Before Adam - Jack London - Страница 1 из 140


BEFORE ADAM
by Jack London
1906
"These are our ancestors, and their history is our history. Remember
that as surely as we one day swung down out of the trees and walked
upright, just as surely, on a far earlier day, did we crawl up out of
the sea and achieve our first adventure on land."
CHAPTER I
Pictures! Pictures! Pictures! Often, before I learned, did I wonder
whence came the multitudes of pictures that thronged my dreams; for
they were pictures the like of which I had never seen in real wake-a-day
life. They tormented my childhood, making of my dreams a procession of
nightmares and a little later convincing me that I was different from my
kind, a creature unnatural and accursed.
In my days only did I attain any measure of happiness. My nights marked
the reign of fear--and such fear! I make bold to state that no man of
all the men who walk the earth with me ever suffer fear of like kind and
degree. For my fear is the fear of long ago, the fear that was rampant
in the Younger World, and in the youth of the Younger World. In
short, the fear that reigned supreme in that period known as the
Mid-Pleistocene.
What do I mean? I see explanation is necessary before I can tell you
of the substance of my dreams. Otherwise, little could you know of the
meaning of the things I know so well. As I write this, all the
beings and happenings of that other world rise up before me in vast
phantasmagoria, and I know that to you they would be rhymeless and
reasonless.
What to you the friendship of Lop-Ear, the warm lure of the Swift One,


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