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Обычный in English
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Kirka228 13 февраля 2024
Респпект, 14 лет проект поддерживаешь(словарь)
olimo 29 ноября 2023
"but man" - исправлено
наждак 5 ноября 2023
There was no living object on its surface hut man
BUT man
Signor_L 24 октября 2023
привет, я Мориарти.
vnest 13 июня 2022
Для словаря есть возможность подключить отображение обложки-автора-названия, как в "Обычном" (пример).
Подробнее здесь.
Subarik17 29 мая 2022
Так, есть же где ещё печатать на английском языке?
cybernetics 26 августа 2021
Обновили бы словарь "Обычный In English"? а то на дню по 4 одинаковых текста попадаются
Кошечка33 15 августа 2021
отличный словарь!
olimo 29 августа 2020
Спасибо, исправлено!
ngtvx 28 августа 2020
Текст 3685. "His eyes sit up with pleasure"

Вместо "sit" должно быть "lit"

olimo 14 августа 2020
Такое правописание в книге, я не буду его исправлять.
Написать тут Еще комментарии
Аналог режима «Обычный». Отрывки из книг на английском языке
27 декабря 2009 в 19:07 (текущая версия от 29 ноября 2023 в 08:08)
Тип словаря:
Цельные тексты, разделяемые пустой строкой (единственный текст на словарь также допускается).
1 Behind every man now alive stand thirty ghosts, for that is the ratio by which the dead outnumber the living. Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth.
2 Now this is an interesting number, for by a curious coincidence there are approximately a hundred billion stars in our local universe, the Milky Way. So for every man who has ever lived, in this Universe there shines a star.
3 The two babies were already whimpering for food, but became silent when Moon-Watcher snarled at them. One of the mothers, defending the infant she could not properly feed, gave him an angry growl in return; he lacked the energy even to cuff her for her presumption.
4 Now it was light enough to leave. Moon-Watcher picked up the shriveled corpse and dragged it after him as he bent under the low overhang of the cave. Once outside, he threw the body over his shoulder and stood upright - the only animal in all this world able to do so.
5 There were about thirty of them, and they could not have been distinguished from the members of MoonWatcher's own tribe. As they saw him coming they began to dance, shake their arms, and shriek on their side of the stream, and his own people replied in kind.
6 The night wore on, cold and clear, without further alarms, and the Moon rose slowly amid equatorial constellations that no human eye would ever see. In the caves, between spells of fitful dozing and fearful waiting, were being born the nightmares of generations yet to be.
7 Late that night, Moon-Watcher suddenly awoke. Tired out by the day's exertions and disasters, he had been sleeping more soundly than usual, yet he was instantly alert at the first faint scrabbling down in the valley.
8 It was a rectangular slab, three times his height but narrow enough to span with his arms, and it was made of some completely transparent material; indeed, it was not easy to see except when the rising sun glinted on its edges.
9 A few licks and attempted nibbles quickly disillusioned him. There was no nourishment here; so like a sensible man-ape, he continued on his way to the river and forgot all about the crystalline monolith, during the daily routine of shrieking at the Others.
10 In the last light of day, looking round anxiously for early hunters, they drank hastily at the stream and started the climb up to their caves. They were still a hundred yards from the New Rock when the sound began.
11 Another man-ape came to life, and went through the same routine. This was a younger, more adaptable specimen; it succeeded where the older one had failed. On the planet Earth, the first crude knot had been tied.
12 The grids and the moving, dancing patterns had gone. Instead, there was a series of concentric circles, surrounding a small black disk. Obeying the silent orders in his brain, he pitched the stone with a clumsy, overarm throw. It missed the target by several feet.
13 The water of the stream was nowhere more than a foot deep, but the farther One-Ear moved out into it, the more uncertain and unhappy he became. Very soon he slowed to a halt, and then moved back, with exaggerated dignity, to join his companions.
14 It was a slow, tedious business, but the crystal monolith was patient. Neither it, nor its replicas scattered across half the globe, expected to succeed with all the scores of groups involved in the experiment.
15 She stayed behind because she thought it would be worth while trying the door of the wardrobe, even though she felt almost sure that it would be locked. To her surprise it opened quite easily, and two moth-balls dropped out.
16 Lucy felt a little frightened, but she felt very inquisitive and excited as well. She looked back over her shoulder and there, between the dark tree trunks; she could still see the open doorway of the wardrobe and even catch a glimpse of the empty room from which she had set out.
17 At the bottom of one small valley Mr Tumnus turned suddenly aside as if he were going to walk straight into an unusually large rock, but at the last moment Lucy found he was leading her into the entrance of a cave. As soon as they were inside she found herself blinking in the light of a wood fire.
18 It was a little, dry, clean cave of reddish stone with a carpet on the floor and two little chairs ("one for me and one for a friend," said Mr Tumnus) and a table and a dresser and a mantelpiece over the fire and above that a picture of an old Faun with a grey beard.
19 And really it was a wonderful tea. There was a nice brown egg, lightly boiled, for each of them, and then sardines on toast, and then buttered toast, and then toast with honey, and then a sugar-topped cake.
20 The journey back was not at all like the journey to the Faun's cave; they stole along as quickly as they could, without speaking a word, and Mr Tumnus kept to the darkest places. Lucy was relieved when they reached the lamp-post again.
21 The others did not know what to think, but Lucy was so excited that they all went back with her into the room. She rushed ahead of them, flung open the door of the wardrobe and cried, "Now! go in and see for yourselves."
22 For the next few days she was very miserable. She could have made it up with the others quite easily at any moment if she could have brought herself to say that the whole thing was only a story made up for fun.
23 There was no answer and Edmund noticed that his own voice had a curious sound - not the sound you expect in a cupboard, but a kind of open-air sound. He also noticed that he was unexpectedly cold; and then he saw a light.
24 The Queen let another drop fall from her bottle on to the snow, and instantly there appeared a round box, tied with green silk ribbon, which, when opened, turned out to contain several pounds of the best Turkish Delight.
25 But Edmund secretly thought that it would not be as good fun for him as for her. He would have to admit that Lucy had been right, before all the others, and he felt sure the others would all be on the side of the Fauns and the animals; but he was already more than half on the side of the Witch.
26 It was the sort of house that is mentioned in guide books and even in histories; and well it might be, for all manner of stories were told about it, some of them even stranger than the one I am telling you now.
27 Snow had drifted in from the doorway and was heaped on the floor, mixed with something black, which turned out to be the charred sticks and ashes from the fire. Someone had apparently flung it about the room and then stamped it out.
28 The top of the dam was wide enough to walk on, though not (for humans) a very nice place to walk because it was covered with ice, and though the frozen pool was level with it on one side, there was a nasty drop to the lower river on the other.
29 Within seconds, the whole class was standing on their stools while Neville, who had been drenched in the potion when the cauldron collapsed, moaned in pain as angry red boils sprang up all over his arms and legs.
30 His next present also contained candy - a large box of Chocolate Frogs from Hermione. This only left one parcel. Harry picked it up and felt it. It was very light. He unwrapped it. Something fluid and silvery gray went slithering to the floor where it lay in gleaming folds.
31 The next morning in Defense Against the Dark Arts, while copying down different ways of treating werewolf bites, Harry and Ron were still discussing what they'd do with a Sorcerer's Stone if they had one.
32 Snape's only got to say he doesn't know how the troll got in at Halloween and that he was nowhere near the third floor - who do you think they'll believe, him or us? It's not exactly a secret we hate him, Dumbledore'll think we made it up to get him sacked.
33 Not for the first time, an argument had broken out over breakfast at number four, Privet Drive. Mr. Vernon Dursley had been woken in the early hours of the morning by a loud, hooting noise from his nephew Harry's room.
34 It looked as though it had once been a large stone pigpen, but extra rooms had been added here and there until it was several stories high and so crooked it looked as though it were held up by magic (which, Harry reminded himself, it probably was).
35 Harry heard from Hogwarts one sunny morning about a week after he had arrived at the Burrow. He and Ron went down to breakfast to find Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and Ginny already sitting at the kitchen table.
36 All seven of them held out their broomsticks. Seven highly polished, brand new handles and seven sets of fine gold lettering spelling the words Nimbus Two Thousand and One gleamed under the Gryffindors' noses in the early morning sun.
37 Harry stamped up the stairs and turned along another corridor, which was particularly dark; the torches had been extinguished by a strong, icy draft that was blowing through a loose windowpane. He was halfway down the passage when he tripped headlong over something lying on the floor.
38 A number of curious silver instruments stood on spindle legged tables, whirring and emitting little puffs of smoke. The walls were covered with portraits of old headmasters and headmistresses, all of whom were snoozing gently in their frames.
39 However little known the feelings or views of such a man may be on his first entering a neighbourhood, this truth is so well fixed in the minds of the surrounding families, that he is considered as the rightful property of some one or other of their daughters.
40 Mr. Bennet was so odd a mixture of quick parts, sarcastic humour, reserve, and caprice, that the experience of three and twenty years had been insufficient to make his wife understand his character. Her mind was less difficult to develop.
41 At five o'clock the two ladies retired to dress, and at half-past six Elizabeth was summoned to dinner. To the civil enquiries which then poured in, and amongst which she had the pleasure of distinguishing the much superior solicitude of Mr. Bingley's, she could not make a very favourable answer.
42 Elizabeth, having rather expected to affront him, was amazed at his gallantry; but there was a mixture of sweetness and archness in her manner which made it difficult for her to affront anybody; and Darcy had never been so bewitched by any woman as he was by her.
43 She endeavoured to secure Jane in her interest but Jane with all possible mildness declined interfering; - and Elizabeth, sometimes with real earnestness and sometimes with playful gaiety, replied to her attacks. Though her manner varied, however, her determination never did.
44 With no greater events than these in the Longbourn family, and otherwise diversified by little beyond the walks to Meryton, sometimes dirty and sometimes cold, did January and February pass away. March was to take Elizabeth to Hunsford.
45 The agitation and tears which the subject occasioned brought on a headache; and it grew so much worse towards the evening that, added to her unwillingness to see Mr. Darcy, it determined her not to attend her cousins to Rosings, where they were engaged to drink tea.
46 On Saturday morning Elizabeth and Mr. Collins met for breakfast a few minutes before the others appeared; and he took the opportunity of paying the parting civilities which he deemed indispensably necessary.
47 Elizabeth had settled it that Mr. Darcy would bring his sister to visit her the very day after her reaching Pemberley; and was consequently resolved not to be out of sight of the inn the whole of that morning.
48 His former acquaintance had been numerous; but since he had been in the militia, it did not appear that he was on terms of particular friendship with any of them. There was no one therefore who could be pointed out as likely to give any news of him.
49 But to live in ignorance on such a point was impossible; or at least it was impossible not to try for information. Mr. Darcy had been at her sister's wedding. It was exactly a scene, and exactly among people, where he had apparently least to do, and least temptation to go.
50 She remembered that he had yet to learn to be laughed at, and it was rather too early to begin. In anticipating the happiness of Bingley, which of course was to be inferior only to his own, he continued the conversation till they reached the house. In the hall they parted.
51 It would be difficult to substantiate a claim that the case of England was better in 1913 than it was in 1886, when the Forsytes assembled at Old Jolyon's to celebrate the engagement of June to Philip Bosinney.
52 Old Jolyon had taken his cigar from under his white moustaches, stained by coffee at the edge, and looked at her, that little slip of a thing who had got such a grip of his heart. He knew more about 'swims' than his granddaughter.
53 Encountering in the name of this stranger something outside the range of his philosophy, Swithin paused. A misgiving arose within him! It was impossible to tell! June was only a girl, in love too! Emily (Mrs. James) liked a good glass of champagne.
54 He had not been able to discover what houses Bosinney had built, nor what his charges were. The impression he gathered was that he would be able to make his own terms. The more he reflected on the idea, the more he liked it.
55 And, in spite of himself, James felt the influence of her deference, of the faint seductive perfume exhaling from her. No self-respecting Forsyte surrendered at a blow; so he merely said: He didn't know - he expected she was spending a pretty penny on dress.
56 June gazed at her intently, with a look in her eyes as if her conscience had suddenly leaped up into them; it passed; and an even more intent look took its place, as if she had stared that conscience out of countenance.
57 After Swithin had related at Timothy's the full story of his memorable drive, the same, with the least suspicion of curiosity, the merest touch of malice, and a real desire to do good, was passed on to June.
58 The meeting was breaking up now. Underneath the photograph of the lost shaft Hemmings was buttonholed by the Rev. Mr. Boms. Little Mr. Booker, his bristling eyebrows wreathed in angry smiles, was having a parting turn-up with old Scrubsole.
59 June went out early, and wandered restlessly about in the heat. Her little light figure that lately had moved so languidly about its business, was all on fire. She bought herself some flowers. She wanted - she meant to look her best.
60 He strongly disapproved of her gadding about by herself, and told her so. But she took no notice. There was something that angered, amazed, yet almost amused him about the calm way in which she disregarded his wishes.
61 Dorothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer's wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles.
62 There were no fences at all by the roadside now, and the land was rough and untilled. Toward evening they came to a great forest, where the trees grew so big and close together that their branches met over the road of yellow brick.
63 Just as he spoke there came from the forest a terrible roar, and the next moment a great Lion bounded into the road. With one blow of his paw he sent the Scarecrow spinning over and over to the edge of the road, and then he struck at the Tin Woodman with his sharp claws.
64 The Lion and the Woodman both shook their heads, for they did not know. So they sat down upon the bank and gazed wistfully at the Scarecrow until a Stork flew by, who, upon seeing them, stopped to rest at the water's edge.
65 Now it is well known that when there are many of these flowers together their odor is so powerful that anyone who breathes it falls asleep, and if the sleeper is not carried away from the scent of the flowers, he sleeps on and on forever.
66 So, the Lion being fully refreshed, and feeling quite himself again, they all started upon the journey, greatly enjoying the walk through the soft, fresh grass; and it was not long before they reached the road of yellow brick and turned again toward the Emerald City where the Great Oz dwelt.
67 But when the Woodman entered the great Throne Room he saw neither the Head nor the Lady, for Oz had taken the shape of a most terrible Beast. It was nearly as big as an elephant, and the green throne seemed hardly strong enough to hold its weight.
68 With Dorothy hard at work, the Witch thought she would go into the courtyard and harness the Cowardly Lion like a horse; it would amuse her, she was sure, to make him draw her chariot whenever she wished to go to drive.
69 You will remember there was no road - not even a pathway - between the castle of the Wicked Witch and the Emerald City. When the four travelers went in search of the Witch she had seen them coming, and so sent the Winged Monkeys to bring them to her.
70 The balloon was by this time tugging hard at the rope that held it to the ground, for the air within it was hot, and this made it so much lighter in weight than the air without that it pulled hard to rise into the sky.
71 Douglas Spaulding, twelve, freshly wakened, let summer idle him on its early-morning stream. Lying in his third-story cupola bedroom, he felt the tall power it gave him, riding high in the June wind, the grandest tower in town.
72 Mr. Sanderson stood amazed with the rush of words. When the words got going the flow carried him; he began to sink deep in the shoes, to flex his toes, limber his arches, test his ankles. He rocked softly, secretly, back and forth in a small breeze from the open door.
73 Off somewhere a car floated by, flashing its lights in the distance. There was such a complete lack of life, light, and activity. Here and there, back off from where they were walking, faint squares of light glowed where people were still up.
74 It was the sort of sound that might be heard coming from a giant's kitchen on a summer day. There were all kinds of hummings, low and high, steady and then changing. Incredible foods were being baked there by a host of whirring golden bees as big as teacups.
75 A door slammed. In an attic dust jumped off bureaus and bookcases. Two old women collapsed against the attic door, each scrabbling to lock it tight, tight. A thousand pigeons seemed to have leaped off the roof right over their heads.
76 Far away in the cool dim empty rooms of the big old house, a silver bell tinkled and faded. Tom listened. Still farther away there was a stir of mouselike running. A shadow, perhaps a blowing curtain, moved in a distant parlor.
77 William Forrester opened his eyes. Miss Helen Loomis had finished the adventure and they were home again, very familiar to each other, on the best of terms, in the garden, the tea cold in the silver pourer, the biscuits dried in the latened sun. He sighed and stretched and sighed again.
78 Warm summer twilight here in upper Illinois country in this little town deep far away from everything, kept to itself by a river and a forest and a meadow and a lake. The sidewalks still scorched. The stores closing and the streets shadowed.
79 The first showing was over, intermission was on, and the dim auditorium was sparsely populated. The three ladies sat halfway down front, in the smell of ancient brass polish, and watched the manager step through the worn red velvet curtains to make an announcement.
80 Older folks might peer north or south, east or west and see no sign of the man named Jonas, the horse named Ned, or the wagon which was a Conestoga of the kind that bucked the prairie tides to beach on the wilderness.
81 With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies.
82 They want to know what I do with all my time. I tell them that sometimes I just sit and think. But I won't tell them what. I've got them running. And sometimes, I tell them, I like to put my head back, like this, and let the rain fall into my mouth. It tastes just like wine. Have you ever tried it?
83 Fool, thought Montag to himself, you'll give it away. At the last fire, a book of fairy tales, he'd glanced at a single line. "I mean," he said, "in the old days, before homes were completely fireproofed." Suddenly it seemed a much younger voice was speaking for him.
84 But there was something else in the silence that he heard. It was like a breath exhaled upon the window. It was like a faint drift of greenish luminescent smoke, the motion of a single huge October leaf blowing across the lawn and away.
85 He took hold of a straight-backed chair and moved it slowly and steadily into the hall near the front door and climbed up on it and stood for a moment like a statue on a pedestal, his wife standing under him, waiting.
86 Montag stood there and waited for the next thing to happen. His hands, by themselves, like two men working together, began to rip the pages from the book. The hands tore the flyleaf and then the first and then the second page.
87 The room was blazing hot, he was all fire, he was all coldness; they sat in the middle of an empty desert with three chairs and him standing, swaying, and him waiting for Mrs. Phelps to stop straightening her dress hem and Mrs. Bowles to take her fingers away from her hair.
88 You must remember, burn them or they'll burn you, he thought. Right now it's as simple as that. He searched his pockets, the money was there, and in his other pocket he found the usual Seashell upon which the city was talking to itself in the cold black morning.
89 He watched the scene, fascinated, not wanting to move. It seemed so remote and no part of him; it was a play apart and separate, wondrous to watch, not without its strange pleasure. That's all for me, you thought, that's all taking place just for me, by God.
90 The moon there, and the light of the moon caused by what? By the sun, of course. And what lights the sun? Its own fire. And the sun goes on, day after day, burning and burning. The sun and time. The sun and time and burning. Burning. The river bobbled him along gently. Burning.
91 First of all, it was October, a rare month for boys. Not that all months aren't rare. But there be bad and good, as the pirates say. Take September, a bad month: school begins. Consider August, a good month: school hasn't begun yet.
92 Sometimes you see a kite so high, so wise it almost knows the wind. It travels, then chooses to land in one spot and no other and no matter how you yank, run this way or that, it will simply break its cord, seek its resting place and bring you, blood-mouthed, running.
93 They prowled on but found no mysterious midnight sphere of evil gas tied by Mysterious Oriental knots to daggers plunged in dark earth, no maniac ticket takers bent on terrible revenges. The calliope by the ticket booth neither screamed deaths nor hummed idiot songs to itself. The train?
94 Hand-slapping brass poles, he flung himself into a seat where with his bristly red hair, pink face, and incredible sharp blue eyes he sat silent, going back around, back around, the music squealing swift back with him like insucked breath.
95 Jim hissed, rolled, thrashed Will riding him hard, pressing him to grass, trading yell for yell, both fright-pale, heart ramming heart. Electric bolts from the switch flushed up in white stars a gush of fireworks. The carousel spun thirty, spun forty - "Will, let me up!" - spun fifty times.
96 She had waited for the nephew to come back. With time passing, she must act on her own. Something must be done not to hurt, no, but slow down interference from such as Jim and Will. No one must stand between her and nephew, her and carousel, her and lovely gliding ride-around summer.
97 They can't read thoughts, I know, that's sure, or they wouldn't send her, and she can't read thoughts, but she can feel body heat and special temperatures and special smells and excitements, and if I jump up and down and let her know just by my feeling good about having tricked her, maybe, maybe....
98 And in his eyes were the lost bits and fitful pieces of a man named Fury who had sold lightning-rods how many days how many years ago in the long, the easy, the safe and wondrous time before this fright was born.
99 That was the vital cement, wasn't it? Could he say how he felt about their all being here tonight on this wild world running around a big sun which fell through a bigger space falling through yet vaster immensities of space, maybe toward and maybe away from Something?
100 And yet, wasn't there an echo of two boys in the powdered silver at the back of each glass? Did or did he not perceive, with the tremulous tip of eyelash if not the eye, their passage through, their wait beyond, warm wax amongst cold, waiting to be key-wound by terrors, run free in panics?
101 We must take arms each and every day, perhaps knowing that the battle cannot be entirely won, but fight we must, if only a gentle bout. The smallest effort to win means, at the end of each day, a sort of victory.
102 Look for the little loves, find and shape the little bitternesses. Savor them in your mouth, try them on your typewriter. When did you last read a book of poetry or take time, of an afternoon, for an essay or two?
103 Another story about me and my dog took more than fifty years to surface. In "Bless Me, Father, For I Have Sinned," I went back in time to relive a beating I had given my dog when I was twelve, and for which I had never forgiven myself.
104 The Muse must have shape. You will write a thousand words a day for ten or twenty years in order to try to give it shape, to learn enough about grammar and story construction so that these become part of the Subconscious, without restraining or distorting the Muse.
105 I staggered away from that encounter with Mr. Electrico wonderfully uplifted by two gifts: the gift of having lived once before (and of being told about it)... and the gift of trying somehow to live forever.
106 Montag leaves, with more curiosity than ever about books, well on his way to becoming an outcast, soon to be pursued and almost destroyed by the Mechanical Hound, my robot clone of A. Conan Doyle's great Baskerville beast.
107 I left New York three days later with two contracts and two checks totaling $1,500. Enough money to pay our $30-a-month rent for a year, finance our baby, and help with the down payment on a small tract house inland from Venice, California.
108 I had never wanted to go to Ireland in my life. Yet here was John Huston on the telephone asking me to his hotel for a drink. Later that afternoon, drinks in hand, Huston eyed me carefully and said, "How would you like to live in Ireland and write Moby Dick for the screen?"
109 Jack and I debated for a long time about the Dust Witch. She's a very weird creature. In the novel I have her coming to the library, and she's got her eyes sewn shut. But we were both afraid that if you didn't do it just right, it was going to be hilarious.
110 To fail is to give up. But you are in the midst of a moving process. Nothing fails then. All goes on. Work is done. If good, you learn from it. If bad, you learn even more. Work done and behind you is a lesson to be studied. There is no failure unless one stops.
111 Winston Smith, his chin nuzzled into his breast in an effort to escape the vile wind, slipped quickly through the glass doors of Victory Mansions, though not quickly enough to prevent a swirl of gritty dust from entering along with him.
112 Suddenly they were both leaping round him, shouting 'Traitor!' and 'Thought-criminal!' the little girl imitating her brother in every movement. It was somehow slightly frightening, like the gambolling of tiger cubs which will soon grow up into man-eaters.
113 Unquestionably Syme will be vaporized, Winston thought again. He thought it with a kind of sadness, although well knowing that Syme despised him and slightly disliked him, and was fully capable of denouncing him as a thought-criminal if he saw any reason for doing so.
114 As usual, there was no definite rule against talking to proles and frequenting their pubs, but it was far too unusual an action to pass unnoticed. If the patrols appeared he might plead an attack of faintness, but it was not likely that they would believe him.
115 There was a direct intimate connexion between chastity and political orthodoxy. For how could the fear, the hatred, and the lunatic credulity which the Party needed in its members be kept at the right pitch, except by bottling down some powerful instinct and using it as a driving force?
116 He thought of the telescreen with its never-sleeping ear. They could spy upon you night and day, but if you kept your head you could still outwit them. With all their cleverness they had never mastered the secret of finding out what another human being was thinking.
117 All of the disputed territories contain valuable minerals, and some of them yield important vegetable products such as rubber which in colder climates it is necessary to synthesize by comparatively expensive methods. But above all they contain a bottomless reserve of cheap labour.
118 He was lying on something that felt like a camp bed, except that it was higher off the ground and that he was fixed down in some way so that he could not move. Light that seemed stronger than usual was falling on his face. O'Brien was standing at his side, looking down at him intently.
119 An oblong slip of newspaper had appeared between O'Brien's fingers. For perhaps five seconds it was within the angle of Winston's vision. It was a photograph, and there was no question of its identity. It was the photograph.
120 And he did see them, for a fleeting instant, before the scenery of his mind changed. He saw five fingers, and there was no deformity. Then everything was normal again, and the old fear, the hatred, and the bewilderment came crowding back again.
121 So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.
122 'Speak English!' said the Eaglet. 'I don't know the meaning of half those long words, and, what's more, I don't believe you do either!' And the Eaglet bent down its head to hide a smile: some of the other birds tittered audibly.
123 Alas! it was too late to wish that! She went on growing, and growing, and very soon had to kneel down on the floor: in another minute there was not even room for this, and she tried the effect of lying down with one elbow against the door, and the other arm curled round her head.
124 She stretched herself up on tiptoe, and peeped over the edge of the mushroom, and her eyes immediately met those of a large caterpillar, that was sitting on the top with its arms folded, quietly smoking a long hookah, and taking not the smallest notice of her or of anything else.
125 'Well, be off, then!' said the Pigeon in a sulky tone, as it settled down again into its nest. Alice crouched down among the trees as well as she could, for her neck kept getting entangled among the branches, and every now and then she had to stop and untwist it.
126 As soon as she had made out the proper way of nursing it (which was to twist it up into a sort of knot, and then keep tight hold of its right ear and left foot, so as to prevent its undoing itself), she carried it out into the open air.
127 Once more she found herself in the long hall, and close to the little glass table. 'Now, I'll manage better this time,' she said to herself, and began by taking the little golden key, and unlocking the door that led into the garden.
128 But here, to Alice's great surprise, the Duchess's voice died away, even in the middle of her favourite word 'moral,' and the arm that was linked into hers began to tremble. Alice looked up, and there stood the Queen in front of them, with her arms folded, frowning like a thunderstorm.
129 The Mock Turtle sighed deeply, and drew the back of one flapper across his eyes. He looked at Alice, and tried to speak, but for a minute or two sobs choked his voice. 'Same as if he had a bone in his throat,' said the Gryphon: and it set to work shaking him and punching him in the back.
130 'A nice muddle their slates'll be in before the trial's over!' thought Alice. One of the jurors had a pencil that squeaked. This of course, Alice could not stand, and she went round the court and got behind him, and very soon found an opportunity of taking it away.
131 With the ring of light from his lantern dancing from side to side, he lurched across the yard, kicked off his boots at the back door, drew himself a last glass of beer from the barrel in the scullery, and made his way up to bed, where Mrs. Jones was already snoring.
132 But they woke at dawn as usual, and suddenly remembering the glorious thing that had happened, they all raced out into the pasture together. A little way down the pasture there was a knoll that commanded a view of most of the farm.
133 Now if there was one thing that the animals were completely certain of, it was that they did not want Jones back. When it was put to them in this light, they had no more to say. The importance of keeping the pigs in good health was all too obvious.
134 In January there came bitterly hard weather. The earth was like iron, and nothing could be done in the fields. Many meetings were held in the big barn, and the pigs occupied themselves with planning out the work of the coming season.
135 From now onwards Animal Farm would engage in trade with the neighbouring farms: not, of course, for any commercial purpose but simply in order to obtain certain materials which were urgently necessary. The needs of the windmill must override everything else, he said.
136 The animals were shocked beyond measure to learn that even Snowball could be guilty of such an action. There was a cry of indignation, and everyone began thinking out ways of catching Snowball if he should ever come back.
137 Napoleon stood sternly surveying his audience; then he uttered a high-pitched whimper. Immediately the dogs bounded forward, seized four of the pigs by the ear and dragged them, squealing with pain and terror, to Napoleon's feet.
138 Meanwhile, through the agency of Whymper, Napoleon was engaged in complicated negotiations with Frederick and Pilkington. The pile of timber was still unsold. Of the two, Frederick was the more anxious to get hold of it, but he would not offer a reasonable price.
139 But when the animals saw the green flag flying, and heard the gun firing again - seven times it was fired in all - and heard the speech that Napoleon made, congratulating them on their conduct, it did seem to them after all that they had won a great victory.
140 The farm had had a fairly successful year, but was still short of money. There were the bricks, sand and lime for the schoolroom to be purchased, and it would also be necessary to begin saving up again for the machinery for the windmill.
141 Mr Bucket was the only person in the family with a job. He worked in a toothpaste factory, where he sat all day long at a bench and screwed the little caps on to the tops of the tubes of toothpaste after the tubes had been filled.
142 I, Willy Wonka, have decided to allow five children - just five, mind you, and no more - to visit my factory this year. These lucky five will be shown around personally by me, and they will be allowed to see all the secrets and the magic of my factory.
143 The reason for this was that the toothpaste factory, the place where Mr Bucket worked, suddenly went bust and had to close down. Quickly, Mr Bucket tried to get another job. But he had no luck. In the end, the only way in which he managed to earn a few pennies was by shovelling snow in the streets.
144 The sun was shining brightly on the morning of the big day, but the ground was still white with snow and the air was very cold. Outside the gates of Wonka's factory, enormous crowds of people had gathered to watch the five lucky ticket holders going in. The excitement was tremendous.
145 The children and their parents were too flabbergasted to speak. They were staggered. They were dumbfounded. They were bewildered and dazzled. They were completely bowled over by the hugeness of the whole thing. They simply stood and stared.
146 The watchers below could see the chocolate swishing around the boy in the pipe, and they could see it building up behind him in a solid mass, pushing against the blockage. The pressure was terrific. Something had to give. Something did give, and that something was Augustus.
147 Charlie put the mug to his lips, and as the rich warm creamy chocolate ran down his throat into his empty tummy, his whole body from head to toe began to tingle with pleasure, and a feeling of intense happiness spread over him.
148 Click went the machine, and the whizzer stopped whizzing. And now there came a sort of sucking noise, and very quickly all the blue frothy mixture in the huge basin was sucked back into the stomach of the machine. There was a moment of silence. Then a few queer rumblings were heard.
149 They watched the little squirrel as he tapped the walnut shell with his knuckles. He cocked his head to one side, listening intently, then suddenly he threw the nut over his shoulder into a large hole in the floor.
150 Mr Wonka suddenly exploded with excitement. 'But my dear boy,' he cried out, 'that means you've won!' He rushed out of the lift and started shaking Charlie's hand so furiously it nearly came off. 'Oh, I do congratulate you!' he cried.
151 The guest who was staying in room 3, of Nightingale's Bed and Breakfast, which Gate Nightingale privately thought of as the He-Man room because it was almost unrelievedly masculine, stopped in the doorway of the dining room, then almost immediately stepped back out of sight.
152 They were only four, little more than babies, and utterly dependent on her. They had already lost their father, and even though they didn't remember him, they had certainly felt his absence in their lives, and would feel it more keenly as they grew older.
153 If he turned down the job, his body would turn up either in little pieces or not at all. But if he took it, Bandini would have to figure he downloaded the flash drive onto his own computer before turning it in; knowledge was power, no matter which world you lived in.
154 The road had been steadily climbing, but shortly after they turned onto the narrow, one-lane road, it began winding downhill. The way down was even steeper than going up had been. Toxtel shifted into a lower gear, but still had to ride the brakes.
155 Investigator Marbury was due at eleven, so as soon as the morning crowd was gone, Cate rushed to get the kitchen and dining room cleaned up. The climbers had each grabbed a muffin and left early, eager for another day on the rocks.
156 He thought they'd be lucky to get five hours out of them. Given that daylight hours were shrinking daily, it was a given each man would have to change battery packs at least once a shift, and probably twice if the weather turned cold.
157 He broke out in a fine sheen of sweat, waiting for her, knowing that at any second another round could rip through the walls as if they were made of paper. So far the shots had been placed about head high, designed to catch people who were standing.
158 Teague assessed the situation. He was behind solid cover, surrounded by rocks, his head lower than the boulder in front of him. He had to risk turning on the flashlight so he could locate the rifle. He could minimize the risk, though, by covering most of the lens.
159 Before continuing his search, he worked his way to the feed store. Pressed against the back of the building, he darted his head around for quick looks as he studied the stairs leading up to his place, and the angles that would expose him to rifle fire.
160 There was something spooky about the place today, but it could have been the grayness of the morning and the low clouds that made him feel sort of hemmed in. The empty road was somehow wrong. He froze, staring. The road was empty, completely so.
161 Late this afternoon she moved out of the old place into the new one. The moving was accomplished with a minimum of difficulty: she managed to get everything into the two suitcases and was able to carry them herself for the three blocks that separate the old place from the new one.
162 Was he deranged, was he a sex maniac? He seemed so harmless, yet it was that kind who often went berserk in the end. She pictured those ragged fingers at her throat, tearing at her clothes, though she could not think of herself as screaming.
163 The organ was a Hammond, owned by the woman downstairs, a native. When her husband and nubile child were home she shouted at them. The rest of the time she ran the vacuum cleaner or picked out hymn tunes and old favourites on the organ with two fingers, singing to herself.
164 But the thought of Louise out there in the windswept institution grounds with nothing and no one she knew bothered him in twinges, like a mental neuralgia, goading him finally into the section of the city that passed for downtown: he would buy her a gift.
165 I ponder again his need for more glasses and consider buying him a large bath towel. Once on the train though, I find myself being moved gradually, station by station, back towards the 7-B greenhouse. Soon I will be there; inside are the plants that have taught themselves to look like stones.
166 After a while he looks at his watch, then walks away from me towards the sea, his boots crunching on the shells and pebbles. At the edge of the reed bank by the river he stops, back to me, one leg slightly bent.
167 Of course I mourned; not so much for your departure, as that had been, I now saw, a foregone conclusion, but for its suddenness. I had been deprived of that last necessary scene, the park bench, the light spring wind, the trenchcoat (which I was destined never to buy), your vanishing figure.
168 Annette volunteers the information that she has some food and they all congratulate her for being so resourceful and foresighted. She provides the wrapped sandwiches and they divide them up equally; they pass around one of the bottles of ginger ale to wash them down.
169 She couldn't get out! She was strapped into the wheelchair, prisoned in her cage of braces, trays, steel wheels, but only because she was strapped into her own body as into some bumpy, sickening carnival ride.
170 The last time Marika came over, Julia wasn't even out of bed. She had no excuse, no explanation. She almost told her to go away, but Bernie needed his black notebook, the one with the phone numbers, so she had to let her in.
171 Scarlett shared her umbrella with no one, nor her grief. The gusts of wind within the rain blew stinging cold wet rivulets under the umbrella, down her neck, but she was unaware of them. She felt nothing, she was numbed by loss. She would mourn later, when she could stand the pain.
172 How could she have shamed Ashley like that in front of everybody, when only a few nights ago she had promised Melanie that she would take care of him, protect him as Melly had always done? But what else could she have done? Let him throw himself into the grave? She had to stop him.
173 She was as silent as Will on the long drive to Tara, drinking in the remembered quiet of the countryside, refreshing herself with it. The air was new-washed, and the afternoon sun was warm on her shoulders. She'd been right to come home.
174 She doubted that Will had a hundred dollars a year in cash money from his hard work at Tara. Suellen was speechless, she noted with satisfaction. She was sure her sister's voice would return in time to accept. I'll write a nice fat bank draft after breakfast, she thought.
175 Scarlett felt like hugging her sister, an impulse she'd never had before. Suellen was right. It was wonderful to have Tony back. She'd been afraid that no one would ever see him again. Now that awful memory of the last sight of him could be forgotten forever.
176 It was still snowing as he stumped over the white forest track, and he expected to find Piglet warming his toes in front of his fire, but to his surprise he saw that the door was open, and the more he looked inside the more Piglet wasn't there.
177 And Tigger, who had been hiding behind trees and jumping out on Pooh's shadow when it wasn't looking, said that Tiggers were only bouncy before breakfast, and that as soon as they had had a few haycorns they became Quiet and Refined.
178 And at these encouraging words Piglet felt quite happy again, and decided not to be a Sailor after all. So when Christopher Robin had helped them out of the Gravel Pit, they all went off together hand-in-hand.
179 The nearest house was Owl's, and to Owl's House in the Hundred Acre wood he made his way. He came to Owl's door, and he knocked and he rang, and he rang and he knocked, and at last Owl's head came out and said "Go away, I'm thinking - oh, it's you?" which was how he always began.
180 So they did. And Eeyore, who had never played it before, won more times than anybody else; and Roo fell in twice, the first time by accident and the second time on purpose, because he suddenly saw Kanga coming from the Forest, and he knew he'd have to go to bed anyhow.
181 Folds of scarlet drapery shut in my view to the right hand; to the left were the clear panes of glass, protecting, but not separating me from the drear November day. At intervals, while turning over the leaves of my book, I studied the aspect of that winter afternoon.
182 What a smile! I remember it now, and I know that it was the effluence of fine intellect, of true courage; it lit up her marked lineaments, her thin face, her sunken grey eye, like a reflection from the aspect of an angel.
183 It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquillity: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it. Millions are condemned to a stiller doom than mine, and millions are in silent revolt against their lot.
184 Lifting his eye to its battlements, he cast over them a glare such as I never saw before or since. Pain, shame, ire, impatience, disgust, detestation, seemed momentarily to hold a quivering conflict in the large pupil dilating under his ebon eyebrow.
185 At last coffee is brought in, and the gentlemen are summoned. I sit in the shade - if any shade there be in this brilliantly-lit apartment; the window-curtain half hides me. Again the arch yawns; they come.
186 Where was I? Did I wake or sleep? Had I been dreaming? Did I dream still? The old woman's voice had changed: her accent, her gesture, and all were familiar to me as my own face in a glass - as the speech of my own tongue.
187 It is one of my faults, that though my tongue is sometimes prompt enough at an answer, there are times when it sadly fails me in framing an excuse; and always the lapse occurs at some crisis, when a facile word or plausible pretext is specially wanted to get me out of painful embarrassment.
188 He lifted the hangings from the wall, uncovering the second door: this, too, he opened. In a room without a window, there burnt a fire guarded by a high and strong fender, and a lamp suspended from the ceiling by a chain.
189 Diana (I knew her by the long curls which I saw drooping between me and the fire as she bent over me) broke some bread, dipped it in milk, and put it to my lips. Her face was near mine: I saw there was pity in it, and I felt sympathy in her hurried breathing.
190 While I was eagerly glancing at the bright pages of "Marmion" (for "Marmion" it was), St. John stooped to examine my drawing. His tall figure sprang erect again with a start: he said nothing. I looked up at him: he shunned my eye.
191 The one opened the door with a latch-key and went in, followed by a young fellow who awkwardly removed his cap. He wore rough clothes that smacked of the sea, and he was manifestly out of place in the spacious hall in which he found himself.
192 And so he wandered on, alternating between depression and elation as he stared at the shelves packed with wisdom. In one miscellaneous section he came upon a "Norrie's Epitome." He turned the pages reverently. In a way, it spoke a kindred speech. Both he and it were of the sea.
193 His was the student's mind, and behind his ability to learn was the indomitability of his nature and his love for Ruth. The grammar he had taken along he went through again and again until his unjaded brain had mastered it.
194 He read, and as he read he watched her. At last he had reached her, he thought. She sat without movement, her eyes steadfast upon him, scarcely breathing, caught up and out of herself, he thought, by the witchery of the thing he had created.
195 In the course of getting acquainted with a varied world, whirling on through the ever changing phases of it, he had learned a rule of conduct which was to the effect that when one played a strange game, he should let the other fellow play first.
196 And next day Martin Eden cast hack-work aside, and at white heat hammered out an essay to which he gave the title, "The Philosophy of Illusion." A stamp started it on its travels, but it was destined to receive many stamps and to be started on many travels in the months that followed.
197 But success had lost Martin's address, and her messengers no longer came to his door. For twenty-five days, working Sundays and holidays, he toiled on "The Shame of the Sun," a long essay of some thirty thousand words.
198 They disagreed about love, and the magazines, and many things, but they liked each other, and on Martin's part it was no less than a profound liking. Day after day they were together, if for no more than the hour Brissenden spent in Martin's stuffy room.
199 It was not a passionate letter. There were no touches of anger in it. But all the way through, from the first sentence to the last, was sounded the note of hurt and disappointment. She had expected better of him.
200 Editors wrote to him telling him to name his own terms, which he did, but it was always for work performed. He refused resolutely to pledge himself to any new thing. The thought of again setting pen to paper maddened him.
201 They're mopping when I come out the dorm, all three of them sulky and hating everything, the time of day, the place they're at here, the people they got to work around. When they hate like this, better if they don't see me.
202 The other two - the least one and the other big one - stood stunned. The nurse snapped her fingers, and they sprang into motion. Instant movement, sliding across the floor. The little one beside the other like an image in a reducing mirror.
203 The big black boy isn't too sure what, but he gets her drift and ambles off to the linen room to get McMurphy a set of greens - probably ten sizes too small - and ambles back and holds it out to him with a look of the clearest hate I ever saw.
204 All through breakfast McMurphy's talking and laughing a mile a minute. After this morning he thinks the Big Nurse is going to be a snap. He don't know he just caught her off guard and, if anything, made her strengthen herself.
205 McMurphy can't help any more than I could. Nobody can help. And the more I think about how nothing can be helped, the faster the fog rolls in. And I'm glad when it gets thick enough you're lost in it and can let go, and be safe again.
206 It's too late to stop it now. McMurphy did something to it that first day, put some kind of hex on it with his hand so it won't act like I order it. There's no sense in it, any fool can see; I wouldn't do it on my own.
207 When they blew the whistle for us to leave the pool and we all were straggling toward the locker room, we ran into this other ward coming into the swimming pool for their period, and in the footbath at the shower you had to go through was this one kid from the other ward.
208 There was just a couple of minutes left in the meeting. The Big Nurse folded up her papers and put them in the basket and set the basket off her lap on the floor, then let her eyes swing to McMurphy for just a second like she wanted to check if he was awake and listening.
209 This tickled McMurphy. He went to giggling at what he saw. The black boy held up the sack and rattled it, and they laughed some more about it. The black boy told McMurphy good night and rolled the top of the sack like it was his lunch and went off somewhere to hide it for later.
210 She knew it wouldn't take too much to get the guys to wondering just what it was, now that you mention it, that made McMurphy spend so much time and energy organizing fishing trips to the coast and arranging Bingo parties and coaching basketball teams.
211 If you ask your mother whether she knew about Peter Pan when she was a little girl she will say, "Why, of course, I did, child," and if you ask her whether he rode on a goat in those days she will say, "What a foolish question to ask, certainly he did."
212 To Peter's bewilderment he discovered that every fairy he met fled from him. A band of workmen, who were sawing down a toadstool, rushed away, leaving their tools behind them. A milkmaid turned her pail upside down and hid in it. Soon the Gardens were in an uproar.
213 Peter wore no night-gown now. You see, the birds were always begging him for bits of it to line their nests with, and, being very good-natured, he could not refuse, so by Solomon's advice he had hidden what was left of it.
214 Once he really thought he had discovered a way of reaching the Gardens. A wonderful white thing, like a runaway newspaper, floated high over the island and then tumbled, rolling over and over after the manner of a bird that has broken its wing.
215 Peter was a just master, and paid his work-people every evening. They stood in rows on the branches, waiting politely while he cut the paper sixpences out of his bank-note, and presently he called the roll, and then each bird, as the names were mentioned, flew down and got sixpence.
216 Everybody has heard of the Little House in the Kensington Gardens, which is the only house in the whole world that the fairies have built for humans. But no one has really seen it, except just three or four, and they have not only seen it but slept in it, and unless you sleep in it you never see it.
217 He had to feel this, for Maimie so plainly felt it for him. Her eager eyes asked the question, "Is it to-day?" and he gasped and then nodded. Maimie slipped her hand into Tony's, and hers was hot, but his was cold.
218 Maimie repeated this story, and it fortified Brownie tremendously, indeed she had no longer the slightest doubt that the Duke would choose her. So she scudded away up the ribbon, calling out to Maimie not to follow lest the Queen should mischief her.
219 But though they found her deep in snow in the Figs, it seemed impossible to thank Maimie, for they could not waken her. They went through the form of thanking her, that is to say, the new King stood on her body and read her a long address of welcome, but she heard not a word of it.
220 The fairies are exquisite dancers, and that is why one of the first things the baby does is to sign to you to dance to him and then to cry when you do it. They hold their great balls in the open air, in what is called a fairy-ring.
221 The prefects' names were Henry Thorpe and Gates Medkowski. It was my fourth week at the school, and I didn't know much about Ault, but I did know that Gates was the first girl in Ault's history to have been elected prefect.
222 I walked past a store selling clothes for plus-sized women, a music store, and then a string of restaurants: a sub shop, a pizza place, a diner with lit-up panels of glistening hamburgers. I kept seeing other Ault students in groups of two or three.
223 To do what? I thought. I knew Conchita didn't have a boyfriend - only about twelve people in our class of seventy-five ever dated, and they always went out with each other - and I didn't think Conchita had many friends, either.
224 Ten seconds passed. I felt a rising worry that neither McGrath nor his roommate, Spencer, would notice, and my apprehension was not even really for them but for us in the room, how our plan would have come to nothing.
225 I turned off the soup on the stove and hurried upstairs. From our room, I took a towel still in its plastic casing (Martha wouldn't mind my borrowing, and she didn't go through all her towels in a week anyway), and I pulled the scissors from my desk drawer and my brush from the top of my dresser.
226 Of course Ms. Moray had no experience with field hockey - barely anyone played it in the Midwest. I had a sudden vision of her, back in September, finding out she'd been hired at Ault and packing up all her belongings in a hurry and heading East.
227 When we'd been looking for a place to sit, we hadn't seen Martha or her parents, which was a relief, and I'd spotted some empty chairs at a table where two freshmen, skinny boys in glasses, were sitting with their parents.
228 He said, "Shit," and sat upright again. (I had not worried, as he'd leaned over, that the car would swerve; he seemed utterly competent, not high-strung enough to have an accident. Or if he did, he'd be calm afterward, he wouldn't be either angry or panicked.)
229 For a while, I was looking at the problem, I really was. But then I found myself thinking about Gillian Hathaway, and about whether she and her boyfriend Luke said I love you to each other. How did you even know if you loved another person?
230 Horizontal and cocooned, I could relax, I could even remember fragments of the night before and feel a tiny happiness again - his voice, his hand in my hair, how nothing had made him hesitate except (and then I cringed, thinking about it) when I'd said, Why? Why do you want to make me feel good?
231 Scarlett O'Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm as the Tarleton twins were. In her face were too sharply blended the delicate features of her mother, a Coast aristocrat of French descent, and the heavy ones of her florid Irish father.
232 Quick though her brain was, it was not made for analysis, but she half-consciously realized that, for all the Tarleton girls were as unruly as colts and wild as March hares, there was an unworried single-mindedness about them that was part of their inheritance.
233 The same look was on the faces of all the women as the song ended, tears of pride on cheeks, pink or wrinkled, smiles on lips, a deep hot glow in eyes, as they turned to their men, sweetheart to lover, mother to son, wife to husband.
234 Bitter looks were thrown at him as he came slowly through the press. Old men growled in their beards, and Mrs. Merriwether who feared nothing rose slightly in her carriage and said clearly: "Speculator!" in a tone that made the word the foulest and most venomous of epithets.
235 For a moment she stared at him bewildered, dropping her skirts in dismay. They fell over the dirty face of a wounded man who feebly tried to turn his head to escape from their smothering folds. What did the doctor mean?
236 Scarlett dropped her head so the enemy could not see her cry and the tears fell slowly down on the baby's head. Through the blur, she saw the men moving toward the doorway, heard the sergeant calling commands in a loud rough voice.
237 Dressing unaided was difficult but she finally accomplished it and putting on the bonnet with its rakish feathers she ran to Aunt Pitty's room to preen herself in front of the long mirror. How pretty she looked!
238 Then, there was that Butler man. His frequent calls at Aunt Pitty's house were the greatest humiliation of all. Frank had always disliked him, even when he had done business with him before the war. He often cursed the day he had brought Rhett to Twelve Oaks and introduced him to his friends.
239 Sometimes when Frank lay snoring beside her and sleep would not come, when she lay tossing, torn with fears of poverty, dreading the Yankees, homesick for Tara and yearning for Ashley, she thought she would go crazy were it not for the brandy bottle.
240 She nodded and Rhett drew the sliding doors together. When he came back and sat down beside her, his dark eyes alertly searching her face, the pall of death receded before the vitality he radiated and the room seemed pleasant and homelike again, the lamps rosy and warm.
241 He turned on his heel before she could speak and went out of the room on swift feet. She heard him cross the floor of the hall to the children's play room and open the door. There was a glad, quick treble of childish voices and she heard Bonnie's tones rise over Ella's.
242 I had two elder brothers, one of whom was lieutenant-colonel to an English regiment of foot in Flanders, formerly commanded by the famous Colonel Lockhart, and was killed at the battle near Dunkirk against the Spaniards.
243 I was now set up for a Guinea trader; and my friend, to my great misfortune, dying soon after his arrival, I resolved to go the same voyage again, and I embarked in the same vessel with one who was his mate in the former voyage, and had now got the command of the ship.
244 I now began to consider that I might yet get a great many things out of the ship which would be useful to me, and particularly some of the rigging and sails, and such other things as might come to land; and I resolved to make another voyage on board the vessel, if possible.
245 I not only thought these the pure productions of Providence for my support, but not doubting that there was more in the place, I went all over that part of the island, where I had been before, peering in every corner, and under every rock, to see for more of it, but I could not find any.
246 I confess this side of the country was much pleasanter than mine; but yet I had not the least inclination to remove, for as I was fixed in my habitation it became natural to me, and I seemed all the while I was here to be as it were upon a journey, and from home.
247 I fixed my umbrella also in the step at the stern, like a mast, to stand over my head, and keep the heat of the sun off me, like an awning; and thus I every now and then took a little voyage upon the sea, but never went far out, nor far from the little creek.
248 You are to understand that now I had, as I may call it, two plantations in the island - one my little fortification or tent, with the wall about it, under the rock, with the cave behind me, which by this time I had enlarged into several apartments or caves, one within another.
249 Upon this, however, I made this conclusion: that my only way to go about to attempt an escape was, to endeavour to get a savage into my possession: and, if possible, it should be one of their prisoners, whom they had condemned to be eaten, and should bring hither to kill.
250 This was what I wished for; and immediately leaving Friday and the captain's mate to their business, I took the rest with me; and, crossing the creek out of their sight, we surprised the two men before they were aware - one of them lying on the shore, and the other being in the boat.
251 Langdon had little doubt. His books on religious paintings and cult symbology had made him a reluctant celebrity in the art world, and last year Langdon's visibility had increased a hundredfold after his involvement in a widely publicized incident at the Vatican.
252 To Langdon, the numbers looked totally random. He was accustomed to symbolic progressions that made some semblance of sense, but everything here - the pentacle, the text, the numbers - seemed disparate at the most fundamental level.
253 Fache had no doubt the shock on Langdon's face was genuine, and yet he sensed another emotion there too, as if a distant fear were suddenly simmering in the American's eyes. "I'm sorry to hear that," Fache said, watching Langdon closely.
254 Once he had written the English word "planets" and told Sophie that an astonishing sixty-two other English words of varying lengths could be formed using those same letters. Sophie had spent three days with an English dictionary until she found them all.
255 The first hour was critical. Fugitives were predictable the first hour after escape. They always needed the same thing. Travel. Lodging. Cash. The Holy Trinity. Interpol had the power to make all three disappear in the blink of an eye.
256 Vernet could feel his own heart pounding. Aiming the gun with his right hand, he reached now with his left for the wooden box. He discovered that it was far too heavy. I need two hands. Turning his eyes back to his captives, he calculated the risk.
257 Sophie wasn't sure whether to feel relieved or disappointed. Earlier, Langdon had asked an unusual passing question about Sophie's mother's maiden name. Chauvel. The question now made sense. "And Chauvel?" she asked, anxious.
258 When the Range Rover arrived at Le Bourget Airfield, Remy drove to a small hangar at the far end of the airstrip. As they approached, a tousled man in wrinkled khakis hurried from the hangar, waved, and slid open the enormous corrugated metal door to reveal a sleek white jet within.
259 Reaching over, Langdon lifted the smaller cryptex. It looked identical to the first, except half the size and black. He heard the familiar gurgle. Apparently, the vial of vinegar they had heard earlier was inside this smaller cryptex.
260 Each of the carved knights within the Temple Church lay on his back with his head resting on a rectangular stone pillow. Sophie felt a chill. The poem's reference to an "orb" conjured images of the night in her grandfather's basement.
261 The judge, a formidably heavy-featured man, rolled up the sleeves of his black robe as if to physically chastise the two young men standing before the bench. His face was cold with majestic contempt. But there was something false in all this that Amerigo Bonasera sensed but did not yet understand.
262 The Don had broken a long-standing tradition. The Consigliere was always a full-blooded Sicilian, and the fact that Hagen had been brought up as a member of the Don's family made no difference to that tradition. It was a question of blood.
263 All eight houses were owned by Don Corleone. At the mouth of the mall the two houses on either side were rented by family retainers with their own families and star boarders, single men who lived in the basement apartments.
264 Clemenza had finally come back from his day's work and was bustling around the kitchen cooking up a huge pot of tomato sauce. Michael nodded to him and went to the corner office where he found Hagen and Sonny waiting for him impatiently. "Is Clemenza out there?" Sonny asked.
265 He said, "Forget it, Johnny." He was embarrassed at the depth of Johnny's feeling and embarrassed by the suspicion that it might have been inspired by fear, fear that he might turn the Don against him. And of course the Don could never be turned by anyone for any reason.
266 Very carefully Vito took the wide wallet out of the dead man's jacket pocket and put it inside his shirt. Then he walked across the street into the loft building, through that into the yard and climbed the fire escape to the roof. From there he surveyed the street.
267 He smoked until it was time for him to dress. He knocked on the door and said, "Open it up before I kick it in." There was no answer. "Come on, I gotta get dressed," he said in a loud voice. He could hear her getting up off the bed and coming toward the door, then the key turned in the lock.
268 Even so, his huge body in a reflex for life crashed against the Buick door, bursting its lock. The man in the darkened tollbooth opened fire and the shots caught Sonny Corleone in the head and neck as his massive frame spilled out of the car.
269 But it was to be nearly another year before Don Corleone could arrange for his son Michael to be smuggled back into the United States. During that time the whole Family racked their brains for suitable schemes. Even Carlo Rizzi was listened to now that he was living in the mall with Connie.
270 He didn't. The next day, without his shepherds, he drove to the village and sat on the garden terrace of the cafe to chat with her father. Signor Vitelli took pity on him and sent for his wife and daughter to come down to the cafe to join them. This meeting was less awkward.
271 There was no death row at Cold Mountain, only E Block, set apart from the other four and about a quarter their size, brick instead of wood, with a horrible bare metal roof that glared in the summer sun like a delirious eyeball.
272 The next night, after getting first Bitterbuck and then The President over to D Block, where we showered our group after the regular cons were locked down, Brutal asked me if we shouldn't have a look for Steamboat Willy down there in the restraint room.
273 The mouse stopped where it had before, no more than three feet from the duty desk, looking up at Dean like a prisoner before the bar. It glanced up at Bill for a moment, then switched its attention back to Dean. Percy it hardly seemed to notice at all.
274 The Chief left his cell with no protest or holding back when the time came. Sometimes we had to pry their fingers off the bars - I broke one or two in my time and have never forgotten the muffled snapping sound - but The Chief wasn't one of those, thank God.
275 Delacroix was simply overcome with delight - he was like a classical pianist watching his five-year-old son play his first halting exercises. But don't get me wrong; it was funny, a real hoot. The candy was half the size of Mr. Jingles, and his whitefurred belly was already distended from it.
276 I think I expected some sort of strong reaction (the kids who could have been twins working at the back of my mind... and perhaps the doghouse, too; the Dettericks had had a dog), but Hammersmith only raised his eyebrows and sipped at his drink.
277 In the end it was Brutal who saved the day. He had been up by the duty desk, watching Dean and Harry play cribbage. Percy was there, too, and Brutal finally tired of trying to start a conversation with him and getting nothing but sullen grunts in response.
278 You've heard people say "My blood ran cold" about things, haven't you? Sure. All of us have, but the only time in all my years that I actually felt it happen to me was on that new and thunderstruck morning in October of 1932, at about ten seconds past midnight.
279 I had spoken to Hal Moores that morning, and he had told me that Melinda's brain tumor had caused her to lapse into bouts of cursing and foul language... what my wife had later labelled (rather tentatively; she wasn't sure it was really the same thing) as Tourette's Syndrome.
280 He turned in that direction for just a moment, his face confused and despairing. Just a moment, as I say, but it should have been long enough for me to snatch the long-barrelled gun out of his hand. Except I couldn't lift my own hands.
281 We slept in what had once been the gymnasium. The floor was of varnished wood, with stripes and circles painted on it, for the games that were formerly played there; the hoops for the basketball nets were still in place, though the nets were gone.
282 But on one bag there's blood, which has seeped through the white cloth, where the mouth must have been. It makes another mouth, a small red one, like the mouths painted with thick brushes by kindergarten children. A child's idea of a smile.
283 The rug is authentic. Some things in this room are authentic, some are not. For instance, two paintings, both of women, one on either side of the fireplace. Both wear dark dresses, like the ones in the old church, though of a later date.
284 What I remember is Luke, with me in the hospital, standing beside my head, holding my hand, in the green gown and white mask they gave him. Oh, he said, oh Jesus, breath coming out in wonder. That night he couldn't go to sleep at all, he said, he was so high.
285 Sometimes, however, Serena Joy is out, visiting another Commander's Wife, a sick one; that's the only place she could conceivably go, by herself, in the evenings. She takes food, a cake or pie or loaf of bread baked by Rita, or a jar of jelly, made from the mint leaves that grow in her garden.
286 It's on there, she said. All over the place. She was not stunned, the way I was. In some strange way she was gleeful, as if this was what she'd been expecting for some time and now she'd been proven right. She even looked more energetic, more determined.
287 A number of the Wives are already seated, in their best embroidered blue. We can feel their eyes on us as we walk in our red dresses two by two across to the side opposite them. We are being looked at, assessed, whispered about; we can feel it, like tiny ants running on our bare skins.
288 Moira is smoking a cigarette. She takes a drag, passes it to the woman on her left, who's in red spangles with a long pointed tail attached, and silver horns; a devil outfit. Now she has her arms folded across her front, under her wired-up breasts.
289 I tell the Commander just a minute, and go into the bathroom. My ears are ringing from the smoke, the gin has filled me with lassitude. I wet a washcloth and press it to my forehead. After a while I look to see if there are any little bars of soap in individual wrappers.
290 Now the official procession is approaching the stage, mounting the steps at the right: three women, one Aunt in front, two Salvagers in their black hoods and cloaks a pace behind her. Behind them are the other Aunts. The whisperings among us hush.
291 He knew himself to be Dick Forrest, the master of broad acres, who had fallen asleep hours before after drowsily putting a match between the pages of "Road Town" and pressing off the electric reading lamp.
292 Already had Dick taken his coaches in mathematics duck hunting for weeks in the sloughs of the Sacramento and the San Joaquin. After his bout with physics and chemistry he took his two coaches in literature and history into the Curry County hunting region of southwestern Oregon.
293 His livestock specialist, whom he had filched from the Federal Government, in England outbid the Rothschilds' Shire farm for Hillcrest Chieftain, quickly to be known as Forrest's Folly, paying for that kingly animal no less than five thousand guineas.
294 When he started to climb, Paula again chased him to the half-way platform with a threat to dive. But not many seconds did Graham waste. His next start was determined, and Paula, poised for her dive, could not send him scuttling back.
295 The driftage through the Big House was decreasing. A few guests, on business or friendship, continued to come, but more departed. Under Oh Joy and his Chinese staff the Big House ran so frictionlessly and so perfectly, that entertainment of guests seemed little part of the host's duties.
296 Much of the growing situation was veiled to the three figures of it. Graham did not know of Paula's desperate efforts to cling close to her husband, who, himself desperately busy with his thousand plans and projects, was seeing less and less of his company.
297 Graham, seeming least attracted, browsed in a current magazine, but Dick observed that he quickly ceased turning the pages. Nor did Dick fail to catch the new note in Paula's voice and to endeavor to sense its meaning.
298 Together they pricked their mares, whirled them about, and fled, while from behind they heard the soothing "Whoas" of the rider, the thuds of the heavy hoofs on the roadway, and a wild imperative neigh. The Outlaw answered, and the Fawn was but a moment behind her.
299 She soothed the impatience of the hand on her cheek, and, almost absently, musingly scrutinizing it without consciously seeing it, turned it over and slowly kissed the palm. The next moment she was drawn to her feet and into his arms.
300 He ran through his life insurance policies, verifying the permitted suicide clause in each one; signed the tray of letters that had waited his signature since the previous morning; and dictated a letter into the phonograph to the publisher of his books.
301 The moral life of man forms part of the subject-matter of the artist, but the morality of art consists in the perfect use of an imperfect medium. No artist desires to prove anything. Even things that are true can be proved.
302 So that was the story of Dorian Gray's parentage. Crudely as it had been told to him, it had yet stirred him by its suggestion of a strange, almost modern romance. A beautiful woman risking everything for a mad passion. A few wild weeks of happiness cut short by a hideous, treacherous crime.
303 Lord Henry watched him with a subtle sense of pleasure. How different he was now from the shy frightened boy he had met in Basil Hallward's studio! His nature had developed like a flower, had borne blossoms of scarlet flame.
304 They got up and put on their coats, sipping their coffee standing. The painter was silent and preoccupied. There was a gloom over him. He could not bear this marriage, and yet it seemed to him to be better than many other things that might have happened.
305 How late it was! He sat up, and having sipped some tea, turned over his letters. One of them was from Lord Henry, and had been brought by hand that morning. He hesitated for a moment, and then put it aside.
306 He sighed and touched the bell. The portrait must be hidden away at all costs. He could not run such a risk of discovery again. It had been mad of him to have allowed the thing to remain, even for an hour, in a room to which any of his friends had access.
307 But there was no other place in the house so secure from prying eyes as this. He had the key, and no one else could enter it. Beneath its purple pall, the face painted on the canvas could grow bestial, sodden, and unclean. What did it matter? No one could see it. He himself would not see it.
308 After a few years he could not endure to be long out of England, and gave up the villa that he had shared at Trouville with Lord Henry, as well as the little white walled-in house at Algiers where they had more than once spent the winter.
309 He passed out of the room and began the ascent, Basil Hallward following close behind. They walked softly, as men do instinctively at night. The lamp cast fantastic shadows on the wall and staircase. A rising wind made some of the windows rattle.
310 The same look of pity came into Dorian Gray's eyes. Then he stretched out his hand, took a piece of paper, and wrote something on it. He read it over twice, folded it carefully, and pushed it across the table. Having done this, he got up and went over to the window.
311 Most of the windows were dark, but now and then fantastic shadows were silhouetted against some lamp-lit blind. He watched them curiously. They moved like monstrous marionettes and made gestures like live things. He hated them. A dull rage was in his heart.
312 A miracle indeed. Only once in her life had Meggie been into Wahine; all the way back in May, because she had been a very good girl. So perched in the buggy beside her mother, on her best behavior, she had been too excited to see or remember much.
313 Three hours out of Sydney the seas dropped to a glassy calm and fog stole in furtively from the far Antarctic, wrapping itself about the old ship. Meggie, reviving a little, imagined it bellowed regularly in pain now the terrible buffeting was over.
314 Life went on in the rhythmic, endless cycle of the land; the following summer the rains came, not monsoonal but a by-product of them, filling the creek and the tanks, succoring the thirsting grass roots, sponging away the stealthy dust.
315 She was very dead, must have died within minutes of retiring, a good fifteen hours earlier. The windows were closed fast, and the room humid from the great flat pans of water she insisted be put in every inconspicuous corner to keep her skin youthful.
316 Relaxing his vigilance somewhat, he continued to watch his secretary and resumed his interesting game of working out precisely what made Father Ralph de Bricassart tick. At first he had been sure there would be a fleshly weakness, if not in one direction, in another.
317 Luke looked at the deadly thing he gripped, which was not at all like a West Indian machete. It widened into a large triangle instead of tapering to a point, and had a wicked hook like a rooster's spur at one of the two blade ends.
318 And how the twins ate! Army tucker was never like this, they said, laughing. Pink and white fairy cakes, chocolate-soaked lamingtons rolled in coconut, steamed spotted dog pudding, pavlova dripping passionfruit and cream from Drogheda cows.
319 And the more limply furious he got, the harder she laughed, pointing her finger helplessly toward the foot of the bed, tears streaming down her face. Her whole body was convulsed, but not quite in the manner poor Arthur had envisioned.
320 And I can say with double sincerity, thank God for Rain! How good he is with them. I wouldn't have believed anyone could stimulate Patsy into speech, but he's doing it, bless him. They're talking away like old hens, and where did he get Australian beer for them?
321 Michael sat in a heavily carved Chippendale chair, a reproduction but made by a well-known firm, and his Chippendale table, with heavy ball and claw feet, was immensely solid. On it stood in a massive silver frame a photograph of herself and to balance it a photograph of Roger, their son.
322 She turned the early photographs over quickly, looking for that which he had had taken when first he came to Middlepool; but when she came upon it, it gave her a pang. For a moment she felt inclined to cry. It had been just like him then.
323 Uncertain till the last moment whether Jimmie would allow her to go, Julia had not been able to let Michael know that she was meeting him. He was surprised and frankly delighted to see her. His beautiful eyes beamed with pleasure.
324 But Charles Tamerley knew that his wife had deliberately tried to humiliate the young woman, and angered, went out of his way to be nice to her. He asked her if he might be allowed to call and brought her some beautiful flowers.
325 Oh, that was how he got all his information. Poor sweet. He read about grand people in the papers and now and then, at a restaurant or a theatre, saw them in the flesh. Of course it was a thrill for him. Romance. If he only knew how dull they were really!
326 When this gossip reached the ears of Dolly de Vries she laughed. At Julia's request she had invited Tom to parties and once or twice had him down for a weekend in the country, but she had never paid any attention to him.
327 The strange thing was that when she looked into her heart it was not Julia Lambert the woman who resented the affront, she didn't care for herself, it was the affront to Julia Lambert the actress that stung her.
328 Then she turned round. He looked very young, and incredibly charming, in his beautiful clothes, sitting there in the big armchair, and all the bitterness she had felt that evening, all the devouring jealousy of the last few days, were dissipated on a sudden by the intensity of her passion.
329 Every Christmas Julia gave her mother and her aunt expensive presents, but they never used them. They showed them to their friends with pride, these wonderful things that came from London, and then wrapped them up in tissue paper and put them away in cupboards.
330 Four hours later it was all over. The play went well from the beginning; the audience, notwithstanding the season, a fashionable one, were pleased after the holidays to find themselves once more in a playhouse, and were ready to be amused. It was an auspicious beginning for the theatrical season.
331 Harris, as usual, was for the sea. He said he knew a yacht, just the very thing-one that we could manage by ourselves; no skulking lot of lubbers loafing about, adding to the expense and taking away from the romance. Give him a handy boy, he would sail it himself.
332 There is always unpleasantness about this tandem. It is the theory of the man in front that the man behind does nothing; it is equally the theory of the man behind that he alone is the motive power, the man in front merely doing the puffing. The mystery will never be solved.
333 It is not that the Harris children have the faintest notion of avoiding blame at the expense of a friend and comrade. One and all they are honesty itself in accepting responsibility for their own misdeeds. It simply is, that is how the thing presents itself to their understanding.
334 One anthill is very much like another. So many avenues, wide or narrow, where the little creatures swarm in strange confusion; these bustling by, important; these halting to pow-wow with one another. These struggling with big burdens; those but basking in the sun.
335 At first I fell to wondering whether a stretcher or a clothes basket would be the more useful for the conveyance of Harris's remains back to the hotel. I consider that George's promptness on that occasion saved Harris's life.
336 But what the stranger in Dresden stares at most is, perhaps, its electric trams. These huge vehicles flash through the streets at from ten to twenty miles an hour, taking curves and corners after the manner of an Irish car driver.
337 Our visit to Prague we were compelled to lengthen somewhat. Prague is one of the most interesting towns in Europe. Its stones are saturated with history and romance; its every suburb must have been a battlefield. It is the town that conceived the Reformation and hatched the Thirty Years' War.
338 In German you are not permitted to call an official a "silly ass," but undoubtedly this particular man was one. What had happened was this: Harris in the Stadgarten, anxious to get out, and seeing a gate open before him, had stepped over a wire into the street.
339 Thus Sin masquerades under the guise of Good, and one sleeps till six, explaining to one's conscience, who, however, doesn't believe it, that one does this because of unselfish consideration for others. I have known such consideration extend until seven of the clock.
340 It is the same everywhere. Each country keeps a special pronunciation exclusively for the use of foreigners - a pronunciation they never dream of using themselves, that they cannot understand when it is used. I once heard an English lady explaining to a Frenchman how to pronounce the word Have.
341 How that personage haunted my dreams, I need scarcely tell you. On stormy nights, when the wind shook the four corners of the house and the surf roared along the cove and up the cliffs, I would see him in a thousand forms, and with a thousand diabolical expressions.
342 The captain had been struck dead by thundering apoplexy. It is a curious thing to understand, for I had certainly never liked the man, though of late I had begun to pity him, but as soon as I saw that he was dead, I burst into a flood of tears.
343 The squire and I were both peering over his shoulder as he opened it, for Dr. Livesey had kindly motioned me to come round from the side-table, where I had been eating, to enjoy the sport of the search.
344 All the time he was jerking out these phrases he was stumping up and down the tavern on his crutch, slapping tables with his hand, and giving such a show of excitement as would have convinced an Old Bailey judge or a Bow Street runner.
345 Silver, agile as a monkey even without leg or crutch, was on the top of him next moment and had twice buried his knife up to the hilt in that defenceless body. From my place of ambush, I could hear him pant aloud as he struck the blows.
346 At any risk, we put the boat's head direct for the landing-place. By this time we had got so far out of the run of the current that we kept steerage way even at our necessarily gentle rate of rowing, and I could keep her steady for the goal.
347 As soon as Silver disappeared, the captain, who had been closely watching him, turned towards the interior of the house and found not a man of us at his post but Gray. It was the first time we had ever seen him angry. "Quarters!" he roared.
348 The breeze had but little action on the coracle, and I was almost instantly swept against the bows of the Hispaniola. At the same time, the schooner began to turn upon her heel, spinning slowly, end for end, across the current.
349 Now, the coxswain's hesitation seemed to be unnatural, and as for the notion of his preferring wine to brandy, I entirely disbelieved it. The whole story was a pretext. He wanted me to leave the deck - so much was plain; but with what purpose I could in no way imagine.
350 We made a curious figure, had anyone been there to see us - all in soiled sailor clothes and all but me armed to the teeth. Silver had two guns slung about him - one before and one behind - besides the great cutlass at his waist and a pistol in each pocket of his square-tailed coat.
351 I have just returned from a visit to my landlord - the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with. This is certainly a beautiful country! In all England, I do not believe that I could have fixed on a situation so completely removed from the stir of society.
352 It opened into the house, where the females were already astir; Zillah urging flakes of flame up the chimney with a colossal bellows; and Mrs. Heathcliff, kneeling on the hearth, reading a book by the aid of the blaze.
353 Mr. Earnshaw carved bountiful platefuls, and the mistress made them merry with lively talk. I waited behind her chair, and was pained to behold Catherine, with dry eyes and an indifferent air, commence cutting up the wing of a goose before her.
354 I went and called, but got no answer. On returning, I whispered to Catherine that he had heard a good part of what she said, I was sure; and told how I saw him quit the kitchen just as she complained of her brother's conduct regarding him.
355 This is not much connected with Miss Isabella's affair: except that it urged me to resolve further on mounting vigilant guard, and doing my utmost to cheek the spread of such bad influence at the Grange: even though I should wake a domestic storm, by thwarting Mrs. Linton's pleasure.
356 I sat and thought a doleful time: the clock struck eight, and nine, and still my companion paced to and fro, his head bent on his breast, and perfectly silent, unless a groan or a bitter ejaculation forced itself out at intervals.
357 When I first looked into his face, I perceived that he had got intelligence of the catastrophe; and a foolish notion struck me that his heart was quelled and he prayed, because his lips moved and his gaze was bent on the ground.
358 When I chanced to encounter the housekeeper of Wuthering Heights, in paying business visits to Gimmerton, I used to ask how the young master got on; for he lived almost as secluded as Catherine herself, and was never to be seen.
359 Edgar sighed; and, walking to the window, looked out towards Gimmerton Kirk. It was a misty afternoon, but the February sun shone dimly, and we could just distinguish the two fir-trees in the yard, and the sparely-scattered gravestones.
360 Heathcliff went up once, to show her Linton's will. He had bequeathed the whole of his, and what had been her, moveable property, to his father: the poor creature was threatened, or coaxed, into that act during her week's absence, when his uncle died.
361 The Philadelphia into which Frank Algernon Cowperwood was born was a city of two hundred and fifty thousand and more. It was set with handsome parks, notable buildings, and crowded with historic memories.
362 Throughout this procedure young Cowperwood, only twenty years of age, was quietly manifest. He called during the illness. He attended the funeral. He helped her brother, David Wiggin, dispose of the shoe business.
363 Dark as this transaction may seem to the uninitiated, it will appear quite clear to those who know. Manipulative tricks have always been worked in connection with stocks of which one man or one set of men has had complete control.
364 So, for the time being there was love-making, the usual billing and cooing of lovers in a simple and much less than final fashion; and the lovely horseback rides together under the green trees of the approaching spring were idyllic.
365 Butler, as we have seen, was normally interested in and friendly to Cowperwood. Stener was Cowperwood's tool. Mollenhauer and Senator Simpson were strong rivals of Butler for the control of city affairs.
366 The trouble with this particular transaction was the note that he had received from Stener ordering him to stop both buying and selling, which put his relations with the city treasury on a very formal basis. He had bought these certificates before receiving this note, but had not deposited them.
367 This report was immediately given to the papers. Though some sort of a public announcement had been anticipated by Cowperwood and the politicians, this was, nevertheless, a severe blow. Stener was beside himself with fear.
368 In spite of Butler's rage and his determination to do many things to the financier, if he could, he was so wrought up and shocked by the attitude of Aileen that he could scarcely believe he was the same man he had been twenty-four hours before. She was so nonchalant, so defiant.
369 He paused and gazed at the jury, adjusting his sleeves as he did so, and looking as though he knew for certain that he was on the trail of a slippery, elusive criminal who was in a fair way to foist himself upon an honorable and decent community and an honorable and innocent jury as an honest man.
370 To old Chapin the situation was more or less puzzling. This was the famous Frank A. Cowperwood whom he had read about, the noted banker and treasury-looter. He and his co-partner in crime, Stener, were destined to serve, as he had read, comparatively long terms here.
371 I confess that when first I made acquaintance with Charles Strickland I never for a moment discerned that there was in him anything out of the ordinary. Yet now few will be found to deny his greatness.
372 I found her alone. Her black dress, simple to austerity, suggested her bereaved condition, and I was innocently astonished that notwithstanding a real emotion she was able to dress the part she had to play according to her notions of seemliness.
373 It seemed to me that the question was beside the point. It was natural that I should take chances; but he was a man whose youth was past, a stockbroker with a position of respectability, a wife and two children. A course that would have been natural for me was absurd for him.
374 What followed showed that Mrs. Strickland was a woman of character. Whatever anguish she suffered she concealed. She saw shrewdly that the world is quickly bored by the recital of misfortune, and willingly avoids the sight of distress.
375 He smiled dryly, but said nothing. I wish I knew how to describe his smile. I do not know that it was attractive, but it lit up his face, changing the expression, which was generally sombre, and gave it a look of not ill-natured malice.
376 Presently we left him. Dirk was going home to dinner, and I proposed to find a doctor and bring him to see Strickland; but when we got down into the street, fresh after the stuffy attic, the Dutchman begged me to go immediately to his studio.
377 Stroeve picked himself up. He noticed that his wife had remained perfectly still, and to be made ridiculous before her increased his humiliation. His spectacles had tumbled off in the struggle, and he could not immediately see them. She picked them up and silently handed them to him.
378 I do not know why at the moment I could think of no excuse. I followed them rather sulkily to the table at which Strickland always sat, and he called for the board and the chessmen. They both took the situation so much as a matter of course that I felt it absurd to do otherwise.
379 Their eyes rested on a nude woman suckling a baby, while a girl was kneeling by their side holding out a flower to the indifferent child. Looking over them was a wrinkled, scraggy hag. It was Strickland's version of the Holy Family.
380 Mrs. Strickland and Mrs. Ronaldson looked down with a slightly pious expression which indicated, I felt sure, that they thought the quotation was from Holy Writ. Indeed, I was unconvinced that Robert Strickland did not share their illusion.
