American library books » Fiction » The 4-D Doodler by Graph Waldeyer (books to read in your 20s female TXT) 📕

Read book online «The 4-D Doodler by Graph Waldeyer (books to read in your 20s female TXT) 📕».   Author   -   Graph Waldeyer

1 2 3
Go to page:
*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE 4-D DOODLER *** Produced by Greg Weeks, Sankar Viswanathan, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at

Transcriber's Note:

This etext was produced from Comet, July 1941. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed.


The Professor's head, suspended above the body, glared about. The mouth moved rapidly—







"Do you believe, Professor Gault, that this four dimensional plane contains life—intelligent life?"

At the question, Gault laughed shortly. "You have been reading pseudo-science, Dr. Pillbot," he twitted. "I realize that as a psychiatrist, you are interested in minds, in living beings, rather than in dimensional planes. But I fear you will find no minds to study in the fourth dimension. There aren't any there!"

Professor Gault paused, peered from beneath bushy white brows out over the laboratory. To his near sighted eyes the blurred figure of Harper, his young assistant, seemed busily at work over his mathematical charts. Gault hoped sourly that the young man was actually working and not just drawing more of his absurd, senseless designs amidst the mathematical computations....

"Your proof," Dr. Pillbot broke into his thoughts insistently, "is purely negative, Professor! How can you know there are no beings in the fourth dimension, unless you actually enter this realm, to see for yourself?"

Professor Gault stared at the fat, puffy face of his visitor, and snorted loudly.

"I am afraid, Pillbot, you do not comprehend the impossibility of such a passage. We can not possibly break from the confines of our three dimensional world. Here, let me explain by a simple illustration."

Gault took up a book, held it so that a shadow fell onto the surface of the desk.

"That shadow," he said, "is two dimensional, has length and breadth, but no thickness. Now in order to enter the third dimension, our plane, the shadow would have to bulge out in some way, into the dimension of thickness an obvious impossibility. Similarly, we can not enter the fourth dimension. Do you see?"

"No!" retorted Pillbot with some heat. "In the first place, we are not two dimensional shadows, and—why, what is the matter?"

Professor Gault's lanky form had stiffened, his near sighted eyes glaring out over the laboratory to the rear of Pillbot. The psychiatrist wheeled around, followed his host's gaze.

It was Harper. That young man's antics drew an amazed grunt from Pillbot. He was describing peculiar motions in the air with his pencil. Circles, whorls, angles, abrupt jabs forward. He bent over the paper on the desk, made a few sweeps of the pencil, then the pencil rose again into the air to describe more erratic motions. Harper himself seemed in a trance.

Suddenly Pillbot gave a stifled gasp. It seemed to him that Harper's arm vanished at the elbow as it stabbed forward, then reappeared. Once again the phenomenon happened.

Pillbot blinked rapidly, rubbed his eyes. It must have been illusion, he decided. It was too ... unlikely....

"Harper!" Gault's voice was like the snapping of a steel trap.

Startled, Harper came to with a jerk. Seeing he was being watched, he flushed redly, then bent over his charts again. An apologetic murmur floated from his desk.

"What was he doing?" Pillbot asked puzzledly.

"Doodling!" Gault spat out the word disgustedly.

"Doodling?" echoed the psychiatrist. "Why that is a slang term we use in psychiatry, to describe the absent-minded scrawls and designs people make while their attention is elsewhere occupied. An overflow of the unconscious mind, we call it. Many famous people are 'doodlers.' Their doodles often are a sign of special ability—"

"Exactly!" snapped Gault. "It shows a special ability to waste time. And Harper has become worse since I hired him to do some of my mathematical work. Some influence in this laboratory—I blush to confess—seems to bring it on. 'Four dimensional doodling' we call it, because, as you saw, he doesn't confine it to the surface of the paper!"

Pillbot looked startled. "By jove," he cried. "I believe you've hit on something new to psychiatry. This young man may have some unknown faculty of mind—an instinctive perception of the fourth dimension. Just as some people have an unerring sense of direction, so perhaps Harper has a sense of—of a fourth direction—the fourth dimension! I should like to examine some of his 'doodles'."

