the door I heard an exclamation,
oddly truncated at the end, and a click and a thud. A gust of air
whirled round me as I opened the door, and from within came the
sound of broken glass falling on the floor. The Time Traveller was
not there. I seemed to see a ghostly, indistinct figure sitting in a
whirling mass of black and brass for a moment-a figure so
transparent that the bench behind with its sheets of drawings was
absolutely distinct; but this phantasm vanished as I rubbed my
eyes. The Time Machine had gone.
Save for a subsiding stir of dust, the further end of the laboratory
was empty. A pane of the skylight had, apparently, just been
I felt an unreasonable amazement. I knew that something strange
had happened, and for the moment could not distinguish what the
strange thing might be.
As I stood staring, the door into the garden opened, and the man-
We looked at each other. Then ideas began to come. ‘Has Mr.- gone
out that way?’ said I.
‘No, sir. No one has come out this way. I was expecting to find him
here.’ At that I understood. At the risk of disappointing Richardson
I stayed on, waiting for the Time Traveller; waiting for the second,
perhaps still stranger story, and the specimens and photographs he
would bring with him. But I am beginning now to fear that I must
wait a lifetime. The Time Traveller vanished three years ago. And,
as everybody knows now, he has never returned.