- Software name: appdown
- Software type: Microsoft Framwork
- size: 452MB
"But in the present case," said Doctor Bronson, "it is all right, as your father privately gave me the money to buy the articles your sister wants. So you can go ahead and get them without any fear that you will trench on the amount you have for your personal expenses."
"It's a praying-machine; I read about it the other day in a book on Japan."
[Pg 29]"It is very good of you to say so," Bruce murmured feebly.
"Dr. Bronson says he tried to smoke opium the first time he was in China, but it made him very ill, and he did not get through with a single pipe. Some Europeans have learned to like it, and have lost their senses in consequence of giving way to the temptation. It is said to be the most seductive thing in the world, and some who have tried it once say it was so delightful that they would not risk a second time, for fear the habit would be so fixed that they could not shake it off. It is said that when a Chinese has tried it for ten or fifteen days in succession he cannot recover, or but very rarely does so. The effects are worse than those of intoxicating liquors, as they speedily render a man incapable of any kind of business, even when he is temporarily free from the influence of the drug. The habit is an expensive one, as the cost of opium is very great in consequence of the taxes and the high profits to those who deal in it. In a short time a man finds that all his earnings go for opium, and even when he is comfortably[Pg 326] well off he will make a serious inroad on his property by his indulgence in the vice. A gentleman who has lived long in China, and studied the effects of opium on the people, says as follows:"Precisely," said Gregg, who was beginning to grow impatient with the other's manner, "and since the facts have revealed themselves, what is the use of trying to evade them? Here we have a Clockwork man, a creature entirely without precedent, for there is no record of his having existed in the past, and so far as we know there has been no successful attempt to create such a being in our own times. Everything favours my original hypothesis; that he has in some way, and probably through some fault in the mechanism that controls him, lapsed into these earlier years of human existence. That seems to me feasible. If man has indeed conquered time and space, then the slightest irregularity in this new functioning principle would result in a catastrophe such as we must suppose has happened to the Clockwork man. It is more than probable that a slight adjustment would result in his speedy return to conditions more proper to his true state."