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Chapter 13 Chapter Thirteen

from earth to moon 儒勒·凡尔纳 3640Words 2018-03-23
Ever since the members of the Cannon Club chose the site of the experiment against the wishes of the Texans, it has been the duty of every man in literate America to study the geography of Florida.Bookstores have never sold so many volumes of Bytron's Travels in Florida, Roman's A Natural History of East and West Florida, William's Map of Florida, and Cleland's On the Cultivation of Sugar Cane in East Florida. The book must be reprinted.The interest in this experiment has reached insane proportions. The work to be done by Barbicane is more important than reading, and he is willing to personally survey and select the base of the Colombian gun.He therefore wasted not a minute in allocating funds for the construction of the telescope to the Cambridge Observatory, and after signing a contract with Bridgewell & Co. Accompanied by , staff officer Al Feston and the manager of the Gold Spring plant, he left Baltimore.

The four traveling companions arrived in New Orleans the next day.They set foot at once on the Dombico, a liaison ship of the Union Navy assigned to them by the government, and soon after setting sail the coast of Louisiana disappeared before their eyes. The route was very short, and in two days after setting sail, the Dombico covered the 480,000 nautical miles and saw the coast of Florida.As he approached the coast, Barbicane saw that it was a flat lowland, which looked rather barren.The Dombico sailed through a string of yak and lobster-producing coves into Espiritu Bay. The bay was divided into two long and narrow moorings, the Tampa mooring and the Hillsborough mooring, and the steamer passed quickly around the gap between the two moorings.After a while, the flat silhouette of Bullock's Fortress appeared on the waves, and then, in the distance, the city of Danpa, lying idly in the depths of the natural harbor at the mouth of the Hillsborough River, appeared in the distance.

At seven o'clock in the afternoon on October 21st, the Dombico dropped anchor in the little harbour; the four passengers disembarked at once. Barbicane felt his heart beating as soon as he set foot on Florida soil.He felt the ground with his feet, like a civil engineer checking the soundness of a foundation.Maston flipped the mud in Florida with his iron hook. "Gentlemen," said Barbicane, "we have no time to waste, and we will ride around to-morrow and look around." No sooner had he set foot on the land of Tampa than the three thousand inhabitants of the city came to welcome him, as they did to the chairman of the Cannon Club who had chosen their native land.

He was greeted with a roar of applause, but Barbicane avoided the scene of the cheering crowd and hid himself in his room at the Franklin Hotel, unwilling to receive anyone.It is certain that he will never get into the habit of being a celebrity. On the morning of the next day, October 23rd, under the windows of the Barbicane, Spanish ponies were pawing the ground with their front hooves.But that was not four horses, it was fifty horses, and dozens of riders.Chairman Barbicane, coming out of the hotel accompanied by his three companions, was at first very surprised to find himself in the midst of such a procession.He also noticed that each rider carried a carbine and a pistol in the saddlebag.This well-armed formation was immediately answered by a Floridian who said to him:

"Sir, there are Seminoles here." "What Seminoles?" "Wandering wildlings in the grasslands, we think we should protect you with you." "Hey!" Maston cooed as he mounted his mount. "Anyway," said the Floridian again, "it's better that way." "Gentlemen," said Barbicane, "thank you for your kindness, and now, let's go!" The little procession immediately set off, disappearing in a cloud of dust. It was five o'clock in the morning, the sun was already shining brightly, and the thermometer read eighty-four degrees, but the heat was tempered by a light breeze from the sea.

Barbicane left Dhampa and went down the coast to the Arrifia Creek to the north.Twelve miles below Tampa, this stream flows into Hillsborough Bay.Barbicane and his guard climbed east along the right bank of the creek. The waves of the creek quickly disappeared behind the mounds, and now all I could see was the fields of Florida. Florida is divided into two parts. The north is relatively densely populated and not too desolate. The capital is Tallahassee, and there is another city called Pensacola, which is one of the main concentration of naval factories in the United States; the south is between the United States and Between the Gulf of Mexico, the seawater environment is just a peninsula eroded by the powerful currents of the Gulf of Mexico, a corner lost in the middle of a group of small islands, and ships in the Bahamas Strait are constantly driving around it.This is the outpost of "Bay of Storms".The total area of ​​the state was 38,033,267 acres, and it was necessary to select a suitable place for the experiment on the other side of the 28th parallel, so Barbicane rode , carefully observe the superstructure and its special distribution.

Florida was discovered by Juan Ponce de León on Easter Sunday in 1512, and that day was originally called "Florida in Bloom," with its sun-scorched barren coast and this Beautiful names don't quite fit.But after walking for a few miles, Shangzhi slowly changed, and felt that this title was well-deserved for it.The land is cut into pieces by intricate springs, streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes, making people feel like they are in the Netherlands or Guyana.But it was obvious that the ground was getting higher and higher, and after a while all the cultivated land was visible, with all kinds of vegetation from the south and north, the endless fields, replaced by the equatorial sun and the water held in the clay. The crops did their part, and in the end there stretched fields of pineapples, yams, tobacco, rice, cotton, and sugar cane as far as the eye could see, flaunting their wealth without hesitation or sparingly.

