"If you call them dreams. Night after night. Vivid!--so vivid . . . . this--" (he indicated the landscape that went streaming by the window) "seems unreal in comparison! I can scarcely remember who I am, what business I am on . . . ."
"The dream is always the same--do you mean?" I asked.
"Smashed and killed, and now, so much of me as that dream was, is dead. Dead forever. I dreamt I was another man, you know, living in a different part of the world and in a different time. I dreamt that night after night. Night after night I woke into that other life. Fresh scenes and fresh happenings--until I came upon the last--"
"No," he said. "Thank God! That was the end of the dream . . . "
It was clear I was in for this dream. And after all, I had an hour before me, the light was fading fast, and Fortnum Roscoe has a dreary way with him. "Living in a different time," I said: "do you mean in some different age?"
"The year three thousand, for example?"
"I don't know what year it was. I did when I was asleep, when I was dreaming, that is, but not now--not now that I am awake. There's a lot of things I have forgotten since I woke out of these dreams, though I knew them at the time when I was--I suppose it was dreaming. They called the year differently from our way of calling the year . . . What did they call it?" He put his hand to his forehead. "No," said he, "I forget."
He sat smiling weakly. For a moment I feared he did not mean to tell me his dream. As a rule I hate people who tell their dreams, but this struck me differently. I proffered assistance even. "It began--" I suggested.