But you are brewing a gas here!” said Mr. Parham.It is a gas a dangerous gas. What is itIt takes some brewing. If a crack in that retort let in the air well, somewhere else this thing would have to begin over again. Here it would be finished. This stuff you see here is only a stage in a long string of processes. Before our product is ready to use there have to be corrosive and destructive phases. It is unavoidable that there should be these phases of corrosion and destruction. What is adventure if it has no danger? But when we have done, the gas we shall have here will not be a poison gas at all. Instead we shall have a vapour to enter into blood and nerve and brain and clean the mind of man as it has never been cleaned before. It will allow his brain, so clogged and stifled still by old rubbish, so poisoned and cramped and crippled, to free itself from all that holds it back now from apprehending and willing to the utmost limits of its possibility. And that points to a new world quite different from the world to which your mind is adapted. A world beyond your dreaming. You don’t begin to imagine yet a tithe of the things a liberated human brain can do. All your poor old values will be mislaid and forgotten. Your kingdoms and empires, your morals and rights, all you find so lovely and splendid, the heroism and sacrifices of battlefields, your dreams of lordship, every romantic thing, the devotion of servants, the subjugation of women, and the deception of children all the complex rigmaroles of your old world will be washed out of men’s thoughts. We are brewing a new morality here and a new temerity. Instead of distrusting each other, killing each other, competing with and enslaving and consuming one another, we go on to a world of equals, working together under the guidance of realized fact, for ends too high for your imagination. . . But this is the voice of Satan himself,” interrupted Mr. Parham.This air max 1 is the Sin of Pride defying Heaven. This is Babel come again No,” said Camelford, and it seemed to Mr. Parham that he began to grow larger and tower over his hearers.It is the way of escape from our narrow selves. Forward to the new. Cling to this traditionalism of yours a little longer, cling still to what YOU call history, with all these new powers and possibilities we are pressing into your hands and there can be only one end Catastrophe The word Catastrophe reverberated in Mr. Parham’s mind. Then his attention was caught and riveted on Gerson’s attitude. The General’s one serviceable eye, dilated and intent, was fixed on Camelford, his lips were pressed together, his bulldog face was set in an expression of stern indignation. A deep Indian red had invaded his complexion. He was rigid except that his right arm was moving very slowly. His hand gripped the butt of his revolver and was tightening upon it and drawing it out. A strange conflict prevailed in Mr. Parham’s mind. He found this talk of Camelford’s antagonistic and hateful but he did not want to interrupt it, he wanted to hear the man out; above all, he did not want to have the talk interrupted by Gerson in Gerson’s fashion. And besides, what was Gerson doing here? He had not been asked to this party. But was it a party? This was not a dinner party. It was a séance. But no! What was it? Where were we? Cayme? Within the now frightfully confused soul of Mr. Parham intellectuality grappled with reaction. Not yet, at any rate, must things come to this. He made a weak movement of his hand as if in restraint of Gerson’s intention. Instantly Gerson had whipped out his weapon.Stand off,” he said in an aside to Parham, and then to CamelfordHands up!” Camelford did not seem to realize his danger.Put that old thing up,” he said.Give it to me. You’ll break something He came, hand out, towards GersonKeep back!” said Gerson.I’ll show you if this sort of thing is over. It’s only beginning. I’m the real Lord Paramount. Force and straight shooting. Do you think I care a damn for your gas or you? Catastrophe! A fig for your old catastrophe! Which is always coming and never comes. Hands up, I tell you. Put up your hands, you damned fool! STOP!” He fired. Then very swiftly the blue steel barrel under Mr. Parham’s nose sought Sir Bussy. Vainly. Gerson’s shot hit the metal door that closed upon that elusive being. Mr. Parham felt an instant pang of exasperation with both these uncontrollable spirits. He still wanted Camelford to go on. His air max 90 mind flashed back to Camelford. But Camelford was staggering with his hand on his throat. Then it was catastrophe, as Camelford had said. A crash and a splintering of glass. Camelford had fallen through the great glass retort, carrying down a transparent shattering triangle, had splashed into the liquid and now lay far below, moving convulsively on the curve of the nether glass. For a moment the air about them was full of ascendant streamers of vapour made visible as they changed to green and mingled with the air. They eddied and whirled. They spun faster and faster. Gerson had turned his weapon upon Parham.You too! YOU to talk of war! With the wits of a prig and the guts of a parasite! Get out of my world!” The vituperating mouth hung open arrested. No shot came. But now everything was moving very swiftly. One last flash of frantic perception closed the story. The rotunda yawned open as though some mighty hand had wrenched it in two, and through the separating halves of the roof appeared the warm glow of sunrise. A universe of sound pressed upon and burst the drums of Mr. Parham’s ears. An immense explosion which seemed to have been going on for some moments caught him and lifted him backward and upward at an incredible speed, and Gerson, suddenly flat and bloody, flashed by, seemed to be drawn out longer and longer until he was only a thread of scarlet and khaki, and so vanished slanting up the sky, with his revolver spinning preposterously after him. Part 5 Chapter 8 The world and all things in it vanished in a flash of blinding light. The wordextinction” sang like a flying spark through the disintegrating brain of Mr. Parham. Darkness should have swallowed up that flying spark, but instead it gave place to other sparks, brighter and larger.Another life or extinction? Another life or extinction?” With a sort of amazement Mr. Parham realized that experience was not at an end for him. He was still something, something that felt and thought. And he was somewhere. Heaven or hell? Heaven or hell? It must be hell, he thought, surely, for it was pervaded by the voice of Sir Titus Knowles, if one could call that harsh, vindictive