A Journey to the Interior of the Earth by Julio Verne

By Julio Verne

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Then darting out like a shot, bowling down stairs like an avalanche, he rushed into the Konigstrasse and fled. " cried Martha, running out of her kitchen at the noise of the violent slamming of doors. " said the old servant. " cried Martha, with clasped hands. "No, my dear Martha, he will eat no more. No one in the house is to eat anything at all. " "Oh, my dear! " I hardly dared to confess that, with so absolute a ruler as my uncle, this fate was inevitable. The old servant, visibly moved, returned to the kitchen, moaning piteously.

Then I dropped down into the old velvet arm-chair, my head thrown back and my hands joined over it. I lighted my long crooked pipe, with a painting on it of an idle-looking naiad; then I amused myself watching the process of the conversion of the tobacco into carbon, which was by slow degrees making my naiad into a negress. Now and then I listened to hear whether a well-known step was on the stairs. No. Where could my uncle be at that moment? I fancied him running under the noble trees which line the road to Altona, gesticulating, making shots with his cane, thrashing the long grass, cutting the heads off the thistles, and disturbing the contemplative storks in their peaceful solitude.

He would want to know all about it. Ropes could not hold him, such a determined geologist as he is! He would start, he would, in spite of everything and everybody, and he would take me with him, and we should never get back. No, never! " My over-excitement was beyond all description. "No! no! it shall not be," I declared energetically; "and as it is in my power to prevent the knowledge of it coming into the mind of my tyrant, I will do it. By dint of turning this document round and round, he too might discover the key.

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