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This story is adapted from ‘20,000 Leagues under the Sea’ by Jules Verne. It talks about Professor Aronnax’s ship being chased by a sea monster. The crew defend themselves against this unknown animal, chasing it back and attacking it to finally take it down.
Professor Aronnax– the narrator, a scientist abord the ship known as the Abraham Lincoln
Commander Farragut– the captain of the ship
Ned Land– a sailor who uses a harpoon
The Sea Monster Chases the Ship
Professor Aronnax’s ship wanted to go back, but the strange animal chased it at high speed. It made a full circle around the frigate and wrapped it in sheets of electricity that looked like glowing dust. It could have crashed against the ship at any moment.
The professor was surprised to see the warship fleeing, not fighting. Commander Farragut told him that he did not want to take foolish risks in the darkness. They could not attack the unknown creature and defend themselves against it. So, he thought they should wait for daylight.
The whole crew stayed alert all night instead of sleeping. Unable to compete with the monster’s speed, the frigate, called the Abraham Lincoln, slowed down. The animal slowed down too but did not leave. However, near midnight it disappeared, or went out like a huge glowworm. They crew did not know if it had actually fled and were filled with fear and hope.
But at 12:53 a deafening hiss could be heard. Commander Farragut, Ned Land, and the professor were peering eagerly into the darkness from the afterdeck. The commander asked Ned Land if that was the same noise that cetaceans made when they spurt water from their blowholes. Ned said that it was the same noise, but much louder. He thought there must be a whale in the waters.
Near two o’clock the light reappeared, five miles away from the ship. The crew stayed alert until daylight, getting ready for action. Whaling gear was set up and the chief officer loaded the blunderbusses that could launch harpoons and long duck guns with exploding bullets. Ned Land sharpened his harpoon.
The Next Morning
At six o’clock, dawn broke and the animal’s electric glow disappeared. At seven o’clock a very dense morning mist spread around the ship. Everyone was disappointed and angry because even their best spyglasses could not see through this mist.
At eight o’clock the mist went away and it became clearer. Suddenly, Ned Land shouted that he could see the monster. Everyone saw a long blackish body emerged a metre above the waves a mile and a half from the ship. Its shaking tail was creating a current.
The crew’s leader, after carefully observing the animal, ordered the engineer to sail towards it. The ship headed straight for the animal. It let them come nearer, and sped up a little to keep its distance. This chase continued for forty-five minutes without the ship getting any closer.
In the next hour, the ship gathered speed but so did the animal. The ship was speeding so much that it trembled. The excitement of the chase shook the narrator. Ned Land stayed ready with his harpoon. Many times, the animal let them approach. Then, just as the harpooner was about to attack, it would run away.
The Crew Attacks the Sea Monster
Commander Farragut decided to use more direct methods and asked his assistant to handle the gun in the bow. The cannon was immediately loaded and levelled. A shot was fired, but it missed the monster.
The commander told somebody with better aim to take over the cannon and offered $500 to the man who succeeded. A calm old gray-bearded gunner took aim for some time. There was a big explosion with cheers from the crew.
The shell had hit the animal, but bounced off its rounded surface and vanished. The old gunner angrily exclaimed that the monster must be covered with armour plate. The hunt went on for hours without the animal getting tired.
But the crew struggled on tirelessly too. At 10:50 pm, the electric light reappeared three miles away from the frigate. The monster seemed motionless. The crew wondered if it was asleep, weary, or just riding with the waves. Commander Farragut decided to take full advantage of this chance.
The frigate approached the animal without making a sound. They were near the core of the light when the professor saw Ned Land with his dreadful harpoon just twenty feet away from the motionless animal.
Then the harpoon was launched and made a ringing sound as if it had hit some hard substance. The electric light suddenly went out, and two huge columns of water crashed onto the deck of the frigate, throwing down crewmen and breaking the ship’s structures.
A collision occurred, and the narrator was thrown over the rail and hurled into the sea.
This story tells us about an exciting adventure involving a mysterious and dangerous sea monster. The crew launch an attack on the sea monster to defend themselves. They cleverly and bravely plan out their attack and tirelessly work to fulfil it. The crew’s determination is very inspiring.