PLAY # 60: The Deferred World

The play is set in the study of the mercurial and explosive adventurer, Professor Challenger—the outrageous protagonist of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, 1912, (and other gripping tales of the inexplicable such as The Poison Belt and The Land of Mist).

When the play opens, Professor Challenger is standing before the vigorous fire, blazing in his fireplace, and is in deep, annoyed discussion with writer Percival Crestfall, whom Challenger had invited to go along on his upcoming trek into danger.

CHALLENGER (thundering at his guest):  So you won’t accompany me?!!

CRESTFALL (defensively):  Up the Amazon in search of giant prehistoric creatures that ought to have died off millions of years ago?  No, sir, I won’t!!

CHALLENGER (impatient):  But aren’t you curious to actually gaze upon creatures which were supposed to be Jurassic in the living flesh—prodigious monsters that would swallow our largest and fiercest animals for afternoon tea?

CRESTFALL (abashed):  In all honesty, Professor, no, I’m not that curious.   I say let sleeping dinosaurs—if dinosaurs they be—lie.

CHALLENGER (horrified): Where’s your backbone, sir!!??

CRESTFALL (managing a weak smile):  It has evolved away, Professor Challenger—over these past five minutes.