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The War of the Worlds
by H(erbert) G(eorge) Wells

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I spent that night in the inn that stands at the top of

Putney Hill, sleeping in a made bed for the first time since

my flight to Leatherhead. I will not tell the needless trouble

I had breaking into that house--afterwards I found the

front door was on the latch--nor how I ransacked every

room for food, until just on the verge of despair, in what

seemed to me to be a servant's bedroom, I found a rat-

gnawed crust and two tins of pineapple. The place had

been already searched and emptied. In the bar I afterwards

found some biscuits and sandwiches that had been over-

looked. The latter I could not eat, they were too rotten, but

the former not only stayed my hunger, but filled my pockets.

I lit no lamps, fearing some Martian might come beating

that part of London for food in the night. Before I went to

bed I had an interval of restlessness, and prowled from

window to window, peering out for some sign of these

monsters. I slept little. As I lay in bed I found myself think-

ing consecutively--a thing I do not remember to have done

since my last argument with the curate. During all the inter-

vening time my mental condition had been a hurrying suc-

cession of vague emotional states or a sort of stupid recep-

tivity. But in the night my brain, reinforced, I suppose, by

the food I had eaten, grew clear again, and I thought.

Three things struggled for possession of my mind: the

killing of the curate, the whereabouts of the Martians, and

the possible fate of my wife. The former gave me no sensa-

tion of horror or remorse to recall; I saw it simply as a thing

done, a memory infinitely disagreeable but quite without the

quality of remorse. I saw myself then as I see myself now,

driven step by step towards that hasty blow, the creature of

a sequence of accidents leading inevitably to that. I felt no

condemnation; yet the memory, static, unprogressive, haunted

me. In the silence of the night, with that sense of the near-

ness of God that sometimes comes into the stillness and the

darkness, I stood my trial, my only trial, for that moment of

wrath and fear. I retraced every step of our conversation from

the moment when I had found him crouching beside me,

heedless of my thirst, and pointing to the fire and smoke

that streamed up from the ruins of Weybridge. We had been

incapable of co-operation--grim chance had taken no heed

of that. Had I foreseen, I should have left him at Halliford.

But I did not foresee; and crime is to foresee and do. And

I set this down as I have set all this story down, as it was.

There were no witnesses--all these things I might have con-

cealed. But I set it down, and the reader must form his

judgment as he will.

And when, by an effort, I had set aside that picture of a

prostrate body, I faced the problem of the Martians and the

fate of my wife. For the former I had no data; I could

imagine a hundred things, and so, unhappily, I could for the

latter. And suddenly that night became terrible. I found

myself sitting up in bed, staring at the dark. I found my-

self praying that the Heat-Ray might have suddenly and

painlessly struck her out of being. Since the night of my

return from Leatherhead I had not prayed. I had uttered

prayers, fetish prayers, had prayed as heathens mutter charms

when I was in extremity; but now I prayed indeed, plead-

ing steadfastly and sanely, face to face with the darkness

of God. Strange night! Strangest in this, that so soon as dawn

had come, I, who had talked with God, crept out of the house

like a rat leaving its hiding place--a creature scarcely larger,

an inferior animal, a thing that for any passing whim of our

masters might be hunted and killed. Perhaps they also

prayed confidently to God. Surely, if we have learned noth-

ing else, this war has taught us pity--pity for those witless

souls that suffer our dominion.

The morning was bright and fine, and the eastern sky

glowed pink, and was fretted with little golden clouds. In

the road that runs from the top of Putney Hill to Wimbledon

was a number of poor vestiges of the panic torrent that must

have poured Londonward on the Sunday night after the

fighting began. There was a little two-wheeled cart inscribed

with the name of Thomas Lobb, Greengrocer, New Malden,

with a smashed wheel and an abandoned tin trunk; there

was a straw hat trampled into the now hardened mud, and

at the top of West Hill a lot of blood-stained glass about the

overturned water trough. My movements were languid, my

plans of the vaguest. I had an idea of going to Leatherhead,

though I knew that there I had the poorest chance of finding

my wife. Certainly, unless death had overtaken them sud-

denly, my cousins and she would have fled thence; but it

seemed to me I might find or learn there whither the Surrey

people had fled. I knew I wanted to find my wife, that my

heart ached for her and the world of men, but I had no

clear idea how the finding might be done. I was also sharply

aware now of my intense loneliness. From the corner I went,

under cover of a thicket of trees and bushes, to the edge of

Wimbledon Common, stretching wide and far.

