HE who has not left something sad behind him, and rewoke in the 
sunshine to feel the golden elixir Gf health and happiness moving in his 
veius anew, may take it that he has at least one pleasure yet unspent.

I opened my eyes the next morning in as sweet a frame of conte~ltment; 
any one COUlLI wish for. They had put me to ~sleep in B ChallZbOr in 
that same wing of the rearward buil;ling where slept FlizabetZil and her 
father; thus when I roused, the yellow stm was poLIring in at my lattice, 
rich with sweet conutry scents, and the April air was swa~iiZg the white 
curtains, hung by dainty feu,Zale hands across the diamot~d panes, with 
youth and sweetness in every breath. I lay and basl;ed in it, and lazily 
wondered what all th,s chal~ging fortnue might mean. Where had I got 
to? Who was I? I turned about and stared upon the smooth white walls of 
the little room, patterned and tinseled with the d.Zncing sunshine from 
outside; then gazerl at the great carved columns of my fourpost bedstead, 
then to the head, where, in a wide, wooden field, were blazoned old 
Faulkener's arms and coguizance. I turned


to all the chairs, dusted so clean and set back true and straight, to the ewer 
and the basin, full of limpid tvater from the well that caught the morning 
shine and threw a da~lcing constellatiOI1 of speckiod light upon the 
ceilingj I wondered even at the bare floor, scrublJi d until there was uo 
spot uporl it, and the suowy furTaiture of my couch, and those downy 
pillows upon~ which I preserltly sunk back in 1UXUriOus ;mOlOnCO.

Wras I indeed that rune, rough captaiu of a grizzled cohort, w~th sinews 
of steel and frame impervious to the~ soft touch of pleasure, who only 
yesterdayT had burst through all the glittering phalanses or France, and 
cut a way with that arm that lay supiTIe ul~o~l the coverlet right down 
through the thickets of their spears to whoie the white (e'~r-cle-lis fiashed 
in their midmost sbelter? ('ould I be that same wanderer who, down the 
devious wavs of chance, nad tried a thousand ventuTes, and slept i~l 
palaces a.'Id ditches, and drank from the same cup with kings an.l the 
same trougll-with outlaws? I laughed and stretched, and presently ga~e 
over speculating, and rose.

I washed and dress`3d, and went to the lattice and looked forth. It was as 
sweet a morniTIg as 370U could wish for. The tepid sunshine spread over 
everything, fleecy clouns were floating overhead upon the softest of 
winds, the sweet new-varnished Icaves were glittering in the dew upou 
every bush, the small birds singing far and uear, the kine lowing as they 
went to grass, the distant co~k crowed prounly from his vantagepoint 
among the straw, and everyThing seemed fair, fresh, and h~ll~py ul th~t 
bu~ldlTlg seaso,l.

I had not been luxTariating in the sweet leisure many minntes, when by 
beIow came Mistress Bess, with checks like roses, and kcrc.llief whiter 
than snow, and browu, unstrauned hair that 1ifted on the breeze -- a very 
fair ViSiOI indeed. That maid tripped across the grass and dowu the 
cobble-stoues, rattling the Shilly milk-paT1 she U'QS carrvmg u~ltil she 
caught a sight of me, and stopped below my window. Then, saucy, she 
begarl: " now looks the world from there, sir? A littls tco young and chilly 
for your tenderness? Get back abed; it will presently be June, a~id then, 
no doubt, more nicely suited to vour valor's mind."

"Nay, but, lady," I explained,, "I was enjoying the morning air, and just 
coming to seek you --"

"That were a thousand pitiis," she laughed; "the sun has not yet been up 
more than some poor hour or two, and the world is not yet nicely 
wamed. You might have a chill, and that were much to be deplored; 
besides, a silken suit is rarely needed where work has to be done. Back to 
thy nest, Sir


Prentice. Back to thy nest, and I'll send old SIargery to tuck thee snugly 
up!" And the young girl, laughing like a brook in spring-time, went on 
and left me there discomfi~:ed.

