BOOK ONE: THE COMING OF THE MARTIANS
CHAPTER 11: AT THE WINDOW
"Who's there?" he said, also whispering, standing under
the window and peering up.
"Where are you going?" I asked.
"Are you trying to hide?"
"Come into the house," I said.
I went down, unfastened the door, and let him in, and
locked the door again. I could not see his face. He was
hatless, and his coat was unbuttoned.
"My God!" he said, as I drew him in.
"What has happened?" I asked.
"What hasn't?" In the obscurity I could see he made a
gesture of despair. "They wiped us out--simply wiped us
out," he repeated again and again.
He followed me, almost mechanically, into the dining
"Take some whiskey," I said, pouring out a stiff dose.
He drank it. Then abruptly he sat down before the table,
put his head on his arms, and began to sob and weep like a
little boy, in a perfect passion of emotion, while I, with a
curious forgetfulness of my own recent despair, stood beside
It was a long time before he could steady his nerves to
answer my questions, and then he answered perplexingly and
brokenly. He was a driver in the artillery, and had only come
into action about seven. At that time firing was going on
across the common, and it was said the first party of Martians
were crawling slowly towards their second cylinder under
cover of a metal shield.