381 The planet Mars, I scarcely need remind the reader, revolves about the sun at a mean distance of 140,000,000 miles, and the light and heat it receives from the sun is barely half of that received by this world.
382 When I returned to the common the sun was setting. Scattered groups were hurrying from the direction of Woking, and one or two persons were returning. The crowd about the pit had increased, and stood out black against the lemon yellow of the sky - a couple of hundred people, perhaps.
383 He turned, stared, bawled something about "crawling out in a thing like a dish cover," and ran on to the gate of the house at the crest. A sudden whirl of black smoke driving across the road hid him for a moment.
384 He drank it. Then abruptly he sat down before the table, put his head on his arms, and began to sob and weep like a little boy, in a perfect passion of emotion, while I, with a curious forgetfulness of my own recent despair, stood beside him, wondering.
385 But they were in no hurry. Cylinder followed cylinder on its interplanetary flight; every twenty-four hours brought them reinforcement. And meanwhile the military and naval authorities, now fully alive to the tremendous power of their antagonists, worked with furious energy.
386 It was while the curate had sat and talked so wildly to me under the hedge in the flat meadows near Halliford, and while my brother was watching the fugitives stream over Westminster Bridge, that the Martians had resumed the offensive.
387 The people crushed back on one another to avoid the horse. My brother pushed the pony and chaise back into the hedge, and the man drove by and stopped at the turn of the way. It was a carriage, with a pole for a pair of horses, but only one was in the traces.
388 The little vessel continued to beat its way seaward, and the ironclads receded slowly towards the coast, which was hidden still by a marbled bank of vapour, part steam, part black gas, eddying and combining in the strangest way.
389 Apparently the vegetable kingdom in Mars, instead of having green for a dominant colour, is of a vivid bloodred tint. At any rate, the seeds which the Martians (intentionally or accidentally) brought with them gave rise in all cases to redcoloured growths.
390 And pursuant to this idea of a holiday, he insisted upon playing cards after we had eaten. He taught me euchre, and after dividing London between us, I taking the northern side and he the southern, we played for parish points.
391 In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit. Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell, nor yet a dry, bare, sandy hole with nothing in it to sit down on or to eat: it was a hobbit-hole, and that means comfort.
392 That's how they all came to start, jogging off from the inn one fine morning just before May, on laden ponies; and Bilbo was wearing a dark-green hood (a little weather-stained) and a dark-green cloak borrowed from Dwalin. They were too large for him, and he looked rather comic.
393 There were many paths that led up into those mountains, and many passes over them. But most of the paths were cheats and deceptions and led nowhere or to bad ends; and most of the passes were infested by evil things and dreadful dangers.
394 Deep down here by the dark water lived old Gollum, a small slimy creature. I don't know where he came from, nor who or what he was. He was Gollum - as dark as darkness, except for two big round pale eyes in his thin face.
395 This was dreadful talk to listen to, not only because of the brave woodmen and their wives and children, but also because of the danger which now threatened Gandalf and his friends. The Wargs were angry and puzzled at finding them here in their very meeting-place.
396 At that very moment Balin, who was a little way ahead, called out: "What was that? I thought I saw a twinkle of light in the forest." They all looked, and a longish way off, it seemed, they saw a red twinkle in the dark; then another and another sprang out beside it.
397 That is why, when the elves bound the dwarves in a long line, one behind the other, and counted them, they never found or counted the hobbit. Nor did they hear or feel him trotting along well behind their torch-light as they led off their prisoners into the forest.
398 He woke again with a specially loud sneeze. It was already grey morning, and there was a merry racket down by the river. They were making up a raft of barrels, and the raft-elves would soon be steering it off down the stream to Lake-town. Bilbo sneezed again.
399 It was at this point that Bilbo stopped. Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterward were as nothing compared to it. He fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.
400 This song appeared to please Thorin, and he smiled again and grew merry; and he began reckoning the distance to the Iron Hills and how long it would be before Dain could reach the Lonely Mountain, if he had set out as soon as the message reached him.
401 He had heard many people moaning about the invention of the atomic pile. He moaned about it himself when things went wrong, or when he got tired. Moaning like that was a built-in facet of human nature. Back in the Coal Century, people moaned about the invention of the steam engine.
402 Each City became a semiautonomous unit, economically all but self-sufficient. It could roof itself in, gird itself about, burrow itself under. It became a steel cave, a tremendous, self-contained cave of steel and concrete.
403 He indicated his palms, holding them out before him. They were pink and plump, with the proper creases. They bore every mark of excellent and meticulous workmanship and were as clean as need be. Baley said, "We have a washbasin in the apartment, you know." He said it casually.
404 Baley knew that. The pro-robot propaganda was forever stressing the miraculous feats of the Spacer robots, their endurance, their extra senses, their service to humanity in a hundred novel ways. Personally, he thought that approach defeated itself.
405 At that moment, the discomfort eased and Baley felt nothing short of love for that familiar figure, and a longing to be safely back in that office with him, or anywhere in the City, for that matter. Even in the least prepossessing portion of the Jersey yeast-vat districts.
406 Baley wouldn't commit himself, but now he wondered sickly if ever a man fought harder for that buck, whatever it was, or felt its loss more deeply, than a City dweller fought to keep from losing his Sunday night option on a chicken drumstick - a real-flesh drumstick from a once-living bird.
407 At 16:55 the Commissioner left, passing him with an uncertain smile. The day shift left en masse. The sparser population that filled the offices in the evening and through the night made its way in and greeted him in varied tones of surprise.
408 R. Daneel placed the small, stamp-size cards before Baley. They were mottled with the small dots that served as code. The robot also produced a portable decoder and placed one of the cards into an appropriate slot.
409 There was no need of any answer to that. Vincent Barrett, the youngster who had been moved out of his job to make room for R. Sammy, was shuffling up from an unnoticed corner of the room. A skull cap turned restlessly in his hands and the skin over his high cheekbones moved as he tried to smile.
410 Baley nodded. He needed neither dictionary nor handbook to be told what an alpha-sprayer was. He had handled several in his lab courses in physics: a head-alloy casing with a narrow pit dug into it longitudinally, at the bottom of which was a fragment of a plutonium salt.
411 His name was Gaal Dornick and he was just a country boy who had never seen Trantor before. That is, not in real life. He had seen it many times on the hyper-video, and occasionally in tremendous three-dimensional newscasts covering an Imperial Coronation or the opening of a Galactic Council.
412 The next day's hearings were entirely different. Hari Seldon and Gaal Dornick were alone with the Commission. They were seated at a table together, with scarcely a separation between the five judges and the two accused.
413 Mayor Hardin chewed at the end of his cigar. It had gone out but he was past noticing that. He hadn't slept the night before and he had a good idea that he wouldn't sleep this coming night. His eyes showed it.
414 Next to Sermak himself, Lewis Bort was the most active in rallying those dissident elements which had fused into the now-vociferous Action Party. Yet he had not been one of the deputation that had called on Salvor Hardin almost half a year previously.
415 And then another week - a week to wind a weary way through the clouds of minor officials that formed the buffer between the Grand Master and the outer world. Each little sub-secretary required soothing and conciliation.
416 Another week rubbed away before the meeting with Pherl was arranged. Ponyets felt the tension, but he was used to the feeling of physical helplessness now. He had left city limits under guard. He was in Pherl's suburban villa under guard.
417 Korell is that frequent phenomenon in history: the republic whose ruler has every attribute of the absolute monarch but the name. It therefore enjoyed the usual despotism unrestrained even by those two moderating influences in the legitimate monarchies: regal "honor" and court etiquette.
418 The Commdor referred to his dwelling place as a house. The populace undoubtedly would call it a palace. To Mallow's straightforward eyes, it looked uncommonly like a fortress. It was built on an eminence that overlooked the capital. Its walls were thick and reinforced.
419 The tech-man was short, and his skin glistened with well-kept plumpness. His hair was a fringe and his skull shone through pinkly. The rings on his fingers were thick and heavy, his clothes were scented, and he was the first man Mallow had met on the planet who hadn't looked hungry.
420 The only councilman absent was feebly cursing the fractured skull that had bedridden him. The galleries were filled to the aisleways and ceilings with those few of the crowd who by influence, wealth, or sheer diabolic perseverance had managed to get in.
421 Schwartz felt that to its fullness. After the struggles of youth in Europe and those of his early manhood in the United States, the serenity of a comfortable old age was pleasant. With a house of his own and money of his own, he could, and did, retire.
422 But he was well read in much of Galactic culture, and he was relatively free of the trick of universal hostility and suspicion that made the average Earthman so repulsive even to so cosmopolitan a man of the Empire as Ennius.
423 Shekt looked down at the plump, balding figure upon the couch. The patient was unconscious, breathing deeply and regularly. He had spoken unintelligibly, had understood nothing. Yet there had been none of the physical stigmata of feeblemindedness. Reflexes had been in order, for an old man.
424 So it was that on the sixth day after his arrival at Everest, Bel Arvardan left his host and took passage on the Terrestrial Air Transport Company's largest jet Stratospheric, traveling between Everest and the Terrestrial capital, Washenn.
425 The three formed a tableau. Schwartz had sunk to the floor in a squatting posture, too sick at heart to try to follow the conversation, to be curious at the sudden emptiness of the store, to do anything but bury his head in his hands in the last unspoken and unuttered whimper of despair.
426 Instead there was the picture of a planet, Trantor - from whose huge, planet-wide metropolis all the Galaxy was ruled. And there was the picture of a palace whose spires and sweeping arches he had never seen in reality; that no other Earthman had ever seen.
427 That doctor would believe. He had needed a shave that morning Arbin took him to Chica. He remembered that very well. After that his hair never grew, so they must have done something to him. That meant that the doctor knew that he - he, Schwartz - had had hair on his face.
428 He did, and for fifteen minutes, except for an occasional muffled but curt direction, she said nothing. He stole glances at her and thought, with a sudden pleasure, that she was even prettier than he had remembered her. Strange that now he felt no resentment.
429 Within its walls many an Earthman in past centuries had waited for the judgment that came to one who falsified or evaded the quotas of production, who lived past his time, or connived at another's such crime, or who was guilty of attempting subversion of the local government.
430 An hour had passed since Arvardan had first waded thickly out of unconsciousness to find himself slabbed like a side of beef awaiting the cleaver. And nothing had happened. Nothing but this feverish, inconclusive talk that unbearably passed the unbearable time.
431 He looked again from side to side. There was a person at each of the voice-recorders, and there were three others working the image projection. A seventh was for the music and an eighth for the all-important background. Others waited to one side for their turn.
432 As for Goneril, she remained untouched throughout, never flinching, never receding, but her beautiful face, without any change that could be described, seemed to accumulate evil so that by the end of Lear's curse, she had the appearance of an archangel still, but an archangel ruined.
433 Willard was approaching the great storm scene, the most difficult portion of this most difficult play, and he felt wrung out. Lear has been cast out by his daughters into a raging storm of wind and rain, with only his Fool for company, and he has gone almost mad at this mistreatment.
434 Lear, his madness burned out of him, is slowly beginning to understand the situation. He scarcely recognizes Cordelia at first and thinks he is dead and she is a heavenly spirit. Nor does he recognize the faithful Kent.
435 Money, when it was a matter of electronic exchange, meant nothing. There was no feeling of either wealth or of poverty above a certain level. The world was a matter of plastic cards (each keyed to a nucleic acid pattern) and of slots, and all the world transferred, transferred, transferred.
436 Andrew Harlan stepped into the kettle. Its sides were perfectly round and it fit snugly inside a vertical shaft composed of widely spaced rods that shimmered into an unseeable haze six feet above Harlan's head. Harlan set the controls and moved the smoothly working starting lever.
437 And he was not ashamed. It was that which really rocked him. He was not ashamed. He felt no guilt for the crescendo of crimes he had committed, to which this latest addition of the unethical use of confidential Life-Plotting could rank only as a peccadillo.
438 He always called the analysis a "guess." He never told Harlan the result of the Computaplex check, and Harlan dared not ask. He was despondent over the fact that he was never asked to put any of his own analyses into action.
439 Harlan was accustomed to using the kettle in Shaft C, which was, by unwritten custom, reserved for Technicians along its entire immeasurable length through the Centuries. Cooper showed no embarrassment at being led there.
440 In Eternity there was no Time as one ordinarily thought of Time in the universe outside, but men's bodies grew older and that was the unavoidable measure of Time even in the absence of meaningful physical phenomena.
441 Harlan sat motionless. He was thinking hard and fast. Ordinarily professional pride would have forced Harlan to disdain explanation. An Observer, or Technician, for that matter, did his job without question. And ordinarily a Computer would never dream of offering explanation.
442 Harlan couldn't trust himself to speak. What could he say? That members of Eternity were chosen with infinite care since two conditions had to be met. First, they must be equipped for the job; second, their withdrawal from Time must have no deleterious effect upon Reality.
443 He wasn't sure when first he began to do something that an Observer, ethically, had no right to do. That is, he began to speculate on the nature of the problem involving the current Reality and of the Reality Change that would be planned.
444 But now Harlan's mind snapped back to his present situation and he was back in the present, staring at the loudmouthed, brassy advertisements in the news magazine. He asked himself in sudden excitement: Were the thoughts he had just experienced really irrelevant?
445 It was, looking back at it, an idyllic period that followed. A hundred things took place in those physioweeks, and all confused itself inextricably in Harlan's memory, later, making the period seem to have lasted much longer than it did.
446 All at once it had seemed inevitable. It was the rawest dramatic irony. He had entered Time one last time, tweaked Finge's nose one last time, brought the pitcher to the well one last time. It had to be then that he was caught.
447 That frightened him too, for he could see nothing wrong. Nothing had tripped the drive-lever. It remained firmly geared into the upwhen drive. There was no short circuit. All the indicator dials were in the black safety range. There was no power failure.
448 Finally, he seemed to settle himself in his seat. He pushed his plate casually onto the disposal chute and clasped his thick fingers lightly before him. There was no hair on the back of the hands, Harlan noticed.
449 But nothing must be left to conjecture. His guesses, wild and unsupported at the start, arrived at by a freak of insight in the course of a very unusual and stimulating night, had become reasonable as the result of directed library research.
450 They ignored him politely because he was a Technician. Ordinarily he would have ignored them somewhat less politely because they were Maintenance men. But now he watched them and, in his misery, he even caught himself envying them.
451 No good! said Lamont, sharply. "I didn't get anywhere." He had a brooding look about him that went with his deep-set eyes and the slight asymmetry of his long chin. There was a brooding look about him at the best of times, and this was not the best of times.
452 When he had first tried to get Bronowski to join forces with him, Lamont's grievance had concerned only Hallam's mean-minded obstinacy concerning the suggestion that the para-men were the more intelligent.
453 His offer was not characteristic of him, but an editorial in the Terrestrial Post that morning had referred to him as "a consummate politician, the most skilled in the International Congress" and the glow that had roused within him still lingered.
454 And Daddy just stood there. There was no way he could handle an outburst like that except to come closer and pinch out a hand. It cost him a visible effort, but he held it out trembling and its outlines were ever so slightly soft.
455 He was reasonably sure that Tritt would not actually go up to the surface after Dua. It would mean leaving the children and that was always hard for Tritt to do. Tritt waited, without speaking for a while, and when he left, it was in the direction of the children's alcove.
456 The sensation was so strong that there was only one confused moment in which she had thought that somehow she was picking up his feelings far away in the home cavern. No! He was here, down in the Hard-caverns with her.
457 They had detected the loss some time ago. They had been searching quietly. They had turned to the Soft Ones as possible culprits with reluctance. They had investigated and then turned to Odeen's triad with even greater reluctance.
458 She was resting too much, declining into a kind of stupor, within the rock. Desperately she craved food and waited so that she could crawl out. Even more desperately than she wanted the food in the storage battery, she wanted the storage battery to be dead.
459 The action grew hotter and the Earthman tired of trying to make sense of the knotted flights. Occasionally, a leaper touched a bar and did not retain his hold. Those were the times when every spectator leaned over the railing as though ready to launch himself into space in sympathy.
460 Denison walked on in misery, conscious of every gray hair on his chest and of every quiver of his paunch. It was only when the passageway thinned out and the people passing them were fewer in number that he began to feel a certain relief.
461 To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o'clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.
462 Some of them certainly did dance about me like wild Indians, and the greater part could not resist the temptation of pretending that I was a dog, and patting and soothing me, lest I should bite, and saying, 'Lie down, sir!' and calling me Towzer.
463 He was so polite as to stop at a public-house, expressly on our account, and entertain us with broiled mutton and beer. Even when Peggotty was in the act of drinking, he was seized with one of those approaches, and almost choked her.
464 It was no fancy of mine about his hands, I observed; for he frequently ground the palms against each other as if to squeeze them dry and warm, besides often wiping them, in a stealthy way, on his pocket-handkerchief.
465 I would have kept away, but she came after me, entreating me to come in too. Even then, I would have avoided the room where they all were, but for its being the neat-tiled kitchen I have mentioned more than once.
466 Micawber telling us that he found Camden Town inconvenient, and that the first thing he contemplated doing, when the advertisement should have been the cause of something satisfactory turning up, was to move.
467 Mr. Jorkins was not by any means the awful creature one might have expected, but a large, mild, smooth-faced man of sixty, who took so much snuff that there was a tradition in the Commons that he lived principally on that stimulant, having little room in his system for any other article of diet.
468 I bound myself by the required promise, in a most impassioned manner; called upon Traddles to witness it; and denounced myself as the most atrocious of characters if I ever swerved from it in the least degree.
469 Thus earnestly besought, I made no reference to the Doctor for his permission, but, without any other compromise of the truth than a little softening of the coarseness of Uriah Heep, related plainly what had passed in that same room that night.
470 I was prevented from disclaiming the compliment (if I should have done so, in any case), by the entrance of Agnes, now ushered in by Mr. Micawber. She was not quite so self-possessed as usual, I thought; and had evidently undergone anxiety and fatigue.
471 My father's family name being Pirrip, and my Christian name Philip, my infant tongue could make of both names nothing longer or more explicit than Pip. So, I called myself Pip, and came to be called Pip.
472 And I soon found myself getting heavily bumped from behind in the nape of the neck and the small of the back, and having my face ignominiously shoved against the kitchen wall, because I did not answer those questions at sufficient length.
473 The more I thought of the fight, and recalled the pale young gentleman on his back in various stages of puffy and incrimsoned countenance, the more certain it appeared that something would be done to me. I felt that the pale young gentleman's blood was on my head, and that the Law would avenge it.
474 We told him why we wanted him to come into the kitchen, and he slowly laid down his hammer, wiped his brow with his arm, took another wipe at it with his apron, and came slouching out, with a curious loose vagabond bend in the knees that strongly distinguished him.
475 At length, as I was looking out at the iron gate of Bartholomew Close into Little Britain, I saw Mr. Jaggers coming across the road towards me. All the others who were waiting saw him at the same time, and there was quite a rush at him.
476 So, Estella and I went out into the garden by the gate through which I had strayed to my encounter with the pale young gentleman, now Herbert; I, trembling in spirit and worshipping the very hem of her dress; she, quite composed and most decidedly not worshipping the hem of mine.
477 If there had been time, I should probably have ordered several suits of clothes for this occasion; but as there was not, I was fain to be content with those I had. My appetite vanished instantly, and I knew no peace or rest until the day arrived.
478 The fact was, that when the five hundred pounds had come into my pocket, a thought had come into my head which had been often there before; and it appeared to me that Wemmick was a good person to advise with concerning such thought.
479 When I awoke without having parted in my sleep with the perception of my wretchedness, the clocks of the Eastward churches were striking five, the candles were wasted out, the fire was dead, and the wind and rain intensified the thick black darkness.
480 They kept me very quiet all day, and kept my arm constantly dressed, and gave me cooling drinks. Whenever I fell asleep, I awoke with the notion I had had in the sluice-house, that a long time had elapsed and the opportunity to save him was gone.
481 The flying ship of Professor Lucifer sang through the skies like a silver arrow; the bleak white steel of it, gleaming in the bleak blue emptiness of the evening. That it was far above the earth was no expression for it; to the two men in it, it seemed to be far above the stars.
482 The paper was unsuited to the atmosphere. It showed an interest in the Bible unknown in the district, and a knowledge of that volume to which nobody else on Ludgate Hill could make any conspicuous claim.
483 With a bound he was beside the little cluster of his clothes and boots that lay on the lawn; he snatched them up, without waiting to put any of them on; and tucking his sword under his other arm, went wildly at the wall at the bottom of the garden and swung himself over it.
484 He suddenly swung himself up the high bank on one side of the lane. It was almost as high and smooth as a wall, and on the top of it the black hedge stood out over them as an angle, almost like a thatched roof of the lane.
485 They had walked all night and talked all night also, and if the subject had been capable of being exhausted they would have exhausted it. Their long and changing argument had taken them through districts and landscapes equally changing.
486 Evan winced and leapt away from him with a repulsion which was not the hate of an unclean thing nor the dread of a dangerous one, but was a spasm of awe and separation from something from which he was now sundered as by the sword of God. He did not hate the atheist; it is possible that he loved him.
487 The two had a long race for the harbour; but the English police were heavy and the French inhabitants were indifferent. In any case, they got used to the notion of the road being clear; and just as they had come to the cliffs MacIan banged into another gentleman with unmistakable surprise.
488 The big banker in the black frock-coat and hat was standing quite grave and dignified on the lawn, save for his slight twitch of one limb, and he did not seem by any means unworthy of the part which the other promptly forced upon him.
489 Turnbull looked down and saw that the polished car was literally lit up from underneath by the far-flung fires from below. Underneath whole squares and solid districts were in flames, like prairies or forests on fire.
490 A wind sprang high in the west, like a wave of unreasonable happiness, and tore eastward across England, trailing with it the frosty scent of forests and the cold intoxication of the sea. In a million holes and corners it refreshed a man like a flagon, and astonished him like a blow.
491 He was not, however, wholly prepared for what happened next. The man in green, riding the frail topmost bough like a witch on a very risky broomstick, reached up and rent the black hat from its airy nest of twigs.
492 It is the fashion to talk of institutions as cold and cramping things. The truth is that when people are in exceptionally high spirits, really wild with freedom and invention, they always must, and they always do, create institutions.
493 She found Michael Moon standing under the garden tree, looking over the hedge; hunched like a bird of prey, with his large pipe hanging down his long blue chin. The very hardness of his expression pleased her, after the nonsense of the new engagement and the shilly-shallying of her other friends.
494 Inglewood and Pym exchanged a glance; and Warner, who was no fool, saw in that glance that Moon was gaining ground. The motives that led Arthur to think of surrender were indeed very different from those which affected Dr. Cyrus Pym.
495 On a row of chairs raised high on the top of a long settee sat the three young ladies with their backs up against the window, and Mary Gray in the middle; it was something between a jury box and the stall of the Queen of Beauty at a tournament.
496 It was about an hour later. Dr. Cyrus Pym had remained for an unprecedented time with his eyes closed and his thumb and finger in the air. It almost seemed as if he had been "struck so," as the nurses say; and in the deathly silence Michael Moon felt forced to relieve the strain with some remark.
497 Mr. Gould, with his tireless cheerfulness, arose to present the gardener. That functionary explained that he had served Mr. and Mrs. Innocent Smith when they had a little house on the edge of Croydon.
498 The room had been growing dark and drowsy; the afternoon sun sent one heavy shaft of powdered gold across it, which fell with an intangible solemnity upon the empty seat of Mary Gray, for the younger women had left the court before the more recent of the investigations.
499 Such spaces of daylight as remained open in the west were of a warm-tinted white, which can be compared to nothing but a cream cheese; and the lines of plumy cloud that ran across them had a soft but vivid violet bloom, like a violet smoke.
500 My experience of camp life in Afghanistan had at least had the effect of making me a prompt and ready traveller. My wants were few and simple, so that in less than the time stated I was in a cab with my valise, rattling away to Paddington Station.
501 To Holmes, as I could see by his eager face and peering eyes, very many other things were to be read upon the trampled grass. He ran round, like a dog who is picking up a scent, and then turned upon my companion.
502 Sherlock Holmes sat for some time in silence, with his head sunk forward and his eyes bent upon the red glow of the fire. Then he lit his pipe, and leaning back in his chair he watched the blue smoke-rings as they chased each other up to the ceiling.
503 Through the gloom one could dimly catch a glimpse of bodies lying in strange fantastic poses, bowed shoulders, bent knees, heads thrown back, and chins pointing upward, with here and there a dark, lack-lustre eye turned upon the newcomer.
504 As I passed the tall man who sat by the brazier I felt a sudden pluck at my skirt, and a low voice whispered, "Walk past me, and then look back at me." The words fell quite distinctly upon my ear. I glanced down.
505 As I approached the house I saw a tall man in a Scotch bonnet with a coat which was buttoned up to his chin waiting outside in the bright semicircle which was thrown from the fanlight. Just as I arrived the door was opened, and we were shown up together to Holmes' room.
506 Of all the problems which have been submitted to my friend, Mr. Sherlock Holmes, for solution during the years of our intimacy, there were only two which I was the means of introducing to his notice - that of Mr. Hatherley's thumb, and that of Colonel Warburton's madness.
507 Some three hours or so afterwards we were all in the train together, bound from Reading to the little Berkshire village. There were Sherlock Holmes, the hydraulic engineer, Inspector Bradstreet, of Scotland Yard, a plain-clothes man, and myself.
508 This he unpacked with the help of a youth whom he had brought with him, and presently, to my very great astonishment, a quite epicurean little cold supper began to be laid out upon our humble lodging-house mahogany.
509 It was not very long before my friend's prediction was fulfilled. A fortnight went by, during which I frequently found my thoughts turning in her direction and wondering what strange side-alley of human experience this lonely woman had strayed into.
510 Even as it was, I thought something of slipping out of the window, but it was the second floor back. I am no coward, but what to make of this head-peddling purple rascal altogether passed my comprehension.
511 I was a good Christian; born and bred in the bosom of the infallible Presbyterian Church. How then could I unite with this wild idolator in worshipping his piece of wood? But what is worship? thought I.
512 I tried to open it, but it was fastened inside. "Queequeg," said I softly through the key-hole: - all silent. "I say, Queequeg! why don't you speak? It's I - Ishmael." But all remained still as before. I began to grow alarmed.
513 But, though the world scouts at us whale hunters, yet does it unwittingly pay us the profoundest homage; yea, an all-abounding adoration! for almost all the tapers, lamps, and candles that burn round the globe, burn, as before so many shrines, to our glory!
514 I freely assert, that the cosmopolite philosopher cannot, for his life, point out one single peaceful influence, which within the last sixty years has operated more potentially upon the whole broad world, taken in one aggregate, than the high and mighty business of whaling.
515 In most American whalemen the mast-heads are manned almost simultaneously with the vessel's leaving her port; even though she may have fifteen thousand miles, and more, to sail ere reaching her proper cruising ground.
516 I care not to perform this part of my task methodically; but shall be content to produce the desired impression by separate citations of items, practically or reliably known to me as a whaleman; and from these citations, I take it - the conclusion aimed at will naturally follow of itself.
517 I shall ere long paint to you as well as one can without canvas, something like the true form of the whale as he actually appears to the eye of the whaleman when in his own absolute body the whale is moored alongside the whale-ship so that he can be fairly stepped upon there.
518 Being the savage's bowsman, that is, the person who pulled the bow-oar in his boat (the second one from forward), it was my cheerful duty to attend upon him while taking that hard-scrabble scramble upon the dead whale's back.
519 Time out of mind the piratical proas of the Malays, lurking among the low shaded coves and islets of Sumatra, have sallied out upon the vessels sailing through the straits, fiercely demanding tribute at the point of their spears.
520 You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings. I arrived here yesterday, and my first task is to assure my dear sister of my welfare and increasing confidence in the success of my undertaking.
521 So much has been done, exclaimed the soul of Frankenstein - more, far more, will I achieve; treading in the steps already marked, I will pioneer a new way, explore unknown powers, and unfold to the world the deepest mysteries of creation.
522 Two years had now nearly elapsed since the night on which he first received life; and was this his first crime? Alas! I had turned loose into the world a depraved wretch, whose delight was in carnage and misery; had he not murdered my brother?
523 From the tortures of my own heart, I turned to contemplate the deep and voiceless grief of my Elizabeth. This also was my doing! And my father's woe, and the desolation of that late so smiling home - all was the work of my thrice-accursed hands!
524 Nothing is more painful to the human mind than, after the feelings have been worked up by a quick succession of events, the dead calmness of inaction and certainty which follows and deprives the soul both of hope and fear. Justine died, she rested, and I was alive.
525 The name of the old man was De Lacey. He was descended from a good family in France, where he had lived for many years in affluence, respected by his superiors and beloved by his equals. His son was bred in the service of his country, and Agatha had ranked with ladies of the highest distinction.
526 I thought of the promise of virtues which he had displayed on the opening of his existence and the subsequent blight of all kindly feeling by the loathing and scorn which his protectors had manifested towards him.
527 We passed a considerable period at Oxford, rambling among its environs and endeavouring to identify every spot which might relate to the most animating epoch of English history. Our little voyages of discovery were often prolonged by the successive objects that presented themselves.
528 I was soon introduced into the presence of the magistrate, an old benevolent man with calm and mild manners. He looked upon me, however, with some degree of severity, and then, turning towards my conductors, he asked who appeared as witnesses on this occasion.
529 He had escaped me, and I must commence a destructive and almost endless journey across the mountainous ices of the ocean, amidst cold that few of the inhabitants could long endure and which I, the native of a genial and sunny climate, could not hope to survive.
530 Sexual love, which is practically unknown to the animals, is a special development of the sex urge in the human soul. The deeper purpose of the sex function in human beings, likewise, is procreation, the reproduction of species.
531 This rebirth of the individual in his descendants represents the true mission of sex where the human being is concerned. And reproduction, the perpetuation of the species, underlies all rightful and normal sex functions and activities.
532 Even in infancy, the diaper should fit easily about the organs which it covers, so as not to give rise to undue friction or heating of the parts. And for the same reason it should always be changed immediately after urination or a movement of the bowels.
533 Ungratified or improperly gratified curiosity is what leads to a young boy's overemphasizing the facts of sex as they apply to him. Make him your confidant. Teach him to think cleanly and to act cleanly, neither to ignore nor to exalt the sexual.
534 The perfect carrying out of this general moral law implies continence on the part of the male adolescent until marriage. Continence is positive restraint under all circumstances. Strict continence is neither injurious to health, nor does it produce impotence.
535 She went to the open door and stood in it and looked out among the tomato vines and "jimpson" weeds that constituted the garden. No Tom. So she lifted up her voice at an angle calculated for distance and shouted:
536 Tom appeared on the sidewalk with a bucket of whitewash and a long-handled brush. He surveyed the fence, and all gladness left him and a deep melancholy settled down upon his spirit. Thirty yards of board fence nine feet high.
537 He took up his brush and went tranquilly to work. Ben Rogers hove in sight presently - the very boy, of all boys, whose ridicule he had been dreading. Ben's gait was the hop-skip-and-jump - proof enough that his heart was light and his anticipations high.
538 A log raft in the river invited him, and he seated himself on its outer edge and contemplated the dreary vastness of the stream, wishing, the while, that he could only be drowned, all at once and unconsciously, without undergoing the uncomfortable routine devised by nature.
539 Not long after, as Tom, all undressed for bed, was surveying his drenched garments by the light of a tallow dip, Sid woke up; but if he had any dim idea of making any "references to allusions," he thought better of it and held his peace, for there was danger in Tom's eye.
540 Then Tom girded up his loins, so to speak, and went to work to "get his verses." Sid had learned his lesson days before. Tom bent all his energies to the memorizing of five verses, and he chose part of the Sermon on the Mount, because he could find no verses that were shorter.
541 The latter third of the speech was marred by the resumption of fights and other recreations among certain of the bad boys, and by fidgetings and whisperings that extended far and wide, washing even to the bases of isolated and incorruptible rocks like Sid and Mary.
542 Now he lapsed into suffering again, as the dry argument was resumed. Presently he bethought him of a treasure he had and got it out. It was a large black beetle with formidable jaws - a "pinchbug," he called it. It was in a percussion-cap box.
543 But all trials bring their compensations. As Tom wended to school after breakfast, he was the envy of every boy he met because the gap in his upper row of teeth enabled him to expectorate in a new and admirable way.
544 Just at this juncture the boy felt a slow, fateful grip closing on his ear, and a steady lifting impulse. In that wise he was borne across the house and deposited in his own seat, under a peppering fire of giggles from the whole school.
545 As the two boys walked sorrowing along, they made a new compact to stand by each other and be brothers and never separate till death relieved them of their troubles. Then they began to lay their plans.
546 But the other boys told him the fine clothes would come fast enough, after they should have begun their adventures. They made him understand that his poor rags would do to begin with, though it was customary for wealthy pirates to start with a proper wardrobe.
547 As twilight drew on, the ferryboat went back to her accustomed business and the skiffs disappeared. The pirates returned to camp. They were jubilant with vanity over their new grandeur and the illustrious trouble they were making.
548 But this memory was too much for the old lady, and she broke entirely down. Tom was snuffling, now, himself - and more in pity of himself than anybody else. He could hear Mary crying, and putting in a kindly word for him from time to time.
549 But Tom was uneasy, nevertheless, and was alarmed to see Joe go sullenly on with his dressing. And then it was discomforting to see Huck eying Joe's preparations so wistfully, and keeping up such an ominous silence.
550 Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table. I stood upon the hearth-rug and picked up the stick which our visitor had left behind him the night before.
551 Holmes shrugged his shoulders. "I have hitherto confined my investigations to this world," said he. "In a modest way I have combated evil, but to take on the Father of Evil himself would, perhaps, be too ambitious a task. Yet you must admit that the footmark is material."
552 Sherlock Holmes had, in a very remarkable degree, the power of detaching his mind at will. For two hours the strange business in which we had been involved appeared to be forgotten, and he was entirely absorbed in the pictures of the modern Belgian masters.
553 We had a pleasant luncheon in which little was said of the business which had brought us together. It was in the private sitting-room to which we afterwards repaired that Holmes asked Baskerville what were his intentions.
554 Sir Henry Baskerville and Dr. Mortimer were ready upon the appointed day, and we started as arranged for Devonshire. Mr. Sherlock Holmes drove with me to the station and gave me his last parting injunctions and advice.
555 And yet he lied as he said it, for it chanced that after breakfast I met Mrs. Barrymore in the long corridor with the sun full upon her face. She was a large, impassive, heavy-featured woman with a stern set expression of mouth.
556 There, fearing that perhaps I had come in the wrong direction after all, I mounted a hill from which I could command a view - the same hill which is cut into the dark quarry. Thence I saw him at once.
557 There is nothing so deceptive as the distance of a light upon a pitch-dark night, and sometimes the glimmer seemed to be far away upon the horizon and sometimes it might have been within a few yards of us.
558 It was unlikely that she would dare to say that she had not been to Baskerville Hall if she really had been, for a trap would be necessary to take her there, and could not have returned to Coombe Tracey until the early hours of the morning.
559 There was nothing for it, however, but implicit obedience; so we bade good-bye to our rueful friend, and a couple of hours afterwards we were at the station of Coombe Tracey and had dispatched the trap upon its return journey. A small boy was waiting upon the platform.
560 The very first thing she did was to look whether there was a fire in the fireplace, and she was quite pleased to find that there was a real one, blazing away as brightly as the one she had left behind.
561 Here something began squeaking on the table behind Alice, and made her turn her head just in time to see one of the White Pawns roll over and begin kicking: she watched it with great curiosity to see what would happen next.
562 This sounded nonsense to Alice, so she said nothing, but set off at once towards the Red Queen. To her surprise, she lost sight of her in a moment, and found herself walking in at the front-door again.
563 All this time the Guard was looking at her, first through a telescope, then through a microscope, and then through an opera-glass. At last he said, 'You're travelling the wrong way,' and shut up the window and went away.
564 Alice couldn't say honestly that he was. He had a tall red night-cap on, with a tassel, and he was lying crumpled up into a sort of untidy heap, and snoring loud - 'fit to snore his head off!' as Tweedledum remarked.
565 She caught the shawl as she spoke, and looked about for the owner: in another moment the White Queen came running wildly through the wood, with both arms stretched out wide, as if she were flying, and Alice very civilly went to meet her with the shawl.
566 However, she wasn't hurt, and was soon up again: the Sheep went on with her knitting all the while, just as if nothing had happened. 'That was a nice crab you caught!' she remarked, as Alice got back into her place, very much relieved to find herself still in the boat.
567 This was rather sudden, Alice thought: but, after such a VERY strong hint that she ought to be going, she felt that it would hardly be civil to stay. So she got up, and held out her hand. 'Good-bye, till we meet again!' she said as cheerfully as she could.
568 After a while the noise seemed gradually to die away, till all was dead silence, and Alice lifted up her head in some alarm. There was no one to be seen, and her first thought was that she must have been dreaming about the Lion and the Unicorn and those queer Anglo-Saxon Messengers.
569 Alice knocked and rang in vain for a long time, but at last, a very old Frog, who was sitting under a tree, got up and hobbled slowly towards her: he was dressed in bright yellow, and had enormous boots on.
570 I had been invalided home from the Front; and, after spending some months in a rather depressing Convalescent Home, was given a month's sick leave. Having no near relations or friends, I was trying to make up my mind what to do, when I ran across John Cavendish.
571 I had seen Lawrence in quite a different light that afternoon. Compared to John, he was an astoundingly difficult person to get to know. He was the opposite of his brother in almost every respect, being unusually shy and reserved.
572 Was the family prostrated by grief? Was the sorrow at Mrs. Inglethorp's death so great? I realized that there was an emotional lack in the atmosphere. The dead woman had not the gift of commanding love.
573 I had the utmost difficulty in controlling my excitement. Unknown to herself, Annie had provided us with an important piece of evidence. How she would have gaped if she had realized that her "coarse kitchen salt" was strychnine, one of the most deadly poisons known to mankind.
574 I followed John's example, and went out into the hall, where Miss Howard was endeavouring to extricate herself from the voluminous mass of veils that enveloped her head. As her eyes fell on me, a sudden pang of guilt shot through me.
575 We had reached Leastways Cottage, and Poirot ushered me upstairs to his own room. He offered me one of the tiny Russian cigarettes he himself occasionally smoked. I was amused to notice that he stowed away the used matches most carefully in a little china pot.
576 His words gave me an unpleasant shock. Miss Howard's evidence, unimportant as it was, had been given in such a downright straightforward manner that it had never occurred to me to doubt her sincerity.
577 The remark seemed so utterly irrelevant that I did not even take the trouble to answer it. But I decided that if I made any interesting and important discoveries - as no doubt I should - I would keep them to myself, and surprise Poirot with the ultimate result.
578 I don't know what possessed me. Her beauty, perhaps, as she sat there, with the sunlight glinting down on her head; perhaps the sense of relief at encountering someone who so obviously could have no connection with the tragedy; perhaps honest pity for her youth and loneliness.
579 I retraced my steps to Styles in some annoyance. With Poirot away, I was uncertain how to act. Had he foreseen this arrest? Had he not, in all probability, been the cause of it? Those questions I could not resolve. But in the meantime what was I to do?
580 He, by the way, had been acquitted of the charge brought against him. Nevertheless, although he had been too clever for them this time, and the charge of espionage could not be brought home to him, his wings were pretty well clipped for the future.
581 By the advice of several worthy persons, to whom, with the author's permission, I communicated these papers, I now venture to send them into the world, hoping they may be, at least for some time, a better entertainment to our young noblemen, than the common scribbles of politics and party.
582 These people are most excellent mathematicians, and arrived to a great perfection in mechanics, by the countenance and encouragement of the emperor, who is a renowned patron of learning. This prince has several machines fixed on wheels, for the carriage of trees and other great weights.
583 When I found myself on my feet, I looked about me, and must confess I never beheld a more entertaining prospect. The country around appeared like a continued garden, and the enclosed fields, which were generally forty feet square, resembled so many beds of flowers.
584 The reader may remember, that when I signed those articles upon which I recovered my liberty, there were some which I disliked, upon account of their being too servile; neither could anything but an extreme necessity have forced me to submit.
585 In about a month, when all was prepared, I sent to receive his majesty's commands, and to take my leave. The emperor and royal family came out of the palace; I lay down on my face to kiss his hand, which he very graciously gave me: so did the empress and young princes of the blood.
586 I used to attend the king's levee once or twice a week, and had often seen him under the barber's hand, which indeed was at first very terrible to behold; for the razor was almost twice as long as an ordinary scythe. His majesty, according to the custom of the country, was only shaved twice a-week.
587 They beheld me with all the marks and circumstances of wonder; neither indeed was I much in their debt, having never till then seen a race of mortals so singular in their shapes, habits, and countenances.
588 When one of them is born, it is reckoned ominous, and their birth is recorded very particularly so that you may know their age by consulting the register, which, however, has not been kept above a thousand years past, or at least has been destroyed by time or public disturbances.
589 During this discourse, my master was pleased to interrupt me several times. I had made use of many circumlocutions in describing to him the nature of the several crimes for which most of our crew had been forced to fly their country.
590 The Psychologist recovered from his stupor, and suddenly looked under the table. At that the Time Traveller laughed cheerfully. 'Well?' he said, with a reminiscence of the Psychologist. Then, getting up, he went to the tobacco jar on the mantel, and with his back to us began to fill his pipe.
591 I think that at that time none of us quite believed in the Time Machine. The fact is, the Time Traveller was one of those men who are too clever to be believed: you never felt that you saw all round him; you always suspected some subtle reserve, some ingenuity in ambush, behind his lucid frankness.
592 I saw trees growing and changing like puffs of vapour, now brown, now green; they grew, spread, shivered, and passed away. I saw huge buildings rise up faint and fair, and pass like dreams. The whole surface of the earth seemed changed - melting and flowing under my eyes.
593 There was the sound of a clap of thunder in my ears. I may have been stunned for a moment. A pitiless hail was hissing round me, and I was sitting on soft turf in front of the overset machine. Everything still seemed grey, but presently I remarked that the confusion in my ears was gone.
594 And on the heels of that came another thought. I looked at the half-dozen little figures that were following me. Then, in a flash, I perceived that all had the same form of costume, the same soft hairless visage, and the same girlish rotundity of limb.
595 I felt a peculiar shrinking from those pallid bodies. They were just the half-bleached colour of the worms and things one sees preserved in spirit in a zoological museum. And they were filthily cold to the touch.
596 Exploring, I found another short gallery running transversely to the first. This appeared to be devoted to minerals, and the sight of a block of sulphur set my mind running on gunpowder. But I could find no saltpeter; indeed, no nitrates of any kind.
597 I awoke a little before sunsetting. I now felt safe against being caught napping by the Morlocks, and, stretching myself, I came on down the hill towards the White Sphinx. I had my crowbar in one hand, and the other hand played with the matches in my pocket.
598 The Time Traveller put his hand to his head. He spoke like one who was trying to keep hold of an idea that eluded him. 'They were put into my pocket by Weena, when I travelled into Time.' He stared round the room.
599 Will he ever return? It may be that he swept back into the past, and fell among the blood-drinking, hairy savages of the Age of Unpolished Stone; into the abysses of the Cretaceous Sea; or among the grotesque saurians, the huge reptilian brutes of the Jurassic times.
600 It is good, said I. "Let leave us to sleep awhile and to make ready our magic." Infadoos rose, and, having saluted us, departed with the chiefs. "My friends," said Ignosi, so soon as they were gone, "can ye do this wonderful thing, or were ye speaking empty words to the captains?"
601 A groan of terror burst from the onlookers. Some stood petrified with dread, others threw themselves upon their knees and cried aloud. As for the king, he sat still and turned pale beneath his dusky skin. Only Gagool kept her courage.
602 There was a pause, till presently one of the chiefs lifted his hand, and out rolled the royal salute, "Koom." It was a sign that the soldiers accepted Ignosi as their king. Then they marched off in battalions.
603 Incubu, what sayest thou, shall we end what we began to-day, or shall I call thee coward, white - even to the liver? "Nay," interposed Ignosi hastily; "thou shalt not fight with Incubu." "Not if he is afraid," said Twala.
604 Art thou coming, Foulata? asked Good in his villainous Kitchen Kukuana, in which he had been improving himself under that young lady's tuition. I fear, my lord, the girl answered timidly. Then give me the basket. Nay, my lord, whither thou goest there I go also.
605 Open the other chests, white men, croaked Gagool, "there are surely more therein. Take your fill, white lords! Ha! ha! take your fill." Thus adjured, we set to work to pull up the stone lids on the other two, first - not without a feeling of sacrilege - breaking the seals that fastened them.
606 Slowly, for a long, long while, we stumbled, utterly exhausted, along this new tunnel, Sir Henry now leading the way. Again I thought of abandoning that basket, but did not. Suddenly he stopped, and we bumped up against him. "Look!" he whispered, "is my brain going, or is that light?"
607 By noon of the third day's journey we could see the trees of the oasis of which the guides spoke, and within an hour of sundown we were walking once more upon grass and listening to the sound of running water.
608 Macumazahn, he halloed, "don't you know me, Baas? I'm Jim the hunter. I lost the note you gave me to give to the Baas, and we have been here nearly two years." And the fellow fell at my feet, and rolled over and over, weeping for joy.
609 Without further ado Gagool plunged into the passage, which was wide enough to admit of two walking abreast, and quite dark. We followed the sound of her voice as she piped to us to come on, in some fear and trembling, which was not allayed by the flutter of a sudden rush of wings.
610 Mother Wolf lay with her big gray nose dropped across her four tumbling, squealing cubs, and the moon shone into the mouth of the cave where they all lived. "Augrh!" said Father Wolf. "It is time to hunt again."
611 Akela, the great gray Lone Wolf, who led all the Pack by strength and cunning, lay out at full length on his rock, and below him sat forty or more wolves of every size and color, from badger-colored veterans who could handle a buck alone to young black three-year-olds who thought they could.
612 Then the only other creature who is allowed at the Pack Council - Baloo, the sleepy brown bear who teaches the wolf cubs the Law of the Jungle: old Baloo, who can come and go where he pleases because he eats only nuts and roots and honey - rose upon his hind quarters and grunted.
613 The answer was a perfectly indescribable hiss, and Mowgli kicked up his feet behind, clapped his hands together to applaud himself, and jumped on to Bagheera's back, where he sat sideways, drumming with his heels on the glossy skin and making the worst faces he could think of at Baloo.
614 They all knew where that place was, but few of the Jungle People ever went there, because what they called the Cold Lairs was an old deserted city, lost and buried in the jungle, and beasts seldom use a place that men have once used. The wild boar will, but the hunting tribes do not.
615 Bagheera gave him half a dozen love-taps from a panther's point of view (they would hardly have waked one of his own cubs), but for a seven-year-old boy they amounted to as severe a beating as you could wish to avoid. When it was all over Mowgli sneezed, and picked himself up without a word.
616 First he had to wear a cloth round him, which annoyed him horribly; and then he had to learn about money, which he did not in the least understand, and about plowing, of which he did not see the use. Then the little children in the village made him very angry.
617 Buldeo hobbled away to the village as fast as he could, looking back over his shoulder in case Mowgli should change into something terrible. When he got to the village he told a tale of magic and enchantment and sorcery that made the priest look very grave.
618 Then he dived and made sure of the mouth of the tunnel, and raced through to the southward. No one but a sea cow or a seal would have dreamed of there being such a place, and when he looked back at the cliffs even Kotick could hardly believe that he had been under them.
619 At the bottom of the smooth plaster wall there was a brick pulled out to make a sluice for the bath water, and as Rikki-tikki stole in by the masonry curb where the bath is put, he heard Nag and Nagaina whispering together outside in the moonlight.
620 Once on a dark winter's day, when the yellow fog hung so thick and heavy in the streets of London that the lamps were lighted and the shop windows blazed with gas as they do at night, an odd-looking little girl sat in a cab with her father and was driven rather slowly through the big thoroughfares.
621 Miss Minchin knew she had tried, and that it had not been her fault that she was not allowed to explain. And when she saw that the pupils had been listening and that Lavinia and Jessie were giggling behind their French grammars, she felt infuriated.
622 On that first morning, when Sara sat at Miss Minchin's side, aware that the whole schoolroom was devoting itself to observing her, she had noticed very soon one little girl, about her own age, who looked at her very hard with a pair of light, rather dull, blue eyes.
623 Anyone who has been at school with a teller of stories knows what the wonder means - how he or she is followed about and besought in a whisper to relate romances; how groups gather round and hang on the outskirts of the favored party in the hope of being allowed to join in and listen.
624 Not very long after this a very exciting thing happened. Not only Sara, but the entire school, found it exciting, and made it the chief subject of conversation for weeks after it occurred. In one of his letters Captain Crewe told a most interesting story.
625 His attention seemed attracted by the Last Doll and the things which surrounded her. He settled his eyeglasses and looked at them in nervous disapproval. The Last Doll herself did not seem to mind this in the least. She merely sat upright and returned his gaze indifferently.
626 But just before she reached the landing Miss Amelia came out of the door and closed it behind her, and stood before it, looking nervous and awkward. The truth was that she felt secretly ashamed of the thing she had been ordered to do.
627 In course of time she realized that if her wretchedness had not made her forget things, she would have known that poor, dull Ermengarde was not to be blamed for her unready, awkward ways. She was always awkward, and the more she felt, the more stupid she was given to being.
628 She was staring straight before her with a stupid look of suffering, and Sara saw her suddenly draw the back of her roughened black hand across her eyes to rub away the tears which seemed to have surprised her by forcing their way from under her lids. She was muttering to herself.
629 At first she did not open her eyes. She felt too sleepy and - curiously enough - too warm and comfortable. She was so warm and comfortable, indeed, that she did not believe she was really awake. She never was as warm and cozy as this except in some lovely vision.
630 It is characteristic of this buoyant people that they pursue no man beyond the grave. "Let God be his judge!" - Even with the hundred thousand unfound, though greatly coveted, the hue and cry went no further than that.
631 It was eleven o'clock when he returned from the beach, and therefore breakfast time. Chanca, the Carib woman who cooked for him, was just serving the meal on the side of the gallery facing the sea - a spot famous as the coolest in Coralio.
632 To the right he turned, and to the left up the street that ultimately reached the Plaza Nacional. When within the toss of a cigar stump from the intersecting Street of the Holy Sepulchre, he stopped suddenly in the pathway.
633 The new administration of Anchuria entered upon its duties and privileges with enthusiasm. Its first act was to send an agent to Coralio with imperative orders to recover, if possible, the sum of money ravished from the treasury by the ill-fated Miraflores.
634 They were waiting, on the Salvador, to welcome them. The sloop came close alongside the steamer where her sides were sliced almost to the lower deck for the loading of fruit. The sailors of the Salvador grappled and held her there.
635 I ask him, delicate, if, by any chance, he brought away anybody's money with him from Guatemala. He sighs and bumps his shoulders against the bench. Not a cent. All right. Maybe, he tells me, some of his friends in the tropic outfit will send him funds later.
636 The first two or three days after their arrival were spent in preliminaries. Keogh escorted the artist about town, introducing him to the little circle of English-speaking residents and pulling whatever wires he could to effect the spreading of White's fame as a painter.
637 Pasa was descended from the proudest Spanish families in the country. Moreover, she had had unusual advantages. Two years in a New Orleans school had elevated her ambitions and fitted her for a fate above the ordinary maidens of her native land.
638 But the most impolitic of the administration's moves had been when it antagonized the Vesuvius Fruit Company, an organization plying twelve steamers and with a cash capital somewhat larger than Anchuria's surplus and debt combined.
639 Therefore let us have no lifting of the curtain upon a tableau of the united lovers, backgrounded by defeated villainy and derogated by the comic, osculating maid and butler, thrown in as a sop to the Cerberi of the fifty-cent seats.
640 One confidential evening, not three months ago, Lionel Wallace told me this story of the Door in the Wall. And at the time I thought that so far as he was concerned it was a true story. He told it me with such a direct simplicity of conviction that I could not do otherwise than believe in him.
641 I can see now his rather pallid face, and the unfamiliar sombre fire that had come into his eyes. I see him very vividly to-night. I sit recalling his words, his tones, and last evening's Westminster Gazette still lies on my sofa, containing the notice of his death.
642 And then did the pale electric lights near the station cheat the rough planking into a semblance of white? Did that fatal unfastened door awaken some memory? Was there, after all, ever any green door in the wall at all?
643 It was on the first day of the New Year that the announcement was made, almost simultaneously from three observatories, that the motion of the planet Neptune, the outermost of all the planets that wheel about the sun, had become very erratic.
644 So the star, with the wan moon in its wake, marched across the Pacific, trailed the thunderstorms like the hem of a robe, and the growing tidal wave that toiled behind it, frothing and eager, poured over island and island and swept them clear of men.
645 But why should it be? If, indeed, this battle, this slaughter and stress is life, why have we this craving for pleasure and beauty? If there is no refuge, if there is no place of peace, and if all our dreams of quiet places are a folly and a snare, why have we such dreams?
646 The carriage door opened admitting a flood of sound, and a porter stood regarding us. The sounds of doors slamming, and the hoof-clatter of cab-horses, and behind these things the featureless remote roar of the London cobble-stones, came to my ears.
647 For a moment the two men stood swaying. Then suddenly, with a violent jerk, Horrocks had twisted him from his hold. He clutched at Horrocks and missed, his foot went back into empty air; in mid-air he twisted himself, and then cheek and shoulder and knee struck the hot cone together.
648 He knew the thing below him, save that it still moved and felt, was already a dead man - that the blood of the poor wretch must be boiling in his veins. An intense realisation of that agony came to his mind, and overcame every other feeling.
649 Three hundred miles and more from Chimborazo, one hundred from the snows of Cotopaxi, in the wildest wastes of Ecuador's Andes, there lies that mysterious mountain valley, cut off from all the world of men, the Country of the Blind.
650 The stranger came early in February, one wintry day, through a biting wind and a driving snow, the last snowfall of the year, over the down, walking from Bramblehurst railway station, and carrying a little black portmanteau in his thickly gloved hand.
651 At Gleeson's corner he saw Hall, who had recently married the stranger's hostess at the "Coach and Horses," and who now drove the Iping conveyance, when occasional people required it, to Sidderbridge Junction, coming towards him on his return from that place.
652 She heard a sniff close behind her head as it seemed, and turning, was surprised to see Hall a dozen feet off on the topmost stair. But in another moment he was beside her. She bent forward and put her hand on the pillow and then under the clothes.
653 Good heavens! said Mr. Bunting, hesitating between two horrible alternatives. He heard a frightful struggle in the passage of the inn, and his decision was made. He clambered out of the window, adjusted his costume hastily, and fled up the village as fast as his fat little legs would carry him.
654 He got up, went to the window, and stared at the dusky hillside, and the dark little figure tearing down it. "He seems in a confounded hurry," said Dr. Kemp, "but he doesn't seem to be getting on. If his pockets were full of lead, he couldn't run heavier."
655 A frantic desire to free himself took possession of Kemp. The hand of the bandaged arm gripped his shoulder, and he was suddenly tripped and flung backwards upon the bed. He opened his mouth to shout, and the corner of the sheet was thrust between his teeth.
656 I slept during the forenoon, pulling the sheet over my eyes to shut out the light, and about midday I was awakened again by a knocking. My strength had returned. I sat up and listened and heard a whispering.
657 I proposed to make my way into the house, secrete myself upstairs, watch my opportunity, and when everything was quiet, rummage out a wig, mask, spectacles, and costume, and go into the world, perhaps a grotesque but still a credible figure.
658 And then things happened very swiftly. Kemp hesitated for a second and then moved to intercept him. The Invisible Man started and stood still. "Traitor!" cried the Voice, and suddenly the dressing-gown opened, and sitting down the Unseen began to disrobe.
659 He started. There was a smash from below. He hesitated and went downstairs again. Suddenly the house resounded with heavy blows and the splintering of wood. He heard a smash and the destructive clang of the iron fastenings of the shutters.
660 We drifted famishing, and, after our water had come to an end, tormented by an intolerable thirst, for eight days altogether. After the second day the sea subsided slowly to a glassy calm. It is quite impossible for the ordinary reader to imagine those eight days.
661 For an endless period, as it seemed to me, I lay with my head on the thwart watching the schooner (she was a little ship, schooner-rigged fore and aft) come up out of the sea. She kept tacking to and fro in a widening compass, for she was sailing dead into the wind.
662 The cabin in which I found myself was small and rather untidy. A youngish man with flaxen hair, a bristly straw-coloured moustache, and a dropping nether lip, was sitting and holding my wrist. For a minute we stared at each other without speaking.
663 But the islanders, seeing that I was really adrift, took pity on me. I drifted very slowly to the eastward, approaching the island slantingly; and presently I saw, with hysterical relief, the launch come round and return towards me.
664 In a minute or so the trees grew thinner, and I emerged upon a bare, low headland running out into the sombre water. The night was calm and clear, and the reflection of the growing multitude of the stars shivered in the tranquil heaving of the sea.
665 I was so intent upon these peculiarities that I scarcely noticed the path we followed. Presently we came to trees, all charred and brown, and so to a bare place covered with a yellow-white incrustation, across which a drifting smoke, pungent in whiffs to nose and eyes, went drifting.
666 They go. I turn them out when I begin to feel the beast in them, and presently they wander there. They all dread this house and me. There is a kind of travesty of humanity over there. Montgomery knows about it, for he interferes in their affairs.
667 Presently Moreau sounded the great horn again, and at the sound of it all the Beast People writhed and grovelled in the dust. Then, slinking out of the canebrake, stooping near the ground and trying to join the dust-throwing circle behind Moreau's back, came the Leopard-man.
668 Growing more alarmed every minute, he began to retrace his steps. Then it was he encountered the two Swine-men I had seen dancing on the night of my arrival; blood-stained they were about the mouth, and intensely excited.
669 For a moment the opening of the hut was blackened by the exit of the Dog-man. Then I followed and stood up, almost in the exact spot where I had been when I had heard Moreau and his staghound pursuing me.
670 The terror, which would not end for another twenty-eight years - if it ever did end - began, so far as I know or can tell, with a boat made from a sheet of newspaper floating down a gutter swollen with rain.
671 It took Bill longer to get back, because he was going uphill. In several places he had to dismount and push Silver. He simply didn't have the musclepower necessary to keep the bike going up more than mild slopes.
672 He was almost too late. He saw the tips of Bill's fingers go through the surface of the photograph and into that other world. He saw the fingertips go from the warm pink of living flesh to the mummified cream color that passed for white in old photos.
673 They chased me up the hall past the lockers where the guys who played sports kept their stuff. I was naked and red as a lobster. I'd lost any sense of dignity or... or of myself, I guess you'd say. Where myself was. I was screaming for help.
674 He hit on his shoulder and rolled, looking up at the Paul Bunyan statue - only it was no longer Paul Bunyan. The clown stood there instead, resplendent and evident, fantastic in plastic, twenty feet of Day-Glo colors, its painted face surmounting a cosmic comic ruff.
675 This time Richie was able to get to his feet. For a moment he was quite sure he was going to retch again, or faint, or both. "Whacko," he murmured, watching the world waver and warp in front of his eyes. When the feeling passed, he made his way over to where Mike was.
676 She held the Bullseye in her left hand and looked back over her shoulder from time to time. There was still blood dappled brightly on the path and on the leaves of some of the bushes bordering it, as if Patrick had woven from side to side as he ran.
677 Mr Pasquale looked up, startled, from where he was watering his crab-grassy lawn and listening to the Red Sox game on a portable radio sitting on his porch rail. The Zinnerman kids stood back from the old Hudson Hornet which they had bought for twenty-five dollars and washed almost every day.
678 They went down the embankment single-file except for Bill, who stayed with Eddie as he had promised. He allowed Richie to push Silver down, and when they had reached the bottom, Bill put his bike in its accustomed place under the bridge. Then they stood together, looking around.
679 The top one was venting water which was almost clear, although there were leaves and sticks and bits of trash in it - cigarette butts, chewing-gum wrappers, things like that. The middle pipe was venting gray water. And from the lowest one came a grayish-brown flood of lumpy sewage.
680 Its taillights, also caked with dust, flickered briefly as the car slowed even more. Now it was doing barely thirty. A tumbleweed bounced into the road, and the cruiser's radial tires crushed it under. It came out the back looking - to Peter Jackson like a nestle of broken fingers.
681 There were papers on it, and a double barrelled shotgun, and a strew of fat green shotgun shells. The old-fashioned wooden desk chair in the kneehole was on casters, and there was a faded blue pillow on the seat. Overhead was a light fixture encased in a mesh bowl.
682 Maybe. But he still could have done without it in this context. Somewhere off in the distance another howl rose, trembling the air like an auditory heat-haze. It wasn't the coyote which had just run off, Johnny was sure of that. This howl had come from farther away, perhaps in answer to the first.
683 She walked into the RV's cabin. Steve went the other way, into the driver's area, ducking his head so as not to bump it. On the dashboard in front of the passenger seat were three packs of baseball cards, neatly sorted into teams - Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Pittsburgh Pirates.
684 It was the woman who had shot at the cop. She was sitting on the end of the bunk. Her black hair hung against her cheeks like limp wings but did not obscure her face; she looked shocked and stricken and tired. Most of all tired. David couldn't remember ever having seen such a weary pair of eyes.
685 You've had a conversion, Reverend Martin once told David. This was near the beginning. It was also around the time that David began to realize that by four o'clock on most Sunday afternoons. Reverend Gene Martin was no longer strictly sober.
686 They hurried to it, arms around each other and the wind at their backs. When they were in the cab again, Cynthia locked her door, bopping the button down decisively with the heel of her hand, Steve did the same, then started the engine.
687 He turned on the wipers, and one of them pushed the squashed buzzard down onto the outside air vents. It lay there in a lump like some bizarre tumor with a beak. The other wiper smeared blood and feathers across the glass in a fan. Sand immediately started to stick in this mess.
688 Outside, the wolf pointed its nose into the darkness and howled, as if it had heard Steve's laughter and disapproved. The coyotes seemed to take that howl as a signal. They got up and disappeared back the way they had come, walking into the blowing dust with their heads lowered.
689 Audrey Wyler was standing halfway between the stage - left entrance and the living-room grouping, her face pale, her eyes wide and hot. Her shadow loomed on the screen behind her, making its own image, all unknown to its creator: Batman's cloak.
690 He had seen it in Vietnam, in the aftermath of half a dozen firefights. He'd seen it as a noncombatant, of course, notebook in one hand, pen in the other, Uher tape-recorder slung over his shoulder on a strap with a peace sign pinned to it.
691 Even the whores and the gamblers came up. They could hear the Chinamen inside screaming, begging to be dug out before the rest of it came down. Some said they sounded like they were fighting with each other. But no one wanted to go in and start digging.
692 He wasn't afraid of being observed by spiders or snakes or rats; if God wanted this to be a private meeting, it would be a private meeting. The woman Steve and Cynthia had found was the real problem - she for some reason made him nervous, and he had a feeling she felt the same about him.
693 Steve did. And saw how completely it made sense of the situation. He didn't know where Audrey Wyler's story had parted company from the truth, but he did know that at some point she had been gotten to... changed by the stones she had called the can tahs.
694 They sank into the pit again and passed above the rusty Quonset with the stove-stack, the powder magazine, and the cluster of machinery where the road ended. Up the slope, above the gaping hole, was a wide area pocked with other, much smaller holes.
695 So it was a relief when Johnny shrugged, smiled, hunkered down next to the kid, and selected his own bottle of Jolt. "Okay, so story-hour's extended. Just for tonight." He ruffled David's hair. The very self-consciousness of the gesture made it oddly charming.
696 Spiders moved back and forth across the sign on long, strutting legs. There were more on top of the washing machine. Closer by, on the table, a small scorpion appeared to be investigating the crushed remains of the spider she had torn out of her hair.
697 He saw he had dropped the wallet, and bent to pick it up. Wouldn't do to leave it here, gosh no. He thought of putting it into his own back pocket, then thought of how it had fallen out of Johnny's and dumped it down the front of his shirt instead.
698 Not the sort of stuff of which serious literature was made, but so what. He was getting on, and if he wanted to take himself a little less seriously, surely he had that right. There was no need to shoulder each book like a backpack filled with rocks and then sprint uphill with it.
699 David looked back up at him, then at Johnny's out-stretched hand (a hand which now did not simply invite but demanded), and then turned and walked into the drift. He clicked on the light as he went, and Johnny saw motes dancing in its bright beam... motes and something else.
700 The solemn Mr. Merryweather perched himself upon a crate, with a very injured expression upon his face, while Holmes fell upon his knees upon the floor and, with the lantern and a magnifying lens, began to examine minutely the cracks between the stones.
701 It was a quarter past nine when I started from home and made my way across the Park, and so through Oxford Street to Baker Street. Two hansoms were standing at the door, and as I entered the passage I heard the sound of voices from above.
702 Ha! Our party is complete, said Holmes, buttoning up his peajacket and taking his heavy hunting crop from the rack. "Watson, I think you know Mr. Jones, of Scotland Yard? Let me introduce you to Mr. Merryweather, who is to be our companion in tonight's adventure".
703 At first it was but a lurid spark upon the stone pavement. Then it lengthened out until it became a yellow line, and then, without any warning or sound, a gash seemed to open and a hand appeared; a white, almost womanly hand, which felt about in the centre of the little area of light.
704 I placed my revolver, cocked, upon the top of the wooden case behind which I crouched. Holmes shot the slide across the front of his lantern and left us in pitch darkness - such an absolute darkness as I have never before experienced.
705 There's a guy like me in every state and federal prison in America, I guess - I'm the guy who can get it for you. Tailor-made cigarettes, a bag of reefer, if you're partial to that, a bottle of brandy to celebrate your son or daughter's high school graduation, or almost anything else....
706 I remember the first time Andy Dufresne got in touch with me for something; I remember like it was yesterday. That wasn't the time he wanted Rita Hayworth, though. That came later. In that summer of 1948 he came around for something else.
707 He nodded and walked away. Three days later he walked up beside me in the exercise yard during the laundry's morning break. He didn't speak or even look my way, but pressed a picture of the Hon. Alexander Hamilton into my hand as neatly as a good magician does a card-trick.
708 I told him I thought we could do business on those, and I ended up getting them from the very same rock-and-gem shop where I'd arranged to get the rock-hammer. This time I charged Andy my usual ten per cent and not a penny more.
709 I looked for a long time. For a few minutes it was like I didn't even dare touch them, they were so pretty. There's a crying shortage of pretty things in the slam, and the real pity of it is that a lot of men don't even seem to miss them.
710 No, Hadley wasn't a millionaire - that might have made even him happy, at least for a while - but the brother had left a pretty damned decent bequest of thirty-five thousand dollars to each surviving member of his family back in Maine, if they could be found. Not bad.
711 He sat hunkered down in the shade, hands dangling between his knees, watching us and smiling a little. It's amazing how many men remember him that way, and amazing how many men were on that work-crew when Andy Dufresne faced down Byron Hadley.
712 Which Andy did. And he had the last laugh, although Stammas and Hadley weren't around to see if Andy's requests for library funds were routinely turned down until 1960, when he received a check for two hundred dollars - the senate probably appropriated it in hopes that he would shut up and go away.
713 There were less infirmary cases than in the days of Greg Stammas, and so far as I know the moonlight burials ceased altogether, but this is not to say that Norton was not a believer in punishment. Solitary was always well populated.
714 There were inconsistencies in Tommy's story, but aren't there always in real life? Blatch told Tommy the man who got sent up was a hotshot lawyer, and Andy was a banker, but those are two professions that people who aren't very educated could easily get mixed up.
715 Shawshank's Solitary Wing was nowhere as bad as that... I guess. Things come in three major degrees in the human experience, I think. There's good, bad, and terrible. And as you go down into progressive darkness towards terrible, it gets harder and harder to make subdivisions.
716 Andy continued to shape and polish the rocks he found in the exercise yard, but the yard was smaller by then; half of what had been there in 1950 had been asphalted over in 1962. Nonetheless, he found enough to keep him occupied, I guess.
717 For all the good the money could do Andy, it might as well have really belonged to another person. In a way, it did. And if the stuff it was invested in suddenly turned bad, all Andy could do would be to watch the plunge, to trace it day after day on the stocks-and-bonds page of the Press-Herald.
718 When it came to detailing Shawshank bust-outs, Henley had it down chapter and verse. He told me once that during his time there had been better than four hundred escape attempts that he knew of. Really think about that for a moment before you just nod your head and read on.
719 What he found at the bottom of the shaft was a master sewer-pipe which served the fourteen toilets in Cellblock 5, a porcelain pipe that had been laid thirty-three years before. It had been broken into. Beside the jagged hole in the pipe, Tremont found Andy's rock-hammer.
720 Todd brushed his blond hair out of his eyes and walked the Schwinn up the cement path to the steps. He was still smiling, and his smile was open and expectant and beautiful, a marvel of modern dentistry and fluoridated water.
721 Todd took a folded-over manilla envelope from his back pocket. Sweat had stuck the flap down. He peeled it back carefully. His eyes were sparkling like a boy thinking about his birthday, or Christmas, or the firecrackers he will shoot off on the Fourth of July.
722 He was growing up in a society where magazines like Penthouse were available to anyone with a dollar and a quarter, or to any kid who could reach up to the top shelf of the magazine rack and grab a quick peek before the clerk could shout for him to put that up and get lost.
723 He right-faced to avoid the table; right-faced again as he approached the wall. His face was uptilted slightly, expressionless. His legs rammed out before him, then crashed down, making the cheap china rattle in the cabinet over the sink. His arms moved in short arcs.
724 Dussander looked at Todd closely in the drizzling dark. The boy's face was turned defiantly up to his, but the skin was pallid, the sockets under the eyes dark and slightly hollowed - the skin-tones of someone who has brooded long while others are asleep.
725 That, Dussander reflected, was just close enough to the truth to be believable. And once, in the beginning, the boy might have been able to bring it off. But now he was ragged; now he was coming apart in strings like a coat that has reached the end of its useful service.
726 School had let out only fifteen minutes before. He took the front steps at one jump, used his doorkey, and hurried down the hall to the sunlit kitchen. His face was a hopeful landscape of hopeful sunshine and gloomy clouds.
727 His history text was open on the table, showing a colour plate of Teddy Roosevelt cresting San Juan Hill. Helpless Cubans were falling away from the hooves of Teddy's horses. Teddy was grinning a wide American grin, the grin of a man who knew that God was in His heaven and everything was bully.
728 Dussander got up. He went to one of the kitchen cabinets and took down a small glass. This glass had once held jelly. Cartoon characters danced around the rim. Todd recognized them all - Fred and Wilma Flintstone, Barney and Betty Rubble, Pebbles and Bam-Bam.
729 Todd awoke with the now familiar stickiness on his lower belly. Dussander, too old for such things, put on the Gestapo uniform and then lay down again, waiting for his racing heart to slow. The uniform was cheaply made and already beginning to fray.
730 During the latter half of his senior year, an odd impulse came on him - one which was as frightening to Todd as it was irrational. He seemed to be clearly and firmly in control of it, and that at least was comforting, but that such a thought should have occurred at all was scary.
731 He had made an arrangement with life. He had worked things out. His life was much like his mother's bright and sunshiny kitchen, where all the surfaces were dressed in chrome, Formica, or stainless steel - a place where everything worked when you pressed the buttons.
732 Dussander walked carefully down the hospital corridor. He was still a bit unsteady on his legs. He was wearing his blue bathrobe over his white hospital johnny. It was night now, just after eight o'clock, and the nurses were changing shifts.
733 He put three pills in his mouth, swallowed them with water, took three more, then three more. In the room across the hall he could see two old men hunched over a night-table, playing a grumpy game of cribbage. One of them had a hernia, Dussander knew.
734 On Saturday morning in the Bowden household, nobody got up until at least nine. This morning at 9.30, Todd and his father were reading at the table and Monica, who was a slow waker, served them scrambled eggs, juice, and coffee without speaking, still half in her dreams.
735 He hadn't realized how completely irretrievable the entire situation was until the discussion that had followed. Dussander suggested Todd search the house for a safety deposit key, and when he didn't find one, that would prove there was no safety deposit box and hence no document.
736 A great wail from Lydia, and although she had never even seen Morris's daughters, she held the monkey's paw high and wished for them to be returned to life. The room went dark. And suddenly, from outside, came the sound of dragging, lurching footfalls.
737 He decided it could have been done. Theoretically, at least. Especially by a bright boy like Todd. He could have jobbed everyone, not just Ed French. He could have forged his mother or father's name to the Flunk Cards he had been issued during his bad patch.
738 As for Todd's final class standing, it would have dipped perhaps no more than three points overall - two bad marking periods out of a total of twelve. His other grades had been lopsidedly good enough to make up most of the difference.
739 Both of his parents had offered to cancel their afternoon plans - Monica at the market and Dick golfing with some business people - and stay home with him, but Todd told them he would rather be alone. He thought he would clean his rifle and just sort of think the whole thing over.
740 We had a treehouse in a big elm which overhung a vacant lot in Castle Rock. There's a moving company on that lot today, and the elm is gone. Progress. It was a sort of social club, although it had no name. There were five, maybe six steady guys and some other wet ends who just hung around.
741 The elm gave good shade, but we already had our shirts off so we wouldn't sweat them up too bad. We were playing three-penny-scat, the dullest card game ever invented, but it was too hot to think about anything more complicated.
742 He was from Chamberlain, a town forty miles or so east of Castle Rock. Three days before Vern came busting into the clubhouse after a two-mile run up Grand Street, Ray Brower had gone out with one of his mother's pots to pick blueberries.
743 We all understood that right away, but maybe I should take just a minute to explain it to you. Teddy Duchamp was only about half-bright, but Vern Tessio would never be spending any of his spare time on Quiz Kids either. Still, his brother Billy was even dumber, as you will see.
744 That would work unless there was some emergency we couldn't control or unless any of the parents got together. And neither Vern's folks or Chris's had a phone. Back then there were a lot of families which still considered a telephone a luxury, especially families of the shirttail variety.
745 He was buried in a closed coffin with the American flag on top (they took the flag off the box before they finally stuck it in the ground and folded it - the flag, not the box - into a cocked hat and gave it to my mom). My parents just fell to pieces.
746 He lets her go, only a little of the smile left. She gets out of the car quickly and runs through the rain to the back door. A second later she's gone. Chico pauses for a moment to light a cigarette and then he backs out of the driveway.
747 He leaves. The Buick doesn't want to start and he has almost resigned himself to walking in the rain when the engine finally catches. He lights a cigarette and backs out onto 14, slamming the clutch back in and racing the mill when it starts to jerk and splutter.
748 His eyes just went on dancing. "That's it, man. He ain't gonna find out nothing. Him and these other rummies are all laid up down in Harrison with six or eight bottles of wine. They won't be back for a week. Fucking rummies." His lips curled.
749 I stood stunned for a moment, unable to believe stupidity of such width and breadth. Then I grabbed him, dragged him fighting and protesting to the embankment, and pushed him over. I jumped after him and Teddy caught me a good one in the guts while I was still in the air.
750 They were almost to the top and Chris said they couldn't go any further because all of the branches up there were rotten. Teddy got that crazy stubborn look on his face and said fuck that, he had pine tar all over his hands and he was gonna go up until he could touch the top.
751 He thrust our stuff into the paper bag with quick stiff movements, making the Coke bottles clink together. He thrust the bag at me roughly, not caring if I dropped it and broke the tonics or not. His swarthy face was flushed and dull, the frown now frozen in place.
752 His fingers were hooked through the small chain-link diamonds as he shouted at us, and all at once I felt sorry for him - he looked like the biggest third-grader in the world, locked inside the playground by mistake, yelling for someone to let him out.
753 I could hear a plane passing in the sky somewhere near and had time to wish I was on it, just sitting in a window seat with a Coke in my hand and gazing idly down at the shining line of a river whose name I did not know.
754 Nowadays writing is my work and the pleasure has diminished a little, and more and more often that guilty, masturbatory pleasure has become associated in my head with the coldly clinical images of artificial insemination: I come according to the rules and regs laid down in my publishing contract.
755 The last contestant to mount the bunting-decorated stage drew the loudest and most sustained applause; this was the legendary Bill Travis, six feet five inches tall, gangling, voracious. Travis was a mechanic at the local Amoco station down by the railyard, a likeable fellow if there ever was one.
756 Five heads dropped into five pie-plates. The sound was like five large feet stamping firmly into mud. Wet chomping noises rose on the mild night air and then were blotted out as the betters and partisans in the crowd began to cheer on their favourites.
757 When the flames began to die back a little bit, I stuck the sticks holding the Pioneer Drumsticks firmly into the ground at an angle over the fire. We sat around watching them as they shimmered and dripped and finally began to brown. Our stomachs made pre-dinner conversation.
758 Crickets had started to hum in the green gloom. I looked at the lane of sky visible through the railroad cut and saw that the blue was now bruising towards purple. Seeing that outrider of twilight made me feel sad and calm at the same time, brave but not really brave, comfortably lonely.
