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"Trixie is going to be married." Trixie's mother did not look at her old friend as she spoke. She gazed into the fire, and there was a certain defensiveness in her voice.

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"Give diplomatic processes a chance," said Retief. "The Note hasn't even been delivered yet. Who knows? We may get surprising results."

It seemed as if Destiny had had a share in giving to him the Lady Marian. Some years before, loitering in England, he had wandered into King's Lyndon, an old show-place in one of the midland counties and had seen this picture. It made a strange impression on him; and he was singularly unsusceptible to anything but ideas: they always impressed him tremendously. He was surprised and almost ashamed of the hold this face took upon him. He carried it in his mind through fifteen years, and once or twice when he had been arguing a case before a learned judge the sedate, black figure on the bench had become Lady Marian, resplendent in white and pearls, and he had experienced a queer sensation as if he were pleading his cause to her instead of to the honorable court. And the other day on a flying trip to London he had suddenly come across her in an auction-room where a sale of antiques and curios was going on, and, with a recklessness entirely foreign to his

“How should I fear thee, beautiful vision?” cried Basil in ecstasy; “and what am I, that thou shouldst deign to visit me thus?”

He was emboldened by the claret to press the old psychological truism to its conclusion. "And later still there comes a time, I believe, when one lives chiefly in the past," he hazarded.

Thought speeds where light plods. The mind of Herrell McCray covered light-millenia in a moment. It skipped the drifty void between spiral arms, threaded dust clouds, entered the compact central galactic sphere to which our Earth's sector of the galaxy is only a remote and unimportant appendage. Here a great globular cluster of suns massed around a common center of gravity. McCray shrank himself to the perspective of a human body and stared in wonder. Mankind's Sol lies in a tenuous, stretched-out arm, thinly populated by stellar standards: if Earth had circled one of these dense-clustered suns, what a different picture of the sky would have greeted the early shepherds! Where Man's Earthbound eyes are fortunate to count a thousand stars in a winter sky, here were tens of thousands, bright enough to be a Sirius or a Capella at the bottom of a sink of atmosphere like Earth's—tens of billions of stars in all, whirling close to each other, so that star greets star over distances that are hardly more than planetary. Sol's nearest neighbor star is four light-years away. No single sun in this dense, gyrating central mass was as much as one light-year from its fellows.

[104]

x

Neither Turner nor Hubert took any notice, but after a slight hesitation Joe Kenyon pulled out his watch, stared at it absent-mindedly, and then said, "Oh, I don't know! About half-past ten or eleven probably. He generally does."

"I've seen 'em. They camp in goat-skin tents, gallop around on animal-back, wear dresses down to their ankles—"

The official laid a hand on Doc's shoulder. "Sir!" he said agitatedly. "Do you realize that they've started your clock, Dr. Krakatower?"

1.As regards the choice of topics, I have given prominence to discoveries of facts only when they could be shown to have promoted the development of the science; on the other hand, I have made it my chief object to discover the first dawning of scientific ideas and to follow them as they developed into comprehensive theories, for in this lies, to my mind, the true history of a science. But the task of the historian of Botany, as thus conceived, is a very difficult one, for it is only with great labour that he succeeds in picking the real thread of scientific thought out of an incredible chaos of empirical material.

2.EARLY BATTLES OF THE WAR.

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"Right you are. Come along," Arthur agreed, in a spasm of pity for the futility of the man.

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Mr. Grimes was very helpful and sympathetic when Lady Charlotte consulted him. He repeated the advice he had given five years ago, that Lady Charlotte should not litigate but act, and so thrust upon the other parties the onus of litigation. She should obtain possession of the two children, put them into suitable schoolsI dont see how we can put that By-blow into a school, Lady Charlotte interpolatedand refuse to let the aunts know where they were until they consented to reasonable terms, to the proper religious education of the children, to their proper clothing, and to their separation. Directly we have the engagement of the Misses Stubland not to disturb the new arrangement, said Mr. Grimes, we shall have gained our point. I see no harm in letting the children rejoin their aunts for their holidays.

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"Well?" she said with ungracious reluctance, dispensing with formal greeting.

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