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The Lost World

Mr. MaloneLoading... is about to propose to the woman he loves

21 minute read, episode 1 of 18.

Mr. Hungerton, her father, really was the most tactless person on earth, — a fluffy, feathery, untidy cockatoo of a man, perfectly good-natured, but absolutely centered on his own silly self. If anything could have driven me from GladysLoading..., 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 around to the Chestnuts three days a week for the pleasure of his company, and very especially to hear his views on bimetallism, a subject upon which he he is seen as an authority.



Mr. MaloneLoading... meets Professor ChallengerLoading..., who is known to be aggressive

17 minute read, episode 2 of 18.

M
y friend's fear or hope was not destined to be realized. When I called on Wednesday there was a letter with the West Kensington postmark on it, and my name scrawled across the envelope in a handwriting which looked like a barbed-wire railing. The contents were as follows: —
“ENMORE PARK, W.

“SIR, — I have duly received your note, in which you claim to endorse my views, although I am not aware that they depend on endorsement either from you or anyone else. You have ventured to use the word 'speculation' with regard to my statement on the subject of Darwinism, and I would call your attention to the fact that such a word in such a connection is offensive to a degree. The context convinces me, however, that you have sinned rather through ignorance and tactlessness than through malice, so I am content to pass the matter by. You quote an isolated sentence from my lecture, and appear to have some difficulty in understanding it. I should have thought that only a sub-human intelligence could have failed to grasp the point, but if it really needs amplification I shall consent to see you at the hour named, though visits and visitors of every sort are exceeding distasteful to me. As to your suggestion that I may modify my opinion, I would have you know that it is not my habit to do so after a deliberate expression of my mature views. You will kindly show the envelope of this letter to my man, Austin, when you call, as he has to take every precaution to shield me from the intrusive rascals who call themselves 'journalists.'

“Yours faithfully,
    “GEORGE EDWARD CHALLENGER.”



Professor ChallengerLoading... tells Mr. MaloneLoading... about the unbelievable things he saw on his last trip to South America

21 minute read, episode 3 of 18.

In the first place,” went on Professor ChallengerLoading..., “you are probably aware that two years ago I made a journey to South America — one which will be classical in the scientific history of the world? The object of my journey was to verify some conclusions of Wallace and of Bates, which could only be done by observing their reported facts under the same conditions in which they had themselves noted them. If my expedition had no other results it would still have been noteworthy, but a curious incident occurred to me while there which opened up an entirely fresh line of inquiry.

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Every Sunday I send out an editorial and a list of new serial fiction episodes.



An exceedingly turbulent meeting of the Zoological Institute

19 minute read, episode 4 of 18.

M
y day was a busy one, and I had an early dinner at the Savage Club with Tarp Henry, to whom I gave some account of my adventures. He listened with a sceptical smile on his gaunt face, and roared with laughter on hearing that the Professor had convinced me.

“My dear chap, things don't happen like that in real life. People don't stumble onto enormous discoveries and then lose their evidence. Leave that to the novelists. The fellow is as full of tricks as the monkey-house at the Zoo. It's all bosh.”



Mr. MaloneLoading... gets acquainted with the hunter John RoxtonLoading... before they go on an expedition to South America

17 minute read, episode 5 of 18.

L
ord John RoxtonLoading... and I turned down Vigo Street together and through the dingy portals of the famous aristocratic rookery. At the end of a long drab passage my new acquaintance pushed open a door and turned on an electric switch. A number of lamps shining through tinted shades bathed the whole great room before us in a ruddy radiance. Standing in the doorway and glancing around me, I had a general impression of extraordinary comfort and elegance combined with an atmosphere of masculine virility. Everywhere there were mingled the luxury of the wealthy man of taste and the careless untidiness of the bachelor. Rich furs and strange iridescent mats from some Oriental bazaar were scattered on the floor. Pictures and prints which even my unpractised eyes could recognize as being of great price and rarity hung thick on the walls. Sketches of boxers, of ballet-girls, and of racehorses alternated with a sensuous Fragonard, a martial Girardet, and a dreamy Turner. But amid these varied ornaments there were scattered the trophies which brought back strongly to my recollection the fact that Lord John RoxtonLoading... was one of the great all-round sportsmen and athletes of his day. A dark-blue oar crossed with a cherry-pink one above his mantel-piece spoke of the old Oxonian and Leander man, while the foils and boxing-gloves above and below them were the tools of a man who had won supremacy with each. Like a dado around the room was the jutting line of splendid heavy game-heads, the best of their sort from every quarter of the world, with the rare white rhinoceros of the Lado Enclave drooping its supercilious lip above them all.



