smash a private bottle of brandy in her box. And to confess it too!… But this gives us—it opens—a most amazing vista of possibilities. If we can work this miraculous change in her … ”
“The thing’s unlimited seemingly,” said Mr. Fotheringay. “And about Mr. Winch—”
“Altogether unlimited.” And from the hearthrug Mr. Maydig, waving the Winch difficulty aside, unfolded a series of wonderful proposals—proposals he invented as he went along.
Now what those proposals were does not concern the essentials of this story. Suffice it that they were designed in a spirit of infinite benevolence, the sort of benevolence that used to be called post-prandial. Suffice it, too, that the problem of Winch remained unsolved. Nor is it necessary to describe how far that series got to its fulfilment. There were astonishing changes. The small hours found Mr. Maydig and Mr. Fotheringay careering across the chilly market-square under the still moon, in a sort of ecstasy of thaumaturgy, Mr. Maydig all flap and gesture, Mr. Fotheringay short and bristling, and no longer abashed at his greatness. They had reformed every drunkard in the Parliamentary division, changed all the beer and alcohol to water (Mr. Maydig had overruled Mr. Fotheringay on this point); they had, further, greatly improved the railway communication of the place, drained Flinder’s swamp, improved the soil of One Tree Hill, and cured the Vicar’s wart. And they were going to see what could be done with the injured pier at South Bridge. “The place,” gasped Mr. Maydig, “won’t be the same place to-morrow. How surprised and thankful everyone will be!” And just at that moment the church clock struck three.
“I say,” said Mr. Fotheringay, “that’s three o’clock! I must be getting back. I’ve got to be at business by eight. And besides, Mrs. Wimms—”
“We’re only beginning,” said Mr. Maydig, full of the sweetness of unlimited power. “We’re only beginning. Think of all the good we’re doing. When people wake—”
“But—,” said Mr. Fotheringay.
Mr. Maydig gripped his arm suddenly. His eyes were bright and wild. “My dear chap,” he said, “there’s no hurry. Look”—he pointed to the moon at the zenith—”Joshua!”
“Joshua?” said Mr. Fotheringay.
“Joshua,” said Mr. Maydig. “Why not? Stop it.”
Mr. Fotheringay looked at the moon.
“That’s a bit tall,” he said after a pause.
“Why not?” said Mr. Maydig. “Of course it doesn’t stop. You stop the rotation of the earth, you know. Time stops. It isn’t as if we were doing harm.”
“H’m!” said Mr. Fotheringay. “Well.” He sighed. “I’ll try. Here—”
He buttoned up his jacket and addressed himself to the habitable globe, with as good an assumption of confidence as lay in his power. “Jest stop rotating, will you,” said Mr. Fotheringay.
Incontinently he was flying head over heels through the air at the rate of dozens of miles a minute. In spite of the