|About the Book|
Several Stories by famed British author H.G. Wells, including:THE PLATTNER STORYTHE ARGONAUTS OF THE AIRTHE STORY OF THE LATE MR. ELVESHAMIN THE ABYSSTHE APPLEUNDER THE KNIFETHE SEA-RAIDERSPOLLOCK AND THE PORROH MANTHE RED ROOMTHE CONETHEMoreSeveral Stories by famed British author H.G. Wells, including:THE PLATTNER STORYTHE ARGONAUTS OF THE AIRTHE STORY OF THE LATE MR. ELVESHAMIN THE ABYSSTHE APPLEUNDER THE KNIFETHE SEA-RAIDERSPOLLOCK AND THE PORROH MANTHE RED ROOMTHE CONETHE PURPLE PILEUSTHE JILTING OF JANEIN THE MODERN VEINA CATASTROPHETHE LOST INHERITANCETHE SAD STORY OF A DRAMATIC CRITICA SLIP UNDER THE MICROSCOPEFrom The Sea Raiders:UNTIL the extraordinary affair at Sidmouth, the peculiar species Haploteuthis ferox was known to science only generically, on the strength of a half-digested tentacle obtained near the Azores, and a decaying body pecked by birds and nibbled by fish, found early in 1896 by Mr. Jennings, near Lands End.In no department of zoological science, indeed, are we quite so much in the dark as with regard to the deep-sea cephalopods. A mere accident, for instance, it was that led to the Prince of Monacos discovery of nearly a dozen new forms in the summer of 1895, a discovery in which the before-mentioned tentacle was included. It chanced that a cachalot was killed off Terceira by some sperm whalers, and in its last struggles charged almost to the Princes yacht, missed it, rolled under, and died within twenty yards of his rudder. And in its agony it threw up a number of large objects, which the Prince, dimly perceiving they were strange and important, was, by a happy expedient, able to secure before they sank. He set his screws in motion, and kept them circling in the vortices thus created until a boat could be lowered. And these specimens were whole cephalopods and fragments of cephalopods, some of gigantic proportions, and almost all of them unknown to science!It would seem, indeed, that these large and agile creatures, living in the middle depths of the sea, must, to a large extent, for ever remain unknown to us, since under water they are too nimble for nets, and it is only by such rare unlooked-for accidents that specimens can be obtained. In the case of Haploteuthis ferox, for instance, we are still altogether ignorant of its habitat, as ignorant as we are of the breeding-ground of the herring or the sea-ways of the salmon. And zoologists are altogether at a loss to account for its sudden appearance on our coast. Possibly it was the stress of a hunger migration that drove it hither out of the deep. But it will be, perhaps, better to avoid necessarily inconclusive discussion, and to proceed at once with our narrative.