And such was the exact truth for these few midnight minutes which were being ticked off by an ancient wooden clock in the corner were the most anxious of his life. In fact, a few more of them would decide whether the Great Experiment, for which he had sacrificed everything, even to his home and his great professional position, was to be a success or a failure. On the long, bare, pine table, beside which he was pacing up and down, stood a strange fabric about three feet high. It was round, and about the size of a four-gallon ale jar. It was covered completely by a closed glass cylinder, and rested on four strong glass supports. From the floor on either side of the table a number of twisted, silk-covered wires rose from two sets of storage batteries. Within the four supports was a wooden dish, and on this lay a piece of bright steel some four inches square and about an inch thick, just under a circle of needles which hung down in a circle from the bottom of the machine. A very faint humming sound filled the room, and made a somewhat uncanny accompaniment to the leisurely tick of the clock and the irregular shuffling of the doctors slippered feet. Every now and then he stopped, and put his ear near to the machine, and then looked at the piece of steel with a gleam of longing anticipation in his keen, deep-set, grey eyes. Then he began his walk again, and his lips went on working, as though he were holding an inaudible conversation with himself.