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      The unfortunate Doctor was trying hard to substitute a genuine interest in the Clockwork man for a feeling of panic, but he was not very successful. "You seem to me," he added, rather lamely, "so very theoretical."

      That same afternoon also I made the acquaintance of the editor of a local weekly, De Bilsenaar, which was not allowed to appear during the occupation of the place by the Germans. He and others had a great many things to tell me.For a moment he gave way to emotion. He hesitated for a few seconds, and I saw tears in his eyes. He then went on with a trembling voice:

      "I should like a fresh handkerchief, Hetty," she said. "Would you mind?"

      But Arthur persisted in his imitations, without caring very much whether his observers believed him or not. It at least afforded an entertaining occupation. Mrs. Flack's motherly bosom rose and fell with merriment. "It's as good as the pictures," she announced at last, wiping her eyes. But when Arthur spoke about the loud noise, and hinted that the Clockwork man's internal arrangements consisted of some kind of machinery, Mr. Flack sat bolt upright and shook his head gravely.

      "It shall be done," he said hoarsely. "Speak."With running dies, blanks may be clamped when a machine is in motion, and as the blank does not revolve, it may, when long, be supported in any temporary manner. The dies can be opened and closed by the driving power also, and no stopping of a machine is necessary; so that several advantages of considerable importance may be gained by mounting the dies in a running head, a plan which has been generally adopted in late years by machine tool makers both in England and America.



      And it was true. Their hoofs rumbled, their carbines banged, and their charge struck three sides of the house at once. Rising only to my elbows,--and how I did that much, stiffened with my wound, the doctors will have to explain,--I laid my cheek to my rifle, and the light of two windows fell upon my gunsights. Every blue-coat in the hall was between me and its rear window, but one besides the officer was wounded, and with these two three others were busy; only the one remaining man saw me. Twice he levelled his revolver, and twice I had almost lined my sights on him, but twice Miss Harper unaware came between us. A third time he aimed, fired and missed. I am glad he fired first, for our two shots almost made one report, and-he plunged forward exactly as I had done over the fire-log, except that he reached the floor dead.There was no acting here--at least not for the moment. Hetty's gentle heart was touched by the physical wreck before her. Here was a woman in distress who wanted the aid and assistance of a sister.


      He was fading rapidly.The truth is that no man who philosophised at all was ever more free from tormenting doubts and self-questionings; no man was ever more thoroughly satisfied with himself than Socrates. Let us add that, from a Hellenic point of view, no man had ever more reason for self-satisfaction. None, he observed in his last days, had ever lived a better or a happier life. Naturally possessed of a powerful constitution, he had so strengthened it by habitual moderation and constant training that up to the hour of his death, at the age of seventy, he enjoyed perfect bodily and mental health. Neither hardship nor exposure, neither abstinence nor indulgence in what to other men would have been excess, could make any impression on that adamantine frame. We know not how much truth there may be in the story that, at one time, he was remarkable for the violence of his passions; at any rate, when our principal informants knew him he was conspicuous for the ease with which he resisted temptation, and for the imperturbable sweetness of his temper. His wants, being systematically reduced to a minimum, were easily satisfied, and his cheerfulness never failed. He enjoyed Athenian society so much that nothing but military duty could draw him away from it. For Socrates was a veteran who had served through three arduous campaigns, and could give lectures on the duties of a general, which so high an authority as Xenophon thought worth reporting. He seems to have been on excellent terms with his fellow-citizens, never having been engaged in a lawsuit, either as plaintiff or defendant, until the fatal prosecution which brought his career to a close. He could, on that occasion, refuse to prepare a defence, proudly observing that his whole123 life had been a preparation, that no man had ever seen him commit an unjust or impious deed. The anguished cries of doubt uttered by Italian and Sicilian thinkers could have no meaning for one who, on principle, abstained from ontological speculations; the uncertainty of human destiny which hung like a thunder-cloud over Pindar and the tragic poets had melted away under the sunshine of arguments, demonstrating, to his satisfaction, the reality and beneficence of a supernatural Providence. For he believed that the gods would afford guidance in doubtful conjunctures to all who approached their oracles in a reverent spirit; while, over and above the Divine counsels accessible to all men, he was personally attended by an oracular voice, a mysterious monitor, which told him what to avoid, though not what to do, a circumstance well worthy of note, for it shows that he did not, like Plato, attribute every kind of right action to divine inspiration.