What do the words lost world mean

Arthur Conan Doyle
The lost world
Arthur Conan Doyle

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third chapter

He's a totally impossible person

My friend's fear or hope should not materialize. When I went to see him on Friday morning, he had a letter with the West Kensington postage stamp on the envelope with my name scrawled in handwriting that looked like a barbed wire fence. The content was as follows:

Enmore Park W.


I have received your letter in which you inform me that you confirm my views, although I do not know that you are dependent on any confirmation of this or that. You have dared to use the word "theories" in relation to my exposition on the question of Darwinism. I would like to draw your attention to the fact that such a word in this connection is, to a certain extent, offensive. The rest of the text of your letter shows me, however, that you failed more out of stupidity or tactlessness than out of malice, and I am therefore prepared to let this matter rest. You are tearing a single sentence out of the context of my presentation and it seems that you have encountered some difficulty in understanding it. I should think that only a very poorly developed intelligence could get past the crux of the matter. But if you feel that further discussion is necessary, I am ready to receive you at the hour you have indicated, although I utterly detest visits and visitors of all kinds. Regarding your request to change my mind, I would like to tell you that it is not my habit, after I have clearly expressed my mature beliefs. When you come to see me, you will kindly show the envelope of this letter to my servant Austin, since he has been given the task of carefully keeping away from me all the intrusive villains who call themselves "journalists."

Your devoted
George Edward Challenger.

According to Tarp, that was the letter I read to Henry, who had come down at once to find out the result of my venture. He only commented, "There's a new kind of soap, Cuticura or something like that, that's better than Arnica for treating wounds." Some people have a strange concept of humor.

It was almost half past eleven when I received the letter. But a taximeter brought me to my destination in a short time. We stopped in front of an imposing house with a portico. The heavy curtains on the windows made it clear that this terrible professor was a wealthy man. The door was opened by a strange, dark-colored, withered person of indefinite age who wore a black helmsman's jacket and brown leather gaiters. I found out afterwards that it was the chauffeur who took the vacant seat of the first servant as a result of constant changes. He looked me up and down with his bright blue eyes.

"Expected?" He asked.

"An appointment."

"Did you receive a letter?"

I pulled out the envelope.


He seemed like a man of few words. As I stepped into the anteroom behind him, I was suddenly held back by a small woman emerging from a door that appeared to be leading into a dining room. It was a clever, lively, dark-eyed lady, more French than English in type.

"Just a moment," she said. “You can wait, Austin. Would you like to come in, please, sir. May I ask if you have met my husband before? "

"No, madam, I haven't had the honor yet."

“Then I apologize in advance. Because I have to tell you that he's an absolutely impossible person - absolutely impossible. If you have been warned beforehand, you will certainly be ready to be lenient. "

"That is very considerate of you, madam."

“Get out of the room quickly if it looks like you are getting violent. Don't expect to be able to argue with him. Various people have received insults for trying. Afterwards there is a public scandal and it falls on me and on all of us. I hope you don't come to him about South America. "

I couldn't lie to a lady.

"For God's sake! That is his most dangerous subject. You won't believe a word he says - I wouldn't be surprised. But don't tell him that; because that makes him mad. Pretend you believe him and you will be fine with him. Always remember that he believes it himself. You can be sure of that. There is no more honorable man in the world. Don't stay too long. Otherwise he becomes suspicious. If you think he's getting dangerous - really dangerous - then ring the bell and hold him off until I come. Even in his worst condition, I'm usually able to calm him down. "

With these encouraging words, the lady of the house handed me over to the silent Austin, who had waited like a bronze statue of secrecy during our brief conversation, and he led me to the end of a corridor. A knock on the door, a bull's voice from inside, and I stood in front of the professor.

He was sitting in a swivel chair behind a wide table covered with books, maps, and drawings. When I entered, his chair flew around and he caught my eye. The way it looked took my breath away. I was prepared to see something very strange, but I wasn't expecting such an overwhelming personality as this. It was his figure that took your breath away, his figure and his impressive nature. His head was enormous. The biggest I've ever seen in a human being. I certainly believe that if I had dared to put it on, his hat could have slipped over my ears and stood on my shoulders. His face and beard reminded me of an Assyrian bull. The former was a blooming color, the latter black, with a bluish tinge, the curled strands of which lay like a spade on his chest. The hair was strange, brushed straight down and ran in a long, bold sweep over the massive forehead. The eyes were blue-gray under large, black tufts of hair; very clear, very critical and very bossy. Massively broad shoulders and a chest like a barrel formed the rest of the body, as far as it was visible above the table top, except for two enormous hands covered with long, black hair. All of this and a roaring, booming voice was my first impression of the famous Professor Challenger.

"Well?" He said, staring at me impudently, "what is it?"

I had to maintain the deception for a short time, otherwise I would undoubtedly have been at the end of my conversation.

"You were kind enough to arrange a meeting for me," I said modestly, pulling out the envelope.

He took my letter from the desk and spread it out in front of him.

“Ah, you're the young person who doesn't understand clear English, aren't you? Are you so gracious as to approve of my general assertions, if I understand you correctly? "

"Perfect - Herr Professor - perfect!"

I said that with great emphasis.

"Oh dear God! That really strengthens my position, doesn't it? Your age and appearance make your support doubly valuable to me. And, after all, you are better than this herd of pigs in Vienna, whose grunts certainly mean nothing more than the occasional effort of an English bull calf. ”He glared at me as the representative of this species of animal, so to speak, present.

"Your opponents seem to have behaved horribly," I said.

