Puslapio vaizdai

it to say that only after two the close of the Dædaloid naryears of hazard and suffering rative. did I succeed in returning to “Throughout my adventures civilisation. One circumstance I never doubted that I should I may mention. I had hoped find my treasures safe in Mrs to land in America a scientific Buckley's keeping. Mrs Buckworld-conqueror. In fact, I ley was a woman whose very arrived in San Francisco from appearance suggested permaHong-Kong as a blackleg fire- nence and solidity; amid a man on board a tramp steamer, world of change she at least Such are the strange turns of would remain unmoved. And fortune's wheel.

beneath her roof-tree reposed “During all this time Dæda- the works of Baldermann, the loid 673 had never been far formulæ, and the Dædaloid 673. from my thoughts, and I was Reposed, I say, and for all I never without the hope that I know they may repose there should still earn fame and for- even now. For when I sought tune by it. But my foolish out her house where it stood egotism had long since abated ; amid a row of its fellows in I was resolved to seek out one the remoter wilds of Crickleor more collaborators, and was wood, it had gone. ... Yes, further determined that I gone, and left not a wrack should allow another the glory behind. There was an irreguinvolved in the next flight lar hole in the ground where through space. So much had its foundations had been, a my two years' Odyssey done few boards untidily put toto overcome my stiff-necked gether in front to keep out the and self-centred pride.

unwary, and, gaping at the “ Behold me, then, arriving void, a small crowd of inquisiback in London, penniless but tive idlers. They hung upon hopeful. The brigands, of the words of a woman who course, had long since relieved was addressing them. I drew me of Parke Hopkinson's gold. nearer,

nearer, and recognised Mrs I had left London a pale student Buckley. Happily, she did not of science ; I returned a bronzed recognise me. and bearded ruffian, unused to “It so 'appened,' she was the ways of civilisation. Since saying, in the tones of one my years in the highlands of rehearsing an oft-told tale, the China I find that one who has day the earthquake 'appened killed men with his naked two weeks come Monday next hands beside the smouldering as ever was, my little nephew embers of a camp - fire can Willy, 'oo was stoppin' with never quite slip into the hum- me, 'auled the great bottle drum life of cities again. out of the cupboard wot the But I must really apologise. I gent as give up my lodging shall omit

any further reference two years ago left be'ind 'im, to my bandit days. .. I with strict injunctions it wasn't come without more delay to to be touched. Don't touch

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that, Willy, says I, but with hopes of ever being a scienthat the brasted child drops tific success. My brain, always the bottle and spills the stuff a delicate mechanism, sustained all over the floor; but though a shock from which it has I was real angry with 'im, it never, I think, thoroughly reseems it didn't ‘arf 'elp us no covered. I had lost all powers end, for I slips out with ''im of application. Work has since into Mrs Rogers', 'oo lives over been distasteful to me.

In the way, to get a cloth to short, sir, my life has not proswipe it up, and, pore lamb, it pered. If you could see your wasn't 'is fault reely, but the way to come in some degree, fault of the gent for goin' however modest, to the assistaway and leavin' it all that ance of one who may claim to time, and never payin' me a have sacrificed his fairest pros'a'penny neither.'

pects on the altar of science, This, I may remark in I shall be deeply grateful." parenthesis, was untrue.

I It was weak of me, I know, paid the woman well, and she but I succumbed, and a tenwas to have more should I shilling note changed hands. find my belongings safe on my “I shall be ever in your return.

debt," said the stranger, who “And I just stopped at on this occasion certainly spoke Mrs Rogers' a minute talkin' the truth. Good-night, sir, like, wen as we comes out, good - night, and God bless wot should we see but this you.” 'ouse rocking like a haspen in And he slipped from the the wind, and then wot 'ap- lounge almost as unobtrusively pened next I can't 'ardly say, as if Dadaloid had removed but off it went shootin' in the him. air like a ruddy comick, and I sat for a few minutes 'ere was Mrs Rogers and me thinking over his story. He lyin' flat on our back in the had told it with a great air of road, blown over by the wind conviction, and I thought with it made. The 'ole perishin' pity of all that he had under’ouse was gawn.'

gone. Then I rose to go in to ' Cripes !' said one of the dinner. As I passed by the loafers, the Gov'ment didn't office of the hotel my eye was ought to allow it. In Crickle- caught by a notice on which, wood, too,' he added with a in large letters, an advertisederisive laugh.

ment bore that there would be At this point I slipped a lecture that night in the away. Parke Hopkinson had Grigmore Hall on “Some Fal

another triumph, and lacies in the Theory of ConDædaloid 673 had now proved structive Stymies.” The name itself only too successful with of the lecturer, I noted with an inanimate object. Gone interest, was · Professor A. was the formula, gone the Parke Hopkinson, LL.D. Dædaloid, and gone my last (Wigan).'




