Page:Reign of the Super-Man.djvu/7

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7
SCIENCE FICTION

wrong. And when the flapping of the wind-buffeted curtains drew his attention to the open-windows, he cursed heartily. Dunn had escaped!


SCARCELY REALIZING what he did or where he was bound, Dunn staggered down ± the streets. As he approached people, they shrank away, believing him to be under the influence of some powerful stimulant. Fate or extremely good luck kept him away from the vigilant eye of officers of the law. Soon Dunn was babbling incoherently and dashing along the streets at full speed, disregarding any who might be in his way. The professor's residence was situated near a public park. He was soon rushing into its shadows, tearing through the desolate park, l½ke and escaped lunatic. In his blind dash he noted no obstacles. When he crashed unexpectedly into a tree, therefore, he received the full force of the violent contact. He toppled to the ground, dazed and half-conscious.

Suddenly, as he lay there on the ground, a veritable holocaust of confusion burst upon his mind. ''I tell you, yo've got to use a little s?mtedey. Brains is what this gang needs, and brains is what it ain't got.'' ''The damn fool; I thought she said she could play bridge.'' ''I gotta have that dough, Ma, I gotta have it!'' ''I'll wait until he turns around and then I'll let him have it in the back.'' ''He's just a kixd, Mame. Why don't you let him alone!'' ''Listen, you; we don't stand for walchers in this burg, see!'' ''I wonder what she thinks I am; a sap for her to wipe her dirty shoes on!'' ''Listen, Chief, get this straight. It was Maretti who did the killin', not me. I wouldn't squeal on a pal, but ———'' ''So I talls the umpohny I'm not that kind ova dame. Well, he just looks at me and laughs himself blue in the face. And say, dearie, did I get mad!''

What gibberish was this that darted into his brain like thousands of little light-rays!

''Gentlemen, this is a serious problem that confronts us.'' ''I'd better watch that guy. He looks bad. Maybe he's followed me from Chicago.'' ''To hell with the anarchists!'' ''I'd starve before I'd go back to that brute.'' ''I wish he'd keep on his own feet. A helluva nerve he had askin' a swell dancer like me to fox trot with a palooka like him.'' ''Look her, punk. You may be the star reporter on this rag but unless you turn in your copy by three o'clock you'll be out in the street peddling shoe-laces.'' ''I must not forget to wake up early tomorrow morning.''

Dunn shook his head. He wished that the terrible noise raging within his head would cease. Scarcely had he conceived the desire, before the pestilence disappeared. Abruptly he caught himself wondering what Professor Smalley was thinking at the moment, how he had taken Dunn's escape.


AT THE same moment a voice within him began to speak, a voice that undoubtedly belonged to none other than —— Professor Smalley himself. ''He's gone and the chances are ten to one that I'll never locate him again. What infernal luck. My precious chemical wasted! I'll get him somehow. Why did the fool have to run away! How could he have suspected my motive! Perhaps I should inform the police, hire detectives. Tell them he's a dangerous maniac. Either that or I'll put some crime upon him, frame him. God knows what may happen to him; he may be transformed to an imbecile, but on the other hand ——————''

Abruptly the voice ceased speaking, Dunn gasped. Was he going crazy, or, sterner possibility, was he already insane?

And then the solution occurred to him; the monstrous, unbelievable truth. Somehow, someway, Professor Smalley had treated him with some chemical that had sharpened his mind so that he could hear thoughts! But was that all?

The five senses! Were they all influenced!

Sound —— Yes!
Touch —— (Dunn touched himself. He noted no new sensation.)
 No!
Scent —— No.
Taste —— (Dunn raised a pinch of dirt and dropped it into his mouth. He spat it out quickly.)
 No!
Sight ————————

Dunn considered the problem of sight. Was it improved? How could he determine whether it was or not?