"I will go mad!" he announced,

"Good idea," said Ford Prefect *, clambering down from the rock on which he had been sitting.

Arthu''s brain somersaulted. His jaw did push-ups.

"I went mad for awhile." said Ford, "did me no end of good."

Arthur's eyes did cartwheels.

"You see..." said Ford.

"Where have you been?" interrupted Arthur, now that his head had finished working out.

"Around," said Ford, "around and about." He grinned in what he accurately judged to be an infuriating manner. "I just took my mind off the hook for a bit. I reckoned that if the world wanted me badly enough it would call back. It did."

He took out of his now terribly battered and dilapidated satchel his Sub-Etha Sens-O-Matic. "At least," he said, "I think it did. This has been playing up a bit." He shook it. "If it was a false alarm I shall go mad," he said, "again."

Arthur shook his head and sat down. He looked up. "I thought you must be dead..." he said simply.

"So did I for awhile," said Ford, "and then I decided I was a lemon for a couple of weeks. I kept myself amused all that time jumping in and out of a gin and tonic."

Arthur cleared his throat, and then did it again. "Where," he said, "did you...?"

"Find a gin and tonic?" said Ford brightly. "I found a small lake that thought it was a gin and tonic, and jumped in and out of that. At least, I think it thought it was a gin and tonic." "I may," he added with a grin that would have sent sane men scampering into trees, "have been imagining it."

* Ford Prefect's name is not a misspelling of the word perfect. It is taken from a car manufactured in Europe called the "Ford Prefect"

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