FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON : CHAPTER XVII.
The great work undertaken by the Gun
Club was now virtually ended, and yet two months would
still elapse before the day the projectile would start
for the moon. These two months would seem as long
as two years to the universal impatience. Until
then the smallest details of each operation had appeared
in the newspapers every day, and were eagerly devoured
by the public, but now it was to be feared that this
“interest dividend” would be much diminished,
and every one was afraid of no longer receiving his
daily share of emotions.
They were all agreeably disappointed:
the most unexpected, extraordinary, incredible, and
improbable incident happened in time to keep up the
general excitement to its highest pitch.
On September 30th, at 3.47 p.m., a
telegram, transmitted through the Atlantic Cable,
arrived at Tampa Town for President Barbicane.
He tore open the envelope and read
the message, and, notwithstanding his great self-control,
his lips grew pale and his eyes dim as he read the
The following is the text of the message
stored in the archives of the Gun Club:
“September 30th, 4 a.m.
“Barbicane, Tampa Town, Florida, United States.
“Substitute a cylindro-conical
projectile for your spherical shell.
Shall go inside. Shall arrive by steamer Atlanta.