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《关于=主页最新相关内容》:"I doubt if we shall see him before midnight," said the latter. "Even supposing he catches his man before dusk, which is unlikely, it will take him another hour or so to drive to the Asylum."That was Gregg's dimly conceived theory about the mystery, although, of course, he read into the interpretation a good deal of his own speculations. His imagination seized upon the clock as the possible symbol of a new counterpoint in human affairs. In his mind he saw man growing through the ages, until at last, by the aid of this mechanism, he was able to roll back the skies and reveal the vast other worlds that lay beyond, the unthinkable mysteries that lurked between the stars, all that had been sealed up in the limited brain of man since creation. From that extreme postulate it would be necessary to work backward, until some reasonable hypothesis could be found to explain the working[Pg 111] of the clock mechanism. That difficulty, even, might be overcome if only an opportunity occurred to examine this strange being from the future, or if he could be prevailed upon to explain matters himself.
【=主页】"I wonder why I'm not clever," Arthur remarked, after a long pause. Rose clutched him indignantly towards her.Arthur's recent reflections returned to him, and produced a little glow in his mind. "Is there a world," he questioned, "where the problems of Time and Space are different?"[Pg 189]
"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."IVThe Doctor's reply was equally breathless.[Pg 185] "Because I, for one, refuse to accept such a responsibility. If this monstrosity is indeed the type of the future, then I reject the future. I will be no party to any attempt to reproduce him—for that, I can see, is what lurks in your mind. You would have us all clockwork men before our time! But I tell you, rather than that should happen, rather than the human race should be robbed of a few more generations of freedom, I will take steps to prevent it ever being known that the Clockwork man has paid us this visit. I will hide him. Not even you shall set eyes on him again. He shall remain an unfathomable mystery. No pagan priest ever guarded the sacred mysteries of life from an unthinking populace as I shall this enigma sprung from the womb of time! Nobody shall know. He shall remain in my keeping, a memorial to the final fall of man!"
CHAPTER FOUR"Be quick," said the Clockwork man, in a squeaky undertone, "something is going to happen.""You're a masterpiece," he remarked,[Pg 66] "that's what you are." This was his usual term for anything out the way. "You ain't a going to get me to believe that, not at my age.
The Doctor's conclusion may be taken as a fair expression of his character. Naturally, the effect of such a preposterous revelation upon a sluggish and doubting mind would be to arouse it to a kind of furious defence of all that man has been in the past, and a scarcely less spirited rejection of that grotesque possibility of the future which the Clockwork man presented to the ordinary observer. Gregg, on the other hand, may be excused, on the score of his extreme youthfulness, for the impetuosity of his actions. His attempt to persuade the editor of the Wide World Magazine that his version of the affair, put in the shape of a magazine story, was actually founded on fact, ended in grotesque failure. His narrative power was not doubted; but he was advised to work the story up and introduce a little humour before offering it as a contribution to some magazine that did not vouch for the[Pg 194] truth of its tall stories. As this was beneath Gregg's dignity, and he could find no one else to take him seriously, he shut up like an oyster, and just in time to forestall a suspicious attitude on the part of his friends. It was only years later, and after many experiences in this world of hard fact and difficult endeavour, that he began to share the Doctor's view, and to cherish the memory of the Clockwork man as a legend rich in significance. "Why are you holding that other person like that?" he asked.He broke off abruptly. Gregg was standing with his hands behind him. He shook his head gravely.
【=主页】"I am bucking up."The figure stopped with startling suddenness, but offered no explanation."Are you better now?" Arthur enquired.
"Was he going very fast?" said Gregg."Oh, wait," said Lilian, "I had to have it out with you. I had to talk of these things,[Pg 202] as though talking's any good! I couldn't let you just take me for granted. Don't you see? I suppose all this talk between us is nothing but an extension of the age-long process of mating. I'm just like the primitive woman running away from her man."CHAPTER NINE
【=主页】True, it was an illusion, and man had always known that. For generations he had known that the universe contained more than his limited faculties could perceive. And beauty. There had always been the consoling fact of beauty, lulling the race of man to content, while every now and again a great mind arose and made one more effort to sweep aside the bejewelled splendour that hung between man and his final destiny—to know.THE CLOCKWORK MAN EXPLAINS HIMSELFHe looked directly at Arthur. "And dreaming," he added. "We dream, you know."
"Who are you?" he demanded, after a preliminary click or two."We are creatures of action," hazarded the Doctor, with the air of a man embarking upon a long mental voyage, "we act from certain motives. There is a principle known as Cause and Effect. Everything is related. Every action has its equal and opposite re-action. Nobody can do anything, or even think anything, without producing some change, however slight, in the general flow of things. Every movement that we make, almost every thought that passes through our minds, starts another ripple upon the surface of time, upon this endless stream of cause and effect."Aware that his brakes were not strong enough to avert another disaster, the Doctor deftly turned the car sideways and ran back[Pg 132]wards into the hedge. He leapt out into the road and approached the still moving figure.
【=主页】And then he remembered the sudden growth of beard, and decided that it was useless to pursue that last thin thread of suspicion in his mind. For several seconds he said nothing at all, and the Clockwork man seemed to take advantage of the pause in order to wind himself up to a new pitch of coherency.The strange figure was flapping his ears—flapping them violently backwards and forwards, with an almost inconceivable rapidity!"You haven't," he began, with great difficulty, "seen a hat and wig?"