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    I was in a fever of impatience to get at all the facts. Japp had two or three hours’ start of me, and his anxiety to be gone made me keen to be close at his heels.

    As he turned into the compound his consciousness came back, as it were, to the present. The bungalow stood dark and silent, just as he had left it. Trixie was not there; he knew it, though he went inside and called her. Alarm again assailed him for her safety, and he paced the drive in nervous agitation, fearing she was ill, that an accident had happened. Never had she seemed so dear, so precious to him; that he could have mistrusted her at all now caused him shamed contrition, and all his grudging of her gaieties and freedom struck him at this moment in the light of selfishness and petty tyranny. The recognition, wakened by the bitter lesson of to-night, of how in time he might have strained her love and trust beyond endurance, filled him with acute dismay and consternation.

    "I was sorry," she admitted.

    So Thrid younglings were trained not to think; not to have any opinion about anything; only to repeat what nobody questioned; only to do what they were told by authority. It occurred to Jorgenson that on a planet with such a population, a skeptic could make a great deal of confusion.

    "Not criticizing the reporting system, are you, Mr. Magnan?" the Under-Secretary barked.


    As a matter of fact, I would not then have fought with the reptile for worlds, but since I could not lay hands on him, it was some little satisfaction to outface him before his company, and I made no objections when the others interfered, but only thought that Mr. Creach had added a long bit to his reckoning when he asked me to drink to the health of Allan Knock in the inn at Portree.

    "Lysmov was the first of us to realize fully that we are not playing against a metal monster but against a certain kind of programming. If there are any weaknesses we can spot in that programming, we can win. Very much in the same way that we can again and again defeat a flesh-and-blood player when we discover that he consistently attacks without having an advantage in position or is regularly overcautious about launching a counter-attack when he himself is attacked without justification."

    The second day after Mrs. Creswell's visit to Helmingham, Walter Joyce was sitting in his chambers hard at work. The approaching change in his condition had affected him very little indeed. He had laughed to himself to think how little. He would have laughed more had he not at the same time reflected that it is not a particularly good sign for a man to be so much overwhelmed by business or so generally careless as to what becomes of him, as to look upon his marriage with very little elation, to prepare for it in a very matter-of-fact and unromantic way. That no man can serve two masters we know on the best authority; and there are two who certainly will not brook being served at the same time by the one worshipper, love and ambition. Joyce had been courting the latter deity for many months with unexampled assiduity, and with very excellent success, and, in reality, had never swerved in his allegiance. He was afraid he had; he induced himself to believe that that desire for some one to share his life with him was really legitimate love-prompting, whereas it was much more likely a mere wish, springing from vanity, to have some one always at hand with the censer, some one to play the part of the stage-confidante, and receive all his outpourings while at the same time she was loud in his praises. The love which he felt for Maude Creswell differed as much from the passion with which, in the bygone years, Marian Ashurst had inspired him, as the thick brown turgid Rhine stream which flows past Emmerich differs from the bright, limpid, diamond-sprayed water which flashes down at Schaffhausen; but there was "body" in it, as there is in the Rhine stream at Emmerich, sufficient to keep him straight from any of the insidious attacks of ambition, as he soon had occasion to prove.

    “Not for the present,” Zopyrus replied evasively. Then moved by a sudden impulse he seized a hand of Polygnotus and of Eumetis in each of his. He desired to invoke the blessing of the gods upon this couple whom he loved so dearly, but so deeply was he affected that he was unable to speak, and turned his back in the direction of the theatre, scarcely realizing what he was doing.

    There was no one in the hall. The doctor pressed the lift-bell impatiently, and when the lift arrived questioned the uniformed attendant sharply.

    The whole of the present system is riddled with discontents. One factor is the enhanced sense of the child in middle-class life: the old sentiment was that the parent owned the child, the new is that the children own the parents. There has come an intensified respect for children, an immense increase in the trouble, attention and expenditure devoted to them—and a very natural and human accompaniment in the huge fall in the middle-class birth-rate. It is felt that to bear and rear children is the most noble and splendid and responsible thing in life, and an increasing number of people modestly evade it. People see more clearly the social service of parentage,

    The Under-Secretary nodded. "Quite right. Carry on along the same lines. Now, if there's nothing further—"




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