CHAPTER 17: From Cape Horn to the Amazon
"Not too much, to be candid with master. I was lacking a few
throatfuls of air, but I would have gotten by. Besides, when I saw
master fainting, it left me without the slightest desire to breathe.
It took my breath away, in a manner of . . ."
Confounded by this lapse into banality, Conseil left his sentence hanging.
"My friends," I replied, very moved, "we're bound to each other forever,
and I'm deeply indebted to you--"
"Which I'll take advantage of," the Canadian shot back.
"Eh?" Conseil put in.
"Yes," Ned Land went on. "You can repay your debt by coming with me
when I leave this infernal Nautilus."
"By the way," Conseil said, "are we going in a favorable direction?"
"Yes," I replied, "because we're going in the direction of the sun,
and here the sun is due north."
"Sure," Ned Land went on, "but it remains to be seen whether we'll
make for the Atlantic or the Pacific, in other words, whether we'll
end up in well-traveled or deserted seas."
I had no reply to this, and I feared that Captain Nemo wouldn't
take us homeward but rather into that huge ocean washing the shores
of both Asia and America. In this way he would complete his underwater
tour of the world, going back to those seas where the Nautilus
enjoyed the greatest freedom. But if we returned to the Pacific,
far from every populated shore, what would happen to Ned Land's plans?
We would soon settle this important point. The Nautilus
traveled swiftly. Soon we had cleared the Antarctic Circle
plus the promontory of Cape Horn. We were abreast of the tip
of South America by March 31 at seven o'clock in the evening.