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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 887MB


    Software instructions

      "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."

      Only for a minute, a brief respite; then she must go down to her guests again."Wait, I am coming to that. We have to[Pg 177] get the facts firmly in our heads. First of all, there is a mechanism, a functioning principle, which causes certain processes to take place, and enables the Clockwork man to behave as no ordinary human being ever could behave. What that functioning principle is we do not yet know; we can only posit its existencewe must do thatand draw what inference we can from its results. Now, the effect of the functioning principle is clear to me, if the cause is hidden. Obviously, the effect of the mechanism is to accelerate certain processes in the purely human part of the Clockwork man's organism to such an extent that what would take years, or even generations, to take place in ordinary mortals, takes place instantaneously. Witness the growth of beard, the changes in appearance, the total collapse. Obviously, these physiological variations occur in the case of the Clockwork man very rapidly; and by adjustment any change may be produced. The problem of his normal existence hangs upon the very careful regulation of the clock, which, I take it, is the keyboard of the functioning principle. But what concerns us at present is the fact that this power of rapid growth makes the Clockwork man able to act in complete defiance of our accepted laws relating to cause and effect."

      For a few moments the Clockwork man struggled along with a succession of staccato sentences and irrelevant words, and finally seemed to realise that the game was up. "I can't go on like this," he concluded, in a shrill undertone. "I ought not to have tried to talk like this. It upsets the mechanism. I wasn't meant for this sort of thing. I must go now."

      At these words the Doctor threw up his arms in despair. "Then I write myself down a fool," he exclaimed, "I had no such wild hope, or such equally wild despair, with regard to the future of the human race. I admit that I have been behindhand. These matters have slipped from my grasp. The calls of ordinary life have claimed me, as they must every man past his first youth. But I am ready to believe anything that can be explained.""Perhaps you agree with Mrs. Masters?" said Allingham, as soon as the door was closed.

      Gregg swung round with a gesture of annoyance. Both men were now pitched to their highest key, and every word that was spoken seemed to be charged with terrific import.

      He made a motion of pain--"Don't say it!" and we read in each other's eyes the one conviction that from a surgeon's personal knowledge this man had written to warn Charlotte that Oliver was alive.


      [Pg 139]II


      But he was alive. The Doctor had made sure of that by certain tentative experiments; and he had also taken advantage of his passive condition in order to make a thorough examinationso far as was possibleof this marvel of the future. As a result of his investigation, the Doctor had failed to come to any definite conclusion; there was merely deepened in him a sense of outrage and revolt. It was impossible to accept the Clockwork man as a human being."How do you feel now?" ventured the Doctor, arousing himself with an effort.


      "What are these?" he enquired.It was this circumstance that accounted for the Vicar's late arrival at the entertainment given in aid of the church funds that night. He had lingered over his sermon until the last moment, and then hurried off with only a slight pause in which to glance at himself in the hall mirror. He walked swiftly along the dark streets in the direction of the Templars' Hall, which was situated at the lower end of the town. Perhaps it was because of his own desperate hurry that he scarcely noticed that other figure approaching him, and in a straight line. He swerved slightly in order to allow the figure to pass, and continued on his way.