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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 908MB

    Lanuage:Englist

    Software instructions

      "Well?" said Allingham, as the party stamped awkwardly into the room, after a preliminary shuffling upon the mat. "What luck?""Would you object," said the Clockwork man, "to having all your difficulties solved for you?"


      "Go hon!" exclaimed Mrs. Flack, leaning her red folded arms upon the table, "well I never!"Was Lilian going to destroy their happiness for the sake of these modern heresies? Surely she would not throw him over now; and yet her message left that impression. Nowadays women were so led by their sensibilities. Lilian's hypersensitive nature might revolt at[Pg 122] the prospect of living with him in the surroundings of his own choice.


      "It's rather difficult to explain," the Clockwork man continued, "but so far as I remember, doctors were people who used to mend human beings before the days of the clock. Now they are called mechanics. But it amounts to the same thing."

      This statement might have ended the argument for the time being, had not an accident occurred that altered the whole complexion of the affair. Gregg had the wisdom to see that his friend was literally beside himself with fright and repugnance; he would have been quite content to await another opportunity for the discussion to be renewed. But at that moment the Doctor gave a cry of surprise, and stooping down picked up an object from the floor. The next moment both men were standing side by side, examining with feverish interest a further clue to the mystery.He had been glad to abandon the hospitals in favour of a comfortable practice and the leisured life of a country town. Great Wymering had offered him plenty of distractions that soothed the slight wound to his vanity caused by the discovery that he had over-estimated his originality. In a few years much had happened that helped to confirm his new view of himself as a social creature with a taste for the amenities of existence. And then he had been able to keep up his cricket. In the winter there were bridge parties, amateur theatricals, dinner parties with quite ordinary but agreeable people, local affairs into which a man whose health was under suspicion and whose sympathies were just perceptibly narrowing, could plunge without too much effort being required in order to rise to such occasions. And he had the witty temperament. Quite easily, he maintained a reputation for turning out a bon-mot on the spur of the moment, something with a faint element of paradox. He would say such things as, "Only those succeed in life who have brains and can forget the fact," or "To be idle is the goal of all men, but only the industrious achieve it." When taunted by[Pg 46] a young lady who suspected him of wasted talents, even genius, he retorted that "Genius is only an accumulation of neglected diseases."

      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.The rebuke sounded in the best of taste. Gordon bowed.


      Poverty and want were jostling with well dressed content on the pavement. It was one of the strangest and most painful contrasts that can be seen in the richest city in the world. And the contrast was heightened by the meanness of the Corner House.

      Lilian glanced up at them. "If only we could keep there! By their habitations are men known. A house ought to be a sort of resting place. No more. Once you elaborate it, it becomes a prison, with hard labour attached."And the real truth was that he had no desire to interest himself in the matter. It disturbed his mental equilibrium, and threatened the validity of that carefully considered world of assumptions which enabled him to make light, easy jests at its inconsistencies and incongruities.

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      "Oh, someone who had lost his way," said[Pg 82] Arthur, carelessly. He felt curiously disinclined to explain matters just at present. The Clockwork man was disconcerting. He was a rather terrifying side-issue. Arthur had a feeling that Rose would probably be frightened by him, for she was a timid girl. He half hoped now that this strange being would turn out to be some kind of monstrous hoax."What's up?" exclaimed the constable, startled. "What yer playing at? Where are you?"

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      I sprang for the door, but the fire-log sent me sprawling with my shoulder on the threshold. As I went down I heard in the same breath the wounded officer wailing "Go back! go in! there are only four of them! don't leave one alive!" and Miss Harper all but screaming "Our men! our men! God be praised, our men are coming, they are here! Fly spoilers, for your lives, fly!"

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      "Arthur was not sure what this term implied. In spite of his confusion he couldn't help feeling a little amused. The figure standing by his side was so exactly like a wax-work come to life, and his talk was faintly reminiscent of a gramophone record.


      alllittle