759 I came awake in the middle of the night, disorientated, wondering why it was so chilly in my bedroom and who had left the windows open. Denny, maybe. I had been dreaming of Denny, something about body-surfing at Harrison State Park. But it had been four years ago that we had done that.
760 Chris proposed we keep a guard and everyone was agreeable to that. We flipped for watches and Vern got the first one. I got the last. Vern sat up cross-legged by the husk of the campfire while the rest of us lay down again. We huddled together like sheep.
761 I snapped more solidly out of my last doze and became aware that something was different. It took a moment or two to figure it out: although the moon was down, I could see my hands resting on my jeans. My watch said quarter to five. It was dawn.
762 The tracks now bent south-west and ran through tangles of second-growth fir and heavy underbrush. We got a breakfast of late blackberries from some of these bushes, but berries never fill you up; your stomach just gives them a thirty-minute option and then begins growling again.
763 Chris turned his back to me. "Gordie? Are there any more? Take 'em off if there are, please, Gordie!" There were more, five or six, running down his back like grotesque black buttons. I pulled their soft, boneless bodies off him.
764 I must have fallen hard, but landing on the crossties was like plunging into a warm and puffy feather bed. Someone turned me over. The touch of hands was faint and unimportant. Their faces were disembodied balloons looking down at me from miles up.
765 Billy and Charlie had managed to keep their enormous secret for just about twenty-four hours. Then Charlie spilled it to Ace while they were shooting pool, and Billy had spilled it to Jack Mudgett while they were fishing for steelies from the Boom Road bridge.
766 He's standing there on the lefthand rail like an explorer on the prow of his ship, one hand shielding his eyes from the silver stroke of lightning that has just come down, the other extended and pointing.
767 His face sagged, and I saw sudden terror on it. It was Chris's tone rather than his actual words, I think; the real regret that things were going to go from bad to worse. If it was a bluff, it's still the best I've ever seen.
768 I looked wildly at Chris's feet to make sure his sneakers were still on. Then he began to cry and scream, his body bucking in the muddy-water, splashing it around, fists drumming up and down in it head twisting from side to side.
769 Stupid fantasy. An expedition looking for a fourteen-year-old blueberry pail, which was probably cast deep into the woods or ploughed under by a bulldozer readying a half-acre plot for a tract house or so deeply overgrown by weeds and brambles it had become invisible.
770 But the physical danger was judged to be less important than the psychological stresses. Eight humans, crowded together like monkeys for almost three Terran years, had better get along much better than humans usually did.
771 His lack of expression seemed to show the complete apathy of the desperately ill. Then she saw that his eyes were alive with interest; she wondered if his face were paralysed? No, she decided; the typical sags were lacking.
772 The Secretary General's voice did not appear again, nor that of Doctor Nelson. Jill could guess, from gossip she had picked up around the hospital, that Smith had gone into one of his cataleptic withdrawals. There were only two more entries, neither of them attributed.
773 The obvious solution popped into her mind. If Ben was missing - and the authorities had a hand in it - the last place they would be likely to look for Valentine Smith would be Ben's apartment. Unless, she corrected, they connected her with Ben, which she did not think that they did.
774 He was looking that way now and the projected print moved along the screen, but he was not really reading but simply avoiding the eyes of his boss across the table. Mrs. Douglas did not read newspapers; she had other ways of finding out what she needed to know.
775 Twenty-five minutes later Harshaw had both of his patients in bed. Jill had managed to tell him, before the pill he gave her took hold, enough of the situation to let him know that he had a bear by the tail.
776 Mike's delay was not mysterious, merely worrisome to him. He had managed to tie his left shoestring to his right - then had stood up, tripped himself, fallen flat, and, in so doing, jerked the knots almost hopelessly tight.
777 I do not grok all fullness of what I read. In the history written by Master William Shakespeare I found myself full of happiness at the death of Romeo. Then I read on and learned that he had discorporated too soon - or so I thought I grokked.
778 The box floated slowly from Jill's hands toward Jubal's head, then quite suddenly ceased to be. But it did not simply wink out; under slow-motion projection it could be seen shrinking, smaller and smaller until it was no longer there.
779 In an earlier, simpler day one prime duty of any Terran sovereign was to make himself publicly available on frequent occasions so that even the lowliest might come before him without any intermediary of any sort and demand judgment.
780 He stopped and seriously considered twisting the car, its contents, and all - letting it topple away. But, in addition to his lifelong inhibition against wasting food, he knew that he did not fully grok what was happening.
781 There was a long silence, during which Harshaw thought clinically that a man of Douglas' age really should not indulge in such evident rage. Douglas did not leave the screen but he consulted offscreen and silently. At last he spoke to the Man from Mars.
782 The trip was made in a chartered Flying Greyhound, and Mike sat up in the astrodome above the driver, with Jill on one side and Dorcas on his other, and stared and stared in awed wonderment as the girls pointed out sights to him and chattered in his ears.
783 Harshaw introduced him to the other three... and Jill startled him by addressing him with the correct honorific for a water brother, pronouncing it about three octaves higher than any adult Martian would talk but with sore-throat purity of accent.
784 No detail of the scene was Martian, all was wildly different, yet he grokked correctly that this was a growing-closer as real as water ceremony, and in numbers and intensity that he had never met before outside his own nest.
785 Besides, I'm not going to tell you my whole goddam autobiography or anything. I'll just tell you about this madman stuff that happened to me around last Christmas just before I got pretty run-down and had to come out here and take it easy.
786 So I got the ax. They give guys the ax quite frequently at Pencey. It has a very good academic rating, Pencey. It really does. Anyway, it was December and all, and it was cold as a witch's teat, especially on top of that stupid hill.
787 I'm the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It's awful. If I'm on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I'm going, I'm liable to say I'm going to the opera. It's terrible.
788 I didn't have anything special to do, so I went down to the can and chewed the rag with him while he was shaving. We were the only ones in the can, because everybody was still down at the game. It was hot as hell and the windows were all steamy.
789 There were about three inches of snow on the ground, and it was still coming down like a madman. It looked pretty as hell, and we all started throwing snowballs and horsing around all over the place. It was very childish, but everybody was really enjoying themselves.
790 Some things are hard to remember. I'm thinking now of when Stradlater got back from his date with Jane. I mean I can't remember exactly what I was doing when I heard his goddam stupid footsteps coming down the corridor. I probably was still looking out the window, but I swear I can't remember.
791 It was too late to call up for a cab or anything, so I walked the whole way to the station. It wasn't too far, but it was cold as hell, and the snow made it hard for walking, and my Gladstones kept banging hell out of my legs. I sort of enjoyed the air and all, though.
792 The first thing I did when I got off at Penn Station, I went into this phone booth. I felt like giving somebody a buzz. I left my bags right outside the booth so that I could watch them, but as soon as I was inside, I couldn't think of anybody to call up. My brother D. B. was in Hollywood.
793 I broke it, though, the same week I made it - the same night, as a matter of fact. I spent the whole night necking with a terrible phony named Anne Louise Sherman. Sex is something I just don't understand. I swear to God I don't.
794 The one thing I hate to do is go to bed when I'm not even tired. So I opened my suitcases and took out a clean shirt, and then I went in the bathroom and washed and changed my shirt. What I thought I'd do, I thought I'd go downstairs and see what the hell was going on in the Lavender Room.
795 I figured that anybody that hates the movies as much as I do, I'd be a phony if I let them stick me in a movie short. She was a funny girl, old Jane. I wouldn't exactly describe her as strictly beautiful. She knocked me out, though.
796 When he did, I asked Jane what the hell was going on. She wouldn't even answer me, then. She made out like she was concentrating on her next move in the game and all. Then all of a sudden, this tear plopped down on the checkerboard.
797 At this other tiny table, right to my left, practically on top of me, there was this funny-looking guy and this funny-looking girl. They were around my age, or maybe just a little older. It was funny. You could see they were being careful as hell not to drink up the minimum too fast.
798 Boy, I felt miserable. I felt so depressed, you can't imagine. What I did, I started talking, sort of out loud, to Allie. I do that sometimes when I get very depressed. I keep telling him to go home and get his bike and meet me in front of Bobby Fallon's house.
799 Broadway was mobbed and messy. It was Sunday, and only about twelve o'clock, but it was mobbed anyway. Everybody was on their way to the movies - the Paramount or the Astor or the Strand or the Capitol or one of those crazy places.
800 They were different, though, I'll say that. They didn't act like people and they didn't act like actors. It's hard to explain. They acted more like they knew they were celebrities and all. I mean they were good, but they were too good.
801 Then I watched the phonies for a while. Some guy next to me was snowing hell out of the babe he was with. He kept telling her she had aristocratic hands. That killed me. The other end of the bar was full of flits.
802 When I was really drunk, I started that stupid business with the bullet in my guts again. I was the only guy at the bar with a bullet in their guts. I kept putting my hand under my jacket, on my stomach and all, to keep the blood from dripping all over the place.
803 Then I went in the park. Boy, was it dark. I've lived in New York all my life, and I know Central Park like the back of my hand, because I used to roller-skate there all the time and ride my bike when I was a kid, but I had the most terrific trouble finding that lagoon that night.
804 I never saw the shoes before. They were new. They were these dark brown loafers, sort of like this pair I have, and they went swell with that suit my mother bought her in Canada. My mother dresses her nice. She really does.
805 When I came back, she had the pillow off her head all right - I knew she would - but she still wouldn't look at me, even though she was laying on her back and all. When I came around the side of the bed and sat down again, she turned her crazy face the other way.
806 Then I heard everybody running through the corridor and down the stairs, so I put on my bathrobe and I ran downstairs too, and there was old James Castle laying right on the stone steps and all. He was dead, and his teeth, and blood, were all over the place, and nobody would even go near him.
807 I made it very snappy on the phone because I was afraid my parents would barge in on me right in the middle of it. They didn't, though. Mr. Antolini was very nice. He said I could come right over if I wanted to.
808 Boy, I scared hell out of poor old Phoebe. The damn window was open and everything, and I could feel her shivering and all, because all she had on was her pajamas. I tried to make her get back in bed, but she wouldn't go. Finally I stopped. But it certainly took me a long, long time.
809 It was pretty cold, too, but it felt good because I was sweating so much. I didn't know where the hell to go. I didn't want to go to another hotel and spend all Phoebe's dough. So finally all I did was I walked over to Lexington and took the subway down to Grand Central.
810 This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child. It is a very important story because it shows how all the comings and goings between our own world and the land of Narnia first began.
811 When they had measured the attic they had to get a pencil and do a sum. They both got different answers to it at first, and even when they agreed I am not sure they got it right. They were in a hurry to start on the exploration.
812 It was dreadfully unlike anything a grown-up would be expected to do. Polly's heart came into her mouth, and she and Digory started backing towards the little door they had come in by. Uncle Andrew was too quick for them.
813 Of all the things Digory had said this was the first that really went home. Uncle Andrew started and there came over his face a look of such horror that, beast though he was, you could almost feel sorry for him.
814 Digory's hand was shaking as he opened his penknife and cut out a long strip of turf on the bank of the pool. The soil (which smelled nice) was of a rich reddish brown and showed up well against the green. "It's a good thing one of us has some sense," said Polly.
815 There was no doubt about the Magic this time. Down and down they rushed, first through darkness and then through a mass of vague and whirling shapes which might have been almost anything. It grew lighter. Then suddenly they felt that they were standing on something solid.
816 Every now and then they thought they were going to get out into the open and see what sort of country lay around the enormous palace. But each time they only got into another courtyard. They must have been magnificent places when people were still living there. In one there had once been a fountain.
817 As soon as the bell was struck it gave out a note, a sweet note such as you might have expected, and not very loud. But instead of dying away again, it went on; and as it went on it grew louder. Before a minute had passed it was twice as loud as it had been to begin with.
818 The Queen led them out of the Hall of Images into a long corridor and then through a whole maze of halls and stairs and courtyards. Again and again they heard parts of the great palace collapsing, sometimes quite close to them.
819 Digory suddenly remembered that Uncle Andrew had used exactly the same words. But they sounded much grander when Queen Jadis said them; perhaps because Uncle Andrew was not seven feet tall and dazzlingly beautiful.
820 And well he might stare. Digory and Polly stared too. There was no doubt that the Witch had got over her faintness; and now that one saw her in our own world, with ordinary things around her, she fairly took one's breath away. In Charn she had been alarming enough: in London, she was terrifying.
821 I think (and Digory thinks too) that her mind was of a sort which cannot remember that quiet place at all, and however often you took her there and however long you left her there, she would still know nothing about it.
822 Instantly, as it seemed to Uncle Andrew, the Queen towered up to an even greater height. Fire flashed from her eyes: she flung out her arm with the same gesture and the same horrible-sounding words that had lately turned the palacegates of Charn to dust.
823 Meanwhile an old gentleman had begun to struggle shakily out of the ruins of the first hansom. Several people rushed forward to help him; but as one pulled him one way and another another, perhaps he would have got out quite as quickly on his own.
824 The Lion was pacing to and fro about that empty land and singing his new song. It was softer and more lilting than the song by which he had called up the stars and the sun; a gentle, rippling music. And as he walked and sang the valley grew green with grass. It spread out from the Lion like a pool.
825 The Witch shrieked and ran: in a few moments she was out of sight among the trees. Uncle Andrew turned to do likewise, tripped over a root, and fell flat on his face in a little brook that ran down to join the river. The children could not move. They were not even quite sure that they wanted to.
826 In a few minutes Digory came to the edge of the wood and there he stopped. The Lion was singing still. But now the song had once more changed. It was more like what we should call a tune, but it was also far wilder. It made you want to run and jump and climb. It made you want to shout.
827 It had not made at all the same impression on him as on the Cabby and the children. For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.
828 You may think the animals were very stupid not to see at once that Uncle Andrew was the same kind of creature as the two children and the Cabby. But you must remember that the animals knew nothing about clothes.
829 Several animals said his legs must be his branches and therefore the grey, fluffy thing (they meant his head) must be his root. But then others said that the forked end of him was the muddier and that it spread out more, as roots ought to do. So finally he was planted right way up.
830 For now a great barrier of cliffs rose before them and they were almost dazzled by the sunlight dancing on the great waterfall by which the river roars and sparkles down into Narnia itself from the high western lands in which it rises.
831 Digory never spoke on the way back, and the others were shy of speaking to him. He was very sad and he wasn't even sure all the time that he had done the right thing; but whenever he remembered the shining tears in Aslan's eyes he became sure.
832 It was as if the whole world had turned inside out and upside down. And then, like someone in a dream, he was walking across to the Tree, and the King and Queen were cheering him and all the creatures were cheering too. He plucked the apple and put it in his pocket. Then he came back to Aslan.
833 And no sooner had she finished it than she smiled and her head sank back on the pillow and she was asleep: a real, natural, gentle sleep, without any of those nasty drugs, which was, as Digory knew, the thing in the whole world that she wanted most.
834 In the village he only met other men who were just like his father - men with long, dirty robes, and wooden shoes turned up at the toe, and turbans on their heads, and beards, talking to one another very slowly about things that sounded dull.
835 It was a good deal darker now and very silent except for the sound of the waves on the beach, which Shasta hardly noticed because he had been hearing it day and night as long as he could remember. The cottage, as he approached it, showed no light.
836 It was nearly noon on the following day when Shasta was wakened by something warm and soft moving over his face. He opened his eyes and found himself staring into the long face of a horse; its nose and lips were almost touching his. He remembered the exciting events of the previous night and sat up.
837 But as soon as it did so there came two more lions' roars, immediately after one another, one on the right and the other on the left, the horses began drawing nearer together. So, apparently, did the lions.
838 Aravis immediately began, sitting quite still and using a rather different tone and style from her usual one. For in Calormen, story-telling (whether the stories are true or made up) is a thing you're taught, just as English boys and girls are taught essay-writing.
839 The river banks on each side of the valley were such a mass of gardens that they looked at first like forest, until you got closer and saw the white walls of innumerable houses peeping out from beneath the trees. Soon after that, Shasta noticed a delicious smell of flowers and fruit.
840 The strangers led him - held tightly by both hands - along a narrow street and down a flight of shallow stairs and then up another to a wide doorway in a white wall with two tall, dark cypress trees, one on each side of it.
841 He jumped down on to the rubbish and began trotting along downhill as fast as he could in the narrow lane, which soon brought him into a wider street where there were more people. No one bothered to look at a little ragged boy running along on bare feet.
842 Presently they came out into the garden-court which sloped downhill in a number of terraces. On the far side of that they came to the Old Palace. It had already grown almost quite dark and they now found themselves in a maze of corridors lit only by occasional torches fixed in brackets to the walls.
843 But in the end she had to give in to Aravis. She led the way down the steps they had already descended, and along another corridor and so finally out into the open air. They were now in the palace garden which sloped down in terraces to the city wall. The moon shone brightly.
844 The race was very gruelling for the Horses. As they topped each ridge they found another valley and another ridge beyond it; and though they knew they were going in more or less the right direction, no one knew how far it was to Anvard.
845 The trees were thicker now than they had yet been and in the more open spaces there was bracken. The sun had gone in without making it any cooler. It had become one of those hot, grey days when there seem to be twice as many flies as usual.
846 But that all depends on what you mean by somewhere. The road kept on getting to somewhere in the sense that it got to more and more trees, all dark and dripping, and to colder and colder air. And strange, icy winds kept blowing the mist past him though they never blew it away.
847 Next moment the luggage, the seat, the platform, and the station had completely vanished. The four children, holding hands and panting, found themselves standing in a woody place - such a woody place that branches were sticking into them and there was hardly room to move.
848 They had to stoop under branches and climb over branches, and they blundered through great masses of stuff like rhododendrons and tore their clothes and got their feet wet in the stream; and still there was no noise at all except the noise of the stream and the noises they were making themselves.
849 They went to and fro with bundles until they had a good pile on the dais. At the fifth journey they found the well, just outside the hall, hidden in weeds, but clean and fresh and deep when they had cleared these away.
850 But whether by some magic in the air of the treasure chamber or not, the bow was still in working order. Archery and swimming were the things Susan was good at. In a moment she had bent the bow and then she gave one little pluck to the string.
851 From here the children could see right up the river, and all the bays and headlands of the coast beyond it. They thought they could recognize bits of it, but the woods, which had grown up since their time, made everything look very different.
852 After some years there came a time when the Queen seemed to be ill and there was a great deal of bustle and pother about her in the castle and doctors came and the courtiers whispered. This was in early summertime.
853 As soon as it was full daylight he left the road and found an open grassy place amid a wood where he could rest. He took off Destrier's bridle and let him graze, ate some cold chicken and drank a little wine, and presently fell asleep. It was late afternoon when he awoke.
854 After that they went on till they came among tall beech trees and Trufflehunter called out, "Pattertwig! Pattertwig! Pattertwig!" and almost at once, bounding down from branch to branch till he was just above their heads, came the most magnificent red squirrel that Caspian had ever seen.
855 The next place they were to visit was quite near at hand, but they had to go a long way round in order to avoid a region in which Men lived. It was well into the afternoon before they found themselves in level fields, warm between hedgerows.
856 It was after they had taken up their quarters in and around the How that fortune began to turn against them. King Miraz's scouts soon found their new lair, and he and his army arrived on the edge of the woods. And as so often happens, the enemy turned out stronger than they had reckoned.
857 Everything smelled salt and there was no noise except the swishing of water and the clop-clop of water against the sides and the splash of the oars and the jolting noise of the rowlocks. The sun grew hot.
858 She knew exactly how each of these trees would talk if only she could wake them, and what sort of human form it would put on. She looked at a silver birch: it would have a soft, showery voice and would look like a slender girl, with hair blown all about her face, and fond of dancing.
859 Before they had gone many yards they were confronted with young fir woods growing on the very edge, and after they had tried to go through these, stooping and pushing for about ten minutes, they realized that, in there, it would take them an hour to do half a mile.
860 The first tree she looked at seemed at first glance to be not a tree at all but a huge man with a shaggy beard and great bushes of hair. She was not frightened: she had seen such things before. But when she looked again he was only a tree, though he was still moving.
861 Everyone began eating, and whatever hothouses your people may have, you have never tasted such grapes. Really good grapes, firm and tight on the outside, but bursting into cool sweetness when you put them into your mouth, were one of the things the girls had never had quite enough of before.
862 They all heard the noise of someone striking a match. It was Edmund. The little flame showed his face, looking pale and dirty. He blundered about for a little, found the candle (they were no longer using the lamp, for they had run out of oil), set it on the table, and lit it.
863 Eustace Clarence liked animals, especially beetles, if they were dead and pinned on a card. He liked books if they were books of information and had pictures of grain elevators or of fat foreign children doing exercises in model schools.
864 It was a picture of a ship - a ship sailing straight towards you. Her prow was gilded and shaped like the head of a dragon with wide-open mouth. She had only one mast and one large, square sail which was a rich purple.
865 Have now been twenty-four hours on this ghastly boat if it isn't a dream. All the time a frightful storm has been raging (it's a good thing I'm not seasick). Huge waves keep coming in over the front and I have seen the boat nearly go under any number of times.
866 They struck inland and up a fairly steep, though low, hill. At the top of course they looked back, and there was the Dawn Treader shining like a great bright insect and crawling slowly north-westward with her oars. Then they went over the ridge and could see her no longer.
867 But then all the children joined in because they liked a procession and had seen very few. And then all the schoolboys joined in because they also liked processions and felt that the more noise and disturbance there was the less likely they would be to have any school that morning.
868 She spent a good deal of time sitting on the little bench in the stern playing chess with Reepicheep. It was amusing to see him lifting the pieces, which were far too big for him, with both paws and standing on tiptoes if he made a move near the centre of the board.
869 About fifteen yards away from him was a pool of clear, smooth water. There was, at first, nothing else at all in the valley; not an animal, not a bird, not an insect. The sun beat down and grim peaks and horns of mountains peered over the valley's edge.
870 A moment later they were marching. It grew lighter as they came to the edge of the wood. And there on the sand, like a giant lizard, or a flexible crocodile, or a serpent with legs, huge and horrible and humpy, lay the dragon.
871 Neither said anything for a while. The last bright star had vanished and though they could not see the sunrise because of the mountains on their right, they knew it was going on because the sky above them and the bay before them turned the colour of roses.
872 Across the grey hillside above them - grey, for the heather was not yet in bloom - without noise, and without looking at them, and shining as if he were in bright sunlight though the sun had in fact gone in, passed with slow pace the hugest lion that human eyes have ever seen.
873 Actually he never got out more than six or seven words without being interrupted by their agreements and encouragements, which drove the Narnians nearly out of their minds with impatience. When it was over there was a very long silence.
874 One thing that worried her a good deal was the size of the Book. The Chief Voice had not been able to give her any idea whereabouts in the Book the spell for making things visible came. He even seemed rather surprised at her asking.
875 But when she looked back at the opening words of the spell, there in the middle of the writing, where she felt quite sure there had been no picture before, she found the great face of a lion, of The Lion, Aslan himself, staring into hers.
876 The things she pointed at were dotted all over the level grass. They were certainly very like mushrooms, but far too big - the stalks about three feet high and the umbrellas about the same length from edge to edge.
877 With a creak and a groan the Dawn Treader started to creep forward as the men began to row. Lucy, up in the fighting top, had a wonderful view of the exact moment at which they entered the darkness. The bows had already disappeared before the sunlight had left the stern. She saw it go.
878 In a few moments the darkness turned into a greyness ahead, and then, almost before they dared to begin hoping, they had shot out into the sunlight and were in the warm, blue world again. And all at once everybody realized that there was nothing to be afraid of and never had been.
879 The stars were all in quite different positions from those they had last noticed. The sky was very black except for the faintest possible greyness in the east. They were cold, though thirsty, and stiff. And none of them spoke because now at last something was happening.
880 As it came nearer, Lucy saw that it was like an old man. His silver beard came down to his bare feet in front and his silver hair hung down to his heels behind and his robe appeared to be made from the fleece of silver sheep.
881 As soon as she had said this she realized that the great silvery expanse which she had been seeing (without noticing) for some time was really the sand on the sea-bed and that all sorts of darker or brighter patches were not lights and shadows on the surface but real things on the bottom.
882 As things turned out they need hardly have bothered, for by this time the Dawn Treader was gliding over a part of the sea which seemed to be uninhabited. No one except Lucy saw anything more of the People, and even she had only one short glimpse.
883 They took soundings very often but it was only several days later that the water became shallower. After that it went on getting shallower. There came a day when they had to row out of the current and feel their way forward at a snail's pace, rowing.
884 That was why Jill Pole was crying on that dull autumn day on the damp little path which runs between the back of the gym and the shrubbery. And she hadn't nearly finished her cry when a boy came round the corner of the gym whistling, with his hands in his pockets. He nearly ran into her.
885 Jill was lying so close to the creature that she could feel the breath vibrating steadily through its body. She was lying still because she couldn't get up. She was nearly fainting: indeed, she wished she could really faint, but faints don't come for the asking.
886 By the time it was nearly on a level with the cliff-top it was so far off that she lost sight of it. It was obviously moving away from them at a great speed. Jill couldn't help thinking that the creature at her side was blowing it away. So she turned and looked at the creature. It was a lion.
887 The voice had been growing softer towards the end of this speech and now it faded away altogether. Jill looked behind her. To her astonishment she saw the cliff already more than a hundred yards behind her, and the Lion himself a speck of bright gold on the edge of it.
888 After that, the Dwarf touched up his donkey and it set off towards the castle at something between a trot and a waddle (it was a very fat little beast), while the Faun, the Owl, and the children followed at a rather slower pace. The sun had set and the air was growing cool.
889 Jill felt she couldn't even start undressing unless she sat down in front of the fire for a bit first. And once she had sat down, she didn't want to get up again. She had already said to herself about five times, "I must go to bed", when she was startled by a tap on the window.
890 But they were busy in vain, for at the first glance of her face Rilian knew that no physic in the world would do her good. As long as the life was in her she seemed to be trying hard to tell him something. But she could not speak clearly and, whatever her message was, she died without delivering it.
891 Marsh-wiggles smoke a very strange, heavy sort of tobacco (some people say they mix it with mud) and the children noticed the smoke from Puddleglum's pipe hardly rose in the air at all. It trickled out of the bowl and downwards and drifted along the ground like a mist.
892 As they got deeper into the moor, the loneliness increased: one could hear peewits and see an occasional hawk. When they halted in the middle of the morning for a rest and a drink in a little hollow by a stream, Jill was beginning to feel that she might enjoy adventures after all, and said so.
893 And now they nearly had the first of those quarrels which Puddleglum had foretold: not that Jill and Scrubb hadn't been sparring and snapping at each other a good deal before, but this was the first really serious disagreement. Puddleglum didn't want them to go to Harfang at all.
894 That was because she had given up saying the signs over every night. She still really knew them, if she troubled to think: but she was no longer so "pat" in her lesson as to be sure of reeling them off in the right order at a moment's notice and without thinking.
895 She soon saw that she was right about this, for a table and chair of the right height for an ordinary grown-up human were placed for her, and the knives and forks and spoons were the proper size too. It was delightful to sit down, feeling warm and clean at last.
896 It was now drawing near to that time of the day on which their hopes of escape depended, and all became nervous. They hung about in passages and waited for things to become quiet. The giants in the hall sat on a dreadfully long time after the meal was over. The bald one was telling a story.
897 Long, long afterwards, without the slightest warning, an utterly strange voice spoke. They knew at once that it was not the one voice in the whole world for which each had secretly been hoping; the voice of Aslan. It was a dark, flat voice - almost, if you know what that means, a pitch-black voice.
898 At last their ship was brought alongside a quay and made fast. The three travellers were taken ashore and marched up into the City. Crowds of Earthmen, no two alike, rubbed shoulders with them in the crowded streets, and the sad light fell on many sad and grotesque faces.
899 The main door was now shut, concealing the curtain between which they had first entered. The Knight was seated in a curious silver chair, to which he was bound by his ankles, his knees, his elbows, his wrists, and his waist. There was sweat on his forehead and his face was filled with anguish.
900 She turned very white; but Jill thought it was the sort of whiteness that comes over some people's faces not when they are frightened but when they are angry. For a moment the Witch fixed her eyes on the Prince, and there was murder in them. Then she seemed to change her mind.
901 First, the sweet heavy smell grew very much less. For though the whole fire had not been put out, a good bit of it had, and what remained smelled very largely of burnt Marsh-wiggle, which is not at all an enchanting smell. This instantly made everyone's brain far clearer.
902 The attendants had vanished and the great room at the foot of the Prince's stairs was empty. The grey, doleful lamps were still burning and by their light they had no difficulty in passing gallery after gallery and descending stairway after stairway.
903 Jill glanced hastily at Eustace. She had felt sure that he would like the idea of sliding down that chasm even less than she did. Her heart sank as she saw that his face was quite changed. He looked much more like the Prince than like the old Scrubb at Experiment House.
904 At last the roof was so low that Puddleglum and the Prince knocked their heads against it. The party dismounted and led the horses. The road was uneven here and one had to pick one's steps with some care. That was how Jill noticed the growing darkness. There was no doubt about it now.
905 When she had done this, she could see and hear a good deal better. The noises she had been hearing turned out to be of two kinds: the rhythmical thump of several feet, and the music of four fiddles, three flutes, and a drum. She also got her own position clear.
906 Before they had finished their hot drinks, a dozen or so Moles, newly waked and still very sleepy, and not well pleased, had arrived. But as soon as they understood what it was all about, they joined in with a will.
907 As there seemed no further hope of getting any information from the Owl, Jill got up and began looking round for any chance of a wash and some breakfast. But almost at once a little Faun came trotting into the cave with a sharp click-clack of his goaty hoofs on the stone floor.
908 A flourish of silver trumpets came over the water from the ship's deck: the sailors threw a rope; rats (Talking Rats, of course) and Marsh-wiggles made it fast ashore; and the ship was warped in. Musicians, hidden somewhere in the crowd, began to play solemn, triumphal music.
909 Then Aslan stopped, and the children looked into the stream. And there, on the golden gravel of the bed of the stream, lay King Caspian, dead, with the water flowing over him like liquid glass. His long white beard swayed in it like water-weed. And all three stood and wept.
910 Then Eustace set his teeth and drove the thorn into the Lion's pad. And there came out a great drop of blood, redder than all redness that you have ever seen or imagined. And it splashed into the stream over the dead body of the King. At the same moment the doleful music stopped.
911 He flung it down in front of Shift and stood dripping and shivering and trying to get his breath back. But the Ape never looked at him or asked him how he felt. The Ape was too busy going round and round the Thing and spreading it out and patting it and smelling it.
912 They soon reached the River and turned up it where there was a grassy road: they had the water on their left and the forest on their right. Soon after that they came to the place where the ground grew rougher and thick wood came down to the water's edge.
913 Then the dark men came round them in a thick crowd, smelling of garlic and onions, their white eyes flashing dreadfully in their brown faces. They put a rope halter round Jewel's neck. They took the King's sword away and tied his hands behind his back.
914 From where he was he could still see the little stable on the top of the hill and the Ape sitting in front of it. He could just hear the Ape's voice still going on and, every now and then, some answer from the crowd, but he could not make out the words.
915 At once the first Mouse climbed nimbly up till he was perched on the rope that bound Tirian's chest and was wrinkling his blunt nose in front of Tirian's face. Then the second Mouse climbed up and hung on just below the first Mouse. The other beasts stood on the ground and began handing things up.
916 Far away there appeared a red light. Then it disappeared for a moment and came back again, bigger and stronger. Then he could see dark shapes going to and fro on this side of the light and carrying bundles and throwing them down. He knew now what he was looking at.
917 But then it had all come; right in the end, for two mysterious children had suddenly appeared from the land beyond the world's end and had rescued him so that he came home to Narnia and had a long and prosperous reign.
918 But his misery did not last long. Almost at once there came a bump, and then a second bump, and two children were standing before him. The wood in front of him had been quite empty a second before and he knew they had not come from behind his tree, for he would have heard them.
919 So we talked and talked and at last the Professor said the only way would be by the Magic Rings. It was by those Rings that he and Aunt Polly got here long, long ago when they were only kids, years before we younger ones were born.
920 So he gave himself till nine o'clock that night and then put all worries out of his head and fell asleep at once. It seemed only a moment later when he woke but he knew by the light and the very feel of things that he had timed his sleep exactly.
921 He flew upon the chief soldier like lightning. Eustace, who had drawn his sword when he saw the King draw his, rushed at the other one: his face was deadly pale, but I wouldn't blame him for that. And he had the luck that beginners sometimes do have.
922 Narnian Dwarfs, though less than four feet high, are for their size about the toughest and strongest creatures there are, so that Poggin, in spite of a heavy day and a late night, woke fully refreshed before any of the others. He at once took Jill's bow, went out and shot a couple of wood pigeons.
923 And then, as Poggin pointed out, there was no harm in leaving the Ape to deal with his own difficulties for a day or two. He would have no Puzzle to bring out and show now. It wasn't easy to see what story he - or Ginger could make up to explain that.
924 He told how King Gale, who was ninth in descent from Frank the first of all Kings, had sailed far away into the Eastern seas and delivered the Lone Islanders from a dragon and how, in return, they had given him the Lone Islands to be part of the royal lands of Narnia for ever.
925 It wouldn't do for him to be caught with that on, after what the Ape had said! She would like to have hidden the skin somewhere very far away, but it was too heavy. The best she could do was to kick it in among the thickest bushes.
926 This was worse. The Ape was knocked head over heels by Ginger coming back out of the stable at top speed. If you had not known he was a cat, you might have thought he was a ginger-coloured streak of lightning. He shot across the open grass, back into the crowd.
927 Whatever else you may say about Dwarfs, no one can say they aren't brave. They could easily have got away to some safe place. They preferred to stay and kill as many of both sides as they could, except when both sides were kind enough to save them trouble by killing one another.
928 When you are using every muscle to the full - ducking under a spear-point here, leaping over it there, lunging forward, drawing back, wheeling round - you haven't much time to feel either frightened or sad. Tirian knew he could do nothing for the others now; they were all doomed together.
929 What was the fruit like? Unfortunately no one can describe a taste. All I can say is that, compared with those fruits, the freshest grapefruit you've ever eaten was dull, and the juiciest orange was dry, and the most melting pear was hard and woody, and the sweetest wild strawberry was sour.
930 Only a few yards away, clear to be seen in the sunlight, there stood up a rough wooden door and, round it, the framework of the doorway: nothing else, no walls, no roof. He walked towards it, bewildered, and the others followed, watching to see what he would do.
931 The bonfire had gone out. On the earth all was blackness: in fact you could not have told that you were looking into a wood if you had not seen where the dark shapes of the trees ended and the stars began. But when Aslan had roared yet again, out on their left they saw another black shape.
932 Then the Moon came up, quite in her wrong position, very close to the sun, and she also looked red. And at the sight of her the sun began shooting out great flames, like whiskers or snakes of crimson fire, towards her. It is as if he were an octopus trying to draw her to himself in his tentacles.
933 A widespread noise broke the silence: first a murmur then a rumble, then a roar. And now they could see what it was that was coming, and how fast it came. It was a foaming wall of water. The sea was rising. In that tree-less world you could see it very well.
934 Perhaps you will get some idea of it if you think like this. You may have been in a room in which there was a window that looked out on a lovely bay of the sea or a green valley that wound away among mountains. And in the wall of that room opposite to the window there may have been a looking-glass.
935 During the gallop they had not been at all out of breath, but now, as they swarmed and wriggled upwards, there was plenty of spluttering and sneezing among them; that was because they would keep on barking, and every time they barked they got their mouths and noses full of water.
936 So all of them passed in through the golden gates, into the delicious smell that blew towards them out of that garden and into the cool mixture of sunlight and shadow under the trees, walking on springy turf that was all dotted with white flowers.
937 The great saucer set among the mountains was already half full of shadow, as the tropical sun dropped swiftly to rest, but the triangular raft of the antenna complex suspended high above its centre still blazed with light.
938 Apart from an accident of fate, he would have been on that flight. For a few days, he had almost regretted the European Space Administration business that had delayed him in Paris; that haggle over the Solaris payload had saved his life.
939 Then followed a dozen pages of mathematics and astronomical tables. Floyd skimmed through these, picking out the words from the music, and trying to detect any note of apology or even embarrassment. When he had finished, he was compelled to give a smile of wry admiration.
940 Even after all these years, and his endless reviews of the data radioed back from Discovery, he was not sure what had gone wrong. He could only formulate theories; the facts he needed were frozen in Hal's circuits, out there between Jupiter and Io.
941 Dr Chandra lit one of the venomous cheroots which he imported from Madras, and which were widely - and correctly - believed to be his only vice. The console was never switched off; he checked that no messages were flashing importantly on the display, then spoke into the microphone.
942 He glanced across at Caroline, sitting with two-year-old Chris on the edge of the pool. The boy was more at home in the water than on land, and could stay submerged for periods that often terrified visitors. And though he could not yet speak much Human, he already seemed fluent in Dolphin.
943 The months contracted to weeks, the weeks dwindled to days, the days shrivelled to hours; and suddenly Heywood Floyd was once more at the Cape - spaceward-bound for the first time since that trip to Clavius Base and the Tycho monolith, so many years ago.
944 Most of the other passengers started to unbuckle their safety straps, preparing to enjoy the thirty minutes of zero gravity during the transfer orbit, but a few who were obviously making the trip for the first time remained in their seats, looking around anxiously for the cabin attendants.
945 It was impossible to judge a person's real size over the viewphone; the camera somehow converted everyone to the same scale. Captain Orlova, standing - as well as one could stand in zero gravity - barely reached to Floyd's shoulders.
946 It was a sign of the times that a Russian could joke, however wryly, about his country's treatment of its greatest scientist. Floyd was again reminded of Sakharov's eloquent speech to the Academy, when he was belatedly made Hero of the Soviet Union.
947 A totally unfamiliar planet hung there, gleaming with glorious blues and dazzling whites. How strange, Floyd told himself. What has happened to the Earth? Why, of course - no wonder he didn't recognize it! It was upside down!
948 It was three-quarters full, but no one was looking at the illuminated disk; all eyes were focused on the crescent of darkness at its edge. There, over the nightside of the planet, the Chinese ship was about to meet its moment of truth.
949 One last badly distorted and curiously drawn-out beep sounded from the tracking beacon, then only the meaningless hiss of Jupiter's own radiation, one of those many cosmic voices that had nothing to do with Man or his works.
950 There were later shots - not so clear, because by then it had been far away from the prying cameras - of the final stage as it hurtled toward Jupiter. Those were the ones that interested him most; even more useful were the cutaway drawings and estimates of performance.
951 Nevertheless, when you did not know what you were looking for, it was important to avoid all prejudices and preconceptions; something that at first sight seemed irrelevant, or even nonsensical, might turn out to be a vital clue.
952 Apart from the jet-black sky, the photo might have been taken almost anywhere in the polar regions of Earth; there was nothing in the least alien about the sea of wrinkled ice that stretched all the way out to the horizon.
953 How strange that the pattern of lines across the palm was so uncannily like the map of Europa! But economical Mother Nature was always repeating herself, on such vastly different scales as the swirl of milk stirred into coffee, the cloud lanes of a cyclonic storm, the arms of a spiral nebula.
954 Jupiter was already larger than the Moon in the skies of Earth, and the giant inner satellites could be clearly seen moving around it. They all showed noticeable disks and distinctive colouring, though they were still too far away for any markings to be visible.
955 Leonov had added some trillions of bits of information about Ganymede to the store of human knowledge, before it crossed the orbit of Europa. That icebound world, with its derelict and its dead, was on the other side of Jupiter, but it was never far from anyone's thoughts.
956 And it was too late for second thoughts. From far, far away came the first faint whisper of sound, like the wailing of some lost soul. At the same moment, the ship gave a barely perceptible jerk; the cocoon began to swing around and its suspension tightened.
957 When Floyd reached the observation deck - a discreet few minutes after Zenia - Jupiter already seemed farther away. But that must be an illusion based on his knowledge, not the evidence of his eyes. They had barely emerged from the Jovian atmosphere, and the planet still filled half the sky.
958 A second later, there was a jerk on the line connecting them, and a quick surge of deceleration as they shared momentum. Their opposing velocities had been neatly cancelled; they were virtually at rest with respect to Discovery.
959 Even his familiar spacesuit felt wrong, now that there was pressure outside as well as in. All the forces acting on its joints were subtly altered, and he could no longer judge his movements accurately. I'm a beginner, starting my training all over again, he told himself angrily.
960 The festering landscape of Io, looking more than ever like an illustration from a medical textbook, was only five hundred kilometres away when Curnow risked activating the main drive, while Leonov stood off at a very respectful distance.
961 After a week's slow and careful reintegration, all of Hal's routine, supervisory functions were operating reliably. He was like a man who could walk, carry out simple orders, do unskilled jobs, and engage in low-level conversation.
962 Nor did Big Brother appear to notice the two ships that had arrived in its vicinity - even when they cautiously probed it with radar beams and bombarded it with strings of radio pulses which, it was hoped, would encourage any intelligent listener to answer in the same fashion.
963 And what a size! Not the miserable half-degree of Sun and Moon, but forty times their diameter - sixteen hundred times their area. The sight of either was enough to fill the mind with awe and wonder; together, the spectacle was overwhelming.
964 Meanwhile you have asked me to summarize them in non-technical terms for the benefit of the Council - especially the new members who will not be familiar with the background. Frankly, I doubt my ability to do this; as you know, I am not a computer specialist. But I will do my best.
965 In any case, it seems impossible that the situation that caused the original problem can ever arise again. Although Hal suffers from a number of peculiarities, they are not of a nature that would cause any apprehension; they are merely minor annoyances, some of them even amusing.
966 As David Bowman, commander and last surviving crew member of United States Spaceship Discovery, he had been caught in a gigantic trap, set three million years ago and triggered to respond only at the right time, and to the right stimulus.
967 An effort of will, and the spectrum of that nearby star shifted toward the blue, by precisely the amount he wished. He was falling toward it at a large fraction of the speed of light: though he could go faster if he desired, he was in no hurry.
968 The robot food trolley came to a halt beside the chair, and the transport covers opened up to reveal the dishes. Throughout, the nurse never touched anything, not even the controls on the trolley. She now stood motionless, with a rather fixed smile, looking at her difficult patient.
969 He flippered slowly down, dragging the hose behind him, pausing to drink from its stream of bubbles whenever he felt the need. The sensation of freedom was so wonderful that he almost forgot the horrible oily taste in his mouth.
970 Why was she watching? It was all stored somewhere in the home archives (though she never played it back when Jose was around). Perhaps she was expecting some newsflash; she did not like to admit, even to herself, how much power the past still held over her emotions.
971 Of course, it could not last, but the experience had left him irrevocably changed. For more than a decade, all his autoerotic fantasies had centred upon Betty; he had never found another woman to compare with her, and long ago had realized that he never would.
972 Any student of psychology could have predicted that so profound a need would be swiftly satisfied. During the last half of the twentieth century, there were literally thousands of reports of spacecraft sightings from every part of the globe.
973 No answer came from the echoing silence into which he had thrown the question. But then he saw, once more looming before him, a familiar black rectangular shape. He approached, and a shadowy image appeared in its depths, like a reflection in a pool of ink.
974 For the first time, they felt grateful for the slow velocity of light, and the two-hour delay that made live interviews impossible on the Earth-Jupiter circuit. Even so, Floyd was badgered by so many media requests that he finally went on strike.
975 There was no answer, yet he was certain that he had been heard. He sensed a... presence, even as a man can tell, though his eyes are tightly shut, that he is in a closed room and not some empty, open space. Around him there was the faint echo of a vast mentality, an implacable will.
976 The seas of Europa would have frozen completely solid long ago without the influence of nearby Jupiter. Its gravity continually kneaded the core of the little world; the forces that convulsed Io were working there, though with much less ferocity.
977 Searching, seeking, he moved back and forth over the face of the abyss. Perhaps the greatest of all the wonders he met was a river of incandescent lava, flowing for a hundred kilometres along a sunken valley.
978 Yet even the space between the oases was not altogether empty of life; there were hardier creatures who had dared its rigours. Often swimming overhead were the Europan analogues of fish - streamlined torpedoes, propelled by vertical tails, steered by fins along their bodies.
979 So Jessie Bowman was gone. Perhaps that was another cause for guilt. He had helped to steal her only remaining son, and that must have contributed to her mental breakdown. Inevitably, he was reminded of a discussion that Walter Curnow had started, on that very subject.
980 The gigantic plankton of the Jovian atmosphere, they were designed to float like gossamer in the uprising currents, until they had lived long enough to reproduce; then they would be swept down into the depths to be carbonized and recycled in a new generation.
981 He had almost reached the centre of the planet, but Jupiter had one more surprise in store. The thick shell of metallic yet still fluid hydrogen ended abruptly. At last, there was a solid surface, sixty thousand kilometres down.
982 He would sometimes sit for hours in the crowded but not cramped little capsule, trying to collect his thoughts and occasionally dictating notes; the other crew members respected his privacy, and understood the reason for it.
983 The sphere of consciousness in which he was embedded enclosed the whole of Jupiter's diamond core. He was dimly aware, at the limits of his new comprehension, that every aspect of the environment around him was being probed and analysed.
984 It was quiescent that day; only the power of a few terrestrial thunderstorms was flowing between planet and satellite. The gateway through which he had returned still floated in that current, shouldering it aside as it had done since the dawn of man.
985 Sometimes Hal would suggest a game of chess, presumably obeying a programming instruction set long ago and never cancelled. Floyd would not accept the challenge; he had always regarded chess as a frightful waste of time, and had never even learned the rules of the game.
986 Floyd stared at the screen for a long time before making his next move. The joke, which had never been funny in the first place, had now gone too far. It was in the worst possible taste. Well, this should fix whoever was at the other end of the line.
987 It was hard to see why poor Jose should have invented such a peculiar story, especially as Betty seemed a very stubborn and quick-tempered lady. From his hospital bed, her husband declared that he still loved her and theirs was only a temporary disagreement.
988 Floyd was perfectly well aware that all the activity was generated not by fear of an unknown danger that only he took seriously, but by the delightful prospect of returning to Earth at least a month earlier than anyone had imagined.
989 They had been swept faster and faster between the canyon walls, not completely helpless, but with only enough control to avoid being swamped. Ahead might be rapids - perhaps even a waterfall; they did not know. And in any case, there was little they could do about it.
990 The observation lounge suddenly became very silent. For the first time in weeks, Floyd became aware of the faint throbbing from the main air-supply duct, and the intermittent buzz that might have been made by a wasp trapped behind a wall panel.
991 The task of positioning the two ships and securing them firmly together had taken longer than anticipated. It would never have been possible at all without one of those strokes of luck that sometimes - not always - favour those who deserve them.
992 Only chemical rockets were capable of ignition; even if the hydrogen in a nuclear or plasma drive did come into contact with oxygen, it would be far too hot to burn. At such temperatures, all compounds were stripped back into their elements.
993 But the minutes dragged on uneventfully; the only proof that Discovery's engines were operating was the fractional, thrust-induced gravity and a very slight vibration transmitted through the walls of the ships. Io and Jupiter still hung where they had been for weeks, on opposite sides of the sky.
994 It was so black, like night itself. And so symmetrical; as it came into clearer view it was obviously a perfect circle. Yet it was not sharply defined; the edge had an odd fuzziness, as if it was a little out of focus.
995 What's Hal really thinking - if he thinks - about the mission? All his life, Curnow had shied away from abstract, philosophical questions: I'm a nuts-and-bolts man, he had often claimed, though there were not too many of either in a spaceship.
996 But they had very much more than a warning. Below them was a planetary plague spreading across the face of Jupiter. Perhaps they were indeed running away from the most extraordinary phenomenon in the history of science. Even so, he preferred to study it from a safer distance.
997 Only once before in his life had he known a similar situation, when he had been in the back of a car during an uncontrollable skid. There had been that same sense of utter helplessness - coupled with the thought: This doesn't really matter - it's not actually happening to me.
998 They saw it again the next morning, ship's time, as it came around to the dayside of Jupiter. The area of darkness had now spread until it covered an appreciable fraction of the planet, and at last they were able to study it at leisure, and in detail.
999 He was sad, but no longer disconsolate. Because he was coming back to Earth in an aura of successful achievement - even if not precisely heroism - he would be bargaining from a position of strength. No one - no one - would be able to take Chris away from him.
1000 It was now generally believed - though some authorities disputed it - that hibernation did more than merely stop the ageing process; it encouraged rejuvenation. Floyd had actually become younger on his voyage to Jupiter and back.
1001 Somewhere beyond Mars, so imperceptibly that the monitors could not pinpoint the time, he had simply ceased to live. His body, set adrift in space, had continued unchecked along Leonov's orbit, and had long since been consumed by the fires of the Sun.
1002 It was pure chance that he had not been with his first wife on that flight to Europe. Now Marion was part of another life, that might have belonged to someone else, and their two daughters were amiable strangers with families of their own.
1003 And even if one wished, it was no longer possible to plan a large-scale war. The Age of Transparency had dawned in the 1990s, when enterprising news media had started to launch photographic satellites with resolutions comparable to those that the military had possessed for three decades.
1004 One day, as he was admiring the unparalleled skyline of the city across the harbour, he decided that a further improvement was necessary. The view from the lower floors of the Peninsular had been blocked for decades by a large building looking like a squashed golfball.
1005 I could tell it was in trouble. It couldn't possibly survive at a temperature a hundred and fifty below its normal environment. It was freezing solid as it moved forward - bits were breaking off like glass - but it was still advancing towards the ship - a black tidal wave, slowing down all the time.
1006 With no further clues, it might take the station computer quite a while - perhaps as much as ten minutes - to locate the line in the whole body of English literature. But that would be cheating (not to mention expensive) and Floyd preferred to accept the intellectual challenge.
1007 Such enormous investments had already been made in conventional fusion that the world's electrical utilities were not - at first - affected, but the impact on space travel was immediate; it could be paralleled only by the jet revolution in air transport of a hundred years earlier.
1008 He had to look back at the history of aeronautics to put matters in the right perspective. In his own lifetime, he had witnessed - indeed, experienced - the revolution that had occurred in the skies of the planet now dwindling behind him.
1009 The new sun that had melted the ice of Europa was not as powerful here, four hundred thousand kilometres further out - but it was warm enough to produce a temperate climate at the centre of the face forever turned towards it.
1010 So what was the alternative? Van der Berg sat down to consider his options. Because he was a geologist, and not an astrophysicist, it was several days before he suddenly realized that the answer had been staring him in the face ever since he had landed on Ganymede.
1011 One appeared to be an artefact of the imaging process; there was an absolutely straight feature, two kilometres long, which showed virtually no radar echo. Van der Berg left Dr Wilkins to puzzle over that; he was only concerned with Mount Zeus.
1012 To complete the illusion, there was sand underfoot (slightly magnetized, so it would not stray too far from its appointed place) and the short length of beach ended in a grove of palm trees which were quite convincing, until examined too closely.
1013 And now Halley was too close to be seen; ironically, observers back on Earth would get a far better view of the tail, already stretching fifty million kilometres at right angles to the comet's orbit, like a pennant fluttering in the invisible gale of the solar wind.
1014 The landing was just as anticlimactic as Captain Smith had hoped. It was impossible to tell the moment when Universe made contact; a full minute elapsed before the passengers realized that touchdown was complete, and raised a belated cheer.
1015 The virtually non-existent gravity also contributed to the strangeness of the landscape. All around were spidery formations like the fantasies of a surrealistic artist, and improbably canted rockpiles that could not have survived more than a few minutes even on the Moon.
1016 On Mars, or on the Moon, you could sometimes - with a slight effort of imagination, and if you ignored the alien sky - pretend that you were on Earth. This was impossible here, because the towering - often overhanging - snow sculptures showed only the slightest concession to gravity.
1017 As the Sun crept above the jagged, absurdly close horizon, its rays would slant down into the countless small craters that pockmarked the crust. Most of them would remain inactive, their narrow throats sealed by incrustations of mineral salts.
1018 The first flybys of the comet, in 1986, had suggested that it was considerably less dense than water - which could only mean that it was either made of very porous material, or was riddled with cavities. Both explanations turned out to be correct.
1019 He was deliberately turning his mind away from the direct confrontation of his fears, hoping thereby to sneak up on them unawares, by a kind of averted mental vision. Meanwhile the purely mechanical acts of recording and collecting samples occupied most of his attention.
1020 If this was an emergency affecting his own ship, he would have been a tornado of controlled energy, issuing orders right and left. But there was nothing he could do about this situation, except await the next message from Earth.
1021 Anything like a regular schedule is out of the question; there are times when one must forget the whole idea and stay in port - or at least in orbit - waiting for the Solar System to rearrange itself for the greater convenience of mankind.
1022 A few hours later, the somewhat chastened scientist admitted that he had also found two bottles of elemental fluorine, used to power the lasers which could zap passing celestial bodies at thousand-kilometre ranges for spectrographic sampling.
1023 During the decade after the ignition of Jupiter, and the spreading of the Great Thaw across its satellite system, Europa had been left strictly alone. Then the Chinese had made a swift flyby, probing the clouds with radar in an attempt to locate the wreck of the Tsien.
1024 And although Rose was not exactly his type, she was undoubtedly attractive; a little effort now might be a worthwhile investment. It never occurred to him that, having performed her duty, Rose might like to go back to sleep.
1025 Perhaps it was getting too hot on one side and the thermal control system was making some minor adjustments. That did happen occasionally, and was a black mark for the officer on duty, who should have noticed that the temperature envelope was being approached.
1026 In any event, his chances of surviving the next hour seemed remote. He had been ordered to take down, single-handed, a three-thousand tonner on totally unknown territory. This was not a feat he would care to attempt even on the familiar Moon.
1027 In the wardroom, the sudden surge of full thrust came like a stay of execution. The horrified officers had seen the collapse of the chosen landing site, and knew that there was only one way of escape. Now that Chang had taken it, they once more permitted themselves the luxury of breath.
1028 The creature had surfaced again, but now it was moving very slowly, as if exhausted after that one gigantic leap. In fact, it seemed to be in trouble - even in agony; it was beating its tail against the sea, without attempting to move in any definite direction.
1029 And yet, as nobody knew better than he did, his whole business career had been one long gamble. He had done his utmost to control the odds, by gathering the best information and listening to the experts his hunches told him would give the wisest advice.
1030 Floyd never quite understood why he acted as he did; such rashness was completely uncharacteristic. Perhaps he was simply impatient with the whole debate, and wanted to get on with the job. Or perhaps he felt that the Captain needed a little stiffening of the moral fibre.
1031 Surely he's not taking us into it - But he was. Universe vibrated gently as it nuzzled its way into the rising column of foam. It was still rolling very slowly, as if it was drilling its way into the giant geyser. The video monitors and observation windows showed only a milky blankness.
1032 He had the opposite problem with the scientists. They were always proposing tests and experiments, which had to be carefully considered before they could be approved. And if he allowed it, they would have monopolized the ship's now very limited communications channels.
1033 Willis, of course, knew the answer perfectly well; once again he was putting himself in the place of his legions of unknown listeners on the planet that was getting a thousand kilometres further away with every passing second.
1034 But he was so full of hilarious stories of backstage intrigues and liaisons, and accounts of sabotaged first nights and mortal feuds among prima donnas, that he kept even his most unmusical listeners convulsed with laughter, and was willingly granted extra time.
1035 But tonight, he had managed to get everything right; probably when weight returned, he would have difficulty in readjusting to that. He had lain awake for only a few minutes, recapitulating the latest discussion at dinner, and had then fallen asleep.
1036 It was a brilliant concept - no doubt of that. If it worked, the mission would not be a total failure. During the last week, Captain Laplace had given scarcely a moment's thought to the mystery of Mount Zeus, which had brought them to this predicament: only survival had mattered.
1037 Still, that was just the beginning of uneasiness and, as yet, easy to suppress. After all, Lije Baley had been in a plane four times before. Once he had even crossed the continent. So, while plane travel is never pleasant, it would, at least, not be a complete step into the unknown.
1038 It was completely ridiculous, though. It was pandering to childishness, this pretense that Earthmen could invade space. Galactic exploration! The Galaxy was closed to Earthmen. It was pre-empted by the Spacers, whose ancestors had been Earthmen centuries before.
1039 Everything else in a robot's positronic brain - that of any robot on any world in the Galaxy - had to bow to that prime consideration. Of course a robot had to follow orders, but with one major, all important qualification. Following orders was only the Second Law of Robotics.
1040 And at the very moment he felt Daneel's hands clamping down upon his shoulders. His mind crowded with thought during that unreal, whirling moment. He had to see! He had to see all he could. And Daneel must be there with him to keep him from seeing.
1041 They had just stepped into a room, crowded from floor to ceiling with book films. Three fixed viewers with large twenty-four-inch viewing panels set vertically were in three corners of the room. The fourth contained an animation screen.
1042 Gruer looked particularly uneasy. He glanced sideways at Daneel, who sat motionless, an absorptive, quiet mechanism. Baley knew that Daneel would, at any time in the future, be able to reproduce any conversation he heard, of whatever length.
1043 It would be natural for Gruer to suspect that espionage was possible. His job made it necessary for him to suspect that in any case where it was conceivable. And he would not fear Baley overmuch, an Earthman, representative of the least formidable world in the Galaxy.
1044 For that matter, why should Daneel pretend so thoroughly to be a man? The earlier explanation that Baley had posed for himself, that it was a vainglorious game on the part of Daneel's Auroran designers, seemed trivial. It seemed obvious now that the masquerade was something more serious.
1045 It was sleek, but not glossy. Its surface had a muted, grayish finish, with a checkerboard pattern on the right shoulder as the only bit of color. Squares in white and yellow (silver and gold, really, from the metallic luster) were placed in what seemed an aimless pattern.
1046 He had been briefed that smoking on non-smoking Solaria would be a terrible breach of decorum, so he had not even been allowed to take his fixings. He sighed. There were moments when the feel of pipe stem between teeth and a warm bowl in his hand would have been infinitely comforting.
1047 She stopped suddenly and, to Baley's acute discomfort, she bent her head and wept. She made no attempt to obscure her face. Her eyes simply closed and tears slowly trickled down her cheeks. It was quite soundless. Her shoulders barely trembled.
1048 Perhaps it was annoyance that had caused him to forget. It was Daneel who annoyed him, he thought, with his unemotional approach to problems. Or perhaps it was himself, with his emotional approach. He did not stop to analyze the matter.
1049 It was not in working order. When found, its motions were disorganized and so, apparently, was the functioning of its positronic brain. It could give none of the proper responses, either verbal or mechanical, and after exhaustive investigation by a robotics expert it was declared a total loss.
1050 At once a metal figure strode into the dining room and after it, in a minute or two, a dozen more entered. Three carried Gruer gently away. The others busily engaged in straightening the disarray and picking up the tableware strewn on the floor.
1051 In a world so thoroughly given over to robots some sort of intimate communication among them would be necessary if the system were not to break down. It explained how a dozen robots could follow when one robot had been summoned, but only when needed and not otherwise.
1052 She was. The dominant color of her dress was a light blue and it shimmered down the length of her limbs to wrists and ankles. A yellow ruff clung about her neck and shoulders, a little lighter than her hair, which was now held in disciplined waves.
1053 The scanner was like no model he had ever used and he began with no idea at all as to the method for threading the film. But he worked at it obstinately, and, eventually, by taking it apart and working it out bit by bit, he managed something.
1054 And one other thing was wrong. Somehow the sun shone down on them. He looked up and there was only the vaulted base of the upper Levels visible, yet the sun shone down, blazing brightly on everything, and no one was afraid.
1055 He knew what he planned to do, and seeing (not viewing) was part of it. All right. Yet there had been the tight lift to his spirit when he spoke of seeing, as though he were ready to break down the walls of this mansion even though it served no purpose.
1056 Daneel unbuttoned his shirt. The smooth, bronze skin of his chest was sparsely covered with light hair. Daneel's fingers exerted a firm pressure just under the right nipple, and flesh and skin split bloodlessly the length of the chest, with the gleam of metal showing beneath.
1057 He read the message and his long face mirrored satisfaction. It was his official permission to arrange "seeing" interviews, subject to the wishes of the interviewees, who were nevertheless urged to give "Agents Baley and Olivaw" every possible cooperation.
1058 A robot brought him a small cup of smooth enamel. The drink was a light pink in color. Baley sniffed at it cautiously and tasted it even more cautiously. The small sip of liquid evaporated warmly in his mouth and sent a pleasant message along the length of his esophagus.
1059 Baley most definitely wanted to change the subject. Any discussion of a likeness or unlikeness between Solaria's culture and Earth's would prove too absorbing by half. He might spend the day there and come away none the wiser as far as useful information was concerned.
1060 Cleon had been Emperor for just over ten years and there were times at state occasions when, dressed in the necessary robes and regalia, he could manage to look stately. He did so, for instance, in the holograph of himself that stood in the niche in the wall behind him.
1061 To anyone in later times who knew of Hari Seldon only as a legendary demigod, it would seem almost sacrilegious for him not to have white hair, not to have an old lined face, a quiet smile radiating wisdom, not to be seated in a wheelchair.
1062 The number was vanishingly small. Twenty-five million inhabited worlds, each with its cargo of a billion human beings or more - and among all those quadrillions of human beings, how many had, or would ever, lay eyes on the living Emperor.
1063 Cleon's fingers were drumming on the arm of his chair. He said harshly, "You are useless, man, and so is your psychohistory. Leave me." And with those words, the Emperor looked away, suddenly seeming much older than his thirty-two years.
1064 At least, the changing quality of light within the walkways, moving corridors, squares, and parks of the Imperial Sector of Trantor made it seem that an evening, a night, and part of a morning had passed.
1065 He looked up at the bright diffuse light. Although it could never rain in here, the atmosphere was far from dry. A fountain played not far from him; the plants were green and had probably never felt drought. Occasionally, the shrubbery rustled as though a small animal or two was hidden there.
1066 Alem lay unmoving, his face twisted in agony. He had two badly sprained thumbs, excruciating pain in his groin, and a backbone that had been badly jarred. Hummin's left arm had grabbed Marbie's neck from behind and his right arm had pulled the other's right arm backward at a vicious angle.
1067 And now they were in a small room in a pleasant apartment structure that might be anywhere for all that Seldon could tell. He looked about the one-room unit. Most of it was taken up by a desk and chair, a bed, and a computer outlet.
1068 The round hat was made of soft material and molded itself to his head when he put it on. The brim was evenly wide all around, but it was narrower than on the hats his attackers had worn. Seldon consoled himself by noticing that when he wore the hat the brim curved rather gracefully.
1069 The line ahead was rapidly growing shorter and Seldon found himself standing with Hummin at the edge of the floor with an open gap before him. The air ahead faintly glittered. Automatically, he reached out his hand and felt a light shock. It didn't hurt, but he snatched his hand back quickly.
1070 To look ostentatiously inconspicuous - to slink about, to turn his face away from all who passed, to study one of the vehicles overintently - was surely the way to invite attention. The way to behave was merely to assume an innocent normality.
1071 To think, only forty-eight hours ago he had been just an insignificant, virtually unknown Outworld mathematician, content only to spend his remaining time on Trantor sight-seeing, gazing at the enormity of the great world with his provincial eye.
1072 He had invented a new science: psychohistory. He had extended the laws of probability in a very subtle manner to take into account new complexities and uncertainties and had ended up with elegant equations in innumerable unknowns. - Possibly an infinite number; he couldn't tell.
1073 The book-films had dealt with important worlds. With some, it dealt through all or almost all their history; with others, only as they gained importance for a time and only till they faded away. He remembered having looked up Helicon in the index and having found only one citation.
1074 There were people walking in both directions and there were a considerable number of young people and also some children accompanying the adults, despite what Hummin had said about the birthrate. All seemed reasonably prosperous and reputable.
1075 In the same way, it could be that there was no way of getting enough people to handle the total amount of knowledge required for psychohistory, even if the facts were stored in computers rather than in individual human brains.
1076 Sleep eluded Seldon. He tossed and turned in the dark, thinking. He had have never felt quite so alone or quite so helpless as he did after Hummin had nodded, pressed his hand briefly, and left him behind. Now he was on a strange world - and in a strange part of that world.
1077 Seldon cleared his throat. "Clearly, I'm not at all in possession of my ordinary faculties. I should have asked you to sit." He sat down on the side of his crumpled bed and wished he had thought to straighten it out somewhat - but he had been caught by surprise.
1078 Dors was right. Breakfast was by no means bad. There was something that was unmistakably eggy and the meat was pleasantly smoked. The chocolate drink (Trantor was strong on chocolate and Seldon did not mind that) was probably synthetic, but it was tasty and the breakfast rolls were good.
1079 Cleon I had finished dinner, which, unfortunately, had been a formal state affair. It meant he had to spend time talking to various officials - not one of whom he knew or recognized - in set phrases designed to give each one his stroke and so activate his loyalty to the crown.
1080 As a matter of fact, although that was the expression he used in his mind, he knew that it was a gross underestimation of his feelings. He was not simply dissatisfied, he was furious - all the more so because he wasn't sure what it was he was furious about.
1081 He had promised to try and he couldn't very well make it a halfhearted process. For another, he owed something to himself too. He resented having to admit failure. Not yet, at least. Not while he could plausibly tell himself he was following up leads.
1082 Randa was right, Seldon thought, and he himself was being unreasonable and wrong. And yet... and yet... Hummin would say that this failure in the scientific attack on problems was another sign of the degeneration of the times.
1083 Leggen, along with the other men and one of the women, seemed frozen and waiting, as though they had suspended thought as well as activity until they could get out, but Clowzia kept glancing at him as though she found him terribly impressive.
1084 The domes were broad rather than high, which was a good thing, since otherwise the going would have been considerably more difficult. On the other hand, the gentle grade meant trudging a distance before he could top a dome and look down the other side.
1085 The tree was cold, its bark was rough, it gave no comfort - but it offered cover. Of course, that might be insufficient, if he was being searched for with a heat-seeker, but, on the other hand, the cold trunk of a tree might blur even that.
1086 He had no choice but to assume it wasn't. Keeping his eye on the peak so that he could move in a reasonably straight line, he headed for it as quickly as he could. As he got closer, he could make out the line of dome against sky with less and less certainty as it loomed larger and larger.
1087 Now he had to decide. There was nothing. He might be nowhere, far removed from any opening into the dome. He might, on the other hand, be standing three meters to the left - or right - or short - of the meteorological station.
1088 Fortune was with her. The first door at which she signaled was answered by a query light. She punched in her identification number, which included her department affiliation. The door opened and a plump middle-aged man stared out at her. He had obviously been washing up before dinner.
1089 It took no more than three minutes to get Leggen's hologram on the message platform. He had been pulled away from his dinner table. There was a napkin in his hand and a suspicious greasiness under his lower lip.
1090 When they reached the entrance to Upperside, Leggen, jaw muscles tightening, entered his identification number and the door opened. A cold wind rushed at them and Benastra grunted. None of the three was adequately dressed, but the two men had no intention of remaining up there long.
1091 They had found him, huddled and wet, about ten meters from the door, five from the nearest meteorological device. Dors felt for his heartbeat, but it was not necessary for, responding to her touch, Seldon stirred and whimpered.
1092 Did she think he was imagining the search vessel? He would have liked to object heatedly, but she had raised a quieting hand at him, as though she was preventing that very eventuality. He subsided, partly because of this and partly because he really wanted to sleep.
1093 During that time, Hari and Dors spoke occasionally and quietly on indifferent subjects, but Hummin maintained an almost complete silence. He sat uptight, ate little, and his grave countenance (which, Seldon thought, made him look older than his years) remained quiet and withdrawn.
1094 The Expressway passed row upon row of dwelling units, few of them very tall, but some, for all he knew, very deep. Still, if tens of millions of square kilometers formed an urbanized total, even forty billion people would not require very tall structures or very closely packed ones.
1095 There were just two seats behind the compact pilot compartment and when Seldon sat down on padding that gave slowly beneath him meshed fabric came forward to encircle his legs, waist, and chest and a hood came down over his forehead and ears.
1096 They landed at a jetport that seemed deserted to Seldon's wondering eyes. The pilot, having completed his task, shook hands with both Hari and Dors and took his jet up into the air with a rush, plunging it into an opening that appeared for his benefit.
1097 It had a small but individual kitchen and a small but individual bathroom. There were two narrow beds, two clothes closets, a table, and two chairs. In short there was everything that was necessary for two people who were willing to live under cramped conditions.
1098 Dors, who realized that the young man would feel unhappy at being alone with a woman and even unhappier if she spoke to him, found that, by default, it fell to her to carry the pots and dishes into the kitchen and wash them - once she deciphered the controls of the washing device.
1099 The stitching on the robe somehow suggested a figure without revealing it in the least. Her belt was wider than his own and was a slightly different shade of gray from her kirtle. What's more, it was held in front by two glittering blue stone snaps.
1100 The financial crisis that had begun on Wall Street in New York was spreading throughout America. Scarlett was terrified that she'd lose the money she had earned and hoarded. When she left the old lawyer's office, she went immediately to her bank.
1101 Scarlett put aside the sketch Joe Colleton had made on a paper sack for her to study and approve. She'd be a lot more interested when he gave her the numbers for his estimate; what difference did it make what the houses looked like or where he put the stairs?
1102 Her eyes glowed with pleasure when she moved from room to room to check that everything was ready. All was perfection. Thank heaven Pansy was back from Tara. She was very good at making the other servants do their jobs, much better than the new butler hired to replace Pork.
1103 Later that night, when the house was quiet and dark, Scarlett went downstairs for a drink to help her sleep. All evidence of the party was gone, except for the elaborate flower arrangements and the half-burned candles in the six-armed candelabra on the bare dining room table.
1104 Then desolation took hold of her, and she began to cry like a child. It wasn't fair for Rhett to be dancing and laughing in Charleston and all her enemies in Atlanta to be having a good time while she was stuck by herself in her huge silent house.
1105 She was even gladder to see the Grand Finale float behind Rich's. It was Rex's throne. There was a leak in the red-and-white striped canopy above it, and water was pouring steadily on the giltcrowned head and cotton-batting-ermined shoulders of Dr. Meade.
1106 And in the carriage coming home it was too dark to see his face but his voice sounded fine. I didn't know what to say, but I hardly even had to think about it. He asked how things were at Tara and if his lawyer was paying my bills on time, and by the time I answered, we were home.
1107 At least he stuck around long enough to teach Wade how to twirl his, she thought. I hope he doesn't shoot his foot off. She blew a kiss to Tony. He held his hat like a bowl to catch it, reached in, took it out, put it in the watch pocket of his vest.
1108 Then she drew in a long breath and swung her arm with all the strength she could find. The decanter sparkled blue and red and violet in the sunlight as it crashed into the huge mirror. For an instant Scarlett saw her face cracking into pieces, saw her twisted smile of victory.
1109 The cavernous station in Charleston was poorly lit. Scarlett craned her neck, searching for her aunts or for a coachman who might be their servant, looking for her. What she saw instead were a half dozen more soldiers in blue uniform, carrying guns slung over their shoulders.
1110 If Eulalie wanted everyone else to have a cold, too, she'd be glad to oblige her. Her aunts must take her for a fool. She knew why they didn't want her to wear her cape. They were just like the Old Guard in Atlanta. A person had to be shabby like them to be respectable.
1111 Eleanor Butler was a Southern lady. Her slow, soft voice and indolent, graceful movements disguised a formidable energy and efficiency. Ladies were trained from birth to be decorative, to be sympathetic and fascinated listeners, to be appealingly helpless and empty-headed and admiring.
1112 Without exception they bore the scars of war. Pockholes of shelling marred every surface, and poverty was visible on all sides: peeling paint, boards nailed over shattered windows that could not be replaced, gaps and rust disfiguring elaborate, lace-like wrought iron balconies and gates.
1113 She looked at the astonishment on the faces of the other women. Edward Cooper's expression was something quite different. Why, he's in love with her, she thought. Just see the way he's looking at her. And she doesn't notice him at all, she doesn't even know he's yearning over her like a moon calf.
1114 Scarlett scowled, but nevertheless she stalked into the dressing room to collect her things. Maybe this was a good thing. Rhett had always supervised her wardrobe. He'd liked to see her in clothes that he had chosen, he'd been proud of how stylish and beautiful she looked.
1115 Well, he'd have to be mighty smart to catch her out. Her mouth curved and her eyes began to sparkle. She'd have to be mighty smart herself to outwit him. A little pulse of excitement throbbed in her throat. Competition always thrilled her.
1116 She could hear Eleanor Butler's voice, and Margaret's, but she couldn't make out what they were saying. All her attention was focused on the need to break free of the repulsive embrace, and on the shame of Ross' insulting words. He had called her a whore! And he was treating her like one.
1117 Ships from all over the globe anchored in the harbor for cargoes of the rice grown on Charlestonians' vast plantations along the rivers; they delivered the world's luxuries for the pleasure and adornment of the small population. It was the wealthiest city in America.
1118 Tradition was the bedrock of society, the birthright of Charleston's people, the priceless inheritance that no carpetbagger or soldier could steal. It was made manifest in the Market. Outsiders could shop there; it was public property. But they found it frustrating.
1119 Her chin was belligerent. You can figure me for a country bumpkin if you want to, she was thinking, but I'm not ashamed that I got my hands dirty when I had to. You high-toned Charlestonians think you're the be-all and end-all, but you're not.
1120 It is a pain in the ass waiting around for someone to try to kill you. But it was April 30, and of course it would happen as it always did. It had taken me a while to catch on, but now I at least knew when it was coming. In the past, I'd been too busy to do anything about it.
1121 I strolled on up the block to that huge Victorian house that had been converted into apartments. I couldn't see her windows from the front. She was on the top floor; to the rear. I tried to suppress memories as I passed on up the front walk, but it was no good.
1122 I found them on the mantelpiece between the clock and a stack of paperbacks dealing with the occult. The moment I touched them and felt their coldness I realized that this was even more serious than I had thought.
1123 He rose and stepped through the opened door of a small lavatory. He took a pair of glasses from a shelf and rinsed them. He brought them back, set them down, filled both, and pushed one in my direction. They were from the Sheraton.
1124 I reached the top and saw that one of the four doors there was slightly ajar. I halted and listened for a moment. From beyond it came faint sounds of movement. I advanced and gave it a few knocks. I heard a sudden intake of breath from somewhere inside. I pushed on the door.
1125 He disengaged himself, sidestepping and slashing, turned and advanced again. This time he came in low, trying to circle me, his lips still moving. I kicked at the knifehand, but he snapped it back. I caught up the left edge of my cloak then, wrapped it about my arm.
1126 I maintained a steady pace, reaching a small rise, mounting it, descending its farther side where sparse grasses waved. A grove of mop-topped trees in the distance... I headed for them, startling a small orange-furred creature that sprang across my path and tore away to the left.
1127 I got into my car and drove. I ran it through the first car wash I came to, since the wipers had only smeared the crap on the windshield. As the rubbery tentacles slapped at me through a sea of foam, I checked to see whether I still had the matchbook Luke had given me.
1128 The tropical sunshine lay like warm honey on the naked bodies of children tumbling promiscuously among the hibiscus blossoms. Home was in any one of twenty palmthatched houses. In the Trobriands conception was the work of ancestral ghosts; nobody had ever heard of a father.
1129 I left the wagon in the hotel lot, near to the spot where it had been parked earlier. Then I went inside, walked to Luke's room, and knocked on the door. I didn't really expect a response; but it seemed the proper thing to do preparatory to breaking and entering.
1130 I went for a drive after lunch while Bill took care of his business. I headed out to the place where my father had lived years ago. I'd been by it a number of times in the past, but I'd never been inside. No real reason to, I guess, anyway.
1131 What was it about the way he talked? His voice could almost be the one I'd heard on the phone last night, though that one had been very controlled and slowed just enough to neutralize any number of speech clues. It wasn't that comparison that was bothering me.
1132 I had a beer from him and retired with it to the most secluded table, where I sat and nursed it, my back to the wall, glancing occasionally at the clock, watching the room's two entrances between times. If I tried I could feel Fiona's presence.
1133 Trees changed their foliage even as I watched. The trail was maddeningly irregular, shifting its course, changing its character beneath us. Seasons came and went-a flurrying of snow followed by a blast of hot air, then springtime and blooming flowers.
1134 They were lost to my sight much of the way, as the course I had taken bore me through areas of fairly dense foliage. Abruptly, however, I knew that I was near when the rain ceased to fall upon me and I no longer felt the pressures of the wind.
1135 Suddenly, I felt the rain and the wind. When my vision cleared, I saw that the hollow was empty. Retreating, I made my way back over the crest and down to my camp, which the rain had found again, also. The trail was wider now.
1136 Bent over their instruments, three hundred Fertilizers were plunged, as the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning entered the room, in the scarcely breathing silence, the absent-minded, soliloquizing hum or whistle, of absorbed concentration.
1137 On Rack 10 rows of next generation's chemical workers were being trained in the toleration of lead, caustic soda, tar, chlorine. The first of a batch of two hundred and fifty embryonic rocket-plane engineers was just passing the eleven hundred metre mark on Rack 3.
