- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 633MB
"That is my affair," he said. "Perhaps I have been prepared for this--perhaps I have had a watch kept on you. But no matter. We have had time and we are ready. Will you come and see the Countess now?"
Designing machines must have reference to adaptation, endurance, and the expense of construction. Adaptation includes the performance of machinery, its commercial value, or what the machinery may earn in operating; endurance, the time that machines may operate without being repaired, and the constancy of their performance; expense, the investment represented in machinery.The next day, Sunday, August 16th, I was already about at five o'clock in the morning, and soon witnessed some historical shots. In the park on one of the boulevards the Germans had been digging for two days, and prepared a firm foundation upon which big guns might be mounted. I saw one of these guns that morning, and at about half-past five three shots were fired from it at short intervals, by which Fort Loncin was completely destroyed, as was indicated by the terrific explosions which followed the third shot. After these shots I was quite benumbed for several minutes; in all the streets63 of Lige they caused the greatest commotion, which became all the greater because large numbers of cavalry happened to ride through the town, and all the horses started rearing.
The doctor now became more communicative on other matters. According to him the Germans contended that the inhabitants had been shooting from windows and cellars, in order to prevent the120 garrison from assisting their comrades, who were fighting a battle against the Belgians at a distance of about four miles and a half from the town. Such an organised action of the inhabitants, under the tyrannical rule of the Germans during the eight days before the destruction, he called impossible, and therefore the whole accusation absurd. At any rate they had felt that the destruction was coming, and had been planned systematically, for during those eight days the Germans had plundered the population, and taken from them all bread, even what they required to feed themselves.
"Where do you come from?" was his first question.
Besides, there was Arthur Wither's story about the flapping ears and the queer conversation of the Clockwork man, his peculiar[Pg 43] jerky movements, his sudden exhibitions of uncanny efficiency contrasted with appalling lapses. Once you had grasped the idea of his mechanical origin, it was difficult to thrust the Clockwork man out of your head. He became something immensely exciting and suggestive. If Gregg's sense of humour had not been so violently tickled by the ludicrous side of the affair, he would have felt already that some great discovery was about to be revealed to the modern world. It had never occurred to him before that abnormal phenomena might be presented to human beings in the form of a sort of practical joke. Somehow, one expected this sort of thing to happen in solemn earnest and in the dead of night. But the event had taken place in broad daylight, and already there was mixed up with its queer unreality the most ridiculous tangle of purely human circumstance.I started on my return journey to The Netherlands sick to death. The consequences of lying on that wet floor made themselves badly felt, and besides being quite stiff and chilly, my interior was badly out of order.
"You can spend the hundred pounds as you please, dearest," he said. "I am going to tell you a secret. I have had a lovely slice of luck. Forty five-pound banknotes that I never for one moment expected came my way."