Purple Cloud cover

Purple Cloud

Matthew Phipps Shiel (1865-1947)

1. 00 - Section 00
2. 01 - Section 01
3. 02 - Section 02
4. 03 - Section 03
5. 04 - Section 04
6. 05 - Section 05
7. 06 - Section 06
8. 07 - Section 07
9. 08 - Section 08
10. 09 - Section 09
11. 10 - Section 10
12. 11 - Section 11
13. 12 - Section 12
14. 13 - Section 13
15. 14 - Section 14
16. 15 - Section 15
17. 16 - Section 16
18. 17 - Section 17
19. 18 - Section 18
20. 19 - Section 19
21. 20 - Section 20
22. 21 - Section 21
23. 22 - Section 22
24. 23 - Section 23
25. 24 - Section 24
26. 25 - Section 25
27. 26 - Section 26
28. 27 - Section 27
29. 28 - Section 28
30. 29 - Section 29
31. 30 - Section 30
32. 31 - Section 31
33. 32 - Srction 32

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Genres

Summary

The story, a recording of a medium's meditation over the future writing of the text, details the narrator's (Adam Jeffson's) expedition to the North Pole during the 20th century on board the Boreal. Jeffson's fiancée, the Countess Clodagh, poisons her own cousin in order to secure a place on the ship for Jeffson, because the expedition was known to be one of the best ever planned. A millionaire, who died some years previously, had ordered in his will that he would pay 175,000,000 dollars to the first person standing at the North Pole. Before Jeffson leaves, he hears a sermon by a Scottish priest named Mackay, speaking against Polar research, calling the failure of all previous expeditions the will of God, and prophesying a terrible fate for those who attempt to go against God's will in this. The narrator at the same time remembers his meeting with a man who claimed that the universe is a place of strife between vague "powers", "The White" and "The Black", for dominance. Throughout the events of the polar journey, the narrator gradually discovers that his course has been, for many years, guided by these forces, all the way up to the point where he reaches the pole first. He finds a huge, clear lake of spinning water with a rock island inlaid with inscriptions. Upon seeing this, Jeffson falls into a faint. When he returns to his camp he, along with his dogs, feels nauseous after having smelled a peculiar peach-like odor. He also notices a moving purple cloud, spreading in the far heavens. During the progress of his journey, he discovers dead animals, all without the slightest sign of injury, and he gradually learns of the death of his entire crew on board the Boreal. The ship being fairly easy to operate, he sets out by himself.