Page:The Time Machine.djvu/122

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112
THE TIME MACHINE.

matches, and I struck several to amuse them.

"However, all my attempts to woo them toward the subject I wanted failed; and presently I left them. I resolved to go back to Weena, and see what I could get from her.

"But my mind was already in revolution, my guesses and impressions slipping and sliding to a new adjustment. I had now the clew to these wells, to the ventilating towers, to the problem of the ghosts, and a hint, indeed, of the meaning of the bronze gates and the fate of the Time Machine. Vaguely indeed, there came a suggestion toward the economic problem that had puzzled me.

"Here was the new view: Evidently this second species of man was subterranean. There were three circumstances in particular that made me think its rare emergence upon the surface was the outcome of long subterraneous habit. In the first place, the bleached appearance,