Nevertheless, I went down and took the plain but whole~ some breakfast 
that they offared me, and afterward whiled away an hour or so npon the 
bench in wondering silently what all this meant, where it was drifting to, 
how it would end, whether it were, indeed, ending or beginning? And 
then came round the girl again, and, railblg me on my melan~ choly, took 
me out to see the herds and fields, and was all the tin~ so sweetly insolent, 
after her nature, and yet so velvet soft, that I was fairly gla noured by her.

This maid, with the quick woman tongue that was so pointed, and could 
at need hurt so much, and the blue, speaking ey7es that were as tender 
and straightforward as her speech was full of covert thorns, led me out 
into the orchards. First she~tooli me to where the milk was stored, a 
roomy open shed, smelling of cool cleanliness, with white benches down 
the sides and red-flagged floor, and great open pans of crimson ware full 
of frothy milk. Outside the low straw eaves the swallows were chattering, 
while the emerald meadows, through the further door-way, glistened and 
gleamed in the bright spring sunshille. Here we discovered two comltry 
girls at work making curds and eheese and butter; rundy, buxom damels, 
with strong round aruns bare to the shoulder, with rattling clogs npOII 
their feet, white gOWIIS tucked up, and kerchiefs on their heads. These 
conrtesied as we entered, and rattled the pans about, and sent the strong 
streams of warm, new milk gushing from pail to pan. And then presently, 
when I had watched a tinie their busy labor? nothing would suit Mistress 
Faulliener but I should try. That saucy, laughing girl would have it so; and, 
glancing at the delighted milLmaids, dragged me to a churn, there bidding 
me roll a sleeve to the elbow, and take the long handle thus and thus, and 
" put my strength into it," and show I could do something to earn a 
luncheon. And I, ever strong and willing, did her bidding, and rolled back 
my silk and lawn, and bared the thews that had made me dreadful and 
victorious in a thousand connbats, and seized that white straight rod. nut 
Hoth! 'twas not my trade; I had more strength than art, and the first 
stroke that I made upon the curdling stuff within the white fluid leaped in 
a glittering fountain to the roof above and drenched the screaming 
maidens; the second stroke from my stalwart shoulders started two iron 
hoops binding the strong ash ribs of that churrl and made it swirl upon 
the tiles, while at the third mighty fal! the


rammer was sh~vered to the grasp, and the milk escaped and went in 
twenty meandering rivulets across the floor. At this uprose those fair 
confederates and drove me forth with boisterous anger, saying I had 
wasted more value in good milk than most likely in all my life so far had 

While they put right my amiss I sat upon a mossy wall and wiped dry my 
hosh and doublet. ~or was there long to sit before out came my comely 
hostess with forgiveness in her smiling eyes. "Did I now seo," she queried, 
"how presumptuous it was to meddle with such things as were beyoun 
one's capacity?"

To which I answered that I truly saw. "And did I crave forgiveness -- 
would I maLe amends?" And to that I said she had but to try me in some 
venture where my rough, unruly strength might tell, and she should see. 
So peace was made between us, and on we went again to note how the 
crimson buns were setting on the sunny, red garden walls; to explore her 
sloping orchards, and count the frolic lambs that clustered round the 
distant folds.

It was her kingdom, and here her knowledge bettered mine. This she 
soon found out; and when I showed at fault in the stratagems of 
husbandry, or tripped in politics of herds or fiocks, she would glance at 
me through her half-shut lids, and demurely ask: ~

"Are you of good learning, friend?"

And to that I answered that " I had so much as might be picked np in a 
reasonably long life -- not scholarly or well polished, but sufficient and 
readily accessible."

"I am glad of it," she said; " then you can tell the difference between a 
codling and a pippin?"

"Nay, I fear I can not."

"Oh! Nol why one hen will lay white eggs and another brown?"

"Sweet maid, my wonder never went as far as that."

"I do greatly doubt you and your wonder. What would you do if butter 
would not come upon the churn mil6?"

"Faith! I would leave it as not worth asking for -- a poor, white, laggard 
stu~ no man should meddle with."

"Heigho! and what is rosemary good for, and what rue?"

 By Heaven I do not know!"

"How soon mayst wean a February lamb, and what wouldst thou wean it 

"Hoth! I can not tell."

"Nor when to cut meadow-grass or make ketchup? Nor


how to cure bee-stings or where to lool; for saffron? Nor when to plant 
green barley or pull rushes for winter caunles?'

