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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 21MB


    Software instructions

      The surgeon cackled again. "If that man," I dispassionately resumed, "was not perfectly sure that I am too honorable a gentleman to give Miss Camille the faintest hint of what he has said, sooner than say it he would go out and cut his throat from ear to ear."

      "Oh, well, you may be right there," blustered Allingham, "I don't know. I admit I'm not quite up to date in these abstruse speculations.""And there is the whole trouble," I added. "She will not let you marry the woman whose--"

      And then, as he approached nearer to that impassive form, staring at him with eyes that glittered luridly in the darkness, he recognised something familiar about his appearance. At the same moment he realised that this singular individual had actually run into the car without apparently incurring the least harm. The reflection rendered the Doctor speechless for a few seconds; he could only stare confusedly at the Clockwork man. The latter remained static, as though, in his turn, trying to grasp the significance of what had happened.That was why its effect was so distracting. It seemed to the doctor that the figure had popped up there on purpose to imitate the[Pg 2] action of a bowler and so baulk him. During the fraction of a second in which the ball reached him, this secondary image had blotted out everything else. But the behaviour of the figure was certainly abnormal. Its movements were violently ataxic. Its arms revolved like the sails of a windmill. Its legs shot out in all directions, enveloped in dust.

      "Death," said the Doctor, speaking from knowledge rather than from symbolical conviction.

      Gregg shrugged his shoulders in silence. Presently he looked at his watch. "I wonder if Grey will be back soon." Grey was the local inspector of police, in whose hands they had placed the business of rounding up the Clockwork man. Allingham had loaned out his car for the purpose.A shattered crew we were when in the forenoon of the third day we reached our goal. Harry's hand was giving him less trouble, but both my small wounds were misbehaving as stoutly as their limitations would allow; my aches were cruel and incessant, my side was swollen and my shoulder hot. Miss Harper was "really ill," said the surgeon, but for whose coming with us we should hardly have brought our whole number through alive. Both Ferry and Charlotte were in a critical condition. "Take you in!" said our tearfully smiling Mrs. Wall; "why, we'd take yo' whole crowd in ef we had to go out and bunk undeh the trees owse'v's!... Oh, Mr. Smith, you po' chi--ild!... Oh, my Lawd! is this Lieutenant Do-wrong! Good Lawd, good Lawd! I think this waugh's gone on now jess long enough!"

      "I am bucking up."

      "Not for a few thousand years," replied the Clockwork man, with a slight twisting of his lip. "Perhaps never."He waddled along, with his head stuck jauntily to one side. "I have nothing to fear," he added, "from such a rudimentary race of beings."


      He stopped himself abruptly, as though this view of the matter solved a good many problems."Have you heard anything fresh?" enquired Gregg, pleasantly.


      "There you are," said Tom, cowering and glancing reproachfully at the inspector, "I told you as 'ow t'gentlemen wouldn't believe me. T'aint likely as anybody would believe it as 'adn't seen it for themselves."


      And so the Clockwork man was able to conceal his clock from the gaze of a curious world, and the grotesqueness of his appearance was heightened by the addition of a neatly trimmed chestnut wig and a soft round clerical hat. His perceptions must have been extraordinarily rapid, and he must have acted upon the instant. Nor did it seem to occur to him that in this world there are laws which forbid theft. Probably, in the world from which he[Pg 87] came such restrictions are unnecessary, and the exigency would not have arisen, every individual being provided by parliamentary statute with a suitable covering for that blatant and too obvious sign of the modus operandi in the posterior region of their craniums.