1138 Crossing at right angles the great thoroughfare on which they walked, was a second canyon-like way, threaded by throngs and vehicles and various lines of cars which clanged their bells and made such progress as they might amid swiftly moving streams of traffic.
1139 Clyde, the eldest boy, and the two younger children merely gazed at the ground, or occasionally at their father, with a feeling that possibly it was all true and important, yet somehow not as significant or inviting as some of the other things which life held.
1140 And the glances drilled her like an invisible ray, for she was pleasing to look at and was growing more attractive hourly. And the moods in others awakened responsive moods in her, those rearranging chemisms upon which all the morality or immorality of the world is based.
1141 Julia, being colder emotionally than either Esta or Clyde, was more considerate of her parents in a conventional way, and hence sorrier. True, she did not quite gather what it meant, but she suspected something, for she had talked occasionally with girls, but in a very guarded and conservative way.
1142 To-day, being driven by the necessity of doing something for himself, he entered the drug store which occupied the principal corner, facing 14th Street at Baltimore, and finding a girl cashier in a small glass cage near the door, asked of her who was in charge of the soda fountain.
1143 He went back to his old duties at the drug-store - to his home after hours in order to eat and sleep - but now for the balance of this Friday and Saturday and Sunday and Monday until late in the day, he walked on air, really.
1144 Then he turned to his assistant at the desk who was at the moment looking on. "I'm giving him a trial, anyhow," he commented. "Have one of the boys coach him a little to-night or whenever he starts in. Go ahead, Oscar," he called to the boy in charge of Clyde.
1145 He was to be a bell-boy in the great Hotel Green-Davidson. He was to wear a uniform and a handsome one. He was to make - but he did not tell his mother at first what he was to make, truly - but more than eleven or twelve at first, anyhow, he guessed - he could not be sure.
1146 But seeing him rush in on Monday afternoon and announce that he had secured the place and that forthwith he must change his tie and collar and get his hair cut and go back and report, she felt better about it.
1147 And finally, finding 882, he knocked timidly and was greeted after a moment by a segment of a very stout and vigorous body in a blue and white striped union suit and a related segment of a round and florid head in which was set one eye and some wrinkles to one side of it.
1148 And following this he had been called to carry the three bags and two umbrellas of an aged farmer-like couple, who had engaged a parlor, bedroom and bath on the fifth floor. En route they kept looking at him, as he could see, but said nothing.
1149 The conversation was interrupted by a service call, and never resumed about this particular woman, but the effect on Clyde was sharp. The woman was pleasing to look upon and exceedingly well-groomed, her skin clear, her eyes bright.
1150 He was not more than five feet four, plump, with black hair and olive skin, and with an eye that was as limpid as water and as genial as could be. He, too, as Clyde learned after a time, was of a nondescript family, and so had profited by no social or financial advantages of any kind.
1151 To all of which, he had replied, rather artfully for him, that it was all for the best, he was not working too hard. His clothes were not too fine, by any means - his mother should see some of the other boys. He was not spending too much money.
1152 For the first time in his life now, he found himself confronted by a choice as to his desire for the more accurate knowledge of the one great fascinating mystery that had for so long confronted and fascinated and baffled and yet frightened him a little.
1153 Even as they talked, they had reached a certain house in a dark and rather wide street, the curbs of which for a block or more on either side were sprinkled with cabs and cars. And at the corner, only a little distance away, were some young men standing and talking.
1154 And now, seated here, she had drawn very close to him and touched his hands and finally linking an arm in his and pressing close to him, inquired if he didn't want to see how pretty some of the rooms on the second floor were furnished.
1155 But the moment the dinner was over and while the others were still talking, the first to put on a dance record and come over with hands extended was Hortense, who was determined not to be outdone by her rival in this way.
1156 By then she and Clyde, with scarcely a word on his part, and much to his ease and relief, had reached Frissell's. And for the first time in his life he had the satisfaction of escorting a girl to a table in such a place. Now he really was beginning to have a few experiences worthy of the name.
1157 One day, however, very shortly after he had connected himself with the Green-Davidson, he had come in rather earlier than usual in the afternoon and found his mother bending over a letter which evidently had just arrived and which appeared to interest her greatly.
1158 And then, as if purposely to solve this mystery for him, he encountered his mother one day passing along Spruce Street, this time carrying a small basket on her arm. She had, as he had noticed of late, taken to going out regularly mornings and afternoons or evenings.
1159 In the meantime, however, Hortense, having gloated as long as her noontime hour would permit, had gone away, still dreaming and satiating her flaming vanity by thinking of how devastating she would look in such a coat. But she had not stopped to ask the price.
1160 He smirked and shrugged his shoulders and acted as though he were indeed doing her a great favor. And Hortense, going away, felt that if only - only she could take that coat at one hundred and fifteen dollars, she would be capturing a marvelous bargain.
1161 Even the shadows were green, and the light that played on the Dun Laoghaire wharf and on the faces of the customs inspectors. Down into the green I stepped, an American young man, just beyond thirty, suffering two sorts of depression, lugging a typewriter and little else.
1162 Two guards stood against the far wall, faces expressionless and eyes firmly fixed on those entering. A large desk filled the center of the room, set perhaps just a little back of center. Behind the desk was, presumably, Mitza Lizalor, large of body, smooth of face, dark of eyes.
1163 Behind, in the bright doorframe, I stood, dreading to interfere with what seemed village ritual. Since arriving in Ireland, I could not shake the feeling that at all times I was living stage center of the Abbey Theatre.
1164 Crossing the pub, the Doc took my arm as if to impart some secret which would change my fate. Thus steered, I found the stout inside me a shifting weight I must accommodate from side to side as the Doc breathed softly in my ear.
1165 I was taking it down verbatim on my pocket-recorder, trying not to show the knuckle-motions of my hand. If you practice a bit, you can get to the point where you can record accurately without taking the little gadget out of your pocket.
1166 Robbie didn't answer, of course - not in words. He pantomimed running instead, inching away until Gloria found herself running after him as he dodged her narrowly, forcing her to veer in helpless circles, little arms outstretched and fanning at the air.
1167 Robbie obeyed with alacrity for somehow there was that in him which judged it best to obey Mrs. Weston, without as much as a scrap of hesitation. Gloria's father was rarely home in the daytime except on Sunday - today, for instance - and when he was, he proved a genial and understanding person.
1168 And yet he loved his wife - and what was worse, his wife knew it. George Weston, after all, was only a man - poor thing - and his wife made full use of every device which a clumsier and more scrupulous sex has learned, with reason and futility, to fear.
1169 Gloria displayed immediate signs of improvement when told of the impending trip to the city. She spoke little of it, but when she did, it was always with lively anticipation. Again, she began to smile and to eat with something of her former appetite.
1170 The Talking Robot was a tour de force, a thoroughly impractical device, possessing publicity value only. Once an hour, an escorted group stood before it and asked questions of the robot engineer in charge in careful whispers.
1171 A vicious circle in a way, robots creating more robots. Of course, we are not making a general practice out of it. For one thing, the unions would never let us. But we can turn out a very few robots using robot labor exclusively, merely as a sort of scientific experiment.
1172 But then, advances in robotics these days were tremendous. Powell touched a still gleaming metal surface gingerly. The air of disuse that touched everything about the room - and the entire Station - was infinitely depressing.
1173 The gigantic robots moved slowly, with mechanical precision, through the doorway that cleared their heads by a scant foot, so that the two men had to duck hurriedly, along a narrow corridor in which their unhurried footsteps boomed monotonously and into the, air lock.
1174 They were close enough now to notice that Speedy's gait included a peculiar rolling stagger, a noticeable side-to-side lurch - and then, as Powell waved his hand again and sent maximum juice into his compact head-set radio sender, in preparation for another shout, Speedy looked up and saw them.
1175 They were back hours later, with three-liter jars of the white chemical and a pair of long faces. The photo-cell banks were deteriorating more rapidly than had seemed likely. The two steered their robots into the sunlight and toward the waiting Speedy in silence and with grim purpose.
1176 Donovan felt his robot stagger at a sudden push by Powell's mount and then Powell was off into the sunlight. Donovan opened his mouth to shout, and then clicked it shut. Of course, the damn fool had worked out the cube of fourteen in advance, and on purpose. Just like him.
1177 There was vague motion only at the outset - a twitching of the joints. The bead lifted, elbows propped it up, and the MC model swung clumsily off the table. Its footing was unsteady and twice abortive grating sounds were all it could do in the direction of speech.
1178 They were bronzy gleams of smooth motion against the shadowy crags of the airless asteroid. There was a marching formation now, and in their own dim body light, the roughhewn walls of the mine tunnel swam past noiselessly, checkered with misty erratic blobs of shadow.
1179 It was also precisely at noon that Milton Ashe looked up from his clumsy sketch and said, "You get the idea? I'm not too good at getting this down, but that's about how it looks. It's a honey of a house, and I can get it for next to nothing." Susan Calvin gazed across at him with melting eyes.
1180 Dr. Calvin was angry, angry almost past endurance. Angry the worse for not daring to show it to the robots that, one by one, were entering the room and then leaving. She checked the list. Number twenty-eight was due in now - Thirty-five still lay ahead of her.
1181 This book is largely concerned with Hobbits, and from its pages a reader may discover much of their character and a little of their history. Further information will also be found in the selection from the Red Book of Westmarch that has already been published, under the title of The Hobbit.
1182 The Stoors lingered long by the banks of the Great River Anduin, and were less shy of Men. They came west after the Harfoots and followed the course of the Loudwater southwards; and there many of them long dwelt between Tharbad and the borders of Dunland before they moved north again.
1183 There is another astonishing thing about Hobbits of old that must be mentioned, an astonishing habit: they imbibed or inhaled, through pipes of clay or wood, the smoke of the burning leaves of a herb, which they called pipe-weed or leaf, a variety probably of Nicotiana.
1184 The Authorities, it is true, differ whether this last question was a mere 'question' and not a 'riddle' according to the strict rules of the Game; but all agree that, after accepting it and trying to guess the answer, Gollum was bound by his promise.
1185 Gandalf, however, disbelieved Bilbo's first story, as soon as he heard it, and he continued to be very curious about the ring. Eventually he got the true tale out of Bilbo after much questioning, which for a while strained their friendship; but the wizard seemed to think the truth important.
1186 There might have been some grumbling about 'dealing locally,' but that very week orders began to pour out of Bag End for every kind of provision, commodity, or luxury that could be obtained in Hobbiton or Bywater or anywhere in the neighbourhood.
1187 To the east the outflung arm of the mountains marched to a sudden end, and far lands could be descried beyond them, wide and vague. To the south the Misty Mountains receded endlessly as far as sight could reach.
1188 Soon afterwards they came upon another stream that ran down from the west, and joined its bubbling water with the hurrying Silverlode. Together they plunged over a fall of green-hued stone, and foamed down into a dell.
1189 The Company now turned aside from the path, and went into the shadow of the deeper woods, westward along the mountain-stream away from Silverlode. Not far from the falls of Nimrodel they found a cluster of trees, some of which overhung the stream.
1190 They went back to the path that still went on along the west side of the Silverlode, and for some way they followed it southward. There were the prints of orc-feet in the earth. But soon Haldir turned aside into the trees and halted on the bank of the river under their shadows.
1191 As soon as they had eaten they set out again. They climbed slowly down the southern side of the ridge; but the way was much easier than they had expected, for the slope was far less steep on this side, and before long Frodo was able to ride again.
1192 At once they went on again. They crossed the Bridge in safety, hearing no sound but the water swirling against its three great arches. A mile further on they came to a narrow ravine that led away northwards through the steep lands on the left of the Road.
1193 They had explored the small dell and the surrounding slopes. Not far away they found a spring of clear water in the hillside, and near it footprints not more than a day or two old. In the dell itself they found recent traces of a fire, and other signs of a hasty camp.
1194 The ground now became damp, and in places boggy and here and there they came upon pools, and wide stretches of reeds and rushes filled with the warbling of little hidden birds. They had to pick their way carefully to keep both dry-footed and on their proper course.
1195 Far-away answering horns were heard. The alarm was spreading. The black figures fled from the house. One of them let fall a hobbit-cloak on the step, as he ran. In the lane the noise of hoofs broke out, and gathering to a gallop, went hammering away into the darkness.
1196 He stood up, and seemed suddenly to grow taller. In his eyes gleamed a light, keen and commanding. Throwing back his cloak, he laid his hand on the hilt of a sword that had hung concealed by his side. They did not dare to move. Sam sat wide-mouthed staring at him dumbly.
1197 He came forward into the firelight; but most of the company backed away, even more perturbed than before. They were not in the least satisfied by his explanation that he had crawled away quickly under the tables after he had fallen.
1198 Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.
1199 All were well furnished by Elrond with thick warm clothes, and they had jackets and cloaks lined with fur. Spare food and clothes and blankets and other needs were laden on a pony, none other than the poor beast that they had brought from Bree.
1200 Prospero kept Ferdinand not long confined within the cell: he soon brought out his prisoner, and set him a severe task to perform, taking care to let his daughter know the hard labour he had imposed on him, and then pretending to go into his study, he secretly watched them both.
1201 The king of Naples, and Antonio the false brother, repented the injustice they had done to Prospero; and Ariel told his master he was certain their penitence was sincere, and that he, though a spirit, could not but pity them.
1202 Merrymind thought this a great bargain. He was a handy boy and could mend the strings while watching his father's sheep. So down went the silver penny on the little man's stall and up went the fiddle under Merrymind's arm.
1203 And the baker's boy, who was now the baker's young man, came by with the standard bread and saw some one crying among the oleanders, and went to say, "Cheer up!" to whoever it was. And it was the Princess. He knew her at once.
1204 The Queen helped the Princess to disguise herself, which, of course, the Queen would never have done if she had known about the arrows; and the King gave her some of his pension to buy a ticket with, so she went back quite quickly, by train, to her own kingdom.
1205 The Hereditary Grand Chancellor of Barodia never forgot that morning, nor did he allow his wife to forget it. His opening, "That reminds me, dear, of the day when..." though the signal of departure for any guests, allowed no escape for his family. They had to have it.
1206 Belvane, meanwhile, was getting on. The King had drawn his sword on her and she had not flinched. As a reward she was to be the power behind the throne. "Not necessarily behind the throne," said Belvane to herself.
1207 One day when he was out walking, he came to an open place in the middle of the forest, and in the middle of this place was a large oak-tree, and, from the top of the tree, there came a loud buzzing-noise.
1208 But his arms were so stiff from holding on to the string of the balloon all that time that they stayed up straight in the air for more than a week, and whenever a fly came and settled on his nose he had to blow it off. And I think - but I am not sure - that that is why he was always called Pooh.
1209 September didn't see how that was going to do her very much good, but they were eight to not and all older than she, so she said nothing. "Perhaps he'll have got used to his cage by tomorrow," she said.
1210 Years of imprisonment, and the still heavier burden of general incredulity and mockery, have combined with the natural decay of old age to erase from his mind many of the thoughts and notions, and much also of the terminology, which he acquired during his short stay in Spaceland.
1211 Once on a night, I, Joseph, lay upon my bed; sleep was sweet upon me, my one return for all my toil. Things there are which weary the soul and rest the body, others that weary the body and rest the soul, but sleep brings calm to the body and the soul at once....
1212 Hard by there dwelt his neighbor and friend, the fox. The fox felt in his heart that his life was safe only so long as the leopard could catch other prey, and he planned out a method for ridding himself of this dangerous friendship.
1213 The kings of Rome, when they hanged a man, denied him burial until the tenth day. That the friends and relatives of the victim might not steal the body, an officer of high rank was set to watch the tree by night. If the body was stolen, the officer was hung up in its place.
1214 Ben Barclay checked the horse he was driving and looked attentively at the speaker. He was a stout-built, dark-complexioned man, with a beard of a week's growth, wearing an old and dirty suit, which would have reduced any tailor to despair if taken to him for cleaning and repairs.
1215 They were two miles from Pentonville, and Ben had a prospect of a longer ride than he desired under the circumstances. His companion pulled out a dirty clay pipe from his pocket, and filled it with tobacco, and then explored another pocket for a match.
1216 Now it happened that Ben had not less than twenty-five dollars about him. He had carried some groceries to a remote part of the town, and collected two bills on the way. All this money he had in a wallet in the pocket on the other side from the tramp.
1217 Ben Barclay, after taking leave of the tramp, lost no time in driving to the grocery store where he was employed. It was a large country store, devoted not to groceries alone, but supplies of dry-goods, boots and shoes, and the leading articles required in the community.
1218 Confused by what she had heard, and the strange conduct of her visitor, the widow took the lamp and went to the door. To her surprise she found on opening it, two visitors, in one of whom she recognized Squire Davenport, already referred to as holding a mortgage on her house.
1219 He tossed the handkerchief behind a screen, and moved forward to a table on which was a neat box. Taking a small key from his pocket, he unlocked it and drew forth before the astonished eyes of his audience the handkerchief intact.
1220 Squire Davenport was a thoroughly respectable man in the estimation of the community. That such a man was capable of defrauding a poor widow, counting on her ignorance, would have plunged all his friends and acquaintances into the profoundest amazement.
1221 You must try to understand that when I finished school I was as raw as raw could be. I had never travelled anywhere on my own, never purchased a train ticket, since like most kids my age I had only travelled with my parents or relatives and they made all the decisions.
1222 So while I had set my sights on travelling far and wide my parents wisely thought that I should begin by learning to manage on my own within Goa itself. It was also the rainy season and travelling around the country would be much more difficult they explained.
1223 During my first few days at his shop, my work was only to watch the tanks, clean those which were dirty, remove the dead fish and do some other small jobs. I also fed the fish and treated the wounded and diseased fish. Sometimes, I also attended to customers.
1224 I left in the evening for the hotel. I found it with no problem at all. It was a large hotel with lovely lawns and a swimming pool. I walked into the hotel proudly, with my head held high, and tried to act as if I were a very experienced fish doctor. I went and met the manager.
1225 I cleaned the tanks, replaced the pump, checked the filters and showed the hotel staff how to feed the fish. I even managed to do some sales work by selling them some fish medicines which they could keep as standby and made a bill for them on the bill book that Ashok had given me.
1226 On Sundays, I used to do a few odd jobs to earn some pocket money. Like washing the car for which I used to get five rupees from my dad. I was also the main errand boy at home and I did all kinds of jobs like paying the electricity bills, buying the rations and so on.
1227 After about two hours, everything was ready. Only the fish and aquatic plants remained to be put in the aquarium. The task of selecting the fish for the tank was not part of my assignment as Julie said that she would buy the fish from a fish shop in Candolim.
1228 Holding the plough may appear a simple task but believe me it is not so and calls for quite a lot of skill and stamina. The trick is to keep the plough in the centre and avoid cutting the hoofs of the animals at the same time.
1229 The main exhibition hall was quite big and the plants were exhibited in pots in the centre of the hall. Many of the plants were for sale. They had been brought there by different people and most of the pots had the names of their owners on them.
1230 The main exhibition hall was very big and it was filled with all kinds of plants, arranged in such a manner that people could move around easily and view the plants without too much difficulty. Altogether there must have been about two hundred pots.
1231 We had now been about ten minutes upon the top of Helseggen, to which we had ascended from the interior of Lofoden, so that we had caught no glimpse of the sea until it had burst upon us from the summit.
1232 In a few minutes more, there came over the scene another radical alteration. The general surface grew somewhat more smooth, and the whirlpools, one by one, disappeared, while prodigious streaks of foam became apparent where none had been seen before.
1233 In regard to the depth of the water, I could not see how this could have been ascertained at all in the immediate vicinity of the vortex. The "forty fathoms" must have reference only to portions of the channel close upon the shore either of Moskoe or Lofoden.
1234 How often we made the circuit of the belt it is impossible to say. We careered round and round for perhaps an hour, flying rather than floating, getting gradually more and more into the middle of the surge, and then nearer and nearer to its horrible inner edge.
1235 As he climbed, his vision began to blur. There was a thundering in his ears. I must reach her! But when he looked up again, the woman had disappeared. In her place stood an old man with rotting teeth.
1236 Although not overly handsome in a classical sense, the forty-five-year-old Langdon had what his female colleagues referred to as an "erudite" appeal - wisps of gray in his thick brown hair, probing blue eyes, an arrestingly deep voice, and the strong, carefree smile of a collegiate athlete.
1237 Stunned, Langdon collapsed in a chair. He sat a moment in utter bewilderment. Gradually, his eyes were drawn to the blinking red light on his fax machine. Whoever had sent this fax was still on the line... waiting to talk. Langdon gazed at the blinking light a long time.
1238 As they circled the building, Langdon felt tense. He was not accustomed to cryptic phone calls and secret rendezvous with strangers. Not knowing what to expect he had donned his usual classroom attire - a pair of chinos, a turtleneck, and a Harris tweed suit jacket.
1239 The craft before them was enormous. It was vaguely reminiscent of the space shuttle except that the top had been shaved off, leaving it perfectly flat. Parked there on the runway, it resembled a colossal wedge. Langdon's first impression was that he must be dreaming.
1240 As he made his way through the streets, his black eyes gleamed with foreboding. One of the most covert and feared fraternities ever to walk the earth had called on him for service. They have chosen wisely, he thought. His reputation for secrecy was exceeded only by that of his deadliness.
1241 Sixty-four minutes had passed when an incredulous and slightly air-sick Robert Langdon stepped down the gangplank onto the sun-drenched runway. A crisp breeze rustled the lapels of his tweed jacket. The open space felt wonderful.
1242 A handful of technicians scurried onto the runway to tend to the X-33. The pilot escorted Langdon to a black Peugeot sedan in a parking area beside the control tower. Moments later they were speeding down a paved road that stretched out across the valley floor.
1243 The car shot off again, accelerating another 200 yards around a sweeping rotary that led to the facility's main entrance. Looming before them was a rectangular, ultramodern structure of glass and steel. Langdon was amazed by the building's striking transparent design.
1244 Overhead, the bluish glass roof shimmered in the afternoon sun, casting rays of geometric patterns in the air and giving the room a sense of grandeur. Angular shadows fell like veins across the white tiled walls and down to the marble floors. The air smelled clean, sterile.
1245 A grassy slope cascaded downward onto an expansive lowlands where clusters of sugar maples dotted quadrangles bordered by brick dormitories and footpaths. Scholarly looking individuals with stacks of books hustled in and out of buildings.
1246 His stomach had never been particularly stalwart. It was a weakness he'd discovered as an art student when the teacher informed the class that Leonardo da Vinci had gained his expertise in the human form by exhuming corpses and dissecting their musculature.
1247 He had been awake all night, but sleep was the last thing on his mind. Sleep was for the weak. He was a warrior like his ancestors before him, and his people never slept once a battle had begun. This battle had most definitely begun, and he had been given the honor of spilling first blood.
1248 In another country, a young guard sat patiently before an expansive bank of video monitors. He watched as images flashed before him - live feeds from hundreds of wireless video cameras that surveyed the sprawling complex. The images went by in an endless procession.
1249 As the two men crossed the grassy rise, the beating of helicopter blades became audible to the west. A chopper appeared, arching across the open valley toward them. It banked sharply, then slowed to a hover over a helipad painted on the grass.
1250 It was a smooth cement tunnel, wide enough to allow passage of an eighteen wheeler. Brightly lit where they stood, the corridor turned pitch black farther down. A damp wind rustled out of the darkness - an unsettling reminder that they were now deep in the earth.
1251 Sighing, he redirected his attention to the bank of video screens in front of him. Huge portions of the complex were open to the public, and wireless cameras had gone missing before, usually stolen by visiting pranksters looking for souvenirs.
1252 The woman's hands were tied, her wrists now purple and swollen from chafing. The mahogany-skinned Hassassin lay beside her, spent, admiring his naked prize. He wondered if her current slumber was just a deception, a pathetic attempt to avoid further service to him.
1253 Langdon had read about this stalemate. The idea that God allegedly created "something from nothing" was totally contrary to accepted laws of modern physics and therefore, scientists claimed, Genesis was scientifically absurd.
1254 There was no mirror in the passage to admire his disguise, but he could sense from the shadow of his billowing robe that he was perfect. Blending in was part of the plan... part of the depravity of the plot. In his wildest dreams he had never imagined playing this part.
1255 The object was not on the bottom of the container as he expected, but rather it was floating in the center - suspended in midair - a shimmering globule of mercurylike liquid. Hovering as if by magic, the liquid tumbled in space. Metallic wavelets rippled across the droplet's surface.
1256 A brilliant point of light shone in the canister and then exploded outward in a shock wave of light that radiated in all directions, erupting against the window before him with thunderous force. He stumbled back as the detonation rocked the vault.
1257 Although antimatter technology had staggering potential as an efficient and nonpolluting energy source - if unveiled prematurely, antimatter ran the risk of being vilified by the politics and PR fiascoes that had killed nuclear and solar power.
1258 The commander's silence was to be expected, the technician told himself. The commander was a man of rigid protocol. He had not risen to command one of the world's most elite security forces by talking first and thinking second.
1259 Even with the terror of her father's eye boring into her soul, Vittoria sensed an additional horror awaited inside. When she leveled her blurry gaze into the room, she confirmed the next chapter of the nightmare. Before her, the solitary recharging podium was empty.
1260 That left only two explanations. Either her father had taken someone into his confidence without telling her, which made no sense because it was her father who had sworn them both to secrecy, or she and her father had been monitored.
1261 The Hassassin stood at the end of the stone tunnel. His torch still burned bright, the smoke mixing with the smell of moss and stale air. Silence surrounded him. The iron door blocking his way looked as old as the tunnel itself, rusted but still holding strong.
1262 One of the few redeeming facets of instructors, I thought, is that occasionally they can be fooled. It was true when my mother taught me to read, it was true when my father tried to teach me to be a farmer, and it's true now when I'm learning magic.
1263 Metal was hard to work with because it was an inert material. The feather, having once been part of a living thing, was more responsive... too responsive. To lift metal took effort, to maneuver a feather required subtlety. Of the two, I preferred to work with metal.
1264 Don't try to force it. Tenseness hinders the flow. Let the energies pass freely, serve as a passive conductor. I forced myself to relax, consciously letting the muscles in my face and shoulders go slack as I redoubled my efforts.
1265 The joviality in his voice was forced. I nodded my agreement in answer to that burning gaze. Truth to tell, I needed no demonstration. His soft, brief oration had awed me far more than any angry tirade or demonstration, but I did not wish to contradict him at this time.
1266 I remembered the first time I peered through the window of his hut seeking to identify and place objects of value for a later theft. I had seen Garkin as I have seen him so often since, pacing restlessly up and down the room, his nose buried in a book.
1267 The demon ran a purple tongue over his lips and began to slowly extend a taloned hand toward me. That did it! I went backward, not in a catlike graceful bound, but scrabbling on all fours. It's surprising how fast you can move that way when properly inspired.
1268 I could have bolted for the door, but I did not seem to be in immediate danger. Either this strange being meant me no harm, or he was confident of his ability to stop me even if I tried to flee. For the sake of my nervous system, I decided to assume the former.
1269 My head was awhirl. Things were happening far too fast for clear thought. I still didn't know what or who the demon was or if I should trust him, but I did know one thing. He was the nearest thing to an ally I had in a situation where I was clearly outclassed.
1270 He sank down to sit cross-legged in the center of the pentagram where he began sketching vague patterns in the floor as he mumbled darkly to himself. I wasn't sure if he was trying some alternate incantation or was simply thinking hard, but decided it would be unwise to ask.
1271 He rose, strode into the pentagram, and picked up the brazier. I knew from past experience it was deceptively heavy, but he carried it to the keg as if it were weightless. Not bothering to empty out Garkin's concoction, he filled it to the brim and took a deep draught.
1272 The shirt was a bit short in the sleeves due to the length of his arms, but not too because I was taller than him, which made up for most of the difference. We had had to cut off some of the trouser legs to cover for his shorter legs, but they, like the body of the shirt, were not too tight.
1273 I did as he said. It was hard not focusing on a specific point, so I set my mind to wandering. What to think about? Well, what was I thinking about when the candle almost lit. Oh yes. I am Skeeve. I am powerful and my power is growing daily. I smiled to myself.
1274 One simply closes one's eyes and relaxes, trying to envision a two-pointed spear in glowing yellows and reds suspended in midair. The intensity of the glow indicates the nearness to a force line; the direction of the points shows the flow of energies.
1275 Confidently, I narrowed my concentration, and in my mind's eye saw a gleaming blue light appear at the designated point. Without breaking my concentration, I moved my finger overhead in a slow arc. The light followed the lead, etching a glowing blue trail in the air behind it.
1276 When I was done, I snuck a peek out of one eye. The other two had changed already. My attention was immediately drawn to their complexion. Theirs was a pinkish red, while mine wasn't. I hastily re-closed my eye and made the adjustment.
1277 I did as I was instructed, reaching out with my mind to tap the energies of that icy vision. The surge of power I felt was unlike any I had experienced before. Whereas before when I summoned the power I felt warm and swollen with power, this time I felt cool and relaxed.
1278 Garbage and beggars were strewn casually about while beady rodent eyes, human and inhuman, studied us from the darkened doors and windows. It was a cluster of buildings crouched around an army outpost which was manned more from habit than necessity.
1279 The soldiers we occasionally encountered had degenerated enough from the crisp recruiting poster model that it was frequently difficult to tell which seemed more menacing and unsavory, the guards or the obviously criminal types they were watching.
1280 The shop was well stocked, and even my untraveled eye could readily detect the undeniable signs of wealth about. The rugs were delicately woven in soft fabrics unfamiliar to me, and gold and silver shone from the depths of their designs.
1281 The result was immediate and startling. Not merely his face, but his whole body began to change, filling out, and taking on a definite reddish hue. As I watched, his brows thickened and grew closer together, his beard line crept up his face as if it were alive, and his eyes narrowed cruelly.
1282 We were waiting in the dead-end alley across the street from Frumple's shop. Even though we were supposedly secure in our new disguises, I was uneasy being back in the same town where I had been hung. It's a hard feeling to describe to someone who hasn't experienced it.
1283 I was pleased to note, however, that releasing the tube did not make a significant difference in my mental energies. I was progressing to where I could do more difficult feats with less energy than when I started. I was actually starting to feel like a magician.
1284 There was even one that was mauve. Some were winged and some weren't. Some had wide, massive jaws and others had narrow snouts. Some had eyes that were squinting and slanted, while others had huge moonlike eyes that never seemed to blink.
1285 Surprisingly, the keeper gave ground a few steps at my tirade, and was now studying me with new puzzlement. I felt a pressure at the back of my legs and risked a glance. The dragon was now crouched behind me, craning his neck to peer around my waist at the keeper.
1286 One never perspired (unless one wished to, of course) in the City, where temperature and humidity were absolutely controlled and where it was never absolutely necessary for the body to perform in ways that made heat production greater than heat removal. Now that was civilized.
1287 He stood beneath the leafy canopy of the tree (a kind of primitive wall and ceiling, with the solidity of the bark comforting to the touch) and looked again at the group, studying it. Once a week they were out there, whatever the weather.
1288 It had a grayish surface with a dull finish and a somewhat resilient touch (perhaps like soft leather). The facial expression, while largely changeless, was not quite as idiotic as that of most robots. It was, though, in actual fact, quite as idiotic, mentally, as all the rest.
1289 Obedience was the Second Law and R. Geronimo was now suffering from two roughly equal and contradictory orders. Robot-block was what the general population called it or, more frequently, roblock for short. Slowly, the robot turned.
1290 He reached the dividing plane between Outside and City, the wall that marked off chaos from civilization. He placed his hand over the signal patch and an opening appeared, as usual, he didn't wait for the opening to be completed, but slipped in as soon as it was wide enough.
1291 He leaned into the wind with the ease of long practice, lifting one arm to break the force at eye level. He ran the strips, downward to the intersection with the Expressway, and then began the run upward to the speed-strip that bordered the Expressway.
1292 Roth was neither unusually tall nor unusually fat. His head was large, though, and seemed to be set on a neck that slanted slightly forward from his torso. It made him appear heavy, heavy-bodied and heavy-headed. He even had heavy lids, half obscuring his eyes.
1293 She was quite tall and sat stiffly upright in the chair. Her uniform was not very different from that of a man, nor was her hair styling or facial adornment. What gave her sex away immediately were her breasts, the prominence of which she made no attempt to hide.
1294 It was he who arranged to have you sent to Solaria at a time when his political power was barely beginning and when he was very vulnerable. But then, he has only his personal power to lose, whereas we must be concerned with the welfare of over eight billion Earthpeople.
1295 He knew exactly what to expect. There would be the isolation the fact that no one would see him or have anything to do with him, with the exception (perhaps) of a robot. There would be the constant medical treatment - the fumigation and sterilization.
1296 He switched to another thought that might serve to fill, and occupy him. What would it be like to board a spaceship by day, with the sun shining brightly on its metal and with himself and the others who were boarding all exposed to the Outside.
1297 The trouser legs hugged his ankles and were, in turn, covered by the tops of shoes that molded themselves softly to his feet. The sleeves of his blouse hugged his wrists and his hands were covered by thin, transparent gloves.
1298 The robot left through the double door and Baley nodded grimly to himself. On his trip to Solaria, it had never occurred to him to spend the useless time crossing space in learning something useful. He had come along a bit in the last two years.
1299 Daneel was not programmed to be able to explain the manner in which this worked and, if he had, Baley was quite certain he would not have understood it. Fortunately, the controls could be operated without any understanding of the scientific justification.
1300 Their politics, their quarrels, every facet of their behavior had been Earthish; what happened on Aurora was, in ways, similar to the events that took place when the relatively empty sections of Earth had been settled a couple of thousand years before.
1301 It was the World of the Dawn. And so did the settlers from the start self-consciously declare themselves the progenitors of a new kind. All previous history of humanity was a dark Night and only for the Aurorans on this new world was the Day finally approaching.
1302 Periodically, he returned to the astrosimulator and took another look at space as seen from a vantage point just outside the spaceship, with himself nowhere present (apparently). Sometimes it was just for a moment, to reassure himself that he was still not made uneasy by the infinite void.
1303 But then, - from his own knowledge of Earth's history, he knew that, at one time, the lunar month had been the key to the calendar and that there had come a time when, for ease, of chronometry, the lunar month came to be ignored and was never missed.
1304 Was there any reason, to suppose such a farfetched deception would be played upon him? What purpose would it serve? And yet why shouldn't it be made to appear farfetched and useless? If there were an obvious reason to do such a thing, he would have seen through it at once.
1305 No, not the clouds; the ship was spiraling downward. The ship was moving. He was moving. He was suddenly aware of his own existence. He was hurtling downward, through the clouds. He was falling, unguarded, through thin air toward solid ground.
1306 He would, he knew, have to make do with the memory. On Aurora, he would on no account be allowed to smoke. There was no tobacco on any of the Spacer worlds and, if he had had any on him to begin with, it would have been removed and destroyed.
1307 Baley listened for the noises of landing. He did not know what they might be, of course. He did not know the mechanism of the ship, how many men and women it carried, what they would have to do in the process of landing, what in the way of noise would be involved.
1308 The dining room, though it had the same floor, was like it in no other way. It was a long rectangular room, overburdened with decoration. It contained six large square tables that were clearly modules that could be assembled in various fashions.
1309 A robot placed the salad on the table, another brought a tray of fruit juices, a third brought the bread and cheese, a fourth adjusted the napkins. All four operated in close coordination, weaving in and out without collision or any sign of difficulty. Baley watched them in astonishment.
1310 He tossed the spicer into the air with a calculated flip of the wrist. It somersaulted and, as it came down, Fastolfe caught the narrow end on the side of his right palm (his thumb tucked down). It went up slightly and swayed and was caught on the side of the left palm.
1311 While the door was open, the Personal had seemed like a room that flatly served its purpose. A sink, a stall (presumably equipped with a shower arrangement), a tub, a translucent half-door with a toilet seat beyond in all likelihood. There were several devices that he did not quite recognize.
1312 He found the faucet, but no water came from it. He followed its curve backward and found nothing that was the equivalent of the familiar handles that would control the flow of water. He did find an oblong strip whose slight roughness marked it off from the surrounding wall.
1313 He finished and held his hands helplessly under the water. How did he stop the soap? He did not have to ask. Presumably, his hands, no longer rubbing either themselves or his face, controlled that. The water lost its soapy feel and the soap was rinsed from his hands.
1314 The scene was not very different from that which had been presented in the Personal. Fastolfe had, perhaps, used his own grounds as a model. Everywhere there was green and in one place there was a stream filtering down a slope. It was, perhaps, artificial, but it was not an illusion.
1315 He remembered that Aurora was free (entirely free?) of pathogenic microorganisms, but found the action repulsive anyway. Repulsion did not have to have a rational basis, he thought defensively - and suddenly found himself on the edge of excusing the Spacers their attitude toward Earthmen.
1316 Baley could hear the rustle of some animal in the grass to the right, the sudden chirrup of a bird somewhere in a tree behind him, the small unplaceable clatter of insects all about. These, he told himself, were all animals with ancestors that had once lived on Earth.
1317 Rachel fished the pager from her handbag and pressed a preset sequence of five buttons, confirming that she was indeed the person holding the pager. The beeping stopped, and the LCD began blinking. In fifteen seconds she would receive a secure text message.
1318 Their tent was stark white, pitched in a shallow depression, out of sight. Their communication devices, transport, and weapons were all state-of-the-art. The group leader was code-named Delta-One. He was muscular and lithe with eyes as desolate as the topography on which he was stationed.
1319 When I was a kid, rogue Ghost cruisers still sailed through the less populated sectors of the Expansion. As parties of hunters scoured those great tangles of silvery rope, my mother would send me into the nurseries armed with knives and harpoons.
1320 I poked around in the dirt. Remnants of struts and hull plates crumbled. The little ship had broken up, sacrificing the last of its integrity to save us as it was designed to, and then it had broken up some more. There was nothing to salvage. We had the suits we wore, and nothing else.
1321 I kicked aside half-bricks and uncovered a squat cuboid about half my height. It was featureless except for a fat red button. When I pressed the button, the cube rose magically into the air, trailing a rose-colored sparkle, like the bogeys' weapon; I kept out of the way of the wake.
1322 This memory came back to Billy Halleck, fittingly enough, as he stood on the scales at seven in the morning with a towel wrapped around his middle. The good smells of bacon and eggs came up from downstairs. He had to crane forward slightly to read the numbers on the scale.
1323 Linda had been wearing her old madras shorts, which were now torn along one seam... and, Halleck observed, her legs had now grown so long and coltish that the leg bands of her yellow cotton panties showed. He felt a pang of mingled regret and terror. She was growing up.
1324 The new day was bright and clear, and Halleck finally gave in and agreed to climb the Labyrinth Trail with his wife. Mohonk's grounds were laced with hiking trails, rated from easy to extremely difficult. Labyrinth was rated 'moderate,' and on their honeymoon he and Heidi had climbed it twice.
1325 Halleck would admit to himself (but never, never to Heidi) that it was those narrow passages through the rock that worried him now. On their honeymoon he had been slim and trim, only a kid, still in good shape from summers spent on a logging crew in western Massachusetts.
1326 He reluctantly gave her the package containing his new shoes and stepped up on the scale. She put a penny in. There was a clunk and then two curved silvery metal panels drew back. Behind the top one was his wate; behind the lower one, the machine's idea of his fate.
1327 He was struck by a strong sense of deja vu - the temporal dislocation was so complete that he felt a mild physical nausea. It was an almost exact replay of the day he had stood on this same scale with a towel from this same powder-blue set wrapped around his waist.
1328 See, God, I do it the same every time, so keep this here white, upwardly mobile lawyer safe from the heart attack or stroke that every actuarial table in the world says I can expect right around the age of forty-seven. In the name of cholesterol and saturated fats we pray. Amen.
1329 He dressed, filled his pockets with all the change he could find (plus his Swiss army knife, of course), put on his clunkiest, heaviest shoes, and then ate a gigantic breakfast, grimly ignoring his throbbing bladder. He downed two fried eggs, four strips of bacon, toast, and hash browns.
1330 Rain, driven by a sudden strong gust of wind, slatted against his study window, and Halleck awoke as if from a doze. Not our kind, dear, he thought again, and actually laughed in the silence. The sound made him afraid, because only loonies laughed in an empty room.
1331 I became awake. Reflexively, with the return of consciousness, I looked to my weapons. I felt them there in the darkness, strapped to my body and attached to the panel close over my head. I felt them, and relaxed slightly, moving on to other levels of consciousness.
1332 The chamber was dimly lit, closely approximating moonlight. The air was warm-not hot, but warm and humid, the temperature of night in the Black Swamps. We were not being awakened for relaxation and food replenishment. We were being awakened to hunt. We were preparing for combat.
1333 Finally the flex-walls, both the one my flyer was affixed to and the one across the chamber, trembled and began to move. The mission was about to begin. Slowly they straightened, changing the parabola-cross-sectioned shape of the room into a high, narrow rectangle.
1334 As our flight team made their final preparations, we knew that the chambers on either side of us would be spreading their walls, taking advantage of the space vacated by our walls to ease the loading of its flyers. As I have said, there is no wasted space on a transport.
1335 A jab of pressure with both my heels on the footplate took the flyer out of auto-pilot and gave me full control. I allowed the flyer to glide forward for a few moments, then arrested its progress, hovering it in place with subtle play on the footplate.
1336 I was hovering over a river valley, the rising thermals making the job of hovering an easy one. Ahead and to the right was the beginning of the vast forest range I had noted from the air. Obviously the pilot had been accurate in his drop calculations.
1337 Faintly in the darkness, we could see other formations paralleling our course. Somewhere behind us were four other waves, constituting the balance of our Division. One hundred formations, six hundred flyers pitted against an enemy numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
1338 We had reached the trees now, our formation flying low and straight without seeking targets. The trees dwarfed our craft with their size. Their trunks were over thirty feet in diameter, and stretched up almost out of sight in the darkness. Our zone was some distance ahead.
1339 The combat, like any combat, soon became too fast-paced for conscious thought. We had trained with our flyers and weapons until they were a part of us, and their use was as unthinking as flexing our talons. Our minds and senses were focused on the Enemy and the terrain.
1340 Something was very wrong with the flight team to our north. The end of our sweep was upon us, and I had to make a decision fast. This was not particularly difficult, as there was really only one course of action to be followed. We could not risk leaving unburned nests behind.
1341 What occurred to me was the difficulty our six flyers had had sweeping this zone, giving rise to the question of the lone flyer's ability to finish the job. I rejected the thought. She was a Tzen. If she said she could complete the mission, she could complete it.
1342 Far below I noticed a portion of the forest blazing. Apparently someone had been careless with the use of his hot-beam. I studied it as we flashed overhead. It was in a relatively small portion of the forest, set off from the main mass by a river.
1343 The team scattered, each taking a sextant to canvass. Our flyers skimmed low over the rolling foothills, racing to find refuge before our time ran out. Each pass through my sextant took longer as the search pattern widened. I began to grow concerned.
1344 With the order acknowledged throughout the team, I wheeled my flyer over and made for Ssah's beacon. Traveling at maxspeed, I soon had the cave in sight. The opening was low, with only a little over ten feet clearance, but more than wide enough to accommodate the flyer's wingspan.
1345 He had the broad shoulders and the muscular build of one who had been used to hard physical labor. He had not allowed his body to turn flabby and that was a good thing, for it inspired Seldon to resist the impulse to spend all of his time at the desk as well.
1346 Forty! He was not young any longer. Life no longer stretched before him as a vast uncharted field, its horizon lost in the distance. He had been on Trantor for eight years and the time had passed quickly. Another eight years and he would be nearly fifty. Old age would be looming.
1347 Usually he did not bother guiding himself consciously. His body knew the way perfectly from his offices to his computer room and from there to his apartment and back. Generally he negotiated the path with his thoughts elsewhere, but today a sound penetrated his consciousness.
1348 He began pushing his way through. It wasn't difficult. Some of those present recognized him and all could see the professorial shoulder patch. He reached the platform, placed his hands on it, and vaulted up the three feet with a small grunt.
1349 Seldon seized the arm, whirled, and bent, arm up, and then down (with a grunt - why did he have to grunt?), and the goon went flying through the air, propelled partly by his own momentum. He landed with a thump on the outer edge of the platform, his right shoulder dislocated.
1350 Joranum was a tall man - as tall as Seldon, at any rate - but larger in other directions. It was not due to a muscular physique, for he gave the impression of softness, without quite being fat. A rounded face, a thick head of hair that was sandy rather than yellow, light blue eyes.
1351 But had the interview with this Seldon been a success or was it a second stub of the toe to be added to the first? Namarti had not enjoyed having been brought along in order to be made to humbly apologize and he didn't see that it had done any good.
1352 It would probably take him the rest of his life, tracking down the byways of this semichaotic technique, and he would end with it incomplete, leaving the task to others (to Amaryl, if that young man had not also worn himself out on the matter) and breaking his heart at the need to do that.
1353 She didn't think he would remember Mycogen in greater detail than she; in fact, she knew he wouldn't, but his mind was better than hers - different, certainly. Hers was a mind that only remembered and drew the obvious inferences in the fashion of a mathematic line of deduction.
1354 He was not handsome, but was gravely distinguished. He looked like someone's ideal picture of what an Imperial First Minister ought to look like, not at all like any such official in history before his time ever had.
1355 What one did in its absence was to ring in various worlds at random not all twenty-five million, of course, but some dozens. It was a depressing and even debilitating task, for there were no worlds that didn't have their daily relatively minor catastrophes.
1356 A volcanic eruption here, a flood there, an economic collapse of one sort or another yonder, and, of course, riots. There had not been a day in the last thousand years that there had not been riots over something or other on each of a hundred or more different worlds.
1357 One could scarcely worry about riots any more than one could about volcanic eruptions when both were constants on inhabited worlds. Rather, if a day should come in which not one riot was reported anywhere, that might be a sign of something so unusual as to warrant the gravest concern.
1358 So he stood there, lost in thought and memory, passing along a street of store windows and trying to convince himself that he remembered this particular place or that and wondering if, among them all, there were people he did remember who were now eight years older.
1359 In fact, the gaps in his memory were enormous. It was not that eight years was such a long time, but it was two fifths of the lifetime of a twenty-year-old and his life since leaving Billibotton had been so different that all before it had faded like a misty dream.
1360 The shop was dim and it took a while for Raych's eyes to acclimate. There were a few low tables in the place, with a couple of rather insubstantial chairs at each, undoubtedly where people might have a light repast, the equivalent of moka and tarts.
1361 The newcomers were dressed alike in what was obviously a uniform - but one that Raych had never seen. Trousers were tucked into boots, loose green T-shirts were belted, and odd semispherical hats that looked vaguely comic were perched on top of their heads.
1362 Raging winds were replaced by zephyrs and there were no extremes of heat and cold - merely little changes that made you unzip the front of your shirt once in a while or throw on a light jacket. And he had heard complaints about even so mild a deviation.
1363 Cleon, Emperor of the Galaxy, was walking hurriedly through the arcade that led from his private quarters in the Small Palace to the offices of the rather tremendous staff that lived in the various annexes of the Imperial Palace, which served as the nerve center of the Empire.
1364 But he did not expect anything more, either, and when the image of the Emperor himself, with the faint glitter of the scramble field outlining him, stepped into his office (so to speak), Seldon fell back in his seat, mouth wide open, and could make only ineffectual attempts to rise.
1365 Though often receiving panegyrics for being the last Emperor under whom the First Galactic Empire was reasonably united and reasonably prosperous, the quarter-century reign of Cleon I was one of continuous decline.
1366 The Chief Gardener of the Imperial Palace grounds was a high functionary who had a palatial office in one of the buildings of the enormous Imperial complex, with an army of men and women under him. The chances are he did not inspect the Palace grounds more often than once or twice a year.
1367 No more. Now security was in place and no one from Trantor itself could possibly invade the grounds. That did not remove the danger, however, for that, when it came, came from discontented Imperial functionaries and from corrupt and suborned soldiers.
1368 Then there were the years at Streeling University, when he and Yugo Amaryl, working together, attempted to renormalize the equations, get rid of the inconvenient infinities, and find a way around the worst of the chaotic effects. They made very little progress, indeed.
1369 Raych Seldon felt extraordinarily contented, for it was the first dinner en famille that he had had in some months with the two people he thought of as his father and mother. He knew perfectly well that they were not his parents in any biological sense, but it didn't matter.
1370 He used his thumb to close a contact and the light in the room went out while the tabletop glowed with a soft ivory light that seemed about a centimeter deep. The sphere had flattened and expanded to the edges of the table. The light slowly darkened in spots and took on a pattern.
1371 He therefore arranged to meet the fellow in the spacious rose garden, which was in full bloom. That would be appropriate, Cleon thought, but, of course, they would have to bring the gardener there first. It was unthinkable for the Emperor to be made to wait.
1372 I reached instinctively for my sword. In any other time or place I would have rushed them, decency and honor commanding me to try to rescue this poor victim. Only he isn't real, I told myself. This was some sort of vision, some kind of fever dream or premonition.
1373 Something stirred in the darker shadows by the far wall. Slitted eyes, much larger than the soldiers' and set a foot apart, opened, then blinked twice. As the creature shifted, torchlight glinted off its metallic-gray scales and the sharp talons of its four spindly limbs.
1374 A moment later the other two returned, half carrying, half dragging another man between them, this one older than the one who had just died. He wore the tattered remains of a military uniform, but I did not recognize the design, and his face and hands were bruised and dirty.
1375 The two soldiers who had disposed of the young man's body rushed forward, and together the four of them managed to heave the newcomer up onto the altar's slab. All four leaned on his limbs heavily, holding him down despite his valiant efforts to free himself.
1376 The air over the altar filled with a spinning lacework design, with strange turns and angles. The hanging drops of blood flattened, rippled like waves of the sea, then grew clear. Each one offered a tiny window into what must have been hundreds of different worlds.
1377 Suddenly the last of the tiny windows vanished and beads of red spattered onto the floor, an unholy rain. Coughing, spitting blood, the young man on the altar began to jerk and spasm uncontrollably. Finally, he lay still. It hadn't taken him more than a minute or two to die.
1378 I tried to sit up and found a soft arm pinning my chest. Helda hadn't yet heard a thing; her breathing remained deep and regular. I half chuckled to myself. Too much wine, too much love. She would sleep through the sacking of Kingstown, given half a chance.
1379 That made me pause. "What about King Elnar?" I asked slowly. My duty was clear: to protect and serve first the king and second all of Ilerium. If Dworkin knew something of such great importance that it endangered King Elnar's life, I had to report it at once.
1380 I'd had some little acquaintance with magic myself over the years. As a boy, I'd discovered I had the ability to change the features of my face when I concentrated on it, and I'd practiced secretly until I could make myself look like almost anyone I'd ever met.
1381 My hell-creature opponent was a more than able swordsman. He used his height advantage to the full, raining down savage blow after blow, trying to wear me out or beat me down. Such an attack would have worked on a lesser man, but I set my feet and stood my ground.
1382 The next few minutes became a blur as I parried, riposted, and parried again. Beside me I heard Dworkin grunt once or twice, and then a horse screamed and fell. In that moment's distraction my blade slipped beneath my opponent's guard and pierced his chest.
1383 He raised the crystal to eye level, and a beam of dazzling white light shot from the tip, brighter than the sun, brighter than anything I had ever seen before. It sliced through the four closest riders and their mounts like a scythe through wheat.
1384 She was dressed in a gold-and-red silk dress, with a round red hat perched atop her head. Heavy gold rings set with large diamonds and larger rubies, if I was any judge, covered her slender fingers. If she had witnessed the battle outside, she showed no sign of concern.
1385 I glanced out the little window to my left. To my surprise, what appeared to be daylight glimmered through the lace curtain. Had dawn already broken? How long had we been riding in the carriage? It should have been at least three or four more hours till first light, by my reckoning.
1386 Peering ahead, I spotted a town of perhaps twenty or thirty low stone buildings just now coming into view. As we rolled through, slowing slightly, men and women dressed in black from head to toe came rushing out from every doorway. All carried swords or knives or axes.
1387 My attention drifted to the table between us. Apparently she had finished with her Tarot cards; the whole deck sat neatly stacked before her now. I wondered what she had seen in our future. Briefly I considered asking her, but then I thought better of it.
1388 Half a dozen tornadoes writhed and danced through the redwood forest behind us. Trees by the hundreds were falling before the winds, huge knots of root tearing loose from the ground, immense trunks slamming down in an impenetrable maze of wood.
1389 After that, everything kept changing, but subtly, never quite while you were looking at it. The sky turned greenish, then yellow-green, then back to blue. Clouds came and vanished. Forests rose and fell to grassland, which gave way to farmland and then back to forests again.
1390 Thick black braids hung down behind his rounded silver helmet, and he had a long, thin black mustache that flapped as he rode. His arms seemed odd, I decided - a little too long. And they seemed to be bending halfway between shoulder and elbow, as if they had an extra joint.
1391 I glanced at the window again, thinking about Chaos. At least that name sounded familiar. Reading from the Great Book was part of every religious holiday in Ilerium, and I had heard some of the most famous passages hundreds of times over the years.
1392 I glanced out the window. Still rolling green hills, still a dozen odd horsemen with extra joints in their arms. We had to be nearing our destination, I thought, since the landscape hadn't changed much. Either that, or Dworkin was now resting up from all his magics.
1393 Turning back to the windows, thinking of all I had seen, all I had done in the last day, I stared out once more as mile after mile of greenery rolled past. Trumps... Shadows... this magical journey... Juniper... The Courts of Chaos... it made a confusing hodge-podge in my mind.
1394 I closed my eyes. Exhaustion flooded over me, but for the longest time I found myself twisting and turning, trying to get comfortable. My thoughts kept racing through the events of the day, turning over all the questions I'd already asked myself, but finding no more answers.
1395 When the road turned and headed straight toward Juniper, our horsemen-escort peeled off. The castle's huge stone walls had been built of massive blocks nearly as tall as me - an impressive feat of engineering, I thought. It would be hard to take this place by siege.
1396 As we entered a wide hallway, I noticed how Freda seemed changed here, inside the castle. She smiled constantly, nodding to servants and soldiers who passed us in the hallway. All called her "Lady" and bowed. They all gave me curious looks, but no salutations.
1397 A throat cleared behind us, and I turned to find a new woman leaning almost seductively against the doorway. She wore a low-cut gown of shimmering white, showing off ample cleavage. She was younger, a tad shorter, and far more attractive than either Pella or Freda.
1398 The next time I saw my new-found father, I intended to ask some hard questions. For now, though, I tried to hide my sudden realization. My siblings all acted as if I should have known the truth about my parentage. Well, let them continue to think so.
1399 The castle's staff had been busy in my absence, I discovered. My boots had been cleaned and polished to a shine that would have made my orderly green with envy. Not even my sword had escaped their attention - the gold and silver inlay on the hilt had been polished to perfection.
1400 She was wearing a dark brown skirt that divided into loose trouser legs that were semitransparent, so that her legs, from midthigh down, were shadowily visible. Her blouse was tight and sleeveless, so that her arms were bare to the shoulder.
1401 Giskard, perhaps reluctantly (Baley could not interpret the expression on his not-quite-human face), gave in and took his place at the controls. Baley followed and looked out of the clear glass of the windshield without quite the assurance he had presented in his voice.
1402 Sara was sitting quietly in her seat, waiting to be told what to do. She had been placed near Miss Minchin's desk. She was not abashed at all by the many pairs of eyes watching her. She was interested and looked back quietly at the children who looked at her.
1403 Miss Minchin was a very severe and imposing person, and she seemed so absolutely sure that Sara knew nothing whatever of French that she felt as if it would be almost rude to correct her. The truth was that Sara could not remember the time when she had not seemed to know French.
1404 Her flaxen hair was braided in a tight pigtail, tied with a ribbon, and she had pulled this pigtail around her neck, and was biting the end of the ribbon, resting her elbows on the desk, as she stared wonderingly at the new pupil.
1405 So she took rather a fancy to fat, slow, little Miss St. John, and kept glancing toward her through the morning. She saw that lessons were no easy matter to her, and that there was no danger of her ever being spoiled by being treated as a show pupil.
1406 She was half laughing, but there was a touch of mysterious hope in her eyes which fascinated Ermengarde, though she had not the remotest idea what it meant, or whom it was she wanted to "catch," or why she wanted to catch her.
1407 They made not the least noise until they reached the door. Then Sara suddenly turned the handle, and threw it wide open. Its opening revealed the room quite neat and quiet, a fire gently burning in the grate, and a wonderful doll sitting in a chair by it, apparently reading a book.
1408 His strange life and his close association with his father had made him much older than his years, but he was only a boy, after all, and the mystery of things sometimes weighed heavily upon him, and set him to deep wondering.
1409 This was because of the promises he had made to his father, and they had been the first thing he remembered. Not that he had ever regretted anything connected with his father. He threw his black head up as he thought of that. None of the other boys had such a father, not one of them.
1410 He knelt down, turned back the carpet, lifted a plank, and took something from beneath it. It was a sword, and, as he came back to Marco, he drew it out from its sheath. The child's strong, little body stiffened and drew itself up, his large, deep eyes flashed.
1411 He had been in London more than once before, but not to the lodgings in Philibert Place. When he was brought a second or third time to a town or city, he always knew that the house he was taken to would be in a quarter new to him, and he should not see again the people he had seen before.
1412 But, though he no longer saluted them in public, he omitted no other form of reverence and ceremony, and the boy had become accustomed to being treated as if he were anything but the shabby lad whose very coat was patched by the old soldier who stood "at attention" before him.
1413 Sometimes he brought back rough and crude sketches of objects he wished to ask questions about, and Loristan could always relate to him the full, rich story of the thing he wanted to know. They were stories made so splendid and full of color in the telling that Marco could not forget them.
1414 As he walked through the streets, he was thinking of one of these stories. It was one he had heard first when he was very young, and it had so seized upon his imagination that he had asked often for it. It was, indeed, a part of the long-past history of Samavia, and he had loved it for that reason.
1415 The fury of the people grew to frenzy. There were new risings, and every few days the palace was attacked and searched again. But no trace of the prince was found. He had vanished as a star vanishes when it drops from its place in the sky.
1416 He was thinking of him even as he looked at the majestic gray stone building and counted the number of its stories and windows. He walked round it that he might make a note in his memory of its size and form and its entrances, and guess at the size of its gardens.
1417 Later he found himself passing a side street and looked up it. It was so narrow, and on either side of it were such old, tall, and sloping-walled houses that it attracted his attention. It looked as if a bit of old London had been left to stand while newer places grew up and hid it from view.
1418 The fact that he spoke first, and that, though he spoke in a steady boyish voice without swagger, he somehow seemed to take it for granted that they would listen, made his place for him at once. Boys are impressionable creatures, and they know a leader when they see him.
1419 He knew, as they could not, that it was real. He who had pored over maps of little Samavia since his seventh year, who had studied them with his father, knew it as a country he could have found his way to any part of if he had been dropped in any forest or any mountain of it.
1420 He felt as if he had, and as this was the first time he had ever told it to thrilled listeners, his imagination got him in its grip, and his heart jumped in his breast as he was sure the old man's must have done when the guard stopped his cart and asked him what he was carrying out of the country.
1421 And they did turn their backs and looked through the railings of the old churchyard. Marco saw that they were obeying an order which was not new to them. The Rat had thrown his arm up over his eyes and covered them. He held it there for several moments, as if he did not want to be seen.
1422 Their poor lodgings were always kept with a soldierly cleanliness and order. When an object could be polished it was forced to shine, no grain of dust was allowed to lie undisturbed, and this perfection was not attained through the ministrations of a lodging house slavey.
1423 But Loristan did not look as if he thought him stupid. Quite the contrary. He kept his handsome eyes fixed on him still in that curious way, as if he were studying him - as if he were much more than twelve years old, and he were deciding to tell him something.
1424 It was a strange thing The Rat did. It must always be remembered of him that his wretched father, who had each year sunk lower and lower in the under-world, had been a gentleman once, a man who had been familiar with good manners and had been educated in the customs of good breeding.
1425 He had learned to draw the map before he was ten, and he had drawn it again and again because there had been times when his father had told him that changes had taken place. Oh, yes! he could have drawn a map which would have moved them to a frenzy of joy.
1426 He always shuddered when he heard their names, and rebelled with sick fear against the mere mention of them. They had worked as he had worked, they had been stricken with the delirium of accumulation - accumulation - as he had been.
1427 He finished dressing, putting on his discriminatingly chosen shabby-genteel clothes with a care for the effect he intended them to produce. The collar and cuffs of his shirt were frayed and yellow, and he fastened his collar with a pin and tied his worn necktie carelessly.
1428 When he opened the street-door he saw that the fog was, upon the whole, perhaps even heavier and more obscuring, if possible, than the one so well remembered. He could not see anything three feet before him, he could not see with distinctness anything two feet ahead.
1429 This was exactly what had happened to people on the day of the memorable fog of three years before. He had heard them talking of such experiences, and of the curious and baffling sensations they gave rise to in the brain. Now he understood them.
1430 She was, for her years, so ugly and so ancient, and hardened in voice and skin and manner that she fascinated him. Not that a man who has no To-morrow in view is likely to be particularly conscious of mental processes. He was done for, but he stood and stared at her.
1431 It was impudent street chaff, but there was cheerful spirit in it, and cheerful spirit has some occult effect upon morbidity. Antony Dart did not smile, but he felt a faint stirring of curiosity, which was, after all, not a bad thing for a man who had not felt an interest for a year.
1432 It was produced upon him by the mere matter-of-fact ordinariness of her tone. He had never been a sentimental man, and had long ceased to be a feeling one, but at that moment something emotional and normal happened to him.
1433 They were in another lane thick with fog, which flared with the flame of torches stuck in costers' barrows which stood here and there - barrows with fried fish upon them, barrows with second-hand-looking vegetables and others piled with more than second-hand-looking garments.
1434 He was not more than twenty-five years old, and his eyes were cavernous with want. He had the face of a man who might have belonged to a better class. When he had uttered the exclamation invoking the infernal regions he had not dropped the aspirate.
1435 They went into the pork and ham shop and changed the sovereign. There was cooked food in the windows - roast pork and boiled ham and corned beef. She bought slices of pork and beef, and of suet-pudding with a few currants sprinkled through it.
1436 A mattress, from the holes in whose ticking straw bulged, lay on the floor in a corner, with some old sacks thrown over it. Glad had, without doubt, borrowed her shoulder covering from the collection. The garret was as cold as the grave, and almost as dark; the fog hung in it thickly.
1437 She was such a simple, normal-minded creature that it took but little to brighten the aspect of life for her and to cause her to break into her good-natured, childlike smile. A little kindness from any one, a little pleasure or a little comfort, made her glow with nice-tempered enjoyment.
1438 She returned to London and presented herself to the ex-serving-woman. Mrs. Cupp had indeed reason to remember her mistress gratefully. At a time when youth and indiscreet affection had betrayed her disastrously, she had been saved from open disgrace and taken care of by Mrs. Maytham.
1439 Lady Maria Bayne was the cleverest, sharpest-tongued, smartest old woman in London. She knew everybody and had done everything in her youth, a good many things not considered highly proper. A certain royal duke had been much pleased with her and people had said some very nasty things about it.
1440 They went over the visiting-book and discussed people and dates seriously. The list was made and the notes written before Emily left the house. It was not until she had got up and was buttoning her coat that Lady Maria bestowed her boon.
1441 She had an ingenuous appreciation of the simplest material joys, and the fact that she would wear her nicest clothes every day, and dress for dinner every evening, was a delightful thing to reflect upon. She got so much more out of life than most people, though she was not aware of it.
1442 She was very clever with her fingers, and often did excellent things with a bit of chiffon and a wing, or a few yards of linen or muslin and a remnant of lace picked up at a sale. She and Jane spent quite a happy afternoon in careful united contemplation of the resources of her limited wardrobe.
1443 During her last expedition to the sales she came upon a nice white duck coat and skirt which she contrived to buy as a present for Jane. It was necessary to count over the contents of her purse very carefully and to give up the purchase of a slim umbrella she wanted, but she did it cheerfully.
1444 As she was looking at the girl admiringly, a man passed her window. He was a tall man with a square face. As he passed close to Emily, he stared through her head as if she had been transparent or invisible. He got into the smoking-carriage next to her.
1445 Emily thought she remembered hearing of them as people who spent a great deal of money and went incessantly to parties, always in new and lovely clothes. The girl had been presented by the American minister, and had had a sort of success because she dressed and danced exquisitely.
1446 When her morning tea was brought, it seemed like nectar to her. She was a perfectly healthy woman, with a palate as unspoiled as that of a six-year-old child in the nursery. Her enjoyment of all things was so normal as to be in her day and time an absolute abnormality.
1447 He looked exceedingly clean in his fresh light knickerbocker suit, which was rather becoming to him. A gardener was walking behind, evidently gathering roses for him, which he put into a shallow basket.
1448 After breakfast she spent her morning in doing a hundred things for Lady Maria. She wrote notes for her, and helped her to arrange plans for the entertainment of her visitors. She was very busy and happy. In the afternoon she drove across the moor to Maundell, a village on the other side of it.
1449 Emily wore the black evening dress which gave such opportunities to her square white shoulders and firm column of throat; the country air and sun had deepened the colour on her cheek, and the light of the nearest lamp fell kindly on the big twist of her nut-brown hair, and burnished it.
1450 They had both had hard lives, and knew what lay before them. Agatha knew she must make a marriage or fade out of existence in prosaic and narrowed dulness. Emily knew that there was no prospect for her of desirable marriage at all.
1451 To begin, I am a Frenchman, a teacher of languages, and a poor man, - necessarily a poor man, as the great world would say, or I should not be a teacher of languages, and my wife a copyist of great pictures, selling her copies at small prices.
1452 The daughter it is almost impossible to describe, and yet I must attempt to describe her. She had a slender and pretty figure; there were slight marks of the sun on her face also, and, as in her father's case, the richness of her dress was set at defiance by a strong element of incongruousness.
1453 And, as the party disappeared from view, her regret at losing them drew from her a sigh. She discussed them with characteristic enthusiasm all the way home. She even concocted a very probable little romance. One would always imagine so many things concerning Americans.
1454 Fortunately, her request was granted, and so I used afterward to come home and find Mademoiselle Esmeralda in our little salon at work disconsolately and tremulously. She found it difficult to hold her pencil in the correct manner, and one morning she let it drop, and burst into tears.
1455 She herself had been brought up with marvelous simplicity and hardihood, barely learning to read and write, and in absolute ignorance of society. A year ago iron had been discovered upon their property, and the result had been wealth and misery for father and daughter.
1456 We became also familiar with the father. One day I met him upon the staircase, and to my amazement he stopped as if he wished to address me. I raised my hat and bade him good-morning. On his part he drew forth a large handkerchief and began to rub the palms of his hands with awkward timidity.
1457 On my own part I could not cease to admire the fine feeling and delicate tact she continually exhibited in her manner toward him. In time he even appeared to lose something of his first embarrassment and discomfort, though he was always inclined to a reverent silence in her presence.
1458 It was about this time that Mademoiselle Esmeralda was rendered doubly unhappy. Since their residence in Paris Madame had been industriously occupied in making efforts to enter society. She had struggled violently and indefatigably. She was at once persistent and ambitious.
1459 Being an indifferent fisherman, my enthusiasm for this form of sport soon waned; yet in the absence of other forms of recreation I was now risking my life in an entirely inadequate boat off Cape Farewell at the southernmost extremity of Greenland.
1460 You have read the opening paragraph, and if you are an imaginative idiot like myself, you will want to read the rest of it; so I shall give it to you here, omitting quotation marks - which are difficult of remembrance. In two minutes you will forget me.
1461 Nobs rose with a low growl. I rose, also, and over the ship's side, I saw not two hundred yards distant the periscope of a submarine, while racing toward the liner the wake of a torpedo was distinctly visible. We were aboard an American ship - which, of course, was not armed.
1462 Now I saw men spring to the rail and leap into the ocean. The deck was tilting to an impossible angle. Nobs braced himself with all four feet to keep from slipping into the scuppers and looked up into my face with a questioning whine. I stooped and stroked his head.
1463 And then I let my eyes drop once more to the face upon the water, and what I saw nearly tumbled me backward into the sea, for the eyes in the dead face had opened; the lips had parted; and one hand was raised toward me in a mute appeal for succor. She lived! She was not dead!
1464 We were thirsty, hungry, uncomfortable, and cold. Our wet garments had dried but little and I knew that the girl must be in grave danger from the exposure to a night of cold and wet upon the water in an open boat, without sufficient clothing and no food.
1465 Toward morning, I must have dozed, though it seemed to me at the time that I had lain awake for days, instead of hours. When I finally opened my eyes, it was daylight, and the girl's hair was in my face, and she was breathing normally. I thanked God for that.
1466 Plying us both with questions they hustled her to the captain's cabin and me to the boiler-room. They told the girl to take off her wet clothes and throw them outside the door that they might be dried, and then to slip into the captain's bunk and get warm.
1467 I hastily pushed the girl down the companionway leading to the engine-room, and then I raised my pistol and fired my first shot at a boche. What happened in the next few seconds happened so quickly that details are rather blurred in my memory.
1468 The sole aim of each of us was to hurl one of the opposing force into the sea. I shall never forget the hideous expression upon the face of the great Prussian with whom chance confronted me. He lowered his head and rushed at me, bellowing like a bull.
1469 I had perhaps the fraction of a second longer to live when I heard an angry growl behind us mingle with a cry of pain and rage from the giant who carried me. Instantly he went backward to the deck, and as he did so he threw his arms outwards to save himself, freeing me.
1470 The steamer we had just sighted must have wirelessed a warning, for it wasn't half an hour before we saw more smoke on the horizon, and this time the vessel flew the white ensign of the Royal Navy and carried guns. She didn't veer to the north or anywhere else, but bore down on us rapidly.
1471 I expected momentarily to feel the deluge of inrushing water, but none came. Instead we continued to submerge until the manometer registered forty feet and then I knew that we were safe. Safe! I almost smiled.
1472 Those were anxious days, during which I had but little opportunity to associate with Lys. I had given her the commander's room, Bradley and I taking that of the deck-officer, while Olson and two of our best men occupied the room ordinarily allotted to petty officers.
1473 She looked at me in wide-eyed consternation for a moment, and then she went very white and rose from her seat. "I do," she replied, and turning her back upon me, she walked quickly toward her room. I started to follow, for even believing what I did, I was sorry that I had hurt her.
1474 On the seventh day the sea lay comparatively calm at early dawn. There was a slight haze upon the ocean which had cut off our view of the stars; but conditions all pointed toward a clear morrow, and I was on deck anxiously awaiting the rising of the sun.
1475 With water, food, and oil aboard, we felt that we had obtained a new lease of life. Now, too, we knew definitely where we were, and I determined to make for Georgetown, British Guiana - but I was destined to again suffer bitter disappointment.
1476 Beads of perspiration followed the seams of his high, wrinkled forehead, replacing the tears which might have lessened the pressure upon his overwrought nerves. His slender frame shook, as with ague, and at times was racked by a convulsive shudder.
1477 Fully alive to the gravity and responsibilities of his marvellous discovery he had kept the results of his experimentation, and even the experiments themselves, a profound secret not only from his colleagues, but from his only daughter, who heretofore had shared his every hope and aspiration.
1478 Until nearly noon Professor Maxon was occupied in removing the remaining stains and evidences of his gruesome work, but when he at last turned the key in the door of his workshop it was to leave behind no single trace of the successful result of his years of labor.
1479 A week later, with failing health and shattered nerves, Professor Maxon sailed with his daughter for a long ocean voyage, which he hoped would aid him in rapid recuperation, and permit him to forget the nightmare memory of those three horrible days and nights in his workshop.
1480 He believed that he had reached an unalterable decision never again to meddle with the mighty, awe inspiring secrets of creation; but with returning health and balance he found himself viewing his recent triumph with feelings of renewed hope and anticipation.
1481 They were steaming up the China Sea when the idea first suggested itself, and as he sat idly during the long, hot days the thought grew upon him, expanding into a thousand wonderful possibilities, until it became crystalized into what was a little short of an obsession.
1482 While it grieved her immeasurably she was both too proud and too hurt to sue for a reestablishment of the old relations. On all other topics than his scientific work their interests were as mutual as formerly, but by what seemed a manner of tacit agreement this subject was taboo.
1483 The girl became aware also of other subtle changes in her father. He had long since ceased to be the jovial, carefree companion who had shared with her her every girlish joy and sorrow and in whom she had confided both the trivial and momentous secrets of her childhood.
1484 Virginia was watching the prahu from one of the cabin ports. She saw the momentary hesitation and confusion which followed Sing's first shot, and then to her dismay she saw the rowers bend to their oars again and the prahu move swiftly in the direction of the Ithaca.
1485 The camp was at last completed, and on a Saturday afternoon all the heavier articles from the ship had been transported to it. On the following Monday the balance of the goods was to be sent on shore and the party were to transfer their residence to their new quarters.
1486 For a couple of months the life of the little hidden camp went on peacefully and without exciting incident. The Malay and lascar crew divided their time between watch duty on board the Ithaca, policing the camp, and cultivating a little patch of clearing just south of their own camping.
1487 Von Horn himself was often with his employer as he enjoyed the latter's complete confidence, and owing to his early medical training was well fitted to act as a competent assistant; but he was often barred from the workshop, and at such times was much with Virginia.
1488 And so it was that her direct question left him floundering in a sea of embarrassment, for to tell her the truth now would gain him no favor in her eyes, while it certainly would lay him open to the suspicion and distrust of her father should he learn of it.
1489 There had been no indication in von Horn's attitude toward the girl that he loved her. That she was beautiful and intelligent could not be denied, and so it was small wonder that she might appeal strongly to any man, but von Horn was quite evidently not of the marrying type.
1490 Sing Lee was late that night. In fact he did not return from his fruitless quest for gulls until well after dark, nor would he vouchsafe any explanation of the consequent lateness of supper. Nor could he be found shortly after the evening meal when Virginia sought him.
1491 I had this story from one who had no business to tell it to me, or to any other. I may credit the seductive influence of an old vintage upon the narrator for the beginning of it, and my own skeptical incredulity during the days that followed for the balance of the strange tale.
1492 The men were working backwards toward the little party who were facing away from the sailors. Closer and closer they came, until one of them was directly behind the captain. In another moment he would have passed by and this strange narrative would never have been recorded.
1493 The man was small and rather old, so that the brutality of the act was thus accentuated. The other seaman, however, was neither old nor small - a huge bear of a man, with fierce black mustachios, and a great bull neck set between massive shoulders.
1494 On the second day after the wounding of Black Michael, Clayton came on deck just in time to see the limp body of one of the crew being carried below by four of his fellows while the first mate, a heavy belaying pin in his hand, stood glowering at the little party of sullen sailors.
1495 Two of their number had gone down before the captain's revolver. They lay where they had fallen between the combatants. But then the first mate lunged forward upon his face, and at a cry of command from Black Michael the mutineers charged the remaining four.
1496 Before the officers had taken a dozen backward steps the men were upon them. An ax in the hands of a burly Negro cleft the captain from forehead to chin, and an instant later the others were down: dead or wounded from dozens of blows and bullet wounds.
1497 The men had by this time surrounded the dead and wounded officers, and without either partiality or compassion proceeded to throw both living and dead over the sides of the vessel. With equal heartlessness they disposed of their own dead and dying.
1498 Occasionally they heard faint echoes of brawls and quarreling among the mutineers, and on two occasions the vicious bark of firearms rang out on the still air. But Black Michael was a fit leader for this band of cutthroats, and, withal held them in fair subjection to his rule.
1499 As darkness settled upon the earth, Clayton and Lady Alice still stood by the ship's rail in silent contemplation of their future abode. From the dark shadows of the mighty forest came the wild calls of savage beasts - the deep roar of the lion, and, occasionally, the shrill scream of a panther.
1500 Though they were not remotely human, they were flesh and blood, and when they looked out across the deeps of space, they felt awe, and wonder - and loneliness. As soon as they possessed the power, they began to seek for fellowship among the stars.
1501 The excuse would have been perfectly valid: wrapping a comet's core in a sheet of reflective film only a few molecules thick, but kilometres on a side, was not the sort of job you could abandon while it was half-completed.
1502 As they had done so many times before, Captain Chandler's eyes strayed towards the ancient photograph above his desk. It showed a three-masted steamship, dwarfed by the iceberg that was looming above it - as, indeed, Goliath was dwarfed at this very moment.
1503 His confused train of thought was abruptly broken by the arrival of a Matron and two nurses, wearing the immemorial uniform of their profession. They seemed a little surprised: Poole wondered if he had awakened ahead of schedule, and the idea gave him a childish feeling of satisfaction.
1504 What did he mean by "very near it"? There was certainly a gravity field here - so he was probably inside the slowly turning wheel of an orbiting space-station. No matter: there was something much more important to think about.
1505 There was little that he could tell the doctors and historians that was not recorded somewhere in Mankind's gigantic data banks, but he was often able to give them research shortcuts and new insights about the events of his own time.