That dark expanse was lit in patches by yellow gorse and

broom; there was no red weed to be seen, and as I prowled,

hesitating, on the verge of the open, the sun rose, flooding

it all with light and vitality. I came upon a busy swarm of

little frogs in a swampy place among the trees. I stopped

to look at them, drawing a lesson from their stout resolve

to live. And presently, turning suddenly, with an odd

feeling of being watched, I beheld something crouching

amid a clump of bushes. I stood regarding this. I made a

step towards it, and it rose up and became a man armed

with a cutlass. I approached him slowly. He stood silent and

motionless, regarding me.

As I drew nearer I perceived he was dressed in clothes

as dusty and filthy as my own; he looked, indeed, as though

he had been dragged through a culvert. Nearer, I distin-

guished the green slime of ditches mixing with the pale drab

of dried clay and shiny, coaly patches. His black hair fell over

his eyes, and his face was dark and dirty and sunken, so

that at first I did not recognise him. There was a red cut

across the lower part of his face.

"Stop!" he cried, when I was within ten yards of him, and

I stopped. His voice was hoarse. "Where do you come from?"

he said.

I thought, surveying him.

"I come from Mortlake," I said. "I was buried near the

pit the Martians made about their cylinder. I have worked

my way out and escaped."

"There is no food about here," he said. "This is my coun-

try. All this hill down to the river, and back to Clapham,

and up to the edge of the common. There is only food for one.

Which way are you going?"

I answered slowly.

"I don't know," I said. "I have been buried in the ruins

of a house thirteen or fourteen days. I don't know what has


He looked at me doubtfully, then started, and looked with

a changed expression.

"I've no wish to stop about here," said I. "I think I shall

go to Leatherhead, for my wife was there."

He shot out a pointing finger.

"It is you," said he; "the man from Woking. And you

weren't killed at Weybridge?"

I recognised him at the same moment.

"You are the artilleryman who came into my garden."

"Good luck!" he said. "We are lucky ones! Fancy YOU!" He

put out a hand, and I took it. "I crawled up a drain," he said.

"But they didn't kill everyone. And after they went away I

got off towards Walton across the fields. But---- It's not

sixteen days altogether--and your hair is grey." He looked

over his shoulder suddenly. "Only a rook," he said. "One

gets to know that birds have shadows these days. This is a

bit open. Let us crawl under those bushes and talk."

"Have you seen any Martians?" I said. "Since I crawled


"They've gone away across London," he said. "I guess

they've got a bigger camp there. Of a night, all over there,

Hampstead way, the sky is alive with their lights. It's like

a great city, and in the glare you can just see them moving.

By daylight you can't. But nearer--I haven't seen them--"

(he counted on his fingers) "five days. Then I saw a couple

across Hammersmith way carrying something big. And the

night before last"--he stopped and spoke impressively--"it

was just a matter of lights, but it was something up in the

air. I believe they've built a flying-machine, and are learn-

ing to fly."

I stopped, on hands and knees, for we had come to the



"Yes," he said, "fly."

I went on into a little bower, and sat down.

"It is all over with humanity," I said. "If they can do that

they will simply go round the world."

He nodded.

"They will. But---- It will relieve things over here a bit.

And besides----" He looked at me. "Aren't you satisfied it IS

up with humanity? I am. We're down; we're beat."

I stared. Strange as it may seem, I had not arrived at this

fact--a fact perfectly obvious so soon as he spoke. I had

still held a vague hope; rather, I had kept a lifelong habit

of mind. He repeated his words, "We're beat." They carried

absolute conviction.

"It's all over," he said. "They've lost ONE--just ONE.

And they've made their footing good and crippled the greatest

power in the world. They've walked over us. The death of

that one at Weybridge was an accident. And these are only

pioneers. They kept on coming. These green stars--I've seen

none these five or six days, but I've no doubt they're falling

somewhere every night. Nothing's to be done. We're under!

We're beat!"

I made him no answer. I sat staring before me, trying in

vain to devise some countervailing thought.

"This isn't a war," said the artilleryman. "It never was a

war, any more than there's war between man and ants."

Suddenly I recalled the night in the observatory.

"After the tenth shot they fired no more--at least, until

the first cylinder came."

"How do you know?" said the artilleryman. I explained.

