Outside the Nautilus
The Nautilus travelled underwater watching the mysteries of the ocean.
The Captain and his crew were excellent hosts. They gave us wonderful sea food and we were free to visit any place we liked on the ship.
We travelled near the coasts of Australia and Papua New Guinea. I enjoyed seeing all the strange sea life of these waters. I had enough information to write a new book. But Ned Land was not happy on the Nautilus. He was a whale hunter and his life was above the water, hunting whales.
One morning, he asked Conseil and me to go to his room to talk.
«I want to talk about our escape.»
«Our escape? We are underwater! How can we escape?» «Not now. This ship goes above water every two days to fill it with clean air. When we re near land, we have to try to escape.»
«The waters we are in now are full of sharks, Mr Land.»
«I know that, Professor. We’ll wait. When we get close to a country we know, we’ll try to escape.»
«But how will we leave the Nautilus?»
Ned Land had no time to answer this question. There was a loud crash, and we all fell to the floor. The lights went on and off, and the engine stopped.
The top of the Nautilus was just above the surface of the water. I saw Captain Nemo on the platform outside the ship. The ship was between two large rocks, unable to move. We had to wait six days for the water to rise before the ship could leave. The Captain didn’t seem at all worried.
«The sea brought us here, the sea will take us away.»
We were very close to Papua. I could see it from the ship. Ned Land asked the Captain if we could go on land and hunt some animals because he didn’t want to eat fish. Captain Nemo let the three of us go. This didn’t surprise me at all. There were only cannibals on Papua. We couldn’t escape because they would kill us.
There was a small boat on the Nautilus which we used to get to land. Captain Nemo gave us gnus, and we were all excited to return to land and feel free again.
The beach of Papua was beautiful. It had soft white sand and 200-foot-tall palm trees. We found bananas and coconuts, and we made a small camping area for the day. Some wild animals came out of the forest and ran away. Conseil was at first frightened.
«I thought they were the cannibals.»
«Don’t worry, Conseil. It’s not yet lunchtime.»
We all laughed, then continued looking for fruit and vegetables. We walked through the tropical forest. We were so excited by this new adventure that we forgot where we were walking. We were far from the beach. I felt something small hit my head.
«I think I was hit by a rock.»
Suddenly, we saw others moving through the forest.
«Professor, sir, we’re not alone.»
There were cannibals everywhere. We ran back to the beach. They followed us. They carried spears and shouted in a strange language. We jumped into the boat, leaving all our food and guns behind. They got into the water after us. Some of them came in their own boats. They threw spears at us, but they all missed. We jumped back on the Nautilus and went below.
I found Captain Nemo in a small room next to the museum. He was playing the piano.
«Captain, there are cannibals outside the Nautilus.»
«The sea, Professor, and music make me feel very peaceful.»
«Captain, did you hear me?»
«I did, and there is no reason to worry. The Nautilus is perfectly safe from those outside it.»
The Captain left the piano and went out of the room. He and some of his men went up and opened the outside door of the Nautilus. Several cannibals looked down inside. One tried to get in, but when his hand touched the ship, he screamed. Another tried the same thing, and he also screamed. Soon, all of them swam away.
‘You see, Professor. There is electricity around that door. Anyone who touches it feels great pain.»
I felt terrified. The Captain had everything he needed lo protect himself and his men. He also had everything he needed to keep us prisoners.