CHAPTER 6: The Greek Islands
AT SUNRISE the next morning, February 12, the Nautilus rose
to the surface of the waves.
I rushed onto the platform. The hazy silhouette of Pelusium was
outlined three miles to the south. A torrent had carried us from
one sea to the other. But although that tunnel was easy to descend,
going back up must have been impossible.
Near seven o'clock Ned and Conseil joined me. Those two inseparable
companions had slept serenely, utterly unaware of the Nautilus's feat.
"Well, Mr. Naturalist," the Canadian asked in a gently mocking tone,
"and how about that Mediterranean?"
"We're floating on its surface, Ned my friend."
"What!" Conseil put in. "Last night . . . ?"
"Yes, last night, in a matter of minutes, we cleared
that insuperable isthmus."
"I don't believe a word of it," the Canadian replied.
"And you're in the wrong, Mr. Land," I went on. "That flat coastline
curving southward is the coast of Egypt."
"Tell it to the marines, sir," answered the stubborn Canadian.
"But if master says so," Conseil told him, "then so be it."
"What's more, Ned," I said, "Captain Nemo himself did the honors
in his tunnel, and I stood beside him in the pilothouse while
he steered the Nautilus through that narrow passageway."
"You hear, Ned?" Conseil said.
"And you, Ned, who have such good eyes," I added, "you can spot
the jetties of Port Said stretching out to sea."
The Canadian looked carefully.
"Correct," he said. "You're right, professor, and your captain's
a superman. We're in the Mediterranean. Fine. So now let's have
a chat about our little doings, if you please, but in such a way
that nobody overhears."