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    For neither Mildred nor Nona had condescended to pay any attention to her remark. Moreover, their whispering continued.


    This Essay, I may remark in conclusion, is very curiously enriched by citations, in great abundance, from medieval verse and prose romance, some of the most valuable of which, strange to say, are Egyptian.

    Chapter 10

    “I am very much distressed over the news conveyed by your telegram,” began the older man, when he had taken a chair at a little distance from his visitor. “Any delay at this juncture, you must understand, is only calculated to result in complications. Was His Royal Highness so violent that to bring him with you was impracticable?”

    Not so many years ago, fifteen or sixteen, or seventeen, perhaps, we were all following the Druce Case with immense interest. Stated baldly, as I remember it, the general thesis was that a Mr. Druce, keeper of a big furniture shop in Baker Street, who in due season died, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery, was not Mr. Druce at all, but the Duke of Portland; the famous Duke who caused to be constructed the underground mansion at Welbeck, and was thought to be more than a little eccentric. Now, I have forgotten the detail, I regret to say, but if this Mr. Druce could be proved to have been, in fact, the Duke, then somebody would come in for a great deal of money. The original claimant went mad and died, and then another claimant appeared, and turned himself or herself into a company, and found some hundreds of people ready to subscribe quite large sums so that the legal proceedings should be taken and the recovered treasure distributed amongst them. This monstrous bubble of a story was finally burst by leave being given to open the Druce vault at Highgate; whereupon the body of poor Mr. Druce was disclosed and found to be undoubtedly the body of Mr. Druce, and not a lump of lead, as (I think) was alleged by the Claimant. But in the course of litigation one extraordinary witness was called in support of the Claimant’s case. She was a very old lady, over eighty, to the best of my recollection, and she had been brought all the way from New Zealand to tell the most outrageous cock-and-bull story that was ever heard in an English law court. She knew all about the secret of the Duke of Portland, who had the odd humour, according to the fable, of pretending at intervals to be an upholsterer in Baker Street; she knew, because in her youth she had been “outside correspondent” to him, Charles Dickens, and Lord Lytton. She did not explain what an “outside correspondent” was; she placidly babbled her imbecilities in the witness-box, and was finally prosecuted for perjury, convicted and let off very lightly.


    hey people! I was in an interschool play once. I had one great line: “Iceberg!” Guess which play I was in and what I was dressed as? The one hundredth person to get it right will win a free Remi brothers poster. But enough about me.

    “Feet strangely covered, stone-defying. With no burden on her back, freely, with long steps, she walks, as must the females of the gods from whom we spring.”

    "Well, the next seems to be written some time later, but I can't tell how much. This is something like a diary, only she doesn't put down any dates. She just seems to leave spaces between the different entries. It's kind of confusing. Now she says:


    I booked us ringside seats at the Polynesian Luau, riding high on a freshround of sympathy Whuffie, and Dan and I drank a dozen lapu-lapus inhollowed-out pineapples before giving up on the idea of getting drunk.

    And as Sylvius Hogg, and Hulda and Joel walked up the passage-way that had been cleared for them, as if by magic, how many friendly hands were outstretched to grasp theirs, how many kind and cordial words were lavished upon them, and with what delight Sylvius Hogg listened to these expressions of friendly feeling!

    them, "and even if we can't eat we can drink champagne with plenty of ice in it."

    Laying the Foundation of a Church.—Rochet, amice, white stole and cope, mitra simplex, pastoral staff.

    I suddenly realized that I had forgotten all about time. I looked at my watch. It was two o'clock. So it was only five hours since all this had begun! It could have been weeks. My former life seemed almost years away. Even last evening, when I had sat and thought about that life, was difficult to remember. Everything had suddenly been erased. Fear and pain and danger had taken over. It was like being in a shipwreck, an airplane or a train crash, an earthquake or a hurricane. When these things happen to you, it must be just the same. The black wings of emergency blot out the sky, and there is no past and no future. You live through each minute, survive each second, as though it is your last. There is no other time, no other place but now and here.

    “My friend,” answered the captain, “the parabola is a curve of the second order, the result of the section of a cone intersected by a plane parallel to one of the sides.”

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