War of the Worlds

  1. No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s.
    That as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were being scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.
  2. With infinite complacency men went to and fro over this globe about their little affairs, serene in their assurance of their empire over matter. No one gave a thought to the older worlds of space as sources of human danger.
    Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts, their intellects vast, cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and they slowly and surely drew their plans against us.
  3. The storm burst upon the Earth as Mars approached orbital opposition. The wires of the astronomical world palpitated with the amazing news of colossal puff of flame suddenly and violently emanating from that red planet. It was compared to flaming gases rushing out of the barrel of a gun. And a singularly appropriate phrase it proved to be.
    Yet the next day there was nothing of this in the papers except a little note in the scientific section of the Daily Chronicle, and the world went in ignorance of one of the gravest dangers that ever threatened the human race.
  4. Then came the night of the first falling star. It was seen early in the morning, rushing over Winchester eastward, a line green of flame high in the atmosphere. Many people in Berkshire and Surrey, thought a meteorite had descended.
    It had impacted somewhere on the common between Horsell, Ottershaw, and Woking. An enormous hole had been made by the impact of the projectile,
  5. The Thing itself lay almost entirely buried in sand, amidst the burnt and scattered splinters of a fir trees. The uncovered part had the appearance of a huge cylinder. The first people to arrive at the scene noted that distinct sounds of activity were emanating from within it.
    The next morning number of boys and unemployed men passed my home at Maybury Hill on their way to Horsell Common to see what the morning newspapers were calling “The Men from Mars.’ Curios, I lost no time in joining them as they crossed the canal on the Ottershaw Bridge and made their way to the sand pits.
  6. On arrival I found a crowd of perhaps a hundred people, surrounding the huge hole in which the cylinder lay. I was told that during the night a round hatch had opened in the cylinder from which a HISSING SOUND was now emanating.
    Then advancing from the direction of Horsell, I noted a small group of men, which appeared to be a sought of deputation. The foremost man was waving a white flag. Then as they approached the pit the hissing passed into a loud humming noise. Slowly a metallic humped shape rose out of the pit, and in it centre, a ghostly eye seemed to gradually flicker into life.
  7. Suddenly a beam of bright green light, leaped from one to another of the little group of men turning them to white flame. It was as if each man were suddenly and momentarily turned to fire.This was death leaping from man to man like a blade of a flaming sword.
    The fear I felt was no rational fear, but a panic, a sheer terror I ran weeping silently as a child might do. Once I had turned to run, I did not dare to look back, stumbling my way exhaustedly until I arrived at the safety of my home.
  8. The military authorities were certainly alive to the seriousness of the business. Four hundred men of the Cardigan regiment arrived from Aldershot with field artillery and maxims machine guns plus a squadron of mounted hussars.
    They soon deployed along the edge of the common to form a cordon. Later a second company marched through Chobham to deploy on the north side of the common.
  9. However, that evening the thunderous sound of six pounders suddenly erupted followed by the whirr of a machine guns and the intermittent cracking of rifles. I ran to my study window that looked north to the common.
    However, the heavy firing that had broken out ceased as abruptly as it began, leaving an unnerving silence and a feeling of dread.
  10. In the distance I could see thick streamers of black smoke shot with threads of red fire that throw eerie shadows upon the landscape.
    Then abruptly my attention was arrested by things that were moving rapidly through the smoke. And these things I saw! How can I describe them? Three monstrous tripods, higher than many houses, striding over the trees, and smashing them aside.
  11. Walking engines of glittering metal. They were setting fire to everything within range of their deadly Heat-Rays leaving carnage and destruction in their wake.
    Then the sky seemed to explode with a green awe like summer lighting and overhead, another cylinder plummeted In the direction of London.
Card Set
War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds