hese forces will not some day revolutionize our universe? It is easy to arrogate to yourself a claim to superior knowledge in the face of such general ignorance. I confined myself, therefore, to begging Sperver to moderate his anger, and beyond all things not to fire upon the Black Plague, warning him that it would very probably bring grave misfortune upon himself.
"Bah! I will risk all that!" he exclaimed; "the worst they could do would be to hang me."
"But that would be a good deal for an honest man to suffer."
"As well die one way as another. In this case, you are suffocated, that's all. I would as lief die that way as to receive a blow on my head, or a stroke of apoplexy, or give up smoking, drinking, and a good digestion."
"My dear Gideon, that sounds odd, coming from a graybeard."
"Graybeard or not, that is the way I look at it. I always keep a bullet in my rifle at the service of the witch; from time to time, I renew the priming, and if ever the occasion offers--" He