“Try this for me, would you?” he begged. “I’ve been working on it for years but I couldn’t find the right test subject.”
“Ummm, what is it? I don’t want any projector showing pictures of my eyeballs on the wall, thanks.”
“Nothing like that. Eyeglasses, for want of a better term. Please, I’ll get down on my knees and beg, but I must know if they work.”
Doctor Mac divested himself of his own glasses and slipped on the bronze visor-like device. Oliver adjusted lenses and the clockwork gears ticked softly. Mac began to grumble but then stood silent a moment, stunned.
“I can see it in your expression. They work!”
Mac swung his head and I saw him pick up his wife at the far end of the room. The clockwork continued its soft ticking and the lenses moved minutely, adjusting without Doctor Twist’s touch. “That’s the most beautiful thing I never really saw before. What is it? Is it really Rosie clear as crystal, or another of your projections?”
“Not a projection at all.” Oliver laughed like a child dipping his toes in the mud for the first time. “The amber crystals make a much more efficient and versatile lens than plain ground glass. And some of these lenses are especially sympathetic to a particular type of eye injury resulting from sunstroke. It’s technically a brain injury, but this compensates for it. It’ll take a little time, but the clockwork will adjust the lenses automatically as the detectors built into the frame notice your eyes’ and eyelids’ attempts to compensate for near and far, that sort of thing.”
“But I’ve never — I’ve never ever seen this well.” Mac still stared at Rose. She chatted with the ladies, oblivious until something made her turn toward her husband. She saw his dumbstruck expression and the strange eyewear and smiled uncertainly.
“Oh, thank you, Doctor Twist. I think I’m the one to be kneeling. Do you have any idea — ?”
“I have an idea that you’ve lost opportunities to study a few more hours in the sunshine, identify a few more specimens under a microscope, remove a few more bad cells in surgery … ” Oliver trailed off and glanced at Rose, who was smiling a little wider and blushing in a way that made both Doctor Twist and me quickly find something else to look at.
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