There is a lot of controversy surrounding Savitch, mostly concerning his humble beginnings to his rise in the Tsar's court after graduating from the University of Dorpat. Wanting to know more, Fisher confronts Rapperschwyll at an old observation tower when the ladder falls and they find themselves trapped up there for hours. Rapperschwyll, after swearing Fisher to secrecy, tells him the story of Baron Savitch.
Baron Savitch grew up in a mental asylum and was mute and retarded. Rapperschwyll found him there one day and with his skill in medicine and watch making he made a clockwork brain for Savitch similar to Charles Babbage's difference engine. With this mechanical brain, Baron Savitch cannot make a mistake and with time will rise to become the next Napoleon.
Later in Paris, Fisher finds Baron Savitch on a diplomatic mission. He learns Savitch will soon marry and is disgusted by the idea of a women being married to a machine. He finds that Rapperschwyll has returned to his native Switzerland, visiting his dying mother. With this knowledge, Fisher waits for the baron to feel ill again. Once that has happened Fisher comes to his aid as a doctor. With the baron's guard down, Fisher takes his brain, runs off with it and later throws it into the Atlantic ocean on his return trip to America.
Originally published unattributed in the NY Sun May 4 1879. Reprinted in The Crystal Man: Stories by Edward Page Mitchell, Sam Moskowitz, ed. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1973.