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Under other circumstances Drosselmeier would have berated an apprentice for doing what he did then. He cannibalized and rigged with pocket twine; he repaired delicate metal with flour paste and ripped some of the more exotic dials out entirely. His goal was function, not ornament, and for this purpose he had a secret of his trade to use.

One thing every horologist knows: most clockwork is unnecessary. Two gears and a mainspring are the heart of time.

Morning came, and with it, the ratchet and tick and cheerful toll of bells as the great minute hand limped its way to twelve.