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    Software name: appdown
    Software type: Microsoft Framwork

    size: 304MB

    Lanuage:Englist

    Software instructions

      [Pg 395]


      XLIII "YES, AND BACK AGAIN"


      I could not divine what there was ridiculous about me, except a certain damage to my dress, of which she could not possibly be aware as long as I remained in the saddle. Yet plainly she wanted to laugh. I made it as plain that I did not.The sergeant only jabbed in the spurs, and leapt away with Kendall, bearing despatches to the brigade. Harry, looking back to me from the ambulance, called softly, "All right again; it was only a bad swoon!"

      He had visions of a room full of golden brown beard. It was the most appalling thing he had ever witnessed, and there was no trickery about it. The beard had actually grown before his eyes, and it had now reached to the second button of the Clockwork man's waistcoat. And, at any moment, Mrs. Masters might return!


      For my part I privately wished this saint wouldn't rub my uninteresting surname into me every time he spoke. As we dismounted near the tents I leaned against my saddle and asked further concerning the object of his loving anxiety. Was Ned Ferry generous, pleasant, frank?

      "I think I do. It's to prevent Oliver from making himself useful to the enemy, isn't it?""What do you think of that?" Prout asked.

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      There had been an outburst of derisive cheering when the Clockwork man actually commenced to run, but this now swelled up into a roar of merriment. And then Arthur saw what had happened. The Clockwork man had not stopped at the opposite wicket. He[Pg 34] had run straight on, past the wicket-keeper, past the fielders, and at the moment when Arthur spotted him he was making straight for the white sheet at the back of the ground. No wonder the crowd laughed! It was so utterly absurd; and the Clockwork man ran as though nothing could stop him, as though, indeed, he had been wound up and was without power to check his own ridiculous progress. The next moment he collided with the sheet; but even this could only prevent him from going further. His legs continued to work rapidly with the action of running, whilst his body billowed into the sagging sheet.Next morning they were not very early risers, and the whole trio were weary and sore from the effect of the ride of ninety miles on the backs of Chinese ponies. Frank said that when he was sitting down he hesitated to rise for fear he should break in two, and Fred asserted that it was dangerous to go from a standing to a sitting position for the same reason.

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      The spiteful little ripple of laughter was hushed as Leona Lalage returned. There was a flush on her face and a glitter in her eyes that Lawrence did not fail to notice. A little sheaf of banknotes fluttered in her hands."Oh, sir, the lady! the sick lady!"

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