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Chapter 17

CHAPTER XVII


A TELEGRAPHIC DISPATCH


The great works undertaken by the Gun Club had now virtually
come to an end; and two months still remained before the day for
the discharge of the shot to the moon. To the general impatience
these two months appeared as long as years! Hitherto the smallest
details of the operation had been daily chronicled by the journals,
which the public devoured with eager eyes.

Just at this moment a circumstance, the most unexpected, the
most extraordinary and incredible, occurred to rouse afresh
their panting spirits, and to throw every mind into a state of
the most violent excitement.

One day, the 30th of September, at 3:47 P.M., a telegram,
transmitted by cable from Valentia (Ireland) to Newfoundland and
the American Mainland, arrived at the address of President Barbicane.

The president tore open the envelope, read the dispatch, and,
despite his remarkable powers of self-control, his lips turned
pale and his eyes grew dim, on reading the twenty words of
this telegram.

Here is the text of the dispatch, which figures now in the
archives of the Gun Club:

FRANCE, PARIS,
30 September, 4 A.M.
Barbicane, Tampa Town, Florida, United States.

Substitute for your spherical shell a cylindro-conical projectile.
I shall go inside. Shall arrive by steamer Atlanta.
MICHEL ARDAN.

Jules Verne

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