"Not cne of these; but il: yon would show me, such a tutor, such a pupil 
never would have had -- "

Whereon the lady burst Ot1t 1aughing. "Oh," she said, "you are shall0w 
and ignorant past alL COIlCi ption and precedent. Why, the rosiest urchiu 
that ever went afield upon a plow-horse has better stocl~ of learning! I' 
f~dlll, I shs~ll have to put vou to scilool at the very beginuing"'

I let the fair maid mock, for her gentle raillery was all upon her lips, and in 
her eyes was dawning a light it moved me much to see. we wandered 
away throLZgh pleasant copses, where the yellow catkins and the red 
were 0llt 1ipon the hazels, and late ivory blackthoru buns, like webs of 
pearls, w ere overhung UpOll those ebony-fingered bustles, and fair pale 
primroses shone in sturry carpets 1meler the fresh green callopy of the 
new-tented woods. And my fair Bess knew where the mavis built; and 
when I began to speak warm and close intO her ear, she woulfl turn away 
her head and laugh, and, to change the matter, play traitor to the little 
birds and pOint their mossy home, and mal~e me stoop and peer under 
the leaves, anil in pretty excitement -- "but was it all abscht-mintledly? -- 
would lay a hand upon my own and be cheek to cheek ~ith me for a 
moment, and then, with coulltry pleasure, take the sapphire shells of 
future woodland singers in her rosy palm, and count and COll the1n, aned 
post me in the lore of spots and specks and hues and colors, and all the 
fair, incomprehensible alchemy of nature; then put those tender things 
back, and lead (n again to more.

Pleasaut is the sunshine in such circumstances. Fair Elizabeth knew all the 
flowers by name. She knew where the gorgeous celandine, like bright-
blazoned heralds of the spring, was flashing down by the strearr1 that rau 
sparkling through the woods; the undel-glow upon the frail anemolle was 
not fairer than her EnglislZ ski~1 as she did bind a bunch into her bosom-
knot. She could tell the reasons of affluity 'tween cackoo-pint and cackoo, 
and how it was that orchid leaves came spotted, and the virtue of the 
blue-eyed pimpernels, and why the gently rasping tougnes of the great 
meadow kine for swore the uodding clumps of buttercup. And she hked 
cowslips and made me pick them -- ah! swarthy, strong, and sadeyed me 
~me, with the wild alarms of battle still ringing in the ambient country air 
-- me, to whose eyes the fleecy clouns, even as she babbled, were full of 
pictures of purple ambition, of red r'`elee, of the swcol)ing yellow war-
dust that callopies


contending hosts -- me, who heard on every sigh of the valle~, wind the 
shouting of princes and paladins, the fierce deep cry of captains, and the 
struggling cheer that breaks from swiT~ging ranks fast locked in deadly 
connict as the foemen give.

But nothing she knew of that, and would lead from cowslip banks back to 
coppice, and from coppice path to orchard, and there, mayhap, in the eye 
of the suTn, secure from interrllption we would sit -- she meetly throned 
upon the great stem oL a fahen  apple-tree, whese rind was tapestried 
botimes tor that dear couutry sovereign by green moss and tissued goid 
and silver lichens, and overhead the leaves, and at her feet the velvet 
cushions of the turf, and me a solitary courtier there.

A very pleasant WOOing; and if you call me iicl~le, why should I argue it? 
Think of the vast years that lapsed bctween my lovings; think how 
solitary was the lovely lordess world I was born into anew each time; 
think }1OW I longed to light it with the comradeship that shines in dear 
eyes and hearts, how I thirsted to prejunice some sweet stranger to my 
favor against all others, and claim again Tki~lship of passion for a 
moment with one, at least, of those dear, fickle, mocking shadows that 
glanced through this fitful dream of mine!

