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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 877MB


    Software instructions

      Her successor, a rasping young woman with strong knuckles, proved herself very efficient, and before long she retired to the small room adjoining with her sheaf of shorthand notes. Her typewriting machine was already installed there, and soon the clack of the keys proclaimed her a swift worker. For a few minutes only the sound worried him: there was a new touch, a new note, (one that meant nothing to him except that it told him that his work was going forward) to get accustomed to. But very soon he was absorbed in the mass of affairs which his new venture brought with it. There was twelve years work before him: here he was in the first hour of it. It stretched endlessly away, but he gave no attention to the enormous perspective. All he desired was to attend to the immediate foreground; he would progress inch by inch, detail by detail, till the perspective began to grow. He would look neither forwards nor backwards.

      During breakfast Doctor Bronson unfolded some of the plans he had made for the disposal of their time, so that they might see as much as possible of Japan.

      Frank thought she had shown great self-denial in making two lists[Pg 21] instead of one, but intimated that there was not much distinction in the conditions she proposed. He promised to see about the matter when he reached Japan, and so the conversation on that topic came to an end.

      They strolled along to where there were some black-eyed girls in charge of booths, where, for a small consideration, a visitor can practise shooting with bows and arrows. The bows were very small, and the arrows were blunt at the ends. The target was a drum, and consequently the marksman's ear, rather than the eye, told when a shot was successful. The drums were generally square, and in front of each there was a little block of wood. A click on the wood showed that a shot was of more value than when it was followed by the dull boom of the drum. The girls brought tea to the boys, and endeavored to engage them in conversation, but, as there was no common language in which they could talk, the dialogue was not particularly interesting. The boys patronized the archery business, and tried a few shots with the Japanese equipments; but they found the little arrows rather difficult to handle, on account of their diminutive size. An arrow six inches long is hardly heavy enough to allow of a steady aim, and both of the youths declared they would prefer something more weighty.

      It did not take a long time to prepare Frank's wardrobe for the journey. His grandmother had an impression that he was going on a whaling voyage, as her brother had gone on one more than sixty years before. She proposed to give him two heavy jackets, a dozen pairs of woollen stockings, and a tarpaulin hat, and was sure he would need them. She[Pg 22] was undeceived when the difference between a sea voyage of to-day and one of half a century ago was explained to her. The housemaid said he would not need any thick clothing if he was going to Japan, as it was close to Jerusalem, and it was very hot there. She thought Japan was a seaport of Palestine, but Mary made it clear to her that Japan and Jaffa were not one and the same place. When satisfied on this point, she expressed the hope that the white bears and elephants wouldn't eat the poor boy up, and that the natives wouldn't roast him, as they did a missionary from her town when she was a little girl. "And, sure," she added, "he won't want any clothes at all, at all, there, as the horrid natives don't wear nothing except a little cocoanut ile which they rubs on their skins."He had made an excursion into fairy landthat was how he framed the matter to himself. There had been The Cedars and work for him before, there would be work and The Cedars for him afterwards. Those who have drunk of the metheglin never perhaps afterwards are wholly free from the reminiscence of the sweet draught brewed magically from the heather and the honey, but they go back after their sojourn among the little people, and behave like ordinary mortals again, and eat the home-brewed bread, and move about their appointed ways. But the nights and days they have spent in the secret places of the earth will, till they die, be more vivid to them than all the actual experiences that they go through afterwards and went through before they penetrated the enchanted glen; the remembrance will colour their idle moments with the ensanguined hue of dream; that baseless fabric, that vision of hidden doors thrown open and the things that lurk within, is more rich, just because to them it is more real than the sober tonelessness of their profession or{328} pursuit. Therefore if they are wise, the best thing they can do is, like Prospero, to drown the magic book beneath the waters of absorbing employment. Often it will float up again to the surface, and each time it must be prodded back with averted eyes. So, for Keeling, a love that could not be realised once crowned the hill-tops of his nature; now that citadel and the very hill-tops themselves had been shaken down and strewn over the plains. He had now one paramount needthat of forgetting, and, since he could not forget, the need resolved itself into the effort to remember as little as possible, to use up in other ways the energy which was his, and the leisure that he could command if he chose.

      He came opposite the house, and his heart leaped, for there was a light behind her window-blind. He had known there would be, and he almost shouted for exultation at the fulfilment of his anticipation. Of course she had not gone: she was waiting just for this.

      Trust you for hitting the nail on the head, Emmeline, he said. That was why.


      Why, poor Mr Silverdale, and to think that it was only last Friday that we had such fun over the slippers. I declare I shall never want to see a slipper again. He was crushed to a jelly, and Im sure I hope the driver will be well hung for it, though they are certain to prove that it wasnt his fault, which is so easy now that poor Mr Silverdale cant give his account of the matter. It was all over in a moment, though I know quite well you didnt like him, and said many sarcastic things about him and the young ladies whom he inspired. Im sure I never said a hard thing about him, nor thought it either, though he didnt ask Alice to be his wife. But I am convinced he would have if he had been spared, thats one comfort. If only he had, all this might have been avoided, for they would be on their honeymoon now, let me see, February, March, April, or if they had come back, he wouldnt have wanted to set out on this mission just yet, and so the van wouldnt have been there. And what are we all to do now?


      [Pg 75]


      Father, she said, and then she ran to him, stumbling over her dress, and put her hands on his shoulders.Ought I to see mother? she asked at length.