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      The road itself had prepared me already in some degree for the horrors I should find there. All the villages through which I passed, excepting Tongres and the townlets of St. Trond, Borgloon, and Tirlemont, were for the greater part burned down or shelled into ruins. The German troops, who had been stoutly resisted during their march through St. Trond and Tirlemont, had attacked in a great rage the civilian population. They set the houses on fire and aimed their rifles at the terror-stricken civilians who fled from them. The men were nearly all killed, but women and children were shot as well.

      Her hand had shot out grasping for something to steady herself on--the whole world spun around her. She had given her whole passionate, tempestuous soul to this man; she had never dreamt that she could fail to gain his love. She had never failed before, she had only required to hold up her hand. . . .

      In one corner was an oblong table, surrounded by an eager, silent group. A bald-headed man with a matted black beard and a great curved nose was taking the place of banker. The great financier Isaac Isidore was as keen over the banknotes here as he was over the millions he gambled in the city.But then the police would want to know too much, and he did not feel that he himself was anything like out of the wood. Again, there was the Brotherhood. That it was no idle threat on the part of Lalage, Balmayne knew only too well. Once he betrayed the latter his life was not worth a week's purchase.

      "Ah! I should like to have a look at that note," said Front."No you don't," said Lawrence coolly. "Of course, it would be a very dramatic finish to the night's adventure, but I can't permit it. Go easy."

      The woman was smiling now quite freely. All traces of passion and anxiety were gone. She knew the end had come, and she was prepared to accept it without complaint. Prout looked a little awkward as he bowed.

      Charlton said nothing, but from the sound of his laboured breathing it was evident that the spirit of adventure was upon him. They sat there for some time with the two doors open, so that they might see through the grimy windows into the courtyard beyond. It was weary work, and the minutes passed slowly.

      "If you saw him," said Arthur, emphatically, "you'd have to believe. It's just that, and nothing else. He's like one of those mechanical toys come to life. And it's so funny. You'd never guess."CHAPTER SIX


      "Oh, don't you see?" the faint voice asseverated.He offered no further information. For a long while Arthur was puzzled by the movements that followed this last remark. Apparently the Clockwork man desired to change his tactics; he did not wish to prolong the conversation. But, in his effort to move away, he was obviously hampered by the fact that his hand still rested upon Arthur's shoulder. He did not seem to be able to bend his arm in a natural fashion. Instead, he kept on making a half-right movement of his body, with the result that every time he so moved he was[Pg 20] stopped by the impingement of his hand against Arthur's neck. At last he solved the problem. He took a quick step backwards, nearly losing his balance in the process, and cleared his arm, which he then lowered in the usual fashion. Then he turned sharply to the left, considered for a moment, and waddled away. There was no other term, in Arthur's estimation, to describe his peculiar gait. He took no stride; he simply lifted one foot up and then the other, and then placed them down again slightly ahead of their former positions. His body swayed from side to side in tune with his strange walk. After he had progressed a few yards he turned to the right, with a smart movement, and looked approximately in Arthur's direction. His mouth opened and shut very rapidly, and there floated across the intervening space some vague and very unsatisfactory human noise, obviously intended as an expression of leave-taking. Then he turned to the left again, with the same drill-like action, and waddled along.


      In machinery the ruling form is cylindrical; in structures other than machinery, those which do not involve motion, the ruling form is rectangular."I had to tell her, of course," Gordon replied. "She accused me of flirting with you, and I had to speak for your sake."


      6. The diminished cost of generating power on a large scale, compared with a number of separate steam engines distributed over manufacturing districts."I cannot," groaned the Doctor, his face hidden between his hands. And then he looked up quickly, and his eyes cleared. "Perhaps, after all, that is the consoling feature of the affair. If the Clockwork man were really capable of explanation, then indeed there would be an end to all sanity. But since he is inexplicable, there still remains the chance that we may be able to put all thought of him out of our minds. I tell you, Gregg, I can live this down, I can forget this night of horror; but not if there is an explanation to fit the case. Not if I can satisfy my reason!"