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“There was, of course, the usual suicide clause in the policy. In the event of his committing suicide within a year the premiums would be forfeited. Mr. Maltravers was duly examined by the Company’s own doctor, and although he was a man slightly past the prime of life was passed as being in quite sound health. However, on Wednesday last—the day before yesterday—the body of Mr. Maltravers was found in the grounds of his house in Essex, Marsdon Manor, and the cause of his death is described as some kind of internal hæmorrhage. That in itself would be nothing remarkable, but sinister rumours as to Mr. Maltravers’ financial position have been in the air of late, and the Northern union have ascertained beyond any possible doubt that the deceased gentleman stood upon the verge of bankruptcy. Now that alters matters considerably. Maltravers had a beautiful young wife, and it is suggested that he got together all the ready money he could for the purpose of paying the premiums on a life insurance for his wife’s benefit, and then committed suicide. Such a thing is not uncommon. In any case, my friend Alfred Wright, who is a director of the Northern union, has asked me to investigate the facts of the case, but, as I told him, I am not very hopeful of success. If the cause of the death had been heart failure, I should have been more sanguine. Heart failure may always be translated as the inability of the local G.P. to discover what his patient really did die of, but a hæmorrhage seems fairly definite. Still, we can but make some necessary inquiries. Five minutes to pack your bag, Hastings, and we will take a taxi to Liverpool Street.”

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But no Kansan, Stinker, Indigenous Hominid, Gook or Native watched. No cowboy youngsters stared at the gunned-and-holstered men from another planet. No elders looked down their noses at the brash invaders. No mothers wiped their hands on their aprons as they thought of their sons, and the fleshly price they'd pay for freedom. No teenage girls, those patrons of parades, watched with lips half-open with apprehension and audacious thoughts about the hundreds of gift-wrapped young man marching past. This planet could have as well been named Coventry as Kansas, Hartford thought. Out the far gate of Kansannamura marched Third Platoon, Company "C," then First Platoon, flanking the Decontamination Vehicle. A villager came from the house nearest the gate and closed it. He did not look after the two columns of men winding up through the fields of sunflowers to the high plateau where they lived.

In the modern city of Catania, for example, I came suddenly one day upon the ruins of the forum of a Roman city which was buried under the modern Italian one. At Palermo I learned that when the members of the Mafia, which is the Sicilian name for the "Black Hand," want to conceal a murder they have committed, they put the body in one of the many ancient tombs outside the city, and leave it there for some archæologist to discover and learn from it the interesting fact that the ancient inhabitants of Sicily were in all respects like the modern inhabitants.

family proper becomes a numerically smaller group. Enormous numbers of childless families appear; the middle-class family with two, or at most three, children is the rule rather than the exception in certain strata. This makes the family a less various and interesting group, with a smaller demand for attention, emotion, effort. Quite apart from the general mental quickening of the time, it leaves more and more social energy, curiosity, enterprise free, either to fret within the narrow family limits or to go outside them. The Strike against Parentage takes among other forms the form of a strike against marriage; great numbers of men and women stand out from a relationship which every year seems more limiting and (except for its temporary passional aspect) purposeless. The number of intelligent and healthy women inadequately employed, who either idle as wives in attenuated modern families, childless or with an insufficient child or so, or who work for an unsatisfying subsistence as unmarried women, increases. To them the complete conceptions

He grinned sourly and released the button. The message was on its way, and it would be hours before he could have a reply. Therefore he had to consider what to do next.

[Pg 334]

When a short time later they arrived at the scene of the dreadful carnage their hearts felt sick within them, for after all they were only boys, and not accustomed to such dreadful surroundings.

I remember, at that dinner, how attentively I studied the contrasts, and tried to detect the points of resemblance, be

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[Pg 371]

She got up from her chair and walked over to the window. "There's one thing I want you to tell me first," she said. "Will my going have the least effect on your own plans?"

Nothing could have brought out this more clearly than the comical attempt made recently by the Daily Express to suggest that Mr. Keir Hardie and the party he leads was mysteriously involved with my unfortunate self in teaching Free Love to respectable

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