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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 760MB


    Software instructions

      He looked out of the window, and there was that confounded figure still jigging about. It had come nearer to the ground. It hovered, with a curious air of not being related to its surroundings that was more than puzzling. It did not seem to know what it was about, but hopped along aimlessly, as though scenting a track, stopped for a moment, blundered forward again and made a zig-zag course towards the ground. The doctor watched it advancing[Pg 6] through the broad meadow that bounded the pitch, threading its way between the little groups of grazing cows, that raised their heads with more than their ordinary, slow persistency, as though startled by some noise. The figure seemed to be aiming for the barrier of hurdles that surrounded the pitch, but whether its desire was for cricket or merely to reach some kind of goal, whether it sought recreation or a mere pause from its restless convulsions, it was difficult to tell. Finally, it fell against the fence and hung there, two hands crooked over the hurdle and its legs drawn together at the knees. It became suddenly very stillso still that it was hard to believe that it had ever moved.Gregg laughed and lowered himself into an easy chair. "Superstition, after all, is a perfectly legitimate although rudimentary form of human enquiry. These good people want to believe in the Devil. At the least opportunity they evoke his satanic majesty. They[Pg 52] are quite right. They are simply using the only material in their minds in order to investigate a mystery."

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

      "No, he never! the other one went to her, in cahoots with Oliver, and worked the thing all through so's to have the news of Oliver's death, so called, come back here to the Yankees and us; and to his wife, so's she would marry Ned Ferry to her everlasting shame, and people would say they was served right when he killed 'em at last! O--oh! Smith,--""It is a multiform world," replied the Clockwork man (he had managed to fold his arms now, and apart from a certain stiffness his attitude was fairly normal). "Now, your world has a certain definite shape. That is what puzzles me so. There is one of everything. One sky, and one floor. Everything is fixed and stable. At least, so it appears to[Pg 145] me. And then you have objects placed about in certain positions, trees, houses, lamp-postsand they never alter their positions. It reminds me of the scenery they used in the old theatres. Now, in my world everything is constantly moving, and there is not one of everything, but always there are a great many of each thing. The universe has no definite shape at all. The sky does not look, like yours does, simply a sort of inverted bowl. It is a shapeless void. But what strikes me so forcibly about your world is that everything appears to be leading somewhere, and you expect always to come to the end of things. But in my world everything goes on for ever."

      "Oh! why should he risk his life to bring such a thing to her?"I

      "Oh," said Gregg, and his face became blank. "Anyhow, just tell him that he must run when he's called."

      "Certainly, yes, certainly. Now I want you to ride to the brigade camp and telegraph Miss Harper this: 'She needs you. Come instantly. Durand.'"--I repeated it to him.--"Right," he said. "Send that first; and after that--here is a military secret for you to tell to General Austin; I think you like that kind, eh? Tell him I would not send it verbally if I had my hands free. You know that regiment at whose headquarters we saw them singing; well, tell him they are to make a move to-day, a bad mistake, and I think if he will stay right there where he is till they make it, we can catch the whole lot of them. As soon as they move I shall report to him."

      "You see," exclaimed the Doctor, making a violent effort to ignore his own perceptions, "it's all so unexpected. I'm afraid I shan't be able to render you much assistance until I know the actual facts, and even then"


      Gholson had not seen us; we had been in deep shade when he came into sight, and happened at that moment to turn an angle that took us out of his line of view. In a minute or so we were again at the small bridge over the embowered creek which ran through the camping-ground. The water was low and clear, and the Colonel turned from the bridge as if to cross beneath it and let his beast drink, yet motioned back for me to go upon it. As I reached its middle he came under it in the stream and halted. Guessing his wish I turned my horse across the bridge and waited. Gholson was almost within hail before he knew me. He was a heaving lump of dust, sweat and pain.


      "But it happened," the Curate whispered. "It really did happenand we shall hear and see more. I only hope I shall be well enough to stand it. We are living in great days."The Doctor found his voice again. "Great heavens," he burst out, in a hysterical shout. "Stop it. You must stop itI simply can't stand it."


      "Yes," echoed Gregg enthusiastically, "a multiform world. A world in which man moves as he will, grows as he will, behaves in every way exactly as he wills. A world set free! Think of what it means!"It had suddenly flashed across his fevered mind that downstairs in the surgery there lay a collection of tinned foods and patent medicines, samples that had been sent for him to test. Rather than risk a further manifestation of collapse on the part of the Clockwork-man, he would sacrifice these.