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made myself acquainted with the details of Tyrrell's
biographical abridgement, which indicated that he
was a pretty tough proposition. To put it plainly he
was an eminent mathematician, philosopher, and
physicist. As a mathematician I'd never advanced
much beyond "six from four you can't, six from four-
teen leaves eight"; and I knew no more about the
functions of a physicist than a cat in a kitchen. "What
sort of a man is he to meet?" I asked dubiously.
Markington licked and closed the envelope of his
rapidly written letter. "Tyrrell is the most uncom-
promising character I know. An extraordinary brain,
of course. But you needn't be alarmed by that; you'll
find him perfectly easy to get on with. A talk with
him ought to clarify your ideas. I've explained your
position quite briefly. But, as I said before, I hope
you won't be too impetuous."

I put the letter in my pocket, thanked him warmly,
and went soberly down the stairs and along the quiet
side-street into the Strand. While I was debating
whether I ought to buy and try to read one of TyrrelPs
books before going to see him, I almost bumped into
a beefy Major-General. It was lunch-time and he
was turning in at the Savoy Hotel entrance. Rather
grudgingly, I saluted. As I went on my way, I
wondered what the War Office would say if it knew
what I was up to.


EARLY IN the afternoon I left the letter at TyrrelPs
address in Bloomsbury. He telegraphed that he
could see me in the evening, and punctually at the
appointed hour I returned to the quiet square.  My
memory is not equal to the effort of reconstructing