Home Categories science fiction twenty thousand leagues under the sea

Chapter 23 Chapter 23 Forced Sleep

The next day, January 10, the Nautilus was again in the water, at a speed which, I estimate, would not be less than thirty-five knots an hour.Its wheels were turning so fast that I could hardly see it going, or count it. I thought of this miraculous electricity. Apart from giving the Nautilus power, heat, and light, it can also protect it from outside attacks, making it a sacred and inviolable ship. There is no end to my praise for the electric shock, and my praise is immediately transferred from the ship to the engineer who made it. We kept going westward, and on January 11th we passed Cape Wessel, which is at longitude 135° east and latitude 10° south, and is the eastern tip of the Gulf of Carpentaria.There are still many reefs in the sea, but they are relatively scattered, and they are clearly recorded on the map.The Nautilus easily avoided Maui Rock on her port side, and Victoria Reef on her starboard side, both at 130°E and 10°S, along which latitude the ship was traveling.

On January 13, Captain Nemo arrived at Emperor Sea, and saw Diwen Island with the same name as the sea at 122 degrees east longitude.The island covers an area of ​​1,625 square miles and is ruled by princes called Raja'.These princes claimed to be descendants of the crocodiles, that is to say, their ancestors were of the oldest origin that man could think of.so. Their scaly ancestors proliferated in the island's rivers and were objects of special veneration.The islanders protect them, pamper them, flatter them, give them food, and use young women as their food. If any foreign visitor dares to touch these sacred scorpions, he will be in trouble.

But the Nautilus had little to do with these ugly creatures.Emperor Throne Island only appeared at noon when the ship's officer recorded the position.Likewise, I saw only the small island of Rhodi, which belongs to this group of islands, and the women on this island are recognized as famous beauties in the Malayan market. From here, the direction of the Nautilus bent down on the line of latitude; headed southwest.The bow of the ship is towards the Indian Ocean.Where is Captain Nemo planning to take us?Did he go back to the shores of Asia?Is he going near the shores of Europe?He probably wants to avoid inhabited land, but judging from the direction of navigation, this is also impossible.So is he going south?Was he going to cross the Cape of Good Hope first, then Cape Horn, and head for the South Pole?In the end, he was going back to the Pacific Ocean again. Is it convenient and free for his Nautilus to sail in the Pacific Ocean?That only the future will let me know.

Having passed the Cartier, Ibenia, Siringabadang, and Scott reefs, the last reefs emerging from the sea, we lost sight of land on the 14th of January.The speed of the Nautilus was particularly slow, and it seemed to be very willful. Sometimes it walked in the water, and sometimes it surfaced again. During this voyage, Captain Nemo made some interesting experiments on the various temperatures of different water layers in the sea.In general, the recording of these temperatures is carried out by means of rather complicated instruments, but either by means of thermometers (as glass tubes are often crushed by the pressure of water), or by means of instruments made of metal through which an electric current passes To detect, the results obtained are still not very reliable because the results obtained in this way cannot be corrected.But Captain Nemo was different. He personally went down to the bottom of the sea to measure the temperature of each layer of water. His thermometer was in contact with each layer of water and immediately told him the temperature he got.That's why the Nautilus can reach 3,000, 4, 5, 7, 9,000 in succession by either filling all its storage tanks to the brim, or descending obliquely on the pitch plane. , a depth of 10,000 meters) The final affirmative result of these experiments is that regardless of any latitude, the temperature of sea water at a depth of 1,000 meters is always four and a half degrees, which will never change.

I am very interested in watching him do this kind of experiment.Captain Nemo had a real enthusiasm for this kind of experimentation.I often think in my heart, what is his purpose in making these observations?Is it for the benefit of mankind?This is very impossible; because, one day, his work will be wiped out with him in the sea that no one knows about!Unless he intends to give me the results of his experiments.This is the time limit for affirming in advance that my strange travels will come to an end, but I haven't seen the time limit yet. At any rate, the captain also let me know the various figures he had obtained.

These figures are a report on the density of seawater in the major oceans on Earth.From this notice he gave me I acquired not scientific but personal knowledge. It was the morning of the 15th of January, and the captain, walking with me on the platform, asked me if I knew the different densities of sea water here and there.I replied that I did not know, and at the same time said that science has not yet made precise observations on this issue. "I have made these observations," he told me, "and I am sure of their accuracy." "Very well," I replied, "but the Nautilus is another world, and the secrets of this sex-scholar cannot be passed on land."

"You are right, Professor," he said to me after a moment of silence, "it is another world, which has nothing to do with the land, as the planets which accompany the earth around the sun are to the earth, and no one has ever known about it. The work of the scholars at Saturn and at Chakken. But since chance has brought the two of us together, I can tell you what I have observed." "I will listen to your advice, Captain." "Professor, you know that sea water is denser than fresh water, but the density of sea water is not exactly the same everywhere. For example, if I take one as the density of fresh water, the density of sea water in the Pacific Ocean is 1 and 28 thousandths, and that of the Mediterranean Sea water, one and thirty thousandths..."

