THE WINDOWtree, a cluster of cottages as an illustration, a con-firmation of something on the printed page to whichone returns, fortified, and satisfied, so without hisdistinguishing either his son or his wife, the sightof them fortified him and satisfied him and con-secrated his effort to arrive at a perfectly clearunderstanding of the problem which now engagedthe energies of his splendid mind.

It was a splendid mind. For if thought is likethe keyboard of a piano, divided into so manynotes, or like the alphabet is ranged in twenty-sixletters all in order, then his splendid mind hadno sort of difficulty in running over those lettersone by one, firmly and accurately, until it hadreached, say, the letter Q. He reached Q. Very fewpeople in the whole of England ever reach Q. Here,stopping for one moment by the stone urn whichheld the geraniums, he saw, but now far, far away,like children picking up shells, divinely innocentand occupied with little trifles at their feet andsomehow entirely defenceless against a doom whichhe perceived, his wife and son, together, in thewindow. They needed his protection; he gave itthem. But after Q? What comes next? After Qthere are a number of letters the last of which isscarcely visible to mortal eyes, but glimmers red inthe distance. Z is only reached once by one man53
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