He thought. "Something wrong with the gun," he said. "But

what if there is? They'll get it right again. And even if

there's a delay, how can it alter the end? It's just men and

ants. There's the ants builds their cities, live their lives,

have wars, revolutions, until the men want them out of the way,

and then they go out of the way. That's what we are now--just

ants. Only----"

"Yes," I said.

"We're eatable ants."

We sat looking at each other.

"And what will they do with us?" I said.

"That's what I've been thinking," he said; "that's what I've

been thinking. After Weybridge I went south--thinking. I

saw what was up. Most of the people were hard at it

squealing and exciting themselves. But I'm not so fond of

squealing. I've been in sight of death once or twice; I'm

not an ornamental soldier, and at the best and worst, death--

it's just death. And it's the man that keeps on thinking comes

through. I saw everyone tracking away south. Says I, "Food

won't last this way," and I turned right back. I went for

the Martians like a sparrow goes for man. All round"--he

waved a hand to the horizon--"they're starving in heaps,

bolting, treading on each other. . . ."

He saw my face, and halted awkwardly.

"No doubt lots who had money have gone away to

France," he said. He seemed to hesitate whether to apolo-

gise, met my eyes, and went on: "There's food all about here.

Canned things in shops; wines, spirits, mineral waters; and

the water mains and drains are empty. Well, I was telling

you what I was thinking. "Here's intelligent things," I said,

"and it seems they want us for food. First, they'll smash us

up--ships, machines, guns, cities, all the order and organisa-

tion. All that will go. If we were the size of ants we might

pull through. But we're not. It's all too bulky to stop.

That's the first certainty." Eh?"

I assented.

"It is; I've thought it out. Very well, then--next; at

present we're caught as we're wanted. A Martian has only to go

a few miles to get a crowd on the run. And I saw one, one day,

out by Wandsworth, picking houses to pieces and routing

among the wreckage. But they won't keep on doing that.

So soon as they've settled all our guns and ships, and

smashed our railways, and done all the things they are

doing over there, they will begin catching us systematic, pick-

ing the best and storing us in cages and things. That's what

they will start doing in a bit. Lord! They haven't begun on

us yet. Don't you see that?"

"Not begun!" I exclaimed.

"Not begun. All that's happened so far is through our not

having the sense to keep quiet--worrying them with guns

and such foolery. And losing our heads, and rushing off in

crowds to where there wasn't any more safety than where

we were. They don't want to bother us yet. They're making

their things--making all the things they couldn't bring with

them, getting things ready for the rest of their people. Very

likely that's why the cylinders have stopped for a bit, for

fear of hitting those who are here. And instead of our rush-

ing about blind, on the howl, or getting dynamite on the

chance of busting them up, we've got to fix ourselves up

according to the new state of affairs. That's how I figure it

out. It isn't quite according to what a man wants for his

species, but it's about what the facts point to. And that's the

principle I acted upon. Cities, nations, civilisation,

progress--it's all over. That game's up. We're beat."

"But if that is so, what is there to live for?"

The artilleryman looked at me for a moment.

"There won't be any more blessed concerts for a million

years or so; there won't be any Royal Academy of Arts, and

no nice little feeds at restaurants. If it's amusement you're

after, I reckon the game is up. If you've got any drawing-

room manners or a dislike to eating peas with a knife or

dropping aitches, you'd better chuck 'em away. They ain't

no further use."

"You mean----"

"I mean that men like me are going on living--for the

sake of the breed. I tell you, I'm grim set on living. And if

I'm not mistaken, you'll show what insides YOU'VE got, too,

before long. We aren't going to be exterminated. And I don't

mean to be caught either, and tamed and fattened and bred

like a thundering ox. Ugh! Fancy those brown creepers!"

"You don't mean to say----"

"I do. I'm going on, under their feet. I've got it planned;

I've thought it out. We men are beat. We don't know

enough. We've got to learn before we've got a chance. And

we've got to live and keep independent while we learn. See!

That's what has to be done."

I stared, astonished, and stirred profoundly by the man's


"Great God!," cried I. "But you are a man indeed!" And

suddenly I gripped his hand.

"Eh!" he said, with his eyes shining. "I've thought it out,


"Go on," I said.

"Well, those who mean to escape their catching must get

ready. I'm getting ready. Mind you, it isn't all of us that

are made for wild beasts; and that's what it's got to be.

That's why I watched you. I had my doubts. You're slender.

