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Chapter 14 Chapter Fourteen

from earth to moon 儒勒·凡尔纳 3647Words 2018-03-23
That evening Barbicane and his companions returned to Tampa, and Engineer Murchison immediately returned to New Orleans in the Dombico.He had to raise an army of workers and bring most of the supplies here.The three members of the Cannon Club stayed in Dhampa, and with the help of the local people, the organizers did some preparatory work. Eight days later the Dom Bico returned to Espiritu Bay with a small fleet of steamboats.Morchison recruited fifteen hundred workers. .Had it been the miserable days of slavery, he might have wasted his time and energy for nothing.However, since everyone has become a free man in America, the land of the free, whenever they hear about a well-paid job, everyone flocks to it.Besides, the Gun Club had plenty of money, promised high wages, and had many perks.It is certain that the workman who was called to Florida for his work received a handsome deposit in the Baltimore bank when the work was done.Therefore, Mo Qisheng now only has the difficulty of choosing. He can make strict requirements on the intelligence and technical level of the workers.It can be believed that in the labor force he recruited, there are all outstanding mechanics, metallurgists, miners, drivers, lime kiln workers, brick kiln workers and workers from all walks of life. There are blacks and whites, regardless I color.Among them, many people brought their family members.It was simply mass immigration.

At ten o'clock in the morning on October 31st, this team of workers set foot on the wharf of Tampa: the small town doubled its population in one day, so the lively and crowded situation can be imagined.To tell the truth, Tampa made a lot of money from this initiative of the Gun Club, but not from the many workers who were sent to Rocky Heights as soon as they landed, but from all over the world. Earned on the spectators who came to the Florida peninsula. Everyone was busy loading and unloading the machinery and equipment, food and a considerable number of "mobile homes" brought by the team of steamers for many days in a row.Those "mobile houses" made of iron sheets were dismantled into parts and numbered before being shipped.It was at this time that Barbicane inserted the first survey tags, and set about building a fifteen-mile railway between Rocky Heights and Tampa.

We know the conditions under which railroads in America were built, they like sharp turns, they don't care about steep slopes, they look down on railings and technical precautions, they climb hills, they go into canyons, they run with their eyes closed, they don't like to go straight: it costs money Not many, and easy to serve, but the trains often leave the track and dance around without restraint. But the railway between Pa and Luanshigang is just a trivial matter, and it didn't take much time and money to build it. On the other hand, Barbicane is the soul of this world who came at his call. He imparted his breath, his enthusiasm, and his confidence to this world, making it alive.Now he appeared here, now there, as if he could split himself, always followed by "Buzzing Fly" Maston.His practical spirit was capable of inventing a thousand things.With him, there are no obstacles, no difficulties, and there is never any embarrassment.He was a miner, a plasterer, a mechanic as much as he was an inventor of cannon.He answers all questions and solves all problems.He was actively in touch with the Cannon Club and the Golds Spring Works, and the Dombico, fire lit and steam under pressure, was at the Hillsborough moorings at all hours and awaited his orders day and night.

On October 1, Barbicane left Tampa with a team of workers, and the next day a city of tin houses was established at the foot of the Rocky Hill.A palisade surrounds the hill, and from the activity and vigor of this little town, it will not be long before becoming one of the great cities of the United States. Life here is well-planned, and work is organized from the start. Careful prospecting had given acquaintance with the nature of the ground, and excavation could begin on November 4th.That day Barbicane summoned his foremen and said to them: "My friends, you all know why I have summoned you to this wild part of Florida. We are to make a cannon nine feet in diameter, six feet in sides, with a stone wall nineteen and a half feet thick; so All in all, what we are going to dig is a well sixty feet wide and nine hundred feet deep. This gigantic work must be completed in eight months, so you must dig the earth in two hundred and fifty-five days 2,543,400 cubic feet, rounded up, is 10,000 cubic feet of soil excavated every day. If a thousand workers can operate freely, there will be no difficulty, but in a relatively small place , it is more difficult. However, since the work requires it, we must accomplish it, and I rely on your courage as much as on your skill."

At eight o'clock in the morning, the first blow of the pickaxe was made in Florida soil, and from that moment onwards the miners wielded this intrepid tool without a moment's rest.Workers take turns to rest in four shifts a day. No matter how difficult the project is, it will never exceed the limit of manpower.Absolutely not.How well done is the really difficult work which requires the direct subjugation of the forces of nature!As far as the same project is concerned, it is enough to cite a few stories about digging wells.For example, Sultan Saladan built a well near Cairo, called "Prince Joseph's Well". Although there was no machine that could make human power exert a hundredfold effect at that time, the well reached a depth of 300 feet below the surface of the Nile River. : There is also a well dug in Koblenz by the Minister of the Frontiers, Jean ter Bader, which reaches a depth of six hundred feet: so!What is the problem now?It's just that the depth of "Father Joseph's well" has been enlarged to three times, and the width has been increased to ten times. The wider the well, the easier it is to dig!So not a single foreman, not a single worker doubted the success of the project.

