In H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, where do the people jump into the river to escape the Martians' heat ray?

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Michael Otis | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Assistant Educator

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Near the end of chapter 12 -  "What I Saw of the Destruction
of Weybridge and Shepperton" - in H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, a frenzied crowd, including the narrator, rush into the river to escape a group of advancing Martian tripods at Weybridge, a town in Surrey, at the confluence of the Thames and the Wey. At the beginning of the chapter, the narrator and his wife make plans to leave the country, while the artilleryman, who has taken refuge with them, intends to rejoin his battery. As they begin their journey they meet up with three cavalrymen, one of whom, the lieutenant, instructs the latter to report to Brigadier-General Marvin in Weybridge. Since the narrator knows the way, he continues with him. Reaching Weybridge, they find the town in chaos with a multitude of people on the docks waiting for a limited number of ferries. In this tumultuous scene, five Martian tripods suddenly appear causing the refugees, including the narrator, to jump into the river. Although the army scores a brief victory by bringing down one of the tripods with a shellburst, the rest of the Martian war machines sweep the river with the heat ray, sending a wall of scalding water upon the hapless refugees.

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