journey to the center of the earth chapter 9


The Last Tunnel

Hans brought the boat to the end of the beach where the cave was. We tied it to a rock in the water and took our bags to the cave.

«Are we going to use the boat again?»

«I don’t know. Maybe, if we come back this way. But, who knows where this new tunnel will take us.»

We needed the boat sooner than we thought. We walked about twelve feet inside the cave, then we saw a huge rock blocking the tunnel. We couldn’t understand it.

«How could Arne Saknussemm get around this rock?» The professor thought for a moment, and then he looked at the rock.

«Maybe it fell after his journey, in the last two hundred years, probably after an earthquake or a terrible storm.»

«I wish there was another earthquake to move that rock from the entrance of the cave.»

«Axel, that’s it! We can use the gun powder to move this rock again.»

«Do you think it will work?»

«There’s only one way to find out.»

We still had some extra gun powder with us for the guns. Hans made a hole in the rock with his pickaxe, then we put the gun powder inside. We used the rope to light it, but we made it very long to give us time to move back and hide.

The three of us got into the boat and moved fifty feet out to sea. We had no idea how big the explosion was going to be. Waiting for it made us very nervous.

«Maybe it won’t work.»

«Axel! Don’t say those things.»

We waited. Suddenly, the rocks on the beach opened like two curtains. The earth shook and everything fell into a huge hole. We fell back in the boat, and the final explosion made the sea rise in a huge wave which pushed us back to the beach. We were in the air, on top of the water, and the hole was below us. It looked big enough to take in all the world!

«We’re going down into the hole!»

«That’s what we want!»

«Not this way!»

We shouted because the noise of falling rocks was all around us and we couldn’t hear each other. The boat moved like a train through the tunnel, then we crashed into a new river of fresh water. The boat went under and came back up so fast that there was very little water in it. I don’t know how we stayed in it. We held onto the sides of the boat with all of our strength.

«Professor, where are we?»

«I don’t know, but the water is taking us somewhere. We have no choice but to follow it.»

«It’s getting hot!»

The temperature was high. The walls had the red colour of lava.

«Are we under another volcano?»

When I finished my sentence, we heard a loud roar from behind us. Water and air pushed us forward faster. The walls began to shake and rocks began to fall.


Then it was clear. We were inside a volcano and it was going to explode. I could see the blue sky through the round hole at the top of the volcano. There was one more terrible roar and we were flying up into the air!


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