I didn't know that it was you, you see, or just how you'd

been buried. All these--the sort of people that lived in

these houses, and all those damn little clerks that used to

live down that way--they'd be no good. They haven't any

spirit in them--no proud dreams and no proud lusts; and a

man who hasn't one or the other--Lord! What is he but

funk and precautions? They just used to skedaddle off to

work--I've seen hundreds of 'em, bit of breakfast in hand,

running wild and shining to catch their little season-ticket

train, for fear they'd get dismissed if they didn't; working

at businesses they were afraid to take the trouble to under-

stand; skedaddling back for fear they wouldn't be in time

for dinner; keeping indoors after dinner for fear of the back

streets, and sleeping with the wives they married, not be-

cause they wanted them, but because they had a bit of

money that would make for safety in their one little mis-

erable skedaddle through the world. Lives insured and a

bit invested for fear of accidents. And on Sundays--fear of

the hereafter. As if hell was built for rabbits! Well, the Mar-

tians will just be a godsend to these. Nice roomy cages, fat-

tening food, careful breeding, no worry. After a week or so

chasing about the fields and lands on empty stomachs, they'll

come and be caught cheerful. They'll be quite glad after a

bit. They'll wonder what people did before there were

Martians to take care of them. And the bar loafers, and

mashers, and singers--I can imagine them. I can imagine

them," he said, with a sort of sombre gratification. "There'll

be any amount of sentiment and religion loose among them.

There's hundreds of things I saw with my eyes that I've

only begun to see clearly these last few days. There's lots

will take things as they are--fat and stupid; and lots will

be worried by a sort of feeling that it's all wrong, and that

they ought to be doing something. Now whenever things are

so that a lot of people feel they ought to be doing some-

thing, the weak, and those who go weak with a lot of com-

plicated thinking, always make for a sort of do-nothing

religion, very pious and superior, and submit to persecution

and the will of the Lord. Very likely you've seen the same

thing. It's energy in a gale of funk, and turned clean inside

out. These cages will be full of psalms and hymns and piety.

And those of a less simple sort will work in a bit of--what

is it?--eroticism."

He paused.

"Very likely these Martians will make pets of some of them;

train them to do tricks--who knows?--get sentimental over

the pet boy who grew up and had to be killed. And some,

maybe, they will train to hunt us."

"No," I cried, "that's impossible! No human being----"

"What's the good of going on with such lies?" said the

artilleryman. "There's men who'd do it cheerful. What non-

sense to pretend there isn't!"

And I succumbed to his conviction.

"If they come after me," he said; "Lord, if they come

after me!" and subsided into a grim meditation.

I sat contemplating these things. I could find nothing

to bring against this man's reasoning. In the days before

the invasion no one would have questioned my intellectual

superiority to his--I, a professed and recognised writer on

philosophical themes, and he, a common soldier; and yet

he had already formulated a situation that I had scarcely


"What are you doing?" I said presently. "What plans

have you made?"

He hesitated.

"Well, it's like this," he said. "What have we to do? We

have to invent a sort of life where men can live and breed,

and be sufficiently secure to bring the children up. Yes--wait

a bit, and I'll make it clearer what I think ought to be done.

The tame ones will go like all tame beasts; in a few genera-

tions they'll be big, beautiful, rich-blooded, stupid--rubbish!

The risk is that we who keep wild will go savage--de-

generate into a sort of big, savage rat. . . . You see, how I

mean to live is underground. I've been thinking about the

drains. Of course those who don't know drains think horrible

things; but under this London are miles and miles--hundreds

of miles--and a few days" rain and London empty will leave

them sweet and clean. The main drains are big enough and

airy enough for anyone. Then there's cellars, vaults, stores,

from which bolting passages may be made to the drains.

And the railway tunnels and subways. Eh? You begin to see?

And we form a band--able-bodied, clean-minded men. We're

not going to pick up any rubbish that drifts in. Weaklings

go out again."

"As you meant me to go?"

"Well--l parleyed, didn't I?"

"We won't quarrel about that. Go on."

"Those who stop obey orders. Able-bodied, clean-minded

women we want also--mothers and teachers. No lackadaisical

ladies--no blasted rolling eyes. We can't have any weak or

silly. Life is real again, and the useless and cumbersome and

mischievous have to die. They ought to die. They ought to

be willing to die. It's a sort of disloyalty, after all, to live

and taint the race. And they can't be happy. Moreover, dying's

none so dreadful; it's the funking makes it bad. And in all

those places we shall gather. Our district will be London.

