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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesThe Great Stone Of Sardis - Chapter II - THE SARDIS WORKS
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The Great Stone Of Sardis - Chapter II - THE SARDIS WORKS Post by :EbizPro Category :Long Stories Author :Frank R Stockton Date :April 2011 Read :3101

Click below to download : The Great Stone Of Sardis - Chapter II - THE SARDIS WORKS (Format : PDF)

The Great Stone Of Sardis - Chapter II - THE SARDIS WORKS

At the little station of Sardis, in the hill country of New
Jersey, Roland Clewe alighted from the train, and almost
instantly his hand was grasped by an elderly man, plainly and
even roughly dressed, who appeared wonderfully glad to see him.
Clewe also was greatly pleased at the meeting.

"Tell me, Samuel, how goes everything?" said Clewe, as they
walked off. "Have you anything to say that you did not
telegraph? How is your wife?"

"She's all right," was the answer. "And there's nothin'
happened, except, night before last, a man tried to look into
your lens-house."

"How did he do that?" exclaimed Clewe, suddenly turning upon his
companion. "I am amazed! Did he use a ladder?"

Old Samuel grinned. "He couldn't do that, you know, for the
flexible fence would keep him off. No; he sailed over the place
in one of those air-screw machines, with a fan workin' under the
car to keep it up."

"And so he soared up above my glass roof and looked down, I

"That's what he did," said Samuel; "but he had a good deal of
trouble doin' it. It was moonlight, and I watched him."

"Why didn't you fire at him?" asked Clewe. "Or at least let fly
one of the ammonia squirts and bring him down?"

"I wanted to see what he would do," said the old man. "The
machine he had couldn't be steered, of course. He could go up
well enough, but the wind took him where it wanted to. But I
must give this feller the credit of sayin' that he managed his
basket pretty well. He carried it a good way to the windward of
the lens-house, and then sent it up, expectin' the wind to take
it directly over the glass roof, but it shifted a little, and so
he missed the roof and had to try it again. He made two or three
bad jobs of it, but finally managed it by hitchin' a long cord to
a tree, and then the wind held him there steady enough to let him
look down for a good while."

"You don't tell me that!" cried Clewe. "Did you stay there and
let him look down into my lens-house?"

The old man laughed. "I let him look down," said he, "but he
didn't see nothin'. I was laughin' at him all the time he was at
work. He had his instruments with him, and he was turnin' down
his different kinds of lights, thinkin', of course, that he could
see through any kind of coverin' that we put over our machines;
but, bless you! he couldn't do nothin', and I could almost hear
him swear as he rubbed his eyes after he had been lookin' down
for a little while."

Clewe laughed. "I see," said he. "I suppose you turned on the

"That's just what I did," said the old man. "Every night while
you were away I had the lens-room filled with the revolving-light
squirts, and when these were turned on I knew there was no
gettin' any kind of rays through them. A feller may look through
a roof and a wall, but he can't look through light comin' the
other way, especially when it's twistin' and curlin' and

"That's a capital idea," said Clewe. "I never thought of using
the photo-hose in that way. But there are very few people in
this world who would know anything about my new lens machinery
even if they saw it. This fellow must have been that Pole,
Rovinski. I met him in Europe, and I think he came over here not
long before I did."

"That's the man, sir," said Samuel. "I turned a needle searchlight
on him just as he was givin' up the business, and I have got a little
photograph of him at the house. His face is mostly beard, but
you'll know him."

"What became of him?" asked Clewe.

"My light frightened him," he said, "and the wind took him over
into the woods. I thought, as you were comin' home so soon, I
wouldn't do nothin' more. You had better attend to him

"Very good," said Clewe. "I'll do that."

The home of Roland Clewe, a small house plainly furnished, but
good enough for a bachelor's quarters, stood not half a mile from
the station, and near it were the extensive buildings which he
called his Works. Here were laboratories, large machine-shops in
which many men were busy at all sorts of strange contrivances in
metal and other materials; and besides other small edifices there
was a great round tower-like structure, with smooth iron walls
thirty feet high and without windows, and which was lighted and
ventilated from the top. This was Clewe's special workshop; and
besides old Samuel Block and such workmen as were absolutely
necessary and could be trusted, few people ever entered it but
himself. The industries in the various buildings were diverse,
some of them having no apparent relation to the others. Each of
them was expected to turn out something which would revolutionize
something or other in this world, but it was to his lens-house
that Roland Clewe gave, in these days, his special attention.
Here a great enterprise was soon to begin, more important in his
eyes than anything else which had engaged human endeavor.

