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Gaining the town, we were refused His wife, very pretty, and more inteladmittance to the Three Crowns, say ligent, was rather proud of her archæowhat we might in extenuation of our logists, who were so bold in tampering stubble chins. We moved stealthily with the system of this Darwin. Her upon the King's Arms, and held con- cheeks were pink and white beyond sultation in a dark passage there. Alas, analogy, shadowed each by a brown the King's Arms was full, egg-full, of curl which fell past either temple. She literary and fisher folk from London sewed deftly, illuminated by the fire in town.
the grate. She was like a vignette, in Finally, holding our courage in both her preciseness of line. hands, we rapped at the whitest of the She invited me into the arm-chair; white cots. A lady answered us. I said I took it. Abashed by that proximity, in a voice manly and persuasive and she proposed a cup of tea. The pot gentle and gently humorous, enfolding boiled; her husband continued in accorher, as it were, in an appreciation of dance with a judicious selection of the our plight, that we were archæolo- laws of Aristotle, Harvey, and Sir Isaac gists, groping in darkness. The Three Newton. When I was on the point of Crowns was full (God pardon me), the pouring the tea into a cup, she made a King's Arms was full, and the night sudden exclamation. I looked wildly promising cold. She hesitated; I made up, and my eye fell first upon the old as if to turn away, in stoical but none clock, which was kept an hour fast to the less despairing realization that I please the children (children, saith the asked too much. But stay: a smile elderly essayist with a sigh, as of lavenedged that lip, a sweet willingness in- der and lost years, can always give formed every corner of that pink and Time a handicap), and then upon her white and lovely being, and overmatch- face. She hovered over me, timid but ing, in her low native Devon, the sweet desperately put about. Her husband's modulation of my own tones, she bade brown eyes blinked inscrutably, near me step into her parlor. What is it together in an inscrutable face. I held Hazlitt hath said about a parlor: “To the pot halted in mid-air. hold to the universe by a dish of sweet- 'In Devonshire,' she said, with one breads, and to be known by no other hand upon her dress, of a blue and name than “the gentleman in the par- white print, ‘in Devonshire we pour for." ' Surely we were known by no the tea upon the milk.' other name than that, nor any the less
But I could only think of a poem by well received in consequence.
Robert Herrick. 'Loathed DevonWe came to rest, however, in the kit- shire,' indeed. Let him look to his little chen. The peace of that Devon was as buttery, and within, his little bin. profound as a confession of St. Augus- Thus we see that archæology is a tine. Our host, a huge man, with brown thing of phases, like a malignant fever. eyes, said perpetually, ‘Yes, yes,' with the intonation of Hear, hear'; and
III once roused himself, getting up, intellectually, on one elbow, to ask, “Who We decided to make a preliminary was this Darwin? An odd name, now;
ramble without the pick and shovel. yes, yes,' - and then relapsing, expir- We said nothing very coherent in deing, but continuing to thwart vacuum fense of this determination, but the of the space which his material pres- truth is we were both afraid of meeting ence had invaded.
with the duchess. Whenever I think
of a duchess, I think of the Duchess in woman;
there's not much you can say Alice in Wonderland, and I remember about a pair of peg-top trousers in a that she spoke harshly to her little boy, high wind). Now when we left the road, and beat him when he sneezed.
this was precisely what we were going A steep road spiraled out of Chag- to do - we were going to range the ford toward the moor, fragrant with moor. But after a mile or two of wadhawthorn, and bordered by small white ing through spiky gorse (or heather), washed cots, with war-thick walls, and struggling up a hill, walking a dozen thatch heavy with green moss. Near steps across the top, and plunging the top of the hill was a stone basin, down, with the prospect of a worse which a brook overflowed with crys- rise dead ahead, — after an hour or tal water. The petal of a bluebell twirl- two of this, a man begins to lay the ed in an eddy, and Porthos, pleased as mænad-viking idea up to the other a wood-nymph, but bulkier and hair- fellow. It becomes time to pose as a ier, pillared himself on a vast yellow sane man led away by the folly of forearm, and drank.
others. Struck by the simple picture of man I said, 'Look here; there's a mire communing with nature, I dragged out dead ahead, Fox Tor Mire. Had n't the Golden Treasury, and read a lyric of we better bear ship?' Shelley's. This is always disheartening 'Bit sodden, eh?' said Porthos. He to Porthos. He is one of those, for ex- was encouraged by my giving in to ample, who hold that the Person from place his foot on a rock, and look proudPorlock ought to have knocked sooner ly out over the landscape, with an Eric on poor Sam's door.
