happy,” it began, with a yearning earnestness. “I do so want you to be good! Please, please be good and .” Two minutes later the Voice and the soma vapour had produced their effect. In tears, the Deltas were kissing and hugging one another-half a dozen twins at a time in a comprehensive embrace. Even Helmholtz and the Savage were almost crying. A fresh supply of pill-boxes was brought in from the Bursary; a new distribution was hastily made and, to the sound of the Voice’s ricuy affectionate, baritone valedictions, the twins dispersed, blubbering as though their hearts would break. “Good-bye, my dearest, dearest friends, Ford keep you! Good- bye, my dearest, dearest friends, Ford keep you. Good-bye my dearest, dearest .” When the last of the Deltas had gone the policeman switched off the current. The angelic Voice fell silent. “Will you come quietly?” asked the Sergeant, “or must we anæsthetize?” He pointed his water pistol menacingly.
148 IDPH “Oh, we’ll come quietly,” the Savage answered, dabbing alternately a cut lip, a scratched neck, and a bitten left hand. Still keeping his handkerchief to his bleeding nose Helmholtz nodded in con- firmation. Awake and having recovered the use of his legs, Bernard had chosen this mo- ment to move as inconspicuously as he could towards the door. “Hi, you there,” called the Sergeant, and a swine-masked policeman hurried across the room and laid a hand on the young man’s shoulder. Bernard turned with an expression of indignant innocence. Escaping? He hadn’t dreamed of such a thing. “Though what on earth you want me for,” he said to the Sergeant, “I really can’t imagine.” “You’re a friend of the prisoner’s, aren’t you?” “Well .” said Bernard, and hesitated. No, he really couldn’t deny it. “Why shouldn’t I be?” he asked. “Come on then,” said the Sergeant, and led the way towards the door and the waiting police car.
Sixteen THE ROOM into which the three were ushered was the Controller’s study. “His fordship will be down in a moment.” The Gamma butler left them to themselves. Helmholtz laughed aloud. “It’s more like a caffeine-solution party than a trial,” he said, and let himself fall into the most luxurious of the pneumatic arm-chairs. “Cheer up, Bernard,” he added, catching sight of his friend’s green unhappy face. But Bernard would not be cheered; without answering, without even looking at Helmholtz, he went and sat down on the most uncomfortable chair in the room, carefully chosen in the obscure hope of somehow deprecating the wrath of the higher powers. The Savage meanwhile wandered restlessly round the room, peering with a vague superficial inquisitiveness at the books in the shelves, at the sound- track rolls and reading machine bobbins in their numbered pigeon-holes. On the table under the window lay a massive volume bound in limp black leather- surrogate, and stamped with large golden T’s. He picked it up and opened it. MY LIFE AND WORK, BY OUR FORD. The book had been published at Detroit by the Society for the Propagation of Fordian Knowledge. Idly he turned
- Spring '08
- little boy, Mr. Foster