As for Hayley Delane, he emerged older, heavier, more stooping, but otherwise unchanged, from the ordeal. I am not sure that anyone except myself was aware that there had been an ordeal. But my conviction remained. His wife’s return had changed him back into a card-playing, ball-going, race-frequenting elderly gentleman; but I had seen the waters part, and a granite rock thrust up from them. Twice the upheaval had taken
"Mine is in the same storm-tossed ocean," Doc assured her. "Simon, that will be very fine for the master who can get themselves computers—either from their governments or from hiring out to big firms. Or in other ways. Jandorf, I'm sure, will be able to interest some Argentinian millionaire in a computer for him. While I... oh, I'm too old... still, when I start to think about it.... But what about the Bela Grabos? Incidentally, did you know that Grabo is contesting Jandorf's win? Claims Jandorf discussed the position with Serek. I think they exchanged about two words."
Lady Marian, nothing loath, stepped out of the elevator.
"Miss Grayling, that is a wonderful idea! I will probably steal it for a short story. I still manage to write and place a few in England. No, I do not think that is at all likely. WBM would never risk such a fraud. Great is completely out of practice for actual tournament play, though not for chess-thinking. The difference in style between a computer and a man would be evident to any expert. Great's own style is remembered and would be recognized—though, come to think of it, his style was often described as being machinelike...." For a moment Doc's eyes became thoughtful. Then he smiled again. "But no, the idea is impossible. Vanderhoef as Tournament Director has played two or three games with the Machine to assure himself that it operates legitimately and has grandmaster skill."
If the arrangement that was now suggested had been hypothecated while he was dressing, he would have laughed at the idea of refusing it; but as Mr Kenyon had been speaking, Arthur had seen a vision of his own future that had been vaguely repellent—a vision of idle, satisfied days spent in perfecting himself at various games, waiting for something that he could not precisely define. What was there to wait for in such a life as that—except death? Marriage and the begetting of children would only be incidents, comparable, perhaps, to the making of his first hundred break or doing the course in "bogey." And yet, what else had life, any life, to offer him? He had no peculiar gifts. He would never become famous. The end of him would almost certainly be a small practice somewhere and a perpetual struggle to live within his income. Nevertheless, his spirit drooped at the prospect of the life he anticipated if he accepted this offer. There was no adventure in it.
"Oh." Willie's grin became a tight one. "I'm not talking."
"See Lady Caroline to-morrow! I thought you were not going back till Saturday?"
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