Harper looked up in alarm as his crusty tempered employer appeared, followed by the stout figure of Pillbot. He rose and stood aside unassumingly, as Pillbot bent over the scrawls on his charts, clucking interestedly.

Harper flickered a worried glance over to the corner. He hoped they wouldn't notice his stress-analyzing clay model standing there. It looked like a futurist's nightmare, with angles, curves and knobs stuck out at all angles. Professor Gault might not understand....

For one of his retiring temperament, Harper was aiming high. There was a standing award of $50,000 for the lucky mathematician who would solve the mystery of the "stress-barrier" encountered by skyscrapers as they were built up toward the 150 story mark. At this height, they encountered stress and strains which mathematical computations and engineering designs had been unable to solve. Harper believed the "stress-barrier" was due to an undetected space-bending close to the earth's surface, a bending of space greater than ever provided for in the prediction of Einstein. And if he was right, and could win that award, then there might be wedding bells, and a little bungalow with Judith....

Harper's greatest fear was that he would do something to annoy Gault into firing him, thus depriving him of the privilege of using the mathematical charts and computing machines available in the laboratory. Right now, he hoped Gault wouldn't notice that statue in the corner—

"What's that!"

Harper's heart leaped. The Professor was glaring at the statue, as though it were something the cat brought in.

Pillbot looked up from examination of the "doodles" and followed Gault over to the futuristic statuary.

As Gault made strangled noises, Pillbot stared interestedly. "Why—its like some of the designs in his doodling," he exclaimed.

"And made with some of my best modeling clay for reproducing geometric solids!" rasped Gault. He wheeled upon Harper.

"Get that thing out of here! I won't stand for such rot in this laboratory. Throw it into the hall for the janitor!"

"Ye-yessir," said Harper, gulping. He took hold of the statue, pulled at it.

"It—it won't budge," he exclaimed amazedly.

"Eh? Won't move? It's not heavy, is it?" demanded the Professor.

"No—about thirty pounds, but it wont move!"

Gault took hold of one of the angles of the thing, jerked at it savagely. He gave it up with an oath, returned to Harper's desk muttering.

Harper suddenly noticed the top portion of the statue. It didn't seem to be all there! He was positive there had been another section on top, shooting off at an angle, representing a problem in tangential stress. What had happened to that top section?

He would figure that out later, when the occasion was more propitious. Right now, he realized that only the presence of Dr. Pillbot prevented Gault from firing him. He cast an apprehensive glance toward his employer.

With trepidation, he saw Gault reach for something projecting from behind a bench. Gault pulled it out, held it dangling before him. A strangled exclamation of wrath came from him. His long nose pointed accusingly toward Harper, like a finger pointing out a criminal.

"I was afraid of that!" he grated. "Cutting paper dolls!" Gault was holding up a large paper cutout of a human figure—a long, rangy man.

"This is the last straw," Gault went on, his voice rising. "I have stood enough—"

"It—it wasn't me, sir," Harper cried quickly, with visions of his job and $50,000 vanishing. "It was your ten year old nephew, Rudolph, when he was here yesterday. He cut it out, said it looked like—like his uncle—"

Harper stopped as Gault seemed about to explode. Then the mathematician subsided, a malicious expression crept over his face.

"H-m-m," he said. "Might be just what I need to explain things to Dr. Pillbot."

"I shall take this matter before the Psychiatric Society," Pillbot was saying excitedly. "Undoubtedly you have some strange faculty—an instinctive perception of four dimensional laws ... what was that, Professor?"

"I said if you will step over to this desk I will explain to you in elementary terms—very elementary and easy to understand—why you will never be able to study four dimensional beings—if any exist!" Gault's voice was tinged with sarcasm.

Pillbot came over, followed by Harper, who was interested in any explanations about the fourth dimension—even elementary ones....

Gault, with a glint in his eye, pressed the paper figure flatly on the surface of Harper's desk.

