Page:HG Wells--secret places of the heart.djvu/48

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He began as they stood waiting for the relief car from the Maidenhead garage. “You were talking of the ghosts of apes and monkeys that suddenly come out from the darkness of the subconscious....”

“You mean—when we first met at Harley Street?”

“That last apparition of mine seems to have been a gorilla at least.”

The doctor became precise. “Gorillaesque. We are not descended from gorillas.”

“Queer thing a fit of rage is!”

“It’s one of nature’s cruder expedients. Crude, but I doubt if it is fundamental. There doesn’t seem to be rage in the vegetable world, and even among the animals——? No, it is not universal.” He ran his mind over classes and orders. “Wasps and bees certainly seem to rage, but if one comes to think, most of the invertebrata show very few signs of it.”

“I’m not so sure,” said Sir Richmond. “I’ve never seen a snail in a towering passion or an oyster slamming its shell behind it. But these are sluggish things. Oysters sulk, which is after all a smouldering sort of rage. And take any more active invertebrate. Take a spider. Not a smashing and swearing sort of rage perhaps, but a disciplined, cold-blooded malignity.... Crabs