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"Death," said the Doctor, speaking from knowledge rather than from symbolical conviction.

Indeed, it was hardly to be expected that he would remain there for very long. As Gregg pointed out, such very delicate mechanism needed constant attention, and the unexpected was always likely to occur. There must have been some deeply-rooted automatism that gradually released the Clockwork man from his sleep; and having awakened, the grimy walls of the cellar no doubt struck him as distasteful. It was not to be expected that the Doctor, in his hurry and panic, should have succeeded in mastering the intricacies of the clock. He had merely brought about a[Pg 192] temporary quiescence which had gradually worked off. It had to be borne in mind, also, that although the Clockwork man was dependent upon adjustment in order that he should be made to work in a right fashion, it was only too plain that he could act independently and quite wrongly..
"He can hit," said Mr. Bumpus, mopping his brow, "but he's certainly an eccentric sort of individual. I called to him to run, and apparently he did not or would not hear me.".
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[Pg 112]?
Short stories
The Doctor's conclusion may be taken as a fair expression of his character. Naturally, the effect of such a preposterous revelation upon a sluggish and doubting mind would be to arouse it to a kind of furious defence of all that man has been in the past, and a scarcely less spirited rejection of that grotesque possibility of the future which the Clockwork man presented to the ordinary observer. Gregg, on the other hand, may be excused, on the score of his extreme youthfulness, for the impetuosity of his actions. His attempt to persuade the editor of the Wide World Magazine that his version of the affair, put in the shape of a magazine story, was actually founded on fact, ended in grotesque failure. His narrative power was not doubted; but he was advised to work the story up and introduce a little humour before offering it as a contribution to some magazine that did not vouch for the[Pg 194] truth of its tall stories. As this was beneath Gregg's dignity, and he could find no one else to take him seriously, he shut up like an oyster, and just in time to forestall a suspicious attitude on the part of his friends. It was only years later, and after many experiences in this world of hard fact and difficult endeavour, that he began to share the Doctor's view, and to cherish the memory of the Clockwork man as a legend rich in significance.!
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Gregg beat his fist into his open palm. "But that's just what has happened," he exclaimed, "they've found a way of keeping on just the same. That explains the Clarkson business. If the clock is what I think it is, that precisely is its function.".
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"I can't bear you not to have me," she sobbed. "It's cruel. It ought to be arranged. People ought to understand.".

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"But you agree," said Gregg, unperturbed, "that it might be possible in the future?"
"We are creatures of action," hazarded the Doctor, with the air of a man embarking upon a long mental voyage, "we act from certain motives. There is a principle known as Cause and Effect. Everything is related. Every action has its equal and opposite re-action. Nobody can do anything, or even think anything, without producing some change, however slight, in the general flow of things. Every movement that we make, almost every thought that passes through our minds, starts another ripple upon the surface of time, upon this endless stream of cause and effect."
"I can't bear you not to have me," she sobbed. "It's cruel. It ought to be arranged. People ought to understand."
21 August, 2019 - 13:08
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21 August, 2019 - 13:08
The best!