20,000 Leagues under the Sea is a sci-fi book written by Jules Verne. It tells of how three men, Pierre Arronax (professor of natural history in a university in Paris), his servant Conseil (a negro of great self-control), and Ned Land (greatest Canadian harpooner of his time), are stranded in the sea and taken aboard a submarine ship, the Nautilus, that resembles a whale, which is commanded by the mysterious Captain Nemo*. There they stay for ten months, prisoners, until they manage to escape in the dangerous maelstrom off the coast of Sweden.
One of my favorite parts is when M. Arronax, Conseil, Ned Land and Captain Nemo travel underwater to search for pearls. They find a huge bed with thousands of oysters and pearls. Captain Nemo shows them a giant oyster at least five feet in width, which has a huge pearl inside it.
When they come back out of the underwater cave where it is, they watch a native pearl-fisher try to collect a share of the underground treasure. He seems to be doing well, until a giant shark attacks him! The shark knocks the man unconscious, but Captain Nemo moves in before it can make another move. With the help of Ned Land, he kills it. Thus they save the man’s life. (more…)