An important decision by Engineer Murchison, with the assent of Chairman Barbicane, accelerated the progress of the project a step further.There was a clause in the contract that the Columbia guns had to be hooped with heat-treated wrought iron.This was an overly cautious measure of no practical use, since it was obvious that the cannon had no need for these hoops.So they canceled it. In this way, a lot of time can be saved, because, using the newly adopted digging and merging method, the well wall can be built while digging.Fortunately, I came up with this extremely simple method, so there was no need to set up supports. The weight of the well wall itself was more than enough to support the soil, and it could slowly descend.

This work can only be carried out when the pick is in contact with the hard upper layer. On November 4th fifty workmen dug a circular hole sixty feet in diameter in the center of the fence, that is to say, at the top of Rocky Hill. The first encounter of the pickaxe was a six-inch-deep layer of black woof, which was easy to dig.Next came a layer of fine sand two feet deep, which was thoroughly and carefully pounded out for later use as the interior mould. Beneath the sand was a layer of fairly fine self-colored clay, like English marl, to a depth of four feet. "Later, the tip of the pickaxe touched the hard ground, and when I dug it up, it sparked: this is a rock formation formed by a very dry, very strong fossilized shell. It is not so easy to dig. Here, the round hole After digging a total of six and a half feet deep, the walls of the well began.

At the bottom of the hole they built a "wheel" of oak wood. This was a tried and tested solid disc fastened firmly with thumbscrews, leaving a round hole in the middle of a diameter equal to the outer diameter of a Columbia gun.The cornerstone of the retaining wall is built on this "wheel", and the cement sticks the stones together firmly.The plasterers, laying stones from the periphery to the center, found themselves at last in a well twenty-one feet in diameter. After the shaft wall was built, the miners picked up their pickaxes and pickaxes again, and began to dig the rock under the "wheel", and propped it up with extremely strong brackets at any time.Every time they dug to a depth of two feet, they pulled out the brackets one after another.At this time, the "wheel", together with the circular building on it, also slowly descended, and the plasterers kept building walls on the "wheel", leaving "air holes" on the surface to remove the hot air during sand foundry.

This kind of work requires workers to be skilled and not careless for a minute. While digging under the "wheels", more than one or two people were injured or even killed by rubble, but the enthusiasm did not decrease for a minute. During the day (in the sun, after a few months, the sun pouring ninety-nine-degree heat on the scorching plain) night (under white electric lights), the sound of pickaxes pecking at stones, the sound of mines exploding, the creaking of machinery, and the thick The smoke seemed to draw a circle of terror around Luanshigang, and no matter whether it was a herd of bison or a group of Seminoles, they dared not cross this boundary line.

At this time, the works were carried out regularly.The steam-crane hastened the removal of the stones, and there were no unexpected obstacles here, but only foreseeable difficulties, which they all deftly surmounted. A month passed, during which time the well had been dug a hundred and twelve feet deep.During December the well doubled in depth.Another 7-fold increase in January.In February, workers fought against springs seeping from the earth's crust. The springs had to be drained with high-efficiency water pumps and compressed air pumps, and their holes plugged with concrete, like the leaking holes in a ship.At last, triumph over these unfortunate springs.However, due to the loosening of the mud, part of the "wheel" was damaged, and a corner of the retaining wall collapsed.It is conceivable how terrible the pressure on this cylindrical wall with a height of seventy-five Torvalds is!Several workers died in the accident.

It took three weeks to prop up the stone wall, mend the foot of the wall, and repair the "wheel" firmly.Fortunately, the engineers were capable and the machines they used were efficient. Although the building was temporarily damaged, it finally stood up again, and the work of digging the well continued. From this time on, no accident of any kind hindered the progress of the work, and on June 10, twenty days before the expiry of the time fixed by Barbicane, the well reached a depth of nine hundred feet, It is also built.Below the walls of the shaft "is a foundation thirty feet thick, the top of which is just level with the ground. President Barbicane, and the members of the Cannon Club, warmly congratulate Engineer Murchison on the incomparable speed with which this gigantic work has been accomplished. During these eight months Barbicane remained at Rock Heights, never leaving for a moment.While watching the work of digging wells, he was busy taking care of the workers' welfare and health. Fortunately, he avoided the infectious diseases that tend to spread in places where the population is too concentrated.This contagious disease is particularly dire in areas subject to tropical climates. To tell the truth, in this dangerous work, many workers have paid their own lives because of their negligence.But this kind of sad disaster is inevitable, and Americans don't care much about such trivial matters.Although they also care about individuals, they care more about the whole human race.Barbicane, however, loudly proclaimed that the opposite principle was to be practiced at every opportunity.Thanks, therefore, to his carefulness, his tact, his effective intervention in times of difficulty, and his astonishingly humane and shrewd measures, the average number of accidents at work has not surpassed that of those overseas who are supposed to take special precautions. A project of almost two hundred thousand francs in countries, one of them France, was about to have an unfortunate incident.
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