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"But just now you were inclined to think differently," said Gregg, reproachfully.

来源: 南方日报网络版     时间: 2020-01-28 15:46:02
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 "Have you heard anything fresh?" enquired Gregg, pleasantly. 

 

"Well, I admit I was rather mystified by that hat and wig. But when you come to rationalise the thing, what is there in it?" The Doctor was taking long strides and flourishing his leather gloves in the air. "How could such a thing be? How can anybody in his right senses entertain the notion that Dunn Brothers are still in existence two thousand years hence? And the Clarkson business. It's absurd on the face of it.""She says to me, she says, 'Tell him there's nothing doing.'""Nine and ninepence—" he heard at last, very thin and distinct. And then there was stillness."Z 5," came the faint rejoinder, "and reverse Y 4—most important—reverse Y 4."

"Really," said Gregg, and grinned again. "H'm," he remarked, presently, "six wickets down, and all the best men out. We look like going to pieces. Especially as we're a man short."The Clockwork man shifted his head very slightly, and one eye screwed slowly round.The Curate scarcely seemed to catch this remark. "Well, I'm glad you've turned up," he went on, "it's so pitiful when the little ones have to be disappointed, and they have been so looking forward to the conjuring. Your things have arrived.""Tell me," said the Doctor, without moving a muscle in his face, "was she satisfied with her tour of my premises?""She says to me, she says, 'Tell him there's nothing doing.'"IIIThe figure stopped with startling suddenness, but offered no explanation.Allingham couldn't say a word. He stood there panting and swallowing quickly. Arthur Withers caught up to them.The Clockwork man turned slowly and surveyed the prostrate figure. "A rudimentary race," he soliloquised, with his finger nosewards, "half blind, and painfully restricted in their movements. Evidently they have only a few senses—five at the most." He passed out into the street, carefully avoiding the body.[Pg 103] "They have a certain freedom," he continued, still nursing his nose, "within narrow limits. But they soon grow limp. And when they fall down, or lose balance, they have no choice but to embrace the earth."


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