Progress Of Man (pt. 6)

Banyard absently rubbed his face, leaving a smear of orange mud across the bridge of his bulbous nose. This was something like the lizard-bones those Yanks kept finding. Banyard considered himself educated—before leaving England he’d even had the privilege of attending a symposium where the Bishop thoroughly trounced that hideous little bigot and Darwin’s puppet, Huxley.

It was some kind of ape, perhaps dumped here by the Deluge. That was it, Banyard decided. This d—n child dragged him out here to look at a monkey skull. But if that was all, what was it about those d—d hollow eyes, partly-filled with stone?

Banyard rose to his knees and brought his stick down on the exposed rock. He hammered furiously ‘til the stick broke, then picked up the metal head of the stick from the ground and smashed the exposed rock until there was nothing left but orange and white flakes, sinking into the soft ground.

Then Banyard beat the child with his bare hands, for dragging him out here into the mud for nothing.

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