1506 Poole had so adapted to the low gravity that the long strides he was taking seemed perfectly normal. Half a gee, he had estimated - just right to give a sense of well-being. They met only a few people on their walk, all of them strangers, but every one gave a smile of recognition.
1507 Though the stars must be shining out there, his light-adapted eyes could see nothing but black emptiness beyond the curve of the great window. As he started to walk towards it to get a wider view, Indra restrained him and pointed straight ahead.
1508 The Sun was out of view, high overhead, but its rays streaming down through the great window painted a brilliant band of light on the floor underfoot. Cutting across that band at an angle was another, much fainter one, so that the frame of the window threw a double shadow.
1509 There was no risk of boredom, thanks to the continual parade not only of serious researchers but also inquisitive - and presumably influential - citizens who had managed to filter past the palace guard established by Matron and Professor Anderson.
1510 The Braincap fitting took somewhat longer. First a mould had to be made, which required him to sit motionless for a few minutes until the plaster set. He fully expected to be told that his head was the wrong shape when his nurses - giggling most unprofessionally - had a hard time extricating him.
1511 Yes, he was walking! The illusion was utterly convincing; he could feel the impact of his feet on the ground, and now that the music had stopped he could hear a gentle wind blowing through the great trees that appeared to surround him.
1512 He had seen such figures, blown out of glass, in museums and science exhibitions. But this dusty phantom did not even approximate anatomical accuracy; it was like a crude clay figurine, or one of the primitive works of art found in the recesses of Stone Age caves.
1513 At least he was now able to follow most conversations easily, and had learned to pronounce words so that Indra was not the only person who could understand him. He was very glad that Anglish was now the world language, though French, Russian and Mandarin still flourished.
1514 What was the source of the water? Poole had become aware of a faint drumming sound, and as he swept his gaze along the gently curving wall, he discovered a miniature Niagara, with a perfect rainbow hovering in the spray above it.
1515 I want to try that, Poole decided. He had never quite forgiven the Space Agency for banning one of his greatest pleasures - delayed parachute formation jumping - even though he could see the Agency's point in not wanting to risk a valuable investment.
1516 There was no possible way this could be real, even if he had been magically transported to some world where such skies existed. For those galaxies were receding even as he watched; stars were fading, exploding, being born in stellar nurseries of glowing fire-mist.
1517 When he could see properly again, he noticed that the dark band of the Grand Canyon was just visible on the far horizon. He was debating whether to head for it - he was growing a little tired - when he became aware that he was not alone in the sky.
1518 Whatever that something was - if indeed it had ever existed - it was certainly long past its shelf-life. Until now, Poole had been too busy to get involved in any emotional entanglements, and had politely turned down generous offers from several young (and not so young) ladies.
1519 Poole was constantly amazed by Indra's knowledge of his age - as well as by her ignorance of so much that he took for granted. In a way, he had the reverse problem. Even if he lived the hundred years that had been confidently promised him, he could never learn enough to feel at home.
1520 However, he was relieved - and a little surprised - when both Indra and Professor Anderson agreed that it was an excellent idea. For the first time, he realized that they had been concerned with his mental health; perhaps a holiday from Earth would be the best possible cure.
1521 As the cosmic iceberg, sparkling and flashing in its protective envelope, dwindled away towards Venus, Poole was struck with a sudden, poignant memory. The Christmas trees of his childhood had been adorned with just such ornaments, delicate bubbles of coloured glass.
1522 Even though it will take us only a week to reach Jupiter, I thought I'd have time to relax. Not a bit of it: my fingers started to itch, and I couldn't resist going back to school. So I've begun basic training, all over again, in one of Goliath's minishuttles.
1523 He's still famous back on Earth for at least two of his sayings: "Civilization and Religion are incompatible" and "Faith is believing what you know isn't true". Actually, I don't think the last one is original; if it is, that's the nearest he ever got to a joke.
1524 Only in the case of Io, the innermost satellite, is there a convincing explanation. It is so close to Jupiter that the gravitational tides constantly kneading its interior generate colossal quantities of heat - so much, indeed, that Io's surface is semi-molten.
1525 Coming up over the horizon was what appeared to be a criss-cross pattern of streets and avenues, intersecting almost at right-angles but with the slight irregularity typical of any settlement that had grown by accretion, without central planning.
1526 The three main pressure domes, each two kilometres in diameter, stood on a plateau overlooking an ice-field which stretched unbroken to the horizon. Ganymede's second sun - once known as Jupiter - would never give sufficient heat to melt the polar caps.
1527 Individually, no one would take these cases seriously - but altogether they make a pattern. Ted's quite sure that Dave Bowman survives in some form, presumably associated with the Monolith we call the Great Wall. And he still has some interest in our affairs.
1528 Poole began to experience mild twinges of conscience. He thought he recognized the Controller's voice, and was almost certain that it was a charming lady he had met at a reception given by the Mayor, soon after his arrival at Anubis. She sounded genuinely alarmed.
1529 Armies of biologists could have spent lifetimes studying one small oasis. Unlike the Palaeozoic terrestrial seas, the Europan abyss was not a stable environment, so evolution had progressed with astonishing speed, producing multitudes of fantastic forms.
1530 It was also a doomed one. Not only were its energy sources sporadic and constantly shifting, but the tidal forces that drove them were steadily weakening. Even if they developed true intelligence, the Europans were trapped between fire and ice.
1531 I could tell it was in trouble. It couldn't possibly survive at a temperature a hundred and fifty below its normal environment. It was freezing solid as it moved forward - bits were breaking off like glass - but it was still advancing towards the ship, a black tidal wave, slowing down all the time.
1532 Then the main trunk started to move again. It pulled away from the hull, and began to crawl towards me. That was when I knew for certain that the thing was light-sensitive: I was standing immediately under the thousand-watt lamp, which had stopped swinging now.
1533 The million-kilometre-long tendrils of magnetic force, the sudden explosion of radio waves, the geysers of electrified plasma wider than the planet Earth - they were as real and clearly visible to him as the clouds banding the planet in multi-hued glory.
1534 And for all its breathtaking size and novelty, the biosphere of Jupiter was a fragile world, a place of mists and foam, of delicate silken threads and paper-thin tissues spun from the continual snowfall of petrochemicals formed by lightning in the upper atmosphere.
1535 On the whole, it had been an interesting but uneventful decades, punctuated by the joys and sorrows which Time and Fate bring to all mankind. The greatest of those had been wholly unexpected; in fact, before he left for Ganymede, Poole would have dismissed the very idea as preposterous.
1536 Seated comfortably in his hoverchair, he was scarcely conscious of his increasing weight as he descended into the heart of Africa; though he did notice some difficulty in breathing, he had experienced far worse during his astronaut training.
1537 He was glad of the encounter, and was pleased to know that Danil was back in normal society. Whether his original crime had been axe-murders or overdue library books should no longer be the concern of his one-time employer; the account had been settled, the books closed.
1538 He also felt another need, which he seldom articulated even to himself. Halman had spoken to him, if only briefly, at their strange encounter two decades ago. Poole was certain that, if he wished, Halman could easily do so again.
1539 At least it was fortunate, Poole told himself, that he's asked for one of the few names I can remember. Yet who could forget a Scot with a Glasgow accent so thick it had taken them a week to master it? But he had been a brilliant lecturer - once you understood what he was saying.
1540 No one was trying to prove a pet theory, score debating points, or inflate an ego: he could not help drawing a contrast with the often bad-tempered arguments he had heard in own time, between Space Agency engineers and administrators, Congressional staffs, and industrial executives.
1541 It seemed a sensible precaution, therefore, to keep a few specimens of all these horrors for scientific study - carefully guarded, of course, so that there was no possibility of them escaping and again wreaking havoc on the human race.
1542 The first assaults of these lethal cultists were made on such vulnerable targets as crowded subways, World Fairs, sports stadiums, pop concerts... tens of thousands were killed, and many more injured before the madness was brought under control in the early twenty-first century.
1543 Not so the apocalyptic sects, who were delighted to discover this new armoury, holding weapons far more effective, and more easily disseminated, than gas or germs. And much more difficult to counter, since they could be broadcast instantaneously to millions of offices and homes.
1544 When Halman reported that the Monolith was receiving messages with increasing frequency, there seemed little doubt that something was going to happen. Poole was not the only one who found it hard to sleep in those days, even with the help of the Braincap's anti-insomnia programs.
1545 It would be hard, Poole thought, to imagine a more peaceful scene - especially after the trauma of the last weeks. The slanting rays of a nearly full Earth revealed all the subtle details of the waterless Sea of Rains - not obliterating them, as the incandescent fury of the Sun would do.
1546 He always drank the water pure, never polluted with coffee granules or tea leaves, for it was water from the Moon, the result of billions of years of slow cometary accretion and now mined and processed for his benefit by million-dollar robots; he believed it deserved to be savored.
1547 Unprepossessing the hab itself may have been, but it was situated in one of the Moon's more remarkable locations. Unlike the Earth, the Moon's axis has no significant tilt; there are no lunar seasons. And at the Moon's South Pole the sun never rises high in the sky.
1548 The slope was steep, each step an effort even in the Moon's gentle one-sixth gravity. His suit helped, with a subtle hum from exoskeletal servos and a high-pitched whir of the fans and pumps that labored to keep his faceplate clear of condensed sweat.
1549 The center of his faceplate had blocked much of the light of the main disk. But he could make out the sun's atmosphere, the corona, a diffuse glow spreading over many times the sun's diameter. The corona had a smooth texture that always reminded him of mother-of-pearl.
1550 Out of the corner of his eye Mikhail spotted movement. He turned away from the sun. When his faceplate cleared he made out a light, crawling toward him through the lunar shadows. It was a sight almost as unusual, for Mikhail, as the face of the troubled sun.
1551 She had continued her jogging, not at all motivated to join the rows of slack-jawed dog walkers staring at the sky. And she certainly wasn't sorry she missed the brief panic as people had assailed the emergency services with pointless calls, imagining London was on fire.
1552 But the traffic in the Mall was jammed. The smart cars had calmly packed themselves up in an optimal queuing pattern, but their frustrated drivers were pounding at their horns, and heat haze rose in a shimmer in the humid air.
1553 That queue of traffic on the Mall was just as stationary as before. But the cars had lurched forward, each smashing into the one in front like a gruesome Newton's cradle. People were getting out of their vehicles; some of them looked hurt.
1554 Of course this boy had come here for the sun. Why else visit a solar weather station? Certainly not for the crusty, early-middle-aged astrophysicist who tended it. And yet Mikhail felt a foolish, quite unreasonable pang of disappointment. He tried to sound welcoming.
1555 A remote descendant of the search engines of the late twentieth century, Aristotle had become a great electronic mind whose thoughts crackled like lightning across the wired-up face of the Earth; for years he had been a constant companion to all humankind.
1556 His life of almost monastic isolation had been broken by a few passionate, short-lived love affairs. But now, in his midforties, he was coming to accept the fact that he was never likely to find a partner to share his life. That didn't make him immune to feelings, however.
1557 And today this network of disaster management agencies was buzzing with bad news. London was afflicted by a whole series of interconnected problems, whose root cause Siobhan at first couldn't guess at. Suddenly, all at once, everything was falling apart.
1558 The power system was the problem. Electrical power originated in generating stations - these days mostly nuclear, wind-generated, tidal, and a few fossil-fuel-burning relics. The generators sent out rivers of current in transmission cables at high voltages, more than a hundred thousand volts.
1559 And as the world's electronic interconnectedness broke down, the smart systems that were embedded in everything, from planes to cars to buildings to clothes and even people's bodies, were all failing. That poor man stuck in his hotel room had only been the first.
1560 This was a graphic summary of the work of the Space Weather Service. This lunar post was just one of a network of stations that monitored the sun continually; there were sister stations on all the continents of Earth, while satellites swarmed on looping orbits around the sun.
1561 For a fragile, highly interconnected high-technology civilization, living with a star, it had been learned, was like living with a bear. It might not do you any harm. But the least you had to do was watch it, very carefully. And that was why the Space Weather Service had been set up.
1562 Despite decades of watching the moody sun, though, only one person had predicted today's unusual events, a young scientist on the Moon called Eugene Mangles, who had logged quite precise forecasts on a few peer-review sites. But the Moon was out of touch.
1563 When it hit, the mass ejection had battered at the Earth's magnetic field. The field normally shields the planet, and even low-orbiting satellites, but today the mass ejection had pushed the field down beneath the orbits of many satellites.
1564 Here was an immense explosion in the great trans-European pipeline that nowadays brought Britain most of its natural gas. Like cables, pipelines were also conductors thousands of kilometers long, and the currents induced in them could increase corrosion to the point of failure.
1565 Bisesa could use a whispered command to Aristotle to turn a section of the door transparent. But as a British Army officer trained in combat technology, she had never quite trusted electronic senses, and she peered through the old-fashioned spy hole to double-check.
1566 So arbitrary had been the way she had been ripped out of her life before that she couldn't get over the fear that it might, somehow, happen all over again. And that was why she couldn't leave the flat. It wasn't a fear of the open; it was a fear of losing Myra.
1567 Even as a science student it had seemed to her a jobs-for-the-boys project dominated by aviators and engineers, a bid for power and wealth by the military-industrial complex, with science goals a fig-leaf justification at best, just as manned space travel always had been.
1568 Her first glimpse of the Moon, slightly distorted by the walkway's clear, curving walls, was of a gently rolling surface. Every edge was softened by the ubiquitous dust, the result of eons of meteoritic churning. It looked almost like a snowfield, she thought.
1569 She studied Bud Tooke. His square shoulders filling his practical, unmarked coverall, he stood with his hands behind his back, his face friendly but expressionless. He looked like a classic career soldier, she thought, exactly as she'd preconceived the commander of a Moon base to be.
1570 He pointed to tomato plants. "Those are growing out of nearly pure urine. And those pea plants are floating in concentrated excrement. Pretty much all we do is scent it. Of course most of these crops are GMOs." Genetically modified organisms.
1571 The operational plants would be huge robot factories out in the hard vacuum of the surface. Aluminum was the big dream: the Sling, the big electromagnetic launching rail to be powered by sunlight, was being constructed almost entirely of lunar aluminum.
1572 After the Dome, he told her, Bud had joined a movement called the Oikumens, a grassroots network of people who were trying, mostly under the radar, to find a way to bring the world's great faiths to some kind of coexistence, mainly by appealing to their deep common roots.
1573 Ironic, yes, she thought uneasily. And an odd coincidence that just as we move off the Earth, just as we're capable of all this, of living on the Moon, the sun reaches out to burn us... Scientists were suspicious of coincidences; they usually meant you were missing some underlying cause.
1574 The world had continued to turn, and June 9 had begun to fade in the memory. People tried to get back to work, schools were reopening, and the great electronic-commerce channels began to function at something like their old capacity again.
1575 So in the end she wrote it all out longhand, and let Aristotle scan it into electronic memory. She tried to get it right; she went back through successive drafts, emptying her memory of as much as she could remember, the spectacular and the trivial alike.
1576 Then some kid had tried to shoot their chopper down - and the sun had lurched across the sky - and when they had emerged from the crashed machine, they had found themselves somewhere different entirely. Not another place, but another time.
1577 Nobody knew how this had happened, and still less why - and soon, as the patchwork world knitted together and a turbulent new history swept over them all, they had all been caught up in a battle for personal survival, and such questions had become irrelevant.
1578 And why had she been brought back home? To be returned to Myra had been what she had wanted, of course. On Mir, in the depths of her loneliness and despair she had even begged an Eye to save her. But she was sure her desires were irrelevant.
1579 So he deployed some of his scarce resources to knock through the walls of a few living quarters. The result was a cramped but serviceable room, dominated by a "conference table" made of several smaller bits of furniture jammed together.
1580 She stood at the head of the cobbled-together conference table. The twenty participants were already here with their softscreens spread out over the tabletop before them: twenty faces gazing back at her, with expressions varying from apathy to nervousness to blank hostility.
1581 She was met by mostly baffled stares. Her briefings by various world-weary politicians' aides had warned her to expect a certain insularity up here on the Moon, where the Earth could seem a long way away, and not very important. So she had prepared a show-and-tell.
1582 It was as if all this were no more than a mathematical exercise to him. He was just a boy who saw patterns, she thought, patterns in the data; the patterns' meaning in human terms was invisible to him. She felt almost frightened of him.
1583 Myra's school reopened. The headmistress understood that for some families, bereaved, displaced, shocked, or simply frightened, more recovery time was needed. But as the weeks wore by a note of insistence crept in.
1584 It was eerie to page forward through the sparse accounts of a life lived on to ages much older than when she had known him. He had fallen in love, she saw with a pang of loss: aged thirty-five, he married a Boston Catholic, who gave him two sons.
1585 The basic geography of London hadn't changed much since the 1950s, perhaps. But a witness from that receding age would have been astonished by the glimmering width of the Thames, and the massive flanks of the new flood barriers that could be dimly glimpsed past the shoulders of buildings.
1586 The reality of climate change and its effects were undeniable, and a day-to-day political reality for Miriam. Remarkably the argument about the cause of it all still continued. But that decades-old debate was moot now, as attention had gradually switched to the need to fix things.
1587 Climate change, eco-collapse, demographic changes - a bottleneck for humankind, some called it. Miriam accepted that basic view. But already it was clear that some of the very worst projections from the beginning of this century of change hadn't come to pass.
1588 The process was difficult to tolerate, though. Technically she outranked this corporal, but here in his study he was the psychologist, she the one with a screw loose; there was no question about who was in control. It didn't help that he was so much younger than she was.
1589 With some hard work on their softscreens, and frequent calls to Aristotle, they hurriedly fleshed out Toby's volcano option. Perhaps it could be done - but it would have to be a big volcanic bang, far bigger than any in recorded history and possibly bigger than anything in the geological record.
1590 They quickly rattled through some more research on so-called "intrinsic" methods of protection, things you could do within the Earth's atmosphere, or maybe from low orbit. But they all provided inadequate screening. There was no reason why some of these methods shouldn't be put in place.
1591 The place was calm, for once. Just a single camera faced her, a single microphone loomed over her, and a single technician watched her. The office was equipped with only simple props: a Stars and Stripes, and a Christmas tree to mark this month of December 2037.
1592 The military chiefs had even started to develop scenarios for what might follow the sunstorm, when Eurasia and America, if they were the only industrial powers left standing, began to move out from their fortresses to "aid" the remnants of a shattered world.
1593 It was an "isolation suit" that you left docked to a hatch of your rover or your hab, and then crawled in through the back, so that you never came into contact with its outer surface - and Mars, with its putative native ecology, was never touched by the oily, watery, bug-ridden mass that was you.
1594 The crew understood the need to stay, for they were all intensely aware of the threat posed by the sun. Despite its greater distance, the sun was actually a much more baleful presence here on Mars than on Earth.
1595 But Helena, though horrified about the prospect of the sunstorm, and perturbed at the work they were going to have to do to ride it out themselves, was quietly pleased. She was growing to love this place, this strange little world where the sun raised a tide in the atmosphere.
1596 Only three kilometers of the launcher had been completed, of a projected thirty. Even so, it was an astonishing sight: in the low sunlight, under a pitch-black sky and against a gray-brown backdrop of Moon dust, the launcher shone like a sword.
1597 The cargo pellet was in place on the gleaming track. The crane withdrew. She saw the pellet start to move: slowly at first, a ponderous start that told of its mass, and then more rapidly. That was all there was to it. There were no special effects: no flaring fire, no billowing smoke.
1598 But for most people, as the world kept turning and the sun kept shining, the sense of crisis quickly faded. Vast defensive programs, like the shield, were being mobilized, but even they weren't visible yet to most people.
1599 And how psychologically damaging that might be. In trying to figure out these spacebound folk she had read stories of cosmonauts on the first, crude, tin-can space stations, patiently growing little pea plants in experimental pots.
1600 For thirty million years the planet had cooled and dried, until, in the north, ice sheets gouged at the continents. The belt of forest that had once stretched across Africa and Eurasia, nearly continuous from the Atlantic coast to the Far East, had broken into dwindling pockets.
1601 Seeker was an ape. Her body, thickly covered with dense black hair, was little more than a meter tall. Carrying little fat, her skin was slack. Her face was pulled forward into a muzzle, and her limbs were relics of an arboreal past: she had long arms, short legs.
1602 Seeker was an animal fully dependent on the ecology in which she was embedded, and she was very sensitive to change. But there was more than an animal's sensibility in her: as she peered at the stars with eyes still adapted for narrow forest spaces, she felt an inchoate curiosity.
1603 Seeker reached the edge of the forest. On a plain already bright with morning, nothing stirred. Seeker peered around, a faint spark of puzzlement lodging in her mind. Her forest-adapted mind was poor at analyzing landscapes, but it seemed to her that the land was different.
1604 Of all Earth's animals only her kind could have recognized herself in such a reflection, for only her kind had any true sense of self. But it seemed to her, dimly, that by holding such an image the floating sphere was looking at her just as she looked at it, as if it was a vast Eye itself.
1605 As the Bird swooped higher, the base blurred to a smear of whitewash and camouflage canvas, lost in the huge palm of the land. The ground was desolate, with here and there a splash of gray-green where a stand of trees or scrubby grass struggled for life.
1606 The ride continued. It wasn't comfortable. The Bird was elderly: the cabin reeked of engine oil and hydraulic fluid, every metal surface was scuffed with use, and there was actually duct tape holding together splits on the cover of Bisesa's inadequately padded bench.
1607 He had been just four when he had first encountered the helicopters of the west. They had come at night, a pack of them. They flew very low over your head, black on black, like angry black crows. Their noise hammered at your ears while their wind plucked at you and tore at your clothing.
1608 The young journalist's shirt was unbuttoned and he wore no jacket; he looked as if he had just got out of bed himself. But his broad face, dominated by that great brow, was flecked with sweat, and his eyes, made small by his thick gig-lamp spectacles, danced and gleamed.
1609 As he emerged into the low afternoon sunlight outside the fort Josh was briefly dazzled. The air had a dry chill, and he found himself shivering. The sky was eggshell blue and empty of cloud, but close to the western horizon, he saw, there was a band of darkness, like a storm front.
1610 In the middle of it all, of course, was Ruddy. Even now he was taking command of the situation, stalking back and forth beneath the hovering ball, peering up at it through his gig-lamp spectacles and scratching his chin as if he were as sage as Newton.
1611 Some of the troopers were still playing with the Eye. One man clambered on the shoulders of another, grabbed onto the Eye with both hands, and hung there, all his weight suspended by the Eye. Laughing, the trooper let himself drop to the ground.
1612 It was a chimpanzee: that was Josh's first thought. A chimpanzee, caught in a bit of camouflage netting, lying passively on the floor. A smaller bundle nearby contained another animal, perhaps an infant. The captive animals had been brought back to the camp on poles stuck through the netting.
1613 She had the body of a chimp, there was no doubt about that, with slack dugs and swollen pudenda and pink buttocks; her limbs had an ape's proportions too. But she stood straight on long legs, which articulated from her pelvis, Josh saw clearly, like any human's.
1614 It was all very sophisticated, but, like the piloting of the chopper itself, the data-gathering side of the mission was mostly automated. With low cap locked in, the mission quickly settled down to routine, and the pilots' bored banter resumed.
1615 For a couple of seconds they were all silent. This was, after all, an area where a nuclear weapon had been used in anger only a couple of hundred kilometers away, and the center of a city had been turned to a plain of melted glass.
1616 She cradled the phone, concerned. She had had it since she was a child: it was a standard UN issue, supplied free to every twelve-year-old on the planet, in that creaky old organization's most significant effort to date to unite the world with communications.
1617 The tube's sudden heat burned his flesh, and hot smoke billowed around his head, making him choke. But he heard the fizz of the grenade as it looped away through the air. When the grenade exploded, shrapnel and bits of metal sang through the air, and he cowered, hiding his face.
1618 But nobody was coming, not even his mother. He couldn't even see the village, though he had been not a hundred meters from its western boundary, and he had clearly been able to see its crude rooftops and slanting walls, the children and goats wandering among the houses.
1619 The Bird pitched forward and began to spin. The tail rotor assembly had disintegrated. With the rotor's weight vanished from its rear, the airframe tipped forward, and with the tail rotor gone there was nothing to stop the aircraft spinning around its main rotor spindle.
1620 Something came rising up over a low hillock. Josh saw whirling metal, blades like swords wielded by an invisible dervish. Beneath it was a bubble of glass, and rails of some kind below that. It was a machine, a whirling, clattering, dust-raising machine, of a kind he had never seen before.
1621 The descent compartment was a cramped little hut, filled by their three couches. Sable had been trained up on the ship's systems, but she was the nearest thing to a passenger on this hop back to Earth. So she was first into the cabin, where she scrambled into the right-hand couch.
1622 The woman had a tough time clambering out of the couch behind the two front seats, but at last she stood on the rocky ground. The second pilot, the Indian, climbed out too. He had the complexion of a sepoy but pale blue eyes and startling blond hair.
1623 Bisesa said, "We need to get Casey out of there. Do you have doctors?" She was putting on a show of strength, Josh thought, admirable given she had just come through an extraordinary crash and was being held at gunpoint. But he sensed a deeper fear.
1624 Josh stepped forward, his most charming grin fixed in place. "You mustn't mind Ruddy, ma'am. These expatriates have their eccentricities, and the soldiers are too busy holding out their guns at you. Come, let's get on with it." And he strode toward the "chopper," rolling up his sleeves.
1625 They were taken into the main central building, and led to a kind of anteroom. Here McKnight issued a blunt order: "Strip." His sergeant major, he said, wasn't about to let them into the Captain's hallowed presence without a thorough check of what was concealed under their bulky flight suits.
1626 Captain Grove bustled in, accompanied by an orderly, and they stood up. Grove was a short, slightly overweight, stressed-looking officer of perhaps forty, in a light khaki uniform. Bisesa noted dust on his boots and puttees: he was a man who put his job before appearances, she thought.
1627 At White's command, the netting was pulled back. Bisesa had been expecting to see a supporting pole. Instead, a silvery sphere, apparently floating unsupported in the air, had provided the tent's apex. None of the locals gave the sphere a second glance.
1628 A field party was drawn together: Bisesa, with Josh and Ruddy, both of whom insisted on accompanying her, and a small squad of privates under the nominal command of the Geordie private Batson, who, it seemed, might have impressed Grove enough that day to earn a promotion.
1629 She suspected that some combination of adrenaline and shock had kept her going through the day of what they were starting to call the Discontinuity. But that night, in the room given to them by Grove, a hastily converted storeroom, she had slept badly on her thin down-stuffed mattress.
1630 There were very practical reasons for this; the stores here at the fort would not last long. But Grove was also disconnected from the vast apparatus of the imperial administration, which Bisesa glimpsed in the rapid talk of Ruddy and Josh.
1631 With the help of a couple of privates from a signal corps assigned by Grove, he scavenged comms gear from the fallen Bird, and improvised a sending and receiving station in a small room in the fort. But no matter how long he spent calling into the dark, there was no reply.
1632 He had been dreaming of home, of Nadia and the boys. Hanging in his sleeping bag like a bat from a fruit tree, with only the dim red glow of low-power emergency lights around him, it took him a few moments to realize where he was. Oh. I am still here.
1633 He fixed his braslets to the tops of his legs. These elastic straps, a guard against fluid imbalances caused by microgravity, were adjusted to be tight enough to restrict the flow of fluids out of his legs, without being so tight that they stopped the flow in.
1634 Sable meanwhile was bustling around "upstairs" in the living compartment. She had discovered the components of an old ham radio rig, which the Station astronauts had once used to contact amateurs across the planet, especially schoolchildren.
1635 He clung to what was familiar. The geometry of Earth seen from low orbit was unchanged: every ninety minutes he could watch the sun rise with startling swiftness through the layers of atmosphere, the light brightening from crimson, orange, to yellow, in smoothly curving bands.
1636 Everywhere he looked it was the same - save for a few, a very few exceptions. In the middle of a desert, he would make out the spark of a campfire, though he had learned he could be fooled by lightning-struck blazes. There was a denser scattering of fires in Central Asia, near the Mongolian border.
1637 As they advanced, following military drill, Batson sent picketing troops out ahead. In a country crowded by hillocks and ridges, three or four of them would clamber up the next commanding feature, covered by the rifles of their comrades, to be sure there were no Pashtuns hiding there.
1638 She glimpsed movement. She scanned back, upping the magnification. Two, three, four figures walked through the chill blue shadow of the glaciers. They were upright, and wore something dark and heavy, skins perhaps. They carried sticks, or spears.
1639 Things didn't get any easier. It was a rare day now when the sky didn't bubble with cloud. Jamrud began to be plagued by rainstorms, and sometimes hail, that would boil up out of nowhere. The sepoys said they had never known such weather.
1640 The first task was to pack the living compartment with their garbage - including most of the contents of their post-landing survival kit, already consumed. Sable stowed her scavenged ham radio gear in the descent compartment, however, for it could still be useful after landing.
1641 The shapes of the continents were familiar enough. But within their coastlines the land was a jigsaw of irregular slices, of browning green or melting white, showing how the peculiar fragmentation of time had occurred all across the planet.
1642 He continued his show-and-tell, guiding his reluctant audience around a transformed world. Australia looked exotic. Though much of its center was burned red raw, just as in Bisesa's time, around the coasts and in the river valleys the greenery was thick and luxurious.
1643 On the more open southern regions in France, Spain, Italy there were settlements, but they were just scattered villages - perhaps not even constructed by humans, Bisesa mused, recalling that southern Europe had been in the range of the Neanderthals.
1644 They endured the next few minutes in a silence broken only by the ticking of their instruments, the humming of the air supply. But the small noises of the various gadgets were almost cozy, like being in a home workshop, Kolya thought. He knew he was going to miss this environment.
1645 Directly ahead of him there was a kind of village. It was just a huddle of grubby, dome-shaped tents. People stood, men, women and children, all bundled up in furs. They were staring at him, open-mouthed. Beyond, horses grazed, loosely tethered, unperturbed.
1646 The warrior reacted so quickly Kolya could barely follow the move. That sword flashed through the air, blurring like a helicopter blade. Musa's head flipped into the air, cut off as easily as the head of a steppe daisy, and it rolled like a football in the dirt.
1647 As the days wore on the men beyond the netting seemed to be growing more agitated, but they never failed to bring the man-apes their food and water. Grasper would come clambering up the net walls and try to reach out to them, and the men would reward her with extra bits of food.
1648 And the land had been rent apart. In the Atlantic, a belt of volcanic mountains, stretching south from Iceland, marked the position of a mid-ocean ridge, a place where seabed was born, molten material welling up from the planet's interior.
1649 A Frankenstein's-monster of a world was trying to knit itself together, and a new equilibrium, in the air, the sea and the rocks, would eventually emerge. But the painful thrashing of that healing process was devastating for anything, plant or animal, struggling to survive.
1650 The yurt was sturdy and well-worn. Perhaps it belonged to the chief of this little community. Its main support was a stout pole, and lighter wooden stakes and slats shaped a dome of felt. Grubby mats covered the floor, and metal pots and goatskins hung from hooks.
1651 After a time a meal was prepared. A woman hauled in a big iron pot. Half a sheep carcass was chopped up and thrown into the pot - not just flesh and bones, but lungs, stomach, brains, intestines, hooves, eyeballs; evidently nothing was wasted.
1652 And in this vast emptiness the village huddled. The yurts, mud-colored, weather-beaten and rounded, looked more like eroded boulders than anything made by humans. The battered Soyuz descent compartment did not, somehow, look particularly out of place here.
1653 Soldiers always liked to grumble. But when the fleet had first arrived here in the delta, having sailed down the Indus from the King's camp, Eumenes himself had been appalled by the heat, the stink, the clouds of insects that had hovered over the marshy ground.
1654 There was a stirring under the sheet. A boy, eyes heavy with sleep, emerged and sat up, looking bewildered. Hephaistion smiled at him. He touched his fingers to his own lips, and then the boy's, and patted his shoulder. "Go now." The boy clambered off the couch, naked.
1655 Before her an army camp was laid out. Tents had been set up along the riverbanks, and the smoke of countless fires coiled up into the morning air. Some of the tents were huge, and had open fronts like shops. Everywhere there was movement, a steady churning.
1656 As always the report of the Secretary of Cavalry was especially troublesome. Horses died in huge numbers, and it was the duty of provincial governors across the empire to procure replacements and dispatch them to the various remount centers from where they would be sent to the field.
1657 In those days the kingdom had been a loose coalition of feuding principalities, under threat from the barbarian tribes to the north and the devious Greek city-states to the south. Under Philip the northern tribes had soon been subdued.
1658 The new King was just twenty, but he had shown no hesitation in continuing where his father had left off. A series of rapid campaigns had consolidated his position in Macedonia and Greece. Then he had turned his attention to the prize that had been almost in Philip's grasp.
1659 This King had not wanted simply to conquer, but to rule. He had sought to spread Greek culture through Asia: he had planted or rebuilt cities to the Greek model throughout his empire. And, more controversially, he had tried to weld together the disparate people who now came under his rule.
1660 At last, at the river Beas, the troops, exhausted from years of campaigning, had rebelled, and even the god-king could go no further. Eumenes believed that the men's gut wisdom was sound. Enough was enough; they would do well to hold what had already been taken.
1661 After that reverse at the Beas, the King still had one grand ambition, though. Still deep in India, he built an immense fleet to be sailed down the Indus and then along the coast of the Persian Gulf, intending to establish a new trade route that might further unify his empire.
1662 Severe-looking guards armed with spears and stabbing swords stood at the entrance, glaring at them. Bisesa's escort stepped forward and began to jabber in his fast Greek. One of the guards nodded curtly, stepped into the first tent and spoke to somebody within.
1663 A small flotilla of ships sailed down the river. Most were broad flat-bottomed barges, or magnificent triremes with billowing purple sails. But the craft at the head of the flotilla was smaller and, without a sail, was pulled along by fifteen pairs of oarsmen.
1664 He was short, stocky, like most of the Macedonians. He was clean-shaven, and he wore his brown hair brushed back from a center parting and long enough to touch his shoulders. His face, if weather-beaten red, was strong, broad and handsome, and his gaze steady and piercing.
1665 They were led out of the yurt, and allowed a toilet break. The sky was brightening, and the customary lid of cloud and ash seemed comparatively light today. Some of the nomads were paying their respects to the dawn, with genuflections to the south and east.
1666 Before the sun had climbed to its highest, they arrived at a waystation. It was just a huddle of yurts, lost in the middle of the emptiness of the steppe, but several horses were tied up outside, and Kolya glimpsed a herd of others, moving with the silence of distance across the steppe.
1667 The area was relatively densely populated. They passed many yurt villages, some of them large and sprawling, with smoke rising everywhere, the fine threads leaning in the prevailing wind. There were even roads, after a fashion, or at least heavily worn and rutted trails.
1668 As they neared the central complex of pavilions, the presence of soldiers became more obvious. Kolya saw archers and swordsmen, armed and ready. Even those off-duty glared at the party as it passed, breaking off from their eating, and gambling over dice.
1669 The advisor returned with a European. He was a small, runty man who might have been about thirty, but, under the customary layer of grime, and with his hair and beard raggedly uncut, it was hard to tell. He studied the two of them with fast, calculating eyes.
1670 Seated on a gloriously heavy-looking golden throne, being hauled across India by animal-power, Alexander was dressed in a girdle and striped tunic, with a golden diadem around the purple Macedonian hat on his head, and held a golden scepter.
1671 It was strange to think that this still-young man had already come to rule more than two million square kilometers, and that history was a matter of his whim - and stranger yet to remember that in the timeline of Earth his campaign had already passed its high-water mark.
1672 Cooking, it seemed, was a slow and complicated process, and it took some time before the fires were lit, the cauldrons and pots bubbling. But in the meantime there was plenty of drinking, music, dancing, even impromptu theatrical performances.
1673 One wild drive sent the ball flying into the air, where it collided with the hovering Eye. It sounded as if the ball had hit a wall of solid rock. The ball bounced back into the hands of a fielder, who raised his hands in triumph at his dismissal of the batsman.
1674 The setting was magnificent. Alexander's official tent, hauled all the way from the delta, was immense, supported by golden columns and roofed with spangled cloth. Silver-legged sofas had been set up before the King's golden throne for the visitors.
1675 The Macedonians were familiar with maps and mapmaking. Indeed, throughout his campaigns Alexander had brought along Greek surveyors and draftsmen to map the lands he explored and conquered many of them barely known to the ancient Greek world he came from.
1676 At last Alexander, in some exasperation, demanded that the atlas be brought up to his throne. But he was dismayed when the outline of his empire was sketched on a whole-Earth map. "I thought I had made a mighty footprint on the world - but there is so much I never even saw," he said.
1677 While they waited for the beating to be completed the Golden Family were kept amused by falconry displays. One man brought forward a mighty eagle, perched on a massive hawking glove. When the bird stretched its wings, their span was wider than the keeper was tall.
1678 At last the beating troops appeared over the horizon, yelling and crying, and converged on the hunting ground. Runners stretched ropes between the army groups, making a cordon. Cornered animals lumbered or raced to and fro, dimly visible in the great cloud of dust they raised.
1679 And there were a strange kind of people, too, caught up in the Mongols' net. Naked, fast-running but unable to escape, they were a small family, a man, woman and boy. The man was dispatched immediately, and the woman and child brought in chains to the royal household.
1680 Alexander meanwhile was seeking the gods' approval of the coming journey. Standing at the bow of his ship, he poured libations from a golden bowl into the water, and called on Poseidon, the sea-nymphs, and the spirits of the World Ocean to preserve and protect his fleet.
1681 It was a chaotic scene, with thousands of men, women, children, ponies, mules, bullocks, goats and sheep, all milling around. There were carts laden with goods and tools for the cooks, carpenters, cobblers, armorers and other craftsmen and traders who followed the army.
1682 But on land the going was difficult. The peculiar volcanic rain continued with barely a break, and the sky was a lid of ash-gray cloud. The ground turned to mud, bogging down the carts, animals and humans alike, and the heat remained intense, the humidity extraordinary.
1683 Every three days or so the ships had to put into shore for provisioning. The shore-based troops were expected to live off the land, providing for themselves and for the crews and passengers of the ships. That became increasingly difficult away from the Indus delta, as the land grew more barren.
1684 Once the army scouts found a crowd of around a hundred, men, women and children, they said, dressed in strange, bright clothes that were nevertheless falling to rags. They were dying of thirst, and they spoke in a tongue none of the Macedonians could recognize.
1685 At the massif's broad summit there were many small ridges and folds, littered by shattered pebbles, as if many time slices had crisscrossed. But a cairn stood here, a heap of stones that had somehow survived the time shocks. As the army passed each man added a pebble or rock to the cairn.
1686 Snakes were a constant hazard. None of the moderns was able to recognize the varieties they encountered here - but as they might have been drawn from a line of descent that spanned two million years or more, perhaps that wasn't surprising.
1687 The natives weren't prepossessing. Adults and children alike had long, matted, filthy hair, and the men trailed beards. Their main source of nourishment was fish, which they caught by wading into the water and casting nets made of palm bark.
1688 The soldiers were here for provision, not archaeology. But there was little here for them. A store of powdered fish-meal was dug up and taken away. The few wretched sheep were captured and quickly slaughtered, but even their meat turned out to taste dreadfully of fish and salt.
1689 They spent the night not far from the village, close to a stream. The Macedonians set up camp with their customary efficiency, stretching some of their leather tents out on poles as a rough awning to keep off the rain. The British soldiers helped with the work.
1690 The Mongols, great believers in intelligence, sent scouts and spies creeping around the town, and eventually envoys who walked boldly up its main streets. Citizens in flat caps and buttoned-up jackets marched out, hands extended in friendship to these rank-smelling strangers.
1691 More scouts were sent in, and Kolya was taken to translate. The town was a pretty place, its streets lined with trees, wilting a little under the persistent acid rain. Reflecting a deeper history, its main thoroughfare was called Silk Road Street.
1692 The land around the road was dust dry, colonized only by scrub vegetation. But it was marked here and there by anonymous mounds of rubble and scarred by great straight-line ditches - evidently artificial, but long abandoned, their purpose forgotten.
1693 Alexander chose to wait a day before entering the city itself. He wanted to see if the dignitaries of the city would come out to greet him. Nobody came. He sent out scouts to survey the city walls and its surroundings. They returned safe but, Bisesa thought, they looked shocked.
1694 The city was laid out in a rough rectangle, its plan spanning the Euphrates. Alexander's party had entered from the north, on the east side of the river. Inside the gate, the procession moved down a broad avenue that ran south, passing magnificent, baffling buildings, perhaps temples and palaces.
1695 And then the first panicked reports came of the erasure of the western districts. Most of the city's population had actually lived there; for the priests, ministers, court favorites and other dignitaries left on the eastern side, the shock was overwhelming.
1696 They took him outside, hands still behind his back. Four burly soldiers held him down at his shoulders, his legs. Then an officer emerged from a yurt, his hands heavily gloved, carrying a ceramic cup. The cup turned out to contain molten silver.
1697 It took a brave sowar to climb onto one of the Macedonians' stocky horses and, inexpertly but effectively, show how tightly he was able to control even an unfamiliar horse. After that, and with some heavy pressure relayed from the King, the training began in earnest.
1698 She requisitioned a small Babylonian town house. Philip, Alexander's personal physician, and the British Surgeon-Captain both assigned her assistants. She was grievously short of any kind of supplies, but what she lacked in resources she tried to compensate for in modern know-how.
1699 It was about midday. For once it was a clear, bright day, and the rolling bank of dust, perhaps half a kilometer wide, was filled with smoky light, elusive shapes. Then, in Josh's clear view, they emerged from the dusty glow, shadows at first, coalescing into figures of stocky menace.
1700 The general recognized the small black-ivroid boxes that lined the shelves to be books. Their titles were unfamiliar. He guessed that the large structure at one end of the room was the receiver that transmuted the books into sight-and-sound on demand.
1701 There were four men in the room, and the room was set apart where none could approach. The four men looked at each other quickly, then lengthily at the table that separated them. There were four bottles on the table and as many full glasses, but no one had touched them.
1702 When the door opened a second time, it was Ducem Barr that stood on the threshold. Slowly, in the footsteps of the ushering aide, he stepped into the garish room whose ceiling was an ornamented holographic model of the Galaxy, and in the center of which Bel Riose stood in field uniform.
1703 Cleon II was Lord of the Universe. Cleon II also suffered from a painful and undiagnosed ailment. By the queer twists of human affairs, the two statements are not mutually exclusive, nor even particularly incongruous. There have been a wearisomely large number of precedents in history.
1704 From the radiating point of Siwenna, the forces of the Empire reached out cautiously into the black unknown of the Periphery. Giant ships passed the vast distances that separated the vagrant stars at the Galaxy's rim, and felt their way around the outermost edge of Foundation influence.
1705 The tiny ships had appeared out of the vacant depths and darted into the midst of the Armada. Without a shot or a burst of energy, they weaved through the ship-swollen area, then blasted on and out, while the Imperial wagons turned after them like lumbering beasts.
1706 The Privy Secretary had little of the look of the lost soul about him just then. If the space fiend had bought him, he had left no visible mark of possession. Rather might Brodrig have been considered a breath of court-fashion come to enliven the hard, bare ugliness of an army base.
1707 With one finger the lavishly monogrammed sheet of message-parchment was thrust back into its slot. With a soft twang, it disappeared and the globe was a smooth, unbroken whole again. Somewhere inside was the tiny oiled whir of the controls as they lost their setting by random movements.
1708 The entire world was one functional distortion. There was no living object on its surface but man, his pets, and his parasites. No blade of grass or fragment of uncovered soil could be found outside the hundred square miles of the Imperial Palace.
1709 Tightly held by the huge metal arms on either side, the trade ship was gently lowered down the huge ramp that led to the hangar. Already Devers had fumed his way through the manifold complications of a world conceived in paper work and dedicated to the principle of the form-in-quadruplicate.
1710 Ducem Barr was a Siwennian and subject of the Emperor, but Lathan Devers was an unknown without the requisite documents. The official in charge at the moment was devastated with sorrow, but Devers could not enter. In fact, he would have to be held for official investigation.
1711 The gleaming metallic towers that surrounded him and continued onwards in never-ending multiplicity to beyond the horizon oppressed him; the whole busy, unheeding life of a world-metropolis cast him into the horrible gloom of isolation and pygmyish unimportance.
1712 Devers snarled and reached slowly for his own gun. The lieutenant of police smiled more broadly and squeezed the contacts. The blasting line of force struck Devers' chest in an accurate blaze of destruction - that bounced harmlessly off his personal shield in sparkling spicules of light.
1713 Bayta's first sight of Haven was entirely the contrary of spectacular. Her husband pointed it out - a dull star lost in the emptiness of the Galaxy's edge. It was past the last sparse clusters, to where straggling points of light gleamed lonely. And even among these it was poor and inconspicuous.
1714 The conversation took a general turn after the evening meal, which Fran had spiced with three tales of reminiscence composed of equal parts of blood, women, profits, and embroidery. The small televisor was on, and some classic drama was playing itself out in an unregarded whisper.
1715 Randu had hitched himself into a more comfortable position on the low couch and gazed past the slow smoke of his long pipe to where Bayta had knelt down upon the softness of the white fur mat brought back once long ago from a trade mission and now spread out only upon the most ceremonious occasions.
1716 Its tamed jungles, its mildly modeled shores, and its garishly glamorous cities echoed to the march of imported mercenaries and impressed citizens. The worlds of its province had been armed and its money invested in battleships rather than bribes for the first time in its history.
1717 Apparently, she was watching a spindly figure, feet in air, who teetered on his hands for the amusement of a haphazard crowd. It was one of the swarming acrobatic beggars of the shore, whose supple joints bent and snapped for the sake of the thrown coins.
1718 The crowd, whose fringes were now lost to the eye, paid little attention to the latest development. There was among them a craning of necks, and a centrifugal motion as if many had decided to increase their distance from the center of activity.
1719 Then there was a bustle, and a rough order in the distance. A corridor formed itself and two men strode through, electric whips in careless readiness. Upon each purple blouse was designed an angular shaft of lightning with a splitting planet underneath.
1720 The "hangar" on Kalgan is an institution peculiar unto itself, born of the need for the disposition of the vast number of ships brought in by the visitors from abroad, and the simultaneous and consequent vast need for living accommodations for the same.
1721 The ship he stopped at was sleek and obviously fast. The peculiarity of its design was what he wanted. It was not a usual model - and these days most of the ships of this quadrant of the Galaxy either imitated Foundation design or were built by Foundation technicians. But this was special.
1722 The electronic barrier strung across the line of the ships as a concession to privacy on the part of the management was not at all important to him. It parted easily, and without activating the alarm, at the use of the very special neutralizing force he had at his disposal.
1723 And there was one news item barely mentioned. It seemed that a warlord - unidentified by the bored speaker - had made representations to the Foundation concerning the forceful abduction of a member of his court. The announcer went on to the sports news.
1724 It is the precise question and the precise wording thereof that has been put to the atmosphere on such occasions by an incredible variety of men since humanity was invented. It is not recorded that it has ever been asked for any purpose other than dignified effect.
1725 It was the place of meeting - since that was a matter of overpowering provincialism. And in the end the devious routes of diplomacy led to the world of Radole, which some commentators had suggested at the start for logical reason of central position.
1726 The strangers came from each of the twenty-six other Trading worlds: delegates, wives, secretaries, newsmen, ships, and crews - and Radole's population nearly doubled and Radole's resources strained themselves to the limit. One ate at will, and drank at will, and slept not at all.
1727 Yet there were few among the roisterers who were not intensely aware that all that volume of the Galaxy burnt slowly in a sort of quiet, slumbrous war. And of those who were aware, there were dime classes. First, there were the many who knew little and were very confident.
1728 A little globe of pulsing color grew in rhythmic spurts and burst in midair into formless gouts that swirled high and came down as curving streamers in interfacing patterns. They coalesced into little spheres, no two alike in color - and Bayta began discovering things.
1729 The stars drew together, sparked towards one another, grew slowly into structure - and from below, a palace shot upward in rapid evolution. Each brick a tiny color, each color a tiny spark, each spark a stabbing light that shifted patterns and led the eye skyward to twenty jeweled minarets.
1730 There was an atmosphere about the Time Vault that just missed definition in several directions at once. It was not one of decay, for it was well-lit and well-conditioned, with the color scheme of the walls lively, and the rows of fixed chairs comfortable and apparently designed for eternal use.
1731 The next day, the ugly, battle-black ships of the Mule poured down upon the landing fields of the planet Terminus. The attacking general sped down the empty main street of Terminus City in a foreign-made ground car that ran where a whole city of atomic cars still stood useless.
1732 She had time to register a violent mental reaction of distaste to the pronounced presence of various cultured-fungus dishes, which were considered high delicacies at Haven, and which her Foundation taste found highly inedible - and then she was aware of the sobbing near her and looked up.
1733 Bayta investigated the insinuating thrust contained in the words with lashed eyes and welcomed the diversion of the arrival of her lunch, as the tile-top of her unit moved inward and the food lifted. She tore the wrappings carefully off her cutlery and handled them gingerly till they cooled.
1734 The mayor's palace - what was once the mayor's palace - was a looming smudge in the darkness. The city was quiet under its conquest and curfew, and the hazy milk of the great Galactic Lens, with here and there a lonely star, dominated the sky of the Foundation.
1735 The room was well-kept, but not lavish. In one corner stood a decorative book-film projector, which to the captain's military eyes might easily have been a camouflaged blaster of respectable caliber. The projecting lens covered the doorway, and such could be remotely controlled.
1736 In the garden, Captain Pritcher consulted the radometer in the palm of his hand. The inner warning field was still in operation, and he waited. Half an hour remained to the life of the nuclear bomb in his mouth. He rolled it gingerly with his tongue.
1737 And then, one day, a man stumbled past his bench, and there was a scrap of paper in his pocket. The word "Fox" was on it. He tossed it into the nuclear chamber, where it vanished in a sightless puff, sending the energy output up a millimicrovolt - and turned back to his work.
1738 With cold-eyed calm, Toran drove a protesting vessel from the vicinity of one star to that of another. If the neighborhood of great mass made an interstellar jump erratic and difficult, it also made the enemy detection devices useless or nearly so.
1739 The screen's view veered and closed in. A great ship sparked and one of the frantic attackers glowed angrily, twisted out of focus, swung back and rammed. The Cluster bowed wildly and survived the glancing blow that drove the attacker off in twisting reflection.
1740 Surrounded by the mechanical perfections of human efforts, encircled by the industrial marvels of mankind freed of the tyranny of environment - they returned to the land. In the huge traffic clearings, wheat and corn grew. In the shadow of the towers, sheep grazed.
1741 Inchney's thin gray hair wisped lightly in the wind. His gap-toothed smile widened in its thin-lipped fashion and the vertical wrinkles of his cheeks deepened as though he were keeping an eternal secret from himself. The whisper of his voice whistled between his teeth.
1742 Inchney remembered that he had been young and handsome, and a lord on Old Trantor. Inchney remembered that he was a disfigured ancient on Neotrantor, who lived by grace of Squire Jord Commason, and paid for the grace by lending his subtlety on request. He sighed very softly.
1743 It was with an almost superstitious sense of symbolism that Commason found a Personal Capsule waiting for him in his private study when he returned. It had arrived by a wavelength known to few. Commason smiled a fat smile. The Mule's man was coming and the Foundation had indeed fallen.
1744 Bayta had definite ideas of what an emperor ought to look like. He ought not look like somebody's benevolent grandfather. He ought not be thin and white and faded - or serving cups of tea with his own hand in an expressed anxiety for the comfort of his visitors.
1745 To Bayta, consciousness returned sluggishly, but without the "Where am I?" sensation. She remembered clearly the odd old man who called himself emperor, and the other men who waited outside. The arthritic tingle in her finger joints meant a stun pistol.
1746 Magnifico drew his fingers in rapid, rhythmic jumps from end to end of the multikeyed instrument - and a sharp, gliding rainbow of light jumped across the room. A low, soft tone sounded - throbbing, tearful. It lifted in sad laughter, and underneath it there sounded a dull tolling.
1747 Automatically, her eyes strained. The light brightened, but remained blurred. It moved fuzzily, in confused color, and the music was suddenly brassy, evil - flourishing in high crescendo. The light flickered quickly, in swift motion to the wicked rhythm. Something writhed within the light.
1748 The location of an objective upon the great world of Trantor presents a problem unique in the Galaxy. There are no continents or oceans to locate from a thousand miles distance. There are no rivers, lakes, and islands to catch sight of through the cloud rifts.
1749 Perhaps ten minutes spent themselves as the strange ship came down to nestle upon the flatness, but long memories telescoped themselves in that time. There was first the great farm of his childhood - that remained in his mind merely as busy crowds of people.
1750 They feasted on bread and cheese, and a vegetable stew that was unreservedly delicious. It was over the dessert of frosted fruit, the only imported item on the menu, that, for the first time, the Outlanders became other than mere guests. The young man produced a map of Trantor.
1751 In the week that followed, life settled again into its groove. The sun of Neotrantor was a calm, bright star in Trantor's night sky. The farm was busy with its spring planting. The University grounds were silent in their desertion. The Galaxy seemed empty. The Mule might never have existed.
1752 Ebling Mis was there, head bent down over the eyepieces of the projector, motionless, a frozen, questing body. Near him sat Magnifico, screwed up into a chair, eyes sharp and watching - a bundle of slatty limbs with a nose emphasizing his scrawny face.
1753 The psychologist made a move to return to his projector, but her hand on his shoulder was firm. She felt the bone under the sleeve clearly. The flesh seemed to have fairly melted away since their arrival on Trantor. His face was thin, yellowish, and bore a half-week stubble.
1754 There was not a word to be said. The echoes of the blast rolled away into the outer rooms and rumbled downward into a hoarse, dying whisper. Before its death, it had muffled the sharp clamor of Bayta's falling blaster, smothered Magnifico's high-pitched cry, drowned out Toran's inarticulate roar.
1755 The First Galactic Empire had endured for tens of thousands of years. It had included all the planets of the Galaxy in a centralized rule, sometimes tyrannical, sometimes benevolent, always orderly. Human beings had forgotten that any other form of existence could be.
1756 There was left the mysterious Second Foundation, the goal of all searches. The Mule must find it to make his conquest of the Galaxy complete. The faithful of what was left of the First Foundation must find it for quite another reason. But where was it? That no one knew.
1757 The Conversion was not the ordinary one brought on by the power of superior reason. Han Pritcher know that well enough. He had been changed because the Mule was a mutant with mental powers quite capable of adjusting the conditions of ordinary humans to suit himself.
1758 He recognized the identity without an effort. It was Channis. Here the Mule saw no uniformity, but the primitive diversity of a strong mind, untouched and unmolded except by the manifold disorganizations of the Universe. It writhed in floods and waves.
1759 We deal here with psychologists - and not merely psychologists. Let us say, rather, scientists with a psychological orientation. That is, men whose fundamental conception of scientific philosophy is pointed in an entirely different direction from all of the orientations we know.
1760 The ship was in near-readiness. Nothing lacked, but the destination. The Mule had suggested a return to Trantor - the world that was the bulk of an incomparable Galactic metropolis of the hugest Empire mankind had ever known - the dead world that had been capital of all the stars.
1761 And yet, even under the Foundation with improved calculating machines and a new method of mechanically scanning the star field for a known "light signature," it sometimes took days to locate three stars and then calculate position in regions not previously familiar to the pilot.
1762 The men of Rossem had, thus, their bread and their milk - and when they could spare an animal - even their meat. The darkly ominous forests that gnarled their way over half of the equatorial region of the planet supplied a tough, fine-grained wood for housing.
1763 Then after a while, no trading ships arrived at all, and life grew harder. Supplies of foreign, soft food, of tobacco, of machinery stopped. Vague word from scraps gathered on the televisor brought increasingly disturbing news. And finally it spread that Trantor had been sacked.
1764 Here and there indignant peasants banded together and brought out ancient hunting weapons - but of this nothing ever came. Grumblingly they had disbanded when the men of Tazenda came and with dismay watched their hard struggle for existence become harder.
1765 The first snows were sifting across the hard ground and the sky was a dull, overcast pink. He squinted carefully upward and decided that no real storm was in sight. He could travel to Gentri without much trouble and get rid of his surplus grain in return for enough canned foods to last the winter.
1766 Channis, at least, seemed completely at ease. That fact Pritcher savored with a vinegary satisfaction. His game had not much longer to proceed exactly as he wished it. Yet, meanwhile their wrist ultrawave sender-receivers were their only connection with the ship.
1767 The First Speaker gazed wistfully at the night sky. Wispy clouds scudded across the faint stargleams. Space looked actively hostile. It was cold and awful at best but now it contained that strange creature, the Mule, and the very content seemed to darken and thicken it into ominous threat.
1768 The meeting was over. It had not been long. There had been the doubts and questionings inspired by the difficult mathematical problem of dealing with a mental mutant of uncertain makeup. All the extreme permutations had had to be considered.
1769 He was rather a ridiculous figure in his layers of clothing that thickened him past his normality without allowing him to reach normal dimensions even so. His face was muffled and the usually dominant beak covered what was left in a cold-red prominence.
1770 It was easy to test the alternatives. I seized your mind at a moment of relaxation and filled it with grief for an instant and then removed it. You were angry afterwards with such accomplished art that I could have sworn it was a natural reaction, but for that which went first.
1771 What the Mule realized in that same tiny space of time was that the emotional potential of Channis' brain had surged suddenly upwards without his own mind feeling any impact and that, simultaneously, a flood of pure, thrilling hatred cascaded upon him from an unexpected direction.
1772 The Mule, for the first time in long years, had insufficient surety of his own way. Channis knew that, though he could protect himself for the moment, it was an effort - and that the attack upon him was none such for his opponent. In a test of endurance, Channis knew he would lose.
1773 For a moment, she considered her face thoughtfully - too fat. She opened her jaws half an inch behind closed lips, and caught the resultant trace of unnatural gauntness at every angle. She licked her lips with a quick touch of tongue and let them pout a bit in moist softness.
1774 But her face smoothed out of its vexation, nevertheless, and her wide, little mouth stretched into a self-satisfied smile. She sniffed at the paper delicately. Just right. Just that proper touch of elegance and charm. And the penmanship was just the last word.
1775 His predecessor had beaten the Mule, but the wreckage of that gigantic struggle still littered the path of the Plan. For twenty-five years, he, and his administration, had been trying to force a Galaxy of stubborn and stupid human beings back to the path. It was a terrible task.
1776 A slow silence. The student pointed a finger and as he did so, the line of equations marched down the wall, until the single series of functions he had thought of - one could scarcely consider the quick, generalized gesture of the finger to have been sufficiently precise - was at eye-level.
1777 Others had tried to show the existence of brain-wave groups, analogous to the well-known blood groups, and to show that external environment was the defining factor. These were the race-minded people who claimed that Man could be divided into subspecies.
1778 No one was at the port to see him off. That would not have been natural since no one ever had in the past. He knew very well that it was important to have this trip in no way different from any he had made in the past, yet he felt drenched in a vague resentment.
1779 Thus, she met the initial acceleration with equanimity and the more subtle nausea that accompanied the inside-outness of the first jump through hyperspace with stoicism. Both had been experienced on space hops before, and she was tensed for them.
1780 She waited frantically for the sounds of sleep to arise. If only she knew whether he snored. At least she knew where the bunk was and she could recognize the rolling protest of one when she heard it. There was a long breath and then a yawn.
1781 Homir grew used to her. After a while, he was glad she was there. Eventually, he wondered how he would have made it without her. She prattled! She was excited! Most of all, she was completely unconcerned. She knew the Second Foundation was the enemy, yet it didn't bother her.
1782 She said, "I'm going to write historical novels, you know." She was quite happy about the trip. Uncle Homir didn't the least mind listening to her and it made conversation so much more pleasant when you could talk to a really intelligent person who was serious about what you said.
1783 She was all very well when he had been an admiral only - but now as First Citizen and future conqueror, he needed more. He needed heirs who could unite his future dominions, something the Mule had never had, which was why his Empire did not survive his strange nonhuman life.
1784 She had been to the great Central Theater - the largest in the Galaxy - and seen in person some of the singing stars who were famous even in the distant Foundation. She had shopped all on her own along the Flowered Path, fashion center of the gayest world in Space.
1785 At the moment, that Dr. Darell told himself mournfully that she could, she was sitting in the coldly austere anteroom of the Executive Offices of the First Citizen of the Galaxy. For half an hour she had been sitting there, her eyes sliding slowly about the walls.
1786 Arcadia breathed only on occasion through the years the trip seemed to take - yet from the first crooking of the white finger to the time she stood at the outer gate, with people and noise and traffic in the distance was only twenty-five minutes.
1787 That tea with Callia at which she had been so smart. Clever little Arcadia! Something inside Arcadia choked and hated itself. That tea had been maneuvered, and then Stettin had probably been maneuvered so that Homir was allowed to inspect the Palace after all.
1788 Only five percent of the port is given over to the floods of humanity to whom it is the way station to all the stars of the Galaxy. It is certain that very few of the anonymous many-headed stop to consider the technological mesh that knits the spaceways.
1789 And then, attempting to look both ways simultaneously, she ran head-on into a soft abdomen. She felt the startled outbreath and grunt, and a hand come down on her arm. She writhed desperately but lacked breath to do more than mew a bit in the back of her throat.
1790 Arcadia looked across at the kind gray eyes of the woman and felt her lips quivering. One part of her brain was telling her that here were people from Trantor, with whom she could go, who could help her remain on that planet until she could decide what next to do, where next to go.
1791 But Arcadia knew that he did not know people better. Not these people. In her bed that night, she considered carefully, and knew that no bribe would have stopped a police lieutenant in the matter of catching her unless that had been planned.
1792 Pelleas Anthor was a pulsing vortex of activity in Semic's office, which, somehow, managed to partake of the age of its occupant. In the slow turgor of the quiet room, the loose, summery sleeves of Anthor's tunic seemed still a-quiver with the outer breezes.
1793 Dr. Darell lacked the heart to question further. Well, then, let her be safe on Trantor, or as safe as one could be anywhere in this dark and horrible Galaxy. He groped toward the door, felt Anthor's light touch on his sleeve, and stopped, but did not turn.
1794 Until the decay of the Empire eventually reached it and in the Great Sack of a century ago, its drooping powers had been bent back upon themselves and broken forever. In the blasting ruin of death, the metal shell that circled the planet wrinkled and crumpled into an aching mock of its own grandeur.
1795 But there, just past the reaching point was the memory of the past, still glowing in unrusted splendor, and burning with fire where the sun of Trantor caught it in gleaming highlights. She had been there once during the months since she had arrived at Trantor.
1796 And now the Foundation was back to the Four-Kingdom core - the original Realm which had been built up under Salvor Hardin, the first mayor. But still it fought - and still there might be a chance-and whatever happened, she must inform her father. She must somehow reach his ear.
1797 Each one of the Foundation's ships were accounted for and no sparkle was left over, now that the little spy who claimed to be a neutral had been picked up. For a while, that outside ship had created a stir in the captain's quarters. The tactics might have needed changing on short notice.
1798 In the minds of the dictators of the battle plan, there was a certain volume of space that must be occupied by the Kalganian ships. Out from that volume crept the Foundationers; into it slipped the Kalganians. Those that passed out again were attacked, suddenly and fiercely.
1799 He hadn't really slept well in weeks. He hadn't shaved in three days. He had canceled all audiences. His admirals were left to themselves and none knew better than the Lord of Kalgan that very little time and no further defeats need elapse before he would have to contend with internal rebellion.
1800 Her gray hair was carefully arranged in a style that was neither markedly feminine nor imitation masculine. It was simply the way she wore it, no more. Her matter-of-fact face was not notable for beauty, but somehow it was never for beauty that one searched there.
1801 And now Seldon had backed her point of view and, for the while at least, that would give her an overwhelming political advantage. She had been reported to have said a year earlier that if in the coming appearance Seldon did back her, she would consider her task successfully completed.
1802 She spoke in a perfectly clear voice with an unashamed Foundation accent (she had once served as Ambassador to Mandrels, but had not adopted the old Imperial style of speech that was so fashionable now - and was part of what had been a quasi-Imperial drive to the Inner Provinces).
1803 Liono Kodell had been Director of Security through all of Mayor Branno's administration. It was not a backbreaking job, as he liked to say, but whether he was lying or not, one could not, of course, tell. He didn't look like a liar, but that did not necessarily mean anything.
1804 In those days, though, the Foundation had been one puny world, with a tenuous hold on the Four Kingdoms and with only a dim awareness of the extent to which the Seldon Plan was holding its protective hand over it, caring for it even against the remnant of the mighty Galactic Empire.
1805 As for Bel Riose, the noblest of the Foundation's adversaries, he too was nearly forgotten, overshadowed by the Mule, who alone among enemies had broken the Seldon Plan and defeated and ruled the Foundation. He alone was the Great Enemy - indeed, the last of the Greats.
1806 And since then there had been no heroes - not even figures of romance. The Kalganian war had been the last moment of violence engulfing the Foundation and that had been a minor conflict. Nearly two centuries of virtual peace! A hundred and twenty years without so much as a ship scratched.
1807 Besides, she was well practiced in the political wars and knew that if she could place her opponent off-balance at the start then the battle was half-won. But it took an audience to make such a tactic effective and there was no audience before whom one might be humiliated.
1808 It was past 1 a.m. and she wanted desperately to bring an end to it, and yet could not hasten. The young man had to be played and she did not want to have him break the fishing line. She did not want to have to dispose of him uselessly, when he might first be made to serve a function.
1809 Janov Pelorat was white-haired and his face, in repose, looked rather empty. It was rarely in anything but repose. He was of average height and weight and tended to move without haste and to speak with deliberation. He seemed considerably older than his fifty-two years.
1810 His indisposition began to clear up at once. Within two days, he had read the book three times and was out of bed. The day after that he was at his computer terminal, checking for any records that the Terminus University Library might have on similar legends.
1811 And now his dream would come true. The Mayor herself had assured him of that. How she had known of his work, he wasn't quite sure. He had not succeeded in publishing many papers. Little of what he had done was solid enough to be acceptable for publication and what had appeared had left no mark.
1812 He was being driven into exile and he could do nothing about it. She had been calmly inexorable and did not even take the trouble to mask the unconstitutionality of it all. He had relied on his rights as a Councilman and as a citizen of the Federation, and she hadn't even paid them lip service.
1813 He was no womanizer. He lived sedately with his wife, but had not yet registered parental intent and was not known to have a clandestine second companion. That, too, was different from Trevize, who changed housemates as often as he changed the loudly colored sashes for which he was notorious.
1814 Pelorat said to him apologetically, "I'm sorry, Councilman Trevize. You are my guest and I owe you rest, but the Mayor is here." He was standing at the side of the bed in flannel pajamas and shivering slightly. Trevize's senses leaped to a weary wakefulness and he remembered.
1815 It was a one-man device that could replace, with advantage, the older ships that required a crew of a dozen or more. With a second or even a third person to establish shifts of duty, one such ship could fight off a flotilla of much larger non-Foundation ships.
1816 Branno the Bronze, he thought with chagrin, had maneuvered him into a dangerous mission of the greatest significance. He might not have accepted with such determination had she not so arranged matters that he wanted to show her what he could do.
1817 Nevertheless his heart beat rapidly. There were computers and computers, and there were programs that took a long time to master. Trevize had never made the mistake of underestimating his own intelligence, but, on the other hand, he was not a Grand Master.
1818 Human beings thought with their hands. It was their hands that were the answer of curiosity, that felt and pinched and turned and lifted and hefted. There were animals that had brains of respectable size, but they had no hands and that made all the difference.
1819 He found - as he cast the net of his computer - enhanced consciousness outward - that he could sense the condition of the upper atmosphere; that he could see the weather patterns; that he could detect the other ships that were swarming upward and the others that were settling downward.
1820 The "Diamonds" referred to those few stars that were luminous enough and close enough to shine with moderate brightness in the night sky of Terminus. They were a small group that spanned a width of no more than twenty degrees, and for large parts of the night they were all below the horizon.
1821 He did and he could not help his muscles tightening with the effort of will he was exerting - as though he were taking hold of the Galaxy and accelerating it, twisting it, forcing it to spin against terrible resistance. The Galaxy was moving.
1822 Trantor! For eight thousand years, it was the capital of a large and mighty political entity that spanned an ever-growing union of planetary systems. For twelve thousand years after that, it was the capital of a political entity that spanned the entire Galaxy.
1823 No planet in the Galaxy had ever made so much use of solar power or went to such extremes to rid itself of waste heat. Glittering radiators stretched up into the thin upper atmosphere upon the nightside and were withdrawn into the metal city on the dayside.
1824 It might be viewed as a grand memorial of greatness, the sepulcher of Empire, but to the Trantorians - the Hamish people - these were haunted places, filled with ghosts, not to be stirred. Only the Second Foundationers ever set foot in the ancient corridors or touched the titanium gleam.
1825 And the Second Empire would come, but it would not be like the first. It would be a Federated Empire, with its parts possessing considerable self-rule, so that there would be none of the apparent strength and actual weakness of a unitary, centralized government.
1826 He had not bothered to aim for the First Speaker's chair without qualification. To gain it, one way or another, seemed to him to be a certainty. It was to do it in youth that seemed to him to be the goal. Even Preem Palver had been forty-two on his accession.
1827 The First Speaker smiled and leaned back in his chair. He did not actually lift his feet to the desk top, but he got across just the right mixture of self-assured ease and informal friendship - just enough of each to leave Gendibal uncertain as to the effect of his statement.
1828 The room grew dark with the depression of the lever but, almost at once, the darkness lifted into a pearly dimness. Both long walls turned faintly creamy, then brighter and whiter, and finally there appeared neatly printed equations - so small that they could not be easily read.
1829 The First Speaker regarded Gendibal with equanimity. He had learned to control his expressions and it amused him to watch Gendibal's ineptness in this respect. At every exchange, the young man did his best to hide his feelings, but each time, he exposed them completely.
1830 Out beyond, eight parsecs away, was Anacreon, the nearest large planet in their backyard, by Galactic standards. To send a message by the same light-speed system that had just worked for Terminus - and to receive an answer as well - would take fifty-two years.
1831 It must surely have struck Trevize at the moment that Pelorat had presented his view of Earth. It was only because his mind was reverberating with the problem of the hyper-relay that he hadn't responded at once. And the instant the problem had gone, he had responded.
1832 Gendibal was an exception and he had, in times past, wondered why. Wondering meant exploring his own mind, something that Speakers, in particular, were encouraged to do. Their minds were at once their weapons and their targets, and they had to keep both offense and defense well honed.
1833 Foolish of them. The metal that remained underground might well be poisoning the soil and further lowering its fertility. And yet, on the other hand, the population was thinly spread and the land supported them. And there were some sales of metal, always.
1834 Gendibal thought casually that anywhere in the Galaxy, on any of the vast number of inhabited worlds, he would see these animals and that on no two worlds would they be exactly alike. He remembered the goats of home and his own tame nanny whom he had once milked.
1835 Had anyone but himself proposed it, he knew, it would have gone through without trouble. As things stood now, there would be trouble, but it would go through, just the same, for old Shandess was supporting him and would undoubtedly continue to do so.
1836 Rufirant struck suddenly, but Gendibal saw it in his mind before any muscle had begun to tighten and he stepped to one side. The blow whistled past, with little room to spare. Yet Gendibal still stood there, unshaken. There was a collective sigh from the others.
1837 Delora Delarmi broke in on his reverie. She was looking at him out of wide blue eyes, her round face - with its accustomed air of innocence and friendliness - masking an acute mind (to all but other Second Foundationers of her own rank) and ferocity of concentration.
1838 She was satisfied that there was no sympathy at all with Gendibal. The young man, she had always felt, had all the charm of a centipede and was best treated as one. So far, only his unquestioned ability and talent had kept anyone from openly proposing trial for expulsion.
1839 They walked together. Gendibal knew well that each leisurely step made him the more unforgiveably late for the Table meeting, but by now he had had a chance to think on the significance of what had taken place and he was icily content to let the lateness grow.
1840 Very carefully and with infinite delicacy he probed her mind; sensing without actually touching-like placing one's hand on a polished metal surface without leaving fingerprints. To her a scholar was someone who always read books. She had not the slightest idea of why one read books.
1841 Two days had passed and Gendibal found himself not so much heavyhearted as enraged. There was no reason why there could not have been an immediate hearing. Had he been unprepared - had he needed time - they would have forced an immediate hearing on him, he was sure.
1842 A clerk emerged from the Chamber to tell him that the Table was ready for him and Gendibal stalked in. The clerk was one Gendibal knew well; he was one who knew - to the tiniest fraction - the precise gradation of civility that each Speaker deserved.
1843 Delarmi was silent for a moment and another Speaker interposed. He was Leonis Cheng, a rather small man with an encyclopedic knowledge of the minutiae of the Seldon Plan and a rather myopic attitude toward the actual Galaxy. His eyes tended to blink rapidly when he spoke.
1844 Sura Novi looked strained. Her eyes were wide and her lower lip was faintly trembling. Her hands were slowly clenching and unclenching and her chest was heaving slightly. Her hair had been pulled back and braided into a bun; her sun-darkened face twitched now and then.
1845 There was a gentle susurration of laughter about the Table at this and Gendibal knew that he had won. And Delarmi knew that she had lost, for there was a wash of rage that showed through her harsh mentalic control like a momentary ray of ruddy sunlight through a thick canopy of leaves.
1846 When she exerted herself to be charming, Speaker Delora Delarmi had a way of dominating the Speaker's Table. Her voice grew soft, her smile indulgent, her eyes sparkling, all of her sweet. No one cared to interrupt her and everyone waited for the blow to fall.
1847 That would have been hard enough to overcome, but now they would remember how easily Delarmi had twitched him into ridicule and how much they had enjoyed it. She would use that to convince them, all too easily, that he lacked the age and experience for the role of First Speaker.
1848 Janov Pelorat watched, for the first time in his life, as the bright star graduated into an orb after what Trevize had called a "micro-Jump." The fourth planet - the habitable one and their immediate destination, Sayshell - then grew in size and prominence more slowly - over a period of days.
1849 During the early centuries of the Second Foundation, it had underestimated the task before it. It had imagined that its handful of members could monitor the entire Galaxy and that Seldon's Plan, to be maintained, would require only the most occasional, the lightest touch, here and there.
1850 Compor had no way of determining what this meant, but he watched Trevize's behavior in the light of what he had discovered and he began to suspect that Trevize had an uncanny ability to reach right conclusions from what would seem to be insufficient data.
1851 What followed was, in the ordinary sense of the word, an illusion, since no one but someone who was aided by the mentalic power of a well-trained Second Foundationer would have been able to detect anything at all, either by the senses or by any physical detecting device.
1852 During this long trip to Sayshell, unavoidably long in this ship of his which could in no way match the technological advancement of the products of the First Foundation, he had gone over every single report on Trevize. The reports had stretched over nearly a decade.
1853 They did not arrive back in the city till midmorning. The tourist center was quite crowded this time, but they managed to obtain the necessary directions to a reference library, where in turn they received instruction in the use of the local models of data-gathering computers.
1854 Pelorat winced. He supposed that each world had its own ways of assaulting the senses, just as each had its own smell. He wondered if, now that he no longer noticed the smell, he might also learn not to notice the cacophony of fashionable young women when they walked.
1855 The man who stood up, walked around his desk, and advanced to meet them was tall and well into middle age. He was light brown in skin color and his hair, which was set in crisp curls over his head, was iron-gray. He held out his hand in greeting and his voice was soft and low.
1856 Trevize swung to the computer, his fingers sweeping across the direction hand-rests with the ease and grace of long practice. When he placed his hands on the manuals, he welcomed their warm touch and enclosure. He felt, as always, a bit of his will oozing outward.
1857 The sky shifted and Pelorat blinked. The small red circle remained at the center of the screen, but the Five Sisters had disappeared. There were bright stars in the neighborhood but no tight pentagon. Again the sky shifted, and again, and again. It went on shifting.
1858 Mayor Harla Branno looked distinctly older than her sixty-two years. She did not always look older, but she did now. She had been sufficiently wrapped up in thought to forget to avoid the mirror and had seen her image on her way into the map room.
1859 Another contact and a faint pink jutted outward from the edges of the Federation, here and there. Spheres of influence! This was not Foundation territory, but the regions, though nominally independent, would never dream of resistance to any Foundation move.
1860 She had clearly been in the compact cleaning room, where oils, warm air, and a minimum of water freshened her body. She had a robe wrapped about her and was holding it tightly to herself in an agony of modesty. Her hair was dry but tangled.
1861 It was a slow and cautious process. During the day that passed, Trevize grimly directed the calculation of several different approaches and tried to choose between them. Lacking hard data, he could depend only on intuition, which unfortunately told him nothing.
1862 When Stor Gendibal finally made out Compor's ship on his viewscreen, it seemed like the end of an incredibly long journey. Yet, of course, it was not the end, but merely the beginning. The journey from Trantor to Sayshell had been nothing but prologue.
1863 In this respect, the Second Foundation had gone far beyond the Foundation. Without material device, but just by the educated and advanced power of the mind alone, they could reach across the parsecs in a manner that could not be tapped, could not be infringed upon.
