A collection of short stories by Jules Verne. Dr. Ox Doctor Ox and his assistant Ygene come to the small quiet community of Quiquendone located in Flanders. He promises to light this town with a network of oxyhydric gas pipes. During the construction of this network, the quiet community becomes quite excitable, to the point where they are ready to go to war against a neighboring community. But what is the cause of this change in the nature of the good people of Quiquendone? Perhaps it is something in the air, but only Doctor Ox and his assistant Ygene know for sure. Master Zacharius: The Clockmaker Who Lost His Soul As a clockmaker in Geneva, Switzerland begins dying, all of the time pieces that he has crafted begin failing as though a part of his soul became a part of each of them. Soon only one of his time pieces remains functional, and for the clockmaker to gain possession of it, he must give his daughter's hand in marriage to a man who works for the devil himself. This was originally written in 1854. A Drama in the Air In Germany a man plans to take some passengers on a ride in his balloon. When they don't show, another man quickly jumps into the basket as the balloon begins its ascent. The unexpected passenger only intent in his ride it for the pilot to take the balloon as high as it will go. This was originally written in 1851. A Winter Amid the Ice When his son Louis and members of the crew of the ship Jeune Hardie, do not return from sea, Jean Cornbutte decides to refit the ship and go north to find them. Accompanying him on this trip is his son's fianc e, Marie, and the man who would be his son's rival for her affections, the ship's first officer, Andr Vasling. When the missing party is found in the extreme north, the only thing left to do is survive the bitter cold and rivalry. This was originally written in 1855. The 40th Ascension of Mount Blanc Jules' brother Paul writes about his climb up Mont Blanc.