The Poison Belt – Arthur Conan Doyle

This is another quickie Kindle story involving Professor Challenger and his friends. It went quickly enough – Challenger is in the news again and collects the same four who went to the Lost World with him to come to his estate – with an oxygen tank.  He has been predicting the end of the world, you see.

When the four get there, they find that he thinks the Earth is entering a poison belt in the ether, and soon everyone will die. Well, soon everyone is dying, but the oxygen seems to help and just before the last tank runs out the Earth leaves the belt and the four (and Challenger’s wife) survive.

They spend some time driving around, even finding another survivor, an invalid who had her own air tank.  Then those ‘killed’ start coming back to life, aside from those killed in the train wrecks and burning cities he described in the first part.

This one, while well enough written, isn’t one to come back to, unlike the fun romp of the first Challenger book.  The waiting for death section is naturally gloomy, and the ‘never mind’ ending doesn’t make up for it.


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