Page:The Time Machine.djvu/120

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110
THE TIME MACHINE.

for foot and hand, forming a kind of ladder down.

"Suddenly the light burned my fingers and fell out of my hand, going out as it dropped; and when I had lit another, the little monster had disappeared.

"I do not know how long I sat peering down the portentous well. Very slowly could I persuade myself that the thing I had seen was a man. But gradually the real truth dawned upon me; that man had not remained one species, but had differentiated into two distinct animals; that my graceful children of the upperworld were not the only descendants of the men of my generation, but that this bleached, nocturnal thing that had flashed before me, was also heir to our age.

"I thought of the flickering pillars, and of my theory of an underground ventilation, I began to suspect their true import.

"But what was this creature doing