Besides, I was young -- only son1e trivial fiiteen hundred years or so had 
golle byT since they first swaddled me and dried my mother's tears; my 
limbs were full and round, my blood beat thick and fast, youth and soldier 
sl~irit shone in my nndimmed eyes; not a strand of silver glarlced ir~ that 
board I peaked so carefully; and if my mind was full of ancient faucie~ah! 
crowded with the dust and glitter of by-gone ages fuller than yonder old 
fellow's strange musenm -- whv, my heart was fresh. Jove! I thUlk it was 
as yonng as it had ever been; and that maid was fair and rosy, anc1 l~ind 
and tender. All in the glow of her hat-brin1 her faee shone like the ripe 
side of a peach; her smooth hands hnng down convenient to my touch, 
and her head, crowned wim its sweet crown of sunlit hair, was ever bent 
indlligent to catch my courtier whispers. What! I aTgued, shall the ri`>er 
play `sith no more blossoms because last year its envious fing~~rs shook 
some petals down into its depth? Must the lonely nill forever frown in 
solitune and put on the white mist's clinging arms, because, forsooth, 
some other earlier oloun once harbored on its rugged bosom? 'Twas 
miserly and monstrous, said my youthfulness. So, nothing forgetting and 
nothing diminishing of those memories that I had, I plunged into the new.

And that kind country girl played lE'hvhis to my new-tried Corydon as 
prettily as any one could wish. I will not weary


you with all we did or said -- the murmur of a summer brook is only 
good to gO to sleep by; but picture us immersed in solitaly conclave, or 
wandering abotlt in the sweet gredl math of April meadows, and iincling 
the long days some six hours all too short to say the nothing iilat vre had 
to. Suppose this written, and I turn to other scenes which, perhaps, shall 
amuse you better.

It by no means followed that becanse Mistress hlizabeth proved so 
charming, her father was neglected. That old fellow had taken nle for his 
hellier, had fed and harbored me, and something seemed o~.ving him in 
return. His huge and bthky engine was growing apace; indeed, it was just 
upon the fihishing. It was that my strollg arms might secolJd hin1 in some 
final parts he ,had bro~'ght me hither, and, being by nature sonZething of 
a smith, I helped him rea~lily.

Each day was spent in the sunshine and flowers; then, when evening came 
and my fair playmate was gone to bed, I descended into old I'aulkener's 
cryE~t, and, adding o~le more character to the many already phlved, 
turlled Vulcau. I:lard and long we worked. Had you looked upon us, you 
would have seen, by the ~ZIIen furnace ~low, two men, bare-amed and 
leather-aprolled, toiling in that black gallery until the sweat ran trickling 
from them; forging, riveting, and hammering bars of iron, pIying the 
creaking bellows until the white heart of the ~Zre-heap was whiter than a 
glow-worm lamp; hurrying here and there about that glistening 
mountain of cunning-fashioned steel that they were building; filling their 
grimy den with flying dust and smoke and sparks; and thus working on 
and on through the long midnight hours as though their very lives 
depended on it, until the black curtain of the nigilt outside fadied to pallid 
blue, and the chirrup of the homing bats coming to sleep upon the rafters 
sounded pleasantlv; and the furnace gave out, and tired muscles ilagged, 
and the night's work was over with the night.

lvening after evening we toiled upon the iron giant that was to do such 
wondrous things, old Faulkener directing, and I supplying with my thews 
and sinews the help he needed. Then one day it was finished -- finished in 
every point and part -- complete, gigantic, wonderful. I do confess 
sontething of the old man's spirit entered into me what1 our Nvork was 
thus accomplished. I stood minute by minute before it overcome with an 
awe and wonder inexplicable. And if the prentice felt like that, the master 
was mad with expectation and delight.


Nothing now would do but he must try it, and the next night we did so. 
We sent the household early to their rest, and, as soon as it was dark, I, 
carrying a spluttering torch, and Fa'.Ilkerler the great cellar l:~ey, stole 
like thieves across the cobbled court->ard to our workshop. The scholar's 
fingers trenlbled till he scarce could fit the key iHto the wards, but 
presuntly the door was opened, and we entered.

