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      "It is a multiform world," replied the Clockwork man (he had managed to fold his arms now, and apart from a certain stiffness his attitude was fairly normal). "Now, your world has a certain definite shape. That is what puzzles me so. There is one of everything. One sky, and one floor. Everything is fixed and stable. At least, so it appears to[Pg 145] me. And then you have objects placed about in certain positions, trees, houses, lamp-postsand they never alter their positions. It reminds me of the scenery they used in the old theatres. Now, in my world everything is constantly moving, and there is not one of everything, but always there are a great many of each thing. The universe has no definite shape at all. The sky does not look, like yours does, simply a sort of inverted bowl. It is a shapeless void. But what strikes me so forcibly about your world is that everything appears to be leading somewhere, and you expect always to come to the end of things. But in my world everything goes on for ever."

      "I've got you, my lady," he said hoarsely. "Last time we parted you were not so comfortable as you are now, a troisime and a few francs per day out of the cards when the police were complaisant. Here you have everything. There are a score of things that I could pawn for enough to keep me going for months. Ma foi, but you must be very rich.""They suspend men by the wrists and ankles; sometimes by one wrist and one ankle, and at others by all four brought closely together. Then they place a victim in a chair with his arms tied to cross-sticks, and in this position he is compelled to sit for hours in the most terrible pain. Another mode is by tying a man's hands together beneath his knees, and then passing a pole under his arm and suspending him from it. This is called 'the monkey grasping a peach,' and it is frequently employed to compel a rich man to pay heavily to escape punishment. How it got its name nobody can tell, unless it was owing to a supposed resemblance to the position of a monkey holding something in his paw.

      "Having gone so far, the rest is easy. And this is where my scheme comes in again. Bruce has to take his coat off. In the guise of the Spanish lady--a slight variation of my mysterious woman--you hang his coat up carefully in a closet for him. You knew that 200 in notes was in that pocket, notes that Bruce had come by quite honestly. The rest is easy."

      "On what charge, may I ask?" she demanded.



      They had three or four hours to spare before sunset, and at once set about the business of sight-seeing. Their first visit was to the temple on the island, and they were followed from the landing by a crowd of idle people, who sometimes pressed too closely for comfort. There was an avenue of trees leading up to the temple, and before reaching the building they passed under a gateway not unlike those they had seen at the[Pg 406] temples in Kioto and Tokio. The temple was not particularly impressive, as its architectural merit is not of much consequence, and, besides, it was altogether too dirty for comfort. There was quite a crowd of priests attached to it, and they were as slovenly in appearance as the building they occupied. In the yard of the temple the strangers were shown the furnaces in which the bodies of the priests are burned after death, and the little niches where their ashes are preserved. There were several pens occupied by the fattest pigs the boys had ever seen. The guide explained that these pigs were sacred, and maintained out of the revenues of the temple. The priests evidently held them in great reverence, and Frank intimated that he thought the habits of the pigs were the models which the priests had adopted for their own. Some of the holy men were at their devotions when the party arrived, but they dropped their prayer-books to have a good look at the visitors, and did not resume them until they had satisfied their curiosity.