"No. You see, the makers kept all the women because they were more real, and they didn't want the fighting to go on, or the world that the men wanted. So the makers took the women away from us and shut us up in the clocks and gave us the world we wanted. But they left us no loophole of escape into the real world, and we can neither laugh nor cry properly."Mrs. Flack held the greater part of herself in a semicircle of red arm. "You are a one," she declared. Then she looked at Mr. Flack, who sat unmoved. "Why don't you laugh. It would do you good. You take everything so serious." 两个 As the doctor concentrated upon a delayed tea, his mind lapsed into its usual condition of fretful scepticism. Gregg's idea that the Clockwork man represented a mystery, if not a miracle, enraged him. At forty a man does not readily welcome discoveries that may upset his own world of accepted facts, and Allingham had long since given up the habit of following the latest results of scientific investigation. Years ago he had made his own small researches, only to discover that others were making them at the same time. He had had his gleamings in common with all the other students of his year. Everybody was having gleamings then of vast possibilities in medical science, especially in the direction of nervous pathology and the study of morbid diseases resulting from highly complex methods of living. There had been much sound work, a good deal of irresponsible mud-raking, and, in Allingham's case, a growing suspicion that the human organism was not standing very well the strains imposed upon it by modern civilisation. He had wondered then if some experiments would not be made some day in[Pg 45] the pursuit of evolutionary doctrines as applied to physiological progress—but that had been the most ephemeral of all his gleams. He threw the hat into infinity and produced a parrot cage with parrot. "Well, I can't help it," said Allingham, "you don't expect a thing like that to happen. What's the white sheet for? So that you can[Pg 5] see the bowler's arm. But when something gets in the way, just over the sheet—just where you've got your eye fixed. It wouldn't happen once in a million times."
"Dreaming like," suggested his companion. 才不 But duty to his parishioners remained uppermost in the conscientious Vicar's mind, and it was not fair to them that he should[Pg 86] catch his death of cold. He hurried back to the vicarage. For a quarter of an hour he pulled open drawers, ransacked cupboards, searching everywhere for an old wig that had been discarded and a new hat that had never been worn. He found them at last and arrived, breathless and out of temper, in the middle of the cinematograph display which constituted the first part of the performance. He sat down on the couch again. "Perhaps it is just as well that I did believe in the Clockwork man from the first; for while you have been going through these unpleasant experiences I have been thinking very hard, and have actually arrived at certain conclusions which are, I venture to think, amply confirmed by your story. That is why I have shown no surprise at your statements. The Clockwork[Pg 175] man is indeed true to his type as I have imagined him; he is the very embodiment of the future as I have long envisaged it." "If you like," admitted Gregg, "only it does help them to understand, just as all our scientific knowledge helps us to understand, the future."
CHAPTER EIGHT 不完 THE CLOCKWORK MAN EXPLAINS HIMSELF He sat down rather hurriedly, on the couch, and the Doctor scanned him anxiously for symptoms. But there were none of an alarming character. He had not removed his borrowed hat and wig. The Clockwork man looked as though he wanted to smile and didn't know how. His eyes twinkled faintly, but the rest of his face remained immobile, formal. "Very nearly right," he said, in quick, precise accents, "but not quite."
"Time," said Gregg, quickly, "is a relative thing. The future has happened just as much as the past. It is happening at this moment." 过无 "Yes," echoed Gregg enthusiastically, "a multiform world. A world in which man moves as he will, grows as he will, behaves in every way exactly as he wills. A world set free! Think of what it means!" Gregg swung round with a gesture of annoyance. Both men were now pitched to their highest key, and every word that was spoken seemed to be charged with terrific import. "Finite world," proceeded the Clockwork man, "fixed laws—limited dimensions—essentially limited. Now, when I'm working properly, I can move about in all dimensions. That is to say, in addition to moving backwards and forwards, and this way and that, I can also move X and Y, and X2 and Y2."”
I 羞怒 Arthur caught his breath. "No women?" I He knelt down and searched hastily among the clothes. There was a lump moving about very slightly, in the region of the waistcoat, a lump that was strangely soft to the touch. Then he felt the hard surface of the clock. Before he could remove the mass of clothing there broke upon the stillness a strange little cry, to the Doctor curiously familiar. It was the wail of an infant, long-drawn and pitiful.”