2021-04-17 02:12:20

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ENGLISH The Clockwork man stared blankly at his interrogator. "Watercress," he remarked, "is not much in my line. Something solid, if you have it, and as much as possible. I feel a trifle faint."Rose retreated a few steps and lowered her head.[Pg 208]

Mrs. Masters had scarcely murmured her apologies for the best she could do at such short notice, and retired, than the Clockwork[Pg 141] man set to with an avidity that appalled and disgusted the Doctor. The six eggs were cracked and swallowed in as many seconds. The rest of the food disappeared in a series of jerks, accompanied by intense vibration of the jaws; the whole process of swallowing resembling the pulsations of the cylinders of a petrol engine. So rapid were the vibrations, that the whole of the lower part of the Clockwork man's face was only visible as a multiplicity of blurred outlines."Major Harper doesn't really know her," I softly remarked."Lieutenant O'Brien, of the rebel army. Shall I order this man to kick that door in? Answer quickly."

"Lieutenant O'Brien, of the rebel army. Shall I order this man to kick that door in? Answer quickly."IV

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"Why not?" Gregg sat down on the couch and twisted his hat idly between his fingers.Again the tears flowed down the Clockwork man's cheeks, this time in a sequence of regular streams.Lilian glanced up at them. "If only we could keep there! By their habitations are men known. A house ought to be a sort of resting place. No more. Once you elaborate it, it becomes a prison, with hard labour attached."

Gregg shrugged his shoulders in silence. Presently he looked at his watch. "I wonder if Grey will be back soon." Grey was the local inspector of police, in whose hands they had placed the business of rounding up the Clockwork man. Allingham had loaned out his car for the purpose.True, it was an illusion, and man had always known that. For generations he had known that the universe contained more than his limited faculties could perceive. And beauty. There had always been the consoling fact of beauty, lulling the race of man to content, while every now and again a great mind arose and made one more effort to sweep aside the bejewelled splendour that hung between man and his final destinyto know."HeHehadn't got no back to his head," blurted out Tom at last.

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The Doctor, in establishing himself in the right quarter, had forgotten to allow for the fact that the force that had lifted the Paynes out of their urban obscurity had descended to their daughter. Lilian had been expensively educated, and although the Doctor denied it[Pg 124] to himself a hundred times a week, there was no evading the fact that an acute brain slumbered behind her rather immobile beauty. True, the fruits of her learning languished a little in Great Wymering, and that beyond a slight permanent frown and a disposition to argue about modern problems, she betrayed no revolt against the narrowness of her existence, but appeared, graceful and willowy, at garden parties or whist drives. It was the development of her mind that the Doctor feared, especially as, all unconsciously at first, he had acted as its chief stimulant. During their talks together he had spoken too many a true word in jest; and his witticisms had revealed to Lilian a whole world about which to think and theorise.III

"Tell me," said the Doctor, without moving a muscle in his face, "was she satisfied with her tour of my premises?"

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Apr-17 02:12:20