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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 974MB

    Lanuage:Englist

    Software instructions

      At the brigade's picket, where I was angry that Ferry did not meet us, and had resumed the saddle and stretched all the curtains of the ambulance, who should appear but Scott Gholson. Harry and I were riding abreast in advance of the ambulance. Gholson and he barely said good-evening. I asked him where was Lieutenant Ferry, and scarcely noted his words, so promptly convinced was I by their mere tone that he had somehow contrived to get Ferry sent on a distant errand. "Is she better?" he inquired; "has the hemorrhage stopped?"He would look such a fool if the match did not come off. He had made so many sacrifices for her sake, sacrifices that were undignified, but necessary in a country town where every detail of daily life speedily becomes common knowledge. That was why he would appear so ridiculous if the marriage did not take place. It had been necessary, in the first place, to establish himself in the particular clique favoured by Lilian's parents, and although this man?uvre had involved a further lapse from his already partly disestablished principles, and an almost palpable insincerity, the Doctor had adopted it without much scruple. He had resigned his position as Vicar's churchwarden at the rather eucharistic parish church, and become a mere worshipper in a back pew at the Baptist chapel; for Lilian's father favoured the humble religion of self-made men. He had subscribed to the local temperance society, and contributed medical articles to the local paper on the harmful effects of alcohol and the training of midwives. In the winter evenings he gave lantern lectures on "The Wonders of Science." He organised a P.S.A., delivered addresses to Young Men Only, and generally did all he could to advance the Baptist cause, which, in[Pg 123] Great Wymering, stood not only for simplicity of religious belief, but also for the simplification of daily life aided by scientific knowledge and common sense. All that had been necessary in order to become legitimately intimate with the Payne family; for they enjoyed the most aggravating good health, and the Doctor had grown tired of awaiting an opportunity to dispense anti-toxins in exchange for tea.


      [Pg 128]


      He had visions of a room full of golden brown beard. It was the most appalling thing he had ever witnessed, and there was no trickery about it. The beard had actually grown before his eyes, and it had now reached to the second button of the Clockwork man's waistcoat. And, at any moment, Mrs. Masters might return!

      That was Gregg's dimly conceived theory about the mystery, although, of course, he read into the interpretation a good deal of his own speculations. His imagination seized upon the clock as the possible symbol of a new counterpoint in human affairs. In his mind he saw man growing through the ages, until at last, by the aid of this mechanism, he was able to roll back the skies and reveal the vast other worlds that lay beyond, the unthinkable mysteries that lurked between the stars, all that had been sealed up in the limited brain of man since creation. From that extreme postulate it would be necessary to work backward, until some reasonable hypothesis could be found to explain the working[Pg 111] of the clock mechanism. That difficulty, even, might be overcome if only an opportunity occurred to examine this strange being from the future, or if he could be prevailed upon to explain matters himself.An extra gleam of light shone in the other's eye, and he seemed to ponder deeply over this statement.

      "Yes, sir, I 'ad a job to 'old them. And then, just as I was going to pull 'im out, I noticed something"He would look such a fool if the match did not come off. He had made so many sacrifices for her sake, sacrifices that were undignified, but necessary in a country town where every detail of daily life speedily becomes common knowledge. That was why he would appear so ridiculous if the marriage did not take place. It had been necessary, in the first place, to establish himself in the particular clique favoured by Lilian's parents, and although this man?uvre had involved a further lapse from his already partly disestablished principles, and an almost palpable insincerity, the Doctor had adopted it without much scruple. He had resigned his position as Vicar's churchwarden at the rather eucharistic parish church, and become a mere worshipper in a back pew at the Baptist chapel; for Lilian's father favoured the humble religion of self-made men. He had subscribed to the local temperance society, and contributed medical articles to the local paper on the harmful effects of alcohol and the training of midwives. In the winter evenings he gave lantern lectures on "The Wonders of Science." He organised a P.S.A., delivered addresses to Young Men Only, and generally did all he could to advance the Baptist cause, which, in[Pg 123] Great Wymering, stood not only for simplicity of religious belief, but also for the simplification of daily life aided by scientific knowledge and common sense. All that had been necessary in order to become legitimately intimate with the Payne family; for they enjoyed the most aggravating good health, and the Doctor had grown tired of awaiting an opportunity to dispense anti-toxins in exchange for tea.


      I replied that I was not aware of any one who did not say so.

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      "Which is probably where he is now," remarked Gregg, with a slight bantering note in his voice."Oh, wait," said Lilian, "I had to have it out with you. I had to talk of these things,[Pg 202] as though talking's any good! I couldn't let you just take me for granted. Don't you see? I suppose all this talk between us is nothing but an extension of the age-long process of mating. I'm just like the primitive woman running away from her man."

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      The Curate's last remark was rapped out on a sharp note of fright and astonishment, for the Clockwork man, as though anxious to demonstrate his willingness to oblige, had performed his first conjuring trick.

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      "You're simply imagining all these things," said Allingham, hotly, as he rammed tobacco into his pipe.


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