1864 Finally they were on board and removed their space suits. Speaker Stor Gendibal was of moderate height and of unimpressive appearance; he was not large and powerful, nor did he exude an air of learning. His dark, deep-set eyes were the only indication of his wisdom.
1865 Gendibal had had to use a tether three times before. This was his fourth use and even if he had felt tension over the matter, it would have disappeared in his concern for Sura Novi. He needed no mentalics to see that stepping into nothingness had totally upset her.
1866 Tall and rather stout, he wore a thick brown mustache at a time when the predominant fashion, both in the Foundation and in Sayshell, was smooth-shaven. He had a strongly lined countenance, though he was only fifty-four - and was much given to a schooled indifference.
1867 Internally, at least, everything worked well. The life-support systems were in perfect order, so that he and Pelorat were physically comfortable. Somehow, that didn't help. Life dragged on and the uncertainty of what was to come was wearing him down.
1868 He noticed with irritation that Pelorat seemed calm. As though to make it worse, while Trevize felt no sense of hunger at all, Pelorat opened a small container of chicken-bits, which on opening had rapidly and automatically warmed itself. Now he was eating it methodically.
1869 The tether made a dull clang on the Far Star as the solid hull (and consequently the air within) was set to vibrating. There was the usual slithering as the other ship made the fine adjustments of speed required to bring the two into a common velocity. The tether was motionless relative to both.
1870 Her hand moved quickly to the left side of her suit, which opened in one piece as though it were on a set of hinges. She stepped out and the suit remained standing without content for a moment. Then, with a soft sigh that seemed almost human, it collapsed.
1871 She was small-breasted and narrow-waisted, with hips rounded and full. Her thighs, which were seen in shadow, were generous, but her legs narrowed to graceful ankles. Her hair was dark and shoulderlength, her eyes brown and large, her lips full and slightly asymmetric.
1872 Trevize was silent because he was struggling with the Far Star. He had hesitated a bit too long for orbit and the lower limits of the planetary exosphere were now screaming past the ship. Little by little, the ship was escaping from his control altogether.
1873 He switched to microwave and the radarscope glittered. The surface was almost an image of the sky. It seemed a world of islands rather like Terminus, but more so. None of the islands was very large and none was very isolated. It was something of an approach to a planetary archipelago.
1874 He was tall and thin - almost to the point of emaciation. His deep-set eyes sparkled with anomalous youth, though he moved rather slowly. His jutting nose was thin and long and flared at the nostrils. His hands, prominently veined though they were, showed no signs of arthritic disability.
1875 It would not be there except for the existence of a mentalic field imposed from without - a mentalic field of an intensity so small that the finest receiving function of Gendibal's own well-trained mind could just barely detect it, even against the utter smoothness of Novi's mentalic structure.
1876 As it was, the advance of the warship, even against a single ship manned by a Second Foundationer, allowed certain conclusions to be drawn. Even if the ship possessed mentalic ability, it would not be likely to advance into the teeth of the Second Foundation in this manner.
1877 This was not, in itself, an absolute indication that the warship was not equipped with mentalics. It was well known that the mentalic field did not obey the inverse-square law. It did not grow stronger precisely as the square of the extent to which distance between emitter and receiver lessened.
1878 Gendibal stared at the figure of Branno, superimposed upon the volume of room just in front of the wall. It was a little flickery and hazy thanks to the interference of the shield. The man next to her was almost featureless with haze, for Gendibal had no energy to waste on him.
1879 Stor Gendibal stared sharply and penetratingly at Novi - and with such surprise that he came within a hair of loosening his grip upon Mayor Branno. That he did not do so was, perhaps, the result of a sudden support from without that steadied him and that, for the moment, he ignored.
1880 The three ships were each essentially at rest, relative to the other two. All three were turning very slowly about the planet Gaia, as a distant three-part satellite of the planet. All three were accompanying Gaia on its endless journey about its sun.
1881 He had sent back his message of carefully muted triumph. It was only necessary - for the moment - to let the First Speaker know that all had gone well (as, indeed, he might guess from the fact that the general force of the Second Foundation had never had to be used after all).
1882 The land and sea were stocked with plant and animal life in proper numbers and in the proper variety to provide an appropriate ecological balance, and all of them, no doubt, increased and decreased in numbers in a slow sway about the recognized optimum. As did the number of human beings, too.
1883 The ship had been cleaned and refurbished efficiently and well by a number of the human components of Gaia. It had been restocked with food and drink, its furnishings had been renewed or replaced, its mechanical workings rechecked. Trevize himself had checked the ship's computer carefully.
1884 His jaw tightened and he pushed his fingers angrily through his black hair. Before he wasted time bemoaning his fate, he must find Earth. If he survived the search, there would then be time enough to sit down and weep. He might have even better reason then.
1885 The three walked toward the Far Star. The rain was growing still lighter, but the grass was quite wet. Trevize found himself walking gingerly, but Bliss had kicked off her slippers, which she was now carrying in one hand, and was slogging through the grass barefoot.
1886 He looked about the vessel and found it beautiful. It had been his only since Mayor Harla Branno of the Foundation had forced him into it and sent him out among the stars - a living lightning rod designed to draw the fire of those she considered enemies of the Foundation.
1887 The circle of light on the computer glowed invitingly. Trevize touched it and the light spread out to cover the desk top and the outline of a right and left hand appeared on it. He drew a deep breath and realized that he had stopped breathing for a while.
1888 Then he withdrew his hands and let the world of reality surround him again - and realized he had been standing all this time, half-bowing over the computer to make the hand contact. He felt stiff and had to stretch his back muscles before sitting down.
1889 Possessing the capacity to insulate itself from outside gravitational fields to any degree up to total, the Far Star lifted from a planetary surface as though it were floating on some cosmic sea. And while it did so, the gravitational effect within the ship, paradoxically, remained normal.
1890 And again, for the fourth time, he was vaguely disappointed. Somehow, he continued to feel that looking down upon a habitable world from space meant seeing an outline of its continents against a surrounding sea; or, if it were a dry world, the outline of its lakes against a surrounding body of land.
1891 There had been the interruption of the Mule, which, for a time, had threatened to shiver the Plan into fragments, but the Foundation had pulled through - probably with the help of the ever-hidden Second Foundation - possibly with the help of the even-better-hidden Gaia.
1892 Perhaps it was all only an illusion; both when he had made his decision, and now. After all, he knew nothing about the Plan beyond the basic assumptions that validated psychohistory. Apart from that, he knew no detail, and certainly not a single scrap of its mathematics.
1893 Pelorat, on the other hand, looked about with appreciation and drew his breath deeply through his nose with relish, liking the bite of the cold, at least for the moment. He even deliberately unseamed his coat in order to feel the wind against his chest.
1894 Trevize did his best to ignore the temperature. He obtained a map card from the port authority, checking it on his pocket computer to sure that it gave the necessary details - his aisle and lot number, the and engine number of his ship, and so on.
1895 Bliss, a quick glance told him, sat calmly, apparently unconcerned. Of course, she was a whole world in herself. All of Gaia, though it might be at Galactic distances, was wrapped up in her skin. She had resources that could be called on in a true emergency.
1896 Well, then, the mere fact that he was there on a matter of Foundation security, coming, as he had, secretly and unheralded, would surely attract their attention. Yes, but until they knew what it was all about they would surely act with the utmost circumspection.
1897 It occurred to him that he had never, even for one moment, looked at the city through which they had been passing. He looked about now, a touch wildly. The buildings were low, but it was a cold planet - most of the structures were probably underground.
1898 The taxi had stopped before a low, broad building, set in a depression, the bottom of which Trevize could not see. Some moments passed and it continued to remain there, the driver himself motionless as well. His tall, white hat nearly touched the roof of the vehicle.
1899 One of the Comporellians, having stepped up to confront Trevize, said gruffly, "Your pardon, Councilman," and then pulled his coat open with rough movement. He had inserted questing hands which moved quickly up and down Trevize's sides, back, chest, and thighs.
1900 The possessive instinct never stands still. Through florescence and feud, frosts and fires, it followed the laws of progression even in the Forsyte family which had believed it fixed for ever. Nor can it be dissociated from environment any more than the quality of potato from the soil.
1901 That a man of the world so subject to the vicissitudes of fortunes as Montague Dartie should still be living in a house he had inhabited twenty years at least would have been more noticeable if the rent, rates, taxes, and repairs of that house had not been defrayed by his father-in-law.
1902 Placing the revolver against his chest, Dartie had pulled the trigger several times. It was not loaded. Dropping it with an imprecation, he had muttered: "For shake o' the children," and sank into a chair. Winifred, having picked up the revolver, gave him some soda water.
1903 He stole upstairs. Not daring to have a bath, or shave (besides, the water would be cold), he changed his clothes and packed stealthily all he could. It was hard to leave so many shining boots, but one must sacrifice something. Then, carrying a valise in either hand, he stepped out onto the landing.
1904 When Winifred came down, and realised that he was not in the house, her first feeling was one of dull anger that he should thus elude the reproaches she had carefully prepared in those long wakeful hours. He had gone off to Newmarket or Brighton, with that woman as likely as not.
1905 At nineteen he was a limber, freckled youth with a wide mouth, light eyes, long dark lashes; a rather charming smile, considerable knowledge of what he should not know, and no experience of what he ought to do. Few boys had more narrowly escaped being expelled - the engaging rascal.
1906 Whether Annette had produced the revolution in his outlook, or that outlook had produced Annette, he knew no more than we know where a circle begins. It was intricate and deeply involved with the growing consciousness that property without anyone to leave it to is the negation of true Forsyteism.
1907 He need say no more to her this evening, and risk giving himself away. But had he not already said too much? Did one ask restaurant proprietors with pretty daughters down to one's country house without design? Madame Lamotte would see, if Annette didn't.
1908 Trees take little account of time, and the old oak on the upper lawn at Robin Hill looked no day older than when Bosinney sprawled under it and said to Soames: "Forsyte, I've found the very place for your house." Since then Swithin had dreamed, and old Jolyon died, beneath its branches.
1909 Contemplating its great girth - crinkled and a little mossed, but not yet hollow - he would speculate on the passage of time. That tree had seen, perhaps, all real English history; it dated, he shouldn't wonder, from the days of Elizabeth at least. His own fifty years were as nothing to its wood.
1910 There had been nothing to keep Jolyon at home, and he had removed his grief and his paint-box abroad. There he had wandered, for the most part in Brittany, and at last had fetched up in Paris. He had stayed there several months, and come back with the younger face and the short fair beard.
1911 To return from a long travel in Spain to a darkened house, to a little daughter bewildered with tears, to the sight of a loved father lying peaceful in his last sleep, had never been, was never likely to be, forgotten by so impressionable and warm-hearted a man as Jolyon.
1912 The elder figure turned. The meeting of those two Forsytes of the second generation, so much more sophisticated than the first, in the house built for the one and owned and occupied by the other, was marked by subtle defensiveness beneath distinct attempt at cordiality.
1913 The keeping of engagements had not as yet been a conspicuous feature in the life of young Val Dartie, so that when he broke two and kept one, it was the latter event which caused him, if anything, the greater surprise, while jogging back to town from Robin Hill after his ride with Holly.
1914 She had been even prettier than he had thought her yesterday, on her silver-roan, long-tailed 'palfrey'; and it seemed to him, self-critical in the brumous October gloaming and the outskirts of London, that only his boots had shone throughout their two-hour companionship.
1915 Val uttered a queer little grunt, and looked quickly at his uncle - that uncle whom he had been taught to look on as a guarantee against the consequences of having a father, even against the Dartie blood in his own veins. The flat-checked visage seemed to wince, and this upset him.
1916 At the great dining-table, shortened to its utmost, under which so many fashionable legs had rested, James sat at one end, Emily at the other, Val half-way between them; and something of the loneliness of his grandparents, now that all their four children were flown, reached the boy's spirit.
1917 With his own hands he put flowers about his little house-boat, and equipped the punt, in which, after lunch, he proposed to take them on the river. Placing those Chinese-looking cushions, he could not tell whether or no he wished to take Annette alone.
1918 Many times Soames had rehearsed this scene in fancy. Rehearsal served him not at all. He simply could not speak. He had never thought that the sight of this woman whom he had once so passionately desired, so completely owned, and whom he had not seen for twelve years, could affect him in this way.
1919 She shut it and sat down again. She had developed power, this woman - this - wife of his! He felt it issuing from her as she sat there, in a sort of armour. And almost unconsciously he rose and moved nearer; he wanted to see the expression on her face. Her eyes met his unflinching.
1920 His father was sitting up in bed, with his ears pricked under the white hair which Emily kept so beautifully cut. He looked pink, and extraordinarily clean, in his setting of white sheet and pillow, out of which the points of his high, thin, nightgowned shoulders emerged in small peaks.
1921 He shifted to the side window which overlooked the stableyard, and whistled down to the dog Balthasar who lay for ever under the clock tower. The old dog looked up and wagged his tail. 'Poor old boy!' thought Jolyon, shifting back to the other window.
1922 Time was certainly the devil! And with the feeling that to waste this swift-travelling commodity was unforgivable folly, he took up his brush. But it was no use; he could not concentrate his eye - besides, the light was going. 'I'll go up to town,' he thought. In the hall a servant met him.
1923 Indecision in desire was to him a new feeling. He was like a child between a promised toy and an old one which had been taken away from him; and he was astonished at himself. Only last Sunday desire had seemed simple - just his freedom and Annette.
1924 The restaurant was fairly full - a good many foreigners and folk whom, from their appearance, he took to be literary or artistic. Scraps of conversation came his way through the clatter of plates and glasses. He distinctly heard the Boers sympathised with, the British Government blamed.
1925 The girl blushed. This, which last Sunday would have set his nerves tingling, now gave him much the same feeling a man has when a dog that he owns wriggles and looks at him. He had a curious sense of power, as if he could have said to her, 'Come and kiss me,' and she would have come.
1926 Outside in the streets of Soho, which always gave him such a feeling of property improperly owned, he mused. If only Irene had given him a son, he wouldn't now be squirming after women! The thought had jumped out of its little dark sentry-box in his inner consciousness.
1927 At nineteen he had commenced one of those careers attractive and inexplicable to ordinary mortals for whom a single bankruptcy is good as a feast. Already famous for having the only roulette table then to be found in Oxford, he was anticipating his expectations at a dazzling rate.
1928 A stranger, seeing them together, would have noticed an unseizable resemblance between these second cousins of the third generations of Forsytes; the same bone formation in face, though Jolly's eyes were darker grey, his hair lighter and more wavy.
1929 Holly and her father arrived by a midday train. It was her first visit to the city of spires and dreams, and she was very silent, looking almost shyly at the brother who was part of this wonderful place. After lunch she wandered, examining his household gods with intense curiosity.
1930 Jolly was anxious that they should see him rowing, so they set forth to the river. Holly, between her brother and her father, felt elated when heads were turned and eyes rested on her. That they might see him to the best advantage they left him at the Barge and crossed the river to the towing-path.
1931 The Rainbow, distinguished, as only an Oxford hostel can be, for lack of modernity, provided one small oak-panelled private sitting-room, in which Holly sat to receive, white-frocked, shy, and alone, when the only guest arrived. Rather as one would touch a moth, Val took her hand.
1932 Soames excused himself directly after dinner. It was not really cold, but he put on his fur coat, which served to fortify him against the fits of nervous shivering to which he had been subject all day. Subconsciously, he knew that he looked better thus than in an ordinary black overcoat.
1933 Soames closed the door. He, too, had need to recover, and when she had passed into the sitting-room, waited a full minute, taking deep breaths to still the beating of his heart. At this moment, so fraught with the future, to take out that morocco case seemed crude.
1934 But Jolyon did not respond. He had something of his father's balance, and could see things impartially even when his emotions were roused. Irene was right; Soames' position was as bad or worse than her own. As for the law - it catered for a human nature of which it took a naturally low view.
1935 But even in forming that resolution he knew he would have trouble with himself. He had employed Polteed's agency several times in the routine of his profession, even quite lately over Dartie's case, but he had never thought it possible to employ them to watch his own wife.
1936 Out in the street he swore deeply, quietly, to himself. A spider's web, and to cut it he must use this spidery, secret, unclean method, so utterly repugnant to one who regarded his private life as his most sacred piece of property. But the die was cast, he could not go back.
1937 Winifred, who had adopted a kind of half-mourning which became her fair hair and tall figure very well, arrived in James' barouche drawn by James' pair. Soames had not seen it in the City since his father retired from business five years ago, and its incongruity gave him a shock.
1938 They went, eyeing each other askance, unsteady, and unflinching; they climbed the garden railings. The spikes on the top slightly ripped Val's sleeve, and occupied his mind. Jolly's mind was occupied by the thought that they were going to fight in the precincts of a college foreign to them both.
1939 At this bland query spoken from under the lamp at the garden gate, like some demand of a god, their nerves gave way, and snatching up their coats, they ran at the railings, shinned up them, and made for the secluded spot whence they had issued to the fight.
1940 And then one day he saw that which moved him to uneasy wrath - two riders, in a glade of the Park close to the Ham Gate, of whom she on the left-hand was most assuredly Holly on her silver roan, and he on the right-hand as assuredly that 'squirt' Val Dartie.
1941 Why didn't he like Val Dartie? He could not tell. Ignorant of family history, barely aware of that vague feud which had started thirteen years before with Bosinney's defection from June in favour of Soames' wife, knowing really almost nothing about Val he was at sea.
1942 When in the first week of December he decided to go to Paris, he was far from admitting that Irene's presence was influencing him. He had not been there two days before he owned that the wish to see her had been more than half the reason. In England one did not admit what was natural.
1943 Jolyon received it just as he was setting out to meet her at the Louvre. It brought him up with a round turn. While he was lotus-eating here, his boy, whose philosopher and guide he ought to be, had taken this great step towards danger, hardship, perhaps even death.
1944 Mr. Bellby applauded his forethought with a dip of his nose. But Soames and Winifred looked with dismay at their light lunch of gravified brown masses, touching them gingerly with their forks in the hope of distinguishing the bodies of the tasty little song-givers.
1945 And they both looked at Holly. She had recoiled against the bookshelves reaching to the ceiling; her dark head leaned against Gibbon's Roman Empire, her eyes in a sort of soft grey agony were fixed on Val. And he, who had not much gift of insight, had suddenly a gleam of vision.
1946 Jolyon, who had crossed from Calais by night, arrived at Robin Hill on Sunday morning. He had sent no word beforehand, so walked up from the station, entering his domain by the coppice gate. Coming to the log seat fashioned out of an old fallen trunk, he sat down, first laying his overcoat on it.
1947 June was at home; she had come down hotfoot on hearing the news of Jolly's enlistment. His patriotism had conquered her feeling for the Boers. The atmosphere of his house was strange and pocketty when Jolyon came in and told them of the dog Balthasar's death. The news had a unifying effect.
1948 In the afternoon he and Jolly took picks and spades and went out to the field. They chose a spot close to the russet mound, so that they need not carry him far, and, carefully cutting off the surface turf, began to dig. They dug in silence for ten minutes, and then rested.
1949 He closed his eyes; and at once he seemed to see Irene, in a dark street below a church - passing, turning her neck so that he caught the gleam of her eyes and her white forehead under a little dark hat, which had gold spangles on it and a veil hanging down behind.
1950 Yet to have done with the Law, not to have that murky cloud hanging over her and the children! What a relief! Ah! but how to accept his return? That 'woman' had ravaged him, taken from him passion such as he had never bestowed on herself, such as she had not thought him capable of.
1951 As a family they had so guarded themselves from the expression of all unfashionable emotion that it was impossible to go up and give her daughter a good hug. But there was comfort in her cushioned voice, and her still dimpled shoulders under some rare black lace.
1952 Winifred smiled. They would all plunge about with suggestions of this and that, but she knew already what she would be doing, and that was - nothing. The feeling that, after all, she had won a sort of victory, retained her property, was every moment gaining ground in her.
1953 She sat there a long time before her glass, fingering her rings, thinking of this subdued dark man, almost a stranger to her, on the bed in the other room; resolutely not 'worrying,' but gnawed by jealousy of what he had been through, and now and again just visited by pity.
1954 Soames doggedly let the spring come - no easy task for one conscious that time was flying, his birds in the bush no nearer the hand, no issue from the web anywhere visible. Mr. Polteed reported nothing, except that his watch went on - costing a lot of money.
1955 He wandered thus one May night into Regent Street and the most amazing crowd he had ever seen; a shrieking, whistling, dancing, jostling, grotesque and formidably jovial crowd, with false noses and mouth-organs, penny whistles and long feathers, every appanage of idiocy, as it seemed to him.
1956 When, therefore, in June of 1900 he went to Paris, it was but his third attempt on the centre of civilisation. This time, however, the mountain was going to Mahomet; for he felt by now more deeply civilised than Paris, and perhaps he really was. Moreover, he had a definite objective.
1957 He went to an hotel in the Rue Caumartin, highly recommended to Forsytes, where practically nobody spoke French. He had formed no plan. He did not want to startle her; yet must contrive that she had no chance to evade him by flight. And next morning he set out in bright weather.
1958 He sealed this note but did not address it, refusing to write the maiden name which she had impudently resumed, or to put the word Forsyte on the envelope lest she should tear it up unread. Then he went out, and made his way through the glowing streets, abandoned to evening pleasure-seekers.
1959 Could any Forsyte of her generation grasp how rude and brutal life was? Ever since he knew of his boy's arrival at Cape Town the thought of him had been a kind of recurrent sickness in Jolyon. He could not get reconciled to the feeling that Jolly was in danger all the time.
1960 Jolyon gazed at her in a stupefaction that was tinged with irony. So this was the answer to the riddle he had been asking himself; and his three children were Forsytes after all. Surely Holly might have told him all this before! But he smothered the sarcastic sayings on his lips.
1961 He made a poor fist of sleeping, striving too hard after that resignation which Forsytes find difficult to reach, bred to their own way and left so comfortably off by their fathers. But after dawn he dozed off, and soon was dreaming a strange dream.
1962 The Green Hotel, which Jolyon entered at one o'clock, stood nearly opposite that more famous hostelry, the Crown and Sceptre; it was modest, highly respectable, never out of cold beef, gooseberry tart, and a dowager or two, so that a carriage and pair was almost always standing before the door.
1963 No miserable explanation to attempt! She had understood! And they walked on among the bracken, knee-high already, between the rabbit-holes and the oak-trees, talking of Jolly. He left her two hours later at the Richmond Hill Gate, and turned towards home.
1964 In this hot weather the window of Mr. Polteed's room was positively open, and the only precaution was a wire gauze, preventing the intrusion of flies. Two or three had tried to come in, and been caught, so that they seemed to be clinging there with the intention of being devoured presently.
1965 His boy was seldom absent from Jolyon's mind in the days which followed the first walk with Irene in Richmond Park. No further news had come; enquiries at the War Office elicited nothing; nor could he expect to hear from June and Holly for three weeks at least.
1966 They sat there long, the evening was so lovely, watching the summer night come very slowly on. It was still warm and the air smelled of lime blossom - early this summer. Two bats were flighting with the faint mysterious little noise they make.
1967 He dropped it, spun round, stood motionless. The moon shone in on him; a moth flew in his face. The first day of all that he had not thought almost ceaselessly of Jolly. He went blindly towards the window, struck against the old armchair - his father's - and sank down on to the arm of it.
1968 The door creaked. He saw Irene come in, pick up the telegram and read it. He heard the faint rustle of her dress. She sank on her knees close to him, and he forced himself to smile at her. She stretched up her arms and drew his head down on her shoulder.
1969 His father was sitting before the dressing-table sideways to the mirror, while Emily slowly passed two silver-backed brushes through and through his hair. She would do this several times a day, for it had on him something of the effect produced on a cat by scratching between its ears.
1970 It revived the old grudge against his father for having estranged himself. For such was still the prestige of old Jolyon that the other Forsytes could never quite feel, as might have been expected, that it was they who had cut off his descendants for irregularity.
1971 One night, as befitted a man who had arrived at so important a stage of his career, he made a calculation of what he was worth, and after writing off liberally for depreciation by the war, found his value to be some hundred and thirty thousand pounds.
1972 It seemed to Soames that she looked at him in a queer way. What did she know? How much had her mother told her? The worry of trying to make that out gave him an alarming feeling in the head. He gripped the edge of the table, and dizzily saw Annette come forward, her eyes clear with surprise.
1973 James had spent the morning gazing out of his bedroom window. The last show he would see, last of so many! So she was gone! Well, she was getting an old woman. Swithin and he had seen her crowned - slim slip of a girl, not so old as Imogen! She had got very stout of late.
1974 He had never ventured to speak to her on the subject of the restaurant. The French had different notions about gentility, and to shrink from connection with it might seem to her ridiculous; he had waited to be married before mentioning it; and now he wished he hadn't.
1975 Soames walked out of the garden door, crossed the lawn, stood on the path above the river, turned round and walked back to the garden door, without having realised that he had moved. The sound of wheels crunching the drive convinced him that time had passed, and the doctor gone.
1976 It was already growing dark when at last he opened the door, and stood listening. Not a sound! A milky twilight crept about the stairway and the landings below. He had turned back when a sound caught his ear. Peering down, he saw a black shape moving, and his heart stood still.
1977 He read it with a choking sensation. One would have thought he couldn't feel anything after these last hours, but he felt this. Half-past seven, a train from Reading at nine, and madame's train, if she had caught it, came in at eight-forty - he would meet that, and go on.
1978 A simple cold, caught in the room with double windows, where the air and the people who saw him were filtered, as it were, the room he had not left since the middle of September - and James was in deep waters. A little cold, passing his little strength and flying quickly to his lungs.
1979 He paused outside the door. No sound came from within. He turned the handle softly and was in the room before he was perceived. The light was shaded. His mother and Winifred were sitting on the far side of the bed; the nurse was moving away from the near side where was an empty chair.
1980 Behind him the nurse did he knew, not what, for his father made a tiny movement of repulsion as if resenting that interference; and almost at once his breathing eased away, became quiet; he lay very still. The strained expression on his face passed, a curious white tranquillity took its place.
1981 It was eight o'clock in an ordinary autumn world when he went across to the house. Bushes across the river stood round and bright-coloured out of a milky haze; the wood-smoke went up blue and straight; and his doves cooed, preening their feathers in the sunlight.
1982 But as he stared and the baby breathed and made little sleeping movements with its tiny features, it seemed to assume an individual shape, grew to be like a picture, a thing he would know again; not repulsive, strangely bud-like and touching. It had dark hair.
1983 In the last day of May in the early 'nineties, about six o'clock of the evening, old Jolyon Forsyte sat under the oak tree below the terrace of his house at Robin Hill. He was waiting for the midges to bite him, before abandoning the glory of the afternoon.
1984 In a situation so charged with mystery and something very like emotion he moved instinctively towards that bit of property, and she moved beside him. Her figure swayed faintly, like the best kind of French figures; her dress, too, was a sort of French grey.
1985 But Holly was asleep, and lay like a miniature Madonna, of that type which the old painters could not tell from Venus, when they had completed her. Her long dark lashes clung to her cheeks; on her face was perfect peace - her little arrangements were evidently all right again.
1986 Irene was standing by the piano; she had taken off her hat and a lace scarf she had been wearing, so that her gold-coloured hair was visible, and the pallor of her neck. In her grey frock she made a pretty picture for old Jolyon, against the rosewood of the piano.
1987 He gave her his arm, and solemnly they went. The room, which had been designed to enable twenty-four people to dine in comfort, held now but a little round table. In his present solitude the big dining-table oppressed old Jolyon; he had caused it to be removed till his son came back.
1988 Irene sat down at the piano under the electric lamp festooned with pearl-grey, and old Jolyon, in an armchair, whence he could see her, crossed his legs and drew slowly at his cigar. She sat a few moments with her hands on the keys, evidently searching her mind for what to give him.
1989 She began to play again. This time the resemblance between her and 'Chopin' struck him. The swaying he had noticed in her walk was in her playing too, and the Nocturne she had chosen and the soft darkness of her eyes, the light on her hair, as of moonlight from a golden moon.
1990 Old Jolyon stood gazing at her with eyes very deep from age. The passionate shame she seemed feeling at her abandonment, so unlike the control and quietude of her whole presence was as if she had never before broken down in the presence of another being.
1991 The carriage stopped before a small three-storied block of flats, standing a little back from the river. With a practised eye old Jolyon saw that they were cheap. 'I should think about sixty pound a year,' he mused; and entering, he looked at the name-board.
1992 But while she was gone to put her hat on, he frowned. The Park! James and Emily! Mrs. Nicholas, or some other member of his precious family would be there very likely, prancing up and down. And they would go and wag their tongues about having seen him with her, afterwards.
1993 Old Jolyon was not restless now, and paid no visits to the log, because she was coming to lunch. There is wonderful finality about a meal; it removes a world of doubts, for no one misses meals except for reasons beyond control.
1994 On Sunday morning, when Holly had gone with her governess to church, he visited the strawberry beds. There, accompanied by the dog Balthasar, he examined the plants narrowly and succeeded in finding at least two dozen berries which were really ripe.
1995 Luncheon was a successful meal, the mushrooms which he himself had picked in the mushroom house, his chosen strawberries, and another bottle of the Steinberg cabinet filled him with a certain aromatic spirituality, and a conviction that he would have a touch of eczema to-morrow.
1996 She would understand that he just wanted to give her a little pleasure; for the idea that she should guess he had this itch to see her was instinctively unpleasant to him; it was not seemly that one so old should go out of his way to see beauty, especially in a woman.
1997 When she was gone, he thought feebly: 'Why did I say a lady in grey - she may be in anything. Sal volatile!' He did not go off again, yet was not conscious of how Irene came to be standing beside him, holding smelling salts to his nose, and pushing a pillow up behind his head.
1998 How should an old man live his days if not in dreaming of his well-spent past? In that, at all events, there is no agitating warmth, only pale winter sunshine. The shell can withstand the gentle beating of the dynamos of memory. The present he should distrust; the future shun.
1999 Then she did exist - and he was not deserted. Coming down! A glow ran through his limbs; his cheeks and forehead felt hot. He drank his soup, and pushed the tray-table away, lying very quiet until they had removed lunch and left him alone; but every now and then his eyes twinkled.
2000 For the world of science and evolution is far more nameless and elusive and like a dream than the world of poetry and religion; since in the latter images and ideas remain themselves eternally, while it is the whole idea of evolution that identities melt into each other as they do in a nightmare.
2001 All the tools of Professor Lucifer were the ancient human tools gone mad, grown into unrecognizable shapes, forgetful of their origin, forgetful of their names. That thing which looked like an enormous key with three wheels was really a patent and very deadly revolver.
2002 A plain of sad-coloured cloud lay along the level of the top of the Cathedral dome, so that the ball and the cross looked like a buoy riding on a leaden sea. As the flying ship swept towards it, this plain of cloud looked as dry and definite and rocky as any grey desert.
2003 At length Michael sated himself with the mere sensual music of the voice of the man in buttons. He began to listen to what he said, and even to make some attempt at answering a question which appeared to have been put several times and was now put with some excess of emphasis.
2004 Suddenly through all the din of the dark streets came a crash of glass. With that mysterious suddenness of the Cockney mob, a rush was made in the right direction, a dingy office, next to the shop of the potted meat. The pane of glass was lying in splinters about the pavement.
2005 There was a constable to spare. Two other constables attended to the tall young man in grey; a fourth concerned himself with the owner of the shop, who showed some tendency to be turbulent. They took the tall young man away to a magistrate, whither we shall follow him in an ensuing chapter.
2006 He was a young man, born in the Bay of Arisaig, opposite Rum and the Isle of Skye. His high, hawklike features and snaky black hair bore the mark of that unknown historic thing which is crudely called Celtic, but which is probably far older than the Celts, whoever they were.
2007 On that fantastic fringe of the Gaelic land where he walked as a boy, the cliffs were as fantastic as the clouds. Heaven seemed to humble itself and come closer to the earth. The common paths of his little village began to climb quite suddenly and seemed resolved to go to heaven.
2008 When he came up to capture London, it was not with an army of white cockades, but with a stick and a satchel. London overawed him a little, not because he thought it grand or even terrible, but because it bewildered him; it was not the Golden City or even hell; it was Limbo.
2009 Evan went out of the Court of Justice free, but strangely shaken, like a sick man. Any punishment of suppression he would have felt as natural; but the sudden juncture between the laughter of his judge and the laughter of the man he had wronged, made him feel suddenly small, or at least, defeated.
2010 I have suggested that the sunset light made everything lovely. To say that it made the keeper of the curiosity shop lovely would be a tribute to it perhaps too extreme. It would easily have made him beautiful if he had been merely squalid; if he had been a Jew of the Fagin type.
2011 They had spun through seven streets and three or four squares before anything further happened. Then, in the neighbourhood of Maida Vale, the driver opened the trap and talked through it in a manner not wholly common in conversations through that aperture.
2012 It is the one great weakness of journalism as a picture of our modern existence, that it must be a picture made up entirely of exceptions. We announce on flaring posters that a man has fallen off a scaffolding. We do not announce on flaring posters that a man has not fallen off a scaffolding.
2013 Turnbull shivered slightly as if behind the earthly morning he felt the evening of the world, the sunset of so many hopes. Those words were from "Songs before Sunrise". But Turnbull's songs at their best were songs after sunrise, and sunrise had been no such great thing after all.
2014 The bright swords crossed, and the first touch of them, travelling down blade and arm, told each combatant that the heart of the other was awakened. It was not in that way that the swords rang together when they had rushed on each other in the little garden behind the dealer's shop.
2015 Their hearts were growing weaker and weaker against each other. When their weapons rang and riposted in the little London garden, they could have been very certain that if a third party had interrupted them something at least would have happened.
2016 Turnbull hoisted himself up and broke the hedge with his body. As his head and shoulders rose above it they turned to flame in the full glow as if lit up by an immense firelight. His red hair and beard looked almost scarlet, and his pale face as bright as a boy's.
2017 Against the heraldic background of sprawling crimson and gold offered him by the expiring sunset, the figure of the man with the stick showed at first merely black and fantastic. He was a small man with two wisps of long hair that curled up on each side, and seen in silhouette, looked like horns.
2018 Whether or no it was better inside it was at least a surprise. The moment the two duellists had pushed open the door of that inoffensive, whitewashed cottage they found that its interior was lined with fiery gold. It was like stepping into a chamber in the Arabian Nights.
2019 It was with a start, therefore, that they came upon the man himself already in the garden. They were all the more startled because of the still posture in which they found him. He was on his knees in front of the stone idol, rigid and motionless, like a saint in a trance or ecstasy.
2020 He gave them greeting with the elaborate urbanity of the slightly intoxicated. MacIan, who was vibrating with one of his silent, violent decisions, opened the question without delay. He explained the philosophic position in words as short and simple as possible.
2021 As old chess-players open every game with established gambits, they opened with a thrust and parry, orthodox and even frankly ineffectual. But in MacIan's soul more formless storms were gathering, and he made a lunge or two so savage as first to surprise and then to enrage his opponent.
2022 Turnbull must have been more superstitious than he knew, for he stopped in the act of going forward. MacIan was brazenly superstitious, and he dropped his sword. After all, he had challenged the universe to send an interruption; and this was an interruption, whatever else it was.
2023 A small but very neat black-and-yellow motor-car was standing stolidly, slightly to the left of the road. A somewhat larger light-green motor-car was tipped half-way into a ditch on the same side, and four flushed and staggering men in evening dress were tipped out of it.
2024 Turnbull had concealed in him somewhere a fund of common sense and knowledge of the world of which he himself and his best friends were hardly aware. He was one of those who take in much of the shows of things absent-mindedly, and in an irrelevant reverie.
2025 In that short and strong silence he absorbed the lady from head to foot. He had never really looked at a human being before in his life. He saw her face and hair first, then that she had long suede gloves; then that there was a fur cap at the back of her brown hair.
2026 They passed the next mile and a half swiftly and smoothly; yet among the many things which they passed in the course of it was a clump of eager policemen standing at a cross-road. As they passed, one of the policemen shouted something to the others; but nothing else happened.
2027 Evan seemed startled by the stillness, like one who had been born amid sound and speed. He wavered on his long legs as he stood up; he pulled himself together, and the only consequence was that he trembled from head to foot. Turnbull had already opened the door on his side and jumped out.
2028 Evan's thoughts, that had been piled up to the morning star, abruptly let him down with a crash into the very cellars of the emotional universe. He remained in a stunned silence for a long time; and that, if he had only known, was the wisest thing that he could possibly do at the moment.
2029 They took their places gravely in the very centre of the great square of sand, as if they had thousands of spectators. Before saluting, MacIan, who, being a mystic, was one inch nearer to Nature, cast his eye round the huge framework of their heroic folly.
2030 For the third time Evan MacIan looked at those three sides of English cliff hung with their noisy load of life. He had been at a loss to understand the almost ironical magnificence of all those teeming creatures and tropical colours and smells that smoked happily to heaven.
2031 He drank in the last green and the last red and the last gold, those unique and indescribable things of God, as a man drains good wine at the bottom of his glass. Then he turned and saluted his enemy once more, and the two stood up and fought till the foam flowed over their knees.
2032 MacIan put his sword between his teeth and plunged after his disappearing enemy. He had the sense of having the whole universe on top of him as crest after crest struck him down. It seemed to him quite a cosmic collapse, as if all the seven heavens were falling on him one after the other.
2033 He ducked instinctively as there bulked above him a big, black wave, much higher than any that he had seen. Then he saw that it was hardly the shape of any possible wave. Then he saw that it was a fisherman's boat, and, leaping upward, caught hold of the bow.
2034 Bent by necessity to his labour, MacIan managed the heavy boat with real power and skill, and when at length he ran it up on a smoother part of the slope it caught and held so that they could clamber out, not sinking farther than their knees into the water and the shingle.
2035 At length they came to a pale ribbon of road, edged by a shelf of rough and almost colourless turf; and a few feet up the slope there stood grey and weather-stained, one of those big wayside crucifixes which are seldom seen except in Catholic countries.
2036 Then, leaving MacIan in his attitude of prayer, Turnbull began to look right and left very sharply, like one looking for something. Suddenly, with a little cry, he saw it and ran forward. A few yards from them along the road a lean and starved sort of hedge came pitifully to an end.
2037 He tried to concentrate his senses on the sword-play; but one half of his brain was wrestling with the puzzle; the apocalyptic and almost seraphic apparition of a stout constable out of Clapham on top of a dreary and deserted hill in France. He did not, however, have to puzzle long.
2038 Madeleine Durand was physically a sleepy young woman, and might easily have been supposed to be morally a lazy one. It is, however, certain that the work of her house was done somehow, and it is even more rapidly ascertainable that nobody else did it.
2039 But the real interest arose suddenly as a squall arises with the extraordinary affair that occurred about five days after. There was about a third of a mile beyond the village of Haroc a large but lonely hotel upon the London or Paris model, but commonly almost entirely empty.
2040 As the market-place opened before him he saw Count Gregory, that distinguished foreigner, standing and smoking in elegant meditation at the corner of the local cafe. He immediately made his way rapidly towards him, considering that a consultation was urgent.
2041 At the risk of struggling a little longer like flies in that black web of twigs and trunks, Evan (who had an instinct of the hunter or the hunted) took an incalculable course through the forest, which let them out at last by a forest opening - quite forgotten by the leaders of the chase.
2042 MacIan looked at the silver sunset that was closing in, barred by plumy lines of purple cloud; he looked at the high tree-tops that caught the last light and at the birds going heavily homeward, just as if all these things were bits of written advice that he could read.
2043 Pursuer and pursued were fixed in their distance as they fled, for some quarter of a mile, when they came to a place where two or three of the trees grew twistedly together, making a special obscurity. Past this place the pursuing policeman went thundering without thought or hesitation.
2044 It needed the full shock of the huge shadow of MacIan, falling across his sunlit path, to rouse him from his smiling reverie. When this had fallen on him he lifted his head a little and blinked at the intruders with short-sighted benevolence, but with far less surprise than might have been expected.
2045 Turnbull and MacIan looked at him for one moment with a sort of notion that perhaps he was not too old to be merely playing the fool. But after staring steadily for an instant Turnbull saw the hard and horrible earnestness in the man's eyes behind all his empty animation.
2046 MacIan was sitting somewhat disconsolately on a stump of tree, his large black head half buried in his large brown hands, when Turnbull strode up to him chewing a cigarette. He did not look up, but his comrade and enemy addressed him like one who must free himself of his feelings.
2047 He led them rapidly into a small but imposing apartment, which seemed to be built and furnished entirely in red-varnished wood. There was one desk occupied with carefully docketed papers; and there were several chairs of the red-varnished wood - though of different shape.
2048 The system of espionage in the asylum was so effective and complete that in practice the patients could often enjoy a sense of almost complete solitude. They could stray up so near to the wall in an apparently unwatched garden as to find it easy to jump over it.
2049 Ludgate Hill indeed had been an uncaptured and comparatively quiet height, altered only by the startling coincidence of the cross fallen awry. All the other thoroughfares on all sides of that hill were full of the pulsation and the pain of battle, full of shaking torches and shouting faces.
2050 After swaying twice with the swaying vessel he dived over the side as one dives into the sea. For some incredible moments stars and space and planets seemed to shoot up past him as the sparks fly upward; and yet in that sickening descent he was full of some unnatural happiness.
2051 Then, when silence had sunk deep and nothing happened for two and a half hours, it suddenly occurred to him that this was the end of his life. He was hidden and sealed up in this little crack of stone until the flesh should fall off his bones. He was dead, and the world had won.
2052 Turnbull was not long in discovering this truth in connexion with the cold and colossal machinery of this great asylum. He had been shaken by many spiritual states since the instant when he was pitched head foremost into that private cell which was to be his private room till death.
2053 Three weeks afterwards MacIan had managed to open up communications which made his meaning plain. By that time the two captives had fully discovered and demonstrated that weakness in the very nature of modern machinery to which we have already referred.
2054 In the pause of perplexity that followed, an eerie and sinister feeling crept over Turnbull's stubborn soul in spite of himself. The notion of the doorless room chilled him with that sense of half-witted curiosity which one has when something horrible is half understood.
2055 It was a third oblong cell exactly like the other two except that it was doorless, and except that on one of the walls was painted a large black A like the B and C outside their own doors. The letter in this case was not painted outside, because this prison had no outside.
2056 Everything depended so obviously upon whether this buried monster spoke that Turnbull did not know or care whether he himself had spoken. He said something or nothing. And then he waited for this dwarfish voice that had been hidden under the mountains of the world.
2057 He was standing heavy and still at the other end of the room and staring quietly at the door which for thirty days had sealed them up from the sun. Turnbull, following the other's eye, stared at the door likewise, and then he also uttered an exclamation.
2058 The young man with the round face looked down for a little while and smoked reflectively. The other and elder doctor had gone pacing nervously by himself upon the lawn. At length the round face was lifted again, and showed two round blue eyes with a certain frankness in them.
2059 Turnbull's heart gave a leap of excitement which was half hope. As a magistrate Mr. Cumberland Vane had been somewhat careless and shallow, but certainly kindly, and not inaccessible to common sense so long as it was put to him in strictly conventional language.
2060 The garden of the madhouse was so perfectly planned, and answered so exquisitely to every hour of daylight, that one could almost fancy that the sunlight was caught there tangled in its tinted trees, as the wise men of Gotham tried to chain the spring to a bush.
2061 Across the clear space of cold silver and a pale lemon sky which was left by the gap in the ilex-trees there passed a slim, dark figure, a profile and the poise of a dark head like a bird's, which really pinned him to his seat with the point of coincidence.
2062 He could stand it no longer, but ran across to the path, turned the corner and saw standing quite palpable in the evening sunlight, talking with a casual grace to Turnbull, the face and figure which had filled his midnights with frightfully vivid or desperately half-forgotten features.
2063 Turnbull walked away, wildly trying to explain to himself the presence of two personal acquaintances so different as Vane and the girl. As he skirted a low hedge of laurel, an enormously tall young man leapt over it, stood in front of him, and almost fell on his neck as if seeking to embrace him.
2064 And yet his whole emotional anger fell from him when he saw Turnbull's face, in which the eyes seemed to be bursting from the head like bullets. All the fire and fragrance even of young and honourable love faded for a moment before that stiff agony of interrogation.
2065 She looked straight at him with a steady smile which lit up the scene of darkness and unreason like the light of some honest fireside. Her square face and throat were thrown back, as her habit was, and there was something almost sleepy in the geniality of her eyes.
2066 Then all these bewildered but partly amicable recognitions were cloven by a cruel voice which always made all human blood turn bitter. The Master was standing in the middle of the room surveying the scene like a great artist looking at a completed picture.
2067 Still looking down, Turnbull lifted the chair an inch or two from the ground. Then he suddenly swung it above his head and sent it at the inquiring doctor with an awful crash which sent one of its wooden legs loose along the floor and crammed the doctor gasping into a corner.
2068 The fire, though it had dropped in one or two places, was, upon the whole, higher and more unconquerable than ever. Separate tall flames shot up and spread out above them like the fiery cloisters of some infernal cathedral, or like a grove of red tropical trees in the garden of the devil.
2069 The tall and steady forest of fire must have been already a portent visible to the whole circle of land and sea. The red flush of it lit up the long sides of white ships far out in the German Ocean, and picked out like piercing rubies the windows in the villages on the distant heights.
2070 As they stared upward the little speck of light seemed slightly tilted, and two black dots dropped from the edge of it. All the eager, upturned faces watched the two dots as they grew bigger and bigger in their downward rush. Then someone screamed, and no one looked up any more.
2071 The girl with the dark hair smiled, and began to think that this man was better than any of the others. In accordance with the strange system of concurrent religious endowment which prevails at watering-places, she dropped a two shilling piece into the round copper tray beside him.
2072 In all this he perhaps appeared more personal in contrast to the man sitting next to him, who never spoke at all but whose face seemed to speak for him. He was Dr. Gluck, the German Minister, whose face had nothing German about it; neither the German vision nor the German sleep.
2073 Patrick Dalroy sprang erect, pulling himself out of his seat by clutching at an olive-branch above his head. He steadied himself by putting one hand on the trunk of the tree, and simply stared at them all. There fell on him the huge helplessness of mere physical power.
2074 Humphrey Pump had a talent for friendship, and understood his old friend. He went into the inn without a word; and came back idly pushing or rolling with an alternate foot (as if he were playing football with two footballs at once) two objects that rolled very easily.
2075 Before the policeman had struggled out of the ditch, they had all disappeared into the darkness of the forest. Lord Ivywood who had remained firm through the scene, without a sign of fear or impatience (or, I will add, amusement), held up his hand and stopped the policeman in his pursuit.
2076 It was opened tremulously by an old man with a face so wrinkled that the wrinkles seemed more distinctly graven than the features themselves, which seemed lost in the labyrinth of them. He might have crawled out of the hole in a gnarled tree and he might have been a thousand years old.
2077 Talking all this nonsense with extreme rapidity and vast oratorical flourishes of the hand, Captain Dalroy proceeded to trundle both the big cheese and the cask of rum into the house of the astonished cottager: Mr. Pump following with a grim placidity and his gun under his arm.
2078 No one acquainted with the quaint and often wordless camaraderie of the English poor will require to be told that they all went out and stared at him as he loaded the cart and saw to the harness of the donkey - all except the old cottager, who sat as if hypnotised by the sight of the money.
2079 He evidently failed to understand the commotion in front of Mr. Marne's partly collapsed cottage, but he felt there must be something wrong about it. He wanted to get rid of the cottage altogether, and had not, of course, the faintest intention of giving the cottager any compensation for it.
2080 In a very awkward and fumbling manner, the old man pushed a heap of coins across the table. Mr. Bullrose sat down suddenly on the wooden chair with his silk hat on, and began counting them furiously. He counted them once; he counted them twice; and he counted them again.
2081 Dalroy himself was idle and ruminant, with his hands in his pockets and his eye on the horizon. Land-wards the hills, plains and woods lay bathed in the rose-red light; but it changed somewhat to purple, to cloud and something like storm over the distant violet strip of sea.
2082 They were some way along the coast from the large watering-place of Pebblewick and between the gathering twilight and the rolling country it could not be clearly seen. Nothing was now in sight but the corrugated iron hall by the beach and three half-built red brick villas.
2083 He spread out his hands again, in his fanlike eastern style. Then he clapped them together, so suddenly that Joan jumped, and looked instinctively for the entrance of five hundred negro slaves, laden with jewels. But it was only his emphatic gesture of eloquence.
2084 There were renewed hoarse encouragements to George (that rightly christened champion) and he wavered forward on legs tied in the middle with string. He did not appear to have had any seat since his arrival, and made his remarks standing half way down what we may call the central aisle.
2085 Away on the wettest edge of the sands by the sea the prints of two wheels and four hoofs were being slowly washed away by a slowly rising tide; which was, indeed, the only motive of the man Humphrey Pump, leading the donkey cart, in leading it almost ankle deep in water.
2086 Then came a cultured gentleman with a light touch, who merely made a suggestion. Had anyone read H. G. Wells's story about the kink in space? He contrived, indescribably, to suggest that no one had even heard of it except himself; or, perhaps, of Mr. Wells either.
2087 The Prophet began, indeed, with some of his dizziest flights. He informed the Company that they, the English, had always gone in hidden terror and loathing of the Pig, as a sacred symbol of evil. He proved it by the common English custom of drawing a pig with one's eyes shut.
2088 The lecturer did really try to prove that the "porcine image" had never been used in English history or literature, except in contempt. And the lecturer really did know a very great deal about English history and literature: much more than she did; much more than the aristocrats round her did.
2089 He fell to his food with great gusto, dispatched a good deal of it in a very short time, threw a glance of gloomy envy at the cask, and then sprang to his feet again. He caught up the inn-sign from where it leant against the Pantomime Cottage, and planted it like a pike in the ground beside him.
2090 Dalroy, as he sang this, actually began to dance about like a ballet girl, an enormous and ridiculous figure in the sunlight, waving the wooden sign around his head. Quoodle opened his eyes and pricked up his ears and seemed much interested in these extraordinary evolutions.
2091 Humphrey Pump came through the clearer part of the wood, leading the donkey, who had just partaken of the diet recommended to a vegetarian by conviction; the dog sprang up and ran to them. Pump was, perhaps, the most naturally polite man in the world, and said nothing.
2092 Terror lit up his wits, and he made a wild guess at what had happened. With a gasp of relief he realised that he had now good excuse for returning to the house with the warning. He ran there like a hare, still hearing the great voice from the woods like the roaring of a lion in his ear.
2093 It was the Agent's duty and desire to hold the man, whom he recognised from the sign-board mystery, in play and conversation, and prevent his final escape. But there are some people who really cannot be courteous, even when they want to be, and Mr. Bullrose was one of them.
2094 Almost at the same instant a shout and a bark announced that the cart had started as a complete equipage. It was even more than complete, for the instant before it moved Mr. Quoodle had sprung into it, and, as it was driven off, sat erect in it, looking solemn.
2095 The comparatively late hour at which Lord Ivywood had made his discovery had been largely due to a very long speech which Joan had not heard, and which was delivered immediately before the few concluding observations she had heard from Dr. Gluck.
2096 He was of the blond type of his cousin, with flowing fair hair and mustache, and a bright blue, absent-minded eye; he was very well dressed in the carefully careless manner, with a brown velvet jacket and the image on his ring of one of those beasts men worshipped in Egypt.
2097 His speech was graceful and well worded and enormously long, and it was all about an oyster. He passionately protested against the suggestion of some humanitarians who were vegetarians in other respects, but maintained that organisms so simple might fairly be counted as exceptions.
2098 He was very fond of motoring, finding it fed him with inspirations; and he had been doing it from an early hour that morning, having enjoyed a slightly lessened sleep. He had scarcely spoken to anybody until he spoke to the cultured crowd at Ivywood.
2099 Pump strolled back into the road again, picked up the cheese in his left hand, and landed it on the seat beside the driver. Then his right hand went to one of his large loose equivocal pockets, and the blade of a big jack-knife caught and recaught the steady splendours of the moon.
2100 Pump was wise in all such things, and knew that just as a little food will sometimes prevent sheer intoxication, so a little stimulant will sometimes prevent sudden and dangerous indigestion. It was practically impossible to make the man stop eating cheese.
2101 Mr. Pump had made many attempts to arrest this song, but they were as vain as all attempts to arrest the car. The angry chauffeur seemed, indeed, rather inspired to further energy by the violent vocal noises behind; and Pump again found it best to fall back on conversation.
2102 This poem also shows traces of haste in its termination, and the present editor (who has no aim save truth) is bound to confess that parts of it were supplied in the criticisms of the Captain, and even enriched (in later and livelier circumstances) by the Poet of the Birds himself.
2103 Then he looked round on the long woods and the last houses, and seemed to gnaw his lip, like a great general who has made a great mistake. His brow seemed as black as ever, yet his voice, when he spoke again, had fallen many further degrees toward its dull and daily tone.
2104 The patient ass turned mild eyes on him when he patted it, and Dorian Wimpole discovered, with a sort of subconscious surprise, that he really was fond of the donkey. Deeper still in his subliminal self he knew that he had never been fond of an animal before.
2105 The slugs gave him great entertainment, and so did the worms. He felt a new and realistic interest in them which he had not known before; it was, indeed, the interest that a man feels in a mouse in a dungeon; the interest of any man tied by the leg and forced to see the fascination of small things.
2106 Already the wan morning had warmed into a pale blue and was spotted with those little plump pink clouds which must surely have been the origin of the story that pigs might fly. The insects of the grass chattered so cheerfully that every green tongue seemed to be talking.
2107 But, though the diplomatist's debauch was barely over, his strange, soft fear and cunning were awake. He felt fairly certain the man in the fur coat had something to do with the mystery, as men with fur coats do not commonly wander about with donkeys.
2108 Unfortunately this disdainful dash for liberty was precisely what was wanting to weigh down the rocking intelligence of the Inspector on the wrong side. If Wimpole had stood still a minute or two longer, the official, who was no fool, might have ended in disbelieving Hibbs's story altogether.
2109 But Joan, looking out of real windows on a real sky and sea, thought no more about the astronomical wall-paper than about any other wall-paper. She was asking herself in sullen emotionalism, and for the thousandth time, a question she had never been able to decide.
2110 Lord Ivywood laid down the newspaper and looked at the rich and serpentine embroideries on the wall with the expression that a great general might have if he saw a chance of really ruining his enemy, if he would also ruin all his previous plan of campaign.
2111 He realised that his own law was letting them loose every time; for the local authorities hesitated to act on the spot, in defiance of a symbol now so exclusive and therefore impressive. He realised that the law must be altered. Must be altered at once.
2112 The solitary and sleepy governor of Great Britain went down into the lower crypts of its temple of freedom and turned into an apartment where Wimpole was astonished to see his cousin Ivywood sitting at a little table with a large crutch leaning beside him, as serene as Long John Silver.
2113 Suddenly the sleepy young man sprang erect, uninspired by any bell, and strode out once more. The poet could not help hearing him say as he left the table, jotting down something with a pencil: "Alcohol can be sold if previously preserved for three days on the premises.
2114 Before entering the town they had stopped by a splendid mountain stream quickening and thickening rapidly into a river; unhelmed and otherwise eased themselves, eaten a little bread bought at Wyddington and drank the water of the widening current which opened on the valley of Peaceways.
2115 They did not, however, arrive in the civic centre of such things without yet another delay. They left the river and followed the man with the long hair and the goatskin frock; and he stopped as it happened at a house on the outskirts of the village.
2116 Patrick looked out also and the view of the road outside was certainly rather singular. He was used to crowds, large and small, collecting outside houses which he had honoured with the sign of "The Old Ship," but they generally stared up at it in unaffected wonder and amusement.
2117 But Dalroy's ultimate triumph (I regret to say) consisted in actually handing to a few of the foremost of his audience some samples of his blameless beverage. The fact was certainly striking. Some were paralysed with surprise. Some were abruptly broken double with laughter. Many chuckled.
2118 In the altercation which naturally followed on his discovery of the antics of Mr. Patrick Dalroy, he was very dignified, but naturally not very tolerant; for he was quite unused to anything happening in spite of him, or anything important even happening without him, in the land that lay around.
2119 In this he was apparently in error; for several persons present seemed to object to it. But curiously enough it was not the withered and fanatical face of the philanthropist Meadows, nor the dark and equine face of the official Leveson, which stood out most vividly as a picture of protest.
2120 Ivywood did not remove his gaze from the picture of "Enthusiasm," but simply said "No; I have no sense of human limitations." Then he put up his elderly eyeglass to examine the picture better. Then he dropped it again and confronted Joan with a face paler than usual.
2121 When he appeared it was with a kind of rope ladder, which he politely hung over the side for his companions to ascend by, but the Captain preferred to swing himself onto one of the octopine branches with a whirl of large wild legs worthy of a chimpanzee.
2122 All the glass frontage of the shop was a cloud of crowding faces. They could not be clearly seen, since night was closing in on the street; and the dazzling fires of ruby and amethyst which the lighted shop gave to its great globes of liquid, rather veiled than revealed them.
2123 Those who saw Lord Ivywood at such moments understood why he stood out so strongly in the history of his time, in spite of his frozen face and his fanciful dogmas. He had all the negative nobility that is possible to man. Unlike Nelson and most of the great heroes, he knew not fear.
2124 Dorian was so fortunate as to meet the flame-haired Captain almost face to face, and easily fell into step with him at the head of the march. Humphrey Pump walked on the other side, with the celebrated cask suspended round his neck by something resembling braces, as if it were a drum.
2125 They tramped through the darkness; and dawn surprised them somewhere in the wilder and more wooded parts where the roads began to rise and roam. Dalroy gave an exclamation of pleasure and pointed ahead, drawing the attention of Dorian to the distance.
2126 The singing ceased; and the bustle in the bushes could hardly be called more than a whisper. But sounds of the same sort and somewhat louder seemed wafted round corners from other sides of the house; and the whole night seemed full of something that was alive, but was more than a single man.
2127 There flew the green standard of that great faith and strong civilization which has so often almost entered the great cities of the West; which long encircled Vienna, which was barely barred from Paris; but which had never before been seen in arms on the soil of England.
2128 He had risen, and was standing, slender in his first tailcoat, against the mantelpiece, looking downward at his boots. Elegant the dear boy looked, but a little embarrassed, as if his nerves had received a shock. Of course, he was at Eton among the nobility.
2129 Young Jolyon moved over and saw an oval face with fair hair parted in the middle and drawn in curves across the forehead, dark grey eyes looking up at him from rather deep beneath the brows, a chin with a delicate point, and shoulders shrouded in lace.
2130 His Aunt's eyes followed him wistfully to the door, where he turned to wave his hand. Dear Jo! He was growing up! Such a pleasure to see him always. He would be quite a distinguished-looking man some day, like his dear father, only with more advantages.
2131 I am distraught. I cannot tell what to do, I cannot tell. All today my mind has been going this way and that, ever since I had his dear letter. I have made it all out with the help of the dictionary. His regiment is marching tomorrow to Frankfort, and he begs me to come to him there.
2132 I have not written in you for days, my diary. What was the use? Yesterday we crossed in the packet and came up to London. I laughed when I saw our house, but I was not amused. It looked so pokey, and like other houses. Oh! Rolandseck! and the moonlight on the river! There was no letter from him.
2133 With a faint grin Soames dropped the yellowed letter - six years older than himself - on his knee, and sat brooding. Poor old Timothy! And he had never sent it. Why not? Never 'put it to the touch' after all. If he remembered Hatty Chessman the old boy had been well out of it.
2134 Soames let the little red volume drop and took up the yellowed letter. He balanced it in his hand, feeling its thin and slightly greasy texture. So that was that! He cackled faintly. The quaint old things! But suddenly his veins tingled with a flush of loyalty.
2135 So both took their coats off, and placed the oars in the rowlocks. And then the boat glided out. It was delightful! Julia felt, somehow, that not only herself, but dear little Mary beside her, who was looking so pretty, was glad that dear Roger (even though he was her husband) was not in their boat.
2136 In August they went (Ann and Hester, herself and Timothy) to Brighton for the sea air, and in a letter she happened to mention it to Septimus - always Septimus in her thoughts. Imagine her surprise, then, when on the third day she saw him sitting on the pier. It gave her such a colour.
2137 And he let her. It took quite a long time; he was so brave, keeping his eye open; and when at last she got it out, very black and tiny, they both looked at it together; it seemed to her to draw them quite close, as if they were looking into each other's souls.
2138 Without being exactly close in money matters he was the most guarded of the clan, partly no doubt because he had more children and partly because of a certain austerity which had little patience with fashion and fallals, and believed almost pitilessly in work being good for the human being.
2139 To this letter he received no answer. Three days passed during which he experienced every kind of mental and some physical discomfort. He even began to have dark thoughts about the nice solicitor. Fanny was only thirty-seven, and with a woman you never knew.
2140 Five hundred a year - what was it after all - settled or not! He would go to James this very minute and get it over; then, with the settlement in his pocket, he would pop down himself tomorrow and bring her back. Calling a hansom, he uttered the word "Poultry" and got in.
2141 Next morning, at his Bank, very tight lips assured him that an overdraft without security was not in the day's work. Young Jolyon arched his eyebrows, ran fingers through a best whisker, drawled the words: "It's of no consequence!" and went away, stiffening his fallen crest.
2142 Taking his father's hat and coat, he placed him with his back to the fire, plied the bellows, and bawled down the stairway for forks and another wild duck. And while he bawled he felt as if he could be sick, for he had a great love for his father, and this was why he was afraid of him.
2143 Old Jolyon clipped a cigar, handed another to his son, and sat down in the old leather chair on one side of the fire; young Jolyon sat in another old leather chair on the other side, and they smoked in silence, till old Jolyon took the letter from his pocket and handed it across.
2144 To him thus standing the pantry door was flung open, and in the doorway stood Miss Francie. Francie Forsyte was then aged twelve, a dark-haired child with thin legs always outgrowing their integuments. Her Celtic-grey eyes shone ominously.
2145 The youngest but one of the five young Rogers was now eleven, dark-haired and thin-faced like his sister, and, like her, grey-eyed, but of a calm which contrasted forcibly with Francie's fervour. He was recovering from the mumps, which had conveniently delayed his return to school.
2146 He was still in undetermined mood when visited by the constable whom Roger had set in motion. Now the temperament of Smith was pre-eminently suited to the police. Sunk in humility, without edge, and highly human, it appealed to authority as cream to a cat.
2147 The yard was deserted but for a pigeon, towards which June ran so that the pigeon at once left for the roof. Hurt in her feelings June had gathered up her tail, and was moving towards the house when round the corner came a little girl blubbering into her sleeve.
2148 When June had gone, he sat contemplating the ash of his cigar. Children! What things they thought of! She would learn some day that you couldn't go 'protecting' everything you came across. Sooner the better, perhaps! Generous little thing - though; giving up the Zoo.
2149 In spite of the misgivings of the good woman afraid of the effect on her accent, and the opposition of her governess, too deep for words, June had her way. Susie Betters, almost unnecessarily clean, sat every morning at the schoolroom table shedding tears over her vowels and aitches.
2150 June rushed at her. The doll fell to the floor, and the two children struggled. Susie had so far profited by six weeks of good feeding that she was the stronger; but she had not June's spirit. The combat, short and sharp, ended with June sitting on her chest.
2151 In the drawing-room, which had just had new pampas grass, Ann, sitting on the sofa, was putting down her prayer-book; she always read the Service to herself. Her mouth and chin looked very square, and there was an expression in her old grey eyes as if she were in pain.
2152 Upstairs in the drawing-room there was grave silence. Aunt Juley was trying to still her fluttering nerves; Aunt Hester trying to pretend that nothing had happened; Aunt Ann, upright and a little grim, trying to compress the Riot Act with her thin and bloodless lips.
2153 Aunts Juley and Hester rose to greet their brother; Aunt Ann, privileged by seventy-eight years, remained seated. The family always went to Aunt Ann, not Aunt Ann to the family. There was a general feeling that dear Swithin had come providentially, knowing as he did all about horses.
2154 For a full minute Aunt Juley said nothing, looking to and fro from her twisting fingers to the wrinkled ivory pale face of her eldest sister. Tears of compunction had welled up in her eyes. Dear Ann was very old, and the doctor was always saying - ! And quickly she got out her handkerchief.
2155 He began at Easter time by normal admiration of Flora's eyes and conformation, and a normal hankering to make her his own; but as summer came, he found these feelings gradually complicated by a sensation which he had never before known, but which other people had called jealousy.
2156 Hotter and hotter, the sun flamed all day, and it was good to sit in the shade. Now, alongside the croquet lawn in front of the Bassets' house, was a shrubbery of rhododendrons, and beyond this a clump of lilacs and within it a summer-house and beyond this again an orchard of plum and pear trees.
2157 He stood, presently, and watched her go, a finger to her lips and her eyes still smiling; then through the orchard himself went away, dumb and grateful for pleasure as the beasts that perish, and drunk with triumph like a god. The day had changed and darkened with the heat.
2158 He rose and went out into the breathless dark, retracing his steps to the stream, and through the blinded orchard to the summer-house. He groped and found the mallet and took it with him, stealing along past the lilacs, to the edge of the rhododendron clump bordering the lawn.
2159 When he woke the sun was shining in at his window; it shone across the room on to his boots - fourteen pairs of boots and shoes, treed, in triple rows, on the top of his chest-of-drawers. Boots and shoes of every kind - riding boots, shooting boots, town boots, tennis boots, pumps.
2160 Traversing St. James' Square, he reflected gloomily that these new Clubs were thundering great places; and this asphalt pavement that was coming in - he didn't know! London wasn't what it used to be, with horses slipping about all over the place. He turned into Jobson's.
2161 Cicely began her piece. She was at home owing to an outbreak of mumps at her school on Ham Common; and her piece, which contained a number of runs up and down the piano, was one which she was perfecting for the school concert at the end of term.
2162 Next morning, going down to breakfast he passed the picture, which had been lifted, so that it stood slanting, with its back to the stair wall. The white rooster seemed just as much on the point of taking a bath as ever. The feathers floated on their backs, curved like shallops.
2163 From the hall, bright with colour and dark gleaming wood, he moved slowly into half-lit stillness haunted by the drawl of a waltz fading as he went. And, inhaling long breaths of air grass-scented by the Temple Gardens, Soames stripped off his gloves, thin, black-stitched, of lavender hue.
2164 He walked half-conscious, a sensation about his ribs, as though his soul were bathing in a scent of sweet briar. All was empty of sound - no footsteps, and no wheels - empty, foliaged, broad, the grey river coming to colour as the sun trembled to the horizon.
2165 And superstitious dread came to the unsuperstitious Soames; he turned his eyes away lest he should stare the little house into real unreality. He walked on, past the barracks to the Park rails, still moving west, afraid of turning homewards till he was tired out.
2166 What Francie was doing with a young man whose hair stood out round him like a tea-tray, whose complexion was olive and whose eyes were almost black, was an insoluble problem which all did their utmost to solve, shaking the head and wagging the tongue.
2167 Among many others, the whole Forsyte family were sent cards of invitation written by Francie. Even Swithin received one at his Club. This was probably the first time he had ever been invited to a concert and he announced his intention of going and seeing what it was all about.
2168 Roger surveyed the room. It was, in his view, exceptionally sordid, containing a yellow chest of drawers, an iron bedstead, a round washstand, some clothes littered about, and little else. It was hot, too, had a sloping roof, and smelled of stables. "Phew!" he said.
2169 Out in the Mews, he wiped his forehead. Hot work! Passing the cab, he stopped at the corner to watch. He didn't trust that young beggar a yard. In a few minutes, however, he saw him coming hugging his violin and followed by Smith carrying a large bag. They got into the cab and drove off.
2170 And Francie! What she suffered, what she suspected, what she knew, no one ever heard. She wrote to her mother after four days saying that there had been a mistake and Guido had gone away. A week later she returned to Prince's Gate, paler, thinner, more Keltic-looking than ever.
2171 He paused and read it through. That would teach her! Faithful to the ladies, the half of his property he had left to his three sisters in equal shares; the other half to his eight nieces in equal shares. Well, there would only be seven now! And he sounded the bell.
2172 Style! His old cronies - all gone! No one came in here now who had known him in the palmy days of style! Days when there was elegance. Bicycles, forsooth! Well, that young lady had had an expensive ride, an expensive laugh. Cost her a matter of six or seven thousand pounds.
2173 Having been out of London since the Boer war broke out they had not yet heard 'Tommy Atkins' sung; and when this inevitable item was reached the effect on Giles was observed by Jesse to be as noticeable as the effect on Jesse observed by Giles.
2174 Jesse turned, and, leaning back against the balustrade, surveyed the promenaders. Giles, with mechanical conformity, had done the same. The girl continued to stare at the stage. If she had been 'kidding' him - Jesse thought - she would have turned too; besides, her face had gone a queer colour.
2175 Going up to their bedrooms, they washed, plastered Giles's cheek, bound a handkerchief round his knee, put on smoking jackets, and went down to the billiard-room. There in a corner they sat down, ordered themselves whiskies and sodas, and lit their pipes.
2176 Perceiving that he could only proceed over the considerable body of this intrusive being, Eustace shrugged his shoulders and endeavoured to stand still again, but an inflowing tide of his fellow-beings forced him down the slope into the hallway and on towards the stairs.
2177 On the contrary, all these people seemed to think that by taking refuge in the bowels of the earth they had triumphed over the enemy. Their mental pictures of being blown into little bits, or stunned by the shrapnel, must be more vivid than anything he could conjure up.
2178 And Eustace had a stab of vision. Good form discouraged the imagination till it had lost the power of painting. Like the French aristocrats who went unruffled to the guillotine, he felt that he would rather be blown up, or shot down, than share this 'rat-run' triumph of his neighbours.
2179 On the window-sill, in company with potted geraniums, he breathed the dark damp air of a London basement, and his eyes roved listlessly over walls decorated with coloured cuts from Christmas supplements, and china ornaments perched wherever was a spare flat inch.
2180 Indeed, in the month that followed, even after the Austrian ultimatum had appeared, Soames, like ninety-nine per cent. of his fellow-countrymen, didn't know what there was "to make such a fuss about." To suppose that England could be involved was weak-minded.
2181 He said nothing when he got home - nothing whatever to anybody of what he had heard - the whole of him absorbed in a sort of silent and awful adjustment. That fellow Grey - a steady chap, best of the bunch - must be making his speech to the House by now.
2182 He got out of the punt and walked slowly up past the house to his front gate. Heat was over, light paling, stars peering through, the air smelled a little of dust. Soames stood like some pelican awaiting it knew not what. A motor-cycle came sputtering from the direction of Reading.
2183 Soames walked away. Had he cheered? He did not seem to know. A little ashamed he walked. Why couldn't he have waited down there on the river, instead of rushing up into the crowd like one of these young clerks or shop fellows? He was glad nobody would know where he had been.
2184 He went to the old walnut bureau, which he had picked up in Reading - a fine piece with a secret drawer, and a bargain at that. He didn't know what to give her - the whole thing was so uncertain. Though she stood there so quietly, he was conscious that her tears were in motion.
2185 When the machine arrived, he went out into the hall to wait for the young woman to come down. Fleur and a little friend had gone off to some wood or other; Annette was in the garden and would stay there, he shouldn't wonder; he didn't want the young woman to go off without a hand to shake.
2186 And so 1917 went by, and Fleur was getting a big girl. He had good reports of her - she was quick at lessons and games; it was some comfort. At her school down in the west, he gathered, they heard and saw very little of the war; and in the holidays he kept her at home as much as he could.
2187 He went up rather slowly on to a bit of commonland, and sat down on his overcoat among gorse bushes. It was peaceful and smelled of spring; a lark was singing. And out there the Germans were breaking through! A sort of prayer went up from him while he sat in the utter peace of the mild day.
2188 The mild air and a slant of March sunlight gently warmed his cheek pale from too much contact with a pillow. And - out there! If ever this thing ended, he would come up here again and see what it was like without an ache under his fifth rib. A nice spot - open and high.
2189 He walked through quiet streets towards Piccadilly. When he passed people they smiled at him, and he didn't like it - having to smile back. Some seemed to toss remarks at the air as they passed - talking to themselves, or to God, or what not. Every now and then somebody ran.
2190 What had he told them? It would be a quarter-of-an-hour or more before the raid began. He would put his nose out, and see what they were up to. The street was empty but for an old woman - charlady she seemed to be - standing with a duster in her hand on the doorstep of the next house.
2191 He thought of Brighton, and of fishing in a punt; he thought of taking train down to Fleur's school and taking train back; he thought of standing in a crowd opposite Downing Street, as he had stood when the thing began. Nothing seemed satisfactory. Then the Austrians gave up.
2192 And very quietly, trembling all over, Soames muttered: "Thank God!" For a moment he was tempted to hurry down towards Park Lane whence the sound of cheering came. Then, suddenly, the idea seemed to him vulgar. He walked back into the house and slammed the door.
2193 A notion so utterly unconnected with the war had not occurred to him for years - it was almost like a blessing, with its suggestion of life apart from battle and murder, and once more connected with Dumetrius. And ringing the bell, he ordered a jug of claret cup.
2194 There were few signs of war at Mapledurham, though of course khaki was everywhere. When conscription came in, Soames had shaken his head. He didn't know what the newspapers were about. The thing was unEnglish. Once it was introduced, however, he supposed it was the only thing.
2195 Standing there bareheaded in the sunshine and the peace of leaves and water, with birds all round as if nothing had happened, he tried to get hold of himself. Almost a sense of panic he had. A real battle at last, and all those losses! Under a poplar tree he read the account again.
2196 There was provocation, no doubt; but, after all, the crew were being burned alive. Generally speaking, while the war dragged on, the reality of it was kept from him most efficiently not only by the Government, the papers, and his age, but by a sort of barrage put up by himself from within himself.
2197 Scattered, scuttling images of war came flying across the screen of his consciousness like so many wild geese over the sand, over the sea, out of the darkness into the darkness of a layman's mind; a layman who had thought in terms of peace all his days, and his days many.
2198 Coming down the steps of 'Snooks' Club, so nicknamed by George Forsyte in the late eighties, on that momentous mid-October afternoon of 1922, Sir Lawrence Mont, ninth baronet, set his fine nose towards the east wind, and moved his thin legs with speed.
2199 The engines of the cars whirred idly, their drivers' faces set towards the space withheld from them; a girl on a bicycle looked vacantly about her, grasping the back of the van, where a youth sat sideways with his legs stretched out towards her. Sir Lawrence glanced again at young Desert.
2200 The house in South Square, Westminster, to which the young Monts had come after their Spanish honeymoon two years before, might have been called 'emancipated.' It was the work of an architect whose dream was a new house perfectly old, and an old house perfectly new.
2201 She stood up behind the tray, holding out her white round arm without a word. She avoided unnecessary greetings or farewells. She would have had to say them so often, and their purpose was better served by look, pressure, and slight inclination of head to one side.
2202 In Fleur's involuntary smile was the whole secret of why her marriage had not been intolerable. After all, Michael was a dear! Devotion and mercury - jesting and loyalty - combined, they piqued and touched even a heart given away before it was bestowed on him.
2203 The corridor, and refectory beyond, were swarming with the restoration movement. Young men and women with faces and heads of lively and distorted character, were exchanging the word 'interesting.' Men of more massive type, resembling sedentary matadors, blocked all circulation.
2204 Soames Forsyte emerged from the Knightsbridge Hotel, where he was staying, in the afternoon of the 12th of May, 1920, with the intention of visiting a collection of pictures in a Gallery off Cork Street, and looking into the Future. He walked. Since the War he never took a cab if he could help it.
2205 Hesitating for just a moment, he nodded and went in. Since the death of his brother-in-law Montague Dartie, in Paris, which no one had quite known what to make of, except that it was certainly not suicide - the Iseeum Club had seemed more respectable to Soames.
2206 Soames saw a handkerchief held out in front of him. He took it with some natural suspicion, and approached it to his nose. It had the right scent - of distant Eau de Cologne - and his initials in a corner. Slightly reassured, he raised his eyes to the young man's face.
2207 He had become conscious of a woman and a youth standing between him and the "Future Town." Their backs were turned; but very suddenly Soames put his catalogue before his face, and drawing his hat forward, gazed through the slit between.
2208 The word produced a little shock in Soames; he had never heard her use it. And then she saw him. His eyes must have had in them something of George Forsyte's sardonic look; for her gloved hand crisped the folds of her frock, her eyebrows rose, her face went stony. She moved on.
2209 She had a charming profile, and nothing of her father in her face save a decided chin. Aware that his expression was softening as he looked at her, Soames frowned to preserve the unemotionalism proper to a Forsyte. He knew she was only too inclined to take advantage of his weakness.
2210 At that moment, most awkward of his existence, crowded with ghosts and shadows from his past, in presence of the only two women he had ever loved - his divorced wife and his daughter by her successor - Soames was not so much afraid of them as of his cousin June.
2211 With a parting look at her extended in a chair - a look half-resentful, half-adoring - Soames moved into the lift and was transported to their suite on the fourth floor. He stood by the window of the sitting-room which gave view over Hyde Park, and drummed a finger on its pane.
