2021-04-18 09:40:29

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ENGLISH "When you get to my age, Gregg, you'll have something else to do besides consult your intuitions. The fact is, you want all these[Pg 108] wonderful things to happen. You have a flair for the unexpected, like all children and adolescents. But I tell you, the Clockwork man is a myth, and I think you ought to respect my opinion."Gholson drew; I grew sick. "Ready,"--Gholson came to a ready and so did the Colonel; "aim," Gholson slowly aimed, the Colonel kept a ready, and Oliver, for the first time took his eyes from him and gazed at Gholson. "Fire!" Gholson fired; Oliver silently fell forward; with a stifled cry the girl sprang to him and drew his head into her lap, and he softly straightened out and was still. "Oh, sweet Jesus!" she cried, "Oh, sweet Jesus!""All right, darling," Hetty whispered. "Lie down and be quiet, and I will see what I can do for you. I shan't be long."

"I am tired, weary, worn-out," the Countess cried. "I am sick of it all, sick of the world, and sick to death of myself. Go to bed.""What is the meaning of this?" she demanded.

"Yes, jolly," said Arthur, "buck up.""'T'ain't possible," he ruminated, at last, "not for a bloke to 'ave machinery inside 'im. At least, not to my way of thinking."Again the tears flowed down the Clockwork man's cheeks, this time in a sequence of regular streams.

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And then they both stopped, and at the same moment saw Rose and Arthur seated on the stile."Can I do anything for you?" he enquired, almost in a whisper. Suddenly, the strange figure seemed to achieve a sort of mastery of himself. He began opening and shutting his mouth very rapidly, to the accompaniment of sharp clicking noises.

"Ah!" screamed the Doctor, dancing round the room, and forgetting even God in his agony. "What have I done? What have I done?"The Clockwork man sighed, a long, whistling sigh. "I wish you would mend me. I'm all wrong you know. Something has got out of place, I think. My clock won't work properly."

The commotion subsided as abruptly as it had begun, and the Doctor enquired, with as much grace as his outraged instincts would allow, whether he could offer him any more.Allingham sat in stony silence, sipping tea at intervals and cutting pieces of cake into[Pg 41] neat little squares, which he slipped into his mouth spasmodically. Now and again he passed a hand across his big tawny moustache and pulled it savagely. His state of tense nervous irritation was partly due to the fact that he had been obliged to wait so long for his tea; but he had also violently disagreed with Gregg in their discussion about the Clockwork man. At the present moment the young student stood by the window, watching the animated crowd outside the inn. He had finished his tea, and he had no wish to push his own theory about the mysterious circumstance to the extent of quarrelling with his friend.

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"Gholson, you are out of your head.""But how can you explain him?" protested the Doctor, with some trace of his old irritation. "You have not even seen the clock."

"Yes, sir, I 'ad a job to 'old them. And then, just as I was going to pull 'im out, I noticed something"Allingham couldn't say a word. He stood there panting and swallowing quickly. Arthur Withers caught up to them.

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Apr-18 09:40:29