When sometimes in his moments of reflection he felt obliged to
consider the wonders of applied electricity, and give them their
due place in comparison with the great problem he expected to
solve, he had his moments of doubt. But these moments did not
come frequently. The day would arrive when from his lens-house
there would be promulgated a great discovery which would astonish
the world.

During Roland Clewe's absence in Germany his works had been left
under the general charge of Samuel Block. This old man was not a
scientific person; he was not a skilled mechanic; in fact, he had
been in early life a shoemaker. But when Roland Clewe, some five
years before, had put up his works near the little village of
Sardis, he had sent for Block, whom he had known all his life and
who was at that time the tenant of a small farm, built a cottage
for him and his wife, and told him to take care of the place.
From planning the grounds and superintending fences, old Sammy
had begun to keep an eye upon builders and mechanics; and, being
a very shrewd man, he had gradually widened the sphere of his
caretaking, until, at this time, he exercised a nominal
supervision over all the buildings. He knew what was going on in
each; he had a good idea, sometimes, of the scientific basis of
this or that bit of machinery, and had gradually become
acquainted with the workings and management of many of the
instruments; and now and then he gave to his employer very good
hints in regard to the means of attaining an end, more especially
in the line of doing something by instrumentalities not intended
for that purpose. If Sammy could take any machine which had been
constructed to bore holes, and with it plug up orifices, he would
consider that he had been of advantage to his kind.

Block was a thoroughly loyal man. The interests of his employer
were always held by him first and above everything. But although
the old man understood, sometimes very well, and always in a fair
degree, what the inventor was trying to accomplish, and
appreciated the magnitude and often the amazing nature of his
operations, he never believed in any of them.

Sammy was a thoroughly old-fashioned man. He had been born and
had grown up in the days when a steam-locomotive was good enough
and fast enough for any sensible traveller, and he greatly
preferred a good pair of horses to any vehicle which one steered
with a handle and regulated the speed thereof with a knob.
Roland Clew e might devise all the wonderful contrivances he
pleased, and he might do all sorts of astonishing things with
them, but Sammy would still be of the opinion that, even if the
machines did all that they were expected to do, the things they
did generally would not be worth the doing.

Still, the old man would not interfere by word or deed with any
of the plans or actions of his employer. On the contrary, he
would help him in every possible way--by fidelity, by suggestion,
by constant devotion and industry; but, in spite of all that, it
was one of the most firmly founded principles of his life that
Roland Clewe had no right to ask him to believe in the value of
the wild and amazing schemes he had on hand.

Before Roland Clewe slept that night he had visited all his
workshops, factories, and laboratories. His men had been busily
occupied during his absence under the directions of their various
special managers, and those in charge were of the opinion that
everything had progressed as favorably and as rapidly as should
have been expected; but Roland Clewe was not satisfied, even
though many of his inventions and machines were much nearer
completion than he had expected to find them. The work necessary
to be done in his lens-house before he could go on with the great
work of his life was not yet finished.

As well as he could judge, it would be a month or two before he
could devote himself to those labors in his lens-house the
thought of which had so long filled his mind by day, and even
during his sleep.

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The Great Stone Of Sardis - Chapter III - MARGARET RALEIGH The Great Stone Of Sardis - Chapter III - MARGARET RALEIGH

The Great Stone Of Sardis - Chapter III - MARGARET RALEIGH
After breakfast the-following morning Roland Clewe mounted hishorse and rode over to a handsome house which stood upon a hillabout a mile and a half from Sardis. Horses, which had almostgone out of use during the first third of the century, were nowgetting to be somewhat in fashion again. Many people nowappreciated the pleasure which these animals had given to theworld since the beginning of history, and whose place, in anaesthetic sense, no inanimate machine could supply. As RolandClewe swung himself from the saddle at the foot of a broad flightof steps, the house door was opened and

The Great Stone Of Sardis - Chapter I - THE ARRIVAL OF THE EUTERPE-THALIA The Great Stone Of Sardis - Chapter I - THE ARRIVAL OF THE EUTERPE-THALIA

The Great Stone Of Sardis - Chapter I - THE ARRIVAL OF THE EUTERPE-THALIA
It was about noon of a day in early summer that a westward-boundAtlantic liner was rapidly nearing the port of New York. Not longbefore, the old light-house on Montauk Point had been sighted,and the company on board the vessel were animated by the knowledgethat in a few hours they would be at the end of their voyage.The vessel now speeding along the southern coast of Long Islandwas the Euterpe-Thalia, from Southampton. On Wednesday morningshe had left her English port, and many of her passengers werenaturally anxious to be on shore in time to transact their businesson the last day