2021-04-18 11:44:37

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ENGLISH As he approached the figure standing beneath the incandescent lamp, the clerical beam upon the Curate's clean-shaven features deepened into a more secular expression of heartfelt relief."I know one thing," the Clockwork man remarked, as the car began to move, "I'm devilish hungry.""On the contrary, I am flattered," said the Doctor, inwardly chafing at this new example of Lilian's originality. "But tell me, Mrs. Masters, am I not becoming more successful with the ladies?" As he spoke, he flicked with his gloves the reflection of himself in the mirror.

"Arthur was not sure what this term implied. In spite of his confusion he couldn't help feeling a little amused. The figure standing by his side was so exactly like a wax-work come to life, and his talk was faintly reminiscent of a gramophone record."Well?" enquired Mrs. Flack, as she poured him out a cup of tea, "who won?""Ah," interrupted the Clockwork man, placing a finger to the side of his nose, "I begin to understand. You work upon a different principle, or rather an antiquated principle. You see, all that has been solved[Pg 149] now. The clock works all that out in advance. It calculates ahead of our conscious selves. No doubt we still go through the same processes, sub-consciously, all such processes that relate to Cause and Effect. But we, that is, ourselves, are the resultant of such calculations, and the only actions we are conscious of are those which are expressed as consequents."

Upstairs in the bedroom, Arthur hastily removed his flannels and paced the limited amount of floor space between the two beds. What a little box of a place it was, and how absurdly crammed with furniture! You couldn't move an inch without bumping into things or knocking something over. There wasn't room to swing a cat, much less to perform an elaborate toilet with that amount of leisurely comfort necessary to its successful accomplishment. Ordinarily he didn't notice these things; it was only when he was in a[Pg 68] hurry, and had all sorts of little duties to carry out, that the awkwardness of his surroundings forced themselves into his mind and produced a sense of revolt. There were times when everything seemed a confounded nuisance and a chair stuck in your way made you feel inclined to pitch it out of the window. Just when you wanted to enjoy simply being yourself, when your thoughts were running in a pleasant, easeful way, you had to turn to and dress or undress, shave or wash, prepare yourself for the conventions of life. So much of existence was spent in actions that were obligatory only because other people expected you to do the same as themselves. It wasn't so much a waste of time as a waste of life."Well," the reply was shot out at last, "how do you work?" The repartee of the Clockwork man was none the less effective for being suspended, as it were, for a second or two before delivery.I

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"And if she is?" called Ferry, depressing Charlotte's weapon to an aim barely breast high.The log burst the door in at a blow, Ferry and I fired, and our foes sprang in. Certainly they were brave; the doorway let them in only by twos, and the fire-log, falling under foot, became a stumbling-block; yet in an instant the room was ringing and roaring with the fray and benighted with its smoke. Their first ball bit the top of my shoulder and buried itself in the wall--no, not their first, but the first save one; for the bureau mirror stood in dim shade, and the Federal leader made the easy mistake of firing right into it. The error sealed his fate; Ferry fired under his flash and sent him reeling into the arms of his followers. They replied hotly but blindly, and in a moment the room was void of assailants. Ferry started to spring from the bed, but Charlotte threw her arms about him, and as she pressed her head hard down on his breast I could not help but hear "No, my treasure, my heart's whole treasure, no!"

There were little signs, too, that only a woman notices. It was as if the girl had found herself in a house of criminals. It was all wonderfully refined and luxurious, a perfectly appointed house, but after a year there Hetty knew absolutely nothing as to the past of her employer."Whom have you come for, sir?"

"I wonder," said the Curate, grasping the edge of his chair, "I wonder, now, if Moses felt like this when he saw the burning bush."Poverty and want were jostling with well dressed content on the pavement. It was one of the strangest and most painful contrasts that can be seen in the richest city in the world. And the contrast was heightened by the meanness of the Corner House.Tom Driver was a backward youth at the best of times, but he seemed quite overcome[Pg 58] by the amount of responsibility now thrust upon him. He shuffled forward, pressing his knees together and holding a tattered cap between his very dirty fingers. A great shock of curly yellow hair fell almost over his large brown eyes, and his face was long and pinched.

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"Well, I can name several! I don't call Scott Gholson anybody, but there's Major Harper--No, I'm not talking too loud, Ned isn't hearing a word. Major Harper's so hot against this thing that he brought it up, with me, yesterday on the battlefield.""Nobody," remarked Arthur, cramming bread and butter into his mouth. "Game off.""No," I replied, although it was a thing I would have said Ned Ferry would not do, "no, no, it is she who has served both you and herself cruelly wrong. Captain, I believe that when Miss Harper has talked it over with her she will see her mistake as we all see it, and will call you back."

"A young lady called to see you this evening," she announced, smilingly.The Clockwork man emitted a soft whistling sound from between his teeth, and rubbed his nose thoughtfully against the post.

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Apr-18 11:44:37