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      We jogged on to Louvain at a rate of not quite three miles an hour. Here and there we had to wait a half or a whole hour to let trains from Brussels pass. The reason why the train went so slowly was because a week before a Belgian patrol had daringly broken through the outposts and destroyed the railway near Lovenjool. That village was then burned down completely and the vicar made a prisoner."In Cherath she saved the life of a good many. As it was alleged that there had been shooting, the priest, the chaplain, a retired priest, eighty years old, the mayor, and several leading citizens were condemned to be shot. None, not even the priest, was able to defend himself, as they knew not a word of German, and could not make themselves understood. Mrs. de Villers, who speaks German fluently, explained that the spot where the shooting was alleged to have taken place was not part of Cherath at all.

      Very large divisions marched from Vis to the pontoon bridge in the direction of Tongres. After the Lige forts had been taken the bridge might be passed in perfect safety. All day long troops came along that road without interruption. I could quite see that the soldiers who were at Vis the previous day, and brought about the conflagration, were gone, for they had left their traces behind. All along the road lay parts of bicycles, shoes, instruments, toys, and so on, everything new77 and evidently looted from the shops. Very valuable things were among them, everything crushed and smashed by the cavalry horses, the clumsy munition and forage waggons, or the heavy wheels of the guns."I owe you a deep apology," the Countess whispered, as she held Bruce's hand. "I was exceedingly rude to you the other night. I ought to have waited for your ice, and more especially, I ought to have waited to congratulate you. I am very glad for Hetty's sake. She is a good girl, and I shall miss her."

      Fitting processes, being the final ones in constructing machinery, are more nearly in connection with its use and application; they consist in the organisation or bringing together the results of other processes carried on in the draughting room, pattern shop, foundry, and smith shop.

      XLIX A CRUEL BOOK AND A FOOL OR TWOThe main point in hardening and the most that can be done to avoid irregular contraction, is to apply the bath so that it will act first and strongest on the thickest parts. If a piece is tapering or in the form of a wedge, the thick end should enter the bath first; a cold chisel for instance that is wide enough to endanger cracking should be put into the bath with the head [116] downward.

      And then, when that change had been wrought, that physical reconstruction, what else might follow in its train? The Truth at last, an end to all suffering and pain, a solution[Pg 113] of the problems of civilisation, such as overpopulation and land distribution, the beginning of human sovereignty in the universe.If private society exercised a demoralising influence on its most gifted members, and in turn suffered a still further debasement by listening to their opinions, the same fatal interchange of corruption went on still more actively in public life, so far, at least, as Athenian democracy was concerned. The people would tolerate no statesman who did not pamper199 their appetites; and the statesmen, for their own ambitious purposes, attended solely to the material wants of the people, entirely neglecting their spiritual interests. In this respect, Pericles, the most admired of all, had been the chief of sinners; for he was the first who gave the people pay and made them idle and cowardly, and encouraged them in the love of talk and of money. Accordingly, a righteous retribution overtook him, for at the very end of his life they convicted him of theft, and almost put him to death. So it had been with the other boasted leaders, Miltiades, Themistocles, and Cimon; all suffered from what is falsely called the ingratitude of the people. Like injudicious keepers, they had made the animal committed to their charge fiercer instead of gentler, until its savage propensities were turned against themselves. Or, changing the comparison, they were like purveyors of luxury, who fed the State on a diet to which its present ulcerated and swollen condition was due. They had filled the city full of harbours, and docks, and walls, and revenues and all that, and had left no room for justice and temperance. One only among the elder statesmen, Aristeides, is excepted from this sweeping condemnation, and, similarly, Socrates is declared to have been the only true statesman of his time.127

      "I'm afraid your explanation won't hold water," he rejoined. "I can't bring myself not to believe in what I saw. You see, all my life I have been trying to believe in miracles, in manifestations. I have always said that if only we could bring ourselves to accept what is not obvious. My best sermons have been upon[Pg 129] that subject: of the desirability of getting ourselves into the receptive state. Sometimes the Vicar has objected. He seemed to think I was piling it on deliberately. But I assure you, Doctor Allingham, that I have always wanted to believeand, in this case, it was only my infirmity and my unfortunate nervousness that led me to lose such an opportunity."


      Balmayne slunk by the side of his companion. He longed to cry aloud that here was a man who had escaped from gaol, to have him bound hand and foot, and to feel that he was out of the way for the present. He wanted to go to the nearest policeman and tell him all this.


      "You're so pretty," he whispered. "You're so very beautiful.""Just a moment," Leona said eagerly. "Suppose I deny that. How are you going to prove that I did so?"