By Stanislaw Lem
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The manager Inspector did not say something. After a second or so Gregory spoke back his personal query. "You sought after me to listen to what Williams stated, correct? perhaps. . . I should still move now. it's totally overdue and that i don't need to soak up from now on of it slow. " Sheppard rose to his ft, opened a flat case containing a tape recorder, and hooked up the speaker. "The recording was once made at his request," he stated to Gregory. "The technicians have been in a hurry and the recorder wasn't operating too good, so the sound is not the top. you would larger stream nearer. Now hearken to this. " He threaded the tape into the spool, plugged within the extension wire, and changed the modulation knob; the recorder pulsated once or twice; a gentle hum emanated from the speaker, through a number of knocks and a few scratching noises, and eventually a distant voice, distorted as though it used to be coming via a steel tube. "May I communicate now? Commissioner, surgeon, could I? I had an outstanding flashlight. . . my spouse gave it to me simply this yr, for the evening shift. First time I went round he is mendacity there the standard means, together with his fingers like this; subsequent time round I listen a crash like a bag of potatoes is falling. I shine my mild in the course of the moment window -- he is at the flooring. I determine he should have fell out of the coffin yet he is relocating already. i feel i need to be dreaming all this so I rub my eyes with snow, yet he retains shuffling alongside, falling in all places as he is going. Commissioner, i do not know the way lengthy this went on, however it was once lengthy sufficient, think me. I stored shining my gentle yet i did not be aware of if I should still pass in or now not, and there he's, flapping round and turning over and eventually he reaches the window and that i could not see him too stable simply because he was once crawling correct below the window, creating a hell of a racket forever. Then the shutters come open. " An vague voice within the heritage requested whatever; it was once tough to make out the phrases. "That i do not know," resounded a voice towards the microphone. "And i did not see if any glass used to be falling both. probably it did, yet i will not say. i used to be status over at the aspect, i will not. . . cannot be capable of convey you. So i used to be status this manner and he was once sitting or no matter what he used to be doing this manner -- all i may see was once his head -- i may have touched it, Commissioner, it used to be toward me than this right here desk is. I shined my gentle inside of and lit where up genuine solid and there has been not anything there, basically the empty coffin with a few shavings in it and not anything else and nobody was once there. I lean over and have a look within the window and there he's down lower than me; his legs going a dozen methods whilst and he is rocking from side to side like a under the influence of alcohol, surgeon, he is crawling alongside on his facet and tapping away, like a blind guy tapping his cane, other than he used to be doing it along with his arms. or even he had anything. 'Halt,' I says to him, 'what d'you imagine you are doing, what is going on right here? ' -- that is what I acknowledged, or anything like that. " a brief silence undefined, with the exception of a gentle, gentle creaking, as though an individual used to be scratching the microphone with a needle.