BOOK TWO: THE EARTH UNDER THE MARTIANS
CHAPTER 9: WRECKAGE
I came down and went into the dining room. There
were the mutton and the bread, both far gone now in decay,
and a beer bottle overturned, just as I and the artilleryman
had left them. My home was desolate. I perceived the folly
of the faint hope I had cherished so long. And then a strange
thing occurred. "It is no use," said a voice. "The house is
deserted. No one has been here these ten days. Do not stay
here to torment yourself. No one escaped but you."
I was startled. Had I spoken my thought aloud? I turned,
and the French window was open behind me. I made a
step to it, and stood looking out.
And there, amazed and afraid, even as I stood amazed
and afraid, were my cousin and my wife--my wife white
and tearless. She gave a faint cry.
"I came," she said. "I knew--knew----"
She put her hand to her throat--swayed. I made a step
forward, and caught her in my arms.