the Red light in his eyes. And shortly we were upon
Fox Tor Mire was a bit sodden; it I had expected a plain; but the moor was yellow, rheumy, full of hummocks, rolled under us in great brown waves of quiverings, and unpleasant fissures. heather-covered granite. There were 'If we keep on,' he continued, 'we both gorse and heather there, but strike Cranmer Pool.' which was gorse
and which was heather 'Nothing there,' I answered, 'but a was not for a mere archæologist to set- letter-box, and the reflections of the tle. Suffice it that either the gorse or
last fool who went out there, on finding the heather was spiky, and either the himself so far from home. Now my heather or the gorse was in yellow idea is to investigate some of these tors. bloom. Sheep, and wild moor ponies, That one on our left, for instance.' and little shaggy colts, like animals These tors were great piles of splinfrom a Noah's ark, were dotted over tering granite, and they could be seen it — all of them, even the little colts, to crown nearly all the hills about us. with their tails solemnly presented to We singled one out, and walked toward the prevailing quarter of the wind. For it a long time, the camera assaulting the wind that sweeps the moor is bit- my spine every time I took a hummock, ter, and never dies.
and the bog creeping steadily through Now when a moor like this, or a my canvas shoes. A gleam of sun fell waste of any kind, figures in a book, on one distant hill, and the hill seemed there is always some lofty-spirited soft, dune-like, colored a leprous yelperson who ranges it, drawing deep low, like Arabia on the road to Mecca; breaths of the wild wind that blows its granite top like some hideous disthere, cheeks glowing, hair and skirts jointed lizard, or again, coming nearer, fluttering about her (it is usually a like a monolithic throne, with jagged
side-arms. And finally it was like noth- was half in, and his voice rang holing at all but a ruined peak of stone. lowly there.
We found ourselves upon a huge 'Something in here,' he cried, stranridge, with a sky-line as long and gen- gulated. He wormed his enormous tle as the sky-line of Vesuvius, upon body farther in. The very taps of his which sat four of these giant tors, shoes were interested. After a time he weathered by wind and rain into came out, disheveled, raked fore and strange likenesses, shifting with the aft by the clammy stone. He gripped point of view into things still more an object tightly in one heavy fist. vast and fanciful. No mind could rest This object was covered with dirt, and upon these bold outlines, these rag- glinted. It was a whiskey bottle ged crevices, these square lichen-grown Black and White ’96. towers and fallen battlements, without ‘Glass,' said Porthos, disillusioned. conjecture — least of all an archæolo- This was the stone age! gist's. The might of speculation alone 'But look here,' said Porthos,'there's could lift back these fragments into the a shelf in there for a club or a baby. places they had once filled, and invest Two could lie side by side once you get them with significance dreadful or he in. And there seem to be fint markroic. What the Druid with his beard ings on the roof.' or the stone man with his bludgeon We proceeded excitedly to the norcould not do, the archæologist will do thern entrance. There was something by the simple movement of an eager tremendously tertiary about that. and pursuing mind. When the orgasm There was, to begin with, a stone very is upon him, in a very turgescence of like an elementary door there. In my conjecture he will re-create the ages, paper 'Palæolithic Propositions' (suband bring forward and put under a sequently altered to 'Triassic Trifles') glass and the public guardianship a for The Archæologist, I was very particwhole civilization smothered under ular about the shape of this door. tumbled stone.
Projecting from the rock at the left of We went back through time twelve the door was a rudimentary hinge. thousand years, and with less start The door weighed nearly half a ton. than a man would get for a twenty- We were able seamen, but we could n't four-foot running jump; and behold, stir it from its bed. It is quite apparent, we were sitting on top of the hut of a therefore, that the former tenant, who man of the stone age.
could put out a hand leisurely and lift “The man who would be fool enough his door onto its hinge, must have been to deny,' said Porthos, ‘that this place of no common physical powers. We has been lived in, deserves to be made were at last able, by tearing away dirt to live in it himself.'
and lichen, to discover the depression or A big slab of granite projected like a socket in the door which had been calnatural roof from the solid rock; and culated to receive the hinge. Its measan immense block had been pushed in urements were right for that purpose. under this roof, failing the wall of rock While I was bringing the magnifying by perhaps two feet. The space thus en- glass to bear on this, Porthos had startclosed was about two by two by eight; ed on the run for the second tor. This and at our end a triangular wedge of was huger than the other, though not granite had fallen back, which might so fruitful. The huts here were in the once have fitted nicely over this open- form of right angles with two openings ing. Porthos, on his hands and knees, leading away from the angle.
'No cul-de-sac for him,' said Porthos worked it out with his tail, anyhow.' exultingly. 'If a dinosaur drove him in I stared stupefied into the vista here, and hung around, he'd go out opened by this rending logic. there.'
