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|The Last Days Of Marcus Karenin||H. G. [Herbert George] Wells|
|Page 2 of 2||
The first man to greet Karenin was Ciana, the scientific director of the institution. Beside him was Rachel Borken, the chief organiser. 'You are tired?' she asked, and old Karenin shook his head.
'Cramped,' he said. 'I have wanted to visit such a place as this.'
He spoke as if he had no other business with them.
There was a little pause.
'How many scientific people have you got here now?' he asked.
'Just three hundred and ninety-two,' said Rachel Borken.
'And the patients and attendants and so on?'
'Two thousand and thirty.'
'I shall be a patient,' said Karenin. 'I shall have to be a patient. But I should like to see things first. Presently I will be a patient.'
'You will come to my rooms?' suggested Ciana.
'And then I must talk to this doctor of yours,' said Karenin. 'But I would like to see a bit of this place and talk to some of your people before it comes to that.'
He winced and moved forward.
'I have left most of my work in order,' he said.
'You have been working hard up to now?' asked Rachel Borken.
'Yes. And now I have nothing more to do--and it seems strange.... And it's a bother, this illness and having to come down to oneself. This doorway and the row of windows is well done; the gray granite and just the line of gold, and then those mountains beyond through that arch. It's very well done....'
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|The World Set Free
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells
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