Apr. 12th, 2011

The hansom drew up in front of the modest building on Churchill Street and disgorged its passengers – two gentlemen in coats and tall hats. The London air being particularly hazy and irritating to the lungs, the men held handkerchiefs to their noses as they walked up to the front door.

"I object in the extreme, George," said one to the other. "It's true that Winsley has always been rather eccentric…"

"…by which you mean, Charles," interrupted George, "that he's always been rather soft in the head."

"I mean eccentric," insisted Charles. "Hardly a rare condition for a Fellow of the Society, I'm sure you'll admit."

"I'll admit that quite a few Fellows are also soft in the head," conceded George. He rapped on the green door of the house with the brass head of his walking stick.

"Not so loud now, right on his very doorstep," said Charles softly. "But surely even you must concede that Winsley's had some brilliant ideas. Unorthodox, yes, but original in the extreme."

George, a gruff character by any measure, snorted. "I shall tell you this much," he said, with absolutely no inclination to lower his voice. "Winsley had better have a damned good excuse for summoning us on such short notice. If he has something remarkable to demonstrate for us, I shall expect it to evince within me a distinct desire to remark over it, or else consider this visit a waste of time. Ah, here we are."

The door opened and Winsley's housekeeper escorted the gentlemen into Winsley's drawing room. There they found Winsley, all sharp features and swift movements, pacing up and down. His nervous demeanor changed to all smiles, and he practically leapt to greet his guests.

"Gentlemen, gentlemen," said Winsley, pumping George's unenthusiastic hand and then Charles' rather warmer one. "Please make yourselves comfortable. I am so very grateful that you have come – and I hope that my little demonstration will summon up such feelings in yourselves as well."

"We shall see about that," said George in a guarded tone.

"Yes, but Winsley, what's this all about?" asked Charles. "Why all the secrecy? And where the devil have you been the past two months?"

"Ah!" said Winsley, his eyes sparkling. "The answers to both questions are related. The past two months I have been hard at work devising equipment to test my latest theories." His eyes passed over an object in the corner of the room. It was the size of a spinning wheel, but its form was a mystery as it was shrouded in a red velvet cloth.

"Your latest theories?" pressed Charles. "Well, let's see now. At your last lecture at the Society, you were discoursing on the nature of the dimensions."

"Quite so, quite so!" said Winsley, very excited. "And my recent work has been an extension on those labours. But Charles, this has been the reason for my silence of late – the nature of the work I have been performing is so radical, I am certain it would be viewed askance by those Fellows of a more skeptical nature!"

"Harrumph," said George softly.

"Now, George, that's quite enough of that. I want to hear more," chided Charles. "Winsley, I take it then that you have not only extended your dimensional theories, but have also devised a means to test their factuality by some experiment?"

"Yes! and what is more, I have successfully built the means of performing said experiment! With my apparatus, I am capable of translating across the dimensions!" Winsley's eyes were very wild.

"Just a moment," said George suspiciously. "Do you mean to say, sir, that you have created a machine that can transport a person through time?"

"Even better!" crowed Winsley. "My machine transports a person through space!"

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