Page:HG Wells--secret places of the heart.djvu/16

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thing. I’m raw. I can’t work steadily for ten minutes and I can’t leave off working.”

“Your name,” said the doctor, “is familiar. Sir Richmond Hardy? In the papers. What is it?”


“Of course! The Fuel Commission. Stupid of me! We certainly can’t afford to have you ill.”

“I am ill. But you can’t afford to have me absent from that Commission.”

“Your technical knowledge——”

“Technical knowledge be damned! Those men mean to corner the national fuel supply. And waste it! For their profits. That’s what I’m up against. You don’t know the job I have to do. You don’t know what a Commission of that sort is. The moral tangle of it. You don’t know how its possibilities and limitations are canvassed and schemed about, long before a single member is appointed. Old Cassidy worked the whole thing with the prime minister. I can see that now as plain as daylight. I might have seen it at first.... Three experts who’d been got at; they thought I’d been got at; two Labour men who’d do anything you wanted them to do provided you called them ‘level-headed.’ Wagstaffe the socialist art critic who could be trusted to play the fool and make nationalization look silly, and the rest mine owners, railway managers, oil profiteers, financial adventurers....”