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    《关于南京到成都=全球百科最新相关内容》:"Quite," murmured the Doctor. He was leaning forward now, with his elbows resting on the table and his head on one side. "I can see that. There are certain things about you that strike one as being obvious. But what beats me at present is how—and where—" he looked, figuratively speaking, at the inside of the Clockwork man, "I mean, in what part of your anatomy the—er—motive force is situated.""Medicines," said the Doctor, without enthusiasm.

    
     

    【南京到成都=全球百科】Obedient, in spite of himself, the Doctor discovered a minute hinge and swung open the glass lid. The palpitating clock, with its stir of noises slightly accentuated, lay exposed to his touch.He waddled swiftly along, and, to Arthur's great disappointment, disappeared round the corner of the hedge, so that it was impossible to get more than a fleeting glimpse of that fascinating object at the back of his head. But he was still speaking.CHAPTER FIVE

    
     

    [Pg 48]ARTHUR WITHERS THINKS THINGS OUTTHE MYSTERY OF THE CLOCKWORK MAN

    Arthur swallowed quickly and tried to[Pg 65] explain. But, although the affair was still hot in his mind, he found it exceedingly difficult to describe exactly what had taken place. The doings of the Clockwork man were at once obvious and inexplicable. It was almost impossible to intrigue people who had not actually witnessed the affair into a realisation of such extraordinary happenings. Arthur had to resort to abrupt movements of his arms and legs in order to produce an effect. But he made a great point of insistence upon the ear-flapping."Is that how you feel?" Arthur enquired. He came nearer still, as though to hear better. But the other got into a muddle with his affirmative. He flapped an ear in staccato fashion, and Arthur hastily withdrew."Don't bother," said the Clockwork man, as Arthur stirred slightly, "I'm not going that way. I shall go back the way I came."

    
     

    The corners of the constable's eyes wrinkled a little. "Of course," he ruminated, "if you're going to drag algebra into the discussion I shall 'ave to cry off. I never got beyond decimals." It was an effect in startling disproportion to the cause. Or, at least, so it seemed to the Doctor, who was, of course, totally ignorant about the mechanism with which he was experimenting."Imagine!" burst out Allingham. "Yes, you can imagine such a thing. But you are trying to prove to me that this creature is something that doesn't and can't exist outside your imagination. It won't wash."

    【南京到成都=全球百科】"Oh, God," he whispered, hoarsely, and then again, as though to comfort himself, "Oh, God."The Doctor was scarcely as yet in the mind to study these phenomena accurately. At the back of his mind there was the thought of Mrs. Masters returning with the supper. He tried to resume ordinary speech, but the Clockwork man seemed abstracted, and the unfamiliarity of his appearance increased every second. It seemed to the Doctor that he had remembered a little dimple on the middle of the Clockwork man's chin, but now he couldn't see the dimple. It was covered with something brownish and delicate, something that was rapidly spreading until it became almost obvious.It was an unpleasant episode, but fortunately the object of such misplaced and ugly hilarity scarcely seemed to notice the outrage. Mr. Bumpus was not lacking in courage. After a few more groans and sighs, and a final rubbing of that part of him that had been injured, he placed himself in preparation to receive the next ball. The spectators loudly applauded[Pg 31] him, and the bowler, perhaps unwilling to risk another misadventure, moderated his delivery. Mr. Bumpus struck the ball lightly, and it sped away through the slips. A fielder darted after it, but there was ample time for a run. "Come on!" shouted Mr. Bumpus, and started to puff and blow his way down the pitch.

    At the foot of a hill, about five miles from Great Wymering, Doctor Allingham suddenly jammed down the brake of his car, got out, and began pacing the dusty road. Gregg remained seated in the car with his arms folded."But did she leave any message?" enquired the Doctor, fixing her with his eye-glass."Its devilish hard," he announced, presently, "this feeling, you know—Click—All dressed up and nowhere to go—Click—Click—"

    
     

    【南京到成都=全球百科】"It's only breakdown," said the Clockwork man, sadly. "With us laughing or crying are symptoms of breakdown. When we laugh or cry that means that we have to go and get oiled or adjusted. Something has got out of gear. Because in our life there's no necessity for these things.""But what did you see?" enquired Gregg, kindly. "What was there to be seen?""You see," the mechanical voice went on, "only about half the clock is in action. That accounts for my present situation." There was a pause, broken only by obscure tickings, regular but thin in sound. "I had been feeling very run down, and went to have myself[Pg 80] attended to. Then some careless mechanic blundered, and of course I went all wrong." He turned swiftly and looked hard at Arthur. "All wrong. Absolutely all wrong. And of course, I—I—lapsed, you see."

    Allingham sat in stony silence, sipping tea at intervals and cutting pieces of cake into[Pg 41] neat little squares, which he slipped into his mouth spasmodically. Now and again he passed a hand across his big tawny moustache and pulled it savagely. His state of tense nervous irritation was partly due to the fact that he had been obliged to wait so long for his tea; but he had also violently disagreed with Gregg in their discussion about the Clockwork man. At the present moment the young student stood by the window, watching the animated crowd outside the inn. He had finished his tea, and he had no wish to push his own theory about the mysterious circumstance to the extent of quarrelling with his friend.True, it was an illusion, and man had always known that. For generations he had known that the universe contained more than his limited faculties could perceive. And beauty. There had always been the consoling fact of beauty, lulling the race of man to content, while every now and again a great mind arose and made one more effort to sweep aside the bejewelled splendour that hung between man and his final destiny—to know."How do you feel now?" ventured the Doctor, arousing himself with an effort.

    【南京到成都=全球百科】Arthur had a strong sense of originality, although he would have been the last person to claim originality in his thoughts. He disliked interference with any part of his personal being. As a boy he had been perturbed by the prospect of growing up. It had seemed to him such a hopeless sort of process, a mere longitudinal extension, without corresponding gain in other magnitudes. He suspected that[Pg 70] other dubious advantages were only to be purchased at the expense of a thinning out of the joys of childhood. Later on, he discovered, sadly enough, that this was the case; although it was possible deliberately to protract one's adolescence. Hence his untidiness, his inefficiency, and even his obtuseness, were less constitutional faults than weapons in the warfare against the encroachment of time.[Pg 172]"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!"

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