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Summary Chapter 6

The Time Traveler is certain that the Morlocks and not the Elois have hidden away his time machine. He’s convinced that the only way to retrieve his time machine is to scale down one of the many wells that dot the landscape and see what lies beneath the surface. But because of the natural repulsion that he feels for the Morlocks, who are pallid color wise and eerily cold to the touch, it is two days before the Time Traveler musters the courage to go down a well. During those two days, the Time Traveler increases the distance that he covers in his exploring expeditions. He comes across a ruin that is bigger than all the ruins and palaces that he’s hitherto come across and decides to explore it thoroughly the next day only to realize he’s merely using it as an excuse to put off the task of descending a well.

Subsequently, the next day, the Time Traveler marches right up to a well, clambers over its mouth, and begins to descend it by using the rungs that are attached to its side. Weena, who has followed him, tries in vain to prevent the Time Traveler from going down the well. The Time Traveler pushes her aside and proceeds with his climb.

It is perilous descent of some 200 yards. At one point, one of the rungs gives way, and the Time Traveler finds himself dangling by an arm. So it is a great relief when he finds a horizontal tunnel on which to rest his weary body. Alas, as he lies there in the darkness, the Time Traveler feels alien hands on his body. When he lights a match, the Time Traveler sees three retreating Morlocks. The Time Traveler tries to speak to them in the language of the Eloi to no avail.

During his descent, the Time Traveler had noticed the hum and throb of machinery which grew louder the lower he went. He had inferred that the machines’ purpose was to pump air into the underground tunnels. Presently, as the Time Traveler steps into an arched cavern, he notices what looks to be the shadows of those air pumping machines. He also smells freshly shed blood and sees a bit of raw meat on a table. It is then that he feels the Morlocks surrounding him. At first, he manages to scare them away but then they come at him again. As the Morlocks become increasingly bold, the Time Traveler retreats. He uses the last four of his matches to repel the Morlocks, regretting how carelessly he had used them up in amusing the Elois.

The ascent is tough sledding. At one point, the Time Traveler feels as if he’s going to fall. He makes it to the top however. Clambering over the well mouth, he lies on the ground, appreciating the sunlight and the fresh smell of earth and flowers. Soon he is met by Weena and other Elois.

H.G. Wells