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      He began to grow dim. Arthur, instinctively polite, stretched out a hand, keeping his left arm round Rose. The Clockwork man veered[Pg 213] slightly forward. He seemed to realise Arthur's intention and offered a vibrating hand. But they missed each other by several days."Eryes," murmured the Curate. He laughed, rather hysterically, and clasped his hands behind his back. "I suppose you do theerusual thingsgold watches and so forth out oferhats. The children have been so looking forward"

      "Which isn't worth the trouble when you've got it.""'But near the middle of the night the teapot changed itself into the form of a badger, and came out of the waste paper, where it had been placed. The merchant was aroused by the noise, and caught the teapot while it was in flight. By treating it kindly he soon gained its confidence and affection. In the course of time it became so docile that he was able to teach it rope-dancing and other accomplishments.

      "The more I thought it over the more certain I became that my brain had been picked, and that my plot was being used by some designing person to bring trouble and disgrace upon a man who is destined to be related to me. I waited for a little time to see how matters were developing, and then decided to refresh my memory from the skeleton plot of that unwritten story. When I looked in my desk I could not find the plot. Why? Because it had been stolen."Ah, well, I grant you that. They say you cure more with your tongue than with your physic."


      "The first things we looked at in our shopping tour were silks, and we found them of all kinds and descriptions that you could name. There were silks for dresses and silks for shawls, and they were of all colors, from snowy white to jet-black. Some people say that white and black are not colors at all; but if they were turned loose among the silks of Canton, perhaps they might change their minds. It is said that there are fifty thousand people in Canton engaged in making silk and other fabrics, and these include the embroiderers, of whom there are several thousands. Chinese[Pg 418] embroidery on silk is famous all over the world, and it has the advantage over the embroidery of most other countries in being the same on one side that it is on the other. We have selected some shawls that we think will be very pretty when they are at home. They are pretty enough now, but there are so many nice things all around that the articles we have selected look just a little common.


      Till we look on the world from above."


      But patience is generally rewarded. Here was a hiatus after a series of regular dates. The writer had been drinking heavily, somebody had got hold of him, and was detaining him somewhere against his will. He was not allowed to say where he was. His last letter of the series hinted at a possibility of large sums of money.