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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 978MB

    Lanuage:Englist

    Software instructions

      It would require a mathematical diagram to describe the incident with absolute accuracy. The Curate, of course, had heard nothing about the Clockwork man's other performances; he had scarcely heeded the hints thrown out about the possibility of movement in other dimensions. It seemed to him, in the uncertain light of their surroundings, that the Clockwork man's right arm gradually disappeared into space. There was no arm there at all. Afterwards, he remembered a brief moment when the arm had begun to grow vague and transparent; it was moving very rapidly, in some direction, neither up nor down, nor this way or that, but along some shadowy plane. Then it went into nothing, evaporated from view. And just as suddenly, it swung back into the plane of the curate's vision, and the hand at the end of it grasped a silk hat.


      IV


      "NO," thundered the Doctor, suddenly leaping to his feet. "By heavens, no. Not that!""There now!" exclaimed Mrs. Masters, hastily arranging an antimacassar on the back of a chair, "I won't tell you that, because, of course, I don't know."

      There had been an outburst of derisive cheering when the Clockwork man actually commenced to run, but this now swelled up into a roar of merriment. And then Arthur saw what had happened. The Clockwork man had not stopped at the opposite wicket. He[Pg 34] had run straight on, past the wicket-keeper, past the fielders, and at the moment when Arthur spotted him he was making straight for the white sheet at the back of the ground. No wonder the crowd laughed! It was so utterly absurd; and the Clockwork man ran as though nothing could stop him, as though, indeed, he had been wound up and was without power to check his own ridiculous progress. The next moment he collided with the sheet; but even this could only prevent him from going further. His legs continued to work rapidly with the action of running, whilst his body billowed into the sagging sheet.

      The Clockwork man lifted a hand to his face, and with great difficulty lodged a finger reflectively against his nose. "Nineteen hundred and twenty-three," he repeated, "that's interesting. Very interesting, indeed. Not that I have any use for time, you know."The Doctor, in establishing himself in the right quarter, had forgotten to allow for the fact that the force that had lifted the Paynes out of their urban obscurity had descended to their daughter. Lilian had been expensively educated, and although the Doctor denied it[Pg 124] to himself a hundred times a week, there was no evading the fact that an acute brain slumbered behind her rather immobile beauty. True, the fruits of her learning languished a little in Great Wymering, and that beyond a slight permanent frown and a disposition to argue about modern problems, she betrayed no revolt against the narrowness of her existence, but appeared, graceful and willowy, at garden parties or whist drives. It was the development of her mind that the Doctor feared, especially as, all unconsciously at first, he had acted as its chief stimulant. During their talks together he had spoken too many a true word in jest; and his witticisms had revealed to Lilian a whole world about which to think and theorise.


      He stared hard at a grasshopper, who seemed to be considering the possibility of an enormous leap, for his great hind legs were taut and his long feelers caressed the air. "Sometimes I think the chaps who write books must be a bit like mein a way. They seem to like the same things as I do. There's a lot about beauty in most books, and I like beauty, don't you?"

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      And yet this wildly incredible being, this unspeakable travesty of all living organisms, this thing most opposite to humanity, actually breathed and conversed. He was a sentient being. He was more than man, for he could[Pg 169] be turned into something else by simply pressing a stop. Properly understood, there was no doubt that the mechanism permitted the owner of it to run up and down the evolutionary scale of species according to adjustment.

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      "No, sir, he weren't walking at all. He'd fallen into the chalk pit just by Rock's Bottom.""Look here," he broke out, after a collected pause, "once and for all, who are you?"

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      He stopped himself abruptly, as though this view of the matter solved a good many problems.


      alllittle