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of his recitation, he would look up sharply like a bird

time:2023-12-06 16:02:56 author:bird read:521次

In the meantime Backhouse, who almost alone of those assembled had preserved his sangfroid, went straight up to Nightspore, who stood gnawing his nails.

of his recitation, he would look up sharply like a bird

"Perhaps you can explain it, sir?"

of his recitation, he would look up sharply like a bird

"It was supernatural," said Nightspore, in a harsh, muffled voice, turning away from his questioner.

of his recitation, he would look up sharply like a bird

"I guessed so. It is a familiar phenomenon, but I have never heard it so loud."

He then went among the guests, reassuring them. By degrees they settled down, but it was observable that their former easy and good - humoured interest in the proceedings was now changed to strained watchfulness. Maskull and Nightspore took the places allotted to them. Mrs. Trent kept stealing uneasy glances at them. Throughout the entire incident, Mozart's hymn continued to be played. The orchestra also had heard nothing.

Backhouse now entered on his task. It was one that began to be familiar to him, and he had no anxiety about the result. It was not possible to effect the materialisation by mere concentration of will, or the exercise of any faculty; otherwise many people could have done what he had engaged himself to do. His nature was phenomenal - the dividing wall between himself and the spiritual world was broken in many places. Through the gaps in his mind the inhabitants of the invisible, when he summoned them, passed for a moment timidly and awfully into the solid, coloured universe.... He could not say how it was brought about.... The experience was a rough one for the body, and many such struggles would lead to insanity and early death. That is why Backhouse was stern and abrupt in his manner. The coarse, clumsy suspicion of some of the witnesses, the frivolous aestheticism of others, were equally obnoxious to his grim, bursting heart; but he was obliged to live, and, to pay his way, must put up with these impertinences.

He sat down facing the wooden couch. His eyes remained open but seemed to look inward. His cheeks paled, and he became noticeably thinner. The spectators almost forgot to breathe. The more sensitive among them began to feel, or imagine, strange presences all around them. Maskull's eyes glittered with anticipation, and his brows went up and down, but Nightspore appeared bored.

After a long ten minutes the pedestal of the statue was seen to become slightly blurred, as though an intervening mist were rising from the ground. This slowly developed into a visible cloud, coiling hither and thither, and constantly changing shape. The professor half rose, and held his glasses with one hand further forward on the bridge of his nose.


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