‘Then perhaps,’ Lavendale’s acquaintance suggested, ‘we’d better be getting along.’
The Hamlin Trio, at the other end of the piazza, suddenly ceased their labours, made a collective bow and disappeared. The 佛山夜生活最热闹的地方 newspaper men still lingered, looking longingly at the bolted window. Mrs. Moreton shook her head.
‘Just leave him alone for a little time,’ she begged. ‘He has got a down on you newspaper gentlemen, and the way they worried him down at New Jersey has pretty well driven him crazy. Don’t try him any more this
morning, if you please,’ she persisted. ‘It’s my belief this little joke he’s played on you kept him out of the hospital.’
The silvery-haired old lady, with her earnest eyes and the little quaver in her tone, triumphed. The little company reluctantly dispersed. Lavendale and Suzanne were on the point of following the others when a head was thrust cautiously out of a window on the second storey of the house.
‘Has the Press of the United States departed?’ Mr. Moreton inquired.
‘They’ve all gone, dear,’ his wife called out soothingly.
‘Then bring the others in to luncheon,’ Mr. Moreton invited.
‘I’ll bring them in right away,’ Mrs. Moreton promised. ‘Say, that’s a good sign, young people,’ she added, turning to them cheerfully. ‘He has hated the sight of company lately, but I did feel real uncomfortable at sending you away
without any offer of hospitality. He has locked this window fast enough,’ she added, trying it, ‘but come right along with me and I’ll show you another way in.’
They followed her along the piazza. Lavendale and Suzanne fell a little way behind. It was their first opportunity.
‘How long have you been here?’ he asked eagerly. ‘What did you come for? Why didn’t you let me know?’
‘I have been in New York four days,’ she told him. ‘I was on the City of Paris. We passed you near Queenstown. As for the rest, I suppose I am here for the same reason that you are. Monsieur Senn, the great electrician, has been working on the same lines as Moreton for years, and he persuaded me to get a letter from the American Ambassador in Paris and come out here. I do not suppose, though, that it is any use. They say that Mr. Moreton is like you—American inventions for the American people.’
‘I’ve wobbled once or twice,’ he reminded her.
‘Of course, there’s always a chance,’ she murmured.
‘Say that you are glad to see me?’ he begged.
She gave his hand a little squeeze. Then Mrs. Moreton turned round with a motherly smile.
‘If you’ll take your cocktail in the smoking-room with Jimmy, Mr. Lavendale,’ she said, ‘I’ll look after Miss de Freyne.’ …
Luncheon was a meal of unexpected simplicity, served by a couple of trim waiting-maids in a magnificent apartment which overlooked the Hudson. Mr. Moreton was in high good-humour over his latest exploit, and they all indulged in speculations as to the nature of the stories which would appear in the evening editions. Underneath his hilarity, however, Lavendale more than once fancied that he noted signs of an immense tension. Sometimes, in the middle of a conversation, the great inventor would break off as though he had lost the thread of what he had been saying, and look uneasily, almost supplicatingly around him until some one supplied him with the context of his speech. Towards the end of the meal, after a brief silence, he turned with curious abruptness towards Lavendale.
‘Say, you’ve come a long way to see nothing, young man,’ he remarked.
‘I have had the pleasure of meeting you, sir,’ Lavendale replied politely, ‘and, after all, I never believed the things they were saying in London.’
‘What were they saying?’ Mr. Moreton demanded brusquely.
‘There was a report there when I left,’ Lavendale answered, ‘that you had learnt at last the secret of handling electricity by wireless, handling it, I mean, in destructive fashion.’
‘Oh! they said that, did they?’ Mr. Moreton observed, smiling to himself.
‘To be absolutely exact,’ Lavendale went on, ‘they said that you had professed to discover it. A great scientific man whom I met only a few days before I left England, however—Sir Hubert Bowden—assured me that mine would be a wasted journey because the thing was impossible.’
A suddenly changed man sat in Mr. Moreton’s place. The unhealthy pallor of his skin was disfigured 佛山夜生活什么价格 by dark red, almost purple patches. His eyes were like glittering beads. He struck the table fiercely with his hairy fist.
