The captain of the ship “Kandon-Baddung” Vantah, engaged in pearl fishing near the coast of Sumatra, unexpectedly discovers on the island of Tanamas an amazing bay of Davle Bay. According to local residents, there are devils. However, the captain finds there intelligent beings – these are salamanders. They are black, meter and a half in height and look like seals. The captain tames them by helping to open the shells with their favorite delicacy – shellfish, and they catch the mountains of pearls. Then Vanthah takes a vacation in his shipping company and travels to his homeland, where he meets with his countryman, a successful businessman GH Bondi. Captain Vantah manages to persuade the rich man to embark on the risky adventure he offers, and soon the price of pearls begins to fall because of the sharply increased production.
Meanwhile, the problem of salamanders is beginning to interest the world public opinion. At first there are rumors that Vantha carries out devils around the world, then scientific and pseudo-scientific publications appear. Scientists come to the conclusion that discovered by Captain Vantach Salamanders – this is considered an extinct species of Andrias Scheuchzeri.
One of the newts gets to the London zoo. Somehow she talks to the watchman, introducing herself as Andrew Sheichzer, and everyone here begins to understand that the Newts are intelligent beings, able to speak, and in different languages, read and even
Soon there is a meeting of shareholders of the Pacific export company, which is engaged in the exploitation of salamanders. The Assembly honors the memory of Capt. Vantaha, who died from apoplexy, and makes a number of important decisions, in particular, on stopping the extraction of pearls and on renouncing the monopoly for salamanders, which are so fast that they can not be fed. The company’s board proposes to create a giant syndicate “Salamander” for large-scale exploitation of salamanders, which they plan to use in various construction works in water. The salamander is carried around the world, settling them in India, China, Africa and America. Somewhere, however, there are strikes in protest against the expulsion from the market of human labor, but the monopolies benefit from the existence of salamanders, because this can expand the production of salamanders necessary tools, as well as agricultural products. There are also fears that the Newts will create a threat to fishing and their underwater holes will pierce the shores of the continents and islands.
Meanwhile, the exploitation of the salamanders is in full swing. Even the graduation of salamanders was developed: the leading, or overseers, the most expensive individuals; Heavy, designed for the most difficult physical work; tim – ordinary “workhorses” and so on. From belonging to a particular group depends on the price. Illegal trade in salamanders also flourishes. Humanity is inventing more and more new projects, for the implementation of which you can use these animals.
In parallel, scientific congresses are held, exchanging information in the field of both physiology and psychology of salamanders. The movement for the systematic schooling of the bred Newts unfolds, discussions arise, what kind of education should be given to the Newts, what language they should speak, etc. An international League of Patronage to the Newts appears, which aims to build relationships between humanity and the Newts on the basis of decency and humanity. A law related to salamanders is accepted: since they are thinking beings, they must themselves answer for their actions. Following the publication of the first laws on salamanders, people appear who demand to recognize for salamanders and certain rights. However, it does not occur to anyone that the “salamander issue”
Soon the number of Newts reaches seven billion, and they inhabit more than sixty percent of all the coasts of the globe. Their cultural level is growing: underwater newspapers are being produced, scientific institutions are emerging, where salamanders work, underwater and underground cities are being built. True, the Salamanders do not produce anything themselves, but people sell them all down to explosives for underwater construction works and weapons to deal with sharks.
Soon the Newts realize their own interests and begin to rebuff the people who are entering the sphere of their interests. One of the first conflicts arise between the salamanders eating gardens and peasants, dissatisfied both with salamanders, and with the policy of the government. The peasants start shooting the marauding salamanders, to which they come out of the sea and try to take revenge. Several infantry companies can hardly stop them, in retaliation, they blow up the French cruiser Jules Flambeau. After a while, the Belgian passenger steamer “Udenburg”, which was in the English Channel, was attacked by salamanders – it turns out that the English and French salamanders did not share something with each other.
Against the background of the dissociation of humanity, the salamanders unite and begin to make demands to yield to them the living space. As a demonstration of strength, they arrange an earthquake in Louisiana. The High Salamander demands evacuating people from the sea coasts indicated by him and invites humanity, together with the Newts, to destroy the world of people. The Newts really have a lot of power over people: they can block any port, any sea route and thereby kill people with hunger. So, they declare a complete blockade of the British Isles, and the United Kingdom is forced to respond in response to the Newts with a war. However, the fighting of the Newts is much more successful – they are just beginning to flood the British Isles.
Then a global settlement conference is being held in Vaduz, and lawyers representing the Newts propose to go to all their conditions, promising that “the continental flooding will be carried out gradually and in such a way as not to bring the matter to panic and unnecessary catastrophes.” In the meantime, flooding is in full swing.
And in the Czech Republic lives Pan-Povondra, a porter in the house of G. Kh. Bondi, who at one time could not let Captain Vantach to the threshold and thereby prevent a universal catastrophe. He feels that it is he who is to blame for what happened, and only the fact that the Czech Republic is far from the sea pleases him. And suddenly he sees the head of the salamander in the Vltava River…
In the last chapter, the author talks to himself, trying to come up with at least some way of saving humanity, and decides that the “Western” Newts will go to war on the “Eastern”, and as a result will be completely exterminated. And humanity will remember this nightmare as another flood.