The Time Machine — EN

XV
The Time Traveller’s Return

“So I came back. For a long time I must have been insen­si­ble upon the machine. The blink­ing suc­ces­sion of the days and nights was resumed, the sun got gold­en again, the sky blue. I breathed with greater free­dom. The fluc­tu­at­ing con­tours of the land ebbed and flowed. The hands spun back­ward upon the dials. At last I saw again the dim shad­ows of hous­es, the evi­dences of deca­dent human­i­ty. These, too, changed and passed, and oth­ers came. Present­ly, when the mil­lion dial was at zero, I slack­ened speed. I began to rec­og­nize our own pet­ty and famil­iar archi­tec­ture, the thou­sands hand ran back to the start­ing-point, the night and day flapped slow­er and slow­er. Then the old walls of the lab­o­ra­to­ry came round me. Very gen­tly, now, I slowed the mech­a­nism down.

“I saw one lit­tle thing that seemed odd to me. I think I have told you that when I set out, before my veloc­i­ty became very high, Mrs. Watch­ett had walked across the room, trav­el­ling, as it seemed to me, like a rock­et. As I returned, I passed again across that minute when she tra­versed the lab­o­ra­to­ry. But now her every motion appeared to be the exact inver­sion of her pre­vi­ous ones. The door at the low­er end opened, and she glid­ed qui­et­ly up the lab­o­ra­to­ry, back fore­most, and dis­ap­peared behind the door by which she had pre­vi­ous­ly entered. Just before that I seemed to see Hilly­er for a moment; but he passed like a flash.

“Then I stopped the machine, and saw about me again the old famil­iar lab­o­ra­to­ry, my tools, my appli­ances just as I had left them. I got off the thing very shaky, and sat down upon my bench. For sev­er­al min­utes I trem­bled vio­lent­ly. Then I became calmer. Around me was my old work­shop again, exact­ly as it had been. I might have slept there, and the whole thing have been a dream.

“And yet, not exact­ly! The thing had start­ed from the south-east cor­ner of the lab­o­ra­to­ry. It had come to rest again in the north-west, against the wall where you saw it. That gives you the exact dis­tance from my lit­tle lawn to the pedestal of the White Sphinx, into which the Mor­locks had car­ried my machine.

“For a time my brain went stag­nant. Present­ly I got up and came through the pas­sage here, limp­ing, because my heel was still painful, and feel­ing sore­ly begrimed. I saw the Pall Mall Gazette on the table by the door. I found the date was indeed today, and look­ing at the time­piece, saw the hour was almost eight o’clock. I heard your voic­es and the clat­ter of plates. I hes­i­tat­ed – I felt so sick and weak. Then I sniffed good whole­some meat, and opened the door on you. You know the rest. I washed, and dined, and now I am telling you the sto­ry.

suc­ces­sion səkˈsɛʃən n Way in which things fol­low each oth­er: order, sequence, pro­ces­sion, con­se­cu­tion

fluc­tu­ate ˈflʌk­tjʊeɪt v To vary irreg­u­lar­ly: wave

3to ebb and flow ⇒ (of the tide) To rise and flow back from the land to the sea.

ebb ɛb v To move back or away from a point: retreat, recede, retract

flow fləʊ v To rise (used of the tide); to come forth in abun­dance: stream, surge, well

hand hænd n Any of the rotat­ing point­ers used as index­es on the face of a mechan­i­cal clock or dial.

to spin back­wards ⇒ To whirl anti­clock­wise.

at last ⇒ After a long wait; final­ly.

deca­dent ˈdɛkədənt adj Hav­ing low morals and a great love of plea­sure, mon­ey, fame, etc.

slack slæk v To make slow­er; to slow down.

pet­ty ˈpɛti n Infe­ri­or in rank or sta­tus.

flap flæp v To move (wings, arms, etc): beat, wave, flop, flut­ter, wag­gle

to set out ⇒ To start.

veloc­i­ty vɪˈlɒsɪti n Rapid­i­ty of motion or oper­a­tion: swift­ness; speed

tra­verse ˈtrævə(ː)s v To trav­el through.

inver­sion ɪnˈvɜːʃən n A change into some­thing oppo­site.

glide glaɪd v To move gen­tly and slow­ly into place: slip, slide, ease

fore­most ˈfɔːməʊst adv Rank­ing above all oth­ers: pri­mar­i­ly

shaky ˈʃeɪ­ki adj Vibrat­ing slight­ly and irreg­u­lar­ly, as with fear, cold or like a leaf in a breeze.

trem­ble ˈtrɛm­bl v To shake slight­ly because you are afraid, ner­vous, excit­ed, etc.

pedestal ˈpɛdɪstl n An archi­tec­tur­al base for a stat­ue.

to go stag­nant ⇒ To become dull or sllug­gish; stag­nant ˈstægnənt adj Show­ing no sign of activ­i­ty: inac­tive

limp lɪmp v To walk in a slow and awk­ward way because of an injury to a leg or foot.

sore­ly ˈsɔːli adv Very much: bad­ly

begrime bɪˈ­graɪm v To smear or soil with or as if with dirt; to make dirty: soil, black­en, smudge, dirty

The Pall Mall Gazette A dai­ly Lon­don news­pa­per which tack­led impor­tant issues of the day, found­ed in Lon­don Feb­ru­ary 7, 1865.

time­piece ˈtaɪmpiːs n A mea­sur­ing instru­ment or device for keep­ing time: clock, chronome­ter

clat­ter ˈklætə n To make a quick series of short loud sounds.

sniff snɪf v To per­ceive with the sense of smell: smell, scent, nose, whiff

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