ENGLISH julia葬礼的那部"You wouldn't believe some of the things we can do. The clock is a most wonderful invention! And the economy. Some of the hands, you see, can be used for quite different purposes. Twist them so many times and you have a politician; twist a little more and you have a financier. Press one stop slightly and we talk about the divinity of man; press harder and there will issue from us nothing but blasphemy. Tighten a screw and we are altruists; loosen it and we are beasts. You see, generations ago it was known exactly the best and worst that man could be; and the makers like to amuse themselves by going over it again. There isn't any best or worst with them.""Pooh!" said Harry, "'a decent respect to the opinions of mankind' requires just the reverse!" and the surgeon avowed that it was required by a decent respect to her powers of endurance; he was every day afraid her slow improvement would stop and she would begin to sink. He admitted the event could wait, but he wished to gracious we could have her decision.LIV THE FIGHT IN THE DOORWAY
"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,--"
But the class to which the Paynes belonged were not really humble. They were urban in origin, and the semi-aristocratic tradition of Great Wymering was opposed to them. They had come down from the London suburbs in response to advertisements of factory sites, and their enterprise had been amazing. Within a few years Great Wymering had ceased to be a pleasing country town, with historic associations dating back to the first Roman occupation; it was merely known to travellers on the South-Eastern and Chatham railway as the place where Payne's Dog Biscuits were manufactured.In those days used to come out to see us Gregory, in his long-skirted black coat and full civilian dress; of whom I have told a separate history elsewhere. Very pointed was Camille's neglect of both Harry and me, to make herself lovely to the dark and diffident new-comer, while Estelle positively pursued me with compensatory sweetness; and Gregory, whenever he and I were alone together, labored to reassure me of his harmlessness by expatiating exclusively upon the charms of Ccile. She seemed to him like a guardian angel of Ferry and Charlotte, while yet everything she said or did was wholly free from that quality of other-worldliness which was beautiful in Estelle, but which would not have endured repetition in the sister or the cousin. There Harry and I, also, once more agreed. Ccile never allowed herself to reflect a spirit of saintliness, or even of sacrifice, but only of maidenly wisdom and sweet philosophy.[Pg 142]
"Of course," he said, slowly, "you don't understand. It isn't to be expected that you would understand. Why, you haven't even got a clock! That was the first thing I noticed about you."[Pg 67]
"Gawd," he gasped, "it's a blooming ghost."CHAPTER TEN
"But where is the Clockwork man?" demanded Gregg, presently.But the heedless throng of fashionables recked nothing of this. The Countess Lalage was their latest craze. Who she was or where she came from nobody knew nor cared. She was young and wonderfully beautiful in a dashing Southern way, her equipages were an amazement to the park; she must have been immensely rich, or she would never have entertained as she did. There must have been a Count Lalage at one time, for generally a pretty little girl rode with the Countess, and this child was her daughter. The Countess spoke casually of large South American concessions and silver mines, so that Oxford Street and Regent Street bowed down and worshipped her.
Pushing his companion into the surgery, the Doctor commenced opening tins for all he was worth. The process calmed him, and he had time to think a little. For half an hour he opened tins, and passed them over to the Clockwork man, without noticing very much what the latter did with them. Then he went on to bottles containing patent foods, phosphates, hypophosphates, glycero-hypophosphates, all the phosphates in fact, combined with malt or other substances, which might be considered almost necessary as an auxiliary diet for the Clockwork man.
III"He can hit," said Mr. Bumpus, mopping his brow, "but he's certainly an eccentric sort of individual. I called to him to run, and apparently he did not or would not hear me.""Well, you prove yourself in the right," he muttered, "and then I'll apologise. I'm going to let the Clockwork man drop. I've got other things to think about. And I don't mind telling you that if the Clockwork man turns out to be all that you claim for him, I shall still wish him at the other end of the earth."
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