**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

The "The Dansant"
by [?]

I felt, however, that Seabury accepted this conclusion reluctantly, in fact with a sort of mental reservation not to cease activity himself.

The remainder of the forenoon, and for some time during the early afternoon, Craig plunged into one of his periods of intense work and abstraction at the laboratory.

It was, indeed, a most unusual and delicate test which he was making. For one thing, I noticed that he had, in a sterilizer, some peculiar granular tissue that had been sent to him from a hospital. This tissue he was very careful to cleanse of blood and then by repeated boilings prepare for whatever use he had in mind.

As for myself, I could only stand aside and watch his preparations in silence. Among the many peculiar pieces of apparatus which he had, I recall one that consisted of a glass cylinder with a siphon tube running into it halfway up the outside. Inside was another, smaller cylinder. All about him as he proceeded were glass containers, capillary pipettes, test tubes, Bunsen burners, and dialyzers of porous parchment paper whose wrappers described them as “permeable for peptones, but not for albumins.”

Carefully set aside was the blood which he had drawn from Seabury’s veins, allowed to stand till the serum separated out from the clot. Next he pipetted it into a centrifuge tube and centrifuged it at high speed, some sixteen thousand revolutions, until the serum was perfectly clear, with no trace of a reddish tint, nor even cloudy. After that he drew off the serum into a little tube, covered it with a layer of a substance called toluol from another sterile pipette, and finally placed it in an incubator at a temperature of about ninety-eight.

It was well along toward four o’clock when he paused as if some mental alarm clock had awakened him to another part of the plan of action he had laid out.

“Walter,” he remarked, hastily doffing his stained old laboratory coat, “I think we’d better drop around to the Vanderveer.”

Curious as I had been at the preparations he was making in the laboratory, I was still glad at even the suggestion of something that my less learned mind could understand and it was not many seconds before we were on our way.

Through the lobby of the famous new hostelry we slowly lounged along, then down a passage into the tea room, where, in the center of a circle of quaint little wicker chairs and tables, was a glossy dancing floor.

Kennedy selected a table not in the circle, but around an “L,” inconspicuously located so that we could watch the dancing without ourselves being watched.

At one end of the room an excellent orchestra was playing. I gazed about, fascinated. At the dancing tea was represented, apparently, much wealth–women whose throats and fingers glittered with gold and gems, men whose very air exuded prosperity–or at least its veneer.

About it all was the glamor of the risque. One felt a sort of compromising familiarity in this breaking down of old social restraints through the insidious influence of the tea room, with its accompaniments of music and dancing.

“I suppose,” remarked Craig after we had for some time settled ourselves and watched the brilliant scene, “that, like many others, Walter, you have often wondered whether these modern dances are actually as stimulating as they seem.”

I shrugged my shoulders non-committally.

“Well, there is what psychologists might call a real dance neurosis,” he went on, contemplatively, toying with a glass. “In fact few persons can withstand the physical effect of the peculiar rhythm, the close contact, and the sinuous movements–at least where, so to speak, the surroundings are suggestive and the dance becomes less restrained and more sensuous, as it does often in circumstances like these, often among strangers.”

The music had started again and one after another couples seemed to float past in unhesitating hesitation–dowager and debutante, dandy and doddering octogenarian.