Good evening, friends.
I'm going to tell you about the greatest adventure of my life.
This is my journal.
Everything I have experienced I have confided to its pages.
But I have not told you my name.
I am Mr. Hart, Mr. Simon Hart.
And I lived at a time which gave birth to beautiful dreams of human progress!
My friends and I could think of nothing else!
Robur the Conqueror, Barbican, Captain Nemo...
Of such was the world of our youth...
My story proper begins on the waves of the Atlantic.
What an impression they made upon me!
I had booked passage on the first steamship to cross that ocean.
I watched mankind as he challenged the waves below, and the empire of the air above!
Every step brought new discoveries, new inventions.
Enraptured, I observed with glee each new triumph of science and technology!
Little did I know the role that submarine would soon play in my life!
I continued my journey overland.
The iron horse brooked no stay!
Terrible! Have you seen?
People needlessly killed, I beg you!
Thus ends all human folly!
Man was created with feet to walk upon the Earth and on earth he should stay, Sir!
Fortunately, there have always been people who are not satisfied with walking on the Earth.
They travel now just as confidently across both sea and sky.
Yes, and sky!
For man has lately mounted the empyrean, the privilege of the winged eagle!
And this is but the beginning!
Increasingly sophisticated arks of the air now cruise the celestial seas.
Flying vessels, heavier than air, are no longer a figment of the human imagination.
A century of steam and electricity has rendered the servant class obsolete!
Indeed this was the latest word in the noble field of aeronautics.
Thanks to my friend Robur “the Conqueror” not even the king of birds can reach the heights that this machine now rules.
Finally, I was at my destination, this private sanatorium.
But who was that man?
Now, in this sanatorium my teacher, the brilliant scientist Prof. Roch, was convalescing from toiling on his latest experiments.
How goes the Professor?
And how did you fare?
I have got the papers.
All we need now is the money so he can finish -
to make his great inventions in peace.
You know, Sir, I wish the Professor every success.
I believe he will find people who will help him.
But sometimes I can't help but worry that nothing good can come from these explosive devices of his.
I am a scientist.
My interest lie in chemical reactions, not in practical accountancy!
That means Professor...
...that I have no money left for my experiments, and yet I must finish them!
I should not care to be at sea tonight.
By morn, word had spread like wildfire of the ruthless kidnapping of Professor Roch and his assistant, Mr. Simon Hart.
Days of feverish searching ensued.
Commands in a foreign language
By what right do they board?
By right of arms.
Strike sail, blast you!
We should inform the Count, His Excellency.
Count d'Artigas, the ship's owner.
Please, see for yourself.
We may set sail...
We may proceed, Your Excellency.
Wait until night and then full steam to Back Cup!
How was it possible for such a ship to progress with no sails amast?
And where did that rope lead, down into the depths of the sea?
The explanation was to hand:
Yes, the very submarine whose tragic disappearance had so excited the world's press!
And the reason the inspection of the schooner had proven fruitless.
Allow me welcome you aboard.
What say you to the most modern vessel in the world, Professor?
I regret that my men had to use force, but it was the only way I could save your work from being abused.
Where is my assistant?
Unfortunately, I do not know. My invitation extended only to you, Professor.
You are my guest.
Let me show you my kingdom.
I rule the greatest empire in the world.
With the invention of this submarine, I became the Master of the World's Oceans.
Their riches are greater than the wealth of all the continents combined.
The sea floor is rich in natural resources.
Treasures of gold and jewels claimed over the years by the seas are there but for the taking.
All this I put at the service of science.
I believe in your discoveries, your big idea.
I will do everything in my power to ensure your work is finished.
With the riches of the ocean I have prepared an underwater city.
My factories and laboratories await you, Professor.
Your genius and my finances together will create a wonder!
Together, we will amaze the world.
By what right are you holding me here?
By right of arms, Sir.
Once on the high seas, with no danger of further naval patrols, the Professor was transported from the submarine to the three-master.
Professor, Captain Spade, captain of our schooner.
Mr. Serko, your future collaborator, the man who built the factories in our underwater city, Back Cup.
Let me show you the plans for your laboratory, Professor.
Ship! Ship to port!
It's the Amelia, one of the largest merchant ships in the South Atlantic, becalmed at sea.
Make the necessary arrangements, as usual.
Professor, may I offer you some light refreshment?
