Chapter 32

Before teatime the following day, I had made another decision. I had given Dr. Heinkel the full account, as much as I could remember and as well-ordered as I could manage. The doctor’s notebook was full and his face was contented. My own wound was getting worse.

Over tea, I said to Dr. Heinkel and Tegid,

“The two of you will probably think I’m out of my mind. But I want to go back again.”

“Back where?” said Tegid.

“Back to the future. To the year 2033. Dr. Llywarch told me that it would be dangerous for me to try to live in any age except my own. But I want to try it. I can’t live at all… without Mair.”

“But Ifan, you are out of your mind…”

“Steady on, Tegid,” said Dr. Heinkel. “Dr. Llywarch knows more about space-time than I do. I can easily believe that he’s right. As I said, I don’t know enough. But I believe, if you want to go back to the same point in the future, you’d be sorry.”

“Why?” I said, challenging him.

“I can’t tell you why. But I beg you to be satisfied, and don’t think about going.”

“I want to go,” I said. The opposition had just made me more stubborn. “I want to go tonight, if you’ll help me.”

 “But Ifan,” said Tegid, “you can’t leave us like this. What about your work? What about your family? You’re talking like a fool…”

“Perhaps I am. But you can’t understand what that life, in that age, means to me. And above all, you can’t understand how much I want to be with Mair.”

“It’s possible,” said Dr. Heinkel, and he was looking at me seriously by now, “it’s possible, even if you arrive at the same point in the future again, that would won’t see Mair.”

“Nonsense!” I said angrily. “I’m sure to find her. Wherever in Wales I arrive, I’ll look for her, and I’m sure to find her. Dr. Heinkel, I command you to help me go, just like you did before.”

Dr. Heinkel spread his hands in despair. Tegid looked at him pleadingly. I went and lay on the sofa like I did the first time, and said,

“I’m ready, Doctor.”

The doctor came over and stood by my head.

“All right,” he said. “I’ll send you to the future again. But on one condition.”

“What’s that?” I said.

“That you promise me. A firm promise that you will come back.”

“But I won’t want to come back.”

“All right. Promise me firmly that you will come back if you do not find Mair within three days.”

“I’ll find her.”

“If you don’t.” 

I laughed sourly. At last, I said,

“All right, Doctor. If I don’t find Mair within three days, I’ll come back.”

“It might be hard for you to come. In case you have any difficulty, I shall be here, in this room, between nine and ten o’clock every night, concentrating on you. If you want to come back, and fail to find help to do that, you should concentrate on me in this room at the same time of night – between nine and ten. Concentrate, and wish, hard. Do you understand?”

“I do, Doctor.”

It was easy to promise. Anything to be able to go. Dr. Heinkel went to gather his things together. He gave me an injection in my arm. He took the chrome plate from his bag and hung it from the lamp over my head. He placed the electric lamp by my elbow and shone it on the chrome. And then he sat beside me.

He began to mesmerise me, and this time I was completely ready. I was concentrating with all my strength of will on the year 2033. There was no need for the doctor to murmur over me for long before the room went away from we with a ‘Whiff!’ and I saw myself going through the chrome plate into the depths of the dark tunnel, and shooting head first into unconsciousness.

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