"No stra~~gers trespass here to-night," the old man chuckled, while he 
closed and double-locked the iron-stunded door, and put the key into his 
belt and the torch into a socket. Well, all agog withexcicement, we lighted 
the fires in the iron stomach of nlat fi~iished monster; we filled his gullet 
with kegs of water, slueel his guidiusg-wheels round, laid heavy, sloping 
oaken planks for his highness to leave his birthplace by, set back the litter, 
and, lastly, turned the tap that brought the fire and water together, and 
p~lt the blood of that iron beast in motion. Oc came down fronZ the 
pedestal for all the world like some black Gorgon issuing from a den. 
Resplendent in weight and strength, he came sliding down from off the 
platform of his cradle, and amid the crash of struts and stays, amid fl~,ing 
splinters a,~d the dust of transit, rolled out ma~estic into the red fur~lace-
light, where, trembling in every fiber, and gently swaying like a youllg 
giant foeli`~g his strength for the first time, with the strol~g breath within 
murmu;ing, and the great steel heart pulsatulg aunibly, our iron toy was 
born and launched, and caTlZe forth maguificent, huge, overpowering; 
then, checked by its a~~chor-chaills, sv,erved ronun to face the further 
end, and halted.

Old Faull~cner was possessed with Joy, dancing and capering roTu'Id that 
huge carcass as though he wele a ten-years' nrchin, his white heard all 
astream, his elfin locks shaggy on his head, his black venerable robes 
flapping like the WiligS of a great bat, his ha'.Ids clasped fervidly as he 
leaped and skipped with pleasnre, and his lips moving rapidly as he 
babbled illCOherent adulation and love upon that firTatlIng of his hopes. 
Even I, grave and thor.~ghtf'.il, was elated, and walked round and round 
the wondrous thing, patting its iron sides as one might a charger's just let 
from stall, while, half in wonder and half in l~leasure, catchinTs, a fraction 
of the old man's fancies. So iar evet~ihing liad happened as we wished for, 
anul Faulkener, when he coului get his breath, burst out in ~ ild 
rhapsodies of all his haTItli,,~g should do, and I put in a sentence here and 
there amid his p~eans; and thelT he capped on a hope, and I again a 
fancy', and so, nodding and laughing to each other, we bandied words 
across that carcass for twenty


m~nutes, and felt its sinews, and marveled at its tractableness and grace.

And what was our sweet (3,heops doing all that while? Oh, we were 
young in mechaoics; and all the time we talked and capered the glowing 
fires were working in body-, and presently the wheels began to 
rumble and the bars to move; strange dull thunder came fitfully from 
u~~.l~r those steel ribs, and quaint unaeeoulltable knockings sounded 
deep withill; the furnace glowed white and hot as a~lgry jttS Ot steam 
commenced to spit from eye~y weal: pOint in the mooster's halness. All 
this I noticed and pointed out to the master; but he was stupid wit.h 
gratification in that moment of cousummated labor, and nOW our vast 
machi~ie began to fret. It was impatient, I saw with a presage of coming 
evil, and the great circles above began to grit their iron teeth and spin iike 
distaff wheels under a busy housewife's hand, the piStOIIS were shooting 
to and fro faster and ever faster, while that fifty tons of metal, glowing 
hot, now began to vank hurlgrily upon its chains, and start forward a foot 
and then  come back ag.aill, and sniff and snort and tremble, and slraill hl 
every part, and thunder and pant as the hot life surged strooger and 
strooger into its veiIIs, until it was rocking like a sl~iff at anchol, and 
bellowing like a bull in agony.

"By every saint, old Adam Faulkener!" I shouted through the gathering 
roar -- "by every saint in Paradise, have a care for this frightful beast of 

And I thiol: he saw at last our danger, for the hundredtl rhapsody died 
unfihished upon his lips, and, dropping from the clouns at once with an 
anxious look, he scamled the now flying wonders of his of3spring, and 
then ran round and seized the handle which should have shut of ~ the 
red-hot vapor which was the breath and being of the paissant thing he 
had C0lljured into being. Twice and thrice he bore upon that haoille; then 
turned to me with a wild and frightened look. 'T`~-as as hot as cookl be, 
and could not move an ioch! Hardly hat

read that in his face, when with an angry plulige the eogille started 
forward, and the philosopher missed his footing, lolling over headlong to 
the ground at my feet. And now our beast was mad with waiting, and 
stronger than fifty elephants, and fiercer than the netted lion. The chains 
that held him upon either side were as thick as a mail's arm, being 
fastened to mighty slaples in the forge. Our swaddlbag came bac~ two 
yards upon those chains, then started forward, and was brought up all on 
a sunden with such a jerk as made the ground tremble, and filled us with a 
sickly dread. Hacl~ came


cur splendid plaything again in no good mood, and then for. w ard once 
more, putting his mighty shoulders again~t his bond6 until the great steel 
chahls stretched and groaned belleath the strain, and Adan1 Faulkener 
yelled in fear. The third time the moll,ter did thls the staples gave, and all 
the fo~ge fell into ono dusty smoking ruin, while the great engine 
t~rirled_ Up those heavy chains Upon its thundering axles, and, laughing 
in savage ~o~fulrless, recognized the fatal fact that it was f ree.