Alone in the armoured brig of the submarine, my journal became the sol trustee of my thoughts and observations.
It was readily apparent to me now what dark purposes the supposed loss of the submarine had served.
She had disappeared from the public eye, only to conceal the criminal raids of a pirate gang.
And who was her commander?
The noble Count d'Artigas!
A short pause, but hopefully a fruitful one.
Our submarine has discovered the wreck of a merchant ship...
That must be a rare stroke of luck, finding such a treasure ship.
We do not leave it to chance, Professor.
We have a system.
What was that?
Did you hear that?
There was certainly someone calling for help.
It must be a castaway.
Do you see anything?
You are right. It is a survivor.
Launch the lifeboat! Action stations, blast you!
Who's wandered in here?
What are you doing here, blast you!?
Who let you in here?
Captain, a gentleman does not enter a room thus when a lady is present!
Do you want to blow up the ship?
Doesn't the powder keg impress you?
It's no surprise the Amelia went down with a passenger like you!
Prepare your things. We land at dawn.
Captain, do many ships call at your island?
You should know, I must return soon.
You'll soon see.
Captain, the island where we are due to land...
Land ahoy! Back Cup ahoy!
Back Cup, Professor! Another hour we will be home.
You call a volcano home?
The volcano is quite extinct.
The smoke you see is from my factories.
Have you chosen a strange residence, my dear count!
Perhaps, but only there can you realize your ingenious plans, Professor.
Our submarine passed along an undersea tunnel.
As I later learned, it was the only gateway into d'Artigas' pirate retreat.
We surfaced in a grim lagoon, shaded by towering crater walls.
Here the submarine was safe.
D'Artigas' satanic mills belched clouds of resinous fumes that floated over the caldera like the inevitable threat of eruption.
And most astonishing of all, on a rugged promontory above the waters perched his proud eagle's nest!
Thus seemed to me the residence of the Count d'Artigas, Pirate King of the modern age.
On the opposite shore of the lagoon another kind of residence awaited me a poor, dilapidated shack that for long months was to be my home.
There I spun my bold plans of escape.
There I would experience both elation and despair.
But forgive me, I run ahead of myself!
The pages of my journal with those memories were empty yet, I was still a prisoner in the brig of the submarine.
So, welcome home, Sir.
You are only destroying your own home, young man.
What have you done with the Professor?
The Professor is being treated royally.
It will be your turn, if he disappoints...
What results? We find the secret of matter.
The secret of matter? And then what...?
We look forward to seeing the results of your experiments, Professor.
I think his assistant would work faster, Your Excellency.
The engineer? So, talk to him.
What is it all for?
It is only a test, for now. I am trying to release the great power that holds matter together.
Many other discoveries will be needed before those forces can serve mankind to fuel machines, give light and warmth.
But that is a technical matter what people do with it,
for the technicians to decide... and the people.
My new invention, a machine that will rule the air.
Together with the explosive discovered by the Professor, it will rule the world.
And you, Sir, in the interim shall apply your talents to it.
Never! I wish to speak with the Professor.
I cannot allow that!
Of course you could always... I will not be your accomplice!
As you wish.
We can wait!
In my absence they converted this miserable shack into a perfectly equipped laboratory.
I thought of the Professor.
He would never give these bandits the secret of his discoveries?
But I had forgot how my genius-teacher was as trusting as a young child!
We build a solid steel tower.
The main section contains a chamber.
We put a few grams of my new form of matter inside, hook it up to an electric current and...
It will go boom!
There will be an enormous burst of energy which we must channel and control!
We must tame this force. That is the whole point of the experiment.
I regret to inform, the experiment has been a failure.
On the contrary, Professor! That was what I call a result!
Well done, Professor, congratulations!
Barely had I heard the explosion, than I realized my unsuspecting professor had handed these criminals a terrible weapon!
A discovery with so many possibilities now sure to become a weapon of mass destruction!
No, this must not be!
There was not a minute to lose!
I would do everything possible to warn mankind before it was too late!
DELIVER IMMEDIATELY TO THE PROFESSOR. IMPORTANT!
One day, I noticed the submarine returning from another murderous voyage.
At that time I had no idea that my message had reached its goal.
I had no idea that the pirates were bringing ill tidings to their commander.
It was again the most modern of technology that informed d'Artigas that his ominous secret had been uncovered.
