"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 existence—we must do that—and 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.""Don't be a damned fool," the doctor burst out, "you're talking through your hat." 在虚 The Clockwork man lay in the coal cellar, which was situated in the area, just opposite the surgery door. He lay there, stiff and stark, with an immobile expression upon his features, and his eyes and mouth wide open. He was fading rapidly. That was why its effect was so distracting. It seemed to the doctor that the figure had popped up there on purpose to imitate the[Pg 2] action of a bowler and so baulk him. During the fraction of a second in which the ball reached him, this secondary image had blotted out everything else. But the behaviour of the figure was certainly abnormal. Its movements were violently ataxic. Its arms revolved like the sails of a windmill. Its legs shot out in all directions, enveloped in dust.
"Just what I'm always telling my missus," reflected the constable. 外条 "Er—yes," murmured the Curate. He laughed, rather hysterically, and clasped his hands behind his back. "I suppose you do the—er—usual things—gold watches and so forth out of—er—hats. The children have been so looking forward—" "Excuse me," Arthur ventured, huskily, "did you wish to speak to me?" Allingham shouted out some impatient rejoinder, but it was drowned in the rising roar of the engine as they sped along the road.
"Walk up the lane," she whispered, "I'll come presently." 掉了 "Well, then," resumed Lilian, triumphantly, "isn't all this possession of things, all this wanting to have and keep, a sort of death, beginning from the extremities? Wouldn't it be awful if the human body didn't change, if we got fixed in some way, didn't grow old or lose our hair, or have influenza?" Latterly he had suffered from strange irritations not easily to be ascribed to liver, misgivings, a sense of having definitely accepted a secondary edition of himself. An old acquaintance would have detected at once the change in his character, the marked leaning towards conservatism in politics and a certain reactionary tendency in his general ideas. He was becoming fixed in his views, and believed in a stable universe. His opinions, in fact, were as automatic as his Swedish exercises in the morning and his apple before breakfast. There was a slight compensatory increase in his sense of humour, and there was his approaching marriage to Lilian Payne, the gifted daughter of a wealthy town councillor. He took his place at the wicket. The first ball was an easy one, and he managed to hit it fair and square to mid-on. Scarcely hoping for response, he called to the Clockwork man, and began to run. To his immense astonishment, the latter passed him half-way down the pitch, his legs jumping from side to side, his arms swinging round irresponsibly. It might be said that his run was merely an exaggeration of his walk. Arthur dumped his bat down quickly, and turned. As he looked up, on the return journey, he was puzzled by the fact that there was no sign of his partner. He paused and looked around him.
The other flapped an ear. Arthur hastened away. Nothing was worth while risking an exhibition in public such as he had witnessed in comparative seclusion. He supposed there was something about the Clockwork man really phenomenal, something that was beyond his own rather limited powers of comprehension. Perhaps cleverer people than himself might understand what was the matter with this queer being. He couldn't. 境之 "Yes, we know all about that," said the constable, "but you take my tip and go 'ome. And I don't want any back answers neither." The Clockwork man bowed stiffly. "Thank you. Of course, I'm a little better than I was, but my ears still flap occasionally." "Look at the wig, look at the wig," interrupted Gregg, feverishly.”
III 出一 "I am certainly late," remarked the Clockwork man, "about eight thousand years late, so far as I can judge." "Not an escaped lunatic," he protested, and tried to shake his head. But the attempt to do so merely started his ears flapping again. ”