All day long a fierce and heavy heat had brooded Over the City, and as Darnell neared home he saw the mist lying on all the damp lowlands, wreathed in coils about Bedford Park to the south and mounting to the West, so that the tower of Acton Church loomed out of a grey lake. He lived in the grey phantasmal world, akin to death, that has, somehow, with most of us, made good its claim to be called life. But so went forth Darnell, strangely mistaking death for life, madness for sanity and purposeless and wandering phantoms for true beings. He was sincerely of opinion that he was a City clerk, living in Shepherd's Bush -- having forgotten the mysteries and the far-shining glories of the kingdom which was his by legitimate inheritance. . . .