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THE STICK OF THE ROCKET

It came like a blow in the face now, all that too has to end!

Suddenly I was filled with the thought of her and a great longing for her. What would she do when she realized our immense disaster? What would she do? How would she take it. It filled me with astonishment to realize how little I could tell. . . .

Should I perhaps presently happen upon her?

I went on through the plantations and out upon the downs and thence I saw Cothope with a new glider of his own design soaring down wind to my old familiar "grounding" place. To judge by its long rhythm it was a very good glider. "Like Cothope's cheek," thought I, "to go on with the research. I wonder if he's keeping notes. . . . But all this will have to stop."

He was sincerely glad to see me. "It's been a rum go," he said.

He had been there without wages for a month, a man forgotten in the rush of events.

"I just stuck on and did what I could with the stuff. I got a bit of money of my own—and I said to myself, 'well, here you are with the gear and no-one to look after you. You won't get such a chance again, my boy, not in all your born days. Why not make what you can with it?'"

"How's Lord Roberts β?"

Cothope lifted his eyebrows. "I've had to refrain," he said. "But he's looking very handsome."

"Gods!" I said, "I'd like to get him up just once before we smash. You read the papers? You know we're going to smash?"

"Oh! I read the papers. It's scandalous, Sir, such work as ours should depend on things like that. You