About"Ford," he said suddenly, "look, if that Question is printed in my brain wave patterns but I'm not consciously aware of it it must be somewhere in my unconscious."
"Yes, I suppose so."
"There might be a way of bringing that unconscious pattern forward."
"Yes, by introducing some random element that can be shaped by that pattern."
"Like by pulling Scrabble letters out of a bag blindfolded."
Ford leapt to his feet.
"Brilliant!" he said. He tugged his towel out of his satchel and with a few deft knots transformed it into a bag.
"Totally mad," he said, "utter nonsense. But we'll do it because it's brilliant nonsense. Come on, come on."
The sun passed respectfully behind a cloud. A few small sad raindrops fell.
They piled together all the remaining letters and dropped them into the bag. They shook them up.
"Right," said Ford, "close your eyes. Pull them out. Come on come on, come on."
Arthur closed his eyes and plunged his hand into the towelful of stones. He jiggled them about, pulled out four and handed them to Ford. Ford laid them along the ground in the order he got them.
"W," said Ford, "H, A, T ... What!"
"I think it's working!" he said.
Arthur pushed three more at him.
"D, O, Y ... Doy. Oh perhaps it isn't working," said Ford.
"Here's the next three."
"O, U, G ... Doyoug ... It's not making sense I'm afraid."
Arthur pulled another two from the bag. Ford put them in place.
"E, T, doyouget ... Do you get!" shouted Ford, "it is working! This is amazing, it really is working!"
"More here." Arthur was throwing them out feverishly as fast as he could go.
"I, F," said Ford, "Y, O, U, ... M, U, L, T, I, P, L, Y, ... What do you get if you multiply, ... S, I, X, ... six, B, Y, by, six by ... what do you get if you multiply six by ... N, I, N, E, ... six by nine ..." He paused. "Come on, where's the next one?"
"Er, that's the lot," said Arthur, "that's all there were."
He sat back, nonplussed.
He rooted around again in the knotted up towel but there were no more letters.
"You mean that's it?" said Ford.
"Six by nine. Forty-two."
"That's it. That's all there is."
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