Vol. 8 No. 2 1941 - page 156

draughtsman should have made a creaking noise; yet all was silent, not
the slightest hum was to be heard.
Because of this silent action the machine ceased to be the focus of
attention. The explorer looked over towards the soldier and the con–
demned man. The latter was the more lively of the two, everything about
the machine interested him; first he would bend down, then he would
stretch himself, holding his index finger constantly extended to point out
something to the guard. The explorer felt uncomfortable. He was deter–
mined to remain there till the end, but he could not have borne the sight
of the two men very long. "Go home," he said. The soldier would, per–
haps, have been ready to go, but the condemned man considered the order
as a sort of punishment. He begged and implored with clasped hands to
be allowed to stay, and when the explorer, shaking his head, refused to
give in, he even went on his knees. The explorer saw that orders were of
no avail here and he was about to go over and drive the two of them away.
At that moment he heard a noise up in the draughtsman. He looked up.
Could that one cog·wheel be giving trouble? But it was something else.
Slowly the cover of the draughtsman rose and then fell wide open. The
teeth of a cog-wheel began to show, then rose up; soon the whole wheel
appeared; it was as if some great force were pressing the draughtsman
together so that there was no room left for this wheel; it kept rotating till
it reached the edge of the draughtsman, fell down, reeled upright a bit in
the sand, then lay there. But already another one rose up above, followed
by many more, big ones, little ones, and others that could hardly be told
apart; the same thing happened to them all, one kept thinking that the
draughtsman must surely be emptied by now, when a new, particularly
numerous lot appeared, rose up, fell down, reeled in the sand and lay
there. At the sight of this occurrence the condemned man forgot all about
the explorer's orders; the cog-wheels completely fascinated him; he kept
trying to seize one of them, at the same time urging the soldier to help
him; but he withdrew his hand in fright, for another cog-wheel alway!
followed at once, and this, at least at first when it would come rolling
towards him, frightened him.
The explorer, however, was very disturbed; the machine was evi–
dently going to pieces; its quiet action was a delusion; he had the feeling
that he would have to care for the officer now, since the latter was no
longer able to care for himself. But while the dropping of the cog-wheels
had claimed his entire attention, he had neglected to watch the rest of the
machine; now, however, when the last cog-wheel had left the draughtsman,
he bent over the harrow, only to have a fresh, more annoying surprise.
The harrow was not writing, it was just sticking the body, nor was the bed
rolling it but just lifting it, trembling, up to the needles. The explorer
wanted to interfere .and, if possible, bring the whole thing to a stop, for
this was not the torture the officer had wanted to arrive at, this was out·
right murder. He stretched out his hands. But at that moment the harrow
was already beginning to rise sideways with the impaled body, the way it
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