2021-04-17 02:08:37

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ENGLISH He knelt down and searched hastily among the clothes. There was a lump moving about very slightly, in the region of the waistcoat, a lump that was strangely soft to the touch. Then he felt the hard surface of the clock. Before he could remove the mass of clothing there broke upon the stillness a strange little cry, to the Doctor curiously familiar. It was the wail of an infant, long-drawn and pitiful.The Doctor paused in his walk and took hold of her elbows. "Does that mean that you've been playing with me all this time?"

"I know one thing," the Clockwork man remarked, as the car began to move, "I'm devilish hungry."She was conscious that somebody was by her side. She looked and found that her companion was the Countess. No answer came. Hetty touched the other's arm. She was shaking from head to foot like a reed in the gale.

The figure of a girl rose out of a bower of palms and ferns and stood before Gordon Bruce with a shy welcome in her violet eyes. Just for a moment Bruce found himself contrasting this fresh English beauty with the Lalage Southern loveliness to the detriment of the latter. There was a purity and sweetness, a wonderful tenderness of expression about Hetty Lawrence that had always appealed to Bruce.The Doctor wiped his mouth and produced a stethoscope. His manner became soothingly professional. He murmured sympathetic phrases and pulled a chair closer to his patient.

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Besides, there was Arthur Wither's story about the flapping ears and the queer conversation of the Clockwork man, his peculiar[Pg 43] jerky movements, his sudden exhibitions of uncanny efficiency contrasted with appalling lapses. Once you had grasped the idea of his mechanical origin, it was difficult to thrust the Clockwork man out of your head. He became something immensely exciting and suggestive. If Gregg's sense of humour had not been so violently tickled by the ludicrous side of the affair, he would have felt already that some great discovery was about to be revealed to the modern world. It had never occurred to him before that abnormal phenomena might be presented to human beings in the form of a sort of practical joke. Somehow, one expected this sort of thing to happen in solemn earnest and in the dead of night. But the event had taken place in broad daylight, and already there was mixed up with its queer unreality the most ridiculous tangle of purely human circumstance."Nineteen hundred and twenty-three," said Arthur, smiling faintly.

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."And the dances?" asked the Major.

"You see, I had lost faith in myself," said the Clockwork man, plaintively. "I had forgotten what I could do. I was so terribly run down."Mrs. Flack held the greater part of herself in a semicircle of red arm. "You are a one," she declared. Then she looked at Mr. Flack, who sat unmoved. "Why don't you laugh. It would do you good. You take everything so serious."Well, of course, it was no such simple question, and never could be while life held so many values more splendid than any wilfulness could win. There lay the whole of Charlotte's real difficulty--for she had made it all hers. But when I tried in some awkward way to say this Harry cut me short. "Oh, Dick, I--eh--you bother me! I want to tell you something and if I don't hurry I can't. Something's happened to me, old fellow, something that's sobered me more than I ever would 'a' thought anything could. I want to tell you because I can trust you with a secr'--wh'--what's the matter, did I hurt your wound? Honestly, I want to tell you because--well--because I've been deceiving you all along: I've deceived you shamefully, letting on to like this girl more than that, and so on and so on."

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"It mustn't happen," said the Doctor, recovering slightly, "that's the flat fact. If it's food you require, then food you shall have."All really important questions in life came under the heading of Time and Space, thought of in capital letters. Recently, he had struggled through a difficult book, in which the author used these expressions a great many times, although in a sense difficult to grasp. Nevertheless, it suddenly became obvious, in a small way, exactly what the chap had been driving at.Until that time came, man's deepest speculations about ultimate reality brought him no nearer to the truth than the child worrying himself to sleep over the problem of what happened before God made the universe. Man remained, in that sense, as innocent as a child, from birth to death. Until the actual structure of the cells in his brain suffered a change man could not actually know.

XLIX A CRUEL BOOK AND A FOOL OR TWOShe was conscious that somebody was by her side. She looked and found that her companion was the Countess. No answer came. Hetty touched the other's arm. She was shaking from head to foot like a reed in the gale.

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Apr-17 02:08:37