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9. The Last Days Of Sir Richmond Hardy H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

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Suddenly the doctor found himself in his own dreams. His anxiety to plead for his friend had brought him in. He too had become a little painted figure and he was bearing a book in his hand. He wanted to show that the laws of the new world could not be the same as those of the old, and the book he was bringing as evidence was his own Psychology of a New Age.

The clear thought of that book broke up his dream by releasing a train of waking troubles. . . . You have been six months on Chapter Ten; will it ever be ready for Osiris? . . . will it ever be ready for print? . . .

Dream and waking thoughts were mingled like sky and cloud upon a windy day in April. Suddenly he saw again that lonely figure on the narrow way with darknesses above and darknesses below and darknesses on every hand. But this time it was not Sir Richmond. . . . Who was it? Surely it was Everyman. Everyman had to travel at last along that selfsame road, leaving love, leaving every task and every desire. But was it Everyman? . . . A great fear and horror came upon the doctor. That little figure was himself! And the book which was his particular task in life was still undone. He himself stood in his turn upon that lonely path with the engulfing darknesses about him. . . .

He seemed to wrench himself awake.

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He lay very still for some moments and then he sat up in bed. An overwhelming conviction had arisen--in his mind that Sir Richmond was dead. He felt he must know for certain. He switched on his electric light, mutely interrogated his round face reflected in the looking glass, got out of bed, shuffled on his slippers and went along the passage to the telephone. He hesitated for some seconds and then lifted the receiver. It was his call which aroused the nurse to the fact of Sir Richmond's death.

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The Secret Places of the Heart
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

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