Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Moreau XX: Alone with the Beast Folk

As chapter XX: "Alone with the Beast Folk" opens, Prendick faces three of Moreau's uplifted animals single-handed -- literally, since his left arm was broken the day before. Observing that "There was nothing for it but courage," he decides -- again literally -- that he needs to have the whip hand. He retrieve's Montgomery's whip from the beach and uses it to cow the three uplifted animals into submission. He then orders them to carry the bodies of Montgomery and the uplifts into the sea for disposal.

While the first three uplifted animals are carrying bodies into the sea, a fourth comes onto the beach. This is an uplifted hyena-swine hybrid, currently the biggest, most dangerous carnivore on the island. Prendick orders the uplifted hyena-swine to submit, but he refuses. Prendick does not mean to leave up alive, and fires the revolver at him, but, regrettably, misses. The uplifted hybrid runs off, but Prendick knows he doesn't dare fire and miss a second time lest his mystique as "the Man with the Whip" be damaged.

The first three uplifted animals finish taking the bodies into the sea, and Prendick dismisses them. With the crisis past, he suffers a failure of nerve. It occurs to him that there is no place on the island that he can rest or sleep. He knows that he ought to go among the uplifted animals and firmly establish his dominion over them, especially with the hyena-swine uncowed, but by this time he is exhausted. He has been up for over 24 hours, his arm is broken, and he never fully recovered his strength from the ordeal of being shipwrecked. Instead, he retreats to a point where the beach runs out to a coral reef, and sits down facing the island.

Prendick's fears overwhelm him. He notices that one of the bodies has washed up on the beach to his left, but he cannot deal with it. Instead, he moves away from it. As he does so, one of the three uplifted animals he had gained control of, an uplifted St. Bernard dog, approaches him. Prendick pulls out his pistol and yells for the uplifted dog to go away. "May I not come near you?" the uplifted dog asks, but Prendick is too fearful to allow it. He picks up a stone and drives the dog away.
So in solitude I came round by the ravine of the Beast People, and hiding among the weeds and reeds that separated this crevice from the sea I watched such of them as appeared, trying to judge from their gestures and appearance how the death of Moreau and Montgomery and the destruction of the House of Pain had affected them. I know now the folly of my cowardice. Had I kept my courage up to the level of the dawn, had I not allowed it to ebb away in solitary thought, I might have grasped the vacant sceptre of Moreau and ruled over the Beast People. As it was I lost the opportunity, and sank to the position of a mere leader among my fellows.
Driven by hunger, Prendick approaches some of the uplifted animals and asks where he can find food. An uplifted ox-boar hybrid tells him, “There is food in the huts." Prendick enters one of the huts, eats some fruit he finds there, cleans it out, and builds a barricade across the entrance. Then he falls asleep.


Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

You've been very prolific lately, JP. Good to see you slinging the electrons with abandon.

Johnny Pez said...

I credit my new job as a hotel night auditor. I've got plenty of time on my hands.

Sarah Saad said... شركة السعودي الالماني للخدمات المنزلية شركات تنظيف خزانات بجدة تنظيف خزانات بجدة افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة ارخص شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة غسيل خزانات بجدة