THE OUTLAWS FETCH THE HOLLY 207
before we continue our investigations any further. I'd like to discover whether the painting of the face is common to all the Martians or whether it is the mark of a particular rank or class. However, all that can come when we have correlated our two languages better. At present I am sure that he needs rest more than anything."
He turned to William with the reassuring smile and beckoned. William followed him out of the room, up the stairs and into a bedroom. There the Professor waved him to a bed and disappeared. William gazed about him distastefully. He was suddenly tired of being a Martian and his only desire now was to return to his own character. He looked out of the window, but the room was on the third floor and there was no drain-pipe or tree near the window by which he might escape. He went to the door, and opened it very slightly. The Professor sat just outside, so as to be ready to receive his guest immediately on his awaking. He was writing in his little book and had not noticed the opening of the door. William hastily closed it again and considered the situation. There didn't seem anything to do at present but follow the line of least resistance and wait for Fate to find some way out for him. The bed looked inviting, and William, as Red Indian, Arab Chief and Martian, had had a tiring day. He climbed upon, it composing his robes about him and laying his corked cheek upon a snowy linen pillow. He had a hazy impression of the Professor's opening the door and gazing at him with a proud and beatific smile before he drifted off into a doze. He was awakened by the sound of voices—his father's and the Professor's.
His father was speaking.
" I'm sorry to trouble you, but the boy's friends say that he's completely disappeared. They were playing in the wood and they say that he vanished, leaving no trace. They'd no right to be there at all, of course.