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      "Well, perhaps not," Maitrank admitted. "But I had them in my possession."

      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."Oh, yes, of course. The body is a frail instrument. One forgets that. So good of you. But the spirit endures. Good night."

      With his unconscious head still on my arm I faced toward the hundred after-sounds of the fray and hallooed for help. To my surprise it promptly came. Three blundering boys we were who lifted him into the saddle and bore him to the house reeling and moaning astride of Cricket, the poor beast half dead with hard going. The sinking sun was as red as October when we issued into the highroad and moved up it to the grove gate through the bloody wreckage of the fray. The Louisianians were camping in the woods-pasture, Ferry's scouts in the grove, and the captive Federals were in the road between, shut in by heavy guards. At our appearance they crowded around us, greeting their undone commander with proud words of sympathy and love, and he thanked them as proudly and lovingly, though he could scarcely speak, more than to ask every moment for water. A number of our Sessions house group crowded out to meet us at the veranda steps; Camille; Harry Helm with his right hand bandaged; Ccile, attended by two or three Sessions children; and behind all Miss Harper exclaiming "Ah, my boy, you're a welcome sight--Oh! is that Captain Jewett!""You are disturbed and hysterical tonight," she said. "Go and lie down. I am a strong woman and if you provoke me too far----"

      Yes, he thought so; but I believed the glow in his tone was for novels. I extolled the romance of actual life! I denounced that dullness which fails to see the poetry of daily experience, and goes wandering after the mirages of fiction! And I was ready to fight him if he liked. But he agreed with me most cordially. "O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,

      "Well, you prove yourself in the right," he muttered, "and then I'll apologise. I'm going to let the Clockwork man drop. I've got other things to think about. And I don't mind telling you that if the Clockwork man turns out to be all that you claim for him, I shall still wish him at the other end of the earth.""'T'hat young man die: one large dog see



      It was all the same to Hetty so long as she got away from the insolent people. They must go back and have tea at Lytton Avenue. There would be nobody present, and the Countess would not be at home to anybody. Nothing could be sweeter or more sympathetic than her manner."You risked your life to save mine; and you risked it when I did not deserve so much as your respect."


      A learner is apt to reverse this proposition at the beginning, and place time before skill, but if he will note what passes around him, it will be seen that criticism is always first directed to the character of work performed. A manager does not ask a workman how long a time was consumed in preparing a piece of work until its character has been passed upon; in short, the quality of work is its mechanical standard, and the time consumed in preparing work is its commercial standard. A job is never properly done when the workman who performed it can see faults, and in machine fitting, as a rule, the best skill that can be applied is no more than the conditions call for; so that the first thing to be learned is to perform work well, and afterwards to perform it rapidly.