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The Man Who Lived Twice

by EDMOND HAMILTON

Down and out, Nick Riley answered an ad for a chauffeur, and
found himself trapped on an operating table; Awakening once
more, he found his brain in the hood of the Airlord of Amer

CHAPTER I
A Strange Experimont

NICK RILEY hadn't had any breakfast, he had just spent his last dime, and if he wasn't lucky he would have to walk thirty miles back to New York. Yet there was a carefree grin on his devil-may-care young face, and he was whistling cheerfully as he strode up the sunlit drive and onto the porch of the isolated old Long Island house.

His knock on the front door was answered by a tall, impatient man of forty, with a colorless intellectual face and cold black eyes.

"You're Doctor James Brant?" Riley asked. He named himself. "I saw your advertisement for a chauffeur."

Doctor Brant thoughtfully eyed the lean, shabby young man. "You're down and out, eh? No family?"

"No family and no job," Riley replied cheerfully. "You can call me a soldier of fortune, mister."

"Come on in," the scientist said. "I think I can use you."

He motioned Riley to precede him down a dim, paneled hall. The young man stepped into a white-tiled laboratory illuminated by bright electrics. Upon benches and tables was a. bewildering array of scientific apparatus.

Suddenly a stunning blow crashed on his head from behind. He sank nervelessly to the ?oor.

When his brain cleared, he found himself lying on an operating table, held down by steel fetters. Doctor Brant was wheeling an anaesthetic apparatus toward him.

"What the devil does this mean?" Riley wrenched futilely to free himself.

"I'll explain," said the scientist coolly.

He went to a table and brought back a square, glass jar filled with thick, clear liquid. In the liquid floated a small, gray, wrinkled mass.

"Do you know what this is?" Brant asked. "It is the brain of a dog-and it is living. It has lived in this jar of serum for nearly a year."

"Why, that's impossible!" Riley exclaimed, astonishment momentarily overcoming his anger.

"Nothing of the sort," Brant smiled. "I have mastered the art of keeping living tissues and organs alive in serum."1

1: Doctor Alexis Carrel of Rockefeller Institute, the greatest living authority on tissue culture, has kept a sliver of chicken heart living in serum for years. He has done the same with other animal organs and tissues.—ED.

"What are your serums to me?" Riley cried. "I want to know why you knocked me out and tied me on this table."

"I've succeeded," Brant continued calmly, "in keeping animal brains living in serum. I think it can be done with a human brain. If so, it will mean an immense addition to medical and scientific knowledge."

Riley's hair bristled on his scalp. "You surely don't mean that you intend to—"

"You've guessed it, Riley," said Brant coolly. "The only way I can get a healthy, living human brain for the experiment is to take it from some living person. My advertisement was designed to bring such a person to me.

"You'll never be missed by the world, and you're of no particular value to the world. In this way, you will help a tremendous scientific achievement. It will be quite painless—you will go to sleep on this table and never wake up. Your brain will live on in the serum, unconscious, oi course."

Riley could not believe his ears as he heard those calm, ghastly words.

"You're crazy as a hoot-owl!" he exclaimed. "Just because you've got some crack-brain idea. for an experiment, you'd commit murder!"

"I realize," Brant admitted, "that according to human ethics, I am committing a terrible crime. But I have no particular reverence for human ethics. I am willing to incur any possible guilt, for the sake of science."

He wheeled toward the operating table another table on which were racks of glittering surgical instruments, and a large glass jar of colorless liquid.

Riley stared incredulously at the jar. He realized for the first time that if the scientist could actually do the thing, his brain would live indefinitely in that jar. He strained his muscles until they cracked, until his face was crimson with exertion, but the steel fetters held.

The scientist turned a valve, then raised the rubber mouthpiece of the anaesthetic apparatus. He paused, holding it over Riley's head.

"I'm sorry for you, Riley," he said, a ring of sincerity in his voice. "I wish I didn't have to do it. But the cause of science comes before all sentiment."

"Damn you, if I had my hands on your throat just one minute!" Riley cried furiously.

He threshed and twisted his head aside as the rubber mouthpiece descended on his mouth and nose.

But Brant held it firmly down on his face. He tried to hold his breath. But in a moment his tortured lungs opened despite him. He gulped in sweetish gas—and sank rapidly into a whirling green darkness.

CHAPTER II
A Weird Awakening

RILEY awoke slowly, his first sensation that of a throbbing headache. He lay, too dazed to open his eyes, trying to remember where he was. Then he remembered. Brant and his ghastly experiment! It must have been interrupted, he thought thankfully, or he wouldn't be waking now.

He opened his eyes. At once he saw that he was no longer in Brant's laboratory. This was a large, strange room with curving walls of cool, silvery metal. Sunset light from high windows shimmered off graceful metal furniture.

He sat up bewilderedly on the metal couch on which he had been lying. In the wall opposite him was a tall mirror. He stared into it at his reflection, and then from him burst a hoarse cry of horror. The man in the mirror wasn't himself, wasn't Nick Riley at all.

A stalwart, brawny-shouldered man of thirty with a dark, s...

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