The 4-D Doodler

Produced by Greg Weeks, Sankar Viswanathan, and the Online
Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net

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

 

The 4-D DOODLER

 

by GRAPH WALDEYER

 

 


“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.

Pages: First | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | Next → | Last | Single Page