CHAPTER 6: The Greek Islands
"I think as master does," Conseil replied, "and it's extremely
possible that after crossing every sea on the globe, Captain Nemo
will bid the three of us a fond farewell."
"Bid us a fond farewell?" the Canadian exclaimed. "You mean beat
us to a fare-thee-well!"
"Let's not exaggerate, Mr. Land," I went on. "We have nothing
to fear from the captain, but neither do I share Conseil's views.
We're privy to the Nautilus's secrets, and I don't expect that
its commander, just to set us free, will meekly stand by while we
spread those secrets all over the world."
"But in that case what do you expect?" the Canadian asked.
"That we'll encounter advantageous conditions for escaping just
as readily in six months as now."
"Great Scott!" Ned Land put in. "And where, if you please,
will we be in six months, Mr. Naturalist?"
"Perhaps here, perhaps in China. You know how quickly the
Nautilus moves. It crosses oceans like swallows cross the air or
express trains continents. It doesn't fear heavily traveled seas.
Who can say it won't hug the coasts of France, England, or America,
where an escape attempt could be carried out just as effectively as here."
"Professor Aronnax," the Canadian replied, "your arguments
are rotten to the core. You talk way off in the future:
'We'll be here, we'll be there!' Me, I'm talking about right now:
we are here, and we must take advantage of it!"
I was hard pressed by Ned Land's common sense, and I felt myself
losing ground. I no longer knew what arguments to put forward
on my behalf.
"Sir," Ned went on, "let's suppose that by some impossibility,
Captain Nemo offered your freedom to you this very day.
Would you accept?"
"I don't know," I replied.