It is no good pretending bers of other professions. that I enjoyed the doorstep. Bangs, for instance, now It had its humours, but there doctor, who chose his practice were too many disappoint- by 'Bailey's Hunting Direcments. I had no qualifications tory,' and had just put in for any kind of livelihood be. three years' shooting and polo, yond my very ordinary degree. with intervals of war on miThis and Carter's testimonial crobes and cholera in a tea. might have gained me a master- garden in Assam. ship in some second-rate school The stiff, precise, whiskered, in England ; but I refused to and cravated old gentleman contemplate such a premature who received us must have surrender. Perhaps when one been a retired headmaster. He had lived a little one might spoke to me as if I were a fall back on it. When one very small boy. “I underreached the ripe age of thirty stand, Mr Tau, that you are the future would not matter waiting for an appointment so much if one had a past to in the Antipodes." He said look back to. But to be bogged this with a starchy patronage, and marooned at the age of and the implication that I twenty-four ! My nomadic soul might continue to wait. abhorred the notion.

“ Ushers cannot be choosers I used to frequent a Schol- is what he would liked to astic Agency in the neighbour- have said. The head of The hood of Piccadilly, in the hope Vampire Agency had a quite that I might get out East unfair and illogical faculty of again. I remember that wait- making one feel worthless. Noing-room, and the appearance body else could have infected me of some of the young men with a sensitiveness to the snobwho came and went, even the bish contempt our grandfathers colour of their hair and details used to entertain for Usherdom. of their clothes, dressy young But I used to leave him almost men about town some of them sore about it. I had forgotten who I felt sure would have been that the word existed until I supremely miserable if the por- heard through an open door, tals of any academy had opened “ The last usher you sent me, to receive them. Blind mouths Mr V-was unsatisfactory." --and I was as blind and hungry, How I should have enjoyed no doubt, as any, and equally being in a position to tell the innocent of the pretence of a old Vampire that, instead of vocation. I envied the mem- having to enter his room as a

say ?

candidate for favours, “Ushers last pair of boots in that quest, ought to be as glad of crumbs and often had to satisfy my as sparrows or beggars." I hunger with a twopenny sauscan imagine him saying, age-roll at a railway refresh“Ushers, if they are desery- ment-stall. I used to call on ing and submissive, are se- friends about dinner-time, and lected, Mr Tau. They do not when they asked me to stay select." I had put myself and take pot-luck with them, out of court, I am afraid, by I was ashamed, and made some declining to present myself, excuse and went away hungry. on approval, at a school for The appointments abroad all the sons of decayed apothe- went to Honours men. I had caries at Margate.

not the luck to meet another “No, Mr Tau; I am afraid Carter. But I nourished a thin we have nothing suitable for hope. I used to answer adyou this morning. If you leave vertisements in the papers, and your address

cultivated the art, modestly He affected to wince at the and by inference, of self-comaddress, and asked me to spell mendation. One of these letters it.

produced an answer.

It was Agate Street ?

did you from a schoolmaster who was

looking out for an assistant I stolidly admitted it. to go with him to Umtoko, “ And W.O.?"

or Umtobo, or Umtoto. I “I am afraid so."

forget the name of the place. "Well, Mr Tau, it will be It was somewhere in Zululand. unnecessary for you to call Things went so far as an apagain in . person.

Should we pointment. I cannot say an hear of a suitable vacancy- interview, for I saw him, but in the tropics, did you say? he did not see me. He seemed Cancer or Capricorn! I take to have had some difficulty it it is immaterial which, Mr in completing his staff, for he Tau

wrote to me by return of post Such is my dream interview asking me to meet him at with the Vampire Agency. Cannon Street station under Coloured, perhaps, as dreams the clock. He would be wearare, but with the pigments of ing a green label, he told me, truth. Only the other night as a mark of identity. I felt I dreamt of that gaunt starched that there was something unold man, so unsympathetic to propitious about the green label. youth, a notorious vampire in However, I went to Cannon the days before the existence Street, and found him waiting of Appointment Boards. One aggressively for me under the might have forgiven him if a clock. In addition to the large little of the blood he sucked green label, like a bookmaker's had entered into his system. ticket, stuck in the brim of

I wore out the soles of my his bowler hat, he wore a flam

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