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Quick Action by Robert W. Chambers

QUICK ACTION

[Illustration: "'Are you preaching?' asked Athalie, raising her eyes from the Green God."]

QUICK ACTION

_By_

ROBERT W. CHAMBERS

ILLUSTRATED BY

EDMUND FREDERICK

D. APPLETON AND COMPANY NEW YORK AND LONDON: MCMXIV

COPYRIGHT, 1914, BY

ROBERT W. CHAMBERS

Copyright, 1913, by Harper's Bazaar, Inc. Copyright, 1914, by The Star Co.

Printed in the United States of America

TO PENELOPE SEARS DEBUTANTE

_To rhyme your name With something lovely, fresh and young, And sing the same In measures heretofore unsung, Is far beyond me, I'm afraid; I'll not attempt it, dearest maid._

_No, not in verse, Synthetic, stately, classic, chaste, Shall I rehearse-- Although in perfectly good taste-- A catalogue of every grace That you inherit from your race._

_Gracious and kind, The gods your beauty gave to you, And with a mind These same kind gods endowed you, too; That charming union is, I fear, Somewhat uncommon on this sphere._

_I have no doubt That scores of poets chant your fame; No doubt, about A million suitors press their claim; And fashion, elegance and wit Are at your feet inclined to sit._

_Penelope, The fire-light flickers to and fro: In you I see The winsome child I used to know-- My little Maiden of Romance Still whirling in your Shadow Dance._

_Though woman-grown, To my unreconciled surprise I gladly own The same light lies within your eyes-- The same sweet candour which beguiled Your rhymster when you were a child._

_And so I come, With limping verse to you again, Amid the hum Of that young world wherein you reign-- Only a moment to appear And say: "Your rhymster loves you, dear."_

_R. W. C._

PREFACE

Always animated by a desire to contribute in a small way toward scientific investigation, the author offers this humble volume to a more serious audience than he has so far ventured to address.

For all those who have outgrown the superficial amusement of mere fiction this volume, replete with purpose, is written in hopes that it may stimulate students to original research in certain obscure realms of science, the borderlands of which, hitherto, have been scarcely crossed.

There is perhaps no division of science as important, none so little understood, as the science of Crystal Gazing.


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