BOOK ONE: THE COMING OF THE MARTIANS
CHAPTER 8: FRIDAY NIGHT
All night long the Martians were hammering and stirring,
sleepless, indefatigable, at work upon the machines they
were making ready, and ever and again a puff of greenish-white
smoke whirled up to the starlit sky.
About eleven a company of soldiers came through Horsell,
and deployed along the edge of the common to form a
cordon. Later a second company marched through Chobham
to deploy on the north side of the common. Several officers
from the Inkerman barracks had been on the common earlier
in the day, and one, Major Eden, was reported to be missing.
The colonel of the regiment came to the Chobham bridge
and was busy questioning the crowd at midnight. The military
authorities were certainly alive to the seriousness of the business. About eleven, the next morning's papers were able to
say, a squadron of hussars, two Maxims, and about four
hundred men of the Cardigan regiment started from Aldershot.
A few seconds after midnight the crowd in the Chertsey
road, Woking, saw a star fall from heaven into the pine
woods to the northwest. It had a greenish colour, and caused
a silent brightness like summer lightning. This was the second