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“These two lads are American boys who are turned over to your care, Colonel. They will be glad to explain how they happened to be aboard the Thunderer. The Vice-Admiral confides them to your guardianship, and begs that you will render them all the assistance in your power. You will pardon me, I am sure, for my brevity, but if I am to get back safely to my boat, I shall have to be in haste.”

She did not hear his words, but she felt him unclasp her arms from his neck; and Isilda sank insensible at Basil’s feet.

Basil Wolgemuth had now gained the summit of his wishes. He had panted for the river of knowledge,——had found it, and allayed his burning thirst in its waters, which were to him a Lethe, bringing oblivion of all else. He walked as one in a dream, or like the false prophet of old, falling into a trance, but having his eyes open.[105] He was gentle to his sister, and to the patient, sorrowful Isilda; but he shrank from their society, as he did from that of every living soul. He would disappear for days together, wandering in the woods and mountains, far from his home. There the student was alone, with his newly acquired sense,——there he penetrated into the marvels of the invisible world. He saw the Sylphs of the air floating over him, and fanning his slumbers with their ambrosial wings. The beautiful Undines spread their cool, wavy arms around him, and through the riven earth he beheld the Gnomes and Cobolds at work in their treasure-caves. Borne by the Salamandrines, he viewed the caves of the volcanoes; their lurid recesses were exposed to his gaze, and he saw the central fires smouldering beneath the surface of the globe,——the cradles of the earthquake.

I sat dumbfounded. All New York knew what Delane thought of his suave father-in-law. He had married Leila in spite of her antecedents; but Bill Gracy, at the outset, had been given to understand that he would not be received under the Delane roof. Mollified by the regular payment of a handsome allowance, the old gentleman, with tears in his eyes, was wont to tell his familiars that personally he didn’t blame his son-in-law. “Our tastes differ: that’s all. Hayley’s not a bad chap

“Why no darling. Do you think I’m at the kayhole all the time?”


"Could have been," the Aga Kaga chuckled. He finished the grapes and began peeling an orange. "But they never were. Hitler could have been stopped by the Czech Air Force in 1938; Stalin was at the mercy of the primitive atomics of the west in 1946; Leung was grossly over-extended at Rangoon. But the onus of that historic role could not be overcome. It has been the fate of your spiritual forebears to carve civilization from the wilderness and then, amid tearing of garments and the heaping of ashes of self-accusation on your own confused heads, to withdraw, leaving the spoils for local political opportunists and mob leaders, clothed in the mystical virtue of native birth. Have a banana."

He jerked out his blaster and pulled the trigger.


The whole of the present system is riddled with discontents. One factor is the enhanced sense of the child in middle-class life: the old sentiment was that the parent owned the child, the new is that the children own the parents. There has come an intensified respect for children, an immense increase in the trouble, attention and expenditure devoted to them—and a very natural and human accompaniment in the huge fall in the middle-class birth-rate. It is felt that to bear and rear children is the most noble and splendid and responsible thing in life, and an increasing number of people modestly evade it. People see more clearly the social service of parentage,



Dr. J. von SACHS,


[pg 209]

"I suggest that you all become guests in Yamamura."

"We have no such intentions, Excellency," Retief said. "Is it not written, "Have no faith in the Prince whose minister cheats you"?"

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