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The Purple Cloud

M. P. Shiel

Book Overview: 

The story, a recording of a medium's meditation over the future writing of the text, details the narrator's (Adam Jeffson's) expedition to the North Pole during the 20th century on board the Boreal. Jeffson's fiancée, the Countess Clodagh, poisons her own cousin in order to secure a place on the ship for Jeffson, because the expedition was known to be one of the best ever planned.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .igh, throwing placid shadows on the aisle between; some being of a lucid emerald tint; and three or four pouring down cascades that gave a far and chaunting sound. The sea between was of a strange thick bluishness, almost like raw egg-white; while, as always here, some snow-clouds, white and woolly, floated in the pale sky. Down this avenue, which produced a mysterious impression of Cyclopean cathedrals and odd sequesteredness, I had not passed a mile, when I sighted a black object at the end.

I rushed to the shrouds, and very soon made out a whaler.

Again the same panting agitations, mad rage to be at her, at once possessed me; I flew to the indicator, turned the lever to full, then back to give the wheel a spin, then up the main-mast ratlins, waving a long foot-bandage of vadmel tweed picked up at random, and by the time I was within five hundred yards of her, had worked myself to such a pitch, that I was again. . . Read More