February 23, 2023

#08-287: The Lost World

The group encountering Iguanodon (Wikipedia)

Note: Step aside, Sherlock. You're not the only famous character to spring from the fertile mind of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Meet Professor George Edward Challenger!

Get Ready: Do you think it's possible that somewhere in the world dinosaurs still exist?

British author Arthur Conan Doyle is best known as the creator of the character named "Sherlock Holmes." But Holmes was not his only well-known character; the second most-famous is Professor George Edward Challenger, featured in three novels as well as other works. The most famous of these books is The Lost World, a title co-opted for a recent "Jurassic Park" movie.

The story begins when a young reporter, Edward Malone, approaches the cantankerous Professor Challenger to ask about his recent expedition to South America. Malone pretends to be a student, but Challenger sees through his ruse and physically throws him out.

When Malone refuses to press charges for the assault--witnessed by a policeman--Challenger warms to him and, swearing him to secrecy, tells Malone that he has discovered living dinosaurs! When Challenger announces the news, he is ridiculed, and Malone volunteers to verify the discoveries in another expedition, along with Challenger; Challenger's greatest academic rival, Professor Summerlee; and another adventurer, Lord John Roxton.

After fighting hostile natives, the expedition reaches the "Lost World." Despite sighting a pterodactyl at a distance, Summerlee remains skeptical--until it is seen at close range stealing the party's dinner! Summerlee apologizes to Challenger, and the party climbs to reach the plateau where the land creatures live.

However, one of their porters, Gomez, traps them there due to his enmity with Lord Roxton, who had killed his brother. Another, loyal, porter sends the party supplies by rope.

On the plateau, the party discovers many plants and animals previously thought to be extinct, and are again attacked by pterodactyls and carnivorous dinosaurs. Roxton, meanwhile, becomes interested in nearby blue clay deposits.

Later, the members of the party (except for Malone) are captured by a race of "ape-men." Roxton escapes and helps Malone free the others, along with members of a native tribe from the far side of the plateau, who are also held captive.

After the defeat of the ape-men, the tribe shows the party a tunnel that leads off the plateau, and Roxton takes along a pterodactyl chick. When attendees at a meeting back in London doubt that the Lost World really exists, Roxton reveals the chick as proof. (The chick escapes and is seen in various places around London before flying off in the direction of its home.)

Roxton's blue clay turns out to have held diamonds, and with what he has brought home, he makes wealthy men of the other party members. Malone uses his share to return with Roxton to the Lost World.


Practice: Match the term to its definition below:

  1. cantankerous
  2. carnivorous
  3. co-opted
  4. enmity
  5. extinct
  6. plateau
  7. porters
  8. ridiculed
  9. skeptical
  10. verify

  1. a flat area of land above nearby areas
  2. people who carry luggage
  3. meat-eating
  4. prove something to be true
  5. no longer in existence; having died out
  6. disbelieving
  7. grumpy; ill-tempered
  8. made fun of
  9. hatred; hostility
  10. taken over; treated as one's own; "stolen"

Answers are in the first comment below.

Submitted to the Shenzhen Daily for February 23, 2023

1 comment:

  1. Answers to the Practice: 1. g; 2. c; 3. j; 4. i; 5. e; 6. a; 7. b; 8. h; 9. f; 10. d