air of someone who had seen something of great amazement but
yet lacked the means to put it into language. As I got to know the patient
over the next few weeks I learned that this was not for the want of effort.
In his youth he had dabbled with the world-speak language Volapük, one
designed to do away with the incompatibility of tongues, to establish a
standard in which scientific intercourse might be conducted with maximum
efficiency and with minimal friction in movement between minds, laboratories
her means to do so when reality resisted
these early measures.
The dabbling, he reflected, had become a little more than that. He had
subscribed to journals in the language, he wrote letters to colleagues and
received them in return. A few words of world-speak remained readily on his
tongue, words that he spat out regularly into the yellow-wallpapered lounge of
the sanatorium with a disgust that was lugubriously palpable.
According to my records, and in piecing together the notes of previous