The Cone Illustrated (Paperback)
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"The Cone" is a short story by H. G. Wells, first published in 1895 in Unicorn. It was intended to be "the opening chapter of a sensational novel set in the Five Towns", later abandoned.The story is set at an ironworks in Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire. An artist is there to depict the industrial landscape; the manager of the ironworks discovers his affair with his wife, and takes him on a tour of the factory, where there are dangerous features.They walk towards Horrocks's iron works. "'You see the fine effect of the railway signals towards Burslem, ' said Horrocks, suddenly breaking into loquacity, striding fast, and tightening the grip of his elbow the while. 'Little green lights and red and white lights, all against the haze. You have an eye for effect, Raut. It's a fine effect.'" The route takes them near the railway line, and Raut wonders whether Horrocks, guiding him roughly by the arm, is trying to push him into danger.In the factory, Horrocks shows him the cone over the "throat" of a furnace, which is held from above by a chain; the cone shuts off the heat from the furnace to save energy, and is regularly lowered by the chain so that fuel can be added.The cone drops and hot gas escapes from the furnace; Raut's end is described in macabre detail.