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      I took it again. The signature was extended in full, with the surname blackly underlined. The first clause of the print, too, was so treated. "Keep thy heart," it read; "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.--Charlotte Oliver."


      "Arthur was not sure what this term implied. In spite of his confusion he couldn't help feeling a little amused. The figure standing by his side was so exactly like a wax-work come to life, and his talk was faintly reminiscent of a gramophone record.


      "Children and dogs never bore me," he said. "I wish I had a garden like yours. Pleasant perfumes always stimulate the imagination. Did you ever notice how the smell of certain flowers recalls vivid recollections?"Ah, I should get a good scolding if I treated Lady Keeling like that, he said.

      It isnt the act of a gentleman, he said. But theyve just told me that Im not one, or they would have elected me. They will like to know how right they are.

      "Ah!" she exclaimed. "I had forgotten that. In the press of other things it had been swept out of my mind. A professional acrobat like yourself should make light of a task like that. The way is all clear for the experiment. But when?"


      That was the problem in the mind of every looker on, and the lookers-on were legion; the whole wide neighborhood came to see us. Gregory and others outstayed their furloughs; the surgeon lingered shamelessly. Of course, there were three girls besides Charlotte, and it was pure lying--as I told Helm--for some of those fellows to pretend that Captain Ferry's problem was all they stayed for; and yet it was the one heart-problem which was everybody's, and we were all in one fever to see forthwith a conclusion which "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind" required should not come for months.

      The Chinese city is quite distinct from the foreign one; it lies just beyond the French concession, or, rather, the French section extends up to the walls of the old city. The contrast between the two is very great. While the foreigners have taken plenty of space for the construction of their buildings and laying out their streets, the Chinese have crowded together as closely as possible, and seemed desirous of putting the greatest number into the smallest area. It is so all over China from north to south. Even where land is of no particular[Pg 322] value, as in the extreme north, the result is the same; and there are probably no people in the world that will exist in so small an area as the Chinese. Ventilation is not a necessity with them, and it seems to make little difference whether the air they breathe be pure or the reverse. In almost any other country in the world a system of such close crowding would breed all sorts of pestilence, but in China nobody appears to die from its effect.

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      It followed upon this experiment that the Clockwork man presently emitted a faint, quavering protest. He had certainly dwindled in bulk. His clothes hung upon him, and there was a distressing feebleness of frame. Slowly it dawned upon the Doctor that the face peering up at him was that of a very old and decrepit individual. Painful lines crossed his forehead, and there were rheumy lodgements in the corner of each eye. The change was rapidly progressive.

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