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towered the sphinx, upon the bronze pedestal, white, shining,
leprous, in the light of the rising moon. It seemed to smile in
mockery of my dismay.

‘I might have consoled myself by imagining the little people had
put the mechanism in some shelter for me, had I not felt assured of
their physical and intellectual inadequacy. That is what dismayed
me: the sense of some hitherto unsuspected power, through whose
intervention my invention had vanished. Yet, for one thing I felt
assured: unless some other age had produced its exact duplicate,
the machine could not have moved in time. The attachment of the
levers-I will show you the method later-prevented any one from
tampering with it in that way when they were removed. It had
moved, and was hid, only in space. But then, where could it be? ‘I
think I must have had a kind of frenzy. I remember running
violently in and out among the moonlit bushes all round the
sphinx, and startling some white animal that, in the dim light, I
took for a small deer. I remember, too, late that night, beating the
bushes with my clenched fist until my knuckles were gashed and
bleeding from the broken twigs. Then, sobbing and raving in my
anguish of mind, I went down to the great building of stone. The
big hall was dark, silent, and deserted. I slipped on the uneven
floor, and fell over one of the malachite tables, almost breaking my
shin. I lit a match and went on past the dusty curtains, of which I
have told you.

‘There I found a second great hall covered with cushions, upon
which, perhaps, a score or so of the little people were sleeping. I
have no doubt they found my second appearance strange enough,
coming suddenly out of the quiet darkness with inarticulate noises
and the splutter and flare of a match. For they had forgotten about
matches. “Where is my Time Machine?” I began, bawling like an
angry child, laying hands upon them and shaking them up
together. It must have been very queer to them. Some laughed,
most of them looked sorely frightened.

When I saw them standing round me, it came into my head that I
was doing as foolish a thing as it was possible for me to do under
the circumstances, in trying to revive the sensation of fear. For,
reasoning from their daylight behaviour, I thought that fear must
be forgotten.

‘Abruptly, I dashed down the match, and, knocking one of the
people over in my course, went blundering across the big dining-
hall again, out under the moonlight. I heard cries of terror and
their little feet running and stumbling this way and that. I do not
remember all I did as the moon crept up the sky. I suppose it was
the unexpected nature of my loss that maddened me. I felt
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