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    Software name: appdown
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      Leona Lalage looked round her helplessly for the first time in her life. Maitrank stood there grinning like a hideous mask enjoying her confusion. He had come to enjoy this where a more sensitive man would have stayed away. Revenge to him was nothing unless he could feast his eyes upon it.

      Before we had gone another mile I met Harry Helm. The General had left him in camp with flat orders to remain, but at daylight he had ridden out to find us. He was in two tremendous moods at once; lifted to heaven on the glory of our deeds, yet heart-broken over the fate of Ned Ferry. "Surgeon's told him he can't live, Dick! And all the effect that's had--'No opiates, then, Doctor,' s'e, 'till I get off these two or three despatches.' So there he lies in that ambulance cross-questioning prisoners and making everybody bring him every scrap of information, as if he were General Austin and Major Harper rolled into one and they were wounded instead of him--By George! Dick, he knows you're hit and just how you're hit, and has sent me to find you!"

      "You have found me out and I must pay you. It is no question of honour, I am bound to do so to save my face. But meanwhile I must find another victim."

      "Precisely," said Gregg, who was beginning to grow impatient with the other's manner, "and since the facts have revealed themselves, what is the use of trying to evade them? Here we have a Clockwork man, a creature entirely without precedent, for there is no record of his having existed in the past, and so far as we know there has been no successful attempt to create such a being in our own times. Everything favours my original hypothesis; that he has in some way, and probably through some fault in the mechanism that controls him, lapsed into these earlier years of human existence. That seems to me feasible. If man has indeed conquered time and space, then the slightest irregularity in this new functioning principle would result in a catastrophe such as we must suppose has happened to the Clockwork man. It is more than probable that a slight adjustment would result in his speedy return to conditions more proper to his true state."They were up before daylight, and, while the coffee was boiling, the boys watched the approach of morning. They looked far out over the waters of the Pacific, to where a thin line of light was curving around the rim of the horizon. At first it was so faint that it took a sharp eye to discover it, but as they watched and as the day advanced it grew more and more distinct, till it rounded out like a segment of the great circle engirdling the globe. The gleam of light became a glow that seemed to warm the waters of the shimmering ocean and flash a message of friendship from their home in another land; the heavens became purple, then scarlet, then golden, and gradually changed to the whiteness of silver. Far beneath them floated the fleecy clouds, and far beneath these were the hills of Hakone and the surrounding plain. Land and sea were spread as in a picture, and the world seemed to be lying at their feet. The boys stood spellbound and silent as they watched the opening day from the heights of Fusiyama, and finally exclaimed in a breath that they were doubly paid for all the fatigue they had passed through in their journey thus far.

      Her eyes flashed round upon me like stars themselves. "Not--Venus?" she whispered, snatched in her breath, bit her lip, and half averting her face, shot me through with both "twinklers" at once. Then she took a long look at the planets and suddenly exclaimed with a scandalized air--

      "The laborers who were to be taken to Cuba or Peru were received on board the ships, and counted as they came over the side, like so many boxes or bales of merchandise; in fact, they were nothing but merchandise, and the receipts were made out for a certain number of coolies without the least record of their names and residences. I was once in a ship that took a cargo of these people to Peru, and I don't believe that anybody on board felt otherwise than if he had been in the slave-trade. And we had a narrow escape from having our throats cut by our cargo and our bodies thrown into the sea."


      "We came to the village of Nan-kow, at the entrance of the Nan-kow Pass, and stopped there for dinner. Our ride had given us a good appetite, and though our cook was not very skilful in preparing our meal, we did not find fault with him, as we did not wish to run the risk of waiting while he cooked the things over again. The Chinese inn at Nan-kow is not so good as the Palace Hotel at San Francisco; in fact, it is as bad as any other hotel that we have seen. They don't have much pleasure travel in this part of the world, and therefore it does not pay them to give much attention to the comfort of their guests."Whom have you come for, sir?"


      "Dearest, it was not nonsense at all. The shadow of the light was all across my nightdress. I was so frightened that I could not call out because the Corner House is empty and it must have been a ghost. But that was not all.""You can hardly have dreamed of the beautiful things we found in Canton cut out of ivory. There were combs and brooches so delicate that it seemed as if they could be blown to pieces by a breath; and there were boxes and card-cases with representations of landscapes, and men and animals on them so small that we needed a microscope to see them distinctly. In one shop we saw the whole tusk of an elephant carved from one end to the other so closely that you could hardly put a pin on it without hitting some part of the work. They told us that the tusk had been sent there by the gentleman who killed the elephant in India, and he was having it carved to keep as a trophy. The carving had cost six hundred[Pg 419] dollars; and if it had been done in America, it would have cost nearer six thousand. Skilled labor is cheap in China, just as unskilled labor is, and it is astonishing for how little a man can be employed on the kind of work that would bring a high price in Europe or America.