Then began a wild scene of chaos which brings the dampess of fear and 
exertion on my forellead even to remonlber. lN~hat mattered chains or 
bars or fetters to that splendid life that we could hear hLInlnling There 
ul~der those iron ribs? to that unrthy devil-heart which kllew its strength, 
and thundered in proun tunlthttlons rllvthm to the consciousness? The 
wonderful newTitan was borll, and thore in his own den, in the blac6 
cradle of his nativity, would brook no master. He was born for strength 
and might, and, Hoth! they were runnklg hot within him, and we could 
but cower in the shadows waiting and watching.

And Inow that hideotls monster, being free to do what he listed, sot off 
for the far end of the stony cellar, and like a grcat black ship floundering 
in a chopping sea, wout plu~~ging and rec~nng over the uneven floor. 
\A e held ot~r breath. U7llat would he do wholl he reached the ond? And 
in a minute he was there, and through the gloom we heard him crash into 
the roi ky walls and recoil; then, wiTh a scream like an angry devil-baby, 
charge the native masonry again ard again. BLlt Faulkener's wretched 
cul~ning had put the guiding-whoels on pivots, and Inow they slued, and 
here he was coming down the walls toward us.

We did not stop or wait to parley. We ran and dodged behind the pillars, 
whence we heard hin1 thun into the broken forge -- av, through the reek 
and clouny stean1 we caught the sound of that fifty tons of metal 
clamberit~g over the fahen  masonry, all the time screeching in his anger 
like a peevish lfury at being so thwarted; then back we dodged again, and 
the huge thing went ILIIIlbering by us full of a horrid giant life no valor 
availed against, no mortal hands could shackle.

The more he beat about the bounds of that narrow infernal kingdom, the 
less our Cyclops seemed to like it. His rage mounted at each turn he made 
and found his prison~cell so narrow, and every rebutf swelled his 
bunding choler. Therefore, seeing how hopeless it was to strive to tame 
him in this present uLood, I waited till Cyclops was exploring at the bot


tom of the hall; then, plunging through the dusty turmoil, found old 
Faulkener. Ti~at gray inventor was reeling like a, drunken man, and 
witless ivith terror.

"The Isey -- the key!" n shouted in 1~is ear. "I'othe door! we can do no 
good here. Let your i~~fernal beast burn out some Of' hi~s accursee' 
SljItCD; then we'll make a shift to tame him. But'tis no gootl UOw. ilear 
huw he thurlder6. And -- see -- he is coming bacls again!"

"Ay, the door, good frienn, the door!" gasped Faulkener; and, clinging to 
my ar m, hotly pursLIed I,y the morlster behim -- WhOSO-rCd-llOt 
machiess Inow seciflel tiaged with cruel purpose -- we iled down the long 
blacls caverrl to the ironstu.lded postern. There was not a secoun to spare; 
the old man plunged his tr:`IIlbling l~ands i~ltO his belt and felt all round 
it, then turned to me v.7ith a horrid sia~e in his eytes and a sickly smile 
UpDn his thill white lips -- the key was golie!