"This paper man, we will say, represents a two dimensional creature. We lay him flatly against the desk, which represents his world—Flatland, we mathematicians call it. Mr. Flatlander can't see into our world. He can see only along the flat plane of his own world. To see us, for instance, he would have to look up, which is the third dimension, a direction inconceivable to him. Now, Doctor, are you beginning to understand why we can never see four dimensional beings?"

Pillbot frowned thoughtfully, then looked up. "And what about the viewpoint of the four dimensioners themselves—what would prevent them from seeing us?"

Harper hardly heard the Professor's snort of disgust. This two dimensional cutout in "Flatland" fascinated him. An idea occurred to him. Now, just supposing the....

As Gault and Pillbot argued, Harper grasped the paper cutout, and bent it, "jacknifed" it, creasing it firmly in the middle. Then he raised the upper half so that it rose vertically from the desk, while the lower half was still pressed flatly against the desk surface.

"Now," he murmured to himself, "the Flatlander would appear to his fellows to have vanished from the waist up, because from the waist up he is bent into the third dimension ... so far as they are concerned...."


At the wavering scream, Harper looked up quickly. Pillbot was staring frozenly in front of him, toward the floor. Harper followed his glance—and saw it.

Professor Gault had vanished from the waist up.

His lower body still stood before Pillbot, swaying slightly, but the upper body was unconditionally missing. From the large feet planted solidly on the floor, long legs rose majestically, terminating in slim, angular hips—and from thence vanished abruptly into nothingness. It was as though the upper body had been sheared away, neatly and precisely, at the waist.

Pillbot stared from the visible portion of Gault to slack-jawed Harper and back again, sweat splashing from his puffy face.

"Why, why really my dear fellow," he quavered, addressing the half-figure. "This—this is a bit rude of you, vanishing in the midst of my sentence. I—I trust you will—ah, return at once!" Then, as the full import of the phenomenon penetrated to his understanding, his eyes became glazed and he backed away.

The portion of Professor Gault addressed failed to give any indication it had heard the remonstrance. Slowly, the legs began to feel their way, like a blind man, about the floor.

Harper stared wildly, white showing around his pale blue irises.

"No!" he bleated. "The Professor didn't do it himself—I caused it to happen. I bent the paper cutout, and—and Something saw me do it, and imitated me by bending the Professor into the fourth dimension!" Harper moaned faintly, wringing his hands.

Pillbot at the moment got little satisfaction from this demonstration of his point about four dimensional life. He glanced fearfully at the half-figure.

"You—you mean to say," he quailed, "that we are under scrutiny by some Being of the fourth dimension?"

"That's it," replied Harper with a whinny. "I—I know it, I can feel it. It became aware of our three dimensional life in some way, and its attention is now concentrated on the laboratory!" He wrung his hands. "I just know something else terrible is going to happen!" He backed away quickly as the occupied pair of pants moved toward him.

His retreat was halted by his desk, upon which reposed two large California oranges, an inevitable accompaniment to Harper's lunch. To him, orange juice was a potent, revivifying drink. Now he automatically reached for one of the oranges, as a more hardy individual might reach for a whisky and soda in a moment of mental shock.

His eyes wide on the shuffling approach of Gault's underpinnings, Harper nervously dug sharp fingernails into the orange, tore off large chunks of skin.

A sudden blur seen from the corner of his eyes pulled his gaze back to the desk. The other orange had vanished.


It dropped to the floor before Harper, but now it was a squashy mess, the insides standing out like petals, the juice running from it.

The other orange slipped from Harper's nerveless fingers, rolled along the desk top. Harper pounced on the squashy thing on the floor, feverishly pushed back the projecting insides, closely examined it. He looked up wide-eyed at Pillbot.

"Turned inside out," he gasped hoarsely, "without breaking its skin!"

Pillbot's expression indicated that the scientific attitude was slowly

1 2 3
Go to page:

Free e-book: «The 4-D Doodler by Graph Waldeyer (books to read in your 20s female TXT) 📕»   -   read online now on website american library books (

Comments (0)

There are no comments yet. You can be the first!
Add a comment