Our submarine, Your Excellency.
They fired at us as soon as we surfaced!
We had the luck of the Devil!
Someone has betrayed me. They will come after us, Excellency.
So much the better! We shall give them a wonderful reception, and put an end to this game of hide and seek!
Accelerate the production of shells and have the Supergun positioned on the coast.
Impossible through the marine tunnel.
Then dig a new tunnel through the rock, above the waterline, straight to the coast.
Nothing shall stop me. A small interval, Excellency.
As Count d'Artigas did everything possible to use the destructive power of the Professor's discoveries to carry out his diabolical crimes, the trusting scientist still sweated under the illusion that his labors would bring a blessing on mankind.
Almost at the same time I received a merciful relief.
Mr. Serko, d'Artigas' court scientist, the creator of Back Cup, and now builder of the tunnel through which the Supergun would be brought to the shore, awaited me.
Mr. Serko, Yet again I implore you...
I will not let you see the Professor.
Forget about him.
The fault must be repaired immediately.
Have you not sent out divers?
What? Not returned?
I will hear no mention of danger!
That damaged cable must be repaired immediately!
Mr. Serko if you give your consent, I have worked under water and am not afraid of danger.
Well, Sir, I welcome your decision, if you mean it seriously.
You will descend to the bottom of the lagoon.
Follow the cable to the fault.
Two men will accompany you, to guarantee your safe return.
Of course I had little interest in the damaged cable.
I offered to help to explore the tunnel, which offered my one chance of escape.
Look again! Take reinforcements!
That man must be found dead or alive!
They had not seen me.
Well, it was now or never.
Yes! That dark tunnel was to be my coveted path to freedom.
Not a trace of him.
How much oxygen was he carrying?
Enough for the half-hour.
That very day in a display of determined resistance the world had sent an exploratory vanguard...
You are among friends, Sir.
THE GREAT POWERS UNITED AGAINST THE THREAT OF MASS DESTRUCTION!
We are safe in the tunnel. The patrols will be up in the harbour.
Your attention a moment!
Do you see that?
Engine off! Full stop!
Forgive me, I did not expect to find you here!
I am in dire need of help.
If you could wait outside a moment, I will arm myself.
May I introduce myself? My name is Mr. Hart and I am the Professor's assistant.
A pleasure, Mr. Hart.
I delivered your letter that same day.
What said the Professor?
Unfortunately, I do not know.
There was no reply?
He never spoke about the letter.
You can come in now, Mr. Hart.
Warm yourself by the fire, I believe you are in dire need of it.
I do not know how you came to be in this company.
They are not good people.
They are preparing to commit a terrible crime.
Those same people of whom you speak saved my life when our ship sank.
When they sank your vessel to rob her, you mean.
They now plan something much worse.
And only the Professor can prevent it!
Regrettable that the count is busy.
It is a very interesting and important experiment...
Do not bother yourself, Professor.
While you were sitting here, we've found a better way to make use of your new energy.
Sorry, but as you can see, I have failed to help you.
We must find him at all costs!
Tomorrow we can expect an open attack by the fleet.
But we are ready, Your Excellency. Let them come even now!
All the world's warships as one!
Let them attack! We shall trump them all!
With your permission, Your Excellency, I shall outline the order of battle. Do.
The plan is simple and guarantees us victory.
Our Supergun controls the only possible approaches to the island.
The entire encounter will take but a matter of seconds.
Shells filled with the Professor's new explosive will destroy every fleet before we are in range of their guns.
They will not even be within sight of us, we shall ascertain their positions long before.
We shall fly an observation balloon from the crater, and receive advance reports.
The balloon crew will be specially equipped for the job.
Kindly observe, Your Excellency.
How perfectly the crew is kitted out.
These men were chosen for their experience and special training.
They will be linked to us via the most modern telephone using an extra-fine cable.
They will go directly to their battle stations.
They will carry a supply of food and water.
Once the fleet is sunk, they will guard our island against any further attempt at attack.
Now, I ask you, Your Excellency...
The ships are approaching, we must warn them immediately!
If you are brave enough, I know how we can do it.
What about the Professor? He cannot help us now.
We must act quickly.
Professor, you've come to observe!
Prepare the cannon!
My dear Count! Professor!
We found a use for your discovery!
Shoot them down! Shoot them down!