“I assure you that I am still able to fight my own battles and that I do not need your sympathy. Just leave me alone, sir, with my back to the wall. G. E. C. feels most comfortable then. We will endeavor, sir, to shorten this visit, which can hardly have anything pleasant for you and which is extremely annoying to me. It appears that you have a few comments to make on the content of my memorandum. "

This brutal immediacy in the handling of our subject made it difficult to evade. So I had to keep playing the game to see a better opportunity for my intentions. From a distance it had looked a lot easier. Oh, my Irish joke, could you not help me when I needed your help so badly? He pierced me with his sharp, steely eyes. "So please, sir, get started," he raged.

"Of course I am only a student," I said with a simple smile, "hardly more, I should like to say, than a serious striving person, and I must admit that it seems to me that you are a little too strict on this question Weismann judge. Hasn't the general evidence since that time tended to corroborate his claims? "

"What evidence?" He spoke with uncanny calm.

“Well, of course I know that there is nothing that can be called definitive evidence. I am only speaking of the direction of modern thought and of the general scientific way of looking at things, if I may express myself in that way. "

He leaned forward with profound seriousness.

"I suppose you know," he said, counting on his fingers, "that the cranial index is a constant factor?"

"Of course," I said.

"And that telegonia is still there?"

"Without a doubt."

"And that the germplasm is different from the parthenogenetic egg?"

"Oh, sure," I cried, delighted with my own boldness.

"But what does that prove?" He asked in a soft, convincing voice.

"Yeah, really, what does that prove?" I muttered.

"Shall I tell you?" He cooed like a dove.

"Yes, please."

"It proves," he roared in a sudden outburst of anger, "that you are the filthiest con man in London - a worthless, stealthy journalist who has shown no more scientific knowledge than decency in his student essay."

He jumped up, his eyes furious. Even in this moment of excitement, I found time to be amazed to discover that he was quite a short man. His head did not reach over my shoulder - a Hercules that was too small, whose entire immense life force worked downward, in breadth and in the brain.

"Gibberish," he shouted, leaning forward, spreading his hands on the tabletop, and thrusting his face forward. “It was scientific gibberish, sir, that I spoke to you here! Did you think you could measure yourself against my experience - you against your walnut brain? You think you are all powerful, you infernal smearers, don't you? That your praise can make a man famous and your criticism can crush him! We must all bow down to you and try to get a favorable judgment from you. You will help them to get up, and you will plunge them into the abyss! Creeping worm, I know you! You have ventured beyond your stand. It is time you cut your ears. You have lost your sense of proportion. Swollen gas bubble! I will put you back in your place. Yes, sir, you failed to outsmart G. E. C. That’s still a man who’s superior to you. He warned you, but if you come wantBy heaven, you do so at your own risk. You are inferior, my dear Mr. Malone, admit it! You played a pretty dangerous game, and it makes a certain impression on me that you lost it. "

“You see, sir,” I said, stepping back in the direction of the door and opening it, “you can offend me as much as you like. But there is a limit. You will not let it come to violence. "

"I won't do it?" He walked slowly towards me in a strange way, then suddenly stopped and put his large hands in the side pockets of his rather childish short jacket. “I threw several of you out of the house. You will be fourth or fifth. 75 marks for each - that's about the average. Expensive but very necessary. Well, Lord, why shouldn't you follow your brothers? I should think, yes, 'whereupon he unnoticed continued his unpleasant advance on me.

I could have jumped to the front door, but that would have been shameful. I also felt a faint anger rise within me. I had been hopelessly wrong before, but the man's threats brought the right on my side.

“I'll stop you from laying your hand on me. Lord, I won't put up with that. "

"Oh, dear God!" His black mustache twitched up and he bared his teeth with a sneer. "You're not going to put up with it, are you?"

"Don't be a fool, Professor," I shouted. “What do you think you can do. I weigh two hundred pounds, have muscles of steel and play as a center forward for the Irish Football Club every Saturday. I am not the man - - "

That was the moment when he threw himself on me. I was lucky that I had already opened the door, otherwise we would have gone through the panels. We whizzed along the forecourt like fireworks, somehow got a chair between our legs on our way and tumbled with it down the stairs leading to the street. I got his beard in my mouth, our arms were wrapped around each other, the limbs of our bodies were intertwined, and the legs of the diabolical chair swirled around us like a bundle of rays. The vigilant Austin had thrown open the entrance door, and we somersaulted backwards into the street.

The chair fell to the floor, shattered, and we both rolled down the gutter side by side. He jumped up, waved his fists, and gasped like an asthmatic.

"Have you had enough?" He snorted.

"Infernal bulldog!" I shouted, pulling myself up. Somehow the matter would have come to an end, because he pounced on me in renewed belligerence, but luckily I was released from this dire situation. A policeman stood next to us, notebook in hand.

"What is that? You ought to be ashamed of yourself! ”He said. That was the first reasonable remark I heard in Enmore Park. "Well," he said, turning to me, "what does this mean here?"

"This man attacked me."

"Did you attack him?" Asked the policeman.

The professor was breathing heavily and didn't answer.

"It's not the first time," said the policeman seriously, shaking his head. “You got yourself into trouble on a similar matter last month. You struck the man's eye blue. - Do you want to advertise? "

I calmed down meanwhile.

"No," I said, "I won't do that."

"Why not?" Asked the policeman.

“I have to blame myself. I molested him. He decently warned me. "

The policeman closed his notebook.

"So don't do things like that," he said. "Come on, don't stop, go on." He said this to a butcher boy, a little girl, and one or two passers-by who had gathered. And driving the little crowd before him, he stomped heavily down the street. The professor looked at me with eyes that showed a slight hint of humor.

"Come in," he said, "I'm not through with you yet." His words had a malicious sound, but I followed him into the house nonetheless. The servant Austin, who looked like a wooden statue, closed the door behind us.

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