Barbicane, who seemed very satisfied with the rising ground, asked him a question, to which he replied: "Noble friend, we had better cast our Colombian guns on a high ground." "To get closer to the moon?" asked the secretary of the Cannon Club aloud. "Where!" replied Barbicane, laughing. "In fact, it doesn't matter how many Torvalds are near, and how many Torvalds are far away, but on the high ground, our work can be carried out relatively smoothly, and we don't have to fight with the water, so we don't need to spend a lot of money on long installations. It is impossible to dig a well nine hundred feet deep without thinking about it."

"You're right," said Engineer Murchison, "that wells should be dug to keep out of the water as much as possible, but in case of underground springs, that's all right, we'll drain them by machine, Or divert to go elsewhere.This is not the narrow, dark well of Arshvay, where corkscrews, drills, survey drills, in short, all the tools of the driller are groping for work like a blind man. We were to work in the open air, in broad daylight, with pickaxes or pickaxes in hand, and with the assistance of mines, we were up and running very quickly. " "However," continued Chairman Barbicane, "we can do our job better and better if the ground is high or the soil is good so that we can avoid the struggle with groundwater. Start work on the place of Watts."

"Yes, Monsieur Barbicane, we shall soon find a suitable place, if I am not mistaken." "Ah! I wish I could dig the first one," said the chairman. "I'll dig one last time!" cried Maston. "We'll make it, gentlemen," said the engineer. Believe me, Gold Spring doesn't pay penalties for late deliveries. " "Balbo the Gunner! That's a good point!" said Maston hastily. "A hundred dollars a day, you know, until the moon is under the same conditions, that is, eighteen years and eleven years. God, is it $658,000?"

"No, sir," answered the engineer, "we don't know, and needn't know." About ten o'clock in the morning; the party had covered twelve miles, and the fertile fields were gone, and the woods followed.There exudes the characteristic strong acid aroma of the equatorial zone.In this almost impassable jungle grew pomegranates, oranges, lemons, figs, olives, apricots, bananas, strong-rooted vines, whose flowers and fruits are so different in color and fragrance. On the one hand, they compete with each other.In the fragrant shade of these fair trees there is a world of birds, singing, flying, and brilliantly colored, and among them the crab-eaters, whose nests are like jewel-boxes, are especially noteworthy for this For such a rare bird, this is quite befitting. The secretary of the Cannon Club, Maston, and the staff were in this magnificent nature, and they couldn't help admiring its incomparable beauty.But President Barbicane seemed indifferent to these beauties, and hurried on, hating such a fertile place, if only because it was too fertile; though a stranger to the art of finding underground springs, Yet he seemed to feel water under his feet, and was searching in vain for the indisputable features of dryness. At this time, we have been advancing, and we have to ford several small streams, which is not without danger, because the "Kayman crocodiles" with a length of fifteen to eighteen feet breed in the creeks.Maston valiantly threatened them with his formidable iron hook, but he could only arouse fear among the savage inhabitants of the riverbank: the magpie, the teal, and the tropical crow.The tall flamingo stared blankly at him. In the end, even the inhabitants of these marsh countries disappeared, small trees stood sparsely in the woods, and in the endless grasslands, frightened deer disappeared without a trace in a blink of an eye: Later, A few clusters of lonely trees suddenly appeared in the middle of the grassland. "Found it at last!" cried Barbicane, rising from the Madden. "Look! Here is the Pine Country!" "Savage Field," the staff officer interfaced. Sure enough, a few Seminoles appeared on the horizon.They galloped menacingly about on fast horses, some brandishing spears, others firing muffled muskets, but their actions were limited to demonstrations and did not arouse Barbicane and his companions. disturbed. Barbicane and they came to the middle of a rocky hill, an open field of several acres, bathed in the sun of men, raised on a rise of such size that it seemed, as it might be said, to the members of the Cannon Club. They provided all the necessary conditions for building Colombian guns. "Stop!" said Barbicane, reining in his horse. "Does this place have a local name, too?" "It's called Rocky Hill," answered a Floridian. Barbicane dismounted without a word, took out his apparatus, and began to determine his position with great precision: the little company surrounded him and watched in silence. At this time, the sun just passed the meridian.After a while, Barbicane quickly reported the figures he had determined: "This place is situated at latitude 27° 7' north, longitude 5° 7' west, at an altitude of 300 tovas. It seems to me that the soil is dry and rocky, providing all the advantages for our experiments, which we shall Build our warehouses, workshops, furnaces, and workers' huts on this high ground, and at the same time, from here," he said, stomping on the height of the rocky hillock, "our shells will fly into the space of the solar system from here! "
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