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The footsteps of some one person detached itself from the other sounds, and drew near, firm, evenly measured steps. The curtain lifted slowly. A tall, white-haired man, clad in garments of cream-coloured silk, appeared, regarding Graham from under his raised arm.
For a moment the white form remained holding the curtain, then dropped it and stood before it. Graham’s first impression was of a very broad forehead, very pale blue eyes deep sunken under white brows, an aquiline nose, and a heavily-lined resolute mouth. The folds of flesh over the eyes, the drooping of the corners of the mouth contradicted the upright bearing, and said the man was old. Graham rose to his feet instinctively, and f nike air max sale or a moment the two men stood in silence, regarding each other.
“You are Ostrog?” said Graham.
“I am Ostrog.”
“The Boss?”
“So I am called.”
Graham felt the inconvenience of the silence. “I have to thank you chiefly, I understand, for my safety,” he said presently.
“We were afraid you were killed,” said Ostrog. “Or sent to sleep again–for ever. We have been doing everything to keep our secret–the secret of your disappearance. Where have you been? How did you get here?”
Graham told him briefly.
Ostrog listened in silence.
He smiled faintly. “Do you know what I was doing when they came to tell me you had come?”
“How can I guess?”
“Preparing your double.”
“My double?”
“A man as like you as we could find. We were going to hypnotise him, to save him the difficulty of acting. It was imperative. The whole of this revolt depends on the idea that you are awake, alive, and with us. Even now a great multitude of people has gathered in the theatre clamouring to see you. They do not trust…. You know, of course–something of your positio cheap nike air max trainers n?”
“Very little,” said Graham.
“It is like this.” Ostrog walked a pace or two into the room and turned. “You are absolute owner,” he said, “of the world. You are King of the Earth. Your powers are limited in many intricate ways, but you are the figure-head, the popular symbol of government. This White Council, the Council of Trustees as it is called–”
“I have heard the vague outline of these things.”
“I wonder nike air max classic ed.”
“I came upon a garrulous old man.”
“I see…. Our masses–the word comes from your days–you know, of course, that we still have masses–regard you as our actual ruler. Just as a great number of people in your days regarded the Crown as the ruler. They are discontented–the masses all over the earth–with the rule of your Trustees. For the most part it is the old discontent, the old quarrel of the common man with his commonness–the misery of work and discipline and unfitness. But your Trustees have ruled ill. In certain matters, in the administration of the Labour Companies, for example, they have been unwise. They have given endless opportunities. Already we of the popular party were agitating for reforms–when your waking came. Came! If it had been contrived it could not have come more opportunely.” He smiled. “Th nike air max e public mind, making no allowance for your years of quiescence, had already hit on the thought of waking you and appealing to you, and–Flash!”
He indicated the outbreak by a gesture, and Graham moved his head to show that he understood.
“The Council muddled–quarrelled. They always do. They could not decide what to do with you. You know how they imprisoned you?”
“I see. I see. And now–we win?”
“We win. Indeed we win. To-night, in five swift hours. Suddenly we struck everywhere. The wind-vane people, the Labour Company and its millions, burst the bonds. We got the pull of the aeroplanes.”
“Yes,” said Graham.
“That was, of course, essential. Or they could have got away. All the city rose, every third man almost was in it! All the blue, all the public services, save only just a few aeronauts and about half the red police nike air max 90 sale . You were rescued, and their own police of the ways–not half of them could be massed at the Council House–have been broken up, disarmed or killed. All London is ours–now. Only the Council House remains.
“Half of those who remain to them of the red police were lost in that foolish attempt to recapture you. They lost their heads when they lost you. They flung all they had at the theatre. We cut them off from the Council House there. Truly to-night has been a night of victory. Everywhere your star has blazed. A day ago–the White Council ruled as it has ruled for a gross of years, for a century and a half of years, and then, with only a little whispering, a covert arming here and there, suddenly–So!”
“I am very ignorant,” said Graham. “I suppose–I do not clearly understand the conditions of this fighting. If you could cheap nike air max explain. Where is the Council? Where is the fight?”
Ostrog stepped across the room, something clicked, and suddenly, save for an oval glow, they were in darkness. For a moment Graham was puzzled.
Then he saw that the cloudy grey disc had taken depth and colour, had assumed the appearance of an oval window looking out upon a strange unfamiliar scene.
At the first glance he was unable to guess what this scene might be. It was a daylight scene, the daylight of a wintry day, grey and clear. Across the picture, and halfway as it seemed between him and the remoter view, a stout cable of twisted white wire stretched vertically. Then he perceived that the rows of great wind-wheels he saw, the wide intervals, the occasional gulfs of darkness, were akin to those through which he had fled from the Council House. He distinguished an cheap nike air max orderly file of red figures marching across an open space between files of men in black, and realised before Ostrog spoke that he was looking down on the upper surface of latter-day London. The overnight snows had gone. He judged that this mirror was some modern replacement of the camera obscura, but that matter was not explained to him. He saw that though the file of red figures was trotting from left to right, yet they were passing out of the picture to the left. He wondered momentarily, and then saw that the picture was passing slowly, panorama fashion, across the oval.
“In a moment you will see the fighting,” said Ostrog at his elbow. “Those fellows in red you notice are prisoners. This is the roof space of London–all the houses are practically continuous now. The streets and public squares are covered in. The gaps a nike air max 1 nd chasms of your time have disappeared.”
Something out of focus obliterated half the picture. Its form suggested a man. There was a gleam of metal, a flash, something that swept across the oval, as the eyelid of a bird sw cheap nike air max eeps across its eye, and the picture was clear again. And now Graham beheld men running down among the wind-wheels, pointing weapons from which jetted out little smoky flashes. They swarmed thicker and thicker to the right, gesticulating–it might be they were shouting, but of that the picture told nothing. They and the wind-wheels passed slowly and steadily across the field of the mirror.
“Now,” said Ostrog, “comes the Council House,” and slowly a black edge crept into view and gathered Graham’s attention. Soon it was no longer an edge but a cavity, a huge blackened space amidst the clustering edifices, and from it thin spires of smoke rose into the pal nike air max 95 lid winter sky. Gaunt ruinous masses of the building, mighty truncated piers and girders, rose dismally out of this cavernous darkness. And over these vestiges of some splendid place, countless minute men were clambering, leaping, swarming.
“This is the Council House,” said Ostrog. “Their last stronghold. And the fools wasted enough ammunition to hold out for a month in blowing up the buildings all about them–to s nike air max top our attack. You heard the smash? It shattered half the brittle glass in the city.”
And while he spoke, Graham saw that beyond this area of ruins, overhanging it and rising to a great height, was a ragged mass of white building. This mass had been isolated by the ruthless destruction of its surroundings. Black gaps marked the passages the disaster had torn apart; big halls had been slashed open and the decoration of their interiors showed dismally in the wint nike air max 90 ry dawn, and down the jagged walls hung festoons of divided cables and twisted ends of lines and metallic rods. And amidst all the vast details moved little red specks, the red-clothed defenders of the Council. Every now and then faint flashes illuminated the bleak shadows. At the first sight it seemed to Graham that an attack upon this isolated white building was in progress, but then he perceived that the party of nike air max sale the revolt was not advancing, but sheltered amidst the colossal wreckage that encircled this last ragged stronghold of the red-garbed men, was keeping up a fitful firing.
And not ten hours ago he had stood beneath the ventilating fans in a

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