Vol. 8 No. 2 1941 - page 106

too diverted by the offender. What's more, the explorer was bend·
ing across the harrow, without bothering about it, intent only on
finding out what was going to happen to the condemned man.
"Handle him carefully," the officer shouted again. He ran around
the apparatus, seized the condemned man, whose feet kept slipping
from under him, by the shoulders and stood him upright, with the
help of the guard.
"Now I know everything," said the explorer when the officer
came back to him again. "Except the most important part," said
the latter and grasping the explorer by the arm, he pointed upward;
"There, in the draughtsman is the clock-work that determines the
motions of the harrow, and this clock-work is regulated according
to the drawing called for by the sentence. I still use the sketches
made by the former commanding officer. Here they are,"-he
pulled a few sheets out of his leather brief-case-"but unfortu–
nately I cannot let you take them in your hand, for they are my
most precious possession. Please sit down, I'll show them to you
from this distance, so that you may see everything well." He
showed him the first page. The explorer would have liked to say a
word of approval, but he only saw labyrinthine lines that fre–
quently crossed and re-crossed each other and covered the paper so
densely that one could recognize only with difficulty the white
spaces in between. "Please read this," said the officer. "I can't,"
said the explorer. "Why, it's perfectly clear," said the officer. "It's
undoubtedly very artistic," said the explorer evasively, "but I can–
not decipher it." "Of course," said the officer laughing, as he put
the brief-case away, "It's not fine penmanship for school-children.
You have to pore over it for a long while. In the end, you too would
certainly make it out. Naturally it can't be ordinary handwriting,
for it is not supposed to kill at once, but within an average space
of twelve hours; the turning point being calculated for the sixth
hour. The writing proper has to be surrounded by many, many
embellishments; the real writing only encircles the body in a nar–
row girdle; the rest of the body is intended for decorative effects.
Can you now understand the value of the work of the harrow, and
of the entire machine? Just look at this!" He jumped onto the
ladder, turned a wheel and called down: "Look out! step aside!"
Everything began to move.
the wheel had not creaked, it would
have been wonderful. As if surprised by this disturbing wheel, the
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