And we may even be able to keep a watch, and run about

in the open when the Martians keep away. Play cricket, per-

haps. That's how we shall save the race. Eh? It's a possible

thing? But saving the race is nothing in itself. As I say,

that's only being rats. It's saving our knowledge and adding

to it is the thing. There men like you come in. There's books,

there's models. We must make great safe places down deep,

and get all the books we can; not novels and poetry swipes,

but ideas, science books. That's where men like you come

in. We must go to the British Museum and pick all those

books through. Especially we must keep up our science--

learn more. We must watch these Martians. Some of us

must go as spies. When it's all working, perhaps I will. Get

caught, I mean. And the great thing is, we must leave the

Martians alone. We mustn't even steal. If we get in their

way, we clear out. We must show them we mean no harm.

Yes, I know. But they're intelligent things, and they won't

hunt us down if they have all they want, and think we're

just harmless vermin."

The artilleryman paused and laid a brown hand upon

my arm.

"After all, it may not be so much we may have to learn

before-- Just imagine this: four or five of their fighting

machines suddenly starting off--Heat-Rays right and left, and

not a Martian in 'em. Not a Martian in 'em, but men--men

who have learned the way how. It may be in my time, even--

those men. Fancy having one of them lovely things, with its

Heat-Ray wide and free! Fancy having it in control! What

would it matter if you smashed to smithereens at the end of

the run, after a bust like that? I reckon the Martians'll open

their beautiful eyes! Can't you see them, man? Can't you see

them hurrying, hurrying--puffing and blowing and hooting to

their other mechanical affairs? Something out of gear in every

case. And swish, bang, rattle, swish! Just as they are fum-

bling over it, SWISH comes the Heat-Ray, and, behold! man

has come back to his own."

For a while the imaginative daring of the artilleryman,

and the tone of assurance and courage he assumed, com-

pletely dominated my mind. I believed unhesitatingly both

in his forecast of human destiny and in the practicability of

his astonishing scheme, and the reader who thinks me sus-

ceptible and foolish must contrast his position, reading

steadily with all his thoughts about his subject, and mine,

crouching fearfully in the bushes and listening, distracted

by apprehension. We talked in this manner through the early

morning time, and later crept out of the bushes, and, after

scanning the sky for Martians, hurried precipitately to the

house on Putney Hill where he had made his lair. It was the

coal cellar of the place, and when I saw the work he had

spent a week upon--it was a burrow scarcely ten yards

long, which he designed to reach to the main drain on

Putney Hill--I had my first inkling of the gulf between his

dreams and his powers. Such a hole I could have dug in a

day. But I believed in him sufficiently to work with him all

that morning until past midday at his digging. We had a

garden barrow and shot the earth we removed against the

kitchen range. We refreshed ourselves with a tin of mock-

turtle soup and wine from the neighbouring pantry. I

found a curious relief from the aching strangeness of the

world in this steady labour. As we worked, I turned his

project over in my mind, and presently objections and

doubts began to arise; but I worked there all the morning,

so glad was I to find myself with a purpose again. After

working an hour I began to speculate on the distance one

had to go before the cloaca was reached, the chances we had

of missing it altogether. My immediate trouble was why

we should dig this long tunnel, when it was possible to get

into the drain at once down one of the manholes, and work

back to the house. It seemed to me, too, that the house was

inconveniently chosen, and required a needless length of

tunnel. And just as I was beginning to face these things, the

artilleryman stopped digging, and looked at me.

"We're working well," he said. He put down his spade.

"Let us knock off a bit" he said. "I think it's time we recon-

noitred from the roof of the house."

I was for going on, and after a little hesitation he resumed

his spade; and then suddenly I was struck by a thought.

I stopped, and so did he at once.

"Why were you walking about the common," I said,

"instead of being here?"

"Taking the air," he said. "I was coming back. It's safer

by night."

"But the work?"

"Oh, one can't always work," he said, and in a flash I saw

the man plain. He hesitated, holding his spade. "We ought

to reconnoitre now," he said, "because if any come near they

may hear the spades and drop upon us unawares."

I was no longer disposed to object. We went together to

the roof and stood on a ladder peeping out of the roof door.

No Martians were to be seen, and we ventured out on the

tiles, and slipped down under shelter of the parapet.

