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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 547MB


    Software instructions

      I sank upon the steps; every pore in my body was a fountain of cold sweat: "Have whom?"

      In due time the Colonel, with the slave girl, and Harry with her pillow-case of duds, turned toward Fayette, and Gholson and I toward the brigade, at union Church. Then, at last, my old friend and co-religionist let his wrath loose. He began with a flood of curses, lifting high a loaded carbine which we had found with Oliver and which he was ordered to turn in. As he gave his ecstasy utterance it grew; he brandished the weapon like a Bedouin, dug the rowels into his overspent beast and curbed him back to his haunches, fisted him about the ears, gnashed with the pain of his own blows, and howled, and stood up in the stirrups and cursed again. I had heard church-members curse, but they were new church-members, camp converts, and their curses were an infant's cooing, to this. Unwittingly he caused his horse to stumble, and the torrent of his passion gathered force like rain after a peal of thunder; he clubbed the gun to bring it down upon the beautiful creature's head, and when I caught it on the rise he wrenched it from me as if I were a girl, threw it fifty feet away, sprang to the ground and caught it up, fired it in the air, and with one blow against a tree sent the stock flying, threw the barrel underfoot, leapt upon it, tore his hair and his hat, and cursed and champed and howled. I sat holding his horse and feeling my satisfaction rise like the mercury in a warmed thermometer. Contrasting this mood with the cold malignancy and resolve of his temper in the soldiers' room at Sessions's, I saw, to my delight, that our secret was forever imprisoned in his breast, gagged and chained down by the iron of his own inextricable infamy. At dawn he awakened me that he might persuade me to reject the evidences brought against his character by his doings and endurings of the night, and that he might rebuild the old house of words in which habitually he found shelter, too abysmally self-conceited ever to see his own hypocrisy. We breakfasted with the "attatchays"; after which he had barely secured my final assurance that our friendship remained unmarred, when old Dismukes and Harry mounted at the Colonel's tent, and the old brute, as they trotted out into the Gallatin road, beckoned me to join them.[Pg 172]

      [Pg 39]

      Arthur was accustomed to be allowed to do things. He accepted his fate with a broad grin and a determination to do whatever was cricket in life. Everybody in Great Wymering knew that he was a bit of a fool, and rather simple. They knew that his career at the bank had been one wild story of mistakes and narrow escapes from dismissal. But even that didn't really matter. Things happened to him just as much as to other and more efficient individuals, little odd circumstances that made the rest of life curiously unimportant by comparison. Every day, for example, something humorous occurred in life, something that obliterated all the worries, something worth waking up in the middle of the night in order to laugh at it again. That was why the appearance of the odd-looking figure had been so welcome to him. It was distinctly amusing. It made him forget his fears. Like all funny things or happenings, it made you for the moment impersonal.A comfortable world! Of course, there were malcontents. When the shoe pinched, anybody would cry out for fire from heaven. But if a plebiscite were to be taken, it would be found that an overwhelming majority would be in favour of a world without miracles. If, for example, it could be demonstrated that this Clockwork man was a being in many ways superior to the rest of mankind, he would be hounded out of existence by a jealous and conservative humanity.

      "Then, madam, tell me this! With a whole world of other people's names to choose from, why have you borrowed Charlotte Oliver's? Have you come here determined to be sent to prison, Miss Coralie Rothvelt?"

      "But you say if this scheme works you lose by it. What will you lose?"


      "My dear," he gasped, as he slid into the seat reserved for him next to his wife, "I couldn't help it. Someone stole my hat and wig."


      [Pg 102]Presently his reverie was abruptly disturbed by a faint noise, strangely familiar although remote. It seemed to reach him from the right, as though something crept slowly along the hedge line, hidden from his view. It was a soft, purring sound, very regular and sustained. At first he thought it was the cry of a pheasant, but decided that it was much too persistent. It was something that made a noise in the process of walking along.


      "Hehe made things appear," gasped the Curate, with a great effort, "out of nowherepositively.""She can't want you half so badly as I do," Gordon laughed as he bent down and kissed the shy lips. "And that queer little creature will have to learn to do without you altogether before long. Four new patients today, Hetty. And I have taken the house in Green-Street."