All the dazzling days, all the mystic nights with dreams, Pioneers! O pioneers!
The platoon to the left of the Terrible Third had ballooned and was column-of-squadding toward the entrance to the Syphon. "At ease, men," Hartford said. "Increase suit-pressure one pound. Open and check reserve air-tanks. Close off filters." The men blimped a bit. Their suits sausaged out around their arms and legs. Should some trooper have a pinhole in his safety-suit, the positive pressure within would keep the deadly antiseptic solution from seeping in. "Okay, men. First squad off to the sheep-dip. Check the man ahead of you for bubbles. This is Save-Your-Buddy Week," Hartford said.
And yet there was no choice for Hatcher's people, because they were faced with disaster. Hatcher, through his communications from the Council, knew how close the disaster was. When one of the probers from the Central Masses team disappeared, the only conclusion that could be drawn was the Old Ones had discovered them. They needed allies; more, they needed allies who had control of the electromagnetic forces that made the Old Ones so potent and so feared.
“Très bien. Now I understand, milord, that the Prime Minister would, as a matter of course, be under vigilant police protection, which ought to render any assault upon him an impossibility?”
Mason’s domestic life in the wilderness of the lower Ohio evidently was, in the beginning, up to the standard of the average early settler. But in the wild woods, far away from companionship and influence of law-abiding citizens, the best of men were subject to deterioration. Men of education, illiterates, and all other pioneers were alike exposed to this strong influence of frontier life. Many men who, by their inborn nature or by their own choice disregarded law and order, necessarily became, by one route or another, outcasts. Mason fell and fell fast, and became not only an outcast, but a notorious outlaw. The only argument that can be presented in his defense is that he was, to some extent, a peculiar product of his times—only more “highly developed” than contemporaneous outlaws who were products of the same influences and environment. It should be added in justice to Mason that, unlike the Harpes, he was out for booty and that he personally never shed blood unless it became absolutely necessary for his own safety.
Yes, it was surely the embodiment of feminine beauty—the dark, narrow-lidded eyes, wide apart—did you ever notice the terrible intelligence in the eyes of a portrait?—the slim patrician nose, the hair so quaintly coifed with pearl, the uplifted hand: no wonder that Macfarren gazed at it with something like reverence. You will be apt to imagine that Macfarren was an enthusiast, possibly with darkly curling hair and of a Byronic-Dantesque cast of countenance. Quite the contrary. He was a keen-witted, hard-headed New York lawyer fast galloping out of his forties—a well-made, well-dressed man, with a clear-cut, sensible face. His hair had been trifled with by the hand of Time, and what remained is not worth describing.
Also, when I went to town for the day, he would mope around for awhile; then would take my cap from the hall table and carry it into my study. All day long he would lie there, one paw on the cap, and growl fierce menace to all who ventured near. On my return home at night, he gave me scarcely a glance and drew disgustedly away as usual when I held out my hand to pat him.
"Please, Willie, get off me."详情 ➢
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