Study Guide

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Part 2 Chapter 10

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Part 2 Chapter 10

Underwater Coalmines

  • The next day, Aronnax and Conseil do their whole observation thing while the Nautilus cruises along the bottom of the Atlantic.
  • After a while, Aronnax begins to notice a change in the look of the ocean floor. They seem to be heading toward a big rock wall. When they reach the wall, the windows in the salon close.
  • The next morning, Aronnax sees that the Nautilus has surfaced.
  • He heads up to the deck, only to find himself in the dark. He's confused.
  • Nemo tells him they're underground.
  • Aronnax doesn't get it.
  • Nemo gets the searchlight going. The Nautilus is docked in a strange little lake inside a big cavern. They're floating in an old volcano.
  • Evidently, this is where Nemo gets his coal—the coal he converts into the sodium that powers the Nautilus. He's made a pit stop for some sodium.
  • Aronnax, Ned, and Conseil take the opportunity to explore the mine. They trek up a path that circles up and around the inside of the volcano.
  • Eventually they reach a bunch of rocks and a clump of trees; they can't get any further.
  • Ned notices a beehive. He wants honey. He wants to make gingerbread. Delicious, delicious gingerbread. You get the feeling that this isn't going to go well, but he somehow manages to get some honeycomb without getting stung.
  • He also manages to take out a bird with some rocks. Dude will do anything for food.
  • Then they all make their way back down to the shore and lay out on the rocks. Naturally, Ned starts talking about escaping.
  • All of a sudden, Conseil notices water coming into the cavern. They hurry back to the Nautilus.
  • Nemo doesn't leave the cavern until that night. Perhaps, Aronnax thinks, he is trying to keep his little place truly secret.
  • The next day, they're back on the open seas.

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