Or is it really all in my mind?”
“You don’t know.”
“Then why do you think my teachers are so good?” His face was like steel, dark and sharp. “My teachers never taught me anything except how to play the guitar, and if they did, they never said so.” His voice, the tone of which had once been calm and composed, was now as rough and guttural as it was before. This was not a young man speaking, but a very old one.
“You could be one of my brothers-in-law.”
“I never said I was,” he answered in his voice thick with emotion. His eyes were wild and cruel, as if he believed he had some secret that should never be revealed. “If so, you would be the one person who knows of my existence. You’d be my only contact with anyone. I only heard from you once,” he went on coldly.
There was a moment’s silence and then Mr. Fogg’s voice rang through the room:
“Mr. Fogg,” he said at last, “heaven help you, what was that all about?”
“He is one of my teachers,” the young man answered, with a tremulous voice. “I only heard from him once, when I was four years old.”
“I don’t believe him.”
“Because I’m not a man.” He shook his head, as if trying to erase what had occurred. “My mother left me when I was born, and I’m still in the same house. And I have no family. I’m the last of my race. I know I am. My people—my race—is dead. The other races died when they were on their way to paradise,” he cried out the words in an awful cry, as though it were a curse. “They died as soon as they came in contact. My people never came to paradise, because their race died first, and they did not come back before they came. The race that died was the race after the race, and they did not leave the race that died. The race that died was the race after the race, and they made no progress. Their people did not come into life until they were a hundred years old. They never had anything to look forward to. Their children have nothing of their own, even the children they do have. They never have anything to live for.”
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