Ah: "I thought, 'Is he venturing to the Mediterranean too? " "One and eighteen thousandths in the Ionian sea, and one and twenty-nine thousandths in the Adriatic sea." Obviously, the Nautilus does not escape the frequented European seas, so I can say-or soon-it will take us to the more civilized land seas.I think Ned Land must have been very pleased to hear this special news.For several days, we have been doing various experiments for a long time, studying the salinity content of water layers at different depths, the electroconductive effect of seawater, the dyeing effect of seawater, and the transparency and light transmission of seawater.In all these circumstances, Captain Nemo showed his strange talents, and his affection for me.

Afterwards, for a few days, I lost sight of him, and again I was alone in his boat. On 16 January, the Nautilus appeared to be asleep just a few meters below the surface.The electric machinery on the ship does not move, and the engine wheels stop still, allowing the ship to swim back and forth with the sea water.I thought to myself that the crew on the ship was probably doing internal repair work, and repairs were necessary due to the violent mechanical movement of the parts.My companion and I at this moment saw a very strange sight.The panels of the living room were open, and since the Nautilus' searchlights were not lit, the water was filled with vague gloom.The tumultuous and overcast sky casts a blurred light in the upper waters of the ocean.

I observed the situation in the sea under these conditions, and the largest fish looked like indistinct shadows. At this moment, the Nautilus suddenly turned into full light.At first I thought it was the searchlights that had come on, casting electric brilliance into the water.Actually I was mistaken, and after a quick observation, I realized that my perception was wrong. The Nautilus floated in a layer of phosphorescence, which became dazzlingly radiant even in the gloom of the sea.This light is produced by myriads of glowing microbes, and the flash is intensified as they glide across the sheet metal hull.Then, in the midst of the bursts of luminous water, I suddenly saw these flashes, like the flow of lead and iron in a great furnace, or like a piece of metal burned white hot; Some bright parts under the light also become shadows.

