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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 4,784 pages of information about Complete Project Gutenberg John Galsworthy Works.
he could render to his country and to all public men.  “Thus,” he thought, “shall I cannonize my tourney, and serve Aurora, who is the dawn of truth and beauty in the world.  I am not yet worthy, however, of this adventure, which will, indeed, be far more arduous and distressing to accomplish than any which I have yet undertaken.  What can I do to brighten and equip my mind and divest it of all those prejudices in which it may unconsciously have become steeped?  If I could leave the earth a short space and commune with the clouds it might be best.  I will go to Hendon and see if someone will take me up for a consideration; for on earth I can no longer be sure of anything.”

And having rounded off his purpose with this lofty design, he went back to bed with his head lighter than a puff-ball.

XVII

ADDRESSES THE CLOUDS

On the morning following his resurrection Mr. Lavender set out very early for the celebrated flying ground without speaking of his intention to anyone.  At the bottom of the hill he found to his annoyance that Blink had divined his purpose and was following.  This, which compelled him to walk, greatly delayed his arrival.  But chance now favoured him, for he found he was expected, and at once conducted to a machine which was about to rise.  A taciturn young man, with a long jaw, and wings on his breast, was standing there gazing at it with an introspective eye.

“Ready, sir?” he said.

“Yes,” replied Mr. Lavender, enveloped to the eyes in a garment of fur and leather.  “Will you kindly hold my dog?” he added, stroking Blink with the feeling that he was parting for ever with all that was most dear to him.

An attendant having taken hold of her by the collar, Mr. Lavender was heaved into the machine, where the young airman was already seated in front of him.

“Shall I feel sick?” asked Mr. Lavender.

“Probably,” said the young airman.

“That will not deter me, for the less material I become the better it will be.”

The young airman turned his head, and Mr. Lavender caught the surprised yellow of his eye.

“Hold on,” said the airman, “I’m going to touch her off.”

Mr. Lavender held on, and the machine moved but at this moment Blink, uttering a dismal howl, leapt forward, and, breaking from the attendant’s grasp, landed in the machine against Mr. Lavender’s chest.

“Stop! stop he cried!” my dog.

“Stuff her down,” said the unmoved airman, “between your legs.  She’s not the first to go up and won’t be the last to come down.”

Mr. Lavender stuffed her down as best he could.  “If we are to be killed,” he thought, “it will be together.  Blink!” The faithful creature, who bitterly regretted her position now that the motion had begun, looked up with a darkened eye at Mr. Lavender, who was stopping his ears against the horrible noises which had now begun.  He too, had become aware of the pit of his stomach; but this sensation soon passed away in the excitement he felt at getting away from the earth, for they were already at the height of a house, and rising rapidly.

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