(March 4th to 10th)

Format: Triple

‘…I hear a thud in the engine-room. Then a noise of machinery falling down, like fire-irons – and then two most awful yells. They’re more like hoots, and I know – I know while I listen – that it means that two men have died as they hooted. It was their last breath hooting out of them – in most awful pain. Do you understand ?’
‘I ought to. Go on.’
‘That’s the first part. Then I hear bare feet running along the alleyway. One of the scalded men comes up behind me and says quite distinctly,”My friend! All is lost!” Then he taps me on the shoulder and I hear him drop down dead’…


This is from ‘In the Same Boat’ in ‘A Diversity of Creatures’.

Two young people meet on a train journey, and discover that both are troubled by fearful recurring nightmares, which have driven them both to drug addiction.

Here the young man is telling of his own nightmare. Later they find that in these dreams they are reliving experiences of their mothers, before they were born.

‘…the magic – the manifestations – the Hertzian waves – are all revealed by this . The coherer, we call it.’
He picked up a glass tube, not much thicker than a thermometer, in which, almost touching, were two tiny silver plugs, and between them an infinitesimal pinch of metallic dust. ‘That’s all’, he said proudly …’That is the thing that will reveal to us the Powers – whatever the Powers may be – at work – through space – a long distance away.’


This is from ‘Wireless’ in ‘Traffics and Discoveries’ (1904).

The narrator has come to observe an early experiment in wireless communication, like those of Marconi. The site of the experiment happen to be a pharmacy, and – mysteriously – not only do wireless waves come to them through space, but through time, in the shape of the words of a poem by an earlier pharmacist, the poet Keats, coming from the past through the ether.

…’I’m not committing myself to anything…but every dam’ tissue up to now seems to have its own time for its own tides. Samples from the same source have the same tides in strength and time. But, as I showed you just now, there are minute constant variations – reactions to something or other – in each tide, as individual as finger-prints…’


This is from ‘Unprofessional’ in ‘Limits and Renewals’.

A group of doctors are looking into the possible connections between the heavenly bodies – which raise tides on earth – and cancer cells. One of them has discovered mysterious ‘tides’ in normal human tissues, which are not present in malignant cells; the timing of this ebb and flow affects the body’s responses to a doctor’s intervention.