The Man Who Knew Too Much

By Gilbert K. Chesterton | Go to book overview

IV
THE BOTTOMLESS WELL

IN an oasis, or green island, in the red and yellow seas of sand that stretch beyond Europe toward the sunrise, there can be found a rather fantastic contrast, which is none the less typical of such a place, since international treaties have made it an outpost of the British occupation. The site is famous among archæologists for something that is hardly a monument, but merely a hole in the ground. But it is a round shaft, like that of a well, and probably a part of some great irrigation works of remote and disputed date, perhaps more ancient than anything in that ancient land. There is a green fringe of palm and prickly pear round the black mouth of the well; but nothing of the upper masonry remains except two bulky and battered stones standing like the pillars of a gateway of nowhere, in which some of the more transcendental archæologists, in certain moods at moonrise or sunset, think they can trace the faint lines of figures or features of more than Babylonian monstrosity; while the more rationalistic archæologists, in the more rational hours of daylight, see nothing but

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The Man Who Knew Too Much
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • The Man Who Knew Too Much 1
  • II - The Vanishing Prince 34
  • III - The Soul of the Schoolboy 66
  • IV - The Bottomless Well 89
  • V - The Fad of the Fisherman 116
  • VI - The Hole in the Wall 147
  • VII - The Temple of Silence 185
  • VIII - The Vengeance of the Statue 225
  • The Trees of Pride 259
  • II - The Wager of Squire Vane 286
  • III - The Mystery of the Well 312
  • IV - The Chase After the Truth 340
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