"You can't," she objected with conviction. "I'm the only oneyou'ethereum hash typeve seen.""That's soon remedied," Dick declared. He turned toward the halldoor as if with the intention of lighting the chandelier.
As he said this, Professor Blinkwell observed a hdogecoin valuealffrightened, half-mutinous expression upon Myra's attractive, but rather heavy, features, which were not usually quick to expose her thoughts."I shouldn't like - - " she began. "I didn't think you'd ever ask me to - - "
"My dear Myra, don't be a fool! What are you supposing that you didn't think that you ever should?""I suppose you want me to ask Mr. Kindell to smuggle it through, without telling him what it is.""Then you must think me a bigger fool than yourself. All you've got to do is to tell him about the trouble you're in. Do that within the next two days, but don't ask him to do any smuggling on your behalf, and don't agree to any offer that comes from him. For one reason, he'd be almost certain to fail; and there are two others that are even better than that."As he spoke, the slightly sullen expression passed from his niece's face. She looked half puzzled and half relieved. She said: "Very well. I can do that, if it's any good.""You can do it excellently, if you try, as I'm sure you will."
He rose again as he spoke, taking out a wallet at the same time, from which he drew some banknotes, which he handed to her."I Suppose you'll want to go shopping now you're here," he said casually. "Most women do.""All true philosophers should keep their eyes open. Even if we have never seen a white crow, we should never stop looking for it. And one day, even a skeptic like me could be obliged to accept a phenomenon I did not believe in before. If I did not keep this possibility open I would be dogmatic, and not a true philosopher."
Alberto and Sophie remained seated on the bench without saying anything. The pigeons craned their necks and cooed, now and then being startled by a bicycle or a sudden movement."I have to go home and prepare for the party," said Sophie at last."But before we part, I'll show you a white crow. It is nearer than we think, you see."Alberto got up and led the way back into the bookstore. This time they walked past all the books on supernatural phenomena and stopped by a flimsy shelf at the very back of the store. Above the shelf hung a very small card. PHILOSOPHY, it read.
Alberto pointed down at a particular book, and Sophie gasped as she read the title: Sophie's World."Would you like me to buy it for you?"
"I don't know if I dare."Shortly afterward, however, she was on her way home with the book in one hand and a little bag of things for the garden party in the other.The Garden Party
... a white crowHilde sat on the bed, transfixed. She felt her arms and her hands tremble, as they gripped the heavy ring binder.It was almost eleven o'clock. She had been reading for over two hours. From time to time she had raised her eyes from the text and laughed aloud, but she had also turned over on her side and gasped. It was a good thing she was alone in the house.And what she had been through these last two hours! It started with Sophie trying to attract the major's attention on the way home from the cabin in the woods. She had finally climbed a tree and been rescued by Morten Goose, who had arrived like a guardian angel from Lebanon.
Although it was a long, long time ago, Hilde had never forgotten how her father had read The Wonderful Adventures of Nils to her. For many years after that, she and her father had had a secret language together that was connected with the book. Now he had dragged the old goose out again.Then Sophie had her first experience as a lone customer in a cafe. Hilde had been especially taken with what Alberto said about Sartre and existentialism. He had almost managed to convert her--although he had done that many times before in the ring binder too.
Once, about a year ago, Hilde had bought a book on astrology. Another time she had come home with a set of tarot cards. Next time it was a book on spiritualism. Each time, her father had lectured her about "superstition" and her "critical faculty," but he had waited until now for the final blow. His counterattack was deadly accurate. Clearly, his daughter would not be allowed to grow up without a thorough warning against that kind of thing. To be absolutely sure, he had waved to her from a TV screen in a radio store. He could have saved himself the trouble ...What she wondered about most of all was Sophie. Sophie--who are you? Where do you come from? Why have you come into my life?
Finally Sophie had been given a book about herself. Was it the same book that Hilde now had in her hands? This was only a ring binder. But even so--how could one find a book about oneself in a book about oneself? What would happen if Sophie began to read that book?What was going to happen now? What could happen now? There were only a few pages left in her ring binder.Sophie met her mother on the bus on her way home from town. Oh, no! What would her mother say when she saw the book in Sophie's hand?Sophie tried to put it in the bag with all the streamers and balloons she had bought for the party but she didn't quite make it."Hi, Sophie! We caught the same bus! How nice!""Hi, Mom!"
"You bought a book?""No, not exactly."
"Sophie's World ... how curious."Sophie knew she didn't have the slightest chance of lying to her mother.
"I got it from Alberto.""Yes, I'm sure you did. As I said, I'm looking forward to meeting this man. May I see?"
"Would you mind very much waiting till we get home, at least. It is my book, Mom.""Of course it's your book. I just want to take a peek at the first page, okay? ... 'Sophie Amundsen was on her way home from school. She had walked the first part of the way with Joanna. They had been discussing robots . . .'""Does it really say that?""Yes, it does, Sophie. It's written by someone called Albert Knag. He must be a newcomer. What's your Al-berto's name, by the way?"
"Knox.""It'll probably turn out that this extraordinary person has written a whole book about you, Sophie. It's called using a pseudonym."
"It's not him, Mom. Why don't you just give up. You don't understand anything anyway.""No, I don't suppose I do. The garden party is tomorrow, then everything will be all right again."
"Albert Knag lives in a completely different reality. That's why this book is a white crow.""You really must stop all this! Wasn't it a white rabbit?"
"You stop it!"That was as far as they got before they reached their stop at the end of Clover Close. They ran straight into a demonstration."My God!" exclaimed Helene Amundsen, "I really thought we would be spared street politics in this neighborhood."There were no more than about ten or twelve people. Their banners read:
THE MAJOR IS AT HANDYES TO YUMMY MIDSUMMER EATS
MORE POWER TO THE UNSophie almost felt sorry for her mother.
"Never mind," she said."But it was a peculiar demonstration, Sophie. Quite absurd, really."