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When the Sleeper Wakes H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

Three Days

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Lincoln awaited Graham in an apartment beneath the flying stages. He seemed curious to learn all that had happened, pleased to hear of the extraordinary delight and interest which Graham took in flying Graham was in a mood of enthusiasm. "I must learn to fly," he cried. "I must master that. I pity all poor souls who have died without this opportunity. The sweet swift air! It is the most wonderful experience in the world."

"You will find our new times full of wonderful experiences," said Lincoln. "I do not know what you will care to do now. We have music that may seem novel."

"For the present," said Graham, "flying holds me. Let me learn more of that. Your aeronaut was saying there is some trades union objection to one's learning."

"There is, I believe," said Lincoln. "But for you--! If you would' like to occupy yourself with that, we can make you a sworn aeronaut tomorrow."

Graham expressed his wishes vividly and talked of his sensations for a while. "And as for affairs," he asked abruptly. "How are things going on? "

Lincoln waved affairs aside. "Ostrog will tell you that tomorrow," he said. "Everything is settling down. The Revolution accomplishes itself all over the world. Friction is inevitable here and there, of course; but your rule is assured. You may rest secure with things in Ostrog's hands."

"Would it be possible for me to be made a sworn aeronaut, as you call it, forthwith--before I sleep?" said Graham, pacing. "Then I could be at it the very first thing tomorrow again.

"It would be possible," said Lincoln thoughtfully. "Quite possible. Indeed, it shall be done." He laughed." I came prepared to suggest amusements, but you have found one for yourself. I will telephone to the aeronautical offices from here and we will return to your apartments in the Wind-Vane Control. By the time you have dined the aeronauts will be able to come. You don't think that after you have dined, you might prefer--?" He paused.

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"Yes," said Graham.

"We had prepared a show of dancers--they have been brought from the Capri theatre."

"I hate ballets," said Graham, shortly. "Always did. That other--. That's not what I want to see. We had dancers in the old days. For the matter of that, they had them in ancient Egypt. But flying--"

" True," said Lincoln. "Though our dancers--"

"They can afford to wait," said Graham; "they can afford to wait. I know. I'm not a Latin. There's questions I want to ask some expert--about your machinery. I'm keen. I want no distractions."

"You have the world to choose from," said Lincoln; " whatever you want is yours."

Asano appeared, and under the escort of a strong guard they returned through the city streets to Graham's apartments. Far larger crowds had assembled to witness his return than his departure had gathered, and the shouts and cheering of these masses of people sometimes drowned Lincoln's answers to the endless questions Graham's aerial journey had suggested. At first Graham had acknowledged the cheering and cries of the crowd by bows and gestures, but Lincoln warned him that such a recognition would be considered incorrect behaviour. Graham, already a little wearied by rhythmic civilities, ignored his subjects for the remainder of his public progress.

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When the Sleeper Wakes
H. G. [Herbert George] Wells

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