To come back to this wondrous book of Iris. Two pages faced each other which I took for symbolical expressions of two states of mind. On the left hand, a bright blue sky washed over the page, specked with a single bird. No trace of earth, but still the winged creature seemed to be soaring upward and upward. Facing it, one of those black dungeons such as Piranesi alone of all men has pictured. I am sure she must have seen those awful prisons of his, out of which the Opium-Eater got his nightmare vision, described by another as “cemeteries of departed greatness, where monstrous and forbidden things are crawling and twining their slimy convolutions among mouldering bones, broken sculpture, and mutilated inscriptions.” Such a black dungeon faced the page that held the blue sky and the single bird; at the bottom of it something was coiled,——what, and whether meant for dead or alive, my eyes could not make out.


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The descriptions were at first extremely inartistic and unmethodical; but the effort to make them as exact and clear as was possible led from time to time to perceptions of truth, that came unsought and lay far removed from the object originally in view. It was remarked that many of the plants which Dioscorides had described in his Materia Medica do not grow wild in Germany, France, Spain, and England, and that conversely very many plants grow in these countries, which were evidently unknown to the ancient writers; it became apparent at the same time that many plants have points of resemblance to one another, which have nothing to do with their medicinal powers or with their importance to agriculture and the arts. In the effort to promote the knowledge of plants for practical purposes by careful description of individual forms, the impression forced itself on the mind of the observer, that there are various natural groups of plants which have a distinct resemblance to one another in form and in other characteristics. It was seen that there were other natural alliances in the vegetable world, beside the three great divisions of trees, shrubs, and herbs adopted by Aristotle and Theophrastus. The first perception of natural groups is to be found in Bock, and later herbals show that the natural connection between such plants as occur together in the groups of Fungi, Mosses, Ferns, Coniferae, Umbelliferae, Compositae, Labiatae, Papilionaceae was distinctly felt, though it was by no means clearly understood how this connection was actually expressed; the fact of natural affinity presented itself unsought as an incidental and indefinite impression, to which no great value was at first attached. The recognition of these groups required no antecedent philosophic reflection or conscious attempt to classify the objects in the vegetable world; they present themselves to the unprejudiced eye as naturally as do the groups of mammals, birds, reptiles,

There was extraordinarily little personal fear in Bunny. He was not nearly so afraid of the things that would happen to him as of the things that would happen about him. He hated the smashing even of inanimate things; a broken-down chair or a roofless shed was painful to him. Whenever he thought of the trenches he thought of treading and slipping in the dark on a torn and still living body....

The next morning Father O'Rourke came as promised, and was introduced by me to the Rector with some little pride. Indeed, he was no mean figure of a man, this Chaplain of ours, with his broad shoulders and great head, that looked fitter for a soldier's tricorne than a priest's calotte.

Poirot’s answer was not too reassuring:


His eyes challenged us. “But I—Hercule Poirot—tell you that it is not so! The true clues are within—here!” He tapped his forehead. “See you, I need not have left London. It would have been sufficient for me to sit quietly in my rooms there. All that matters is the little grey cells within. Secretly and silently they do their part, until suddenly I call for a map, and I lay my finger on a spot—so—and I say: the Prime Minister is there! And it is so! With method and logic one can accomplish anything! This frantic rushing to France was a mistake—it is playing a child’s game of hide-and-seek. But now, though it may be too late, I will set to work the right way, from within. Silence, my friends, I beg of you.”

"I've made up my mind," he said, quickening his pace to catch her up. "I'll go. You're quite right. I can't stay there now."

So much for the specifically creative and imagination-using professions. Throughout the whole range of the more educated middle classes, however, there are causes at work that necessarily stimulate thought towards Socialism, that engender scepticisms, promote inquiries leading towards what is at present the least expounded of all aspects of Socialism—the relation of Socialism to the institution of the Family....

"Oh, George, I love you, I love you; but I was frightened. I didn't know what you might think. Really I hadn't--hadn't done anything awfully wrong."

As from my tent I emerge so early, sleepless,

He became conscious of the returning reek of gases. He flipped up the plate of his helmet and lunged at the girl, miraculously caught her in one hand and, straining, caught the suit with the other.

1.[pg 184]

2.The refresher-room, a hall filled with lockers and the machinery that automatically tested and refitted the safety-suits each time they returned to the Barracks, had a dozen entrances and exits. As Renkei, still completely sealed in Pia's safety-suit, sat on the bench beside Hartford, the doors all closed at once. They hissed as the pneumatic seals were set in their frames.


But far more interesting than the play to him was the audience. They were mostly young people, and some of them were very young people; students in uniform, bright-faced girls, clerks, young officers and soldiers, a sprinkling of intelligent-looking older people of the commercial and professional classes; each evening showed a similar gathering, a very full house, intensely critical and appreciative. It was rather like the sort of gathering one might see in the London Fabian Society, but there were scarcely any earnest spinsters and many more young men. The Art Theatre, like a magnet, had drawn its own together out of the vast barbaric medley of western and Asiatic, of peasant, merchant, priest, official and professional, that thronged the Moscow streets. And they seemed very delightful young people.




Hartford felt imminent danger of vomiting, bad business in a safety-suit. He fought it as he looked around. The column of smoke rising from the buildings already fired was sweeping around, carried by the morning wind that poured off the plateau. Everything within the walls of the rammed-earth houses would be incinerated. Kansannamura was destroyed. "Regroup by the vehicles," Hartford spoke to his troopers. He walked back to his jeep, the village flaming behind him.


After a while Angler sealed a move, handing it to Vanderhoef with a grin just as the little red flag dropped on his clock, indicating he'd used every second of his time.


McCray knew that the Jodrell Bank was not the only FTL vessel in this volume of space. The Betelgeuse run was a busy one, as FTL shipping lanes went. Almost daily departures from some point on Earth to one of the colonies, with equal traffic in the other direction.