Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea

By Jules Verne; W. J. Aylward | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
I FORM MY RESOLUTION

THREE seconds before the arrival of J. B. Hobson's letter, I no more thought of pursuing the unicorn than of attempting the passage of the North Sea. Three seconds after reading the letter of the honourable Secretary of Marine, I felt that my true vocation, the sole end of my life, was to chase this disturbing monster, and purge it from the world.

But I had just returned from a fatiguing journey, weary and longing for repose. I aspired to nothing more than again seeing my country, my friends, my little lodging by the Jardin des Plantes, my dear and precious collections. But nothing could keep me back! I forgot all--fatigue, friends, and collections-- and accepted without hesitation the offer of the American Government.

"Besides," thought I, "all roads lead back to Europe (for my particular benefit), and I will not hurry me towards the coast of France. This worthy animal may allow itself to be caught in the seas of Europe (for my particular benefit) and I will not bring back less than half a yard of his ivory halberd to the Museum of Natural History." But in the meanwhile I must seek this narwhal in the North Pacific Ocean, which, to return to France, was taking the road to the antipodes.

-16-

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