Welcome to the latest in our series of audio adventures, Tales for Our Time, and Part Three of my serialization of The Island of Dr Moreau by H G Wells. In tonight's episode, having been rescued by a passing ship, Edward Prendick finds that, unlike the valued cargo of Dr Moreau, he is about to be tossed back in the briny:
The poor brute seemed horribly scared, and crouched in the bottom of its little cage.
"Overboard with 'em!" bawled the captain. "Overboard with 'em! We'll have a clean ship soon of the whole bilin' of 'em."
He stood in my way, so that I had perforce to tap his shoulder to come on deck. He came round with a start, and staggered back a few paces to stare at me. It needed no expert eye to tell that the man was still drunk.
"Hullo!" said he, stupidly; and then with a light coming into his eyes, "Why, it's Misterâ€”Mister?"
"Prendick," said I.
"Prendick be damned!" said he. "Shut-up,â€”that's your name. Mister Shut-up."
It was no good answering the brute; but I certainly did not expect his next move. He held out his hand to the gangway by which Montgomery stood talking to a massive grey-haired man in dirty-blue flannels, who had apparently just come aboard.
"That way, Mister Blasted Shut-up! that way!" roared the captain...
"What do you mean?" I said.
"That way, Mister Blasted Shut-up,â€”that's what I mean! Overboard, Mister Shut-up,â€”and sharp! We're cleaning the ship out,â€”cleaning the whole blessed ship out; and overboard you go!"
Members of The Mark Steyn Club can hear Part Three of our adventure simply by clicking here and logging-in. Parts One and Two can be found here - and if you've only joined in recent days and missed our earlier serials (Conan Doyle's The Tragedy of the Korosko, Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent, Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel, Anthony Hope's The Prisoner of Zenda, plus Kipling, Kafka, Dickens, Gogol, Jack London, John Buchan and Scott Fitzgerald), you can find them all here. One of our Montana Steyn Club members, Kris Dray, is enjoying our selections, mostly:
Gratitude from the northern Rockies (where it's snowing again) for the Wells readings. I listened to your rendition of The Time Machine in its entirety and it made the tedious tasks of the day so much better. I applaud your presentation and your choice of material (except Kafka - a bit of a headache, that one). I still believe modern politics is unworthy of the human soul, but Tales for Our Time is indeed splendid. I will lean on my club standing, such as it is, and suggest you could do quite well with Ivanhoe or Fahrenheit 451, if you think clubbers would enjoy them. God bless.
Thanks, Kris. Sorry about the Kafka, but Sir Walter Scott is definitely on the list for our upcoming third season.
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To become a member of The Mark Steyn Club, please click here - and, for a friend or family member, don't forget that Gift Membership. And please join me tomorrow for Part Four of The Island of Dr Moreau.