From this position a shrubbery hid the greater portion of

Putney, but we could see the river below, a bubbly mass

of red weed, and the low parts of Lambeth flooded and red.

The red creeper swarmed up the trees about the old palace,

and their branches stretched gaunt and dead, and set with

shrivelled leaves, from amid its clusters. It was strange how

entirely dependent both these things were upon flowing

water for their propagation. About us neither had gained a

footing; laburnums, pink mays, snowballs, and trees of arbor-

vitae, rose out of laurels and hydrangeas, green and brilliant

into the sunlight. Beyond Kensington dense smoke was rising,

and that and a blue haze hid the northward hills.

The artilleryman began to tell me of the sort of people

who still remained in London.

"One night last week," he said, "some fools got the electric

light in order, and there was all Regent Street and the Circus

ablaze, crowded with painted and ragged drunkards, men

and women, dancing and shouting till dawn. A man who was

there told me. And as the day came they became aware of

a fighting-machine standing near by the Langham and look-

ing down at them. Heaven knows how long he had been

there. It must have given some of them a nasty turn. He

came down the road towards them, and picked up nearly a

hundred too drunk or frightened to run away."

Grotesque gleam of a time no history will ever fully


From that, in answer to my questions, he came round to

his grandiose plans again. He grew enthusiastic. He talked

so eloquently of the possibility of capturing a fighting-

machine that I more than half believed in him again. But

now that I was beginning to understand something of his

quality, I could divine the stress he laid on doing nothing

precipitately. And I noted that now there was no question

that he personally was to capture and fight the great machine.

After a time we went down to the cellar. Neither of us

seemed disposed to resume digging, and when he suggested

a meal, I was nothing loath. He became suddenly very

generous, and when we had eaten he went away and returned

with some excellent cigars. We lit these, and his optimism

glowed. He was inclined to regard my coming as a great


"There's some champagne in the cellar," he said.

"We can dig better on this Thames-side burgundy," said I.

"No," said he; "I am host today. Champagne! Great God!

We've a heavy enough task before us! Let us take a rest

and gather strength while we may. Look at these blistered


And pursuant to this idea of a holiday, he insisted upon

playing cards after we had eaten. He taught me euchre, and

after dividing London between us, I taking the northern side

and he the southern, we played for parish points. Grotesque

and foolish as this will seem to the sober reader, it is abso-

lutely true, and what is more remarkable, I found the card

game and several others we played extremely interesting.

Strange mind of man! that, with our species upon the

edge of extermination or appalling degradation, with no clear

prospect before us but the chance of a horrible death, we

could sit following the chance of this painted pasteboard,

and playing the "joker" with vivid delight. Afterwards

he taught me poker, and I beat him at three tough chess

games. When dark came we decided to take the risk, and lit

a lamp.

After an interminable string of games, we supped, and the

artilleryman finished the champagne. We went on smoking

the cigars. He was no longer the energetic regenerator of

his species I had encountered in the morning. He was still

optimistic, but it was a less kinetic, a more thoughtful

optimism. I remember he wound up with my health, proposed

in a speech of small variety and considerable intermittence.

I took a cigar, and went upstairs to look at the lights of

which he had spoken that blazed so greenly along the

Highgate hills.

At first I stared unintelligently across the London valley.

The northern hills were shrouded in darkness; the fires near

Kensington glowed redly, and now and then an orange-red

tongue of flame flashed up and vanished in the deep blue

night. All the rest of London was black. Then, nearer, I

perceived a strange light, a pale, violet-purple fluorescent

glow, quivering under the night breeze. For a space I could

not understand it, and then I knew that it must be the red

weed from which this faint irradiation proceeded. With that

realisation my dormant sense of wonder, my sense of the

proportion of things, awoke again. I glanced from that to

Mars, red and clear, glowing high in the west, and then

gazed long and earnestly at the darkness of Hampstead and


I remained a very long time upon the roof, wondering at

the grotesque changes of the day. I recalled my mental states

from the midnight prayer to the foolish card-playing. I had a

violent revulsion of feeling. I remember I flung away the

cigar with a certain wasteful symbolism. My folly came to

me with glaring exaggeration. I seemed a traitor to my wife

and to my kind; I was filled with remorse. I resolved to leave

this strange undisciplined dreamer of great things to his drink

and gluttony, and to go on into London. There, it seemed

to me, I had the best chance of learning what the Martians

and my fellowmen were doing. I was still upon the roof when

the late moon rose.



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