Chapter 35

           Brissendengavenoexplanationofhislongabsence,nordidMartinpryintoit. Hewascontenttoseehisfriend’scadaverousfaceoppositehimthroughthesteamrisingfromatumbleroftoddy. 

           "I,too,havenotbeenidle,"Brissendenproclaimed,afterhearingMartin’saccountoftheworkhehadaccomplished. 

           HepulledamanuscriptfromhisinsidecoatpocketandpassedittoMartin,wholookedatthetitleandglancedupcuriously. 

           "Yes,that’sit,"Brissendenlaughed. "Prettygoodtitle,eh?‘Ephemera’itistheoneword. Andyou’reresponsibleforit,whatofyourman,whoisalwaystheerected,thevitalizedinorganic,thelatestoftheephemera,thecreatureoftemperaturestruttinghislittlespaceonthethermometer. ItgotintomyheadandIhadtowriteittogetridofit. Tellmewhatyouthinkofit." 

           Martin’sface,flushedatfirst,paledashereadon. Itwasperfectart. Formtriumphedoversubstance,iftriumphitcouldbecalledwherethelastconceivableatomofsubstancehadfoundexpressioninsoperfectconstructionastomakeMartin’sheadswimwithdelight,toputpassionatetearsintohiseyes,andtosendchillscreepingupanddownhisback. Itwasalongpoemofsixorsevenhundredlines,anditwasafantastic,amazing,unearthlything. Itwasterrific,impossible; andyetthereitwas,scrawledinblackinkacrossthesheetsofpaper. Itdealtwithmanandhissoul-gropingsintheirultimateterms,plumbingtheabyssesofspaceforthetestimonyofremotestsunsandrainbowspectrums. 

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