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The furies howled and poured fine snow down the Bishop's neck. He appeared at the green table engulfed in his coat-collar and a horrible temper. Fine snow is no part of the scheme of things in Rum-ti-Foo, and besides, it makes one look infinitely more distinguished to turn up the coat-collar and to be in a temper. He shivered, gathered up the manuscript and departed. . . . . Years came and went. The green table faded into eternity, the Bishop's fire crackled in faint reminiscence of the happy ages that had gone before. . . . . Before, what? Before nothingness. Piles of manuscript, seas of souls striving in inarticulate self-expression..
"Horribly inarticulate," breathed the Mikado, coming up to the surface for a brief instant, and then instantly submerging, while aeons went over his head, . all their heads. Even the Chancellor was not there with his satisfying atmosphere of reality. The Gentle Alice lost all control of herself, and signed recklessly, right and left. The Mikado wrestled with his conscience in the corner. The Bishop wailed for the impossible glories of H. G. Wells. The Gentle Alice went on signing. Would it never end?
The Aesthete entered. The mists dissolved as if by magic. The dream, the bad, bad dream was over. "Of course!" they shouted, "You were to write the LIT this month!"
"Oh," said the Aesthete, "Not that at all."
They were crushed. "But," said the Mikado, in a weak voice, "we have always done it before. And you have always said that you would do it. This time you must have done it!" The note of appeal was infinitely pathetic in its monotonous repetition of the idea.
"But it was quite impossible," said the Aesthete. "How could you imagine it?" He might have added "my children." He was paternal.
"What do you mean, impossible?" demanded the ecclesiastic, mustering something of his usual asperity.
"I just couldn't do it. I haven't had any time. I've been busy, terribly busy."
“At what?” queried Alice, in her most cutting manner. "And besides," added the Aesthete, hastily, "I forgot all about it." The Mikado slowly lifted his head. The others had gone. He ran out into the night, and the cold snow blew against him through the lonely gateway of Vanderbilt. Utter desertion. The College had gone home for Christmas. Slowly the situation dawned upon him. And then a fiendish smile spread across his features, and invoking the spirit of the departed Chancellor, he gathered up the manuscript. He would write the LIT!