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Summary Chapter 11

Seated uncomfortably on the saddle, on account of his struggle with the Morlocks, the Time Travel travels into the future at incredible speed. Indeed in a blink of an eye he is traveling thousands of millions of years into the future. Presently, the transition from night to day and vice and versa slows. Usually this means that the velocity of the time machine is slowing as well. But considering that the rate at which the dial indicating the thousands of millions of years is still moving incredibly fast, it can only be inferred that the Earth’s rotation vis-à-vis the Sun has been slowing. Indeed, it isn’t long before one can infer that the rotation has completely stopped so that the Earth’s relation to the Sun is no different than the Moon’s relation to the Earth.

Subsequently, the Time Traveler brings the time machine to a complete stop, and he beholds a world that is harsh reddish in color and that has lichen like vegetation everywhere. The sun, which has grown huge, is red and motionless. The Time Machine realizes that he is on a beach, and he feels a pain in his lungs similar to how he had felt when he had gone mountaineering. The air has thinned. Suddenly, the Time Traveler hears a harsh scream, and he sees a huge white butterfly disappear over a distant hillock. His sense of dread increases when what he initially took for a reddish rock suddenly moves and reveals itself to be a crab of monstrous size. Almost simultaneously, the Time Traveler feels a tickling on his cheek which he takes to be a fly but which turns out to be a feeler of another monstrous sized crab, which is standing just behind him. As he sees its claws descending on him, the Time Traveler pushes the lever and travels a month into the future. The monstrous crabs are more numerous than ever, however, so the Time Traveler goes 100 years into the future.

He continues traveling into the future. Thousands of years pass. Then at 30 million years into the future, the Time Traveler stops. The sun is now a huge reddish dome in the sky. There are no crabs, but the air is very cold, and there are white flecks in the air, sort of like snow. There are ice masses in the sea, but for the most part the sea is still flowing. There is green slime on the rocks, proof that organic life still exists. The Time Traveler then sees a black object flapping about on the shore but then dismisses it as an optical illusion. Suddenly, a shadow begins to cover the sun. The Time Traveler is alarmed only to realize it’s a planetary eclipse. The Time Traveler infers that Mercury is coming between the Earth and the Sun.

It isn’t long before darkness falls with only the pale stars above to offer any light. The darkness and the bitter cold affect the Time Traveler to the extent that when daylight returns, he’s compelled to dismount the time machine to collect himself. As he does so, he again sees a black object on the shore flapping about. Without further ado, the Time Traveler gets back on the time machine’s saddle and transports himself back to the present time and place.

H.G. Wells