The Time Machine
by H.G. Wells
The Time Machine Chapter 9 Summary
READ THE BOOK: Chapter 9
- The Time Traveller and Weena start to travel back. On the way through the forest, the Time Traveller collects firewood so he can build a fire when they stop for the night.
- They don't get as far as he expected, and he needs a hand free in case he needs to chase off the Morlocks with a match. (Remember, he's also carrying that mace in one hand.)
- So he decides to light the firewood and leave the fire behind. This is a big no-no in the forest, especially in the future, where there's no Smokey the Bear.
- The Time Traveller says he learned later that lighting the fire was a big mistake.
- Weena is totally amazed by the fire, though, and wants to play with it. The Time Traveller has to carry her away from it. Then, when they're in the dark, he has to carry her because she's afraid of the dark. So he still has no hand free.
- So when the Morlocks do come to attack them, the Time Traveller has to put Weena down to light a match. She seems to faint or totally freeze up. He scares the Morlocks off, but he's gotten himself turned around and isn't sure which way to go. The nearly catatonic Weena is no help, so they're lost in the forest.
- The Time Traveller decides to build a big campfire where they are and camp for the night. He notes that the wood here is really dry, since it hasn't rained since he came to the future.
- As if lighting a fire in a dry forest wasn't already a bad idea, the Time Traveller decides to take a nap. (We like campfires and we like naps – but we don't like mixing the two.)
- He wakes up to discover that his fire is out, his box of matches is missing, and Morlocks are all around them.
- So he starts beating them with his metal club, which he finds very fun and exciting.
- Then the Morlocks start running away. Not from the Time Traveller and his club, but from the forest fire that his first fire caused.
- The Time Traveller can't find Weena and also runs away from the fire. But the fire encircles the Time Traveller, who ends up in a clearing with the Morlocks, penned in by a burning ring of fire. (Not to be confused with Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire.")
- The fire disorients the Morlocks, so they don't attack the Time Traveller. He stops hitting them, except when some of them come too close.
- There's no trace of Weena. The Time Traveller gets a little frenzied again: he thinks this is a nightmare and demands that God let him wake up. You know, the usual stuff.
- The Morlocks slip away as dawn comes. The Time Traveller feels alone now that Weena is gone, but he consoles himself: at least Weena wasn't eaten. This is a weird consolation, but the Time Traveller is kind of a weird guy.
- Then he realizes that he has some loose matches in his pockets, so things aren't all bad.
READ THE BOOK: Chapter 9