It seems that all shadows should not exist in this environment.No!This is not the radiant light of our usual burning luminaries!There is an extraordinary energy and movement in this light!This light, people feel it is vivid!Lively! Yes, it is the union of the inexhaustible collectives of the adiectary and miliary worms of the sea, real transparent little gumballs with tiny tentacles, which can number twenty-five thousand in thirty cubic centimeters of water.And because of the special twilight produced by jellyfish, sea discs, octopuses, dates, and other luminescent zoozoans (flooded in foam of organic matter decomposed by seawater, or in the mucus secreted by fish), their light Even more enhanced. The Nautilus floated for hours in these glorious waves, and my admiration was heightened when I saw the large sea animals swimming about there like fire-snakes. I saw there, in the midst of the still fire, many beautiful, fast-moving sea pigs, which are harlequins of the sea that run about and never get tired, and many three-meter-long swordfish, which are great storms The prophets who are coming, their huge blades often touch the glass of the hall.Then came the smaller fishes, swordfishes of all shapes, jumping finfishes, wolffishes with human heads, and thousands of others that, as they ran, blew in the blind In the atmosphere, the patterns are drawn like strips of belts. What enchanting magic is this radiant spectacle!Was it some change in the air that made this phenomenon even more intensified?Is there a storm on the waves?However, at a depth of several meters underwater, the Nautilus did not feel the roar of the storm, and it swayed peacefully in the calm water.This is how we drive, constantly intoxicated by the pseudo-novelty of the sights before us.Conseil was still observing, and he brought out his zoophytes, arthropods, molluscs, fishes, etc. to classify.The days passed so quickly that I could hardly count them. According to his habit, Ned Land always tried to change the daily things on board.We are real snails, used to living in our shells, and I am sure at the same time that it is not very difficult to become a full snail. Therefore, this kind of life is very convenient for us. Naturally, we don't imagine that there is another kind of life on the earth. At this time, something happened that made us feel that we are in The bizarre. On January 18, the Nautilus arrived at 105 degrees east longitude and 15 degrees south latitude.The weather was bad, the sea rough and rough.A big phoenix blows violently from the east.The barometer had been down for days, predicting storm and rain soon—a fierce struggle of sea and air. I stepped out onto the platform while the mate came to measure the angle.I waited for him to say what he said every day according to his usual habit.However, that day, this sentence was replaced by another sentence that was also incomprehensible.Immediately I saw Captain Nemo come out, his eyes fixed on the telescope, and he looked towards the horizon. For several minutes, the captain stood still, not leaving the point within his target.After a while, he put down the mirror and exchanged more than ten sentences with the mate.The mate seemed to be very emotional and couldn't restrain himself.Captain Nemo was more thoughtful and calm.He seemed to raise some objections, and the mate answered him with a definite tone.At least, that's what I know from their tone of voice and their posture.As for me, I also looked carefully at the direction they were pointing, but I couldn't see anything.Yau and water perfectly and clearly intersect on a horizontal line. But Captain Nemo, walking up and down between the extremes of the platform, paid no attention to me, and probably did not see me.His steps were firm, but not with the usual regularity.He stopped sometimes, with his hands folded over his chest, and watched the sea.What is he looking for in this vast space?The Nautilus was several hundred nautical miles away from the nearest shore! The ship's officer took the binoculars again, and stubbornly searched the sky, walking up and down, stomping his feet, his nervous agitation was in contrast to the captain's calmness. Besides, the mystery had to be cleared up, and quickly, because the engine was given more impetus and turned more rapidly on board, under Captain Nemo's orders. At this time, the mate once again asked the captain to be careful.The captain stopped, and looked through the binoculars to the edge he was pointing at.He observed for a long time. As for me, I was very puzzled and wanted to know something. I went down to the living room, took my usual telescope in the living room, returned to the platform, and leaned on the protruding part of the platform in front of the cage where the searchlight was installed. Going to look at all the scenes of the sky and the sea. But before my eyes touched the mirror, the telescope was suddenly snatched away. I turned and there was Captain Nemo standing in front of me, I hardly knew him, his countenance was completely changed.His eyes had a somber firelight that peeked from tight lashes.His teeth are half exposed, which is a little scary.His upright body, clenched fists, and head huddled between the swellings on his shoulders proved that he had a strong hatred that was emanating from his whole body.He stands still.My binoculars fell from his hand and rolled to his feet. Did I inadvertently provoke this look of anger in him?Did this inexplicable figure think I saw something secret that the Nautilus' guests should not know? No!The object of this hatred is not me, because he does not look at me, because his eyes are still fixed on the mysterious and unknowable point of Yaoji. Then Captain Nemo had another idea and calmed down.His face, which had been altered, was as quiet as ever.He spoke a few words to the mate in the cryptic language, then turned to face me. "Mr. Aronnax," he said to me, in a rather agitated tone, "I want you to abide by the terms you have agreed with me." "Captain, which clause is it?" "Your companions and you are now locked up until I think I can set you free." "You are the master," I replied, looking at him, "may I ask you a question?" "No, sir." After hearing this, I have nothing to argue about, but to obey, because all resistance is impossible. I went to the cabin where Ned Land and Conseil were staying and told them of the captain's decision.Readers can imagine what happened to the Canadians when they got the news.Furthermore, we have no time to explain the matter.Four crew members were already waiting at the door, and they showed us to the same room where we had spent our first night on board the Nautilus. Ned Land wanted to ask questions, but the door closed as soon as he entered, and of course there was no answer. "Could sir explain to me what this means?" Conseil asked me. I told my companion what had happened.They were as amazed as I was, but equally unexplained. At the same time, I was thinking endlessly, and the strange doubt on Captain Nemo's face was always entangled in my thoughts, and I couldn't get rid of it.I simply couldn't combine two reasonable ideas, and I was lost in the most absurd and unreasonable assumptions. At this time, I was awakened by Ned Land's following sentence, and I was freed from hard thinking.He said: look!Lunch is here! " But no, everything is set on the dinner table.It was evidently Captain Nemo who gave the order to serve dinner, and at the same time he increased the speed of the Nautilus. "Will Monsieur promise me a word of advice?" Conseil asked me. "You can say, good man." I replied. "Just eat your dinner, sir! It's better that way, because we don't know what's going to happen." "You are right, Conseil." "It's a pity," said Ned Land, "that I'm only served food from the boat." "My friend Ned," Conseil replied, "what would you do if you had no lunch at all?" These words cut off all the harpooner's invective. We sat at the table to eat, and we didn't talk much during the meal.I eat very little.Conseil ate "reluctantly" because he was always cautious.Although Ned Land was not happy, he didn't stop talking.After lunch, we each leaned on our seats. At this time, the light orb illuminating the room went out, and we were in lacquer darkness.Ned Land soon fell asleep and, to my surprise, Conseil also fell into a drowsy sleep.Just as I was wondering why he needed sleep so badly, I felt my own mind go numb.My eyes, I tried to open them, but they closed involuntarily.An illusion haunts me and makes me uncomfortable.Apparently some sleeping pills were mixed in with our meals.That's not enough to keep us ignorant of Captain Nemo's plans, but to let us sleep peacefully! I heard the panels close.The waves of the sea that made him feel that it was turning slightly stopped now.Has the Nautilus left the ocean?Did it go back to the bottom of the still water? I will resist sleep and keep my eyes open.But it's impossible, my breathing gradually became thinner.I felt a severe ice freeze my heavy limbs, as if paralyzed.My eyelids became veritable leaden lids over my eyes. I can no longer open it.A sickly, delusional lethargy overwhelmed my entire body.Soon, the phantom disappeared, and I fell into a deep sleep.
Press "Left Key ←" to return to the previous chapter; Press "Right Key →" to enter the next chapter; Press "Space Bar" to scroll down.