Page:Germ Growers.djvu/246

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241
ESCAPE.

our favour now. Our speed is at the very highest, and whosoever put in the battery must have known that it would be so; even if the wind were to fall the difference would not be very great. Now, what do you say?"

Easterly. I think we must go as we are going until dawn of day anyway. If we are not pursued before then, we shall not be pursued at all.

Wilbraham. Why do you think that?

Easterly. It seems to be the way of these fellows to keep as clear of civilised men as is consistent with the pursuit of their malevolent purposes.

Wilbraham. What do you suppose to be their motive?

Easterly. Well, it doesn't seem very far to seek. Among civilised men there is very little belief in the existence of such beings; what little there is is usually not active, and so far as it is active it attributes to them, just as the belief of savage men does, powers greatly in excess of those which they really possess. Either state of mind is highly favourable to their ends, and anything substituted for either; a state of mind like neither would of course be avoided by them. They might almost live among savages without in any way detracting from a highly exaggerated view of their powers; but any decisive appearance of them among civilised men; any experience such as we have had, if established and