He offered no further information. For a long while Arthur was puzzled by the movements that followed this last remark. Apparently the Clockwork man desired to change his tactics; he did not wish to prolong the conversation. But, in his effort to move away, he was obviously hampered by the fact that his hand still rested upon Arthur's shoulder. He did not seem to be able to bend his arm in a natural fashion. Instead, he kept on making a half-right movement of his body, with the result that every time he so moved he was[Pg 20] stopped by the impingement of his hand against Arthur's neck. At last he solved the problem. He took a quick step backwards, nearly losing his balance in the process, and cleared his arm, which he then lowered in the usual fashion. Then he turned sharply to the left, considered for a moment, and waddled away. There was no other term, in Arthur's estimation, to describe his peculiar gait. He took no stride; he simply lifted one foot up and then the other, and then placed them down again slightly ahead of their former positions. His body swayed from side to side in tune with his strange walk. After he had progressed a few yards he turned to the right, with a smart movement, and looked approximately in Arthur's direction. His mouth opened and shut very rapidly, and there floated across the intervening space some vague and very unsatisfactory human noise, obviously intended as an expression of leave-taking. Then he turned to the left again, with the same drill-like action, and waddled along."Then why—" began the Doctor, as though this begged the whole question. 来得 [Pg 196] Arthur heard a slight noise somewhere round the back of the cottage. "Someone coming," he warned. He appeared to ruminate, still holding a finger against his nose. Then he shot his left arm out with a swift, gymnastic action and laid the flat palm of his hand upon Arthur's shoulder.
I 向佛 "Do they help people to work?" Gregg rested his head upon the back of the chair and puffed smoke out. "We will pass over the circumstance of his abrupt appearance at the top of the hill, for it is obvious that he might have come from one of the neighbouring villages, although I don't think he did. You yourself admit that his manner of approach was startling, and that it almost seemed as though he had come from nowhere. But let that be. There are, I admit, as yet few facts in support of my theory, but it is at least significant that one of the first questions he[Pg 53] asked should have been, not where he was but when he was." II
N.B.—Great care should be taken not to over-wind. 要是 The Clockwork man was standing by his side, a comic expression of pity and misgiving animating his crude features. With one hand he was softly stroking the damaged bonnet of the car. "Why not?" Gregg paused in his walk and looked genuinely surprised. "What things?" enquired the Clockwork man.
In spite of his agitation, it occurred to him[Pg 140] that he must be prepared for worse shocks than this. It was no use giving way to panic. Incredible as had been the cricketing performance, the magical flight, and now this ridiculously sudden growth of beard, there were indications about the Clockwork man that pointed to still further abnormalities. The Doctor braced himself up to face the worst; he had no theory at all with which to explain these staggering manifestations, and it seemed more than likely that the ghastly serio-comic figure seated on the couch would presently offer some explanation of his own. 到了 "A young lady called to see you this evening," she announced, smilingly. "It's such a responsibility," said Arthur, presently. "If we were to get married, I mean. I might come home with the sack any day." "Well?" said Allingham, as the party stamped awkwardly into the room, after a preliminary shuffling upon the mat. "What luck?"”
The Doctor paused in his walk and took hold of her elbows. "Does that mean that you've been playing with me all this time?" 已经 "When you asked me if I were a conjurer," said the Clockwork man, "I at once recalled the book. You see, it's actually in my head. That is how we read books now. We wear[Pg 100] them inside the clock, in the form of spools that unwind. What you have said brings it all back to me. It suddenly occurs to me that I am indeed a conjurer, and that all my actions in this backward world must be regarded in the light of magic." "But are you the conjurer?" asked the Curate, coming back. And then he stopped abruptly, aware of a cool sensation on the top of his head. His hat and wig had gone! Aghast, he retraced his steps, but there was no sign of the articles on the pavement. It seemed utterly incredible, for there was only a slight breeze and he did not remember knocking into anything. He had certainly not collided with the stranger. Just for a moment he wondered.”