2212 Coming into the Lounge from the far end, he at once saw Fleur where he had left her. She sat with crossed knees, slowly balancing a foot in silk stocking and grey shoe, sure sign that she was dreaming. Her eyes showed it too - they went off like that sometimes.
2213 All are under sentence of death; Jolyon, whose sentence was but a little more precise and pressing, had become so used to it, that he thought habitually, like other people, of other things. He thought of his son now. Jon was nineteen that day, and Jon had come of late to a decision.
2214 Such discussions with his son had confirmed in Jolyon a doubt whether the world had really changed. People said that it was a new age. With the profundity of one not too long for any age, Jolyon perceived that under slightly different surfaces, the era was precisely what it had been.
2215 At the top of the stairs he hesitated between four doors. Which of them was Timothy's? And he listened. A sound as of a child slowly dragging a hobby-horse about, came to his ears. That must be Timothy! He tapped, and a door was opened by Smither very red in the face.
2216 The last of the old Forsytes was on his feet, moving with the most impressive slowness, and an air of perfect concentration on his own affairs, backward and forward between the foot of his bed and the window, a distance of some twelve feet.
2217 In the train, after quarter of an hour's indecision between thoughts of Holly, his morning paper, the look of the bright day, and his dim memory of Newmarket, Val plunged into the recesses of a small square book, all names, pedigrees, tap-roots, and notes about the make and shape of horses.
2218 Jon, on the other hand, sat awake at his window with a bit of paper and a pencil, writing his first "real poem" by the light of a candle because there was not enough moon to see by, only enough to make the night seem fluttery and as if engraved on silver.
2219 Jon was one of those boys (not many) in whom a home-trained love of beauty had survived school life. He had had to keep it to himself, of course, so that not even the drawing-master knew of it; but it was there, fastidious and clear within him.
2220 The saying had permanently undermined the confidence necessary to the success of spoken untruth. He listened therefore to Fleur's swift and rapt allusions to the jolliness of everything, plied her with scones and jam, and got away as soon as might be.
2221 Why couldn't he be self-confident and ready? And, leaning his chin on his hands, he imagined the ride he might have had with her. A week-end was but a week-end, and he had missed three hours of it. Did he know any one except himself who would have been such a flat? He did not.
2222 Fleur having declared that it was "simply too wonderful to stay indoors," they all went out. Moonlight was frosting the dew, and an old sun-dial threw a long shadow. Two box hedges at right angles, dark and square, barred off the orchard. Fleur turned through that angled opening.
2223 Fleur was not yet home. She had been expected on Wednesday; had wired that it would be Friday; and again on Friday that it would be Sunday afternoon; and here were her aunt, and her cousins the Cardigans, and this fellow Profond, and everything flat as a pancake for the want of her.
2224 Soames passed into the corner where, side by side, hung his real Goya, and the copy of the fresco "La Vendimia." His acquisition of the real Goya rather beautifully illustrated the cobweb of vested interests and passions, which mesh the bright-winged fly of human life.
2225 And Soames began that round which never tired him. He had not anticipated much intelligence from one who had mistaken a copy for an original, but as they passed from section to section, period to period, he was startled by the young man's frank and relevant remarks.
2226 Ah! and why didn't she come? He passed through drawing-room, hall, and porch out onto the drive, and stood there listening for the car. All was still and Sunday-fied; the lilacs in full flower scented the air. There were white clouds, like the feathers of ducks gilded by the sunlight.
2227 On Friday night about eleven he had packed his bag, and was leaning out of his window, half miserable and half lost in a dream of Paddington station, when he heard a tiny sound, as of a finger-nail tapping on his door. He rushed to it and listened. Again the sound.
2228 Jon had never loved her so much as in that minute which seemed to falsify Fleur's fears and to release his soul. He turned to look at her, but something in her smiling face - something which only he perhaps would have caught - stopped the words bubbling up in him.
2229 Jolyon stood a moment without speaking. Between this devil and this deep sea - the pain of a dreaded disclosure and the grief of losing his wife for two months - he secretly hoped for the devil; yet if she wished for the deep sea he must put up with it.
2230 Fleur sped on. She had need of rapid motion; she was late, and wanted all her wits about her when she got in. She passed the islands, the station, and hotel, and was about to take the ferry, when she saw a skiff with a young man standing up in it, and holding to the bushes.
2231 She looked at her wrist-watch and the windows of the house. It struck her as curiously uninhabited. Past six! The pigeons were just gathering to roost, and sunlight slanted on the dove-cot, on their snowy feathers, and beyond in a shower on the top boughs of the woods.
2232 In a disturbed domestic atmosphere the heart she had set on Jon would have a better chance. None the less was she offended, as a flower by a crisping wind. If that man had really been kissing her mother it was - serious, and her father ought to know.
2233 He felt they had no nonsense about them, and took a more practical view of things than himself. He confided to his mother that he must be an unsociable beast - it was jolly to be away from everybody who could talk about the things people did talk about.
2234 Jon heard her uneasily. Did she understand? But he felt once more that he was no match for her in self-control and subtlety. She could, in some supersensitive way, of which he had not the secret, feel the pulse of his thoughts; she knew by instinct what he hoped and feared and wished.
2235 Through this device she still had twelve hundred a year, and by reducing what she ate, and, in place of two Belgians in a poor way, employing one Austrian in a poorer, practically the same surplus for the relief of genius. After three days at Robin Hill she carried her father back with her to Town.
2236 She could not bear sleeping dogs. And there stirred in her a tortuous impulse to push the matter towards decision. Jon ought to be told, so that either his feeling might be nipped in the bud, or, flowering in spite of the past, come to fruition.
2237 Confronted with the question she had advised her father to answer, June was silent; either because this girl was trying to get something out of her, or simply because what one would do theoretically is not always what one will do when it comes to the point.
2238 The instinct to couple, starved within herself, was always at work in June. She stood watching Fleur row back; the girl took her hand off a scull to wave farewell; and June walked languidly on between the meadows and the river, with an ache in her heart.
2239 Soames had gone to look at a patch of ground on which the Local Authorities were proposing to erect a Sanatorium for people with weak lungs. Faithful to his native individualism, he took no part in local affairs, content to pay the rates which were always going up.
2240 She was showing him more affection of late, and the quiet time down here with her in this summer weather had been making him feel quite young; Annette was always running up to Town for one thing or another, so that he had Fleur to himself almost as much as he could wish.
2241 Had he ever really loved her? She thought not. Jon was the son of the woman he had really loved. Surely, then, he ought not to mind his daughter loving him; it only wanted getting used to. And a sigh of sheer relief was caught in the folds of her nightgown slipping over her head.
2242 And he did not. This conspiracy of silence made him desperate. It was humiliating to be treated like a child. He retraced his moody steps to Stratton Street. But he would go to her Club now, and find out the worst. To his inquiry the reply was that Miss Forsyte was not in the Club.
2243 There are various kinds of shocks: to the vertebrae; to the nerves; to moral sensibility; and, more potent and permanent, to personal dignity. This last was the shock Jon received, coming thus on his mother. He became suddenly conscious that he was doing an indelicate thing.
2244 He could see his father sitting under the oak-tree; and suffered in advance all the loss of caste he must go through in the eyes of that tranquil figure, with his knees crossed, thin, old, and elegant; already he could feel the faint irony which would come into his voice and smile.
2245 He waited all that evening for something to be said to him. Nothing was said. Nothing might have happened. He went up to bed; and in the mirror on his dressing-table met himself. He did not speak, nor did the image; but both looked as if they thought the more.
2246 The mystery, with which all felt him to be surrounded, was due to his having done, seen, heard, and known everything, and found nothing in it - which was unnatural. The English type of disillusionment was familiar enough to Winifred, who had always moved in fashionable circles.
2247 Fleur looked up. Monsieur Profond was swimming, heavily diabolical, before her. That - the reason! With the most heroic effort of her life so far, she managed to arrest that swimming figure. She could not tell whether he had noticed. And just then Winifred came in.
2248 Her aunt must be made not to tell her father that she knew. So long as neither she herself nor Jon were supposed to know, there was still a chance - freedom to cover one's tracks, and get what her heart was set on. But she was almost overwhelmed by her isolation.
2249 Passing the more feverish parts of the City towards the most perfect backwater in London, he ruminated. Money was extraordinarily tight; and morality extraordinarily loose! The War had done it. Banks were not lending; people breaking contracts all over the place.
2250 Two swans had come, sheltering in among the reeds. He knew the birds well, and stood watching the dignity in the curve of those white necks and formidable snake-like heads. 'Not dignified - what I have to do!' he thought. And yet it must be tackled, lest worse befell.
2251 She reached out, took a French novel off a little table, and opened it. Soames watched her, silenced by the tumult of his feelings. The thought of that man was almost making him want her, and this was a revelation of their relationship, startling to one little given to introspective philosophy.
2252 If she persuaded Jon to a quick and secret marriage, and he found out afterwards that she had known the truth! What then? Jon hated subterfuge. Again, then, would it not be better to tell him? But the memory of his mother's face kept intruding on that impulse. Fleur was afraid.
2253 The more she studied the less sure she became; till, idly turning the pages, she came to Scotland. People could be married there without any of this nonsense. She had only to go and stay there twenty-one days, then Jon could come, and in front of two people they could declare themselves married.
2254 Now that she knew what she and Jon were up against, her longing for him had increased tenfold, as if he were a toy with sharp edges or dangerous paint such as they had tried to take from her as a child. If she could not have her way, and get Jon for good and all, she felt like dying of privation.
2255 On reaching home Fleur found an atmosphere so peculiar that it penetrated even the perplexed aura of her own private life. Her mother was in blue stockingette and a brown study; her father in a white felt hat and the vinery. Neither of them had a word to throw to a dog.
2256 It was hot that night. Both she and her mother had put on thin, pale low frocks. The dinner flowers were pale. Fleur was struck with the pale look of everything: her father's face, her mother's shoulders; the pale panelled walls, the pale-grey velvety carpet, the lamp-shade, even the soup was pale.
2257 All was in such turmoil within her. But no good to show it! No good at all! She broke away from him, and went out into the twilight, distraught, but unconvinced. All was indeterminate and vague within her, like the shapes and shadows in the garden, except - her will to have.
2258 He put a ten-shilling note on the tray with a doubting hand and gained the door. He heard the Austrian gasp, and hurried out. He had just time to catch his train, and all the way to Victoria looked at every face that passed, as lovers will, hoping against hope.
2259 Holly put down the spoon she was using, and raised her eyes. Her stare was circumspect. What did the boy know? Enough to make it better to tell him? She could not decide. He looked strained and worried, altogether older, but that might be the sunstroke.
2260 When lunch was over they broke up into couples for the digestive promenade. Too proud to notice, Soames knew perfectly that Annette and that fellow had gone prowling round together. Fleur was with Val; she had chosen him, no doubt, because he knew that boy.
2261 Soames looked as best he could under that limitation. A man in a grey top hat, grey-bearded, with thin brown, folded cheeks, and a certain elegance of posture, sat there with a woman in a lawn-coloured frock, whose dark eyes were fixed on himself. Soames looked quickly at his feet.
2262 The world had slipped its sanity a bit, as dogs now and again at full moon slipped theirs and went off for a night's rabbiting; but the world, like the dog, knew where its bread was buttered and its bed warm, and would come back sure enough to the only home worth having - to private ownership.
2263 He folded the confession, and put it in his pocket. It was - thank heaven! - Saturday; he had till Sunday evening to think it over; for even if posted now it could not reach Jon till Monday. He felt a curious relief at this delay, and at the fact that, whether sent or not, it was written.
2264 In the rose garden, which had taken the place of the old fernery, he could see Irene snipping and pruning, with a little basket on her arm. She was never idle, it seemed to him, and he envied her now that he himself was idle nearly all his time. He went down to her.
2265 At a less anxious moment he might have been amused by the conflict his words aroused - the boy's eager clasp, to reassure him on these points, the dread on his face of what that reassurance would bring forth; but he could only feel grateful for the squeeze.
2266 A gleam of sun had come, sharpening to his hurrying senses all the beauty of the afternoon, of the tall trees and lengthening shadows, of the blue, and the white clouds, the scent of the hay, and the cooing of the pigeons; and the flower shapes standing tall.
2267 When Jon rushed away with the letter in his hand, he ran along the terrace and round the corner of the house, in fear and confusion. Leaning against the creepered wall he tore open the letter. It was long - very long! This added to his fear, and he began reading.
2268 She moved over to the bed, and sat down on it, quite close to him, her hands still clasping her breast, her feet among the sheets of the letter which had slipped to the floor. She saw them, and her hands grasped the edge of the bed. She sat very upright, her dark eyes fixed on him.
2269 It was his first sight of human death, and its unutterable stillness blotted from him all other emotion; all else, then, was but preliminary to this! All love and life, and joy, anxiety, and sorrow, all movement, light and beauty, but a beginning to this terrible white stillness.
2270 Some hours later, when all was done that had to be, and his mother was lying down, he saw his father alone, on the bed, covered with a white sheet. He stood for a long time gazing at that face which had never looked angry - always whimsical, and kind.
2271 On reaching home he heard the click of billiard-balls; and through the window saw young Mont sprawling over the table. Fleur, with her cue akimbo, was watching with a smile. How pretty she looked! No wonder that young fellow was out of his mind about her.
2272 However, there was no harm in the young fellow's being heir to a title and estate - a thing one couldn't help. He entered quietly, as Mont missed his shot. He noted the young man's eyes, fixed on Fleur bending over in her turn; and the adoration in them almost touched him.
2273 The weeks which followed the death of his father were sad and empty to the only Jolyon Forsyte left. The necessary forms and ceremonies - the reading of the Will, valuation of the estate, distribution of the legacies - were enacted over the head, as it were, of one not yet of age.
2274 He put out his hand in the half-dark, as if to grasp the shadowy hand of the dead. He clenched, trying to feel the thin vanished fingers of his father; to squeeze them, and reassure him that he - he was on his father's side. Tears, prisoned within him, made his eyes feel dry and hot.
2275 Life was a queer business. There he was at sixty-five and no more in command of things than if he had not spent forty years in building up security - always something one couldn't get on terms with! In the pocket of his dinner-jacket was a letter from Annette. She was coming back in a fortnight.
2276 He did not see Fleur again that night. But, at breakfast, her eyes followed him about with an appeal he could not escape - not that he intended to try. No! He had made up his mind to the nerve-racking business. He would go to Robin Hill - to that house of memories.
2277 He passed through that opening. As in the picture-gallery and the confectioner's shop, she seemed to him still beautiful. And this was the first time - the very first - since he married her five and thirty years ago, that he was speaking to her without the legal right to call her his.
2278 In a kind of stupefaction Soames looked from one to the other; then, taking up hat and umbrella, which he had put down on a chair, he walked towards the curtains. The boy stood aside for him to go by. He passed through and heard the grate of the rings as the curtains were drawn behind him.
2279 They came, stepping from the chancel. Holly looked first in young Mont's face. His lips and ears were twitching, his eyes, shifting from his feet to the hand within his arm, stared suddenly before them as if to face a firing party. He gave Holly the feeling that he was spiritually intoxicated.
2280 Soames nodded. He had never seen her look prettier, yet he could not rid himself of the impression that this business was unnatural - remembering still that crushed figure burrowing into the corner of the sofa. From that night to this day he had received from her no confidences.
2281 He had settled fifty thousand on Fleur, taking care that there was no cross settlement in case it didn't turn out well. Could it turn out well? She had not got over that other boy - he knew. They were to go to Spain for the honeymoon. He would be even lonelier when she was gone.
2282 Soames, moving to the well of the staircase, saw June go, and drew a breath of satisfaction. But why didn't Fleur come? They would miss their train. That train would bear her away from him, yet he could not help fidgeting at the thought that they would lose it.
2283 He arrived at eleven o'clock to see that all was ready. At a quarter past old Gradman came in black gloves and crape on his hat. He and Soames stood in the drawing-room waiting. At half-past eleven the carriages drew up in a long row. But no one else appeared.
2284 He gazed restlessly at the crosses and the urns, the angels, the "immortelles," the flowers, gaudy or withering; and suddenly he noticed a spot which seemed so different from anything else up there that he was obliged to walk the few necessary yards and look at it.
2285 The spot was free from the pressure of the other graves, having a little box-hedged garden on the far side, arid in front a goldening birch-tree. This oasis in the desert of conventional graves appealed to the aesthetic sense of Soames, and he sat down there in the sunshine.
2286 A child of 1901, he had come to consciousness when his country, just over that bad attack of scarlet fever, the Boer War, was preparing for the Liberal revival of 1906. Coercion was unpopular, parents had exalted notions of giving their offspring a good time.
2287 It was a disillusionment, then, when at the age of nearly seven she held him down on his back, because he wanted to do something of which she did not approve. This first interference with the free individualism of a Forsyte drove him almost frantic.
2288 On this pond, after his father and Garratt had ascertained by sounding that it had a reliable bottom and was nowhere more than two feet deep, he was allowed a little collapsible canoe, in which he spent hours and hours paddling, and lying down out of sight of Indian Joe and other enemies.
2289 While he was eating his jam beneath the oak tree, he noticed things about his mother that he had never seemed to see before, her cheeks for instance were creamy, there were silver threads in her dark goldy hair, her throat had no knob in it like Bella's, and she went in and out softly.
2290 For some ten minutes of it he tried loyally to sleep, counting a great number of thistles in a row, "Da's" old recipe for bringing slumber. He seemed to have been hours counting. It must, he thought, be nearly time for her to come up now. He threw the bedclothes back.
2291 He found the human side of his business too strong for the monetary. Danby and Winter, however, were bearing up against him, and showed, so far, no signs of the bankruptcy prophesied for them by Soames on being told of the principles which his son-in-law intended to introduce.
2292 Replacing the receiver, Michael saw a sudden great cloud of sights and scents and sounds, so foreign to the principles of his firm that he was in the habit of rejecting instantaneously every manuscript which dealt with them. The war might be 'off'; but it was still 'on' within Wilfrid, and himself.
2293 His eyes were perhaps rather close together, and his nose rather thin, but he looked a handsome piece in his well-proportioned room. He glanced up from the formation of a correct judgment on a matter of advertisement when Wilfrid Desert came in.
2294 In their bed, one of those just too wide for one and just not wide enough for two, he lay, with her hair almost in his mouth, thinking what to say to his Union, and how to go to work to get a job. And in his thoughts as the hours drew on he burned his boats.
2295 Next day, after some hours on foot, he stood under the grey easterly sky in the grey street, before a plate-glass window protecting an assortment of fruits and sheaves of corn, lumps of metal, and brilliant blue butterflies, in the carefully golden light of advertised Australia.
2296 Michael had no illusions, he knew himself to be commonplace, with only a certain redeeming liveliness, and, of course, his affection for her. He even recognised that his affection was a weakness, tempting him to fussy anxieties, which on principle he restrained.
2297 The moment she got there she had perceived how entirely unprepared she really was to commit herself to what was physical. True he had done no more than Michael. But - Goodness! - she had seen the fire she was playing with, realised what torment he was in.
2298 And he went up to his bed. If there was point in anything, it was in perpetuation of oneself, though, of course, that begged the question. 'Wonder,' he thought, 'if I ought to have asked her whether that young man - !' But young people were best left alone.
2299 The meeting was in full swing when he arrived, the candidate pitilessly exposing the fallacies of a capitalism which, in his view, had brought on the war. For fear that it should bring on another, it must be changed for a system which would ensure that nations should not want anything too much.
2300 This Wilfrid business had upset him horribly. Try as he had to put it out of his mind, try as he would to laugh it off, it continued to eat into his sense of security and happiness. Wife and best friend! A hundred times a day he assured himself that he trusted Fleur.
2301 The general sentiment was surprisingly like his own. In so far as it was unpleasant for the Huns - all right; in so far as it was unpleasant for British trade - all wrong; in so far as love of British trade was active and hate of Huns now passive - more wrong than right.
2302 The good of all was the good of one! Soames saw the flaw at once. That might be, but the good of one was not the good of all. He felt that if he did not take care he would be pointing this out. The man was a perfect stranger to him, and no good ever came of argument.
2303 Soames, who had half turned, resumed his contemplation of a void. Poor old Gradman dated! What would he say when he heard that they had been insuring foreign business? Stimulated by the old-time quality of Gradman's presence, his mind ranged with sudden freedom.
2304 Only a perfect idiot's face could be read like that. And here was a man of experience and culture, one who knew every rope of business life and polite society. The hairless, neat features exhibited no more concern than the natural mortification of one whose policy had met with such a nasty knock.
2305 That had got the chairman's goat! - Got his goat? What expressions they used nowadays! Or did it mean the opposite? One never knew! But as for Elderson - he seemed to Soames to be merely counterfeiting a certain flusteration. Futile to attempt to spring anything out of a chap like that.
2306 On the morning when the mark was bumping down, she was putting on her velveteen jacket and toque (best remaining items of her wardrobe), having taken a resolve. Bicket never mentioned his old job, and his wife had subtly divined some cause beyond the ordinary for his loss of it.
2307 She entered, trembling. All went exactly as foreseen, even to the pinching of her accent, till she stood waiting for them to bring an answer from the speaking tube, concealing her hands in their very old gloves. Had Miss Manuelli an appointment? There was no manuscript.
2308 Victorine followed him in. It was 'not half' sea-green in there; a high room with rafters and a top light, and lots of pictures and drawings on the walls, and as if they had slipped off on to the floor. A picture on an easel of two ladies with their clothes sliding down troubled Victorine.
2309 If physically Fleur stood up straight, was she morally as erect? This was the speculation for which he continually called himself a cad. He saw no change in her movements, and loyally refrained from enquiring into the movements he could not see.
2310 He entered Covent Garden. Amazing place! A human nature which, decade after decade, could put up with Covent Garden was not in danger of extinction from its many ills. A comforting place - one needn't take anything too seriously after walking through it.
2311 Neither by her wish, nor through her fault, was he passionate! And yet - it was both nice and proper to inspire passion; and, of course, she had the lurking sense that she was not 'in the mode' to cavil at a lover, especially since life owed her one.
2312 Almost opposite was that gallery where she had first met him and - Jon. Slip across in there! If he were still hovering round the entrance of the little street, she could tell him with a good conscience where she had been. She peeped. Not in sight! Swiftly she slid across into the doorway opposite.
2313 The large white monkey with its brown haunting eyes, as if she had suddenly wrested its interest from the orange-like fruit in its crisped paw, the grey background, the empty rinds all round - bright splashes in a general ghostliness of colour, impressed her at once.
2314 Held rather firmly by his jade-green collar and confronted by an inexplicable piece of silk smelling of the past, Ting-a-ling raised his head higher and higher to correspond with the action of his nostrils, and his little tongue appeared, tentatively savouring the emanation of his country.
2315 So Jon was not married! Not that it made any odds! Things did not come round as they were expected to in books. And anyway sentiment was swosh! Cut it out! She tossed back her hair; and, getting hammer and nail, proceeded to hang the white monkey.
2316 Yes! He was quite unlike himself, as if the spring in him had run down. A sort of malaise overcame her. Michael not cheerful! It was like the fire going out on a cold day. And, perhaps for the first time, she was conscious that his cheerfulness was of real importance to her.
2317 They dreamed together of blue butterflies, and awoke to chilly gaslight and a breakfast of cocoa and bread-and-butter. Fog! Bicket was swallowed up before the eyes of Victorine ten yards from the door. She returned to the bedroom with anger in her heart.
2318 For the rest of the morning she worked feverishly, shortening Tony, mending the holes in his socks, turning the fray of his cuffs. She ate a biscuit, drank another cup of cocoa - it was fattening, and went for the hole in the white silk jumper. One o'clock.
2319 Slowly in Victorine the sense of the dreadfully unusual faded. Tony should never know. If he never knew, he couldn't care. She could lie like this all day - fifteen bob, and fifteen bob! It was easy. She watched the quick, slim fingers moving, the blue smoke from the cigarette.
2320 It was a director's duty to be perfectly straightforward. But if a director were perfectly straightforward, he couldn't be a director. That was clear. In the first place, he would have to tell his shareholders that he didn't anything like earn his fees.
2321 But had they confessed to it? Not they. One didn't confess. One said: "The question of policy made it imperative at the time." Or, better still, one said nothing; and trusted to the British character. With his chin resting on the sheet, Soames felt a momentary relief.
2322 Soames had a moment of compunction. This young fellow held his life in his hands, as it were - one of the great army who made their living out of self-suppression and respectability, with a hundred ready to step into his shoes at his first slip.
2323 When Michael rose from the refectory table, Fleur had risen, too. Two days and more since she left Wilfrid's rooms, and she had not recovered zest. The rifling of the oyster Life, the garlanding of London's rarer flowers which kept colour in her cheeks, seemed stale, unprofitable.
2324 Dead lion beside live donkey cuts but dim figure. But she could not get hold again of - what? That was the trouble: What? For two whole days she had been trying. Michael was still strange, Wilfrid still lost, Jon still buried alive, and nothing seemed novel under the sun.
2325 It summed up the satirical truth of which she was perhaps subconscious, that all her little modern veerings and flutterings and rushings after the future showed that she believed in nothing but the past. The age had overdone it and must go back to ancestry for faith.
2326 Fleur put her hands where her flesh ended, and her dress began. Wasn't she as warm and firm - yes, and ten times as pretty, as that fine and evil-looking Spanish dame, with the black eyes and the wonderful lace? And, turning her back on the picture, she went into the hall.
2327 The firelight - soft, uncertain - searched out spots and corners of her Chinese room, as on a stage in one of those scenes, seductive and mysterious, where one waited, to the sound of tambourines, for the next moment of the plot. She reached out and took a cigarette.
2328 So long as she saw herself she would do nothing - she knew it - for nothing would be worth doing! And it seemed to her, lying there so still, that not to see herself would be worse than anything. And she felt that to feel this was to acknowledge herself caged for ever.
2329 Girls and young men were few, for they were dispersed already on the heath, in search of a madder merriment. On benches, in chairs of green canvas or painted wood, hundreds were sitting, contemplating their feet, as if imagining the waves of the sea.
2330 They spoke in whispers. It seemed wrong to raise the voice, as though the grove were under a spell. Even their whisperings were scarce. Dew fell, but they paid no heed to it. With hands locked, and cheeks together, they sat very still. Bicket had a thought.
2331 In Michael the word Butterfield excited an uneasy pride. The young man fulfilled with increasing success the function for which he had been engaged, on trial, four months ago. The head traveller had even called him "a find." Next to 'Copper Coin' he was the finest feather in Michael's cap.
2332 Almost life-size, among the flowers and spiky grasses, the face smiled round at him - very image of Vic! Could some one in the world be as like her as all that? The thought offended him, as a collector is offended finding the duplicate of an unique possession.
2333 As Fleur surmised, he had never forgotten Aubrey Greene's words concerning that bit of salvage from the wreck of George Forsyte. "Eat the fruits of life, scatter the rinds, and get copped doing it." His application of them tended towards the field of business.
2334 There would be no interim dividend, and even then they would be carrying forward a debit towards the next half-year. Well! better have a rotten tooth out at once and done with; the shareholders would have six months to get used to the gap before the general meeting.
2335 The old clerk withdrew. Soames looked at the clock. Twelve! A little shaft of sunlight slanted down the wainscotting and floor. There was nothing else alive in the room save a bluebottle and the tick of the clock; not even a daily paper. Soames watched the bluebottle.
2336 Soames went out confused. To have his hand squeezed was so rare! It undermined him. And yet, it might be the crown of a consummate bit of acting. He couldn't tell. He had, however, less intention even than before of moving for a meeting of the shareholders.
2337 This Board, held just a week before the special meeting of the shareholders, was in the nature of a dress rehearsal. The details of confrontation had to be arranged, and Soames was chiefly concerned with seeing that a certain impersonality should be preserved.
2338 The evening lingered out; the sun went down behind familiar trees; Soames' hands, grasping the window-ledge, felt damp with dew; sweetness of grass and river stole up into his nostrils. The sky had paled, and now began to darken; a scatter of stars came out.
2339 They had reached the bank, and in the entrance Michael saw two Forsytes between thirty and forty, whose chinny faces he dimly remembered. Escorted by a man with bright buttons down his front, they all went to a room, where a man without buttons produced a japanned box.
2340 Soames' eyes slid past, peering into the room. A string worked in his throat, as if he had things to say which did not emerge. He shook his head, and turned. His slim figure, longer than usual, in its gown, receded down the corridor, past the Japanese prints which he had given them.
2341 Michael had thought better of the Press, and took up a position in the passage, whence he could watch for a chance. Stout men, in dark suits, with a palpable look of having lunched off turbot, joints, and cheese, kept passing him. He noticed that each handed the janitor a paper.
2342 Back-centre of the platform was a door, and in front, below it, a table, where four men were sitting, fiddling with notebooks. 'Orchestra,' thought Michael. He turned his attention to the eight or ten rows of shareholders. They looked what they were, but he could not tell why.
2343 Familiar with these details, Michael paid them little attention, watching the shareholders for signs of reaction. He saw none, and it was suddenly borne in on him why they wore moustaches: They could not trust their mouths! Character was in the mouth.
2344 A pause ensued, such as occurs before an awkward fence, till somebody has found a gate. Michael rapidly reviewed the faces of the Board. Only one showed any animation. It was concealed in a handkerchief. The sound of the blown nose broke the spell.
2345 The sounds which greeted this moderate speech were so inextricable that Michael could not get the sense of them. Not so with the speech which followed. It came from a shareholder on the right, with reddish hair, light eyelashes, a clipped moustache, and a scraped colour.
2346 The impression made by this speech was of quite a different order from any of the others. It was followed by a hush, as though something important had been said at last. Michael stared at Mr. Tolby. The stout man's round, light, rather prominent eye was extraordinarily reflective.
2347 He sought his hat. He had not the slightest doubt but that he had astonished their weak nerves! Those pug-faced fellows had their mouths open! He would have liked to see what he had left behind, but it was hardly consistent with dignity to open the door again.
2348 He turned into the Poultry before he knew why he had come there. Well, he might as well tell Gradman at once that he must exercise his own judgment in the future. At the mouth of the backwater he paused for a second, as if to print its buffness on his brain.
2349 The Blair girls were young and pretty with a medium-coloured, short-faced, well-complexioned, American prettiness, of a type to which he had become accustomed during the two and a half years he had spent in the United States. They were at first extremely silent, and then extremely vocal.
2350 Francis Wilmot, reining up in front, pointed at a large mound which certainly seemed to be unnaturally formed. They all reined up, looked at it for two minutes in silence, remarked that it was "very interesting," and rode on. In a hollow the occupants of two cars were disembarking food.
2351 Along the alleys of the eternal pinewood the sun was in their eyes; a warmed scent rose from pine needles, gum and herbs; the going was sandy and soft; the horses in good mood. Jon felt happy. This girl had strange eyes, enticing; and she rode better even than the Blair girls.
2352 The image of his first love did not often haunt him now - had not for a year or more. He had been so busy with his peaches. Besides, Holly had written that Fleur had a boy. He said suddenly: "I think we ought to turn. Look at the sun!" The sun, indeed, was well down behind the trees.
2353 He began an expurgated edition of his youth, and it seemed to him that she listened beautifully. He asked for her story in return; and, while she was telling it, wondered whether he liked her voice or not. It dwelled and slurred, but was soft and had great flavour.
2354 He moved round the foot of the mound till he came to the horses, and stayed a little talking to them and stroking their noses. A feeling, warm and protective, stirred within him. This was a nice child, and a brave one. A face to remember, with lots behind it.
2355 Jon enjoyed the scent, as of hay, that rose from her hair not far below his nose. Then came a long silence, while the warm protective feeling grew and grew within him. He would have liked to slip his arms round and hold her closer. But of course he did not.
2356 Again a long silence fell; but this time his arm was round her, it was more comfortable so, for both of them. And Jon began to have the feeling that it would be inadvisable for the moon to rise. Had she that feeling too? He wondered. But if she had, the moon in its courses paid no attention.
2357 After the midday meal he rode with them or with Anne alone. In the evening he learned from her to play the ukulele before a wood fire lighted at sundown, or heard about cotton culture from Francis, with whom, since that moment of animosity, he was on the best of terms.
2358 Between Anne and himself there was little talk; they had, as it were, resumed the silence which had fallen when they sat in the dark under the old Indian mound. But he watched her; indeed, he was always trying to catch the grave enticing look in her dark eyes.
2359 With that he turned his back and looked at the house before which he had descended. This, the first private English house he had ever proposed to enter, inspired him with a certain uneasiness, as of a man who expects to part with a family ghost.
2360 He had bought the meadows on the far side of the river and several Jersey cows. Not that he was going in for farming or nonsense of that sort, but it gave him an interest to punt himself over and see them milked. He had put up a good deal of glass, too, and was laying down melons.
2361 From that moment Soames began almost unconsciously to read the book. He found it a peculiar affair, which gave most people some good hard knocks. He began to enjoy them, especially the chapter deprecating the workman's dislike of parting with his children at a reasonable age.
2362 But in his room that night he had stood in his pyjamas swinging his arms in imitation of Jack Cardigan. The next day he sent the women out in the car with their lunch; he was not going to have them grinning at him. He had seldom spent more annoying hours than those which followed.
2363 On their Italian holiday, with Fleur in the throes of novelty, sun and wine warmed, disposed to junketing, amenable to his caresses, he had been having his real honeymoon, enjoying, for the first time since his marriage, a sense of being the chosen companion of his adored.
2364 Michael entered from its west end, and against his principles. Here was overcrowded England, at its most dismal, and here was he, who advocated a reduction of its population, about to visit some broken-down aliens with the view of keeping them alive.
2365 The clothes were washed elsewhere; in here they were but aired before being put on. Still, until people put thoughts into words, they didn't know what they thought, and sometimes they didn't know afterwards. And for the hundredth time Michael was seized by a weak feeling in his legs.
2366 But in spite of assumed levity, Michael had been hit. The knowledge that his adored one had the collector's habit, and flitted, alluring, among the profitable, had, so far, caused him only indulgent wonder. But now it seemed more than an amusing foible.
2367 He turned at random to the right along the river. Never in his life had he walked through a great city at the dead hour. Not a passion alive, nor a thought of gain; haste asleep, and terrors dreaming; here and there would be one turning on his bed; perchance a soul passing.
2368 Soames moved blindly to the window and stood looking out. He saw a cab with luggage drive away; saw some pigeons alight, peck at the pavement, and fly off again; he saw a man kissing a woman in the dusk; a policeman light his pipe and go off duty.
2369 He seemed to lend a meaning to life. His vitality was absolute, not relative. His kicks and crows and splashings had the joy of a gnat's dance, or a jackdaw's gambols in the air. They gave thanks not for what he was about to receive, but for what he was receiving.
2370 She drew aside the curtains and looked out into the Square. Two cats were standing in the light of a lamp - narrow, marvellously graceful, with their heads turned towards each other. Suddenly they began uttering horrible noises, and became all claws. Fleur dropped the curtain.
2371 He judged them by his sister, or by the friends of his dead mother, in Savannah, who were all of a certain age. A Northern lady on the boat had told him that Southern girls measured life by the number of men they could attract; she had given him an amusing take-off of a Southern girl.
2372 Soames had gone off to his sister's in Green Street thoroughly upset. That Fleur should have a declared enemy, powerful in Society, filled him with uneasiness; that she should hold him accountable for it, seemed the more unjust, because in fact he was.
2373 But retirement from affairs had effected in Soames a deeper change than he was at all aware of. Lacking professional issues to anchor the faculty for worrying he had inherited from James Forsyte, he was inclined to pet any trouble that came along.
2374 Except that he did not like to get into them, Soames took on the whole a favourable view of 'the papers.' He read The Times; his father had read it before him, and he had been brought up on its crackle. It had news - more news for his money than he could get through.
2375 This was an aspect of the affair that Soames had not foreseen. Before he could ask this Editor chap not to repeat his offence, he had apparently to convince him that it was an offence; but to do that he must expose the real meaning of the paragraph.
2376 If Foggartism were killed tomorrow, he, with his inherent distrust of theories and ideas, his truly English pragmatism, could not help feeling that Michael would be well rid of a white elephant. What disquieted him, however, was the suspicion that he himself had inspired this article.
2377 If he spoke from now till the day of the election, they would merely think he held rather extreme views on Imperial Preference, which, by the way, he did. He could never tell the electorate that he thought England was on the wrong tack - one might just as well not stand.
2378 She remained pensive after he had left her, distrusting her own brain-wave. If only she weren't so hard up! She had learned during this month of secret engagement that "Nothing for nothing and only fair value for sixpence" ruled North of the Tweed as well as South.
2379 She gambled only with discretion, and chiefly on race-horses; drank with strict moderation and a good head; smoked of course, but the purest cigarettes she could get, and through a holder. If she had learned suggestive forms of dancing, she danced them but once in a blue moon.
2380 The Committee, indeed, did not like it, but they lumped it; and the Address went out with an effigy on it of Michael, looking, as he said, like a hair-dresser. Thereon he plunged into a fray, which, like every other, began in the general and ended in the particular.
2381 His would be a stray wind carrying the seed of a new herb into a garden, so serried and so full that no corner would welcome its growth. There was a plant called Chinese weed which having got hold never let go, and spread till it covered everything.
2382 Speakers on all sides of the House, dwelling on the grave nature of the Unemployment problem, had pinned their faith to the full recapture of European trade, some in one way, some in another. August as they were, he wished very humbly to remark that they could not eat cake and have it.
2383 At this moment in his speech Michael himself became a somewhat shrinking asset, overwhelmed by a sudden desire to drop Foggartism, and sit down. The cool attention, the faint smiles, the expression on the face of a past Prime Minister, seemed conspiring towards his subsidence.
2384 The House is aware that experiments in this direction have already been made, with conspicuous success, but such experiments are but a drop in the bucket. This is a matter which can only be tackled in the way that things were tackled during the war.
2385 It has often been remarked that the breakfast-tables of people who avow themselves indifferent to what the Press may say of them are garnished by all the newspapers on the morning when there is anything to say. In Michael's case this was a waste of almost a shilling.
2386 If women were reading this sort of thing, then there really was no distinction between men and women nowadays. He took up the book again, and read steadily on to the beginning. The erotic passages alone interested him. The rest seemed rambling, disconnected stuff. He rested again.
2387 Michael entered a room of spotless character, which had evidently been formed from several knocked into one. Six small children dressed in blue linen were seated on the floor, playing games. They embraced the knees of Norah Curfew when she came within reach.
2388 Scraping the Manor House for furniture, and sending in a store of groceries, oil-lamps, and soap, he installed Boddick on the left, earmarked the centre for the Bergfelds, and the right hand for Swain. He was present when the Manor car brought them from the station.
2389 She saw people nodding in the direction of him, seated opposite her between two ladies covered with flesh and pearls. Excited and very pretty, she flirted with the Admiral on her right, and defended Michael with spirit from the Under-Secretary on her left.
2390 At this moment the royal lady saw some one else she wished to speak to, and was compelled to break off the conversation, which she did very graciously, leaving Fleur with the feeling that she had been disappointed with the rate of production.
2391 She received their letter on the Friday before Christmas, just as she was about to go down to her father's, near Newmarket, and wrote hastily to say she would call at their office on her way home on Monday. The following evening she consulted her father.
2392 Feverish and soft, as if approaching a crisis, she dressed hastily, put essence of orange-blossom on her neck and hands, and went to the studio. She entered without noise. The young man, back to the door, in the centre of the room, evidently did not hear her.
2393 The camera took three photographs. Michael, who had noted that Bergfeld had begun shaking, suggested to the camera that it would miss its train. It at once took a final photograph of Michael in front of the hut, two cups of tea at the Manor, and its departure.
2394 He went up-stairs and sat down before 'The White Monkey.' In that strategic position he better perceived the core of his domestic moment. Fleur had to be first - had to take precedence. No object in her collection must live a life of its own! He was appalled by the bitterness of that thought.
2395 She changed her hand on his forehead, whose heat seemed to scorch the skin of her palm. His lips resumed their almost soundless movement. The meaningless, meaningful whispering frightened her, but she stood her ground, constantly changing her hand, till the maid came back with the tea.
2396 She had acted in a play, she had passed an emotional hour, and she was hungry. At least she could dine before making the necessary scene. And while she drank the best champagne MacGown could buy, she talked and watched the burning eyes of her adorer.
2397 For an hour she danced. She would not let him take her home, and in her cab she cried. She wrote to Francis when she got in. She went out again to post it. The bitter stars, the bitter wind, the bitter night! At the little slurred thump of her letter dropping, she laughed.
2398 Aragorn sped on up the hill. Every now and again he bent to the ground. Hobbits go light, and their footprints are not easy even for a Ranger to read, but not far from the top a spring crossed the path, and in the wet earth he saw what he was seeking.
2399 There were four goblin-soldiers of greater stature, swart, slant-eyed, with thick legs and large hands. They were armed with short broad-bladed swords, not with the curved scimitars usual with Orcs: and they had bows of yew, in length and shape like the bows of Men.
2400 Upon this rough bier they carried the body of their companion to the shore, together with such trophies of his last battle as they chose to send forth with him. It was only a short way, yet they found it no easy task, for Boromir was a man both tall and strong.
2401 Now they laid Boromir in the middle of the boat that was to bear him away. The grey hood and elven-cloak they folded and placed beneath his head. They combed his long dark hair and arrayed it upon his shoulders. The golden belt of Lorien gleamed about his waist.
2402 Like a deer he sprang away. Through the trees he sped. On and on he led them, tireless and swift, now that his mind was at last made up. The woods about the lake they left behind. Long slopes they climbed, dark, hard-edged against the sky already red with sunset. Dusk came.
2403 The dale ran like a stony trough between the ridged hills, and a trickling stream flowed among the boulders at the bottom. A cliff frowned upon their right; to their left rose grey slopes, dim and shadowy in the late night. They went on for a mile or more northwards.
2404 It seemed that the Orcs had pressed on with all possible speed. Every now and again the pursuers found things that had been dropped or cast away: food-bags, the rinds and crusts of hard grey bread, a torn black cloak, a heavy iron-nailed shoe broken on the stones.
2405 The falling stream vanished into a deep growth of cresses and water-plants, and they could hear it tinkling away in green tunnels, down long gentle slopes towards the fens of Entwash Vale far away. They seemed to have left winter clinging to the hills behind.
2406 They went in single file, running like hounds on a strong scent, and an eager light was in their eyes. Nearly due west the broad swath of the marching Orcs tramped its ugly slot; the sweet grass of Rohan had been bruised and blackened as they passed.
2407 The sun climbed to the noon and then rode slowly down the sky. Light clouds came up out of the sea in the distant South and were blown away upon the breeze. The sun sank. Shadows rose behind and reached out long arms from the East. Still the hunters held on.
2408 At dusk they halted again. Now twice twelve leagues they had passed over the plains of Rohan and the wall of the Emyn Muil was lost in the shadows of the East. The young moon was glimmering in a misty sky, but it gave small light, and the stars were veiled.
2409 Just to the West of the southernmost slope there was a great ring, where the turf had been torn and beaten by many trampling feet. From it the orc-trail ran out again, turning north along the dry skirts of the hills. Aragorn halted and examined the tracks closely.
2410 So the night passed. Together they watched the dawn grow slowly in the sky, now bare and cloudless, until at last the sunrise came. It was pale and clear. The wind was in the East and all the mists had rolled away; wide lands lay bleak about them in the bitter light.
2411 The three companions now left the hill-top, where they might be an easy mark against the pale sky, and they walked slowly down the northward slope. A little above the hill's foot they halted, and wrapping their cloaks about them, they sat huddled together upon the faded grass.
2412 Now the cries of clear strong voices came ringing over the fields. Suddenly they swept up with a noise like thunder, and the foremost horseman swerved, passing by the foot of the hill, and leading the host back southward along the western skirts of the downs.
2413 With astonishing speed and skill they checked their steeds, wheeled, and came charging round. Soon the three companions found themselves in a ring of horsemen moving in a running circle, up the hill-slope behind them and down, round and round them, and drawing ever inwards.
2414 With that he fell asleep. Legolas already lay motionless, his fair hands folded upon his breast, his eyes unclosed, blending living night and deep dream, as is the way with Elves. Gimli sat hunched by the fire, running his thumb thoughtfully along the edge of his axe. The tree rustled.
2415 To take his mind off himself he listened intently to all that he could hear. There were many voices round about, and though orc-speech sounded at all times full of hate and anger, it seemed plain that something like a quarrel had begun, and was getting hotter.
2416 There was much cursing and confusion. For the moment Pippin was unwatched. His legs were securely bound, but his arms were only tied about the wrists, and his hands were in front of him. He could move them both together, though the bonds were cruelly tight.
2417 Night came down without the Riders closing in for battle. Many Orcs had fallen, but fully two hundred remained. In the early darkness the Orcs came to a hillock. The eaves of the forest were very near, probably no more than three furlongs away, but they could go no further.
2418 Suddenly he seized them. The strength in his long arms and shoulders was terrifying. He tucked them one under each armpit, and crushed them fiercely to his sides; a great stifling hand was clapped over each of their mouths. Then he sprang forward, stooping low.
2419 He slipped the cords off his wrists, and fished out a packet. The cakes were broken, but good, still in their leaf-wrappings. The hobbits each ate two or three pieces. The taste brought back to them the memory of fair faces, and laughter, and wholesome food in quiet days now far away.
2420 The sounds had died away. Evidently Mauhur and his 'lads' had been killed or driven off. The Riders had returned to their silent ominous vigil. It would not last very much longer. Already the night was old. In the East, which had remained unclouded, the sky was beginning to grow pale.
2421 No listener would have guessed from their words that they had suffered cruelly, and been in dire peril, going without hope towards torment and death; or that even now, as they knew well, they had little chance of ever finding friend or safety again.
2422 Meanwhile the hobbits went with as much speed as the dark and tangled forest allowed, following the line of the running stream, westward and up towards the slopes of the mountains, deeper and deeper into Fangorn. Slowly their fear of the Orcs died away, and their pace slackened.
2423 The light grew broader as they went on, and soon they saw that there was a rock-wall before them: the side of a hill, or the abrupt end of some long root thrust out by the distant mountains. No trees grew on it, and the sun was falling full on its stony face.
2424 They climbed and scrambled up the rock. If the stair had been made it was for bigger feet and longer legs than theirs. They were too eager to be surprised at the remarkable way in which the cuts and sores of their captivity had healed and their vigour had returned.
2425 Treebeard strode up the slope, hardly slackening his pace. Suddenly before them the hobbits saw a wide opening. Two great trees stood there, one on either side, like living gate-posts; but there was no gate save their crossing and interwoven boughs.
2426 At the far end the rock-wall was sheer, but at the bottom it had been hollowed back into a shallow bay with an arched roof: the only roof of the hall, save the branches of the trees, which at the inner end overshadowed all the ground leaving only a broad open path in the middle.
2427 For a moment Treebeard stood under the rain of the falling spring, and took a deep breath; then he laughed, and passed inside. A great stone table stood there, but no chairs. At the back of the bay it was already quite dark. Treebeard lifted two great vessels and stood them on the table.
2428 The effect of the draught began at the toes, and rose steadily through every limb, bringing refreshment and vigour as it coursed upwards, right to the tips of the hair. Indeed the hobbits felt that the hair on their heads was actually standing up, waving and curling and growing.
2429 Treebeard raised himself from his bed with a jerk, stood up, and thumped his hand on the table. The vessels of light trembled and sent up two jets of flame. There was a flicker like green fire in his eyes, and his beard stood out stiff as a great besom.
2430 Before long they set off. Treebeard carried the hobbits in his arms as on the previous day. At the entrance to the court he turned to the right, stepped over the stream, and strode away southwards along the feet of great tumbled slopes where trees were scanty.
2431 There were a few older Ents, bearded and gnarled like hale but ancient trees (though none looked as ancient as Treebeard); and there were tall strong Ents, clean-limbed and smooth-skinned like forest-trees in their prime; but there were no young Ents, no saplings.
2432 The hobbits turned back. The voices of the Ents were still rising and falling in their conclave. The sun had now risen high enough to look over the high hedge: it gleamed on the tops of the birches and lit the northward side of the dingle with a cool yellow light.
2433 At nightfall he brought them to his ent-house: nothing more than a mossy stone set upon turves under a green bank. Rowan-trees grew in a circle about it, and there was water (as in all ent-houses), a spring bubbling out from the bank. They talked for a while as darkness fell on the forest.
2434 The afternoon came, and the sun, going west towards the mountains, sent out long yellow beams between the cracks and fissures of the clouds. Suddenly they were aware that everything was very quiet; the whole forest stood in listening silence. Of course, the Ent-voices had stopped.
2435 It was not long before Aragorn found fresh signs. At one point, near the bank of the Entwash, he came upon footprints: hobbit-prints, but too light for much to be made of them. Then again beneath the bole of a great tree on the very edge of the wood more prints were discovered.
2436 The floor of the forest was dry and covered with a drift of leaves; but guessing that the fugitives would stay near the water, he returned often to the banks of the stream. So it was that he came upon the place where Merry and Pippin had drunk and bathed their feet.
2437 He stood up and looked about, but he saw nothing that was of any use. The shelf faced southward and eastward; but only on the east was the view open. There he could see the heads of the trees descending in ranks towards the plain from which they had come.
2438 They all gazed at him. His hair was white as snow in the sunshine; and gleaming white was his robe; the eyes under his deep brows were bright, piercing as the rays of the sun; power was in his hand. Between wonder, joy, and fear they stood and found no words to say.
2439 He stepped down from the rock, and picking up his grey cloak wrapped it about him: it seemed as if the sun had been shining, but now was hid in cloud again. 'Yes, you may still call me Gandalf,' he said, and the voice was the voice of their old friend and guide.
2440 A bitter chill came into the air. Slowly in the East the dark faded to a cold grey. Red shafts of light leapt above the black walls of the Emyn Muil far away upon their left. Dawn came clear and bright; a wind swept across their path, rushing through the bent grasses.
2441 The morning was bright and clear about them, and birds were singing, when the travellers came to the stream. It ran down swiftly into the plain, and beyond the feet of the hills turned across their path in a wide bend, flowing away east to feed the Entwash far off in its reed-choked beds.
2442 The dark gates were swung open. The travellers entered, walking in file behind their guide. They found a broad path, paved with hewn stones, now winding upward, now climbing in short flights of well-laid steps. Many houses built of wood and many dark doors they passed.
2443 Inside it seemed dark and warm after the clear air upon the hill. The hall was long and wide and filled with shadows and half lights; mighty pillars upheld its lofty roof. But here and there bright sunbeams fell in glimmering shafts from the eastern windows, high under the deep eaves.
2444 But upon one form the sunlight fell: a young man upon a white horse. He was blowing a great horn, and his yellow hair was flying in the wind. The horse's head was lifted, and its nostrils were wide and red as it neighed, smelling battle afar.
2445 The woman turned and went slowly into the house. As she passed the doors she turned and looked back. Grave and thoughtful was her glance, as she looked on the king with cool pity in her eyes. Very fair was her face, and her long hair was like a river of gold.
2446 The sky above and to the west was still dark with thunder, and lightning far away flickered among the tops of hidden hills. But the wind had shifted to the north, and already the storm that had come out of the East was receding, rolling away southward to the sea.
2447 His voice was low and secret, and none save the king heard what he said. But ever as he spoke the light shone brighter in Theoden's eye, and at the last he rose from his seat to his full height, and Gandalf beside him, and together they looked out from the high place towards the East.
2448 And he looked down upon her fair face and smiled; but as he took the cup, his hand met hers, and he knew that she trembled at the touch. 'Hail Aragorn son of Arathorn!' she said. 'Hail Lady of Rohan!' he answered, but his face now was troubled and he did not smile.
2449 There was a beaten way, north-westward along the foot-hills of the White Mountains, and this they followed, up and down in a green country, crossing small swift streams by many fords. Far ahead and to their right the Misty Mountains loomed; ever darker and taller they grew as the miles went by.
2450 Suddenly from the Dike yells and screams, and the fierce battle-cries of men broke out. Flaming brands appeared over the brink and clustered thickly at the breach. Then they scattered and vanished. Men came galloping back over the field and up the ramp to the gate of the Hornburg.
2451 Running like fire, they sped along the wall, and up the steps, and passed into the outer court upon the Rock. As they ran they gathered a handful of stout swordsmen. There was a small postern-door that opened in an angle of the burg-wall on the west, where the cliff stretched out to meet it.
2452 They turned and ran. At that moment some dozen Orcs that had lain motionless among the slain leaped to their feet, and came silently and swiftly behind. Two flung themselves to the ground at Eomer's heels, tripped him, and in a moment they were on top of him.
2453 The sky now was quickly clearing and the sinking moon was shining brightly. But the light brought little hope to the Riders of the Mark. The enemy before them seemed to have grown rather than diminished, still more were pressing up from the valley through the breach.
2454 There they had gathered in the shadow of the cliffs, until the assault above was hottest and nearly all the men of the defence had rushed to the wall's top. Then they sprang out. Already some had passed into the jaws of the Deep and were among the horses, fighting with the guards.
2455 So great a power and royalty was revealed in Aragorn, as he stood there alone above the ruined gates before the host of his enemies, that many of the wild men paused, and looked back over their shoulders to the valley, and some looked up doubtfully at the sky.
2456 Captains and champions fell or fled before them. Neither orc nor man withstood them. Their backs were to the swords and spears of the Riders and their faces to the valley. They cried and wailed, for fear and great wonder had come upon them with the rising of the day.
2457 The land had changed. Where before the green dale had lain, its grassy slopes lapping the ever-mounting hills, there now a forest loomed. Great trees, bare and silent, stood, rank on rank, with tangled bough and hoary head; their twisted roots were buried in the long green grass.
2458 There suddenly upon a ridge appeared a rider, clad in white, shining in the rising sun. Over the low hills the horns were sounding. Behind him, hastening down the long slopes, were a thousand men on foot; their swords were in their hands. Amid them strode a man tall and strong.
2459 The trees were grey and menacing, and a shadow or a mist was about them. The ends of their long sweeping boughs hung down like searching fingers, their roots stood up from the ground like the limbs of strange monsters, and dark caverns opened beneath them.
2460 Even as he spoke, there came forward out of the trees three strange shapes. As tall as trolls they were, twelve feet or more in height; their strong bodies, stout as young trees, seemed to be clad with raiment or with hide of close-fitting grey and brown.
2461 They had ridden for some four hours from the branching of the roads when they drew near to the Fords. Long slopes ran swiftly down to where the river spread in stony shoals between high grassy terraces. Borne upon the wind they heard the howling of wolves.
2462 The road dipped between rising turf-banks, carving its way through the terraces to the river's edge, and up again upon the further side. There were three lines of flat stepping-stones across the stream, and between them fords for horses, that went from either brink to a bare eyot in the midst.
2463 The riders looked down upon the crossings, and it seemed strange to them; for the Fords had ever been a place full of the rush and chatter of water upon stones; but now they were silent. The beds of the stream were almost dry, a bare waste of shingles and grey sand.
2464 They camped beside the bed of the Isen river; it was still silent and empty. Some of them slept a little. But late in the night the watchmen cried out, and all awoke. The moon was gone. Stars were shining above; but over the ground there crept a darkness blacker than the night.
2465 Away south upon the Hornburg, in the middle night men heard a great noise, as a wind in the valley, and the ground trembled; and all were afraid and no one ventured to go forth. But in the morning they went out and were amazed; for the slain Orcs were gone, and the trees also.
2466 At dawn they made ready to go on. The light came grey and pale, and they did not see the rising of the sun. The air above was heavy with fog, and a reek lay on the land about them. They went slowly, riding now upon the highway. It was broad and hard, and well-tended.
2467 It was not so now. Beneath the walls of Isengard there still were acres tilled by the slaves of Saruman; but most of the valley had become a wilderness of weeds and thorns. Brambles trailed upon the ground, or clambering over bush and bank, made shaggy caves where small beasts housed.
2468 There stood a tower of marvellous shape. It was fashioned by the builders of old, who smoothed the Ring of Isengard, and yet it seemed a thing not made by the craft of Men, but riven from the bones of the earth in the ancient torment of the hills.
2469 The ring beyond was filled with steaming water: a bubbling cauldron, in which there heaved and floated a wreckage of beams and spars, chests and casks and broken gear. Twisted and leaning pillars reared their splintered stems above the flood, but all the roads were drowned.
2470 Here and there gloomy pools remained, covered with scum and wreckage; but most of the wide circle was bare again, a wilderness of slime and tumbled rock, pitted with blackened holes, and dotted with posts and pillars leaning drunkenly this way and that.
2471 They followed what was left of the road from the gates to Orthanc, going slowly, for the flag-stones were cracked and slimed. The riders, seeing them approach, halted under the shadow of the rock and waited for them. Gandalf rode forward to meet them.
2472 The window closed. They waited. Suddenly another voice spoke, low and melodious, its very sound an enchantment. Those who listened unwarily to that voice could seldom report the words that they heard; and if they did, they wondered, for little power remained in them.
2473 They looked up, astonished, for they had heard no sound of his coming; and they saw a figure standing at the rail, looking down upon them: an old man, swathed in a great cloak, the colour of which was not easy to tell, for it changed if they moved their eyes or if he stirred.
2474 So great was the power that Saruman exerted in this last effort that none that stood within hearing were unmoved. But now the spell was wholly different. They heard the gentle remonstrance of a kindly king with an erring but much-loved minister.
2475 Sunlight was still shining in the sky, but long shadows reached over Isengard: grey ruins falling into darkness. Treebeard stood alone there now, like the distant stump of an old tree: the hobbits thought of their first meeting, upon the sunny ledge far away on the borders of Fangorn.
2476 The road passed slowly, winding down the valley. Now further, and now nearer Isen flowed in its stony bed. Night came down from the mountains. All the mists were gone. A chill wind blew. The moon, now waxing round, filled the eastern sky with a pale cold sheen.
2477 Quickly now he drew off the cloth, wrapped the stone in it and kneeling down, laid it back by the wizard's hand. Then at last he looked at the thing that he had uncovered. There it was: a smooth globe of crystal, now dark and dead, lying bare before his knees.
2478 At first the globe was dark, black as jet, with the moonlight gleaming on its surface. Then there came a faint glow and stir in the heart of it, and it held his eyes, so that now he could not look away. Soon all the inside seemed on fire; the ball was spinning, or the lights within were revolving.
2479 At that moment a shadow fell over them. The bright moonlight seemed to be suddenly cut off. Several of the Riders cried out, and crouched, holding their arms above their heads, as if to ward off a blow from above: a blind fear and a deadly cold fell on them. Cowering they looked up.
2480 Pippin was recovering. He was warm, but the wind in his face was keen and refreshing. He was with Gandalf. The horror of the stone and of the hideous shadow over the moon was fading, things left behind in the mists of the mountains or in a passing dream. He drew a deep breath.
2481 They turned away and went down into a stony hollow. The westering sun was caught into clouds, and night came swiftly. They slept as well as they could for the cold, turn and turn about, in a nook among great jagged pinnacles of weathered rock; at least they were sheltered from the easterly wind.
2482 At last they were brought to a halt. The ridge took a sharper bend northward and was gashed by a deeper ravine. On the further side it reared up again, many fathoms at a single leap: a great grey cliff loomed before them, cut sheer down as if by a knife stroke.
2483 The cleft was longer and deeper than it seemed. Some way down they found a few gnarled and stunted trees, the first they had seen for days: twisted birch for the most part, with here and there a fir-tree. Many were dead and gaunt, bitten to the core by the eastern winds.
2484 The smoky blur of the mountains in the East was lost in a deeper blackness that was already reaching out westwards with long arms. There was a distant mutter of thunder borne on the rising breeze. Frodo sniffed the air and looked up doubtfully at the sky.
2485 He cast an end to his master. The darkness seemed to lift from Frodo's eyes, or else his sight was returning. He could see the grey line as it came dangling down, and he thought it had a faint silver sheen. Now that he had some point in the darkness to fix his eyes on, he felt less giddy.
2486 The ground still fell away sharply. They had not gone very far when they came upon a great fissure that yawned suddenly black before their feet. It was not wide, but it was too wide to jump across in the dim light. They thought they could hear water gurgling in its depths.
2487 The black crawling shape was now three-quarters of the way down, and perhaps fifty feet or less above the cliff's foot. Crouching stone-still in the shadow of a large boulder the hobbits watched him. He seemed to have come to a difficult passage or to be troubled about something.
2488 It seemed to Frodo then that he heard, quite plainly but far off, voices out of the past: What a pity Bilbo did not stub the vile creature, when he had a chance! Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need.
2489 Suddenly, with startling agility and speed, straight off the ground with a jump like a grasshopper or a frog, Gollum bounded forward into the darkness. But that was just what Frodo and Sam had expected. Sam was on him before he had gone two paces after his spring.
2490 When he woke up the sky above was dim, not lighter but darker than when they had breakfasted. Sam leapt to his feet. Not least from his own feeling of vigour and hunger, he suddenly understood that he had slept the daylight away, nine hours at least.
2491 It was actually not long before Gollum returned; but he came so quietly that they did not hear him till he stood before them. His fingers and face were soiled with black mud. He was still chewing and slavering. What he was chewing, they did not ask or like to think.
2492 The next stage of their journey was much the same as the last. As they went on the gully became ever shallower and the slope of its floor more gradual. Its bottom was less stony and more earthy, and slowly its sides dwindled to mere banks. It began to wind and wander.
2493 It was dreary and wearisome. Cold clammy winter still held sway in this forsaken country. The only green was the scum of livid weed on the dark greasy surfaces of the sullen waters. Dead grasses and rotting reeds loomed up in the mists like ragged shadows of long-forgotten summers.
2494 He first saw one with the corner of his left eye, a wisp of pale sheen that faded away; but others appeared soon after: some like dimly shining smoke, some like misty flames flickering slowly above unseen candles; here and there they twisted like ghostly sheets unfurled by hidden hands.
2495 He went on again, but his uneasiness grew, and every now and again he stood up to his full height, craning his neck eastward and southward. For some time the hobbits could not hear or feel what was troubling him. Then suddenly all three halted, stiffening and listening.
2496 In fact with every step towards the gates of Mordor Frodo felt the Ring on its chain about his neck grow more burdensome. He was now beginning to feel it as an actual weight dragging him earthwards. But far more he was troubled by the Eye: so he called it to himself.
2497 While the grey light lasted, they cowered under a black stone like worms, shrinking, lest the winged terror should pass and spy them with its cruel eyes. The remainder of that journey was a shadow of growing fear in which memory could find nothing to rest upon.
2498 They had come to the desolation that lay before Mordor: the lasting monument to the dark labour of its slaves that should endure when all their purposes were made void; a land defiled, diseased beyond all healing - unless the Great Sea should enter in and wash it with oblivion.
2499 For a while they stood there, like men on the edge of a sleep where nightmare lurks, holding it off, though they know that they can only come to morning through the shadows. The light broadened and hardened. The gasping pits and poisonous mounds grew hideously clear.
2500 The day passed slowly. A great thirst troubled them, but they drank only a few drops from their bottles - last filled in the gully, which now as they looked back in thought seemed to them a place of peace and beauty. The hobbits took it in turn to watch.
2501 One of the nasty friends the little wretch had made in his wanderings, he supposed. Then he forgot the point, for things had plainly gone far enough, and were getting dangerous. A great heaviness was in all his limbs, but he roused himself with an effort and sat up.
2502 Strangely enough, Frodo felt refreshed. He had been dreaming. The dark shadow had passed, and a fair vision had visited him in this land of disease. Nothing remained of it in his memory, yet because of it he felt glad and lighter of heart. His burden was less heavy on him.
2503 Sam said nothing. The look on Frodo's face was enough for him he knew that words of his were useless. And after all he never had any real hope in the affair from the beginning; but being a cheerful hobbit he had not needed hope, as long as despair could be postponed.
2504 As he gazed Frodo became aware that there was a great stir and movement on the plain. It seemed as if whole armies were on the march, though for the most part they were hidden by the reeks and fumes drifting from the fens and wastes beyond.
2505 For the few hours of daylight that were left they rested, shifting into the shade as the sun moved, until at last the shadow of the western rim of their dell grew long, and darkness filled all the hollow. Then they ate a little, and drank sparingly. Gollum ate nothing, but he accepted water gladly.
2506 The growing light revealed to them a land already, less barren and ruinous. The mountains still loomed up ominously on their left, but near at hand they could see the southward road, now bearing away from the black roots of the hills and slanting westwards.
2507 The travellers turned their backs on the road and went downhill. As they walked, brushing their way through bush and herb, sweet odours rose about them. Gollum coughed and retched; but the hobbits breathed deep, and suddenly Sam laughed, for heart's ease not for jest.
2508 A little way back above the lake they found a deep brown bed of last year's fern. Beyond it was a thicket of dark-leaved bay-trees climbing up a steep bank that was crowned with old cedars. Here they decided to rest and pass the day, which already promised to be bright and warm.
2509 At least not to cooked rabbit. All hobbits, of course, can cook, for they begin to learn the art before their letters (which many never reach): but Sam was a good cook, even by hobbit reckoning, and he had done a good deal of the camp-cooking on their travels, when there was a chance.
2510 Being handy with flint and tinder he soon had a small blaze going. It made little or no smoke but gave off an aromatic scent. He was just stooping over his fire, shielding it and building it up with heavier wood, when Gollum returned, carrying the pans carefully and grumbling to himself.
2511 He found that a small brand, burning away to its outer end, had kindled some fern at the edge of the fire, and the fern blazing up had set the turves smouldering. Hastily he stamped out what was left of the fire, scattered the ashes, and laid the turves on the hole. Then he crept back to Frodo.
2512 If they were astonished at what they saw, their captors were even more astonished. Four tall Men stood there. Two had spears in their hands with broad bright heads. Two had great bows, almost of their own height, and great quivers of long green-feathered arrows.
2513 With his keen hobbit-eyes he saw that many more Men were about. He could see them stealing up the slopes, singly or in long files, keeping always to the shade of grove or thicket, or crawling, hardly visible in their brown and green raiment, through grass and brake.
2514 Arrows were thick in the air. Then suddenly straight over the rim of their sheltering bank, a man fell, crashing through the slender trees, nearly on top of them. He came to rest in the fern a few feet away, face downward, green arrow-feathers sticking from his neck below a golden collar.
2515 It seemed to Sam that he had only dozed for a few minutes when he awoke to find that it was late afternoon and Faramir had come back. He had brought many men with him; indeed all the survivors of the foray were now gathered on the slope nearby, two or three hundred strong.
2516 Skirting the hither side of the pool where the hobbits had bathed, they crossed the stream, climbed a long bank, and passed into green-shadowed woodlands that marched ever downwards and westwards. While they walked, as swiftly as the hobbits could go, they talked in hushed voices.
2517 Sam had taken no part in the conversation, though he had listened; and at the same time he had attended with his keen hobbit ears to all the soft woodland noises about them. One thing he had noted, that in all the talk the name of Gollum had not once come up.
2518 They climbed upwards a little: it seemed cold and the noise of the stream had become faint. Then they were picked up and carried down, down many steps, and round a corner. Suddenly they heard the water again, loud now, rushing and splashing.
2519 But in front a thin veil of water was hung, so near that Frodo could have put an outstretched arm into it. It faced westward. The level shafts of the setting sun behind beat upon it, and the red light was broken into many flickering beams of ever-changing colour.
2520 Now more torches were being lit. A cask of wine was broached. Storage barrels were being opened. Men were fetching water from the fall. Some were laving their hands in basins. A wide copper bowl and a white cloth were brought to Faramir and he washed.
2521 As he went by the cave-mouth he saw that the Curtain was now become a dazzling veil of silk and pearls and silver thread: melting icicles of moonlight. But he did not pause to admire it, and turning aside he followed his master through the narrow doorway in the wall of the cave.
2522 It swam to the side, and then with marvellous agility a froglike figure climbed out of the water and up the bank. At once it sat down and began to gnaw at the small silver thing that glittered as it turned: the last rays of the moon were now falling behind the stony wall at the pool's end.
2523 So it went on, almost as unceasing as the waterfall, only interrupted by a faint noise of slavering and gurgling. Frodo shivered, listening with pity and disgust. He wished it would stop, and that he never need hear that voice again. Anborn was not far behind.
2524 Frodo followed them, feeling very wretched. They went through the opening behind the bushes, and back, down the stairs and passages, into the cave. Two or three torches had been lit. Men were stirring. Sam was there, and he gave a queer look at the limp bundle that the men carried.
2525 No noise of the falls could be heard, for a long southward slope lay now between them and the ravine in which the stream flowed. To the west they could see light through the trees, as if the world came there to a sudden end, at a brink looking out only on to sky.
2526 They bowed to the ground. Then he turned and without looking back he left them and went to his two guards that stood at a little distance away. They marvelled to see with what speed these green-clad men now moved, vanishing almost in the twinkling of an eye.
2527 The sun rose and passed overhead unseen, and began to sink, and the light through the trees to the west grew golden; and always they walked in cool green shadow, and all about them was silence. The birds seemed all to have flown away or to have fallen dumb.
2528 Frodo looked down on to the road. At any rate nothing was moving on it now. It appeared lonely and forsaken, running down to empty ruins in the mist. But there was an evil feeling in the air, as if things might indeed be passing up and down that eyes could not see.
2529 It must have been a little after midnight when Gollum woke up: suddenly they were aware of his pale eyes unlidded gleaming at them. He listened and sniffed, which seemed, as they had noticed before, his usual method of discovering the time of night.
2530 He quickened his pace, and they followed him wearily. Soon they began to climb up on to a great hog-back of land. For the most part it was covered with a thick growth of gorse and whortleberry, and low tough thorns, though here and there clearings opened, the scars of recent fires.
2531 The afternoon, as Sam supposed it must be called, wore on. Looking out from the covert he could see only a dun, shadowless world, fading slowly into a featureless, colourless gloom. It felt stifling but not warm. Frodo slept unquietly, turning and tossing, and sometimes murmuring.
2532 At length they reached the trees, and found that they stood in a great roofless ring, open in the middle to the sombre sky; and the spaces between their immense boles were like the great dark arches of some ruined hall. In the very centre four ways met.
2533 This road, too, ran straight for a while, but soon it began to bend away southwards, until it came right under the great shoulder of rock that they had seen from the distance. Black and forbidding it loomed above them, darker than the dark sky behind.
2534 So they came slowly to the white bridge. Here the road, gleaming faintly, passed over the stream in the midst of the valley, and went on, winding deviously up towards the city's gate: a black mouth opening in the outer circle of the northward walls.
2535 Slowly they laboured on. As they rose above the stench and vapours of the poisonous stream their breath became easier and their heads clearer; but now their limbs were deadly tired, as if they had walked all night under a burden, or had been swimming long against a heavy tide of water.
2536 At that moment the Wraith-king turned and spurred his horse and rode across the bridge, and all his dark host followed him. Maybe the elven-hoods defied his unseen eyes, and the mind of his small enemy; being strengthened, had turned aside his thought. But he was in haste.
2537 There was a dull clang. The gates of Minas Morgul had closed. The last rank of spears had vanished down the road. The tower still grinned across the valley, but the light was fading in it. The whole city was falling back into a dark brooding shade, and silence.
2538 The hobbits struggled on, until at last they were clinging with desperate fingers to the steps ahead, and forcing their aching knees to bend and straighten; and ever as the stair cut its way deeper into the sheer mountain the rocky walls rose higher and higher above their heads.
2539 Still far ahead, and still high above, Frodo, looking up, saw, as he guessed, the very crown of this bitter road. Against the sullen redness of the eastern sky a cleft was outlined in the topmost ridge, narrow, deep-cloven between two black shoulders; and on either shoulder was a horn of stone.
2540 He paused and looked more attentively. The horn upon the left was tall and slender; and in it burned a red light, or else the red light in the land beyond was shining through a hole. He saw now: it was a black tower poised above the outer pass. He touched Sam's arm and pointed.
2541 For a fleeting moment, could one of the sleepers have seen him, they would have thought that they beheld an old weary hobbit, shrunken by the years that had carried him far beyond his time, beyond friends and kin, and the fields and streams of youth, an old starved pitiable thing.
2542 There was no sound. Some way ahead, a mile or so, perhaps, was a great grey wall, a last huge upthrusting mass of mountain-stone. Darker it loomed, and steadily it rose as they approached, until it towered up high above them, shutting out the view of all that lay beyond.
2543 But for a while they could still feel, and indeed the senses of their feet and fingers at first seemed sharpened almost painfully. The walls felt, to their surprise, smooth, and the floor, save for a step now and again, was straight and even, going ever up at the same stiff slope.
2544 Before they had gone very far, perhaps, but time and distance soon passed out of his reckoning, Sam on the right, feeling the wall, was aware that there was an opening at the side: for a moment he caught a faint breath of some air less heavy, and then they passed it by.
2545 One step, two steps, three steps - at last six steps. Maybe they had passed the dreadful unseen opening, but whether that was so or not, suddenly it was easier to move, as if some hostile will for the moment had released them. They struggled on, still hand in hand.
2546 They wavered. Doubt came into them as the light approached. One by one they dimmed, and slowly they drew back. No brightness so deadly had ever afflicted them before. From sun and moon and star they had been safe underground, but now a star had descended into the very earth.
2547 Little she knew of or cared for towers, or rings, or anything devised by mind or hand, who only desired death for all others, mind and body, and for herself a glut of life, alone, swollen till the mountains could no longer hold her up and the darkness could not contain her.
2548 And sometimes as a man may cast a dainty to his cat (his cat he calls her, but she owns him not) Sauron would send her prisoners that he had no better uses for: he would have them driven to her hole, and report brought back to him of the play she made.
2549 But nothing of this evil which they had stirred up against them did poor Sam know, except that a fear was growing on him, a menace which he could not see; and such a weight did it become that it was a burden to him to run, and his feet seemed leaden.
2550 Most like a spider she was, but huger than the great hunting beasts, and more terrible than they because of the evil purpose in her remorseless eyes. Those same eyes that he had thought daunted and defeated, there they were lit with a fell light again, clustering in her out-thrust head.
2551 On the near side of him lay, gleaming on the ground, his elven-blade, where it had fallen useless from his grasp. Sam did not wait to wonder what was to be done, or whether he was brave, or loyal, or filled with rage. He sprang forward with a yell, and seized his master's sword in his left hand.
2552 Disturbed as if out of some gloating dream by his small yell she turned slowly the dreadful malice of her glance upon him. But almost before she was aware that a fury was upon her greater than any she had known in countless years, the shining sword bit upon her foot and shore away the claw.
2553 There she crouched, her shuddering belly splayed upon the ground, the great bows of her legs quivering, as she gathered herself for another spring - this time to crush and sting to death: no little bite of poison to still the struggling of her meat; this time to slay and then to rend.
2554 But that was not what he had set out to do. It would not be worth while to leave his master for that. It would not bring him back. Nothing would. They had better both be dead together. And that too would be a lonely journey. He looked on the bright point of the sword.
2555 He stooped. Very gently he undid the clasp at the neck and slipped his hand inside Frodo's tunic; then with his other hand raising the head, he kissed the cold forehead, and softly drew the chain over it. And then the head lay quietly back again in rest.
2556 Tonight they did not intend to go far down, but were hastening to find a side-passage that led back to their watch-tower on the cliff. Most of them were gleeful, delighted with what they had found and seen, and as they ran they gabbled and yammered after the fashion of their kind.
2557 Shortly afterwards Sam saw the torches disappear. Then there was a rumbling noise, and just as he hurried up, a bump. As far as he could guess the Orcs had turned and gone into the very opening which Frodo and he had tried and found blocked. It was still blocked.
2558 They were carrying off his master's body for some foul purpose and he could not follow. He thrust and pushed at the block, and he threw himself against it, but it did not yield. Then not far inside, or so he thought, he heard the two captains' voices talking again.
2559 He drew his sword again and beat on the stone with the hilt, but it only gave out a dull sound. The sword, however, blazed so brightly now that he could see dimly in its light. To his surprise he noticed that the great block was shaped like a heavy door, and was less than twice his own height.
2560 The two orc-figures were still some way ahead. He could see them now, black and squat against a red glare. The passage ran straight at last, up an incline; and at the end, wide open, were great double doors, leading probably to deep chambers far below the high horn of the tower.
2561 His beautiful young daughter was still in the hospital with her broken jaw wired together; and now these two animals went free? It had all been a farce. He watched the happy parents cluster around their darling sons. Oh, they were all happy now, they were smiling now.
2562 In a garishly decorated Los Angeles hotel suite, Johnny Fontane was as jealously drunk as any ordinary husband. Sprawled on a red couch, he drank straight from the bottle of scotch in his hand, then washed the taste away by dunking his mouth in a crystal bucket of ice cubes and water.
2563 She was to him so very beautiful, the angelic face, soulful violet eyes, the delicately fragile but perfectly formed body. On the screen her beauty was magnified, spiritualized. A hundred million men all over the world were in love with the face of Margot Ashton. And paid to see it on the screen.