I dragged the old man back just as the great engi~le, ramping hot, lurched 
down a'~d cut a long smolsing groove half a foot deep from the rocky 
wall whereby we hatl been standing, then, disappoioted of us, went 
howlilig on intO the bhLCtShO3S. And now there was nothing to do but 
to stay and fight it out, no exit for us, and nolle for our sweet bantling, 
aml he scemed to know it. Round and round he drovt us throu~h the 
flickering gloom and shadows of that dismal cod pit, t~ll the gushing 
sweat ran from us, af~d our cholsing breath canle short arnl panting 
through our parching throats, Oh! it was a sight to see that shrielsing 
monster, spurting steam at every joir~t and howling like a pack of winter 
wolves, come careering through the darkness at us, with every plate of 
his mighty hamess quivering with the force within, and all his thundering 
vitals glowing white and spawnitlg golden trails of molten embers as he 
lurched along. Dowh I would see hin1 come, perhaps, hunting something 
iil savage mood, and us I dodged behind a pillar and looked, out of the 
vortex of the sbadows would leap old Adam Faulkeller, as :a 1everot leaps 
from the ferus under a lurcher's nose, aun, with ashy wild face, and flying 
~vizard locks, and ragged sorrel cloal~ Happing itl shreds behind him, the 
master would nash in fre~~zied feflr across the glow that shimmered 
from the heart of yonug'l~itan, and then be swallowed up again by the 
~lext friendly blackness, and I scarce dare breathe as, with a hideons 
parotly, of ~indietive cl~nning, that great thing woahl swirl a~ltl swerve 
and be after him again.

It was a wild, wonderful game, f~un the longer it went the hotter it grew 
closer, denser, and blacker grew the gloom


of that place, until at length yorl could not see an arm~s. stretch ahead of 
you in the sulphuroLIs reek -- a not, steamy pall i~f dismal vapor, through 
which glimn~ered redly, now and thon, the ashes of the overturned 
furllace-pLace, and the reshl~tlripping splutter of the feeble torch which 
we had put into the socket by The door. Ah, that was all we had to light as 
as we crawled and leaped and dodged before the vengctu1 fury of that 
screaming harpy of ours; all but his own red col,por glow that lilanlerl 
Inow here, now there, on the blaci~ holizon of our den. Darker and still 
~larker and hotter became the air, until at last -- in half an houl perhaps -- 
the torch and the furnace ashes were sickly stars, too pallid to light our

¥ merriment to any purpose, and even the glow of Faulkener's great 
i~l~7cution was a red-hot haze, only illumining the scething dust and 
smoke a ya.d or two about it, and everywhere else reigned black, 
choking, Stygian, infernal darkness.

A blank midnight void hurlg about the arena where we danced to that 
great being -- sprung like a black 1hIinerva front my master's overfertile 
brain. Yet, Jove! 'twas midnight dark, but there was no midnight stinness 
in it. The very air seemed palpitating to the thunderous beat of that 
beast's mighty life; every hollow cavern-niche itl our rooky walls 
bellowed into our startled ears a hideous mockery of his screeching; while 
the ceaseless roar of his cruel stride raltled down the ragged jutsof 
ourstony roof likedislocated thunde~: And in that darkness and ear-
splitting din ~re clodged and dipl~ed andscuttledlike twocornered rats. I 
haie been brave -- by this time I hope you know it~but-what was mortal 
strcngill or valor against the strer~gth and recklessness of that iron god? 
No; he had the upper hand, and screamed for blood like the devil that he 
was, pressing us with such fury that my very soul seemed oozing through 
my sweating skin. As for dignity -- gods! I ha~l none. At one moment I 
anLI FaulLcher would be struggling lor a narrow passage like two 
hoggets in a meadow-gate; then I was anon crawling on hands and satin 
knees through pools half a foot deep of fililly fn.uace-water, or straddling 
greasy heaps of brash and ashss with the beast close behind to fire my 
flagging spirits, spurting flame and scalding steam, and crunching with his 
l~cnclerons weight through the iron litter of the dell as thongli it were all 
August stubble.

4ll6 tiliS was not all. Being so dark' as I have said, presently that iron 
monster, insyarit~d `~ith the soul of a fury, fot~nd it more and more 
dirlicult lo follow us, and went reel ing and bellowing through the steamy 
blackness e~er more at


