|Newspaper Title||Northern Star (Lismore, NSW : 1876 - 1954)|
|Trove Title||Dark Days: A Story of Light|
DA RX DA? S.
A: STORY OF LIGHT.
Br G. M ANTILL« FjSKK.
"Well, old fellow, how go the experi
" Slowly-slowly," said Barry, looking np I from his table where be was busily watching the offset produced by some liquid upon a f;lass plate which he had just then carefully owered into its place.
"Slow and sure wins, you know. Bnt are you making progress ?"
" That I cannot say, only that I keep on getting very near, as I think, to success, and then find something standing in the way."
.'But you are giving up everything for
this, Bick. Is it wise?"
"You might say that to every man who has devoted himself to the task of discovery. Lusmore, old fellow, that's rather worldly."
" Why worldly ?"
"Because it smacks of the world's judg ment upon a man who strives as I am striv
ing. ' If he succeeds he is a hero ; if he fails he is a fool for wasting time in chimeri cal pursuits. ;. Steam and electricity were chimeras once., Now they rule the world."
'.Yes, hat I don't like myoid friend to
run the risk of failure."
"Every inventor runs the risk bf failure," said Barry with a smile. "I am prepared to lose, but I shall fight hard to win. But now of yourself. What news V J
" I'say, .Dick, don't laugh at me." « ' Laugh at' you ? why should I ?"
*.' Because Irvo ' gone the way of all flesh. Well, here -goes. Dick, old follow,' I've popped, and, on my word it was awful to have to face the old soldier. I declare I
thought he would have eaten me, only for tunately Dinah came in, and, acting as a resoner-we had planned it, by the way she took the old fellow in the flank, seated him, got her arms round his neck and hung there. And he surrendered at discretion, merely telling me first that if I did not make a good husband he'd shoot me, and afterwards, what do you think he had the impudence to say ?"
How can I tell?"
"That he wished to goodness.she had chosen you instead." <
." My dear Fred, I congratulate yon upon winning a bright, sweet, innooent little woman for your wife." l:
"Then why the dickens don't you-give me the chance to congratulate you in a similar way about her cousin ?"
"Don't be absurd!: But toll me how, you're getting on ?"
"Famously, but I have, my .work,,out ont. Directly you told me about the major and Basman, 1 mads up my mind to ferret the whole matter out, and to soo if I oould not prove that he is behaving unfairly by the old gentleman. But I cannot prove it. The fellow is artful, cunning as a fox. I must have sonrio illegal act, and I cannot'find one. There have been a great many bill transac tions, and.he has got the major well under his thumb ; but that, is not. actionable, be cause he could easily show that he has spent a great deal of the money in advancing this company, and from: what I. hear, Basman professes to have UBed a deal of his . own money as-well.'* ,.--?> ' ¡i !
'"Does ' the' major still' believe in?> this
man?" . : '
"I suppose so. At all,events, they seem to be very-firmly hound together, and there is> tacit understanding that she thinks yon are behaving very badly in not trying to out tho fellow out." ¡ ,. ,, j ,.
1" Don't be absurd." . .. - . .
? "It is you who .aro absurd. . Here, you dévote yourself to a series of experiments that have been going on for raven or eight months,, apparently for another/man's sake."
1 " My dear Fred, I met Major Sanctuary ai a time when I was eager to find some new idea to take up in the way of discovery. Ho gave me the suggestion, and I worked at it ; that is all."
Lusmore Bat thinking of the lines of thought and care in his friend's face, of how much elder and graver he looked than when they went down into Cornwall the previous autumn ; while Barry took a retort, weighed out carefully certain proportions from some small bottles, placed them in the fragil glass bulb, , arranged it on a stand, placed a re ceiver ready, and then took up a spirit-lamp.
' " What's that for?" said Lusmore.
' " I am going to try tho effeot of anew gas apon a sensitised plate," replied tho chemist. " I don't expect much, but it is only^by auch'experiments as these that , one makes way."
"Not dangerous, it it? No more blow ings up?"' '
" No risk of that, so long as the retort is sound, and tho chemicals aro good, and I always-got the best I can."
As he spoke ho lit the spirit-lamp, and ap plied: the .flame'Carefully to the thin glass bulb, moving it about so as to get the glass heated by ' degrees, and-a last-placed it so that tho flame played upon the retort quite freely. . ' "' '
."'1 always Uko to see' that," said Lusmore -" those'dry crystals decomposed by heat and turning into gas. Ah I there it comes, I can see it bubbling up through the water into", tho receiver, and the water geing down."
' " Yes," said Barry, stooping down to raise the'lamp a little. " When the bell-glass is full, I shall placo a! plate in the gas, and then---" '' .... '
' There was a 1 tremendous explosion, the shivering of ,glass, a heavy, fall, and on Lus more running to .his. friend's side, it was'to find him* perfectly insensible upon the floor.
«.' Good heavens f'oried Lusmore.. " Here,
quick I"'1 he cried, as the servants ran up, " the,nearest surgeon 1" : " ''
"'There" was'ono in the room in a few minutos,. examining poor Richard Barry's' injuries,, as'soón as he had been' laid upona .couch.: .'." ..'. .. .' .'. ..'.'"i '.,' - ... . '.'.Poor May I I know she loves., him," «nought Lusmore. Then in,a whisper to the idootor, " ls ho dead,?". - - t
"Dead? Nojihe.willcom'e-.to^man.'.'.Poor fellow,-I'm afraid though that Ih'is sight,is; . gone."." '. ' ? : . i i. : i .?'('
. "Sight gone?" . Mm-.-.yi <;> un"-. i
" Yes. sir," said the surgeon softly,- as he /applied bandages to the injured faoe ;;" there Us no doubt of that ;. MB life may be Báved, laut he witt bo blind;" - «M>¡V .;.; ^v,