Page:The Time Machine.djvu/128

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118
THE TIME MACHINE.

civilization that was at last attained must have long since passed its zenith, and was now far gone in decay. The too perfect security of the overworld had led these to a slow movement of degeneration at last—to a general dwindling of size, strength, and intelligence. That I already saw clearly enough, but what had happened to the lower world I did not yet suspect. Yet from what I had seen of the Morlocks,—that, by the bye, was the name by which these creatures were called,—I could imagine the modification of the human type was far more profound in the underworld than among the Eloi, the beautiful races that I already knew.

"Then came some troublesome doubts. Why had the Morlocks taken my Time Machine? For I felt sure these underpeople had taken it. Why, too, if the Eloi were masters, could they not restore the thing to me? And why were the Eloi so afraid of the dark?