February 8, 2016
By midnight the blazing trees along the slopes of Richmond Park and the glare of Kingston Hill. Threw their light upon a network of black smoke, blotting out the whole valley of the Thames and extending as far as the eye could reach. And through this two Martians slowly waded, and turned their hissing steam jets this way and that.
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They were sparing of the Heat-Ray that night, either because they had but a limited supply of material for its production or because they did not wish to destroy the country but only to crush and overawe the opposition they had aroused. In the latter aim they certainly succeeded. Sunday night was the end of the organised opposition to their movements.
After that no body of men would stand against them, so hopeless was the enterprise. Even the crews of the torpedo-boats and destroyers that had brought their quick-firers up the Thames refused to stop, mutinied, and went down again. The only offensive operation men ventured upon after that night was the preparation of mines and pitfalls, and even in that their energies were frantic and spasmodic.
- “Strike the tent there!”—was the next order. As I hinted before, this whalebone marquee was never pitched except in port.
- and on board the Pequod, for thirty years, the order to strike the tent was well known to be the next thing to heaving up the anchor.
- “Man the capstan! Blood and thunder!—jump!”—was the next command, and the crew sprang for the handspikes.