snarling sound a voice. The very voice of Gerson. Hell and in the company of Sir Titus! But surely hell would be something fuliginous, and this was a clear white blaze. The words of Sir Titus became distinct.GOT you!” he bawled.GOT you! There’s the ectoplasm! There’s the mighty visitant’s face! Painted bladder, as I said. Clever chap, but I’ve got you. Sham dead if you like for as long as you like, but I tell you the game is up It was the upstairs room in Carfex House, and Carnac Williams was lying cheap nike air max 90 in a dishevelled heap upon the floor. Hereward Jackson was holding back Knowles, who was straining out his leg to kick the motionless body. Mr. Parham staggered up from his armchair and found Sir Bussy doing likewise. Sir Bussy had the flushed face of one roused suddenly from sleep.What the devil?” he demandedI don’t understand,” said Mr. ParhamExposure!” panted Sir Titus triumphantly and tried another kickA foul exposure, anyhow,” said Hereward Jackson and pushed him back from his exhausted victim.Spare the poor devil!” Le’ go!” cried Sir Titus — A manservant had appeared and was respectfully intervening between Sir Titus and Hereward Jackson. Another came to the assistance of Carnac Williams. A tremendous wrangle began. . . Gaw!” said Sir Bussy when it was all over. Part 5 Chapter 9 I’m going to walk up to Claridge’s,” said Sir BussyThis affair has left me stuffy. You go that wayAs far as Pontingale Street, yes Come on to Claridge’s. My nieces are having a great dance there. That ectoplasm fairly turned me sick. I’ve done with this spook business for good and all I always wanted to keep out of it,” said Mr. Parham. The two men set out side by side, and for a time each pursued his own thoughts. Sir Bussy’s led him apparently to some conclusion, for suddenly he saidGaw”as if he tapped a nail on the headParham, were you awake all through that séanceNo. I was bored. I fell asleep I fell asleep Sir Bussy reflected.These séances make you sleep and dream. That’s the trick of them Mr. Parham looked at his companion, startled. Had he too dreamt? And what had he dreamt? I dreamt about the things those fellows, Camelford and Hamp, were saying the other night Curious!” said Mr. Parham, but he felt the thing was much more curious than his voice betrayed. What if they had had the same dream? I seemed to see their arguments in a sort of realized kind of way How poor the man’s powers of expression! You and I were on opposite sides,” he added.Daggers drawn I hope not There was a war. Gaw! I can’t tell you. Such a war! It was like trying to plug a burst steam pipe Sir Bussy left his hearer to imagine what that meant. And Mr. Parham was able to imagineI cornered the chemicals,” said Sir Bussy.I and Camelford. We kind of held it up. We did our best. But at last the natural lunacy in things got loose and everything seemed to blow to pieces. There was a nasty little toad of a sojer. BANG!” That was the waking upThat was the waking up Then Sir Bussy went off at a tangent.We rich men I mean we big business people we’ve been backing the wrong horse. We’ve been afraid of Bogey Bolshevik and all the new things, and damn it! it’s the OLD things that mean to bust nike air max 90 vt up affairs. We’re new things ourselves. What did J. C. say? No good putting new wine in old bottles. The world’s rising and splashing over. The old notions and boundaries won’t hold it. I wish I could describe my dream to you. Extraordinary it was. And you were in it somehow all through. And Camelford. Hamp was American ambassador. Crazy, it was. . . Now this was getting more and more remarkable. But no it was not the same dream similar, perhaps. It was impossible that it could have been the same. A dream, as everyone knows, can happen with incredible rapidity. It may all have happened in a second. The sounds of Sir Titus Knowles turning on lights and bumping about with the medium and snarling at him had no doubt provided the gunfire and flashes and evoked warlike images in both their awakening minds. And the rest had arisen from what lay ready in their antagonistic attitudes. Sir Bussy went on with conviction:If we don’t see to it, these Old Institutions of yours and all that these old things that ought to be cleaned up and put away now will upset the whole human apple cart like some crazy old granny murdering a child. Foreign offices, war offices, sovereignty, and clutter like that. Bloody clutter. Bloodstained clutter. All that I got as clear as day. They can’t hold things any longer. They’ve got to be superannuated, shoved away in the attic. I didn’t realize. We’ve got to do something about it soon. Damn soon. Before another smash. We new people. We’ve just floated about getting rich and doing nothing about it. Buying and selling and amalgamating and monopolizing isn’t enough. The worst thing in life is to have power and not use it to the full. There wasn’t a thing in my nightmare that might not happen Mr. Parham waited for what might come next. It was extraordinary, this parallelism, but still his reason insisted they could not have had the same identical dreamWas there,” he saidby any chance, a sort of Lord Lord Protector in your dreamNo,” said Sir Bussy.There was just a damned pigheaded patriotic imperial government and a war. Come to think of it, there was something a sort of dictatorship. They put Labour out of business. I thought the chap was Amery. A sort of lofty Amery. Amery drawn out elegant if you understand me. He didn’t amount to much. What mattered was the ideas behind him And where did I come in?” There was a catch in Mr. Parham’s breathYou were on the side of the government and we argued. You were for the war. In this dream I seemed always to be meeting you and arguing. It made it very real. You were some sort of official. We kept on arguing. Even when the bombs were bursting and they tried to shoot me Mr. Parham was to a certain extent relieved. Not completely but sufficiently. There had been a dream, evidently, a similar dream; a clearly similar dream. It is a distinctive feature of the séance condition that people should have similar dreams; but his dream and Sir Bussy’s had not been the same dream. Not exactly the same dream. They had visualized the expectation of a possible war that haunted both their minds, but each in his own fashion each with his own distinctive personal reference. That was it. The brief and tragic (and possibly slightly absurd) reign of Mr. Parham as Lord Paramount could be locked forever in his own breast. But what was Sir Bussy saying?  
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