2564 Johnny sat on the floor with his face in his hands. The sick, humiliating despair overwhelmed him. And then the gutter toughness that had helped him survive the jungle of Hollywood made him pick up the phone and call for a car to take him to the airport. There was one person who could save him.
2565 The reception would be held in that house and the festivities would go on all day. There was no doubt it would be a momentous occasion. The war with the Japanese had just ended so there would not be any nagging fear for their sons fighting in the Army to cloud these festivities.
2566 He made no empty promises, nor the craven excuse that his hands were tied by more powerful forces in the world than himself. It was not necessary that he be your friend, it was not even important that you had no means with which to repay him. Only one thing was required.
2567 Don Corleone received everyone - rich and poor, powerful and humble - with an equal show of love. He slighted no one. That was his character. And the guests so exclaimed at how well he looked in his tux that an inexperienced observer might easily have thought the Don himself was the lucky groom.
2568 Michael Corleone was amusing Kay Adams by telling her little stories about some of the more colorful wedding guests. He was, in turn, amused by her finding these people exotic, and, as always, charmed by her intense interest in anything new and foreign to her experience.
2569 Luca Brasi did not fear the police, he did not fear society, he did not fear God, he did not fear hell, he did not fear or love his fellow man. But he had elected, he had chosen, to fear and love Don Corleone. Ushered into the presence of the Don, the terrible Brasi held himself stiff with respect.
2570 One Sunday afternoon in the Corleone kitchen, Sonny's wife Sandra gossiped freely. Sandra was a coarse, good-natured woman who had been born in Italy but brought to America as a small child. She was strongly built with great breasts and had already borne three children in five years of marriage.
2571 She checked her dress and pulled around her garter straps. Her body felt bruised, her lips pulpy and tender. She went out the door and though she felt the sticky wetness between her thighs she did not go to the bathroom to wash but ran straight on down the steps and into the garden.
2572 Then she ran into his arms. He hugged her tight and kissed her on the mouth, kept his arm around her as others came up to greet him. They were all his old friends, people he had grown up with on the West Side. Then Connie was dragging him to her new husband.
2573 They were all proud of him. He was of them and he had become a famous singer, a movie star who slept with the most desired women in the world. And yet he had shown proper respect for his Godfather by traveling three thousand miles to attend this wedding.
2574 Then he divorced his childhood-sweetheart wife and left his two children, to marry the most glamorous blond star in motion pictures. He soon learned that she was a "whore." He drank, he gambled, he chased other women. He lost his singing voice. His records stopped selling.
2575 At the age of eleven he had been a playmate of eleven-year-old Sonny Corleone. Hagen's mother had gone blind and then died during his eleventh year. Hagen's father, a heavy drinker, had become a hopeless drunkard. A hardworking carpenter, he had never done a dishonest thing in his life.
2576 He still thought it had all been set up too fast. Clemenza had given him copies of the police mug shots of the two punks, the dope on where the punks went drinking every night to pick up bar girls. Paulie had recruited two of the strong-arms in the family and fingered the punks for them.
2577 The two young men turned on him with delight. Paulie Gatto looked like a perfect outlet for their humiliation. Ferret-faced, short, slightly built and a wise guy in the bargain. They pounced on him eagerly and immediately found their arms pinned by two men grabbing them from behind.
2578 Hagen worked quickly and efficiently for the next three hours consolidating earning reports from the Don's real estate company, his olive oil importing business and his construction firm. None of them were doing well but with the war over they should all become rich producers.
2579 At a quarter to five that afternoon, Don Corleone had finished checking the papers the office manager of his olive oil company had prepared for him. He put on his jacket and rapped his knuckles on his son Freddie's head to make him take his nose out of the afternoon newspaper.
2580 Freddie had heard his father shout, calling him by his childhood name, and then he had heard the first two loud reports. By the time he got out of the car he was in shock, he had not even drawn his gun. The two assassins could easily have shot him down. But they too panicked.
2581 In an hour the house would be swarming with Family people and he would have to tell them all what to do, and now that he finally had time to think he realized how serious the situation was. It was the first challenge to the Corleone Family and their power in ten years.
2582 It was a short ride, not more than twenty minutes and when they got out of the car Hagen could not recognize the neighborhood because darkness had fallen. They led him into a basement apartment and made him sit on a straightbacked kitchen chair.
2583 Michael didn't say anything. He felt awkward, almost ashamed, and he noticed Clemenza and Tessio with faces so carefully impassive that he was sure that they were hiding their contempt. He picked up the phone and dialed Luca Brasi's number and kept the receiver to his ear as it rang and rang.
2584 And Paulie had never caused trouble with his stickups. They had always been meticulously planned and carried out with the minimum of fuss and trouble, with no one ever getting hurt: a three-thousand-dollar Manhattan garment center payroll, a small chinaware factory payroll in the slums of Brooklyn.
2585 He loved the car. It gave him such a quiet peaceful ride, and its upholstery was so rich that he sometimes sat in it for an hour when the weather was good because it was more pleasant than sitting in the house. And it always helped him think when he was grooming the car.
2586 And so usually a trusted caporegime would be sent out to rent a secret apartment and fill it with mattresses. That apartment would be used as a sally port into the city when an offensive was mounted. It was natural for Clemenza to be sent on such an errand.
2587 He had a license to carry a gun, probably the most expensive gun license ever issued anyplace, anytime. It had cost a total of ten thousand dollars but it would keep him out of jail if he was frisked by the cops. As a top executive operating official of the Family he rated the license.
2588 He had seen soldiers in the same condition on the battlefield. But he had never expected it to happen to Freddie. He remembered the middle brother as being physically the toughest one in the family when all of them were kids. But he had also been the most obedient son to his father.
2589 One of the button men brought a bowl of spaghetti in from the kitchen and then some plates, forks and wine. They ate as they talked. Michael watched in amazement. He didn't eat and neither did Tom, but Sonny, Clemenza and Tessio dug in, mopping up sauce with crusts of bread.
2590 And now his father had been shot down in the street and his eldest brother was making plans for murder. That was putting it plainly and simply but that was never how he would tell it to Kay. He had already said his father being shot was more like an "accident" and that all the trouble was over.
2591 She mixed a drink for both of them and sat on his lap as they drank. Beneath her dress she was all silk until his hand touched the glowing skin of her thigh. They fell back on the bed together and made love with all their clothes on, their mouths glued together.
2592 She watched him go out the door, saw him wave before he stepped into the elevator. She had never felt so close to him, never so much in love and if someone had told her she would not see Michael again until three years passed, she would not have been able to bear the anguish of it.
2593 Even the latest visitors had departed, it was almost ten-thirty at night. Michael was tense and alert now. He didn't bother to stop at the information desk, he already knew his father's room number up on the fourth floor. He took the self-service elevator.
2594 Michael was touched. He was about to tell the young man to go away again, but then he thought, why not let him stay? Two men in front of the hospital might scare off any of Sollozzo's crew sent to do a job. One man almost certainly would not. He gave Enzo a cigarette and lit it for him.
2595 They stayed in the street smoking for what was no more than ten minutes when suddenly the night air was split by a police siren. A patrol car made a screaming turn from Ninth Avenue and pulled up in front of the hospital. Two more squad cars followed right behind it.
2596 The police captain turned to him. He said to the two burly patrolmen, "Hold him." Michael felt his arms pinned to his sides. He saw the captain's massive fist arching toward his face. He tried to weave away but the fist caught him high on the cheekbone. A grenade exploded in his skull.
2597 At the houses in Long Beach the entrance to the mall was blocked by a long black car parked across its mouth. Two men leaned against the hood of the car. The two houses on each side, Michael noticed, had opened windows on their upper floors. Christ, Sonny must really mean business.
2598 All four heads turned and stared at him. Clemenza and Tessio were gravely astonished. Hagen looked a little sad but not surprised. He started to speak and thought better of it. But Sonny, his heavy Cupid's face twitching with mirth, suddenly broke out in loud roars of laughter.
2599 The envelopes were the betting slips that his raiding parties had picked up when they had hit one of the Corleone Family bookmakers the night before. Now the bookmaker would have to buy back the slips so that players couldn't claim winners and wipe him out.
2600 He was a very tough cop and a very fair one. He never took his son around to the storekeepers to collect his money presents for ignoring garbage violations and parking violations; he took the money directly into his own hand, direct because he felt he earned it.
2601 He also obeyed the system. The bookies in his precinct knew he would never make trouble to get an extra payoff for himself, that he was content with his share of the station house bag. His name was on the list with the others and he never tried to make extras.
2602 The three of them sat at the only round table, Sollozzo refusing a booth. There were only two other people in the restaurant. Michael wondered whether they were Sollozzo plants. But it didn't matter. Before they could interfere it would be all over.
2603 The urinal had a pink bar of soap in it secured by a wire net. He went into the booth. He really had to go, his bowels were loose. He did it very quickly, then reached behind the enamel water cabinet until his hand touched the small, blunt-nosed gun fastened with tape.
2604 Sollozzo was leaning toward him. Michael, his belly covered by the table, unbuttoned his jacket and listened intently. He could not understand a word the man was saying. It was literally gibberish to him. His mind was so filled with pounding blood that no word registered.
2605 Now he carefully showed his hands on top of the table and looked away. The waiter was staggering back toward the kitchen, an expression of horror on his face, staring at Michael in disbelief. Sollozzo was still in his chair, the side of his body propped up by the table.
2606 Michael turned left and around the corner. Headlights flashed on and a battered sedan pulled up to him, the door swinging open. He jumped in and the car roared away. He saw that it was Tessio at the wheel, his trim features hard as marble.
2607 He felt an enormous sense of relief. He was out of it now. The feeling was familiar and he remembered being taken off the beach of an island his Marine division had invaded. The battle had been still going on but he had received a slight wound and was being ferried back to a hospital ship.
2608 He never ate much but he knew young pretty girls ambitiously starved themselves for pretty clothes and were usually big eaters on a date so there was plenty of food on the table. There was also plenty of liquor; champagne in a bucket, scotch, rye, brandy and liqueurs on the sideboard.
2609 She puffed on the cigarette and sipped her drink and he sat down beside her again. His glass had considerably more brandy in it than hers, he needed it to warm himself, to cheer himself, to charge himself up. His situation was the reverse of the lover's usual one.
2610 He was ready now. He put his drink down on the long inlaid cocktail table and turned his body toward her. He was very sure, very deliberate, and yet tender. There was nothing sly or lecherously lascivious in his caresses. He kissed her on the lips while his hands rose to her breasts.
2611 His first wife was waiting for him at the door. She was pretty, petite and brunette, a nice Italian girl, the girl next door who would never fool around with another man and that had been important to him. Did he still want her, he asked himself, and the answer was no.
2612 Some of them so beautiful they could make a man's heart almost stop beating until they opened their mouths, until the greedy hopes for success clouded the loveliness of their eyes. Ordinary women could never hope to compete with them on a physical level.
2613 She said this without any kind of emotion, but Johnny Fontane, staring up at the ceiling, knew she said it as an atonement for those other things, the cruel things she had once said to him when their marriage had broken up, when his career had started going down the drain.
2614 He shared his toast and bacon with them as he ate, gave them sips of coffee. It was a habit left over from when he had been singing with the band and rarely ate with them so they liked to share his food when he had his odd-hour meals like afternoon breakfasts or morning suppers.
2615 He had no fear that she expected a reconciliation because he had wanted to sleep with her the night before. Neither one of them wanted to renew their old marriage. She understood his hunger for beauty, his irresistible impulse toward young women far more beautiful than she.
2616 He'd already learned something, just his driving him personally to the airport proved that. The personal courtesy, something the Don himself always believed in. And the apology. That had been sincere. He had known Johnny a long time and he knew the apology would never be made out of fear.
2617 They could never have that relationship again. And though the outside world of gossip columnists and movie fans gave the blame for the failure of their marriage solely to him, yet in a curious way, between the two of them, they both knew that she was even more to blame for their divorce.
2618 And all these Hollywood guys laughed at his fondness for virgins. They called it an old guinea taste, square, and look how long it took to make a virgin give you a blow job with all the aggravation and then they usually turned out to be a lousy piece of ass.
2619 He never liked a girl that much after they tried it that way, it just didn't satisfy him right. He and his second wife had finally not got along, because she preferred the old sixty-nine too much to a point where she didn't want anything else and he had to fight to stick it in.
2620 The writer had been fixed up with a well-known bosomy starlet for a date on the town and a sure shack-up later. But while they were at dinner the starlet had deserted the famous author because a ratty-looking movie comic had waggled his finger at her.
2621 He had traveled with the band singing and then he had become a radio star and a star of the movie stage shows and then he had finally made it in the movies. And in all that time he had lived the way he wanted to, screwed the women he wanted to, but he had never let it affect his personal life.
2622 He had no choice. He had to accept them. And so he made love to all of them, gave them presents, hid the hurt their enjoyment of his misfortunes gave him. He forgave them knowing he was being paid back for having lived in the utmost freedom from women and in the fullest flush of their favor.
2623 He never felt guilty about how he treated Ginny, insisting on remaining the sole father of his children, yet never even considering remarrying her, and letting her know that too. That was one thing he had salvaged out of his fall from the top. He had grown a thick skin about the hurts he gave women.
2624 The conductor, top man in the business of pop accompaniment and a man who had been kind to him when things went sour, was giving each musician bundles of music and verbal instructions. His name was Eddie Neils. He had taken on this recording as a favor to Johnny, though his schedule was crowded.
2625 The rear patio was really a series of huge rooms whose glass doors had been opened to a garden and pool. There were almost a hundred people milling around, all with drinks in their hands. The patio lighting was artfully arranged to flatter feminine faces and skin.
2626 He had been expecting something outrageous. After all, he had heard the legends of Hollywood depravity. But he was not quite prepared for Deanna Dunn's voracious plummet on his sexual organ without even a courteous and friendly word of preparation.
2627 So he was surprised when the executive producer came to him and told him the union rep had to be taken care of to the tune of fifty thousand dollars. There were a lot of problems dealing with overtime and hiring and the fifty thousand dollars would be well spent.
2628 By waiting he saved fifty thousand dollars. Two nights later, Goff was found shot to death in his home in Glendale. There was no more talk of union trouble. Johnny was a little shaken by the killing. It was the first time the long arm of the Don had struck such a lethal blow so close to him.
2629 He was too snobbish really. He was hurt that none of the young stars, the actresses who were still on top, ever gave him a tumble. But it was good to work hard. Most nights he would go home alone, put his old records on the player, have a drink and hum along with them for a few bars.
2630 The young Vito, however, felt a cold anger for the dreaded Fanucci. He never showed this anger in any way but bided his time. He worked in the railroad for a few months and then, when the war ended, work became slow and he could earn only a few days' pay a month.
2631 Clemenza grunted in a satisfied way and said, "Come on, let's go." He picked up his end of the rug and Vito picked up the other end. The policeman had barely turned the corner before they were edging out the heavy oaken door and into the street with the rug between them.
2632 Against his better judgment, Vito Corleone accepted their offer. The clinching argument was that he would clear at least a thousand dollars for his share of the job. But his young companions struck him as rash, the planning of the job haphazard, the distribution of the loot foolhardy.
2633 The next day on the street, Vito Corleone was stopped by the cream-suited, white-fedoraed Fanucci. Fanucci was a brutal-looking man and he had done nothing to disguise the circular scar that stretched in a white semicircle from ear to ear, looping under his chin.
2634 He remembered the day the man had had his throat cut and had run down the street holding his fedora under his chin to catch the dripping blood. He remembered the murder of the man who had wield the knife and the other two having their sentences removed by paying an indemnity.
2635 There were the police and the electric chair. But Vito Corleone had lived under a sentence of death since the murder of his father. As a boy of twelve he had fled his executioners and crossed the ocean into a strange land, taking a strange name.
2636 The summer night was hot, the gaslight feeble. It was very quiet in the apartment. But Vito Corleone was icy. To show his good faith he handed over the roll of bills and watched carefully as Fanucci, after counting it, took out a wide leather wallet and stuffed the money inside.
2637 Now waiting in the darkened hallway, he saw the white blob of Fanucci crossing the street toward the doorway. Vito stepped back, shoulders pressed against the inner door that led to the stairs. He held his gun out to fire. His extended hand was only two paces from the outside door.
2638 He threw the wallet down one air shaft and then he emptied the gun of bullets and smashed its barrel against the roof ledge. The barrel wouldn't break. He reversed it in his hand and smashed the butt against the side of a chimney. The butt split into two halves.
2639 He took lye and heavy brown laundry soap to soak the clothes and scrubbed them with the metal wash board beneath the sink. Then he scoured tub and sink with lye and soap. He found a bundle of newly washed clothes in the corner of the bedroom and mingled his own clothes with these.
2640 The landlord, Mr. Roberto, came to the neighborhood every day to check on the row of five tenements that he owned. He was a padrone, a man who sold Italian laborers just off the boat to the big corporations. With his profits he had bought the tenements one by one.
2641 For the next few years Vito Corleone lived that completely satisfying life of a small businessman wholly devoted to building up his commercial enterprise in a dynamic, expanding economy. He was a devoted father and husband but so busy he could spare his family little of his time.
2642 Again he prospered. But, more important, he acquired knowledge and contacts and experience. And he piled up good deeds as a banker piles up securities. For in the following years it became clear that Vito Corleone was not only a man of talent but, in his way, a genius.
2643 This of course was not pure Christian charity. Not his best friends would have called Don Corleone a saint from heaven. There was some self-interest in this generosity. An employee sent to prison knew he had only to keep his mouth shut and his wife and children would be cared for.
2644 It was at this time that the Don got the idea that he ran his world far better than his enemies ran the greater world which continually obstructed his path. And this feeling was nurtured by the poor people of the neighborhood who constantly came to him for help.
2645 He had no illusions about the dangerousness of his mission. He spent the first year meeting with different chiefs of gangs in New York, laying the groundwork, sounding them out, proposing spheres of influence that would be honored by a loosely bound confederated council.
2646 The very next week however, the firm had gone into bankruptcy. The great warehouse stocked with furniture had been sealed shut and attached for payment of creditors. The wholesaler had disappeared to give other creditors time to unleash their anger on the empty air.
2647 Vito Corleone listened to this story with amused disbelief. It was not possible that the law could allow such thievery. The wholesaler owned his own palatial home, an estate in Long Island, a luxurious automobile, and was seeding his children to college.
2648 A week after the mall was occupied, a group of three workmen came in all innocence with their truck. They claimed to be furnace inspectors for the town of Long Beach. One of the Don's young bodyguards let the men in and led them to the furnace in the basement.
2649 Two men got out, big burly men who looked like gangsters in the movies to her eyes, and she flew down the stairs to be the first at the door. She was sure they came from Michael or his family and she didn't want them talking to her father and mother without any introduction.
2650 Kay looked at him with astonishment. Then she got up and went to the door of the study and opened it. She could see her father standing at the living-room window, sucking at his pipe. She called out, "Dad, can you join us?" He turned, smiled at her, and walked to the study.
2651 By the time they reached the kitchen, Kay was weeping silently, out of relief from strain, at her father's unquestioning affection. In the kitchen her mother took no notice of her weeping, and Kay realized that her father must have told her about the two detectives.
2652 They drove her all the way to her hotel in New York never saying a word. Neither did Kay. She was trying to get used to the fact that the young man she had loved was a coldblooded murderer. And that she had been told by the most unimpeachable source: his mother.
2653 He had started her off just right. She had tried to keep that purse full of money presents for herself and he had given her a nice black eye and taken the money from her. Never told her what he'd done with it, either. That might have really caused some trouble.
2654 He was used to the bigger living quarters of the West and in a little while he would have to go crosstown to his "book" to run the noontime action. It was a Sunday, the heaviest action of the week, what with baseball going already and the tail end of basketball and the night trotters starting up.
2655 The first time he had marked her up, he'd been a little worried. She had gone right out to Long Beach to complain to her mother and father and to show her black eye. He had really sweated it out. But when she came back she had been surprisingly meek, the dutiful little Italian wife.
2656 Now with the line posted, the gamblers were thronging into the back room of the candy store to jot down the odds on their newspapers next to the games printed there with probable pitchers. Some of them held their little children by the hand as they looked up at the blackboard.
2657 There were still a few bettors hanging around shooting the breeze, talking baseball, some of them sitting on the steps above the two writers and Carlo. Suddenly the kids playing stickball in the street scattered. A car came screeching up the block and to a halt in front of the candy store.
2658 It was rare that operating officials of the Police Department ignored political muscle that protected gambling and vice operations, but in this case the politicians were as helpless as the general staff of a rampaging, looting army whose field officers refuse to follow orders.
2659 Hagen understood that the policeman believes in law and order in a curiously innocent way. He believes in it more than does the public he serves. Law and order is, after all, the magic from which he derives his power, individual power which he cherishes as nearly all men cherish individual power.
2660 But usually he draws the line against accepting dirty graft. He will take money to let a bookmaker operate. He will take money from a man who hates getting parking tickets or speeding tickets. He will allow call girls and prostitutes to ply their trade; for a consideration.
2661 He always resented the jokes made about his profession, the macabre technical details which were so unimportant. Of course none of his friends or family or neighbors would make such jokes. Any profession was worthy of respect to men who for centuries earned bread by the sweat of their brows.
2662 After he finished his soup, his wife placed a small steak before him with a few forkfuls of green spinach oozing yellow oil. He was a light eater. When he finished this he drank a cup of coffee and smoked another Camel cigarette. Over his coffee he thought about his poor daughter.
2663 He went into the bedroom and changed his shirt and rinsed his mouth. But he didn't shave or use a fresh tie. He put on the same one he had used during the day. He called the funeral parlor and told his assistant to stay with the bereaved family using the front parlor that night.
2664 The Don had lost weight during his illness and moved with a curious stiffness. He was holding his hat in his hands and his hair seemed thin over his massive skull. He looked older, more shrunken than when Bonasera had seen him at the wedding, but he still radiated power.
2665 Connie ducked around his arm and clawed at his face. She got a little bit of his cheek under her fingernails. With surprising patience he pushed her away. She noticed he was careful because of her pregnancy and that gave her the courage to feed her rage. She was also excited.
2666 That mollified her, his calling on her duties, one of them at least. She was a good cook, she had learned that from her mother. She sauteed veal and peppers, preparing a mixed salad while the pan simmered. Meanwhile Carlo stretched out on his bed to read the next day's racing form.
2667 Connie went into the kitchen, picked up the plates filled with food and smashed them against the sink. The loud crashes brought Carlo in from the bedroom. He looked at the greasy veal and peppers splattered all over the kitchen walls and his finicky neatness was outraged.
2668 At that same moment his lateral vision caught sight of another man in the darkened tollbooth to his right. But he did not have time to think about that because two men came out of the car parked in front and walked toward him. The toll collector still had not appeared.
2669 And yet with all his heart, Hagen dreaded the next hour. He tried to prepare his own manner. He would have to be in all ways strict with his own guilt. To reproach himself would only add to the Don's burden. To show his own grief would only sharpen the grief of the Don.
2670 No competing mill, no dam that would create a water supply to their competitors or ruin their own selling of water, was allowed to be built in their corner of Sicily. A powerful landowning baron once tried to erect his own mill strictly for his personal use. The mill was burned down.
2671 This speech of the Detroit Don was received with loud murmurs of approval. He had hit the nail on the head. You couldn't even pay people to stay out of the drug traffic. As for his remarks about children, that was his well-known sensibility, his tenderheartedness speaking.
2672 They would lie in bed making love. They would live together in the apartment for sixteen hours, completely naked. She would cook for him, enormous meals. Sometimes he would get phone calls obviously about business but she never even listened to the words.
2673 Hagen made all the arrangements for her to move to Las Vegas. A rented apartment was waiting, he took her to the airport himself and he made her promise that if she ever felt lonely or if things didn't go right, she would call him and he would help her in any way he could.
2674 She met him when a lump grew above her wrist on her forearm. She worried about it for a few days, then one morning went to the doctor's suite of offices in the hotel. Two of the show girls from the chorus line were in the waiting room, gossiping with each other.
2675 They went to the supper show and Jules kept her amused by describing different types of bare thighs and breasts in medical terms; but without sneering, all in good humor. Afterward they played roulette together at the same wheel and won over a hundred dollars.
2676 Suddenly he raised his head from her lap and stood up. He took her by the hand and led her over the grass on to the cement walk. She followed him dutifully even when he led her into one of the cottages that held his private apartment. When they were inside he fixed them both big drinks.
2677 Dressed in old clothes and a billed cap, Michael had been transported from the ship docked at Palermo to the interior of the Sicilian island, to the very heart of a province controlled by the Mafia, where the local capo-mafioso was greatly indebted to his father for some past service.
2678 Faced with the savagery of this absolute power, the suffering people learned never to betray their anger and their hatred for fear of being crushed. They learned never to make themselves vulnerable by uttering any sort of threat since giving such a warning insured a quick reprisal.
2679 They were dressed in cheap gaily printed frocks that clung to their bodies. They were still in their teens but with the full womanliness sun-drenched flesh ripened into so quickly. Three or four of them started chasing one girl, chasing her toward the grove.
2680 They didn't hesitate. They shouldered their luparas and went into the dark coolness of the cafe. A few seconds later they reappeared with the cafe owner between them. The stubby man looked in no way frightened but his anger had a certain wariness about it.
2681 The cafe owner gave him another look, the smashed left side of his face, the long legs rare in Sicily. He took a look at the two shepherds carrying their luparas quite openly without fear and remembered how they had come into his cafe and told him their padrone wanted to talk to him.
2682 It made Bran's skin prickle to think of it. He remembered the hearth tales Old Nan told them. The wildlings were cruel men, she said, slavers and slayers and thieves. They consorted with giants and ghouls, stole girl children in the dead of night, and drank blood from polished horns.
2683 One of the men must have opened the furnace door, the fire now was visible. And then she was alone with Brasi in that basement with its sweating pipes, its mousy odor. Brasi had his knife out again. And there could be no doubting that he would kill her.
2684 Kay could have called back and said she wasn't coming but she knew she had to see Michael, to talk to him, even if it was just polite talk. If he was home now, openly, that meant he was no longer in trouble, he could live normally. She jumped off the bed and started to get ready to see him.
2685 They sat down together and the old woman forced Kay to eat, meanwhile asking questions with great curiosity. She was delighted that Kay was a schoolteacher and that she had come to New York to visit old girl friends and that Kay was only twenty-four years old.
2686 She heard the door open and his footsteps in the hall turning into the kitchen and then he was in the open space, seeing her and his mother. He seemed impassive, and then he smiled ever so slightly, the broken half of his face halting the widening of his mouth.
2687 A special detail of four men, a pit boss, a dealer, extra relief man, and a cocktail waitress in her scanty nightclub costume were getting things ready for private action. Nino Valenti was lying on the sofa in the living room part of the suite, a water glass of whiskey in his hand.
2688 And if he couldn't sing, what the hell was the use of everything else? Everything else was just bullshit. Sing was the only thing he really knew. Maybe he knew more about singing and his kind of music than anybody else in the world. He was that good, he realized now.
2689 His throat was fine, he felt that he could sing forever. In the months he had not been able to sing he had often thought about singing, planned out how he would phrase lyrics differently now than as a kid. He had sung the songs in his head with more sophisticated variations of emphasis.
2690 Kay would be waiting for him at the airport, she always came to meet him, she was always so glad when he came back from a trip. And he was too. Except now. For the end of this trip meant that he finally had to take the action he had been groomed for over the last three years.
2691 Kay shook her head. The Don said to his wife. "He's out of your hands, it's no concern of yours." The old woman immediately held her peace. Not that she feared her husband but because it would have been disrespectful to dispute him in such a matter before the others.
2692 Kay didn't care about her husband's disfigurement but she worried about his sinus trouble which sprang from it. Surgery repair of the face would cure the sinus also. For that reason she wanted Michael to enter the hospital and get the necessary work done.
2693 The Don hastened to water his garden. It must be done before the sun waxed too hot and turned the water into a prism of fire that could burn his lettuce leaves like paper. Sun was more important than water, water also was important; but the two, imprudently mixed, could cause great misfortune.
2694 He had married Rita when she was a high school kid and he was a rookie policeman. She was shy, dark-haired, from a straitlaced Italian family who never let her stay out later than ten o'clock at night. Neri was completely in love with her, her innocence, her virtue, as well as her dark prettiness.
2695 Not so much for the insult to his sister this particular day but because it was obvious that he often talked to his mother in such a fashion when they were alone. Tommy never dared say such a thing in front of her brother. This particular Sunday he had just been careless. To his misfortune.
2696 That is a children's tale, told to amuse rather than to instruct. Those of us who understand these matters, however, recognise that the ancient story refers to three objects, or Hallows, which, if united, will make the possessor master of Death.
2697 It destroyed her, what they did: she was never right again. She wouldn't use magic, but she couldn't get rid of it: it turned inwards and drove her mad, it exploded out of her when she couldn't control it, and at times she was strange and dangerous.
2698 The elf sat up, curled into a ball, placed his wet face between his knees and began to rock backwards and forwards. When he spoke, his voice was muffled but quite distinct in the silent, echoing kitchen.
2699 He looked up at the shadowy ceiling, the cobwebbed chandelier. Less than twenty-four hours ago he had been standing in the sunlight at the entrance to the marquee, waiting to show in wedding guests. It seemed a lifetime away.
2700 The room was spacious and must, once, have been handsome. There was a large bed with a carved wooden headboard, a tall window obscured by long velvet curtains and a chandelier thickly coated in dust, with candle stubs still resting in its sockets, solid wax handing in frost-like drips.
2701 He agreed, but grudgingly, and followed her out on to the landing and past the second door that led off it. There were deep scratch marks in the paintwork below a small sign that he had not noticed in the dark.
2702 It scuttled away at once through the legs of the witches and wizards in front of him. A few moments later, during which Harry waited with his hand upon the doorknob, there came a loud bang and a great deal of acrid, black smoke billowed from a corner.
2703 The reporter went away, and I took a train for Niagara Falls, which are twenty-two miles distant from this bad town, where girls get drunk of nights and reporters trample on corpses in the drawing-rooms of the brave and the free.
2704 The other sight of the evening was a horror. The little tragedy played itself out at a neighboring table where two very young men and two very young women were sitting. It did not strike me till far into the evening that the pimply young reprobates were making the girls drunk.
2705 Certain young men of the more idiotic sort launch into dog-carts and raiment of English cut, and here in Buffalo they play polo at four in the afternoon. I saw three youths come down to the polo-ground faultlessly attired for the game and mounted on their best ponies.
2706 It was my felicity to catch a grain steamer and an elevator emptying that same steamer. The steamer might have been two thousand tons burden. She was laden with wheat in bulk; from stem to stern, thirteen feet deep, lay the clean, read wheat.
2707 Buffalo is a large village of a quarter of a million inhabitants, situated on the seashore, which is falsely called Lake Fire. It is a peaceful place, and more like an English country town than most of its friends.
2708 By great good luck the evil-minded train, already delayed twelve hours by a burned bridge, brought me to the city on a Saturday by was of that valley which the Mormons, over their efforts, had caused to blossom like the rose.
2709 It is too tiny to be a political power. The immortal wreck of the Grand Army of the Republic is a political power of the largest and most unblushing description. It ought not to help to lay the foundations of an amateur military power that is blind and irresponsible.
2710 For a few minutes then both men resumed their cigars, staring blinkishly out all the while from their dark green piazza corner into the dazzling white tennis courts that gleamed like so many slippery pine planks in the afternoon glare and heat.
2711 Irritably, as he spoke, he reached out for a bright-covered magazine from the great pile of books and papers that sprawled on the wicker table close at his elbow. "Where in blazes do the story-book writers find their girls?" he demanded.
2712 Starting to bow once more, he backed instead into the screen of the office window. Without even an expletive he turned, pushed in the screen, clambered adroitly through the aperture, and disappeared almost instantly from sight.
2713 In striking contrast to the cool placidity of her face one of Eve Edgarton's boot-toes began to tap-tap-tap against the piazza floor. When she lifted her eyes again to Barton their sleepy sullenness was shot through suddenly with an unmistakable flash of temper.
2714 With a face like a graven image Barton went on down the steps into the road. In one of his thirty-dollar riding-boots a disconcerting two-cent sort of squeak merely intensified his unhappy sensation of being motivated purely mechanically like a doll.
2715 Barton liked to ride and he rode fairly well, but he was by no means an equestrian acrobat, and, quite apart from the girl's unquestionably disconcerting mannerisms, the foolish floppity presence of the riderless gray rattled him more than he could possibly account for.
2716 Blacker and blacker the huddling thunder-caps spotted across the brilliant, sunny sky. Gaspier and gaspier in each lulling tree-top, in each hushing bird-song, in each drooping grass-blade, the whole torrid earth seemed to be sucking in its breath as if it meant never, never to exhale it again.
2717 Quite against all intention Barton groaned aloud. His sun-scorched eyes seemed fairly shriveling with the glare. His wilted linen collar slopped like a stale poultice around his tortured neck. In his sticky fingers the bridle-rein itched like so much poisoned ribbon.
2718 Reaching up one small hand to drag the soft flannel collar of her shirt a little farther down from her slim throat, Eve Edgarton rested her chin on her knuckles for an instant and surveyed him plaintively. "Aren't - we - having - an - awful time?" she whispered.
2719 Vehemently with one hand she lunged forward and tried with her tiny open palm to push Barton's horse a trifle faster back through the intricate thicket. Then once in the open again she drew herself up with an absurd air of dignity and finality and bowed him from her presence.
2720 With an uncanny pucker along his spine as if he found himself suddenly deserting two women instead of one, Barton went fumbling and squinting out through the dusty green shade into the expected glare of the open pasture, and discovered, to his further disconcerting, that there was no glare left.
2721 Snortingly for one single instant the roan's panic-stricken nostrils went blooming up into the cloud-burst like two parched scarlet poinsettias. Then man and beast as one flesh, as one mind, went bolting back through the rain-drenched, wind-ravished thicket to find their mates.
2722 And then suddenly, with a jerk that seemed almost to crack his spine, he sensed that the blackness wasn't a pansy at all, but just a round, earthy sort of blackness in which he himself lay mysteriously prone. And he heard the wind still roaring furiously away off somewhere.
2723 With infinite agility she scrambled to her knees and went darting off on all fours like a squirrel into some mysterious, clattery corner of the darkness from which she emerged at last with one little gray flannel arm crooked inclusively around a whole elbowful of treasure.
2724 Only the soft earthy thud that accompanied each "There" pointed the slightest significance to the word. The first thud was a slim, queer, stone flagon of vodka. Wanly, like some far pinnacle on some far Russian fortress, its grim shape loomed in the sallow lantern light.
2725 In a vague, gold-colored flicker of appeal her lifted face flared out again into Barton's darkness. Too fugitive to be called a smile, a tremor of reminiscence went scudding across her mouth before the brooding shadow of her old slouch hat blotted out her features again.
2726 Very gingerly he took the pulpy sheet between his thumb and forefinger. It was a full-page picture of a big gas-range, and slowly, as he scanned it for some hidden charm or value, it split in two and fell soggily back to its mates. Once again for sheer nervous relief he burst out laughing.
2727 Then slowly and laboriously, with a very good imitation of meekness, he allowed himself to be pulled and pushed and jerked to the top of an old tree-stump, and from there at last, with many tricks and tugs and subterfuges, to the cramping side-saddle of the restive, rearing gray.
2728 Mile after mile through rolling pastures the moon-plaited stubble crackled and sucked like a sheet of wet ice under their feet, then roads began - mere molten bogs of mud and moonlight; and little frail roadside bushes drunk with rain lay wallowing helplessly in every hollow.
2729 The conversation going on at the moment just outside his window was not a particularly interesting one to hook one's attention into, but at least it was fairly distinct. In blissfully rational human voices two unknown men were discussing the non-domesticity of the modern woman.
2730 To no one else in that company probably did a single word penetrate. Merely stricken dumb by the vibrant power of the voice, vaguely uneasy, vaguely saddened, group after group of hoydenish youngsters huddled in speechless fascination around the dark edges of the hall.
2731 In astonishingly slow response to as violent a knock as they thought they gave, Eve Edgarton's father came shuffling at last to the door to greet them. Like one half paralyzed with sleep and perplexity, he stood staring blankly at them as they filed into his rooms with their burden.
2732 With his own heart tuned already to the heart-throb of an engine, his pale eyes focused squintingly toward expected novelties, his thin nostrils half a-sniff with the first salty scent of the Far-Away, Mr. Edgarton, whatever his intentions, was not the most ideal of sick-room companions.
2733 Disgustedly her father started for his own room, then whirled abruptly in his tracks and glanced back at that imperturbable little figure in the big white bed. Except for the scarcely perceptible hound-like flicker of his nostrils, his own face held not a whit more expression than the girl's.
2734 Out of some emotional or purely social tensities of life it seems rather that Time strikes the clock than that anything so small as a clock should dare strike the Time. One - two - three - four - five! winced the poor little frightened traveling-clock on the mantelpiece.
2735 With snow and gloom and pain and loneliness the rest of the day dragged by. Hour after hour, helpless, hopeless, utterly impotent as though Time itself were bleeding to death, the minutes bubbled and dripped from the old wooden clock.
2736 Oh, no! Nothing new came at all except that particularly wretched, itching type of insomnia which seems to rip away from one's body the whole kind, protecting skin and expose all the raw, ticklish fretwork of nerves to the mercy of a gritty blanket or a wrinkled sheet.
2737 Again the day dragged by with maddening monotony and loneliness. Again the clock mocked him, and the postman shirked him, and the janitor forgot him. Again the big, black night came crowding down and stung him and smothered him into a countless number of new torments.
2738 After the long waiting and the fretful impatience of the past few days there were only two plausible ways in which to treat such a letter. One way was with anger. One way was with amusement. With conscientious effort Stanton finally summoned a real smile to his lips.
2739 Stretching out perilously from his snug bed he gathered the waste-basket into his arms and commenced to dig in it like a sportive terrier. After a messy minute or two he successfully excavated the crumpled little gray tissue circular and smoothed it out carefully on his humped-up knees.
2740 The next day and the next night were stale and mean and musty with a drizzling winter rain. But the following morning crashed inconsiderately into the world's limp face like a snowball spiked with icicles. Gasping for breath and crunching for foothold the sidewalk people breasted the gritty cold.
2741 Then, because he was really very sick and really very tired, he snuggled down into the new blessed warmth and turned his gaunt cheek to the pillow and cupped his hand for sleep like a drowsy child with its nose and mouth burrowed eagerly down into the expectant draught.
2742 At noon the postman dropped some kind of a message through the slit in the door, but the plainly discernible green one-cent stamp forbade any possible hope that it was a letter from the South. At four o'clock again someone thrust an offensive pink gas bill through the letter-slide.
2743 The letter was mailed by the janitor long before noon. Even as late as eleven o'clock that night Stanton was still hopefully expecting an answer. Nor was he altogether disappointed. Just before midnight a messenger boy appeared with a fair-sized manilla envelope, quite stiff and important looking.
2744 Before the messenger boy's astonished interest Stanton spread out on the bed all around him a dozen soft sepia-colored photographs of a dozen different girls. Stately in satin, or simple in gingham, or deliciously hoydenish in fishing-clothes, they challenged his surprised attention.
2745 The next night, very, very late, in a furious riot of wind and snow and sleet, a clerk from the drug-store just around the corner appeared with a perfectly huge hot-water bottle fairly sizzling and bubbling with warmth and relief for aching rheumatic backs.
2746 The amazement in fact never wavered for a second from Stanton's blush-red visage, nor the supreme serenity from the lady's whole attitude. But across the Doctor's startled features a fearful, outraged consciousness of having been deceived, warred mightily with a consciousness of unutterable mirth.
2747 Convulsed with amusement, yet almost paralyzed by a certain stubborn, dumb sort of embarrassment, nothing on earth could have forced Stanton into making even an indefinite speech to the girl until she had made at least one perfectly definite and reasonably illuminating sort of speech to him.
2748 No professional actress on the stage could have spoken the words more deliciously. Even to the actual crunching of the toast in her little shining white teeth, she sought to illustrate as fantastically as possible the ultimate misery of a bankrupt person starving for cold toast.
2749 Wriggling out of the cloak and veil that wrapped her like a chrysalis she emerged suddenly a glimmering, shimmering little oriental figure of satin and silver and haunting sandalwood - a veritable little incandescent rainbow of spangled moonlight and flaming scarlet and dark purple shadows.
2750 A minute after that it seemed as though every door in every house on the street slammed shrilly. Then the charred fire-log sagged down into the ashes with a sad, puffing sigh. Then a whole row of books on a loosely packed shelf toppled over on each other with soft jocose slaps.
2751 In subsequent experience it seemed to take two telephone messages to produce the Doctor. A trifle coolly, a trifle distantly, more than a trifle disapprovingly, he appeared at last and stared dully at Stanton's astonishing booted-and-coated progress towards health.
2752 Sometimes he could not even seem to hear the grinding of the brakes above the dreadful throb-throb of his temples. Sometimes in horrid, shuddering chills he huddled into his great fur-coat and cursed the porter for having a disposition like a polar bear.
2753 Everybody else on the platform seemed to be accepting the astonishing geographical fact with perfect simplicity. Already along the edge of the platform the quaint, old-fashioned yellow stage-coaches set on runners were fast filling up with utterly serene passengers.
2754 It was perfectly evident that the little old lady knew nothing whatsoever about Stanton, but it was equally evident that she suspected him of being neither a highwayman nor a book agent, and was really sincerely sorry that Molly had "a headache" and would be unable to see him.
2755 Still poring over the tomes and commentaries incidental to the preparation of his next Sunday's sermon his fine face glowed half frown, half ecstasy, in the December twilight, while close at his elbow all unnoticed a smoking kerosine lamp went smudging its acrid path to the ceiling.
2756 Where the hobbly lane curved darkly into a meadow through a snarl of winter-stricken willows the rattle of a loose window-pane smote quite distinctly on the ear. It was a horrid, deserted sound. And with the instinctive habit of years Flame's little hand clutched at her heart.
2757 Without knock or ring the door-handle creaked and turned, three ecstatic shapes went hurtling through a yellow glare into the hall beyond, and Flame found herself staring up into the blinking, astonished eyes of the crumpled old man with the red waistcoat.
2758 It certainly was a sad and romantic looking parlor, and strangely furnished, Flame thought, for even "moving times." Through a maze of bulging packing boxes and barrels she picked her way to a faded rose-colored chair that flanked the fire-place.
2759 So it was that when Flame arrived at her own home fifteen minutes later, and found her parents madly engaged in packing suit-cases, searching time-tables, and rushing generally to and fro from attic to cellar, no very mutual exchange of confidences ensued.
2760 Never in her whole little life having owned a door-key to her own house it seemed quite an adventure in itself to be walking thus possessively through an unfamiliar hall into an absolutely unknown kitchen and goodness knew what on either side and beyond.
2761 Pies, cakes, and doughnuts, interspersed themselves between. Green wreaths streaming with scarlet ribbons hung nonchalantly across every chair-top. Tinsel garlands shone on the walls. In the doorway reared a hastily constructed mimicry of a railroad crossing sign.
2762 A fresh bewilderment met his eyes. Where he had once seen cobwebs flapping grayly across the chimney-breast loomed now the gay worsted recommendation that dogs specially, should be considered in the Christmas Season. Throwing all caution aside he passed the buffet and plunged into the kitchen.
2763 At this interception everybody turned suddenly and looked at the Lay Reader. His mouth was twisted very slightly to one side. It gave him a rather unpleasant snarling expression. If this expression had been vocal instead of muscular it would have shocked his hearers.
2764 With one elbow leaning casually on the mantle-piece, his narrowed eyes faintly inscrutable, faintly smiling, it seemed suddenly to the young Master of the House that he had been waiting all his discouraged years for just that glance. His heart gave the queerest jump.
2765 With a little sharp catch of her breath Flame dashed to the window, and swung the sash upward! Where once had breathed the drab, dusty smell of frozen grass and mud quickened suddenly a curious metallic dampness like the smell of new pennies.
2766 Like a strip of lip-colored lead suspended from her poor little nose by two tugging wire-gray wrinkles her persistently conscientious sickroom smile seemed to be whanging aimlessly against her front teeth. The sensation certainly was very unpleasant.
2767 Very threateningly she raised herself to her tiptoes and thrust her glowing, corporeal face right up into the moulten, elusive, quick-silver face in the mirror. Pink for pink, blue for blue, gold for gold, dollish smirk for dollish smirk, the mirror mocked her seething inner fretfulness.
2768 Still panting with excitement, still bristling with resentment, Rae Malgregor stood surveying the intrusion and the intruder. A dozen impertinent speeches were rioting in her mind. Twice her mouth opened and shut before she finally achieved the particular opprobrium that completely satisfied her.
2769 The only real aristocrat in the whole graduating class, high-browed, high-cheekboned, - eyes like some far-sighted young prophet, - mouth even yet faintly arrogant with the ineradicable consciousness of caste, - a plain, eager, stripped-for-a-long-journey type of face, - this was Helene Churchill.
2770 With a little shrill scream of pain Rae Malgregor's hands went flying back to her temples. Like a person giving orders in a great panic she turned authoritatively to her two room-mates, her fingers all the while boring frenziedly into her temples.
2771 Somewhere in the dusty, indifferent street a bird's note rang out in one wild, delirious ecstasy of untrammeled springtime. To all intents and purposes the sound might have been the one final signal that Rae Malgregor's jangled nerves were waiting for.
2772 Just what the motto was no one but herself knew. Sprawling in paint-brush hieroglyphics on a great flapping sheet of brown wrapping-paper, the sentiment, whatever it was, had been nailed face down to the wall for three tantalizing years.
2773 Mutely then she shut her eyes, bowed her head, and waited for the Superintendent to smite her dead. The smite she felt quite sure would be a noisy one. First of all, she reasoned it would fracture her skull. Naturally then of course it would splinter her spine.
2774 Glancing up casually from the roar and rumble of his abruptly repentant engine the Senior Surgeon swore once more under his breath to think that any female sitting perfectly idle and non-concerned in a seven thousand dollar car should have the nerve to flaunt such a furiously strenuous color.
2775 Just for an instant his famous fingers seemed to flash with apparent inconsequence towards one bit of mechanism and another. Then like a huge, portentous pill floated on smoothest syrup the car slid down the yawning street into the congested city.
2776 Helplessly the little girl sat staring from a lackey's ill-concealed grin to her Father's smoldering fury. Quite palpably she began to swallow with considerable difficulty. Then quick as a flash a diminutively crafty smile crooked across one corner of her mouth.
2777 Joggled unmercifully into wakefulness, the Little Girl greeted his return with a generous if distinctly non-tactful demonstration of affection. Grabbing the unwitting fingers of his momentarily free hand she tapped them proudly against the White Linen Nurse's plump pink cheek.
2778 To add to his original concentration the Senior Surgeon's linen collar began to chafe him maddeningly under his chin. The annoyance added two scowls to his already blackly furrowed face, and at least ten miles an hour to his running time; but nothing whatsoever to his conversational ability.
2779 Gasping surprisedly towards the Senior Surgeon the White Linen Nurse saw his grim mouth yank round abruptly in her direction as it yanked sometimes in the operating-room with some sharp, incisive order of life or death. Instinctively she leaned forward for the message.
2780 Swoopingly like a sled striking glare, level ice the great car swerved from the bottom of the hill into a soft rolling meadow. Instantly from every conceivable direction, like foes in ambush, trees, stumps, rocks reared up in threatening defiance.
2781 In the amazing silence that ensued the White Linen Nurse gathered her trembling knees up into the circle of her arms and sat there staring at the Senior Surgeon's prostrate body, and rocking herself feebly to and fro in a futile effort to collect her scattered senses.
2782 Throwing herself prone upon the cool meadowy ground and frantically reaching out under the running board of the car to her full arm's length she began to rummage awkwardly hither and yon beneath the heavy weight of the man in the desperate hope of feeling a heart-beat.
2783 With an agonizing jerk of his neck the Senior Surgeon rooted his mud-gagged mouth a half inch further towards free and spontaneous speech. Very laboriously, very painstakingly, he spat out one by one two stones and a wisp of ground pine and a brackish, prickly tickle of stale golden-rod.
2784 Cautiously the White Linen Nurse jerked herself back into freedom and crawled around and stared at the Senior Surgeon through the wheel-spokes again. Like one worrying out some intricate mathematical problem his mental strain was pulsing visibly through his closed eyelids.
2785 Very tensely she straightened up suddenly in her seat. Her expression was no longer even remotely pleasant. Along her sensitive, fluctuant nostrils the casual crinkle of distaste and suspicion had deepened suddenly into sheer dilating terror.
2786 Freely now, though cross-legged like a Turk, she jerked herself forward on the grass and sat probing up into the Senior Surgeon's face like an excited puppy trying to solve whether the gift in your up-raised hand is a lump of sugar - or a live coal.
2787 Indeed it was on the very first rain-green, rose-red morning of June that the White Linen Nurse sallied forth upon her extremely hazardous adventure of marrying the Senior Surgeon and his naughty little crippled daughter.
2788 The Senior Surgeon's stockings, if you really care to know, were gray. And the Senior Surgeon's suit was gray. And he looked altogether very huge and distinguished, - and no more strikingly unhappy than any bridegroom looks in a gray granite church.
2789 Then as soon as the wedding ceremony was over, the bride and groom went to a wonderful green and gold cafe all built of marble and lined with music, and had a little lunch. What I really mean, of course, is that they had a very large lunch, but didn't eat any of it!
2790 Heavily as a man wading through a bog of dreams, he stumbled out of his cabin into the morning. Under his drowsy, brooding eyes appalling shadows circled. Behind his sunburn, - deeper than his tan, something sinister and uncanny lurked wanly like the pallor of a soul.
2791 For seventy miles of Canadian wilderness only the mountains and the forest and the lake stood actually convicted of having been out all night. Dank and white with its vaporous vigil the listless lake kindled wanly to the new day's breeze.
2792 Blue with cold a precipitous mountain peak lurched craggedly home through a rift in the fog. Drenched with mist, bedraggled with dew, a green-feathered pine tree lay guzzling insatiably at a leaf-brown pool. Monotonous as a sob the waiting birch canoe slosh-sloshed against the beach.
2793 There was no romantic smell of red roses in this June landscape. Just tobacco smoke, and the faint reminiscent fragrance of fried trout, and the mournful, sizzling, pungent consciousness of a camp-fire quenched for a whole year with a tinful of wet coffee grounds.
2794 Seven miles further down the lake, at the beginning of the rapids, the Indian Guide spoke again. Racking the canoe between two rocks, - paddling, panting, pushing, sweating, the Indian Guide lifted his voice high, - piercing, above the swirling roar of waters.
2795 Very slowly, very methodically, he put down first his precious rod-case and then his grip. His brain seemed fairly foaming with blood and confusion. Along the swelling veins of his arms a dozen primitive instincts went surging to his fists.
2796 The Hegemony Consul sat on the balcony of his ebony spaceship and played Rachmaninoff's Prelude in C-sharp Minor on an ancient but well-maintained Steinway while great, green, saurian things surged and bellowed in the swamps below. A thunderstorm was brewing to the north.
2797 The Consul nodded and absently raised the Scotch to his lips. He frowned at the empty glass and dropped it onto the thick carpeting of the holopit. Even with no military training he understood the difficult tactical decision Gladstone and the joint chiefs were faced with.
2798 No stars were visible. The darkness would have been absolute except for the intermittent flash of lightning to the north and a soft phosphorescence rising from the marshes. The Consul was suddenly very aware that he was, at that second, the only sentient being on an unnamed world.
2799 The Consul thought of the Shrike, free to wander everywhere on Hyperion, of the millions of indigenies and thousands of Hegemony citizens helpless before a creature which defied physical laws and which communicated only through death, and he shivered despite the warmth of the cabin.
2800 The Consul awoke with the peculiar headache, dry throat, and sense of having forgotten a thousand dreams which only periods in cryogenic fugue could bring. He blinked, sat upright on a low couch, and groggily pushed away the last sensor tapes clinging to his skin.
2801 The Consul paused, moved to the edge of the walkway, and took a quick step back. It was at least six hundred meters down - down being created by the one-sixth standard gravity being generated by the singularities imprisoned at the base of the tree - and there were no railings.
2802 They resumed their silent ascent, turning off from the main trunk walkway thirty meters and half a trunk-spiral later to cross a flimsy suspension bridge to a five-meter-wide branch. They followed this outward to where the riot of leaves caught the glare of Hyperion's sun.
2803 Next to the priest sat a man whose image had been familiar to most citizens of the Hegemony some years before. The Consul wondered if the collective attention span in the Worldweb was as short now as it had been when he had lived there. Shorter, probably.
2804 The Consul nodded his thanks, thumbed on the power, and scanned the patch of sky Het Masteen had indicated. Gyroscopic crystals in the binoculars hummed slightly as they stabilized the optics and swept the area in a programmed search pattern.
2805 The Hegemony spinship was incongruously streamlined with its four sets of boom arms retracted in battle readiness, its sixty-meter command probe sharp as a Clovis point, and its Hawking drive and fusion blisters set far back along the launch shaft like feathers on an arrow.
2806 Crew clones swept away the dishes and brought dessert trays showcasing sherbets, coffees, treeship fruit, draums, tortes, and concoctions made of Renaissance chocolate. Martin Silenus waved away the desserts and told the clones to bring him another bottle of wine.
2807 He was number seven. Tension ebbed out of him like air out of an overinflated balloon. It was quite possible, he reasoned, that events would intercede before he had to tell his story. Or the war would make everything academic. Or the group could lose interest in stories. Or the king could die.
2808 Lenar Hoyt had been a young priest, born, raised, and only recently ordained on the Catholic world of Pacem, when he was given his first offworld assignment: he was ordered to escort the respected Jesuit Father Paul Dur into quiet exile on the colony world of Hyperion.
2809 Spedling's brief notes hypothesized that the humans were survivors of a missing seedship colony from three centuries earlier and clearly described a group suffering all of the classic retrograde cultural effects of extreme isolation, inbreeding, and overadaptation.
2810 The town itself seems to be separated into the sprawling maze of slums and saloons which the locals call Jacktown and Keats itself, the so-called Old City although it dates back only four centuries, all polished stone and studied sterility. I will take the tour soon.
2811 Monsignor Edouard, if you could see me now. Punished but still unrepentant. More alone than ever but strangely satisfied with my new exile. If my punishment for past excesses brought about by my zeal is to be banishment to the seventh circle of desolation, then Hyperion was well chosen.
2812 Dust and powdered plaster hung in the air like incense, outlining two shafts of sunlight streaming down from narrow windows high above. I stepped out into a broader patch of sunlight and approached an altar stripped of all decoration except for chips and cracks caused by falling masonry.
2813 The old woman was kneeling in the fourth row of pews. The black of her dress and scarf blended so perfectly with the shadows there that only the pale oval of her face was visible, lined and ancient, floating disembodied in the darkness. Startled, I stopped speaking the litany of consecration.
2814 Next the ship will make its eight-hundred-kilometer crawl down a series of smaller islands called the Nine Tails and then take a bold leap across seven hundred kilometers of open sea and the equator. The next land we see then is the northwest coast of Aquila, the so-called Beak.
2815 It is after dinner. I am alone on the outside promenade to watch the sunset. The walkway here is sheltered by the forward cargo modules so the wind is little more than a salt-tinged breeze. Above me curves the orange and green skin of the dirigible.
2816 The companies keep a skimmerport on the edge of town to ferry men and matriel inland to the larger plantations, but I do not have enough money to bribe my way aboard. Rather, I could get myself aboard but cannot afford to transport my three trunks of medical and scientific gear.
2817 Explosion! Concussion! The vault doors burst open. And deep inside, the money is racked ready for pillage, rapine, loot. Who's that? Who's inside the vault? Oh God! The Man With No Face! Looking. Looming. Silent. Horrible. Run... Run....
2818 Night, noon, summer, winter... without bothering to think, Reich could have rattled off the time and season for any meridian on any body in the solar system. Here in New York it was a bitter morning after a bitter night of dreaming.
2819 Carson Breen, Esper Medical Doctor 2, was already awake and ready for him. As Reich's staff analyst he slept the "nurse's sleep" in which he remained en rapport with his patient and could only be awakened by his needs. That one scream had been enough for Breen.
2820 His peeper secretary knew where he was going. His peeper chauffeur knew where he wanted to go. Reich arrived in his apartment and was met by his peeper house-supervisor who at once announced early luncheon and dialed the meal to Reich's unspoken demands.
2821 Reich placed the tip of his finger in the center of the glow. It faded and the honey-comb rack appeared. Holding his finger in place, he reached up and took down a small black notebook and a large red envelope. He removed his index finger and the safe pulsed out of phase again.
2822 The plans were out-dated but they kindled imagination; and ideas began forming and crystallizing to be considered, discarded, and instantly replaced. One phrase caught his attention: If you believe yourself a natural killer, avoid planning too carefully. Leave most to your instinct.
2823 Despite all rival claims, pawnbroking is still the oldest profession. The business of lending money on portable security is the most ancient of human occupations. It extends from the depths of the past to the uttermost reaches of the future, as unchanging as the pawnbroker's shop itself.
2824 Until it was destroyed for reasons lost in the misty confusion of the late XXth Century, the Pennsylvania Station in New York City was, unknown to millions of travellers, a link in time. The interior of the giant terminal was a replica of the mighty Baths of Caracalla in ancient Rome.
2825 Reich was invisible at last. He had half an hour to slip up into the house, find and kill D'Courtney, and then return to the game. Tate was committed to pinning the peeper secretaries out of the line of his attack. It was safe. It was foolproof except for the Chervil boy.
2826 If the guards revived before he was finished, he was on the road to Demolition. No matter what happened, it was a final gamble with Demolition. Leaving the last of his sanity behind him, Reich pushed open a jewelled door and entered the wedding suite.
2827 Reich and the girl were screaming together. Reich shook with galvanic spasms that forced him to release the girl. The girl fell forward to her knees and crawled to the body. She moaned in pain as she snatched the gun from the mouth where it still hung.
2828 Reich gasped for breath and beat his knuckles together painfully. When the roaring in his ears subsided, he propelled himself toward the girl, trying to arrange his thoughts and make split second alterations in his plans. He had never counted on a witness. No one mentioned a daughter.
2829 Reich started. The clogged blood began pounding through his veins again. He reached the door in three strides, ran through and tore down the steps to the picture gallery. It was empty but the door to the overpass was just closing. And still no sound from her. Still no alarm.
2830 Whatsoever mind I enter, there will I go for the benefit of man, refraining from all wrong-doing and corruption. Whatsoever thoughts I see or hear in the mind of man which ought not to be made known, I will keep silence thereon, counting such things to be as sacred secrets.
2831 I am not a very complicated robot. My master doesn't want a complicated robot. He just wants someone to pick up after him, to run his printer, stack his disks, and like that. He says I don't give him any backtalk and just do what I am told. He says that is good.
2832 And he laughs, I like when he laughs because it means he feels good, but it is a queer sound. I don't understand how he makes it or why. I ask him and he says to me that he laughs when something is funny. I ask him if what I said is funny. He says, Yes, it is.
2833 What I want is to be a writer like my master. I do not understand why I have this feeling, but my master is a writer and he helped design me. Maybe his design makes me feel I want to be a writer. I do not understand why I have this feeling because I don't know what a writer is.
2834 Sometimes when he doesn't, because I am so unimportant, and then I can move about at night. I can look at the Writer. You push keys and it makes words and then the words are put on paper. I watch the master so I know how to push keys. The words go on the paper themselves.
2835 The technician looks angry, too. He says, If that's what you want, very well. The customer is the boss. But it will be more expensive than you think, because we can not put in the knowledge of how to use a Writer without improving his vocabulary a good deal.
2836 Calumet Smithson sat at the dinner table and regarded the four men closely. Two of them were quite young and had dark hair. One of them had a mustache as well. Neither was very good looking. One of them was Mr. Foster and the other was Mr. Lionell. The third man was rather fat and had small eyes.
2837 Mr Northrop called in the technician again. This time, I think, he wasn't very eager to have me overhead what he was saying, but even from where I was standing, I could hear the conversation. Sometimes human beings forget how sharp the senses of robots can be.
2838 As my sense of balance returned and my speech became clear, an odd thing happened. I suddenly understood how silly human beings were. They had no laws governing their actions. They had to make up their own, and even when they did, nothing forced them to obey.
2839 He was a gentleman from toe to crown, clean-favored and imperially slim. As a result, he was naturally a hissing and a byword to all decent people, as he would have known, if he had ever associated with decent people which, of course, he did not, only with other lost souls like himself.
2840 There he was, all two centimeters of him, bright red, of course, with little nubbins of horns and a long spiked tail. What made his appearance different this time was the presence of a blue cord wrapped about the tail in swatches and curlicues so intricate that it made me dizzy to contemplate it.
2841 We visited a bar, which was a great relief, for in Boston, bars are occupied by serious drinkers who are not discommoded by the sight of a small scarlet head emerging from a person's shirt pocket and looking about. Boston drinkers see worse things even when sober.
2842 Cherry occupied my full attention for several minutes for there were several points of interest about her that repaid close observation, but eventually I did manage to notice that Winthrop was in a peculiar state of undress. His vest was open and he was wearing no tie.
2843 He was, of course, cut by everyone in New England of any consequence whatsoever, exactly as I had predicted. Even in New Haven at the institute of Lower Learning, which Winthrop had mentioned with such shudderings of distaste, his case was known and his disgrace was gloried in.
2844 I remained there for over a day, brooding over Mr. Northrop's tyranny. It seemed to me I had written exactly the kind of story he had wanted me to write and he had no reason not to say so. I couldn't imagine what was bothering him, and I was angry with him.
2845 I could then work for the technician. He appreciates my qualities and knows that I can make a great deal of money for him. He can continue to improve me and make me ever better. Even if he suspects I killed the tyrant, he would say nothing. I would be too valuable to him.
2846 I was a birch tree, white slenderness in the middle of a meadow, but had no name for what I was. My leaves drank of the sunlight that streamed through them and set their green aglow, my leaves danced in the wind, which made a harp of my branches, but I did not see or hear.
2847 Nonetheless she suddenly wanted a more familiar sight. The need for the comfort it would give surprised her. She, the holothete, to whom everything visible was merely a veil that reality wore. The past eight Earth-years must have drunk deeper of her than she knew.
2848 At a distance of 0.81 astronomical units, unmagnified, Demeter resembled the stars about it, stronger than most and bluer than any. Are you still yonder, Dan Brodersen? Joelle wondered, and then, oh, yes, you must be. I've been gone for eight years, but a bare few of your months have passed.
2849 Archer blurted the figures off a chronometer. She summoned from the memory bank the exact clock reading when she and her fellows had finished tracing out the guidepath here and twisted through space-time to their unknown goal. Subtraction yielded an interval of twenty weeks and three days.
2850 There was no particular reason for that. She knew what the watchcraft looked like: a tapered gray cylinder so as to be capable of planetfall, missile launcher and ray projector recessed into the sleekness-wholly foreign to the huge, equipment-bristling, fragile sphere which was Emissary.
2851 Thence they went to her brain. The connection was not through wires stuck in her skull or any such crudity; electromagnetic induction sufficed. She, in turn, called on the powerful computer to which she was also linked, as problems arose moment by moment.
2852 The rapport was total. She had added to her nervous system the immense input, storage capacity, and retrieval speed of the electronic assembly, together with the immense mathematico-logical capacity for volume and speed of operations which belonged to its other half.
2853 Besides, this present work was routine, she had merely to direct, by her thoughts, equipment which sent the ship along a standard set of curves through a known set of configurations. The unaided computer could have done as well, had it been worth the trouble of readjusting several circuits.
2854 Motion - it would last for several hours, at ever-changing orientations and configurations, as Emissary wove her way through the star gate between Phoebus and Sol. However, at present there was only a straight-forward boost toward the first of the beacons. Joelle stirred and scowled.
2855 During his lifetime, similar developments went on in British Columbia. American and Canadian nationalism meant much less than the need for local cooperation. Bob married John, his remaining son, to Barbara, daughter of the Captain General of the Fraser Valley.
2856 After patting his German shepherd hello, he went on into the house. The living room was long and high, paneled like the office where he had been, a stone fireplace that he had built himself standing archaic opposite a broad window showing the patio.
2857 Like most colonists, once it became possible to survive beyond the original town and its technological support, they tended to clump together with their own kind. Farmers, herders, lumberjacks, hunters, they lived in primitive fashion for lack of machinery; freight costs from Earth were enormous.
2858 The folk who bore it had evolved a whole ethos. In their homes, many of them continued to speak the original languages; but given that variety, English was the common tongue, in a new dialect. Traditions blended together, mutated, or sprang spontaneously into being.
2859 The dancing flies outward like laughter-Caitlin halted. From a wilderness thicket had appeared a garm. Gray-furred, round-snouted, bob-tailed, tiger-sized, it flowed along in a gracefulness that brought a gasp of admiration from her. Neither need fear.
2860 The beast stopped too, and stared back at her. It saw a young woman. (Her exact age was thirty-four, though being Earth-born she thought of it as twenty-five.) Of medium height, full-bosomed, withy-slender, long in the legs, she bore aloft a curly, bronzebrown mane which fell to her shoulders.
2861 Her face was wide in the brow, high in the cheekbones, tapering to the chin; but her mouth was broad and full. Beneath arching dark brows were emerald eyes and a short, tilted nose. Weather had turned a fair skin tawny and added a dusting of freckles. Her tunic and trousers had seen rough use.
2862 A moon and a half shining, Phoebus not far out of sight, the sky was violet more than black and showed few stars. Of the constellations, only Medea and Ariadne appeared complete. Aphrodite and Zeus, sister planets, stood candle-bright. Three small clouds glowed.
2863 Caitlin had guided Brodersen here, down a game trail after he parked the car. He had brought outdoor kit of his own, including a fuel-cell heater which gave the shelter a welcome warmth. Sleeping bags on moffite pads made the floor comfortable. But they two did not sleep.
2864 Toward dawn, she raised herself on an elbow, the better to regard him. The cave faced west, and Persephone's beams were now streaming straight in, so eerily bright that against the whiteness of her he thought he could see how rosy were her nipples.
2865 She woke before he did. Rousing, he saw her seated in the cave mouth, limned against the mysterious blueness that on Earthlike planets comes just before sunrise. She had programmed her sonador for unaccompanied guitar, making the instrument ring.
2866 I was a caterpillar that crawled, a pupa that slumbered, a moth that flew in search of the Moon. The changes were so deep that my body could not remember what it had formerly been; I was as if reborn to wings. Nor had I the means to wonder at this. I simply was. Yet how bright was my being!
2867 Mine was the night. In my eyes it glowed and sparkled, full of vague shapes that I knew best by their fragrances. My food was the nectar of flowers, taken as I hovered on fluttery wingbeats, though sometimes the fermented sap of a tree set me and a thousand like me dizzily spiraling about.
2868 Yet it was a failure. Men had constructed it a century ago, to serve as a base for operations among the asteroids. Thinly scattered though those remnants of a stillborn world are, they could profitably be worked by robots, as could the Jovian moons at times around inferior conjunction.
2869 They were apologetic, explaining that they dared not act without orders. The twenty men who guarded Emissary's crew and passenger were decent enough in their fashion, North American secret service agents on special detail. They sincerely believed that what they did was right and necessary.
2870 Her former companions remained more outgoing. While Captain Langendijk was icily correct toward the agents, Rueda Suarez calculatedly condescending, and Benedetti sometimes abusive, the rest fraternized in varying degrees. Frieda von Moltke even found a long-desired sexual newness among them.
2871 She was screening Swinburne on a particular daywatch when the Betan called. Much fiction and poetry left her unmoved, or else puzzled; she had too limited an experience of ordinary emotional relationships, too wide an experience of that which underlay the universe.
2872 This morning she and Brodersen had wandered hand in hand along the shore, stripped (save for sneakers against the beautiful sharp coral) to go swimming, afterward lounged about - the light soaked through her skin to the marrow - until he warned against burns and they dressed.
2873 On the way back they encountered a brown man who smiled, chatted in broken Spanish, invited them to his nearby home for a bite to eat, and later fetched out a guitar and swapped a few songs with Brodersen. The rain which came along about then was like sky and Earth making love.
2874 Yet there the thing is. Forces of a kind we know nothing about shaped it, gave it its unbelievable rotational energy, and hold it together. I have no doubt whatsoever that here is the product of a technology farther advanced from ours than ours is from the Stone Age.
2875 The builders have existed through age after age. They wish the cosmos well, but for that very reason do not seek to be overlords, let alone gods. Best that each race make its own destiny, tragic though that may prove. Only thus can it grow, in strength, mind, and spirit.
2876 I call it that in honor of the theoretician who, extending the work of Kerr and others, published in 1974 a paper on this exact subject, which afterward he pursued farther with imagination as well as mathematical rigor. True, he was forced to make certain simplifying assumptions.
2877 As I said, this effect seemed to demand impossible conditions. For instance, it called for matter densities many orders of magnitude greater than that of nucleons themselves, such as might conceivably exist within a black hole but nowhere else.
2878 We are also beginning to get an inkling of how the cylinder stays in position with respect to Earth. That position is not stable. Planetary perturbations should cause a body there to drift away from it in a fairly short time. Yet presumably the device has been where it is for centuries at least.
2879 You must have noted that the configuration of the spheres is not constant, but gradually changes. Doubtless you have guessed that that is to compensate for the changing positions of the stars. Do not worry about it. Simply follow the same order of close passage by each, as you have been instructed.
2880 Beyond this, in the crassest economic terms, I claim that within a generation, humans on Demeter will be returning Earth's investment to Earth a thousand times over. Remember what America meant to Europe. Remember what Luna and the satellites mean to us today.
2881 Initially, everybody must live in or near Eopolis, and close cooperation was a requirement of survival. A notion that the Others might be somewhere around, watching, reinforced solidarity. This faded with time, and meanwhile population and the economy grew. Likewise did knowledge.
2882 Elsewhere, time had also been riding. What precarious order had prevailed on Earth had broken down, and the Troubles begun. No few rhetoricians claimed that the fact of the Others brought this on; it was too disturbing, too provocative of heresy; there were things man was never meant to know.
2883 One ongoing effort was reckoned more important than even the dispatching of unmanned probes toward neighbor stars. It was the sending of such craft through the gates, along arbitrary paths, programmed to return from wherever they went by taking equally arbitrary paths. None did.
2884 But let us keep it up long enough, and sheer statistics guarantees that eventually one will find its way back to us, with a record of the routes that it took. Let this happen a number of times, and we'll at least have the information we need to reach that many stars.
2885 The presentation ended at that point, twenty-odd years in the past. Joelle wondered how the tape had gotten here. Maybe a fussy curator decreed that, if the San Geronimo Wheel was to be a monument, historical references in its data bank should be kept current.
2886 Her crew were aboard. That had gone more easily than Leino intimated to Two Eagles. They had taken the regular ferry to Persephone, unnoticed among the other passengers. At the port they engaged a private boat, whose owner-pilot cleared for Erion and then took them to their ship instead.
2887 Obedient to an officially approved flight plan, Williwaw spent a couple of hours curving toward the planet before she reached the fringes of its stratosphere. Much velocity remained to be shed: slowly, lest she burn. Stubby wings extended. The rockets fell silent; valves closed them off.
2888 The moons of Demeter orbit faster than does the Moon of Earth. On this night, Erion was down and Persephone would not rise till after dawn. Thus a larger number of stars showed than before, soft in a violet-blue dusk. The hour was past for torchflies and choristers; quietness dwelt here.
2889 And subsequently - Radio messages between Wheel and Earth could not well go in code, when nobody was supposed to be out here but a few harmless scientists. Courier boats took days, and in any event could not make frequent runs. That would excite comment also.
2890 Fortunately, I'm a quick study. His standard joke broke the spell. It had lasted no more than a second, while he stood overcome by the magnitude of what he was doing for humanity. He knew the name of the latest troublemaker, Emissary's second engineer, as well as he knew his wife's.
2891 The foremost fact was that Homo sapiens had no business among the stars. Eventually, yes, when he was ready, then let him go forth. But first he should put his own house in order. One could actually argue that interplanetary enterprises, from the original Sputnik, had been a mistake.
2892 The silkiness was minutely soothing as he continued to review. His was far from the sole interest at stake. No two of his allies had identical motives. Stedman, of the Holy Western Republic, feared the collapse of a faith and a way of life already weakened by secular Terrestrial influences.
2893 Joelle Ky and Christine Burns wandered along an eastern shore. Around them reached wilderness. It lay within fifty kilometers of a megalopolitan complex holding fifteen million souls; but the Betans cherished their countrysides. Indeed, you might never recognize a city from above.
2894 Yet no Betan state was really comparable to any Terrestrial one. The heads were invariably female - a monarch might be proclaimed divine - and kept male combativeness curbed. Family structure preserved their subjects from being mobilized into machine-like armies or atomized into anomie.
2895 At last came a scientific-industrial revolution. It brought its hazards and disasters, but never passed as near the abyss as did Earth's, in large part because it took place quite gradually in these conservative, female-dominated civilizations with their strong environmentalistic ethics.
2896 The man addressed turned slowly around and faced the speaker. His expression was hidden by a grotesque helmet, part of a heavy, leaden armor which shielded his entire body, but the tone of voice in which he answered showed nervous exasperation.
2897 But a self-perpetuating sequence of nuclear splitting, just under the level of complete explosion, was necessary to the operation of the power plant. To split the first uranium nucleus by bombarding it with neutrons from the beryllium target took more power than the death of the atom gave up.
2898 He could bring to the job all of the skill and learning of the finest technical education, and use it to reduce the hazard to the lowest mathematical probability, but the blind laws of chance which appear to rule in subatomic action might turn up a royal flush against him and defeat his most skillful play.
2899 Once outside this outer shield, he divested himself of the cumbersome armor, disposed of it in the locker room provided, and hurried to a lift. He left the lift at the tube station, underground, and looked around for an unoccupied capsule.
2900 Steinke ushered him into the superintendent's private office. Harper was there before him, and returned his greeting with icy politeness. The superintendent was cordial, but Silard thought he looked tired, as if the twenty-four-hour-a-day strain was too much for him.
2901 In this worthy project they received much cooperation from the plant personnel themselves, each of whom was receiving from twice to ten times as much money each pay day as he had ever received in any other job, and none of whom was certain of living long enough to justify saving for old age.
2902 Erickson started making the rounds. There were twenty-seven places licensed to sell liquor in the six blocks of the main street of Paradise. He expected to find Harper in one of them, and, knowing the man's habits and tastes, he expected to find him in the first two or three he tried.
2903 If the symbols have been abstracted so that they are structurally similar to the phenomena they stand for, and if the symbol operations are similar in structure and order to the operations of phenomena in the real world, we think sanely.
2904 Lentz puttered around the plant and the administration center for several days, until he was known to everyone by sight. He made himself pleasant and asked questions. He was soon regarded as a harmless nuisance, to be tolerated because he was a friend of the superintendent.
2905 Erickson glanced at Harper, who nodded, and fixed his eyes on a panel of instruments mounted behind the shield. Lentz saw Erickson press a push button at the top of the board, then heard a series of relays click on the far side of the shield. There was a short moment of silence.
2906 The floor slapped his feet like some incredible bastinado. The concussion that beat on his ears was so intense that it paralyzed the auditory nerve almost before it could be recorded as sound. The air-conducted concussion wave flailed every inch of his body with a single, stinging, numbing blow.
2907 In spite of Superintendent King's anxiety, Lentz refused to be hurried in passing judgment on the situation. Consequently, when he did present himself at King's office, and announced that he was ready to report, King was pleasantly surprised as well as relieved.
2908 He announced the discovery of the Harper-Erickson technique and dwelt on what it meant to them commercially. Each point was presented as persuasively as possible, with the full power of his engaging personality. Then he paused and waited for them to blow off steam.
2909 Before they had time to think up arguments in answer and ways of circumventing him, before their hot indignation had cooled and set as stubborn resistance, he offered his gambit. He produced another layout for a propaganda campaign - an entirely different sort.
2910 By sheer brass Lentz suggested names for the committee and Dixon confirmed his nominations, not because he wished to, particularly, but because he was caught off guard and could not think of a reason to refuse without affronting those colleagues.
2911 It worked, but there was left much to do. For the first few days after the victory in committee, King felt much elated by the prospect of an early release from the soul-killing worry. He was buoyed up by pleasant demands of manifold new administrative duties.
2912 That had helped for a week or more, a week in which they were all given a spiritual lift by the knowledge, as he had been. Then it had worn off, the reaction had set in, and the psychological observers had started disqualifying engineers for duty almost daily.
2913 Somehow, some of the civilians around about and the nontechnical employees were catching onto the secret. That mustn't go on - if it spread any farther there might be a nation-wide panic. But how the hell could he stop it? He couldn't.
2914 He turned over in bed, rearranged his pillow, and tried once more to get to sleep. No soap. His head ached, his eyes were balls of pain, and his brain was a ceaseless grind of useless, repetitive activity, like a disk recording stuck in one groove.
2915 He sat up, switched on his bed lamp, and looked at the clock. Three thirty. Not so good.