Arthur Conan Doyle
The Lost World

by

Arthur Conan Doyle

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THE LOST WORLD

I have wrought my simple plan
If I give one hour of joy
To the boy who's half a man,
Or the man who's half a boy.

The Lost World

By SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE

COPYRIGHT, 1912

Foreword

Mr. E. D. Malone desires to state that both the injunction for restraint and the libel action have been withdrawn unreservedly by Professor G. E. Challenger, who, being satisfied that no criticism or comment in this book is meant in an offensive spirit, has guaranteed that he will place no impediment to its publication and circulation.

Contents

CHAPTER

I. "THERE ARE HEROISMS ALL ROUND US"
II. "TRY YOUR LUCK WITH PROFESSOR CHALLENGER"
III. "HE IS A PERFECTLY IMPOSSIBLE PERSON"
IV. "IT'S JUST THE VERY BIGGEST THING IN THE WORLD"
V. "QUESTION!"
VI. "I WAS THE FLAIL OF THE LORD"
VII. "TO-MORROW WE DISAPPEAR INTO THE UNKNOWN"
VIII. "THE OUTLYING PICKETS OF THE NEW WORLD"
IX. "WHO COULD HAVE FORESEEN IT?
X. "THE MOST WONDERFUL THINGS HAVE HAPPENED"
XI. "FOR ONCE I WAS THE HERO"
XII. "IT WAS DREADFUL IN THE FOREST"
XIII. "A SIGHT I SHALL NEVER FORGET"
XIV. "THOSE WERE THE REAL CONQUESTS"
XV. "OUR EYES HAVE SEEN GREAT WONDERS"
XVI. "A PROCESSION! A PROCESSION!"

THE LOST WORLD

The Lost World

CHAPTER I

"There Are Heroisms All Round Us"

Mr. Hungerton, her father, really was the most tactless person upon earth,--a fluffy, feathery, untidy cockatoo of a man, perfectly good-natured, but absolutely centered upon his own silly self. If anything could have driven me from Gladys, it would have been the thought of such a father-in-law. I am convinced that he really believed in his heart that I came round to the Chestnuts three days a week for the pleasure of his company, and very especially to hear his views upon bimetallism, a subject upon which he was by way of being an authority.

For an hour or more that evening I listened to his monotonous chirrup about bad money driving out good, the token value of silver, the depreciation of the rupee, and the true standards of exchange.

"Suppose," he cried with feeble violence, "that all the debts in the world were called up simultaneously, and immediate payment insisted upon,--what under our present conditions would happen then?"

I gave the self-evident answer that I should be a ruined man, upon which he jumped from his chair, reproved me for my habitual levity, which made it impossible for him to discuss any reasonable subject in my presence, and bounced off out of the room to dress for a Masonic meeting.

At last I was alone with Gladys, and the moment of Fate had come! All that evening I had felt like the soldier who awaits the signal which will send him on a forlorn hope; hope of victory and fear of repulse alternating in his mind.

She sat with that proud, delicate profile of hers outlined against the red curtain. How beautiful she was! And yet how aloof! We had been friends, quite good friends; but never could I get beyond the same comradeship which I might have established with one of my fellow-reporters upon the Gazette,--perfectly frank, perfectly kindly, and perfectly unsexual. My instincts are all against a woman being too frank and at her ease with me. It is no compliment to a man. Where the real sex feeling begins, timidity and distrust are its companions, heritage from old wicked days when love and violence went often hand in hand. The bent head, the averted eye, the faltering voice, the wincing figure-- these, and not the unshrinking gaze and frank reply, are the true signals of passion.

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