It was about then that we stumbled And indeed there was a screen of upon that curious and seemingly derock interposed, so that he could make sultory heap, which later figured so good his escape without the dinosaur's conspicuously in the pages of The Arseeing him. A flight of something like chæologist as the dinosaur-dodger. In worn steps they were worn steps appearance it was crustacean, not unled up to this abode; and the palæo- like a giant turtle. At either end of the lithic one had collected upon his roof ellipse was cut or fashioned a hole, an assortment of boulders to hurl down large enough to admit the human aniupon his enemies. The hillside was mal. The theory which my colleague strewn with those he had already advanced with such learning and elabthrown, and yet he had died prepared, oration, and which was so bitterly conwith ammunition on his roof. What tested by envious minds, was this: The colossal courage, to support life in the dinosaur in full charge is stopped by midst of such menace!
this aperture, through which his prey Some of these stone tenements were has squirmed. Irate, he rushes around outlying from the tor itself, and the the obstruction, only to see the chase plumbing was more open. We easily disappearing through the other hole. determined that these had been let out. Picture the enraged animal lumbering In one of them we found three flints time after time around this structure, lying on a shelf. What could be easier panting, reeling, a mist coming before than to come to the conclusion that his eyes; until he sinks fainting, either this had been a three-flint apartment, in a death-agony induced by over-exwith light housekeeping privileges. The ertion, or at least in a fatigue rendering tenant had left the rent on the parlor him helpless before a blow from the mantel. Tempus fugit, and it is better thong-bound flint which should disform now to put it on the piano under patch him. Could any disinterested the bust of Beethoven. But we live and mind hear of this theory without a thrill learn.
of instant and unconditional belief? Suddenly we came upon a masterpiece of craft. A block of stone weigh
IV ing many tons had been raised at one end, and a wedge of stone inserted. But we return to the moor, the gran
A trap,' cried Porthos. 'Nothing ite setting to this mute and moving could be plainer. You put some succu- drama of the cunning of the past. The lent root under there; the dinosaur, en- sun was gone from the brown and gray deavoring to extract it with his trunk, and yellow peaks; and down all the dislodges the wedge, and down comes folds and valleys of the moor a mist the rock. Then you steal up with your was rolling swiftly in. Rightly are club and clout him.'
these stolid moor-men called the chil'Had a dinosaur a trunk?' I won- dren of the mist. Living in the vague, dered.
pixies affright them; dragons of the air 'Of course,' retorted Porthos. “They trail scaly golden tails across the murky would n't have been fools enough to lay sun; shapes and horrors swim disema trap for a trunk, if there had n't been bodied in the rolling seas of fog, and sit any trunk, would they? He could have on the tops of the ancient stone crosses that lean everywhere about. All the 'It's taller than the Metropolitan heather (or gorse) shivered in a rising Tower,' I gasped. wind, and a cold rain fell. We picked At this point a harsh laugh rang out the most rain-proof of the stone among the tors outside. I seized the angles, and crawled in, oppressed with stone bludgeon and we peered out. the darkly secret portents of that place. It was the archæologist of GlastonThe sun behind the mist threw a bury, Mr. Hawke; only now there was bronze light on Porthos's sallow cheek; none of that bright radiance about him; and I thought how many dreadful his blue eye was dull and sneering, and faces must have hung in that opening, his chin unshaven. He wore a long rubglaring out with eyes of terror upon the ber mackintosh, which was shining wet. wild moor and what might be moving He was chewing at the chance flame of on it.
his mustache. . Porthos tore a leaf from his note- 'It is like the end of legitimate enbook; and after a while he took his deavor in a noble field,' he said. His pipe out of his mouth and read. face blazed with new and fierier light.
"This is only one patch,' he said. 'I could show you more even than you "Take a culture of it: “Looking out, have discovered,' he cried, “but you'd even as he must have, at the rain- probably bash my head in with that driven moors, I saw from that ancient silly stone club of yours. You'd accuse shelter the mighty and sullen outlines me of being a Druid. Look.' of the hills, rising and falling, growing He reached out a hand to a square fainter and more faintly blue, until of solid stone larger than any of the even the black tors were blotted out; others, weighing many tons; and he and nothing remained but this sugges- rocked it back and forth without effort. tion, through the mist, of something A Druid stone, I suppose,' he cried menacing and baleful. I felt the awful scornfully. 'Don't you conceive the presence of enormities, such as must multitude clamoring about the Druid, lurk in all uncertain shapes in that dim and his long beard in the wind. "A place. The trickle of the rain, and the miracle!” they cry, and he puts out his touch of that cold stone,
hand and rocks that stone. Pah! That at least could have had no better for your snap-judgments. You would shoulders than I, or he must have spend your time better grinding these moved to larger quarters, -- the touch rocks into pumice. I have been years of that stone, and the pouring of the upon this moor, and I can find nothing wind through the cracks, and the stir- new. And you come here overnight, ring of the heather, gave me a full sense and write a history of the stone age.' of that ancient desolation out of which He was like something molten and we spring. The thought of such a place snapping. The sun, mooning through in the cold grasp of winter, before the the mist, struck his rubber coat into discovery of fire, is intolerable; but rivulets of sparks. He was invested in there he had to stay. For only in that an authority greater than the duchponderous and gloomy shelter was he ess's own. The jealousy of a scientist free to sleep, free from the menace of is like no other jealousy on earth. animals so huge that they could whisk 'What is it, then?' we cried savagely. down the walls of modern houses in a ‘Weathering,' he yelled. “The wind breath. You can trace his efforts," and and the rain and the fibre of the stone. 80 on.'
That's what it is. That's where you Porthos relit his pipe complacently. get your tors and your logan-stones and