then I shall come into that room, if I have to use an
axe, and bring you out--do you understand?"
Professor Maxon smiled wanly. He knew that his daughter was equal to
"All right, sweetheart, I'll be through by noon for sure--by noon for
sure. Run along and play now, like a good little girl."
Virginia Maxon shrugged her shapely shoulders and shook her head
hopelessly at the forbidding panels of the door.
"My dolls are all dressed for the day," she cried, "and I'm tired of
making mud pies--I want you to come out and play with me." But
Professor Maxon did not reply--he had returned to view his grim
operations, and the hideousness of them had closed his ears to the
sweet tones of the girl's voice.
As she turned to retrace her steps to the floor below Miss Maxon still
shook her head.
"Poor old Daddy," she mused, "were I a thousand years old, wrinkled and
toothless, he would still look upon me as his baby girl."
If you chance to be an alumnus of Cornell you may recall Professor
Arthur Maxon, a quiet, slender, white-haired gentleman, who for several
years was an assistant professor in one of the departments of natural
science. Wealthy by inheritance, he had chosen the field of education
for his life work solely from a desire to be of some material benefit
to mankind since the meager salary which accompanied his professorship
was not of sufficient import to influence him in the slightest degree.
Always keenly interested in biology, his almost unlimited means had
permitted him to undertake, in secret, a series of daring experiments
which had carried him so far in advance of the biologists of his day
that he had, while others were still groping blindly for the secret of
life, actually reproduced by chemical means the great phenomenon.
Fully alive to the gravity and responsibilities of his marvellous
discovery he had kept the results of his experimentation, and even the
experiments themselves, a profound secret not only from his colleagues,
but from his only daughter, who heretofore had shared his every hope
It was the very success of his last and most pretentious effort that
had placed him in the horrifying predicament in which he now found
himself--with the corpse of what was apparently a human being in his
workshop and no available explanation that could possibly be acceptable
to a matter-of-fact and unscientific police.
Had he told them the truth they would have laughed at him. Had he
said: "This is not a human being that you see, but
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