A PEARL OF TEN MILLIONS
THE next morning at four o'clock I was awakened by the steward, whom Captain Nemo had placed at my service. I rose hurriedly, dressed, and went into the saloon.
Captain Nemo was awaiting me.
" M. Aronnax," said he, "are you ready to start?"
"I am ready."
"Then, please to follow me."
"And my companions, Captain?"
"They have been told, and are waiting."
"Are we not to put on our diver's dresses?" asked I.
"Not yet. I have not allowed the Nautilus to come too near this coast, and we are some distance from the Manaar Bank; but the boat is ready, and will take us to the exact point of disembarking, which will save us a long way. It carries our diving apparatus, which we will put on when we begin our submarine journey."
Captain Nemo conducted me to the central staircase, which led on to the platform. Ned and Conseil were already there, delighted at the idea of the "pleasure party" which was preparing. Five sailors from the Nautilus, with their oars, waited in the boat, which had been made fast against the side.