SummerleeLoading..., RoxtonLoading... and MaloneLoading... volunteer to go to South America to verify ChallengerLoading...'s statements

17 minute read, episode 6 of 18.

I
will not bore those whom this narrative may reach by an account of our luxurious voyage on the Booth liner, nor will I tell of our week's stay at Para (save that I should wish to acknowledge the great kindness of the Pereira da Pinta Company in helping us to get together our equipment). I will also allude very briefly to our river journey, up a wide, slow-moving, clay-tinted stream, in a steamer which was little smaller than that which had carried us across the Atlantic. Eventually we found ourselves through the narrows of Obidos and reached the town of Manaos. Here we were rescued from the limited attractions of the local inn by Mr. Shortman, the representative of the British and Brazilian Trading Company. In his hospitable Fazenda we spent our time until the day when we were empowered to open the letter of instructions given to us by Professor ChallengerLoading.... Before I reach the surprising events of that date I would desire to give a clearer sketch of my comrades in this enterprise, and of the associates whom we had already gathered together in South America. I speak freely, and I leave the use of my material to your own discretion, Mr. McArdle, since it is through your hands that this report must pass before it reaches the world.



The party of four has arrived in South America and is poised to start their adventure

21 minute read, episode 7 of 18.

O
ur friends at home may well rejoice with us, because we are at our goal, and up to a point, at least, we have shown that the statement of Professor ChallengerLoading... can be verified. We have not, it is true, ascended the plateau, but it lies before us, and even Professor SummerleeLoading... is in a more chastened mood. Not that he will for an instant admit that his rival could be right, but he is less persistent in his incessant objections, and has sunk for the most part into an observant silence. I must hark back, however, and continue my narrative from where I dropped it. We are sending home one of our local Indians who is injured, and I am committing this letter to his charge, with considerable doubts in my mind as to whether it will ever come to hand.



The party of four finds itself in an uninhabitable place

19 minute read, episode 8 of 18.

A
dreadful thing has happened to us. Who could have foreseen it? I cannot foresee any end to our troubles. It may be that we are condemned to spend our whole lives in this strange, inaccessible place. I am still so confused that I can hardly think clearly of the facts of the present or of the chances of the future. To my astounded senses the one seems most terrible and the other as black as night.

No men have ever found themselves in a worse position; nor is there any use in disclosing to you our exact geographical situation and asking our friends for a relief party. Even if they could send one, our fate will in all human probability be decided long before it could arrive in South America.



The party of four has seen the first evidence that dinosaurs still exist

21 minute read, episode 9 of 18.

B
ut if prehistoric life existed on the plateau it was not superabundant, because we had no further glimpse of it during the next three days. During this time we traversed a barren and forbidding country, which alternated between stony desert and desolate marshes full of many wild-fowl, on the north and east side of the cliffs. From that direction the place is really inaccessible, and, were it not for a hardish ledge which runs at the very base of the precipice, we should have had to turn back. Many times we were up to our waists in the slime and blubber of an old, semi-tropical swamp. To make matters worse, the place seemed to be a favorite breeding-place of the Jaracaca snake, the most venomous and aggressive in South America. Again and again these horrible creatures came writhing and springing towards us across the surface of this putrid bog, and it was only by keeping our shot-guns for ever ready that we could feel safe from them. One funnel-shaped depression in the morass, of a livid green in color from some lichen which festered in it, will always remain as a nightmare memory in my mind. It seems to have been a special nest of these vermins, and the slopes were alive with them, all writhing in our direction, because it is a peculiarity of the Jaracaca that he will always attack man at first sight. There were too many for us to shoot, so we fairly took to our heels and ran until we were exhausted. I shall always remember as we looked back how far behind we could see the heads and necks of our horrible pursuers rising and falling amid the reeds. Jaracaca Swamp we named it in the map which we are constructing.



The party of four gets acquainted with animal life upon the plateau

21 minute read, episode 10 of 18.

T
he most wonderful things have happened and are continually happening to us. All the paper that I possess consists of five old note-books and a lot of scraps, and I have only the one stylographic pencil; but so long as I can move my hand I will continue to set down our experiences and impressions, because, since we are the only men of the whole human race to see such things, it is of enormous importance that I should record them whilst they are fresh in my memory and before that fate which seems to be constantly impending does actually overtake us. Whether Zambo can at last take these letters to the river, or whether I shall myself in some miraculous way carry them back with me, or, finally, whether some daring explorer, coming upon our tracks with the advantage, perhaps, of a perfected monoplane, should find this bundle of manuscript, in any case I can see that what I am writing is destined to immortality as a classic of true adventure.



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