‘Bowden is an ass!’ he exclaimed. ‘He is an ignorant numskull, a dabbler, a blind follower in other men’s footsteps. Impossible to me—Moreton?’
‘My dear! My dear!’ his wife murmured anxiously from the other end of the table.
The inventor turned to one of the servants.
‘Telephone to the garage for the car to be here in ten minutes,’ he ordered. ‘I have had my little joke,’ he went on, as the girl left the room. ‘This afternoon we’ll get to business.’
His fury seemed to pass away as suddenly as it had come. He ate and drank nervously but with apparent appetite. As soon as the meal was over he commenced smoking a black cigar, and, excusing himself rather abruptly, left the room.
‘Do you suppose,’ 佛山桑拿按摩论坛网 Lavendale asked his hostess, ‘that he is really going to give us a demonstration?’
‘I don’t know,’ she answered uneasily. ‘I wish I could get him somewhere right away from every one who talks about inventions and electricity. You put his back up, you know, Mr. Lavendale. He was quite all right before you handed him that sort of challenge.’
‘I am sorry,’ Lavendale murmured mendaciously.
In a few minutes they received an urgent summons. They found Mr. Moreton waiting in a large, open car below. He had quite recovered his temper. His face, indeed, shone with the benign expression of a child on its way to a treat.
‘Miss de Freyne and Mr. Lavendale, you can sit by my side,’ he ordered. ‘Jimmy, you get up in front. The man knows where to go.’
They swung round and in a few minutes turned into Central Park. At a spot where the road 佛山桑拿按摩价格 curved rather abruptly, the car came to a standstill. Mr. Moreton stepped out. From his pocket he drew a small skein of what seemed to be white silk, and a tiny instrument with a dial face and perforated with several holes.
‘Hold that,’ he directed Lavendale.
The latter obeyed. Mr. Moreton drew the thread of white silk backwards and forwards through one of the apertures in the instrument, the finger on the dial face mounting all the time from zero. When it reached a certain figure he drew it out, and, stooping down, stretched it across the path from the hedge to the curbstone. Then he glanced up and down and around the corner. The park was almost deserted and there were only a few loungers in sight. From the small bag which he had brought with him in the car, Mr. Moreton next produced a square black box with a handle in the 佛山桑拿按摩论坛0757 side, and a pair of black indiarubber gloves which he hastily donned. Then, with the box in his hand, he turned the handle which protruded from its side. A queer, buzzing little sound came from the interior, a sound which, low though it was, thrilled Lavendale from its utter and mysterious novelty. It was a sound such as he had never imagined, a sound like the grumblings of belittled and imprisoned thunder. The finger on the dial moved slowly. When it had reached a certain point, Mr. Moreton paused. He clasped the machine tightly in his hands. The mutterings still continued, and from a tiny opening underneath came little flashes of blue fire. The inventor stepped into the car, motioning the others to follow him, and gave an order to the driver. They backed to a spot by the side of the road, about a hundred yards away from where 佛山桑拿那里好 the thread of white silk lay stretched across the pavement. Mr. Moreton gripped the instrument in his rubber-clad hand and leaned back in the car, his eyes fixed upon the corner. His expression had become calmer, almost seraphic.
‘We shall see now,’ he promised them, smiling, ‘another land of dance. There is only one thing I should like to point out. The little instrument I hold in my hand now is adjusted to any distance up to two hundred yards. By turning the handle a dozen more times, the distance could be increased to a mile, and more in proportion. The length of my silk-covered wire is immaterial. It could stretch, if desired, from here to Broadway. Now watch.’
They all sat with their eyes fastened upon the corner of the pathway. A slight uneasiness which Lavendale in particular had felt, was almost banished by a thrilling 佛山桑拿那里的技师好 sense of expectancy. Suddenly a portly figure appeared, a policeman whom they had passed soon after entering the park. He approached with his hands behind him, walking in ruminating fashion. Suddenly, as his foot touched the thread, he came to a halt. There was something unnatural in his momentarily statuesque attitude. Then, before their eyes he seemed to stiffen, fell like a log on his right side, with his head in the roadway. His helmet rolled a few feet away. The man remained motionless. Lavendale sprang to his feet but Mr. Moreton pushed him back.
‘That is of no consequence,’ he said softly. ‘Wait for a moment.’