时间：<2020-07-06 06:51:44 作者：wx波野结衣全集快播5P7 浏览量：9777
One evening Arthur Withers and Rose Lomas sat together on their favourite stile talking in low whispers. The summer dusk lagged, and the air about them was so still that between their softly spoken words they could hear the talk of innumerable insects in the grass at their feet. There had been few interruptions. So familiar had their figures become in that position, that it had grown to be almost a tradition among the people who passed that way during the evening to cross the stile without disturbing the lovers. There are ways, too, of sitting upon a stile without incommoding the casual pedestrian.[Pg 152]
There was a moment's silence. The Doctor had been talking so rapidly, and he had been so swayed by his feelings, that he had scarcely noticed the other's demeanour. When he looked up Gregg was walking with a measured tread up and down the floor. He had dropped his cigarette, and his mouth was formed in the act of whistling. The Doctor started to his feet."I thought you were pretty well set," he remarked, casually.He sighed, and suddenly stopped in order to contemplate the two figures seated together on the stile. Rose was asleep in Arthur's arms.
"I don't know what I shall do, I'm sure," Arthur heard him say, as though to himself.[Pg 19]"You're not even dressed!"
"That's my job," agreed the other, with a warning glint in his red eye.The Doctor seized hold of the other's collar and turned the huge body round. His hand fumbled wildly among the stops."G-R-R-R-r-r-r-r-r," growled the Clockwork man. "WOW—WOW—can't help it—WOUGH—WOUGH—most regrettable—wow—wow—atavism—tendency to return—remote species—moment's notice—family failing—darwinism—better in a moment—something gone wrong with the controls. There—that's done it. Phew!"
Arthur heard a slight noise somewhere round the back of the cottage. "Someone coming," he warned.THE END
But Gregg had the sense to admit to himself that his generalisation was no more than a faint aurora hovering around the rumoured dawn of the future. It was necessary, in the first place, to posit an imperfect thinking apparatus. After all, the Clockwork man was still a mystery to be solved, and even if he failed to justify a single theory born of merely human conjecture, there still remained the exhilarating task of finding out what actually he was and how he had come to earth."He—He—hadn't got no back to his head," blurted out Tom at last.And then there was the Clockwork man—something else to think about, to be wondered at.
[Pg 39]"But must you always be like this?" he began, with a suppressed crying note in his voice. "Is there no hope for you?""Dear me," muttered the Doctor, "you find us rather short at present. I must think of something." He went on talking, as though to gain time. "It's quite obvious, of course, that you need more than an average person. I ought to have realised. There would be exaggerated metabolism—naturally, to sustain exaggerated function. But, of course, the—er—motive force behind this extraordinary efficiency of yours is still a mystery to me. Am I right in assuming that there is a sort of mechanism?"
It occurred to the Doctor that here was an opportunity to investigate certain matters.At least, the latter seemed grateful to receive whatever was given to him, and his general manner became decidedly more possible. There seemed less chance now of a drastic[Pg 154] relapse. The Doctor had locked the door of the surgery. It would be embarrassing to be discovered in such circumstances, and Mrs. Masters might faint with horror at the sight of the empty tins and bottles and the gorging visitor. It was symptomatic of the Doctor's frame of mind that even now the one thing he dreaded more than anything else was the intrusion of a curious world into this monstrous proceeding. He had been forced into accepting the evidence of his own eyes, but there still remained in him a strong desire to hush up the affair, to protect the world at large from so fierce a shock to its established ideas."Are you looking at my clock?" enquired the Clockwork man, without altering his tone of speech. "I must apologise. I feel quite indecent."
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.CHAPTER ONE
Allingham had an explanation for everything. He said that the loud noise was due to some kind of machine that this ingenious lunatic carried in his pocket. He argued that the rapid flight was probably to be accounted for by a sort of electric shoe. Nothing was impossible so long as you could adduce some explanation that was just humanly credible. And the strange antics of the Clockwork man, his sudden stoppings and beginnings, his[Pg 44] "Anglo-Saxon" gestures and his staccato gait, all came under the heading of locomotor ataxia in an advanced form.Some seconds elapsed before anyone realised that the ball had been hit at all. It was the Clockwork man who drew attention to the fact by gazing steadily upwards in the direction of the town. And then, suddenly, everybody was straining their eyes in the same direction to watch that little flying spot grow smaller and smaller until it seemed to merge into space. (As a matter of fact, this particular ball was discovered, three weeks later, lying in a disused yard three miles from the cricket ground.)"But how did you come by these?" questioned Gregg, who was still holding the hat and wig.