random. Thereon he stopped a s£~ell and seemed to listen, aun, though 
we could only tell his whercabouts by the great fiery nebril e of his 
glowing sides, we could plainly hear his thoiisand steel teeth champing, 
and the gush of the boiling force tlying withi`.l. we held our breath, and 
then we heard something challge in the machiliery -- some pin or rivet fall 
-- and the next minute Faulkener's baby was o~ again with a scrcam like a 
lost spirit and possessed of a cursed, brand-new idea. I have said the 
chains where-vith ha had been held to the forge were fastened to great 
revolving bars upon his side. When he burst free he had torn these from 
the solid masonry and wound them up npon the spinning axles, whereto 
by some misguided cmming t;aulliener had welded them. And now that 
devil was ramping ronun to find us in the void, and had unwound those 
hideous flails, and with infernal patience was beating down one wall and 
up the other. Oh, it was sickly to hear the screech of those steel whips 
sweeping unseen through the startled air, to hear them thun upon the 
trembling ground and cut deep furrows in it at every savage lash -- now 
here, now there, iiOgging the frightened shadows and scourging the 
trembling rocks, and whistling overhead like a thousand winged snakes -- 
and all for us! -- whilo that great babe of my master's hunted slowly 
round about our narlow prison, and thundered and howled and rattled 
like a tempest in a mountaiu pass, and, as though he were some great 
monster nl a deep sea cave, SilOt out and drew in those humming 
tentacles, and tried each nook and corner, and squirted steam and ilre into 
every crevice, and piiod his cruel whips -madly about in that darkness till 
'twas all like pandemonium.

Well, I will say no more, or you may think I wrap sober fact in that mantle 
of fancy which the gods have lent me. We had dodged and ducked at this 
game for many minutes when I'aulkener's mind gave way. I chanced 
upon him in the middle space, laughing and screaming and taking off his 
cloak and vest. He saw me stalk from the shadows, and, with a frightful 
griu and caper, shouted that he knew what was the matter -- "his pretty 
firstling needed a bloody sacrifice, and who could provide it better that1 
himself." Just then the en~rine turned and came looming through the mist 
toward us, au1 the old enthusiast made ready to cast himself under those 
mighty wheels.

"Come back!" I shouted, "come back!" But Faulkener yelled: "Touch me at 
your peril; the sweet one must not be balked!" 1ind made toward it.

I seized him by the arm and dragged him to one side,


whereat, without further' parley, like a l'urious wild cat, he turned, and in 
a twinkling l~ad me by the throat, with thoso old talons of his deep buried 
in my gullet, and his long, lean legs twirled romld mine like thorlgs of 
leather, and his mad eyes flashing, his white face ligilted up with maniac 
passion; and so we heaved and struggled, then down upon our knees, and 
over and over lipon the tloor, the old man striving all he knew to kill me; 
while I, for my part, heaved and wrenched, all my splendid strength 
cramped up in the wild grip of that sinewy old reduse; and over us as we 
follght l~pon the earth was glimmering in a minute the red-copper glow, 
the towering form, and the cruel, shrieking flails of that exulting demon 
we had invented.

We rolled and plunged in the dust, just where that circle of red iight fell on 
it, while guttural sobs and sighs came from us, as, forgetful of all else, now 
one was on top, in that rundy arena, and then the other. The veins were 
big npon my forehead; I felt faint and sick; I could not loosen Faulkener's 
iron fingers, deep bedded in my neek, and did not care; and that grim old 
fellow had no dosire Inow but to watch me die. I saw the glOWiTIg haze 
wherei~1 we fought, and dimly understood it. I heard, faintly and more 
faintly, the rattle of the chains, and the thllildcrous, black laughter of our 
plaything, and then, jnst as that glOWing Fury seemed drawing itself 
together for one final effort which should crush us both from all form and 
shape, that very efl'ort put something out of gear -- the tangled wheels 
fell into dead-lock all of a sunden, the heavy chains jerhed wildly in their 
swing and twisted together, the mighty rods and pistons went all asplay 
like a handful of broken straws, the great beast trembled and rceled and 
shook, and then split open from end to end, and, with a thunderous roar 
that shook our celLtr to its deepest foundations, amid a wild gnst of flame 
and steam, blew up.

1 rose unnurt from the dust and ashes, and unwinding Faulkencr's lifeless 
limbs from about me, found a hammer by the foryc, and scrambling .~-er 
the IZOW pulseless remnants of the giant, burst open the c.oor, and a few 
minutes later laisl the great inventor's body down upon a bench in the 
peaceful moonlit court-yard.

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Chapter 23