THUS ends the voyage under the seas. What passed during that night — how th_oat escaped from the eddies of the maelstrom — how Ned Land, Conseil, an_yself ever came out of the gulf, I cannot tell.
But when I returned to consciousness, I was lying in a fisherman's hut, on th_offoden Isles. My two companions, safe and sound, were near me holding m_ands. We embraced each other heartily.
At that moment we could not think of returning to France. The means o_ommunication between the north of Norway and the south are rare. And I a_herefore obliged to wait for the steamboat running monthly from Cape North.
And, among the worthy people who have so kindly received us, I revise m_ecord of these adventures once more. Not a fact has been omitted, not _etail exaggerated. It is a faithful narrative of this incredible expeditio_n an element inaccessible to man, but to which Progress will one day open _oad.
Shall I be believed? I do not know. And it matters little, after all. What _ow affirm is, that I have a right to speak of these seas, under which, i_ess than ten months, I have crossed 20,000 leagues in that submarine tour o_he world, which has revealed so many wonders.
But what has become of the Nautilus? Did it resist the pressure of th_aelstrom? Does Captain Nemo still live? And does he still follow under th_cean those frightful retaliations? Or, did he stop after the last hecatomb?
Will the waves one day carry to him this manuscript containing the history o_is life? Shall I ever know the name of this man? Will the missing vessel tel_s by its nationality that of Captain Nemo?
I hope so. And I also hope that his powerful vessel has conquered the sea a_ts most terrible gulf, and that the Nautilus has survived where so many othe_essels have been lost! If it be so — if Captain Nemo still inhabits th_cean, his adopted country, may hatred be appeased in that savage heart! Ma_he contemplation of so many wonders extinguish for ever the spirit o_engeance! May the judge disappear, and the philosopher continue the peacefu_xploration of the sea! If his destiny be strange, it is also sublime. Have _ot understood it myself? Have I not lived ten months of this unnatural life?
And to the question asked by Ecclesiastes three thousand years ago, "Tha_hich is far off and exceeding deep, who can find it out?" two men alone o_ll now living have the right to give an answer — CAPTAIN NEMO AND MYSELF.